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Liebster Award

Hey bookworms! How is everyone doing? For me, Thanksgiving break has officially begun! I have a very busy schedule including tackling a massive tbr and binge watching Netflix. I am ready for the break.

Anyway, April is finally catching up on her tags. I would like to thank the lovely bloggers who tagged me for the Liebster Award! I’m answering two sets of questions today and then I’ll do a part two in the near future.

Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you
  • Nominate 11 bloggers
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions
  • Notify your 11 nominees

First up thank you to Marta @ Monogamist Reader! I always look forward to reading their New In YA posts as well as their reviews!

Name a book that you thought “Damn, I wish I wrote that”

The amount of times I am just in awe of the prose of so many authors… I can’t even count. If I had to pick though, it would be Tweet Cute by Emma Lord. It is so fun, creative, and witty. It was exactly the kind of story I needed to destress during finals week and a piece of brilliance that I wish I had come up with. 

What is a book that everybody loves but you hate it so much you wish to burn it? 

The Selection. Sorry guys. I can honestly say I did not like a SINGLE thing about that book. 

What job would you be doing if you have followed your childhood dreams? 

For a little while I wanted to be a cat. But since that’s not really a job (despite what younger me thought) I doubt I would be pursuing it.

There was a period of time when I wanted to be an architect, but that was before I realized how much math that required. And math gives me hives so that’s a hard no.

Then I wanted to be a detective (more specifically I wanted to be Nancy Drew). Or a lawyer. Or a journalist. Moral of the story: April has no clue what she wants to do, but she will figure it out.

Name your favourite villain – it could be from movies/books/comics… 

Cruella de Vil from 101 Dalmations. Her cape is fire.

If you could change the ending of a story (again book or movie, or whatever), how would you change it and which one? 

I’m going to be basic and say Allegiant. I’m not sure a better ending could have saved the entire series, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt. 

In which order must your books be placed in your bookshelves?

My books are arranged by color. Before y’all freak out— the series are not part of the color categorization. They are with their family units. I’m not a monster, I don’t separate my series.

You are offered to go on a mission to Mars. You can bring three fictional characters with you and three personal objects. What would you bring with you and who would be in your space squad? 

I would bring my kindle (because time without reading… haha no), duck tape (because that stuff is brilliant), and then I’m going to lump a bunch of stuff together and call it a ~survival kit~ (because I don’t want to die on Mars.

And for my space squad I would totally bring along…

  • Cinder from the Lunar Chronicles because you got to have a good mechanic with a side of sass for emergency situations
  • Millie from Her Royal Highness because she seems so cool. She is funny and her rock knowledge might be helpful on Mars
  • Stevie Bell because I want to chat about true crime

You are in possession of a time machine but you can visit only one specific geographical place in the past and one in the future. Where would you go? 

My gut instinct was to try to prevent something really bad from happening, but messing with time is never a good idea. I don’t want to tangle myself with the time web. I think I’m going to pass on the whole time travel shenanigans.

If you can have a super power, which one would you have?

I would want to turn invisible. Being able to go full stealth mode would be pretty slick.

If your biggest fear/or anxiety was your superpower, what would it be? 

My biggest fear is probably corpses. I would be able to raise people from the dead maybe? I guess that could be cool.

If you are forced to watch only one movie for the rest of your life – what movie will you pick?

Groundhog Day. There is some irony in that.

Up next thank you to Alicia @ The Colorful Bibliophile. Be sure to check out her blog I always look forward to reading her posts!

Which book character would make a good blogger, and why?

I feel like Adrian from Renegades would be a really good blogger. I feel like he would either be an art blogger or a lifestyle blogger. I don’t really have a solid reason, but I’m going with it.

You have 24 hours with your favorite character in our world, what is on the itinerary?

I would want to spend 24 hours with Pip from a Good Girl’s Guide to Murder. I have absolutely no idea what we would doo, but no matter what it would be awesome.

What book title would you use to describe your mood or personality?

It snowed this morning so I am feeling very winter-y. And kind of cold.

What are two books you would mash together, and why?

I’m mashing together Serpent & Dove and Blood & Honey. Blood and Honey felt like a filler book to me, so I’m going to mash it and Serpent and Dove together and avoid the disappointing sequel.

What characters would you form a band with?

I would want to join the band in Super Fake Love Story by David Yoon. I could totally play backup on the French Horn.

What mythological creature would you want as a familiar?

A dragon. No explanation needed.

Which will you choose : Wondering off to live in a cottage in the woods where you learn to grow your magic or live in an abandon seaside mansion where there’s a room for everything you need but your roommate is a feral ghost.

I’m heading off to life in a cottage in the woods to learn to grow my magic. Because magic, duh. Plus, I think a life in the woods would be peaceful.

A witch, a siren, & a fairy godmother are all in need of an apprentice who are you choosing to go with?

Witch all the way.

You’ve been cursed by an evil enchantress to sing one song for the rest of your life, what song is it? (You can still listen to new songs but you can only sing this one)

I’m going with “Alexander Hamilton” from Hamilton. Every time I play (and of course sing along) the song I get hyped up.

If you had the choice to live in the sky, space, or under the ocean, which would you choose?

I would live under the ocean. Among the fish and the sharks, it would be super cool.

A habitable planet has been located & you’ve been tasked to inspect it, what do you find?

I discovered a brand new species of animals. It is a rare lizard that has poisonous spit and can fly. It also has purple and green stripes. Since I was the once to discover it, you better believe I’m naming it as well. I’m thinking The Disco Lizard, but am still considering my options.

I’m tagging…

  1. Prutha @ Confessions of a Music and Book Addict
  2. Ahaana @ Windows to Worlds
  3. Cherelle @ Cherelle the Bibliophile
  4. Sam @ Literary Delirium
  5. Emma @ A Few Chapters Till Love

And my questions are…

  1. What would the name of your autobiography be?
  2. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you chose?
  3. Is the frosting or the cake the best part of a cupcake?
  4. What is your favorite book that you read for school?
  5. If you could carry one condiment around (and it wouldn’t spoil) what would you chose?
  6. Is pineapple on pizza yay or nay??
  7. What color would your mermaid tail be?
  8. If you could become one animal for the day, what would you chose?
  9. Who is your best book friend?
  10. What is your most anticipated release for 2021?
  11. What is your favorite book from 2020?
Tags

This Or That Book Tag

Good day fellow bookworms! Today I am going to be doing the This Or That Book Tag. Thank you to the lovely Lilly @ Lilly’s Little Library for tagging me. If you haven’t go check out her blog! She writes some fab book reviews!

The Rules:

  • Mention the creator of the tag (Ayunda @ Tea and Paperbacks)
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you!
  • Tag other people to do the tag and spread the love!

Reading on the couch or on the bed?

Couch all the way. How do people read on their beds?? I used to, but I had to set pillows behind my head and then stack them on my stomach so I could conformable lay and read. There was a ~process~ Now, I keep it simple and just sit and read on the couch.

Sweet or salty snacks while reading?

Bold of you to assume I can eat and read the same time. Ha! No. I have the focus abilities of a hamster. If I could, I would chose sweet. Ice cream, chocolate, need I go on??

Trilogies or Quartets?

Quartets. For the most part, I like diving into stories and worlds for as long as possible. But if it is going to be a quartet, I want a legit quartet, not just a stretched out trilogy.

First person or Third person POV?

First person! It just feels more personal. I like being in the character’s heads more. Sometimes 3rd person is done really well, but a lot of times I feel a bit detached from the story.

Night or Morning reader?

I do not have the ambition to wake up early. Mornings + April = INCOMPATIBLE. I am 100% a night reader.

Libraries or bookstores?

I actually go to the library waaay more than I go to the bookstore. I love going a browsing through all the books, especially the new release shelves. The best part (pre-Covid) is finding a quiet corner to chill out in and read.

Books that make you laugh or make you cry?

Books that make me cry are a force to be reckoned with. The feeling when you become so invested in the story that you feel an emotional connection to fictional characters is so powerful. When an author is able to emotional kill me like that, well, I think that makes a book really special.

Black or White book covers?

*looks at shelf and sees 80% black books* Sooo, I’m going to go with black books on this one.

Character driven or plot driven?

Character driven. If I don’t like the characters, then the entire book is a no for me. But if I don’t like the plot, really interesting characters can save it.

I tag…

Cherelle @ Cherelle the Bibliophile

Riddhi @ Whispering Stories

Rachel @ A Bookworm’s Paradise

No pressure to participate, only if you are interested 🙂

Semi-related: I love doing these so much. Thank you to all of the amazing bloggers who have tagged me to do them. I promise I’m going to do them, I’m just really behind right now.

Do you have a preferred reading spot? Are you one of the multitalented people who can read and eat at the same time???

Reviews

Archenemies // Review

Is it just me, or does anyone else get second hand anxiety when a character is snooping around. Especially in movies, but in books too. I am just internally screaming, “RUN! Run while you can!” and the internal screaming doesn’t stop until that house is loooong gone. Just me? Ok… 

So today we are going to be chatting about Archenemies by Marissa Meyer. There will be spoilers for Renegades (see my review HERE). You have been warned.

Time is running out.
Together, they can save the world.
But they each other’s worst nightmare.

In Renegades, Nova and Adrian (aka Insomnia and Sketch) fought the battle of their lives against the Anarchist known as the Detonator. It was a short-lived victory.

The Anarchists still have a secret weapon, one that Nova believes will protect her. The Renegades also have a strategy for overpowering the Anarchists, but both Nova and Adrian understand that it could mean the end of Gatlon City – and the world – as they know it. (from Goodreads)

Little flash to the past here, but back in Renegades I loved how I could see the the good and bad to both sides. The Renegades weren’t inherently good or evil, and neither were the Anarchists. Well, say goodbye to that. Bye, bye hopped on a train to nowhere.

Archenemies totally destroyed my internal conflict of who is right and who is wrong. Now I think both sides are wrong. The amount of shady stuff going on— not good.

The way Renegades ended with Uncle Ace waltzing in was so shocking. Did not see that coming at all. I think Ace entering the picture really messed with the ideals of the Anarchists. I mean, Ace’s theme song is basically Ace knows best *sung in the tune of Mother Knows Best from Tangled for dramatic flair*

Related: Uncle Ace is hecka possessive. Like calling Nova “little Nightmare” sounds so diminutive. Nova is literally spying for you, yet you call her little Nightmare which makes her sound young and small. Stop it. Your manipulation does not fly here.

Can I get a gullible?? *echo effect* The Renegades don’t even try to confirm Nightmare is dead. Well, we saw her bleeding, so she must be dead. Who let these people be in charge?? Seriously, who?? 

The Renegades complete lack of investigative skills is beyond me. They don’t ask any questions. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, but I feel like they would want to know who their recruits are beyond the initial “cool you turn into butterflies!”

I was hoping for some more development of the supporting characters. But no, that is still on hold. This book was very much the Nova and Adrian show. 

The part where Nova was trying to seduce Adrian physically pained me. In Renegades they were the right amount of awkward, but this was too much. Archenemies was the type of awkward that pains me, yet I can’t seem to look away from the train wreck. 

I am having a hard time being invested in Adrian and Nova’s relationship. Until they reveal their secret identities and emerge from their own pits of lies and deception, I can’t seem to 100% root for them.

That being said, there were still some really cute moments. I will forever love when the one with rough edges in the relationship teaches the soft one how to shoot. 

Archenemies was not for me. It honestly just felt really slow. A lot of the softer moments I dug in Renegades were replaced with awkward flirting, and the plot didn’t captive me. Idk man, just didn’t vibe as much. But I still am curious enough to read Supernova. 

Have you read Archenemies? What did you think??

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November Anticipated Releases

I was looking at my drafts earlier when I came across this lovely list of November Anticipated Releases that I forgot to post (whoops…). So for today, we are going to ignore the fact that November is nearly half way over and talk about some new releases I am super pumped for.

I am also including some reviews of the books in question that got me even more excited to read them. Definitely check them out!!

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

Chloe Wang is nervous to introduce her parents to her boyfriend, because the truth is, she hasn’t met him yet either. She hired him from Rent for Your ’Rents, a company specializing in providing fake boyfriends trained to impress even the most traditional Asian parents.

Drew Chan’s passion is art, but after his parents cut him off for dropping out of college to pursue his dreams, he became a Rent for Your ’Rents employee to keep a roof over his head. Luckily, learning protocols like “Type C parents prefer quiet, kind, zero-PDA gestures” comes naturally to him.

When Chloe rents Drew, the mission is simple: convince her parents fake Drew is worthy of their approval so they’ll stop pressuring her to accept a proposal from Hongbo, the wealthiest (and slimiest) young bachelor in their tight-knit Asian American community.

But when Chloe starts to fall for the real Drew—who, unlike his fake persona, is definitely not ’rent-worthy—her carefully curated life begins to unravel. Can she figure out what she wants before she loses everything? (from Goodreads)

Review: Rent A Boyfriend by Gloria Chao by Lauren @ Love Yo Shelf. This review got me even more excited to hop into the book!!

Those Who Prey by Jennifer Moffett

College life isn’t what Emily expected.

She expected to spend freshman year strolling through the ivy-covered campus with new friends, finally feeling like she belonged. Instead, she walks the campus alone, still not having found her place or her people so far away from home. 

But then the Kingdom finds her. 

The Kingdom, an exclusive on-campus group, offers everything Emily expected of college and more: acceptance, friends, a potential boyfriend, and a chance to spend the summer in Italy on a mission trip. But the trip is not what she thought it would be. Emily and the others are stripped of their passports and money. They’re cut off from their families back home. The Kingdom’s practices become increasingly manipulative and dangerous. 

And someone ends up dead. (from Goodreads)

Check out this author interview at Blog Tour of Those Who Prey by Haley and Emily @ Stuck in the Stacks

Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins

What would you do if you had to spend the next 15 days with your lifelong crush?

Felipe gets it — he’s fat. Not chubby. Not big-boned. Fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for this moment ever since the school year began: school break. Finally, he’ll be able to spend some time far away from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on his favorite TV shows, finishing his to-be-read pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice.

But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbor kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next 15 days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, forever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks.

Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself — but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too. (from Goodreads)

And if you need further convincing, check out Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins- ARC Review by Emma @ Books Real When Shared

Super Fake Love Song by David Yoon

When Sunny Dae—self-proclaimed total nerd—meets Cirrus Soh, he can’t believe how cool and confident she is. So when Cirrus mistakes Sunny’s older brother Gray’s bedroom—with its electric guitars and rock posters—for Sunny’s own, he sort of, kind of, accidentally winds up telling her he’s the front man of a rock band.

Before he knows it, Sunny is knee-deep in the lie: He ropes his best friends into his scheme, begging them to form a fake band with him, and starts wearing Gray’s rock-and-roll castoffs. But no way can he trick this amazing girl into thinking he’s cool, right? Just when Sunny is about to come clean, Cirrus asks to see them play sometime. Gulp.

Now there’s only one thing to do: Fake it till you make it.

Sunny goes all in on the lie, and pretty soon, the strangest things start happening. People are noticing him in the hallways, and he’s going to football games and parties for the first time. He’s feeling more confident in every aspect of his life, and especially with Cirrus, who’s started to become not just his dream girl but also the real deal. Sunny is falling in love. He’s having fun. He’s even becoming a rocker, for real.

But it’s only a matter of time before Sunny’s house of cards starts tumbling down. As his lies begin to catch up with him, Sunny Dae is forced to wonder whether it was all worth it—and if it’s possible to ever truly change.

After reading Frankly In Love last year, I am super excited to read Yoon’s sophomore novel. This review of Super Fake Love Song by Star @ Star is All Booked Up got my excited for the relationships between the characters.

The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim

Anna Chiu has her hands pretty full looking after her brother and sister and helping out at her dad’s restaurant, all while her mum stays in bed. Dad’s new delivery boy, Rory, is a welcome distraction and even though she knows that things aren’t right at home, she’s starting to feel like she could just be a normal teen.

But when Mum finally gets out of bed, things go from bad to worse. And as Mum’s condition worsens, Anna and her family question everything they understand about themselves and each other. (from Goodreads

I added this book to my tbr after reading this fantastic Book Review – The Surprising Power of A Good Dumpling By Wai Chim by Chloe @ Marshmallow Pudding

What books are you looking forward to this month?? Have you read any of these?? What did you think??

Reviews

Renegades // the one where I binge read the entire series so they all blur together as one

Welp the title says it all on this one. I have the no good, very bad case of reading the trilogy in a span of 48 hours and not remembering the individual plots. They all kind of blur together into a giant bowl of word soup (not my best metaphor but again, my mind is soupy right now), so please bear with me as I try to weed out the individual plots. In my mind they are all ah yes, that superhero book.

Book: Renegades

Author: Marissa Meyer

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both. (from Goodreads

Both sides seemed in the wrong in some way. One one hand, the Renegade system seemed corrupt in the distribution of power and assertion of force. On the other hand, the anarchists are trying to, ya know, assassinate people to give everyone personal freedom. Seeing the faults and advantages in both sides made for a very interesting book. I didn’t know who should win, I couldn’t decide who to root for, but I am here for it. 

The fact that Renegades is told from the “villain’s” perspective and yet I STILL LOVE NOVA. Like Marissa, stop with your voodoo word magic, making me like the villain. 

Why do I adore Nova? That, my friends, is a good question. 

She is a sassy queen. Sassing people as they attack you will forever be my favorite thing. It is such a bad idea, but I will admit I do love the ~drama~ it adds to the fights. I’m always a sucker for some good old sass.

She somehow manages to be adorably awkward and badass at the same time?? Nova, whatever you’re doing, show me your magic. 

Nova had no clue what she was doing and I got major yolo vibes from her. You’re telling me that this teenager (no doubt she is fierce, but still a teenager) pulls up to the Renegades and is just accepted. The whole concept of the Renegades trial is a little sus. So they just gather a bunch of superhero randos and let them join if they can wow the crowd?? Um… ok??

More importantly, why are we relying on teenagers to be law enforcement here?? Are there no child labor laws? Do their parents have to sign liability waivers or something or let their kids run around shooting people?? I can’t even walk home from school without a liability waiver.

The adults-are-nonexistent trope gets a lot of hate, but may I present it’s evil cousin: adults-are-present-but-useless-slugs. *angry nostril flare*

For being a super special superhero organization the Renegades are hecka gullible and trusting. Oh, you have no finger tips?? Cool, cool, join our superhero boy band! You immediately want access to secret information?? Sure, sure,  have at it! How did no one realize what was going on?? If ya’ll don’t wake up!

Do you know what else baffles me? The Renegades are looking for Nightmare and yet they have the investigation skills of a baby squirrel. They are far too trusting. They claim that they conducted crime scene analysis, but you mean to tell me they found nothing but a few finger prints??? This world has technology including fingerprinting and freaking superpowers, yet you mean to tell me there is no DNA testing?? 

