Archives

As of today, I have 79 reviews on this blog! I’ve got more than twice that amount up on Goodreads, but for the sake of my hands, I decided to just rifle through the posts I’ve published to Aerou, and… annnnnd!!

//drumroll//

Here’s: the list of 100 most commonly used words in my reviews!

(It is, predictably, a lot of adverbs – really, actually, just, etc, etc.)

But because I’m a nerd like that, I decided to analyze all my Aerou-published reviews to put together this little list, more for my personal entertainment than anything, really. It was fun to see the stats change each added reviews!

My book-related blogging patterns, much like my reading patterns, are pretty cyclic. I’d go through a period where I review a ton of books (and, inevitably, end up spamming my poor Goodreads friends and followers – whelp), and schedule in a ton of posts on my blog. Then, at some point, I’d hit a block with reviewing, slow down, and then take a break, as my scheduled posts slowly publish, one by one. Then, somewhere along the way, I’d pick up another book that left me with a strong impression – be it good or bad – or something, something that’d nudge me to scrawl down a short line or two on Goodreads, and then that “short line or two” would turn into one of these rambling blocks of essay, and the cycle would wash, rinse, repeat itself. Sometimes, there’d be a blogging break.

But because of the bouts of writing and the sprinkled-in breaks, groups of my reviews will share similar writing styles, and then a break hits, and after the break, my writing style might slightly change, and thus the next group of reviews would be in a slightly different style from the previous. It makes sense, but it was pretty cool seeing it live via the tracker when I was gathering this info, and really interesting to see how the kinds of words I frequently use changed over time.

So, here’s the list of words that’ve appeared most frequently throughout my reviews! (And also, perhaps, some words I should stop using so often)

  1. really
  2. all
  3. like
  4. book
  5. just
  6. about
  7. one
  8. read
  9. story
  10. little
  11. because
  12. more
  13. way
  14. much
  15. characters
  16. pretty
  17. other
  18. though
  19. things
  20. lot
  21. first
  22. character
  23. thing
  24. kind
  25. some
  26. love
  27. liked
  28. something
  29. feel
  30. while
  31. end
  32. going
  33. most
  34. think
  35. good
  36. time
  37. books
  38. know
  39. see
  40. only
  41. plot
  42. well
  43. after
  44. same
  45. quite
  46. even
  47. author
  48. super
  49. over
  50. every
  51. actually
  52. reading
  53. any
  54. definitely
  55. part
  56. two
  57. say
  58. loved
  59. between
  60. thought
  61. everything
  62. through
  63. here
  64. pages
  65. enough
  66. romance
  67. made
  68. make
  69. around
  70. whole
  71. people
  72. felt
  73. especially
  74. many
  75. rather
  76. never
  77. still
  78. writing
  79. maybe
  80. beginning
  81. few
  82. interesting
  83. best
  84. being
  85. half
  86. cute
  87. series
  88. together
  89. better
  90. right
  91. main
  92. okay
  93. probably
  94. ending
  95. nice
  96. start
  97. life
  98. bad
  99. everyone
  100. idea

Aerou turns two/five today!

The road’s been filled with hiatuses and gaps here and there, but we’ve safely arrived at Aerou’s big second anniversary!

I am almost certifiably awful at these types of celebratory post, AND somehow I managed to completely miss Aerou’s previous birthday? So I decided to venture out and see what others have done for their anniversaries! And, facts. Facts seem safe. Here are some facts to commemorate Aerou’s birthday (with previous-year’s facts mixed in as well, because I sTILL CAN’T BELIEVE I FORGOT?)

