2020 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Hello Hello Book Lovers! I’m a bit past the mid-point of the year but I was reading some FAB books I couldn’t put down & risk them not making this list. I’m pretty sure there are still some new faves out there I’ve yet to read but I’m also very happy with the ones that did make the cut in this tag. The fact that we’re still finding joy in a hobby we love in such tough times is a blessing in & of itself. This tag took me just about a day to work through but while working on it I caught up with some Booktube videos as well as my binge of The Cold Case Files on Netflix.

Best book youโ€™ve read so far this year

Without a doubt the honor goes to All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson! (My review) this book will forever stay in my heart & soul as a genuine collection of stories (essays) that are raw & powerful. George gives us a intimate look at life growing up as a queer black man in America. At times it was very hard to listen to & others I felt like an honorary guest at the kitchen table. Race, gender, sexuality, and socio-economic differences are all explored here. Poignant & life changing, this is a book you want to have read Luvs!

Best sequel you’ve read so far this year

Out of all the prompts in this tag, this is the one I can say was the reason for this tag going up past the month of June. I was honestly holding out to read a few more sequels that I’m pretty certain are going to blow my mind but for now I have selected Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan! (My review) This was 10 times darker than Wicked Saints & I was sort of anticipating this since I follow the author on Twitter. This book is more focused on Serafin but overall the character development was *chefs kiss*ย & the set-up for the final book which btw will be driven by a Malachiasz POV…was just A+! slower paced sequel & worth every page ๐Ÿ˜‰

New release you haven’t read yet, but want to

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson (Goodreads)๐Ÿ–ค First off I’ll start by saying that I love reading all things witchy, even before I had read the synopsis this book was in my cart. Described as a feminist fantasy with gothic vibes that takes on race, misogyny, religion and homophobia to name a few. I received my copy in the mail about a week ago & will be reading it in August!

 

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Wayward Witch (Brooklyn Brujas #3) by Zoraida Cordova the final book in a witchy series I absolutely fell in love with! This book will be following the youngest of the sisters Rose as she comes into her newfound powers. This is the third & final book so I’ll just leave it at that cause spoilers. If you’re looking for more Latinx Representation, Zoraida Cordova is such a talented writer who has become one of my top 3 favorite authors!

 

Biggest disappointment

This is the year I’ve re-discovered my love for reading & that’s partly because I’ve made it a priority to only read what my spider senses detect will be a hit. I’m sort of riding the wave between mood reading & arc timely reading if that’s even a thing. No disappointing reads to report as of yet and a gal is crossing her fingers it stays that way ๐Ÿ˜‰

Biggest surprise

You Had Me at Hola by Alexis Daria (Goodreads) When I first saw this book announced I knew that I had to read! not only for the Latinx representation but also because it’s centered around telenovela stars which I figured would be pretty nostalgic for me. This book was more than what I expected in the best of possible ways. We see two Latinx characters cast in a major telenovela that is set to break barriers & stereotypes for the Latinx community. This is also the first time I read a book with Latinx characters where the Spanish in text is not italicized which gave me a more organic reading experience. I have a review in the works but for those that are interested, some of the content warnings are PTSD, anxiety, talk of loss of a parent, Cancer, alcohol as coping mechanism.

Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

I’ve recently fallen down the rabbit hole with buying all of anything written by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia with ZERO regrets! I read Mexican Gothic (review coming) this month while at the beach & was just teleported to High Place with its Gothic/Horror vibes turned all the way up! I’ve legit started collecting Moreno-Garcias books since I plan on binge reading for a future blog post. One thing I have noticed about this author is that she isn’t boxed into any particular genre. So far I’ve seen books she’s written under the Horror, Sci-Fi, Urban Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Mythology, Magical realism genres. The one thing that makes Moreno a favorite for me besides the A+ writing is that her characters are all Latinx. I’m really looking forward to reading all of her back-list books.

Newest fictional crush

Artwork Credit: Hellhoneyy (Click on photo for artist website)

I’ll admit I’ve never had a fictional crush but then Talia Hibbert went & changed all that with Zafir Ansari in Take a Hint Dani Brown (My review) he is the perfect balance between sweet cinnamon roll & a knight in shining armor. Not that Dani needed one at all but he’s old school & seeing to his ladies needs/wants is at the top of his priorities. Zaf is attentive & nurturing, he’s also super supportive. To top it all off, he has. foundation where he helps young boys shed toxic masculinity by providing a safe space where they can talk about their feelings. Zaf has my heart!

Newest favorite character

Artwork Credit: Melanie Tranchemontagne (click on photo for artist Instagram)

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas (my review) was the last book I purchased before Quarantine in NYC & I LOVED it to pieces! There are so many stand-out characters but one in particular stole the show…Lehabah the small & curvy Fire Sprite. Lehabah isย bashful & loves watching Fangs & Bangs. Her love for Fangs & Bangs is only rivaled by her love for our MC Bryce Quinlan. Lehabah fretted over Bryce & I just adored her!

Book that made you cry

This may come as a surprise but the book that made me cry was House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas (my review).ย If you’ve yet to read this one I’d suggest steering clear of the Goodreads synopsis since it’s VERY spoilery & in my opinion also takes away from the emotional reaction it may illicit. However, I will say what I loved most about this book is the awesome ride or die female/female friendship at its core.

