Top Ten Tuesday – Books From My Favorite Genre (Young Adult)


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

My Favorite Books in Young Adult Fantasy and Paranormal

Fair warning, reading lovelies: most of my choices are series. 😀 I’ll include links to all the books in the series where available, just click the covers!

Now, in no particular order…

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

I recently finished this whole series and bawled my eyes out. I was so sorry it was over. I have loved witnessing the evolution of Celaena Sardothien the past couple of years.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

So far, this series has three novels and a novella. According to Goodreads, Maas is working on three more novels and one more novella for this series. I don’t know about you guys, but that makes my heart sing. I love me some Feyre!

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I’ll be honest. When I first started reading this series, I was not a fan of the protagonist. BUT, bit by bit Laia grew on me. Tahir is masterful at character development. There is supposed to be a fourth book in this series, to be released in 2020. Ugh, I don’t want to wait that long!

Shades of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Such a cool series! A bit of a slow burn in comparison to some of the others on this list, but the imagery really sticks with you.

Caster Chronicles by Garcia & Stohl

This one makes for a perfect summer read. Don’t forget to also pick up the spin-off — Dangerous Creatures 😉

The Legion by Kami Garcia

FYI, we are still waiting on book three in this series because Garcia’s silly publisher didn’t purchase the third book…lame. I’m hoping one day it gets published because I flew through the first two books in two days!

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

I actually didn’t like this series when I first started it, but when I started reading Scarlet, I was hooked!

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

So many cover options for this series nowadays, but these are the ones I read. If you haven’t read these yet, just do yourself a favor, and do it! Jace and Clary, you guys! Ach, my heart!

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

The same Shadowhunters world we know and love from The Mortal Instruments, but set further back in time. Tessa’s love story in this is epic!

The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare

Again set in the world of the Shadowhunters, this trilogy follows a younger generation of Shadowhunters — teens who look up to Jace and Clary from The Mortal Instruments. I found this series riveting. Even though the books are gargantuan, I still sped through them because I couldn’t bear to put them down. In fact, I loved the main male character so much, Julian, that I’m naming my son after him. 😀

Can you tell I love Cassandra Clare!?

I can’t wait to see what everyone else has listed as their favorites this week. Cheers, reading lovelies!

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Monthly Reading Wrap-Up

Books Read in May 2019

Monthly Reading Wrap-Up May 2019

Wow! May was a busy, busy month!

Genres read:  high fantasy, erotica, young adult fantasy, contemporary, regency romance.

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

The epic finale to the Throne of Glass series.

Summary:  Aelin has risked everything to save her people―but at a tremendous cost. Locked within an iron coffin by the Queen of the Fae, Aelin must draw upon her fiery will as she endures months of torture. Aware that yielding to Maeve will doom those she loves keeps her from breaking, though her resolve begins to unravel with each passing day…

With Aelin captured, Aedion and Lysandra remain the last line of defense to protect Terrasen from utter destruction. Yet they soon realize that the many allies they’ve gathered to battle Erawan’s hordes might not be enough to save them. Scattered across the continent and racing against time, Chaol, Manon, and Dorian are forced to forge their own paths to meet their fates. Hanging in the balance is any hope of salvation―and a better world.

And across the sea, his companions unwavering beside him, Rowan hunts to find his captured wife and queen―before she is lost to him forever.

As the threads of fate weave together at last, all must fight, if they are to have a chance at a future. Some bonds will grow even deeper, while others will be severed forever in the explosive final chapter of the Throne of Glass series.

Claiming His Mountain Bride by Madison Faye

Pure. Smut. Honestly, there’s not even much story to this one, but if you’re looking for a raunchy (if somewhat repetetive) read, this is for you! And at only $1 on Amazon, it’s totally worth it!*

Summary: My mountain. My cabin. My rules. And she’s my woman – she just doesn’t know it yet.

I left civilization and my demons a long time ago, seeking solitude up on Blackthorn Mountain. Just one ex-Marine, a remote cabin, and the wilderness, with no distractions.

But then she turns up, blowing in with a winter’s blizzard like a very f**king big distraction.

Blonde, beautiful, and mouthy as all hell, even when I save her from freezing that sweet little butt off.

A rough mountain man like me should want nothing to do with a rich city girl like Katrina. Except one look at her sweet, tempting curves, and one taste of those sassy, pouty lips, and I want everything to do with her.

