I Pledge Myself to the #TheReadingQuest #BookChallenge #BardEdition


The Reading Quest Sign Up Post

I love Reading Challenges. I’ve tried so many times to do them and once upon a time, when I first started blogging I completed them. Often! It was a great way to find new titles while feeling productive.

I fell off them for a long time because I found it really hard to do the Challenges while also keeping up with my Review Requests. But this Challenge? It sounds a lot of fun.

My co-blogger Taschima, going for the Rogue Path, posted about her Challenge Stats so I recommend you go check it out since Bard and Rogue share a tile together (though we do not share any books at this point in time).

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#YABooksDealAlert #e-books at dirt ass cheap prices!

I will keep this short and simple. Drop whatever you are doing, head over to amazon, AND START SPENDING YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY ON THESE YA BOOK DEALS.

I mean, these Young Adult titles are basically all around the $3 mark for the e-book edition.

$3!!! (or less)

I do not know how long these deals will last, heck they could be done tomorrow, or in 5 minutes, so go, run, fly.

Shut Up, Take my Money

I have made your life easier, just click on the cover and it will take you to the amazon page for that book.

Of Dreams and Rust by [Fine, Sarah] The Scorpion Rules (Prisoners of Peace) by [Bow, Erin] Burning Glass by [Purdie, Kathryn] Firstlife (An Everlife Novel) by [Showalter, Gena] Talon (The Talon Saga Book 1) by [Kagawa, Julie] Disruption by [Shirvington, Jessica]










The Girl of Fire and Thorns by [Carson, Rae] Gemina (The Illuminae Files) by [Kaufman, Amie, Kristoff, Jay] A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird Book 1) by [Gray, Claudia] Vassa in the Night: A Novel by [Porter, Sarah] Tell the Wind and Fire by [Brennan, Sarah Rees] The Girl at Midnight by [Grey, Melissa] The Orphan Queen by [Meadows, Jodi] The Diabolic by [Kincaid, S. J.] 3:59 by [McNeil, Gretchen] Six of Crows by [Bardugo, Leigh] A Mortal Song by [Crewe, Megan] Pushing the Limits: An Award-winning novel by [McGarry, Katie]

I am definitely buying “Of Dreams and Rust“. If I had to pick a top 5 to buy right now I would recommend: A Thousand Pieces of You, The Orphan Queen, The Diabolic, Pushing the Limits, and Six of Crows.

If I had the money though, I’d buy all of them.


I Pledge Myself to the #TheReadingQuest #BookChallenge #RogueEdition


The Reading Quest Sign Up Post

I am not a “joiner”. I don’t do book tours, I don’t do book challenges for the most part, I like to read at my own flow and not be hurried or pressured by deadlines.

HOWEVER, this challenge makes me want to throw my convictions out the window. So I did.

#TheReadingQuest is a reading book challenge hosted by readatmidnight.com. This is the description according to her blog’s sign up post:

“I invite you to join me on a reading adventure based entirely on a video-game quest. In this challenge, you’ll be embarking on a journey to conquer your TBR pile through a series of stages. You’ll read new stories, gain experience, and level up a character of your choosing.”

Video-game quest? Gain experience? LEVEL UP? Oh my, sign me up! It is definitely one of the most involved challenges I have ever come across. Not to mention the graphics for this challenge are so beautiful, huge props go to CW of Read, Think, Ponder for her terrific work.

You get to choose between 4 different characters archetypes: Knight, Bard, Mage, and Rogue.

Reading Quest Board

Both Lexie and me are joining this particular challenge, and so we agreed that each of us should choose different characters in order to have more variety and cover more ground. I choose…

The Rogue

rogue_2olive copy

ROGUE: These adventurers have absolute mastery over stealth and speed, and they slip in and out of the quest through the Fifth Across path. They celebrate underappreciated books and half-forgotten stories.

I was between the Mage and the Rogue when I first heard of the challenge, but then I realized that if I really wanted it to be a challenge that I needed to step out of my comfort zone (MAGIC! ALTERNATE REALITIES! MYTHOLOGY!) and try and tackle the path less traveled. To become worthy of the Rogue title I must read the following:

  • A Banned Book
  • A Book cover with a partially obscured face (uuuh)
  • A Book with <500 ratings on Goodreads (do not judge me, but I totally looked up if that meant more or less than 500 ratings online, math is hard).
  • A Book published by a small press. (Well, shit).
  • A Book with a one word title.

