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.

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.

Waiting On A Sequel

king of scars by leigh bardugo a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas six of crows by leigh bardugo chain of gold by Cassandra clare
Pictures from Goodreads.

I’ve been waiting on all these sequels for a while. Some of them have a release date, some of them don’t even have one yet. All I know is these authors need to get to writing, I’m getting super impatient. But I do understand writing is a hard process and it takes time to make a masterpiece that can top, or at least compare to, the first books in these series.

What are some of your most anticipated sequels? Let me know in the comments so I can add some to my TBR 🙂

King of Scars (Nikolai Duology, #2) and Six of Crows, #3 by Leigh Bardugo

Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

I’ve been patiently waiting for these sequels to be written and released. I understand Leigh Bardugo has been working on a Netflix series for her Grishaverse books, and I cannot wait to see how that turns out! But I really need the sequel to King of Scars and the third book for Six of Crows, now! Also, I really hope Netflix doesn’t mess the Grishas up for me, because it’s one of my favorite fantasy worlds. So far from what I’ve seen Bardugo post on Twitter, it looks like she is happy with how it’s all been coming along. I hope she gets back to writing soon though. I love Nikolai and I love the Crows, so I can’t wait to read more about them!

Chain of Iron (The Last Hours, #2) by Cassandra Clare

chain of gold the last hours series by cassandra clare
Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

There has recently been some progress for this one. Cassandra Clare announced on her Instagram that the cover for the second book will be released July 1st. This first cover was gorgeous, and I can’t wait to see what they do for the second one. I’m really hoping it’s James Herondale on the cover this time. You can read my review for the first one here.

A Court of Thorns and Roses (#4) by Sarah J. Maas

a court of thorns and roses by sarah j maas
Buy on Amazon. Picture from Goodreads

There’s actually a release date for this one now! January 26, 2021 🙂 There’s been a lot of speculation that this one will be about Nesta and Cassian, and I’m super excited about it. Cassian is one of my favorite characters, and I really hope Nesta doesn’t completely shred him to pieces. There isn’t a synopsis out yet for this one.

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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.

WWW Wednesday

This is a meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where you answer three questions: What are you reading now? What did you just read? What will you be reading next? I find this a great way to touch base every week, and to get on the right reading track.

The girl the sea gave back by Adrienne young
Picture from Goodreads

What I’m reading now:

I couldn’t believe it when I got an e-ARC of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young from Netgalley. I will forever read anything she writes. I’m also finally reading Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman, which I’ve only been looking forward to forever.

My bookstagram

What I just read:

I just read Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, which wasn’t as action packed as Six of Crows or Crooked Kingdom, but I do understand a lot of world building was necessary. I also listened to an audio of Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, which also reminded me a lot of Six of Crows, a band of misfits full of special and unique talents. You can read my mini reviews for those here. Finally, I read an e-ARC of Call it What you Want by Brigid Kemmerer, she has also quickly become one of my auto-read authors.

My Bookstagram

What I will be reading next:

I hope to finally get to Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, and hopefully start making a good dent on my physical TBR. The e-books and audio books I pick up next will depend on what’s available to be checked out on Libby, and if I get approved for any e-ARCs from Netgalley. I don’t usually buy e-books or audio books, unless I have free credits on the Audible app, or a good book is available for free on kindle first reads. If you have the kindle app and have not signed up for kindle first reads I highly recommend it -it’s free and they let you choose a free book every month from a list.

What are you guys’ WWW’s?

Rapid Fire Book Tag

I saw this tag on the For Book s’ Sake page and it looked like so much fun. So without anything further here are the questions and my answers.

E-book or physical Book?

Here is the thing, there’s nothing like holding a physical book in my hands, being able to turn the pages and seeing how far I’ve come, and the smell of a book is one of my favorite scents. BUT, I do have two kids under four and it’s much easier for me to read an e-book while I watch them than to read a real book.

Paperback or hardback?

This is a hard one. Paperbacks are so much easier for me to hold and carry around everywhere. Hardbacks are so pretty and look much better on my shelves. I always have to remove the dust cover so that I don’t damage it while I take it everywhere, and then when I’m done with the book I put the dust cover back on and put it on my shelf. If I really had to choose, I think I would choose paperbacks.

Mother’s Day bookhaul

Online or in-store book shopping?

