May Wrap-Up & Book Haul…

Hola Hola Book Lovers! May was somewhat of a return to normalcy month for me after a rocky couple of months caused by health concerns. I kept my reading light (with the exception of one book that I mentally prepared for; The Mirror Season by Anna-Marie McLemore) and instead leaned more towards small towns both on Netflix and in real life. Road trips with the windows down paired with good music were my lifeline. New York City put on its best Spring dress after a long period of hibernation and like many others, I welcomed it with arms wide open (safely of course). Mother’s Day was SUPER special thanks to two tiny humans and my boyfriend who really marked the day with a variety of heartfelt gestures and gifts. Winter clothes officially went in drawers and out came my Spring/Summer dresses, shorts, skirts and sandals. My fridge is stocked with fruits for all your fruit bowl/smoothie/juicing needs. Last but not least, I went from drinking my Cafe Bustelo to Starbucks Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew cause ya girl is too hot to be drinking hot coffee. Summer is almost here Luvs!!!

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The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren (my review) -*4 Stars* The Romantic Comedy that had me once again pulling out all of my unread Christina Lauren books with plans to read this summer. Hate to love (sort of) romance, dating apps, BFF who writes the MC into her Romance novels, and super supportive grandparents. I smiled more times than I could count whenever Jess & Fizzy sat at the cafe talking about the odds of GeneticAlly truly finding their soulmate. This is one I’d watch a movie adaptation of in a heartbeat!  

 The Mirror Season by Anna Marie-McLemore – *5 Stars* I have yet to write my review and have no real promises to make. This was the hardest read I’ve picked up from one of my all time favorite YA authors. The subject matter being rape that is detailed on the page is utterly heartbreaking. To then read the afterward and see that it’s based on real life events the author and a friend lived through was devestating. This was still playing out in court in an open case at the time of publication and truly speaks to the strength of the author to bring awareness to something that many teens have experienced. I fully advise looking into content warnings. 

Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala – *4 Stars* My very 1st cozy mystery and it did NOT dissapoint! I was excited to see the author’s cover reveal of the sequel (Homicide and Halo-Halo) that’ll be releasing in February 2022. Arsenic and Adobo was a fun murder mystery set in a small town, following a Filipino MC who is trying to find her path after a rough break-up. She returns home where her many aunties descend and begin to apply some pressure with a lot of love. Fun & addictive!

Black Water Sister by Zen Cho (my review) -*3.5 Stars* We follow 23 year old Jessamyn who has left the states with her parents to return to Malaysia and find her footing. Jess is a stressed out Zillenial Queer trying to maintain a long distance relationship with her girlfriend who no one in her family knows about. That is why when she begins to hear voices she thinks it’s a byproduct of those stressors and NOT the ghost of her Ah Ma who she never met. Ah Ma is her grandmother who when alive, was a Medium for a quiet and mysterious spirit called Black Water Sister. Ah Ma needs Jessamyn’s help in settling a score on behalf of this God or risk her wrath. Dark but also well balanced with snark and humor between Jessamyn and her Ah Ma. I’d also advise looking into content warnings.

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston (my review) – *6 EPIC STARS* Save the best for last amiright?!? Truly wasn’t expecting this since I admittedly fell into the unpopular opinion of not really loving Red, White, and Royal Blue. I ADORED this book to pieces and the fact that it dropped on June 1st, the first day of Pride month is 100% apropos! If I start writing I’ll never stop so instead I ask that you click on my review link so that you can read my GUSH review on the Q train. That is all. 

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ARIADNE | THE HUNTING WIVES | LAST SUMMER AT THE GOLDEN HOTEL | REALM BREAKER | ILLUSIONARY | THE PRISON HEALER | SON OF THE STORM | BLACK WATER SISTER | THE INHERITANCE OF ORQUรDEA DIVINA (ARC)

It was a heavy on the Fantasy type of haul with the exception of my Book of The Month picks. Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard is very special being that it is the first Bookish Mother’s Day gift I received from my little human, she went straight towards the sword on the cover which made me so proud haha! Then I was sent a ARC copy of The Inheritance of Orquรญdea Divina from Atria Books (very thankful), Zoraida Cordova is a favorite author of mine so this was an exciting package to open. I LOVE the Fairyloot edition of The Prison Healer with its beautiful purple sprayed edges *heart eyes* Son of the Storm was an impulse buy while on a road trip, book store sighting always is a good reason to pull over. My review for Black Water Sister is linked up above in the Wrap-Up.

