Book Tour, Reviews

The Tenth Girl

Simmering in Patagonian myth, The Tenth Girl is a gothic psychological thriller with a haunting twist.

At the very southern tip of South America looms an isolated finishing school. Legend has it that the land will curse those who settle there. But for Mavi—a bold Buenos Aires native fleeing the military regime that took her mother—it offers an escape to a new life as a young teacher to Argentina’s elite girls.

Mavi tries to embrace the strangeness of the imposing house—despite warnings not to roam at night, threats from an enigmatic young man, and rumors of mysterious Others. But one of Mavi’s ten students is missing, and when students and teachers alike begin to behave as if possessed, the forces haunting this unholy cliff will no longer be ignored.

One of these spirits holds a secret that could unravel Mavi’s existence. In order to survive she must solve a cosmic mystery—and then fight for her life.

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I changed my mind about The Tenth Girl about six times while I read it, but overall I enjoyed this wild YA thriller.

This might be the hardest review I’ve had to write also, because so many of the things that I loved about the theme, message, and complexity of this book have to do with the big, spoiler-y twist at the end. So, instead, I’m going to give you a list of the things I loved about The Tenth Girl, and leave you to discover as much as I can.

One. The atmosphere in this book was insanely effective. The school is almost another character in the book itself, like many great horror classics, and Faring’s descriptions were graphic, detailed, and tangible. I felt like the creaking doors and moving hallways might be happening in my own house down the hall, instead of inside the book in my hands. This novel was eerie, unsettling, but most of all engaging; I had to finish once I’d been sucked into the story.

Two. I never knew what I thought was going on. Mostly in a good way. While there were definitely confusing or redundant moments for me, most of the time I felt a pleasant, ambiguous confusion that made me more curious instead of less. Every answer in the story led to more questions and I never had a solid theory for what was going on until the reveal. Which brings me to the next things I loved more than anything:

Three. The Twist was completely unexpected. And, while some may not, I loved it in particular. As soon as the reveal came so many things clicked right into place. Without saying too much, I have a little experience with the topics and contexts that she explores in this wild 180 and that made the story all the more rich, understandable, and insane. I thought this twist was just over-the-top enough and it really added another interesting layer of complexity to the story. Very interesting.

Four. I love how this book holds up a mirror and asks us to discover truths about ourselves. Now, this is the part that I’m going to struggle to describe without spoiling anyone. The Tenth Girl posed questions about humanity and our choices, about the consequences and environments of those choices and what they say about us. Faring does not shy away from questions of morality and modern social responsibility and I whole-heartedly enjoyed this turn into the philosophical.

The Tenth Girl may be a somewhat divisive novel, it may be confusing at times and a little meandering, but damn if it isn’t a great story anyway. I wholeheartedly enjoyed my read and I hope you do too.

Born in Los Angeles, Sara Faring is a multi-lingual Argentine-American fascinated by literary puzzles. After working in investment banking at J.P. Morgan, she worked at Penguin Random House. She holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in International Studies and from the Wharton School in Business. She currently resides in New York City. 

Her first novel, The Tenth Girl, will be released by Macmillan/Imprint on September 24, 2019. Sara is represented by Sarah Bedingfield at Levine Greenberg Rostan Agency. 

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Reviews

One True Loves

“In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.”


All of you here on my site know that I’ve been going through a Taylor Jenkins Reid-volution lately! After finally getting around to reading Daisy Jones and the Six and falling in love with that story and Reid’s writing style, I went on to devour her other highly-lauded book The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Another smash hit. I loved these books so much that Reid has launched herself right onto the list of my favorite authors, and definitely the authors that I’m watching right now. In that vein, I was curious to see what else she’d written and so I went searching, which is when I found One True Loves.

From the synopsis, One True Loves had my attention. I don’t know about you, but I am a sucker for the whole “loved one back from the dead” trope. All the emotion, the reconciling with new realities, the nuance of human experience in that extreme, all of that appeals to a fascinated part of me. I knew I was going to like this book and, you know what? I did. I really did.

One True Loves is not a simple, sweet, linear love story. That is what I loved best about it. This is a messy story about the messiest parts of our lives: the times when we have to reevaluate everything we thought we knew about life. The main character, Emma, has her life turned upside-down twice in this book: once, when her first love and husband Jesse is lost at sea, and again, years later when he is found and brought back home. This may be a romance novel, but it is also about how we pick ourselves up and move forward after heartbreak. It’s about grief and time, and about how we love in so many different ways.

