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.

This past week I participated in a group buddy read for a book that I loved to pieces! I also started one of my MOST anticipated reads for 2018 & have been absorbed within its pages (more on that down below) which probably means there will be a GUSH review coming your way. I don’t know about you Bookworms but 2018 has been SOOOOO good to me with the books I’ve been picking up. Maybe it’s because I’m being a lot more tougher on myself with the books on my TBR & those I request, but it’s been a great January & February soooo let’s cross our fingers & hope for an even better March 😉

Heart Of Iron by Ashley Poston

Last week I embarked on a fun & fast paced Sci-Fi journey that was Heart Of Iron. I rated this book 3.5 stars which is still a really good rating from me…I feel like 3 star ratings get such bad rep but in my book, anything above 3 stars is considered enjoyable. If this gets turned into a series I will definitely continue on with this story. If you enjoyed The Lunar Chronicles, chances are you’ll enjoy this new adventure. I LOVED the characters & history introduced, I just wanted them to be more fleshed out because I found them to be so interesting. Heart of Iron will hit shelves tomorrow 2/27, my review may be viewed here.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

I’m going to trrrrrry & control myself in this post when it comes to this book. I LOOOOOVED this book *inserts Toy Story reference* to INFINITY & BEYOND!!!! I had the pleasure of buddy reading TKAK with Melanie at Meltotheany, Destiny at Howling Libraries, Jules, and Wren at Fables & Wren who are all phenomenal Book lovers & Bloggers! I will have a spoiler free GUSH review up by Thursday 3/1.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I had a feeling I would enjoy this book but nothing could’ve prepared me for the love I already have in my ❤ for these characters. I’m only 135 pages in & have already shed a few discreet tears on the subway. I’m walking around with page flags Bookworms! yeah this tome is chock full of info, the world is rich & deeply layered. My understanding of the religion COBAB is influenced by only deepens my attachment to this story. Vulture recently interviewed Adeyemi (Vulture) & when asked about her research for this book, she recalls a visit to a shop in Brazil. A visit that led her to discovering a poster with 9 African Gods & being taken aback because all her life she had only seen white Gods. This is where the idea for COBAB started formulating & I found this to be super interesting because I grew up learning about these Saints/Angels. I won’t know til’ I finish reading but it’s looking like this book may just make it into my Top of 2018 🙂

Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand

On March 1st. I will be joining a buddy read for this highly anticipated book & I’m SUPER stoked! no, seriously Bookworms! I already penned it into my planner with a cute little reading girl sticker which means it’s GOING DOWWWWWN! Haha! when a Goodreads blurb starts off with Follows two fiercely independent young women” it’s pretty much a given that I will want to read said book lol so I have my fingers crossed this will be yet another hit in my book cause I’m on a roll *knocks on wood*…don’t judge me 😉

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


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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!

#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 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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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1): Spoiler Free Review Feat. Gretchen @ChicNerdReads

Title: The Cruel prince (The Folk of the Air #1)

Author: Holly Black

Pub. Date: January 2nd, 2018

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers

Pages: 384

Format: Physical ARC

Content warning: Suicide and Graphic Violence

Buddy Read: w/my Twin Gretchen @ChicNerdReads (Q & A at the end of this review)

*Thank you Little Brown Books for Young Readers and Holly Black for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

Butterfly Butterfly Butterfly Butterfly Butterfly

Where to begin?….well maybe with the fact that up until now I hadn’t come across a fae character that I liked in any of the books that I’ve read. This all has changed of course now that I’ve read this magnificently twisted book by Holly Black. I get it now! I get why you all call her the Queen of the Fae! The Cruel Prince was EVERYTHING I never knew I needed & now I simply cannot get enough of this world.

