I’m now at Chapter 10 of ‘Girls of Paper and Fire’. There is a lot of build-up as Lei and the other Paper Girls prepare to meet the Demon King. There’s also lots of history about aristocratic women and their fashion sense, along with deep-rooted class differences between Paper and Steel castes. I really appreciate Lei’s growing bond with her personal maid. It provides her a link to a (very small) network of female companions. I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, since this is an emotional story, revolving around a group of nine women vying for the King’s attention. I do like what I’m reading though.
This month has brought a lot of inactivity on the reading/writing front. Most of it has been due to health issues, and feeling stressed out from said problems. Planning a wedding has also brought its share of uncertainty, due to a dear family member (who is in the bridal party) neglecting her responsibility. Since I grew up with her, I should have expected that. Still annoying though!
I hope to become more attentive on what I truly need in my life in the coming weeks. Things with my health have begun taking a positive turn, and I hope to see other good changes soon. And I’m looking to get back into reading this week. Small steps.
I was all ready to post my TBR for March last night, but life had other plans for me. The past couple days brought a surprising challenge to handle at work, and it left me feeling sad and frustrated. All I can say is that due to an outside obligation, I have a 4 day work week for the next few months. While of my co-workers are empathetic of my situation, my boss chose to treat it as me not caring about the staff…that the entire work schedule needs to get shifted around once a week because of an obligation I never chose to take part of.
Her reaction left me feeling overwhelmed, sad for the rest of the day, lasting into the evening. My work situation is usually stressful, yet tolerable. I’ve been able to complete my tasks, and be present day after day. However, yesterday revealed to me how insignificant my drive and dedication was to the company.
My fiance has been very helpful in giving me strength during such hectic times. After the work, he was very patient while listening to me vent during the evening. He was great in guiding me towards possible new job opportunities as well. I can refocus and channel my frustration toward bettering my situation.
I look foward to getting back into reading this weekend (it’s only been 2 days since I last read, but it’s been too long already). I can’t lose sight of what’s truly important: my loved ones, and my interests in life.
I recently received my Book Of The Month selection for February: A Woman Is No Man by Etaf Rum. It’s a story set in Pakistan and Brooklyn, NY, spanning three generations of women dealing with strife and traditional constructs.
Palestine, 1990. Seventeen-year-old Isra prefers reading books to entertaining the suitors her father has chosen for her. Over the course of a week, the naïve and dreamy girl finds herself quickly betrothed and married, and is soon living in Brooklyn. There Isra struggles to adapt to the expectations of her oppressive mother-in-law Fareeda and strange new husband Adam, a pressure that intensifies as she begins to have children—four daughters instead of the sons Fareeda tells Isra she must bear.
Brooklyn, 2008. Eighteen-year-old Deya, Isra’s oldest daughter, must meet with potential husbands at her grandmother Fareeda’s insistence, though her only desire is to go to college. Deya can’t help but wonder if her options would have been different had her parents survived the car crash that killed them when Deya was only eight. But her grandmother is firm on the matter: the only way to secure a worthy future for Deya is through marriage to the right man.
But fate has a will of its own, and soon Deya will find herself on an unexpected path that leads her to shocking truths about her family—knowledge that will force her to question everything she thought she knew about her parents, the past, and her own future.
I received my January OwlCrate subscription box a couple days ago! I’m excited about the items I received. (All descriptions are taken from the OwlCrate Magical Artifacts spoiler card, pictured above)
- Antler bracelet
- Wooden letter opener (inspired by Juniper and Ivy Designs)
- Alchemy and Ink enamel pin for January 2019
- Harry Potter inspired socks, designed by Michelle Gray
- Luggage tag, inspired from The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
- Zipper pouch, designed by Stella Bookish Art
- The Golden Compass wall tapestry, illustrated by Holly Dunn Design
- OwlCrate exclusive edition of The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi (signed by author)
- Letter from the author
- Sneak preview card of next month’s OwlCrate (shown with zipper pouch, described above)
I’m looking forward to reading The Gilded Wolves, and I fully intend to do so upon completing my current reads for this month. Have you received your OwlCrate for this month? If you did, feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment section below.
‘Shadow and Bone’ is the first novel from the Grisha trilogy. It tells the story of Alina Starkov, an orphan in Ravka raised in the care of Duke Keramsov. Alina grows up to train within the First Army as a mapmaker, and her team heads out on a mission into the treacherous Shadow Fold one night. They get attacked by Volcra, a savage legion of dark creatures that dwell within darkness. It is through this excursion that Alina’s power as a Sun Summoner is unleashed to everyone’s shock, including Alina herself. She then gets swept into the world of the Grisha, a group of powerful Summoners, Healers, and Fighters led by the Darkling. Alina becomes consumed into a world she only dreamed about, while pining for her friend Mal, her dear friend from the orphanage who is now a valued tracker in the First Army.
During the first half of the story, I was enjoying it. I love the trope of ‘orphan discovering a hidden power+magical school training’, and I wanted to see where this story would lead next. Then the plot turned into Alina and the Darkling navigating their feelings for each other, followed by a sudden twist that causes Alina to search for the true meaning of her power. She also struggles to rebuild her relationship with Mal, as they both grow to understand their respective abilities. I’m not a big fan of ‘budding romances in the midst of saving the world’, but I’m reading YA, so that comes with the territory! The story does have a good ending, though.
I did find the story entertaining, and since ‘Shadow and Bone’ is being made into a series for Netflix, I’ll now have an understanding of who the characters are. And I plan on reading the other two books in the Grisha series. I’m thankful for the ‘magical training’ thread in the stories.
My rating: 3.5 / 5 stars
Now that 2019 is underway, I want to share my TBR list for the remainder of January. While I know that half of the month is now gone, I would still love to share what I want to take on after I finish ‘Shadow and Bone’. Since it appears that we’re going to be snowed in this weekend, I’ll have plenty of time to enjoy my books!
I only have two books listed in my TBR pile for this month:
Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
This is book #2 in the Grisha trilogy. Since these books are going to be adapted into a series on Netflix, I wanted to read the books to have an idea of what the characters were all about. From what I understand, only the first book of the trilogy is going to be adapted, but I still want to read all three books anyway.
The Oyster Thief by Sonia Faruqi
‘The Oyster Thief’ is an underwater tale that centers around a valuable ocean ecosystem. I placed a request for this book at my local library earlier this month, as they didn’t have the novel available. I’m looking forward to receiving the notification that the Faruqi’s book is finally in.
I’m about halfway through ‘City of Ghosts’ by Victoria Schwab. It’s a pretty good story…although it’s a ‘middle grade’ novel, t has enough paranormal activity to keep me interested. I hope to be done reading it by this weekend.
I want to pick up ‘The Oyster Thief’ by Sonia Faruqi next. It’s not available at my local library, so I made a request for them to carry it. I should hear for them in a couple weeks. Hopefully they’ll carry it. I love frequenting my library.
I’m currently reading ‘City of Ghosts’ by Victoria Schwab. It’s a ‘middle grade’ story (a genre for for a younger audience), but I’ve heard lots of great things about the book. It’s heavy on paranormal activity, and I always love a good ghost story. So I’ll see how the book goes as I move further.
I’m slowly making my way through ‘One Day in December’. As endearing as the love story aspect is between Laurie and Jack, I’m having a rough time getting through the story. I do want to finish the book though, tired expressions and all. I’m hoping to finish the book by the weekend.