I cared for the characters in this book. I cared about them. I know that I was wholly swept into this book because it mattered so much to me what happened to them. Reid does such a nuanced and beautiful job of pulling apart all of the tangled, blended emotions that her characters feel in this story. I cheered for them and snarked at them and even rolled my eyes a few times, but mostly I just wanted them to be happy. That’s a powerful thing when an author can create that. Creating characters with depth and complexity seems to be a trend throughout all of Reid’s novels so far and I applaud her for it. It is so masterfully done and creates such an emotional impact.

One True Loves was a quick read but I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention how perfectly sized, paced, and planned it was too. The book felt like it moved effortlessly from thought to thought all the way until the end, which was– perfect, actually. I loved it. The ending left me happy and teary-eyed and so impressed with the love and nuance used throughout this book.

One True Loves was romantic and sad, beautiful and sweet, and somehow even funny sometimes. All in all, this was a book that I truly enjoyed. I hope you do too.

You can find One True Loves here @ Goodreads & Amazon


Hope you all are surviving the Monday! x — A

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author talk, Book Tour

Stormrise (Author Interview + Giveaway!!)

A combat warrior will risk everything to awaken the dragons and save her kingdom in Jillian Boehme’s epic YA Fantasy debut, Stormrise, inspired by Twelfth Night and perfect for fans of Tamora Pierce.

If Rain weren’t a girl, she would be respected as a Neshu combat master. Instead, her gender dooms her to a colorless future. When an army of nomads invades her kingdom, and a draft forces every household to send one man to fight, Rain takes her chance to seize the life she wants.

Knowing she’ll be killed if she’s discovered, Rain purchases powder made from dragon magic that enables her to disguise herself as a boy. Then she hurries to the war camps, where she excels in her training—and wrestles with the voice that has taken shape inside her head. The voice of a dragon she never truly believed existed.

As war looms and Rain is enlisted into an elite, secret unit tasked with rescuing the High King, she begins to realize this dragon tincture may hold the key to her kingdom’s victory. For the dragons that once guarded her land have slumbered for centuries . . . and someone must awaken them to fight once more.”

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


So I’m here with Jillian Boehme, the Author of Stormrise, a new YA fantasy hitting shelves soon. Let’s start by having you tell us a little about your book. 

Stormrise is the story of Rain, a girl who disguises herself as a boy and takes her twin brother’s place in the army—knowing that, if she gets caught, she will die. Magical dragon powder helps suppress her femininity, but it also awakens Nuaga, she-king of the dragons who have been asleep for centuries and who Rain must now awaken in order to save her kingdom.

What was your inspiration for this novel?

I’m drawn to stories with female leads who ultimately find their strength without denying their femininity—like Éowyn from Lord of the Rings, who in her greatest moment declares that she is not, in fact, male. I guess you could say my biggest inspiration is the girl-dressing-as-a-boy trope (e.g. Mulan, Arya, Lee Westfall in Rae Carson’s Walk the Earth a Stranger, which I happened to be reading while I was planning Stormrise). As for the dragons? I love them and simply wanted to tell a story about them. Caveat: I wanted my dragons to be different. So I created them without wings, and with furry manes. 

Do you use music when you write?

Oh, definitely! I create a soundtrack for every novel I write; the music helps to pull me quickly into the world so I can begin working. 

What’s a writing day look like for you?

I write 6 out of 7 days a week (unless I’m on deadline and need to write on Sunday, too). I’ll generally spend some time in the morning, which is my best time for writing. I homeschool my 12-year-old, and she does all her lesson work in the morning. She’s largely independent with her studies, which gives me more time to write (and to do other things, like laundry and throwing food into the crockpot).

If my morning ends up full of other obligations, I still have my main writing time in the afternoons. When it’s time to take my daughter to ballet (4 evenings a week), I simply pack up my laptop and bring my work with me. One of the wonderful things about being a writer is that you can work pretty much anywhere!

If you could speak to a writer just starting out, what would you tell them?