The opening scene is one of the most cold blooded I’ve ever read, we meet our MC Jude in her home with her two sisters Taryn & Vivi. A knock on the door brings a stranger into their home changing the course of their lives. Jude’s sister Vivi is half Fae & her father Madoc has come to take her back to Elfhame, the home her mother took her away from when she left him. Murdering both their parents, Madoc is now responsible for his daughter Vivi and her two human siblings. We fast forward 10 years from the date he stole them away to find them all grown up into teenagers with very different personalities and feelings towards their new home & Madoc himself. Elfhame is no easy place to live in especially if you’re a human which is why our MC Jude has given it her all to try & fit in by earning a place in the royal guard. Always having to look over her shoulder, Jude knows the fae world is a treacherous place to live in & the only way to survive is to always be ten steps ahead.

Our antagonists are Prince Cardan and his fae friends who look down on all humans which make Jude & Taryn easy targets. For the most part, the bullying is directed towards Jude for wanting to be in the royal guard so badly that she is actively competing in the tournament. Taryn on the other hand tries to lay low & encourages a non-yielding Jude to do the same. Jude however, is not the type to stay down for long & pushes back each & every single time. She manages to capture the attention of Prince Dain who is rumored to be chosen by the king as heir to the throne. Dain offers her a position with his royal spies & Jude begins to unravel court secrets one by one. She soon realizes that nothing is at it seems & the kingdom of Elfhame is in danger. The Cruel Prince is filled with political intrigue, ruthless double-crossings, and tons of twists & turns that will leave you second guessing all of your theories. If you enjoy watching pieces on a Chess board move Game of Thrones Style, then chances are you’re going to LOVE this book!

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It’s rare that I end up loving the MC of a Fantasy so hardcore & yet even more impossible…that I end up loving the MC as much as the antagonist haha! I’m still not sure that any of the characters in this book can be described as wholly good or bad, they’re all so complex & deeply layered. Starting with our MC Jude who can be seen as a outcast & a bit of a anti-hero, she is going to put the kingdom and its people above all else. Jude was unpredictable & resilient to the very end, very much a product of her environment. Her twin sister Taryn who is also human has a very different mindset although ultimately she’d also like to just fit in. Unlike Jude, Taryn has no interest in training for battle & instead plans to marry a fae of the royal court. We find these two siblings at odds throughout the book as they struggle to make a place for themselves in a strange land that doesn’t want them.

Madoc is also an interesting character, described as blood lustful and a winner of wars. He also is the person who murdered their parents & then gave them a new home with everything they could’ve possibly ever wanted/needed. Each of the girls has a difficult relationship with Madoc who is the only father figure they’ve known since the age of 7. Vivi who is his legitimate daughter by blood has never accepted Madoc or Elfhame. We see her often steal away in the human world where she hides her true identity. Vivi has held onto a lot of her anger & resentment towards Madoc & we see her rebel against him at every turn.

Prince Carden & his crew of friends who go out of their way to make Jude’s life all the more difficult, are just as complex as our three siblings. There’s definitely a lot more underneath the malice & I ended up really enjoying this character’s development.

There are plenty more characters in this book the I truly enjoyed, the cast is large & I could talk about each one for days but then that would take the fun away from meeting them for yourselves. Besides the main characters and group of antagonists we also have another set of players in the background who are just as crucial to the story. When we first start this story, it’s on the heels of a coronation where the King would choose his heir. You can bet on there being tons of moves being made between his heirs for the highly coveted seat. With so many players on the board I found myself HOOKED! with many theories that ultimately didn’t even come close to the final play for the throne 😉

