October 2022 TBR

TBR10

wow, a tbr post after my (questionably late) mid year freak out tag? who is she? a reader? couldn’t be! but i am trying to manifest… or keep up whatever this very blessed reading happiness/motivation is! and truly autumn reading always feels superior and at least a little more magical. i don’t want to overwhelm myself by putting too much pressure or too many expectations on reading, but i still felt a happy urge to maybe give myself a little direction and talk about some of the things I’d really like to read this month! (and i hope you all still enjoy reading it, too!) 

A Prayer for the Crown-Shy (Monk and Robot #2) by Becky Chambers
I read A Psalm for the Wild-Built last month, and when I tell you… it was the most healing I have taken from a book in a long while. It was just so perfect for me, and so exactly what I needed to read. This is for sure going to be a new all time favorite series, I hope! (and hopefully I find out soon, hehe!)

Her Soul to Take (Souls Trilogy #1) by Harley Laroux
Listen, I am still on the hunt to find a five star romance this read, and all my friends are screaming at me to read and fall in love with this paranormal romance with a demon they all ensure me will steal my heart! (not sure if in a romantic way or a demon way but excited to find out either way!)

Kingdom of the Feared (Kingdom of the Wicked #3) by Kerri Maniscalco
Do I keep giving all Kerri’s books three stars? Yes. I am so utterly in love with how she writes settings and atmosphere and now I am reliant on her every autumn of my reading life forever and ever? YES and YES!

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
This is probably the most recommended author for me currently! And I have so many friends with very similar reading tastes just five starring everything they write! Plus, all their books sound like they would be perfect for the fall season, so I promise to pick up something by them… but we will see if it is this book!

Into the Riverlands (The Singing Hills Cycle #3) by Nghi Vo
This third novella comes out on October 25th, and I know I won’t be able to resist picking it up immediately! The first book in this series was the first book I read in 2022 and I just keep falling more and more in love with Vo and all their stories. And… my realizing that I just love stories about clerics and monks traveling and telling stories!

Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco
You all know Rin is one of my favorite authors in all the galaxies. They mean so very much to me and I know it will mean so very much to me to read a new story by them! But also… polyamory + vampires + Castlevania vibes? Okay okay let’s go extra.


okay, friends! ahhh, this felt nice to create. falling back in love with reading has just felt really nice. and this feeling just really roots me and reminds me how lucky I am to still be able to talk about my love for stories with so many friends. I hope you all have a happy october and I am sending so much love and good health to you and your families! and I am always sending so much happy reading to you, too!

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2022 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

MidYearBookTag
The original tag was created by ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books!


Hello, friends! Okay, I know this is more like a… 75% year freak out tag, but this is kind of a tradition I always do, and you all know how much I love a good tradition! Also, this summer I was just so busy and I was not reading! I am not sure what happened this september, but I think I could possibly be back in my reading era (it all started on namjoon’s birthday, too, his power always will be unmatched, hehe)! But maybe a post soon about my summer and all the things I am reading, let’s get into some book statistics and some faves so far! 💗

So far in 2022, I’ve read 28 books

I’ve generated these statistics by using Brock at Let’s Read‘s spreadsheet!
(i normally do track more data, and i hope to add a lot more before the end of the year, but i still hope these graphs + charts still make your heart happy to visibly be able to see my reading so far this year!)







➽ 1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2022:
The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
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➽ 2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2022:
Misrule (Malice Duology #2) by Heather Walter
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➽ 3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to:
Babel by R.F. Kuang 
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➽ 4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year:
Into the Riverlands (The Singing Hills Cycle #3) by Nghi Vo
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➽ 5. Biggest disappointment:
Neon Gods (Dark Olympus #1) by Katee Robert
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➽ 6. Biggest surprise:
Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente
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➽ 7. Favorite new author (debut or new to you):
Heather Walter
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➽ 8. Newest fictional crush:
listen… it has been a rough year for romance books + me ;___;