  • I’ve been blogging for roughly a decade, and Aerou is my fifth blog! I moved around a lot between wordpress, self-hosted wordpress, and blogger, and I was also a co-blogger for a stretch of time, but I think I’ve found a good home for my tiny, ramble-y corner.
  • The highest-rated book review of the past blogging year award goes to The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand!
  • The lowest-rated book review of the past blogging year award goes to Night Broken by Patricia Briggs
  • The 3-star and 4-star rating tags are tied for most-used ratings of the past year
  • I’ve finally put that Translations tag to good use: translations of recent songs I’ve been enjoying have also recently joined my blogging queue!
  • I’ve never gone under three words for aaany of my post titles, and even if you completely disregard all the really long bite-sized titles, most of my post titles are mile-long fragments like My Reading Habits Can Be Aptly Labeled “All Or Nothing”: the Urban Fantasy Edition, Commitment Issues (or: a Tiny Section of a Long List of Series I’ve Started and Never Finished), and the upcoming Yamamori Mika and the Case of the Awesome Characters in Not-So-Awesome Situations. (THEY’RE SO LONG THEY EVEN GET THEIR OWN LINES I CAN’T BELIEVE) I have a problem.
  • (/whispers/ this is actually Aerou’s quasi-second anniversary? As in: Aerou’s been around since at least 2016, and roughly summer of 2015, I’d say? Or maybe even 2014, but I honestly don’t quite remember – the server I was hosted on abruptly shut down, and I was a dumbass who forgot to back up her stuff properly, so if you click way back now, my earliest post shows up as my review of Laini Taylor’s Daughter of Smoke and Bone – the earliest post I could retrieve, posted on August 16th, 2017, and thus Aerou’s new quasi-birthday. So technically, Aerou’s fifth anniversary is sometime this year, but Aerou-since-switching-servers, and Saved-Data-Aerou’s only two years old. Semantics?)

In the coming years, too, I hope I can continue with Aerou and hopefully, year by year, this list of facts/superlatives can grow and grow!

One little step at a time 🙂

I go through periods when I read no books, and then periods when I’m just reading aaaaaall the books I can get my hands on. It’s a very all-or-nothing fluctuation that I’m sure must be awful for all my Goodreads friends, whose timelines are, every other month or so, full-on spammed with all the books from whichever genre-related obsession I’ve fallen into this time. Shoutout to all my Goodreads friends for putting up with my bullshit.

These past few weeks, in the true spirit of my always falling into genres years after the hype has died, I’ve been really into Adult Urban Fantasy – vampires, werewolves, romance, you know it, you know it. And man, those series that started around 2010 are long. Couple that with my series-related commitment issues when it comes to picking up book two and subsequent stubbornness when it comes to finishing series I’m at least two-books-deep in, and the result is, well, this.

The Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh was my first UF love. I was kind of? disappointed? in the stories featuring Dimitri – the ending development felt like such a cop-out to a love-story that had so much potential – and Venom – Singh is one of my favorite favorite writers but the whole story felt like a sad deflated balloon of recycled elements – but even then they were a solid two stars. And while Raphael and Elena are my favorite couple, Naasir and Andromeda are a close second. I was all caught up on the series a few years ago, but with my recent UF kick, I discovered that a lot of authors had side-stories and extra scenes! So, apologies to my GR friends, but I spent an entire afternoon binge-reading all the extras in shorts. Afternoon well spent 😉

Naturally, then, Psy-Changeling was my second love. I didn’t speed through the whole series like I did Guild Hunter – I feel like Guild Hunter has more of a strong linear story, whereas Psy-Changeling, though it the storyline is very much present, features a different couple in each book, and so it’s easier to start and stop and hop around books within the series. I’d covered the OG couples years ago, but had skipped around a bit then, so a few weeks ago, I took to binge-reading the entire series in order, extras and shorts included. And. Guys! The shorts? You all know I’m cynical as hell, but even cynics can be romantics, and, well. Heart of Obsidian will always be my favorite entry in this series, but everything else? Thumbs up thumbs up thumbs up!! I think at this point, I’ll read just about anything Nalini Singh puts out.

So after my Nalini Singh binge-read-fest, I was craving some more series with kick-ass UF heroines. My cousin recommended me the Night Huntress series – I remember seeing Jeaniene Frost’s name everywhere at one point, and so many people had so many good things to say about the series on Goodreads but it ended up being pretty lackluster? A lot of the books were slow and draggy and most of the characters’ personalities were based on one specific point, which didn’t make for the most dynamic read. I also ended up reading the Night Huntress World series, unaware until halfway through book two (I know… how?) but I ended up liking those two books even less than the main series. Vlad had been my favorite character in Night Huntress, so I tried – and finished – the Night Prince series, but Vlad went from charming and funny to a pretentious asshole and I wasn’t at all on board with that.

The Kate Daniels series though!! And the Hidden Legacy series! They were exactly what I was looking for after bingeing Nalini Singh, and Ilona Andrews is quickly becoming another author I’d read anything from.

After that, I tried D. B. Reynolds’s Vampires in America series, but it was super formulaic, and the formula was pretty lacking in substance, and honestly, every book wrapped up neatly enough, so I felt no real compulsion to finish.

I remember really liking Jennifer Estep’s YA series Mythos Academy, and my cousin was really into her Adult Elemental Assassin series for a while, so I decided to give that one a try, and… It wasn’t that the series was a terribly bad read – a lot of the action cuts are fun! But Estep’s really fond of her recaps, and the deeper into the series you go, the more recaps she pads her books with, until it feels like 90% of them are recaps, and then it just feels daunting to have to wade through all that to get to the main story – especially when the recaps feel copy-and-pasted from previous books’ recaps. It’s a lot. And on top of that, the male love interests go from bad to worse, and then to The Worst. There are seventeen books currently published, and I made it up to the ninth book – Heart of Venom? – which neatly wrapped up many of the initial plot threads and, in light of everything else, seemed like a nice place as any to end.

Goodreads told me I’d read Some Girls Bite and Friday Night Bites, the first two books in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampires series, but honestly I couldn’t really remember anything, but the rest of the series kept popping up on my recommended list, and it seemed like the kind of series I was looking for, so I gave it another try. Everything up to book four Hard Bitten was really nice! The secondary characters were numerous but unique and interesting, and Merit’s character was interesting to follow. I really like the episodic, scooby-doo reads, tied together by some overarching story – this way, each read has a satisfying end, and then the series has a satisfying end, and then that’s double the satisfaction! But then everything started going downhill with book five, Drink Deep: Merit’s character gets thinner and thinner with the growing focus on romance, Catcher and Mallory’s relationship with Merit soured drastically, and Ethan became a bumbling megalomaniac.

I also read the first book in the Mercy Thompson series – Moon Called? a while back and wasn’t a super big fan, but I’ve heard such great things about Mercy Thompson, and even more about Alpha & Omega, it’s spinoff series, so I decided to give it another shot! The series was definitely more of an acquired taste for me – the way the author writes and organizes her elements is… different? Not sure how to explain it. It’s interesting, though, because Alpha & Omega was definitely the series I enjoyed better upon the first read – and therefore the series I rated most highly – but Mercy Thompson is the one I go back to reread scenes from. I’d definitely recommend both for fans of the genre, though!

(That is if you’ve been living under a rock like me.)

(Welcome to my rock.)

I’m lazy. It’s one of my vices. Pairing specific bases with specific foundations, layering product over product over product just to create a base for more layering isn’t super ideal, especially as I’m, um. Not usually awake on the first alarm? Foundations are getting better about it recently, though, I think – there’s a lot of ones now that don’t need bases, or that have adequate sunblock properties, or don’t need powder, etc. Or a combination of nice, time-saving effects! I’ve also never been very sold on powder foundations – maybe it’s me, maybe it’s my skin, but I’m not all for that powdery finish. I like base makeup that still looks like skin – not completely covered up and primed to perfection, but rather a my-skin-but-better type thing? Dewy-ish, I think is the word.

Enter, cushion foundations! They’re super compact and convenient – like liquid foundation with a puff, in a tiny container. Honestly, I bought my first one because I liked the idea of not having to get my hands dirty lol. And with most, primers aren’t necessary!

My first one was the M Magic Cushion Moisture from Missha when it was first introduced to Japan. In my heart, Missha takes the crown as dependable. They’re never super groundbreaking, but they’re safe. I’ve also tried their Original Tension Pact Cushion and was similarly pleased: their cushions are well-made, and live up to their promised results. The product lasts for a decent few hours, and when it starts breaking down, it breaks down neatly and inconspicuously. The cushions also have a sort of cooling effect? Which makes it really nice to use in summer! And they’re (at least in Tokyo) super, super affordable at around $10 a cushion.

I’m weak to cute packaging and strange things, so I’ve also tried ettusais’s BB Mineral Cushion Compact. The design’s so cute! Plus it’s a little different from your average cushion: instead of a small dish you press into the main case, the dish is already in the case, and they provide a little circular sponge and a small sealed bag of product, and you have to pour the product into the dish and insert the little sponge, creating the cushion by yourself! It was a fun addition to the usual process, though, inevitably, a little messy^^;; I spent all of last spring using this, and while the packaging was fun, the product itself was pretty meh. It had a semi-matte finish and low coverage – the type I usually go for – but the product went patchy in the presence of sweat, and bunched and crinkled around my nose and at the corners of my eyes. It’s more expensive than the Missha cushions, but the cost performance isn’t nearly as great.

Speaking of weaknesses and cute packaging: Shu Uemura’s Petal Skin Cushion Foundation. My wallet cried a little, but the packaging was so cute! All white with cute little pink petals. And the puff is so nice *o* I got this last summer, I think? It was definitely semi-matte, and lasted for a long time. I’d put it on around 7AM, then get back from work at around 4PM, and from a distance, everything still looked perfect. It didn’t exactly breakdown in the neatest of ways, but you could only really see the damage if you got up close – say, fifteen centimeters? So it wasn’t too terrible. I love how lightweight this feels. A little goes a long way, too, and it reapplies on just as well the second time around.

For my birthday, my mom got me a Gel Foundation from Paul & Joe which, okay, isn’t really a cushion foundation, but its in a compact and comes with a puff, so shhhh. I used this over the end of summer, autumn, and winter, switching between this and the last cushion I’ll mention from Shiseido. Usually, I’m pretty fickle about foundations, and though I’ll have brands that I might find safe or dependable (Missha!) I’ve never been one to stay with one product and keep buying refills. I’ll use up what I have, and then move on. There’s too many products out there, and they’re all so tempting, so you can’t really blame me for wanting to try them all, right? But, somehow, I ended up buying a refill for this. FIRST OFF, the case is gorgeous, and no that’s not why I bought the refill, but the case is a gorgeous metallic rose gold pink shade with flowers embossed on the surface and a curved texture and its! So nice!! And the product itself!!! A little goes a long way. It’s pretty high coverage with a semi-matte finish. It’ll last me through a full day of uni and work – 8AM to 9PM – and it breaks down subtly and inconspicuously. It also works really well with my skin type: I’m combination skin, and sometimes the Shu Uemura mentioned before or the Shiseido mentioned below will cling to the drier areas of my face, while shifting at my T-zone, but this doesn’t do any of that! My only only complaint is that it’s kind of hard to get the product out of the compact when there’s only a tiny bit left. That’s it. It’s on the pricier side, but completely worth it, I think, and beats out everything else I’ll mention in this post by a landslide.

My mom bought the Shiseido Synchro Skin Glow Cushion Compact after seeing glowing reviews for it in magazines but bought the wrong shade which – lucky me! – fit me perfectly, so recently I’ve been splurging with this little guy^^ I can see where the glowing reviews are coming from: when my skin condition is good, the product is lightweight and makes everything look flawless. But at other times, it accentuates drier patches of my skin that normally don’t even look that dry, and then it becomes a three way fight with me, my skin, and the time 🙁 This also isn’t the best team player, in that you have to be really careful with the kinds of products you layer over it, particularly powders – I found that finishing powders tend to look cakey when paired with this, even if I’ve used the exact same powder with a different foundation for great results. So I usually go for the bare minimum amount of powder, and then hope nothing touches my face for the rest of the day. Don’t get me wrong – this is definitely highly rated for a reason. After application, it makes your skin look great! But it’s all these little things that pop up a few hours later, or if you’re not careful, that has me thinking I’ll look elsewhere once I’ve used up the product in my current cushion.

