Review: Swipe Right For Murder

Synopsis: On the run from the FBI.
Targeted by a murderous cult.
Labeled a cyber-terrorist by the media.
Irritated texts from his best friend.
Eye contact with a nice-looking guy on the train.
Aidan has a lot to deal with, and he’s not quite sure which takes top priority.

Finding himself alone in a posh New York City hotel room for the night, Aidan does what any red-blooded seventeen-year-old would do—he tries to hook up with someone new. But that lapse in judgement leads to him waking up next to a dead guy, which sparks an epic case of mistaken identity that puts Aidan on the run from everyone—faceless federal agents, his eccentric family, and, naturally, a cyber-terrorist group who will stop at nothing to find him.

He soon realizes the only way to stop the chase is to deliver the object everyone wants, before he gets caught or killed. But for Aidan, the hardest part is knowing who he can trust not to betray him—including himself.

I didn’t know what to expect with this book just picked it up based on premise alone. It was a fun and twisted ride of betrayal, mistaken identities and a deadly terrorist group which may have had a noble cause at one point early on, but has become twisted.

I loved the friend group in this book, everyone in Aidan’s inner circle truly cared about him and accepted him as he was. Those moments were some of my favorite in the book. I also truly enjoyed the fast paced nature of the book, it was almost non-stop and keeps you guessing the whole time. The author does a really good job of making you wonder if you can truly trust anyone.

You do have to suspend disbelief with this book, but that’s ok. If you’re looking for a sometimes sassy, sometimes hilarious crime adventure, you should definitely check this one out.

Happy reading!

Discussion: Some Of My Favorite Booktubers

While I only blog for now, I’ve been watching booktubers for a long time and toyed with the idea of making my own channel. Over the years I’ve found some booktubers that I absolutely love whose videos I pretty much auto-watch. Now, these are nowhere near all of the channels I watch (there are tons more) but these are some of my favorites.

Booksandlala: I watch Lala’s videos for noise sometimes, to the point where my boyfriend asks if it’s a new or old video. I love her humor and sass, and the matter of fact approach she has to books and her content. She comes up with some of the most creative ideas and I love following her on her journeys when she does them.

Chelseadolling Reads: Chelsea is one of the many who I’d love to be friends with in real life. Her vlogs are amazing, especially her new series where she reads the rainbow. In her videos we also often get cameos from her boyfriend Aldo and their cats Dot and Booger.

Pages and Pens: Julie is a writer herself so her reviews of books are thoughtful and delve deeper. She’s also super fun and great to follow if you’re looking for someone who reads a broad spectrum of books and is very passionate about her favorites.

Aprilius Maximus: April is another one I’d love to be friends with (let’s face it, I’d love to be friends with all of them) but I also feel like she’s a kindred spirit in a lot of ways. She is very open about her anxiety and is a Caucasian in a relationship with a Korean, which is similar to my relationship, so in those ways we are twinzies. Her weekly reading vlogs include a lot of her real life as well as her pets and are amazing.

Who do you like to watch? Do you have some different favorites?

Happy watching!

Review: The Missing Barbegazi

Synopsis: Tessa has heard her grandfather’s stories about the fabled barbegazi since she was little. Now, after his death, she’s determined to see the gnome-like creatures for herself and prove her grandfather wasn’t just a confused old man.

When Tessa discovers Gawion, a young male barbegazi, she’s overjoyed. She can finally show everyone that her grandfather was telling the truth. But Gawion needs her help. His sister is missing and may have been captured by humans. As the two form a friendship, Tessa realizes that uncovering the truth about the barbegazi carries great responsibilities—and sometimes things have to remain a secret.

This was such a cute story! In it we follow Tessa who is dealing with the recent loss of her grandfather and is desperately trying to find evidence of the barbegazi, who he swore saved him years ago from an avalanche. We also follow a family of barbegazis who are dealing with the disappearance of one of their family members.

The book is peppered with lore about the barbegazis and their habits/mythology which I thought was a really nice touch. Throughout the book there are some times and Tessa makes impulsive decisions that aren’t the smartest, or has thoughts that are a tad selfish but it’s good to see her reason through those thoughts or think retroactively about her decisions and their consequences. For the age that she is her behavior and thoughts are appropriate.

The family dynamics and friendships in this book were really charming and authentic. It touched on a lot of harder subjects such as grief (and the effects thereof), slight bullying and others. It’s a fun winter adventure with a lot of twists and turns and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

If it sounds like something you would like to pick up be sure to check it out. It’s coming out from Jolly Fish Press on November 12th.

Happy reading!

November Reading Plans

As I’ve mentioned previously my November is packed. Between my day job, NaNoWriMo and other things I have planned leading into the holidays I’m not going to have a whole lot of down time or free time, but I’d still likely devote a good amount of time to reading.

