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!

Instagram | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

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!

Reviews

Wilder Girls

“We don’t get to choose what hurts us.”

It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true. (Goodreads)


“Did I like this??” That is the question I’ve been asking myself since I finished Wilder Girls by Rory Power. There is a lot to consider, despite this little book’s size and I had a very interesting journey while reading it. I went back and forth on this question for almost all of the book before finally deciding…it just wasn’t for me.

First, let me say that there is a lot to appreciate in this book. The atmosphere and descriptive world-building were strange and beautiful, the characters were tough, Queer, young women, even the element of “wtf?” suspense in this novel were wonderfully enjoyable. For a debut novel, this was so creative and original and I genuinely look forward to seeing what else Power writes in the coming years.

But for me personally…this was a big miss. And because my expectations were so high, also a big disappointment. To be fair, some of that is my doing, so I don’t completely blame Wilder Girls for this review, but I wanted to like it so much that it’s still a bummer.

I came to Wilder Girls knowing almost nothing about it except for the synopsis and that it was widely anticipated. I was one of those anticipators! As it turns out, there was one fact that would have been very helpful for me to know about this book before I read it: It’s a semi-retelling of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, unless you’re like me and you hated Lord of the Flies. The ugliness and brutality, in both character and style, just never felt like stress-free entertainment to me, and Wilder Girls felt the same in some ways. My feelings throughout this book made a lot more sense to me when I learned that fact.

I can’t hold a book accountable JUST because I hated its inspiratory predecessor, but it didn’t help things for Wilder Girls. There was something about the emotional style of this book that held me up more than anything else. I don’t know if it was unintentional or a choice by the author, but for most of the book I felt as if I were a cool, casual observer to what was going on. Instead of enmeshed and engaged and actively feeling. I tend to read with my emotions first, so this kind of style gets tiring very quickly. I wanted to feel more and be sucked further into this world, of which there was so much to explore, but for most of the book I felt kept at arms’ length.

This cool, almost detached perspective against the backdrop of this wild, organic, ugly, beautiful world did have its fascinating moments. The bizarre speculative science and mutations in this story also felt somewhat reminiscent of Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer, another organic science thriller I read this year. If you liked the Southern Reach trilogy, you may enjoy this YA take on a similar vibe.

Overall, there were a few other struggles for me in Wilder girls: I didn’t click well with the characters, I didn’t understand some of their motivations, and it was often kinda gross. But I could’ve lived with all of that, especially balanced with the book’s positives, if it weren’t for the ending. I’ll try to say as little as possible, which is really hard when reviewing endings, but it didn’t work for me. It almost felt like a sci-fi dystopian “slice of life” novel, in that I did not get any of the answers I wanted. I like answers.

In the end, I’m glad that I read Wilder Girls. Whatever struggles I had, I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. I’m still left wanting to know. I started this one with big expectations and, sure, it let me down. But I also think this is a beautiful, little novel in its own– weird, gross way. Wilder Girls was gritty, dark, bizarre, and wildly creative for all of its more grisly flaws. Read it for yourself and decide.

I want to know what YOU thought of Wilder Girls!

Did you know it was a retelling? Did you like the open end? What did you think of the book??

Leave me a comment letting me know

Instagram | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

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 Elizabeth @ Silver’s Reviews and they asked:  “What authors do you always read or recommend?”

And my answer is: A few of them! I did a post a few months ago on my Auto-Buy Authors, but not all of them are what I would consider books that I recommend to “everyone.”

The authors off the top of my head that I find myself recommending the most often are– Jenny Lawson, Brene Brown, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Riley Sager. For SF/F lovers its Jim Butcher and Patricia Briggs and Jay Kristoff.

Who’s your “go-to recommendation?” Leave a comment and recommendation for me below!

Book Tour, Reviews

The Killing Gene

One of my favorite things as a reader, and a reviewer, is picking up a book that I’m skeptical about…and then being totally wrong. It’s the best.

That’s what happened for me with The Killing Gene, by E.M. Davey.

I was sent a request to review this by Duckworth publishing and am very excited to be participating in their #SummerReads tour for this book!

For more information on the tour, and to follow along, I’ll post a schedule at the end of this post that you can use.

And in the meantime, please enjoy my review of The Killing Gene by E.M. Davey.

When a young archaeologist goes missing in the Congo basin, Professor Randolph Harkness and troubled tearaway Ross McCartney go in search of her only to stumble upon a conspiracy to conceal ancient horrors lost to the passage of time.

