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Last Part of Summer Wrapup

So last month was the best month for me blog wise. I explained my reasons in the last post but I plan to make that better in this last part of the summer. I think I never do well in the summer posting because it’s my least favorite season. I live in a sub-tropical climate, so it hot, buggy and annoying and I’m already looking out for pumpkin related things. Also don’t get me started on waiting for Halloween. I may finally be getting a place of my own and I’m basically going to fill it with witchy decorations.

Keep me in your thoughts though because my getting a place of my own is totally not solid yet. I’m just really hoping everything falls into place the way it should.

So I was talking about my Rock Camp Fatigue in one of my earlier posts and it was indeed real and I think I’m just now not feeling tired. But one of the great things about rock camp is I got to see old friends and make some new ones which is great because a friend of a decade dumped me via text. However I’m trying not to be bitter and moving ahead with new friends and projects I hadn’t given time to because I was giving emotional energy to that friend. Hopefully I work on my novels some more in August and in the fall, and I’ve got a really exciting new adventure coming.

So one of my friends who we’ll call B, is a great DM for D&D adventures. I’ve been wanting to get in on one of her campaigns for like a year, well a spot finally opened up and I’m going to get to be a part of her campaign set in the Wildemount world created by the podcasters at Critical Role.

I already have a pretty good idea of what my character is going to be like, but I can’t wait to meet the rest of the group and see what they are planning. By the way this is an all woman D&D group which I’m extra excited about, since some of my experiences playing D&D with men have been less than stellar.

I’ve also got a new friend from camp called C, we are planning to go bowling at some point at this cool kinda upscale bowling place with TVs and food and the glow in the dark carpet. It also has an arcade so hopefully that will be fun as well.

Anyway I’m just thinking despite a few issues the future looks bright. And I can’t wait to start reading for my readathons August 1st.

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Midyear Reading Freakout Tag

I’m taking this tag from the wonderful Reader Voracious. Midyear is a good time to look at where our reading goals are going into the second half of the year, make adjustments. This Midyear post shows where I’m at currently and will give me a good idea of where I’m heading into July.

All these stats are current as of yesterday. I’m not surprised that most of my books were borrow I’m a huge library user. I’m really surprised I’ve read so many new books but again I thank the library for that I wouldn’t have access to any new books without their great digital sources.

As for the reading categories, I was surprised last year when I didn’t have more fantasy but I think that because of a gap in middle-grade fantasy that is slowly being filled. Never the less I love all the contemporary I’ve been reading and it will probably remain my largest category.

Midyear Chart for Books by Source
Midyear Chart for Books by type of Release from January to June
Midyear Chart for Books by Genre through January to June

The other slices are Historical Fiction, Memoir, Sci-Fi, Horror and Mystery, and Horror and represent about one book. Stats are all thanks to Reader Voracious’s wonderful spreadsheets.

1. The best book you’ve read so far this year?

Sweet & Bitter Magic by [Adrienne Tooley]

This question isn’t fair. But if I’d have to pick I’ll have to say. Sweet and Bitter Magic. It had a great emotional arc, there was LBGTQ content and the mystery kept me on my toes. Plus witches. It’s not fair. The book was made to draw me in. I’d read it again, and again.

2. The best sequel you’ve read this year?

By far the best sequel I’ve read is the final book of the Unwanted Quests by Lisa McMann, Dragon Fury.

Dragon Fury (The Unwanteds Quests Book 7) by [Lisa McMann]

3. New releases you haven’t read yet but want to.

All You Knead Is Love by [Tanya Guerrero]
Bridge of Souls (City of Ghosts #3) by [Victoria Schwab]

I’ve been lucky to have access to a lot of new releases through my library system, these are a few of the ones that the library either hasn’t caught or that I’m still waiting in line for. Hazel Bly and the Deep Blue Sea just sounds like the perfect summer book. All You Knead is Love, I will never turn down a book about food, and Bridge of Souls because I’ve wanted to read the end of Jacob and Cassidy’s adventure for a while.

