Down the TBR Hole 22

This was originally made by Lost in a Story, and is such a fantastic idea. Here are the instructions:

Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
Order on ascending date added.
Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
Read the synopses of the books
Decide: keep it or should it go?

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The Books:

25332115Book #106

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Warner

Date added: September 22, 2016

Why is this on my TBR? Because my sister recommended it to me. But let’s face it, I’m never going to actually read it.

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

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10836471Book #107

Midwinterblood by Marcus Sedgewick

Date added: September 23, 2016

This is actually marked for “finish later” for me, because I’ve started it, and got maybe halfway through, what reads like weird individual stories are, I’m assuming, supposed to come together at the end. But it’s honestly so dry and slow I just can’t I didn’t finish because I was, frankly, bored.

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

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23288266Book #108

Impyrium (Impyrium #1) by Henry H. Neff

Date added: September 28, 2016

As much as a MG book that sounds like so many other fantasy books I have read sounds like a fun easy read, I don’t think I have the time to just have an extra book on my list. I’m also pretty sure I was going to read this before my nephew in case I wanted to recommend it to him, but he can just pick out his own dang books, am I right?

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

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15575Book #109

The Sword of Shannara (The Original Shannara Trilogy #1) by Terry Brooks

Date added: September 30, 2016

So this is just one of those fantasy novels that I just want to notch on my belt.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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28678119Book #110

Paper Princess (The Royals #1) by Erin Watt

Date added: October 14, 2016

I feel like if I want to read a slightly problematic, unhealthy relationship NA book I could have a pick of many, as much as this book screams reverse harem (which I have a soft spot for) I almost sounds like it revolves mostly around just one of  the guys, which takes away from the sqqueeeee of it all.

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

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Starting TBR shelf total: 422

Total books kept: 1 out of 5, way to go me!

 

I’m Curious  \ ^_^ /

What do you think of my decisions? Have you read any of these books?

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The Girl in the Tower

34050917The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden

5_stars

As Vasya is faced with the choice of the convent or marriage she decides she will take her life in her own hands. With the help of her friend Morozko she aims to see the world and experience a life of her own choosing. Yet attacks on villages has Vasya putting a halt to her travels to help them, drawing the attention of the Grand Prince putting her cross dressing adventure into a precarious position not only for herself but for those who know her secret.divider

The Story

I really liked the Bear and the Nightingale, but I loved The Girl in the Tower. Where the pacing in the TBATN could sometimes be slow, I thought the pacing in TGITT a lot more steady and kept my attention. I think what was particularly compelling about the book was how fierce and headstrong Vasya was. Like many books with feminist themes the book revolves around Vasya’s choices, and while they may not always be the most sensible or have results that she may regret later, they are still hers to make, as it is her own life.

I am not 100% sure but I am thinking that this was a loose retelling of Vasilisa the Priest’s Daughter. To my understanding there are a few Russian stories that include Vasilisa/Vasiya as a strong female character, and I really enjoy seeing it used in a similar fashion in this series.divider

The World Building

Where the Russian setting was essentially the same in the second book, Arden does an excellent job of immersing the reader into the cold vast world of Russian, culture and it’s folklore. All the magic and quirky demons add so much flavor to such a complex story. I think what I found really intriguing was Morozko’s power and am so eager to read more!divider

The Characters

I think Vasya has such a complicated character. There were times when I thought she was so selfish, but then she goes and puts her life at risk to save some village girls. She is so headstrong and stubborn, though that I want to just smack her up against the side of her head and say look what your decisions are doing, look how it affects those around you!  And I think towards the end she really starts to see what sort of mess she has caused.

Though it wasn’t entirely focused on him, I completely adored Morozko. I love that he is so powerful, yet so confused. His relationship with Vasiya is twisted yet so sweet as he battles with his feelings, his power, and his immortality. I often felt bad for Morozko because it seemed like Vasiya only called on him when she needed something from him, and I don’t know about you guys, but I can’t stand when a friend acts like that.divider

The Soundtrack

French for Rabbits – The Other Side

 

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Bullet Journal 2018 Week 29

So it felt like such a productive week for me! I kept up with my bookstagram posts and Rae and I have started an easy rhythm to keep the blog up to date.

Also, yesterday was the one year anniversary for Vicariously & Voraciously and I am incredibly happy with the progress it has made this year. Still have plans to move it to its domain…I’m going to stop saying “this month” and just say…this year. 🙂

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Week 29 Spread

So don’t laugh. But it has just been pointed out to me (right before typing this up) that this spread says June…not July. I was SOOOOO proud of this spread with its extra doodles, and now I’m just face palming. So, I am going to white out half of the June and fix it, so it wont be as pretty anymore. 😦

I absolutely love this pineapple quote. But ever since I have drawn this spread out I have had the pineapple pen song stuck in my head.