I saved her from freezing, but maybe it’s her who’s going to save my frozen heart.

We’re trapped up here for the storm, locked in a cabin with only the heat between us to keep us warm. Her wealthy, city family thinks they can marry her off to some rich little sh*t. But they’re very wrong.

My mountain. My cabin. My woman.

I’ll make Katrina my bride, and I’ll be d*mned if I let them take her from me.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (#2) by J.K. Rowling

I began a nostalgic re-read of this beloved series this year. It’s certainly a different experience from reading it when I was a kid. 🙂

Summary:  The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike

And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny.

But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone — or something — starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects . . . Harry Potter himself?

The Night I Lost My Father’s Gun by Azmi Abusam

Disclosure: I was paid for my review of this book. All thoughts are my own.

Summary:  Elon X has been caught all his life. Caught in a claustrophobic little corner of Washington D.C. Caught in the shadow that only an accomplished older sister can cast. Even his well-meaning parents pull at him. His absent father had seen a place for righteous violence when he named Elon after Malcolm X, while his mother quotes Reverend King even from the depths of her alcoholism.

Dreams of professional basketball help drag Elon through drab days, but those dreams end when he’s expelled. His mother starts using words like “military school” and “Montana”–not exactly the escape Elon had in mind. Before he’s banished to the Rockies, he needs a getaway of his own making.

Just for a night.

That getaway won’t include a tame dinner date with his patient girlfriend. He seeks the delights of a rough teenage underground, where rumors mean gang trouble and a secret crush makes thrilling promises. Come along to Sophisticated Ignorance, she whispers–a notorious house party alive with hedonism and violence.

Just for a night.

His mom’s Impala isn’t the only thing Elon steals. He heads to a secluded Maryland mansion with his best friends and his father’s .38. When the gun goes missing, he knows he’s in trouble. And when that gun is used in a double murder, he’ll know what it’s like to be truly trapped.

Maybe for the rest of his life.

Waking Up with a Rake (The Royal Rakes #1) by Connie Mason & Mia Marlowe

Based on the real event, The Hymen Race Terrific. Regency romance + devilish rakes = sizzling read. Book 1 of 3 in the series. Rhys & Olivia.

Summary:  To prevent three royal dukes from marrying their way onto the throne, heroic, selfless agents for the crown will be dispatched…to seduce the dukes’ intended brides. These wickedly debauched rakes will rumple sheets and cause a scandal. But they just might fall into their own trap…

After he’s blamed for a botched assignment during war, former cavalry officer Rhys Warrick turns his back on “honor.” He spends his nights in brothels doing his best to live down to the expectations of his disapproving family. But one last mission could restore the reputation he’s so thoroughly sullied. All he has to do is seduce and ruin Miss Olivia Symon and his military record will be cleared. For a man with Rhys’s reputation, ravishing the delectably innocent miss should be easy. But Olivia’s honesty and bold curiosity stir more than Rhys’s desire. Suddenly the heart he thought he left on the battlefield is about to surrender…

One Night with a Rake (The Royal Rakes #2) by Connie Mason & Mia Marlowe

Based on the real event, The Hymen Race Terrific. Regency romance + devilish rakes = sizzling read. Book 2 of 3 in the series. Nate & Georgette.

Summary: For King and Country, Three Notorious Rakes Will Put All Their Seductive Skills to Work.

After All, The Fate of England’s Monarchy is in Their Hands.

Since the death of his fiancée, Nathaniel Colton’s polished boots have rested beneath the beds of countless wayward wives and widows of the ton. He’s careful to leave each lady smiling, and equally careful to guard his heart. So seducing Lady Georgette should pose no problem. But the beautiful reformist is no easy conquest, and Nate’s considerable charm fails to entice Georgette to his bed. To woo her, Nate will have to make her believe he cares about someone besides himself–and no one is more surprised than Nate when he realizes he actually does.

Between a Rake and a Hard Place (The Royal Rakes #3) by Connie Mason & Mia Marlowe

Based on the real event, The Hymen Race Terrific. Regency romance + devilish rakes = sizzling read. Book 3 of 3 in the series. Jonah & Serena.

