May Wrap-Up

This Month’s Wrap-Up comes to you very late & that’s honestly more because I’ve been going back & forth with the idea of eliminating my wrap-ups as a whole. I’ve been easing my way back in from a huge blogging slump and content has been on my mind a whole lot lately. Whelp! this is up mid June which means I decided to keep them but there will be some changes. I’ve been here for 2 years now and found that I really enjoy getting to know the bloggers behind the posts. I love reading a good wrap-up that gives me the 411 on the highlights some of my favorite bloggers experienced throughout the month. The bloggers who talk about the books they read, movies & tv watched, foods cooked/restaurants visited (extra lurking when baking is thrown in), travel, and anything really that gives me a better sense of the person behind the blog.

So I guess this means I’ll be sharing a little more of me on the blog on my Wrap-ups for now. This isn’t as easy as it sounds since I don’t really enjoy talking about me lol but sometimes breaking out of your comfort zones can be a good thing? this is what I’m going with haha! I’ve also been bitten by the travel bug which means future travel posts may be a thing as well. I hope you enjoy getting to know the bit of me that I do share here, especially since there are quite a few new bloggers subscribed. I’m looking forward to getting to know all of you so *exhale* onto this Wrap-up…

Bruja Born (Brooklyn Brujas #2) (5 STARS) This sequel was EVERYTHING! finished it last week & it’s still on my mind. If by any chance you enjoyed Labyrinth Lost but it possibly didn’t blow you away…this is the sequel to do just that for you! not to mention the epic world expansion. Currently eyeing Zoraida’s Twitter for any kernel of news on book 3 smh 🙂

Airports, Exes, and Other Things I’m Over (4 STARS) Cute & fluffy were just what I needed when I picked this one up and it did its thing haha!

MIRAGE (5 STARS) (Review to come next week)

Picture Us In The Light (5 STARS) I was very happy to have been invited to participate in the blog tour for this poignant read! this is one that has something for everyone and leaves you with a little hope but not before breaking your heart 😉

Nyxia: Unleashed (5 STARS) the author of this book Scott Reintgen is fully aware of how badly I want that last book in this trilogy, I hide nothing about my love for these books! honestly, if you’re looking for an AMAZING YA Sci-Fi look no further! the diversity is strong, the action intense, plot full of twists, female characters empowered & respected…I can go on & on but only ask that you pick this one up and see for yourselves cause it is SOOOO worth it!

CORRUPT (Devil’s Night #1) (4 STARS) I don’t really review NA on this blog but I think going forward I will leave some thoughts on Goodreads (link at the end of this post). I was recommended this book by my wonderful friend Melanie from Meltotheany & I’m now a full fledged Penelope Douglas fan! I will read anything she writes grocery list included bahhha! jk…not really smh. This is a very dark NA & there are a ton of trigger warnings Melanie lists on her review here. I will say this, if you’re looking for full fledged smut…this may not be the author for you lol. Douglas enjoys making her MC’s torture each other with epic long waiting/mind games but when it gets going it is A+ my friends! 😉

The month of May let me squeeze in two flicks at the theater & those were Avengers: Infinity War & Deadpool 2.

Image result for Avengers: Infinity War

    

Infinity War did NOT disappoint & it was a fun time watching all of my favorites come together for this AMAZING movie! perhaps most surprising of all was the complexity & depth of the villain Thanos. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy his story line so much but I did & it made me really appreciate how that took the story to the next level. Of course there was some heartbreak along the way with some losses but I’m still very excited to see the next chapter cause THAT ending *raises eyebrow* haha!

Image result for Deadpool 2

   

Not quite the 5 stars in my book & that came as a surprise cause I am a HUGE fan of Ryan Reynolds. The first Deadpool was effortlessly funny in my opinion but this one was laying it on to thick which made it seem to me as if they were trying to hard to keep up his rep for baddest mouth in the Marvel Universe. However, the second half was epic for many spoilery reasons so I’ll leave that out. I will say that I enjoyed the addition of Zazie Beetz as Domino and Josh Brolin as Cable (pictured above). Also, THAT ending threw me for a whirlwind but then again I should’ve expected that from the MCU 🙂

May was such a hectic month & reading 6 books was a feat cause my mind was in a million different places as was I hehe. Some of you may already know this, I am a mom of 2 tiny humans ages 4 & 7 and so that meant celebrating Mother’s Day was in the plans. I had this amazing breakfast cooked up my sister & hubby and some awesome gifts from said tiny humans and hubby. Had a wonderful dinner at this Japanese Steak place in Brooklyn called SALT + CHARCOAL. Their steak was AMAZING but I only ended up with a photo of their “green tea” cake which wasn’t my favorite at all but they put some effort into the presentation so…

I also came home to a package from hubby with the entire Mother’s Day LUSH collection which smells amazing & had some kick ass super hero bombs in it! I’m a scent LOVER & these all were the PERFECT gift that keeps on giving cause HELLO! ME TIME! baths + books = BEST LIFE!

The last week of May saw us take a road trip to Virginia to spend the holiday weekend with some family. Although I didn’t get to take pics cause we were having so much fun in the moment we all ditched our phones smh. I really do wish I had taken some photos of our bowling competition and trip to a sea side restaurant in the rain that was….interesting haha! I did however get a photo of my new haircut the day before we hit the road so I’ll just leave that down here…#shorthairdontcare

I’d like to say that the madness stopped in May but the very next weekend we got back from VA, there was BEA & Bookcon…


We are 6 days away from the first day of Summer & already life feels both lighter and busier all at the same time <3’s! I hope you’re all having an amazing month reading, watching, doing all of the lovely things! ❤


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Meme Book Tag

The Meme Book Tag was originally created by Books are my Social Life & Dylanthereader5! I was tagged by  Melanie over at Meltotheany who has an AMAZING blog & EPIC reviews! ❤ ❤ ❤ This tag had me giggling quite a few times, thank you Mel for tagging me 🙂

Crying Kim Kardashian – A book that made you cry.