The last square if definitely the easiest one on the Rogue path (which coincides with the Mage path).

For my Banned Book picked I perused the ALA website, and came across…

Two Boys Kissing

I actually bought this book last year and am looking forward to finally getting to read it!

Banned reason: There are two boys kissing in the cover, covers LGBT issues as well as sexuality issues. The horror.

A Book cover with a partially obscured face:

The Girl of Fire and Thorns (Fire and Thorns, #1)

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.
Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can’t see how she ever will.

Never read it, totally have it on my TBR pile. Time to dust it off and give it a twirl! Plus I get some fantasy out of this challenge…

A Book with <500 ratings on Goodreads:


Acadia—the last human city, a fact all of its citizens were told from birth. For two hundred years, a countless host of creatures have laid siege to Acadia, leaving the land rough with the bodies of the fallen. For Cojax becoming a Validated, a true defender of the city, is his greatest ambition. That all changes when Jessica appears—a girl from outside the city walls—from a land that supposedly held no life. Her presence threatens to undermine the entire society, putting Cojax in an impossible situation. He now must choose between what is right and the survival of his people.

I could barely find this book on Goodreads. This book only has 55 ratings, though troubling, score!

★ A Book published by a small press:

The Vanishing Throne (The Falconer, #2)

The Vanishing Throne is the sequel to The Falconer by Elizabeth May. I read The Falconer last year, so I’ll take any excuse to continue the series. Plus this one is published by Chronicle Books, which is a small enough press to count.

★ A Book with a one word title:

The easiest category! And the one that may change the most. Right now I am hoping to tackle Replica by Lauren Oliver or Armada by Ernest Cline or Stray by Rachel Vincent

Replica (Replica, #1) Armada Stray (Shifters, #1)

This challenge starts on the 13th of August and goes all the way to September 10th. I will try my very best to get my challenge complete by the 1st of September, however, since I have a bit of a “having an alien coming out of me deadline” that is about to smack me in the face this September.

IF I manage to finish The Rogue path without going insane (or introducing my little monster to the world) I plan to tackle The Knight path next. I doubt it, but I can dream.



Book Review: Soleri


The ruling family of the Soleri Empire has been in power longer than even the calendars that stretch back 2,826 years. Those records tell a history of conquest and domination by a people descended from gods, older than anything in the known world. No living person has seen them for centuries, yet their grip on their four subjugate kingdoms remains tighter than ever.

On the day of the annual eclipse, the Harkan king, Arko-Hark Wadi, sets off on a hunt and shirks his duty rather than bow to the emperor. Ren, his son and heir, is a prisoner in the capital, while his daughters struggle against their own chains. Merit, the eldest, has found a way to stand against imperial law and marry the man she desires, but needs her sister’s help, and Kepi has her own ideas.

Meanwhile, Sarra Amunet, Mother Priestess of the sun god’s cult, holds the keys to the end of an empire and a past betrayal that could shatter her family.

Pros – Kepi, women came into power, friendship goals

Cons – Sometimes hard to keep track of who relates to who, plans got a bit convoluted and unnecessarily messy at times

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YA Review: Warcross by Marie Lu (a.k.a. my reading disappointment of the year…)

Warcross by Marie Lu
Warcross #1  416 Pages  Young Adult

TASCHIMA’s Verdict:
Two Stars
Publish Date: September 12th, 2017

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

I have never felt so betrayed. I really wanted to like Warcross (it is Marie Lu! Sci-Fi, virtual reality, video games!) but it is just not for me. Warcross seems like Arena’s [by Holly Jennings] younger brother, who is really trying to be like big bro but it is not quite there yet.

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Book Review: Final Girls



Ten years ago, college student Quincy Carpenter went on vacation with five friends and came back alone, the only survivor of a horror movie–scale massacre. In an instant, she became a member of a club no one wants to belong to—a group of similar survivors known in the press as the Final Girls. Lisa, who lost nine sorority sisters to a college dropout’s knife; Sam, who went up against the Sack Man during her shift at the Nightlight Inn; and now Quincy, who ran bleeding through the woods to escape Pine Cottage and the man she refers to only as Him. The three girls are all attempting to put their nightmares behind them, and, with that, one another. Despite the media’s attempts, they never meet.

