Stars Above Review

I have an upcoming blog post about novellas and I will mention this bind up on there, but I couldn’t wait to talk about this book. It’s been a really long time since I did just a basic review of one book so I’m excited to get back to that. I do really like doing the lists though so as long as I can keep coming up with ideas, I will keep posting content.

Anyways, Stars Above is still kind of a cheat because there are technically nine stories in there so it’s still sort of a list, but whatever they’re all in between the same covers so it counts as one book.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer – Published February 2, 2016; 369 Pages.

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To get the run down about what this book is about, or to refresh your memory, check out my Most Anticipated Releases of 2016 blog and get caught up. I try to stay away from spoilery reviews but we’ll see how that goes.

Go ahead, I’ll wait while you read up on that…

We good? Everybody good? Great! Let’s talk about this book!

This bind up of novellas and shorts seemed like a bit of an after thought to me, but it still did it’s job of keeping all us Lunartics invested in the series even after it ended. These shorts had been released as e-books along with the original series, but as someone who enjoys having hard copies of things, I love it when they actually get to print them and I can hold them in my hands.

There was a mix of story lengths in this book. Some were just short little vignettes and glimpses into one particular scene and others were full blown standalone stories that could probably be made into books of their own. I liked the variety and all the background that we were provided.

As a fan of the series I felt that it added a lot of depth to an already great series, and it filled in some gaps that were in the original series.  I’m not talking plot holes, just those times when you’re reading a book and you ever thought to yourself, ‘huh, I wonder why that is?’ or whenever just a little bit more information would have satisfied you that much more. That’s why these novellas are written.

One critique I did have was for the ‘The Little Android’ story. While it was very well written and I really enjoyed it, it took away from the main story of the series. I think it either should have been one of the first stories in the book, or omitted entirely. I was really looking forward to reading it, but it was definitely an aside story, I think it would have worked better if Marissa had written novellas about other princesses or fairtales and featured it there, because all the other novellas explored some aspect or character that was heavily featured in the main series.

As a novella on it’s own it was a fresh new take on the Hans Christian Anderson story and it was really fun to see what plot points worked their way into the story and this world of robots and space travel. It’s probably the most bittersweet story featured. While it does have a happy ending, it’s not our protagonist that gets that happy ending.

All in all it was a really good read and I can’t wait to freely browse Tumblr without fear of spoiling myself. This one will definitely get a place of honour on my bookshelf (or bookpile, however you want to define it) and I will gladly re-visit this world again in the future.

Thank you Marissa Meyer for bringing this world to life and filling it with such great characters. I look forward to reading more of your work in the future.

Thanks you guys, I hope you enjoyed. As always, please read responsibly.

Stephanie

Festival du Voyageur

Voyageur! va faire tes bagages

C’est à l’aube que nous partirons.

C’est à l’aube oui, oui, oui

C’est à l’aube non, non, non

C’est à l’aube que nous partirons.

Bonjour et bienvenue mes belles amis. Aujourd’hui nous allons faire quelque chose un p’tit peu different que normal. Nous allons visitez le Festival du Voyageur.

Pour ceux qui ne connaissent rien au sujet du Festival, c’est une célébration de la culture français. C’est aussi un festival d’hiver qui se roule pour dix jours à Winnipeg. Ça prend place chaque Février et à travers le divertissement, les arts et l’artisanat, de la musique, des expositions et affichages les visiteurs peuvent découvrir ce qu’était la vie à l’époque du traite de fourrure.

Alors, venez vous joindre à moi que nous explorons la merveilleuse vie nocturne au festival. J’ai visitez la tente du jeux qui a été accueilli par Across the Board Game Café et le Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface.

Allons-y!

Mid Shot Sculpture
Lorsque vous entrez dans le site du festival, vous êtes accueillis par de belles sculptures de neige éclairées par des lumières rouges et bleues la nuit du 19 Février, 2016 / STEPHANIE SETKA
Outside Wide
Il y a beaucoup de tentes et les vendeurs de nourriture partout sur le site et les sites culturels et historiques pour chacun d’explorer la nuit du 19 Février, 2016/STEPHANIE SETKA
Mid Shot - Enter
Nous trouvons la tente correcte dans le labyrinthe du site et aller à l’intérieur la nuit le 19 Février, 2016/STEPHANIE SETKA
Mid Shot - Instructions
Brooke McFarland lit les instructions pour Bamboleo et nous essayons de comprendre comment jouer sur 19 Février, 2016/STEPHANIE SETKA
Close up - Game set-up
Après avoir lu les instructions de Bamboleo nous avons compris comment mettre en place le jeu et nous avons obtenu du conseil à l’équilibre sur le ballon (sorte de) sur le 19 Février, 2016/STEPHANIE SETKA
Close up - Playing
Brooke McFarland regarde Thomas Oman enlève un morceau du jeu et attend de voir si elle va rester en équilibre sur le 19 Février 2016/Stephanie Setka
Mid-shot - Giving up
Après quelques tours, Thomas et Brooke ont trouvé un nouveau jeu à jouer sur le 19 Février 2016/STEPHANIE SETKA