Oh, I love talking with writers just starting out! Dearest, just-starting-out-writers: Write that first novel no matter what. It’s going to end up on the rubbish heap (I know you don’t want to hear that), but it’s imperative that you finish it. Get feedback on it and be ready to rip into it to continue “practicing” how to write a novel. Then, when you’ve done all you can, start your second book. Read A LOT, and continue to get feedback A LOT. Make a commitment to learn your craft, and stay open to correction and instruction along the way. Even after you’ve been writing for years, you will continue to learn and to grow as a writer, which is part of the beauty of the calling. When things get tough, don’t quit! Give yourself grace and space when you need it, but keep pressing on. It’s an up-and-down journey, and you won’t have to take it alone. In the end, you’ll be so glad you stuck with it, regardless of where your own, personal journey takes you. I wish you all the best!


JILLIAN BOEHME is known to the online writing community as Authoress, hostess of Miss Snark’s First Victim, a blog for aspiring authors. In real life, she holds a degree in Music Education, sings with the Nashville Symphony Chorus, and homeschools her remaining youngster-at-home. She’s still crazy in love with her husband of more than thirty years and is happy to be surrounded by family and friends amid the rolling knolls of Middle Tennessee.

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Pre-order Stormrise between now and September 23rd and you’ll receive a signed bookmark and be entered into a drawing to win this gorgeous, Stormrise-inspired pendant by @T.ARCHJEWELRY. More into here.

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Book Tour, Reviews

Tiger Queen

“From Annie Sullivan, author of A Touch of Gold, comes Tiger Queen, a sweeping YA fantasy adventure that tells the story of a fierce desert princess battling to save her kingdom. Fans of Rebel of the Sands and Meagan Spooner will devour this retelling of Frank Stockton’s famous short story, “The Lady, or the Tiger?”

In the mythical desert kingdom of Achra, an ancient law forces sixteen-year-oldPrincess Kateri to fight in the arena to prove her right to rule. For Kateri, winning also means fulfilling a promise to her late mother that she would protect her people, who are struggling through windstorms and drought.The situation is worsened by the gang of Desert Boys that frequently raids the city wells, forcing the king to ration what little water is left. The punishment for stealing water is a choice between two doors: behind one lies freedom, and behind the other is a tiger.

But when Kateri’s final opponent is announced, she knows she cannot win. In desperation, she turns to the desert and the one person she never thought she’d side with. What Kateri discovers twists her world—and her heart—upside down. Her future is now behind two doors—only she’s not sure which holds the key to keeping her kingdom and which releases the tiger.”

I had no idea what to expect with Tiger Queen, but I had SO much fun reading this book.

Tiger Queen is a retelling of a story by Frank Stockton titled “The Lady and The Tiger,” and I was fascinated by this new twist on a story not often in the spotlight. Tiger Queen was rich, descriptive, and full of discovery and color.

One of my favorite things about this book was the strong, independent, forward-thinking main character in Princess Kateri. She experiences an entire shift of her world and yet approaches it with such an open and curious mind, longing to see what the world offers for her. She struggles with figuring out what real strength is: is it power or is it peace? So many of her internal and external struggles were so relatable and wonderfully readable. I rooted for her, cheered for her, and believed that she could become the Queen her kingdom needed.

Annie Sullivan was a new author to me before Tiger Queen, but we are well acquainted now. Her other novel, A Touch of Gold, is also on my TBR and now I want to go read it! Sullivan’s writing style was simple in the best ways and beautifully descriptive and luxurious. Her world sings with color and life and new ideas that I enjoyed encountering around every corner.

If you like Fantasy, if you loved the movie Aladdin like I did, if you like retellings and love expanding your knowledge of other cultures and stories, this book is for you. Tiger Queen was fun, dramatic, and I read it so fast that I was sad it was over when it ended. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Annie Sullivan is a Young Adult author from Indianapolis, Indiana. Her work has been featured in Curly Red Stories and Punchnels. She loves fairytales, everything Jane Austen, and traveling and exploring new cultures. When she’s not off on her own adventures, she’s teaching classes at the Indiana Writers Center and working as the Copy Specialist at John Wiley and Sons, Inc. publishing company, having also worked there in Editorial and Publicity roles. You can follow her adventures on Twitter and Instagram (@annsulliva).

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Enter to win a Tiger Queen poster and signed bookplate!

Giveaway is open to US residents and ends 9/13/2019.

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It’s “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

I’ve been MIA for a week or so and I thought that this would be the perfect way to jump back in. After a week of family visiting, apartment deep cleaning, and being sick, I am ready to get back to my reading and writing! Hope you didn’t miss me!

