Posted in Reviews

Review: Closer to Okay by Amy Watson

Closer to Okay by Amy Watson

Recommended: sure
for a self-recovery story, for self-love and romantic love, for descriptions that make even a non-coffee-drinker want to try a cup, for folks unfamiliar with mental illnesses and psychiatric help

Also FYI: I got this book from Aardvark Book Club, and I’ve been really loving their selections! They’ve only been up a few months, but if you’re looking for a new book subscription club, try this one out! I’ve passed on almost every Book of the Month club month this year, but Aardvark has had multiple each month I’ve been interested in and their model is very similar.


Kyle Davies is doing fine. She has her routine, after all, ingrained in her from years of working as a baker: wake up, make breakfast, prep the dough, make lunch, work the dough, make dinner, bake dessert, go to bed. Wash, rinse, repeat. It’s a good routine. Comforting. Almost enough to help her forget the scars on her wrist, still healing from when she slit it a few weeks ago; that she lost her job at the bakery when she checked herself in as an inpatient at Hope House; then signed away all decisions about her life, medical care, and wellbeing to Dr. Booth (who may or may not be a hack). So, yeah, Kyle’s doing just fine.

Except that a new item’s been added to her daily to-do list recently: stare out her window at the coffee shop (named, well…The Coffee Shop) across the street, and its hot owner, Jackson. It’s healthy to have eye candy when you’re locked in the psych ward, right? Something low risk to keep yourself distracted. So when Dr. Booth allows Kyle to leave the facility–two hours a day to go wherever she wants–she decides to up the stakes a little more. Why not visit? Why not see what Jackson’s like in person?

Turns out that Jackson’s a jerk with a heart of gold, a deadly combination that Kyle finds herself drawn to more than she should be. (Aren’t we all?) At a time when Dr. Booth delivers near-constant warnings about the dangers of romantic entanglements, Kyle is pulled further and further into Jackson’s orbit. At first, the feeling of being truly taken care of is bliss, like floating on a wave. But at a time when Kyle is barely managing her own problems, she finds herself suddenly thrown into the deep end of someone else’s. Dr. Booth may have been right after all: falling in love may be the thing that sends Kyle into a backslide she might never be able to crawl out of. Is Jackson too much for her to handle? Does love come at the cost of sanity?


Yes, I liked this one! I think it’s a story that’s not often told, one from the perspective of a person in a mental ward assistive living facility. And if I’m wrong about that, please let me know, because I would love to read more books like it! I’ve never had the experience myself, but have had friends who have, and reading this felt like getting to know some of what they might have experienced a little better (especially for those friends who prefer not to reflect on those times). And besides that, it was just a heartwarming and occasionally painful story. Much like life.

In short, this is a book about relationships with the self, romantic partners, friends, enemies, and the ways one person can shift between several of those categories — or fit into several all at once.

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Posted in Reviews

Review: A March of Kings by Morgan Rice

A March of Kings by Morgan Rice

Recommended: sure
For people who liked the first one, for an adventurous escalation of the story now that the world and premise are set


After he escapes from the dungeon, Thor is horrified to learn of another assassination attempt on King MacGil. When MacGil dies, the kingdom is set into turmoil. As everyone vies for the throne, King’s Court is more rife than ever with its family dramas, power struggles, ambitions, jealousy, violence and betrayal. An heir must be chosen from among the children, and the ancient Dynasty Sword, the source of all their power, will have a chance to be wielded by someone new. But all this might be upended: the murder weapon is recovered, and the noose tightens on finding the assassin. Simultaneously, the MacGils face a new threat by the McClouds, who are set to attack again from within the Ring.

Thor fights to win back Gwendolyn’s love, but there may not be time: he is told to pack up, to prepare with his brothers in arms for The Hundred, a hundred grueling days of hell that all Legion members must survive. The Legion will have to cross the Canyon, beyond the protection of the Ring, into the Wilds, and set sail across the Tartuvian Sea for the Isle of Mist, said to be patrolled by a dragon, for their initiation into manhood.

Will they make it back? Will the Ring survive in their absence? And will Thor finally learn the secret of his destiny?


I liked the first book, but this one was maybe more exciting! Now that all the characters and various dangers of the world are in place, it was easier to move forward into the depths of the story and really get into the drama.

The classic style is still in effect, where things have a bit of a trope-y path they follow, but still in a surprisingly wonderful way. It’s like reading a modern classic, if that makes sense? Even though the vibe is very traditional knight’s adventure, I can’t predict what’s going to happen and I’m SO excited for it. The ending of this one by the way? Be sure to have book 3 ready to go when you finish. xD

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Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Long Story Short (7/26/22)

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 Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor!
Expected Release: July 26, 2022

Why wait on this one?

