Reading Update for 4/1-4/7

Hi fellow readers!! I can’t believe we are already in the second week of April, seriously how is this happening!!! Can we slow things down a little? Ok but really, the first week of April is done and I know what you’re probably all thinking. You’re probably thinking that I’ve read a bunch of books already and am finally back on track with my Goodreads goal. Wrong!!! Ugh!

Last week was a really bad reading week for me. I only finished 2 books, and DNF’d another. That was my first DNF of the year guys, and it sucks. I’m not one to DNF books, and when I do it puts me in a serious funk. I do not need any reading funks, not me…. nuh-uh… nooooo thank you! 😂 So the two books I did finish were Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris, which is a Psychological Thriller, and The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, which is a Dystopian novel and a classic.

My current read is On The Come Up by Angie Thomas, which is her second novel after her extremely successful debut novel The Hate U Give. I am a huge Angie Thomas fan so I am super excited to be reading this and love it so far! That being said, with such a highly anticipated new release as my first book of the week, I’m hoping this week will be a really good reading week. Ideally I’d love to average a book every 2 or 3 days, which would mean the books I’m reading are amazing and I just can’t put them down. On that note, I’m getting back to my book because it’s causing me physical pain to not be reading it right now. Ok not really, but I am really anxious to get back into it and see what happens in On The Come Up.

Some books in the lineup for this week are:

  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
  • The Three Body Problem by Liu Cixin
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

If I manage to get through all of those the rest will be a spur of the moment pick! Can you tell I’m trying to channel more of the mood reader side of me? 😂 Catch ya next time, I’ll be posting Wednesday with some of my favorite reading snacks and book friendly meals. Happy Reading 🤓!!

My first DNF book of the year

I’m not one to give up on a book even if it’s not thrilling me. If reading it feels like a chore, then it’s not fun and I know it is time to DNF the book. Unfortunately, the book Dear Haiti, Love Alaine by Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite is my first DNF of 2019. I wanted so badly to enjoy this book, but it just feel short of my expectations.

It’s true that contemporary isn’t my favorite genre, but usually the ones I pick are amazing! I found Dear Haiti, Love Alaine on NetGalley and when I read the description I thought it sounded like an amazing story about a young teen dealing with the fallout of a poor choice on a school project and a hard topic that includes a health issue with her mother. I loved the idea that the book was about Haiti and raising voices for it, as it’s very rare to find books set in Haiti.

One issue not with the writing itself but the formatting of the ebook, is that some of the paragraphs are out of order so you have to search through the recent pages to make the storyline fit. The different font colors and font styles are a bit distracting.

As for the actual story, I felt that Alaine was a solid character but her use of humor as a defense mechanism was a little bit overdone. Now I’m not sure if that was the intent of the author’s, but it made it very hard for me to relate to Alaine. I loved her father and would have liked to see more of a story with him, and maybe he is more prevalent in the second half of the book. Celeste is a great character, Alaine’s mom, I love that she is a news journalist and is this strong, fiery woman. Loved that Alaine was getting the chance to reconnect with her mother after an incident on Celeste’s news show, and after a sad discovery, even though she was sent to Haiti as punishment for causing such an incident at school. Alaine’s Tati Estelle (her Aunt) has an important role in Haiti as the Haitian Minister of Tourism and CEO of Patron Pal an app to help the poor in Haiti to make a change. Estelle has agreed to give Alaine an internship on her team in hopes that Alaine learns enough information to redo her school project to show that she’s learned her lesson and now has more respect and knowledge for her country of origin. Although the constant switch of email/postcard and narration was a little hard to follow for me.

I wanted so much to like this book, and maybe once it’s out in print I will give it another try, but for now I’m having to DNF it. Sorry Harlequin Teen and my apologies to the authors. Thank you so much for the chance to read Dear Haiti, Love Alaine.

