Saturday, November 30, 2019

Book Review: The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Title: The Queen of Nothing (The Folk of the Air #3) 
Author: Holly Black
Publication Date: November 19, 2019
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 308
Add to Goodreads
Reviews for book 1 & book 2

After being pronounced Queen of Faerie and then abruptly exiled by the Wicked King Cardan, Jude finds herself unmoored, the queen of nothing. She spends her time with Vivi and Oak, watches her fair share of reality television, and does the odd job or two, including trying to convince a cannibalistic faerie from hunting her own in the mortal world.

When her twin sister Taryn shows up asking of a favor, Jude jumps at the chance to return to the Faerie world, even if it means facing Cardan, who she loves despite his betrayal.

When a dark curse is unveiled, Jude must become the first mortal Queen of Faerie and uncover how to break the curse, or risk upsetting the balance of the whole Faerie world.

Here I am once again with another review that's sure to be full of unpopular opinions. I'll say right off the bat that I haven't settled on a rating - this review should help me figure out how I really felt about this one. Needless to say, I was disappointed in Queen of Nothing. The Cruel Prince was a five star read that completely blew my mind! The Wicked King was just okay, but The Queen of Nothing was still one of my most anticipated 2019 releases.

This one picks up with Jude and Oak in the human world after Jude's exile from Faerie and almost immediately Taryn shows up to set things in motion. From there, events unfold at breakneck speed, very unlike the events of the first two books. Jude finds herself back in Faerie despite being banished and it isn't long before she and Cardan fall back into their relationship.

A lot about this book is jarringly different from the other two in the series and Cardan is chief among them. The relationship between Cardan and Jude has been my favorite part of these books and here it is completely different. Gone is the Cruel Prince. In his place is the softest, cheesiest love interest I'd never wish to see in a Folk of the Air novel. There was no real transition between the Cardan we've come to know over two books and this cuddly one and I was not here for it.

The other highlight of The Folk of the Air has been the politics and deception and yes, there is a bit of that here too. The plot was fine and did keep me turning pages. My real issue is that it was all so rushed! The Queen of Nothing could have had another hundred pages and been much more fleshed out and I would have felt much more invested. As it was, characters bounced from place to place (seeing more of Faerie was nice), things happened quickly, and no real consequences were enacted.

I was so, so disappointed in this series ender. It was so weirdly paced and plot threads were dropped constantly. The big twist was very much out of left field and didn't really seem to fit with the rest of the series at all. I never felt any real sense of concern or urgency because everything happened so quickly that it was over almost as quickly as it started. And the absolute worst is that a major point of conflict was due to a misunderstanding, one of my most hated tropes.

So did I like anything? Well, Jude was okay. I wish more had been explored between her and Taryn, but I did like her character growth from the first book. I especially enjoyed her scenes with Grima Mog. The ending was fine, but not what I hoped for or expected. Really, "fine" sums up how I feel about this book. I wanted so much more and expected to love it! I'm beginning to think The Cruel Prince was a fluke and Holly Black just isn't for me.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Book Tag & Giveaway

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone who's celebrating or just enjoying a day off work or school! Today I wanted to do a book tag but also give away a couple books that I'm thankful to have received early copies of and LOVED! As usual, no one tagged me but I wanted to do the tag anyway. If you want to participate, I tag you! I found this tag at Addicted to Romance.

History: Choose a book set in America.

Ninth House, set at Yale, was one of my favorite books of the year (to no one's surprise)! I am absolutely dying to get book two and see what happens next!

Thankful: What book are you thankful for?


As a super weird person I am always thankful to receive early copies of super weird books. These are two of the weirder books I've read in the last year or so and I'm really excited to see what weirdness comes out of both these authors' brains next.

Thanksgiving Dinner: What book features a meal character that makes you say “yum”?

Hahaha! Okay, so I definitely read this one wrong and thought it was talking about characters. You know, a "snack" as kids say these days. I almost changed my answer to fit the actual question but, you know what? Nope. I'm keeping it. Again, to absolutely no one's surprise, it's the Darkling. I'm even more thankful this year because our TV screens are about to be blessed with a whole TV show full of him!

