May 31, 2021

Review--Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Dames Blanches, Lou, Reid, Coco, and Ansel are on the run from coven, kingdom, and church—fugitives with nowhere to hide.

To elude the scores of witches and throngs of chasseurs at their heels, Lou and Reid need allies. Strong ones. But protection comes at a price, and the group is forced to embark on separate quests to build their forces. As Lou and Reid try to close the widening rift between them, the dastardly Morgane baits them in a lethal game of cat and mouse that threatens to destroy something worth more than any coven.

The hotly anticipated sequel to the New York Times and IndieBound bestseller Serpent & Dove—packed with even steamier romance and darker magic—is perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas.




I finished Shelby Mahurin's Blood & Honey far quicker than I anticipated. Though it's been a long time since I picked up Serpent & Dove I was able to get back into the swing of things fairly quick and oh my, does this book pull on the heartstrings and feels If you haven't picked this one up yet, I can tell you you're likely not ready for this one because after finishing it I can say I am still not ready for this one!

Things were chaotic when we last left Reid, Lou, Coco, Ansel, Beau, and the newly discovered, Reid's mother, Madame Labelle. They had escaped certain death and still have to remain on the run from more certain death. Lou escape Morgane, her mother, from killing her, Reid had to kill the Archbishop who was like a father to him. It was a great big bag of crazy and now that they've all had a moment to breathe, it's time for the crazy to start right back up again!

They are going to need help and lots of it if they plan to defeat Morgane once and for all. But the help they need are powerful enemies, but you know what they say about enemies sharing a common enemy...

Despite discovering that he has his own brand of magic now, Reid is still having a hard time accepting magic and accepting Lou using magic so casually. Though that would seem to be a good idea, as Lou soon gets swept up in her magic and it seems to be having a dark effect on her. It's gradual, and a little scary because you can see if hurting the ones she loves most.

It's not long before Lou and Reid must separate in order to cover more ground quicker with gaining allies to their cause. Reid is left to join a mystical performer named Claud who has a traveling magic show of sorts that everyone thinks is pretend when it's not. For his safety, Lou wants Reid (and his mother, Ansel, and Beau) to stay with Claud while she and Coco go see the blood witches Coco left behind a long time ago to gather them to their cause.

This book was kind of nuts you guys! The group starts off so strong and yet, it seems the very thing that drew them together will be what drives them apart and that of course is magic. There will be hardships fought and battles to overcome, both from outside forces and from within. It's a book that will keep you turning the pages eager to see what the outcome will be.

The book wasn't without its happier moments too. Reid and Lou are definitely being challenged in this one emotionally. Though I remember they had a strong enemies to lovers going on in the first book, it's not all sunshine and roses for them now that they are a happy couple. In fact, this was a story meant to make or break them...and the results will be earth-shattering! Though before we got to those results can we say wowza?! Shelby writes some of the most intense and seductive romance scenes that leave me blushing. This is most definitely for a mature YA audience.

The pacing to this one was not quite perfect, but not terrible either. As I mentioned, the group has a lot of planning to do to ally themselves with people to their cause, and that naturally takes time. Especially when not all of these people are what you would call friendly. Then there are the personal battles that arise that must be met and challenged and overcome or succumbed to. There's a great deal of plot afoot here and it's not always at a fast pace. It's handled in a manner that will still have you eagerly turning the pages though with a few speed bumps in between.

The ending...oh that ending is one you will want words with! Not only was it intense and mind-blowing and how you say, revealing in a sense, it's one that's going to haunt you. It was the epitome of dramatic and holy cow, that cliffhanger, because yes, sadly, there's a cliffhanger. It's a dicey one too because it's one that presents questions and problems for the future! I worry it's borderline one of my greatest pet peeves/fears in stories which I won't re-mention for spoiler reasons. But whoa. Thankfully, I read this one now and only have 2 months to wait for the next one!

Blood & Honey was a superb conclusion to Serpent & Dove! It doesn't fall into middle book territory. It's a book that will have you on the edge of your seat turning those pages as fast as you can to rush into an ending that you won't be prepared for even with preparation! I felt like I knew what was coming, yet I still wasn't ready for it. This trilogy is a work of art that must be enjoyed by every fantasy and magic lover out there. It's read filled with action, suspense, friendships, romance, and's read that will leave you breathless and needing more by each and every ending! It is sure to delight every fantasy reader at heart. 