Books are so much cheaper online, but there’s nothing like walking through a bookstore for me. It’s actually one of my favorite things to do in the world. This year for mother’s day that was actually my only wish, going to the bookstore. My husband was such a trooper, he handled the kids while I spent some uninterrupted time browsing for books. As you can see on this picture, I really spoiled myself.

Trilogies or series?

As long as the book is good, I don’t really care if it’s a trilogy or a series. As long as I like the author and the story still holds my interest I will read all the books they write, even if it’s an 18 book long one (Black Dagger Brotherhood anyone?).

Heroes or villains?

Heroes all the way. Give me heroes I can root for the whole time. Once I start liking the villains and wishing they would kill the hero already, that’s when I know I’m hating the book.

harry potter and the sorcerer's stone book, jk rowling
My bookstagram

A book you want everyone to read?

Hands down the Harry Potter series. I could read those books over and over. I’m in love with that whole world, and I always hope I can pass my love on to others. You can read all about how I grew up with this series here.

Recommend an underrated author?

Is Julie Kagawa considered underrated? I’m not sure, but her Immortal Rules series was one of the best I’ve read and I never see it talked about anywhere. You all already know I loved her Shadow of the Fox and Soul of the Sword books.

The last book you finished?

Call it What you Want by Brigid Kemmerer. It was a four star out of five for me, and you can read my review here.

Weirdest thing you’ve used as a bookmark?

*Cringes* …a banana? Okay, hear me out. I was really busy at work multi-tasking, I was reading and eating, and then I got a phone call…so what do I do? I stick my banana in my book to hold my page. Don’t judge me.

Used books: Yes or no?

I love all books, definitely yes. I like imagining where the book has been and how many people have read it. I don’t sniff them like I do new books, but still used books are great.

Top 3 favorite genres?

Fantasy, YA, and does New Adult count? I occasionally delve into Contemporary, but I really try to avoid it because it makes me cry.

Borrow or buy?

I try not to borrow books, when I do I warn the owners that it might not come back in the same condition. Like I said, I have two kids. I love buying books. My bank account not so much though.

Character or plot?

Plot. If the plot goes downhill, then it doesn’t matter how good your characters are. For example, I really loved the Divergent series, an I loved the characters, but once the plot started slipping I hated the whole thing. Also, I hate bad endings.

Long or short books?

Size doesn’t matter! Okay, but for real if you can tell me everything you need to tell me, if the characters are well developed, and so is the plot, then I don’t really care what the size of the book is.

Kingdom of Ash, Throne of Glass, Sarah J Maas
Throne of Glass (#7)

Name the first three books you think of?

Throne of Glass

Lunar Chronicles

Shatter Me

Three of my favorites 🙂

Books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?

I hate crying, I love books that make me laugh. I’m currently listening to an audio of Aurora Rising by Jay Kristoff, and I love the humor they use.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Picture taken by Me

Our world or fictional worlds?

Depends on the world. I would love to live in the Harry Potter world, but would not like to live in the post Apocalyptic Shatter Me world.

Audiobooks: Yes or no?

A month ago this would’ve been a no, but recently I have developed a liking for audio books. I only listen to them on my work commute, in the shower, and while I’m doing chores around the house. It has been a good way for me to stay productive. I always listen to a sample first before I get the book though, because if I don’t like the narrator’s voice then the whole thing is ruined.

Do you ever judge a book by its cover?

Too many times to count, although I have learned from my mistakes. I now read the reviews and usually a sample before I commit to buying a book now. I’m a sucker for pretty covers, and thanks to Bookstagram my TBR is full them.

Game of thrones series, books, George rr martin
Picture form Goodreads

Book to movie or book to TV adaptation?

It depends on the book? I recently was so disappointed by the Game of Thrones TV show 😦 But I did love most of the Harry Potter movies, they really made the whole world come alive with only a few minor flaws and omissions.

A movie or TV adaptation you preferred instead of the book?

None, I always like the book better.

Series or stand alone?

I like series. Stand alone books always leave me feeling empty and with no purpose after. At least with a series I can delay that feeling until the last book 🙂

Five Star Reads

We’re half-way through the year already, so I thought I would summarize all the five star reads I’ve had up to now. I’ve either been very generous this year with my ratings, or I’ve just been reading a lot of fantastic books. I’ve read a total of eleven five star books this year. For me these are books that I’ve absolutely loved and I would re-read them again. Also, these tend to become my auto-buy authors, and I will buy anything they write forever and ever.

Fairest Lunar Chronicles by Merissa Meyer
Picture from Goodreads

Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles, #3.5) by Marissa Meyer

I loved the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer, and this was Queen Levana’s story. I haven’t read many stories from the villain’s point of view, and this was a very interesting read. In reality I just really missed this world and even a small mention of the main characters made me happy. I enjoyed finding out exactly what happened to Cinder and Snow when they were children at the hands of Queen Levana. I liked reading about the events that made her into the evil Queen. After reading this novella I had to go and reread the whole series of course. I’m planning to write a full review on the whole Lunar Chronicles soon.

The Space between time by Charlie laidlaw
Picture from Goodreads

The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw

This story was profoundly real. It delves into hard topics such as depression, anxiety and suicide, while also throwing some humor into the mix. I would recommend it to anyone wishing to learn more about the human condition and what it means to be alive. Read my full review here.

A very large expanse of the sea by tahereh mafi
Picture from Goodreads

A Very Large Expanse of the Sea by Tahereh Mafi

I love Mafi’s Shatter Me series, and this stand alone totally unrelated book was amazing as well. The characters felt so real. It had a diary kind of feel to it that kept me glued to the pages wanting to find out what was next. You can read my full review here.

The red scrolls of magic by Cassandra clare, shadowhunters, the eldest curses
Picture from Goodreads

The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1) by Cassandra Clare

I had been looking forward to The Red Scrolls of Magic for almost a year. One of my favorite characters from her other Shadowhunter books is Magnus Bane, and when I saw the book was mostly about him I was super excited. On the other hand, one of my least favorite characters is Alexander Lightwood, but this book was exactly what I needed in order to understand his personality more. You can read my full review here.

A curse so dark and lonely by brigid kemmerer
Picture from Goodreads

A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

I found the plot to be fast paced and gripping, but without feeling too rushed. I’ve read a lot of fairy tale retellings, and this one was different enough to be entertaining yet it still kept many of the familiar concepts I associate with Beauty and the Beast. It included the beast (of course), a girl taken against her will, and an enchanted castle. I also thought the romance aspect of the story was very realistic, especially the fact that at a young age it’s hard to identify what love feels like. You can read the rest of my review here.

Sky in the deep by Adrienne young
Picture from Goodreads

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

The women in this book are strong, and many of them are leaders. The men worship their women, and fight to protect their people. I liked that both sexes are seen as warriors and providers. I heard her next book The Girl the Sea Gave Back is in part about him. I recently got approved to read it on Netgalley and I cannot wait to get started. I loved everything about this book, and I will definitely be reading anything else she writes. Come read the rest of my review here.

shadow of the fox by Julie kagawa
Picture from Goodreads

Shadow of the Fox (Shadow of the Fox, #1) by Julie Kagawa

This was my first audio book. I never thought I would get into audio books but I really needed something productive to do while on the way to and from work, and I thought listening to an audio book was a great idea. I liked the fact that Yumeko and Tatsumi were voiced by a female and a male respectively. They each changed their voices when another character was involved, and I thought it was well done. I did have the e-book as well, and that was nice to have for any down time, and to check the correct spelling of names and places. It also had a handy glossary at the end. The story, the characters, and the scenery were described in great detail, and at the time I could not wait for the second book. You can read the rest of my review here.

soul of the sword by Julie kagawa
Picture from Goodreads

Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox, #2) by Julie Kagawa

**Some spoilers for Shadow of the Fox, the first book in the series**

Soul of the Sword by Julie Kagawa transported me to a warm campfire under a starry night, while a bearded old man told this mythical tale in between puffs of smoke from his old wooden pipe. Suddenly, I was in a world in which emotions like grief and despair had smells, and everything from the scenery to the food was described in poetic detail. I particularly found the Forest of a Thousand Eyes terrifying, even when described from Hakaimono’s demon perspective, who tried to make everything sound amusing. Read the rest of my review here.

catwoman soulstealer by sarah j maas
Picture from Goodreads

Catwoman: Soulstealer (DC Icons, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

Catwoman: Soulstealer was written by Sarah J. Maas, and the audio book was narrated by Julia Whelan. I read it in my down time, and listened to it on my work commute, as well as in the shower and while doing house-work. Honestly, I found myself looking for any possible excuse to listen to this book. This narrator was the best I’ve heard yet, she did all the male and female voices perfectly and even did their accents. Read my full review here.

the wicked king by holly black
Picture from Goodreads

The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air, #2) by Holly Black

In this sequel to “The Cruel Prince” by Holly Black. We continue the story of Jude Duarte, a human in the realm of Elfhame, who is struggling to hold on to her newly acquired power over its high King Cardan and his subjects. The graphics on this cover were amazing, and I loved the little drawings of dragonflies throughout the book along with the drawings at the beginning of each chapter. The dialogue between Jude and Cardan was so entertaining to read. I could just read about those two talking forever. Read my full review here.

crooked kingdom by leigh bardugo
Picture from Goodreads

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2) by Leigh Bardugo

I loved this band of misfits. This was a super fast paced book packed with action, even more so than the first book in the series. If you love stories with a good heist in them, then this is the book for you. It is told from six different points of views, but Leigh Bardugo does it seamlessly so that it never becomes an issue. Each character is unique and fleshed out, even if their names weren’t at the top of each chapter, you could still probably tell who was narrating every time. Come read my full review here.

What were some of your five star reads this year?

Bookish Bucket List

Recap of Last Week:

Last week I added: read Wuthering Heights, visit Paris, France, and own the Blood of Eden series to my list.

This week:

Go to BookCon

I was so sad I missed BookCon this year. It looked like a lot of fun and I have never been to one. It feels like something I would really enjoy. I need to gather a few of my bookworms friends and we need to plan a visit to one of these. Maybe next year.

My Bookstagram

Own the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor

I really loved all these books. I think her writing is close to hypnotic, but so realistic at the same time. Even though this world is full of magic, I felt like any day I could just encounter one of these doors and step into it myself.

My bookstagram

Have dinner inside the Beauty and the Beast castle at Disney World

I have been to Disney World many times. It might sound cliché, but to me it is the happiest place on Earth. The scenery, the music, and the characters are all presented with great care and attention to detail. Even the employees are very well trained, and one of their main jobs is to make you smile. Even though I have been there many times, I have never dined inside the Beauty and the Beast castle, mostly because it’s so hard to get a reservation. Having just read A Curse do Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer made me a bit nostalgic for Beauty and the Beast. Now I want to go to the castle and “Be their Guest.”

My bookstagram

Item marked off:

I finally own all the Throne of Glass books! Sure, some of them are hardback and some are paperback, but don’t judge me 🙂

What are some book related things you wish to do?

May Wrap-up

Book-haul

My bookstagram

Did I go a bit book-buying happy this month? Yes, I definitely did. I’m going to blame it in part to Mother’s day. Also, trying to complete some of my favorite series that I don’t own yet and finding a sale on Amazon. Finally, the fact that I subscribed to three different book subscription boxes so I can compare them might also have something to do with the amount of books sitting on my bookshelf right now. But mostly, books make me happy 😊

On Mother’s day I got:

📖 Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

📖 Illuminae by Amie Kaufman

📖 Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

📖 Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

📖 To Best the Boys by Mary Weber

📖 A Curse so Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (which I’m currently reading).

All of these I read samples of before I bought them, and they were all highly recommended by both my Bookstagram friends and my Goodreads friends.

I’m happy that I finally own all the Throne of Glass books by Sarah J. Maas, which was on my bookish bucket list. I also bought the first of the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi, which is one of my comfort books, and the second one of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, which is another series I want to complete. All of these were on sale on Amazon for less than $8 and I could not resist.

I got We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal and Romanov by Nadine Brandes from my owlcrate and shelflovecrate boxes, along with some very nice book merchandize. I’m still waiting on my last box from faecrate so that I can do a comparison post for all three boxes.

Books I read

My bookstagram

I actually made a small dent on my physical TBR this month which I’m very proud of. I read a hardback of Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller, and half paperback/half audio of One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake (I did a mini review of these yesterday). Unfortunately, these were a three and a two star read respectively, which was sad since I’ve had such good luck lately with my books. It was bound to happen I guess.

When it comes to e-books and audio books, I read/heard:

📖Legendary by Stephanie Garber (e-book) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare (e-book) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa (e-book/audio) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (e-book) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖Catwoman: Soulstealer by Sarah J. Maas (e-book/audio) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖The Sparrow by Denna M. Davis (e-arc) ⭐️⭐️

📖The Space Between Time by Charlie Laidlaw (e-arc) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

📖Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (audio) ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

I can’t wait to read what all my fellow book bloggers accomplished this month 😊