I don’t have any specific books that I need to complete other than those that have been sent to me by authors or publishers, those are my top priority so if all goes well I’m hoping a number of reviews will go up.

I’m going to try and continue the trend of posting every day, so keep your fingers crossed I am able to achieve that. It may be a little touch and go what with all the things I have to do, but I’m going to do my best.

Other than that I just hope I read more than I did in my lowest month of the year (13) and that I’m able to break the slump I’m in. I’m really hoping this will be the month that I’m able to.

What are you going to read? Happy reading!

NaNoWriMo Update: First Week

How’s everyone doing now that we are six days in? To tell the truth I am not doing well at all. With my day job requiring a lot of my mental capacity and planning for things requiring a lot of what is left, I’ve not had a ton of free time to devote to Nano.

While I have managed to write every day, my word totals have been sorely lacking which is disheartening. The last two years I’ve started incredibly strong, so it worries me that it’s not the same this year, but I will push through it.

My plan for the next week is to try and hit hard and make up the difference of what I’m missing while also hitting my daily goals. I know it won’t be perfect since I have a number of things coming up in the next few days, but I’m going to try my hardest.

Is everyone else hitting their goals? If you aren’t, don’t get too discouraged. You can always catch up! Heck, if my muse decides to hit me over the head I could catch up in one day. It’s not over until the end of the month.

Happy writing!

Review: The Claiming

A ghostly apparition appearing along a dark and lonely stretch of highway. A ritual bound in blood. A race against time against a deadly supernatural force.

Kendra Garrity’s twin brother, the only person she has ever loved, will be dead at dawn.

Gwydion has done the unthinkable. He has triggered The Claiming, an ancient ritual that can turn an ordinary person into a witch. But power comes with a terrible cost. Now he hovers in a state near death, trapped in the underworld. At sunrise, he’ll be lost forever. And something dark and unnatural will rise in his place.

Kendra is the only one who has any hope of saving the brother she loves, the brother who once gave up everything for her. But in order to rescue him, she must enter into a terrifying mirror world populated by nightmare creatures and controlled by demons. If she fails, she will be trapped there forever. And if she succeeds, it might mean giving up everything she has ever known.

This book definitely ticked all the boxes when it came to buzzwords that I would enjoy and general feel. It was definitely on the spookier side and the writing was beautiful in so many ways. The descriptions are rich and suit the story perfectly.

You spend the whole story wondering about people’s motivations and learning things little by little. Finding out some of the history of the town and just what lays beneath the surface was great and definitely makes me want to read more in this series.

I will say that woven in to this story there are definitely some trigger worthy topics, there’s talk about abuse, rape and more, so if those are subjects you can’t handle then this one may not be for you. All in all I really enjoyed this one and it definitely fit my craving for something darker and mystical.

The Claiming is out now if you want to pick up a copy. Happy reading!

Review: Meant To Be Yours by Susan Mallery

I was so excited when Harlequin reached out to me to be a part of their new blog tour program so I jumped at the chance to join. I’m eager to check out a bunch of new books in varying genres. While I’m being provided digital copies of the books in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

Synopsis: In Happily Inc, love means never having to say “I do”…

Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.

After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.

Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?

Buy Links: Harlequin Indiebound Amazon Barnes & Noble  Books-A-Million Target Walmart Google iBooks Kobo

I love stories that feature love interest who think they can’t love or aren’t suited to love, so the description of this book was right up my alley. It’s actually the fifth book in a series, but from my experience with this one it doesn’t appear you need to read the previous books to understand the setting or characters, though I’m sure there are things that make more sense if you do as the stories likely wind together. Still, from the way this book reads you can probably only read the ones you are interested in, read them out of order, or read them all – either way works!

I absolutely fell in love with the characters in this book, not just Renee and Jasper, but the friends that surround them. The world building and setting of Happily Inc was enchanting, there were so many places I would love to see in this quaint little town. Throughout the story you do see glimpses of who I assume were the couples from the previous books, and they each have stories of their own that weave into the main plot. Mallery has done a masterful job of creating a place and characters that you want to be friends with and spend time with. And Renee’s mother plus the relationship between her and Renee? Beautiful.

Now to Renee and Jasper, who both believe that they are broken in different ways. Neither of them believe that love will ever be in their future because of different things they have experienced in the past. Their internal dialogue and struggles when faced with the progression of their relationship was beautiful. The insecurities and worries that they each had were understandable and I really enjoyed the way they would sort things out in their heads, and then with each other.

If you’re looking for a romance on the fun side but with plenty of soul searching and growth of characters, be sure to pick this one up. I’m so thrilled I got the opportunity to read it.

