Apr 30, 2022

Challenges Monthly Wrap-up: April

CHALLENGE 1: 2022 Discussion Challenge

Info Dump Bookish Tag
TBR Alphabet Tag


Okay, I didn't do so hot this month. On any scale apparently! I'm at 16/35, so I'm not doing too bad end goal wise!

CHALLENGE 2: 2022 Series Ender Reading Challenge

None this month! Oh the pain of not even getting 1 done! Currently at 2/5 series completed. The problem here is that I mainly have series I need to start and finish (mainly trilogies).

CHALLENGE 3: The Backlist Reader Challenge 2022

King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair (11/30/21)

I'm at 6/20 currently...feeling a wee bit uneasy at the moment.

CHALLENGE 4: 2022 New Release Challenge

Autumn's Wolf by Alyssa Rose Ivy (3/31/22)
Trouble with the Cursed by Kim Harrison (6/14/21)--Review to come at a later date

Apr 29, 2022

Book Blogger Hop



This meme is hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addict!


This week's question is: Which do you think is more likely--clean utopia or frenzied dystopia? (submitted by Julie @ Stepping Stone Book Reviews

MY ANSWER: Honestly with the way life has been the last few years, especially with the pandemic, I totally see a frenzied dystopia being more likely. The one with the most TP will rule them all...

But yeah, I mean seriously, having to venture out to the stores during this time and trying like hell to get a pack...that was honestly more harrowing than I anticipated. Then you see people trying to sell the crap on eBay or Amazon...it was disgusting.

So frenzied dystopia all the way! Though I would prefer a clean utopia!

Apr 28, 2022

Re-Review--Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

How far would you go for happily ever after?

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings...until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….



Yes friends you read that right! I’ve re-read another book once again! I picked up Stephanie Garber’s Once Upon a Broken Heart in a re-read and it wasn’t long before I was falling under Garber’s spell once more! There is something to having a foggy memory because I was captivated and surprised once again with the magic of this story!

Evangeline is a person who is pure good. She’s a strong heroine who believes in true love, fantasy, magic, and happily-ever-afters. Even when she learns her beloved, Luc, is marrying her stepsister, Marisol, Evangeline believes there must be magic involved somehow. So she turns to the Prince of Hearts for help. Bargaining with a Fate is never a good idea and Evangeline soon learns this the hard way.

After turning herself into stone to save everyone, Evangeline returns to her world a few weeks later to find a lot has happened and no one came to save her in turn. It was actually another Fate who had an alternative cure. Evangeline is soon called upon by our favorite queen to attend an ascension of Prince Apollo in the Magnificent North. Having a desire to visit her mother’s homeland and take a break from her life in the south she agrees, as long as she can bring her heartbroken stepsister with her.

Honestly this luncheon with Scarlett and Tella was one of my favorite parts! To have these characters interact was just as nice the second time around! Lol. I don’t want to make this a second review altogether so I’ll stop with my recapping here. 

I honestly can’t decide if the Magnificent North is my favorite place in this world or if it was the game of Caraval itself—which is its own world despite moving about to other cities! There is definitely a sort of lighter magic here though where Caraval left you unsure who to trust. Though I can say Evangeline still has that problem here too!

Despite Evangeline seeking romance, she doesn’t seem to be finding it. Her first love left her for another, her love with Apollo doesn’t go well, then there’s the strange connection she has with Jacks that just makes things even more complicated. I’ll be curious as to what happens in the sequel though because I know Garber will want to have a few more kisses involved and I love her for that!

If you’ve read any of Stephanie Garber’s books you know that they are all magical! Each story sweeps you away into its own world where anything goes. You could walk away with a full and happy heart or it may be broken once more. You truly never know what you’ll get and that’s part of the fun! I’m pretty much sold on Garber’s books for life now…I just don’t think my wallet can handle it!

If you have yet to read any of Stephanie Garber’s books yet, you find yourself in a good spot here. While you don’t need to have read the Caraval trilogy to enjoy this one, you can easily dive in and enjoy. Should you want to know the true story Jacks holds back from Evangeline, you can always pick the series up then too!

Overall Rating 5/5 stars—not that it could change really!



Random Thursday

Time for more fun historical and political facts from Shane Carley's True Facts That Sound Like Bull$#*t! Already I am enjoying this chapter much more than the last one. Even if I am not overly familiar with certain names and events!

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)

When Colombian cartel boss, Pablo Escobar, was at the top, he was spending $2,500 a week on rubber bands just to wrap up all the money he was bringing in. It was also estimated that he lost $2.1 billion dollars a year to rats eating the money in storage.

Jaw. Dropped.

(image borrowed from Encyclopedia Britannica)

Did you know Antarctica has the highest literacy rate in the world at 100%? Granted, it's mainly scientists who are on the continent, but the numbers are still there!

That's amazing! Lol.

(image borrowed from Folger Shakespeare Library)

Did you know that the brother of John Wilkes Boothe once rescued the Abraham Lincoln's son?

You are now entering...The Twilight Zone.

(image borrowed from Wikipedia)

The "Emu War" in Australia was a very real war that took place where society was trying to curb the emu population. The emus won.

That's insane!

(image borrowed from Listenwise)

In the time when Cleopatra reigned, she was closer to the moon landing than she was the building of the pyramids.

This is where my poor memory of years and time comes into play because omg!

Apr 27, 2022

Can't Wait 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.


The 9th book in the New York Times bestselling Villains series tells the tale of the rise and fall of the infamous pirate, Captain Hook—a boy who grew up.

Before Peter Pan and Wendy. Before the Lost Boys. There was just a boy named James who wanted to get back to Neverland.

As a baby, James Bartholomew fell out of his pram and was taken to Neverland. James is claimed by his parents just shy of seven days—after which he would have officially become a Lost Boy. Once he returns to London, he never stops thinking about Neverland. As he grows up, he hates his life in London, and everything to do with growing up and eventually becoming a gentleman. So he seeks a position on the ship of the infamous pirate, Blackbeard.

On Blackbeard’s ship he learns to be a cutthroat pirate, and eventually becomes captain of his own ship, which James is determined to sail to Neverland. With the help of the Odd Sisters and a bit of magic, he just might get his wish. But returning to Neverland comes at a price—and now that he’s grown up, the whole world seems to be rooting for his demise…

I am now two books behind in this series! Luckily, it's always been one that is easy to dive back into! I'm looking forward to Captain Hook's tale though!

TITLE: Never Never
AUTHOR: Serena Valentino

PUBLISHER: Disney-Hyperion
GENRE: Disney Tales
RELEASE DATE: July 19, 2022

Apr 26, 2022

ARC Review--Book of Night by Holly Black


#1 New York Times bestselling author Holly Black makes her stunning adult debut with Book of Night, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of Ninth House and The Night Circus

In Charlie Hall’s world, shadows can be altered, for entertainment and cosmetic preferences—but also to increase power and influence. You can alter someone’s feelings—and memories—but manipulating shadows has a cost, with the potential to take hours or days from your life. Your shadow holds all the parts of you that you want to keep hidden—a second self, standing just to your left, walking behind you into lit rooms. And sometimes, it has a life of its own.

Charlie is a low-level con artist, working as a bartender while trying to distance herself from the powerful and dangerous underground world of shadow trading. She gets by doing odd jobs for her patrons and the naive new money in her town at the edge of the Berkshires. But when a terrible figure from her past returns, Charlie’s present life is thrown into chaos, and her future seems at best, unclear—and at worst, non-existent. Determined to survive, Charlie throws herself into a maelstrom of secrets and murder, setting her against a cast of doppelgangers, mercurial billionaires, shadow thieves, and her own sister—all desperate to control the magic of the shadows.

With sharp angles and prose, and a sinister bent, Holly Black is a master of shadow and story stitching. Remember while you read, light isn’t playing tricks in Book of Night, the people are.


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

Holly Black’s adult debut, Book of Magic is a story filled with magical realism and a twisted plot involving murder and theft of items of magical power. In a world where power is everything and shadows are more than they seem, this is a story that will have you turning the pages long into the night.

In some respect, you could also call this book an Urban Fantasy but with more mystery than usual. The setting is urban and very modern though it did take a bit of reading to fully get an idea of this new world order. In a world where “shadow” magic is trending, everyone wants the latest perk added to their shadow.

Charlie is a reformed (mostly) thief bar-tending now as she tries to help her sister get through college. She lives with her boyfriend, Vince and sister and life is normal for the most part until an old high school acquaintance asks for Charlie’s help in wondering what her boyfriend is up to. Charlie has left her conning days behind her but when the payment is a favor that can help her sister’s college tuition out, she has to at least try.

What Charlie gets herself mixed up in is something far bigger than she could’ve ever imagined. A very powerful book has gone missing, Charlie suspects the guy she’s watching has it but naturally things aren’t going to be that easy. The most powerful man in the city, Lionel Salt is demanding the return of this missing book in just a few days time, if she doesn’t get it to him by then, we’ll, things won’t be good for her.

I think one of my struggles with this book started with entering a “new world” and having no idea how things were run. I mean we got some glimpses at what this “shadow magic” is like but it was still rather confusing to see how it applied to the world Charlie lives in. Is it a bad power or good? Usually it depends on the user but I still struggled to grasp why it was such a “thing.”

If that wasn't enough we had several chapters of flashbacks. I’m all for a well-timed flashback that contributes to the story or explains a recent happening. Most times these just felt like flashbacks for flashbacks sake. I mean most of these could’ve been summed up in a line or two of Charlie’s thoughts. 

The mystery element was well-played out though. I suspected a thing or two but was still taken by surprise by the outcomes. As far as romance goes there was a few moments of heat between Charlie and Vince but nothing over the top. Vince actually goes MIA for half the book or so, which is where some mystery element comes in. 

At first I wasn’t entirely sure whether this was a standalone or series and based on the book’s ending, series seems the likely bet! Despite a few hang-ups I  had, I would easily consider continuing the series. Most likely I’d wait for a finished copy this time around as I wonder if some of my confusion was only due to the ARC formatting. 

Book of Night is quite the engaging mystery read with many twists and turns. Charlie’s ticking time clock only adds to the tension! This is definitely an intriguing mystery read that will keep one turning the pages for its finale. While I had a few issues with this one I’m still eager to see where this story-line will go!

Overall Rating 3/5 stars

Book of Night releases May 3, 2022


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.


"Jacks leaned casually against a trellis covered in cloudburst-blue flowers and bit into another brilliant white apple. He looked half-bored young noble, half-wicked demigod." p 27








TITLE: Once Upon a Broken Heart
AUTHOR: Stephanie Garber

PUBLISHER: Flatiron Books
GENRE: YA Fantasy
RELEASE DATE: September 28, 2021

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 With a Weapon on the Cover


*in no particular order
**this topic was stemmed from a great many covers where the main focus was of a weapon of some sort...usually without a person with it!

10. BRIGHTER THAN THE SUN by Darynda Jones--a scythe; a novella cover yes, but the early ones had parts of Charley's body on the cover so I picked this one!
9. LOST BOY by Christina Henry--hook and a knife...with a severed hand.
8. REALM BREAKER by Victoria Aveyard--sword, with a hand holding it.

7. THESE VIOLENT DELIGHTS by Chloe Gong--sword
6. REBEL BELLE by Rachel Hawkins--knife
5. KING OF BATTLE AND BLOOD by Scarlett St. Clair--swords

4. FROM BLOOD AND ASH by Jennifer L. Armentrout--arrow and knife
3. THE SHADOWS BETWEEN US by Tricia Levenseller--sword
2. MASTER OF IRON by Tricia Levenseller--a hammer; a lot of her covers worked for this one!

1. IN EVERY GENERATION by Kendare Blake--stake