The Books Under the Tree Tag

Happy Saturday Bookworms!!! I’m currently enjoying my Christmas Eve Eve with the family but I’m taking a little break to come in here & spread a little tag joy. The Books Under the Tree Tag was originally created by Game Of TomesΒ two Booktubers that are new to me & I’ve already binge watched a TON of their videos, their channel is super cozy to watch. I was tagged by the wonderful Mel over @ Mel To The Any who I discovered just this year & OMYGAHHHH! seriously bookworms, check out her content & see for yourselves why she’s my newfound favorite!

Ok, it’s now 3:30am & I can’t sleep so I’ve returned to this tag since earlier today was hectic & I couldn’t finish. I’m beginning to wonder if my childhood excitement for Christmas Eve has stayed with me sub-conciously, keeping me up all night πŸ€” not sure but my mind & body are not aligned πŸ˜‚ not saying I’m grinching it but…On to the tag β˜ƒοΈ

What book would you like to find under the tree this year?Β 

Β There’s only one book I’m looking for under my tree & it’s the U.K. edition of The Bear and the Nightingale *sighhhh* sold out on Book Depository, I’ve got notifications turned on for a re-stock but I’m not confident in that happening. Instead I will be ordering a copy from AbeBooks as a Christmas/Birthday gift to myself 🎁 and maybe I’ll even have it gift wrapped πŸ˜‚

What is the best book you have ever received for Christmas?Β 

2 years ago my sister got me the Deluxe 1st Edition of Fables. It’s hardcover and pretty and I LOVE it! the illustrations are BEAUTIFUL and eye catching. 2018 is the year I binge Fables πŸ€—

When a savage creature known only as the Adversary conquered the fabled lands of legends and fairy tales, all of the infamous inhabitants of folklore were forced into exile.
the normal citizens of modern-day New York, these magical characters created their own secret society-within an exclusive luxury apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper West Side-called Fabletown. But when Snow White’s party-girl sister, Rose Red, is apparently murdered, it is up to Bigby, Fabletown’s sheriff, and a reformed and pardoned Big Bad Wolf, to determine if the culprit is Bluebeard, Rose’s ex-lover and notorious wife killer, or Jack, her current live-in boyfriend and former beanstalk-climber.

What book gives you all the Christmas feels?

Goblet of Fire by JK Rowling always stirs up Christmas feels for me. Specifically the arrival of the Beauxbatons & Durmstrang schools at Hogwarts. There’s also a Christmas tree scene in The Goblet of Fire movie that is pretty vivid in my mind…

What book do you plan on reading to put you in the Christmas spirit this year?

I’ve actually already done this when I picked up The Girl in the Towerby Katherine ArdenΒ in anticipation of snow & Christmas. Although this book isn’t about Christmas, there really is no other book (other than Harry Potter) that puts me in the wintery holiday spirit. Atmospheric and covered in snow, this sequel was the perfect book to put me in the X-mas state of mind β˜ƒοΈ

What book have you read this year that you would like to throw out with the Christmas tree after the holidays?Β 

Ha! a bit of a mean one here πŸ˜‚ & I don’t typically have books that I’d toss out BUT there is one this year 😱…I really had high hopes for my very first Andy Weir read & it just didn’t even come close to what others felt about his other book The Martian. In fact, it really made me feel uncomfortable so no, I don’t plan on keeping my copy.

What is a book from this year that you would like to place under a friend’s tree?Β 

Mel & I have the same book in mind for this prompt & that’s because this book should be read by EVERYONE. I have my sister currently reading The Hate U Give & can’t wait to discuss the themes with her. Poignant, relevant, soul searching, impactful, and heart-breaking are only a few of the words that come to mind when describing this book. 2018 is the year we see it hit the big screen & I for one am trying to have as many loved ones read the book before then πŸ’™


Challenge: Create a stack of books in which the spines alternate green and red! Share the titles.

For more Bookish photos, click on the photo to follow LairOfBooks on Bookstagram


The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear. Who do you tag?

I am a bit late with this tag since it’s now officially Christmas Eve πŸ™ˆbut better late than never amiright? πŸ˜‚ If you’re in the mood to do this tag, consider yourself tagged but in the spirit of the holiday, here are a few bloggers I have in mind for this tag (no pressure bookworms, it is the day before πŸ˜‚)

Kristin Kraves Books

Socially Awkward Bookworm

Nerd Narration


I wish you all a happy & wonderful holiday surrounded by those you love! πŸ’•May your trees have a few books from your WISH-LISTS (if not all) waiting for you to unwrap. I will return next week with my highly anticipated 2018 readsπŸ€—


Instagram:Β @LairOfBooks

Twitter:Β @LairOfBooks

Goodreads:Β LairOfBooks


Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

the-hate-u-giveThe Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Published by: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Date of Publication: January 28th 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Own Voices, Diverse

Pages: 464

Format: eGalley (Edelweiss)

Rating:β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜… 5 Stars

*Thank you Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, Netgalley, and Angie Thomas for the eGalley of The Hate U Give in exchange for an honest review.


Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl’s struggle for justice. Movie rights have been sold to Fox, with Amandla Stenberg (The Hunger Games) to star.


Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, The Hate U Give tells the story of Starr who witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best-friend. Starr is introduced as a 16 year old living in a very poor & high in crime neighborhood. Her parents placed her in a school in the suburbs away from the neighborhood they live in & commute every day to provide Starr & her two siblings a safer environment to study as well as a better education. Starr pretty much lives two very different lives and prefers to keep them separate from each other. She has friends and a caucasian boyfriend who don’t really know much about her. Starr isn’t comfortable being herself around them, often changing how she speaks and adopting her friends likes/dislikes. This all changed the night that she attended a party with her friend and bumped into her childhood best friend Khalil. A friendship she had let go once she started going to a school outside of the neighborhood & carries some guilt for doing so. Khalil & Starr grew up together and he’s very protective of her. When the party turns violent it is Khalil who thinks fast to get Starr away from danger. It would be the last act of love he would carry out for Starr. The Hate U Give revolves around Khalil’s unjust death & serves as the catalyst for Starr. Along with the main plot line of Khalil’s death we get subplots that serve to present a better understanding of the fear, anger, frustration, sadness, helplessness, and yes the hate felt by people of color. Experiences in Starr’s neighborhood will leave her feeling shaken to her core. Her neighborhood is filled with tension after Khalil’s shooting by a Caucassian Police officer. The media digs deep & portrays Khalil in a negative light, focusing on the life they believe he led as a gang banger selling drugs. In the neighborhood, we see the control these gangs have over the residents. The saying “snitches get stitches” is more a code to live by for fear of retribution.


Angie Thomas has given us in The Hate U Give some of the most fleshed out characters you’ll ever come across on the page. To say that I was invested in all of the characters is an understatement…they live within me & I will carry them in my heart for as long as time permits. Starting with Starr who although we see her struggling to keep her two worlds/identities apart, still stays true to herself in little ways. Starr has a passion for basketball & fresh kicks aka sneakers, and her family. She is someone who has experienced loss at a young age to the injustices of the world. We see her strength at a young age get her through what lies ahead. Starr’s parents have now joined my Parentals Hall Of Fame alongside the Weasley’s. They are firm and strict all the while loving & teaching their kids the ways of the world. I loved seeing mom & dad interact with Starr & her siblings as well as themselves. This couple has a ton of history, not all great but it’s history nonetheless. Mom & dad’s relationship has had its highs & lows like any other marriage, it’s far from perfect and I enjoyed how authentic their relationship played out on the pages. The sibling relationships were pretty special & their interactions often left me smiling. Starr has two brothers who she is very close with and I loved seeing them look out for each other. We also get introduced to Starr’s uncle who plays the role of a positive father figure & also happens to be a police officer. Starr’s uncle is also affected by the events of the night Khalil was shot & it was interesting to see him handle certain situations (1 of my fave characters). The Hate U Give has a ton of supporting characters giving us the readers many different perspectives. Ultimately they come together to form a narrative we’ve now become familiar with through real life media/news coverage.


The dialogue in The Hate U Give has such an authentic feel to it which pulls you in and doesn’t let go until the very last page. At 464 pages, this never felt like a dense read even if the subject matter itself was profound. This book will lift the veil from your eyes if there is one there, it most certainly will make you feel uncomfortable as it should. We can’t learn if we are stuck in comfort. Many times while reading I felt my heart & mind heavy with thoughts of our future. After all, this book is heavily influenced by the Black Lives Matter movement & is a story that we have unfortunately seen play out in the media in real life too many times. I believe this book to be relevant to our current day & one that should be read by all. I connected with this book on a more personal level & for that I will forever be thankful for Angie Thomas. See, I am married to an African American man and we have two beautiful children. Our son is brown skinned like his dad & our daughter is white skinned like myself. I remember being pregnant with my son, watching the news and fearing for my unborn child. Young African American teens were losing their lives in senseless shootings by police officers across the nation. The conversations I had with my husband on how we would raise our son always left me deep in thought afterwards. Is this really the world/life I’ve brought my son into? he is now two going on three & the shootings have continued with little to no justice for these young souls. It is my hope (like any other mothers) that his future is a somewhat better place for people of color. The Hate U Give at its core attempts to give the reader some insight on how it feels to be targeted over the color of your skin, the powerlessness that converts into hate, and the motivation behind activism & protests. A poignant read, The Hate U Give will impact many lives by the time the very last word is read.


15049422Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.