September Monthly Wrap Up

September was such an odd month having just returned from vacation during the very first week, I was riding a happiness HIGH! Many asked me where I’d gone to which I responded “The happiest place on Earth” YES! Orlando Florida/Disneyland. See, this was my first vacation in over 10 years and I had no clue how badly I needed it till my first morning of waking up without an alarm clock.  Best of all was our trip to Universal Studios aka home to Harry Potter aka the land of endless Butterbeer *heart eyes* I’ve told this story here before but, I met my hubby when I walked into my 1st day of work at my then office, carrying Goblet of Fire. He was holding a copy of Deathly Hallows & we gravitated towards each other in true Nerd love haha! It was nice getting to experience & share our love for a fandom that lives near & dear to our hearts. Although it did rain all the while we were there, that didn’t stop us from seeing all there is to see in HP world. We finished our trip by getting our wands & having lunch at the Three broomsticks #BLISS! 🙂

Once back in New York I dived back into my books since I didn’t necessarily miss them (1st vacay & all) while away but once back I wanted to read them all. I joined #Contemporaryathon to keep it light but I did manage to squeeze in two amazing Fantasy books & one beautiful anthology. All in all, it’s probably one of the MOST fun reading months I’ve had all year long…

 

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson✨5 STARS 

I didn’t know what to expect going into this one but it was hands down one of the best adult fantasy books I’ve ever read. This was the book chosen by Melanie from Meltotheany for her Birthday Read along & I’m so glad I decided to participate. There’s a ton of political strategizing & ruthlessness to spare but I still believe this one is best to go into blind. If you’re a fan of Game Of Thrones, this will most likely appeal to you 😉

Check Out Mel’s Review here

As She Ascends (Fallen Isles #2) by Jodi Meadows (Review✨5 STARS 

This is the sequel to top all sequels! I absolutely devoured this read and loved every minute of it. If you read Before She Ignites and enjoyed it but wished there’d been more action & more DRAGONS! please pick this one up! Meadows knocks it out the park and really fleshed out all her characters. Side characters step up and the dragons have personalities & just gahhhhh! I could be here all day gushing about this one haha 🙂

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Youth (Review✨4 STARS 

This is an anthology I was sent for review and another one I am so glad to have had the privilege of reading. I think this collection is SUPER important & very much needed. This is a Own Voices collection, I’m unsure if each of the authors represent the exact disability their own story was based off of. There’s a variety of disabilities/mental health rep in this collection that I loved to pieces!

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young (FULL RTC)✨3 STARS

Sooo this is where it got interesting haha! I won’t lie and say I wasn’t flipping pages at the speed of light.This was honestly one of those rare moments where I picked up a Contemp. Romance & thought I was enjoying it but something was niggling me that just couldn’t be ignored. The Male love interest, ahhhh! he wasn’t the nicest & often left me with a bad taste in my mouth. I have a full review coming to the blog this Sunday 10/14/18.

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (Review✨4 STARS

If you read & enjoyed The Wedding Date earlier this year, I’d say it’s a safe bet you will also enjoy this companion novel set in the same world. TBH, I enjoyed this one wayyyyy more than TWD. From the minute we were introduced to Carlos in TWD, I knew I wanted a full backstory to this character! with only a few bumps in the road, I can honestly say I was satisfied with this arc. Also, if you enjoy books with food and culture weaved in then I’d say you’re in for a real treat with this one 😉

Blue Is The Warmest Color by Julie Maroh (Graphic Novel)✨5 STARS

Goodness! I really didn’t think I’d end up crying with this one. As a matter of fact I was wondering whether I was just dead inside and couldn’t see what everyone else was seeing. Whelp! those last few pages REALLLLLY got me & sure enough the tears flowed easily. This is one that stays with you way after you’ve finished reading. I fave a mini-spoiler free review coming but If you decide to give this one a go, content warning for Homophobia & cheating

Pride by Ibi Zoboi (FULL RTC)✨5 STARS

Saved the best for last here really! Keeping it short because I have a full on GUSH review coming on all the reason why this book is making my best of 2018 list. I also HIGHLY recommend the audio-book as it is narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo the author of The Poet X. This is a Pride & Prejudice “Remix” set in Brooklyn. The MC is Afro-Latinx & the very relevant topic of Gentrification within the city boroughs is woven all throughout. This book only further solidified my love for this author & I truly look forward to whatever she writes next.


