Truelife

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

truelife book three in lifelike series by jay kristoff
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon

Author: Jay Kristoff

Published: June 30, 2020

Pages: 480

Series: Lifelike, #3

Goodreads rating: 4.22/5

For fans of: Dystopian Fantasy, YA, The Lunar Chronicles, Illuminae, Aurora Rising, Sci-Fi

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads (*Don’t read if you haven’t read the rest of the series*):

Best friends have become enemies. Lovers have become strangers. And deciding whose side you’re on could be the difference between life and death. For Eve and Lemon, discovering the truth about themselves–and each other–was too much for their friendship to take. But with the country on the brink of a new world war–this time between the BioMaas swarm at CityHive and Daedalus’s army at Megopolis, loyalties will be pushed to the brink, unlikely alliances will form and with them, betrayals. But the threat doesn’t stop there, because the lifelikes are determined to access the program that will set every robot free, a task requiring both Eve and Ana, the girl she was created to replace. In the end, violent clashes and heartbreaking choices reveal the true heroes . . . and they may not be who you think they are.

My Review:

You built a world on metal backs. Held together by metal hands. And one day soon, those hands will close. And they’ll become fists.”

What an amazing ending to a great series. In this finale, Kristoff takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions as he continues exploring what it really means to be alive. Lifelikes and logika have been artificially made, but they have feelings, they feel pain, they love and they hate, so what exactly makes them not human? What gives humans the right to oppress them? Kristoff also delves into environmental issues as people attempt to survive and build a life in this post nuclear war world.

Maybe after seeing how close they’d all come to running out of future, people were finally learning from the mistakes of the past.”

Kristoff’s quirky writing and made-up language is what makes this series so unique. I especially enjoyed the playful banter between the characters even while in the midst of chaos and destruction. The author also excels at writing lovable characters, and I even found myself liking the villains. My favorite character was Lemon Fresh, she was truly “brilliful” inside and out. My favorite side character was Cricket, who still reminds me so much of Iko from the Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. All the characters had impressive character arcs and had so much growth. I highly recommend this series to all YA Dystopian and Fantasy fans.

You might like:

-My review of Lifelike (Lifelike, #1) by Jay Kristoff (buy on Amazon)

-My Review of Deviate (Lifelike, #2) by Kay Kristoff (buy on Amazon)

Recent Additions to My TBR

the shadows by alex north the vanishing half by brit bennet the book of longings by sue monk kidd books book of the month subscription july
My July Book of the Month picks. Click on link to subscribe for $10! (I get a free book if you do)

I recently received a book cart for my birthday, and I am seriously not sure if it has been hindering or helping my book buying situation. It has definitely helped me tackle my TBR though! There’s something about seeing those books just sitting there on that cart that makes me want to read them…maybe so that I can fill it with more?

tbr book cart
Picture taken by me. Add me on Instagram

I have been loving my Book of the Month subscription, but I do admit it’s not helping the TBR situation. I have been trying to prioritize those, but I almost never get them read on the month that I got them. This subscription has helped to open my mind to so many new genres and authors though, and I really look forward to picking the books I want, and then seeing my little blue box on my door step every month 🙂

Have you added any new books to your TBR recently? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

the shadows book by alex north
Buy on Amazon

The Shadows by Alex North

Goodreads rating: 4.13/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

The haunting new thriller from Alex North, author of the New York Times bestseller The Whisper Man

You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.

Paul Adams remembers the case all too well: Crabtree–and his victim–were Paul’s friends. Paul has slowly put his life back together. But now his mother, old and senile, has taken a turn for the worse. Though every inch of him resists, it is time to come home.

It’s not long before things start to go wrong. Reading the news, Paul learns another copycat has struck. His mother is distressed, insistent that there’s something in the house. And someone is following him. Which reminds him of the most unsettling thing about that awful day twenty-five years ago.

It wasn’t just the murder.

It was the fact that afterward, Charlie Crabtree was never seen again…

Buy on Amazon

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd

Goodreads rating: 4.33/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

“I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.”

Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, Ana is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.

Their marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary. Here, Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas. She is sustained by her indomitable aunt Yaltha, who is searching for her long-lost daughter, as well as by other women, including her friend Tabitha, who is sold into slavery after she was raped, and Phasaelis, the shrewd wife of Herod Antipas. Ana’s impetuous streak occasionally invites danger. When one such foray forces her to flee Nazareth for her safety shortly before Jesus’s public ministry begins, she makes her way with Yaltha to Alexandria, where she eventually finds refuge and purpose in unexpected surroundings.

