Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

In Progress with ORESTIN’S OWN

Progress: page 230/404 (57%)

WELL WHAT A FANTASTIC FIND!!

Why did I start reading it?

Lucky little me got an offer from the author to read and review this gem, and wow is it absolutely blowing me away! It’s been so exciting right from the start, and I feel like there’s never a good place to put it down because there’s always a crisis happening! I absolutely love it so far. The world and the characters are meeting perfectly. I can feel the cold and the relentless wind of the Wastes, and I’m looking over my shoulder for the bone children in pursuit. LOVING THIS.

Words I’ve Learned:

this one also then taught me “antipyretic” — two for one!

Lines that linger

In Karth-Aemon’s armor even ugly men looked beautiful.

“Are you ready to die?”

“Always. Remember that, Knight, if you remember nothing else of me.”

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

The perfect dark and lyrical read: FOUL IS FAIR!

So I had put together my spooky TBR list for October, and debated hard about including Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin or not. I decided not to, just because I had so many books I’ve not read at all yet that I wanted to get to.

And yet… today I pulled this book up to read for a few minutes while I had a quick lunch, and who knows how long later my S.O. came out to ask what I was doing. I got so sucked in!

There’s never going to be a day when I don’t love this Macbeth-y witchy vengeance story. The writing is so poetic and lyrical that reading every line is sheer pleasure just for the way the words dance and the images they bring. What emotion packed into this!

So, okay, yes… I’m probably pushing another book off the list so I can indulge my dual loves of Hannah Capin and William Shakespeare. 🥰

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

October TBR: spookin’ it up!

Hey y’all!

I actually have a planned reading list for this month, and I actually think I’ll stick pretty closely to it. The reason? Well, I’m excited for all the books!! Simple as that. 😀

I’m going for a spooky theme for October. Of course that includes a few thrillers and mysteries (though I’ve finished one or two already being a few days into October). I have a few spillover books that I was in progress with that I’m wrapping up as well, but those are left off this list because I really want to highlight all the themed books that I’m excited about!

psycho/killer

Ah, finally I will read Sister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon!! I wrote about it for a Fast Forward Friday feature ages ago and then recently found the book on Hoopla. But I saved my excitement because I wanted it to be part of my spooky reads in October! FINALLY!! 😁 And I actually read and finished this one right away! It was quite good, and WELL I DID NOT CALL THE TWIST, let’s just put it that way!!!

Another one I’ve been waiting to read forever is The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. And also another gift copy from Elise because she spoils me with bookmail. ❤ I’m about a hundred pages in so far, and it seems to be a murder mystery / ghost story with nannying. I’m not big on children, but I can get into ghosts. Plus Scotland. The descriptions of the landscape alone would probably make this worth reading. 😍

Continue reading “October TBR: spookin’ it up!”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Smash It!, 9/22

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 one that I think people will probably have heard of before now because it’s getting a good amount of attention. if you haven’t had the pleasure yet, let me introduce you to Smash it! by Francina Simone.
Expected Release: September 22, 2020

Why wait on this one?

  • This is pitched as a story concept that is pretty familiar, but one I never get tired of hearing. When someone — particularly a young woman — stops being quiet and meek and starts standing up for herself and doing what she wants without unwarranted fear or societal shame? That is like my favorite read ever.
  • I think this will be one of those books that makes you cheer for the main character and get a burst of pure community and support for another person. It also makes you want to take life by the horns and just do all the things you’ve ever been nervous to do. Quit your job! Move to Korea! Ask out your cute coworker! These may or may not be personal examples. Let’s move on.
  • Honestly, the cover and description and tagline and title — they did a great job marketing this!!! Zoom in on that cover. The detail is incredible and you can really see it on her fingers and hair and face. The tagline is “mistakes were made” and I’ll be damned if that doesn’t make me grin and smile indulgently and want to know for all the life of me what mistakes were made. And come on, a title with an exclamation point? I am all about it. We do not have enough of those. Marketing team: seriously, well done, because this is a perfect example of how to do it right.

Olivia “Liv” James is done with letting her insecurities get the best of her. So she does what any self-respecting hot mess of a girl who wants to SMASH junior year does…

After Liv shows up to a Halloween party in khaki shorts–why, God, why?–she decides to set aside her wack AF ways. She makes a list–a F*ck-It list.