My last real tear jerker was The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (RTC) this book made me ugly cry at the very end *sobs*

 Salt Bae – A book that needed a little something more

Having just finished Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young, I’d say this book could’ve used a bit more in terms of plot. Well at least I would’ve appreciated a not so straight forward plot youknowwhatImshayin’ *CardiB voice*?

Guy thinking – A book that made you think

Easy! Furyborn by Claire Legrand & in such a satisfying way! This book is formatted so that the reader is following two timelines 1,000 YEARS apart! I buddy read it with some amazing bookworms & it was fun theorizing along the way 🙂

 Confused guy – A book whose hype you don’t understand

SMH…this one is kind of mean no? haha! Ok If I’m answering honestly that would have to be The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. I went in fully expecting to love it cause it had all the ingredients to be a hit in my corner. Ultimately it came down to this book not really being what it came across as…the Grim Fairy tales are there but they’re at the very end of the book. Still looking forward to the follow-up which I hear will be about the Hinterland…YASSSS! ❤

Evil Patrick – A guilty pleasure read (whatever you consider guilty pleasure to mean)

*giggles* I don’t feel guilty at all about this read but it is a genre I’m new to and am enjoying inhale reading cause they’re just that good & easy to digest. Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas was innnneresting haha! & perhaps not the book to read in public #jussayin

Meryl Streep – A book that you’re always hyping up 

Ok…I really hadn’t realized how hard I push the Winternight trilogy until several bookworm buddies told me they’d read it & loved it after seeing me gush about. Whelp, the second book came around & it was even better than the first which meant I had to go on another round of promos cause it’s Katherine Arden & I friggin love this human!

The Bear and the Nightingale

The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2)

Successful baby – A book (whether you liked it or not) that you felt accomplished after reading

For this one I’m going with my first venture into Adult Fantasy, cause I had always been intimidated for a number of reasons. I think the complex world building worried me the most in terms of remembering everything. Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1) by Mark Lawrence however proved me so wrong! this is another series I will gush about til’ the ink runs dry. I recently reviewed the sequel Grey Sister (Book of the Ancestor #2) & it was also a 5 star read! Mark Lawrence really thinks about his readers & the world building is laid out in such a way that feels organic & won’t overwhelm.

Pennywise – A book with a promising concept/a book that you had high expectations for, but ultimately let you down

The hype was real on this one because of this authors last work. I never read Andy Weir’s The Martian but the love for that book wasn’t missed by this bookworm. So much so that I haven’t watched the movie cause so many of my closest bookworm buddies have said to read the book 1st! haha! I still plan to but I decided to get his latest Artemis & sadly it just didn’t work for me. I had such high hopes & was determined not to let the train leave the station w/out me but ultimately there were some problematic thangs in this one.

 Headphones guy – A audiobook that you enjoyed

The Serpent king by Jeff Zetner cause it hit me all in the feels & I’ll never be over that ending! *sobs for days* seriously this book is all about friendship & grieving and gahhhh! my book babies, love them so much! ❤

 Distracted guy – Two books; one you’ve been neglecting on your TBR for a long time and a new one that’s distracting you/peaking your interest. 

hmmm…not sure if I’m neglecting this one but I sure am willfully NOT reading it at the moment haha! with reason! I’m a big fan of Laini Taylor so much so that the wait in between books is brutal & can leave me slumping hard sooo…

Strange The Dreamer by Laini Taylor (Promise I’ll be reading this one in the VERY near future)

As for the book that continues to make me break my neck every time I walk by my bookshelf…

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2) by Holly Black  (I won this from a NOVL giveaway & I doubt I’ll be able to hold out for much longer cause y’all know those who read The Cruel Prince, that ending! smh)

 Cash me outside girl – A book that tried to be something that it’s not (pretentious, didn’t live up to what it was marketed as, etc.) 

Like Melanie, I’m also not fond of this meme. I had to dig through my Goodreads shelves & I did come up with one that really wasn’t what I expected. Wintersong (Wintersong#1) by S. Jae-Jones which I rated 3.5 stars at the time but would probably take my rating down to 2.5 stars now that I’ve had much time to think about it. Pitched as a Labyrinth re-telling, Wintersong is great when we’re with the Goblin King in the underground. Otherwise the heavy use of Classical music terminology all throughout really made me feel like a real outsider with scrunched eyebrows lol. Less Labyrinth, more something else…

Dog in fire – How many unread books do you own? 

