2020 Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag

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

Best book youโ€™ve read so far this year

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

Best sequel you’ve read so far this year

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

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

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

 

Most anticipated release for the second half of the year

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

 

Biggest disappointment

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

Biggest surprise

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

Favorite new author (Debut or new to you)

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

Newest fictional crush

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

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

Newest favorite character

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

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

Book that made you cry

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

 

Book that made you happy

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

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

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

 

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

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


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WWW Wednesday 7/18/2018

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

Happy Hump Day Bookworms!!! It’s been a minute since I posted one of these reading updates here on Lair Of Books. Mostly I’ve been updating Goodreads & Instagram (links at the end of post) but I’d really like to get back to doing updates here on the blog on Wednesdays or Fridays (there will be weeks I alternate days). Personally I love reading updates on the books you all are reading, loving, not so much enjoying haha! and doing these posts for me goes hand in hand with blog hopping. Also, sometimes mid-read I just need to rant or rave about my current book & what better place than here amiright? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Strange Grace by Tessa Graton

I am buddy reading (currently @65%) this bone chilling book (thank the stars) with Melanie, Julie, and Candaceย & I’m legit hooked Bookworms! & I don’t know why cause this isn’t typically my genre…horror has always made me look like a chump. I steer clear of high key horror anything & yet I requested this cause the blurb spoke to my soul *covers eyes*ย yea I dunno why I do the things I do but I have ZERO regrets. The writing is A+ spooky and why didn’t I know this was LGBTQIAP+?!?! It’s giving me LIFE! I’m still reading it with the lights on but yea, look out for this one! witches, demons, demon forest, and one hell of a romance!


The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

This has so far been the summer of me reading all the contemporary my heart desires which includes ROMANCE! I’m also buddy reading this one with Melanieย cause we’re reading all the books together at this point & she’s the BEST buddy read partna! LMAO! I’ve fallen behind though so today I plan on binge reading the last half. So far, I’m enjoying the read & REALLY appreciating the body positivity.ย  This is a interracial fake dating romance that has all the ingredients for a cute romance movie. I don’t think this will be quite the 5 star read but it is highly enjoyable, we shall see.


Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Oh goodness I am enjoying this webcomic turned graphic novel oh so MUCH! which is probably why I’m taking my time with it smh. I do plan on finishing Check Please tonight. This is a LGBTQIAP+ story about a guy who is in his freshman year of college & is also on the hockey team. He’d much rather be baking pies but Hockey has the potential to help with the costs of college. I am OBSESSED with the MC Bitty & will be pre-ordering a copy ASAP! this is an arc I received at Bookcon, Check, Please! will be out on 9/18/18 ๐Ÿ™‚


Josh + Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating by Christina Lauren

I recently finished & thoroughly enjoyed this one, gave it a 4 star rating over on Goodreads. My review will be up closer to publication date as per the request of the publicist. This is a friends to lovers contemporary romance, my first by this author duo and I found it to be fun & quirky. We also get a Korean MC who I imagined to be quite dreamy haha! more thoughts to come, this one hits the shelves 9/4/2018 ๐Ÿ™‚


Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Last week I finished Grace and Fury and gave it a solid 3.5 star rating (my spoiler free review) & think it’s a promising start to a new Duology? I only see 2 books listed in Goodreads & that seems to be the trend lately. Grace and Fury has strong feminist themes threaded all throughout the story but ultimately it really came down down to my enjoyment of one sisters arc over the other. They both started off strong but I do feel the sister I was initially in love with, had her fire put out before it started. I do however plan on reading the follow-up since the ending left me eyes wide open! this one is filled with plot twists to keep you breakin’ your neck haha!


Scream All Night by Derek Milman

This is one that I’ve actually already started & stopped reading at about the 15% mark. No real reason other than I just wasn’t in the right mood for it. The 15% I read was enjoyable and also very odd with a bit of humor. I’m actually really curious to see where this goes.


