Five Books I Bought Recently / Why I’m Excited to Read Them

Hey guys! I know it’s been a while since I last posted. These past few months, all of my time has been sucked up by school and work, making it very difficult to put together blog posts. But I’m finally finding the time to do so– Book blogging is something I love, and its recent absence from my life has been hard to cope with. I’ve missed it so incredibly much, and I’m happy to be back, especially with summer break right around the corner.

So, with that out of the way, let me update you on some of the recent book purchases I’ve made!

Working at a bookstore, it’s practically impossible to come home from a shift without a new book in my hands (more often than not, a FEW new books). But can you blame me for wanting to take advantage of that juicy employee discount? Exactly– you can’t. So, allow me to show you five of the exciting new books that I’ve purchased within the past few weeks!

I first caught wind of this one when it was announced as one of Barnes & Noble’s monthly book club picks. I read the synopsis, was delighted to discover that it sounded RIGHT up my alley, and quickly bought myself a copy. From what I gathered from the synopsis, it’s essentially an analysis of the sexist, misogynistic tropes present in Greek Mythology. The author unpacks various Greek myths and explains the ways in which female figures are pitted against one another and blamed for the actions of their male counterparts. As a long-time lover of Greek Mythology, this feminist twist sounds so intriguing! I’ll be sure to update you all on my thoughts once I dive into the book.

Her Body and Other Parties is a collection of short stories that encapsulate the dangers of being a woman in a world that caters to men (I’m just now realizing that it sounds very similar to Pandora’s Jar in that sense). The novel is shelved as horror, and it even has a spot on my coworker’s “Strange and Unsettling Stories” display… So, I have a feeling this might not be a great book to read once the sun goes down. But, nevertheless, I’m still very much looking forward to reading it and seeing how the author portrays the terrifying side of the female experience.

I know, I know. With the insane amount of social media hype it’s gotten, it’s crazy that I still haven’t read this book. But better late than never, right? While I’m not totally sure what It Ends With Us is about, I’ve heard that it explores the abuse and manipulation of a toxic relationship, and that many readers felt deeply moved after finishing it. I must confess, I’m more than a little apprehensive about this book because if it doesn’t live up to the hype, I’ll be crushed! But I’ve enjoyed Colleen Hoover’s work before (Verity has been one of my favorite reads of 2022 thus far!), so I have hope that I’ll love It Ends With Us as well.

Another social media sensation I’ve yet to read: The Love Hypothesis. I guess it’s finally time to give into the BookTok hype!

I’ve heard some interesting things about this one… Apparently it started out as a Reylo fan-fiction? Huh. Well, I’ve been longing for a light, fluffy romance for a while now, and I’ve read nothing but positive reviews for this book. A promising sign, I hope! I think I’ll pick it up at the end of May and read it between final exams… I’m going to need something fun and entertaining to help me cope with all that stress!

I absolutely LOVE reimaginings of female-focused Greek myths– Circe by Madeline Miller and Ariadne by Jennifer Saint are two of my favorites, and it is my hope that Helen of Troy, a retelling of the woman whose face “launched a thousand ships”, will join that list! I feel like Helen of Troy is really only remembered for her beauty, and thus her ability to drive men to violence. It’ll be interesting to see how Margaret George develops Helen’s character and (hopefully) makes her out to be more than just a beautiful prize sought after by men. Truthfully, I think Helen of Troy has the potential to give readers a complex, multi-faceted Greek heroine in the same ways Circe and Ariadne did… Let’s hope I’m right!

That’s it for now! But I’m sure I’ll be back with another book haul in no time. After all, I have absolutely no self-restraint when it comes to spending money on books.

If you’ve read any of the books listed above, please leave a comment letting me know what you thought of them! I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you for reading– Until next time,

Summer 2021 TBR

Summer’s almost here, and I’m SUPER excited since it’s my favorite season of the year! I love the warm weather, cool drinks, sun dresses, beach visits, and, most importantly, the endless time I have to read! Being on summer break is the best, because it’s the portion of the year where I have the most free time. This means that I can spend hours each day catching up on my reading, preferably by the pool or beach. 😉

There are so many great books I want to dive into this summer, and I can’t wait to share them all with you. Let’s go ahead and get started!

A majority of the books on my Summer ’21 TBR are romance novels, particularly rom-coms! Summer is arguably the best season for romance… What could be better than lounging by the pool with a fun romance book in one hand, and a tropical summery drink in the other? Out of all the romance novels presented below, I think the one’s I’m most excited to pick up are Kiss My Cupcake, People We Meet on Vacation, and Tweet Cute!

I also have a couple of great contemporaries lined up for the season ahead! One of them is An Emotion of Great Delight, written by Tahereh Mafi, one of my all time favorite authors! Tahereh’s writing has never disappointed me, so I can already tell that this book is going to become a new favorite of mine. Her previous contemporary novel, A Very Large Expanse of Sea, was SO powerful, and I have a feeling this one will be too! I was lucky enough to be sent a physical arc of it (CRAZY, right???), so I’m planning on starting it very soon!

Fantasy is easily my favorite genre, so you can bet that this summer will be full of many heart-pounding novels full of magic, royalty, mythical creatures, and more! In fact, I’ll probably end up reading many more fantasy books in addition to the ones listed below, since there are so many more I want to get my hands on! A few fantasy books (on this list) that I’m especially hyped for are Realm Breaker, These Hollow Vows, and A Touch of Darkness.

It’s been a LONG time since I’ve enjoyed a good ol’ mystery novel so I’m planning on reading quite a few of them within the next couple of months! The one I’m most looking forward to reading is definitely House of Hollow. I’ve heard that it also contains fantastical/mythical elements, and what could be better than a fantasy-mystery mash-up?

Here are a few other books I’m planning on reading this summer that didn’t fall into any of the categories listed above. They all sound super good, so I have high hopes for all of them!

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I’m not sure if I’ll pick up every single one of these books by the end of summer, but I’m going to try to get to as many of them as I can!

Have you read any of the books listed above? If so, let me know what you thought of them down below in the comment section!

I hope you all enjoy the rest of spring!

Until next time,

Upcoming Book Releases I Can’t Wait to Read

Hello fellow book lovers! I’ve realized that it’s been quite a while since I’ve compiled a “Most Anticipated Book Releases” list, and since there are so many great books coming out this year, it’s about time that I post one!

This list will contain all of my most anticipated book releases for the remainder of 2021. There are so many great books coming out this year, and I can’t wait to share them with you. Let’s go ahead and dive right in!

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Realm Breaker by [Victoria Aveyard]

Synopsis:

A strange darkness grows in Allward.

Even Corayne an-Amarat can feel it, tucked away in her small town at the edge of the sea.

She soon discovers the truth: She is the last of an ancient lineage—and the last hope to save the world from destruction. But she won’t be alone. Even as darkness falls, she is joined by a band of unlikely companions:

  • A squire, forced to choose between home and honor.
  • An immortal, avenging a broken promise.
  • An assassin, exiled and bloodthirsty.
  • An ancient sorceress, whose riddles hide an eerie foresight.
  • A forger with a secret past.
  • A bounty hunter with a score to settle.

Together they stand against a vicious opponent, invincible and determined to burn all kingdoms to ash, and an army unlike anything the realm has ever witnessed.

Release Date: May 4th, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: Ever since reading and falling in love with her Red Queen series, I’ve been hungry for more of Victoria Aveyard’s writing. When I found out that she was publishing a new fantasy series, I literally SCREAMED. I already know that I’m going to LOVE Realm Breaker! Will it be better than Red Queen? I’ll just have to wait and see!

Luck of the Titanic by Stacey Lee

Luck of the Titanic by [Stacey Lee]

Synopsis:

Valora Luck has two things: a ticket for the biggest and most luxurious ocean liner in the world, and a dream of leaving England behind and making a life for herself as a circus performer in New York. Much to her surprise though, she’s turned away at the gangway; apparently, Chinese aren’t allowed into America.

But Val has to get on that ship. Her twin brother Jamie, who has spent two long years at sea, is there, as is an influential circus owner, whom Val hopes to audition for. Thankfully, there’s not much a trained acrobat like Val can’t overcome when she puts her mind to it.

As a stowaway, Val should keep her head down and stay out of sight. But the clock is ticking and she has just seven days as the ship makes its way across the Atlantic to find Jamie, perform for the circus owner, and convince him to help get them both into America.