➽ 9. Newest favorite character:
Chih
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➽ 10. Book that made you cry:
The Tangleroot Palace by Marjorie M. Liu
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➽ 11. Book that made you happy:
Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
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➽ 12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received):
The Honeys by Ryan La Sala
(maybe i will take an actual picture of it soon because this stock cover photo is not doing this book justice. every part, from the spine to the end-pages, are perfection!)
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➽ 13. What book(s) do you need to read by the end of the year?:
Silver Under Nightfall, Moon Dark Smile, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow
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Whew, okay friends, I hope you enjoyed! I feel like I could add so many to that last question! especially because right now I really am finding so much magical joy in just looking up books that look good to me. I am so used to knowing most upcoming releases and all my friends fave books, but this year it feels different but in a really good and indiscernible way. I really am having a lot of fun with reading right now and just falling in love with it again… I don’t know who needs to hear this right now (or maybe a reminder for me again in the future), but: you will always be a reader and that magic will come back. even if that means you’re doing a mid year freak out tag in september, hehe!

thank you to everyone who read all of this, and who just stayed around and is always kind to me, even when i wasn’t producing book content, I love you a lot. and it really means more to me than you’ll ever know, truly! 💗

my 2017 tagmy 2018 tag | my 2019 tag | my 2020 tag | my 2021 tag

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Also, what I was listening to on Spotify for the first half of 2022

3 Mini Reviews | Nocturna, Rise to the Sun, The Love Hypothesis

hi hi hi, friends! it has been a while since i’ve done a 3 mini review post, but this one has been sitting in my drafts for so long – i knew i wanted to quickly add a third review once 2022 came around! i hope you enjoy, and i hope you’re being gentle with yourselves! (and i hope to have another one of these posts up sooner than the last, muhahaha!) happy reading! 💗


Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1) by Maya Motayne

💛 A review to check out: Johely’s!

“Magic could not speak, yet interacting with it felt like a conversation, a dance, a story shared with a friend with the ending left up to interpretation.”

This was our September 2020 pick for the Dragons & Tea Book Club, and I loved it so much. This is a story about identity, classism, privilege, freedom, honoring your culture and the past regardless of who tries to erase it, and respecting boundaries unapologetically.

This is a story about a boy named Elfie, who is the crown prince and can wield water magic in this world. He has been away for three months, grieving a brother who everyone thinks is dead. But now that he is back in his city, he meets Fin who can change appearances and maybe help him become someone else, too. It turns into a spy mission, involving stolen books, black magic, and erasing a language that still belongs to them. And Finn and Alfie realize they are both harboring an immense grief and trying to heal from abuse and their past.

This is such a beautiful book that I feel like is so underrated, which is an actual crime because the layers of this story render me speechless alone. Everything is also a love letter to Latine / South American culture and a mirror to the erasure still from colonization today. My heart was extra full at the way Spanish is also woven into this story constantly. I truly recommend this fantasy to everyone, and I am so honored that we picked it for a book club pick! Also, that ending? I need book two immediately!

Trigger & Content Warnings: anxiety, loss of a loved one, grief deception, talk of slavery, blood depiction, drinking, vomiting, gore, murder, torture, slavery, controlling, and abuse.

4


Rise to the Sun by Leah Johnson

“That big love you give everyone else-you deserve to save some for yourself. You’re worth that much. You’re worth every good thing.”

This is a story told over the course of three days at a music festival, with alternating povs!

Olivia is there with her best friend in the whole world, and the one person who always has her back in every situation. Olivia has had a lot of not so great romantic relationships, but this last one ended with a massively evil invasion of privacy that has also caused her a lot of harassment before her junior year of high school ended.

Toni has grown up with music and the Farmland Music Festival for her whole life. It brings on so many happy memories of nostalgia, but also a lot of uneasy feelings about her future before her freshman year of college begins. But she hopes she will find some answers this weekend at the festival with her best friend.