Overall Rating 4.5/5 stars






Let's Discuss: Do You Like Big Books?


So the other day I saw a blog post We Live and Breathe Books that got me thinking and I thought I'd tackle it as well! 

Do You Like Big Books?

How big do you like your books? Is there a thing as too long of a book? Well, I feel like it depends. It depends on the genre, it depends on the author, it depends on the story. I've read many a book that I thought could've been shorter. There were just times when things began to drag and you weren't sure what the current events had to do with the plot. What was it about this moment that is helping to move the story forward, helping the heroine/hero get to their goal? Sometimes there's not an answer really. Sometimes there is. Other times it just might be a needed break for said heroine/hero from chaos, and that's fine too.

Other times you notice descriptions are just taking soooooo looooooong and that can drive me nuts. Some fantasy books might spend too much time on descriptions of this and that and you're wondering when does the story actually start.

Other questions, what is your definition of a big book? For me, I'd say anything over 500 pages. And I guess depending on your average read that could be a big book or an average book. These days it can be just over average for me.

The thing is, if the plot is still moving forward, I can enjoy a book forever, no matter how long it is. Granted I'd love to be able to read faster so I can get to the other 500 books or so in my TBR pile, but yeah, that can't always happen. Lol.

In the long run, it really just depends on the book if I like it big or not. The story is important, so as long as things are moving forward and keeping me entertained, I don't mind if it's a longer book. It's just with longer books, I wish I could have more time to read it quicker. When it takes me the course of days to read those big beautiful books, by the time I get ready to write my review, I've forgotten some of my initial feelings from the beginning of the story. So it could effect my writing the review the way I want it to be. 


So yeah, unfortunately I don't have a good answer. Yes, I love big books, but there are always other factors to consider as well. So what about you? Do you like big books?

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:

Rebel by Marie Lu (4 stars)


Review That Was Posted:

Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout (ARC) (5 stars)


Currently Reading:

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin



What I Plan to Read Next:


Capture the Crown by Jennifer Estep (ARC)



Other Posts of Interest:

Teaser & Top Ten Tuesdays
Let's Discuss: Series Spotlight: Vampire Academy
Waiting on Wednesday
Random Thursday
Book Blogger Hop
Stacking the Shelves







May 30, 2021

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.


It was another meh week. But at least I've the long weekend to still enjoy! Better yet, our company president decided to give us Tuesday off and I already have this coming Friday taken off, so it's a 2-day work week ahead!! Yay!! Other than that I've just had 2 preliminary interviews this past week. One was two weeks ago and I've already written that one off, but since it was in the same line of work I'm in, I'm not heartbroken over it. This Tuesday I've a "testing" interview where I basically take a few computer tests to see if I make it to the interview round. I hate these kinds of tests though because they're always timed and it makes me nervous and I make stupid little mistakes and all. They're just stressful. Lol. So wish me luck!


Here's what I got this week...and I might be doing a little online shopping at B&N, I've gotta check my backlist from 2021 still! Lol.



My Fairy Loot editions of The Iron Fey Chronicles books 1-4! These are so pretty! I plan to do a few bookstagram shots of them today! We've a family BBQ happening this afternoon, so I plan to use my morning taking pictures!

Then since I finally got some B&N coupons I went to the store and did a bit of shopping:

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout--yes I still need to read this series! I bought the first two in paperbacks signed, but then I freaked out about breaking the spines when I read them, so I wanted the hardcovers to actually read and had to wait for a coupon to help with their hefty price tag. So yay!
Kingdom of Flesh and Fire by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Crown of Glided Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I might try to start the first one around my next vacation which it looks like we might be doing a family road trip to my aunt's despite their annual Strawberry Festival being cancelled after they told everyone it was on. I can do a good amount of reading on that drive since I don't have to drive-drive! Lol. Fingers crossed I can arrange this reading wise! Lol.

Then I impulsively bought another set of bookmarks when I was at one B&N! In my defense, the B&N I was at last week did not have these! Lol.

Books Are Just Word Tacos--this one just made me laugh. You know because tacos are awesome and books are awesome with words!
I Just Want to Read My Books and Ignore All of My Adult Problems--truth!

Then about a week ago, Elissa J. Designs one of my favorite bookish jewelry Etsy shops was having a sale and I snatched up two of my most wanted items on my wishlist from her shop:

The bracelet is Kingdom of the Wicked inspired! It even has a smoky purple/gray color among the beads so it's reminiscent of the Fairy Loot edition!
Then I bought a druzy crystal necklace with a star charm. This one is ACOMAF inspired, but I just liked the color and the star! Lol.

And then finally, I succumbed to buying another bookish pop from Pages of the Night! I had a rep code to use and I just couldn't help it, I love this series and wanted a pop from a series other than Caraval! Lol. They're just too cool!

I bought Cleo from The Falling Kingdoms series. I thought back on my love of this series and wanted to have it as a Pop! Now I just need a Magnus to go with her! Plus, I really love this Barbie head! It looks so perfect on so many characters! Luckily she's far from my Scarlett with the same face. Lol. But I neeeeeeeds a Magnus now!! 

And that was it for me! Really, I didn't add anything to the TBR pile as I read The Iron Fey Chronicles already and Jennifer's books were already in my TBR pile, so even steven, right? Lol! What did you get?

May 28, 2021

Book Blogger Hop

This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!
This week's question is: Who is your favorite character...of all the books you've read? Why? (submitted by Julie @ JadeSky)

MY ANSWER: Oh that's a tough one. There are too many! Way too many! I guess I'll just go with the first heroine who got me hooked on books...and that was (ironically) Jessica from Demon in My View by Amelia Atwater-Rhodes.

Jessica was a young writer who attracted the eyes of the vampires when she wrote about them, not knowing that the stories she created were true. Then naturally, the one sent to kill her falls in love with her! Jessica was a sassy, take not attitude kind of heroine and I loved her! Must be a Jessica thing, lol!



May 27, 2021

Random Thursday


Let's see what other weird facts that we can learn about space from Shane Carley in True Facts That Sound Like Bull$#*t!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)

Did you know we can still detect remnants of the big bang? Its echo is still detectable in the cosmic background radiation.


(image borrowed from Wikipedia)

Did you know that Uranus was almost named after King George? The English astronomer who discovered it was going to name it "George" or "Georgium."

Not sure which George, the book didn't say. Figuring one from way back when. Also didn't say why the change to Uranus. I wish for more! Lol.

(image borrowed from The Great Courses Daily)

Did you know that matter makes up less than 5% of the mass and energy of the observable universe? The other 95% is made up of dark matter and dark energy.

Sounds spooky.

(image borrowed from Old Farmer's Almanac)

Did you know that sunspots are areas on the sun that are around 2,000 degrees cooler than than area around it?

That's amazing!

(image borrowed from Space)

Did you know that Saturn's rings are really thin? That even at their thickest point they are just about a kilometer (little more than half a mile) in thickness.

Never would have thought that!

May 26, 2021

Review--Rebel by Marie Lu


Respect the Legend. Idolize the Prodigy. Celebrate the Champion. But never underestimate the Rebel.

Eden Wing has been living in his brother’s shadow for years. Even though he’s a top student at his academy in Ross City, Antarctica, and a brilliant inventor, most people know him only as Daniel Wing’s little brother.

A decade ago, Daniel was known as Day, the boy from the streets who led a revolution that saved the Republic of America. But Day is no longer the same young man who was once a national hero. These days he’d rather hide out from the world and leave his past behind. All that matters to him now is keeping Eden safe―even if that also means giving up June, the great love of Daniel’s life.

As the two brothers struggle to accept who they’ve each become since their time in the Republic, a new danger creeps into the distance that’s grown between them. Eden soon finds himself drawn so far into Ross City’s dark side, even his legendary brother can’t save him. At least not on his own . . .

With unmatched suspense and her signature cinematic storytelling, #1 New York Times—bestselling author Marie Lu plunges readers back into the unforgettable world of Legend for a truly grand finale.


I finally picked up Marie Lu's Rebel, the epic finale to her Legend trilogy turned quartet that further expands the dystopian world she created almost ten years ago! Since I hadn't read the series in years, I decided to do the quick and dirty re-read by re-reading the graphic novels, which really did help with recapping everything that happened in the original trilogy and I was of course brought back to tears when things ended ten years later and June and Day were finally meeting again after Day's memories had been missing. Although this time we get Daniel aka Day and his brother, Eden's point of views.

Daniel and Eden have made a life for themselves in Antarctica. Daniel works for the ASI, an elite police force, if you will and Eden is finishing up college, being a prodigy himself. Though, Eden has always struggled to connect with people. The "kids" his age are more bullies than comrades. His only friend is Pressa, the janitor at the college. But Antarctica has its own series of rules where everyone has their points and the more good you do, the more privileges you have. Since Pressa comes from the "wrong side of the tracks" she pretty much has no privileges.

Then one day Eden and Pressa decide to partake in illegal drone races in the Undercity in order to win some money. Pressa wants to help buy her ailing father medicine, for that is one of the "privileges" only afforded to those who can earn points. It's there that they meet Hann Dominic who agrees to be Eden's sponsor in the races. But what Eden doesn't realize is that Dominic is not a good guy at all.

Daniel is actually working to bring Dominic in. He's a notorious crime lord who has hurt and killed many people all for his own gain. And now, he has his sights set on Eden to help him with his evil plans!

What I found so amazing about this book was really how no character in this story is a teenager anymore. In fact, I was surprised we were still calling this a YA novel since our past heroes are in their late 20s and Eden and Pressa are in their early 20s. Talk about trippy! Lol. It was still as enticing and intriguing as the original dystopian trilogy though.

And of course, what would this book be without June! June makes a return as well. She pays a visit to Daniel and Eden while on assignment with Anden, the Republic leader. And through Daniel's point of view chapters we learn that he and June have reconnected since that tiny moment after Champion. This book actually starts just a few weeks after that moment. 

I think the saddest thing of all was how June and Daniel spent an entire decade apart before reconnecting. I get that Daniel's memories weren't all the way there anymore and June was going to let him restart his life, but still it was so tragic. And yet, Daniel remembered June even if only in the vaguest recollections.

This story was also for Eden as well. For years he grew up being Daniel's little brother and he was just a young man trying to find himself, trying to find his place in the world. He wanted to help people, just like he did as a kid. 

The story definitely had its highs and lows. It's been awhile since I read a dystopian, so I guess I wasn't prepared for all the "normalcy" even with the high tech. I still enjoyed every moment of it, mostly because I was positively dying to see how things were going to truly end this time. We were given that tease of a hopeful happy ending for Daniel and June in the Champion, so naturally with an add-on to the trilogy, you were really wanting the HEA ending, for Eden too.

This is definitely a book to read if you read the original trilogy as it pretty much picks up where we left things back then. It would not be an easy read to dive into if you never read the previous books. True, the story revolves partially around Eden, it also has Daniel and June there too. The Legend quartet was an action packed amazing dystopian series that I would highly recommend if you were looking for that edgy kind of read!

Overall Rating 4/5 stars

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.


After solving the case of Truly Devious, Stevie Bell investigates her first mystery outside of Ellingham Academy in this spine-chilling and hilarious stand-alone mystery from New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson.

Amateur sleuth Stevie Bell needs a good murder. After catching a killer at her high school, she’s back at home for a normal (that means boring) summer.

But then she gets a message from the owner of Sunny Pines, formerly known as Camp Wonder Falls—the site of the notorious unsolved case, the Box in the Woods Murders. Back in 1978, four camp counselors were killed in the woods outside of the town of Barlow Corners, their bodies left in a gruesome display. The new owner offers Stevie an invitation: Come to the camp and help him work on a true crime podcast about the case.

Stevie agrees, as long as she can bring along her friends from Ellingham Academy. Nothing sounds better than a summer spent together, investigating old murders.

But something evil still lurks in Barlow Corners. When Stevie opens the lid on this long-dormant case, she gets much more than she bargained for. The Box in the Woods will make room for more victims. This time, Stevie may not make it out alive.


I thought this was a trilogy, so now I'm REALLY behind! Lol! But it's Maureen Johnson, so I keep buying them until I can binge them!


TITLE: The Box in the Woods
AUTHOR: Maureen Johnson

PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books
GENRE: YA Mystery
RELEASE DATE: June 15, 2021 



Three best friends, a lake house, a secret trip - what could go wrong?

It was supposed to be the perfect prom weekend getaway. But it's clear something terrible happened when Claire wakes up alone and bloodied on a hiking trail with no memory of the past forty-eight hours.

Three went up the mountain, but only one came back.

