Book Festival Book Tag

Crime Scene Bookworm's Book Tag graphic

Book Princess Reviews came up with a really cool book tag called the Book Festival Book Tag, and thanks so much to Siobhan at Siobhan’s Novelties for tagging me in it so I can participate!

RULES

– pingback to the creator of the tag, @bookprincessreviews 
– tag the person who tagged you
– find an answer to match each prompt
– have fun!

Author Lineup

Name your top 3 authors that you would like to meet.

Whew, this is hard…there are so many authors that I feel would be so awesome people to meet in person! I’d have to say:
1. Kevin Hearne
2. J.K. Rowling
3. Sarah J. Maas

The Official Schedule

How do you determine what books you’re going to read next? 

Heh. This question assumes there’s a method to the madness. But, for real, right now my TBR is dictated purely by my library holds. Why does it seem like when one comes out, they all come out??? Am I the only person that feels that way? Seriously, I have like six library holds that I have to read by next week. The stress is real.

When I’m not battling my past self’s poor scheduling decisions, I’m generally a mood reader. I SUCK at sticking to set TBR’s. Either I add to it and stress myself out further, or I get to a book on it that I end up going “Ehhh….later,” and set it aside (sometimes to never be picked up again…shhhhh).

ARC Drops

What ARC would you wait hours in line for? 

Oh, jeez, I have to pick one??? Hm, probably the next ACOTAR. Or Kevin Hearne’s next book in the Iron Druid universe…or Jim Butcher’s next Harry Dresden…or Tamora Pierce’s next book set in Tortall.

I did not pick just one. I fail.

The Swag!

What bookish merch/pre-order incentives/etc. is your favorite?

Hmm. I’m never received any pre-order incentives, but book so far, my favorite merch is bookmarks! I seriously never had enough book marks until I started getting a book subscription box (check out an unboxing I did here). And there’s no such thing as too many blankets. The pins are pretty, but I really have no use for them.

I guess anything I can actually USE is my answer to this. Food and drink things (because YUM) are always great, and kitchen items like wineglasses and tumblers and stuff are always cool!

The Panels

What topic would you love to see some of your favorite authors talk about?

I would honestly be so happy to get to hear them talk that they could read me the dictionary and I would be satisfied. But I love to hear them talk about where they got their ideas from, and their writing processes, and their journey to becoming published and best-selling authors.

Hearing their journeys and how they got to be where they are gives me a whole new appreciation for their stories and writing! I still need to finish the Codex Alera by Jim Butcher, but I had a whole new outlook on the series when I found out he wrote it on a bet that he couldn’t write story that combined Pokemon and Ancient Rome. Man, did that person lose their bet.

Yallfest, Yallwest, BookCon/BookExpo, YALC, Etc.

What book festival/con would you go to if you had the choice?

Legitimately any one I could get a ticket to. I seriously don’t even have a preference, I would LOVE to experience any of them, at least one. Definite bucket list item for me!


I tag:

| Siobhan | Dedra | Marina | Lydia |

Anyone that wants to do their own Book Festival Book Tag!

Top Ten Books Everyone Seems to Love Except Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl, where a weekly topic is given and you pick your top ten things that fall into that topic! This week’s topic is a freebie, so I decided to do the Top Ten Books Everyone Seems to Love Except Me. Check out my previous Top Ten Tuesday’s here!

Everyone knows what I’m talking about. A book that is so incredibly hyped by the bookish community that you get excited to read it. Then you start, and the whole time you’re wondering to yourself, “What the hell was everyone talking about?

Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand and appreciate if you love any of these books! It’s just that, for whatever reason, when these were picked up, they didn’t click with me.

1. The Scorpio Races

scorpio races cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I’m still trying to find a way to click with Maggie Stiefvater’s writing. I definitely don’t hate it! But I’ve read this and I’ve read The Raven Boys (and I plan to continue with that series) and I’ve given both a solid three drops. I love the concepts, but I just can’t seem to get drawn into the stories!

2. Three Dark Crowns

three dark crowns cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

This series was…dark. I mean, I know that’s the point, but I just had the most difficult time pushing myself through this book when sisters were supposed to kill sisters, and some of the characters I actually liked didn’t make the most…ethical of decisions. I have the second book in the series on library hold to read but I don’t know if I will or not. I’m just not sure I care what happens next? We’ll see though!

3. Caraval

caraval cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I think what I’m learning is that I’m not a huge fan of circus-type books. I didn’t really like either this or The Night Circus, and those are the two most notable circus-y books I’ve read. The concept here was really cool, and the puzzle they were trying to figure out was interesting, but I didn’t really like any of the characters. Like, at all. I had no one to really root for, because I thought the main character was way too whiny for my tastes.

4. The Maze Runner

maze runner cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the movies. I adore Dylan O’Brien. He’s incredible in everything he does, and I’ve loved him since he was Stiles in Teen Wolf. But the books felt so much…drier. And boring. I started and stopped reading this so many times because I WANTED to love it, but to this day it remains a DNF.

