November 2018 Wrap Up

WrapUp11

Hey, friends! I had a strange November! I started the month off by going to Blizzcon, which was so amazing! But it put me in the worst book slump, because I came home only wanting to play video games! But, after four audiobooks I was able to break out of the slump towards the end of the month, and I was able to read fourteen things in total!

But on to what I read in 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.)


The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker – ★★★★

“Looking back, it seemed to me I’d been trying to escape not just from the camp, but from Achilles’s story; and I’d failed. Because make no mistake, this was his story—his anger, his grief, his story. I was angry, I was grieving, but somehow that didn’t matter.”

This is a feminist reimagining of Homer’s The Iliad, centering on the Trojan War, but is told in a completely different light than ever before. Yes, we get to see the Trojans and Greeks battle and Achilles be the hero the world knows and loves, but this tale is all about a voice that is never heard in other renditions.


Lady Midnight (The Dark Artifices #1) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★★

“I breathe when you breathe, I bleed when you bleed, I’m yours and you’re mine, you’ve always been mine, and I have always, always belonged to you!”

I went into this brand-new series, that has been building up in the previous series for some time now, never expecting the main story to be about a secret murderous cult. Like, the blessings. Basically, in Lady Midnight Emma is still unable to let the mysterious deaths of her parents go unsolved, even though everyone else thinks they were just the first casualties of the start of the Dark War. But it has been five years since then, and the Cold Peace is still being held up by the Shadowhunters, making it so no one can help or work with the fae.


Skyward (Skyward #1) by Brandon Sanderson – ★★★★

“You get to choose who you are. Legacy, memories of the past, can serve us well. But we cannot let them define us. When heritage becomes a box instead of an inspiration, it has gone too far.”

I did adore this book. It was just what I needed. I actually was feeling really slumpy before I picked this up, and not only did it rectify that, but it reminded me why I love books and stories and fictional worlds so much. I know Brandon Sanderson isn’t for everyone, but he truly is a master at his craft and every book and series he touches turns to gold. And his world-building is honestly on a tier above all else in the genre. And, again, I cannot wait for book two. And I cannot wait to learn everything about a certain blue and orange slug.


Enchantée by Gita Trelease – ★★

“Remember—magic is a cheater’s game, and everyone who sees it wants to play.”

I wanted to love this so much, friends. But sadly, it just fell so very short for me. I felt like the author was trying to cram so many important things that happened in France in that time into this book, while also trying to write her own story, and both elements just made this entire story feel disjointed and left a lot to be desired.


Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★

“Break my heart. Break it in pieces. I give you permission.”

I really did love this book, even if I didn’t love it as much as LM. I just truly think that Cassie Clare is getting more and more talented as an author, and I expect she is going to give us the entire world with QoAaD. Like, I am so hyped that I predict it will make my top five of 2018.


The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Gratton – ★★★★★

“I will wear the crown, and I will get it like a king. Not as a mother and wife, but as the firstborn child, as the strongest.”

This is a reimagining of Shakespeare’s King Lear unlike any reimagining I’ve ever read before. Tessa Gratton stays very true to the original play, and really makes a feminist statement on all the themes, but she made something so unique, so powerful, and so much its own thing. And every book I read from her ensures that she is becoming one of my favorite authors of all-time. From the themes she creates, to the lyrical writing she weaves, to the beautiful stories she creates, I five star everything by her. And The Queens of Innis Lear was no different, it is a masterpiece.


Ghosts of the Shadow Market (1 – 8) by Cassandra Clare – N/A

“Your voice is the music I love best in all the world.”

This is scheduled to come out in June of 2019, and will include ten stories in total, but only eight have been released singly so far! Therefore, I am not going to give this collection a total star rating, I’m just going to let you know my individual star rating for each story separately, then come release I will do more in-depth and full review, that will also include the two stories that haven’t been released yet! But I hope this post gets you all hyped, because I can’t wait to read the final Dark Artifices book with the entire community in just a few more days!


Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga #2) by Kiersten White – ★★★

“Hatred makes monsters of us all.”

It makes me sad to say this, but this series, or maybe just Kiersten White’s writing, just is not for me. I will say that I have had very bad luck with historical books this year, so maybe that is it? Because so many of my friends love this series so much. But full review to come!


A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer – ★★★

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a reimagining of Beauty and the Beast with a much darker theme. In this version, the Prince is forced to repeat the quest to find love over and over each season, while causing more and more bloodshed each time. But after three-hundred seasons, this season will officially be the very last one.


My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren – ★★

“ I wonder whether I’m single not because I haven’t met the right person yet, but because I’m not the right person yet.”

So, the basic premise of this book is that there is a close-knit group of friends who all work sort of together. But they constantly hang out outside of the workplace, and they really are their own little found family. Oh, and they are all supposed to be super smart and super unlucky with dating. Yeah, it gave me Big Bang Theory vibes which is never a good sign. But anyways, they all need dates to this big event (which doesn’t even happen in the book, by the way) so they all download a dating app.


The Queen’s Resistance (The Queen’s Rising #2) by Rebecca Ross – ★★★★

“Crowning Isolde Kavanagh as the rightful queen was not the end of our rising. It was merely the beginning.”

This is the next installment, with the first book being The Queen’s Rising, and I loved this one just as much as the first! I feel like this is such an underhyped YA fantasy, by the debut author, but it is such a shining light. Plus, I got to buddy read this with Lea and it made it more perfect, because I think our friendship started because of the first book! Review to come very soon, friends!


Sadie by Courtney Summers – ★★★★★

“Sometimes I don’t know what I miss more; everything I’ve lost or everything I never had.”