Well this got awkward hella fast…I honestly couldn’t tell you since I own 2 large bookshelves in my living room & 3 medium sized ones in my bedroom and I don’t keep my unread books separate from the rest. Anywhere between 70-100 SMH (working on it) I know…I Know…

 BONUS – Pick a meme that wasn’t featured in this tag and pair a book with it 

My Question: A book with an ending you didn’t see coming…

Image result for shocked meme

3 words…The Cruel Prince! Holly Black legit shooketh the house with THAT ending & it took me a minute to recover. Twisted up more than ya fave pretzel haha! 🙂

I tag…

Flavia @Flaviathebibliophile

Ashley @SociallyAwkwardBookworm

Raven @DreamyAddictions

Sarah @TheCleverReader

Regina @Bookishinbed

Amy @ACourtofCrownsandQuills

Rebecca @BookishlyRebecca

Larkin @WonderfilledReads

Amanda @PeaksandPages

This was a fun tag &was a labor of love! haha (Thanks Mel for sharing the links to the memes). I invite everyone who is interested to take a stab at it 😉 also, friendly reminder when tagging a fellow blogger, choose one of their posts to link back to so that they get a ping aka notification letting them know you tagged them or were tagged by them <3’s


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October Wrap-Up & Book Haul

Hello Bookworms & Happy November!!! I’m back to being epically late with my wrap-up/haul & I’d like to think it’s because I’ve been so wrapped up in my reading…well at least this is what I’ve convinced myself to be the reason lol. October was a good reading month both in quality & quantity, seems that I’ve managed to break my 5 book per mth cap. Earlier in the month I attended NYC Comic Con & actually enjoyed this event more than I did Bookcon. Much more chill & I got to see many more authors this time around, even got a chance to meet Julie C. Dao author of Forest of a Thousand Laterns. Julie was very sweet & signed a copy for me that I was sending to my giveaway winner Beth over at Reading Every Night as a surprise bonus. Fedex totally lost the package & ruined that but I quickly replaced the copy & sent it on it’s way to Beth sans to signature…who knows Beth, the package may still one day mysteriously show up at your door lol.

October was also slow in flicks I actually wanted to see in the theater & I really thought for a moment there that I wasn’t going to watch anything. Then my co-worker reminded me that Jigsaw was being released Halloween weekend & the stars aligned for me to get my tickets (more on the movie towards end of post). I’ve been thinking of including the arcs/galleys I’ve been approved for in the month in these wrap-ups…yay or nay? or do you prefer a separate post? please let me know in the comments if this is something you’d like to see <3’s! 

With the exception of The Dark Intercept (to come this week) I’ve posted reviews for all of my October reads & will link them down below. Both Nyxia & Moxie are my stand-out reads & I have GUSH reviews for these new found favorites, both pulse pounding in their own way. You Bring the Distant Near is also a new found favorite & I encourage anyone in search of #ownvoices reads on the immigrant experience & Indian culture to pick this one up. Invictus was so much fun & appealed to the Historical Fantasy lover in me, the time travel was on point & not confusing like many others who’ve had a go at it. The Glass Spare gave me a King Midas inspired fantasy with a female MC & gahhhh! I LOVED IT! Berserker was bloody & I described it in my review as Norse Mythology meets the American Frontier with hints of the classic novel Of Mice and Men. I’m still working on my thoughts/review for The Dark Intercept which was a cold & frightening dystopian that had me thinking….what if this were to really happen? I mean, is it really so far fetched? lol smh. It was a really good month quality wise with mostly 5 star reads which doesn’t ever happen & so I am a very happy bookworm 🙂

 The Dark Intercept by Julia Keller (3.5 stars/review to come)

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano ★★★★★ 

Berseker by Emmy Laybourne ★★★.75

Invictus by Ryan Graudin ★★★★★ 

Moxie by jennifer Mathieu ★★★★★ 

You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins ★★★★★  (Mitali Perkins read & loved my review, when she re-tweeted it I got all teary eyed smh)

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen ★★★★★ (I also won a signed copy from the author himself which legit made my mth!)

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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling (gift from hubby, he’s turned it into his things where he gets me all HP related items, he knows how to make my heart happy lol)

Monstress Volume 2 by Marjorie Liu & Sana Takeda (artist)

Ringer by Lauren Oliver (Replica #2)

The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga #1) by Elise Kova

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns (Rise of the Empress #1) by Julie C. Dao

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Garcia-Moreno (Won this from a Twitter giveaway)

Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (gift from my twin Gretchen over at ChicNerdReads, love her sooooo much! but this was a September gift & I mistakenly threw it in this haul so yea we’re rollin’ with it lol)

October Owlcrate

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Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

October Book of the Month

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Beasts Of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang (my pick for the mth, also have the eGalley that I will be reading in November)

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King

   

Some of you who have been around the blog for a while now might be raising a brow at both Sleeping Beauties & Jigsaw since I’m a self proclaimed scaredy cat *no shame* baha! Sleeping Beauties I do believe was me getting in the spirit of Halloween however, Jigsaw was not lol. Many years ago my bestie of 18 years wanted me to go with him to watch Saw IV in theaters only I hadn’t watched any of them for the previously mentioned reasons (i’m a wussss lol). He decided to sit me down & have me binge watch the first 3 movies til I walked away numb & ready for IV smh. I honestly think I can tolerate psychological horror but not whatever IT falls into cuz no damnit! I’ve banned all red balloons from my home, sorry tiny humans. Anyways, Jigsaw wasn’t anything new new lol, it followed the same ol’ formula & delivered with the shock factor in regards to the games themselves. However, I saw the ending coming within the first 30 minutes & I’m not THAT person….you know? the one that ALWAYS predicts the ending making you feel clueless? yea, I’m not this person so when I figured it out, the jig was up (jeje see what I did there?) smh. I doubt I’ll continue watching any future movies in this franchise.

Happy reading in November Bookworms!!! Hope you all had a wonderful October & an even better start to this month. What are some books you’re looking forward to reading in November? planning on watching anything innneresting? Sound off in the comments down below 🙂


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Friday Reads 9/8/17

Hello Readers! I debated on whether or not to post today because of all the things currently weighing many of us down. Many have just experienced Harvey while others have been or will be affected by Irma. I live in NYC but my heart is in Puerto-Rico where the majority of my Dad’s side of the family resides & FL where my Uncle & aunt are. Many uncles, aunts, and cousins currently without electricity on the island of PR while others are prepping for Irma in Florida. My thoughts & prayers are with all of those affected…it’s been difficult to think of anything else. If you are a reader in Texas, PR, the Caribbean, or FL please stay safe 💙

In times of high stress I go into overdrive googling in search of answers…basically trying to assess the situation. This however, is beyond me & I need to pull away from the weather reports & just speak to my loved ones. I’m also turning to reading my books while also offering support to those I know on Twitter who live in the areas. The Book community always shows up to uplift those in need & that is why I’m so proud to be a member.


Yesterday I finished reading Zero Repeat Forever (The Nahx Invasions #1) by Gabrielle Prendergast & was really surprised to have my opinion of this book do a complete 360. It’s a chunker coming in at 496 pages so I guess you can see it used it’s time wisely. I’m aiming to have a review up by this weekend but this storm is sapping all of my energy so we’ll see. I will say that this book went from a 3 star rating to a 4.5 😉


Today I started reading Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett but I didn’t get very far, I’ll def be hunkering down with this one tonight. I’ve heard such great things about the world building in this book with a very unique setting not yet seen in YA. Hoping to get sucked into this world 🤞🏼follow me on Goodreads for my most random reader thoughts 💜

 


I’m also listening to the Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles)by Marissa Meyer Audiobook. This is the novella that followed the conclusion Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) & I’ve held off on reading it for some time now. The Lunar Chronicles is one of my favorite YA series and as is the case with most of my faves, I always have a hard time letting go lol. It is time though since I’d love to get to Wires and Nerve soon which also takes place in this Universe. So far I’m really enjoying listening to Stars Above whenever I’m walking/commuting to/from work. The narrator Rebecca Soler is hands down a perfect fit & having met her at a Marissa Meyer event signing for Winter a while back, I was able to see why. It’s a special thing when the narrator to a audiobook loves the story they are narrating & Rebecca’s enthusiasm shines through.


Happy FriYay Readers! hope you’re all staying safe & in touch with your loved ones. You are all in my thoughts & prayers. Typically I ask what everyone is reading/watching but today I just want to send you love, strength, and hope 💕


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Gush Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Title: They Both Die at the End

Author: Adam Silvera

Pub. Date: September 5th, 2017

Publisher: HarperTeen

Pages: 384

Formats: eGalley

    

On September 5, a little after midnight, Death-Cast calls Mateo Torrez and Rufus Emeterio to give them some bad news: They’re going to die today. Mateo and Rufus are total strangers, but, for different reasons, they’re both looking to make a new friend on their End Day. The good news: There’s an app for that. It’s called the Last Friend, and through it, Rufus and Mateo are about to meet up for one last great adventure and to live a lifetime in a single day.

As some of you may have already noticed, the Goodreads synopsis for They Both Die at the End is pretty short compared to most. I personally found this raised my curiosity as a whole towards this book. I also was aware that this would be Silvera’s first YA Sci-Fi and being a fan of his first two contemporary books, I thought to myself…can he pull it off? now I know I should’ve never questioned his ability to deliver! One thing remains constant after I finish one of his books…I keep saying “This one is my favorite” smh, the truth is I love them all and he keeps evolving as a writer which makes him my #1 YA author 🙌🏼

They Both Die at the End takes place in the span of a day in present day NYC. Although it is present day, Silvera added the Sci-Fi element by introducing Death-Cast calls. This call typically comes in at or around 12am informing you that today will be your last day. We start off with our main protagonist Mateo receiving the much dreaded call that will change the course of his life in just 1 day. From this point on we follow Mateo as decides to reclaim his life & step outside of his comfort zone…his bedroom. See, before the call Mateo took NO risks & lived his life in fear of so many things. We follow Mateo from the moment he decides to step foot outside his home to make one last connection with a “Last Friend” which is how we meet Rufus. Having also received the call, Rufus is pretty much set on going out with a bang. He is the ying to Mateo’s yang & their paths crossing almost feels like Life’s last gift to these two characters.

We also follows a series of side characters throughout the same day. Some have received the Death-Call while others have not, however each forms a piece to the puzzle that is Mateo & Rufus’ story. The only certainty is death, how you meet your fate is unknown to you. This is a story about living life to its fullest, hope, friendship, being true to yourself, love, grief, loss, and so much more!

One of the reasons i’m a fan of Silveras books are the characters he creates, they have a tendency to linger past the last sentence. This time wasn’t any different and I now have a full cast of characters to love & think about even now that I have finished this book…

Mateo- Our MC has pretty much lived a very low key life opting to stay indoors & browse the online Death-Cast forums. He follows others who have received the call & are documenting their last day online. His mother passed away & his dad is in a coma, he is very much on his own. As much as Mateo fears going out & just living his life, the idea of letting go & being free of all worry has always intrigued him. His best friend Lidia and her daughter (his Godchild), are the only people he really connects with.

Rufus- Complete opposite of Mateo, life hasn’t been easy on Rufus either. Always labeled as a bit of a trouble maker, things didn’t look good when he suddenly sees himself on his own in life with no family. Rough around the edges, Rufus is a character you can’t help but love. He is openly Bi-sexual and confident in who he is which makes for an interesting meet-up with Mateo who hasn’t quite figured out how to be his true self. Rufus also has a support system, he and 3 others make up The Plutos who I LOVED to pieces! #friendshipgoals

Friendship is always a strong theme in all of Silveras books & here we get introduced to characters from all walks of life. The way these lives come together delivered such a strong message, one that left me thinking of my own life path & those that matter to me most.

They Both Die at the End rocked me out of my comfort zone in the 48 hours it took for me to read it. It took me forever & a day to start living my life for ME, allowing myself to be as I am. I can’t imagine what it would feel like to come to this realization on the day I know will be my last. I’d probably also find myself in a mad dash to do it all with the fear hovering over my shoulder that anything could kill me. I was Mateo. I’m trying to find my inner Rufus lol. The thirst for life these characters feel on their final day is utterly contagious! it makes you want to get up & go outside eyes wide open to all the things beating with life around you. This is a book about LIFE if you’re willing to look past the title. There’s always a silver lining to Adam Silvera’s books, your heart will be broken by the end but you may also find yourself with a new perspective 😉

*HUGE Thanks to HarperTeen, Edelweiss, & Adam Silvera for the eGalley of They Both Die at the End in exchange for an honest review

Hello Readers! I started off my day by ordering my copy of They Both Die at the End & can’t wait to give it a special place on my shelves. Anyone else have a copy in the mail they’re waiting for? I know I keep saying each of his books are my fave but this time I’m sure…THIS ONE IS MY FAVE!!!! lol…sure to be out done by his next book 😉


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New York Comic Con/Bookcon 2016 Haul

Last weekend I attended my very first Comic Con which also happened to be hosting Bookcon for their very first time. The experience is one that i’ll never forget because of how much fun I had as well as the tips & tricks I picked up along the way. As a book blogger, Bookcon was definitely a motivator in buying my tickets since let’s face it, getting physical ARCS is no easy feat for small time bloggers like myself LOL. My hubby & I purchased the 3 day passes with hopes that all would fall into place as far as sitting for our 2 tiny humans and it did *Whoop Whoop* well on day 3 we didn’t have sitting but hubby gracefully bowed out while I attended with Gretchen @Chicnerdreads who was already set to go for the day.

Day 1 was a bit on the overwhelming side since we didn’t really know what to expect tbh. It was a huge crowd & I’ve never seen so many people come together for one event but i’m glad that it was this one. Everyone for the most part was friendly which is also rare cuz hellO! it’s New York jeje! as expected we spotted tons of Jokers & Harleys, seemed to be the popular costume choice of the year. Most of the entertainment panels I was interested in, took place in the evening which meant that I missed them. I arrived at opening and left each day between 2-4pm therefore I made the showroom floor my main focus with some occasional wanderings into artist alley. Bookcon itself was held in the building across the street from the Javits Center but it mostly was for the author panels. At the end of each panel, each author would be giving away an ARC of their new book. Most ARC giveaways were held in the Javits center on the showroom floor.

Days 2 & 3 were much more successful & is when we scored most of our ARCS. Day 3 (Sunday) being the MOST EPIC because all of the publishing houses were having crazy sales & giveaways since it was the last day of Comic Con. Below is my very 1st Bookcon Haul…

Books I purchased at reduced price:

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Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia 

  • Release Date: 10/25/2016
  • Urban Fantasy/Horror

The Wrath & The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh 

  • New paperback edition on sale now (The Rose & The Dagger will follow April 2017)
  • YA Fantasy-Fairy Tales

Last Seen Leaving by Caleb Roehrig

  • October 4th 2016
  • YA Mystery/Contemporary/LGBTQ

Replica by Lauren Oliver

  • October 4th 2016
  • YA Sci-Fi

The Female of The Species by Mindy McGinnis

  • September 20th 2016
  • YA/Contemporary/Mystery/Thriller

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

  • August 30th 2016
  • Fantasy/Middle Grade

YA ARCS: 

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The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

  • November 1st 2016
  • YA/Sci-Fi/Dystopia

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

  • November 8th 2016
  • YA Fantasy/Re-telling

RoseBlood by A.G. Howard

  • January 10th 2017
  • YA Fantasy/Re-telling

The Edge Of Everything by Jeff Giles

  • YA Fantasy

Gilded Cage (Dark Gifts #1) by Vic James (author signed)

  • YA Fantasy

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston THANK YOU GRETCHEN @CHICNERDREADS!!! she gave me her copy cuz she knew how badly I wanted this ARC & missed it 2 days in a row *covers eyes*

  • February 14th 2017
  • YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

  • March 28th 2017
  • YA Historical Fantasy

The Freemason’s Daughter by Shelley Sackier

  • April 11th 2017
  • YA Historical Fiction

Non-YA ARCS (hehe)

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The Hidden People by Alison Littlewood

  • October 6th 2016
  • Historical Fiction/Horror/Mystery

Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson

  • January 10th 2017
  • Thriller/Mystery/Suspense

The Bear And The Nightingale by Katherine Arden (signed by author)

  • January 17th 2017
  • Historical Fiction/Fantasy

All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastai

  • February 7th 2017
  • Sci-Fi Fantasy/Time Travel

Published books obtained through Signings/in booth giveaways

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The Fifth Season (The Broken Earth #1) by N.K. Jemisin (signed by author)

  • August 4th 2015
  • Sci-Fi Fantasy

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

  • October 11th 2016
  • YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Vassa In The Night by Sarah Porter (signed by author)

  • September 20th 2016
  • YA Fantasy/Re-telling

Comics Purchased

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Lazarus (Volume 1) Greg Rucka, Michael Lark (Artist), Santiago Arcas (Illustrartor) (gift from hubby)

Black #1 by Kwanza Osajyefo, Tim Smith III (illustrator), Jamal Igle (Illustrator), Robin Riggs (Illustrator), Sarah Stern (Illustrator), Khary Randolph (Illustrator), Dave Sharpe (Illustrator), Sarah Litt (Editor) (signed by Tim Smith)

