Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2020

It’s finally December and 2020 is almost over! I was really hoping to have read more books this month but overall I felt pretty good about my reading. I’m still on orientation but I was switched to day shift for this month and I finally feel like a real person again! I’m hoping the increase energy I have from having a better schedule will help me read more books. I need to read ten more books to reach my goal for this year! I’m also really behind on writing reviews 🙈 so I’m hoping to have more time for those as well. How is everyone else’s yearly reading goals going?

49504061._SY475_THE ONCE AND FUTURE WITCHES: This was the perfect fall read! It was full of witches and magic and gave off the best fall vibes. I loved how timely and powerful the story was about sisterhood and suffragists. The writing was beautiful and I enjoyed reading through the POVs of all three Eastwood sisters. Unfortunately, the pacing of the book was what killed the momentum for me. This book is long and very slow moving throughout many parts of the book. But otherwise, I enjoyed it!  ★★★½  [review]

51372640THE CAMELOT BETRAYAL:  I found myself easily falling back into the world of Camelot and King Arthur which made reading this so much more enjoyable. The books is focused more on Genevieve and her character growth than anything else, and since I really like her character I was not upset one bit about it. I liked that the plot moved pretty quickly and that more information was revealed about Genevieve’s background: I cannot wait for all the pieces to fall together in the last book!  ARC provided by Random House Children’s through NetGalley.  ★★★★  [review]

53138158YOU HAVE A MATCH:  I loved this even more than Tweet Cute! This book screams Parent Trap vibes and I loved all the angst and familial drama that filled the pages. I absolutely flew through this book and cannot put it down. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves YA contemporary and stories full of friendships, family, and discovering yourself.  ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley.  ★★★★ 

53138258INTO THE HEARTLESS WOOD: Joanna Ruth Meyer’s standalone fantasies have impressed by a lot thus far (more so than her series). All I needed to know was that this book was a gender-swapped retelling of Beauty and the Beast following an astronomer’s son and a monstrous tree siren and I instantly added it to my TBR. Everything about this was magical: the beautiful writing, the fairytale vibes, the wicked woods and the monstrous creatures within. I loved every second of reading this and cannot wait for more people to read it too.  Thank you to Page Street Books for sending me an ARC!  ★★★★ 

55285911A DEAL WITH THE ELF KING: This was my first book by Elise Kova and I was not disappointed in the least. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: we need more NA fantasy/fantasy romance books! Publishers: give the people what they want. The story is a loose retelling of Hades and Persephone and it was perfect. I’m a little bummed that it was a standalone instead of a series (the next book features different protagonists) but I look forward to reading more from this author. Maybe next year will be the year I finally read the Alchemists of Loom series! ★★★

52735921._SX318_SY475_KINGDOM OF THE WICKED: I have been looking forward to this book since it was first announced. I loved the Stalking Jack the Ripper series and had total faith in Kerri Maniscalco with writing a dark story about witches and demons. Thankfully, my trust in her was not misplaced. The plot was fantastic, and I loved both Emilia and Wrath. I had some issues with the pacing towards the end of the book and the fact that it felt like some reveals/plot lines were glossed over, but I’m really looking forward to reading the next book!  ★★★★ 


Blog Tour: Soulswift

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Monthly Wrap-Up: October 2020

Happy Halloween! 👻 I hope you all had a great reading month! I can’t believe it’s already November. I’m hoping I’ll have some more time for reading and can get out of this reading slump I seem to be in. I think I just need a really great book to pull me out!

40550366BLOOD & HONEY: While I didn’t seem to dislike this as much as other people, I’m sad to share that it did not live up to my hype and expectation. I was still enchanted by the writing and easily transported in the world. However, you cannot call this book anything other than a filler. This series went from a planned duology to a trilogy and it shows. A whole lot of nothing happens for the majority of the book. ★★★½  [review]

51475325SOULSWIFT: The ending was heartbreaking beautiful and honestly I would expect nothing less from this author. The story follows two characters from opposing sides of a war who reluctantly work together to save their world. I really loved the presence of mythology/religion and the theme of doubts and beliefs. Such a wonderful story with beautiful storytelling.  ARC provided by the author as part of the blog tour.  ★★★★½ 

41187447A GOLDEN FURY:  Unfortunately, I really didn’t care for this book a whole lot. The plot and writing started out very strong: I was intrigued by the story, the setting, and the protagonist. However, the book started to go downhill very fast after the half-way point. The writing began to fall apart and the plotlines became over-the-top and silly.  ARC provided by Wednesday Books through NetGalley.  DNF @52%. 

50972370._SY475_CRAZY STUPID BROMANCE: By far my favorite book in the Bromance Book Club series. Noah and Alexis are the shining stars of these books (in my opinion) and their friends-to-lovers romance was nothing short of perfection. Everything about this book works: the characters, the plot, the chemistry, the themes. It was amazing to see Alexis and Noah support each other through thick and thin, and how that support was crucial to their relationship. They work so well as best friends that it was even more satisfying to see them finally admit their feelings for each other. ARC provided by Berkley through NetGalley.  ★★★★½  [review]

51075440WINTER, WHITE AND WICKED: This book definitely exudes a Frozen meets Mad Max dystopian vibe that just worked. It was exhilarating, page-turning, and full of non-stop action. I was hooked early on and the story’s forward moving-plot and non-stop action kept me reading page after page. The clear descriptions and vivid imagery throughout easily transported me into the book’s setting. One of the best parts of reading is getting lost in the world, and I was not disappointed.  ARC provided by Abrams Books through NetGalley.  ★★★★  [review]


Top Ten Tuesday: Covers Featuring Skulls | WWW Wednesday #34 | Blog Tour: Winter, White and Wicked | WWW Wednesday #33


Bookathon discusses the importance of breaks – Krisha talks about blogging burnout and how important it is sometimes to take a hiatus from reading/blogging to avoid feeling overwhelmed and unmotivated.

Happy Indulgence gives some great tips on blogging/instagramming on a budget – Bookstagramming and blogging can feel like you need to continually need to churn out money in order to succeed, but Bec provides some fantastic resources to show you don’t need to spend tons of money to blog/instagram!

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BOOK REVIEW: The Traitor Queen – Danielle L. Jensen ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ½

Title: The Traitor Queen (The Bridge Kingdom #2)
Author: Danielle L. Jensen
Rating: ★★★★½

The Bridge Kingdom was everything I had patiently waited for last year, and I’m really pleased that The Traitor Queen was the perfect follow up! The plot picked up right after the cliff-hanger ending of the first book and there was plenty of high-stakes action to propel me through this book.

One of the best parts of this book was Lara. She had tremendous character growth in The Traitor Queen; she spent the entirety of the novel making up for the mistakes she made and attempting to make amends. I was frustrated with some of her choices and rationales in The Bridge Kingdom so I was really happy to see her exhibiting more level-headed decision making.

After the ending of the first book, I was curious how the romance was going to play out. I had absolutely nothing to fear, as the romantic angst and tension was just as good–if not, better–than in The Bridge Kingdom. The hate-to-love aspect was definitely turned up a notch and I could not have been happier.

Danielle L. Jensen is such a talented writer and I wish her books were more popular! I’m loving the increasing trend of new adult fantasy romance and these books are perfect for any reader looking for an excellent mix of the two genres. We need more books like this!

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2020

*shy wave* Oh…hello. It’s me, and yes I’m still here. As you may or may not have noticed, I haven’t been active at all this month with my blog. I started my new RN job and transitioning to 12 hour night shifts has been an ~adjustment~ to say the least. I have zero energy to do anything on my days off and I’m really struggling to find the motivation to write reviews, blog posts, take photos for my bookstagram, and to respond to all of the amazing comments I’ve gotten this month. If anyone has any suggestions to help me adjust and get my energy back please let me know! 😩

That being said, I read some really great books this month! I didn’t read as many as usual, but it’s all about the quality and I didn’t read a single book I didn’t enjoy so that’s a huge win!

50089191WELL PLAYED: This was such a good follow-up to Well Met! I really loved the characters, Stacey and Daniel, and I thought their romance was sweet. And once again, the Ren Fair setting was amazing! I was bummed to have to miss out on going this year (thanks, Covid) and reading this gave me my fix, even through all the bittersweet nostalgia. My only issue was that a good chunk of the book was dedicated to Stacey’s online exchanges and therefore there wasn’t much else going on during those portions, causing me to be a little bored.  ARC provided by Berkley through NetGalley.  ★★★½

9781335145864_RHC_prdQUEEN OF VOLTS: This was the perfect conclusion to the Ace of Shades series! Between new characters being introduced, additional POVs, and higher stakes in the Shadow Game, I absolutely breezed through this book. The writing and pacing were flawless and I loved how everything came together and the conflicts were resolved. This series is so underrated: if you haven’t read this series yet, I encourage you to!  ARC provided by Inkyard Press through NetGalley.  ★★★★  [review]

49203369TOOLS OF ENGAGEMENT: I liked this one better than Love Her or Lose Her, but still not as much as Fix Her Up. My biggest issue was probably the male lead, Wes, who annoyed me throughout the story and found kind of unlikeable (apart from his interactions with niece). It felt like he spent the majority of the book drooling after Bethany (quite literally) and their connection never felt any deeper than physical. Their relationship began to develop a lot better towards the end, but I needed more than what I was given.  ARC provided by Avon through Edelweiss.  ★★★½

54319549._SY475_KINGDOM OF FLESH AND FIRE: I think I actually enjoyed this better than From Blood and Ash. Jennifer L. Armentrout is one of my favorite and most-read authors, and this series reminds me why. I’ve been very adamant that we need more fantasy adult novels geared towards those in their 20s transitioning away from YA (thus the New Adult genre) and JLA is really out here showing us all why those kind of books would not only work, but excel. From the action to the plot twists to the steamy romance, I delved right into this and quickly became absorbed. The ending of this one has me super excited for the next book in the series!  ★★★★ 

44084752._SY475_THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS: I’ve had this one on my radar for a while and was thrilled when I was sent an eARC! I keep seeing this touted as a Romeo and Juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai and full of gangsters and yearning, oh boy did the author deliver! The retelling aspect was perfectly executed and I’m obsessed with both the Scarlet Gang and the White Flowers. I highly recommend this YA debut come November!  ARC provided by Simon Pulse through NetGalley.  ★★★★

50892287IN A HOLIDAZE: I haven’t been this in love with a Christina Lauren book in a long time. This is the perfect holiday romance story and had everything I could have wanted and more: family, Christmas magic, romance, angst, childhood friends-to-lovers, mistletoe kisses. This book gave me all the warm and fuzzy feelings! The romance was so sweet and adorable and I couldn’t get enough of the cozy, snowy setting.  ARC provided by Gallery Books through NetGalley.  ★★★★½  [review]

51887283THE TRAITOR QUEEN: I loved this follow up to The Bridge Kingdom! There was plenty of high-stakes action and lots of delicious romantic angst to propel me through this book. Lara really grew as a character and spent the entirety of this novel making up for her mistakes in the previous one. Danielle L. Jensen is such a talented writer and I can’t wait for more from her! We need more new adult fantasy books like this!  ★★★★½


Let’s Talk Bookish: 3 Star Ratings – Good or Bad?

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BOOK REVIEW: From Blood and Ash – Jennifer L. Armentrout ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

52831200._SY475_Title: From Blood and Ash (From Blood and Ash #1)
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: ★★★★

This book literally came out of nowhere. One day, I popped onto Goodreads and boom–there it was, all over my feed. My first thought: extreme excitement that one of my favorite authors is releasing a new adult fantasy series. My second thought: despair that I wasn’t invited to this super secret ARC reading and was just finding out about this book now. But I digress.

What is this book about? Honestly, the synopsis is very vague and I had no clue what I the plot of the book was even about going into it. All I knew was this it was a) new adult fantasy and b) JLA so I was likely not going to be disappointed.

Basically, From Blood and Ash follows our protagonist, Poppy, who is the Chosen Maiden for what is essentially the world’s religion. When she reaches her nineteenth birthday, she will Ascend and be given over to the gods–a ceremony cloaked in some mystery as the heroine is unaware of the finer details. However, there are enemy forces that are unhappy with the ruling class and the way things have been run for the past hundreds of years, and that is where the conflict of the story comes into play.

I feel like I should also mention: this book is high fantasy meets supernatural. There are vampires and werewolves and a manner of other supernatural creatures. Like I said, the synopsis is pretty vague so I was surprised when I kept seeing other reviews mentioning vampires. But more on that in a bit.

What did I like? First of all, vampires are making their comeback and I, for one, am here for it. I was surprised to find a fantasy book featuring paranormal elements but JLA does an incredible job weaving together two different genres to create a unique story and honestly, it works. Once this element of the story was introduced, I was super intrigued and eager to learn more! She sets up the ending of the story perfectly and I cannot wait to dive into the sequel.

The romance was hot. I’ve been reading JLA for a very long time, including her adult romance series, and she does such an amazing job building the tension between two characters and then turning on the fireworks during the more intimate scenes. As this is considered new adult, it blends the accessibility of YA fantasy with the maturity of adult novels and I cannot stress enough how much I wish there were more NA fantasy books.

What didn’t I like? From Blood and Ash almost reads like two different books. There’s the first 2/3 of the story, which was enjoyable but never really captured my attention and really didn’t thrill me all that much, and there’s the last third of the book in which I literally could not stop reading. In typical JLA fashion, the last part of the story was action-packed, completely turning around my original opinion (and rating) of this book. My issue with the first 2/3 is that he pacing was extremely slow and nothing really happened.

Another problem I had was the worldbuilding. I had trouble comprehending some of the more important parts of the story. A majority of the worldbuilding is provided in long info dumps, which made it harder for me to understand. There’s a part of the book in one of the later chapters when ~things~ are revealed and explained, and even though I read the passage three times, I still have trouble grasping what is what and how things work. I’m really hoping for some clarification with the next book, but I’m really intrigued by the world–just confused as heck.

Overall thoughts: From Blood and Ash is the new adult fantasy series I had been praying for. New adult is such a small niche in the publishing world which is really a shame, because I think it could be a really big genre. Jennifer L. Armentrout’s newest series is sure to please fans of her other works, as well as those looking for a fun fantasy series full of vampires.

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