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Rating My JLA Book Boyfriends

Hi, my name is Allison, I’m 27 and have a million book boyfriends…

To start, I haven’t read all of Jennifer L Armentrout’s series; I’ve read six. However, I have fallen in love with the male characters in all of them so far and need to just rate them. I don’t have a least favorite, but I’m going to rate them from my favorite to the one I would literally die for (which is most of them so…). It’s a messed up scale, but it’s the best I can do.

#6 Ren from the Wicked Series

I didn’t fall in love with Ren right away when I read the Wicked Series. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him, but then he pulled out the “Sweetness” pet name and I died a little. I liked the chemistry between Ivy and Ren and was really pulled into their banter and relationship. I also appreciated that this was an adult series and I got to see that side of them. I watched the movie version of the first book and am struggling to picture Ren as anyone but a young John Travolta (not a bad thing, but not how I envisioned him).

#5: Casteel from the From Blood & Ash Series

Casteel was my first JLA boyfriend. I love him so much, even after I got past everything that happened in book 1. I fell in love with JLA’s writing because of this series, and Cas would be number one on my list, but I met all the other lovely men JLA has created. Cas is cunning, sexy, and just all around scrumptious. I love his fierce love for me…I mean Poppy, and how he would do anything for her. I can picture Cas the most clearly in my head (thanks to some bussin’ fan art) and I highly recommend this adult series. Kieran is also a runner up solely because he has the best and most sarcastic personality. I really need Cas and Kieran in my life…I’d love to be a trio with them.

#4 Roth from the Dark Elements Series

I love me a good demon lover. Roth is such a badass and really makes my heart swoon for a demon. I would happily sell my soul and maybe a family member or two to be Roth’s lady. However, as for pet names, Roth calls Layla “shortie” and I really HATE that. It’s not endearing and bumped him down a few pegs because of it. I found myself throwing myself back into high school because of Roth and, looking back on my own HS experience, I wish I had a Roth to entertain me.

#3 Daemon Black from the Lux Series

I’m currently on book 5 of this series and have loved Daemon from the first time we met him in all his shirtless glory. I don’t usually go for aliens, but I’m ready for an extra terrestrial take-over right about now. I also don’t usually love the pet name “Kitten”, but I get some vicious butterflies whenever he calls Kat that. Daemon does have some controlling characteristics that I’m not fond of, but since he is a book character, I can look past that. I SOOOOO wish JLA would do an adult spinoff of this series with Daemon and Katy grown up some…I would literally buy every copy. Daemon would be such a great character in an adult book. Buy, I am quite content using my imagination!

#2 and #1: Seth from the Covenant/The Titan Series

Seth the Apollyon God of deliciousness has my heart. We met him in the Covenant series and as soon as Alex formed an opinion on him, I was hooked. He was the typical bad boy that my soul lurches toward in books/movies/tv shows. I would literally die for Seth. He has this rough exterior, but his heart is so big. He made some big mistakes through these two series, but he made up for them (in my opinion). I also was SO thankful that JLA wrote a spinoff series about Seth that was ADULT! Talk about fueling the fire in my “soul”.

Now all I want is for my other book boyfriends that were part of YA stories to have their own adult spinoffs. One can dream right?

Are you shocked that Zayne and Aiden aren’t on this list? They aren’t my cup of tea. Aiden made me so angry because he was such a rule follower, and I go for the bad boys (as you can see from this list). Roth just over powered Zayne and I was 100% in love with Roth, so I never gave Aiden a chance. I have heard that Zayne goes from BFF to Daddy in his follow-up series, so I may add him to the list then…who knows!

How do you rate JLA book boyfriends? I’d love to know! Are there any that I haven’t met yet that you think I should read about ASAP?

Personal

Blog Update!

Hi all! I am SO sorry that I’ve been MIA! Work and life has sucked up all of my extra attention. I have been reading, A LOT, but haven’t had time or motivation to blog or do reviews.

I’m currently reading Jennifer L Armentrout’s Lux Series and the main character is a book lover and has her own blog! This character has inspired me to make time for blogging! One of Katy’s videos that she makes is called “My Mailbox Monday” and I am totally going to start doing that, but in written form! I plan to make a post on Mondays about the books I’ve gotten throughout the week (via mail, Little Free Libraries, other means). I also want to start posting more blog posts!