Then one night the unthinkable happens, and suddenly Val’s dreams of a new life are crushed under the weight of the only thing that matters: survival.

Release Date: May 4th, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: I absolutely love anything and anything to do with Titanic. In case you didn’t know, Titanic is my favorite film of all time, so this book will definitely be right up my alley! I’m planning to pick it up next week as one of my reads for Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and I have a feeling it might end up being a five star read for me!

An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi

Synopsis:

It’s 2003, several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the American political world has evolved. Tensions are high, hate crimes are on the rise, FBI agents are infiltrating local mosques, and the Muslim community is harassed and targeted more than ever. Shadi, who wears hijab, keeps her head down.

She’s too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots.

Shadi is named for joy, but she’s haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there’s the small matter of her heart—

It’s broken.

Shadi tries to navigate her crumbling world by soldiering through, saying nothing. She devours her own pain, each day retreating farther and farther inside herself until finally, one day, everything changes.

She explodes.

An Emotion of Great Delight is a searing look into the world of a single Muslim family in the wake of 9/11. It’s about a child of immigrants forging a blurry identity, falling in love, and finding hope—in the midst of a modern war.

Release Date: June 1st, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: Tahereh Mafi is one of my all time favorite authors. Her Shatter Me series might just be my favorite series EVER, and her stand-alone contemporary novel, A Very Large Expanse of Sea, is incredible as well. I love her writing so much, and I already know that I’m going to love this upcoming book of hers as well! I’m so excited to read it!

The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning

Synopsis:

After a thousand years of political stability, the realm of The Sand and Sky is up for grabs. Four kingdoms, four rulers vying for the ultimate prize, sovereignty over the entire continent: A ruthless old king spinning webs, whose schemes encompass generations. A widowed queen whose only credo is all kings must die. A runaway queen whose unexpected return upends everyone’s plans. And a prince-in-waiting determined to wait no more.

Standing against them are a dispossessed princess and her stableboy love with a surprising claim of his own. Their only hope in the face of unspeakable betrayals, enemies hidden in the shadows, and insurmountable odds is the power of true love…

Release Date: July 6th, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: I loved The Princess Will Save You, and I’m practically dying to dive into its sequel! I love the characters in this series, and after the massive cliffhanger The Princess Will Save You left us with, I can’t wait to see where their stories take us next. Also, can we just take a moment to appreciate how gorgeous The Queen Will Betray You’s cover is???? I LOVE IT.

Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim

Six Crimson Cranes by [Elizabeth Lim]

Synopsis:

Shiori’anma, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted. But it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.

A sorceress in her own right, Raikama banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes. She warns Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.

Penniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and uncovers a dark conspiracy to seize the throne. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in a paper bird, a mercurial dragon, and the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to forswear–no matter what the cost.

Release Date: July 6th, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: Like many of the other books on this list, Six Crimson Cranes is one of my most anticipated releases because it’s written by an author I love: Elizabeth Lim! Last year, I fell in love with her Spin the Dawn duology, and ever since finishing it, I’ve been eager to get my hands on more of her work. This upcoming book of hers sounds phenomenal, and I can’t wait to read it! I’ve already got my copy pre-ordered!!

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

These Hollow Vows by Lexi Ryan

Synopsis:

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

Release Date: July 20th, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: These Hollow Vows is marketed as a mash-up of The Cruel Prince and A Court of Thorns and Roses, my two all time favorite fantasy novels. Comparing this upcoming book release to two MARVELOUS works of fiction is a pretty bold move, but I really, really hope the marketing is accurate for this one! I’ve been looking for a new fae series to obsess over for the longest time, and I have high hopes that These Hollow Vows will become a new favorite. I’m a little nervous to read it, because I don’t want to end up disappointed, but let’s pray it ends up being as wonderful as the synopsis makes it sound!

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

Gods & Monsters (Serpent & Dove Book 3) by [Shelby Mahurin]

Synopsis:

Lou has spent her whole life running. Now, after a crushing blow from Morgane, the time has come to go home—and claim what is rightfully hers.

But this is no longer the Lou her friends knew. No longer the Lou who captured a chasseur’s heart. A darkness has settled over her, and this time it will take more than love to drive it out.

Release Date: July 27th, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: I absolutely loved Serpent & Dove, and while I didn’t enjoy its sequel, Blood & Honey, nearly as much, I’m still eager to read the third and final book in this series: Gods & Monsters! I’m really hopeful that it’ll be an action packed, jaw dropping conclusion to this epic trilogy… I can’t wait to see how Lou and Reid’s story ends!

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Once Upon a Broken Heart by [Stephanie Garber]

Synopsis:

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game — and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

Release Date: September 28th, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: The Caraval trilogy is one of my all-time favorite fantasy series, so you can imagine how thrilled I was to discover that Stephanie Garber is writing a spin-off series set in the same world. I can’t wait to reunite with all of my favorite characters, but I’m even more excited to meet some new ones, like the mysterious Evangeline Fox! I have no doubt that Ms. Garber will blow all of my expectations out of the water with this new book of hers… Release Day can’t come soon enough!

Kingdom of the Cursed by Kerri Maniscalco

Synopsis:

After selling her soul to become Queen of the Wicked, Emilia travels to the Seven Circles with the enigmatic Prince of Wrath, where she’s introduced to a seductive world of vice.

She vows to do whatever it takes to avenge her beloved sister, Vittoria…even if that means accepting the hand of the Prince of Pride, the king of demons.

The first rule in the court of the Wicked? Trust no one. With back-stabbing princes, luxurious palaces, mysterious party invitations, and conflicting clues about who really killed her twin, Emilia finds herself more alone than ever before. Can she even trust Wrath, her one-time ally in the mortal world…or is he keeping dangerous secrets about his true nature? 

Emilia will be tested in every way as she seeks a series of magical objects that will unlock the clues of her past and the answers she craves…

Release Date: October 5th, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: Kingdom of the Wicked was one of my favorite reads of 2020, and I can only hope that Kingdom of the Curse ends up being just as good! Kerri Maniscalco is such a fantastic author, so I doubt she’ll let me down!

Gilded by Marissa Meyer

Gilded by [Marissa Meyer]

Synopsis:

Long ago cursed by the god of lies, a poor miller’s daughter has developed a talent for spinning stories that are fantastical and spellbinding and entirely untrue.

Or so everyone believes.

When one of Serilda’s outlandish tales draws the attention of the sinister Erlking and his undead hunters, she finds herself swept away into a grim world where ghouls and phantoms prowl the earth and hollow-eyed ravens track her every move. The king orders Serilda to complete the impossible task of spinning straw into gold, or be killed for telling falsehoods. In her desperation, Serilda unwittingly summons a mysterious boy to her aid. He agrees to help her… for a price. Love isn’t meant to be part of the bargain.

Soon Serilda realizes that there is more than one secret hidden in the castle walls, including an ancient curse that must be broken if she hopes to end the tyranny of the king and his wild hunt forever.

Release Date: November 2nd, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: Oh boy. You guys can’t even imagine how hyped I am for this book. A new fairy tale retelling from Queen Marissa Meyer herself? Say no more, and sign me up! Out of all the books on this list, Gilded might just be the one I’m most looking forward to reading. Marissa Meyer has been one of my favorite authors for years, and I’m beyond excited to see her take on the classic tale of Rumpelstiltskin!

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

You've Reached Sam: A Novel by [Dustin Thao]

Synopsis:

How do you move forward when everything you love in on the line?

Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail. And Sam picks up the phone.

What would you do if you had a second chance at goodbye?

Filled with a diverse cast of characters, the heartache of first love and loss, and the kind of friends that can get you through anything, plus a touch of magic, You’ve Reached Sam will make an instant connection with anyone looking for a big emotional romance of a read.

Release Date: November 2nd, 2021

Why I’m excited to read it: Oh gosh… I can already tell that this book is going to break my heart. But nevertheless, I’m still going to read it and put myself through the inevitable pain it’ll inflict upon me.

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I can’t wait to read these books!!!

Did you spot any of YOUR most anticipated book releases on this list? If so, let me know down below in the comment section! I’d love to gush about them with you!

Well, that’s it for now, everyone.

Until next time,

Sequels I Can’t Wait to Read

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you’ve all had a fantastic week.

As you might’ve gathered from the title of this post, today I’m going to gushing about all of the sequels that I’m DYING to read! I’ve been meaning to publish a sequels-related post for some time now, so trust me when I say that this list is long overdue.

