Spoiler Free Review: Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch #2)

Title: Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch #2)

Author: Adriana Mather

Pub. Date: October 3rd, 2017

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Paranormal

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages: 368

Format: eGalley & Physical ARC

    

Haunting the Deep is the follow-up to How to Hang a Witch  & so I’ll leave out the Goodreads synopsis for fear of spoilers. In the same manner its predecessor was based on real life historical events, this sequel is centered around the Titanic. A YA Historical Fiction mixed with paranormal, Haunting the Deep picks up right from where we left off and the same characters are back. I truly enjoyed this follow-up a million times more for so many reasons but most of all it’s the character depth & fast moving plot that was fun and easy to follow, that make Haunting a 5 star read for me. This time around there was less of a Mean Girls vibe (not completely without) & more of  the 1966 cult classic The Craft. After the events of HTHAW, our MC Sam is a bit shaken up & avoiding any and all interaction with a group of girls in Salem that are known as The Descendants. This group is known for their family lineage, each having descended from those accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, Sam herself (like the author) is descended from Cotton Mather who stands on the accusing side. This bad blood pits Sam against the Descendants in the first book however, in Haunting we see a meeting of the minds. Since Sam & the Descendants saw themselves in a terrible predicament in HTHAW, this time around calls for them to set their differences aside. Ghosts have always made themselves visible to Sam but this time around they’ve multiplied and need the help of the living. We follow Sam & the Descendants as they try to piece together what really is going on with the ghosts of those who passed away in The Titanic. The paranormal aspects were tuned up & Sam’s witchy abilities have further developed allowing her to leave her body and enter the spiritual world. I could NOT put this book down for long! I found that it had the perfect balance of paranormal & historical and soaked up all of the details Mather had to have heavily researched.

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If you found yourself wanting more from the characters in HTHAW, this is the follow-up you’re going to want to pick up 😉 although we still get a bit of the mean girl vibe, it quickly develops into something else that I found myself really enjoying. Sam still managed to slightly annoy me but she also grew on me by the end. The real stars of the book (beside the ghosts) were The Descendants Susannah, Mary, and Alice aka MY FAVORITE! haha! Mary unfortunately gets the ditsy role but she also has a heart of gold that makes it hard to dislike her. Susannah is the calmer more mature of the crew and is able to see things before they happen. Alice is unapologetically unfiltered & every time she put Sam in her place I chuckled. I got more of Mrs. Meriwether & her wonderfully tempting pastries and good cheer, I honestly could smell her baking through the pages haha! We also get to see Elijah aka the hot Ghost who has a thing for Sam & who Sam can’t stop thinking about. There was definitely less romance this time around & more of a focus on friendship which I feel, boosted my interest ten fold. I still couldn’t get enough of those Elijah scenes but I really enjoyed The Descendants & fast moving plot so much so that I didn’t miss the romance too badly. There are a few ghosts we meet along the way & everything from their manner of talk & dated clothing fleshed this world out so well, I just couldn’t get enough of the story.

The amount of research that had to have been done to re-create the night of the Titanic down to the music playing is pretty awesome! We get descriptive writing on the clothes worn, the ship itself, way of life for those on the Titanic, and so much more! I feel as if author Adriana Mather’s writing has grown in such a short matter of time leading me super excited for what’s to come in 2018. I absolutely plan on continuing on with this series, I care for these characters & am curious to see how much more developed their witchy abilities get in the next book. Also, Elijah and Sam…essentially both a living person and a deceased one have managed to catch feelings for one another…how is this going to work? I have questions lol! each of the characters in Jaunting the Deep had their own distinct voice & each personality jumped off the page. I found myself transfixed by this story & how well it blended the historical with the Paranormal. I love when a book makes me Google the real life facts to compare & the surprise I receive when I realize how close to the real deal the author kept it. It’s no secret that I love Fantasy but when it comes to Paranormal, witches are my achilles heel & I cannot resist a good story. Haunting the Deep is a treat to those who enjoy Historical Fiction & Paranormal. The title couldn’t be more fitting as the pages truly did leave a haunting impression every night (spooky x 1,000) & I may have possibly needed to leave my nightstand lamp on to fall asleep. Need book 3 but I’ll settle for a release date at the very least Haha! 😉

*Many thanks to Knopf Books for Young Readers, Netgalley, and Adriana Mather for the eGalley copy of Haunting the Deep in exchange for an honest review.


