Adult Fiction · Contemporary · Fantasy · for everyone · Uncategorized

Mini Reviews November Wrap Up

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber – I think I’m going to like this series more than Caraval.  I love the amount of magical elements that are in this new land.  4/5

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis (audio) – A wonderful story that gives you hope that everything does happen for a reason.  4/5

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller –  I liked the story but did not fall in love with this book like so many others.  I have always found mythology interesting but the way people treated others in these stories and how the innocents were treated like criminals never sat right with me.  Greek tragedies at their finest.  3/5

Britt-Marie Was Here by Fredrick Backman (audio) –  This is my third novel by this author and though i enjoyed it I think it isn’t my favorite.  If you love his other books it is worth a read. 3/5

The Last Chance Library by Freya Sampson – An adorable book that any book lover would enjoy.  I honestly don’t know what else I could say about it. 4/5

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (audio) – Whew boy, this is NOT like the movie we all know and love.  I cannot stress how different this story is and though it was ok, I’m afraid I’m going to say it:  THE MOVIE WAS BETTER.   3/5

The Wicked King by Holly Black (audio/book) – I’ve been dragging my feet on continuing this series.  While I’ve started to find more fairy stories that I enjoy, I hate the way everything is political in these books.  Where is the romance?  I feel like a bait and switch was pulled on me.  I’ll finish the series out but unless the next book really cranks up the romance this isn’t a series I’d ever reread. I think I will need a break before reading the next book regardless. 3/5

The Eye of the World (The Wheel of Time) by Robert Jordan (audio/book) – I’ve slowly been collecting this series to try and binge and the more I collected the more I realized I would never be able to binge it.  These are hefty books but I wanted to get at least the first one done before the show premiered, which I’ve done by the skin of my teeth. I can tell you I’m not sure what would be better, audio/versus physical but the amount of world building and names being thrown at you is rough.  I struggled for quite awhile to even separate everyone in my head.  I think because of the magnitude of the world if you haven’t started these books yet, start with the show so you can picture the actors as their characters.  Overall the story was great, a true adventure, and if the show is half as good as the book it will be a hit for years to come.  4/5

The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood – There was a ton of hype on this one and I think it was justified.  I’ve only recently started back reading more books classified as romance (haven’t read much in this genre since high school).  I’m 100% on board with the grumpy/sunshine trope and I’d love more recs for it!  My only issue here is I know this was a Kelo Ren/Rey thing so I immediately saw Adam Driver as the lead and while he is an attractive man I’m not so gung ho about him as others so that threw off a bit for me. Otherwise a great read, I read it over 2 days but only because I started it so late in the day.  I will definitely check out any books by this author in the future.  4/5

The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling – Anything with Gothic vibes is sure to intrigue me enough to investigate but this one fell flat.  Some of the decisions made were beyond ridiculous and the plot was so convoluted that I just couldn’t care about the characters.  It’s hard to root for someone or even care when they were only in a few chapters.  2/5

The Broken Girls by Simone St James (audio) – This is my second book by this author and I can tell you I will be reading her entire backlog.  She perfectly balances ghost stories with thrillers.  4/5

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (audio) – An extremely quick audio that was very entertaining.  Don’s growth was believable and this was one of the most realistic books I’ve ever read.  I can’t wait to see the movie version.  3/5

Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey (audio) – After finding Tessa with It Happened One Summer I knew I’d have to go and read some of her older titles.  If you loved that one you will definitely like this one as well. Book one in a three book series, it was very spicy as tiktok would say (think about IHOS on steroids) and a super fast read.   I have book two ready to go!  4/5

Love Her or Lose Her by Tessa Bailey – Another series I had to pick up a physical copy of the second book.  So here’s my issue. I don’t like romance books in which the couple is already married and they are working on issues after the fact. It’s depressing and if I’m reading romance it’s not what I’m looking for. With that being said I still read this in a day and Tessa Bailey can write some spicy scenes. 3/5

Tools of Engagement by Tess Bailey (audio) – Probably my least favorite of the series but I’m not sure I can explain why?  Something didn’t sit right for me and I’m going to have to think about it for a while. 3/5