And when a hidden apple(s) quest and a musical performance mission to win gets sprung on both of these girls and their friends the first day, we get to see everything playout the whole weekend. Sadly, I think this being told over three days was what didn’t work for me. I loved so many parts of this story, and I really enjoyed the first day and seeing the story being set up, but days two and three weren’t able to make me connect as much, even though my heart broke for all the characters very differently. I really think having a glimpse into the future past the three days would have really helped and really helped the insta-love too (and i’m not saying insta-love is bad or not real, it’s just not my favorite type of romance)!

You Should See Me in a Crown is one of my favorite YA contemporaries of all time (you still me holding it in my pfp, hehe) and I still am in complete awe of Leah Johnson and what they are doing for queer poc teens is truly life changing. Their stories are making so many people feel seen, making so many people cry real tears wishing they had books like this when they were younger (me), making publishing and the world such a more hopeful place. I will support and boost their voice always, and even though this book wasn’t the perfect book for me, I know it’s going to mean the whole world to so many!

Content and Trigger Warnings: loss of a parent, panic attacks, gun violence, and nonconsensual image sharing (provided by the author at the start of the book <3)! I also would like to add talk of mass shootings, anxiety depiction, asthma attacks, online bullying and harassment, ptsd depiction, many feelings of abandonment.

Buddy read with May! ❤

3


The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood

“I’ve never been surer of anything. Except maybe cell theory.”

the love hypothesis is the best romance i’ve read in years. it’s smart, funny, and oh so swoon worthy! and it was truly one of those books that reminded me why i love reading. i fell in love with both olive and adam so quickly, but i also found this to be one of the most believable fake dating romances, too. from the very first page, i was absolutely hooked and only felt more and more endeared throughout! (and even more late into the night when i desperately was signing up for the author’s newsletter so i could unhingedly get an adam pov bonus chapter!)

this book deals with some heavy themes at times, so please use caution and i’ll list some warnings below. i personally felt like the author does a thoughtful and important job at highlight what women of stem can face in many lab settings, while also always shining light on how much more noninclusive (and scary) that it can be for bipoc women and nonbinary people of stem. (the author note at the end with some resources was really amazing, too)

i just appreciated so much of this book and this author’s words. this story was a little niche to me and my personal life, so i think that also helped me fall in love! (i’m not sure if i can blame it on why i was giggling a sickening amount into my pillow – but i will pretend!) and i also want to note, that the word is never on page, but there was some demi rep in this story that i found very relatable and it meant a whole lot to me too.

i am so very excited to see what this author does next. this was nothing short of a treat to read. the friendships were everything, the banter was perfect, and the sex was 11/10.

(if you’d like to learn more about pancreatic cancer research here are some that are near to my heart!)

trigger and content warnings: talk of cancer, loss of a parent in the past, talk of fear of needles, and sexual harassment, abuse of power, + bullying in work/college settings.

5


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12 in 12 Challenge | 2022

i truly do not want to jinx anything, but i feel like i might be back in my reading era. right now i am reading, consuming, and loving a lot of books and stories – so i decided to push myself a little bit, but with a content creating overlapping twist.

so, i have done “read 12 books recommended by 12 friends” in the past and i have really loved doing it. but i saw this insta template go a little viral with my friends, and i thought it would be a perfect opportunity to push myself a little and join along in the fun!

but instead of asking my friends on booksta and goodreads, i polled my friends in the kpop community! lmaoooo listen, i was a little scared at first, but they gave such good and thoughtful recommendations by so many queer authors of color! i was thriving while picking these 12 books! and another little added challenge i did was that i only picked friends who ulted a certain kpop idol once – therefore only one book recommendation from one jimin biased friend! and truly, i got such good range with that too and it makes my heart full and warm!

okay let’s get into the books and the kpop friends who picked them… and who they bias in kpop!


