Thursday, March 21, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Spring Reads

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and this week's prompt for Top 5 Wednesday is to talk about 5 books for spring!


For this prompt, I'm just discussing the five main books that I must read this spring! Most of these are already out, and they aren't necessarily spring related, but it's essentially my spring TBR.
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1. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2)
Wow, I seriously need to write my Strange the Dreamer book ramble...
Anyways, I absolutely adored Strange the Dreamer and I need to read the sequel as soon as possible. Lazlo Strange is the man of my dreams (no pun intended) and Sarai is absolutely amazing. With the way the first book ended, I need to see how it ended!

2. King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #1)
I was supposed to read this mid-February...whoops...
Nikolai is one of the best characters in the Grisha trilogy and I want to know more about his story. I'm curious about what happened during the gap between Ruin and Rising and Six of Crows, and I definitely need to get to this book.

3. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Radio Silence
I am 22% through Radio Silence and as I've said before, I absolutely need to know what happens to Aled and Frances! I love them so much, and I am incredibly worried that something terrible is going to happen. I don't know if I want to finish because I'd like to believe that everything is sunshine and rainbows, but I want to finish because I need to know, you know?

4. Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)
This book isn't out yet but I can't wait! Also, the preorder incentive for this is an Illuminae novella and I am absolutely hyped!

5. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)
I can't believe that this book is on my TBR.
I know that The Cruel Prince is highly loved, but honestly, I just don't want to read it. I don't think that I'm going to like the characters and that's what drives me to read books. I have to read it though because Nik Nak decided to buddy read it in order to make fun of Cardan's tail so this should be interesting.
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And this has been my top 5 books to read this spring! Which book are you most excited to read?

Have a great day!

~ Nox

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

#Zodiacathon TBR!

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and even though I posted my #Hamilthon TBR a few weeks ago, there just had to be another readathon this month, and it matches my aesthetic/"brand" so I'm doing it. Welcome to Zodiacathon!


Look, I need the Internet to stop making reading challenges for me to participate in - ya'll are just setting me up to fail.

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1. Buddy Read a Book With Someone Who Shares Your Sun Sign
The Darkest Minds (The Darkest Minds, #1)
I'm buddy-reading The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken with Dante from the Procrastinator Files, a fellow Cancer! I'm excited to get to this since it's so popular.

2. Read a Book With an Astrology/Astronomy Related Word in the Title
The Girl Who Drank the Moon

So I've heard this book completely hyped up by Tom from T.J. Reads the Stars and he makes me want to read it so badly, so I'm going to pick up The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill! This book seems magical and I CAN'T WAIT to get into it!

3. Read a Book That Fits the Challenge For Your Sun Sign

They Both Die at the End
My Sun Sign is Cancer, so the challenge is read a book that you think will make you cry, since Cancers are known to be incredibly emotional (which, to be honest, is incredibly on brand for me). So I'm reading They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera because Celestial assured me that I will cry my eyes out. This ought to be good!

4. Read a Book That Fits the Challenge For Your Moon Sign
Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2)

My Moon Sign is Scorpio, and the challenge is to read a book that has romance. For this, I'm reading Muse of Nightmares and I am so absolutely HYPED! I love Lazlo and Sarai, and I need to find out what happens to them!

5. Read a Book That Fits the Challenge For Your Rising/Ascendant
Radio Silence

My Rising/Ascendant Sign is Leo, and the challenge is to read a book with a gorgeous book cover. I've already started the Radio Silence audiobook and I can't wait to finish it! Aled Last already has my heart, and I find Frances to be incredibly relatable.

6. Read the Group Book: Astrology, the 12 Signs by Luna Sidana

So to be honest, I doubt I'll be getting to this one. I'm already expected to read five books in one week. Also, I'd have to get this from the library, and the chances of mine having it are slim to none. If I have the time or resources though, then I'll definitely get it.
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Well, everyone, there's my Zodiacathon TBR! I may have to move it around a bit depending on the books' availability, but this is what it is for now!

Have a great day!

~ Nox

Monday, March 18, 2019

Book Ramble - Enlightenment [SPOILER FREE] Blog Tour!

Hello everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and I'm so glad that I've been able to read Enlightenment by Reno Ursal for the #EnlightenmentBlogTour! For more information on the tour and book, check out Your Tita Kate's launch post here. Personally, I'm rating Enlightenment as a GIVE ME ALL THE MERCH!


TRIGGER WARNINGS: Cancer, Violence, Descriptions of Blood and Other Serious Injuries
REPRESENTATION: Filipino Culture, Filipino-American characters

 Enlightenment is the story of Dorothy, a Filipino-American high school girl preparing for the end of her senior year. Dorothy thinks that her life is normal, with the exception of having a mother who is dying from liver cancer. Everything seems normal until Dorothy has a weird encounter at a club, and then a new boy, Adrian, shows up at her school.

The opening scene definitely gives off City of Bones vibes, when Clary and Simon go to Pandemonium, but instead, it's the main character Dorothy and her best friend Stella. This scene is what sets up the entire novel - the events that happen at the club cause Adrian to fly over in order to protect Dorothy, and this is her awakening. It's creepy and awkward and it makes me feel slimy while reading it, but I'm pretty sure it's supposed to do that.

Here's a quick overview of how I feel about our two main characters: Dorothy and Adrian. I like Dorothy as a character. She feels realistic, reminding me of some of my classmates in high school. I don't get the stereotypical "I'm not like other girls" vibe from her, and she doesn't come off as looking down on others - the way that Adrian does. He starts off as condescending and stuck up, but at the same time, it's excusable because he really isn't like everyone else. Adrian isn't mortal. He has a low opinion of mortals, but he does acknowledge when he's wrong, like with his initial judgment of Stella.

The thing that felt the most real was Dorothy's concern for her mom. Dorothy has kind of become her mother's caretaker - a mother who is staying happy and positive while simultaneously being morbid and talking about her inevitable death. Out of everything in the story this was the most relatable to me. I am my grandparents's unofficial caretaker, similar to the way Dorothy is, and I know what it's like for someone to go around talking about how they're going to die, even though you don't want to think about it. I also know what it's like for someone to have specific dietary restrictions that are difficult to follow, and how it feels to be a kid and struggle with telling them what they can and can't do. I would rather be my grandparents's caretaker than not have them to care for, but there's certain scenes between Dorothy and her mom that I feel really captured what it's like to be a teenage caregiver. These were strong and emotional to me.

While I am not a part of Filipino culture (considering the fact that to my knowledge, I am not part Filipina), there is a point where Adrian and Dorothy are discussing assimilation and the effect it has on culture, specifically language. The following part is their conversation:

"Some first generation Filipinos wanted their kids assimilated, they didn't pass down the language. And some look down on Fil-Ams [Filipino-Americans] who don't speak the native dialect. It's an impossible double standard." 
"Double standard is right. I get that funny look sometimes from Filipinos who don't know me when they ask if I speak. I feel bad when I say English please."

This interaction shows a tough decision that immigrating families make- assimilating in the hopes of having a better life and being more accepted. Years later though, the language is lost. I know that my grandparents grew up in a time where speaking Spanish in schools was punished, and while my gramps speaks some of it, my grandmother barely knows it. My mom and uncle didn't grow up learning Spanish except for high school foreign language requirements, and the same goes to me. Earlier this morning an old man was trying to speak to me in Spanish, and I struggled using a broken knowledge of four years of Spanish classes. There was only one clear sentence: yo no hablo espaƱol. I don't speak Spanish. I understand what it feels like for people to come up to you expecting for you to speak a language that's connected to a culture you feel like you should be more of a part of. This part, like the last one mentioned, really spoke to me.

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Overall, I feel that Enlightenment is a story with an interesting concept and strong points. The story has a mythological element yet manages to feel so very much real. I was surprised how connected I felt to it, considering that I'm not Filipina, but I'm so glad that I did. That's the thing: you don't have to have Filipino roots to adore this story (although I imagine that would make it all the more special) because there are parts that are relatable to so many people: to the teenaged caregivers, to those who didn't grow up speaking the language of their ancestors, to those who wonder about the impending future after high school (and as a college student, the impending future after college...the cycle never ends). Enlightenment has something for everyone. 

And to any readers with Filipino heritage, I hope this story helps you feel seen.

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Thank you, everyone, for reading this post! Enlightenment is out now, and I heavily recommend it for those who love mythology, paranormal fantasies, and amazing diverse reads.

Have a great day!

