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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SPOILER FREE REVIEW: THE LAST HOPE (THE RAGING ONES #2) BY KRISTA & Becca Ritchie

Title: The Last Hope (The Raging Ones #2)

Author:ย Krista & Becca Ritchie

Pub. Date:ย August 13th 2019

Genre: YA Sci-fi

Format: eGalley

Publisher:ย Wednesday Books

Pages:ย 400 Pages/12 hours & 53 minutes

Rating:ย 3.75 Stars

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLES | AMAZON

*This is the sequel to The Raging Ones & although it is a spoiler free review for The Last Hope, you will get spoiled for The Raging Ones*

Taking off right where we left off, our three main characters Court, Franny & Mykall have been captured and are accused of being humans and not Salterians. Turns out there is a huge war taking place between Earth & Saltare with Earth being at a huge disadvantage. Saltarians all know their death days from the day they are born & as such have made great strides in winning the war against Earth. The trio are rescued at the very beginning of this story by Stork, a new character in the mix who has sought them out as part of his plan. Stork holds his cards close to his chest, he’s on a mission to even out the playing field between Earth & Saltare. Plotwise,ย The Last Hopeย had a lot going on with many twists & turns. Ultimately though, towards the very end it felt as if too much was thrown into the pot which made the story feel off kilter. That being said, the driving force for this book is the bond shared between Court, Mykkel, and Franny. I LIVE for character driven stories which is what made me LOVEย The Raging Onesย when I picked it up in 2018. Reconnecting with these characters once again makes you feel like you’re experiencing a rare bond that is truly unconditional. This time around Franny gets a love interest which I was full on hoping for. If anything, I only wish we’d had more time for their relationship to be as fleshed out as Court & Mykkels. Connected by taste, touch, and smell these characters EVERYTHING is intertwined. Some steam was brought this time around as these characters explored their passions & tested boundaries.

The Audiobook experience delivered A+ performance, told by way of multiple POV’s we got to experience Mykkel’s accent which for me at least gave me Viking Babe VibeZ haha! Court ever the intellectual is always stuck in his head & trying to put others before his needs. Franny a Fast Tracker who has ditched a life of drugs for the connection she has with Court & Mykkel. The romance between Mykkel & Court will forever go down as one of my favorite ships. These guys are from completely different backgrounds but there’s a deep tenderness in every interaction that will have you rooting for their love. I loved being back in this world but it was our new character Stork that truly gets the award for stealing the show. I LOVED Stork’s sarcasm! He’s someone who was dealt a crummy hand but managed to make the best of it & carries with him a deep appreciation for those who saw to his well being. It’s hard to believe our story has come to an end but it was a satisfying one at the very least. This being my first experience with Krista & Becca Ritchie’s books, it’s safe to say I’ll be looking into their backlist titles throughout the year ahead ๐Ÿ™‚


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Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday was created byย The Broke and the Bookishย in June of 2010 and was moved toย That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This weeks topic spotlights the top 10 Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019!!! I thought I’d have trouble with this topic since It’s been a very slow bookish year for me however, it turns out I have closer to 20 smh. For this list I’ll keep it to 10 but Yikes! my Goodreads is Poppin’ now ๐Ÿ˜‚ย …yeaaaaa I lied! ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธย there are 12 & I would’ve felt bad leaving any of these out! ๐Ÿ–ค

June 17th: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019

The Good Luck Girls (The Good Luck Girls #1) by Charlotte Nicole Davisย – Described as Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Taleย ๐Ÿ˜ฑย who wouldn’t stop dead in their tracks & with a STUNNING cover to match?!?! ๐Ÿ˜ย Historical Fiction/Fantasy, this one is about children who’re sold to a “welcome house” where one is accused of murder. they escape & are on the run from both human & inhuman forces.

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jonesย -YA Fantasy/Horror, honestly the synopsis mentioned a few things that made me go OOooO! ahhh!: Fae, Mapmaker, Corpses coming back to life & a decades old curse. Fascinating!

Kingdom Of Souls by Rena Barron– STUNNING cover! ๐Ÿ˜ย this is one I’ve been following closely on Twitter. As soon as I heard Witch Doctors my soul did a little shimmy ๐Ÿค—ย this one features a MC who is having difficulty calling on their powers. Pretty soon, she may just have to go to her last resort & exchange years of her life for magical powers. INTRIGUED!

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern– Full transparency here, Erin Morgenstern could write up a grocery list & I’d soak it in! ever since reading The Night Circus years ago, I have searched the internet for any morsel of info on when if ever we’d get a new book by this author. Whelp! not only are we getting it but it has PIRATES in it! ๐Ÿค—ย “a timeless love story set in a secret underground world–a place of pirates, painters, lovers, liars, and ships that sail upon a starless sea.”

Serpent & Dove (Serpent & Dove #1) by Shelby Mahurin– YA Fantasy Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.”ย I am MOST intrigued by this one, with lines in the synopsis like “The war between witches and Church is an ancient one”ย we get the story of a witch who crosses path with one who has taken an oath to the church to kill all witches. They are somehow wed & I’m just wondering how that happened and what the repercussions will be…

The Revolution Of Birdie Randolph by Brandy Colbert“Perfect for fans of Nina LaCour and Nicola Yoon comes a novel about first love and family secrets ย from Stonewall Book Award winner Brandy Colbert.”ย I’ve been meaning to get to Brandy Colbert (have Little & Lion hauled) & then I see for fans of Nina LaCour…YASSS PLEASE! ๐Ÿ˜ย YA Contemporary/Realistic Fiction; this one features a MC who is trying to please her parents by sticking to studying at all times until she meets a boy who is sweet but has a troubled past. We also meet her aunt who moves in after leaving a treatment facility for addiction. I can already tell this one is right up my alley & I will most likely love! also…it’s set above a hair salon & I’m here for that! ๐Ÿค—

Steel Tide (Seafire #2) by Natalie C. Parker“The second book in a heart-stopping trilogy that follows the captain of an all-female ship intent on taking down a vicious warlord’s powerful fleet.”ย This is one of the sequels I am HIGHLY anticipating! after reading Seafire last year & LOVING it! I’m due for a dose of Caledonia & crew. I can’t really go into detail this being a sequel & all however, If you love pirates & are looking for a feminist take then I’d say this one is def worth a shot! ๐Ÿ–ค

Tarnished Are The Stars by Rosiee Thor The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.”ย I mean it’s like they know exactly what to say to hook me in! ๐Ÿ˜ฉ“A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher’s chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog — donning the moniker Technician — to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner’s tyrannical laws…I’m long overdue for a f/f romance ๐Ÿ˜

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo– Ha! when my Dark Queen writes ANYTHING! all else fades ๐Ÿ˜Œย this is a boarding school Fantasy & I was blessed enough to have a friend lend me her copy sooOo this ism next read & I legit can’t contain my excitement ๐Ÿค—

Children Of Virtue and Vengeance (Legacy Of Orรฏsha #2) by Tomi Adeyemi– Last year I readย Children Of Blood and Boneย which left me with quite the book hangover. This is the sequel & so in the spirit of staying spoiler free, I’ll just say that COBAB ending was EPIC! ๐Ÿ”ฅย the world building is A+ and if you’re a fan of sibling relationships, well written magic systems, and a MC who rides a giant Tiger then I’d say def give this one a go ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Never Tilting World (The Never Tilting World #1) by Rin Chupeco–ย I fell in love with The Bone Witch trilogy & now we get a Duology by my new fave author?!?!ย ๐Ÿ’“ย “Frozen meets Mad Max in this epic teen fantasy duology bursting with star-crossed romance, immortal heroines, and elemental magic, perfect for fans of Furyborn.”ย …Two things here that had me nodding yes! Frozen & Furyborn ๐Ÿค—ย Unlike Ana & Elsa though, the sisters (Twins) in this story are torn apart by a betrayal. Their worlds are literally split in half & they’re set to rule apart. Each sister is raising a daughter & circumstances make it so they must come together and save their world. This is one of the arcs I wasn’t able to get at BEA & so my wait begins…worth the wait! ๐Ÿ–ค

Gideon The Ninth (The Ninth House #1) by Tamsyn Muir– I need all the Necromancy books to line right up & proceed to making themselves comfy on my nightstand ๐Ÿ˜Œย This one leading the pack, LGBTQIAP+ Sci-Fi Fantasy…Lesbian Necromancers…sitting here wondering if it’s too soon to count down to September *taps fingers*

The Emperor needs necromancers.

The Ninth Necromancer needs a swordswoman.

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

I need nothing more than this ^^^


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SEPTEMBER BOOK HAUL

Hello Bookworms! I haven’t done a book haul since July here on the blog (book buying never stopped)ย & that’s because during the end of August/beginning of September I was on vacation. My first one in over 10 years & it was the most magical & happiest place on earth…more to come -pictures too- in my Wrap-Up. In September I got two subscription boxes and one Exclusive Box. My Kindle probably saw the most love during September & I’m kind of happy it worked out that way cause I’m way overdue for a un-haul & cleansing of my physical shelves. I’m really excited for the books that I did haul, they’re titles I have been eagerly anticipating and can’t wait to dive into. We’ll start this haul off with a little Gosling appreciation *heart eyes*

Image result for i see books memes

 

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From Here To You | Unbroken 13 Stories Starring Disabled Youthย (my review)| City Of Ghosts | For A Muse Of Fireย (Litjoy Crate) | Darius The Great Is Not Okay | Vengefulย (Owlcrate Exclusive Edition)| Mirageย (Fairyloot)| Archenemiesย (#Booksfortrade)| Shadowhunters & Denizens of The Downworld | City Of Bones 10th Anniversary Editionย (Gift from the hubby)| Runaways Vol 1

FAIRYLOOT

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Mirage (my review) by Somaiya Daud

I read Mirage as part of a ARC Buddy read & was surprised in a good way to find that it’s a Sci-Fi Fantasy. I wasn’t expecting the sci-fi aspects but loved every bit of the world building this 1st book delivered. As for the FL box, with the exception of the shoelaces (major side eye)ย I’m really satisfied with the contents of their September box. My fave items are the art prints, notebook, and candle…although if I’m being honest I can’t smell anything from these teeny tiny candles so it’s more for the label *shrugs*

Fairyloot art prints & apron with quote

Owlcrate Vicious & Vengeful Exclusive Edition

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BOOK OF THE MONTH

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The Silence Of The Girls | The Mermaid And Mrs. Hancock

*Making an active effort to read these sooner rather than later ๐Ÿ˜‰

KINDLE & AUDIBLE

The City Of Brass | The Last Namsara | Evidence Of The Affair | Atheists Who Kneel and Pray | The Poet X (Audible) | Pride (Audible)

*Review for Pride goes live on 10/4*

eGalleys

Enchantรฉe | 99 Percent Mine | The Devil’s Thiefย (Blog Tour & Giveaway!!!!) |ย The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried | Slayer | Crown Of Feathers | Serious Moonlight | The Kingdom Of Copper


Hello Bookworms! I hope you’re all having a wonderful day with your next best read โค The next two weeks are HUGE in the publishing world with so many great newย releases what are some you’re excited to see hit the shelves? Sound off in the comments down below ๐Ÿ˜‰


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June Wrap-Up + Book Haul…A Little Bit Of This & A Little Bit Of That ;)

Hello Bookworms! When this goes live I’ll be counting down the last few hours in the office before I can do my FriYAy Dance ๐Ÿค—ย it’s been a long week & I am thrilled to finally start the weekend *huge sigh of relief* I’m actually participating in the #Smuthathon Readathon hosted by the lovely GingerReadsLainey & RileyMarie over on Booktube & so far it has been a awesome new experience ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผย Those of you lovely readers that have been around this blog for a while now know that I primarily read YA Fantasy/Fantasy however, sometimes a gal needs a pallette cleanser ๐Ÿ˜‚ย I am finding enjoyment in the books that I’m reading & so you’ll see the occasional New Adult, Rom-Com, or smutty read review on Lair Of Books. If this happens to be your wheel house, please leave me some recommendations in the comments down below ๐Ÿ’œย For those who love Fantasy, fear not! I have a ton of titles I’ll be reading & reviewing throughout the rest of the year ๐Ÿ˜‰ย But 1st, let’s Wrap-up June…

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoffย (Unique AF! Kristoff really built a world from scratch including the slang, never read anything like this)โœจ4.5 STARS โœจย 

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (Audiobook, not exactly what I was expecting–RTC)ย 

The Queen Of Crows (The Armored Saint #2) by Myke Cole (Really hoped this would’ve gone a different way but still hoping for a strong follow-up–RTC)

Whisper Of The Tide (Song of the Current #2) by Sarah Tolcser (Favorite read of the month! EPIC & satisfying end to this duology)โœจ5ย STARS โœจย 

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (a taste of Winter to to cool off in this summer heat, spell-binding!)ย โœจ4.5 STARS โœจย 

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Fairest Of All: A Tale Of The Wicked Queen | VICIOUS | A Thousand Beginnings and Endings | BRUJA BORN | The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding | My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) | Smoke In The Sun (Flame In The Mist #2)| The Death Of Mrs. Westaway | Legendary | WARCROSSย | Motor Crush Vol. 1

JUNE FAIRYLOOT

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Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghartย (RTC Grace & Fury was a 3.5 star read for me; favorite item in this box is costume mask necklace. Would’ve LOVED the journal if it was for a full year, instead it covers July-December 2018)

JUNE BOOK OF THE MONTH

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoangย (Recently found out that this is a series and after reading & listening to so many rave reviews, this is exciting news!!! really looking forward to this read)

Season 2 binge of Luke Cage was even better than expected! This is a Netflix show I really enjoy watching with the hubby for so many reasons! Ok, for me it’s all about the Wutang soundtracks Luke listens to while he kicks a** ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผย Luke is so old school & the show reflects that. The first season really made me fall in love with this show but season 2 solidified that love ๐Ÿ’“ย Luke is going through a transformation of sorts & by the very end he isn’t the same man we’ve come to love and trust. Also, we get introduced to a new character who challenges Luke & I surprisingly ended up enjoying. Why of why did it have to end? season 3 where are you?


June was one of those months that had me feeling off kilter which was mostly due to Bookcon at the very beginning of the month. I didn’t expect to read much of anything but ended up happy withย the 5 books that I did finish. Surprisingly, I didn’t watch any movies. July however is already off to an AMAZING start so stay tuned for a more exciting Wrap-up/Book Haul for this month ๐Ÿ˜‰


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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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GUSH Spoiler Free Review: The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco

Title:ย The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2)

Author:ย Rin Chupeco

Pub. Date: March 20th. 2018

Genre:ย YA Fantasy

Publisher:ย SOURCEBOOKS FIRE

Pages:ย 528

Buddy Read: Melanie from Meltotheany

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

ย ย ย ย 

I read The Heart Forger, sequel to The Bone Witch around the time of its release and have yet to find any single book or trilogy to top it in my favorites. Buddy reading this one with Melanie from Meltotheany who loves Rin Chupeco’s world building and characters as much as I did only further enhanced the whole experience. There are but a few authors I can count on one hand who can transport you with their writing the minute you start a new chapter. The Bone Witch books are so much more than a story about Necromancy and a demon slayer. With so many layers and complex well fleshed characters, it’s a story about the bonds that keep us close to those we love most. Once again I found myself riveted and absorbed into Tea’s world not wanting the story to ever end. This Asian inspired Fantasy has introduced me to one of my favorite authors of all time & for that I am very thankful! ๐Ÿ’œ

Photo from Pinterest, not my own.

The events of The Bone Witch changed Tea and she voluntarily went into exile last we saw her. The Heart Forger picks up with Tea in exile waiting for the day when all would descend upon her. Bard the Chronicler is back with Tea documenting all of her life, both the good & the bad. Although things have already come to pass when we start the book, Chupeco worked her way back to the events leading up to where they are now. Too much can be considered spoilery & so I will stick to what I loved most about this sequel. Once again, the characters proved to be one of my favorite parts of this trilogy. Tea is definitely in a dark place but I won’t deny LOVING her I don’t give a hmm attitude! she’s come to be this powerful necromancer who can defeat Daeva aka demon creatures or control them. She chooses to control some and seeing her empathy with these creatures makes her more human where most of the time she’s viewed as cold and overly ambitious. Tea is still bonded to her brother Fox who passed away (given fact at the very beginning of The Bone Witch)ย and nothing makes me more happier than seeing the relationship between these two. Theirs is an unusual relationship given Fox is deceased and their bond allows them to be in each others head space. Yet Chupeco chose to maintain the same issues all siblings deal with which made for an authentic read. I enjoyed the moments where they practiced their fighting skills together & when they shoved each other out of one another’s mind in order to experience the more private sentiments alone.

With such a fantastic cast of main & side characters, It’s hard to choose a favorite! I did enjoy seeing Likh back in this world and standing up for what they believe in. Likh’s heartless is silver which means they’re fully intended to go study with the soldiers. However, Likh is a lover of all things fashion and design, life as a soldier is not something they can quite imagine a life in. It was AMAZING to see this character receive so much support by everyone. My heart legit felt full, the outpouring of love and support they received was one of the BEST scenes in this book. We also get to see Prince Kance on a different path where he’s taking his ย royal responsibilities very seriously & perhaps realizing that Tea may not have a place in his future. Prince Kalenย is back in the tinker room making Heartglass and setting up to be the next great one in his field. Prince Kalen, *giggle* yea…this guy was an unexpected surprise considering how much time he spends trying to protect Prince Kance from the dangers that come with being by Tea’s side. Hate to love relationships are one of my top fave tropes! and I say this with no shame! the relationship in this book was a slow burn but when it takes off, it soars! so many swoon worthy moments ๐Ÿ’“ย but if I had to pick a favorite, Tea remains my #1 ๐Ÿ’œย I love this character to the moon & back simply because she’s unapologetically herself.

Last year when I read The Bone Witch (see review here)ย I was BLOWN AWAY by Chupeco’s writing! Beautiful lush descriptions of a world that gave me Memoirs of a Geisha vibes with a Fantasy twist. I wasn’t expecting to get one of the BEST sibling relationships in all of YA, gender role positivity, actual dark necromancy, special bonds with animals & demons, and a steamy romance as the cherry on my sundae ๐Ÿ’œย yet that is exactly what I got and so much more! If per chance you happened to have read The Bone Witch and felt that possibly it was a bit slow paced, worry not! The Heart Forger is a real page turner where the author stays true to their writing style while adding on awesome action sequences and vivid imagery. Chupeco actually gave us scenes where her necromancy was in over drive and Tea sees herself putting back together the bones of the dead! also, she’s learning some pretty neat runes and testing them out on herself & her brother was fun to watch. The character development is also worth mentioning, whether it be purposefully or not, Tea is much darker and willing to take risks and go the extra mile for those she loves. I’ll be honest, I’m a little worried about the consequences of how far she stretches the limits. Nonetheless, I am really looking forward to the final installment in this trilogy and also super curious about how it will end and whether Tea will get what she’s after…


Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re all having a FAB Friday! ๐Ÿ’œย have any of you read The Bone Witch and/or The Heart Forger? if so, comment down below with your fave character/aspect of these books ๐Ÿ’“


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March Book Haul

Hey there Bookworms! March was a bit of a slow month for me here on the blog & I’m not sure there’s any specific reason. We all experience those lows but I will say that it thankfully didn’t hinder my reading. I read some hefty books that blew me away & I can’t wait to discuss those in my wrap-up which I promise to have up this week. Here I come to you with my March Book Haul in which I once again didn’t buy very many yet somehow ended up with a good stack. No complaints here though, this is the time of year I kick my reading into high gear, so without further ado…

This is probably the look I give a book with with a epic cover haha!

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Sweet Black Waves | The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) | Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)ย 

I’ve already read Obsidio & The Heart Forger, RTC โ˜บย Also, I messed up & forgot to include my fave book hauled this month…Children of Blood and Bone *sobs*

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Toil & Trouble | Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over | To Be Honest| Grim Lovelies | Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2)- finished copy

I finished Grey Sister & it was EVERYTHING I could’ve ever wanted! RTC โ˜บ

Undead Girl Gang | From Twinkle, With Love | LIFEL1K3 | The Way You Make Me Feelย 

Spring is in the air! ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

March Fairyloot

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State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

I’m currently rocking the hell outta this scarf! the runes are so friggin beautiful & it legit goes with everything I wear. I’ll be using the soap tonight so cross your fingers for my skin please, it smells amazing I just don’t want it to morph meย intoย anything ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ

March Book Of The Month

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Rainbirds | The Astonishing Color of After | Not That I Could Tell


Happy Thursday Bookworms!!! I hope you’re all having a wonderful start to the month reading ALL the good books ๐Ÿค—ย I’ve been having such an AMAZING reading year so far & hope to keep it going in April ๐Ÿคž๐ŸผAre any of the books I hauled on your TBR? I am LOVING the different types of rep in this haul & will continue to seek out diversity of all kinds in my books ๐Ÿ’œ


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WWW Wednesday 2/14/2018

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted byย Sam @ Taking On a World of Wordsย 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 are:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think youโ€™ll read next?

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

I’m 30% into Heart of Iron & so far it’s the characters that have really drawn me in. I’m still learning the world & its history which so far is pretty straight forward. I’m typically weary when I come across a large cast of characters in YA Fantasy because I LOVE character driven stories & so the more fleshed out the characters are, the more attached I am to their story. So far the crew on the ship has been introduced, all outlaws with strong loyalty bonds towards each other. So far I’m LOVING the character Jax who is a Solani described as having a long silvery white braid, silver eyelashes and violet eyes. Jax is the Pilot on the ship & its his charm & confidence that really have me smiling when I get to his chapters. There’s also a “Metal” who is sort of a A.I. robot & although I’m still getting to know him, I already loving reading his though process. I plan on reading a chunk today so we shall see how it moves along…

Honor Among Thieves The Honors #1) by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

I recently read, reviewed, and LOVED Honor Among Thieves here. This is one YA Sc-Fi that I know I’ll be following til the very end. Every time I picked it up for my commute or nightly reading I found myself getting absorbed by the characters. Also realllllly weird relationship between human & alien #Jussayin…that I couldn’t help but cheer on even though a part of me was like…what is going on? is this what I think it is? smh extra brownie points for making me feel awkward in a good way? haha! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1) by Myke Cole

My first Adult Fantasy of the year & I’m so glad that it was a 5 star read.Coming at 208pgs. I really underestimated how much story could be packed in considering I’m used to reading bigger books. Whelp! author Cole sure showed me & no I’m seriously hoping the sequel soon follows. I have a review for The Armored Saint going up this Friday! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate Queen #2) by Tricia Levenseller

Ok…I can barely! contain my excitement over my next read *eeeeK* I CANNOT wait to dive back into this fun world with Alosa & her crew! I expect to be completely absorbed with this bookย  into the weeee hours of the morning *coffee on deck* I was introduced to this story last year & since then haven’t stopped thinking of these characters. My review for Daughter of the Pirate King here.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Finally!!! To Kill a Kingdom! I really didn’t think I’d get a copy of this one but Netgalley pulled through for this bookworm. I will be buddy reading To Kill a Kingdom with Melanie from Mel To The Anyย starting this Sunday the 18th through the 22nd & I CAN’T WAIT!!! I’m really hoping we love this one cause it’s friggin Ursula & for years as a kid she was bigger than the boogey man to me haha! *fingers crossed*ย 


What are you wonderful bookworms currently reading? planning to read next? any good ones? & if youโ€™re reading any of the ones I mentioned, sound off in the comments down below!ย โคย โคย โค


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*80’s Freestyle* Keep Me Hanging On…

Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re all having a wonderful day and if you’re anything like me, you are looking at the clock waiting for the end of the work day. Find the person who thought it was a good idea to work any day past Christmas & you have your Grinch #jussayin

When I sat down to make my list of top 2018 books I’m looking forward to, I quickly realized my post would be a mile long and I just couldn’t do that to you lovely Bookworms. So instead I opted to split my list into two posts, this post will be for 2018 sequels I’m anticipating in the new year. The second post will be stand-alone/series starters. I have 12 sequels I’m super stoked for so grab your fave snack & or beverage cause ya girl has compiled a bit of a list (no particular order)



ย 1. The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden aka the book I NEED like air!ย 

I recently read & reviewed The Girl in the Tower (my spoiler free review here) which was utter PERFECTION! Just when I thought this trilogy could not get any better, Arden gave us The Girl in the Tower & now my nights are consumed thinking about the final installment in the world *sobs* This is not the final cover btw, I’m sure the final one will be GLORIOUS as they all have been! Scheduled for August 2018, a little earlier than the December release dates I’ve gotten grown accustomed to with these wintry books but HOORAY regardless!


2. Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman

Anyone who has read the first two books in the Illuminae Files can probably tell you how addictive this series really is smh. I was initially intimidated by the format of these books & it took me about a year to finally decide to read the first one…NEVER looked back after that! I will most likely devour Obsidio in one sitting, March 13th you have been claimed!


3. Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #3) by Scott Reintgen

Having recently read Nyxia (my review here), the adrenaline I felt reading this book is still pretty vivid. Not only was the plot fast paced edge of your seat FANTASTIC! the characters are easily some of my favorite in all of YA. Coming from all corners of the world, the crew of Nyxia offers up the diversity we are currently lacking in YA Sci-Fi. Nyxia Unleashed is set to hit the shelves July 2018 *eeeeK*



4. The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco

Last year I read The Bone Witch (my review here) & fell in love with the world building Rin Chupeco had created. I was actually surprised that it wasn’t labeled Adult Fantasy considering the expanse & complexities of the world. This was a real treat for myself seeing as I love details & lush writing which The Bone Witch pulled off beautifully often times reminding me of Memoirs of a Geisha. This wonderful sequel is set to be released March 2018!



5. Iron Gold (Red Rising #4) by Pierce Brownย 

The Red Rising Trilogy (I can’t call it this anymore)ย is one that I am a hardcore fan of…no seriously though, I’m a Howler through & through! If this now series had ended with Morning Star, I would’ve been Ok because it was one of the BEST most EPIC endings I’ve ever read. To have read the news of that the world would be expanding was AMAZING for both myself & the hubby who is also a big fan. I read these books before creating Lair Of Books & missed out on fangirling with other Blogger buddies. Well, January 16th is almost upon us & I cannot wait to get my hands on this book! any Howler fans out there?


6. Defy the Worlds (Constellation #2) by Claudia Gray

Defy the Stars (my review here) was my 1st Claudia Gray book & it won’t be my last. I had heard of Gray’s books before getting a galley for Defy the Stars & now I can see why. The world building in the start of this series is fun & introduces us to a A.I. whose dry humor will leave you smiling in disbelief. I was lucky to get my hands on a arc copy of Defy the Worlds but I’m still including it in this list because I will be buying a finished copy on release day. Gray has some of the BEST covers I’ve come across & I’m already obsessed with this one, April 3rd will be the day I get my hands on this pretty little book *heart eyes*


7. Whisper of the Tide (Song of the Current #2) by Sarah Tolcser

If you’re looking for high seas adventure, Song of the Current (my review here) is probably the book for you! I enjoyed the authentic pirate talk and the world building was on point withย clothing, way of life, and mythos behind the Gods. What I loved most is that we get a POC MC who knows her calling in life and won’t easily be thrown off by a love interest. Caro is non-traditional & won’t settle for societal norms. June 5th I’m hoping you’re a warm day I can count on for a iced drink & return to the treacherous waters in this world ๐Ÿ™‚


8. Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2) by Tricia Levenseller

Oh goodness! I can’t even begin to describe my excitement over the follow-up to Daughter Of the Pirate King (my review here). I was so very lucky to have a arc recently gifted to me by the wonderful Ashley over at Socially Awkward Bookworm, she made my year! DOTPK offered up so many laughs alongside a kick a** MC who is the female Jack Sparrow. If Pirates of the Caribeean (prior to Depps shameful behavior)ย brought you much enjoyment, chances are DOTPK will be a hit for you as well. Ahoy Mateys! February 27th is the day the sequel finds its way to our shores ๐Ÿ™‚


9. Grey Sister (Book Of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrenceย 

I read my very first Mark Lawrence earlier this year & I’m so happy It was a good place to start after hearing so much about this well known author. Red Sister (my review here) was a 5 star gloriously bloody EPIC start to the Book of the Ancestor series! In my review I described the setting for Red Sister asย Hogwarts mixed with a Ludus (like in Spartacus). Vivid ย fight scenes, positive female friendships and positive LGBTQIA representation are just some of the things you’ll find in this new Fantasy.ย Red Sisterย is perfect for those who read only YA Fantasy and are looking to get their feet wet in adult Fantasy. April 19thย is the date set to return this ruthless world ๐Ÿ™‚


10. Catwoman SoulStealer (DC Icons #3) by Sarah J. Maas

I don’t really have much to say about this one…I own a copy of Wonder Woman which I haven’t read yet. I came to the decision that I wanted to wait for a few of these books in the series to be out before starting cause I reallllllly dislike waiting haha! I am VERY interested in how Selina Kyle is written considering she is half white/half Cuban. We’ll know more on August 7th!


11. My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton

I’d link my review for My Lady Jane but it’s soOo old when I was still in my baby stages of blogging so no thanks hehe! My Lady Jane was the book to make my water almost come out through my nose smh LOL! So silly & filled with hilarious banter, I LOVED that book! from that book came the formation of The Lady Janies which are the 3 awesome authors who brought the characters I fell in love with to life. My Plain Janeย is a MUST HAVE & THAT cover is giving me all the Summer vibes! I’ll see you on June 26th Jane ย ๐Ÿ™‚


12.ย The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracyย (Guide #2) by Mackenzi Lee

You may have noticed the cover for this title isn’t displayed above and that’s because there hasn’t been a cover reveal. Earlier this year I read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (my review here)ย which was a ton of fun. I’ve really been enjoying YA Historical Fiction lately & this is definitely one of my top favorites. Although I loved the MC Henry oh so much! I really ended up intrigued by his little sister Felicity & I know I’m not alone in this. The Goodreads Synopsis has the following listed:

A sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, narrated by Felicity and featuring travel, pirates, and a science girl gang.

I mean…who can resist this?!?! Not I said Lilly…October 2nd is the day to pick up a copy!


Happy Wednesday Bookworms! this list took me a bit longer to type up than expected which is making me give post II the stink eye haha! (wayyyyy longer) & i’m sure I’ve forgotten others. Also, If I didn’t list a sequel it’s possible I haven’t read the 1st cause waiting sucks (Strange the Dreamer & Lady Midnight/Lord of Shadows I’m looking at ya).ย Please sound off below with any titles that come to mind <3’s!


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