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)

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.

One of Us is Next

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

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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.

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.

Of Rioters and Royals

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon.

Author: M.L. Greye

Published: January 18, 2019

Pages: 421

Goodreads Rating: 4.16/5

For fans of: The Hunger Games, Ash Princess, The Selection, rebellion trope, competition trope

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Emry is a Royal – a princess of Enlennd. As is tradition, she must have a knight at her side as her protector. The only way to appoint one is through The Trials. Her Challengers from the five regions of Enlennd must compete for the infamous title of Princess’s Knight. The problem, though, is that the people of Enlennd are split into two categories: Rioters and Royals. Finding the perfect knight may be the last of her worries. War is coming to Enlennd.

Declan is a Rioter. An upriser. An anarchist. He mistrusts the Jewels – the sovereign family of Enlennd. Yet, he is offering himself up as a Challenger in The Trials. The Mistress, leader of the Rioters, has a mission for him. The first step is for him to become the Princess’s Knight. He is ready for the task, until he actually meets Emry and discovers that betraying her would be much more difficult than he’d thought.

My Review:

Those who were covered in filth tended to be frowned upon by those who could afford to never get dirty”

I really enjoyed the unique magic system in this book, my favorite part being the fact that the person’s eye color determined what powers they had. Emry, the main female character, had gray eyes and the coolest powers in my opinion. I did feel like the story needed a bit more scene setting and descriptions of the characters’ surroundings as we switched from one scene to another.

I loved how fierce and brave Emry was, and how she loved her sister and her kingdom. Declan was smart and cunning, and he complemented Emry’s personality well, they made a great pair. I enjoyed the romance between them, but I was glad it did not completely take over the plot. The plot was very character driven, which I liked. I also enjoyed how the story was told through different characters’ points of views.

The history lesson in the beginning of the book was very useful, and it helped to keep the amount of info dumping minimal throughout the rest of the story. The book was fast paced and action packed after that, and I really enjoyed the tournament, since the competition based trope is one of my favorites. There were some unexpected plots twists, which kept me on my toes. I did feel like the ending was a bit rushed, but other than that this was a great YA/Fantasy story. I highly recommend it, and I can’t wait for the next book in the series!

Disclaimer: A signed copy of this book was provided to me for free by the author in an Instagram Giveaway. 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.

The Giver of Stars

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

the giver of stars by jojo moyes book hard cover
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Author: Jojo Moyes

Published: October 8, 2019

ISBN: 0399562486

Pages: 400

For fans of: Historical Fiction, Romance, the 1930’s Depression Era, traveling libraries, women’s rights.

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.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

From the author of Me Before You, set in Depression-era America, a breathtaking story of five extraordinary women and their remarkable journey through the mountains of Kentucky and beyond.

Alice Wright marries handsome American Bennett Van Cleve hoping to escape her stifling life in England. But small-town Kentucky quickly proves equally claustrophobic, especially living alongside her overbearing father-in-law. So when a call goes out for a team of women to deliver books as part of Eleanor Roosevelt’s new traveling library, Alice signs on enthusiastically.

The leader, and soon Alice’s greatest ally, is Margery, a smart-talking, self-sufficient woman who’s never asked a man’s permission for anything. They will be joined by three other singular women who become known as the Packhorse Librarians of Kentucky.

What happens to them–and to the men they love–becomes an unforgettable drama of loyalty, justice, humanity and passion. These heroic women refuse to be cowed by men or by convention. And though they face all kinds of dangers in a landscape that is at times breathtakingly beautiful, at others brutal, they’re committed to their job: bringing books to people who have never had any, arming them with facts that will change their lives.

Based on a true story rooted in America’s past, The Giver of Stars is unparalleled in its scope and epic in its storytelling. Funny, heartbreaking, enthralling, it is destined to become a modern classic–a richly rewarding novel of women’s friendship, of true love, and of what happens when we reach beyond our grasp for the great beyond.