I know, I know, they would need a sample to compare any DNA to, but maybe you could do a DNA swab as part of your Renegade background check. Just to, ya know, make sure you aren’t letting your enemy into your stronghold. Just a thought.

The dramatic revelations drove the plot forward and I am here for it.

Marissa Meyer is the queen of endings. I had my suspicions, but the way it was revealed had me yelling. It wasn’t super hardcore cliffhanger, but it was enough of a reveal to make me neglect my homework some more. Ah, yes, we do love some good old procrastination to keep reading.

Speaking of suspicions, a quick note: There were certain moments (aka tragic death story) and I just wanted to yell LIES. As soon as I read it I couldn’t help thinking about how convenient that was. Maybe I’m paranoid, or maybe I have a keen eye for potential plot twists. We shall see…

Despite all of my problems with this book, I still managed to like this book. I liked the complexity of the characters and their viewpoints. I liked all of the shocking moments. But above all, I enjoyed myself reading this book. It made me laugh and smile, even if some parts of it had me scratching my head. 

Have you read Renegades?? What did you think?

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Finally Fall Book Tag

I guess it technically still fall?? The Christmas tree in the park near me begs otherwise, but in my mind it is still in fact fall. It will continue to be fall until December, no matter what those lights tell me.

I am super excited to be doing my first ever tag! Thank you to the lovely Cherelle @ Cherelle The Bibliophile and Riddhi @ Whispering Stories for tagging me!

IN FALL, THE AIR IS CRISP AND CLEAR: NAME A BOOK WITH A VIVID SETTING

I started Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust a few days ago and I can really picture the world in my mind. I can’t wait to keep reading and explore this story and world some more.

NATURE IS BEAUTIFUL… BUT ALSO DYING: NAME A BOOK THAT IS BEAUTIFULLY WRITTEN, BUT ALSO DEALS WITH A HEAVY TOPIC LIKE LOSS OR GRIEF.

What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin is a heart wrenching story about human trafficking. I could not put this down. A must read.

FALL IS BACK TO SCHOOL SEASON: SHARE A NON-FICTION BOOK THAT TAUGHT YOU SOMETHING NEW.

Um… I can’t really say that I’m a big non-fiction reader. The last time I have read non-fiction was a biography for a book project from 3rd grade-ish. So yeah, it’s been a little while.

I did read a memoir for school, so I’m going to count that. I read In My Hands by Irene Gut Opdyke and Jennifer Armstrong and it was AMAZING.

IN ORDER TO KEEP WARM, IT’S GOOD TO SPEND SOME TIME WITH THE PEOPLE WE LOVE: NAME A FICTIONAL FAMILY/HOUSEHOLD/FRIEND-GROUP THAT YOU’D LIKE TO BE PART OF.

I want to join the Truly Devious crew.

  1. Boarding school with secret passages.
  2. Snark, snark, and more snark
  3. Solving mysteries sounds pretty cool
  4. Extreme introvert energy that I feel on a spiritual level. Exhibit A:
    • “Snow makes it socially acceptable to stay in.” 

THE COLOURFUL LEAVES ARE PILING UP ON THE GROUND: SHOW US A PILE OF FALL COLOURED SPINES!

When I think fall colors black and blue are NOT what jump out to me. However, my stash of yellow and orange books is nonexistent. So, I am officially declaring blue and black as fall colors. I mean, there is a pumpkin in the picture, so it must be fall-ish.

PICTURED:

  • After the Fire by Will Hill
  • We Regret to Inform You by Ariel Kaplan
  • Rebel Bully Geek Pariah by Erin Jade Lange
  • Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
  • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord
  • Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin
  • Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  • Trell by Dick Lehr

FALL IS THE PERFECT TIME FOR SOME STORYTELLING BY THE FIRESIDE: SHARE A BOOK WHEREIN SOMEONE IS TELLING A STORY.

All of the Percy Jackson books! I began rereading earlier this month. I have reread the series so many times and it will never grow old. The narration never fails to make me laugh.

THE NIGHTS ARE GETTING DARKER: SHARE A DARK, CREEPY READ.

Sadie by Courtney Summers is one of my favorite thrillers ever. It is a shocking and brutal read that will give you the creeps, especially if you are reading it in dark.

THE DAYS ARE GETTING COLDER: NAME A SHORT, HEARTWARMING READ THAT COULD WARM UP SOMEBODY’S COLD AND RAINY DAY.

On those dreary days my go to in a nice contemporary romance. And what better recommendation than my favorite contemporary romance of all time? Tweet Cute by Emma Lord.

There is Twitter feud, baked goods, and oh so much sass. A perfectly heartwarming read for those chilly days.

Fall returns every year: Name an old favorite that you’d like to return to soon.

