Review: The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

Title: The City We Became

Author:N.K. Jemisin

Pub. Date: March 24th. 2020

Genre: Sc-Fi/Urban Fantasy

Format: Physical

Publisher: Orion

Pages: 464 Pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLE | AMAZON

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I’m just going to preface this review by saying I can 100% understand now why so many are deeply awed and at the same time intimidated by N.K. Jemisin’s writing. This author doesn’t pull any punches & completely trusts you as a reader to keep up & decipher whatever she’s throwing at you which is a WHOLE lot! this story takes off running with the introduction of New York as an avatar which is essentially a soul. There are five boroughs in NYC: Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx and Staten Island. They are all repped in this book by an avatar for the city of New York that is in danger of never being born…yea I know, try wrapping your head around that one!

All five boroughs must find their way to each other & save the main Avatar which is NYC himself. At the very start they aren’t all aware that they’ve been chosen as avatars but as their paths cross, things start to connect. One thing is clear! they love their city & won’t let anyone/thing threaten its birth. This was my first N.K. Jemisin read but I had heard from other bookish friends that the real treat is the social commentary embedded which I can now attest to. We have a villain who is referred to as The Woman in White who I came to understand, represents a threat to all that which makes the city of New York culturally diverse. The five avatars that are each a personification of the boroughs, range in ages & cultural backgrounds. This alone makes this one hell of a unique story because of its inclusivity & diversity which is exactly what I’d like to see more of in the Fantasy genre. The Bronx is repped by a woman in her 70’s who is a Native-American Lesbian & art administrator, Brooklyn is a middle aged black politician woman who was once a Hip Hop artist, Manhattan is a black male who is in Grad school & arrives in the city to meet his Trans roommate. Queens is repped by a young female Mathematician/Immigrant & Staten Island is the daughter of a homophobic, racist, Xenophobic cop. She’s never left the Island & lives in fear of Manhattan since it represents all the evil her father has warned her about.

These characters are complex & multi-faceted, they come bearing the weight of many of the stereotypes placed upon them. This isn’t your average Fantasy/World-building either, we don’t see any specific magic being used. Instead, a lot of their power comes from within and from the positive & negative life experiences they’ve each had. We see them learn to manipulate their powers once they notice the city react & come to life to help them in their battle against the woman in white. I am still thinking about these characters & all of the possibilities of where this story could unravel. NYC is just one of the cities being birthed, we also met Sao Paulo and Hong Kong personified. It is the duty of the last city birthed to help along the next & on the very first page there’s a map with some other possible cities. I’m very intrigued to see this series grow & while I wait, can now finally pick up The Broken Earth trilogy which is also by this author & very well loved.


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April Monthly Wrap-Up & Book Haul

April was a month FULL of bookish events online like the Social Distance Book Fest & YALLWEST that made it possible to attend Bookish events virtually. I personally was able to watch many panels for debut authors I’ve had on my radar as well as some favorites I’ve never had the opportunity to hear speak. For the Social Distance Book Fest, you can still watch the playlist on Youtube & they are ABSOLUTELY worth watching! My favorite panels included: Navigating Latinx Identity in Fantasy, New Voices in YA Science Fiction & Fantasy and Diversifying Romance. In the realm of books & what I watched, I’d say there really was NO method to my madness. I kinda just went with the flow & read when the mood hit vs. a more structured TBR. I also participated in Riley Marie & Ginger Reads Lainey weekend Smutathon as a last minute thing because by the end of the month my anxiety had seen a peak. Whenever this happens, I put the Fantasy heavy books to the side & go for some lighter reads. Now as far as what I watched…this has to be the STRANGEST month yet! Yes, Yes I did fall down the tiger hole that is the Tiger King & all things cats really smh! haha 😉

These are definitely not in the order I’ve read them but I figured I’d start with the steamy reads I p/u during Smutathon…

DESPERATE MEASURES – ✨5 STARS✨This reimagining of the Disney Princess Jasmine was NOT what I had expected at all in the best of ways! With her kingdom snatched away & her father thrown off the throne, Jasmine is at the mercy of Jafar who now claims ownership of their lands as well as Jasmine herself. This is a consensual non-consent steamy read that will never allow you to see Jafar in the same light again! I among fully invested in all Katee Robert books & can’t wait to read the follow up with Hades & Meg as the MC’s.

THEIRS FOR THE NIGHT – ✨4 STARS✨ Another Katee Robert novella, this was the Smutathon Group pick. HIGHLY enjoyable with A+ chemistry, this one sets the stage for a new series that features a M/M/F relationship. Our female MC is out for the night celebrating her birthday & trying to forget about her ever mounting debt. With her best wing mate she hits up a lounge where she meets two hella mysterious guys who look good enough to make her consider a threesome. SUPER intrigued to see where this goes seeing as there may also be a royal twist? we shall see!

YOUR DAD WILL DO – ✨4 STARS✨Ok so maybe it was an entirely Katee Robert weekend? SO WORTH IT! this author can write chemistry like no other! these short reads are packed with sparks that leave you wondering about the characters way after you’ve read the last page. This one features a taboo/age gap romance where the MC has just been dumped by her fiancé. Plotting her revenge she shows up at her exes dad’s house with a plan to seduce. That she does! but also she gets a lot more than initially planned. LOVED this!

MY DARK VANESSA -✨4 STARS✨ My darkest read yet! I don’t think any book has ever made me feel this uncomfortable. Following a MC in past & present tense, we get the story of Vanessa at the age of 15 as she is groomed by her teacher while at a boarding school. Present day Vanessa is still very confused about what to feel as she finds out she wasn’t the only one. That perhaps it wasn’t a special relationship she was having but actually a case of grooming. HEAVY trigger warnings for rape, suicide, drug & alcohol abuse.

RUTHLESS GODS – ✨4 STARS✨ (My ReviewThe follow up to The Wicked Saints took us to a very dark place! the characters we got invested in really show growth here & carry forth their battle wounds. The war between the Kalyazin & the Tranavians is reaching a climax with the underdog Kalyazin surprisingly flipping the script. There are some secrets that come to light & leave everyone questioning the Gods who may very well be more involved than ever. The war on land may just be a subplot to the real war taking place between the Gods. I’m READY for the final installment with will be mostly from Malachiasz’ POV…there is NO other villain in YA that currently holds a place in my heart like Mal! ❤

FROM TWINKLE, WITH LOVE – ✨3.5 STARS✨(My Review) This was an audiobook I’d say was just ok. I’ve heard from other fans of Sandhya Menon that this is their least favorite. I still plan on picking up When Dimple Met Rishi in the near future seeing as that’s an ongoing series with a strong fan base.

INCENDIARY – ✨5 STARS✨(My Review) Saving the BEST for last! Zoraida Córdova is my Favorite YA Fantasy author! bringing to our shelves Latinx representation in characters is something she’s been doing since the Brooklyn Brujas Trilogy. Here we have a Fantasy inspired by the Spanish Inquisition with a cast of characters that are being hunted & killed for their magical abilities. The Kingdom has turned its back on what they consider heretics & our MC Renata Convida at one point in her childhood was their most formidable weapon. Now that she’s back on the right side of the fence, it’s time to take down the Kingdom once & for all. BIG time page turner with tons of plot twists that will leave you jaw dropped!

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THE SOUTHERN BOOK CLUB’S GUIDE TO SLAYING VAMPIRES | CHECK PLEASE! BOOK 2: STICKS & SCONES

 

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BEACH READ & VALENTINE

*These are all ebooks I found for either $1.99 or $2.99*

BLOOD HEIR | THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN | GODS OF JADE AND SHADOW | ONLY FOR A NIGHT | WHEN WE LEFT CUBA | DOMINICANA | XENI | RAFE | BRING ME THEIR HEARTS | KULTI 

What can I say about the circus that is the Tiger King on Netflix? this documentary-series made me lose track how many times I asked myself & friends…Is this real? LMAO! SMH Joe Exotic is quite the unforgettable character & this is the story of how his Zoo of Tigers was shut down starting with Carol Baskin who is cat activist on a mission to “save the cats” or is she? the jury is still out on Baskin. I binged this in two sittings not for quality but just entertainment.