Some books aren’t for everyone, and that’s ok! Just remember not to force yourself to read a book you aren’t enjoying and that it is absolutely fine to DNF the book. On to the next read! Happy Reading!! 🤓

March Wrap Up

Hello fellow readers! March is over (unbelievable), and we are on to a new month. I had a decent reading month in March, with a total of 12 books read. It helped that I had a couple of Readathons that I participated in the last 2 weekends of the month. I feel like I could have read more than I did if I hadn’t tried to make myself stick to a TBR list that I had predetermined, but lesson learned.

Here’s a list of what I read!

  • And The Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness
  • The Trinity Game (book #1) by Sean Chercover
  • Brenda’s Beaver Needs a Barber by Bimisi Tayanita (P.S. I’m pretty sure this is NOT a children’s book….LOL)
  • The Paper Magician (book #1) by Charlie N. Holmberg
  • No Safety in Numbers (book #1) by Dayna Lorentz
  • Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
  • The Shining by Stephen King (this was a reread)
  • Click by L. Smyth (This was an ARC I got from NetGalley and the book released the end of March)
  • Borne by Jeff VanderMeer
  • The Whisper Man by Alex North (This was an ARC I got from NetGalley and comes out in August 2019)
  • Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark #1 by Alvin Schwartz (a reread to quench my horror craving)
  • Shadow Frost by Coco Ma (Another ARC that I got from NetGalley and it comes out in October 2019)

 

My 5 Star reads this month were The Paper Magician, The Shining, The Whisper Man and Shadow Frost. They received 5 Star ratings because the stories were amazingly well written, the world building in Paper Magician and Shadow Frost was beautiful! Both were fantasy worlds that I longed to live in while I was reading the books. The Shining and The Whisper Man get the award for scariest books I read in the month of March. Stephen King sure knows how to write a story that builds and builds until you realize your heart is pounding and you haven’t taken a breath for a while. The Whisper Man by Alex North brought the horror of little kids rhymes and serial killers and actually made me jump when I was reading it at night. Props to any author who can do that, especially seeing as I’m a horror addict and pretty desensitized to most things that go bump in the night.

I have good feelings about April, and hope it will be another good reading month. I’m a few books behind schedule in my Goodreads challenge, and in my BookRiot Read Harder challenge, but hey it’s only April!! This month I’m going read with my mood and not force myself to stick to a predetermined TBR. I think if I let myself read that way then I might surprise myself and beat my record of a 12 book month. Oh, and now with my new glasses how can I not have a good reading month? heehee Nerd status!!

Happy Reading!!

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Shadow Frost by Coco Ma – Review

I just finished reading an ARC of Shadow Frost by Coco Ma, which is set to release October 2019. This is a YA Fantasy which is the debut novel for Coco Ma. I got my copy of this ARC from NetGalley and boy I am so incredibly glad I did!

Description

In the kingdom of Axaria, a darkness rises. Some call it a monster, laying waste to the villagers and their homes. Some say it is an invulnerable demon summoned from the deepest abysses of the Immortal Realm. Many soldiers from the royal guard are sent out to hunt it down. Not one has ever returned. 

When Asterin Faelenhart, princess of Axaria and heir to the throne, discovers that she may hold the key to defeating the mysterious demon terrorizing her kingdom, she vows not to rest until the beast is slain. With the help of her friends and the powers she wields—though has yet to fully understand—Asterin sets out to complete a single task. The task that countless trained soldiers have failed, To kill it. But as they hunt for the demon, they unearth a plot to assassinate the princess herself instead. Asterin and her friends begin to wonder how much of their lives has been lies, especially when they realize that the center of the web of deceit might very well be themselves. With no one else to turn to, they are forced to decide just how much they are willing to sacrifice to protect the only world they have ever known. 

That is, of course, if the demon doesn’t get to them first.

What I loved….

The characters are amazing, as you see them grow and change and develop throughout the book. The Kingdom of Axaria is very well created and I was wishing I could go visit! It felt modern but ancient at the same time. I absolutely love that everyone has an ability for magic, but some more than others. Princess Asterin, the protagonist, is such a strong and feisty character. You just can’t help but love her!! Her bodyguard Orion is funny and endearing with how he teases Asterin, yet you learn important facts about him as the story progresses. It was a little bit of a surprise, as I don’t feel that what you discover about him was built up to, it felt just kind of thrown in like an afterthought. It worked though, so that was lucky. My absolute favorite character though is Quinlan, cousin to mystical Queen Rose of Eradore. He is proud and confident, yet has a sensitive side that he hides. His witty banter with Princess Asterin just put a huge goofy grin on my face and melted my heart. I couldn’t get enough of the scenes between him and Asterin.

I really hope that this is turned into a series, especially with how the book ended. I would be astounded if it was left as a standalone. This is by far one of my favorite reads of 2019 so far!!! 5 star read!!!! People….. get this book when it releases in October 2019. Seriously, you will not be disappointed!!

I’m going to go process all of the amazingness I just read, as I can tell I’m already in a book hangover from Shadow Frost. Happy Reading!! 🤓

Spring Readathon Weekend

You all must think I’m crazy for always doing Readathons. Sometimes I think I’m crazy for doing so many, but I just love them!!! It’s not like I really need an excuse to spend my days doing nothing but reading. That’s actually how I prefer to spend my days (Yes, I do still make time for adulting).

This weekend I am participating in a 36 hour Readathon with one of my favorite Facebook book groups! So far we are off to a good start. I started the Readathon off by picking one of my childhood favorites, Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz.

Still so this day the stories in this book send chills down my spine. I love that creeped out feeling!!! When we were little my friend Leslie and I would take turns reading the stories to each other and scaring each other. Call us strange or demented but we loved it!!! 😂

My next read is an ARC of #Shadow Frost by Coco Ma, which I got from #NetGalley. I am absolutely loving this YA Fantasy debut!!! So far the character development is phenomenal, which I have to applaud Coco Ma for as there are 6 characters who remain the focal point of the story line. There are no dull moments and I’m dying to find out what happens. Thanks to Shadow Frost I have another new book boyfriend, Quinlan, and he is such a heartthrob!!! 😍😍 This Book is available for purchase in October 2019, just Incase you are interested in reading it. 😊

Well, I’m going to take a quick break to attend to Baxter, as he’s begging to go outside.

….. then I’m going to find something to eat and get back to reading!! I’ll check in tonight with my progress and maybe a book review. Happy Reading!! 🤓

The Whisper Man by Alex North – a review

I just finished reading this fantastic psychological thriller and I am absolutely in love with it! I am a huge fan of reading about Serial Killers, watching the tv show Criminal Minds, and the book series Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson. I have to say, The Whisper Man by Alex North is right up there with those things for me. The Whisper Man exceeded my expectations for a story about crime fiction with serial killers. I definitely give this book a 5/5 star rating!!

A father and son are caught in the crosshairs of an investigation to catch a serial killer preying on a small town. Until Frank Carter was caught, he was nicknamed “The Whisper Man” because he would lure his victims out by whispering at their windows at night. Tom Kennedy and his son Jake have just settled into this new small town for a fresh start after the passing of Rebecca, wife and mother. A boy in the town has just vanished, and the circumstances are quite unsettling as they highly resemble Frank Carter’s crimes. Then, Jake starts hearing whispering at his window…..