Happy reading Bookworms! Does anyone else feel like today is Thursday? cause I’ve spent the entire day saying”heeeeeeY at least tomorrow’s Friday right?!?!” SMH. In some part of the world today is Thursday! so happy Friday’s Eve ๐Ÿ˜‰ its been a long week & I’d love to see what you’re reading, drop some luv in theย commentsย below <3’s!ย 


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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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CANDLES IN BOOKLAND UNBOXING…

Hello Bookworms! It’s been a minute since I’ve done an unboxing here on Lair Of Books but in the spirit of starting them up again I come to you with one worthy of your attention ๐Ÿ˜ย I recently started repping for Candles in Booklandย who also recently curated their first themed box. Titled “The Thirteen” this box is centered around Manon Blackbeak and the 13 witches in the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I was over the moon excited to hear my favorite character in the series was getting a box focused on them cause Queen Manon is worthy of all that & more! You can find Candles In Bookland on Instagramย & the shop link is linked above and will be linked at the very end of this unboxing as well.

 

The Bookmarks…

The STUNNING artwork for the Manon & Abraxos bookmark was created by Kaya @Kayadoodles

ย Asterin, Manon, and Elide were created by Salome Totladze @MorganaOanagrom

The Art Prints…

Elide & Asterin art prints to match bookmarks were created by the talentedย  Salome Totladze @MorganaOanagrom

Fierce Manon print created byย 

Salome Totladze @MorganaOanagrom

The Book Sleeve…

๐Ÿ–คย Created by Julie & Brittney @babymybook this bookย sleeve will fit most tomes. My hardcover copy of A Court Of Mist and Fury fit snug as a bug & the kangaroo pouch allows you to stash any stationary on the go

The Candles…

๐Ÿ–คย Everything was packaged so nicely & the red really pops and gives off Manon Vibes!ย 

Manon- Sweet Cider, Cloves, Blood Orange, Citrus, Warm Spices, Sandalwoodย 

Elide-ย Amber, Musk, Cherry, Floral, Jasmine, Berry, and Sandalwood

Asterin-ย Leather, Woody, Raspberry, and Vanilla

๐Ÿ–คย The Manon candle is a two color blended candle that has this amazing citrus scent. Elide’s candle is my fave of all, warm with hints of cherry and jasmine that make me want this candle is a HUGE jar ๐Ÿ˜‚ย The Asterin candle smells of lovely Raspberry with a hint of vanilla ๐Ÿ’œย to top it off these have glitter on top and look so beautiful!ย 

Sorrel- Amber, warm spices, sandalwood

Abraxos- wild flowers, spice, clean air fresh herbal scent, a hint of leather

๐Ÿ–คย Sorrel smells like Autumn in a jar while Abraxos reminds me of my fave laundry detergent with its fresh scentย 


“The Thirteen” is a June Exclusive box by Candles In Bookland that will leave fans of Manon Blackbeak and the 13 blown away!!! This is their first themed box and the quality really speaks for itself. The box does have a quote written on the front flap that has a misspelling the shop owner is aware of. However, this mishap is quickly forgotten the minute you open your box. I’m always on the hunt for bookishย merch, candles & bookmarks being the top two items I buy the most of. I am MOST certainly looking forward to the next one! ๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค๐Ÿ–ค
CANDLES IN BOOKLANDย |ย REP CODE: LAIROFBOOKS10

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April Wrap-Up

Hello Bookworms & happy Friday!!! here in NYC we’ve decided to skip Spring & go straight to Summer and although when I’m outside I truly dislike it…when I’m inside, I get to blast that A.C. & no sleep is better than one right next to that powerful ice machine ๐Ÿ˜‚ย anyways, I pulled up Goodreads to see how many books I’d read in April & had to do a Britney…

I cannot remember the last time I read 8 BOOKS!!! *GASP*ย it was a great quality reading month, no complaints here (except for maybe Professed haha!) I was able to get ahead in my TBR ๐Ÿ’œย I participated in 2 Buddy Reads and had so much fun talking to the Bookworms in our group chats. I also borrowed for the very first time from another blogger buddy who is simply an amazing human being! Thank you Sarah @TheYaBookTravelerย I appreciate your kindness ๐Ÿ’œย Out of the 8 books that I read, 4 were 5 star reads which means I had a lot of fun reading in April.ย I’m hoping for an equally as good May & so far I think I’m getting my wish thanks to Harper & some new arc approvals that came through.ย Now without further ado I present to you my April Wrap-Up…

Professed by Nicola Rendellย โ˜…โ˜… STARS: Not what I expected but I read along since this was a book club pick for Julie & Chelsea’s Book Hangover Book Club. The characters just felt over the top & the “steamy scenes” were terrible ๐Ÿ˜ž