Et voilà, j’ai passé une belle nuit avec des amis jouer des jeux et de sentir l’odeur de pin, que je ne l’ai pas eu le plaisir de profiter depuis l’école primaire.

J’espère que vous avez apprécié et se joignent à moi la semaine prochaine quand nous revenons à notre programmation à l’horaire fixe.

Close up-Festival hat
Un des logos pour Festival Hé Ho! 19 février 2016/STEPHANIE SETKA

À l’année prochaine.

Hé Ho!

Stephanie

Links au jeux

Bamboleo

Most Anticipated Releases of 2016

I was so proud of myself. I only had two books that I wanted to talk about in this post, but then I got the bright idea to scroll through my Goodreads and I discovered that I actually had eight, *facepalm*.

However, fear not dear readers, because I have talked about a few of these books already, so I really only have four that I want to discuss today. *phew* Am I right?

I will be linking to the Goodreads pages for all eight books and I will also link to the other blog posts that the extra four books or series are mentioned in, so fell free to re-visit those.

Cheers, and enjoy my most anticipated releases of 2016.

Heartless by Marissa Meyer – Expected publication: November 8, 2016; 416 Pages.

18584855I’ve talked about Marissa Meyer before. She’s the lovely author of the Lunar Chronicles, and is featured twice on this list because she is awesome and having a busy year.

This book combines three of my favorite things: re-tellings, Alice in Wonderland, and a sympathetic villain with a backstory. Love it, love it so much.

In Heartless, we follow Catherine, a talented baker who has caught the attention of the unmarried King of Hearts (You see where this is going right?). Catherine doesn’t really have any interest in being royalty and just wants to open her own bakery and make cakes for the Kingdom. Her mother strongly disagrees and is not afraid to talk about it.

Catherine meets a mysterious court jester named Jest on the night when the King is set to propose to her. Naturally they begin a secret affair and it’s the first time that Catherine feels alive. But we know how this story will end and that raises the question, can you conquer fate?

I stumbled across this one day and I was incredibly intrigued by it. Like I said, it combines three of my favorite things, and Marissa Meyer is quickly becoming my next J.K. Rowling, in that I want to pick up everything she writes and, so far, 100% of the time I am satisfied.

Stars Above by Marissa Meyer – Expected publication: February 2, 2016; 304 Pages.

25689074Marissa Meyer once again.

I just picked this up a few weeks ago and OMG IT’S SO GOOD!!! It’s a bind up of novellas and short stories that gives us more background on the characters in the Lunar Chronicles and, AND it also gives us lots of short stories that expand on the universe.

There are nine stories total in this bind up. In The Little Android we get to see the Little Mermaid’s story through the lens of the Lunar Chronicles and New Beijing.

Glitches is a prequel to Cinder and we get to see more of the plague and all the emotional damage it caused and Cinder discovers what may be a glitch in her programming.

The Queen’s Army is a prequel to Scarlet, and we learn about the origins of Queen Levana’s army and one particular soldier that plays a big role later on in the series. *cough* Wolf *cough*

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky is a bonus story that was featured in Cress, and in it we follow a 13 year-old Carswell Thorne and all the shenanigans he gets into while he tries to achieve his dream of having a Rampion spaceship and getting out of Los Angeles.

The Keeper is a prequel to the entire Lunar Chronicles series. In it we follow the Princess Selene and learn her origins, how she escaped from Luna, and how she ended up in the care of Earthens. 

After Sunshine Passes By is a prequel to Cress. In it we learn about how Cress ended up alone on a satellite spying on Earth for Queen Levana.

The Princess and the Guard is a prequel to Winter and we learn how to play a game called The Princess. (That’s literally all we get, see for yourself if you don’t believe me.)

