Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Books For Cat Lovers

Hello there. I am dedicating this post to my cat, Primrose, because she’s such a precious baby. Plus, she wanted to take over my computer (opening tabs are her specialty), probably to talk about how much she loved the book The Great Catsby. Anyways, since cats are so awesome, today I’ll be showcasing nine books that feature cats in them!

So Mr. Kindly may not really be a cat, but any shadow-y figure taking the form of a cat gets a spot in my heart.

I LOVE MOGGET. I mean can I say that enough times? He's kind of the reason why I kept reading the Abhorsen series? Plus he is feature in all the books: Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen.

I actually have never read The Princess Diaries, but have seen it enough time to know that Fat Louie is a cutie.

LYING CAT, WHO KNOWS WHETHER YOU'RE LYING OR NOT. Lying Cat is also one of my favorite parts of this comic. Also if you haven't read Saga, what are you doing with your life?

Shannon told me about this book, since I was asking about cats and such. Apparently the cat's name is Fleayoncé Knowles.

I'm honestly blanking on the name here. Grim? Ah wait it's Grimalkin I think. But I remember reading about this fairy cat, and AGAIN, one of the main reasons why I continued with The Iron Fey series. Had to suffer through the love triangle for THIS CAT. The things I DO.

I was reminded by Shannon that The Hunger Games indeed has a cat in it. This is funny seeing as Primrose's name is from The Hunger Games (I am 99% sure, I think). Funny thing is that I no longer associate Primrose with Katniss' sister. NOPE she is just my lump of a cat!

Cannot forget about Crookshanks! Who I think first appeared in the third book!

Alice in Wonderland
Lastly, there's also the Chesire Cat! I need to get to this book at some point because I have only watched the Disney movie. Yet I know Alice in Wonderland is everywhere in the book community! Plus there's a bunch of book merchandise for it.

Nine books for nine lives!
Can you think of any more that have cats in them?

Monday, November 20, 2017

The Excitement of New Books

Have you ever been in the middle of a book, and just, didn’t feel the motivation to pick it back up. Or maybe you’re skimming through the end, because you can’t wait to start the hundreds of new, shiny books you have on your shelf? WELL THIS IS THE POST FOR YOU. Because I 100% understand, and also, I have these feelings as well. Which is why I’ll be listing 10 reasons why I’m more excited for a new book instead of the one I’m currently reading.

1. Holds so many possibilities as to what it could be
The one I’m currently reading? Well, I already know what it’s about. And 9 times out of 10 the book does not match my expectations based on the synopsis I read. Like there are times where I thought the book would take a certain path with a character or a plot, but it…doesn’t? And that leaves me bummed. BUT WITH A NEW BOOK. Anything can happen.

2. A new shiny
The biggest reason, and that it’s a new book I can start. It’s a new world, new characters, ones I can love. And it all starts from the beginning. To be honest, this is why I never can finish series, but I can easily start new ones.

3. The book you’re currently reading…sucks?
Or more specifically, is just meh. And rather than DNFing, you just skim the end because you’re already so far into it. Putting it down just doesn’t seem worth it, because you spent so much time on this book.

4. New book to add to Goodreads
For anyone participating in the GR challenge, it’s a new book to add to your currently reading shelf. And finishing the old one adds to the books read total. Which leads to the next point…

Getting to a new book means that you’ve finished the other one (or perhaps reading more than one book at a time). Either way, it’s progress towards completing your never-ending TBR.

6. It’s a completely different genre
Sometimes you get so sick of the genre of the book you’re currently reading, that you just want to start something new NOT in that genre. Because it would just be so much more refreshing if you picked up that sci-fi, time travel book instead of continuing that boring, same old same old fantasy chosen one trope.

7. A book you’ve been anticipating since FOREVER
And yeah, maybe the book you’re reading is an ARC, or something you don’t necessarily want to read, but know you kind of have to because you requested it 10 months back. Yet that highly anticipated book is just ON YOUR SHELF, sitting there unread.

8. All those 2018 books
All the books that are going to come out in a year or so have grabbed your attention. More so than the book on your end table, the one you’re supposed to be reading. Distractions happen.