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglasย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 4 STARS: This being the first book I p/u as a reintroduction to the NA genre (not that I’ve read all that very many ๐Ÿ˜‚) was UNPUTDOWNABLE! ๐Ÿ˜ณย I seriously couldn’t stop reading & now I’m on a Penelope Douglas binge

Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody (Review)ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 4 STARS: Falls into the younger side of YA but still very enjoyable with its Sin City/Moulin Rouge vibes. Book 2 was just announced today, titled King of Fools for 2019 & I’m REALLY looking forward to It ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young (Review)ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 4 STARS: Character driven, less focused on the bloody history of Vikings we’ve all come to know. This one is for those bookworms who love stories about family bonds and loyalty and choosing who your family is when you’ve lost it all.

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (RTC closer to publication date)ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 5 STARS: I mean C’mon! I LOVED My Lady Jane to pieces when I first read it & waited ever so patiently for this sequel. When a bookworm friend offered to loan me her copy I was STUNNED & Happy & grateful! I devoured it & all I can say is THANK YOU My Lady Janies for the ode to my childhood faves The Ghostbusters ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson (RTC)ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 5 STARS: a witchy read with a plus sized POC MC who’s a bit of a curmudgeon dishing out the sarcasm when she sees fit. Practicing witchcraft was never supposed to yield any real results until she needed it to & then…๐Ÿ‘€

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Review)ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 5 STARS: This is perhaps my fave read of the month! a black MC who kicks a** & doesn’t back down whether it’s racist white men or the walking dead trying to make a snack out of her. This book has so much more going on underneath the surface, #Blacklivesmatter, Colorism, and racism are all weaved into this tale. I have a giveaway currently running until Sunday 5/6, open to international Bookworms as well ๐Ÿ’œย Click on the link to take you to my review post to enter ๐Ÿ’œ

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (Review)ย โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜… 5 STARS: Take me back to this little town & island PLEASE! so atmospheric & haunting, I cannot stop singing this books praises! Please pick this one up before the Netflix series airs, it’s a short read but sooooo good that it’s guaranteed to stick around even after you’ve read that last line ๐Ÿ˜‰

Avengers: Infinity War

ย ย ย ย 

Date Day this month with the hubby was a ton of fun & led us to visit some of our favorite haunts. Starting off with breakfast at our fave diner by the theatre & a quick trip to The Strand where I picked up Leah On the Offbeat (Creekwood #2)by Becky Albertalli & the Graphic Novel Moonstruck: Magic To Brew. I spent a little too much time in the stacks & we ended up having to cab it to the other side of Manhattan to the theatre for a 1:30pm show. IMAX 3D…why do I always forget to wear contacts? instead I watch movies through 4 lenses ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™€๏ธ๐Ÿ˜‚

The movie was about 2.5 hours long & it just exceeded expectations! Thanos our villain is one complex character with depth to him, he wasn’t just trying to kill everything in sight for power or control. I found this villain really interesting but that ending still had me giving him major side eye ๐Ÿ˜‚ย It was awesome seeing some faves back on the screen & after watching Black Panther just last month, I was super stoked to return to Wakanda. This being part I of II, I expected to walk away with unresolved story line and I felt the ending sets up for the next movie rather nicely. The after credit scene led to a really cool development & now I spend my time on Screen Rant looking for any bread crumbs being released for the next set of Marvel movies. Overall I gave this movie 5 BUTTERFLIES!!!


I hope you’re all having a wonderful start of the month ๐Ÿ’œย what was your favorite read in April? feel free to link those wrap-ups down below & I’ll make my way over to your corner of the interwebz ๐Ÿ’œ’s! Don’t forget to throw yourย ๐ŸŽฉย in the ring for a chance to win a copy of Dread nation (see here)! ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ


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Spoiler Free Review: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

Title: The Wicked Deep

Author:ย Shea Ernshaw

Pub. Date:ย March 6th, 2018

Genre:ย YA Fantasy/Paranormal

Publisher:ย Simon Pulse

Pages:ย 320

Format:ย Physical

Buddy Read: Melanie @Meltotheany, Amy @ACourtOfCrownsandQuillsย , Jules @JAIronside,ย Julie @PagesandPens, and Paloma

ย ย ย ย 

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrowโ€ฆ

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sistersโ€™ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