This book definitely had the creep factor turned on high! I would lay in bed reading it at night and I just couldn’t do it for long without having a light on. I swear I’m not a chicken!! The writing was phenomenal and everything flowed so well. I enjoyed that a few of the chapters were written in Jake’s perspective as you got more invested in the story. Starting out I would get a little confused between Tom and Pete’s narrations, but soon settled into being able to easily differentiate between the two. I felt that The Whisper Man was a very well thought out, well structured psychological thriller. To me, anytime children are involved, and the slightly supernatural elements are used, it’s hard not to have that feeling of fear that feeds to the reader. I also felt that the familial connection and resolution of past issues between Pete and Tom added something extra to the book. A happiness among all the dark and scary.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good Psychological Thriller, or likes reading about serial killers (real or fake), as this book truly will not disappoint! Keep an eye out for The Whisper Man by Alex North as it releases in August 2019. Thank you Celadon Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this ARC, it was truly a pleasure! Thank you to Alex North for writing such an amazing book, it was truly a wild adventure.

Click by L. Smyth – A Review

Hi my bookish friends! I did a thing last night and finished two books! I got home around 5:15pm and sat down and finished the Sci-Fi book I was reading, as well as the Psychological Thriller I got from NetGalley. The book I got from NetGalley out of the Read Now section is called Click by L. Smyth. This book is being released for sale on March 29th, so just a few days away, by the publisher Harper Collins UK.

Eva is a very socially awkward young women who goes off to University looking to make a new life for herself, and make lots of friends during her first year. Unfortunately, it is nothing like what she expected and spends most of her free time obsessing over the social media accounts of the other students in her courses, almost as a substitute for having face to face social interaction. One day she notices Marina, a girl having an argument with one of her English Professors who teaches a lecture.  After witnessing a questionable interaction between Marina and the Professor, Eva starts stalking Marina on social media but doesn’t find a lot and ends up befriending her. From there, the friendship between Eva and Marina is questionable and seems very one sided as Eva portrays Marina as a very attention seeking and demanding person. At first Eva loves the attention and the demand of being Marina’s friend but as mid-semester break arrives Eva starts sticking up for herself against Marina. They get into an argument which results in Eva pushing Marina over in her chair and they stop talking. Over break Eva starts to feel guilty about what happened between them and begins stalking Marina again, only to find that her social media accounts are shut down. Eva starts to panic that Marina has blocked her, so she sends a bunch of messages to their mutual friend and classmate, Henry. When Henry reaches out to Eva toward the end of break, asking if she’s spoken to Marina and knows where she is because she’s run off, Eva flies off into a frenzy trying to find out what has happened. I’m sure you can imagine the degree of creep from there, but oh it gets even better! To find out you should really, really read the book!

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What I absolutely loved about this book….

I loved how creepy L. Smyth made Eva, she is basically a super stalker with a very unhealthy obsession with Marina. I started to wonder if Eva was having psychotic breaks, as sometimes the incidents she would talk about just seemed too out there to be reality, and you definitely start to wonder in the last 50 pages of the book. The ending absolutely blew me away! I did not see that ending coming and was very surprised. This was my first time reading anything by L. Smyth and I instantly fell in love with the writing style. It was very smooth and flowed really well, there were certain points where I could not put the book down. I enjoyed that the book was written in Eva’s perspective, as she recounts her story of her friendship with Marina, and the events leading up to present day. Occasionally we come back to present time as Eva provides an explanation or further details and then the story delves back into the events leading up to the chaos. I almost feel that if there had been an additional Point of View added it would have taken away from the Psychological aspect and it wouldn’t have been as horribly creepy. I’m really starting to question being on social media thanks to this book!!!

What I struggled with….

There were times where the story had a lull,  where Eva was describing what she was doing, or what she and Marina would talk about. Which isn’t bad, as there were only a few parts that felt like that for me. In a way the lulls made for a great dynamic to the excruciatingly awkward and creepy parts of the book.

 

If you like Psychological Thrillers, or are looking to branch out and don’t particularly want something too gruesome, then I definitely recommend this read! I basically read it in two sittings, half the book one sitting and half the other. It was a very clean, gripping Thriller and I really hope this Author writes more books. Thanks for checking out my review of Click by L. Smyth, and Happy Reading!

Readathon Flop or Not?

