November TBR!

Happy November, friends! I know many of you are working on NaNoWriMo, but I am not participating myself. My talents lie in reading the books you authors write, and I’m a-okay with that! I look forward to doing some great reading this month, while also enjoying the start of the holiday season! This really is my favorite time of year 🙂

See below for my planned reads for November. Who knows how many of these I will stick to, but we’ll see!

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  1. Wayfarer (Passengers #2) – Alexandra Bracken
  2. The Start of Me and You (The Start of Me and You #1) – Emery Lord
  3. To Best The Boys – Mary Weber
  4. Thunderhead (Scythe #2) – Neal Shusterman
  5. Renegades (Renegades #1) – Marissa Meyer

EBOOKS

  1. The Wickerlight (The Wren Hunt #2) – Mary Watson
  2. Before the Broken Star (The Evermore Chronicles #1) – Emily R. King
  3. Into the Hourglass (The Evermore Chronicles #2) – Emily R. King
  4. The Everafter Song (The Evermore Chronicles #3) – Emily R. King
  5. Ivory (Manhattan Ten #1) – Lola Dodge
  6. We Used to Be Friends – Amy Spalding
  7. The Map From Here to There (The Start of Me and You #2) – Emery Lord
  8. A Love Hate Thing – Whitney D. Grandison

I’m thinking I will read more physical books that this, but I feel like I can commit to at least these. What are you all reading this month?

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

October Wrap Up!

Good evening, friends! I’m back to discuss all the lovely books I was able to read in the month of October, and it was A LOT! I’m so surprised I read this many because it didn’t even feel like a good reading month for me! But I read a total of 19 books – eARC and physical books combined! I did not get to all the eARC’s or physical books I initially had on my October TBR, but I enjoy the fact that I get to mood read. I re-assessed my strategy for conquering all my Netgalley eARC’s and I’m very pleased with it.

PHYSICAL BOOKS

  1. The Girl the Sea Gave Back – Adrienne Young – 4/5 stars
  2. The Wren Hunt – Mary Watson – 3/5 stars
  3. Stealing Home – Becky Wallace – 4/5 stars
  4. Alex, Approximately – Jenn Bennett – 4/5 stars
  5. The Unhoneymooners – Christina Lauren – 5/5 stars
  6. Passengers – Alexandra Bracken – 4.5/5 stars

EBOOKS

  1. The Throne of the Five Winds – S. C. Emmett – 3/5 stars
  2. A Midnight Clear – Sam Hooker, et al. – 3/5 stars
  3. Coral – Sara Ella – 3.75/5 stars
  4. A Violet Fire – Kelsey Quick – 4/5 stars
  5. Safe Harbour – Christina Kilbourne – 3/5 stars
  6. All That’s Bright and Gone – Eliza Nellums – 4.25/5 stars
  7. Good Girls Lie – J. T. Ellison – 4.25/5 stars
  8. Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things – Jacqueline Firkins – 4/5 stars
  9. Don’t Read the Comments – Eric Smith – 4/5 stars
  10. The Perfect Catch – Maggie Dallen – 4/5 stars
  11. The Perfect Match – Maggie Dallen – 4/5 stars
  12. The Perfect Score – Maggie Dallen – 4/5 stars
  13. The Weaver – Heather Kindt – 4/5 stars

I was able to balance more physical books with the ebooks this month, which was really my goal. I was getting sad not being able to work through some books on my TBR cart, so I have a much better plan of attack now. I look forward to a more balanced reading goal next month!

How many books were you able to read this month?

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – A Midnight Clear

Title: A Midnight Clear

Authors: Sam Hooker, Seven Jane, Alcy Leyva, Laura Morrison, Dalena Storm, Cassondra Windwalker

Publisher: Black Spot Books

Publication date: November 5th, 2019

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Six stories of not-so-merry Yuletide whimsy from the authors of Black Spot Books. A woman so cold she hardens to ice on a winter’s eve. Risen from his grave before his time, a winter god alters the balance between seasons. A wolf’s holiday season is interrupted by a strange curse. From a murder at the Stanley Hotel to demons of Christmas past, present, and future, and a mad elf and Santa’s Candy Court, the authors of Black Spot Books share their love for winter holidays in this collection of dark winter tales, destined to chill your bones and warm your heart for the Yuletide season.

Review

**Thank you to Black Spot Books, the authors, and Netgalley for providing an ebook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review**

Written in the format of six short stories, all with a holiday theme or twist, A Midnight Clear brings six authors who reimagine the holiday season – sometimes in less than ideal ways. From Santa’s elves to Satan’s demons, human like wolves to a religious Solstice dilemma, A Midnight Clear questions what would happen if some of our fairy tales and traditions were turned upside down.

A Midnight Clear was a quick and easy read, likely because it was split into short stories. I certainly had my favorite of the stories and one’s I did not like as much – but I won’t bias you, dear reader, towards or against any. The writing in all short stories is well done, and the plots do make you think twice about the holiday season and what it all means. There was go cohesiveness to all the stories as well, which allowed the book to flow well through them.

As we move into the holiday season, anyone who likes to read holiday or Christmas inspired works should pick this up for a quick read.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

October Haul!

Hello Friends! Welcome to my October Haul. I actually abided by my book buying ban for once and did not buy any books! The books you see above were sent in monthly subscriptions boxes or a special edition box that I ordered awhile ago – which I’m not counting as breaking my ban! Because I make the rules!!

SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

  1. There Will Come a Darkness (The Age of Darkness #1) – Katy Rose Pool (Shelflove Crate)
  2. Crier’s War (Crier’s War #1) – Nina Varela (OwlCrate #1)
  3. I Hope You Get This Message – Farah Naz Rishi (OwlCrate #2)

SPECIAL EDITION BOX

  1. Capturing the Devil (Stalking Jack the Ripper #4) – Kerri Maniscalco (FaeCrate)

BIRTHDAY

I also got one book as a birthday present (not pictured) from my lovely boyfriend!

  1. The Girl The Sea Gave Back – Adrienne Young

I hope you all got a bunch of great books this month! I’ll be back tomorrow with an October Wrap-Up of all my reads!

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

Book Review – Stealing Home

Title: Stealing Home

Author: Becky Wallace

Publisher: Page Street Kids

Publication date: July 9th, 2019

320 pages

4/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Fight for your dreams, even if it means breaking a few rules.

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Russell has life perfectly planned. If she keeps up her hard work, one day she’ll take over the family business: owning the Buckley Beavers, a minor league baseball team, and become one of the only female General Managers in the sport.

But when the newest member of the Beavers, child-phenom Sawyer Campbell, shows up, Ryan’s carefully laid plans are thrown a major curveball. Sawyer is far more charming than the arrogant jocks she usually manages, his ambition rivals her own workaholic nature—and he’s completely out of bounds. Fraternizing is against every rule in the Beaver’s handbook.

Then Ryan’s divorced parents butt heads over the future of the Beavers, and her mom plans to sell her shares to a business group known for relocating teams. If this happens, Ryan’s dreams of becoming GM disappear. In a bid to save her future, she partners with Sawyer to use his star power to draw in sponsors who will keep the team in Buckley. But the more time she spends with him, the more impossible it becomes to play by the Beaver’s rules, and she can’t afford a strikeout on the path to her dreams.

Full count with two outs, Ryan’s one pitch away from losing the whole ball game.

Review

Stealing Home follows main character’s Ryan and Sawyer as they mutually fight for the futures they’ve been working towards their whole lives. Ryan wants nothing more than to be the General Manager of her dad’s minor league baseball team, The Buckley Beavers. She puts all of her spare time and effort into the team. Sawyer is trying to make it big in the MLB to help keep his family’s watermelon farm afloat. When Sawyer is drafted and sent to the Beavers, they have a chance to help each other out, or cause each other to fail in their dreams.

I thought Stealing Home was super cute. I’m a baseball fanatic, have been my whole life, so I adore reading baseball related books. Sawyer and Ryan were so cute together, even when they were trying not to be. They are both stubborn and motivated individuals, which is why they work so well together. The romance is very PG, with some long, lingering glances and heated exchanges.

The supporting characters are the reason I docked this book a star. Ryan’s mom and dad are not great characters (although they get SOME redemption at the end). I really felt bad for Ryan having to deal with them as people. Also, I felt like it was kind of ridiculous that she was 17 and doing all of the grunt work for her dad – like she didn’t have a life. I know it was her choice, but what dad does that?

Overall, this was a very cute, contemporary, sports novel. I enjoyed reading it and read it all in one day. It was fairly light and easy to read. Fans of Jenn Bennett and Brigid Kemmerer should check this one out!

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

Book Review – The Wren Hunt

Title: The Wren Hunt (The Wren Hunt #1)

Author: Mary Watson

Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens

Publication date: February 8th, 2018

432 pages

3/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Every Christmas, Wren is chased through the woods near her isolated village by her family’s enemies—the Judges—and there’s nothing that she can do to stop it. Once her people, the Augurs, controlled a powerful magic. But now that power lies with the Judges, who are set on destroying her kind for good.

In a desperate bid to save her family, Wren takes a dangerous undercover assignment—as an intern to an influential Judge named Cassa Harkness. Cassa has spent her life researching a transformative spell, which could bring the war between the factions to its absolute end. Caught in a web of deceit, Wren must decide whether or not to gamble on the spell and seal the Augurs’ fate.

Review

There would be consequences, I knew that. There were always consequences, usually teeny tiny consequences that you hardly noticed. But the small things added up over time, until eventually they formed one big thing that could crush you beneath its weight.

Mary watson, the wren hunt

The Wren Hunt is the start of a duology following Wren, a young augur about to take an internship wit a house of judges, in order to try and steal a map from them. Set in Ireland, The Wren Hunt posits two gifted groups; judges and augurs. Judges are able to commune with nature and augurs have different abilities centered around understanding patterns and being able to manipulate the world around them. The two sides are constantly at war, and the judges are winning. Wren must tip the scales back into the augurs favor before it is too late, or does the universe have a different plan in store for her?

Whew, this book was A LOT. I spent most of it very confused, and am actually still pretty confused. The book starts of with Wren being chased through the woods by a group of young judges, which apparently happens every year. Apparently the only reason this occurs is because her name is Wren and they must hunt the Wren. Seriously, already it started off weird. Also, I feel like I never got a good explanation for why this happened EVERY YEAR on the same day. But I digress. The events of the book are confusing.

If you like a book where the characters are likable and have redeeming qualities, this book will not fulfill that desire. Even the seemingly great characters end up being terrible, and the MC is no better. I spent most of the book internally yelling at Wren for her actions, and frankly I did the same for most of the supporting characters as well. In a war between augurs and judges, no one plays fair.

I will say, this book had a magnificent plot twist towards the end that I DID NOT see coming in the slightest. I felt more convinced after that that The Wren Hunt was worth my time reading. I picked it up because I was approved for the sequel, The Wickerlight, on Netgalley and I really do NOT like to DNF books. The twist was able to move this book into a solid 3 star book for me.

Lastly, the cover is gorgeous. Simple. Classic. Fitting. The Wickerlight cover matches in style, if not color. I am a fan of a good, simple cover sometimes. YA books lately have been KILLING it with these amazing, colorful, detailed covers – but sometimes I appreciate sleek and simple. The romance is okay – I’d classify it as a slow burn, lovers to enemies romance trope which is not even in my top five of romance tropes. But hey, if you like those, check this book out!

Overall, a mid range book for me. The writing is beautiful and mysterious (which leads it to be confusing), and I enjoyed that it was set in Ireland.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂

eARC Review – The Throne of the Five Winds

Title: The Throne of the Five Winds (Hostage of Empire #1)

Author: S.C. Emmett

Publisher: Orbit

Publication date: October 15th, 2019

704 pages

3.5/5 stars

Goodreads Synopsis

Two queens, two concubines, six princes. Innumerable hidden agendas. Yala, lady-in-waiting to the princess of a vanquished kingdom, must navigate their captors’ treacherous imperial court.

The Emperor’s palace — full of ambitious royals, sly gossip, and unforeseen perils — is perhaps the most dangerous place in Zhaon. A hostage for her conquered people’s good behavior, the lady Komor Yala has only her wits and her hidden maiden’s blade to protect herself — and her childhood friend Princess Mahara, sacrificed in marriage to the enemy to secure a tenuous peace.

But the Emperor is aging, and the Khir princess and her lady-in-waiting soon find themselves pawns in the six princes’ deadly schemes for the throne — and a single spark could ignite fresh rebellion in Khir.

And then, the Emperor falls ill, and a far bloodier game begins…

The Throne of the Five Winds is the first installment of the Hostage of Empire series, an intricate and ruthless East Asia-inspired epic fantasy trilogy perfect for fans of George R. R. Martin, Ken Liu, Kate Elliott, and K. Arsenault Rivera.

Review

**Thank you to Orbit, S.C. Emmett, and Netgalley for providing me a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review**

The Throne of Five Winds is a new Asian inspired Adult Epic Fantasy series that seems to gain inspiration from George R. R. Martin in political intrigue and battles for thrones. You have several nations, however the Empire of Zhaon dominates the novel, with it’s recent acquisition of neighboring land, Khir. In payment to their new overlords, Khir “Great Rider” sends his daughter, Mahara, to marry the Crown Prince of Zhaon. Yala, her best friend, is sent to serve as lady-in-waiting to Mahara. Both girls are very honorable and take their fate in silence.

The Throne of Five Winds has many characters, so it is hard to pin down a “main” character. There is 1 Emperor, 2 Queens, 2 Concubines, 6 Princes, 2 Princesses, Mahara, Yala, etc. It is very difficult, especially in the beginning to keep everyone straight. This is also due to them having traditional and similar Asian names. The chapters are told by different points of view, but aren’t denoted as such like usual, which makes it difficult to follow along as well.

I have many thoughts about this book. For one, the writing if very beautiful and flowery, but overdone for my taste. However, this is on brand for Asian inspired novels as well as Adult Epic Fantasy. There was very little that happened except pointed conversations and some general court intrigue for the first 70% of this book. I like to think of it like chess, where most of it was used to set up the events of the final quarter of the book, which then sets up the next book in the series. However, this got old at points and it was a struggle to keep interest in this book for that reason.

This being said, the last quarter of the book was fairly interesting. I think the second book will be more exciting because of how this one ended (no spoilers!). I did become invested in the characters, even the ones that were meant to create tension and turmoil by being bad. The ending brought this book up in rating for me, which I was happy to have happen.

I suggest The Throne of the Five Winds for fans of Epic Fantasy, Asian inspired stories, and George R. R. Martin. Readers should have good patience and interest in chess game style novels. Whereas this book was not always my cup of tea, I would suggest it for those who enjoy the above.

Happy reading, bookish friends! 🙂