We’re going to Las Vegas and San Diego in July and I looked at the Little Free Library map and there are TONS of them in those places! I may need to bring an empty suitcase just for books. I also want to hit up bookstores in San Diego. I can’t visit a new place and not go to the book places!

I have also almost hit my 75 book goal on GoodReads! I’m two books away!!!!! I’m so excited!

This was short and sweet, but I just wanted you to know that I’m alive and well and will be returning soon!

Have a fabulous day!

❤ Allison

Book Reviews

The Covenant Series Book Review

Overall, this series gets 4/5 stars!

For this review, I’m not going to summarize the books since there are five of them, but you can find the summaries for each book on Goodreads!

Before reading these, I had only read the FBAA series and one other JLA book. I started Half-Blood over the summer and couldn’t get into it because it was too similar to the Vampire Academy. But, I decided to pick it back up this month (mainly because I wanted to read Seth’s series) and I felt the same…however I powered through and by the last 25% I was hooked. Being who I am, I immediately fell in love with mysterious, bad boy Seth.

I loved Alex throughout this entire series. By book two I was totally team Alex and also Team Alex and Seth. In the FB groups I’m in, everyone loves Alex and Aiden and I just can’t see it. Aiden is a smidge annoying and too goody goody for me. I like what I like, and in this case, it’s Seth.

Anyway…I really enjoyed the Greek mythology path that this series took. I liked the involvement of the gods and Underworld, Olympus, etc. I don’t typically like those types of books, but I couldn’t put them down (once I got past book one). I thought the pacing of these books went well and some of them left me hanging at the end, which I love (and also hate haha). I was able to picture everything in my head because JLA (as usual) does a great job building her worlds and characters. I put myself in the story as Alex’s character (and made a few edits when Aiden was around) and felt every emotion that Alex was feeling. Being able to immerse myself into the plot and story is always a big must for me when reading a story. If I can’t see myself as a character, or see the characters/places, I lose interest quickly.

JLA broke my heart, again, as usual, with some of her chapters and I am not okay. Since I do feel what the character feels, I may or may not have cried a lot…it wasn’t pretty.

One of the issues I had with this book is that there were some pieces that were repetitive. The characters mention putting a bell on another one, A LOT and it started driving me bonkers. There’s also the phrase that’s so often used in YA stories “I let go of the breath I didn’t know I was holding” and I was annoyed each time I saw that. There were also a few others that irked me, but nothing too series that swayed my enjoyment.

Now, if you’ve read any of my other review, you know that I love my spicy books. I knew this was YA going into it so I don’t hold the lack of steam accountable. However, there were so many scenes where I was sitting there thinking “omg I can see this scene turning adult” and then proceeded to daydream about the scene in an X rated fashion.

ANYWAY…I did love this series and highly recommend it! I just started reading the first book in the Titan series (adult spinoff with Seth as the main character) and I am SOOOOOO excited to keep reading this. I love Seth…can you tell?

This has been more of my thoughts instead of a review, but it is what it is. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Have you read this series? What are your thoughts?

Tags

The “Nope” Book Tag!

I have been SLACKING with reviews and reading in general because life got busy. I’m currently sitting in my classroom, looking at my to-do list, and I need something fun in my life. So, I googled “Book Tags” and found a HUGE list of them! I clicked a random link and it led me to Caffeinated Bookwork Life‘s blog. I read over their responses and I had to give it a try for myself! If you’re reading this, consider yourself tagged!

NOPE! Ending: a book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage or simply because the ending was crappy.

The ending of this book made me FURIOUS. I read it back in July of 2020 and almost a year later I can still remember how the ending of this book made me feel. I loved this book SO DAMN MUCH and then Hazel James destroyed me. U G H.

NOPE! Protagonist: a main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

Thinking back on books I’ve read, I’d have to say that Bella Swan was a protagonist I didn’t love. Her actions and personality drive my batty and I think part of that has to do with the live action portrayal of her character. I remember loving Twilight so much when it came out, but looking back at it all I can think is ‘WHY’!!!!

