Blood and Other Matter

Hello again my friends! I have finally finished an ARC, Blood and Other Matter by Kaitlin Bevis, from NetGalley that I had been slowly reading. The book wasn’t slow, it was just me. 😂 I was attempting to finish the book last night but my body was so tired that I fell asleep, head crashed into Kindle and all!! That’s talent folks.

Blood moon rising…

Derrick Hernandez and Tess D’Ovidio have been best friends forever. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. But their childhood bond is put to the test when Tess shows up on Derrick’s porch covered in blood… 

Tess has no memory of what happened. She’d gone to a bush party with one of the football players. She remembers the bonfire…and then, nothing. Working backward, Tess and Derrick learn that she and seven other players were the only ones to make it back from the party alive. 

During the next few weeks, each of the survivors is plagued with nightmares that reveal fragments of memories from the horrific night. But when the young men start dying under mysterious circumstances, Derrick can’t figure out if Tess is next—or if she’s somehow responsible. All he knows is that he has to save his best friend—or die trying….”

– description from NetGalley

I gave this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️, as I felt it was a well done original storyline. I enjoyed the relationship between Tess and Derrick, they had such a deep history having been childhood friends but to see the romance develop was adorable. I felt the author introduced other characters at appropriate times, even though I couldn’t stand the football players. That’s sign of a good author though, when they can write a character so well that it gets to the point where you can’t stand them and want to reach into the pages and strangle them!

I really enjoyed that there was a side plot that followed the strained and tragic story of Tess’s home life with her terminal mother. I felt that getting snippets of that helped breakup the crazy events of Tess’s doomed night at the bonfire. Overall, there was action, folklore, a little romance and creepy demon smiles. What more can a girl ask for? Oh, but wait! Well…no I don’t want to spoil it for you… guess you’ll just have to read it for yourself! It officially released on April 17th so go now and grab yourself a copy!!!

Happy Reading! 🤓

I’m seriously mooning over Serious Moonlight

So I’m being corny, you all love it!! 😬 If you haven’t heard about this book then you need to go pick up a copy from your library and read it!!! Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett is a YA Romance, but it is sooo much more than a romance. Newly released earlier this month, this beautiful story will tug on your heartstrings and open your eyes to more sensitive topics like taking care of your health and mental health issues. FIVE STAR READ!!!!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers himself as guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner, where Birdie waits for the early-morning ferry after work.

Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer, never before seen in public, might secretly be meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that the most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel.”

I am not normally a huge fan of the Romance genre, but this book totally swept me off my feet!!!! Not just about young love between Birdie and Daniel, but love between Birdie and her Grandfather and Aunt Mona. It touches of family, trust, mental health, and other health issues. You follow Birdie and Daniel on their grand adventure trying to solve the mystery of the ever elusive writer, and you solve so much more than that. Not wanting to spoil anything, all I can say is that everyone must read this book! READ THIS BOOK, for the love of god please everyone read this book! 😂😍🥰😄😬🤓🤩 Did I make myself clear? I love this book, it is amazing and you need to read it. Hahahahaha. Ok, that’s enough of that. Never in my life have I seen such character development, such raw emotion and such endearing characters! I just wanted to reach into the pages and hug Birdie so many times. I also would love to go solving mysteries with her, we could be real Nancy Drew characters!!!

I am incredibly sad that this book is over, my life will never be the same. *sniff, sniff* Can I have a box of tissues please? Man, it’s going to be hard to jump back in to one of my other books after that five star read. Let me know if Serious Moonlight is on your radar and what you think of it! Have you had any other books that left you feeling like this? What are they? 🙂 Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy Reading!! 🤓

Reviewapalooza

Wow, I have 5 books to review. Where have I been? What have I been doing? Reading probably! I’ve also been to Book Club, Painting with a Twist, and oh yeah… Easter happened. LOL! I can’t believe how busy it’s been over the last week or so. Has everyone else been busy? Let me know what you’ve been up to, I’d love to hear about it. 🙂

The 5 books I’ve finished since April 7th are….

  • On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
  • The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell
  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer
  • Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren
  • Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

 

A Review of my 3 star read, Start With Why by Simon Sinek.

Why do you do what you do? Why are some people and organizations more innovative, more influential, and more profitable than others? Why do some command greater loyalty from customers and employees alike? Even among the successful, why are so few able to repeat their success over and over? In studying the leaders who’ve had the greatest influence in the world, Simon Sinek discovered that they all think, act, and communicate in the exact same way—and it’s the complete opposite of what everyone else does. Sinek calls this powerful idea The Golden Circle, and it provides a framework upon which organizations can be built, movements can be lead, and people can be inspired. And it all starts with WHY.” – description from goodreads website (not the full description).

I am a big fan of leadership books, as I find them very inspirational and they fuel my desire to strive for better in not only my career, but my life. I loved the concept of this book, to look at the “Why” of certain behaviors or actions to produce the motivation behind it. I found it quite wordy though, almost as if each chapter was about the same thing but titled something different. Yes, this is a skill that you continue to build upon the foundation of it, but sometimes with these types of ideas or skills less is more. Maybe it was just me though, as I know a lot of people loved this book. For me it was just meh! I did the audio book version of it, as I couldn’t stay focused with the book itself. Don’t let this discourage you from reading this book though! I tend to rate self-help and career development books on a stricter level than fiction.

 

A Review of my 4 star read, The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell.

When newly widowed Elsie is sent to see out her pregnancy at her late husband’s crumbling country estate, The Bridge, what greets her is far from the life of wealth and privilege she was expecting . . .


When Elsie married handsome young heir Rupert Bainbridge, she believed she was destined for a life of luxury. But with her husband dead just weeks after their marriage, her new servants resentful, and the local villagers actively hostile, Elsie has only her husband’s awkward cousin for company. Or so she thinks. Inside her new home lies a locked door, beyond which is a painted wooden figure–a silent companion–that bears a striking resemblance to Elsie herself. The residents of The Bridge are terrified of the figure, but Elsie tries to shrug this off as simple superstition–that is, until she notices the figure’s eyes following her.


A Victorian ghost story that evokes a most unsettling kind of fear, this is a tale that creeps its way through the consciousness in ways you least expect–much like the silent companions themselves.” – description from goodreads website.

A true Gothic Horror story for sure! The Silent Companions had me on the edge of my seat, obsessing about what would happen next! Not a gory or extremely violent story, it was tastefully written to inspire that slow build of tension and spookiness that has you looking over your shoulder to make sure there are no silent companions haunting you. Laura Purcell had a way of writing the story that had me constantly second guessing myself if the events were really happening or just psychotic delusions of a poor mad woman. A definite read for all lovers of classic horror and haunted house stories! I will definitely be adding Laura Purcell to my list of must read authors!

 

Reviews for my 5 star reads

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas

Sixteen-year-old Bri wants to be one of the greatest rappers of all time. Or at least make it out of her neighborhood one day. As the daughter of an underground rap legend who died before he hit big, Bri’s got big shoes to fill. But now that her mom has unexpectedly lost her job, food banks and shutoff notices are as much a part of Bri’s life as beats and rhymes. With bills piling up and homelessness staring her family down, Bri no longer just wants to make it—she has to make it.

On the Come Up is Angie Thomas’s homage to hip-hop, the art that sparked her passion for storytelling and continues to inspire her to this day. It is the story of fighting for your dreams, even as the odds are stacked against you; of the struggle to become who you are and not who everyone expects you to be; and of the desperate realities of poor and working-class black families.” -description from the goodreads website.

Wow, Angie did it again! Her 2nd book after her debut with The Hate U Give, and it did not disappoint. Bri was such an amazing character, a headstrong and passionate woman who wants to make it big time rapping to get her family out of the neighborhood and financial situation they are currently in. Her mom is a recovering drug addict, and her brother came back home after graduating college to work in a pizza shop to help pay the family bills. Living in Garden Heights, a small tie in to Star and The Hate U Give, you really get a feel for what it’s like for Bri and her family. The struggle and the desperate need to elevate her family above where they currently stand in life, but also the struggles of a teenager and the consequences of expressing yourself without filters on Social Media. This was an absolute AMAZING book, and probably my favorite of 2019, or at least Top 5!

 

Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?”

OK, I have never laughed so hard in my life because of a book before. This witty, charming and hilarious story of two friends who reconnect years after graduating college and decide to set each other up on blind double dates is one of the funniest and heartwarming romances I have ever read. I really related to Hazel on so many levels. We are about the same age, and both are super crazy about animals, as well as being quirky to a fault where it almost scares people away but we aren’t ashamed of it. Hazel is my spirit person, even though she is fictional. I absolutely loved the friendship that blossomed between Josh and Hazel, as well as the result of it. If you are looking for a cute, quick read then this is definitely the right book for you!

 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

It once seemed so easy to Prince Rhen, the heir to Emberfall. Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year over and over, he knew he could be saved if a girl fell for him. But that was before he learned that at the end of each autumn, he would turn into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. That was before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper Lacy. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother barely holding their family together while constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, she learned to be tough enough to survive. But when she tries to save someone else on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s instead somehow sucked into Rhen’s cursed world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

A prince? A monster? A curse? Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. But as she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.”-description from the goodreads website.

I loved, loved, loved this book and read it in one sitting! For those of you who know me well, Beauty and the Beast is my absolute favorite Disney movie (with Alice in Wonderland as a close 2nd), so of course I HAD to read this B&B retelling!!! I really enjoyed that Harper was a character from modern day, and that she had a disability as it added a certain strength to her character. Rhen, a sure heartthrob, was your traditional tortured soul and a Prince. I fell totally in love with him. He’s mine ladies, you can’t have him!!! LOL! This story flowed so well and I couldn’t put it down. I actually made a sandwich while reading! No joke, I was more interested in the story that how I was making my lunch. The character development was really well done and the ending left me satisfied with the events of the book, but curious and wanting more. I might have cried when I found out I have to wait until JANUARY 2020 for the sequel. Ahhhh!!! So if you haven’t read this book then please immediately order yourself a copy, or get it from the library and enjoy!!!

 

What I am currently reading! 🙂

In order to stick with my beginning of the week schedule, you’ve seen what I read recently but I know you’re wondering what I am reading now. I currently have 3 books in progress now. The first is an audio book through my Kindle Unlimited subscription, and it is Pines by Blake Crouch (book #1 in the Wayward Pines series). It is a Sci-fi book about a Secret Service agent who is sent to Wayward Pines, Idaho in search of 2 agents from his field office who disappeared while on assignment there 10 days ago. Ethan ends up in a car accident and wakes up in the Hospital in Wayward Pines and his adventure goes south from there. He finds that the townspeople are very peculiar, and that something just isn’t right. I can’t seem to stop listening to this book, especially as the narrator does a great job!

My second book is an ARC called Blood and Other Matter by Kaitlin Bevis, which I received from NetGally. This book’s description is, “Derrick Hernandez and Tess D’Ovidio have been best friends forever. There’s nothing they wouldn’t do for one another. But their childhood bond is put to the test when Tess shows up on Derrick’s porch covered in blood…Tess has no memory of what happened. She’d gone to a bush party with one of the football players. She remembers the bonfire…and then, nothing. Working backward, Tess and Derrick learn that she and seven other players were the only ones to make it back from the party alive.During the next few weeks, each of the survivors is plagued with nightmares that reveal fragments of memories from the horrific night. But when the young men start dying under mysterious circumstances, Derrick can’t figure out if Tess is next—or if she’s somehow responsible. All he knows is that he has to save his best friend—or die trying…”. I’m not very far in this book, but so far I am intrigued. Hoping to have this finished by the weekend.

My third book I am currently reading is called The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu. This is also a Sci-fi book set during China’s cultural revolution and is about how the government sends a communication to an Alien race and they then decide to try and take over China (or the world). So far it’s a lot of weird and interesting things and a lot of science talk about nanotechnology and physics theories. You definitely should be interested in aliens and science to enjoy this book. More to come once I’m farther through it.

 

If you’ve made it this far then I thank you very much for taking the time to read all of my reviews!! Yay, you made it! Hahahaha. Today is National Book Day, so don’t forget to take a little time and enjoy a good story! Happy Reading!!

 

 

What to eat Wednesday….a day late

Heyyyyy there! 😊 So I’m a day late getting this post up due to my body commandeering my consciousness last night. I was comfy on my couch watching Netflix, and next thing I know I’m waking up and it’s bed time! 😱😬 Yes, yes, you heard me correctly…. I was watching Netflix and not reading. *GASP* Even I take a little break from reading every once in a blue moon. I did manage to get a few hours of my audio book in at work. I’m listening to Start With Why by Simon Sinek. So far I’m enjoying it and am finding it very interesting and motivating.

Last night I had the hardest time deciding what to eat. I was running through the options in my head, a GF sandwich, breakfast for dinner, a kale salad, and then I remembered there was a new-ish Indian food restaurant near my office. Win!! I decided to swing by there on my way home. It is called Naan-Tastic and is set up kind of in the style of Chipotle or Moe’s, where you tell them what you want (wrap, bowl, or Naan Taco) and then hit the register at the end. The restaurant was very clean and inviting, music not too loud and the staff were all smiles and very personable! Nothing worse than a grumpy food service rep, but you won’t get that at Naan-Tastic!!!

