February 2021 Wrap-Up & Book Haul…

February…the month where everything didn’t go quite as planned. Valentine’s Day weekend my boyfriend had booked us a cabin and the weather seemed to favor it, we were packed up and ready to go. I’d been quarantining at home all year long, working remotely, and pretty much limiting my proximity to anyone. COVID however arrived at my doorstep. It hit us hard for two whole weeks and it ended with a week long hospitalization for myself. It had to be the single most scariest experience I’ve ever been through with the odds stacked high against me making a turnaround. I believe it was a whole lot of faith, strength, and will power coupled with an awesome team of medical professionals that pulled me through. I’m home now where I’m recovering from some tough residual side effects but getting better and stronger each and every day.

I read 5 books in February which is honestly surprising given the level of meds I was on that made it difficult to not see words swimming on the page. I did NOT write reviews for any with the exception of The Project by Courtney Summers since that was an ARC from the Publisher. Instead, I will try to summarize my thoughts in this Wrap-Up for each title. I did watch a couple of good new shows and one Netflix Original movie. Other than this, It was a month to rest and recover while also being thankful for my health and that of my two tiny humans.

Sidenote: Why didn’t anyone tell me Matcha is where it’s at?!?! OBSESSED! How do you like your matcha? I’m looking for new recipes <3’s!

THE RAVENS BY KASS MORGAN & DANIELLE PAIGE  ✨3.5 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑠✨- 𝑇ℎ𝑒 𝑅𝑎𝑣𝑒𝑛𝑠 was one of the books I read during my hospital stint. I was feeling for a witchy read and this one proved to be fast paced which helped considering nausea limited my reading time. That being said, it could’ve improved upon its character development. Our MC Vivi has always lived life alongside her mother who is very superstitious and makes her living reading Tarot. They constantly uproot their lives and move from place to place to “keep safe” however Vivi doesn’t know from what. Very little answers are provided to her by her mom until she gets accepted to Uni and joins Kappa Rho Nu. Unbeknownst to her, this ambitious smart tough sorority is also a coven of bad a** witches 🙌🏽 we get to meet these other witches and the powers they were gifted (Pentacles, Swords, Cups or Wands) from their family lineage. I didn’t connect with Vivi or really sympathize as much as I believe the authors intended. I actually connected a lot more with each of the the Side characters. There was also an issue with a death of a side character that I felt was a bit glazed over even though it was center stage for the first half of the book. Overall it was a fast enjoyable read albeit these issues, I LOVED the spotlight it gave these Alpha women leaders in the making! Sisterhood is not something we get enough of on the page, I’m glad Fairyloot made this one of their picks! 🖤

THE PROJECT BY COURTNEY SUMMERS (My Review) ✨5 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑠✨MIND BLOWN at the amount of research that had to have gone into cults and their inner workings. From how you’re targeted, to isolation, brainwashing and eventually the feeling that you’re indebted to a greater cause. All the while following someone who believes himself to be God. A cautionary tale of sorts is what some may view it as. This is marketed as Young Adult but definitely reads on the more mature end of the scale. Fast paced & character driven, this dark tale will sink its clutches into you.

FIREFLY LANE BY KRISTIN HANNAH  ✨5 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑠✨- Firefly Lane provided some comfort in February in its tale of friendship between two girls from the opposite sides of the track. I laughed and cried reading this book and then of course binge watched the Netflix adaptation. Although the show does deviate a lot from the story, many of its core scenes and friendship milestones remained the same. Accompanied by some awesome 70’s music tracks, we follow Kate and Tully as young girls in grade school to life with kids and careers. Kate has the kids and the husband with dreams of one day becoming a published author. Tully has always dreamed and passionately pursued her career as an accomplished news reporter. They see each other through heartbreaks, career wins, and the ups & downs of their Thelma & Louise vibe friendship.

BLACK BUCK BY MATEO ASKARIPOUR 

𝐼𝑡’𝑠 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑑𝑢𝑡𝑦 𝑜𝑓 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑟𝑦 𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑤𝑜𝑚𝑎𝑛 𝑤ℎ𝑜 ℎ𝑎𝑠 𝑎𝑐ℎ𝑖𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑑 𝑠𝑜𝑚𝑒 𝑠𝑢𝑐𝑐𝑒𝑠𝑠 𝑖𝑛 𝑙𝑖𝑓𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑝𝑎𝑠𝑠 𝑖𝑡 𝑜𝑛, 𝑏𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝑤ℎ𝑒𝑛 𝑤𝑒’𝑟𝑒 𝑔𝑜𝑛𝑒, 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑚𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑠 𝑚𝑜𝑠𝑡 𝑖𝑠𝑛’𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑤𝑒’𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑡𝑜 𝑎𝑡𝑡𝑎𝑖𝑛 𝑏𝑢𝑡 𝑤ℎ𝑜 𝑤𝑒 𝑤𝑒𝑟𝑒 𝑎𝑏𝑙𝑒 𝑡𝑜 ℎ𝑒𝑙𝑝.”
✨5 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑠✨
𝐵𝑙𝑎𝑐𝑘 𝐵𝑢𝑐𝑘
is a satirical take on one young black mans shot to stardom when he gets offered a “once in a lifetime” opportunity while working as a Manager at Starbucks. Darren is 22 years old and unambitious, the former Valedictorian of his class at Bronx Science. His mother who he lives with in their family owned Brownstone in Bedstuy wants nothing more than to see him live up to his potential. Rhett Daniels the CEO of Sumwun, NYC’s hottest tech startup sees that potential and is intent on getting Darren on his team. Darren joins and from day one is met with some quite infuriating white leadership who dish out every single stereotype there is about black people. I’ve lost track of how many times Darren has been asked whether he’s been told by anyone that he looks like MLK or Sidney Poitier. This is the book that had me SMH saying “the audacity” at the things white privileged men felt entitled to say to Darren. Darren’s inner monologue has me smiling at times and other times laughing, fast paced and thought provoking this book explores race and ambition through a different lens.

