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.

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

Summary:
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. 😍

Summary:
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. 😉

Summary:
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!

Summary:
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!!

Summary:
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.