Watcha Reading Wednesday

Watcha Reading Wednesday

Another week, another Wednesday! This week I’ve slowed down a bit and am only reading one book!

My CR is Sinner’s Playground (The Harlequin Crew #1) by Caroline Peckham and Susanne Valenti.

I had been seeing this book everywhere and added it to my TBR. Instead of picking up one of the many physical books on my TBR, I decided to buy the kindle version of this and dive right in. I can’t stop reading it…I’m enthralled by the story and characters. This Dark Gang Romance has had me turning pages faster than ever before, I’m that interested in what’s happening.

Rogue is back from the dead and here to haunt her past. She’s on a mission and will stop at nothing to get what she wants…enter the Harlequin Boys rom her childhood.

This book has the POV of Rogue, Maverick, Fox, JJ, and Chase and I am living for each of them. I’m about 400 pages in and I may or may not be obsessed with Rogue and am slightly in love with Fox and his overprotective tendencies, as well as JJ’s personality. The sexual tension is *chef’s kiss* and I am waiting for the other shoe to drop. I believe this is a RH, so I’m (im)patiently waiting for Rogue to make her rounds. Le Sigh.

I have a feeling I’ll be on book two by the end of the day!

Synopsis

Here’s the synopsis from amazon…see trigger warnings at the end!

Dead girls don’t feel pain.

But they like the taste of vengeance.

Maybe that’s why I came back to my hometown. Because it sure as hell wasn’t for the surf. But what else was I supposed to do when I found myself in Sunset Cove with twenty bucks to my name, the key to my enemies’ secrets hanging around my neck and a mouth full of grave dirt that wouldn’t wash clean?

I hate the Harlequin boys.

But this is the perfect opportunity to take what they owe me. Because once upon a time, they broke my heart, stole my life and sent me away from everything I’d ever known.

Fox, JJ, Chase and Maverick.

The four names tattooed onto my heart more permanently than any of the ink on my skin. They don’t just live in this town anymore, they rule it. And the view here may be beautiful, but the sun, sea and sand hide dark secrets.

The gangs.
The lies.
The violence.

It all lurks beneath a veil so thin that once you’ve seen through it, you can never close your eyes to the truth again.

But I don’t plan on closing my eyes. I have four devils set in my sights. And this dead girl no longer has anything to lose.

This is an enemies to lovers contemporary series where the girl will end up with multiple love interests and all of the characters are in their late twenties. Trigger warning: this series features gangs, violence, dark romance and jealous/possessive themes.

Wrap-Ups

June 2021 Wrap-Up

June has been a busy, busy month, but I had a great reading month! School ended on the 22nd of June and because of hybrid learning, I had a lot of time to read at work the last few weeks of school. I’ve found that my routine has been work, home, read, nap, read, eat, read, bed. I try to fill all of my free time with reading or crafting…it’s going great so far! I also found out today that I can read while I’m on the bike or treadmill at the gym; or I can listen to an audiobook – another win!

Monthly Stats

  • Books: 18
  • Authors: 5: Jennifer L Armentrout, Katee Robert, Tessa Bailey, Harley Laroux, and Kelly Garrett
  • ReReads: none (I did start a reread but won’t be done by the time June is over)
  • Genres: YA Fantasy, Adult Fantasy, Dark Romance, Mystery
  • Pages Read: about 6,848 give or take a few (kindle books and goodreads have varying pages and I don’t trust the accuracy)
  • Star Break Down: 5 star reads: 6 ; 4 star reads: 11 ; 3 star reads: 1

Books, Ratings, and Brief Thoughts!