The Mechanic is a prequel to Cinder and we get to see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.

Something Old, Something New is an epilogue to Winter, and we get to see what is touted as the wedding of the century…

The Little Android, and Something Old, Something New (!!!! I’ve managed to not spoil myself on that one yet, but I’m so excited.) are my most anticipated in this book. I’m sure I will love it when I finish it. It’ll be a bittersweet read for sure because it is the true end to the series. #happytears

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab – Expected publication: February 23, 2016; 512 Pages.

A Gathering of Shadows Final I am purposely staying away from this one and I don’t want to know too much about it.

This is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, which I talked about in my Best Books of 2015 blog a few weeks ago. It picks up four months after the end of A Darker Shade of Magic and things have pretty much gone back to normal for everyone, well as normal as can be expected in a world of magic.

Kell, our main character and traveler, has given up smuggling and doesn’t quite know what to do with himself after what happened in ADSOM. He is restless and has started having dreams of sinister magic and he wakes up in cold sweats with thoughts of Lila, who is off on her own adventures at sea. As the preparations for Red London’s Element Games-an international magic competition-are finalized old friends come back into Kell’s life.

But not all is well in the world of parallel Londons. Red London is caught up in the excitement of the Games, but another London is being revived. Black London is rising again, so another London is set to fall.

*DUN DUN DUN*

I’m excited to see all the familiar characters, to be introduced to some new ones, and to learn more about the mysterious Black London. This was also just optioned for TV recently (!!!! *Happy Dance*) and V.E. Schwab, the author, is attached to the project. (*Does Back flips*) Whoever is in charge of this thing is doing it right. It’s set to be a six part mini-series and Gerard Butler’s production company is producing it. I can’t wait to see this world come alive on screen.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare – Expected publication: March 8, 2016; 720 Pages.

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I almost forgot to include this book and I have no idea why. I’m going to blame it on school melting my brain because that’s probably it.

This is another series that takes place in Cassandra Clare’s Shadowhunter universe. The woman cannot stay away, this is the third series, plus two spin-offs/expansions and two companion books. The woman is on a roll.

This series takes place five years after of City of Heavenly Fire ended and follows a whole new crop of young Shadowhunters. For us die-hard fans there are still mentions of all the other characters we know and love.

In Lady Midnight we follow Emma Carstairs as she moves on from her parents murder and sets about discovering what killed them and avenging them. She and her parabatai Julian Blackthorn, get swept up in the investigation of a demonic plot that threatens Los Angeles.

The B storyline in this book is Julian’s brother Mark—who was captured by the faeries five years ago—is now being returned as a bargaining chip.Faeries are being murdered and they want to find out why and they must enlist the aid of the Shadowhunters.

Because time is so different in faerie, Mark has barely aged but does not recognize his family, we enter into the world of faerie politics and court intrigue.

This is the first book in the new series, I believe for now, there are set to be three books in the series. It’ll be nice to get some new characters and to see the Shadowhunter world from a new location that is still modern day. I highly anticipate the release of this book and plan to devour it as soon as I can. At 720 pages, if I pace myself I can get it done in a week. Two if I go slow.

***

Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J. Maas – Expected publication: September 6, 2016; 384 Pages.

28260587I mean, you know my feelings on this series and everything to do with it, and if you don’t, where ya been bro?

In case you’re new, check out my blog posts that include my thoughts and comments on all the books in the series.

Here’s the list:

Most Anticipated Releases

You got a taste of sweet divine pt.2

Best Books 2015 pt.2

Super stoked for this and I will be getting it from the library ASAP when it’s out, because I will be poor and cannot wait for the paperback to come out. My excitement is palpable.

I’ll update the picture when it comes out.

AN: WE HAVE A TITLE!!! I like it. It’s sounding very Game of Thronesey. Can’t wait.

Revisionary by Jim C. Hines – Expected publication: February 2, 2016; 352 Pages.

24316214I haven’t talked about this series too much, I realize, but the author, Jim C. Hines, has been mentioned a few times. I have no idea if this is the last book in the series, it doesn’t say on Goodreads. I’m kind of hoping it is, because unless something amazing happens in this book to push the story forward, I think the story has told us all it needs to.

We just need a new storyline to follow and if this book provides that then I am 100% on board.

Here’s the other blog that feature this wonderful series:

Best Books 2015

Blood Passage by Heather Demetrios – Expected publication: March 1, 2016; 496 Pages.

