WWW Wednesday 3/14/2018

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?

The Heart Forger (The Bone Witch #2) by Rin Chupeco

I’m 75% into this buddy read with Melanie from Meltotheany and enjoying every minute of it! This 2nd installment in the Bone Witch Trilogy takes off right from the very 1st page. All of our well loved characters are back & this being a book about necromancy, you can expect some of those to be from the land of the dead. There’s also a ton more action & battle in this book than its predecessor. Tea is still traveling with Bard the Chronicler & she is done with being in exile. Fully out to seek vengeance, Tea isn’t holding back no matter who comes at her! I can’t stop flipping pages, I NEED to know if Tea has fully gone dark cause that is the road she was on at the end of the 1st book & she’s still blazing a trail down into questionable paths. Also, Prince Kalen totally has the keys to my ❤ smh…*reddened cheeks* haha!

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

I’m reading The Final Six in eGalley, trying to get back in the habit of reading more than one book at a time cause Le struggle is real haha! I was approved for a egalley from Harper & I’m about 30% into this story. It’s sort of post apocalyptic by way of most of Earth having been inundated with water. It’s legit Humanity vs. the Environment. Similar to Scott Reingten’s Nyxia, there’s a space exploration program & 24 young adults are chosen from every corner of the planet. Out of these 24, only 6 will be chosen to form the final team that will probably be sent to their deaths…just kidding…or am I? lol that’s typically how Sci-fi books go amiright? They’re going on a mission to colonize Jupiter’s Moon. It’s still too early to tell on this one but it’s definitely turning out to be more character driven & well ya know how I feel about these types of books, give me someone to love & my heart will bleed for them haha!

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orisha #1) by Tomi Adeyemi

If it weren’t for the the fact that I’ve been anticipating The Heart Forger for over a year now, I’d probably be struggling with a book hangover. Children of Blood and Bone (my review here) is holding the crown for #1 book of 2018 & I honestly don’t see anything taking its place. There’s a reason why this book is making waves & I fully believe it’s well worth all the hype! Today I updated my review & added Tomi Adeyemi’s Quiz link where you can find out which Maji Clan you descend from *excited face* I took the test & included my results in my review (linked above).

Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire LeGrand

Last week I also finished a Furyborn buddy read & it was quite the EPIC journey with this book! Told from the perspective’s of two Queens 1,000 years apart. This is one of those that has very polarizing reading experiences but it was a hit in my corner. Yes there were some minor flaws but my rating/review is mostly based off of my personal enjoyment. Legrand took a complex plot/story line & served it up in a way that was easy to digest. I have a review going up this Friday 😉

Girls Burn Brighter by Shobhao Rao

I really stared at my spreadsheet long and hard trying to decide what I’d read next which is probably why this post is going up so late in the day *hides* I need a tiny bit of a Fantasy break before I plunge into some heavy ones next week. I decided it was time to start this one, Flatiron approved me for this galley & after reading some reviews, I started getting worried I wasn’t ready for this read. I know I’m going to love this book but I also know it’s quite heavy in the subject matter but I’m way overdue so *pulls out box of tissues*

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Jay Kristoff

I’m trying to not throw shade at Barnes & Noble buuuuut…they crossed the line with my Obsidio Pre-order smh LOL! all of my pre-orders this month have been really delayed making for one sad Lilly. I’m really hoping to receive my copy no later than the end of this week cause I have every intention of binge reading in 1 maybe 2 sittings to keep with tradition 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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The Wonder Woman Book Tag

Diana Prince, my favorite Superhero of all time has a tag! I gave a silent YASSSSS & fist pump when I got the notification from the WONDERFUL Sarah over at The Clever Reader! Thank you Sarah, this warrior is ready! ❤ ❤ ❤

Wonder Woman: Your favorite badass female book character…

Vasya from The Bear and The Nightingale (my review) is the definition of a free spirit! she won’t let anyone dictate her path in life & she knows exactly what she doesn’t want. Vasya reminds me most of Brave’s Merida…


Fantasy Island: A book setting you want to escape to…

This may seem odd to some but for those who have read The Bone Witch (my review) & LOVED it…you probably fell for the LUSH beautiful world building Chupeco brought to life through the eyes of young Tea. The Bone Witch gives off Memoirs of a Geisha vibes & I’m SUPER stoked to escape to this world again with The Heart Forger...


London: A hyped book that let you down…

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert…this book had all the ingredients to be one of the books I’d end up loving but ultimately it just didn’t work out that way. I am however hoping that the follow up Tales of the Hinterland is more up my alley since I’m guessing it will focus more on the dark fairy tales.



Steve Trevor: A book that has a beautiful cover and a great story (i.e. good personality)…

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell (my GUSH review). Not only is the cover STUNNING with its embossed coiled dragon, but the story takes place in NYC during the 20’s which is my favorite time period in NYC History…think Gangs Of New York! The follow-up to The Last Magician will hit shelves this October, The Devil’s Thief looks like it will be just as AMAZING as TLM 🙂


Lasso of Truth: A book you hated…

Hate is such a strong work & I try not to use it on the regular but I will say that I highly disliked Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen. Its been YEARS since I read this book but it still maintains the spot on my Goodreads shelves as the only 1 star read. It all came down to plain boredom cause circus stories are actually some of my FAVES! (heart eyes at The Night Circus)..



Wonder Woman’s Shield: A book so sad that you need a shield…

Hands down They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera (my review)…CONFESSION: I actually struggled to pick one of the 3 Adam Silvera books cause they all broke my heart into millions of little pieces. However, TBDATE was the only book I actually needed emotional support from my fellow blogging buddies via Twitter DM’s (thanks again Krysti @ YA & Wine & yawednesdays lol)…


Ares: a villain that is scary, but you can’t seem to hate them…

This was perhaps the toughest prompt for me because I tend to really dislike my villains (not counting anti-heroes) but after recently reading & becoming OBSESSED with To Kill a Kingdom (RTC), I’d have to say Lira the MC. TKAK is basically Ursula’s story w/out saying as much. Deliciously dark, this book introduced me to Lira who now holds a special place in my <3! Yes she’s a villain. Yes I love her. No I don’t feel bad about this HAHA!

The Amazons: A book that you wish had more/better LGBT+ representation…

The Dangerous Art of Blending In by Angelo Surmelis (my review) means so much to me for personal reasons but it isn’t without its flaws. The relationship between Evan & another guy on the surface seems Ok but in reality it felt like a ton of pressure being placed on the MC coming out as Gay before he was ready. There’s a lot going on in this book & 13 year old Lilly would’ve found strength in Evan’s story. Still I am thankful to have read this book if only to reflect on how far I’ve come in my personal journey. Evan’s story is based on the authors real life experiences & so that would be something to keep in mind when thinking about picking up this read…not everyone’s journey is filled with supportive people.

Justice League: What superhero book friends do you tag…


Flavia @FlaviatheBibliophile


Melanie @Meltotheany



Destiny @HowlingLibraries


Jasmine @Jasmine’sReading


Raven @Dreamyaddictions

Kelly @AnotherBookintheWall

Tiana@ TheBookRaven

Amanda @PeaksandPages


I decided to tag some of my closest book blogging buddies that I know enjoy tags along with some new to me book bloggers I’ve discovered over the past couple of days. Friendly reminder if you’re tagging other WordPress bloggers, please choose any of their posts to link back to otherwise they sadly won’t get the notification telling them you’ve tagged them (took me a minute to figure that one out haha!) but most of all, I hope you have fun with this one <3’s!

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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Review: Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Title: Heart Of Iron

Author: Ashley Poston

Pub. Date: February 27th, 2018

Genre: Sci-Fi Fantasy

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/Harper

Pages: 480

Format: eGalley

Content Warning: attempted suicide

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


Heart Of Iron immediately appealed to my love for all things Sci-Fi & the bio pitched a ragtag crew of outlaws that I just had to meet on the pages. I’m not familiar with the story of Anastasia but it’s now on my list of flicks to watch during one of my ME time days. That being said, I went in strictly for the space adventure, outlaws, and D09 cause whether he was a droid, robot, or A.I., this is my sweet addiction & it all started with a sassy android named Iko but I digress…

We meet Ana and D09 in the opening scene as they are about to get themselves into some trouble. She was warned by the captain of her ship not to deal with a shady info broker who fell through on their last deal. However, Ana is feeling desperate. D09’s memory core is glitching & time is running out, she figures why not try her luck since they’re out of options & need to find D09 a replacement. The info broker is meeting with a Iron Blood aka of the elite class to sell him the coordinates Ana & D09 are looking for. These coordinates lead to a ship where they believe they can find the solution to D09’s memory core glitch. Things of course don’t always go as planned & so begins the fast paced adventure between Ana, D09, and a Iron Blood who is also searching for answers…

Ana- Our MC  is a bit of a loose cannon, she’s willing to take all the risks as long as it means saving D09 from permanently dying down due to his memory core glitch. I found Ana a bit frustrating, she wasn’t above putting her crew mates in jeopardy & it just made her look hella selfish.

D09- the android Ana loves, D09 cannot process feelings…he shouldn’t technically have them to begin with. We see him call these feelings he is having “glitches” & so the chemistry between him & Ana never really sets off until the very end.

Rob- The Iron Blood who happens to be a Royal, more specifically he is the youngest heir to the throne. Rob is searching for his father who he was told perished back in the rebellion led by Metals (this is what they call droids like D09). Rob is actually one of my fave characters in this book, the author ships him with Jax (see below) & I found his inner dialogue whenever Jax is around to be so endearing! ❤

Jax- The pilot of the ship & another one of my faves! he is confident as hell & isn’t afraid to show it. Jax comes from a race of people who used to be able to read the future in the stars. He holds some secrets that make him all the more interesting. I would’ve loved to have had more time with this character…also his need to protect Rob is seriously swoon worthy!

Crew- I seriously NEED more of this crew! we have MC who is a POC, a gay pilot, a lesbian Captain & her wife, and a disabled crew member. LEGIT I was LIVING for this crew!

My only wish was to have had more time with these characters. Told in short multiple POV chapters, I found it very hard to connect with any of the characters. I do favor character driven over plot driven stories but welcome with open arms any book that manages to balance these both out. Heart of Iron is definitely more plot & action. Nonetheless, I appreciate the diversity in this cast & hope to spend more time with them in the follow-up.

This is a first for me…Heart of Iron was a real page turner & I really enjoyed this story. The bits & pieces of world building we were given throughout the crews adventure was SOOOO interesting! but that’s just it, it was scattered & sparse making for a disjointed reading experience. I LOVED this crew but the short chapters made it hard to connect with any one of them. We get some history on a rebellion that took place when the Metals took up arms against humans that I really wanted more info on. There’s this process called “HIVE” where I assume Metals free will is taken away & it’s made mandatory for all as a direct result of the rebellion. However, not all Metals are evil & there was a time where they helped & were medics to humans. There’s a scene where humans are viciously attacking a Metal who isn’t hurting anyone, he was just trying to show his respect at a royal event. This piqued my interest…how many other Metals are out there living in hiding…not HIVED? I have many questions & can honestly say I will be picking up the follow-up in hopes of satisfying my curiosity. Heart of Iron was a fast paced fun adventure that will have you flipping pages til the wee hours of the morning. Yes it’s true I wanted more from the characters & world building, but I’m choosing to see this as a sign that I enjoyed what I read & look forward to seeing what Poston serves up next 😉

Hello Bookworms!!! Happy FriYay! I hope you’re all having an amazing day & enjoying some great reads. I have been on such a sci-fi kick this month and it’s been so much fun discovering new authors. Heart of Iron hits shelves Tuesday 2/27/18, will you be picking up a copy? Sound off in the comments! ❤ ❤ ❤


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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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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…

LGBTQ ORGANIZATIONS The Trevor Project—www.thetrevorproject.org

It Gets Better Project—www.itgetsbetter.org

LGBT National Help Center—www.glbthotline.org

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

BULLYING Stomp Out Bullying—www.stompoutbullying.org


It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

Review: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

Title: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

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

Pub. Date: January 2nd, 2018

Genre: YA Anthology/Romance

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Format: eGalley

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


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

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

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

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


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