The News | June and July 2016

Welcome to The News, were we discuss the new releases this month that we’re most excited about! Let’s get to it!

Lila

9780062391742My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (June 7, 2016)

This story looks positively hysterical! Plus, it’s being marketed as “for fans of The Princess Bride,” which is one of my all time favorite movies! I’ve heard good things about this one so far too, so I’m really looking forward to getting my hands on it!

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (July 5, 2016)9780062380852

I’ve never read a Schwab book before, so I’m looking forward to this one, which I’ve pre-ordered. It sounds like another story with morally grey protagonists, which we all know is the kind of story Schwab excels at writing. I can’t wait to see what the hubbub about Schwab’s writing is about and judge for myself!

29069989Harry Potter And The Cursed Child by Jack Thorne

So…A lot of people are under the impression that this is entirely written by J.K. Rowling. To clear it up, it’s not. This is a play written by Jack Thorne and based on a new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne, and John Tiffany. And from what I’ve heard (which is a lot), I’m now very wary of this play. But I’ll give it a chance and regardless of whether it’s technically “good” or “bad,” I’m sure I’ll have fun with it…

Claire

And I Darken by Kiersten White (June 28th, 2016)AndIDarken

This is the story of Lada, a vicious princess in the Ottoman Empire. Inspired by stories of Vlad the Impaler, I cannot wait read this gritty book and learn more about about Lada!

ThisSavageSongThis Savage Song by Victoria Schwab (July 5, 2016)

I’ve heard mixed reviews about this one, but the premise sounds right up my alley: a city overrun with monsters. Also, this is from the same author who wrote Vicious (which I adored) and A Darker Shade of Magic. (I didn’t even realize this at first because those books are penned under “V.E. Schwab”, but I double checked and it’s definitely the same person.) If this is anything like her other books, I’m sure I’ll be hooked!

Saga, Vol. 6 by Brian K Vaughan and illustrations by Fiona StaplesSagaVol6

I AM TOO EXCITED FOR THIS ONE. The last volume ended in such a cliffhanger and I NEED MY FAVORITE SPACE FAMILY BACK TOGETHER AGAIN IN ONE PIECE. Please and thank you.

In other news, why don’t more books get released in the summer?! Now is when I actually have free time to read!

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Claire’s #WWCW: Laini Taylor | June 29, 2016

Hello, and happy Woman Writer Crush Wednesday! Today I’m celebrating one of my all-time favorite authors, Laini Taylor.

LainiTaylor

Laini Taylor is the author of the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, a series that makes my heart hurt in the best way possible if I think about it too long. In my opinion, Laini Taylor is the Queen of purple prose–so often when I read a book with flowery writing I end up looking at an oddly phrased metaphor and want to shout “WHAT DOES IT MEAN?!” at the author. Is it a pretty turn of a phrase? Sure. Does it mean anything beyond that? Usually, no. With Laini Taylor’s writing, not only is it poetic and lovely but everything is filled with emotion and meaning. Her books are absolutely addicting, and had me hooked from line one:

Once upon a time, an angel and a devil fell in love.

It did not end well.

How can you read that and not be compelled to finish the book immediately?! Obviously, that’s exactly what I did. To read more about Daughter of Smoke & Bone, click here! I highly encourage you to read it, this is a story that stayed with me long after I turned the last page.

Lucky for us, she is coming out with a new book, Strange the Dreamer, this year!

 

Weekend Rewind | June 27, 2016

What We’ve Been Reading

Claire

I am reading multiple books, but have yet to actually finish anything…

Lila

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HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK??? NO???! THEN:

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What We’re Currently Reading

Claire

I got a LOT of ebooks from the library and somehow need to finish them all in the next two weeks.

Lila

I’m about 3/4 done with The Star-Touched Queen and just began Lumberjanes Issue 3

What We’ve Been Blogging

Claire

Hopefully this summer I’ll be able to write (at least) one review a week. If I do it enough it will eventually become second nature, right? At least that’s the theory. Check out my review for Charlie Jane Anders’s All the Birds in the Sky here!

Lila

*deep breath in**prepares to speak**lets breath out*

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Actually, that’s kind of a lie! Over on Inspired by Books I made and released some art and will be releasing a crap ton more this week, so check it out and stay on the alert! (Sorry, that was a shameless self plug at the end of that last sentence)

What We’ve Been Liking

Claire

(In response to Lila’s gif below) YASSSSSSSS JOIN ME IN BEING HAMILTRASH.

