taking a break // see you in a month!

Friday, June 23, 2017

hey peeps.

here's the deal: unfortunately, i haven't been the most enthusiastic about posting on the blog and creating content lately (i'm sorry i haven't posted this week!). i've been feeling uninspired, and while i do love blogging, i think i need a little time off to recharge my creative batteries. since starting my blog near the end of last year, i've surprised myself by being relatively consistent with my posting. i wasn't quite sure if i would burn out and abandon the blog. while i do have many post ideas for the rest of the summer and i'm not going to abandon A Paper Reverie, i want to take a break and come back actually wanting to post instead of feeling obligated to.

this is by no means the end of my blog, just a momentary hiatus. i'm going to be completely unplugging from the internet for the next four weeks to go to summer camp-- no technology whatsoever. as much as i love the internet and all the people here, sometimes it's nice to take some time off from it. i'm so excited to be outside in the next month climbing some big rocks, spending time with people who i only get to see once a year, and reading lots of amazing books. i was originally planning to schedule posts for while i was gone, but in the spirit of unplugging completely, i'm not going to be. to be truthful, i don't really want to worry about my blog while i'm gone, unanswered comments on new posts and whatnot. 

thank you for understanding, and see you in a month. <3

xo, madeline

my reread tbr!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

if you didn't know, i'm a hardcore rereader.

mini reviews // a random assortment

Saturday, June 10, 2017

hey pals.

i realized i hadn't done a set of mini reviews in such a long time, and i've been reading a lot of random books recently, so i decided to write some good ole mini reviews for you today. 

i really haven't been sticking to a certain genre recently which is actually pretty unusual for me. normally, i pick a certain genre or subject before moving on to a new genre and et cetera et cetera. i am happy to announce that (i'm pretty sure) the 2017 Fantasy Hiatus (trademark or whatever) is over, and i am back to normal. whoop whoop.

so let's get onto the mini reviews.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender

by Leslye Walton // ★★★☆

Foolish love appears to be the Roux family birthright, an ominous forecast for its most recent progeny, Ava Lavender. Ava—in all other ways a normal girl—is born with the wings of a bird. In a quest to understand her peculiar disposition and a growing desire to fit in with her peers, sixteen-year old Ava ventures into the wider world, ill-prepared for what she might discover and naïve to the twisted motives of others. Others like the pious Nathaniel Sorrows, who mistakes Ava for an angel and whose obsession with her grows until the night of the Summer Solstice celebration. That night, the skies open up, rain and feathers fill the air, and Ava’s quest and her family’s saga build to a devastating crescendo.

to be completely honest, i didn't love this book as much as i expected to. the first half of the book deals with Ava's whole family history, for gosh sake, and while i find that reasonably interesting, i would have rather read about Ava herself more with family history sprinkled throughout. i didn't love the book, but i didn't hate it either.

- the names were beautiful. the author just seems to have a way to make all the characters seem magical simply through naming them. i mean, Ava Lavender? Marigold Pie? Emilienne Roux? BEAUTIFUL.

- the language was beautiful. and the story was tragic. i have a thing for books that break your heart, ok??

- the whole story was totally weird. at one point, Ava's great aunt turns into a canary, and as it says in the blurb, Ava has wings. it's that type of magical realism book (which i tend to love)

- THE COVER. JUST LOOK AT IT. *heart eyes*

- as i said before, half the story was taken up by family history. i didn't love this, and i thought it could be shortened quite a bit.

- it was mostly prose and not much dialog. this goes along with the above comment. there were so many scenes where nobody even talked, and it was just prose prose prose. just adding in some dialog would have made the history aspect of the story so much more interesting and enjoyable. 

- i just couldn't get into the story. honestly, i couldn't connect much with the characters, and nothing about the story screamed KEEP READING!

Tiny Pretty Things

by Sona Charaipotra and Dhonielle Clayton // ★★

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette's desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

this was so incredibly entertaining yet slightly very nerve-wracking. i would probably credit this book with getting me through exam week when i really did need a distraction from the stress.

