Hello, friends! I cannot believe we are at the end of another month, but oh my word was I able to read some things in April! I think I just scheduled so many buddy reads, that I was forced to read nonstop or something! I read twenty things, which is ridiculous for me! But out of those twenty, I only five starred three things: Lifel1k3 (which was a masterpiece), Jane Eyre (which is THE BEST classic), and Monstress, Vol. 2 (which is my favorite graphic work of all time)! But I did enjoy a lot of the other things I read, too!
Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.
➽ Dearest Ivie (Black Dagger Brotherhood #15.5) by J.R. Ward – ★★★★
Dearest Ivie is a short story set in the Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and it stars two brand new characters, that I’m sure will weave their way into the main story now! But this was a really cute story, that ended up packing such an emotional punch. This is the type of story that makes you never want to take life for granted. The type of story that makes you cherish our short time here, with the ones you love most. The type of story that proves that love can conquer all. The type of story that you won’t forget any time soon.
➽ Song of Blood & Stone (Earthsinger Chronicles #1) by L. Penelope – ★★★★
This is the historical fantasy I’ve been looking for. This story is set in an alternate 1920 and has a really unexpected wild west feel to it, but I loved it. The romance was so good, the topics were so important, and the characters completely stole my heart. This book has a lot to love within its pages, and I completely recommend this story to you all.
➽ All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages edited by Saundra Mitchell – ★★★★
This is a historical literature short story collection, showcasing LGBTQIAP+ characters. And all of the authors that contributed to this collection are LGBTQIAP+ and that is something that I don’t even have words for. I am forever thankful that Saundra Mitchell curated this, that Harlequin published this, and that kids and teens everywhere are going to be able to pick this up and know that they are never alone and that they have never been alone, throughout history. My personal favorite was The Inferno & the Butterfly by Shaun David Hutchinson. It was so beautifully written, the messages were expertly woven in, and the characters are two that I won’t forget anytime soon. Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore and Every Shade of Red by Elliot Wake were super close to also being my favorite.
➽ LIFEL1K3 (Lifelike #1) by Jay Kristoff – ★★★★★
I recommend this with my whole heart for fans of Borderlands, Mad Max, and even Fallout, because that is this book’s aesthetic. Yet, this book also is very reminiscent of one of my favorite Disney Animation movies, but to say which would be such a big spoiler, so I will refrain, but it was so amazing! I was constantly reminded of all these stories constantly, and I loved each and every moment. LIFEL1K3 is such a different book, that I can only compare it to these video games and movies, but I truly think it’s going to completely win over the YA world upon release.
➽ The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw – ★★★★
The Wicked Deep is a story about a small town off the coast of Oregon, called Sparrow, that is the pinnacle of a small, sleepy town, except for in June when tourists come from all around in hopes of catching a glimpse of the Swan sisters who were drowned to death for witchcraft over two hundred years ago. From June 1st until Just 21st (summer solace) no one is safe. And each and every summer, accusations get thrown at more and more girls, from boys who claim them to be the sisters who are responsible for the drownings. This was a damn joy to read. I loved it.
➽ Ash Princess (Ash Princess Trilogy #1) by Laura Sebastian – ★★★★
Ash Princess is Laura Sebastian’s debut novel, which is a story about a girl named Theodosia, whose ruling mother was murdered, and their land taken over by another kingdom when she was only six-years-old. the Kaiser allowed her to live, but only so that she could live among them, while they take everything she has ever known away. She is used as a reminder for her people that the Kaiser has enslaved, and when they do anything to rise up, Theodosia takes the punishment. Her back is incredible scarred from the whippings she has had to endure, but the Kaiser also inflicts so much mental and emotional abuse alongside the physical.
➽ The Thief (Black Dagger Brotherhood #16) by J.R. Ward – ★★★★
It always feels so good to jump back into JR Ward’s world. This is book sixteen, with so many spinoffs and novellas intertwined, so I feel like I can’t say much, but this is just a series I will always love. Basically, inthe Black Dagger Brotherhood we follow a bunch of powerful vampires, that are in an elite group that protects humans, vampires, angels, and a bunch of other paranormal entities, and they all live in this big mansion, and they all are one big family that’s just saving the world.
➽ Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – ★★★
I’m the only person in the book world that doesn’t love this series the same way everyone else does. Seriously, take this entire review with a grain of salt, because I am very much in the minority with my feelings. There is just always something stopping me from loving and being completely invested in this series. I don’t know why I can’t connect with these stories the way my friends do, but if you are even somewhat interested in this story, you should totally give these books a shot. I mean, murderous AI, crew of cutthroat kids willing to do anything to save each other, betrayals, twists, turns, heartbreaks, romances, the most wonderful hacker in all of literature? These all sound pretty amazing, true? Seriously, check out come of my friends’ reviews: Destiny, Brandi, Em, Lilly, & Dani!
➽ Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas – ★★★
Friends, I really wanted to love this, and I still enjoyed it! Penelope Douglas is the queen of writing enemies to lovers. I am obsessed with Corrupt, Bully, and Punk 57! So, when I heard she was releasing a new taboo standalone, I knew I couldn’t resist one-click buying! But… dare I say? This book wasn’t taboo enough for me. It read just like a normal romance, where the characters have a big age difference.
