September 2018 Wrap Up

SeptemberWrapUpFriends, September was my best reading month yet! Like, I read so many freaking books, 23 books to be precise, and I don’t even know how I did it! Well, actually a lot of it was because of Contemporary-a-thon! But I also read so many quality books this month! And maybe the best book I’ve read all year! 🧡🍂

But on to what I read in September…
(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.)

The Antidote by Shelley Sackier – ★★

“Keep your secret close, for your enemies are all around you…”

This wasn’t a bad book, nor was it offensive by any means, it was just way too over the top. I felt like I was reading a magical soap opera. And the twists and turns felt so forced and so unrewarding.

City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare – ★

“Why is it, little Shadowhunter, that your angels are so cold and without mercy? Why do they break that which will not obey them?”

I hope this is the only book I’ll give one star to in the Shadowhunter world. Nothing happened except problematic ass shit. Easily the worst Cassie Clare book I’ve read.

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner – ★★★★★

“Sometimes you know when you don’t belong, but you don’t know how to leave.”

This is one of the most atmospheric books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It was also able to evoke such a visceral reading experience from me. I never wanted to put this book down! And I knew that this was going to be heavy on the Russian folklore, but I had no idea that this was also a reimagining of Goblin Market by Christina Rossetti. And I swear, I don’t remember consuming any fruit while reading this, yet I am still completely under this book’s spell. And I for sure also recommend this to people who also love The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden and Uprooted by Naomi Novik!

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa – ★★★★★

“…The tiniest pebble, when dropped into a pond, will leave ripples that will grow and spread in ways we cannot comprehend.”

Julie Kagawa gave me the (ownvoices) Japanese fantasy I’ve been searching my entire life for. I fell so deeply in love with this story, with Julie’s beautiful prose, with these characters, and with all the important messages that were so seamlessly woven in. This will for sure be on my best of 2018 list come December, and the next book for sure is now one of my most anticipated releases for 2019.

Clockwork Prince (The Infernal Devices #2) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★

“You are a Shadowhunter. You serve a greater cause. Your life is not yours to throw away.”

This is the highest four star rating. Like, I almost want to give this book five stars because I enjoyed the last 25% so damn much. This is easily my favorite Cassie Clare book yet, and I truly had such a wonderful time reading.

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden – ★★★★★

“You might get to know characters in books, Ollie thought, but getting to know a human was an entirely different thing.”

Small Spaces is Katherine Arden’s debut middle grade novel and I loved it so very much friends. Many of you know that The Bear and the Nightingale is one of my favorite books of all-time, and even though these stories are nothing like one another, the beautiful writing, amazing characters, and important themes shine through. I went into this expecting a fun and spooky read (which it was), but what I also got was such a beautiful love letter to grief, depression, and trying to live in a world that has taken away someone who you feel you cannot live without.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers – ★★★★★

“The truth is, Rosemary, that you are capable of anything. Good or bad. You always have been, and you always will be. Given the right push, you, too, could do horrible things. That darkness exists within all of us.”

This is the kind of book that makes you remember why you fell in love with reading. This is the kind of book that feels so powerful you can’t believe it exists. This is the kind of book that sets your very soul on fire and makes you want to do better. This is the kind of book that instills a hope so great that you feel like you could make a difference. This is the kind of book that you won’t be the same after finishing.

Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven – ★★★★

“I will conquer all of the Empire to bring you back.”

Friends, I was completely enthralled and captivated by this from page one. I never wanted to put this down, I fell so in love with the romance in this book, and this is one of my new favorite fantasy romances of all time. And I immediately added Radiance to my TBR!

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle – ★★

“I love you, but it doesn’t mean anything if you’re not happy.”

I wanted to love this so much. And at first, this really did feel like watching a lucid dream play out, and I felt so enthralled and captivated! But as time went on, I just cared less and less about the dinner, about the past, and about this book.

City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★

“But Heaven will not help you; you know that as well as I. That is why men summon demons and not angels, is it not?”

I actually thought this book had good twists and turns, too. I was impressed so many times while reading, and I truly never wanted to put this 500+ page book down, which says something all on its own. Also, a vast majority is told through Simon’s perspective which is all I truly want anyways.

Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore – ★★★★★

“There will always be two daughters. But we will always take one back. The swans would take not just one of the woman’s daughters, but one of her daughter’s daughters, and one of her daughters, and one of hers. There would always be one daughter taken, and one left watching the sky in winter, wondering if a far-off flick of white was a coming snow or her lost sister.”