Pumpkin Pie: Choose a book you think is very sweet.

Well this was difficult because I don't read many sweet books, but I definitely think the romance in My Lady Jane qualifies! Did you hear there's a third book coming out??

Food Coma: Choose a book that’s been on your TBR list forever that you really need to read.

I loved The Grace Year SO much that I finally got a physical copy of Blood and Salt! It has been on my TBR for years but I never made the decision to actually read it until now.

After Dinner Drinks: What book is your guilty pleasure?

I know that it's cool to hate Divergent now, but I honestly still love it. I even love the first two movies, although the third one was unfortunate.

Drunk Uncle: Choose an unpopular book that you like.

Based on the ratings, it seems not many people loved this book but I am obsessed with it! I will literally read any weird thing this author writes.

Black Friday Shopping: What was the last book you pre-ordered?

Did I mention that I loved Boneless Mercies? This companion novel is the last one I preordered and I can't believe I have to wait until March for this one!


Enter to win two ARCs I'm thankful to have received! I was lucky enough to receive both these as advance copies and loved them both. Now I'm clearing my shelves and would love to share these with one winner!


Must be 18 or have a parent's permission to enter. No giveaway accounts. Ends 12/16/19.
Winner will be contacted via the email within 3 days after the giveaway ends.
If winner does not respond within 3 days, a new winner will be chosen.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #266: Blogging buddies I'm thankful for

Today's Topic: 
Bloggers I'm Thankful For

Happy Tuesday! I always hate freebies but today I wanted to say thank you and give a shoutout to ten blogging buddies who I've been friends with for YEARS! These are the people who have blog hopped back and forth with me even when I was being the absolute worst at everything. I love you guys and my life is so much better with you in it! I'm positive I've left people out but I promise it wasn't intentional and I love all of you! There are just so many wonderful people in this community!<3 

Amber @ Du Livre
Greg @ Book Haven
Jessica @ A Great Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Weekly Recap: 11/17 - 11/23


Hi everyone! This has been a HORRIBLE blogging week. Yikes. I suck.

Shockingly, it has been another absolutely wild week down in Central Florida. My husband and I have been working hard on a thousand projects before family comes to visit for the holidays, the dogs had their nails cut, I continued working on my library, made a 45 minute drive to get BN Queen of Nothing, poured a million candles, went to a fancy schmancy afternoon tea at Disney World, and FINALLY READ A BOOK! I also finally got the DNA results for my dog! I'll be sharing some more about that coming up soon.

I need a vacation. I need a blogcation. I swear, I would love to be able to just sit down and blog for a day straight. I miss you guys so much and I miss blog hopping. I feel like the absolute worse blogging friend ever. I promise I'll be back to normal blogging as soon as I can and I might even host a giveaway. Who knows? Has anyone else ever found themselves involuntarily taking a break from the blogging world?






The topic was changes in my reading life for Top Ten Tuesday
Friday ARC review of The Deathless Girls


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Thursday, November 21, 2019

DNF Review: The Deathless Girls by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Title: The Deathless Girls
Author: Kiran Millwood Hargrave
Publication Date: September 19, 2019
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Pages: 304
Add to Goodreads

They say the thirst of blood is like a madness - they must sate it. Even with their own kin.

On the eve of her divining, the day she'll discover her fate, seventeen-year-old Lil and her twin sister Kizzy are captured and enslaved by the cruel Boyar Valcar, taken far away from their beloved traveller community.

Forced to work in the harsh and unwelcoming castle kitchens, Lil is comforted when she meets Mira, a fellow slave who she feels drawn to in a way she doesn't understand. But she also learns about the Dragon, a mysterious and terrifying figure of myth and legend who takes girls as gifts.

They may not have had their divining day, but the girls will still discover their fate...

The Deathless Girls caught my eye with its gorgeous cover and wonderfully gothic synopsis. I've only read a couple Dracula retellings and I was SUPER excited to get my hands on this one. I traded literally five books to get the Waterstones exclusive edition with the beautiful sprayed edges and jumped right in as soon as it arrived.