Life is complicated, which is why finding a little joy where you can is important”

I really enjoyed “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes, so when I saw she published this I had to buy it. When I realized it was Historical Fiction I wasn’t expecting to love it so much. I haven’t read that genre since I was forced to do so back in High School. Surprisingly, I found the narrative to be soothing and captivating. I enjoyed being transported to the middle of the Depression Era in Kentucky, 1930’s. Moyes’ writing was very descriptive and the scene setting was accurate for the time period.

Moyes has a way of making us empathize with her characters. I found myself feeling frustrated and powerless along with Alice and Margery, the main characters, due to the unequal treatment of women and the segregation of people of color during that time period. I fell in love with both our main characters, and I liked the contrast between their personalities. Both Alice and Margery had very impressive character arcs, and they grew so much throughout the story.

As a bookworm, I loved the whole idea of the traveling libraries, and I appreciated the courage it took for these women to undertake such a mission in such a dangerous time for them. They hiked through mountains, braving the heat, and eventually the snow, in order to deliver some literary joy to those who needed it. Some of them would stay and read to those who could not, and they would offer some much needed advice and support. This book made me fall in love with Historical Fiction, and I’m open to any suggestions you guys might have. Please let me know your favorites in the comments! I highly recommend this one to all Romance/ Historical Fiction fans, and for fans of Jojo Moyes’ writing.

booktag image

Beauty and the Beast Book Tag

I love fairy tales, and I am a big Disney fan. Which is your favorite Disney movie? Let me know in the comments! My favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast, so needless to say I was super excited when I found this book tag in Raji’s blog: Worlds Unlike Our Own Blog. Thanks for tagging me Raji! Anyone who is reading this can consider themselves tagged. Moving on to the questions.

a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas
Picture taken by me. Follow me on Instagram.

“Tale As Old As Time” -A popular theme, trope, or setting you will never get bored of reading

Fairy tale retellings and enemies to lovers trope. This is why I’m such a big ACOTAR (A Court of Thorns and Roses) fan. ACOTAR is both a Beauty and the Beast retelling and an enemies to lovers trope. I love when two people who used to hate each other are forced to co-exist, and after they give each other a chance they can find common ground and eventually friendship and love. Other books like this one I enjoyed: A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren, and the Shatter Me Series by Tahereh Mafi, to name a few.

the house in the cerulean sea by tj klune taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Belle” -A book you bought for its beautiful cover that was just as beautiful on the inside too

I don’t usually judge a book by its cover (no pun intended). I did recently buy The House in the Cerulean Sea on a whim because it was so beautiful and it has such glowing reviews on Instagram. Best impulsive buy ever! You can go read my review and see everything I loved about it.

House of salt and sorrows by erin a. craig picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Gaston” -A book everyone loves that you don’t

Everyone seems to have loved House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig, and I just thought it was an okay read. I have learned my lesson since then that I just don’t enjoy ghost stories. It took me forever to get through that book since I found it super boring. There was a lot of poetic prose and descriptive setting, but not a lot of action going on. You can read my review here.

Cress (the lunar chronicles, #1) by marissa meyer picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Lefou” -A loyal sidekick you can’t help but love more than their counterpart

Definitely Iko from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I liked Cinder, but Iko was the best. She had the best personality and was such a good friend to Cinder, never mind that she was a robot. I think this is why Marissa Meyer also wrote a whole comic series with Iko as the protagonist called Wires and Nerve.

harry potter series by j.k. rowling instagram picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Mrs. Potts, Chip, Lumiere, and Cogsworth” -A book that helped you through a difficult time or taught you something valuable

I came to the U.S when I was eleven years old. It would take a lot more words than I have time or energy for right now in order to fully explain what it felt like to leave everything and mostly everyone I knew behind, and embark on a journey to a completely new place where no one spoke my language. My happiest memory from that time was getting my very own library card. The first book I read was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, in Spanish. By the third book, I was reading in English. Harry Potter helped me escape out of my roach infested apartment, which my family shared with other distant relatives of ours, to Hogwarts and a world of magic and adventure. Oh, how I wanted that Hogwarts letter to arrive! I still read the Harry Potter series when I need a pick-me-up or when I’ve landed into a reading slump.

Scythe (arc of a scythe, #1) by neal shusterman picture taken by @deesreadingtree
Picture taken by me.

“Something there” -A book or series you weren’t into at first but picked up towards the end

I recently started the Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) series by Neal Shusterman, and I loved it. I had picked it up a couple of times, but I guess I wasn’t in the right mood. I can’t wait to continue on with the series and see where the author goes with it. You can read my review here.

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.

My Favorite Half-Night Stand

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

my favorite half-night stand book by christina lauren
Picture taken by me. Buy on Amazon.

For fans of: Romantic comedies, friends to lovers trope, roosters (inside book joke)

Author: Christina Lauren

Published: December 4, 2018

ISBN: 1501197401

Pages: 384

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 🙂

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Millie and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together, but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship…but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

My Review:

This was another laugh-out-loud book from Christina Lauren. I really enjoyed the romance between Millie and Reid, mostly because I am a big fan of the friends to lovers trope. I liked how the authors explored the new online dating trends and explained the different websites available. It was interesting how they included group chat conversations, texts, and emails between Millie and her friends, which helped to show how friendships have evolved along with modern technology.

I liked that Millie was a strong woman leading a successful career in a field she had been passionate about her whole life. The authors delved into the nuances of finding the right man for a woman who knows exactly what she wants, but might not be ready to open herself up completely. I would have liked a bit more emphasis on the hardships of being a successful woman in a man’s world. Also, there is always that part in a Christina Lauren book when I start screaming at the characters to “just talk to each other already!”

As always, there was a very important emphasis on friendship and family, and being there for those who love us and need us. I enjoyed the relationship between Reid and his family, and I really liked his mom (her cooking sounded delicious). Seeing their close family bond pushed Millie to try to mend her own relationship with her sister and father. I highly recommend this one to all Romance fans for a light hilarious read.

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Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag 2020

I’m a bit in shock after having turned thirty years old a few days ago. Has it really been eighteen years ago since I first opened Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and fell in love with reading? I spent my birthday mostly in quarantine. My closest family members showed up and hastily sang “Happy Birthday” to me. We were outside, six feet apart, and my grandparents wore masks. They then lit a candle I couldn’t really blow, for fear of the particles in my breath traveling to them (I ended up covering it with my hand and blowing it). This has been a crazy year for sure.

I am grateful I got to spend it with those I love, and that they are all relatively happy and healthy (my oldest child has a stomach bug but he will be fine). I received a ton of book gifts. My favorites were a brand new book shelf, a book cart, and the Harry Potter illustrated editions from my hubby. I spent the day eating my favorite food, watching movies, organizing my book shelves, and cuddling with my kids. Overall, it was a perfect 30th birthday.

I cannot believe it’s the middle of the year already. Thanks to Worlds Unlike Our Own for tagging me. This was such a fun book tag to do. Everyone who reads this can consider themselves tagged. Please remember to tag me back, I can’t wait to read your answers! Moving on to the books 🙂

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.

What is the best book that you have read so far in 2020?

the house in the cerulean sea by tj klune
Buy on Amazon

This book really surprised me, I saw someone’s raving review on Bookstagram and I just had to go and read it. I went and tried a sample and I ended up buying the whole thing. I haven’t read many books that have reminded me of all the feelings I had when I read Harry Potter, but this was definitely one of them. This story was so full of magic, adorable characters, and surprising turns of events. The main character, Linus, had one of the most impressive character arcs I have ever read. Also, I went into this book without reading the synopsis and was very surprised. Here is my review and you will find a full synopsis there as well in case you don’t like surprises 🙂

What has been your favorite sequel of the first half of the year?

aurora burning by amie kaufman and jay kristoff
Buy it on Amazon

Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff obviously hate their readers and love to stomp on their feelings and crush their hopes and dreams. BUT!! This book WAS amazing. The sequel to Aurora Rising was full of action, romance, and plot twists. True to their evil nature the authors left us all hanging off a cliff at the end, so they better hurry and write the next one or we might go and find them! (yes that was a threat) You can read my review here.

Is there a new release that you haven’t read yet but are really excited to read?

Truelife by Jay Kristoff
Buy it on Amazon

The sequel to Lifelike and Deviate will be released on June 30th, and I’m super excited. (click on the links to read my reviews) Like I said above, Mr. Kristoff is an evil bastard (don’t worry he knows this) and the ending to Deviate was a very bad cliff hanger. I won a pre-order of Truelife on a Bookstagram giveaway and I can’t wait to get it in the mail!

What is your most anticipated release for the second half of the year?

blood and honey by shelby mahurin serpent and dove book two
Buy it on Amazon

I fell in love with Serpent and Dove and I’ve been waiting for the sequel since I read it last year. (you can read my review by clicking on the link) This one will be released on September 1st. I can’t wait to learn more about my favorite side characters Coco and Ansel, and see where this sequel takes Reid and Lou after all the revelations that came to light at the end of the last book.

What is your biggest disappointment so far?

imagine me by tahereh mafi shatter me book six
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I was so excited about this one, but to be honest this series has been going downhill since the fourth book and the big “plot twist.” This was not the ending to a six book series that I had expected. There was some closure at the end, but the whole book was basically about Kenji and Warner, and the action was crammed into the last few chapters. The ending felt rushed, and I was underwhelmed. Click here to read my review.

What is your biggest surprise so far?

Buy on Amazon

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did, and I hope the rest of the series lives up to my expectations. I plan to read Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) in July which is when I’m hoping to catch up with all my sequels, and then I need to move on to The Toll (Arc of a Scythe, #3). This story had such a unique premise, very imaginative world building, and great character arcs. You can read my review here.

Who is your fictional crush from this year?

a court of mist and fury by sarah j maas book one of a court of thorns and roses seres
Buy it on Amazon

No one will ever replace Rhysand from the ACOTAR series. I reread this series this year when this whole quarantine business first started. I usually turn to this one and Harry Potter when I land into a reading slump (I reread Harry Potter while in quarantine too :)) The characters from Chain of Gold (especially James and Mathew) came close for me, but nope.

Who is your new favorite character?

Buy it on Amazon

Finian from Aurora Rising and Aurora Burning definitely stole my heart as a great character. He is the comedic relief, and such a good friend to Squad 312. This doesn’t surprise me, because I always fall for the class clown (my husband was, and still is, the biggest clown I know). In my experience, they have the biggest hearts under all the witty remarks and sarcasm ❤

A book that made you happy?

josh and hazel's guide to not dating by christina lauren
Buy it on Amazon

I was laughing the whole time I was reading this, well maybe not in that awkward part where I was screaming at the characters to JUST COMMUNICATE! But yeah, most of the time I was cracking up with Hazel’s antics. Hazel was such an endearing character, and I was rooting for her happy ending throughout the story. You can read my review here.

Your favorite book to movie/tv show that you’ve seen so far?

wonder book by rj palacio
Buy it on Amazon

I really enjoyed the movie adaption of Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Of course, nothing is ever as immersive and detailed as the book, but the producers did a good job with this one. They included the most important parts from the book, and the actors and actresses did an amazing job. Well, with Julia Roberts as the mom, Owen Wilson as the dad, and Jacob Tremblay as August, it was expected for it to be a great performance by all of them. They definitely delivered. You can buy the movie here using my affiliate link if you like.

What is the most beautiful book that you have bought?

Harry Potter and the Sorcere's Stone illustrated edition
Pictures from my Bookstagram. Buy the book on Amazon.

I recently bought Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, the Illustrated Edition, and it’s the most beautiful book I’ve ever seen. The art within is amazing as well. My husband then bought me the rest of the illustrated books for my birthday. I’ve been enjoying reading them to my kids before bed time, and they’re very into it. Needless to say I’m a proud momma.

What is your favorite post that you have written so far this year?

My favorite Series post

This post was super time consuming and I poured my heart and soul into it. Please go read it if you haven’t. I couldn’t just include my top five series, I had to do ALL ten of them. While in the middle of writing it I deeply regretted doing the whole thing, but I pushed myself to finish it. I am very proud of it.

What are six books that you want to read by the end of the year?

collage of books ninth house we hunt the flame one of us is next a good marriage beach read thunderhead
Pictures from Goodreads

Some of these I’ve been putting off for some time. Some I’ve just recently received from my Book of the Month subscription. (click on the link if you want to pay only $10 for your first month and I get a free book credit) Finally, some are sequels that I really need to get to. (click on the link to read my post on that topic)

Book of the Month Books:

1. Beach Read by Emily Henry –buy on Amazon

2. A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight –buy on Amazon

Sequels I need to read:

3. Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe, #2) –buy on Amazon

4. Once of Us is Next (One of Us is Lying, #2) –buy on Amazon

Books that have been sitting on my shelf:

5. Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1) by Leigh Bardugo –buy on Amazon

6. We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arwiya, #1) by Hafsah Faizal –buy on Amazon

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.

Crier’s War

⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

book one in series crier's war by nina varela
Picture from Goodreads

Author: Nina Varela

Series: Crier’s War, #1

Published: October 1, 2019

ISBN: 0062823965

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Impossible love between two girls —one human, one Made.
A love that could birth a revolution.

After the War of Kinds ravaged the kingdom of Rabu, the Automae, Designed to be the playthings of royals, took over the estates of their owners and bent the human race to their will.

Now, Ayla, a human servant rising the ranks at the House of the Sovereign, dreams of avenging the death of her family… by killing the Sovereign’s daughter, Lady Crier. Crier, who was Made to be beautiful, to be flawless. And to take over the work of her father.

Crier had been preparing to do just that—to inherit her father’s rule over the land. But that was before she was betrothed to Scyre Kinok, who seems to have a thousand secrets. That was before she discovered her father isn’t as benevolent as she thought. That was before she met Ayla.

Set in a richly-imagined fantasy world, Nina Varela’s debut novel is a sweepingly romantic tale of love, loss and revenge, that challenges what it really means to be human.

For fans of: An Ember in the Ashes, Lifelike, and Ash Princess

My Review:

If longing is madness, then none of us are sane.”

This book was included inside one of my book subscription boxes back when it was first published, and it has been sitting there on my shelf ever since. I thought it would be a good idea to read it since it’s LGBTQ+ month, and this covers the romance in between two girls; one made and one human. The romance did not take center stage, which was okay with me. These two girls had to deal with a whole different set of prejudices and stereotypes; centered around the fact that they were a human and an automa in love, while also being in the middle of a rebellion between their two peoples.

The first half of the story was a bit slow. I’m also not a fan of court scheming and boring council meetings and there was a lot of that. The action does pick up a bit on the second half of the story, but I felt like not a whole lot happened. I realize this is the first book in a series, and there was a lot of scene setting, character development, and history that needed to be explained, but that was all the book really was. It just set the stage for the next book in the series. Usually I would expect this type of transitional content in the middle book in a series, not the first.

The writing was beautiful, and the scene setting was captivating and descriptive. This book really delved into what it really means to be human. I loved the explanation of human things like hearts, souls, and tears coming from Crier’s point of view, because Crier was not human. I enjoyed the small history lessons in the beginning of the book, and during the story. I could’ve done with a lot more action and a bit more closure at the end of the story, instead of it being so open ended. The ending was a bit of a cliff hanger, but it didn’t leave me wanting to immediately get my hands on the second book like a good cliff hanger usually would. I would recommend this to YA/Sci-Fi fans who don’t mind a fairly slow story, who enjoy stories centered around royalty, and a like a light romance.

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 🙂