 Never have I ever entered a Fantasy world & felt the need to watch my own back! Such was the case with this book & I can’t even begin to explain just how deeply fleshed out this story, it’s characters, and world really are. The plot alone is FLAWLESS!!! well executed & guaranteed to leave you holding your theories with a big Oh So You Thought That’s What’s Happening Here? HA! Think Again! I am in awe of how Black brought all the pieces together, she thought of its all! past, present, and future. As if that weren’t enough, the characters were morally gray & really hard to turn away from. There isn’t a heroine in this Fantasy, this isn’t that type of book & I found this to be ingenious! EVERYONE is effed up at some point or another & EVERYONE is flawed. The world building is A+ bookworms! yet again in awe of how Holly Black managed to give us so much in under 400 pgs. Elfhame comes to life with its many different races of fae, their customs, food to tempt any human, and a high court filled dangerous characters. I couldn’t get enough & every time I opened this book, I found myself sucked into the land of the fae very easily. I didn’t see the ending coming and had to pick my jaw up off the floor at the very end. The good news is that Black leaves us with an amazing epilogue to hold us over & I’m going to need the sequel like yesterday! *sobs* It’s not too early to place this book on my Top 2018 reads,   already have. If you haven’t picked up a copy yet, please do not hesitate! the hype is well deserved with this one & I just know you won’t regret it 😉

 It’s been a while since my BFF & I buddy read a book so when she suggested it I wasn’t going to say no! LOL. I cleared all of my planned TBR books because buddy reads with my twin are always fun & I knew this would be no different. I’m so glad it was a book we both really enjoyed & are now totally OBSESSED with! Check out her full spoiler free review here!

When I asked Gretchen how her experience reading Holly Black for the first time went, she immediately gushed on how AMAZING It was! “I loved the world building, characters, and how they took me by surprise. I loved how dark the characters were because the match my soul!” *she LOL’d when she said this* Gretchen LOVED Carden who plays the antagonist, she admits not liking him at first but then realized he had reasons for being the way he is.

The world building as I mentioned in my review, is one of my favorite aspects of this book. Although this was my first Holly Black, it isn’t my first book with Fae & I found myself wondering why this time I ended up LOVING them so much. I asked Gretchen, compared to other Fae books she’s read, what made the world of Elfhame in The Cruel prince stand out? “The many different races of not just Fae, the inclusion of termites, Goblins, and pixies”…we both agreed that this book had so much detail in the best of ways & we soaked it all up.

The main characters in this book also battled internally with whether they were given a choice, would they stay in Elfhame or return to the human world. Vivi who is the Fae sibling, hasn’t accepted Madoc as her father or her new home. She can be seen often sneaking away to the human world & clinging on to human things. We also see Jude struggle with the desire to be one of the Fae. I asked Gretchen if she were give the choice would she live in the human world as a Fae? or would she continue to live in the Fae world as a human? I’d prefer to be a Fae living in the the human world, living undercover with modifications to keep people from finding out my true identity”…for those that are wondering, it’s totally possible with the help of some contacts & our wonderful author herself has surgically re-shaped her ears to those of the fae 😉

Lastly, I asked Gretchen whether she plans on picking up any of Holly Black’s other books that have already been published & she said ABSOLUTELY! Gretchen is interested in reading Tithe 🙂

Holly Black is the author of bestselling contemporary fantasy books for kids and teens. Some of her titles include The Spiderwick Chronicles (with Tony DiTerlizzi), The Modern Faerie Tale series, the Curse Workers series, Doll Bones, The Coldest Girl in Coldtown, the Magisterium series (with Cassandra Clare), The Darkest Part of the Forest, and her new series which begins with The Cruel Prince in January 2018.

She has been a a finalist for an Eisner Award, and the recipient of the Andre Norton Award, the Mythopoeic Award and a Newbery Honor. She currently lives in New England with her husband and son in a house with a secret door. 

Hello Bookworms! Hope you’re all having a wonderful day, possibly even a snow day for some like myself *fingers crossed* Sound off in the comments if you plan on reading The Cruel Prince? & if you’ve already devoured it like we did, how was it for you?


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Books On Books On Books

Hello Bookworms! hope you’re all having a wonderful morning & for some of you afternoon/night 😀 it’s my 1st day back in the office after a week off from work & I’m so NOT ready! but there is one good thing about getting back to the daily grind of commuting…READING! 😍 being home with my wonderful family was much needed & so reading took a back seat. Today I’m back at it with a heavy commute that gives me a total of 5 hours for reading or listening to a audiobook. This means I can get back to whittling down the stacks to make room for…well, you know?