➽ Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle – ★★★
This book was equal parts haunting and beautiful. The writing feels so lush and magical and is absolutely transportive. The story was so expertly and intelligently crafted. Seriously, this entire book feels like a work of art. But for some reason, I just couldn’t connect with any of the characters. Instead of it feeling like a treat to read, I really had to force myself to focus. I still really recommend this, and I think so many of my friends would enjoy, but for some reason I could never truly be immersed and in turn I could never fully fall in love.
➽ Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young – ★★★★
This is a debut, standalone, young adult fantasy novel that stars two different Viking clans. But this is a story about betrayal, then survival, then a choice. You all, I really enjoyed this one. I thought it was unique, well written, and has some amazing characters. Our main protagonist, Eelyn, has lived the last five years mourning her brother’s death. Every five years, the two rival Viking clans battle for no reason other than blind hatred. And five years ago, Eelyn had to watch him fall off a cliff and was forced to leave him dying below. But this book starts out five years later, with a brand new battle, yet Eelyn sees her brother, Iri, before her very eyes.
➽ Long Shot (Hoops #1) by Kennedy Ryan – ★★★★
Long Shot is a basketball, sort of second chance romance that starts with one night at a bar that changes two people’s lives forever. It is the night before August’s big college final game, and Iris is a basketball fanatic that came to the bar to catch her beloved Lakers play. August was just looking to blow off some steam, but he wasn’t planning on meeting someone who he would never forget. The chemistry is instant and so damn good. I truly believed that these two characters were real and were soulmates and it was a damn treat to be inside their heads. MAJOR trigger and content warnings for a lot of graphic rape, stalking, being trapped, and a lot of very graphic physical, emotional, and mental abuse. This read is not easy or light, but it very importantly talks about taking back your own body after someone has been forcefully taking it for so long. Also, if you need help, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233.
➽ The Professional (The Game Maker #1) by Kresley Cole – ★★★★
I just want to say: this book was exactly what I needed! It was so hot, so steamy, so sexy, and it was 100% what I was in the mood for. This stars a girl who at the very start is questioning her parentage, because she was adopted. And she soon finds out that she is the daughter of a very powerful man in Russia who is involved with the mafia/mafiya. And she also finds out that he has sent his right-hand man to be a bodyguard to look after her for a while now, without her knowing.
➽ Professed by Nicola Rendell – ★★
So, I read this book broken up into three parts for three days. Day one: five stars, I loved it. Day two; three stars, I still enjoyed it. Day three: one star, it was super annoying and read so very fake. Like, this book made me feel a whirlwind of emotions, but I just wish the feelings from day one stayed throughout. This was the April pick for the Book Hangover Book Club that Julie and Chelsea host! And you can get this ebook for FREE on Amazon US!
➽ City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★
I’m the last person on this planet to read anything by Cassie Clare! But I had too many best friends who promised me that reading this series would be worth it for me to finally get to Lady Midnight! Well, the other night I did an Instagram poll, because I wanted something fae and I was just going to pick up Lady Midnight, without reading any of Cassie’s other work, and some of my friends lost their shit, to put it lightly. And this is the story of how I got roped into finally reading City of Bones in 2018.
➽ Orange: The Complete Collection, Volume 2 by Ichigo Takano & Amber Tamosaitis – ★★★
Orange is a manga series that will definitely pull on your heartstrings. Heck, before even starting the actual story, the first two art pages at the beginning about broke my heart by themselves. This story starts out with our main character, Naho, receiving a letter from herself ten years in the future. She and her group of friends are sixteen and in eleventh grade in high school, but what her twenty-six-year-old self is trying to warn her of is imperative.
➽ Cracked Kingdom (The Royals #5) by Erin Watt – ★★
You all know I was asking for punishment when I picked this up. I have legit gave every book in this series two stars but one! Like, why do I do this to myself? But this was probably my least favorite out of all of them! I haven’t written up my review yet, but expect a rage filled post soon, my loves!
➽ Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – ★★★★★
Even in 2018, this is still such a fucking masterpiece. What it means to want love in a world that has never shown you any. What it means to find peace in a world where you disagree with a lot of religious ideals. Jane believes in herself and does what she feels is right for herself. Over and over. No matter what. And all this at a time where the best thing a woman could have was a powerful marriage commitment.
➽ The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang – ★★★★
This is an ownvoices Asian inspired grimdark fantasy, that I just finished! I really enjoyed this one, and I am writing up my review right now! So, expect a review on May 3rd, but this book does release tomorrow, May 1st! Also, you should check out my best friend Petrik’s ownvoices review, because it’s a masterpiece!
➽ Monstress, Vol. 2: The Blood (Monstress #2) by Marjorie M. Liu & Sana Takeda – ★★★★★
This is my absolute favorite graphic novel series to date! This story follows a seventeen-year-old girl named Maika, whose story starts out where she is being sold as a slave. The reader will immediately notice that Maika has a very strange tattoo of an eye on her chest, and she is missing an arm. Yet, it becomes very clear very early that Maika is much stronger than what she seems.
Whew! Okay, I think that’s everything! I can’t remember the last time I read twenty things in a month! I hope you all enjoyed these mini break downs! And I want to hear what your favorite read of the month was! Seriously, add more books to my TBR, please! Happy reading, loves, and I hope you all have such a wonderful May!