Feb 24, 2020

Let's Discuss: Book Obsessions

So as I was writing up a blog post, an idea for a discussion popped up! It's going to be a bit hard to talk about in some ways, because of the subject matter and naturally it will always depend on the book in question! The topic?

What Makes You LOVE a Book?

And when I say love, I mean borderline obsession! Lol. For me that is the Caraval trilogy, for most recent pick. I love a good vampire book, I love Maria V. Snyder's Study series, to name a few!

I'll use Caraval for my answer to use for an example. I became slightly obsessed with the series after reading the first book. The world totally captivated me! I feel like in some ways, it started because the concept felt like the teensiest bit like L.J. Smith's The Forbidden Game, in that there's a very serious game to be played and that's about it, because L.J.'s series bordered more on horror than fantasy, though still fantasy but that's another story! The game here was a bit more simple, yet there were so many things to watch out for. The fact that you forget it's only a game was part of its allure.

I felt like the world-building to Caraval was just spot on! I know every book is not for everyone, so my obsession with this series won't apply to the casual liker and definitely not to the ones who found it lacking. World-building is definitely one thing that has to be executed precisely in order for me to enjoy and possibly continue a book. Caraval's world was mind-blowing! It was a darker kind of magic almost and that continues to be explored as the series moved one.

Another thing that will make me fall in love with a book are the characters. When the characters are ones you can relate to and admire it makes the reading so much easier! Scarlett was a fun character to get to know. She was the more cautious sister which I feel like I can partially relate to, but then Tella was the outgoing sister and fearless. She would say it like it is and wasn't afraid to go after what she wanted, and I feel like I was partially like this too. At least in terms of saying it like it is! Lol. Her spunky attitude was something I admired, her bravery was another because I felt like Tella's story was a bit more dangerous than Scarlett's, though things did start to get more dicey for her in Finale.

I'm not sure where I was going with this really, but it was something I thought I would try to put into words. And I might have. I think. Lol. I guess short answer is, world-building and characters are two attributes of a novel that when written extremely well are what captivate me. If written well and in ways where the words just flow right and the reading is smooth and easy...this is what keeps me coming back whether I'm reading the book or dreaming about it. It's one where the words never really leave me even if I can't recall them all precisely. When the book or series is always on your mind in some small way...then you know you're obsessed. That, and the 53...pending 55 copies you own of said series of course!

Are there any series/books/authors you find yourself obsessed with? Is there that one (or more) series/book/author that you just irrevocably LOVE?

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

Last Week I Read:

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones (ARC)--Review to come at a later date

Review That Was Posted:

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller (ARC) (5 stars) 


Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (ARC)--I decided to pass on writing a DNF review for this one. Basically it was moving too slow with too many "document" interruptions.

About to Start Reading:

Greythorne by Crystal Smith (ARC)

What I Plan to Read Next:

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles (ARC)

Other Posts of Interest:


Feb 23, 2020

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks! The meme is now hosted by Tynga's Reviews and Reading Reality.

Well this was another uneventful week. Nothing new on the job front. I'm still trying though! Fingers crossed that one of the new ones I applied for this week will pan out into something positive!

As far as book hauling, I did AMAZING!! The best thing was after a long grueling work week I came home Friday to an ARC box!!!!

I bought:

Finale by Stephanie Garber--the UK paperback! Oddly, it's smaller than its predecessors, but oh well! Lol.
Cress by Marissa Meyer--the new paperback! And my blog name still appears in the back! I was so delighted that I could still find it! 

From the publisher:

Crave ARC Box!
Crave by Tracy Wolff
Notepad & bookmark

THANK YOU AGAIN Entangled Teen!!!

Then I signed up to be on Julie Kagawa's Street Team and was sent this:
Shadow of the Fox bookmark

THANK YOU Inkyard Press!

All the Stars and Teeth preorder gift:

SIGNED bookplate
enamel pin

THANK YOU Imprint!

Then I was scrolling through Etsy looking for Caraval related items as I am wont to do on occasion and came across this gorgeous necklace from Thread Bound Studio that I immediately bought!

It's the symbol of Caraval with the teardrop inside a star inside the sun

And finally I received my Owl Crate! I knew what the book was going in and thankfully wasn't spoiled for anything else! Though I'm struggling to figure out what the fandom is for two of the items as there wasn't a "spoiler" card inside my box, so I'm kinda scratching my head over these last two things! Lol.

And that was it for me! Not too bad all things considered! Really happy with what I got this week! Now if only I could find a job. What all did you get this week?