5 stars
This book is the last in the Titan series and I loved every second of it. I highly rec reading Covenant series (YA series that this is the spinoff of) and then reading this one!
5 stars
This was a highly anticipated release for me and it did not disappoint. I loved the modern day Hades Persephone retelling and the smut in this was *chef’s kiss*.
4 stars
This was a unintentional read. I needed a quick read to cleanse my pallette and I stumbled across this. This was an interesting read, but I somehow enjoyed it. Please check out trigger warnings before reading!
4 stars each
I kept seeing great things about this series on the JLA FB groups I’m in and decided to finally pick it up. Once again, JLA did not disappoint. This is an adult fantasy with Fae (as the enemies!!!) and a fantastic character named Tink! I fell in love with Ren as soon as we met him, but because of the Passionflix movie, all I can see is a young John Travolta…not that it’s a bad thing. I appreciated the story line of this series and sped through it in a few days. Highly recommend!
4 stars each
I was on a JLA streak this month, clearly. I had to dive into this series next because the same FB groups kept mentioning Roth and I was intrigued. I am proud to say I am 100% team Roth and NOT team Zayne. I’m always one for the bad boy with a heart, and in this case, he’s a DEMON! This was a fun, magic filled YA fantasy that I wish was adult…can Roth have his own adult series like Seth or… the sexual tension between Roth and Layla is amazing and I would literally die for Bambi the snake. I want my own familiar…sigh.
Books 1-3: 4 stars, books 4-5: 5 stars
I am beyond obsessed with this series. I am currently rereading book 4 and will probably end up continuing into book 5. I don’t think I can choose which of JLA’s series are my favorite, but Daemon Black is high on my list of book boyfriends (as is Seth, Cas, Roth, Ren…). Again, I wish this series had an adult spinoff, but my imagination is enough. I live for the sexual tension between Kat and Daemon. I want to punch Ash and Andrew in the face; I want to be BFFs with Archer and Dee, and I want some sexy aliens in my life (good or bad…I’m not picky). This series will have you feeling every single emotion possible and may make you lose your sanity in the best way.
5 stars
This is the first three books of the Lux series in Daemon’s POV and I LOVED IT. This isn’t in print because it was almost 1,000 pages, so you can only find his POV in Obsidian in stores. Seeing inside Daemon’s head gave me so much insight to why he was a douche canoe to Kat at the start and it really opened my eyes and made me love him even more (as if that was possible).
5 stars
This is an adult spin-off of the Lux series with a character named Hunter. When I say this book will make you swoon and sweat, I mean it in the best way. Hunter is an Arum, enemy to Daemon’s kind (Luxen) and seeing in his head as the “enemy” was fascinating. JLA really did an amazing job with this one. I so wish this wasn’t a standalone!
4 stars
HOLY MOLY! This book is H O T. Tessa Bailey does a phenomenal job with this story and I loved every steamy minute of it. I am in love with Bowen and need more of him. Again…bad boys with hearts do it for me… 😉
3 stars This was a fun YA Mystery to read. I didn’t love the main character’s attitude/personality, but I enjoyed the plot enough that I continued reading. I recommend this for YA readers that haven’t tried any mystery’s yet. It has a good plot twist at the end and is a great intro to the genre!

Well folks, that was an intense month of reading! I’m going on vacation in July so I doubt it will be as prosperous as June, but never say never!

What was your favorite read of the month?

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!

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!

Panemathon June 2020

Panemathon

Over on twitter, I’ve joined in with a read-a-thon called Panemathon! With the newest addition to the Hunger Games franchise just being published, this read-a-thon is Hunger Games themed. I am happy to be a part of District 11 – the best district- that my dear friend and Booktuber Sophie Snow is hosting!

I’ve never participated in a read-a-thon before, but am more than excited to do so! Keep reading to find out the prompts, how to join, and more!

Here is the link to the Panemathon twitter account if you’re intersted in joining! You can find the sign-up form, rules, and tribute videos so you can decide which district you’d like to join…(unless you’d like me to decide for you…district 11 it is!)

Since I am pledging to District 11, here is Sophie Snow’s D11 video (another great source of information). It’s only suitable that D11’s all about friendship and Sophie is one of my dearest friends!

The Prompts

  • District 1: Read a 5 star prediction.
  • District 2: Read a book with a weopon, armor, or shield on the cover.
  • District 3: Read a science fiction book.
  • District 4: Read a book set by the sea, on the sea, or under the sea.
  • District 5: Read an e-book, audiobook OR read a book during the nighttime.
  • District 6: Read a book set in a world or country outside of your own.
  • District 7: Read a book set in nature or that features nature on the cover.
  • District 8: Read a book with more than 3 colors on the cover.
  • District 9: Read a book that begins with G.
  • District 10: Reada book with an animal as a featured character or an animal on the cover.
  • Distric 11: Read a book that showcases a strong sense of friendship.
  • District 12: Read a book with first in the title or on the cover.

My TBR

Disclosure: you can use the prompts over and over and don’t have to use all fo them (which I don’t)!

District 2: Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
District 4: The Bridge Kingdom by Danielle L. Jensen
District 6: The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas
District 7: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
District 7: Whims of Fae Series by Nissa Ledder — This is a 1200ish page book that contains all 6 books in the series. The goal is to read all 6 but not making any promises…the font is REALLY tiny.
District 8: Beach Read by Emily Henry
District 10: Serpent Dove by Shelby Mahurin
District 10: The Nightwalkers by J A Kahn
District 11: Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles — this is one of my favorite YA books! I’m so excited to reread it!
District 11: ACOMAF by Sarah J Maas — I first read this in the middle of April…this will be my fifth time reading it since then and I am PUMPED. This may be my favorite book ever.
District 11’s Bonus Book (worth double points): Crier’s War by Nina Varela
District 11 Extra Book (worth 50% extra points): The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
District 11 Extra Book (worth 50% extra points): Crescent City: The House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas — I read this back in April and am excited for a second read through!
District 11 Extra Book (worth 50% extra points): Red, White, & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
District 11 Extra Book (worth 50% extra points): Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo.

Follow along with me right here and on twitter to see how District 11 is doing and how the reading is going!

May the odds be ever in your favor!