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December TBR

Happy FriYay Bookworms!!! I’m so excited for the weekend & no I don’t have any reason in particular other than running as far away as humanly possible from my cubicle at work. It’s been one of those weeks, some of you may have noticed me stepping into your blog posts & hitting like, I always comment but this week work really got their monies worth out of me cuz ya girl practically had to ask to use the bathroom *sobs* Lol! so here I am taking a break from the madness *shhhh don’t tell anyone* to write up my December TBR & now that I’m looking at it i’m beginning to doubt my ability to pull this off but I’m going to try my hardest.

Last month I posted my very first TBR here on Lair Of Books & of the 8 I listed, I only read 4 but this was mainly due to personal family matters. I mentioned briefly in my Wrap-up how November saw me in a position of stepping up to the plate & providing strength & support to my loved ones. We’re definitely playing it more low key this holiday season while we uplift & provide strength to one of our well loved family members. That being said, I may be spending more time on the road during the weekends traveling from New York to New Jersey which means tons of time to read. So, here goes my quite ambitious TBR…

Haunting the Deep

Congratulations to myself! I’ve already completed this read lol, it was actually on my November TBR but I couldn’t get around to it. Well I am SO glad that I picked it up in December cuz it was FANTASTIC! I have a Gush Review in the works & maybe even a aesthetic cause it’s worthy 😉


Girl in the Tower (The Winternight Trilogy #2)

My current read & OBSESSION! last year The Bear and the Nightingale made me a fan of Katherine Arden, this year the sequel will probably solidify my love for this author. The world building is just so vivid and rich, I legit feel transported each & every time I sit down with her books. Vasya aka Vasilisa is back & more fierce than ever! She is hands down one of my all time favorite protogs & I think this quote really captures her spirit…”Sudden anger burned out Vasya’s gathering hurt. She pushed back her chair and stood again. “I am not your dog”, she snapped. “You May tell me to go home, but I may choose not to. Do you think that is all I want, in all my life—a royal dowry, and a man to force his children into me?” 


Everless (Untitled #1)

“In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries.”—The concept of trading time intrigues the ish outta me so I was over the moon excited to get this galley from Harper, hope to love it cuz that cover is EVERYTHING!


Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

I’m finding it enjoyable to throw in anthologies into my monthly reading to balance out my Fantasy streaks. This is a collection of Contemporary short stories & I got a bit star struck when I saw the line-up of authors. Really looking forward to reading Dhonielle Clayton, Sona Charaipotra, and Nina LaCour *excited emoji*


Love, Hate, & Other Filters

I have been Dyiiiiiing to read this one! I got a physical arc from the publisher a couple of months ago but I like to read & review closer to publication date so I held off. This is a MUST read for me this month & just based off the feedback I’ve come across, I’m very excited and happy that I requested this title.

“A searing #OwnVoices coming-of-age debut in which an Indian-American Muslim teen confronts Islamophobia and a reality she can neither explain nor escape–perfect for fans of Angie Thomas, Jacqueline Woodson, and Adam Silvera.”


Unearthed (Unearthed #1)

“When Earth intercepts a message from a long-extinct alien race, it seems like the solution the planet has been waiting for. The Undying’s advanced technology has the potential to undo environmental damage and turn lives around, and Gaia, their former home planet, is a treasure trove waiting to be uncovered.”

Recently I’ve been enjoying Sci-Fi in YA & when I saw Amie Kaufman & Megan Spooner were coming out with a book I almost did a back flip LOL! it seems like a short read & I’ve heard it’s also very light & fun which yay for that! 🙂


The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air #1)

The self control I’ve practiced to NOT have devoured this book a few months ago is worthy of a medal smh lol. Next to Love, Hate, and Other Filters this is one I am for certain reading this month. THAT cover!!! *heart eyes* I am really trying to steer clear of reviews & thoughts & whatnot cause I’d like to go in blind and see why this book is making everyone lose their ish haha! 🙂

“Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.”


Whelp! there you have it bookworms! my December TBR will probably make me a hermit but that’s ok cause I can’t deal with snow. Yes, it’s beautiful to look at on days 1-3 but by day 4 in NYC we’re looking at a very different story & so instead I’ll escape to the land of the fae where everything is green & willowy 😉 On another note, are any of these titles on your TBR? Sound off in the comments below <3’s!


