October 2020 Wrap-Up

Ever had a month where you simply needed change? change of scenery or routine? That was October for this book lover. Working from home as well as remote teaching can be hella fatiguing without adding all the other day to day tasks. I was craving fresh air, trees, bodies of water and trails. So, I took my physical fitness journey to the trails in Ramapo New York. It was exactly what I needed to reinvigorate me for LIFE in general. Books were read & lots of thinking and self care was done as well, all in a safe space. I find that detaching from my apartment REALLY helps me ground myself & feed my soul.

I wish I’d taken more photos on the trails but tbh, they were intermediate and for someone like myself who has just started doing these…it can be challenging to say the least (short girl short strides problems haha!) I did get an AWESOME sense of accomplishment whenever I reached the top or pushed myself the extra mile. My reading was top quality this month! I’m behind just two more reviews for October but they’re coming I promise. I just thought it best to wrap up October cause we’re already at the end of November smh.


My Spoiler free  reviews are linked down below…

FABLE BY ADRIENNE YOUNG – This was a 4 Star read, I love a good father/daughter story and Adrienne Young is an author who really delivers on familial bonds. I listened to the audiobook on Libro.fm, the narrator nailed female pirate with an air of defiance. The world building was A+ and if you’re a lover of high seas adventures, this one will make you feel like your dead smack in the middle of an ocean aboard their ship. Pacing at times can be a bit off but the story & character development more than make up for it.

SPOILER ALERT BY OLIVIA DADE – 5 Star read which had me smiling & at times giggling at its raunchiness haha! this is one for those who love fanfiction OR fandoms in general. Our MC is plus size & very secure of herself in a way that had me thriving to embody her glow. She’s a fan fiction writer & cosplayer who loves living the geeky life. The male love interest is the star of a Gameofthronesque type show…the same show our MC writes fan fiction for. I gushed all about these characters in my non-spoiler review linked above.

LEGENDBORN BY TRACY DEONN – 5 EPIC STARS!!! yet I’m still sitting here wondering why this one made a splash pre-release yet I haven’t seen many reviews out there for it. Those reviews I have seen on Bookstagram from black readers & POC have been rave reviews and I LOVED to see it! This is the ONLY Arthurian re-telling? continuation? I really care for this year. We get a MC who has suffered a very traumatic loss at the start & so her grief is integral to this story. She finds her way into a secret society of the descendants of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. There’s blood magic & a war brewing but it’s all linked back to the racism & generational trauma experienced by the MC’s ancestors. This one moved me on a soul level and is exactly the type of Fantasy I want to read more of.

BLACK SUN BY REBECCA ROANHORSE – 4 Stars & I’m prepared to read more by Rebecca Roanhorse ASAP! this is the start to a new adult fantasy series set in a world inspired by the Pre-Colombian Americas, we follow the Sky Made Clans who are prepping for Winter Solstice. Ya’ll ever read a book with a jaw dropping first passage? cause this one had me shaking my head like, what did I just get myself into? HOOKED! Ok. There’s a prophecy, a clan of Crow people who have been wronged, retribution, Queer characters (one who just so happens to be sort of a siren), multiple POV’s and so much more.

GROWN BY TIFFANY D. JACKSON – 5 Stars simply put this was a Gut wrenching audiobook. Our MC is a teenage black girl who aspires to have a singing career. Her path unfortunately crosses with a narcissistic predator who dangles promises but only seeks to control her mind and body. We see her innocence stripped away while he works to isolate her from a family who loves her and has only sought to take care of her. Many have linked this book to the singer R.Kelly but the author has previously stated that this is not that but is it’s own story. Either way, it was at times disturbing to read and others just sad because too often black girls are subjected to having to grow up way before they’re meant to. HIGHLY recommend to those seeking to read & connect with stories/characters outside of their own culture, ethnicity or youth experience.

AMERICAN DREAMER BY ADRIANA HERRERA – 5 GLORIOUS STARS!!! In this corner of the interwebz we LOVE Adriana Herrera and whatever she writes I will buy and support. Also listened to this on Libro.fm while cooking & doing laundry. We follow our MC who is a Dominican Gay man leaving NYC and moving to Upstate NY in hopes that he can turn his Afro-Caribbean food truck into a restaurant. When he arrives he meets Jude, the cute librarian guy who is a bit shy but also very curious about Nesto’s confidence and swag. Filled with yummy food descriptions and a crew of fellas who are #BFFFriendGoals I ate this book up! haha! Cannot wait to continue on with this series.


Lovecraft Country

This was just about the only TV show I managed to watch in October but WOW! Quality streaming content book lovers! I’m not yet finished, I’ve watched 9 episodes and have been staying away from Twitter spoilers. I hear the ending will break me and I’m just bracing for that. Sci-fi Horror which starts off with a black man who goes on a road trip with his Uncle and friend through 1950’s Jim Crow America. Each episode has you clutched in fear for these characters whose lives are constantly in peril between racist America and the actual monsters/demons which I took to be physical manifestations of the hatred steeped in our history/present day.


I hope you’re all doing well during these tough times, finding things that bring joy and peace to your lives. Big or small, whatever brings your soul joy I hope you’ve found it or are on your way to finding it. I’d LOVE to hear all about what ya’ll have been reading or spending time on/with. Drop some love down below <3’s!

Spoiler Free Review: Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade

Title: Spoiler Alert

Author: Olivia Dade

Pub. Date: October 6th 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eGalley

Publisher: Avon

Pages: 416 pages

🖤ALC & Galley provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review🖤

This may just be the book responsible for me dipping into the world of fan-fiction, I had an absolute blast reading from the POV of April & Marcus. If like myself you’re someone who didn’t quite get on board with the finale of Game of Thrones or Dexter (haha), possibly even thought you could’ve written a better finale? then this book is for you! Set in a post Gameofthronesque (totally made this word up #noshame) world we follow April a plus size fan-fiction writer for the show Gods of the Gates.  April has just tweeted out a photo of herself in a self made/designed Lavinia Cosplay who is one half of the show’s OTP. When her photo goes viral it captures the attention of many a troll as well as that of Marcus Caster-Rupp who plays main guy Aeneas AKA the other half of this beloved OTP. One twitter exchange leads to another and Marcus sees himself asking April out on a date to spite the nasty trolls who are body shaming her on social media.

April has no idea that Marcus has a secret online persona he uses to write fan-fiction of his own. Gods of the Gates Fan Fiction that contractually he needs to not be linked back to. In this fandom he’s known as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous writer who gets to take out his frustrations with the show he works in. Little does Marcus know but he and April have a ton in common, April is Unapologetic Lavinia Stan in the Gods of the Gates Fan Fiction world. Furthermore, they have actually been friends all along but Marcus can’t let her know his real identity. For Marcus, the acting career he’s worked so hard to build means everything to him & he’s not ready to risk his contract. However….staying away from April is just simply NOT something he can do.

Content Warning: body shaming, toxic parent relationships, fat shaming

April AKA Unapologetic Lavinia Stan- Honestly represents everything I wish I was a few years ago. April is an empowered woman who is tired of hiding the parts of herself that make her phenomenal. She wants to live her geektastic life out in the open! meet her online friends IRL & last but not least, find the man who will love every inch of her beautiful body inside and out. We get a glimpse of the toxic relationship she had growing up with her parents that shaped her into the woman she is at the start of our story. April is body positive & won’t allow anyone, be it friend or family to body shame her.

Marcus AKABook!AeneasWouldNever – THIS MAN! getting to know him meant falling in love with this character. He appears to the masses as this vain persona but in reality he’s protecting the softer intellectual he truly is. Also stemming from a toxic childhood, Marcus isn’t living in his truth at the start of the story. He’s hiding just how amazing he truly is and relies on his fan fiction to express himself authentically. The way he loved up on April in every which way is EXACTLY what I LOVE to see!

Was I expecting to love a book based on fan-fiction culture? No. Was I sucked in & left cheesy smiling? YES! April is beautiful, sexy, smart, creative, and a true friend. She’s not apologizing for her body size, nor should she have to! I smiled and nodded YES every time she stood up for herself and claimed her power and femininity. The contrast between who she really is and what Marcus pretends to be is something that really stands out and makes these characters memorable. They both bring a level of healing into each others lives I don’t imagine they expected. LOVED to see it! This book was such a fun time, one of my favorite aspects being the excerpts we get from their actual Fan-Fiction. A lot of it being outright silly in its raunchiness HAHA! I’m now eagerly anticipating the next book by Dade which I believe will be based on a fave character of mine in this book! *fingers crossed*


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A Diverse Non-Fiction November…

Hola Book Lovers! It’s been quite some time since I picked up a Non-Fiction book, but the mood hit yesterday and before I knew it I had 5 books I’d like to read this month. I’m not too surprised this was a last minute thing since that pretty much sums up most of my reading this year. That it just so happens to be Non-Fiction November is a plus! Earlier this morning I finished listening to  In The Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado. I expected the horror noir vibes but wasn’t expecting it to hit on a personal level. This is going to be a tough read but for those who are interested in the audiobook, the author does narrate it herself which personally made the delivery that much more profound. I’ll hopefully have a mini-review up for In the Dream House this weekend.

DIVERSE NON-FICTION I’M READING THIS MONTH


IN THE DREAM HOUSE BY CARMEN MARIA MACHADODocuments the authors own experience within an abusive same-sex relationship. I wasn’t expecting to listen to this in one sitting but it happened. At times very hard to listen to, raw and unflinching in its honesty. The author wants to raise awareness of how abuse within queer relationships is handled. The fact that often times victims aren’t believed unless there are visible scars & even then it’s sort of swept under the rug. The toxicity in this relationship ranges from emotional to verbal & at times even physical, I’d say you have to be in the right mind space.

BORN A CRIME BY TREVOR NOAH “Born a Crime is the story of a mischievous young boy who grows into a restless young man as he struggles to find himself in a world where he was never supposed to exist. It is also the story of that young man’s relationship with his fearless, rebellious, and fervently religious mother—his teammate, a woman determined to save her son from the cycle of poverty, violence, and abuse that would ultimately threaten her own life.” I’ve followed Trevor Noah on The Daily Show for some time now & heard amazing reviews about his memoir, it’s time to dig in! 

ORDINARY GIRLS BY JAQUIRA DIAZ“Ordinary Girls is a fierce, beautiful, and unflinching memoir from a wildly talented debut author. While growing up in housing projects in Puerto Rico and Miami Beach, Jaquira Díaz found herself caught between extremes: as her family split apart and her mother battled schizophrenia, she was surrounded by the love of her friends; as she longed for a family and home, she found instead a life upended by violence. From her own struggles with depression and sexual assault to Puerto Rico’s history of colonialism, every page of Ordinary Girls vibrates with music and lyricism. Díaz triumphantly maps a way out of despair toward love and hope to become her version of the girl she always wanted to be.” Thank YOU Bookstagram for placing this book on my feed cause the minute I saw the cover I ran over to Goodreads for a synopsis. This sounds like it will be a powerful read! 

THE UNDOCUMENTED AMERICANS – “One of the first undocumented immigrants to graduate from Harvard reveals the hidden lives of her fellow undocumented Americans in this deeply personal and groundbreaking portrait of a nation. Writer Karla Cornejo Villavicencio was on DACA when she decided to write about being undocumented for the first time using her own name. It was right after the election of 2016, the day she realized the story she’d tried to steer clear of was the only one she wanted to tell. So she wrote her immigration lawyer’s phone number on her hand in Sharpie and embarked on a trip across the country to tell the stories of her fellow undocumented immigrants–and to find the hidden key to her own.” Having had many of my own family members battle for years to obtain their paperwork for an opportunity to live & work in the USA, this one is HIGH up on my priority list. 

HOOD FEMINISM – “Today’s feminist movement has a glaring blind spot, and paradoxically, it is women. Mainstream feminists rarely talk about meeting basic needs as a feminist issue, argues Mikki Kendall, but food insecurity, access to quality education, safe neighborhoods, a living wage, and medical care are all feminist issues. All too often, however, the focus is not on basic survival for the many, but on increasing privilege for the few. That feminists refuse to prioritize these issues has only exacerbated the age-old problem of both internecine discord and women who rebuff at carrying the title. Moreover, prominent white feminists broadly suffer from their own myopia with regard to how things like race, class, sexual orientation, and ability intersect with gender. How can we stand in solidarity as a movement, Kendall asks, when there is the distinct likelihood that some women are oppressing others?” I’m MOST stoked to read this one, I have both the audiobook and a physical copy I was gifted from a friend. It’s important for me to read books with a focus on intersectional feminism. 


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Spoiler Free Review: Black Sun (Between Earth & Sky #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

Title: Black Sun (Between Earth & Sky #1)

Author: Rebecca Roanhorse

Pub. Date: October 13th 2020

Genre: High Fantasy

Format: eGalley

Publisher: Saga Press

Pages: 454 pages

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🖤ALC & Galley provided by Publisher in exchange for an honest review🖤

Set in a world inspired by the Pre-Colombian Americas, we follow the Sky Made Clans who are prepping for Winter Solstice. This Winter Solstice happens to coincide with a solar eclipse which is considered a rare celestial event. For the Sun Priest, this is an opportunity to try and restore the faith by upholding traditions in Tova. This is no easy task with brewing animosity stemming from the Night of Knives, a night where the Priesthood slaughtered many people from the Carrion Crows Clan. This has never been forgotten and many believe there to be rebel groups waiting for their time to seek retribution.  Naranpa, our controversially appointed Sun Priest seeks to bridge the gap between the Priesthood and the clans. Naranpa who comes from very humble beginnings and has since turned her back on family, is very disconnected from the clans. She will find that she is a target despite not having bloodied her hands. Finding someone she can trust will seem nearly impossible in her present circle and in her past.

We also follow  the perspective of Xiala, a Pansexual Teek Captain who has faced exile and is recruited by a nobleman to transport a blind passenger by the name of Serapio. This is to be done within a very short and what sounds like an unreasonable amount of time. Xiala was specifically sought out for her Teek abilities which are similar to that of a siren. As a daughter of the Sea, Xiala is able to ask her mother for help with navigating treacherous weather and rough sails. Serapio is mysterious and observant with a single objective…to arrive in Cuecola in time for the Solstice. The bearer of a prophecy, Serapio is able to inhabit the bodies of crows who serve as his eyes. His own were stitched shut by his mother who gave him instructions and set him on the path to fulfill the prophecy. Much isn’t divulged about the prophecy until we reach the end of this journey. All of these characters paths converge in what is a solid foundation for an epic story.

This is my very first read from Rebecca Roanhorse but I can clearly see why this author is beloved. This is high fantasy that delivers on inclusivity, political intrigue, rich culture and multi-layered world building topped off with an adventure at sea. I have NEVER read anything from the Fantasy genre that I can say is as beautifully queer and features what for the most part is a matriarchal society. Naranpa, Xiala, and Serapio are all multi-faceted characters that each display at one time or another a level of moral ambiguity. There are no heroes in this story however if you love a good tale of uprisings and a settling of scores, then this is absolutely one worth giving a go. This world practically jumps off the page both during the travel at sea and on land…sometimes even in air. Roanhorse has gifted us these giant crows that train to fly with a specific clan, a deep respect between humans and these birds is evident. I was left craving more story from the Carrion Crow Clan and some of the key characters we meet in the second act. The pacing of the story is the only thing that docked it a star on my end since there were times I found myself wanting to be with another POV than the present chapter. All in all, a solid foundation for this high stakes Fantasy that I personally look forward to continuing on with!

CW: Suicide, death of a parent, child abuse, violence, extreme body part modification, gore, ritualized body mutilation


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Spoiler Free Review: Fable by Adrienne Young

Title: FABLE

Author: Adrienne Young

Pub. Date: September 1st 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Format: eGalley + audiobook

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 357 pages

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🖤ALC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤

There are five rules. Only five.

🏴‍☠️Keep your knife where you can reach it.

🏴‍☠️Never, ever owe anyone anything.

🏴‍☠️Nothing is free.

🏴‍☠️Always construct a lie from a truth

🏴‍☠️Never, under any circumstances, reveal what or who matters to you


These are the five rules Fable lives by, the ones her father had her memorize at a very young age. The same rules she thinks about whenever she thinks of making her way back to him. Saint, a well known Pirate with a fleet abandoned Fable on her fourteenth birthday. After experiencing the death of Fable’s mother, he believed Fable would do best away from the world of Pirates. He sailed away leaving her to fend for herself on an island that is pretty tough to survive as it is filled with sketchy cutthroat pirates. He did make her this one promise…

“Get yourself off this island and the next time I see you, I’ll give you what is yours” 

Fable is a Dredger, she hunts for underwater treasure and turns a profit from local merchants. She also has the unique inherited gift passed down to her from her mother of deciphering gems. She manages to hustle a Pirate named West to allow her passage on his crew ship as a Dredger. He begrudgingly grants her passage without first taking a vote with his crew. Fable then has the task of gaining the crews trust and earn the spot she was given without their say. The Marigold sets sail to The Narrows where Fable hopes to find her father Saint. All the while, never revealing that the well known Pirate is her father. It is the one secret he asked her to keep but one thing is clear to Fable…she isn’t the only one keeping secrets on The Marigold!

One thing I feel Adrienne Young does so well is familial bonds, fleshing them out so that the reader really understands the connection. After reading Sky in the Deep I knew I’d want to read more from this author and Fable once again delivered, this time with Fable’s found family. We see her throughout this entire journey revisiting the memories she has of when she had her father & mother together on their ship The Lark. She hasn’t given up on her father despite his abandonment, it just motivates her to prove her worth as a Pirate in his eyes. While on the ship she starts building these connections with the crew members that fill the hole she has for her family. Then there’s the relationship she forms with West which personally had me wondering if there was more to it than them just being crew mates. Their relationship doesn’t take center stage in the story nor is it really a slow burn. Instead we see West having to trust in Fable’s abilities and learn to respect her need to not be restricted. Voice notes with my good friend Taylor over at Nerd Narration helped me see the father/daughter relationship from a different angle. Yes I absolutely ended the night in tears & said to myself yet again, Adrienne Young is an author to keep an eye out for.

P.S. The audiobook only further enhanced the already SUPER atmospheric world building. The narrator really brought Fable to life on the ship, brave & daring!


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Spoiler Free Review: Legendborn by Tracy Deonn

Title: Legendborn (Legendborn #1)

Author: Tracy Deonn

Pub. Date: September 1st 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy/Retelling

Format: eGalley

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Pages: 512 pages

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🖤ALC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤

“𝐼 𝑚𝑎𝑝 𝑡ℎ𝑖𝑠 𝑡𝑒𝑟𝑟𝑎𝑖𝑛’𝑠 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑠, 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑖𝑛𝑣𝑖𝑠𝑖𝑏𝑙𝑒 a𝑛𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑚𝑎𝑛𝑦, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 ℎ𝑜𝑙𝑑 𝑡ℎ𝑒𝑚 𝑐𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑒. 𝐵𝑒𝑐𝑎𝑢𝑠𝑒 𝑒𝑣𝑒𝑛 𝑖𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑒 𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑛 𝑜𝑓 𝑡ℎ𝑜𝑠𝑒 𝑠𝑖𝑛𝑠 𝑡𝑎𝑘𝑒𝑠 𝑚𝑦 𝑏𝑟𝑒𝑎𝑡ℎ 𝑎𝑤𝑎𝑦, 𝑡ℎ𝑎𝑡 𝑝𝑎𝑖𝑛 𝑓𝑒𝑒𝑙𝑠 𝑙𝑖𝑘𝑒 𝑏𝑒𝑙𝑜𝑛𝑔𝑖𝑛𝑔, 𝑎𝑛𝑑 𝑖𝑔𝑛𝑜𝑟𝑖𝑛𝑔 𝑖𝑡 𝑎𝑓𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑎𝑙𝑙 𝐼 𝑗𝑢𝑠𝑡 𝑤𝑖𝑡𝑛𝑒𝑠𝑠𝑒𝑑 𝑤𝑜𝑢𝑙𝑑 𝑏𝑒 𝑎 𝑙𝑜𝑠𝑠”

It’s been a couple of weeks since I read the last page of Legendborn and yet thinking back on my reading experience, I still manage to get emotional and teary eyed. If you find yourself burnt out from reading Fantasy or even possibly that you may be outgrowing YA Fantasy, I’d say this is one worth giving a go. It’s simply one that gives the reader so much more than they go in thinking to get. At its surface Legendborn is a continuation of King Arthur and the Order but author Tracy Deonn gave this story raw life & emotional ties to actual history that often times was painful to read. This is in no way a tame read, it will make you uncomfortable but these are the types of stories that deserve a seat at the table.

Deonn gives us Arthur and The Order with a link to intergenerational trauma in the South. Our MC has PTSD and early symptoms of PCBD after witnessing her mother’s passing. She isn’t prepared for the revelations her grief will bring about. Recruited into a Early College program alongside her BFF, Bree is soon taken off course by a secret society. In this society there are descendants of Arthur and his Knights, the kicker is that they have an actual magical bond to their ancestors. This was set in place as a precautionary way of ensuring the line lives on and is well protected against any enemies of the Order. The Knights themselves remain in a dormant state and can only be awakened by an actual threat to King Arthur himself. During times of peace, the descendants train and take on pages such as Bree. Bree doesn’t exhibit any actual talents or strengths but she manages to get Nick (King Arthurs descendant unbeknownst to her at the time) who is self-exiled from The Order, to join her in trying to unearth any secrets The Order may have to her mothers death. She discovers links to her ancestors that are painful and a testament to her own inherited resilience. The root magic she carries within is steeped in history and not without a price. If you’re looking for a Fantasy with more character depth & historical ties, this is for you. Some will compare this to a YA version of Ninth House or even the Shadowhunter world. I’d say it has elements from both those worlds however Legendborn stands on its own.