Now everyone wants answers - most of all, Claire. She remembers Friday night, but after that... nothing. And now Kat and Jesse - her best friends - are missing.

That weekend changes everything.

What happened on the mountain? And where are Kat and Jesse? Claire knows the answers are buried somewhere in her memory, but as she's learning, everyone has secrets - even her best friends. And she's pretty sure she's not going to like what she remembers.


Loving Kara's thrillers so I'm super excited for her next one!! Sounds like the perfect summer thriller too! 


TITLE: That Weekend
AUTHOR: Kara Thomas

PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
GENRE: YA Thriller
RELEASE DATE: June 29, 2021 






May 25, 2021

Let's Discuss: Series Spotlight: Vampire Academy


So thinking of a discussion post hasn't been going well, as you can see! Things have just not been going well for me lately, and I could never think of something fun to discuss. But then I checked my "maybe idea" list, lol and thought this one sounded good! So here we go!

Series Spotlight: Vampire Academy

Vampire Academy was the series that brought me back to YA. It was when I discovered that there were authors who were actually writing PARANORMAL books for teens! Of course when I read this, I was outside the age group, but when has that stopped me before? Lol.

I thought this was such a fun series! Rose was a character I could totally related to. She wasn't the whiny, prissy sort of heroine that I had last read about when I was a teen reading YA. There wasn't a lot to choose from back then and the heroine was always focused on mundane things and needless to say I was bored to tears. Way back then I wasn't blogging yet but participated in Rachel Vincent's discussion board called The Pride. Anyone else remember discussion boards? Well, here I talked with a few people a lot about other books and such and they highly urged me to read Vampire Academy because it wasn't at all dramatic on normal bland issues. And I pretty much loved it!

So a few years back when they said Vampire Academy was being made into a movie I was excited! You remember movies, right? Lol. Anyway, I went to see it and walked out with mixed emotions. On the one hand I was excited for it and it wasn't bad it was just...cheesy. It didn't have that EPIC feeling I get when I see book-to-film movies. It was just eh. There was no edge, no danger, it felt almost like how I felt when reading those ordinary contemporary books just with a few people with sharp teeth who liked blood.

And as most everyone in the bookish community now knows, Vampire Academy is getting a second shot at being made into film! Though for TV this time as a series. I think it was on Peacock? I know I don't subscribe to whatever it is currently...but I will eventually! Lol! I'm excited to see a book I love be made into a TV show. I don't think I've had this happen yet on a series that I read. So I'll be interested in seeing what gets done with it and how the show will run. Are we thinking one season equals one book? Hw true will it stay to the novel? And please please please for the love of all that is holy, don't let anything happen where we are left with a book 3 cliffhanger indefinitely! Lol. It does not matter that I know what happens eventually in the series, having that ending killed! And the fact that the graphic novels ended there, killed me!

So have you read the Vampire Academy series? Did you ever see the movie? Do you plan to watch the show whenever it goes live?

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.


"Somehow, my eyes catch a movement that's all too familiar to me--the sight of a silhouette high up against a wall, perched with perfect balance. I see the figure against the massive circuit-breaker board that I'd first seen situated at the entrance to the plaza. Even though I can't make out anything but his outline, I recognize him immediately.

My brother is here." p 114





TITLE: Rebel
AUTHOR: Marie Lu

PUBLISHER: Roaring Brook Press
GENRE: YA Dystopian
RELEASE DATE: October 1, 2019

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 Book Quotes that Fit a Bookish Theme


*in no particular order


10. You can tell a lot about people by the kind of books they owned.--Demitria Lunetta
9. "All books are special, dear."--Mary E. Pearson
8. "Holy borrowing bibliophile, let's book!"--Karen Marie Moning

7. I spent my life folded between the pages of books.--Tahereh Mafi
6. Books had always, always saved me, time and again.--Ann Aguirre
5. I could never get tired of being surrounded by books.--Alyssa Rose Ivy

4. Reading was an escape to a different world, a different life. Plus it was very cheap.--Sasha Laurens
3. I had always loved the happy look of books lining a shelf. Even the smell of books was the most wonderful perfume, that musty-sweet blend of ink and paper.--Jessica Cluess
2. "A book is always a door."--Melissa Albert

1. I loved escaping from reality, especially during times of trouble. Stories made everything possible.--Kerri Maniscalco