Bookish Freebies

Penguin Journal, Carve The Mark phone charger (universal), and the Heartless tee given away by Fierce Reads as a cover for the real score LOL (Heartless ARC)

I don’t even know where to start but I am beginning to form some sort of TBR for the rest of the year leading into 2017 🙂

 

 

 

September Wrap-up & Book Haul

September…a month that I am usually looking forward to every year by the time the sweltering 90 degree weather in June make it’s presence felt. This year however, I was a bit apprehensive about all of the changes taking place with my little one starting in a “real” school lol. After completing pre-k in the same center as her daycare, this would be her 1st venture into an actual school building. Thankfully all went well & we just received news that she is actually at a 1st grade level. Could not be any more happier honestly. My reading month however, wasn’t the best but I managed to get 5 in & a very special book event (check out my About Last Night post here). October will be MUCH better 😉

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I’ve linked my reviews for each of my reads down below

Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova ★★★★★ (5 stars)

Empire of Storms by Sara J. Maas ★★★ (3.5 stars @ the time of review but…lol)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ★★★★★ (5 stars)

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson ★★★★★ (5 stars)

Wrecked by Maria Padian ★★★★ (4 stars)

After having a pretty slow book buying month in August (view August Book Haul here)…well slower than my usual LOL, I thought September would be mayhem but I think I kept it reasonable HAHA!…

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Follow me on Instagram @Lair_Of_Books for more photos 😉

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Kindle Deal $1.99 (no longer available however if you have Kindle Unlimited, it’s currently free)

I’ve read 2 of the books I hauled in September & i’m seriously avoiding Crooked Kingdom smh, I’m just not ready Gals & Ghouls *hides face* to let go of my favorite fictional characters or this deliciously dark world *sigh* avoiding book spoilers on Twitter has become quite the challenge. I’m not sure what i’ll read after my current eGalley (When The Moon Was Ours), i’ve managed to get my Netgalley ratio at a respectable percentage that i’m content with. It may not be perfect but it’ll do 😉

As for my viewing, cuz ya girl really does love TV & movies! it was actually really meh LOL. I didn’t catch any movies in the theatre BUT I did binge watch season 2 of Gotham with the hubby. truthfully speaking, I wasn’t a big fan of the first season but it’s so atmospheric & they did an AMAZING job of giving it authentic classic Gotham feels that we stuck with it. I enjoyed season 2 WAY more because we get a different side of Gordon, he’s been through a lot that I won’t list because of spoilers but he’s pretty bad a** now. The performance I enjoyed the most however, goes to Cory Michael Smith who plays Edward Nygma aka future Riddler. Season 2 focused on Nygma’s development into who he will ultimately become. I can’t get enough of this guy’s shenaningans but in all seriousness he truly kills it on this show *tips hat off*

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Photo on IMDB

Fun fact: a lot of the outdoor filming in Gotham was done around my neighborhood. Some around the corner from my block & other shots were filmed by the train station near my place. We often joke our neighborhood might as well be Gotham since it’s so Gray smh. Whelp I guess word got out to FOX & Gotham has come to us. My husband took photos of the vehicles parked overnight for the shoot. There’s a pretty big old abandoned building that looks like an old bank but served as a Boys & Girls club many years ago, that was also used in one of their episodes where a banquet/party was filmed. I couldn’t get photos of that w/out trespassing though LOL.

 

Hope you all had an AMAZING September! We are now in October & i’m sure a lot of us are looking forward to all of the exciting book releases this month. What are some October books you all are looking forward to?

Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (non-spoiler)

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Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Series: Six of Crows #1

Published by: Henry Holt and Company

Publication Date: September 6th 2016

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 465 pages

Format: Hardcover (I own)

Rating: ★★★★★

 

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

 

Plot

Six of Crows takes place in the same world as Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy, 2 years after the Ravkan Civil War. The Six of Crows series however, was written so that readers who haven’t read The Grisha trilogy can still enjoy. There are references to characters from The Grisha trilogy purposely name dropped however, the characters in Six of Crows themselves do not have an accurate account of the events that followed the Ravkan Civil War. In other words, you won’t be missing out on any crucial bits of information. Leigh Bardugo has been interviewed & has answered questions on Goodreads where she tells readers that clarification will later be provided so there’s that. We get introduced to Kaz Brekker who is the leader of the Dreggs. The Dreggs are a rag tag team of criminals from all walks of life who Kaz has recruited to run heists on the wealthy. Just like in the movies (Oceans Eleven comes to mind lol) where THE BIG heist presents itself, Kaz is offered 30 million Krug to take back a scientist that is being held captive by the government. The scientist is their most prized asset because he has come up with a way to enhance a common drug. The drug, when ingested by Grisha can enhance their magical abilities to unimaginable heights making them unstoppable. Oh the damage one can do with just 1 Grisha on this drug *hides* There are many different types of Grisha & thanks to Google I will list them for you:

Corporalki

  • Healers
  • Heartrenders
  • Tailors

Etherealki

  • Inferni
  • Squallers
  • Tidemakers
  • Summoners

Materialki

  • Durasts
  • Alkemi

Characters

Photo Credit: Lauren’s Tumblr Page

This is by far my most FAVORITE Cast of characters in a Fictional Fantasy world PERIOD! Not only did Leigh Bardugo give us some of the most beloved characters, but she made a whole lot of people fall in love with their imperfections & complexities. None of her characters are perfect but it’s their flaws that make you fall in love with each & every one of them. We have Kaz Brekker aka Dirty Hands, leader & head schemer HAHA! Inej AKA The Wraith or The Spider, a female POC known for her stealthy abilities. Even with bells on you will NOT hear Inez creeping up on you & she holds many of Kaz’s secrets close to heart. Jesper sharpshooter extraordinaire & Kaz’s Second, walks around with 2 pearl handled guns that he is more than happy to pull out & show off lol. Nina the Heartrender, she’s a Grisha who has the ability to alter or stop your heart. She’s also a semi trained Tailor which means she can alter physical features on a person (she’s not very good at this lol). We also have Matthias & Wylan but i’ll leave these characters roles out of the description cuz spoilers 😉 I found myself rooting for these characters, getting mad at some of them, and other times very protective over them. Thanks again Gretchen @Chicnerdreads for pointing me in the right direction for the perfect Fan cast art 😉

“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”
“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.
“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.
“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.
“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.” 
― Leigh BardugoSix of Crows

Writing

Leigh Bardugo aka My Queen Of Darkness has a way of infusing her sense of humor in her writing & since she is one funny lady, I often found myself chuckling at the dialogue between characters. The story is fast paced but it’s appropriate for a heist that typically you would see playing out on the big screen. The fact that she managed such a feat is impressive enough but that she did so by managing 6 different characters without skipping a beat is utterly INSANE & proof that she is QUEEN! The characters she created are so fleshed out that they practically leap off the pages which I LOVE! I can’t get enough of Six Of Crows & can’t wait to start Crooked Kingdom.

Thoughts

I have fallen in love with the world Leigh Bardugo has created & hope that she has more for us reader fans. She did say at the Strand NYC event this past Monday, that there are plenty more stories to tell in this world but that she couldn’t say anything was for certain (Leigh Bardugo event post here). It’s pretty clear to me that Leigh Bardugo really got to know her characters well & brought them to life on the page. I haven’t had this much fun reading a book in a long time. The story gave me Ocean’s Eleven & Boardwalk Empire feels but in the end nothing compares to Six of Crows 😉

About Last Night…

My Monday started off with me trying to finish reading Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, a book that has been talked about & praised all over social media. It was my shameful little secret that I had not yet read this beautiful black paged book, until it was announced that Leigh Bardugo would be coming to New York City Strand Bookstore as part of her #Troublemakerstour. I could NOT put it off any longer because I’ve heard such amazing things not only about Six of Crows but the author herself. I have read the Grisha trilogy but I wasn’t too much of a fan on how that wrapped up. Six of Crows however, BLEW ME AWAY! I finished reading SOC on the train ride to the event signing for Crooked Kingdom & got off the train to immediately text Gretchen at Chicnerdreads that I had DONE IT! I had finished the book in time. I was also reeling from how it ended but nonetheless feeling pretty euphoric lol. Review for Six of Crows to come, gathering all of my thoughts & feels so that I’m not just saying I LOVED IT! over & over again lol.

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The night was made all the more special because I was also meeting Gretchen (pictured above) for the very first time after many months of communicating through social media, our blogs, gchat, text, & HILLARIOUS voice messages LOL. I met Gretchen earlier this year when she was still a booktuber, thankfully I came across her before she left Booktube & started her blog. She is actually one of the people who motivated me to start my own (4 days later to be exact haha!) & for that I am very thankful for this friendship. It should come to no surprise that a couple of bookworms decided to do a little book & comic book shopping since we arrived super early for the event…

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$18.00 for hardcover = WINNING!!! 🙂

The event was to start at 6:30pm but the crazy long line started forming by 4pm, luckily we were in the front of this line. We also happened to be standing in the exact spot where Leigh Bardugo & Jesse The Reader’s car pulled up which meant she had to cut through us…

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Gretchen took this photo because I was author struck & froze, as a matter of fact it took considerable effort to move out of Leigh’s way so that she can get through *hides face* LOL!  Leigh Bardugo arrived promptly at 6pm (early) & did not keep us waiting. We were in the first group of 20 to be let in & be seated which was great because the place quickly filled up to maximum capacity. Some artwork was brought in & placed in different corners…

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I tried unsuccessfully to take a selfie with Jesper, he is hella tall & I am nothing but a shrimp next to him. Leigh & Jesse came out shortly after we were seated & from the moment she sat down it was non stop laughter from everyone because she is one funny lady! Jesse asked her a series of pop culture questions like “if the crew of Six Of Crows were Youtubers, what would each of their channels be about?” or “which drink would each of the characters order from Starbucks?” we were also given a chance to ask questions & she answered everything with sincerity, honesty, and gave some really good advice to aspiring writers. She spoke briefly about Wonder Woman; the YA book she is writing under DC but couldn’t give away too much of course. When asked about the possibility of more books in the Grishaverse she made no promises but said there are plenty more stories to tell & she’s not quite finished with that world sOOOo *fingers crossed* 

Fact:  Leigh is also donating 10% of book sales to GEMS, a charity for young girls ages 12-24 who’ve been victims of sexual exploitation & domestic trafficking. This charity works to empower young girls/women by giving them the tools they need to leave the commercial sex industry & develop their full potential. This charity is also close to the theme in Six Of Crows. 

