Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson

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1.) The Way of Kings ★★★★★

I am so sorry with how this review is like three weeks late! November just got so overwhelming for me with trips and other things, but I’m here now and happily ready to yell at you all about how this series is Brandon Sanderson’s magnum opus!

“Words are where most change begins.”

This is book two of The Stormlight Archive series. It has multiple points of view, but every one of the characters will somehow weasel their way inside of your heart. Like, I know I’m probably getting “too old” to say this, but Adolin Kholin is the ultimate book boyfriend and Jasnah Kholin is the ultimate book girlfriend and my little bi heart is so thirsty happy while reading this story.

Also, one thing I haven’t seen anyone say who reviews this series: this series totally has a love triangle and I’m living for it? I mean, you obviously know what team I’m on from my statement above, but there is so much tension between three of the main characters of this story! I love this dynamic so much, and I’m so impressed that Brandon Sanderson pulled off, seemingly, the perfect love triangle.

But moving on, this book picks right up where The Way of Kings left off. I want this review to be spoiler free, so I’m just going to give you guys an idea of what this story and world are like. But I can’t emphasize enough how amazing, atmospheric, and impressive this world and story are.

This is high fantasy at its finest, which means a lot of world building, but it’s so expertly done. Roshar is so unique and so complexly written. From the Shattered Plains, where the Parshendi are trying to decide what to do for the good of their people who are wanted for killing a king. To Shinovar, which is protected by a mountain range where the people known as Shins live. To Alethkar, the largest kingdom on Roshar and where our main story happens! And it is divided into ten mini kingdoms, that are self-governed. This world is beyond expansive, is what I’m trying to say!

And this series has…. a lot of different races:
(Amazing fan art by: Botanicaxu)

Oh, and we can’t forget about Spren! Who, in this world are magical little companion beings that come in a variety of different types, but only bond with those who are worthy.

“Honor is dead. But I’ll see what I can do.”

And then throw in the magical Shardblades, Shardplate, and Soulcasting! Plus we have the magical Highstorms that are happening on this planet, that the people use to charge gemstones!

Needless to say, there is a lot going on in this story. I mean, each book is over 1,000 pages and Brandon Sanderson doesn’t hold back with the information. If you’d like a better break down of this world and these characters, please check out my review of The Way of Kings where I’m super long winded but way more informative.

And I say this a lot, but Brandon Sanderson truly writes the best prologues and epilogues in the fantasy genre, and I’ll stand by that forever or when I’m finally proven wrong. But, Lord, did he outdo himself with the epilogue of this book. This book evoked every emotion from me, and still chokes me up while I’m writing this review three weeks after finishing. The only word I can use is perfection, because it truly is that.

Also, Wit is the best character of all time. And Sly’s a close second.

“Expectation. That is the true soul of art. If you can give a man more than he expects, then he will laud you his entire life. If you can create an air of anticipation and feed it properly, you will succeed.”

You can say what you want about Brandon Sanderson, but he proves over and over that he truly is the king of epic fantasy. I loved this book. I love this series. I truly think this is Brandon Sanderson’s best work. I implore and encourage every single one of my high fantasy lovers to give this series a try. This book is nothing short of amazing and is easily one of my favorite books of all time.


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Buddy Read with Robin and the rest of BB&B! ❤

December 2017 TBR

Happy December 1st, my loves! I can’t believe 2017 is almost at a close, but I hope we all find some new favorites before the year is out! Also, a lot of my TBR is based off the Yule Bingo challenges, which is a readathon that a couple of my best friends have created and that I decided to participate in! How we are in the last month of 2017, I have no idea, but here is what I hope and plan to get to before 2017 ends!

The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere, #2) by Meg Elison:
This is one of the five books that I have to read before the end of 2017! The Book of the Unnamed Midwife was my favorite read of 2016, so I have such high hopes for the sequel. But this will be a very dark read, and I hope I will be in the right mindset for it.

