Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: For the Wolf, 6/1/21

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 For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten!
Expected Release: June 1, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • A dark twist on an already dark tale, this is definitely inspired by Little Red Riding Hood. Since that story is so weird and messed up as it is, there is so much potential to play with it and bring even more depth and interest to it!
  • Whitten has done just that by adding magic and prophecy to it. Red is the determined sacrifice for the wolf, and she’s grateful her death will mean not having to deal with her growing powers. But when the wolf shows her that her powers may be a path to salvation instead of a curse, she starts to change her tune.
  • And when the villain is none other than GOD THEMSELVES? Oh singing praises, this is going to be good!

Summary

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

Posted in Book Talk

Barnes & Noble’s beach read recos are spot on!

Hey y’all!

I was just perusing Barnes and Noble’s website for my friends’ registry when I saw their recommended beach reads list. I had to laugh, because several of them are ones I have read (though not necessarily at the beach) and definitely agreed with!

The list

Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee

One of the few on this list that I haven’t already heard of! Judging 100% by the title and cover this might be a little too saccharine sweet for me right now, but does have a quick read beach book feel to it. ^.^

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Well, I definitely read this one! I think I was actually a little late to the party when it came out, but daaaang did I love it! This is a slightly chunky read but it goes by super fast because of how much you love the characters. Just be aware that it does get, ah, somewhat steamy at points, so if you do read it on the beach be warned! xD

That Summer by Jennifer Weiner

I haven’t read this but it’s on my list. After reading Big Summer by her last year, I knew to go for it when I saw her name!

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

I just read this from BOTM and it was WAY better than I expected. It had a lot more character depth than I anticipated, and the main conflict is one that’s a true problem and says a lot about the insight and aspects of the characters as they navigate it.

Beach Read by Emily Henry

It should be no surprise to avid chick-lit or beach-book readers to see Emily Henry on here twice! And it should be no surprise to ANYONE to see that a book titled “Beach Read” is on a list about books to read at the beach. No brainer. This one definitely fits the mold though, and I quite enjoyed it when I read it. I preferred People We Meet on Vacation, but maybe just because I’ve read it more recently. 😅

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

My only qualm with calling this a beach read is that it starts out with a bang. A literal one. Of the bedroom variety. You can probably guess that it doesn’t lighten up from there, so be prepared for some steam if you’re reading this on a hot beach!

The Layover by Lacie Waldon

The only other title on this list I haven’t already heard of! Judging this one as well by it’s title and cover, I’m probably going to be adding it to my tbr. If it’s anything to do with locations far from home, I’ll all about it!

Are any of these books in your bag to pack for the beach this summer? ⛱

Posted in Reviews

Review: Anna K Away by Jenny Lee

Anna K: Away by Jenny Lee

Recommended: sure
For a followup to the first one, for an easier read than the first one, for a short story following each character

Summary

How the mighty have fallen. Anna K, once the golden girl of Greenwich, CT, and New York City, has been brought low by a scandalous sex tape and the tragic death of her first love, Alexia Vronsky. At the beginning of the summer, her father takes her to the other side of the world, to connect with his family in South Korea and hide her away. Is Anna in exile? Or could this be her chance to figure out who she really is?

Back in the U.S., Lolly has forgiven Steven for cheating on her, and their relationship feels stronger than ever. But when Lolly meets a boy at her beloved theater camp, she has to ask herself how well Steven will ever really know her. Meanwhile, in Manhattan, everything between Kimmie and her new boyfriend, Dustin, is easy–except when it comes to finally having sex. And Bea escapes to LA, running away from her grief at her beloved cousin’s death, until a beautiful stranger steals her heart. Is Bea ready to finally forgive Anna, and let herself truly fall in love for the very first time?

Thoughts:

I was excited to see the characters again, and particularly interested in seeing what Jenny Lee invented as a followup story since this one is not based on other material, as the first one was. The plot moves much more steadily in this than the first book, and generally each character we follow is interesting. I think people who were a bit bored in the first book but liked the characters may enjoy this one more.

Continue reading “Review: Anna K Away by Jenny Lee”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Manga Classics Othello by Crystal S Chan & Stacy King!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Othello by Stacy King & Crystal S Chan (adapted into manga format from Shakespeare with full original text) published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy for yourself!
Verdict: AMAZING as always from Manga Classics!

Recommended: YES!!
For fans of the original, for classes looking for an accessible yet faithful adaptation, for a really dope story and art that enhances it so much

Summary

A brilliant general in the service of Venice, Othello is also the new husband of the adoring – and young – Desdemona, whose innocent hero worship has blossomed into love. But can a beautiful girl, so much younger than her husband, truly be faithful? Othello’s trusted ensign Iago seems to think not. Can Othello trust him? Can Othello trust anyone? Manga Classics presents Shakespeare’s classic story of love, hate, vengeance, and betrayal, in its full, original glory! (This volume features the complete, unabridged text from the Shakespeare Play.)

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Fire with Fire, 6/8/21

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 Fire with Fire by Destiny Soria! (Oi, it’s also not Friday, because apparently I’m back to my spotty schedule. 😅)
Expected Release: June 8, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Dragons and magic will always be an easy sell for me. Here we’ve got the added tension of dragon hunting v. saving them. I want to hear this author’s interpretation and invented lore for them and the world.
  • Dani goes from a dragon-hunter-in-training plus regular high school student, weird mix) to being bonded with a dragon and totally changing sides to being desperate to help stop the fighting. (Is this How To Train Your Dragon? Because I LOVE that movie.)
  • Dani’s sister Eden is WAY more into the dragon hunting thing, and once Dani goes to the other side, Eden seeks out sorcerer’s to try to save her sister from what she sees as certain doom (and probably some shades of madness too). I love that even though they’re now on opposite sides, their connection and love remains. Isn’t that what’s always needed? People with opposing views who are still trying to understand the other.

Summary

Dani and Eden Rivera were both born to kill dragons, but the sisters couldn’t be more different. For Dani, dragon slaying takes a back seat to normal high school life, while Eden prioritizes training above everything else. Yet they both agree on one thing: it’s kill or be killed where dragons are concerned.

Until Dani comes face-to-face with one and forges a rare and magical bond with him. As she gets to know Nox, she realizes that everything she thought she knew about dragons is wrong. With Dani lost to the dragons, Eden turns to the mysterious and alluring sorcerers to help save her sister. Now on opposite sides of the conflict, the sisters will do whatever it takes to save the other. But the two are playing with magic that is more dangerous than they know, and there is another, more powerful enemy waiting for them both in the shadows.

Posted in Book Talk

6 Books with Weddings

Hey y’all! I saw people besides my significant other and family for the first time this weekend and my friend’s wedding! If you happened to notice that I didn’t post anything on Saturday it’s because I was too busy celebrating!

It was so fun and so lovely and beautiful and I’m so happy for them! And I also wanted to use this as some inspiration for a post because I started thinking about all the books with weddings in them, and how they’re not always the way you might expect a book with a wedding in it to be.

By that I mean, sometimes the wedding goes wrong. Sometimes it’s in a horror and someone’s being forced to get married. Sometimes it totally is just an excuse for a bunch of romantic novel tropes and you know it, but you love it anyway. Weddings come in all kinds of ways in books! So here are a few that I immediately thought of when making this list that showcase the variety that you can get with weddings in books.

Ahh, the fake date

A juicy fake-date trope, Lucie decides to take a vacation to Scotland with a total stranger as his date to a wedding. The wedding, the hotel, the exotic locale, two hetero people… you can guess where this is heading.

Lure him in

Although Poppy and Alex are not the ones getting married, she DOES use the wedding as an excuse to lure him into a vacation together, after years of their broken tradition. Ends with a wedding, but the good stuff is all before!

Continue reading “6 Books with Weddings”
Posted in Reviews

Notes from the author: Nghi Vo on Empress of Salt and Fortune

Hey y’all! One delightful aspect of Goodreads is that when you read a Kindle book, you can link your notes and highlights within it to your Goodreads account and read them later online in a nice format.

My favorite way this has been leveraged (and I’m seeing it more often lately) is when the author themselves will write notes on quotes in their book and publish it to Goodreads publicly. It’s like the commentary track on a movie, but for a book. Hearing the author’s personal thoughts on their writing is such a delight. Unlike normal interviews or Q&As, this is entirely directed by their thoughts and what they want to share. I 100% adore that.

One set that I read and enjoyed recently was from Nghi Vo, author of Empress of Salt and Fortune (a fantastic, mystical novella that you can read more about here).

Here’s one of my favorite notes from the author:

If you’re interested,
the full set of notes is available here!

Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-ÍyímídéExpected Release: June 1, 2021
Verdict: lots of heavy topics combined with an intense drama/mystery that draws you deeper with every page

Recommended: YUP
For a high school drama that turns into a mystery that turns into an actual oh-sh*t situation, for a story of friendship and identity and isolation and trust and race, for a story where you get halfway through and wonder how it could get any more intense

Summary

When two Niveus Private Academy students, Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebayo, are selected to be part of the elite school’s senior class prefects, it looks like their year is off to an amazing start. After all, not only does it look great on college applications, but it officially puts each of them in the running for valedictorian, too.

Shortly after the announcement is made, though, someone who goes by Aces begins using anonymous text messages to reveal secrets about the two of them that turn their lives upside down and threaten every aspect of their carefully planned futures.

As Aces shows no sign of stopping, what seemed like a sick prank quickly turns into a dangerous game, with all the cards stacked against them. Can Devon and Chiamaka stop Aces before things become incredibly deadly?

Thoughts

YEAH y’all, my overall advice is that if you read the blurb and think you might be interested? Just read it — it will probably go well. I don’t see how this could disappoint. The twists are many, and the level of mystery and secrets and intrigue is like Agatha Christia / Hercule Poirot level. I felt like a detective, trying to isolate all the clues and variables and figure out the who-dunnit mystery of it all. The story evolves into way more than that, though.

Devon and Chiamaka are both pretty comfortable with their sexuality, even as they learn more about themselves and what they like, want, need. It’s obviously a large part of the impact on Devon, as he’s forcibly outed in the first chapter and fears the repercussions from his homophobic neighborhood if the news spreads. Taking a turn into darker waters, though, both Chiamaka and Devon have much heavier events hidden in their past.

Race, trust, sexual identity…. this book is full of topics, but it’s also couched in this drama and mystery that realy sucked me in. I loved both aspects of it, and devoured this book in two days. It was that whole thing where you stay up super late because you’re so close and you just have to finish it! Any time my S.O. interrupted to ask a question, or we needed to do some chores, I was heaving a big sigh and very reluctantly putting it down.

Read the book.

Thanks to Bookishfirst and MacMillan for a free advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.