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Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) | The Princess Diarist | Whichwood (Furthermore #2) | Far From Tree | Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #1) | Marrow | Mud Vein | Atheist Who Kneel and Pray

2018 is the year I mix it up even further on Lair Of Books. I already read Diverse/Own Voices whenever possible but I’d also like to try other genres. Although I’ll still mostly read YA Fantasy & contemporary, I’ll also be giving New Adult and Middle Grade a go (polar opposites haha!). Also, since I’ll be making a more conscious effort to read from my shelves more often, you’ll be seeing Fiction & Adult Fantasy as well. Maybe this way I’ll finally tackle my past Book of the Month boxes 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 

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Foolish Hearts

Sadly this will be my last Owlcrate box, it was a good run & I may still return but for now it’s time to say goodbye 💙

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Sourdough | The Wife Between Us | The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy #1)

These caught my attention instantly! but I’m MOST excited for The City of Brass 🤗🤗🤗

Ace Of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) | Girls Burn Brighter

*I’m getting better at requesting only what I’m super stoked for 😉

Considering a couple of these were Twitter giveaway wins, I’d say this was a good month? 🤷🏻‍♀️😂 although I’ll no longer be subbed to Owlcrate, I will be giving Fairyloot a shot so we’ll see how that goes. I’m pretty stoked for my 1st box this month 🤗🤗🤗 Did you haul anything exciting in December? if you’re a BOTM subscriber, what were your picks?


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The Books Under the Tree Tag

Happy Saturday Bookworms!!! I’m currently enjoying my Christmas Eve Eve with the family but I’m taking a little break to come in here & spread a little tag joy. The Books Under the Tree Tag was originally created by Game Of Tomes two Booktubers that are new to me & I’ve already binge watched a TON of their videos, their channel is super cozy to watch. I was tagged by the wonderful Mel over @ Mel To The Any who I discovered just this year & OMYGAHHHH! seriously bookworms, check out her content & see for yourselves why she’s my newfound favorite!

Ok, it’s now 3:30am & I can’t sleep so I’ve returned to this tag since earlier today was hectic & I couldn’t finish. I’m beginning to wonder if my childhood excitement for Christmas Eve has stayed with me sub-conciously, keeping me up all night 🤔 not sure but my mind & body are not aligned 😂 not saying I’m grinching it but…On to the tag ☃️

What book would you like to find under the tree this year? 

 There’s only one book I’m looking for under my tree & it’s the U.K. edition of The Bear and the Nightingale *sighhhh* sold out on Book Depository, I’ve got notifications turned on for a re-stock but I’m not confident in that happening. Instead I will be ordering a copy from AbeBooks as a Christmas/Birthday gift to myself 🎁 and maybe I’ll even have it gift wrapped 😂

What is the best book you have ever received for Christmas? 

2 years ago my sister got me the Deluxe 1st Edition of Fables. It’s hardcover and pretty and I LOVE it! the illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and eye catching. 2018 is the year I binge Fables 🤗

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile.
the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society-within an exclusive luxury apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side-called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Bigby, Fabletown’s sheriff, and a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf, to determine if the culprit is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

What book gives you all the Christmas feels?

Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling always stirs up Christmas feels for me. Specifically the arrival of the Beauxbatons & Durmstrang schools at Hogwarts. There’s also a Christmas tree scene in The Goblet of Fire movie that is pretty vivid in my mind…

What book do you plan on reading to put you in the Christmas spirit this year?

I’ve actually already done this when I picked up The Girl in the Towerby Katherine Arden in anticipation of snow & Christmas. Although this book isn’t about Christmas, there really is no other book (other than Harry Potter) that puts me in the wintery holiday spirit. Atmospheric and covered in snow, this sequel was the perfect book to put me in the X-mas state of mind ☃️

What book have you read this year that you would like to throw out with the Christmas tree after the holidays? 