Grounded in meticulous historical research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place, and culture devised to silence her.

Buy on Amazon

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Goodreads rating: 4.47/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From The New York Times -bestselling author of The Mothers , a stunning new novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white.

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it’s not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it’s everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Ten years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters’ storylines intersect?

Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family, from the Deep South to California, from the 1950s to the 1990s, Brit Bennett produces a story that is at once a riveting, emotional family story and a brilliant exploration of the American history of passing. Looking well beyond issues of race, The Vanishing Half considers the lasting influence of the past as it shapes a person’s decisions, desires, and expectations, and explores some of the multiple reasons and realms in which people sometimes feel pulled to live as something other than their origins.

As with her New York Times-bestselling debut The Mothers, Brit Bennett offers an engrossing page-turner about family and relationships that is immersive and provocative, compassionate and wise.

Buy on Amazon

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Goodreads rating: 4.29/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

También de este lado hay sueños. On this side, too, there are dreams.

Lydia Quixano Pérez lives in the Mexican city of Acapulco. She runs a bookstore. She has a son, Luca, the love of her life, and a wonderful husband who is a journalist. And while there are cracks beginning to show in Acapulco because of the drug cartels, her life is, by and large, fairly comfortable.

Even though she knows they’ll never sell, Lydia stocks some of her all-time favorite books in her store. And then one day a man enters the shop to browse and comes up to the register with a few books he would like to buy—two of them her favorites. Javier is erudite. He is charming. And, unbeknownst to Lydia, he is the jefe of the newest drug cartel that has gruesomely taken over the city. When Lydia’s husband’s tell-all profile of Javier is published, none of their lives will ever be the same.

Forced to flee, Lydia and eight-year-old Luca soon find themselves miles and worlds away from their comfortable middle-class existence. Instantly transformed into migrants, Lydia and Luca ride la bestia—trains that make their way north toward the United States, which is the only place Javier’s reach doesn’t extend. As they join the countless people trying to reach el norte, Lydia soon sees that everyone is running from something. But what exactly are they running to?

A Good Marriage

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

a good marriage book by Kimberly mccreight
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon

Author: Kimberly McCreight

Published: May 5, 2020

Pages: 400

For fans of: Suspense, Mysteries, Slow-burn Thrillers, books like The Girl on the Train, Big Little Lies, Presumed Innocent, who-done-it plots

Good to know: mentions of child sexual abuse, different POV’s, story switches between past and present time lines

This was one of my June Book of the Month picks (click on the link to save on a subscription while I get a free book credit :))

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Big Little Lies meets Presumed Innocent in this riveting novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia, in which a woman’s brutal murder reveals the perilous compromises some couples make—and the secrets they keep—in order to stay together.

Lizzie Kitsakis is working late when she gets the call. Grueling hours are standard at elite law firms like Young & Crane, but they’d be easier to swallow if Lizzie was there voluntarily. Until recently, she’d been a happily underpaid federal prosecutor. That job and her brilliant, devoted husband Sam—she had everything she’d ever wanted. And then, suddenly, it all fell apart.

No. That’s a lie. It wasn’t sudden, was it? Long ago the cracks in Lizzie’s marriage had started to show. She was just good at averting her eyes.

The last thing Lizzie needs right now is a call from an inmate at Rikers asking for help—even if Zach Grayson is an old friend. But Zach is desperate: his wife, Amanda, has been found dead at the bottom of the stairs in their Brooklyn brownstone. And Zach’s the primary suspect.

As Lizzie is drawn into the dark heart of idyllic Park Slope, she learns that Zach and Amanda weren’t what they seemed—and that their friends, a close-knit group of fellow parents at the exclusive Grace Hall private school, might be protecting troubling secrets of their own. In the end, she’s left wondering not only whether her own marriage can be saved, but what it means to have a good marriage in the first place.

My Review:

The worst part of marriage was the way somebody else’s problems became your own”

This is a slow-burn Thriller, meaning it took seventy percent of the book for everything to start coming together and the pace to pick up. I don’t particularly enjoy books about trials, or when the legal aspects take over the plot, but I did feel like the court documents and transcripts included were necessary to the story. The legal jargon and court preparation did get a bit bothersome at times, and this is probably why the story was so slow to develop.

