Weekly Update (7/11/20)

weeklyupdate2

Hello Lovely Bookworms!

This week has been long and just stressful to say the least. Yesterday was the worst. I’m just rolling with the punches at this point, ha. I feel like this has been my new normal the last month.

I have been listening to more audiobooks than actually reading physical books. It is what it is. I have a lot of arcs to get through so I am slowly trudging along.

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. ❤

border2

Blog Posts From This Week:

Books Finished This Week:

  • A Chorus of Fire by Brian D. Anderson
  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
  • Rogue Princess by B.R. Myers
  • Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee
  • Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  • Goddess in the Machine by Lora Beth Johnson

Currently Reading:

  • Shine by Jessica Jung
  • Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes

border2

201v.gif

How was your week? Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Read anything good this week? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Book Review: The Bookshop on the Corner (Scottish Bookshop #1) by Jenny Colgan

Bookreview2

28372019Title: The Bookshop on the Corner (Scottish Bookshop #1)
Author: Jenny Colgan
Genre: Women’s Fiction / Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: September 20th, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

synopsis header
“Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.” (Goodreads)

reviewheader
I know what you are all thinking, “Joanna, this isn’t usually the type of book you would pick.” And, you’re right! But, I have a newer release from this author on hold at my library and then realized she wrote other books in this series but really they are standalones so here we are!

Let me just say, I enjoyed this one a lot! This is a book about books and a young woman finding herself when life just keeps throwing curve balls.

Nina is definitely full of surprises and so relatable. Breaking instead of hitting a deer which causes other harm, that’s me. I literally break for birds, haha. She goes through so many changes from losing her job to finding a new place to live and does it all while rolling with the punches and making it feel like an adventure. It was just so lovely to read about!

There are also times that she finds herself in the midst of romance but it’s not a large part of the book which I was fine with. What we got was satisfying enough and left me rooting for them. Just like other parts of her, it doesn’t always go as planned.

The other characters in this book were great and added a lot to the plot and Nina’s life, especially her friend who always pushes her even if she doesn’t actually think Nina will do it. I really liked their friendship.

Many references can be found about books throughout and I loved it! The plot also has it’s plot twists that left me shook. I didn’t see them coming but it just made me want to continue on because I needed to know what was going to happen next. I will say that the beginning was a bit hard for me to get into because this isn’t my usual read but I am glad I stuck with it.

Overall, this is was a great read and left me utterly happy. I can’t wait to read more by this author soon.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

E-Arc Review: The Storyteller’s Daughter by Victoria McCombs

Earcreview2

MLIzr8hQTitle: The Storyteller’s Daughter
Author: Victoria McCombs
Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling
Publication Date: July 14th, 2020
Publisher: Parliament House Press

Thank you to the publisher for the e-copy in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own.

synopsis header
“His shadowed face lit by flames,
Rumpelstiltskin is my name…

For as long as anyone can remember, every child in Westfallen has been born with a Gift, and these Gifts defined them.

Then Cosette is born, Giftless.

An attempt to hide her misfortune brings her before the King, who entraps her to use her Gift as a pawn in his war.

Caught in a lie, Cosette desperately searches for a power strong enough to free her. Intrigued by whispers of an old king and a dark curse, she calls upon Rumpelstiltskin and finds him trapped in a magic deeper than she bargained for. Now, Cosette must fight to reclaim her freedom from the King and break Rumpel’s curse. When time runs out, she’ll lose more than her heart. She’ll lose her life.

THE STORYTELLER’S DAUGHTER is the perfect introduction to YA that will satisfy fans of Gail Carson Levine’s ELLA ENCHANTED, as well as Jessica Day George’s DRAGON SLIPPERS and PRINCESS OF GLASS, and Cameron Dokey’s THE WORLD ABOVE.” (Goodreads)

Amazon / B & N / Kobo / Google Books

authorbio

livZPGrAI write YA Fantasy. I love being transported to worlds that take my breath away. Worlds so complex and vivid, and yet I get to hold them in my hands. My writing inspirations are John Flanagan, P.W. Catanese and C.S. Lewis.In June 2018 I signed a publishing contract with Parliament House Press for my debut novel, The Storyteller’s Daughter. In October 2018 I signed my second contract. I now have a contract for the first four books in that series, which will be my only fairytale retellings. Beyond that, I have a Pirate Adventure in the making, and series with a vivid world with rich kingdoms and other races, already one book done.