SLAY BY BRITTNEY MORRIS  ✨4 𝑆𝑡𝑎𝑟𝑠✨- I inhale read this book and although it be small in page count, it is mighty in its message! a book I will gladly pass down to my Afro-Latinx daughter because it embodies black excellence. Morris gave us black girls in STEM, a detailed layout of the virtual game our 16 year old MC has designed, discourse on black spaces, the importance of not relying on black people to educate you on their experiences, code switching and so much more! Yes, chances are if you love books by Angie Thomas, you will also enjoy Slay. But even more incentive is that Kiera is just a girl who loves video games and geekin’ out with others who just like her have been looking for a space to call their own. There were some cringe worthy moments with regards to Kiera’s boyfriend Malcolm who was the walking definition of toxic masculinity HOWEVER, I found his scenes to be important and insightful. These characters are well fleshed out and multifaceted, by the time I reached the end of the book I was fully invested. I’m absolutely already anticipating Morris’ next book!

FIREFLY LANE | THE GILDED ONES | THE WITCH’S HEART | THE PUSH | THE KINDEST LIE | HONEY GIRL | STAMPED


TO ALL THE BOYS ALWAYS AND FOREVER

The conclusion to the “All the boys” trilogy…or is it? I’ve heard rumblings of a spin-off being considered and I for one would be all on board. Give us Laura Jean in NYC attending NYU. I LOVED this movie but it is the third one so there’s not much I can’t say that isn’t spoilery. However, I will say that it was pretty awesome watching LJ make her own decisions & following her heart when it comes to life after high school.

FIREFLY LANE

After reading Kristin Hanna’s Firefly Lane I jumped right into a Netflix binge of the adaptation. The show definitely stands on its own and changes up a lot of what was in the book but I think that’s because it was intended to have more than one season. If you’ve read the book, then you know there are some major events that would change the dynamic on TV. That being said, I still thoroughly enjoyed the show & seeing the different paths taken. I also LOVED hearing some of the 70’s music tracks mentioned in the books & seeing the flashbacks. UGH! all the geek love for Kate with her Ginormous glasses, bell bottoms and love for Tolkien. Tully, be still my heart! I have a soft spot for this character who is just looking for home & family but keeps finding comfort in her career. The one thing that hasn’t turned its back on her because it’s dependent on her will power, ambition and determination. I hope the show gets a second run, that ending just can’t be it! if you know, you know HAHA!

WANDAVISION

This was a show that felt absolutely trippy! from the black and white “I Dream Of Genie” mixed with “I Love Lucy” and a bit of “Bewitched” styled Pilot episode to the consistent sitcom themed episodes that followed as it made its way to present time. I’ll admit that at first I wasn’t sure at all this was for me however, by the 4th episode I was hooked and had to know what exactly was going on. Trust Marvel to have perfected their formula, at this point there isn’t anything I wouldn’t watch by them. STOKED for Falcon and the Winter Soldier streaming next Friday 3/19/2021!


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October 2020 Wrap-Up

Ever had a month where you simply needed change? change of scenery or routine? That was October for this book lover. Working from home as well as remote teaching can be hella fatiguing without adding all the other day to day tasks. I was craving fresh air, trees, bodies of water and trails. So, I took my physical fitness journey to the trails in Ramapo New York. It was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate me for LIFE in general. Books were read & lots of thinking and self care was done as well, all in a safe space. I find that detaching from my apartment REALLY helps me ground myself & feed my soul.

I wish I’d taken more photos on the trails but tbh, they were intermediate and for someone like myself who has just started doing these…it can be challenging to say the least (short girl short strides problems haha!) I did get an AWESOME sense of accomplishment whenever I reached the top or pushed myself the extra mile. My reading was top quality this month! I’m behind just two more reviews for October but they’re coming I promise. I just thought it best to wrap up October cause we’re already at the end of November smh.


My Spoiler free  reviews are linked down below…

FABLE BY ADRIENNE YOUNG – This was a 4 Star read, I love a good father/daughter story and Adrienne Young is an author who really delivers on familial bonds. I listened to the audiobook on Libro.fm, the narrator nailed female pirate with an air of defiance. The world building was A+ and if you’re a lover of high seas adventures, this one will make you feel like your dead smack in the middle of an ocean aboard their ship. Pacing at times can be a bit off but the story & character development more than make up for it.

SPOILER ALERT BY OLIVIA DADE – 5 Star read which had me smiling & at times giggling at its raunchiness haha! this is one for those who love fanfiction OR fandoms in general. Our MC is plus size & very secure of herself in a way that had me thriving to embody her glow. She’s a fan fiction writer & cosplayer who loves living the geeky life. The male love interest is the star of a Gameofthronesque type show…the same show our MC writes fan fiction for. I gushed all about these characters in my non-spoiler review linked above.

LEGENDBORN BY TRACY DEONN – 5 EPIC STARS!!! yet I’m still sitting here wondering why this one made a splash pre-release yet I haven’t seen many reviews out there for it. Those reviews I have seen on Bookstagram from black readers & POC have been rave reviews and I LOVED to see it! This is the ONLY Arthurian re-telling? continuation? I really care for this year. We get a MC who has suffered a very traumatic loss at the start & so her grief is integral to this story. She finds her way into a secret society of the descendants of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. There’s blood magic & a war brewing but it’s all linked back to the racism & generational trauma experienced by the MC’s ancestors. This one moved me on a soul level and is exactly the type of Fantasy I want to read more of.

BLACK SUN BY REBECCA ROANHORSE – 4 Stars & I’m prepared to read more by Rebecca Roanhorse ASAP! this is the start to a new adult fantasy series set in a world inspired by the Pre-Colombian Americas, we follow the Sky Made Clans who are prepping for Winter Solstice. Ya’ll ever read a book with a jaw dropping first passage? cause this one had me shaking my head like, what did I just get myself into? HOOKED! Ok. There’s a prophecy, a clan of Crow people who have been wronged, retribution, Queer characters (one who just so happens to be sort of a siren), multiple POV’s and so much more.

GROWN BY TIFFANY D. JACKSON – 5 Stars simply put this was a Gut wrenching audiobook. Our MC is a teenage black girl who aspires to have a singing career. Her path unfortunately crosses with a narcissistic predator who dangles promises but only seeks to control her mind and body. We see her innocence stripped away while he works to isolate her from a family who loves her and has only sought to take care of her. Many have linked this book to the singer R.Kelly but the author has previously stated that this is not that but is it’s own story. Either way, it was at times disturbing to read and others just sad because too often black girls are subjected to having to grow up way before they’re meant to. HIGHLY recommend to those seeking to read & connect with stories/characters outside of their own culture, ethnicity or youth experience.

AMERICAN DREAMER BY ADRIANA HERRERA – 5 GLORIOUS STARS!!! In this corner of the interwebz we LOVE Adriana Herrera and whatever she writes I will buy and support. Also listened to this on Libro.fm while cooking & doing laundry. We follow our MC who is a Dominican Gay man leaving NYC and moving to Upstate NY in hopes that he can turn his Afro-Caribbean food truck into a restaurant. When he arrives he meets Jude, the cute librarian guy who is a bit shy but also very curious about Nesto’s confidence and swag. Filled with yummy food descriptions and a crew of fellas who are #BFFFriendGoals I ate this book up! haha! Cannot wait to continue on with this series.


Lovecraft Country

This was just about the only TV show I managed to watch in October but WOW! Quality streaming content book lovers! I’m not yet finished, I’ve watched 9 episodes and have been staying away from Twitter spoilers. I hear the ending will break me and I’m just bracing for that. Sci-fi Horror which starts off with a black man who goes on a road trip with his Uncle and friend through 1950’s Jim Crow America. Each episode has you clutched in fear for these characters whose lives are constantly in peril between racist America and the actual monsters/demons which I took to be physical manifestations of the hatred steeped in our history/present day.


I hope you’re all doing well during these tough times, finding things that bring joy and peace to your lives. Big or small, whatever brings your soul joy I hope you’ve found it or are on your way to finding it. I’d LOVE to hear all about what ya’ll have been reading or spending time on/with. Drop some love down below <3’s!

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August 2020 Wrap-Up

The last official month of Summer has come & gone leaving me sitting here drafting up a wrap-up in warm fuzzies while sipping on my coffee. My reading in August was very scattered and looking back that was probably because I was anticipating September too hard to even focus. I’m a type A personality who organizes & plans for things and so most of my focus was in preparing for a more stress free work from home/remote learning set-up in my apartment. I did still squeeze in a few more trips to the beach in an attempt to stretch out the golden tan I worked so hard for smh. This all is the reason for which I listened to 4 audiobooks & read 3 physical books. Although I found some new authors I’d like to read more from, the only read to truly blow me away was Lobizona by Romina Garber & this now being September aka Latinx Heritage month, I hardcore recommend this read my friends! ❤

THE ROOMMATE BY ROSIE DANAN – (MY REVIEW)✨4 STARS✨FUN, STEAMY & SEX POSITIVE

THE VOTING BOOTH BY BRANDY COLBERT – (MY REVIEW) ✨4 STARS✨ A TIMELY READ THAT BRINGS ISSUES WITH VOTER SUPPRESSION TO THE FOREFRONT

FAITH TAKING FLIGHT BY JULIE MURPHY – (MY REVIEW) ✨3.5 STARS✨CUTE QUEER STORY ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS WITH SOME PACING ISSUES THAT MADE IT CHAOTIC TOWARDS THE END

ONE TO WATCH BY KATE STAYMAN-LONDON -(MY REVIEW)✨5 STARS✨ AUDIOBOOK WAS THE WAY TO GO! QUITE THE ADDICTIVE READ WITH A PLUS SIZE MC ON A DATING SHOW WHO FACES MUCH ADVERSITY & CRUELTY. THIS WAS AT TIMES HARD TO LISTEN TO BECAUSE IT WAS TRIGGERING, STILL ONE OF MY FAVES THIS YEAR

THE FAITHLESS HAWK (THE MERCIFUL CROW #2) BY MARGARET OWEN – (MY REVIEW) ✨ 5 STARS✨ THIS BOOK! AHHH! ALL THE FEELS, TRULY LEFT ME BAWLIN’ MY EYES OUT ON THE VERY LAST PAGE. THIS DUOLOGY  IS NOW SITTING NEXT TO MY MY SIX OF CROWS DUOLOGY AS FOREVER FAVORITES

HIS & HERS BY ALICE FEENEY – (MY REVIEW) ✨ 4 STARS✨ONCE AGAIN LIBRO.FM CAME THROUGH WITH A BONE CHILLING ALC! TOLD IN MULTIPLE POV WITH ONE OF THE 3 NARRATORS USING A VOICE CHANGER…COULDN’T LISTEN TO THOSE CHAPTER AT NIGHT JUSSAYIN.

LOBIZONA BY ROMINA GARBER – (MY REVIEW) ✨5 STARS✨ROMINA GARBER DELIVERED SUCH A SOLID STAND OUT DEBUT! IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO REPLACE SHE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED…LOBIZONA WILL DEF GIVE YOU HP VIBES.

PROJECT POWER EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS, SET IN NEW ORLEANS WE FOLLOW A TEEN WHO TEAMS UP WITH A COP & EX SOLDIER TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF A VERY SERIOUS DRUG THAT HAS HIT THE STREETS. A DRUG THAT GIVES YOU UNPREDICTABLE SUPER POWERS FOR 5 MINUTES.  HIGH ADRENALINE DELIVERED BY JAMIE FOX WHO HAS YET TO DISAPPOINT ME.

“A COVERT TEAM OF IMMORTAL MERCENARIES ARE SUDDENLY EXPOSED AND MUST NOW FIGHT TO KEEP THEIR IDENTITY A SECRET JUST AS A UNEXPECTED NEW MEMBER IS DISCOVERED” I HAD NO IDEA THIS ORIGINATED FROM A COMIC BUT I WAS LEFT WITH A NEED FOR MORE! I TRULY WISH THIS HAD BEEN MADE A SERIES BUT THAT COULD JUST BE MY BIAS TOWARDS ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH IMMORTALS. LOVED THESE CHARACTERS (NOT ENOUGH TIME) AND THEIR OLD TIES TO ONE ANOTHER. AGAIN, JUST WISH WE GET MORE.


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July 2020 Wrap-Up

This summer could’ve easily been a bust but I’m happy to report that July was possibly the BEST month I’ve had this year. After being stuck indoors for quite some time, I spent most of my personal time by some body of water. It was a blessing to be able to escape the city & experience some freedom while also reading some great books. I also rediscovered my love for all things Grease & listened to the soundtrack whenever possible…to be understood as all the time 🤷🏻‍♀️😌😂 When I wasn’t listening to Grease or reading, I went down the rabbit hole that is Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix. The thing is, this show creeps me out & I could only watch it with someone OR during the day. Otherwise I was for sure having dreams of cracking cases in my sleep & startling awake at all hours of the night. All that being said, I already have plans to watch I’ll Be Gone in the Dark on HBO MAX cause a part of me enjoys scaring myself to sleep smh…

Quality wise, I enjoyed all of the five reads I picked up in July and found some new authors I’m really excited to read more from. I’m considering making a special post dedicated to Silvia Moreno-Garcia as I make my way through her back-list. As always, the goal is to prioritize reading diverse books with an emphasis on intersectionality. This has made reading way more pleasurable and put a lot of black & Latinx authors on my radar. I have reviews posted for all of the books listed below for what I feel is the first time in a very long time. 

HERE TO STAY BY ADRIANA HERRERA – ✨4.5 STARS✨ (My ReviewI cannot stress this enough…Adriana Herrera is an author to keep an eye out for! we get Latinx characters who fall in love while crushing their goals and taking care of their mental health & space. There’s also an awesome friend group here that I would’ve loved to be a part of myself! for now I’ll comfort myself thinking I’m an honorary member of the Gotham Exiles Club 😉

FOREST OF SOULS BY LORI M. LEE – ✨4 STARS✨ (My ReviewThis story contains one of the best F/F friendships I’ve ever seen & if you’re one looking for a more adventure/platonic based Fantasy then this is a solid choice. Hella atmospheric with imagery that will give you the creeps when you enter the Dead Wood. Shamans practicing elemental magic + an ending to leave you reaching for more!

YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN BY LEAH JOHNSON – ✨5 STARS✨(My Review) I listened to the audiobook version on Libro.fm & LOVED our MC a queer black teen who comes from a poor family with a lot of love. This is a story about second chance friendships, living your truth, and being seen when you feel invisible.

MEXICAN GOTHIC BY SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA – ✨5 STARS✨(My Review) Atmospheric & haunting; this book teleported me from a sunny day on the beach IRL to the gothic vibes inside of High Place, the mansion where it all takes place. Our MC is headstrong & way ahead of her times, I truly enjoyed being led into this mystery despite my aversion to anything creepy/scary.

YOU HAD ME AT HOLA BY ALEXIS DARIA – ✨5 STARS✨ (My ReviewSave the best for last? I don’t know cause Mexican Gothic really competes with You Had Me at Hola for my fave read of the month. Gahhh! an ode to telenovelas aka soap operas! it was everything I could’ve asked for & more! I wasn’t expecting mental health, PTSD, codependency & physical consent on the set while filming as themes in this book but I’m beyond grateful for this book. To take Latinx characters & portray them in a positive light as they climb the success ladder and experience heartbreak at a time where we simply just don’t have these stories…feels AMAZING!

Binge worthy they say? I was HOOKED from the very first episode but as previously mentioned, I couldn’t watch this by myself for the life of me 😂 I did watch the majority with my boyfriend who pulled up Google & further intensified my obsession with this show. We were those people who googled to see where they were with each of these cases & STILL are following the page for any updates smh. Shortly after finishing this show I found myself needing closure & so I ventured into this next show…

Although this is a very old show, in 2017 Netflix streamed one of their seasons & yes yes I did binge this right after Unsolved Mysteries. However, unlike the previous show which left me feeling hopeless (still a well put together show) this one has solved cases. Through the great strides in technology & DNA, all of these cases were solved usually within a 30 year span. This show gave me hope that the new cases in Unsolved Mysteries will be solved.


JUly WAS a month of relaxation & honestly just taking a step back from stressors which called for a change of scenery.I did do some retail therapy (BOOK HAUL)while also unhauling/donating 100+ books from my shelves. In many ways july was when i centered myself & in turn laid out some new goals in my journey. drop some luv in the comments book lovers! i hope you’re all doing well & reading some great new books! ❤


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June 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up

Hola Bookworms! It’s finally Friday and I’m very much looking forward to unplugging this weekend. I took today off from work (this post was scheduled) to get away for a bit since we’ll be experiencing a heat wave in New York City. I’ve got two cute new bathing suits I’m pretty stoked to try out, a new found love for Roscato sweet red wine & Playa Bowls (pictured below). Currently I’m reading Forest Of Souls (Shamanborn #1) by Lori M. Lee (Really enjoying this slower paced world building but then again that’s my thang haha!) and obsessing over John Legend’s new album Bigger Love. July is already proving to be a quality reading month with some 5 star reads. In the month of June I threw myself into reading even more diverse black voices & spent less time blogging. I’m just now getting caught up with reviews but figured I should probably wrap up the month seeing as we’re already in mid-July. Drop some love down below, how are you spending your weekend? reading? watching? writing?

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta – ✨4.5 STARS✨ I still stand by my original thoughts on this book, it is one of the MOST raw coming of age stories I’ve ever read. Written in verse, this is the story of Michael who is Jamaican and Greek living in London being raised by his mother. His mother is Greek, a single parent who is very supportive and loving to both Michael and his sister. Growing up in a predominantly white neighborhood & attending a school with mostly white children, Michael faces many challenges being a queer black boy. We follow his journey to finding himself and the freedom he obtains on that journey. I listened to the audiobook on Libro.fm & personally I loved getting the story narrated by the author. I listened in one sitting! ❤

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon – ✨3 STARS✨After hearing many of my friends in the Book community express their thoughts, I adjusted my expectations on this one. I already had a Book of the Month copy as well as the audiobook from Libro.fm. I loved the friendship aspects of this story where we follow our MC as she meets two other women that happen to be dating the same man she is. An unlikely confrontation leads to a friendship which I enjoyed seeing develop. What I didn’t love so much was the romance seeing as it has the whole undercover angle & that took away from any chemistry I may have felt between the two love interests. I’d still be interested in reading possibly a story arc following the other friends *fingers crossed*

The City Of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty -✨4 STARS✨ (My Review) LOVED the world building & plot! captivating and truly memorable however I didn’t fall in love or grow attached to any of the characters. Sure I had one that stood out but that was iffy too. Character growth is on the page & I do have high hopes for the sequel being a 5 star read.

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick – ✨5 STARS✨ (My ReviewYA Thrillers! people sleep on them but truly they are something to explore! Kit Frick held me from the very first page & I could only imagine what the experience would’ve been like if I had listened to this in audiobook format since it does have a podcast feel. LOVED the unreliable narrator & the interviews throughout the book with neighbors & friends. Lastly, I’ll say that I did NOT see that ending coming & was left with my jaw hanging smh.

Abbott – ✨4 STARS✨My only wish is that this had more issues but I can’t find any info online as to whether there will be. We follow a Journalist in Detroit who is investigating a series of murders that seem to have a paranormal twist. I was hella intrigued by our MC who is a black bi-sexual divorced woman with a bit of a brooding side she settles into each night with a glass of whiskey.

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson – ✨5 STARS✨ (My ReviewMy BEST read of the month! One that I will not stop recommending! I listened to the author narrate his own essays in this audiobook via Libro.fm & was absolutely invested start to finish. I said in my review that it felt like I was at the kitchen table with George hearing stories of his youth as if he were a friend. This is how I’ll aways remember my time with this book. The importance of reading stories that feature intersectionality is something I’ll always stress. This is the story of George M. Johnson a young queer black man growing up in America.

June was a e-book heavy month for me & as I’m still donating books from my shelves I didn’t purchase any physical books. I can tell you now that this is not the case for July smh but at least I have plenty of shelf space to house my new babies. The books down below were all Kindle deals mostly $1.99 at most $3.99, I went click happy because there were so many great titles on sale so here goes…

ONLY FOR A NIGHT (LICK #1) | PATRON SAINTS OF NOTHING | THE WEIGHT OF THE STARS | THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE | QUEEN MOVE | THE STORM RUNNER | FORTUNA SWORN | TRISTAN STRONG PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE SKY | RACE TO THE SUN | THE BOOK OF LOST SAINTS THE HOUSE IN THE CERULEAN SEA

For many years I’ve heard Guy Ritchie get much acclaim as a director but for me personally it was seeing this movie that really caught my interest. The minute I saw the cast of characters…Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Colin Farrell, Hugh Grant I KNEW I had to watch! Initially it was set to be a date night at the movies but Rona put a stop to that & I waited for it to be made available on Fandango Now. We follow McConaughey who is an American expat trying to sell his very profitable Marijuana empire in London. This of course captures the attention of many of his enemies & triggers many attempts to steal his business before he can sell. TONS of action, schemes, and yea even a few laugh out loud moments. Overall a good time!


June was an intense month in the world, i was proud to see many of my bookish friends in the community amplify black voices all throughout. The efforts to bring diverse stories to our shelves continues. i’ve always read diversely with an emphasis on intersectionality but i will be amping that up further on this blog.happy reading <3’s!


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February Monthly Wrap-Up

Surreal to be sitting at home wrapping up February given the current state of the world but also it’s a way to hold onto some normalcy. At the top of February I took a trip to Bear Mountain as well as Philly with my boyfriend to get away from city life & I’m SO thankful that we did! Surprisingly I didn’t get much movie/Netflix downtime but I still managed the 1 Netflix movie many of us were HIGHLY anticipating (see end of this post) 🤗 My appetite for reading did skyrocket in February with 8 books read. This is high for me because of how hectic work/mom life was (it’s even more nanas now lol) but I also embraced audiobooks which really came in handy during #Contemporaryathon. I do hope you’re all keeping safe & whether you find yourself with more free time or no free time at all, you are not alone. This Bookworm is feeling it but coping & finding new ways keep anxiety at bay, sending virtual hugs & well wishes to you all 💓

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH BY. ADALYN GRACE  ✨5 STARS ✨ 

THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL BY MAUREEN GOO ✨4 STARS ✨ 

