July Wrap-Up & Book Haul

 

Happy Monday Bookworms! I come to you with my faithfully late Wrap-Up/Haul for the month of July & hope you’ll still check this post out lol. I read 5 books from different genres, watched 1 movie, and played catch up with one of my favorite tv shows. I also had the pleasure of attending my twin Gretchen’s very 1st Poetry reading at Bluestockings in New York City. She did wonderful this being her first time & I was so very proud of her. Gretchen has a blog called ChicNerdReads & her Poetry book Love, and You is currently ranked in the top 10 on the Amazon Bestsellers list for Love & Erotica which is pretty bad ass! So, it was a pretty amazing July & can only hope the rest of the year is just as epic πŸ˜‰

 

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The Disappearances by Emily Bain Murphy β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

Who’s That Girl by Blair Thornburgh β˜…β˜…β˜… (3.5 Stars)

The Library of Fates by Aditi Khorana β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

The stand-out reads for July were The Last Magician and Every Last Lie, both left me hungry for more story. The Library of Fates left me with food for thought & was just a beautifully diverse read, I look forward to more from this author. Who’s That Girl was a contemporary about friendship with LGBTQIA+ representation that I enjoyed more towards the second half. Lastly, The Disappearnaces got me in the mood for Fall and all of the mysterious reads I associate with my favorite season. It was an overall quality reading month & also a more productive blogging month. Also, I followed a ton of new blogs that I am still making my rounds getting to know & to them I say THANK YOU for following my blog & I’m looking forward to seeing you around πŸ˜‰

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Super stoked over the paperbacks I hauled in July! The Night Circus is one of my all time fave books of ALL TIME! this paperback edition caught my eye with its white/black contrast. The Princes Saves Herself in This One is one that I have been DYING to read! haha, I’m sure many of you have already read & loved the hell out of this one. One Of Us is Lying I purchased from Bookdepository because of the red sprayed edges smh call me vain lol! Until it Fades is K.A. Tuckers newest novel & the only New Adult author I’ve read & LOVED so of course ran out and got a copy. Akata Witch has been at the TOP of my TBR for too long & It’s one I am really looking forward to reading and reviewing here on Lair Of Books πŸ˜‰

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These hardcovers come well recommended & I can stare at them all day long they are so BEAUTIFUL! haha. I’ve already red & loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue & so to see it in my Owlcrate box was sweeeeeet! lol. My Book of the Month choice was Final Girls & although it has received mixed reviews, It still hasn’t taken my curiosity away. Stalking Jack the Ripper I am trying to read ASAP since I have an arc of Hunting Prince Dracula. Because You Love to Hate Me I p/u solely because of Adam Silver & V..E. Schwabs villains. Lastly, When Dimple Met Rishi was a MUST! I know I’m going to LOVE this one a ton & can’t wait to read the story that has everyone ready for the next book by this author ❀

This movie seriously took me by surprise & it pushed me to write my very 1st Gush Spoilery Review (see here). I’ve watched all of the Spider-Man movies with my hubby but never really found any to WOW me. I’m a big fan of Marvel movies but this guy just was OK LOL! Whelp! all that changed with Homecoming & I’m now A Spidey fan *gimme more*

OK! this may come as a surprise since I am not a big fan of things that go bump in the night but I LOVE The Originals! forget The Vampire Diaries, this show is ten times better than that show ever was *sorry not sorry* but seriously, The Originals takes place in New Orleans & there isn’t a single episode that doesn’t transport you. I binge watched season 4 with my hubby on Netflix & it consumed our nights smh lol. I lost count of the times I jumped from fright & was left wondering whyyyyy viewers ever chose to watch The Vampire Diaries over this AMAZINGLY well told show?!?!? Season 5 will be the last & this makes my ❀ sad but it will most definitely join my Hall of Amazing TV Shows (not yet a thing but maybe I should look into this) cuz it has already made me lose sleep on more than one occasion. I recommend to anyone who loves New Orleans, Witches & their craft, Wolves, Vampires, Family Loyalty, plot twists, double crossings, Stakes through the heart, and just EPIC bad assery πŸ˜‰

Happy reading in August Bookworms!!! Hope you all had a wonderful July month & are enjoying your summer reads. Read or watched any of these? drop your comments down below <3’s!


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Spider-Man Homecoming Gush! (Spoilers)

Spider-Man Homecoming (2017)

Director: Jon Watts

Producers: Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal

Writers: Jonathan Goldstein (Screenplay), John Francis Daley (Screenplay)

Stars: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr.