24099229Another series I haven’t talked about too much, but that’s because it’s still new and hasn’t been around for long. The first book was really good and I featured it in my Best Books 2015 pt. 2 so you should totally check that out.

I’ve heard rumors that they’re changing the cover design for this book and I am super pissed about it right now. I won’t officially pass judgement until I see it, but these are such gorgeous covers I don’t know why you would change them.

There will totally be an upcoming blog post about this topic too, so watch out for that.

 

Lady Renegades by Rachel Hawkins – Expected publication: April 5, 2016; 352 Pages.

25518205Even though I didn’t really enjoy the sequel, Miss Mayhem, as I mentioned in my Worst Books 2015 pt. 2 blog. I still have faith that Rachel can pull of a fantastic finale and bring back all the elements that I so enjoyed in Rebel Belle.

With David and Harper having a more antagonistic relationship I think we’ll get a bit more banter out of the two of them. Which, I thought, was a really strong point in Rebel Belle and what was part of what was lacking in Miss Mayhem. It’s also a wee bit longer so we’ll have a bit more time to play.

Check out my other blog that features this series:

You got a taste of sweet divine pt. 2

 

Goodreads Links:

Heartless

Stars Above

A Gathering of Shadows

Throne of Glass #5

Revisionary

Blood Passage

Lady Renegades

Non Fiction – Self Help

I’m actually going to take it easy on myself and you guys this week, yay!!!

I have yet to read any of the books mentioned on this list and I will also be including a link to a Goodreads list that my female readers in their twenties, or anybody who really has no freaking clue what they’re doing with their life, might be able to relate too. If you’re not a female in her twenties, check it out anyway. If you use the recommendations and suggestions it can lead you to some interesting choices.

I don’t normally read non-fiction, it’s just not my thing. But, I fell down the self-help rabbit hole on Goodreads while I was on Christmas break this year. Anxiety that I never knew I had has cropped up ever since I started school and I am always on the lookout for ways to improve my mental health and my relationship with myself. You should always be your number one priority guys, because no one else cares as much about you as you do.

Anyways, in perusing this list I came across a few gems that I am kind of dying to pick up. Here are a few that I am looking forward to reading.

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht – Published May 5, 2015; 259 Pages.

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If I’m being honest, the cover is what drew me to this book. It’s gorgeous, striking, and memorable. Plus, as a Creative Communications student, anything that gives me advice on my industry is invaluable.

Aliza Licht is the senior vice president of global communications for Donna Karan International. It sounds like an awesome job, and from what I’ve read on Goodreads her tone is very light and conversational. I’m hoping it’ll be a speedy read that is clear, straightforward, and offers some insight into the industry.

I’m the type of person who likes to know what is expected, so I think that reading books like this will help me feel a little more comfortable and I’ll have an idea of what to expect and how to handle it. Social media is also a new beast in the industry and is ever changing, but having an understanding of where it’s at now and how it’s being used would make it easier to grow with it.

I just picked this up from the library last week and judging by the notes on the back I am super excited. Kelly Cutrone gave it a good review, and she has made girls cry on National TV, so that’s a great endorsement and a terrific reason to read the book. I also flipped through it casually and read a couple paragraphs and it’s looking really good.

I Am That Girl: How to Speak Your Truth, Discover Your Purpose, and #bethatgirl by Alexis Jones (Forward), Sophia Bush (Foreward) – Published March 18, 2014; 240 Pages.

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Discovering my purpose is probably the hardest thing I’ve come across so far in my life. Any advice that I can get on everything they mention in the title would really just make me feel a lot more comfortable in my life, my jobs, and my relationships. I’m hoping that this book will give me some insight into just how to feel a little more comfortable in my skin.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve discovered that I have anxiety and the key to me managing that is being calm. And a way to be calm for me is to have a plan and concrete steps to go over. Well, life doesn’t provide you with that at all, so we kind of have to figure it out on our own. I feel like these books can at least give you a crude framework to build off of. If anything, it’s a place to start.

I’ve been thinking about it for a while and I will have to pick up more books like this and work them into my rotation. This’ll be where I start.

Just two books for me this week guys. I’m working on doing smaller posts, but we’ll see how it works out. If any of these interested you, or you are looking for something similar but a little bit different, check out this list of Non-Fiction for Women in their Twenties over on Goodreads, and as always please read responsibly.

Goodreads Links:

Leave Your Mark

I Am That Girl