WWW Wednesday | 1-25-23

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?

My audiobook is Do I Know You? by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka. It’s a very interesting premise and I don’t know how I will feel about it so we shall see haha.

I started The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway by Ashley Schumacher. It’s her third book and I am excited. I am hoping I will love it as much as her other books.

I’m also continuing on with The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and am on the third book called The Dragon Reborn.

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty (arc) ⭐⭐⭐✨
Against the Currant by Olivia Matthews (arc/🎧) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

I will be listening to This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua.

My next couple reads will be Salvation (Sanctuary #3) by Caryn Lix and The London Séance Society by Sarah Penner (arc).

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!

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Top Ten Tuesday | New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022

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 New-to-Me Authors I Discovered in 2022! I read 180 new authors in 2022 so it will be hard to narrow it down!

1.) Tamara Berry (Buried In A Good Book)
2.) Susan Lee (Seoulmates)
3.) Vanessa Len (Only a Monster)
4.) Chelsea Abdullah (The Stardust Thief)


5.) Ebony LaDelle (Love Radio)
6.) Lane Clarke (Love Times Infinity)
7.) Sophie Irwin (A Lady’s Guide to Fortune-Hunting)
8.) Rachel Gillig (One Dark Window)

9.) Kim Michele Richardson (The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek)
10.) Jamie Wesley (Fake It Till You Bake It)
11.) Matthew J. Kirby (Icefall)
12.) Shauna Robinson (The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks)

13.) Jane Kuo (In the Beautiful Country)
14.) Phong Nguyen (Bronze Drum)
15.) Amy Harmon (The First Girl Child)
16.) Jenny Hickman (Married by Fate)

Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments below!

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Book Review | Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

Title: Spice Road (Spice Road Trilogy #1)
Author: Maiya Ibrahim
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: January 24th, 2023
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“In the hidden desert city of Qalia, secret spice magic awakens affinities in those who drink the misra tea. With an affinity for iron, seventeen-year-old Imani wields a dagger like no other warrior, garnering her the reputation as the next greatest Shield for battling the dangerous djinn, ghouls, and other monsters that lurk in the sands beyond city limits.
Her reputation has been overshadowed, however, by her brother who tarnished the family name after he was discovered stealing their nation’s coveted spice – a tell-tale sign of magical obsession. He disappeared soon after, believed to have died beyond the Forbidden Wastes, and leaving Imani reeling with both betrayal and grief.

But when Imani uncovers evidence her brother may be alive and spreading their nation’s magic beyond the desert, she strikes a deal with the Council to find him and bring him back to Qalia before he can reveal the city’s location. Accompanied by Qayn, a roguish but handsome djinni, and Taha, a powerful beastseer whose magical talents are matched only by his arrogance, they set out on their mission.
Imani will soon discover there are many secrets that lie beyond the Forbidden Wastes – and in her own heart – but will she find her brother before his betrayals endanger the fate of all of Qalia?” (Goodreads)

This is the start of a new trilogy and one that I was excited to be approved for through Netgalley! I feel like I have read books similar to this, like The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah, but it still managed to be unique and surprising read!

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Imani. She is a dedicated Shield that helps take care of her home city from monsters such as the djinn. They know her well as the Djinn Slayer. The one thing that made me impartial to Imani is that she can very much fall into the “I can do everything and survive”. Don’t get me wrong, I did like seeing her come out on top and even stick up for those that couldn’t on their own but I would have liked a bit more struggle on her end as it seems everything comes naturally to her. She still is a great character though since she family is a number one priority and that will give any character brownie points from me.

There is also more to Imani than her job as well. She has lived a sheltered life and through the disappearance of her brother she finally starts to understand the rest of the world that has been kept a secret from her. It isn’t easy for her to understand either as it just brings on more questions about the colonizers and the Council that protects her city. I feel like politics was just surface level and I am sure there will be a lot more in the sequel.

The other characters in this book have been very interesting so far. Qayn is the one I am most intrigued by! He is a djinn who is suave and hides many secrets. What is not to love about that? Haha. I think that Taha and his friends have also been secretive but some of theirs due come to light by the end of the book. I am very conflicted when it comes to Taha though. It’s hard to tell if he is just a good manipulator or cares deep down. I do think that some of the characters will get more page time and I am looking forward to learning more about them and their cause.

Although this book did take me a bit to get into, I did eventually find myself wanting to sit down and pick it up. I thought that it was very adventurous and even with some down times it didn’t discourage me. There are some thrilling plot twists and I can’t wait to see how the story continues in the sequel.

Overall, this was a solid debut!

WWW Wednesday | 1-18-23

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?

My audiobook is The Murder of Mr. Wickham by Claudia Gray. It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice but with a cozy mystery twist! I will say that it is unique but I am starting to think that P & P retellings just aren’t for me, ha. They end up not working.

I am reading 3 other books The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang (a buddy read), Containment (Sanctuary #2) by Caryn Lix, and The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi by S.A. Chakraborty (arc). The first is a reread which I am enjoying once again! The second is continuing on with a series and it is getting real good. The third is one that I decided to request on a whim as it is a spin-off series of one I haven’t read yet haha. It took me a bit to get into how it was being narrated at first but I am quite curious now!

The Winter of the Witch (Winternight Trilogy #3) by Katherine Arden (🎧)
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Sanctuary by Caryn Lix ⭐⭐⭐⭐✨

I will be listening to The Isle of the Lost by Melissa de la Cruz. It’s a middle grade and on the lighter side which is something I need in the midst of all of my long reads recently!

My other reads will be This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua and The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway by Ashley Schumacher (arc).

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

Book Review | Mysteries of Thorn Manor (Sorcery of Thorns #1.5) by Margaret Rogerson

Title: Mysteries of Thorn Manor (Sorcery of Thorns #1.5)
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: YA Fantasy / Novella
Publication Date: January 17th, 2023
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

Thank you to the publisher and netgalley for a complimentary earc to review! All opinions are my own.

“Elisabeth Scrivener is finally settling into her new life with sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn. Now that their demon companion Silas has returned, so has scrutiny from nosy reporters hungry for gossip about the city’s most powerful sorcerer and the librarian who stole his heart. But something strange is afoot at Thorn Manor: the estate’s wards, which are meant to keep their home safe, are acting up and forcibly trapping the Manor’s occupants inside. Surely it must be a coincidence that this happened just as Nathaniel and Elisabeth started getting closer to one another…
With no access to the outside world, Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas – along with their new maid Mercy – will have to work together to discover the source of the magic behind the malfunctioning wards before they’re due to host the city’s Midwinter Ball. Not an easy task when the house is filled with unexpected secrets, and all Elisabeth can think about is kissing Nathaniel in peace. But when it becomes clear that the house, influenced by the magic of Nathaniel’s ancestors, requires a price for its obedience, Elisabeth and Nathaniel will have to lean on their connection like never before to set things right.” (Goodreads)

This was a cute and lighthearted novella to continue on the story of Elisabeth, Nathaniel, and Silas.

The book follows the point-of-view of Elisabeth in third person narrative. Her mind definitely has a lot of thoughts when it comes to Nathaniel and Silas. She is trying to figure out what her life will be like now that everything has settled down. I can understand her feelings towards love and long term relationships. She always tries to understand Silas a lot more, even if he doesn’t see himself as she does.

There are cute moments between Elisabeth and Nathaniel. I liked the adventure they are set on to make things right at the manor. It all culminates to a surprise at the end which is what I was hoping would happen. I do think that it could have been drawn out a bit more and probably not done at that moment when someone is asking Nathaniel about something but maybe that is just me.

Overall, this was good and it did give me some answers that I had about their futures. I just wish it would have been just a bit longer.

First Lines Friday | 1-13-22

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!

“My parents would kill me if they caught me reading manga at one in the morning, but I was too keyed up to sleep.”

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The book is….

“Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.” (Goodreads)

HAVE YOU READ THIS BOOK? DO YOU WANT TO READ IT?

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Book Review | The Do-Over by Lynn Painter

Title: The Do-Over
Author: Lynn Painter
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: November 15th, 2022
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Rating: ⭐⭐✨

“After living through a dumpster fire of a Valentine’s Day, Emilie Hornby escapes to her grandmother’s house for some comfort and a consolation pint of Ben & Jerry’s. She passes out on the couch, but when she wakes up, she’s back home in her own bed—and it’s Valentine’s Day all over again. And the next day? Another nightmare V-Day.
Emilie is stuck in some sort of time loop nightmare that she can’t wake up from as she re-watches her boyfriend, Josh, cheat on her day after day. In addition to Josh’s recurring infidelity, Emilie can’t get away from the enigmatic Nick, who she keeps running into—sometimes literally—in unfortunate ways.
How many days can one girl passively watch her life go up in flames? And when something good starts to come out of these terrible days, what happens when the universe stops doling out do-overs?” (Goodreads)

I thought I would give this author another try after feeling neutral/liking another of her books. I feel like this one was about the same as that but maybe I liked this one less. I think it had to do with the whole groundhog day thing. I’m not really sure.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Emilie. She is reliving the worst Valentine’s Day ever and she just wants it to end. I thought it was an interesting concept and have not a read a book with this type of premise before but I have seen the movie Groundhog Day. Not a favorite but I will give anything a try!

I think that Emilie could be pretty clueless when it came to her boyfriend and easily brushed aside red flags for the sake of wanting to still be with him even if she knew in her heart it wasn’t going to work out. I can understand not wanting to give up but the signs were clearly there. I can’t say I ever felt bad for her boyfriend because he was a dillweed.

Her other love interest, Nick, was a sweet guy. He was kind of stand offish at first but he does warm up and she definitely warms up to him because when the same thing is happening, it is bound to happen. I think that their chemistry was fine but I do think that it was kind of rushed, obviously more for him than her due to the whole groundhog thing but still.

I just really never felt totally invested in the story and I think it’s just the writer in general. Her writing never wows me and that’s okay. It happens. I am glad others have enjoyed her work.

Overall, not for me but it could be for you! The narration was well done though and I would definitely recommend the audiobook.

WWW Wednesday | 1-11-23

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?

My audiobook is The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. This is a reread and I am still enjoying it a second time around!

I started The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest and Sanctuary by Caryn Lix last night. The first is an arc and it is a bit slow going for me as a majority of the beginning is in email form. I don’t mind this format but when it’s a large chunk it feels like I am missing important details about these characters in their everyday life and how these emails affect them in that sense. Sanctuary is a reread so I can finally continue on with the series!

The Maid by Nita Prose (🎧) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Fatal Throne by Candace Fleming (🎧) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
My Flawless Life (arc) ⭐⭐⭐

I will be listening to The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden. It is the sequel to my current audiobook! Another reread.

My next couple reads will be arcs and continuation for a trilogy, Containment by Caryn Lix and Off the Map by Trish Doller.

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

Book Review | Five Survive by Holly Jackson

Title: Five Survive
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: YA Mystery / Thriller
Publication Date: November 29th, 2022
Publisher: Listening Library
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

“Eight hours.
Six friends.
One sniper . . .
Eighteen year old Red and her friends are on a road trip in an RV, heading to the beach for Spring Break. It’s a long drive but spirits are high. Until the RV breaks down in the middle of nowhere. There’s no mobile phone reception and nobody around to help. And as the wheels are shot out, one by one, the friends realise that this is no accident. There’s a sniper out there in the dark watching them and he knows exactly who they are. One of the group has a secret that the sniper is willing to kill for.
A game of cat-and-mouse plays out as the group desperately tries to get help and to work out which member of the group is the target. Buried secrets are forced to light in the cramped, claustrophobic setting of the RV, and tensions within the group will reach deadly levels. Not everyone will survive the night.” (Goodreads)

Maybe I am still salty from the ending of her last book? 😂 It’s not a bad book per say. I thought that everything happening in a span of eight hours in one setting was unique and well done. It’s hard to manage that! Plus, I have not read another book like it.

My problem with this book lies with the characters. When a book is fast-paced it leaves little room for character development, let alone feeling something for those characters. Are the stakes high for these characters? Yeah, but I didn’t see myself caring that much about the predicament they found themselves in.

The ending wasn’t all too surprising and it leave off some room to speculate what happens next. I am not a fan of open ended endings. I want closure! There were some interesting plot twists that do keep you continuing but there are also slower moments as well.

To me, this one was a mixed bag and because of that it is hard to review. 😅 Hopefully whatever I wrote does make sense and gives you an idea on my feelings towards it, haha.

Top Ten Tuesday | Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023

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 Most Anticipated Books Releasing in the First Half of 2023. I haven’t really looked at releases much unless it’s requesting through Netgalley so I will do that and also narrow it down a bit since I have quite a bit!

The Neighbor Favor by Kristina Forest
The Last Word by Katy Birchall
Silver in the Bone by Alexandra Bracken
The London Séance Society by Sarah Penner

Same Time Next Summer by Annabel Monaghan
Out of the Ashes by Kara Thomas
Divine Rivals by Rebecca Ross
The Renaissance of Gwen Hathaway

Role Playing by Cathy Yardley
A Most Agreeable Murder by Julia Seales

Are you looking forward to any of these? Let me know in the comments below!

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