Review: Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

Title: Honor Among Thieves (The Honors #1)

Author: Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Pub. Date: February 13th, 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/Harper

Pages: 309

Format: eGalley & Physical ARC

Trigger Warning: Physical/Child abuse

*HUGE thanks to Katherine Tegen Books/Harper, Edelweiss, Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

My first YA Sci-Fi of the year & I ABSO-FRIGGIN-LUTELY LOVED IT! When we meet our MC Zara, she is on the streets trying to survive in a cut throat world. Her mother & sister have moved to Mars, she opted to stay behind as a emancipated young adult and her father…whelp more on that situation in the characters section of this review down below. I inhale read 90% of this book in 24hrs, sleep ended up winning the battle in the end but I picked it up as soon as I woke up the next morning & GAHHHH! well worth my time! as previously mentioned, Zara is on the streets and has turned to petty crime. She has one friend who is addicted to drugs & they have a very co-dependent relationship. Stealing & selling to street sharks is how she gets by until the day she steals from the daughter of a very wealthy & powerful man. Once she realizes she’s being hunted for a very specific gadget she stole, Zara goes ghost in an effort to avoid being captured. She goes through drastic measures to ensure she is tossed back into a rehabilitation program that focuses on “helping” youth by reconditioning them to go back into society as upstanding citizens. This is all in efforts to avoid the powerful clutches of those intent on squeezing her for info on the gadget she stole.

The story then truly begins while Zara is keeping her head low in the rehab facility where she realizes there really isn’t anywhere she can hide. The Honors program recruits her, a never before seen move. This program was created in partnership with the Leviathan who are Aliens that are credited for saving the human race from total annihilation. They have saved many planets from extinction and in turn, The Honors Program allows the recruitment of 100 youth from Earth & other planets. Until Zara’s recruitment, there was always a type the Leviathan chose. Selected in pairs, there is always 1 musician & 1 scientist…Zara is neither of these. Seeing as she doesn’t have much of a choice if she wan’ts to stay alive, she accepts her role. The Leviathan are aliens that act sort of like spaceships in the sense that the Honors all have to board a Leviathan. The Objective of the year long program is for humans & Leviathans to learn from each other in order to improve their quality of life. Of course there’s more than meets the eye to this program & finding out just what that is will be Zara’s real objective…

Zara- at first I thought we’d be getting the same kick a** strong female MC we’ve grown accustomed to in YA. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Zara is the first of her kind I’ve seen in any of the books I’ve come across. To say she’s had a rough life would be downplaying it. From the age of 6 she’s suffered from chronic headaches & having a hardcore religious father meant being subjected to unorthodox methods of healing. As a survivor of child abuse, Zara has detached herself from her parents. Her only loyalties are to herself & she’s managed to stay alive on the streets by always being on the move. Getting recruited into the Leviathan program has a major effect on her fierce need to not be tethered to any person,place, or thing. She’s also not used to having anyone care for her & I really enjoyed seeing the character development with Zara as the story progressed.

Parents & Sibling- We see that Zara does love her mother but unfortunately, her mother didn’t know how to protect her when she had the chance. It leads to sort of a love from afar type of situation that aches whenever they’re close & things are great because it’s temporary. Zara does have a younger sister she loves deeply & plays the overprotective sister role to.It’s her relationship with her father that is beyond repair. There were some tough scenes where she recollects moments of physical abuse at the hands of her very religious father. Zara’s dad really gives a whole new meaning to scumbag.

Beatrice- Zara’s partner on the Leviathan she is assigned to. Beatrice aka Bea is musically inclined, with a beautiful voice it makes sense why the Leviathan have chosen her to join the expedition. Bea is Brazilian and knows 4 different languages, with a large family waiting for her return to Earth, she is the exact opposite of Zara. Thankfully, their friendship was very positive & I LOVED seeing how well they meshed together.

Nadim- Saved the best for last! The Leviathan Zara & Bea are assigned to could not have been a better match. Nadim is a young alien & shares one thing in common with Zara…an aversion to following the rules. Nadim does try to adhere but more often that not, he goes off course. In this book Nadim is referred to as being a “he” but I loved how that was discussed because Leviathan don’t really have a assigned gender. The relationship that develops between Zara & Nadim can be described as unconventional & I still can’t tell you what exactly these two have going on LOL! but ummm…it gets innnneresting 😉

I’m going to keep this sections short cause when I love a book it’s really tough for me to pick it apart. I think it’s so bad a** when I come across a book collaboration where the synchronocity between the authors make for a seamless reading experience. I really couldn’t tell you where Rachel Caine’s writing stops & Ann Aguirre’s begins. I’ve read books in the past that take place in one specific setting for the entirety of the story & it just didn’t work. Honor Among Thieves takes place for the most part inside of Nadim the Leviathan in outer space & I could not get enough of these characters & their world. The only thing I would’ve liked to have a bit more insight on is the subplot involving Zara & the very powerful man she stole from when we first start this journey. Since I feel as if this will be explained in the follow-up, It didn’t take away from the story for my reading experience. We know early on that there’s more than meets the eye to the whole Leviathan program & Zara is hell bent on discovering their secrets & whether or not they have a hidden agenda. This plot progresses at a steady pace but it’s the evolution of Zara & Nadim that made for a story I just couldn’t put down. I also love the fact that we get to see some of the aliens that inhabit other worlds who have joined the Leviathan program. We get introduced to a diverse set of characters that represent all corners of the worlds & who will need to band together if they want to survive what’s to come. I HIGHLY reccomend this book to anyone who loves Sci-Fi, I’m probably going to be gushing about this one for a while & have already sent my arc copy along to another blogger buddy who I know will LOVE this book to pieces! I’ve also gone ahead & added both Rachel Caine’s & Ann Aguirre’s previous series to my TBR cause they’re my new favorites! ❤ ❤ ❤

Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re having a wonderful day <3’s! Honor Among Thieves hits shelves tomorrow 2/13 & I’ve been bitten by the Sci-Fi bug. Please leave any reccs you may have for me down below in the comments & in return I ask you pick up this AWESOME book cause I’d like to fangirl haha! ❤ ❤ ❤


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WWW Wednesday 2/7/2018

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

The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1) by Myke Cole

More like I’m starting this today & so I’m counting it as Currently Reading haha! I first came across this book at NYC Comic Con, the author was doing a signing but it was for the weekend for which I didn’t have tickets. I e-mailed the Publisher & was so kindly sent a arc copy. Since it’s only 208pgs, I expect to inhale read this one by the end of this week *fingers crossed* I’ve heard only good things & hope to LOVE it & fall into a new adult Fantasy series 🙂

In a world where any act of magic could open a portal to hell, the Order insures that no wizard will live to summon devils, and will kill as many innocent people as they must to prevent that greater horror. After witnessing a horrendous slaughter, the village girl Heloise opposes the Order, and risks bringing their wrath down on herself, her family, and her village.

Honor Among Thieves (The Honors #1) by Rachel Cane & Ann Aguirre

I actually finished this one this morning & OHMYGAHHH! I seriously LOVE this book to pieces! I have a GUSH review coming either tomorrow or Friday. I have to get the feels out while they’re still fresh haha! If you’re looking for a YA Sci-Fi with Diversity, EPIC adventure, space exploration, Aliens, a sarcastic MC who self preserves like no other….this one is for you! The character development was A+++ I highlighted so many lines in my galley I can’t wait to look over just because some are straight humorous & others give a real understanding of what made our MC the person she is when we meet her. SO much good in this book & the writing! can’t tell where Caine leaves off & Aguirre begins, the synchronicity is flawless! I’m going to stop here before I write my review here bu seriously February 13th pick this one up & then come back & gush about it, I’ll be waiting 🙂

Iron Gold (Red Rising #4) by Pierce Brown

Nothing could prepare me for this read! NOTHING! This was definitely a piece of humble pie for our MC & it hurt so bad but I can’t say it wasn’t necessary. I buddy read Iron Gold with my hubby & when he finished we spent the night tossing theories back & forth over that ending where Pierce will take this story come September. Dark Age (book 5) is right around the corner but the title alone *concerned emoji* has me wondering…Since this is book 4 in a ongoing saga, I won’t do a full review but instead a mini re-cap possibly on Sunday for those Howler Book Bloggers out there that have already read it 😉

I was going to include the Goodreads synopsis but I’m always weary of really longs blurbs, I fear spoilers like the plague! but if you click on the Goodreads icon below you’ll be taken to that presumably spoilery blurb. Anyways, this is another YA Sc-Fi I caught wind of a few months ago & I couldn’t resist cause sentient androids are my jam & that cover wouldn’t stop calling my name so yea. Also it sounds like there’s a pretty awesome crew in this book so I’m REALLY wishin’ & hopin’ there are some characters I end up loving to tiny pieces! *fingers crossed* Heart Of Iron will be out in the wild on February 27th! the hype is serious on this one bookworms! wish me luck 🙂

What are you wonderful bookworms currently reading? planning to read next? any good ones? & if you’re reading any of the ones I mentioned, sound off in the comments down below! ❤ ❤ ❤


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January Book Haul & Wrap-Up

Happy February Bookworms! I come to you with my belated January Wrap-up & Book Haul. In December I had decided to separate these post & enjoyed the outcome however, something MOST unprecedented occurred & no one is more surprised than myself!…I only purchased 1 book!!! yea I know, never have I ever practiced self control in the book buying department & can honestly say it wasn’t intentional which is probably the only reason why it worked out that way. I’m not good at book buying bans but my pockets did thank me in January for the break. I also think my reading had a big role to play in my inactive book buying. I was enjoying mostly everything I was reading & so every minute I had to spare saw me nose deep in my current read. I’d love to come on here & say I had an exciting month overall but tbh, January saw me hunker down at home. There wasn’t anything really exciting in the theater and all of my favorite tv shows returned lol so I got nice & cozy on my couch with my favorite blanket and bonded with my DVR. I did discover 1 new tv show I’m pretty much obsessed with but more on that at the end of this post 😉

I buddy read Iron Gold with my hubby & although he’s not yet finished, we share a lot of the same feelings about this 4th installment in the Red Rising Saga. We’re very happy to see Pierce Brown continue on with our beloved characters & after THAT ending…I need the next book like I need air (good thing it’s out in September). I will be posting a mini non-spoilery review some time this week for Iron Gold. Overall I am very happy with my January reading & hope for the same in the verrrrrrry short month of February *fingers crossed* 🙂

Love Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed ★★★★★ (5 STARS)

Meet Cute by various authors ★★★★ (4 STARS)

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert ★★1/2 (2.5 STARS)

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis ★★★★ (4 STARS)

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton ★★★★1/2 (4.5 STARS)

Iron Gold (Red Rising #4) by Pierce Brown ★★★★1/2 (4.5 STARS)

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Iron Gold (Red Rising #4) | Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them | Saga Vol. 8

*Iron Gold & Fantastic Beasts were gifts from the hubby

Ace Of Shades | Everything Here Is Beautiful | Love Hate & Other Filters | Whisper of The Tide (Song of the Current #2)

Circe | To Kill A Kingdom | Sky In The Deep

January FairyLoot

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The Cruel Prince (Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black (My Spoiler-free review)

Book Of The Month

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As Bright As Heaven | A Gentleman In Moscow


On Chicago’s south side, an average day finds kids prepping for school as their parents head off to work, young adults trying to make a living, and the elders keeping an eye on things from their front porches. But in this tough neighborhood, real dangers threaten daily to squelch dreams, and the simplest decisions can have life or death consequences. From Emmy® winner Lena Waithe, The Chi is a timely coming-of-age drama series centered on a group of residents who become linked by coincidence but bonded by the need for connection and redemption. –Showtime Official

Thoughts so far…

I stumbled across a subway advertisement for this show & knew I’d be checking it out that weekend. It’s only about 4 episodes in so far & I can already say this will be one of my fave new series for 2018. Powerful & often times sobering, The Chi doesn’t hold back. Many of the dangers faced by the residents in this small Chicago neighborhood are more common than not. We follow different characters in their every day lives, they all vary in age and all are linked in one way or another. My favorite character is Kevin played by Alex Hibbert who is just a kid trying to stay out of trouble but trouble seems to always find him. Kevin is in school & we see him with his friends doing normal kid things. It’s when school’s out & he goes back to his neighborhood that we see why Kevin has a #survivalofthefittest mentality. More thoughts to come at the end of this first season 🙂

Hello Bookworms! hope you’re already off to a fab start in February 🙂 & that you’re already reading your next favorite book…I’m currently reading YA Sci-Fi Honor Among Thieves & gahhhhh! so damn good haha! What are you all reading? Sound off in the comments below <3’s!

