WWW Wednesday | 7-27-22

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 First Girl Child by Amy Harmon. This has been great so far! So wild, but in a good way.

The arc I will be starting is The First Binding by R.R. Virdi. I am very excited for it.

I started a book from Kindle Unlimited called Lovelight Farms by B.K. Borison. It has fake-dating and Christmas themes so I am looking forward to continuing on.

  • Bronze Drum by Phong Nguyen (arc audiobook) ⭐⭐⭐⭐
  • To Get to the Other Side by Kelly Ohlert (arc) ⭐⭐
  • Just Another Love Song by Kerry Winfrey (arc) ⭐⭐

My next audiobook will most likely be The Darkening by Sunya Mara.

My next books will be more arcs, lol. I have so many! The first two will most likely be A Dreadful Splendor by B.R. Myers and Belladonna by Adalyn Grace.

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

Arc Review: Don’t Go to Sleep by Bryce Moore

Title: Don’t Go to Sleep
Author: Bryce Moore
Genre: YA Historical Fiction / Thriller
Publication Date: August 2nd, 2022
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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

“Gianna is the average seventeen-year-old girl living in 1918 New Orleans. She worries about her family’s store, the great war, and a mysterious illness that’s about to take hold of the city she loves.

It doesn’t help that there also appears to be a mad man on the loose in her neighborhood. The attacks started as burglaries but soon escalate to cold blooded murder. There’s a killer out there, and the police can’t seem to figure out how to stop him.

Gianna enlists the help of her friend Enzo to investigate. And as they study the crimes, they see a common link between the victims, and Gianna can’t help but wonder if it’s the same man who attacked her family years before.

As Gianna gets closer to the killer, she discovers a connection between them that she never would have suspected.” (Goodreads)

This book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Gianna. Her family has already had a run-in with the Axeman and she will do anything to prevent that once again. Because of this, she is strong willed. I liked understanding her life and how she dealt with disappointment when the investigation did little to nothing for her family and the others that fell victim.

There are other characters that play parts in the plot but they feel very minor when compared to the killer and Gianna. I can’t say that I felt sad for anyone because there was a disconnect. If you want a book that feels more like a slasher than this may be for you because there is killing and the details for it are pretty up there. Not my taste but I know others will like that.

Gianna does have the ability to dream about the killer and although this was an interesting concept I felt like it was poorly executed. The reader is thrown into this knowledge right away and by the end we still don’t understand why and how it happened. It is eluded too but since the ending is so quick nothing comes from it.

With the talk of influenza we can see parallels to how Gianna was feeling when it comes to losing people because of it. We have recently went through our own pandemic and it feels all the more realistic when reading about previous ones.

My favorite part of the book was knowing that it was based on a real event in history. It always amazes me what an author can do with history.

Overall, this was a good read even with some hiccups. If you like a more violent YA Historical Fiction / Thriller than this one may be for you!

Arc Review: Beasts of Ruin (Beasts of Prey #2) by Ayana Gray

Title: Beasts of Ruin (Beasts of Prey #2)
Author: Ayana Gray
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: July 26th, 2022
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐✨

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

“Koffi has saved her city and the boy she loves, but at a terrible price. Now a servant to the cunning god of death, she must use her newfound power to further his continental conquest, or risk the safety of her home and loved ones. As she reluctantly learns to survive amidst unexpected friends and foes, she will also have to choose between the life—and love—she once had, or the one she could have, if she truly embraces her dangerous gifts.

Cast out from the only home he’s ever known, Ekon is forced to strike new and unconventional alliances to find and rescue Koffi before it’s too late. But as he gets closer to the realm of death each day, so too does he draw nearer to a terrible truth—one that could cost everything.

Koffi and Ekon—separated by land, sea, and gods—will have to risk everything to reunite again. But the longer they’re kept apart, the more each of their loyalties are tested. Soon, both may have to reckon with changing hearts—and maybe, changing destinies.” (Goodreads)

This was a fairly good sequel! I have been very curious about the continuation of this series since I finished the first book last year. Even though there were things I didn’t like as much, I still found enjoyment and am looking forward to seeing how it all ends.

