Review: The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25) – Renee Ahdieh


The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25) – Renee Ahdieh

The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn, #0.25)

Title: The Moth and the Flame (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.25)

Author: Renee Ahdieh

Release Date: March 22, 2016

Publisher: G. P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Format: eBook

Page Number: 37

Source: Nook

It started as playful, if barbed, banter before rising to a fateful wager with a most notorious rake—the Captain of the Guard, Jalal al-Khoury—who may have finally met his match in a lovely, if haughty, handmaiden, Despina. But she, too, seems to have met her match in the handsome Jalal. What begins as a tempestuous battle of will and wit in short order becomes a passionate affair spurred on by tragedy of the worst kind.

4 out of 5 stars


This was what I wanted while reading The Wrath and the Dawn duology, so I’m really glad that this was a thing. Despina has always been one of my favorite characters, so a short story about her… I’m here for it.

I love me some cute mushy romance, and this is the beginning of a relationship that I totally ship so hard. I love Jalal and Despina together, so it was super cute seeing them interact for the first time. I know that Jalal was kind of a player before he met Despina, but once he started talking to her he didn’t want to think about anyone else. Awww cute cute cute.

I love reading kissing scenes, so this was real cute. Again, here for it. I love seeing some of the characters that don’t get talked about too much in the full series, in novellas like this. I’m so excited to read the rest of them because I know that I’m going to love them all. I HOPE THERE’S ONE ABOUT SHARZHAD AND KHALID TOGETHER OMG. I would be LIVING for that.

Series:

The Crown and the Arrow (The Wrath and the Dawn #0.5)

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1)

The Rose and the Dagger (The Wrath and the Dawn #2)

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Review: Gilead (Gilead #1) – Marilynne Robinson


Gilead (Gilead #1) – Marilynne Robinson

Gilead (Gilead, #1)

Title: Gilead (Gilead #1)

Author: Marilynne Robinson

Release Date: October 28, 2004

Publisher: Picador

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 247

Source: City of Literature Class

Twenty-four years after her first novel, Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson returns with an intimate tale of three generations from the Civil War to the twentieth century: a story about fathers and sons and the spiritual battles that still rage at America’s heart. Writing in the tradition of Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman, Marilynne Robinson’s beautiful, spare, and spiritual prose allows “even the faithless reader to feel the possibility of transcendent order” (Slate). In the luminous and unforgettable voice of Congregationalist minister John Ames, Gilead reveals the human condition and the often unbearable beauty of an ordinary life.

3 out of 5 stars


I read this book for my City of Literature class, and this has been the least awful one we’ve read so far. I didn’t hate this book, but I did find it very boring. Less horribly boring than the others, but still difficult to get through.

Gilead is told from the perspective of a dead man who is writing letters to his seven year old son for him to read when he becomes an adult. The whole plot is based around his findings about life through being a pastor and a follower of God.

My professor described this as more of a history of Iowa than anything, and I do not understand that at all. There wasn’t much history at all, and it mostly just told random stories from John Ames’ perspective. I found him to be quite an unreliable narrator throughout the whole book, and found it hard to trust what he was saying. This book was very religious and I wonder how the people who aren’t Christian felt about it. I bet it would be confusing if you knew nothing about the different denominations of Christianity.

I’m very impressed with how masculine the narrator sounds as the author is female. I think that it was an extremely strong perspective to take and write about, but it was done very well. I wish there would have been more information about Ames’ wife. The third book in this series follows his wife, Lila, but I have no intention of reading it. I get that if I really wanted to know more I could just read the rest of the series, but I just wish there was more in this book.

I never realized how heavily I relied on chapter breaks before there are none. NO CHAPTERS. Just random letters to his kid. Which makes sense with the idea, but the formatting was very bothersome to me. I think it just made it harder for me to get through. I’m extremely grateful to my library for having the audiobook to this, because it was nice to hear it read in a man’s voice. The narrator sounded VERY familiar to me, so I looked him up and found out that the only thing he’s been in that I’ve seen was Spiderman 2. So I don’t know if he just has a normal voice or if I’ve seen that movie more than I thought I had…

Overall I think this was a decent book. I don’t get the point of reading it for my class, but I’m sure I’ll find out when we discuss it tomorrow.

Review: The Iowa Baseball Confederacy – W. P. Kinsella


The Iowa Baseball Confederacy – W. P. Kinsella

The Iowa Baseball Confederacy

Title: The Iowa Baseball Confederacy

Author: W. P. Kinsella

Release Date: January 1, 1986

Publisher: Mariner Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 310

Source: Class Required Reading

Bearing W.P. Kinsella’s trademark combination of “sweet-natured prose and a richly imagined world” (Philadelphia Inquirer), The Iowa Baseball Confederacy tells the story of Gideon Clark, a man on a quest. He is out to prove to the world that the indomitable Chicago Cubs traveled to Iowa in the summer of 1908 for an exhibition game against an amateur league, the Iowa Baseball Confederacy. But a simple game somehow turned into a titanic battle of more than two thousand innings, and Gideon Clark struggles to set the record straight on this infamous game that no one else believes ever happened.

1 out of 5 stars


I know what you’re thinking. Aubrey, you NEVER read books about sports. And you’re right, I really despise most sports books. I had to read this for my City of Literature class, and I really didn’t like it. There are spoilers in this, but you shouldn’t read it anyway.

I just finished The Iowa Baseball Confederacy and I think the most important part of the ending was Gideon coming to terms with his obsession with the Confederacy. Near the end he says that he’ll do anything to get Sunny back, and won’t let what happened to Sarah happen to Sunny. He goes and tries to find her by I-80 and wants to tell her that he’ll do anything for her, and then something happens. I’m a little confused about that part, honestly, but he did come to terms with his obsession. I think this showed some MAJOR character development throughout the story.

I didn’t really like this book and it was not what I was expecting at all. I didn’t think this would be magical realism, so I was definitely surprised when some magic started happening. Also, 40 days for a baseball game? That seems quite excessive to me.

My favorite character was Missy because she was so sweet, kind, and just happy all the time. I think that she was a positive influence on Gideon while he was going through his difficult times. I thought it was strange to put in the story that the Angel has sexual encounters with men and beasts. Hmm. I don’t know how I feel about that. It was such an unnecessary addition to the story.

Overall I thought this book was very below average, and was so boring. I’ve never watched a baseball game, but this made me want to watch one even less. The way that the baseball game was described literally took up 3/4 of the book, and it was so unnecessary. Man, I love required reading.

October Wrapup + November TBR


Read:

  1. The Song Rising (The Bone Season #3) – Samantha Shannon *review*
  2. The Lighting Thief: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #1) – Rick Riordan *review*
  3. The Sea of Monsters: The Graphic Novel (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Graphic Novels #2) – Rick Riordan *review*
  4. Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #2) – Yumi Unita *review*
  5. Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #3) – Yumi Unita *review*
  6. The Dressmaker’s Secret (The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy #1) – Kellyn Roth *review*
  7. The Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10) – Agatha Christie *review*
  8. The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) – Renee Adieh *review*
  9. Mentor: A Memoir – Tom Grimes
  10. Ms. Marvel (Volume #1) – G. Willow Wilson *review*

TBR:

  1. The Iowa Baseball Confederacy – W. P. Kinsella
  2. Interpreter of Maladies – Jhumpa Lahiri
  3. On the Merits of Unnaturalness (The Bone Season Novella) – Samantha Shannon
  4. James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra – Colm McElwain
  5. Secrets for the Mad: Obsessions, Confessions and Life Lessons – Dodie Clark

Review: Ms. Marvel (Volume #1) – G. Willow Wilson


Ms. Marvel (Volume #1) – G. Willow Wilson

Ms. Marvel, Vol. 1: No Normal

Title: Ms. Marvel: No Normal (Volume #1)

Author: G. Willow Wilson

Release Date: October 30, 2014

Publisher: Marvel

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 120

Source: Library

Marvel Comics presents the new Ms. Marvel, the groundbreaking heroine that has become an international sensation!

Kamala Khan is an ordinary girl from Jersey City — until she’s suddenly empowered with extraordinary gifts. But who truly is the new Ms. Marvel? Teenager? Muslim? Inhuman? Find out as she takes the Marvel Universe by storm! When Kamala discovers the dangers of her newfound powers, she unlocks a secret behind them, as well. Is Kamala ready to wield these immense new gifts? Or will the weight of the legacy before her be too much to bear? Kamala has no idea, either. But she’s comin’ for you, Jersey!

4 out of 5 stars


My roommate loaned me this book after she read it because she said it was really good, and she was totally right! I have been seeing this comic for awhile now. It was very popular on BookTube *check out my channel!* a couple years ago, but I really wanted to read it after I saw G. Willow Wilson do an author talk at an auditorium at my college.

Ms. Marvel follows a Muslim-American girl who is just trying to find who she is and where she fits in, and is suddenly granted with super powers. She has the internal struggle of deciding whether or not she wants to be true to her family, or not be the odd one out at social events at school. She wants to be just like Captain Marvel, and when she mysteriously finds herself in front of her favorite super heroes of all time, she asks to be just like Captain Marvel. She wants to be pretty, blonde, and look good in thigh-high boots. She gets that granted to her, but struggles because she still wants to feel like herself. Ms. Marvel takes on some bad guys, and gets closer with a good guy.

I really enjoyed this comic, and it makes me wonder why I didn’t pick this up earlier! I have really gotten into graphic novels and comics recently, and this was no exception. Kamala Khan is such a relatable main character, and I think it’s important to show this amount of diversity in the typical “American comic.” G. Willow Wilson talked a lot about how she wanted girls to feel empowered in themselves and wanted to make sure that the minority of Muslim girls were represented in a format like this. I think it’s so cool to present it like this, and Ms. Marvel is now one of the up-and-coming Marvel stars.