I’m Curious  \ ^_^ /

Do you like my new spread? Do you use your BuJo daily? Have any fun bujo hacks? Who do you like to follow on Instagram? What types of tools do you use?

Nyxia: Unleashed

35424762Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2) by Scott Reintgen

5_stars

Publish Date: July 17, 2018

ARC received from the publisher via Netgalley for a fair review.

“We’re weapons. They made us this way.
And we’re coming for them.”*

Now that Emmet and the rest of the genesis crew members have made it to Eden they discover that just Babel has more up their sleeve for them than just harvesting Nyxia. While navigating the tenuous relationship with the Adamites and the dangers that the planet presents the team must decide who they trust.

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The Story

Picking up right where the first book leaves off the team struggles with what Babel has put them through to get there as well as adjusting to their new home. The crew carries on with their assignment while continuing to grow closer as a team as well as stronger with their skills with nyxia.

What really drives this story is the mystery. Not the type of mystery you would find in a thriller or a murder, but in the anticipation of a twist you just know is coming. And boy, those twists can throw you a loop. Though there was one that wasn’t quite wrapped up in this book so I am aching for the next book. Because, Scott, WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS??!

Anyway, the book is non stop as we are lead from uncovering secrets to fighting for their lives. This YA sci-fi book tackles more than entertainment but brings in themes that cover family (blood and the bonds that go beyond that), homophobia/coming out, war/genocide/death, large corporation takeovers, and so much more.

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The World Building

Not only does Reintgen have a crew of multicultural kids, but has brought us a alien world that mirrors some similarities to the humans cultures but expanding with their own traditions, beliefs and society. The adamite society has sort of a rural feel but we are also introduced to fun new technology that Babel supplies which provides for a juxtaposition of it all that is smoothly introduced as the story progresses.

The planet itself is just so interesting from it’s double moons to its creatures.

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The Characters

Since this book narrows down to just the remaining crew, we are allowed time to get to know our characters a little bit more. It’s still mostly told from Emmett’s point of view so it is still somewhat limited to his observations, but the bond that the crew makes goes deep and grows as they must rely on each other because that’s all they’ve got. I think my favorite part about these characters is that they are fierce and brave, but can still stop to mourn those that they lose.

If you’re looking for romance between characters there’s a few pairings in here that just work so well together. I didn’t expect it, but there is some heart wrenching scenes where they kids hold each other up emotionally with just a squeeze of the hands, a nod of their head, and even with just putting themselves in harms way just to save the other.

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The Soundtrack

Portugal. The Man feat Richie Havens & Son Little – Number One

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*Quote obtained from an uncorrected proof and may be changed in the final version.

Down the TBR Hole 21

This was originally made by Lost in a Story, and is such a fantastic idea. Here are the instructions:

Go to your goodreads to-read shelf.
Order on ascending date added.
Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
Read the synopses of the books
Decide: keep it or should it go?

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The Books:

21469090Book #101

Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy #1) by Kerstin Gier & Anthea Bell

Date added: August 23, 2016

This sort of makes me think of the Raven Boys which I fall into unpopular opinion and was sort of meh about. I am also not about to fill my head with weird dream stuff because I am a little sensitive to that.

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

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20958632Book #102

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Date added: August 25, 2016

It’s Holly Black. I didn’t realize I had her on my list for so long as The Cruel Prince was my first of hers. She has fallen into autobuy author, and I am eager to actually start this book.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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22840182Book #103

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by Sarah Ockler

Date added: August 28, 2016

Well, it’s a retelling of The Little Mermaid in the PNW. It stays.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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3432478Book #104

The Forest of Hands and Teeth (The Forest of Hands and Teeth #1) by Carrie Ryan

Date added: September 1, 2016

Based on the synopsis, I have no idea what this book is even about. Scanning through the reviews sounds like a bad narrator.

THE JUDGEMENT: Go

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20359719Book #105

The Perilous Sea (The Elemental Trilogy #2) by Sherry Thomas

Date added: September 8, 2016

Apparently I sorta liked the first book, and after reading my review of it I am intrigued again because ->> gender bender reverse harem, if nothing else. But a reread will be needed before starting this one.

THE JUDGEMENT: Keep

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Starting TBR shelf total: 422

Total books kept: 3 out of 5

 

I’m Curious  \ ^_^ /

What do you think of my decisions? Have you read any of these books?

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Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

31019831Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

3_stars

When Lucie begins working at Château Beaumont she  is besotted with it’s master Jean-Loupe, despite the rumors of a curse. That is until she is affected by his monstrous personality. A spell is cast on him turning him into a beast and Luce gets her wish to watch him suffer. But as time passes she learns that the beast that has taken Jean-Loupe’s place is actually nothing like the cruel man.

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The Story

This book was not at all what I was expecting, and while I thought the unique point of view and change in the story was pretty great, the pacing was quite slow and a little on the darker side. I was almost pushing myself to just finish the book, until about 75% when I was finally invested enough into the characters to actually care about the ending. And while it was almost necessary to have all that transpire, there wasn’t enough to break up the monotony. I think a big portion of that was due to Lucie’s POV because there wasn’t a lot actually involving her, I felt like we spent a lot of time just…sitting there basically looking out a window.

Trigger warnings: rape and suicidal thoughts

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The World Building

I appreciated the story being kept in it’s French roots, despite being a retelling. I also loved how descriptive the book was with how Beast was dealing with the transformation and adjustment to his body – going from a human man to a beast with body parts he was not used to.

I also really liked the changes in the enchantment of the  Château and how the roses play a part of the story. I liked how it added to the humanity that was within beast.

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The Characters

I think the part that really stands out with this book was the Jean-Loupe/Beast combination. The drastic changes between the curse set upon them really sets this apart from other BATB retellings that I have come across. I think it’s in the fact that Beauty doesn’t change him per se, but the fact that the goodness is within him to begin with and it is such a drastic difference from who he was in the beginning of the book.

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The Soundtrack

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla

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Bullet Journal 2018 Weeks 27, 28 and July Monthly Spreads

I might normally apologize for missing a weekly post of bullet journal, but I’m not going to apologize for having fun!

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July Spread

img_8526 img_8527

You guys, we are halfway done with the year. Where did it go?

I can already tell you that the To Be Read column is full of books to start this month, as well as a bunch left over from last month. I am trying to focus on finishing up some ARC’s too, I have a quite a few, and it seems like that is all I am really putting effort into reading. At this point, I want them out of the way so I can read other published work that I have been snail pacing through. I think taking on less buddy reads is really going to help with this. Because Lord knows I’m not going to stop requesting ARC’s.

Okay so this is new this month. If you haven’t notice I have really stepped up my Instagram game this month. I have a new aesthetic that I am working with consistently with, and have taken on a few challenges. I am participating in the BookQueensJuly18 photo challenges as well as with some from my boxes (LitJoy & Whimsify). All of these have encouraged me to post more and to have different things going on in the pictures as well. If you struggle with ideas for your Instagram I highly recommend taking on some of the ideas on the challenges. It also is really fun to see what other people do with the prompts.divider

Week 27 Spread

Okay, so I didn’t really do anything here. I had company here all week and didn’t plan on doing much besides working and having as much fun as I could. Which is why it is mostly occupied by a “Happy Independen -ce Day”. I really should practice my calligraphy with my Tombow pens more, but I am so awful at it that I am usually discouraged. So here we are with my shotty spacing and inconsistent pen pressures.

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Week 28 Spread

And here we are, back to the grind. Daily squares for work & etc, read more for the obvious reading I am planning on tackling, socialize more to keep me hopefully on track with blogging/Instagram/Goodreads/etc., and harvest more because the garden is getting a little out of hand. Does anyone want to come weed, harvest peas, or prune the tomatoes?

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I’m Curious  \ ^_^ /

Do you like my new spread? Do you use your BuJo daily? Have any fun bujo hacks? Who do you like to follow on Instagram? What types of tools do you use?

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Kiss of the Royal

32173635

Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga

3_stars

ARC received via Netgalley for a fair review.

The Forces of Darkness seem to continue to grow stronger, no matter how many battles the royal army wins. They have fought the war for 500 years, and every princess has the power to Kiss their prince to enhance their abilities, and Princess Ivy is the direct descendant to the original queen and therefore has the most powerful kiss. Because of this she must have the most powerful swordsman, Prince Zach at her side. Together their combined magic would be able to finally put an end to the war. The only problem is Zach wont Kiss Princess Ivy.

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The Story

I loved the underlying concept in this book, but unfortunately the delivery just wasn’t all there for me. As the story progressed there was a lot of repetitiveness as Princess Ivy told the reader how powerful she was rather than showing. She also spent a great deal reiterating why things were, usually one chapter after a massive info dump. I felt this stunted the pacing of the book, and ultimately made it a lot longer than it needed to be.

However, the story itself was fun and I loved how much of a slow love story it was, at least on Princess Ivy’s side. There was a lot of action sequences that helped break the story up as Ivy & Zach encountered more and more dark forces.