Success is an abstraction only to rich people”

This book was full of unlikeable characters. Both of the main female characters, Amanda and Lizzie, made multiple reckless and impulsive decisions just to get a rise out of their husbands or to get their attention. The only character I actually liked was Sebe, one of the side character’s husbands, and Millie, the detective who helps Lizzie. My list of suspects was constantly changing, and by the end I still was not one hundred percent sure who the killer was. There were some major plot twists, which I really enjoyed. I highly recommend this book to all Mystery/Thriller fans.

YA Dystopian Binge

stack of dystopian ya books
Picture taken by me.

When I was little, I would walk around my neighborhood with a notebook “solving crimes.” I would write down my suspect list, interrogate the neighbors, and use ground up pencil lead to “fingerprint” the neighbors’ dogs and cats. I thought I wanted to be a detective, but what I was really doing was writing stories and doing research. It took me about 28 years and a Forensic Degree later to realize that I wanted to be a writer.

I’ve been recently trying my hand at writing. My work in progress is potentially a YA/Dystopian book, so I decided to read this stack of highly recommended books in this genre for research and inspiration purposes. I probably won’t ever end up publishing it, but the idea popped into my head and I just had to write it. Any other YA/Dystopian books you would recommend? Which one of these should I read first? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

unwind book one by neil shusterman
Buy on Amazon

Unwind (Unwind, #1) by Neal Shusterman

Goodreads Rating: 4.18/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Connor, Risa, and Lev are running for their lives.

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

the maze runner book by james dashner
Buy on Amazon

The Maze Runner (The Maze Runner, #1) by James Dashner

Goodreads rating: 4.02/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

If you ain’t scared, you ain’t human.

When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his name. He’s surrounded by strangers—boys whose memories are also gone.

Nice to meet ya, shank. Welcome to the Glade.

Outside the towering stone walls that surround the Glade is a limitless, ever-changing maze. It’s the only way out—and no one’s ever made it through alive.

Everything is going to change.

Then a girl arrives. The first girl ever. And the message she delivers is terrifying.

Remember. Survive. Run.

under the never sky book one by veronica rossi
Buy on Amazon

Under the Never Sky (Under the Never Sky, #1) by Veronica Rossi

Goodreads rating: 4.00/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

WORLDS KEPT THEM APART.

DESTINY BROUGHT THEM TOGETHER.

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she’s never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.

Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He’s searching for someone too. He’s also wild – a savage – but might be her best hope at staying alive.

If they can survive, they are each other’s best hope for finding answers.

enclave book by ann aguirre razorland book one
Buy on Amazon

Enclave (Razorland, #1) by Ann Aguirre

Goodreads Rating: 3.92/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

New York City has been decimated by war and plague, and most of civilization has migrated to underground enclaves, where life expectancy is no more than the early 20’s. When Deuce turns 15, she takes on her role as a Huntress, and is paired with Fade, a teenage Hunter who lived Topside as a young boy. When she and Fade discover that the neighboring enclave has been decimated by the tunnel monsters–or Freaks–who seem to be growing more organized, the elders refuse to listen to warnings. And when Deuce and Fade are exiled from the enclave, the girl born in darkness must survive in daylight–guided by Fade’s long-ago memories–in the ruins of a city whose population has dwindled to a few dangerous gangs.

Ann Aguirre’s thrilling young adult novel is the story of two young people in an apocalyptic world–facing dangers, and feelings, unlike any they’ve ever known.

the fifth wave by rick yancey
Buy on Amazon

The Fifth Wave (The Fifth Wave, #1) by Rick Yancey

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.

Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother-or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

the house of the scorpion by nancy
Buy on Amazon

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Goodreads rating: 4.10/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

With undertones of vampires, Frankenstein, dragons’ hoards, and killing fields, Matt’s story turns out to be an inspiring tale of friendship, survival, hope, and transcendence. A must-read for teenage fantasy fans.

At his coming-of-age party, Matteo Alacrán asks El Patrón’s bodyguard, “How old am I?…I know I don’t have a birthday like humans, but I was born.”

“You were harvested,” Tam Lin reminds him. “You were grown in that poor cow for nine months and then you were cut out of her.”

To most people around him, Matt is not a boy, but a beast. A room full of chicken litter with roaches for friends and old chicken bones for toys is considered good enough for him. But for El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium—a strip of poppy fields lying between the U.S. and what was once called Mexico—Matt is a guarantee of eternal life. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself for Matt is himself. They share identical DNA.

the program book one by suzanne young
Buy on Amazon

The Program (The Program, #1) by Suzanne Young

Goodreads Rating: 4.05/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

In Sloane’s world, true feelings are forbidden, teen suicide is an epidemic, and the only solution is The Program.

Sloane knows better than to cry in front of anyone. With suicide now an international epidemic, one outburst could land her in The Program, the only proven course of treatment. Sloane’s parents have already lost one child; Sloane knows they’ll do anything to keep her alive. She also knows that everyone who’s been through The Program returns as a blank slate. Because their depression is gone—but so are their memories.

Under constant surveillance at home and at school, Sloane puts on a brave face and keeps her feelings buried as deep as she can. The only person Sloane can be herself with is James. He’s promised to keep them both safe and out of treatment, and Sloane knows their love is strong enough to withstand anything. But despite the promises they made to each other, it’s getting harder to hide the truth. They are both growing weaker. Depression is setting in. And The Program is coming for them.

Buy on Amazon

Steelheart (The Reckoners, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Goodreads rating: 4.15/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Bringing Down the Duke

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

bringing down the duke a league of extraordinary women #1 by evie dunmore
Buy on Amazon

Author: Evie Dunmore

Series: A League of Extraordinary Women, #1

Published: September 3, 2019

ISBN: 1984805681

Goodreads Rating: 4.01/5

For fans of: Historical Fiction/ Romance, women’s suffrage movement, books set in Oxford, books about royalty

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

England, 1879. Annabelle Archer, the brilliant but destitute daughter of a country vicar, has earned herself a place among the first cohort of female students at the renowned University of Oxford. In return for her scholarship, she must support the rising women’s suffrage movement. Her charge: recruit men of influence to champion their cause. Her target: Sebastian Devereux, the cold and calculating Duke of Montgomery who steers Britain’s politics at the Queen’s command. Her challenge: not to give in to the powerful attraction she can’t deny for the man who opposes everything she stands for.

Sebastian is appalled to find a suffragist squad has infiltrated his ducal home, but the real threat is his impossible feelings for green-eyed beauty Annabelle. He is looking for a wife of equal standing to secure the legacy he has worked so hard to rebuild, not an outspoken commoner who could never be his duchess. But he wouldn’t be the greatest strategist of the Kingdom if he couldn’t claim this alluring bluestocking without the promise of a ring…or could he?

Locked in a battle with rising passion and a will matching her own, Annabelle will learn just what it takes to topple a duke….

A stunning debut for author Evie Dunmore and her Oxford Rebels, in which a fiercely independent vicar’s daughter takes on a duke in a fiery love story that threatens to upend the British social order.

My Mini Review:

This was a light and entertaining read at first, but I found the second half of the book a bit boring and hard to get through. I liked Annabelle’s strong willed character, and the fact that she represented the women who at the time wanted to be educated and have the right to vote. It was frustrating to read how oppressed women were, and I am glad there were those like Annabelle who stood for change. It was exasperating how women were thought to have smaller brains and lack the capacity to understand political issues.

I did not care for the Duke’s controlling and domineering character at all, and I found the romance to be a bit forced. In my opinion, the sexual aspects were too steamy for the time period, compared to how prim and proper the characters acted at other times. I thought the ending was predictable but I was satisfied with it all the same. Overall, I would recommend this one if you are looking for a light Historical Romance read, and if you don’t mind getting through the slower second half of the book.

booktag image

My Life in Books Tag

I saw this book tag over on Eleanor Sophie’s blog, and I thought it looked super fun. Thanks for doing this Ellie! If you are not currently following her you should, her blog is amazing. If you are reading this then consider yourself tagged. Looking forward to reading your answers.

deviate book by jay kristoff lifelike book two
Buy on Amazon

Find a book for each of your initials:

D -Deviate by Jay Kristoff –read my review

E – Edge of Oblivion by J.T. Geissinger

E – End of Days by Susan Ee

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon book
Buy on Amazon

Count your age along your bookshelf:

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon. You can read my review for this one here.