So the big decision….. do I go GF wrap, bowl or Taco Naan….hmmm 🤔 Bowl, of course! I chose turmeric rice for my base, went with the lamb, and added chopped cucumbers, red onion, fresh diced tomato, fresh chopped cilantro, chickpeas and their Punjabi Mac (a vegan and GF Mac salad). For the sauce I went with the spicy vindaloo sauce. (9% of their menu items are gluten free, and they have great options for vegans)

Holy Moly!!! 🤤🤤🤤 That was some of the best Indian food I’ve ever eaten! Everything was very fresh and perfectly cooked and seasoned. The sauce had a great kick to it and the Punjabi Mac has great texture and flavor. I will definitely be eating here again, especially for the great low cost of $7.99 for a make your own bowl!!! (Also easy to eat if you’re reading!😂)

Two thumbs up for Naan-Tastic!!! So happy we have this great place to eat nearby. For anyone who is local, you must go eat here!!!! Ok, well I really should be starting my work day, so have a great day everyone and remember…. tomorrow is Friday! Happy Reading! 🤓

Monday blues? I think not!

It’s Monday and you know what that means!!! It’s time to talk about what I read last week and what I hope to read next! Last week was a pretty good reading week for me, I finished 3 books. 🥳

– On The Come Up by Angie Thomas ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

– A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wow, I read some fantastic books last week! The Silent Companions by Laura Purcell was a gothic horror novel. A truly amazing classic haunted house story with a creepy twist….. wooden companions. There was a great creep factor to this story, and the characters were perfect! This is a great scary story for people who don’t like to be really scared! I highly recommend and don’t want to say much because I don’t want to give it all away.

On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. Y’all she gone and done it again!!!! The Hate U Give, which was Angie’s debut novel, was a #1 bestseller and award winner as well as turned into a movie. I would be extremely surprised if On The Come Up does not follow in THUG’s footsteps!! Angie knows how to grab you right from the start, and man do you need to buckle your seatbelt because you’re about to go on a rollercoaster to the end of the book. I smiled, I cried, I got mad and sad and I devoured the book. You go girl! Angie you have big things coming and I can’t wait to see what you write next!!!!

Last, but definitely not least, the book that I have been dying to read for a while and received in my 1st Fairyloot book box….. A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer. This is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast, and Brigid definitely made it her own. My mind is still reeling with the details of this story. The character development was strong, the story moved along so well and boy did I loathe the Enchantress!!! The sequel comes out January of 2020 and I don’t know how I will wait that long to see what happens in the Kingdom of Emberfall with what we’ve discovered. All I know is I hope Harper and Rhen get married and I am super excited to find out more about Grey!!!

So what’s next on the docket? Well, a few different genres!! I’ve got Adult Contemporary Romance, Sci-Fi/Alternate History, and YA Fantasy!!

– Josh + Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren (Adult Contemporary Romance)

– The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu (Sci-fi/Alternate History)

– A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (YA Fantasy and another Beauty and the Beast retelling)

I like to shake up the genres that I’m reading so I don’t get overloaded from reading too much of one. I do mainly read Fantasy, but like to mix it up with Sci-fi and Horror mostly. It’s good to expand your horizons because you never know what you’ll end up liking.

Time for me to go stick my nose in a book! Happy Reading! 🤓🍻

A Readers Gotta Eat

So obviously I’m obsessed with books, anything to do with books. I also love food. I mean, who doesn’t love food right? Obviously not everyone loves books, but you can always relate to someone with food. So what do I do when I’m not reading? Great question!!! I’m cooking!!! 😄 I love to make a mess of my kitchen as long as the product is something tasty 😋.

Lately I’ve been thinking about creating dishes to pair with books. I might have to do it for books I’ve already read, but for now it’s just a thought. I do try to keep my dishes easy to eat while reading. For example, this delicious lemon basil salmon and asparagus dish I made the other night!

It was super easy and soooo delicious! I added half an avocado to my plate as well. I have a weird way of eating avocado, I like to eat it with lime juice and mayo. Anyone else eat it that way? Or eat another kind of food in a quirky or unusual way?

I might need to work on my presentation 😳🤣 but I was mighty proud of the delicious meal I had thrown together for myself. The salmon was flaky and juicy and the basil was a great addition.

What I did was I bought two filet servings from the seafood counter at my local Wegmans. I placed the filets on top of the asparagus, then drizzled some EVOO and lemon juice. Then I added the chopped basil on top of the salmon and garnished with lemon slices. Baked at 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) for about 30 minutes…. et voilà! Super simple but yet sooo pleasing to the tastebuds. Oh, and easy to nibble on while you read! I didn’t spill a single drop on my book last night. 🥳🤓

I’ll check in with y’all on Friday! Happy Reading 🤓

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!! 🤓