Evading spies and trained killers, can they expose this cover-up in time or will they be buried with it? An unputdownable thriller The Killing Gene reveals the story of our species, the paradox of the modern mind and our innate predilection for murder…

I stumbled upon this book without knowing anything about it. And I enjoyed it a lot. The Killing Gene is a thrilling, fast-paced, well-researched piece of adventure fiction and it was a lot of fun to read.

The best thing about this book is hands-down the pace at which it carries itself. The writing is detailed, polished, and easy to read, carrying the plot with just the right amount of support. I kept reading almost compulsively. Because the chapters are short, every time I would finish one I would think to myself “It won’t take long to just read one more.” And then it was over somehow! That’s how they get you!

Moreover, this book was so well researched. I really felt that the author understood his subject matter the best that he could and that he translated that understanding to the audience well. Somewhat reminiscent of the feeling I get when reading Dan Brown’s books, The Killing Gene is rife with complex and fascinating theories that dip into history, culture, and science, among others. I feel like I learned some things while reading and I love getting that feeling from a book.

The plot was fun and unpredictable, and just “over the top” enough, in my opinion. I think that it uses the formula well, applying traditional choices when it made sense but then turning things on their heads at the next turn. This kind of writing kept the book interesting. I struggled with the Old Testament references, finding them a little heavy-handed, but it didn’t stop me from enjoying the heart-stopping twists and turns on this adventure.

Finally, I enjoyed the characters in this book. Sometimes, with books like these in Historical Adventure, there is a tendency to place all knowledge, competency, and merit on the MC and not on the surrounding characters, or even cultures, that the book also talks about. I didn’t find this problem so much with The Killing Gene and it was a genuine breath of fresh air. Davey’s characters felt likable and relatable. I especially enjoyed McCartney and the complexity of writing a character with a life-changing diagnosis. He continually walked that line of endearing and reckless and I found that to be every entertaining, aware storytelling.

This book was so out of my normal reading comfort zone. I love adventure and thrillers and I used to read books like this ALL the time, but started getting away from the formula as I got older. This was one reason that I accepted the opportunity to review this book, I was excited to dive back into a known/unknown area of reading for a while! And guys, I wasn’t disappointed in the least. If you love the sound of adventure and running through the jungle and danger around every turn, this might be the book for you.


E.M. DAVEY is a journalist at Global Witness specializing in undercover investigative journalism into international corruption and environmental crime, which gives him the opportunity to travel to far-flung and unusual places. His novels incorporate real-world experiences and meticulous research, blurring the lines between reality and fiction. He has taught creative writing with the Wilbur & Niso Smith foundation and is the author of three novels: Foretold by Thunder (Duckworth 2015), The Napoleon Complex (Duckworth 2016) and The Killing Gene (Duckworth 2019). He grew up in Bristol and now lives in Kent. 

Website | Twitter

What do you think? Sound interesting? Leave a comment letting me know what you think!

Thanks for stopping by! See you tomorrow! x — A

WWW

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

Ohhh man, friends. It has been one hell of a week.

I’ve been meaning, but my schedule’s been lighter than usual. Between my birthday and being ill this week and some other unforeseen life hurdles I am exhausted.

But I’m here! Honestly it’ll be good for me to check in and take inventory on what I’ve been reading lately, and I want to hear from you too!

WWW Wednesday is a book meme that comes from Taking On a World of Words.

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:

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

This is the Summer release that I’ve been waiting for! I hopped on this book on its recent release day and haven’t been disappointed. I’ve read almost all of Ruth Ware’s books and most of them have been really enjoyable. Turn of the Key is just what I wanted and expected from Ware’s signature mystery/thriller style: super eerie, scarily relatable, and a wild tangle of theories. I’m about halfway finished with this one and at the part I’m at now (“creeeaaak”) I can’t put it down. I’m sufficiently creeped and happy. I’ll report back when its finished!

What I’ve recently finished:

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

I’m going to be writing a longer feature about this journey, but this was a turn-around for me! I read this the month it came out, a few years ago, and it was okay but…didn’t call to me further than that. And then it blew up to beloved proportions in the book community. So many of my book friends and fam have begged, cajoled, bargained, and needled me to try this one out again and…hell, I liked it. Was it perfect? No, but I liked it a lot more than the first time around, and I’m definitely going to try the sequel (which I’m assured is the best). Here’s to second chances!

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

In contrast to second chances, this is one of my all time favorite books. And what’s ironic about it being one of my favorites is that its also a war book. (Or…kinda.) Code Name Verity is a YA historical fiction novel that has one of the most beautiful, underrated, cry-worthy female friendships that I’ve ever read. I would recommend this book to anyone, adult or YA, because I think this one crosses that border so well. And, regardless, it is just such a beautiful, heart-breaking, worthy story. I don’t know how to properly express my love for this book, just trust me and add this one to your list.