Everless (Untitled #1) by Sara Holland:
This is an ARC I have that will be published on January 2nd, 2018 by HarperTeen! I don’t know much about this one, other than the fact that people exchange blood for time to live. And a servant girl discovers secrets and rises in the ranks quickly! But, I mean, that sounds pretty intriguing! And I’m buddy reading this with the beautiful Destiny! ❤

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert:
This is also an ARC I have that will be published on January 30th, 2018 by Flatiron Books! This is one of my most anticipated 2018 releases, so I’m very excited to finally dig into this. Alice is a girl that has grown up with fairy tales told by her grandmother, but once Alice’s mother is kidnapped, Alice starts to realize that maybe her Grandmother’s stories weren’t fairy tales after all! And this is a buddy read with Jenn and Destiny! ❤

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2) by Jay Kristoff:
This is also one of the five books that I have to read before the end of 2017! And give me all the f/f assassin novels, please. Also, I fell so fast and deeply in love with Nevernight, that I expect to do the same or more so with this one, too! Also, this is another amazing buddy read with Jules! ❤

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen, #1) by Roshani Chokshi:
I was blessed to meet Roshani this October at the Goodreads Power User Summit in San Francisco, and she was honestly the sweetest and kindest author I’ve ever met. I knew I couldn’t let 2017 end without giving The Star-Touched Queen a proper review! And this is a buddy read with Sonja! ❤

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3) by Brandon Sanderson:
I believe with my whole heart that this will make my best of 2017 list, so I really have to buckle down and force myself to read and review this budding masterpiece!

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles edited by Natalie C. Parker:
This is an ARC I have that will be published on December 19th, 2017 by HarperCollins! And, please, give me all the anthologies at this point in my life! And this one is all about love triangles! I mean, how much more “Melanie” could this get? The only thing they could do is add a fae story about a queer, book lovin’ girl and I’d be in bookish heaven.

Sinless (Eye of the Beholder #1) by Sarah Tarkoff:
This is also an ARC I have that will be published on January 9th, 2018 by Harper Voyager! I’m a little nervous about this one, because it has to do with good people being awarded with beauty and others being forced to deal with disfigurement and things like that. But I’m hoping it isn’t offensive, and it looks like there is a PoC MC on the cover! Plus, this story has to do with Clerics, and that’s my ultimate favorite D&D class, so hopefully this wows me!

Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom #1) by R.J. Barker:
This too is one of the five books that I have to read before the end of 2017! Okay, I received an ARC of this right before the release date, so there was no way for me to fit it into my TBR and now it just keeps getting put on the back burner for newer release ARCs! But I think this is going to be an amazing fantasy debut, that stars a disabled MC assassin!

Kingdom of Ashes (Nightfall #1) by Elena May:
This author wrote to me early this fall, and was such a sweetheart! Then she sent me a copy of her book and some European goodies! I want to read and review this so badly before the end of 2017!

And beyond all else, I hope you guys are having a wonderful holiday season! I can’t believe this is my last TBR for 2017, but here we are! I also hope we all have an amazing December, filled with good books, because with the way 2017 went, we can all use a little more joy in our lives! Happy reading, lovelies! ❄⛄

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November 2017 Reading Wrap Up

How is it already the last day of November? I hope you all are having a wonderful start to the wintery season! Time is going way too fast, and I honestly cannot deal. But here we are, and here are the twelve things that I was able to read in the month of November!


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.

A Monstrous Love: Two Halloween Romances by Magen Cubed – ★★★★
Okay, I might have technically read this on October 31st, but I didn’t get my review out until November 1st! So, here we are! This is a bind up of two short stories, and by short stories, I truly mean short stories. Like, you can finish both of these tales in fifteen minutes tops! But they will both completely get you into a spooky mood!

The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1) by Myke Cole – ★★★★★
Well, I think it’s safe for me to yell from the rooftops: pre-order The Armored Saint now, guys! What an amazing ride, even though I wasn’t ready for it to be over. This is easily one of the best things I’ve read in 2017, and this is truly epic fantasy at its finest. I’m so damn impressed. But this is also a story about discovering and embracing your sexuality. Heloise is constantly questioning her feelings for her best friend, and it made me cry so many happy yet sad tears. This is a beautiful tale about a girl coming to terms with her queerness in a world that thinks it is unnatural, and it is so very important. This story truly means more to me than I can express in words.