This documentary is three episodes that are also highly binge worthy. We follow a group of cat lovers as they track down & help in the ultimate take down of a cat/serial killer. If anything this opened up my eyes at just how easy it is to track anyone down as long as they’ve left an internet fingerprint. The Facebook group that pieced together this puzzle as the killer released videos of him killing cats was PERSISTENT! it became a game of cat & mouse that as a viewer is hard to look away from.


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TOP 5 TUESDAY: TOP 5 SERIES I WANT TO START…

Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by Shanah the Bionic Book Worm, every week there are bookish prompts that cover a wide variety of themes. I wish I had checked in earlier in April because Shanah had posted topics with the current Pandemic/stay home initiative in mind. Many of us have either found ourselves struggling with reading & adjusting to the circumstances OR quite the opposite. Some are finding themselves rapidly going through that once upon a time intimidating TBR. I was one who struggled for a few weeks with the state of the world & found comfort in non-bookish things. This month I’m very happy to see that I tackled the books on my TBR & enjoyed those reads. That being said, there are many series I’ve had on my shelves for quite some time that I will be prioritizing…

LADY MIDNIGHT BY CASSANDRA CLARE – I’m wayyyy overdue with starting The Dark Artifices series that follows the Shadowhunters of L.A. I’m ready to dive back into this world & see how Emma and Julian have matured since I last I saw them.

CITY OF BRASS BY S.A CHAKRABORTY – I went out of my way to order the U.K. editions of this series & they are STUNNING! but besides having amazing covers, there’s a djinn warrior and a MC who is a skillfull con woman. Ever since I can remember, stories with genies/djinn have always intrigued me. I will go as far as saying I think this will make my top 20 of 2020 🤞🏽

NEVERNIGHT BY JAY KRISTOFF – The hype is Nanas on this trilogy,  I haven’t started this series but I sure have heard a ton about Mia Corvere. Mia’s reputation is pretty bloody & I’m hella intrigued by this assassin who made waves & has continued to do so these past couple of years. This is also a series I know I’m going to love (just a hunch) & so I went ahead and ordered the U.K. editions. Being that I miss Arya Stark something fierce! I have a feeling Mia may just fill the void Arya has left in my soul 🤞🏽

THE FIFTH SEASON BY N.K. JEMISIN – I’ve purposely stayed away from Goodreads Synopsis but there’s no evading the praise this book has received. It won so many awards & there’s very few people I know personally who’ve disliked it. Complex world building (glossary included) inspired by Ancient Egypt & amazing multi-faceted characters who are nearly all black. The time has come to stop sleeping on what may easily become my FAVORITE Adult Sci-Fi/Fantasy.

THE POPPY WAR BY R.F. KUANGFeatures a MC who is accepted into a elite military school. Here our MC is met with a ton of adversity because of gender, color, and socioeconomic status. When the MC discovers their aptitude/gift for shamanism. Discovering she is able to communicate with the Gods who were once thought dead may be the key to mastering her gift & survival within the school. I’ve heard this one is very trigger heavy, that being said I am very much looking forward to finally stepping into this world.


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March 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up

March, the month of audiobooks and self care/luvin like never before! Mid-month was the start of social distancing, work from home, and remote learning. Like many of my fellow bookworms I saw myself struggling to do what I love most & that is reading. While finding my groove in this new normal I found comfort in audiobooks. The one exception I made was House of Earth and Blood which also happened to be the last book I physically picked up in Barnes & Nobles. I listened to 3 quality audiobooks and read the tome that kicks off the Crescent City series by Sarah J. Maas. In between reading, I fell down the rabbit hole of Pinterest & Latin food recipes. The kitchen has become my little piece of heaven, creating meals while listening to books or watching my favorite content creators on Booktube. It’s now Mid-April & that means this post is hella late but prioritizing self care during these trying times is where a lot of us are at. Cutting myself a break here & just enjoying the little things while safe at home 🖤

*Reviews linked down below*

UNDERCOVER BROMANCE BY LYSSA KAY ADAMS – ✨4 STARS✨The follow-up to The Bromance Book Club which follows Mack & Liv. This is a hate-to-love romance that covers the #metoo movement. We get the see all of our old cast members while they team up to help Mack help Liv get rid of her dirt bag of a boss. LOVED this & I cannot wait for the next installment Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) *eeeeK!*

THE LAST HOPE BY KRISTA & BECCA RITCHIE – ✨3.75 STARS✨LOVED the full cast audiobook production so much! this follow up to The Raging Ones was one I was MOST looking forward to & it did NOT disappoint. I haven’t read anything else by this author duo but my curiosity has been piqued to the max. I got so attached to Court, Franny, and Mykall making this conclusion all the more bittersweet. This duology is definitely one to keep on your radar if you’re looking for Sci-Fi + Romance.

HOUSE OF BLOOD AND EARTH BY SARAH J. MAAS – ✨5 STARS✨ THIS BOOK PUT ME THROUGH IT! I’m so glad I read this at the same time my Twin BFF Gretchen (ChicNerdReads) did because we got to experience this emotional rollercoaster together! Best word of advice for those who haven’t read but plan on reading this one soon…DON’T READ THE SYNOPSIS!!! the effect of certain events won’t be the same if you do. All in all, I really enjoyed getting to know this world & characters. Eager for the next book in this series!

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL BY GREER HENDRICKS & SARAH PEKKANEN – ✨3.5 STARS✨ This was an audiobook I picked up after hearing much buzz about the author duo ( see The Wife Between Us) the narration was on point & gave you that spider stuck in a web vibe. The only reason I gave it 3.5 stars is because the MC is HIGHLY inquisitive & yet she continued to irrationally allow herself to fall deeper.Eventually I started to get a bit frustrated but won’t deny I couldn’t stop listening to the story unfold. I’d def check out this author duos future works.

BIRDS OF PREY: AND THE FANTABULOUS EMANCIPATION OF ONE HARLEY QUINN

I’m a HUGE Harley Quinn fan but seeing Margot Robbie in The Suicide Squad solidified my love for this character. Birds Of Prey gave us a good dose of Harley as she picks up the pieces of her broken heart. The opening scene alone is very cathartic for Harley as she accepts the truth & cuts ties to her past to the Joker. Of course it’s Harley & wherever she goes trouble shortly follows but you can’t help but love her. One of my favorite ICONS Rosie Perez also had a role in this film & ahhhh! I Was LIVING for this HIGH adrenaline rush flick till the very end. Can’t wait to see Harley in future films & what is planned for her role in this universe.

BLOODSHOT

This isn’t my typical type of flick but my boyfriend was looking forward to it having had read the comics. I was curious enough to check it out & I’m pretty much game to anything Sci-Fi. Well, overall I wasn’t a fan of this movie & that’s simply because the plot failed to keep my interest. Still, Vin Diesel pretty much won my loyalty when I first saw him in The Fast & The Furious (yea I’ve given this franchise too many years/Dollars to stop now) which makes it a sure thing I’ll watch all his movies. Don’t ask me why but I just can’t disappoint Dom Toretto haha!


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WWW Wednesday 4/15/2020

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?

