May 2018 Wrap Up

Hello, lovelies! Here we are at the end of another month that went by way too quickly! The month of May was a super good reading month for me. I was able to read 16 books, and I ended up five starring 9 of them! (In April I read 20 things and only five starred only three of those; with one being a classic and one being a graphic novel. I’m not salty.) What blessed reading month, seriously! But before I get into everything I read…

A lot happened in the month of May:
➽ It was Asian/Pacific Heritage Month! So, I read some amazing stories to help celebrate, honor, and fill my soul with so much happiness!
➽ I read my favorite book of the year, most likely! (Praise/Bless my fae queen Holly Black!)
➽ This was the last month of the BooktubeSFF Awards, so I got to compile my picks!
➽ Also, as of May 20th, I have received as many blog hits so far in 2018 as I did the entirety of 2017. (Never give up, friends! I promise, growth will happen! Just really unexpectedly sometimes.)
➽ I got nominated for an amazing award, because of all my amazing book friends! And I think that tomorrow, on Joce’s blog, we find out who wins! (And thank you all so much for voting, regardless of the outcome! Forever thankful for this community and you all allowing me to be a part of it!)
➽ I gained an additional 3,000+ followers on Goodreads for some reason this month, and I’ve probably never felt so blessed in my entire life. And it made me the #6th most followed USA user on the website! As of today, I’m sitting between Stephen King and Rick Riordan! (What a weird, but amazing, sandwich!)
➽ And after all these years, I finally hit that number one spot for USA reviewers on Goodreads:
Friends, THANK YOU! I love the book community more than any word combination that I could possibly come up with! I still can’t believe one person reads my reviews, let alone so many! From every bone in my body, from every fiber of my being, thank you! 💛✨

But on to what I read in May…
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 Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas – ★★★★

“The first snow of winter had begun whipping through Velaris…”

A Court of Frost and Starlight starts out a few months after the events of A Court of Wings and Ruin, and Feyre, Rhysand, and the Inner Circle are preparing for the Winter Solstice. The entire gang is also suffering in their own ways with the trauma they are enduring from the events of the war. Overall, I’m not saying this was a perfect book, but I had a lot of fun with it. And I truly am excited for what is going to come next.

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody – ★★★

“The City of Sin was a game, but not everyone was a player.”

This story starts out with a girl and her guidebook and a city filled with sin and mystery. We get to follow her during the span of ten days, while also seeing if this new town will ultimately make or break her. And Enne Salta was forced to come to New Reynes, because her adoptive mother went missing, but not before she was able to send a letter to Enne letting her know where to go and who to trust. Overall, I really did think this was a fun and different story, it just took a bit of time for me to get into it.

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black – ★★★★★

“Kill him before he makes you love him.”

This is a true masterpiece in every sense of the word. This book killed me and then breathed new life into me. This book was the best thing I’ve read this entire year. I’ve already written my review, where I completely pour my heart out. And even though it’s spoiler free, I still feel gross posting it so early because this book doesn’t come out until 2019. So, I scheduled it on my blog for August 27th, my birthday, and I will also post it on here then too. Because I honestly can’t think of a better way of celebrating than sharing my love for this once in a lifetime series. But I promise you this: you don’t want to miss out on this book. Preorder it now. It’s going to be the best book of 2019.

Fresh Ink: An Anthology edited by Lamar Giles – ★★★★★

“It became pretty freaking clear that, book after book, adventure after adventure, the heroes weren’t like me at all.”

This book has so much! Black stories, Asian stories, Native stories, Persian stories, Latinx stories, Muslim stories, Bi stories, Trans stories! Contemporary stories, play acts, fantasy stories, historical stories, sweet stories, heavy stories, superhero stories! And every single one is ownvoices. What a damn blessing in 2018. I loved this anthology.

Dreadful Young Ladies and Other Stories by Kelly Barnhill – ★★★★

“There is, at its center, something immutably miraculous about the substance and process of reading stories. We read because we hunger to know, to empathize, to feel, to connect, to laugh, to fear, to wonder, and to become, with each page, more than ourselves. To become creatures with souls.”

This is a beautiful collection of eight short stories and one novella by Kelly Barnhill. And you will very quickly learn that their writing is lush, lyrical, and absolutely haunting. But sometimes the speculative fiction felt a little too speculative for my personal tastes. But if you like lyrical prose and speculative writing? You will love this collection.

Filthy Gods (American Gods 0.5) by R. Scarlett – ★★★★★

“The only thing I was afraid of was my own mortality in front of him. Gods fell in love with mortals and demolished them piece-by-piece.”

Filthy Gods has the atmosphere and feeling of The Secret History, but the romance and the sexiness of nothing else I’ve read before. Best new adult romance I’ve read all year. And my heart breaks that it’s only a novella, because I need so much more.

Mirage (Mirage #1) by Somaiya Daud – ★★★★★

“On a small moon orbiting a large planet, in a small farmhouse in a small village, there was a box, and in this box was a feather.”

Mirage is a magical, wonderful, important, gift to the YA SFF world. This story is an ownvoices Moroccan inspired story, and from characters I fell in love with, to the messages about the importance of your culture and your family, to the most lyrical and beautiful writing. I loved this story with my whole heart, and I can’t wait for the rest of the world to fall in love with it.

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings edited by Ellen Oh & Elsie Chapman – ★★★★★

“We fell in love with all those myths about powerful gods being vulnerable, about humans becoming heroes. Such stories taught us about mythology, about the beauty of folktales and legends, and about how stories of gods and goddesses are also stories about the human heart. But we never found similar compilations that were distinctly Asian.”

Friends, please preorder this and fall in love, too! If you’d like to get me a birthday gift this year, please just preorder this, read, and review this collection. Honestly, it’s the only thing I want in 2018. I’ll beg, I’ll plead, I’ll scream from the rooftops: please preorder this anthology and show the world that Asian stories can not only sell, but can also change lives. I will cherish this book forever and ever. My favorite anthology of all time.

Nyxia Unleashed (The Nyxia Triad #2) by Scott Reintgen – ★★★★★

“As the descent begins, I hold on to one truth: I am more than what they would make of me.”

This is such an amazing YA Sci-Fi series that is so beautifully inclusive with some very important themes and discussions. The writing is amazing, I pulled around thirty quotes for this review alone. The characters have completely stolen my heart and soul, and they are a tier above most in all of literature. This series is amazing, and this second installment was everything that I wanted and more.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan – ★★★★★

“If he looked in my eyes straight on, he would know how he’d pierced me with an arrow, how its shaft was still sticking out of my chest, twitching each time my heart contracted. And maybe he’d see how my mother had sliced up everything else.”

This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It’s powerful, moving, poignant, lyrical, important, and touched me beyond words. From the discussion about mental health and the stigmas we still have in 2018 (especially in Asian cultures), to the true portrayal of grief, to the heartbreaking truth about depression, to the realistic depiction of what it means to be not only biracial but to be white passing, to the discovery of your identity. The Astonishing Color of After is a book I will cherish for the rest of my life.

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab – ★★★

“Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”

I have read one book in this series every year for the BooktubeSFF Awards. And every year I enjoy what I’m reading, I close the book pretty pleased, and then I sit down to write my review and start thinking about how these are such big books with so little happening. And I know they are character driven. One of my favorite books of all time is the most character driven thing out there, but for some reason I just don’t love this series like everyone else does.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) by Jessica Townsend – ★★★★★

“The point is—as far as the Society is concerned—if you are not honest, and determined, and brave, then it doesn’t matter how talented you are.”

I read this so slowly, and I kept having to put it off for other books, but I ended up loving this more than I have words for! And the messages that filled this book? So important. Once I actually sat down with this book, it was such a treat to read. I love this with my whole heart.

Legendary (Caraval #2) by Stephanie Garber – ★★★★

“For it was also said the Prince of Hearts was not capable of love, because his heart had stopped beating long ago. Only one person could make it beat again: his one true love. They said his kiss had been fatal to all but her—his only weakness—and as he’d sought her, he’d left a trail of corpses.”

I know that Caraval was a super polarizing read last year when it released, but I fell on the side of totally loving. From the game, to the mystery, to the lyrical writing, to the compelling characters, I couldn’t get enough. I devoured it in two sittings and never wanted to stop the reading experience. And guess what? Legendary was no different.

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover – ★★★

“The problem is, love and happiness are not concordant. One can exist without the other.”

Okay, so I have written my review for this, but I’m going to wait until publication to post it, just because my review talks a bit about the subject of this book which isn’t even hinted at in the synopsis. I’m going to put trigger and content warning on my Goodreads review, and you all can see my final thoughts come July 17th! But All Your Perfects is a book that made me feel every emotion in the world. I wanted to hug my iPad, and throw my iPad. I wanted to give it five stars, and I wanted to give it one star. I swear, this book made me feel everything. And even though I had problems with some of the content, I still think this book is super important. And the subject matter of this book is something I’ve never read about before, and it’s a topic that we need to be normalizing and start discussing more.

Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) by Zoraida Córdova – ★★★★

“This is a love story. At least, it was, before my sister sent me to hell.”

I loved being back in Zoraida’s story, even though this book very unexpectedly followed a different character than Labyrinth Lost! I loved this, I love all these characters, and I loved this book. And my review will be up before the June 5th release date, I promise!

Even Money (All In Duet #1) by Alessandra Torre – ★★

“I’d always been a gambler, with my money, my time, my safety … but never my heart.”

I really wanted to love this. I mean, Vegas AND Alessandra Torre? It was supposed to be my new favorite combination. But sadly, this one just really let me down. It was a bad way to end the month! But my review for this will be up with the June release of this one!

Okay, my loves! I think that’s everything! Sadly, I do think I’m going to have to carry over my current reads, Spinning Silver and The Bird and the Blade, into June, but that’s okay because I’m loving them more than words! Also, I hope you guys enjoy my June TBR tomorrow. And if you’ve made it this far through this massive wrap up you’ve earned this little secret: I’m reading mostly all queer books this June and I am so damn excited! I hope you all had a wonderful May, and I’m wishing you all the love, happiness, health, and good books this June and for always! Happy reading!

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Also, I just wanted to add a little shout out to my immensely talented friend, H. D. Harris, who blows me away daily with all their amazing art on every medium they bless. This month, he was inspired to created Cilena, Goddess of Books and Reading, and he might have taken a bit of inspiration from a certain book blogger you all know! (Spoiler alert: It’s me!) But seriously, his art is a gift to the world and his friendship is one of the greatest blessings in my life! Check him and his patron out, friends! 💛✨

April 2018 Wrap Up

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!