9. The book you’re reading has gotten…old
And the book can be extremely good, but it’s just like…WHY am I still reading this? It feels like it’s been MONTHS (when really, it’s only been a couple of days)

10. You’ve heard SO MANY good things about said new book
And it seems like everyone and their mom has read it, except you. So obviously you have to fix that. And if that means speeding through the current read, then so be it.

Do you get tired of your current reads? How often do you rush through the end in order to start a new book?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

No Review Required: The Hype Monster Strikes!

OK SO THE TITLE OF THIS POST IS SLIGHTLY MISLEADING, as only one of the books discussed here was killed by the hype. But nevertheless, I hope you enjoy both of these not-required mini reviews!

Gonna be honest, I knew this wasn’t going to live up to my expectations at all, mainly because I just kept hearing about how great this book was over and over again. But again, I had the book, why not read it. Maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised. And to be fair, I was (a bit).

“Every person has the power to change their fate if they are brave enough to fight for what they desire more than anything.”

For one, it wasn’t predictable whatsoever. I mean, I kept thinking to myself “oh I totally know how this is going to end”. But I, alongside the main character Scarlet, was tricked too. So, there’s that. On the flip side, okay??? I guess that can happen?? I mean I knew going in this wouldn’t be a gruesome, creepy circus book. Especially when the tone at times was off a bit (Spoiler, highlight to read: Like I knew people who were dead were NOT staying dead. I could tell that this was not going to be that kind of book).

Now the real question is, do I want to read the sequel. Yes??? I think? I mean, I usually don’t rate these mini reviews, but I would say this is a 3.5 stars from me. If the second book is as quick as a read as this one, then I’ll probably be borrowing it from the library. But I’m still debating haha.

To conclude, if you have time or have a copy, pick this up. It is an enjoyable read, I just didn’t find it as mind-blowing or good as everyone who’s said so.

THIS BOOK. Okay, so I put this review second because I know everyone is gonna be more interested in what I have to say about Caraval over this. Which I know, sad, but no one really knows The Witcher video game? WELL newsflash, it’s a great game, AND Netflix is making it into a series! And so, this is the book series that inspired the video game, and in turn the TV series.

“To be neutral does not mean to be indifferent or insensitive. You don't have to kill your feelings. It's enough to kill hatred within yourself.”

Well what can I say, it 100% exceeded my expectations. And mostly because I KNOW many of the characters, and I just loved spending more time with them. And one of the reasons why I started with this book (book 3), is because this is where the main plot kind of starts. I think the first two books focus more on the main character himself, WHICH I will get to at some point.

But anyways, yes, this was great. Though I do have to say that there wasn’t much action, and it was more of setting the scene for the rest of the books. But I’m just glad I got to read about young Ciri, because she was definitely a favorite in the game.

If you’re not a video game fan, this book might not interest you as much. BUT it is still a really good fantasy series, and so I highly suggest you give it a chance!

Have you read or heard of these? What were your thoughts on Caraval if you have read it? How do you feel about the "hype monster", and what do you do to combat it?

Sunday, November 12, 2017

An Innocent Life #21: Take Over The World With Me (With Paperclips)

Academic work may be taking over my life. Along with my cat, who right now is demanding that I pet her. She's so needy, all the time.

A post shared by Valerie (@innocentreads) on


- Playing Assassin's Creed Origins all day every day.

- Checking out campers and trailers at the vintage fair.

- Dealing with Prim constantly sitting on my lap. I literally cannot type right now.


- There's cat hair in my mouth.

- And lastly, Shannon introduced me to the weirdest, most addicting game ever. Where you make paperclips. And then...take over the world? Please give it a shot. Fair warning it has taken over my life.  

Happy Almost Thanksgiving. Kind of.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Shiny, Pretty Covers

I think the last time I did a post about covers was for a Top Ten Tuesday, maybe more than a year ago? But anyways, today I’m literally just going to go into my 2018 releases list on Goodreads, look to see what has a cover or not, and pick my favorite ones. BECAUSE I LOVE SHINY THINGS. Also note I probably won’t be linking up to any of these books because I’m a lazy bum. Sorry NOT SORRY.


Do you have a favorite 2018 or 2017 cover? Have you heard of any of these?

