3 Books Every Ravenclaw Should Read

For anyone who doesn’t know, and honestly, why are you even here if you don’t, I am obsessed with Harry Potter and Hogwarts houses and books and Hogwarts houses relating to books because intersectionality.

I’ve already done a post on books every Slytherin should read you can find it (here)

Jackaby

Jackaby is witty, clever and full of magic and mystery, something that every Ravenclaw seems to love. It is a fantasy book taking place in 1892 New England as well as murder. Basically, there is a Sherlock Holmes (whose name is Jackaby) who deals with fantastical criminals and is narrated by Jackaby’s equivalent of a Watson, Abigail Rook, it is a book fit for Rowena Ravenclaw.

Looking for Alaska

Love, intrigue, pranks, a boarding school; Looking for Alaska has it all and is all in all one of my top ten books ever up there with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Animal Farm and of course Attack of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons. You may have heard about Looking for Alaska or at least its author because you know he wrote the Fault in Our Stars. And though many say that Looking for Alaska is not his best book but I disagree. It is, of course, a matter of opinion.

A Tale Dark and Grimm

This is not strictly a YA book but is a middle grade book that I have forced upon many a family member that are at least four times older than me and they like it too so age restrictions are dumb. Anyways A Tale Dark and Grimm is a mashup of many little known and stunningly good fairytales told as a novel stringing the characters Hansel and Gretel as the protagonists of an epic journey. It includes living statues, dragons, literally satan, golden apples, werewolves, just read it it’s great.

Any other recommendations?

Alexina-2

The Importance of Female Clothing in Fantasy

Isabell Lightwoods leather jackets and snake whip, Celaena’s dresses with swords strapped to her back, Annabeth’s camp shirt and invisibility hat, all of these things are examples of clothing choices that show something about each character.


For Isabell, her snake whip shows a cleverness, a stab you in the back sort of mentality and her leather jacket is a sign of her modernness, of the fact that she is a shadowhunter (the black) but a modern one (the leather).

Celaena will do whatever it takes to kill you, she’ll rip off her dress and pull out the sword she’s been hiding the whole time and stab you, then she’ll go back to eating cupcakes and shopping. There is a polarity about her that is hard to understand and her clothing shows that. Even the book covers show that, having her in assassins clothing on the front and a dress on the back cover.

Annabeth’s clothing shows where her loyalties lie, Percy wears a camp shirt but he also wears other clothing, Annabeth is rarely shown without it. Percy has family on the outside, Annabeth does not really have family on the outside of camp. Her hat is a gift that brings together the fact that she will never be normal (it makes her invisible) and that shows that she has parts of her that exist outside of camp (the fact that it’s a red sox hat).

All of these things show things about their lives, the ways in which the world gives them problems and they come up with solutions.

The clothing shows what they care about, how they care about those things. 

A dress indicates, at least generally, femininity whereas armor shows masculinity. It is an easy transition between moods and scene when you see a character go between a dress and a suit of armor. If you see a character (Celaena I’m looking at you) wearing both, it is easy to understand the fluidity of their person.

A sudden draw of a weapon from within a satin fold is much harder to predict than a sword coming outside of a sheath.

Clothing means stuff.

It is not just fashion, or perhaps I should say fashion is not just a runway and glitter.

Fashion is how we express to each other what we are going to do and it is no different with female characters.

Authors and readers, please don’t forget that.

Alexina-2

3 Books Every Slytherin Should Read

 And I Darken

NO ONE EXPECTS A PRINCESS TO BE BRUTAL. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

For the Slytherins who would love to be a part of a royal court in which your life is based on the stories, you can make with your mouth and the impressiveness of your curtsies.

 We Were Liars

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.

For the Slytherins who seems older than their years and has the ability to see through a person with a glance and who sometimes can’t see through themselves.

 Fairest

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her “glamour” to gain power. But who isQueen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story―a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times –bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death. This extraordinary book includes a special full-color image of Levana’s castle and an excerpt from Winter, the exciting conclusion to The Lunar Chronicles.

For the Slytherins who have aspirations and ambitions to one day rule the world, or, depending on who they are, the moon.

What books would you recommend for Slytherins?

Alexina-2

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart Review

Screen Shot 2016-11-26 at 2.05.53 PM.pngWelcome to the beautiful Sinclair family. 

No one is a criminal. 

No one is an addict. 

No one is a failure. 

The Sinclairs are athletic, tall, and handsome. We are old-money Democrats. Our smiles are wide, our chins square, and our tennis serves aggressively. 

It doesn’t matter if divorce shreds the muscles of our hearts so that they will hardly beat without a struggle. It doesn’t matter if trust-fund money is running out; if credit card bills go unpaid on the kitchen counter. It doesn’t matter if there’s a cluster of pill bottles on the bedside table. 

It doesn’t matter if one of us is desperate, desperately in love. 

So much in love, that equally  desperate measures must be taken. 

We are Sinclairs. 

No one is needy. 

No one is wrong. 

We live, at least in the summertime, on a private island off the coast of Massachusetts.  

Perhaps that is all you need to know.  

I don’t know how to explain what this book did to me.

The only way I can describe it is that, in the most amazing way possible, someone took my whole world view, my whole mind and broke it. But not with a bat, or with a hammer, but with itself in such a way that my own mind broke itself.

It didn’t change the knowledge I have in my head or the way I think or show me a new thing that I’d never seen before. It just made me think about my own thoughts differently.

The whole story is about the consequences of your actions and how one person’s actions affect another and soon all hell has broken loose.

The characters are written so well, you feel empathy for the villains and feel fear from the villains and almost feel happy when the villains succeed and then towards the end of the book you realize there’s no such thing as a villain and now you can’t read books the same way.

I cried a lot the day I read it because of the way it tore me apart. I don’t usually get emotionally attached to stories and cry because of them but this story was different. First off it was heartbreaking and tore the whole way I thought apart and partly I’d only slept two hours that night and was a total coffee filled wreck.

Anyways it was the sort of book that you should definitely pick up if you are in dire need of an existential crisis and to get more mind f***ed than after you watched Inception for the first time.

Plus there is some adorable fluffy romance so if that’s your thing then I would also recommend this book.

Did you guys read We Were Liars?

What did you think of it?

Alexina-2

Holiday Book Guide

Christmas (substitute with another winter holiday) is almost here! If you’re like my family it can be hard to know what to get me, or other book lovers, for Christmas as it’s just hard to know what books should be given to a YA lover. Here is your guide.

For Fantasy Lovers

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Throne of Glass

An addicting beginning to a series about a female assassin trying to regain her freedom through a dangerous game.

The Six of Crows Duology Boxed Set

Set in a world with Grisha, people with magic, six criminals must break into an incredibly high-security fortress. Full of magic, love, intrigue and of course amazing heists.

This Savage Song

A vampire like monster breaks into an anti-monster high school to spy on the daughter of a monster hunter. Things are not as they seem.

Carry On

A love story taking place in a magic school with a new and inventive system of magic, plot twists, and heart-wrenching romance.

For Contemporary Lovers

screen-shot-2016-11-26-at-2-05-53-pm

We Were Liars

A rich family vacationing on a private island, amnesia, secrets, lies, intrigue, crime and one amazing concoction of a story.

For Sci-fi Lovers

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Cinder

A sci-fi retelling of the classic cinderella story featuring a plague, a cyborg cinderella, and an alien evil queen.

Illuminae

A story told through incident reports, online text chats, blue prints, schematics, and other visual story telling methods about a high-speed space chase between two space ships and what happens when there is nowhere to run too.

For Lovers of Historical Fiction

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Salt to the Sea

A hauntingly beautiful story about the largest disaster in recent maritime history, one that people seem to have forgotten about.

Vengeance Road

What do you do when a gang of outlaws come and kill your father over a secret that will lead you to a hidden vein of gold? Clearly, you get revenge and then find that gold.

What books would you recommend as gifts?

Sarah R.-3

Fairest by Marissa Meyer review

Screen Shot 2016-11-21 at 6.47.35 PM.png

Pure evil has a name, hides behind a mask of deceit, and uses her “glamour” to gain power. But who isQueen Levana? Long before she crossed paths with Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress in The Lunar Chronicles, Levana lived a very different story―a story that has never been told . . . until now. New York Times –bestselling author Marissa Meyer reveals the story behind her fascinating villain in Fairest, an unforgettable tale about love and war, deceit and death.

This book broke me. This happens to me sometimes, I read a book, something about it changes my world view and then I sit there and stare at a wall for an hour. It’s a bit like the first time I heard Wait for it and then realized that it was sung by the villain in our history (I’m sorry, I  just have been listening to Hamilton and it has taken over my entire life and you should one thousand percent listen to it). Anyways, Hamilton references aside Fairest was one of the best books that were a part of a series I’ve read in awhile. I would say one of the best books I’ve read in a while but I just finished We Were Liars by E. Lockhart and that book, that book is Harry Potter level amazing.

The characters were spot on, everything from Winters demeanor to the small glimpses of characters we know felt so perfect like I was in on a secret with the author and no one else knew what was happening. Clearly, that’s not how things work but that’s just how it felt while I read it. Levana was one of my favorites, has always been one of my favorites. You can just see how things are traced back together, how a small daydream turns into murder, how a childhood crush turns into a life changing event. Everything about her can be traced back to certain things that happened and it’s really heartbreaking because, if you’re like me, I could see the actual potential she had.

She was a much better ruler than Channary to be quite honest and that was disturbing seeing as in the other lunar chronicle books everyone talks about Channary as though she would’ve made a much better ruler. To give one example of something that Channary did that is not a spoiler for the story at Levana’s birthday party Channary spends the whole time making Levana feel inadequate. She flirts with the entertainer and he focuses exclusively on her making sure that Channary feels happy instead of bothering with the girl whose birthday it is.

I especially enjoyed the vivid imagery we got with this story of how life works on Luna, the way they organize their social classes with shells at the bottom and the Queen/King at the top. The clothing they wear was described so vibrantly and I could just see everything forming in my brain and I just wanted some of the stuff so now I wish I was a lunar.

I also enjoyed how we got to see much more of the lunar gift, of what can be done with it and that it’s not just disguising how you look but also can be used to do what we on earth would call magic.

We got to see all the threads of unanswered questions of how things happened tied up with a little bow and then handed to the fans in the form of this book.  

SPOILERS AHEAD THIS IS YOUR FINAL WARNING

Everett is a cinnamon roll and it shouldn’t have happened. How could she be this horrible not only to him but also to herself? I mean why? I guess I kind of understand why, if at that point Luna is monogamous and she needs to marry Prince Kai then she needs to kill him but I don’t think that’s why she did it. I think she did it to set him free in her own way. She wanted to make sure that she didn’t have to have the embarrassment of a divorce but at the same time she didn’t have to stay married to him, someone who she loved but who didn’t love her. I almost wonder if Everett had Stockholm syndrome, I mean I’m one hundred percent sure of it but I’m more curious as to whether Levana has Stockholm syndrome.

I know what you’re thinking, But wait isn’t Stockholm syndrome for people who get kidnapped? Yes and no. That’s the most common way it shows up but really what it is is the internalization of oppression. It’s a way of coping with a form of oppression in which you trick your brain into thinking that it likes what’s happening to it as to not be all freaked out.

I think that she was unhappy in her marriage to him and then tricked herself into thinking that she loved him and that their marriage was working. In a way, I think she felt chained to him. I think that he was her conscience, her good side and she felt tethered down to him and therefore to get away from that oppression she got him killed because I mean what else do you do?

In summary, Levana is a misunderstood person who is also a terrible person and should not be underestimated.

Sarah R.-3

Booktube Accounts You Have to Watch

For those of you unaware of the amazingness of book tube (youtube+books) it is the best thing for any of you bookworms out there. When you’re too broken down from crying over some tear jerking books you can head over and watch some youtube videos about funny books or them talking about the true meaning of that book you just read. For those of you who do know about book tube here are the two channels you have to be subscribed too.

polandbananasBooks

Poland bananas books were my entry drug to the world of book tube. She knows just how to wrap you up in her excited bookish energy (plus her makeup is amazing which is always a plus). She is energetic and funny and her videos are always full of exciting twists and little skits.

Ariel Bissett

Regardless of who fun it is to watch Polandbananasbooks 20 minute long videos in which she goes through her exact thoughts and feelings as things progressed in books, I will always love to watch one of Ariel Bisset’s videos in which she discusses systemic issues and the way they present in books. She talks about how we are the capitol from the Hunger Games  and plots and her favorite book, Animal Farm which coincidentally is one of my favorite books of all time.

What book tube channels would you recommend?

Sarah R.-3