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March 2018 Wrap Up

Friends, this was the best reading month I’ve had in years. Actually, maybe it was the best reading month I’ve ever had in my entire life. Truly, I mean it; years! I read so much, and I loved so much of what I read! I was able to read sixteen things, and they were all four and five stars reads except two! The amount of five stars, and all-time favorites, I read this month is honestly nothing short of ridiculous. 💖

I was also able to go to California for a week, where I was able to reread one of my all-time favorite books on the beach and just relax! And if any of you are looking to vacation in Cali, Huntington Beach will always be one of my favorite places in the US.

Okay, but without further ado, here are all of the things that I was able to read in the month of March! 💛✨

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.

Opal (The Raven Cycle #4.5) by Maggie Stiefvater – ★★★★★
With The Raven King coming out in paperback, Maggie blessed us with this short novel told in the perspective of our favorite little satyr-like dream child! This was perfection and being back in this world mean more to me than I have words for. I need Ronan’s trilogy now.

A Vow of Thorns (Blackest Gold #3) by R. Scarlett – ★★★★★
You’re about to see a read a lot for this author this month, but it was because I was on the blog tour for her newest book, but I wanted to read everything else by her first! This is a demon paranormal romance set in New York and it is everything. This book was my personal favorite of them all.

To Crown A Beast (Blackest Gold #4) by R. Scarlett – ★★★★
And this was the ending of this quartet, but it set up perfectly for the new standalone that I was on the blog tour for! This was such a satisfying conclusion. And even though I had a bit of a rough start with these first two books in this quartet, I ended up absolutely falling in love with the last two

Zodiac Starforce: By the Power of Astra (Zodiac Starforce #1-4) by Kevin Panetta & Paulina Ganucheau – ★★★★
I’ve been slacking so very badly with graphic novels lately, but this one just rekindled my love. First off, this was nothing short of probably the most adorable graphic novel I’ve ever read. Secondly, I love magical girls, always and forever. Thirdly, I never knew I needed magical zombie girls until now, but it turns out I did. Fourth, the color pallet and art throughout this entire story is beyond words beautiful. And lastly, this showcases how girl friendship can be the most powerful magical force in the world, and I loved this.

When Sinners Kneel (Blackest Gold World #1) by R. Scarlett – ★★★★
This is such an amazing standalone set in a The Blackest Gold world. Plus, it has everything; romance, steamy sex, mystery, political intrigue, demon hierarchies, thrilling suspense, amazing grey and flawed characters. There is a lot to love from this world and from this author. If you guys love the paranormal romance genre, you have to give these a try, especially this book.

Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand – ★★★★
I buddy read this with so many people! Like, this was honestly the biggest buddy read I think I’ve ever done! But most of us really liked it, and I’m super excited to get my hands on a finished copy come May 22nd! Furyborn is a book about two girls who are leading very different paths, from very different times. But I really enjoyed this one, and I can’t wait to see where Claire Legrand takes these two interwoven tales next, especially with how both points of view leave off. I thought this was fun, and filled with action, and hard to put down each night.

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe & Jessica Spotswood – ★★★★
Friends, don’t sleep on this anthology. It is may be my favorite anthology of all time. It doesn’t come out until August 28th, but I just couldn’t keep myself from inhale reading it. I think three stories really stood out for me, but there is honestly so much to love here. But my favorite was easily Why They Watch Us Burn by Elizabeth May. It meant so much to me that I instantly reread it, with just as many tears in my eyes. It was powerful, and important, and is going to change so many lives. I feel so blessed to have read it, and I’ll carry it with me forever. Love Spell by Anna-Marie McLemore was also a masterpiece, and one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read in my entire life. And The One Who Stayed by Nova Ren Suma also left me speechless from all the emotions it was able to evoke from me. I promise you, there are so many good stories in this anthology, but these three were my personal favorites.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ★★★★★
This is one of the best books I’ve ever had the privilege to read. It is probably in the top five for best books I’ve ever read in my entire life. I have been looking for a book like this my entire life, and no combination of words I’m about to type, and you’re about to read, is going to do this masterpiece justice. But I will say that Gabby, Joce, Amelie, and Elyse were all right, and I’m so happy I listened to them, because this book is worth every single ounce of hype. Instant new all-time favorite.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion (Danielle Cain #1) by Margaret Killjoy – ★★★★
Please pick up this so underhyped, yet so deserving of more hype, novella. I am blown away. Within 100 pages, this book was able to create a beautifully diverse cast, talk about some pretty important issues, showcases a homeless main character, show the beauty of unconditional-loving found families, and it even gave me some pretty gothic spooky animals. This was amazing, and I think truly believe so many of my book friends would love it.

The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco – ★★★★★
This series means so much to me. I loved The Bone Witch so much, but The Heart Forger is now in a tier by itself. This is the type of book that makes you wish there were more than five stars, because it just feels like it deserves something more. It was glorious perfection, and Tea is my favorite necromancer of all time. And Rin Chupeco is a master storyteller. This is easily one of the best thing I’ve read all year. Easily.

Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer – ★★★
Renegades is set in a world where people rely on superheroes. The superheroes come with a vast array of powers and abilities, but with superheroes, there are always supervillains, too! Yet, the supervillains are more of rebels with superpowers, and they call themselves the Anarchists! This was super enjoyable, I think that I’m just the world’s worst audiobook reader, and maybe that took away from my enjoyment of this one. I’m not sure, but this was just a middle of the road book for me!