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Disappointing Reads of 2017

I don’t know about you, but 2017 hasn’t exactly been the greatest year for reading. For me at least. I don’t know what it is, maybe it’s just the fact that it’s a continuation of the dumpster fire from 2016. Or just the fact that I don’t want to waste time on mediocre books nowadays. And so that’s why I’ll be sharing 2017 releases I either read and hated or DNFed this year! (Also my favorite person*, Ely, ever shared her disappointing reads too!)

* this applies to more than one person, DO NOT COME AT ME.

I mean, I am not surprised I was let down by this book. To be fair, I did enjoy reading this, but Aristotle and Dante just blew my mind. I mean, yes, I kind of had pretty high expectations, which led to my overall disappointment, sadly.

I’m mainly sad about this book because it was just overall more simple than I thought it would be. Also I remember almost nothing from it. I know I had high hopes for this because someone (cough Shannon) convinced me it was a great read (IT’S OK SHANNON I STILL LOVE YOU).

THIS. I would say, and I’m probably not alone in this, was my biggest disappointment. Like I was really expecting amazing things. Amazing characters, well-developed world-building. And yes, the female relationship was there, but everything else … wasn’t.

I DNFed this. It was just rubbing me the wrong way. I felt uneasy uneasy about how I'm made to feel sympathetic about privileged people being targeted and oppressed by the bad guys...which are poor people.

I did like A Million Junes, but again, it just did not live up to the author’s first book.

The fact that I cannot even remember this tells me that it wasn’t memorable whatsoever. Like…what happened? At least this isn’t part of a series, haha.

I was a bit disappointed in this because I was misled by the pretty cover. LIED TO! The synopsis talked about serpents and perhaps mythical creatures? But I…didn’t get any of that. And the writing style, it’s very…British? But like, classic literature British (think Pride and Prejudice and To the Lighthouse). And I am just not a fan.

I DNFed this one too. Too much talking about hair, and…curses? Uh, something along those lines.

Or wait, maybe it was this book? I cannot tell the difference between the above book, and this one? All of them involve a group of girls, forbidden love, I don’t even know anymore, I feel like that trope is waaaay overused at this point. Also I DNFed this.

This one saddens me, because I really did want to like it. I heard such great reviews, yet I don’t know. I guess this one just didn’t work for me?

Is it just me, or have there been a lot of mediocre reads this year? More so compared to past years? Maybe my tolerance is going down...

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Review: Renegades Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour! I'll be reviewing Renegades today, which I absolutely enjoyed. And yes, I am siding with the Anarchists, especially since I just know my cover as "innocent" is blown at this point, thanks to my *friends* that keep pointing out my mischievous side. And you know what? I do love the Anarchists in this series, so maybe I do belong with them.

Renegades by Marissa Meyer
Renegades #1
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: November 7th, 2017
Source: Blog Tour
Date Read: 9/27/17 to 10/13/17
576 pages

Secret Identities.
Extraordinary Powers.
She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone...except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova's allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

After loving the Lunar Chronicles (or most of it, seeing as I have yet to finish Winter because I don’t want it to end), it’s no surprised that I also enjoyed Renegades, Meyer’s newest release.

Renegades features superheros and supervillains, but it’s clear that at the start of this novel, the superheros have everything under control. They’re the winners, while the villains hide in an abandoned subway tunnel. At first glance, it seems like a black and white situation, because obviously heroes can do no wrong, right? Well, there’s always two sides to everything. For one, the heroes aren’t doing a very good job governing the city. Second, some of the Renegades are really vicious, and they justify their violence by saying they’re heroes.

I liked getting to know our two main characters, Nova and Adrian. Nova is an Anarchist, but the Renegades know almost nothing about her. Because of this, she becomes the perfect Renegade spy for the Anarchists. Adrian was born into the Renegades, but feels like he can do more with his powers. Plus, he is determined to find his mother’s killer, and believes that Nightmare (Nova in disguise) knows more than she lets on.

Overall, I really liked Renegades. Although the plot was slightly predictable, the world-building and character development were solid. I loved reading about each character’s abilities, especially since some of them were really unique (find cool character cards here!).

I’m very curious to see how the series will continue, especially with how this first book ended. And I seriously cannot believe that I have to wait at least a year before the next book!