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

I am really enjoying this book so far, and that’s about all I know about it. I know it’s about people and a civilization after an apocalyptic event, but I’m only in the beginning so I’m still going along for the ride. I have heard so many good things about this book, so I’m really looking forward to the rest.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

This book has been fun! I was feeling in the mood for something witchy, and The Wicked Deep has hit the spot. This YA Fantasy has been spooky, dramatic, and mysterious, and I’m really excited to see how it ends.

What I’ve recently finished:

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

I really enjoyed this, but I kind of knew I would when I first requested it from Netgalley. It’s called “The Lady Rogue,” after all. Rogues are some of my favorite things (in books and in life) and this time its a lady? Hell yeah! This YA fantasy adventure was fast-paced, character driven, and highly enjoyable. This one hit shelves today, so keep an eye out at your local bookstore!

What I think I’ll read next:

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottilieb

This book looks so interesting. From what I know, it’s a book about therapy written by a therapist and discussing her own processes in therapy with her own therapist and what her life is like. Ha! Yes. I was a Psych major in college and as someone who goes to therapy also, this has endless appeal to me. I can’t wait to report back about it.

The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

This looks really good and I’ve heard such high recommendations for it, so I have high expectations. From what I know, this book follows an asian-inspired fantasy world through a series of devastating wars that shape their culture and character. The sequel to this book just came out, so I’m eager to get through this one first!

See you all on Friday!

What are you reading this week?? Leave a comment letting me know!

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Reviews

All the Bad Apples

“The day after the funeral all our mourning clothes hung out on the line like sleeping bats. ‘This will be really embarrassing,’ I kept saying to my family, ‘when she shows up at the door in a week or two.’

When Deena’s wild and mysterious sister Mandy disappears – presumed dead – her family are heartbroken. But Mandy has always been troubled. It’s just another bad thing to happen to Deena’s family. Only Deena refuses to believe it’s true.

And then the letters start arriving. Letters from Mandy, claiming that their family’s blighted history is not just bad luck or bad decisions – but a curse, handed down through the generations. Mandy has gone in search of the curse’s roots, and now Deena must find her. What they find will heal their family’s rotten past – or rip it apart forever.”

I had no idea what to expect when I dove into All the Bad Apples, but I shouldn’t have worried: I enjoyed this immensely.

All the Bad Apples is a magical story full of atmosphere, mystery, and a twisted sense of whimsy. This book is about women, shame, and family while also being a comment on the punishment that the world dishes out to girls who aren’t “nice and normal.” It is so relevant.

Deena in particular is a great female main character. She felt whole and fleshed out, and wielded so much agency and power for a young girl. I love that she develops over the story in more than one way; sexuality, religion, strength. She was a different character at the end of the book than she was at the beginning and that development felt so reasonable and empathetic.

I also loved the background of Ireland for this particular story. The story is so woven into the culture and identity of its setting. I lived in Ireland for a short time, and the intensity of religion and community shown in this book felt very real to me. All the Bad Apples is a story that digs deeply into how the history of a place and a culture can gradually change and twist the views of thousands of people. Very interested to read.

Overall, I just really enjoyed this. I loved the Irish setting, I loved the descriptive and beautiful writing style, I loved the diverse cast in race, sexuality, gender. This book is angry in all the best ways, almost cathartic in the ways that so many women and girls are feeling frustration right now. If you’re looking for something mysterious and atmospheric, and also a little different, this may be the book for you.

Look for this one on shelves on August 27th!

Moïra Fowley-Doyle is half-French, half-Irish and made of equal parts feminism, whimsy and Doc Martens. She lives in Dublin where she writes magic realism, reads tarot cards and raises witch babies.

Moïra’s first novel, The Accident Season, was shortlisted for the 2015 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize & the North East Teen Book Awards, nominated for the Carnegie Medal & won the inaugural School Library Association of Ireland Great Reads Award. It received two starred reviews & sold in ten territories. Her second novel, Spellbook of the Lost and Found, was published in summer 2017, received a starred review from School Library Journal and was shortlisted for the Irish Book Awards.

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Enter to win 1 of 15 copies of Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Ruthorford!

Giveaway is open to US residents and ends 9/2/2019.

Enter through this Rafflecopter form and may the odds be ever in your favor!

August 21st

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Book Tour, Reviews

Crown of Coral and Pearl

Today, I’m excited to introduce you to Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford! I really enjoyed this twist on the mermaid/sea-inspired YA fantasy, and I was lucky enough to join the tour to tell you about it! Let’s get to it.

