The Disney Princess Book Tag

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Hey, y’all! Sorry I’ve been so sparse with the posts these last few months. I graduated college (eek), and am currently preparing for my NCLEX, or my exam to become a Registered Nurse. Still, I intend on trying to post at least 4 times a week in the next few months, even if I can’t read/post reviews that quickly – so memes and book tags it is! I’ve wanted to do this tag – the Disney Princess Book Tag – for a while, and it was created by Of Stacks and Cups. So here we go!!
My Disney Princess Facts:
1. My favorite Disney princess when I was growing up was Cinderella, but I think now it really depends on the day and what your definition of “Disney princess” is. (*ahem* Star Wars and Marvel fandoms or nah? – because then the answer is obviously Rey or Claire Temple a la The Defenders TV series)
2. My favorite Disney princess movie of the below movies listed is probably Mulan, although I feel like The Princess and the Frog is vastly underappreciated.

3. Tbh my favorite characters from all of the Disney princess movies aren’t even the princesses. I’m all about the sassy sidekick animals. My favorites include Meeko from Pocahontas, Maximus and Pascal from Tangled, and Mushu and Cri-Kee from Mulan.

Snow White
1. Snow White: Name your favorite classic
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
This was one of the first “adult” books I ever read. It’s not really adult, but I read it when I was like eight and it’s a little dark for eight-year-olds, so I think I convinced myself it was more intense than it actually was. The story follows a girl named Mary who, after being born to rich British immigrants in India in the early 1900s, suddenly finds herself orphaned and being shipped off to unknown relatives back in England. When she arrives, she finds a beautiful manor housing a lively crew of servants, her mysterious and distanced uncle, her disabled cousin, and a garden full of secrets that once used to be her now-deceased aunt’s favorite place. Mary, who is rather unhappy when she arrives, eventually finds her way into this secret garden, which helps not only her heal but also helps her heal all those around her. It’s still one of my favorite tales and it has an unusually happy ending considering the darkness of the rest of the story, so it’s a lot like Snow White in that manner, too.

cinderella
2. Cinderella: Name a book that kept you reading well past your bedtime
Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake
This is one of the books I’ve been seeing popping up on every book review blog that has any YA review on it, and I’ve seen a lot of hype around it. The series follows a set of triplet princesses who, early in their childhood and like all of their ancestors before them, are separated and raised in different villages to hone their specific powers that they will one day use to kill their two other sisters for the throne. I grabbed it at my local library when I saw it on their new book shelf, and although it took me a while to get into it as it was really hard to connect to the three main characters, I ended up being so involved and attached at the end, especially to Arsione. I finished it before realizing its sequel doesn’t come out until September, and never have I been so disappointed.
aurora
3. Aurora: Name your favorite classic romance
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
So I know this book isn’t 100% a romance book, but that’s kind of what I like about it. It’s all about different types of love in the midst of revolutionary France. There’s the love for family, love for friends, love for brothers in arms, love for romance, and love for country – and all of them are depicted perfectly. It’s a beautiful tale of the relationship between the resiliency of humanity and hope. Although most of the book follows a different character, Marius and Cosette’s love story is beautiful and shows how sometimes love is just meant to be, and how it will persist above all else – even distance, even a war, and even death.
ariel
4. Ariel: Name a book about making sacrifices and fighting for your dreams
The Book of Unknown Americans by Cristina Henriquez
This is my favorite book I read last year, and definitely within my top 10 favorites of all time. It follows the story of a Mexican family that has legally migrated to America following an accident that has caused their daughter to develop a mental deficit. Despite the fact that they are leaving behind a good home, all of their family, and everything they’ve ever known, they trade the comfort of Mexico to get a better education for their daughter in the United States as there are no special education programs available in Mexico for her. They end up sacrificing more than they ever imagined, and it is simply just such a beautiful story of what parents will do for their children and for their family.
belle
5. Belle: Name a book with a smart and independent female character
Percy Jackson / The Heroes of Olympus series by Rick Riordan
So, I had a bit of a hard time finding one book I wanted to choose, but this series is full of incredible heroines and role models for young girls. There’s demigoddesses such as Annabeth Chase, daughter of Athena; Hazel Levesque and Bianca de Angelo, daughters of Hades; Thalia Grace, daughter of Zeus; and more. There are also other female characters such as the oracle Rachel Dare that show how badass girls can be, and I honestly think that the girls are the ones who really carry the main characters on their backs throughout the stories.
 
