Posted in Reviews

6 Books I reviewed in 2018 that are still accurate

Hey y’all,

Here are some really short and sweet reviews I wrote back in 2018. I wanted to share these because they’re books I enjoyed and want to have featured somewhere on this blog. Here’s their chance for some shining glory and recognition. 😊

Omg so cute! The wiring was so cute and realistic (albeit about ghosts) and I love the cute humor in addressing questions about ghosts. Unexpectedly love the illustrations, too. Very nicely done all around.

Not what I expected. My kind of humor, too, just simple and sweet and a bit tongue in cheek. Amusing to see how they wove in the “behind the scenes” stories from history, and the characters, even the ones who are only alive for a few pages, are all hilarious and wonderful and surprisingly memorable.

Continue reading “6 Books I reviewed in 2018 that are still accurate”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian!

Hey y’all! Just a reminder that Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian published today! Check out the review here, or grab a copy of your own! 😊

Recommended: yep
For a delve into Arthurian legend from the side of Elaine the seer, for a form-shifting read that excels at mirroring the readers’ experience with the characters’, for a dark yet hopeful spin

Summary

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

Posted in Book Talk

July TBR: anticipated reads!!

Hey y’all! I’m planning out my reads for July, and most of them are already started or at least in hand and ready to be started shortly. I’m so excited for these ones!

Fast Forward Friday reads

Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean

I’m always up for traveling somewhere in a book. Plus royalty and court life is my weakness that I just can’t resist 🥰 My library hold just came in, so I’ll be starting this one shortly for sure!

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

I love a good retelling with a twist, and this one had all the elements that promised to be just that! It didn’t hurt that my friend Abby recently finished this and highly recommended it!

Early Copies

Continue reading “July TBR: anticipated reads!!”
Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian

Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian
Expected Release Date: July 6, 2021

Recommended: yep
For a delve into Arthurian legend from the side of Elaine the seer, for a form-shifting read that excels at mirroring the readers’ experience with the characters’, for a dark yet hopeful spin

Summary

Everyone knows the legend. Of Arthur, destined to be a king. Of the beautiful Guinevere, who will betray him with his most loyal knight, Lancelot. Of the bitter sorceress, Morgana, who will turn against them all. But Elaine alone carries the burden of knowing what is to come–for Elaine of Shalott is cursed to see the future.

On the mystical isle of Avalon, Elaine runs free and learns of the ancient prophecies surrounding her and her friends–countless possibilities, almost all of them tragic.

When their future comes to claim them, Elaine, Guinevere, Lancelot, and Morgana accompany Arthur to take his throne in stifling Camelot, where magic is outlawed, the rules of society chain them, and enemies are everywhere. Yet the most dangerous threats may come from within their own circle.

As visions are fulfilled and an inevitable fate closes in, Elaine must decide how far she will go to change fate–and what she is willing to sacrifice along the way.

Thoughts

The first thing I’ll say is that I have NO IDEA who Elaine is outside of this story. I have no other context to compare her to, so I really can’t speak to that aspect of the experience. If you’re familiar with the lore already from other media, I have no idea how this might align with the way it’s been told elsewhere. That said, I think the way it was told here was quite compelling.

My absolute favorite aspect of this book (besides the plot itself) is the way my experience reading it mirrored Elaine’s experience as a seer so well. Past, present, and future all blend together with timeline and perspective shifting often, and not always with clear delineations. If this might drive you crazy, then be forewarned, but I promise it enhanced the book, not detracted. Elaine’s glimpses of the future bleed in to every action of the present and affect her memories of the past. How can you act on love when you literally KNOW it will lead to heartbreak of the most dire kind?

Continue reading “ARC Review: Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian”
Posted in Book Talk

The awkwardness of overly similar book covers

Hey y’all!

I was checking out some future releases today when I saw these two covers listed quite near each other. Near enough for me to think when I saw the second one, that the first book was listed twice and I was trying to figure out why.

Of course I now see that they’re different in a few key ways, but the color scheme, rose, and the positioning of the titles made me think at first look that they were identical!

Whenever this happens, I wonder if it’s awkward or unfortunate for the authors who are releasing their books, especially if they’re both coming out around the same time. From Dust, A Flame is currently scheduled to be released Feb 8, 2022, and A Forgery of Roses is planned for March 1, 2022 — so really not that far apart! Does the second book inevitably get passed over a bit since folks might think they’ve already checked that book out (thinking of the first one)?

Besides that, it’s probably a bit deflating for an author who might see their cover and be so excited, feel like it perfectly captures their unique story, and then find one… very very similar. I’m sure it happens, since there are so many common themes in genres, but it’s probably still a bit of a cringe.

Continue reading “The awkwardness of overly similar book covers”

Thoughts so far on Half Sick of Shadows

Hey y’all! I’m in the middle of Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian right now. “In the middle” might be a little optimistic, but I’m at a solid 200 pages now! This is a slower read for me, and I’m not hating it.

Since the main character is an oracle, the style reflects that mindset, and it has a really engaging effect for me. Elaine is constantly bombarded from all sides as she remembers her past, navigates her present, and weaves (literally) the future. In turn, the reader gets snippets of her past interspersed with the present, and of course the pepperings of glances forward, the possibilities, the problems she worries will be created in the future by her actions right now.

I really sink into whenever I sit down, and I find myself thinking about it often throughout the day. I love a book that sticks with you!