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) by Laini Taylor – ★★★★★
This was a reread and the only thing I wanted to read while I was in California. Perfection. Perfection last year, perfection this year. This book is everything, and no combination of words will ever be able to explain how much it means to me. All the stars.

Circe by Madeline Miller – ★★★★★
This is the pièce de résistance I’ve been searching for my entire life. Not only did I fall in love with this story, I predict that this will be the best book I’ll read all year. This book is about healing and doing what it takes to come into your own. This book is about love; the love between lovers, the love of a mother, and the love you must find in yourself. This book proves why family of choice will always be greater than family of origin. This book is about magic, and how we can find it in ourselves if we look hard enough. This is a book about becoming the witch you’ve always buried deep inside you.

The Barrow Will Send What it May (Danielle Cain #2) by Margaret Killjoy – ★★★★
Danielle and her brand-new friends are on the run after the events that took place in The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion with a certain demonic deer that was summoned. Now, they are half demon hunters looking for their next mission, and half just laying low from the law. But they have stumbled upon a new town in Montana, that happens to have a squatter owned building, turned library, that specializes in occult books! Oh, and there may or may not be a necromancer that is raising the dead because of a certain spell in a spell book. Perfection.

Snotgirl, Vol. 1: Green Hair Don’t Care by Bryan Lee O’Malley, Leslie Hung, Mickey Quinn, & Maré Odomo – ★★
Easily the worst thing I read all month! Which is super sad, because the color pallet, panel layouts, lettering, and just general aesthetics are out of this world. This is one of the most beautiful graphic novels I’ve ever held! Bad sadly, aesthetics were the only things I really enjoyed about this one. Lottie was just a terrible protagonist to read about. At first, I thought I was going to have empathy for her, but they she just treated everyone like shit and only cared about the way people looked. I also didn’t like the treatment of the PoC side characters. I will not be continuing on.

Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) by Mark Lawrence – ★★★★★
This is phenomenal. My favorite thing by Mark Lawrence to date! I never want to stop reading about Nona and her sisters at the Convent of Sweet Mercy. This is the second book in this series, and it’s one of my all-time favorites! And the quotes? I feel like I could highlight this entire thing! I still have around 60 pages to read this afternoon, so my review won’t be up until the second of April, which is a little bad because it releases the third of April, but this series is so worth a buy. I love this world, and I can’t wait for more.

And I participated in Life and Lit’s Women’s History Month Bingo:

And I actually watched a few things this month, too! So, I figured I’d talk about them!

Mai-HiME: DNF @ 50%
“Thirteen girls, each with the ability to materialize “Elements” and summon metallic guardians called “Childs” have been brought to Fuuka Academy to battle mysterious creatures called Orphans. Each with a different personality and background, they must decide who they truly care about and why they fight.”

I buddy watched the first season with my little brother and with my friend Alexis, and I had mixed feelings. The show for sure is a testament to its time, but I didn’t think it was necessarily bad. It was just super heavy on fanservice, and I felt a little weird. But I’m still happy that I was able to watch the first season with two people I care about!

ef: A Tale of Memories: ★★★★★
“Renji Asou, a boy who dreams of being a girl’s knight in shining armor, has a chance encounter with Kei’s twin sister—the overly shy Chihiro Shindou, who spends her time reading alone—at an abandoned train station. The two quickly become friends and eventually decide to write a novel together. However, when Renji discovers Chihiro’s secret, a disability that causes her to have an eternally ephemeral memory, his childish ideals will be put to the test.”

Me and my brother then proceeded to watch this short little story that was amazing! I couldn’t believe all that it was able to do in only twelve episodes! Seriously, if you have time, and lots of Kleenex, please give this story a try. I loved it so much!

Jessica Jones – Season 2: ★★★
“The second season of the American web television series Jessica Jones, which is based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, follows Jones as she takes on a new case after the events surrounding her encounter with Kilgrave”

Okay, so I ended up not loving this nearly as much as I loved Season one, and I’m still super sad about it. I still enjoyed watching it, but it was just really lacking for me. But, you all are probably going to scream “ACOMAF” during one episode, like I did.

Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life: ★★
“It is a sequel to Gilmore Girls, an American comedy-drama television series created by Amy Sherman-Palladino and starring Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel, which ran from 2000 to 2007 on The WB and The CW.”

Okay, so I was never the biggest Gilmore Girls fan, but my Grandma has been wanting me to watch these so that I could talk with her! And it has been out for over a year now, so I’m really slacking. And I figured it wouldn’t take that long, because there was only four episodes, one for each season. I ended up watching the first one (Winter) while I was in California, and I didn’t hate it, so I continued on for her! Sadly, Spring had a gross amount of cheating that really put me off. Then Summer came, and very much made me hate Rory with a fiery passion, because the cheating not only continued, but she continued to act stuck up and like she was embarrassed to be back in Stars Hallow, the coolest town ever. And that play/musical thing… so bad, so cringe, so awful. It was honestly hard to watch. It was like a bad version of the musical episode of Buffy (which was amazing)! But mostly Rory and her insensitivity just ruined the third episode for me completely. And finally, the last episode of Fall, warmed my heart to finally see a certain marriage, but that cliffhanger ending made me feel so much rage. SO MUCH RAGE. I just, I honestly don’t even feel like it was worth watching. But I finished, and I can talk with my Grandma about it, but I feel like I deserve a gold star.

