February 2019 TBR

TBR2
Hey, friends! Okay! this February is going to be pretty wild for me! I am so damn honored to be a host for Contemporaryathon, but I also know that it is going to keep me pretty busy! Also, so many other amazing readathons and readalongs are going on this February, too! It is also Black History Month in the United States, and I always want to boost ownvoices Black books and media, but I especially want to boost Black voices for February! Also, my separate Contemporaryathon TBR will be coming all on its own very soon! But let me tell you about some of these groups that I’m so excited to participate in! And then I’ll list some books that I plan on reading with them all this month! 💗


BookTube Games (hosted by Myonna!)
(Team Ketterdam: Katie & Olivia!)

Challenge #1 the two hosts of your fictional place have to decide on the book that everyone in the group should read, if you read that book you will be counted x2 the pages. – February 1st- February 8th

Challenge #2 reading in places it isn’t normally acceptable for 5 minutes. for example reading in church, during a class, in a movie theater etc (worth 50 pages) – February 9th- February 15th

Challenge #3 24 hour readathon, you can do with anyone, from your own team or from another or you can just be by yourself (worth 100 pages) – February 16th- February 22

Challenge #4 scavenger hunt, a host from your team will be uploading a video and your task is to find the emoji that is for your team that is hidden in their video, comment or send them the time stamp of where it is and the location. (worth 200 pages) –  February 23- March 1st


Blackathon (hosted by FrancinaLauren, & Jesse!) 

1. FEEL THE LOVE Read a book (any genre) featuring romance between two black people (or one black person + a person of color).

2. WAKANDA FOREVER Read a graphic novel or comic series with a black or African MC

3. HEAR US ANY Read a work by a Black or African author

4. FEEL THE BEAT. Spoken word: listen to these 4 poems and share your favorite on social media or with a friend. Discuss what this poem means to you and why it matters.
Balaenoptera by Joshua Brandon Bennett
What I’ve Learned by Aja Monet
“Waiting” by Jasmine Mans, Alysia Harris, and Jennah Bell
Cuz He’s Black by Javon Johnson

5. MORE THAN A COLOR. We house complexity within us. Read a book starring an intersectional black character (black & LGBT, black & neurodivergent, black & disabled, etc)

6. IN THIS TOGETHER Read the group book with us! Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo


F/F FEBRUARY (Hosted by Imi & Ellie!) 

giveaway to win any book starring an F/F relationship (including the possibility of a pre-order of The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, which releases at the end of the month and has the best f/f couple). To enter this, all you have to do is tweet or post a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #FFFebruaryReads telling us about the F/F books you have read this month. We know that not every reads as much as others, so numbers don’t matter, just read what you can and talk about it a lot!

bingo challenge – we will have prompts to help you pick your reads and completing a bingo (any three horizontally, vertically or diagonally) will win you an extra entry into the giveaway!

photo challenge – this one is for Instagram! Taking part will also gain you one extra entry to the giveaway.


#FeministLitFeb (Hosted by Jane!) 

1) Read a book of feminist fiction.

2) Read a book of feminist nonfiction.

3) Read an #ownvoices book

4) Read a book written by a black woman, or someone who is black and non-binary/gender fluid.

5) Feminist freebie – engage with a form of media that is feminist (books, movies, TV shows, podcasts, music, etc!).


BookTube ❤️vaLITines (Hosted by Cait, Sarah, & Leah!) 

COLD SHOWER: Read a book that is rumored to have a steamy scene

LOVE SONG: Write a song or poem to your book, something in your book, or something bookish

ROSES ARE RED: Read a book with red on the cover

BEAUTIFUL ON THE SHELF: Read a book with a beautiful cover

FRAMING THE FAVE: Take a picture of your favorite book and post it on social media

GIFT THAT KEEPS GIVING: Read a book that was given to you as a gift

HEART WARMING: Read a book that you feel will warm your heart or a book that has warmed your heart in the past

FORGOTTEN LOVE: Read a book that you previously DNFed

BLACK HISTORY MONTH: Read a book by a Black author

PUPPY LOVE: Read a middle-grade book

LIVING SINGLE: Read a standalone

TOGETHER FOREVER: Buddy Read a book with someone

USE #vaLITines ON SOCIAL MEDIA: don’t forget to tag our twitter @BT_valitines

BY ANY OTHER NAME: Read a banned book

TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH: Read a translated work

READ COZY: Read in your coziest clothing or blanket

FIVE STARS: Read a book that a friend, foe, or someone else in your life has rated 5 stars

WHERE YOU GO, I GO: Take a book everywhere you go in a day and read it in different places

MORE TO LOVE: Read a book over 400 pages

BUBBLE BATH: Read in the bubble bath

HAPPILY EVER AFTER: Read a retelling

HOT DATE: Read by candlelight

SKINNY LOVE: Read a book under 200 pages

SHARING IS CARING: Read a book that meets a challenge for another readathon happening in February

LIBRARY LOVERS MONTH: Read a book from the library


➽ Some of the Books I Hope to Read: 

(And I’m buddy reading with Madalyn, Julie, and Kathy this month!)