4. Most anticipated releases for the second half of the year.

Ghost Girl by [Ally Malinenko]

The Many Meanings of Meilan by [Andrea Wang]
Steelstriker (Skyhunter Duology Book 2) by [Marie Lu]

These are just a few of the ones I’m looking out for in the second half of the year I’ve been looking forward to Ghost Girl since I saw it on Netgalley. The Many Meaning of Meilan sounds like a lot of books I’ve read and liked before. And Violets are Blue I just really like the description to the story. Finally Steelstriker which releases on my birthday so I know what I’m getting for a present.

5. Biggest disappointment.

I won’t even say Crystal Caets was a disappointment, I liked the book. I just think the publishing team was probably rushed to print, then the series was later canceled which is a shame because it’s a good concept.

6. Biggest Surprise.

A Thousand Questions by [Saadia Faruqi]

When I was stuck in bed with my ankle I really wanted to A Thousand Questions, but they only had it in audio, thinking I had nowhere else to go, I decided to listen to an audiobook for the first time. This book changed my view on audiobooks and has me listening more. Another one of my midyear goals is to listen to more audiobooks.

7. Favorite new to you, or debut, author.

I’m enjoying the The Firebird Song by Arnée Flores.

8. Newest fictional crush.

None, as I’m reading young adult.

9. Newest favorite character.

Tamsin and Wren from Sweet and Bitter Magic. Ellie from Starfish.

10. Book that made you cry?

Speaking of Starfish there were some definite sniffles about a book where a fat girl finds her agency. Also more books like this!

Starfish by [Lisa Fipps]

11. Book that made you happy?

I know I sound like a broken record when I say Sweet and Bitter Magic, it is true, however, but another book that made me smile was: A Chance to Fly. I read this as an Arc and loved it. Every time I see a good representation of disabilities in fiction I’m smiling.

The Chance to Fly by [Ali Stroker, Stacy Davidowitz]

12. Favorite book to film adaption?

I never read any Grishaverse, I know the shock. So I really can’t get into Shadow and Bone. An adaptation of one of my favorite series might be coming up eventually so I can’t wait for that.

13. Favorite post you have done this year?

Foreverland Book Tour-first book tour I’ve ever done.

Arc and Book Tour: Oh My!-Tips for Arcs and Book Tours

14. Most beautiful book you have bought this year?

That Thing about Bollywood by [Supriya Kelkar]

That Thing about Bollywood. It’s so sunny in person, and looks even better than online.

15. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I’m a mood reader so I don’t have a specific list but lots and a lot of books. I’d like to hit 100. I’m at about 40 now but I always have more time motivation around the end of the year to read. Midyear isn’t my highest reading time so I still think I can get it done. Breaking my ankle knocked out some reading time so I’ll honestly be happy with 80 if that’s all I get to. I’d like to get past what I got last year which was 81 so we’re shooting in the 82-90 with 100 as a stretch goal.

I tag anyone who wants to do this, how is everyone else looking at Midyear.

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Path Or Pantheon Challenge

I’m excited about this wonderful challenge called Path Or Pantheon. It’s presented by the wonderful folks over at @MythTakeReads they are doing a small challenge, in between Rounds of their #MakeYourMythTakerChallenge. This is good for me because while I love their work I’ve always a little intimidated to do MythTaker. I’m going to do it next cycle however this is a nice way to did my toes in.

You either pick one of the Pantheon which has a set of books based on select gods in the pantheon. A Path is set up much the same way except they deal with themes that go across the pantheons like beauty, home or war.

I selected after much deliberation was the Path of Home

Path of Home

I’m going to do a TBR on this tomorrow, so check out the books I’ve picked out to meet to prompts and check out the challenge here.

Path or Pantheon Challenge Information

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Sneaky Cats and Queer Summer Camp

So I’ve told you about my feral cat Cinnamon, turns out she’s an expert-level sneaky cat. We’ve tried drugs we’ve tried treats, we’ve tried to just grab her, we’ve tried a regular cat carrier. Now we’ve resorted to the snap traps specifically for feral cats plus sardines plus tuna plus meds. Hopefully, this will finally catch our sick but sneaky and feral little kitty who doesn’t know we’re trying to do what’s best for her.

I haven’t gotten to play Horizon Zero Dawn much this week due to my focus on the Cinnamon. The cat is smarter than me and has thus been wearing me out. But I have had some fun, I’ve found a lot of new things to read and I think you all will expect lots of cool new content and reviews from me. I’m trying to catch up and get back on track for my reading goal that breaking my foot knocked me off of. So I’d love to hit 10 books this books, though hopefully more. I’ll be happy with 10 though.

I’ve leveled up in Cozy Grove an I continue to love it, it the small independent slowly plotted game that I needed.

I’m also working on going to meetings and making signs for my camp, it’s a camp for girls, trans, and gender non-conforming kids and youth, part of the Girls Rock network. Get to pick an instrument, and form bands make up a song, and perform in a showcase at the end of the week. They also go to different workshops like the one I’m teaching on tarot. We also have ones on things like yoga and D&D. It’s my favorite time of the year and we had to miss it in person last year due to COVID. So I’m excited to head back.

Hope you all had a good week and that this week is productive

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This one for the Girls: Summer New Releases

Almost Flying

Almost Flying by [Jake Maia Arlow]

Would-be amusement park aficionado Dalia only has two items on her summer bucket list: (1) finally ride a roller coaster and (2) figure out how to make a new best friend. But when her dad suddenly announces that he’s engaged, Dalia’s schemes come to a screeching halt. With Dalia’s future stepsister Alexa heading back to college soon, the grown-ups want the girls to spend the last weeks of summer bonding–meaning Alexa has to cancel the amusement park road trip she’s been planning for months. Luckily Dalia comes up with a new plan: If she joins Alexa on her trip and brings Rani, the new girl from her swim team, along maybe she can have the perfect summer after all. But what starts out as a week of funnel cakes and Lazy River rides goes off the rails when Dalia discovers that Alexa’s girlfriend is joining the trip. And keeping Alexa’s secret makes Dalia realize one of her own: She might have more-than-friend feelings for Rani

Amazon: Almost Flying

Samira Surfs

Samira Surfs by [Rukhsanna Guidroz, Fahmida Azim]

Samira thinks of her life as before and after: before the burning and violence in her village in Burma, when she and her best friend would play in the fields, and after, when her family was forced to flee. There’s before the uncertain journey to Bangladesh by river, and after, when the river swallowed her nana and nani whole. And now, months after rebuilding a life in Bangladesh with her mama, baba, and brother, there’s before Samira saw the Bengali surfer girls of Cox’s Bazar, and after, when she decides she’ll become one.

Samira Surfs, written by Rukhsanna Guidroz with illustrations by Fahmida Azim, is a tender novel in verse about a young Rohingya girl’s journey from isolation and persecution to sisterhood, and from fear to power.

Amazon: Samira Surfs

To Tell You the Truth

Trixy needs a story, fast, or she’s going to fail the fourth grade—that’s a fact. But every time she sits down to write, her mind is a blank. The only stories she can think of are Gran’s, the ones no one else ever believed but Trixy gulped down like sweet tea. Gran is gone now, buried under the lilac bush in the family plot, so it’s not like Trixy’s hurting anybody to claim one of those stories as her own, is she?

That stolen story turns out to be a huge success, and soon everybody in town wants Trixy to tell them a tale. Before long, the only one left is the story she vowed never to share, the one that made Gran’s face cloud up with sadness. Trying to find a way out of this tangled mess, Trixy and her friend Raymond hit the road to follow the twists and turns of Gran’s past. Maybe then Trixy can write a story that’s all her own, one that’s the straight-up truth.

