Underrated Books You Should Read Now

There are so many amazing books in the world and a few of them are not getting the recognition they deserve. I feel like some books are over recommended over sometimes even overhyped, while other titles are pushed to the sidelines.

So, here are some books I think are underrated and if you haven’t read them, you should read them now! All current reviews will be linked too if you want to check them out!

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Books Amazon Made Me Buy

I own a kindle so sometimes I like to browse through the free or $0.99 books to see what there is. And it’s usually a lot. I’m also subscribed to the BookBub email, so I get alerts on kindle deals every day – which makes it even harder to resist books when they show up for free in my email. 

Here are some of the more recent books Amazon made me buy!

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Exploring My Kindle TBR

Every so often I go on my kindle and cry at how many free books i’ve downloaded, whether through NetGalley or Amazon sales, that I haven’t read! Plus all the ones that I did pay for and also haven’t read.

Someone needs to take my credit card away from me because I clearly have no self control. I guess the only thing I can do is expose myself as the addict I am – so let’s explore my kindle TBR!

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Series I Haven’t Finished Yet

I am a culprit in starting series and not finishing them. Sometimes, it’s because other books come out and I forget to read the new ones. Other times, I’ve been destroyed by one book that I refuse the read the rest until the series is complete.

Here are some series that I haven’t finished yet!

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Exposing My TBR Shelf

Since moving into my apartment, I have acquired three new bookshelves, one in my bedroom and two in my guest room. The shelf in my bedroom serves as my TBR shelf – all of the physical books that I haven’t read yet and need to. No, this does not include the 500 or so books at my parents house that I may or may not have read yet, but we’re just going to ignore those . . .

So I thought, why not expose my TBR shelf?

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Currently Reading & Watching: Part III

October has been a crazy month and while I’ve been reading a lot, I’m also doing a lot of work on the book tours, my actual job, and other adult things. You know, like cooking, cleaning, crying because I’m stressed – the usual!

Anyways, I wanted something light to post today, so here’s what I’m currently reading and watching!

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My Favorite Book Bloggers

On Wednesday (10/7), book twitter went wild after an author ranted about a blogger asking for payment to review their book.

That’s a discussion for another day though.

In that rant, lots of people talked about supporting book bloggers as we are generally overworked, under appreciated, and usually the first group people shit on when discussing compensation. So today, I want to take the time and shout out some of my favorite book bloggers!

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October 2020 TBR

September was an okay month reading wise, but a few books have to be carried over in order for me to finish everything like I need to. I have a feeling some books from October will carry over into November, but if I’m able to get through all of these I would be so happy!

I have a few book tour books, some NetGalley reads, and 

Here is my current October TBR. 

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September 2020 releases to put on your TBR

With only a week left in the month, I thought it would be fun to hype up some of my favorite September releases that I think people should put on their TBR! This is mostly going to be debut or not as well know releases, so no Cassie Clare or any other sequels/spin offs.

Some of these I haven’t read yet, but want to, so I’ll mark which ones I have and have not read. For the unread books, I’ll be putting in the official synopsis!

Let’s get started!

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What I’m Currently Reading & Watching: Part II

It took me a week to read White Fox by Sara Faring, which means that I am not reading a lot, so I thought it would be fun to do a currently reading and watching post!

My watching habits are mood based, so it can honestly change from week to week. But this is what I’ve been watching and reading this week and what I plan to watch soon!

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Book Blogger Confessions Tag

I found this tag over at Laura’s Book Reviews. It looked like so much fun, I had to do it for myself!

The rules:

Answer these questions truthfully.

Once you’ve completed this tag, tag 5 other book bloggers to answer these questions next.

I don’t have anyone to really tag for this, so I’m tagging everyone! Be sure to tag me or comment so I can see your answers. 

1. Which book, most recently, did you not finish?

Recently, I DNFed Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza and Abby Sher. I enjoyed the book, but unfortunately, the anxiety and paranoia Vali was dealing with was too much for me to handle. I started reflecting that and becoming so anxious I was about to have a panic attack. Needless to say, definitely couldn’t continue reading it, even though I liked the story and was interested to see what happened next. 

2. Which book is your guilty pleasure?

I’m not sure I would call it my guilty pleasure, but I am a huge fan of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – actually, anything by her really! I could re-read that series any day. That and Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas. 

3. Which book do you love to hate?

I really hated The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. Another book I hated was Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman. Could not get into either of them at all and ultimately DNFed. 

4. Which book would you throw into the sea?

Oh jeez, probably The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Absolutely awful! One of the most boring books I’ve ever read in my entire life and I’m still mad I was forced to read it. This book made me hate my 11th grade English class so much. 

5. Which book have you read the most?

I am not a big re-reader. In fact, I haven’t re-read a book in years so I can’t really answer this question. When I was younger, I re-read Twilight, Vampire Academy, and The Mortal Instruments series multiple times. I couldn’t get enough of them. 

6. Which book would you hate to receive as a present?

The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. 

7.  Which book could you not live without?

Ohhh, that’s a difficult question. There’s not a single book alone I couldn’t live without, I can’t give up any of my books! If I HAD to choose one, then my first edition copy of Vicious by V.E. Schwab. Not only did I pay a lot for it, but I love that book so much, it’s one of my prized possessions. 

8. Which book made you the angriest? 

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin. The ending made me so mad, I threw my kindle across the room . . .

9. Which book made you cry the most?

It’s a tie between Crescent City and Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas. Both made me absolutely sob for over an hour. 

10. Which book cover do you hate the most?

There are some pretty bad book covers, but I don’t think I’ve found one that I hate the most. I don’t like the new ACOTAR covers at all. I think they’re hideous. 

If you didn’t see, I created a Ko-fi account! I’m not expecting anything to come from it, but if you like my content and want to me get my own domain and host bookish giveaways, I’ve linked it here! Thanks to anyone who checks it out!

Bookish This or That – Guest Post Edition

So we’re doing something a little different today. Today, I am doing a Bookish This or That but with a twist! I teamed up with Alexa @ Writing the Universe to guess what I think her answers to these questions would be. Alexa and I have been friends for a year and a half now and I think I know her reading preferences enough to at least guess.

I am going to post my guesses for Alexa first and then below I will be posting my own responses! If you want to see Alexa’s guesses about me and her responses, make sure to check out her post!

We got this post off of Kim @ KimberlyFayeReads so be sure to give her some love!

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Judging a Book by its Cover

I did this a few months ago under a different name (Making Assumptions About Books I’ve Never Read) but I thought, hey! New books, new covers, more things I haven’t had a chance to read yet – why not!?

I’m always catching myself making assumptions about books and what they’ll be about based on the cover. Usually I go for aesthetically pretty covers because I think they’re pretty (duh), which means that sometimes I buy a book without even knowing what it’s about. It’s pretty ridiculous and I really have to stop myself form doing it! Today, I am going to be making assumptions about what these books are about based on their cover and title alone. I will post the actual synopsis under my assumption so you can laugh at me at how badly I guess these books!

All of these assumptions are written BEFORE I read the synopsis and paste it below. Let me know how well you think I did on guessing these!

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New Blog Tour!

Hey guys! Some exciting news! We have a new blog tour coming out! Sign ups went out today, so if you’re interested, be sure to follow the link to sign up!

We are so excited about this book. This is an INTERNATIONAL tour and it is open to bloggers and Instagrammers alike! Instagrammers will have to be US only because you will receive a physical ARC of the book but all bloggers (US + International) are welcome! Bloggers will receive an electronic ARC for review.

This is an Own Voices book so we are prioritizing Asian reviewers, specifically Chinese reviewers, but all are welcome to apply!

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NetGalley vs. Edelweiss

I didn’t realize that I didn’t have a post scheduled for today so I’m kind of writing this last minute – SORRY!

I am having trouble finding posts other than reviews to write right now because I have been a reading machine. So far, I’ve been reading a new e-book every 1-3 days which means I’ve gotten through a lot of books so far this month. Which means a lot of reviews! I’m sorry if you’re looking for other content because I might have to post a lot of reviews, especially since a lot of them are upcoming August and September releases and I want to get them out near release date.

Any way – I wanted to talk about two different platforms that I use to review books: NetGalley and Edelweiss. If you don’t know what these are, they are a way for booksellers, librarians, authors, and reviewers to get their hands on upcoming book releases for purchase or review. And when I mean purchase, I mean for their library or their store. Bloggers can also receive books on these sites, but are not quite as lucky to get them as a librarian or bookseller would be.

Today, I’m going to be reviewing them and I have a lot to say – especially about Edelweiss!

First off, acceptance rate. NetGalley, by far, beats Edelweiss in this for me. While it’s hard to say how many books I’ve been denied on Edelweiss since once they archive them, they disappear from the site, the ratios can’t even compete.

For my primary NetGalley, I currently have 11 books to read and review and I have reviewed 39 so far. So far, I’ve been denied 63 books and I am currently pending and waiting on 16.

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Meanwhile, on Edelweiss, I have been approved for 2, currently pending 9, and have been denied 24. Although, technically I have been approved for 4 because I was initially denied for The Boundless, then received it through a blog tour. And I was denied for Wench but then re-requested it and received it through the publisher.

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Just from that alone, I have a better chance of getting approved through NetGalley than on Edelweiss any day! But I’ll put some (poorly done) math below! Approved / (Pending) + (Denied)

Chance of getting approved on NetGalley: 63%

Chance of getting approved on Edelweiss: 6%

Yeah, my math is probably flawed, but just looking at the percent difference makes me want to cry!

Moving on, website layout.

Personally, I like NetGalley’s look and request option more than Edelweiss.

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NetGalley is pretty simple. In your bio, you include your stats and anything that the publisher should take into consideration when looking over your request. That’s your place to shine! Then you would find the title, click on it and it brings you to this page. Then you select all the things that made you want to select the book and hit request! Although in that case, it was read now since it was an excerpt, but you get the idea! There’s also books you can Wish For, and for those you just click Wish For It and hope that you’re one of the lucky people to get it!

Edelweiss on the other hand is more complicated.

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At the top, the part I cropped out, it includes your saved profile and your profile strength.

In your profile you have a bio just like NetGalley that the publishers see, which should be as detailed and extensive as you can. You want to shine. But Edelweiss also wants you to write a whole thing on why you’re requesting the book. Which I feel is utterly pointless if our bios include the same information.

I’ve tried writing it very professionally (like my bio), very casual, included stats, didn’t include stats, any combination you can think of and it never gets me any closer to getting the book for review.

And then, if you get approved for a book, the actual review process is totally different.

NetGalley rates things on a 5 star system, you can copy that review over to your connected Goodreads, tweet that you reviewed this book, and provided tags/information to the publisher.

Edelweiss does their score out of 10 stars and includes multiple things you can rate. Writing, originality, overall, etc

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Plus, there are icons to choose to shelve the book, write notes to the publisher, share your review and more.

While NetGalley’s is more user friendly and a bit simpler, I actually appreciate Edelweiss’ system. I like that I can provide an overall rating as well as more specific ratings to explain why that might be. Then you have other icons to choose to tag, shelve, and what not which makes it a lot more organized than NetGalley.

Another thing I really like about Edelweiss is that you don’t have to have been approved for the book to review it, unlike NetGalley where you can only write reviews for books you’ve been approved for. This makes it a lot easier to increase your stats if you end up getting the book before release another way (like NetGalley or a giveaway) or if it’s still up after release!

Overall, I like NetGalley WAYYY more than Edelweiss. Not only for the fact that I actually get approved for books on their site, but because it’s a cleaner, simpler site to use. Although, I wish NetGalley had the option to re-request the book, like Edelweiss. That would save me so much heartbreak.

Which site do you like to use more?

 

 

My Favorite OTPs of All Time!

If you don’t know what OTP stands for, it means One True Pairing – aka, couple goals! There are so many adorable couples in literature and they just continue to make me believe that love is real. At least, I hope.

So today, I wanted to talk about my favorite couples and my all time favorite OTPs! This is not ALL of them, but the ones I couldn’t leave off this list, so if you don’t see your favorite couple, I’m sorry!

***Warning – this post may contain spoilers!!! Read at your own risk! I also will be doing my best to track down the artist for all fan art featured in my post, but if I incorrectly name an artist, I would appreciate the correction. Thanks!

Aelin + Rowan

aelin | Tumblr

 

Is anyone surprised that I included Aelin and Rowan? I love their relationship and while it doesn’t start off well (Heir of Fire), as they grow together I fall in love with them as a couple. Aelin’s snark to Rowan’s cool exterior is a favorite of mine and it reminds me of my own relationship. Though that isn’t to say Rowan won’t stand up for Aelin and protect her when she needs it – if she needs it. They’re just so fun to read about and their love is so fierce.

Artist: Gabriella Bujdoso

Annabeth + Percy

Percabeth | Shipping Wiki | Fandom

 

The Lightning Thief was one of the first books I read that was a fantasy novel (and ultimately got me into reading) so I hold a special place in my heart for Percabeth. Their relationship, which grew from literally nothing, made me feel so happy as a kid! I read the entire series in middle school and haven’t had a chance to reread them since. I’ve heard their relationship develops more in the spin off series as well, so I may have to do a Lightening Thief reread and then read Heroes of Olympus. Either way – their relationship is so wholesome and wonderful and now I miss them!

Artist: Viria

Feyre + Rhysand

rhysand fan art | Tumblr

Okay, if you thought I was going to mention Aelin and Rowan and NOT mention Feyre and Rhys – why? I love Sarah’s books and the relationship between Feyre and Rhys is literally so cute. Sure, he was really mean in the first book as an attempt to try and protect her, but he completely redeemed himself in ACOMAF and ACOWAR! He helped Feyre through her trauma and depression, allowed her to gain independence by teaching her to read and write, and allowed her to fall in love with him before letting her know they were mates. I mean – COME ON!!! Their relationship is so sweet and wild, I just love them.

Artist: Stephanie Brown (@OffBeatWorlds)

Tessa + Jem

brych — You are Jem—my Jem. Always my Jem. ...

 

The Infernal Devices is my favorite Shadowhunters series and oh man, did I root for Jessa. While I was happy that Tessa ended up with Will at the end, her relationship with Jem seemed more genuine and loving compared to Will. And (SPOILERS) – when she finally gets to be with him in the future books, it makes me so happy! The events that went on in the Infernal Devices trilogy still haunt me and in the end, I think she should have ended up with Jem.

Artist: @xiannustudio (Redbubble)

Magnus + Alec

Alec/Magnus Fanart - Alec & Magnus Fan Art (42373526) - Fanpop ...

 

Magnus and Alec were one of my first ships as a reader. I wanted them to be together so badly and when they finally confessed their feelings, and Alec was comfortable telling other people, I was so happy! They just have such a great dynamic and are the cutest couple! Every interaction between them, and with them, is so sweet and funny and just great. (SPOILERS) – when I found out they had kids together I was so happy for them! I knew they would be great parents and they seem so happy and UGH! My heart can’t take it, I just love their relationship.

Artist: @kotartus_ (Instagram)

Katara + Aang

Aang and Katara's first kiss was low-key the most romantic ...

When I first watched Avatar: The Last Airbender as a kid, I wasn’t a huge fan of Aang ending up with Katara. I wanted them to explore Katara’s relationship with Zuko and see how everything pans out. Now that I’m older, I’m all for Kataang! I love how their relationship is first based on friendship and they provide a good balance of personalities. Katara is caring, tough, sometimes hotheaded, and an overall good person which pairs nicely with Aangs calmness, rambunctiousness, and kindness. As we see in the comics, while a bit gross, they are a great couple together and genuinely love each other. It’s hard to find a match that not only brings out the best in you, but also compliments and helps your “weaknesses”. Overall, such a great couple and they’re kids are awesome too!

Artist: Viria

Korra + Asami

Legend of Korra' Creator Draws Official Korrasami Art

Honestly, I love the idea of Korra and Asami together, but I’m really upset we didn’t get a single moment of them until the END OF THE FREAKING SHOW. I wanted more screen time with their relationship and less of this back and forth with Mako. (though, don’t get me wrong, I adore Mako!) I think this couple was cheated out of great on screen moments and now, all I’m left with is fan art. But seriously though, I think Korra and Asami make an adorable couple and, like with Aang and Katara, really balance each other out well.

Artist: Bryan Konietzko

Maia + Edan

Rachele Raka on Instagram: “More #spinthedawn ...there is still ...

This was a slow burn romance that I could not handle. Spin the Dawn took my heart, threw it against the wall, patched it up, and then sliced it in half with this relationship. Edan’s love for Maia isn’t obvious at first, but once they start to get to know each other, I’m done for. Edan is so sweet, Maia is so caring, and together they make an adorable couple. I love their interactions before they finally cave in and express themselves – sarcastic relationships are great sometimes! And don’t get me started on Unravel the Dusk!

Artist: Rachele Raka @doodlingraka

Alucard + Rhy

Rhy and Alucard from the Shades of Magic series. Ouch my heart ...

Alucard is a snarky, SOB sometimes, but he’s a total softy for Rhy! Every moment between them had me laughing or smiling like an idiot because, while not perfect, their relationship is just so endearing. Reading A Darker Shade of Magic, I just wanted the moments between Kell + Lila, and Rhy + Alucard. Nothing else. Just a total love fest between these characters! I love the moments between these two characters and it’s so obvious they’re in love with each other, it’s tormenting.

Artist: @ace-artemis (Redbubble)

Zafira + Nasir

Hafsah Faizal on Twitter: "Woke up today to this gorgeous art of ...

 

If you haven’t read We Hunt the Flame, you absolutely need to. Not only is the sequel releasing March 2021, but the enemies to lovers romance is SO GOOD! Technically, they’re not a couple, but I have a feeling they will be and I will ship them until my dying breath. Zafira is so sassy and strong, I love the power behind her character. And Nasir? He’s an ass, but I know he has a good heart. Every interaction with them you see their chemistry and I’m tired of waiting – THEY NEED TO BE TOGETHER NOW!

Artist: @monolimeart (Instagram)

Elias + Laia

Laia and Elias" Greeting Card by adamarart | Redbubble

 

I’m so happy the final book, A Sky Beyond the Storm, releases in December because I have been waiting FIVE YEARS for these two to be together! And I swear, if they don’t end up together, I will actually cry. Sabaa likes to torture her readers by giving them a great romance for characters that are destined never to be together and it is so frustrating!! I just love these characters and I want them to be in a relationship so bad! I guess we’ll have to see if that happens.

Artist: @adamarart (Redbubble)

Lei + Wren

Pin on Digital Artwork & Drawings

 

So, I read Girls of Paper and Fire, but I haven’t read Girls of Storm and Shadow yet (I KNOW, I KNOW!) so I’m just going off of the first book for these. But still! I was rooting for these two the moment they met and I love their relationship. These two are in a horrible situation, but the fact they found comfort and love with each other made me so happy. I was nervous for them the entire time though! I can’t wait to read the next book and see what happens to them. I hope nothing bad . . .

Artist: @pinktofu_art (Instagram)

Here are all of my couple goals! Some are not technically couples, but I think they should be. I’m sure my list will change through the years to add more people, but here are the ones I could narrow down right now.

What are some of your favorite OTPs?

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If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

August 2020 TBR

I have a very optimistic TBR for August. Three of these books I need to read in order to read the sequels, which either come out in September. The other eight books are books that come out in August/September that I need to read. And these aren’t even all of the September releases. I left three end of September releases for later and I’ll just have to read and get through at the beginning of next month.

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I don’t know if I’ve had a TBR of more than nine books before, so this should be interesting. The last three can always be read beginning of September if it comes down to that, but I want to try and get these read as soon as possible.

I ended up with a longer TBR for August due to one thing – the Penguin Teen Influencer program. I signed up and got in (yay!) but when I requested the books I wanted, I didn’t think I would get ALL of them. I requested three books for each month, August, September, and October. And in one afternoon received six of those nine books in my inbox. It was awesome yet terrifying.

See, I’m used to requesting more than normal because I’m usually declined for like 80-90% of them, so I didn’t expect to have six additional books fall into my lap. Plus I received Legendborn from the publisher and won Traitor in a giveaway. Ha ha, I’m freaking out.

What’s your August TBR looking like?

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If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review: The Shadows Between Us

I am so happy I read this book when I did. I was reading some not so great books recently and now my luck has turned around, this one included! I’ve heard such great things about this story and it did not disappoint for me.

Today, I will be reviewing The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

Wow okay where to start with this one? I guess let’s start with characters.

A+

I loved Alessandra as a character. She’s tough, but not cruel. She owns her body and her sexuality, but doesn’t shame other girls for having different opinions (ie. while she may be sexually active, she does not shame other girls for waiting until marriage). She’s pretty funny and she gets stuff done! She’s pretty impressive. Then Kallias. Ugh – King Kallias is too much for me sometimes. Not because he’s ignoring Alessandra or being rude – which he definitely is – but because he’s so tortured and he just needs a hug. But, you can’t touch him, so air hug? Then we have Alessandra’s friends who are all so funny. It’s a perfect set up.

So plot wise, I couldn’t find any faults that I thought needed to be changed or were bad. In fact, I really like how the plot went and the ending is spectacular. I gasped, I was happy, I was sad, shocked, disturbed, and in the end, satisfied. This story had so many ups and downs between Alessandra and Kallias and even between other characters! So much is going on.

I was cheering on Alessandra the whole time, even when her goals changed because she’s a fun character. I liked seeing how cunning and smart she was and the fact that Kallias appreciated that! They’re one of my favorite couples now.

SPOILER ALERT!!! I will be discussing spoilers below. I will mark once the spoiler talk has ended!

SPOILERS START

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Okay so first off I have a question, because I realize this may not have been answered in the book. During Kallias’ assassination attempt at the ball, the little girl tells Alessandra that it was the man who made a toast and the woman in black who told her to come. And that the woman in black was now wearing green tonight. Lady Zervas matched the description but she claims it wasn’t her – do we know who this woman was? Is it confirmed or denied that it was Lady Zervas? And if it wasn’t – who was it?

I don’t know if we ever got that answer and I’m kinda of sad. I wanna know who it was. I was hoping that it was one of Alessandra’s friends, like Hestia or Rhoda who were actually in on the whole thing. But that didn’t end up happening.

I think that’s my only complaint plot wise – we never confirm or deny who this woman is and why she’s important.

One other thing I do want to mention too was I wasn’t a fan of how Kallias reacted to Alessandra’s murder charge. He doesn’t worry that she will try to murder him? He pardons her immediately? I just don’t understand his reasoning besides wanting to keep the engagement and letting it slide?

I was kind of hoping for some dramatic thing where he gets upset and locks her up or throws her out. Or even her Father and her sister get her and take her home. But that didn’t happen and I wish it did. I feel like that would have been pretty intense too.

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SPOILERS END

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I love the characters, the story, and certain scenes just made me fall in love with Kallias. I also really wanted to give him a hug, poor thing. All in all, this is a great fantasy standalone that I’ll probably be recommending for a while, so I think it’s obvious this is a starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars for me!

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If this book sounds interesting, check out Tricia’s other series, Daughter of the Pirate King!

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Stuck at Home Book Tag

I decided to do another tag today because why not? I don’t want to clutter my feed too much with reviews so we’re doing the Stuck at Home Book Tag! I might be a bit late with this one, but whatever. We’re all just trying to have fun.

The Rules

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

No one nominated me for this tag but I will nominate Alexa @ Writing the Universe to do this tag!

A Book You’ve Been Meaning to Read for Forever

What haven’t I been meaning to read for forever? My TBR is so long I could probably just talk about those and never end. But honestly, I would have to say Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare. I got preoccupied with other books when it came out and just never got around to reading it. I know once I do though I’m not going to be able to put it back down, so maybe I’ll hold off until the next book in the series is out . . .

An Intimidating Book on Your TBR

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I want to read this book so bad but I don’t know how I’m going to feel once I start. I’ve heard mixed reviews and have been told this is a series you have to reread because the footnotes are really distracting at first. I’m also worried if I don’t like it what will happen. Some people are very possessive over this series and I’m not trying to get virtually assaulted for not liking this book! (just kidding)

Top 3 Priority Books on Your TBR

  1. Kingdom of Copper by S. A. Chakraborty
  2. Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard
  3. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab

Honestly, 2 is on there because I kept pushing off reading this book and it’s releasing in August, so I really need to read it! And 3 is because I’ve been dying to read this book and kept pushing it off due to other books releasing sooner. I will get to all of these books soon, especially Ignite the Sun because I am not holding off on that book anymore.

Recommend a Short Book

I have a lot of recommendations, but I’ll stick with fantasy, thriller and prose for now.

For fantasy, The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller. It’s just over 300 pages and it’s a standalone, so you get a quick read that is SO GOOD! I feel like this is going to become on of my go to recommendations now.

For thriller, We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. This book doesn’t even hit 250 pages and it is a rollercoaster ride of emotions. There’s not much I can say about this besides – it’s really good, you should definitely read it!

For prose, Blood Moon by Lucy Cuthew. It’s a contemporary novel written in prose that I read in one sitting. If you don’t know what prose is, it’s similar to poetry but with more of a storytelling aspect to it. So instead of the whole Roses are Red rhyming scheme, it’s more like Shakespeare. And this book is so good! I really like the set up of the book and how it flows. And, it has a really important story for young women.

Recommend a Long Book

Again, it’s so hard to recommend just one, so I’ll do a fantasy, contemporary, and maybe throw in a thriller!

For fantasy, I have to go with The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon. It’s a standalone fantasy novel that is 858 pages long. Some people have said they’re intimated by the book, and I was too at first, but it’s actually not that bad! There’s dragons, war, sapphic romance, and lots of crazy magic in this world.

For contemporary, I would say The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I’ve noticed most contemporaries aren’t longer then 400 pages, but THUG is almost 450 pages. It’s the longest contemporary I’ve read at least and it has an important message.

Finally, for thriller, I would recommend The Diviners by Libba Bray. This one is a mixed genre book because its a fantasy thriller, but the main plot point is the murders, so I’m going with this one! This is the first book in a series and has 578 pages filled with magic, mayhem, and murder. It’s so good.

What Do You Plan on Reading Next?

I’m starting Ignite the Sun once I finish the current book I’m reading and then I’ll probably read Kingdom of Copper as well. I also really want to read Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker because I have the Stormbreak sitting on my kindle and I really want to read that before release. So that’s another TBR book I need to read.

If you decide to do this tag, feel free to tag me so I can see your responses!

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If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

What I’m Currently Reading + Watching

My reading has lagged since starting a blog tour company so I’m doing something a little different today. Here’s what I’m currently reading and watching!

Reading:

Right now I’m currently reading –

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I’m about 50% through The City of Brass right now and since I finished A Wicked Magic and Splinters of Scarlet, I’m going to start two new books. Ignite the Sun is another NetGalley read I need to get off my list and The Shadows Between Us is a fun, short read I’ve been wanting to get through for a while.

Watching:

www.gstatic.com/tv/thumb/tvbanners/11232067/p11...    Zoey 101 (TV Series 2005–2008) - IMDb    Hannah Montana (TV Series 2006–2011) - IMDb    Cursed (TV Series 2020– ) - IMDb

My boyfriend and I are currently on season 3 of Legend of Korra. This is a rewatch for me, but it’s his first time watching the show. So far he really likes it and I’m just happy to have someone who understands my obsession with this show!

I’ve been on a nostalgia kick recently so I’ve been rewatching old shows I loved as a kid/teen. Currently, I’m on season 1 of Zoey101 and on season 4 of Hannah Montana. It feels so weird to rewatch these shows and have the memories of their premiere or sitting down in my parent’s home to watch with my little sisters. Makes me miss my childhood a little bit.

I’m debating if I want to start watching Cursed. I’ve been hearing some controversial things about the book and the show. Part of me wants to watch to know why, the other part wants to avoid it at all costs. If anyone has started watching the show or read the book, let me know if I should give this a try or not.

 

Nostalgia Book Tag

I had some serious nostalgia hit me today as I was looking through old books I had read back in middle school. It’s been so long since I had read some of these, so I wanted to create a tag that would make everyone feel nostalgic. So – here is the Nostalgia Book Tag!

Nostalgia GIFs | Tenor

Rules:
– Thank the person who tagged you
– Answer all the questions down below
– Pingback to the creator (me): Sammy @ We Write at Dawn
– Nominate 3+ bloggers you’d like to do this tag!

The first book you’ve ever read

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I had to read a lot in elementary school for school, so technically this isn’t the first book I’ve ever read, but it’s the first one I picked out to read outside of school. The first series I ever read on my own was The Percy Jackson series. My fifth grade teacher read The Lightening Thief by Rick Riordan to us and I was hooked. I read the first book on my own that summer and read every book that came after it and I was hooked. I’ve had a book in my hand ever since.

 

Your favorite book from middle school

I read a lot in middle school, so there was a lot of books I deemed my favorite. The three series I remember adoring in middle school was The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare, Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead, and Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. I could not get enough of those books and would reread them all the time.

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A book you read that no one has seem to read before

There’s several books that I’ve read that none of my friends, or anyone I talk to, know about so I’ll list them:

Shadowland by Meg Cabot
Cirque du Freak series by Darren Shan
Vampire Kisses by Ellen Schreiber
The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer

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These are the few I could think of off the top of my head, but I loved these series in middle school and I really want to reread them now!

Worst book you’ve read

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Worst book I’ve read, that wasn’t for school, would probably have to be the first book I ever DNFed (did not finished), which was The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I read 5 chapters in middle school and hated it. Tried reading it again in high school and just couldn’t do it. It was just so bad I couldn’t get through it.

 

An author you loved when you were younger

I loved so many authors but I’d have to say that I loved Meg Cabot a lot when I was younger. I could pick up any of her books and instantly fall in love, no matter the genre.

An author you hated when you were younger

I don’t know that I necessarily hated anyone, but I definitely was very mad at Stephanie Meyer and Cassandra Clare as I read their books!

A book you swore you would never read – and then finally did.

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I was hesitant to read Harry Potter when I was younger. Back in elementary school a lot of my friends had read them and loved them, but I wasn’t a stronger reader then and the books were very big. I didn’t want to embarrass myself trying to read them, so I said I never would. I refused to read them for a while, and then in 7th grade, I cracked. Finally read them and got on the HP bandwagon until JK went full bigot and I quickly hoped off.

 

A book you’re embarrassed to admit you read and loved

Twilight. Need I say more?

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Favorite book memory when you were younger

Every year my family would go to Florida for Thanksgiving to see my grandmother and we would go to the local bookstore and get new books for me to read. I would spend the whole vacation reading by the pool, at my grandma’s house, in the hotel – anywhere and everywhere. In the week we would be there I could get through a book a day with how much I read. I kind of miss it.

A book from your childhood you’ll cherish forever

The Lightening Thief kickstarted my love for reading and The Mortal Instruments helped propel it forward. Those two books will forever be books that I can go back to and love again and again.

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I tag:

Alexa @ Writing the Universe

Morr @ Morrbooks

Belle @ Bellearchive

 

 

A New Company

This is a fun announcement I get to make and I’m so excited to be able to share this! As you may, or may not know, Auburn @ What She Will Read, has created a new website for book lovers called The Book Terminal. If you haven’t check it out, you totally should! You can link your blog and other media, join a database to find other bloggers, be featured on the website, trade/buy books, and now – you can participate in blog tours!

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Auburn created a section called Book Terminal Tours and a blog tour company! And I’m one of the co-owners/co-hosts for it!

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Yes, you heard that right. Auburn and I created a blog tour company! And we just brought on Shreya @ The Baroness of Books to help run it! We are so excited to be working together on this and can’t wait to hopefully work with you all in the future!

If you are a blogger who is interested in participating in any of our tours, please sign up for our newsletter here to get first access! You will be the first to know and sign up for any tours so be sure to sign up soon!

For authors, publishers, publicists we are accepting requests and have different types of tours we can host for you. I will link the page with different tours that we offer here. And if you would like to request a tour, you can do so here. Our tours are currently completely free so you will only have to provide the physical or electronic books and any other promotional material you need.

We are currently running a tour for Jaybird by M.A. Foster and sign ups close TOMORROW! I will include the description of the book below. If you would like to participate in this tour, be sure to sign up here!

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Jaybird was just a nickname my father gave me when I was born.
But after he died, the name took on a life of it’s own.
Jayla King has the world at her fingertips.
A loving family.
Two amazing best friends.
A promising music career.
And the heart of the only boy she’s ever loved. Zach.
But then everything changes.
When news hits the streets that famous rock star and celebrity judge, Marcus King, has suddenly died,
the spotlight shifts to his daughter.
His Jaybird.

*Not recommended for readers under the age of 18 due to language, sexual situations, and mild violence.
Jaybird is a standalone in a series

 

 

Fall 2020 Releases I Can’t Wait to Get My Hands On!

These are books from September to December 2020 that I not only can’t wait to read, but will probably have 50 copies of each! This isn’t EVERY book I’m excited for, and this list will probably be update 50 times before the end of this year, but this is the majority! I can’t wait to read all of these!!

September:

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October:

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November:

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December:

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What are your some of your most anticipated reads for the fall?

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ARC Review: Wicked As You Wish

I received an exclusive advance copy of Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco from Fairyloot and I loved it! My review is not in affiliation with Fairyloot and I paid for the box the book came in.

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

When a hidden prince, a girl with secrets, a ragtag group of unlikely heroes, and a legendary firebird come together…something wicked is going down.

Many years ago, the magical Kingdom of Avalon was left encased in ice when the Snow Queen waged war. Its former citizens are now refugees in a world mostly devoid of magic. Which is why the crown prince and his protectors are stuck in…Arizona.

Prince Alexei, the sole survivor of the Avalon royal family, is hiding in a town so boring, magic doesn’t even work there. Few know his secret identity, but his friend Tala is one of them.

A new hope for their abandoned homeland reignites when a famous creature of legend, the Firebird, appears for the first time in decades. Alex and Tala must unite with a ragtag group of new friends to journey back to Avalon for a showdown that will change the world as they know it.

I was worried, going into this book, that I wasn’t going to like it because a friend of mine didn’t like it and DNFed it really early. But once I started reading it I was immediately sucked in! There is a lot of American history and politics at the start (because this world is set in an alternate universe from ours), but it quickly moves along quickly.

The plot is immaculate. I mean such good plotting and storytelling goes on in this book. Even with all the crazy politics that have to be followed, and there are some crazy politics in this world, it’s so captivating. Especially once we meet the Snow Queen’s minions.

With a diverse cast of characters we’re off to save the world and the kingdom of Avalon from the evil Snow Queen. One thing I really like about this world is that it’s not only a magical version of ours, but incorporates actual fairytales into the history. Snow White, Sleeping Beaty, Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Robin Hood, King Arthur, any and all fairytales you can think of are real people in this world, just not all at the same time.

Our rag tag team is so much fun too and each personality adds another layer to our group’s overall personality, and makes the team that much more interesting. I love a lot of the jokes between these new friends and I kinda miss them. Each has their own weapon and their own skill to help Prince Alex, or just Alex, as well as their own distinct trait/thing that they add and feed off of each other.

Because this is a political fantasy, if you don’t want to read about American politics then I would avoid this title. But, I would recommend looking past the few pages of political history for this epic fantasy if it really bothers you. I personally loved the history and the discussion of America’s current political climate and thought it helped me connect with the story and the characters better.

Overall, this book is really good! I can’t wait to read the next one, especially after that ending! This was a solid starstarstarstar.5 // 5 stars!

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If this book sounds interesting, check out An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir or Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton.

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

July 2020 Mid Month Update

I feel myself slowing down this month. I can’t seem to finish books as quickly as I usually would and I’m stressed. Especially since I have to read two books by next week for a blog tour. After that though, I can read what I want – so hopefully once the stress is gone I can read what I feel like and get back into the swing of things . . . hopefully.

Books I read:

crave    war    wicked

Reviews for these should be up or coming up soon, but I liked all of them so far! Especially Crave by Tracy Wolff and Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco. I’m on such a fantasy kick right now I can’t seem to branch off!

Books I’m reading:

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I’m about 25% into A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens and just starting The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty and Spinters of Scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy. I’m doing a tour for Splinters of Scarlet and was supposed to do a tour for A Wicked Magic, but that fell through. Nonetheless, I’m obviously still going to review A Wicked Magic on the day I said I would, which will be Monday! I hope to finish these two soon, so fingers crossed I can get my two review books done in time!

Books I want to read:

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Some of these are a mix of review books, like Ignite the Sun by Hanna C. Howard, Hush by Dylan Farrow, and To Sleep In A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini – while the others are just for fun! I’m trying to mix it up during the month so I get a good balance of requested/required reads and for fun reads each month. Not to say that I don’t want to read my review books (I wouldn’t have asked for them if I didn’t), I just like to add some other books that are more flexible. So if I end up not in the mood or mindset to read them, I can push them aside guilt free!

What are some books you’ve read this month? Any you’re excited to read?

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If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review #1: Avatar: The Last Airbender Comics (1-3)

This review is going to be for the Avatar: The Last Airbender comic book collections. I thought about writing reviews for each, but honestly – that’s too much, even for me. So here is my overall review of the first three comics!

These comics take place immediately after the end of the show, Avatar: The Last Airbender.

The comics, in order, are:

  1. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Promise
  2. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Search
  3. Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Rift
  4. Avatar: The Last Airbender – Smoke and Shadow
  5. Avatar: The Last Airbender – North and South
  6. Avatar: The Last Airbender – Imbalance

Today I will be reviewing Avatar: The Promise, The Search, and The Rift!

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads for The Promise:

The Avatar’s adventures continue right where the TV series left off, in this beautiful, oversized hardcover of The Promise, from Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko! Aang and friends must join together once again as the four nations’ tenuous peace is threatened in an impasse between Fire Lord Zuko and Earth King Kuei! As the world heads toward another devastating war, Aang’s friendship with Zuko throws him into the middle of the conflict! Featuring annotations by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artist Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), and a brand-new sketchbook, this is a story that Avatar fans need in an edition they will love!

And the synopsis from Goodreads for The Search:

The biggest mystery of Avatar, the fate of Fire Lord Zuko’s mother, is revealed in this remarkable oversized hardcover collecting parts 1–3 of The Search, from Airbender creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko!

Featuring annotations by Eisner Award–winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artistic team Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), and a brand-new sketchbook, this is a story that Avatar fans need in an edition they will love!

And finally, the synopsis from Goodreads for The Rift:

Avatar Aang and friends honor an Air Nomad holiday that hasn’t been celebrated in over one hundred years, but when cryptic visits from the spirit of Avatar Yangchen lead Aang to a refinery operating on land sacred to the Airbenders–they soon find themselves in peril as a dangerously powerful ancient spirit awakens with vengeance and destruction on its mind!

This collection of The Rift Parts 1-3 features annotations by Eisner Award-winning writer Gene Luen Yang (American Born Chinese) and artists Gurihiru (Thor and the Warriors Four), with a brand-new sketchbook section!

After my rewatch of Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix, I had to read the comics. I had been wanting to read them for years and it made sense to read them now that the show was fresh in my mind. Since these comics pick up right where the show left off, it really was like another season, just printed instead of animated.

Since I had watched Korra several years ago, I knew that Aang and Katara end up together, but seeing their fresh relationship in the comics is really cute! And Toph and Sokka’s reactions to it make it that much cuter.

For The Promise, we get to see Zuko as the new Fire Lord and what happens to the Fire Nation after Ozai is overthrown. I really liked the story line and the overall changes that happen in this world. How separate nations can not only live together, but become integrated into their own world – kind of like how our world is now. You can have people from different nations living in different areas of the world and people aren’t restricted to loving people solely from their group.

For The Search, I was just happy to find out what happened to Zuko’s mom! We never got resolution from the show and to finally know what happened to her is so nice. Plus all the stuff that comes afterwards. I thought her story was not only really cool, but also really sad. We get a lot of backstory into Zuko’s relationship with his mom, her relationship to Ozai, and how this all affects Azula as well.

For The Rift, we get some closure for Toph. We know from Legend of Korra that Toph teaches other people how to metal bend and in this story, we see her first students at her new school. And we also find out about some history with the last airbender Avatar along with some other cool things in the spirit world! The thing I love the most was this one scene with Toph, which I will not spoil, because it just gives everyone some much needed closure and it’s really sweet!

Overall – I’m a huge Avatar nerd. I love the show, I love the comics, and I love the spin offs! After I finish the rest of these comics I am definitely reading the Korra comics and the Kyoshi comics too! I just need more Avatar in my life overall. I don’t even have to rate these because it’s very clear that these are all a starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars for me!

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I haven’t read many comics in my life, so I’m just gonna suggest you watch Avatar: The Last Airbender and Legen of Korra because they’re great shows. Also, read the comics!!!

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Bookish This or That

I’ve been feeling myself fall into a slump. I’m having a hard time reading books, writing posts, and doing anything other than sleep. It’s not good.

So when Alexa came through with some blog post ideas I was almost jumping for joy. We love supportive friends! I saw this post she had done on her blog and it looks like fun, so today we’re doing Bookish This or That!

Happy GIFs - Get the best gif on GIFER

Audiobook or Textbook

I’m assuming this means physical books but it’s a weird way to put it. Personally, I’ve only listened to one audiobook on a road trip and didn’t even get past disk one. I have nothing against audiobooks, but they are expensive, so I’ve never really given them a fair chance. So, physical books.

Paperback or Hardcover

Hardcover. All the way. It’s so satisfying opening it up and not seeing the spine crack. I find they’re easier to read than paperbacks and pulling off the sleeve to a clean cover, beautiful. Also I just find them more visually satisfying on my shelf than paperbacks. 

Fiction or Non-Fiction

Fiction. Hands down. I’ve never been a fan of reading non-fiction, though I love a good documentary or research film. Reading it is harder for me, I don’t find myself as engaged. And fiction is nice to learn or disengage from reality, you can go either way. 

Harry Potter or Twilight

Neither. I liked Harry Potter and Twilight when I was younger, but both authors are trash, so I can safely say neither series.

Bookshop or Online

Bookstore. When I find myself unsure if I want to get a book, I usually read the first chapter or two. It’s much harder to do that when ordering a book online. The only time I order online is if it’s an author I love or it’s after I’ve read the ARC and I want to support the author. Also, new book smell. It’s so satisfying!

Standalone or Trilogy

I prefer series, but I won’t run away from a standalone. If I read a thriller, mystery, or contemporary I prefer standalone. Fantasy I’ll always prefer a trilogy.

Sweet and Short or Heavy and Long

Usually, I like long and heavy books but it’s good to switch things up and go for the sweet and short. It really depends on how much time I have and my mood.

Hot Chocolate or Coffee

Coffee!!! Hot chocolate is nice once in a while, but I could drink coffee every day, multiple times a day, and still love it. Hot chocolate will just give me a sugar rush and leave me more jittery than coffee. Also, coffee has a multitude of preparations, flavors, and stuff you can do with it. I’m a total coffee addict.

Coffee Lover GIF - Coffee Lover Giant - Discover & Share GIFs

I tag Belle over at Belle’s Archive to do this tag. Thank you Alexa for recommending this post to me. Tag me if you decide to do this post so I can see your answers!

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If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Writing Update #3

This is a sad update because honestly, I haven’t written in weeks. I was on such a roll with writing and then *poof* my motivation disappeared and now I have a half finished manuscript sitting on my computer, judging me.

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This will be a short update because there hasn’t been a lot going on. Honestly, I just need to finish the dang thing so I can start editing. I like editing more than drafting personally it seems (I say until I start the editing process) so if I can just cram out this book, then maybe it will actually turn into a publishable manuscript. Maybe.

So far, my manuscript is currently at 52,516 words (a 27,495 word increase) or 162 pages (up from 76 pages). I’m definitely nearing the climax of this book as we build up to the scene revealed in the prologue and I think because I’m nearing the end of this first draft, I don’t wanna write it. I would guess there’s about maybe 20,000 or so more words to finish this book and then with LOTS of editing, I can get it up to 80-90k. I don’t want my story to be too long, especially for a first draft/first book, but there’s so much that happens I can’t make it too short either.

UGHH THE STRUGGLES.

Crying GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

So yeah, I’m currently stuck in a cycle of “I can’t write, but I need to finish this book and it’s stressing me, but I can’t write because I’m stressed” – we love writing.

Hopefully I can get out of this rut, finish this book, and start editing! I want to have this manuscript finished and polished by the end of summer so I can start querying. We’ll see if that actually ever happens.

Wish me luck!

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If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review: Aurora Burning

Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff is the second book in the Aurora Cycle series. If you have not read the first book, Aurora Rising, feel free to check out my spoiler free review here! While this post will be spoiler free, I cannot guarantee that it will not spoil the first book, so if you have not read it yet, thanks for checking out this post and hopefully I’ll see you again once you’ve finished Aurora Rising!

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Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Our heroes are back… kind of. From the bestselling co-authors of the Illuminae Files comes the second book in the epic series about a squad of misfits, losers, and discipline cases who just might be the galaxy’s best hope for survival.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil—you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal—is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favorite faces.

And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri.

Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago, the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them. But time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits, and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes—and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.

So I had seen some … adverse reactions to this book. And I’ll be honest, I was nervous. After finishing Aurora Rising, and crying for hours afterwards, I knew Jay and Amie were out to get us.

The beginning of this book was sad. Everyone was still sad and sore about Cat’s death (honestly, me too) and we’ve now unlocked a piece of the puzzle. Seeing everyone go through their mourning for Cat, as well as continuing to fight to help Auri save the world, is hard. Especially for Tyler.

While the beginning started off slow (for like a few pages lol), we quickly jump back into action and into galaxy saving mode. This whole book was an action filled revelation waiting to happen and the last 150 pages had me locked in.

And the ending. Well, I think I summarized my feelings on the ending with this tweet. Also Jay’s reaction was pretty funny!

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Yeah, I was pretty upset. Not sure why Amie and Jay decided to end the book this way, but it ripped my heart out and I’m mad! If you know their writing style, you’ll know what kind of ending I’m talking about.

One of the things I loved the most about this book were the characters. Tyler, while always the golden boy, breaks out of his strict mold. Zila speaks up more and I love it. We see a change in every character throughout this book and I’m here for it. And after that ending, I’m really curious to know what happens to them now.

One thing that annoyed me though was a certain moment in the book. I won’t go into detail, but this revelation came about and I don’t know how I felt about the reaction to it. Like, it didn’t seem fully fair and I think some biases came into play here. It made me really upset and this character did not deserve it one bit.

Besides that, I love this series. I’m really upset I don’t have the next book in my hands ready to go. I really want to know what happens next!

If you’re surprised that I’m giving this book starstarstarstarstar // 5 stars – why? I loved Aurora Rising and I loved Aurora Burning – each for their own unique reasons. I can’t wait for the next book to come out and hopefully we don’t have to wait too long!

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If this book sounds interesting to you, check out Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles Series) by Marissa Meyer or Zodiac by Romina Russell. 

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

July 2020 TBR

June was a good reading month for me! Although I didn’t necessarily follow my intended TBR. I’ve put Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare on my TBR for the past three months and it just hasn’t happened. I find myself getting approved or buddy reading other books, so it will have to wait for now.

I only ended up reading half of the books I wanted to read and one of those books ended up on this months TBR. I totally ignored Touch of Gold and Curse of Gold by Annie Sullivan, which I shouldn’t do. I do need to read those soon. Maybe I’ll try to fit at least Touch of Gold into this month’s TBR so I can read Curse of Gold before release.

Here’s my TBR for July 2020:

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Most of these are books I received for review or I need to read in order to review other books. A Wicked Magic is for a book tour, They Wish They Were Us is a buddy read, Warmaidens, Ignite the Sun, and Hush are all NetGalley reviews I need to read. I hope I can get through all of these and stick to my TBR but we’ll see. I tend to abandon my TBR apparently.

But, I still want to continue my reading streak and get all of these books (and then some) read before the end of July!

What are some books on your TBR? Any you’ve been putting off and want to get to?

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Villains I love and love to hate

The best stories have a good plot, diverse characters, and a villain you can’t help but love. The more interesting a villain, the more I enjoy a book, and sometimes it’s hard to get that perfect balance of evil and likable. So, here’s a list of some of my favorite villains!

A Villain I LOVE

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The Darkling is such a charming, charismatic person you can’t help but love him. Every interaction Alina had with him had me anxiously waiting to see what happened next. He believed in his mission, he loved Alina, and he wanted to change the world. Those conditions and attributes combined created a villain I loved. I didn’t want to hate him, and I sort of understood his intentions, but we all knew they were skewed.

 

A Villain I love to HATE

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Maeve as a villain is someone I love to hate. She’s evil, vindictive, and had a lot of motivation for her actions. I still hated her though. By the end, I could see how she wasn’t the true villain of the story, but her actions in the series allowed for our true villain to appear. Man I hated that guy lol

 

 

A Villain I hate to LOVE

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Corien, who we get to learn more about in Kingsbane, is such an evil guy. And when I mean evil, I mean evil. But also such a good antagonist. I mean everything he does makes me want to smack him on the head and then we get to the kissy kissy scenes and I’m swooning. Damn him!

 

 

A (kinda) Villain I LOVE

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The premise of this book is that there are no heroes or villains. We just have anti-heroes really and that means I can love all my boys the same! Victor, our protagonist (I guess you could call him) doesn’t want to be a hero – he wants revenge. And Eli? Well, he wants to be seen as a hero, but I guess murder isn’t a good way of going about that as he eradicates everyone with a super ability. This pair of equally grey characters is such a fun read.

 

And a Villain I just HATE

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OOOOHHH LET ME TELL YOU. I hate Marcus, I hate the Commandant, and I HATE the Nightbringer. Oh my gosh I hate these characters with a passion. And it’s not even because they’re bad characters/villains, it’s because they’re so EVIL that I just want them out of the way so my cinnamon roll Elias and my baby Laia can FINALLY BE HAPPY. GOSH I GET SO UPSET.

 

I find myself loving books with morally grey villains, or at least charming villains, because they make things so much more interesting. Like how can I even be mad when your messed up plan actually makes sense? How can I hate you when you’re so lovable and charming?! It can be so frustrating.

What are some villains you love and love to hate? Let me know in the comments!

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If you liked this post, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

The Theft of Sunlight Cover Reveal!

I am so excited for Intisar Khanani’s newest book, The Theft of Sunlight! I loved her novel Thorn, and The Theft of Sunlight is the first in a companion duology for the Dauntless Path’s world! EEEP!!

Cover Reveal

Here is a synopsis from Goodreads:

I did not choose this fate. But I will not walk away if I can make a difference.

Children have been disappearing from Menaiya for longer than Amraeya ni Ansarim can remember. When her best friend’s sister disappears, Rae knows she can’t stay silent any longer. She finds the chance to make a difference in an invitation to the palace.

But Rae struggles to fit in with the lords and ladies of the court. Instead, she finds unexpected help in a rough-around-the-edges thief named Bren who always seems to have her best interests at heart. Soon even Bren can’t help her, and Rae must risk her life and well-being to face an evil that lurks in the shadows of the darkest hearts.

Without further ado . . .  here is the cover for The Theft of Sunlight by Intisar Khanani!

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Isn’t this cover gorgeous!? This cover was designed by Jenny Zemanek and I absolutely love it! I’m so excited for the next book in the Dauntless Path’s world!

This book releases on March 23rd, 2021 so be sure to mark your calendars and preorder a copy today!

Intisar is also doing an amazing giveaway to celebrate her new book which you can find on her website. If you haven’t read Thorn yet, here is a link to the Goodreads page, as well as where you can order Thorn today!

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Author Information

Intisar Khanani Author Photo 2018 CM closeup Low Res

Intisar Khanani grew up a nomad and world traveler. Born in Wisconsin, she has lived in five different states as well as in Jeddah on the coast of the Red Sea. She currently resides in Cincinnati, Ohio, with her husband and two young daughters. Prior to publishing her novels, Intisar worked as a public health consultant on projects relating to infant mortality and minority health, which was as close as she could get to saving the world. Now she focuses her time on her two passions: raising her family and writing fantasy.

Intisar’s current projects include the re-release of her debut, Thorn, from HarperTeen (2020) and her indie epic fantasy series, The Sunbolt Chronicles.

To find out about new releases, giveaways, and so forth, subscribe to Intisar’s monthly author newsletter.

Here are some links to Intisar’s personal pages!

Website

Goodreads

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

 

 

Behind the Book Blogger Tag

I haven’t done a tag or post like this before, but since I’ve been getting really active on here, I thought I should introduce myself! This is the Behind the Book Blogger Tag which I saw on Reads and Thoughts blog. She wasn’t able to tag the original creator, so I’ll just tag her since that’s where I saw it from! I tag Writing the Universe to complete this next!

Fun Love GIF by Molang - Find & Share on GIPHY

Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging?

When I first started blogging, I wanted to have a platform to write my thoughts about books that was more unique and individualized than Goodreads. I love being able to express myself freely on my own site. Unlike Goodreads, which doesn’t give you a lot of creativity, blogging allows me to formulate my thoughts, make fun content, and explore things outside of reviewing books! Goodreads and retail sites are all reviews, but blogging lets me do other things, like this tag!

What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

That’s difficult because I really only write stuff like I like to read and write. I hate writing just to get a post out. But if I had to pick one kind of post, it would be my TBR posts. It’s so fun getting to narrow down what books I want to read and figuring out what reviews I have to get done and what books I can read in my spare time. Also, it gives me a clear path of what I need to read within this month so I’m not just jumping around trying to figure out what to read next – which I also end up doing anyways.

What are your top three favorite blog posts you have written?

Top three? 🙈 Uhhhh –

ARC Review + Author Interview: Shielded
ARC Review: Blood & Honey
Making Assumptions About Books I’ve Never Read

What are some of your favorite things to do to relax?

Besides reading, I love to sing 😍 It’s a lot of fun to sing songs that I find fun or challenging and hear myself improve. Plus, rocking out to songs is fun! I also love to cook and bake, so long as I’m not too tired.

What are three of your favorite things?

Reading in a cozy chair 📚
Spending time with my friends, especially girls trips 💕
A good nap. I’m a simple girl. ☺️

What are your proudest blogging moments?

I just recently hit 100 blog posts, which is awesome! 🎉 I’ve also gotten more authors and publishers reaching out to me to review their books which is wild. I never would have thought anyone would want me to read and review their work, so that makes me really excited.

What are your hobbies outside of blogging?

I’m a very artsy person, so most of my hobbies revolve around books, music, theatre, and art – although I am a terrible artist so I more so appreciate art rather than partake in it. I also love organizing things, especially making lists or writing things in calendars.

Describe your personality in three words?

Fun 🤪
Loud 🙈
Loving 💕

What are your top three pet peeves?

I hate loud, obnoxious chewing. People walking slowly on a crowded hallway/street or just SUDDENLY STOPPING IN FRONT OF YOU 😡When someone takes something of mine without asking, whether it’s food or a book, whatever. Just ask.

What’s something your followers don’t know about you?

I am a classically trained flutist and I was going to go to school for Flute Performance before my band teacher destroyed my spirits and I second guessed myself 😭 I’m mad that I listened to him and didn’t go for my dreams, but I’m still happy where I ended up.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me! Feel free to tag me or post a link to your page if you decide to do this post so I can read your answers.

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We have a new blog name!

Just wanted to make a formal announcement because I realized my old links won’t work now, but I have a new blog! I will no longer be publishing content on Lady and Star – my new blog is called We Write at Dawn!

Happy Celebration GIF by Steve Harvey TV - Find & Share on GIPHY

You will find all of my old content on this blog, so don’t worry if you wanted to catch up on some old blog posts. If you haven’t had a chance to follow my blog, be sure to follow so you can stay up to date on all my posts! I post 5 days a week with book reviews, book content, and other fun posts.

I hope you all like the new name and thank you to everyone who has supported me, new and old.

Love GIFs | Tenor

 

My Top Five Favorite Standalones

I am a sucker for a good series. Whether it’s two books or ten books, if I can get more out of a story and stay in a world I love, I’m happy.

But all too often, I see people suggest series over and over again and I realized we don’t give standalones nearly enough love! So, I’m going to change that. Here are my top five, favorite standalone novels you can pick up and read RIGHT NOW!

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

40367270 First off, if you haven’t read Astrid Scholte’s books, you should. She is an amazing writer! I read Four Dead Queens when it was first released as an exclusive ARC from Penguin Teen at BookCon 2018. And let me tell you – *chef’s kiss* – perfection. We have a great YA fantasy/science fiction novel here filled with murder, mayhem, and romance?

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Keralie Corrington may seem harmless, but in fact, she’s one of Quadara’s most skilled thieves and a liar. Varin, on the other hand, is an honest, upstanding citizen of Quadara’s most enlightened region, Eonia. Varin runs afoul of Keralie when she steals a package from him, putting his life in danger. When Varin attempts to retrieve the package, he and Keralie find themselves entangled in a conspiracy that leaves all four of Quadara’s queens dead.

With no other choices and on the run from Keralie’s former employer, the two decide to join forces, endeavoring to discover who has killed the queens and save their own lives in the process. When their reluctant partnership blooms into a tenuous romance, they must overcome their own dark secrets in hopes of a future together that seemed impossible just days before. But first they have to stay alive and untangle the secrets behind the nation’s four dead queens.

An enthralling fast-paced murder mystery where competing agendas collide with deadly consequences, Four Dead Queens heralds the arrival of an exciting new YA talent.

The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte

46222824 You didn’t think I would list Four Dead Queens and not The Vanishing Deep did you? Astrid has a knack for writing amazing standalone novels that you want to be turned into series. I’m still crying over both of these books! This is a great science fiction/fantasy novel about sisterly love and the real difficulties over losing a loved one.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Tempe was born into a world of water. When the Great Waves destroyed her planet, its people had to learn to survive living on the water, but the ruins of the cities below still called. Tempe dives daily, scavenging the ruins of a bygone era, searching for anything of value to trade for Notes. It isn’t food or clothing that she wants to buy, but her dead sister’s life. For a price, the research facility on the island of Palindromena will revive the dearly departed for twenty-four hours before returning them to death. It isn’t a heartfelt reunion that Tempe is after; she wants answers. Elysea died keeping a terrible secret, one that has ignited an unquenchable fury in Tempe: Her beloved sister was responsible for the death of their parents. Tempe wants to know why.

But once revived, Elysea has other plans. She doesn’t want to spend her last day in a cold room accounting for a crime she insists she didn’t commit. Elysea wants her freedom and one final glimpse at the life that was stolen from her. She persuades Tempe to break her out of the facility, and they embark on a dangerous journey to discover the truth about their parents’ death and mend their broken bond. But they’re pursued every step of the way by two Palindromena employees desperate to find them before Elysea’s time is up–and before the secret behind the revival process and the true cost of restored life is revealed.

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

36443368. sy475  This is a Goose Girl retelling, and I recently posted by review about this book. If you read it, you would know that I adore this story! It’s fantastical, enticing, and it has lots of magic. The main character doesn’t want to be a princess and is genuinely excited when her life is switched with one of her traveling lady’s by a sorceress so that she can live a simple life as a Goose Girl. Except that same sorceress wants to kill her betrothed, the Prince. It’s filled with beautiful moments and it brings to light some serious issues.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Between her cruel family and the contempt she faces at court, Princess Alyrra has always longed to escape the confines of her royal life. But when she’s betrothed to the powerful prince Kestrin, Alyrra embarks on a journey to his land with little hope for a better future.

When a mysterious and terrifying sorceress robs Alyrra of both her identity and her role as princess, Alyrra seizes the opportunity to start a new life for herself as a goose girl.

But Alyrra soon finds that Kestrin is not what she expected. The more Alyrra learns of this new kingdom, the pain and suffering its people endure, as well as the danger facing Kestrin from the sorceress herself, the more she knows she can’t remain the goose girl forever.

With the fate of the kingdom at stake, Alyrra is caught between two worlds and ultimately must decide who she is, and what she stands for.

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu

45872054. sy475  If you read my review of this book, you would know I am a musician. I played lots of Mozart and getting to read more about his sister (I didn’t even know he had a sister) was fun. So often we get Wolfgang’s life story and his views, while no one talks about his sister who was just as creative and talented. Not fair. This is mixed with the magic of a secret kingdom and a lost prince, Hyacinth, who wants to bring magic back to his kingdom. It’s definitely not a high fantasy as it switches between historical fiction and urban? fantasy – not 100% sure how to classify this, but it’s not high fantasy. So if you like magical realism and historical fiction, welcome to your next favorite book!

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

Born with a gift for music, Nannerl Mozart has just one wish: to be remembered forever. But even as she delights audiences with her masterful playing, she has little hope she’ll ever become the acclaimed composer she longs to be. She is a young woman in eighteenth-century Europe, and that means composing is forbidden to her. She will perform only until she reaches a marriageable age—her tyrannical father has made that much clear.

As Nannerl’s hope grows dimmer with each passing year, the talents of her beloved younger brother, Wolfgang, only seem to shine brighter. His brilliance begins to eclipse her own, until one day a mysterious stranger from a magical land appears with an irresistible offer. He has the power to make her wish come true—but his help may cost her everything.

In her first work of historical fiction, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu spins a lush, lyrically told story of music, magic, and the unbreakable bond between a brother and sister.

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett

43263520. sy475 This book destroyed me. I was not expecting to be so deeply affected by this story, but I was. This is a dystopian novel centered around the idea that girls are magical. Women are born with magic and as they go into puberty, the magic becomes stronger. Every year, at 16, the girls are sent off into the wilderness to burn all the magic in their bodies and it is heartbreaking. We cover misogyny, assault, bullying, and so many topics that affect everyone. I cried at the end for many reasons. This is a more serious book, so these topics are not to be taken lightly – but I think everyone should read this. It’s deep.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

I have so many more suggestions, so if you like this post, please be sure to like it and leave me a comment! If this does well, I might do another post with a variety of genres.

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May 2020 Wrap Up

Just like last month, this month has been a flurry of reading and receiving books.

For May, I surpassed my goal of 10 books by a lot. Unfortunately, I am going to reduce my goal next month since I’ll probably have a more limited reading time. But I did get to read a lot of awesome books this month and I’m way ahead on my reading goal!

Because I read and received so many books this month, I’m splitting up my posts. It was like 30+ books in one post which is just too much. So for today, here is my wrap up from May 2020 with all of the books I read!

Books I’ve Read

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The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Rating: 4 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

thief

 

The Bone Thief by Breeana Shields

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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The Beholder by Anna Bright

Genre: YA Fiction/Fantasy

Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ??? // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 4 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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The Boundless by Anna Bright

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

Genre: Adult Fantasy

Rating: 4 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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Tunnels of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy

Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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Divine Blood by Beck Michaels

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 3 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

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Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars

Goodreads

 

What are some books you’ve read this month? Any books you’re excited to get/start soon?

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June 2020 TBR

May was an amazing reading month for me! I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to read that much ever again, especially since I’m moving!

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My reading habits may be on a downward trend from there, but I’m hopeful that I can get through at least five books in June. Here are the eight books that I want to read this month, if all goes well. Two of these are NetGalley books that I need to get through. Two are ARCs I received in a trade that I want to read. And the rest are for fun!

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It feels good to include some books that I want to read for fun rather than an “obligation” although, can you really call it that? It’s still so much fun! I added City of Brass on there because I won the third book so I need to get reading! I don’t currently own the second book so I’m not sure if I’m going to order a physical copy or get an e-copy yet. Either way, I’m finally reading this series.

I’m so nervous to move! By the time this post goes up I’ll be moving TOMORROW!!! One thing I am most worried about is losing my reading/posting motivation, so if anyone has any recommendations for that, I would greatly appreciate them!

I’m also worried that my writing habits will decrease too. I haven’t written a word in the past week and with the stress of moving, it may be a whole month before I can even sit down and write again. But I’ll try to write as much as possible before moving day.

What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in June? Any June releases you’re especially excited for?

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Summer Releases I Am Dying to Read!

Here are some of the summer releases that I am DYING to read! This list will not include ARCs that I have already read – these are titles on my TBR that I can’t wait to read! This is not everything, because that would be insane, but these are some of my most anticipated reads for this summer!

 

June GIFs | Tenor

 

  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown
  • Burn by Patrick Ness
  • My Calamity Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, & Jodi Meadows
  • Sisters of Sword and Song by Rebecca Ross
  • Seasons of the Storm by Elle Cosimano
  • The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant
  • The Boundless by Anna Bright
  • Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee
  • Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

July GIFs | Tenor

  • Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters
  • Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
  • Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
  • Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
  • The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson
  • Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

August GIF - August - Discover & Share GIFs

  • Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons
  • Star Daughter Shveta Thakrar
  • Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
  • Igniting Darkness by Robin LaFevers
  • The Notorious Virtues by Alwyn Hamilton
  • Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud

 

What are some books you’re excited for? Let me know what titles I missed in the comments!

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May 2020 Mid-Month Update

May has been a very good month so far for my TBR! I’ve currently read 7/10 books I wanted to read this month, which is insane for me. Because I’ve been reading so much I decided to add some extra books to my TBR. We’ll see if I can actually get through all of them this month, but I have hope I’ll get through most!

I also wanted to provide an update – because I have been reading more and have more content, I am going to try posting five times a week, Monday through Friday. This is a change from my normal blogging timeline, but I wanted to give it a try. If it doesn’t work, I’m going to go back to my typical posting schedule, but if I can maintain it, then we’re heading towards five days a week!

What I read

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For the books I’ve read, I blew through some of them it wasn’t even funny. I’ve read two duologies, The Bone Charmer/The Bone Thief  by Breeana Shields and The Storm Crow/The Crow Rider by Kalyn Josephson so far and will have finished another duology by the end of the month! Reviews will be up for all of these books at some point in the coming days. After reading Forest of Souls (the eARC), I realized I probably should have waited to read and review it. I received a physical ARC of the book this past Saturday and I think I’m going to do a reread of the physical book to make sure my thoughts are in order. I find that sometimes I’ll rate a book differently based on format (especially for ARCs) and I really want to give this book a fair chance, especially since it has huge Wicked Saints vibes and there were moments I was freaking out about. So, review for that may be delayed. But for the most part, I adored all of these books and I can’t wait for you to read my thoughts on them!

What I’m reading

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I’m currently almost finished with Thorn by Intisar Khanani and it is so good! I’m buddy reading this book with my friend Grace and I’m really enjoying it. It’s a Goose Girl retelling, which I’ve never read, but I like it! Race the Sands by Sarah Beth Durst is a bit of a struggle. It’s not a bad book, but I am definitely not in the mood to read it right now – maybe I’ll have to stick it back on the TBR pile for a while. I started reading The Boundless and I am almost 50% through. I wanted to make sure I had enough time to read for the blog tour and have my post ready for June. So far, I’m really liking the sequel and can’t wait to see what happens next. I know that this is a duology, so I’m wondering who Selah is going to end up with, if she ends up with anyone, and if she’s going to be able to get home to her father soon. There are so many unanswered questions!

What I plan to read

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I’ve added five books to my TBR (not including the two I added and I am currently reading) since I’m getting through books very quickly. I haven’t read this much since January 2019 when I read almost twenty books in the month. It was awesome! I’m really happy I get to read books that have been on my TBR for forever, as well as new books for review or for fun. I managed to win a copy of Empire of Gold (City of Brass #3) from Goodreads too and now I have to read the other two books. Why did I enter the giveaway when I hadn’t read the other two books? – because I never win giveaways so I didn’t think it would happen.

But here we are! And now I have motivation to read the first book, The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. I actually have a signed copy that I received for free at BookCon 2018 as part of the VIP package. I got City of Brass and The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – which I haven’t read either yet, though I’ve heard they are AMAZING!

So here is my mid-month update! I’ve currently read 7 seven books, I am reading 3 books, and I want to read 7 books. I’m sure I won’t get to all of them, but it’s good to have strong goals, right?

How is your TBR reading going? Any books that surprised you?

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April Mid-Month Update

March was crazy and April is following closely behind for me. This month I have focused on the books currently sitting in my NetGalley queue and other giveaway books I’ve won. I’ve also allowed my self to read some TBR books this month to keep it fresh and motivate me, as well as some buddy reading! Here is my mid month update on what I’ve read, what I’m reading, and what I plan to read for April!

What I’ve read:

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What I’m reading:

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What I plan to read:

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I’m currently buddy reading The Kingdom of Back and Goddess in the Machine with some friends, which is why it’s taking so long for me to read them. If you follow me on Goodreads, then you’d see I’m reading about 50 pages a day for each of them. I am also almost done with Where Dreams Descend and plan to start The Vanishing Deep next!

I’m hopeful that I can read the rest of these books by the end of the month, but it might change depending on how I’m feeling. Most likely, one or two of these will need to be pushed into May but again, I’m hopeful that I can get through them all. Now one of these books is HUGE (cough cough, SJM, cough cough)! I’m excited to dive into two of my favorite authors, especially since most of my friends have read their books already and are waiting on me to finish. I love Astrid’s debut novel Four Dead Queens and I’ve been hearing great things about The Vanishing Deep!

As I set up my May TBR, what are some titles you’re looking to read? I have a few ARCs, some new releases, and old TBR books I’m hoping to get through. I also want to push myself to read more books this month and next month so I can get ahead for my reading goal.

Don’t forget, I am currently co-hosting a giveaway with Writing the Universe! You can enter through the Rafflecopter we have set up (entries will only count if you enter through there!). I will link the post to our giveaway – please feel free to check it out and enter!

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NetGalley Update: April 2020

So I wanted to update my NetGalley waitlist/stats since the last one went up end of January. I have been reading a lot more since being forced to work at home. Less commute time = more reading time.

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With all that reading time meant I had to request more titles too! So here is my updated NetGalley waiting list 🙂

So far, I have been approved for these titles:

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Declined on these titles:

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*Cries softly at all of the books I got rejected for these past two months, including Deck of Omens which was actually devastating! Especially since I was approved for an eARC of The Devouring Grey. Okay, I’m not going to cry! Moving on!

And still waiting to know about these titles:

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I would be so excited to read any of these, but I’m anxiously checking my inbox to see if I get approved for Addie LaRue because if I don’t, I will cry. No, I will sob. This is a unicorn for me and getting to read it early would probably give me a heart attack from pure joy. So fingers crossed that I can cry happy tears instead of sad ones.

At the moment I am currently reading Shielded by KayLynn Flanders and will be reading The Vanishing Deep by Astrid Scholte next.

From my last update I have read:

Lobizona by Romina Garber

Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

Night Spinner by Addie Thorley

Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

The Raven and the Dove by Kaitlyn Davis (review to come!)

Aurora Rising and Sensational were two “overdue” books that I had sitting in my cue for well over three months and finally finished them! I had Aurora waiting for about a year and Sensational was about five months – but I completed them and I am somewhat up to date on my reading! Yay!

I have linked my reviews of each book that I have read for you to check out – these six books were AMAZING! I can’t wait to continue reading the new books I have and hopefully, read some of the others I’m waiting for.

What is a title you’re anxiously hoping to be approved/waiting to read? The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is by far my top choice but, if I could request it, I would also die to read Harrow the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir.

You may or may not have seen that I am co-hosting a huge giveaway through my blog and my friend Alexa’s blog, Writing the Universe. I will link the post to enter to win ARCs, books, and ApollyCon swag! You must enter through the Rafflecopter in order to count your entry. Thanks for looking, good luck!

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ApollyCon 2020 + Giveaway!

***Just a reminder: If you want to be entered to win one of the 4 bags or if you’re an international reader, you NEED to enter and do the task via the Rafflecopter. If you do the tasks and don’t track them in the Rafflecopter, you won’t be counted as a possible winner.

So I’m a bit peeved at COVID-19 because, well, everything. I had planned to go to ApollyCon 2020 and was so upset when the event was cancelled. This would have been my first time going to this event and I was so excited to see some of my favorite authors and meet new authors, but alas, it was not meant to be. While I am in support of Jen’s decision to cancel the event and move it online, I’m still really sad I wasn’t able to experience it in full, but I loved the online experience. Getting to hear from different authors and the different giveaways they did were so much fun! While ApollyCon 2021 is not confirmed, I really hope it can put be on and I can experience the event for myself next year.

While ApollyCon may have been cancelled, the fun continues on! I am so excited to be able to co-host this HUGE ApollyCon giveaway with Alexa over at Writing the Universe. I met Alexa just after ApollyCon 2019 and we quickly became friends after meeting up for a trade. Her giveaway last year looked like so much fun that I had to participate this year.

For 2020 we are giving away FOUR ApollyCon prize bags. Each will contain a mixture of books, ARCs, ApollyCon swag, and book box swag. There will also be TWO international giveaway winners who will receive a choice of a Jen Armentrout book through Book Depository (if BD ships to them) or a kindle copy of her newest book From Blood and Ash!

I will post the Terms and Conditions of the giveaway below, but I wanted to post a sneak peak of some of the items you could win!

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We will be randomly choosing the winners through Rafflecopter and I will provide a link in my post. Here are the terms and conditions for this giveaway:

This Giveaway is split between my blog Lady and Star and my friend Alexa’s blog, Writing the Universe. We each will post 2 of the 4 ApollyCon Bags. These bags are what were included with the purchase of a Titan ticket for the event, plus extra books and book box swag. These bags are packed completely full of books and bookish items. Each bag is a mix of genres, fandom, and items. Each bag is different but may share similar/same items.

4 winners will be chosen, but you do not get to choose your bag.

There is a list of 10 things you can do to enter this giveaway, 5 of them are mandatory, the other 5 are bonuses – giving you a possibility for 10 total entries.

These are mandatory:

  1. Follow Lady and Star (My Blog)
  2. Follow Writing the Universe (Alexa’s Blog)
  3. Follow Jennifer L. Armentrout’s Twitter (@JLArmentrout)
  4. Follow my Twitter (@SuchABadBASS)
  5. Follow Alexa’s Twitter (@lexacourtney)
    *Email followers count as well; you do not need to have a WordPress account to qualify. We just have to be able to determine you are actually following our blogs

Extra Entries:

  1. Retweet Pinned Giveaway Tweet on My Twitter
  2. Retweet Pinned Giveaway Tweet on Alexa’s Twitter
  3. Follow My Blog Twitter (@ladyandstar)
  4. Comment on this post with your favorite JLA Book
  5. Comment on Alexa’s Giveaway post with your favorite JLA Book

All of these tasks are listed in the Rafflecopter, as well as all the terms and conditions listed below.

Here is the link to enter! RAFFLECOPTER GIVEAWAY

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5b9c1f832/?

This Giveaway is going to run from April 6, 2020 8 AM EST, to April 27, 2020 12:00 AM EST . Winners will be announced April 29, and notified via email with a Google Doc to fill out.

***Due to circumstances surrounding COVID -19 and various forms of Stay At Home Directives in place, we will notify you when we are able to ship. Of course, we will do our best to get them out as soon as possible after announcing the winners.

NO GIVEAWAY ACCOUNTS FOR EITHER KIND OF PRIZES.

NO FOLLOWING TO UNFOLLOW AFTER  THE GIVEAWAY ENDS.

We will be checking, and you will be blocked from any future giveaways.

For the 4 Apollycon 2020 Bags

Bags contain a mix of Apollycon 2020 books and swag, plus a variety of ARCs and Book Box swag. Each bag is different, but there may be some similarities. The above photos contain what you may receive, but are not a guarantee of what will be included in your prize if you win.

– Must be US residents with a US mailing address

– Must be 18+ or have a parent’s permission

The four Apollycon bags will ship in a Medium Flat Rate USPS Box.

We wanted to include our international friends in this giveaway, while keeping it Apollycon related. Since Jen, the creator of Apollycon, surprise released a new book at the end of March, we wanted to give people a chance to acquire it.

For the 2 Books* – 2 Winners

*This is for International People ONLY, please do not enter if you are a US resident!

– Must be 18+ or have a parent’s permission

– If Book Depository ships to your country, you can chose any Jennifer L. Armentrout Book up to $15, OR get a Kindle version of her Newest Book FROM BLOOD AND ASH.

All the same rules apply, 10 possible entries, but only 5 are mandatory. If chosen as a winner, you will be notified via email with a Google Doc to fill out.

Alexa and I are so excited to be able to put on this giveaway for you and wish everyone the best of luck!

***If/when you head over to Alexa’s blog, you’re going to see a lot of the same information. Know that it doesn’t mean double, the Rafflecopter’s are the same, with all of the same tasks. It does not matter which link you click on, or who’s blog you access it from.

Thanks for entering! ❤

 

Currently Reading: March 2020

In times of quarantines, it can be hard to keep yourself entertained, even with all the extra free time. Sometimes especially because of all the free time. Thankfully I have a giant library full of books I haven’t read yet that I need to. Plus YouTube 🙂 With all this extra time, I have decided to tackle my TBR and read some books I’ve been meaning to read for a while now.

These are books that I’m currently reading and some books I plan to start ASAP.

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I’m about 25% of the way through this book and not sure how I feel yet. It definitely has action to it, but for whatever reason it’s not keeping my attention well. This could be an issue with being stuck inside all day or just a reading slump, but I’m holding no judgements against this one. I only hope I can get absorbed quickly cause this is a thick book!

 

 

 

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I am almost 50% of the way through this book and it’s dragging. This book has middle book syndrome painted all over it but my friend over at Writing the Universe has just finished it and LOVED it. (Link goes to her review) So, I’m going to keep going and get to the juicy bits at the end.

 

 

 

 

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I am planning on starting this once I finish either one of the two books before it. I’ve seen great things about this book and can’t wait to find out what makes it so popular. I received this as an eARC from NetGalley, so I’m excited to review it!

 

 

 

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And finally, this is next on my TBR list to read. I won it in a giveaway on Goodreads, and managed to snag a manuscript at YallFEST, so I have to read it soon! I love the cover and it sounds so good. Doesn’t seem like a long read either so I hope to dive in quickly!

 

 

 

What are you doing during social distancing/self quarantining? Are you catching up on your TBR, rewatching your favorite shows/movies, or learning a new skill? Let me know in the comments!

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Top Five Favorite Characters … of ALL TIME

We all have a book crush. I have several. They could be friend crushes, relationship crushes, or even – holy cow that’s a well developed villain crush. Here are my top 5 FAVORITE characters of ALL TIME!

#1 Will Herondale from The Infernal Devices

First and foremost, you will see a trend between my favorite characters. They’re all sassy little shits and I love them for it. Will for instance is just someone who needs a really big hug. All the crap that he goes through with Tessa and Jem breaks my heart and while I was rooting for Jessa, I ended up loving Till by the end. 

#2 Altair from We Hunt the Flame

This guy. OH MY GOSH this guy cracks me up. The sass level is off the charts with him and it makes every encounter 100% better. Every conversation with Zafira and Nasir is one of pure enjoyment for the reader. And he has a big heart to go along with it, so while the sass might be high, the love is higher.

#3 Rose Hathaway from Vampire Academy

So I looked up to Rose growing up. Her take no BS attitude mixed with her love for her friends was something I admired. I wanted to be tough and kick ass while also being a strong and loyal friend. I think I emulate a lot of those qualities in my relationships today and have become 100% a ride or die friend. Also, the relationship between her and Dimitri is FIRE!

#4 Gideon from Gideon the Ninth

So Gideon is an interesting person. Her internal monologue is not only hilarious and entertaining, but so unique. It was like the author just wrote down her own thoughts for every weird situation and boom! There’s Gideon’s inner monologue. Her reactions and relationships to the people are her also make her not only entertaining, but somewhat of a softy. I think there’s a trend going on here?

#5 Reid Diggory from Serpent & Dove

Last, but certainly not least. My witch killing baby – Reid. This man is the definition of a big baby who likes to pretend he’s tough in front of everyone, but is a total softy. And he’s hilarious. While being prude isn’t a bad thing, his reactions to Louise and her wild antics are hilarious. Like, have me rolling on the floor hilarious. And his interactions with her, especially as their relationship develops, makes my heart happy.

Overall, I have a type. I love the tough cookies with big hearts, who are also hilarious. Humor is necessary for my favs. And while I have plenty of other favorite characters, who also sit in a similar trope, these (so far) are my all time favorites. I love them to death and totally have book crushes on them.

Who’s your biggest book crush?

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My Reaction to Ember #4 Reveal

OH SOMETHING MAGICAL HAPPENED TODAY! If you follow Sabaa Tahir or have read An Ember in the Ashes, then you know the final book is coming out at the end of the year and THE COVER HAD JUST BEEN REVEALED!!

The title we have all been waiting for has finally been revealed. AEITA #4 is officially called:

A Sky Beyond the Storm

YO I AM HYPED!! This book comes out in December 1st, 2020 – which also happens to be my birthday, so I am extra excited!

If anyone needs me I’m going to be rereading the first 3 books in preparation for the final and hopefully my heart won’t be too broken. But with Sanaa’s stories, we all know we’re going to be crushed.

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January Wrap Up & NetGalley Update

Well, the first month of the new decade has passed and I haven’t read shit.

Who said being an adult is fun? I would like my money back please (and my free time).

So far, the only thing I’ve managed to read was Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin and half of Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan and Lobizona by Romina Garber. So all in all, not a great reading month. But! I have consistently been posting on my blog (yay!) and – I GOT A NEW JOB!!!

So overall, bad reading month, great month otherwise.

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To make this post actually worth reading, here’s my NetGalley waitlist update!

So far, I have been approved for these titles:

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Declined on these titles:

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And still waiting to know about these titles:

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So, super excited to start reading those and fingers crossed for the other six!

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Update: Currently Reading

I feel like 2020 is moving so fast yet so slow, how are we already two full weeks in!? It’s crazy.

One of the things I hope to change in 2020 is how much I read – cause right now, it’s not a lot! I want to finish more books than my current rate (which is none) and get back on track with everything.

Currently, I am reading a few books and I just need to find time to finish them. Wishful thinking, I know, but a girl can dream!

Book #1: Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

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I’m almost half way through this title and it’s a solid 200 pages left to go. I just need a good chunk of time to sit down, bang it out, and decompress. I think I’m scared to finish it (especially after book 1’s ending) cause it’s really good and I don’t want it to end! I find myself avoiding reading a book if I’m really enjoying it and don’t want to be heartbroken or sad once I finish it. So, hopefully I can kick it into high gear and finally finish it since I’ve been reading this since November.

Book #2: Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdork

Sensational (Spectacle, #2)

So I adored the first book in this series, but reading this title I’m not in the mood for a historical fiction right now. The book still has the same great writing and interesting characters as book 1, but I’m just not in the mood for a historical fiction, so this one is on the back burner until I feel like I’m ready to finish it. Until then, it will remain at 10% finished.

Book #3: Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

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So this is a Macbeth retelling and as a HUGE Shakespeare nerd this is next on my TBR (also it’s on my NetGalley reading list and I’m 3 months overdue so I gotta read this ASAP). I’m hoping I can hop between this and Ruthless Gods to finish both in a timely manner (again, wishful thinking, I know). If all goes well, these will be my first two reviews of 2020!

I’m so excited to get my 2020 reading kicked into gear – what are you currently reading?

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New Years Resolution: Book Edition

Last year SUCKED when it came to reading. The start of the year I was reading 15 books a month and then after that it DIED. Crashed and burned. Hit the iceberg and sank. I was lucky if I managed to read a book that month, must less two. I failed to hit my reading goal and missed it by a long shot.

This year, I want that to be different. I find myself having bad habits because I want to be able to have books for review or I feel like I have to read something because it’s releasing soon. This causes me to stress about it though and I find myself avoiding reading, but I don’t want to feel those pressures anymore and enjoy the reading process. Here are some of my reading New Years resolutions:

  1. I want to stop caring about what I’m reading and read what I want to. If a book isn’t vibing with me, that’s okay. I’ll feel comfortable putting it down and starting something else. I can always come back to it right?
  2.  JUST PICK UP THE BOOK AND READ. Take 5 minutes every day at least to read. If you can’t do more than 5, that’s okay. You read something today and that’s progress.
  3. Reviews can be short and sweet or long and ranty. Whatever the book makes you feel, that’s okay to write. You don’t have to follow a formula or talk about specific things – write about what spoke to you or what didn’t.
  4. Branch out. Read different genres and sub-genres! There are so many amazing books out there you just need to pick them up and read them.
  5. Stop spending so much money on books. You’re lucky enough to get free books at work, you have books at home, and you can always go to the library. You don’t have to buy every single book – even though you want to.

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I hope this will help me reach my 50 book reading goal for this year and if all goes well – it will.

I will be victorious!!!

What are your 2020 reading goals?

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My NetGalley Waitlist

As a reviewer I am not big enough or lucky enough to go to every convention or receive physical ARCs, so I use NetGalley for my ARC review fix. If you haven’t heard of NetGalley before, it’s a site that allows you to request and download e-books. Some of them are released titles but a lot are unreleased titles, so if you are a newbie blogger or dipping your toe into review ARCs, this is a great place to start!

I’ve been using NetGalley since January 2018 and here are some of the books I’m currently pending on NetGalley for:

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Links to each book listed down below.

  1. All the Stars and Teeth
  2. The Shadows Between Us
  3. Night Spinner
  4. Witches of Ash and Ruin
  5. The Raven and the Dove
  6. Unravel the Dusk
  7. Incendiary
  8. Lobizona
  9. Of Silver and Shadow
  10. Girl, Serpent, Thorn
  11. We Are Blood and Thunder
  12. The Midnight Lie

I’m currently crossing my fingers that I can even get one of these to approve! I currently have to read and review Foul is Fair, Sensational, and Aurora RisingIt seems like Foul is Fair is going to be my next serious read and then we’ll go from there!

One thing I hate when I look through NetGalley, is all the rejections – especially since I’ve hit 25 declined books so far. Hopefully that number doesn’t rise anymore!

Do you use NetGalley and if so, what are your current reads from it?

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Books I’m Most Excited for in 2020

2020 is here!

(Woohoo!)

Which means lots of new, exciting things for the new decade, including new reads. Here are some of the titles I’m most excited about! (Or at least, all the ones I can actually mark down at this time because there are like 10,000 amazing new books coming out this year!)

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40126121. sy475        44281011

34460349         35702241

48464264         46159058

47540532         42773037. sy475

40144224        39325105

47590377        46222824

47590411         43908877

46734428        28173303

42993339. sy475           46223364

30622326. sy475            Bone ​Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace, #1)

42595554            36683940

17699853. sy475            38325332. sy475

31284532. sy475           41954467. sy475

45554589. sy475           40204193. sy475

45184250          44538875

Some titles I’m also excited for that don’t currently have cover art yet are:

  • Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin
  • The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue by V. E. Schwab
  • and like 100 others with no titles and no pictures yet but I’m still excited for them!

And of course we all know I’m most likely going to end up buying ALL of them, so I wish my bank account and yours, good luck!

And that is my current*** list of most anticipated 2020 reads. Any of these currently on your list? Let me know what you’re most excited for this year!

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2019 Wrap Up: A Year in Books

Wow, who can believe that 2019 is coming to an end and we are about to emerge into the 20’s!? I can’t.

2019 was the year of new beginnings for me:

  • I graduated college that winter and was now free from school
  • I got my first full time job!
  • I bought my 3rd car, because my 2nd car died 😦
  • I started blogging regularly
  • I went to a lot of amazing conventions and met so many authors
  • And I read a lot of books!

This year was awesome and new, yet very hard. There were 3 unfortunate deaths in my family, people I loved were going through some rough transitions, but in the end, we have all ended the year on a strong foot and I’m excited for 2020 – if not also terrified.

To wrap up this year, let’s look back at all the amazing books I read and are set to finish by the end of the year:

  1. The Wicked Deep
  2. The Similars
  3. Grim Lovelies
  4. Queen of Air and Darkness
  5. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
  6. Truthwitch
  7. Spectacle
  8. A Reaper at the Gates
  9. Windwitch
  10. This Book is Not Yet Rated
  11. Courting Darkness
  12. The Waking Forest
  13. The Cerulean
  14. Furyborn
  15. The Dark Descent of Emily Frankenstein
  16. The Devouring Gray
  17. The Last Voyage of Poe Blythe
  18. The Everlasting Rose
  19. Killing November
  20. Smoke and Key
  21. The Things She’s Seen
  22. Kingsbane
  23. We Hunt the Flame
  24. Wilder Girls
  25. Treason of Thorns
  26. Spin the Dawn
  27. House of Salt and Sorrows
  28. A Curse so Dark and Lonely
  29. Diamond City
  30. A Heart so Fierce and Broken
  31. A Crown of Coral and Pearl
  32. The Bone Houses
  33. Tiger Queen
  34. There Will Come a Darkness
  35. The Gilded Wolves
  36. The Grace Year
  37. Serpent and Dove
  38. Kingdom of Souls
  39. Gideon the Ninth
  40. Wicked Saints
  41. Queen of Nothing
  42. Ruthless Gods (in progress)
  43. Sensational (in progress)

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My goal for 2019 was 100 books, but with working two jobs and other things getting in the way, that did not happen. I’ll be lucky to get to 50 at this point, but that’s okay, because most of these reads have been well worth it!

Here is my year in review:

Favorite Book:

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This was one of my favorite reads of this year. There seems to be a dichotomy over this book, with some people not liking it, but I loved it. The story was new and interesting, the characters had a wonderful relationship, and the world sucked me right in. I could not put this story down!

 

 

Least Favorite Book:

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This was unfortunate, but this was my least favorite read of the year. While I liked the plot of the story it was the main character that I couldn’t connect with. I had some issues with pacing as well, but overall I couldn’t connect with her story or her personality and that made it almost impossible to get through. This story is amazing and unique, and you should definitely give it a try, but just wasn’t for me.

 

Most Surprising Read:

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I was so excited for this trilogy to end – until I actually read the ending. I was not impressed with the ending and felt like it could have been much better. My biggest thing was the personality change in Jude and the big dynamic change between two characters. Overall, I still enjoyed the ending but I didn’t love it.

 

 

Most Anticipated Read of 2020:

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There are so many amazing books coming out in 2020 and I’ve had the pleasure to have already read some of them. One of the early 2020 books I’m super excited about is called Diamond City and it is AMAZING! It’s like Throne of Glass met Six of Crows and it is so good. If this book isn’t on your radar, it needs to be!

 

 

Overall, this year has been filled with amazing books, events, and people – not a bad year to end the decade with!

If you’re interested in ending the year off right, check out my end of the year giveaway! This is as a thank you for reading 100 blog followers and it includes a 2019 ARC, 2020 ARC, a finished copy, and a bunch of swag! You can click here to enter!

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If you liked this post, please like it, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

 

Success! We Hit 100 Followers! Now time for a GIVEAWAY

On December 4th, 2019 I decided to check on my follower count and HOLY COW I HIT 100 FOLLOWERS! I’m so excited to have 100 people following my blog and not running away – thank you for not running away.

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As a big THANK YOU to everyone, I am going to be running a mystery giveaway! The giveaway will include 2 ARCs, 1 finished copy, and some swag items from various subscription boxes that are a good, fun mix!

It is super easy to enter, simply repost this blog post to twitter and tag me in it (@SuchABadBASS), follow me on twitter @SuchABadBASS, make sure you’re following my blog, and leave a comment on one of my blog posts! Make sure to leave a comment on this post as well with your name and twitter handle so I can find our winner on January 1st, 2020. I will message the winner through Twitter, so be prepared to check your inboxes on New Years Day! Once the winner has answered and accepted, I will make an announcement through Twitter.

See, super easy to enter! This giveaway is available to US RESIDENTS ONLY and entries are open until December 31st, 2019 11:59PM EST.

And the ruley rules – anyone who unfollows my blog or Twitter before the giveaway ends is immediately disqualified. If you unfollow before or after the giveaway you will be banned from future giveaways on my blog. No spam or giveaway accounts allowed, and yes, I will be checking.

Just so everyone is aware, my home is smoke free, mold free, but pet friendly.

Thanks for entering and good luck!

Tag: Fall Bucket List Book Tag

So I was tagged in this post about two weeks ago and well, I had bronchitis and pneumonia this past week so I got behind on things! But now, even though winter is mere days away, I will be doing the Fall Bucket List Book Tag! This tag was created by Read by Tiffany and she created the wonderful graphics that come along with this tag so thank you! (I’m awful with graphic design to I’m grateful I don’t have to create anything myself). I was tagged by Alexa from Writing the Universe to do this tag, thanks Alexa!

The Rules:

  • Link back to the original creator in your post.
  • Feel free to use any of my graphics in your post, or create your own!
  • Tag 7 other people at the end of your post, and let them know you’ve tagged them.

Light a Scented Candle22840421. sy475 I haven’t read a lot of light hearted books recently so I’m going back into the past past with this answer. I would have to say My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows. This cute, somewhat historical, romance book has the humor and lightheartedness to get you zipping through the story without even realizing it.

 

Drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes

26032912. sy475 This one is so easy because there have been SO many hyped up books recently. I recently finished (and by recently I mean like 5 hours ago as I’m writing this post) Queen of Nothing by Holly Black which has been hyped from the start. I can’t say that this book didn’t live up to it thought, it was a really good ending.

 

Go Apple Picking

42036538So this may not seem like a story with great friendships, but trust me, it totally does. Gideon and Harrow’s interactions had me rolling on the floor laughing and could even get me to shed a few tears. This was a great enemies to friends kind of story but with so many other awesome friendships in between. Plus it’s a super epic sci-fi, fantasy novel in SPACE! Super fun.

 

 

Wear a Cozy Sweater

34323570Okay so this doesn’t seem like a heart warming book but it warms mine. This series has everything I love in it like magic, sassy but strong female characters, true character development, and like total hottie love interests! It has everything I could want in an epic fantasy and more and Claire’s writing always leaves me speechless.

 

 

Bake cinnamon Rollss

15749186Ummm, I’m honestly not sure of any books or characters with talented chefs. I would have to say the closest one is Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Her love for baking I assume would translate over to her talent for it, although I don’t remember off the top of my head if she is an acclaimed baker by her friends and family. I do know they love her baked goods, but talented chef? I don’t remember. Someone can yell at me in the comments letting me know if I’m right or wrong.

 

jump into a pile of leaves

41721210So, getting this book was a shock because I won it from Goodreads, which never happens, and it’s a book I ADORED. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the book since the synopsis was pretty slim when I requested it but WOW did it impress me. I loved it so much I’ve been collecting the ARCs/manuscripts for it and I’m in the process of finding all the special editions for it. Yeah, it really made me jump for joy. Also, the cover art is GORGEOUS!

 

Okay, this was fun! I nominate EVERYONE to do this tag because I don’t even know 7 bloggers and I think everyone would enjoy doing this.

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

Review: Queen of Nothing

So, it’s over. The Cruel Prince trilogy has concluded and there are no more books coming out.

i’M NOT CRYING – YOU ARE!

Okay, anyways, moving on. I’m honestly so sad about this. I love Holly Black and basically anything that she writes and to have an ending to this dark, wonderful series breaks my heart – BUT, it also means we have some answers.

Don’t worry though, this review will be spoiler free as the book hasn’t even been out for a month and most people haven’t even read it yet. So without further ado, here are my thoughts on Queen of Nothing by Holly Black!

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Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black, comes the highly anticipated and jaw-dropping finale to The Folk of the Air trilogy.

Now, first things first, one of the first things I noticed when I started reading this book was a complete tone difference. Maybe it’s because it’s been 17 months since I read Wicked King – maybe it’s because Jude is sad about her situation – or maybe Holly wanted to cut down on the wickedness to wrap up the book?

Honestly, I’m not sure. But there was a clear tone difference for me which I thought was weird. I felt like I was stepping back into the world but with a different lens on what was happening. It didn’t make the book unpleasant or ruin anything it was just … different.

Besides that, the only other issue I had was the convenience of certain scenes where someone should have lost but they don’t. Or things turned out the exact opposite from what the reader would think but with little explanation how. Holly has graced us with trickery, like in books 1 and 2, but the tricks weren’t as elaborate in book 3 as the other two and I was left with a lot of “Huh???” reading through situations.

Now, what Holly does do right are some wicked “HOLY COW” moments that I didn’t even see coming and they were AWESOME. This book is a great conclusion to the series and it feels like a solid ending, but somehow I wish for more. Did I want another 100 pages of action – yeah, or some more epic scenes that left me breathless – yeah, but did I still love this book with my entire heart – yeah!

Most of my complaints are opinions and there honestly wasn’t much in the story that left me unsatisfied. Which is why this book is still a star.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.pngstar.png//5 star read for me. I said it before, I love what Holly writes and this book is not a disappointment.

Honestly though, I wanna know your opinions on the covers. Which one do you like the most? Comment below and let me know your favorite! Mine is a tie between the OG cover and Owlcrate for very different reasons.

                      OG                                                  B&N                                         Owlcrate

26032912. sy475     Image result for barnes and noble queen of nothing    48912264. sy475

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If this book sounds interesting, be sure to check out titles like Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim, A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, and  The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.

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If you liked this review, please like this post, leave a comment, follow, share with your friends – anything is appreciated!

My First Time at YALLFest: My Thoughts and Honest Review

I am loving these long titles recently. Sorry to anyone who can’t read the whole thing and is thinking, “what in the world?” at these. Next time I’ll make sure the title is an entire paragraph – that will be fun!

So, I went to YALLFest 2019 last week (more like 2 weeks now but whatever) and let me say, wow. It’s on the same craziness scale as BookCon with just a 1/50 of the booths and the people – also it’s outdoors. I went with my friend Grace and we were so excited. Grace is a veteran at this, having gone multiple years in a row, but this being my first time, I basically relied on Grace to lead me through the event with no issues. There were no issues thankfully.

Day One – Friday:

Friday is mostly a signing day so we went and got some books signed (to rephrase, Grace got some books signed and I stood in line for her) and then we wandered around Charleston. Grace had won tickets to the Red Carpet Preview hosted by Penguin Teen which we went to after meeting some wonderful authors. On our seats were these cute tote bags containing stickers, tattoos, a preview of 2020 books, and an ARC of They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman.

The event was a lot of fun and included authors such as Ally Condie, Renee Ahdieh, Tochi Onyebuchi, and other fantastic authors! If you ever go to YALLFest and want a fun panel to go to, Red Carpet Preview was awesome and I highly recommend it.

Day Two – Saturday:

The day started off at 4:30am when our alarm went off and we woke up for the day. We waited in the car in front of the museum (where the ARC square was located) at 5:30pm until we saw other people arrive. We parked and waited outside from 6:00am until 9:00am when the Fierce Reads booth opened for their ticket drop.  I grabbed tickets for Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan and Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust.

9:01am – after tickets were acquired, I went right to the Fierce Reads booth next door where they were selling finished copies of books. As they stated in their email, if you purchased certain books you got some ARCs included. So in addition to tickets to two ARC drops later in the day, I also snagged ARCs of The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi (The Gilded Wolves #2) and Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles.

After that, rushing over to Epic Reads to acquire another book, everything started to blur. For most of the day I ran around to different drops that were happening for books I knew I really wanted and occasionally stepped in line for mystery items. Besides running around to different drops, my friend and I also attended the I Love YA A Waffle Lot! event hosted by HMH Teen.

The event was a lot of fun and hey, free waffles! I took some photos at their Instagram station, pictured below:

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Towards the end of the day, Fierce Reads offered another promotion like the one from the morning, buy a book and get an ARC. I bought two books, Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan and Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok. Included with those books were the ARCs to the sequels of each, Ruthless Gods and Sensational. It was a nice surprise for everyone as they cleared out books and ARCs from other events.

The ARC square closed at 4pm, with raffle winners being announced at 4:30pm, for the most part. I didn’t win anything but that’s typical. Finally, after a long day of running and waiting in line, we headed for the car.

To sit down for an hour until our final event.

We went to the Smackdown event at the Music Hall and it was very interesting. I didn’t know what to expect at this event but I was still somehow surprised at the different segments they hosted. There was singing, dancing, shoving hand into mayonnaise, and a lot more.

It was a great way for Grace and me to relax and have some fun at the same time. The drive home was bittersweet because 1) the event was over which means we were going home soon but 2) yay for beds and sleeping!

After ordering pizza and marveling at our hauls, YALLFest was over!

Here are some crappy photos of my haul from this year, taken in the hotel after a 15 hour day! Enjoy!

Haul photo 1     haul photo 2

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Overall, it was a fun festival to attend. It’s a bit annoying that the event is outside because rain or shine, you’re going to feel it, and with the cold it was brutal. The ARC square is also very close together so lines would often intersect or be side by side, which got confusing as the day wore on. The last real complaint is that there is absolutely no food nearby. If you are not prepared to bring some snacks or a lunch with you, and you’re trying to stay on top of ARC drops during the day, you are going to starve.

Besides the usual festival complaints, I really enjoyed meeting everyone at YALLFest and I am planning on going again next year for the 10th anniversary! Now that I know what to expect, and how to optimize my time, I’m excited to see what next year holds for us!

Did you attend YALLFest this year? If you did, what was your most exciting find?

If you didn’t go, what would you have been on the hunt for?

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Life Update: New Job, Reading Slumps, and More

So as you can tell, I haven’t posted in a while. There is a completely valid reason for that but I still feel like I have to explain myself so here goes: life got really busy. I hit a hardcore reading slump in September/October that I couldn’t get over – hence why it took me two months to read Gideon the Ninth. On top of that I started a new job at the end of October in addition to my current full time job. So yeah, it’s been hectic.

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First off, yay for new jobs! I recently accepted a part time position at Barnes and Noble which is where I now work in addition to my other full time job. Unfortunately, my full time job cut my hours (yayyy) and so in order to make up that loss, I got another job! And thankfully it’s at a place I’ve wanted to work at for forever.

Getting a second job isn’t always fun or easy but my coworkers have made the experience amazing. I’ve met other writers there who are working on AMAZING manuscripts that I can’t wait to read. Heard some funny and not so funny stories and found a group of people who love books as much as I do. Overall, it’s been an awesome place to work and I’m excited to help people find amazing gifts for their loved ones.

Plus that employee discount 😉

Besides that, I just recently got over a reading slump. I FINALLY finished Gideon the Ninth (FINALLY!!!) and read Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan in 24 hours. (Let me know if you want me to write a review for that – I feel like it’s been discussed a lot so I don’t want to be too repetitive). And I’m currently reading Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok at the moment, which comes out in February 2020. I’m hoping that another slump won’t hit for a few months because if it does, I will scream. Not sure what I’m going to read next, probably Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan (aka, Wicked Saints 2) because I received it at YALLFest and hello, I have to read it after the mess that was Wicked Saints. After that, I have a lot of new releases and ARCs to read so hopefully I have plenty of reading material before the next major slump hits!

Along with a reading slump, I was also hit with a writing slump. Now that I work two jobs, I doubt I will get much writing done this month but I’m going to try. I bought a new calendar which will hopefully help me manage my time better but we all know there are no guarantees with that. And I’m excited for the Holiday season!

What are some major updates in your life? Any amazing news you want to share? Comment below so we can celebrate together!

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Tag: Autumn Tag

I was tagged by Alexa over at Writing the Universe to do the Autumn Tag! Link directs you to her answers if you’re interested! Autumn and winter are my favorite seasons so I genuinely enjoyed this tag and I’m excited to see what I have in common with everyone! Let me know in the comments below what connected with you and what we share in common!

Hot chocolate – what is your comfort book? hot cocoa.jpg

For sure it would have to be Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. This book was one of the first series I really got into in middle school/high school and it floods me with memories of my grandmother’s house during Thanksgiving. This familiar series is one that I can easily pick up and dive back into that world with ease.

Pumpkin Carving – what is your favorite creative outlet? pumpkin.jpg

Besides writing, I love to sing. I’m big into music, specifically singing and playing the flute/piccolo. I’ve been playing the flute since 4th grade and the piccolo since 11th grade and picking up the instrument is like an extension of my body. When I’m not playing the flute, it’s singing. To listen to a song and relax as the words flow out is something I do all the time to make myself feel more at ease and it’s fun.

Falling Leaves – changes that appear bad but you secretly love? leaves.jpg

I don’t think I have any drastic changes in my life that I can reflect on much less love. The changes I have experienced have been subtle or gradual, so not much to love or hate at the moment thankfully.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte – something you love that others tend to judge psl.jpg

I just recently got into yoga, specifically hot yoga, with my friend. And I went non-dairy and meat free as well for my health. I’ve gotten a lot of “oh me too”‘s and “that’s great”‘s but there have been a few looks of “why?” which is annoying. I’ve been going to yoga 4-5 times a week on average and with the diet change, I feel amazing. So whatever.

Night – what makes you explode with joy? bonfire.jpg

Babies. Every time I see or interact with them, my heart just melts. And then the baby fever begins. Also hearing about people’s accomplishments – especially ones they’ve been working towards for a while. It just gives me joy to hear other people are feeling joy so that’s always wonderful!

Fright Night – favorite scary book or film scary scene.jpg

I’m not big into horror novels or films so I don’t really have one to mention or talk about. The scariest I would go is City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. I do like murder mystery novels though! One of my favorite murder mysteries is Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte – and I’m excited to read her new novel, The Vanishing Deep!

Halloween candy – favourite thing to eat candy treats.jpg

My favorite things to eat change depending on my mood. Right now, my favorite things are these Kashi granola bars, the chocolate chip chia ones (AMAZING!) and fresh berries with honey. I could eat them all day, every day and so far, that goal is accomplished!

Scarves – your autumn ‘must have’ accessory scarves.jpg

Cardigans, sweatshirts, and loose long sleeved shirts are my go to with leggings. That’s essentially all I wear during the fall/winter – which is why they’re my favorite seasons! Specifically, I am obsessed with my long sleeved, black, Phantom of the Opera shirt and my maroon pink leggings. Best outfit combo for a cozy fall day.

Fire – a book or film that burns your soul fire cracker.jpg

As of right now, I’m OBSESSED with Serpent and Dove and There Will Come A Darkness. I’m currently in a reading slump due to how amazing these stories are because nothing can compare at the moment. I hope it passes quickly though so I can continue reading these amazing new releases and ARC’s I have!

Toffee apples – a book or film that seems one thing but really has a different inside apples.jpg

I feel like every Disney and Pixar movie trailers are so misleading. Of course they take the most iconic sound clips or images, but some of those don’t end up in the film. For Frozen, I thought it was going to be a completely different movie based on the trailer and I find this keeps happening with every Disney movie. The trailer gives me an idea of one thing and then when I actually go see the movie, it’s completely different. Why are they trying to confuse me!?

I don’t really have anyone to tag because the only person I can think to tag already tagged me in this one! So feel free to do this tag yourself and let me know your what your answers would be! I hope you enjoyed this tag!

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October TBR

For this month, I’m going to TRY to actually read more than 2 books in the month (it probably won’t happen) so let’s go for like, 4.

Here is my TBR and hopeful reading schedule for October!

The Beautiful

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In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

The Light at the Bottom of the World

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At the end of the twenty-first century, the world has changed dramatically, but life continues one thousand feet below the ocean’s surface. In Great Britain, sea creatures swim among the ruins of Big Ben and the Tower of London, and citizens waver between fear and hope; fear of what lurks in the abyss, and hope that humanity will soon discover a way to reclaim the Earth.

Meanwhile, sixteen-year-old Leyla McQueen has her own problems to deal with. Her father’s been arrested, accused of taking advantage of victims of the Seasickness-a debilitating malaise that consumes people,often claiming their lives. But Leyla knows he’s innocent, and all she’s interested in is getting him back so that their lives can return to normal.

When she’s picked to race in the action-packed London Submersible Marathon, Leyla gets the chance to secure his freedom; the Prime Minister promises the champion whatever their heart desires. The race takes an unexpected turn, though, and presents her with an opportunity she never wanted: Leyla must venture outside of London for the first time in her life, to find and rescue her father herself.

Now, she’ll have to brave the unfathomable waters and defy a corrupt government determined to keep its secrets, all the while dealing with a secretive, hotheaded companion she never asked for in the first place. If she fails, or falls prey to her own fears, she risks capture-and her father might be lost forever.

The Guinevere Deception

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There was nothing in the world as magical and terrifying as a girl.

Princess Guinevere has come to Camelot to wed a stranger: the charismatic King Arthur. With magic clawing at the kingdom’s borders, the great wizard Merlin conjured a solution–send in Guinevere to be Arthur’s wife . . . and his protector from those who want to see the young king’s idyllic city fail. The catch? Guinevere’s real name–and her true identity–is a secret. She is a changeling, a girl who has given up everything to protect Camelot.

To keep Arthur safe, Guinevere must navigate a court in which the old–including Arthur’s own family–demand things continue as they have been, and the new–those drawn by the dream of Camelot–fight for a better way to live. And always, in the green hearts of forests and the black depths of lakes, magic lies in wait to reclaim the land. Arthur’s knights believe they are strong enough to face any threat, but Guinevere knows it will take more than swords to keep Camelot free.

Deadly jousts, duplicitous knights, and forbidden romances are nothing compared to the greatest threat of all: the girl with the long black hair, riding on horseback through the dark woods toward Arthur. Because when your whole existence is a lie, how can you trust even yourself?

Fate of the Fallen

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The Shroud of Prophecy tests fate to discover what happens when the path of good and right, the triumph of light over darkness, the only path to salvation… fails.

Everyone loves Mathias. So naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.

Mathias is thrilled for the adventure! There’s nothing better than a road beneath his feet and adventure in the air. Aaslo, on the other hand, has never cared for the world beyond the borders of his sleepy village and would be much happier alone and in the woods. But, someone has to keep the Chosen One’s head on his shoulders and his feet on the ground.

It turns out saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. Mathias is more than willing to place his life on the line, but Aaslo would love nothing more than to forget about all the talk of arcane bloodlines and magical fae creatures. When the going gets rough, folks start to believe their only chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the stories go. At all. To make matters worse Aaslo is beginning to fear that he may have lost his mind…

Gravemaidens

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The start of a fierce fantasy duology about three maidens who are chosen for their land’s greatest honor…and one girl determined to save her sister from the grave.

In the walled city-state of Alu, Kammani wants nothing more than to become the accomplished healer her father used to be before her family was cast out of their privileged life in shame.

When Alu’s ruler falls deathly ill, Kammani’s beautiful little sister, Nanaea, is chosen as one of three sacred maidens to join him in the afterlife. It’s an honor. A tradition. And Nanaea believes it is her chance to live an even grander life than the one that was stolen from her.

But Kammani sees the selection for what it really is—a death sentence.

Desperate to save her sister, Kammani schemes her way into the palace to heal the ruler. There she discovers more danger lurking in the sand-stone corridors than she could have ever imagined and that her own life—and heart—are at stake. But Kammani will stop at nothing to dig up the palace’s buried secrets even if it means sacrificing everything…including herself.

I am so excited to read (hopefully) all of these this month! If I can manage to finish the current book I’m reading right now. . .

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Which October release are you most excited to get your hands on?

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To DNF or not to DNF

To DNF or to not DNF? It’s a difficult question to answer sometimes and one I had to ask myself recently with Gideon the Ninth. I find myself refusing to DNF because by the time I come to the realization that I don’t like a book, I’m over halfway through. At that point, I feel like I have to finish it. I mean, I’ve come so far, so why not? And then of course there are those books that I cannot get through, no matter how much I want to, and I have to put it down.

With Gideon, it’s the case of good book – wrong time. Love the story and the characters but it’s not a vibe I can get with right now. I wish I could get through this story and enjoy it, but I find myself falling asleep and getting bored. It’s unfortunate really because I want to like it, but I just can’t.

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So how do you decide whether or not to DNF a book? Well, that’s a matter that’s up to you reader. What is your limit? Usually I say if I can’t get into a YA book within 100 pages, then I give up on it, because it’s not going to get better after that. Sometimes I’m wrong, but that’s usually the page limit of when awesome stuff should be happening. With Gideon the Ninth, it’s a longer, adult novel, so this page count method doesn’t typically work. For adult fiction, I give it until the 25% mark to see if anything interesting happens, and DNF if not.

Some people are against DNFing, and will not give up on a book at all. I have those moments as well, but I also don’t have time to read books I don’t like or I’m not feeling. I think that whatever works for you is what works best! If you refuse to DNF, then don’t DNF. If you can’t get into a story and DNF, then more power to you! – read something you’re gonna love.

What are your thoughts on DNFing a book? Are you for or against and what is your criteria to meet?

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Halloween/Fall Reads You Need to Add to Your TBR Now

I love fall. It is absolutely my favorite season out of the four and that means I read a lot of fall and Halloween related books during this season.

These books are top notch to put you in a fall, spooky vibe so if you’re looking for something to make you check under your bed an extra time, check out these reads!

1. Bone Houses

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Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family, and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead.

The risen corpses are known as “bone houses,” and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good?

Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them deep into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the long-hidden truths about themselves.

2. The Grace Year

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Survive the year.

No one speaks of the grace year. It’s forbidden.

In Garner County, girls are told they have the power to lure grown men from their beds, to drive women mad with jealousy. They believe their very skin emits a powerful aphrodisiac, the potent essence of youth, of a girl on the edge of womanhood. That’s why they’re banished for their sixteenth year, to release their magic into the wild so they can return purified and ready for marriage. But not all of them will make it home alive.

Sixteen-year-old Tierney James dreams of a better life—a society that doesn’t pit friend against friend or woman against woman, but as her own grace year draws near, she quickly realizes that it’s not just the brutal elements they must fear. It’s not even the poachers in the woods, men who are waiting for a chance to grab one of the girls in order to make a fortune on the black market. Their greatest threat may very well be each other.

With sharp prose and gritty realism, The Grace Year examines the complex and sometimes twisted relationships between girls, the women they eventually become, and the difficult decisions they make in-between.

3. The Tenth Girl

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Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

4. Gideon the Ninth

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The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

Gideon has a sword, some dirty magazines, and no more time for undead bullshit.

Tamsyn Muir’s Gideon the Ninth unveils a solar system of swordplay, cut-throat politics, and lesbian necromancers. Her characters leap off the page, as skillfully animated as necromantic skeletons. The result is a heart-pounding epic science fantasy.

Brought up by unfriendly, ossifying nuns, ancient retainers, and countless skeletons, Gideon is ready to abandon a life of servitude and an afterlife as a reanimated corpse. She packs up her sword, her shoes, and her dirty magazines, and prepares to launch her daring escape. But her childhood nemesis won’t set her free without a service.

Harrowhark Nonagesimus, Reverend Daughter of the Ninth House and bone witch extraordinaire, has been summoned into action. The Emperor has invited the heirs to each of his loyal Houses to a deadly trial of wits and skill. If Harrowhark succeeds she will become an immortal, all-powerful servant of the Resurrection, but no necromancer can ascend without their cavalier. Without Gideon’s sword, Harrow will fail, and the Ninth House will die.

Of course, some things are better left dead.

5. Tunnel of Bones ***

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Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.***

 

*** This is the second in a series – the first is called City of Ghosts

6. House of Salt and Sorrows

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Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

7. Spectacle 

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Paris, 1887.

Sixteen-year-old Nathalie Baudin writes the daily morgue column for Le Petit Journal. Her job is to summarize each day’s new arrivals, a task she finds both fascinating and routine. That is, until the day she has a vision of the newest body, a young woman, being murdered–from the perspective of the murderer himself.

When the body of another woman is retrieved from the Seine days later, Paris begins to buzz with rumors that this victim may not be the last. Nathalie’s search for answers sends her down a long, twisty road involving her mentally ill aunt, a brilliant but deluded scientist, and eventually into the Parisian Catacombs. As the killer continues to haunt the streets of Paris, it becomes clear that Nathalie’s strange new ability may make her the only one who can discover the killer’s identity–and she’ll have to do it before she becomes a target herself.

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I am such a fan of horror, thriller, and spooky reads. Let me know which ones spark your interest this Halloween season! And if you have any recommendations, pass them here! I tried to focus on books published in 2019 – so let me know which other 2019 reads I missed.

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Making Assumptions About Books I’ve Never Read

I always find myself judging a book by its cover or even by the synopsis, which then determines if I read it, and I’m usually wrong. There have been so many times I have assumed what a book is about, then I read it, and I am so wrong! Like Serpent & Dove – was completely wrong about that book and what it was going to be about. So I’m curious how right I am in guessing the plot of a book based on its cover and title. Let’s see how well this goes . . .

Here are five books I’ve never read before, don’t know the plot, and I have to guess what they’re about. Let me know how right I am! All of these will be released reads so people will have had access to read/borrow them.

1.

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So I see a castle, a person wearing a robe, fire, and crows, and of course the title is The Merciful Crow. Based on all of that, I think this book is about a society focused around birds, specifically crows, who have magical powers or status. The magical people have become too powerful and now the world is ending (hence the fire and person standing with arms open). In order to save their world, they team up with the crows to fight back and … I’m not sure. There’s definitely a hierarchy though because of that castle. Maybe the royalty is ruining/ending the world?

NEXT!

2.

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So American Royals has a cover of a woman, wearing a beautiful shirt/dress, nice nails, and sunglasses. So obviously this book is about an average woman who falls in love with a prince/princess and is thrown into the world of royalty. She struggles to fit in, hates everyone, and almost leaves it all. Except her love is much too strong to leave and they eventually work it out – the end! I’m assuming this is similar to Crazy Rich Asians – which I shouldn’t assume, but that’s the only thing I could think of. Or its about royalty and their crazy, fabulous life! I’m not sure.

3.

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So obviously, the story is about someone inside their house. I would assume this a thriller novel or a murder mystery. I’m going to guess that this book is about a girl, a teenage girl, who is being stalked and has to hide from a murderer in her home. The entire book is a back and forth between present and past as she looks back on that horrible night. She may or may not be dead. Or I’m totally wrong and this is a slumber party novel! I guess we’ll find out!

4.

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Soooo I’m gonna go with clones. This is totally about clones and government control. You think you can choose your destiny and be your own person, but you’re actually a robot clone slave to the government who need you to be involved in a secret project. As they call the troops, you’re like, what the heck? I didn’t even know I was a part of this mess until now. All my friends are dying (cries). All I know about Kristoff books are that people die and most people cry, so I’m going with that.

5.

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So I know this is something about Russia/Russian myth? I think this is about a girl assassin in Russia who runs into a boy assassin and they have similar targets, but they can’t let the other person get it because if they do they lose money. Or maybe this is more magical, like blood magic stuff and they have to destroy the world? Based on the blood I know theres fighting and death in here, but I’m not sure exactly how it relates. And wicked could mean a lot of things, like they’re bad people or they’re wickedly good at what they do. This one is really hard because I genuinely have no idea. I think I’m going to go with more magic stuff mixing with the end of the world, but they kinda want to save it?

So how well did I do? This was embarrassing but still a lot of fun, so I hope you had fun with this too! Let me know what I may have gotten right and what I got absolutely wrong! Comment below what books I should guess next.

I tag Alexa over at Writing the Universe to do this challenge and let me know how it went!

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Writing Update #1

For those of you who didn’t know, and I assume that is almost all of you, I am writing a book. Multiple books actually. So far, I’m about a third of the way through one of my first drafts and it’s …. not going well at all. I think the biggest thing with writing, and specifically my writing, is that I have the beginning and the end in my head, but the middle? Nonexistent. Like completely not there. Which of course makes it difficult to write the middle and get to the ending I have envisioned.

So how am I going about fixing this issue?

By avoiding writing of course!

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I’m just kidding. I sometimes meet up with my friend Alexa from Writing the Universe to talk through plot holes, character develop, and overall writing issues. Last Monday we worked through the middle section I was trying to envision. Thankfully, we found a solution together that feels right for the book and it fits. Now I just need to write it.

Besides that, figuring out ages for characters is also incredibly hard. The book with the most progress has older characters, oldest being 25 and the youngest being 12. My main characters are 18, 21, and 25 with other 16-22 year old characters in there too. This is supposed to be a YA novel, but I’m worried people will dislike the fact that some of the characters are older. But I have to make them older or else it doesn’t work with timeline.

It also doesn’t make sense for the society to make them all 15-18 year olds unfortunately. The content and topics are still YA, and the main POV is of my 18 year old, but I still worry. At least Sabaa Tahir did it first with making Laia 18 and Elias 21 (THANK YOU).

After the brainstorm session today I also was pushed to start writing another book idea I have. This one has a younger MC (16) and its a really interesting premise. I’m so excited! The biggest thing I love about this is the Greek mythology included in it. I haven’t written anything with Greek mythology in it before, but I’ve been a Percy Jackson stan since 5th grade and I’ve been obsessed with the mythology since I was young.

It feels so nice to have somewhat of a plan for now, but with enough wiggle room to not feel trapped. It actually makes me excited to write. And to give you all updates on my writing.

So of the two main WIP I have going on here is the word count so far:

WIP #1: 23,119

WIP #2: 656

I can’t decide which book I want to work on for NaNoWriMo in November, but we’ll see how developed each are when we get there.

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