NOPE! Pairing: a “ship” you don’t support.

I was going to go basic and go with Tamlin and Feyre BUT, then I remembered this book I read a few months ago and had to go with Lou and Reid. I LOVED Lou. She was a badass and knew what she had to do to survive. The fact she was paired with Reid as love interest was so annoying. He is so bland and boring and she really deserves better. I struggled with this book and I think part of it had to do with this pairing!

NOPE! Genre: a genre you will never read.

I’m not a huge non-fiction reader but I’d have to say any non-fiction dealing with history. I struggle reading historical pieces because I always struggled in history class. I know that’s a dumb excuse, but it really did impact my reading. I’m trying to branch out with historical fiction in terms of fantasy books, but we’ll see how that goes!

NOPE! Book format: book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition.

I recently discovered that I don’t 100% hate audio-books, but they are my least favorite format to read with. I like them because I can multitask while listening, but the voices and speed at which the person reads just bother me sometimes. I also feel like I zone out when listening to them and then I miss information. I much prefer my kindle or physical copies. Although, if it’s a book I’ve read many times before, I will listen to the audiobook for the background noise. I did this with the ACOTAR series before ACOSF came out.

NOPE! Trope: a trope that makes you go NOPE.

I absolutely CANNOT stand Amnesia tropes, especially when it happens later in a book or series. If it resolves quickly, sure, I can deal with it, but if it takes chapters and chapters to get better I lose my mind. When a character that I’ve spent chapters (or books) learning about loses all their memories and has to find them again, it feels like a waste of my time. Like, I know all of the information already, and now have to sit through their journey of figuring out themselves all over again. I can’t stand it!

NOPE! Recommendation: a book recommendation that is constantly pushed at you, that you simply refuse to read.

I know a lot of schools that have this as required reading, but whatever high school courses I took didn’t make me read this. I know so many people that love the book, love the movie, and just love this in its entirety. It’s one of those books that I never want to pick up, solely because it was a school book. My husband had to read it and failed his essay about it (because he didn’t actually read it…). I remember reading things like “Animal Farm” and “Lord of the Flies” and those are books I’ve been traumatized by because I was forced to read them. I love to read, but I HATE being forced to read something, especially when it’s a genre I don’t like. No wonder kids these days don’t enjoy reading. They have books like these shoved down their throats and then associate reading with school. I’m lucky to have broken free (mostly) from that mindset, but I will not pick up this book!

NOPE! Cliche: a cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

A pet peeve of mine when reading spicy scenes is some of the words authors use to describe a characters privates. I am proud to say I love smut, but when authors use words like folds, mound, nub to describe a woman’s sex, I lose my mind. ESPECIALLY, when these words are constantly used in adult books. That being said, I don’t like the overuse of the words “cock” and “pussy” either. Some books seem to ONLY use those words and absolutely nothing else. The art of smut writing is intricate and I applaud those that can do it (I sure can’t). But let’s spice up the spice a bit.

NOPE! Love interest: the love interest that’s not worthy of being one.

UGH. Hardin from After and Travis from Beautiful Disaster did NOT deserve the love they got. However, some may say that the girls were dumb enough to continue with these trash boys, but I still don’t think that’s right. Hardin and Travis may be the most manipulative and harmful love interests I’ve ever read. They make Tamlin from ACOTAR look like a saint. The thing things they said and did the their loves were horrendous and I honestly don’t know why it’s romanticized. That being said…I am guilty of not 100% hating these books. I hated how the male characters acted, but I couldn’t put either of them down. Do I think movie version of Hardin Scott is sexy af? Yes. I also think the movie version toned him down A LOT from his character in the book, so people that only know the movie version of Hardin won’t ever see how truly awful he is. Sigh. (Also, how you gonna do Harry Styles like that, Anna?)

NOPE! Book: a book that shouldn’t have existed.

Now that my smut palette has expanded quite a lot since 2011, I can say that the 50 Shades series shouldn’t exist. Talk about writing cliche’s and poorly written sex scenes. Good riddance.

NOPE! Death: a character death that still haunts you.