Ha! a bit of a mean one here 😂 & I don’t typically have books that I’d toss out BUT there is one this year 😱…I really had high hopes for my very first Andy Weir read & it just didn’t even come close to what others felt about his other book The Martian. In fact, it really made me feel uncomfortable so no, I don’t plan on keeping my copy.

What is a book from this year that you would like to place under a friend’s tree? 

Mel & I have the same book in mind for this prompt & that’s because this book should be read by EVERYONE. I have my sister currently reading The Hate U Give & can’t wait to discuss the themes with her. Poignant, relevant, soul searching, impactful, and heart-breaking are only a few of the words that come to mind when describing this book. 2018 is the year we see it hit the big screen & I for one am trying to have as many loved ones read the book before then 💙


Challenge: Create a stack of books in which the spines alternate green and red! Share the titles.

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The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Who do you tag?

I am a bit late with this tag since it’s now officially Christmas Eve 🙈but better late than never amiright? 😂 If you’re in the mood to do this tag, consider yourself tagged but in the spirit of the holiday, here are a few bloggers I have in mind for this tag (no pressure bookworms, it is the day before 😂)

Kristin Kraves Books

Socially Awkward Bookworm

Nerd Narration


I wish you all a happy & wonderful holiday surrounded by those you love! 💕May your trees have a few books from your WISH-LISTS (if not all) waiting for you to unwrap. I will return next week with my highly anticipated 2018 reads🤗


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Spoiler Free Review: The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Title: The Girl in the Tower (Winternight Trilogy #2)

Author: Katherine Arden

Pub. Date: December 5th, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Publisher: Del Rey

Pages: 363

Format: eGalley & Physical ARC


Words? what are they? I seriously don’t think I can do this book justice but because I feel EVERYONE should read this trilogy, I will pull myself together & let you all know why Katherine Arden is a force to be reckoned with. I thought Arden’s debut The Bear and the Nightingale was AMAZING! If this author never wrote anything again, I would’ve been saddened but also would’ve felt like I had found a diamond I could treasure for the rest of my life! a lush & vivid world I can see myself returning to on a cold winter night year after year. I was NOT expecting to be blown away by its sequel The Girl in the Tower! not only has our MC grown since the last time we saw her but the world itself has expanded & developed to give us readers a better picture of Vasya’s travels & adventures outside her small village & woods. We last left off with Vasya having no choice but to leave her only known home once she was labeled a witch. It was expected that she’d be sent to her sister Olya in Moscow to be paired off in marriage & spend her days with the other women who live in a tower child rearing & running their households. Vasya however has never had an interest in these things & could never be tied down for the rest of her days. Having always found comfort in “boys clothing” she finds she can see the world without restrictions.

Choosing instead to map out her own destiny, Vasya sets off into the woods on her horse Solovey. If The Bear and the Nightingale was mostly world-building & the fleshing out of characters, this follow-up introduces a fast paced plot while also balancing & building upon its predecessor. Villages are being pillaged and burned, their little girls are being stolen away from their families. Vasya finds herself in the middle of it all as she fights the bandits and eventually captures the attention of the Grand Prince of Moscow with her bravery. We follow Vasya as she uncovers the sinister forces threatening the kingdom all whilst keeping her true identity hidden.

Vasya- still holds the title of my Most Favorite MC in all of Fantasy! Her independence, self worth, bravery, fierceness and determination not to conform to society’s gender norms speak to my soul. In The Bear and the Nightingale we are introduced to a young Vasya who is considered very wild and rebellious. In this follow-up, we get to see how much she’s matured while still staying true to who she is at her core. I loved seeing older Vasya experience new things and emotions.

”Sudden anger burned out Vasya’s gathering hurt. She pushed back her chair and stood again. “I am not your dog”, she snapped. “You May tell me to go home, but I may choose not to. Do you think that is all I want, in all my life—a royal dowry, and a man to force his children into me?” 