I’ve been working on this review for a week, and it is just not perfect yet. Yet, it needs to be perfect, because this book was perfect. But I promise, this review will be up the first week of October. And I hope you all pick up this one come October 9th. Seriously, such a masterpiece.

Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake – ★★★★★

“Even girls made of stars are captives, bound at the wrists and traded like property. Even girls made of stars aren’t asked, aren’t believed, aren’t considered worth the effort unless they can offer something in return. Even girls made of stars buy into those lies sometimes.”

I wish I could put this book into everyone in the entire world’s hands. This book is so powerful, so heartbreaking, so important, and just so beautifully crafted.

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young – ★★

“I never believed in fate until you”

Fight or Flight is an enemies to lovers romance starring two people who met during a layover in an airport under the worst of circumstances. I’ve read a few books by Samantha Young and I’ve enjoyed every one, but this one had a few aspects that really did have me side-eyeing.

A Daring Arrangement (The Four Hundred #1) by Joanna Shupe – ★★

“The plan was simple. If her father wanted her to find a husband, she’d find the most outrageous man in New York, a fiancé noteworthy and unsuitable enough to land in the papers.”

Friends, I am not sure if this is because I just don’t read that much historical romance, or that I just couldn’t connect with these characters or story, but this just did not work for me. Honestly, I think I’m going to try a Tessa Dare book, and if that doesn’t work for me then I’m just going to swear off historical romances for a while. This was just so boring. Nothing happened what so ever. And I’ll admit, I picked this up because I was craving romance, so maybe the fact that the romance didn’t even start until 70% into the book made me really not enjoy it.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – ★★★★

“You found me in a constellation.”

Friends, I loved this story. And if the ending was a little different, this would have been such an easy five star read. I love books centered on creators on the internet. While reading this, I was constantly reminded of one my favorite books of all time, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. Which, I’m not really sure if here is any higher praise than to be compared to that book.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory – ★★★★

“Deciding to spend your life together shouldn’t be a surprise”

I loved The Wedding Date earlier this year, and when I found out that this was going to star one of the side characters I knew I couldn’t resist putting in an ARC request. This was a joy to read, from the first page to the last. Both of Jasmine’s books have been so intelligently, beautifully, and masterfully crafted.

The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere #2) by Meg Elison – ★★★★

“On the map, all the roads led to Estiel…”

I haven’t finalized my review for this one, either! (Mostly because my internet keeps going out and the Lord is testing me!) But I loved this powerful and heart wrenching dystopian! I just didn’t love it as much at the first book, which was my favorite book of 2016! And the ending was a little rushed for my tastes! But I can’t wait to see what is to come!

Clockwork Princess (The Infernal Devices #3) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★★

“I can tell you that the end of a life is the sum of the love that was lived in it…”

Friends, you were all right; not only was the ending of this trilogy not predictable, but it was also perfection. I actually think the epilogue in this book is now my favorite of all time. All time. Out of any book I’ve ever read. Like, that is some praise, friends. This book made me so happy, and so sad, all at the same time. But I think the ending was perfect, absolutely perfect. This is also the first Cassandra Clare book that I’ve given five stars.

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold – ★★

“For Emory to take his father’s place as king, he must do as his father had done, and his father before him. He must conquer a dragon and rescue a damsel, and take that maiden as his bride.”

I get what this book was trying to do, I really do, and I appreciate it, but I just don’t personally think it was well done. This is a play on the “damsel in the tower, guarded by a dragon, and a brave knight comes to save her” but I don’t even feel like that was very powerfully done either. This just reads really boring, really forced, and really overly graphic. And a few of my friends have five starred and really loved this one, and I obviously don’t want my personal feelings to invalidate anyone, especially those I love and especially abuse survivors.

Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno – ★★★★★

“On the island of By-the-Sea you could always smell two things: salt and magic.”

I just finished this last night, with tears streaming down my face! I loved this more than words, and it is the perfect mixture of Girl Made of Stars and The Wicked Deep! And I promise to have a review up soon!

And here are the three graphic works that I read this month…
(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.)

The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill – ★★★★★

“Memories don’t just live inside you, Minette. They live in all the people and objects you share your life with.”