- to some degree, everyone was morally gray. if you haven't noticed yet from the other reviews on my blog, I LOVE MORALLY GRAY CHARACTERS. it makes a story so much more interesting because you never really know what they're going to do. even Gigi, who is supposedly the protagonist of the book (kind of?) is an unreliable narrator at the end of the book. 

- character development was on point. there was actually a huge number of characters, and the authors managed to give each one a unique development. A+ for that!

- boarding school setting. you might have heard me say this before, but i looovvveee boarding school settings in books. i think it's because it creates a certain aesthetic for the book...

- manipulation. i'm sorry, i know none of this drama is healthy for people, but it makes for such an entertaining storyline! so addicting to read.

- it dragged on a bit too long. the book was nearly 500 pages long which is crazy long for a contemporary. i enjoyed the drama of the book for the first 300 pages, but after that, it was all a bit too much. i just got tired of the characters and their fighting with each other. i think the book as a whole would have been stronger if it was shorter.

- i didn't exactly understand June's POV. it was interesting and i actually did enjoy reading it, but it didn't entwine with the other two POVs as well as i would have hoped. her narrative didn't work that well with Gigi and Bette's. 

- THE CLIFFHANGER. GAHHHAHAHHH. i need the next book.

The Archived

by Victoria Schwab // ★★

Imagine a place where the dead rest on shelves like books. Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive. Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive. Being a Keeper isn't just dangerous—it's a constant reminder of those Mac has lost, Da's death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.

ending on a high note today! admittedly, this is actually not my favorite Schwab book. that is reserved for the Shades of Magic trilogy, but The Archived was done pretty darn well.

- i loved the main character Mackenzie. recently, i have taken a strong disliking to many female protagonists in the books i've read, but i didn't have that problem with this book!! Mac was fierce and sassy and in general, a really enjoyable character to read about.

- i also loved Wesley. aka a smol cinnamon roll who needs to be protected at all costs. he was so loyal throughout the book to Mac (although i was suspicious of him in the beginning). 

- the aesthetic was so. good. the story was deliciously creepy with the dead lying on shelves and whatnot, and i thought that the Coronado hotel was a really creative setting to place the story in. The Archived had a sort of fantasy meets murder mystery vibe which was monstrously entertaining.

- short and sweet. it was just what i needed to get back into reading fantasy.

- just one thing: i didn't exactly understand Mac's romance with Owen. from an early point in the story, we learn that he is dead (escaped from the Archives), so there's not really a way for this ship to sail the seven seas. idk. i would have preferred a platonic friendship to have occurred between Owen and Mac.

so that's it for today! have you read any of the books in this edition of mini reviews + what are your thoughts of them if so? do you enjoy morally gray characters at all? let me know in the comments!

xoxo, madeline

top ten tuesday // 10 magical realism books that i want to read

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

guess who's finally doing top ten tuesday??

Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner // heartbreaking but beautiful

Friday, June 2, 2017

it's legitimately been forever since i've reviewed a book on this blog.

spring wrap-up // it's summer!! a life update

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

hey guys. it's been a little while.

my bullet journal // the process + my spreads

Saturday, May 20, 2017

hello again, my reader friends.

let's talk about ya fantasy // why i'm tired of it

Saturday, May 13, 2017

hello again my bookworm frens!

the writer's tag // a peculiar midweek post

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Hey guys.

my tbr list // i wanna read ALL THE BOOKS

Saturday, May 6, 2017

happy may, frens!

this week, i'll be sharing yet another edition of my ever growing tbr list. these are some of my favorite posts to write because it helps me prioritize what i want to read in the next couple of months. 

in other news, does anyone else feel like ALL THE BOOKS OF EVER came out this week?? i'm pretty sure that this week was just the patented Let's-Stress-Out-Madeline-By-Publishing-All-The-Books™. there are so many that i want to read and so little time! i'll still probably end up *accidentally* reading when i actually don't have time though (aka studying for exams...). 

here we goooo...