ASHLORDS BY SCOTT REINTGEN ✨4 STARS ✨ 

HEROINE BY MINDY MCGINNIS ✨4 STARS ✨ 

DARK AND DEEPEST RED BY ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE ✨5 STARS ✨ 

GET A LIFE CHLOE BROWN BY TALIA HIBBERT ✨5 STARS ✨

WILD AT HEART BY K.A. TUCKER (RTC) ✨5 STARS ✨

HEARTSTOPPER VOL. 1 BY ALICE OSEMAN (RTC) ✨4 STARS ✨ 

TO ALL THE BOYS P.S. I STILL LOVE YOU

This was a pretty solid follow-up to the first act however this time around I found myself rooting hard for John Ambrose. Still love Peter but I won’t lie, he definitely grated my last nerve here  that I was surprised to see him win me back. Anywho, I’m ready for the 3rd installment & hope to see more Netflix Original movie adaptations of YA books 💓


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November Monthly Wrap-Up & Book Haul

Hello Bookworms! a smidge late here…Ok very late here but tis’ the season amiright? haha! November was FULL of family happenings but I’m happy to report that I still managed to read on the go. These wrap-ups are where I share a bit of everything bookish & life related to give you all a glimpse at the gal behind this blog. This month was a bit eventful, the boyfriend & I met each others families…it was just a little nerve-racking but also VERY different and better than I could have ever expected. Both families were friendly & welcoming which of course made us breathe a HUGE sigh of relief!

In between attending family birthdays, baby showers, Thanksgiving & my first Sunday Football game there were some new fave reads. I also learned my lesson with library holds during the holiday season after having them ALL come through in one shot…not the way to go Lol! I was also left feeling unsure about one of my highly anticipated reads but here goes my wrap-up (my reviews linked down below)

The Last True Poets of the Sea (4 STARS) A friendship story at its core, this one is set off the coast of Maine. There are definitely some triggers for suicide and drug/alcohol abuse as well as talk of panic attacks & anxiety to look out for. The MC can be seen as unlikeable but the bonds formed here make this one worth the read

The Bromance Book Club (4.5 STARS) The more I think about it, this can easily be a 5 star read cause I still think of the characters here & there. Also, I haven’t read anything like this or had this much fun reading PERIODT! haha! I enjoyed it enough to request the sequel coming out Spring 2020 & the Book Gods delivered with an ARC 🙂

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (5 STARS) The one audiobook I listened to in November that had me gripped to the very end. I loved listening to this SUPER slow burn romance, nodding my head whenever the two MC’s had scenes together. Both have very different love languages but the chemistry is A+!

The Starless Sea Ok..SOoo I was REALLY looking forward to this one having LOVED The Night Circus so much. Also, my boyfriend knew how much I wanted this book & went out of his way to surprise me with a signed copy *eeeK* that being said, I’m still unsure where I stand with it. I opted out of giving it a rating or writing a review. This was such a strange whimsical read that I truly enjoyed & yet it left me hella confused. It may have gone over my head but ummm…no regrets here *shoulder shrug*

Song of the Crimson Flower | Ninth House | Get A Life, Chloe Brown | Harry Potter And The Goblet Of Fire (illustrated edition) | Call Down the Hawk | The Starless Sea

The Shadowglass (The Bone Witch #3) | Dirty Letters | A Girl Like Her: A Small Town Romance (Ravenswood #1) |Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) (ARC)

This Netflix series about a Cuban American family has become my go-to for mood lifting & comfort. Set in Los Angeles we meet a Veteran single mother with PTSD, her two kids and mom as they manage day to day life. Bonus: Her mom is played by none other than RITA MORENO! *clutches pearls* an ICON to say the least. This show has flown under the radar yet it’s the MOST relatable. Not to mention it’s LGBTQIAP+ friendly & socially aware making it a top favorite of mine.


Wishing you all the happiest of holidays Luvs!


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October Monthly Wrap Up & Book Haul

Pardon me while I bust out in a little dance cause I read 8 books in October!!!! I broke a record seeing as 2019 has been a bit of a slumpish year for me I’ll count this as a major break through *whoop whoop* I’ll admit I was a bit all over the place in my books this month because I simply was picking up whatever I was in the mood for at the time. I can also see this being the case for the rest of the year. Once January comes around I will be buckling down just a smidge because I have acquired some new arcs I’m really excited to get around to in the New Year. I may have a post in the works with those highly anticipated arcs I managed to get a hold of 😉

We can all use a lil Rosie Perez in our lives! *Queen* ❤

The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh4 STARS✨ (my review) polarizing in the bookish community, this book isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea but it def was mine! ❤ more than anything, I’m STOKED at the hints of what’s to come.

Dear Girls by Ali Wong5 STARS (my review)

I listened to the audiobook & laughed my a** off at all hours of the day/night. Ali Wong won me over when I first saw her in Always be my Maybe but listening to Dear Girls led me down a rabbit hole. I watched Baby Cobra on Netflix as well and Hard Knock Wife which really rounded out the audiobook experience. These stand-up series are mentioned in Dear Girls and it was nice to go back & see those after. This book also got me wanting to start my own letters to my two tiny humans.

The Never Tilting World by Ron Chupeco ✨4 STARS (my review)

A WILD RIDE!!!! I was not sure what I was expecting going in after reading & loving The Bone Witch series but this was unique and chaotic in the best way. I tried to gather my thoughts as best as possible in my review haha!

The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo5 STARS (RTC)

I have ZERO excuses for not having a review up just yet but I promise it’s coming & it will be a RAVE review 🙂

Can’t Escape Love (Reluctant Royals #2.6) by Alyssa Cole ✨4 STARS✨ (RTC)

This novella is absolutely my MOST favorite addition to the Reluctant Royals series! Nerd love at it’s finest & most cutest! GAHHHH! I need more! I will save my thoughts for the mash-up review I have coming for this & the other novella in this series Once Ghosted, Twice Shy #2.5

American predator by Maureen Callahan 5 STARS

I did consider writing a review for this SUPER creepy read but opted not to. I rated this one a 5 stars simply because the amount & quality of research really jumps off the page here. This is a real life story told from the perspective of the killer who has been captured. He is absolutely remorseless & only confessing certain kills in order to ascertain the death penalty for himself cause he just can’t live with himself anymore.

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Baron ✨4 STARS (my review)

I’m so happy there will be more books in this series/trilogy & even more excited to one day see it hit the big screen. This West African inspired Fantasy reads more like an Adult Fantasy as far as world building & complex character development. I’d love to see more YA Fantasy fleshed out in this way where the author fully trusts the reader to take in the world they’ve imagined on the page.

Paper Girls Volume 1 ✨3.5 STARS

This one was recommended to me because I love Stranger Things & all things Goonies. Paper Girls gives off the weird sci-fi vibes I love & for that reason alone I’ll be continuing with this graphic novels series. However, there are a lot of triggers for homophobic slurs, homophobia, violence, and alcohol abuse. Even though these issues align with the time period this takes place in, I’m seriously hoping this isn’t a theme in the volumes to follow.

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The Grace Year | The Bone Houses | The Water Dancer | Imaginary Friend

My October haul was a bit on the humble side seeing as I unhauled give or take 60 books. I wasn’t trying to spend much on books but I was focused on reading from my shelves. Two of these were my monthly Book Of The Month picks (my referral link& the other two were highly recommended. November however is already turning out to be shelf luvin’ & I’m not complaining 🙂

Joker 5 STARS

This movie will forever be seared into my memory for its depiction of mental health & the real need for discussion and resources for those that are struggling. I wasn’t expecting for it to be as hard hitting as it was but it only deepened my appreciation for this portrayal. I feel Joaquin phoenix performed exceptionally & frankly left me in awe.

LEGACIES ✨4 STARS

The Originals spin-off is highly addictive & full of bad a** characters you can’t help but get invested in. Hope Mikaelson truly feels like a piece of Klaus was gifted to us & I cannot wait to see her growth in this series. We follow Hope in this school for supernatural beings that has a very X-Men vibe I love. It was almost a full 5 stars if it hadn’t been for the meh last episode haha! still though, as a whole this is one show worth checking out if you followed its predecessors & are looking for your paranormal fix 😉


October was such a great quality reading month that i’m hoping it continues into november. with all of the major new releases i think that’s a safe bet. i’m enjoying the cooler weather, bookstore dates, & coffee breaks with good company and books.I hope you’re all having a great start to this Autumn season <3’s!


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July 2019 Wrap Up

How are we already in August?!? 😱 I guess what they say is true, time flies when you’re having fun 🙌🏽 admittedly this means my reading took a hit cause I’ve been really enjoying life & having some amazing experiences I’ll never forget 💓 As we approach the end of Summer, the itch to pick up my books has struck & I’m sOoO ready to give in! 🤗 I was recently blessed by the Book Gods to gain access to some EPIC 2019/2020 ARCS so it’s looking like I have my reading cut out for me. That being said, I’m still going to mood read my little heart away cause it really has made me a much happier bookworm. I have fallen a bit behind with reviews 🙈😂 but I’m working on choosing one day of the week where I focus solely on drafting reviews. In the month of July I found myself reading more than any other month this year thanks to audiobooks. Yes audiobooks count & I will die on that cross! they’ve helped me get into a more steady workout routine (LIVIN MY BEST LIFE🔥), now I tell myself one more lap = one more chapter ✔️ They’re also amazing when I’m in the kitchen learning new dishes to make for my two tiny humans 🤗

A Princess In Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) by Alyssa Cole ✨5 STARS✨Both Naledi & Prince Thabiso stole my heart with their hate to love romance set in NYC. This book featured a strong, intelligent, sexy black female in the STEM field who is very relatable. Ledi has an internship, side jobs, and student loans to manage all the while giving the sexy Thabiso major side eye for his more than obvious interest in her haha! LOVED this so much! RTC

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho 5 STARS✨I can see now why bookworms have linked this to K-Dramas, this was ABSOLUTELY ADDICTIVE! Miyoung is a Gumiho who feeds on the souls of evil men in order to continue living a immortal life. This all changes of course when she saves Jihoon from a Goblin (there are other supernatural creatures in this world) & then starts to fall in love. LOVED the Mythology & got deeply invested in these characters lives, HIGHLY anticipating the sequel 🤗 RTC

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo5 STARS✨(BOTM) My FAVE read of the month! I listened to this audiobook in one whole day as I worked from home, cooked, and then worked out for about an hour. I could NOT stop listening to Elizabeth Acevedo’s raw authentic narration of Emoni’s story as she navigates school as a teenage mom with a natural born talent for cooking. I was sucked into Emoni’s story from the very first page where she remixes ingredients from recipes her aunt emails her.  HIGHLY recommend! 💜 (My Review)

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager3.5 STARS✨(BOTM) although I do own a physical copy from BOTM, after my Twin Soul ChicNerdReads raved about the audiobook performance, I knew that was the way to go. The performance itself was ON POINT! Gothic vibes in NYC, I listened to this one in a day. Very entertaining & it may just be because I don’t read very many thrillers but it did keep me guessing till the very end. However, there were parts that dragged throwing off the pacing and making me lose interest here & there. I’ve heard from others who have read Riley Sager’s other books that this was their least favorite. I will definitely be giving the other books a chance since I do already own copies 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 #noregrets

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo3 STARS I had the privilege of reading this ARC a few weeks ago thanks to an awesome friend. I was 100% aware that this is a adult paranormal book with some hard hitting themes (*Content Warning: Drugs, mention of overdose, statutory rape, graphic violence, kidnapping, physical abuse, death of a loved one, fear of abandonement, use of a magical drug for date rape). It took me about a month to get through this book & it wasn’t because I was triggered, it was very much based on scattered pacing. The first half is very info dumpy & the last 200 pages are where all the action takes place and you finally get hooked into the story. This is the first book in a series & LOL! I’ll be honest & say I wasn’t planning on continuing but I might just give the next book a shot. RTC.

The Lion King is tied for 1st place as my favorite Disney movie of all time with Aladdin. However, unlike the AMAZING Aladdin remake we got earlier this summer…I wasn’t over the moon in love with this remake & that breaks my heart. It’s a STUNNING movie, a real feast for the eyes but it did lack the emotion we got in the original. I’ve watched the original dozens of times & still cried each & every time but that just wasn’t the case here. What I loved? The voice actors did a FANTASTIC job & the soundtrack is truly beautiful! 😍


I hope you’re all enjoying your Summer! I’ve been truly maximizing on the great weather to travel more, reconnect with friends both near & far as well as just enjoying life 😍 my Netflix Queue is out of control (shhh! don’t spoil ssn.3 Stranger Things) & my apartment has felt neglected 😂 but I hope to make time  soon for a little time-out where I just snuggle up with books, Netflix, and tea 😍


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July Wrap Up

Hello Bookworms! It’s the start of the weekend for me & on the agenda is getting some reviews posted here on the blog. I had one of the MOST fun reading months in July & pretty much picked up one book after another with no brakes. I also participated in  #Smutathon & read some awesome Contemporary titles, special thanks goes to Melanie for keeping us on track with them buddy reads haha! ❤ I also found myself reading books that I’d typically pick up in the Fall & I think that’s just my subconscious prepping for the season of warm sweaters, colorful leaves, and hot tea *bring it* In the month of July I truly tried to read whatever my heart desired seeing as the rest of the year is pretty booked with new ARCS & releases I have on deck to review. Looking down at my collage of book covers I’m smiling seeing the variety so this is one happily satisfied bookworm!

Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart 3 STARS I really enjoyed this tale of two sisters switching places however I ended up being interested & invested in one sister more than the other. There were some pacing issues however, the ending is soOo promising of what’s to come & I am definitely going to p/u the sequel to this duology.

The King Of Bourbon Street by Thea De Salle– 4.5 STARS✨ (RTC) This is the first Naughty read on Lair Of Books & I could NOT be more happier with it! well…I could have been hype as all hell had it been a plus sized gal up on the cover but more to come on that in my review. This was steamy & all around AMAZING with body positivity (except for the cover) & LGBTQIAP+ Rep. I look forward to continuing on with the rest of this series 😉

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory 4 STARSA Contemporary with important topics woven into the story. I LOVE the female MC however I wasn’t fond of the male interest, his attitude towards women left much to be desired. 

Check Please! by Ngozi Ukazu ✨5 STARS✨ (Mini RTC) This has to be the cutest web comic turned Graphic Novel EVER! well it’s the first I’ve read & has me officially HOOKED! I debated on whether to give this 4 stars cause I really wanted more of the romance but then again the friendships REALLY are AMAZING! Bitty stole my heart with his pie baking skills & I just need more of his college experience & Vlogs 💓

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton5 STARS✨ (RTC) A Pleasant & unexpected surprise this was! I thought I’d be creeped the heck out by Strange Grace but instead I ended up being entranced by this dark and beautifully written Polyamorous read. More thoughts to come in my review next week 🖤

Scream All Night by Derek Milman4 STARS✨ Quirky, odd, sad, and a times very funny all rolled into one is what I described this one as in my review. Scream All Night feature a MC who has had to emancipate himself at the age of 12 in order to get away from an abusive father. Now 17, Dario returns to the castle/studio where the worse of his memories still reside in order to be present for his father’s last wishes. This one read very different that anything I’ve ever read & it worked, I was engaged all throughout & enamored by Moldavia studios and its inhabitants 🖤

Josh and Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating by Christina Lauren4 STARS✨ (RTC)  There’s so much to love in this story! from the Korean culture we get from Josh to the fierce independence we see in Hazel. I had SO MUCH fun reading this & found myself falling in love with their love story, easily one of the best I’ve read!  More thoughts to come next week 🖤

The Black God’s Drum by P. Djèlí Clark 5 STARS✨ (RTC) I just need this to be made into a full length novel cause it absolutely left me wanting more from this world. Most intriguing is how I managed to get so interested & invested in these characters in such a short period of time since this is a novella but I did! If you enjoyed Children of Blood and Bone for its Orisha aspects then this is a MUST read 😉

I think it’s safe to say now that you’ll be seeing quite a few reviews start to trickle out here on Lair Of Books 😂 they are for the most part ARCS that are set to be published in September. Since I was on a roll with my reading, everything else pretty much took a back seat & that includes TV & Netflix. I did however go on a date with hubby & we watched…

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP

Paul Rudd & Evangeline Lilly were the PERFECT duo on the screen! Where Scott/Ant-Man fell short, Hope/The Wasp more than made up. Action packed scenes infused with the ol’ Wasp humor, enhanced suits, and old friends = a VERY good time!  I rated this one 5 STARS!

 

 


Hope you’re all having a FAB August! It’s setting up to be an exciting month for me with my first vacation in over 10 years! LOOOOOONG overdue but oh how sweet it will feel taking that ride on the Hogwarts Express?!?! 😱😱😱 I know I’m a bit late with this wrap-up so instead I’ll end this by asking, what books are on your night stand? 💓


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