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!

Tags

R.I.P It or Ship It Book Tag

I found this book tag on Dreamland Book Blog and just had to try it!

The Rules

  1. Write down a list of book characters. I wrote down 14.
  2. Put into a container of your choice: I chose a cup…it’s what I had closest to me!
  3. Pick two names at a time.
  4. Decide if you ship the relationship or if you want the relationship to cease existence! Easy enough!

Round One: Ship it!

Couple number 1 is: Castiel from From Blood and Ash and Morana from The Darkverse Series. Honestly…I think I ship this one! Both are badass and would challenge each other in the best ways possible. Morana kind of reminds me of a mob version of Poppy anyway, so I think it would work (at least for a bit anyway!)

Round Two: RIP it!

Couple number two is: Poppy from From Blood and Ash and Aren from The Bridge Kingdom. I can’t see Poppy with anyone but Castiel…I loved Aren, but I don’t know if it would work with them. Aren’s land is kind of secluded and Poppy has been secluded her whole life. I don’t see it being a thing…thank you, NEXT.

Round Three: Ship It!

Couple number three is: Bryce from Crescent City and Dex Foray from the Experiment in Terror Series. What personalities these two have! They would give each other a run for their money and the spice in the sheets would be *chef’s kiss*. Both like to have fun and do risky things, so they’re perfect!

Round Four: RIP It!

Couple number four is: Katniss from the Hunger Games and Perry from the Experiment in Terror Series. I don’t know how I feel about Katniss and Perry being together. I love Perry to death, and Katniss is great, but I don’t think they’d make a rockin’ couple. I don’t even know if they would be friends. I think Katniss would annoy Perry and it would get old real fast. Perry is also a lot like me and I don’t think I would enjoy being in a relationship with Katniss so…I’m gonna have to go with NO on this one.

Round Five: RIP It!

Couple number five is: River from Fables and Other Lies and Wrath from Kingdom of the Wicked. River has his own charm, but Wrath is the embodiment of sin (literally…look at his name). There would be a huge power struggle in this relationship, but I think Wrath would end up killing River in the end..so it probably wouldn’t work out. I wouldn’t mind watching them try though…I’ll make the popcorn!

Round Six: I Ship It…but it’s complicated

Couple number six is: Aelin from the Throne of Glass Series and Ryder from the Fae Chronicles. Holy crap. I would LOVE to see this happen. However, Ryder is super dominant and would try to get Aelin to submit and she would take absolutely none of his shit! She’d probably try to get him to submit, which isn’t in his vocabulary, so it would probably a hot mess (emphasis on hot). I think it would be a constant back and forth for power and Aelin would somehow end up on top, as she always does. Ryder would turn into a beast and it would get messy…but it would probably be worth it. Maybe…

Round Seven: Ship It…;)

Couple Number Seven is: Ristan the Demon from the Fae Chronicles and Rhysand from A Court of Thorns and Roses. OH.MY.GOD. What a pairing! These two have such snarky personalities…I would LOVE to see them attempt a relationship. I can’t imagine how funny it would be to be friends with the both of them together. I need it to happen. High Lord of the Night Court and his Demon…we love to see it. Yes, please. The trouble they would get into together…I see lots of sexy adventures that they include all their friends in for…YAS.

That was more fun than I anticipated. I would love to do this with different characters too! I’m glad I stumbled across this tag!

Book Reviews

Fables and Other Lies Book Review

I pity those who can’t get lost in fictional worlds.”

Rating: 4/5 Cups of Tea (Stars)

Back of the Book Synopsis

Do you believe in curses?

I never did.

Not until that fated night, six years ago, when I sat in The Devil’s Chair and made a wish.

Not until it came true.

Not until I met River Caliban himself, heir to a fortune of curses. My fated sworn enemy.

I knew I should have stayed away from him. I should have run the other way when he called out my name, when he flashed that sinful smile of his, but instead, I walked toward him, leaving the light behind. Instead, I go against all reason, against all warning, and attended the gala of the year at his dark, allegedly haunted home at the top of the hill.

The moment I step foot inside I know I’m in trouble, but there’s something about River that magnetizes me, reels me in, and when he asks for the impossible, I find it impossible to turn him away.

My Thoughts

This was one of the last books I bought in 2020 and it was the first book I read of 2021. I was intrigued by the title, the cover, and the length of the book. I hadn’t intended to make it my first read of the year, but I’m glad that I did!

I loved the main character, Penelope (Penny for short). She told the story well and I was interested in the story she had to tell from the beginning of the prologue! Her friends were a fun add to the plot as well, as was the main male character, River Caliban.

The gothic storytelling and use of fables (and other lies) is something I don’t usually dive into. I really enjoyed how two feuding families, a curse, and everything in between played out. We just watched Holes, and it reminded me of the curse and families in the movie…which was ironic and funny. The supernatural aspect of the story was done well also. It wasn’t overwhelming but held enough of the plot to keep us moving through and engaged in the story.

The island that Penny grew up on celebrates Carnival once a year, for a whole week, and that’s when most of the book takes place. I would have liked to have more description of different activities that were happening because it was fun and interesting, but also because Carnival was a large part of the plot. The way the costumes and festivities were described was done very well and I had very vivid images of what was going on in my head.

The main part that left me unfulfilled in this book is the lack of romance. There is some, but it’s slow burn and pretty brief. With the book being a little over 200 pages long, the slow burn doesn’t really work and by the end, I was invested in the relationship and wanted MORE. The romance had so much potential because it was unique, but I was sad when it ended and I didn’t have all the sexy times I anticipated.

Later in the story there are a few chapters that switch POV. However, this switch also changes the writing from first to third person and that was quite jarring for me. The chapters were very short during these switches and I don’t know why the change from first to third happened. I didn’t necessarily feel like anything was gained by doing so, so I’d be interested to find out the author’s reasoning.

