Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is the favorite books of 2017. I took this to mean any book I read in 2017, not ones that were published this year. 

Star Wars: Dark Disciple By Christie Golden. I LOVED this book. Even though the ending crushed me. Who knew Asajj Ventress would become a favorite character of mine.

Signal to Noise By Silvia Moreno-Garcia. Jess @ Jessticulates mentioned this book A LOT that I finally read it and loved it!

The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers. I feel like I am the last person in the world to read this book. I recently did the audiobook, and I loved it! I totally get it now.

An Ember in The Ashes By Sabaa Tahir. This is a book that I wasn't that interested in when it first came out so I tried it on audio and it blew me away!

Arena By Holly Jennings. I first heard about this book when Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight hosted a giveway and had an awesome review of it. As a gamer, I loved this one and it made start playing co-op games again.

The Crown's Game by Evelyn Skye. This was a book that had mixed reviews but I love Tsar Russian history, so this was definitely a win for me!

City of Miracles by Robert Jackson Bennett. This was such a perfect ending to a series! I highly recommend this series to everyone. Go read it now!

Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I feel like I took forever to get to this book! I loved it so much. Who else is excited for the movie?

Red Rising By Pierce Brown. I still have only read this first book in the series, but I really loved this first one. 

Star Wars: Rebel Rising By Beth Revis. I didn't totally love Beth Revis' debut, so I was really nervous about her writing a Star Wars book. I think she did a great job, and this book made me understand Jyn way more. 

What were your favorite books this year? 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, December 11, 2017

The Real Neat Blog Award

I was nominated for the Real Neat Blog Award! Woo hoo! Yay for blog awards! I love these things because it's a cool way to give an opportunity to newer blogs to be featured. I always try to showcase different blogs than I have before to share the love in this little blogging community. 

I want to say a big thanks to Darque Dreamer Reads for nominating me. Thanks, girl!!


  • Display the award logo on your blog
  • Thank the folks who nominated you and provide links to their blogs
  • Answer the 7 questions asked by your nominator(s)
  • Nominate any number of other bloggers to share the award and give them some linky love
  • Notify the nominated folk
  • Ask the nominees 7 questions of your own
Darque's Questions:

  1. What do you love most about blogging?
    Sharing my thoughts and finding people that have similar thoughts about books. I think the community is a big thing that keeps me around.
  2. Why did you start blogging in the first place?
    I used to be a sports blogger and when I quit I felt like something was missing in my life. So I started blogging about books I was reading. I think it's a great way for me to release my creativity.
  3. Do you have a favorite genre?
  4. What is your favorite book you’ve read so far this year, and what did you love about it?
    Star Wars: Dark Disciple. Honestly, I think it's better love story and a story about a Jedi going dark than the Prequels. 
  5. Favorite and least favorite slang word of the 2010s. (Hint, “neat” is not from the 2010s.)
    Least - Jawn (although it's probably from before the 2010s, but I hate it so much). I don't really have a favorite. I'm a hater. 
  6. Which kind of apocalypse do you most enjoy reading/watching/thinking about?
  7. What about a blog makes you follow?
    Similar interests, active on social media, and interesting content.

My Questions:

  1. What do you love about the book blogging community?
  2. If you could switch places with a book character who would it be?
  3. What is your least favorite genre? Why?
  4. Is there something specific that makes you love a book?
  5. What is your favorite childhood book?
  6. Do you have a favorite blogger? (You don't have to name them) What about their blog makes them your favorite?
  7. What is a pet peeve you have about other book bloggers or book lovers in general?

I Nominate:

To be completely honest I didn't check to see if the bloggers above have already been nominated, so if you have been feel free to pass on answering these questions. If you haven't heard of these bloggers, you should give them a follow!

Happy Reads Everyone!

Friday, December 8, 2017

New Feature - One With The Force!

Guess who has another new feature?? THIS BLOG! Because of course I need to have another feature that I forget to post about! 

So today I am introducing a new feature I am calling One With The Force. If you have been reading my blog for awhile, or have come across my blog during Sci-Fi Month, you probably have noticed that I really like Star Wars. Like REALLY like Star Wars! So I wanted to add a feature to my blog that would be dedicated solely to my love of Star Wars. I'm calling it One With The Force, because I'm a wannabe Jedi!

I read and review a lot of Star Wars novels on this blog, and I think I will still do those as separate review posts. This feature is more going to be about character discussions, news stuff, or anything I want to talk about regarding Star Wars. I'm just a really big fan of this universe and I think in an effort to combine all my loves in one place it makes sense to add this feature to my blog.

I'm pretty excited to get started with this feature, but I likely won't have a new feature post up on the blog until the new year. I'm not going to hold myself to a once a month type thing like I do with some of my other features. I rather make it so I can just post whenever I want. Whether that be sporadically throughout the year or a few times a month. I like the monthly features I have on here, but sometimes I think, "oh, crap, I have to write a Deanna Listens" and then I think I don't do my best work. 

Star Wars is something I am really passionate about, so it's exciting to start to bring that more into this blog. If you have an idea on what I should post about for this feature, please let me know! I would be interested to hear what readers want to read about and what interests them!

Tune in later to see what I have in store for this feature...and may the force be with you! 

Happy Reads Everyone!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Review: Voyager by Diana Gabaldon

Voyager By Diana Gabaldon (Outlander #3)
Publisher: Dell
Release Date: October, 26th, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 1059 pages
Source: ?? I don't remember where I got this one
My Rating: ★★

Goodreads ★ Amazon ★ B&N ★ TBD

From the author of the breathtaking bestsellers Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber, the extraordinary saga continues.