Friends, this was the literally cutest and most heartwarming book I’ve read all year. Also, the art in this book is probably my favorite art style of all time. I recommend this with my entire heart and soul.

Giant Days, Vol. 1 by John Allison & Lissa Treiman – ★★★

“Why are… boys… like this?”

This was a really fun, slice of life, college graphic-novel. And I think I liked it a little more because I always get nostalgic this time of year for college and dorm life. But this graphic novel follows three girls, who share a dorm, and are best friends.

Check, Please!: #Hockey (Check, Please!, #1-2) by Ngozi Ukazu – ★★★★

“Never fall for a straight boy.”

You all, this was the cutest. No, scratch that; Bitty is the cutest! And this graphic novel was nothing short of a joy to read! Hockey games, behind the scenes practices, a slow-burn attraction, an adorable romance, the most heartwarming main character ever. I mean, what else could you really ask for? Ngozi Ukazu has given us such a bright light of pure sunshine! And this is basically a published version of a very popular webcomic!

Yeah, that is a lot, I know! And, again, I totally have Contemporary-a-thon to thank for it. This was easily the best reading month in volume that I’ve ever had. But I for sure expect October, November, and December to slow down so that I can spend more time with loved ones! But I hope you all are having a wonderful end to September, and I wish you all the love, health, and happiness this October! Oh, and I always wish you all the good books, too! Happy reading! 🎃🧡

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch

Down the TBR Hole #12

Down the TBR Hole was originally created by Lost in a Story! The point of it is to help cull your reading lists down, or maybe push higher anticipated releases up on your TBR! And maybe you all can help me along the way, and tell me if you’ve loved or hated any of these!


How it works:
➽ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
➽ Order on ascending date added.
➽ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
➽ Read the synopses of the books
➽ Decide: keep it or should it go?


Friends, this is another all over the place week! But some of these I truly need to get to ASAP! Please, help me! Have you read any of these? Loved any of these? Maybe even not loved any of these? Seriously, me and my TBR are out of control.

The Six Books:

As I Descended by Robin Talley
I have read so many short stories by Robin Talley now, and each one is an atmospheric treat! I hope to read this one, maybe now that it’s fall! And I hear it is super queer, with PoC and disability rep!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Kushiel’s Dart (Phèdre’s Trilogy #1) by Jacqueline Carey
I’m honestly not sure why this is on my TBR, because looking at my friend’s reviews on this one? They seem to really dislike it. Have you all read this? Did you enjoy? Help me!
Verdict: Delete ❌

Midnight Never Come (The Onyx Court #1) by Marie Brennan
This is a historical fantasy involving fae and fae courts, and I’m here for that always and forever. This honestly needs to be bumped up on the TBR immediately.
Verdict: Keep ✅

Marriage Games (The Games Duet #1) by C.D. Reiss
I tried to read something by CD Reiss a very long time ago and really disliked it. But they are so beloved in the romance community, I feel like I should give them another try. But maybe not with this one? Unless you all loved it!
Verdict: Delete ❌

Storm Front (The Dresden Files #1) by Jim Butcher
I feel like half my friends LOVE Jim Butcher and the other half absolutely HATE Jim Butcher, so I’m really going to need all your help with this one! This is one of the books I feel most torn to keep or delete.
Verdict: Keep ✅

Fireblood (Frostblood Saga #2) by Elly Blake
Okay, so I read the first one, Frostblood, a while ago, and I didn’t love it, but I saw so much potential in it. I said I wanted to read on, so I probably should do so!
Verdict: Keep ✅


Okay, friends, these are the next oldest six books I have on my TBR! Let me know if you love, hate, and/or recommend me to read or trash any of these books! Thank you all so much, and I hope whatever you’re currently reading is five star worthy! 💛✨

Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch | Bloglovin’

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

ARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

“For Emory to take his father’s place as king, he must do as his father had done, and his father before him. He must conquer a dragon and rescue a damsel, and take that maiden as his bride.”

I get what this book was trying to do, I really do, and I appreciate it, but I just don’t personally think it was well done. This is a play on the “damsel in the tower, guarded by a dragon, and a brave knight comes to save her” but I don’t even feel like that was very powerfully done either. This just reads really boring, really forced, and really overly graphic. And a few of my friends have five starred and really loved this one, and I obviously don’t want my personal feelings to invalidate anyone, especially those I love and especially abuse survivors.