jasmine
6. Jasmine: Name a book that challenged social conventions of the world
Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This was one of the first worldly books I ever read, after spending 11 years in a private predominately white Catholic school where what I read was pretty censored. It opened my eyes to whole new cultures and religions, and its story of friendship and the strength of humanity even among such cultural and social differences, always inspired me. It shows how two boys, despite their positions in completely different Afghani castes, still manage to create a friendship that survives throughout the tumult of the country falling apart around them. It is one of the first books I recommend whenever someone asks me what they should read next.
pocahontas
7. Pocahontas: Name a book whose ending was a rollercoaster of emotions
The Fate of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #3) by Erika Johansen
While I see that a lot of people also doing this tag chose books that made you feel sad and happy and sad and happy again at the ending, I chose this one for a different reason. Throughout the entire series, I was so into this book and the story that Johansen created and told. But within the last fifty pages or so, she destroyed pretty much everything that had made me fall in love with the series, making me feel empty and completely unsatisfied by the end. The rollercoaster of emotions had little if anything to do with the plot; it more so had to do with me expecting one ending, getting another, and feeling totally unfinished when I did so. P.S. I love Pocahontas and am in no way implying that the movie is like the book in how it is unsatisfying; quite the opposite, actually.
mulan
8. Mulan: Name a book with a kick-ass female character
Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin
Honestly, this was the first book/series that popped into my mind when I read this prompt, and for good reason. There’s more than one kick-ass female character in this series: you’ve got Daenerys, the Stark women, Brienne, Cersei (even though I hate her), Melisandre (hate her, too), Ygritte, Meera, Yara, Margaery… the list goes on and on and ON. What’s made even better by their kick-assery is that they usually pull some shit over on the guys in the story, and I just know that one of these fierce women is going to end up on the throne at the end of the series. All of them are unique characters onto their own, and I love them (even the ones I hate) for very different reasons. Martin has created a slew of incredible characters, but I really think his women are the best of them all.
tiana
9. Tiana: Name a book featuring a hard-working, self-made character
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow
Trying to mix it up with a little bit of non-fiction here, you see? Of course the first thing I thought when I saw “self-made” was my man, Alexander Hamilton. Am I someone who has fed into the craze following Lin Manuel Miranda’s musical of the same name? Admittedly, yes. But Hamilton deserves that appreciation, especially now, hundreds of years later as his legacy continues on. He did so much for our country without ever being president (despite his wishes), and he did it all despite having a less than auspicious beginning. Born in the West Indies as a bastard and soon enough orphan, he had to fight for every piece of knowledge he gained and every skill he developed. Was he also extremely lucky to fall into the positions he did? Yes, of course; but he also worked immensely hard to maintain those positions and his legacy.
rapunzel

10. Rapunzel: Name a book featuring an artist
Sleeping Embers of an Ordinary Mind by Anne Charnock
Okay, so I’m not even 100% sure how I stumbled upon this book, but it is brilliant. The plot of this book surrounds an artist who is hired by a businessman to replicate one of Paolo Uccello’s legendary pieces, and who uproots his daughter to escape from their own past of family secrets to China. While trying to get in the mindset of Uccello and look at his artwork, they uncover that some of the pieces may not have been created by Uccello, but by his daughter, Antonia. Not only is the story an incredible statement on the relationships of families and father/daughters specifically, especially as it spans across time, but also a statement on gender and how women, especially in history, are/were marginalized and forgotten despite their equal amount of talent. Plus – look at how beautiful this cover is!!
merida

11. Merida: Mother-daughter relationship

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
I read this book in the sixth grade after my mom tried to get us to join a mother/daughter book club through my local Girl Scouts that she quickly lost the ability to keep up with because she’s a spazz. Anyway. At this point in my life, I was incredibly sheltered; very few of my friends didn’t have both parents at home with them, and I didn’t have a lot of non-white people in my community. The Secret Life of Bees opened my eyes to the world beyond what was my narrow version of it; it follows a girl who, after losing her mother, is basically all but adopted by a black woman and who has to flee with her after insulting racists in the south in the 60s. They escape to South Carolina and a beekeeping farm where other women of color work and help raise the main girl, and help her resolve her feelings about her mother’s death. I remember being a lot more grateful for my mother after reading this book, as well as a lot more culturally aware.

anna and elsa

12. Anna & Elsa: Good relationship between siblings
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To be honest, I struggled a lot with trying to pick a book for this one, and for some reason this one kept popping back into my head. I think it’s because Jem and Scout’s relationship is so real: they fight, but also protect one another from external threats; they share an exasperation but appreciation for their father; and Jem, the eldest, gets annoyed when his little sister follows in his footsteps. Although the book is definitely not about their sibling relationship, I think that it adds a very important factor and subplot to the book that it couldn’t do without. I still haven’t read Go Set a Watchman though, but I can’t wait to see if there is any more elaboration on their relationship in that novel.
And that’s it for this book post! If y’all have any other book posts/tags/memes that you think I’d enjoy doing, make sure to leave the links the comments below or tag me in them!
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Book Traveling Thursday // 2.23.17

book-traveling-thursday

Hi, all! After finally getting relief from mid-semester exams and responsibilities, I am glad to say that I am back, and finally getting to do a meme I’ve been wanting to do for a while now! This meme, Book Traveling Thursdays, was created by Catia (@The Girl Who Read Too Much) and Danielle (@Danielle’s Book Blog). I stumbled upon it a few weeks back but just got around to checking out their Goodreads book in order to join in on the fun, and I’m super excited! This week’s challenge is: “With the Oscars coming up soon choose a book that you would like to see as a movie”.

