Review: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

Title: Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha #1)

Author: Tomi Adeyemi

Pub. Date: March 6th, 2018

Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy

Publisher: Macmillan/FierceReads

Pages: 525

Format: Physical ARC

*Maji Clan Quiz at the end of my review*

*HUGE thanks to Macmillan/FierceReads and Tomi Adeyemi for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion


Its been 2 weeks since I finished what I consider the BEST Fantasy book I have EVER read for a multitude of reasons. I cried some real tears reading this beautiful book, within its pages I found familiar names that have always carried weight in my childhood & made this reading experience all the more special. Now let’s see if I can do this justice & get you to read this EPIC masterpiece…

Our story is set in the land of Orïsha where King Saran has worked very hard to wipe out the magic inherited by the Maji. Maji once walked the land in abundance, they were said to have received their magic aka Ashe from Sky Mother. Healers, Earth shakers, Mind connectors, Tiders with the power to control the waters,  and  Reapers who can raise the dead are just some of the few types of Maji to have walked the lands. This all changed when a group of rebel Maji killed the King’s first family. In a bloody event known as “The Raid” all Maji above the age of 13 were ordered to be killed by the King. Our MC Zélie’s mother, a Reaper is dragged out in chains and hung in the village for all to see. The connection between the Maji & Sky Mother is broken and efforts are put in place to destroy the magical pieces with the power to restore the Maji’s Ashe.

Young Zélie remembers this day as if it were yesterday well into her young adult years & it is the fuel that propels her throughout this story. In stressing the importance of eliminating the threat Maji pose & by instilling fear, the King has managed to keep Maji in poverty. Expected to pay a higher tax or face labor camps that are the equivalent of slavery, Maji’s are opressed & forced to come up with ways to survive on a daily basis. It is during one of Zélie’s trips to the market that her whole world gets turned upside down.

We are introduced to King Saran, the Queen, Prince/heir Inan, and Princess Amari. The Kings efforts to keep his second family away from all Maji are nixed once Princess Amari realizes her fathers cruel & murderous ways. Running away from the palace with a highly valuable scroll, Princes Amari crosses paths with Zélie placing them both on the path to try & restore magic to all Maji…


Children Of Blood and Bone features a large cast of strong characters down to the supporting cast. Below I’ve listed the main players in this story however, there is a wealth of supporting characters contributing greatly to our main MC’s journey. There are NO weak links, these characters come to life on the page with vivid descriptions & personalities. Told in multiple POV, each chapter is broken down from Zélie, Amari, and Inan’s perspectives. We get to know their most intimate thoughts & see them battle their inner demons. These characters come scarred, they hold a lot of pain & their journey is hard & filled with loss. The entire cast are POC (people of color) & through their eyes Adeyemi tackles some of the toughest topics such as oppression, colorism, and slavery. These characters aren’t the ones to quickly flee your memory…they’re the type to set up shop in your mind & your heart.

Zélie- Our MC has seen & experienced a plethora of pain since seeing her mother killed at the age of six. Zélie really has no filter & has no tolerance for the injustice the King’s guards often bring to the village people. She knows her outspoken nature can potentially place her family at risk for violence however, the need & compulsion to speak up seems almost involuntary. She is a warrior in every sense of the word, her passion & love for a magic she has only slightly ever felt is stronger than her life-force. Zélie remembered a time when Maji had their Ashe and used it to help those in need. Her journey however, will make her confront all of the pain she carries. With Zélie we get raw power & a love for her people and the deities they are descended from.

Tzain- A better bigger brother could NOT exist! Tzain is described as being physically strong and handsome but it’s his fierce need to protect his sister and their father that is his driving force. I LOVE sibling relationships in books but when they’re as close as these two are, my heart fully embraces them. Adeyemi doesn’t just show us the good, she gives us the fighting as well & the genuine love between two siblings who are as close as they are.

Amari- at first glance she may seem like the pampered princess who hasn’t experienced any pain however Amari will prove readers wrong. Perhaps one of my most fave characters in this book because of her personal growth, Amari goes through an awakening of sorts. The blinds are lifted early on & the decision she makes really speak to the type of person she really is. By the end of the book you fully understand why it was necessary for this character to be a part of the journey. I’m super curious & excited to see Amari in the sequel.

Inan- I had such a love/hate relationship with Prince Inan…moments where I felt I understood his mentality & others where I wanted to talk some sense into him. I honestly found him to be quite unpredictable & that scared me with regards to him being a love interest for Zélie. I wanted so badly to love this character but ultimately I couldn’t trust him & I can’t really say his intentions were ever malicious. His love for the people in the kingdom & his inbred fear of the Maji is so much greater than the love he has for anyone. This is a Prince who wants nothing more than to earn the respect of his father the King. He’s constantly at war with himself & the irony that strikes him is just ingenious!