Whew, okay, I know that was a lot! Bless you all, if you read all of that! But I hope everyone had a great March! And I’d love to know what was your favorite thing that you read this month! Please, let me know! And I’m wishing you all a very happy Easter tomorrow, and very happy reading always! 🐰💗

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February 2018 Wrap Up

You all, I had such a good reading month, both in quantity and quality. I wouldn’t be surprised if this ends up being the best reading month I’ll have all year. And I truly loved so many of the fourteen things I read. I hope I am able to keep this momentum going into March. Like, please, say a prayer for me, because this February was seriously such a blessing. 💖

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 Crown of Wishes (The Star-Touched Queen #2) by Roshani Chokshi – ★★★★
This was utterly enchanting and completely mesmerizing. I loved The Star-Touched Queen when I read it last year, and this story was even better! Yet, this story also made me fall deeper in love with The Star-Touched Queen, because some of the crossovers just warmed my heart to no end. This was such a beautiful tale, and I completely recommend this to everyone, but especially story lovers, because A Crown of Wishes is a lover letter to story lovers everywhere.

Immortal Reign (Falling Kingdoms #6) by Morgan Rhodes – ★★
This is easily the worst thing I’ve read all month. Falling Kingdoms is a series I’ve been into for a very long time now. It has had its highs, and has had its lows, but overall I’ve always liked the series. Sadly, this series ended on a very big low. I got 100 cases of deus ex machina, unnecessary angst, forced relationships, abuse apologists, possible queer baiting, and a weak conclusion to a series I used love. I was originally so excited to just be back in this world, but the more I think about the contents of this book, the more disappointed I get.

The Queen’s Rising (Untitled Trilogy #1) by Rebecca Ross –  ★★★★
I feel like I keep reading YA SFF and just not feeling like there is anything new or unique. I went into The Queen’s Rising expecting to feel the same, especially amidst all the lower reviews I kept seeing on Goodreads, but this ended up being a treat to read. I really enjoyed this, and I was constantly surprised by the twists and turns. The only negative thing I can say is that the romance is a little on the skeezy side, and I’ll talk about that below, but if the romance wasn’t in this book, or started differently, this would have been an easy five star read for me.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – ★★★★★
In this book, the value of appearance is heavily touched upon. Youth and beauty seem to be everyone’s priority. It’s scary and sad how much this also mirrors 2018. There is also a huge discussion to be had about good versus evil and how we view that grey area in-between. Yet, these discussions are held in this seamlessly woven story. You guys, I have no words. In the 1880s people thought homosexuality was some disease, something to be cured, something not okay to simply just be. Something that was a criminal act. Something that Oscar Wilde was jailed and forced to do hard labor for. And once you start seeing the similarities between Wilde’s life and the events that take place in this book, you will realize that like The Picture of Dorian Gray is so much more important that the surface value of just reading this story.

Art of War: Anthology for Charity by Petros Triantafyllou – ★★★★★
I’m giving this collection five stars overall. From Greek Gods to newly summoned demons. From healers on the backlines to the warriors on the frontlines. From Spider Gods to Magpie Kings. Not only do I love some of these authors and their stories, I think this collection will make many fantasy readers very happy. Plus, the cause and charity for this anthology are both so damn important and for those two things alone this anthology deserves five stars.

Three Dark Crowns (Three Dark Crowns #1) by Kendare Blake – ★★★★
This world is gloriously feminist, and I loved each point of view from the different islands. And the writing? Beautiful, lyrical, genius. And I fell so very in love with each sister, easily, and happily. These characters are honestly a tier above almost every YA character I’ve ever read. And again, this was such an amazing journey and I hope more people give this book a shot, despite the mixed reviews.

American Queen (New Camelot Trilogy #1) by Sierra Simone – ★★★
Good Lord, this was a ride! But this is a super enjoyable erotic novel that surrounds a girl, that has grown up in politics, and is now walking down the aisle to marry the brand new, thirty-six-year-old, President of the United States of America! Yeah, you read it right. But what kind of erotic novel would this be without some angst? Also, her and the President are both sort of in love with, wait for it, the Vice President!

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet #1) by Madeleine L’Engle – ★★★★
Okay, I haven’t read A Wrinkle in Time since fifth grade, so I was kind of nervous going into this. Yet, I was very pleasantly surprised, and I’m even more excited to see the new movie adaptation in March! I mean, this reads a little “old” and “simple” but it was still such a delight to read. I will say that I didn’t remember any of the religious/spiritual aspects that were woven in, so apparently fifth grade Melanie, who went to a Catholic school and everything, just pushed those out of her mind throughout the years.

The Lucky Ones by Tiffany Reisz – ★★★★
I really enjoyed this book. Tiffany Reisz is one of my favorite erotic writers of all time. Seriously, The Siren (The Original Sinners #1) was a huge part of my sexual awakening, I swear. I also read The Red by her last year, and really enjoyed. All of her books are so sex positive, and I just love the woman in general. But The Lucky ones is a book unlike anything else she has ever created. The Lucky Ones is a dark, mystery, thriller that stars a girl trying to discover what truly happened to her thirteen-years-ago. I couldn’t put this down. And I loved being a part of Allison’s journey of discovery. I loved the perfect scenery, the forbidden love on a million different accounts and levels, the lyrical and beautiful writing, the unique plot, these morally grey characters, and all the different secrets. This was such a different and enjoyable read for me, and I can’t wait to see what Tiffany Reisz does next.

Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts #1) by Alisha Rai – ★★★★
This was a damn treat to read. One of my favorite second chance romances of all time. Never have I ever read such a sexy book, that constantly emphasizes the importance (and sexiness) of consent! On top of the fact that this book has some amazing diversity from most of the cast of characters, but it also showcases an Asian main character who is living with her depression and who loves her soft body completely and unapologetically. I loved this. Absolutely loved this. And I completely recommend this to every romance reader.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo – ★★★★★
You all, I buddy read this with FOUR of my closest book friends, and we all five starred this amazing story. Please, go treat yourself and preorder this book. Please. Do you like killer sirens? Angsty romance? A+ witty banter? Vivid fighting scenes with mind-blowing imagery? One of the best and strongest protagonists I’ve read about in a long while? And all these things in a standalone? From a debut author? Seriously, we’ve been blessed.

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – ★★★
You all, I just don’t know what to say. This series just doesn’t do for me what it does for everyone else. I don’t dislike these books at all, they just aren’t even close to being one of my all time favorites either. Please, take this review with a grain of salt, because literally all of my friends five star this series. And even though I really like and appreciate the unique formatting, witty banter, and twists and turns, I really hated to plot twist towards the end of this one. *dodges tomatoes*

Inkmistress (Of Fire and Stars 0.5) by Audrey Coulthurst – ★★★★★
I haven’t done my review of this yet, but I should have it scheduled for the fourth or fifth of March. This was the best thing I read the entire month. This story had everything I like in my Fantasy: Queer girl with hidden blood magic powers, traveling with a companion to save the world, staying in inns and with secret societies, dethroning a tyrant king, beautiful romance, lyrical writing, and dragons. Like, this book had it all. I loved this with the sum of my body. And please, give me all the books about bisexuals being with the opposite sex and still being valid bisexuals. Perfection. Preorder before the March 6th release date!

Use Me by Kimberly Knight – ★★★★
This is a sexy time contemporary written by an author I was blessed to meet last October at the Goodreads Power User Summit in San Francisco, and she was honestly one of the sweetest and kindest authors I’ve ever met in my entire life. So, I couldn’t resist accepting an ARC of her newest book, and I can’t wait to finally read something by her! My review will go up on March 3rd, and I’m so happy that I was able to be a part of this blog tour!

Code Geass – ★★★★★
And the other story that I consumed and LOVED was an anime that I watched with three people who mean a lot to me: Nick (my little brother), Alexis (my favorite booktuber), and Cory (my long time friend and raid leader)! I loved this story so much that I couldn’t resist talking briefly about it in this wrap up! It was such an amazing experience, and I loved it so much.  Code Geass is set in an alternate timeline of our world, and heavily talks about genocide. But it’s a really powerful story about love, and friendship, and mechs, and superpowers! I completely recommend. This anime has such a heavy emphasis on sibling love and what a sibling is willing to sacrifice for another sibling, and I was a damn hot mess after this, especially watching with my little brother. One of my favorite animes to date, and for sure the best anime ending I’ve ever seen. ALL THE STARS!

Okay, I think that’s everything! Yeah, I had a super busy story consuming month in February! And again, I hope this momentum keeps up for me in March! I also hope you all enjoyed seeing everything I read this month! Happy reading, lovelies! 💖

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January 2018 Wrap Up

Hey, guys! I can’t believe it is already the end of January! I hope you all had an amazing reading month. Mine was kind of lack luster, but out of the eleven things I managed to pick up, I did five star two of them! And I just know that one is going to stick with me throughout the year! ❤

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.

Body of The Crime (Blackest Gold #2) by R. Scarlett – ★★★
This is book two of a series all about demons and the wicked world they try to hide from humans. This book stars a young 19-year-old girl, Molly, who is the victim of a 300-year-old contract that was set up by her ancestors. The contract promises Molly, who was born with ancient daemon (unlike demon) powers beyond her control, to marry a demon of a very prestigious demon house. She is also promised to give him an heir eventually, but he has to have sex with her, AKA mate her, so no other demon can pursue Molly, since she is a very rare commodity that would make any demon mate even more powerful. Overall, I really enjoyed this and it was such a fast and addicting read. And I feel so happy that I was able to start my 2018 off with this engrossing and captivating PNR!

Everless (Untitled #1) by Sara Holland – ★★
Buddy read with Destiny, Em, & Elise! ❤ Maybe I would have really enjoyed this if I hadn’t read so much YA Fantasy. Maybe a younger Melanie would have ate this up and asked for seconds. Sadly, I’m just at the point in my life where I feel like I’ve read this all before. And the aspect of this story that is really cool and different is the everyone’s lifespan is their currency. In this world, you can bind your blood to iron to make coins. And they come in amounts of hours to years. Now this is absolutely amazing, and I love the concept completely, but my friend, Em, pointed out how similar it is to the movie In Time starring Justin Timberlake and I just couldn’t unsee the similarities. Also, I really didn’t enjoy the romance.

Moonlight Sins (de Vincent #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – DNF @ 8%
So, the basic premise of the 8% that I read is that brothers find their father dead from what looks to be a suicide, but upon further inspection, appears that that might not be the case. The main character, Lucian, lives in a mansion that is so big that there are rooms he hasn’t been in for years, but he does have a girl captured in one of these rooms, but her appearance is still a mystery to me, because I’m stopping at 8%. Also, Lucian is oh so strong for saying no to a super-hot blonde woman that is naked and throwing herself at him in another room, while he is discovering the death of his father. You all, life is short and precious, and I can’t be spending mine reading books that don’t interest me in the slightest.

