Review: Christmas Reunion in Paris

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a short and sweet romance set in France! 

First off, for such a short book, there was a lot of chemistry between the two main characters. Since this was a second chance romance, the characters already knew each other and had history. I enjoyed learning their backstory and seeing them get back together. 

Also, there was quite a bit of plot which I was happy about. Given the length, I wasn’t expecting too much to happen but I was pleasantly surprised with the storyline. 

The Christmas aspect was pretty minimal. The book takes place during winter/Christmastime but doesn’t have any super Christmasy scenes. So if you’re looking for a Christmas romance, this doesn’t quite hit that mark. 

Overall, I really enjoyed this second chance romance! If you’re looking for something quick to read this winter, then give this book a go! 


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Review: Beast Boy

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (DC Comics) in exchange for an honest review. 

I’m not super familiar with the Teen Titans so going in I knew very little about Beast Boy. Because of this, I didn’t have any particular expectations going into it. I ended up enjoying learning the origin story of Beast Boy. 

As a whole, the plot is fairly basic. There really isn’t anything super exciting going on since this is just the first part of his story. It basically him navigating high school while also discovering who he is and his powers. I am very intrigued to see how the rest unfolds. The book did a good job setting up things to come. 

The artwork was amazing. It worked really well with the overall vibe of the book and I liked how shades of green were featured and incorporated. 

Overall, this was a great start to Beast Boy’s story and I look forward to reading more of his adventures (especially with Raven)! 


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Review: Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon A Con #3)

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Quirk Books) in exchange for an honest review.

I am such a huge fan of this series so I was excited to read this, especially since Beauty and the Beast is my favorite fairy tale. I ended up enjoying this a lot!

So first off, there are a lot of references to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Like on page 37 there is a reference to “the great wide somewhere” and on page 224 there is talk of “Magic spells. Daring sword fights. A prince in disguise.” As a Beauty and the Beast super fan I had a ton of fun picking up all these little Easter eggs. 

As for the characters, the author always writes the most interesting and dynamic ones. Both the main and supporting characters were so lovable and fleshed out. My favorite was Rosie’s dad, aka Space Dad. He seemed like the coolest dad ever. 

The writing style as usual was perfect for the genre. It was a good amount of geeky mixed in with an easy to read prose. 

This books also had amazing descriptions dedicated to the love of books. For example, Rosie states, “But there is so much more in those words than just loving books. I love the smell of them. I love the way their bindings look pressed together on a shelf…They are portals into places I’ve never been and people I’ll never be, and in them I have lived a thousand lives and seen a thousand different worlds” (pg. 39). I couldn’t agree more. 

I also would like to point out something the author put in the acknowledgments that I absolutely loved. She writes, “I wrote this book for me. So, if you didn’t really enjoy this book, that’s okay! You’ll find one that you love” (pg. 284). I thought this was a great reminder to readers that it is okay if you didn’t like a book and that authors can write what they want to write (on the assumption for course that it is not offensive, problematic etc.) 

Lastly, I did feel like there was something missing in this book compared to the other ones in the series. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was. It could be that this book is significantly shorter than the other two and I wanted a bit more. 

Overall, if you are a fan of this series (or books or Beauty and the Beast), you’ll probably like this one! 


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Review: A Wealth of Pigeons

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Rating: ★★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Celadon Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a delightful book of cartoons!

In such uncertain and anxious times, it’s nice to be able to just sit down, take a breather, and have a laugh. This book did exactly that! 

The humor is very much like the cartoons you encounter in the newspaper. The same goes for the artwork. It definitely made me nostalgic for the cartoons I used to read in my local paper when I was a kid. 

As typical with a cartoon collection, there were some cartoons that I really liked and some that I didn’t quite get. 

I liked that there were cartoons about the creation of the book interspersed throughout it. It was a fun touch and I liked seeing the collaboration between Steve Martin and Harry Bliss come together. I also liked that the end pages showed rough drafts of some of the cartoons. It was cool to see that behind the scenes aspect. 

Overall, if you like the cartoons that you get in your Sunday paper, then you’ll probably like this collection! This book would also make a great gift.


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Blog Tour: Poisoned

Hi beauties! Today I am a stop on the Poisoned blog tour hosted Rockstar Book Tours. If you love fairy tale retellings, be sure to check out my excerpt post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

About the Book:

Title: POISONED

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Pub. Date: October 20, 2020

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook

Pages: 320

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, AudibleB&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

From Jennifer Donnelly, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller Stepsister, comes a fairytale retelling that’ll forever change the way you think about strength, power, and the real meaning of “happily ever after.”

Once upon a time, a girl named Sophie rode into the forest with the queen’s huntsman. Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. When they stopped to rest, the huntsman took out his knife . . . and took Sophie’s heart.

It shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Sophie had heard the rumors, the whispers. They said she was too kind and foolish to rule — a waste of a princess. A disaster of a future queen. And Sophie believed them. She believed everything she’d heard about herself, the poisonous words people use to keep girls like Sophie from becoming too powerful, too strong . . .

With the help of seven mysterious strangers, Sophie manages to survive. But when she realizes that the jealous queen might not be to blame, Sophie must find the courage to face an even more terrifying enemy, proving that even the darkest magic can’t extinguish the fire burning inside every girl, and that kindness is the ultimate form of strength. 

GRAB STEPSISTER NOW!


EXCERPT FROM THE BOOK

Once upon long ago, always and evermore, a girl rode into the Darkwood. 

Her lips were the color of ripe cherries, her skin as soft as new-fallen snow, her hair as dark as midnight. 

The tall pines whispered and sighed as she passed under them, the queen’s huntsman at her side. 

Crows, perched high in the branches, blinked their bright black eyes. 

As the sky lightened, the huntsman pointed to a pond ahead and told the girl that they must dismount to let the horses drink. She did so, walking side by side with him. Lost in her thoughts, she did not hear the soft hiss of a dagger leaving its sheath. She did not see the huntsman lift his face to the dawn, or glimpse the anguish in his eyes. 

A gasp of shock escaped the girl as the huntsman pulled her close, his broad hand spanning her narrow back. Her eyes, wide and questioning, sought his. She was not afraid—not yet. She felt almost nothing as he slid the blade between her ribs, just a slight, soft push and then a bloom of warmth, as if she’d spilled tea down her dress. 

But then the pain came, red clawed and snarling. 

The girl threw her head back and screamed. A stag bolted from the brush at the sound. The crows burst from their roosts, their wings beating madly. 

The huntsman was skilled. He was quick. He had gutted a thousand deer. A few expert cuts with a knife so sharp it could slice blue from the sky and the delicate ribs were cleaved, the flesh and veins severed. 

The girl’s head lolled back. Her legs gave out. Gently, the huntsman lowered her to the ground, then knelt beside her. 

“Forgive me, dear princess. Forgive me,” he begged. “This foul deed was not my wish, but the queen’s command.” “Why?” the girl cried, with her dying breath. But the huntsman, tears in his eyes, could not speak. He finished his grim task and got to his feet. As he did, the girl got her answer. For the last thing she saw before her eyes closed was her heart, small and perfect, in the huntsman’s trembling hands. 

• • •

 In the forest, the birds have gone silent. The creatures are still. Gloom lingers under the trees. And on the cold ground, a girl lies dying, a ragged red hole where her heart used to be. 

“Hang the huntsman!” you shout. “Burn the evil queen!” And who would fault you? 

But you’ve missed the real villain. 

It’s easily done. He’s stealthy and sly and comes when you’re alone. He stands in the shadows and whispers his poison. His words drip, drip, drip into the small, secret chambers of your heart. 

You think you know this tale, but you only know what you’ve been told. 

“Who are you? How do you know these things?” you ask.

Fair questions, both. 

I am the huntsman. Dead now, but that’s no matter. The dead speak. With tongues blackened by time and regret. You can hear us if you listen. 

You will say that I’m telling you tales. Fairy stories. That it’s all make-believe. But there are more things afoot in the Darkwood than you can imagine, and only a fool would call them make-believe. 

Keep to the path, the old wives say. Stay out of the forest. 

But one day, you will have to walk deep into those dark woods and find what’s waiting there. 

For if you do not, it will surely find you.


About Jennifer:

Jennifer Donnelly is the author of A Northern Light, which was awarded a Printz Honor and a Carnegie Medal; Revolution (named a Best Book by Amazon, Kirkus ReviewsSchool Library Journal, and the Chicago Public Library, and nominated for a Carnegie Medal); the Deep Blue series; and many other books for young readers, including Lost in a Book, which spent more than 20 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list. She lives in New York’s Hudson Valley.

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GIVEAWAY DETAILS

3 winners will receive a finished copy of POISONED, US Only.

Enter via this link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e2389ba21161/


Tour Schedule:

Week One:

10/1/2020The Book Nut : A Book Lovers GuideReview
10/2/2020oddandbookishReview
10/3/2020popthebutterflyReview

Week Two:

10/4/2020A Backwards StoryReview
10/5/2020FictitiouswonderlandReview
10/6/2020Kait Plus BooksInterview
10/7/2020The Book RookeryReview
10/8/2020History from a Woman’s PerspectiveReview
10/9/2020MomfluensterReview
10/10/2020Thindbooks BlogReview

Week Three:

10/11/2020The Momma SpotReview
10/12/2020Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadersReview
10/13/2020Bookhounds YAReview
10/14/2020Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
10/15/2020Book-KeepingReview
10/16/2020Nays Pink BookshelfReview
10/17/2020Lisa Loves LiteratureReview

Week Four:

10/18/2020Two Chicks on BooksInterview
10/19/2020The Pages In-BetweenReview
10/20/2020Two Points of InterestReview

Life update: Where has the time gone?

Hi beauties! It’s been well over a year since I last gave you any sort of update on my life so it’s about time I give you one. As you already know, 2020 has been a roller coaster of a year so I guess I should start with the beginning of the year. Enjoy my Cliff Notes version of my life this year:

January: So hopeful and full of promise for the year. Dated a paramedic for 2 and half weeks. Was sad when things ended (so much potential!). Read 1 book the whole month.

February: Started off so promising until my 49ers lost the Super Bowl (I still love you Jimmy G!). Went on a few dates. Ended up catching a cold during the last week (pretty sure I caught while on a date at Dave and Busters).

March: Started off so normal. Had a fabulous Spring Break and went on some wonderful dates with a guy. Buddy read The Kiss Quotient with the guy. Came back from Spring Break only to go back to school for one week. World went insane in that week. Packed up and headed back home. Started Zoom University School of Law —I mean online classes. Downloaded TikTok. Why does this month feel so long?

April: Me and Spring Break guy sadly fizzled out mainly due to COVID and quarantine. Started dating another guy. Developed an interest in astrology. Online school was uneventful. At some point my school eventually decided to go credit/no credit.

May: Took 5 finals. Strangely liked taking them at home (no pressure or anxiety from seeing other test takers). Tried to buddy read a book with the new guy I was dating. Had an uneventful and boring birthday (cheers to 25!). Broke up with said guy towards the end of the month for a multitude of reasons.

June: Hardly remember this month to be honest. Went on some Zoom dates. Learned that grad students from Stanford are not my type (Zoomed 3 of them and felt 0 connection each time). Met 2 air signs (a Libra and an Aquarius) who lived up to the flightly nature of their element (they coincidentally were both super cute guys from Oakland with plans to move to NYC). Went on a promising Zoom date at the end of the month.

July: Started dating a new guy (the one from the end of June). Went on an RV trip to Oregon and had a fun time at the WIldlife Safari (best animal experience ever).

August: School started. Once again online. Was not eager to start school again. Got annoyed with half my professors. Guy I was dating told me he’s moving back to Texas in 4-8 months. Relationship turned casual.

September: Took a nice day trip to SF with said guy. Slogged through school. Had both a midterm and a final due.

October: Only time will tell…

So that has been my life in a nutshell. I still cannot believe it is already October. Where has the time gone? March took forever but then the months just flew by after that.

