August 2020 Book Haul

It’s Friday & I’m not posting a Friday Reads & Thangs because lots of non-bookish things are happening this weekend in my little corner. However, I come to you late my friends with my August Book Haul! This is actually one of my favorite stacks I’ve hauled in quite some time. I’m almost done un-hauling books from my shelves *book shimmy* that I’ve lost interest in, I’m sticking to only buying books that I’ve either read/loved OR have a STRONG inclination that the book will be a favorite new read. In this stack I have already read & 5 starred You Had Me at Hola (my review) & Lobizona (my review), these would be great additions to your TBR/shelves in the support of Latinx Heritage Month. Also, I am currently a host for a Latinx Heritage Month Giveaway over on Bookstagram. This is a weekly giveaway running through September, the winners are announced every Friday. To enter, keep an eye out for the Monday morning post each week 🙂

For more Bookish photos & to enter the Latinx Heritage Month Giveaway, click on the photo to follow LairOfBooks on Bookstagram

HANDS DOWN | YOU HAD ME AT HOLA | VICIOUS SPIRITS | STAR DAUGHTER | RAYBEARER | THE FIRST SISTER | LOBIZONA | HOOD FEMINISM  (gift from Brittany over @DippedinColor)


WITCHES STEEPED IN GOLD | THE PROJECT | MUSE

Super thankful to Epic & Fierce Reads for the Edelweiss/Netgalley approvals, these are titles I’m looking forward to reading & reviewing here on the blog. Witches Steeped in Gold is already getting some early praise which absolutly heightens my curiosity.


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August 2020 Wrap-Up

The last official month of Summer has come & gone leaving me sitting here drafting up a wrap-up in warm fuzzies while sipping on my coffee. My reading in August was very scattered and looking back that was probably because I was anticipating September too hard to even focus. I’m a type A personality who organizes & plans for things and so most of my focus was in preparing for a more stress free work from home/remote learning set-up in my apartment. I did still squeeze in a few more trips to the beach in an attempt to stretch out the golden tan I worked so hard for smh. This all is the reason for which I listened to 4 audiobooks & read 3 physical books. Although I found some new authors I’d like to read more from, the only read to truly blow me away was Lobizona by Romina Garber & this now being September aka Latinx Heritage month, I hardcore recommend this read my friends! ❤

THE ROOMMATE BY ROSIE DANAN – (MY REVIEW)✨4 STARS✨FUN, STEAMY & SEX POSITIVE

THE VOTING BOOTH BY BRANDY COLBERT – (MY REVIEW) ✨4 STARS✨ A TIMELY READ THAT BRINGS ISSUES WITH VOTER SUPPRESSION TO THE FOREFRONT

FAITH TAKING FLIGHT BY JULIE MURPHY – (MY REVIEW) ✨3.5 STARS✨CUTE QUEER STORY ABOUT FRIENDSHIPS WITH SOME PACING ISSUES THAT MADE IT CHAOTIC TOWARDS THE END

ONE TO WATCH BY KATE STAYMAN-LONDON -(MY REVIEW)✨5 STARS✨ AUDIOBOOK WAS THE WAY TO GO! QUITE THE ADDICTIVE READ WITH A PLUS SIZE MC ON A DATING SHOW WHO FACES MUCH ADVERSITY & CRUELTY. THIS WAS AT TIMES HARD TO LISTEN TO BECAUSE IT WAS TRIGGERING, STILL ONE OF MY FAVES THIS YEAR

THE FAITHLESS HAWK (THE MERCIFUL CROW #2) BY MARGARET OWEN – (MY REVIEW) ✨ 5 STARS✨ THIS BOOK! AHHH! ALL THE FEELS, TRULY LEFT ME BAWLIN’ MY EYES OUT ON THE VERY LAST PAGE. THIS DUOLOGY  IS NOW SITTING NEXT TO MY MY SIX OF CROWS DUOLOGY AS FOREVER FAVORITES

HIS & HERS BY ALICE FEENEY – (MY REVIEW) ✨ 4 STARS✨ONCE AGAIN LIBRO.FM CAME THROUGH WITH A BONE CHILLING ALC! TOLD IN MULTIPLE POV WITH ONE OF THE 3 NARRATORS USING A VOICE CHANGER…COULDN’T LISTEN TO THOSE CHAPTER AT NIGHT JUSSAYIN.

