Monthly Musical Musings: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

For January's installment of Monthly Musical Musings, I wanted to create a playlist for a book that's as dark and gritty as Winter itself. These tracks remind me of the six outcasts that rule the streets of Ketterdam in Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Whether or not you've read the book, I hope you enjoy this playlist!

six of crows playlist indoor sojourner
Click the image to go to the playlist on 8tracks!

Tracklist: No Mourners. No Funerals.

No Grey · The Neighbourhood
Gold · Imagine Dragons
Magnets · Disclosure (feat. Lorde)
R.I.P 2 My Youth · The Neighbourhood
The Devil Within · Digital Daggers
Million Dollar Bills · Lorde
DKLA · Troye Sivan
Fame · Mree
Ladder Song · Lorde
Too Afraid to Love You · The Black Keys
To Be Alone · Hozier
Low Life · X Ambassadors
Sinister Kid · The Black Keys

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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I Need These NOW: Most Anticipated Book Releases of 2016!

Browsing through my TBR is an overwhelming task at the moment; there are so many fantastic new releases coming out in 2016 that I'm a little nervous the older ones won't get enough love! Nevertheless, I've chosen eleven books to share with you all that I'm definitely planning to read.

New Series (and a standalone)

Passenger (Passenger, #1) by Alexandra Bracken

Release date: January 5th, 2016

20983362Synopsis: In one devastating night, violin prodigy Etta Spencer loses everything she knows and loves. Thrust into an unfamiliar world by a stranger with a dangerous agenda, Etta is certain of only one thing: she has traveled not just miles but years from home. And she’s inherited a legacy she knows nothing about from a family whose existence she’s never heard of. Until now.

Nicholas Carter is content with his life at sea, free from the Ironwoods—a powerful family in the colonies—and the servitude he’s known at their hands. But with the arrival of an unusual passenger on his ship comes the insistent pull of the past that he can’t escape and the family that won’t let him go so easily. Now the Ironwoods are searching for a stolen object of untold value, one they believe only Etta, Nicholas’ passenger, can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them— whether she wants to or not.

Together, Etta and Nicholas embark on a perilous journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues left behind by the traveler who will do anything to keep the object out of the Ironwoods’ grasp. But as they get closer to the truth of their search, and the deadly game the Ironwoods are play­ing, treacherous forces threaten to sep­arate Etta not only from Nicholas but from her path home

While I haven't read anything by Alexandra Bracken yet, this book seems vaguely similar to A Thousand Pieces of You, so hopefully it'll be a a smooth transition into her writing. There's been a lot of hype surrounding Passenger and I'm interested to see if it lives up!

These Vicious Masks (These Vicious Masks, #1) by Tarun Sanker

Release date: February 9th, 2016

Synopsis: Jane Austen meets X-­Men in this gripping and adventure-­filled paranormal romance set in Victorian London.

England, 1882. Evelyn is bored with society and its expectations. So when her beloved sister, Rose, mysteriously vanishes, she ignores her parents and travels to London to find her, accompanied by the dashing Mr. Kent. But they’re not the only ones looking for Rose. The reclusive, young gentleman Sebastian Braddock is also searching for her, claiming that both sisters have special healing powers. Evelyn is convinced that Sebastian must be mad, until she discovers that his strange tales of extraordinary people are true—and that her sister is in graver danger than she feared.

"Jane Austen meets X-Men"..."JANE AUSTEN MEETS X-MEN"...need I say more?

The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1) by Evelyn Skye

Release date: May 17th, 2016

26156203Synopsis: Vika Andreyeva can summon the snow and turn ash into gold. Nikolai Karimov can see through walls and conjure bridges out of thin air. They are enchanters—the only two in Russia—and with the Ottoman Empire and the Kazakhs threatening, the Tsar needs a powerful enchanter by his side.

And so he initiates the Crown’s Game, an ancient duel of magical skill—the greatest test an enchanter will ever know. The victor becomes the Imperial Enchanter and the Tsar’s most respected adviser. The defeated is sentenced to death.

Raised on tiny Ovchinin Island her whole life, Vika is eager for the chance to show off her talent in the grand capital of Saint Petersburg. But can she kill another enchanter—even when his magic calls to her like nothing else ever has?

For Nikolai, an orphan, the Crown’s Game is the chance of a lifetime. But his deadly opponent is a force to be reckoned with—beautiful, whip smart, imaginative—and he can’t stop thinking about her.

And when Pasha, Nikolai’s best friend and heir to the throne, also starts to fall for the mysterious enchantress, Nikolai must defeat the girl they both love . . . or be killed himself.

This seems like a mix between Shadow and Bone and Throne of Glass, so I'm already intrigued. Based on the synopsis, I don't expect it to be extremely complex in terms of fantasy world building, but I think The Crown's Game has a lot of potential to be an exciting, fast paced read.

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab

Release date: June 7th, 2016

23299512Synopsis: The city of Verity has been overrun with monsters, born from the worst of human evil. In North Verity, the Corsai and the Malchai run free. Under the rule of Callum Harker, the monsters kill any human who has not paid for protection. In the South, Henry Flynn hunts the monsters who cross the border into his territory, aided by the most dangerous and darkest monsters of them all—the Sunai, dark creatures who use music to steal their victim’s souls.

As one of only three Sunai in existence, August Flynn has always wanted to play a bigger role in the war between the north and the south. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate Harker, daughter of the leader of North Verity, August jumps on it.
When Kate discovers August’s secret, the pair find themselves running for their lives and battling monsters from both sides of the wall. As the city dissolves into chaos, it’s up to them to foster a peace between monsters and humans.

For starters, the premise of this book seems out of this world: "dark creatures who use music to steal their victim's souls"? I'm in. I haven't read any of Schwab's YA books, but I absolutely loved Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic, so I'm sure I'll enjoy this one too.

Untitled Standalone by Stephanie Perkins

Release date: 2016 (month/day TBA)

Synopsis: A YA horror novel in the vein of the movie Scream in which a cadre of high school students are being stalked and attacked by a mysterious killer with no obvious motive.

Considering how fluffy and adorable Anna and the French Kiss was, I'm very curious of what a Stephanie Perkins horror novel will be like...

Sequels and Prequels

Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles 0.5, 0.6, 1.5, 3.1, 3.6) by Marissa Meyer

Release date: February 2nd, 2016

25689074Synopsis: The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

I've already read three of the novellas in Stars Above, but considering it features an epilogue for Winter where "friends gather for the wedding of the century (!!!!!!!)", my inner fangirl is giddy for this release!

A Gathering of Shadows (A Darker Shade of Magic, #2) by V.E. Schwab

Release date: February 26th, 2016

Synopsis (Warning: Spoilers for Book 1): Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.

In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games—an extravagant international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries—a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

It seems like A Gathering of Shadows will go in a different direction from A Darker Shade of Magic, so I'm excited to see where it will take us! I'm also interested to see what The Element Games will be like; will they be more like the Olympics or the Hunger Games?

The Winner's Kiss (The Winner's trilogy, #3) by Marie Rutkoski

Release date: March 29th, 2016

Synopsis (Warning: Spoilers for Books 1 and 2): War has begun. Arin is in the thick of it, with the East as his ally and the empire as his enemy. He’s finally managed to dismiss the memory of Kestrel, even if he can’t quite forget her. Kestrel turned into someone he could no longer recognize: someone who cared more for the empire than for the lives of innocent people—and certainly more than she cared for him. At least, that’s what he thinks.

But far north lies a work camp where Kestrel is a prisoner. Can she manage to escape before she loses herself? As the war intensifies, both Kestrel and Arin discover unexpected roles in battle, terrible secrets, and a fragile hope. The world is changing. The East is pitted against the West, and Kestrel and Arin are caught between. In a game like this, can anybody really win?

The Winner's Curse (book 1 of The Winner's trilogy) was a good book overall, but it didn't blow me away. I haven't read The Winner's Crime yet, but I've heard it's is better than the first one, so hopefully The Winner's Kiss will be the best of them all! Thankfully, I still have a few months to catch up before the Winner's trilogy comes to its conclusion.

The Last Star (The 5th Wave, #3) by Rick Yancey 

Release date: May 24th, 2016

Synopsis: We’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

Master storyteller Rick Yancey invokes triumph, loss, and unrelenting action as the fate of the planet is decided in the conclusion to this epic series.

I was slightly disappointed with the pacing and some of the plot choices in The Infinite Sea; however, I love the writing style and overall premise of this series, so I'm eager to see how this trilogy will end!

Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J. Maas

Release date: September 6th, 2016

Synopsis: The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't.

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear.

Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Honestly, I didn't love the most recent Throne of Glass novel, but there's something about this series that keeps me coming back. Maybe it's the quality world building, Aelin's fierce, "take no prisioners" attitude, or a little bit of both.

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

Release date: September 22nd, 2016

I just finished Six of Crows last week and I'm still slightly obsessing over it, so waiting most of the year for the next book in the series will be a struggle! Even though I had a few minor problems with it, I loved the world and its dark, twisted characters and I'm thrilled to see what will happen next.

What books are you looking forward to in the coming year? Are any of them on this list? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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Reviews in a GIF: Top Five Favorite Reads of 2015

2015 was a pretty great reading year for me; Out of the 40 books I read, there were only a few that disappointed me, and I gave most of them four and five star ratings on Goodreads. After some deliberation, I managed to make a list of five books I read this year that stood above the other 35.

Instead of making a normal list and writing a couple of heartfelt paragraphs about each book, I chose five different GIFs that express how I feel about them more than words probably could. Honestly, choosing the GIFs was harder than choosing the books themselves. XD

5. The Walled City by Ryan Graudin

Synopsis: DAI, trying to escape a haunting past, traffics drugs for the most ruthless kingpin in the Walled City. But in order to find the key to his freedom, he needs help from someone with the power to be invisible....

JIN hides under the radar, afraid the wild street gangs will discover her biggest secret: Jin passes as a boy to stay safe. Still, every chance she gets, she searches for her lost sister....

MEI YEE has been trapped in a brothel for the past two years, dreaming of getting out while watching the girls who try fail one by one. She's about to give up, when one day she sees an unexpected face at her window.....

In this innovative and adrenaline-fueled novel, they all come together in a desperate attempt to escape a lawless labyrinth before the clock runs out.

In short: I expected this book to be filled with action and suspense (and it definitely was), but I didn't expect to get so emotionally invested in the pain and struggles of the three main characters.

The GIF:

4. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

Synopsis: When her father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.

In short: Like The Walled City, Vengeance Road had plenty of grandiose action scenes, but the way Kate deals with her internal conflict and her relationships with the other characters makes the book truly shine.

The GIF:

3. Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4) by Marissa Meyer

Synopsis: Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

In short: Winter is the last book in a series of fairytale adaptations. Of course the plot was a bit predictable, but it's the journey in between that counts, right? Marissa Meyer gave four well known and well loved characters a fresh start, and I couldn't get enough of this story.

The GIF:

2. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

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 short: Two antiheroes with a complicated past are determined to hunt each other down. Filled with twists and turns, this book stressed me out in the best way possible. 
I know I already featured this in a previous reviews in a GIF post and gave it a full review, but Vicious is so wonderful that it deserves plenty of attention.

The GIF:

1. The Hero of Ages (Mistborn, #3) by Brandon Sanderson

Synopsis (WARNING-SPOILERS): Tricked into releasing the evil spirit Ruin while attempting to close the Well of Ascension, new emperor Elend Venture and his wife, the assassin Vin, are now hard-pressed to save the world.This adventure brings the Mistborn epic fantasy trilogy to a dramatic and surprising climax as Sanderson's saga offers complex characters and a compelling plot, asking hard questions about loyalty, faith and responsibility.

In short: Like I said in a previous Reviews in a GIF, The Hero of Ages (and the Mistborn series in general) ruined me. I'm still not over the ending. I LOVED IT. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL. I CAN'T PUT A COHERENT SENTENCE TOGETHER ABOUT THIS BOOK.

The GIF:

What were some of your favorite reads this year? Were any of them on this list? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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(Spoiler-Free) Book Review: Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

Rating: 4/5 stars

Published: September 22nd, 2015 by Quirk Books

DescriptionAs the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all.

Goodreads | Amazon

Other books in the series: Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (Book 1), Hollow City (Book 2)

Before I read Library of Souls, I had pretty high hopes based on the previous books in the series; they were so eerie and mysterious that they seemed like a strange and wonderful dream. As if this trilogy couldn't get any more peculiar, Library of Souls features more evil villains, mysterious creatures and wild adventures than ever.

When I think of my experience reading Library of Souls, the first thing that comes to mind is the detail behind the story. The lore behind the peculiar world was fascinating; without giving too much away, we get a thorough description of the origin story behind peculiardom which adds even more depth to the plot. I also adored the characters and was satisfied with the way they completed their arcs. There are quite a few peculiar children in Jacob's group, but they all have their own little quirks that make them unique and endearing.

One problem I had with this book (and the series in general) was Jacob and Emma's relationship. They're both great characters, but the "romance" between them seemed like an afterthought compared to the rest of the story. I think their dynamic would have been a bit less clunky if they were just friends.

I also found the pacing to be a little slow towards the middle of the book. I'm used to reading books with relatively short chapters, and this 458 page book was split up into just 11 of them. Because I have a pretty short attention span, I would struggle to finish a whole chapter in one sitting. As a result, I would forget what was happening the next time I picked up the book because I usually would have to stop reading in the middle of something important. However, the plot in the second half picked up drastically that I got to the point where I couldn't put it down!

Despite my complaints, Library of Souls and the Peculiar Children series is written wonderfully with a unique plot and lovable characters. If you enjoy fantasy and haven't read it yet, I think it's definitely worth the read!

Have you read Library of Souls? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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Monthly Musical Musings #4: Jane Eyre!

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you probably know of my obsession with Charlotte Bronte's classic Jane Eyre. As soon as I read it, I obviously had to make a playlist about it with all of the songs that bring be back into that world. This playlist features a variety of different genres that range from quirky pop to brooding alternative ballads. This playlist is a bit different from my others in that I put the songs in order of the plot of the book, so the playlist basically tells an abbreviated version of the story. Click the picture below if you'd like to listen to it!

jane eyre book playlist indoor sojourner


1. When I Grow Up · First Aid Kit
2. Die Alone · Ingrid Michaelson
3. I Found · Amber Run
4. Clarity (Acoustic) · Zedd
5. I'm Not Calling You a Liar · Florence + the Machine
6. Landfill · Daughter
7. Ungodly Hour · The Fray
8. The Chain (Live from Webster Hall) · Ingrid Michaelson
9. Misguided Ghosts · Paramore
10. Aprés Moi · Regina Spektor
11. Human · Daughter
12. Fix You · Coldplay
13. Set Fire To The Third Bar · Snow Patrol
14. Latch (Cover) · Kodaline

(Spoiler Free) Book Review: Winter by Marissa Meyer

Rating: 5/5 stars

Published: November 10th, 2015 by Feiwel and Friends

Synopsis: Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mar her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.

Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend—the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long.

Can Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter defeat Levana and find their happily ever afters?

Goodreads | Amazon

Other books in the series: Cinder (Book 1)Scarlet (Book 2)Cress (Book 3)

Honestly, I was reluctant to pick up the last installment of The Lunar Chronicles.

It wasn't because I was afraid it would be disappointing, or because the 827 page book was intimidating; I simply didn't want these fantastic fairytale retellings to come to an end. The Lunar Chronicles was one of my favorite series, and I'm a little sad that it's all over (for the most part). However, Winter was everything I wanted and more in a series conclusion.

Even though this book was massive, the pacing was perfect. Whenever the group solved a problem, it seemed like five more would come along and there was never a dull moment in between. Meyer also managed to properly balance the multiple points of view; in other books with lots of perspectives, I tend to favor at least one over the others, but I found myself enjoying the voices of Winter equally.

With that said, my favorite part of this book was its complex characters. Winter and Jacin brought even more perspective to the Lunar Chronicles world, and I especially loved reading from Winter's unreliable point of view. However, the award of Most Developed definitely goes to Cress and Thorne; While Cress began to gain a sense of courage and self worth, Thorne put his brash, overconfident persona to the side and showed a bit of vulnerability. Of course, I loved all of the pairings in this book, but I think these two couples really shone.

As a whole, the Lunar Chronicles series is a completely unique twist on four of the fairy tales many of us have grown to love, and Winter blends all of them together in a cohesive way. While the premise will bring you in, you'll get hooked by the wild plot and lovable characters.

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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DIY Project: Book Page Pendant Light

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

Every now and then, I have the strange and sudden urge to do something crafty. After my mom showed me this upcycled pendant light on Pinterest, I decided that I could make one myself instead of spending $125 for it on Etsy! This is a great project if you're not well versed in the art of crafting but want to make a unique conversation piece for your home.



1. Carefully rip out two to three pages from your book at a time; be sure to use pages that have a good bit of text. 

2. Cut the pages into strips that are about 9 inches long and 1 inch wide. Or however you want, since it's your lamp, after all. Be sure to cut off the white space of the margins as well.

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

3. Wrap the strips around your curling iron until they're curled to your liking.

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner
diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

4. Cut the burlap ribbon with scissors and the vellum paper with the scrapbooking trimmer. Make sure they're generally the same size as the page strips.

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

5. Curl the vellum paper with your curling iron. 

6. Shape your burlap ribbon into a spiral shape. Like I said in the Materials section, It's important that you use burlap ribbon with wire edges so you can easily shape it without heat. I simply curled the strip around my finger and adjusted it until it looked similar to the pages.

7. Glue the page strips onto the lampshade. Mix a few pieces of burlap and vellum paper throughout. Whether you glue them in a circular pattern like I did or place them randomly like the Pinterest version, it'll look fantastic hanging over your reading space!

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

The Finished Product

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

diy book lampshade light indoor sojourner

There you have it! All together, this took about 12 hours to make, but it was definitely worth it. If you have any questions, feel free to mention them in the comments and I'll answer them as soon as possible.

Thanks for reading,

Indoor Sojourner
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