Their passionate encounter happened long ago by whatever measurement Claire Randall took. Two decades before, she had traveled back in time and into the arms of a gallant eighteenth-century Scot named Jamie Fraser. Then she returned to her own century to bear his child, believing him dead in the tragic battle of Culloden. Yet his memory has never lessened its hold on her... and her body still cries out for him in her dreams.

Then Claire discovers that Jamie survived. Torn between returning to him and staying with their daughter in her own era, Claire must choose her destiny. And as time and space come full circle, she must find the courage to face the passion and pain awaiting her...the deadly intrigues raging in a divided Scotland... and the daring voyage into the dark unknown that can reunite—or forever doom—her timeless love.
I have legitimately been reading this book for an entire year! Not that it's bad, it's just a huge book and is a huge commitment. I would get sidetracked from reading this because I would get ARCs from publishers in between reading this and then I kept on having to put it down to read other things. It kind of feels weird now that I am finally finished this one. I enjoyed it but there were definitely parts about this book that I take some issue with.

I like the story of Claire and Jamie a lot, and I found the narrative structure in this one a little different than the last books. It was different in a good way and kept me interested. In this novel we get to see what Jamie has been up to and how his life has been since Claire went back through the stones. At the same time we see the parallel of what Claire's life is like going back to her own time period. I found Claire's life with Frank super depressing. I just don't know how she could stand to live with him! First of all there is the trope that he looks like Captain Jack Randall, and I think if I was her I wouldn't want to ever look at him again. The second part is that he just sucks! I admit their relationship is complicated, and Claire is very closed off since she is still in love with Jamie, but he also sleeps around with other women all the time too. Also that really racist stuff that comes up towards the end of his life is NOT OKAY!

Which brings me to what I took issue with this novel, and that is the way it handles race. I loved Claire's friendship with her colleague Joe (a black doctor), but there are even some problematic things with this character. There is section where Joe's son is getting involved in the black power movement and Joe makes a really weird joke about it to Claire. The other people of color, like the Chinese man Yi Tien Cho and the slaves that they meet on their travels are written in a very stereotypical way. It's more than a little problematic. I'm not caught up on the show yet, but I believe the adaption is trying to not include the same racial stereotyping as the source material. I'm glad we actual see people of color in a historical fiction novel, but it's definitely not without problems. I also try to look at the fact that this book was published 20 years ago and thoughts on race and problematic content wasn't talked about in the same lens. Not to say how race is treated in this novel is okay, I think it's just something to consider when reviewing this novel.

I think this book is titled aptly, because we really go on a voyage with both Jamie and Claire. I feel like Claire is just constantly testing Jamie and it kind of makes me laugh. Jamie is basically like, "Claire, don't do the thing!" but Claire is like, "Imma do the thing" and he still loves her and finds a way for the two of them to get out of whatever shenanigans they wind up in.

I do think that maybe these books are TOO long. Like do we really need all of this detail to get to the heart of the story? I like reading about Claire and Jamie's lovestory, but I think sometimes Gabaldon tells us too much and it's not really all that necessary to the overarching plot. I still think I will continue with this series, but it's just a huge time commitment that I find it a little difficult to complete.

What did you think of this book? Are you a fan of this series? In your opinion, why should I continue reading this series?

Happy Reads Everyone!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Deanna Listens: Fangirls Going Rogue

Deanna Listens is a monthly feature on the first Monday of every month I created to showcase some of my favorite podcasts. This month I am talking about a podcast that is very near to my geeky girl heart -- Fangirls Going Rogue!

I had this podcast on my radar for a long time, and I finally took the plunge to really start listening to them. I'm slowly going through the backlog of the older episodes, but I think I have listened to enough to properly talk about this one. I have to say that I LOVE this podcast. If you love Star Wars, and you like to hear discussions from the female point of view, this is definitely a podcast for you. The podcast is hosted exclusively by women, which I love and they definitely let their Fangirl Flag fly high! Which I am 100% here for!

A cool thing is that no matter what their episode is about (if it's an interview, news topic, etc) they do take the time to build in a character discussion portion. I think it's something different about them that I haven't experienced with other Star Wars Podcasts. They always want to talk about a different character in the Star Wars universe, and I love that! 

Another thing I really like about this podcast is that they don't always agree. Which is great because not everyone is going to agree with each other. I think they have health debates and play it off professionally so it never gets too intense. Debate is good, and having different opinions is always good in fandom. Not everyone is going to have the same favorite, and not everyone is going to love all the characters, and I think that's okay. They are always respectful of each other, and that's one thing I really appreciate about their debates. 

The Fangirls are also super engaging with their fans. They have a closed facebook group (you just have to ask to join and answer some questions). I recently joined it and I love all the discussions and camaraderie with other SW fans in the group. Also, this podcast is not just for women. Men are involved in the conversation too, this podcast just chooses to focus on viewing the Star Wars universe in the female lens, and I love that. They also have a lot of women in Star Wars on the podcast, from Ashley Eckstein of Her Universe, to Vanessa Marshall, to women that work for the LucasFilm Story Group. I think it's important to support women in Star Wars and the women that are working to bring Star Wars to us all. 

Awesome Episodes That I Love:
-#CarrieOn LIVE from Celebration Orlando (Panel talking about Carrie Fisher & Princess Leia)
-You Talk We Listen - Episode 1: Rogue One with Sandra Choute & Adjua Adama (this might actually be my favorite, and want to see more of these YTWL)

These are just a handful of great episodes that this podcast puts out, but there are so many good ones to listen to. I am slowly going through the backlog, because I like starting things from the beginning but I really enjoy listening to these ladies talk Star Wars. If you are an uber Star Wars fan like me, I really recommend this podcast. Give the Fangirls some love!

Got a great podcast you love? Give me a recommendation in the comments. No serious, please help, I'm running out of podcasts to listen to!

Happy Reads Everyone!