Sadie is worth all the praise and hype you’ve heard about it. I had a feeling I was going to love this book, but I didn’t know that I would give it a piece of my heart. This is such a bright light in 2018 releases, and even though it handles some really tough topics, I recommend it with my entire heart and soul. And I will never forget Sadie or her story, and I will never stop listening to, and I will never stop believing, the voices of girls who have their own stories to tell.


The Unrequited by Saffron A. Kent – ★★★

“Unrequited love and insomnia are longtime friends of mine.”

Okay, this is a bit of a taboo story, but your girl was really craving something sexy by the end of November! And… this was just what I needed! I will say that this is a teacher/student (college) relationship and I know those aren’t for everyone. And the main character has… a lot going on! But this was a wild ride that I never wanted to get off of, honestly! Review to come ASAP!


Heartstopper: Volume One (Heartstopper #1) by Alice Oseman – ★★★★★

“But love works in surprising ways, and sometimes good things are waiting just around the corner…”

I just finished this this morning, and I’m soft, and weak, and so damn happy! Review to come soon, friends! But you can read this for free HERE!


Okay, that is everything that I read! What did you read this November? And more importantly, what did you love? I can’t believe we are at the last month in 2018 already! I’m so scared that I’m going to miss out on some amazing publications that this year had to offer, and that they won’t make my best of the year list! But I have read so many amazing books this year, and I feel so very blessed! I hope you all have an amazing December, and I’m sending you all love and light always! 💛✨

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October 2018 Wrap Up

OctoberWrapUpHappy Halloween, friends! I hope you all are having a safe and happy holiday! And remember: Don’t eat or drink anything from Faerie! Yeah, I am going as Cardan from The Cruel Prince this year, because I’m extra but also like to stay on brand!  🍏

October was a bit of a rough month for me reading wise. I DNFed two books, and read sixteen others, but I truly only loved a small few of the things I picked up this month! And, sadly, the first thing I read ended up being the best thing I read all month! But I am hoping that November is much better reading wise for me! 🧡🍂

Other October Things…
✨ #FridayFrightAThon is over and it was such a success! Thank you to everyone who read along with us. It means the world to me! I hope to do it again next year!

✨ I did five spooky recommendations: WitchesGhostsDemonsShifters, and Vampires!

✨ Worlds 2018 for League of Legends is WILD this year. And, I’ll be honest, me staying up too late and watching it (because it is in Korea this year) has really impacted my reading. But it is so worth it! #IGWIN ❤

But on to what I read in October…
(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 Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly Black – ★★★★★

“His hair was bright in the moonlight, his face as handsome as heartbreak.”

No one weaves words and magic like Holly Black. No one. And I don’t even have words to express how amazing it feels to be back in this world. Not only did it make me appreciate The Cruel Prince more, it also made me emotional because of all the foreshadowing for The Wicked King. This is a pivotal short story that completely immersed me, captivated me, and reinforced that this is my favorite series of all-time.

Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins ReidDNF @ 22%

“I love you as much as I’m willing to love anybody.”

I can’t believe I’m DNFing a Taylor Jenkins Reid book. She wrote one of my favorites books of all time, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, that means more to me than I have words to even begin to express. But this? This was just boring, and crude, and told in such a bad format. It’s like mini interviews if you will, where multiple people are talking, but it was impossible for me to ever be immersed.

Aquicorn Cove by Katie O’Neill – ★★★★

“But there’s no home without a future…”

Aquicorn Cove stars a young girl named Lana, and she and her father come to visit her Auntie Mae on her little island. Lana is grieving the loss of her mother, but feels happier in her hometown, before Lana was forced to move to the city with her father. And the village is rebuilding after a disaster has struck. But Lana is more than happy to help. But when she goes to the water, she finds a little seahorse-like friend, who is in need of her help!

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★★★

“You are the blade of Heaven. Make sure you are worthy.”

Friends, we did it, we read all of the The Infernal Devices and The Mortal Instruments. I’d like to take a moment and thank each and every one of you who motivated me to read this backlist instead of just jumping into The Dark Artifices. Seriously, I am so grateful because even though the road started off rocky, I quickly became so attached and fell so in love with these characters and this world. (But we don’t talk about City of Fallen Angels, that book never existed!)

Vicious (Villains #1) by V.E. Schwab – ★★★

“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”

Friends, this is my fifth book by VE Schwab, and I’ve three starred every single one of them. At this point, it is glaringly obvious that you should take my review(s) of her work with a grain of salt, because it is obviously a “me” thing. I will say that I adore the author, and I want so desperately to fall in love with a book of hers. And even though I thought Vicious would be the one, it sadly wasn’t.

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter – ★★★★

“Nothing ever truly faded. Time only dulled the edges.”

This is a story about two sisters who are still grieving from a harrowing, unspeakable, horrible event that happened to them twenty-eight years ago. The book starts out with a flashback chapter, where we quickly learn that a home invasion is happening, because the girls’ father is a very liberal lawyer in a very conservative and small town.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah – ★★★

“Some stories don’t have happy endings. Even love stories. Maybe especially love stories.”

This is a heartbreaking, historical fiction, WWII story that stars two sisters living in France, when the Germans take over in 1939. But we get to see present day glimpses from 1995, that star an older woman thinking about her life and all the harrowing events that she was forced to live through before immigrating to The United States. But it really develops this complex guessing game where you are not sure which sister is this present-day narrator.

The Mermaid and Mrs. Hancock by Imogen Hermes GowarDNF @ Page 149/496

“Its appearance is unbeautiful. It is not what people expect of a mermaid.”

Friends, life is just too short to read books that feel like a chore. On top of racist comments, use of slurs for Romani people, questionable antisemitic speech, slut shaming, and other gross things because of “historical accuracy!” Miss me with all that, please. And the last chapter I finished (14) literally had a questionable orgy going on so that men could fulfill their fantasy of having sex with mermaids. Life is too short, friends. Way too short.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – ★★★★★

“I could recognize him by touch alone, by smell; I would know him blind, by the way his breaths came and his feet struck the earth. I would know him in death, at the end of the world.”