The Holiday Swap by Maggie Knox – I’m embracing the holiday season book wise.  This was billed as comparable to The Holiday, Gilmore Girls, The Parent Trap, and the GBBO, none of which are a bad choice.  This has a Hallmark story vibe as well, in fact I’m fairly certain there was a holiday swap with Candace Cameron Bure??  It was a cute read but hard to believe that identical twins who swapped places all the time when they were younger would struggle so much though.   3/5

If the Fates Allow: A Short Story by Rainbow Rowell – a COVID check-in novella with our favorite sarcastic friend Reagan. Cute. I wish it was longer. Can we get a full book on adult Reagan? 3/5

Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah Maclean – One of my 12(but really 13) friends recs for the year.  Overall I liked the story, I wish I knew before starting that it connects (vaguely) to her other books. I’m also very interested in seeing how I’m going to like the third book in this run as he is currently not a good guy. 3/5

Brazen and the Beast by Sarah Maclean – In continuing on with the Bareknuckle Bastard series I can tell you I do like the storylines but I do not like either of the heroines so far and i have absolutely no idea how the villain of both will be redeemed enough in book three for me to like him. I don’t hold much hope at this point. Hattie just thought she could pay back a debt of that size? Would that be fair? People died and that was never brought up. Again, another woman that as written as someone that is supposed to be independent and it just comes off as ignorant to me. 3/5  

Daring and the Duke by Sarah Maclean – I quit. I couldn’t read it. I only got 4-5 chapters in and I was still so mad at the villain getting a book so I can’t rate this one. I don’t think I’ll be able to finish this series but I might try to come back to it at a later date to check.

Divergent Mind: Thriving in a World That Wasn’t Designed for You by Jenara Nerenberg – A very interesting read about women and how they process things while potentially dealing with some mental health concerns and how they are generally misdiagnosed or their diagnose is overlooked.  Very informative.  3/5

Not a bad run for one month in which there was a holiday! How about you? What did you read this month?

Adult Fiction · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Fantasy · Random Stuff · YA

Mini Reviews August Wrap Up

This is what I read in August. . . let’s see how September goes!


Carry On by Rainbow Rowell  – I’m so excited to finally be in this world fully!  It’s hard to not see Harry Potter characters in my head while listening but I enjoyed trying to mash them up to see who is who. I loved it, and I loved what I think were small references to a few other author’s books. Nice to see Levi’s coffee creation lives on. 5/5

Ice Planet Barbarian Honeymoon by Ruby Dixon – Did I do the two month free trial of kindle unlimited to keep reading these? SIGH. MAYBE. It’s interesting enough to continue that’s for sure. This was just a quick inbetween story. 3/5


Rise of the Witch by C. Rochelle – This is a reverse harem surrounding Baba Yaga lore that I heard about through tiktok, the author popped up on my FYP.  When you see RH you think one thing but there was an actual story here and it was really good! The writing wasn’t as great though so I think I’ll stop here in the series. 4/5


It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey (audio)- This is my first book by Ms Bailey but it will absolutely not be my last.  The male lead is an example of why you shouldn’t settle.  WOWZA.  It moved fast but the story was great and the characters were likeable; fair warning the audio isn’t something I’d listen to without headphones.  Can’t wait to read Hannah and Fox’s story! 4/5


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (audio) – I’ve listened to Daring Greatly at least five times so far but have never listened to this one.  I feel like I pick up something new with each listen of her books and this one I think will be the same (I will definitely have to relisten).  While I fully understand and agree with her thoughts I still can’t make myself follow her advice out of fear.  5/5


Neon Gods by Katee Robert (audio) – Another new to me author, though I’m not sure if this was a rec by a friend or something I found on TIktok too.  I know I see the author on my FYP so anything is possible.  This was a “spicy” retelling of Hades and Persephone.  It wasn’t a bad story, but something was missing for me.  I’ll probably continue with the series though.  3/5