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CRUELLA (IMDB)

WOW! I should’ve known once I saw Emma Stone was chosen to play Cruella that it would be a solid performance. I was not prepared for this villains backstory but it is absolutely the BEST one I believe Disney has produced! While writing this post I had to stop and hop over to Spotify to download the soundtrack which was ON POINT! as were all of the costumes Cruella dons throughout the movie. The duality of this character is so well delivered that I honestly will always see this version as THE story of how she came to be who we all know. HIGHLY reccomend for those who love a good villain rising backstory, however It may throw off some of the younger viewers who only know the 101 Dalmations version. Still! This was EPIC!

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VIRGIN RIVER (IMDB)

My go-to for whenever I need a pick me up, are books and movies/tv shows that are set in small towns with a cast of characters that feel like family. This was it! Jess over at Litnoob on Bookstagram recommended Virgin River and from the very first episode I knew I would be binge watching the first two seasons on Netflix. We follow a nurse who has just lost her husband and decides to sell her house in L.A. and relocate to a remote Northern California town. The job ad she responds to online however, isn’t quite what it claimed to be. Instead she arrives at a beat down cabin, a curmudgeon doctor/employer, and a town full of neighbors who are ALL up in one another business haha! I LOVED it! anxiously anticipating season 3 streaming in July.


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WWW WEDNESDAY: 3/30/2021

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words and to participate all you have to do is answer the three Wโ€™s listed below. Once youโ€™ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Samโ€™s comments <3โ€™s!

The questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

Book Lovers, Is it really only Wednesday? this is one of those weeks where there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Coincidentally it’s also the week I return to work after some rest and recovery. The icing on the cake literally is my little girl turning 10! so yea, I’ve been donning my Wonder Woman cape to make it all happen and ending my nights with either a good book or episodes of Ginny & Georgia on Netflix which I sure do hope gets a second season *fingers crossed* By the time this post goes live I’ll probably be refreshing my USPS app in hopes that my copies of Wild Women and the Blues by Denny S. Bryce AND Rule of Wolves (King of Scars #2) by Leigh Bardugo arrive sooner than later *shimmies in chair*

What is the highlight of your week? not having a great week, plans for the weekend? perhaps new releases you’re looking forward to? Drop some Luv down in the comments <3’s!

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51813582Witches steeped in gold by ciannon smart

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“This Jamaican-inspired fantasy debut about two enemy witches who must enter into a deadly alliance to take down a common enemy has the twisted cat-and-mouse of Killing Eve with the richly imagined fantasy world of Furyborn and Ember in the Ashes” – Goodreads

I’m only a few pages into this highly anticipated Fantasy and even though I can’t really say much about my enjoyment, I will say that this style of writing is what I gel with best. I’m hoping it delivers on the character development front and that each sisters voice is distinct and well fleshed out. I’ve never read a Jamaican-inspired Fantasy and would love for this to be a new favorite, I’ll have a full review up here on the blog next week.

23766634._SY475_a court of wings and fury (a court of thorns and roses #3) by Sarah J maas

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I’m not one to read two books at a time in the same genre but the audiobooks for the ACO series are pretty hard to stay away from for too long. Feyre is in full spy mode here and has since acquired a new title, I’ll not spoil that for those who haven’t had a chance to get to this series but would like to. I also just got in the mail my new book sleeves from Illumicrate & GAAASSSSP! STUNNING! I’ll be posting photos over on Bookstagram as I make my way through the books.