LOBIZONA BY ROMINA GARBER – (MY REVIEW) ✨5 STARS✨ROMINA GARBER DELIVERED SUCH A SOLID STAND OUT DEBUT! IF YOU’RE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING TO REPLACE SHE WHO SHALL NOT BE NAMED…LOBIZONA WILL DEF GIVE YOU HP VIBES.

PROJECT POWER EXCEEDED EXPECTATIONS, SET IN NEW ORLEANS WE FOLLOW A TEEN WHO TEAMS UP WITH A COP & EX SOLDIER TO GET TO THE BOTTOM OF A VERY SERIOUS DRUG THAT HAS HIT THE STREETS. A DRUG THAT GIVES YOU UNPREDICTABLE SUPER POWERS FOR 5 MINUTES.  HIGH ADRENALINE DELIVERED BY JAMIE FOX WHO HAS YET TO DISAPPOINT ME.

“A COVERT TEAM OF IMMORTAL MERCENARIES ARE SUDDENLY EXPOSED AND MUST NOW FIGHT TO KEEP THEIR IDENTITY A SECRET JUST AS A UNEXPECTED NEW MEMBER IS DISCOVERED” I HAD NO IDEA THIS ORIGINATED FROM A COMIC BUT I WAS LEFT WITH A NEED FOR MORE! I TRULY WISH THIS HAD BEEN MADE A SERIES BUT THAT COULD JUST BE MY BIAS TOWARDS ANYTHING HAVING TO DO WITH IMMORTALS. LOVED THESE CHARACTERS (NOT ENOUGH TIME) AND THEIR OLD TIES TO ONE ANOTHER. AGAIN, JUST WISH WE GET MORE.


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Spoiler Free Review: The Roommate by Rosie Danan

Title: The Roommate

Author: Rosie Danan

Pub. Date: September 15th 2020

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Format: eGalley

Publisher: Berkley

Pages: 336 pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

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

This sex positive story about two people who unexpectedly end up being roommates was a fun page turner. Clara has followed her childhood best friend in a move across country in a case of unrequited love. When they get there, her BFF gets notice of his band landing a gig and leaves her his apartment. There she meets Josh, the roommate she didn’t sign up for. Clara comes from a wealthy Manhattan family, her entire life goal has been to stay out of the rumor mill. After a few scandals she’s seen her mother weather, she doesn’t want to be a cause for more. This is why she decides to tough it out & not go running back home. Josh is pretty chill, described as a dreamy Zac Morris from Saved by the Bell type. He’s the polar opposite of Clara who comes across a bit uptight. There’s undeniable attraction when they first meet but a simple google search leaves Clara wide eyed. Josh works in the sex industry and is exactly the publicity Clara is trying to stay far away from however, running back to NYC just isn’t an option. Clara knows that would be the easiest route to take but in doing so, she’d be proving to her family that she’s driven by impulse and emotion. The family who has already cast aside her aunt as the black sheep of the family for a very public affair. Instead, Clara decides to indulge in her curiosity by sticking round and getting to know him a bit better.

I appreciated the discussion on the sex industry, specifically the negative stigma society has placed on sex workers. Also, LOVED the positive discussion on the female orgasm as well as body exploration through self pleasure. Although Clara and Josh come from very different backgrounds, they both feel passionately that women deserve better sex. We follow them as they join together to bring sexual awareness & empowerment to women by using their individual talents and knowledge. The chemistry is wicked intense, the steamy scenes are a 10 because Josh clearly appreciates and understand the female body. He’s super respectful while also confident and smooth which in turn helped Clara feel more at ease and step into her own power. We also get an inside look to the trash treatment many sex workers get in the industry and the fact that many of it isn’t talked about. Society has already deemed their profession something to look down on which makes it just as hard to want to speak up. One of my fave characters Naomi Grant who is an ex of Josh, has managed to get control of her narrative as a sex worker. She embodies confidence and body positivity but like Josh, is one of the few who have learned the ropes well enough to not let anyone low ball them. Relationships are also discussed since its is something many outsiders have wondered about…can a sex worker manage to have a successful relationship? I’d say the verdict is still out on that with it depending on the individual because at the start of it all Josh is having relationship/trust issues. If you’re looking for a read that offers a perspective we don’t often see, The Roommate delivers while also keeping it fun and sexy!