Feb 21, 2020

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: What is your go-to recommendation for someone who doesn’t read often? (submitted by Amanda @ Give Me Coffee and Books)
MY ANSWER: I mean Harry Potter is always a good route to go! Lol. But I also feel like I need to know what the person likes! I mean I don't want to recommend all the fabulous vampire books I've read if they aren't into vampires. I mean I can also offer werewolves off the bat, other paranormal creatures might take awhile.
I don't feel like I have a "go to" rec for this answer. I mean, I struggle trying to pick out a book for my niece every Christmas now that she's getting to that middle grade level! It was so much easier buying her storybooks! Lol.
So really, all I can say is Harry Potter. And then perhaps a break down of paranormal reads, but no one particular book I can choose off the bat.

Feb 20, 2020

Random Thursday

Let's see what more fun we can learn through Leslie Gilbert Elman's Weird But True Facts. I really wonder where Leslie found all this information, because it's truly the epitome of random and bizarre and I love it! Lol!

(image borrowed from What To Expect)
The changes in hormones in pregnant women make it hard for them to sing. The rising hormones affect her vocal folds, so she's need to exert more lung pressure to carry certain notes.

I did not know that! Now I wish I would've asked my sister to sing something last year.

(image borrowed from Britannica)
Johannes Brahms is the man behind the famous lullaby that goes, "Lullaby, and good night." He also never married nor had children, which makes his fame for this children's lullaby more ironic!

(image borrowed from Pinterest)
Nocturnal Sleep-Related Eating Disorder (NS-RED) aka "sleep eating" is when sufferers leave their bed while asleep and wander around as they make their way to the kitchen and eat unknown amounts of food before going back to bed. They wake up the next morning not remembering anything as well.

SACRY FACT: NS-RED affects twice as many women as it does men.

That is very strange! I mean I figured people might sleepwalk and eat but I didn't realize there was a whole condition pertaining to it!

(image borrowed from USA Today)
Bedbugs are commonly found in mattresses, pillows, carpeting, and upholstered furniture, but they can also live in wood furniture, behind electrical outlets, under wallpaper, and inside picture frames, clocks, electronics, and smoke detectors.

SCARY FACT: When a bedbug feeds it can consume six times its body weight in human blood.

Nowhere is safe...

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)
In 1660, James Harrington, a political philosopher and friend of England's King Charles I was imprisoned in the Tower of London. During his imprisonment, he believed that his sweat turned into bees and flies.

That's some messed up cabin fever.

Feb 19, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine
Taran Wird, the loudmouth mistress of flame and lightning, didn’t want to attend the formal gathering of the supernatural elite. She did so only to help to unite the supreme beings in attendance in one common goal: protecting Taran’s sister, Celia.

Celia is pregnant with alpha werewolf Aric Connor’s child, the same child prophesized to save the world from uprising evil. Evil wants this child dead before he is born and, more importantly, before he can grow strong enough to stop it.

Taran and her werewolf lover, Gemini, put plans in place to protect Celia. Master Vampire Misha Aleksandr and his clan also swear their allegiance to Celia and vow to keep her from harm. The witches even cast protection spells around the manor to curse anyone with malintent who enters. Nothing was supposed to go wrong, except everything did.

Creatures that shouldn’t exist stalk the grounds and invade the premises, and every curse meant to shield the guests turns against them. No one counted on the powerful being who arrived uninvited. But he’s here, manipulating the magic enclosing the estate to work in his favor.

As body counts rise and allies become enemies, chances are Celia won’t survive the night. But evil never counted on how hard Taran Wird would fight, even at the expense of her life.
Excited for yet another chapter of Taran and her life! Though I am ACHING for Emme to get a series!!
AUTHOR: Cecy Robson
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: March 24, 2020

Feb 18, 2020

Let's Discuss: Goodreads Rant

Every now and then I spit out ranting tweets on twitter about something or other. Lately it's been about Goodreads. And while I do enjoy Goodreads to an extent, I love finding all the editions possible of favorite books, love getting descriptions and possible release dates for new releases...there are still some things that I absolutely HATE about Goodreads!

Goodreads Rant

Okay, first off, my #1 rant has to do with their contests! I check the contest page everyday now and in the almost 10 years that I've been on Goodreads and entering contests, I think I've won 5 or maybe 4? So basically I can count on ONE hand how many contests I've won. Do I remember every contest I enter? Goodness no, but "thankfully" Goodreads is so "kind" to remind me! 

They send me emails like: Hey, do you remember you entered a contest to win a/n (early) copy of THAT BOOK you really wanted to read? Well guess what? YOU LOST!!!  We hope you'll still buy the book eventually and read it! Have a great day!

