Wednesday, October 14, 2020

I'm Now Located on Wordpress!


Just a reminder!

I've decided to move my blog to WordPress! I'm going to leave this one active for a little while, but eventually I will stop updating here and only be active on WordPress. I currently have reviews scheduled to post here through October 14th, and then all future posts will be on my new blog. The new blog is already up and running though, so now is the perfect time to update your bookmarks! 

Click the banner above to be carried to my new blog!

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Blog Tour: Sisters of the Moon by Alexandrea Weis

Sisters of the Moon
Alexandrea Weis
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: September 22nd 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy

** A Novella ***

A monstrous fate will turn a girl into a legend.

On an island in Lake Obersee, where The Sisters of St. Gertrude abide, a destitute Moor named Durra arrives. Sold for taxes, she and her two companions tend to the nuns and their collection of cats. At night, she combs the library for details on the order, the remote island, and the beasts howling outside her window.

But when a prank reveals the sisters’ gruesome secret, Durra is forced to accept a new fate. Bestowed an unearthly power, she must choose between life as a nun or living among the monsters beyond the convent walls.

Her path is about to change the tide in the ultimate war. The war between good and evil.

Goodreads / Amazon

I finished Sisters of the Moon in one day, which is something that doesn't happen for me very often these days. At 250 pages, it's a fast read, but a lot happens in a short period of time. 

It's a well-written story with tinges of horror, mystery, suspense, and a bit of religious undertones. There's an ominous feeling of knowing something is not-quite-right, yet you can't quite put your finger on it at first. I had an inkling about what was going to happen, but the ending still managed to surprise me a bit.

It was a perfect book for a cozy reading session on a rainy and dreary autumn day. It's so atmospheric, and the undercurrent of creepiness is marvelous.

If you're in the market for an original paranormal thriller featuring strong female characters and a fresh take on werewolves, I would recommend this one!

Author Bio:

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author, screenwriter, advanced practice registered nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable.

Weis writes romance, mystery, suspense, thrillers, supernatural, and young adult fiction and has sold approximately one million books. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

She is a member of both the International Thriller Writers Association and the Horror Writers Association.

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Monday, October 12, 2020

Review: The Marriage Game by Sara Desai

Read: August 5th - 6th, 2020

Format: Kindle

Source: Borrowed from the library

View this book: Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date: June 9th, 2020

Rating (out of five stars): 

Goodreads blurb: A high stakes wager pits an aspiring entrepreneur against a ruthless CEO in this sexy romantic comedy.

After her life falls apart, recruitment consultant Layla Patel returns home to her family in San Francisco. But in the eyes of her father, who runs a Michelin starred restaurant, she can do no wrong. He would do anything to see her smile again. With the best intentions in mind, he offers her the office upstairs to start her new business and creates a profile on an online dating site to find her a man. She doesn’t know he’s arranged a series of blind dates until the first one comes knocking on her door…

As CEO of a corporate downsizing company Sam Mehta is more used to conflict than calm. In search of a quiet new office, he finds the perfect space above a cozy Indian restaurant that smells like home. But when communication goes awry, he's forced to share his space with the owner's beautiful yet infuriating daughter Layla, her crazy family, and a parade of hopeful suitors, all of whom threaten to disrupt his carefully ordered life.

As they face off in close quarters, the sarcasm and sparks fly. But when the battle for the office becomes a battle of the heart, Sam and Layla have to decide if this is love or just a game.

(Note: This book does contain mentions of domestic violence, so please be aware if that is something you want to avoid.)

I was very torn while trying to decide if I actually liked this book or not. At times, it was a very sweet and hot romance, but at others, it was just frustrating to read. I had the same problem that I think a lot of readers had (judging by the reviews on Goodreads), and that was with the main character's love interest. She could have done so much better, and I feel like her decision to stay with Sam was a mistake after some of the things he did. It's why I gave it three stars instead of four.

Up until about 75%, I was sure it was going to be a four-star book. I was enjoying it, it had a nice writing style, and the pacing was good. It was a super fast read. I read it in less than twenty-four hours, and it's been a long time since a book has kept me engaged enough to read for so long at a time, which was the redeeming factor in keeping my rating from dropping to two stars.

I liked Layla as a character, even though I think she did make some questionable decisions, but her family was the highlight for me. I would gladly read a book about the rest of her family, as long as Sam is not mentioned at all. Some of the things he did would have been hard to overlook and move past, and I realize this is fiction, but his character did almost ruin the book for me. I would have been happy to see Layla remain single rather than stay with him.

All in all, The Marriage Game was a fast-paced and well-written romance, problematic love interests aside, and others may enjoy it more than I did. 

Friday, October 9, 2020

Just a reminder that I've moved!


Just a reminder!

I've decided to move my blog to WordPress! I'm going to leave this one active for a little while, but eventually I will stop updating here and only be active on WordPress. I currently have reviews scheduled to post here through October 14th, and then all future posts will be on my new blog. The new blog is already up and running though, so now is the perfect time to update your bookmarks! 

Click the banner above to be carried to my new blog!

Monday, September 28, 2020

Review: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Read: August 14th - 19th, 2020

Format: Kindle

Source: Borrowed From the Library

View this book: Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date: June 2nd, 2020

Rating (out of five stars): 

Goodreads blurb: Liz Lighty has always believed she's too black, too poor, too awkward to shine in her small, rich, prom-obsessed midwestern town. But it's okay -- Liz has a plan that will get her out of Campbell, Indiana, forever: attend the uber-elite Pennington College, play in their world-famous orchestra, and become a doctor.

But when the financial aid she was counting on unexpectedly falls through, Liz's plans come crashing down . . . until she's reminded of her school's scholarship for prom king and queen. There's nothing Liz wants to do less than endure a gauntlet of social media trolls, catty competitors, and humiliating public events, but despite her devastating fear of the spotlight she's willing to do whatever it takes to get to Pennington.

The only thing that makes it halfway bearable is the new girl in school, Mack. She's smart, funny, and just as much of an outsider as Liz. But Mack is also in the running for queen. Will falling for the competition keep Liz from her dreams . . . or make them come true? 

You Should See Me in a Crown is one of those books that I was almost scared to read simply because I had been looking forward to it for so long and it had received so much hype. Those books can sometimes be underwhelming after I get my hopes up too high, but I am happy to report that is not the case with this one! 

I absolutely loved this book, from beginning to end. I adored the characters - Liz is such a great main character - and I didn't want it to end. The story itself was so well-crafted, and it was the first time in a long time that I've been so engaged while reading. I didn't want to put the book down to do anything else, and I stayed up way too late most nights trying to read just one more chapter. 

I almost don't want to review this book because I don't feel like I could ever do it justice, it's just that good. The writing style is incredible, the characters are fleshed out and relatable, the plot itself is perfect, and the resolution? Amazing. 

It's so cute and happy and nerdy while imparting such an important message, and I will love this book forever.

You Should See Me in a Crown will, without a doubt, be one of my top books of the year, and I would highly recommend it.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Cover Reveal for The Other Side of Magic by Ester Manzini

I'm honored to be part of the cover reveal for Ester Manzini's The Other Side of Magic!

Cover for the book The Other Side of Magic by Ester Manzini

In a world inspired by 16th century Italy, magic is a common occurrence. Everyone in the realms of Epidalio and Zafiria is gifted with it at birth, but with every spell casted, their power wanes.

Gaiane Aspares is the result of an accurate selection by her mother, the queen of Zafiria: she’s infinitely powerful, a weapon of mass destruction kept segregated in a tower and used against her will to conquer Epidalio.

Add The Other Side of Magic on Goodreads

You can find Ester on Twitter and Instagram!

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Monday, September 21, 2020

Review: Blanca & Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

Read: July 23rd - 27th, 2020

Format: Kindle

Source: Borrowed from the library

View this book: Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date: October 9th, 2018

Rating (out of five stars): 

Goodreads blurb: The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they’re also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans’ spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them. Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.