Fallen Heir (The Royals #4) by Erin Watt – ★★
At this point, you guys know I’m trash for this series. It’s honestly just like a high school soap opera, but it’s so addicting and completely impossible to put down. And even though I haven’t enjoyed any of the installments as much as Paper Princess, I knew I couldn’t pass this by because this story is about my favorite Royal boy, Easton.

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland – ★★★★★
Dread Nation is the perfect mix of action and suspense, while always having oppression be at the forefront of the story. This book was thought-provoking, moving, intense, so very well written, and completely and absolutely enthralling. This book was nothing short of amazing and it’s one of the best things I’ve read this entire year. If you want to read a book about black girls killing zombies and putting a stop to white power-hungry men (because who honestly wouldn’t?) please give Dread Nation a try. And I hope if you do give it a try, that you will take something from it and help to raise and support marginalized voices.

Zenith (The Androma Saga, #1) by Lindsay Cummings & Sasha Alsberg – DNF @ Chapter 41
I just… couldn’t do this anymore. I’m sorry, guys. I tried, I really tried. Zenith is the first book in a YA series that stars Androma, AKA: the Bloody Baroness, and her crew, who are forced to do a very dangerous mission. This mission is the direct result of the ghosts from Andi’s past that have come back to haunt her. One of them being her past lover, Dex, who betrayed her, and Andi is now forced to work alongside him for this mission. I don’t care about Dex, or Andi, or even her crew! The incredibly short chapters that jump around to a million different points of view are just too much for me. This is such a jarring read that is really lacking any real cohesiveness.

Roomies by Christina Lauren – ★★★★
This was maybe the sweetest book I’ve read all year. It was heartwarming, adorable, and just a joy to read. I loved this and I hope if you guys are looking for a romantic contemporary this holiday season, you’ll pick up Roomies upon release on December 5th! I love the “marriage of convenience” story trope and this one was so perfect. There are a few sort of steamy scenes, but nothing too explicit. But this book is oh so romantic and it was honestly un-put-downable for me.

Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep #1) by Mira Grant – ★★★
I just feel really torn on this one! I loved so many aspects of this, but ultimately I feel like this just wasn’t a book for me. I still encourage anyone who is intrigued by the synopsis to pick it up, especially if you like horror with science! And… this is about killer mermaids!

Bad Habit (Bad Love #1) by Charleigh Rose – ★
I was very uncomfortable with the ages of the love interests in this book. For most the book they are seventeen and twenty-one, which is still… not okay, but the flashbacks are fourteen and seventeen and I just… can’t. The ages just ruined this book for me, without question. Bad Habit? This should have been named Illegal Habit. Or at the least, Uncomfortable Habit, because I was the entire time reading.

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive #2) by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★★
I slacked so badly at writing this review, holy moly! I normally never get behind with reviews, but I just kept feeling like everything I wrote didn’t do this book justice, and I kept putting it off and off. But I loved this with my whole heart. It’s such a strong addition to, what I feel like, is Brandon Sanderson’s best series! And it made me so very excited for Oathbringer!

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado – ★★★★
This collection of short stories heavily emphasizes the violence that we put on women’s bodies. Whether it be sexual violence, physical violence, violence put on us by society, or violence we put on ourselves. This entire collection is absolutely haunting in the best way possible. I won’t forget this collection, ever. And these are all so queer, and so feminist, and invoked so many emotions from me. Carmen Maria Machado is beyond words talented, and I feel so very blessed to even have been able to read this.

The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy #1) by Katherine Arden – ★★★★★
I loved this so much. Easily the best thing I read all month and easily one of my all time favorite stories. This story is a love letter to stories everywhere. This book is a mash-up retelling of many Russian fairy tales, but with unique spins of them, which are woven together to tell such a beautiful tale that makes me breathless just thinking about how expertly it is crafted. Please read this during this winter season and then come gush with me!