Review: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Title: Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance

Author: Ruth Emmie Lang

Pub. Date: November 14th, 2017

Genre: Fantasy Fiction

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

Pages: 352

Format: eGalley/Netgalley

   

Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is perhaps the most whimsical read I’ve picked up in all of 2017 & I’m so glad to have read it this holiday season. The Goodreads Synopsis for this book is pretty generous in length but if I’m being honest all I needed to read was the snippet above to know this was one I’d want to read. When introduced to Weylyn Grey, I instantly got the Jungle Book & Charlotte’s Web vibes. Here is a kid who has been orphaned at a very young age & ends up being raised by wolves. He’s not just any ordinary kid though, Weylyn has a special connection with animals and can communicate with all species of animal. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is a multiple POV story told by the many characters who cross paths with Weylyn Grey. They all share one thing in common, their lives are forever changed after meeting Weylyn & witnessing the odd and extraordinary things that occur whenever he is around. This story is special in that it not only asks its characters to suspend their disbelief but also you the reader. I wouldn’t call it Magical Realism which in my opinion has a whole different feel in writing style but it certainly is very whimsical. This is a very character driven story with a underlying message of what makes a home a home…is it a place? or the people we meet along the way?

Weylyn Grey sees himself living in many places & meeting many others from all walks of life but even he has that one person that is his hearts anchor. Mary, the girl he met when he was a young boy & who ran away from home to spend one whole month with him and the wolves. Each chapter starts off in a new place/different year where Weylyn has tried to settle down in but we also see him pop in & out of Mary’s life. This is mainly because he believes he is a danger to those he loves, strange & mysterious things like sudden tornados striking or storms tapering off. It seems he has the ability to manifest & also dispel weather phenomena. We get to see how others perceive Weylyn, some are nicer than others but all come away with a different perspective on life after witnessing things that can’t be explained.

For those readers who love character driven books, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance will prove to be a real treat. This is one boys journey to manhood as he touches the lives of many and discovers that home is what you make it. I really enjoyed getting sucked into this world and the nostalgia it stirred in me when recalling some of my favorite childhood reads. Lang’s writing is beautiful & the imagery left me smiling on many occasion. I did wish we had perhaps less characters introduced along the way & a bit more of the love story that is hidden underneath all of the extraordinary. I’m not typically the one to go for the romance but we meet a plethora of characters & their time with Weylyn is brief, I wanted a bit more of Mary since she is the most important person in Weylyn’s life. Overall, this is one story i’m sure will remain with me for a long time & as a person who has also moved around a ton, I can definitely appreciate the message. Best read on a cool night with a hot cup of cocoa, Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance is an atmospheric read sure to feed the imagination!

*Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Netgalley, and Ruth Emmie Lang for the eGalley copy of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance in exchange for an honest review.


Happy Monday Bookworms! Hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend & managed to squeeze in some good reads. Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance was recently a Book Of The Month pick which made me happy to have my own physical copy, have any of you read this magical book? if so, sound off in the comments down below.


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November Book Haul

Hello Bookworms! I hope you’re all having  a FAB week, we’re already half-way to the weekend & I seriously feel like the days are flying by now that we’re at the end of the year. I have in the past separated my book hauls from my wrap-ups & over time they just merged into one final post. Whelp! my posts have only grown over time as I upped my reading & also included my viewing. So, it looks like I’ll be going back to my old blogger roots & splitting them up again. Here’s the part where I begin to make excuses for this haul…

I’ve got nothing HAHA! also, I def participated in Bookoutlets Black Friday sale cause it’s been a year since I hopped on that site & thought it only fair to treat myself lol. That haul will be in a separate post cause by the time I receive it we’ll be in December. Onward & forward <3’s…

Physical Books I Purchased

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Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians #1)

Her Body and Other Parties (Review to come)

Strange Weather

Renegades (Renegades #1) (My Review)

e-books I Purchased

Vinyl|Radio|Binti

Physical ARCS

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*with the exception of 1 book that’s in the mail on its way

The Armored Saint (The Sacred Throne #1) (from the Publisher)

Honor Among Thieves (The Honors #1) (Twitter #Booksfortrade)

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2) (The AMAZING Ashley at Socially Awkward Bookworm swapped with me, seriously she ROCKS!)

Frankie (Goodreads Giveaway Win)

The Belles (The Belles #1) (Twitter #Booksfortrade)

FURYBORN (Empirium #1) (from the Publisher)

Everything Here is Beautiful (Goodreads Giveaway Win, on its way)

Netgalley 

Reign the Earth (The Elementae #1)

Book Of The Month

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Uncommon Type | Rules of Magic

Owlcrate

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The Glass Spare (The Glass Spare #1) (My Review)

I’ve read 3 of the books in this haul lol, but I do have some in my December TBR (to be posted) so yea. As I mentioned earlier, I participated in the Bookoutlet sale on Black Friday & well thanks to the site crashing a few times, I didn’t get as many of the books initially in my cart but umm you’ll see that haul soon enough haha!


Happy Friday’s Eve Bookworms! I LOVE a good book haul as I’m sure most of you do! if you’ve already posted yours, drop those links down below & I’ll swing on by your corner of the interwebz. Also, If you’ve read any of these let me know if they were a hit or miss for you 🙂


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Review: Artemis by Andy Weir

Title: Artemis

Author: Andy Weir

Pub. Date: November 14th, 2017

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher:  Crown Publishing Group

Pages: 305

Format: eGalley/Netgalley

  

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

I’d like to preface this review with how much I REALLY wanted to LOVE this book! I’d read so many glowing reviews for The Martian and having missed that spaceship, figured maybe this would be the one to get me wanting to read all things Weir…sadly, this wasn’t the case. This doesn’t mean I won’t be reading The Martian, it actually has me all the more curious to see whether this was just a case of…well let’s just get into it shall we. Artemis is based on a heist that is pulled off by our MC Jazz Bashara, a Saudi Arabian who was born and raised on the Moon city. As soon as I met Jazz, we hit it off! I love me a good sarcastic character who as they say has no hair on her tongue. Jazz is intelligent, resourceful, cunning, and at the very heart a HUSTLER! haha! she is after the $$$ & has pretty much got the business of smuggling in illegal goods on lock. There isn’t anything that enters Artemis without her knowledge. With the exception of drugs, Jazz will get you anything you need for the right price. Jazz mentions a specific dollar amount (astronomical) that she MUST earn in order to something…it’s never quite disclosed to the reader & I kept reading hoping that by the end it would be revealed only it never was. She has some high profile clients on the Moon & one of them recruits her to pull off a big heist. I won’t reveal what that actually entailed since that would be spoilery but I could’ve used more heisty action.

We follow Jazz as she makes her rounds working her legit regular day job which isn’t anything fancy or high paying, as well as her side hustle. It is inferred that Jazz is so intelligent, she could have an amazing career if she only cared to apply herself. We do see Jazz get herself out of some sticky situations using brilliant ingenuity. I really enjoyed meeting some of the supporting characters in this world & then others not so much. Although I began enjoying Jazz & getting used to her self-deprecating humor, I soon became aware of how excessively male characters were pointing out her promiscuity. Jazz rolls with the comments & never denies anything & yet she has no sexual encounters in the book whatsoever which left me a bit confused as to why she’s depicted as being Queen of casual sex. So, I think it’s safe to say that I was a bit dissapointed with the representation of women. I cannot draw comparisons with the well loved Mark Wattney in The Martian, but I also won’t ignore what I do know of that character & how eerily close Jazz resembles him.

Here’s where it gets a awkward…besides the fact that the only other two women in this book were at odds with Jazz, upon meeting one of them, Jazz assumes the woman is Latina due to having a “Latina complexion.” This left me a bit confused as to what that looks like exactly being that I’m a Latina woman with family from Puerto-Rico, Salvador, and Argentina…over the holiday weekend we took a family photo and the range of skin tones ranged from white to olive to black with blue, green, and brown eyes. In another scene, the author breaks the fourth wall to assume we the readers don’t know what a niqab is by stating “Okay, you can stop pretending you know what a niqab is. It’s a traditional Islamic headwear that covers the lower face.” which again left me with a raised brow and a icky feeling. I was prepared to give this book all the love for it’s diversity but by the end saw how left it went with its efforts and assumptions.

One of things that lured me to request Artemis on Netgalley was its setting…who doesn’t want to read a heist that takes place on the Moon?!?! Over joyed to dive right into the world building, I went in confident this book would suck me in. I LOVE world-building & it only comes second to my love for well fleshed out characters. The city of Artemis is 1 of I believe 5 dome-like cities. The book comes with a pretty cool map that gives you a better idea of what it looks like. Since Jazz is very mobile all throughout the book, we get to familiarize ourselves a tad bit better with this world & I really enjoyed seeing some of the other cities. Now, there is mention of Artemis being the property of Kenya but unfortunately that’s as far as we get in terms of info. which I was a bit bummed out over because I wanted more on that connection. On the writing front, I will admit that I struggled with info dumping. The many scenes where we get Jazz walking us through the particulars of welding & the science behind it left me wanting to get back to the main story line in a hurry. I have a love for the subject of science however, the focus on welding took some of the fun away from the fact that we were on the Moon.  The ending left me feeling as if there is potential for more story & I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still interested in Jazz’s story, which means I guess you can say I’m conflicted…

*Many thanks to Crown Publishing Group, Netgalley, Goodreads (also won a physical copy) and Andy Weir for the eGalley copy of Artemis in exchange for an honest review.


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#ARCstravaganza 15

ARCstravaganza is a weekly meme hosted by the wonderful Flavia over @Flavia the Bibliophile where book bloggers/bookstagrammers have a chance to show off their ARCs/eARCs/Galleys!

Hello Readers! This is my 15th week participating in #ARCstravaganza Monday & this week I’ve chosen The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton *insert excited emoji* I was approved on Netgalley however, I’ve had a few galleys lately come through corrupt & I’m not sure why. Luckily for me, I was able to find a copy on the Twitter hasthtag #Booksfortrade & it is possibly the prettiest book I own on my shelves.

The Belles initially captured my interest with it’s STUNNING cover & cemented it’s place on my top highly anticipated books of 2018 when I read the synopsis. I’m very intrigued by Orleans & it’s inhabitants being gray since when I think of Orleans (real life), it’s filled with color & rich culture. I’m very curious to learn all about why the people of Orleans are damned at birth, Camellia, and the royal family. 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!

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Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision.

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever.


What are some ARCS/eGalleys you’re excited to have Bookworms? I will be reading The Belles in December & I’m seriously stoked! Sound off in the comments below if The Belles has made its way onto your TBR’s 🙂


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WWW Wednesday 11/22/17

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?

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

I am 75% into BOEC & OBSESSED with the writing style! perfect for this time of year, I’m so glad I picked it up the week before the holidays because whenever I am reading it, I get sucked into the strange & atmospheric world Lang has created. Told in multiple POV’s we follow several characters that have crossed paths with our MC Wylen who is a boy/man wrapped in mystery & magic. Tons of nature, animals, and stars this is one I’ll hold near & dear to my heart. Oh & our MC has a special connection with animals but that’s all I’ll say cuz I’m trying to be mysterious LOL!


Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

This was not on my November TBR but the mood hit for a darker read & I went with it. I am buddy reading this collection of short stories with Melanie over at Meltotheany who is pretty awesome & I highly recommend visiting /following for EPIC reviews, tags, & awesome Bookish posts. Mel suggested we do one story each night starting this week which I’ve never done & found it would be easier to juggle with my other book. Well! I may just read all my short story collections his way! THANKS Mel! the first story The Husband Stitch is still haunting me. Fantastic writing & imagery, this collection blends many genres into its stories about the violence on women’s bodies.

The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves

Earlier this week I finished reading this book & posted my review on Monday (here). I haven’t come across another book to tackle socioeconomic diversity in YA since reading The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas & so I was happy to have been approved for a galley on Edelweiss.  Our MC is well fleshed out & his character growth is the strongest part of this book. There are trigger warnings for Violence, Alcoholism, and Racism. I gave this book 4 stars for all of the hard issues it tackled & handled well, I only wish some of the supporting characters were a bit more fleshed out.


Artemis by Andy Weir

I finished this book this past weekend & sadly it wasn’t the hit I so badly wanted it to be. I rated it 3 stars because I really enjoyed the MC Jazz Bashara to an extent lol. My main issue with this book can be summed up to 2 things: 1) the awkward sexual dialogue that didn’t come off as natural…I love a sarcastic MC Female or Male & sexual jokes don’t really bug me but it was almost overkill. 2) the overly descriptive ramblings on the science of welding -_- I just couldn’t do it bookworms! sometimes pages long before returning to the main story line, I struggled getting through these parts. Also, there is one other thing that did get a deep frown from me but I am saving that for my review. I have a feeling this was missed by many other reviewers but after bouncing it off others, I can safely say that it’s not just me. I’d like to promise my review will go up this Friday but well you know, Holidays & stuff so we shall see 🙂

Ok, so out of the 8 books I posted on my November TBR I have completed 4 & will finish the 5th book tonight. I will be reading Her body and Other Parties along with my next main book which I’ve decided will be…

Haunting the Deep (How to Hang a Witch #2) by Adriana Mather

I’ve been enjoying the darker reads lately & this one I’ve heard delivers on that end. I’m looking forward to returning to Mather’s atmospheric writing & the TITANIC! 🙂


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! & to those who celebrate the holiday, Happy Thanksgiving!❤ ❤ ❤


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November TBR

I really never thought I’d be writing a TBR post EVER, but it’s happening & I have Larkin over at WonderfilledReads to thank for it 🙂 cuz Hi! I’m Lilly & I am a bookaholic & need some structure in my life lol. For the months of November & December (possibly even January/Feb) I will be writing a TBR post to keep me accountable & also to let you all know what you can expect to see reviewed on Lair Of Books. This post is also a few days late simply because I’m quite indecisive & choosing my books turned into a project lol. All of the books I’ll be reading are arcs/galleys since that mountain is quite high & terrifying folks. If you happen to be reading any of the books I mention, feel free to add me on Twitter (end of post) & we can fangirl or vent about said read. Also, these will be in no particular order since I am still at my core a mood reader. You will see a variety of genres but for the most part, YA is dominant on my blog. I am very thankful to the publishers who’ve approved me for these books & as such try my best to get reviews up on or around the mth of publication. Now, onto the books….


Renegades (Renegades #1) by Marissa Meyer

Secret Identities. Extraordinary Powers. She wants vengeance. He wants justice.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies—humans with extraordinary abilities—who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone…except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice—and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

*I finished reading Renegades last night (while in the tub) & almost dropped my book cuz WTF?!?!? I wasn’t expecting that ending. So GOOD Bookworms! review to come on Monday since I have another review going up on Friday.


The Closest I’ve Come by Fred Aceves

Marcos Rivas wants to find love.
He’s sure as hell not getting it at home, where his mom’s racist boyfriend beats him up. Or from his boys, who aren’t exactly the “hug it out” type. Marcos yearns for love, a working cell phone, and maybe a pair of sneakers that aren’t falling apart. But more than anything, Marcos wants to get out of Maesta, his hood—which seems impossible.
When Marcos is placed in a new after-school program for troubled teens with potential, he meets Zach, a theater geek whose life seems great on the surface, and Amy, a punk girl who doesn’t care what anyone thinks of her. These new friendships inspire Marcos to open up to his Maesta crew, too, and along the way, Marcos starts to think more about his future and what he has to fight for. Marcos ultimately learns that bravery isn’t about acting tough and being macho; it’s about being true to yourself.

*This is my current read & I am only 15% in and really enjoying Aceves’ style of writing, reminds me of Adam Silvera who we all know i adore to pieces!so we’ll see how it fares *fingers crossed*


Artemis by Andy Weir

Jazz Bashara is a criminal.

Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.

Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself—and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.

*I def missed out on all the hype surrounding the Martian & even though I still plan on reading it, I got artemis both on Netgalley & through Goodreads giveaway. also, jazz sounds like she’s going to be a instant fave 🙂


Beasts of extraordinary circumstance by ruth Emmie lang

“Orphaned, raised by wolves, and the proud owner of a horned pig named Merlin, Weylyn Grey knew he wasn’t like other people. But when he single-handedly stopped that tornado on a stormy Christmas day in Oklahoma, he realized just how different he actually was.”

*The actual goodreads synopsis is seriously a sentence short of being called an essay so i grabbed only what i needed to know that this was a book i’d love to read…it’s btwn this one & artemis for my next read



Haunting the deep (how to hang a witch #2) by adriana mather

The Titanic meets the delicious horror of Ransom Riggs and the sass of Mean Girls in this follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Hang a Witch, in which a contemporary teen finds herself a passenger on the famous “ship of dreams”—a story made all the more fascinating because the author’s own relatives survived the doomed voyage.

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one.

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship.

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

*after reading & enjoying how to hang a witch last year, i was hella curious to check out the next installment in this series. the author herself has so much history in her lineage that i’ll admit is part of my interest in these books…+ anything titanic is a must read by this bookworm


Frankie by shivaun plozza

Frankie Vega is angry. Just ask the guy whose nose she broke. Or the cop investigating the burglary she witnessed, or her cheating ex-boyfriend or her aunt who’s tired of giving second chances…When a kid shows up claiming to be Frankie’s half brother, it opens the door to a past she doesn’t want to remember. And when that kid goes missing, the only person willing to help is a boy with stupidly blue eyes … and secrets of his own. Frankie’s search for the truth might change her life, or cost her everything.

*at first this was a complete impulse request cuz look at that cover! Frankie is the epitome of angry, i’m kind of hoping there are some illustrations in this book cuz it really gave me comic book vibes. I’ve also had a ton of luck reading good ya mysteries which i’m hoping this contemporary delivers


Girl in the tower (The WInternight trilogy #2) by katherine arden

The sequel to The Bear and the Nightingale & my MOST HIGHLY anticipated read of 2017!!! I left out the Goodreads synopsis for spoilers sake. Currently The Bear and the Nightingale is in the semifinal round on Goodreads for “Best Fantasy” & “Best Debut Goodreads Author” so well deserved! 🙂

                                       


Brooding ya hero: becoming a main character (almost) as awesome as me

Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?

Or maybe you’re just really confused about what “opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs” actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a “self-help” guide (with activities–you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.

*I follow Broody on twitter as i’m sure many other bookworms do lol. Carrie is HILARIOUS & I have a feeling this book will have me laughing all THROUGHOUT. Also, I can’t turn down a mixed media book, just can’t lol



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October Wrap-Up & Book Haul

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

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

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

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

The Glass Spare by Lauren DeStefano ★★★★★ 

Berseker by Emmy Laybourne ★★★.75

Invictus by Ryan Graudin ★★★★★ 

Moxie by jennifer Mathieu ★★★★★ 

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

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

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

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

Ringer by Lauren Oliver (Replica #2)

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

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

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

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

October Owlcrate

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Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore

October Book of the Month

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

Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King & Owen King

   

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

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


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Review: You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins

Title: You Bring the Distant Near

Author: Mitali Perkins

Pub. Date: October 31st, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary, #Ownvoices

Publisher:  Macmillan Children’s Publishing

Pages: 320

Format: eGalley/Netgalley

    

Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. You Bring the Distant Near explores sisterhood, first loves, friendship, and the inheritance of culture–for better or worse. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve Bengal tigers and her Bengali identity–award-winning author Mitali Perkins weaves together a sweeping story of five women at once intimately relatable and yet entirely new.

You Bring the Distant Near truly felt like a gift I was unwrapping Christmas morning. It’s not often that we get stories based on Indian culture yet here we have a multi-generational book spanning the lives of 5 women in the Das family. We first meet Ranee & Rajeev Das, the parents of Tara & Sonia Das as they move from Bangladesh to London & finally Queens, New York. Rajeev Das is a hard worker & provider for his family, his wife Ranee wants them to own a beautiful home in a safe neighborhood. The Das family has very humble beginnings in a apartment in Queens that is located in a predominantly black neighborhood. We see Ranee struggle with her own prejudices & how her fear leads her to restrict Tara & Sonia. We also get an inside look on her marriage & the disconnect that often leads to arguments in the Das home. Underneath it all however, is a whole lot of love. This book truly has it all! the immigrant experience, marital woes, intersectional issues, colorism, feminism, Islamophobia, complex characters and so much more. I couldn’t put this book down other than to shed some tears every now & again. Seeing three generations of women try to retain some of their culture while also trying to fit in to their new lives was rewarding for me as a reader. Having had some of my own family immigrate from Salvador to the United States, I knew assimilating would be difficult but never really thought about how difficult it must be to try & retain some of their own culture. I found myself rooting for these characters to win their battles & stand up for what they believe is right. This isn’t by any means a fast paced book, it is however a heart warming read that gives you a inside look to a culture & people not often seen in YA books.

The author kindly included a family tree at the very beginning of the book but I found I didn’t really need it since the characters were very well fleshed out. 5 women’s stories spanning over 3 generations, all so very different from each other but the one thing they have in common is their wish to hold onto some if not all of their roots. I LOVED all of these characters, they’re the type to stick with you way after you’ve read the last page.

Rajeev & Ranee Das- mother & father to Tara & Sonia are struggling to meet eye to eye when it comes to settling down on a place to live. Rajeev is sweet & the definition of a proud & doting father. He has a ton of love for his daughters & I found myself crying the most whenever he interacted with Tara & Sonia because this is the closest a character has come to resembling my own father & how he cared for my sister & I. Rajeev is incredibly supportive of his daughters & encourages them to follow their dreams. Our matriarch Ranee Das on the other hand is the law in her home & perhaps has the most character growth in this book. She has a ton of prejudices to sort through & we get to see her struggle with her marriage, daughters, grand daughters and her own internal struggle to both let go & hold on to some cultural beliefs. I loved seeing how realistic this marriage was portrayed & the underlying love that shines through.

Tara & Sonia Das- Since the majority of this book is told in alternating POV’s between these two sisters, I felt that I really got to know them. Tara aka Star is in love with acting, drama, entertaining, and fashion. She loves studying different icons on tv & imitating their style. This is something she sees as a useful tool whenever she has moved to a new country & started a new school. Tara is also the sister everyone considers the beauty who is sure to find a suitable husband. Sonia aka Sunny is a reader & writer, she loves retreating into her own world where she can journal & read non-fiction. The move to NYC places her on course to becoming a feminist & activist. I enjoyed seeing the contrast between Sunny, Star, and Ranee. Sunny is very vocal in squashing any prejudices coming from her mother which is why they clash the most. Sunny is also of darker complexion & we see the affects of colorism both in her home & with other Indian neighbors.

Chantal & Anna-  the daughters of Sunny & Star, the latter part of YBTDN is told in alternating POV chapters with these cousins. We still get to see their parents but the focus shifts to their high school lives. Chantal is Sunny’s daughter & she is trying to find peace between her two grandmothers. Chantal is bi-racial & we get to see the very realistic familial battles that take place when two very different cultures come together through marriage. Anna is Star’s daughter & she for the most part has been raised in Mumbai. Her parents do travel with her to & from NYC to Mumbai but she has no interest in American life. We see her get uprooted & the difficulties she faces when trying to hold on to her roots.

Grandma Rose- doesn’t come into the picture til’ we meet Chantal later in the book but I seriously LOVED seeing her duke it out with Ranee for title of best grandma. Grandma Rose is black & is very involved in Chantal’s life. I loved seeing her pride & confidence in Chantal, she really is her #1 fan. Some of my favorite scenes were those between Rose & Ranee, these two had me smiling & shaking my head.

Rich in culture & family dynamics, You Bring the Distant Near is easily a top contender for my top 10 favorite books of this year. For any bookworms looking for #ownvoices reads, I highly recommend picking this book up. In just 320 pages we get wonderful character development & a ton of tough topics thrown in the mix making this one hell of a journey. I felt a range of emotions seeing this family try to set down new roots in a strange land while also learning to adapt when life throws you a curve-ball. I also found myself wanting more story once I finished reading & perhaps that’s due to how well it was structured. The alternating POV chapters between Sunny & Star and later their daughters Chantal & Anna really allow you to form attachments. This bookworm would love to see more of the Das family & their growing pains. I am so happy to have read YBTDN & wish only to see more from this author in the very near future *fingers crossed*

*HUGE thanks to Macmillan Children’s Publishing, Netgalley, and Mitali Perkins for the eGalley copy of You Bring the Distant Near in exchange for an honest review.

Happy Monday Bookworms! hope you all had a wonderful weekend & managed to squeeze in some good books. You Bring the Distant Near is hands down a highlight in my October reading. Have any of you lovely bookworms had the chance to read YBTDN? or plan on adding it to your TBR? Sound off in the comments down below 😉


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