  • Wow am I a sucker for people doing that thing where they make a list of experiences to turn their life around, or change direction, or prove a point. Turns out my own love of lists translates into feeling kinship with characters who embrace them as well. xD
  • SHAKESPEARE CAMP! HELLO MY LANGUAGE LOVER SIDE! I am desperately hoping for old timey insults that make me cackle, and moody pining in Middle English, and the joy of acting and the fun that can be had with costumes and stage kisses. 🥰
  • I grew up in New England, so it being set in Connecticut will feel like a familiar comfort to me. The water, the green, the fresh air. The swanky preppy boat shoe boys (I assume). Not like that was my life, but the stereotype, right? xD I digress. I like the setting. 😁


Growing up homeschooled in Berkeley, California, Beatrice Quinn is a statistical genius who has dreamed her whole life of discovering new mathematical challenges at a school like Oxford University. She always thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. But while math has always made sense to Beatrice, making friends is a problem she hasn’t been able to solve, so her parents are worried about sending her halfway across the world. The compromise: the Connecticut Shakespearean Summer Academy and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. She has six weeks to show her parents she can pull off the role of “normal” teenager and won’t spend the rest of her life hiding in a library.

Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any rules, and there is no equation for teenage interactions. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the popular—and, annoyingly gorgeous—British son of the camp founders, she realizes that relationships are trickier than calculus. With her future on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than your fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will Beatrice realize that there’s more to life than she can find in the pages of a book?

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Lupina Book One: Wax by James Wright!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Lupina Book One: Wax by James Wright published today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own from Book Depository!

Recommended: sure
For an intro into a series that promises to give more (next time), for an interesting art concept (that you might have to squint at), for characters well-portrayed even in their silence


In the coastal town of Kote, recently brought under the yoke of the Addalian Empire, four-year-old Lupa spends her days getting bullied by her older sister and hiding behind her mother’s skirts. But when tragedy strikes, Lupa finds herself alone in a new world… alone until she’s found by the she-wolf, Coras, and sets off on a journey of discovery… and revenge.

Posted in Reviews

Review: Pretty Funny for a Girl by Rebecca Elliott

Pretty Funny for a Girl by Rebecca Elliott – ⭐⭐⭐
Expected Release: October 1, 2020

Recommended: sure
for a lighthearted YA novel, for an MC who works on being ok with her body image, for an MC with a fairly unusual goal of being a standup comedian

Haylah Swinton is an ace best friend, a loving daughter, and an incredibly patient sister to a four-year-old nutcase of a brother. Best of all, she’s pretty confident she’s mastered making light of every situation–from her mom’s new boyfriend to unsolicited remarks on her plus-sized figure. Haylah’s learning to embrace all of her curvy parts and, besides, she has a secret: one day, she’ll be a stand-up comedian star.

So when impossibly cool and thirstalicious Leo reveals he’s also into comedy, Haylah jumps at the chance to ghost-write his sets. But is Leo as interested in returning the favor? Even though her friends warn her of Leo’s intentions, Haylah’s not ready to listen–and she might just be digging herself deeper toward heartbreak. If Haylah’s ever going to step into the spotlight, first she’ll need to find the confidence to put herself out there and strut like the boss she really is.

Okay, I feel like the #1 question about this book should be “the main character wants to be a stand up comedian, so is the book funny?” and I can report that it’s more or less a yes. The plot itself is a standard YA coming of age sort of read, but the moments of specific comedic routines are funny enough. They’re delivered by high school students, so that’s the experience the material focuses on, but if you can pass yourself back to that age you can probably get a chuckle or two.

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Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Loveboat, Taipei

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fast-Forward Friday to drool over books that I’m waiting on to come out! This one is a romance / self discovery focus via traveling, which is a hard combo to beat when done well. Let’s see, shall we??

Expected Release: January 7, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • I was disappointed by Again, But Better and I think this could do that story again, but better. (I’m way too proud of what I did there…) Then I can satisfy that craving that was left wanting before!
  • Anywhere that lets me experience a tiny taste of culture from somewhere I’ve never been is automatically getting points in its favor.
  • Those decisions made when free from parents for the first time are rough in real life, but great for a book. Plus it’ll probably resolve happily with lessons learned!
  • The author’s super cute happy dance when she held a published copy didn’t hurt, either. Who can resist such joy?! 😁