The book is told through multiple point-of-views. I did like Koffi’s and Ekon’s more than Binti’s. I do understand why we got Binti’s as it does show us how the rules for darajas started and how it all comes together as like a prequel to the plot for the first book. Koffi’s plot line was a bit slower and didn’t have as much suspense as her previous one. It seemed like what she went through wasn’t as harsh as Ekon’s and things wrapped up a bit more quickly as well. Ekon goes through many deadly situations and does everything to remain free from the Six. He isn’t going back! Both teens do have a lot of growth and through that we learn more of Koffi’s ability and why Ekon is so important.

There is more to do with the gods and Fedu is something else! He isn’t a god I would want to mess with. I’m happy that he had more page time and through that we learn more about the daraja he is harboring. He seems like he will continue to be a key player in the next book and I am looking forward to what his plan really entails.

The thing I disliked the most was the weird love square thing that started going on. If I recall correctly, Koffi and Ekon seemed like they liked each other and would pair off. I guess when they say that distance makes the heart grow fonder did not work in this case. Just not my taste.

Overall, this was a good sequel and the plot stayed consistently interesting throughout. Looking forward to seeing how these characters fair in the next book!

Arc Review: Long Story Short by Serena Kaylor

Title: Long Story Short
Author: Serena Kaylor
Genre: YA Contemporary / Romance
Publication Date: July 26th, 2022
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

“Beatrice Quinn has spent sixteen very serious years studying to get into Oxford University. Homeschooled and a whiz at statistics, Beatrice knows that she belongs at Oxford, where she will finally find people who understand her. She thought the hardest part would be getting in, not convincing her parents to let her go. They’ve put a halt to her plans until she can prove she’s able to make friends with people her own age and function in social situations. Their solution: Shakespearean theater camp and a detailed list of teenage milestones to check off. She has six weeks to show her parents she can pull off the role of “normal” teenager and won’t spend the rest of her life hiding in a library.

Unfortunately, hearts and hormones don’t follow any rules, and there is no textbook for teenage interactions. When she’s adopted by a group of eclectic theater kids, and immediately makes an enemy of the gorgeous popular son of the camp founders, she realizes that relationships are trickier than calculus. As the summer draws to an end, and with Oxford on the line, this girl genius stumbles through illicit parties, double dog dares, and more than your fair share of Shakespeare. But before the final curtain falls, will Beatrice still feel like Oxford alone is enough?” (Goodreads)

I know nothing about theater but I do enjoy Shakespeare and for that, I’m glad I gave this book a shot! It was just the right amount of funny and had the added bonus of being more than just a rom-com as Beatrice learns what it means to actually live.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Beatrice Quinn. Fun fact, we find out her middle name is Joanna which is my first name so I love it. Haha! She is quirky and highly smart. She also prefers studying and books over people. I mean, who can blame her? I don’t know about the studying but I would much prefer to read a book than socialize! Beatrice is a relatable teen who has a hard time with the task of socializing/understanding people. I liked seeing her growth throughout the book and understanding what it means to have a life outside of her usual routine. It’s a big part of the book and I loved every minute of it!

Since Beatrice was homeschooled, she doesn’t have a friend. From a past experience, it hasn’t been easy to trust others either. She does find two close friends at camp, Nolan and Mia, and they are great! They help get Beatrice out of her shell and push her to try new things. I did like that even though they wanted her to try having a new wardrobe they also didn’t want her to change who she was. I honestly think that would be hard to do with how stubborn she is, ha.

This is a rom-com after all and with that comes a blossoming relationship. If you like enemies-to-lovers then this one is for you! There banter is laugh-out-loud which is something I actually did. I also made the shocked faced more than once as I couldn’t believe what Beatrice was saying! She is a firecracker. The relationship is slow to bloom but I liked that. It showed them getting to know each other and trying to understand the other person, which is especially hard for Beatrice to do.

Overall, this was a fun and enjoyable read! I liked seeing Beatrice grow and learn what it means to have friends and try new experiences. If you don’t have this one on your radar, I’d highly recommend it!

WWW Wednesday | 7-20-22

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?

Malice by John Gwynne was started but I am only 5% in since I didn’t read over the weekend.

My other ebook is Beasts of Ruin (Beasts of Prey #2) by Ayana Gray. It is a sequel and an arc I have from Netgalley.

My audiobook is The First Girl Child by Amy Harmon. Not very far but liking it!

  • The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han ⭐⭐
  • A Disaster in Three Acts by Kelsey Rodkey ⭐⭐
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (arc) ⭐⭐⭐✨

My next audiobook will most likely be The Darkening by Sunya Mara.