I feel like the best way to describe Blanca & Roja is that it's a modern fairy tale. A retelling with a twist. It's a perfect example of magical realism.

Anna-Marie McLemore's writing is always so lyrical and gorgeous, and while I didn't connect with this story as much as with Dark and Deepest Red, I still enjoyed it. I think it will resonate with a lot of people, even if it slightly missed the mark for me. 

The writing saved the story for me, though. I can't say enough good things about McLemore's beautiful writing style. 

If you're looking for an atmospheric story with magical realism and incredible writing, I would recommend this one. 

Friday, September 18, 2020

Just a reminder that I have a new book blog!


Just a reminder!

I've decided to move my blog to WordPress! I'm going to leave this one active for a little while, but eventually I will stop updating here and only be active on WordPress. I currently have reviews scheduled to post here through October 26th, and then all future posts will be on my new blog. The new blog is already up and running though, so now is the perfect time to update your bookmarks!

Teaser Trailer for Secret Legacy by Carissa Andrews

Check out the new teaser trailer for Secret Legacy by Carissa Andrews!



If you missed my stop of the blog tour for Secret Legacy, you can click here to check it out

Where to find Carissa: Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub

Monday, September 14, 2020

Review: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary

Read: August 1st - 17th, 2020

Format: Audiobook

Source: Borrowed from the library

View this book: Goodreads | Audible

Publication date: Audiobook: April 28th 2009 (first published August 22nd 1983)

Rating (out of five stars): 

Narrated by Pedro Pascal

Goodreads blurb: Dear Mr. Henshaw,

I wish somebody would stop stealing the good stuff out of my lunchbag. I guess I wish a lot of other things, too. I wish someday Dad and Bandit would pull up in front in the rig ... Dad would yell out of the cab, "Come on, Leigh. Hop in and I'll give you a lift to school."

Leigh Botts has been author Boyd Henshaw's number one fan ever since he was in second grade. Now in sixth grade, Leigh lives with his mother and is the new kid at school. He's lonely, troubled by the absence of his father, a cross-country trucker, and angry because a mysterious thief steals from his lunchbag. Then Leigh's teacher assigns a letter-writing project. Naturally Leigh chooses to write to Mr. Henshaw, whose surprising answer changes Leigh's life.

Beverly Cleary was one of my favorite authors when I was a kid. I devoured every book of hers that I could find in my local and school libraries, and I probably checked out the Ramona books more than any other child in my school. I still love reading them today, but somehow I missed out on reading Dear Mr. Henshaw until now.

To be honest, my main reason for picking it up was because it's narrated by Pedro Pascal. I'm not ashamed to admit it.

And I was not disappointed by the story or the narration. Beverly Cleary is able to capture the essence of being a child perfectly, and this book is no exception.

Dear Mr. Henshaw is the story of Leigh Botts and how he deals with the aftermath of his parents' divorce, as well as being the new kid at school and having his lunch stolen on a daily basis. It's told through letters to Mr. Henshaw, Leigh's favorite author, and then later through journal entries as his character develops.

I was expecting something more along the lines of the Ramona books, and was not prepared to get so emotionally invested in Leigh's story. His growth and character development throughout the book is so well crafted, and while he was a little annoying at first (he's an eleven-year-old boy, it's realistic), I was wishing him only the best by the end of the book.

I don't want to include spoilers, but I was wanting this kid to get a happy ending so badly, and while he does get a bit of closure, it's still a little bittersweet. I may or may not have shed a few tears while listening to this.

That being said, I also laughed out loud several times, so it runs the gamut of emotions.

And as for the narration, Pedro Pascal was perfect. He managed to express Leigh's thoughts and feelings so well, and sometimes I would forget that I was listening to an adult man and not an eleven-year-old boy. *chef's kiss*

In short, I loved this book, as well as the narration, and I will definitely be picking up the audiobook of the sequel!