If there’s one Fantasy I’ve read this year that I’d recommend, wholeheartedly without a doubt it’s Legendborn. I had zero interest in Arthurian Legend but one look at the cover & I knew this would be different. I had no idea what I was in for seeing that this is Tracy Deonn debut but I’m walking away grateful for the journey. I appreciated so much the inclusion of therapy for our MC who has experienced such great trauma at her mothers passing. The fact that Bree is at first apprehensive to receive the help because she’s not yet ready to let go or forgive. Bree is hurting and living in her hurt. Although she learns a lot of painful things when she goes digging, she also reconnects with the memories of her mother and her ancestors. Bree grows stronger throughout the book that by the end we have a girl who is coated in a completely different suit of armor. I will be running to the bookstore to pick up my copy of the sequel ON release day!


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Spoiler Free Review: When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

Title: When No One is Watching

Author: Alyssa Cole

Pub. Date: September 1st 2020

Genre: Fiction/Suspense/Horror Noir

Format: ALC

Publisher: William Morrow

Pages: 368 pages

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🖤ALC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤

Hi hello, Latinx Brooklynite here👋🏽specifically Williamsburg where gentrification swept through and forever changed the neighborhoods I called home. Alyssa Cole gives us Sydney Green, a Black woman who loves her community in Brooklyn but is seeing it erased with each passing day. Major developers buying houses & converting them into condos. The beautiful brownstones where her neighbors have lived for generations sold. Sydney is feeling very paranoid & questioning the whereabouts of those familiar faces. After experiencing a neighborhood tour where the hostess pointed out ONLY the Caucasian history, Sydney decides to start up her own. Theo, a white newcomer to the neighborhood is experiencing relationship issues. He knows he wants to help Sydney in her research as an ally but has to prove his intentions are good. Theo’s girlfriend is racist & constantly referring to them as superior to the black people in the community they’ve moved into. We follow Sydney & Theo as they set out in starting up her tour company. There are times where I wondered if Sydney was an unreliable narrator. She’s a woman determined not to lose her home or her history. In many ways this book felt like Horror Noir & I LOVED it!!! The Goodreads synopsis mentions the movie Get Out by Director Jordan Peele & that’s exactly the vibes I got while listening to the audiobook. Loved listening to the excerpts from “The Hood” app where many of the “Karen” type characters really displayed their micro-aggressions & were checked by black residents in the neighborhood.

CW: alcohol abuse, sick parent, cheating, gentrification, microagressions, death of a parent, panic attacks, gaslighting, anxiety, abduction attempts, involuntary medical experimentation

I’m no thriller expert and so I won’t pretend to know what makes a good thriller. What I do know is that if you go into this read and treat it as you would a horror, then it will meet those expectations. Otherwise, the plot pacing will seem off which is in large part what many readers have said they found issue with. I urge you to seek out reviews by black content creators who have been vocal about how realistic they found the fear & anxiety Sydney was experiencing. What I can say is that as a Latinx woman who has seen my childhood neighborhood torn down, redesigned and sold to the highest bidder…I found this book extremely relatable. I’ve seen whole families disappear at times rather abruptly after being offered a big check to leave their homes. Other times they’re met with uncooperative landlords who make it so they have no choice but to leave the community.

Gentrification is a complex subject and the ramifications it has on those who experience this won’t be the same for everyone. Sydney is a black woman who is made to feel paranoid. She encounters Theo’s girlfriend Kim who basically spews out any & all microagressions you can think of. What once was familiar territory is now a place where she has to watch over her back. Sydney is also experiencing a higher level of harassment from debt collectors, her stress levels are through the roof. All of which when put together, paints a picture of someone who may or may not be stable. That’s what made this book unputdownable for me! the fact that everything she was experiencing can and HAS happened. That ending was chefs kiss perfection! I smirked and nodded my head up & down as I stood in solidarity. This may be Alyssa Cole’s first book outside of the Romance genre but WOW! it is a solid entry into Horror Noir, I personally am excited to see more genre exploring from this author.


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WWW Wednesdays 10/28/2020

WWW Wednesday is a meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On a World of Words and to participate all you have to do is answer the three W’s listed below. Once you’ve posted your WWW, drop a link to your post in Sam’s comments <3’s!

The questions:
1. What are you currently reading?
2. What did you recently finish reading?
3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Don’t mind me, I’m just riding a high from a weekend I truly did NOT want to end and so this week has been a bit blue. The upside however is that I’m wanting to get my hands on all the books to read which hopefully means I’ll squeeze in another book before the month is over. My end of the month wrap-up is going to be a mixed bag of books read & hiking trails I’ve had the chance to explore so far. What I don’t have much of are movies watched so if you have any good recommendations please share down below. Also, what good books have you read OR are reading this week? 