What I think I’ll read next:

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas

This is the sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses, above. Enough said. I think I’m going to start this one next but I’ve been in a mood-reading groove lately so we’ll see how I feel after I finish my current read. This looks good. I’m intrigued by the part of this world that we get to explore in the second volume and I hope that it pulls me deeper into the series. Fingers crossed!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

I know next to nothing about this one, other than the fact that it has great reviews and that its an Adult Contemporary. My book club is reading this one this month and so I’m hopping on the train! I kind of like diving into books unknown every once in a while, so I’m looking forward to whatever surprises it has in store. Have you read this one?

Leave a comment and tell me what you’re reading this week!

Love it? Hate it? Recommend it??

Instagram | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

Reviews

Daisy Jones & The Six

“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. I am not a muse. I am the somebody. End of f*cking story.”

Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity . . . until now.

I take back anything I’ve said before, this book has been my biggest surprise of 2019.

I loved Daisy Jones & The Six. I can’t even describe how much I loved this book, its hands down one of my favorites of the year. I can’t stop telling people about it. Your turn!

This book is written like a great segment of VH1’s “Behind the Music,” so much so that I could visualize huge parts of it like I was watching it on a screen. I am absolutely crazy about the format, which I thought at first might be a struggle for me. Nope! The interview/stream of thought writing format is so compelling, in physical or audio form. I listened to the audio myself and I was blown away by how quickly I was swept up into this story. The full cast did a great job of really immersing you in their lives and story and if you have a chance I definitely recommend listening to this one.

I liked so much about this book. The characters were raw and real and flawed and gut-wrenchingly honest. And they evolved over time, which had a mesmerizing effect of shrinking years into an afternoon. I could have listened to hours and hours more of this novel and not even noticed it was long. Every single one of them, lead singer or bass, told a gritty and compelling story that I could not turn off.

Now, I don’t know about you but I wasn’t sure if Daisy Jones & The Six was a real band or not when I started this haha. I know, I know! But I hadn’t read anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid at that time (how?!) and the book was marketed so well as a “behind-the-scenes, groupie memoir” that I totally bought it. The funny thing is, as much as it is fiction, it felt so real and tangible to me that I almost kind of believe it again. That’s what kind of book it was.

This novel is beautiful from start to finish. I don’t know how to describe the feeling exactly, but there was something so incredibly beautiful about the shades and facets of humanity that this book shines a light on. Humor, love, betrayal, compromise, ugliness, self-sacrifice, determination, empowerment, music, I felt and related to so many human moments in this book that it felt less like a book and more like an experience.

I recommend Daisy Jones & The Six whole-heartedly and with enthusiasm. If I could I’d buy a copy for every person I love, even the ones who say that this wouldn’t be their type of book. Yeah, I once thought that too, and now I’m so glad that I took a step out of my usual reading zone and experienced this great story. You’re all in for one hell of a ride with this one, but I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

“Music can dig, you know? It can take a shovel to your chest and just start digging until you hit something.”

“Don’t count yourself out this early…you’re all sorts of things you don’t even know yet.”

Read and loved this book too?? Let me know in the comments!

Instagram | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

Book Tag

“Its My Party and I’ll Read if I Want To”

I was known for how well I dressed, back then.

It’s my birthday! Do you know what that means?

I’m older! 29, to be specific. Almost 30, which doesn’t freak me out the way I feel like it’s supposed to. Yet.

I wasn’t planning on writing a post today but I ended up having the time and felt like blogging, so I went in search of something fun to do.

That’s where I found: The Birthday Book Tag!

This tag originated from Antonia @ Always Books and I found it after doing a very sophisticated web search for the words “birthday,” “book,” and “tag.” Why not?

Let’s do thiiiiiiis.

#1 | Birthday Cake:

A book with a plot that seems cliché but you adore it anyway.

I didn’t have to think very hard for this answer. It has to be The Selection series by Kiera Cass.

This YA Fantasy series takes place in a country who’s Prince is looking for a bride. For 35 girls across the country, being “selected” is an incredible opportunity to live at the palace and compete for the Prince’s heart. These books follow our heroine, America, a reluctant entry into The Selection, as she undertakes this particularly fierce and surprisingly dangerous challenge.

This trilogy is exactly like cake: not a lot of substance but so much delicious sugar and all the calories and feelings you could want. I’ve read these more times than I care to admit haha.