5. The 100

the 100 cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Another book that I wanted so much to love! I enjoyed the first season or so of this, before I fell off of watching it, and I heard great things about this book as well. But again, I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I’m not sure if it was the writing style or what, because the premise is SO COOL and exactly the type of story I would like.

6. To All The Boys I Loved Before

to all the boys i've loved before cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Listen, I love me some Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky. This movie had me so far in my feels I watched it probably…six times the week it came out? Peter Kavinsky is the best and you will never convince me otherwise. And I didn’t hate this book by any means! But the writing of this book felt so juvenile and trite that I’m not even sure I finished it? And I had no interest in reading the second one.

7. The Dark Tower Series

the dark tower the gunslinger cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I should have known better, because there’s only been one book I enjoyed by Stephen King, and that’s 11/22/63. His writing never really does it for me, as I’m not a huge fan of horror. I guess that’s why I thought I would like this, because it’s not really horror! But I read the book in preparation for the movie (I love me some Idris Elba) and I FORCED my way to the end. And it’s short, too, which makes that even more sad.

8. The Night Circus

the night circus cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Don’t hate me, because I feel like this book is beloved everywhere. I’m just an incredibly character AND plot-driven reader, and this book seemed to focus way more on the atmosphere. Which is totally fine! It just isn’t my thing. I didn’t really find myself connecting with either of the main characters, but the concept was REALLY cool.

9. A Song of Ice and Fire Series

a game of thrones cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I tried. I tried SO HARD. I read the first book, and was mostly okay with it, but the second book lost me. I just can’t mentally keep track of the MASSIVE cast of characters and the political sub-plots and everything else that happened all at the same time. Which is weird, because I love the TV show and I didn’t have such a difficult time with it, but maybe I just prefer the story visually.

10. The Chronicles of Narnia

the lion the witch and the wardrobe cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I just…never clicked with this, in any way? I mean, I watched the movies. I guess I even enjoyed the movies, but they aren’t anything that I seek out to re-watch. I liked the one with Prince Caspian in it though! (Mostly because I thought he was super attractive at the time haha). But I tried (and failed, repeatedly) to read the books, and I just didn’t like them.

So those are the top ten books everyone seems to love except me! What are your thoughts? Do you agree or disagree? I’d love to see what popular books you didn’t like, too!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Review: Realm of Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis

realm of knights cover

Realm of Knights
By Jennifer Anne Davis
Publication Date: September 10, 2019

Find it here on Amazon.

From Goodreads:

Reid has spent her whole life pretending to be a man so she can inherit her father’s estate, but when a chance encounter threatens to expose her lie, she is forced to risk everything.

In the kingdom of Marsden, women are subservient to men and land can only pass from father to son. So when Reid Ellington is born, the fifth daughter to one of the wealthiest landholders in the kingdom, it’s announced that Reid is a boy.

Eighteen years later, Reid struggles to conceal the fact she’s actually a young woman. Every day, her secret becomes harder to keep. When one of Marsden’s princes sees her sparring with a sword, she is forced to accept his offer and lead her father’s soldiers to the border. Along the way, she discovers a covert organization within the army known as the Knights of the Realm. If Reid wants to save her family from being arrested for treason and robbed of their inheritance, she will have to join the Knights and become a weapon for the crown.

To protect her family, Reid must fight like a man. To do that, she’ll need the courage of a woman.

My Thoughts:

NetGalley provided me with this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review and, well…it wasn’t for me. I haven’t had the greatest luck with my NetGalley ARCs that sounded so promising, honestly.

Realm of Knights was no different.

The concept was great! A teenage girl, burdened with her family’s livelihood by pretending to be a boy for her entire life? Sounds awesome!

But.

There’s a right way to do this (*cough* Alanna of Trebond *cough*) and a wrong way. And the wrong way is to spend every other sentence constantly reminding you that Reid is a girl pretending to be a boy. Seriously, it was ALL THE TIME. Pretty much with that exact same wording.

And the summary makes the Knights of the Realm sound way more prevalent than it actually was. I mean, yeah, technically Reid joins them, and some other stuff ensues. But, they sort of felt more like an afterthought, or convenient plot point, more than anything else.

And can we please discuss the fact that the romance in this was SO FORCED and unnecessary? I didn’t even know the romance was happening, and then all of a sudden, there it was. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE romance added into a plot. I love romance in pretty much anything. I’m a sucker for love.

This was not it.

Everything felt so incredibly rushed that I didn’t feel invested in literally ANYONE in the story, until maybe the last couple of chapters. Coincidentally, that is finally when something happened in the story. And then it ended pretty much on a cliffhanger.

That usually gets me to immediately go find the second book, but…to put it simply, I didn’t care enough to.

I truly LOVED the idea of the story, though, and the setting was cool, and even the world it took place in was interesting! But the writing style was not at all for me.

I give this book two drops, because the end got much more interesting than the rest of the story and the plot was a fun idea that reminded me of Mulan or The Song of the Lioness quartet.

Want to see more of my reviews? Check them out here.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

November Wrap-Up

As promised, I’ve got my November Wrap-Up to follow! I was really disappointed with the amount of reading that I managed to get done after my great October Wrap-Up…Until I looked at the page count of these books.

I did the math purely to make myself feel better, and that averages out to 532 pages per book. Yay me! And here’s hoping I have a better reading month in December.

We’re back to the old system of organization for this post. I didn’t get a chance to do either of The Page Turner’s books or a Read-a-thon this month.

So here’s my November Wrap-Up!

Three Drop Reads

1. Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

three dark crowns cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Okay, this was by far not a bad book in any way but…why is everyone so obsessed with it? Three sisters who have been raised with the sole purpose of killing each other? I mean, I felt so bad for Arsinoe and Katherine and their respective struggles. But I have a sister and I love her. All I could do was feel for poor Mirabella and what she wanted to accomplish. And Jules. I really liked Jules. She’s a badass and they have some badass powers, which was cool. But I had kind of guessed the plot twist long before the end of the book. I’ll read the sequel (I actually have it waiting because my library hold just came out) but I really did struggle to get through the first half of this. We’ll see how the rest of the series is!

2. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

the raven boys cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Speaking of struggling to get through books…According to the rest of world, the rest of the series is better, and that held true with Throne of Glass so I’ll attempt to trust in that for this series, I guess! I feel sort of ehh about Blue, and same goes for Gansey, but so far I really like Adam! I have yet to see why everyone and their whole families are obsessed with Ronan Lynch, because from the first book alone he’s kind of a dick, but I’ll move on to the next book when I can, I suppose. It was slow going for me to start, but it definitely got a lot easier to read once the group all got together. Hopefully I’ll like the next book more!

Four Drop Reads

1. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

six of crows cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I had an issue this month with books starting extremely slowly and I had to push myself to get into them, but once I realized this was a FANTASY HEIST novel, I was all in. I don’t know if I missed that in the synopsis or if it wasn’t clear in it or what, but for those of you who are curious, THIS IS A HEIST NOVEL. In a fantasy world. I’ve never read anything like it, and I was SO HERE for that.

Inej is a badass and I love her. Nina is a badass and I love her. Jesper and Wylan are adorable little cinnamon rolls and I love them so much. And I love Kaz and Matthias. Okay, I love everyone.

Everyone in this book was great. The plot was great and the heist was so entertaining to read through! I cannot wait to move on to Crooked Kingdom. I did bump it down to four drops just because I dislike books that end with a cliffhanger, but it was still a fantastic read!

Five Drop Reads

1. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

fangirl cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

What a cute little read! I mentioned before (here) that I read the Simon Snow novels before this, even though this came first. But this book was adorable. Cath appeals the introverted, fandom-obsessed soul that lives inside all of us. I did have a hard time caring at all about her sister, Wren, though. Cath slowly coming out of her shell and making friends and learning to be alone was so great. The romance in this was just so cute. It was a nice break from all the heavy fantasy books I’d read the rest of the month and I loved it!

2. Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

queen of shadows cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

As I mentioned in my October Wrap-Up, this series finally hooked me, and I legitimately binged through this book in two days. It would have been faster if not for work, but, ya know, adulting and stuff. But woah. This was epic, and was exactly what everyone has been saying about it. Some plot points finally (kind of) came to a head and yay for Dorian because I really do think he’s adorable. Chaol is an ass and I don’t like him anymore, and HOLY GOD do I love Rowan. Also Aedion is hilarious, and Lysandra is a badass and I IMMEDIATELY finished this book and started Empire of Storms because I needed to know what happened next. Also, don’t get me started on the witches and Abraxos because that is one adorable wyvern.

3. Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

empire of storms cover

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Last, but totally not least, the fifth book in the Throne of Glass series. And again, I binged through this in two days. The Rowan/Aelin love is every single thing I ever wanted and more, and I just want my two little babies to have their happily ever afters SO BADLY. I have so many ships, it’s crazy, and I know that makes some people dislike it or whatever, but you know what? It’s fantasy so if everyone pairs up and gets happily ever afters with the people they love THEN THAT’S OKAY, OKAY?!

So, rant over, but obviously I love what’s happening with Dorian and Manon (who is great), and Aedion and Lysandra (which is also great), and Lorcan (who I still kind of hate but he does some okay things) and Elide (who is great).

I haven’t read any further in the series yet because the way this book ended DESTROYED me. I borrowed Tower of Dawn from the library and then realized it is a book solely about Chaol and I was like…mehhh, because all I wanted was Rowan saving Aelin and I didn’t care about Chaol’s situation yet. Then I got Kingdom of Ash but my book hangover was so bad I couldn’t bring myself to read it yet for fear that it wouldn’t resolve the way I wanted.

So now I’m left with Tower of Dawn on my TBR and I think I’ll have to read it to give myself some distance from the Aelin situation first.

This turned into a much longer mini-review than I intended but I have SO MANY FEELINGS that I just needed to get them out there. Haters are gonna hate (just read some bad reviews of it on Goodreads that are still pretty fresh) but I am now in love with this series and the final book better go well.

Final Thoughts

Well, there it is. Looking back on this, I finished Empire of Storms the weekend before Thanksgiving and then we were traveling, and then I was playing with my baby niece and reading a lot of children’s books, so there’s my excuse for why my November Wrap-Up is less than impressive.

I’m not sure I’ve ever had so bad of a book hangover as I did after EoS, but it was rough going for almost a week. I’m still feeling the effects!

What books have given you a book hangover and put you into a bit of a slump?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

October 2019 Wrap-Up

October 2019 Wrap-Up visual

Well, I called it, and I’ve been MIA for a month and a half, so I now (belatedly…sorry) bring to you my monthly October Wrap-Up! (See my September Wrap-Up here)

In spite of my HUGE certification exam that I’ve been studying for non-stop (I passed, by the way, yay!), I had a FANTASTIC reading month.

Seriously, I don’t remember the last time I read thirteen books in one month. I will be doing this wrap-up a little differently, and I’ll put my drop rating in my mini-review, so I can differentiate between my Readathon, book club books, and randomly picked books!

So without further ado, here is my October Wrap-Up!

Hocus Pocus Readathon Wrap-Up

1. Read a book with a witchy main character: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

I honestly read this book before I read Fangirl (obviously, because you’ll see that in my November wrap-up that is forthcoming), and I loved every second of it! Simon and Bas were adorable, and I loved the banter and the magic system and every single aspect of it was just so awesome. I was so excited for the second book, but…well, you’ll see how I feel later. A solid five drops for me on the first book!

2. Read a book with a female protagonist: Renegades by Marissa Meyer

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

I shouldn’t be surprised at how much I adored this. It’s Superheroes, and I’m comic-obsessed. And yet, still I hesitated, just like I did before reading the Lunar Chronicles. I don’t know why I keep doubting Marissa Meyer, because the woman is a genius and I’ve loved everything I read by her. This was no different. The Renegades were so cool, and Nova was a great, but misguided protagonist, and OH MY GOD THE SUPERPOWERS THOUGH. Sketch’s power was so freaking awesome and I’m 100% in love with Adrian. This was a definite four-drop read for me.

3. Read a book that is spell-bindingly atmospheric….Yeah, I failed at this, but I didn’t fail at the Readathon! I got extra points from the Team Strength to make up for it, I swear!

4. Read a book that frightens you: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

Karen Rose is an automatic buy for me. I’ve read everything she’s ever written and that won’t stop any time soon. She hits the hard subjects, and her books fulfill the dark and twisty reading needs in me. Is the number of serial killers she writes about a tad unrealistic? Perhaps, but it doesn’t stop me from loving every character she’s ever written and rooting for every love story’s happy ending. I’ve been reading her romantic suspense books for years and I’m going to keep doing so as long as she puts them out. Four drops again!

5. Read a book with a powerful villain: Archenemies by Marissa Meyer

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

All my feelings from the first book continued into this one. I mean, I was still frustrated with the whole double-spy thing Nova had going and WOOO BOY that plot twist was a shocker but I still loved it. The third book just came out and I can NOT wait to get my hands on it. Supernova is going to be AWESOME. I can’t wait to see how everything resolves, because I need to know what happens to my little baby Adrian. This book gave me all the feels, and I’m giving it four drops.

6. Read the group book: Hocus Pocus & The All New Sequel

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

I mean…it’s Hocus Pocus. In book form. You’ve got to love it in every incarnation, so that’s how I feel about the first half. The second half, the “All-New Sequel”? LOVED IT. I was frustrated with Poppy making the choices she did, but the story wouldn’t have happened otherwise, so I couldn’t hate it. I mean, it was super predictable, but it was FUN, you know? And Poppy figuring out her feelings for her friend throughout was adorable and LGBTQ+ inclusive and I loved it. Four drops.

Other Books Wrap-Up

1. Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

Continuing on with my read-through of the Throne of Glass series, we moved on with the second book. I still wasn’t obsessed with it (more to come on that later, I did come to love the series and now I love it all), but this book was definitely better than the first one, which I originally DNF’d and then picked up later solely because I heard they got better. So…in comparison to that, I’d give this a solid four stars! I got to like Celaena a lot better, and I fell in love with her and Chaol (eye roll on that now, but it was cute at the time) and WOAH the plot twist at the end. I somehow managed to remain spoiler-free on that, but I guess I’m clueless because I definitely should have at least guessed.

2. House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

Soooo…This book was okay. It’s a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses fairytale and it got so much hype and I honestly was hoping for so much more? It started creepy and got creepier and turned wayyy dark and…yeah. Everyone was talking about their love for it and I wanted to love it more but I had to push myself through it. I didn’t hate it by any means, so three drops, but I didn’t really like any of the characters? It’s hard for me to describe why I didn’t click with this book but I guess the love story between Annaleigh and Cassius was cute so that saved it enough for three stars for me.

3. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

Wow, I wish I’d read this sooner. Laia is awesome, Elias is awesome, the world is dark and twisty and Roman-empire-y, and their story together was…Wow. The Commandant was awful and was such a great villain because she was so dark and sadistic. I felt awful reading about Elias’s…origin story? For lack of a better phrase. But yeah, I just bought the rest of the series on Book Outlet and I CANNOT WAIT till they get here so I can finish this because I am PUMPED. Five star read, for sure. I couldn’t put it down.

4. Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

I liked the first one better. There, I said it. I mean, I know it probably couldn’t be all happily ever after, especially with Simon navigating his first relationship with a boy, but COME ON with that cliffhanger! The action was good and the banter was there and all my favorite characters were all together and yet…It was way too angsty for me. I mean, I get that they need to figure out the fallout from how the first book ended, but can’t we at least get a conclusion? IS THERE EVEN GOING TO BE A THIRD BOOK??? Come on, Rainbow Rowell, you’re killing me here. This was another four drop read because I still loved it but I DO NOT APPROVE of the ending.

5. Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

Alright, this is where I started to get invested in this series. I finally started to care more about Celaena in this, and I’ll just be over here permanently in love with Rowan for the rest of my life, it’s fine. I hopped fully onto the bandwagon for this series (starting actually in the 2nd half of this book) and I feel like the story is finally STARTING, you know? I’m here for it, and I now understand what everyone loves so much. (Spoiler alert, I am now on Tower of Dawn and am super unenthusiastic about an entire book with no Rowan, so we’ll have to see. More to come on that later). But yeah, I am finally giving five whole drops to a book in this series, go me for joining yet another fandom!!

6. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

Okay, don’t hate me. I really didn’t love this, though. And I know a lot of people did and that just…confuses me. I finished it, and gave it three drops, but…I don’t even remember the characters’ names, I’m not gonna lie. The concept was…cool, I guess? I don’t know, I think I was just insanely irritated by the main character (SCARLETT! I looked it up, don’t judge me.). The most of what I can remember about that book is that she annoyed me. Her decisions, her mannerisms, her total uselessness….yeah. I will probably read the second book, but I don’t know that I’ll even push myself to finish it like I did this one.

The Page Turners Book Club

So I joined my favorite Booktuber’s (Chelsea Palmer) Facebook book club and it is so much fun! Everyone in it is great, and we essentially read one adult romance and one YA every month (usually backlisted but not always).

1. The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

This was our romance pick of the month and it was so good! It was so cute and fun, and was the whole “city girl tries to make it in the wilderness” trope and she falls in love with an Alaskan bush pilot and just…swoon. Jonah was so hot, and Calla was hilarious and together they were perfect. And also, there’s a sequel coming out soon and I can’t wait to meet them again in the next book. This tugged on your heartstrings as Calla reconnects with her father in Alaska, and it’s amazing. Five drop read, for sure.

2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

Find it on Amazon | Goodreads

Last but not least, we have the YA book of the month! This was so awesome. I kept wanted to read ahead but I stuck to our reading plan, and Cas was so cool. It reminded me of, like…Supernatural 2.0. He’s a ghost-hunter/hunter of supernatural things and he goes to places around the country with his mother to work these cases, and when he comes across a ghost named Anna, she kicks his ass. It. Was. Awesome. Definitely recommend, and this was a solid four drop read for me.

October was a solid month for me! Nothing less than a three drop read, and I loved a lot of what I found. It was busy, that’s for sure (and I can thank all my library holds for coming out at the same time for that) but I did it!

November was a little underwhelming in comparison, but that wrap-up will be forthcoming! Thanks for reading!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Review: Cupid’s Match by Lauren Palphreyman

Cupid’s Match
By Lauren Palphreyman
Publication Date: October 1, 2019

Find it here on Amazon.

From Goodreads:

He’s mythologically hot, a little bit wicked, and almost 100% immortal. And he’ll hit you right in the heart . . .

“Miss Black, we have a big problem.”

Lila Black doesn’t believe in matchmaking, let alone soul mates. So then why is she constantly being hassled by the Cupids Matchmaking Service? But this gilded, cherub-bedecked dating agency isn’t exactly what it seems . . . and it’s about to turn Lila’s entire world upside down.

It turns out that Cupids Matchmaking is the real deal. As in, it’s run by actual cupids—who don’t look at all like they do in the paintings—and they have a serious problem with Lila’s “match.” Because this guy shouldn’t be in the system. He shouldn’t have a match. And while he’s irresistibly hot, he’s also incredibly dangerous. Because Lila’s true love match is Cupid. The original bad boy of love. And he wants her.

Now Lila’s once-normal teenaged world has exploded into a mythological nightmare overrun by crime-lord sirens, wrathful cupid hit men, magic arrows that cause no end of trouble, and a mischievous, not-so-angelic love god she can’t seem to stop herself from falling for . . .

Adored by 50 million readers on Wattpad, Lauren Palphreyman’s smash-hit book is now in print for the first time. 

My Summary:

My own brief summary of the story: cupids (in this book, both a supernatural species and a specific person named Cupid) work under a matchmaking agency that brings couples together world-wide by finagling them into “meet-cute” situations with their matches. However, cupids themselves are forbidden from matching, and the story begins when Cupid himself (banished from the agency for reasons unknown to the reader until the end) receives a match!

Enter our protagonist, Lila, who just wants this weirdo matchmaking place to stop spamming her with letters. She storms their office only to be immediately introduced to the supernatural world of cupids and matchmaking and danger and intrigue and so on via a hot guy named Cal, who appears to be in charge. She’s told she has been matched to Cupid himself, who (by the way) has no clue who she is and has decided to go undercover at her high school to find her.

Cal also goes undercover at the school, to protect Lila from Cupid being able to find her and ensure the match doesn’t happen. Unfortunately, the plan rapidly falls apart and they are stuck working with Cupid against both the matchmaking agency and a radical group of cupid terrorists called “the Arrow,” hell-bent on killing Lila and/or Cupid to eliminate the possibility of a match. There’s a lot of arrow-shooting, tense glances, hiding things from friends and family, and twisty-plot points that follow.

My Thoughts

This one was…not for me.

I was so excited to read this book. One, because it sounded interesting and SUPER cute. Two, because it’s an author who started this story on Wattpad and I’m a sucker for new authors trying to break out. And three, because it was my first ARC received (ever) from NetGalley and I couldn’t wait to get back to reading a reviewing amazing new stories!

BUT (and it pains me to say that, because I wanted to enjoy this so incredibly much) it was SO SO difficult for me to get through the terrible e-ARC formatting. Seriously, guys, it was just AWFUL. They’ve got a LOT of work to do as far as fixing format goes, because my eyes were crossing just trying to follow lines of dialogue that were mushed together into the same paragraph, all right next to each other.

As for the story itself, it was definitely a new and original take on the cupid myth! Once I pushed through the formatting issues, I would definitely say that this story has a lot of potential. Everyone else seems to think so, because it has rave reviews all over Goodreads. I’m not sure that I understand that, really, because the entire plot was a little bit…cutesy and juvenile for me.

There were some cheesy lines that I think were meant to be emotional or heavy, and they didn’t quite come across that way. Some of the things the characters did or supposedly felt didn’t quite seem believable to me (and yes, I get that it’s a fantasy, technically, but you know what I mean). It felt like this was meant for a much younger audience…maybe middle-grade?

In short, I know a lot of people enjoyed this (clearly, because it was optioned for a pilot on CW Seed…not sure if it went any further than that or not but you can check it out here). It was not for me, but I think a younger audience would enjoy it as a cute, quick summertime read!

My rating on this one would have to be two drops. I finished it and didn’t skim through a lot of it, and it was a quick and easy read once I’d gotten used to the format, but it was not something I would pick up again.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

September Wrap-Up

I need to wrap-up this month, mostly to share how I feel about some of these amazing (and mehhh) books I’ve read!

I feel like I read SO MANY books this month, but I think it just feels that way because, for the first time in a long time, I’m actually trying to actively keep track.

This is going to be long enough, so I think I’ll sort them into my ratings. Without further ado, my September wrap-up:

Five Drop Reads

1. Frostblood

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve been seeing this book pop up on my recommended reads for SO LONG and it FINALLY came up as available in my library. It was soooo good, and now I have to wait, like, eight weeks for the sequel. *Insert eye roll here* It had some romance, it had some throne over-throwing, some rebels, and some magic, and I highly, HIGHLY recommend it!

2. Long Shot

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

This book. THIS BOOK. I plan on writing a more in-depth review on this because I can’t fit all my feels into the space I have allotted to myself for this, so expect that to come sometime soon. But WOAH. I started this as an audio book because I had seen this author highly recommended by my favorite Booktuber, Chelsea Palmer (go check out her videos, you won’t regret it!), and I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. HUGE trigger warnings for domestic violence and rape, but man, Kennedy Ryan does not shy away from serious situations. I was so into this that I got out of my car and immediately downloaded the book via Kindle Unlimited so that I could finish it by reading it. I literally read it in like…six hours and cried and laughed and smacked myself in the face.

3. Roar

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Another Booktube recommendation, and it was so good! A YA fantasy novel that has weather magic and a badass female protagonist with a great romance, who at times frustrated me and made me laugh out loud. I loved it, and I need to track down the sequel that came out recently, because it left off on sort of a cliffhanger, and I CANNOT DEAL.

Four Drop Reads

1. Crown of Coral and Pearl

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I received this as an eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review (which you can read here!). It was so good! This was another YA fantasy about a sea-bound village that was forced to send one young woman to a land-based country to marry the prince every generation. You can read the rest of my thoughts in my review!

2. Spelled

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I have seriously had this on my bookshelf for YEARS with the intention of reading it and I FINALLY DID IT! Yay, go me! And I don’t know why I put it off for so long, because it was delightful! I was in turn frustrated with the main character and amazed because I was chuckling so much during the read. The storybook tie-ins were great, and if you love fairy-tales you’d love this book! I can’t wait for the sequel, I have it on hold at my library!

3. The Night Circus

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

This book was soooo hyped, and I’m not sure it quite hit that note for me. It started so slowly, but got much better as the story went further and you knew the characters better! It’s probably more of a 3.5 than a 4 for me, but I rounded up. The romance was present, but a little…rushed? In my opinion. It just jumped around a little too much for me to stay in the story, but it has the bonus of being a standalone, which is so rare these days I feel. The ending for me was complete but just a little…unsatisfying. That’s probably an unpopular opinion. She is coming out with an unrelated second book that sounds interesting, so I’ll probably check that out!

4. Hunting Prince Dracula

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I read the first book as a part of a Facebook book club I’m in, and I honestly didn’t get into it probably until the last quarter of that book, but this sequel was much better! I’d heard that the first one was the worst, and I have to say I agree. This book furthered the relationship between Audrey Rose and Thomas, and kept me intrigued the entire time! The mentions of Vlad Dracula and Elizabeth of Bathory, and the references to their places in history was so interesting! I will definitely be continuing with the series.

5. Red Queen

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

This is another book that I’ve had for years. I think I read it when it first came out? But I couldn’t remember a single thing that happened or how it ended, and I needed to re-read it because I have Glass Sword on my bookshelf as well that I plan on reading at some point. It was really good! I’m a sucker for most YA fantasies, and this had cool, mutant-like powers and a rebellion and all that fun-stuff. The romance aspect was…a little weird? I don’t know how I felt about all that, honestly, but I do want to read the sequel still.

6. Love Irresistibly

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I’ve been reading this series by Julie James (out of order, oops haha) for several months now. It’s a great series of books for an easy, quick read. I love a quick, cute fluffy romance that just cheers me up. They’re my go-to when I get into a reading slump because they’re just so fun. This series always has me laughing and emotional all at the same time! They’ve got sexy-times (they’re pretty smutty, for those of you that would like to avoid anything like that) and great plots and fantastic, love-able characters! I highly recommend anything this woman writes, as she’ll be on my auto-buy list forever.

Three Drop Reads

1. Stalking Jack the Ripper

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I mentioned before that I read this for a book club, and it really didn’t do too much for me, honestly. I didn’t actually start getting invested in the story until almost the end, and I figured out who the murderer was after the first couple chapters, which was disappointing. For the most part, I was honestly reading it for the romance aspect, and not at all the suspense, until the last quarter of the book. But that last bit encouraged me to read the sequel, which was WAYYYY better, honestly! So I do think I’ll continue on with the series, at least, even if this book was underwhelming.

2. Cupid’s Match

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I received this book as an eARC from NetGalley in return for my honest review, which will be going up in the next couple of days. Honestly, this book was not at all for me, and you guys will be able to read why in the post I’ll be putting up later this week!

3. Block Shot

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

I…don’t really know what to say about this book. TECHNICALLY I haven’t totally finished it yet, but I don’t see it getting any better than this. At this point, I’d honestly give it a 2.5. I was so excited for the second book in the series because Long Shot was SOOOO GOOD but this had none of the hard-hitting situations, and all of the cheater-y vibes. They try to play it off as though that’s okay because the two main characters were meant to be together, but…yeah. I know that it happens, but just…ugh. I also felt like there were some consent-y type issues with the two main characters, but they try to resolve that later and it doesn’t really work. I’m over half-way through and it isn’t sitting well with me at all. I LOVED the first book, and this one just makes me feel kind of slimy.

So there you have it!

My first monthly wrap-up, and I read way more than I thought I would get to this month! What books have you been reading, and what’s on your TBR lists for October?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

September Book Haul

I had a fairly decent book haul this month, and I’m so excited to share it with all of you! I might have gone a little overboard with some book subscription boxes and a Book Outlet shopping spree (oops).

If you haven’t opened your Bookship or OwlCrate boxes yet for the month of September, there be spoilers ahead! This is going to kind of double as an unboxing/book haul, so here goes!

Book Outlet Haul

1. Onyx & Ivory

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

2. Scythe

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

3. Tandem

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

4. All That Glows

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

5. Roar

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

OwlCrate Box (Spoilers Ahead!)

This was my first ever OwlCrate, so I’m so excited to get my next few! In addition to some really cool items, they included TWO awesome books to read in the month of October (one of which came signed!):

1. The Bone Houses (signed)

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

2. The Haunting of Hill House

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

And here are the rest of the awesome things included in the box!

It contained some spooky fingerless gloves, some caramel corn flavored coffee (uh, yum, how perfect and fall-y is that??), a beautiful enamel skull pin with flowers that grow in the dark, and an awesome ring dish with a quote from Mary Shelley: “Beware, for I am fearless and therefore powerful.”

Bookship Box (More Spoilers Ahead!)

One of my favorite Booktubers raves about Bookship all the time so I had to try them out while I was trying to figure out which book subscription box would be best for me!

Bookship definitely didn’t disappoint!

1. There Will Come A Darkness

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

And in addition to this book (that I am SO PUMPED to read this month) they included some goodies!

They included a Spotify playlist to set the mood for the book while you read, a little fairy light set for bookstagram photos, an AMAZING illustrated print depicting Mare from the Red Queen series (that I still have only read the first book in, please don’t hate me, I’m working on it!), the cutest pearl hair clips, a pen that writes better than any pen I’ve ever owned, their monthly Bookship wax melts (that smell like Christmas!), and an awesome pillowcase that I just want to continuously pet (it’s one of those fun double sided sequin ones, I swear I’m not that weird!) that had a quote from J.R.R Tolkien: “Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.”

This was such an awesome box and I can’t wait to read the book!

BookCase.Club Box (Still More Spoilers)

My final subscription box of the month was from BookCase.Club! For less than ten bucks a month they send you two books (not necessarily new releases but still new hardcovers!) in your chosen genre!

I think for this month I chose YA Dystopian, and they sent me:

1. Blood Rose Rebellion

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

2. Burning Midnight

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Other Books

I bought one more book from Amazon, and also I was lucky enough to receive a few ARCS this month as well, some from NetGalley and two from some Goodreads giveaways!

I’ll be putting out the reviews for those as I read them, and I’m so pumped to share my thoughts on them with you!

Miscellaneous

1. The Fandom

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

NetGalley eARCs

1. Cupid’s Match (review coming soon!)

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

2. Crown of Coral and Pearl (check out my review here!)

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

3. Realm of Knights

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

4. I, Cosmo

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

5. The Pirates of Moonlit Bay

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

6. Something Wicked

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Goodreads Giveaways

1. The Savior

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

2. The Twelfth Knight

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Wrap-Up

In hindsight, I got a TON more books in the month of September than I thought I did… And now I’m only panicking a little about when I’m going to read them all.

Well, let’s be honest, no one’s ever had an issue with having TOO many books, amiright? Right?

I’ll plan on putting up a September wrap up post in the next couple of days, because I’ve also been reading A LOT this month, so that will include several mini reviews!

Thanks for sticking this out so far, and what did you get in a book haul this month? Anybody else in a spooky reading mood already? And what kinds of Halloween-type readathons are you participating in?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR Books

Top Ten Tuesday Logo

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl, where a weekly topic is given and you pick your top ten things that fall into that topic! (That’s kind of self-explanatory, I know.) This week’s topic is the top ten Fall TBR books of 2019 on my list! Check out my previous Top Ten Tuesday’s here!

Really quick though, I know this is the only thing I’ve been posting lately, and might stay that way for the next couple of weeks, unfortunately. These are so quick and easy to type up and don’t require much forethought and planning, which sounds SUPER bad.

I don’t mean it that way, though, I swear!

I’m in the middle of studying for my ABC certification (if you’re involved in the forensic science community, you know what hell this is, and if you’re not…it’s like a bar exam for forensic scientists, but optional). My test is in less than three weeks and studying. Is. Hell. It’s taking up every waking moment, and the other waking moments…well, I’m reading or trying to be a functional human haha.

I’m going to try my best to put up a book haul and a wrap up at the end of this month though! I’ve got some interesting thoughts on stuff I’ve read over the last few weeks and I can’t wait to talk about them with you!

Enough about that stuff, though, so without further ado…

The Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR for 2019!

10. There Will Come A Darkness by Katie Rose Pool

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

9. The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

8. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

7. Onyx & Ivory by Mindee Arnett

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

6. Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

5. The Savior by J.R. Ward

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

4. Something Wicked by Nicole M. Rubino

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

3. The Pirates of Moonlit Bay by Samaire Provost

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

2. Realm of Knights by Jennifer Anne Davis

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

1. Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

Find it on Goodreads | Amazon

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.

Review: Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan
Published by Scribechick Media, LLC on March 22, 2018
Find it here on Amazon
!

From Goodreads:

A FORBIDDEN LOVE SET IN THE EXPLOSIVE WORLD OF THE NBA…

Think you know what it’s like being a baller’s girl?
You don’t.
My fairy tale is upside down.
A happily never after.
I kissed the prince and he turned into a fraud.
I was a fool, and his love – fool’s gold.
Now there’s a new player in the game, August West.
One of the NBA’s brightest stars.
Fine. Forbidden.
He wants me. I want him.
But my past, my fraudulent prince, just won’t let me go

*Certain aspects of this story may be sensitive for some readers.

My Review

Whoa. I’ve read sports romances before. I’ve gone through phases where sports romance was pretty much the only thing I’ve ever read. And I even know that I’m SUPER late to the Kennedy Ryan craze, but one of my favorite Booktubers (Chelsea Palmer, if you’re interested!) was raving so I had to check it out.

In case you were wondering, this is not simply a sports romance.

Kennedy Ryan touches on SO many things throughout this story, but the major trigger warnings in here are domestic violence and rape (not on the part of the protagonist, obviously). She did not hold back one ounce on either of those topics.

Shit gets dark, y’all, but in an amazing, incredible, on the edge of your seat way. I can’t remember the last time my heart actually started racing while reading.

I cried. I cheered. I had my Kindle on the table and both hands on my face in anxiety. My husband was deeply concerned for my sanity but I was SO into this story I started the audio book in the morning, downloaded the Kindle Unlimited version in the evening, and finished it sometime late at night.

August and Iris have a beautiful, supportive relationship, and they are literally there for each other through everything. He’s so careful of her feelings and how she is treated after what she’s been through, and I’m here for it.

I could go on about this book for days, and if you know me in real life, I have done that. Relentlessly. Sorry (not really though).

I literally could not put it down. If you’re wondering, this book one MILLION percent gets a 5 drop review from me and I will talk it up to anyone who asks.

If you want to see anymore of my reviews, check out this page!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means I may receive a very small commission, at no cost to you, if you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase.