Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Concrete Rose, 1/12/21

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 Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas (who I feel probably doesn’t need an introduction as an author at this point).
Expected Release: January 12, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Well, of course, Angie Thomas. The fact that this is a companion novel to The Hate U Give is enough reason alone for me to want to pick it up. The first book was raw and painful and necessary. Give me more any day.
  • I trust Angie to take an honest and balanced look at life in — and after — a gang. Hearing Mav’s story has so much potential, to see how he managed to get out of the game. It was referenced so much and such a key factor in some elements of the other book, that it will be exciting to dive into his story a little more.
  • On top of that, there’s the whole unexpected-parenthood thing, which is a difficult situation to be thrown into for anyone I imagine. There are so many colliding “difficult situations” in here for Mav to deal with. I hope it doesn’t get jumbled, but I expect good things!

If there’s one thing seventeen-year-old Maverick Carter knows, it’s that a real man takes care of his family. As the son of a former gang legend, Mav does that the only way he knows how: dealing for the King Lords. With this money he can help his mom, who works two jobs while his dad’s in prison.

Life’s not perfect, but with a fly girlfriend and a cousin who always has his back, Mav’s got everything under control.

Until, that is, Maverick finds out he’s a father.

Suddenly he has a baby, Seven, who depends on him for everything. But it’s not so easy to sling dope, finish school, and raise a child. So when he’s offered the chance to go straight, he takes it. In a world where he’s expected to amount to nothing, maybe Mav can prove he’s different.

When King Lord blood runs through your veins, though, you can’t just walk away. Loyalty, revenge, and responsibility threaten to tear Mav apart, especially after the brutal murder of a loved one. He’ll have to figure out for himself what it really means to be a man.

I admit, I was surprised by House of Earth and Blood

Aight y’all. I know I can be… harsh to books that are really popular and hyped. Even if it seems like something I might usually enjoy, if I see it everywhere, I’m kind of going to hate it. I’m definitely going to avoid it. Such was the case with House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas. Even though I adore her, I just was not into how much I was hearing about this apparently amazing book. So I stayed away.

And then I got it for Christmas. 😂 So I mean, yeah of course I was going to read it if I already had a copy! And, well, damn, it was really good. I laughed, I cried, I was genuinely surprised and had those moments like “OH DAAAAAAMN!” I’m really happy to say, okay, I was wrong on this one. ^.^

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

2020 Year in Books (Thanks Storygraph!)

Hey y’all! I’m a bit of a stickler for precision (and also I knew I would finish one or two more books in the last few days of December) so I’m just now posting all my “2020 year end” kinds of posts. It seems like most people do them in December, which confuses me so much! If you’re that person, what do you do about any books you read after you post that post?? Do they just not get included?!

Ahem.

So here’s all the pretty charts and stats and numbers based on what I read in 2020! As a reminder (or disclaimer for anyone not aware) I was unemployed or part-time for 9 months of 2020, so I ended up having a whole lot more time than usual, and a whole lot of need to escape into a book. So numbers are…. high. Much higher than my normal. 😅

Unsurprisingly, my top read genre was lighthearted, because not only is that my usual but do you remember 2020, y’all? I think we all needed it. Followed by emotional (ditto – sometimes I need a good cathartic cry) and adventurous (because the issues in a world of demons and dragons make my own issues seem pleasantly tiny).

Also unsurprisingly… my least read genre was sad. I do not tend to seek out sad or scary things. 😂

Oh, hey, and 141 BOOKS?! Like I said… I had a lot of time to fill. My usual in a year is like 50-60.

Continue reading “2020 Year in Books (Thanks Storygraph!)”
Posted in Book Talk

December 2020 Wrap Up (a very low-key month)

~reading

How many books that I planned did I read?

I planned on six, because I had several high priorities to wrap up for challenges by the end of the month. But I ended up reading, um, a lot more than six. 😂

The Plan:

The Result:

Okay, so I might have gotten a little distracted by this incredible comic series I started (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl). And it might have been exactly what I needed. And still need. And my favorite superhero ever. I recommend it, to everyone, right now. It’s the hero we need in 2021. 😍

Continue reading “December 2020 Wrap Up (a very low-key month)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: A Vow So Bold and Deadly, 1/12/21

Hey y’all! It’s the first Friday of the year, and the first day of the year! Whoo, I guess! But hey, I’m not breaking tradition just because of a page flip on a calendar: today’s Friday, and I’m looking forward to a book coming out (blessedly) soon. Saying I’m looking forward to A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer almost feels like cheating since it’s such a hugely popular release. BUT: I also never thought I would actually be interested in it! So here’s what changed my mind…

Why wait on this one?

