Weekly Wrap-up: Apr 8-14, 2019

Hello fellow boozie readers!

Sam’s Update:

It’s Magical Readathon!! Working hard to be a Metal Charmer. It’s also Tome Topple, so I’ve started my Tomes as well =). It was an ok week, that ended with the premiere of GoT so color me happy.

What Sam finished this week:

  • Defense Against the Dark Arts: Reign the Earth by A. C. Gaughen: This is the story of Shalia, a desert woman who enters into an arranged marriage with a king to save her people. The king is a raging abusive asshole, but she’s trying her best. She’s also figured out that she’s got #forbiddenpowers so. I wanted to like this so much more. Maybe it was the audio narrator but damn that girl sounded so naive. She was also real dumb. The only reason this pushed up a star for me was because of the brilliant consent scene.
  • Transfiguration: Mirage by Somaiya Daud: I’m about half way through this book. It’s a eastern inspired sci-fi with our main lady Amani, taken from her home to serve as a body double for the crown princess, who is literally the worst. I super enjoyed this. It had the tropes that I wanted, it had good themes, and it had a decent character arc. However, not much actually happened in this book. More a set up for book 2, which i will absolutely be reading.
  • Divination: Space Opera by Cathrynne M. Valente: This was the book I didn’t know I needed. A hysterical story about the impending annihilation of earth/humanity by blue flamingo aliense unless two has been rock stars, Decibal and Oort, can win a singing competition. I gobbled up this book and my only disappointment was there wasn’t more. I think Linz did a review.

What Sam’s reading now:

tigana

It’s O.W.L.s Magical Readathon and Tome Topple bitches!!

  • History of Magic: Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay: This is the story of a conquered land, including the province of Tigana, who’s name cannot be remembered unless you were born there. (Very Weep from Strange the Dreamer). I’m audio and physically reading this book. Liking it so far, but I’m struggling with keeping names in place. What I liked in A Brightness Long Ago (my first novel by Kay), was he had a character list at the beginning. This could benefit from that. Otherwise, enjoying the hell out of political machinations.

Ginny’s Update:

Sam and I both missed Dewey’s readathon last weekend so we did a mini-readathon for ourselves this Saturday.  I may have been massively hungover (I’m a bit of a baby when it comes to hangovers), but I still managed to fit some books in.  

Currently Reading:

  • Say Yes To The Marquess by Tessa Dare: I almost returned this earl considering how similar it is to a book I read like a week ago, I’m only a few pages in so not sure I have much to say yet. This is the second in a series, and I have very little memory of the first book and I still haven’t seen the connecting thread but I still have 90% or more to go so that’s fair. Whatshername is engage to marry a dude who then left the country for 8 years. She no longer wants to marry him because that’s kind of a dick decision, but she needs his brother’s help to break the marriage.  And surprise surprise, he’s supes in love with her.  I wonder what will happen (I’m pretty sure the romance kick I’m on will tone down a little at some point – but I really do love walking into a book knowing there’s going to be a little bit of angst before a happily ever after).
  • Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant:  Yeah, I know I finished a bunch of other books this week.  I usually keep up two to three at a time (kindle, phone, and physical)physical books take me the longest to read and I have 9 ebooks from the library (down from 11 on Friday) that I need to get through. I’m not far into this yet but I love the way Mira/Seanan writes these stories.  They build up so beautifully and I can’t wait for the catastrophe.

Completed this week:

  • An Extraordinary Union by Alyssa Cole: Man, Alyssa Cole is absolutely amazing.  I found myself a little frustrated with the hero, I felt he could be incredibly stupid by not understanding the level of danger he was putting the heroine in just by being interested in her. But this book dealt with a lot of consent issues really well.  Elle, the heroine, was a complete badass with an eidetic memory, and she goes undercover well, pretending to be a mute slave in a Southern plantation.  Malcolm comes and accidentally causes a number of problems. From the beginning their immediately all about each other.  I thought that came on a little bit too quickly, mostly because of societal expectations, but at the same point god they’re so charming.  Elle tries so hard not to like him, but couldn’t help herself. 4/5
  • Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal: This book was a delight. Nikki signs up to teach an English class at the Sikh Temple that she had attended for years. It’s a not-so-pleasant surprise that instead of teaching creative writing, she’s supposed to teach the women how to read and write. It quickly devolves into the widows talking about what would normally be taboo – the fantasies that the widows had been thinking of. I’m hoping I can get a review out of this so I’m not going to say more, but very enjoyable.
  • The Love That Split The World by Emily Henry: Natalie Cleary is having trouble staying in place, meaning that for whatever reason she has these slips where the world is subtly wrong; there’s a wing on the church that hadn’t existed before, a family friend’s business has suddenly disappeared, and more.  This is another one I’m planning on reviewing mostly because I’m a little bit conflicted and I feel like getting drunk and writing about it will make things more clear, because obviously that’s the way the world works.
  • Unlocked: An Oral History of Haden’s Syndrome by John Scalzi: This is a quasi-prequel to the Locked In series that John Scalzi has (which Sam, Parker, and I all LOVE). This goes back to the beginning of Haden’s syndrome, and honestly the formatting for this was great, it was done in an interview style which helped tell the story from multiple perspectives. It was still laugh out loud funny (I feel like all of Scalzi’s stories probably fit that, but it should still be mentioned). This helped me understand the full impact that Haden’s syndrome had on the world.  Frankly, it was a little bit terrifying to read at times. Still, it’s a very solid novella-length read.
  • Burning Midnight by Will McIntosh: The beautiful thing about my tbr is I honestly forget the back-cover summaries of books that have been there for a while and get to go into the book with no expectations. It’s YA where a matched set of spheres gives you a particular extra ability, some small, some  big. Shit goes down and teenagers are saving the world.  Planning on writing a review on this too.
 

Minda’s Update:

O.W.Ls Magical Readathon week 3! Completed my Ancient Ruins and Defense Against the Dark Arts exams. Now pivoting to a Tome Topple book that also counts for the Arithmancy exam as well.

What Minda finished this week:

  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik (Ancient Ruins) – I’m so happy I read this! A great retelling of a conglomerate of fairytales without relying on major tropes. Can’t wait to review! Ancient Ruins 
  • Red Clocks by Leni Zumas (Defense Against the Darks Arts) – This was such a slog. And such a bummer because the premise was killer! But, still finished it. Drunk reviewrant to come. Defense Against the Darks Arts 

What Minda is reading this week:

62f25-illuminae

  • Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (Arithmancy) – I was going to read a different book to achieve the OWLs/Tome Topple challenge, but Sam and Ginny recommended this one while we did wine night on Friday. Looking forward to starting!

Linz’s Update:

You guys last week was so brutal. And then I got drunk all weekend. BUT the DragonCon costume lineup is in place and Game of Thrones starts back up tonight!!!

What Linz read:

  • Tigana by Guy Gavriel Kay: I’M DONE. BOOM. Everyone on here’s reading it for book club, so I’m pretty sure someone’s mentioned already what it’s about. It’s pretty damn epic for a standalone, and it was not burdensome to read. Liked, not loved.
  • Family Trust by Kathy Wang: The patriarch of a Chinese American family finds out he has cancer, and his family finds out he might not be the millionaire he’s always claimed to be. I love a diversity read, and I didn’t not enjoy reading this, but I feel like there’s a lot of books about a dying rich father that explores how people deal with grief and life, and this didn’t excel at it.
  • Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small: We were lucky enough to get an advanced copy for the blog tour, so look out for our review May 14! All I will say is if you’re into a darker look at the world of ballet, you’re going to really like this.

What Liz is currently reading:

  • Crown of Feathers by Nicki Pau Preto: This is one of my OWLs readathon picks, It’s kind of complicated – two royal sisters waged a war against each other that, among other things, led to the end of the elite Phoenix Rider fighters. Years later, two sisters are trying to find the underground remnants of the group, There’s also two other storylines with dudes that I CANNOT predict the direction of, and also some magic and also phoenixes. Very into it.
  • Bowlaway by Elizabeth McCracken: This book dropped, like, last month. A woman mysteriously appears in a New England town, with no memory of who she was and how she got there. Years later, after she dies, a man shows up claiming to be her son and heir to the fortune she built. It’s more lighthearted than creepy or weird, kind of like Big Fish? So far I’m into it.
 

Until next time, we remain forever drunkenly yours,

Sam, Melinda, Linz, and Ginny

 

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