Honorable Mentions-Mama Agba is introduced early on in the story as the owner to a seamstress shop which really serves as a front for a training school for young Maji. The wisdom this character imparts on Zélie in regards to knowing when to fight back & when to speak up struck a chord…for those  who are familiar with the Black Lives Matter movement, there will be many scenes that align with our real world. It was hard seeing Zélie try to fight down the urge to not speak out of line or face brutality from the King’s guards. Zélie’s father although he doesn’t get much page time made me shed my first tears on what would be a tear filled reading experience. A broken spirit who breaks through his grief to encourage Zélie to fight back!

Oya- Zelie’s Sister Deity-Image obtained from Pinterest/Flickr

The Deities- Zélies sister Deity is Oya who was rewarded with mastery over life however, when shared with her worshippers it transformed to power over death & this is how Reapers came about. Throughout the book we learn of the different Deities and their descendant clans. Although we never hear them speak, they are a driving force in the story. Zélie has a deep devotion to Oya who she feels deeply connected to & so we see her more than any of the others.

I can honestly go on for days talking about the richness in culture and religion Children of Blood and Bone brought to the table & I still wouldn’t scratch the surface. Steeped in African culture & mythology, COBAB is not your typical YA Fantasy…it takes Fantasy to a whole other level! & is everything I could’ve ever asked for. From the Yoruba language to the West African foods, and beautifully vibrant Dashiki’s we get so much more from this reading experience because it’s influenced by a culture that already exists. Some of the obstacles our MC’s face in COBAB are real life issues encountered on a daily basis by young black men & women in the real world.   On the topic of the spiritual deities we get a dose of religious diversity, in COBAB the land is called Orisha however in Nigeria, South America, and the Caribbeans Orisha’s are the actual spiritual deities themselves. In these pages I found names of Orishas I grew up learning about all throughout my childhood. Nothing could’ve prepared me for the roller-coaster ride of emotions I felt while reading this book. It is really my belief that Children of Blood and Bone has set a new standard for YA Fantasy & I am  HERE for it!

Take the Quiz & find out which Maji Clan you’re in, are you a Tamer like I am?

You’re a Tamer, the maji of animals. Compassionate, intuitive, and gentle, you have the power to communicate with and manipulate animals.
As a Tamer, you have a special connection to parts of the human experience that others don’t always engage with. Though your ability to perceive other things can sometimes put you out of touch with reality, your kind nature awakens the compassion in others.
CLAN: Eranko Clan
GOD: Oxosi
AURA: Pink


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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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The Valentine’s Day Book Tag

The Valentine’s Day Book Tag was originally created by CC’s Books and As Told by Tina! & I was tagged by the wonderful Mel over at Mel To The Any <3! Thank you Mel XoXo! ❤  Now I know Valentine’s Day was yesterday & some may say that it’s over but…LOL! I don’t celebrate my Valentine’s til’ tomorrow Friday. Such are the woes of a city gal always on the go with two tiny humans 😉
I hope you all had wonderful day yesterday whether you celebrate the holiday or not cause I love ya! I had so much fun watching all of my IG stories and Booktube Q&A’s with significant others & Galantines. Next year I definitely want to squeeze in a date night with my BFF cause it’s been a minute…but I digress haha! onto the tag..

1. Stand Alone Book you love

Although If I’m really being honest here I really could go for more Eliza & her world *SOBS*

2. Dystopian Book you Love 

This book! Gah! Mesmerizing while at the same time carrying a deeper message. This is one you won’t want to miss out on. I am FULLY supporting & showing my love for this book for many reasons, the main one being that in this world Clayton has given us a society who loves all skin tones & complexions. The social commentary on body image & high standards set by this fictional society really mirrors our own. There’s also LGBTQIA+ rep with three of the characters, one of them plays a main role & sexuality in this society is fluid–two women marrying would be considered normal by their society as subtly mentioned in the book (my heart warmed when I read this). I LOVED This book to pieces!!!!

3. A book that you love but no one else talks about 

Why am I not seeing more Bookworms talking about this BEAUTIFUL gem of a book?!?! for all but especially those who enjoy literary fiction from time to time…this YA book about 3 generations of women will warm your heart & leave you smiling! almost entirely made up of female MC’s this book covers an older matriarch, her children & her grandchildren…GAH! LOVED it & want to see more books like this one hit our shelves 🙂

4. Favorite Book Couple 

 Mustang & Darrow- Red Rising Saga…these two are fierce alone & together they’re a force to be reckoned with.