Amazon: To Tell You the Truth

Check out these great books featuring cool girls and other great heroines coming out this week!

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Cats, New RPGs, Pride Month

Sorry I didn’t post this weekend cats were the reason I was busy or should I say one cat specifically. My Sweet albeit very feral cat Cinnamon is sick. I thought I could catch her yesterday, and I didn’t and felt like a real failure afterward, now I’m realizing this is going to have to be a long game. I guess I just thought I had a good enough bond with her I could do it easily, but now I know I was being unrealistic. But never fear it’s not all bad news, the cat is getting to the vet one way or the other we are just going to have to be tricky, and stubborn just like cats are.

I was also just kind of depressed about Cinnamon and what happens if we don’t catch her in time to treat her condition. We are going to get a feral trap today, so hopefully we are headed in the right direction still I worry about my sweet little feral baby.

In happier news, I’m just starting Horizon Zero Dawn so I can play the new one when it comes out. The puzzles are a little tougher than what I’m used to so I’m using guides. Also, I’m just not a very talented gamer, I’m more there for the story. But I ended up loving the combat system in Dragon Age 3, so I could love the combat system once I get into it a bit more. The puzzles so far have just been tough and I’m only at the beginning lol. However, it is the newest RPG I’ve played so SO pretty.

Also if you are listening universe Dragon Age 4 release date like before I turn 35.

Last but not least I’m trying to read as many books as I can for Pride Month, and I’m also doing the Read Your Gays readathon. I’m trying to read about a little bit of everyone and stories I’m not familiar with. For example, I haven’t read a lot of books on non-binary folx, so I’m trying to make that one of my goals this month.

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TBR: May Books

I’m not going to put all the books on my TBR because I’m going to leave some space for mood reading and new releases but here are a few of the book on my TBR this month.

1)Eva Evergreen, Semi Magical Witch

I’ve been meaning to finish this for months but somehow it always seems to get pushed to the bottom of the list. But for AAPI Pride Month I want to be sure I prioritize my reads by writers from those backgrounds.

Amazon: Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch

2)The Dragon Egg Princess

The Dragon Egg Princess by [Ellen Oh]

Another book I’ve half-finished since last year, maybe the year before but that I want to finish for AAPI month. This one has been on my TBR for a long time so I’d like to get this one finished if nothing else

Amazon: The Dragon Egg Princess

3) The Ones We’re Meant To Find

The Ones We're Meant to Find by [Joan He]

I recently won a copy of this from Ya’llWest so I’d like to read it. Plus it’s on my TBR for NetGalley so I’d love to improve my percentage as well. Also AAPI author Joan He.

Amazon: The Ones We’re Meant to Find

4) Rebelwing

Rebelwing by [Andrea Tang]

Someone recently recommended this to me and I realized I haven’t read any dragon books in a while so I wanted to pick this one up. Written by AAPI author Andrea Tang

Amazon: Rebelwing

5) The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family

The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family by [Sarah Kapit]

This is a book from the Autism readathon that I really wanted to finish because it not only showed different depictions of Autism it showed a preteen who spoke non-verbally who was given her own agency. That is very rare to see in books. Written by autistic author Sarah Kapit.

Amazon: The Many Mysteries of the Finkle Family

So which me luck on finishing this part as well as the rest of my TBR. You’ll get a review from me tomorrow but I’m not sure what time. Honestly, I’d love to get back to posting during the morning but my fatigue has made it so that evening work better now at the moment, anyway, you’ll see regular posting just not sure what time

See you all soon,

Solara

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Welcome

Welcome everyone to my Patron. I’m still working everything out including the art but I’m excited to get started here. My name is Solara and I blog over at Plaid Reader Reviews. I’m also a tarot reader for around two years now. I will have my individual reading rates up soon but by joining Patron you’ll get readings at a discounted rate. If I’ll be putting up more information about myself and about the Patron soon just wanted to say a quick hello. 

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More Information about my tiers

I’ve got three tiers I’m open to having more as patrons would like and at lower prices as if that’s easier for some of my followers. At the moment, my tiers are:

Bookish Helpers

Followers at this tier will get early access to my posts, a suggestion in an actual book jar I will have set up every month. Followers will also get access to polls to help me decide what to read. Finally, they will get a free two-card reading every week and a Patron newsletter.

Bookish Knight 

Followers at this tier will more one on one time with me. They will get access to polls about what I post about next, weekly tarot readings twice a month, and weekly oracle readings twice a month. Along with a Patron-only Q and A. As well as access to all the benefits from the lower tier.

Bookish Royalty 

These wonderful royal folx get access to all the benefits of the lower tiers as well as: a full tarot reading every week and a full oracle reading every week.  They also get recognition on posts on my blog. Finally a private Youtube/Livestream of my book reviews, so much goofiness will be on show. Also the only time you’ll see me on camera ever. EVER. 

 

 

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The Dark Lord Clementine Review

The wonderful people at Algonquin Publicity allowed me to participate in their Book Tour for the Paperback edition of The Dark Lord Clementine. So this review will be a little different I’ll give a small summary, then share my thoughts.

The Dark Lord Clementine Summary

Twelve-year-old Clementine Morcerous never expected to fill her father’s shoes, even though she has been trained since birth to be a Dark Lord. But after her father falls ill from the mysterious Whittle Witch’s spell, Clementine finds herself in charge of her father’s evil empire.

Running Castle Brack and terrorizing the village looks surprisingly like running a farm. She realizes has her hands full after she has a little adventure outside the castle. When, Sebastian, the village boy who keeps following her won’t let up. She does what any evil villain would do, she makes him a Brack Knight. After all, it turns out her knight can help build a chicken fence and Clementine needs all the help she can get.

Clementine has her hands full: feeding the nightmares (evil horses), tending the fire-breathing chickens, picking the poison apples at the precise time they ripen, making sure the snake pit is cleaned out and the castle is defended. Oh and making sure the family grimoire Clementine accidentally turned into a chicken doesn’t run off. It is all a lot to handle.

Clementine realizes she’s going to need more than just the two people to help around the castle,luckily that’s just when more of the village boys show up wanting to be knights . The mysterious hunter Darka soon joins life at the castle and trains the boys in weapons to be knights.

Clementine is enjoying this life with Darka and her knights but she knows she’s walking a thin line; she still needs to find a cure for her father while keeping him unaware of the life she’s bulit

But when the price to pay for a cure goes against her beliefs, will she stand up for what her heart believes or for what she’s always been taught.

The Dark Lord Clementine Review

This book is hilarious and important at the same time. Clementine is a perfect example of how your past or your family doesn’t have to define who you are. The book has examples of facing your fears, finding what love is, and mending broken hearts. I definitely read it again this book is a total 5/5.

I can’t wait to read more books from Sarah Jean Horwitz.

Author

Dark Lord Clementine Author
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Sarah Jean Horwitz is also the author of THE WINGSNATCHERS, the first book in the Carmer and Grit series. THE WINGSNATCHERS was a Kids Indie Next List pick and a Junior Library Guild Selection. The second book in the series, THE CROOKED CASTLE, was released in April 2018. Sarah’s most recent novel is the standalone middle grade fantasy THE DARK LORD CLEMENTINE, which was an Amazon.com September 2019 Best Book of the Month and received favorable reviews from the New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Booklist, and more

Sarah’s other passions and interests include: ruining that movie or TV show you love with feminist critique, practicing hard (and yet still being awful) at handstands, curly and long hair care, improvisational movement, tattoos, and sheepishly guessing answers out loud while watching Jeopardy. She currently works as an administrative assistant and lives with her spouse near Cambridge, MA.