Yeah. That's pretty much how they go. They might ramble a bit more about the book and why I should go out and buy it right away or in the case of it being a contest for an ARC, they hope that I will still buy the book when it releases in X months. I mean really? REALLY?! You have to go to the trouble to tell me I LOST A CONTEST! Who does that?! I mean when I run a blog contest on my blog, I don't email all 1000+ entrants to tell them they lost and then email that one or two people who won. I mean for real!! Why does Goodreads have to do that? I've tweeted at them constantly to stop it, but I feel like that just falls on death twitter ears.

And you know what else bugs me? The "Want to Read" marking. The way I function on Goodreads is to use "Want to Read" as "I Physically Have a Copy." Then later Goodreads is like, "Hey that book you 'Want to Read' has a contest up. And I'm like...I have it. Duh.

I know there's an option to select somewhere in the review status or something like that to say you own a copy. But that just seems soooo tedious. Yes, I know it's not sound logical. All it takes is an extra click during my clicking "Want to Read" and such. But I wish there could be separate tags for "Want to Read--but do not have" AND "Want to Read--it's physically in my possession." But I feel like this issue is just mine alone and I should just start, from here on out, marking all those "Want to Read" as "own a copy" as well. Then maybe I'll stop getting those emails.

Anyone else have these problems with Goodreads? What do you like or not like about the website?

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by Purple Princess of The Purple Booker

Here are the rules:

1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a page
3. Pick out 2 lines that are SPOILER FREE
4. Name the title, author, etc.

Oh the teasers! There were too many good ones to choose from! I am really enjoying this new series so far.

"'The Dangerous Daughters,' Wanda said, doubling over. 'What's next? Aliens going to high school in Roswell?'" p 76*

"Sam and Quincy looked on as the state police's K-9 unit did their thing. Admittedly, it took everything in her not to pet the gorgeous German shepherd. How did K-9 cops do it? How could they keep a professional relationship with their fellow officers when all she wanted to do was roll around on the ground and cuddle with them?

One of the mysteries of life, she supposed." p 113-114*

*Quotes come from the ARC, therefore they and their page numbers are not final.

TITLE: A Bad Day for Sunshine
AUTHOR: Darynda Jones
PUBLISHER: St. Martin's Press
GENRE: Mystery

RELEASE DATE: April 7, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books That Gave Me a Book Hangover (submitted by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse)

*So I adjusted the topic a little for this one because I couldn't think of many of my last couple of reads that left me with a hangover.
**in no particular order

10. RULES FOR VANISHING by Kate Alice Marshall--I'm pretty sure this is a standalone what with how things went down, but omg this gave me such a hangover with all those twists at the end!
9. DEFY ME by Tahereh Mafi--I still need to read the last novella, but whoa! Talk about killer cliffhanger!
8. RAGE by Cora Carmack--yet another one that ended with some shocking events that had my jaw dropping!!

7. THE BURNING SHADOW by Jennifer L. Armentrout--pretty much every JLA book leaves me with a hangover! Even finales!
6. HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS by Erin A. Craig--I loooved The 12 Dancing Princesses as a kid and reading an actual retelling with a twist was amazing!! I adored this one and was so sad when it was over, because it was over. Lol.
5. THE BEAUTIFUL by Renee Ahdieh--one of the very few people I feel like who LOVED this one!! That ending was killer and I am DYING for the sequel!

4. BLOODLEAF by Crystal Smith--just when I thought things might be nice and settled, this expands into a series which is when my hangover kicked in! Lol.
3. OPPOSITION by Jennifer L. Armentrout--I think I was more hungover by the fact that the series was over! True, we get to see the gang again through other series, but man...that hangover was harsh!
2. THE KING by Jennifer L. Armentrout--my mind was basically whirling through the ending of this one! So many cliffhangers...and just whoa!

1. FINALE by Stephanie Garber--and naturally my #1 is this one because yes, I am still not over this series!!!! Omg I need a sequel novella at least for some of the characters. Or how about 3 to cover my bases!

Feb 17, 2020

ARC Review--The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Alessandra is tired of being overlooked, but she has a plan to gain power:

1) Woo the Shadow King.
2) Marry him.
3) Kill him and take his kingdom for herself.

No one knows the extent of the freshly crowned Shadow King’s power. Some say he can command the shadows that swirl around him to do his bidding. Others say they speak to him, whispering the thoughts of his enemies. Regardless, Alessandra knows what she deserves, and she’s going to do everything within her power to get it.