Overall, the plot and characters were fabulous. I have never read anything by this author and will definitely be checking out more! It’s an easy and quick read and was worth picking up. I’m happy to be starting 2021 on a high note!

Wrap-Ups

2020 Reading Wrap-Up

A book is a dream that you hold in your hands”.

Overview!

This year has been quite the reading year for me! I have ended 2020 with 108 books added to my “read” list! Technically it’s 97 different books with 11 being rereads (some are multiple). Never did I imagine that I would read 20 books this year…let alone over 100! Quarantine has been good for something!

I also started a book inventory the other day so I can keep track of all the books I own. I finished the two shelves in my craft room/ library room and am just over 300 books…I still have about 100 more scattered throughout the house to log (plus ones I have pre-ordered/yet to come in the mail). Before quarantine, I didn’t own enough books to fill a full row on my bookshelf….needless to say, I’ve spent A LOT of money on books and I don’t regret any of it!

Subscription Boxes

A lot of my money has also gone to book themed subscription boxes. I do the YA version of each and am obsessed. However…I think I may need to cancel some of the subscriptions (I already cancelled two). Below are the ones I’ve tried/still do.

  • Owlcrate: I love OC so much. They usually have great books/dust jackets and the authors write notes and sign the books. I haven’t loved all the merch that OC chooses, but most of the time they’re okay. I would like to see more small business support in their bookish goodies.
  • Bookish Box: This was the first one I subscribed to. It’s very similar to Owlcrate. I enjoy it a lot, but when compared with some of the other boxes, I don’t know if it’s worth the money.
  • Once Upon a Book Club Box: I only got two of these books. They’re formatted so that the goodies you get are hidden and tell you to open them when you get to certain pages. I am not patient enough for that…I also didn’t enjoy a majority of the items in these boxes and ended up cancelling.
  • Fae Crate: I only got one Fae Crate before cancelling. It wasn’t really my style. I’m glad I tried it out though.
  • Illumicrate: I’ve gotten two so far (I just got off the waitlist!). I LOVE Illumicrate! They have great items and great books. I’m a sucker for sprayed edges and they do them often! Highly recommend.
  • Fairyloot: I haven’t gotten one yet because I just got off the waitlist. My first box will be coming in January and I am SO excited. I have heard AMAZING things about FL and can’t wait to see what the first box I get is like. Their books are GORGEOUS and I know they do a lot of sprayed edges as well!

Overall, I think Fairyloot and Illumicrate may kick Owlcrate, Bookishbox, or both out of the running. I really shouldn’t be spending all that money for four subscription boxes a month anyway…oops…don’t tell my husband!

Favorite Books of the Year!

I have had quite a lot of five star reads. I’m going to list all of them and then figure it out from there!

  • Getting Down by Helena Hunting
  • Handle with Care by Helena Hunting
  • Shacking Up by Helena Hunting
  • Lingus by Mariana Zapata
  • House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
  • Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
  • A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
  • Smut by Karina Halle
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas
  • Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas
  • With This Heart by R.S. Grey
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas
  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
  • The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
  • Home Before Dark by Riley Sager
  • A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Gifting Me to His Best Friend by Katee Robert
  • The Mindfuck Series by S.T. Abby
  • Book 2-10 of the Experiment in Terror Series by Karina Halle

I obviously love each of these books for many different reasons! My top three are actually entire series and I hold each of them dear to my heart.

In third place for the year (and maybe ever) I have the From Blood and Ash Series. AKOFAF threw me into a rough reading slump after I finished it. I was so drawn into this world that JLA created and was in love with the characters, that when I finished I couldn’t pick up another book without wanting to read about Poppy and Cas. I am so excited for the new book coming in 2021!

In second place is the Experiment in Terror Series. I have never read nine books so fast in my life. I read a book a day and couldn’t stop until I devoured all of Karina Halle’s words. I became obsessed with this series in November and was SO stoked to hear that a new book was coming out December 11…well it came out a day early and you bet your booty that I bought it and read it that day! I was struggling in November with picking up books and this series sucked me out of that slump and threw me head first into an amazing paranormal realm with beautiful and enticing characters. I am so happy I came across this series!

In first place we have the ACOTAR series. My dear friend Sophie recommended me these books in January and I ended up finding them on clearance in Target. I tried the first chapter of ACOTAR and wasn’t feeling it. Fast forward a few month and add a bored, quarantined Allison, and I picked up the book again. This time I was intrigued. I got passed chapter one and was really vibing with the feeling of the book. I then became enamoured by Tamlin (ugh, ew) and couldn’t put the book down. Once I finished the first one I just had to dive into book two (which is my favorite of the series…I read it 5 times so far). I finished the series and all I wanted to do was read more SJM books….no, all I wanted to do was read. This series made me fall in love with reading again and I am so thankful that Sophie recommended them to me almost a year ago! I have my SJM shrine on my bookshelf and currently own 54 SJM books (a lot of duplicates and special editions….don’t judge).

2021 Reading Goals

For 2021 I plan to go with the flow and read whatever my heart desires. I don’t want to stress over my ever growing TBR list. I do have a handful of books that I will read when they’re released, but other than that, I want to freely roam my shelves and enjoy each page I read. I also want to become more comfortable with DNFing books. I struggle with this because I feel like if I paid for a book, I should read it. But…why read something I’m not enjoying? I plan to keep up with blogging and booktube more but we’ll see about that. Overall, I want reading to be fun and not a job (which some people I follow make it seem like one…). I read for me and no one else and that’s that!

So, thanks Sophie and SJM for helping me find something I’m passionate about this year! I’ve really gotten to visit some amazing realms and worlds through books and can’t wait to see where 2021 takes me!