Safe As Life: A Raven Cycle Playlist

It’s finally here! At long last I have completed the highly unanticipated Raven Cycle playlist.

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Look how pretty guys. I’m so in love omg.

If you’ve been reading my blog, or following me on Instagram, then you’ve probably been witness to my Raven Cycle freak out.

I’m pretty sure the last time I fell in love with a series so fast and so hard was when I read Cinder. Funnily enough, the first playlist I ever posted on the blog was my Lunar Chronicles playlist.

As you can tell, whenever I get obsessed with a book/character I associate them with the music I’m listening to, which means each song in the playlist corresponds to one of the main characters in The Raven Cycle. I had to keep it down to Blue, Gansey, Ronan, Adam, and Noah or else there would be like a million songs on here.

Maggie Stiefvater has an incredibly distinct writing style, which means that The Raven Cycle has a certain unique feel to it that was incredibly hard to capture through music.

Like always, even if you haven’t read The Raven Cycle (which you totally should), I’m pretty sure you’ll like the playlist anyway. It’s got some of my all time favorite songs on it.

Playlist Here: https://play.spotify.com/user/evalyn4200/playlist/3VsY6Cw2ITsMDFRvzbMwS9

I’ve provided a helpful key for you guys, telling you which songs go with each character, because I love you and I want you to properly appreciate my musical genius.

Blue Sargent- “The Mirror”

Gimme Sympathy//Metric

“We’re so close to something better left unknown…”

Woodland//The Paper Kites

“Won’t stop running till we reach the sun…”

like that//Bea Miller

“So what if I’m not everything you wanted me to be?”

Drive//Oh Wonder

“You sent this hurricane now it won’t go away…”

Bad Liar//Selena Gomez

“You’re taking up a fraction of my mind…”

Richard Gansey III- “The King”

Gold//Wise Children

“Well I might find gold here, but I’m miles form you…”

Northern Downpour//Panic! At The Disco

“Genius only comes along in storms of fabled foreign tongues…”

Underground//Cody Fry

“You found me here, underground.”

The Green And The Town//AJR

“But we will live among the giants, before the giants learn to run…”

Somewhere Only We Know//Keane

“This could be the end of everything…”

Ronan Lynch- “The Dreamer”

Graveyard Whistling//Nothing But Thieves

“Lets go out tonight, kill some stubborn myths…”

Immortals//Fall Out Boy

“I’ll be the guard dog of all your fever dreams…”

Oxford Comma//Vampire Weekend

“Through the pain I always tell the truth…”

Hey Bulldog//The Beatles

“You don’t know what it’s like to listen to your fears…”

Let’s Fall In Love//Mother Mother

“Only the unlucky of us get to do it…”

Noah Czerny- “The Ghost”

The Moss//Cosmo Sheldrake

“Legend has it that the moss grows on the north side of the trees…”

Ghosting//Mother Mother

“You don’t need poltergeists for sidekicks…”

Soul Meets Body//Death By Cutie

“If the silence takes you then I hope it takes me too…”

Migrane//Twenty One Pilots

“Sometimes to stay alive you’ve gotta kill your mind…”

Spelled In Bones//Fruit Bats

“There’s noting more to say…”

Adam Parrish- “The Magician”

I Wanna Get Better//Bleachers

“I didn’t know I was broken ’til I wanted to change…”

Hurricane//Panic! At The Disco

“I believe that half the time, I am a wolf among the sheep…”

Drag//Day Wave

“I don’t wanna be a drag…”

Cocoon//Milky Chance

“I will bleed instead of you…”

Mother Nature’s Son//The Beatles

“Born a poor young country boy, Mother Nature’s son…”

Here’s Why I Think Rick Riordan Gets Diversity Right

I’ve been wanting to talk about this for a long time, so bear with me here folks.

It’s time to talk about Uncle Rick.

There will be spoilers (duh)

Just in case you didn’t know, Rick Riordan, one of my favorite authors of all time, is best known for writing the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. It’s a wildly popular book series based on classic Greek mythology. It’s so popular that he’s written TWO spinoff series, The Heroes of Olympus and Trials of Apollo series, along with two other series Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard and The Kane Chronicles, all based on different mythologies. (Greek, Roman, Norse, and Egyptian)

This has gotten mixed reviews from audiences. Some people criticize Riordan’s writing, saying that he’s beating a dead horse, while others praise him for managing to get an entire generation interested in mythology. Recently, he’s been getting lots of attention because of the diversity of the characters he’s writing.

Some people are upset by his inclusion of openly LGBTQIA+ characters in his recent books. Others are offended by a muslim main character who wears a hijab. People have stopped reading his books, claiming he’s becoming “Too political.” I don’t understand that. Having a diverse cast of characters in a book isn’t political, it’s an accurate representation of real life.

Then there’s the group of people who, although they are excited about the diversity in Rick’s books, criticize him because they feel like he’s jumping on the band wagon. They accuse him of adding diverse representation into his books to get more readers.

All I can think is that these people must not have read his earlier series, because for as long as I’ve been reading his books (And I’ve been reading them for a while now) Rick has always been wonderful at representation.

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Here’s why I think Rick Riordan gets diversity right.

Let’s start with Percy Jackson shall we?

The idea for the Percy Jackson series came from the bedtime stories that Rick used to tell his son Hayley. He started out with actual greek myths, but when he ran out of those, Hayley suggested he make up his own. Thus Percy Jackson was born.

Because Hayley had recently been diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia, and was struggling with them, Riordan made Percy struggle with them too. In the series, most of the demigods have ADHD and Dyslexia because of their godly blood. They didn’t succeed despite of those things, they were able to fight monsters because they were different.

Although it dealt with things like learning disabilities, bullying, mental illness, and abuse, The original Percy Jackson series was, admittedly, not very racially diverse. Rick got lots criticism for that. He also gets criticism for adding racially diverse characters to his Heroes of Olympus series because it felt “Too Forced”

It kind of makes me want to scream.

Four out of seven of the main characters the Heroes of Olympus series are POC characters.

Leo Valdez is a Hispanic son of Hephaestus, Piper McLean, daughter of Aphrodite, is half Cherokee, Frank Zhang is a Chinese Canadian son of Mars, and Hazel Levesque, daughter of Hades, is black.

I’ve seen people online who claim that characters like Piper and Frank have very little characterization outside of their race. They even claimed that Piper being Native American is unrealistic because of how “rare” Native American people are. (Obviously this person doesn’t live anywhere near Oklahoma, the state where Piper was born.) While these characters do often mention their cultures, I don’t see it as Rick’s way of reminding everybody “Look at these diverse characters!”

Culture is something that is very important to some people. The values of your culture can help define who you are, as is the case for Reyna Arellano, or it can connect you to family, as is the case for Piper and Frank. The two of them are both dealing with the whole “Woah Greek/Roman gods are real!” situation. It makes perfect sense to me that they would relate this new world back to the cultures they grew up with/around.

And then there’s Nico DiAngelo.

Rick has gotten such backlash because of his decision to have Nico DiAngelo come out as gay during the Heroes of Olympus series. I think many of the people who were upset were probably fangirls who considered Nico to be their fictional boyfriend.

Throughout the PJO and HoO series Nico DiAngelo has had such an important redemption arc. We’ve watched him struggle to come to terms with himself,  trying find a place to belong after the death of his sister. We’ve seen him tempted by darkness, but eventually pulling through in order to help his friends. Don’t even get me started on how wonderful his relationship with his half sister Hazel is. It makes me indescribably happy to see him happy again in the ToA series.

Rick has stuck with the LGBT+ inclusion in the Trials of Apollo series, which features an openly bisexual main character. There are also two happy, loving same sex couples featured in the series.

Riordan’s Magnus Chase series has been getting tons of praise for it’s inclusion of:

  1. Magnus himself, who is homeless at the beginning of the series.
  2. Samirah Al Abbas, an Arab American Valkyrie, who wears a hijab throughout the series and is generally badass.
  3. Blitzen, a male dwarf with a passion for fashion.
  4. Hearthstone, a deaf elf who communicates through sign language. Throughout the series other characters are shown learning sign language so that they can easily communicate with him.
  5. And of course Alex Fierro, who is not only transgender/gender-fluid, but is also the main love interest in the series. I could write a whole separate post on how well I think Alex’s sexuality and pronoun use are addressed. While I myself do not identify as trans, I do believe that Riordan did a great job of explaining what it means to be trans/gender fluid, while still clarifying that everyone’s experiences are different.

Then there’s the Kane Chronicles, a.k.a the series that everyone always forgets about.

This series is the reason I get confused when people are surprised by the racially diverse characters in Rick’s newer books. Like, how can anyone be surprised by that when the Kane Chronicles exists?

You see, unlike pretty much every Hollywood movie about Egypt ever created, Rick acknowledges the fact that Egyptians are POC. This means that a majority of the main characters in The Kane Chronicles are either POC, or an Egyptian god with an animal for a head.

The two main characters, Carter and Sadie Kane, are siblings from a mixed race family. Despite the fact that they we’re raised in separate households, they still have one of the best brother sister relationships I’ve ever read about. They argue a lot, but Sadie, who inherited their mother’s blonde hair and fair skin, actually gets incredibly offended whenever people assume they aren’t related.

I find it really puzzling that The Kane Chronicles is so unpopular compared to Rick’s other series. I recently reread the series and I loved it just as much as the PJO and HoO books. Naturally, I did what I usually do when I love a book series. I made a Kane Chronicles playlist. Unlike my Lunar Chronicles playlist, this playlist is actually designed to follow the storyline of The Kane Chronicles. Meaning that it’s totally composed of songs that remind me of different scenes in the trilogy.

Link Here: https://play.spotify.com/user/evalyn4200/playlist/0q4fppNVFig4Wk9JXRByj9

Want to share your thoughts on Rick Riordan’s writing? Do you agree that The Kane Chronicles is underrated? Have a guess at which songs correspond to which scenes? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

-Eva

Rebel of the Sands Review (+The Perfect Roadtrip Playlist)

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I recently finished Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, and I loved it. It’s the story of a girl named Amani, who’s lived her entire life in a rough desert town called Dustwalk. She spends her days dreaming of crossing the legendary desert and finding a new home in the city of Izman. She’s a self taught gunslinger who never misses a shot, but as an orphaned female there’s no way her skill will ever get her out of Dustwalk.

That is until she meets a mysterious foreigner named Jin at a shooting contest and rides with him into the dangers of the desert. Swept up into an adventure she never wanted, Armani is set to discover just how many secrets the desert holds.

Alwyn Hamilton has created a rich, beautifully written world full Middle Eastern culture with just a hint of Wild West adventure. It’s one that I cannot wait to dive back into.

In Rebel of the Sands, Armani goes on a pretty epic journey. Although I won’t be shooting soldiers or battling any mystical beings I am going to be going on a sort of adventure of my own. For the next few weeks I’m looking at spending pretty much every day in the backseat of my parent’s car. This isn’t a new experience for me. We travel long distances by car all the time, so I’m pretty used being crammed back there with only my books for company.

Most of the time we’re traveling for my dad’s work, so my mom is the one who drives. My dad sits in the passenger seat where he gives directions and freaks out about my mom’s driving.

I don’t have any siblings, so I’m the lone ruler of the back seat. This usually means I get to lounge in the back and read, occasionally passing water and snacks up to the front seat. The back seat is also where we keep the CDs, which means I get to be in charge of the music.

I take this job very seriously, because to me the music sets the mood of the whole trip. It’s easy for moods to turn foul when you’re stuck in an enclosed space with the same people for several hours. You can start to resent the sound of each other breathing. To me the perfect music should keep everybody’s spirits lifted.

I’ve complied a playlist of some of my favorite songs to listen to in the car. It’s got everything from The Beatles, to Hamilton, to George Gershwin. I think it’s perfect for long road trips, or long hours of reading, dreaming about going on awesome adventures. Whatever floats your boat.

Playlist here: https://play.spotify.com/user/evalyn4200/playlist/7kxwqMb1UVfDdxa4vcqOb4

 

Broken: A Lunar Chronicles Playlist

“Broken isn’t the same as unfixable” -Marissa Meyer

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I warned you that I would be talking about The Lunar Chronicles a lot. This was the first bookish playlist I ever made. It took me all last summer to perfect, and I’m still really proud of it so I wanted it to be the first playlist I share with you guys.

It’s a pretty good playlist, if I do say so myself, so even if you haven’t read the series you can still listen to it. Although, if you haven’t read TLC I’m seriously judging you right now. Four books, based off of classic fairy tales, set in a fascinating futuristic world, with a cast of hilarious and interesting characters. What more could you ask for?

Here’s the link: https://play.spotify.com/user/evalyn4200/playlist/4eCuteCbj2V8RqSKZSbw8m

Each song reminds me of a character from the series, so I’ve provided a helpful key for you. (You’re welcome.)

Linh Cinder-

Titanium by David Guetta (feat. Sia)

Fading Flower by Yuna

Prince Kai-

Selene by Imagine Dragons

Viva La Vida by Coldplay

Iko-

Mechanical Heart by Beth Hart

While My Guitar Gently Weeps- Girl in a Coma (cover)

Scarlet Benoit-

Little Pistol by Mother Mother

Bulletproof by La Roux

Wolf-

Hometown by Twenty One Pilots

I Know I’m A Wolf by Young Heretics

Captain Thorne-

Oasis by A Great Big World

I’m Still Here by John Rzeznik

Cress-

I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li

It’s Only A Paper Moon- Ella Fitzgerald

Dr. Erland-

The Scientist by Coldplay

Jacin Clay-

Safe and Sound by Jason Chen (cover)

I Found by Amber Run

Princess Winter-

Moon and Back by Alice Kristiansen

Bravado by Lorde

Queen Levana-

Control by Halsey

Whisper by Crywolf