12 recommendations | 12 friends + 12 months

Once Upon a Broken Heart
★ genre: ya fantasy
★ recommended by: ann
★ kpop ult bias: loona chu
The Love Hypothesis
★ genre: adult contemporary romance
★ recommended by: mis
★ kpop ult bias: svt woozi
★ Lonely Castle in the Mirror
★ genre: ya asian magical realism
★ recommended by: tai
★ kpop ult bias: txt yeonjun
The Black Flamingo
★ genre: ya queer black contemporary
★ recommended by: edith
★ kpop ult bias: oh my girl hyojung
Felix Ever After
★ genre: ya queer black contemporary
★ recommended by: gabriel
★ kpop ult bias: txt taehyun
The Last Sun
★ genre: adult queer urban fantasy
★ recommended by: emily
★ kpop ult bias: 2pm junho
The Flowers of War
★ genre: asian historical fiction
★ recommended by: sophie
★ kpop ult bias: enhypen jake
A Closed and Common Orbit
★ genre: adult queer scifi
★ recommended by: arryn
★ kpop ult bias: svt wonwoo + mingyu
Summer Bird Blue
★ genre: ya queer contemporary
★ recommended by: evie
★ kpop ult bias: loona yves
Under the Whispering Door
★ genre: adult queer paranormal fantasy
★ recommended by: bethany
★ kpop ult bias: bts jin
Tian Guan Ci Fu, Vol. 1
★ genre: queer asian fantasy
★ recommended by: maëlys
★ kpop ult bias: bts namjoon
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous
★ genre: adult queer asian poetry
★ recommended by: Betty Jo
★ kpop ult bias: bts jimin

(credit and shoutout to destiny for formatting her 2022 challenge post so cute!)


whew! a powerful little list, aye? i hope you all enjoyed this! i am truly so excited to start reading these! please let me know if you are doing this challenge too – and if you made a blog post please oh please link me it! i am sending you all so much love always, and happy reading! ♡


My 2021 Reading Year in Review

happy new year, friends! i can’t believe we are entering a brand new year, because time just keeps feeling more and more fake! but these are always my favorite posts to make, and i hope you enjoy reading it. 

okay, let’s rip the metaphorical band-aid off right away – so i have read less books in 2021 than i ever have before. i remember a month or so ago, thinking about how i might be disappointed with myself when writing up this post, but today when i was updating my goodreads and saw that i “only” read 33 books, i actually was okay. maybe even better than okay, and i don’t really know the answer to why! maybe *gasp* good mental health right now? maybe because i read a lot of books that i absolutely loved, and have some memories attached to some that enhance everything about the story itself? maybe because at end of the day (or year), 33 still feels like an impressive number compared to what i felt like that i read with the lack of pressure and expectations i put on myself while leaving 2020.

2020 was a really hard year for everyone, but i think i left that year with just not wanting to put any extra pressure or expectations on myself in all regards, and that very much impacted my reading this year. i wanted to just throw myself creatively in other new places things that were bringing me happiness instead of reclaiming spaces and remembering my worth.

if i have one goal in 2022 it really is to stop being so hard on myself. i really am my own worst critic in every aspect of my life, and i just want to be braver in this new year, and trust in myself that everything will work out and be okay. because i honestly proved to myself in 2021 that everything was okay and that i was okay. (i mean, despite the very loud and obvious and still scary state of our world right now.) i still feel like i’m still struggling to find my place among book stuff again, but i know everything is a process, and i think pushing myself a little more in 2022 will be a really good thing for me and my reading! but i do find myself ✨ organically ✨ craving to read like before again, and i hope i am able to find that good balance and talk about it in 2022’s reading year in review. but first let’s look back at 2021, everything that i was able to read (and my favorites), and some cool reading graphs! 


Thanks to the amazing Brock at Let’s Read, here are some 2021 reading statistics that I was able to gather from his amazing spreadsheet that I use every single year:


My Top Ten Favorite 2021 Publications:
➽ 10.) Vespertine Margaret Rogerson
➽ 9.) Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare
➽ 8.) We Free the Stars Hafsah Faizal
➽ 7.) Honey Girl Morgan Rogers
➽ 6.) Ace of Spades Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
➽ 5.) One Last Stop Casey McQuiston
➽ 4.) Yolk Mary H.K. Choi
➽ 3.) The Anthropocene Reviewed John Green
➽ 2.) Iron Widow Xiran Jay Zhao
➽ 1.) She Who Became the Sun Shelley Parker-Chan


okay, friends! happy new year – i am sending you and your families love, luck, good health, and so much warmth in 2022 and always. i miss you all so much, and i hope that 2021 was gentle on you and that you were gentle on yourselves, too! i also absolutely cannot wait to read all of your end of year favorites posts and give my tbr a lot of love based on your book recommendations! i’m thankful for you all always, and i love you.

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➽ My 2020 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2019 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2018 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2017 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2016 Reading Challenge
➽ My 2015 Reading Challenge

Favorite Non-Book Things | 2021

oh hello, friends! i know it has been a little while, much more than a little while honestly, but i hope you’ve all been well and having a happy holiday season and getting good rest while we finish up this year! 2021 has been hard on all of us, and learning to navigate the new normal of a pandemic is just exhausting. but im here to tell you some of the non bookish things that brought me joy and made the year feel a little lighter and happier! and i promise, a 2021 bookish wrap up soon too! 💗


➽ 01.) Sioris – Make It Bright Sheet Mask

i feel like this entire pandemic i have tested so many sheet masks! but truly for the price, these Sioris ones are the best of the best. they make my skin so dewy and plump, but also so moisturized and calm! if i was a rich person, i would use of of these every night, lmaoooo! these are truly so amazing, and i also really recommend the Time is Running Out Mist by Sioris too! (i know the name is funny, but putting this under my make up is my favorite thing!)


➽ 02.) Olaplex – Healthy Hair Essentials

Olaplex Black Friday sale 2021: Best deals on the hair care range loved by  celebs

i always would hear my offline friends talk about olaplex, and i’m not sure if i was just misinformed or being stupid, but i always thought the brand was only for color treated hair! but basically i have very thick hair and a lot of it, and i was unable to get my hair cut for such a long time because of the pandemic! i was trying to cut it myself, but i was getting such bad tangles that i would actually cry while brushing my hair, and i would give myself such bad headaches and neckaches! but then i started researching detangling shampoo because i didnt know what to do, and i found the No.3 Hair Perfector, No.4 Bond Maintenance Shampoo, and No.5 Bond Maintenance Conditioner system and it actually changed my hair completely. before i would spend just as much money on high end brand shampoos and conditioners and i have never in my life seen instant results like this with any of them! (also, i did get my first hair cut in over a year and a half in october, but these products truly just made that look better too! haha!)


➽ 03.) Target’s Triangle Bralette – Colsie

Women's Triangle Bralette - Colsie™ : Target

truly these bralettes are everything and they are only $7! like, i truly can’t believe! i have bought so many of these thigs year and i’m truly obsessed! i wear these 100% of the time at home, and 50% of the time when i leave the home (100% when im wearing an oversized top) – like they are so comfortable! and i do have a bigger chest, too, and they support while not sacrificing any comfort! i know target is only in the united states now, but truly if you have access to these i really recommend trying them out!


➽ 04.) Waterloo Sparkling Water

Austin's Waterloo Sparkling Water jumping into Walgreens, CVS and more

i don’t exactly know how or why i fell in love with seltzer water in 2021, but… here we are. i randomly had a few in my house, and i tried them, and remembering enjoying them in the past, and then i completely spiraled into trying all the different brands of seltzer water! but my friend amy told me about waterloo, which i can sometimes find at target too, and it really is my favorite of them all! blueberry is easily my favorite, but i am very biased with blueberry flavored things in general, haha! i really have enjoyed all that i’ve tried, but strawberry is probably my second favorite!


➽ 05.) IKEA’s Billy Bookshelves

BILLY Bookcase, white, 31 1/2x11x79 1/2 "

i know i’m a decade behind on this one, but early this year i decided to redo my shelves and (it was a long long long journey while vegas ikea got their stock of things in) i got six new bookshelves! i still haven’t probably shown them, and if im being honest they still aren’t exactly how i like them, but maybe a kpop/bookshelf tour video coming sooner than you’d think! i am so so so thankful for these shelves, truly! and we will just pretend this isn’t a bookish item, shhhhhh!