Yeah, I have some really talented friends who I’m so blessed to have in my life! And I can’t wait to take part in all these amazing readathons and readalongs that they are hosting! Again, my Contemporary TBR will be out soon! Plus, don’t forget the Dragons & Tea February book pick that totally works for most of these groups! And let me know if you plan on joining in on any of these! Happy reading, friends! 💗

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January 2019 TBR

TBR1
Hey, friends! Happy New Year! I cannot believe that we are already in 2019, but I’m wishing you all the pure happiness, unconditional love, and good health for the new year (and forever after, too)! And I’m really hoping to start off 2019 with some amazing reads!

The Wicker King (The Wicker King #1) by K. Ancrum
The January pick for the Dragons and Tea Book Club! 🐉☕

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black
January 8th 2019 by Little, Brown
This is going to be a reread for me, but I can’t wait to buddy read this with Lea! 💕

A Study in Scarlet (Sherlock Holmes #1) by Arthur Conan Doyle
The January pick for #CatchUpOnClassics! 🔎

A Study in Charlotte (Charlotte Holmes #1) by Brittany Cavallaro
And then I’m going to read the *bonus* buddy read book for #CatchUpOnClassics! 🔍

The Hod King (The Books of Babel #3) by Josiah Bancroft
January 22nd 2019 by Orbit
I cannot believe I have an ARC of this in my house. This is going to be everything! 💜

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo
January 29th 2019 by Imprint
I am seriously just counting down the days until this midnight release! 👑

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He
April 2nd 2019 by Albert Whitman Company
I am doing a massive buddy read for this with Hesina’s Imperial Court! 💗

Again, But Better by Christine Riccio
May 7th 2019 by Wednesday Books
I want to love this so badly, and I actually think I will. Especially because I’m buddy reading this with Madalyn! 💖

The Foxhole Court (All for the Game #1) by Nora Sakavic
Oh boy, I’m going to love this or hate this and I’m extremely scared, but extremely excited! At least I have Solly for buddy reading and moral support! 🧡

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
January 29th 2019 by William Morrow
I can’t believe I keep pushing this ARC off, but I blame the not so great reviews I keep seeing for it! I am actually really scared to read this one, but I promise to have a review up before the 29th! 💛


Okay, friends! Those are the ten books that I really hope to get to this month! Again, I don’t know how it is already the start of a new year, but I hope you all are having an amazing start to it! And I can’t wait to share another year with all my bookish friends!

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Down the TBR Hole #24

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


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


The Six Books:

Becoming by Michelle Obama
How have I not read this book yet? Ahhh! I’m beyond words excited for this one! And nothing could make me take this off of my TBR!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Fruits Basket Collector’s Edition, Vol. 1 by Natsuki Takaya
This manga is totally on my list because of Alexa on Booktube! Alexa loves this so much, and her passion really made me want to pick it up! Maybe I will soon, because I have to read more Manga come 2019!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Shallow Gravesby Kali Wallace
This is completely on my list because of my friend Alexis who loves this book!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Ravencry (Raven’s Mark #2) by Ed McDonald
I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but for some reason I just didn’t read this one! I don’t know if I should continue on or not! What do you all think?
Verdict: Delete ❌

Kill The Farm Boy (The Tales of Pell #1) by Delilah S. Dawson & Kevin Hearne
This looks so cute and so funny and I can’t believe I haven’t read this already! I remember back in Spring I was really trying to get an ARC of this, but I haven’t thought about it in a while! I guess that’s the beauty of these posts! But yeah, I totally still want to read this!
Verdict: Keep ✅

The Waking Fire (The Draconis Memoria #1) by Anthony Ryan
I can’t believe I haven’t started this series! I am such a damn slacker! But I have the highest of hopes for this one, and I really need to prioritize it, come 2019!
Verdict: Keep ✅


Okay, my loves, this is the last “Down the TBR Hole” for 2018! I can’t even believe that it’s going to be 2019 next week! But these are the next oldest six books I have on my TBR! Let me know if you love, hate, and/or recommend me to read or trash any of these books! Thank you all so much, and I hope whatever you’re currently reading is five star worthy and I hope you’re having an amazing holiday season! ❄⛄

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I Read My “Top 12 Books I Must Read in 2018” List


