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Interview with a #bookstagrammer: Fathima Aashab

Hi everyone! Today’s post is a bit different from my usual ones as you know-if you’re a regular reader of my posts- that I post book reviews mostly. If you ever wanted to chat with a bookstagrammer who’s also a self-published writer then, let me introduce you to Fathima Ashab(@fathima.ashab)!

I interviewed Fathima a while ago and am so thankful for her thoughtful answers to my questions! She posts informative and entertaining Instagram reels(and videos) about topics like reading, content creation, book recommendations, etc. Please give her follow her blog a follow and you can find her book Hold Me While I Fix Myself on Amazon.

Here’s what she had to say about a normal day in her life, why book content creators should be paid, three things she would like to change about the book community and lots more!!

Continue reading “Interview with a #bookstagrammer: Fathima Aashab”
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COVER REVEAL: No Beauties or Monsters, written by Tara Goedjen

COVER REVEAL: No Beauties or Monsters, written by Tara Goedjen

Today I’m excited to participate in the cover reveal of No Beauties or Monsters by Tara Goedjen! For fans of Rory Power and Stranger Things comes an all-new, hair-raising mystery about a girl whose family secrets are as threatening as the desert that surrounds her—but whose quest to expose the truth may tear apart reality itself. No Beauties or Monsters will be published by Delacorte/Random House on December 7th, 2021!


Continue reading “COVER REVEAL: No Beauties or Monsters, written by Tara Goedjen”
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BOOK TOUR | Book Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

BOOK TOUR | Book Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the book tour for Act Your Age,Eve Brown written by Talia Hibbert, hosted by Hear Our Voices Book Tours. Eve Brown releases today and you can purchase it from your local bookstores & online retailers- links to some of which are mentioned below.

Continue reading “BOOK TOUR | Book Review: Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert”
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One of the Weirdest Books I’ve Ever Read | Book Review: What Big Teeth, written by Rose Szabo

One of the weirdest books I've ever Read | Book Review: What Big Teeth, written by Rose Szabo
Blog Banner with the cover of What Big Teeth on the left and Book Review in bold letters on the left

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo, available now from Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Continue reading “One of the Weirdest Books I’ve Ever Read | Book Review: What Big Teeth, written by Rose Szabo”
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BLOG TOUR | Book Review: A Pho Love Story, written by Loan Le

BLOG TOUR | Book Review: A Pho Love Story, written by Loan Le

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for A Pho Love Story, written by Loan Le, hosted by Colored Pages Bookish Tours. A Pho Love Story releases today in the US and will be available to purchase from your local bookstores & online retailers.

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR | Book Review: A Pho Love Story, written by Loan Le”
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BLOG TOUR | Book Review: Cold Cruel Kiss(Cold Justice: Crossfire #4), written by Toni Anderson

BLOG TOUR | Book Review: Cold Cruel Kiss(Cold Justice: Crossfire #4), written by Toni Anderson

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Cold Cruel Kiss, written by Toni Anderson, available now from all major retailers.

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR | Book Review: Cold Cruel Kiss(Cold Justice: Crossfire #4), written by Toni Anderson”
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Netflix Adaptations and me.. let’s talk about the upcoming adaptation of Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I

Netflix Adaptations and me.. let's talk about the upcoming adaptation of Julia Quinn's The Duke and I

Hello everyone! Lately, I haven’t felt like blogging and have been putting all my energy into my Instagram(and reading some). Now that finals are over, I really wanna kick procrastination’s a** , so here I am. This blog post – i am hoping – will be the start of a series of posts where I talk about TV shows or movies I’m excited about.

Continue reading “Netflix Adaptations and me.. let’s talk about the upcoming adaptation of Julia Quinn’s The Duke and I”
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COVER REVEAL: An Heir Comes to Rise, written by C.C. Peñaranda

An Heir Comes to Rise, written by C.C. Peñaranda

Today I’m excited to participate in the cover reveal of An Heir Comes to Rise by C.C. Peñaranda! Fans of A Court of Thorns & Roses and Red Queen will enjoy this first instalment in a gripping new fantasy series that portrays the unbreakable strength of friendship, the struggle for honor, and the ache of sacrifice. An Heir Comes to Rise releases on February 25th, 2021!


Continue reading “COVER REVEAL: An Heir Comes to Rise, written by C.C. Peñaranda”
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BLOG TOUR | Book Review: The Diabolical Bones(Brontë Sisters Mystery #2), written by Bella Ellis

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for The Diabolical Bones, written by Bella Ellis, published and hosted by Hodder and Stoughton.

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR | Book Review: The Diabolical Bones(Brontë Sisters Mystery #2), written by Bella Ellis”
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BLOG TOUR | Excerpt: People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for People of Abandoned Character written by Clare Whitfield, published by Head of Zeus and hosted by Midas PR. If you’re looking to read a unique take on the story of Jack the Ripper and revisit Victorian London, then look no further. Thanks to the publisher for sharing an excerpt from the story!

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR | Excerpt: People of Abandoned Character by Clare Whitfield”
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BLOG TOUR | Excerpt: Secrets in the Dark, written by Darcy Coates

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Secrets in the Dark – Book 2 in the Black winter series, written by Darcy Coates, published by Sourcebooks Fire and hosted by Midas PR.

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR | Excerpt: Secrets in the Dark, written by Darcy Coates”
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BLOG TOUR | Book Review: Even If We Break, written by Marieke Nijkamp

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Even If We Break, written by Marieke Nijkamp, published by Sourcebooks Fire and hosted by Midas PR.

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR | Book Review: Even If We Break, written by Marieke Nijkamp”
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Book Review: A Sweet Mess, written by Jayci Lee

Hello everyone! How are you all doing? I know, I know, that you must be getting tired of being asked this question! But, seriously, I hope you’re okay and even if you’re not..that’s okay too.

Today, I’m bringing you a book review of an adult romance that has A LOT of baked goodies and angst! Without any further ado, let’s dive into it…

Continue reading “Book Review: A Sweet Mess, written by Jayci Lee”
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Blog Tour: Interview with Traci Chee, author of We Are Not Free

Blog Tour: Interview with Traci Chee, author of We Are Not Free

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour of WE ARE NOT FREE by Traci Chee, organised by Colored Pages Bookish Tours! My tour post was supposed to be published yesterday, so I apologise for the delay. This OwnVoices young adult fiction is about the collective account of a tight-knit group of young Nisei, second-generation Japanese American citizens, whose lives are irrevocably changed by the mass U.S. incarcerations of World War II. We Are Not Free releases tomorrow from HMH Teen!

Read on to learn more about Traci Chee’s upcoming book We Are Not Free and lots more!

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Interview with Traci Chee, author of We Are Not Free”
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COVER REVEAL: Blood and Honor, written by Miranda Lyn

Today I’m excited to participate in the cover reveal of Blood and Honor by Miranda Lyn! For fans of adventure, battle toughened fae, budding romance, and glory-destined heroines comes the first novel in the Fae Rising trilogy. Releases on January 4th, 2021!


Continue reading “COVER REVEAL: Blood and Honor, written by Miranda Lyn”
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BLOG TOUR: The Octopus, written by Tess Little

BLOG TOUR: The Octopus, written by Tess Little

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for The Octopus, written by Tess Little, hosted by Hodder and Stoughton.

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR: The Octopus, written by Tess Little”
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BLOG TOUR: STAR DAUGHTER by Shveta Thakrar

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar, hosted by Hear Our Voices tours.

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR: STAR DAUGHTER by Shveta Thakrar”
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Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes(The Hunger Games #0), written by Suzanne Collins

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, published by Scholastic. It’s a prequel to The Hunger Games trilogy and tells the story of a teenager who would later be known as President Snow.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes(The Hunger Games #0), written by Suzanne Collins”
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Book Review: Mexican Gothic, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Book Review: Mexican Gothic, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Hello everyone! Today I’m going to be reviewing Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia, published by Quercus Books(UK) on June 30th. The first book I read and loved by Moreno-Garcia was The Gods of Jade And Shadow. Mexican Gothic proved to be even more of a captivating and stunning book.

Continue reading “Book Review: Mexican Gothic, written by Silvia Moreno-Garcia”
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Book Review: If We Ever Meet Again, written by Ana Huang

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to review Ana Huang’s NA contemporary romance, If We Ever Meet Again, book one of If Love Duet. It’s available on Amazon KU and on kindle for only $1.31!

Continue reading “Book Review: If We Ever Meet Again, written by Ana Huang”
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Interview with Kit Frick, author of I Killed Zoe Spanos

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour of I KILLED ZOE SPANOS by Kit Frick! For fans of Sadie and Serial, this gripping thriller follows two teens whose lives become inextricably linked when one confesses to murder and the other becomes determined to uncover the real truth no matter the cost. This YA thriller debut releases on June 30th, 2020 from McElderry Books!

Read on to learn more about Kit Frick’s upcoming book, I Killed Zoe Spanos, her writing process and lots more!

Continue reading “Interview with Kit Frick, author of I Killed Zoe Spanos”
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COVER REVEAL: SING ME FORGOTTEN by JESSICA S. OLSON

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the cover reveal of SING ME FORGOTTEN by Jessica S. Olson! SING ME FORGOTTEN is a gender-swapped, darkly gothic retelling of The Phantom of the Opera set in a world of forbidden, music-based magic. This YA Fantasy debut releases on March 9th, 2021 from Inkyard Press/HarperCollins!


Without any further ado……………

Continue reading “COVER REVEAL: SING ME FORGOTTEN by JESSICA S. OLSON”
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BLOG TOUR: He Started It, written by Samantha Downing review

BLOG TOUR: He Started It, written by Samantha Downing review

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for He Started It by Samantha Downing, hosted by Penguin(Michael Joseph).

He Started It by Samantha Downing

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Publication date(hardcover): June 11th, 2020 
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 400
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Buy:  BOOK DEPOSITORY | Wordery 

Synopsis:

Beth, Portia, and Eddie Morgan haven’t all been together in years. And for very good reasons—we’ll get to those later. But when their wealthy grandfather dies and leaves a cryptic final message in his wake, the siblings and their respective partners must come together for a cross-country road trip to fulfill his final wish and—more importantly—secure their inheritance.

But time with your family can be tough. It is for everyone.

It’s even harder when you’re all keeping secrets and trying to forget a memory—a missing person, an act of revenge, the man in the black truck who won’t stop following your car—and especially when at least one of you is a killer and there’s a body in the trunk. Just to name a few reasons.

But money is a powerful motivator. It is for everyone.

Continue reading “BLOG TOUR: He Started It, written by Samantha Downing review”
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DARK SKIES(DARK SHORES #2) by DANIELLE L. JENSEN BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY

DARK SKIES(DARK SHORES #2) by DANIELLE L. JENSEN BLOG TOUR + GIVEAWAY

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen hosted by FFBC! It’s the second book in the Dark Shores series but there are new protagonists this time around.

Dark Skies(Dark Shores#2) by Danielle L. Jensen

Publication date: May 5th, 2020 
Publisher: Tor Teen
Pages: 464
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy
Buy: GOODREADS | BOOK DEPOSITORYWordery | B&N

Synopsis:

A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST
Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath – and his heart – to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most—but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned—all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.

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– My Thoughts –

You don’t need to read Dark Shores to read Dark Skies as it’s set in a different world with an entirely different cast of characters..well, except one.

In Dark Skies, we follow Teriana’s(from Dark Shores) friend Lydia to a place called Mudamora where there’s politics, Gods, and so many other things at play.

The story begins in Celadon, and during the same timeline as Dark Shores. Lydia escapes from Cel and lands in Mudamora where she comes face-to-face with two dangerous things, only one of them won’t kill her. Killian, marked by the God of war and the commander of his King’s army, meets Lydia during a fight. He saves her life and in return, Lydia repays him by saving him. This is where we stumble into a whole new world; a world where a god would suddenly appear and bestow their ‘gifts’ upon you. The gifts can be healing, fighting, growing things, water breathing, etc.

I love Danielle Jensen’s writing which gets better with every book. I never thought I’d be able to finish this book in a day, but I did. The pacing is wonderful and even though there are so many things happening, you’ll forget your bathroom break and watch(err.. read). There are assassination plots, mysteries, magic, chases, a BLIGHT(Or, a virus. I should’ve included a trigger warning) zombies, evil god, evil army leaders, more evil people, more scheming.. There’s a lot of slashing people, and more darkness.

I loved Lydia and Killian. They were both compassionate, loyal, brave and so very human. When I say ‘human’, I mean that they feel afraid, helpless, anxious considering the fact that they were god marked. The other characters in the book like Malahi, Killian’s mother, brother, Finn were written impeccably well, with just enough context to their characters.

Overall, I would highly recommend this if you love fantasy, great characters, a couple that you’ll root for, magic, politics, intrigue, plot twists, and of course if you loved Dark Shores!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review and to FFBC for including me in the blog tour!


– Giveaway – 

Win one copy of DARK SKIES. Enter here. Open to US residents only! Ends on May 19th, 2020

Click this link to see the entire Tour Schedule. Make sure to visit the rest of the tour stops to get more chances to win!


– About the Author –

Danielle L. Jensen is the USA Today bestselling author of The Malediction Trilogy (Angry Robot), the Dark Shores series (Tor Teen), and The Bridge Kingdom series (Audible Originals). She lives in Calgary, Alberta with her family. Follow her on:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Dark Skies? Have you read Dark Shores or any of the author’s books? I’d love to you thoughts in the comments below! 

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Blog Tour: Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang(Translated by Ken Liu)

Hi everyone! Today I’ll be talking a little bit about Vagabonds, Hao Jingfang’s debut futuristic novel for my stop in the VAGABONDS blog tour by Midas PR. This has been translated by Ken Liu and has been published by Head of Zeus in hardback on 14 April 2020.

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Vagabonds by Hao Jingfang(Translated by Ken Liu)”
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TO HAVE AND TO HOAX, written by Martha Waters BLOG TOUR: REVIEW POST

TO HAVE AND TO HOAX, written by Martha Waters BLOG TOUR: REVIEW POST

Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for To Have and To Hoax by Martha Waters hosted by Headline Eternal! To Have and To Hoax is author Martha Waters’ debut historical romance novel set in regency era England.

Continue reading “TO HAVE AND TO HOAX, written by Martha Waters BLOG TOUR: REVIEW POST”
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My Magical Readathon TBR | First Year, Gryffindor House

My Magical Readathon TBR | First Year, Gryffindor House

I heard about the Magical Readathon last year and even though it sounded fun, I couldn’t participate. However, this year I have the time to participate and hopefully pass my O.W.L.s. I will probably be updating everyone on my O.W.Ls on Instagram as I basically live on there but I wanted an “accountability” post here on my blog.

Continue reading “My Magical Readathon TBR | First Year, Gryffindor House”
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THE VEILED THREAT BY SOPHIA MENESINI BLOG TOUR: 5 REASONS YOU SHOULD READ IT + INTL GIVEAWAY

THE VEILED THREAT BY SOPHIA MENESINI BLOG TOUR + INTL GIVEAWAY
THE VEILED THREAT BY SOPHIA MENESINI

Today I’m excited to participate in the bookstagram & creative blog tour for The Veiled Threat by Sophia Menesini hosted by MTMC Tours! The Veiled Threat is an LGBTQ Romance Fantasy-Adventure where pirates, court intrigue, rebellion against slavery, and romance clash on this first installment of The Veiled Duchess series.

Continue reading “THE VEILED THREAT BY SOPHIA MENESINI BLOG TOUR: 5 REASONS YOU SHOULD READ IT + INTL GIVEAWAY”
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COVER REVEAL: THE HUNTER AND THE MAGE(The Raven and the Dove #2) BY KAITLYN DAVIS

THE HUNTER AND THE MAGE(The Raven and the Dove #2) BY KAITLIN DAVIS

Hi again! I’m back with another cover reveal today. Today I’m excited to participate in the cover reveal of THE HUNTER AND THE MAGE by Kaitlyn Davis! Return to the world of The Raven and the Dove, where winged people rule the skies, a lost kingdom lives at sea, and two star-crossed lovers hold the fate of each in their palms. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!

Without any further ado……………

here’s…………………………….

THE COVER!
(
cover artist is Salome Totladze/@morgana0anagrom)

THE HUNTER AND THE MAGE(The Raven and the Dove #2) BY KAITLIN DAVIS

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Title: The Hunter and the Mage
Series: The Raven and the Dove #2
Author: Kaitlyn Davis
Publishing Date: September 21st, 2020
Genres: YA Fantasy
Preorder: Amazon
Add on Goodreads!

Return to the world of The Raven and the Dove, where winged people rule the skies, a lost kingdom lives at sea, and two star-crossed lovers hold the fate of each in their palms. Perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!

A mage written in prophecy…


When Lyana wakes in the Sea of Mist, adventure is the first thing on her mind. But between her unruly new magic and an unyielding young king, the world below comes with more responsibility than she ever dreamed. An entire civilization exists within the fog, and its survival depends entirely on her.

A hunter forged in blood…

Adrift at sea on a ship full of strangers, Rafe fights to cope with his new reality. He’ll do anything to return to the sky and the people he left behind. When a surprising offer comes his way, he instantly accepts, sparing no time to consider the consequences.

Loyalties are tested and an ancient war begins anew…

With rebellion in her heart, Cassi defies her king and befriends the prince she’s been ordered to kill. Oblivious to the threat, Xander welcomes her into his inner circle, determined to rescue his mate. As one works to help and the other to hinder, an ancient enemy stirs, forcing Cassi to choose between trusting the man who broke her heart and turning her back on everything she’s ever known. With even more romance, angst, and stunning betrayal than ever before, scroll up and click buy now to continue the adventure!

ABOUT THE RAVEN AND THE DOVE:

The Raven and the Dove

Add The Raven and the Dove (book 1) to your TBR!

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository


International Cover Reveal Giveaway!

Head over to my Instagram account to enter the cover reveal giveaway to win a hardcover copy of The Raven and the Dove! (And check the hashtag #TheHunterandtheMageCoverReveal to get in more entries!)


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publishers Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.” 

Bestselling author Kaitlyn Davis writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publishers Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.”

To learn more about her contemporary romance novels, visit her Goodreads author page for Kay Marie here: https://www.goodreads.com/Kay_Marie

Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family.

Website|Twitter|Goodreads |Instagram

Hosted by:

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COVER REVEAL: CRUSH( Crave #2) by Tracy Wolff

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to host the cover reveal for Crush, the sequel to Crave by Tracy Wolff. Crush, a YA paranormal, will be published by Entangled Teen but the date has not yet been revealed!

Without any further ado, here’s the cover:

Crush by Tracy Wolff

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Jaxon and Grace’s story continues in New York Times bestselling author Tracy Wolff’s captivating sequel to Crave.

 I’m in the fight of my life. For my humanity. For Jaxon. And for the world I’ve only just begun to be a part of. I’m all in, even if saving the people I love means I risk losing myself forever.

ABOUT CRAVE:

Crave by Tracy Wolff cover

My whole world changed when I stepped inside the academy. Nothing is right about this place or the other students in it. Here I am, a mere mortal among gods…or monsters. I still can’t decide which of these warring factions I belong to, if I belong at all. I only know the one thing that unites them is their hatred of me.

Then there’s Jaxon Vega. A vampire with deadly secrets who hasn’t felt anything for a hundred years. But there’s something about him that calls to me, something broken in him that somehow fits with what’s broken in me.

Which could spell death for us all.

Because Jaxon walled himself off for a reason. And now someone wants to wake a sleeping monster, and I’m wondering if I was brought here intentionally—as the bait.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Tracy Wolff is a lover of vampires, dragons, and all things that go bump in the night. A onetime English professor, she now devotes all her time to writing dark and romantic stories with tortured heroes and kick-butt heroines. She has written all her sixty-plus novels from her home in Austin, Texas, which she shares with her family.  You can find her on Goodreads or her website

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ARC Review: My Dark Vanessa, written by Kate Elizabeth Russell

ARC Review: My Dark Vanessa, written by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Hi everyone! Today I’ll be reviewing My Dark Vanessa and while it has been on my list of 2020 releases to look out for, the book was too dark for me to review it in depth. This book deals with topics such as child grooming and sexual abuse so be prepared before you dive into it.

Night Spinner by Addie Thorley

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell

Publication date: March 10th, 2020 
Publisher: Harper Collins/ Fourth Estate
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction, Adult
Buy: Book DepositoryWordery 

Synopsis:

Exploring the psychological dynamics of the relationship between a precocious yet naïve teenage girl and her magnetic and manipulative teacher, a brilliant, all-consuming read that marks the explosive debut of an extraordinary new writer.

2000. Bright, ambitious, and yearning for adulthood, fifteen-year-old Vanessa Wye becomes entangled in an affair with Jacob Strane, her magnetic and guileful forty-two-year-old English teacher.
2017. Amid the rising wave of allegations against powerful men, a reckoning is coming due. Strane has been accused of sexual abuse by a former student, who reaches out to Vanessa, and now Vanessa suddenly finds herself facing an impossible choice: remain silent, firm in the belief that her teenage self willingly engaged in this relationship, or redefine herself and the events of her past. But how can Vanessa reject her first love, the man who fundamentally transformed her and has been a persistent presence in her life? Is it possible that the man she loved as a teenager—and who professed to worship only her—may be far different from what she has always believed?

Alternating between Vanessa’s present and her past, My Dark Vanessa juxtaposes memory and trauma with the breathless excitement of a teenage girl discovering the power her own body can wield. Thought-provoking and impossible to put down, this is a masterful portrayal of troubled adolescence and its repercussions that raises vital questions about agency, consent, complicity, and victimhood. Written with the haunting intimacy of The Girls and the creeping intensity of Room, My Dark Vanessa is an era-defining novel that brilliantly captures and reflects the shifting cultural mores transforming our relationships and society itself.

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– My Thoughts –

My Dark Vanessa is one of the most uncomfortable reads I’ve had the pleasure of reading. A sentence I never thought I’d utter.

We read the book from Vanessa(the protagonist)’s perspective where she doesn’t see herself as a victim at first. The entirety of the book has scenes that made me throw the book and rush outside to try and control my emotions; to remind that while the situations are hardly fictional but the story I was reading is.

The story alternates between 2008 and 2017 and we see how Vanessa is groomed and then raped by her teacher Jacob Strane. The battle Vanessa has with the realisation that she has been abused rather than anything else is described so painfully well that it gets under your skin. You grow up reading horror stories about mythical monsters and ghosts and whatnots but the real monsters are ones right in front of us, entangled in our daily lives. Teachers like Jacob Strane and other figures you probably see on the news and some you don’t see.

The book goes on for long, too long when it wasn’t really needed. Sometimes the lines would blur and it felt as if the sex scenes were romanticized. Besides those grievances, there were similarities to Lolita and #MeToo; another piece of reality would slap you in the face when you see how the people close to Vanessa responded to her.

Overall, I don’t whether to “recommend” it. If my friends ask for a recommendation, I don’t know if I’ll blurt out My Dark Vanessa as the first answer. This novel is dark and claustrophobic starring a real-life monster that will make you want to tear said monster from limb-to-limb. For a debut novel, if I were still rating, I’d rate My Dark Vanessa a solid 4/5 stars.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author 

Kate Elizabeth Russell was born and raised in eastern Maine. She holds an MFA from Indiana University and a PhD from the University of Kansas. My Dark Vanessa is her first novel.

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Thank you for reading! Do you read books that are out of your comfort zone? Will you read My Dark Vanessa? If you’ve already read it, then I’d love to know what you thought as well! 

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Blog Tour: Conviction, written by Denise Mina (Review + GIVEAWAY)

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for Conviction by Denise Mina! Conviction is out now and this highly anticipated novel has been selected as a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, as a book of the year by The Times, Observer and Telegraph and as one of the Guardian’s books of the month.

Continue reading “Blog Tour: Conviction, written by Denise Mina (Review + GIVEAWAY)”
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Blog Tour: Night Spinner, written by Addie Thorley (Review + GIVEAWAY)

Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Break The Fall, written by Jennifer Iacopelli

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the blog tour for NIGHT SPINNER by Addie Thorley hosted by FFBC! It is described as, “A must-read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, transforming The Hunchback of Notre Dame into a powerful tundra-inspired epic.

Night Spinner by Addie Thorley


Night Spinner(Night Spinner #1) by Addie Thorley

Publication date: February 11th, 2020 
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Pages: 400
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Buy: Book DepositoryWordery 

Synopsis:

Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.
Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.

Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.

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– My Thoughts –

I’m still me beneath these scars. I’m still a girl beneath the monster.”

Night Spinner is a YA fantasy inspired by The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which was not what attracted me to the book at first. The ability of the character to control darkness is one magic I have yet to read in a fantasy so I was naturally intrigued.

Enebish, our protagonist, is an ex-soldier living at a monastery now after she allegedly lost control of her powers and killed an entire caravan of merchants. She’s both physically and mentally disfigured, has no hope left until her adopted sister Ghoa comes along offering her the chance to gain freedom. However, it comes with a high price: Enebish has to work with the rebels as a spy. The only one on her side is her friend Serik who believes in her with all his heart.

“I want to claw these thoughts from my head, but, like parasites, they’ve already burrowed too deep.”