This read quite young to me, but it could just be because it’s from the perspective of a sixteen year old girl. She hasn’t quite gotten over that being part of the “cool kids” isn’t worth the trouble yet, so she’s having some internal battles over wanting to fit in. I loved that her super power is being able to grow and shrink because that’s not a typical power that you would immediately think of. It’s not the most feminine power, and I think that that shows even more diversity within the story. She has relationships with other Muslim girls, and has been best friends with a Caucasian American boy her whole life, thus creating even more diversity.

I think that this amount of diverse thinking is so important today, and having comic books with these ideals just shows that the world is willing to change and evolve. I think it’s beautiful because it’s showing everyone that they should be accepting of everyone around them no matter how they look or their culture.

I would highly recommend this comic to middle school girls, because the message of being true to yourself is very relevant during those difficult years of development. Being you and being accepting of others is so important!

Review: When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine – Jhumpa Lahiri


When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine – Jhumpa Lahiri

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Title: When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Release Date: 1999

Publisher: Mariner

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 19

Source: Anthology

A young Pakistani girl named Lilia is living in New England. It is 1971 when her and her parents meet their new neighbor Mr. Pirzada. He frequently visits their home for dinner, and becomes an integral part of their family. Even though the neighbors share a cultural connection, the war in Pakistan creates tension between them. Lilia learns how war can create fear and uncertainty, even when you live far away from the conflict.

3 out of 5 stars


I liked the first story of the anthology better than this one, but I still enjoyed reading this. I feel like this book is making my reading branch out more, and I feel like I’m reading more diversely. I’m here for it.

This story is about a young girl, Lilia, who lives with her parents. A man named Mr. Pirzada always comes to their house for dinner, and she doesn’t seem to question it. After getting to know him a little bit more she understands that his family is living in war in India or Pakistan. He hasn’t heard from them in a long while, and he’s worried about them, but he still treats her like his own daughter. He brings her candy, and she cherishes everything from him.

There wasn’t a lot to this story, but I do think that it was beautifully written. I really enjoy Lahiri’s writing style; it’s eloquent and easy to read. I think the theme of loss and longing is prevalent, and it seemed more real because it was coming from a young girl. Her friend moves away, and she doesn’t know how to cope with that.

I really felt empathy for Mr. Pirzada. He wanted his family to be with him so badly, so he ends up finding a “host” family with Lilia and her parents. I think that if it weren’t for him joining them for meals he would have been much worse off. I don’t know how hard it would be to be separated from your family without knowing how they are or even if they’re alive, but I’m assuming it would be so hard. I wanted him to feel better and be happy!

I really enjoyed Lilia as a character because she was vulnerable in just the right ways. She’s a kid, so her shyness was portrayed perfectly. She also valued everything that she had in her possession, but was never greedy. I think that was an interesting trait to give her, but it worked well with the story. I look forward to reading more by Jhumpa Lahiri!

Review: Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #3) – Yumi Unita


Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #3) – Yumi Unita

Bunny Drop, Vol. 3

Title: Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #3)

Author: Yumi Unita

Release Date: March 29, 2011

Publisher: Yen Press

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 224

Source: Public Library

As an impromptu dad to Rin, his late grandfather’s illegitimate child, Daikichi Kawachi has experienced his share of firsts while caring for his little aunt (?). Now it’s Daikichi’s turn to battle the initial wave of separation anxiety as Rin leaves the nest… for her first day of elementary school! Rin’s elementary school isn’t the only place with new faces, either. Daikichi’s office is also inundated with first-timers, some of whom have their eyes on their gangly new coworker! And while father and daughter are experiencing (coping with?) all these firsts left and right, the first anniversary of Gramps’s death also sneaks up on the pair… as does the first anniversary of their paths crossing…

4 out of 5 stars


This has been my favorite volume so far because Rin has grown up a little bit and is talking more. This is a really cute series, and I’m glad that I’ve kept going. There is more plot now, and we’re finding out more about Rin’s biological mother. Daikichi is struggling with work and trying to find a balance in his life with everything that’s going on, but Rin is trying to help with anything she can.

This is seriously so cute. I know that a lot of manga is kind of violent, but this is just adorable. There isn’t much to the plot, but I want to keep reading. I think I might try to watch the anime because I’m enjoying the manga so much. I really enjoy the art style; it’s easy to follow and I like how Rin is portrayed.

Rin is a very real character. She acts just her age, and the way she repeats some sentences reminds me of the younger sister in My Neighbor Totoro. One of my all time favorite movies, by the way…. Highly recommend, super cute.

I really have been enjoying Daikichi because he’s having to deal with raising a daughter, lots of work, but he’s also trying and failing with his love life. It’s funny how bad he is at talking to women. One of my favorite scenes was at the factory he works at, a woman comes up to him and tries to talk to him, and he’s just going on and on about how he’s so bad at talking to women. It’s funny. I enjoy it.

Like I said on the review of the first in this series, if you have any manga recommendations PLEASE comment them below! I really hope to get more into manga :)

Series:

Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #1)

Bunny Drop (Bunny Drop Volume #2)