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54304125the final revival of opal & nev by Dawnie Walton

Earlier this week I finished & 4 starred The Final Revival of Opal & Nev which hit shelves yesterday March 30th. I have a full review hereย I would recommend it to anyone who loved Daisy & the Jones and the Six but gets that although this shares many similarities…it stands on its own and has a whole different unique vibe. The characters will stay with you, good luck not googling them to see if they actually exist in real life *yes. yes I did*ย If audiobooks are your thing, I hear this has a FULL cast! I’m tempted to use my Librofm credit for a re-read.ย 

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55692620the soulmate equation by christina lauren

goodreads-badge-add-plus-71eae69ca0307d077df66a58ec068898ย “Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents–who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno–Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father’s never been around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard…and lonely.”ย 

I’ve only ever read one other book by Christina Lauren and have checked out the synopsis to a few others with no genuine interest up until now. The premise of this single mom entering a science experiment/dating app that matches you with someone based on your DNA is super intriguing. That it so happens to be the creator of the app only doubles my interest! I’m hoping this is the book that drives me to give some of their other books a shot. I will be reading this as soon as I’m done withย Witches Steeped in Goldย since it is a May release and I have a Netgalley ratio to work on.


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Continue reading “WWW WEDNESDAY: 3/30/2021”

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 ofย The Project by Courtney Summersย 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?ย I’mย looking for new recipes <3’s!

THE RAVENS BYย KASS MORGAN & DANIELLE PAIGEย  โœจ3.5ย ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ โœจ-ย ๐‘‡โ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘…๐‘Ž๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘›๐‘  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 couldโ€™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 โ€œkeep safeโ€ however Vivi doesnโ€™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 ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿฝ we get to meet these other witches and the powers they were gifted (Pentacles, Swords, Cups or Wands) from their family lineage. I didnโ€™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, Iโ€™m glad Fairyloot made this one of their picks! ๐Ÿ–ค

THE PROJECT BY COURTNEY SUMMERS (My Review) โœจ5ย ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ โœจMIND BLOWN at the amount of research that had to have gone into cults and their inner workings. From how youโ€™re targeted, to isolation, brainwashing and eventually the feeling that youโ€™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 HANNAHย  โœจ5ย ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ โœจ-ย 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 ASKARIPOURย 

๐ผ๐‘กโ€™๐‘  ๐‘กโ„Ž๐‘’ ๐‘‘๐‘ข๐‘ก๐‘ฆ ๐‘œ๐‘“ ๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘ฆ ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘Ž๐‘›๐‘‘ ๐‘ค๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘› ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘œ โ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘  ๐‘Ž๐‘โ„Ž๐‘–๐‘’๐‘ฃ๐‘’๐‘‘ ๐‘ ๐‘œ๐‘š๐‘’ ๐‘ ๐‘ข๐‘๐‘๐‘’๐‘ ๐‘  ๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘™๐‘–๐‘“๐‘’ ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ ๐‘  ๐‘–๐‘ก ๐‘œ๐‘›, ๐‘๐‘’๐‘๐‘Ž๐‘ข๐‘ ๐‘’ ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘’๐‘› ๐‘ค๐‘’โ€™๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘”๐‘œ๐‘›๐‘’, ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘š๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘ก๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘  ๐‘š๐‘œ๐‘ ๐‘ก ๐‘–๐‘ ๐‘›โ€™๐‘ก ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘Ž๐‘ก ๐‘ค๐‘’โ€™๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘ก๐‘œ ๐‘Ž๐‘ก๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘–๐‘› ๐‘๐‘ข๐‘ก ๐‘คโ„Ž๐‘œ ๐‘ค๐‘’ ๐‘ค๐‘’๐‘Ÿ๐‘’ ๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘™๐‘’ ๐‘ก๐‘œ โ„Ž๐‘’๐‘™๐‘.โ€
โœจ5ย ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ โœจ
๐ต๐‘™๐‘Ž๐‘๐‘˜ ๐ต๐‘ข๐‘๐‘˜
is a satirical take on one young black mans shot to stardom when he gets offered a โ€œonce in a lifetimeโ€ 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 ofย Sumwun, NYCโ€™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. Iโ€™ve lost track of how many times Darren has been asked whether heโ€™s been told by anyone that he looks like MLK or Sidney Poitier. This is the book that had me SMH saying โ€œthe audacityโ€ at the things white privileged men felt entitled to say to Darren. Darrenโ€™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 MORRISย  โœจ4 ๐‘†๐‘ก๐‘Ž๐‘Ÿ๐‘ โœจ- 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 geekinโ€™ 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 Kieraโ€™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. Iโ€™m absolutely already anticipating Morrisโ€™ 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”ย 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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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! โค