The book (or series, more appropriately) that I chose to highlight is The Queen of the Tearling. Although there have been rumors swirling for a long time that this is going to be a movie starring Emma Watson, I’m really hoping they’re just that – rumors. I love Emma Watson deeply, but I don’t think she’s the right choice to play Kelsea, the main character. Despite that, I would still be very excited for a movie adaptation. Johansen is an incredible writer that has a created an incredible world that I think would play out on screen beautifully. Additionally – and this is something you’ll never hear me say again, most likely – this is one of the few book series where I would like the movie to end it differently. The Queen of the Tearling was easily on its way to becoming one of my favorites, but Johansen managed to ruin that for me in about the last two chapters. I’d be interested to see what other ending a cinematic team could come up with.

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Original cover:
While this isn’t my favorite cover, I still think it is quite beautiful. The red is a little aggressive for me, but I think the blue and gold of the city’s image within the shape of a sapphire fits perfectly for the book. My biggest transgression with this cover, however, is the fact that the first “The” is randomly within the Q? I appreciate good graphic design and this is definitely the opposite of that.

la-reina-del-tearling

Favorite cover (Spanish version):
I love the simplicity of the three colors, as well as all of the not overdone swirl graphics . The Keep from a distance shows how tiny the Tear is, and how vulnerable it is, which I think really helps accentuate the frail state of the country as a whole when Kelsea arrives. Additionally, the editor or whoever seemed to realize how stupid the title looked on the previous cover, and made the necessary changes. Even though it’s still the same text and title (and technically different letters), it looks much sleeker than its predecessor, and the title doesn’t completely steal away from the picture attached to it.

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Least favorite cover:
The entire series is released in matching books with similar designs to all three, and this is my least favorite. Not only does it have the scratchy texture over the entire image, which reminds me of my middle school days thinking I was a Photoshop genius, but I also am not totally sure why the “crown” is actually a bear trap of some sort. Creative? Yes. Relevant? No. And once again, I’ve got issues with the text that is used. Why is the Q in two separate pieces? Why did they feel the need to make the letters look so uneven and mismatched? I have many questions, and no answers in sight.

And that’s it for this week! I’m hoping to finally tackle some reviews I’ve got hanging out in the drafts section, so keep an eye out for those. In the meanwhile: what books would you like to see turned into movies? Comment below!

THE FATE OF THE TEARLING (THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING #3)

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Written by: Erika Johansen
Book # 3 / 3 of The Queen of the Tearling series
Rating: 2.5 / 5 stars

* Please read: The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #1) and The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2) first.*

Summary: To protect her people from such a devastating invasion by neighboring Mortmense, Kelsea did the unthinkable – naming the Mace, the trusted head of her personal guards, Regent in her place, she surrendered herself and her magical sapphires to her enemy. But the Mace will not rest until he and his men rescue their sovereign from her prison in Mortmesne. However, their enemies extend beyond the Red Queen’s terrain; a savage and sinister force from the past and far beyond their understanding is threatening the Tear and the Mort alike, challenging Kelsea, Mace, the Red Queen, and all inhabitants of the New World to question and fear their own respective fates.

Continue reading “THE FATE OF THE TEARLING (THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING #3)”

THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING (THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING #2)

the-invasion-of-the-tearling

Written by: Erika Johansen
Book #1 / 3 of The Queen of the Tearling series
Review: 3.5 / 5 stars

* Please do not read if you have not read The Queen of the Tearling. My review of that novel can be found here.*

Summary: With each passing day, Kelsea Glynn is growing into her new responsibilities as Queen of the Tearling. By stopping the shipments of slaves to the neighboring kingdom of Mortmesne, she crossed the Red Queen, a brutal ruler whose power derives from dark magic, who is sending her fearsome army into the Tearling to take what is hers. And nothing can stop the invasion. But as the Mort army draws ever closer, Kelsea develops a mysterious connection to a time before the Crossing, and she finds herself relying on a strange and possibly dangerous ally: a woman named Lily, fighting for her life in a world where being female can feel like a crime. The fate of the Tearling —and that of Kelsea’s own soul—may rest with Lily and her story, but Kelsea may not have enough time to find out.

Continue reading “THE INVASION OF THE TEARLING (THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING #2)”

THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING (THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING #1)

the queen of the tearling

Written by: Erika Johansen
Book #1 / 3  in The Queen of the Tearling Series
Rating: 4.5 / 5 stars

Summary: An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut. Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.

Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the foreign leader Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”

Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.

Continue reading “THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING (THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING #1)”