The Study In Charlotte series is first in line of my reread list. I think I’m going to have a pretty busy month, so taking it slow with some audiobooks might be the way to go.

Fall is the perfect time for cozy reading nights: Share your favourite cozy reading “accessories”!

Not really an accessory, but reading with a blanket is the move. Something about cocooning thyself in a blanket and reading is just— *trails off because there is no words to explain the perfection of it*

Alrighty, I’m tagging a few amazing bloggers who may be interested. No pressure to do it. I look forward to seeing your posts!

Tiction @ Fictionally Crazy

Emma @ AFCTL

Rachel @ A Bookworm’s Paradise

Ahaana @ Windows to Worlds

Abby @ Beyond the Read

And YOU! If you are seeing this, considered yourself tagged!!

What is your favorite thing about fall?

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November Goals and TBR // the one where I pretend I’m disciplined enough to actually follow it

Happy November! It honestly doesn’t feel like November yet. The Mother Nature in charge of the Midwest subdivision is being a drama queen. One day it is 70 degrees one day and the next day it is 35. I’m not complaining, last year it snowed in Halloween *shutter*

📖 Pride by Ibi Zoboi

📖 Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Page

📖 Anna K: A Love Story by Jenny Lee

📖 Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

📖 Dear Justice by Nic Stone

📖 Her Royal Highness by Rachel Hawkins

Blogging Goals

  • Post reviews on Goodreads. Seriously, you just need to do it. You can always edit it later if it doesn’t work, but I need to suck it out and post them.
  • Figure out what I’m doing with Twitter and actually use it.
  • I might try a new format for reviews with less categories and more free style thoughts. We shall see how it goes.
  • I also want to work on my blogging voice. Focus on sounding less sterile and more like my self. It is a conquest that will probably take a while, but I want to focus on it this month.
  • I have 30 notes files on my phone that are practically begging to be turned in to reviews. I need to write some reviews this month because my stockpile is dwindling.

Reading Goals

  • I’m gunning for 16 books
  • STOP BINGE READING ENTIRE SERIES BEFORE YOU CAN REVIEW THEM, you know you won’t remember the individual plots of each book
  • Initiate plan getting-my-family-to-read phase two. Our copies of How To Lead A Life Of Crime came in the mail, so we should be ready to start.

Instagram

  • 1000 followers
  • Use up all my fall photos and slowly transition into a winter theme
  • Do giveaway
  • Participate in a book club discussion!

What books do you look forward to reading this month??

Monthly Wrap Ups

October Wrap Up

Hey bookworms! Happy November! Instead of making some cheesy remark about how time flies, I’m just going to hop right in.

  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Blood and Honey by Shelby Mahurin
    • The case of the should-have-been-a-duology, but instead we dragged-it-out-by-adding-an-unnecessary-middle-book. 
  • ⭐️⭐️ The Code For Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor
    • I was very excited for an Emma retelling, but it did not live up to my expectations.
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Cinder by Marissa Meyer
    • Did I reread Cinder 2 weeks after reading it the first time? Yes, yes I did. Do I regret it? No, no I do not. 
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️ 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon
    • I think this is my favorite book by Sandhya Menon yet…
  • ⭐️⭐️.5 Recommended For You Laura Silverman
    • The overcoming presence of books and a bookstore setting couldn’t quite make up for the immaturity of the characters
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Bookish and the Beast Ashley Poston
    • A nice addition to Once Upon a Con, but Geekerella is still my favorite
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️ Scarlet by Marissa Meyer
    • Still a solid meh for me
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 Winter by Marissa Meyer
    • I really like the way Rebecca Soler played Winter’s voice in the audiobook. I feel like it captured the character really well
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo 
    • Y’all were right. This one is good. The characters all work together in chaotic harmony and I am here for it.
  • ⭐️⭐️ A Court of Thorns and Roses 
    • I don’t get the hype for this one…
  • ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5 A Court of Mist and Fury
    • … Ok, I see why now.
  • ⭐️⭐️.5 A Court of Wings and Ruin
    • Annnd it went downhill again
  • ⭐️⭐️ A Court of Frost and Starlight
    • This entire book seemed very bow ending to me. I really didn’t need it.

  • 900 followers on Instagram whoooo hooo *celebratory dance*
  • I wrote my first discussion post (Lets Talk Bookish: DNF) and I’m super happy with how it turned out!
  • I went back to in person school. ⅓ of the school goes back to school in person and then the other ⅔ stay on Zoom. It rotates every few days, so once a week I go to real school! It was good to be back but it was kind of eerie.
  • The speech season has officially started! I’m super pumped to be on varsity as a sophomore. I can’t wait to start working with my pieces. 
  • Shakespeare in the Park was basically all of my acting and Shakespeare dreams come true. We managed to put together a great show with only Zoom rehearsals. 
  • I started binge watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and I might be obsessed. I have spent waaay too much time watching it when I should have been studying, but I don’t regret it one bit. 

How was your month? Anything interesting happening? What book did you like the most from this month??

Themed Lists

YA Books about Politics and Social Justice

Election day is upon us. Today is a day of high anxiety for a lot of people as we all wait to see the results. 

This list has been in the works for a while. I chose books deal with a lot of topics including politics, activism, misogyny, racism, and body image.

So, may I present to you a list of YA Books about Politics and Social Justice (and their first lines)

The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert

“I don’t like it when people make hyperbolic statements, so I really mean it when I say I’ve been waiting when I’ve been waiting for this day my entire life.”

Overview: Marva Sheridan wants to vote. All her life she has been committed to making a difference, and what better way than through the election? She has spent months educating people and registering voters. She is ready. So, when she sees Duke Crenshaw get turned away, she is outraged. Everyone has a right to make their voice heard. That’s how their day begins. They might start out as strangers but after a missing cat, a few too many lines, and a shared desire to vote a connection is formed. See full review here

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed

“‘Oranges don’t have nipples,’ says Sophie.”

YES
Jamie Goldberg is cool with volunteering for his local state senate candidate—as long as he’s behind the scenes. When it comes to speaking to strangers (or, let’s face it, speaking at all to almost anyone), Jamie’s a choke artist. There’s no way he’d ever knock on doors to ask people for their votes…until he meets Maya.

NO
Maya Rehman’s having the worst Ramadan ever. Her best friend is too busy to hang out, her summer trip is canceled, and now her parents are separating. Why her mother thinks the solution to her problems is political canvassing—with some awkward dude she hardly knows—is beyond her.

MAYBE SO
Going door to door isn’t exactly glamorous, but maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world. After all, the polls are getting closer—and so are Maya and Jamie. Mastering local activism is one thing. Navigating the cross-cultural romance of the century is another thing entirely.
(from Goodreads)

Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

“On the White House roof, tucked in the corner of the Promenade, there’s a bit of loose paneling right on the edge of the Solarium.”

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you? (from Goodreads)

Most Likely by Sarah Watson

“Washington, DC, January 20th, 2049

The morning sky is a deep shade of blue, and for a moment, I wish I’d gone with the crimson coat.”

Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha (listed in alphabetical order out of fairness) have been friends since kindergarten. Now they’re in their senior year, facing their biggest fears about growing up and growing apart. But there’s more than just college on the horizon. One of these girls is destined to become the president of the United States. The mystery, of course, is which girl gets the gig.

Is it Ava, the picture-perfect artist who’s secretly struggling to figure out where she belongs? Or could it be CJ, the one who’s got everything figured out…except how to fix her terrible SAT scores? Maybe it’s Jordan, the group’s resident journalist, who knows she’s ready for more than their small Ohio suburb can offer. And don’t overlook Martha, who will have to overcome all the obstacles that stand in the way of her dreams. (from Goodreads)

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

“From where he’s standing across the street, Justyce can see her: Melo Taylor, ex-girlfriend, slumped over beside her Benz on the damp concrete of the FarmFresh parking lot.”

Justyce McAllister is top of his class and set for the Ivy League—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. And despite leaving his rough neighborhood behind, he can’t escape the scorn of his former peers or the ridicule of his new classmates. Justyce looks to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. for answers. But do they hold up anymore? He starts a journal to Dr. King to find out.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up—way up, sparking the fury of a white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. Justyce and Manny are caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

“I shouldn’t have come to this party.”

Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. (from Goodreads)

Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy

“All of the best things in my life have started with a Dolly Parton song.”

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body. With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked…until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any twiggy girl does. Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think?

Themed Lists

Spooky must reads // BOO!

Happy Halloween eve bookworms! To get in the spirit I have created a list of spooky books including mysteries, murders, and witches.

I have to say, my favorite part of Halloween is watching movies. Hocus Pocus is a personal favorite of mine. This year one of my friends is setting up a projector outside so we can watch horror movies. Do you have any plans or traditions this year?

A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth? (from Goodreads)

Nothing screams Halloween more than a good old mystery. So, may I present to you my favorite mystery of all time… A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson.

Pip is one of the best teen detectives ever because she is willing to be wrong and admits when she needs help. Seriously, this is one of my favorite books of all time. 

See my full review (aka me gushing some more) here

All Your Twisted Secrets by Diana Urban

Welcome to dinner, and again, congratulations on being selected. Now you must do the selecting.

What do the queen bee, star athlete, valedictorian, stoner, loner, and music geek all have in common? They were all invited to a scholarship dinner, only to discover it’s a trap. Someone has locked them into a room with a bomb, a syringe filled with poison, and a note saying they have an hour to pick someone to kill … or else everyone dies.

