Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Kinder Poison

In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fast Forward Fridays to look ahead to a release I’m excited about! Today’s is The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae, and oh boyyyy I cannot wait! You might remember I had posted about this when I won it from Bookishfirst, but unfortunately Penguin Teen titles have been stopped for delivery since COVID19. 😦 And so I find myself eagerly awaiting the release date when I can finally read more of this amazing story!
Expected Release: June 16, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • One thing that will always get my attention is an interesting world of magic! In this one Zahru is a Whisperer who can talk to animals — which as cool as it is to me, is seen as a pretty useless power in a world where others can summon fire or grow plants.
  • A competition that is divisive even among it’s own citizens — which kind of reminds me of the hunger games, but like if it were the first hunger games in 500 years and everyone was like “I know this is an old tradition but isn’t this also kind of insane to do??” A fight to the death for the next position on the throne that culminates in a human sacrifice, while accompanied by an elite magical team? That sounds right up my alley!
  • The inevitable mix up… where Zahru kind of accidentally-on-purpose sneaks into the challenges posing as an impressive mage and gets selected to participate. Which could, and seems likely it will, lead to truly horrible consequences. But also I’m really rooting for her to totally swing things on their head!

The name intrigues me so much, as well as the cover. And by the way, isn’t that cover gorgeous?? I haven’t seen many covers with such a bold and striking amount of purple! So vibrant! Combined with the golden scorpion, I’m extremely curious about the meaning of the title. Cannot wait!!!

Zahru has long dreamed of leaving the kingdom of Orkena and having the kinds of adventures she’s only ever heard about in stories. But as a lowly Whisperer, her power to commune with animals means that her place is serving in the royal stables until the day her magic runs dry.

All that changes when the ailing ruler invokes the Crossing: a death-defying race across the desert, in which the first of his heirs to finish—and take the life of a human sacrifice at the journey’s end—will ascend to the throne and be granted unparalleled abilities.

With all of the kingdom abuzz, Zahru leaps at the chance to change her fate if just for a night by sneaking into the palace for a taste of the revelry. But the minor indiscretion turns into a deadly mistake when she gets caught up in a feud between the heirs and is forced to become the Crossing’s human sacrifice. Zahru is left with only one hope for survival: somehow figuring out how to overcome the most dangerous people in the world.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: I Left the House Today by Cassandra Calin!

Reminder that I Left The House Today!: Comics by Cassandra Calin by Cassandra Calin (⭐⭐⭐⭐) released today! Check out the review here or grab your own copy on Book Depository!

Recommended: yes
for people who have enjoyed her comics on social, for women who enjoy short comics that are #relatable, for anyone looking for a little smile

Cassandra Calin’s ability to document the hilarity of relatable everyday events in a series of webcomics has generated a huge following on social media. This beautifully illustrated compendium of first-person comics about the trials of the single life, school, stress, junk food, shaving, and maintaining a healthy self-image. Cassandra Calin’s comics frequently highlight the humorous gap between expectations and reality, especially when it comes to appearance and how much she can accomplish in one day. This book is funny, lighthearted, introspective, and artistically stunning—the perfect gift for young women, recent graduates, and anyone who might need a little comedic incentive to leave the house today.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Obsidian Tower

In contrast to throwback Thursday, I’m using Fridays to look ahead to books I’m excited for. Today’s book, The Obsidian Tower by Melissa Caruso, is one I stumbled upon organically, and while I skipped it the first time I saw it, I came back later to check it out. AND I AM GLAD I DID.
Expected Release: June 2, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • It has magic, but dark magic, magic gone wrong. Instead of a life of prestige that Ryx should have had, her magic twists into a life-stealing shadow of what it should be. Death to everything she touches is enough of a character problem for her to deal with, but I’m sure things will only get worse for her from there. And I cannot wait.
  • The common plot of a kingdom in takeover, Ryx sounds like she’ll become the unlikely hero who can save her family and the kingdom entirely. This promises fights, and secrets uncovered, and probably plenty of schemes. I adore schemes.
  • Overall, the tone of this sounds darkly woven with intrigue and creative imagining of magic. I am really into the dark worlds of magic right now (always, really) and this sounds like it can perfectly satisfy a craving I didn’t even realize I had. 😍

The mage-marked granddaughter of a ruler of Vaskandar, Ryx was destined for power and prestige at the top of Vaskandran society. But her magic is broken; all she can do is uncontrollably drain the life from everything she touches, and Vaskandar has no place for a mage with unusable powers.

Then, one night, two terrible accidents befall her: Ryx accidentally kills a visiting dignitary in self-defense, activating a mysterious magical artifact sealed in an ancient tower in the heart of her family’s castle.

Ryx flees, seeking a solution to her deadly magic. She falls in with a group of unlikely magical experts investigating the disturbance in Vaskandar—and Ryx realizes that her family is in danger and her domain is at stake. She and her new colleagues must return to the family stronghold to take control of the artifact that everyone wants to claim—before it destroys the world.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season

Unlike Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is The Bitter and Sweet of Cherry Season by Molly Fader. A generational story of women trying to connect and find themselves among each other, it takes place on a cherry farm in Northern Michigan where the main character and her daughter have fled to an estranged aunt for unknown — but seemingly dark — reasons.
Expected release: June 9, 2020

  • I’m sure there will be a lot of interesting things new to me that I”ll learn from this book. Most simply, what a cherry farm entails, and what life is like in Northern Michigan. Two things I know little about, that will at the very least be something new!
  • I’ve been trying to read more stories about women and generational stories. They aren’t my usual style, but I’ve really enjoyed some, so I’m pushing myself to keep trying them. With an estranged aunt, single mother, and young daughter, this pretty easily fits the bill.
  • My interest is undeniably piqued by the description of someone having a terrible secret, because we always get to try sniffing out what the secret is before the big reveal. Then after the big reveal, we usually get the pleasure of forgiveness and redemption. Basically, a whole lot of cathartic emotion that is a wonder to live through vicariously. Without the requirement of my own terrible secret. 😉

Everything Hope knows about the Orchard House is from the stories of her late mother. So when she arrives at the northern Michigan family estate late one night with a terrible secret and her ten-year-old daughter in tow, she’s not sure if she’ll be welcomed or turned away with a shotgun by the aunt she has never met. Hope’s aunt, Peg, has lived in the Orchard House all her life, though the property has seen better days. She agrees to take Hope in if, in exchange, Hope helps with the cherry harvest—not exactly Hope’s specialty, but she’s out of options. As Hope works the orchard alongside her aunt, daughter and a kind man she finds increasingly difficult to ignore, a new life begins to blossom. But the mistakes of the past are never far behind, and soon the women will find themselves fighting harder than ever for their family roots and for each other.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson!

Reminder that Real Men Knit by Kwana Jackson (⭐⭐⭐⭐) released today! Check out the review here or check out Book Depository to grab a copy!

Jesse Strong is known for two things: his devotion to his adoptive mom, Mama Joy, and his reputation for breaking hearts in Harlem. When Mama Joy unexpectedly passes away, he and his brothers have different plans on what to do with Strong Knits, their neighborhood knitting store: Jesse wants to keep the store open; his brothers want to shut it down. Jesse makes an impassioned plea to Kerry Fuller, his childhood friend who has had a crush on him her entire life, to help him figure out how to run the business. Kerry agrees to help him reinvent the store and show him the knitty-gritty of the business, but the more time they spend together, the more the chemistry builds. Kerry, knowing Jesse’s history, doesn’t believe this relationship will exist longer than one can knit one, purl one. But Jesse is determined to prove to her that he can be the man for her—after all, real men knit.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Sister Dear

Unlike Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fridays to look ahead to books publishing soon that I’m excited for! Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon is somewhat outside my usual reading zone, but I’m still pretty excited for it!
Expected Release: May 26, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • It starts with the main character learning her whole life has been a lie. Not only does your parent die, you learn you’re biologically someone else’s? ROUGH DAY.
  • It sounds like we’ll get to be in the perspective of someone unstable. Unreliable narrators are a special love of mine, and I hope this will be another one! I expect to see Eleanor slowly losing her grip on herself as her pain and jealousy drive her slowly slightly mad. Just mad enough to perhaps consider murder? 😮
  • In an out of character move for me, the mystery aspect of it quite appeals to me. I want to know what happens, and I haven’t even started it yet! What will Eleanor do to her sister or her bio family? Will she operate from the shadows, or openly address them? I don’t know, but I really want to find out!!

When Eleanor Hardwicke’s beloved father dies, her world is further shattered by a gut-wrenching secret: the man she’s grieving isn’t really her dad. Eleanor was the product of an affair and her biological father is still out there, living blissfully with the family he chose. With her personal life spiraling, a desperate Eleanor seeks him out, leading her to uncover another branch on her family tree—an infuriatingly enviable half sister. Perfectly perfect Victoria has everything Eleanor could ever dream of. Loving childhood, luxury home, devoted husband. All of it stolen from Eleanor, who plans to take it back. After all, good sisters are supposed to share. And quiet little Eleanor has been waiting far too long for her turn to play.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

My childhood returns in the form of Edward Cullen

Okay. I feel like I was sort of late to this news because I only found out last week, and it seemed like everyone was already freaking out about it. Apparently Stephanie Meyer is FINALLY releasing a full and legit version of Midnight Sun, which is Twilight but told from Edward’s point of view.


And probably the whole series all over again, too, before it releases in August. And probably The Host, because I loved that one. And maybe I’ll even get around to reading The Chemist by her, which always intrigued me but I just never got around to. I also just found out there was apparently going to be a sequel to The Host at one point? And personally I’m thinking thank the stars THAT didn’t happen. Don’t ruin a good thing.

I digress.

Cover theme still going strong, though not sure I love this one.

Why is this a big deal?

For those who never had the pleasure of stumbling upon it, or for those who never cared, allow me to fill you in on the scandal of Midnight Sun. Years ago in 2008 when the Twilight series was in progress and wildly popular, a really shitty thing happened to Stephanie Meyer as an author: someone leaked their sample copy of her work in progress and fans were downloading it to read.

Continue reading “My childhood returns in the form of Edward Cullen”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Beach Read

Unlike Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fridays to look ahead to books publishing soon that I’m excited for! For once, the hype around Beach Read by Emily Henry hasn’t pushed me away, and in fact has continued to draw me in.
Expected Release: May 19, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • It’s a rarity for me, because I’m for once kind of drawn in by the hype! I’ve heard so much about this book, seen it all over bookstagram, and it’s even in the SRC2020 line up. Usually that drives me away from a book, but this one I’m still pushing for!
  • It’s entirely possible that I won’t be able to do much actual beach reading this summer depending on how COVID19 continues around here and what regulations are in place. This is my way of living vicariously in a slightly wry way.
  • Reading books about authors or librarians or booksellers always feels familiar in a way. I guess people who love to read especially love to read about people who love to read. That’s kind of a confusing sentence to read but I stand by it!
  • As I’ve said, I’ve seen this book all over, and honestly the reviews are encouraging. I’m hoping for the promised blend of romance and personal discovery, and that’s largely what people have reported. I like books and romances in particular where the character’s define themselves by more than how they feel about each other.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast. They’re polar opposites. In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block. Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: Not Your Idol Vol.1 by Aoi Makino!

Reminder that Not Your Idol, Vol. 1 by Aoi Makino (⭐⭐⭐) released today! Check out the full review here or grab a copy of your own at Barnes & Noble!

Recommended: sure
For an enjoyable short read, for a familiar style, for some questions around heavy topics addressed in light-ish ways, for surprise moments of hilarious dialogue

A psychological suspense series about a girl who has given up her life as an idol after being assaulted by a fan. After that day, she stopped being a girl. In the wake of an assault, Nina Kamiyama, a former idol in the group Pure Club, shuns her femininity and starts dressing as a boy. At high school she keeps to herself, but fellow student Hikaru Horiuchi realizes who she is. What secrets is she keeping? The shocking drama starts.

Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Burn by Patrick Ness

Unlike Throwback Thursday, I’m using Fridays to look ahead to books publishing soon that I’m excited for! This new release by Patrick Ness called Burn sounds like it will be in keeping with his usual style.
Expected Release: June 2, 2020 (pushed out from May 5, 2020)

Why wait on this one?

  • Any time I see Patrick Ness’s name, I’m already interested. I’ve read several of his other books, and whether I loved or hated them, they were all truly unique stories. I deeply respect his skill and am excited to see how this new one plays out. (And also lets be real, I’ve never HATED one of his books.)
  • DRAGONS, GUYS! BUT IN A STRANGE WAY! They’re weak and frowned upon and only poor people use dragons for manual labor. What kind of world is this?!
  • If nothing else this description probably would have sealed the deal: “An all-consuming story of revenge, redemption and dragons.” I absolutely need to know how the crap dragons became this lowest rung of society.
  • A very unusual combination of 1950s and dragons. He has this marvelous way of combining things I would never think I’d see together. 1950s era both fascinates and bores me depending on the aspect, so I’m really hoping will be the former.

Sarah Dewhurst and her father, outcasts in their little town of Frome, Washington, are forced to hire a dragon to work their farm, something only the poorest of the poor ever have to resort to. The dragon, Kazimir, has more to him than meets the eye, though. Sarah can’t help but be curious about him, an animal who supposedly doesn’t have a soul, but who is seemingly intent on keeping her safe. Because the dragon knows something she doesn’t. He has arrived at the farm with a prophecy on his mind. A prophecy that involves a deadly assassin, a cult of dragon worshipers, two FBI agents in hot pursuit—and somehow, Sarah Dewhurst herself.