Merry Christmas, to all my friends who celebrate! Today’s post is something I’ve looked forward to doing all year long, so it’s really a gift to myself! So, on January 6th of 2018, I made a blog post all about the twelve books that I *must* read during 2018! And I finally read the last one at the start of December! This was my first year doing this, but I loved it so much that I hope to continue to do it forever. It really helped me to read books that I already owned, and it gave me a much-needed break between ARCs when I was feeling rather burnt out. And even though I did predict these all being five stars (they weren’t), I still ended up loving so many of these titles! 🎄🎁❤


The Secret History by Donna Tartt – ★★★★★
This was the first book I read in 2018! And I still have never read anything like this book in my entire life. I laid in bed for over an hour last night upon finishing this book, just tossing and turning and thinking about everything I just consumed. I still don’t think I can put my feelings into words, but I can honestly say this book was a cathartic experience for me, and the irony of the word “catharsis” being a Greek rooted word is not lost on me, because if this book is anything it’s a modern-day Greek tragedy.


Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë – ★★★★★
I fell completely in love with this. This was so intelligently crafted and so expertly woven! And the dark feelings and vibes throughout really makes this such a unique and amazing reading experience. And I think this is a book that I will be able to read and reread over and over for the rest of my life. You also best believe that if I ever have children, this will be required reading once they get a bit older, because this book seriously has an immense amount of power. And I truly believe this is my favorite classic of all-time now. And I never want any woman to feel like a bird trapped in a cage.


Jane Steele by Lyndsay Faye – ★★
Reader, I was so damn bored. I was a little intrigued at the start. I mean, it is hard to not get hyped about a serial killer who loves Jane Eyre. But as more and more time went on, I just cared less and less. Also, I really was leading myself to believe there was going to be a sapphic relationship in this, only to cry over what could have been, and that’s never a good feeling, even if I queer-baited myself.


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – ★★★★★
In high school I became really obsessed with Greek mythology. I couldn’t get enough of the adventures in The Iliad and The Odyssey. And the Trojan War is almost a decade worth of adventures that I fell completely in love with. And I always had a special soft spot for Achilles, son of a god and a king, being convinced to join the Greek army by the Greek commander, Odysseus, to become the greatest warrior in the world. But so much happens before that deadly battle between Hector and Achilles outside the gates of Troy. And The Song of Achilles is Madeline Miller’s love letter to Achilles complete story, and it is an actual masterpiece that is the best reimagining I’ve ever read in my entire life.


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. If you all ever take a recommendation from me; please have it be The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.


The Book of Etta (The Road to Nowhere #2) by Meg Elison – ★★★★
Meg Elison writes the queer, feminist, inclusionary literature of my heart. This book is important, and powerful, and empowering. It’s hard, and brutal, and heartbreaking, but I promise it is so rewarding. The reason I am giving it four stars is because the ending felt rushed to me. And even though I loved this entire ending with the soul of my being, it just happened in the blink of an eye. Yet, I am so excited to see where the next book picks up, because I am sort of obsessed with their location! But friends, if you are in the right headspace, please give The Book of the Unnamed Midwife a try. It’s truly a masterpiece, and this entire series means more to me than I have words for.


Now I Rise (The Conqueror’s Saga #2) by Kiersten White – ★★★
Friends, I’ll be honest with you, I have been dreading writing this review. I don’t know what’s wrong with me or my reading tastes, but this series just isn’t the series for me. So many of my friends love this series more than anything and you should check out their reviews: Chaima (Muslim ownvoices), Elise, and Emily! But, sadly, I’m calling it quits and I’m not reading the third book. And if you want my honest opinion? Read The Traitor Baru Cormorant, because it’s a better version of (Radu’s storyline especially) this story. I didn’t hate this book by any means, it’s just really a 2.5 star, middle of the road book for me. And I’m going to try to keep this review short, because I completely recognize that this series just doesn’t work for me! But this is a historical reimagining, starring two children during the fall of Constantinople, but one of those children is a genderbent Vlad the Impaler.


The Queen and the Cure (TBATS #2) by Amy Harmon – ★★
I loved The Bird and the Sword so much when I read it, so I was looking so forward to the indirect sequel, the Queen and the Cure. But, sadly, I was so let down by this next installment. I didn’t care about the character, the story, or any of the hardships that they were going through. Honestly? The only parts I really liked where when the characters from The Bird and the Sword made brief cameos. Kjell is the captain of Tiras‘s guard, and is on a mission to find any remaining Volgar. Not only is Kjell a strong warrior and leader, he is also a very gifted healer. But his healing comes at a price; for every life he saves, he gives up a day of his own life. But he stumbles upon a young woman named Sasha who is in desperate need of healing, and he doesn’t even hesitate to save her life.