Who else is experiencing all of their library holds coming in at once? 🤷🏻‍♀️I wasn’t expecting my 8 week long holds to show up on my Available Now shelf & now I’m thinking its time to get serious about possibly creating a TBR? 🙈DREAD that for me! 😂 but I also don’t want to pass up this opportunity. I’m choosing to divvy up my reads between eGalleys & Library holds for the time being. This all the while I try to stop myself from falling into the next binge worthy Netflix show. All bets are off if we get anything along the lines of The Tiger King cause 🤦🏻‍♀️I can’t help watching the circus #jussayin! These books down below are what I’d like to focus on while I work from home 🖤

INCENDIARY (HOLLOW CROWN #1) BY ZORAIDA CORDOVA-I’m 170 pages into this book & can honestly say it will probably make my top 20 of 2020. Described by many as being inspired by 15th century Spain and the Inquisition, this is in my opinion Zoraida Cordova’s best book yet. Having read two of the Brooklyn Brujas books, I can see the growth in this authors writing. The world building is EXACTLY what I look for in Fantasy, to see this well done in YA Fantasy makes it stand out all the more. Incendiary deals with rebels & spies who are conspiring to bring down a kingdom hell bent on eradicating those of Moria descent. More specifically those who are wielders of magic. HOOKED & totally invested in these characters! 🙌🏽

FROM TWINKLE, WITH LOVE BY SANHYA MANON-30% into this audiobook & am loving all of the cheesy smiles this book is getting out of me. Twinkle is a MC who hasn’t found her voice yet when dealing with confrontation. However, she has BIG dreams & a hunger to one day be a filmmaker. I’m still early on in the story but I’m enjoying so far seeing Twinkle, a self appointed wallflower come into her own while also falling in love.

DOCILE BY K.M. SZPARA (My Review)-This is a dark one Bookworms! My review does have content warnings, it is a M/M BDSM Adult Sci-Fi/Dystopian. Docile is quite the page turner that will probably keep you reading at all hours of the night. I rated this one 3.5 stars because of the way that it ended. It’s not a bad rating at all but I did feel rather uncomfortable with how certain things played out. I would however still check out any of this authors future works.

RUTHLESS GODS (SOMETHING DARK & HOLY #1) BY EMILY A. DUNCAN -I have a review in the works for this highly anticipated sequel here on the blog. I rated this one 4 stars & really am looking forward to the final book in this trilogy. I’ll admit I struggled with about 50% of the book, pacing was definitely an issue. It took us a while to get to the climax but once it was reached it took off & had me fully enthralled. I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again, The Darkling from Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse has NOTHING on Malachiasz! this guy is 50 shades of complex & as such, will leave you feeling just as messed up smh 😂

MY DARK VANESSA BY KATE ELIZABETH RUSSELL“Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.” – I’ve been mentally preparing myself as best I could for this read & when I received the notification from Libby I knew it was Go time!

CLAP WHEN YOU LAND BY ELIZABETH ACEVEDO -This author is one of my favorite auto-buy authors, The Poet X & With the Fire On High were both 5 star reads for me last year. Seeing this title hit Edelweiss I quickly hit request & hoped for the best. No other title has made me feel this HYPED up to receive an approval email. This see Acevedo return to her well known written in verse format I absolutely LOVE! I was almost hesitant to request this book simply because if you’ve listened to any of her audiobooks that she narrated herself, you’d understand the raw quality behind this authors voice. Two girls separated by distance share the same father however neither know of each others existence. It isn’t until they’re made aware of his passing on a plane crash that their lives connect. BEYOND the moon grateful to have received an early copy! 🙌🏽


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Review: Docile by K.M. Szpara