Buy on Amazon

Pick a book set in your city or country:

A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith. This book is set in Florida, and it’s one of those that they made me read in College, but I ended up actually enjoying it.

infernal devices series by cassandra clare
Buy on Amazon

Pick a book that is set in a destination you would love to travel to:

I would love to travel to England. Many of my favorite books are set in England, including Harry Potter, but I would have to pick The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. I fell in love with the way she describes the gray sky, the near constant rain, and all the landmarks. I would love to visit the bridge that Tessa and James chose to meet at. Clare has posted pictures of people who still travel there and leave notes.

kingdom of ash by sarah j maas book seven in throne of glass series
Buy on Amazon

Pick a book that has your favorite color on it:

Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass, #7) by Sarah J. Maas. I almost cried when I saw this cover announced. Empire of Storms was such a bad cliff hanger and I had waited almost two years for this last one to be released. I was so excited that it was yellow 🙂

harry potter and the cursed child book by j
Buy on Amazon

Which book do you have the fondest memories of?

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling. I found this book when I was in a really bad reading slump and super depressed. This book took me out of that dark hole, and I attribute it all to Scorpius (Draco Malfoy’s son in the book), his character makes my heart happy.

under the dome book by stephen king
Buy on Amazon

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading?

Under the Dome by Stephen King. I lost count of how many times I put this book down and then picked it back up, sometimes months later. It is a massive 1,074 pages, and it covers some very difficult topics such as very descriptive rape scenes. King does not hold anything back and I love his writing, but a lot of these scenes were very uncomfortable to get through.

the lightning thief by rick riordan book
Buy on Amazon

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the most achievement when you finish it?

I’m going to go with the whole Peter Jackson series for this one. This is a series I’ve been meaning to read for a while, and I will feel a great sense of accomplishment when I finally get to it.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

One of Us is Next

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Buy on Amazon

Author: Karen M. McManus

Series: One of Us is Lying, #2

Published: January 7, 2020

ISBN: 0525707964

Pages: 377

Goodreads rating: 4.05/5

For fans of: YA/Mysteries, Who done it trope, High School drama, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Come on, Bayview, you know you’ve missed this.

A ton of copycat gossip apps have popped up since Simon died, but in the year since the Bayview four were cleared of his shocking death, no one’s been able to fill the gossip void quite like he could. The problem is no one has the facts.

Until now.

This time it’s not an app, though—it’s a game.

Truth or Dare.

Phoebe’s the first target. If you choose not to play, it’s a truth. And hers is dark.

Then comes Maeve and she should know better—always choose the dare.

But by the time Knox is about to be tagged, things have gotten dangerous. The dares have become deadly, and if Maeve learned anything from Bronwyn last year, it’s that they can’t count on the police for help. Or protection.

Simon’s gone, but someone’s determined to keep his legacy at Bayview High alive. And this time, there’s a whole new set of rules.

My Mini Review:

Once again McManus delivered a fast-paced and action-packed YA/Mystery. I solved part of the mystery by the middle of the book, but the other twists were completely unexpected. This book had my heart racing in some parts, something the first book did not do for me. I liked that there were some familiar elements from the first story mixed in with completely new content.

I really enjoyed our two new characters’ point of views, Phoebe and Knox, and I liked learning more about Maeve (who was Bronwyn’s sister from the first book). All of these characters went through a lot of growth throughout the story as their lives were taken apart and they attempted to put themselves back together. McManus puts an emphasis on leaning on family and friends when you need it, and the fact that you shouldn’t hide things from those you love. If you enjoyed One of Us is Lying, I highly recommend you don’t wait to read this sequel, and if you are a fan of YA/Mystery then you will definitely enjoy this!

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

booktag image

The Hopeful Book Tag

We need a bit of hope in the world, especially during these uncertain times. I’m sure this year is kicking all our butts, and reading has been a nice escape for me. This book tag was a lot of fun to write. Thanks to Soulful Thoughts for tagging everyone. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Remember to tag me back and I can’t wait to read all your answers!