It’s been a couple of weeks since I read this dark gem of a book and I cannot stop thinking about it! I typically don’t pick up witchy reads til’ the Fall season but couldn’t resist picking this one up when I laid eyes on the STUNNING cover ๐Ÿ˜ย and I am SOOOO glad I did! easily one of my favorite reads this year so far, The Wicked Deep is 5 star worthy in my little bookworm ๐Ÿ’œ! This beautiful sad and atmospheric read truly sunk its teeth into me & wouldn’t let go into the wee hours of the morning. Very rarely do I get chills while reading a book but opening a single page in this one was like stepping foot onto Sparrow Oregon. I found myself instantly drawn to the water so much so that we drove to a nearby pier for the afternoon. This book stirred the senses and made you a willing participant, from the bonfires on the eve of the Summer Solstice to the Crucible effect the day after a body washed ashore. I was looking at everyone with a critical eye trying to figure out what was what (intentionally vague cause spoilers ๐Ÿ˜‚) & even when we all figured it out, it was still hella enjoyable!

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We meet our MC Penny who lives on the private island of Lumiere with her mother who has mentally checked out ever since the day her husband walked out never to be seen or heard of again. Penny isn’t your typical teenager & prefers to keep to herself In her room studying tide charts. She takes a small boat ride every morning into town to attend the Sparrow High School where she has one really close friend. Every year Sparrow prepares for the tourist attraction their town turns into during the week leading up to the Summer Solstice. Every year one boy dies & his body is washed ashore. It is believed to be a curse placed on the town as retribution for the unjust killings of the Swan sisters. Marguerite, Aurora, and Hazel were said to be responsible for many a broken home. They were accused of seducing the husbands and boyfriends away from the women of Sparrow. Stones tied to their ankles, they were mercilessly drowned. They are believed to return on the Summer Solstice to inhabit the body of unsuspecting girls, each seduces a boy, and drown them within a brief period of time. ย Sometimes it’s three boys & other times they may get greedy. The townspeople have accepted this curse, accustomed to hearing the harbor bells ring when another male body is found floating in the waters. Once the last sister has had her kill, the town resumes back to normal. Everyone hoping it isn’t one of their boys this time around.

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One of the most chilling aspects of this book is how acceptant the townspeople have become. Sparrow is known for this curse and the tourists it draws in for the summer season only add to the creepy vibes. The town is buzzing, every girl is suspected of being possessed by one of the Swan sisters. Sparrow’s boys aren’t safe & neither are those visiting for the season. ย Bo, an out of towner looking for employment responds to a outdated Help Wanted ad posted by Penny. There was a time Penny was open to the idea of getting a second set of hands to help with the light tower near Lumiere island. Eventually this became her undertaking but that all changes when Bo enters the scene. Both Penny & Bo carry secrets and they know this about each other. Was it a case of instalove? not in my opinion. Penny wasn’t thrilled to help this guy out when he first showed up. Bo was more focused on keeping a low profile while gardening on the island for some extra cash. Their story didn’t have any of the butterfly feelings other ships in YA are known for. I didn’t expect to fall in love with their story but I did & I know that’s because theirs is both sad and beautiful.

The Wicked Deep is one of those haunting reads that’ll stay in my mind & heart for many years to come. One that I can see myself getting sucked into every year whenever the mood for a dark read set in a small town by the water. I know that I’ll also be re-reading this one when we get closer to the date of it’s premiere on Netflix (see here) which I’m hoping is just as wonderful as this book cause it SOOOO deserves to be brought to life on the screen ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ


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WWW Wednesday 4/11/18

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?

I’m currently in the midst of getting my blogging mojo back which is why you’re getting this post later in the day/night. I wanted to update you wonderful bookworms on my reading since that hasn’t been affected by my blogging slump. Thankfully, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel & have already started making my rounds on your blogs spreading my ๐Ÿ’œ!ย 

Ace of Shadows (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody

I am currently 70% into Ace of Shades & REALLY enjoying the read. I went in a bit hesitant after reading some not so great reviews on Goodreads. Truthfully speaking, if you’re going into this book comparing it to Six of Crows then you’re basically setting yourself up for disappointment cause that’s one hella high standard. That being said, there are some aspects that reminded me of Six of Crows in the same manner that SOC reminded me a bit of Ocean’s Eleven. I LOVE mobster stories (think Gangs of New York)ย & so this was one I knew I had to request from the Publisher while holding my breath haha! So far, I am loving so much of this story that I doubt the remaining 30% will change my mind. The LGBTQIA+ representation is STRONG in Ace! โคย  but I’ll go into more of that in my upcoming review ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Starting this MUCH anticipated follow-up TONIGHT! & I just cannot wait to leave the office aka The Dungeon…and snuggle up on the couch with this book! fave blanket and all *eeeeK* I expect to be giggling and straight out laughing out loud all through the night ๐Ÿ™‚

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence

FLAWLESS! Couldn’t have asked for a better sequel. This book had a little of everything & some dark humor thrown in the mix. I will forever be a fan of Nona & watching her character growth along the way has been quite the roller coaster ride (my spoiler free review here).ย 

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

On Monday I finished a buddy read of The Wicked Deep & this book is still haunting my every thought! it was just so damn good! I haveย  full review coming on the blog but in the mean time, please check out two of the lovely bookworms I buddy read with who have posted their reviews ๐Ÿ™‚

Melanie @ Meltotheany & Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Ever since discovering Lagertha & Ragnar on Vikings…I haven’t been able to resist anything Viking related. I’m hoping to find yet another bad a** heroine to love ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿผย also, I’ll be buddy reading Sky in the Deep withย Melanie @ Meltotheany & Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quillsย this weekendย *super stoked*ย 


I hope you’re all having a wonderful Wednesday & loving your current reads! If you’ve read any of these books, I’d love to hear your thoughts ๐Ÿ’œ


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Spoiler Free Review: Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch #2)

Title: Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch #2)

Author:ย Adriana Mather

Pub. Date:ย October 3rd, 2017

Genre:ย YA Historical Fiction/Paranormal

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages:ย 368

Format:ย eGalley & Physical ARC

ย ย ย ย 

Haunting the Deep is the follow-up to How to Hang a Witchย  & so I’ll leave out the Goodreads synopsis for fear of spoilers. In the same manner its predecessor was based on real life historical events, this sequel is centered around the Titanic. A YA Historical Fiction mixed with paranormal, Haunting the Deep picks up right from where we left off andย the same characters are back. I truly enjoyed this follow-up a million times more for so many reasons but most of all it’s the character depth & fast moving plot that was fun and easy to follow, that make Haunting a 5 star read for me. This time around there was less of a Mean Girls vibe (not completely without) & more ofย  the 1966 cult classic The Craft. After the events of HTHAW, our MC Sam is a bit shaken up & avoiding any and all interaction with a group of girls in Salem that are known as The Descendants. This group is known for their family lineage, each having descended from those accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, Sam herself (like the author) is descended from Cotton Mather who stands on the accusing side. This bad blood pits Sam against the Descendants in the first book however, in Haunting we see a meeting of the minds. Since Sam & the Descendants saw themselves in a terrible predicament in HTHAW, this time around calls for them to set their differences aside. Ghosts have always made themselves visible to Sam but this time around they’ve multiplied and need the help of the living. We follow Sam & the Descendants as they try to piece together what really is going on with the ghosts of those who passed away in The Titanic. The paranormal aspects were tuned up & Sam’s witchy abilities have further developed allowing her to leave her body and enter the spiritual world. I could NOT put this book down for long! I found that it had the perfect balance of paranormal & historical and soaked up all of the details Mather had to have heavily researched.

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If you found yourself wanting more from the characters in HTHAW, this is the follow-up you’re going to want to pick up ๐Ÿ˜‰ although we still get a bit of the mean girl vibe, it quickly develops into something else that I found myself really enjoying. Sam still managed to slightly annoy me but she also grew on me by the end. The real stars of the book (beside the ghosts) were The Descendants Susannah, Mary, and Alice aka MY FAVORITE! haha! Mary unfortunately gets the ditsy role but she also has a heart of gold that makes it hard to dislike her. Susannah is the calmer more mature of the crew and is able to see things before they happen. Alice is unapologetically unfiltered & every time she put Sam in her place I chuckled. I got more of Mrs. Meriwether & her wonderfully tempting pastries and good cheer, I honestly could smell her baking through the pages haha! We also get to see Elijah aka the hot Ghost who has a thing for Sam & who Sam can’t stop thinking about. There was definitely less romance this time around & more of a focus on friendship which I feel, boosted my interest ten fold. I still couldn’t get enough of those Elijah scenes but I really enjoyed The Descendants & fast moving plot so much so that I didn’t miss the romance too badly. There are a few ghosts we meet along the way & everything from their manner of talk & dated clothing fleshed this world out so well, I just couldn’t get enough of the story.

The amount of research that had to have been done to re-create the night of the Titanic down to the music playing is pretty awesome! We get descriptive writing on the clothes worn, the ship itself, way of life for those on the Titanic, and so much more! I feel as if author Adriana Mather’s writing has grown in such a short matter of time leading me super excited for what’s to come in 2018. I absolutely plan on continuing on with this series, I care for these characters & am curious to see how much more developed their witchy abilities get in the next book. Also, Elijah and Sam…essentially both a living person and a deceased one have managed to catch feelings for one another…how is this going to work? I have questions lol! each of the characters in Jaunting the Deep had their own distinct voice & each personality jumped off the page. I found myself transfixed by this story & how well it blended the historical with the Paranormal. I love when a book makes me Google the real life facts to compare & the surprise I receive when I realize how close to the real deal the author kept it. It’s no secret that I love Fantasy but when it comes to Paranormal, witches are my achilles heel & I cannot resist a good story. Haunting the Deep is a treat to those who enjoy Historical Fiction & Paranormal. The title couldn’t be more fitting as the pages truly did leave a haunting impression every night (spooky x 1,000) & I may have possibly needed to leave my nightstand lamp on to fall asleep. Need book 3 but I’ll settle for a release date at the very least Haha! ๐Ÿ˜‰

*Many thanks to Knopf Books for Young Readers, Netgalley, and Adriana Mather for the eGalley copy of Haunting the Deep in exchange for an honest review.


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#ARCstravaganza #9

#ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme hostedย by the wonderful Flavia over @Flavia the Bibliophileย whereย book bloggers/bookstagrammers have a chance to show off their ARCs/eARCs/Galleys!

Hello Readers! This is my 9th week participating in #ARCstravaganza Monday & this week Iโ€™ve chosen Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch #2) by Adriana Mather to hopefully encourage Mother Nature to give us sweater weather soon *wishful thinking* I’m ready to read all of the fab Fall cozy reads while hugging a nice hot cup of tea or coffee. Last year around this time I read How to Hang a Witchย (my review)ย with very high expectations & although it wasn’t a OMG I LOVED IT! book, It was an entertaining read. Also, the author Adriana Mather is aย descendent of Cotton Mather which I found fascinating to no surprise since I’ve always been a fan of the history behind Witches. I was very young when I first became obsessed with reading everything & anything on the Salem Witch trials. Although How to Hang a Witch was a 3 star read for me, I do remember it starting off strong. Some time after I caught wind of the author getting a book deal for additional books in this series. This time she would be writing about the Titanic & as it turns out, Adriana Mathers is also a descendant of survivors from the Titanic!

I can’t help it…I have my hopes up once again & I really am hoping this time, I will get a 5 star read *fingers crossed*ย 

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The Titanic meets the delicious horror of Ransom Riggs and the sass of Mean Girls in this follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Hang a Witch, in which a contemporary teen finds herself a passenger on the famous โ€œship of dreamsโ€โ€”a story made all the more fascinating because the authorโ€™s own relatives survived the doomed voyage.

Samantha Mather knew her familyโ€™s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought sheโ€™d find herself at the center of a new one.

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where sheโ€™s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Samโ€™s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship.

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

What are some ARCS/eGalleys youโ€™re excited to have Bookworms? Has anyone read How to Hang a Witch? was it a hit or miss? are you looking forward to Haunting the Deep? ๐Ÿ™‚


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Review: Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett

Title:ย Even the Darkest Stars (Even the Darkest Stars #1)

Author:ย Heather Fawcett

Pub. Date:ย September 5th, 2017

Publisher: HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray

Pages:ย 304

Formats: eGalleyย 

Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

ย ย ย 

I typically read the Goodreads Synopsis before writing my Plot summary & I’m a bit confused this time around. The order of events & how they happened aren’t exactly correct in the synopsis & this is the first time I’ve seen this happen on GR. So, my Plot discussion will differ from what is listed in GR and for that reason I’ve decided to exclude their synopsis from my review.

We meet our MC Kamzin in the midst of the excitement surrounding the arrival of River Shara, a famed explorer for the Royal Emperor. River has been tasked with finding a Talisman of great value for the Emperor. However, his business in her small village is yet known, Kamzin’s sister Lusha is skilled & well versed in the study of the stars and maps & it is assumed River is there for her assistance. Kamzin however, isn’t one to be left behind & so she sets out to meet this man of great fame in order to join his quest. A turn of events (vague for fear of spoilers) sees Kamzin paired off with River Shara as his guide. Kamzin may not know much at all about astrology however, she knows maps better than anyone & she also has grit, a quality River admires. For Kamzin this is the opportunity of a life time to see the world outside of her small village, it’s also a chance to step outside of her older sisters shadow. However, when it’s revealed that Lusha is also on her own mission to retrieve the Talisman it becomes a race to the finish. The Talisman is rumored to be located at the very top of the tallest most deadliest mountain. Many have attempted this climb including Kamzin’s own mother, and none have made it back. We follow Kamzin, her bff Tem, River, a Shaman, and two adult siblings (brought along for their physical strength)ย as they take on the grueling task of climbing Raksha.

The plot is slow moving start to finish which if you really think about it, is fitting to their journey. Getting to the top is no easy feat & it also isn’t without its losses. Something to keep in mind:ย the entire story takes place in the middle of mountains & ice and so you can expect it to be very character driven. These traveling companions have a ton of time on their hands to get acquainted & that made for many moments of comedic relief. I can easily see this book play out on the big screen with the beautiful backdrop of the icy mountains. The author really gives you vivid imagery that had to have taken some serious research. That being said, I did feel that the descriptions of the climb itself did have an impact on the plot itself. The ending felt a little rushed but it also didn’t make me lose interest in continuing with this series. I NEED to know what happens next!!! haha!

Although there are some amazing side characters in Even the Darkest Stars, I’ve decided to highlight the main players on the chess board…

Kamzin-ย This MC has to be one of my newest faves for her persistence, ambition, intelligence, determination, and true grit! she will not give up once she’s set to task. She’s also very funny unintentionally, Kamzin is being trained to be the next village Shaman when we meet her but she’s terrible with magic & has no problem critiquing herself.

Lusha-ย I really wanted to like Kamzin’s older sister but sadly she was as cold as the mountains they were climbing lol. I did love that she is a wiz at Astrology & that her Familiars are two fierce looking Raven so there’s that.

Tem- Kamzin’s bff who had a romantic past with her but has since settled for friendship. I enjoyed this character & how well he wielded his magic. perhaps what I liked most was how he never made Kamzin feel bad for her shortcomings.

River Shara-ย This guy! lol smh, he’s charismatic & lives life on the edge. I really enjoyed the banter btwn. him and Kamzin, there were many LOL moments. I’m very curious to see how he develops in the next book & what path he takes ๐Ÿ˜‰

The Familiars- ย I mentioned Lusha’s Ravens but the real star of the show goes to kamzin’s Familiar Ragtooth. A feisty little fox who has Kamzin’s back with or without invitation lol. It’s rare for anyone to have a Familiar aka a animal protector & so that makes these siblings really important in their village.

Ultimately, Even the Darkest Stars was an enjoyable journey with amazing characters both human and animal. There were some aspects I would’ve liked to have seen expanded upon like the “villains” in this story. Although we do get some of their backstory, we don’t actually get much on-the-page time with them & our cast of characters. The final part of their journey also seemed a little rushed but it also spiked my interest up ten fold for the next installment. I am really looking forward to the follow-up & getting some of my questions answered. I had so many LOL moments which is rare in Fantasy so I’m hoping for more of that as well. Even the Darkest Stars has a very cinematic feel to it & I can’t wait to see what Fawcett has in store for us next ๐Ÿ™‚

*HUGE Thanks to Harper/Balzer + Bray, Edelweiss, & Heather Fawcett for the eGalley of Even the Darkest Stars in exchange for an honest review

Hello Readers! has anyone read or plan on reading Even the Darkest Stars? I was OBSESSED with Ragtooth! I need more furry book companions please & thank you ๐Ÿ™‚


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