Run time: 2h 13min

Rating: β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 5 Stars

Spoilers lay ahead…

Its been months since Peter joined the team during the events of Captain America: Civil War. He’s back in High School while also “interning” for Tony Stark…well actually, it’s more like he has a phone where Happy Hogan who works for Tony as a chauffeur and personal assistant keeps tabs on him. Tony really wants Peter to stay grounded and just be a teen doing normal teen things as opposed to taking on mega villains. He’d prefer it if Peter kept to low level street crime like petty theft while keeping a low profile. Peter on the other hand feels he is more than ready to take on the bigger missions & fully feel part of the team. Living a double life, Peter juggles all of the angst of being a H.S. student by day & vigilante by night.

When one of his routine night excursions has him stumble across a weapons dealer, Peter decides to follow the trail which eventually leads him to a deadly operation led by Vulture (Michael Keaton). Utilizing scrap metals from the alien ships last seen in The Avengers (2012) EPIC battle in New York, Vulture has been creating weapons of mass destruction. In an effort to prove himself ready to Tony Stark, Peter decides to take Vulture down while Happy Hogan is made to believe that he is in school & not getting himself in any real life threatening danger. This of course takes a bit of cunning on Peters part since Tony is no fool and has gifted him with a fully decked out new suit. The new suit comes with all sorts of new neat tricks with artificial intelligence built in however, it also has a tracker & limitations to ensure Peter isn’t biting off more than he can chew. Basically wherever Peter goes that isn’t school or home triggers a call from Happy. With the help of his best friend Ned, Peter figures out how to remove the tracker and off he goes to catch the bad guy…

CHARACTERS

Photo by Steve Sands/GC Images)

Peter played by Tom Holland is bouncing off the walls excited to be “interning” for Tony Stark & from the opening scene this excitement jumps off the screen. I LOVED how authentic Peter the high school student felt. From vlogging his every day shenanigans, navigating high school as the unpopular one, chillin’ with his best bud Ned, AND having a high school crush…Peter has a pretty normal teenage life. It’s his night time activities that keep him always on the go & one wrong step away from getting caught. I enjoyed seeing this version of Peter more than I have his predecessors which caught me by surprise. Also, he’s hella effortlessly funny & a total fanboy of all things Marvel superheroes πŸ™‚


Vulture played by Michael Keaton made for an interesting villain. We got a brief glimpse of this character before he turned into a baddie. This was a man contracted to clean up the mess left behind by the events that took place in NYC during The Avengers. He had a team of workers he cared for but quickly lost the contract to Damage Control which is a company created by Tony Stark specifically tasked with the clean up of superhero-created messes. Instead of walking away, he kept a piece of the alien ship and with the help of an inventor under his employ, created weapons of mass destruction. A family man himself, Vulture is keeping his nefarious dealings away from his wife and daughter. Was anyone else shocked when he turns out to be the father of Peter’s crush? I sure had a shocked soap opera moment haha!


Ned aka Peter’s best friend played by Jason Batalon was one of my fave characters! after finding out Peters identity as Spider-Man, he is convinced this is the 1 way ticket to finally being popular. Once he realizes he can’t share Peters identity with anyone, he settles for being his wing-man. Ned is smart & tech savy (read as: hacker extraordinaire) which helps Peter in working around the protocols Tony Stark has placed on his suit. Also very happy to see Marvel casting a Filipino-American actor for this role, to me it’s a step in the right direction when it comes to diversifying our media.


Aunt May played by my love Marisa Tomei was AMAZING! yea I’m totally a biased opinion since I have loved all of her movies ever since My Cousin Vinny! Marisa plays a younger version of Aunt May who encourages Peter to have fun & “loosen up” lol. She’s also not as unaware of his night time comings & goings as Peter would like to think. Still she allows him his space but checks in on him every once in a while. That ending scene where she walks in on him in his suit & gives us a “WTF?!?!?!” was classic Marisa Tomei & I LOVED IT!


Mary Jane played by Zendaya (doesn’t need a last name cuz she’s cool like that lol) was literally a nice surprise! The girl Peter has a crush on throughout the whole movie who also happens to be Vultures daughter *gasp* isn’t Mary Jane. Instead, the girl who throughout the movie has turned up wherever and whenever with side commentary (lived for these) is Mary Jane & I LOVE HER! she gave me Breakfast Club vibes & that scene where she’s willingly sitting in detention drawing peoples faces while they’re “in desperation” was one of my faves! CANNOT wait to see how her role is further developed *insert excited emoji*

FINAL THOUGHTS

I will be the first to admit that up until Homecoming, I enjoyed the Spider-Man movies but never walked away saying I LOVED THAT MOVIE!!! this time around both my hubby & I couldn’t stop talking about all of the things we loved. One of the things we noticed right away was that for the most part, Homecoming was filmed in Queens. For hubby, seeing the streets he grew up around was nostalgic & exciting because we don’t typically get major motion pictures in the “Outer Boroughs” (anything that isn’t Manhattan lol). Although there were some scenes in Manhattan, these were minimal. Marvels continued efforts to diversify their cast did not go unnoticed with the casting of Zendaya (Mary Jane), Jason Batalon (Ned), Laura Harrier (Liz aka H.S. Crush), Doris Toomes (Liz’ mom), and Selenis Leyva (teacher) to name a few. With many humorous moments & scenes where it seemed like Peter could not get in any deeper, Homecoming succeeded in making me a fan. I found myself at times rooting for him to take down Vulture & others squinting and wishing he’d just call Tony haha! which only further proves that Marvel succeeded in portraying Peter as just a 15 year old teenager NOT yet ready to take on super villains. Last but definitely NOT least! who do I need to thank for bringing back Pepper Potts?!?!? BEST come back EVER!!!

I’ve seen a lot of my blogging buddies raving about Homecoming on Twitter, I want to know…is this the BEST Spider-Man movie? & Tom Holland or Tobey Maguire, who played Spidey better? πŸ™‚

 

June Wrap-Up

Hello Readers! another month has passed & with it comes my typically-late-thus-making-it-right-on-time?Β Wrap Up smh haha! this time around I excluded my haul simply because Bookcon happened & in one day I managed to haul way too many books & that’s not including my regular books bought for the month. Also, I posted my Bookcon haul last year & that was all fine and well because I was new in the blogosphere & was very excited to share my 1st bookish event. Whelp, 1 year later I was still very excited to attend Bookcon but this time around I’d like to think I was a bit more wiser & aware of all the drama surrounding ARCS. Not to mention that book hauls from these types of conventions tend to generate negative attention & I’m not here for that. So I decided to skip the haul & just speak about the event itself…

The best part of the event was seeing my twin aka bff Gretchen who most of you know has a blog called ChicNerdReadsΒ (pictured below in the glasses next to me). My hubby also accompanied us which is always fun since he’s also a reader & I’m his source for new book recommendations. The event seemed to have been dominated by Penguin with giveaways every hour on the hour as well as author signings. This made for extremely long lines, stampedes, and overall madness tbh…

I am honestly surprised to have acquired the ARCS that I did but it wasn’t easy & took a bit of prioritizing. Gretchen & I pre-gamed for this event mapping out which books we were aiming for & I do believe this actually helped as much as we thought otherwise during the event. Overall, the event & it’s lack of organization was terrible for our anxiety. The positive however is that we got to spend the whole weekend surrounded by BOOKS & talking about BOOKS and that’s always a fun time no matter what. Also! we met another Puerto-Rican Bookworm who had flown in for the event. She told us about getting caught in the stampede for Warcross on Saturday & how after hours of standing in line she walked away w/out the ARC. My hubby gave up his ARC to Warcross which we had at home. We shipped it to PR & when it arrived she sent me a very happy text which made my week πŸ™‚

Me (left side) & Gretchen (right side)

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

Song of the Current by Sarah TolcserΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

Bad Romance by Heather DemetriosΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

Bearly a Lady (Novella) by Cassandra KhawΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…1/2 (4.5 Stars)

Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and VirtueΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 5 Stars

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity #2) *Conclusion to duology w/spoilers for This Savage SongΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 5 StarsΒ 

Although for the month of June I only read YA, each book was so different from each other that it honestly felt like I read diversely. I read some books with hard topics like Saints and Misfits andΒ Bad Romance which led me to discovering two amazing authors. I had a ton of fun reading The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue and Bearly a Lady (novella) with many laughs. Started a new Diverse Fantasy with Song of the Current & can’t wait to read the sequel to this du-ology. I also read the conclusion to monsters of Verity…Our Dark Duet broke me yet it is the most satisfying conclusion I’ve ever read. Yea, I was a bit all over the place but my reading reflected my life as a whole in June haha!

