Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday #307: Books I loved as a child/teen

Today's Topic: 
Books I Loved as a Child/Teen

Happy Tuesday! This week we're taking a trip down memory lane and I couldn't limit myself to just ten! I split this week's books into books I loved as a child and books I loved as a teenager. I definitely had eclectic (and questionable) tastes! Haha!


Midnight on the Moon by Mary Pope Osborne
Karen's Worst Day by Ann M. Martin
The Borrowers by Mary Norton
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle


Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Winter Rose by Patricia A. McKillip
The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
Flowers in the Attic by V.C. Andrews
Warrior's Song by Catherine Coulter
The Crown of Eden by Thomas Williams
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

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

Sunday, November 28, 2021

Weekly(ish) Recap: 11/7 - 11/27


Hi, everyone! Another few weeks of reading a ton of fanfiction, but I did finally get around to reading some "real" books too. Shockingly, they were mostly (dark) romance. Who even am I? My friend talked me into reading Ice Planet Barbarians with her and, well, that was an experience. XD For Thanksgiving I ended up doing absolutely nothing but reading and watching the first episode of Wheel of Time (which made me want to finish reading the series because yikes). I'm definitely glad I'll have family here for Christmas! I'm already making plans to go look at lights and drink hot chocolate. 





Book review of Into the Dark
Book review of The Other Woman
Book review of The Last Widow



I'm linking up to Stacking the Shelves & The Sunday Post!
Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Thanksgiving Book Tag

Happy Thanksgiving, American friends! I haven't done a book tag in quite awhile and, since today I'm thankful for my blog and all of my amazing bookish friends who have stuck with me over the years, I decided to do one! I found this tag at Amanda's Book Nook!

A Book With Characters That Feel Like Family

Cliche probably, but I think everyone who has read these books a couple times feels like the Inner Circle is family. I honestly only LOVE the first two books, but every time I read ACOMAF I feel like I'm visiting friends. 

A Book That Fell Flat (Didn’t Meet Your Expectations)

Controversial opinion time! I loved the Grisha Trilogy so much that I fully expected to be blown away by Six of Crows! Unfortunately, this is the one that made me realize I do not enjoy heist books very much. The characters were wonderful, but the plot didn't do much for me.

A Book You Want To Read Every Year During This Season

Honestly, is there any other answer for a winter re-read? I first read these books as a pre-teen (I think) and I've read them a few times since. I know they're super heavy handed on the allegory (which I don't care for), but they're just so magical.

A Book With A Bird In It

I really had to think about this one, but then I remembered the giant talking eagles in Beyond the Shadowed Earth! This author really brings all the fairy tale vibes and I have never read a book by her that I didn't love!

A Book That Made Your Eyes Glaze Over (Boring)

I was so disappointed by this one because I loved the author's first book, but Small Favors was a snoozefest. I was bored out of my mind by the end!

A Book That Melted Your Heart And Made You Feel Warm

Need I say more? When I think of a book that's heartwarming and gave me the warm fuzzies, House in the Cerulean Sea definitely comes to mind!

A Book With A White Cover

Quality literature, Crush. I truly can't wait to dive into the fourth book and the spinoff as soon as I possibly can.

A Book You’re Not Totally Sure Why You Love, But You Do

I know my friends laugh at me for loving this book, but I was HERE FOR IT! I devoured Edward's perspective in a couple days. I'm aware the whole Twilight Saga is universally regarded as trash, but it's MY trash.

A Dessert Book That You Love

I have no idea what a dessert book is, but I'm going with something sweet and fluffy that I enjoy between heavier reads. Remarried Empress is a Webtoon that took me by surprise with how wonderful it was! I'm several seasons in and I absolutely adore it, especially when I'm in a slump.

Book Review: The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter

Title: The Last Widow
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publication Date: August 20, 2019
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 446
Add to Goodreads

A mysterious kidnapping

On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. Vanished into thin air, the authorities are desperate to save the doctor.

A devastating explosion

One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhood’s has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC.

A diabolical enemy

Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. When the assailants abduct Sara, Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre—putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.

The Last Widow is the 9th book in Karin Slaughter’s Will Trent series. I didn’t even know this was a series until I finished the book and looked it up on Goodreads. I plan to read the rest of the series but I’m glad that Slaughter doesn’t make you feel lost if you haven’t read books 1-8. From what I can tell, the characters are all the same, but each book has a different plot, kind of like standalone episodes of a cop drama. This book was a palpitating five-star read for me!

This gripping and complex book is about Will Trent and Sara Linton. Will is a police officer with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and Sara is a medical examiner. This book starts with a Centers for Disease Control (CDC) scientist, Michelle Spivey, being kidnapped in a shopping center parking lot. If I remember correctly, this happened on the third or fourth page. One month and just a few pages later, Will and Sara were at her Sara’s aunt’s house, near Emory University in Atlanta, when they heard and felt an explosion. It turns out the neighborhood surrounding Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, AND the CDC had been bombed. As first responders, Will and Sara quickly head to the site of the explosion when Sara is abducted by the same assailants who took Michelle.

