July 2020 TBR

Hi everyone! It is my first post back and I am so excited to be back! Today, I am going to be sharing my list of books that I plan on reading this month, or at least will try to read. I’m not putting a lot of pressure on myself to read, but I would like to at least try to get through some of these. Let’s just jump right into the list!

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Clap When You Land by Elizabeth Acevedo

Clap When You Land

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance – and Papi’s secrets – the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.

Papi’s death uncovers all the painful truths he kept hidden, and the love he divided across an ocean. And now, Camino and Yahaira are both left to grapple with what this new sister means to them, and what it will now take to keep their dreams alive.

The Seven Deadly Sins (Vol. 1 & 2) – Nakaba Suzuki

The Seven Deadly Sins, Vol. 1

When they were accused of trying to overthrow the monarchy, the feared warriors the Seven Deadly Sins were sent into exile. Princess Elizabeth discovers the truth – the Sins were framed by the king’s guard, the Holy Knights – too late to prevent them from assassinating her father and seizing the throne! Now the princess is on the run, seeking the Sins to help her reclaim the kingdom. But the first Sin she meets, Meliodas, is a little innkeeper with a talking pig. He doesn’t even have a real sword! Have the legends of the Sins’ strength been exaggerated…?

All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

All Your Twisted Secrets

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?

Maybe This Time by Kasie West

Maybe This Time

Weddings. Funerals. Barbecues. New Year’s Eve parties. Name the occasion, and Sophie Evans will be there. Well, she has to be there. Sophie works for the local florist, so she can be found at every big event in her small hometown, arranging bouquets and managing family dramas.

Enter Andrew Hart. The son of the fancy new chef in town, Andrew is suddenly required to attend all the same events as Sophie. Entitled, arrogant, preppy Andrew. Sophie just wants to get her job done and finish up her sketches so she can apply to design school. But every time she turns around, there is Andrew, getting in her way and making her life more complicated. Until one day she wonders if maybe complicated isn’t so bad after all . . .

Told over the course of one year and following Sophie from event to event, this delightful novel from master of romantic comedy Kasie West shows how love can blossom in unexpected places.

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Top Ten Tuesday #54 – Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

Hello everyone and it’s time for another Top Ten Tuesday!

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Titles That Would Make Good Band Names

(1) The Vincent Boys – Abbi Glines

The Vincent Boys (The Vincent Boys, #1)

(2) Crazy Rich Asians – Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians, #1)

(3) Girls of Paper and Fire – Natasha Ngan

Girls of Paper and Fire (Girls of Paper and Fire #1)

(4) Radio Silence – Alice Oseman

Radio Silence

(5) The Diviners – Libba Bray

The Diviners (The Diviners, #1)

(6) SHOUT – Laurie Halse Anderson

SHOUT

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Top Ten Tuesday #53 – Books That I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About

Hello everyone, and happy Tuesday! Of course, it is tradition on this blog that we do Top Ten Tuesday’s. and honestly… I am really loving today’s prompt.

I will admit, I do repeat books a lot… *cough* Caraval *cough*. But today we are going to talk about the books I enjoyed, but don’t nearly talk about enough. Now, a lot of these books are actually pretty popular, but here on this blog, I don’t generally talk too much about them. So let’s just dive right in and give these books the spotlight they rightfully deserve, shall we?

This was an idea created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules basically go a little like this:

  1. Jana creates a new topic every Tuesday to make your list, and you create your own Top Ten (or three, or five, or twenty, however many you choose!)
  2. Link back your posts to That Artsy Reader Girl so when others read your post, they’ll know where to go to get more info about future upcoming topics.
  3. There is a linky widget on Jana’s Top Ten Tuesday post so other’s can see your post as well as you being able to check out everyone else’s! So definitely leave your links!
  4. Don’t be afraid to add your own twist to it!