Spoiler Free Review: The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton

Title: The Belles

Author: Dhonielle Clayton

Pub. Date: February 6th, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Pages: 448

Format: eGalley & Physical ARC

*HUGE thanks to Disney Hyperion, Netgalley and Dhonielle Clayton for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


The Belles is the type of book that will sink it’s teeth into you without you ever noticing. The opening scene sets the stage for this lush & colorful world, leaving you hypnotized by all Orléans has to offer. The Belles are introduced to us readers & the royal court on their 16th birthday. Beautiful carriages stream in one by one, each carrying a Belle named after a specific flower. Each one will be introduced to the royal family & each one will hope to be chosen as the “Favorite.” The Favorite will solely tend to the needs of the royal family while the others are assigned to the different tea houses in the land where they will provide a service. Born with a special gift, The Belles are the only ones that can bring beauty to a otherwise gray world & people. Their services are sought out by the wealthy who can afford to pay the hefty price for beauty.

“Belles are the descendants of the Goddess of Beauty, blessed with the Arcana to enhance the world and rescue the people of Orléans”

We are introduced to our MC Camellia Beauregard whose mother once was the Royal family’s Favorite, and whose footsteps she hopes to follow. Camellia & her sisters are recieved by the court with great celebration, a vote will be cast for the Favorite. Camellia wants the coveted position of Favorite more than anything in the world but so does her closest sister Ambrosia. Both Camellia & Ambrosia have shown great skill with their power called the Arcana, a power that is not without it’s consequences if misused. The Royal family is hiding many secrets & The Belles are unfortunately pawns used to maintain appearances. The Favorite will find herself pushing the limits of the Arcana at the risk of her own destruction. Filled with plot twists and political intrigue, this book had me on my toes trying to figure out the next move in the game.

“Always remember that emotions are tethered to the blood, and the blood is where your gifts are. Any excess passion can cause contamination and too much pressure. It can damage the Arcana. I cannot stress this enough.”

We’re introduced to Camellia, Ambrosia, Edelweiss, Padma, Valeria, and Hana on their 16th birthday. Although each one doesn’t get a ton of page time, their personalities definitely jumped off the page, some more than others. The MC Camellia has a reputation for being a rebel & going against the rules set for The Belles, she’s very unpredictable. Camellia wants nothing more than to follow in her mother’s footsteps, she is ambitious & confident in her Arcana. I enjoyed meeting a MC who walked into the story with confidence & determination, she refused to allow self doubt to creep in. Camellia’s only real competition is Ambrosia who she is most closest to having been raised together by their Mamans aka Mothers. The Belles for the most part get along well & treat each other like sisters. They’ve been raised together since infancy & so we see the typical sibling rivalry take place but none as complicated as Camellia & Ambrosia’s relationship. They cheer each other on & look-out for one another but they both desire a position only one can hold.

Edelweiss is probably my most favorite besides Camellia, she cares not for being a Belle & would much rather see the world. We see Edelweiss often challenge Madame Du Barry who is head of their house & responsible for their training. I really enjoyed seeing how far Edelweiss would push the limits, very outspoken & quick to set any of her sisters straight, she quickly became one of my favorite characters in this book. There is one other supporting character that deserves mention, Rémy who is assigned to protect & watch over Camellia. Although there is no romance between Camellia & Rémy in this book, there is some budding chemistry between the two. Rémy is loyal, the kind of guy who is hard on the exterior but mush for those he loves. I appreciated that he wasn’t made out to be some raging jealous guy once he saw Camellia’s actual “love interest” come around, he respected her space.

The villain…cause it wouldn’t be a Fantastical world without one amiright?!?! Ha! Princess Sophia, daughter to the Queen & King of Orléans will make anyone’s blood go cold just by looking their way. Cruel, Vain, implacable, and unpredictable. She’s also one of the smartest villains I’ve met in YA Fantasy, always ten steps ahead of the game. She is calculating & mainpulative & many times left me asking myself “does she know?” Princess Sophia plays her cards close to her chest & what she does and doesn’t know is a source of tension for both the reader and those in her court.

The first impression I got when I read the first page of this book was beauty would be splattered everywhere!!! In the fashion, foods, and streets of Orléans and that it was! giving off Hunger Games Capital vibes, you are sucked into the MOST colorful & opulent world guaranteed to leave you eyeing the closest pastry shop. The world building was A+ but perhaps my only complaint is that the magic system isn’t throughly broken down early on. This book is quite hefty and that means that for the first half you are only holding certain pieces of knowledge on the way things work with The Belles. We know that their treatments are temporary fixes & that only the wealthy can really afford them & the maintenance that goes along with it. The consequences of pushing the limits however, isn’t disclosed in the first half of the book. It wasn’t too complex of a system at all to understand, I just wish we had been given more of it towards the beginning. There is a TON of information that is revealed towards the end, the second half of the book is absolutely much faster paced than the first. That being said, I cannot deny the lure of this world & how I couldn’t put the book down for long. The rich color palette encompassing all skin colors/tones used by the Belles to treat the Gray, signified the lack of racism in this book. However, classism is well & alive in The Belles where only the wealthy can afford to receive treatments while the less fortunate walk around Gray & drained of life. There are also three characters from the LGBTQIA+ spectrum, one who is Bi-sexual & the other two are Lesbian (won’t say who cause spoilers). Orléans is a world where LBTQIA+ and people of color live well among others without discrimination. I LOVED the commentary on beauty & societal standards this book brings to the forefront! Camellia loves being a Belle & bringing color to peoples lives but then there are those who are never satisfied…

Hello Bookworms! hope you’re all having a wonderful day & enjoying all of your current reads, has The Belles made its way onto your TBR’s? Thoughts? The Belles will be out on February 6th. 2018 🙂


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#ARCstravaganza #17

ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Flavia over @Flavia the Bibliophile where book bloggers/bookstagrammers have a chance to show off their ARCs/eARCs/Galleys!