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone by j.k. rowling
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

1. A book world you would like to escape to: Hogwarts

I will forever be waiting for my Hogwarts letter. Always. This is the series I turn to for comfort, and I love rereading it when I’m in a reading slump. I also like to re-watch the movies when I need a reminder.

beach read by emily henry
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

2. A romance that left you all mushy inside: Beach Read by Emily Henry

This was a much heavier romance book than I expected, both from the cover and from the synopsis. It was all very misleading, but in a good way. I thought about this book a lot as I was reading it, and for some time after. You can read my review here.

the existence of amy by lana grace riva
Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

3. A friendship we should all aspire to have: Nate and Amy in The Existence of Amy by Lana Grace Riva

We would all be lucky to have a friend like Nate. Nate did things for Amy that I wondered if I would ever do for someone I work with. I think I would only go so far to help my husband and kids, and maybe my sister. Honestly, there is maybe only one work friend who I might go that far for. Am I a terrible person? Maybe. Go read my review for this book here.

my siberian husky names leah
Picture taken by me.

4. Intermission! Insert the cutest picture of your pet or the cutest animal you can find.

Meet Leah, my nine year old husky 🙂 She was named during my Twilight phase after the only female wolf in the pack. Don’t judge me!

the boyfriend project by farrah rochon
Picture taken by me. Buy the book on Amazon.

5. A character in a leadership role that inspires you.

Even though this wasn’t an amazing read for me, I still consider Samiah to be a great role model for little girls and grown women alike. Samiah taught the girls she mentored that the color of their skin did not determine the career they should follow, and that they should work hard and do what they were passionate about. I was also inspired by the fact that Samiah went back to school as an adult to obtain another degree in the field she loved, as opposed to the degree she first got in order to please her parents. You can read my review here.

The house in the cerulean sea
Picture taken by me. Buy this book on Amazon.

6. Recommend three books that fill you with hope.

1. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune -read my review here

This book filled me with hope for humanity. If more people like Linus exist, then perhaps there is still hope for this world.

2. The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes -read my review here

These women were heroines in their own right, and as a bookworm this story about a traveling library made my heart happy.

3. Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa -read my review here

This story spoke of resurrection, and this is something that I’ve always wanted to believe in so badly. It gave me hope that maybe those who love us never really leave us, and their souls will always find us again.

7. (Optional) Tag People.

If you are reading this consider yourself tagged, and remember to tag me back. I want to see all your answers!

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Most Anticipated 2020 Releases

Pictures from Goodreads.

I cannot believe June is over already. My birthday month just flew by! This has been a crazy year. I’ve found that reading has been a great form of escape, and this blog has been a great way to express myself. Thank you all for reading and following me!

I decided I needed to talk about my most anticipated releases for the next half of 2020, because the list is getting a bit lengthy and I am bursting with impatience. Some of these I’ll have to wait until the end of the year for, and some are much closer. If the book is part of a series, then I only provided a synopsis for the first book in the series, because I did not want to spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read them.

What are your most anticipated 2020 releases? Let me know in the comments!

Truelife (Lifelike, #3) by Jay Kristoff

truelife by jay kristoff lifelike #3
Pre-order on Amazon

This one will be released today June 30, 2020, and I’m super excited I won a copy from a Giveaway on Instagram. I love everything Kristoff writes, and I hope this won’t be the last series we see from him. Deviate had a terrible cliff hanger, so I’m excited to see how he ends this series. You can read my review of Lifelike here, and Deviate here.

Here is a Synopsis of Lifelike, the first book in the series from Goodreads:

On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

Blood and Honey (Serpent and Dove, #2) by Shelby Mahurin

blood and honey serpent and dove #2 by Shelby mahurin
Pre-order on Amazon

Look at that gorgeous cover! This one will be out on September 1, 2020. I’m very excited to learn more about our side characters Ansel and Coco from Serpent and Dove, click on the link to read my review for the first book.

Here is a Synopsis of the first book from Goodreads:

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

The Lost Book of the White (The Eldest Curses, #2) by Cassandra Clare

the lost book of the white by cassandra clare the eldest curses #2
Pre-order on Amazon

I love the Shadowhunters, but I love me some Magnus Bane even more. The best thing Clare ever did was start this series where Magnus is one of the main characters. This second book will be published September 1, 2020. Here is my review of The Red Scrolls of Magic, #1.

Here is a synopsis of the first book from Goodreads:

All Magnus Bane wanted was a vacation—a lavish trip across Europe with Alec Lightwood, the Shadowhunter who against all odds is finally his boyfriend. But as soon as the pair settles in Paris, an old friend arrives with news about a demon-worshipping cult called the Crimson Hand that is bent on causing chaos around the world. A cult that was apparently founded by Magnus himself. Years ago. As a joke.