But this is a really graphic and dark book, so content and trigger warnings so much animal abuse and death, sexual abuse, sexual assault, threats of rape, physical abuse, emotional abuse, humiliation, captivity, talk of past rape, self-harm, gaslighting, grey area cheating, misogynistic and sexist comments, and I don’t really know if I want to call this rape or bestiality: but a scene where a guy has sex with an opening that his sword made on a dragon. (I can’t believe I just typed that!) But I just wanted to put this all out there before I really start this review, because these topics are going to get brought up.

Basically, in this world, from this small kingdom, a prince always goes to slay a dragon once the king dies so that he can prove himself a worthy ruler and become the new king. Once the prince, or king in waiting, slays the beast, he will rescue the damsel in distress, bringing her back to his kingdom so that he can get crowned and they can get married. She will then produce him one, male heir and the cycle will repeat forever and ever. The dream, right? Wrong.

The book starts out with us seeing Emory approaching this tower, then slaying the dragon, and then rescuing the girl to take back with him. He names her Ama, since she has no memory or recollection of her past and promises her that she will have a life that others only dream of having.

“The damsels are a legacy of nothing—no memory, no past, no family. Accept your nothing, and pray it stays that way.”

But you will quickly find out that this book is a statement on abuse, and how the cycle continues and continues throughout relationship and throughout generations who go on thinking abusive actions are okay and justifiable. Ama has no choice in any of the actions she performs, and her only escape is her pet lynx, Sorrow, who Emory constantly threatens to kill and uses as leverage for Ama to do his bidding.

And Emory is awful; he sexually assaults her, physically abuses her, allows his friend to do the same, and completely controls every aspect of her life and happiness. And he expects her to thank him for it. Again, there are a lot of parallels to our world, and this entire book is more of a statement to that testament. Yet, this book isn’t fun to read. And I don’t mean that in the, “books about abuse are always hard to read!” because hard and not enjoyable are two very different things. Yes, this was a hard book to read at times, but it was also ungodly forced, heavy handed, and boring, too. Oh, and if I ever read the word “yard” referring to a person’s penis again, I am going to scream.

And the animal abuse in this was some of the worst I’ve ever read. That is a personal trigger for me, but something that I knew going in and believed I was in the right headspace for. Yet, it was very hard to read, especially because it continues to happen throughout. So, again, just, use caution, and I wanted to make note that this probably added to me not really enjoying the book even more so.

The one element I really did enjoy about this book is its minor discussion on gaslighting and sympathizing with your abuser. There were times that Emory was really sweet, kind, and giving to Ama and would make her question everything. There were times Emory was really convincing that the bad things that happened to Ama were her own fault. And there were times that you actually thought that maybe Emory wasn’t a complete piece of shit. Well, these are all tactics that abusers know and love, and I really did like how the author showed that in this story.

“I saved you,” Emory said.
And Ama believed him.”

Overall, I think you’re going to love this one or you’re just not. For as many friends that I have that have five starred this, I have even more that have DNFed it. This just reads so introductory and forced, to me personally. But I think both ends of the spectrum are very valid. And again, I’m sorry if this is one of your favorite reads of the year. But if you’re looking for feminist novels with a little more substance, that pack just as an emotional punch without feeling forced, I very much recommend: The Book of the Unnamed Midwife, Her Body and Other Parties, and The Power.

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch | Wishlist

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

Buddy read with Candance at Literary Dust! ❤

September 2018 Book Haul

SeptemberBookHaulHello, friends! Okay, so my birthday was August 27th, and I honestly thought my birthday haul was pretty wild, but I apparently put those gift cards to good use in September, because this is the most books I’ve bought…. maybe ever? 🎃📖


PURCHASED BOOKS:


The Impostor Queen (Thank you, Elise, I love you!) 💕
The Last Time I Lied
The Death of Mrs. Westaway
An Illustrated History of Notable Shadowhunters (Thank you, Lilly, I love you!) 💕
Sleepless, Vol. 1
Giant Days, Vol. 1 | Review – ★★★
Monstress, Vol. 3
Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 1
Fullmetal Alchemist 01
Fullmetal Alchemist 02
Strange Grace | Review – ★★★★★
Eliza and her Monsters | Review – ★★★★
Ramona Blue
The Heart Forger | Review – ★★★★★
The Bone Witch | Review – ★★★★


PURCHASED EBOOKS:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue
I Belong to the Earth (free on Amazon US still!)
Prince of Gods