5. Book that other people love but you haven’t gotten around to read 

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor...with reason Bookworms LOL! Laini is one of my top 3 fave authors & I just couldn’t bear the wait til the sequel but now that we have cover art, guess what time it is?!?! (U.K. cover for Muse of Nightmares has yet to be released but this stunner down below is already giving it a run for my $$$)

6. A book with Red on the cover 

Red Clocks by Leni Zumas, a recent add-on to my BOTM box that I am really looking forward to reading soon 🙂

7. A book with Pink on the cover 

 A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena. My awesome friend Flavia over at Flaviathebibliophile was kind enough to get me a arc copy of this book signed by the author! & I am over the moon happy to get started on it very soon 🙂

8. You were given a book of chocolate what fictional boyfriend/girlfriend would give them to you. 

ummm well after this last book (Iron Gold) I don’t know how I’d receive this gesture but I think if Darrow walked up to me with some chocolates I’d be lying if I told you I’d say no….#jussayin

9. You are Single on Valentine’s Day. What Book would you read? What TV show would you watch? What Movie would you watch?

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne which I haven’t read yet but the hype is real & it seems ideal for the day & as for what I’d watch… It’s a tie btwn Sleepless in Seattle and Love & Basketball < ❤ ❤ ❤

10. You are in the Book Store. All of the sudden you get shot with an arrow by Cupid. What New Release will you love. 

Easily Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda cause the Universe has been screaming BLOODY READ IT ALREADY! @ me 😉 oh & BTW I’m counting this because the new special edition released 1/30  includes new Simon and Blue emails, a behind-the-scenes scrapbook from the Love, Simon movie set, and Becky Albertalli in conversation with fellow authors Adam Silvera and Angie Thomas….basically all of my faves Gushing about this book *eeeeeK*

11. Spread the Love Who do you tag? 

On every other tag I usually list a few but I am a day late with this so instead I’ll say…you’ve all been tagged by me 😉
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤


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WWW Wednesday 2/14/2018

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

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

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

I’m 30% into Heart of Iron & so far it’s the characters that have really drawn me in. I’m still learning the world & its history which so far is pretty straight forward. I’m typically weary when I come across a large cast of characters in YA Fantasy because I LOVE character driven stories & so the more fleshed out the characters are, the more attached I am to their story. So far the crew on the ship has been introduced, all outlaws with strong loyalty bonds towards each other. So far I’m LOVING the character Jax who is a Solani described as having a long silvery white braid, silver eyelashes and violet eyes. Jax is the Pilot on the ship & its his charm & confidence that really have me smiling when I get to his chapters. There’s also a “Metal” who is sort of a A.I. robot & although I’m still getting to know him, I already loving reading his though process. I plan on reading a chunk today so we shall see how it moves along…

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

I recently read, reviewed, and LOVED Honor Among Thieves here. This is one YA Sc-Fi that I know I’ll be following til the very end. Every time I picked it up for my commute or nightly reading I found myself getting absorbed by the characters. Also realllllly weird relationship between human & alien #Jussayin…that I couldn’t help but cheer on even though a part of me was like…what is going on? is this what I think it is? smh extra brownie points for making me feel awkward in a good way? haha! 🙂

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

My first Adult Fantasy of the year & I’m so glad that it was a 5 star read.Coming at 208pgs. I really underestimated how much story could be packed in considering I’m used to reading bigger books. Whelp! author Cole sure showed me & no I’m seriously hoping the sequel soon follows. I have a review for The Armored Saint going up this Friday! 🙂

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate Queen #2) by Tricia Levenseller

Ok…I can barely! contain my excitement over my next read *eeeeK* I CANNOT wait to dive back into this fun world with Alosa & her crew! I expect to be completely absorbed with this book  into the weeee hours of the morning *coffee on deck* I was introduced to this story last year & since then haven’t stopped thinking of these characters. My review for Daughter of the Pirate King here.

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

Finally!!! To Kill a Kingdom! I really didn’t think I’d get a copy of this one but Netgalley pulled through for this bookworm. I will be buddy reading To Kill a Kingdom with Melanie from Mel To The Any starting this Sunday the 18th through the 22nd & I CAN’T WAIT!!! I’m really hoping we love this one cause it’s friggin Ursula & for years as a kid she was bigger than the boogey man to me haha! *fingers crossed* 

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


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Review: Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

Title: Honor Among Thieves (The Honors #1)

Author: Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

Pub. Date: February 13th, 2018

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books/Harper

Pages: 309

Format: eGalley & Physical ARC

Trigger Warning: Physical/Child abuse

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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WWW Wednesday 2/7/2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iron Gold (Red Rising #4) by Pierce Brown