What I didn’t like was how naïve the character acted at times though and I didn’t like the first half of the book. I loved Enebish’s character development and my heart really broke for her when we came to the ultimate twist in the story. Ghoa and Temujin were two other side characters who I was genuinely excited for. Both of these morally grey characters were someone Enebish was glad to follow(after some persuasion, for one) and in the end, you end up either hating or loving them.

Be humble, for you are made of Earth.

Be noble, for you are made of Stars.”

I loved the magic system here and I would love to see how other powers work in the upcoming book(/s). I also loved that meddling gods and their children are present in this story as well. The story also has little romance and plenty of political intrigue so for those craving these elements in a fantasy book, you won’t be disappointed

Overall, I would recommend this if you’d like to read about a fantasy about a country in war and a girl trying to save it without losing herself. Although there are some similarities to The Hunchback.., I don’t know if it’d be right to call it a retelling.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review and to FFBC for including me in the blog tour!


– Giveaway – 

Win one hardcover of Night Spinner. Enter here. Open to US/CAN residents only! Ends on February 25th, 2020

Click this link to see the entire Tour Schedule. Make sure to visit the rest of the tour stops to get more chances to win!


– About the Author –

Addie Thorley is the author of An Affair of Poisons, a YA historical fantasy, which was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and is a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Her forthcoming novel, Night Spinner, will be released on February 11, 2020. She spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, Addie decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back. She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog. When she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider. Follow her on:
Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Instagram

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Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Night Spinner? If you’ve already read it, then I’d love to know what you thought as well! 

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Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Break The Fall, written by Jennifer Iacopelli (Review + INT’L GIVEAWAY)

Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Break The Fall, written by Jennifer Iacopelli

Hi everyone! Today I’m excited to participate in the bookstagram & creative blog tour for BREAK THE FALL by Jennifer Iacopelli hosted by MTMC Tours! Break the Fall is a fiercely told survivorship YA Contemporary novel about one girl’s determination to push her body to win gold at the Olympics, and the power of uniting as women to speak out. Publishing on February 18th, 2020 from Razorbill and February 20th, 2020 from Hodder Children’s (UK).

Continue reading “Bookstagram & Creative Blog Tour: Break The Fall, written by Jennifer Iacopelli (Review + INT’L GIVEAWAY)”
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February releases of 2020 I’m excited for, and so should you

Hi everyone! I know that it’s what..7th of February so it’s way too late for this list but I still wanted to write up a list of February releases I’m excited about, which can also double as a February TBR list. To find new releases, I use Edelweiss, Netgalley and Goodreads, but I didn’t have to search this time around as I already had my list ready because of some awesome publishers

Disclaimer:The buy links included are affiliate links and I’ll get a small commission if you buy from the outlets.
February releases of 2020 that I'm anticipating, and so should you
Continue reading “February releases of 2020 I’m excited for, and so should you”
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All The Water in the World, written by Karen Raney review | blog tour

All The Water In The World, written by Karen Raney review | blog tour

All the Water in the World
by Karen Raney

All The Water in the World by Karen Raney

Publication date: January 9th, 2020 
Publisher: Two Roads
Pages: 368
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

A stunning debut novel about a teenage girl and her mother, as they grapple with first love, family secrets, and tragedy.

Maddy is sixteen. She has loyal friends, a mother with whom she’s unusually close, a father she’s never met, devoted grandparents, and a crush on a boy named Jack. Maddy also has cancer. Deeply curious, wry, and vivacious, she’s poised at the outset of adulthood, ready to untangle all the mysteries that living holds—if she survives her teens.

All the Water in the World is the story of a family doing its best when faced with the worst. Told in the alternating voices of Maddy and her mother, Eve, the narrative moves between the family’s lake house in Pennsylvania, their home in Washington, DC, and London. Hungry for experience despite living in the shadow of illness, Maddy seeks out her first romantic relationship, ponders philosophical questions, finds solace in music and art, and tracks down her father, Antonio. She continually tests the depths and limits of her closeness with her mother, while Eve has to come to terms with the daughter she only partly knows, in a world she can’t control.

Unforgettable and singularly moving, with voices that range from tender to funny, despairing to defiant, this novel is a testimony to the transformative power of love, humor, and hope.

– My Thoughts –

All The Water in the World tells the story of sixteen years old Maddie and her mother Eve. Maddie at sixteen has cancer and Eve raised her alone after her father announced that he didn’t want children. Later, Maddie decides to reach out to her father and the two of them start keeping in touch secretly. Meanwhile, there’s Eve who tries to take care of Maddie with her parents, her partner Robin, all the while ignorant from the fact that her ex-husband and her daughter are in touch.

The story is narrated from both Eve and Maddie’s perspectives, and I kept going until I reached halfway through the book. I wanted to go on and enjoy this book but I couldn’t force it.

Overall, this book didn’t prove to be an enjoyable read for me. However, if you like how the synopsis sounds then go for it, you might love it. In the blog banner you can see four other bloggers who participated in this tour, so please check out their reviews as well.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

KAREN RANEY recently gained an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths with a Distinction and was awarded the 2017 Pat Kavanagh Prize for All Water In the World when the novel was still a work-in-progress. Born in Schenectady, New York, Raney attended Oberlin College, graduated from Duke University, and worked as a nurse before moving to Londonto study art. She lives in London with her husband and daughter, and teaches at the University of East London.

Thank you for reading! Have you read All the Water in the World? or, Have you ever reviewed a book you did not finish? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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A perfectly twisty thriller from Sophie Hannah | Book Review: Perfect Little Children

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

Publication date: February 4th, 2020 
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 336
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.

But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.

They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.

They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?

Trigger Warnings: Miscarriage, Infant Death, Abortion, Child Abuse⁣

– My Thoughts –

Perfect Little Children is a standalone thriller/psychological suspense, also known as “Haven’t They Grown”, from the author of The New Hercule Poirot Mysteries and other mystery novels. Even though this book had an interesting premise, I found it a bit too far-fetched in some places.

Beth, our protagonist, takes a detour while dropping off her son at his football match. My confusion, my “head-scratching” starts from here. I wondered why would she suddenly park her car in front of her ex-best friends’ old house. Flora and Lewis Braid who were once close friends of Beth and her husband’s, have now moved to Florida with their three children. After dropping off her son at his match, Beth drives back to her friends’ old house and notices Flora Braid entering her home. However, that’s not THE surprise. The surprise is that Flora’s two children Thomas and Emily looked exactly like they would’ve 12 years ago.

The story gets crazier from here on and I had to constantly remind myself that this is fictional.

After Beth drives back home, she confides in her husband and daughter Zannah and both of them are dubious about the whole incident but Beth has unwavering faith in what she saw. So, she starts investigating and her daughter starts helping her too; soon, they realize that indeed something sinister is going on. Beth’s husband was also supportive of her need to uncover the secrets despite being aggravated by her obsession at times. There are several twists which with the pace demand your attention to the book; however, all the build-up gave way to a very dissatisfying ending.

What I didn’t like was every time Beth reminded Zannah to revise for her GCSEs, she was the one who quickly forgot about it. I would’ve liked to see Beth’s son solving these mysteries alongside his parents and sister too but we see very little of him. I have already mentioned how disappointed I was with the conclusion.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you loved Sophie Hannah’s previous books or if you’re looking for a mind-bending thriller with a unique premise.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

Sophie Hannah is an internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction, published in 27 countries. In 2013, her latest novel, The Carrier, won the Crime Thriller of the Year Award at the Specsavers National Book Awards. Two of Sophie’s crime novels, The Point of Rescue and The Other Half Lives, have been adapted for television and appeared on ITV1 under the series title Case Sensitive in 2011 and 2012. In 2004, Sophie won first prize in the Daphne Du Maurier Festival Short Story Competition for her suspense story The Octopus Nest, which is now published in her first collection of short stories, The Fantastic Book of Everybody’s Secrets.

Sophie has also published five collections of poetry. Her fifth, Pessimism for Beginners, was shortlisted for the 2007 T S Eliot Award. Her poetry is studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK. From 1997 to 1999 she was Fellow Commoner in Creative Arts at Trinity College, Cambridge, and between 1999 and 2001 she was a fellow of Wolfson College, Oxford. She is forty-one and lives with her husband and children in Cambridge, where she is a Fellow Commoner at Lucy Cavendish College. She is currently working on a new challenge for the little grey cells of Hercule Poirot, Agatha Christie’s famous detective.

Thank you for reading! Will you add Perfect Little Children / Haven’t You Grown to your tbr? Have you read any of the author’s previous books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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a Slytherin romance recommendation | ARC Review: The Shadows Between Us, written by Tricia Levenseller

The Shadows Between Us

The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller

Publication date: February 25th, 2020 
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

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?

– My Thoughts –

“They’ve never found the body of the first and only boy who broke my heart.

And they never will.” 

The Shadows Between Us starts with the trope, “boy you might be hot and all, but imma still kill you as it suits me” but it quickly turned to “oh noooo.. boy you’re THE brooding hero of my fanfic dreams..how in the f-ing hell can I kill you”.

Alessandra, the second daughter of a nobleman, started off as an ambitious heroine. It seems that she has everything, riches to freedom to do whatever she wants but Alessandra knows that as a woman she has to marry someone eventually. Alessandra shocks her father when she tells him she’ll marry the Shadow King. Alessandra is confident that the King won’t be able to help himself and fall for her. When he does, Alessandra is going to kill him and rule the kingdom in his place. Of course, things don’t go her way. For starters, there are others in line ahead to kill the king.

I won’t say I didn’t enjoy the book because I loved every bit of it. There are pretty great moments( some of which I’ve included above) like Alessandra’s sense of humor, her passion for designing clothes, female friendships, moments of female empowerment, great banter and Demodocus of course! I was intrigued by the Shadow King too; not the King part but the “Shadow” part. The pacing was decent as well as I had finished reading it in two days. I loved the twist at the end as well. I couldn’t predict the villain until before two pages of the revelation but it was anticlimactic.

Now let’s talk about what I didn’t like. To me, it seemed like Alessandra quickly forgot about her plans. I didn’t like the Alessandra that we got to see after she joined the royal household. I also wanted to see her in the role of Royal Tailor or something..since there are paragraphs detailing her love for designing. There was also minimal worldbuilding so I’d advise you to steer clear of this if you prefer detailed world-building.

Overall, I would recommend this book. I think if you enjoyed The Cruel Prince, you might enjoy this! If you like anti-heroes, stabby romance, a character-driven fantasy that prioritizes romance, then go buy or borrow this YA fantasy when it hits the shelves on 25th February!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me an ARC in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

Initially from a small town in Oregon, Tricia Levenseller now lives next to the Rocky Mountains with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing and is thrilled that she never has to read a textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, playing OVERWATCH, and watching shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.

Thank you for reading! Will you add The Shadows Between Us to your tbr? Have you read any of the author’s previous books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf | Top Ten Tuesday

Hi everyone! I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday post and this week’s prompt is to list the The Ten Most Recent Additions to My Bookshelf.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases of the Second Half of 2019
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to Jana @ 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.

I love doing these type of posts. I’ve never written blog posts about book hauls, mostly photographed them and posted them on IG. Today I’m listing some of the latest additions to my shelf, most of these books I’ve listed below are gifted or received for review.

Perfect Little Children

I loved the last Sophie Hannah book I read so I’m eager to start Perfect Little Children

Rules for Vanishing

I’ve already read Rules for Vanishing already and oh boy..it was so spooky!!

Woven in Moonlight

Added it to my bookshelf because I love the cover and the synopsis of Woven in Moonlight

Diamond City

Diamond City: Got this as a review copy!

Got a review copy of The Shadows between Us. Read it in a day and loved it!

Serpent and Dove by Shelby mahurin

I didn’t read Fix Her Up by Tessa Bailey so I’m super glad I got a copy of Love Her or Lose Her to read from the publisher!

Husband Material is yet romance I’ve added recently to my bookshelf.

Added Don’t Read The Comments to my Goodreads TBR so long ago and recently received a copy from the publisher.

The Lady Rogue by Jennifer Bennett

Received a review copy of Tweet Cute and had loads of great things about it from my blogger friends!

The tenth Girl by Sara Faring

Loveboat, Taipei: I’m on a blog tour for this one!

What about you? Do you have any of these books in your bookshelf? Let me know in the comments below!

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Book Review: Almost Just Friends, written by Jill Shalvis

Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis

Almost Just Friends(Wildstone #4) by Jill Shavis

Publication date: January 21st, 2020 
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks-just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

– My Thoughts –

“Chin up, Princess, or the crown slips.” 

I can’t remember the last time I read a Jill Shalvis book. When I saw this pop up on the available eARCs on Edelweiss, I had to request it.

Almost Just Friends has multiple POVs, Piper(our mc), Camden, and Piper’s brother Gavin’s. There are two romances as well, one of which is an M/M romance that I would have loved to read more about.

Piper has raised her siblings since the day their parents died. She had to push her dreams and hopes aside to see to it that her siblings’ are fulfilled, until now. Her brother and sister are grown-up enough that Piper can finally sell the Lake House and go to university.

Then she meets Camden Reid at her birthday celebration. Although she bids goodbye to Cam soon after, a storm brings them face-to-face again! Surprisingly, both of them have a lot in common and that includes grief. Recognizing the pain in each other, they form a tentative friendship, a friendship that involves kisses everywhere.

That’s not the only surprise in store for Piper. Her sister and brother turn up announced at the lake house with secrets of their own. Will Piper be able to achieve her dreams? Can she and Cam have any future together?

Piper is my kind of woman. She is a planner and in her journal, she has all her hopes and dreams written to be checked out. When her siblings come back home, her planner doesn’t work anymore. I loved the whole family dynamics in this story. Each character has their backstories are that well fleshed out and it’s a treat to read their character growths as well. As I mentioned before, there are two romances. Cam and Piper’s can be described as “strangers at first but found out acquaintances later” kinda romance and the other romance was a “second chance” one.

I loved every bit of the story which was about overcoming grief, accepting help, being vulnerable and to let the love of others heal you. This story is also about hope and there are so many instances of it(all them are spoilers) that I couldn’t help but feel peaceful.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. This has a heroine who journals, sibling love, two romances that’ll make you emotional and blush a lot. If you want to read a beautiful story where people who were never supposed to find love does so and in turn heals others, then go to your nearest bookstore or the library and pick this one up!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras with her family and far too many assorted quirky characters. Any resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental.

 Look for Jill’s ALMOST JUST FRIENDS and get all her bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold. Visit http://www.jillshalvis.com for a complete book list and fun blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Almost Just Friends or any of the author’s previous books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Wait, is this another review?! *gasps* | Book Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer​

Wait, is this another review?! *gasps* | Book Review: Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer​
Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

Publication date: June 27th, 2019 
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Pages: 374
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

When his dad is caught embezzling funds from half the town, Rob goes from popular lacrosse player to social pariah. Even worse, his father’s failed suicide attempt leaves Rob and his mother responsible for his care.

Everyone thinks of Maegan as a typical overachiever, but she has a secret of her own after the pressure got to her last year. And when her sister comes home from college pregnant, keeping it from her parents might be more than she can handle.

When Rob and Maegan are paired together for a calculus project, they’re both reluctant to let anyone through the walls they’ve built. But when Maegan learns of Rob’s plan to fix the damage caused by his father, it could ruin more than their fragile new friendship…

This captivating, heartfelt novel asks the question: Is it okay to do something wrong for the right reasons?

TW: discussions of suicide, discussions of abortion, teen pregnancy, parental abuse

– My Thoughts –

After reading A Curse so Dark and Lonely, I was eager to read more of Brigid Kemmerer’s books and many blogger friends recommended Call It What You Want. I was supposed to pick up this book in 2019 but I kept putting it off; however, this wholesome YA contemporary was exactly what I needed after reading a horror story.

“I’m not lost. I want to do the right thing.”

“Most of us do,” she says ruefully. “The problem is that it doesn’t always look the same for all of us”

Rob Lachlan was once THE popular guy in school but now, he’s a nobody. His father stole half the towns investment money and people think that Rob was in on it too. If that’s not enough, his father committed suicide and Rob saw it all.

Maegan was a good girl but she cheated on the SATs and nothing been the same since. Her classmates blame her for getting caught and forcing everyone to rewrite the tests all over again. Maegan’s dad is also a cop and definitely won’t like it when his daughter is friendly with the son of a criminal.

Maegan and Rob are paired up as partners by a teacher, one of my favourite YA trope! At first, none of them wants​ to each other’s partners but later, they realise that their project meet-ups provided a welcome escape from their complicated families. This unlikely relationship between them was so beautiful to read; both insecure and presume the wrong things about each other at first. There were so many other lovable characters in the book: Owen, Owen’s mom, Sam, Mr. London.

The main theme here is how anyone can be misjudged and that we truly don’t know what is going on in their lives. Either we ignore them or treat them like garbage. Also a slight paragraph about racism was included through a character called Drew, when he says that at least people aren’t Rob like a criminal. Even though Drew’s delivery came off rude he was right, Rob got off easy because of the colour of his skin. If a black kid like Drew’s dad would have committed such a crime, the punishment would be far worse. Another representation comes from Owen who’s gay and it was so amazing to see his mother asking him to keep his door open when Rob was alone with him; a contrast to Mr London’s parents who wanted to get “rid of the gay” in him.

“Other people don’t have the challenges that we have, Owen. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have their own.”

Overall, I would highly recommend this. If you loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely and want to read more of the author’s books, then you won’t regret picking this contemporary up. I loved the Robin Hood easter egg in the story and way male friendships were portrayed. I was a bit miffed about the lack of female friendship in this book and I would love it if Brigid wrote a more present female friendship in her next book.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review!


– About the Author –

Brigid Kemmerer is the New York Times bestselling author of dark and alluring Young Adult novels like A Curse So Dark and Lonely, More Than We Can Tell, and Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury), as well as paranormal YA stories like The Elemental Series and Thicker Than Water (Kensington). A full-time writer, Brigid lives in the Baltimore area with her husband, her boys, her dog, and her cat. When she’s not writing or being a mommy, you can usually find her with her hands wrapped around a barbell. 

Thank you for reading! Have you read Call It What You Want or any of the author’s other books? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

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Blog Tour: Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson | ARC Review & Giveaway

ARC Review: Every Other weekend by Abigail Johnson | Blog Tour
Every Other weekend by Abigail johnson

Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson

Publication date: January 7th, 2020 
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Pages: 432
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery | Amazon

Synopsis:

What if your safe place…is a person?

Adam Moynihan’s life used to be awesome. Straight As, close friends and a home life so perfect that it could have been a TV show straight out of the 50s. Then his oldest brother died. Now his fun-loving mom cries constantly, he and his remaining brother can’t talk without fighting, and the father he always admired proved himself a coward by moving out when they needed him most.

Jolene Timber’s life is nothing like the movies she loves—not the happy ones anyway. As an aspiring director, she should know, because she’s been reimagining her life as a film ever since she was a kid. With her divorced parents at each other’s throats and using her as a pawn, no amount of mental reediting will give her the love she’s starving for.

Forced to spend every other weekend in the same apartment building, the boy who thinks forgiveness makes him weak and the girl who thinks love is for fools begin an unlikely friendship. The weekends he dreaded and she endured soon become the best part of their lives. But when one’s life begins to mend while the other’s spirals out of control, they realize that falling in love while surrounded by its demise means nothing is ever guaranteed.

– My Thoughts –

What a heart-wrecker of a book! Adam and Jolene both need to spend every other weekends at their father’s places at the same apartment. These two unlikely teens come closer due to some similarity in their life but on the way, they become each other’s family.

Thank god it was an ebook because I have shed many tears in many pages. Specifically when Jolene’s chapters came, I was bracing -like her- for any incoming onslaught. Although I loved Adam’s character, I loved Jolene’s more. Her passion for filmmaking seem to pour out of the pages, her grief would sometimes overwhelm me to the point I would start putting off reading the book once in a while. With all that said, I felt the story also dragged a bit too long and I hope the finished copy comes with some edits.

Overall, I would recommend this if you’d like to read a sweet and wholesome YA contemporary.Meanwhile, this coming-of-age story also deals with heavy issues like loss of a loved one, neglect and abuse(also sexual abuse) by parents. If you do read it, then keep some tissues handy ’cause you’re gonna bawl I guarantee you that. With that said, please go buy/borrow this book!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review and to the FFBC for including me in the blog tour!

Check out the entire blog tour schedule here


– Giveaway – 

Win one of two copies of EVERY OTHER WEEKEND by Abigail Johnson (US Only); ends on 21st January. Just click on the button below to enter:


– About the Author –

Abigail was born in Pennsylvania. When she was twelve, her family traded in snow storms for year round summers, and moved to Arizona. Abigail chronicled the entire cross-country road trip (in a purple spiral bound notebook that she still has) and has been writing ever since. She became a tetraplegic after breaking her neck in a car accident when she was seventeen, but hasn’t let that stop her from bodysurfing in Mexico, writing and directing a high school production of Cinderella, and becoming a published author.

Goodreads | Twitter | Website

Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Every Other Weekend? If you’ve already read it, then I’d love to know what you thought! 

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Anticipated 2020 book releases on my list | a post after 27365535 years

Hi everyone! It does feel more than a million years since I last posted on here. I’ve been writing blog post ideas but never could I get my fingers to type up one. Will I do better at posting in 2020? Who knows..but I’ll try my hardest. While I was away from blogging, I was posting on Instagram so follow me, if you’re there!

I had a list of 2020 releases written up but I lost it, so I had to compile another one and uhh..this is not a Top Ten list as that is way too much pressure for me.. SO, here are some book releases I’m eagerly awaiting and this is only Part I!

Without any further ado, here are some Book Releases I’m Anticipating in 2020..

Book Releases I'm anticipating in 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books on my Summer '19 TBR

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery 

Give me a combination of an own-voices Indian fantasy + knock-me-dead gorgeous cover and watch me how fast I add it to my tbr. It’s about the daughter of a star and a mortal. Sheetal, who needs the help of a full star like her mother to save her injured father.
“Neil Gaiman’s Stardust meets a rich landscape of Hindu mythology and celestial intrigue in this sparkling YA fantasy debut.”

Evie Dunmore

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery 

Bringing Down the Duke‘s one of my favourite books of 2019 and when I read a sneak-peek of the next book in this extraordinary series, I had to have it(but of course, I have to wait until SEPTEMBER!!)

A Heart so Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart so Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers #2) by Brigid Kemmerer

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery 

Since I loved A Curse so Dark and Lonely (where I think Grey should have totally ended up with Rhen), I didn’t think twice about adding AHSFAB to my tbr.

The Gravity of us by Phil stamper

The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery 

This is a contemporary YA set around NASA’s first mission to Mars. Cal’s a a successful social media journalist who’s father is on the mission along with another “Astrokid” Leon’s parent.

Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibańez

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Gorgeous cover and an own voices Latinx fantasy described as, A lush tapestry of magic, romance, and revolución, drawing inspiration from Bolivian politics and history.? Count me in!

The Silence of Bones by June Hur

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

A YA historical fiction set during the Joseon Dynasty in Korea? Say no more!

Of Curses and Kisses(St. Rosetta’s Academy #1) by Sandhya Menon

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

From the New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi comes the first novel in a brand-new series set at an elite international boarding school, that’s a contemporary spin on Beauty and the Beast.” Even though I haven’t read any of Sandhya Menon’s books yet, I’ve heard good things and the synopsis makes me hopeful that it’s going to really good!

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected. I’ve heard a lot of chatter about this YA romance on Twitter(irony) and I’ve got an eARC too!

Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli, Aisha Saeed

Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

New York Times bestselling authors Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed have crafted a resonant, funny, and memorable story about the power of love and resistance.
I’m both excited and anxious about this book!


Thank you for reading! What about you? Do you have any of these books in your TBR? If you have some other books on your anticipated lists, then let me know in the comments below!

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Review of yet another anticipated YA historical fiction Dangerous Alliance | Blog Tour

Review of yet another anticipated YA historical fiction Dangerous Alliance | Blog Tour
Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

Dangerous Alliance by Jennieke Cohen

Publication date: December 3rd, 2019 
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 448
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Historical
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery | Amazon

Synopsis:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!

Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.

But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.

Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exact circumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.

Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.

– My Thoughts –

Dangerous Alliance was a highly anticipated read of this year as soon as I read the synopsis and the cover. However, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had expected. Let me explain..

The story is about Victoria(Vicky), the daughter of an Earl, who has to marry to prevent her family’s estate from falling into the wrong hands. Vicky daydreams about dashing Austen heroes like Darcy and likes to channel Austen heroines like Elizabeth Bennet when her wits fail her. She never imagined that her life would be so un-Austen like. Life has more surprises for Vicky as she encounters not only a mysterious man(who tried to kill her) and her childhood best friend Tom! Tom, now earl of Halworth, has come back from the continent but his hands are full with his late father’s debts and memories of abuse. He cares for Vicky but can’t forget his duty to his remaining family. Soon, suitors start to arrive and Vicky has to make a decision before it is too late to save her family.

What I liked were the cover, Jane Austen references, the hint of mystery and some of the secondary characters. I also liked that each chapter opened with quotes which hinted at about what’s to come.

What I didn’t like were:

  • Vicky being attacked but this incident is quickly overlooked. Although, I have to give some leeway as to the news that followed after this attack is much more important at that time.
  • Vicky is attacked quite a few times after this but everyone is all chill. Why? I found this so strange and lost any urge to stay invested in the story.
  • the ROMANCE. I just didn’t see it. I like my broody boys but Tom Halworth was so not a Darcy. He had no substance, nothing that could make me root for him and Vicky. To be honest, I much preferred Vicky with the Carmichael guy.

Overall, I would recommend this if you’re an Austen lover, would love to read a regency historical fiction in YA or are looking for a book with friends-to-lovers trope with a hint of mystery in the plot. I had high hopes for this book and I had personally requested an ARC from the publisher before joining the blog tour. I still will be looking forward to Cohen’s next book and I hope you give this (book) a chance even if I didn’t like it.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review and to the FFBC for including me in the blog tour!

Check out the entire blog tour schedule here

– About the Author –

Jennieke Cohen (JEN-ih-kah CO-en) is used to people mispronouncing her name and tries to spare her fictional characters the same problem. Jennieke writes historical fiction for young adults inspired by real people and events because life is often stranger than fiction. She studied English history at Cambridge University and has a master’s degree in professional writing from the University of Southern California. Jennieke loves exploring new locales but always returns home to Northern California where the summers are hot, the winters are mild, and life is casual. 

You’ll find more info about the world of DANGEROUS ALLIANCE on Jennieke’s website or you can say hi on Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest where she can often be found posting about writing, TV, and things of the Jane Austen persuasion.

Thank you for reading! Do you think you’ll read Dangerous Alliance? If you’ve already read it, then I’d love to know what you thought! 

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What happens when all your dreams come true? It kind of does in Poemsia by Lang Leav. Check out my thoughts on the book in this post..

What happens when all your dreams come true? Find out in Poemsia by Lang Leav | Blog Tour
Poemsia by Lang Leav

Poemsia by Lang Leav

Publication date: October 1st, 2019 
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Award-winning author and poet Lang Leav presents a YA novel that is an absolute fan pleaser!

Verity Wolf dreams of being a poet—not that she’d ever admit it to anyone. Her best friend Jess thinks she’s definitely got what it takes, while her cat, Zorro is characteristically indifferent. As for the cute boy she’s just met, he’s about to discover her best kept secret.

When Verity stumbles on an old, mysterious book, Poemsia, she finds herself suddenly thrust into the dizzying world of social media stardom, where poets are the new rock stars and fame is sometimes just a click away.

International bestselling author, Lang Leav takes you into the shadowy world of contemporary poetry in this revealing and emotionally charged story about friendship, first love, betrayal, and the courage to follow your dreams.

– My Thoughts –

Poemsia is a book for those who want to be published authors in this era of influencers, in this era where “cancel culture” exists and internet might make you a celebrity(or trash) overnight.

“In the words of Jean de La Fountaine, ‘A person often meets his destiny on the road he took to avoid it.”

This is my first time reading a Lang Leav book and I can say that I liked it. Let me explain..

The protagonist here is Verity Wolf, who loves poetry very much and lives with her grandfather or Pop. Her parents passed away when she was little and grandmother left a few years ago as well. Verity lives a normal life: has a best friend called Jess, manages her Pop’s bookstore and writes poems. One day, she discovers a poetry book called Poemsia and the poems in it feel so surreal to her(and her bff) that it’s as if Verity wrote the book herself! Verity would’ve never realized that this book -written by #godknowswho- would catapult her to the status of an Instagram celebrity. Verity’s claims of not having written this poem goes unheard and suddenly she’s mentioned on TV as the author of this poem. From then on, Verity with her best friend Jess’s help sets out to self-publish her poems(the ones she wrote). She also meets a cute boy, her favourite poet, and the toxic side of fame. Verity will soon have to decide between leaving her home to pursue her dreams and staying home which could be the end of all.

“There’s no way to be a poet. You can’t choose it because it chooses you. Maybe your soul refracts the universe in all its complex beauty and you are a shard of light in its great hallway of mirrors. The universe calls and compels you to write poetry because with every ounce of its being, it yearns to know itself through you.”

The writing was beautiful, or shall I say, quote-worthy. However, the pacing felt too fast for me; it was like I was in a rollercoaster and the ride was exhilaratingly good but now the adrenaline’s worn off and I don’t know what the f**k just happened. Verity was a relatable and lovable character for sure; I loved her passion for poetry and her dreams of becoming a published author. This has a wonderful portrayal of female friendships as well. Without Jess, Verity would never have published her poems online or in print and the way the duo were always there for each other was so wonderful to watch. The romance between Verity and Sash(Sebastian) felt a little too cheesy for me and the whole on-and-off girlfriend part was a headache to read.

The character development was done well for almost all the characters and I loved the addition of Mena Rhodes'(Verity’s idol) character. Mena was necessary to the plot and she offered both Verity -and us- a view of what really happens when you become a celebrity. Since this is a book about a lover of poetry, I do wish that there were snippets of poems between chapters or even at the end.

“Poemsia is about coming to the end of the book and not wanting to say goodbye to your favourite characters. The struggle of parting ways, real and imaginary.”

Overall, I would recommend this if you’re looking for a beautifully written book about reaching for your dreams, friendship, first love, family, goodbyes, the effects of fame and of course! if you love Lang Leav’s writing.

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review for including me in the blog tour!

– About the Author –

Novelist and poet, Lang Leav is an international bestselling author and winner of a Qantas Spirit of Youth Award, Churchill Fellowship and Goodreads Choice Award. Often credited with popularizing poetry among a new generation of young readers, Lang’s poetry books, and hit novel, Sad Girls continue to top best seller charts around the world.
Lang has been featured on CNN, SBS Australia, Intelligence Squared UK, Radio New Zealand and in various publications, including Vogue, Newsweek, the Straits Times, the Guardian, and the New York Times.
She currently resides in New Zealand with her partner and fellow author, Michael Faudet.

Thank you for reading! Have you read Poemsia or any of Lang Leav’s poetry? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 


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Review of yet another sensational thriller SAFE HOUSE, from the author of Sticks and Stones

Review of yet another sensational thriller Safe House, from the author of Sticks and Stones
Safe House by Jo Jakeman

Safe House by Jo Jakeman

Publication date: October 31st, 2019 
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Pages: 336
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Buy: Amazon(99p) | Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Charlie just wants to be forgotten but everyone else wants to know her story…

The morning after a terrible storm, a woman turns up in a remote Cornish village. She has bought the crumbling cottage that has lain empty for over a decade, and she’s going to make it her home. She calls herself Charlie, but it’s a name she’s only had for a few days. She keeps herself to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. Because Charlie has a secret.

Charlie was in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. But Lee Fisher wasn’t a murderer to her; he was the man she loved. Convinced of his innocence, Charlie said she was with him the night a young woman was killed. That lie cost her everything.

And now she has the chance to start again. But someone is watching her, waiting for her, wondering if she’s really payed the price for what she did.

– My Thoughts –

Steffi Finn fell in love with Lee Fisher, then she went to jail because of him. Now, years later, she’s been released and she wants to start over in a new town with a new identity. Steffi is now Charlie, living in a sleepy little village in Cornwall. No-one here seems to recognise her and life seems good but not for long. As Charlie starts to renovate her house, she feels that she’s being watched. Accidents start happening every other day and Charlie can’t think who might be set on harming her. Her ex Lee Fisher is in jail and any other enemies she’s acquired because of him shouldn’t be able to find the “new” her….right?

Written in alternate timelines and dual POVs, we learn what kind of a person Steffi was before she became Charlie. We see how Lee controlled her and how Steffi couldn’t believe that he was a serial killer. It kinda reminded me of Ted Bundy..Lee Fisher was charming and manipulative sure, but he didn’t fit the profile of a serial killer(not at first glance, at least). Steffi was a victim of Lee’s too and it’ll break your heart reading her character arc.

The pacing was good even if I had a bit of trouble getting into it during the beginning. The setting of the village where Steffi/Charlie settled and the uneasiness she felt every moment was perfectly written. I liked the unpredictability of the twists as the author kept my mind working to find out who Steffi/Charlie’s stalker was and why was he/she(/they) were trying to kill her.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a slow-burn thriller with a captivating female lead. This story literally gives a terrifying meaning to the phrase “Love is blind.”

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review and for including me in the blog tour!

Safe House by Jo Jakeman

– About the Author –

JO JAKEMAN was the winner of the Friday Night Live 2016 competition at the York Festival of Writing. Born in Cyprus, she worked for many years in the City of London before moving to Derbyshire with her husband and twin boys. Safe House is her second novel and Sticks and Stones was her debut thriller.

Thank you for reading! Do you like reading thrillers? If you’ve read Safe House or the author’s debut, then I’d love to know what you thought!

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WWW Wednesdays #13: Weekly Reading Update

Hi everyoneHappy Wednesday(after a long time!) and welcome to my weekly reading update post or the WWW Wednesdays. It’s been a long time since I posted my last WWW Wednesdays update and my blog posts have been pretty sporadic as well. I’m mostly active on Instagram these days and have two giveaways going on (on) my feed. Without any further ado, let me tell you what I’ve been reading this week and what I intend to read next.


WWW Wednesdays: Weekly Reading Update
WWW Wednesday is a meme formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking On a World of Words.

WWW Wednesday takes place every Wednesday, where bloggers discuss their 3 Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?
WWW Wednesdays #11: Weekly Reading Update

Currently Reading
The Vanished Bride by Bella Ellis

I’m currently eyeing The Vanished Bride, gifted by Berkley, as my next read. I’ll start it as soon as I finish writing this post and a review. The story is about Charlotte Brontë, Emily Brontë, and Anne Brontë before they became famous writers. It’s described as a “charming historical mystery” and I can’t wait to read it!

Finished Reading
The Lying Room by Nicci French

My last read was The Lying Room by author duo Nicci French and it was gifted by William Morrow. This was my first Nicci French and I had high hopes for this one but it fell flat. I was not “hooked” throughout and had problems with the characters as well. The twist was unexpected and I loved that “shock” element but overall, it was kind of underwhelming.

Reading Next
The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

I think I’ll pick up The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones after I finish The Vanished Bride. I got it in my Owlcrate September rep box(Use RAMBLER10 for 10% discount) and have planned to readalong with a couple of bookstagram folks.


Anyone noticed that the choices are perfect from Spooktober? It was a coincidence, well..not entirely.

Thank you for reading! What are you currently reading or have finished reading? Have you read any of the titles I’ve listed? If not, do you want to read any of them? Let me know in the comments below!

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Spooky October reads: The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox | Blog Tour

Spooky October reads: The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox | Blog Tour
The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox

The Widow of Pale Harbour by Hester Fox

Publication date: October 17th, 2019 
Publisher: HQ
Pages: 384
Genre: Fiction, Adult, Historical,Mystery
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

Her secret will tear the town apart.

Maine, 1846. Gabriel Stone is desperate to escape the ghosts that haunt him after his wife’s death, so he takes a position as a minister in the remote village of Pale Harbour.

But not all is as it seems in the sleepy town. Strange, unsettling things have been happening, and the townspeople claim that only one person can be responsible: Sophronia Carver, a reclusive widow who lives in the decaying Castle Carver. Sophronia must be a witch, and she almost certainly killed her husband.

As the incidents escalate, one thing becomes clear: they are the work of a madman inspired by the wildly popular stories of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe. And Gabriel must find answers, or Pale Harbour will suffer a fate worthy of Poe’s darkest tales.

– My Thoughts –

A town gripped by fear.
A woman accused of witchcraft.
Who can save Pale Harbor from itself?
 

It should come as no surprise that I loved The Widow of Pale Harbour, probably as much as I did the author’s debut The Witch of Willow Hall. It is perfect for spooky October even though it’s more on the mystery side.

Set in 1846, Pale Harbour, Maine, the story starts with a young widow Sophronia who lives with her maid/companion Helen in a daunting mansion called Castle Carver. Sophronia spends her days reading submissions for her magazine, drinking tea and taking short walks around her property.

Soon, a mysterious man called Gabriel Stone arrives in this quiet village to escape from the memories of his past. Gabriel arrives as a transcendentalist minister but he feels like a fraud. When everyone starts warning Gabriel about Sophronia, he becomes intrigued by the strong woman he sees. However, someone is not quite happy seeing Sophronia’s happiness; soon, dead things and cryptic messages start arriving at Sophronia’s doorstep. Things start to escalate from dead animal carcasses to murder where all evidence points to Sophronia as the main suspect.

If you liked The Witch of Willow Hall, then don’t waste any time picking this up. The Widow of Pale Harbour has a murder mystery and romance which combined with the setting and eery atmosphere in the book makes this a page-turner. In the beginning, the plot takes time to build up but that anticipation proves fruitful. I loved Sophronia who has been mistreated a lot but despite that, she manages to aid others in need. Gabriel is yet another favourite character -okay, yes..that might be because he’s a hunky priest- and I loved watching his and Sophronia’s relationship bloom. He doesn’t lie to Sophronia, respects her boundaries(Is it really that hard?) and even after hearing about the times he was wronged.. he didn’t bear ill will for that person. You know what? They were freaking perfect for each other. Broken in different ways and yet they were the ones who could piece each other together.

I also loved the friendship between Tom and Gabriel; Tom was a perfect addition to the plot during its darker transition. Then there’s the relationship between Helen and Sophronia.. which was complicated but very intriguing.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book if you’re looking for a gothic murder mystery/romance with a twist of Poe‘s words in it. If you’re looking for a fall read, then pick up this beauty and dive into the haunting story. Hester Fox is already on my list of auto-buy authors and I can’t wait to read her next book!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Also, thanks to HQ for including me in The Widow of Pale Harbour blog tour! Please take a look at the blog schedule and visit all the other lovely bloggers in this tour.

– About the Author –

Hester comes to writing from a background in museum work and historical archaeology. She loves the Gothic, the lurid, the dark…so long as the ending is a happy one. She has never seen a ghost, though she remains hopeful.

Hester lives outside of Boston with her husband and their son. Please visit Hester Fox here to learn more


Thank you for reading! Have you read Hester Fox’s debut? Or, Will you add The Widow of Pale Harbour to your TBR? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

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What happens when you find out the child you gave birth to isn’t really yours.. find out in The Swap by Fiona Mitchell

What happens when you find out the child you gave birth to isn't really yours.. find out in The Swap by Fiona Mitchell
The Swap by Fiona Mitchell

The Swap

Publication date: September 19th, 2019 
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Pages: 304
Genre: Fiction
Buy: Book Depository | Wordery

Synopsis:

What would you do if you found out your child wasn’t yours? Two women. Two children. But whose is whose?

When two strangers, Tess and Annie, undergo IVF at an American clinic, their embryos are mixed up and each woman gives birth to the wrong child. And whilst they are ignorant to this fact something has always felt a bit ‘off’ in regards to their children.

The women only discover the devastating error three years later, after one of them is involved in an accident. Tess will do anything in her power to swap the children back; Annie doesn’t want to. As the pair wrangle, neither of them expect what unfolds.

This is a novel full of the complexities of how what happens when things can go wrong with IVF and the impact this can have on so many people. The moral issue about whose is whose child, the right versus the wrong and nature verses nurture. This is a powerful and thought provoking novel about making the best decision for your children no matter how painful that can be.

– My Thoughts –

The Swap is a story of two women separated by oceans but connected by their children.

Tess Rossi, a 40-something british woman, couldn’t be more different from Annie, a wannabe American artist; yet, fate brought them closer together during an IVF transfusion. Tess and Annie have always felt that there was something “off” about their kids. It wasn’t until Tess got into a car accident with her two kids that the truth saw light. It wasn’t until Tess was informed by a nurse that Freddie – Tess’s son – was not genetically hers.

When Annie receives the news that her daughter Willow isn’t genetically hers, she doesn’t want to get in touch with the other family involved in this swap. However, after an emotional interaction, Annie can’t stop herself from meeting her “son”. What follows next is an emotional meeting where both Tess and Annie will have to make some very important decisions that could change all of their lives.

An IVF mixup has happened before and it’s traumatic, to say the least. The process of IVF itself is not a walk in the park and on top of that, these women had their embryos swapped without their knowledge. I can’t imagine the maelstorm of emotions that the family -especially the women and the children involved- have to go through. This is a wonderfully engrossing story that made me emotional at times. However, I expected the ending to be a bit more sensational but that’s just a personal preference.

Overall, I would recommend this book if you’re looking for a thought provoking read or a interesting book for your book club!

Thanks to the publisher for gifting me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Many Thanks to Hodder and Stoughton for including me in this blog tour! I’m seriously late in posting my review so please accept my apologies for the late posting!

– About the Author

Fiona Mitchell is an award-winning writer and has worked as a journalist for many years. She spent almost three years living in Singapore and now lives in London with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel The Maid’s Room was published in 2017.

Thank you for reading! Have you read any similar stories where characters have been switched before or after birth? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!