PHYSICAL ARCS:


Four Dead Queens
The Kingdom of Copper
The Priory of the Orange Tree


NETGALLEY ARCS:

Daisy Jones & The Six
Enchantée
My Favorite Half-Night Stand
The Gilded Wolves


EDELWEISS ARCS:

Pulp
Kingdom of Copper
99 Percent Mine


SUBSCRIPTION BOXES:


Owlcrate| Mirage: Review – ★★★

Owlcrate| Vengeful

BOTM | The Silence of the Girls & The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock


Okay, loves! I hope that’s it! I also hope I don’t have another haul this big in 2018! But I’ll be honest, I’ve already preordred so many books in October. *Hamilton voice* just you wait… until you see how many Muse of Nightmares I preordered. But have you read and loved any of these? Any I should prioritize? Let me know! And I hope you’re all having an amazing end to September! Happy reading! 🍂 🍁

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch| Wishlist

 

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet (Wayfarers #1) by Becky Chambers

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

“The truth is, Rosemary, that you are capable of anything. Good or bad. You always have been, and you always will be. Given the right push, you, too, could do horrible things. That darkness exists within all of us.”

This is the kind of book that makes you remember why you fell in love with reading. This is the kind of book that feels so powerful you can’t believe it exists. This is the kind of book that sets your very soul on fire and makes you want to do better. This is the kind of book that instills a hope so great that you feel like you could make a difference. This is the kind of book that you won’t be the same after finishing.

I recommend this book to every single person in this entire galaxy and to whatever else is out there and still unknown.

Also, please know that there is no semblance of a review that I could write that would do this book even a percent of justice or let you know even an ounce of how much it impacted me. But I’m going to try my best, because this book deserves nothing less.

I suppose the easy thing to say is that this book is about a crew, traveling through space on the Wayfarer, exploring the galaxy and taking on new adventures. And a new crewmember has just arrived, not knowing what to expect.

“They were reminders of what a fragile thing it was to be alive.”

(Beautiful fanart of the crew by SebasP!) 💗

Rosemary – A human who has just left her home planet to join the crew on the Wayfarer.

Sissix – An Aandrisk and pilot of the Wayfarer. One of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read in my entire life was seeing Rosemary learn about Sissix’s hatch family, feather family, and house family. Seriously, it’s so beautiful that I don’t even have words. Sissix not only beautifully gave me a polyamorous story line, but also the f/f romance of my dreams.

Ashby – The captain of the Wayfarer. My soft and strong boy. Nothing but all the love and respect in the entire world for my captain.

Jenks – A technician on the Wayfarer. I will say I think the moment I fell in love with this book was when Jenks asked Lovey, “What kind of body do you want to have?” One of my biggest pet peeves in all of literature is when authors give AIs genders. And seeing Lovey decide what she wanted to be… friends, I don’t have words for how beautiful it is. You all know that I’m pansexual, so maybe I’m stretching here, but I think Jenks is my new pansexual hero, by the way.

Lovey – The AI of the Wayfarer. My heart, my soul, my everything. Becky Chambers is seriously an expert word weaver to make me feel all the things that I feel for Lovey.

Dr. Chef – A Grum and the most amazing doctor and chef upon the Wayfarer. A highlight in this perfect book was seeing Dr. Chef become Dr. Chef and everything that had to do with Grums. Again, so beautiful and I would happily trade lessons for his soup, too.

“You Humans really do cripple yourselves with your belief that you all think in unique ways.”

Corbin – Human and algaeist on the Wayfarer. Likes to be alone, and that’s okay.

Ohan – Sianat Pair and the navigator of the Wayfarer. They help Sissix and keep to themselves for the most part. But the end of this story really blew me away involving them.

Kizzy – A technician on the Wayfarer. Never, have I ever, read a character that I felt I was personally more like than Kizzy Shao. From her being so talkative, to always trying to be cheerful and positive, to her playing dating sims and loving all food, especially all things spicy, to her loving so unconditionally. I will never answer another bookish question of “what character are you most like” with bits and pieces from other books, because I truly see all of myself in Kizzy. Oh, and her being Asian warms my damn heart, too.

Friends, I have never fallen in love with fictional character the way that I fell in love with all the members on the Wayfarer.

“Time could crawl, it could fly, it could amble. Time was a slippery thing.”