Hello Readers! This is my 17th week participating in #ARCstravaganza Monday & this week I’ve chosen Circe by Madeline Miller. I requested this arc from Little Brown on Netgalley & being that it’s one of the tough publishing house I’ve encountered, I wasn’t really expecting a approval. Whelp! when it came through my heart skipped a couple of beats cause ANYTHING Mythology Bookworms! I just can’t not gravitate towards it. Then I read the Goodreads synopsis & the last line did me in…Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.”…also, have you seen the line-up of characters Circe crosses paths with while on the deserted island? I mean friggin ODYSSEUS!!! 

This has only made me REALLLLY want to read Song of Achilles  smh, I’ve had this book for far too long & don’t really know why I haven’t gotten around to it but I will be soon…hopefully before Circe 😉

Circe will be hitting bookshelves April 10th 2018! 🙂

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 In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves.

Threatened, Zeus banishes her to a deserted island, where she hones her occult craft, tames wild beasts and crosses paths with many of the most famous figures in all of mythology, including the Minotaur, Daedalus and his doomed son Icarus, the murderous Medea, and, of course, wily Odysseus.

But there is danger, too, for a woman who stands alone, and Circe unwittingly draws the wrath of both men and gods, ultimately finding herself pitted against one of the most terrifying and vengeful of the Olympians. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and choose, once and for all, whether she belongs with the gods she is born from, or the mortals she has come to love.

With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world.

Sound off in the comments below if Circe has made its way onto your TBR’s 


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Review: The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

Title: The Dangerous Art of Blending In

Author: Angelo Surmelis

Pub. Date: January 30th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary/LGBTQIA+

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/Harper

Pages: 336

Format: eGalley

Content Warning: Physical abuse, homophobia, emotional abuse, and child abuse, bullying, Suicidal thoughts

*HUGE thanks to Balzer + Bray/Harper, Edelweiss, and Angelo Surmelis for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


Seventeen-year-old Evan Panos doesn’t know where he fits in. His strict Greek mother refuses to see him as anything but a disappointment. His quiet, workaholic father is a staunch believer in avoiding any kind of conflict. And his best friend Henry has somehow become distractingly attractive over the summer.

Tired, isolated, scared—Evan’s only escape is drawing in an abandoned church that feels as lonely as he is. And, yes, he kissed one guy over the summer. But it’s his best friend Henry who’s now proving to be irresistible. It’s Henry who suddenly seems interested in being more than friends. And it’s Henry who makes him believe that he’s more than his mother’s harsh words and terrifying abuse. But as things with Henry heat up, and his mother’s abuse escalates, Evan has to decide how to find his voice in a world where he has survived so long by avoiding attention at all costs.

Where to begin? well first I’d like to refer everyone to the content warning up above. This wasn’t a easy book to read but then again I know it couldn’t have been easy to write either. The author wrote this book based on his personal childhood experiences & so this is Ownvoices for LGBTQIA+ and child abuse. I requested this title from Harper once I read the synopsis & found that something about this character resonated deep within me. This review will be a mix of my thoughts on the book & my own personal experience which is something I rarely if ever talk about. I’ve never wanted to be proven wrong so badly but when I met Evan Panos on the pages, I knew I was in trouble. My childhood experiences at home ran parallel to Evans or really to the author himself with regards to child abuse. There is nothing pretty about what went on behind closed doors for Evan & being silenced by your abuser is the norm. Telling our stories isn’t something we do because child abuse is a very ugly thing & many aren’t prepared to hear about it. From personal experience, as someone who was silenced by my own family, this “story” rings true & my heart broke in a million pieces at the extent to which Evan went to hide his ugly truths.

Evan Panos is a only child living at home with both mom & dad, on the outside they appear to be the perfect Greek family. He is a talented artist & loves to sketch whenever he can as a means of escape. His mother, a extremely religious woman will go above and beyond to keep up appearances. His dad is a hard working man who loves his son but unfortunately doesn’t have the courage to put a stop to the abuse going on at home. Evan’s mother considers homosexuality a sin & although Evan hasn’t come out or even really had the chance to embrace who he is to himself, his mother makes it known on a daily basis that she knows he is Gay. We see Evan doing good in school and being a all around good kid but that isn’t enough for his mom who is determined to beat sin out of him. We see Evan walking on egg shells while home trying not to trigger another attack from his mother but his very existence is enough for her to go off. She physically beats him & emotionally breaks him down every chance she gets. She vocalizes her hatred for him & goes as far as wishing she never had him. Evan is numb at this point & we see him take it and never once actually break down. He’s become a master at hiding his wounds both inside & out, something his mother has taught him to do. I’d like to point out here, many times his bruises were on his face & although others questioned & suspected abuse at home… NO ONE ever really pressed the matter & this is something that unfortunately happens every day. It is easier to accept the lie the victim gives than accept the unthinkable truth. Although Evans mother mostly attacks him when his dad is away, there is no denying that his father knows what is going on at home. Their trips to the Doughnut shop was his Dads way of taking Evan out of the toxic home for a couple of hours. This was something my own father did for me & at the time it felt like a lifeline, now as an adult I understand so much more what those trips to get ice cream really were.

There is a love interest that plays a big part of Evans life, his childhood best friend Henry. The only reason they were allowed to be friends was because Evan’s mom set out to convert Henry’s parents into her religion. Their friendship runs through High School & becomes more than just platonic. It isn’t easy though, Henry knows something is going on at home but his life & parents are the exact opposite of Evans. Henry has a supportive home & his place becomes sort of like a refuge for Evan. I wanted to really like Henry, but unfortunately this is where I shook my head no. Evan is pretty numb all around & sometimes his answers just roll off the tongue in order to keep people away from his personal life. Henry has just come out as Gay to his family & receives all their love & support. My issue was with how much he pressured Evan all around. I understood Henry wanting Evan to leave his toxic home (been there myself & had someone try this for me) but I also understand how it feels to be in Evans shoes. What I can’t imagine is what it must feel like to also be pressured to come out as Gay & that is why Henry really rubbed me the wrong way.

I would’ve much rather he supported Evan & encouraged him to get help to get out of his abusive home more than his focus on them as a couple. I was happy to see that Evan had found another home & another example of what a supportive family looks like even if it was Henry’s. I myself found a home that showed me love & support and ultimately gave me the strength I needed to leave. From this book I wanted a ending that empowered others to seek out their peace of mind away from any form of abuse. Did I get that? Ultimately, yes! and no it wasn’t with Henry. If I had a book like this when I was a child/teen, I’ll be honest & say I may have hated seeing the truth written on the pages but by the end I know I would’ve also been emboldened to get help. I read the author’s note & the inner turmoil he had within himself to share his story is one that I’ve felt many times and still experience. Another well known author who is also his best friend, advised him to give the story to someone else. This is how Evan came about & through this character he was able to share something that not many are ready to hear. This book won’t be for everyone, the abuse is very raw & the wounds are deep but for those who have experienced it or still are…maybe this book will give you hope & strength to find your safe space.

The author shared some helpful links at the end of this book…


It Gets Better Project—

LGBT National Help Center—

ABUSE National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) and its affiliate, Childhelp—

BULLYING Stomp Out Bullying—


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. I can’t remember the last time I participated in this Monday meme but seeing as I have some reviews planned this week, I thought it best to give a reading update early on in the week ☺️

I also drew a winner this morning for the Love, Hate & Other Filters Giveaway…

Danielle @ Life Of a Literary Nerd!!! Congrats & I hope you LOVE the book as much as I did! Please contact me with your addy 🙂

Last week I finished reading 2 books & no one is more surprised at that than me! Both reads were tough for very different reasons and I’m still working through my thoughts & feelings on one of them…

This was not what I was expecting & I feel terrible about not loving it cause I really had my ♥️ set on this one ever since I first caught wind of it & then saw its beautiful cover 🙈unfortunately I didn’t get reeled in until the 65% mark. By then I had pinpointed exactly what made this one a 2.5 star read, I have a review for The Hazel Wood by Melissa Alberthere.



I’m currently working on my review for The Dangerous Art Of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis which had to be THE hardest book I’ve ever read. This book was triggering on a personal level but I knew that when I requested the galley. My interest in this book was heightened when I learned that this was Ownvoices not only for LGBTQIA+ but also for child abuse. This was not an easy read & it brought up many bad memories. It also didn’t have the best romance, in fact it borderlines toxic. Ultimately I appreciated the fact that it didn’t paint a rosy colored portrait of what child abuse really looks like. The sad reality is that being silenced is part of the abuse and covering up both physical & emotional abuse becomes second nature to the victim. This book was like a huge stadium light on the hard cold truths behind closed doors. Review to come this week.

I’m currently reading The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton & I’m about 50% into this BEAUTIFUL Fantasy!!! 😍 I’m OBSESSED with the detailed world building that transports me each & every time I read a single page. I can easily picture this world brought to the big screen with its bursts of color, newspapers with moving headlines, balloons that carry messages & also eavesdrop gathering up bits of gossip. Last but not the least, The Belles who are diverse & admired for their beauty. There’s so much more to this story beneath all the layers of Tulle & beauty products. I know I’ll be finishing this book by either tomorrow, latest Tuesday & my heart breaks knowing I’ll have to leave this world behind til’ the sequel that I hope is already being written 🤞🏼

Originally, I had hoped to read Iron Gold by Pierce Brown (Red Rising Saga #4) simultaneously with The Belles but that of course didn’t work out. This is typically the case whenever I come across a book like The Belles that simply demands all of my attention. I open The Belles & I get absorbed into the pages…I become one with the words! 😂😂😂 The good news is that once I start Iron Gold, I know I’ll be just as invested cause I’ve only been waiting for this book ALL of 2017 & it’s PIERCE BROWN!!! 🐺I’ve been dodging spoilers on twitter but I have caught bits & pieces of praise which means Pierce has delivertttt again!!! 😆😆😆 Hoping to start Iron Gold by Tuesday night 💜

Happy Monday Bookworms! hope you all had a wonderful weekend 💜 What have you recently finished reading? plan on reading next? Sound off in the comments below 💗 ‘s!

Review: The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Title: The Hazel Wood (The Hazel Wood #1)

Author: Melissa Albert

Pub. Date: January 30th, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Pages: 368

Format: Physical ARC & eGalley

*HUGE thanks to Fierce Reads, Netgalley, and Melissa Albert for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

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I’d like to preface this review by stating that no one is more surprised & bummed out by my reading experience with The Hazel Wood. I stayed clear of other reviews while reading once I caught wind of the divide in readers. This book feels like it will be a either you LOVE it or REALLY WANTED TO BUT JUST DIDN’T type of read & I fall into the latter. This has all the ingredients I look for in my Fantasy books however, the promise of “pitch dark fairy tales” was the real hook line & sinker. This is a very slow paced read & I for one am Ok with that because some of my favorite books have been and as long as the pay off is worth it I roll with it. The problem became evident when at the 60% mark I started eyeing the remaining pages wondering if there were enough left to transport me to the Hinterland & when that exactly was going to happen. It was like waiting for Lucy to find the door in the wardrobe that would take her to Narnia only she doesn’t discover it til the very end & at that point there really isn’t much time for world building. Although The Hazel Wood is labeled Fantasy, a large chunk of it is set in modern day.

We follow Alice and her mother who are always on the move trying to stay ten steps ahead of their “bad luck” & so a lot of the story is set on the road. Alice knows only that her mom doesn’t have a good relationship with her grandmother and as such has told her to stay away from her & The Hazel Wood where she lives. This all changes when Alice’s mother is kidnapped & she’s left with a last ditch warning from her mom to again stay away from The Hazel Wood. Alice of course disregards & starts searching for clues that will lead her to her mom, eventually all roads lead to the Hinterland and the passageway is The Hazelwood. Alice has never read her Grandmothers most famed written work  Tales from the Hinterland but not for lack of trying. The hunt for this rare edition leads her to her classmate Ellery Finch who is OBSESSED with her grandmother & Tales from the Hinterland. Typically, Alice steers clear of all fans but she’s feeling really desperate & Ellery has read the book which gives them an advantage. Now, the way this relationship progresses was probably one of the main reasons I came to the conclusion that I really dislike Alice as a character. Yes, it’s clear that Ellery has a hidden agenda but we don’t know if he has ill intentions towards Alice or is just a super fan who will do anything to get into The Hazel Wood. The dialogue between these two is always abusive from Alice’s side. One specific instance is when they’re on the road & Finch makes up a game in order to break the ice & get to know each other better, maybe even help Alice remember important childhood memories that can help them. The game is called Memory Place and Ellery starts of with A is fo Amsterdam because that’s the place he lost his “V-card” & they continue through the alphabet only Alice gets exasperated & says she no longer wants to play…

“I don’t want to play your stupid game anymore”

“and who uses a car game as an excuse to brag about having sex with some bitch in a park”

“some bitch? she was my girlfriend for eight months. It’s so ugly when girls call each other that word”

“Oh, my God, Finch, go get a liberal arts degree”

Awkward…but this is very much who Alice is and although we get a better understanding for her character at the very end, it didn’t change the cringe worthy moments throughout the book where she was just downright unlike-able.

To be honest, I probably would’ve fared better in the tolerance department had the majority of this story been set in the Hinterland. I really did not enjoy Quentin Colwater’s character in The Magicians but once we were in Fillory, he got plenty of passes from me. Alice may not have been my favorite MC however, I’m a sucker for A+ world building & the glimpse that I got just wasn’t enough. There were two stories within The Hazel Wood that were from Tales from the Hinterland that were absolutely engrossing! Dark & twisted, I couldn’t get enough & found myself powering through the pages. However, these were short stories at the very end and I can’t judge my enjoyment of this book on just these two amazing short stories (I thought about it but I just can’t). The ending however, leaves much promise for the sequel and I found my interest piqued. I really enjoyed the story behind Alice once it was revealed at the very end, but don’t want to discuss for fear of spoilers. I will say that in the short amount of time I spent in the Hinterland, I found it to be filled with interesting characters & the land itself had a very dark & atmospheric vibe. The kind of place I would’ve loved getting lost in the pages with. I’d still encourage those who want to read this book to do so since I know blogger buddies who LOVED it to pieces. I myself wanted to LOVE it but ultimately it didn’t work out that way. Will I read the sequel or any of the authors future works? I’m going to say yes for now, it’s clear Melissa Albert knows how to write dark Fantasy. I’m very curious to see whether the sequel let’s us full out immerse ourselves into the treacherous world of the Hinterland and enjoy her story-telling in a fantastical setting…

Hello Bookworms! Happy FriYAY! hope you’re all having a wonderful day *smiles* If you’ve read The Hazel Wood, sound off in the comments below, I’d love to hear your thoughts. If you’re currently reading this book, how’s it faring with you? & for those who haven’t, did it make the cut on your TBR? ❤


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Review + Giveaway: Love, Hate & Other Filters

Title: Love, Hate & Other Filters

Author: Samira Ahmed

Pub. Date: January 16th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary/Own Voices

Publisher: Soho Teen

Pages: 288

Format: Physical ARC

Trigger Warnings: Suicide, Islamophobia & Hate Crime

*Thank you Soho Teen and Samira Ahmed for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


It’s been weeks since I finished this book & yet the feelings that stirred within me are still very raw. Last year I praised The Hate U Give along with many of my fellow book blogging buddies, and still do. This year although it is only the beginning, I confidently recommend Love, Hate & Other Filters as a MUST READ! We alternate between two storylines, that of Maya a young  Indian-American Muslim trying to navigate her way through her wants & her families beliefs and a suicide bomber leading up to a horrific event. Maya’s first passion in life has always been Film, she wants to make movies & to get to that she has chosen to apply to NYU Tisch. Maya’s parents really just want her to marry a suitable/respectable Muslim guy…preferably one they’ve chosen. The life they’ve imagined for Maya doesn’t quite align with the life she has already set her sights on & is actively pursuing. Maya also can’t help her feelings towards a Caucasian boy she has known since their childhood. Phil has just recently started making it a bit more clear where his feelings lie towards Mya & that means Mya’s parents match-making will take a back seat. We see Mya try to respect her parents wishes by going on a date with a boy they consider suitable. We also see Mya firmly hold on to her dreams for the future even when that meant going against the grain. We also follow the suicide bomber in this story briefly as he calls upon memories of his childhood. We are left to speculate whether certain people & abuse lead him to the path he is now on. We also see the effects of the suicide bombing & the Islamophobia both Mya and her parents face immediately after the horrific crime. Filled with culture, sweet moments, awesome characters, family ties, sadness, hate, & other filters….this is one you’re not going to want to miss! 

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Our MC Maya is seriously a go-getter! passionate & in love with life itself, Maya was inspirational to me. I learned so much from Maya, she had a very “I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it” type of attitude without even knowing it if that makes any sense. Maya may feel most comfortable behind the lens of a camera but her passion for film & capturing all of life’s moments will also be her strength.  We see very real moments with her parents where at times she feels bad for the bad communication & lack of understanding. I did find myself sympathizing with her parents at times but also wanting Maya to do what makes her happy. Although Maya’s parents weren’t exactly supportive of her passion for film, you can also see how much they love their daughter & just want what’s best for her. I personally didn’t agree with their approach but could see it didn’t come from a bad place but rather from genuine concern & love. Maya’s mother is very much stuck between the life she left behind & life raising a teen in America. All very real struggles that I enjoyed seeing included in this book.

Stand-out supporting character would go to Maya’s aunt who is living her life in a very non-traditional way. She isn’t married and has no kids but is very much happy with single life living on her own. Maya’s aunt is very supportive of her and will often go up to bat for her niece. I LOVED see their relationship & seeing Maya have such a positive role model in her life.

As for the guys in Maya’s love life…Kareem who is the guy Maya’s parents set her up on a date with ended up being one  of my fave characters for very different reasons. I never shipped these two but LOVED Kareem’s personality to pieces! & as for Phil who is Maya’s childhood crush, I liked him enough & had thoughts on how this ship would sail and I’m so glad I was right! ultimately these characters were in Maya’s life to guide her along to where she needs to be 😉

All throughout Love, Hate & Other Filters we toggle between Maya’s story & the suicide bomber which was really sobering. I don’t want to go into too much detail in regards to the suicide bomber since that would be spoilery. I will say however, that the way it was written into this story was done so well & will hopefully have you self reflect. I most definitely will be reading more from this author & cannot recommend this book enough! I love when characters are fleshed out through their hobbies & interests which was flawlessly done with our MC Maya. The classic Film references Maya makes throughout her day to day made me root harder for her to follow her dreams. Ahmed doesn’t simply tell us what Maya enjoys & wants to be in life, she takes us along giving us a view through Maya’s lens. I experienced both feelings of happiness & anger reading this book, both of which were necessary when trying to see things through Maya’s POV. By the time I read the last page, I walked away with a feeling that can’t be described as anything else but hope. Hope for change…

Hello Bookworms!!! Happy Tuesday, I hope you’re all having a wonderful day. If you’re like me then you’re just getting back to the daily grind after a 3 day weekend. It’s tough & what better way to get back in the flow of things than a GIVEAWAY?!?!? I’m giving away 1 hardcover copy of this wonderful book & all you need to do is comment down below & follow my blog. I will also give 1+ point for each follow on Instagram & Twitter. This giveaway is open to international Bookworms as well & will run until January 21st 💜 Happy reading & may the luck be with thee…


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Review: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

Title: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

Authors: Jennifer L. Armentrout , Sona CharaipotraDhonielle ClaytonKatie CotugnoJocelyn DaviesNina LaCourEmery Lord , Katharine McGee , Kass Morgan , Meredith RussoSara Shepard , Nicola Yoon Ibi Zoboi , Julie Murphy 

Pub. Date: January 2nd, 2018

Genre: YA Anthology/Romance

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Format: eGalley

*Thank you HMH Books for Young Readers, Netgalley, and all of the wonderful authors who contributed to this anthology for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


Whether or not you believe in fate, or luck, or love at first sight, every romance has to start somewhere. MEET CUTE is an anthology of original short stories featuring tales of “how they first met” from some of today’s most popular YA authors.

This was such a unexpectedly wonderful read that left me feeling happy inside & in love with Romance haha! I’m going to need to watch Serendipity, You’ve Got Mail, Brown Sugar, Sleepless in Seattle, Love and Basketball, and last but not least Love Actually during this upcoming holiday weekend. Get it all out of my system LOL! but I digress..

Some of the diversity/own voices stories included in Meet Cute had POC, LGBTQIA+, and plus sized rep. Some of the relevant topics discussed were the misogynistic behavior in the entertainment industry, fashion & how it mostly caters to a specific body type, and struggling libraries with no real funding. I fell in love with so many of the stories & will treasure this collection for years to come. If you’ve been looking for an anthology but have been a bit weary due to some less than great ones (no shade)…look no further! I’ve found a few new to me authors I can’t wait to read more from & got reacquainted with some 2017 debut authors I need more from like yesterday (*whispers* Ibi Zoboi I’m pleading to you).

Siege Etiquette by Katie Cotugno ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Opening scene is a house party that the police have come to shut down. Hailey is the MC & The story is told in third person POV? Since this isn’t the first time the police have coming knocking, Haileys best friend is adamant on not opening the door. Instead everyone hides and Hailey ends up in the bathroom with Wolf, a classmate who she’s known since she was a little girl. Wolf receives partial homeschooling in order to allow him to help his family on their farm. To Hailey, Wolf is a fresh clean slate…someone who doesn’t know about the tragedy that marked her past. I gave this one 2.5 stars because of the writing style/POV, it just wasn’t my cup of tea tbh. I was however very interested in Wolf as a character & would love to find him in a future full length book
Print Shop by Nina LaCour ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Oh goodness! I should’ve known I would LOVE this to pieces! Any time I pick up anything by Nina LaCour I end up falling in love with the writing & characters. We meet Evie who interviews to work at a old fashioned print shop as a way to step back from technology & modern day everything. When she gets the job, she realizes the shop actually needs help stepping into the 21st century. Although it isn’t what she signed up for, helping this shop is something she really wants to do.
In doing so, she also wasn’t expecting to meet a girl after her own heart. This was such a cute queer story but I’m going to need more of the characters who work at the print shop! We have the Gay artist/owner of the shop with a quick cameo of his husband, his pregnant assistant and the baby’s father all giving life to this old school shop & gahhhh! Nina!!! Can 2018 be the year we get more Nina LaCour please & thank you?!?!
Hourglass by Ibi Zoboi ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Introduces Cherish as she is dress shopping with her best friend for prom. Cherish is debating whether she’s going to attend since finding a dress for her body type isn’t as easy as it is for her best friend Stacy. Cherish is tall, curvy, and dark skinned living in a town made up of primarily white people. When she stumbles across a flyer for Mamadou’s African Tailoring: One Size Don’t Fit All, she decides to make a visit. This story embraces the beauty in different body shapes & sizes and in turn highlights the need for more black owned businesses. Loved how this Meet Cute carried some important messages along the way. I did however wish we’d been given a tad bit more of the Meet Cute itself.
Click by Katherine McGee⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Takes place in 2020 NYC & is told in alternating POV’s between Alexa and Raden who’ve both signed up to a dating service app. Grieving & trying to get back in the dating scene, Alexa is giving Click a chance since she believes in the power of data. A computer engineer herself, she figured Click reliable enough to find her a compatible match. Raden is a photography student who is trying to get over his ex. Their meet up is sort of ruined when Alexa realizes she’s left her phone behind in the cab she took to get to her date. A unlikely adventure begins & I just died thinking what if someone would do this for me?!?😍 the last line was sort of cheesy but otherwise I can see this one play out on the screen as a rom-com 💜
The Intern by Sara Shepard⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
This one tells the story of Clara who has just started begrudgingly working at her Dad’s record label. Clara is grieving the death of a loved one & of the many businesses her dad owns, a internship at V is the last place she thought her dad would place her in. Clara is an old soul at heart when it come to music & it’s something she shared with the person she’s grieving. Sent on a errand that seems silly at first leads her to taking the first steps to healing. The Meet Cute in this one was ok but not as serendipitous as I’d like.
Somewhere That’s Green by Meredith Russo ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
We meet Nia a transgender student and her best friend Lucien (AMAZING BFF) as they try out for parts in the school’s fall production of Little Shop of Horrors. Ok, the fact that they went with one of my fave movies had me smiling from ear to ear 😃 then the supportive father is introduced & I knew this was going to be a favorite for me in this anthology. Nia is fighting for the right to use the girls bathroom after another student raised concerns & petitioned to deny that right. We see her confront the issue head on & we also see her valid fears when talking to her bff. There’s another student also struggling with identity but spoilers. Both characters showed a side not often seen in YA. These are the types of stories we need more of. I would LOVE to read a full length novel on these characters.
The Way We Love Here by Dhonielle Clayton⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 
The first Fantasy I’ve come across in this anthology & it was wonderful!!! This one takes place on a island where the people have coil-like tattoos on their skin which fade/disappear as they get closer to meeting their soulmate as deemed by their Gods. The MC is struggling to accept this as her life path. Her Meet Cute is also struggling with the ways of the Gods regarding fated love. The whole “what if” and paths left untraveled has always interested me. Also enjoyed how this one didn’t stick to traditional Meet Cutes. It embraced life, it’s beginning & some day end.
Oomph by Emery Lord⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I was so curious about the title to this short story that by the time I found out it’s meaning, I was smiling so hard! This is set in a airport which btw is one of my fave settings…there’s something about an airport…a place of goodbyes & hellos that make all the sense for matters of the ♥️ We meet Cass who is spending Spring break in NYC as sort of a trial run for NYU Tisch. Besides trying to calm her parents fears she’s also trying to battle her self doubts. I LOVED her Meet Cute! a funny loner girl who plays along with Cassie’s made up Marvel Universe identity. THAT ending was FLAWLESS!!! I WANT more of these two, either a full length book or a romantic movie set in NYC with the occasional flight home to see the worry wart parents I couldn’t help but loving! *adds Emery Lord books to cart*
The Dictionary Of You and Me by Jennifer L. Armentrout⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
Moss is a librarian who loves her job…even the “task” of calling H Smith almost daily to return the only dictionary the Library owns, isn’t really a task. Long overdue to return the book, H. Smith begins to get to know Moss by way of random conversations. Ok, I could not stop laughing at the back & forth exchange between the two characters in this Meet Cute 💜 filled with humor & flirting, this was a fun one. The only thing is that the ending did feel rushed whereas the other stories maintained the same progression & wrapped up well. I also LOVE how the author brings light to the budgetary issue Libraries are facing, this was a plus 🙌🏼
The Unlikely Likelihood Of Falling in Love by Jocelyn Davies⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
I’ll be the first to admit I started off thinking I wasn’t going to love this one because the MC is very rigid. Her own family thinks of things for her to do in order to loosen up and have fun. A germaphobe with a love for data and numbers is focused on only one thing, handing in a killer Statistics research paper. I ended up seriously loving this Meet Cute & I think it’s because I had a similar experience. The story plays with the idea of fate & the Universe defying numbers when it comes to love. It mentions women in STEM & how the government is trying to dissuade girls from going into STEM because it’s believed women can’t handle it. Our MC is set on defying gender norms & I found myself really admiring & respecting her hustle. As a NYC dweller, the subway system is a huge part of my commute and the odds of running into the same person are pretty slim…but what if? 😉
259 Million Miles by Kass Morgan ⭐️⭐️⭐️
This one was Ok in the Meet Cute Department. It’s centered around a guy and a girl who have signed up to win a spot on the space shuttle to Mars where they’d contribute in efforts to establish a new civilization. Philip is trying to escape Earth and all of the awkward moments he’s had in High School. Blythe on the other hand wants to help create a second chance at life on another planet. Both were selected due to their IQ’s and inventions that would prove to be useful on Mars. I guess it was hard to reconcile the Philip who is escaping Earth & socializing as a whole to the Philip we see in the end. Also, this read more as a platonic relationship 🤷🏻‍♀️ otherwise, I appreciated the message of reclaiming your voice & identity.
Something Real by Julie Murphy ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2
This was my first Julie Murphy read & I’m sitting Happy with the fact that I truly enjoyed the writing. This one has plus sized + LGBTQ representation, I can only speak on the Plus sized rep and say I loved June to pieces! Confident & at times a little self deprecating, she owns her body and style. June is also a tiny bit obsessed with pop culture sensation/singer Dylan & is responsible for the creation of his international fan club. When an opportunity presents itself to go on a dating show (think The Bachelor) & win a date with Dylan, June is over the moon happy! This story had such a good turnout, Murphy highlights misogynistic behavior & calls it out 🙌🏼 I can’t help but want more June now that it’s over  *Dumplin’ is now on my February TBR 💜
Say Everything by Huntley Ditzpatrick ⭐️⭐️1/2
This one starts off in a diner, Our MC is a waitress who notices a guy come in with his group of friends, all distinguishable by their preppy uniforms that are clear markers of their wealth. The opening scene is very similar to that of when Blue Sargeant meets Gansey & the boys in Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys. Perhaps a bit too strikingly similar for my taste. Also, I wasn’t sold on this Meet Cute . The chemistry just wasn’t there & although it is a short story, I did feel like it was a bit rushed. Wanted to love it but just couldn’t get into it 😕
The Department Of Dead Love by Nicola Yoon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ALL THE STARS IN THE WORLD!!!!
How wonderful to finish my reading of this anthology with what is now my all time favorite Meet Cute of all time!!! Nicola Yoon you slayyyyyyed your story! & literally saved the best for last 💜 this story is about heartbreak & all matters of the heart. There is a fantastical element in this world where The Department of Dead Love exists. A series of buildings that specialize in Break-ups, Unrequited Love, Bereavement, and Young Love…yea I know! sounds interesting already! tell me more! we meet our MC Thomas who has just had a break-up and is going through all the necessary steps to see if he can get approved for a “Do-Over” & bookworms it is exactly what you’re thinking, a second chance at your failed relationship. I LOVED the ingenuity & characters so much in this short story and wish with all my might that again as I’ve mentioned with some of the other stories, that this was a full length novel *le sigh* this was just perfection and the chemistry in this Meet Cute was off the charts making this story my #1! 
Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re all having a wonderful day & squeezing In some amazing reads. I’m still riding a high from the last story inthis anthology, are any of you planning on reading Meet Cute soon? if so, whose story are you most looking forward to reading? Sound off in the comments down below <3’s!


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