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

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

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


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January Book Haul & Wrap-Up

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

*Iron Gold & Fantastic Beasts were gifts from the hubby

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

Circe | To Kill A Kingdom | Sky In The Deep

January FairyLoot

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

Book Of The Month

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As Bright As Heaven | A Gentleman In Moscow


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

Thoughts so far…

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

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

Review: The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis

Title: The Dangerous Art of Blending In

Author: Angelo Surmelis

Pub. Date: January 30th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary/LGBTQIA+

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/Harper

Pages: 336

Format: eGalley

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


It Gets Better Project—

LGBT National Help Center—

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

BULLYING Stomp Out Bullying—


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

I think this covers it…

Happy New Years Bookworms!!! It’s 1AM and I just finished off a slice of my birthday cake & figured I’d post the 2nd half (first half here) of my most highly anticipated books for 2018 💜 There are 3 titles for which there haven’t been cover releases but I’m SUPER stoked for & couldn’t bring myself to leave off this list. Each title will link back to Goodreads & since it’s a pretty long list, I’ll stick to some quick points of interest & hope you find some new reads to add to your TBR’s for 2018 😉


Furyborn (The Empirium Trilogy #3) by Claire Legrand 1 MC with 7 seven kinds of elemental magic, 7 trials to test magic, a bounty hunter, assassins, complex world-building, and a long standing war to span millennia.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning Ursula’s POV…yea I think this sums it up for NEED! 🤗🤗🤗

These Rebel Waves (Stream Raiders #1) by Sara Raasch Forbidden magic, LGBTQ romance, and Pirates!!! 🔥🔥🔥

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young VIKINGS! siblings on opposing sides of a blood feud, love a good sibling story 💙

The Queens of Innis Lear by Tessa Graton retelling of King Lear with elements of Game of Thrones?!?! YASSS please! the synopsis alone is so bad a** for this one 🔥🔥🔥

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Various Authors Fifteen bestselling and acclaimed authors reimagine the folklore and mythology of East and South Asia in short stories that are by turns enchanting, heartbreaking, romantic, and passionate…I have a feeling this anthology will become an instant treasure for me 💙

A Girl Like That by Tanaz Bhathena with so many tough topics such as race, religion, identity, and class…this is one is sure to break me but I feel will be a poignant read

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandy Menon a cute rom-com told through letters written by the MC to her favorite filmmakers, I’m HERE FOR IT!

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli  LGBTQ rep, plus-sized rep, and it takes place in the same world as Upside of Unrequited (still need to read Simon) I am beyond STOKED for this one! 🤗🤗🤗

Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed #Ownovoices, Indian-American Muslim teen MC, Islamophobia, Post 911

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) Complex multi-layered YA Fantasy with EPIC world building, magic system, and fierce heroines. Already optioned for the big screen

The Belles (The Belles #1) by Dhonielle Clayton My biggest lure towards this title is undeniably the topics weaved into it’s core such as the commodification of women’s bodies, gender equality and racial identity mentioned in the synopsis. This is one YA Fantasy I wouldn’t miss for anything in the world!

Ace Of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody Casinos, Gangs, Mafia…gahhHH! speaking to my soul with this one! 🖤🖤🖤

Toil & Trouble: 16 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Various Authors Besides the fact that some of my fave authors contributed to this anthology…WITCHES!!! Need I say more?!?! 🤷🏻‍♀️

Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1) by Holly Black I’ve actually already read this & can confidently say it will make my top of 2018 at the end of the year! It’s FLAWLESS!!! Far in a dark lush world filled with political intrigue, blood thirst, and a constant need to watch your back this is one you won’t want to miss (RTC)

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff a new sci-fi by the one & only Jay Kristoff, in a Q&A Kristoff stated that he pitched this one as “Romeo and Juliet meets Bladerunner, while Fury Road plays a guitar solo in the background.” I can’t even begin to fathom what that looks like & yet I know I NEED it in my life like I need air 😂

On the Come Up by Angie Thomas a return to Garden Heights–a story about a aspiring teen rapper & what happens when they get everything they thought they wanted

Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore “A magical realist Snow-White & Rose-Red meets Swan Lake, in which two sisters become rivals in a game that will turn the losing girl into a swan.”

What If It’s Us-Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera two of my fave YA Contemporary authors have come together & that is all I can ask for! the blurb gives me serendipitous vibes, can’t wait to meet Ben & Arthur 💙

Happy New Years Bookworms! Hope this year brings love, peace, and happinness to you all! also,  plenty of great reads 💙💙💙 Sound off in the comments if you’re excited for any of these titles or any I left off <3’s!


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