SUSAN MALLERY is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of novels about the relationships that define women’s lives—family, friendship, romance. Library Journal says, “Mallery is the master of blending emotionally believable characters in realistic situations,” and
readers seem to agree—40 million copies of her books have sold worldwide. Her warm, humorous stories make the world a happier place to live. Susan grew up in California and now lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s passionate about animal welfare, especially that of the two ragdoll cats and adorable poodle who think of her as mom.

Social Links: Author Website
Twitter: @susanmallery
Facebook: SusanMallery
Instagram: @susanmallery
Goodreads

Thanks again to Harlequin for giving me the opportunity to participate in the blog tour, Meant to Be Yours is out now, so check it out!

Happy reading!

October Haul and Wrap Up

I had such high hopes for October, I really did. I thought I was going to kick the slump to the curb and dive back into all the books, but alas, it was not to be. Part of this was definitely because I was listening to a ton of spooky podcasts rather than listening to audiobooks. Still, it wasn’t my worst reading month of the year, so that’s something. Let’s get into it!

In total I read 14 books this month and seven of them were books that I owned in print (shown to the left). I always like to get some print books off my backlist, so that was a positive aspect off the month. Three of the books I read were copies received from authors or publishers, one was an audiobook I didn’t own and the remaining three were read in e-book form.

I went to one event this past month, being the Felicia Day book tour stop at the Beaverton Powell’s. This was the place where most of the books I acquired during the month came from as I had known I was going to splurge a bit while there. Additionally I did pick up a graphic novel from my local comic store and also got my Book of the Month pick for the month. I only brought in eight books during the month, so once against managed to read more than I brought in (and managed to read two of the books acquired during the month).

On that front I’m not exactly sure how November is going to go. I am attending the Portland Book Festival and plan for it to be probably my only real book buying of the month. I’m hoping I’ll be able to say good riddance to my slump once and for all, but the struggle has been real. Still, I did read some books I really enjoyed this past month, so while I didn’t read a ton, I enjoyed a lot of what I did read. Star wise I had two 2 stars, one 3 star, seven 4 stars and four 5 stars.

We’ll just have to see how November goes, hopefully it will go much better than September or October did, I am hoping to hit my stretch goal of 300 books this year (currently at 272).

Yes, Calypso tried to help again.

Happy reading!

Series Review: The Wicked + The Divine

They say all good things must come to an end, but I was both excited for the finale of this series and dreading it. This graphic novel series has by far been one of my favorites. It is definitely full of adult content and very graphic in nature, so keep that in mind if you are going to pick it up. From what I’ve noticed it is also quite polarizing, some people love it like I did, but some people don’t.

Now let’s get into it – The Wicked + The Divine tells the story of a group of twelve individuals who become Gods and then die two years later. This is a cycle that happens every 90 years and no one* knows why (ok, there’s someone who knows why, but they aren’t talking). During the time that they are Gods they are both loved and hated. They become the biggest celebrities there are, scrutinized by all and constantly watched.

This series was masterfully done, the pieces slowly coming together and peeling back layer after layer to discover the truth regarding how this started happening and what the reasons behind it truly was.

There were so many moments that caused extreme emotions because I became so invested in the different characters and their stories. The last volume alone made me cry multiple times.

If you love stories that are a twist on mythologies, examinations of humans and their motivations or just a fun time, definitely check out this series. The last volume recently came out, so it is complete and can be binged!

Happy reading!

Review: Dewdrop

Title: Dewdrop
Author and Illustrator: Katie O’Neill
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: April 7th, 2020

Synopsis: Dewdrop is an easygoing, gentle axolotl who enjoys naps, worm pie, and cheerleading. When the yearly sports fair nears, he and his friends—Mia the weightlifting turtle, Newman the musical newt, and three minnows who love to cook—get ready to showcase their skills to the whole pond! However, as the day of the fair gets closer, Dewdrop’s friends can’t help putting pressure on themselves to be the best. It’s up to Dewdrop to remind them how to be mindful, go at their own pace, and find joy in their own achievements.

As soon as I heard that Katie O’Neill was coming out with another book I had to read it. I absolutely love the messages she weaves into her books and her art style. The bright color palette and her adorable characters are sure to draw anyone in, but in all her works there are beautiful stories and messages that are great for all ages.

Dewdrop is an adorable little axolotl who loves being a cheerleader and encouraging his friends. As they are preparing for the sports festival each of his friends encounter setbacks with what they are trying to do, but Dewdrop is there to help them through their difficulties and offer support.

This was such as a wonderful read that will be amazing for younger children, I’ll definitely be picking up a copy for my niece once it comes out!

If it sounds like something that you or someone you know would like, be sure to pick up a copy when it comes out April 7th, 2020 from Oni Press. Happy reading!