Summary:  When a royal’s intended bride is kidnapped, only a rake can set things right…

Wealthy heiress Serena Osborne feels like her father is determined to sacrifice her on the marriage altar. The Duke of Kent is negotiating for a bride, and the wickedly appealing Sir Jonah Sharp is sent to woo the Lady Serena on the Duke’s behalf. It only muddies the waters when she succumbs to Jonah’s charm. Repeatedly. But Jonah has a secret agenda—to prevent the marriage at any cost.

When Serena is kidnapped in a desperate attempt to force the royal betrothal, Jonah realizes his new agenda is to secure a bride—for himself.

A new edition of Settle Down Now by Leenna Naidoo was re-released in February of this year. Check it out!

Summary: He has secrets. She has cents.
Billionaire Charmaine Donnet’s search for Mr Right goes public in the most humiliating way. Her dating coach, and trusted friend Joss, has turned introvert Charmaine’s quest into a hit reality TV show. Events take a dark turn when one of the potential Mr Rights goes missing at sea. Charmaine is not sure she will survive this desperate Hart’s cruise.

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Book Blogs & Bookish Websites


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Favorite Book Blogs & Bookish Websites

I really like this week’s Top Ten Tuesday. In no particular order, I’m listing my top ten favorite book blogs and websites. Click on the links to take you directly to these resources. Hope you guys enjoy!

  1. Literary Hub. This website holds a special place in my heart because it is the very first bookish website I found. It is the best website for finding articles about literary fiction. They also keep on top of new releases, current literary trends, and perhaps the best thing about it, it leads you to other bookish websites! I highly recommend signing up for their newsletter so you don’t miss out on any new happenings in the literary world.
  2. Book Marks. This is the review portion of Literary Hub’s site. Is that cheating? Ah well, go check it out anyhow!  Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.33.12 PM
  3. The Bibliotheque. I love the aesthetic of this blog! It’s so pretty 😀 It also has a great mix of book talk, lifestyle posts, and helpful tips for newbies on things like Bookstagram.
  4. BookRiot. Another bookish website I found early on, and again, I recommend signing up for one of their newsletters. I’m partial to this website’s yearly challenge — Read Harder. I also really like their comics and young adult sections. Their writers seem young and forward-thinking, so I always enjoy what they have to say. Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.34.51 PM
  5. Howling Libraries. I discovered Destiny on Goodreads first, but then HAD to check out her blog. Honestly, it was her amazing pink hair that drew me in. But it was her thoughtful (and frequent) book reviews that kept me coming back.
  6. Fiction No Chaser. This one is a new discovery. The blog is run by Jess & Teagan, and what I love about it most is that their reviews come with a “pairs well with” section (for those of you 21 and older!). In their most recent post, they tell you how to make a painkiller to go along with their review of The Ruthless Gentleman. So clever! I ❤ it!: Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.36.14 PM
  7. One Book Two. Two ladies. One book. Two reviews. At least, that’s how it is most of the time. They don’t always get two reviews for the same book. BUT, I just really like that they try to give two points of view. Plus, they usually have a recommendations section at the end of the reviews where you can find similar books that you might enjoy.
  8. Simply A Book Drunkard. I’m realizing I may have a thing for literature + cocktail themed blogs…A good place for short, concise reviews. The blogger, Milou, is Dutch, and her reviews are great! I also really like her series Down the TBR Hole. She’s currently on the sixteenth post in that series (as of the time of writing this).Screen Shot 2018-08-13 at 9.37.36 PM
  9. CrimeReads. If crime is your thing, I hope you know about this site as it holds a plethora of information on all things crime lit. As you may notice, this is another offshoot of Literary Hub. I think I may be obsessed. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
  10. The Walrus. The link provided is to the Books & Fiction section of the website. Just trust me on this one. Most of the articles are thought pieces inspired by books. Check it out!!!

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As always, let me know your thoughts on the best book blogs or websites in the comments section. Or, link me to your TTT. Happy reading, loves!

#TopTenTuesday – Books with Sensory Memories


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Books with Sensory Memories

Oooo, this is a juicy topic!

Image result for salivates gif

Okay, now that I’ve distracted us all with that Emma Stone gif…. back to it! Sense memories! You know, things you see or feel or taste or smell that remind you of such-and-such time that your brother’s sister’s mother’s uncle did that one thing and everyone was like…

You get the idea!