Title: DOCILE

Author: K.M. Szpara

Pub. Date: March 3rd 2020

Genre: Adult Sci-Fi/Dystopia/LGBTQIAP+

Format: eGalley

Publisher: Tor

Pages: 496 Pages

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLES | AMAZON

🖤ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review🖤

Having heard so much about this Dystopian Sci-Fi & its heavier themes I was driven to request a eGalley from Tor. Thankfully the Book Gods delivered & I found myself flipping through digital pages faster than I have any book in quite some time. We get introduced to this society where the elite have found a way to settle debt & that is through a system of what can only be called sex slavery. Whether you owe mortgage payments, student loans, or bills there is a way to settle your debt & avoid being dragged away by the police. Marriage is down because debt is transferrable, therefore families with shared surnames are rare. We meet our MC Elisha whose parents have incurred enough debt to no longer be able to evade the authorities. His mother has settled some debt when she signed up & completed 10 years as a Docile. She’s never been the same since her time as a Docile because of the drug taken while under contract. Dociline is the invention of one of the MOST elite families & is promoted in order to make Dociles more submissive. Elisha decides he is going to take over the family debt & sign up to be a Docile. He plans on excerising his right to decline Dociline. Elisha had no idea he’d be signing to be Alexander Bishop the III’s Docile, the very man working on the next version of the drug Dociline. Nonetheless they enter a life long contract & Alexander sets out to prove that he can get Elisha to be a well behaved submissive. There are some very dark & heavy themes that play out in this book like consensual non-consent, rape, PTSD, verbal & physical abuse, attempted suicide & torture. This is a Sci-fi with BDSM featuring a male/male partnership of sorts.

Elisha Wilder – We don’t get much time with Elisha before he sets off to be a Docile so it’s pretty hard to form a picture of him other than he was very inexperienced. Elisha is Gay & at the time of signing up to be a Docile has not kissed or had sex with anyone. I had this feeling the entire time that Elisha was in way over his head & I honestly wanted to protect him. Elisha is very naive & experiences so much trauma it legit broke my heart.

Alexander Bishop III – Son to one of the MOST elite families & a Scientist who is always working on the next version of Dociline. Alex has some very big shoes to fill with his father at the helm of huge corporation. He’s a bachelor expected to marry soon if he is to be taken seriously. At the very least, he is to take on a companion or Docile to be seen in social circles with. The pressure is something that drives him to do things that don’t really match up with his authentic self. Regardless, Alex easily becomes my least favorite fictional character.

My experience with Docile at best can be described as a non-stop page turner I could NOT turn away from. Considering our MC has declined Dociline for personal reasons, we then have to see his rapid decline into total submission. This is to say that we see him broken down bit by bit until he’s this empty vessel. Elisha endures so much humiliation, torture & outright rape that it legit hurts your soul. Towards the midway point (as with almost any Dystopian story) we do get introduced to the opposition. By then however, Elisha is so far gone in submission that he’s absolutly petrified at the very notion of accepting help. He isn’t even aware that he needs the help being extended & at that, those offering also have questionable tactics. I truly felt Elisha was utterly alone all throughout & was hoping he’d get to take back his power by the end. Although we do get a version of this, the ending still left me feeling very uncomfortable. Overall, I’d say this book was unlike anything I’ve ever read & I’d probably give any future works a shot. If you’re looking for a compulsive read & are in the right headspace (please check out the content warnings), this is one Sc-Fi that will leave quite the impression.


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FEBRUARY 2020 BOOK HAUL

Hello Bookworms! I honestly am looking for ways to occupy my mind away from the very grim reality we are all facing. That means I may actually get some more reading & reviewing done, glass half full amiright? I read some really good books in February that I’ll break down in my Wrap-up which should be up early this week. I’m still keeping to my 2020 goal of buying only my favorites OR titles I know I’ve been eager to get to. I also happened to take a trip to Philadelphia & stopped by one of my favorite Comic Book shops on South Street Atomic City Comics. This comic book shop has such a chill vibe with AMAZING staff that really go out of their way to talk to their customers & make some dope recommendations. I LOVE their spotlight table where you can find titles featuring LGBTQIA+ and POC, Abbott (Pictured down below) is one of the titles I scooped up from their shop 🤗

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LADY MECHANIKA VOLUME 1 | ABBOTT | THE SIMPLE WILD (WILD #1) | WILD AT HEART (WILD #2)| THE LIBRARY OF THE UNWRITTEN (HELL’S LIBRARY #1) | LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI (LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI #1) | WHERE DREAMS DESCEND (ARC) | STARSIGHT (SKYWARD #2)

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ANNA K | THINGS IN JARS | WOVEN IN MOONLIGHT

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ALL THE STARS AND TEETH


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SPOILER FREE REVIEW: THE LAST HOPE (THE RAGING ONES #2) BY KRISTA & Becca Ritchie

Title: The Last Hope (The Raging Ones #2)

Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie

Pub. Date: August 13th 2019

Genre: YA Sci-fi

Format: eGalley

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 400 Pages/12 hours & 53 minutes

Rating: 3.75 Stars

GOODREADS | BARNES & NOBLES | AMAZON

*This is the sequel to The Raging Ones & although it is a spoiler free review for The Last Hope, you will get spoiled for The Raging Ones*

Taking off right where we left off, our three main characters Court, Franny & Mykall have been captured and are accused of being humans and not Salterians. Turns out there is a huge war taking place between Earth & Saltare with Earth being at a huge disadvantage. Saltarians all know their death days from the day they are born & as such have made great strides in winning the war against Earth. The trio are rescued at the very beginning of this story by Stork, a new character in the mix who has sought them out as part of his plan. Stork holds his cards close to his chest, he’s on a mission to even out the playing field between Earth & Saltare. Plotwise, The Last Hope had a lot going on with many twists & turns. Ultimately though, towards the very end it felt as if too much was thrown into the pot which made the story feel off kilter. That being said, the driving force for this book is the bond shared between Court, Mykkel, and Franny. I LIVE for character driven stories which is what made me LOVE The Raging Ones when I picked it up in 2018. Reconnecting with these characters once again makes you feel like you’re experiencing a rare bond that is truly unconditional. This time around Franny gets a love interest which I was full on hoping for. If anything, I only wish we’d had more time for their relationship to be as fleshed out as Court & Mykkels. Connected by taste, touch, and smell these characters EVERYTHING is intertwined. Some steam was brought this time around as these characters explored their passions & tested boundaries.

The Audiobook experience delivered A+ performance, told by way of multiple POV’s we got to experience Mykkel’s accent which for me at least gave me Viking Babe VibeZ haha! Court ever the intellectual is always stuck in his head & trying to put others before his needs. Franny a Fast Tracker who has ditched a life of drugs for the connection she has with Court & Mykkel. The romance between Mykkel & Court will forever go down as one of my favorite ships. These guys are from completely different backgrounds but there’s a deep tenderness in every interaction that will have you rooting for their love. I loved being back in this world but it was our new character Stork that truly gets the award for stealing the show. I LOVED Stork’s sarcasm! He’s someone who was dealt a crummy hand but managed to make the best of it & carries with him a deep appreciation for those who saw to his well being. It’s hard to believe our story has come to an end but it was a satisfying one at the very least. This being my first experience with Krista & Becca Ritchie’s books, it’s safe to say I’ll be looking into their backlist titles throughout the year ahead 🙂


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FRIDAY READS & THANGS

WHIMSICAL ILLUSTRATIONS BY ESRA RØISE

It’s Friday Book Lovers & I for one couldn’t be more thankful! last weekend I was in Philadelphia with my boyfriend, a city that’s quickly becoming a favorite for its rich history, food, awesome human beings & of course home of Rocky! 🥊 this weekend however is going to be more chill, staying local with a trip to one of my tiny humans favorite parks that offers up some good waterside scenic paths to ride bikes. I anticipate some down time (perhaps a smidge haha!) where I can squeeze in reading, most likely while meal prepping. I’m trying to get into the habit of always having an audiobook playing while multi-tasking & so far its been fun & productive. This week was pretty big for the YA publishing world with the release of SJ Maas House of Earth and Blood & Cassandra Clare’s Chain of Gold! 🤗 although I can’t partake in the Chain of Gold excitement just yet since I’ve yet to read Lady Midnight, I am wishing all those who are, a great reading experience! 🖤

AN ANONYMOUS GIRL By the time this post goes live I’ll probably have finished listening to this audiobook from Libby. For the most part I enjoy choosing thrillers blindly since Synopsis tend to give away too much. This has been an interesting listen, not at all what I expected & I’m not sure yet if that’s a good or bad thing. This is a heavy on narcissism read where the MC becomes extremely co-dependent in a sick twisted triangle of sorts. Not in a romantic way at all but in a sick twisted spider caught in a web sort of way, my thoughts will be delivered in a spoiler free mini review.

HOUSE OF EARTH AND BLOOD – This beauty is FINALLY out in the world & yes I’ve dropped all other physical reads to dedicate my time to this story. I’m not very far in it at all but I do now have a Kindle copy which will make it easier to read on my down time. This is SJ Maas’ first adult Fantasy & so far I’m getting all of the Urban Fantasy vibeZ I’ve been craving with complex world building for the win. High hopes here Book Lovers! HIGH hopes *fingers crossed*

DOCILE

There is no consent under capitalism

Docile is a science fiction parable about love and sex, wealth and debt, abuse and power, a challenging tour de force that at turns seduces and startles.

To be a Docile is to be kept, body and soul, for the uses of the owner of your contract. To be a Docile is to forget, to disappear, to hide inside your body from the horrors of your service. To be a Docile is to sell yourself to pay your parents’ debts and buy your children’s future.”  —I’ve heard from a few trusted friends that this is quite the compulsive read & I’ve really been craving my next sci-fi read. I’ve also heard this deals with very murky consensual sex

DEMON SLAYER VOLUME 1 – While In a Philly comic shop I was on my phone looking for some top Manga recommendations when I came across Demon Slayer. Instantly sucked in by the sibling relationship portrayed on the cover I went looking for the 1st volume which was sold out! turns out it’s a hit manga that’s already on Hulu & now I was set on getting my hands on it. I ended up getting a copy at a Barnes & Nobles where I read the first 20 pages & grew attached to the MC Tanjiro. More thoughts to come, I may just review this manga in batches as I go through the volumes which I predict will happen rather quickly 🙂

Gentefied (Season 1) was mentioned to me by Jessica a Bookstagrammer (Litnoob) I enjoy watching for their stories & in depth bookish thoughts. Gentefied is about three cousins with many differences who come together to save their grandfather’s taco shop (YUM!) which is struggling in a LATINX community faced with gentrification. I was looking for my next Netflix binge & am so very thankful for this recc! ❤


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January 2020 Book Haul

Hello Bookworms! this week has sort of blown right by, no complaints here though cause the weekend is where it’s at! 🙌🏽 Girl Scout season is OVER so this Lil Mama can take a break & catch up here with you lovely readers 💜 February is well under way & I’ve been good about not buying too many books but my January was EPIC! I made use of my birthday gift cards & was a smidge spoiled by my boyfriend as well. January was also the first time in over a year that I reached out to a Publisher for an ARC (The Faithless Hawk) & was STOKED to have been granted my request. The Golden Girls bookmark caught my attention as I was ready to walk out of a book store in New Jersey making my night! All in all it was a great way to start 2020 💓

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BEAUTIFUL DREAMER | AVATAR RISE OF KYOSHI (THE KYOSHI NOVELS #1) | THE QUEENS OF INNIS LEAR | THERE WILL COME A DARKNESS (THE AGE OF DARKNESS #1) | GIRLS OF STORM AND SHADOW (GIRLS OF PAPER & FIRE #2) | CROWN OF FEATHERS (CROWN OF FEATHERS #1) | ARCHENEMIES (RENEGADES #2) | SUPERNOVA (RENEGADES #2) | THE FAITHLESS HAWK (THE MERCIFUL CROW #2) (ARC)  

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THE SUN DOWN MOTEL | RECURSION | WHEN WE WERE VIKINGS

*Book of the Month did allow their members to choose 1 free book from their list of 2019 BOTY Finalists. I already owned copies of all their finalists with the exception of Recursion by Blake Crouch.

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SCAVENGE THE STARS (SCAVENGE THE STARS #1)

I love when a book subscription box offers up a couple of useful items because it makes me feel like it was money well spent. I was satisfied with the January Owlcrate box items, especially the Crooked Kingdom socks & the Children of Blood and Bone inspired candle which smells AMAZING! It’s always a treat when they send out new Harry Potter mugs, I’ve collected them all so far. I’m planning on buying a backpack this week which I may just use to show off the wonderful pins I get from Owlcrate 🤗


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