The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (audio) – This was my favorite in the series by far!  Loved the mystery in it and most of it was a complete surprise.  BUT. . .while I’m aware of Stevie being a teen I feel like Stevie made absolutely no growth or learned a single thing from the main series.  A lot of selfish things were done and I wasn’t a fan.  I feel like everyone else grew overall though.  I also think it would have been a little better reading versus audio, the narrator’s interpretation of the male voices threw me a bit. 4/5


Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher (audio) – I’d been wanting to read this one for a long time.  Something about it told me it would be special.  Grief is hard and it is unique to every single person.  It was a wonderful and heartbreaking book though it read more like I was reading a Nicholas Sparks novel.  I wouldn’t ever think of a teen speaking like these characters.  4/5


Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – This one is from my 12/12 (but really 13) recommendations from friends.  I’ll have more on that post but overall it was a quick and cute read.  3/5


Giant Days Volume 10 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – It took forever for my library to order these and I’ve been reading as they come in.  Such a cute series, I love Susan and McGraw. 4/5


Giant Days Volume 11 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – Cute as always.  Fingers crossed for Ed! 3/5


Giant Days Volume 12 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – I know things arecoming to an end and I’m sad.  This is by far one of the cutest graphic novel series I’ve ever picked up.  4/5

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert (audio) – Another 12/12 read from friends.  The narrators was very monotone to me at normal speed so I had to speed it up.  Fun fact – before I started reading this book I’d found book two without realizing this was a series and that I’d found book two, LOL.  A cute but awkward read. 3/5  


If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (audio) – This was a bout of books choice.  This was a hard one to rate.  I loved the story overall and the audio – it gave me Beauty Queens from Libba Bray vibes but on the other hand I HATE the premise of The Bachelor.  The idea of a group of women fighting over one man makes me want to punch a wall.  You only see from Cindy’s POV as well so you just have to hope Henry’s intentions are pure.  I almost went with 3 stars on this one but there was a letter written by someone near the end that had me crying.  4/5


The Comfort Book by Matt Haig – A self-help/inspirational book about when you are feeling low and need a pick me up.  It’s definitely worth a look.  3/5


Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This was a book I carried around for a long time, never opened, and when I finally sat down to read I was mad at myself for waiting so long.  I think the size was more off putting than anything but it moved quickly.  Glad I already have book two ready to go! 4/5


Rat Queens Volume 8 The God Dilemma by Ryan Ferrier, Moritat, Casy Silver, Priscilla Petraites, & Marco Lesko – To be completely honest I’m completely lost to the storyline of this series.  I have no idea what is going on anymore but I’m going to keep reading.  3/5

Fantasy · retelling · Sci-Fi · SERIES · YA · YA Series

Winter by Marissa Meyer

WINTER by Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long. 
Other books in series:  Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
Source:  audio via library 

SPOILER WARNING:  Being as this is the fourth book in a series I want to make it clear there will be spoiler moving forward in some way no matter how small.  If you haven’t read the series STOP HERE!

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

I know I procrastinate on final books in series but I dropped the ball on this one big time.  I first had to go back and reread via audio books 1-3 to refresh my memory of past books.

I think one of my favorite things about this series is that Ms Meyer finds a great balance of characters.  While one book is supposed to be about certain character there were so many other throwbacks to past books and their events that I never felt like anyone was forgotten along the way.  They were all main characters and though Winter wasn’t centered on Cress or Cinder (examples only – not playing favorites I swear!) they were still very much a huge part of Winter’s story and I loved that.  I definitely want to remain as spoiler free as possible for everyone but I can admit it did not end the way I thought which shocks me because I’ve gotten pretty good at guessing the outcomes, but I still have Stars Above to read so I’m curious if what I was imagining could still happen. . .

I did read this via audio (the hardback is massive!) so there was a small drawback for me on that because I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator but more so for the voice she gave Winter.  It was hard to imagine her being a teen when it felt like the voice was of a 5-6 year old.

Story wise though?  I would love a whole spin off series centering on Thorne and Cress though  They are an absolute delight and I think there would be so many adventures they could get up to, so many new experiences for Cress, and I’d just love to check in with everyone

Such a wonderful and heart wrenching conclusion to a unique series.  There was loss, but also hope given and with hope anything is possible.

5/5

 

Fantasy · Sci-Fi · SERIES · YA · YA Series

A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle

A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle

Just before Meg Murry’s little brother, Charles Wallace, falls deathly ill, he sees dragons in the vegetable garden. The dragons turn out to be Proginoskes, a cherubin composed of wings and eyes, wind and flame. It is up to Meg and Proginoskes, along with Meg’s friend Calvin, to save Charles Wallace’s life. To do so, they must travel deep within Charles Wallace to attempt to defeat the Echthroi – those who hate – and restore brilliant harmony and joy to the rhythm of creation, the song of the universe.

SOURCE:  finished copy borrowed from library Continue reading “A Wind in the Door by Madeline L’Engle”

Fantasy · Magical Realism · YA

The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser

The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser

Emma is used to things going her way. Her father is headmaster of her prestigious boarding school, her friends take her advice as gospel, and she’s convinced that a relationship with her long-time crush is on the horizon. 

As it turns out, Emma hasn’t seen anything yet. When she finds an old book in an abandoned library, things really start going Emma’s way: anything she writes in the book comes true. 

But the power of the book is not without consequences, and Emma soon realizes that she isn’t the only one who knows about it. Someone is determined to take it from her—and they’ll stop at nothing to succeed.

A new boy in school—the arrogant, aloof, and irritatingly handsome Darcy de Winter—becomes Emma’s unlikely ally as secrets are revealed and danger creeps ever closer.

SOURCE:  ARC via publisher for review (Thanks!)

Continue reading “The Forgotten Book by Mechthild Glaser”

Children/Middle Grade · Fantasy · Sci-Fi · SERIES · Time Travel · YA · YA Series

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger. 

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

SOURCE:  checked out from local library

Continue reading “A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle”

Fantasy · YA

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

SOURCE:  bound manuscript from publisher for review

Continue reading “The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert”

Blog Tour · Contemporary · Fantasy · retelling · Sci-Fi · Time Travel · YA

Blog Tour: Review – No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

No Good Deed by Kara Connolly

Ellie Hudson is the front-runner on the road to gold for the U.S. Olympic archery team. All she has to do is qualify at the trials in jolly old England. When Ellie makes some kind of crazy wrong turn in the caverns under Nottingham Castle—yes, that Nottingham—she ends up in medieval England.

Ellie doesn’t care how she got to the Middle Ages; she just wants to go home before she gets the plague. But people are suffering in Nottingham, and Ellie has the skills to make it better. What’s an ace archer to do while she’s stuck in Sherwood Forest but make like Robin Hood?

Pulled into a past life as an outlaw, Ellie feels her present fading away next to daring do-gooding and a devilishly handsome knight. Only, Ellie is on the brink of rewriting history, and when she picks up her bow and arrow, her next shot could save her past—or doom civilization’s future.

SOURCE:  ARC via publisher for review (Thanks!)

**Thank you to Random House for allowing me to participate in the tour!!**

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Book Avengers · Fantasy · Features · Guest Post/Interview · Read Along · SERIES · YA · YA Series

Book Avengers: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Book Avengers Logo

Hello and welcome to our April Book Avengers post!  Today we are featuring Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen.  This is book one of Jersen’s Malediction trilogy.  What did we think?  Keep reading to find out what we thought and what we selected to pick from for May!

Continue reading “Book Avengers: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen”

Contemporary · Fantasy · Favorite Author · LOL · Romance · Thriller/Horror · YA

Summer Days and Summer Nights by Various Authors

summer

Summer Days and Summer Nights by Various Authors (edited by Stephanie Perkins)

Maybe it’s the long, lazy days, or maybe it’s the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.

SOURCE:  audio provided by Recorded Books for review (also various finished copies for reference)

Since this is an anthology of short stories I thought I’d give you a line or two about each book.  Either a mini review, how the narrator might have influenced my opinion, etc.  Whatever comes to mind first!

Continue reading “Summer Days and Summer Nights by Various Authors”