Book Challenge: Favorite Background Characters 

For #grimdragon challenge, Favorite background characters: Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare from the Dark Artifices series. It was actually hard picking a book for this prompt because I have so many favorite background characters!.

Lord of Shadows is the second book in the Dark Artifices series that’s part of the Mortal Instruments/Shadowhunters series. It takes place at the Los Angeles Institute where the Blackthorn family lives. I have to admit, I was not sure if I would enjoy the series without Jace, Clary, Alec, Magnus, Isabel, and Simon, but it turns out that I like it a lot. I love the Blackthorn family and Emma too.

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AVERT YOUR EYES. A SPOILER AHEAD.

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In Lord of Shadows, my favorites (besides Mark Blackthorn) are Kit Herondale (Yes! There’s a Herondale in this story!), Ti and Livvy Blackthorn—Julian’s twin brother and sister. IMO, these three are gaining the Golden Trio status for this series. I really like the dynamic that’s developing between them. Again, I’m still reading SO NO SPOILERS, but I’m getting a Ti and Kit vibe but also Kit and Livvy vibe too. I’m really invested to see how these three fare together.

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I’m actually still reading Lord of Shadows, so PLEASE NO SPOILERS, but who are your favorite background characters from the Dark Artifices series? If you don’t read this series, what other background characters are your favorite(s)?

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Featured here: Costco edition of Lord of Shadows that came with the exclusive poster of Emma and the Shadowhunter rune pin and character postcards for preordering Lord of Shadows. You can swipe through to see close-ups of the artwork and pin.

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So happy it’s Saturday! I hope your day is going well. I think I’m in the minority in this, but I’m actually a little sad my kids are going back to school next week. I love summer break and having them home! What are you up to?

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Book Case Club July Unboxing: YA box

Happy Friday! I hope your week was fantastic. Here’s my unboxing for the July YA Book Case Club box @bookcaseclub. We received Lies I Told by Michele Zink and Not if I See You First by Eric Lindstrom. These are both contemporaries and sound good!.

I read You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner which I enjoyed so much (review to come later). The main character Julia was hearing impaired and biracial. I’m excited to read Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom too. The main character Parker Grant is visually impaired. My goal this year is to read stories with diverse characters and this came at a perfect time.

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I hadn’t heard of Lies I Told by Michele Zink and this story wouldn’t be something I’d pick up normally but the premise sounded pretty good. The main character Grace Fountaine was brought up by a family of thieves. I love anti-hero stories so I’m interested to see how this one goes.

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Swipe through to see the Goodreads summaries for these books!

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Have you read any of these books? What did you think? (No spoilers please!) What’s a genre you’d like to read more of but have yet to try?

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If you’re looking to build your library or you love the selections sent here, I highly recommend Book Case Club! It’s a monthly book subscription and you get two YA books! There are other genres too like fiction, mystery, and children’s. You can use my code Santucci15 for 15% of your first box. (It’s only $9.99 a month!)




Book Challenge: Books with their own language!

This one is really late but I had to represent this author!.

For the #grimdragon challenge, Books with their own language! Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer and the Hammer of Thor by Rick Riordan @rickriordan. They use old Celtic in this series!

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Of course, JRR Tolkien pretty much wins at books with their own language. It’s kind of a given, right? So I thought I’d give an underdog, so to speak, a chance to shine. Also, it’s been weeks since I posted about Rick Riordan and I must rectify that now!

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I will not deny it, it’s difficult living life after Percy Jackson. I really had my doubts about all the post PJO books: the Blood of Olympus and Trials of Apollo, but I’m actually happy to admit I was wrong. But, Vikings? No Camp Half Blood? No Percabeth? Valhalla? Thor? Loki? Again, I had my doubts. But I think Legolas’s words to Aragorn at the battle of Helm’s Deep best describe my feelings to Rick Riordan: “You have lead us this far and have not led us astray. Forgive me. I was wrong to despair.” (See what I did there?🤓)

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I’ll admit, I had a hard time at the beginning of the series, but I think it’s bc it’s new characters and new mythology but eventually it all comes together and the story and characters are a new kind of awesome.

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I was also quite pleased with the diversity in this series. I can’t decide who’s my favorite: Samirah (Sam) al-Abass, the Valkyrie, who brought Magnus to Valhalla, who also is Muslim and when not being a Valkyrie has to manage school and skirting the truth about where she is to her grandparents. Or Alex Fierro, half sibling to Sam, who wishes Sam hadn’t brought her/him to Valhalla and happens to be gender fluid. Their father is Loki which other people don’t look too kindly on. I’ll fangirl more about these characters again soon. The Ship of the Dead Book 3 comes out October 3 and I can’t wait!

