lists

Must Read: My Top 10 Books with Strong Female Leads

I don’t know about you, but I love a well-developed, strong female main character. As a woman myself I love the positive representation. Below are my top ten fantasy books with strong female leads.

  1. Selene from The Olympus Bound Series
    by Jordanna Max Brodsky. I’m in love with everything about this series, but I think Selene is definitely what sold me to begin with. Selene in the fallen goddess Artemis. She strong, tough, and a little emotionally distant at times. I kinda want to be her.

2. Zélie from Children of Blood and Bone from Tomi Adeyemi. Zélie is one tough cookie. She has grown up where her people are oppressed, but instead of giving in she fights all the more. Mentally, physically, and magically strong. A role model for us all in a lot of ways.

Art by Megan Ward. Find it here.


3. Jude from The Wicked King by Holly Black. This girl has been fierce her whole life and though she may be scared at times she doesn’t let that stop her. She’s Queen of Shadows and usually a step ahead.

Art by Wictorian_art. Find it here.


4. Alina from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. Alina, weak and sickly until she allowed herself to use her power. If that isn’t a metaphor for us all I don’t know what is.

Art from Golden Rose. Find it here.


5. Laia from An Ember in the Ash by Sabaa Tahir . She started out scared and a little helpless, but for those she cared about she accomplished some truly daring tasks.

Art by Tpiola. Find it here.


6. Agnieszka from Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Agneiszka might be a bit of a mary sue, but she came from nothing and then she saved her kingdom. It was dark, but she makes it.

Art by Taryn. Find it here.


7. Meg from The Others series by Anne Bishop. Meg is not what I would consider physically strong, but she’s a strong female lead nonetheless. Meg like most of these ladies has been through a lot, but her force will and kindness alone make her a great pick for this list.


8. Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire. She’s the last remaining member of a special warrior family. Physically and mentally strong. She’s a powerhouse.

Art from Laya Rose. Find it here.


9. Fatima from The Bird King. She goes from concubine to runaway to leader. A hard choice in order to save a friend. She doesn’t have a lot of physical strength, but she has a strong will.


10. So many women in How long ‘Til Black Future Month? by N.K. Jemisin. Normally I wouldn’t put such a vague answer here, but there are just so many strong women throughout this anthology that I feel like I would be doing all you readers a disservice by not mentioning them.


What about you? Do you agree with the list? Do you have any other strong female leads you really enjoy?

lists

Top Five Anthologies to Get Excited About

Hello lovely readers! If you’ve been keeping an eye on my reviews for this blog you will notice that I only post reviews for novels. This is my preferred reading material and I tend to stick with. However, this year I’ve found some anthologies that I think I going to be well worth the read. Note: I haven’t read most of these so I’m going on summary alone.

  1. How long ’til Black Future Month by N. K. Jemisin. I’ve been watching to read this author’s works for a long time, but just haven’t gotten to it. This collection focuses on African Americans who are put into fantastical situations. The summary of this anthology is what really sold me on it.
  2. New Erotica for Feminists by Caitlin Kunkel, Brooke Preston, Fiona Taylor, and Carrie Wittmer. I was intrigued by the title and once again drawn in by the summary. A retelling of some old stories, but also answers to some common questions. It’s cooler than what I make it sound
  3. Black Enough: Stories about being young & black in America by Ibi Zoboi, Tracey Baptiste, Coe Booth, Dhonielle Clayton, Brandy Colbert, Jay Coles, Lamar Giles, and Leah Henderson . As someone who works with a lot of young people I’m always interested in reading about their experiences. I’ve heard lots of good things about this one.
  4. Proud by Juno Dawson, Dean Atta, Fox Benwell, Caroline Bird, Tanya Byrne, Moira Fowley-Doyle, Simon James Green,and David Levithan . A collection of stories and poetry by lgbtq+ authors about the theme of pride
  5. Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe, Jessica Spotwood, Brandy Colbert, Zoriada Cordova, Andrea Cremer, Kate Hart, Emery Lord, and Elizabeth May . diversity and witches? I’m sold.
Advice

Beginning Bloggers- Pros and Cons for blogging

Hello everyone, so I’ve been blogging for officially for a few months now. Wow, the time has flown. I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve really enjoyed and what has been a bit of a struggle with book blogging. I decided to share it with you incase you’re interested in getting into book blogging or just need to know that you’re not the only blogger experiencing the struggle and rewards.

