T5W: Favorite Friend Groups

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

September 5th: Favorite Friend Groups
— We’ve discussed bromances before but let’s discuss our favorite ensemble friend groups!

This one has been so hard for me because my mind went totally blank and I forgot every friend group I’ve ever read about :/

Eventually, I managed to remember some trios, but I really wanted to go for larger groups, so I kept thinking. Finally, I came up with 5 that I enjoyed, whether they were all good people or not 😉



 

The Dregs, etc. from Leigh Bardugos Six of Crows duology–love these characters so, so much ❤ They all landed on the list of my bookish children, and I’m still not over these books.

 


The Camp Jupiter + Camp Half-Blood crew from Rick Riordan’s Heroes of Olympus series– While not every kid was my favorite, I still loved them as a group. (If I’m being honest and picking faves, I have to say I loved Nico and Leo just a teensy bit more than the rest of them.)

 


 

The Gangsey from Maggie Stiefvater’s Raven Cycle– Do I need to explain this one? My precious little motley crew book children ❤

 


The cast from The Illuminae Files trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff– Ok, I loved Kady from page one of Illuminae. I loved Ezra pretty quickly, too. Hanna took me a little bit to warm up to, but I loved Ella right away and was pretty sure I was going to like Nik. By the third book, I’d adopted everyone.

 


The, uh, villains(?) from M.L. Rio’s If We Were Villains— The young adults from the Dellecher Classical Conservatory were an interesting assortment of characters, and I loved and hated most of them at one point or another throughout this book. All in all, though? I loved this group.

 


What are some of your favorite fictional friend groups?

 

**I’ve changed my current featured image thing a bit so I don’t have to upload a new one every week. It was getting to be too much of a hassle. What I have now (basically the older one, just pared down) is temporary until I can find some time to make a set of new featured images. So… sorry for the ugly thing, but it’s not permanent.**
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T5W: Tropes I usually hate, done right

I almost didn’t do this one because a) I was having a really hard time coming up with more than 2, and b) I’m sick and have felt like garbage all day. But I finally feel semi-human again, and I tried.


T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

August 8: Books You Liked with Tropes You Usually Hate
–Pick some of your most hated tropes and discuss books (or other media) that actually handled that trope well

I’m not sure if these actually count/work, but my brain is still kind of going “uuuuuggggghhhh” from being sick, so I apologize if they don’t all work.

In no particular order…


Friends Who Are Secretly in Love

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee– I mean really. I usually end up rolling my eyes sooo hard at this trope (and I did a few times while reading GG, because I wanted to shake Monty and Percy), but I kind of loved it in this one. When I wasn’t ready to cry or scream, that is 😛

 

 

Insta-Love


 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor– I think this is the only book I’ve ever read with insta-love that I liked. 

 

 

 

Girl Changes Her Life After Meeting a Guy



A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E. Schwab–
I won’t go into details about this one, but I think this counts? It was just done in a way that’s really different from most cases of this trope happening.

 

 

 

Tragic Background = Asshole Character



Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo–
All I’m going to say is “Kaz Brekker.” 

 

 

 

Strong Female Character

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff– Usually, the #StrongFemaleCharacter is a girl who’s into things that aren’t “traditionally girly,” which…Hanna kind of is. She is a badass, but she’s also the kind of badass I wouldn’t want to cross, whether she’s wearing training gear or fancy clothes.

 

 

T5W: Classes based on books (or characters) I would take

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

 

September 6th: Classes Based on Books/Characters 
–It’s back to school season, so let’s discuss some classes you’d like to take either based on books or based on characters’ skills. I ENCOURAGE YOU TO NOT USE HARRY POTTER, because that is too easy. You are supposed to make up your own classes. For example, you could use How to Dismantle a Dystopian Regime for The Hunger Games or Archery 101 with Katniss.

 

I’m actually kind of glad we’re not supposed to use Harry Potter for this one, because omg I could easily think of 10 (that aren’t actual classes mentioned in the books).


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The Versatility of the Common Bath Towel, taught by Ford Prefect (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams) In this class, you would learn the many uses of your bath towels that you’ve probably never considered, hear about why you should never leave home without one, and you might even get to hear some bonus anecdotes about what it’s like to be a hitchhiker in the galaxy.

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Finding Your Creative Voice Through Writing Fan Fiction, taught by Cather Avery
(Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell) Let’s be honest: fanfic is looked down on a lot. Maybe not as much as it used to be, but still. In this class, you’ll learn how writing fanfiction can act as your training wheels as you search for your writing voice and sift through the many ideas for stories you probably have floating around in your head at any given time.

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Eat Cake and Love Yourself, taught by Nina Zenik (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo) Ah, Nina. I loved her so much in this duology, and I think she would make a kickass teacher for classes on self-love (especially if there’s also food involved 😉 ).

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Raising Zombie Dinosaurs (and Other Magical-Law Loopholes), taught (probably reluctantly) by Harry Dresden (The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher) I’m pretty sure Harry’s found a few loopholes, but this one stood out to me. I think he’d be great at teaching you how to get around the law without breaking it, when you need to.

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How to Survive Living Near the Fae
, taught by the townspeople of Fairfold (The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black) If your local fae are more true to legend and myth, and less sweet and charming, look to the people of Fairfold for guidance in how to stay alive, ward off the fae, survive deals you might foolishly make with them, and maybe break a curse.

 


Now I have to ask myself: is there any topic I won’t use Six of Crows or The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy for? I know, I use them a ton, but they’re both so good!

 

What are some classes based on books (or characters) that you would like to take?

Do any of my picks sounds good to you?

Top 5 Wednesday: August 16th

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T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

 

August 16th: Characters’ Fitness Routines You Want
— This can be interpreted a bunch of different ways! Fitness comes in many different packages. This can be about characters who are super fast, strong, agile, good at dancing, good at climbing, athletes, or foodies! Whatever it means to you. This is inspired by those routines you see in magazines for actors, but with more of an open mind and less body shaming 🙂

 

I really thought this would be an easy topic, but it turned out to be a bit of a challenge. I ended up going with 4 book characters, and one TV show character. In no particular order…


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George or Fred Weasley from Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling– Why? Because I always wanted to be a Beater. I knew I’d suck as a Seeker, probably as a Keeper, and I don’t fancy being a Chaser (although it would be my second choice of positions if I got to try out for Quidditch). But being a Beater? Heck yeah!

 

 

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Inej Ghafa from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo– I have all the grace of a drunken hippo at this point, but I’d love to be able to move like Inej. (I actually used to be stealthy, and an agile, balance beam loving, climb ALL the things! kind of kid, but then I broke stuff and now I’m an old lady.) Plus, all the knives!

 

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Delilah Bard from the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab– I’m not even sure what to say about this one because there’s several aspects to Lila and her physical abilities. Plus, again, knives! (Apparently I have a thing for characters with knives, idk.)

 

 

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Almost anyone from Camp Half Blood from the Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan– Learning to fight, chariot races, capture the flag, and so much more! (I would die so fast probably.)

 

 

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Sookie St. James from Gilmore Girls– Does constant bustling around a busy professional kitchen, wielding cast iron skillets, whipping things by hand, etc. count for fitness? I love to cook and I would love to be on Sookie’s level. Plus, even though Michel will never admit it, she kicked his ass at arm wrestling.

Top 5 Wednesday: Books that Would Make Good Video Games

top-5-wednesday

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

 

April 12th: Books That Would Make Good Video Games
–Since I’ve been in video game hell (in a good way) for the past year, this topic is timely. Remember, not all video games are action games! The Sims has proven that 🙂

 

Confession time: I don’t play many video games. I want to, but I am so bad at basically anything that isn’t Nintendo (and I suck at plenty of Nintendo games, too). So, I’m really unqualified for this topic, but I’m giving it a shot :/


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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab– Ok, I think it would be so freaking cool to explore this universe and play as your favorite character.

 

 

 

 

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Anything from Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha-verse– I want to be a Grisha! Or break into the most secure prison in the world, or…Well, basically I want to do anything in that universe.

 

 

 

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Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling– Yeah, they already exist, but I think most of us can agree that they could have been better. I want to actually take classes and stuff.

 

 

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Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy– Magic! Victorian boarding school! Girls rebelling! Mystery! I may be alone in wanting this, but I still want it.

 

 

 

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern– How would this work? Could it work? I honestly don’t know. It’s been a few years since I read it, but I remember thinking at some point after reading it that I would like to play a game based on it.

 

 


What are some books you think would make good video games?

T5W: Favorite Angsty Romances

top-5-wednesday

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.

 

March 22nd- Favorite Angsty Romances
–This topic has been much requested! Talk about your favorite ships that have a healthy side of angst. (definition: adj.: describes a situation or literary piece which contains dark, depressing, angry, and/or brooding emotions from the participating characters.)

 

This might be the most difficult T5W topic I’ve done. I just…don’t love a lot of popular angsty romances (whether they’re romance books, or some other genre with an angsty romance in it), so I’ve been looking through my read books all month trying to find good picks that A) were angsty, and B) I actually liked. I’m still not 100% sure these all count, but here we go, in no particular order…


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Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte– Ok, this one I really liked. Jane Eyre is one of my favorite books, and definitely one of my favorite classics, but the romance between Jane and Mr. Rochester was just so…well, angsty. I love it though.