(Beautiful fanart of Rosemary, Kizzy, and Jenks by Izzi Ward!) 💗

One of my favorite things in all of literature is reading about found families and having that be a pivotal aspect to a story. Friends, I feel bad praising any other book before this one, because this is the found family of my soul. I have never read a book with a better found family in my entire life, and I don’t think I ever will.

This book also emphasizes the importance of respect; respecting peoples’ pronouns, peoples’ bodies, and peoples’ feelings. And the representation in this book is honestly unparalleled. From different species, to different races, to different genders, to different sexualities, to different mental health issues, to different bodies types, to different upbringings, to different cultures, to different traditions, to different religions, to different social settings, to so much more.

This book touches upon gun control, and how no amount of weapons will ever make a person feel safe. How filling a home with devices meant to kill will never make a person feel more safe. I live in the United States, so I see people constantly going back and forth about gun control every single day, but I will never put more value on a soulless piece of metal over a piece of an actual person. And that’s the hill I’ll maybe die on because firearm assaults kill about 13,000 Americans each year.

This book also tackles colonialism, xenophobia, and racism at the forefront of this story. And how just because you don’t understand something, doesn’t mean that way is wrong or less. And how taking over and forcing your ways and your beliefs on anyone else will never be the right way.

“People can do terrible things when they feel safe and powerful.”

Yet, again, this book also leaves you feeling so much hope. And it reiterates how we are not to be blamed for the mistakes and wars that our parents started. How each one of us can make a difference, and truly lead a better and kinder future for the next generation.

Overall, I think it’s pretty obvious that I loved this with my heart, my soul, and the sum of my being. I will say that this is a very character driven story, and I know that’s not for everyone, but if you connect with these characters even a fraction of the amount that I did, you are going to love this book, too. Becky Chambers has created something so unique, so special, and so thought provoking. This is a very quiet book, but it speaks so loudly. This crew, these words, this book, they all mean more to me than I can express. Never have I closed a book and felt such an extreme feeling of hope before.

“…All any of us can do – is work to be something positive instead. That is a choice that every sapient must make every day of their life. The universe is what we make of it. It’s up to you to decide what part you will play.”

Instagram | Goodreads | Twitter | Tumblr | Twitch | Bloglovin’ | Wishlist

Content and trigger warnings for murder, death, loss of a loved one, PTSD depiction, grief depiction, blood depiction, and general war themes.

Buddy read with Imi at Imi Reviews Books! ❤

Check, Please!: #Hockey (Check, Please!, #1-2) by Ngozi Ukazu

Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

This ARC was given to me by my beautiful friend Lilly from Lair of Books!
(Thank you so much! I love you!)

You all, this was the cutest. No, scratch that – Bitty is the cutest! And this graphic novel was nothing short of a joy to read! Hockey games, behind the scenes practices, a slow-burn attraction, an adorable romance, the most heartwarming main character ever. I mean, what else could you really ask for? Ngozi Ukazu has given us such a bright light of pure sunshine!

So basically, this is a published version of a very popular webcomic that so many of my friends have been following and adoring for so very long. It stars a boy named Eric Bittle, AKA: Bitty, who is leaving his southern home to go to college in the north to play hockey, and he is gay and not yet out! He is also a very talented ice skater, but he has a little improving to do on the ice with hockey. And this book is broken up in two parts that are following him during his freshman year and sophomore year at Samwell University.

Bitty also makes video blogs where he talks about everything that’s going on his life. We get to slowly see the seasons change, and Bitty change as well during his vlogs. And he especially likes to talk about the captain of the hockey team, Jack, who he is pretty sure dislikes him, even though he is constantly helping him improve on the ice.

“Never fall for a straight boy.”

But we also get to see Bitty interact with the rest of his team: Ransom, Shitty, Holster, Chowder, Nursey, Lardo, and Dex (ew)! And Bitty builds some really beautiful friendships. Shitty (Lord, I will never get used to typing that name) is such a sweetheart who was so accepting and wonderful. Easily my favorite side character and my favorite brewing side romance with a certain someone.

I also loved getting to see Bitty move into the team house his sophomore year and really embrace his love for cooking. While his team also embraces their love for eating his baking. Seriously, seeing him build friendships and bond with others was so pure and so wonderful.

Lastly, I really want to talk about Ngozi Ukazu’s banter and how it is so perfect and so realistic. I legit tried to read this in public, and I was smiling so big and giggling out loud while sipping my coffee. The dialogue is on a tier above most graphic work out here, and the art is so beautiful and lovely on the eyes, too. I am in awe.