➽ 06.) ILLIYOON Ultra Repair Lotion

this is truly the best body lotion i have ever used, but especially in the colder months, and especially in a pandemic where you should be washing your hands so many times a day! you will truly feel the moisturization of this lotion all day long, but it never feels heavy or greasy or like its just sitting on top of the skin and not absorbing. my skin has felt so much softer because of this lotion and i don’t want to picture an alternate reality of my not putting this on after every shower!


➽ 07.) Huntington Beach, California

huntington beach, california, has always been one of my favorite places in this whole world, and it’s also always been a constant source of healing and happiness for me. i love beaches, and huntington is my favorite, and in october 2021 i was able to walk along its shores again after almost two full years. i sat under the pier, listening to the waves and feeling their power, for so long and truly it is probably my most favorite memory of 2021. i really hope there is never a point in my life where the time between visits is ever so long again. (i was also able to go to disney this trip and it truly will forever be such a happy and grateful memory for me!)


➽ 08.) The Hobbit

The Hobbit (film series) - Wikipedia

i have also loved middle-earth, but i was not expecting the emotional hold that the hobbit trilogy (in particular an unexpected journey) had on me this year. every time i felt a panic attack, high anxiety levels, or if i just felt the world was too overwhelming, i would put on the hobbit and everything would feel so much better. again, i have no idea how this became an emotional support source in 2021, but i am very thankful and i do think a reread might be in order for 2022 too! (i got a really breathtaking easton press edition for my birthday this year, too!)


➽ 09.) Seventeen

SEVENTEEN Snap Shoot Selfie Cam gif on We Heart It | Seventeen album,  Mingyu seventeen, Seventeen

i truly entered this year with my heart so full of bts and txt that i didn’t think i had much more room for anyone else, but then the last half of 2021 and seventeen happened. and i truly know that everyone who fell in love with bts with me in the book community in 2019 would absolutely fall in love with seventeen, too! they are such good humans, and such phenomenal artists, and falling in love with them has reminded me so much of falling in love with bts. without question, becoming a carat has been one of the brightest spots of this year for me and i am so thankful.


➽ 10.) jtotheimin

okay, this is kind of going with the last one, and i know i put this on my 2020 list too, but it’s no secret that i have been spending a lot of my creative time making kpop videos. it has truly brought me so much joy and has been such a wonderful outlet for me. and i think my favorite thing is forever going to be mixing books with kpop, hehe! but i hit 6k subscribers this year, 1.1m views, and 4.4m watch time minutes and… i still can’t believe it. i am proud of myself and everything i have carved out and achieved in a new community and i really can’t wait to see all the new loves, and highs, and adventures in 2022! (and thank you all to everything who has supported me, watched this very different style of content, and just let me be unapologetically happy about bts and txt and everyone else – it really means the world to me!)


i am sending you guys so much love, always. i hope you know that, and can still feel that while i haven’t been as active in the community. and i’m so immensely proud of you for enduring another year in this pandemic. and i promise i am cheering for you always, with all your goals, in life and in reading and in everything in between! let me know some of the things that brought you happiness this year! and i’m truly wishing you so much happiness, good health, warmth, and comfort in 2022! 💗

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Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson | Blog Tour

Goodreads | Amazon US | Book Depository | B&N | IndieBound | Bookshop

ARC Provided by Simon & Schuster
Publication: October 5, 2021

➽ An Enchantment of Ravens
➽ Sorcery of Thorns

 

“If I could read humans’ minds, I wouldn’t have ended up trapped inside a little girl’s finger bone.”

I have enjoyed everything that Margaret Rogerson has written thus far, but I do think Vespertine may possibly be my favorite of them all.