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: This Poison Heart, 6/29/21

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 This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron!
Expected Release: June 29, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Magic is always a lure for me, but I definitely love nature and plant magic! Briseis having that “instant grow” power lures me in immediately, but then to also mention that she starts using it to fuel potions and elixirs…. well that darker turn is just delightful.
  • It sounds like the setting will almost be it’s own character in this story. The mysterious seems to be the caatalyst for a lot of things: the poisonous plants Briseis uses, the townsfolk knowing who to come to for their needs, and those with a darker purpose having a target as well…
  • There’s generally never a story about a woman discovering the ways in which she’s badass that I won’t enjoy. This one throws in a bit of magic, secrets, and curses, so what’s not to enjoy?

Summary

Briseis has a gift: she can grow plants from tiny seeds to rich blooms with a single touch.

When Briseis’s aunt dies and wills her a dilapidated estate in rural New York, Bri and her parents decide to leave Brooklyn behind for the summer. Hopefully there, surrounded by plants and flowers, Bri will finally learn to control her gift. But their new home is sinister in ways they could never have imagined–it comes with a specific set of instructions, an old-school apothecary, and a walled garden filled with the deadliest botanicals in the world that can only be entered by those who share Bri’s unique family lineage.

When strangers begin to arrive on their doorstep, asking for tinctures and elixirs, Bri learns she has a surprising talent for creating them. One of the visitors is Marie, a mysterious young woman who Bri befriends, only to find that Marie is keeping dark secrets about the history of the estate and its surrounding community. There is more to Bri’s sudden inheritance than she could have imagined, and she is determined to uncover it . . . until a nefarious group comes after her in search of a rare and dangerous immortality elixir. Up against a centuries-old curse and the deadliest plant on earth, Bri must harness her gift to protect herself and her family.

Posted in Reviews

Review: The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae

The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae (sequel to The Kinder Poison)

Recommended: sure
For continuing the series, for a lot of character development

Summary

SPOILERS FOR THE KINDER POISON!

After surviving the Crossing, Zahru has sworn off adventures. While crown prince Jet navigates the looming threat of war, she’s content to simply figure out what the future holds for them. But they’re dealt a devastating blow when prince Kasta returns with a shocking claim: he’s the true winner of the Crossing and the rightful heir, and he bears the gods’ mark as proof. Even more surprising–he’s not the only one.

Somehow, Zahru possesses the very same mark, giving her equal right to the throne. The last thing she wants is to rule beside her would-be executioner, but she can’t let Orkena fall into his merciless hands. So Zahru, Jet, and their allies must race against the clock to find a way to stop Kasta, because once he’s crowned, there’s no telling what horrors he’ll unleash to win the war.

Zahru will do whatever it takes to keep Kasta from taking the throne…but to stop a villain, is she willing to become one herself?

Thoughts

This got points for being a really interesting character line, which I couldn’t predict at all (in a really good way!). This lost points for having objectively very little actually happen for most of the book. I didn’t really notice while reading it, but looking back I’m realizing how the plot was pretty sparse. Especially in comparison to the first which was obviously pretty packed with action, the sequel is a lot more focused on the characters and the way they’re growing and changing.

Continue reading “Review: The Cruelest Mercy by Natalie Mae”
Posted in Book Talk

The laziest TBR ever (June 2021)

It’s 20 days late and barely done at all because I already wrote it but this is what that post now looks like:

😭😭😭

So forgive me for giving up a little bit on it this time. 😅

The List

  1. Half Sick of Shadows by Laura Sebastian: got it from BOTM, apparently it’s an ARC, and it’s actually holding my attention pretty well so far (when I can put the time towards reading)
  2. The Complete List of Jericho by Chris Jericho: this publishes tomorrow, and hopefully I’ll have my pre-ordered copy then!!! It’s a list of every match for all of Jericho’s 30 year career with his notes on who & where he was fighting, a rating for the match, and how much he got paid. Absolutely fascinating. ♥
  3. Replenishing the Sea of Galilee by Wagih Abu-Rish: won this from Goodreads (also an ARC) and planning to at least start it this month, but I’m reading pretty slowly right now so we shall see!
  4. Descendants of the Crane by Joan He: in reality I probably won’t start this in June because it’s late and I’m slow right now, but it’s on the list for sure. I had never heard of it, but I’m hoping it’ll be fab.
Continue reading “The laziest TBR ever (June 2021)”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Rising Like A Storm, 6/22/21

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 Rising Like A Storm by Tanaz Bhathena!
Expected Release: June 22, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Sequel to the first one! Now admittedly, the first one didn’t really blow me away. It was a decent read, but not on my favorites shelf or anything. But I think the second one has been set up to be really action packed and exciting, with some intense drama coming up. We have so many big players in place and about to collide, so I think it’s going to be easy to see sparks fly!
  • Ahhh, the magic. The magic of this world was really creative and exciting to read about. I just want to see more of that creativity and imagine what life would be like, if…. 🙂

Summary

With King Lohar dead and a usurper queen in power, Gul and Cavas face a new tyrannical government that is bent on killing them both. Their roles in King Lohar’s death have not gone unnoticed, and the new queen is out for blood. What she doesn’t know is that Gul and Cavas have a connection that runs deeper than romance, and together, they just might have the strength and magic to end her for good.

Then a grave mistake ends with Cavas taken prisoner by the government. Gul must train an army of warriors alone. With alliances shifting and the thirst for vengeance growing, the fate of Ambar seems ever more uncertain. It will take every ounce of strength, love, and sacrifice for Gul and Cavas to reach their final goal―and build a more just world than they’ve ever known.