SPOILER ALERT BY OLIVIA DADE

I’m 30% into Spoiler Alert which is a contemporary romance with a plus-sized MC who writes fan fiction for a super popular show, think along the lines of Game of Thrones. Alexis has been writing erotic fanfic for 2 years and during that time has met a fellow fan fiction writer she’s teamed up with for revisions and constructive criticism. Marcus is her go-to for all things Aeneas and Lavinia (characters from the show). What she doesn’t know is that Marcus is the lead role in the show since he uses an alias to write fanfic for these characters that otherwise would pose as a conflict of interest to the show runners. At the 30% mark I’ve just entered the fun & flirty stage where things are beginning to get more interesting. I’m enjoying seeing excerpts of their conversations on the Lavinia server. Marcus writes his fanfic much more broody and angsty which Alexis loves to tease him about. It has the potential to be a new favorite *fingers crossed*

BLACK SUN BY Rebecca Roanhorse

I have a full spoiler free review coming over the next few days (burning the midnight oil here LOL) and so I really don’t want to go into too much detail. This is the start to a new adult epic fantasy series featuring multiple POV’s with excellent character development, distinct voices & personalities. Tons of political intrigue, a prophesy at the core, rich culture and multi-layered world building topped off with an adventure at sea. This book is also beautifully queer & features a matriarchal society.

fable by adrienne young

I actually finished this audiobook on my commute home this evening & I’m still sorting out my thoughts & feelings. For now I’ve settled on a 4 star rating since I truly am a sucker for found families. My only issue if you’d call it that is that I felt it had some pacing problems. The last 30% of the book is where the action takes place & the story truly peaks but all throughout we’re sort of just waiting for the climax. There’s a great cast of characters we get introduced to and Fable is really a fun character to read from. I have a lot of questions but I’m grateful to have Namesake, the sequel in this duology to read as an arc from the publisher.

sacrifce by katee robert

Katee Robert won me over with Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains #1) & Your dad Will Do (A Touch of Taboo #1), I immediately signed up for her newsletter. When I saw the email for Sacrifice come through, I’ll be honest…I saw the words vampires and click clicked away for my pre-order of this novella. Coming in at 156 pages, this one will be a one sitting read tomorrow.

the invisible life of Addie LaRue by v.e. schwab

I’m mentally preparing myself to go into this one by palette cleansing with Spoiler Alert & Sacrifice. Coming in at 448 pages, this one is a chunky one I want to be in the mood for & for that reason alone have held off on reading. I have caught wind of positive reviews from some of my favorite bookish humans which further amps up my interest. Stay tuned…


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The Cozy Autumn Book Tag!

What’s this?!? a tag?!?! why YES, Yes it is! Fall is my absolute favorite time of the year, it’s when my spirits are at an all time high and I want to do all the cozy & outdoor things. This year I’m adding one new thing to my list of Fall things…hikes & trails! I’m a sucker for a scenic route and it only helps my efforts to get some cardio in on the weekends whilst also staying away from crowded city life. I’m slowly going to be working my way up to some tougher/longer hikes throughout New York State & hopefully I’ll get some good colorful Fall shots along the way. Of course, it wouldn’t be my favorite season without some fave autumnal reads…

🍂 Q U E S T I O N S 🍂

1. What book always reminds you of fall/autumn? Adriana Mather’s  Haunting the Deep #2 in the How to Hang a Witch series ALWAYS invokes Fall vibes. Set on the Titanic with a MC who is a direct descendant of a prominent figure in the Salem Witch Trials, this book with Its ghostly characters is a great way to kick off the Fall season.

2. What is your favourite autumnal book cover? This year it’s a toss up between Lobizona by Romina Garber (my review) & Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas (my review). They SCREAM autumn with their lush dark burgundy and orange colors. Cemetery Boys does take place around Dia De Los Muertos which only amps up this book as one to pick up this season. Either way, you can’t go wrong!

3. What is your favourite autumnal drink to read with? Currently…COVID has me staying away from Starbucks BUT I found their creamers at Target *jazz hands* specifically the Caramel or Cinnamon Dolce creamers with my home made coffee topped off with some ground cinnamon. Mhm…as you may have guessed, I love cinnamon!

4. Do you prefer to read late at night or early in the morning? Late nights used to be my JAM! but alas, no longer! neither are the mornings tbh cause of my hectic jam packed schedule. Evenings are when I get most of my reading in.