Page 666 in ACOWAR. I know the character doesn’t stay dead, but that scene literally also killed me. I remember reading it for the first time and I just sat and sobbed…all for it to be reversed moments later. I feel like the scene itself could have been done without OR SJM could have actually kept a character dead. I feel like so many authors kill a character for a hot minute and then it’s like ‘just kidding!’. I think the shock factor would be so much stronger if the characters stayed dead. That would probably cause an uprising in some cases, but it could work!

NOPE! Author: an author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.

Last but not least, this question goes to J.K. R*wling. I am so annoyed and disappointed with what a shitty person she actually is. Harry Potter was such a huge part of my life, and I try hard to separate the author from the books, which I can do, but I struggle when it comes to not supporting her in other ways. Whether it’s funko, visiting the new HP NYC store, or other merch that I know she’ll benefit from, it’s hard. I still love the world of Harry Potter, but I can’t justify supporting such an ugly-on-the-inside human being.

Thank you to those of us that made it this far! I’d love to see your responses to these questions!

Book Reviews

Legendborn Book Review!

Don’t make your life about the loss. Make it about the love.”

Tracy Deonn

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Summary From Book

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a mysterious teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure unlocks Bree’s own unique magic and a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that Bree knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, she’ll do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn as one of their initiates.

She recruits Nick, a self-exiled Legendborn with his own grudge against the group, and their reluctant partnership pulls them deeper into the society’s secrets—and closer to each other. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur’s knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight. 

My Thoughts

I didn’t think I would love this book as much as I did. I’ve been on an adult smut kick, so going to a YA fantasy was a shock to my system. However, I could not stop reading this book once I started. A friend of mine was raving about how amazing this book was, so I decided to pick it up (I also have two copies of it from subscription boxes). I was not disappointed!

The author shares their take on the story of Merlin and it is beautifully done. I found myself a bit overwhelmed with information and following all the bloodlines and things, but there’s a super helpful cheat sheet in the back of the book that saved me. I’m usually not into the Merlin-esque fantasy but Deonn did a phenomenal job making it captivating.

I LOVED Bree so damn much. What a hardcore character. I loved her personality and how she speaks up for herself. She wants to find out about her mother so she is going to do whatever it takes to get answers. I was wary of her best friend for the first like ¾ of the book. I thought Deonn was going to come back and make her a bad guy, but that didn’t happen (thank goodness – don’t do Bree like that)! The main love interest in the book, Nick, was a decent character. He was a bit dull for my tastes and I found myself shipping Bree with Selwyn…I’m hoping that there’s a second book and that that specific relationship is explored more. We all know I’m a sucker for the bad boy. Speaking of Sel…what a guy. I HATED him at first but once we actually got to see into his character; swoon (it can’t just be me, right?).  The side characters were also pretty great. They played a part in the plotline and I appreciated how Deonn didn’t add them in and then make them insignificant. They had purpose.

Deonn also tackles racism and microaggressions that people have toward people of color. Bree acknowledged the issues and brought to light why some of the thing that were said were inappropriate, even if the person saying them didn’t understand or thought they were “just joking”. I appreciated that Bree was a character of color and that Deonn included the hardships that she faces, even in a fantasy based book. So often we get characters of color and they don’t face any hardships or issues, and it isn’t relatable or realistic. Kudos to Deonn for being authentic in her writing.

Overall, the plot of the book was enjoyable. There was A LOT of detail and building of the Merlin lines and story, but it was done gracefully. I also like the Hunger Games-esque feel to the story. However, Bree was even more badass than Katniss, IMO.  I was rooting for Bree and scared for her all at once. She had absolutely no training for anything related to this world, but she didn’t let that stop her.

When the story ended I immediately had to research if there was going to be a book two…all I found was that there’s a possibility for one in 2021. I’m hoping that’s true! I can’t wait to continue this story and see where the magic takes Bree and the others.

Book Reviews

Black Sunshine Book Review

I was the monster under your bed.”