1. Be bold–do the thing that scares me.

2. Learn to take a compliment.

3. Stand out instead of back.

She kicks it off by trying out for the school musical, saying yes to a date and making new friends. Life is great when you stop punking yourself! However, with change comes a lot of missteps, and being bold means following her heart. So what happens when Liv’s heart is interested in three different guys–and two of them are her best friends? What is she supposed to do when she gets dumped by a guy she’s not even dating? How does one Smash It! after the humiliation of being friend-zoned?

In Liv’s own words, “F*ck it. What’s the worst that can happen?”

A lot, apparently.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

September TBR: whatever comes my way!

Hey y’all!

My September tbr is kind of all over the place, and largely structured by chance. I’ve just been taking whatever shows up at my door and planning on reading that this month. It’s sort of a pleasant month with only gentle obligations that I’m more than happy to fulfill.

So if I had to give a theme for this month, it would be “it dropped into my lap.” 😁

The plan

My friend & book buddy Elise sent me a generous package of books, that I’ve already been digging into! Of these we have: BRILLIANT x5 because I’m not writing that out five times every time by Joel Golby; and THE TURN OF THE KEY by Ruth Ware that I’ve been wanting to read since way before it came out and then it finally came out and I had moved on to pining for other books and so never actually read it — until now. Thank Elise!! More from her are in next month’s batch. 🥰


DARIUS THE GREAT IS NOT OK is from the Kellogg’s feeding reading program, which I adore (both the book and the program!). This book showed up on my doorstep right when I needed it on a sad day, and I promptly devoured it. Then a day later I got an email that the book had shipped. 😅

I snagged a copy of I’M NOT DYING WITH YOU TONIGHT from the library, so of course I have to read it while I can. Some books just show up and you’re like, “Oh, right, I forgot I requested that” because it took for-ev-er to be available and get checked out. But now I’m excited all over again.

And, as always, my trusty journey through the stars, courtesy of Bookishfirst 💙 I don’t want it to be over, because TO SLEEP IN A SEA OF STARS is so good! (Pub on sep 15!!)

And these ones are a little more scheduled, but still just loose and floated into my TBR this month. Like GIRL, SERPENT, THORN that I featured in a Fast Forward Friday and then — again — did not immediately read. But now one of my book clubs is reading it this month, and so I shall too!

Plus I always need to sneek some nonfiction into my palate, and lately that’s been turning a lot towards travel reading. Probably no surprise considering I usually go to a few new countries a year and this year I got one in (Mexico) before the world shut down. So I’m heading to Australia with trusty Bill Bryson as my guide in DOWN UNDER, which I snagged at my favorite ever used book shop, More Than Words.

I’m almost complete on my goal to read the alphabet, and this month I’m tackling V with VERITY by Colleen Hoover. This is a weird book, where every time I read what it’s about or hear someone mention it, I’m interested, but then I immediately forget what it was about. So this time I’m just going to stop reading the caption and trust that I’ll like it; and it’s on my list for the month.

And then, finally, a possibly little gem of a request from an author: MARILIA, THE WARLORD by Morgan Cole. I can always use some more epic fantasy / badass females in my reading!


Also, I did not plan it this way, but I just realized that the amount of pictures in this post is structured to be 2, then 3, then 4. And that quite pleases me. 😁

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

Top 5 Books with Crow in the Title (some are definitely not a surprise 😂)

Alright y’all, is it just me or has “crow” become an abruptly hot word for YA fantasy novels? It’s gotten to the point where I kind of grimace and roll my eyes when I see one. It must be an author’s dream knowing that just putting the word “crow” in their book title is currently guaranteed to get a good chunk of views from the crowd. And paired with a dramatic cover? OH YEAH. Marketing made easy!

This review by Angelica @ The Book Cover Girls for The Merciful Crow is actually one that really drove the fad home for me. She says it perfectly in the opening lines of her review:

And, oh, this other review she posted soon after for The Storm Crow:

I rest my case. Crows, man. People are really into the dark, witchy, crow aesthetic right now. This feels like a replay of when The Girl on the Train was published and then there were a million titles like “The Girl [something something].” Not sure why The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo didn’t strike that apparent gold though…?