Kissing Tolstoy (Dear Professor #1) by Penny Reid – ★★★★
Holy adorable, this was the cutest. This is a fluffy, but sexy, short, little romance, that centers around two people and their love for Russian literature! This was my first Penny Reid novel, but it won’t be my last. This novella blew me away and I cannot wait to see what else she has instore for us with this series. The writing was great, the humor was actually funny, the romance was swoon worthy, and the story was a joy to read.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1) by Leigh Bardugo – ★★★
Buddy read with Destiny and the rest of Life & Lit (DM Destiny for a FB invite)! ❤ I will continue on with the series with Batman by Marie Lu! But, sadly and ultimately, I just don’t think superhero books are for me. I totally enjoyed reading this, but something just kept me from loving it, so I’m going to blame it on that. I still think this is a very worthwhile and important read, and I’m so happy that I finally was able to get around to it!

Blood Fury (Black Dagger Legacy #3) by J.R. Ward – ★★★
I still really enjoyed this installment, but I have to be honest and say that this was my least favorite in this spinoff series thus far! I love Novo, I love Ruhn, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Saxton with the sum of my being, but I honestly dislike Peyton. And, like, look at the cover… he’s probably the main character of this book, even though he shares the spotlight with the three others. n the 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. Well, in this series, Black Dagger Legacy, we get to see a younger generation of recruits, trying to join the elite protection force.

Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1) by Sarah Glenn Marsh – ★★★★
Buddy read with Destiny! ❤ Reign of the Fallen opens up with our main character, Odessa, AKA: Sparrow, because she seamlessly flies between the realms of the living and dead, killing and resurrecting the king of Karthia, so he will be able to rule for even longer than he already has. I could probably get away with just saying “bisexual necromancer main character” for this review and it would hopefully entice you all enough to pick this up, but this truly was a really enjoyable story that I am very happy I was able to read before release.

Missing From Me (Sixth Street Bands #3) by Jayne Frost – ★★★
Missing From Me is a second chance romance, set in Texas, that centers around the drummer of an up and coming rock band. Even though this is the third book in a series, I was able to pick this up and understand everything going on, with very minimal spoilers. Overall, I would totally recommend this, especially if you are into rockstar romances, which I seem to be a sucker for. Seriously, I have honestly dated five drummers in my life, so… this obviously worked for me. In my opinion, this book had the perfect mixture of heartwarming scenes, romantic scenes and steamy, sexy scenes.

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi – ★★★★★
Buddy read with Adri! 🦊 Children of Blood and Bone is worth every ounce of hype and praise it has received thus far, and I only anticipate it to receive more and more, especially since you’re all about to read a gush review for it. The world is amazing, the characters are so real feeling, the writing is perfect, the action is abundant, the romances are beautiful, the topics are important. This was such a fantastic read, and even though it is only late January, I have no doubts that Children of Blood and Bone will make my best of 2018 list, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it even takes the number one spot come December 31st. I’m also honored to say that this is the very first book I’ve given five stars to in 2018.

The Secret History by Donna Tartt – ★★★★★
This was one of the most unique reading experiences of my life. I honest to God just do not have the words to put in this wrap up how this book made me feel. I will say that it very much feels like a spell is being cast upon you while reading. Like, I am almost positive that Donna Tartt cannot be a human being, because she is such an exclusive enigma. But this is a story about six kids, going to an elite college, and murder ensues.

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston – ★★★
I wanted to love this one so badly! I mean, Anastasia in space? Take all my money, please! But I didn’t love this one, but it was still a fun read! It also had a really swoon-worthy m/m romance between two major side characters that I really enjoyed. Overall, I do think this was a bit of a let down, but with that cliffhanger ending? There for sure will be another book in this world, so hopefully the next one is better!

And that’s everything I read (or tried to) during the month of January! I have such a full TBR for February, that you will all see tomorrow, but I hope to read even more next month! I hope you all had an amazing first month of 2018, and I hope you had some amazing reads. I know that Children of Blood and Bone is going to be one that sticks with me throughout the entire year! Happy reading, guys! 💖

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December 2017 Wrap Up

Happy last day of 2017, guys! I can’t believe we are already at the end of the year, but I’m looking forward to 2018 and all the new promises it will bring. I hope you guys read some amazing books in December and were able to complete all the goals and reading you wanted to before 2018 starts. I was able to read eleven things, and I truly enjoyed them all but one!

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 Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2) by Katherine Arden – ★★★★★
The Girl in the Tower picks up right where The Bear and the Nightingale left off. Vasya is leaving the only home she has ever known, and has chosen to see the world that is beyond the forest that surrounds her family’s home. I loved this book with the sum of my being. This book is so very powerful, and I can’t even find the words to express how much this series means to me. The Winter of the Witch is easily my most anticipated release of 2018 now. This series is such a magical treat, and I hope you all do yourselves a favor and pick it up.

Outlander (Outlander #1) by Diana Gabaldon – ★★★★
Buddy read with Paloma! ❤ I’ll be honest, I honestly didn’t expect to like this, but I very, very much did. I was a complete Outlander virgin; I’ve never read the books, I’ve never watched the show, and somehow none of my friends had spoiled me for any of the events in any of these books. But I really loved the writing, the atmosphere, and the characters.