My most highly anticipated flick for 2017 DID NOT DISAPPOINT! Wonder Woman had me engaged from the opening scene. I have always been fascinated by the Amazons & Wonder Woman has always been a icon for me…getting her back story on the big screen felt like the best earliest Christmas gift I never thought to ask for LOL! little Diana was lively & eager to learn the ways of the Amazons & seeing her natural born instincts play out gave her a new sparkle in my eyes. My only regret is not reviewing this movie on the blog when my feels were fresh haha. I loved the entire cast, humor, fight scenes, and plot as a whole! my interest in The Justice League sky rocketed after leaving the theater googling for any bit of early news hinting at a sequel to Wonder Woman. For those who didn’t think Wonder Woman deserved her own solo debut…Gal Gadot sure showed you *5 Stars* πŸ˜‰

My second date night with the hubby (we got lucky in June with sitting)Β was great & all but Transformers The Last Night was lackluster. I was really rooting for this one more for the hubby’s enjoyment than mine really. I just went to see Markie Mark & Bumble Bee but the irony in that I tell ya smh! So, as a lover of all Mark Whalberg’s movies I can go ahead and say this…In my opinion, he should’ve never accepted the lead role no matter how badly he wanted to realize his childhood dream of playing with life sized Transformers #jussayin. Love me some Markie Mark but that role really needs to go to another younger guy (not shia Labeouf, that ship has sailed). I’m hoping that the history they introduced means we are due a new main character *fingers crossed*Β I found myself bored & ended up rating this movie *3.5 stars* 😦

Happy reading in July Bookworms!!! Hope you all had a wonderful June month & are enjoying your summer reads. Read or watched any of these? drop a comment down below <3’s!

May Wrap-Up & Book Haul

It finally feels like Summer is right around the corner! &&& I’m also late with my May Wrap-Up/ Book Haul but that’s less surprising. I had one goal in mind for the month of May & that was to keep my book buying to the bare minimum because I’d be attending Bookcon the 1st week of June. I succeded & have already given myself some pats on the back for this little accomplishment. I also read a bit more than expected what with all the Bookcon excitement keeping me up at night lol, so that was nice. I also managed to squeeze in 2 movies & celebrated LairOfBooks 1 year Blogoversary!!! *throws confetti*Β Since we’re already a week into June, I’ll keep it short & sweet πŸ˜‰

Noteworthy by Riley RedgateΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

The Love Interest by Cale DietrichΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

New Boy by Tracy ChevalierΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

The Hundredth Queen by Emily R. KingΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (4 Stars)

Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca ZappiaΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

The Red Hunter by Lisa UngerΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

 

I had a pretty great reading month in terms of quality & quantity (for me anyways lol). I was over the moon excited to hear my favorite Thriller/Suspense author released a book in May (Lisa Unger, Red Hunter)Β & when my twin called from the Strand Bookstore saying she picked me up a copy, I did a little dance. I’ve only read her books through Netgalley so this will be my 1st physical copy on my shelves, thanks Twin @ChicNerdReads! It was an amazingly atmospheric read that I had a hard time leaving behind once I had reached the last sentence. My 2nd favorite read of the month is hands down Eliza And Her Monsters which is another I can’t let go of. For everyone who has ever belonged to a fandom or was behind the creation of one, this one is for you! for those of US who seek & find comfort at home reading or watching a fave show because social anxiety is ever present in your life, this one’s for you! there is so much good in this book, I really do believe there’s something for everyone πŸ˜‰

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A Court Of Wings And Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Into The Water by Paula HawkinsΒ (BOTM additional book I added)

Eliza And Her Monsters by Francesca ZappiaΒ (Owlcrate)

Milk And Honey by Rupi Kaur

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia EmberΒ 

The Red Hunter by Lisa UngerΒ (gift from my twin Gretchen @ChicNerdReads)

The Love Interest by Cale DietrichΒ (BOTM selection)

Hubby & I started May off with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, we typically take off 1 day from work every month to chill, hit up a movie & bookstore/comic book store…basically nerd out sans the two tiny humans giving us major side eye haha! I want to say that I enjoyed Vol. 2 more than the first but I think that my feelings toward it are the same (3.5 stars). Except I could’ve done without the cheesy dad bit. The soundtrack & Groot continue to be my fave parts of this movie. Trang & Lashaan over at Bookidote have a EPIC review or as they call it on their blog, a “Cinedote”Β (see here)Β which pretty much sums up how I feel about this movie. I’d give them a follow if I were you cuz they’re pretty dope πŸ˜‰

Towards the end of the month, my sister & I went on our sisterly date to watch Snatched cuz Goldie Hawn & Amy Schumer LOl. I love these ladies & the idea of them together on the screen at the same time reallllly gave me the giggles so I had to see what it was all about. OMYGOSH it was so funny! I’m talking bust your stitches funny smh lol, I spent it holding my tummy the entire time. It’s centered around a mother (Goldie) & daughter (amy) getting kidnapped in South America. They end up being more trouble for their captors than it’s worth with escape attempts turning into jaw dropping high jinks. As a fan of Goldie Hawn since childhood, it was great seeing her back on the screen. I recently read & enjoyed Amy’s autobiographical memoir The Girl With The Lower Back TattooΒ Β within the last couple of months & can say I am now a fan, LOVE HER! Def recommend (5 stars) πŸ˜‰

Hope you all are having a wonderful June so far! How was your May? read/watch anything AMAZING? thank you for reading my late post & I’ll see ya all in the next post <3’s!

 

April Wrap-Up & Book Haul

April was a solid reading month & I finally beat my 4 book per month streak! I read 6 books & only 2 were in the 3 star range so I’d say that it was one of my best months when it comes to quality πŸ˜‰ I’m pinning the reason for breaking my 4 book streak on the fact that my hubby, 2 tiny humans, and I were sick for about 2 weeks. It honestly felt like a never ending battle since we were all taking turns lol. Other than reading, it was a quiet month with an occasional miserable sick whimper on the home front but I welcomed it nonetheless. The next few months are always crazy with my 2 tiny humans & this one won’t be any different with Bookcon (tickets arrived yesterday! eeeeK!) right around the corner. I did manage to squeeze in my monthly date with the hubby but more on that towards the end of this wrap-up/haul <3’s

I was supposed to have mixed in a few graphic novels in honor of Saga Volume 7 being released however, that didn’t happen. I did get to read the final copy of my twin Gretchen’s poetry book. Ladies & Gents I can’t stop raving about it, I related to her writing on a personal level but what I loved the most was how there’s a little of something for everyone. Gretchen is also a book blogger who shares her love for books & poetry on her blog @ChicNerdReads πŸ˜‰

On to my…

     Given to the Sea by Mindy McGinnis β˜…β˜…β˜… (3 Stars)

A Million Junes by Emily Henry β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

A Flame in the Mist β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 Stars)

Spindle Fire β˜…β˜…β˜… (3 Stars)

The Upside of Unrequited β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 STARS)

Love & You β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… (5 STARS)

If you’d like to support Gretchen’s beautiful writing, please purchase a copy of love, and you at one of the following:

Amazon (also available worldwide)

Barnes & Noble

Book Depository

CreateSpace

*currently free for those who have Kindle Unlimited

Ok so…lol…in preparation for the heavy book releasing month of May, I wasn’t trying to buy ANY books. Of course, every bookworm who tries to adhere to even a small book buying ban sees themselves tempted by the Book Gods smh. I myself purchased 4 physical books & 3 e-books however, thanks to my AMAZING book blogger friends Debby @AlwaysBooking, Danielle @BooksVertigoandTea, and my twin Gretchen @ChicNerdReads the book gifts were a plenty lol. I’m seriously happy to have met these lovely ladies, they make my work day go so much faster ❀ 

Click on pic to follow my gram @Lair_Of_Books for more snaps πŸ˜‰

Strange The Dreamer, Red Sister (Book of the Ancestor #1), Empress of a Thousand Skies (Empress of a Thousand Skies #1) (gift from Debby), Queens Of Geek (gift from Gretchen), Dream Waters (giveaway win-Dream Waters #1), The Broken Empire trilogy (gift from Danielle), Saga Vol. 7, Avenged (Ruined #2) (Goodreads win), Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2), Nemesis (Project Nemesis #1), Thirteen Reasons Why

*April’s BOTM & Owlcrate Unboxing

Timekeper (Timekeeper #1), The Handmaid’s Tale, The Queen of Blood (The Queens of Renthia #1), Love, & You

Date night’s are always tough for the hubby & I who don’t have a night sitter so we opted for a US day. A personal day where we take off from work & catch a flick, some good food, visit a bookstore or 2, and walk around the city indulging in our free time sans the 2 tiny humans. In April’s day off we caught Fate of the Furious aka Fast 8. Now I had my doubts, the franchise is 8 movies deep & after the tragic loss of Paul Walker I was feeling like maybe it’s time for them to write the final chapter. I also contemplated not watching at all but hubby really wanted to see this one as a fan of fast cars & things that explode. I was pleasantly surprised to see the way they flipped the tables in this one with the team going up against Don. I was also very happy to see some old familiar faces return after being absent in the last movie. The plot twists & revelations leave many roads this team can take. There are strong rumors that Universal is in the process of creating a spin-off with Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham, and Charlize Theron (see here). For now I think i’ll keep watching where this team that I’ve been following since day 1 goes…

This post is on time with being late of course & May is well underway. I already mini hauled 4 books smh BUT they are ones I’ve wanted to read for a while now. I’m actually currently reading The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich & enjoying it so i’m glad to have chosen it in my May’s Book of the Month subscription box. 

What are you lovely bookworms currently reading/watching/enjoying/dis-liking?