 

 

 

 

 

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Easy by Tammara Webber– I read this a few years ago and liked it, but I’m not sure how I would feel about it now. I do remember it was an emotional roller-coaster of a book, though, and stuck with me for a while after I read it. I reviewed it on my tumblr if you’re curious. (I think this was angsty…)

 

 

 

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Unteachable by Leah Raeder/Elliot Wake– (AKA “The ship I loved to hate to ship”) So. Much. Angst. This was not an easy, fluffy, fun book, but I read it in about a day and a half because I couldn’t put it down.

 

 

 

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Clockwork Prince (actually, all of The Infernal Devices) by Cassandra Clare– (AKA “Which ship should I ship?”) I hated Clockwork Angel, but I liked the other two books in this trilogy, so I’m using Clockwork Prince. I don’t even know what else to say about it :/

 

 

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Six of Crows (and Crooked Kingdom) by Leigh Bardugo– Uuugh, my children. I’m not talking about who this is about so I don’t spoil anything, but if you’ve read both books, you know (and you probably know if you’ve only read the first).

 

 


Do you have any favorite angsty romances?

Book(s) Review: Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Genres: fantasy; YA

Why I read it: I have a bit of an obsession with Leigh Bardugo’s writing. I think she writes awesome characters, her world-building is fantastic, and she knows how to keep you guessing about what’s going to happen.

Who I’d recommend it them to: If you liked the Grisha trilogy, you’ll probably like this, maybe even more. I think fans of V.E. Schwab might enjoy these, and anyone who likes well-written fantasy and a fast paced plot.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★  (each)

Six of Crows: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
Crooked Kingdom: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble


What Six of Crows is about:

Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.


Review:

I’m not giving a description for Crooked Kingdom because ~spoilers,~ but there are no significant time lapses or anything. I think the second book picks up a couple of days after the end of the first. (I don’t know why I decided to review these together, but if I searched my soul, the answer would probably be: because I’m lazy.)

I have never been a big fan of multi-POV stories, but Leigh Bardugo does it so well. The books are both told from the alternating perspectives of each of the six members of this strange group. Each character was so freaking different! I loved that. I loved that I could keep track of who we were focusing on just by the way the language and stuff shifted. Their interactions were so believable, too. There were arguments and clashes of will, sweet moments between friends, struggles with inner demons and taking it on those around them, and there really wasn’t much of the blind loyalty I’ve seen in other books. The others followed Kaz because they knew what he was capable of, and he’d earned their trust to get them through things.

Most people seem to agree that you can read this without reading the Grisha trilogy first, but I think it would be really helpful if you did. I mostly knew what everything meant, and had a vague idea of the layout of this world, but even though I just finished the Grisha trilogy last year, the details were fuzzy and slow to come back. I think you absolutely could read this duology first, but I’d recommend reading the Grisha books to get acquainted with the Grisha orders and stuff. (And there’s kind of a Grisha spoiler in Crooked Kingdom.)

While it took me almost two weeks to read these, it wasn’t the fault of the books. I started Six of Crows and then got caught up in other things for almost a week, so I ended up reading most of both books in about a week. When I sat down and finally had the time to read, I felt like my eyes wouldn’t move fast enough and I had to tear myself away to eat and sleep. I was flying through them, desperate to know what was going to happen next, how they’d get themselves out of trouble, worrying someone was dead, and by the end, I had several new fictional children. I don’t think I could choose a favorite character, though.

Crooked Kingdom picked up pretty much right where we left off, and never really slowed down. It was just off, full-speed ahead, from the very beginning. I had no clue what to expect–from either of these–while I was reading them. I saw a few twists coming, but mostly I was clueless and I loved it (and hated it). These were the kinds of books that made me completely forget I was reading, because they were so immersive. I was sucked in, and it was weird looking around and not being in their world.

The crew got into some serious trouble in Six of Crows, but it was nothing compared to Crooked Kingdom. The group is like a magnet for trouble, and it was coming from all sides, and I don’t think my pulse ever calmed down while I was reading.

Both books have intricately woven plots that always have several smaller plots going on, and I don’t think I ever realized a subplot was unfolding until I was deep into it or at the end. I just didn’t see it coming. This is quite possibly the best sequel I’ve ever read. If it isn’t, it’s definitely in the top three. I didn’t think Leigh Bardugo could top Six of Crows because it was that good, but she did, and my mind was blown.

Throughout both books, I was gasping, squealing, and sometimes trying not to scream, but I actually teared up at least once during Crooked Kingdom. In my head, I’m still screaming, and it’s taking a lot of effort to keep from screaming and fangirling about them to anyone who will listen.

I’ll wrap up by saying that I. LOVED. These. Books! And I desperately want novellas, or another series with some of these characters making an appearance.

 

Have you read this duology, or the Grisha trilogy? What did you think of them?