I Hope you’re all having a wonderful day! we’re finally beginning to see Fall weather here & there in New York. I am so READY to pull out my sweaters, candles, and tea mugs *heart eyes*

I did want to let you know that I am running a GIVEAWAY over on my Instagram (IG link listed below) for a 2019 ARC of Four Dead Queens!!!!! head on over to the original IG post for the rules of entry & may luck be ever in your favor <3’s!


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The One Where I Try To Read All The Books…

Hey Bookworms! It’s Saturday morning when I’m writing this post to go up on Sunday. TBH I had no intentions of making this “Official” I kind of always participate on the low 😂🙈 which is probably because of how high I set the standard for myself & don’t always meet it 🤷🏻‍♀️ This time, I wanted a bit of accountability. These are just the books I’ll be reading during Contemporary-A-Thon, my actual September TBR is dreadful & scares me putting on paper so that’ll just stay in my head 😂 This readathon is run by some truly fantastic Booktubers I adore to pieces & you should definitely consider checking out:

Julie @PagesandPens

Chelsea @ChelseaDollingReads

Natasha @MyReadingIsOdd

The Challenges:

1. Read a contemporary with orange on the cover
2. Read a dark/spooky contemporary
3. Read a diverse contemporary
4. Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format
5. Read a contemporary that has your initials somewhere on the cover
6. Read a contemporary from a new to you author
7. Read a contemporary that is a 5 star prediction

 

Read a contemporary with orange on the cover  What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli & Adam Silvera Not only is my MOST anticipated Contemporary book of 2018! 😱 One of my top 3 fave authors co-wrote this book! If you’ve been following my blog for some time now, you probably know how much I LOVE Adam Silvera’s books! They always leave me wrecked yet I keep returning for more tear jerking reads. I also think this will be a 5 star read & it also fits the diverse read category as well.

🌟Bonus🌟 One of the MC’s  is Puerto-Rican & therefore this book aligns with Latinx (I sure did change it to be more inclusive) Heritage Month (9/15/2018-10/15/2018) 🖤

Read a dark/spooky contemporary  Sadie by Courtney Summers which I’ve been trying my hardest not to start before the readathon! this book legit checks off so many of my boxes & appeals to my love of Podcasts. It’s been a while since I discovered Serial & the Adnan Syed case, but my time listening/obsessing over each episode is still fresh in my memory. I’ve had a couple of book blogging buddies tell me there is now a podcast to go along with the book & GAHHH! I’m so ready! I have this book in physical format & then used 1 of my Audible credits for the audiobook after hearing some AMAZING things about the narration.

Read a diverse contemporary  The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory  is sort of a companion novel to The Wedding Date (My review) published earlier this year. Carlos, one of the side characters who starred in The Wedding Date had me wishing so hard for a character swap #jussayin 😂 he was way nicer & just all around chivalrous which is something rare. Carlos also IMO has excellent taste in foods 😉

🌟Bonus🌟 Carlos is a Latino Doctor which means this book also book aligns with Latinx (I sure did change it to be more inclusive) Heritage Month (9/15/2018-10/15/2018)

Read a contemporary in a non-traditional format  Blue is The Warmest Color by Julie Maroh is a graphic novel I’ve been meaning to get to since 2017 & never got around to it. I’ve heard it’s best to go into it blind but that it for sure is a tear jerker starring a F/F romance. STOKED to finally have no excuse to not get to this one. I also just found out a movie exists for this story (IMDB) 🖤

Read a contemporary that has your initials somewhere on the cover  The Seven Husbands Of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid & no a longer title I could not find 😂 truth be told, I’ve been DYING to read this for so long. My initials are simple, ‘LB’ or my unmarried initials ‘LL’ can both be found in this title. I’m possibly even more excited to read this one than What If It’s Us. All great books but this is one I’ve owned for so long with the knowledge it’s going to be a 5 star read & that once I read it I won’t be able to experience it for the first time again…anyone else do this? procrastinate with nooks you know will be your next obsession? 😩😂

🌟Bonus🌟  MC is a Cuban bi-sexual woman which makes this one perfect for Latinx (I sure did change it to be more inclusive) Heritage Month (9/15/2018-10/15/2018)

Read a contemporary from a new to you author  Flight or Fight by Samantha Young which I’ll be buddy reading with Melanie from Meltotheany (we’re also BR The Proposal). I admittedly don’t know much about this one other than it’s a cute hate to love contemporary everyone has been buzzing about. This will be my first Samantha Young read & I’m hoping to find a new fave author 🖤

Read a contemporary that is a 5 star prediction  Pride by Ibi Zoboi is one I’ve been highly anticipating! After reading American Street & the short story written by Ibi Zoboi in the YA anthology Meet Cute, I can’t help but want to read everything this author writes. The fact that it takes place in my home city of Brooklyn & that it’s a Pride & Prejudice REMIX (not a retelling 😂) has me HYPED!

🌟Bonus🌟  The MC Zuri Benitez is Afro-Latina….we don’t have no where near enough Afro-Latinx MC’s in our books, so happy to be reading this one for Latinx (I sure did change it to be more inclusive) Heritage Month (9/15/2018-10/15/2018) 🖤


Contemporary-A-Thon takes place from 9/17-9/23, all info to participate can also be found in the Booktube channels listed above. If you are participating in the readathon or just happen to have ready any of the titles I’ll be reading, drop me some luv in the comments down below 🖤


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Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books with Sensory Reading Memories

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This weeks topic brought back a ton of good memories and reminded me that there are a few books I’d definitely re-read. These books are very near & dear to my heart because of the feelings and memories they invoke…

July 24th 2018: Ten Books with Sensory Reading Memories

💜 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling (Harry Potter #4)– This book is my favorite of the whole series for so many reasons but the very top one being that it’s the one I had in my hands when I met my hubby. I walked in to my 1st day at a new job with my copy and saw him sitting with his copy of Deathly Hollows and knew it was a sign haha!  It was a constant game of “No Spoilers” that led to casual flirting smh 😉

💜 Heartless by Marissa Meyer– I buddy read this wonderful book with my book twin Gretchen @ChicNerdReads after scoring arcs at Bookcon in 2017. I had all my alerts ready on my phone when I saw Fierce Reads tweet out that they were giving out T-shirts at their booth. Whelp I went right over thinking it was just a shirt, told them the magic password & ended up with a arc copy!!! *GASP* I still remember flipping out on the phone to my book twin and since hubby was with me, he got her a copy as well. The buddy read was so much fun and had us thinking about baking & pastries all along 🙂

💜 Motherless Brooklyn by Jonathan Lethem– My first college assigned read  & it has stuck with me throughout the years. The MC Lionel has Tourettes and he finds himself working for a small time mobster. When the mobster who took him in as an orphan shows up dead, Lionel puts on his detective hat to find his killer. I was ABSORBED in this story & can remember discussing it in class as if it were just yesterday

💜 My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton (The Lady Janies #2)– I read this book in one day, two sittings. I started it on the train ride home and found myself laughing out loud without any reservation. I was having a very bad week and this book didn’t let my thoughts wander. I laughed hard & long and in turn made those around me laugh…a contagious fun read I will always turn to for some silliness 🙂

💜 A Million Junes by Emily Henry– This book stirred up memories of my dad and I found the tears streaming full force by the time I read the last page. I won’t say how because it would be spoilery for this book but it will always be THE book that moved me with thoughts of my own dad.

💜 Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (Six Of Crows #2)– I finished reading CK on my train ride to The Strand for a Leigh Bardugo signing & although that was EPIC! it’s not the main reason I remember it fondly. This is the day I met my book twin Gretchen in person! from watching her videos on Booktube to being motivated by her to start my own blog and going on a blogging journey with her to a Leigh Bardugo event we had so much fun in! Crooked Kingdom will always be the book that brought me to my twin 🙂

💜 The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslie Walton– Ok! this has to be one of the most beautifully tragic books I’ve ever read! & I had the pleasure of sharing the heartbreak with my best friend of 18 years. He wasn’t happy with the ugly crying this book put him through but he loved it just as much as I did & it even kicked off a buddy read binge. My BFF doesn’t really read much so this was definitely a time I’ll always remember fondly 🙂

💜 The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden– I don’t have a specific memory attached to this beautiful gem of a book but it’s one that will always feel, taste, sound like Winter whenever I think of the story within its pages. I read The Bear during the Winter and it couldn’t have been a more ideal read for the season.

💜 Nyxia: Unleashed by Scott Reintgen– I’ve gone ahead & linked to Melanie over at Meltotheany on this one cause I will always think of her when I think of this book. She & I buddy read a whole lot & I think that’s cause she has the patience of a Goddess cause ya girl lives life on the go & sometimes can fall behind Haha! anyways, we gush over this book for days & could NOT stop quoting front to back!

💜 A Dance With Dragons (A Song Of Ice & Fire #5) by George RR Martin– This is a bittersweet memory if there ever was one…where is book 6?!?! yea I know! haha! but it’s here because I remember buddy reading this 5th installment with my hubby while expecting our tiny human. Since I was limited due to a high risk pregnancy, weekends were spent reading Game Of Thrones in bed and trying not to read ahead for fear of spoilers…he still outread (totes should be a word) me though smh hehe 🙂


Happy Tuesday Bookworms! This post is going up wayyyy later in the day…it’s now night but somewhere in the world I am right on time! ❤ Hope you’re all reading amazing books & finding your next book obsession! 😉


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SPOILER FREE REVIEW: SPINNING SILVER BY NAOMI NOVIK❄️

Title: SPINNING SILVER

Author: NAOMI NOVAK

Pub. Date: July 10th. 2018

Genre: Adult Fantasy/Re-telling

Publisher: DEL REY

Pages: 448

Content Warning: Anti-antisemitism, alcohol abuse, physical abuse, death of a family member, and violence

*HUGE thanks to Del Rey for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

    

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I’m not quick to say I have a type when it comes to books or anything for that matter however, this slower paced wintry read seems to fall in line with some of my favorites (think The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden or The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco). Spinning Silver is a Rumpelstiltskin retelling, an adult fantasy that takes on real life hard hitting issues (please see Content Warnings above) while weaving a tale about debts owed and the relentless winter that is plaguing the land. A tale about three daughters left to pay the price of bad decisions made by their fathers. Their lives intertwined–Miryem, Wanda, and Irinushka have every odd set against them in a world that would soon rather have them married and birthing children than in a position of power.

Told through multiple points of view, we start off with ❄Miryem❄ who loves her father for the good man that he is but recognizes how terrible he is as a money lender. Miryem and her family are struggling in poverty while those in the village that have borrowed from her father continue to prosper whilst not paying their debts. Money lending runs in the family & just like her grandfather Miryem has a knack for collecting from those that owe her. She sets out to settle the books and quickly makes a turnaround of their fate. However, she also manages to capture the attention of the Staryk King aka Lord Winter himself. The Staryk believes Miryem may have the power to transform silver into gold and promises her his hand in marriage if after his 3 visits, she has made into gold all of the silver he brings her. Each load he drops off being impossibly larger than the last because deep down inside, this Staryk King doesn’t see Miryem as a worthy Queen. Meanwhile, Miryem’s “Cold” approach seems to match the Satryk King quite well IMO 😂

❄Wanda❄ works for Miryem’s family tending to the house-chores and any manual labor. Miryem teaches Wanda her #’s and takes her long when collecting monies owed. In Miryem’s home, Wanda learns what love looks like and it isn’t the daily beatings she gets at the hands of her alcoholic father. Sort of an adoptive daughter, Wanda finds herself looking after Miryem’s parents and plays an important role later on in the story. I really love Wanda’s character, she’s someone who if shown even a little love to, will honestly go hard for you. We see this play out with her own brothers which made her scenes so heartfelt 💓

Irinushka❄ daughter of royals, Irinushka’s father has already promised her hand to a Tsar as a way to gain political favor. The Tsar has a deep dark secret he’s keeping & is the reason for which he has yet married and produced an heir. There’s a ton of pressure on Irinushka & instead of succumbing to it, we see an intellectual rise up and make some interesting power plays. Irinushka is a natural at politics 😉

❄There are also a slew of supporting characters that come in throughout the story. Many are memorable like Irinushka’s Nana of sorts who raised her and only wants to see her happy. We also travel a bit with Wanda’s brothers. In the Staryk King’s world we meet a different kind of people who at first come off as cold hearted but end up being quite the opposite❄

There are very few books I’ve come across with the power to transport me from the very first page. Usually it takes some settling in and getting to know the world a bit. Spinning Silver however is already set-up and literally feels like opening the door in the back of the closet that leads you to Narnia. These make for some of my favorite reads and linger behind even after I’ve closed the book. At times this book was heavy on the heart with scenes of violence in Wanda’s home. Seeing her & her siblings being physically hurt mercilessly and the fear they carried was tough to get through. Paired with the very different home life of Miryem and the love her family has for one another made for a deeper connection to these characters lives. We see a village deeply rooted in antisemitism, Miryem is Jewish and is seen honoring the Sabbath even in the most undesirable circumstances. In the background we have the threat of an endless Winter and we see the effects it takes on the people. I only docked it half a star because we get so many POV’s throughout & although it was written in a way so as to not make it overwhelming, it still felt like I could do without some. I found myself wanting to get back to certain fave characters quicker than others but that is not unheard of in a multi-POV story. Overall, I highly reccomend this spell-binding tale over a cup of hot Cocoa or Tea ❄


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May Book Haul

Hello Bookworms! a part of me wanted to believe I could abstain from buying or collecting books in any shape or form in May… what with BEA/Bookcon right around the corner first week of June SMH. Things didn’t quite pan out that way & May ended up being the month of book mail/approvals every other day. This isn’t the norm around these parts haha! but nonetheless I rolled with it & also finally purged my shelves of some books to make space for new stories…

The Poppy War | CIRCE | A Court Of Frost and Starlight | FURYBORN | To Kill A Kingdom | Girls’ Night Out

*Both FURYBORN & To Kill A Kingdom were 5 star reads, so happy to have them on my shelves! Girls’ Night Out is the only physical arc I received in May, super excited for this one since the thriller/suspense bug has finally bitten me 🙂

The Hating Game | The Astonishing Color Of After | Filthy Gods | OPAL | Ramona Blue

*Here’s where I started justifying my purchases smh…I have physical copies of Astonishing Color & Hating Game but I just couldn’t resist a good Kindle deal ($1.99) & said why not?!?  

No words…well maybe a few 😂 I can honestly say I’m excited over each & every one of these titles. I’ve already rated Bruja Born 5 EPIC stars!!! Scream All Night is not a book I’d gravitate towards cause spooky and I don’t mix. However, the publisher reached out after reading my review of The Dangerous Art Of Blending In & sold me on this book! Both What If It’s  Us & Blanca Y Roja are on my HIGHLY anticipated list. Adam Silvera & Anna-Marie McLemore are two of my FAVORITE YA authors, ANYTHING they write is a MUST read for this Bookworm! 💜

FAIRYLOOT

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ONYX & IVORY BY MINDEE ARNETT

    

Sprayed edges is almost always a win for me but Onyx & Ivory is one of those book I’ve really been looking forward to. This box was a slam dunk! from the beautiful book sleeve to the practical lip scrub I had heart eyes while unboxing 😍 the art print is STUNNING & I’m already using the page flags 💜 my least favorite item is perhaps the tea once again 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

BOOK OF THE MONTH

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THE PERFECT MOTHER BY AIMEE MOLLOY 


I hope you’re all having a wonderful day while squeezing in a good read or two along the way! 💜 if you’ve read any of the books I’ve posted here & think I should boost up on my TBR, drop a comment down below 💜


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

I’ve had these 10 drafted for the past two weeks now cause they’re simply the books I’m MOST eagerly anticipating! I have a feeling I will be making some of these wishes come true but for now 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼

May 1st 2018: Top Ten Books I’d Slay a Lion to Get Early

🦁 What If It’s Us by Adam SilveraSelf appointed #1 Adam Silvera fan, there really isn’t anything he writes that I won’t read! I go in knowing my heart will be torn to pieces but there really isn’t anyone I’d let break my ♥ like I let Adam 🤷🏻‍♀️ This being a collab with his bff Becky Albertalli makes it easily one of those books I have a feeling will be a 5 star read 🙌🏼

🦁 City Of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab– Three reasons for which I need this book…. One: being that it’s Victoria Schwab & I can’t stay away from her books…Two: this book is set in Scotland which is one of my FAVE book settings…Three: Ghost-hunters 👻 that is all I needed to know 💜

🦁 King Of Scars (Nikolai Duology #1) by Leigh Bardugo- Its been a minute since I read the Grisha trilogy but there’s one character that remains fresh in my memory. Nikolai in my opinion stole the show when he showed up & I knew there had to be more to his story. SUPER stoked to see the cover reveal today, EVERYTHING GOLD! I can’t wait to have a copy in hands since from what I’ve heard, there won’t be any arcs in circulation *sobs* haha!

🦁 On The Come Up by Angie Thomas- The Hate U Give had to be one of the most impactful, moving, and thought provoking books of 2017. Soon after I was buying copies for my closest friends & loved ones in hopes they’d see just how important Angie Thomas’ books are. Some have expressed concerns over the date of publication for On The Come Up being pushed back however, I think it’s a smart move. Production on The Hate U Give movie wasn’t without its hurdles & some distance between the projects is probably for the best. Nevertheless, I cannot wait to dive back into this wonderful authors writing.

🦁 Dark Age (Red Rising Saga #5) by Pierce Brown-  Having recently read Iron Gold, finding out that book 5 would be out later this year was EPIC news! Can’t say too much about this one since it’s way deep into the series, but I will say that it feels great to be back in this world even when certain characters continue to royally mess things up.

🦁 The Winter Of The Witch (The Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden- Katherine Arden is after my own heart with some of the most beautiful atmospheric writing I’ve ever come across on the page. The MC Vasya is one of my all time fave heroines who reminds me so much of Merida from Brave 💜 This is the conclusion to the Winternight Trilogy & although I’m not ready to say goodbye, I also really need to know what happens next!

🦁 Blanca & Roja by Anna Marie-McLemore- EVERYTHING McLemore writes is a MUST for this bookworm! magical realism at its best, it’s so hard to stay away from these books. I fell in love with this authors writing while reading When The Moon Was Ours & I can honestly say, I’ve never read anything that quite compares. All of McLemore’s books have LGBTQIA+ representation and POC main characters. I know I’ve said this for all the others but this is one I’m SOOOOO ready to get my hands on 🤗

🦁 Holy Sister (Book Of The Ancestor #3) by Mark Lawrence- Having just very recently read Grey Sister (Book Of The Ancestor #2) I can honestly say this is is my FAVORITE adult Fantasy! although seeing it end will be bitter-sweet, I have felt very much a part of Nona’s journey & can’t wait to see how her story comes to a close.

🦁 The ShadowGlass (The Bone Witch #3) by Rain Chupeco- eeeeK! I can’t even see the title of this book on the screen without flailing with happiness 🤗 this is perhaps the book I’d slay TWO lions for! 😂 It’s just SOOO good! Rin Chupeco’s writing is just a atmospheric as Katherine Ardens & just as beautiful. The main character Tea is one of my fave morally ambiguous MC’s & the ship in this book! *swooooooN*☺ oh & if you’re looking for a fantasy with a necromancer, this would be the book for you! 😉

🦁 Sea Witch by Sarah Henning- Hi! I’m Lilly & ever since I could remember, The Little Mermaid has been my favorite Disney movie of all time! haha! no seriously though, I obsessed over this movie. Did I ever think Ursula would get her own POV story? hell nah! evil sea Queens never get to tell their side of things. That being said, I read To Kill a Kingdom recently & LOVED the ish outta that dark gem! Sea Witch looks just as promising & I’m hoping it slayyyyyys my little ♥️! 


Happy Tuesday Bookworms! Hope you’re all having a wonderful week reading all the great books! What are some of the titles you’d slay a lion to get a early copy of? feel free to drop those links to your Top Ten Tuesday 💜💜💜

Friendly reminder, I have a Giveaway for Dread Nation by Justina Ireland running from 4/30/18-5/4/18. This giveaway is open to International peeps as well (See Here) 💙💙💙


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Spoiler Free Review & Giveaway: Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

Title: Dread Nation (Dread Nation #1)

Author: Justina Ireland

Pub. Date: April 3rd, 2018

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Paranormal

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/Harper

Pages: 455

Format: eGalley

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

    

Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.

Ever pick up a book & you just know it’s going to be a 5 star read?!?! that was the case with this magnificent a** kicking, no-holds-barred, social commentary, read between the lines EPICNESS of a a book! It is not a re-telling although it definitely does allude to it’s namesake. I read a interview on Bustle with Justina Ireland where she says the following of her inspiration…

“I wrote [Dread Nation] many moons ago, after I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” Justina Ireland tells Bustle. “Sure, you have well-to-do white women fighting, but it didn’t seem realistic. It would’ve been black women fighting in the streets.”

I happen to have really enjoyed Pride Prejudice and Zombies but I’d be lying if I didn’t say Dread Nation is now my FAVORITE spin on an all time favorite classic!

We meet Jane while at Miss Preston’s School Of Combat as she is training towards her graduation date. Upon completion, girls from this school are purchased to work for rich white women as their attendants. An Attendant is specially trained to kill Shamblers aka zombies. It is believed that black people have a stronger immune system to combat the bite of a zombie however, we do still see some who are turned after being bitten just not as many. Nothing about enrollment in this school is voluntary, the Native and Negro Reeducation Act is basically a round-up of black & Native children to do all the Shambler killing in defense of white people. Right from the start I knew Jane was going to be one of my all time favorite characters. We get to know Jane through her inner dialogue & the commentary she makes on the society they live in which mirrors our own current day in many ways. Jane is not someone who can easily be sold a dream, she’s very aware of the realities of her world and could care less about manners & etiquette. These are all things Jane knows are used as a method of control by white people in power. Nonetheless she continues her studies with some pushback here & there, in order to make her mother back in Kentucky happy. Jane is training in Baltimore & every chance she gets she writes her mother. The letters range in emotion & were meant to keep her mom updated on her training, these were a nice touch in between chapters & I found myself looking forward to the next correspondence.

The Mayor of Baltimore has led everyone to believe that the city has rid itself of the Shambler epidemic & its citizens are finally safe. Jane soon starts piecing together the pieces of the puzzle & realizes just how perilous the situation is in the cities on the East side of the United States. We see Philly, Baltimore, Maryland all affected but our story doesn’t just take place on the east coast. We see a shift to the West Coast & get a taste of frontier life but it’s also the setting for which the white people in this book see opportunity to digress to the times before slavery was abolished.  This book at its core is about slavery & the different forms it may be disguised as but in the end it’s all the same. There were many lines in this book that I found myself having to re-read saying to myself….”where have I heard this before?” when the answer is all around me, it serves as a reminder of the world we live in. We have a long ways to go…

In Jane we have a strong black woman who tries to mind her mothers advice but will always follow her heart in standing up for what she believes in. She’s not for one second going to forget anyone who does her wrong, she had me rooting for her from page 1. Dread Nation also gave us one unlikely sidekick in Katherine, another girl training to be an attendant. Katherine is described as being “passing white” which was explored throughout the book. The guilt that comes along with being someone who is passing white as well as Colorism experienced by many. Jane herself battles internally with the thoughts she has on Katherine’s pretty features, often times reminding herself it’s not Katherine’s fault she was born that way. I honestly feel this gave Jane a more realistic feel, she isn’t perfect and she holds a ton of compassion inside not out for display. Katherine is the opposite of Jane in that she really does try to follow all of the rules and lives for proper manners & etiquette. I had so many laugh out loud moments seeing Katherine refuse to battle w/out her constricting corset. The friendship between Jane & Katherine is what I want to see in YA! they may have been frenemies at one point but they have each others back when differences are cast aside. We also see sexuality touched upon with Jane possibly being bi-sexual, not 100% sure since she didn’t identify as such but does express attraction to females & having kissed a girl. We also have a character who may be asexual & expresses no desire to be in a relationship or have romantic feelings towards anyone. The inclusion of characters on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum is very much appreciated by this bookworm! 💜

Reading Dread Nation had me on a serious rollercoaster ride of emotions and I really wasn’t expecting it to be this type of read. I had a couple of outright angry moments at the mentality the white people in this book carry. It really is no different from many in our real world. Many scenes led me to feel such profound sadness at the injustice of it all. Ultimately I cam away empowered by this read, I do believe we need more books like this one. More authors like Justina Ireland so that the uncomfortable truths of the world are laid bare & change is brought about. Make no mistake, this isn’t just a book about zombies. This book carries a message & will leave such an impact on you if you read it with an open mind and a willingness to take off those rose colored glasses.


It’s been a minute since I did a Giveaway on the blog but I was inspired after I finished Dread Nation & just want to get more bookworms reading & loving it as much as I did! well at least I hope y’all do 😆🤞🏼 I do hope to have more Giveaways coming your way soon so stay tuned for that 😉 

1 Winner will receive a hardcover copy of Dread Nation by Justina Ireland! 
  • Giveaway dates: 4/30/2018-5/4/2018
  • Since this giveaway will be open to my INTERNATIONAL bookish peeps as well, all you need is a valid mailing & email address that you are willing to share with me
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Follow my blog of course  (i’ll be checking loves)
  • Simply comment down below that you’d like to be entered & it shall be done

For Additional entries


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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

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

Heart Of Iron by Ashley Poston

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


To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

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

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

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


Furyborn (Empirium #1) by Claire Legrand

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


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


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I think this covers it…

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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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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