What have you been up to? I would love to hear how you’ve been coping with all the curveballs of 2020. Let me know in the comments!

xoxo,


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Review: Loathe at First Sight

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Rating: ★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from Books Forward in exchange for an honest review. 

So first off, this book is Own Voices (Korean American). I was happy to see that since this book is about gaming, which is typically a white male dominated field. 

The title of the book is a little misleading. Loathe at First Sight implies that this is an enemies to lovers romantic comedy. In actuality, there was not much of that. The romantic storyline was not the main focus of the book and the two characters were hardly enemies to begin with. As a whole, the love story was not that exciting. I never really felt the chemistry between the two. 

One thing that took me as a surprise was all the harassment. This book has a lot of harassment. From racism to misogyny this book covered it all. On one hand I liked that it went there and tackled that issue. But on the other hand, it was a little off-putting at times because it was so heavy. The book tries to be light at times with some humorous scenes (I really liked some of funny scenes), but all the harassment takes away from it.

I did like the ending. It all worked out and a lot got resolved at the end so I was left feeling very satisfied. 

As for the writing style, I liked how easy the book read. 

Overall, this book didn’t live up to my expectations but I was able to enjoy some parts of it. 


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Review: Temporary Wife Temptation (The Heirs of Hansol #1)

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Rating: ★★★

I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin Books) for promotional purposes. 

First off, I just want to say that I was very happy to see that this was an Own Voices (Korean American) romance. It’s nice to see Harlequin embracing other cultures since they aren’t typically the most diverse. I really liked how Korean culture was incorporated in the book. It added a more personal touch to the story.

Another aspect I liked was the big emphasis on family and becoming a family. I found all the family moments to be very sweet. 

One thing I didn’t like was the time jumps. The pacing of the book moved super fast. From one chapter to the next, a lot of time would pass. There were quite a few things that we didn’t get to see since it happened off page.

As for the plot, it is fairly basic but that is to be expected from this sort of romance. I didn’t love the conflict at the end. It felt a little out of left field. It only seemed to serve the purpose of having a last minute conflict. 

Overall, despite its shortcomings, this was a solid Harlequin romance. I am planning on continuing the series. I hope that Harlequin continues to publish more Own Voices romances.


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Review: The Shadows

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Celadon Books) in exchange for an honest review.

I just want to start off by saying that I haven’t read The Whisper Man so I cannot say how this book compares to that one. Because of that, I didn’t have any expectations going into the book. I ended up really enjoying it.

At first, I was a little hesitant to read this because I didn’t know how scary it was going to be. It ended up only being a little scary (at least to me). So if you’re a little bit of a scaredy cat like me, you should be able to handle this book.

The strongest part of this book was definitely the writing style. It was so effortless but still managed to create a creepy vibe. I liked the use of short chapters since it made the book easy to digest. There is some back and forth between past and present which was done really well. It wasn’t confusing at all since it was done in short spurts. I never felt like there was a huge information dump which can happen with dual timelines. 

My only critique of this book was the ending. I wasn’t wowed by it. I thought the reveal was going to be mind-blowing but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad ending. It just didn’t have the impact I was expecting. 

Overall, despite the ending, this was still a solid thriller. I would definitely recommend it. 


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Review: Anxious People

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Rating: ★★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Atria Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

This was my first book by Fredrik Backman and I was not disappointed. I didn’t have any expectations going in and this book ended up taking me for a ride. There were a lot of twists and turns that I did not see coming. I didn’t know that this book was a little bit of a mystery so I ended up being pleasantly surprised. 

The author’s insights into the human condition are so insightful. He really delves into the choices people make and what motivates them. He has a talent of saying so many poignant things in such an effortless way. I can definitely see why so many people love his books. 

The cast of characters were probably the best part of the book. They were idiots, but lovable idiots. I don’t have a favorite because I loved them all. They all had something about them that I found compelling. 

I loved how the story all came together. There are a lot of little random things that get mentioned, especially in the beginning, that you don’t quite know what to do with yet. But by the end, it all makes sense and there is that a-ha moment where everything falls into place. 

Overall, this book lives up to all the hype! 


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