Website / Goodreads / Instagram / Twitter

reviewheader

I had never read a Rumpelstiltskin retelling before this one. It’s one fairy tale that just doesn’t get enough love. In that way, this was very unique because it stands out from all the other retellings that are usually based on the same fairy tale. I liked the author’s take on it and thought it was done well!

Cosette is different from everyone else because she was born with no gift. Each person is defined by their gift and at times she wonders what it would be like to have one. I think we all would feel that way. It’s quite hard to be different.

In ways, she reminded me of Belle which I’m not mad about because she’s my favorite princess! Cosette is a bookworm and wants more out of life than what she has in her town.

Rumpelstiltskin is definitely not how you would picture him. He is caring, helpful, and obviously good looking. He is also quite humorous and I loved that about him. He definitely wasn’t what I was expecting but in a good way.

The plot was fun and it kept my attention. I was very curious how some of the characters would turn out because sometimes you just don’t know who to believe! It always keeps me hooked to a book when authors do that. There isn’t too much action but the book didn’t need it and I enjoyed the plot twists that were included.

There is definitely a relationship brewing and there is also some unrequited love. The relationship takes time to develop and Cosette does a lot of thinking about the past and present when it comes her feelings. I really like that she doesn’t just jump into things. It’s also nice that she doesn’t ever settle and is true to her heart. It can be hard to do but it is always worth it in the end.

There are only a few things that I was bit meh about. There were times, mostly in the beginning, the time jumps were a bit bumpy and I had to reread a couple times to make sure I understood it. I also wanted more from the gifts since only a couple were actually used and that’s all we knew when it came to the magic system. The ending was a bit rushed but I did like that it wrapped up so I won’t complain too much about that. Your girl always needs closure!

Overall, I liked this retelling and would definitely check out other books by this author!

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

 

Backlist Challenge/ Reading Goals 2020 (Update #2)

bookishtopics

Hello Lovely Bookworms!

It is time for another update!

I’m not sure how we are already halfway through this year. I keep saying this every month basically but it is still true!

I think I continue to do well even though my reading has slowed a bit in the last month but that’s okay. I keep trudging along.

source

border2Goal Posts

TBR/Goals:

  • Reread Acotar and The Illuminae Files. It’s been a year and a half since I read them for the first time and I need to go back!
  • Finish 4 of 12 series on my list of Book Series to Finish.
  • Finish 45 of 133 books on my personal tbr of books I already own.

The tbr goals were towards the Beat the Backlist Challenge. I am doing pretty well too!

border2

1.) I still haven’t reread The Illuminae Files yet. I did finish rereading Chronicles of Narnia, Vampire Kisses, and The Witchlands series! Acotar I relistened to the first book and just wasn’t feeling it so I decided to not continue and just remember it for what it was the first time.

2.) When it comes to book series, my list consists of only eight at the moment. I deleted a couple I don’t care for finishing and am not going to force myself to. I have finished reading The Lunar Chronicles, Red Winter, The Weaver Trilogy, Harry Potter, Elementals, The Winner’s Curse, and West.

I am 7 out of 4 for this! Although now I have added more series to it but also most of them are incomplete. There are only 7 left that I have started that can be finished since all books are out.

3.) I have finished 48 books I had on my shelves that I already own. (That doesn’t include ones I have bought this year or rented from the library and then bought)

Goal has been reached!

4.) When it comes to the Goodreads Challenge, I set my goal to 200 books. I have also completed this and am at 251 books.

Audiobooks have seriously been a lifesaver as well as graphic novels.

border2

backlistechart2

bookform2

newvsold2

The charts literally look the same from when I did them in early April, haha. I guess that’s not a bad thing. (April update)

border2

The year is already halfway over and there is only one reread left to accomplish! I am very proud of myself.

I haven’t done as much non-fiction or classics in the last couple of months but reading has just been weird.

Right now I have 18 arcs to get through so I haven’t been focusing on backlisted titles as much. Once I get that number back down I’ll be back at it but I like where I am sitting at the moment with my goals.

201v

How are your goals going this year?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

WWW Wednesday (7/8/20)

wwwednesday2

Hello, My Lovely Bookworms!

This meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is now hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words.

It consists of answering these three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

border2

Currently Reading:

I am currently listening to Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes. It has been on my tbr for awhile but I am liking what I have listening to so far.

I just started reading A Chorus of Fire by Brian D. Anderson. I just finished listening to the first book again so I could get to this sequel. I’m hoping it will be as good as the first or better.

Recently Finished:

I recently finished Rogue Princess by B.R. Myer and Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis. Both were okay reads but they just weren’t my cup of tea.

Reading Next:

For an audiobook, I may continue with the Falling Kingdoms series. I don’t think I will have any coming in from the library.

For books, I will read an arc and it will be Brother’s Keeper by Julie Lee.

border2

What is your current read? Are you loving it? Have you read or want to read any that I have listed? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Manga Review: Prince Freya Vol. 2 by Keiko Ishihara

mangareview

52758026._SX318_SY475_Title: Prince Freya Vol. 2
Author: Keiko Ishihara
Genre: Manga / YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 7th, 2020
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.

synopsis header
“To save her kingdom, a simple village girl must live a royal lie.

The powerful kingdom of Sigurd has slowly been conquering all the lands that share its borders, and now it has turned its voracious attention to the small, resource-rich Tyr. Tyr cannot hope to match Sigurd in strength, so in order to survive, it must rely on the intelligence, skill and cunning of its prince and his loyal knights. But should their prince fall, so too shall Tyr…” (Goodreads)

reviewheader
When I had read the first volume at earlier this year, I wasn’t sold on this series. There were just a few things I had problems with but let me tell you, vol. 2 has solidified that I need to continue!

Freya has had some time to think about her situation and she reminds me a lot of Yona from Yona of the Dawn. She is finding her voice in this cruel world where she needs to be the light in a dark time. She is standing strong and wanting to better her fighting so that she can also protect the ones who want to protect her. I’m really enjoying her character development!

When it comes to romance, there is hints here and there of character’s feelings but nothing that is concrete. Honestly, I am just here for all the subtle hints of flirting. I can’t pick who I like the most because they all just hit me a certain way, haha.

I thought that the plot in vol. 1 had intense plot twists but vol. 2 came out swinging and I was blown away while also being in quite shock. There is no mercy.

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this one more than the first volume. I will be continuing this series because I am now hooked!

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By

Toptentuesday2

Hello, Lovely Bookworms!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018.

Today’s prompt is Authors I’ve Read the Most Books By but I’m going to go with Favorite Authors. I don’t really keep track of this so I guess I will have to do some digging, haha. I will also be including mangas too!

border2

1.) Joanna Ruth Meyer

2.) Jay Kristoff

3.) Amie Kaufman

4.) C.S. Lewis

5.) Susan Dennard

6.) Katherine Arden

7.) Ellen Schreiber

8.) Mizuho Kusanagi

(I don’t have every photo each cover but obviously there is a lot, haha)

9.) Mitsuba Takanashi

(There is 12 in the series!)

1383672

10.) Hiro Fujiwara

(I didn’t write reviews for all of them but there are 18 volumes!)