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The World Building

I had a hard time really getting into the world that this story was set in. First of all the princes and princesses were descendants of one queen and king. They are ultimately bred to have as much of the original bloodline. I’m not sure if the writer thought about this, but sounds like a LOT of incest to me, and it just made me rather uncomfortable, sure, 500 years later there’s quite a few generational lines they can choose from, but I mean, the second generation? In order for it to be a pure blood they would have had to have children with their siblings, or eww, their parent. I am probably thinking too hard on it, but it really just made me egghhh. Anyway, the entire time, Ivy kept saying that she was a Princess that was a direct descendent of Myrna, the original queen….but all of the royalty should have been a direct descendant if they held that power.

The other thing I had issues with was that the war was all encompassing around the Evil Queen’s ambitions and all the creatures she was making, which was great and all, but sometimes during the action scenes little factoids would be introduced in the moment that created conflict with the characters. To me it made for some poor writing as the information wasn’t built up ahead of time that could have been used, the information was given at the moment for convenience sake. It’s not exactly bad, but in a world where there are so many books that are set up so well, it definitely doesn’t make it stand out as far as world building goes.

On a positive note, I loved how the world had construed the belief system on love and how it tied in with familial bonds and lust. I think it helped support the use of Kisses as a fighting tool rather than a romantic gesture.

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The Characters

I actually really liked Ivy and Zach. I loved how they were both very headstrong in what they believed and were willing to put their lives at risk for the safety of others. At times I did find Zach to be a little full of himself and honestly, quite a tease. But that really helped the dynamic between him and Ivy really falling for each other (if you can’t predict that yourself then I am sorry for spoiling that for you, because obviously that would happen).

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The Soundtrack

The Neighborhood – Stuck With Me

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July 2018 TBR

So clearly, we read a lot of the same books, and it’s usually together. But we promise this is not all we have in store for the month! We have some ARC’s and even some graphic novel reviews coming your way. Despite all that, we still have a lot of reading to do!

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ARC Reads

julyarctbr

7/3 Kiss of the Royal by Lindsey Duga
7/10 Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen
7/17 Nyxia Unleashed by Scott Reintgen
7/31 Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart
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Published Reads

julypubtbr

Onyx and Ivory (Rime Chronicles #1) by Mindee Arnett
To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi
Vicious (Villians #1) by V. E. Schwab
A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab
Atlas Fallen (Cyber Crown #1) by Jessica Pierce
The Traitor’s Game (The Traitor’s Game #1) by Jennifer A. Nielsen
Golden Son (Red Rising Saga #2) by Pierce Brown
The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient #1) by Helen Hoang
Save the Date by Morgan Matson
The Calculus of Change by Jessie Hilb
Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1) by Kevin Kwan
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We’re Curious  \ ^_^ /

Have you read any of our TBR and was it any good? What do you have planned for the month? What are your most anticipated reads?

 

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ICYMI: June 2018 Wrap Up

nother month in the books! Vicariously & Voraciously has officially introduced our new co-blogger Rae, and next month hopefully we will be moving into our dot com domain…maybe. We also hosted our first giveaway, which was a lot of fun so after two days we were already thinking up the next giveaway. Our goal is to do a giveaway every few months, some will be better than others. But we both just have a heart for giving, and why not give away some of our favorite things, books? divider

ARC Reads

36329818 34519536 35804626 36450338

Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber 5_stars (Scrill)
Whisper of the Tide (Song of the Current #2) by Sarah Tolcser 4_stars (Scrill)
The Art of French Kissing by Brianna R. Shrum 5_stars (Scrill)
Almost Impossible by Nicole Williams 4_stars (Scrill)

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Solo Reads

24909347 35529926 36222611

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff  5_stars(Scrill)
Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3) by Leigh Bardugo 5_stars (Scrill)
Aru Shah and the End of Time (Pandava Quartet) by Roshani Chokshi 5_stars (Scrill)

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16429619
The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles #1) by Mary E. Pearson 5_stars (Rae)
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Tags/Memes/Bujo/Etc

SQUADGOALS

Squad Goals: National Best Friend Day

 

Web

Down the TBR Hole #17
Down the TBR Hole #18
Down the TBR Hole #19
Down the TBR Hole #20

 

 

hellojune

Week 23 and June Spread
Week 24 Spread
Week 25 Spread
Week 26 Spread

 

Total Books Reviewed: 8
Average Rating: 4.75 (Wow! such a good month!)

We’re Curious  \ ^_^ /

How was your month? Have you read any of the books I read? What was your worst read this month? Your best? What Tags/Memes should we do?

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