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Vicious by V.E. Schwab // The One Where X-Men Meets Reality

"EO's were weapons, yes, but weapons with minds and wills and bodies, things that could be bent and twisted and broken and used."
First of all, I want to say that this book was beautiful. There are a few (and only a few things) that I would know going into this book: superpowers, nemesis, anti-villians, anti-heroes, and (my personal favorite) morally grey characters.

Second of all, I want to say that this book is kind of similar to a spider web: it's beautiful, interwoven, and mysterious. That being said, I don't want to say too much and give away the beauty and the mystery of it all.

I can't think of a thing that I didn't love about this novel, so let's talk about everything (well, not everyhting) I loved about V.E. Schwab's debut adult novel.

EO = ExtraOrdinary

The Characters

I can't read a book if the characters are horrible, not morally horrible but horribly built. I just can't read about characters that I don't care about. Even though our two main characters, Victor and Eli, are as morally grey and ambiguous as characters can get. They're both well written and well fleshed-out. It's wonderful. Absolutely wonderful.

Also, sidekicks galore! Where they come in is a bit too deep in the web for me to say, but oh my goodness you care about these sidekicks. Victoria Schwab is not scared to mess with your nerves and emotions.

The Story

It's not your average battle of good versus evil because (as I mentioned) our two main characters are as grey as grey can be.

What is good?
What's evil?
Who defines villians and heroes, good and evil?
Can people play God? Or does fate look down upon them?
Who deserves second chances?
Who are we to give or deny second chances?

The Pacing

It never stops moving. Ever. I never ever wanted to quit reading it. With the mix of past-present and short chapters, picking up this book before bed is the easiest way to stay up all night reading. Trust me, I know.

Status: New Favorite
Content: PG-13

Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Published: 24 September 2013 by Tor Books
Format - Pages: Paperback - 384
Source: Barnes and Noble
Genres: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Superpowers
A masterful tale of ambition, jealousy, desire, and superpowers.

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates--brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find--aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge--but who will be left alive at the end?

In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn't automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.

"A dynamic and original twist on what it means to be a hero and a villain. A killer from page one…highly recommended!" - Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Marvel Universe vs The Avengers and Patient Zero
 Have you read this book? Do you want to / did you love it as much as I did? Tell me down in the comments!


2015 Mid-Year Book Freak Out [Tag + Goal Update]

I would love to do this annually. I saw Sara @ SaraWithoutAnH do this tag on her YouTube channel. Obviously, I loved it enough to want to do it here for you guys. I also wanted to recap some of my goals from the beginning of the year and see how it's going. 


1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2015.

I absolutely adored this book. I tried to read this book multiple times after the movie was released because I loved it so much. And I hated reading it because I'm a grammar nazi and I just wanted to fix everything. The audiobook was my savior. I highly recommend this audiobook for people that want to start listening to audiobooks. This was the first ever complete audiobook that I've listened to, and it was amazing. Clearly.


2. Best sequel you've read so far in 2015.

If this was best finale/series ender, Ignite Me would have taken the cake. I really enjoyed Shatter Me as a series starter, but Unravel Me was an amazing sequel and didn't suffer from the typical YA "second book syndrome" where nothing happens.


3. New release you haven't read yet, but want to.

I don't buy graphic novels or comic book collections. I don't know why. I just don't. I requested this from my library before it even came out, and they haven't sent a response to the request yet.

Current status: dying.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

Of my "top 5 most anticipated preorders" this is the one I will actually buy because 1) rave reviews are insanely rave-y and 2) the blue part glows in the dark. Yes, please.

5. Biggest disappointment.

I fell in love with the first few volumes of All-New X-Men and wanted to dive into another series of X-Men things. This was available. Needless to say, it was a horrible disappointment.


6. Biggest surprise.

As many of you know, I was not a fan of Throne of Glass (hides from the pitchforks), though I do want to pick up Crown of Midnight soon. I had heard from people (basically all of them loved ToG) that this was their favorite book of the year. I wanted to pick it up based on these reviews, but wasn't expecting a lot from it. While it definitely wasn't my favorite book of the year, it was amazing and I need the sequel now.


7. Favorite new author. (Debut or new to you)

I loved this duology. It's insanely cute, and I need to pick up the Summer Trilogy ASAP.

8. Newest fictional crush.

Levi is an attainable, realistic boy that I'm in love with.


9. Newest favorite character.

Warner was almost my answer for the previous question, but I did not want to do duplicate answers. Juliette is a very, very close second but Warner is everything. I mean, look at all of those tabbies. Clearly, I loved this book. This series is amazing. I have reviews for the whole series.

(I, II, III)

10. Book that made you cry.

I had to read this book for school, and I am so happy I did.

Also, I almost made it out of reading/listening to this book without crying.


The last 75-ish pages ruined me.


11. Book that made you happy.

So many books have made me happy, but I just wanted to pick the most recent book that made me happy. This is my new favorite graphic novel, bumping Seconds out of it's first place position.

Diversity, dragons, science, nemeses!

This is everything you could ever want in a graphic novel.


12. Favorite book to film television adaptation you saw this year.

I only watched the first half of the season just because I wasn't comfortable watching all the nudity and the sex. It was, however, beautifully done.

Also, I honestly think it was the only adaptation I've seen other than Insurgent this year. This was the clear winner.


13. Most beautiful book you bought or received so far this year

I cannot express in words 1) how much I loved this book and 2) how happy I am that I got the blue, unstickered version of this book. There are no words. Just look at it. Also, I got it for $10.

14. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

I hate saying that I need to read anything, but these five are top priority for the rest of 2015.


  1. Read 52 books - 64/52
  2. Read 5 books that are 500 pages or more - 4/5
  3. Reread 10 books (including the Harry Potter series) - 5/10
  4. Read more new-to-me authors - 18 so far!
  5. Read 3 classics - 0/3
  6. TBR Jar Challenge - 5/12
  7. Popsugar Challenge - 39/50
So, I'm super proud of all the reading I've done this year. It may be a little late, but I tag whoever wants to do this tag to do it! Good luck!


Etsy Spotlight: SkinnyHues

How I Found This Shop

Katie's Book Blog did a post about how she is also obsessed with this new-kid-on-the-block etsy shop. I was definitely intrigued, but I easily dismissed the post. So, when I was searching Harry Potter bookmarks, I was looking for something affordable yet unique. I again came across SkinnyHues. 

So, I added not one . . . but three to my cart. 

Crini opened her shop in April of this year and has already accrued a five star rating, 176 sales, and 209 admirers.* She currently has twelve bookmarks available for sale.** There are many ones related to fandoms (i.e. Chaos Walking trilogy, Mistborn trilogy, Daughter of Smoke and Bone, The Hunger Games trilogy, The Raven Cycle, Throne of Glass) there are also ones just aimed at booklovers (i.e. owls, "I Ship It"). Many of them have custom color selection as well. 

* 14 July 2015 - 3:24 PM
** 14 July 2015

What I Ordered

Platform 9 3/4 Design - Color: D - $2.54
Deathly Hallows Design - Color: E - $2.54
Marauder's Map Design (Double-sided) - Color: F - $3.47

+ Shipping: $2.20 to United States

Total: $10.75

When It Shipped

Ordered: 23 June
Expected Shipment Date: 2 July*
Actual Shipment Date: 29 June

*these items are shipped from Germany and are handmade when ordered

Arrival Date: 7 July

My Products

So, sadly, my favorite of these bookmarks is no longer available for sale. *sad face* The Deathly Hallows and Platform 9 3/4 bookmarks are still available. These are super nice bookmarks. They're lovely. They're made of a canvas-like paper (as you can see in the bottom left of the top picture), so they're not made of super cheap paper. 

I am just so happy with these bookmarks, and I would recommend you check Crini out. If not for you, then for a bookish friend because I'm positive there is something in Crini's shop for every book lover. 

Which bookmark would you get? What are some other bookish etsy shops I should check out? Tell me down below!

Tomes Project

Upcoming Read-a-Thons: TBR + Challenges (#TBRTakedown + 7in7)

TBR Takedown

This readathon was created by Shannon @ Leaning Lights (YouTube / Blog) and takes place from July 25th to July 31st. The goal of this was just to knock off as many books from your TBR as possible. My personal TBR includes my personal goals as well (this will include rereads marked with an asterisk).

The Challenges + My TBR:

1. First Book in a series - The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis*
2. Sequel Book in a series - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis*
3. Out of your comfort zone (genre, author, reviews, etc) - The Tempest by William Shakespeare*
4. On your shelf over a year (or the longest) - I actually don't have any, so I chose a book that has been sitting half read since I preordered it - The Mime Order by Samantha Shannon
5. Most recently hauled book (within the month) - I have a couple of options for this, so I am listing a few books that I will choose from - Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson, Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, Vicious by V.E. Schwab, Stardust by Neil Gaiman

7 in 7

This readathon takes place from July 27th to August 2nd. It was created by three hosts (Twitter) and the only challenge for this readathon was to read 7 books in 7 days. Hence why I decided this was the perfect opportunity to reread the Chronicles of Narnia. 

Additional TBR:

1. The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
2. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis*
3. Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis*
4. Stardust by Neil Gaiman

So, this was a very chatty post. Sorry about that, but I do hope that you enjoyed it. I am going to be burnt out because the BookTube-a-thon is directly after the 7 in 7 readathon.


5 Side Characters That Deserve Their Own Book(s)

5 - Peter Hayes (Divergent)

Miles Teller. Miles Teller. Miles Teller. 

We get little explanation about Peter's character. Roth doesn't (while she does try) develop his character very much in this series. Plus, there's a few things that happen in the last book, and I just want to understand Peter, but I kind of don't want Veronica Roth to write it.

Is that bad?

4 - John Ambrose McClaren (P.S. I Still Love You)

I want a John Ambrose McClaren. I don't want to say too much because this is a sequel and this character's presence is very spoiler-y. Just know he's perfect and wonderful and I want one of him and I want to know what happens to Mr. Perfect.

3 - Warden (The Bone Season)

I haven't finished The Mime Order yet so no spoilers, but I just want to know everything and anything about Warden's life before Paige came into it because I love him and I need more of him.

2 - Peter Pettigrew (Harry Potter)


I know what you're saying: Why wouldn't you pick James or Sirius or Remus? Why, Monica, why would you want to hear from this rat's perspective?

Because I want to know why. I want to know why he betrayed Lily and James because I will not accept that he was suddenly prompted and he said Yes, master, I would love to betray my best friends. Something major had to have gone down, and I need to know what it was.

Also, it's my way of getting a Marauder's prequel series. Win - Win situation.

1 - Kenji Kishimoto (Shatter Me)

I know what you're thinking: Monica, why does Kenji beat out Peter? 

There's no stunning reason like there is with Peter . . . I just love and adore Kenji. I need a seven book series about his life prior to the Shatter Me trilogy. There are hints about his life before and I love him and I just need to know more about him because he's my favorite. I just . . . Kenji . . .

What do you think of my list? What was on your list? Are there any overlaps? Tell me down in the comments!


Stacking the Shelves [21]: The One Where I'm a Weak Human

Stacking the shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, and it's all about sharing the books that have come into your possession throughout the week, whether it books added to your collection, ebooks, library books, etc. Sunday post is a weekly meme  hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer where bloggers can recap their week, showcase books, and share news.
So, in a (not) stunning turn of events, I got far too many library books this week.

Also, I cut up post-it notes and taped them to the spine with the due date on them. Smart, right?

The Stack

  • MY LIFE NEXT DOOR, WHAT I THOUGHT WAS TRUE: Zoey made me do it, and they were both available at the same time at the library. I couldn't not.
  • AMY AND ROGER'S EPIC DETOUR: So, there was #MonthOfMatson in June, but I think #SummerOfMatson is a better idea. Plus, this is pretty much the favorite.
  • ATTACHMENTS: I need to read all the Rowell books . . . clearly. Plus, I am doing a most-read authors post soon, and I just couldn't have John Green on that list. I just couldn't. 
  • A MONSTER CALLS, THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO: Kristina Horner's book club, and I am a weak human. Second best thing with pictures I've ever read.
  • THE HEIR: Again, I am a weak human, and even though I picked this one up, I really liked how the trilogy finished with a nice little bow . . . I just don't want to ruin that. I'm good with not knowing. Plus, mixed things and . . . eh.
  • NIMONA: It's the best thing with pictures that I think I have ever read. 

What I Read This Week

 *click on covers to see my reviews*

I honestly think A Monster Calls and Nimona are two of the best things I've ever read with pictures. Nimona beat out Seconds as my favorite graphic novel (and I recommended it to about twelve people on GR). Ms. Marvel, vol. 1 was a nice setup for a series, but not the most entertaining. The Queen just made me less confused as to why Amberly and the King were married . . . cause she's a fangirl.

When I Wasn't Reading

I started re-watching (because my family has the entire collection on DVD and I've seen at least every episode three times throughout the years) Friends. I think we're seeing a theme of weakness this week because I'm already finished with the first season. I mean, I should finish it before I start school so I'm not distracted . . . right? But . . . readathons and vacation and volunteering! I'm slowly drowning.

You Might Have Missed


Top 5 Wednesday
#TBRTakedown + 7 in 7 TBR

How was your week? What did you read? Should I read The Heir, yes or no? Are you participating in #TBRTakedown? Also, you should read Nimona and Lumberjanes . . . now.