I was NOT prepared for this book. Even if I’d read a description of this book before reading it, I still wouldn’t have been prepared. I’ve been reading a lot of thrillers lately, but this one was on another level because it was real. The reason being that it touched on themes extremely close to my heart. Will and Sara ended up in the middle of a terrorist conspiracy, one that was headed by a Nazi who believed the world needed to be cleansed of everyone not straight and white. In an effort not to give any spoilers, that is all I will say of the book’s plot.

There are many disturbing themes in this book that readers should be aware of. These themes are rape, pedophilia, domestic violence, racism, terrorism, Christian extremism, Nazism, cult-like behavior, homophobia, misogyny, and a lot of death and violence. If you can handle these themes, then I HIGHLY recommend this book because it was thought-provoking and strong. It is obvious that Slaughter conducted an intense and thorough background into the aforementioned topics for this book. I can only imagine what she had to read to write alt-right characters as convincing as the ones in this book. It’s easy to tell that as she immersed herself in each character as she was writing them. After writing some of these characters, I’m sure she had to go and take a shower hot enough to take off her first layer of skin.

Between 2015 and 2020, the rise of hate in the United States few ten-fold and this book was a statement about that. Slaughter gave us a bone-chilling insight into the hateful minds of the Alt-right. This book is hard to read. It is stomach-clenching. It is brutal. It is yell-inducing. It is insomnia-inducing because not immediately finishing this book as soon as possible is unthinkable.

My favorite character in this book was a tie between Will and Sara. They are both written so well that you just can’t help but to love them both. Each of these characters in the book felt real to me and that’s what made it so terrifying. No matter how despicable, low, and extreme Slaughter’s writing went, absolutely none of it surprised me because it was really how some people think. There are people who hate me for being black. There are people who hate me for being a woman. There are people who hate my friends for being LGBTQ+. There are people who hate my friends for being nonbinary. Unfortunately, these people will always exist, but there will always be the minority, not the majority.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Books I preordered in 2021 and haven't read

It never fails. Every year I preorder a bunch of books and every year most of them sit unread until sometime down the road. Occasionally I even wait for the audiobook to be available from the library so that I can read it with my ears. This mainly stems from being a horrible mood reader, which I've discussed at length in other posts, but I can't believe ONLY mood readers do this. 

Dark Rise by C.S. Pacat

The Captive Prince trilogy is one of my all-time favorite series and one of the few I've read more than once. But that was adult and Dark Rise is YA, and I think that's the main reason I've been so hesitant to actually pick this up, despite preordering it months early. It's going to be hard for this book to live up to her first series for me, especially knowing the characters are teenagers. I'll definitely read it! Just as soon as I work up the nerve.

Leviathan Wakes by James S.A. Corey

Yeah, honestly I don't even know with this one. Sci-fi isn't a genre I read very often and certainly not adult sci-fi. My husband loved the show, but I never got around to watching it. It was probably a combination of the gorgeous anniversary edition along with the hype. I did start the audiobook, but nothing seemed to be happening and I got bored. I'll get back to it eventually!

Phantom Heart by Kelly Creagh

Yep, this is another one I'm legitimately scared to start. I read and adored this author's Nevermore series years ago, but I've never read anything else by her (I believe this is the first thing she's traditionally published since). I love Nevermore and I love Phantom of the Opera, but what if I don't love this? Does this happen to anyone else?

Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

Listen, don't come at me. I am obsessed with the original Grisha Trilogy and Six of Crows was fine. Admittedly, I didn't love King of Scars all that much, but the ending GOT ME. Still, I'm really scared of what's going to happen based on that ending and I'm pretty sure it's going to be what I don't want to happen. I feel like Leigh is kind of backtracking with this plot line and I don't want to see it. I did buy the expensive Illumicrate edition and for what?? I'll read it, I'll read it.

Sorrowland by Rivers Solomon

Everyone who knows me knows that I am HERE for cult books. I preordered this and opened it immediately and... realized it might not be for me. The writing was a bit out of my comfort zone and I just really need to be in the mood to read something different than normal when I finally pick this up again.

Gods & Monsters by Shelby Mahurin

Series enders, am I right? I absolutely loved the first two books in this series, but I have friends who did not care for this finale and now I'm hesitant to pick it up. Never mind that I ordered multiple special editions. I'm kind of worried that I wasted money on multiple copies of a book I won't love and I am SO tired of last books in series letting me down. I'm going to read it, I swear!

Do you preorder books and then not read them?
Have you read any of these?
Let me know in the comments!

Monday, November 15, 2021

Book Review: The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

Title: The Other Woman
Author: Sandie Jones
Publication Date: March 29, 2018
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Pages: 304
Add to Goodreads

Emily thinks Adam's perfect; the man she thought she'd never meet. But lurking in the shadows is a rival; a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

The Other Woman is an addictive, fast-paced psychological thriller about the destructive relationship between Emily, her boyfriend Adam, and his manipulative mother Pammie.

When Emily found her perfect man, Adam, she couldn’t believe her luck! She’d never felt this way about someone before and never thought she could. That is until she met his mother, Pammie. Pammie took the term “monster-in-law” to a whole other level. Pammie did everything she could to break up Emily and Adam. There was only room for one woman in life: her. In my opinion, no man, perfect or otherwise is worth dealing with a monster-in-law but Emily was determined to hold on to her man. A man who, in my opinion, wasn’t worth holding on to because he treated her terribly. Even in an imagined world I can’t see how any woman would choose him. Emily was also extremely attracted to Adam’s brother, James. The whole family was cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs, but it made for a thrilling ride.

This was a REALLY good, unexpected, fast-paced psychological and domestic thriller. I loved the story, but I did not like any of these characters. I pretty much hated each one. I found it extremely difficult to care about the main character but that’s just because I found her whiny and annoying. However, the characters did feel real to me. So real that I ended up throwing this book across my room a few times. This book definitely kept me guessing and it had some twists I didn’t see coming. My favorite part of this book was the climax because it had one of those twists that makes you want to reread the book with your new knowledge. This was a suspenseful page-turner that actually gave me palpitations.

As mentioned earlier, what I hated about this book was the characters, especially Emily. She was this desperate, unintelligent, whiny, annoying, pick-me woman and I loathed her. That is my most hated character trope ever. However, the twist and the story themselves were SO good that my hatred of Emily still made this book a definite five-star rating for me. I know that some people like to know as much as possible about a book before they read it, but this is one of those books you just have to go into blind! I’m even planning to read it again sometime next year when I’ve had time for my brain to forget the little things in the book. 

Tuesday, November 9, 2021

Book Review: Into the Dark by Dana Isaly

Title: Into the Dark
Author: Dana Isaly
Publication Date: October 30, 2021
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 225
Add to Goodreads


I am the monster that lurks in your nightmares. Evil incarnate. A sociopath. A murderer. I kill women who are guilty of nothing other than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Women like Lyra. Her yellow raincoat flapped in the cool breeze when she walked by, that blonde hair making her look like a drowned rat as she stopped to taste the rain. She wasn’t like the others, but my demon wanted her. We followed her. Watched her. Obsessed over her. She is ours. Of that I’m certain. We will pull her into the depths of our darkness and keep her imprisoned there. Until we meet our end.


I am ordinary in every way. Average looks. Mundane job. Boring life. But when he looks at me, I become something else entirely. His gaze stalks and tracks me like a game of cat and mouse, his eyes licking fire over my skin every time they glance in my direction. My thoughts are consumed by him every moment he’s out of sight. He is my obsession. I can’t let him go. And once he shows me his true form, I know I’ve captured him forever. He is mine. Of that I’m certain. I will follow him to the depths of darkness and happily submit to his madness. Until we meet our end. 

Into the Dark was put on my radar by a friend who is obsessed with dark romance. I don't read nearly as many as a lot of people, but when I heard that this was a serial killer romance I was intrigued. It definitely isn't a premise you see every day, and it definitely isn't for everyone. This is a DARK book and please be sure to check the trigger warnings before you go anywhere near it. 

Like I said, this is a serial killer romance and it never shies away from the fact that the MC is a murderer with quite a high body count. He has the stereotypical tragic backstory and a "demon" inside him who lives for the hunt. There is no redemption for this character. He is a bad dude, full stop. The other POV character is Lyra, a 25 year old woman with an obsessive personality and a history full of her own trauma. Together they're the perfect combination for a whirlwind, out of control romance that you just know can't end well.

This book made me question what I was comfortable with and what I was willing to believe for the sake of a story. The thing is, I didn't think it was all that far out there. Certainly there are women who are in love with Very Bad Guys and Lyra's specific mental health conditions made this a believable scenario. While I knew going in that their relationship would be toxic, I was still rooting for them and hoped that they'd find a way to make it through to the other side.

Into the Dark is one of the darkest books I've ever read, but it also made me feel so many emotions and the end absolutely gutted me! I did wish that it could have ended differently, but it really was perfect for these characters and their romance (obsessive relationship). 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

Weekly(ish) Recap: 10/24 - 11/6


Hi, everyone! Once again, I've been stuck in a fanfiction rabbit hole, but at least I managed to read a bit more for this update, mostly thanks to audiobooks! I've read about 2,000 pages of this latest fic and was 1,600 pages in before realizing it wasn't complete. Whoops. I'm really happy to have read more than I added to my shelf this time around, which doesn't normally happen! Now it's on to some fantasy and more mysteries! I also started making plans for Christmas since it looks like my brother will be visiting (yay!) and we'll be doing Christmas dinner without my mom here to cook it. Wish us luck! XD Do you guys have any fun Christmas traditions? 





Book review of XY
ARC review of Her Soul for Revenge
Book review of Big Little Lies


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