I was looking through sites I had bookmarked ages ago, and stumbled upon this:

BadBadThings

which is an excellent apocalyptic/dystopian webcomic featuring a hella diverse cast of characters. Definitely worth the read!

Lila

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So I discovered this little ol’ musical called Hamilton. Anyone familiar with it???

In Other News

Claire

I don’t think I could ever permanently live in the south. I went to a rodeo Saturday (which, while fun, made me feel really bad for the animals) and it was still 90F at 9pm. THAT IS NOT A REASONABLE HUMAN TEMPERATURE! I think I’ll stay above the Mason-Dixon line, thanks.

Lila

*in response to Claire* It’s just as bad with the unbearable cold for us Southerners when we travel above the Mason-Dixon line! I have no clue how y’all do it!

My new glasses came in the mail and they make me feel so pretty!!! But unfortunately, that was the extent of the good news this past week. The bad news is this: So you remember how my laptop’s power cord broke 2 weeks ago? Well, when I called the company 2 weeks ago to order a replacement, they said the replacement would come in 2-4 days…Yet, there I was, 2 weeks later, with no replacement power cord in sight. So I called up the company and you know what they told me? That the power cords for my laptop model are back ordered til august! Meaning they had lied when they originally told me I’d get my power cord in 2-4 days and to top it off I won’t be able to get one until August!!!

mnhghj

Luckily, I do have a backup chromebook. The unfortunate thing is that you can’t install software on a chromebook, so I’m limited in doing my bookish art 😛 But oh well. You take what you can get…

Claire’s Reviews | All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

One day the Singularity would elevate humans to cybernetic superbeings, and maybe then people would say what they meant.
Probably not, though.

Every once in a while I’ll stumble across a book that doesn’t quite fit into any particular genre. Is this sci-fi? Magical realism? Urban fantasy? Apocalyptic fiction? All the Birds in the Sky defies categorization by being a little bit of everything.

This novel begins with the unlikely friendship of two outcasts–Patricia Delfine, a budding witch, and Lawrence Armstead, an engineering prodigy. As they get older they grow distant, only for their paths to cross years later once they are both adults. The world around them is besieged by natural disasters as a result of escalating climate change. In their own ways, Patricia and Lawrence have spent the years attempting to do what they can to put a band-aid on the world’s calamities. But, years ago a prophesy indicated that they may be the ones to bring about Earth’s final destruction.

To say anything more about the story would be traipsing into spoiler territory. This book is so absurd and goes in so many unexpected directions that I really think it’s better for you to discover it on your own, and I highly encourage you to give this book a shot. The writing style may not be for everyone–absurdist, a little dark, but with a lot of humor–but for many of you this book would be a wildly entertaining adventure.

Claire’s #WWCW: Jenny Han | June 22, 2016

Hello, and happy Woman Writer Crush Wednesday! This week marked the official start of the summer, and to celebrate today I’m featuring Jenny Han, author of The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.

We'llAlwaysHaveSummer

Jenny Han’s books are perfect for a trip to the beach–engaging from the start, full of romance, and super easy to breeze right through. Her books manage to have a lighthearted feel, even when dealing with serious issues. It’s been years since I’ve read the Summer trilogy but from what I remember her characters had me swooning and longing for the beach.

If you’re looking for an easy read this summer, you should definitely check Jenny Han out!

Weekend Rewind | June 21, 2016

What We’ve Been Reading

Claire

The good thing about being stuck in a car with family for hours on end? So much time to do nothing but read.

Lila

I was able to finish Batgirl Vol. 1: The Batgirl of Burnside, but unfortunately I was in the middle of reading The Bronze Horseman when I had to return it to the library and get on the waiting list. *sigh*

What We’re Currently Reading

Claire

Lila

17927395

Holy smokes! This book is so great! I love how Maas somehow manages to constantly top herself. Just when you think she’s written her best book, she goes and writes an even better one, if you can believe that!

What We’ve Been Blogging

Claire

Aaat laaaaaaast I’ve actually reviewed something! If you’re a fan of high fantasy or looking for diversity in your fiction, check out my review of The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. Also, Lila and I sorted characters from the Throne of Glass series into Hogwarts Houses.

Lila

rfg

It was actually a pretty busy week over on The Bookkeeper’s Secrets! I celebrated my 6 month blogaversary as well as reaching over 400 followers over on The Bookkeeper’s Secrets! I also made a travel guide for the Night Court from A Court of Mist and Fury and discussed talking to teens through literature. In addition, reviewed Gotham Academy Vol. 1: Welcome to Gotham Academy and Batgirl Vol. 1: The Batgirl of Burnside.

