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 ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜Œ๐Ÿ˜‚ย 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.ย 

HERE TO STAY BY ADRIANA HERRERA – โœจ4.5ย STARSโœจย (My Review)ย I 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

FOREST OF SOULS BY LORI M. LEE – โœจ4 STARSโœจ (My Review)ย This 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 – โœจ5 STARSโœจ(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 – โœจ5 STARSโœจ(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 – โœจ5 STARSโœจ (My Review)ย Save the best for last? I don’t know cause Mexican Gothic really competes withย You Had Me at Holaย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ย 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 afterย Unsolved Mysteries.ย 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 inย Unsolved Mysteriesย 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! โค


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July 2019 Wrap Up

How are we already in August?!? ๐Ÿ˜ฑ I guess what they say is true, time flies when you’re having fun ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ admittedly this means my reading took a hit cause I’ve been really enjoying life & having some amazing experiences I’ll never forget ๐Ÿ’“ As we approach the end of Summer, the itch to pick up my books has struck & I’m sOoO ready to give in! ๐Ÿค— 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 ๐Ÿ™ˆ๐Ÿ˜‚ 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 LIFE๐Ÿ”ฅ), now I tell myself one more lap = one more chapter โœ”๏ธ They’re also amazing when I’m in the kitchen learning new dishes to make for my two tiny humans ๐Ÿค—

A Princess In Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) by Alyssa Cole โœจ5 STARSโœจBoth 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 โœจ5 STARSโœจI 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 ๐Ÿค— RTC

With The Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo โœจ5 STARSโœจ(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! ๐Ÿ’œ (My Review)

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager โœจ3.5 STARSโœจ(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 ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚ #noregrets

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo โœจ3 STARSโœจ 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! ๐Ÿ˜


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 ๐Ÿ˜ my Netflix Queue is out of control (shhh! don’t spoil ssn.3 Stranger Things) & my apartment has felt neglected ๐Ÿ˜‚ but I hope to make time  soon for a little time-out where I just snuggle up with books, Netflix, and tea ๐Ÿ˜


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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 inย  #Smutathon & read some awesome Contemporary titles, special thanks goes to Melanie for keeping us on track with them buddy reads haha! โค 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 Banghartย โœจ3 STARSโœจย 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 thisย duology.

The King Of Bourbon Street by Thea De Salle–ย โœจ4.5 STARSโœจย (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 positivityย (except for theย cover) & LGBTQIAP+ Rep. I look forward to continuing on with theย rest of this series ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guilloryย โœจ4 STARSโœจA 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.ย 

Check Please! by Ngozi Ukazuย โœจ5 STARSโœจย (Mini RTC)ย 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 ๐Ÿ’“

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton โœจ5 STARSโœจย (RTC)ย 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 ๐Ÿ–ค

Scream All Night by Derek Milman โœจ4 STARSโœจย 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 atย 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 thatย anything I’ve ever read & it worked, I was engaged all throughout & enamored by Moldavia studios and itsย inhabitants ๐Ÿ–ค

Josh and Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating by Christina Lauren โœจ4 STARSโœจย (RTC)ย ย 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! ย More thoughts to come next week ๐Ÿ–ค

The Black God’s Drum by P. Djรจlรญ Clark โœจ5 STARSโœจย (RTC)ย I just need this to beย made into a full length novel cause itย absolutely left me wanting more from this world. Mostย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜‚ย 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 friendsย = a VERY good time! ย I rated this one 5 STARS!

 

 


Hope you’re all having a FAB August! It’s setting up to be anย exciting month for me with my firstย vacation in over 10 years! LOOOOOONG overdue but oh how sweet it will feel taking that ride onย the Hogwarts Express?!?! ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑ๐Ÿ˜ฑย I know I’m a bit late with this wrap-up so instead I’ll end this by asking,ย what books are on your night stand? ๐Ÿ’“


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July 2016 Wrap Up & Haulย 

July July!!! Hit me by surprise when I checked my Goodreads to see what I read during the month of July, a total of 8 books/graphic novels. One of the books that I read was actually a Library book, my first in over a decade. Stepping foot into my Library felt like a blast from the past for about 10 seconds before I eyed the empty shelves. Now, my Library is located in Williamsburg Brooklyn which for those who arenโ€™t from NYC, happens to be hipster central nowadays. Itโ€™s walking distance from luxury condos (Iโ€™d probably have to sell a kidney for 1 monthsโ€™ rent), art galleries, tons of coffee shops, andโ€ฆ you get the picture right? I was under the impression that my 1st visit would be met with a beautifully stocked Library & when this was not the case, I had a ton of questions for the Librarian who didnโ€™t look quite too happy to be approached. Turns out, theyโ€™ve gone digital & a request for a book can be made online so that the book may be delivered to your local branch for pick up. This all sounds great since now you can almost guarantee youโ€™ll get the book you are looking forโ€ฆ. yetโ€ฆI still felt some sadness over the bare shelves that during my childhood held stacks & stacks of adventures and stories.
The top floor held some of my fondest memories with my mother (sadly, there arenโ€™t very many). My mother would stay in the poetry section reading love poems and writing them in her notebook while my sister & I stacked up on Goosebumps & Sweet Valley High. Sweet memories that Iโ€™ll cherish while living in this modern world ๐Ÿ˜‰

On to my Wrap Up:



The Fireman by Joe Hill– 3.75 Stars

https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/08/02/review-the-fireman-by-joe-hill/

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman– 5 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/11/review-illuminae-by-amie-kaufman-and-jay-kristoff/

Chasing River by K.A. Tucker– 5 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/review-chasing-river-by-k-a-tucker/

Surviving Ice by K.A Tucker– 4 stars
https://lairofbooksblog.wordpress.com/2016/07/27/review-surving-ice-burying-water-4-by-k-a-tucker/

Graphic Novels- I went on a Saga spree with NO regrets! I was going to review them in the blog but I was absorbed by the binge SMH so Iโ€™ve linked my mini reviews, more like โ€˜feelsโ€™ & after thoughts lol

Saga Volume 3– 4 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1696157127?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 4– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1697036687?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 5– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1350882555?book_show_action=false

Saga Volume 6– 5 stars (link to my Goodreads mini review)

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1641774601?book_show_action=false

July 2016 Book Haul:

In the month of July I came across some amazing deals that demanded I suspend my book ban for a bit ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ but I can honestly say that with the exception of The Walled City, I was actively looking out for these titles๐Ÿ˜Š

For those interested in ‘booktography’ hehe…please follow me @Lair_Of_Books (link at the very top of the blog page)

& On a sick day my hubby brought home these two beauties ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿ˜