Friday, September 6, 2019

Readathon Announcement: Hocus Pocus A Thon!

Hello everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and today's post is an announcement for a readathon that I'm cohosting!


I was incredibly excited when I saw that Alyssa and Tiffy were asking for cohosts for a readathon inspired by one of my absolute FAVORITE movies, Hocus Pocus! The readathon is being held from October 1st to October 13th, and to make it even more fun, we're splitting up into three teams inspired by the movie. Each team has their own goal, strength, and weakness, with different prompts inspired by their characters.

Teams

Team Sanderson Sisters is being led by Alyssa, Jackie, and Larissa! Since the sisters are witches, their strength gives them the ability to cast one spell and add five points to one prompt. However, because they want to capture children, they need to read either a Young Adult or Middle Grade book to learn about them. When the Sisters earn 50 points, they are able to complete their goal and cast their spell to become immortal.

Team Trick or Treaters (Max, Allison, and Dani) is being led by Tiffy, Norman, and Kalyn! Because they're defeating witches, they earn an extra two points for each book that they read with a witch character in it. However, they need to stay up all night to stop the sisters, so they must complete a 24-hour readathon. If they earn 50 points, they save the day!

Last but not least, Team Undead (Billy Butcherson and Thackery Binx) is being led by Stephanie and myself! Billy accidentally lost his hand and when he picked it up, it was holding a different prompt, so we're able to switch one of our prompts with another team's! However, because we're stuck in a cemetary, we have to read at least one of our books as we stay put in one spot. 50 points later, we get rid of these witches and finally get to enjoy a nice peaceful eternal sleep!

Group Books

Each team has a prompt that asks them to read one of the group books. While there are two different books, participants are only being asked to read one. Our two books are Serpent and Dove  by Shelby Mahurin and Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha!

More Information

Luckily for us, we have our very own spellbook for the readathon that contains all of the information and prompts! Click here  to find it! We also have a Twitter, where we will be hosting reading sprints! If you join along, make a TBR or announcement post or video, please share it and tag us! We have been retweeting them and we'd honestly love to see it. The other hosts and I are incredibly excited, and we hope that you join us!

Lastly, I want to stress that the other hosts are also bookish content creators, either book bloggers or booktubers, and I sincerely hope that you follow their Twitters and the media that they post their content to. Each one has a link in their Twitter bio for you to check out.

Thank you very much for reading this! I hope you join Team Undead because we are going to KILL THIS READATHON! 

~ Nox

Monday, August 19, 2019

A Love Letter to Soft Boys in YA

To All the Soft Boys I've Loved Before...

Thank you for making me feel loved.
For telling me that I'm a fairytale.
For taking me on journies through the stars.
For being nerdy with me.
For all of the magic you've given me.

Thank you. 
Love,
Nox

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and today I want to talk about soft boys that I love in YA.

Since what I refer to as The Wattpad Era of 2012, it's seemed to me that angst-filled, brooding bad boys are the general preference of the bookish community. You have your Darklings, Kaz Brekkers, Cardans, etc, etc. And yeah, these kinds of characters have their appeal (although with the examples I gave I really only like Kaz)! There's something about someone who is closed off to everyone except that one person. And if I knew anything past what I learned in AP Psych, I'm sure I could write an essay about how the psychology behind why we fixate on these characters and how it probably has something to do with some self-insert fantasy.

But I haven't really studied psychology since I took that AP test junior year of high school, so that is not what this post is about. Go live out those fantasies, that's what reader-insert fanfiction on Tumblr is for. This is me deciding that I want to talk about some of my favorite soft boys of the YA community, the actual cinnamon rolls, the loves of my fictional life. The idea for this came to me when I was talking to nik nak about Abel Mansfield from Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray, which I highly recommend reading! So here's a quick blurb on why I love each character!

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Lazlo Strange

10/10. Can't do anything wrong. The actual definition of a romantic intellectual, the only thing he loves more than his SO are his books, and that's completely understandable. Also responsible for one of my favorite quotes.

"I think you're a fairy tale. I think you're magical, and brave, and exquisite. And I hope you'll let me be in your story."

