ARC Review: Love, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

LoveHateOtherFiltersLove, Hate & Other Filters by Samira Ahmed

Published by Soho Teen on January 16, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary

Pages: 288 Format: ARC Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

This ARC was received by my library department for marketing purposes. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.

Maya Aziz is torn between futures: the one her parents expect for their good Indian daughter (i.e.; staying nearby in Chicago and being matched with a “suitable” Muslim boy), and the one where she goes to film school in New York City–and maybe, just maybe, kisses a guy she’s only known from afar. There’s the also the fun stuff, like laughing with her best friend Violet, making on-the-spot documentaries, sneaking away for private swimming lessons at a secret pond in the woods. But her world is shattered when a suicide bomber strikes in the American heartland; by chance, he shares Maya’s last name. What happens to the one Muslim family in town when their community is suddenly consumed with hatred and fear? 

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Cover & Synopsis Reveal: Society of Wishes by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh


Today I’m so excited to bring you the cover reveal and synopsis for Society of Wishes, the first book in a new urban fantasy series cowritten by Elise Kova and Lynn Larsh! If you haven’t noticed, I’m kind of a huge fan of Elise’s writing and I’m always hype for new stories from her. This one sounds like a slight change of pace but also super cool, so I’m thrilled it’s coming so soon. Check out all the details below!

About the Book

Society of Wishes

Series: Wish Quartet (Book One)

Publisher: Silver Wing Press

Release Date: January 29, 2018

Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy, Romance

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Top 5 Wednesday: Characters on the Naughty List

Top 5 Wednesday image

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey (Gingerreadslainey on Youtube) as a way for book reviewers and lovers to share their love of lists every Wednesday. Check out the Goodreads group.

  1. Holden Caulfield
  2. Severus Snape
  3. The Commandant
  4. The Darkling
  5. Xifeng

This week’s Top 5 is all about characters that would be on my naughty list. Probably Santa’s as well. The top two are people I just cannot stand in literature. Holden Caulfield is such an aggravating, infuriating kid and I really dislike Catcher in the Rye for him alone. Snape, on the other hand, may have a redeeming feature or two, but is so terrible to students that he’s forever on my bad side. Also bravest man Harry knew, yeah right. The others on the list are typically complex villains. The Commandant is a forced to be reckoned with and strikes fear into my heart. The Darkling craves power and control and Xifeng while new on the scene does whatever it takes to get to the top.

Would any of these characters make your naughty list?

Let me know in the comments below!

Teaser Tuesday: Into the Black



Hosted by A Daily Rhythm, Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme meant to highlight passages from books you are currently reading.

Here are the rules (as described by A Daily Rhythm):

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week’s teasers come from a stand out sequel that I finally get to start. Into the Black by Ava Jae picks up right where Beyond the Red left off and I’m fully engrossed with the story already. Check out the snippets below!

“You know what that is? Shaw cracks another against his leg and shakes it, grinning.

And another:

Is this guy for real? Does he think we’re just going to warm up to him after blowing us up and threatening us to get us to go with him…

Intrigued yet? Have you read Beyond the Red and Into the Black?

Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

ForestofaThousandLanternsForest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Published by Philomel Books on October 10, 2017

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy, Retellings

Pages: 363 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credits: Goodreads

An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.

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Mini Romance Reviews: Illegal Contact & Wrong to Need You

November is apparently the time of year I really dive into romance reads so I’ve got a couple mini reviews for you today!

IllegalContactIllegal Contact by Santino Hassell

Published by InterMix on August 15, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 251 Format: eBook Source: Library

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over…

Santino Hassell’s work kept popping up on my Twitter feed so I thought I’d take the plunge. Turns out the hype is real folks! Illegal Contact was an absolute delight to read even if The Barons series is centered around football. It’s got hate to love, fiery characters, and a healthy dose of serious issues which pretty much pushes all my favorite buttons.

Gavin is a hardcore athlete forced off the field by a legal incident. He’s moody, angry, and altogether a tough nut to crack. Noah though could pass as an innocent boy next door if it wasn’t for his snarky mouth. Their association together starts out pretty rough, but after a slow build the two of them develop a deep bond. And yeah the sex scenes were incredibly hot.

The writing was amazing, delivering incredible dialogue that was honest and at times gritty. There was plenty of emotion woven throughout and I found myself both laughing and crying as I turned the pages. Hassell even manages to take on homophobia in the NFL as well as the realities of poverty. Overall I highly recommend Illegal Contact and cannot wait for the series to continue!

WrongtoNeedYouWrong to Need You by Alisha Rai

Published by Avon on November 28, 2017

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 368 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

He wasn’t supposed to fall in love with his brother’s widow…

Accused of a crime he didn’t commit, Jackson Kane fled his home, his name, and his family. Ten years later, he’s come back to town: older, wiser, richer, tougher—and still helpless to turn away the one woman he could never stop loving, even after she married his brother.

Sadia Ahmed can’t deal with the feelings her mysterious former brother-in-law stirs, but she also can’t turn down his offer of help with the cafe she’s inherited. While he heats up her kitchen, she slowly discovers that the boy she adored has grown into a man she’s simply unable to resist.

An affair is unthinkable, but their desire is undeniable. As secrets and lies are stripped away, Sadia and Jackson must decide if they’re strong enough to face the past…and step into a future together.

As I’m in love with Alisha Rai’s Forbidden Hearts series, my need for this second book was heady, so much so that I ran to the bookstore on release day to read it immediately. Having already been introduced to Jackson and Sadia, I knew this book would be a winner. He is a soft-spoken dream come true with his kitchen skills and activism. She’s a bisexual supermom working two jobs and occasionally putting her needs first.

The complex family dynamics truly continue to set this series apart. This time around Jackson is dealing with betrayal and loss, returning to his hometown as an outcast while Sadia struggles to feel like a success in a family of overachievers. Of course there’s the overarching Kane/Chandler drama that plays with my heartstrings but the angst isn’t over the top.

The romance itself is quite precious. Once childhood friends, Jackson and Sadia know each other pretty darn well. It was so easy for them to fall back on that trust. Plus the tension between them was off the charts, making the end game all the better. Overall Wrong to Need You was a wonderful sequel that had a fulfilling story and brilliant characters. I’ll be here impatiently waiting for the next one now.

Have you read either Illegal Contact or Wrong to Need You? A fan of romances?

Let me know in the comments below!

November Book Haul ~ 2017


November was a hefty month on the buying front. With collector’s editions being released and Black Friday shopping, I knew this would make for a massive haul. I’m still waiting for a package so the stack above may look small. Don’t let it fool you.

I picked up quite a few special editions this month including the B&N A Darker Shade of Magic, the City of Bones 10th Anniversary edition, and B&N hardcover edition of The Princess Saves Herself In This One which is signed. I also grabbed some new releases in Renegades, The City of Brass, Into the Black, and The Mortal Instruments graphic novel. Plus the OwlCrate book of the month was The Glass Spare.

I managed to snag eight titles in the Book Outlet Black Friday sale. Hopefully Lost Stars, Radiance, The Girl Who Raced Fairyland All the Way Home, The Refrigerator Monologues, The Valiant, Tiger Lily, The Artifact Vault, and The Invasion of the Tearling will arrive at my house soon.

Did you pick up any books in November? Have you read any of the titles I mentioned?

Let me know in the comments below!