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Camp Half Blood? Or SPQR? Or Valhalla? Do you enjoy books that blend mythology into the story and characters? And please, for the love of Thor’s 🔨 , read Rick Riordan’s books!

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Nerdy Post Unboxing: June Anniversary box

Okay. So I don’t think I’ll be spoiling anyone with this. (Remember: better late than never, right? 😆) This is my unboxing for the JUNE One Year Anniversary @nerdy.post box. It was such an amazing anniversary box..

I can’t even handle this Firefly poster! 😭 Browncoats forever! And these Supernatural wax melts? Alexis said she basically wanted it to smell like Dean and I’m 100% okay with that. And then the Princess Laia fat bookmark with Dr. Who on the back? 💀 It’s absolutely perfect! Eleven’s waffle coaster is fantastic too! So many good items! Swipe through to see them.

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I got my AUGUST box Back to Hogwarts and I can’t wait to share my unboxing with you! It is amazing. (Don’t worry. No spoilers here.) September’s box is Pixar/Dreamworks and if you want to see a preview of what’s inside, check out @nerdy.post. Ready to sign up? Visit my girl Kori @_livelaughread on Instagram for a discount code!



Book Challenge: A Book that Surprised You

Wow! Another post! Go me! Better late than never, right?.

For #grimdragon, A book that surprised me! At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson @shauniedarko

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Ozzie’s boyfriend Tommy is missing and Ozzie’s family and friends’ memories of Tommy have vanished. He tries to look for Tommy, but no one remembers who Tommy is and Ozzie soon learns the universe is also shrinking.

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So much surprised me about this book! I thought it would be a Sci-fi mystery, but it was so much more. Ozzie’s persistence in finding Tommy and the imminent loss of the shrinking universe before Ozzie could find him made the story compelling, but what surprised me (in a good way) was how much I became invested in the characters–they were such important figures in Ozzie’s life and I loved how that came through in the story as Ozzie tries to figure out what happened to Tommy.

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Another aspect that I enjoyed in the story was how seamless diversity was represented through race and sexuality in the characters’ identities. Ozzie is gay, Tommy is gay and biracial, Lua (Ozzie’s best friend) is gender fluid, Dustin (Ozzie’s other friend) is asexual and Chinese-American, and Calvin (possible love interest) is bisexual. But their race and gender is not what defines them—it’s just part of who they are.

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This was such a fantastic read! I highly recommend this for readers 14 years and up though. At the Edge of the Universe was about heartbreak and learning how to cope—this story was definitely gritty and raw at times. I also want to mention trigger warnings for sexual abuse/child abuse, self-harm, and some graphic violence. You can scroll down to see the Goodreads summary about this book. 

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What are some books that surprised you?


 

Book Challenge: Last Read/Current Read/Next Read

Hello! Hey! My goal is to get back to a regular posting schedule since summer is winding down and school starts next week here. I’m trying to stay optimistic but history has shown that things get even more busy once school starts! We’ll see!😄.
For #grimdragon Challenge on Instagram, Last read/Current read/Next read! Pretty much the Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne have been my life this past month and a half. I finished The Providence of Fire last week and I’m currently reading The Last Mortal Bond. My next read will be Skullsworn (which I still need to get!) If you enjoy high fantasy with incredible world building, some intrigue and dynamic characters, you’ll love this series! If you like Joe Abercrombie or Brandon Sanderson’s books, this is perfect for you.

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I’ll have more to say on this series once I’m finished, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to love this. I also have Holly @the_infinite_book_dragon and Corey @grimdark_dad to thank for introducing this series to me. These are some of my favorite humans here on BG and they have the best recs for Adult SFF/Horror! Check them out and give them a follow or check out the challenge they host #grimdragon for more recs by other fantastic humans. 

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How was your Monday? What are you reading? We watched the eclipse online since we were outside the path of totality. Pretty cool! Then we gave the kids haircuts. They go back to school next week! Parenting pro tip: If your kid(s) needs a haircut, make sure to do it a week in advance so that’s there’s time for it to grow out a little. That lesson was learned with the oldest. The younger siblings got to benefit from that lesson. 😏😄

Current read at the beach!

Hellooooo! How are you all doing? I hope you’re all having a fantastic summer! It’s been really busy here, but it’s been a great summer so far!.

The quick and dirty: I finished writing my book, had to pack for a camping trip, organize house for fumigation while on camping trip, go camping, clean up house after fumigation and then do mountains of laundry from camping trip. 😵

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Things are settling down and we’re enjoying a beach day. This is my #currentread Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalo @kerrimaniscalco and I’m enjoying it so much! I love Audrey Rose Wadsworth and Thomas Cresswell is fighting to be my book boyfriend and is winning.

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How is your summer? What are you currently reading? I hope you have a fabulous Friday!

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