Robots vs. Fairies edited by Dominik Parisien & Navah Wolfe – ★★★
This is an anthology that is all about Robots, Fairies, and literally Robots vs. Fairies! Overall, I really, really, really enjoyed this! But it is a bit of a mixed bag, I do suppose! Some of these were so amazing, where others are ones that I will probably not remember or carry with me. But I do also believe there is something here for everyone to love, whether you are #TeamFairies or #TeamRobots!

This month I was also so very blessed to go to BlizzCon at the start of this month! And it was for sure the highlight of my month, without question! So, I had to mention it in this wrap up, even if it’s not really book related!

I hope you guys had an amazing November! I am so looking forward to relaxing more in December and just being able to focus on my family and reading! I wish you all the happiest of holiday season! Happy reading, lovelies! ❄⛄

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November 2017 Book Haul

Hey, lovelies! I hope you’re all having a beautiful day! Welcome to another monthly post where you slowly learn how much I’m lacking in self-control! Here are all the books I received in the month of November!

PHYSICAL ARCS:

The Throne of Amenkor | Furyborn | Before I Let Go | Roomies | Reign of the Fallen | Ash Princess | To Kill a Kingdom | Robots vs. Fairies

PURCHASED PHYSICAL BOOKS:

Illustrated Fantastic Beasts | Artemis | Little Fires Everywhere | The Bear and the Nightingale | Turtles All the Way Down | The Book of Etta | Her Body and Other Parties

NETGALLEY ARCS:

Children of Blood and Bone
(I’m still crying over this)

PURCHASED EBOOKS:

Blood Song | Marriage Games | Bad Habit

BOOK SUBSCRIPTION BOXES:

The Glass Spare

Okay, maybe this month wasn’t that bad. I mean, December is probably going to be wild from my loved ones gifting me books for the holidays! But we will see! I hope you all enjoyed seeing my lack of self-control when it comes to book buying and ARC requesting! Happy reading, lovelies!

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The Bear and the Nightingale (The Winternight Trilogy, #1) by Katherine Arden


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“Tell the story of Frost, Dunyashka. Tell us of the frost-demon, the winter-king Karachun.”

This book is magical. This book is whimsical. This book is one of the best things I’ve read in my entire life. I loved this with every bone, every red blood cell, every molecule in my body. This book was nothing short of perfection, and I’m sorry to gush, but I never expected this story to captivate me the way it did.

“In Russian, Frost was called Morozko, the demon of winter. But long ago, the people called him Karachun, the death-god. Under that name, he was king of black midwinter who came for bad children and froze them in the night.”

I’m not even sure where to begin with this story, but I guess I will start by saying that this story is a love letter to stories everywhere. This book is a mash-up retelling of many Russian fairy tales, but with unique spins of them, which are woven together to tell such a beautiful tale that makes me breathless just thinking about how expertly it is crafted.

Vasilisa and her family live on the edge of the Russian wilderness. Vasilisa’s father rules these lands, and her mother died giving birth to her, knowing that she was special. Vasilisa was raised by her mother’s nursemaid, who is constantly telling her fairy tales that most Russians fear, but Vasilisa loves.

“You must remember the old stories. Make a stake of rowan-wood. Vasya, be wary. Be brave.”

Vasilisa soon realizes that she is indeed special, and that she can see creatures that most people cannot. And, again, instead of feeling fear, she feels compassion and befriends and takes care of all the different creatures that dwell on her lands.

And even though Vasilisa’s family accepts her, the rest of the community cannot see past how different she is. Vasilisa’s father tries many different things to get her to want the same things most girls in this time want (marriage, babies, performing “womanly” duties), while Vasilisa only wants to be free and see the world.

Meanwhile, there is a frost-demon that does everything to ensure him and Vasilisa’s paths cross. And Vasilisa couldn’t resist the urge to go to him even if she tried. Then a beautiful story unfolds about a girl, a nightingale, and a bear, who are destined to have a story told.

“Before the end, you will pluck snowdrops at midwinter, die by your own choosing, and weep for a nightingale.”

Like I️ said, it’s now an all time favorite for me! I️ truly loved this story that much. It deserves all the praise, all the hype, and all the love.