THE ROOMMATE BY ROSIE DANAN – (MY REVIEW)โœจ4 STARSโœจFUN, STEAMY & SEX POSITIVE

THE VOTING BOOTH BY BRANDY COLBERT – (MY REVIEW) โœจ4 STARSโœจย A TIMELY READ THAT BRINGS ISSUES WITH VOTER SUPPRESSION TO THE FOREFRONT

FAITH TAKING FLIGHT BY JULIE MURPHY – (MY REVIEW) โœจ3.5ย STARSโœจCUTE QUEER STORY ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS WITH SOME PACING ISSUES THAT MADE IT CHAOTIC TOWARDS THE END

ONE TO WATCH BY KATE STAYMAN-LONDON -(MY REVIEW)โœจ5ย STARSโœจย 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) โœจย 5 STARSโœจย THIS BOOK! AHHH! ALL THE FEELS, TRULY LEFT ME BAWLIN’ MY EYES OUT ON THE VERY LAST PAGE. THIS DUOLOGY ย IS NOW SITTING NEXT TO MY MY SIX OF CROWS DUOLOGY AS FOREVER FAVORITES

HIS & HERS BY ALICE FEENEY – (MY REVIEW) โœจย 4 STARSโœจONCE 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) โœจ5ย STARSโœจROMINA 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. ย 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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FRIDAY READS & THANGS…

Happy Friday Book Lovers! I’m a little all over the place today but I’m stoked to get the weekend started. This weekend I’ll be flexing my newly found green thumb skills as I expand my at home window garden. I really thought this was something I sucked at smh since my past experience with plants were TERRIBLE. Whelp! (many things I thought I would suck at have turned out to be quite the opposite, never doubt yourself luvs)ย I have managed to keep my succulent Leo alive since the start of this year. Many will ask themselves (like my good friend Taylor @Nerdnarration), how do you kill a succulent? well it happened to me 2 years ago & I was set on never letting it happen again. Leo is now ready for siblings & my BFF IRL is bringing me a seedling from his very own garden! excited for this & have already ordered a few things for their arrival. On the bookish front, I have started a contemporary set to be released in 2 weeks & a few single issue comics. I also have plans for some outdoor activities with my tiny humans in a safe social distancing space.

The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow #2) by Margaret Owen– I had no idea this was a duology but I’m so satisfied with how everything wrapped up! The world was further fleshed out as was the magic system & our MC’s were put through the wringer. I did NOT expect to finish it with tears in my eyes but it sure happened to be that way. I have a full review coming next week.

Wynd Issues 1 & 2 by BOOM Comics! –ย If you’re a fan of all things Fae then this will be one to keep an eye out for. I’m already craving more from this story & appreciate so much the plus size rep as well as there being POC characters. Wynd is a Fae Queer boy living in Pipetown where all with magic in their blood have been exiled. Wynd is in hiding, he was taken in by a family when he was just a baby left behind in a basket. The family has taken great risk in hiding him while the King has hired help to eliminate any found within his kingdom. There’s also talk of a land where those with magic live freely, can’t wait to read more!

