The Random Bibliophile

by Renee Alexis

Renee Alexis
20-something Filipina, an introvert who loves young adult fiction, brush pens, Taylor Swift, and BTS. Coffee runs in my bloodstream.

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2021 Reading Challenge

2021 Reading Challenge
Renee Alexis has read 0 books toward her goal of 50 books.
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Books To Read Part 05

Books To Read Part 05

2020 was a great reading year and I am hoping that this year will be the same if not better. It's been a slow start because as of today, I have only finished one book. I'm currently reading multiple books, one in audiobook form, one in physical form, one in ebook form, and one is a graphic novel. 😅 I'm 50% through with three of them so there's potential that I can finish them this month. We'll just see because I think I am in a slump right now. I don't usually read this many books at once but I just can't push myself to finish the first book I picked up so I ended up picking up another.

Anyway, I have a couple books I would want to read this year so I'm listing them here to hold myself accountable. LOL

The School for Good and Evil

Synopsis:

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication... But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

This book has been on my shelves for years and I haven't picked it up ever since I bought it. My little sister read it and she loved it. She told me to buy the rest of the series so I did and so hopefully, this year, I will be able to read this series. I like fairytale retellings and fantasy, so I really think I will like this. I have expectations for this book and I hope I won't be disappointed.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

Synopsis:

A Life No One Will Remember. A Story You Will Never Forget.

France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.

Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.

But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
 

This book has been super popular when it came out late last year and Bookstagram has been abuzz about it, so naturally, I got curious. After reading the blurb, I was sold. I have loved VE Schwab since I read the Shades of Magic trilogy and I am down to whatever she is putting out. I like her writing style and the world she builds. So I'm pretty sure this book will be another memorable read. I'm excited to get started with this!

Instant Karma

Synopsis:

Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her.

Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to mean gossips, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner. Quint is annoyingly cute and impressively noble, especially when it comes to his work with the rescue center for local sea animals.

When Pru resigns herself to working at the rescue center for extra credit, she begins to uncover truths about baby otters, environmental upheaval, and romantic crossed signals—not necessarily in that order. Her newfound karmic insights reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed, love and hate . . . and fate.
 

Marissa Meyer is one of my auto-read authors because I really loved her Lunar Chronicles books. This one is not a fantasy book though, so I'm looking forward to reading how she does in the contemporary romance genre. I'm hoping I'll love it like Tahereh Mafi's AVLEOS. Also, I need to palette-cleanse because I've just been reading fantasy and I think reading a lighter genre will get me out of my reading slump.

Loveboat, Taipei

Synopsis:

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine—and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring sacred shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules—but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?
 

For the life of me, I couldn't remember the booktuber's name but I watched a video on YouTube about book recommendations and this one stood out. This year, one of my reading plans is to read more Asian-authored books, so this book is going to be perfect. I liked the premise of this book and I am ready to lose myself in it.

The Gilded Wolves

Synopsis:

No one believes in them. But soon no one will forget them.

It's 1889. The city is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance.

To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood.

Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history--but only if they can stay alive.
 

I've been hearing a lot of good things about this book and I thought I should give this a try. Since I love fantasy so much, why shouldn't I read something that's written by another Asian, right? I wasn't really attracted to this book at first because I tend to judge books by their cover, and this one just didn't spark my interest. But because of its hype, I'm giving in. Hehe

The Kingdom of Back

Synopsis:

Two siblings. Two brilliant talents. But only one Mozart.

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish—to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she'll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

And as Nannerl's hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically-told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

I've also seen this book a lot on my Instagram feed so, again, I got curious. A couple bookstragrammers have also gushed about this and that was enough for me to add this to my never-ending TBR list. I've only read one Marie Lu book and that is Warcross and I really enjoyed that one. I'm excited to read this one knowing that this is going to be related to music and history. So yes. 😁

Have you read any of these books? What are your thoughts? Do you have books you want to recommend to me? Drop me some comments in the comment section below! xx

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