This book had absolutely everything that I love in my fantasy:
✘ Feminist as all hell
✘ Magical forest
✘ All the morally grey characters
✘ Mythology and folklore
✘ Little fae folk saving the day
✘ Wintery setting

And when I say that this is the perfect winter read, I mean it with everything that I am. Never have I ever read a better seasonal read. Please give this a try in the upcoming months. I promise you, you won’t regret it

This book was nothing short of magical. From the lyrical prose, to the atmospheric town and forest, to the characters that constantly had me crying, to the message that girls can be anything they want to be, no matter what society tries to confine them to. This book is a tangible piece of heaven and I am so thankful that I was able to read this before the end of 2017, because it truly is a shining star in 2017 publications. I cannot wait to start my ARC of The Girl in the Tower tonight!

“I am only a story, Vasya.”

And this book is extra special to me, because this is the book that all the wonderful people at The Goodreads Power User Summit gave to me! Which makes it all the sweeter that it ended up being one of my favorite books of all time.


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Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

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This collection of short stories heavily emphasizes the violence that we put on women’s bodies. Whether it be sexual violence, physical violence, violence put on us by society, or violence we put on ourselves. This entire collection is absolutely haunting in the best way possible. I won’t forget this collection, ever. And these are all so queer, and so feminist, and invoked so many emotions from me. Carmen Maria Machado is beyond words talented, and I feel so very blessed to even have been able to read this.

I’m going to break down each short story with my thoughts, opinions, and individual star rating!

THE HUSBAND STITCH – ★★★★★
This is my second time reading this, and it is just as powerful and hard hitting as it was the first time around. You can read this for free from Granta!, and I implore each and every one of you who is reading this review to do yourself a favor and read this short story.

This story is very feminist and very sexually explicit, but so damn important. It’s about the life of a woman, who gives everything to men and never is allowed to keep anything for herself. It’s about life’s expectations on women, and how society shapes the choices we do and do not have. It’s about how, no matter what, giving everything will never be good enough as a woman. It’s about enjoying and exploring your sexuality, yet trying to cope with the shame. It’s about never fully being able to become the person you are, but becoming the person your husband and/or family require you to be. It’s about having children, who will just repeat the same vicious and unfair cycle. This is my favorite short story of all time and it deserves all the stars that Goodreads and every other book rating site has to offer.

INVENTORY – ★★★★
This is essentially an inventory list of all the sexual encounters this particular woman has had during her thirty years while her world escalates into chaos. I loved looking at this sexual exploration, journey, and acceptance. And it evoked such raw emotion from me. I just didn’t think it was as hard hitting as some of the others in the collection.

Also, if you enjoyed this short story, please check out The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison! I honestly can’t recommend it enough, and both stories have a similar theme, feeling, and hauntingness to them.

MOTHERS – ★★★
This is a very metaphorical story that starts out with a woman being given a baby by her female lover that they created unbeknownst to the narrator. And I use the word narrator very loosely, because this story is very unreliable. You will constantly be unsure of what is real and what is not, but you slowly get to see a story unfold. I also wholeheartedly believe that this story is very open for interpretation, and what I got from it could be, and probably is, something very different from what you were able to take from it. And that in and of itself is beyond words beautiful.

ESPECIALLY HEINOUS – ★★
This is a retelling of each season and episode of Law & Order: SVU that dips into the realm of the paranormal, but because I have never seen that show (I know, I know) I don’t think I got that much enjoyment out of this one. I still thought it was so very smartly written, and it has that haunting feeling that I know associate with Carmen Maria Machado, but I just wasn’t as in love with this as I feel others will be.

REAL WOMEN HAVE BODIES – ★★★★★
This story felt like a punch to the gut over and over and over. Words can be so powerful, and Carmen Maria Machado has perfected the craft of writing, I swear. Women in this world fade slowly and eventually become invisible. We get to see a dress shop, that puts youth and beautiful before all else, and a few of the workers are grasping to those values. Growing older, and feeling less valuable because of it, is a concept that many people in this world can’t deal with, without having to turn invisible. And I’m not going to lie to you and say that when I read that one of the characters of this book was twenty-nine that I didn’t try to suppress that visceral feeling that I don’t even have words for, but I wish so badly that I didn’t feel.