5. Halloween is coming! What is your favourite spooky read? Up until this tag, I did NOT think to choose a fave spooky read. However, going forward Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (my review) which is haunting AF! will be that read I go to for its horror noir vibes. UGH! this book my fellow bookworms…will make the hair on your neck stand.

6. What is the ultimate comfort read for you? This will always be the Romance genre as a whole. However, most recently I discovered Adriana Herrera who I HIGHLY recommend. Here to Stay (my review) sees our MC relocate from NYC to Dallas Texas & it just so happens to run into Thanksgiving. The cast of characters/friends in this story felt like home to me so much so that I truly didn’t want the book to end. I will continue reading Herrera’s books whenever I need that cozy feeling.

7. What is your favourite autumnal reading snack? although it has been WAY TOO LONG! for many years, I’ve loved Junior’s NYC Strawberry Cheesecake. Not just for the flavor but for the many sweet memories attached to this treat.

8. What is your favourite autumnal candle to burn whilst reading? In previous years, I did buy candles from bookish shops but not as of late. While I burn through my current collection, I’ve noticed Butterscotch, Hot Cocoa and Salted Caramel scents seem to call to me.

9. When you’re not reading, what is your favourite autumnal activity? Long outdoor walks paired with a hoodie\leggings & an engaging audiobook. If not, then it’s curling up in bed watching romantic comedies in fuzzy socks.

10. What is on your autumn/fall reading list? Ha! this may just be a bit ambitious but I’m sure going to give it a shot…


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Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams

Title: Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3)

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Pub. Date: October 27th 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eGalley

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 352 pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

🖤ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤

Alexis and Noah have really solidified in my corner why I love & truly enjoy reading romance books with the friends to lovers trope. We’re first introduced to Alexis in Undercover Bromance (Bromance Book Club #2) where she is the victim of a celebrity chef’s sexual harassment. Noah is the hacktivist we also meet in book 2 who so happens to have been recruited by the Bromance Book Club to help bring down the dirt bag celebrity chef. Since then, Alexis and Noah have become very good friends who speak every day & spend most nights having dinner at home. They also have one thing in common, both have lost a parent at a young age and find comfort in each other over their shared loss. Is there non-platonic chemistry? ABSOLUTELY! but both are super protective of their friendship to rush into anything. We see Noah play it safe because he saw Alexis deal with sexual harrasment & the last thing he wants is to infringe on the trust she has in him. Alexis on the other hand never really looked at Noah as anything more than a friend up until some awkward physical encounters occur.

We follow Alexis as she manages her Cat Café…Yes, a café where cats are saved and Alexis finds them their forever home. She also hosts Yoga at night for victims of sexual harassment/domestic violence. In the background, the Bromance Book Club is busy with a wedding underway. Mack from book 2 is marrying Liv who has solely left him and the guys in charge of wedding planning. Mack has detected Noah’s predicament aka Friend Zone status & sets out to make him a member of the Bromance Book Club.

Alexis aka Lexa- exudes vintage 60’s style fashion, bakes & cooks, over feeder, master home/holiday decorator, cat savior and a safe haven to survivors of sexual harassment/domestic violence. Lexa and her HIGHLY Sus (haha!) cat Beefcake are now faves in this corner.

Noah- a Hacktivist in his younger years has now turned himself into a very low key wealthy owner of a security firm. When he isn’t providing services to members in the Bromance Book Club who are of high profile, he is grabbing tacos *heart eyes* for Lexa. Noah does have some baggage stemming from the loss of his dad in the war that took place in Iraq. Like Lexa, he has some boundaries that make their friendship more of a comfort zone that neither want to leave. Side note: Noah is by far the hottest Bromance Bookclub member I’ve pictured in my head!

It’s safe to say that at this point I’m deeply invested in this series & its characters. I enjoyed the first installment, however I’ve noticed my enjoyment levels significantly increase with each new book. As of this moment, Crazy Stupid Bromance is my absolute favorite. The friendship at the core of this book is well developed, we get the back history and the shared grief. I was cheering these two on all along and also hoping their friendship would remain intact. These books offer humor while also tackling some serious subject matter, the perfect balance between the two. I LIVED for the scenes between Beefacake & Noah, truly frightened yet entertained haha! The Bromance Bookclub is back together again & the book they’ve chosen is a slam dunk! I enjoy seeing my faves back on the page because Lyssa Kay Adams has given each such an authentic unique voice. Their personalities are intact including those of the supporting cast, which only piques my interest for our next couple in crisis. Could we finally be getting “The Russian”?!?! I Hope so!


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