One of my reading goals for 2021 is to stop leaving so many series unfinished, so naturally, there are quite a few sequels on my TBR. Some of these books are ones that will be coming out in the near future, while others are back-list books that I can’t wait to devour!

Let’s go ahead and dive right in!

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Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon (Outlander, Series Book #2)

Dragonfly in Amber: A Novel (Outlander): Gabaldon, Diana: 9780440215622:  Amazon.com: Books

I finished Outlander last month, which was a big accomplishment for me… That beast of a book is over 800 pages long! But thankfully, the intimidating length ended up being nothing to worry about, since the novel was absolutely phenomenal! I’m very excited to see where Claire and Jamie Fraser’s story goes next in book two, Dragonfly in Amber (which is even LONGER than Outlander!). In preparation for Dragonfly in Amber, I’m currently watching Season 1 of the Outlander TV show, which I’m enjoying quite a lot so far. The show is beautifully filmed, and I’m finding that it follows the events of the book pretty closely, which is a big relief! Watching the show is getting me super eager to start Dragonfly in Amber; Hopefully I’ll be able to pick it up sometime next month!

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The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout (From Blood and Ash Series, Book #3)

The Crown of Gilded Bones - Jennifer L. Armentrout

The From Blood and Ash series has quickly become a new obsession of mine. I simply adore the characters, world-building, and romance, and I’m beyond excited to see how they’re further developed in book three of the series: The Crown of Gilded Bones. You can rest assured that I already have my copy of the book pre-ordered, and that I’ll be diving straight into it as soon as it arrives on my doorstep!

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Aurora Burning by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Aurora Cycle Trilogy, Book #2)

Amazon.com: Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle) (9781524720926): Kaufman,  Amie, Kristoff, Jay: Books

Ever since I flew through Aurora Rising last December, all I’ve wanted to do is devour its sequel, Aurora Burning. The only thing that’s kept me from doing so is the knowledge that the final book in the series won’t be coming out until November… Womp, womp, womp. I’ll probably have to wait a little while longer until I start this book, or else I’ll forget everything that happened in it by the time book three comes out! But on the bright side, the cover and title for Aurora Cycle #3 will be released on the authors’ Instagram accounts TODAY! And I can hardly wait! I’ll be refreshing my Instagram feed every five seconds until the cover/title reveal is posted, lol. Does anyone have any guesses for what the title will be and who will be on the cover? I myself haven’t come up with any great guesses… Maybe Aurora Shining? Or Aurora Blazing? Or… Aurora Colliding???? As for who will be on the cover… I feel like it’ll be Scarlett or Finian!

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Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (Bridgerton Series, Book #4)

After hearing all the buzz about the Bridgerton TV show, I knew it was about time I read the book series! I finished The Duke and I, the first book in the series, a few weeks ago, and while it was a decent read, I personally didn’t think it was anything special. Then, about a week ago, I read The Viscount Who Loved Me, and let me tell you… IT WAS ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC! The writing was quick and witty, and the two main characters, Kate and Anthony, were so much fun to read about. Now, I’m about halfway through book three, An Offer From a Gentleman, and I’m enjoying it a lot! As soon as I finish that, I’ll move onto book four: Romancing Mister Bridgerton. I’m especially excited to read this installment in the series because it focuses on Penelope Featherington, a character who I am very intrigued by! I’m just so glad that I didn’t give up on this series after finding The Duke and I somewhat mediocre… Books two and three have proven to be much better, so hopefully I’ll be able to say the same about book four!

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Bone Crier’s Dawn by Kathryn Purdie (Bone Grace Series, Book #2)

I buddy-read Bone Crier’s Moon with my friend a couple months ago, and we both really, really liked it. The magic system was so absorbing, and I loved the character dynamics! The sequel, Bone Crier’s Dawn, comes out at the end of the month, and it’s yet another book on this list that I have pre-ordered! After the jaw-dropping events of the last few chapters of Bone Crier’s Moon, I desperately need to know what will happen next! For that reason, I’ll definitely be diving into Bone Crier’s Dawn as soon as I possibly can. I’m counting down the days til March 30th… This book truly can’t come out soon enough!

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A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer (Cursebreakers Series, Book #2)

I read A Curse So Dark and Lonely, the first book in this series, a pretty long time ago, so I’m probably due for a re-read before I pick up A Heart So Fierce and Broken. But regardless of that, I’m still very much looking forward to reading this sequel! From what I’ve gathered, it contains chapters written through the perspectives of not just Harper and Rhen, but Grey and Lia Mara as well! I absolutely love books written in multiple POVs, as long as the author is capable of juggling them all while still thoroughly developing each character. But I’m certain Brigid Kemmerer is up to the task! So far, her work has failed to disappoint me, so I’m sure A Heart So Fierce and Broken will be no exception!

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The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning (Kingdoms of Sand and Sky Series, Book #2)

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of The Princess Will Save You last year, and I absolutely loved it! Unfortunately, though, reading an early copy of the book has made the wait for the sequel all the more agonizing! I’ve now been anxiously anticipating the publication of The Queen Will Betray You since May of 2020, but thankfully, release day is almost upon us! 3.5 months isn’t that long of a wait… right?

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Are any of these sequels on your TBR as well?

If they are, let me know! And feel free to tell me what other sequels you’re looking forwarding to reading, too!

Well, I suppose that’s it for today! Thank you so much for reading this post!

Until next time,

Most Anticipated Releases of September 2020

Last month, I really enjoyed creating my list for my most anticipated August releases, and people seemed to have fun reading it as well. So I thought: why not make it a monthly thing?

There are SO many incredible books coming out in September, several of which I have already pre-ordered! Some of my most anticipated releases of the whole YEAR are on this list, so brace yourself for total awesomeness. I’ve also decided to rate each book on my own personal excitement scale, so you guys have an idea of how hyped I am for each release.

You ready? Let’s dive right in!


Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

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Synopsis:

The hotly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller Serpent & Dove—packed with even steamier romance and darker magic—is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

Release Date: September 1st, 2020

Excitement Level: 10/10

Fable by Adrienne Young

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Synopsis:

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn’t who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they’re going to stay alive.

Release Date: September 1st, 2020

Excitement Level: 5/10

The Other Side Of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 

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Synopsis:

Prince North’s home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate engines powered by technology. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the surface, responsible for providing answers, direction—hope.

Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose between saving their people or succumbing to the bond that is forbidden between them.

Magnetic and gorgeously thematic, New York Times bestselling author duo Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have crafted a gripping tale of magic and logic, fate and choice, and an impossible decision between an empty future and a deadly love. Perfect for fans of Claudia Gray and Laini Taylor.

Release Date: September 8th, 2020

Excitement Level: 10000/10

These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin

Synopsis:

Anyone can ask the Red Court for a favor…but every request comes at a cost. And once the deed is done, you’re forever in their debt.

Whenever something scandalous happens at Heller High, the Red Court is the name on everyone’s lips. Its members—the most elite female students in the school—deal out social ruin and favors in equal measure, their true identities a secret known only to their ruthless leader: the Queen of Hearts.

Sixteen-year-old Ember Williams has seen firsthand the damage the Red Court can do. Two years ago, they caused the accident that left her older sister paralyzed. Now, Ember is determined to hold them accountable…by taking the Red Court down from the inside.

But crossing enemy lines will mean crossing moral boundaries, too—ones Ember may never be able to come back from. She always knew taking on the Red Court would come at a price, but will the cost of revenge be more than she’s willing to sacrifice?

Release Date: September 8th, 2020

Excitement Level: 6/10

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn Walker 

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Synopsis:

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her previous life, family memories, or her childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at a local university seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

A flying demon feeding on human energies.

A secret society of so called “Legendborn” students that hunt the creatures down.

And a teenage mage who calls himself a “Merlin” and who attempts—and fails—to wipe Bree’s memory of everything she saw.

The mage’s failure reveals Bree’s own, unique magic and unlocks a buried memory with a hidden connection: the night her mother died, another Merlin was at the hospital. Now that she knows there’s more to her mother’s death than what’s on the police report, Bree will do whatever it takes to find out the truth, even if that means infiltrating the Legendborn by becoming one of their initiates. But when the Legendborn reveal themselves as the descendants of King Arthur and his knights and explain that a magical war is coming, Bree has to decide how far she’ll go for the truth and whether she should use her magic to take the society down—or join the fight.