MARISSA MEYER is the #1 New York Times–bestselling author of The Lunar Chronicles series, as well as the graphic novel Wires and Nerve: Vol. 1, and The Lunar Chronicles Coloring Book. Her first stand alone novel, Heartless, was also a #1 New York Times bestseller. She lives in Tacoma, Washington, with her husband and their two daughters.

New York, NY – Feiwel & Friends will publish bestselling author Marissa Meyer’s Renegades on November 7, 2017, the first in a two book series about teen superheroes. With the blockbuster success of the Lunar Chronicles series and Heartless, Meyer has become one of the most sought after authors in young adult fiction. She will embark on a two-week national author tour at on-sale.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Review: Kids Like Us

Kids Like Us by Hilary Reyl
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Release Date: November 14th, 2017
Source: Macmillan
Date Read: 10/31/17 to 11/1/17
288 pages

Martin is an American teen on the autism spectrum living in France with his mom and sister for the summer. He falls for a French girl who he thinks is a real-life incarnation of a character in his favorite book. Over time Martin comes to realize she is a real person and not a character in a novel while at the same time learning that love is not out of his reach just because he is autistic.
I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review. Quotes taken from ARC may or may not be in the published edition.

Kids Like Us was an interesting read, but ultimately not the book for me. BUT, I still think it had an amazing message overall, and I would recommend it to anyone looking for more ASD representation (I say this but I'm not exactly sure how accurate it is).

The story revolves around Martin, who is diagnosed with autism. He’s attending a local school in rural France during the summer while his mom is directing a movie. And it just so happens that his father taught him French before he left, so Martin is able to communicate with his new friends. The problem is that he doesn’t know, or doesn’t want to believe, that his new friends only hang out with him because of the connections his mom has with all these famous people.

The thing that really stood out to me was Martin’s inability to make things his own. And he is very much obsessed with the book Search by Proust. So much so that he takes what happens in the book and “applies” it to real life. For example, he meets a girl in school, and he just cannot imagine her being anyone but a character from his book, Gillberte. And so this is a bit of a problem because she’s a real person, but Martin does not attempt to know her or even her real name. The focus of Kids Like Us is Martin’s development as the summer goes by. And the message that kids with ASD are not something to be fixed.

I really liked the overall message of this book, and Martin himself. I would say that this is a rather simple book, due to the fact that there is not much of a plot throughout. And I may have skimmed through a couple pages because of that. But nevertheless, it was still a good read.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Vote For These Books On Goodreads!

HI ALL. So this might be a wake-up call that it’s already November and the year is almost over (it was to me), but you can now vote for the Best Books of 2017 on Goodreads! Though this is only the opening round. BUT I am here to try to convince you to vote for some of these books. And okay, to be fair, I haven’t exactly read all of these, BUT WHO CARES. I’m just having fun ha.


So, I voted for  A Conjuring of Light  by V. E. Schwab. Why? Well it was an amazing finale if I do say so myself. And right after I finished it I just wanted to start the whole series over. Because I didn’t want to leave the world or the characters. I could confidently say that it’s a favorite series. BUT HEY YOU SHOULD VOTE FOR THIS TOO!

If I had read White Hot by Ilona Andrews, I would have voted for it in the Romance category. I mean I know none of the other reads, so maybe I’ll just go with that?

In the science fiction category, I voted for Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuval. WHICH I DID LIKE. I don’t think I liked it as much as the first book, Sleeping Giants, but I think that’s because I forgot about half of the characters. Whoops.


I voted for We Have No Idea, mainly because it’s by the same people that draw the funny Ph.D. comics on Twitter (or whatever other platforms they have). One day I’ll own and read their book too! There’s an interesting octopus looking book that sounds cool, hopefully I’ll read it one day.

GRAPHIC NOVELS! I got stuck between Saga and Ms. Marvel, even though I haven’t read neither of the new volumes featured. But in the end, I had to go with Saga by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples just because it really is a phenomenal comic. It really is nothing like I’ve ever read before.

There’s a bunch of poetry I want to read, but I have no doubt that Rupi Kaur’s The Sun and Her Flowers will win. No doubt. Still need to read it!