Amber Prescott is determined to get her classmates and herself out of the room alive, but that might be easier said than done. No one knows how they’re all connected or who would want them dead. As they retrace the events over the past year that might have triggered their captor’s ultimatum, it becomes clear that everyone is hiding something. And with the clock ticking down, confusion turns into fear, and fear morphs into panic as they race to answer the biggest question: Who will they choose to die?  (from Goodreads)

This book is like an escape room on steroids. Heart pounding and intense, this book will get you ready for the big Halloween scare. See my full review here

Sadie by Courtney Summers

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late. (from Goodreads)

Dark and brutally honest, Sadie is a heart wrenching thriller. Sadie is one of my favorite audiobooks ever, and brought me out of a nearly year long reading slump. Highly recommend.

A Study In Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

The last thing Jamie Watson wants is a rugby scholarship to Sherringford, a Connecticut prep school just an hour away from his estranged father. But that’s not the only complication: Sherringford is also home to Charlotte Holmes, the famous detective’s great-great-great-granddaughter, who has inherited not only Sherlock’s genius but also his volatile temperament. From everything Jamie has heard about Charlotte, it seems safer to admire her from afar.

From the moment they meet, there’s a tense energy between them, and they seem more destined to be rivals than anything else. But when a Sherringford student dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Jamie and Charlotte are being framed for murder, and only Charlotte can clear their names. But danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

You can’t have a mystery list without at least an honorable mention to good old Sherlock Holmes, or in this case is Great-Great-(idk how many greats??) granddaughter Charlotte Holmes. A creative retelling of a Study in Scarlet, this book that will keep you reading deep into the night.

See my full review here

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

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.

Witches and magic are the very definition of Halloween. If that isn’t incentive enough, I don’t know what to tell you. If you need further convincing, check out my full review here

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery’s never been there, but she’s heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it’s hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone’s declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she’s in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous–and most people aren’t good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it’s safest to keep your secrets to yourself. (from Goodreads)

Karen M. McManus is one of my favorite mystery authors ever. I have yet to read a book by her that I haven’t liked, but I do have to say Two Can Keep A Secret is my favorite.

These Shallow Graves

o Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all. (from Goodreads)

First of all, can we take a moment to appreciate this cover?? It is so pretty and creepy at the same time. If historical mystery is your thing, I would recommend checking out These Shallow Graves. Dramatic and very mysterious, it perfectly sets the Halloween mood. 

These Witches Don’t Burn by Isabel Sterling

Hannah’s a witch, but not the kind you’re thinking of. She’s the real deal, an Elemental with the power to control fire, earth, water, and air. But even though she lives in Salem, Massachusetts, her magic is a secret she has to keep to herself. If she’s ever caught using it in front of a Reg (read: non-witch), she could lose it. For good. So, Hannah spends most of her time avoiding her ex-girlfriend (and fellow Elemental Witch) Veronica, hanging out with her best friend, and working at the Fly by Night Cauldron selling candles and crystals to tourists, goths, and local Wiccans. 

But dealing with her ex is the least of Hannah’s concerns when a terrifying blood ritual interrupts the end-of-school-year bonfire. Evidence of dark magic begins to appear all over Salem, and Hannah’s sure it’s the work of a deadly Blood Witch. The issue is, her coven is less than convinced, forcing Hannah to team up with the last person she wants to see: Veronica.

While the pair attempt to smoke out the Blood Witch at a house party, Hannah meets Morgan, a cute new ballerina in town. But trying to date amid a supernatural crisis is easier said than done, and Hannah will have to test the limits of her power if she’s going to save her coven and get the girl, especially when the attacks on Salem’s witches become deadlier by the day. (from Goodreads)

I checked this book out from the library a couple of days ago. I’ve heard glowing reviews of it, so I’m super excited to start it!

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick

What happened to Zoe won’t stay buried…

When Anna Cicconi arrives to the small Hamptons village of Herron Mills for a summer nanny gig, she has high hopes for a fresh start. What she finds instead is a community on edge after the disappearance of Zoe Spanos, a local girl who has been missing since New Year’s Eve. Anna bears an eerie resemblance to Zoe, and her mere presence in town stirs up still-raw feelings about the unsolved case. As Anna delves deeper into the mystery, stepping further and further into Zoe’s life, she becomes increasingly convinced that she and Zoe are connected–and that she knows what happened to her.

Two months later, Zoe’s body is found in a nearby lake, and Anna is charged with manslaughter. But Anna’s confession is riddled with holes, and Martina Green, teen host of the Missing Zoe podcast, isn’t satisfied. Did Anna really kill Zoe? And if not, can Martina’s podcast uncover the truth? (from Goodreads)

We do love a mystery story with an accompanying podcast. I have been meaning to read this books for weeks but I keep getting distracted. But Halloween is tomorrow, and I am finally going to do it.

What are some of your favorite mysteries? What Halloween-ish books do you recommend? Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?