Karina Halle – Black Sunshine

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis (from back of book)

All Lenore Warwick wants for her 21st birthday is to hang out with her friends, finish her second year at Berkeley with flying colors, and maybe catch the eye of a hot musician playing a show at a club that she can now (legally) get into.
Unfortunately, fate has other plans for her.
A week before her birthday, she’s kidnapped by the brooding and dangerous stranger with cold eyes and a lethal touch, who has been stalking her on San Francisco’s fog-shrouded streets. Absolon “Solon” Stavig isn’t your average criminal though. He’s a centuries-old vampire who’s caught between wanting to kill Lenore and wanting to save her.

You see Lenore, too, is a vampire.
She just doesn’t know it yet.

Taken by a pair of vampire slayers when she was just an infant, Lenore was raised never knowing her true nature. All Lenore knows is that she has (normal) parents who love her, that she’s exceptionally smart, and she’s squeamish around blood. But once she turns twenty-one, she’ll fully turn into a vampire, and Solon hopes he’ll be there to guide her, opening her eyes to her deepest hunger…both sexual and otherwise.
But this turning can’t be kept a secret. Soon both slayers and vampires are hunting Lenore, with only Solon and his unpredictable motley crew of vampires to save her.
If they don’t kill her first.

My Thoughts

When Karina announced this book, I was SOOOOO excited! I’ve read a handful of her books and her paranormal type ones are my favorite. This book did NOT disappoint. Vampires, sex, and plot…what more could you need?

Things I loved:
– There weren’t really any characters I disliked. I was iffy on Absolon at first but quickly fell in love with him once I got to know him more. Lenore has quite the backstory and I am here for it! Her parents are intriguing and I would have liked to see more from them.
– The character connection to the Experiment in Terror series…that was a fun easter egg!
– I liked the vampire/witches plot. I would love to see more about witches (I think this is supposed to be a standalone..hint hint Karina…we’d love more!). It was interesting how Lenore fit in with witches/vampires and I liked the origin story that Karina created for Vampires.
– The steam! Karina writes great smut and I love the added bonus of this book having vampires! One of my favorite things to read (besides Fae… I like what I like).
– The emotion..when Lenore was feeling something, I was feeling something. KH does a great job building up a character’s emotions and making the reader feel them too. When Lenore was sad, I was sad. When she was pissed, so was I, and so on. KH writes strong female leads and I always transport myself into their shoes. The writing lends itself to this and I am always pleased with KH’s style!

Things I Didn’t Love:
– I felt the climax of the story was a tad rushed. We had all this build up about Skarde and who he is, and then the climax happened and it was over in the blink of an eye.
– I want to know more about Jeremias. He was a huge plot point (in my opinion) and I barely know anything about him. If this really is a standalone book, the lack of closure with him has left me a bit empty.
– I would have loved more exploration into the beast side of Absolon. It reminded me a lot of Ryder from The Fae Chronicles, and I wanted (needed?) more! It was a good concept and the back story was interesting for why he was like that.

Take this with a grain of salt! Some of these are just preference! Overall, I loved this book and REALLLLLLYYY hope that this turns into a series!

Book Reviews

Serpent & Dove Book Review

“Maybe men can learn a thing or two from women.”

Shelby Mahurin

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Synopsis (from back of book)

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all. 

My Thoughts

I had high hopes from this book because I read so many good things about it…however, I was disappointed. I feel like this book had SO much potential but it fell a little flat for me.

I loved the concept of church vs. magic but felt it wasn’t executed well. There really wasn’t that much magic in the book, but there was a lot of churchy-ness. The religious aspect of the book was fine, but I felt like it was there to counter the magic aspects, but it just ended up being a lot of religious jargon and not enough witch stuff to make it make sense. I loved Lou’s character so much. Lou, CoCo, and Ansel were the positive points for me throughout the story. Lou is a fierce fighter and has lived quite the life. Then, SM makes her fall for Reid who is the definition of BORING. I don’t know that I’ve read a book with a more boring lead male character (that probably isn’t true, but at the moment it is). I think part of the reason I didn’t enjoy read was because of how his chapters were executed in the audiobook. I only read a handful of chapters, but listened to the rest, and found his chapters to just be blah. I didn’t like the voice of the person on the audiobook and found Reid’s chapters to be dull. I wanted to see more from Lou, or even would have liked to see a chapter in Ansel’s POV.

It wasn’t until the last quarter of the book that I was truly invested in the story. There was more action in the last chunk of the story than the entire book put together. I wish the action was more spread out through the story. That being said, I feel like the book was way too long for what was going on. Some parts could have been scrapped completely, and nothing would have really changed.

I guess if I learned anything from reading this, it’s not to believe the hype of books. This is the third book that I’ve read into they hype and been disappointed. The first was the Shadow and Bone series (I made it halfway through book 2), second was Cruel Prince (I made it to chapter 4) and now this one. Sign. Will I buy book 2 of this series…yes…yes I will. Only because I was intrigued by the end of book 1 AND because cover is stunning. I’m willing to give Blood and Honey a try…yes..open mind and all that jazz.

Overall, I wasn’t impressed by this book, but I didn’t hate it. It did have some redeeming qualities (Lou and witches) that made me interested in reading. I hope that book 2 has more action and magic than this book. I’d love to see less church/religious politics and more witchy-goodness!

Wrap-Ups

Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2021

I have been SLACKING with writing blog posts! It was a stressful month and I haven’t really been in the mood to write (I have read…A LOT though!). The only exciting-ish things that happened this month are that I got my first dose of the COVID vaccine and I turned 27. Other than that, it’s been business as usual. I did make the decision to delete my Booktube channel. I’m always comparing myself to others and was just not feeling the stress I was putting on myself. I’ll stick to Bookstagram and this. I love reading and sharing my love for books, and that’s that. I don’t need the drama or competition that I feel like I found myself falling into with booktube.

Anyway…this month I read 18 books (two being re-reads). EIGHTEEN BOOKS! For as busy as I felt this month, I am beyond impressed with the amount of books I was able to dive into. I’m going to just briefly explain what I rated them. If you’ve read any of them, let me know! I’d love to chat!

Books of February 2021

ACOFAS was originally 3/5 stars for me, but after re-reading it, I bumped it up to 4 stars! Not my favorite but I do have a newfound appreciation for the different perspectives. Come Alive may be my favorite in KH’s Experiment in Terror series. I’m a sucker for reading in Dex’s POV and will love him forever. 5/5 stars again!
4/5 stars – this light fantasy book was beautifully done. I loved the character, Fable, and can’t wait for the next book (what a cliffhanger!)
4/5 stars – this is a relatable YA contemporary that I couldn’t put down! Charlie is an insecure, plus size teen that I related to SO damn much. This book threw me into my high school years all over again!
4/5 stars – KH is so good at writing romance. I fell in love with the characters instantly and couldn’t stop reading this. I find myself loving KH’s writing more and more with each book I read of hers!

I came across Storm Song on TikTok and had to try out her books. I gave each of these books 3/5 stars because I went in thinking there was going to be a lot of smut and it didn’t really live up to they hype. I did enjoy the plot though! It’s like a vampire-esque Hunger Games and has quite some interesting plot points. They aren’t perfect, but I loved them enough!

4/5 stars – Katee might be my new favorite smut writer. She doesn’t hold back and I am HERE FOR IT! This is the second book in the series and it has lots of vampire deliciousness in it!
4/5 stars – this was an unexpected read! It was so cute and I read it in one sitting. The characters were loveable and I’m a sucker for strangers to lovers romances!
5/5 stars – I have a lot of feelings about this book, but I did love it. Cassian has stolen my heart and Nesta is a badass who is healing at her own pace. I have some qualms with a few things but I still enjoyed this book.
4/5 stars – this was an interesting read about a sex addict and an alcoholic and how they cope through college and being rich. It took a bit for me to find my footing with this one, but I ended up invested in the plot!
3/5 stars – this was an eARC I got to read and it’s a graphic novel about body image. I loved the premise, but felt it could have had more detail in it. The illustrations were beautiful, but I would have liked to see the ending bloom in a different way than it did. Relatable, but fell a little flat.
3/5 stars – I listened to the audiobook of this for 90% of the book and I didn’t love it. The plot had potential but I don’t think it was executed well. I liked the church vs. witch aspect and LOVED Lou, but most of the other characters were awful (not Coco or Ansel!).
4/5 stars – I need myself a Tourist Trap having, Alaskan raised, grumpy man ASAP! This was an adorable and light romance and I gobbled it up!
4/5 stars – I love this series so much. I never thought I would like a mob romance, but here I am…unable to get enough of these magnificent and sexy characters!
5/5 stars – this is the second book of the Ada Palomino series and I need more NOW! It was entirely too short! I could read these adventures (and the smut) forever! AND THE CLIFFHANGER UGH.

As you can see, it was a great reading month! We had some 3 star reads, some 5 star reads, and A LOT of awesome 4 star reads! I can’t wait to see what March will bring! I’m looking forward to Namesake coming out this month and can’t wait to see what else I can get my hands on. Maybe a thrifting trip will be in my future!

Thanks for hanging out with me, if you made it this far! So long, farewell, until we meet again!

Book Reviews

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega Book Review

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Synopsis

Charlie is a 16 year old, fat, brown girl that is just trying to live her best life. Her best friend is everything everyone else loves in a girl, making Charlie feel like she lives in her shadow. This book takes us through the journey of what it’s like being a fat girl in our current society. We follow Charlie through arguments with her mom, love and heartbreak, and get an inside look at her self-esteem and thoughts about herself. This is beautifully written and is relatable whether you’re 16 or 27!

My Thoughts

I can honestly say that I don’t think I have emotionally related to a character so much in my life before. Charlie is a fat, brown girl living in today’s cruel society with unrealistic expectations. I relate to the fat part, which is mostly what this book focuses on. This story made me time travel back to my high school years and relive all of the crap I went through because I wasn’t meeting the societal standard appearance wise. Like Charlie, I had stunning best friends, had boys talk to me so they could talk to them (or so they could later tell me they would never date someone like me…that happened in 7th grade), dealt with family members constantly ragging on my weight, struggled to shop in “normal” stores, and had really terrible self esteem and self worth. Hell, I just turned 27 and I STILL struggle with body image and not comparing myself to everyone. Like Charlie, I follow all the body positive “fatshion” people, hype them up, think they’re the most beautiful people in the world (they are!) and then look in the mirror and want to rip out my hair because of what I see.

Charlie struggles with herself throughout the book because of how she sees herself and how she thinks others see her. My favorite part is that Charlie didn’t go on a diet and didn’t try and change how she looked because of the pressures around her. By the end of the book, she looked exactly the same, but she was learning to love the skin she was in. I think this is such an important message, especially being a YA book. So many times I’ve read books with “plus size” main characters and in order to be happy or find love, they have to change who they are inside and out, so that they can conform with society. What kind of message is that sending? I appreciate so much how Crystal wrote this story. It made it feel more real to me.

I saw so much of myself in Charlie and wish that I was able to be more loving toward myself at her age. This book really made me open my eyes (I may have also splurged on some hot bathing suits for the summer because the confidence this book instilled in me) and made me see that my size and shape is NOT what defines my happiness. If I want to change something or try to be more healthier, sure I can do that. BUT, I don’t have to change anything to fit the norms of this shitty world. I don’t need to look like the super models (hell, even “plus size models” don’t meet up to what I think is plus size), I don’t need to try every fad diet to be healthy, or go to the gym every day…I just need to take care of me, starting with my mental health!

Seeing Charlie grow throughout the story was beautiful as well. I wanted to punch Cal in the face, and fell in love with Brian. There may have been some tears at some point…maybe a lot. I appreciated the relationship Charlie had with her mother. Relationships with parents are hard and nowhere near perfect. Their relationship, minus a few quirks, reminded me a lot of what I saw with my friends and their moms or dads growing up.

So, thank you to Crystal Maldonado for writing this beautiful piece. I can’t rave enough about your portray of a protagonist fat girl. You made a relatable and wonderful story and I hope high schoolers read this story and can see themselves in Charlie, just like I did. Thank you!

Book Reviews

The Fae Chronicles Review

He’s my drug of choice, and I don’t think there’s a rehab for it.”

Amelia Hutchins

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Short Synopsis of Overall Series

This series follows Synthia, an Enforcer of the Guild, as she navigates the human world and Faery. Her path crosses with Ryder, a sexy and powerful Fae male, as they work to solve a mystery. Throughout the seven books they have to constantly solve problems, work together, and save the world. There’s TONS of sexy times and lots of other action too! Through the fight for life, plot twists galore, and lots of magic, Synthis and Ryder do their best to fight for what they believe in, even if it’s two separate things.