Best reread ever! RTC very soon! But… now I just want to reread all my favorites!

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare – ★★★

“…For one Herondale to be saved by love, and another Herondale dammed by it.”

I clutched my pearls so very tightly when I found out that there was an anthology that starred Magnus, my favorite character in all of Cassie Clare’s works. Magnus is the bisexual, Asian, warlock of my dreams, and I love him with every bone in my body. I truly believe he is one of the best characters in all of literature.

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware – ★★

“Never believe your own lies…”

This was my first Ruth Ware book, but sadly it wasn’t a hit with me. But looking at my friend’s reviews, I do think I might be in the minority with my feelings. I will say that the atmosphere was eerie and perfect. I will also say that the writing and prose was beautiful. But I’m not someone who reads a lot of thrillers or mysteries, but even I could see all the reveals in this one coming a mile away.

One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid – ★★★

“I am finishing up dinner with my family and my fiancé when my husband calls…”

Do you ever read a book and know that you’re reading it at the exact moment in your life when you needed to read it? Because that is me with One True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I know a three star rating doesn’t seem that high, but the message of this book spoke louder to me than maybe any other book this year. The universe really lined up for me with this one.

Yamada-kun and the Seven Witches, Vol. 01 by Miki Yoshikawa – ★★
This started out so much better than it ended. But then the gratuitous fan service and the glossed over sexual assault and disrespect of other people’s bodies just completely ruined this one for me. Which is really sad, because I loved the concept!

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare – ★★★

“This is how a faerie loves: with a gift.”

With the way that City of Heavenly Fire ended, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy! I thought this was going to be everything, but sadly I was a little let down. I mean, a few of the stories in here are the best I’ve read from this universe ( Bitter of Tongue & Born to Endless Night) but most just felt boring to me, if I’m being honest. I know that sounds horrible, but I just feel a little let down, I guess.

If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio – ★★★★★

“You can justify anything if you do it poetically enough.”

This book is so haunting, so atmospheric, so gripping, and so perfect. And If you, too, love The Secret History by Donna Tartt then I recommend this book with every single bone in my body. Also, this is such a love letter to Shakespeare and all his work, so if you appreciate that I think you’ll also fall so head over heels for this story. I’m honestly not sure what I expected going into If We Were Villains, but it is now one of my favorite books of all time.

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas – ★★★

“Once upon a time, in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom…”

Here is the thing – if you have loved this series from the start, you are probably going to love this conclusion and be very happy upon turning that last page. I’ve had a rocky journey with Throne of Glass even before it became “cool” to dislike this series and even before the stans thought it would be “cooler” to ignore all the gross, problematic elements. I’ve just never loved this series. And I always feel like the characters I do end up liking from this world, get the bad end of the stick. And Kingdom of Ash was no different. And, in true Sarah J Maas fashion, the book was ungodly longer than it truly needed to be.

Empress of All Seasons by Emiko Jean – ★★★★

“Silence is the cousin of invisibility.”

I loved this ownvoices Japanese fantasy so much! This is another review that I’m in the middle of, but I promise it will be up before the November 6th release! Don’t sleep on this one, loves!

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager – ★★★

“…Sometimes a lie is more than just a lie.”

I just finished this one! But a review should be up on November 2nd! I really was completely immersed with this story, and I actually loved the finale twists! I’m just not completely sold on the epilogue. But this was a really good book for the spooky season, and I’m so happy that I was able to read it with so many of my friends!

And I think that’s everything! Again, I hope you all have the happiest of Halloweens tonight, and please stay safe and warm! I’m actually leaving to go to California for a few days tomorrow, but I have lots of posts scheduled, I just might be a little late responding to all your amazing comments! Happy reading, friends! Stay spooky! 🎃🧡

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September 2018 Wrap Up

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

But on to what I read in September…
(Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.)

The Antidote by Shelley Sackier – ★★

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden – ★★★★★

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle – ★★

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young – ★★

“I never believed in fate until you”

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

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

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

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

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

“You found me in a constellation.”

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

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory – ★★★★

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold – ★★

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

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

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

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

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

And here are the three graphic works that I read this month…
(Like always, you can click the links in each of the titles if you would like to read a more in-depth review of each book and see the individual trigger and content warnings.)

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

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

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

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

“Why are… boys… like this?”

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

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

“Never fall for a straight boy.”

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

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

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August 2018 Wrap Up

AugustWrapUpHello, bookworms! How is it the last day or August already? Man oh man! This was probably the busiest, but most fun, month of 2018 for me so far! I was a little sad that I wasn’t able to fly to Michigan like I normally do, but I read so many good books and played so many good video games while trying to be upset about it! And praise/bless that I was able to read 16 things in August! 💗

So many other things happened this August:
➽ It was my birthday month! Which I totally feel like I went extra with, but I did an amazing buddy read (Seriously, thank you everyone who joined me), I posted my review for The Wicked King, and I hauled way too many books! Seriously, thank you all for making my day even more special – book haul soon, I promise! And I love youuu!
➽ The new WoW expansion, Battle for Azeroth, dropped and I pretty much didn’t read anything for a full week! Whoops! But I had so much fun with my loved ones and my friends, that it was so totally worth!
➽ And then TI8 came around for my Dota 2 boys, and I didn’t read much for another half a week! But, it was worth, too, because my heart is so happy for N0tail and OG! Seriously, no one deserved it more. 🌻
➽ The very first book to have my name in the acknowledgements was published! (And it was pretty much the best birthday gift I could have ever asked for!)

But on to what I read in August…

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 Chase (Briar U #1) by Elle Kennedy – ★★★★★

“I feel like too many girls fail to remember one vital truth: we deserve someone who gives us one hundred percent. Half-assed effort isn’t effort. Half-assed love isn’t love.”