A Man Among Ye Issues 1 & 2 by Image Comics– I love all things pirates but its the female pirate stories that have given me LIFE! this comic is based off of the real Irish Pirate Anne Bonny. We get a female MC who is very confident & just a bad a**! aboard Captain Jack’s crew. Other than Jack who may be a love interest, the crew is very sexist & anti Anne. Mutiny is definitely afoot. Now I’m not sure if she will remain on his crew or venture off based on how issue 2 left off. I am absolutely in need of issue 3 cause it seems we will be getting more female POC Pirates. I have a feeling this will be a favorite & I’m really hoping it gets a trade paperback *fingers crossed*ย 

The Roommate by Rosie Danan

House Rules:
Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online

This was about all I had read from the Goodreads Synopsis before I clicked on request on Netgalley. So far its been receiving really good reviews & I can see why. Since starting it last I found myself quickly going through the pages with no real want to put it down except for the much needed sleep. I’ve heard it’s a very sex positive read & that one of the MC’s has a profession not typically seen in books…I’m intrigued ๐Ÿ˜‰

“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power tells the tale of Adora, a teenager who can transform into the heroine She-Ra and leads a group of other magical princesses in a rebellion against the evil Lord Hordak and his Horde.”

I’ve just started watching friends & can’t stop! thank goodness for slow work from home days amiright? haha! there are POC & plus size characters that I have absolutely been charmed by. These characters have quickly become faves! Final thoughts will be in my August Wrap-up.


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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 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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April Monthly Wrap-Up & Book Haul

April was a month FULL of bookish events online like the Social Distance Book Festย & YALLWESTย that made it possible to attend Bookish events virtually. I personally was able to watch many panels for debut authors I’ve had on my radar as well as some favorites I’ve never had the opportunity to hear speak. For the Social Distance Book Fest, you can still watch the playlist on Youtube & they are ABSOLUTELY worth watching! My favorite panels included: Navigating Latinx Identity in Fantasy, New Voices in YA Science Fiction & Fantasy and Diversifying Romance. In the realm of books & what I watched, I’d say there really was NO method to my madness. I kinda just went with the flow & read when the mood hit vs. a more structured TBR. I also participated in Riley Marie & Ginger Reads Lainey weekend Smutathon as a last minute thing because by the end of the month my anxiety had seen a peak. Whenever this happens, I put the Fantasy heavy books to the side & go for some lighter reads. Now as far as what I watched…this has to be the STRANGEST month yet! Yes, Yes I did fall down the tiger hole that is the Tiger King & all things cats really smh! haha ๐Ÿ˜‰

These areย definitely not in the order I’ve read them but I figured I’d start with the steamy reads I p/u during Smutathon…

DESPERATE MEASURES – โœจ5 STARSโœจThis reimagining of the Disney Princess Jasmine was NOT what I had expected at all in the best of ways! With her kingdom snatched away & her father thrown off the throne, Jasmine is at the mercy of Jafar who now claims ownership of their lands as well as Jasmine herself. This is a consensual non-consent steamy read that will never allow you to see Jafar in the same light again! I among fully invested in all Katee Robert books & can’t wait to read the follow up with Hades & Meg as the MC’s.

THEIRS FOR THE NIGHT – โœจ4 STARSโœจย Another Katee Robert novella, this was the Smutathon Group pick. HIGHLY enjoyable with A+ chemistry, this one sets the stage for a new series that features a M/M/F relationship. Our female MC is out for the night celebrating her birthday & trying to forget about her ever mounting debt. With her best wing mate she hits up a lounge where she meets two hella mysterious guys who look good enough to make her consider a threesome. SUPER intrigued to see where this goes seeing as there may also be a royal twist? we shall see!

YOUR DAD WILL DO – โœจ4 STARSโœจOk so maybe it was an entirely Katee Robert weekend? SO WORTH IT! this author can write chemistry like no other! these short reads are packed with sparks that leave you wondering about the characters way after you’ve read the last page. This one features a taboo/age gap romance where the MC has just been dumped by her fiancรฉ. Plotting her revenge she shows up at her exes dad’s house with a plan to seduce. That she does! but also she gets a lot more than initially planned. LOVED this!

MY DARK VANESSA -โœจ4 STARSโœจย My darkest read yet! I don’t think any book has ever made me feel this uncomfortable. Following a MC in past & present tense, we get the story of Vanessa at the age of 15 as she is groomed by her teacher while at a boarding school. Present day Vanessa is still very confused about what to feel as she finds out she wasn’t the only one. That perhaps it wasn’t a special relationship she was having but actually a case of grooming. HEAVY trigger warnings for rape, suicide, drug & alcohol abuse.

RUTHLESS GODS – โœจ4 STARSโœจ (My Review)ย The follow up to The Wicked Saintsย took us to a very dark place! the characters we got invested in really show growth here & carry forth their battle wounds. The war between the Kalyazin & the Tranavians is reaching a climax with the underdog Kalyazin surprisingly flipping the script. There are some secrets that come to light & leave everyone questioning the Gods who may very well be more involved than ever. The war on land may just be a subplot to the real war taking place between the Gods. I’m READY for the final installment with will be mostly from Malachiasz’ POV…there is NO other villain in YA that currently holds a place in my heart like Mal! โค

FROM TWINKLE, WITH LOVE – โœจ3.5 STARSโœจ(My Review) This was an audiobook I’d say was just ok. I’ve heard from other fans of Sandhya Menon that this is their least favorite. I still plan on picking up When Dimple Met Rishi in the near future seeing as that’s an ongoing series with a strong fan base.

INCENDIARY – โœจ5 STARSโœจ(My Review) Saving the BEST for last! Zoraida Cรณrdova is my Favorite YA Fantasy author! bringing to our shelves Latinx representation in characters is something she’s been doing since the Brooklyn Brujas Trilogy.ย Here we have a Fantasy inspired by the Spanish Inquisition with a cast of characters that are being hunted & killed for their magical abilities. The Kingdom has turned its back on what they consider heretics & our MC Renata Convida at one point in her childhood was their most formidable weapon. Now that she’s back on the right side of the fence, it’s time to take down the Kingdom once & for all. BIG time page turner with tons of plot twists that will leave you jaw dropped!

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THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES | CHECK PLEASE! BOOK 2: STICKS & SCONES

 

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BEACH READ & VALENTINE

*These are all ebooks I found for either $1.99 or $2.99*

BLOOD HEIR | THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN | GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW | ONLY FOR A NIGHT | WHEN WE LEFT CUBA | DOMINICANA | XENI | RAFE | BRING ME THEIR HEARTS | KULTIย 

What can I say about the circus that is the Tiger King on Netflix? this documentary-series made me lose track how many times I asked myself & friends…Is this real? LMAO! SMH Joe Exotic is quite the unforgettable character & this is the story of how his Zoo of Tigers was shut down starting with Carol Baskin who is cat activist on a mission to “save the cats” or is she? the jury is still out on Baskin. I binged this in two sittings not for quality but just entertainment.

This documentary is three episodes that are also highly binge worthy. We follow a group of cat lovers as they track down & help in the ultimate take down of a cat/serial killer. If anything this opened up my eyes at just how easy it is to track anyone down as long as they’ve left an internet fingerprint. The Facebook group that pieced together this puzzle as the killer released videos of him killing cats was PERSISTENT! it became a game of cat & mouse that as a viewer is hard to look away from.


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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)ย ๐Ÿค—ย 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)ย 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 ๐Ÿ’“

ALL THE STARS AND TEETH BY. ADALYN GRACEย  โœจ5ย STARS โœจย 

THE WAY YOU MAKE ME FEEL BY MAUREEN GOO โœจ4 STARS โœจย 

ASHLORDS BY SCOTT REINTGEN โœจ4 STARS โœจย 

HEROINE BY MINDY MCGINNISย โœจ4 STARS โœจย 

DARK AND DEEPEST RED BY ANNA-MARIE MCLEMORE โœจ5ย STARS โœจย 

GET A LIFE CHLOE BROWN BY TALIA HIBBERT โœจ5ย STARS โœจ

WILD AT HEART BY K.A. TUCKER (RTC) โœจ5ย STARS โœจ

HEARTSTOPPER VOL. 1 BY ALICE OSEMAN (RTC) โœจ4 STARS โœจย 

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 ย 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 ๐Ÿ’“


