Top 5 Wednesday: Books I’ve Removed From My TBR

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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. Throne of Glass
  2. Before She Ignites
  3. The Glass Spare
  4. The Memory Keepers
  5. Wicked Like a Wildfire

This week’s Top 5 is all about books I’ve removed from my TBR. I typically don’t add a ton of books to my To Read Shelf unless I’m pretty sure I’ll read them. Unfortunately reading preferences change and there’s only so much time to pick up books these days so this list is comprised of owned and unowned titles that I wanted to read but no longer do.

Are any of these books on your list?

Let me know in the comments below!

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Teaser Tuesday: The Darkest Part of the Forest

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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!

Ever since I read and loved The Cruel Prince I knew I’d need to delve into Holly Black’s earlier fae works. Thankfully I have The Darkest Part of the Forest on hand now to remedy this desire so check out this teaser!

Down a path worn into the woods, past a stream and a hollowed-out log full of pill bugs and termites, was a glass coffin. It rested right on the ground, and in it slept a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. 

Have you read The Darkest Part of the Forest? A fan of Holly Black’s books?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: Wanna Bet? & Wicked and the Wallflower

It’s time for another round of romance mini reviews! I’ve got brief thoughts on two titles, one contemporary and the other historical, bottom line though I loved both.


WannaBetWanna Bet? by Talia Hibbert

Published by Nixon House on April 21, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 325 Format: eBook Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Jasmine Allen has many vices. Rahul Khan has just one: her.

For the last seven years, Rahul’s been Jasmine’s closest friend. Sure, he’s strong, sexy, and deliciously stern—but she doesn’t care about that. She certainly isn’t tempted by his wicked smile or his genuine sweetness. She can’t be. Because everything Jas touches turns to dust.

Rahul disagrees. Seven years ago, Jasmine touched him, and he’s still standing—still standing, and still hopelessly in love. When disaster drives Jasmine into his spare bedroom, Rahul prepares for a month of painful proximity to the woman he secretly wants.

But when he realizes that Jasmine just might want him, too… all bets are off. 

She’s wild. She’s reckless. She doesn’t know how to love, and she doesn’t intend to learn. 

But she’s also his. And in this game of desire, Rahul’s playing to win.

Wanna Bet? is a steamy, standalone, BWAM romance. Warning: this book is 75,000 words of extreme pleasure, with NO cliffhangers, NO cheating, and a guaranteed HEA. Enjoy responsibly!

***Please be aware: this story contains themes of parental neglect and abandonment, parental death, and alcohol dependence that could trigger certain audiences.***

Twitter is a marvelous place as it’s introduced me to some of my favorite romance authors and I can already say Talia Hibbert is now among them. Wanna Bet? takes on a friends to lovers romance with a role reversal (promiscuous woman, besotted man). Jasmine is closed off, holding her emotions in; every action she takes hides pain. Rahul is the best! A man so wholly in love but holding himself back to be the friend Jasmine needs. The tension between them is off the charts and there is just so much angst to agonize over. While the book does deal with some pretty heavy topics (mentioned in the description above), there’s not an ounce of exploiting it. Overall I totally recommend Hibbert’s writing and cannot wait to dive into more of her stories.


Wickedandthe WallflowerWicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Published by Avon on June 19, 2018

Genres: Adult, Fiction, Historical, Romance

Pages: 396 Format: Paperback Source: Purchased

4.5/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

When Wicked Comes Calling…

When a mysterious stranger finds his way into her bedchamber and offers his help in landing a duke, Lady Felicity Faircloth agrees—on one condition. She’s seen enough of the world to believe in passion, and won’t accept a marriage without it.

The Wallflower Makes a Dangerous Bargain…

Bastard son of a duke and king of London’s dark streets, Devil has spent a lifetime wielding power and seizing opportunity, and the spinster wallflower is everything he needs to exact a revenge years in the making. All he must do is turn the plain little mouse into an irresistible temptress, set his trap, and destroy his enemy.

For the Promise of Passion…

But there’s nothing plain about Felicity Faircloth, who quickly decides she’d rather have Devil than another. Soon, Devil’s carefully laid plans are in chaos, and he must choose between everything he’s ever wanted…and the only thing he’s ever desired.

Sarah MacLean’s Bareknuckle Bastards series is off to a roaring start with Wicked and the Wallflower. Felicity Faircloth wants back into society but she needs a rake to get her there. Approaching spinsterhood, she’s incredibly lonely with a family who wants to leverage her marriage for personal gain. Felicity’s also got a passion for picking locks. Devil, on the other hand, is a smooth-talking smuggler with a serious reputation but also a softer side. The scenes between them are incredibly intimate and the overarching story is totally compelling. Overall I highly recommend this and honestly any  Sarah MacLean titles.


Have you read either of these books? Prefer contemporary or historical romances?

Let me know in the comments below!

Mini Reviews: From Twinkle, With Love & Stay Sweet

Today I’ve got a double dose of adorable YA contemporary romance mini reviews coming your way. And of course I couldn’t help but fall for them.


FromTwinkleWithLoveFrom Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

Published by Simon Pulse on May 22, 2018

Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Pages: 336 Format: Hardcover Source: Purchased

4/5 Stars

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

Aspiring filmmaker and wallflower Twinkle Mehra has stories she wants to tell and universes she wants to explore, if only the world would listen. So when fellow film geek Sahil Roy approaches her to direct a movie for the upcoming Summer Festival, Twinkle is all over it. The chance to publicly showcase her voice as a director? Dream come true. The fact that it gets her closer to her longtime crush, Neil Roy—a.k.a. Sahil’s twin brother? Dream come true x 2.

When mystery man “N” begins emailing her, Twinkle is sure it’s Neil, finally ready to begin their happily-ever-after. The only slightly inconvenient problem is that, in the course of movie-making, she’s fallen madly in love with the irresistibly adorkable Sahil.

Twinkle soon realizes that resistance is futile: The romance she’s got is not the one she’s scripted. But will it be enough?

Told through the letters Twinkle writes to her favorite female filmmakers, From Twinkle, with Love navigates big truths about friendship, family, and the unexpected places love can find you.

Continue reading

Mid Year Book Freak Out 2018

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Once again it’s time for a Mid Year Book Freak Out! I snagged these questions from Cait over at PaperFury but from what I can tell the original tag was created by Chami and Ely. Check out my responses below!


BEST SEQUEL OF THE YEAR SO FAR

With the amount of series I read it’s impossible to pick just one killer sequel so I chose four that I absolutely adored. Stephanie Garber once again brought her A-game with Legendary and I devoured Robin LaFevers His Fair Assassin series with Dark Triumph being my favorite of the three. Whisper of the Tide was an exquisite ending and sequel from Sarah Tolcser and Zoraida Córdova continues to impress with Bruja Born.

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

So many new releases, not enough time! At least A Reaper at the Gates, Circe, and Smoke in the Sun are at the top of my TBR list!

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR AUTUMN / WINTER

It was hard narrowing this down to just four but I love each of these authors and just clamor for anything new from them.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF THE YEAR SO FAR

MeddlingKids

Honestly with the promise of Scooby Doo for adults this should have been a winner but this book was all sorts of ridiculous. Guess I’ll still be waiting for my reboot.

BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE YEAR SO FAR

TheSerpent'sSecret

I’m actually surprised by how much middle grade I’ve been reading this year and I was especially impressed by Sayantani DasGupta’s debut.

NEW FAVORITE AUTHOR

I’ve been reading so much romance this year that it shouldn’t be surprising that my new favorite authors are all from the genre. Tessa Dare, Sarah MacLean, and Helen Hoang all have my heart and they’re now all auto-read authors.

YOUR NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

Furyborn

Claire Legrand certainly knows how to write compelling, complex characters cuz Furyborn is chock full of them. Honestly it’s too hard to pick just one but Simon and Audric are my precious children and Eliana and Rielle are my sisters in anger.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Which books don’t make me cry? That may be a more apt question. Despite my emotions these three books are fantastic even with tears streaming down my face.

A BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

I need all the happiness I can get these days so contemporaries are a comfort but I can always appreciate an endearing fantasy as well. These three definitely filled my heart with good vibes!

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK SO FAR

A pictures worth a thousand words, right? This cover love should be enough!


How has 2018 been for your reading? Did you add a ton of new faves to your shelves?

Let me know in the comments below!

Waiting on Wednesday: Mirage

“Waiting on” Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that highlights upcoming releases that we are eagerly anticipating.


MirageMirage by Somaiya Daud

Publisher: Flatiron Books

Expected Date: August 28, 2018

Image and Description Credit: Goodreads

In a star system dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated moon.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty—and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.


Give me all the cultural YA SciFi/Fantasy please! Seriously Mirage by Somaiya Daud sounds like a gold mine of all my favorite things and I cannot wait to dive head first into this new world and story.

Are you excited for Mirage? Intrigued by the body double plotline?

Let me know in the comments below!

Goals! Goals! Goals! ~ 2018 Update

Goals, Goals, Goals

Since we’ve past the midway point of 2018, I think now is a good time to look back at the goals I set at the beginning of this year, check in on how I’m doing with them, and reassess. My goals are in light grey and my commentary will be in black, bold parentheses.


Blog Goals

  • Cross post my reviews every single month. (I’m terrible at cross posting reviews but I need to get on this. I’m going to try for 10 a week and see where that gets me.)
  • Catch up on my back log of reviews to cross post. (See above.)
  • Respond to comments the day they are received. (I’ve fallen behind on doing this again…)
  • Collaborate more with other bloggers (Honestly I don’t think I’ve collaborated at all this year. I’m just so in my head these days.)
  • Create a new feature in 2018 (Will try to do this in the back half of 2018.)
  • Participate in more blog tours (I’ve participating in a couple so far but I try to only pick titles I know I’ll love.)

Reading Goals

  • Read at least 120 books including comics and novellas. (Already at the 100 mark!)
  • Complete all reading challenges. (I’m doing great on my Debut Author Challenge and Rock My TBR is going well now that I’m making monthly TBR choices. The Read Harder one is around the halfway mark so all in all I’m on course.
  • ReRead at least 8 titles. (3 down, more to go…)
  • Read more non-fiction, at least 6 books. (Massive failure on this one. Haven’t done a single one.)
  • Read at least 10 middle grade titles. (Done! Hopefully I’ll read even more!)

Life Goals

  • Be more politically active, call my reps consistently, work to re-elect Senator Sherrod Brown. (I’m more politically active than I’ve ever been even though there’s more I could be doing. With November approaching I’ll be active in campaigns as well as donating to at risk senators.)
  • Save! Save! Save! Get my finances in order and control my spending on frivolous items. (Hahahaha! I suck at saving money but I do need to make a plan going forward.)
  • Exercise 3 times a week (Try yoga, lift weights, find what works best for me). (I’ve actually been doing yoga pretty much every day since the beginning of the year. Yoga with Adriene is a godsend and I’m really enjoying it.)
  • Cook at least one meal every single week (try new recipes, use the air fryer and spiralizer), and eat at least two servings of vegetables each day. (I’ve actually been doing alright with eating more fruit/vegetables. Plus I’m doing a CSA for the Summer and Fall so that helps tremendously. I still need to up my cooking game though.)
  • Return to Duolingo and practice Spanish every day. (I gave up on this one and I don’t think I’m going to pick it back up.)
  • Be more active in life: take trips, spend time with friends, venture outside, etc. (I’m always going to be an introvert but I think I’ve made a solid start to branching out. I spend a lot of time at my neighbors now playing with the kids and I’ve got a couple trips planned later in the year. This will constantly be in progress though.)

Clearly I’ve fallen a lot behind on the blogging front goals wise but my overall reading has been pretty great and life has had it’s ups and down. Hopefully this check in will hold me accountable and I can accomplish more goals this year than ever before.

How are your goals coming along for 2018? Got any tips on how I can better succeed?

Let me know in the comments below!