Wednesday, February 24, 2021

#CurrentlyReading


 Hello Fellow Readers! 

As much as I want to dive right into reading I am going to go slow and pace myself so I don't burnout before I even really get started so just a couple of books to start.


Faith Walker, a UCA cheer-captain-turned-coach, is fired from her daughter's championship-bound team, the Dallas Prep Bulldogs, only to be recruited by the lowest ranking cheer squad, the Wiley Moon Scorpions, located at a local juvenile detention center. Faith works to get the girls ready for their very first cheer competition, but with the girls having zero interest in cheering and even less experience, it's an uphill battle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gallery assistant Piper Diaz is focused on getting her artwork shown, and screw anyone who’s told her to drop the hobby. Nothing will stop her now that Pacific Blue Fine Art Gallery has agreed to display her creations. Things are finally going her way…

Until entrepreneur Alex Hutton purchases the gallery. He’s got zero interest in unknown artists and nothing will sway him from his goals. He gives her an ultimatum: work for him or quit. Pacific Blue must reopen in a month or he loses everything.

Piper’s falling for him, but his refusal to display her artwork just might drive her away. Working with Piper has Alex thinking about a lifetime love, but his family’s heart-shattering past keeps him from committing.

Can two driven, passionate people see past their own goals and come together to create something more spectacular than they could alone?

 


Chaynie Mayfield is the absolute last person who should be heading up the Morgan’s Grove library Valentine’s event. Ever since her boyfriend dumped her last year—on Valentine’s Day—she’s had a hard time believing in love.

When Greg Peterson, handsome architect and former schoolmate, is commissioned to oversee the library’s renovations, Chaynie’s spirits are instantly lifted. Greg helps her brainstorm, and they create an “Under the Stars” theme that promises to deliver a magical night for the entire town.

The longer Chaynie and Greg work together on the romantic project, the deeper their attraction grows. But when her dream job comes calling, Chaynie must decide whether her future aspirations are worth the price of leaving a town, a family, a library she adores, and a love she’s not sure she can live without.
 


Monday, February 22, 2021

Life Update

 

Hello Fellow Readers,

I sort of fell off the face of the world, which was not something I was planning on. I just wanted to take a small break during the holidays but then life got in the way. I had multiple books planned to be read and reviewed and I was optimistic. I had a Trello set up as well as my excel sheet and I was super excited and felt so very organized.

At the end of December, I started to get sick. I thought that I had gotten food poisoning, but after a couple of days and it didn't go away it started to worry. I was going to set up a doctor's appointment, but something my mother said made me do something else. I bought a pregnancy test.

It turned out to be positive.

You would think that since I knew what was finally going on in my body that would mean that I could go back to normal. Well no. This pregnancy has been so hard to get through, I've had some complications. I lost a dangerous amount of weight, to the point I had to be hospitalized. I may also have to have surgery in the next couple of months but we have to see how that goes.

Currently, I am 14 weeks and just starting my second trimester, the doctors say that I should start feeling better soon which I am hoping but we will see. I am going to be reading again so hopefully you should start seeing reviews soon! 


Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Book Review: This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

Title: This is Not the Jess Show
Series: This is Not the Jess Show #1
Author: Anna Carey
Genre: Mystery; Thriller; Young Adult
Publication Date: February 2, 2021
Publisher: Quirk Books

Like any other teenager, Jess Flynn is just trying to get through her junior year without drama . . . but drama seems to keep finding her. Between a new crush on her childhood best friend, overprotective parents cramping her social life, and her younger sister’s worsening health, the only constant is change—and her hometown of Swickley, which feels smaller by the day.

Swickley is getting weirder by the day, too. Half the population has been struck down by a mysterious flu. Conversations end awkwardly when Jess enters the room. And then one day, a tiny, sleek black device—with an apple logo on it—falls out of her best friend’s backpack and lands at Jess’s feet.

But the year is 1998, and the first iPhone won’t exist for another nine years.

*A Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this. This is my honest and unbiased review*

Rating

Hello Fellow Readers,

Spoiler Alert! I really liked this book. While I wouldn't really call this book a thriller, it still had me hooked enough to read it in one day. Jess is a good character, a junior in high school just trying to come to terms on her crush on her Best Friend Tyler and spend time with her ill little sister. Her seemingly normal life is shattered however, when she starts to pick up on clues that not everything is what it seems.

At first, the pacing was slow and I was worried but the pacing eventually did pick up. As a main character Jess was, once again, great. She acted exactly like I figured a teenager in her shoes would react while also having a resilience that had her take actions, not just sit and let things happen. I also really liked Kipp and was pleasantly surprised at how he was.

Carey built a interesting would one I hope to learn more of, because I have so many questions. The ending did leave me a bit unsatisfied at how open ended and quick it was. If this was to be a standalone I think I would have been angry with how it ended but since I heard there will at least be a second book, so now I understand why it ended the way that it did. I will definitely be reading that second book

Overall, a very interesting plot that was written well.

Friday, December 18, 2020

Audiobook Review: The Intergalactic Interloper by Delas Heras

 

Title: The Intergalactic Interloper
Author: Delas Heras
Narrator: Price Waldman
Genre: Humor; Science Fiction
TW: Attempted Animal Cruelty
Publication Date: August 29, 2020
Publisher: Double Six Books

When Ollie spots a giant two-headed turtle on a nearby rooftop he knows right away that no one is going to believe him. Sure enough, his friends think he is losing it, and even his bandmate, Zara, is convinced he is seeing things. Ollie suspects the bizarre creature has something to do with the mysterious disappearance of his cat and he enlists Zara to help track down the missing feline. The lives of Ollie’s neighbors, Constance and Manolo, also take a dramatic turn when they too brush up against the bizarre rooftop creature. Intersecting paths all leading inexorably upwards, towards the otherworldly visitor lurking on a rooftop overhead.

 

*A Thank you to the Author for allowing me to read this. This is my honest and unbiased Review*

Rating

Hello Fellow Readers,

This was a fun book that takes place in the span of one day. While the book has a mixture of characters who make up the cast, my favorite was Ollie. Each eclectic character was interesting and while none of whom I took to more than Ollie. There were two character who I didn't really enjoy listening to their POV and that was Mr.s Butler who I think you're supposed to dislike and the other is Axzle. I felt bad for Prova for having to put up with him as a shellmate, although I will say he got better as the book progressed. 

I listened to this as an audiobook, and I really like the narrator. He spoke clearly, did voices for each character, and was very entertaining to listen to the audiobook. The book is pretty short around 5 hours less if you listen to it faster like I do. While this is a humorous science fiction book, it explores other themes such as heartbreak, losing your job, getting older, and rejection as well as romance. There were points in the book that I felt the author went a little too much off story and kept wondering when it would go back on track. 

Overall, a fun short science fiction book.

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Graphic Novel: Mercy by Mirka Andolfo

 

Title: Mercy: The Fair Lady, The Frost, and The Fiend
Author: Mirka Andolfo
Genre: Fantasy; Graphic Novel; Horror
Publication Date: December 2, 2020
Publisher: Image Comics

Washington State, late nineteenth century. During the frenzied historical era commonly known as the Klondike Gold Rush, a mysterious woman arrives in Woodsburgh, a small mining town close to the Canadian border.

It's been a few years since the Swanson mine was closed following the terrible accident that claimed the lives of so many men and women, included the owner's and the city it's still struggling in search for a new place on the map of the country.

Elegant and extraordinarily wealthy, Lady Hellaine arrives in the city accompanied by her faithful butler Goodwill and settles in one of the most luxurious mansions in town. A lifestyle that contrasts sharply with that of the majority of the population, forced to choose between humble crafts and illegal activities.

No one is aware of the reasons that led such a classy lady to move from Seattle to the small village, but her arrival certainly did not go unnoticed. Especially in the eyes of Lady Swanson, widow of the late mine owner and leading figure of the local bourgeoisie. Lady Hellaine's plans will bring her on a collision course with the powerful Lady Swanson, who, for reasons not entirely rational, distrusts the newcomer.

Meanwhile, the streets and surroundings of Woodsburgh are flooded in blood: a heinous creature is killing incautious citizens, wreaking havoc on their bodies. Enough to induce local authorities to impose a strict curfew after sunset.

And with the falling of the first snow, the "Woodsburgh Devil"'s fury seems to have even increased. What's the connection, if any, between this disturbing presence and the ivory-skinned stranger?