 

Book that made you happy

Take a Hint, Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2) by Talia Hibbert (My Review) was THE book that made me smile & just radiate happiness all over! Between Zafir being the ideal love interest & Dani being this independent bi-sexual witch Goddess, I was LIVING for their story! the body positivity & acceptance of personalities and differences is #GOALS If I’m being honest for favorite new to me author it was a tie between Sylvia Moreno-Garcia and Talia Hibbert. Love them both so much! but this is the book that put me in a happy place.

Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

Mexican Gothic by Sylvia Moreno-Garcia is STUNNING!!! Noemi our MC is serving 1950’s glamor with a Gothic/Horror Vibe on the cover with what looks to be dead flowers in her grasp. I LOVE this cover & story so much that I have it on display on my bedroom shelves. It is legit a source of inspiration for some upcoming paint/artwork I have planned for my bedroom walls.

 

What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

There are SO many wonderfully Diverse titles as well as some highly anticipated sequels hitting our shelves in the second half of this year that I absolutely can’t wait to read. These are just a few I plan on reading THIS year in an attempt to deliver my Top 20 of 200 by the end of the year…


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2018 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

Mid-year? I’d love the ability to time travel right about now or possibly even freeze time. Anything so that I can read all the books & I know y’all can relate *SOBS* I am however very thankful for having a really good quality reading year so far & hope it continues ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผย I’m thinking it will since many of my MOST highly anticipated releases of 2018 will be out later this year.

 

Original tag was created by ReadLikeWildfire and Earl Grey Books

Best book youโ€™ve read so far in 2018

Children Of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

It’s been months since I read COBAB and yet I can still recall specific details. I have terrible short term memory tbh but the world Tomi has created is so rich and the characters have so much depth that they’re pretty hard to forget. Also, COBAB had one of the best endings I’ve read this year cause what I wanted to happen actually happened ๐Ÿ˜‚ย and I reallllllly need the sequel Children of Virtue and Vengeance in my little hands ๐Ÿค—ย lastly, Jimmy Fallon has started a Summer Reads Book Club and COBAB is on his list. Head on over to cast your voteย if you loved it as much as I did!ย ๐Ÿ’œ

Best sequel youโ€™ve read so far in 2018

Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) by Zoraida Cรณrdova

Best in so many ways but mainly because it superceded the first book Labyrinth Lost which I also enjoyed. I really felt like Cรณrdova went into her writing room and gave it her all in this book. Not only was the supernatural world expanded in this sequel but the character growth & development was A++!!!

 

New release you havenโ€™t read yet, but want to

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by:

Ellen Oh, Elsie Chapman, Melissa De La Cruz, Julie Kagawa, Renee Ahdieh, Roshani Chokshi, Aliette De Bodard, Cindy Pon, Alyssa Wong, Sona Charaipotra, Aisha Saeed, Lori M. Lee, Shveta Thakrar, Preeti Chhibber, E.C. Myers, and Rahul Kanakia

“Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate.”

This first bit of the Goodreads blurb was honestly all I needed to read to know this was one I MUST read this year. I am picking up my copy on Saturday & yes It’s all I can think about. Check out my amazing friend Melanie’s review hereย ๐Ÿ–ค

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

Ok, there are way too many titles that fit this prompt if I’m being honest. I decided to go with Archenemies (Renegades #2) by Marissa Meyer. Recently it was announced that it was being extended to be a trilogy which made me so happy. After THAT ending in Renegades!!! how could I NOT?!?๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑย haha! ย high hopes, I have high hopes ๐Ÿค—

 

 

Biggest disappointment

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

No one is sadder than me with this one cause I really did think I was going to fall head over high tops in love with this one. Ultimately, there was some that I really enjoyed but MUCH that I did not. The positive is that the sequel or companion book being written will focus on the noir fairy tales written about in the Hazel Wood & that is what I loved most.

 

Biggest surprise

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Never did I ever think this tiny beautiful book would be so haunting! sucked me in and kept me entranced in this little town by the water. Still think about TWD & will MOST definitely re-read come this October. Also, Netflix will be adapting the book into a series & this just means more from this story which makes my ๐Ÿ–คย so happy!

 

Favorite new author (debut or new to you)

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

This Morrocan Inspired debut YA Sci-Fi book seriously took me by surprise! I tried not to include an arc in this tag but as I scrolled through my “Read” shelf I quickly realized this has been my year of reading sequels so nothing really fit the bill for “new fave author” & I’m also not trying to repeat my answers. Mirage honeslty wasn’t what I expected in the best way possible, spoiler free review linked above ๐Ÿ–ค

 

Newest fictional crushย 

Kalen from The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco

The feeeeeels over this hate-to-love/slow burn Bookworms!!! ๐Ÿ˜ย caught myself having to fan myself a FEWWW times smhย ๐Ÿ˜ณ๐Ÿ˜‚ย Would like some more Kalen in my life if the Book Gods allow ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ

 

 

Newest favorite character

Lemon Fresh from LIFEL1k3 by Jay Kristoff

Lemon Fresh has to be the MOST fun, loyal, roll with the punches character I’ve come across this year. Hyped to hear she’ll be getting her POV in the sequel ๐Ÿ–ค

 

 

 

Book that made you cry

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angleo Surmelis

This book hit close to home, it wasn’t pretty…it was brutal! which I fully expected going in with the knowledge the this was based on the authors own childhood experience broke my heart. My review contains Content Warnings.