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Spoiler Free Mini Reviews: The Faithless Hawk and His & Hers


THE FAITHLESS HAWK (THE MERCIFUL CROW #2) BY MARGARET OWEN

✨ 5 STARS✨ 

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

The Faithless Hawk is absolutely making my Top 20 of 2020 list at the end of the year! I had for some reason thought this was a trilogy but in fact it’s the conclusion to a duology. The Merciful Crow (Spoiler free review) was one of the best new Fantasy books I picked up last year leaving me wanting more. The first book was more character driven whereas the conclusion expanded on world building & the magic system. We got a comprehensive look at the caste system this world is ruled by which further highlighted the issues with how the Crows have been mistreated. We also get more interaction from the villainous Queen Rhussana who takes the cake for EVIL, she could give Levana from the Lunar Chronicles a run for her money. If you’re someone who enjoys Fantasy that leans more towards the adult spectrum then this is one I HIGHLY recommend. It’s a dark world filled with the stench of death while our Crows deliver mercy as best they can while watching their own backs. One thing I can honestly say balanced out all that death was the humor Margaret Owen gave us in the second half of this book. Court politics, scheming, infiltration & CATS! yes, Barf is back and has managed to acquire some friends haha! the crew is focused on removing Rhusanna from the throne and crowning Jasimir as the rightful heir/ruler. Fie + Jasimir showed the MOST character development in this book and their friendship is unrivaled. Satisfying conclusion that left me bawling in tears! it’s pretty safe to say I’ll read anything Owen writes in the future


HIS & HERS BY ALICE FEENEY

✨ 4 STARS✨ 

✨ ALC received from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review✨ 

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | LIBRO.FM 

“There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, His & Hers. Which means someone is always lying.”

I’ll preface this by saying, If you plan on reading this book then audiobook should be seriously considered. The sampler gives you a taste of what’s to come with one of the narrators giving a bone chilling performance. Told in multiple POV we follow Anna Andrews a TV presenter, DCI Jack Harper working the case, and the third narrator whose identity is undisclosed. This web was thick & I had a hard time trying to even place a bet on who the actual killer is. A murder has gone down in Anna’s hometown of Blackdown in London & it just so happens to be a childhood friend.  A Toxic friend who left behind a trail of frenemies from their younger years in school. Jack also knows the victim and pretty soon realizes he has become a suspect in his own case. Both Anna & jack know something but they’re holding their cards close to their chest. This is one of those books you just have to go in blindly to truly experience very twist & turn as intended. I listened to this audiobook every waking hour & finished it in 2 days. Every time I started a chapter with the unknown person of interest, I felt a bit of fear…enough to not want to read this one alone. Both Anna & Jack are not what you’d call honorable people, they are self centered and indulge in just about anything to dull whatever pain they’ve experienced. This is another author I hope to be reading more from in the near future.

CW: death of a child, alcohol/drugs, cheating, parent w/Dementia, domestic violence, fat shaming, eating disorders, grooming, rape, bullying


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Spoiler Free Review: One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

Title: One to Watch

Author: Kate Stayman-London

Pub. Date: July 7th 2020

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Format: Audiobook

Publisher: Dial Press

Pages: 432 pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | LIBRO.FM

Stylish plus-size fashion blogger Bea Schumacher has just experienced some heart break. Alongside one of her closest friends, she sets out to watch  the very popular dating show The Main Squeeze. While watching she starts to actively tweet about the lack of diversity each season. Her tweet garners a ton of traction from others who’d also like to see the show diversify their cast & main squeeze. Be a doesn’t know the show has just experienced some major changes behind closed doors as far as show runners. Saving the show has now been left in the hands of a new director who sees Bea’s tweet & thinks it to be the PERFECT opportunity to raise ratings. Never before has the show cast a plus- size main squeeze & Bea seems vocal enough to possibly accept the role. Bea sees this as a moment for her to represent many who have been unlucky in love, to inspire confidence in others. She doesn’t anticipate how hard this gig really is or all of the back lash she’d be exposed to for being a plus-size female. Something she has had to deal with in the past but never on this big a scale on national television.