25968176._SY475_

border2

 What author have you read the most books by?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Manga Review: Love Me, Love Me Not Vol. 3 by Io Sakisaka

mangareview

52758011._SX318_SY475_Title: Love Me, Love Me Not Vol. 3
Author: Io Sakisaka
Genre: Manga / YA Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: July 7th, 2020
Publisher: VIZ Media LLC

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley for review. All opinions are my own.

synopsis header
“A new romance from Io Sakisaka, leading shojo manga creator and author of Ao Haru Ride!

Four friends share the springtime of their youth together.

Akari begins to see Kazuomi in a different light. But Kazuomi seems completely uninterested in love, and he’s very different from Akari’s usual type. Rio learns that Akari is attracted to Kazuomi, and Rio’s state of mind makes Yuna’s heart ache.” (Goodreads)

reviewheader

Ever since starting this series earlier this year I find myself waiting for the next volume. There is just so much to love.

In this volume, Akari is really trying to figure out her feelings and it can be hard when you don’t know how the other person feels. It’s also not easy for her friend Yuna who is struggling to make sure everything stays okay between her little friend group.

I really liked being able to see the struggles unfold by the inner dialogue for Yuna and Akari. It made them very realistic and I just want to see them both happy and at their best!

When it comes to the romance, sometimes it feels like its there but then other times it feels like it could be unrequited. All I know is that it is one giant roller coaster and I feel for this characters.

Every time I pick up another volume for this series I am always blown away by plot twists! That ending is going to be the death of me. I need to know what happens next!

Overall, this will definitely be a series I will be continuing because I can’t get enough! It just gives me so many emotions and I love every second of it.

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Weekly Update (7/5/20)

weeklyupdate2

Hello Lovely Bookworms!

On Friday we went and visited my husband’s family again. It was nice to get away again. Now it’s back to self-quarantine for awhile.

Since we drove back last night on 4th of July, we got to see a lot of fireworks on the way home. The joy my daughter had watching them was just the best. We didn’t get to bed until real late but it’s definitely worth being tired today.

I hope you all have had a wonderful weekend. ❤

border2

Blog Posts From This Week:

Books Finished This Week:

  • The Story Hunter by Lindsay A. Franklin
  • Bellarose by Carla Reighard
  • The Mask of Aribella by Anna Hoghton
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • Yona of the Dawn Vol. 25 by Mizuho Kusanagi
  • The Bard’s Blade by Brian D. Anderson

Currently Reading:

  • A Chorus of Fire by Brian D. Anderson
  • Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis

border2

201v.gif

How was your week? Did you do anything fun over the weekend? Read anything good this week? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Book Review: Bellarose (The Aerowyn Tales Prequel) by Carla Reighard

Bookreview2

53461497._SY475_Title: Bellarose (The Aerowyn Tales Prequel)
Author: Carla Reighard
Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling
Publication Date: July 1st, 2020

synopsis header
“Join Bellarose in the adventure of a lifetime as she finds a magical library—one that turns books into portals that lead to a world of fantasy where she becomes a character inside each story.

Instead of visiting familiar tales as old as time, the classic stories each have a new twist. Characters will crossover in new retellings—with Aerowyn the Enchantress manipulating it all.

In this prequel to The Aerowyn Tales, get ready to enter a world of magic like none you’ve ever seen before.” (Goodreads)

reviewheader

Since finding out about this series that is a retelling of Beauty and the Beast (with a Gaston!), I just knew I would be reading it! This book is the prequel that sets the scene for Bellarose and her soon-to-be adventure.

When it comes to prequels, sometimes they can be a miss for me just because they are very short and it doesn’t always give me enough. But, this was a great prequel and made me even more curious when it comes to book one. Oh the pain of cliffhangers!

The plot is very reminiscent of the original tale for Belle when it comes to her family. I liked the nod to it. I also enjoyed the reference to Mean Girls because that movie is amazing! There is also a magical library that gives you what you want as long as it can be found within the pages of a book that is in that library. I’m going to need one of those libraries, asap.

Overall, I am really liking these characters so far. They are fun and Gerard is just over the top! Can’t wait to see what book one has in store for me!

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)