Tristan (The Gilded Wolves)

As much as I frickin. hate. spiders., Tristan's love for Goliath is what drew me to him

Noah (The Raven Boys)

I can't talk too much about Noah without spoiling the series, so all I'm going to say is that I love him, and that he has the most game out of all of the Raven Boys. Plus, he loves glitter in snowglobes!

Abel Mansfield

Abel is such a sweetheart! He's all about treating his SO as an equal, but making sure that they're safe and being taken care of. Plus, he could kill someone, but he's too much of a softie to actually do that. Abel's ideal date would be laying back and watching an old movie, and I love that. But most of all, even when he's sure about his feelings, he doesn't want to push anybody into a relationship, and that means a lot to me.

John Ambrose McClaren

So this shouldn't surprise anyone, but I am Team John Ambrose ALL THE WAY! I love how his friendship with Lara Jean grows (into something more), and how he knows how important certain things are to her, so they mean something to him too. You don't have to have all of the same interests that your SO does, but the fact that something means a lot to them should matter to you.

Ezra Mason

My soft boy Ezra... I fell for him right at the beginning of Illuminae. He's hilarious and lovely, and a total Hufflepuff! I don't know what else to say except:

"You have me. Until the last star in the galaxy dies, you have me."

Alex Aquino

Alex is everyone's Head Boy of Ravenclaw fantasy come to life! He's the definition of "looks like they can kill you, is actually a cinnamon roll". All Alex wants to do is bake you a tres leche cake and go sailing, and honestly, am 100% down with that!

Rishi Patel

Oh Rishi, the King of Bad First Impressions. You have to admit though, he handles it pretty well. Rishi is just... such a sweetheart, and I love his passion for drawing, his loyalty to those he cares about, and how much his family means to him. And as someone who values traditions (only the ones that aren't based in oppression) and believes that they're an important part of our culture and who we are, I liked reading about Rishi, someone who was putting so much faith in this.

Reid (The Upside of Unrequited)

Last but not least is Reid. I'm a sucker for an awkward, lanky nerd. I have a type, I know, but it works for me. Reid is so sweet and I just love his interactions with Molly so much! His fun little games in the market, his dorky outfits, and just... I loved Reid.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thank you very much for reading this! I just had to talk about some of my character crushes, and I loved writing this!

Have a great day!

~ Nox

Monday, August 12, 2019

Classics I Want to Read!

Hey everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and today I want to share which classics I'm hoping to read this year!

Since I'm an English major, a large part of my courses involves classic literature classes. So far I've had to read books like Beowulf, Paradise Lost, Le Morte d'Arthur (only a few of the books in it), Our Eyes Were Watching God, etc. It's safe to say that classics are important in my major. At the beginning of this year, @she.gets.lit.erary on Instagram shared their list for #getclassicallylit, and even though there's only four months left this year, I decided I'm going to try and read at least 12 classics by the end of 2019. Here's my list!
  1. Dracula by Bram Stoker
  2. Emma by Jane Austin
  3. I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
  5. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
  6. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
  7. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
  8. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  9. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  10. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  11. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  12. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
These aren't in any particular order. I did want to make sure that at least half of my list featured authors of color, because when I was in school (referring to kindergarten through senior year of high school), I wasn't given classics by diverse authors. I especially had to include Toni Morrison, because she was a gift to the community and I feel that reading her work is the best way to honor her legacy.

Thank you for reading! If you've read or want to read any of the books on this list, please let me know! Have a great day!

~ Nox

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Coming Back from Hiatus - ARCAugust

Hello! I'm "Nox" and welcome to Nox Reads!

Image

I've been on hiatus recently, but I'm coming back for ARC August! Looking at my Netgalley account, I noticed that I have nine ARCS that I need to give feedback on, so this is the perfect readathon for me this month.

This is my TBR list. I'm going to be visiting this and cross off the ones I've read!

  • The Evil Queen by Gena Showalter
  • The White City by Grace Hitchcock
  • Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepard
  • The Other F Word by Angie Manfredi
  • The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O'Neill
  • The Pink Bonnet by Liz Tolsma
  • His Hideous Heart by Dahlia Adler
  • Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford
  • The Yellow Lantern by Angie Dicken
I can't wait to get into this! Wish me luck!

~ Nox

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Book Ramble - Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and I'm so unbelievably blessed to be a part of the HUNGRY HEARTS BLOG TOUR!

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love

Several amazing bloggers have already posted about their respective stories, so please go check out Vicky's post with everyone's links! For this ramble, I'm going to give a brief review of the anthology as a whole and then briefly focus on one story: Panaderia ~ Pasteleria by Anna-Marie McLemore.

This anthology is most definitely a NEW FAVORITE! It had me laughing, it had me crying (actually crying. I almost never cry when reading), and most of all, it had me feeling as if I was seen. Even in the stories that weren't representing my heritage, there are relatable and important themes that anyone can touch on: grief, love, fear, and duty, just to name some. And the two that did represent my culture (Gimme Some Sugar by Jay Coles for my African-American side and Panadería ~ Pastelería by Anna-Marie McLemore represents my Mexican-American side)... I have never felt so emotionally and culturally connected as I did to those stories. The foods, the music, the overall family dynamics - those just resonated so deeply with me, and I will be forever grateful for getting to read stories that felt so truly and authentically me. Also, the fact that some characters were seen throughout each story (specifically Lila Manzano, whose family owns the panadería and pastelería) made the anthology feel richer in a way. These weren't just isolated characters who disappeared once the story ended. These were thirteen different tales complexly woven together, by thirteen different authors, and they all did an amazing job. If you want stories with magic, representation, and the ability to make you go on an emotional rollercoaster, then I wholeheartedly (ha...ha...okay, that was bad) recommend Hungry Hearts.

Now, it's time for Panaderia ~ Pasteleria!

REPRESENTATION: LGBT+ (Trans love interest), Latinx (Main character, love interest, and their families)

Lila is such a prominent character throughout the anthology. If she pops up, chances are that the main character is feeling down and could use a pick-me-up, and Lila always delivers with some kind words and colorful conchas. That's why I love that when we get to a story centered around her, we see that she isn't as sure and secure with her own feelings. Lila pops in, hands you a concha, and you're feeling better, surer, and ready to take own whatever's eating you. But she can't do that with herself. She struggles with how to tell Gael how she feels about him, how much he means to her, and that starts getting to her. The result is an overall magical story that I adore, one that ends this amazing book beautifully.

The Manzanos own a panadería, and just reading this story makes me crave some bolillos. It makes me think about when my mom decided to have me ditch zero period because "screw it, you're already late" (by like, 5 minutes) and took me to get some warm, fresh, delicious bolillos and pan dulce before heading to first period. It makes me think about heading to La Fama (a panadería in East LA because, while everyone prefers El Gallo Bakery, La Fama Panadería is where it's at and I don't care that every other LA local will disagree with me) with my Gramps and begging him to let me get some arroz con leche or flan in a cup along with my pan dulce. It makes me think of simpler memories with my family, small moments where we decided to go and get some pan dulce (occasionally my grandma would buy champurrado from the store next door, but now we get it from the back of someone's trunk in a supermarket while we buy tres leche - as all true locals should [I'm kidding, please don't buy food out of the back of someone's truck... unless you're with an adult]). This story hit me with pieces of my culture that I love, pieces that it celebrated, and I love it for that.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So in order to celebrate culture even more, I made two different playlists on Spotify! One is specifically Latin music, songs that either I or my friends have grown up with or listened to once we got older. The other one, however, after weeks of thought ... is a collaborative playlist that I hope others will add to! Add your culture's music, the music you grew up listening to or listen to now. I want this to be a group effort, and I challenge all of the other members of the blog tour to put in at least one song (or let me know a song so that I can try and add it for you)! Thank you to Ari, Jessica, and Jules for giving me some songs to start this playlist off. And if you're like me, and maybe didn't grow up listening to a whole lot of music from your background, then I hope you find this playlist as a way to connect to a piece of yourself, the way I did when I read the book. And I hope that everyone finds this as a way to connect with others.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well everyone, thank you for reading! I sincerely hope that you all pick up a copy of Hungry Hearts as soon as possible, it's truly an amazing book. The tour info and book synopsis will be put down below! And in the comments, please leave me with one song you grew up listening to!

~ Nox

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

June 10th – Introduction
Vicky (Welcome + Interview)

June 11th – Karuna Riazi
Naadhira (Review)

June 12th – Rin Chupeco
Bianca (Review + Creative Post) & Kate (Review + Recipe)

June 13th – Jay Coles
Nikki (Review + Creative Post)

June 14th – Elsie Chapman
Kevin (Review + Creative Post) & Natalia (Review + Creative Post)

June 15th – Sara Farizan
Em (Review)

June 16th – Caroline T. Richmond
Lili (Review + Creative Post) & Tiffany (Review + Creative Post) 

June 17th – Adi Alsaid
Moon (Review + Creative Post)

June 18th – Sandhya Menon
Aimal (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board) & Nia (Review + Fave Quotes)

June 19th – S. K. Ali
Mish (Review + Creative Post)

June 20th – Phoebe North
Kayla (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board)

June 21st – Rebecca Roanhorse
Lila (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board) & AJ (Review + Aesthetic/Mood board)

June 22nd – Sangu Mandanna
Nandini (Review + Creative Post) & Prags (Review + Fave Quotes)

June 23rd – Anna-Marie McLemore
Nox (Review + Creative Post) 

June 24th – Closing
CW (Review + Food Crawl)

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love edited by Elsie Chapman & Caroline Tung Richmond
Hardcover, 352 pages
June 18th 2019 by Simon Pulse
From some of your favorite bestselling and critically acclaimed authors—including Sandhya Menon, Anna-Marie McLemore, and Rin Chupeco—comes a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the intersection of family, culture, and food in the lives of thirteen teens.
A shy teenager attempts to express how she really feels through the confections she makes at her family’s pasteleria. A tourist from Montenegro desperately seeks a magic soup dumpling that could cure his fear of death. An aspiring chef realizes that butter and soul are the key ingredients to win a cooking competition that could win him the money to save his mother’s life.
Welcome to Hungry Hearts Row, where the answers to most of life’s hard questions are kneaded, rolled, baked. Where a typical greeting is, “Have you had anything to eat?” Where magic and food and love are sometimes one and the same.
Told in interconnected short stories, Hungry Hearts explores the many meanings food can take on beyond mere nourishment. It can symbolize love and despair, family and culture, belonging and home.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Greek Gods Book Tag!

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and these are my answers for the Greek Gods Book Tag!


Thank you, Leisha, for tagging me! I know it's been a couple of months, but I can't wait to finally answer!

1. Zeus (King of the Gods) - My Favorite Book
Fairest

Fairest by Gail Carson Levine is my go-to answer for "What is your favorite book?". I haven't read it in over 7 years, and I remember the way it made me feel when I did. Aza's ugliness, her voice, her personality, and her quest were all incredibly important to a little girl who felt ugly but felt the power of music. And I'll always be appreciative of that, even if I don't sing anymore.

2. Hera (Queen of the Gods) - A Bad*** Female Character
Stalking Jack the Ripper (Stalking Jack the Ripper, #1)

Audrey-Rose Wadsworth from the Stalking Jack the Ripper series feels like the perfect example for a bad-*** female character. I love that her strength doesn't come from her being "not like other girls" or from her looking down on them, but rather from her willingness to appreciate her girly side and also venture into a field that she's passionate about, even if men dominate it. I don't see Audrey Rose as looking down on other women, but rather as her looking down on the roles society requires them to play. And I think that is strength in itself.

3. Janus (God of Beginnings) - My Favorite Debut(s) 
Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic, #1)


This is a bit of a cheat since I actually haven't read Nocturna by Maya Motayne, but 1) I apparently don't read many debuts and 2) let's be honest, I'm totally going to love this book. It's a LATINX FANTASY for crying out loud! This is my ish! From the few pages I have read, I'm enjoying Alfie's angst, and I can't wait to dive into the rest.


4. Athena (Goddess of Wisdom) - My Favorite Nonfiction Book


I don't really read nonfiction, so I don't have an answer for this.

5. Aphrodite (Goddess of Love) - A Book I Adore and Recommend Everyone Read

The Raven Boys (The Raven Cycle, #1)


Say it with me folks: "Is it really a Nox Reads post if she doesn't mention the Raven Cycle series?"  NO IT ISN'T! 

I flippin' adore this book, I adore the magic of it, I adore the Gangsey, I adore Noah specifically, and I adore their quest. And I highly recommend you read it because it's AWESOME.

6. Hades (God of the Underworld) - An Evil Book I Wish Didn't Exist


Romeo and Juliet

To constrast all of the adoration from the previous question: I flippin' hate this play, I hate the romance in it, I hate everyone except for three characters, I hate Romeo specifically, and I hate the ending. And I HIGHLY recommend reading this play only as a comedy, because that's the way Shakespeare intended it and I flippin' hate this as a "tragic love story". Blah.

7. Poseidon (God of the Sea and Earthquakes) - A Beautiful and Ground-Breaking Book


Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love

Say it with me folks: "I flippin' adore this book. I adore the magic of it..." I'll just stop there. This book is going to be popping up a lot on my blog, my Booktube, and my social media in general, and there's a reason for that - it's absolutely amazing. Hungry Hearts comes out on June 18th, and you better get yourself a copy because trust me, you won't regret it. It makes you feel seen, it makes you feel loved, and it makes you feel hungry.

8. Apollo (God of the Arts) - A Beautiful Book Cover


Daughters Of Nri (The Return of the Earth Mother, #1)

This cover is one of the most magical things I have ever seen in my life, and I love it! The women on the cover are gorgeous, the story sounds amazing, and I can't wait to get a copy so I can ugly-cry over how beautiful it is.

9. Hypnos (God of Sleep) - A Book So Boring I Almost Fell Asleep 

After (After, #1)


I HATE THIS STUPID BOOK SO MUCH! It took me two weeks to finish this stupid, overly-long, pointless drag of a book. There was no plot, the characters all suck, and it was an overall waste of time that made me want to rage-quit.

10. Hermes (Messenger of the Gods) - A Book I Sped Through


Caraval (Caraval, #1)

On the other hand, though, I listened to the audiobook for Caraval, and it was absolutely magical! I fell in love with it, and I can't wait to read Finale! Hopefully it's as binge-able as Caraval - I finished it all in one night!

And speaking of finished, we have reached the end of the tag. Thank you so much for reading, I really appreciate it! Have a great day!

~ Nox

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Favorites I'd Like to Revisit

Hi everyone! Welcome to Nox Reads, I'm "Nox", and since Top 5 Wednesday is on hiatus for the summer, I'm revisiting previous prompts that I never participated in! The one I'm choosing for this week is Favorites I'd Like to Revisit.


1. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater
The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, #2)

Let's just get The Raven Cycle out of the way, shall we? I picked The Dream Thieves instead of The Raven Boys because as much as I love it, I almost didn't finish the first book. The Dream Thieves is my favorite in the series though, and I would love to relive every part of it!

2. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor
Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer, #1)

I still need to finish Muse of Nightmares but I absolutely adore Strange the Dreamer! The writing is so magical, and I would love to fall in love with Lazlo Strange all over again.

3. The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)


It would be great to experience the magic of Harry Potter all over again! Although, the more I think about it, the more I realize I'd also experience the heartache of Harry Potter all over again... this one is up to debate.




4. Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food and Love by Elsie Chapman

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love


I was lucky enough to read this anthology as an eARC, and my book ramble will be coming out soon! Thirteen different stories, thirteen different cultures, and thirteen different authors! Everything is tied together so neatly, and I absolutely adore this book! Hungry Hearts comes out on June 18th.




5. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Radio Silence

My friend Jules got me to read Radio Silence last March and it quickly became one of my favorite books! I don't know what else to say, but I did write a book ramble about it that I'll leave here!

Thank you for reading! What book would you like to revisit?

~ Nox