Artemisia is a Grey Sister, working alongside nuns at the convent, preparing dead bodies for their final rest. Before the convent, and when she was only a child, she was forced to use the most extreme measures to purge a revenant who was possessing her, and now has disabled hands. But because of her past, she likes to keep to herself and live a quiet life with very few friends. But when an army of possessed soldiers come to destroy the only place that has ever made her feel like home, she is forced to use a saint’s relic that allows a very powerful revenant to share a body with her once again, while also protecting the monastery. But Artemisia quickly realizes these soldiers are not the only ones being possessed by so many different spirits of different powers, and the only hope for this world could be her and the spirit that is currently inhabiting her own body.

Word quickly sweeps across all the lands of a Vespertine who has the power to cleanse and save them all, but there are many who will stop at nothing to ensure she does not come into her full power with her revenant who remembers the past these people are trying to hide very well. But Artemisia must learn if she can even trust this spirit, especially because she has his relic which she must protect because if it is destroyed, the revenant will be destroyed with it.

 

“On this day, we honor her by denouncing the Raven King, bringer of the Sorrow, ruin of the Age of Kings. May his face remain forgotten. May history scorn his name.”

I know the premise of possession can be a little questionable, but Artemisia and her revenant (and their banter) was truly my favorite part of their book. And their friendship, and their trust in one another, while also learning boundaries, was really enjoyable to read. Also, her having that relic and power over the revenant was very important for me, as a reader! And I think the author does a really beautiful job also always remembering and discussing Artemisia’s trauma from her past, while allowing her room to grow but to also decided for herself how she wants to heal and grow, regardless of how linearly the healing is throughout the story and throughout Artemisia’s life.

Artemisia is also very inspired from Joan of Arc, who was also believed to be a saint under divine guidance from a higher power to save her people, even though she was “just” a young and poor girl. Since this is the first book of this duology, I do hope Artemisia does not meet the same end, but the parallels were very subtle and loud at the same time, but always very beautiful.

 

“I wondered if I should pray. But the stars were gone, the Lady’s gaze obscured. I had no sign save the hundreds of voices chanting my name outside.”

I also really loved this whole entire world and magic system. The different castes and hierarchy of spirits and discovering all their different levels and powers was so absolutely fascinating. Even how the cause of death would impact what kind of spirit manifested! I also loved every stop Artemisia and her revenant would make on this journey, and all the new things about these spirits we, as the reader, would learn alongside Artemisia. If you’ve read the author’s previous works, you know that they just really excel at world building and crafting the most beautiful settings, and Vespertine was no different. And I was happily exploring cities and inns, and cathedrals and crypts, with Artemisia.

Overall, I just really loved this and it was a true joy to pick up each time. The side characters were also very amazing, and each friendship that Artemisia chose to start really was beautiful. And I loved seeing Artemisia realize that she is deserving of safety and happiness, regardless of what happened to her in the past. And also seeing her realize that the family you choose will always be more important than the family you were born into. I really recommend this one for so many reasons, but I also think most of you know I just have a really big soft spot for magical fighting nuns always, too. Happy reading!

5


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The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Maëlys & Evie! ❤

Content and Trigger Warnings: abandonment, child neglect + abuse in past, possession (the mc uses self-harm in the past + threats of suicide to get spirits to leave her body – both very brief mentions), brief mention of animal abuse, mention of animal deaths, blood depictions, vomiting, drugging, anxiety depictions, talk of plagues, loss of a loved one in the past, mention of spiders, talk of suicide, death, and please note this is a book about sharing a body with an ancient spirit, so i can see that making some people uncomfortable, please use caution!


When not writing I can be found drawing, reading, gaming, making pudding, or creeping through the woods in search of toads and mushrooms. I enjoy coMargaret Rogerson is the author of theNew York TimesbestsellersAn Enchantment of RavensandSorcery of Thorns. She has a bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from Miami University. When not reading or writing she enjoys sketching, gaming, making pudding, and watching more documentaries than is socially acceptable (according to some). She lives near Cincinnati, Ohio, beside a garden full of hummingbirds and roses. Visit her at MargaretRogerson.com.