This week’s topic: Books I Enjoyed But Rarely Talk About


(1) The Perfect Son – Lauren North ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The Perfect Son

I am not just shocked, but totally dumbfounded as to why this book didn’t get more hype than it did. I really don’t hear anyone talking about this book and I really wish that could change. It came out last year in August and I actually received it as an Arc from the publisher. I knew it was a mystery, and it sounded interesting. I mean come on, a mother who wakes up from the hospital and realizes her child is missing and she’s been stabbed? Good lord. The DRAMA. But this book was uhh… let’s just say completely surprising and blew me completely out of the water. I gave it a 4/5 stars, but I have been contemplating that decision for a long time.

(2) My Lovely Wife – Samantha Downing ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

My Lovely Wife

What a book this was. My god, the writing… the plot… the characters! It was a genius book, and I have never heard of anything like this nor read anything like it. This was a debut (I believe) and I cannot wait to read what Downing puts out next. If she wants to start us off with a husband and wife killing team, her next book is going to be genius.

(3) Opposite of Always – Justin A. Reynolds ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Opposite of Always

I think this is the only book I have read with time travel in it, and to my surprise I actually seriously enjoyed it. I won’t give the plot away because I feel like with this one you should go in a little blind, but it is a really cute story and would definitely recommend everyone should try reading.

(4) Eliza and Her Monsters – Francesca Zappia ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Eliza and Her Monsters

Eliza is easily one of the most relatable characters I have ever read a point of view from in my entire life. I thought this book was beautiful, unbelievably well written, and I don’t cry with many books, but this is definitely one of the rare ones that made me cry. It’s a pretty popular book with the YA community, but I don’t nearly talk as much about it as I should.

(5) An Unwanted Guest – Shari Lapena ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

An Unwanted Guest

Being totally honest here, I know I talk about Shari Lapena’s book’s quite a bit, but this one doesn’t nearly get all the love it deserves on this blog in my opinion. It is easily on of the best Thrillers I have ever read in my entire life, and I am not sure if anything will be able to compare to it. It’s set up as a ‘And Then There Were None’ sort of storytelling, which I LOVE, and it is just done so well. UGH! Go read it!

(6) Romanov – Nadine Brandes ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Romanov

I received this as an eArc the beginning of last year and yikes… another incredible story. I have never read Fawkes, which is basically what Nadine is known for (other than her adorable instagram), but I really had a hunch when requesting this book that it was going to be something truly magical. And boy, what a magical fun story this was. 100% recommend it.

(7) Love & Gelato – Jenna Evans Welch ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Love & Gelato (Love & Gelato, #1)

I read this book back in 2018 and really enjoyed it. I haven’t been able to get to the next books in the series, but I do plan on doing that in the near future.

(8) They Both Die At The End -Adam Silvera ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

They Both Die at the End

Another really good back that I read back in 2018 that was just so creative! I don’t think I would have ever been able to come up with a story line like this one had that was just so detailed! Such a cool, but yet soul-crushing concept.

(9) The Playbook Series – Alexa Martin ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Intercepted (Playbook, #1)

Well, seeing as I love football and love a good adult romance book, these books are basically made for me lol. I love the writing, they are good books that have just the right amount of drama in them for me to love and both books I’ve given pretty good ratings. I know the third book is out, so I will have to pick that up soon.

(10) The Fault In Our Stars – John Green ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

The Fault in Our Stars

Yes, this last book is a very popular book, but on this blog, well it’s basically non-existent. It’s not my fault I read this book back in like 2014 okay? I need to re-read this because it really was an incredible story that unfortunately, I have no notes on.


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Book Review | Sabrina The Teenage Witch by Kelly Thompson

Hi everyone! Happy Easter! I hope everyone has a lovely holiday during this otherwise very difficult time. Today I know is meant to be spent with family, but it’s best that we all stay home and just reach out by a phone call. Trust me, when this is all over I am so looking forward to visiting my grandparents and bbq’ing it up.

I know my mom and dad are struggling a little bit with Easter having to be at home and no Easter dinners, but this year I decided to hold an Easter egg hunt at home for my brother and mom and dad. My brother is 18, so we haven’t had an egg hunt at my house for a long time.. but I thought we needed a little bit of fun this year for Easter. I made them nice baskets, and they will be going around the house looking for their eggs.

How are you guys spending your Easter at home? Any dinner plans? Any fun stay at home activities you have planned? Let me know! Now, on to the book review!