I’ve broken 1,500+ books added on Goodreads right now, which is kind of insane – especially since half of them are under the to-read label. And a good portion of them are books from a series, be it the first book, or a following one. I think I tried cutting down that to-read shelf a couple times, but somehow it kept growing and growing, and now I don’t even know where to start trying to downsize that monster…

I just want to curl up in bed without any of the usual responsibilities and read all the books – is that too much to ask?

I used to be better at keeping up. I remember really liking the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. I started really book blogging around the time the original trilogy was published (before The Iron Knight – now you can guess at how long I’ve been doing this thing! loloops). I EVEN MADE IT ALL THE WAY UP TO THE IRON KNIGHT. That’s how in love and dedicated I was!! And then the author extended the series, and I tried! I think I got an ARC of The Lost Prince (hoooly crap nostalgia’s hitting me like a truck right now), but it fell apart after that. I didn’t even know the next two books were called The Iron Traitor and The Iron Warrior, so I’m kind of a failure at being a fan of the series. There’s just too many books and all of them are gorgeous and shiny and I WANT TO READ THEM ALL.

Continuing the trend of series I started way back when, I also remember reading The Girl of Fire and Thorns! I think it’s the Rae Carson one? I don’t really remember what I thought of it. I do remember that it didn’t really catch on until a while after the first book was published, so when the buzz started going around I also distinctly remember thinking that I should get back into the series! But. Guess who hasn’t yet.

But really – I don’t know how you guys all do it?

Like, man, cliffhangers get to me too. But I think because of that, I generally try to wait until the entire series is done, or at least until the majority of the books in the series are published before starting. I know, I know, my willpower is great heheh.

– I kid. I’m actually just the lazy type^^;;; whoops.

And also The Ascendance Trilogy! I read The False Prince and remembered really enjoying it, and I remember telling myself that I had to pick up book two… but then book one ended too neatly? Maybe that’s why. So even though I loved the book, I never really felt the urgency to continue.

I’m a ball of complications and a failure of a series fan.

Flash forward to the semi-present day, and it’s the Shadow and Bone series! I’m probably the last person on the planet to read Shadow and Bone, but HORRAY I DID AND I LOVED IT. I ALSO BOUGHT SIX OF CROWS AND I READ WONDER WOMAN and at this point I think I will read whatever Leigh Bardugo writes, even if the actual story doesn’t quite float my boat.

But Shadow and Bone. IT WAS A GREAT READ.

…and, again – I told myself I’d pick up book two (Seige and Storm?).

I read The Young Elites! I told myself I’d pick up book two – The Rose Society.

But I haven’t. And as much as I enjoyed reading those books, I don’t really feel an urgency to continue the series? This is probably in part due to the fact that I have this weird habit where if I read book two and there’s more then I HAVE TO CONTINUE. Which is probably the only reason why I finished all the YA PNR that were big back when I started blogging. Y’know, Hush, Hush, Fallen, Halo, Twilight, and the like. Because once I read book two, I’ll finish the series unless something super shitty happens, but the amount of motivation, for the lack of a better word, needed for me to start book two is high. It’s like one of those exothermic reaction curves okayIllstopnow.

I have serious commitment issues.

Glad we established that.

I’m even having a hard time continuing the A Darker Shade of Magic series…! I also haven’t had time to stop by the bookstore, but last time I went with the intention to buy A Gathering of Shadows, I ended up walking out with other books instead which is weird because I loved ADSOM? As many complaints as I have for Schwab’s YA, I love her adult? I’m just. Why am I like this. Why.

But I just recently finished Red Queen and I OWN Glass Sword (so I’m most likely going to read it because I’m weird about small things like having to read every book I own before it leaves my hands, even if it takes me forever to getting around to doing so), and King’s Cage came out so – I might be able to finish a series? Finally? DUN dun DUNNNNN…

We’ll see 😀