  1. The Community (pro #1) – I’ve just begun to really start interacting with the book community and everyone is so friendly and fantastic. I don’t have a lot of friends who enjoy reading or have time oddly enough and this has really given me an outlet to start talking to those of you who have similar interests. It’s so warm and great!
  2. Time Commitment (Neg #1) – A blog that is updated approximately every other day or even a couple of times a week is a huge time commitment. Writing is fun, but the moment you give yourself a schedule there’s personal pressure. Now, you don’t have to keep a set schedule, but realize that if you want to new people to chat with you on your blog a set schedule I’m finding is optimal for at least getting your posts seen.
  3. Broadening of horizons (Pro #2) – I began this blog to talk and discuss particular elements of fantasy books. Mainly, characterization, world building, and diversity. I know what I enjoy for characterization and world building, but I hadn’t really been looking for any diversity. It wasn’t intentional, but I was reading books about all white characters almost all the time. I don’t think reading those books are a problem, but what was the problem was assumed there weren’t other types of stories out there. I didn’t think the problem was me. I just thought people weren’t publishing different stories. Well, I was dead wrong and now I’ve start to realize and really explore more diverse books. I must say that they’re amazing!
  4. Remembering stuff ( Neg #2) – I like to say I have the memory of a goldfish. I read a lot of books and do a lot of stuff. It’s really difficult for me to remember a large amount of detailed information. This is mainly important because I want to create a lot of lists. People love lists and they’re also very helpful for people who want to read a particular type of book. So, in order to remember books and characters well enough to create lists I takes notes. This really slows down how quickly I can read and can dampen the enjoyment I have for reading.
  5. Patience (Pro and Con #3) I list this as a pro and a con, because it really is for me. I have been slowly building a blog following, but it’s been slow going. This is a con, because as I mentioned I want to talk with other book lovers and the more people you have following you the more likely you are to have a discussion about something you’ve posted. It makes sense. However, it’s also a pro. I think instant success can sometimes make people (or at least me) lazy. It takes me time to write what I feel like is good content and even then sometimes it goes up before I feel like it’s 100% ready. There’s no problem with taking your time and I think that’s an important lesson on it’s own.

What do you think? Have you experienced these as well? Are you concerned about them?

lists

Top 5 Books Featuring Werecreatures

Hello everyone and welcome to this top five list. I love urban fantasy and I really enjoy when they feature werecreatures. Now, I say werecreatures and not just werewolves because some of these books feature other types of weres like werejaguars! Cool, right? I think so. Take a look below and see what you think! Note: These are adult fiction books and can contain explicit content.

  1. The Change of Heart Series by Mary Calmes. These are the werepanthers! It’s a five part book series and totally worth the read. It is sold as a romance series and it is, but it’s so much more than that. These werepanthers have a whole culture and history all of their own. That become more apparent later in the series.

Diversity Note: This story is based on a gay couple.


2. The Green Creek series by TJ Klune. I’ve already review this series when I first started my blog, but I really can’t recommend it enough. The story contains werewolves and kept me on the edge of my seat.

Diversity Note: This story is based on a gay couple


3. The Others Series by Anne Bishop. This book contains a variety of weres though I use the term loosely here. Crows, coyotes, bears, and wolves are all within this series. This series takes the stereotype of werecreature and turns it on its head. I love the world, the characters, everything about it.

Diversity note: I would consider Meg neurodivergent. She has some sensory issues very unique to her character.


4. The Mercy Thompson Series by Patricia Briggs. I’m not sure if there are many fans of werewolves that haven’t heard of this series. Mercy is a werecoyote mechanic that has a habit of getting herself into trouble.

Diversity note: Mercy is native american.


5. The Thirds Series by Charlie Cochet. This is a series based on people in a specialized police force. This includes werecats. If you like high stakes and some suspense this is a good choice for you.

Diversity note: This features a gay couple.


So, what do you think? Have you read any of these books? What are you favorite books featuring werecreatures?

Advice

Top 5 Reasons I Follow a Blog

One question I believe all first time bloggers and bloggers in general ask themselves is how can I get followers? Followers are really the lifeblood and fun part of a blog. Without followers you’re basically shouting into the void. Followers bring great conversations and shared interests. So, I’ve been doing research which includes looking at tons of blogs and I’ve analyzed why I follow some blogs rather than others. As a caveat, I’ve been looking primarily at book blogs. Consider some of these things as you create your blog.

  1. Interesting content– all book blogs have lots of similarity when it comes to content. So, it makes sense that what really sets a blog apart is new and interesting content. I love a good discussion or blog post about something I haven’t heard of before. This concept also works no matter what topic you’re blogging about. If you’re saying the same thing as everyone else then there’s less interest.
  2. A desire to connect with readers– I love bloggers that seem like they want to talk with me. Blogging is a very social activity and if you never respond to anyone when they comment or seem disinterested then people aren’t going to go out of their way to chat with you.
  3. Evergreen Content– evergreen content is content that never really expires. Like all those My Top 5/10/20…lists. It draws me in. I can read a post that you made a year ago and still enjoy it. I’m not sure what’s so appealing about lists, but I love them.
  4. Visually Appealing- I love looking at well-organized, easily read blogs and I don’t think I’m alone in that one. I want to enjoy looking at your blog and navigating through it. If it’s hard to read or just really rough to look at I’ll find a different blog.
  5. Lots of Content- The more content the more I can read from you and the more I can learn if we have similar interests and tastes. This is really tough when you first start a blog if you don’t want to burn out. I would advise like many bloggers before me to stick to a schedule. Then, you won’t burn out, but you still have regular content coming out even if it’s just once a week.

What do you think? Are there other things you consider when deciding if you’re going to follow a blog or not?