This is not the story of a woman who is 100% confident in her skin all of the time. This is the very accurate portrayal of what some women have dealt with when judged by a society not yet ready to accept beauty in all shapes & sizes. It is harsh & brutal to read all of the cruel things viewers said about Bea while watching the show…yet these people do exist. It was triggering to read as someone who has always struggled with weight & have only within these last 2 years felt comfortable in my own skin. Nonetheless, I experienced my fair share of cruel moments & found this story inspiring. This is a story about a woman who found strength & beauty within. She wasn’t willing to settle for anyone who didn’t see her as the truly phenomenal woman that she is!

Bea Baby! I adore you! I shed tears reading some of the disgusting vitriol spewed her way & wondered in amazement at her strength. Yes, she did have moments of weakness but she legit stood up & dusted her shoulders off each & every time. Bea wasn’t confident all her life, she had to find that within! as a matter of fact she spent most of her youth covering her body. She didn’t love herself at the start of this story & allowed herself to get caught up in a triangle she had no business in. Did I enjoy reading that? no I did not. I also know how dark a place it is when you lack self love & self worth. She could’ve bowed out many times throughout but knew that just as there were those humans who couldn’t accept her for her outward appearance, there were many counting on her. Bea at the end of the book is who I’ve worked very hard to become, someone who knows they’re worthy of a greater love.

I’ve had some time away from this book to think on my rating & still rate it 5 stars. Not only for enjoyment (although it was fun once we started seeing Bea enjoy dating some of these men) but for the feelings it invoked in my reading experience. Were there things that could’ve been better? Yes absolutely! the contestants could’ve been fleshed out but instead their ethnicity/race were briefly mentioned once. Considering the whole point was to advocate for diversity, it would’ve been much more appreciated & well received had we gotten more from the men. In no way do I believe that it would’ve taken away from Bea’s story. In fact, my curiosity heightened at the end to read a book from the POV of Bea’s black love interest. 

I saw a lot of my personal journey in Bea’s story & a lot of it is ugly and painful. I wouldn’t pick this book up if I’m looking for a confident woman who is all about body positivity because that is not Bea. She’s had a rough go at loving herself & wanting more than second best when it comes to love. Personally, this story resonated on so many levels. That feeling you experience when you finally go out with someone who sees your beauty…yea you definitely question if it’s real. You’ve grown used to the feeling of not quite measuring up but in reality you were just investing your time in the wrong people. Bea had to learn this & I cheered her on all the way to that realization.


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Spoiler Free Review: Lobizona by Romina Garber

Title: Lobizona

Author: Romina Garber

Pub. Date: August 4th 2020

Genre: YA Fantasy

Format: eGalley

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 400 pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

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

“I am that leftover ace of diamonds. I don’t fit into any of the groupings around me, and the things that make me different always seem to count against me”

Lobizona tells the story of Manuela Azu aka Manu as she lives a quiet sheltered life in Miami alongside her mother. Manu has been on the run from her father’s Argentine crime family since birth. Now she hides from ICE raids in the United States by blending in as best she can. For Manu this means homeschooling from Perla, sort of an adoptive grandmother who shares a lie for literature with Manu. Perla has also shared folklore from their mother country of Argentina. One of the superstitions Manu has always felt a connection with is that of the 7th consecutive sons & daughters born in Argentina being either a wolf or witch. This story starts with Manu’s menstruation, a painful time for Manu directly correlated with the moon cycle. Manu’s mother gives her a sedative which puts her to sleep through the majority of her cycle. She remains indoors most of the time but when she does go out she wears shades to cover her unnaturally yellow as the sun eyes. Manu follows her mothers rules in order to keep from being detained & deported but she yearns for freedom and friends her age.

Manu’s entire life course is upended when her mother is detained by ICE & she finds herself on her own. Searching for answers with little to go on, she manages to stumble upon a group of teens off the side of the road. What at first seemed like just group of teens ends up looking a lot more like the Argentine Folklore passed down to her by Perla. Could Perla, the adopted grandmother have been trying to tell her something about her origins? or was it just superstitions passed down from her mother country? Could these people have answers to questions she hasn’t thought to ask? We follow Manu as she dares to uncover secrets and lay claim over her very existence.

It’s been about two weeks since I finished this book & I still remember the raw emotions it stirred up in me. During a time in the United States where we’ve seen children torn away from their families, this one hits hard! Manu left Argentina at the age of 5, on the run from her father’s crime family. Life in Miami has been spent mostly within the walls of her home building. Her very existence is deemed “illegal” in Argentina & in the U.S. and the author made sure to convey Manu’s feelings of displacement. I LOVED the magic in this world! in many ways this has all the elements of a Fantasy set within a school with even their own magical sport. There are witches being trained to use their elemental magic as well as wolves training in physical strength. There’s discussion on gender & identity, the fact that their world is stuck in rigid antiquated beliefs. Their laws make it so they cannot move beyond a binary system & therefore who they may love is also dictated by the assigned sex at birth. I felt this opened the floor for discussion and also set up the foundation for the next book. Manu is reclaiming her identity & with that comes hope for change within their world. I felt so many emotions reading this book but also hope because it feels like Manu’s journey will be one where she fights for equality.


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September 2020 TBR

Fall is absolutely in the air, it’s been a long time since I’ve braved posting a TBR here simply because the past 2 years have been mood reading heavy. Unintentionally this TBR is giving off major fall vibes & I am here LIVING for it! although I’ve found a new love for Summer, the Fall season will always be my one true love. It’s when I do the most reading, rock the cute hoodies, and drink all the seasonal drinks…I’m looking at you Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew 😉

By the time this post goes live I’ll be in the process of reading 2 or maybe 3 of these titles, one is definitely an audiobook. All of the titles listed below are eGalleys/ARCS/ALCS I am very thankful to have received & will be trying to review within this month. If I manage to make my way through these, I have a few add-ons to choose from but ummm…


Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams-Lyssa Kay Adams can continue writing in this world & I will buy all of her books. Here we follow Noah Logan the unofficial Bromance Book Club member who is a tech savvy nerd/hacker. As with all of these books there’s a guy who is in need of better understanding the female love interest. I’m only 15% into this book & already it’s getting hard to stop reading so fast. I love that we follow the important themes discussed in the previous book with sexual harassment at the work front. The men are still hard at work shedding toxic masculinity seen first hand at the very start when we learn that Liv (previous female love interest) has entrusted all wedding arrangements to her fiancé Braden Mack. Braden has gathered his book club to make paper carnations & GAH! I LOVE these characters so friggin much!

Horrid by Katrina Leno-In the spirit of continuing to read Horror, this could not have come at a better time. Set during the Autumns season we see a girl whose father has passed away & with her mom returns to her home town. Creepy vibes in this house where there’s a “storage”room that runs out to be a little girls bedroom. Our MC also faces bullying in this town & from what I can gather, this may come down to grieving & mental illness or something actually dark & secret. I’m intrigued but will definitely be reading this with the lights on & no my Kindle back light won’t cut it 🙂

Fable (Fable #1) by Adrienne Young-Pirates are my drug of choice but give me female pirates & now I don’t know how to act. I LOVED Adrienne Young’s Sky in the Deep & jumped at the chance of reading this on Netgalley. After losing her mother to the Sea, our MC is left to be raised by her father who in turn abandons her. Left alone to fend for herself, she sets out to make her way back to her father to convince him that she is worthy of being a member of his crew. What she doesn’t know is that during the time she was away from him, he’s picked up quite the rivals in his trade business. No one is to be trusted & nothing is as it seems…

A Deadly Education (Scholomance # 1) by Naomi Novak-I am about 15% into this book & I in NO way am here to support she who shall NOT be named. However, this book really does feel like the Slytherin story I never got. This I guess in many ways is Dark Academia with a MC who to many will come across as unlikeable. I happen to LOVE this type of character, her inner monologue has me wicked chuckling smh. She has all this dark power within her & can cast some powerful spells but doing that would bring about destruction. While others are working simpler spells to make life easier, she can’t summon anything basic. In many ways she comes across as a Bitter Betty but I can’t help LOVING her!

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole-Thought this was just a thriller but early reviewers are saying this leans more towards Horror. This is the year where I’ve started to take an interest in horror so I’m here for it! I’ve already started the audiobook via Libro.fm (my referral code) & the narration is A+! set in Brooklyn we meet a MC who is in the midst of watching her neighborhood go through the changes imposed by gentrification or is it? did the neighbors really relocate to the suburbs? I hear our MC may be a bit of an unreliable character & I love me a paranoid MC! here for it!

Kingdom Of The Wicked (Kingdom Of The Wicked #1) by Kerri Maniscalco-My! My! MY! I have yet to read a Kerri Maniscalco but this author has remained intriguing AF to me. Happy to satisfy my curiosity with this tale of twins, one Is gruesomely murdered & the other is left to find her murderer and avenge her death. Somehow, she gets thrown into meeting one of the Princes of Hell who is in charge of investigating the deaths of numerous women?!? Dark Romance?! HELL YES!

Legendborn (Legendborn #1) by Tracy Deonn– Southern Black Girl Magic? sign me up! Queer characters & secret societies within a school setting? with magical weapons? HIGH hopes! early reviews are all leaning towards this being a potential 5 star *fingers crossed*

Wayward Witch (Brooklyn Brujas #3) by Zoraida Córdova– The 3rd book in the Brooklyn Brujas trilogy & we finally get Rose Mortiz as the main POV! the littlest sister who is a rebel at heart, I’m beyond stoked! won’t go into deets cause spoilers but this is such a awesome Latinx trilogy to get into filled with magic and adventure.


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Spoiler Free Mini Reviews: Faith Takes Flight & The Voting Booth

Title: Faith Takes Flight

Author: Julie Murphy

Pub. Date: July 7th 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary/Queer

Format: Audiobook ALC

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Pages: 304 Pages

GOODREADSBARNES & NOBLE | LIBRO.FM| AMAZON

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

Faith Herbert in many ways is your average teenager living in a small town dealing with friendships, crushes, volunteer work & more. It’s easy to fall in love with Faith who is a plus size teen with a well known fan blog for The Grove, a popular tv series. Faith lives with her grandmother who she loves dearly & is one part of a trio of friends who are queer and super supportive of one another. This is her senior year in High School & things get a bit complicated when The Grove starts filming in her hometown. Faith finds herself having more than one crush, Johnny is very much the boy next door who is trying to get Dakota to notice him. Dakota Ash is the star of The Grove who also has her eyes on Faith & sets out to take her out on a date.

This was a cute superhero story that had its pacing issues & felt like two different books in one. The first half doesn’t see much plot movement, it really is just small town life as Faith goes about volunteer work at the Vet clinic & dating Dakota. The second half takes off at lightning speed with all sorts of new things introduced to the plot including missing teens, pets & a criminal operation. I’m still unsure about how Faith got a handle on her superhero powers & wished that we’d gotten more on that. What I loved about Faith is that she’s not your typical slim female superhero in tights. Faith is not only plus size but she also dates both genders & explores her sexuality, questioning herself at times but never labeling herself. I felt this came across as authentic for her age when really that’s exactly what is happening, self discovery. I did have some issues with how Faith handled her friends when consumed by her love life but I’m glad things get sorted out on the page. The friend trio itself is #Nerdgoals I LOVED them to pieces, especially Ches who is a queer witch that isn’t above lighting some sage to clear the room of negative energies! LOVED!


Title: The Voting Booth

Author: Brandy Colbert

Pub. Date: July 7th 2020

Genre: YA Contemporary

Format: Audiobook ALC

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 304 Pages

GOODREADSBARNES & NOBLE | LIBRO.FM | AMAZON

🖤ARC provided by author/Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review🖤

If ever there was a timely read, this is it! at its core, The Voting Booth is about voter suppression in black communities. We meet Marva Sheridan, a black teen who has a passion for politics & making sure voter rights are upheld and protected. She is an activist who knows her life has a purpose, to make a difference in the world. Duke Crenshaw is a bi-racial teen on his way to cast his vote before class & also comes from a family who take voting pretty seriously. However, they also had a son who was an activist, who is no longer with them. This is something that Duke carries with him & has created an aversion to politics. As a son of divorced parents, Duke has had to relocate a few times and because of that, voting at the school he is registered under has now become a challenge. Marva steps in to assist Duke throughout the course of one entire day, met with many obstacles but never once being deterred. At the start of their story, Marva is dating someone who she has just found out has opted to not vote at all. She’s completely thrown off & diverts her energies towards helping Duke & in turn spends the day getting to know him. I was very grateful to the author in their decision to not throw Marva into Dukes arms. Boundaries were respected leaving me with the MOST satisfying of endings.

Interwoven throughout this story there’s discussion of police brutality, interracial dating & moments where the characters themselves question their identities within the black community. There’s Duke who until this day hasn’t really wanted to focus too much on his brothers political activism. Then there’s Marva who is attending a white school & recognizes her privilege. There’s so much to unpack but one thing rings loud & clear, that’s the need to end voter suppression. The importance of casting your vote & the change that is needed within communities of color where it is made most difficult to exercise this right.


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FRIDAY READS & THANGS…

Happy Friday Book Lovers! I’m a little all over the place today but I’m stoked to get the weekend started. This weekend I’ll be flexing my newly found green thumb skills as I expand my at home window garden. I really thought this was something I sucked at smh since my past experience with plants were TERRIBLE. Whelp! (many things I thought I would suck at have turned out to be quite the opposite, never doubt yourself luvs) I have managed to keep my succulent Leo alive since the start of this year. Many will ask themselves (like my good friend Taylor @Nerdnarration), how do you kill a succulent? well it happened to me 2 years ago & I was set on never letting it happen again. Leo is now ready for siblings & my BFF IRL is bringing me a seedling from his very own garden! excited for this & have already ordered a few things for their arrival. On the bookish front, I have started a contemporary set to be released in 2 weeks & a few single issue comics. I also have plans for some outdoor activities with my tiny humans in a safe social distancing space.

The Faithless Hawk (The Merciful Crow #2) by Margaret Owen– I had no idea this was a duology but I’m so satisfied with how everything wrapped up! The world was further fleshed out as was the magic system & our MC’s were put through the wringer. I did NOT expect to finish it with tears in my eyes but it sure happened to be that way. I have a full review coming next week.

Wynd Issues 1 & 2 by BOOM Comics! – If you’re a fan of all things Fae then this will be one to keep an eye out for. I’m already craving more from this story & appreciate so much the plus size rep as well as there being POC characters. Wynd is a Fae Queer boy living in Pipetown where all with magic in their blood have been exiled. Wynd is in hiding, he was taken in by a family when he was just a baby left behind in a basket. The family has taken great risk in hiding him while the King has hired help to eliminate any found within his kingdom. There’s also talk of a land where those with magic live freely, can’t wait to read more!

A Man Among Ye Issues 1 & 2 by Image Comics– I love all things pirates but its the female pirate stories that have given me LIFE! this comic is based off of the real Irish Pirate Anne Bonny. We get a female MC who is very confident & just a bad a**! aboard Captain Jack’s crew. Other than Jack who may be a love interest, the crew is very sexist & anti Anne. Mutiny is definitely afoot. Now I’m not sure if she will remain on his crew or venture off based on how issue 2 left off. I am absolutely in need of issue 3 cause it seems we will be getting more female POC Pirates. I have a feeling this will be a favorite & I’m really hoping it gets a trade paperback *fingers crossed* 

The Roommate by Rosie Danan

House Rules:
Do your own dishes
Knock before entering the bathroom
Never look up your roommate online

This was about all I had read from the Goodreads Synopsis before I clicked on request on Netgalley. So far its been receiving really good reviews & I can see why. Since starting it last I found myself quickly going through the pages with no real want to put it down except for the much needed sleep. I’ve heard it’s a very sex positive read & that one of the MC’s has a profession not typically seen in books…I’m intrigued 😉

“She-Ra and the Princesses of Power tells the tale of Adora, a teenager who can transform into the heroine She-Ra and leads a group of other magical princesses in a rebellion against the evil Lord Hordak and his Horde.”

I’ve just started watching friends & can’t stop! thank goodness for slow work from home days amiright? haha! there are POC & plus size characters that I have absolutely been charmed by. These characters have quickly become faves! Final thoughts will be in my August Wrap-up.