Overall, I just thought this was adorable perfection. The only reason I’m giving it four stars is because I feel like the story just started to really begin right before it ended. But the slow burn m/m romance is very precious, and I will scream from the highest rooftop that Bitty deserves the entire world forever and ever. I have such high hopes for junior and senior year! This is easily the best sports graphic work I’ve ever read.


Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch| Wishlist

Content and triggers warnings for underage drinking, panic attacks, hazing, and a lot of sexual content comments (mostly about hooking up with girls).

❤ I read this for Contemporary-a-thon!

 

Top Ten Tuesday | Fall 2018 Book Recommendations

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Hello, friends! Last Tuesday, I told you all the Autumn reads that I would like to get to that I haven’t read yet! Well, this week I’m going to tell you about all the Autumn reads that I’ve already read, loved, reviewed, and completely recommend that you all pick up this Fall season! (Click on each individual review for in-depth thoughts and trigger warnings!) 🌻🍂🍄


➽ The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner
September 25th 2018 by Redhook
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“We can’t fight our natures, even though we try. A bear will aways be a bear, and a swan a swan. Everyone fights, malyshka; everyone questions their choices. Even people who love each other.”


➽ Small Spaces by Katherine Arden
September 25th, 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“As night begins to fall, they head out into the woods, bracketed by fearsome scarecrows. The bus driver gives them a word of advice. In order to survive whatever is coming, they’ll need to keep to small spaces.”


➽ Phoenix Unbound (Fallen Empire #1) by Grace Draven
September 25th, 2018 by Ace Books
⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Every year, each village is required to send a young woman to the Empire’s capital–her fate to be burned alive for the entertainment of the masses. For the last five years, one small village’s tithe has been the same woman. Gilene’s sacrifice protects all the other young women of her village, and her secret to staying alive lies with the magic only she possesses. But this year is different. ”


➽ Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor
October 2nd, 2018 by Little, Brown
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Sarai had lived and breathed nightmares since she was six years old. For four thousand nights she had explored the dreamscapes of Weep, witnessing horrors and creating them. She was the Muse of Nightmares.”


➽ Shadow of The Fox (Shadow of the Fox #1) by Julie Kagawa
October 2nd, 2018 by Harlequin Teen
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Now, every thousand years—one year for each prayer the lord uttered—the Dragon will rise again to the mortal who summons him. If the mortal’s soul is pure, if his intentions are just and his heart is honorable, the Dragon will grant him his heart’s desire. However, if the soul is found wanting, the Dragon rips it from the body and takes it as forfeit for the arrogance of the mortal who sought to become a god, so long ago.”


➽ Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
October 2nd, 2018 by Katherine Tegen Books
⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Decades of dead girls. Poor girls and rich girls. Black and brown and white girls. All of them Sawkill girls.”


➽ What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera
October 9th 2018 by HarperTeen
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“I believe in love at first sight. Fate, the universe, all of it. But not how you’re thinking. I don’t mean it in the our souls were split and you’re my other half forever and ever sort of way. I just think you’re meant to meet some people. I think the universe nudges them into your path.”


➽ Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria
October 9th, 2018 by Amulet
⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Deep beneath the citadel, the executioner was waiting.”


➽ Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore
October 9th, 2018 by Feiwel & Friends
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“There will always be two daughters. But we will always take one back. The swans would take not just one of the woman’s daughters, but one of her daughter’s daughters, and one of her daughters, and one of hers. There would always be one daughter taken, and one left watching the sky in winter, wondering if a far-off flick of white was a coming snow or her lost sister.”


Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan
November 6th, 2018 by Jimmy Patterson Books
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“We might be Paper Girls, easily torn and written upon. The very title we’re given suggests that we are blank, waiting to be filled. But what the Demon King and his court do not understand is that paper is flammable. And there is a fire catching among us.”


Okay, loves! Those are ten books that I read and really loved already this year, that all release this Autumn season! I also read Fight or Flight and The Proposal last week, but things have just been a little chaotic because of #contemporaryathon! But maybe sure you check out the three releases today! And I hope you all have the most wonderful autumnal season! Happy reading! ☕🍁🎃

Instagram | Bloglovin’ | Twitter | Tumblr | Goodreads | Twitch| Wishlist