WWW Wednesday 7/18/2018

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

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

Happy Hump Day Bookworms!!! It’s been a minute since I posted one of these reading updates here on Lair Of Books. Mostly I’ve been updating Goodreads & Instagram (links at the end of post) but I’d really like to get back to doing updates here on the blog on Wednesdays or Fridays (there will be weeks I alternate days). Personally I love reading updates on the books you all are reading, loving, not so much enjoying haha! and doing these posts for me goes hand in hand with blog hopping. Also, sometimes mid-read I just need to rant or rave about my current book & what better place than here amiright? 😉

Strange Grace by Tessa Graton

I am buddy reading (currently @65%) this bone chilling book (thank the stars) with Melanie, Julie, and Candace & I’m legit hooked Bookworms! & I don’t know why cause this isn’t typically my genre…horror has always made me look like a chump. I steer clear of high key horror anything & yet I requested this cause the blurb spoke to my soul *covers eyes* yea I dunno why I do the things I do but I have ZERO regrets. The writing is A+ spooky and why didn’t I know this was LGBTQIAP+?!?! It’s giving me LIFE! I’m still reading it with the lights on but yea, look out for this one! witches, demons, demon forest, and one hell of a romance!


The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory

This has so far been the summer of me reading all the contemporary my heart desires which includes ROMANCE! I’m also buddy reading this one with Melanie cause we’re reading all the books together at this point & she’s the BEST buddy read partna! LMAO! I’ve fallen behind though so today I plan on binge reading the last half. So far, I’m enjoying the read & REALLY appreciating the body positivity.  This is a interracial fake dating romance that has all the ingredients for a cute romance movie. I don’t think this will be quite the 5 star read but it is highly enjoyable, we shall see.


Check, Please!: #Hockey by Ngozi Ukazu

Oh goodness I am enjoying this webcomic turned graphic novel oh so MUCH! which is probably why I’m taking my time with it smh. I do plan on finishing Check Please tonight. This is a LGBTQIAP+ story about a guy who is in his freshman year of college & is also on the hockey team. He’d much rather be baking pies but Hockey has the potential to help with the costs of college. I am OBSESSED with the MC Bitty & will be pre-ordering a copy ASAP! this is an arc I received at Bookcon, Check, Please! will be out on 9/18/18 🙂


Josh + Hazel’s Guide To Not Dating by Christina Lauren

I recently finished & thoroughly enjoyed this one, gave it a 4 star rating over on Goodreads. My review will be up closer to publication date as per the request of the publicist. This is a friends to lovers contemporary romance, my first by this author duo and I found it to be fun & quirky. We also get a Korean MC who I imagined to be quite dreamy haha! more thoughts to come, this one hits the shelves 9/4/2018 🙂


Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Last week I finished Grace and Fury and gave it a solid 3.5 star rating (my spoiler free review) & think it’s a promising start to a new Duology? I only see 2 books listed in Goodreads & that seems to be the trend lately. Grace and Fury has strong feminist themes threaded all throughout the story but ultimately it really came down down to my enjoyment of one sisters arc over the other. They both started off strong but I do feel the sister I was initially in love with, had her fire put out before it started. I do however plan on reading the follow-up since the ending left me eyes wide open! this one is filled with plot twists to keep you breakin’ your neck haha!


Scream All Night by Derek Milman

This is one that I’ve actually already started & stopped reading at about the 15% mark. No real reason other than I just wasn’t in the right mood for it. The 15% I read was enjoyable and also very odd with a bit of humor. I’m actually really curious to see where this goes.


Happy reading Bookworms! Does anyone else feel like today is Thursday? cause I’ve spent the entire day saying”heeeeeeY at least tomorrow’s Friday right?!?!” SMH. In some part of the world today is Thursday! so happy Friday’s Eve 😉 its been a long week & I’d love to see what you’re reading, drop some luv in the comments below <3’s! 


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June Wrap-Up + Book Haul…A Little Bit Of This & A Little Bit Of That ;)

Hello Bookworms! When this goes live I’ll be counting down the last few hours in the office before I can do my FriYAy Dance 🤗 it’s been a long week & I am thrilled to finally start the weekend *huge sigh of relief* I’m actually participating in the #Smuthathon Readathon hosted by the lovely GingerReadsLainey & RileyMarie over on Booktube & so far it has been a awesome new experience 🙌🏼 Those of you lovely readers that have been around this blog for a while now know that I primarily read YA Fantasy/Fantasy however, sometimes a gal needs a pallette cleanser 😂 I am finding enjoyment in the books that I’m reading & so you’ll see the occasional New Adult, Rom-Com, or smutty read review on Lair Of Books. If this happens to be your wheel house, please leave me some recommendations in the comments down below 💜 For those who love Fantasy, fear not! I have a ton of titles I’ll be reading & reviewing throughout the rest of the year 😉 But 1st, let’s Wrap-up June…

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff (Unique AF! Kristoff really built a world from scratch including the slang, never read anything like this)4.5 STARS ✨ 

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher (Audiobook, not exactly what I was expecting–RTC

The Queen Of Crows (The Armored Saint #2) by Myke Cole (Really hoped this would’ve gone a different way but still hoping for a strong follow-up–RTC)

Whisper Of The Tide (Song of the Current #2) by Sarah Tolcser (Favorite read of the month! EPIC & satisfying end to this duology)✨5 STARS ✨ 

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (a taste of Winter to to cool off in this summer heat, spell-binding!) ✨4.5 STARS ✨ 

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Fairest Of All: A Tale Of The Wicked Queen | VICIOUS | A Thousand Beginnings and Endings | BRUJA BORN | The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding | My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) | Smoke In The Sun (Flame In The Mist #2)| The Death Of Mrs. Westaway | Legendary | WARCROSS | Motor Crush Vol. 1

JUNE FAIRYLOOT

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Grace & Fury by Tracy Banghart (RTC Grace & Fury was a 3.5 star read for me; favorite item in this box is costume mask necklace. Would’ve LOVED the journal if it was for a full year, instead it covers July-December 2018)

JUNE BOOK OF THE MONTH

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang (Recently found out that this is a series and after reading & listening to so many rave reviews, this is exciting news!!! really looking forward to this read)

Season 2 binge of Luke Cage was even better than expected! This is a Netflix show I really enjoy watching with the hubby for so many reasons! Ok, for me it’s all about the Wutang soundtracks Luke listens to while he kicks a** 🙌🏼😂🙌🏼 Luke is so old school & the show reflects that. The first season really made me fall in love with this show but season 2 solidified that love 💓 Luke is going through a transformation of sorts & by the very end he isn’t the same man we’ve come to love and trust. Also, we get introduced to a new character who challenges Luke & I surprisingly ended up enjoying. Why of why did it have to end? season 3 where are you?


June was one of those months that had me feeling off kilter which was mostly due to Bookcon at the very beginning of the month. I didn’t expect to read much of anything but ended up happy with the 5 books that I did finish. Surprisingly, I didn’t watch any movies. July however is already off to an AMAZING start so stay tuned for a more exciting Wrap-up/Book Haul for this month 😉


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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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Spoiler Free Review: Airports, Exes, And Other Things I’m Over by Shani Petroff

Title: Airports, Exes, And Other Things I’m Over

Author: Shani Petroff

Pub. Date: May 15th, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary/Romance

Publisher: Swoon Reads/Macmillan

Pages: 224

Format: Physical ARC from the Publisher

Goodreads | Barnes & Nobles | Amazon

*HUGE thanks to Swoon Reads/Macmillan and Shani Petroff for the early review copy in exchange for my honest opinion

   

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A bad storm, two canceled flights, stuck in an airport with a hot stranger and the guy who broke her heart… what could go wrong?

After Sari caught her boyfriend Zev cheating on her, their romantic Florida vacation was ruined. She can’t get back to NYC soon enough. Unfortunately, mother nature may have different plans. A huge storm is brewing in the Northeast, and flights all over the country are getting canceled—including Sari’s. She winds up stuck at the airport for hours. With Zev!

When another stranded passenger (a hot NYU guy) suggests a connecting flight to Boston, Sari jumps at the chance. But when her mom freaks out about her traveling alone, she has no choice—she has to include Zev, and somehow survive being trapped with the guy who broke her heart!

I’d like to preface this review by stating that I am a sucker for stories set in airports…it’s my #1 setting of preference for cute rom-coms & so naturally, seeing a book with airport in the title meant I was going to have to read said book 🤗 No Regrets here! this was exactly what was pitched, a fun fast easy read that got quite a few giggles out of me along the way. Our MC Sari does catch her boyfriend Zev kissing his ex girlfriend at a house party. Sari doesn’t stick around for explanations, she’s ghost in nano seconds and decides to keep her vacation plans. Plans she had with Zev to go visit her grandmother in Florida. This is the perfect way to get away from the hurt & pain of Zev’s betrayal and also a chance to prepare for her upcoming performance at one of the hottest clubs. Sari is a signer/composer who travels with her guitar Ruby in hopes of one day being a break out star & this seems attainable when she gets the call to perform at a club known to be the the home of many famous singers. Focused on nailing her performance, Sari tries her hardest not to think of Zev. The only problem is Zev refuses to let her throw in the towel before he can explain. We see Zev follow Sari to Florida & later get stuck together at the airport due to inclement weather.

* Photos from Pinterest, not my own

Strangely enough, I found myself enjoying all of the characters in this book. From the MC and her determined ex to her parents, grandmother, and BFF there really wasn’t a shortage of awesome people in Sari’s life. Although I do wish they were more fleshed out, I was happy to see how much of a positive support system Sari had at home. Her best friend never seemed judgmental and seemed genuinely concerned for Sari, dropping everything at a moments notice to talk some sense into Sari. The Parentals were actually visible in this book, yeah they seemed like the typical parents who obsesses over the safety of their children but I found this made them all the more realistic. They also reminded me of my parents who at one point formed a tight bond with an ex of mine, so much so that they’d bypass calling me as a whole which also happens to Sari. Along the way Sari also meets Fitz & Dylan, two college guys who are super chill and left me wondering if after they parted ways, would ever meet up with Sari again once she’s in college. Sari herself had me feeling like she couldn’t catch a break. No matter where she turned, she couldn’t escape the guy who up until recently only  had eyes for her. Zev on the other hand is the guy you don’t want to believe capable of cheating. They’re the picture perfect fairytale high school sweethearts who may just have to accept a different future where they aren’t meant to be together…

Did I think things could’ve been handled better with some communication? YES. However, I also felt Sari’s reaction & coping mechanisms were pretty accurate for someone her age who is basically with her High School sweetheart. I found it so hard hard to dislike Zev, the guy is pretty charming in a nerdy way that makes you shake your head while mouthing “how could you”? although I do wish we’d had more time with these characters, I really enjoyed my time with this book. Sari’s efforts to put distance between her & Zev in an airport proved to be challenging & offered up some comedic relief. The text messages between Sari’s mother & Zev had me wanting to call her mom & beg her to STOP! haha! This is one of those books I’d love to see adapted as a Rom-Com on the big screen if only for another chance to see all of these characters together again. If you’re looking for a cute, fun, fast read about trust & taking a risk on love then this is one you’ll want to give a go 💜


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April Wrap-Up

Hello Bookworms & happy Friday!!! here in NYC we’ve decided to skip Spring & go straight to Summer and although when I’m outside I truly dislike it…when I’m inside, I get to blast that A.C. & no sleep is better than one right next to that powerful ice machine 😂 anyways, I pulled up Goodreads to see how many books I’d read in April & had to do a Britney…

I cannot remember the last time I read 8 BOOKS!!! *GASP* it was a great quality reading month, no complaints here (except for maybe Professed haha!) I was able to get ahead in my TBR 💜 I participated in 2 Buddy Reads and had so much fun talking to the Bookworms in our group chats. I also borrowed for the very first time from another blogger buddy who is simply an amazing human being! Thank you Sarah @TheYaBookTraveler I appreciate your kindness 💜 Out of the 8 books that I read, 4 were 5 star reads which means I had a lot of fun reading in April. I’m hoping for an equally as good May & so far I think I’m getting my wish thanks to Harper & some new arc approvals that came through. Now without further ado I present to you my April Wrap-Up…

Professed by Nicola Rendell ★★ STARS: Not what I expected but I read along since this was a book club pick for Julie & Chelsea’s Book Hangover Book Club. The characters just felt over the top & the “steamy scenes” were terrible 😞

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas ★★★★ 4 STARS: This being the first book I p/u as a reintroduction to the NA genre (not that I’ve read all that very many 😂) was UNPUTDOWNABLE! 😳 I seriously couldn’t stop reading & now I’m on a Penelope Douglas binge

Ace Of Shades by Amanda Foody (Review) ★★★★ 4 STARS: Falls into the younger side of YA but still very enjoyable with its Sin City/Moulin Rouge vibes. Book 2 was just announced today, titled King of Fools for 2019 & I’m REALLY looking forward to It 💜💜💜

Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young (Review) ★★★★ 4 STARS: Character driven, less focused on the bloody history of Vikings we’ve all come to know. This one is for those bookworms who love stories about family bonds and loyalty and choosing who your family is when you’ve lost it all.

My Plain Jane (The Lady Janies #2) by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows (RTC closer to publication date) ★★★★★ 5 STARS: I mean C’mon! I LOVED My Lady Jane to pieces when I first read it & waited ever so patiently for this sequel. When a bookworm friend offered to loan me her copy I was STUNNED & Happy & grateful! I devoured it & all I can say is THANK YOU My Lady Janies for the ode to my childhood faves The Ghostbusters 😂😂😂

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson (RTC) ★★★★★ 5 STARS: a witchy read with a plus sized POC MC who’s a bit of a curmudgeon dishing out the sarcasm when she sees fit. Practicing witchcraft was never supposed to yield any real results until she needed it to & then…👀

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland (Review) ★★★★★ 5 STARS: This is perhaps my fave read of the month! a black MC who kicks a** & doesn’t back down whether it’s racist white men or the walking dead trying to make a snack out of her. This book has so much more going on underneath the surface, #Blacklivesmatter, Colorism, and racism are all weaved into this tale. I have a giveaway currently running until Sunday 5/6, open to international Bookworms as well 💜 Click on the link to take you to my review post to enter 💜

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw (Review) ★★★★★ 5 STARS: Take me back to this little town & island PLEASE! so atmospheric & haunting, I cannot stop singing this books praises! Please pick this one up before the Netflix series airs, it’s a short read but sooooo good that it’s guaranteed to stick around even after you’ve read that last line 😉

Avengers: Infinity War

    

Date Day this month with the hubby was a ton of fun & led us to visit some of our favorite haunts. Starting off with breakfast at our fave diner by the theatre & a quick trip to The Strand where I picked up Leah On the Offbeat (Creekwood #2)by Becky Albertalli & the Graphic Novel Moonstruck: Magic To Brew. I spent a little too much time in the stacks & we ended up having to cab it to the other side of Manhattan to the theatre for a 1:30pm show. IMAX 3D…why do I always forget to wear contacts? instead I watch movies through 4 lenses 🤷🏻‍♀️😂

The movie was about 2.5 hours long & it just exceeded expectations! Thanos our villain is one complex character with depth to him, he wasn’t just trying to kill everything in sight for power or control. I found this villain really interesting but that ending still had me giving him major side eye 😂 It was awesome seeing some faves back on the screen & after watching Black Panther just last month, I was super stoked to return to Wakanda. This being part I of II, I expected to walk away with unresolved story line and I felt the ending sets up for the next movie rather nicely. The after credit scene led to a really cool development & now I spend my time on Screen Rant looking for any bread crumbs being released for the next set of Marvel movies. Overall I gave this movie 5 BUTTERFLIES!!!


I hope you’re all having a wonderful start of the month 💜 what was your favorite read in April? feel free to link those wrap-ups down below & I’ll make my way over to your corner of the interwebz 💜’s! Don’t forget to throw your 🎩 in the ring for a chance to win a copy of Dread nation (see here)! 🤞🏼🤞🏼🤞🏼


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WWW Wednesday 4/18/2018

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

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

Happy Hump Day Bookworms!!! I hope you’re all having a good week, if not *HUGS* I have been on a reading binge this month & I don’t see myself stopping anytime  soon *fingers crossed* Recently I’ve decided to try out other genres that I’ve visited in the past but haven’t returned to in a while. This week I’m trying out New Adult Romance & I’m a little excited if I’m being honest. Spring hopefully will make an appearance in this lifetime & I’m in the mood for some light reads to mix in with my love for Fantasy.  Happy reading <3’s!!! 

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

I am 82% into this buddy read & although it’s not quite what I expected, it is one I’m really enjoying. Slower paced with writing that transports me each & every time I dive into its pages. More than anything, this Viking story is more about family and loyalty. Coming together in the face of adversity. This is NOT the book you’d go to for non-stop bloody Viking battles. Although we do get some of that, it really isn’t the core focus. I’m in the final stretch now wondering how it will all end & kind of wishing there is a sequel out there I haven’t heard about yet…

Birthday Girl by Penelope 

Highly persuaded by Melanie @Meltotheany who can basically sell me anything through her Instagram stories SMH…Seriously though, not only is she the Queen of EPIC reviews but her IG stories & unboxings are not to be missed 🙂 So Mel was really hyped to hear Penelope Douglas had released Birthday Girl a few days early & her excitement was contagious. I know nothing of this author & I’m a newb to the genre having read only 3 K.A. Tucker books so I figured why not start with one of my most trusted friends fave authors? So! by the time this post is live, I’ll already be reading this one on my breaks at work. Possibly not the best place to start a steamy romance but what can I say? I’m a newb HAHA!

 

Ace of Shades (The Shadow Game #1) by Amanda Foody

I recently finished Ace of Shades & gave it 4 stars (my review) & can honestly say this is one new Fantasy series I will be continuing with. In this book I found influences from some of my favorites like Cabaret, Moulin Rouge, and many of the gangster movies I love. I have a deep appreciation for Fantasy writers who diversify their cast of characters & in Ace we get Bi-sexual & gender fluid representation. The reviews on goodreads seemed to be a mixed bag, with many comparisons to Six of Crows. It’s hard to compare to anything by Leigh Bardugo, there may be some similarities but the same can be said of Six Of Crows. Both draw inspiration from some of our favorites but their characters are VERY different & Ace isn’t heisty.  I say, if you can separate the two & enjoy casinos, seedy characters, mobsters, and friendships over romance (there’s still some) then this may be one worth checking out 😉

Dread Nation (Dread Nation #1) Justina Ireland

Influenced by Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the author gives us a different version. In a Bustle interview with author she tells us about 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 am BEYOND ready for this read & can’t wait to dive in! 🙂

Professed by Nicola Rendell

Two of my FAVORITE Booktubers Chelsea @Chelseadollingreads & Julie @PagesandPens  started a book club called Book Hangover Book Club They chose Professed as their April book pick & I will be buddy reading with Melanie from Meltotheany this coming weekend! I’m excited to read more from this genre Bookworms & can’t wait to see how these two New Adult books I’ll be reading this week fare with me 🙂


Happy reading Bookworms! I’ll be blog hopping in just a few & can’t wait to see what you all are reading. I’m always up to hear from you down in the comments below, what’s on your nightstand? also, out of curiosity since I mostly review & talk about Fantasy & contemporary, would you be interested in me possibly reviewing New Adult here on Lair Of Books? 💜


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Review: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

Title: Meet Cute: Some People Are Destined to Meet

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

Pub. Date: January 2nd, 2018

Genre: YA Anthology/Romance

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Pages: 320

Format: eGalley

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

   

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

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

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

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

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ARCstravaganza #14

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 14th week participating in #ARCstravaganza Monday & this week I’ve chosen Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King #2)I’m coming to you lovely readers with a  really late post, i typically blog in the mornings or afternoons but work has been off the charts busy & I barely get a moment to breathe once I step in my cubicle. I did get a notification from the Post Office letting me know this book had been delivered & it legit was all I could think about for the rest of my day smh haha! I am VERY thankful to Ashley over at Socially Awkward Bookworm for offering me her copy when she saw me tweet my search for it, she ROCKS & also happens to take AMAZING photos so check her out <3’s!

Earlier this year I was very happy to have been approved for a galley of Daughter of the Pirate King & wrote a GUSH review (herewhere I also stated how badly I would need the sequel lol. Whelp my bookish wish has been answered & I CANNNNNNOT tell you how excited I am to read DOTSQ!!! I am currently working on my December TBR & there will be some shuffling cuz I need to dive back into this world ASAP! There isn’t much I can really say about this one since it is a sequel & I don’t want to spoil anyone but PLEASE pick up Daughter of the Pirate King if you’re looking for a fun read with a awesome kick a** female MC 🙂

*currently pinching myself…can’t believe it’s here!

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 *Since this is a sequel, I won’t include the Goodreads synopsis for fear of spoilers. 

What are some ARCS/eGalleys you’re excited to have Bookworms? Have you read Daughter of the Pirate King? Alosa really is the female Jack Sparrow! this is such a fun series (might be a duology) if you’re looking for an adventure packed with amazing characters & tons of laughs…oh & let’s not forget the on-the-page-Chemistry! ❤ ❤ ❤


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Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

Published by: Katherine Tegen Books

Date of Publication: June 27th 2017

Genres: Historical YA/LGBTQIA+

Pages: 528

Format: eGalley

Rating:★★★★★ 5 Stars

*HUGE thanks to Katherine Tegen Books/Harpercollins, Edelweiss & Mackenzi Lee for the eGalley copy of The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, all opinions are my own.

 

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

What was supposed to be a tour of Europe in which our main protagonist Henry Montague is to be cultured & introduced to many prominent figures, turns out to be the adventure of a life time. When we first meet Henry he is drunk and used to waking up mid-afternoon with little to no recollection of his dalliances with women & men during his night time excursions. His dad who is already a very strict man with no tolerance for Henry, decides that he is going to give Henry one last shot to prove himself a worthy heir. He arranges for Henry to tour Europe with a chaperone, his younger sister (to be dropped of at a school for manners), and his best friend Percy (to be dropped off at law school). Henry however, sees this as an opportunity to tour Europe with Percy drinking and sleeping with whomever along the way. The opportunity also seems appealing since he’s been harboring some secret non-platonic feelings for his BFF Percy. Henry quickly realizes that his idea of fun is a no-go now that he is being chaperoned & groomed to meet with certain political figures along the way. As a matter of fact, the whole trip is being controlled by his father & the rules squash any of his plans for debauchery. It isn’t until their caravan is raided & they are separated from their chaperone that their real adventure begins. Henry’s penchant for bad decision making leads them from one crazy situation to the next ultimately preparing him to make some grown up decisions of his own 😉

The characters in The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue have easily become faves for me for all their imperfections. Make no mistake, they are flawed & have prejudices they themselves aren’t aware of until life happens. Starting with our main protagonist Henry who honestly reminds me a bit of Damon Salvatore from The Vampire Diaries circa first being bitten (meaning somewhere around the 1700’s).

Who I envision Henry as…Bahhha!

Henry loves his liquor, guys, gals, and Percy. Henry is funny and loves to have a good time. He’s also been dealt a bad hand when it comes to his dad who doesn’t accept Henry’s bi-sexuality and thinks he can lay hands on him whenever he is disappointed in Henry’s choices. Their relationship is one made of fear & acquiescence (safe to say the dad was my most loathed character). Henry as a person does have a lot of growing up to do especially when it comes to his love interest since Percy is a person of color. I loved Percy for many reason but especially for the unconditional love he shows for those he cares about. He’s known Henry since they were kids and has stood by watching Henry make many mistakes without judgment. Percy was taken in by his aunt & uncle who are wealthy but is often looked down upon by others for the color of his skin. There are many scenes that left me livid with how he was being treated & yet it is an accurate portrayal of how POC were treated during that time period. Henry who is attached to the hip to Percy doesn’t fully grasp what Percy feels when certain things are said about him being a POC. Seeing these two characters grow & the veil of many prejudices being lifted from Henry’s eyes leaving only understanding felt like a small victory. We also get to meet Henry’s sister Felicity who was my FAVORITE character (next to Henry of course) in the entire book!!! Here we have a young woman who knows exactly what she wants from life & is very aware of the obstacles standing in her way. She knows her gender all but limits her to studying her area of interest & that she will have to use her intelligence to work around that. Felicity is STRONG & INTELLIGENT with no patience for weakness. She is very observant of her surroundings and refuses to accept the future laid out by her father. Felicity isn’t without prejudices and we get to see her make the effort to understand Henry’s bi-sexuality & accept him for who he is. In many ways Felicity & Henry are rebel souls but Felicity is discreet & stealthy where Henry is a train wreck you can’t stop watching smh lol. This cast of characters provided me with hours of non-stop laughter & cheering ❤ ❤ ❤

I LOVE historical Fiction & seeing it in YA has been so much fun. When I first stumbled across the cover to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue I knew that we’d be going waaaaaaaay back just based on Henry’s clothing. When I looked into this book & saw that it was set in 18th Century Europe I nearly jumped out of my chair to request for review. I wasn’t sure what to expect but when I realized how much history I was getting alongside this story, I was pleasantly transported. Everything from the clothes to race relations was covered in this book. There were many times I was vexed by the fathers homophobic treatment of Henry & the racist remarks made by others towards Percy & I had to remind myself that this is a accurate portrayal of those times. I loved seeing the growth of these characters set against such a difficult time period in history for people of color & people on the LGBTQIA+ spectrum. I look forward to reading more from Mackenzi Lee in the future now that I’ve read & loved The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue 🙂

Have any of you readers picked up The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? if so, did you love it? who’s your fave character?

Mini Review: Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

Bearly a Lady by Cassandra Khaw

Publisher: Book Smugglers Publishing

Publication Date: May 26th, 2017

Genre: Paranormal/Rom-Com

Format: Novella/eGalley

Rating: ★★★★1/2 (4.5 Stars)

Zelda McCartney (almost) has it all: a badass superhero name, an awesome vampire roommate, and her dream job at a glossy fashion magazine (plus the clothes to prove it). The only issue in Zelda’s almost-perfect life? The uncontrollable need to transform into a werebear once a month. Just when Zelda thinks things are finally turning around and she lands a hot date with Jake, her high school crush and alpha werewolf of Kensington, life gets complicated. Zelda receives an unusual work assignment from her fashionable boss: play bodyguard for devilishly charming fae nobleman Benedict (incidentally, her boss’s nephew) for two weeks. Will Zelda be able to resist his charms long enough to get together with Jake? And will she want to? Because true love might have been waiting around the corner the whole time in the form of Janine, Zelda’s long-time crush and colleague. What’s a werebear to do?

It’s been a long time since I’ve picked up a rom-com, the last one probably being Bridget Jones Diary…yea I know, it’s been a while. I also had a Sophie Kinsella phase in which I binged all of her pastel colored books like a kid in a candy story with no regrets. When I first heard the title Bearly a Lady on Twitter, I was immediately curious and the play on words made me smirk lol. After contacting the author Cassandra Khaw & generously receiving a galley that same night, I was excited to dive right in.

I instantly fell in love with Zelda our female protagonist, plus sized bisexual fashionista Werebear. Zelda transforms into a bear once a month & has been a bit down and out about its effect on her dating life or lack thereof. She’s tried her luck with dating co-workers but that never yielded anything substantial. Her vampire roommate Zora is truly tired of seeing her mope around their London apartment watching Netflix & decides to intervene. We get to follow Zelda as she prepares for a date with another shapeshifter who is Calvin Klein ad material. We also get to see her navigate complicated feelings for a female co-worker who she may or may not still have a crush on.

The body positivity & Bisexual representation in Bearly a Lady left my heart wanting more. Diversity in a paranormal rom-com?!?! YES PLEASE! my only complaint is that it’s a novella & I won’t get to follow Zelda as she slays life. There was talk of a Supernatural government that piqued my interest as well seeing as we are introduced to other species of shape shifters. Devil Wears Prada meets Bridget Jones Diary sprinkled with a bit of para-normalcy to make it more interesting & outrageously funny. Would love to see Zelda get her own series 😉

Do any of you lovely readers have diverse rom-coms to recommend? I’d love some reccs, Bearly a Lady has left a void *sobs*  😉