So some of the top 5 books Goodreads lists when you search “crow” are definitely not surprising, because they have been shouted about by many readers in book communities, bookstagram, blogs, and anywhere else. But with such a newly saturated market, which Crow titles manage to come out at the top of the pack??

PS – all book covers link to the Goodreads page for the book 🙂

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Top 5 genre tags for this title:
fantasy, young adult, favorites, magic, adventure

QUICK! SOMEONE ELSE TAG IT YOUNG ADULT!!!

2 Sentence Summary:
Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

Have I heard of / read this before?
Oh yes, I’ve heard of this. I feel like I’ve been bashed over the head with this book! It’s EVERYWHERE! I’m thoroughly unsurprised that it’s the top result for crow because I feel like this might be the book that launched crow into a bookish success word. The fact that “Favorites” is a super popular tag for this says enough, I think. xD PS – technically, the sequel to this book was also the #3 spot but I’m skipping books in the same series.

Do I like the cover?
Eh, it’s aight. I feel like the more I look at it the more clever I think it is. I appreciate the design for design, but visually I’m not completely enthralled.

Will I read it?
Believe it or not, this is one of a few books that’s on my attempted shelf. Once again, I gave into the hype on a book and gave it a shot… and was very much not into it. It sounds so perfect for me on paper! Quirky crew! Heist! Magic! But something about it just didn’t catch me. And, yeah, I’ll be honest: the amount people talk about it still turns me off. Sorryyyy Leigh!

Yes, I’m aware this is practically blasphemy for many people. 😂 Talk to me! Comment on what made you love this book. I’m willing to give it another shot if I have a good reason to!

Continue reading “Top 5 Books with Crow in the Title (some are definitely not a surprise 😂)”
Posted in Release Day!

Just Published: What You Wish For by Katherine Center!

Just a reminder that What You Wish For by Katherine Center published today! Check out the full review here or pick up your own copy at Book Despository!

Recommended: sure
For teachers, for those who like Center’s writing style, for a blend of teaching pedagogy and medical/personal self-discovery, for a book where you know exactly what to expect, for something uplifting and quotable if you’re having a bad day

Summary:
Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before. When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

In Progress with The Japanese Lover

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

Progress: page 202/323 (61%)

Okay.. I realize that’s kind of a weird (and possibly misleading) title for this post. My lover is not Japanese, but I am currently reading The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende. Here’s how it’s going so far!

Why did I start reading it?

I’m so close to having completed the A-Z title challenge for 2020. I only need a few more letters, and one of them was J! This book was also one on my TBR that I’ve been wanting to include for a few months, plus one of my bingo prompts this month is a title that begins with J. The fates simply aligned!

Words I’ve Learned:

Lines that linger

In itself age doesn’t make anyone better or wiser, but only accentuates what they have always been.

There are a lot of good people, Irina, but they keep quiet about it. It’s the bad ones who make a lot of noise, and that’s why they get noticed.

Happiness is not exuberant or noise, like pleasure or joy; it’s silent, tranquil, and gentle; it’s a feeling of satisfaction inside that begins with self-love.

Posted in Book Talk, Chatty

June TBR – I’m trying to plan again!

You may or may not know that planning what I read is a brand new, and seemingly impossible, endeavor for me. I’m such a mood reader that I tend to pick things up based on whatever strikes my fancy. There’s not a plan.

Until now.

Last month was my first go at it, and I think it went okay? I read like half of what I planned to read. But also a lot of other things that I just decided to read. That’s basically the plan here, too, because I’ve already gone off plan and started a book that wasn’t on the Offical List of June Books. I need to work in a few blank spaces each month for “whim reads.” 🙂


The June TBR Plan

This one’s in progress already, as an AUDIOBOOK! Look at me branching out!

Because I need a book that begins with J for my letter challenge, and also that happens to be on this month’s bingo challenge as well.

A bonus unplanned read, because it’s been on my list since before it came out. It’s also been mentioned lately in disccussions of social equality and #BLM; I am trying to educate myself and unlearn implicit biases and the like any way I can.

Continue reading “June TBR – I’m trying to plan again!”
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!!!


Summary:
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.