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July 2020 Wrap-Up

This summer could’ve easily been a bust but I’m happy to report that July was possibly the BEST month I’ve had this year. After being stuck indoors for quite some time, I spent most of my personal time by some body of water. It was a blessing to be able to escape the city & experience some freedom while also reading some great books. I also rediscovered my love for all things Grease & listened to the soundtrack whenever possible…to be understood as all the time 🤷🏻‍♀️😌😂 When I wasn’t listening to Grease or reading, I went down the rabbit hole that is Unsolved Mysteries on Netflix. The thing is, this show creeps me out & I could only watch it with someone OR during the day. Otherwise I was for sure having dreams of cracking cases in my sleep & startling awake at all hours of the night. All that being said, I already have plans to watch I’ll Be Gone in the Dark on HBO MAX cause a part of me enjoys scaring myself to sleep smh…

Quality wise, I enjoyed all of the five reads I picked up in July and found some new authors I’m really excited to read more from. I’m considering making a special post dedicated to Silvia Moreno-Garcia as I make my way through her back-list. As always, the goal is to prioritize reading diverse books with an emphasis on intersectionality. This has made reading way more pleasurable and put a lot of black & Latinx authors on my radar. I have reviews posted for all of the books listed below for what I feel is the first time in a very long time. 

HERE TO STAY BY ADRIANA HERRERA – ✨4.5 STARS✨ (My ReviewI cannot stress this enough…Adriana Herrera is an author to keep an eye out for! we get Latinx characters who fall in love while crushing their goals and taking care of their mental health & space. There’s also an awesome friend group here that I would’ve loved to be a part of myself! for now I’ll comfort myself thinking I’m an honorary member of the Gotham Exiles Club 😉

FOREST OF SOULS BY LORI M. LEE – ✨4 STARS✨ (My ReviewThis story contains one of the best F/F friendships I’ve ever seen & if you’re one looking for a more adventure/platonic based Fantasy then this is a solid choice. Hella atmospheric with imagery that will give you the creeps when you enter the Dead Wood. Shamans practicing elemental magic + an ending to leave you reaching for more!

YOU SHOULD SEE ME IN A CROWN BY LEAH JOHNSON – ✨5 STARS✨(My Review) I listened to the audiobook version on Libro.fm & LOVED our MC a queer black teen who comes from a poor family with a lot of love. This is a story about second chance friendships, living your truth, and being seen when you feel invisible.

MEXICAN GOTHIC BY SILVIA MORENO-GARCIA – ✨5 STARS✨(My Review) Atmospheric & haunting; this book teleported me from a sunny day on the beach IRL to the gothic vibes inside of High Place, the mansion where it all takes place. Our MC is headstrong & way ahead of her times, I truly enjoyed being led into this mystery despite my aversion to anything creepy/scary.

YOU HAD ME AT HOLA BY ALEXIS DARIA – ✨5 STARS✨ (My ReviewSave the best for last? I don’t know cause Mexican Gothic really competes with You Had Me at Hola for my fave read of the month. Gahhh! an ode to telenovelas aka soap operas! it was everything I could’ve asked for & more! I wasn’t expecting mental health, PTSD, codependency & physical consent on the set while filming as themes in this book but I’m beyond grateful for this book. To take Latinx characters & portray them in a positive light as they climb the success ladder and experience heartbreak at a time where we simply just don’t have these stories…feels AMAZING!

Binge worthy they say? I was HOOKED from the very first episode but as previously mentioned, I couldn’t watch this by myself for the life of me 😂 I did watch the majority with my boyfriend who pulled up Google & further intensified my obsession with this show. We were those people who googled to see where they were with each of these cases & STILL are following the page for any updates smh. Shortly after finishing this show I found myself needing closure & so I ventured into this next show…

Although this is a very old show, in 2017 Netflix streamed one of their seasons & yes yes I did binge this right after Unsolved Mysteries. However, unlike the previous show which left me feeling hopeless (still a well put together show) this one has solved cases. Through the great strides in technology & DNA, all of these cases were solved usually within a 30 year span. This show gave me hope that the new cases in Unsolved Mysteries will be solved.


JUly WAS a month of relaxation & honestly just taking a step back from stressors which called for a change of scenery.I did do some retail therapy (BOOK HAUL)while also unhauling/donating 100+ books from my shelves. In many ways july was when i centered myself & in turn laid out some new goals in my journey. drop some luv in the comments book lovers! i hope you’re all doing well & reading some great new books! ❤


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