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FRIDAY READS & THANGS

WHIMSICAL ILLUSTRATIONS BY ESRA Rร˜ISE

It’s Friday Book Lovers & I for one couldn’t be more thankful! last weekend I was in Philadelphia with my boyfriend, a city that’s quickly becoming a favorite for its rich history, food, awesome human beings & of course home of Rocky! ๐ŸฅŠย this weekend however is going to be more chill, staying local with a trip to one of my tiny humans favorite parks that offers up some good waterside scenic paths to ride bikes. I anticipate some down time (perhaps a smidge haha!) where I can squeeze in reading, most likely while meal prepping. I’m trying to get into the habit of always having an audiobook playing while multi-tasking & so far its been fun & productive. This week was pretty big for the YA publishing world with the release of SJ Maas House of Earth and Blood & Cassandra Clare’s Chain of Gold! ๐Ÿค—ย although I can’t partake in the Chain of Gold excitement just yet since I’ve yet to read Lady Midnight,ย I am wishing all those who are, a great reading experience! ๐Ÿ–ค

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL By the time this post goes live I’ll probably have finished listening to this audiobook from Libby. For the most part I enjoy choosing thrillers blindly since Synopsis tend to give away too much. This has been an interesting listen, not at all what I expected & I’m not sure yet if that’s a good or bad thing. This is a heavy on narcissism read where the MC becomes extremely co-dependent in a sick twisted triangle of sorts. Not in a romantic way at all but in a sick twisted spider caught in a web sort of way, my thoughts will be delivered in a spoiler free mini review.

HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD –ย This beauty is FINALLY out in the world & yes I’ve dropped all other physical reads to dedicate my time to this story. I’m not very far in it at all but I do now have a Kindle copy which will make it easier to read on my down time. This is SJ Maas’ first adult Fantasy & so far I’m getting all of the Urban Fantasy vibeZ I’ve been craving with complex world building for the win. High hopes here Book Lovers! HIGH hopes *fingers crossed*

DOCILE

There is no consent under capitalism

Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.”ย ย —I’ve heard from a few trusted friends that this is quite the compulsive read & I’ve really been craving my next sci-fi read. I’ve also heard this deals with very murky consensual sex

DEMON SLAYER VOLUME 1 – While In a Philly comic shop I was on my phone looking for some top Manga recommendations when I came across Demon Slayer. Instantly sucked in by the sibling relationship portrayed on the cover I went looking for the 1st volume which was sold out! turns out it’s a hit manga that’s already on Hulu & now I was set on getting my hands on it. I ended up getting a copy at a Barnes & Nobles where I read the first 20 pages & grew attached to the MC Tanjiro. More thoughts to come, I may just review this manga in batches as I go through the volumes which I predict will happen rather quickly ๐Ÿ™‚

Gentefied (Season 1) was mentioned to me by Jessica a Bookstagrammer (Litnoob) I enjoy watching for their stories & in depth bookish thoughts. Gentefied is about three cousins with many differences who come together to save their grandfather’s taco shop (YUM!) which is struggling in a LATINX community faced with gentrification. I was looking for my next Netflix binge & am so very thankful for this recc! โค


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January Monthly Wrap-Up

January was a month of much post holiday rest, organization, and goal setting. 2019 was a massive healing year for me which meant I focused more on Quality vs. Quantity reading last year to make room for new life experiences. January however had me back in the saddle with books on my radar for the rest of the year. It was also the month where I participated in my very first Readathon (SMUTATHON Wrap-Up) Challenge & had a blast! It was truly the BEST way to start off the new year, light & fun with a side of steam ๐Ÿ˜‰

Besides a ton of steamy reading, I also found my love for Netflix backlist shows like Schitts Creek andย continued with the latest season of Grace & Frankie. I also started Journaling, something I’ve been wanting to get back into for years but never quite took the steps & placed pen to paper. Writing has been truly cathartic in my journey to self alignment & self healing. As the new year takes off, I’m also keeping a small list of places/things I’d like to visit & do. I’ll include snippets of some of these trips in future wrap-ups as a way for me to look back on & share with you lovely readers ๐Ÿ™‚

The Loner’s Lady by Jessa Kane – โœจ2.5 STARSโœจย (SMUTATHON WRAP-UP)ย This age gap romance just was NOT my cup of tea haha! it felt very primitive & not my idea of a good time with a fake dating trope. I was generous here with my rating but in all reality it was a quick read that left me very underwhelmed.