01. Strange the Dreamer

i wasn't originally planning to read this for awhile (because of the 2017-Fantasy-Hiatus™), but then people started saying amazing things about it, and now i don't have a choice, do i? i have to read it.

02. Always and Forever, Lara Jean

these books just make me so happy?! they're so fluffy and FOOD descriptions are life. plus, the diversity representation is done so well!

03. Flame in the Mist

i've already mentioned this book once in a post a few months back, but i'm just so excited !!! i've heard such great things so far, and i just hope that it ends up being good. 

04. Our Dark Duet

first of all, let's take a look at this beautiful cover in all its script lettering glory.
i totally need to reread This Savage Song to remind myself of the characters and plot and all, but it the mean time i'm just going to wait patiently until june 13th.

05. Tiny Pretty Things

who here has a thing for ballet dramas? *raises hand* i loovvvve ballet tv shows and movies for some strange reason, and i'm so excited to read this. i just finished all three seasons of Dance Academy and i need more ballet drama!!

06. The Archived

umm written by V.E. Schwab?? do i even need to say anything else? you're talking to the person that wrote a whole love note to V.E. Schwab's books.

07. The Hate U Give

this is yet another book that i've heard absolutely amazing things about, but i haven't managed to read yet. i know that it deals with the black lives matter movement, but besides that, i don't know. i've tried to avoid all spoilers (with great difficulty).

08. The Secret History

just from scanning the blurb of this one, it looks a little bit similar to Vicious (me love Vicious) and i'm a sucker for prep school stories. i just checked it out of the library so i should be getting to reading it soon!

are there any books that you've recently put on your tbr list? are there any new releases that you're dying to read? what books are you most excited for this spring/summer??

xoxo, madeline

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate // light + fun + completely hilarious!!

Saturday, April 29, 2017

hey people :) i can't even believe that april is nearly over.

that means that i have about two weeks of school left!! :))

i read this book a loonnggg time ago in january back when i still was a wee nugget (kidding). i was kind of shocked when i was approved for Noteworthy on Netgalley. i'm pretty sure i remember what this book is about, but i've read about thirty books since then, so take what i say below with a tiny grain of salt. i'm sure that my reading habits/preferences have changed since then, but i'm also 90% sure that i would still enjoy this book if i read it in the present day. i might even reread this book sometime-- that's how much i liked it.

moral of the story: kids, wait just a little longer before reading ARCs so that you can remember what you read.*

*i just got overexcited about reading this book ok?!


by Riley Redgate
release date: May 2, 2017

It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight. Then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped ... revered ... all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

thanks to Amulet Books on Netgalley for approving me for this e-galley!!

- in a nutshell, i would describe this book as She's the Man mixed with a gender-bent Pitch Perfect. yes, you heard me correctly. i know! doesn't that sound like the best idea ever??

- THE CHARACTERSSSS. there was so much diversity in the characters of this book!

first of all, we have Jordan Sun who is not only a person of color but also an LGBT main character. she doesn't quite fit in with many of the girls at the Kensington School, which is one of the main premises on which the story was built.

 and then we have (my favorites) the Sharpshooters, aka the a cappella-squad-goals. my personal favorite by far (and one of the only Sharpshooters i remember tbh) is Nihal, a Sheikh art student. i loved Jordan and his friendship so. freaking. much. they are so cute together in a totally platonic way.

of course, the rest of the Sharpshooters including Isaac, Mama, Trav, etc are also completely darling, but i remember less about them if i'm being honest...STILL REALLY GREAT CHARACTERS THOUGH.

- i love books set in boarding schools to the moon and back. (*cough* The Raven Boys *cough*) i guess that's a trope maybe, but if so, it's one i love and will continue to read shamelessly <3 something about the school atmosphere i just love.

- HILARIOUS hilarious hilarious. i know that humor is subjective, but this book just tickled me. to those around me at the track meet in january: i know that you heard me laughing out loud to myself, but i swear i'm not crazy! ex: Jordan has to hide her period from the guys. #thestruggleisreal

- it was a light and fun read. don't get me wrong-- there were some heavy topics in this book (examining gender identity, wealth, and race), but overall, this was a fluffy and humorous book. it was good to read this in the midst of all that dark epic fantasy. even i need a break sometimes lol.

Noteworthy had the perfect amounts of fluffiness and social commentary.

- romance was not the main focus of the book. enough said there.

- i did think the book could have examined gender identity and sexuality a little bit more thoroughly. the fact that Jordan is bisexual was touched on briefly, but i think that there was more room for commentary on this topic. the book is more focused on the topic of a cappella rather than social issues if i'm being completely honest.

this is my only beef with the book, and it is a very, very small issue. overall, the book commentated on social issues very effectively. 

rating: ★★★★★

reading this book was really a great experience. i was expecting something written in a cheerful, joking manner, and while it did have its many hilarious moments, i felt that this book was more about growing up and figuring out who you are as a person. that was one of my favorite aspects of it.

i would recommend this book with flying colors! (does that make sense??) please go read it when it releases!!

anyone read this book yet?? please please obsess in the comments with me if you have! would you consider reading Noteworthy when it releases? do you have any light/fun book recommendations for me?

xoxo, madeline

a love letter to the amazingness that is victoria schwab's books

Saturday, April 22, 2017

dear victoria schwab,

i still can't believe that i didn't pick up one of your books until the end of last year. that book that started it all was This Savage Song (a book that i definitely need to reread before the release of Our Dark Duet). it was one of the best written books that i had read in a long, long time. i'm pretty sure that i read it in one sitting!

and then i read A Darker Shade of Magic, a book that was even more well written than TSS (if that's even possible?!). i fell hopelessly in love with kell (with his adorable frowning) and lila and the fantastic world that you had created so carefully. although it did not have much plot, A Gathering of Shadows still stole my heart. A Conjuring of Light wrapped the series up with utter perfection. PERFECTION. ahh my feelings! have not! recovered! since!

finally, i read Vicious, which made me love anti-heroes even more than i already did. (*cough* Six of Crows *cough*)  i found one of my favorite quotes of all time, if not my favorite:

"Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human."   - Victor Vale

what i love even more is that you used the quote to introduce This Savage Song.

your complex characters are what i love most about your works. from kell to victor to august (and all the others), they are all so utterly real. they are all so snarky and a bit tragic (but not too self-pitying), which i find makes for the best characters.

your books were and still are a bright spot in the stress of everyday life. they are worlds that i can escape to for just a little while at least. i can confidently say that, right now, you are my favorite author of all time. it's such a big statement that it almost scares me to say so. picking a favorite author is a hard thing for me!

i can't wait to read Our Dark Duet when it comes out later this spring, and i'll probably end up buying The Archived somewhere along the way. don't even get me started on Vengeful!! 

a final brief list of things i love about your books:

  • kell's coat
  • dol (thank goodness he lived. i always end up far too attached to dogs, even more so than characters)
  • ilsa and her magicalness
  • white london&the dane twins
  • the writing style of ADSOM
  • anti-heroes
  • mitch (and his cinnamon roll-ness)
  • the fact that a collector's edition of ADSOM is coming out (!!!)

and that's just scratching the surface. i could talk all day about how much i love your books :) thank you so much for writing.

xoxo, madeline

(hey guys! a little bit of a weird post today. i just wasn't feeling a discussion or book review post. i finally finished Vicious about a week ago, and i needed to vent really hard about it. i thought that Vicious was excellent and it solidified the fact that V.E. Schwab is probably my favorite author. thanks for reading! hope that you're all having a good april xx)

The Raven Boys // wowowow i enjoyed this so immensely much

Saturday, April 15, 2017
the hype was real when i read this (and i was slightly very nervous), but for once, the hype was totally real, guys! (!!!)