First Lines Friday (6/18/21)

Hello Lovely Readers!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
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A short stranger will come into your life this year.
“That’s specific.” I wave the paper at my mother, who’s sitting across the table from me in our favorite Chinese haunt.”

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The book is….

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Another book that has been siting on my shelf for awhile now! I really like the cover and I can’t wait to read it as I do enjoy this author’s writing.

Have you read this book?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

WWW Wednesday (6/16/21)

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?

I started The Cruelest Mercy (The Kinder Poison #2) by Natalie Mae last night and got through 35%! It’s so good so far and I honestly can’t decide if I am Team Jet or Team Kasta. Jet is a sweetheart but there is something mysterious about Kasta, haha.

I am still listening to Made in Korea by Sarah Suk. It’s honestly taking me not a lot of time to get to 61% because I find myself wanting to keep going. I love the characters and the plot is fun!

  • The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu (arc) ⭐⭐
  • Bright Ruined Things (arc) ⭐⭐

My next audiobook will be They Wish They Were Us by Jessica Goodman. I meant to read this last year but never got to it. Since she is writing another book I felt like now is the time get it done!

I am down to 7 arcs and I can see the finish line! The next one I will pick up is Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin. I haven’t seen anything about it yet so I am very curious!

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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)

Book Review: For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1) by Hannah Whitten

Title: For the Wolf (Wilderwood #1)
Author: Hannah Whitten
Genre: Adult Fantasy / Retelling
Publication Date: June 1st, 2021
Publisher: Orbit Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher for sending me out a finished copy to review! All opinions are my own.

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.” (Goodreads)

Red is one of two sisters and she is to be sacrificed to the Wolf while her sister gets the throne. This is such an intriguing premise for a plot and it definitely help up to my expectations for a lot of the book.

In the beginning we are introduced to Red and she is getting ready to be sacrificed. There is bits here and there that explain to an extent what it means to be a sacrifice and as to why they do it. I also like that the author doesn’t just give us all the information at once and you must continue reading on to truly understand what happens/happened to those that have went before Red.

The book is told from the perspective of Red and her sister Neve. I’m glad that it is written this way since they each have their paths as well as being in different places for a majority of the book. It keeps the tension as you switch between each one with plot twists ending some of their chapters. I also enjoyed this because I do adore sister bonds. You can tell how much Neve wants to help her sister and will do anything to bring her home. Red is also the same way but has left home to protect her sister. It’s easy to understand the sisters actions even if some of them bring chaos.

The Wolf isn’t what I was expecting at all. He is broody and wants to be the one that carries all of the burdens. He is closed off but definitely a sweet cinnamon roll inside. Their relationship is a very slow one with not much really happening between them until farther into the book. It is very much enemies-to-lovers as they didn’t choose this life. They learn to make sacrifices for one another as well as learning to let people in. I will say that the romance was my least favorite part but it did still have me smiling a couple of times.

There are other characters that are involved with the plot but it’s better if you go in blind for them. I honestly wasn’t expecting some to have as big of roles as they did. It made the plot twists that much sweeter! I didn’t guess anything right and it had me wanting to pick up the book whenever I had to step away for a bit.

While reading through it gave me Uprooted, Beauty and the Beast, and Frozen 2 vibes but obviously its a lot darker. The woods was a mix between the first and third of those mentioned and I loved learning about the intricacies of it. I still think there will be more to explain with the Wilderwood in the next book since there is some unfinished business. I’m sure we will also see Red and the Wolf hone in more to their powers as well.

Overall, this was an enjoyable read and I’m so glad I have been able to read it now. I am looking forward to the sequel as the ending had me gasping. I seriously need to know what will happen next.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 2021 TBR

Hello 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 Books On My Summer 2021 TBR. There are a lot of books I would like to get to but I am honestly just trying to focus on my arcs right now. I have 8 left so I will share those and then add two books that are on my physical shelf at home!

1.) Luminous by Mara Rutherford

2.) Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

3.) You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

4.) Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood

5.) The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker

6.) Stalking Shadows by Cyla Panin

7.) Bright Ruined Things by Samantha Cohoe

8.) This May End Badly by Samantha Markum

9.) Not Another Love Song by Olivia Wildenstein

10.) The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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Are any of these on your tbr? What’s a book you are looking to read this summer?

Let me know in the comments below!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Goodreads Monday: Made In Korea by Sarah Suk

Hello Readers!

Goodreads Monday is hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.

Title: Made in Korea
Author: Sarah Suk
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: May 18th, 2021
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Frankly in Love meets Shark Tank in this feel-good romantic comedy about two entrepreneurial Korean American teens who butt heads—and maybe fall in love—while running competing Korean beauty businesses at their high school.

There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.

Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…

What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.

Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.

But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top.” (Goodreads)

I’m so glad my audiobook came in from the library for this one! I started it this morning and am really enjoying it so far! The plot is definitely unique when it comes to businesses in school.

Does this one sound like something you would read?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Weekly Update (6/13/21)

Hello Lovely Bookworms!

This week was another good week for reading and it wasn’t bad with the adult stuff either!

I would say that this week has been pretty laid back. There hasn’t been much going on besides the usual. My mom had her birthday on Thursday so my daughter and I called to sing. I wish we could have spent it with her but I’m glad phones exist.

My husband is halfway through his summer classes and doing really well. I’m glad we still have time to spend together too. We take a family walk mostly everyday but it’s been brutal with the heat lately, haha.

I’ve enjoyed most books I have read but there have been some that I’ve just felt meh/fine about. The life of a reader!

I hope you have had a great weekend so far! ❤

  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐
  • For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Spot of Trouble by Teri Wilson (arc) ⭐✨
  • Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Those Not-So-Sweet Boys Vol. 2 by Yoko Nogiri (manga) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Could You Escape the Paris Catacombs? by Matt Doeden ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova (arc) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean ⭐⭐⭐
  • The Splendor by Breeana Shields (arc) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • She Who Rides the Storm by Caitlin Sangster (arc) ⭐⭐⭐
  • Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead (audiobook) ⭐⭐
  • The Donut Trap by Julie Tieu (arc)
  • Made in Korea by Sarah Suk (audiobook)
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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)

First Lines Friday (6/11/21)

Hello Lovely Readers!

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!
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“Aleja was a girl so hungry for adventure that sometimes she found herself in strange places.”

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The book is….

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I have seen reviews for this before on here and when you add in the gorgeous cover it’s an obvious add-to-tbr book! I am hoping to get to it this month and the first lines definitely have me ready to start!

Have you read this book?

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

WWW Wednesday (6/9/21)

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?

I started Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead this morning. So far I am curious about the plot but the characters can still be meh at times. We will see how it goes!

Last night I got through 30% of The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Córdova. It’s very much about family mixed with magical realism. I am liking it so far and can’t wait to finish it.

  • Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead (audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐
  • For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • A Spot of Trouble by Teri Wilson (arc) ⭐✨
  • Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • Those Not-So-Sweet Boys Vol. 2 by Yoko Nogiri (manga) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I’m iffy about continuing the Vampire Academy series so we will see after I finish the second book. If I don’t continue I’m not sure what audiobook I will start.

My next arc will be The Splendor by Breeana Shields. It’s an anticipated read of mine so I am looking forward to it.

After that or before, I will read Tokyo Ever After by Emiko Jean. It’s in from the library so I need to get to it!

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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)

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Loved that Made Me Want More Books Like Them

Hello 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 Books I Loved that Made Me Want More Books Like Them. I’ve been loving the prompts lately and I’m really excited about this one! The wheels have been turning in my head since reading what today’s would be. I know I can get to ten to here we go!

P.S. Most of my choices would be the whole series/duology. They were all just so good!

1.) The Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

2.) The Traitor’s Circle by Erin Beaty

3.) The Bone Charmer by Breeana Shields

4.) The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

5.) House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

6.) Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan

7.) Caraval by Stephanie Garber

8.) The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden

9.) Scritch Scratch by Lindsay Currie

10.) The Kinder Poison by Natalie Mae

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What’s a book you want more like? Have you read any of these and felt the same?

Let me know in the comments below!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Book Review: Arsenic and Adobo by Mia P. Manansala

Title: Arsenic and Adobo
Author: Mia P. Manansala
Genre: Adult Mystery / Cozy Mystery
Publication Date: May 4th, 2021
Publisher: Berkley
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer….

When Lila Macapagal moves back home to recover from a horrible breakup, her life seems to be following all the typical rom-com tropes. She’s tasked with saving her Tita Rosie’s failing restaurant, and she has to deal with a group of matchmaking aunties who shower her with love and judgment. But when a notoriously nasty food critic (who happens to be her ex-boyfriend) drops dead moments after a confrontation with Lila, her life quickly swerves from a Nora Ephron romp to an Agatha Christie case.

With the cops treating her like she’s the one and only suspect, and the shady landlord looking to finally kick the Macapagal family out and resell the storefront, Lila’s left with no choice but to conduct her own investigation. Armed with the nosy auntie network, her barista best bud, and her trusted Dachshund, Longanisa, Lila takes on this tasty, twisted case and soon finds her own neck on the chopping block…” (Goodreads)

Before this book I had never read a Cozy Mystery before. I have read books in the Mystery / Thriller genre but it was nice to read something less thrilling that still kept my attention and had me trying to guess the outcome of the murder!

Lila Macapagal has recently moved back to help her aunt and grandma with the family restaurant. She hasn’t had the best of time being back as her ex-boyfriend is a dillweed. Seriously, he is the worst! Now there has been a death at the restaurant and she must investigate to clear her name with the help of family, friends, and others in the community.

This book has a lot of togetherness whether it comes from the community or those closer to her like friends and family. I am always here for bonds like that because it just shows how caring those around us can be, even from people you don’t really know. Her friendship with Adeena is a great one but they do have their struggles as well. I liked seeing them work through it. I also loved her familial bonds! It reminded me a lot of the one from Dial A for Aunties.

When it came to the plot I was pleasantly surprised with the mystery of it all. I kept thinking I had it figured out but I was completely off! I really had no idea until just right before the big reveal, ha. It kept me intrigued and I honestly binged the whole book. It was hard to put down.

There is also a lot of talk about food. I liked the glossary in the beginning to help with pronunciation and giving a description of what it is. I have ate lumpia before and boy, did it make me hungry for it!

Overall, this was a really fun read. I’ll definitely be checking out more Cozy Mysteries and can’t wait for the next installment of this series.