EIGHT BITES – ★★★★★
First and foremost, this short story would be so very trigging for anyone who has battled any form of eating disorder before, so please use caution before reading this one. Food and body obsession is so very real, and people will go their entire lives never knowing peace with themselves because of it. This is a story about a woman who has struggled her entire life and has finally decided to get bariatric surgery. This story also heavily talks about how we pass these terrible feelings and values down to our daughters and other generations, over and over.

THE RESIDENT – ★★★
Like most of the stories in this collection, this story felt really personal to read. Like, autobiographical personal. This is about a woman who goes up to the mountains, where she also spent some of her youth as a Girl Scout, to work on her novel among other artists. We slowly get to see the writer slowly comes undone by her past and her present, but also embraces and comes to terms with who she is and how she is. It’s a beautiful mixture that I think most humans will really resonate with.

DIFFICULT AT PARTIES – ★★★★
This was probably the most raw feeling story for me, and it really left me feeling empty. This is about a woman dealing, coping, and trying to heal with the aftermath of a sexual assault. Between others trying to help her, to hoping her assailant is found, and trying to find some sort of peace within herself, she is using pornography as a healing mechanism. Again, this is going to really be hard for a lot of people to read, but it’s also going to hit home for so many readers that need stories like this.

I really loved this collection, and I gave Her Body and Other Parties 4 stars overall, because out of a possible 40 stars (5 stars possible for each of the 8 stories) this collection accumulated 31 stars (77%). Please pick this up, this is such an important book for everyone to read, and I can’t recommend it enough.

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Buddy read with Lilly, Elise, & Destiny! ❤

Yule Bingo!

I never really do readathons, but you guys know I could never resist a Harry Potter themed readalong, that some of my best friends are hosting!

Yule Bingo is being hosted by Destiny ❤️, Julie 💚, Melanie 💙, and Samm 💛! And if you’d like to participate, you should request to join their amazing Facebook group, Life & Lit, and then choose your house!

This readathon is going on for the entire month of December, so you have lots of time to fill your board! And there is going to be games and giveaways and they are going to be keeping tally of house points! Here is the bingo board:

Basically, each member I linked above is in charge of their house! And after you choose your house, you will try to complete your house’s bingo line! Only one book per square, and each square you fill is 1 point for your HP house! If you complete your house’s line (i.e. me as a Gryffindor filling all four Gryffindor squares), you get an extra 5 points for your house! But every square you fill nets your house a point! And if you’d like more details, just DM me, or ask in the FB group, because all four ladies are so very helpful!

I hope to complete both my house, Gryffindor, and Ravenclaw! But I’m going to make sure to complete even more if I’m able! But I’m going to put a huge emphasis on Gryffindor, especially since I pledged my allegiance to my Gryffindor captain, Destiny! Here are the books I’m planning on reading:

GRYFFINDOR:

• WEASLEYS – Family Goals: The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere, #2) by Meg Elison
• HARRY – Chosen One Trope: Everless (Untitled #1) by Sara Holland
• DUMBLEDORE – Wise Mentor: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
• MARAUDERS – Book with a Map: Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle, #2) by Jay Kristoff

RAVENCLAW:

• LUNA – Loveable Sidekick: Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive, #3) by Brandon Sanderson
• MOANING MYRTLE – Tearjerker: Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles edited by Natalie C. Parker
• OLIVANDER – Book with Spells: Sinless (Eye of the Beholder #1) by Sarah Tarkoff
• ROOM OF REQUIREMENT – Favorite Genre: Age of Assassins (The Wounded Kingdom #1) by R.J. Barker

I am beyond words excited to participate in this readalong! And everyone should also check out their Instagram for more content and for photo challenges throughout the month! I hope you all consider joining and you’ll have to let me know if you are a Gryffindor too! Also, if you’d like to buddy read any of these, please also let me know! I hope you guys are already having a wonderful holiday season! And happy reading! ❄⛄

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