My next books will be more arcs, lol. I have so many! The first two will most likely be A Dreadful Splendor by B.R. Myers and Belladonna by Adalyn Grace.

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Covers That Were Better Than The Book (Freebie!) | 7-19-22

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 Book Covers That Were Better Than The Book (Freebie!). It’s a freebie week so I wanted to do something fun. Hopefully you enjoy this! If you enjoyed any of these books don’t take it personally. It’s just my opinion! ❤

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

Buck Up, Buttercup by Anna Alkire

The Roommate Situation by Katie Bailey

Gallant by V.E. Schwab

Ramon and Julieta by Alana Quintana Albertson

Twin Crowns by Catherine Doyle & Katherine Webber

The Stars Between Us by Cristin Terrill

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary

Seoulmates by Jen Frederick

A Spot for Trouble by Teri Wilson

Are any of these on your tbr? Have you read any of them? If you have, what did you think of them?

Let me know in the comments below!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Goodreads Monday: This Is Not a Personal Statement by Tracy Badua | 7-18-22

Hello Readers!

Goodreads Monday was hosted and created by Lauren’s Page Turners and has now been taken over by Budget Tales Book Blog. To participate, choose a random book from your TBR and show it off.

Title: This Is Not a Personal Statement
Author: Tracy Badua
Genre: YA / NA Contemporary
Publication Date: January 17th, 2023
Publisher: Quill Tree Books

“From rising star Tracy Badua comes a poignant, propulsive standalone YA novel about a teen who, after getting rejected from her dream college, forges her own acceptance and commits to living a lie—perfect for fans of Mary H.K. Choi and Gloria Chao.

An incisive, relatable tale of acceptance, self-discovery, and the infinite possibilities that await when we embrace our imperfections.

As the youngest graduating senior at her hypercompetitive high school, Perla Perez is certain all the late nights, social isolation, and crushing stress will be worth it when she gets into the college of her (and her parents’) dreams: Delmont University.

Then Perla doesn’t get in, and her meticulously planned future shatters. In a panic, she forges her own acceptance letter, and next thing she knows, she’s heading to Delmont for real, acceptance or not. Perla’s plan? Gather on-the-ground intel to beef up her application and reapply spring semester before she’s caught.

But as her guilty conscience grows and campus security looms large, Perla starts to wonder if her plan will really succeed, and if this dream she’s worked for her entire life is something she even wants.” (Goodreads)

Does this one sound like something you would read?

I got an email for this one over the weekend and I am excited to read another series by her!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

-Joanna TheGeekishBrunette (1)

Manga Review: Waiting for Spring Vol. 14 by Anashin

Title: Waiting for Spring Vol. 14
Author: Anashin
Genre: YA Manga / Romance / Contemporary
Publication Date: March 9th, 2021
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

“Mitsuki and Towa have found true love, leaving Rui to despair about his own future romance! However, in the background, Kyōsuke has been having his own girl problems — will his first love return his affection? Meanwhile, Nanase and Ryūji bump into their own relationship issues, and Aya must cope with his heartbreak once more.” (Goodreads)

The last volume has now come and gone…the feelings I still have are unimaginable and I just want more! Why do all good things have to end?!

There is so much to unpack in the last volume. One thing I do wish is that it was longer. I needed more closure for Aya and Mitsuki. I also needed more from the friend group as the others started pairing off into relationships and we didn’t learn much about one girl in particular. It all kind of felt rushed but at least I found enjoyment in it? It was sweet. I am glad that we got more from the others than just Towa and Mitsuki.

I think more could have been added if it wasn’t for all of the bonus chapters. I like how most mangas I read get us to the end where they are older and we know what happens to the characters. This one doesn’t have that you just have to speculate that it all stayed the same and everything was good.

Overall, it was still good as it had sweet moments but I just thought that there would be more from the conclusion.

Arc Review: Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen

Title: Violet Made of Thorns
Author: Gina Chen
Genre: YA Fantasy / Retelling
Publication Date: July 26th, 2022
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

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

“Violet is a prophet and a liar, influencing the royal court with her cleverly phrased—and not always true—divinations. Honesty is for suckers, like the oh-so-not charming Prince Cyrus, who plans to strip Violet of her official role once he’s crowned at the end of the summer—unless Violet does something about it.

But when the king asks her to falsely prophesy Cyrus’s love story for an upcoming ball, Violet awakens a dreaded curse, one that will end in either damnation or salvation for the kingdom—all depending on the prince’s choice of future bride. Violet faces her own choice: Seize an opportunity to gain control of her own destiny, no matter the cost, or give in to the ill-fated attraction that’s growing between her and Cyrus.

Violet’s wits may protect her in the cutthroat court, but they can’t change her fate. And as the boundary between hatred and love grows ever thinner with the prince, Violet must untangle a wicked web of deceit in order to save herself and the kingdom—or doom them all.” (Goodreads)

As an anticipated release this was a bit of a letdown. It’s not a bad book but just wasn’t what I was expecting is how I would describe my feelings for it. I can definitely see why they compare it to The Cruel Prince. Which again, wasn’t a book I loved but didn’t hate either. I do see this doing really well, especially if you enjoy unique retellings.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Violet. She is brash and speaks her mind way more than anyone probably wants her to, especially Cyrus. Haha. I would say that for the most part she is different than most other main characters as having friends and being liked isn’t a priority. You can even say that she is morally grey. She is a very interesting character.

There are obviously other characters in the book but I just didn’t feeling strongly towards any of them. I’m not sure why there was a disconnect for me but when they happened to be involved in a plot twist I just didn’t feel that “oh my!” moment. This could honestly just be me. The romance was another thing that just felt lackluster. The end of the book has definitely been set up for more in the sequel but I just don’t think there was enough substance for me to continue on, sadly.

The plot is filled with visions, fates, enemies-to-lovers, and a curse. It even has retelling elements from all sorts of fairytales which I didn’t realize would be in here. If you are a fan of Marissa Meyer I think you would like this book because of it. At times there is a lot going on and it bogs down the plot just a bit.

My only other complaint would be that I wanted more world-building. Nothing is ever really said why things are and what the kingdom is like politically etc. I just wanted more from this world that seemed so interesting.

Overall, this was good. It’s not a bad book but one that just didn’t stand out enough for me. I do think that in the right hands this book will flourish and I can see it doing well.

Arc Review: No One Is Alone by Rachel Vincent

Title: No One Is Alone
Author: Rachel Vincent
Genre: YA Contemporary
Publication Date: July 12th, 2022
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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

“Michaela is a junior in high school, close with her single mom. Her dad lives a few towns away and pops in and out of her life only on holidays and birthdays. They barely know each other beyond surface obligations.

That is, until her mom dies. Suddenly on her own, Michaela has to move in with her Dad . . . and learns he’s been married with kids all this time, and she was the product of an affair. Before she can even grieve her mother, Michaela is thrust into a strange house with a stepmom and three half-siblings, including new sister Emery, who is in the same grade and less than thrilled at the prospect of sharing her room and school life. Will Michaela be able to let go of everything she’s ever known-and find herself anew-with a family who didn’t ask for her in the first place?” (Goodreads)

A read this author last year and it was a YA Fantasy. It was good but not a favorite and was curious how her contemporary would be. It definitely was a lot better and had me wanting to continue reading into the night. It was hard to put down.

The book is told from one point-of-view and it comes from Michaela. She is going through a lot right from the beginning when her mom suddenly dies from an accident. To make matters worse, she didn’t know her dad had another family with other kids. Talk about turning your world upside down! Because of all this, Michaela has a lot to navigate through and it isn’t always easy.

I may not have gone through anything Michaela has besides grief. It’s one of the worst things to go through. Even though that was the only thing we had in common I didn’t have a hard time connecting with her. You could feel her pain through the pages and you just want to give her a big hug.

The other characters are pretty memorable as well, especially the grandma. I had to deal with mine having dementia and it’s hard to watch them forget who you are. I understand why Emery distanced herself from it all. The siblings don’t always get along together but it’s easy to understand why they would have an issue with the circumstance of finding out you have another sibling. Sometimes I would get just as upset as Michaela at her stepmother but then I found myself seeing her point-of-view and it’s just a crappy situation for everyone involved. Each person really tried their best.

There is a lot of drama from family dynamics to school. Not everyone at her school has her best interest at heart and it’s easy to lose ourselves when grief is involved. The book does a good job of showing how each person deals with it differently as well as the stress of life.

Romance does have a very small part and although it has its hurdles for Michaela, she at least gets a happier ending.

Overall, this was a heartbreaking read but one that I really liked.