Thursday, June 4, 2020

Books from the Backlog #5


Books from the Backlog, hosted by Carole's Random Life, is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  

This week's neglected book:



Blurb:

Rosie Clayton witnesses a mugging on her first night in London—and then the scene rewinds itself.

She finds herself standing in the same place again, with the mugging happening just like before, except this time a stranger steps in and stops it. There's no way the same incident can have two outcomes. Rosie thinks she’s losing her mind, until just a few days later, the stranger saves her.

The stranger, Albert, and his band of misfit crime-fighters, have the special ability to Pull, which allows them to rewind just enough time to undo a recent event. Someone is hunting Albert and his crew– and now that Rosie’s been seen with them, she’s a target too. Rosie is left with no choice but to trust Albert to keep her safe.

As Rosie learns more about this unbelievable ability and the people – if you can call them that – who want them dead, she discovers that the group’s desire for her blood might be more than mere coincidence. Each step into this magical side of London introduces Rosie to a family history that she never knew existed, and dangerous forces that could unravel her world in an instant.

Her family may be the reason they’re all being hunted—and she may be the only one who can figure out how to save them. Sure, between the lot of them, they have a few shots to get it right. The thing about Pulling, though, is you have to be alive to do it.


Why did I add Pull to my bookshelf?

I love the idea of time traveling, and this premise sounded intriguing! 

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday #85


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme previously hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

(Click the cover to view this book on Goodreads!)


Publication Date: June 30th, 2020


From the author of Gods of Jade and Shadow comes a reimagining of the classic gothic suspense novel, a story about an isolated mansion in 1950s Mexico -- and the brave socialite drawn to its treacherous secrets.

He is trying to poison me. You must come for me, Noemí. You have to save me.

After receiving a frantic letter from her newly-wed cousin begging for someone to save her from a mysterious doom, Noemí Taboada heads to High Place, a distant house in the Mexican countryside. She’s not sure what she will find -- her cousin’s husband, a handsome Englishman, is a stranger, and Noemí knows little about the region.

Noemí is also an unlikely rescuer: She’s a glamorous debutante, and her chic gowns and perfect red lipstick are more suited for cocktail parties than amateur sleuthing. But she’s also tough, smart, and has an indomitable will, and she is not afraid: Not of her cousin’s new husband, who is both menacing and alluring; not of his father, the ancient patriarch who seems to be fascinated by Noemí; and not even of the house itself, which begins to invade Noemi’s dreams with visions of blood and doom.

Her only ally in this inhospitable abode is the family’s youngest son. Shy and gentle, he seems to want to help Noemí, but might also be hiding dark knowledge of his family’s past. For there are many secrets behind the walls of High Place. The family’s once colossal wealth and faded mining empire kept them from prying eyes, but as Noemí digs deeper she unearths stories of violence and madness.

And Noemí, mesmerized by the terrifying yet seductive world of High Place, may soon find it impossible to ever leave this enigmatic house behind. 

Monday, June 1, 2020

Review: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

Read: April 19th - 25th, 2020

Format: Kindle

Source: Purchased

View this book: Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date: October 21st, 2014

Rating (out of five stars): 

Goodreads blurb: Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinkmanship — and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.


Just Mercy is one of my favorite books of 2020 so far, and I believe it's a book that everyone needs to read. It's incredibly powerful and deeply moving, not to mention an eye-opening look at the U.S. prison system, racism, and capital punishment.

Bryan Stevenson, a lawyer working out of Alabama and the founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, recounts some of the many cases he's worked on over the years, focusing on the inhumane treatment of prisoners and of juveniles sent to adult prisons, but mainly on those wrongfully accused and sentenced.

He talks about several people he's helped over the years, but most of the story line follows the case of Walter McMillian, a man who was wrongfully accused of murder and sentenced to death row.

Before reading this book, I didn't realize just how many people are still wrongfully sentenced to prison or death, especially people of color. It's a horrifying realization, and if Mr. Stevenson's goal in writing this book was to make people aware of the problem, he succeeded.

This could have been a dull book full of dry statistics, but Mr. Stevenson's passion for his work comes through on every page, and it was utterly riveting. I didn't want to put it down.

At times heartbreaking, Just Mercy is ultimately inspiring. The work that Mr. Stevenson has done is incredible, and it's clear that he hasn't given up despite the many obstacles in his way.

I feel like this quote from Mr. Stevenson himself sums up the reason he works so hard for those unable to help themselves: "Each of us is more than the worst thing we've ever done."

I cannot recommend this one enough, and as I said earlier, it's a book that everyone needs to read.

Review: #VERYFAT #VERYBRAVE: The Fat Girl's Guide to Being #Brave... by Nicole Byer

Read: April 7th, 2020

Format: Kindle ARC

Source: I received a copy of this from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

View this book: Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date: June 2nd, 2020

Rating (out of five stars): 

Goodreads blurb: If you’ve ever seen a fat person post a bikini shot on social media, you already know that they are #verybrave, because apparently existing in a fat body in public is #brave. I, Nicole Byer, wrote this book to 1. share my impressive bikini collection and my hot body with the world and 2. help other people feel #brave by embracing their body as it is. In this book, I share my journey to becoming #brave, give you my hot tips and tricks—on how to find the perfect bikini, how to find your own #bravery, and how to handle haters—and serve you over 100 bikini looks.

I first heard about Nicole Byer by watching the Netflix show Nailed It! (which I love and highly recommend!), and I was thrilled to find out she'd written a book, and even more thrilled when I was able to get an ARC from Edelweiss.

Nicole's voice comes through so clearly while reading this book, and I laughed out loud more than once. She's hilarious to watch on Nailed it! and her humor is present here, as well.

She gives a lot of good advice for those too ashamed to wear bikinis in public - in short, just do it. She has humorous comebacks for you to use against anyone who would try to shame you for wearing one, and the book as a whole is inspiring.

She shares a lot of photos of herself wearing bikinis, and sprinkles personal anecdotes throughout. This definitely isn't a typical autobiography, and you won't get any behind-the-scenes looks at Nailed It!, but it's a funny and timely book about loving yourself.

It was a quick read - I managed to finish it in just under an hour - but definitely worth the time. I would highly recommend this, especially if you love Nicole or if you struggle with the self-esteem to wear a bikini.

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Stacking the Shelves #73


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book haul meme hosted by Tynga of  Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality. It's all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Click the covers to be carried to the Goodreads page for each book!  😊


For Review (From Publisher):

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Books from the Backlog #4


Books from the Backlog, hosted by Carole's Random Life, is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  

This week's neglected book:



Blurb:

In Embrace Your Weird, New York Times bestselling author, producer, actress, TV writer, and award-winning web series creator, Felicia Day takes you on a journey to find, rekindle, or expand your creative passions.

Including Felicia’s personal stories and hard-won wisdom, Embrace Your Weird offers:

—Entertaining and revelatory exercises that empower you to be fearless, so you can rediscover the things that bring you joy, and crack your imagination wide open

—Unique techniques to vanquish enemies of creativity like: anxiety, fear, procrastination, perfectionism, criticism, and jealousy

—Tips to cultivate a creative community

—Space to explore and get your neurons firing

Whether you enjoy writing, baking, painting, podcasting, playing music, or have yet to uncover your favorite creative outlet, Embrace Your Weird will help you unlock the power of self-expression. Get motivated. Get creative. Get weird.


Why did I add Embrace Your Weird to my bookshelf?

I love Felicia Day so I pre-ordered this as soon as it was available to pre-order, but, like I've come to realize since I started participating in Books from the Backlog, I rarely read books as soon as I get them, so the only reason to keep pre-ordering is to help the authors. haha I really enjoyed Felicia's last book, so I am looking forward to finally reading this one. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday #84


Waiting on Wednesday is a meme previously hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine, which spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

(Click the cover to view this book on Goodreads!)


Publication Date: June 1st, 2020


'She loved me as I loved her, fierce as a bloodied blade'

When Lia, an idealistic queen, falls for Xania, her new spymaster--who took the job to avenge her murdered father--they realise all isn't fair in love and treason.

Lia won’t mourn her uncle: he's left her a bankrupt kingdom considered easy pickings by its neighbours. She’s sworn to be a better ruler, but if she wants to push through her reforms, she needs to beat the Court at its own games. For years, Xania's been determined to uncover her father's murderer. She finally gets a chance when Lia gives her a choice: become her new spymaster, or take a one way trip to the executioner’s axe. It’s an easy decision.

When they fall for each other, their love complicates Lia’s responsibilities and Xania’s plans for vengeance. As they're drawn together amid royal suitors and new diplomats, they uncover treason that could not only end Lia’s reign, but ruin their weakened country. They must decide not only what to sacrifice for duty, but also for each other.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Read: March 31st, 2020

Format: Kindle

Source: Purchased

View this book: Goodreads | Amazon

Publication date: October 23rd, 2014

Rating (out of five stars): 

Goodreads blurb: On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems.


As a long-time fan of Neil Gaiman, I am always excited when I get to read something of his that I haven't read before, and thankfully, this one didn't disappoint. He's a master at weaving words into a magical story, and, for the thirty-five minutes that it took for me to read this, I was transported into the world of this slightly dark fairy tale retelling. 

I loved, loved, loved it. It twists a couple of well-known fairy tales into a unique story, and my only disappointment is that it wasn't longer! I would love to see a novel-length sequel about what happens after this story. Alas, I fear that will never come to be, but at least I'll still have this story.

As I mentioned before, this was a very quick read, which I was expecting, so I wasn't surprised by it. It was actually a nice change from longer novels. I was able to sit down with it and know that I'd actually finish it in one sitting, which hasn't happened in a while. Since it's so short, the story moves fast, but is still well-paced. Though we don't get a lot of character development, I grew quite an attachment to the Queen and the three dwarves. 

And I would be remiss if I didn't mention the incredible illustrations by Chris Riddell. They're beautiful and helped to seamlessly immerse me in this world.

This would be perfect for a bedtime story for yourself, or perhaps for children who don't mind a darker fairy tale. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Stacking the Shelves #72


Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book haul meme hosted by Tynga of  Tynga's Reviews and Marlene of Reading Reality. It's all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical stores or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts, and of course e-books!

If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

Click the covers to be carried to the Goodreads page for each book!  😊

Purchased (Kindle):



Purchased (Audiobook):

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Books from the Backlog #3


Books from the Backlog, hosted by Carole's Random Life, is a fun way to feature some of those neglected books sitting on your bookshelf unread.  

This week's neglected book:


Blurb: 

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone... 
A convict with a thirst for revenge 
A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager 
A runaway with a privileged past 
A spy known as the Wraith 
A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums 
A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes 
Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

I'm almost ashamed to admit that I haven't read this book yet! It's been on my kindle for years, and I've never gotten around to starting it. I think part of it is that it's been hyped up so much that I'm afraid I'll be disappointed when I finally read it.

What about y'all? Have any of you read it? What did you think?