Release Date: September 15th, 2020

Excitement Level: 7/10

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco 

Synopsis:

The #1 New York Times bestselling author Kerri Maniscalco introduces her next blockbuster series, in which a beautiful young witch, a troubled demon, and a lush 19th century Italian setting come together to create a dark, intoxicating romance for the ages.

Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are strega – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria never shows up for dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to find out who did this, and to punish them.

Wrath was the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. So when ordered to find out who was killing off the young women who were to be his master’s bride, he didn’t hesitate. But upon meeting the fierce, desperate Emilia, it was clear this disturbing mystery would take a bewitching turn…

Release Date: September 15th, 2020

Excitement Level: 6/10

Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall

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Synopsis:

There are two things that Corinne Parker knows to be true: that she is in love with Maggie Bailey, the captain of the rival high school’s cross-country team and her secret girlfriend of a year, and that she isn’t ready for anyone to know she’s bisexual.

But then Maggie dies, and Corinne quickly learns that the only thing worse than losing Maggie is being left heartbroken over a relationship no one knows existed. And to make things even more complicated, the only person she can turn to is Elissa — Maggie’s ex and the single person who understands how Corinne is feeling.

As Corinne struggles to make sense of her grief and what she truly wants out of life, she begins to have feelings for the last person she should fall for. But to move forward after losing Maggie, Corinne will have to learn to be honest with the people in her life…starting with herself.

Release Date: September 15th, 2020

Excitement Level: 7/10

Far From Normal by Becky Wallace 

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Synopsis:

From Stealing Home author Becky Wallace comes a Devil Wears Prada-inspired YA romance, in which “normal girl” Maddie must repair the image of Major League Soccer’s bad boy to ace her internship. A perfect read for fans of Morgan Matson and Miranda Kenneally.

Maddie McPherson is sick of Normal—both her hometown of Normal, Illinois and being the ‘normal’ sibling. But when she lands a summer internship with a sports marketing firm, she finally has a chance to crawl out of her genius brother’s shadow. Not to mention, a glowing letter of recommendation could secure her admission to her dream college.

But Maddie’s nickname is “CalaMaddie” for a reason, and when the company tasks her with repairing the image of teen soccer phenom Gabriel Fortunato, she wonders if she’s set herself up for embarrassment. Gabriel is a tabloid magnet, who’s best-known for flubbing Italy’s World Cup hopes. As Maddie works with him to develop “pleasant and friendly” content for social media, she also learns he’s thoughtful, multi-talented, and fiercely loyal—maybe even to a fault. Falling for a footballer is exactly how CalaMaddie would botch this internship, but with the firm pressuring her to get the job done, perhaps her heart is worth risking?

Release Date: September 22nd

Excitement Level: 6/10

Skyhunter by Marie Lu

Synopsis:

Laced with adrenaline and nonstop action, #1 New York Times– bestselling author Marie Lu creates an immersive world broken by war where danger waits around every corner and loyalty is life.

The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen kingdoms, leaving Mara as the only free nation left. Those who make it there escape a fate worse than death—enslavement as mutated war beasts known as Ghosts. The Strikers, a Maran elite force, are trained to stop them, but as the number of Ghosts grow, defeat becomes inevitable.

Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.

Robbed of her voice and home, Talin knows the brutality of the Federation firsthand. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that finds their people repugnant. After another vicious attack, Mara seems ready to fall, but when a mysterious prisoner is brought back from the warfront, Talin can sense there’s more to him than meets the eye. Could he be the weapon that will save them all?

Release Date: September 29th, 2020

Excitement Level: 8/10

Crownchasers by Rebecca Coffindaffer

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Synopsis:

A deadly competition for the throne will determine more than just the fate of the empire in this riveting duology opener, perfect for fans of The Hunger GamesAurora Rising, and Three Dark Crowns.

Alyssa Farshot has spent her whole life trying to outrun her family legacy. Her mother sacrificed everything to bring peace to the quadrant, and her uncle has successfully ruled as emperor for decades. But the last thing Alyssa wants is to follow in their footsteps as the next in line for the throne. Why would she choose to be trapped in a palace when she could be having wild adventures exploring a thousand-and-one planets in her own ship?

But when Alyssa’s uncle becomes gravely ill, his dying wish surprises the entire galaxy. Instead of naming her as his successor, he calls for a crownchase, the first in seven centuries. Representatives from each of the empire’s prime families—including Alyssa—are thrown into a race to find the royal seal, which has been hidden somewhere in the empire. The first to find the seal wins the throne.

Alyssa’s experience as an explorer makes her the favorite to win the crown she never wanted. And though she doesn’t want to be empress, her duty to her uncle compels her to participate in this one last epic adventure. But when the chase turns deadly, it’s clear that more than just the fate of the empire is at stake. Alyssa is on her most important quest yet—and only time will tell if she’ll survive it.

Release Date: September 29th

Excitement Level: 8/10

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Eek! Can it be September already?!

I’m just dying to get my hands on these wonderful books! Did any of the titles on this list catch your eye? What are YOUR most anticipated September releases? Make sure to let me know in the comments!

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Bye for now,

Most Anticipated Releases of August 2020

HOW IS IT ALREADY AUGUST?

I swear, if it weren’t for this darn pandemic, we’d still be in April or May. At this point, with the current state of the world, all the weeks just blur together. But that’s not the point of this post!

What IS the point of this post, you might ask?

Well, if you read the heading above, that question will be answered! Presenting my most anticipated releases of August 2020! There are so many wonderful looking books coming out this month, and I’m so excited to share my top picks with you all. Starting with…


Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch and Kristen Simmons 

Set Fire to the Gods (Set Fire to the Gods, #1) by Sara Raasch

Synopsis:

Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games, throwing Madoc in Ash’s path. She realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

Release Date:

August 4, 2020


Seven Devils by Elizabeth May and Laura Lam 

Synopsis:

When Eris faked her death, she thought she had left her old life as the heir to the galaxy’s most ruthless empire behind. But her recruitment by the Novantaen Resistance, an organization opposed to the empire’s voracious expansion, throws her right back into the fray.

Eris has been assigned a new mission: to infiltrate a spaceship ferrying deadly cargo and return the intelligence gathered to the Resistance. But her partner for the mission, mechanic and hotshot pilot Cloelia, bears an old grudge against Eris, making an already difficult infiltration even more complicated.

When they find the ship, they discover more than they bargained for: three fugitives with firsthand knowledge of the corrupt empire’s inner workings.

Together, these women possess the knowledge and capabilities to bring the empire to its knees. But the clock is ticking: the new heir to the empire plans to disrupt a peace summit with the only remaining alien empire, ensuring the empire’s continued expansion. If they can find a way to stop him, they will save the galaxy. If they can’t, millions may die.

Release Date:

August 4, 2020


Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

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Synopsis:

Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild? Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality. Sci-fi, mystery, and romance converge in this high-stakes, fast-paced read that will leave you guessing to the very last moment.

Release Date:

August 11, 2020


Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar 

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Synopsis:

The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. Pretending to be “normal.” But when an accidental flare of her starfire puts her human father in the hospital, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest to save her father will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must take the stage as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens–and win, or risk never returning to Earth at all.

Release Date:

August 11, 2020


Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles 

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Synopsis:

In a city covered in ice and ruin, a group of magicians face off in a daring game of magical feats to find the next headliner of the Conquering Circus, only to find themselves under the threat of an unseen danger striking behind the scenes.

As each act becomes more and more risky and the number of missing magicians piles up, three are forced to reckon with their secrets before the darkness comes for them next.

The Star: Kallia, a powerful showgirl out to prove she’s the best no matter the cost

The Master: Jack, the enigmatic keeper of the club, and more than one lie told

The Magician: Demarco, the brooding judge with a dark past he can no longer hide

Release Date:

August 25, 2020

Your Turn!

What are your most anticipated August releases? Be sure to let me know down below!

Bye for now,

10 Books on my TBR That are Written by Black Authors

I’ll start by saying that this post is long overdue.

Recently, I’ve realized just how little diversity there is in my reading, and I plan to fix that immediately. I don’t have the largest platform ever, but I have an audience nonetheless, and I need to do my part by speaking out about the horrifying racism and injustice that has been in our world not just in recent years, but for centuries.