The first book that popped into my head was Eclipse (Twilight #3). I was on a vacation with my parents and my sister when I was reading this. And, if I remember correctly, we were in an area where the only activities were 1) go out on the lake or 2) go shopping. So, I was able to do a LOT of reading! Anyhoo, I was on Twilight 3 and I devoured it and #4 in like a day and a half. So now anytime I see these books I’m reminded of that vacay!

This next book was a bit harder to come up with. Which books did I associate with other sights, sounds or smells!?!? I yelled at myself. Enter:  Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations. You know those little tabby sticky notes, especially yellow ones, yeah. Those are what I associate Great Expectations with. When I was reading it in high school, like the little precocious thing that I was, I kept sticking those little yellow tabs (on nearly every page!) in the book so now anytime I see a package of them, I think of Dickens. Weird, right?

This next sense memory is NOT so pleasant. Roach spray. Yep, you saw that right. Roach spray. When I was living in Texas those things were the scariest, hugest, bane of my existence ever! And when I was trying to read The Hunger Games, those MFers just kept coming at me. The odds were NOT in my favor. I really hope my books don’t smell like roach spray now… 😦 Stupid Texas cockroaches!

Uuuuh, uuuuh, apparently I don’t have many sense memories.

Any time I smell hot cocoa or feel the warmth from my gas fireplace it reminds me of when I was reading Queen of Shadows by SJM. There’s actually a photo of the particular night this whole sense memory came together on my IG. I was in my jam-jams. It was cold out so I had on my fuzzy booties too. I turned the fire on low, got my cup of cocoa and just read all night. Of course, that’s not the first time I had done that (book, cocoa, fire), but for some reason (maybe because there’s a picture of it) Queen of Shadows is what I associate with those smells and feels now.

Salty tears remind me of when I was reading Ned Vizzini’s It’s Kind of a Funny Story. Terrible movie by the way! Just awful, but the book really got me in the feels. I read it after I’d gone through a really hard time, and I will probably always associate it with salty tears on my cold cheeks on a hot summer day.

Lumberjanes vol. 1 is the next thing that comes to mind. My old office, think dungeony and soul-sucking, is what I associate with this delightful girl-power romp. Weird juxtaposition that!

All right. Made it to six! Now for four more…

Here’s another not so fun one. Period cramps. I had a particularly bad case when I was on vacation in Florida one year, which happened to be the same year that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows was published. So, now I associate period cramps with defeating Voldemort. I think that’s fitting.

The first year of college is always full of memories, sense and otherwise. I think maybe our senses go into overdrive that year. Or maybe that was just me. Anyway, I still remember the way my room smelled (like hairspray and mold GROSS), and the feel of the cold tile floors on my bare feet, and my soft, fuzzy blue blanket on my way-too-tiny twin bed, and on and on. My RA that year invited several of us to read a book with her. It was my first foray into fantasy, and I will never forget it, The Deed of Paksenarrion by Elizabeth Moon.

Bubble baths and witches. Those obviously go together right? Well, for me they do. The scent of lavender bubble bath brings me back to when I was reading Shadowshaper by Daniel Jose Older. Also, whiskey. I was inspired by the cover art and spent one very interesting evening thinking I could be an artist. Silly ole liquid!

Iced coffee and Barnes & Noble Starbucks = Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum. That may have been the only day I actually enjoyed this book. Hmmm.

Let me know about your bookish sense memories in the comments, or point me to your TTT.

Happy reading, loves!

 

 

 

#TopTenTuesday – Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

Best Books I’ve Read In 2018 (So Far)

Well, I’ve only read 23 books so far, so that doesn’t give me much to choose from.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I’ll just go in the order I read them rather than try to rank them. 😀

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Sky

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir.

Sisters of Sorrow by Axel Blackwell.

The Dance Gods by Kenny Pearl.

Talking as Fast as I Can by Lauren Graham.

Darn it! I only made it to five. Well, that will have to do. These are the books, of the ones I’ve read so far this year, that I would recommend to others. I loved them all for different reasons:  the Russian setting in The Crown’s Game, the characters in A Torch Against the Night, the edge-of-your-seat writing in Sisters of Sorrow, the inspiration I felt from The Dance Gods, and the laugh-cry that was Talking as Fast as I Can.

I look forward to whatever else 2018 has to throw at me (literary and otherwise)! Let me know what you’ve loved reading this year in the comments, or point me to your TTT.

Happy reading, loves!