Posted in Book Talk

October 2022 TBR: not spooky themed!

Hey y’all! I’ve got my TBR rip raring and ready to go for October, and it actually has no planned spookiness or anything “Halloween” themed. I guess there might be some that could fit it, but that wasn’t the intention, you know? Anyway. Here’s my non-spooky TBR with my attempts at making them spooky-fied. xD

Book club choices

Oh, you know, actually… okay, maybe there’s some spookishery going on here. But I swear, it was unplanned spookishery! *ahem* moving on…

Sign Here I grabbed from Book of the Month because, despite how leery I was of all the hype I’d seen around it, it does actually sound like a book I’d like. It’s about a demon trying to get a whole family to trade their souls to him, so uh… I guess demons and Hell are pretty Halloweeny.

The Night Ship came from Aardvark Book Club, which just launched! This one is a dual-timeline story about two kids who end up on an island off Western Australia and they’re looking at old shipwrecks and monsters and maybe ghosts which actually kind of sounds like it fits October reading too.

Continue reading “October 2022 TBR: not spooky themed!”
Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: How to Heal a Gryphon by Meg Cannistra (10/04/2022)

How to Heal a Gryphon by Meg Cannistra
Expected Release Date: October 4, 2022

Recommended: yes!
As a sweet magical middle grade read for anyone, for kids who love animals, for witchy Italian lore

Summary

With her thirteenth birthday just around the corner, Giada Bellantuono has to make a big decision: Will she join the family business and become a healer or follow her dreams? But even though she knows her calling is to heal vulnerable animals, using her powers to treat magical creatures is decidedly not allowed.

When a group of witches kidnaps her beloved older brother, Rocco, and her parents are away, Giada is the only person left who can rescue him. Swept into the magical underground city of Malavita, Giada will need the help of her new companions to save her brother—or risk losing him forever.

Thoughts

I adore our main character, Giada. She’s so unabashedly herself, and has such a strong sense of who she is! I think that’s something a lot of kids have, then lose, and many adults take a long time to get back there (or maybe never totally do). Giada holds tight to it, and isn’t afraid to call out people (even adults!) when they are being rude (which at least one adult ABSOLUTELY was). She doesn’t let people shame her about enjoying sweets and food, and she devises her own brilliant salve for thigh chafing which lets be honest, who wouldn’t benefit from that?

Continue reading “ARC Review: How to Heal a Gryphon by Meg Cannistra (10/04/2022)”
Posted in Book Talk

Top Ten Tuesday: Lovely Wordy Covers 😍

Hey y’all! Top Ten Tuesday is a bookish question idea that was originally created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, from way back in June 2010! Since January 2018, Top Ten Tuesday has been hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Thanks for taking it over! The idea is to make a list of ten books or bookish things on different topics each week. Check out her site for details on how to join and what the upcoming prompts are. 😊 You can also see all the posts from other bloggers linked on each weekly post on their main site.

This week’s prompt is typographic covers. Covers where words are the winner, and that’s all there needs to be. Covers where the title is the focus, and maybe it’s done creatively or just smashed in huge letters so you can’t miss it. I ADORE this topic because I think making an attractive, interesting cover without any usual visuals is an impressive skill, and can be done so well. I found a bunch below!! 😀

The books

The covers are more giant than usual this week since the focus is entirely on the cover!

That’s it for this week! Have you read any of the above books? Link to your posts this week in the comments as well 🙂

Posted in Reviews

Review: Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola

Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola (Honey and Spice)
Recommended: YES!!
For fake dating gone right, for gestures both grand and minute that matter equally as much, for characters who confront hard truths about themselves and challenge others to do the same, for excellent frienships, and yes, romance too

This is one of the few books this year — maybe the only book this year? — that I finished and feel like it was EASILY a five-star read, smashing through and getting all the way to the top. Loved it. 😍

Summary

Sharp-tongued (and secretly soft-hearted) Kiki Banjo has just made a huge mistake. As an expert in relationship-evasion and the host of the popular student radio show Brown Sugar, she’s made it her mission to make sure the women of the African-Caribbean Society at Whitewell University do not fall into the mess of “situationships”, players, and heartbreak. But when the Queen of the Unbothered kisses Malakai Korede, the guy she just publicly denounced as “The Wastemen of Whitewell,” in front of every Blackwellian on campus, she finds her show on the brink.

They’re soon embroiled in a fake relationship to try and salvage their reputations and save their futures. Kiki has never surrendered her heart before, and a player like Malakai won’t be the one to change that, no matter how charming he is or how electric their connection feels. But surprisingly entertaining study sessions and intimate, late-night talks at old-fashioned diners force Kiki to look beyond her own presumptions. Is she ready to open herself up to something deeper?

Thoughts

So many of the women in this book sound like excellent people to be friends with and I wish I knew where to find folks like them. Making friends as an adult is weird, y’all. I think the female friendships in this book were very well done and I adored them. Yes, some of them come about because of a man, and they do talk about their men, but damn if it wasn’t so much more than that. It felt empowering and hilarious and vulnerable all at once.

Continue reading “Review: Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Where We End & Begin

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Where We End & Begin by Jane Igharo!
Expected Release: September 27, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • SECOND CHANCE ROMANCE! The stories of people reconnecting after years apart and finding that their love still holds true just makes me swoon and cry happy tears every time. I want Dunni and Obinna to fall in love all over again… while I watch. 😅
  • I also love stories of women making hard decisions to go after what they truly want in life. Dunni certainly seems to be doing that, abandoning the fiance approved by her parents in hopes of a chance to see where things go with Obinna. 🥰
  • I’ve read and/or added several other books by Jane Igharo to my list, and I generally really enjoy them. Part of it is learning about Nigerian culture through the characters, but I also find that her approaches to love stories don’t shy away from painful truths, giving her love stories some realistic pain with the love.

Summary

Dunni hasn’t seen her high school boyfriend, Obinna, since she left Nigeria to attend college in America. Before their devastating separation, they vowed to find their way back to each other one day.

Twelve years later, and their vow is a thing of the past. Dunni works as a geneticist in Seattle and is engaged to a man she doesn’t love but one her parents approve of. Her future is laid out for her, and everything is going according to plan until she returns to Nigeria for a friend’s wedding and runs into Obinna. The shy, awkward boy she loved as a teenager is now a sophisticated, confident man. Things have changed, but there’s still an undeniable connection between them.

As they rediscover each other, their days filled with desire and passion, Dunni is reminded of the beautiful future she once planned with Obinna. But when devastating secrets are revealed and the reckless actions of their past bring new challenges, she’s left questioning everything, including if the love that consumed her as a teenager is still worth holding on to.

Posted in Book Talk

Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign

Ugh.

If you use Goodreads and haven’t seen it yet, the book page on their website has been redesigned! Personally I’m not a fan overall, but I tried really hard to think of some positives about it too. 😂 Below are my lists and overall thoughts. Vote below on if you like it or not and drop a comment about why!

Love!

  • The fact that they redesigned it means they’re giving Goodreads more attention than it’s gotten in like a decade. Maybe that will bring some good changes soon!
  • The spot that shows how many people have the book marked as “currently reading” is really cool! It feels more like a community thing with that.
  • It remembers your settings for whether the book page should show the edition&book details or have it collapses by default.
  • The reviews show a breakdown of people you’re friends with or following and how each of them rated the book.
  • The book cover, status, and rating in the left sidebar stays with the main page as you scroll through sections.

Haaaate.

  • The reading status / tags button. I hate that it’s popped into the middle of the screen now — why make me go somewhere else from where I just clicked? I also hate having to select reading status, THEN tags on a new screen. Again, more clicking. Ugh.
  • Everything is HUGE! Why is it all so giant!
  • I can’t get to my individual review page from my review on the books page — only through the “My Books” listing. EDIT: Misty noted that you can see the review page by clicking the date on the review. Added a photo below! Thanks Misty!
  • If you’re looking for other books in the series, you have to scroll WAYYY to the bottom of the page in order to find them. WHY.
  • The book details button to collapse it when it’s open is not intuitive to find as it’s buried under a bunch of stuff instead of remaining at the top as a coherent “open/close” toggle.
  • There’s just SO MUCH on the page and I have to scroll so far to get to any of it. God forbid I’m at the bottom and want to return to the top. A floating Table of Contents with links to each section or TOC embedded in a sidebar would help navigate the page a ton. Even a standard “Back to the top!” floating button! SOMETHING!
  • Randomly get an error saying it cannot load reviews under the Friends and Following section, and retry doesn’t work. Kind of also a pro though, because now I have less scrolling to do!
Continue reading “Things I Love and Hate About the Goodreads Redesign”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Take It From Me by Jamie Beck!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Take It from Me by Jamie Beck released today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own!

Recommended: yep
For a book about a person writing a book, for some free therapy, for two characters who blend beautifully well, for a nuanced look at mental illness (Specifically one that’s usually played for laughs, dismissed, feared, etc)

Summary

Wendy Moore hides her collection of pilfered bric-a-brac from everyone, including her husband. He thinks she licked her kleptomania in therapy more than a decade ago. Therapy did help, as did focusing her attention on motherhood. But now Wendy’s gardening and furniture-refinishing hobbies fill up only so much of the day, leaving the recent empty nester lonely and anxious—a combination likely to trigger her little problem. She needs a project, fast. Luckily, Harper Ross—a single, childless younger woman in desperate need of highlights—just moved in next door.

The only thing Harper wants to change is the writer’s block toppling her confidence and career. Then a muse comes knocking. Sensing fodder for a new antagonist, Harper plays along with Wendy’s “helpful” advice while keeping her career a secret so Wendy keeps talking. Sure, she’s torn about profiting off her neighbor’s goodwill—especially when Wendy’s matchmaking actually pans out—but Harper’s novel is practically writing itself.

Just as a real friendship begins to cement, their deceptions come to light, threatening Wendy’s and Harper’s futures and forcing them to reconcile who they are with who they want to be. Easier said than done. 

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Happyish by Jeanette Escudero!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Happyish by Jeanette Escudero published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own!

Recommended: yep
For a story with “last day to live” vibes, for a lot of character reflection, for lovely settings and journeys that’ll make your feet itch to wander

Summary

It was supposed to be a good day.

On the one-year anniversary of her divorce, Alex Martinez is getting closure—and margaritas with her two best friends. But just before the celebratory meetup, Alex is clobbered by life once again. Damping the cheer is the diagnosis of a brain tumor she can’t pronounce, a procedure she’d rather postpone, and the prospect of what to say to an already heartbroken mother. Not that Alex plans to tell her anything anytime soon.

Going from blissful to blindsided in one afternoon, Alex has other plans: to be impulsive and embark on an adventure she’ll never forget. Expected destinations: the Grand Canyon, Puerto Rico, and zip-lining through Costa Rica. Unexpected companion: a hiker named David who’s found a woman after his own heart. But no matter how enriching the journey, how long can Alex keep running?

It’s time to accept past griefs, reconnect with her mother, and find her way back to happy. For Alex, whatever the future holds, maybe everything she really needs to face is right where she left it. 

Posted in Book Talk

20 Books of Summer 2022 – Complete!

Hey y’all! In early June, I started my first year challenging the 20 books of summer goal that’s hosted at 746 Books. The goal is to read and review 20 books from June to September 1. The reviewing is the key part!

In my sign up post, I chose to go for 15 based on specific prompts that I wanted to fulfill. I did hit all 15 prompts, as well as a lot of other books that I read and reviewed outside of it! Below is a list of the books I completed for each prompt, as well as the other reviews I posted during the summer. 😊

The 15 prompts & their books

Continue reading “20 Books of Summer 2022 – Complete!”