What We’ve Been Liking

Claire

FINDING DORY FINDING DORY FINDING DORY! I’ve been waiting for this sequel for four years and it is EVERYTHING I COULD HAVE WANTED AND MORE. Baby Dory is the absolute sweetest and heart-wrenchingly cutest thing I have witnessed. Also, the animated short before the movie was soooooooo cute and well done. Quite possibly my favorite Pixar short ever.

Lila

dribbb

So I just discovered the show Mr. Robot and I’m really enjoying it! I’ve only seen half of the first episode, but call it love at first sight! Especially as someone in the STEM fields who lives with people who do what Elliot, the main character, does for a living, I found it pretty relatable (or, as relatable as a dramatic rendering can be)!

In Other News

Claire

“I start work Monday! (AHHH internally I am panicking.) I’m three parts nervous and one part really excited to be starting work again. I’m not quite sure what I’m going to be doing, but last fall I really enjoyed working with the company.” -Claire from Saturday, before forgetting about publishing this post. Work has started and so far it’s really great! It was much easier to slip back into the swing of things than I expected.

Lila

So apparently the replacement power cord I need for my computer is on back order until August, which is really incredibly frustrating as that means I’ll have limited access to Microsoft Word and PowerPoint and no access to my image editing softwares. So my other bookish edits blog, Inspired By Books, will suffer.

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Harry Potter Sorting | Throne of Glass Series

Hello witches and wizards, Muggles and Squibs, and everyone in between! The Hogwarts house you’re in can say a lot about who you are. Since both of us are Potterheads, we have decided to start a monthly segment where we sort characters from novels into the different Hogwarts houses. Today we are sorting characters from Sarah J Maas’s Throne of Glass series!

 

Celaena

Lila: So I’ve thought long and hard about this and I actually think Celaena is totally a Slytherin! Here’s the thing: not all Slytherins are bad. To be a Slytherin means you’re ambitious above all and Celaena wouldn’t have become the best assassin if she wasn’t ambitious. Plus, there is the fact that she’s pretty into herself and arrogant. That doesn’t negate her good heart or desire to do good, but you’ve gotta admit she has a serious girl crush on herself.

Claire: Originally, I had thought about sorting Celaena into Gryffindor–she’s very brash and willing to jump into any situation. The more I thought about it though, the more I decided she belongs in Slytherin. It’s very tempting to put warrior-types automatically into Gryffindor, but like Lila says, Celaena is driven by her ambition. Particularly in the first two books, Celaena is largely self-centered and concerned about one thing: achieving her personal freedom. To that end, she’d stop at nothing, no matter how ruthless, to accomplish her goal.

Dorian

C: I would put Dorian in Gryffindor. At the start of the series he is extremely naive, but even so he is full of heart and always seeking to make his kingdom a better place for all subjects. As he becomes more conscientious of the corruption within Adarlan, he becomes more determined to right the wrongs his father committed. SPOILER WARNING This all culminates to the event at the end of book three, when Dorian stands up to the king and risks himself to save Chaol–an ultimate act of Gryffindor bravery and self-sacrifice. END SPOILER.

L: I think it’s really tempting to put Dorian in Gryffindor because he’s such a good guy, but ultimately I really think he’s a Hufflepuff. Here’s why: Dorian’s acts of bravery all stem from his love for and loyalty to his friends. He’s kind, he’s honest, he’s hard working–all Hufflepuff traits. But above all, his one outstanding quality is his devotion to his friends and that devotion is what drives him. So that’s my spiel on why I think he’s definitely Hufflepuff.

C: I definitely see where you’re coming from! I can easily see Dorian in Hufflepuff too.

 

Chaol

L: Okay, so here’s the thing about Chaol. He is defined completely and wholly by his morality. He has a strong set of morals and values and if you break with that, you’re wrong and the bad guy. Chaol stands for his principles no matter what, even if that causes him to break with his friends. For this reason and because he is brave when it comes to serving his morals, I think Chaol is a Gryffindor.

C: Lol, our answers for Dorian and Chaol are flipped, because I would sort Chaol as a Hufflepuff. I think, beyond his sense of morality, Chaol is defined by his love and loyalty for Dorian.There is a quote in Heir of Fire where Chaol says SPOILER ALERT “There is one true king in this room–there always has been. And he is not sitting on that throne.” END SPOILER I think pretty much every action Chaol has done is tied to his loyalty for Dorian and his hopes for seeing him on the throne. Although I definitely understand the argument for Gryffindor (TBH I considered putting every person on this list in Gryffindor), I think ultimately Chaol belongs in Hufflepuff.

L: Haha, that’s funny how we flipped! I see your points, but I think I’m going to stick with Gryffindor because I feel like if Dorian’s morals didn’t match up with Chaol’s, Chaol would definitely break with Dorian.

 

Nehemia

C: I had a really hard time sorting Nehemia, largely due to the fact that I remember the first two books least. From what I do remember though, I would definitely put Nehemia in either Gryffindor or Hufflepuff. Nehemia’s overarching goal is freedom for her people, and to that end she is a very self-sacrificing and brave character. Actually, now that I think of it, she was also manipulative in how she used that self-sacrifice, so maybe she could be a Slytherin, too? Whatever house she belongs in, I think she’d definitely be a hatstall. For now (until maybe I’ve reread the books and can place her more accurately), I’d say Nehemia is a Gryffindor.  

L: Yeah, I think for me, from what I remember, she’s solidly a Gryffindor for the exact reasons you said. Because even if she was manipulative to a point, that manipulativeness wasn’t self serving, it didn’t come from a personal desire to get ahead, but rather from a desire to do what is best for her people. So I think Slytherin is ruled out. She is loyal and smart, but I think her love for her people and her selflessness is what truly drives her and that puts her solidly in Gryffindor.

C: Excellent points, Gryffindor it is!

 

Rowan

L: I had a tough time with Rowan because he’s so stoic and we don’t know all that much about him. From what I do know, I think he’s Gryffindor because he’s a warrior and that’s what defines him as a person. But that’s kinda all that I feel I know about him, which isn’t much.

C: I also had a hard time placing Rowan. Ultimately, I decided to place him into Ravenclaw. In terms of warrior-style, I feel like he’s the type of person to fully examine the situation from every angle and analyze each of his opponent’s strengths and weaknesses before making a move. So while yes, he is a warrior, I think his style of fighting is very Ravenclaw. And in the third book, he demonstrates a lot of foresight in manipulating a series of events in preparation for a Celaena’s final confrontation with Maeve. Also, BIRDS.

L: Oooh, those are great points! I think you could add onto that line of arguement that when we first meet Rowan it’s as a teacher–the quintissential Ravenclaw job. I think I could compromise and say he’s a Gryffinclaw.

 

Manon

L: Can I just say before anything that I totally am in support of putting Manon in Hufflepuff not because she actually belongs there (in my opinion), but because I would pay good money to see her reaction to that?

C: Bahaha, at first when you were typing that I was like “WHAAAATT??” but now it all makes good sense. I would loveeeee to read a fanfic/see fanart of that happening, especially because Asterin would be in Hufflepuff and she would be so excited that Manon was in the same house as her.

L: And Elide would probably be in Hufflepuff too and she and Asterin would totally gang up on Manon!

C: Yesssss! So true. Unfortunately, I think Manon is pretty solidly a Slytherin. She’s all about ambition–seeing the Thirteen rise to the top of the Blackbeaks at every challenge–and she has shown that she’d do just about anything to make that happen. I think we do see some character development throughout the books where she starts leaning away from this behavior somewhat, but at the end of the day she is still a Slytherin. Loyal to her pack and ruthlessly cunning in order to ensure their place in the hierarchy.

L: Agreed. The girl is in it to win it. But I think this is a particularly interesting placement in that it completes the parallel between Manon and Celaena.

C: THEY NEED TO HAVE MORE SCENES TOGETHER. What we got, while awesome and slightly terrifying, was not nearly enough.

L: Yes, yes, and yes to that sentiment!

 

Lysandra

L: I actually think Lysandra is also a Slytherin. If you’ve read The Assassin’s Blade, you saw the brutal competition between her and Celaena. But also, Lysandra is very driven by the pure desire to survive, and that’s a form of ambition in and of itself in my opinion.

C: And once again, we end in agreement. I have Lysandra pegged as a Slytherin. I think she’s much more cunning than anyone gives her credit for, and that sense of cunning has made her one of my favorite characters. She’s an expert at manipulation–like Lila says, she’s had to learn these skills in order to accomplish her main goal: survival.

L: Very true! So that’s a wrap folks! Let us know if you want us to sort any particular characters and we shall try to do it! Until next time!