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles edited by Natalie C. Parker – ★★★
Buddy read with Alexis over at The Sloth Reader (my favorite BookTuber) & Destiny (my favorite blogger)! ❤ I did enjoy this, but this collection uses the term “love triangle” very loosely, in my opinion. Some of the stories could have probably benefited from a stricter use of the word. It was so very diverse in race, sexuality, settings, social structures, and more, and I really appreciated it. I honestly felt like the majority of these stories had a queer aspect to them and that brings so much joy to me. A few of the stories even beautifully showcases budding polyamorous relationships, which is almost unheard of in YA! But like all anthologies, this was a mixed bag, yet overall, I really did enjoy reading this anthology for the most part. I also feel like there is a big enough variety that most people will come out with at least a couple five star stories out of the sixteen.

Godsgrave (The Nevernight Chronicle #2) by Jay Kristoff – ★★★★★
Buddy read with Jules! ❤ Godsgrave picks up right after the events of Nevernight. But whereNevernight felt like an adult Harry Potter (with an amazingly gothic floo powder network) where our main protagonist, Mia, is learning to become an assassin for the Red Church and the Lady of Blessed Murder, Godsgrave is an all-out gladiator gauntlet, where our characters are fighting to the death and only the very best may rise in rank. I loved this.

The Star-Touched Queen (The Star-Touched Queen #1) by Roshani Chokshi – ★★★★
Buddy read with Sonja! ❤ ! The Star-Touched Queen is a loosely based retelling of the Greek mythology surrounding Hades and Persephone, but told in a setting to completely celebrate Indian culture. I loved every aspect of the retelling, but I also loved every new and inventive way Roshani crafted this into her own story. This was lush, and engaging, and so romantic. This was an absolute treat to read.

Oathbringer (The Stormlight Archive #3) by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★★
I’m a big slacker and haven’t posted this review to my blog yet, but it will come the first week on January! This is the third book is The Stormlight Archives, and it surpassed every single expectation I set for it, while being the very last book to make it on my “best of 2017” list. I love the characters, I love the world, I love the action, I love the crossovers, I love these books so much.

Weaver’s Lament (Industrial Magic #2) by Emma Newman – ★★★
Weaver’s Lament picks right up where Brother’s Ruin left off; our main protagonist, Charlotte, is still reeling from the events that took place, while also trying to uncover secrets that many higherups are trying to keep hidden. Charlotte also lives in Great Britain in the 1850s, where people are still ignorant and believe that a woman’s place is in the house and only in the house. Charlotte is trying to appease her family and fiancé that feel this way, but Charlotte is a very talented illustrator, who sells her work under a man’s pen name. Obviously, this book has a lot of social commentary about women’s rights and equality, but the main plot of each book is truly about Charlotte uncovering a mystery.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – ★
Honestly, this was one of the worst things I’ve read this entire year and I know it will be one of my biggest disappointments with 2018 releases. feel like this is marketed as a YA Fantasy, when it takes the reader almost 250 pages, out of a 360 page book, to even get into the fantasy aspect and by that time I couldn’t care less about some pseudo Alice in Wonderland. This reads like a YA Contemporary Mystery and that is not a genre that I enjoy reading in the slightest, so maybe that is the main reason this didn’t work for me. And on top of it all, there was some really questionable content with a PoC side character, too.

Saga, Vol. 7 (Saga #7) by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples – ★★★★★
The most emotional installment yet, but also maybe the best. I loved this so much and I’m so damn attached to this entire cast, crew, and family. There is a reason why this is the most talked about graphic novel series, and this volume proves it. I cannot wait for Volume 8 to drop in a few days!

Blood Vow (Black Dagger Legacy #2) by J.R. Ward – ★★★★
You guys know I love JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series, and this is about the new generation of recruits trying to join the ranks. I loved this and it was just what I needed to get out of my slump after The Hazel Wood. It was fast paced, funny, smart, had some pretty amazing sexy scenes, and had a wonderful discussion about adoption and found families always at the forefront. This installment was also very empowering and feministic and I really appreciated it. I cannot wait for the third book to come out in January, because I always want more and more BDB in my life.

The Eleventh Metal (Mistborn 0.5) by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★
This is a prequel story to the Mistborn series! It’s very short, but I absolutely loved the story. And, to be completely honest, I love seeing anything that stars Kelsier! This story centers around a man named Gemmel who is teaching Kelsier to use his Mistborn powers. And his powers are eventually put to the test when he is required to fight another Mistborn who is up to some no-good deeds. Again, this story obviously takes place before the events in The Final Empire, where Kelsier is already a confirmed badass with his powers. And just seeing Kelsier’s dynamic with his Allomantic teacher, who is obviously talking to someone who plays a much bigger part in this trilogy, brought such a smile to my face the entire time while reading.

And besides reading these eleven things, I was also able to participate in my good friend Destiny’s Yule Ball Readalong/Book Bingo! I didn’t clear the entire board, but I was able to complete my Gryffindor line, and that’s all I truly cared about!

Besides The Hazel Wood, I had such an amazing end of the year reading month! I was able to finish up so many things, and I was very happy with my final total of 130 books read! I cannot believe tomorrow is the start of a new year, but I’m wishing you guys the absolute best for the new years and for always. Thank you again for this year or reading and sharing your love for books with me. It means more to me than any of you will ever know. Happy reading, loves! And Happy New Year!

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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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