Elle Kennedy and her steamy hockey romances are back. And, like, what a damn blessing. This is the happiest I’ve been reading a book all damn year. These new characters completely won me over. All the cameos from the people we already love were perfection. The banter and jokes literally had my sides hurting from giggling. And, this book actually had some really important topics like ADHD and how learning disabilities can impact you in college, how growing up in the middle of abusive parents can have detrimental effects, how judging people based off their looks is really gross, and how you should always go with your gut feeling, especially when it comes to creepy men in a position of power. You all, I loved this.

Fence Vol. 1 (Fence #1-4) by C.S. Pacat & Johanna the Mad – ★★★★★

“I know I can fence.”

Friends, I love this story, this art, and these characters with the sum of my being. This is such a diverse cast, from sexuality (seriously, I think everyone is queer), to race, from social and economic backgrounds, to different family dynamics; there is so much to love about Fence. Like, C.S. Pacat’s writing and Johanna the Mad’s art is honestly a match made in Heaven, and these four issues were absolutely perfection.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera – ★★★★★

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

My dear friend, Jules, dubbed this a “queer, modern day, Sleepless in Seattle, set in New York” and she was so damn correct. Friends, I loved this book. It was seamlessly and so very beautifully written. The characters felt so real, that I’m still convinced that they have to be real people, walking the streets of New York while you read this review. And the romance? Lord, this was the sweetest, but most realistic, romance I’ve read in years. Please make sure you all preorder this book before the October 2nd release date.

In an Absent Dream (Wayward Children #4) by Seanan McGuire – ★★★★★

“She had been able to find a doorway and disappear into an adventure, instead of living in a world that told her, day after day after grinding, demoralizing day, that adventures were only for boys; that girls had better things to worry about, like making sure those same boys had a safe harbor to come home to.”

In the goblin market Lundy learns so very much about herself and who she truly wants to become. And Lundy is also able to travel back and forth between the market and home throughout this glimpse into her life. There is a such a beautiful theme of the power of love between siblings, both found and blood, and that thread is carried through for each visit. Lundy, Moon, and Diana each have a piece of my heart that I won’t ever get back, and I’m a better person because of it. Friends, I loved this. It’s a magical masterpiece and a perfect addition to this series that Seanan has given book lovers everywhere. I know the release date isn’t until January 8th, 2019, but preorder this now. Trust me.

A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals #1) by Alyssa Cole – ★★★★

“One can never read too many fairy tales”

A Princess in Theory was nothing short of an absolute treat to read. I easily fell in love with Alyssa Cole’s writing and her characters. And I completely believe she is a genius with her perfect portrayal of the “far away country prince email spam” trope. This book was funny, heartwarming, important, and completely captivating.

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2) by Alyssa Cole – ★★★★

“We have a fantastic romance section,” she said. “Do you need recommendations? How do you like your dukes? Grumpy? Tortured? Alpha, beta, or alpha in the streets, beta in the sheets?” “Actually, I meant nonfiction”

Friends, this was nothing short of pure joy to read. Please, if you’re looking for a heartwarming, funny, and expertly crafted romance, please look no further. A Duke by Default follows the main character inA Princess in Theory, Ledi’s, best friend Portia! But this time, Portia is on a journey to change her life and be a different person, and what better way than with a change of scenery and career? And maybe she will cross paths with someone who is much more than meets the eye himself.

➽ Rule (Rule #1) by Ellen Goodlett – ★★

“Three girls. Three deadly secrets. Only one can wear the crown.”

Whoever said this was Three Dark Crowns meets Pretty Little Liars was 100% correct. Except, I quickly learned and remembered that Three Dark Crowns is done much better, and Pretty Little Liars is one of the most annoying shows to have ever aired on this planet we call Earth.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★

“It’s all right to love someone who doesn’t love you back, as long as they’re worth you loving them. As long as they deserve it.”

Clockwork Angel is the first installment set in the same world that Cassandra Clare has crafted. Yet, this trilogy is set in 1878 historical London, with heavy steampunk vibes, and murderous machines! But this book is also filled with humans, fae, shifters, vampires, warlocks, and the very beloved (or not so beloved, depending who’s talking about them) Shadowhunters!

Seafire (Seafire #1) by Natalie C. Parker – ★★★★

“Never underestimate the girls of this world”

And the award for best prologue of 2018 goes to Seafire! Seriously this prologue was beyond words amazing. It not only made me feel every single emotion under the sun, but it had me on the edge of my seat for the entire twenty pages. Perfection, seriously perfection. And such a wonderful way to start this amazing story! I hate comparing books, especially two new releases, but Seafire is everything that I wish These Rebel Waves was. Pirates, the open sea, a beautiful f/f side romance, a found family of girls who feel lost, but come together to create something so powerful. You all, I loved this book.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan – ★★★★★

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

Once I heard that this was an ownvoices Asian inspired fantasy world where two girls, who are forced to be concubines to a demon king, try to overcome it all and fall in love, I knew this was going to be a book for me. But friends, I fell in love. Girls of Paper and Fire will make it onto my best books of 2018 list come December.

I Was Born for This by Alice Oseman – ★★★★

“I think the truth is that everyone in the entire world is confused and nobody understands much of anything at all.”

This summer I read Radio Silence by Alice Oseman and it became my favorite contemporary of all-time. I fell so in love with her writing, her characters, and her messages, that I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist picking up something else by her. And I Was Born For This was completely another win for me.

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria – ★★★★

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

This was so unique and so different than anything I’ve read all year. This was also hella fun to read.Bi boys and plus-sized ace girls GOING ON QUESTS TOGETHER? Take all my money. Seriously. Full review to come soon!

Bloody Rose (The Band #2) by Nicholas Eames – ★★★★★

“I couldn’t quit. I didn’t want to. I was raised on my father’s stories, spoon-fed glory until I hungered for it—until I thought I’d starve without it.”

I loved Bloody Rose even more than Kings of the Wyld! This book feels like stepping into a fresh Dungeons and Dragons campaign, where you get to play as a Lesbian bard who is allowed the honor of going on a few quests and ultimately telling the story of the most famous mercenary this side of the Heartwyld. And, I’m not sure I’ve ever wanted to play (or be) a character so much in my entire life.

Worlds Seen in Passing Anthology edited by Irene Gallo – ★★★★

“So much hurt to try to heal. And the healing hurts too much.”

Tor is celebrating their 10th anniversary this year and are coming out with this anthology that showcases some of the best short stories written this decade! Tor is my personal favorite publishing house. Not only have they always been amazing to me, they are putting out some of the most diverse, important, world changing literature on the market right now.

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade #1) by Seth Dickinson – ★★★★★

“Freedom granted by your rulers is just a chain with a little slack.”

I can honestly say that I have never read anything, in my entire life, like The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson. This book was so very quiet, but it spoke so very loudly to me. But this is easily one of the best books I’ve read in my entire life.

Magic Triumphs (Kate Daniels #10) by Ilona Andrews – ★★★

“We were living in the Apocalypse. Slowly, with each magic wave, a little more of the old technological world died, and the new world and its powers and monsters grew a little stronger. Being one of the monsters, I supposed I shouldn’t complain.”

Friends, I promise you, no one wanted to love this book more than me. I have been reading this series for what feels like close to a decade. And this will always be a series that I will cherish and keep close to my heart forever. But sadly, this final book just fell a little flat for me.

Okay, my loves! I hope you enjoyed my reading wrap up! I should be getting home late tonight, because I’ve been away for a few days for my birthday celebration with some loved ones! But I miss you all, and I hope you had an amazing August and that you were able to find some new favorite books this month! Happy reading! ❤️

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July 2018 Wrap Up

JulyWrapUpHello, my loves! July was a super slow and super quick month for me. Like, I just think 2018 is going by way too fast in general, but July seemed to be the month that not a lot happened. I mean, it was my Grandfather and Brother’s birthdays, but I wasn’t back in Michigan to celebrate. And besides that? I just worked, read, participated in #Smutathon, and went to one concert! Seriously, I live such an exciting life! But with all the downtime I was able to read 18 books! And five of those were favorites of all-time! So, that’s exciting right? 💗

But on to what I read in June…
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 Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang – ★★★★★

“But I want you to know I can handle the truth. If I’m not enough for you, that’s fair and I accept it. I’ll get over you eventually. I don’t want to be coddled or lied to because of what I am. I don’t need your pity friendship”

This is an ownvoices novel about a high-functioning autistic woman who has succeeded in every aspect of her life, except for love. Her mother is putting pressure on her to find someone and start thinking about family, now that she turned thirty. Plus, Stella is kind of lonely anyway, and as much as she loves throwing herself into her work, she wants to spend her life with someone who she can completely be herself with. The problem is, Stella thinks her autism makes her unable to successfully date, and maybe even unable to be good at/enjoy sex. So, she hires the dreamiest escort to help her! And I loved it!

Grace and Fury (Untitled #1) by Tracy Banghart – ★★★

“Serina and Nomi were like any other daughters in the cold, industrial town of Lanos. But Serina had her beauty. And Nomi had her secret.”

Grace and Fury is a story about two sisters who feel like they are on the path toward the only future they can somewhat control. Yet that path gets so twisted and manipulated, so very quickly, right before their very eyes. Overall, I really did enjoy this. The first half was easily five star worthy. I might not have loved one of the sister’s point of view for the other half, but I still think this was a wonderful twist on the “princess locked away in the castle” kind of trope. And I can’t wait to see where the author takes this beautiful, feminist, story next.

Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor – ★★★★★

“I would have chosen you, if they had let me choose.”

I’m not sure another story will ever touch me like this duology has. My review doesn’t even do it justice, honestly. This is a once in a lifetime story that I will cherish for the rest of my life. This isn’t just a shining star in literature, but a glowing constellation over the world. If you haven’t picked up Strange the Dreamer, please do so, because I love this series with every bone in my body, with my heart, with my soul, with every fiber of my very being.

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White – ★★★

“Some nights, when even my child’s heart knew that what I had been asked to endure was too much, I would stand on the edge of the lake, lift my face to the stars, and scream. Nothing ever called back. Even among the creeping things of the lake’s night, I was alone. Until Victor.”

Kiersten White wrote this book to honor the fact that 2018 is the 200th anniversary of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley! It has been ten years since I picked up Frankenstein, and even though I didn’t completely love this with my whole heart, Emily May’s review not only made me want to pick it up again this fall, but it also made me realize that I probably missed a ton of beautiful homages within these pages!

Foundryside (Founders #1) by Robert Jackson Bennett – ★★★

“Foundryside. The closest thing Sancia had to a home.”

The concepts in this book are so unique and creative; I loved them so very much! But some of the banter and conversations felt so dry, boring, and sometimes even offensive. Like, two of the main characters have completely captured my whole heart! The others? Meh. I do think this is worth it though, especially if you have enjoyed Robert Jackson Bennett’s other works! I just expected more, especially after the 6/5 star beginning of this book!

The King of Bourbon Street (NOLA Nights #1) by Thea de Salle – ★★★★

“You know that cliché about the best bottoms being the best tops.”

This was nothing short of a treat to read. It had me smiling, it had me laughing, and it had me happy from first to last page. Plus, this book was so damn sexy! And it had so much good representation that I’ll talk about lower in my review! But if you’re looking for a steamy romance read, that’s different than so much out there, I completely recommend picking this one up!