My Thoughts

I’m going to format this review like I format my GoodReads reviews. Since I’m doing all seven books at once, and they’ve all jumbled in my brain, I’m just going to list things I loved and things I didn’t love. Easy enough!

Things I loved about this series:

  • If you ever need to read some good smut…this series is it for you. It starts with some serious sexual tension and it just gets more delicious as the books progress.
  • I was introduced to Fae in ACOTAR by Sarah J Maas, and this book just made my Fae expectations even higher. I love Rhysand from ACOTAR so much, but for me, Ryder just stole the limelight in my heart. What a creature he is. Oof.
  • I enjoyed the aspect of mystery in this series. There was plot that kept me interested when there wasn’t smut ensuing. I was invested in the storyline and the relationships and characters.
  • Ristan…I love this Demon so damn much. He is such a great character. He brings a sense of comic relief and definitely balances Ryder and Synthia.
  • The world Faery: I enjoyed how this world panned out. We start in Washington State and find out about this place called Faery which is where all the magical creatures live. The way AH builds this world caught my attention. In the first book, we only get glimpses of this world, usually through other POVs, but as we become more familiar with it in later books, it’s a very fascinating place.
  • I really enjoyed the plot twists that AH threw in throughout the series (even though some made me cry forever). It’s always nice to spice things up, especially when you have a long series like this one.
  • I highly appreciate that AH has in depth content warnings in the front of each book. Her books have some risky and uncomfortable topics that could definitley trigger some people. I wish more authors did this so that we didn’t have to search far and wide to figure out if the book is going to be okay for our mental health. So kudos for that.
  • Eliran…what a saint. I love this character. He’s Ryder’s trusted healer and he really just puts his heart into his work.
  • The Transition…wow. This was a fun twist I didn’t expect. I love how Fae start off as “human” looking and then hit puberty at around 21 and then turn into true Fae. It’s fascinating. The whole feeding thing that they have going on is very erotic also, and I’m here for it!

Things I didn’t like:

  • I didn’t know that there were companion series that went with this one, so when I got to book six I thought I missed a whole book. There’s some things that weren’t resolved at the end of chapter 5, that are magically okay at the beginning of book 6 and I was really confused. Apparently things get fixed in these companion books that I didn’t know existed.
  • Some of the writing isn’t great. There’s a lot of repetitive phrases that are used and could have easily been replaced with other words. There are also some chunks that the character says something and then repeats almost the same thing. I feel like some of these scenes could have been removed.
  • Occasionally, the POV changes to Ryders and the way he’s written in his own head is really cringey to me. He sounded very abrasive and it made me uncomfortable being inside of his head. Maybe that’s how it’s supposed to be, but I wasn’t a fan of some of his chapters (there aren’t many).
  • There’s also one random chapter in one of the books in Adam’s perspective. This threw me off. I remember being pissed because I don’t like when the perspective changes a lot in a book…especially randomly. But then, we never got another chapter in his POV…I didn’t think it was necessary.
  • I noticed A LOT of similarities between this and ACOTAR (the Fae courts, names/characters, etc). I looked it up and this came out first. So I wonder if SJM was inspired by this at all. I don’t dislike that, but when things are really similar (Ryder and Rhysand, Morrigan, Eris, Fyre, Court of nightmares, winter/spring/summer/autumn courts) it’s interesting and I need more information.
  • Some of the names that were choses are SO similar to other names already in the book. Example: Ristan and Dristan….Ryder and Spyder. I think these name similarities irked me the most. Sometimes when I’m reading, I’d read Dristan as Ristan and then have to reread a chunk. Spyder also reminded me of the hyper kid at the end of the movie Holes.

Even with the things I didn’t like, I was so intrigued and engulfed emotionally into this series, I had to give each book 5 stars. They had everything I love: Fae, Smut, Mystery, so I couldn’t resist. I’m currently rereading chunks of each books so I’ll continue to add to this post as I go! Enjoy what I have so far…for now!