VOTING FOR The Hate U Give for both Best Debut Authors AND Young Adult Fiction! There were actually some REALLY good choices for YA Fiction, and let’s be honest, I haven’t read THUG yet (I know, I’m ashamed), but I think that really deserves the spot. Like Turtles All The Way Down was good, but not as great. I think When Dimple Met Rishi, Goodbye Days, and Gentleman’s Guide also would have been great choices, but I don’t know. I think THUG deserves this more.

For YA Fantasy and Sci-fi (why are these lumped together?), I voted for Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor. Because I absolutely loved that book, and it’s definitely one of my favorites of the year. Another great choice would be Scythe, which I also adored (Thunderhead comes out next year!).

For MG & Children’s, I haven’t read any of the books, but I know Rashika keeps raving about Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan. SO I VOTED FOR IT AND YOU SHOULD TOO.

Last, but not least. Picture books! Not that I have read any of these, but my vote went to Malala’s Magic Pencil, because Malala is awesome and doing so much to help the world right now. So yes I will vote for her book!

What books will you be voting for? Are you voting for the same ones I am?

Friday, October 27, 2017

Books I Need To Get To (Because It’s Already Freaking October)

Gonna be honest, I didn’t have as many anticipated releases as I usually do this year. And the ones that I did have (cough Starfish cough) I have already read. I might later do a post on my disappointing reads of 2017, but for now, I want to showcase the ones that I still haven’t gotten to yet. Because it’s ALREADY OCTOBER and how did the year pass by so quickly? (Also, I feel like everyone is already focusing on 2018, and I’m just like “hold your horses”).

This year, I managed to read 41 out of 88 of the books on my 2017 releases Goodreads shelf. I know, compared to like…Shannon, 88 is a really small number. But to be honest I just haven’t really been paying attention to new releases. But next year I’ll try harder :D

But without further ado, here are the books I want to get to before the year ends!

I don’t think I have read a bad review of this yet. And also the cover is so pretty? AND I WANT TO READ ABOUT THE GOBLIN KING, which reminds me of another book, Stolen Songbird, which is pretty popular? So I kind of wonder how similar the two are.

I even pre-ordered this, but just HAVEN’T gotten to this one yet. Why? I’m not really sure? I think mainly because I’m scared that I’m going to be so annoyed by the males in this novel, that I’m not ready for it? Like I am not ready for the sexism. BUT because it probably is so empowering, I really don’t have anything to fear. SO hopefully I will read it soon!

I reaaaally want to read this because a) cover is super shiny and I cannot get over shiny things and b) it’s kind of about parallel universes. Or something. Either way it’s something cool, and I need it.

Not going to lie, but I DID try reading this at Shannon’s place. And I am willing to give it another shot. BUT TO BE FAIR, I don’t think it exactly sat well with me that a well-known character from my childhood (aka the monkey king) reincarnated into a super hot-looking dude. LIKE IT’S JUST WEIRD TO ME OK? I JUST NEED TO GET OVER IT.

I have a problem with finishing series, and the same holds true for duologies. Also, I’m hesitant because I’m not sure I need to reread the first book? So I’m just…waiting, until I decide what to do…

This book screams me but because I don’t have a copy of it (yet, I guess), I haven’t gotten to it. Right now, it is on my “To Buy ASAP” list. BUT YES. SPACE. SPAAAAACE.

My best friend has my copy of it right now, but I’m almost scared to read it because I just know it’ll hit me hard. Fun fact, the author will be visiting my former high school. So, guess we’ll see how that goes (to give context, I went to a private school in the middle of nowhere Pennsylvania. One time, some sort of activist came to talk at our school, and these rando conservatives on Twitter got super salty about it. My best friend engaged with them online so she knows more about it than I do).

Been anticipating this since my Australian blogging buddos gushed about how good it was. So, this is definitely high on my list.
I still don’t know why I haven’t read this. I think it’s because every time I think about it, there’s something else that I need to read? And this just keeps getting pushed further and further down the list.

Surprise, still have not read this, and I don’t know why. Well, just kidding, I do. It’s mainly because of the hype monster. This was wayyyy too hyped up back in January, which is why I just…haven’t gotten to it yet.

And that’s it (well no it isn’t, but gotta stop somewhere). What 2017 releases do you still need to read?