I’m not really sure if I should consider this weekend’s Readathon a success or not. Usually I finish about 3 books, but this time I only finished one and read about 150 pages of The Shining. I had a lot of outside forces against me this time. For starters the Readathon started at 12am Friday and I work Friday’s so no way was I staying up all night just to work an 8 hour day. I also had plans on Sunday to visit my Brother and his family for St. Patty’s day and to celebrate his Birthday a day early. I honestly can’t tell ya what I did on Saturday!!

I’ll call it a success based on the pure fact that I really only had about 24 hours to dedicate to reading and for how much I read, well it’s a win in my book!

I had Today off from work, a much needed day off, and finished The Shining by Stephen King just a little bit ago. I’m having a hard time deciding what to read next, so I might just stare at my TBR cart for a while.

I got this fabulous idea from watching one of the vlogs by Hailey in Bookland’s booktube channel. I also could pick up my Kindle and keep reading the new Thriller I got from NetGalley, it’s called Click by Lucinda Smyth. I am enjoying it so far, but I’m not very far in. Too many choices!!! Hahaha

Well, while I figure out my reading dilemma, I’ll wish you all Happy Reading! 🤓

Review of milk and honey by Rupi Kaur

Hello! Welcome, welcome! This weekend I’m participating in another Readathon… SURPRISE!!! But not really 😂 I chose a book of poetry as my first read for a few reasons. 1) I needed to complete a topic from the 2019 Book Riot Read Harder Challenge, a collection of poetry published since 2014. 2) I wanted a quick read to help get me in the mood for reading. Lastly, 3) I have had this book on my Kindle forever and finally decided to read it.

What I liked:

So I really enjoyed that the book of poems was split up into three categories to really display the author’s works in the best lineup. Rupi Kaur’s writing is very profound and really spoke to me. There were poems that I could really relate to, and then there were some that I don’t relate to but might later in life. I think that she really wrote something for everyone, and because of that I would definitely recommend Milk and Honey to every woman I know, and even some men. I think it would be great to give them some perspective and insight. I also thought that her illustrations added something extra to the poems they accompanied. I would love to see her artwork in person someday.

What I didn’t care for :

It isn’t really much to do with Rupi Kaur’s poems or writing style or the book itself, but my lack of knowledge about poetry. I feel like once I become better educated with different poetry styles and authors I will definitely revisit Milk and Honey in hopes to appreciate it even more. Other than that, I gave this book a 4/5 Star rating on Goodreads and am so happy I finally read it!!!

Happy Reading friends! 🤓

Rereads and favorite meals

I can’t believe it’s Monday and that the day is almost over already! Weekends fly by and time in general goes even faster. I guess that would be where I could insert the infamous bookish phrase, “So many books, so little time.”, but is that too cliche? Just kidding!

Over the weekend I revisited some favorites of mine, both of the page (book) and of the land (food). We had a very cold, blustery Sunday so I snuggled up and dove into the classic King novel, The Shining, and made a pot of my delicious venison stew! Boy, I couldn’t have planned that better. Nothing like a hearty meal to keep you warm while the book chills your bones. Stephen King really is the master of Horror novels!

Saturday night was creamy crockpot chicken and rice. While I was sitting on my couch with a plate piled with chicken and rice, and my beloved King book in hand, I had a thought of making this a Saturday night tradition from now on. Dinner and a book, instead of movie. I would much rather spend my night with a literary masterpiece playing in my mind as my eyes speed over the words than watch a movie, especially if a homemade meal is involved.

I’m totally geeking over my new Saturday night tradition, and hopefully it’ll get me cooking and reading more. I might even start pairing my meals to match the book I’m currently reading at the time…. hmmm genius? I think so!

Well I have to get back to the Overlook Hotel and check in to see if Danny’s nightmares that Tony shows him really will come true. I have some reviews coming up soon of books I’ve recently read, so stay tuned!

Happy Reading friends! 🤓