As a white person, I’ve always felt like I should “stay in my lane” and avoid participating in the #blacklivesmatter movement simply because it’s “not my place”. But I can’t even begin to stress how wrong and dangerous that mindset is. For change to occur, we need EVERYONE to stand together and do everything possible to spread awareness about the terrifyingly racist things that have been going on for so long. White people like myself need to be aware of the privilege we have and recognize that there are so many struggles that we will never have to go through just because of our skin color. We need to join the fight for change. If you’re white, if you’re any race, really, and you’re not speaking up, you’re part of the problem. We can’t just keep ignoring all of the hate there is in the world, for if we do, how will it ever go away?

I want to do better. I want to look at the books I’ve read and not just see titles by caucasian authors exclusively. I want to see books written by disabled authors, people of ALL colors, LGBTQ+ authors, and anyone with a story to tell that is different from my own. So why not start by sharing 10 books on my TBR that are written by black authors?

I must shamefully admit that I have not made a conscious effort to diversify my reading, and it clearly shows if you take a quick look at any of my Goodreads shelves. So it’s time to change that.

Here are 10 books on my TBR written by black authors, all of which look and sound AMAZING!

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1. A River of Royal Blood by Amanda Joy

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Eva is a princess, born with the magick of blood and marrow–a dark and terrible magick that hasn’t been seen for generations in the vibrant but fractured country of Myre. Its last known practitioner was Queen Raina, who toppled the native khimaer royalty and massacred thousands, including her own sister, eight generations ago, thus beginning the Rival Heir tradition. Living in Raina’s long and dark shadow, Eva must now face her older sister, Isa, in a battle to the death if she hopes to ascend to the Ivory Throne–because in the Queendom of Myre only the strongest, most ruthless rulers survive.

When Eva is attacked by an assassin just weeks before the battle with her sister, she discovers there is more to the attempt on her life than meets the eye–and it isn’t just her sister who wants to see her dead. As tensions escalate, Eva is forced to turn to a fey instructor of mythic proportions and a mysterious and handsome khimaer prince for help in growing her magick into something to fear. Because despite the love she still has for her sister, Eva will have to choose: Isa’s death or her own.

A River of Royal Blood is an enthralling debut set in a lush North African inspired fantasy world that subtly but powerfully challenges our notions of power, history, and identity.

2. A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

Synopsis:

In a society determined to keep her under lock and key, Tavia must hide her siren powers.

Meanwhile, Effie is fighting her own family struggles, pitted against literal demons from her past. Together, these best friends must navigate through the perils of high school’s junior year.

But everything changes in the aftermath of a siren murder trial that rocks the nation, and Tavia accidentally lets out her magical voice at the worst possible moment.

Soon, nothing in Portland, Oregon, seems safe. To save themselves from drowning, it’s only Tavia and Effie’s unbreakable sisterhood that proves to be the strongest magic of all.

3. The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

Synopsis:

Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.

But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.

Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.

Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.

4. War Girls by Tochi Onyebuchi

War Girls by [Tochi Onyebuchi]

Synopsis:

The year is 2172. Climate change and nuclear disasters have rendered much of earth unlivable. Only the lucky ones have escaped to space colonies in the sky.

In a war-torn Nigeria, battles are fought using flying, deadly mechs and soldiers are outfitted with bionic limbs and artificial organs meant to protect them from the harsh, radiation-heavy climate. Across the nation, as the years-long civil war wages on, survival becomes the only way of life.

Two sisters, Onyii and Ify, dream of more. Their lives have been marked by violence and political unrest. Still, they dream of peace, of hope, of a future together.

And they’re willing to fight an entire war to get there.

5. Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds

Synopsis:

When Jack and Kate meet at a party, bonding until sunrise over their mutual love of Froot Loops and their favorite flicks, Jack knows he’s falling—hard. Soon she’s meeting his best friends, Jillian and Franny, and Kate wins them over as easily as she did Jack.

But then Kate dies. And their story should end there.

Yet Kate’s death sends Jack back to the beginning, the moment they first meet, and Kate’s there again. Healthy, happy, and charming as ever. Jack isn’t sure if he’s losing his mind.

Still, if he has a chance to prevent Kate’s death, he’ll take it. Even if that means believing in time travel. However, Jack will learn that his actions are not without consequences. And when one choice turns deadly for someone else close to him, he has to figure out what he’s willing to do to save the people he loves.

6. Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron

Synopsis:

Heir to two lines of powerful witchdoctors, Arrah yearns for magic of her own. Yet she fails at bone magic, fails to call upon her ancestors, and fails to live up to her family’s legacy. Under the disapproving eye of her mother, the Kingdom’s most powerful priestess and seer, she fears she may never be good enough.

But when the Kingdom’s children begin to disappear, Arrah is desperate enough to turn to a forbidden, dangerous ritual. If she has no magic of her own, she’ll have to buy it―by trading away years of her own life.

Arrah’s borrowed power reveals a nightmarish betrayal, and on its heels, a rising tide of darkness that threatens to consume her and all those she loves. She must race to unravel a twisted and deadly scheme… before the fight costs more than she can afford.

7. Fate of Flames by Sarah Raughly

Synopsis:

Years ago, everything changed.

Phantoms, massive beasts of nightmare, began terrorizing the world. At the same time, four girls—the Effigies—appeared, each with a unique power to control a classical element. Since then, they have protected the world from the Phantoms. At the death of one Effigy, another is chosen, pulled from her normal life into the never-ending battle.

When Maia unexpectedly becomes the next Fire Effigy, she resists her new calling. A quiet girl with few friends and almost no family, she was much happier to admire the Effigies from afar. Never did she imagine having to master her ability to control fire, to protect innocent citizens from the Phantoms, or to try bringing together the other three Effigies.

But with the arrival of the mysterious Saul—a man who seems to be able to control the Phantoms using the same cosmic power previously only granted to four girls at a time—Maia and the other Effigies must learn to work together in a world where their celebrity status is more important than their heroism.

But the secrets Saul has, and the power he possesses, might be more than even they can handle…

8. Finding Yvonne by Brandy Colbert

Synopsis:

Since she was seven years old, Yvonne has had her trusted violin to keep her company, especially in those lonely days after her mother walked out on their family. But with graduation just around the corner, she is forced to face the hard truth that she just might not be good enough to attend a conservatory after high school.

Full of doubt about her future, and increasingly frustrated by her strained relationship with her successful but emotionally closed-off father, Yvonne meets a street musician and fellow violinist who understands her struggle. He’s mysterious, charming, and different from Warren, the familiar and reliable boy who has her heart. But when Yvonne becomes unexpectedly pregnant, she has to make the most difficult decision yet about her future.

9. Oh My Gods by Alexandra Shappard

Synopsis:

Life as a half-mortal teenager should be epic. But, for Helen Thomas, it’s tragic . She’s just moved in with her dorky dad and self-absorbed older siblings – who happen to be the ancient Greek gods, living incognito in London! Between keeping her family’s true identities secret, trying to impress her new friends, and meeting an actually cute boy, Helen’s stress levels are higher than Mount Olympus. She needs to rein in her chaotic family before they blow their cover AND her chances at a half-normal social life. Or is Helen fated for an embarrassment of mythical proportions?

10. Wrong in All the Right Ways by Tiffany Brownlee

Synopsis:

Emma’s life has always gone according to her very careful plans. But things take a turn toward the unexpected when she falls in love for the first time with the one person in the world who’s off-limits: her new foster brother, the gorgeous and tormented Dylan McAndrews.

Meanwhile, Emma’s AP English class is reading Wuthering Heights, and she’s been assigned to echo Emily Bronte’s style in an epistolary format. With irrepressible feelings and no one to confide in, she’s got a lot to write about. Distraught by the escalating intensity of their mutual attraction, Emma and Dylan try to constrain their romance to the page―for fear of threatening Dylan’s chances at being adopted into a loving home. But the strength of first love is all-consuming, and they soon get enveloped in a passionate, secretive relationship with a very uncertain outcome.

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How will you be contributing to the #blacklivesmatter movement?

Are there any books written by black authors that you’re just dying to read? Or better yet, are there any amazing books by black authors that you’ve read and would recommend? Please let me know if there are any, and feel free to chat with me in the comments below! ❤

I’ll see you soon, friends!

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Down the TBR Hole #2

Hey guys! I’m back with another Down the TBR Hole post!

Down the TBR Hole is a weekly meme hosted by Lia @Lost in a Story. Its purpose is to clear out your TBR shelf so it’s not overflowing with books you know you’re never going to read.

Here’s how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Recently, I’ve been adding TONS of books to my TBR, and as a result, the number of books I now have on it is embarrassingly high. In this post, I’m going to tackle my TBR and *attempt* to get rid of at least a few books!

A Conspiracy of Stars by Olivia A. Cole

A Conspiracy of Stars by [Olivia A. Cole]

Synopsis: Octavia has always dreamed of becoming a whitecoat, one of the prestigious N’Terra scientists who study the natural wonders of Faloiv. So when the once-secretive labs are suddenly opened to students, she leaps at the chance to see what happens behind their closed doors. However, she quickly discovers that all is not what it seems on Faloiv, and the experiments the whitecoats have been doing run the risk of upsetting the humans’ fragile peace with the Faloii, Faloiv’s indigenous people. As secret after disturbing secret comes to light, Octavia finds herself on a collision course with the charismatic and extremist new leader of N’Terra’s ruling council. But by uncovering the mysteries behind the history she’s been taught, the science she’s lived by, and the truth about her family, she threatens to be the catalyst for an all-out war.

My Thoughts: I don’t really love sci-fi, so I was kind of confused as to why past-Octavia added this to her TBR. Now, after rereading the synopsis, I’m pretty sure it’s just because the main character shares my name 😂 Like I said, I don’t typically gravitate towards science fiction, so I can’t really see myself reading it in the near future.

Final VerdictREMOVE

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Heretics Anonymous by [Katie Henry]

Synopsis: When Michael walks through the doors of Catholic school, things can’t get much worse. His dad has just made the family move again, and Michael needs a friend. When a girl challenges their teacher in class, Michael thinks he might have found one, and a fellow atheist at that. Only this girl, Lucy, isn’t just Catholic . . . she wants to be a priest. Lucy introduces Michael to other St. Clare’s outcasts, and he officially joins Heretics Anonymous, where he can be an atheist, Lucy can be an outspoken feminist, Avi can be Jewish and gay, Max can wear whatever he wants, and Eden can practice paganism. Michael encourages the Heretics to go from secret society to rebels intent on exposing the school’s hypocrisies one stunt at a time. But when Michael takes one mission too far—putting the other Heretics at risk—he must decide whether to fight for his own freedom or rely on faith, whatever that means, in God, his friends, or himself.

My Thoughts: I like the idea behind this book, but I feel like I would have picked it up by now if I really wanted to. It’s been on my TBR for years, and there are just so many other books that I’d rather read before this one. Sadly, I think it has to go.

Final VerdictREMOVE

Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi

Synopsis: After battling the impossible, Zélie and Amari have finally succeeded in bringing magic back to the land of Orïsha. But the ritual was more powerful than they could’ve imagined, reigniting the powers of not only the maji, but of nobles with magic ancestry, too. Now, Zélie struggles to unite the maji in an Orïsha where the enemy is just as powerful as they are. But when the monarchy and military unite to keep control of Orïsha, Zélie must fight to secure Amari’s right to the throne and protect the new maji from the monarchy’s wrath. With civil war looming on the horizon, Zélie finds herself at a breaking point: She must discover a way to bring the kingdom together or watch as Orïsha tears itself apart.

My Thoughts: Since Children of Blood and Bone was a pretty “meh” read for me, I don’t really know why I added the sequel to my TBR. Even if I did want to give the story a second chance after not loving book one, it’s been such a long time since I read it, and my memory of the events that took place is very blurry. Taking that into consideration, I don’t think it would be beneficial to keep this book on my TBR.

Final VerdictREMOVE

Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott

Synopsis: Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions. The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals. Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment. What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?

My Thoughts: I already watched the movie for this one (pls don’t hate on me, I know I should have read the book first!), and I enjoyed it, but for that reason, I don’t think it’s necessary for me to read the book, since I already know what happens. But honestly, I feel like since it’s been a long time since I watched the movie, I might still be able to enjoy this book. For that reason, it stays!

Final VerdictKEEP

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Aderyn (“Ryn”) only cares about two things: her family and her family’s graveyard. And right now, both are in dire straits. Since the death of their parents, Ryn and her siblings have been scraping together a meager existence as gravediggers in the remote village of Colbren, which sits at the foot of a harsh and deadly mountain range that was once home to the fae. The problem with being a gravedigger in Colbren, though, is that the dead don’t always stay dead. The risen corpses are known as “bone houses”, and legend says that they’re the result of a decades-old curse. When Ellis, an apprentice mapmaker with a mysterious past, arrives in town, the bone houses attack with new ferocity. What is it that draws them near? And more importantly, how can they be stopped for good? Together, Ellis and Ryn embark on a journey that will take them into the heart of the mountains, where they will have to face both the curse and the deeply-buried truths about themselves. Equal parts classic horror novel and original fairytale, The Bone Houses will have you spellbound from the very first minute.

My Thoughts: I seriously need to get around to reading this one! It sounds absolutely fantastic, and it’s been on my TBR shelf for far too long. I’ve heard such great things about it. It’s definitely staying!

Final VerdictKEEP

Not too shabby!

I got rid of three books, which isn’t that significant in the grand scheme of things, but I applaud myself nonetheless.

Do you think I made any mistakes? Should I reconsider removing some of these books from my TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

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I’VE BEEN SPOILED WITH ARCS! (ARC TBR)

So, when I got out of my awful blogging slump last March, I thought it would be a great idea to log onto NetGalley and binge-request tons of arcs (Why, past-Octavia, why?!). I now realize that that was a very stupid mistake.

Now I have a crap ton of arcs that all have to be read and reviewed fairly soon… It will be a challenge to tackle all of these books within the next few months in addition to my normal monthly TBRs, but ya girl’s not about to let her NetGalley feedback ratio plummet. Plus, I requested all of these books for a reason! They’re all upcoming releases that I’m really looking forward to reading. Thank you to all of the wonderful publishers who have spoiled me with arcs these past few months!

Without further ado, here are all of the arcs I’m planning to read in the near future!

Star Wars: Queen’s Peril by E.K. Johnston

Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press

Release Date: June 2, 2020

Synopsis: When fourteen-year-old Padmé Naberrie wins the election for Queen of Naboo, she adopts the name Amidala and leaves her family to the rule from the royal palace. To keep her safe and secure, she’ll need a group of skilled handmaidens who can be her assistants, confidantes, defenders, and decoys. Each girl is selected for her particular talents, but it will be up to Padmé to unite them as a group. When Naboo is invaded by forces of the Trade Federation, Queen Amidala and her handmaidens will face the greatest test–of themselves, and of each other.

My Thoughts: I love anything Star Wars, especially when it comes to my girl Padmé! I’ve heard great things about E.K. Johnston’s other Star Wars novels, so I’m super excited to read this one. I’ll probably pick it up pretty soon, as this is the earliest release out of all of the arcs on this list.

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: June 23, 2020

Synopsis: Lex was taken–trafficked–and now she’s Poppy. Kept in a hotel with other girls, her old life is a distant memory. But when the girls are rescued, she doesn’t quite know how to be Lex again. After she moves in with her aunt and uncle, for the first time in a long time, she knows what it is to feel truly safe. Except, she doesn’t trust it. Doesn’t trust her new home. Doesn’t trust her new friend. Doesn’t trust her new life. Instead she trusts what she shouldn’t because that’s what feels right. She doesn’t deserve good things. But when she is sexually assaulted by her so-called boyfriend and his friends, Lex is forced to reckon with what happened to her and that just because she is used to it, doesn’t mean it is okay. She’s thrust into the limelight and realizes she has the power to help others. But first she’ll have to confront the monsters of her past with the help of her family, friends, and a new love. Kate McLaughlin’s What Unbreakable Looks Like is a gritty, ultimately hopeful novel about human trafficking through the lens of a girl who has escaped the life and learned to trust, not only others, but in herself.

My Thoughts: I’m so excited to announce that Wednesday Books invited me to participate in the blog tour for this book! I’m really looking forward to reading it and sharing my thoughts with you all in my upcoming blog tour review.

Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi

Rebel Spy by [Veronica Rossi]

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Release Date: June 23, 2020

Synopsis: Rebellious Frannie Tasker knows little about the war between England and its thirteen colonies in 1776, until a shipwreck off her home in Grand Bahama Island presents an unthinkable opportunity. The body of a young woman body floating in the sea gives Frannie the chance to escape her brutal stepfather–and she takes it. Assuming the identity of the drowned Emmeline Coates, Frannie is rescued by a British merchant ship and sails with the crew to New York. For the next three years, Frannie lives a lie as Miss Coates, swept up in a courtship by a dashing British lieutenant. But after witnessing the darker side of the war, she realizes that her position gives her power. Soon she’s eavesdropping on British officers, risking everything to pass information on to George Washington’s Culper spy ring as agent 355. Frannie believes in the fight for American liberty–but what will it cost her? Inspired by the true “355” and rich in historical detail and intrigue, this is the story of an unlikely New York society girl turned an even unlikelier spy.

My Thoughts: I absolutely love historical fiction, so of course I had to request an arc of Rebel Spy by Veronica Rossi! It sounds like such an interesting story, and I have such high hopes for it!

Opium and Absinthe by Lydia Kang

Opium and Absinthe: A Novel by [Lydia Kang]

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Release Date: July 1, 2020

Synopsis: New York City, 1899. Tillie Pembroke’s sister lies dead, her body drained of blood and with two puncture wounds on her neck. Bram Stoker’s new novel, Dracula, has just been published, and Tillie’s imagination leaps to the impossible: the murderer is a vampire. But it can’t be—can it? A ravenous reader and researcher, Tillie has something of an addiction to truth, and she won’t rest until she unravels the mystery of her sister’s death. Unfortunately, Tillie’s addicted to more than just truth; to ease the pain from a recent injury, she’s taking more and more laudanum…and some in her immediate circle are happy to keep her well supplied. Tillie can’t bring herself to believe vampires exist. But with the hysteria surrounding her sister’s death, the continued vampiric slayings, and the opium swirling through her body, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for a girl who relies on facts and figures to know what’s real—or whether she can trust those closest to her.

My Thoughts: I’m so happy that vampires have been making a comeback in NA/YA fiction lately! This book sounds so creepy and mysterious, and I’m always down for that kind of read! Also, I’m totally in love with the cover!

The Princess Will Save You by Sarah Henning

The Princess Will Save You by [Sarah Henning]

Publisher: Tor Teen

Release Date: July 7, 2020

Synopsis: When her warrior father, King Sendoa, mysteriously dies, Princess Amarande of Ardenia is given what would hardly be considered a choice: Marry a stranger at sixteen or lose control of her family’s crown. But Amarande was raised to be a warriornot a sacrifice. In an attempt to force her choice, a neighboring kingdom kidnaps her true love, stable boy Luca. With her kingdom on the brink of civil war and no one to trust, she’ll need all her skill to save him, her future, and her kingdom.

My Thoughts: GUYS: I’m actually reading this book right now and (so far) it’s everything I dreamed of and more! In this gender-swapped Princess Bride retelling, Buttercup gets a total revamp! Amarande, our protagonist, is so badass! I’m low-key tempted to preorder a finished copy right now because I’m enjoying it so much! Also, Sarah Henning reposted my Instagram story featuring this arc… Rest assured that I have been fangirling all day!

Mayhem by Estelle Laure

Mayhem: A Novel by [Estelle Laure]

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Release Date: July 14, 2020

Synopsis: It’s 1987 and unfortunately it’s not all Madonna and cherry lip balm. Mayhem Brayburn has always known there was something off about her and her mother, Roxy. Maybe it has to do with Roxy’s constant physical pain, or maybe with Mayhem’s own irresistible pull to water. Either way, she knows they aren’t like everyone else. But when May’s stepfather finally goes too far, Roxy and Mayhem flee to Santa Maria, California, the coastal beach town that holds the answers to all of Mayhem’s questions about who her mother is, her estranged family, and the mysteries of her own self. There she meets the kids who live with her aunt, and it opens the door to the magic that runs through the female lineage in her family, the very magic Mayhem is next in line to inherit and which will change her life for good. But when she gets wrapped up in the search for the man who has been kidnapping girls from the beach, her life takes another dangerous turn and she is forced to face the price of vigilante justice and to ask herself whether revenge is worth the cost.

My Thoughts: Huge thanks to Wednesday Books for inviting me to participate in yet another blog tour! I’m so excited to read Mayhem, as the synopsis sounds so intriguing. I absolutely love dark, gritty reads, so I’m sure this book is right up my alley!

Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay

Cut Off by [Adrianne Finlay]

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: August 11, 2020

Synopsis: Each contestant has their own reasons—and their own secrets—for joining the new virtual reality show CUT/OFF that places a group of teenagers alone in the wilderness. It’s a simple premise: whoever lasts the longest without “tapping out” wins a cash prize. Not only that, new software creates a totally unprecedented television experience, allowing viewers to touch, see, and live everything along with the contestants. But what happens when “tapping out” doesn’t work and no one comes to save you? What happens when the whole world seemingly disappears while you’re stranded in the wild? Four teenagers must confront their greatest fears, their deepest secrets, and one another when they discover they are truly cut off from reality. Sci-fi, mystery, and romance converge in this high-stakes, fast-paced read that will leave you guessing to the very last moment.

My Thoughts: I don’t know why, but the synopsis for this book gives me Hunger Games and Warcross vibes… And those are both books that I loved, so I’m sure to enjoy this one as well!

Ignite the Sun by Hanna Howard

Ignite the Sun (Blink) by [Hanna Howard ]

Publisher: Blink

Release Date: August 18, 2020

Synopsis: Sixteen year-old Siria Nightingale has never seen the sun. The light is dangerous, according to Queen Iyzabel, an evil witch who has shrouded the kingdom in shadow. Siria has always hated the darkness and revels in the stories of the light-filled old days that she hears from her best friend and his grandfather. Besides them, nobody else understands her fascination with the sun, especially not her strict and demanding parents. Siria’s need to please them is greater than her fear of the dark, and so she heads to the royal city—the very center of the darkness—for a chance at a place in Queen Iyzabel’s court. But what Siria discovers at the Choosing Ball will send her on a quest that could bring back the Light—or doom the kingdom to shadow forever. Accompanied by a ragtag group of rebels, she sets her course for the North, toward the last vestiges of the sun.

My Thoughts: This books sounds like such a lush, beautiful fantasy. I love the idea behind the world, and I’m really looking forward to diving into it. And just look at that stunning cover! If I enjoy this one, I might have to snag a finished copy!

Greythorne by Crystal Smith

Greythorne (The Bloodleaf Trilogy Book 2) by [Crystal Smith]

Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 1, 2020

Synopsis: Princess Aurelia’s life is upended when the kingdom she thought she saved falls to ruin, a loved one is tragically killed in a shipwreck, and her home country turns against her. With no place left to call her own, Aurelia returns to Greythorne Manor—her best friend’s family mansion—only to find that Greythorne has sinister secrets of its own. With enemies closing in on all sides, Aurelia is caught in a mad fight to protect the only people she has left—her family. In her darkest moments, when all seems grim, will Aurelia find a spark of hope from a love she thought long lost?

My Thoughts: When I got the email that my request for this arc had been approved, I was literally jumping up and down with joy! I LOVED Bloodleaf, so it’s such an honor to be able to read and review its sequel, Greythorne, before its release date. I’m definitely going to have to reread Bloodleaf first, though, because even though I loved it, my memory of the book is pretty foggy!

Bright Shining World by Josh Swiller

Bright Shining World by [Josh Swiller]

Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers

Release Date: November 24, 2020

Synopsis: Wallace Cole is perpetually moving against his will. His father has some deeply important job with an energy company that he refuses to explain to Wallace who is, shall we say, suspicious. Not that his father ever listens to him. Just as Wallace is getting settled into a comfortable life in Kentucky, his father lets him know they need to immediately depart for a new job in a small town in Upstate New York which has recently been struck by an outbreak of inexplicable hysterics–an outbreak which is centered at the high school Wallace will attend. In the new town, go from disturbing to worse: trees appear to be talking to people; a school bully, the principal, and the town police force take an instant dislike to Wallace; and the student body president is either falling for him or slipping into the enveloping darkness. Bright Shining World is a novel of resistance, of young people finding hope and courage and community in a collapsing world.

My Thoughts: Bright Shining World sounds like such a dark, funny thriller! This book doesn’t come out till November, but it’s still a highly anticipated 2020 release of mine! I’m so excited to read it!

It looks like I have a lot of reading ahead of me!

Not that I’m complaining!

Are any of the books on this list on your TBR? What are some of your most anticipated releases? Are there any arcs that you’re hoping to get your hands on?

Let me know in the comments!

See you soon,

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SeaMAYdenathon TBR!

Me, who has joined an unhealthy amount of readathons within the last few months: This is it, guys. I’m not joining any more readathons for a LONG time.

*Sees announcement for SeaMAYdenathon* Maybe one more readathon won’t hurt…

Guys. I think this readathon was made for me. My blog is literally called MERMAID reads.

If you weren’t already aware, Mir @ Fan Girl Pixie Blog and Leelynn @ Sometimes Leelynn Reads just announced that they will be hosting the first annual SeaMAYdenathon! This readathon will give you plenty of opportunities to enjoy amazing books and complete some mermaid-inspired prompts. There will also be several group reads you’ll have the chance to participate in. Read Mir’s official announcement here. Her post has all of the information you’ll need to know!

I can’t even express how excited I am for this readathon… I mean, it’s all about MERMAIDS! Must I elaborate any further?

Anyway, here are the prompts for this readathon (all images were taken from Leelynn’s and Mir’s posts):

SeaMaydenathon prompts

And here are the group reads:

team alosa

team coral

team Vataea

team yetu

 I’m hoping to complete ALL of the prompts for the SeaMAYdenathon AND participate in one of the group reads. Your girl’s feeling ambitious! Here is my TBR for this readathon: 

#TeamVataea from All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace GROUP READ

Synopsis: As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer―the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic. When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic. But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder―and more peril―than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stowaway she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

MERMAID KISSES, STARFISH WISHES (Read a Book with a Sapphic Romance): Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal

Ink in the Blood (Ink in the Blood Duology Book 1) by [Kim Smejkal]

Synopsis: Celia Sand and her best friend, Anya Burtoni, are inklings for the esteemed religion of Profeta. Using magic, they tattoo followers with beautiful images that represent the Divine’s will and guide the actions of the recipients. It’s considered a noble calling, but ten years into their servitude Celia and Anya know the truth: Profeta is built on lies, the tattooed orders strip away freedom, and the revered temple is actually a brutal, torturous prison. Their opportunity to escape arrives with the Rabble Mob, a traveling theater troupe. Using their inkling abilities for performance instead of propaganda, Celia and Anya are content for the first time . . . until they realize who followed them. The Divine they never believed in is very real, very angry, and determined to use Celia, Anya, and the Rabble Mob’s now-infamous stage to spread her deceitful influence even further. To protect their new family from the wrath of a malicious deity and the zealots who work in her name, Celia and Anya must unmask the biggest lie of all–Profeta itself.

SHIPWRECK (Read a Dystopian Story): The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (A Hunger Games Novel) by [Suzanne Collins]

Synopsis: It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. The odds are against him. He’s been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined – every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favor or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute . . . and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.

SIREN’S CALL– Read a Book Out Loud (at Least a Chapter): Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

Strange the Dreamer by [Laini Taylor]

Synopsis: The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around–and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was just five years old, he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the form of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever. What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? And who is the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams? In this sweeping and breathtaking novel by National Book Award finalist Laini Taylor, author of the New York Times bestselling Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy, the shadow of the past is as real as the ghosts who haunt the citadel of murdered gods. Fall into a mythical world of dread and wonder, moths and nightmares, love and carnage. The answers await in Weep.

WE MERMAID TO BE FRIENDS (Read a Book Recommended by a Friend): THE QUEEN OF BLOOD BY SARAH BETH DURST

The Queen of Blood: Book One of The Queens of Renthia by [Sarah Beth Durst]

Synopsis: Everything has a spirit: the willow tree with leaves that kiss the pond, the stream that feeds the river, the wind that exhales fresh snow . . . But the spirits that reside within this land want to rid it of all humans. One woman stands between these malevolent spirits and the end of humankind: the queen. She alone has the magical power to prevent the spirits from destroying every man, woman, and child. But queens are still just human, and no matter how strong or good, the threat of danger always looms. With the position so precarious, young women are chosen to train as heirs. Daleina, a seemingly quiet academy student, is under no illusions as to her claim to the throne, but simply wants to right the wrongs that have befallen the land. Ven, a disgraced champion, has spent his exile secretly fighting against the growing number of spirit attacks. Joining forces, these daring partners embark on a treacherous quest to find the source of the spirits’ restlessness—a journey that will test their courage and trust, and force them to stand against both enemies and friends to save their land . . .  before it’s bathed in blood.

BEACH PLEASE (Read a Summer Beach Read): The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners (No Series) by [Christina Lauren]

Synopsis: Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas. Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo. Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

RELEASE THE KRAKEN (Read an Intimidating Book You’ve Been Putting Off): The Kingdom of Little Wounds by Susann Cokal

The Kingdom of Little Wounds by [Susann Cokal]

Synopsis: On the eve of Princess Sophia’s wedding, the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn prepares to fete the occasion with a sumptuous display of riches: brocade and satin and jewels, feasts of sugar fruit and sweet spiced wine. Yet beneath the veneer of celebration, a shiver of darkness creeps through the palace halls. A mysterious illness plagues the royal family, threatening the lives of the throne’s heirs, and a courtier’s wolfish hunger for the king’s favors sets a devious plot in motion. Here in the palace at Skyggehavn, things are seldom as they seem — and when a single errant prick of a needle sets off a series of events that will alter the course of history, the fates of seamstress Ava Bingen and mute nursemaid Midi Sorte become irrevocably intertwined with that of mad Queen Isabel. As they navigate a tangled web of palace intrigue, power-lust, and deception, Ava and Midi must carve out their own survival any way they can.

I GOT WHOSITS AND WHATSITS GALORE (Read a Book that’s Been on Your TBR Forever): An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson 

An Enchantment of Ravens by [Margaret Rogerson]

Synopsis: Isobel is an artistic prodigy with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life. Furious, Rook spirits her away to his kingdom to stand trial for her crime. But something is seriously wrong in his world, and they are attacked from every side. With Isobel and Rook depending on each other for survival, their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

UNDER THE SEA (Read a Book With A Magical Kingdom): Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird: Malediction Trilogy Book One by [Danielle L. Jensen, Steve Stone]

Synopsis: For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain—time enough for their nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophecy has spoken of a union that will set the trolls free, and when Cécile de Troyes is taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth than she could have imagined. Cécile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. But if she is to succeed, she must bide her time and find a way to outsmart the clever, fast, and inhumanly strong trolls that hold her captive. But while awaiting the perfect opportunity, Cécile unexpectedly falls for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. Their love gradually changes her perspective, opening her heart to new friends and opening her eyes to the hardships of the enslaved half-troll, half-human creatures of Trollus. As rebellion brews and the political games of Trollus escalate, Cécile becomes more than a trapped father’s daughter. She becomes a princess, a witch, and the hope of a people—someone who has the power to change Trollus forever.

FIND YOUR VOICE (Read an #OwnVoices Book): City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

The City of Brass: A Novel (The Daevabad Trilogy) by [S. A. Chakraborty]

Synopsis: On the streets of eighteenth-century Cairo, Nahri is a con woman of unsurpassed skill. She makes her living swindling Ottoman nobles, hoping to one day earn enough to change her fortunes. But when Nahri accidentally summons Dara, an equally sly, darkly mysterious djinn warrior, during one of her cons, she learns that even the cleverest of schemes can have deadly consequences. Forced to flee Cairo, Dara and Nahri journey together across hot, windswept sands teeming with creatures of fire and rivers where the mythical marid sleep, past ruins of once-magnificent human metropolises and mountains where the circling birds of prey are more than what they seem, to Daevabad, the legendary city of brass. It’s a city steeped in magic and fire, where blood can be as dangerous as any spell; a city where old resentments run deep and the royal court rules with a tenuous grip; a city to which Nahri is irrevocably bound—and where her very presence threatens to ignite a war that has been simmering for centuries.

SEA SALT (Read a Real Tearjerker): The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller 

Disclaimer: I rarely cry when reading books, so I might not be successful with this prompt.

The Song of Achilles: A Novel by [Madeline Miller]

Synopsis: A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner, Miller’s monumental debut novel has already earned resounding acclaim from some of contemporary fiction’s brightest lights—and fans of Mary Renault, Bernard Cornwell, Steven Pressfield, and Colleen McCullough’s Masters of Rome series will delight in this unforgettable journey back to ancient Greece in the Age of Heroes.

I’m so excited to read these books!

Will you be participating in this readathon? If so, what do you plan on reading/what prompts to you want to complete? Let me know down in the comments! Also, join #TeamVataea so we can group read All the Stars and Teeth together!

See you soon,

Octavia