 Morozko aka Frost Demon aka King of Winter – Morozko plays a integral role in this story but it wasn’t until this follow-up that I truly grew to love this character. Think of him a mix of Father Winter & Grimm Reaper, his broodiness was on another level & for some reason I found this to be so endearing smh #dontjudgeme haha!

Solovey – My fave character in this whole book is Solovey who is Vasya’s horse & UGH! my heart can’t contain the love I have for this sassy four legged creature! besides the sass he is SUPER protective & loyal to Vasya which is always admirable.

Sasha aka Aleksandr – Vasya’s older brother who also decided to carve his own path & become a monk. This however doesn’t mean he is a peaceful monk lol, Sasha can be found protecting his cousin The Grand Prince which means swords a plenty. I LOVE the sibling relationship between Vasya and Sasha, moments where he wishes she’d just conform to the norm & marry but then quickly realizes that the thought alone sounds absurd. Sasha accepts & many times admires Vasya on the battlefield. He’s seriously the brother I wish I’d always had 🙂

Olya – Vasya’s older sister, last we heard of her she had gotten married and left to Moscow to tend to her household. Olya has always been sort of a mother figure to her siblings so it was interesting seeing her very different relationship with Vasya. Olya loves all of her siblings & doesn’t always understand the things they do but she’s always represented home for them.

Marya – One of the newest characters introduced towards the end, Marya is Olya’s young daughter. Although she didn’t have a huge role in this book, we get the feeling there will be more to her story. Marya is free spirited just like Vasya & as such looks up to her aunt. I got a vivid picture of young Marya who will remind many of the Vasya we were first introduced to however, she is definitely more outspoken 😉

Last but definitely not least are the spirits aka Chyerti you will find hidden in the ovens, bath houses, horse stables, and door yards. These are perhaps some of my most favorite characters in this world. I’m totally considering leaving an offering in my oven to see if my Domovoi shows up *fingers crossed* 😉

It comes as no surprise that I am absolutely OBSESSED with Katherine Arden’s writing! I would’ve never guessed when I was handed a copy of the book by the author herself at Comic Con that she was giving me the BEST gift ever! I can think of no other books that better capture the magic and beauty of winter. A cozy blanket on a cold winter night is what I always use to describe this book to my book blogging buddies & wrap you up it will. Many who found The Bear and the Nightingale to be on the slower side might find themselves really enjoying the faster paced plot in The Girl in the Tower. I for one don’t mind a slow paced world as long as it’s rich & inviting like these are. Also, there is a clear cut villain this time which felt like the connecting puzzle piece & I just loved seeing it all come together. I am SUPER STOKED for The Winter of the Witch in 2018!!! as sad as I’m sure I will be to see it end, I am confident Katherine Arden will give us all a EPIC ending to this amazing trilogy 🙂

*Many thanks to Del Rey, Netgalley, and Katherine Arden for the eGalley copy of  The Girl in the Tower in exchange for an honest review.


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#ARCstravaganza #16

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 16th week participating in #ARCstravaganza Monday & this week I’ve chosen Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen #1) by Sarah Glenn Marsh *flailing excitement begins now*  I still can’t believe I managed to get my hands on a copy of this book but thankful a million times over! My initial attraction to this book was the cover cause C’mon! *heart eyes* & the promise of necromancy…yea please don’t judge my dark soul lol. Since my first impressions, I’ve come across random bits of info on the premise of this book & although I’m trying to avoid spoilers I did learn some interesting things. So there is now a new order to my interest in this book & they go…

Bi-sexual MC


Cover lust

Reign of the Fallen will be hitting bookshelves January 23rd 2018 & I will be reading around the first week in January & posting what I am hoping will be a GUSH Review *fingers crossed* I have high hopes Bookworms! 🙂

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Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?

Sound off in the comments below if Reign of the Fallen has made its way onto your TBR’s 🙂


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