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Kelly Thompson, Veronica Fish (Illustrator)

Pages: 144

Audience: YA

Genre(s): Graphic Novel, Fantasy, Paranormal, Witches

Publication Date: November 20, 2019

Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!

  • Sabrina’s Personality – I loved Sabrina’s personality throughout the story. She had a ton of sass and was very sarcastic, just like me which I enjoyed. She was very funny and I loved that she wasn’t afraid of using and showing off her magic! Every witch-y themed book I read, the witches are always scared to use their magic, which is what makes the book great! We saw a lot of magic in this story, and I hope with future stories we continue on with that.
  • Artwork – I really loved the artwork in this one, I also how the included all the different covers at the end that multiple artists has sent in. Just really refreshing artwork.
  • Lots of Action – There were a lot of monsters, magic action. I love seeing that in a book, less drama and more action!
  • Funny – I laughed throughout most of this book to be totally honest. Not laugh at the book obviously, but at Sabrina’s humor and SALEM! Ugh, I loved it.
  • Length – I thought their definitely could have been more, but the cliff hanger was a good starting place for the next book.
  • Love Triangle – I don’t like love triangles in general anyways, so this one definitely did not do it for me. We all know I love Sabrina and Harvey together, so that love triangle was NOT needed!

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Absolutely! I thought this was such a refreshing graphic novel. I loved the artwork, the action, the sass. I can’t wait for the second volume/collection to come out!

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Book Review | The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Hey everyone! Happy Saturday! I hope everyone is having a lovely day so far. Today I wanted to give you guys a really good book review because….. ah this book. Honestly, where can I even begin with this book? Ummm… it f**king rocked okay?! It was amazing and thank god I just decided to pick it up on a whim. Let’s just get into the review shall we?

The Kingdom

The Kingdom

Jess Rothenberg

Pages: 352

Audience: YA

Genre(s): Science Fiction, Fantasy

Publication Date: May 28, 2019

Trigger Warnings: suicide, implied sexual assault, animal abuse, talks of blood/gross imagery, self-harm triggers

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human. 

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg | Sheaf & Ink
  • Dark – This book is very dark. I don’t normally include trigger warning in book reviews, but this one I had to because there are a lot of dark elements to this book. I knew it had some creepy and deep elements to it, but I never expected it to turn as dark and terrifying as it did in some spots.
  • Unexpected Turns – There were a lot of twists and turns in this book that I did not see coming AT ALL. It kept me guessing constantly of what may happen and what may not happen. It was so crazy and out there.
  • Ana and Owen – What a nice relationship! It wasn’t one that was solely built on attraction to one another, but based on deep conversation the two shared, that us as the readers got to see in a really nice way thanks to Rothenberg. It made the whole fact that he’s a human and she’s this cyborg princess a little less creepy.
  • The Sisters – I loved all of the sisters. Some weren’t as present as others, but some like Eve, Nia, and KAIA! All of the sisters seem to have different programming, and Kaia’s character honestly broke me every time I heard from her. Even though what she said literally had no reference to the current conversation that was being handled in the book (if you’ve read this I think you know what I’m trying to get at here), her words still had a deep, dark and terribly sad meaning. I need more KAIA.
  • Description of Park/Writing – I thought Jess did a great job with the writing and the description of the park was amazing.
  • Back and Forth Timeline – I don’t usually care for timelines that go back and forth between past and present, but man did I enjoy the hell out of this. I feel like this review would be a lot different if those little chapters to the ‘present’ where Ana is going through her trial weren’t included. They kept the reader want to keep reading, and it wasn’t long before it has me totally sucked in.
  • Pictures of Evidence in Book – Liked that there were some pictures included, and even fake notes. Loved that.
  • Disney References – There were a few Disney references in this book, one is my favorite quote from the entire book which is ‘Like Wendy, John and Michael Darling on the night Peter Pan taught them how to fly – I think one happy thought. In my pocket, I have a knife.’ In that moment I immediately wrote it down because I had felt a sharp shiver go all the way up my spine. Good lord.
  • Will there be a sequel? Because that ending! – I need to know what happens to a certain character which will remain nameless…… but I really need to know and I need a book 2 ASAP.
  • Backstory – I needed a little more back story. That’s literally the only complaint I have. I just want to know more about how The Kingdom came to be before Ana showed up.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

Of course I would! I’m thinking this may be my favorite book of the year if I have to be straight forward with you guys. I will scream it from the mountain tops that I love this book. Although, I will warn you guys, it is VERY DARK. Like possibly could upset you dark. Could possibly put you in a bad head space dark? So just be fair warned about that.