~ Nox

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Characters That Embody Your Hogwarts House

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and while I personally believe that I am the ultimate Hufflepuff, this week's prompt for Top 5 Wednesday is to describe characters that embody my house.


So to make sure that the characters I list are accurate representations of Hufflepuff, I want to make it clear which traits I am looking for. Hufflepuffs are known for their loyalty, fairness, and hard work. Some of these may be exemplary examples of two traits but not the other, but I'm still counting them. With that in mind, let's begin!

1. Noah from The Raven Boys
"Wow, Nox is mentioning the Raven Cycle series again. What a surprise!" - No one ever
Yes, at this point the blog has officially turned into a Raven Cycle Stan AccountTM. We know this, and we accept this, okay?

The point is that Noah is such a Hufflepuff! My precious boy is loyal to a fault [highlight this next part for spoilers: to the point where seven years after he's murdered by his "best friend", he still believes that he didn't mean to hurt him.] Searching for a dead Welsh king is most definitely considered hard work, an I'd say that Noah is a fair friend. Noah is the most precious of Hufflepuffs, and will most likely be the easiest for me to justify being on this list.

2. Thomas Cresswell from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series
I know what you're thinking: "Nox, Thomas is a Ravenclaw!" And you, dear reader, are correct. Some of you may be thinking "You're both wrong- he's a Slytherin!" or "You're all wrong, he's a Gryffindor!" That's the problem with Thomas Cresswell. I full-heartedly believe that Thomas Cresswell is a hatstall - someone that could belong in all four houses. The houses don't necessarily correspond with our traits as much as they do with our values, however, so it's my opinion that Thomas would be either a Ravenclaw (since he values intelligence) or a Hufflepuff (since he seems to care about loyalty).

3. Kaz Brekker from the Six of Crows duology
And this is where everyone starts yelling at me.

I wrote an entire post on why Kaz is really a Hufflepuff, so I'll just give the highlights: he is incredibly loyal and hard-working. He worked his way to the top, and although he's selective with his loyalty, if he chooses you, he will be there for you.

4. Sarai from the Strange the Dreamer duology
I'm planning on writing a post for this one, but I also think that Sarai is a Hufflepuff. She's fiercely loyal, it's just that her loyalties are torn between the only family she has ever known and the citizens of Weep. This also makes her fair, because she has every right to hate Weep the way that Minya does, but she doesn't because she understands them. There's more to this, but as I said, I do want to write a post for this.

5. Nymphadora Tonks from the Harry Potter series
Okay, this is kind of a cop-out, but Tonks really is one of the ultimate Hufflepuffs! She's loyal, fair, and being an auror is hard work.
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Well, everyone, these are my picks for characters that embody Hufflepuff! Are there any choices that you disagree with? Please let me know in the comments!

Have a great day!

~ Nox

Monday, March 11, 2019

Sort of Sorted: Why Kaz Brekker Is Secretly a Hufflepuff

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and this is the first of a new series on my blog called Sort of Sorted! I'd like to dedicate this post to Sammy from Nik Nak for giving me the inspiration. Sort of Sorted is going to be a series of posts where I argue why a fictional character would be in a certain house. Most of these are going to be different than what the general consensus is, such as this one, where I'm arguing that Kaz Brekker would totally be a Hufflepuff.

Liiiiiiisten, let me explain.  I know that on the surface, it seems that Kaz is the epitome of Slytherin. Deep down though, Kaz really is a Hufflepuff. He is incredibly loyal (to certain people) and hard-working.

Kaz spent years working on how he would end Pekka Rollins. He started off as an errand boy and worked his way up to be Per Haskell's right-hand man. Kaz is the one who recruited vital members to the Dregs, like Inej. He bought the Crow's Club and made it what it is, just like he did with the Slat. Kaz united and strengthened the Dregs all by himself, and I feel like that proves exactly how hard-working he is.

I have one quote to show Kaz's loyalty:

I would have come for you. And if I couldn't walk, I'd crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were, we'd fight our way out together- knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that's what we do. We never stop fighting.

And if that isn't enough evidence for you:

Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don't forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.

Kaz is incredibly loyal to people that he feels deserve it (namely Inej). He rewards those who show their loyalty to him, and if you hurt somebody he cares about, he will literally cut your eye out, and I don't think there's anything more Hufflepuff than that.
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Kaz may not seem like it at first, but he is 100% a Hufflepuff. The Sorting Hat puts you in the house that matches your values, not just your traits. The very fact that Kaz picked a crow to be his symbol because they remember faces and tell each other who to watch out for shows how important loyalty is to him. The fact that he spent years of his life building himself up brick by brick shows how hard-working he is. Kaz Brekker is the ultimate Hufflepuff.
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Obviously, arguments could be made for any house- he's intelligent so he could be a Ravenclaw, he's brave so he could be a Gryffindor, and of course, he's ambitious so he could be a Slytherin. My argument, however, is for Hufflepuff.
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Thank you, everyone, for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post, and I do have another one planned for this series! What house, other than Slytherin, would you sort Kaz into?

Have a great day!

~ Nox

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite SFF Creatures

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and today's Top 5 Wednesday prompt is about creatures from some of my favorite genres: science-fiction and fantasy!


This Wednesday's post is going to be shorter, mainly because I have no idea how I would elaborate on my answers. Don't worry though, because I've seen the prompt for next Wednesday and I can guarantee that post will be much longer!

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1. Dragons
If you don't think that dragons are cool, then you are wrong. Dragons are amazing (especially those named Toothless), and please do not spoil How To Train Your Dragon 3 for me because I still haven't seen it!

2. Phoenixes 
Phoenixes are gorgeous creatures that are full of heavy symbolism. The main reason that they're on this list, however, is simple: who doesn't want a bird that's on fire?

3. Mermaids
I've always loved the water, and I wanted to be a mermaid so badly when I was younger! I could be friends with dolphins, live under the sea, and I could live off of shrimp! Doesn't that seem ideal?

4. The Cows from Gemina
I'm saying that this counts, because 1) they're creatures in a science-fiction story and 2) because these cows produce a special kind of drug. Also, I've almost run out of ideas.

5. Thestrals from Harry Potter
Having horses that you can only see if you've watched someone die is hardcore, valid, and I appreciate it.

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And that, my friends, is my post about the best SFF creatures! Like I said, I realize it's short, but make sure to tune in to next weeks because some of my answers might surprise you!

Have a great day!

~ Nox

Saturday, March 2, 2019

#Hamilthon TBR

Hey look, it's Nox coming back to you with another TBR she won't finish.

Hi everyone, welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and today I'm shaming the Internet for not telling me that there is going to be a month-long readathon based on one of my favorite musicals.

Foxes and Fairytales is just killing it with the readathons. She hosted #Mythothon back in November (which I meant to participate in but completely failed at...whoops?) This is the link to her original post about #Hamilthon.

HamilthonMap.png

Alexander Hamilton - Read a Book With A Name in the Title
My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies, #2)

I've never actually read Jane Eyre, but I saw the movie in AP English and it was pretty good (I know, I know), so I'm excited about this retelling! I think what I'm most excited for is to see Charlotte Bronte as a character! I love that they made her a part of her own story. Also, having Jane as a medium is interesting, and I wonder it'll drive the story.

The Reynolds Pamphlet - Read Something Short

Fruits Basket, Vol. 4

I need to finish Fruits Baskets! The manga is short enough that I can finish it within the hour - I might even read two! I adore the characters in the series (especially Kyo) and how something crazy always happens. I can't wait to continue with the series!

The World Was Wide Enough - Not Set in My Country

The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)

I received The Gilded Wolves in my January OwlCrate box, and I'm buddy-reading it this month! From what I've heard, I believe the book is set in France in the 1800s, so this definitely counts for the prompt! I don't know much about the book, but I'm excited to get into it. I believe there's a diverse cast of characters and a heist, and I'll do my best to not compare it to Six of Crows.

Helpless - Book with Romance

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer, #2)

I am in love with Strange the Dreamer and I need Muse of Nightmares now!
Since the first book had such a strong relationship between Sarai and Lazlo, I'm assuming that the second will too, so it definitely counts for this prompt!

My Shot - Read a Standalone

Radio Silence

I'm buddy-reading this as well (so many buddy reads, so little time) and I've heard a lot of good things about this! I'm excited to get into it.

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With these books, the character I end at will be the one, the only, Alexander Hamilton himself!

I'm pretty sure that I can read another path too, but considering my track record with readathons and TBRs, I'm not going to get too ahead of myself. Thank you for reading, and I hope you have an awesome day!

~ Nox