What I really do love about this series though, despite what the synopsis may lead you to think, is the female friendships that develop over the series. So many feels. And yes, of course, the blossoming young romance and dramatic royal intrigue, I also love that too.

#2 | Party Guests

Your most anticipated book release for this year.

So I already did a post recently on my most anticipated reads of 2019, BUT. I do want to talk about one book in particular.

This book is a 2020 release (I HOPE) that I’ve been waiting on for- almost six years? It’s from one of my favorite authors, it’s the next addition in a series that I need more of dearly, and I’m so excited.

That book is Peace Talks by Jim Butcher.

If you’re a Butcher fan and you’ve been waiting for as long as I have, no more! (Or…a little bit more.) Butcher posted the words “THE END” on his twitter just a couple of weeks ago and confirmed that he has finally finished writing the book. We should hopefully see a release date and cover soon!

This makes me as happy as that girl right there. ^^

#3 | Birthday Presents

A book that surprised you with how much you loved it.

This was an easy one too!

Hands down, 100%, blew me away, was not expecting it: Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

What. A. Book.

I do enjoy contemporary fiction, but I tend to most gravitate toward fiction that isn’t about just our mundane earth world. Not all the time, but this definitely happened with my expectations for Daisy Jones.

If you’re around the book community at all you have probably seen Daisy Jones talked about on booktube or on instagram or someone’s told you to read it (you should) and I saw all those things too, I just didn’t get the hype then. I’d never read anything of Reid’s before and it was a book about a band’s progression through their career in the 1970s and that just didn’t call to me. I put it on my TBR and expected to get around to it in a few years, like I usually do with uber-popular novels that don’t immediately fall into my hands or heart.

Dumbest thing I’ve done all year was put off reading this. I ended up coming around to it just last month because my book club chose it for our Book of The Month and just…damn. I listened to the audio, which I highly recommend, and I couldn’t turn it off. All day long I’d pause it to get something else done and then end up turning it right back on again. I almost wish I hadn’t finished it so fast, but I couldn’t help myself.

Occasionally, as readers, we get to enjoy the unique and delicious pleasure of being so wrong about a book we come to love. This was definitely one of those moments for me.

(I think this review is also scheduled for Monday? Keep an eye out!)

#4 | Happy Birthday Song

A book that certainly deserved all of the hype that it got.

Oh man, I might have to go back to Taylor Jenkins Reid on this one. RIGHT after I finished Daisy Jones and The Six, I rushed to the library and got my hands on her other hugely-hyped novel that I had yet to read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. …And now I’m a hardcore Taylor Jenkins Reid fan. They were both spectacular, maybe my best books of the year so far.

In the interest of sharing the love though, I’m gonna spotlight another duo of novels that totally deserves all the attention and hype they (still) get: Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo.

I know, I know, I know, the book community are sick of hearing about these BUT- in the interest of fairness, it is my birthday and I can do what I want. *AHEM*

Maybe I’m feeling sentimental because of the new Crooked Kingdom Collector’s Edition (hint hint, to any present buyers lol) being announced recently, but I’ve been thinking about how much I love this duology a lot. I might need to reread it soon. Maybe a blog buddy read?

Six of Crows is essentially a heist story, except that it’s also set in a fantasy world (the same world as The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, if you’re familiar). Calling it a “heist book” is really a disservice but I’m not sure how else to describe the general plot, cause that’s what it is. What is really is though, underneath, is a dark, complex, slow burn, character-driven, emotional work of YA fiction.

Crooked Kingdom is the sequel to Six of Crows but I hesitate to say much more about it or its plot, to avoid some particularly good spoilers. Needless to say that I still to this day cannot decide if I liked it “as much as Six of Crows” or more.

I didn’t hate or love Bardugo’s first series, so when I read these I was so surprised and elated and knew immediately that I would follow these characters to the end. I felt so attached to the whole and flawed and beautiful humans in this book, and in a way that I haven’t experienced very often since I was a young reader. I love these characters so much and their victories and struggles absolutely become your own when you read these books. Its stuck with me to this day.

Have I talked enough about these yet? Okay.

#5 | Happy Music

A book with some very beautiful and truly memorable quotes.

Ooh this is a hard one!!

I’ve read so many books with quotes that I love that there are so many to pick from. And then some of my favorite quotes come from books that aren’t quoteable as a whole. Hmmm. How to choose?!?

I thought about Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein. I thought about The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I also thought about The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien and the Harry Potter series by JK Rowling. I treasure all of these books, but especially for their words in this case.

Ultimately, I chose The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho.

I really love this book. I know its polarizing, people seem to either really get it or really don’t get it, but it’s special to me. This simple, little story is about following our dreams and realizing that our destiny is bigger than the limits we put on ourselves. Its about following the path that is truly ours and coming to understand our place in the universe (or God, or whatever you believe is bigger than we are). I come back to this story a lot.

Here are some of my favorites:

“You will never be able to escape from your heart, so it’s better to listen to what it has to say.”

“And, when you can’t go back, you have to worry only about the best way of moving forward.”

“It’s one thing to feel that you are on the right path, but it’s another to think that yours is the only path.” 

“Listen to your heart. It knows all things, because it came from the soul of the world, and one day it will return there.”

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever truly suffered when it goes in search of its dreams.” 

“Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.”

We are travelers on a cosmic journey, stardust, swirling and dancing in the eddies and whirlpools of infinity. Life is eternal. We have stopped for a moment to encounter each other, to meet, to love, to share. This is a precious moment. It is a little parenthesis in eternity.

#6 | Getting Older

A book that you read a long time ago, but you think you would appreciate more if you read it as a more mature reader.

Ha, I feel like there are a ton of possible answers to this one, for sure.

My first thought were all of the children’s books I loved as a kid that have such timeless meanings and words in them: The Velveteen Rabbit, The Giving Tree, Love You Forever, to name a few of them.

But when I really sat down and thought about which one to highlight, I kept coming back to something I actually reread recently: The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.

That might be a trite or a common answer, I don’t know, but I also found it to be true. I loved Harry Potter when I first started reading the books at age 11, I loved Harry Potter when I finished the series for the first time at 18, and I love it now that I’m an adult. Honestly, it’s almost difficult to talk about all the things that HP makes me feel because of the many, many layers of love and memories, from so many different times in my life. Its almost too much.

What I noticed reading through it again as an adult though was this: the true darkness, complexity, and weight of everything those characters deal with was not something I could wrap my head around at 11. I thought I got it all at 18, but even then I don’t think I really grasped some of the deeper, emotional components that come from experience. There were moments during my reread that truly reached out and touched something in me that made me stop. I think there’s something about being an adult, after you’ve felt so many of the complicated, mixed, and heavy feelings that come with being mature, that gives over a new perspective to our sense of empathy. I felt the books so intensely this time around. Maybe that’s because it had been a long time, maybe because I was older and savored every word and feeling, maybe both. Not sure. But I think the emotional heart of this story is very multi-layered for different ages.

#7 | Sweet Birthday Memories

A book that made you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life.

This was a tough question also!

Books are my number one companions when I’m down and I tend to withdraw into stories when things are especially tough, so I feel like I could name so many.

I’ll call out a few, in the order in which they entered my life:

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Both the Tortall & Circle series by Tamora Pierce

The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Anything by Jenny Lawson

I have gotten lost in all of these pages for a day or a few and they have each been so generous and comforting to me. I literally can’t count all the times I have picked up one of these books hoping that it would sweep me away and I’ve never been let down.


Oh man! This book tag was awesome and had some hard questions, I seriously struggled with a few, but we did it! I wasn’t planning on writing a big post today but hey, this was fun. Thanks for spending my birthday with me! See you on Monday! x — A

Instagram | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads

Let me know in the comments which books hit these birthday marks for you!

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 own more than one copy of a book?”

And my answer is: Oh hell, yeah. But only a special few haha.

Listen, I would love to collect every cover of every book I love. But If I did that, moving from one apartment to another would be an insane feat of humanity that I would never want to undertake again. So, for a while, I’m being smart with which books I purchase physically. Or…I’m trying my very best to be.

With that said, there are a few books that I do own multiple copies of and most of them are beloved favorites.

I own two copies of my favorite fantasy series, The Dresden Files, hardback and paperback. That wasn’t on purpose but just happened naturally over the years and years that I’ve read that series. I used to annotate my paperbacks too, so it’s fun to have one copy that’s been marked over and over and another that’s clean and fresh.

I also own multiple (many) copies of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. These were my first and favorite fantasy stories and I love them and Middle-Earth so much, so yeah. I’m that lady with 18 editions of the hobbit in her living room haha. Literally. (Though I haven’t counted.) I love collecting these in multiple languages and covers, especially through gifts or thrifting. It’s been fun to collect them all.

I’m sure there are a few scattered others but these are the big ones.

What about you? Do you own multiple copies of books you love?

Leave me a comment letting me know!

Thanks for stopping by. See you on Monday! x — A

Instagram | Twitter Facebook | Goodreads