Sara 101: Favorite Female Characters

Hello everyone!

I am back today with my personal feature, Sara 101, where I talk about me and myself and I and anything and everything that I could want to share about my personal life.

When I was thinking about what to share in this feature this month, I started thinking about female characters (mostly because of the discussion post from yesterday) and how I say that a lot of female characters are part of my favorites list but I haven’t actually made a list. So I decided what better way to help myself and to share something with you all, than to make a list of my favorite female characters and turn it into a post!

I usually try to rank these kinds of lists as best I can because I like to keep it that way for myself but this one is just too hard. The top 3 are absolutely my absolute favorites but the rest of this list is just from last read to most recent read.

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Apr. 19th – Favorite LGBTQ+ Books

Hello everyone!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Favorite LGBTQ+ Books. I haven’t read as many books in this genre I guess as I want to. There are still a lot of amazing recommendations that I’ve gotten from people that I need to get to that I’m sure would’ve made this list if I’d already gotten through reading them. However, the following is a list of books from this genre that I really enjoyed.

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Apr. 5th – Top SFF Books On Your TBR

Hello everyone!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Top SFF Books On Your TBR. As I mentioned in the other post that had to do with SFF books, I tend to read High Fantasy books more than Science Fiction. So this list is going to be made up of mostly Fantasy books with a bit of SciFi. All these books are ones that I’ve had on TBRs, that I’ve tried to get to a few times but haven’t managed to get to and that I really want to read!

SO let’s get started!

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Monthly Obsessions #13

Hello everyone!

I’m here today to talk about my monthly obsessions. This month has been pretty crazy to me. It’s been stressful and nerve wracking and I’ve been trying to get myself back on my regular schedule again. Thanks for staying around guys, I really appreciate keeping your support while I’ve been a bit MIA. Anyway, I can’t wait to show you all what I’ve been loving recently!

SO let’s get started!

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T5W Mar. 8th – Favorite Science Fiction & Fantasy Books

t5w-mar-17-8

Hello everyone!

Time for another Top 5 Wednesday. Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey and is now hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes and if you would like to join, here is the link for the Goodreads group with all the information.

This week’s topic is Favorite Science Fiction and Fantasy Books. I could’ve easily dedicated this whole post to all of my favorite High Fantasy since you all know that it’s my favorite series but I decided to talk about both genres. Even though I don’t read a lot of Science Fiction, I do have a few faves from that genre and I’ll mention them today!

SO let’s get started!

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Book Traveling Thursdays Feb. 23rd – The Oscars Are Coming Up…

btt-feb-17-23

Hello everyone!

It’s BTT time! This is a weekly meme created by Danielle at Danielle’s Book Blog and Catia at TheGirlWhoReadTooMuch. You can find all of the information you’ll need to participate on the Goodreads page.

This week’s topic is With the Oscars coming up soon, choose a book that you would like to see as a movie. This took me a little while to think of because most of the time, I get really scared about adaptations. There are a lot of ways that a movie adaptation can mess up in my opinion. If it’s not a 100% representation of the story, I tend to be disappointed though there are some movie adaptations that I really love. So I picked about that I enjoyed but that wouldn’t enrage me too much if it was done wrong.

SO let’s get started!

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Book Review – The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

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The Lies of Locke Lamora (The Gentlemen Bastard #1)

Author: Scott Lynch

Publication: September 18th, 2008

Publisher: Orion

Format: Kindle Edition, 573 pages

Genre: Adult, High Fantasy, Science Fiction

Read: January 2016

Scott LynchGoodreads

 

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.
Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.
Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.
But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.
A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora . . .

Trigger warning for graphic violence.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot  is really intricate and super intense. It was so much more complicated than I was expecting it to be but it was exciting all the same. There’s violence, blood and stealing but also friendship, love and intelligence and personal growth. Honestly, there were like various different plot lines going on that managed to intertwined in the coolest of ways and I was really impressed.

Writing Style – 3.5 out of 5 stars
This is my biggest issue in this book because of one thing: the world building. I was so confused the entire time I was reading and it was a huge bummer. There wasn’t enough explanation though it still managed to be detailed, descriptive, intricate and thorough. The story moves between the past and the present and it’s really intense and also really graphic, so watch out if you’re squeamish.

Characters – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Never in my life did I think I would get so incredibly attached to the characters in this book but here we are. They are so precious to me in their little deceitful and crass way. Locke is such a shit but in the best way possible. We get to know him as an adult and as a kid and we see how he grows up. He’s street smart, cunning and kind of cocky. He’s really good at what he does and he’s kind of the brains of the operation. But he’s also a really sucky fighter and he gets caught in this worst situations ever. He’s kind of desperate towards the end of the books and really hurt and torn over what to do. I liked seeing his progression as a person and also how he interacted with the rest of the crew. They are amazing as well! Honestly, one of my favorite parts of this series is seeing the dynamic of these gentlemen bastards. Their friendship is so honest and real and they care about each other, but in that dude way where you like give each other shit for stupid stuff that you do, it’s so awesome. They’re hilarious and loyal and one of them is the most adorable thing to live on the page and it just made my reading experience so much better. Jean is Locke’s closest, maybe even best friend, and their bromance was amazing. They look out for each other, they care for each other and they just want to steal and live life to the fullest together and gosh, I love them.

Emotionally

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January ’17 Wrap Up

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Hello everyone!

Can you freaking believe that it’s the last day of January?! Like when did this happen?! How is life moving so fast? There are so many crazy, fucked up things happening in the world right now and I just want to tell all of you beautiful book people that take the time to read my ramblings, that I’m so thankful that you’re alive. I’m so thankful that you are the person that you are and I hope you know that you are loved! Now that I’m done with being a bit sappy, I’m gonna tell you what I did this month!

SO let’s get started!

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Series Review – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

book-review-the-lunar-chronicles

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress and Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #1, #2, #3 and #4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication: January 3rd 2012, February 5th 2013, February 4th 2014 and November 10th 2015

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Format: Kindle Edition 400 pages, Kindle Edition 464 pages, Kindle Edition 560 pages and Kindle Edition 833 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Science Fiction, Retellings

Read: December 2015, October and December 2016

Marissa MeyerGoodreads

Cinder Cover

Cinder

3.5-stars2

Synopsis
Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl.
Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

Critically

Plot – 3 out of 5 stars
This book is really interesting and entertaining but oh my goodness, it was so predictable. I’m pretty sure I figured out everything that was going to happen in this book in the first quarter of it. That was disappointing because I expected so much more considering how much hype this book has. However, I liked the mystery involved (even if I figured it out) and how the author incorporated the original story line with her world.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I liked Meyer’s writing style. It’s really simple and straight to the point. There’s a lot of detail and description and it was engaging enough to keep me interested in the story although I knew where it was going. It was captivating enough but there wasn’t much distinction between character perspectives.

Characters – 3.5 out of 5 stars
Characters are what make books for me. If I’m not feeling the characters, its a sure fire way to make me lose interest in a book which was what happened here. There’s nothing particularly wrong with the characters, but they didn’t really captivate me much. They were all just… there.Cinder is cool. She’s really jaded and kind of has a rude/sassy attitude. Some of her lines were kind of funny and I like how she tried not to take shit from other people around her. She’s really strong, specially after the life she’s had. I liked her determination and how independent she was. While she’s kind of a closed off person, she’s also really kind. I think all the things she had to deal with in her family and as a cyborg really made her conscious of how she should treat people and thinking beyond herself, even when that wasn’t reciprocated to her. However, there wasn’t anything about her that stood out to me and made me her fan or to want to root for her as I read.
There are also quite a few side characters. Kai, the prince in this story, was okay. He’s really young and inexperienced and the poor guy has the whole world on his shoulders. However, he’s determined to do the best job he can to keep his people safe and I admired that. I want to also mention that I love Iko, she’s amazing haha. There’s a lot of great changes with the characters and what they represent but they are still close to the original.

Scarlet Cover

Scarlet

4-stars1

Synopsis
Cinder, the cyborg mechanic, returns in the second thrilling installment of the bestselling Lunar Chronicles. She’s trying to break out of prison—even though if she succeeds, she’ll be the Commonwealth’s most wanted fugitive.
Halfway around the world, Scarlet Benoit’s grandmother is missing. It turns out there are many things Scarlet doesn’t know about her grandmother or the grave danger she has lived in her whole life. When Scarlet encounters Wolf, a street fighter who may have information as to her grandmother’s whereabouts, she is loath to trust this stranger, but is inexplicably drawn to him, and he to her. As Scarlet and Wolf unravel one mystery, they encounter another when they meet Cinder. Now, all of them must stay one step ahead of the vicious Lunar Queen Levana, who will do anything for the handsome Prince Kai to become her husband, her king, her prisoner.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
Plot wise this book definitely stepped it up in the series. The various story lines as well as the original stories are starting to intertwine which makes it much better for me because this one didn’t feel as predictable as the first. It was interesting and entertaining. It was action packed, fast paced and much more gruesome than I expected. I definitely enjoyed this particular story much more.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style is really simple and straight forward. I think the author does a great job with connecting the existing stories together as well as with the original ones. It’s detailed, descriptive and engaging. I think the distinction between POVs was much better than the first book, I felt like I was reading about and from different people.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I wasn’t the biggest fan of the characters from the first book, there was nothing that really captivated me about them. However, this book got so much better! Not only did I feel like they were more distinct in their voices and personalities, but I think the fast paced plot helped make me care more about what was happening to the characters.Scarlet became an instant favorite. She’s just so fierce! She’s determined and stubborn. I love how caring she is and how she doesn’t back down. She listens to her gut and follows it no matter what, that’s so inspiring to me. She’s loving to the people she cares about and takes awhile to warm up to others. I think she’s badass and I want to read more from her point of view.
There are also many more side characters introduced in this book. Wolf is one of them and he’s pretty great in my opinion. He has such a powerful presence and he’s fierce and apologetic. But you still get the sense there’s more to him than meets the eye. However, there was one character that was introduced in this book that blew everyone else out of the water and that is Thorne. I absolutely loved him, he stole the show for me. He’s hilarious, a bit self-centered and just a great character overall. I’m a big fan of him.

Cress Cover

Cress

4.5-stars1

Synopsis
In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.
Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.
When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
I’m really glad to say that these books keep getting better and better as the series continues. This one was entertaining, action packed and intense. It was definitely much more unique than I was expecting since the ones before were predictable in some ways. This one deviates from the original story a whole lot more and I loved it! This original science fiction, revolution story is taking over the series and it’s pretty great. The plot of this book was also so much more emotional. It’s getting down to the wire and you can definitely feel it as you read.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve come to really enjoy Meyer’s writing style. It’s simple and engaging, it’s easy to slip back into the world and the story because of that. It’s very detailed and descriptive, specially this book because there is so much traveling. These books are very fast paced and the author has gotten much better at creating distinction between all the POVs she’s working with which I really appreciate.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
This part of the books just keeps on improving which each one. When I read the first book, I wasn’t really feeling most of the characters, but now that there’s more of a crew and the cast has gotten larger, I’ve warmed up to and am rooting for them much more. I was really interested in meeting Cress since I heard about this series, I really wanted to know how the author was going to work with the Rapunzel story and I really enjoyed her. She has such a sweet disposition despite all that she’s gone through. I found her naivety to be really endearing and cute. She’s so amazed by everything around her and even when she’s terrified of something, she does the best she can and is determined to push through no matter what.
I already knew I loved Thorne and that feeling just grew tenfold in this book. He’s charming, funny, smart and strong. I also like that he has character development in this book, he goes beyond just comic relief.
A lot of the side characters make appearances together as a group and I’m really loving their dynamic now. Shit got complicated but they did their best to stick together and to make it work with each other. I still love Iko and Wolf and Scarlet. I liked how Kai and Cinder were reunited in this book, it definitely got me to like them a bit more individually and together than I had in the past.

Winter Cover

Winter

5-stars1

Synopsis
Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters? Fans will not want to miss this thrilling conclusion to Marissa Meyer’s national bestselling Lunar Chronicles series.

Critically

Plot – 4.5 out of 5 stars
This is my favorite book in the series by far. I don’t know if its just because its the finale and the culmination of everything the gang has been trying to do for so long but I loved it. It was action packed, intense and powerful. There was a lot more blood shed and violence than the previous books but it was just as exciting and emotional as I wanted. The books have shifted so much from the original stories but there are so many correlations and intricate connections. However, this book was really, really long.

Writing Style – 4 out of 5 stars
Again, the writing style really works with making the story shine. It’s simple yet engaging and easy to read. It’s really descriptive and detailed. I love how there’s so much more distinction between the different POVs now and I can tell who’s telling the story just by the first few lines. It was intense and action packed and really fast paced, though this book was definitely a bit too long for me.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I’ve definitely become a fan of this cast of characters as the series went on. The group as a whole has a really great dynamic and they bring out the best in each other. I loved seeing how they all worked together and how they watched each other’s back through this crazy finale.
I really, really wanted to meet Winter. She sounded like such an interesting character but I was not prepared to being inside of her head. She’s really sweet and kind, an all around good person. However, she has delusions which affect how she sees the world which makes her very vulnerable. I just wanted to put her in a little bubble and protect her but at the same time, I wanted her to leave her comfort zone and kick butt haha.
Jacin is a character that annoyed me since coming onto the page, I couldn’t really understand him and his motivation… until I read this book. His relationship with Winter is so pure and open and just ride or die (I don’t know how else to say it haha). His personality, however, gets on my nerves. He has such a singular focus that his protective nature and his determination can rub me the wrong way. But I can’t fault him for being so dedicated.
SO MUCH HAPPENED TO THE CREW. I can’t even wrap my mind around everything the characters went through. I can say though that I really liked seeing them all together as a team and getting shit done together. Their fierce protectiveness of each other is just amazing.

Emotionally

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ARC Review – Dreadnought by April Daniels

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Dreadnought (Nemesis #1)

Author: April Daniels

Publication: January 24th, 2017

Publisher: Diversion Books

Format: e-ARC, 265 pages

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, LGBTQ+

Read: January 2017

April DanielsGoodreads

I received an e-ARC of this book from Diversion Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!

4-stars1

Synopsis
An action-packed series-starter perfect for fans of The Heroine Complex and Not Your Sidekick.
Danny Tozer has a problem: she just inherited the powers of Dreadnought, the world’s greatest superhero. Until Dreadnought fell out of the sky and died right in front of her, Danny was trying to keep people from finding out she’s transgender. But before he expired, Dreadnought passed his mantle to her, and those secondhand superpowers transformed Danny’s body into what she’s always thought it should be. Now there’s no hiding that she’s a girl.
It should be the happiest time of her life, but Danny’s first weeks finally living in a body that fits her are more difficult and complicated than she could have imagined. Between her father’s dangerous obsession with “curing” her girlhood, her best friend suddenly acting like he’s entitled to date her, and her fellow superheroes arguing over her place in their ranks, Danny feels like she’s in over her head.
She doesn’t have time to adjust. Dreadnought’s murderer—a cyborg named Utopia—still haunts the streets of New Port City, threatening destruction. If Danny can’t sort through the confusion of coming out, master her powers, and stop Utopia in time, humanity faces extinction.

I am a cisgender, straight woman and I know very little about transgender issues. If I say anything in this review that can be seen as offensive to the transgender community, please let me know!

Also here’s a review by a trans woman writer which I found on this list of reviews of trans/non-binary literature by trans/non-binary reviewers.

Critically

Plot – 4 out of 5 stars
The plot of this book was really action packed and intense. It kicks off right away with the scene described in the blurb and has a lot of emotional and powerful moments throughout. There were times when I was a little confused with the world building. It was kind of choppy, some things I felt were over explained with a lot of time spent with them and others didn’t have as much of a spotlight. However, I really enjoyed how the author explored themes of family, friendship, identity and acceptance.

Writing Style – 3 out of 5 stars
Honestly, it was hard for me to get into this book in the beginning. It had a medium pace but I still felt like the book dragged. For some reason, the book took me a really long time to read even though I was enjoying it. The writing style is really descriptive and detailed though I felt like some things were more so than others. And it’s also graphic and unapologetic when depicting not only action scenes but the prejudices that Danny faces.

Characters – 4 out of 5 stars
I really liked the characters in this series though for some reason I was very confused with Danny’s race. I don’t know why going into this book it was something that I fixated on, I can’t even tell you why, but I couldn’t picture her for half of the book because it never specifically said the color of her skin. There’s a certain point where another character comments on her whiteness and that’s the only mention of it. I don’t know if it’s just because I’m trying to be more conscious about race or what, but yeah that threw me for a loop. But anyway, I really liked Danny as a narrator, though there is SO MUCH going on in her life from the moment that we meet her that it sometimes made it hard for me to wrap my head around. She’s very happy about the situation she finds herself in but also really scared and nervous about how that is going to change her life. She struggles a lot with decisions and I liked her sweet, kind and brave nature. Sometimes I think she pushed herself too far too fast and it made me nervous for her well being but it definitely showed the determination she has. There are also a lot of side characters in this book, so many that it felt like they weren’t developed enough. I wanted some of them to have more page time and others to have a whole lot less than they ended up having. They were all very unique and I had some favorites obviously, though again, I got some mixed signals with the appearances of some of them. There’s also a lot of antagonists I guess you could say, people who are against Danny for some reason or another and damn did those characters create so much crap for the poor girl. It was so harsh and painful and yet so brutally honest and real, specially since this is an own voices trans book that it broke my heart and pissed me the f off at the same time.

Emotionally

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