Now, Quincy is doing well—maybe even great, thanks to her Xanax prescription. She has a caring almost-fiancé, Jeff; a popular baking blog; a beautiful apartment; and a therapeutic presence in Coop, the police officer who saved her life all those years ago. Her memory won’t even allow her to recall the events of that night; the past is in the past.

That is, until Lisa, the first Final Girl, is found dead in her bathtub, wrists slit, and Sam, the second, appears on Quincy’s doorstep. Blowing through Quincy’s life like a whirlwind, Sam seems intent on making Quincy relive the past, with increasingly dire consequences, all of which makes Quincy question why Sam is really seeking her out. And when new details about Lisa’s death come to light, Quincy’s life becomes a race against time as she tries to unravel Sam’s truths from her lies, evade the police and hungry reporters, and, most crucially, remember what really happened at Pine Cottage, before what was started ten years ago is finished.

Pros – the reveal at the end, Quincy, the entire book

Cons – not gonna lie my one and only Con for this book is such a huge spoiler I can’t put it here

Note – I can’t stress enough pay attention to the details in this book. Every. Single. One.

Spoiler – I don’t spoil anything! Not even whether or not people live or die!

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Book Review: Spindle Fire


It all started with the burning of the spindles.
It all started with a curse…

Half sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and her voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.

And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood–and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken.

As the faerie queen and her army of Vultures prepare to march, Isabelle must race to find a prince who can awaken her sister with the kiss of true love and seal their two kingdoms in an alliance against the queen.

Isabelle crosses land and sea; unearthly, thorny vines rise up the palace walls; and whispers of revolt travel in the ashes on the wind. The kingdom falls to ruin under layers of snow. Meanwhile, Aurora wakes up in a strange and enchanted world, where a mysterious hunter may be the secret to her escape . . . or the reason for her to stay.

Pros – Isbe & Aurora’s relationship, the Prince, the structure of the book

Cons – Book 1 of 2, Isbe’s relentless quest to sacrifice, Aurora’s relentless quest to be right

Spoiler – None. Well, there’s a spoiler involving the Princes, but the information is pretty quickly revealed in the book so I don’t know if its a real spoiler or not.

Note – I do some speculation in this review, because once again I went in thinking this was a stand alone and its not.

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Book Review: The Blazing Star


the-blazing-starSixteen-year-old Portia White is used to being overlooked—after all, her twin sister Alex is a literal genius.

But when Portia holds an Egyptian scarab beetle during history class, she takes center stage in a way she never expected: she faints. Upon waking, she is stronger, faster, and braver than before. And when she accidentally touches the scarab again?

She wakes up in ancient Egypt—her sister and an unwitting freshman in tow.


Mysterious and beautiful, Egypt is more than they could have ever imagined from their days in the classroom. History comes alive as the three teens realize that getting back to the present will be the most difficult thing they’ve ever done. Stalked by vicious monsters called Scorpions, every step in the right direction means a step closer to danger.

As Portia and the girls discover that they’re linked to the past by more than just chance, they have to decide what it truly means to be yourself, to love your sister, and to find your way home.

Pros – Egypt! Sikara and Alex’s bickering, not insta-love just add teen lust

Cons – Alex’s general attitude, lack of context at times in regards to people, vague undefined time frame

Note – Isn’t that cover beautiful? You should also check out the book trailer, also gorgeous!

Spoiler – my historical note at the end contains spoilers for the Egyptian/Ancient Personages that appear in the book as well as documented history. Please refer to my GR Review if you’d like to avoid all of that.

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My Life as Books: 2016 Edition

I did these on Poisoned Rationality since 2009, and continued the tradition here in 2015…so what’s new?

Using only books you have read this year (2016), cleverly answer these questions.   Try not to repeat a book title. (links lead to GoodReads)

Describe Yourself:  Broken Fate by Jennifer Derrick

How do you feel: the gods lie. by Kaori Ozaki

Describe where you currently live:  Tower of Thorns by Juliet Marillier

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The City on the Edge of Forever by Harlan Ellison

Your favorite form of transport: Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Your best friend is: The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth Durst

What’s the weather like: Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

Favourite time of day: North Sea Dawn by Susan Amund

What is life to you: The Sleeping Life by Andrea K. Host

Your fear: The Monster Within by Kelly Hashway

What is the best advice you have to give: Give to the Heart by Wann

Thought for the Day: Can You Keep a Secret? by RL Stine

How I would like to die: Daughters of Ruin by KD Castner

My soul’s present condition: Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire


Lexie Words