But Alessandra’s not the only one trying to kill the king. As attempts on his life are made, she finds herself trying to keep him alive long enough for him to make her his queen—all while struggling not to lose her heart. After all, who better for a Shadow King than a cunning, villainous queen?

I received this ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

The incredibly talented Tricia Levenseller has done it again with The Shadows Between Us! She has written yet another novel filled with lush descriptions and amazing characters that will completely sweep you away on a fantasy tale filled with love, deception, and MURDER!!!

Alessandra is a very headstrong young woman, she knows what she wants from life and will do whatever it takes to get it. After having her heart broken by the man she loved three years ago, she killed him…even says this in the beginning of the book, so no spoiler there! She has high ambitions and after entertaining a few paramours, she sets her sights higher…on the Shadow King himself. Her plan is simple, woo the king, marry the king, kill the king and then rule the lands herself. Should be simple enough. Insert evil grin from the author.

Alessandra comes to the castle and instead of trying to do her best to woo him with her looks and presence like all the other girls in line to vie for their chance at a proposal, she ignores him completely. Which proceeds to get his attention rather quickly and after a chance encounter, Alessandra finds herself with an invitation to join his court and she finds she’s one step closer to her goal.

But things aren’t quite as simple as they seem, for the Shadow King believes someone is trying to kill him, like they did his parents a few years ago. He’s ordered his entire court to stay at the castle until the murder can be solved and it’s there Alessandra finds herself in the midst of a mystery but she doesn’t let it consume her attention completely as she has her own goals in mind still.

Alessandra makes friends among the nobility at court and shockingly enough finds herself growing attached to the Shadow King. He even offers her an opportunity to play his “intended” so that the council who has to help him rule until his twenty-first birthday gets off his case. Alessandra agrees to the ruse and naturally, a real relationship starts to form between her and the Shadow King who reveals his name is Kallias. A true friendship seems to be growing between them and it’s honestly a marvel to see, for we get so used to that insta love when pretending to be in love trope, I enjoyed that Tricia had her characters take their time.

I wasn’t sure that I would like Alessandra when you know from the start that she has murderous intentions, but after a while I grew to adore her. True, she has a vicious streak, but so does Kallias in a way, since he is the Shadow King, but even his character was surprising. He was built up to be this dark man of mystery and as Alessandra got to know him better, well, let’s just go back to saying it was a surprise. I also enjoyed that Alessandra developed real friendships with two other ladies at court. At first it seemed like they would be her friends by proxy, but a real bond began to form between the three.

I was also a little surprised to uncover a line here and there that lead me to wonder if this book wasn’t as high fantasy as I thought, things such as electricity, indoor plumbing, the mention of a handgun. It only happened periodically but it made me wonder if this wasn’t entirely set off in another land far far away. There are no other clues or hints to give this theory any validity, it’s just a suspicion I had, and really in the end, it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. Just something I picked up on when reading that left me in a whirlwind of other thoughts.

This was a very much action packed kind of read with a multitude of court scandals going about, think of them as mini mysteries alongside the greater one at large. The Shadows Between Us kept me thoroughly entertained and all the while I was dreading the end because I knew the magic would be over. I initially thought this was going to be another duology, but everything was perfectly wrapped up in a neat little bow and I am honestly thrilled by this prospect! There are so few standalones in the fantasy world that finding one that’s so incredible as this one is like finding a gem in and of itself!

The ending was another shocker! Just as you think things might be headed towards a cliffhanger kind of ending, we get a dramatic twist and reveal and it was ultimately thrilling! I didn’t see this one coming, though I admit to thinking something about the character at first, but then dismissing it as the story went on! Let’s just say he came as a complete surprise but one that wasn’t out of left field! At the end of the book, I was completely smitten with the story!

The Shadows Between Us is a page-turning fantasy that you will not want to let go of. It held me riveted from the very beginning and I never wanted the story to come to an end. But as they say, all good things must end. It was a refreshing fantasy read with characters who don’t conform to any norms, complete with flaws and all, and I think that is what made them so appealing and had me smiling through its ending! This is not a fantasy read you will want to miss out on!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars

The Shadows Between Us releases February 25, 2020

It's Monday! What are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date. It's a fun meme where we gather to share what we've read last week and our reading plans for this week.

Last Week I Read:

Crush the King by Jennifer Estep (ARC)--Review to come at a later date

Currently Reading:

A Bad Day for Sunshine by Darynda Jones (ARC)

What I Plan to Read Next:

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth (ARC)

Other Posts of Interest: