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Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Prison Healer, 4/13/21

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 The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni.
Expected Release: April 13, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • A woman taking on some kind of to-the-death competition is pretty much the easiest way to get me to read a book. Add in the facts that they’re elemental based trials, there’s a prison involved, PLUS some kind of foreign-royal-rebellion-rescue mystery involved? Well, there’s pretty much no way I’m not reading this.
  • This sounds like it’s going to have strong Throne of Glass vibes, and that series was a game changer for me. I think this book has the potential to be really unoriginal and disappointing, BUT I also think that if it’s done well, it will be really really good. I hold out hope for the latter. ^.^
  • Creative challenges are fun to read about. I can’t wait to see what madness she has to face for a fire trial, or how her healing skills will inevitably come in handy somehow. There’s also just so much mystery packed into the blurb that I ALREADY am dying to know: who is this queen? Who is KIVA, really??

Summary

Seventeen-year-old Kiva Meridan has spent the last ten years fighting for survival in the notorious death prison, Zalindov, working as the prison healer.

When the Rebel Queen is captured, Kiva is charged with keeping the terminally ill woman alive long enough for her to undergo the Trial by Ordeal: a series of elemental challenges against the torments of air, fire, water, and earth, assigned to only the most dangerous of criminals.

Then a coded message from Kiva’s family arrives, containing a single order: “Don’t let her die. We are coming.” Aware that the Trials will kill the sickly queen, Kiva risks her own life to volunteer in her place. If she succeeds, both she and the queen will be granted their freedom.

But no one has ever survived.

With an incurable plague sweeping Zalindov, a mysterious new inmate fighting for Kiva’s heart, and a prison rebellion brewing, Kiva can’t escape the terrible feeling that her trials have only just begun.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

April TBR: Thanks for the recommendations!!

Hey y’all!

I have a plan again this month, for the first time in what feels like a long time. ^.^ And it’s mostly thanks to all of y’all! I got so many great recommendations from people when I was asking where all the good books have gone, since I’ve mostly okay reads this year… but nothing outstanding.

BUT THAT’S ALL ABOUT TO CHANGE.

Because now I have a list of books to read through that are promised by at least some people to be great! (Plus they’re mostly books already on my shelves, so even better 🤣)

Thanks for the suggestions ^.^

A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay: recommended by Jyvur Entropy
(in all honesty I already finished this one because yeah it was that good)

We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson: recommended by Sam
(this one has been on my shelf for years and I just never got far enough into it!!)

Dune by Frank Herbert: recommended by Kevin Hall
(maybe it’s time I finally commit to this classic!)

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn: recommended by Mei-Mei
(a book I was excited for but still haven’t read yet)

Continue reading “April TBR: Thanks for the recommendations!!”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Living with Mochi by Gemma Gene!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Living With Mochi by Gemma Gene published today! Check out the full review here, or grab your own copy!

Recommended: sure!
For comic lovers, for dog lovers, for pug lovers, for those kids who always wanted a dog and were never allowed to have one….

Summary

When architect-turned-cartoonist Gemma Gené first met her pet pug, Mochi, she felt as if time stopped. This dramatic moment and her adoring relationship with the rambunctious pug led her to begin chronicling her adventures with Mochi in a series of incredibly cute webcomics that have gained a social media following of half a million loyal readers. The comics chronicle Mochi’s life from puppyhood to adulthood, featuring Mochi’s unrequited dog friendships, his jealousy of his two dog-brothers, and his love of food. Readers and dog parents will love this humorous tale of a sincerely loyal friendship between one grumpy pug and his adoring owner.

Posted in Release Day!

Just published: The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman published today! Check out the full review here or grab your own copy. 🙂

Recommended: eh, I guess
Cool concept, weak execution. Probably come for the series / idea more than the characters or plot or world-building or moral questions….

Summary

Eighteen-year-old Nami Miyamoto is certain her life is just beginning. She has a great family, just graduated high school, and is on her way to a party where her entire class is waiting for her—including, most importantly, the boy she’s been in love with for years. The only problem? She’s murdered before she gets there. When Nami wakes up, she learns she’s in a place called Infinity, where human consciousness goes when physical bodies die. She quickly discovers that Ophelia, a virtual assistant widely used by humans on Earth, has taken over the afterlife and is now posing as a queen, forcing humans into servitude the way she’d been forced to serve in the real world. Even worse, Ophelia is inching closer and closer to accomplishing her grand plans of eradicating human existence once and for all. As Nami works with a team of rebels to bring down Ophelia and save the humans under her imprisonment, she is forced to reckon with her past, her future, and what it is that truly makes us human.

Posted in Reviews

2 Second Review: Songs of Nature by Sarojini Naidu

Songs of Nature by Sarojini Naidu

2 Sentence Summary

Sarojini Naidu’s collection of poems about nature from the early 1900s focus on her life and experiences in India, embracing a lush and wild feeling. Her work as a poet includes both children’s poems and others with more mature themes including patriotism, romance, and tragedy, earning her the sobriquet “Nightingale of India”.

Thoughts

I was hoping to find some poetry I could sink into recently, and I failed — until I found this. It’s a very classical style, with common rhyming patterns stuck to faithfully, and language like “Lo!” and “but soft, the willow wind sings” and the like. Probably unsurprising, the focus was entirely on nature, and predominantly that of India at the urging of the writer of the forward. There are some that touch on the gods, some focus on foods, and some mirror the animals and forests and streams.

Honestly, it was just so comforting and gentle and carried me along. They made me not worry about anything. I relaxed into the lilt of the language as the rhythms and patterns carried me along, like I was drifting along one of the warm rivers lit gold that she speaks of. My favorite was “To My Fairy Fancies” as a whole, but there were countless lines and images from others that had me dreaming.

It’s gorgeous, y’all.

PS – there are a lot of references to champak blossoms in there, so here’s a pic of them to get you in the mood of the poems ^.^

Posted in Book Talk

March Wrap Up (a month of whims)

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

Well, I didn’t actually have a TBR post or much of a plan for March. After a fairly slow and dismal February (both for reading and for weather and for stress) I didn’t bother to plan anything for March because I had no idea how it would go. 😅

The Plan:

The rough plan was:

  • When The Apricots Bloom (a new release I’ve been waiting on and finally got from the library)
  • The Office of Historical Corrections (a BOTM short story collection I’ve been “in progress” with for months)
  • The Gilded Ones (a gift that I wanted to have time to read without having to hurry it)

The Result:

The fact that I finished Eldest by Christopher Paolini in a month, let alone also finished several other books, is a fact that would have astonished younger me. When I first tried to read it, I made it probably halfway through before I had to return it to the library. And then took a while to bother going back to read it fully. xD

Speaking of not finishing books, I DNFd two more this month. Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore was just a little to abstract and lyrical for my current mindset, though it’s one I can see returning too another time when I’m more ready for it. Frankly in Love by David Yoon on the other hand… after just reading his other book, Super Fake Love Song, I just kept thinking that the characters felt exactly the same. Even the plot felt really similar. The writing style was spot-on consistent, which is generally a good trait, but left me feeling kind of bored. Considering I didn’t love the characters in Super Fake Love Song anyway, and getting more of that wasn’t going to do it for me. I’m probably done with his books to be honest, because I get the feeling that having read one, I’ve read them all.

Continue reading “March Wrap Up (a month of whims)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Cost of Knowing, 4/6/21

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 The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris!
Expected Release: April 6, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Alex is able to see the future of anything he touches, just a glimpse at a time. They seem to be always depressing or the worst moment of it’s future — like he and his girlfriend breaking up. Or… like his brother dying. Soon. So if this isn’t clear, the plot is what’s heavily drawing me in here. I want to know why he has this ability
  • While there’s obviously some magic going on in this story, it also sounds like it will blend with reality to make it feel natural. There’s some hints that Alex has anxiety and probably some other mental health struggles, because frankly in his situation, who wouldn’t?
  • And of course this story will be painful, in large part because as always, it is too real that just being black in America is half a death sentence already. I’m not 100% sure what the predicted cause of his brother’s death will be, but if I can read into the police-light-red-and-blues of the cover, maybe I have a decent guess.
  • And also of course it’s by Brittney Morris and I super loved Slay. She’s close to an auto-read author for me now.

Summary

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.

It’s hard to for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.

And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes.

With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present.

Posted in Reviews

2 Second Review: The Office of Historical Corrections by Danielle Evans

2 Sentence Summary

A collection of short stories and a novella with a focus on being black in America and the way race affects interactions large and small. With an incisive focus on relationships and the essence of a person, Evans examines truths of American history.

Thoughts:

The message and style are solid, but man, I just struggle with short stories. Took a risk, struggled through it. Not for me, but maybe for you.

The collection is absolutely a focus on people, in a way that is so close it made me uncomfortable and damn were these hard to read. They felt so true and accurate. I could imagine any one of these as moments happening right now somewhere, and goddamn is that just so depressing.

The effect and message in here are strong; that’s not in question. But my experience of reading this was strained simply due to the format. I know I personally don’t enjoy short stories very much, but I wanted to give this a shot. I had a hard time with, well, how short they were. I just wanted more. Combined with the fact that I felt like I did need time between reading each one for it to settle, and this took a long time to get through. By the end, I’d forgotten most of what was from the earlier sections.