 

 

Book that made you happy

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2)

I was lucky enough to read this earlier this year thanks to an amazing friend! ๐Ÿ–คย I have a review going up on July 6th as I am participating in the #MyPlainJane Blog Tour ๐Ÿ˜ƒย and gahhhh! is all that comes out when I try to put words into sentences! I LOVE the lady Janies, they are an amazing trio of authors who deliver humor and paranormal twists to the beloved Janes of well known classics.

 

Most beautiful book youโ€™ve bought so far this year (or received)

Circe by Madeline Miller

I caved & purchased the U.K. edition Of Circe & I have ZERO regrets! This book is STUNNING both with & without the dust jacket ๐Ÿ˜ย I mean the FOIL bookworms! THE FOIL! #WEAK ๐Ÿ˜‚ย I do have a Book Of The Month edition I purchased before finding out about the U.K edition. I’m running a GIVEAWAY for CIRCE that ends on 6/29 over on my Instagramย for the BOTM edition ๐Ÿ–ค

 

What books do you need to read by the end of the year

Strange the Dreamer by MY QUEEN LAINI TAYLOR

I thought about listing all of the books I consider a MUST READ IN 2018! but there’s really only 1 book sitting at the very top of my TBR & that’s Strange The Dreamer. I am a lover of all things Laini writes & I have this weird thing with my favorites that I do…I don’t read their books when I know their sequel is light years away. Ok just 1 year but it sure does feel like an eternity when nothing compares in writing style to your fave author. Whelp the time has come! I’ve already pre-ordered my shmancy U.K. exclusive edition with the shmancy red sprayed edges ๐Ÿ˜

Favorite book community member

This is such a tough question to ask because I honestly have so many bloggers I truly enjoy visiting & who I’ve developed genuine friendships with. That being said, the idea has been running around in my mind for quite some time now to compile a list and share the love. I also have come across many new bloggers with AMAZING content that I’d love to share with you all. Stay tuned for this bookworms! ๐Ÿ–ค


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The Books Under the Tree Tag

Happy Saturday Bookworms!!! I’m currently enjoying my Christmas Eve Eve with the family but I’m taking a little break to come in here & spread a little tag joy. The Books Under the Tree Tag was originally created by Game Of Tomesย two Booktubers that are new to me & I’ve already binge watched a TON of their videos, their channel is super cozy to watch. I was tagged by the wonderful Mel over @ Mel To The Any who I discovered just this year & OMYGAHHHH! seriously bookworms, check out her content & see for yourselves why she’s my newfound favorite!

Ok, it’s now 3:30am & I can’t sleep so I’ve returned to this tag since earlier today was hectic & I couldn’t finish. I’m beginning to wonder if my childhood excitement for Christmas Eve has stayed with me sub-conciously, keeping me up all night ๐Ÿค” not sure but my mind & body are not aligned ๐Ÿ˜‚ not saying I’m grinching it but…On to the tag โ˜ƒ๏ธ


What book would you like to find under the tree this year?ย 

ย There’s only one book I’m looking for under my tree & it’s the U.K. edition of The Bear and the Nightingale *sighhhh* sold out on Book Depository, I’ve got notifications turned on for a re-stock but I’m not confident in that happening. Instead I will be ordering a copy from AbeBooks as a Christmas/Birthday gift to myself ๐ŸŽ and maybe I’ll even have it gift wrapped ๐Ÿ˜‚


What is the best book you have ever received for Christmas?ย 

2 years ago my sister got me the Deluxe 1st Edition of Fables. It’s hardcover and pretty and I LOVE it! the illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and eye catching. 2018 is the year I binge Fables ๐Ÿค—

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile.
Di
the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society-within an exclusive luxury apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side-called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Bigby, Fabletown’s sheriff, and a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf, to determine if the culprit is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.


What book gives you all the Christmas feels?

Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling always stirs up Christmas feels for me. Specifically the arrival of the Beauxbatons & Durmstrang schools at Hogwarts. There’s also a Christmas tree scene in The Goblet of Fire movie that is pretty vivid in my mind…


What book do you plan on reading to put you in the Christmas spirit this year?

I’ve actually already done this when I picked up The Girl in the Towerby Katherine Ardenย in anticipation of snow & Christmas. Although this book isn’t about Christmas, there really is no other book (other than Harry Potter) that puts me in the wintery holiday spirit. Atmospheric and covered in snow, this sequel was the perfect book to put me in the X-mas state of mind โ˜ƒ๏ธ


What book have you read this year that you would like to throw out with the Christmas tree after the holidays?ย 

Ha! a bit of a mean one here ๐Ÿ˜‚ & I don’t typically have books that I’d toss out BUT there is one this year ๐Ÿ˜ฑ…I really had high hopes for my very first Andy Weir read & it just didn’t even come close to what others felt about his other book The Martian. In fact, it really made me feel uncomfortable so no, I don’t plan on keeping my copy.


What is a book from this year that you would like to place under a friendโ€™s tree?ย 

Mel & I have the same book in mind for this prompt & that’s because this book should be read by EVERYONE. I have my sister currently reading The Hate U Give & can’t wait to discuss the themes with her. Poignant, relevant, soul searching, impactful, and heart-breaking are only a few of the words that come to mind when describing this book. 2018 is the year we see it hit the big screen & I for one am trying to have as many loved ones read the book before then ๐Ÿ’™

 


Challenge: Create a stack of books in which the spines alternate green and red! Share the titles.

For more Bookish photos, click on the photo to follow LairOfBooks on Bookstagram

 


The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Who do you tag?

I am a bit late with this tag since it’s now officially Christmas Eve ๐Ÿ™ˆbut better late than never amiright? ๐Ÿ˜‚ If you’re in the mood to do this tag, consider yourself tagged but in the spirit of the holiday, here are a few bloggers I have in mind for this tag (no pressure bookworms, it is the day before ๐Ÿ˜‚)

Kristin Kraves Books

Socially Awkward Bookworm

Nerd Narration

WonderfilledReads


I wish you all a happy & wonderful holiday surrounded by those you love! ๐Ÿ’•May your trees have a few books from your WISH-LISTS (if not all) waiting for you to unwrap. I will return next week with my highly anticipated 2018 reads๐Ÿค—

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The Cookie Book Tag

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& I’m BACK with a tag this Sunday afternoon! I haven’t done a tag in a bit but I stumbled across this one over at Sara from Freedom Library  and thought why not?!?! it’s hella cute! I’m a HUGE cookie LOVER & this tag is only making me want to go to a pastry shop with my book which would probably work against my diet but YOLO right?!? smh lol. The creator of this tag is Nicole from Sorry, I’m Booked

RULES:

  • In addition to linking back to the person who tagged you, it would be awesome if you link back to Nicoleโ€™s original post!
  • Pick a book that corresponds to the cookieโ€™s โ€˜themeโ€™
    Have fun!
  • Tag 1 to 3 people

CHOCOLATE CHIP: A CLASSIC BOOK THAT YOU LOVE OR REALLY ENJOYED (INTERPRET CLASSIC HOW YOU WANT, IT CAN BE A CLASSIC WRITTEN 100 YEARS AGO OR 20 YEARS AGO)

I have 2 that I hold close to my heart: To Kill a Mockingbird & The Iliad, both of which I read in grade school & stirred up my love for classics. I was very young when I was reading most well known classics on my own because YA unfortunately was not yet a thing. One of my goals in 2017 is to re-visit some well known classics with my now adult mind ๐Ÿ˜‰

THIN MINTS: A FANDOM THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO โ€˜JOINโ€™ AND/OR A HYPED-UP BOOK YOU WANT TO READ (YOUR SOURCE(S) OF A BOOK BEING HYPED CAN BE FROM ANYWHERE)

Easy! The Falling Kingdoms series, I’ve slowly been purchasing the books in this series (from Bookoutlet) which already has a spin-off. I think what is so appealing about this series besides it being Fantasy is that it’s told in multiple POV’s which is my fave format in books. It’s going to happen soon, I’m going to binge these ๐Ÿ˜‰

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SHORTBREAD: AN AUTHOR YOU CANโ€™T GET ENOUGH OF

Recently my very first New Adult series & now i’m kind of going through withdrawals because besides one other book she currently has out…there’s nothing else to read from her…K.A Tucker my friends!!! I still faithfully check her social media for any nugget of info *crosses fingers* โค U GRAY 4 introducing me to my new obsession!

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SAMOAS/CARAMEL DELITES: AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER (THIS COOKIE WAS HARD โ€ฆSO ANY BOOK THAT MADE YOU FEEL MORE THAN ONE EMOTION, STRONGLY. THE CHOICE OF EMOTIONS IS UP TO YOU)

Sara at Freedom Library had an awesome pick for this one cuz More Happy Than Not definitely put me THROUGH it Gals & Ghouls! BUT alas, I’ll give the honors to a more recent read, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It was such a ride that I haven’t watched the movie yet, just not ready lol.

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OREOS: A BOOK WHOSE COVER WAS BETTER THAN THE STORY OR VICE VERSA, WHERE THE STORY WAS BETTER THAN ITS COVER

Ummm..LOL..I can’t go into this one too much because i’m still experiencing the dissapointment 700 pages later. I have a review for Empire Of Storms here in which I rated this 5th installment a 3.5 stars but since then it’s been bumped to  a 3 possibly even a 2.5…Jussayin…

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TAGALONGS/PEANUT BUTTER PATTIES: A BOOK THAT WASNโ€™T WHAT YOU EXPECTED (GOOD, BAD, OR JUST DIFFERENT, INTERPRET HOW YOU WISH)

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kauffman!!! THIS BOOK! Oh Goodness! I was so intimidated by the format of this book which is told in a series of e-mails, memo’s, and chat’s until I finally decided to take the plunge. NO REGRETS! BEST DECISION EVER! 1st book to make me jump off my couch yelling YES! YES! YES! such a good story & I’ve already reserved my copy of Gemina ๐Ÿ˜‰

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SNICKERDOODLES: A BOOK YOU MAY NEVER STOP REREADING/LOVING

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness…Crushed me in it’s beautiful sadness, through magical realism this story weaves a powerful tale that has stayed with me since the 1st day I opened it. I don’t do re-reads nor do I remember many details of books I read a year back cuz I just have terrible memory but not this book. A Monster Calls will be with me till I grow old…

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I tag the following lovely Book Lovers:

Gretchen at ChicNerdReads

Jillian at RantandRaveaboutbooks

Beth at Readingeverynight

Melissa at Booknerdmomo

Amanda at Cover2CoverMom

Stephanie at TeacherofYA’s Book Blog

Drew at TheTattooedBookGeek

 

 

 

Rapid Fire Book Tag

Thank you Drew over at The Tattooed Book Geek for tagging me on this. If youโ€™re not familiar with Drewโ€™s blog, head on over but be warned, all of his posts are filled with humor guaranteed to make you look quite crazy if read in public places.

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Tag Questions:

 

E-Book or Physical Book?

Physical book, I started my own little library at home & enjoy staring at my shelves for unusually long minutes at a time. I do however read e-books for my more lengthier reads (usually Fantasy/Sci-Fi) because if I want to finish a 700 page book, it’s gonna have to be at night while my tiny humans are asleep. Also saves my pages from humidity & sogginess when i’m hiding from said tiny humans in the bathroom (it has to be daddy’s turn some time hehe).

Paperback or Hardback?

Hardback, I can’t even look at a broken spine w/out wincing. In the 3rd grade I scored my 1st “job” working in the school library. Part of my duties were binding up damaged spines with thick colored tape…it was the saddest job ever & this includes my stint working in a pharmacy.

Online or In-Store Book Shopping?

In-store. I love EVERYTHING about the experience from the moment I step foot through those doors. The book smell, new releases front & center, the book lovers quietly browsing, member’s coupons combined with 30% off in store deals (this gal knows what she’s doing lol), and the high I get from walking out with a new book & bookmark in hand smh. I also order online & take advantage of some amazing deals/steals, but nothing quite feels the same as a book store for me.

Trilogies or Series?

Series. Unfortunately I haven’t found many trilogies that left me truly satisfied (exception: Red Rising trilogy). As long as the books being put out are good then I don’t mind continuing.

Heroes or Villains?

I always choose anti-hero (sorry Drew lol). There’s something about a potty mouthed, sarcastic, loner of a anti-hero that I’m always rooting for. I don’t see myself filling the shoes of a hero but i’m not a fan of many villains either.

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A book you want everyone to read?

The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks By Rebecca Skloot

Henrietta’s story filled me with sorrow & appreciation. So many of the vaccines & scientific/medical advances were made off the cells in her body taken without her consent.

Henrietta Lacks

Goodreads synopsis:

Henrietta Lacks, as HeLa, is known to present-day scientists for her cells from cervical cancer. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells were taken without her knowledge and still live decades after her death. Cells descended from her may weigh more than 50M metric tons.

HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bombโ€™s effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks was buried in an unmarked grave.


The journey starts in the โ€œcoloredโ€ ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s, her small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia โ€” wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo. Today are stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells, East Baltimore children and grandchildren live in obscurity, see no profits, and feel violated. The dark history of experimentation on African Americans helped lead to the birth of bioethics, and legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of.  

Recommend an underrated book?

Little Bee: A Novel by Chris Cleave

I can’t attach a synopsis for this book since the publishers didn’t want to give anything away about this story but I can promise you that it’s one worth picking up. On Amazon the following is listed for this book:

Little Bee

Amazon:

“We don’t want to tell you too much about this book. It is a truly special story and we don’t want to spoil it. Nevertheless, you need to know something, so we will just say this: It is extremely funny, but the African beach scene is horrific. The story starts there, but the book doesn’t. And it’s what happens afterward that is most important. Once you have read it, you’ll want to tell everyone about it. When you do, please don’t tell them what happens either. The magic is in how it unfolds.”

The last book you finished?

This Savage Song by Victoria Shchwab & it was DELICIOUSLY DARK! my review can be found here.

The Last Book You Bought?

It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover

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Weirdest Thing Youโ€™ve Used as a Bookmark?

Nothing weird recently but while on maternity leave…a clean diaper…a pacifier clip…I mean the possibilities were endless.

Used Books: Yes or No?

I have a few, there’s a store nearby the hubby’s office that carries some used books in tip top shape (yea I said that lol). For the most part I don’t buy used books because my mild OCD would drive me nuts at a torn cover or cracked spine.

Top Three Favourite Genres?

Fantasy, YA, & Literary Fiction

Borrow or Buy?

Buy. I don’t borrow because although i’m great at returning, I have learned that others are NOT. So in order to prevent anyone from asking, I don’t ask to borrow anything myself ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Characters or Plot?

Characters. I think in my last tag I mentioned that characters make the story for me, they are the ones that remain after i’ve turned the last page. My current read has me wanting to leave the characters in the dust as I high tail it out of that fictional world -_-

Long or Short Books?

Long. I like tomes, as long as by the time I reach page 500+ you’ve gotten somewhere important in thy quest.

Long or Short Chapters?

Short, I get anxious when I don’t see an end chapter in the horizon lol.

Name The First Three Books You Think Ofโ€ฆ

And I Darken by Kiersten White (soon to read anti-hero)

The Well of Ascension (Mistborn #2)…Need to read to catch up to hubby

The Lies of Lock Lamora…(thank you Drew, it’s now in my online shopping cart lol)

Books That Make You Laugh or Cry?

Laugh…PLEASE..put me in stitches!

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Our World or Fictional Worlds?

Fictional. Take me awaaaaaaaaaaaY! Far Far awaaaaaaaaaaaY!

 Audiobooks: Yes or No?

Yes. I do audible especially for memoirs narrated by my favorite comedians & Neil Gaiman…cuz he has the perfect story telling voice…In my mind he is my uncle lol (don’t judge)

 Do You Ever Judge a Book by its Cover?

Ha! after I said don’t judge…HELL YEA! it’s the 1st thing we see, I am terribly vein with my books *shame* not with real life people though.

 Book to Movie or Book to TV Adaptations?

I agree with Drew, either or if it’s done well but I have also seen it go horribly wrong.

 A Movie or TV-Show You Preferred to its Book?

World War Z (sorry not sorry)

 Series or Standaloneโ€™s?