City of Ghosts (Cassidy Blake #1) by Victoria Schwab – ★★★

“Once there was a woman, a beauty with fair skin and black hair, and a little boy who loved to wander.”

This is a middle grade novel that has such a perfect spooky atmosphere, and it’s set around scary places in Scotland. Like, sounds perfect, true? And, as always, Victoria’s writing is so very beautiful and lyrical. I think this will be such a fun fall read for so many readers. Yet, sadly, some elements just really didn’t work for me.

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren – ★★★

“The world seems full of men who are initially infatuated by our eccentricities, but who ultimately expect them to be temporary.”

I really did enjoy this sweet friends to lovers story. I think this is for sure a perfect summertime read. Yet, again, some things (basically everything in the last 10%) just really didn’t work for me. Korean love interest named Jimin though!

Hideaway (Devil’s Night #2) by Penelope Douglas – DNF @ 58%

“Buried in the shadows of the city, there’s a hotel called The Pope. Ailing, empty, and dark—it sits abandoned and surrounded by a forgotten mystery.”

I’m just going to pretend that Corrupt is a standalone. You all, this is just awful. From the Japanese main character who constantly talks about dojos, to the constant grey area consent, to pedophilia and even incest. I can’t. I cannot do this. And I refuse to read a Damon redemption story for the next book. This is easily the worst thing I’ve read all year.

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory – ★★★★

“I know, but Drew, you’re a white guy. Life is different for you. You were born with a benefit of the doubt that black kids never get.”

I loved so much about The Wedding Date! Like, oh my word, what a damn treat! Seriously friends, I know this cover screams Valentine’s Day, but this is the perfect summer read! Jasmine Guillory’s beautiful debut novel stars two people who take an elevator ride that will change their lives. And so many important topics of what it is like to be in an interracial relationship are woven masterfully into this story!

Jade City (The Green Bone Saga #1) by Fonda Lee – ★★★★★

“Family is duty. Magic is power. Honor is everything”

This was everything I wanted and more! I completely fell in love with Fonda Lee’s world, characters, and writing. And, like, give me all the Asian Mafia books, please. This was beyond words good, and I can’t wait for more!

Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton – ★★★★★

“I fell in love with the forest. And the forest loved me back. And so we traded hearts. Mine is here, larger and stronger than it could have been in the small cavern of my body”

I’ve read over one-hundred books so far in 2018, and Strange Grace is easily my absolute favorite. And I anticipate that it will be my favorite book of 2018 come December 31st, too. What a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Literally perfection. A true gift to the literary world. Friends, if you’re looking for a spooky book, with a dark fairy-tale vibe, that heavily talks about society’s gender expectations, while being a love letter to gender fluidity, with the most heartwarming polyamorous relationship, look no further than this masterpiece.

City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare – ★★

“A pair of werewolves occupied another booth. They were eating raw shanks of lamb and arguing about who would win in a fight: Dumbledore from the Harry Potter books or Magnus Bane.”

I didn’t love this one, but I did have fun while reading this. I mostly liked every scene without Jace being problematic (and incestuous), and I read it in under twenty-four hours! Yet, I do like this world! And I think that the whole topic of “downworlders” and how people can believe that others have “not as pure blood” is something that I think is still damn important to be talking about in 2018.

City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments, #3) by Cassandra Clare – ★★★

“People aren’t born good or bad. Maybe they’re born with tendencies either way, but it’s the way you live your life that matters.”

Overall, I am happy I read this trilogy, instead of just skipping it. I’m not sure if it was completely needed, but I hope that it will feel worth it. I also think this series holds up better than a lot of others that were published during the same time, Naruto references and all. I’ll be honest, this really is more of 2.5 star read for me, and I should probably bump it down to two stars, but I just enjoyed it so much more than City of Ashes that I’m going to bump it up to three. Also, Izzy and Simon deserve that star on their own, let’s be real. Okay, friends, I can’t wait to finally dive into Clockwork Angel!

Batman: Nightwalker (DC Icons #2) by Marie Lu – ★★★★

“I can’t think of a story where the billionaire and the murderer end up happily ever after.”

I am not the biggest superhero fan, but I will admit I’ve always had a bit of a soft spot for Batman. And you all? I honestly loved this. Also, I’ve never read anything by Marie Lu before (I know, I can’t believe it either, honestly) but now I plan on devouring everything, because I completely connected with this writing style and I never wanted to put this book down.

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker – ★★★★★

“ What hold does Alaska have on them? What makes this place worth giving everything else up?”

I feel like this book was very catered to my personal tastes, and I’ll go into that more in the review, but The Simple Wild is currently my favorite romance of 2018. The writing, the setting, the messages, the romance? It was all perfect in my eyes. This was also my first KA Tucker book, but I promise that it won’t be my last. This book felt very personal to me, but I recommend it to everyone with my entire soul. And, friends, don’t waste your life on wishes; if you want something – go for it, always. Life is short, but it’s never too late to go after your dreams and fight for something you love. Love can be so messy and so complicated, but it’s always worth it.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton – ★★★★

“We carry our home with us in our hearts, laden with hope. So much hope.”

Such an amazing book that had me crying all the happy tears, all the sad tears, and all the in-between tears. I feel like this ownvoices book, that Chanel Cleeton crafted, took a piece of my heart, and I’m fine living without it, because this book was such a work of art, inside and out. And this beautiful story is told in two different timelines from two different women.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djèlí Clark – ★★★★★

“Because in New Orleans, you can’t survive on just dreams.”

This is an amazing novella that stars a young girl, Jacquelin AKA: Creeper, living in an alternative historical 1884 New Orleans. Oh, and Creeper also has an African orisha, Oya, living inside her and allowing her to tap into their powers. And even though Creeper is loved in New Orleans by so many people who loved her mother before she passed away, Creeper wants more than New Orleans is willing to give her.


A lot of my friends will do shout outs of posts that they enjoyed during the month! (And I’m always so damn honored and thankful when you pick mine!) So, I figured for the month of July I would touch on fifteen posts that I loved more than words and that I think you all should totally check out!

Elise’s Newest Book News 💖
Jamieson’s Diviners Series Review 💕
Lilly’s Book Haul 💓
Julianna’s How Being a Book Blogger Affects Their Reader Life 💘
May’s Mid-Year Goal Check In 💝
Jess & Silvia’s Meet the Blogger Post 💖
Kaleena’s Free Reading Spreadsheet 💕
Kelly’s talk about Influence of The Number of Books You Read 💓
Taylor’s Best Reads of 2018, So Far 💘
Dani’s Things She’s Learned Since Starting Blogging Post 💝
Vera’s Circe Review 💖
Sionna’s Amulet (The Stonekeeper) Review 💕
Lily’s Discussion on Why We Need (More) Confident Female Characters 💓
Justine’s Favorite Naked Hardcovers 💘
LaRonda’s 500 Follower Giveaway (Until August 3rd!) 💝


Okay, friends! That’s my July! I hope you all had an amazing month that was filled with favorite books! I know I gave a lot of three star ratings, but I can’t believe I read FIVE favorite all-time books this month: Muse of Nightmares, Strange Grace, The Kiss Quotient, The Simple Wild, and The Jade City! Like, damn! What blessings! But I hope you all have an amazing August! And don’t forget, you’re invited to buddy read The Traitor Baru Cormorant with me! ❤️

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June 2018 Wrap Up

JuneWrapUpHello, lovelies! I cannot believe the month of June is already over! But I hope you all had an amazing month and an amazing Pride! I read 16 things this month, and only four of those weren’t LGBTQIAP+! I had a few misses, but also so many all-time favorite hits! And I can’t wait to talk about them all with you! ❤️ 🏳️‍🌈


A lot happened in the month of June:
➽ I read so many queer books! 🌈
➽ I read the word pansexual in a romance book for the first time!
➽ And I found my favorite contemporary of all time!
➽ I got to buddy read for the first time with some of my favorite humans: May, & Lily! ❤
➽ I went to the Grand Prix Vegas 2018 and had such an amazing time!
➽ I got to write up my second favorite post of the year!
➽ The Steam Summer Sale started! (Recommendations here!)
➽ I received an ARC that also happened to be the very first book that I was in the acknowledgements for, and I’m not sure if anything has ever made me as happy in my book reviewing life. Such a damn blessing.
➽ I hit 20,000 followers on Goodreads, and I’m still in disbelief. But thank you all so much. I have no word combination to even begin to describe how much it means to me. But with everything I am, thank you. 💖


But on to what I read in June…
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 Bird and the Blade by Megan Bannen – ★★★

“Now, cold and exhausted, a girl disguised as a boy, tottering after the losing end of a battle, I have to second-guess that assessment. It seems to me that I’ve made some choices—some very bad choices—that have led me to this moment.”

The Bird and the Blade is a completely enthralling and heart-breaking YA fantasy debut. I enjoyed this so much, and I was completely teleported and captivated every time I opened this book up. Plus, this is a story about the descendants of Genghis Khan’s sons, mixed with the Italian opera Turandot, and that’s one of the most unique concepts of any story I’ve read in 2018. And this might not be the most historically accurate novel out there, but I loved reading about the Song dynasty and the Mongol Empire.


Folsom (End of Men #1) by Tarryn Fisher & Willow Aster – DNF @ 50%

“I have impregnated two hundred and three women over the course of sixteen years. Five of those pregnancies have resulted in male children.”

Tarryn Fisher wrote one of my favorite books of all time, Mud Vein, which completely changed who I am as a person. And I’ve never read anything by Willow Aster before, but my friends have told me really good things! But I’m not about to read a book (especially during Pride) where there are only 12 adult men left to populate this dystopian USA, and the only main character that’s a lesbian is a villain that is forcing a probably straight woman to be with her. Miss me with all that fucking shit. Thanks.


We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson – ★★★★

“We may not get to choose how we die, but we can choose how we live. The universe may forget us, but it doesn’t matter. Because we are the ants, and we’ll keep marching on.”

This is a really beautiful story about being a teenager, being gay, and not being accepted. This is a story about heartbreak, loss, grief, and trying to figure out who you are in the midst of it all. I’ll be honest, I didn’t love the start of this book, but I completely fell in love with the middle and end. And I totally understand why so many of my friends hail this as their favorite book of all time.


These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1) by Sara Raasch – ★★

“Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Argrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy.”

Friends, this just was not the book for me. And you know I hate writing “negative” reviews, so I’m going to try to keep this on the shorter side. But this book and the writing was just equal parts boring and daunting for me. Plus, the magic system was not explained, the characters were hard to like or believe, and I never cared enough to root for any of them. But I think what ultimately made me not love this book was because I went in thinking that we were going to see a crew of queer pirates, on the open sea, fighting battles, slaying monsters, and doing pirate things. This is not the type of book These Rebel Waves is. But on a positive note, this is a book filled with colonization, oppression, magical medical experimentation, religious hierarchies, political intrigue, betrayals, and what people are willing to do in the name of their God(s). And, it sort of has pirates.


Sunstone, Vol. 3 (Sunstone #3) by Stjepan Šejić – ★★★

“It’s all fun and games until someone falls in love! But the fun and games carry on!”

This is such a gem of a graphic novel series. And even though I didn’t love this one as much as Volume One, I still really enjoyed this installment and completely recommend it to adults who are interested in the BDSM lifestyle. Seriously, this is filled with very mature themes and explicit sexual content, so use caution if that’s not something you’re looking for.


The Queen of Crows (The Sacred Throne #2) by Myke Cole – ★★★

“I want to live in a world where everyone, no matter who they are, dies from growing old, and not because someone else killed them for their own good.”

The Armored Saint was my second favorite ARC that I read in 2017. It will still, without a doubt, make my best of 2018 list come December. But for some reason this second book just didn’t captivate me and wow me the way that book one did. I still really enjoyed this, and Myke Cole’s writing is so damn good that I could highlight half of this large novella, but I just didn’t love The Queen of Crows the same way I did The Armored Saint.


Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand – ★★★★

“Girls hunger. And we’re taught, from the moment our brains can take it, that there isn’t enough food for us all.”

Sawkill Girls is going to be such an amazing, atmospheric, spooky Halloween read for so many. The start of this book was phenomenal, and the first half was five star worthy in my opinion. I just, didn’t love the ending of this, but I think many of you will. And overall, I completely recommend this, and I had such an amazing time reading this creepy tale.


The Abyss Surrounds Us (TASU #1) by Emily Skrutskie – ★★★★★

“I don’t just raise monsters. I am one.”

One of the best book recommendations I’ve received to date is Elise recommending me The Abyss Surrounds Us. Friends, I fell totally in love with this story and it surpassed every high expectation I had for it. The writing is addicting, the story is so unique, and this book holds my now favorite enemies to lovers, angst-filled relationship of all time. Oh, and it’s between two girl pirates. Sold yet? You should be. This book was a gift.


Heart of Thorns (Heart of Thorns #1) by Bree Barton – ★★★

“Once upon a time, in a castle carved of stone, a girl plotted murder.”

I honestly feel like this is a solid 2.5 star read, but some aspects make me want to raise that rating and others make me want to lower it. I will say the end of this book is phenomenal. Like, easily the best part. And it was so good that I want to continue on. But the rest, especially the earlier sections, were some of the most predictable reading I’ve ever read.


Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik – ★★★★★

“…someone had climbed down and looked through our window: someone wearing strange boots with a long pointed toe.”

Spinning Silver is one of the best books I’ve read all year. I loved this story with every fiber of my being. And Naomi Novik is a master at storytelling and interweaving stories together. You all know that this is a very loose reimaging of Rumpelstiltskin but I’d stay it’s more of an empowering tale of three girls, all on three different paths, all promised to three different men, while all being looked over by three different mothers. Three is such a constant theme in this book, too, and it really helps reinforce that this story feels like a tangible piece of magic in your hands while reading. This book is nothing short of a masterpiece.

❄ And make sure you enter my GIVEAWAY for a finished copy of this on my bookstagram, which ends on July 1st at 11:59PM PST July 1st, 2018!


Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – ★★★★★

“This hardly qualifies as a distress call anymore—by gods, if anyone was listening, I would have heard from you by now.”

Radio Silence is the best contemporary book I’ve ever read. And holy shit did it blow all my expectations out of the water. I don’t feel like I’m the same person after reading this book. And I know I will cherish it forever. This is easily the best book I’ve read for Pride this year, and easily one of the best books I’ve read in all of 2018. This book literally took a piece of my heart and I will never ask for it back. I can’t wait to read everything else that Alice Oseman creates.


Autoboyography by Christina Lauren – ★★★★★

“A God worthy of your eternal love wouldn’t judge you for who you love while you’re here.”

Friends, I only picked this book up because it was on sale this month on Audible, even though I can never focus on audiobooks. I only started listening, because I decided to spend last night playing video games with my best friend. I only clicked play because he was telling me about his latest audiobook. I honestly believe with whole heart that the stars aligned to make me read this book, and I will be forever thankful because this is one of the best books I’ve ever read in my entire life.


The Melody of You and Me (Lillac Town #1) by M. Hollis – ★★★★

“…when people doubt her sexuality. Or the times when she needs to explain why she just feels more comfortable using pansexual than bisexual”

Real talk, this is honestly a story about a pansexual music-loving girl, falling in love with a Filipina lesbian ballerina, while they both work at a bookstore together. This book even shouts out Melissa de La Cruz, Mina V. Esguerra, and Rin Chupeco! Like, does that not already sound like a masterpiece?


They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera – ★★

“You may be born into a family, but you walk into friendships. Some you’ll discover you should put behind you. Others are worth every risk.”

I’m so sorry! I really wanted to love this, but this just wasn’t a book for me. I think some of the lines were so beautiful, and I love the overall message of living your life, every day, to the fullest, but I just could never connect with this story the way that I know so many of my friends have.


The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 1 by Kieron Gillen & Jamie McKelvie – ★

“Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.”

This is maybe the worst graphic novel I have ever read. I’m sorry, I truly am so sorry. Trust me, I don’t like hurting anyone’s feelings AND I absolutely hate wasting my time. But I honestly only liked the diversity in this. That’s it. But not even a pansexual lucifer was enough for me to like this. The full-page art openers of each issue were beautiful, but I didn’t even love the art of the regular panels. I just, I just really didn’t like this. It was not only confusing, but it was so damn boring too.


Cocktales by edited Penny Reid – ★★★

“And who does he think he is, having his lawyers send cease and desist demands to existing users of the title when we haven’t even made a cartoon yet?”

This anthology was inspired by a gross human being making poor choices, and I can’t wait to read and support this! Also, you only have until August 26th (a day before my birthday) to buy this collection of stories from so many amazing and beloved authors! Don’t miss out, loves! All net profits will be donated to the authors already impacted by creative-obstruction (10%), and Romance Writers of America (RWA) (90%) as a general donation intended for their Advocacy Fund.


Okay, my loves! I hope you had a wonderful month, and that July treats you kindly! Remember that each and every single one of you deserve the entire universe and all the stars within it! I love you all, and happy reading! And please tell me what your favorite read of June was down below! ❤️

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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! 💛✨