Can we just take a moment to admire this woman’s style?!?! Fierce! after a few rounds of questions we were then asked to form a line for the book signing & again arriving early truly makes a difference (signing expected to run till 10:30pm). We were the first 20 to line up & while we waited…smh…we realized there were other authors present for this event. We spotted Zoraida Córdova author of Labyrinth Lost (I recently reviewed & LOVED this book here), Daniel José Older author of Shadowshaper (on my TBR, probably will get a copy at Bookcon next week), and Libba Bray author of The Diviners series (I own & need to stop procrastinating). It happened again, I froze & didn’t woman up to talk to Zoraida but ummm there will be other times *cough* for sure…smh LOL. Back to Leigh Bardugo, it was finally our turn to get our books signed and take a photo  with Leigh…

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This was simply AMAZING! she struck up a convo when she saw my name on the post-it (Lilly) & told me that when she was a little girl, her parents used to call her LeeLee which is what my parents call me in Spanish. I got to pick up one of the playing cards that were face down on the table & drew Inej which YESSSSS!!! I LOVE!!!! also got a pin & a crow shaped cookie but that broke into bits so no pic lol.

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Gretchen & I ended the night by going to Chipotle since we had skipped lunch and it was around 8 or 9pm. We chatted up a bit about the event AND already prepping for next week’s BookCon @ NYC Comicon. It was a great night & I had so much fun with Gretchen that I cannot wait to do it again! Thank you Gretchen for taking the photos at the event cuz you know you had the heels/height, what would I have done without you?!?! 🙂

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Six of Crows bookmark was part of the September Owlcrate, got it just in time for Crooked Kingdom!

The Cookie Book Tag

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& I’m BACK with a tag this Sunday afternoon! I haven’t done a tag in a bit but I stumbled across this one over at Sara from Freedom Library  and thought why not?!?! it’s hella cute! I’m a HUGE cookie LOVER & this tag is only making me want to go to a pastry shop with my book which would probably work against my diet but YOLO right?!? smh lol. The creator of this tag is Nicole from Sorry, I’m Booked

RULES:

  • In addition to linking back to the person who tagged you, it would be awesome if you link back to Nicole’s original post!
  • Pick a book that corresponds to the cookie’s ‘theme’
    Have fun!
  • Tag 1 to 3 people

CHOCOLATE CHIP: A CLASSIC BOOK THAT YOU LOVE OR REALLY ENJOYED (INTERPRET CLASSIC HOW YOU WANT, IT CAN BE A CLASSIC WRITTEN 100 YEARS AGO OR 20 YEARS AGO)

I have 2 that I hold close to my heart: To Kill a Mockingbird & The Iliad, both of which I read in grade school & stirred up my love for classics. I was very young when I was reading most well known classics on my own because YA unfortunately was not yet a thing. One of my goals in 2017 is to re-visit some well known classics with my now adult mind 😉

THIN MINTS: A FANDOM THAT YOU REALLY WANT TO ‘JOIN’ AND/OR A HYPED-UP BOOK YOU WANT TO READ (YOUR SOURCE(S) OF A BOOK BEING HYPED CAN BE FROM ANYWHERE)

Easy! The Falling Kingdoms series, I’ve slowly been purchasing the books in this series (from Bookoutlet) which already has a spin-off. I think what is so appealing about this series besides it being Fantasy is that it’s told in multiple POV’s which is my fave format in books. It’s going to happen soon, I’m going to binge these 😉

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SHORTBREAD: AN AUTHOR YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF

Recently my very first New Adult series & now i’m kind of going through withdrawals because besides one other book she currently has out…there’s nothing else to read from her…K.A Tucker my friends!!! I still faithfully check her social media for any nugget of info *crosses fingers* ❤ U GRAY 4 introducing me to my new obsession!

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SAMOAS/CARAMEL DELITES: AN EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER (THIS COOKIE WAS HARD …SO ANY BOOK THAT MADE YOU FEEL MORE THAN ONE EMOTION, STRONGLY. THE CHOICE OF EMOTIONS IS UP TO YOU)

Sara at Freedom Library had an awesome pick for this one cuz More Happy Than Not definitely put me THROUGH it Gals & Ghouls! BUT alas, I’ll give the honors to a more recent read, Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. It was such a ride that I haven’t watched the movie yet, just not ready lol.

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OREOS: A BOOK WHOSE COVER WAS BETTER THAN THE STORY OR VICE VERSA, WHERE THE STORY WAS BETTER THAN ITS COVER

Ummm..LOL..I can’t go into this one too much because i’m still experiencing the dissapointment 700 pages later. I have a review for Empire Of Storms here in which I rated this 5th installment a 3.5 stars but since then it’s been bumped to  a 3 possibly even a 2.5…Jussayin…

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TAGALONGS/PEANUT BUTTER PATTIES: A BOOK THAT WASN’T WHAT YOU EXPECTED (GOOD, BAD, OR JUST DIFFERENT, INTERPRET HOW YOU WISH)

Illuminae by Jay Kristoff & Amie Kauffman!!! THIS BOOK! Oh Goodness! I was so intimidated by the format of this book which is told in a series of e-mails, memo’s, and chat’s until I finally decided to take the plunge. NO REGRETS! BEST DECISION EVER! 1st book to make me jump off my couch yelling YES! YES! YES! such a good story & I’ve already reserved my copy of Gemina 😉

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SNICKERDOODLES: A BOOK YOU MAY NEVER STOP REREADING/LOVING

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness…Crushed me in it’s beautiful sadness, through magical realism this story weaves a powerful tale that has stayed with me since the 1st day I opened it. I don’t do re-reads nor do I remember many details of books I read a year back cuz I just have terrible memory but not this book. A Monster Calls will be with me till I grow old…

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I tag the following lovely Book Lovers:

Gretchen at ChicNerdReads

Jillian at RantandRaveaboutbooks

Beth at Readingeverynight

Melissa at Booknerdmomo

Amanda at Cover2CoverMom

Stephanie at TeacherofYA’s Book Blog

Drew at TheTattooedBookGeek