Lil is the main character of this story. She and her sister are Romani travelers, enslaved and forced to work for the cruel Boyar. Lil and Kizzy were fine but halfway into this book I found I wasn't really connected to either of them. Kizzy was the superior sister in my opinion, fighting at every turn, while Lil just kind of went along with her fate. There was a bit of an instalove romance between Lil and one of the other girls who literally start falling for each other without speaking.

There's actually just not a lot going on in this book. I made it to the fifty percent park before giving up and the Dragon had yet to make an appearance. Supposedly this is a story about the brides of Dracula, but I never made it that far. There were no vampires, although I suspect there must be later in the book, but by a hundred and fifty pages in I was bored to death of these girls gutting fish and Lil making heart eyes at someone she'd never spoken to.

I wanted to love this book so much but nothing EVER happened! At the very least I expected an atmosphere that would sweep me to another world, but I never saw that at all. The only locations explored were a few minutes in the sisters' camp and a kitchen. I may come back to this eventually to see how it plays out, but right now I'm just disappointed.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #265: Changes in my reading life

Today's Topic: 
Changes in my reading life

Happy Tuesday! Today's topic was difficult. I honestly hate these open ended topics because they cause me to sit and stare at the screen while having no clue what to do. After much staring I decided to share a few books I've read this year from genres I wouldn't have picked up in years past!

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus
Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Needing to Love You by Erin Rylie
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Weekly Recap: 11/10 - 11/16


Hi everyone! It has been yet another hectic week and I got a grand total of zero books completed (but I officially DNF'd one). I feel like I'm in a horrible slump where I keep starting books but can't finish them. Y'all send me all the good vibes to get back in my reading groove!

 Something that's definitely putting me back in the reading mood is that my library redo is coming right along! The walls are painted, the new shelves are up, and I have a new computer chair. I'll try and take pictures for next week as soon as my new rug arrives!

This week my husband and I did find time to go to Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party at Magic Kingdom! It was so much fun but I definitely felt old when I was exhausted by 10pm. Haha! We rode rides, ate cookies, and watched a special Christmas fireworks show. I can't wait to go to a Christmas dessert party in a couple weeks! Maybe I should do a review of it!

I wanted to take a minute to say I'm sorry for being awful at blog hopping lately. It has been tough dealing with some personal things and a lot more going on than I'm used to. I'm hoping things calm down soon and I'm able to get more time for blogging because I love this community so much. I promise I'll do better!





The topic was favorite bookmarks for Top Ten Tuesday
Thursday ARC review of Mooncakes
On Saturday I did the Book Snob Tag


I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Saturday, November 16, 2019

The Book Snob Tag

Happy Saturday, everyone! This week has been another doozy, but I'm super excited to be back on the blog with a super fun tag. I saw this tag at Finding Wonderland. Apparently this started on Booktube, but thankfully Rissi has brought it to the bloggers!

I feel like some people would definitely ball me a book snob, but I definitely don't feel like one at all. It seems like primarily reading YA books as an adult makes me the opposite of a book snob, but the tag will tell! Let's dive into the questions!

Adaptation Snob: Do you always read the book before you see the film?

No, definitely not! Sometimes I do try to read the book first if I know that a movie or show is coming out soon. Bird Box, for example. Most of the time I don't, though. Some adaptations that I saw first and then read the book (or made an attempt) are The Lord of the Rings, Call Me By Your Name, The Ritual, and Game of Thrones.

Format Snob: You can only choose 1 format in which to read books for the rest of your life. Which one do you choose: physical books, eBooks, or audiobooks?

Oh, this one is hard. Honestly, I think I'd have to choose audiobooks. As much as I love reading physical books, I listen to audiobooks almost all the time. I don't know what I'd do if I didn't have books to listen to in the car, while I'm working, or walking. There are only so many podcasts!

Ship Snob: Would you date or marry a non-reader?

Yep! In the time that I've known my husband I think he's read The Hunger Games, The Raft by S.A. Bodeen, and half of Deception Point.

Genre Snob: You have to ditch one genre – never to be read again for the rest of your life. Which one do you ditch?

Contemporary romance, no contest. It's the genre I read least and one I wouldn't miss at all.

Uber Genre Snob: You can only choose to read from one genre for the rest of your life. Which genre do you choose?

Fantasy. Again, no contest. It's the genre I read 99% of the time and there's just so much out there to choose from!

Community Snob: Which genre do you think receives the most snobbery from the bookish community?

I don't know how to answer this?? What does it mean? I think people are most snobby about classic literature. As if reading Frankenstein and Little women somehow makes them better readers. BUT, I think YA contemporary romance gets the most snobbery thrown at it. See the latest ridiculous and unwarranted criticism thrown at Sarah Dessen.

Snobbery Recipient: Have you ever been snubbed for something that you have been reading or for reading in general?

I definitely have met a lot of people who are SHOCKED that I actually own books and READ them. I've had people tell me that they haven't read a book since high school like it makes them cool and me a nerd. Joke's on them because I'm too old to care what other people think.

I tag whoever wants to join in!
Have you ever been called a book snob?
Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

ARC Review: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker & Wendy Xu

Title: Mooncakes
Author: Suzanne Walker
Artist: Wendy Xu
Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Lion Forge
Pages: 256
Add to Goodreads

//I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review//
A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers' bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

I spotted Mooncakes for the first time at ALA where my friend Erin told me that I absolutely HAD to read it! I missed out on grabbing an ARC of it there but thankfully received one from Netgalley later. The art style was what really made me want to pick this one up and I couldn't wait to dive in! Unfortunately, once I started reading it took me way too long to get through this relatively short graphic novel.

Mooncakes is a story about a witch named Nova and her friend Tam, who happens to be a werewolf and may also be more than a friend. First let me say there is so much amazing rep in this book! Nova wears hearing aids, Tam is non-binary, both are Chinese American, and they're in a relationship with each other.

I adored watching Nova and Tam learn about their magical sides and the friendship between these two was so cute, although their romance was a bit instalovey. I know that there was already history between them before the start of the book, but I wish there had been a bit more lead up to their romance.

While I did enjoy the art style and the story was fun, I did wish there had been a bit more depth to it. The plot was a bit generic and surface level and the villain was underwhelming. It definitely felt like younger YA than I expected. I did find myself a bit bored at times, but it was still a cute read. I'd definitely give it a try if you're in the mood for a cute, witchy, and diverse graphic novel!

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday #264: Favorite Bookmarks

Today's Topic: 
Top Ten Seven Favorite Bookmarks

Happy Tuesday! Today's topic was pretty hard for me! I don't often buy bookmarks, I just kind of end up with them. The one shop I absolutely LOVE seems to have gone away from selling bookmarks now so I had to set off on a search. Click the photos to be taken to the listings!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Weekly Recap: 11/3 - 11/9


Hi everyone! Well, it has been another hectic, emotionally draining week and I haven't gotten a single book read from start to finish. I did start reading The Deathless Girls and I'm honestly not sure if I like it so far. I didn't think I'd finish it this week, but alas. I also finally started The City of Brass and I am INTO it! I'm torn between hoping I love it and being scared of the collection I'll have to complete if I do. :/

Candle business has been BOOMING and it has been stressful. Earlier this year I began making candles for a local spa. All the orders from them have been quite small and manageable, but all of a sudden they're ordering more than I usually make in a few months and I'm overwhelmed. Like, I'm happy for the business, but I'm probably going to be roping my husband into helping me soon.

Speaking of roping my husband into helping, we also started upgrading my library/office this week! Paint is finally on the walls after a fiasco with the paint being... not great. We ended up with four coats of two different brands of paint, so yay. Next are a couple more shelves, curtains, and a chandelier! I can't wait! I'll try and share some pictures next week.



Nothing this week!


The topic was Christmas vibes for Top Ten Tuesday
Thursday ARC review of Winterwood
Things were less spooky than expected for Saturday Screen Time



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!