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April 2020 TBR

Hello everyone! Yes, this month’s TBR is VERY ambitious, but these are all books I am so excited to just devour. Let me know what you guys plan on reading this month in the comments! Let’s get into the lengthy TBR!


These Witches Don’t Burn (These Witches Don’t Burn #1) – Isabel Sterling

These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn, #1)

Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans.

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day.

Sabrina the Teenage Witch – Kelly Thompson

Sabrina the Teenage Witch

Sabrina is a teen witch who’s struggling with balancing the double life of high school and her burgeoning powers. Newly relocated to Greendale with her aunts Hilda and Zelda (also witches), Sabrina is trying to make the best of being the new girl in town which so far includes two intriguing love interests, an instant rivalry, a couple of misfits that could turn into BFFs, and trying to save the high school (and maybe the world) from crazy supernatural events. NBD!

Foul Is Fair – Hannah Capin

Foul Is Fair (Foul Is Fair #1)

Elle and her friends Mads, Jenny, and Summer rule their glittering LA circle. Untouchable, they have the kind of power other girls only dream of. Every party is theirs and the world is at their feet. Until the night of Elle’s sweet sixteen, when they crash a St. Andrew’s Prep party. The night the golden boys choose Elle as their next target.

They picked the wrong girl.

Sworn to vengeance, Elle transfers to St. Andrew’s. She plots to destroy each boy, one by one. She’ll take their power, their lives, and their control of the prep school’s hierarchy. And she and her coven have the perfect way in: a boy named Mack, whose ambition could turn deadly.

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird – Josie Silver

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible.

But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life–and perhaps even love–again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened.

Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.

Written with Josie Silver’s trademark warmth and wit, The Two Lives of Lydia Bird is a powerful and thrilling love story about the what-ifs that arise at life’s crossroads, and what happens when one woman is given a miraculous chance to answer them.

The Kingdom – Jess Rothenberg

The Kingdom

Glimmering like a jewel behind its gateway, The Kingdom is an immersive fantasy theme park where guests soar on virtual dragons, castles loom like giants, and bioengineered species–formerly extinct–roam free.

Ana is one of seven Fantasists, beautiful “princesses” engineered to make dreams come true. When she meets park employee Owen, Ana begins to experience emotions beyond her programming including, for the first time… love.

But the fairytale becomes a nightmare when Ana is accused of murdering Owen, igniting the trial of the century. Through courtroom testimony, interviews, and Ana’s memories of Owen, emerges a tale of love, lies, and cruelty–and what it truly means to be human.

Blitzed – Alexa Martin

Blitzed (Playbook, #3)

Maxwell has finally met an opponent that he can’t best in this new football romance from the author of Fumbled.

According to Brynn Larson, Maxwell Lewis is more trouble than he’s worth. She doesn’t care if he’s a football god with a rock-hard body that brings most women to their knees. After an encounter that ends poorly, she’s not interested in giving him a second chance. The last thing Brynn expects is for him to turn up at her bar months later, hat in hand. It doesn’t matter if he brings more customers to her business–she’s still not going on a date with him.

Maxwell knows he made a mistake. He’d been waiting to make his move on Brynn since the day he laid eyes on her and he was finally ready to go for it until he screwed up. He wishes he could tell her the truth about what happened that night, but he just can’t. He can’t tell anyone, so he’ll make amends and hope she’ll forgive him.

Brynn’s not like other women, though. Playing for the Mustangs doesn’t impress her and gifts make her scoff. Max will have to bring his A game if he hopes to win her over.

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) – Marissa Meyer

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl. . . .

Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future.

With high-stakes action and a smart, resourceful heroine, Cinder is a Cinderella retelling that is at once classic and strikingly original.


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