  • Since this is the third (and final) book in the series, I’ve of course already read the other two (A Curse So Dark and Lonely and A Heart so Fierce and Broken). So obviously my first reason for being excited for this book is TO KNOW THE ENDING! We’ve come a long way in this story, and met a lot of different characters, and jumped ship probably a million times. So. Now what, Brigid?
  • I’m particularly intrigued in this book as a tiebreaker book between the first two. The styles changed dramatically from book one to book two, and we even changed character perspectives entirely (which was not a wildly popular choice for some people). So, I want to know who we’re going to hear from now! Will it be all four main-ish characters? Just two of them? Written in third person omniscient?! WHO KNOWS! I’m terribly curious to see how she’ll wrap this up
  • Remember how I said I never thought I’d actually be into this series? Well that’s because it was so obnoxiously overly hyped and popular for so long that I hated it just for that. I figured it would be a pretty generic girl-ends-up-in-faerie-land story, and boy was I wrong. I love the way Harper’s disability is just a part of who she is, instead of defining her entirely. I love the complex relationship dynamics between Grey and Rhen. Admittedly Lia Mara is not really that compelling for me, but she is now a pretty important player in the game so she better step it up. I love the world and characters now, so I’m seeing it through to the end.

summary

Emberfall is crumbling fast, torn between those who believe Rhen is the rightful prince and those who are eager to begin a new era under Grey, the true heir. Grey has agreed to wait two months before attacking Emberfall, and in that time, Rhen has turned away from everyone—even Harper, as she desperately tries to help him find a path to peace.

Meanwhile, Lia Mara struggles to rule Syhl Shallow with a gentler hand than her mother. But after enjoying decades of peace once magic was driven out of their lands, some of her subjects are angry Lia Mara has an enchanted prince and magical scraver by her side. As Grey’s deadline draws nearer, Lia Mara questions if she can be the queen her country needs.

As two kingdoms come closer to conflict, loyalties are tested, love is threatened, and an old enemy resurfaces who could destroy them all, in this stunning conclusion to bestselling author Brigid Kemmerer’s Cursebreaker series.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Do you like knowing if a book is the start of a series before reading it?

Hey y’all!

I ran into a little issue with a book I read today (and finished today… it was a slow day). While I actually enjoyed Heiress Apparently by Diana Ma more than I thought I would, I also learned that it’s apparently part of a series! I’m not totally sure how or why, since it doesn’t feel totally required by the ending. I’ll probably read it though — I quite enjoyed this one and would follow the characters a bit further!

Anyway, once I found that out midway through the book, it shaded my expectations of it a bit. I got a little bit bitter and suspicious, because it felt like the story could cleanly wrap up in this one book — but I knew it was the first in a series! I started thinking something really frustrating would happen to unnecessarily draw the story out, likely in a way that didn’t make sense and wasn’t needed (which is all too common).

Continue reading “Do you like knowing if a book is the start of a series before reading it?”
Posted in Reviews

2 Second Review: Hunted by the Sky by Tanaz Bhathena

2 sentence summary:

Gul’s prophesied birthmark is the cause of her parents death and her own doomed life on the run from the kings men. She breaks into the palace seeking vengeance, and poor magic-less Cavas the servant gets swooped up into her schemes (and… maybe into her heart…).

Thoughts?

An ok start that I think will be followed by an even better sequel. For an author who usually makes me love characters, they were a bit meh for me here, oddly. I don’t really care for Gul one way or another. She has strengths and flaws I guess, but I feel like she doesn’t have heart. It was so performative to me somehow. I never really bought into the danger or fear that should have been pulsing through every moment. There also seemed to be a lot of things that were easily handed to Gul and not worked into the plot very well. Any issue seemed to be immediately resolved with little effort. It was… unimpressive. This fast forward Friday feature was not quite as I’d hoped.

So what’s going to make me read the sequel? I love the blend of myth and life and magic. I think now that we have a whole book of exposition out of the way, the path is clear for the real excitement to begin. With the way the first book ended, there should be no way book 2 won’t be absolutely thrilling!

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: 11 Paper Hearts

Hey y’all! I usually do these on Fridays (hence the title) but some holidays are falling on Fridays this month so… they’re a bit delayed. 😅 But nonetheless, I am still excited about this upcoming 2021 release!!! OOoooh, so shiny! 11 Paper Hearts is (hopefully) a lovely way to start off the new year.
Expected Release: January 5, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Alright, I’ll be honest, the plot relying on the whole “accident causes teenage amnesia and she has to relearn her own life” is pretty done out and, yes, cheesy AF. But. I still kinda love it. And I still want to read it. 😂
  • Falling in love, again, is also a trope I swoon for. I think falling in love with your partner daily is partly a choice, and a way to focus on the good and things you’re grateful for. Taking someone for granted seems like a fast track to the end of a relationship. So even though this is, you know, teenagers… I’m still on board.
  • Cute rom-com mystery! Who are the secret hearts from? Is it her boyfriend she doesn’t remember? Some newcomer who is emboldened at a chance with her, free of judgment? Love it up, y’all.

Summary

Ella’s life was picture perfect. She had a circle of close friends, a jam-packed social life, and an amazing boyfriend. But then something completely unexpected happened: a car accident after a Valentine’s Day dance. When Ella woke up in the hospital, she couldn’t remember the accident . . . or anything about the weeks before it, including the reason she broke up with her boyfriend.

Now, a year later, she begins receiving paper hearts from a mysterious admirer who seems to have the answers she craves. Ella is intrigued. The hearts contain clues to help Ella remember her life before . . . and take her on a journey she never imagined. Following the paper hearts is the most spontaneous thing Ella has ever done . . . but will she find love?