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


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


Hideaway (Devil’s Night #2) by Penelope Douglas – DNF @ 58%
I’m just going to DNF this and 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 one of the worst things I’ve read all year.


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.


Okay, my loves! I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did actually doing it! And I absolutely cannot wait to do this again for 2019, but with an even more exciting twist! And hopefully I have just as many five star reads ahead of me, and hopefully no DNFs! Let me know below if you all do something similar to this with your reading year! And I hope you’re all reading something that’s five star worthy! Merry Christmas! ❤️🎄🎁

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Down the TBR Hole #23

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


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


The Six Books:

Holy Sister (Book of the Ancestor #3) by Mark Lawrence
I love Mark Lawrence and this world (and Nona) so much! But I feel like I’m the only SFF blogger I know who hasn’t received an ARC of this, and it makes me want to cry thinking about it every time.
Verdict: Keep ✅

An Extraordinary Union (The Loyal League #1) by Alyssa Cole
This author, this cover, the synopsis. This is going to be amazing! I cannot wait to pick this up! Next time I go to the bookstore, I’m buying this.
Verdict: Keep ✅

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas
What’s that you say? Most anticipated release of 2018? Yeah, same, friend! BIG SAME!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Barbed Wire Heart by Tess Sharpe
I have fallen in love with Tess Sharpe’s writing in so many anthologies now. I can’t wait to read this. I think I’m going to absolutely love this one.
Verdict: Keep ✅

Pantomime (Micah Grey #1) by Laura Lam
I can’t believe I haven’t read this already! My beautiful friend Imi got this for me for my birthday! Plus, I mean, I see Leigh Bardugo’s name blurbed on it! So many of my friends have given this five stars. Have you read this one? Help, my loves!
Verdict: Keep ✅

A Place For Wolves by Kosoko Jackson
This is going to be amazing, and I can’t wait for it! Also, I love this author’s twitter presence, and I hope to fall in love with their book!
Verdict: Keep ✅


Okay, friends, these are the next oldest six books I have on my TBR! We are really starting to get into newer books now! I’m not sure how much longer I’m going to be able to keep up with “Down the TBR Hole”! But please let me know if you love, hate, and/or recommend me to read or trash any of these books! Thank you all so much, and I hope you’re having a blessed holiday season with love, friends, health, and a good book or two! ❄⛄

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Down the TBR Hole #22

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


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


The Six Books:

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
This is another OwlCrate book that I haven’t read! But I’ve actually heard really good things about this one, so I feel on the fence! Have you all read this? Did you enjoy?
Verdict: Keep ✅

Rebellion (Rebellion #1) by Josephine Boyce
My wonderful friend sent this to me, and I’m so damn thankful so I’ll keep it on my bookshelves forever, just in case! But I don’t think this looks or sounds like a book for me, sadly.
Verdict: Delete ❌

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Secret History was the first thing I read this year, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. I can’t wait to try something else out by Donna Tartt.
Verdict: Keep ✅

The Queens of Innis Learby Tessa Gratton
My face when I wrote this post up last month before I picked this up with some of my amazing friends. I ended up loving this one and even giving it five stars! 🙈
Verdict: Keep! ✅

Flow (Grip 0.5) by Kennedy Ryan
I’m here for this one, and I’m hyped for this one! I read another book by Kennedy Ryan early this year and I loved it! I can’t wait to find the time to pick this up!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Moon-Bright Tides (Lunar Requiem, #1) by RoAnna Sylver
I believe I got this for free last year from the author. And it’s supposed to be super queer, so I really need to read this one! And I hope to love it!
Verdict: Keep ✅


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

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Down the TBR Hole #21

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


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


The Six Books:

Blood Song (Raven’s Shadow #1) by Anthony Ryan
Petrik made me auto-buy this because he loved this book so much! So, I just know I’m going to love it too!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
This is like the biggest shame of my “Down the TBR Hole” life. I know I’m going to love this, and I can’t believe I haven’t read it!
Verdict: Keep ✅

The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare #1) by Lauren DeStefano
I got this from an OwlCrate, I want to say. But I just don’t think this is for me. Have you all read this? Did you enjoy?
Verdict: Delete ❌

Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2) by Diana Gabaldon
I read Outlander around this time in 2017 and really enjoyed, surprisingly. I do want to continue on with the series. Maybe I’ll do it before the year is up!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy
I really wanted to read this for Pride this year, but I just didn’t get around to it. But this book is beloved by so many, I can’t wait for when I finally do pick this one up!
Verdict: Keep ✅

Darkdawn (The Nevernight Chronicle #3) by Jay Kristoff
Oh, I have the mightiest of needs for this one! I love Nevernight and Godsgrave so very much! Soon, soon, soon!
Verdict: Keep ✅


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

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