For generations, the princes of Ilara have married the most beautiful maidens from the ocean village of Varenia. But though every girl longs to be chosen as the next princess, the cost of becoming royalty is higher than any of them could ever imagine…

Nor once dreamed of seeing the wondrous wealth and beauty of Ilara, the kingdom that’s ruled her village for as long as anyone can remember. But when a childhood accident left her with a permanent scar, it became clear that her identical twin sister, Zadie, would likely be chosen to marry the Crown Prince—while Nor remained behind, unable to ever set foot on land.

Then Zadie is gravely injured, and Nor is sent to Ilara in her place. To Nor’s dismay, her future husband, Prince Ceren, is as forbidding and cold as his home—a castle carved into a mountain and devoid of sunlight. And as she grows closer to Ceren’s brother, the charming Prince Talin, Nor uncovers startling truths about a failing royal bloodline, a murdered queen… and a plot to destroy the home she was once so eager to leave.

In order to save her people, Nor must learn to negotiate the treacherous protocols of a court where lies reign and obsession rules. But discovering her own formidable strength may be the one move that costs her everything: the crown, Varenia and Zadie.”

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I picked up Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford. Would it be the standard YA fantasy fare? Would it feel repetitive? But no, I enjoyed this new addition to the mermaid-inspired fantasy trend and if you enjoy this genre I think you will too.

The best thing about Crown of Coral and Pearl is that it is, at its core, a beautiful little novel in so many ways. The easy flow of the writing, the thought and detail in all the descriptions, and even in the culture of the people in this book. Beauty itself is a sort of theme in this book, one of the kingdoms in which it takes place even values beauty above all else, drawing fascinating questions about what kind of world that builds. This book was gorgeous, I felt like I could see and feel every luxurious detail, and I loved how this concept was woven into the story. Very smart.

Overall, the world-builing in general was a fascinating piece of this book. Each kingdom felt full and lived in, and the issues they faced felt real and layered in complexity. I especially found the politics and relationship between the two kingdoms to be so interesting and could have read a lot longer on these topics alone. I was swept up into this world so well and that is one of the things I appreciate most about reading.

Another thing Coral and Pearl does so well is in showcasing its tough, feminine, relatable main character, in Nor. I found all of the characters in this book interesting, but her most of all. Nor is clever, compassionate, driven, and a great female character. Most of all, I loved the incredibly close but surprisingly difficult relationship between Nor and her twin sister. Watching that relationship develop over the events of the book, in both victories and struggles, was an interesting dynamic considering how close their ties are. Even the villain of this story drew so much empathy and depth of feeling.

My only detractor is that the romance in this book didn’t quite work for me. Overall, it didn’t take away from the overall story but it just…didn’t need it? It seemed too quick and more like infatuation than anything else, so I struggled to root for this facet of the story as much as I did the others. Nor is such a strong character that it was frustrating to see her make certian choices for a romance that felt somewhat out of character. One of the central themes of this book is that beauty is more than just a physical state, its something deeper, and yet for the life of me I couldn’t see any other factor but physical attraction here haha. But hey, that’s valid too, I guess.

Overall, I enjoyed this. It could use a little polishing when it comes to the romance and maybe the ending, but it was a solid debut into the crowded field of YA fantasy novels right now. I am loving this sea-inspired trend, it’s hitting all my nostalgic Little Mermaid buttons, and this just fit right in. Crown of Coral and Pearl was well-paced, interesting all the way through, and set on a great premise. Would definitely recommend.

Keep an eye out for this one in stores on August 27th!

Mara Rutherford began her writing career as a journalist but quickly discovered she far preferred fantasy to reality. Originally from California, Mara has since lived all over the world, from Russia to Peru, along with her Marine-turned-diplomat husband and two sons. A triplet born on Leap Day, Mara holds a Master’s degree in Cultural Studies from the University of London and would rather study the folklore of her next post than the language (which she has found is a lot more fun but not nearly as useful). She is a former Pitch Wars mentee and three-time mentor. Her debut YA fantasy, CORAL AND PEARL, will release from Harlequin Teen in Fall 2019.

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Enter to win 1 of 15 copies of Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Ruthorford!

Giveaway is open to US residents and ends 9/2/2019.

Enter through this Rafflecopter form and may the odds be ever in your favor!

August 19th

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Book Blog Hop

Time to Hop!

One of the things I’ve been trying to do a lot of since starting this blog is check out other awesome book review blogs and get involved in some of the weekly challenges and prompts they use.

Today I’m going to be taking part in the Book Blogger Hop! This is currently active over at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer and bloggers all over the sphere get involved to answer the prompt, visit some of the other responses, and make new connections!

This week’s prompt comes from Billy @ Coffee Addicted Writer and they asked:  “Do you read historical fiction?

And my answer is: Yeah, I do!

Historical Fiction isn’t my most read genre, as I tend toward Sci-Fi/Fantasy, but I still really enjoy it.

I love when the two genres crossover, especially. The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon is one of my particular favorites. I’ll be with this one until the end and definitely recommend if this genre-fusion interests you. Je suis prest.

I’ve had good luck in Adult and YA fiction too! Code Name Verity, a YA historical fiction novel set in WWII, is one of my favorite books that I never miss an opportunity to recommend or talk about. That book made me feel impossible joy and deep sadness, all while making me appreciate what it means to be human. WOAH, I know I just got really deep on y’all for a second, but that’s just how much I love that book. Go read it!

A few more of my Historical Fiction favorites!

  • Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
  • Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys
  • The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
WWW

It’s “What are you reading?” Wednesday!

I’ve seen a lot of bookish memes and list ideas here on the book-blogging circuit, and I wish I could do all of them! One of my favorites has been a trend of bloggers posting their current reads on Wednesdays.

This week I’ll be taking inspiration from Taking On a World of Words, and trying out their “WWW Wednesday!”

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What I’m currently reading:

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas

Wow, this series. I read ACOTAR years ago and didn’t love it, but only finally picked this series back up after much coaxing and cajoling. I’m really enjoying it now. The second and (so far) third books have had so much more of all the things I wanted in the first, dark and complicated topics and emotions, old magic, and a wide and diverse cast of characters. I am definitely looking forward to getting some vengeance in this last installment of the trilogy.

Whisper Network by Chandler Baker

I just started this but it sounds so good! This one has been all over the internet, snagging a spot in Reese Witherspoon’s book club as well as being one of the most talked about books in adult fiction right now. I’ve heard it compared to Big Little Lies and also that its a cathartic read for those of us watching the growth of the #MeToo movement today. I really like it so far and I can’t wait to finish. I’ll definitely be reviewing this title, so keep an eye out!

What I’ve recently finished:

Growing Things by Paul Tremblay

This was…very interesting. Growing Things is a collection of short horror stories and I found it very hit or miss, depending on the story. I’ve read and enjoyed both of Tremblay’s novels and this definitely had his signature style and grit. I’m not a big short story reader in general, but I found myself easily drawn into these little microcosms of scary stories. Every one was wildly different and my feelings about them were too, but overall I enjoyed this. If you’re a horror fan, check this out.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

So it begins! I’ll be doing a feature on this, I think, but I am officially starting my Grishaverse re-read! I’ve been trying to read King of Scars, the newest installment in this world, for months but haven’t been able to get it into my TBR, so I started toying with the idea of reading the whole series again to build up to it. I didn’t love or hate the Grisha trilogy the first time I read it, though I LOVED the Six of Crows duology, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to merge those two feelings and worlds this time around. This will also be my first time adding Language of Thorns into that lineup. Looking forward to it!

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

I’ve read this book so many times but it had been a while before this reread. I recommended this to a friend in my book club the other day and just talking about it made me feel the urge to read it again. Noah’s memoir is funny, touching, smart, observant, and feels like listening to a friend. I particularly love the audio of this book and I highly recommend it to anyone. This book is excellent.

What I think I’ll read next:

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I’m really looking forward to starting this one, eeeeeveryone I know who’s read it has loved it. Does that mean my expectations are high? Oh, they are so high. But I’m hoping this lives up to the hype. I’ve been really digging YA fantasy lately so I’m optimistic!

The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis

This is one of my most anticipated novels, I’m so excited to read this. I won this ARC from BookishFirst and it looks so good. Lauded as “Westworld meets A Handmaid’s Tale,” I could not be more eager or excited to see what that looks like. This book looks feminist AF! And hopefully it’s an amazing story too. I’ll report back when I’m done!

What are you reading this week?? Leave a comment letting me know!

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Top 10 Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday was created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week’s topic asks us to list our “Book Characters that I’d love to be besties with!”

Haha this was an interesting question! After all, not every character I would love to be friends with would be open to being friends with me too. I might get stabbed! (I do love stabby characters.) Instead, I tried to pick characters that might mesh well with my personality or vice versa, characters that I could “realistically” see getting along with. This was so much fun.

Harry Dresden

From Jim Butcher’s The Dresden Files, and my favorite series, it makes me happy to think that we actually have a lot in common. We’re both introverts who prefer paperbacks over parties, we both love our animals and treat them like members of the family, and we both value our friends above all else, loyal to a fault. I don’t know how much help I’d be with all of the crazy things he gets himself into, but I’d definitely be there to commiserate and buy him a beer at Mac’s.

Rhysand and The Inner Circle

From A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas, I loved the vibe of this misfit group of friends. I would love to be a part of it. The intense loyalty and love they have for each other, the diversity in backgrounds and experiences, the lack of judgement, the acceptance of all oddities, these are only some of the wonderful things I feel this friend group offers. They may all be misfits, they may all be a little bit broken, but- hey, so are we all, right? I feel like I would fit right in.

Hermione Granger

I feel like my girl Hermione is going to make a lot of lists this week! From Harry Potter by JK Rowling, I had to include her. We have too much in common. Love to read, love homework, compulsively takes too many classes, loves her friends fiercely- we’d have a lot to bond over. I feel like she could also use a few more gal pals to balance out the boys too.

Ginny Weasely

I almost included Ginny and Hermione on the same point, since they’re from the same book, but I didn’t. I would also love to be friends with Ginny, but I feel like we would have a very different relationship. Ginny is bolder, says what she wants and means, feels loudly and isn’t afraid to confront a problem. I feel like she could teach me a lot and challenge me in ways that friends are supposed to challenge each other. Plus, I could go watch all of her Quidditch games!

Ian & Jenny Fraser

Hahaha this one would be so interesting. From the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon, Ian and Jenny have been book “friends” of mine for a long time and definitely made this list easy. Though I do have to say that I think it would be much easier to befriend Ian than Jenny, but hopefully if I start there he’ll put in a good word for me. I would love to visit Lallybroch and see their family and way of life, be taken care of in the firm, matter-of-fact way that Jenny does. Their relationship dynamic is somehow so soothing to me and I can imagine a lot of happy moments in their home as a friend.

Warren Smith & Kyle Brooks

From one of my favorite series of books, The Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs, Warren and Kyle are #relationshipgoals. They are one of my favorite couples to ship and I would love to go hang out with the two of them. Warren is warm and calming, while Kyle is provocative and sarcastic, and I love them both. Every time I read that scene in Blood Bound where they’re watching Queen of the Damned with Stefan and Mercy, I just want to hop into the scene and join them. Weekly movie nights at Warren and Kyle’s house!

Anna Cornick

Another character from Patricia Briggs, this time from the companion series to Mercy Thompson, the Alpha and Omega series. Anna is musical, creative, kind, introverted, and works hard to soothe, comfort, and support her friends. I think we have a lot in common and I would love to have a friend like her.

Leah Burke

From Leah On the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli, I feel like we would have a lot to talk about. She’s a grumpy, overweight, bisexual teen and my HS self would have had so much to talk about with Leah. AND she could bring her adorable girlfriend, Abby (who I totally ship), to hang out with us. We have a lot of common and a lot that is different but that might work in our favor. As a bonus, I feel like I could give Leah some social tips that might help her come off less…prickly. She gets so withdrawn and surly when she’s upset and I’ve been there, I feel like we could help each other and have a lot of fun along the way.

Stella Lane

From The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang. Stella probably has better things to do than hang out with me, her fancy job, sexy boyfriend, and meticulous routine, but we also have so much in common. I would love to hang out with her late at night with a bottle of wine, talking about our struggles and victories with dating and relationships and sensory issues. I feel like she could also help me organize my closet. Where are you, Stella??

Theodora Sanderson/Crain

From The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson, Theodora is a sarcastic, takes-no-shit, badass and I could definitely use a friend like her. She isn’t afraid of haunted houses or ghosts, she says what she means, and she enjoys an adventure. I think she would be a good influence on me haha. I will say, I love the book and the show, and either Theo would be a fantastic friend. In my mind they’ve just merged into one amazing multi-Theo.

This was a hard one!

Who are some characters you’d like to be friends with?? Any on the list here?

If you participated in TTT this week too, drop a link in the comments below!