Who's Lady Hellaine, really? And what's her secret agenda?

*A Thank you to Edelweiss+ for allowing me to read this. This is my fair and honest review*  

Rating


Typically, graphic novels like this are right up my alley, unfortunately this couldn't keep my attention well. I couldn't connect with any of the characters and the one character I did like...was killed which basically ruined the comic for me. I almost DNF'd but eventually decided to keep going just to see how it would end. I will say that the artwork is absolutely gorgeous, which was the only thing that really kept me interested. 
 
Overall, not for me but it might be for you.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Memoir Review & Giveaway! Writing and Madness in a Time of Terror by Afarin Majidi

 

Title: Writing and Madness in a Time of Terror
Author: Afarin Majidi
Genre: Memoir
TW: Physical and Emotional Abuse, Sexual Assault, Drug Use
Publication Date: December 6, 2017

Earning an MFA in writing at the New School, working at Rolling Stone magazine, and being courted by an editor at a prestigious publishing house—Afarin Majidi should be thrilled with the direction her life is taking as she turns thirty. Instead, she is spiraling into the depths of madness as she seeks love and acceptance in an Islamophobic society.

After colleagues at the magazine drug and rape her, she’s left with an unfinished novel. She turns to a former professor, James Lasdun, with whom she develops a toxic obsession. Majidi is the woman he calls “Nasreen” in his memoir, Give Me Everything You Have

 

 

*A Thank you to the Author for allowing me to read this. This is my unbiased and honest review*

 Rating

Hello Fellow Readers,

Three words come to mind while reading Majidi's Memoir; Raw, Manic, and Honest. When I read a memoir, sometimes the authors try to present themselves in the way they want to be perceived rather than how they are. This book does not do that. Majidi allows the readers fully into her life, and you read everything. The good, the bad, and the manic. The book is very well written and Majidi does go into a lot of details about her life and experiences in the book. I will say that though I enjoyed the book some of her language in it does make me a little uncomfortable.

Overall, a very emotionally raw memoir. 

Giveaway!

The author has kindly provided me with a book to giveaway and share with you all. Enter below!

 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Book Review: These Bodies by Morgan Christie

 

Title: These Bodies
Author: Morgan Christie
Genre: Fiction; LGBTQ+; Short Stories
Publication Date: December 8, 2020
Publisher: Tolson Books

'These Bodies' is a manuscript that highlights the relationships and experiences of people of color, LGBTQIA, women, and other underrepresented and minority groups. There is a tendency in literary fiction to not fully delve into the complexities and dynamics of POCs and other minorities, our relationships, spaces and dynamics that shape our lives. This is a collection of short stories that does just that, investigates the depths, joys, and malice faced and understood by so many. Through passions and fears, they are our stories, our bodies, these bodies, and an exploration of the spaces and loves we uncover as we uncover ourselves. I believe the collection is especially telling in the current social and political climate, addressing themes and concerns we have been addressing, that are being exposed in a very topical way.

* A Thank you to the author for allowing me to read this. This is my honest and unbiased review*

Rating

Hello Fellow Readers,

These Bodies are a debut collection of short stories written by Morgan Christine. They range from a number of themes and topics that you don't see very often when the stories are from the same author. The stories surprised me because there wasn't a single one I did not like, each story was different and well written with a wide array of characters and events. Christie's writing has a magical quality to it with a unique ability to get the readers unwavering attention. 
 
It's a bit hard to believe that this is Christie's debut collection as I firmly believe they are one of those must read writers from what I've seen in These Bodies. Each story in this collection bring forth emotions whether it be longing, sadness, happiness, or just empathy. Each character feels so intimately human that there was a slight perverseness in reading their written thought.
 
 I did not read this in one sitting because too many times I felt emotions well up in me that I only get when reading a favorite book. I had to stop to recenter my thoughts to prepare for the next story, since I wasn't ready to full move on from the previous one. There are some stories that did resonate more soundly then the others, but each one still left a little mark. 

Overall, a wonderful collection of stories from an author I hope to see more from

 

 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

#CurrentlyReading December 2020


 

Hello Fellow Readers,

It's December! The last month before the start of a new year. 2020 have been a bit crazy so I honestly I can't wait for it to end. However, before we move on to a new year we have to get through this month and we do it with reading. 

 

 

In the fourth collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, fifteen award-winning and celebrated diverse authors deliver stories about a princess without need of a prince, a monster long misunderstood, memories that vanish with a spell, and voices that refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. This powerful and inclusive collection contains a universe of wishes for a braver and more beautiful world.

 

 

 

 

 

Earning an MFA in writing at the New School, working at Rolling Stone magazine, and being courted by an editor at a prestigious publishing house—Afarin Majidi should be thrilled with the direction her life is taking as she turns thirty. Instead, she is spiraling into the depths of madness as she seeks love and acceptance in an Islamophobic society.

After colleagues at the magazine drug and rape her, she’s left with an unfinished novel. She turns to a former professor, James Lasdun, with whom she develops a toxic obsession. Majidi is the woman he calls “Nasreen” in his memoir, Give Me Everything You Have.

Raw and honest, Writing and Madness in a Time of Terror is a haunting meditation on identity, misogyny, violence, and mental illness. 

 

 

Remmy grows up with Beth in Bellhammer, Illinois as oil and coal companies rob the land of everything that made it paradise. Under his Grandad, he learns how to properly prank his neighbors, friends, and foes. Beth tries to fix Remmy by taking him to church. Under his Daddy, Remmy starts the Bell Hammer Construction Company, which depends on contracts from Texarco Oil. And Beth argues with him about how to build a better business. Together, Remmy and Beth start to build a great neighborhood of "merry men" carpenters: a paradise of s’mores, porch furniture, newborn babies, and summer trips to Branson where their boys pop the tops off of the neighborhood’s two hundred soda bottles. Their witty banter builds a kind of castle among a growing nostalgia.

Then one of Jim Johnstone’s faulty Texarco oil derricks falls down on their house and poisons their neighborhood's well.

Poisoned wells escalate to torched dog houses. Torched dog houses escalate to stolen carpentry tools and cancelled contracts. Cancelled contracts escalate to eminent domain. Sick of the attacks from Texaco Oil on his neighborhood, Remmy assembles his merry men:

"We need the world's greatest prank. One grand glorious jest that'll bloody the nose of that tyrant. Besides, pranks and jokes don't got no consequences, right?"

 

Billy Jakobek has always been different. Born with strange and powerful psychic abilities, he has grown up in the laboratories of Thorne Century, a ruthless megacorporation that economically, socially, and politically dominates American society. Every day, Billy absorbs the emotional energies, dreams, and traumas of everyone he meets—from his grandmother’s memories of the Holocaust, to the terror his sheer existence inflicts upon his captors—and he yearns to break free, so he can use his powers to help others.

Natalia Gonzalez, a rebellious artist and daughter of Guatemalan immigrants, lives in Heaven’s Hole, an industrial town built inside a meteor crater, where the poverty-stricken population struggles to survive the nightmarish working conditions of the local Thorne Century factory. Natalia takes care of her ailing mother, her grandmother, and her two younger brothers, and while she dreams of escape, she knows she cannot leave her family behind.

When Billy is transferred to Heaven’s Hole, his chance encounter with Natalia sends shockwaves rippling across the blighted landscape. The two outsiders are pitted against the all-powerful monopoly, while Billy experiences visions of an otherworldly figure known as the Shape, which prophesizes an apocalyptic future that could decimate the world they know.
 

 

Some promises are meant to be broken... ★

Alex is leading the life most people dream of: he occupies an important position, he owns a shiny luxury car and he is dating the perfect woman that he is about to marry.

But the loss of a loved one makes him aware of the flip side: he works like a maniac to pay off his mortgage, he neglects his family and he lost sight of his three best friends, with whom he had taken the oath to meet again ten years later. Finally, he realizes that he has not forgotten Aurora, his young love that disappeared without explanation.

Alex's sister, a rebellious teenager who he has to take care of for a while, complicates the situation further. She tries to push him towards his new secretary, who does not attract him at all. Unless . . .

Will Alex be able to reconnect with his past, his family and his friends? Will he find his soul mate, provided she exists?

 

Every fifty years, a cult claims twelve men to murder in a small Texas town. Can one girl end the cycle of violence - and save the boy who broke her heart?

San Solano, Texas is a quaint town known for its charm, hospitality, and history of murder. Twice now, twelve men have been brutally killed, and no one knows who did it. A shadowy witch? A copy-cat killer? Or a man-hating murderess? Eighteen-year-old Natalie Colter is sure that the rumors about her great-great-grandmother's cult of wronged women are just gossip, but that doesn't stop the true crime writers and dark tourism bloggers from capitalizing on the town's reputation. It's an urban legend that's hard to ignore, and it gets harder when Nat learns that the sisterhood is real, and magical. And they want her to join.

The more Nat learns of the Wardens' supernatural history, the more she wonders about the real culprits behind the town's ritualistic murders. Are the Wardens protecting San Solano from even darker forces? As the anniversary of the murders draws near, the town grows restless. Residents start getting "claimed" as this year's planned victims, including Levi Langford, the boy whose kiss haunted Nat for a year.

Nat knows that no one is safe. Can she and the sisterhood stop the true evil from claiming their town?

 

 

 


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Graphic Novel: The Witch and the Beast by Kousuke Satake

 

Title: The Witch and the Beast
Author: Kousuke Satake
Genre: Fantasy; Horror; Manga
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Publisher: Kodansha Comics


A WITCH'S CURSE

Guideau: a feral girl with long fangs and the eyes of a beast. Ashaf: a soft-spoken man with delicate features and a coffin strapped to his back. This ominous pair appears one day in a town that's in thrall to a witch, who has convinced the townsfolk she's their hero. But Ashaf and Guideau know better. They have scores to settle, and they won't hesitate to remove anyone in their way...

 

 

 *A Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this. This is my honest and unbiased review*

Rating

Hello Fellow Reader,

This manga has an interesting premise that made me eager to read it. First, let me say that the artwork in this manga is amazing, definitely one of my favorites so far. The story is a little weird, but the more I continued reading the more I liked. Both character's Guideau and Ashaf are a great contrast to one another and I can't wait to see how their relationship evolves. I am not hoping for a romance between the two but a strong friendship would be wonderful. While this volume does setup the story somewhat there was a lot more action then I thought their would be and I cannot wait to see where this story goes.

Overall, a very good start to a story I want to see unfold.

 


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Book Review: How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams

 

Title: How to Fail at Flirting
Author: Denise Williams
Genre: Romance
Publication Date: December 1, 2020
Publisher: Berkley
TW: Abuses, Attempted Sexual Assault.

One daring to-do list and a crash course in flirtation turn a Type A overachiever’s world upside down.

When her flailing department lands on the university's chopping block, Professor Naya Turner’s friends convince her to shed her frumpy cardigan for an evening on the town. For one night her focus will stray from her demanding job and she’ll tackle a new kind of to-do list. When she meets a charming stranger in town on business, he presents the perfect opportunity to check off the items on her list. Let the guy buy her a drink. Check. Try something new. Check. A no-strings-attached hookup. Check…almost.

Jake makes her laugh and challenges Naya to rebuild her confidence, which was left toppled by her abusive ex-boyfriend. Soon she’s flirting with the chance at a more serious romantic relationship—except nothing can be that easy. The complicated strings around her dating Jake might destroy her career.

Naya has two options. She can protect her professional reputation and return to her old life or she can flirt with the unknown and stay with the person who makes her feel like she's finally living again.

*A Thank you to Netgalley for allowing me to read this. This is my honest and unbiased review*

 Rating

Hello Fellow Readers,

This is the first book I've read of Denise Williams and (Spoiler alert!) I can't wait to read more! First, let's talk about Naya, she's maybe my favorite romance protagonist ever. Naya has been through a lot which makes her pretty closed off especially to romance, but as she opens up to Jake (and in turn us the readers) we see this passionate, intelligent, and funny woman come to lie. I don't blame Jake at all for falling in love with her because I did. You just can't help it.

Jake was also just amazing and dorky that from the get go I was rooting for the two of them. While I was expecting a quick sexy read, I was once again hit with characters who had depth and a story that deals with deep issues. I do love the way Williams writes, which had me enthralled with the characters since the very first chapter. 

Overall, a wonderful sexy romance with characters you can't help but love.