Now Magnus and Alec must race across Europe to track down the Crimson Hand and its elusive new leader before the cult can cause any more damage. As if it wasn’t bad enough that their romantic getaway has been sidetracked, demons are now dogging their every step, and it is becoming harder to tell friend from foe. As their quest for answers becomes increasingly dire, Magnus and Alec will have to trust each other more than ever—even if it means revealing the secrets they’ve both been keeping.

To Sleep in a Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini

to sleep in a sea of stars
Pre-order on Amazon

I love the Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, and he hasn’t written anything since then. I am very intrigued about this new book of his. It’s a hefty one, 800 pages. The cover is amazing and the synopsis looks very interesting. It will be published on September 15, 2020.

Here is the synopsis from Goodreads:

It was supposed to be a routine research mission on an uncolonized planet. But when xenobiologist Kira Navárez finds an alien relic beneath the surface of the world, the outcome transforms her forever and will alter the course of human history.

Her journey to discover the truth about the alien civilization will thrust her into the wonders and nightmares of first contact, epic space battles for the fate of humankind, and the farthest reaches of the galaxy.

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer

instant karma by marissa meyer
Pre-order on Amazon

Marissa Meyer hasn’t written anything else since she finished The Renegades series, and The Lunar Chronicles, which as you all know is one of my favorite series of all time. This is going to be Contemporary Romance, and I’m very excited to see where she goes with this story. The premise sounds interesting to say the least. This one will be released on November 2, 2020.

Here is a synopsis from Goodreads:

Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate.

A Sky Beyond the Storm (An Ember in the Ashes, #4) by Sabaa Tahir

a sky beyond the storm an ember in the ashes #4 by sabaa tahir
Per-order on Amazon

The last book in this series, A Reaper at the Gates, completely tore me apart. I hadn’t started my blog yet so there is no review on here for it. But even if I had, I don’t think I could’ve gotten my thoughts in order for a coherent review. I know Tahir has received a lot of bad reviews for it, but in my opinion any book that makes me feel so many emotions, even IF these emotions were anger and frustration, is a book worth reading. I can’t wait to see how she ends the series. I’ve seen her evil tweets, saying how many characters she is going to kill and how they will suffer, and I’m anxious. This one will publish all the way at the end of the year on December 1, 2020.

Here is a synopsis of the first book in the series:

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.
 
Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.
 
It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.
 
But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.
 
There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Disclaimer: All opinions on this blog are my own. If you are interested in purchasing any of these books, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link by clicking on the pictures and/or links and I will receive a small fee, but your book will still cost the same.

Beach Read

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Picture taken by me. Buy book on Amazon.

Author: Emily Henry

Published: May 19, 2020

ISBN: 1984806734

Goodreads Rating: 4.17/5

For fans of: Romance, enemies to lovers trope, books about writing and reading, books about grief and mental health

Disclaimer: I was not paid for this review, and all opinions are my own. If you are interested in purchasing this book, please consider using my Amazon affiliate link (by clicking on the top or bottom pictures) and helping a fellow book blogger out 🙂 I will receive a small fee from Amazon, but your book will still cost the same.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They’re polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they’re living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer’s block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She’ll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he’ll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

My Review:

Let me start by saying that I really loved this book, but this cover and the synopsis were a bit deceiving. I liked the beach setting, but these two went to the beach maybe once in the whole book, and they went more when the lake was completely frozen than when it was nice out. With that said, this book was amazing, and a lot heavier than I expected. It dealt with grief, depression, suicide cults, identity crisis, and terminal illness, just to name a few of the topics.

The romance between January and Augustus was the slow-burn enemies to lovers type that I absolutely adore. But it was not a light romance in the slightest. These two really worked on their respective personal issues, as well as worked on all the problems they ever had with each other. They took their time throughout the story to work on their mental health and talked about what they wanted out of life.

I enjoyed that this book was about writing and the characters were also big readers. They talk about getting over writer’s block, and January and Augustus go into the details of their writing process. They also take us on their interviews, and trips to places that inspire their stories. January also talks about the events in her life that made her into a reader, which I always find interesting to read about out. I highly recommend this book to all Romance fans.