Grading Curves by Naima Simone -โœจ4.5 STARSโœจย (SMUTATHON WRAP-UP)ย GOODNESS! SUPER SEXY! who would’ve known a tattoo parlor would host such potential for steam haha! Naima Simone is on my list of go-to authors for smut ๐Ÿ˜‰

The King Maker by Kennedy Ryan – โœจ4.5 STARSโœจ(SMUTATHON WRAP-UP)ย Kennedy Ryan blew me away with this very heavily researched read. A perfect balance between hardcore relevant topics & romance, this one I definitely plan on reviewing here on the blog. This is a age gap romance I can get behind & best of all it follows our characters over the years from the time they met in their 20’s to present day. Can’t wait to read the sequel in the All the King’s Men Duet,ย The Rebel King.

The Headmaster by Tiffany Reisz – โœจ5 STARSโœจ (SMUTATHON WRAP-UP)ย Gothic Romance fever anyone?!? YEA that’s what Tiffany Reisz left me with after finishing Headmaster. I’mnot sure why but it gave me the same vibes I felt while reading Cassie Clare’s The Infernal Devices if only for the steam punk atmosphere. SO worth it especially if you dig Paranormal Romance.

SKYWARD by Brandon Sanderson – โœจ5 STARSโœจย (MY REVIEW)ย I wouldn’t be surprised to see SKYWARD make my end of the year TOP 20 of 2020! it gave me such an adrenaline rush & reminded me of my experience with Pierce Brown’s Morning Star. Not just cause of the camaraderie between the pilots but also because of the flight patterns & attacks that really jump off the page and pull you in. I already have secured a copy of the sequel STARSIGHT & a more happier little bean I could not be *jazz hands*

Beautiful Dreamer by Melissa Brayden-โœจ5 STARSโœจ(SMUTATHON WRAP-UP) This F/F Romance legit transported me to a small beach town & immersed me in every single characters lives like nobodies business! UGH! I did NOT want to leave & the characters who are the epitome of polar opposites had me shipping them so hard all throughout. I have a list of Melissa Brayden backlist books I will be reading throughout the next couple of months… the Next one on my radar is Strawberry Summer thanks to the wonderful Leigh Kramer who I appreciate wholeheartedly! โค a whole review will hit this blog in the very near future, currently I’m reading faster than I’m writing SMH! haha!

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – โœจ5 STARSโœจย (MY REVIEW)ย on the Cuteness Meter, this one smashes the scale! This is another read that I may throw into my top 20 of 2020 but we shall see. I laughed & enjoyed the character interactions so much so that I traded in sleep haha! I have a full review linked above.

Ok soooo I may have binged almost all 5 current season of Schitts Creek onNetflix…I say almost cause in typical Lilly fashion I stopped myself from watching the last 3 episodes of season 5. I’m not a fan of endings & even though there is currently a season 6, I have to wait for it to hit Netflix sooo yea LOL! I had HUGE doubts about this show but JEEZ am I so happy I decided to give in & start this show. It appears to be super pretentious & ridiculous but I promise you there’s so much more depth to these characters. Ultimately it’s the reason I’ve fallen back in love with Netflix so if there are any shows that offer up this much comedic relief, please drop them down below in the comments Luvs!

OK! Bragging rights here cause my BF did NOT think this one was worth us going to see in theaters. WHELP! boy was he happy we went cause this was so GOOD! & possibly not the end of this franchise *fingers crossed* the boys are back & although they’ve aged just a bit, that does NOT stop them from getting back behind the wheel & catching them some bad guys…Ok well Marcus played by Martin Lawrence needs a bit of convincing & it is EVERYTHING seeing this duo back in action.


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