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.