OooOo tough one! I like both, can’t choose one here *don’t make me*

 

I Tag:

Dee at The Bookish Khaleesi

TeacherofYA’s Book Blog

Stephanie at Between Folded Pages

Amanda at Hanging With Amanda

Beth at Reading Every Night

Melissa at BookNerdMomo

 

 

This Or That Book Tag

& I’m back with my tags! I have a few to catch up on over the next week so for those who tagged me last month, don’t be surprised if you see me pop up in your feed now ๐Ÿ˜‰

Thank you Pierina Reads for tagging me!

This tag was created byย Ayunda @ Tea And Paperbacks & this one is all about your reading preferences, thank you for creating this tag!

Here are the rules:

  • Mention the creator of the tag
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you!
  • Choose one of the options, you donโ€™t have to tell the reasons why you chose that but you can also do them if you want to.
  • Tag 10 other people to do thisย tagย to spread the love!

 

Reading on the couch or in the bed?

I remember when I used to LOVE reading in bed, then I acquired a husband & 2 tiny humans lol. Now, I alternate between reading on my commute to work & my bathtub. Most of my reading is done on my 1.5 hour ride to/from work & I even have instrumentals on my phone ready to block out all of my fellow New Yorker’s.

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Male main character or Female main character?

So…ok…lol. I read another bloggers answer last night & commented on her post saying that I feel the same way. We agreed that our inner feminists were prob giving us the evil eye HAHA! I LOVE a strong female kick ass protagonist but I’ve mostly read male protagonists & really enjoyed them. It hasn’t been until recently that I started finding some of my most favorite female protagonists, mostly in YA Fantasy and can’t get enough of them!

Sweet Snacks Or Salty Snacks?

I’m not much of a snacker when I’m reading but there’s always that special night…IMG_1572

Trilogies Or Quartets?

Quartets Only if the the 3rd book was EVERYTHING & MORE! I’m greedy with my fictional characters.

First Person POV Or Third Person POV?

I enjoy a book with multiple POV’s especially when you get a big cast of characters you love. It’s like a special treat awaits me every time I start a new chapter & it’s my fave character’s POV.

Reading At Night Or In The Morning?

This is another habit that has changed for me, it used to be that I liked reading at night but now due to my life being re-arranged I actually enjoy my morning reading. Nights are reserved for my TV series.

Libraries Or Bookstores?

Bookstores ALL the way! besides the fact that my library exists only to deceive bookworms (Please see July Wrap up post for pics of my sad Library) LOL. I actually enjoy everything from seeing the new releases on their shelves to wandering from floor to floor inhaling my favorite smell in the world. Oh I get comfortable, Starbucks in one hand and B&N member’s coupons on the other…I make the most of these visits lol. Don’t even get me started on Strand Bookstore!

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Books That Make You Laugh Or Books That Make You Cry?

Laugh…the more the better. I can appreciate a sad book every once in a while but if a book can make me laugh in the middle of a crowded NYC train, then it’s an instant fave.

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Black Book Covers Orย White Book Covers?

Hmmm…I really love the look of the U.K. white covers, so crisp & beautiful. Now if the question was about the page color, I would say BLACK!

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Character Driven Or Plot Driven Stories?

Character. I love my character’s complex & love getting a ton of insight as to why they do the things they do. What drives them? In the end, I always fall in love with a good character & they are what remains after I read the last page.

I tag:

Laura@ReadingLust

Deertalesblog

TeacherofYA’s Book Blog

Kenyanlibrary

In A Bookish World

A book Lover’s Corner

The Jouska

Kourtni Reads

Meltotheany

Bookwish

Beauty & The Beast Book Tag

GASPPSSSS! I was tagged by the lovely Amanda @Cover2CoverMom for the Beauty & The Beast Book Tag created by Kirsty@Kirsty and the Cat Read.  I ADORE all things Beauty & The Beast, as Iโ€™m sure a ton of my fellow book lovers do. Thank you Amanda for tagging me, the questions have my wheels turning lol. You can read the original tag here โ†’ Kirsty and the Cat Read: Beauty & The Beast Book Tag.

Rules:

ยป Thank the person who tagged you

ยป Mention the creator โ†’ Kirsty @Kirsty and the Cat Read

ยป Match a book to each of the songs/characters below

ยป Tag as many people as you like

 

โ€œTale As Old As Timeโ€ โ€“ A popular theme, trope or setting you will never get bored of reading.

Beauty & The Beast

Iโ€™ve been unknowingly attracted to the trope commonly found in YA Fantasy where we get our heroine (itโ€™s usually a female nowadays, move over fellas) who has never fought a day in her life yet by the middle of the book has become a pro at kicking ass & taking names. I LIVE for this trope! Some of my favorites are:

Celeana Sardothien from the Throne Of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas

Feyre from the A Court of Thorns & Roses series by Sarah J. Maas

Karou from the Daughter Of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

Vin from The Final Empire (Mistborn) by Brandon Sanderson

 

Belle โ€“ A book you bought for itโ€™s beautiful cover thatโ€™s just as beautiful inside too

Belle

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows Of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton, This book is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. Filled with Magical Realism, a story of love & loss through 3  generations of women.

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Beast โ€“ A book you didnโ€™t expect much from but pleasantly surprised you

beast1

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness was not what I expected at all in a very good way! the cover alone on this book scared the beejesus out of me but I’m so happy to have listened to my bestie & picked it up. This book is BEAUTIFUL & tells a story I’m sure we can all relate to.

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Gaston โ€“ A book everyone loves that you donโ€™t

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Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas Although I love this series as a whole, my love for this series didn’t start until Crown Of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2). The reason being that I found Celeana to be extremely naive & overall just immature but only a Queen like SJM can take character development to another level like she did in this series. Very happy I decided to stay with this one.

Throne of glass

Lefou โ€“ A loyal sidekick you canโ€™t help but love more than their counter part.

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This honor can only be bestowed upon Iko the Droid from Cinder (The Lunar Chronciles #1) by Marissa Meyer. I enjoyed Iko way more than Cinder & only grew to love her more as the series progressed. Can’t wait to see her in the upcoming graphic novels ๐Ÿ™‚

Cinder-by-Marissa-MeyerIko_character_sketch_by_Douglas_Wolgate

Mrs Potts, Chip, Lumier & Cogsworth โ€“ A book that helped you through a difficult time or that taught you something valuable

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Every Last Word by Tamera Ireland Stone THIS BOOK!!!! every once in a while you come across a book you never knew you needed, Every Last Word was that book for me. This book tells the story of a girl struggling with the everyday issues of a high-schooler, only she’s doing so with OCD. Samantha McAllister is the popular girl in school with a clique of “Mean Girls” however, none of these girls knows that she battles OCD daily. The author Tamera Ireland Stone extensively researched OCD & it showed in this book. As a person who manages OCD on a lesser scale, this book will always be close to my heart.

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โ€œSomething Thereโ€ โ€“ A book or a series that you werenโ€™t into at first but picked up towards the end.

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The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman This trilogy was VERY slow…I considered DNF’ing it at some point during the first book but my love for all things resembling Narnia really pushed me to stay put. Again, very glad that I did because although slow at first, it did pick up by the end of book one & continued for the remainder of the trilogy. This is a very dark read, the characters are broody & unlovable (lol), the pacing can be slow but the pay off was huge ๐Ÿ˜‰

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โ€œBe Our Guestโ€ โ€“ A fictional character youโ€™d love to have over for dinner

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Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling…That would make for an interesting & quirky dinner that I would be all for!

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Iโ€™d like to tag the following bloggers to complete this book tag:

Gretchen @Chicnerdreads

Melissa@Booknerdmomo

Demi@Bookstraveller

Amanda@Hangingwithamanda

Morissa@Morissareads

 

 

 

 

 

NY Times By The Book Tag

1. What book is on your night stand now?

Currently I have Illiuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff. It’s been years since i’ve found reading in bed comfortable because my hubby falls asleep a bit earlier than I do and my phone’s flashlight is like a stadium light. Well, I solved this issue last night! I went to B&N and picked up a reading light…BEST THING EVER! IMG_0217

2. What was the last truly great book you read?

Hands down A Court Of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas !!! this being the 2nd book in a trilogy, made leaps & bounds from it’s predecessor A Court Of Thorns & Roses. I read this book in May and I’m still in that world with my favorite characters.IMG_0200

3. If you could meet any writer โ€“ dead or alive โ€“ who would it be? And what would you want to know?

My Queen J.K. Rowling! I read the Harry Potter series many many years ago and still want an 8th book (not a screenplay lol). I’d want to know how all my babies are doing. Which magical career paths did they end up in? How are their children faring at Hogwarts? the list of questions is endless really lol.

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4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

The Shatter Me series By Tahereh Mafi, I haven’t read these but i’ve owned them since last year when I discovered Bookoutlet and their AMAZING prices. This was more of an impulse purchase & I never read the synopsis.

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5. How do you organize your personal library.

I’ve tried several different variations for my 2 book shelves and can’t decide on which I like best. At the moment, they are organized by genre with one shelf reserved strictly for my immediate TBR…this will change again shortly lol.

6. What book have you always meant to read and havenโ€™t gotten around yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

I’ve been meaning to get to Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, it’s massive & typically this alone wouldn’t put me off however, this series has MANY MASSIVE TOMES! I have to mentally prepare for them ๐Ÿ˜‰

Outlander

As for anything I feel embarrassed never to have read? drawing a blank…

7. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you are supposed to like but didnโ€™t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo , the hype was real & I fell in love with the world however, I felt no connection to the characters. The ending fell flat BUT I’ve heard great things about Six Of Crows & I am looking forward to reading more about the Grisha’s.

grisha-trilogy-covers

I’m only now coming to accept that I may need to start DNF’ing, so I don’t have any books just yet that I haven’t finished.

8. What kind of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

Fantasy, anything with magical elements & some kick ass characters. I do prefer more complex magic systems & the characters to match them. The more layering, the more engrossing. I TRY to steer clear of any stories where females are portrayed in a negative light. Also, any stories with major stereotypes on any race, ethnic background, or gender.

9. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

The Game Of Throne series by George RR Martin, if anything it’ll teach him/her how to watch their back lol.

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10. What do you plan to read next?

I’m a mood reader which is why I fail epically at TBR’s but i’m hoping the next book I read is This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab.

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This tag has been making it’s rounds for a while now, so I nominate anyone interested in taking a stab at it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Review Me Before You By Jojo Moyes

Me Before You
Series: Me Before You #1
Published by: Pamela Dorman Books/Viking
Date of Publication: December 31st 2012 (first published January 5th 2012)
Genres: Contemporary-lit, Romance
Pages: 369
Format: Paperback
Rating: 5 Stars (previously 4.5 stars because REASONS lol)

 

Goodreads Synopsis:

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

 

My Good Reads Mini-Review AKA 1st Thoughts:

4.5โœจ I’m a bit conflicted with Me Before You, I gave it 4.5 stars because I am still very attached to the characters. Lou is now one of my fave female protagonists, she embraced her individuality like none other. I loved the witty banter between Lou & Will. Then there was the elephant in the room, often times I found that I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I’m still unsure where I stand on the topic of Euthanasia or assisted suicide. Overall I didn’t take this as a romance, it felt more like a story of friendship, hope, and human rights.

******SPOILERY******

After Thoughts (slept on this for a couple of nights):

Iโ€™ve come to the realization that if a book can linger in my head days after Iโ€™ve finished it, leaving me questioning my own beliefsโ€ฆsaid book was pretty darn GOOD! This was a contemporary romance that tackled the very real topic of Euthanasia & or assisted suicide very well. Each of the characters that loved Will Traynor (Our male protagonist) had their own ideals/beliefs on quality of life however, I appreciate the respect he was given by those closest to him. Will Traynor was introduced as a young & attractive guy on the fast track to success. The type of guy to close deals, wing big, and always get his way in the board room and in the bedroom. The guy who has a type…. tall, blonde, fun, & easy. His whole life was turned upside down by a motorcyclist, leaving him as a quadriplegic in need of around the clock care. After receiving physical therapy to alleviate the pain associated with muscle atrophy & a non-reversible diagnosis, Will decided to end his life through Dignitas

***PAUSE***

Google Search–> I had no idea this organization actually exists in Switzerland! On their web page in their About page it reads: โ€œDIGNITASโ€”To Live with dignity–to die with dignityโ€ this is where I put the book down, went to bed, and seriously tried to place myself in that situation. I tried seeing it from the perspective of a mother as well as the disabled and couldnโ€™t resolve where I stood. I decided to remain undecided & continued readingโ€ฆ

Willโ€™s mother asks that he re-consider and he makes a deal with his parents to give them 6 months. As a mom I can see how this must have been a desperate time to try & find anything that would change my sons mind. Enter Louisa Cark AKA Lou AKA Busy Bee, hired to be a companion for Will who had pretty much become a recluse.

I LOVED Lou from the start! Her odd or rather quirky fashion sense, selflessness, and subtle wit has made her a new favorite of mine. When she created her username Busy Bee to talk to an online community of people with the same or similar disability, she stole my heart! Lou was determined to reignite Will’s desire to live. In the process she developed some complex feelings for him made even more messier by the fact that she was already in a relationship. I can’t even remember his name that’s how much I disliked him so for all intents & purposes, let’s call him “Whatshisface” ๐Ÿ™„ I lost track of how many times Whatshisface talked about himself, his body, and his track time. Lou’s interactions with Whatshisface solely provided me with comic relief & tons of eye rolls. Lou’s self worth however, was very low. A result of what is insinuated to have been her being raped by a couple of guys she knew, while intoxicated. This also played into Lou’s sense of fashion. She figured that if she dressed weird or un-provocative, she wouldn’t warrant the attention of men.

Will- Although he found himself developing feelings for Lou, it never went past that. Lou goes about finding places for Will to vacation in & activities for quadriplegics on a 6mth deadline. The fact that Will managed to find enjoyment in watching Lou experience so many firsts and pushed her to LIVE was heartwarming. There was clearly chemistry between the two but there was also friendship. It was difficult at times seeing Lou go so hard (race track scene) to show Will that he could still enjoy some of the things he used to before his accident. Even harder were the final pages…time was up…Will had not changed his mind & instead asked for Lou to be by his side during his final moments. When Lou finally realized that ultimately this was Will’s decision & Will’s life, I felt like a weight was lifted off MY shoulders (yea I was that stressed lol).

MY dad, before he passed away, told me that death was hardest on the loved ones & NOT the person passing. I always wondered if this were true…for me, it was. The reason I loved this book & now it’s finale (I had to sleep on it) is that Will prepared Lou (and his mother) for his passing. He made the tough decision to end his life & by doing so, reclaims his life. He showed compassion & understanding for those affected by his decision til the very end. In the epilogue, we get the sense that some time has passed, Lou is in France in Will’s favorite cafe reading his letter while eating croissants & drinking coffee as per Will’s expert recommendation…I call this closure.

After much thought, I may not be so undecided anymore on the topic of Euthanasia & assisted suicide. This book led me to do some research of my own & for that alone I have changed my star rating. 

 

3 Days, 3 Quotes

A huge thank you to Chicnerdreads for tagging me to do this!

*Memory lapse yesterday, forgot to post my quote lol, I’m too young for this to happen ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜ฉ๐Ÿ˜‚

THE RULES:

1. Thank the person that nominated you
2. Post a quote 3 consecutive days
3. Nominate 3 new bloggers every day

โ€œI mean a fat, ugly man can still be funny and lovable and successful,โ€ continued Jane. โ€œBut itโ€™s like itโ€™s the most shameful thing for a woman to be.โ€ โ€œBut you werenโ€™t, youโ€™re notโ€”โ€ began Madeline. โ€œYes, OK, but so what if I was!โ€ interrupted Jane. โ€œWhat if I was! Thatโ€™s my point. What if I was a bit overweight and not especially pretty? Why is that so terrible? So disgusting? Why is that the end of the world?โ€ 

โ€• Liane Moriarty, Big Little Lies

I Tag:

Booknerdmomo 

Mybooksense 

Themysterycorner