Review: Gudetama – Love For the Lazy

Dating is exhausting, so let’s take a lighthearted approach to exploring it with Gudetama, everyone’s favorite grumpy egg! From navigating first-date smalltalk to recovering from being dumped, Gudetama is your guide to finding love…even when you’re lazy.

Sanrio is the global lifestyle brand best known for pop icon Hello Kitty®, and home to many other beloved character brands including Chococat, My Melody, Badtz-Maru, Keroppi, Gudetama and Aggretsuko.

If you love Gudetama or Sanrio in general you should definitely check this one out. This features Gudetama and his friend as they give people advice on different dilemmas in relationships. Often the solutions are comical and more lazy, which is on brand for Gudetama.

I went into this expected something with bright and vivid colors and snappy stories that would make me laugh – and I was not disappointed. It was uplifting and funny, plus a quick read that put a smile on my face.

Gudetama: Love For the Lazy is out January 14th from Oni Press – if you’re interested make sure to pick up a copy. Happy reading!

Top 5 Books I Read This Year

Since we’re at the end of the year I figured it was time to pick some favorites. Though I don’t give out a ton of five star ratings, this year I had a fair amount so it was harder to pick only five. Still, I was able to narrow it down to some that I know I would read again and probably love just as much.

Great Goddesses – I read most of Nikita Gill’s works this year and I believe gave five stars to each one, but if I had to pick a favorite it would be this one. I just fell in love with her poetry and honestly it reignited a love of poetry that had fallen away for a number of years.

If I’m Being Honest – I absolutely loved this duo’s debut book Always Never Yours when I read it so I had to pick up this one when it came out. I love their unique spin on “retelling” Shakespeare, where it’s not strictly a retelling, but modern characters relating to Shakespeare and using it as a mirror to their lives. The first one uses Romeo and Juliet for this while this one uses Taming of the Shrew. If you’re looking for a contemporary story that will make you both laugh and cry, you have to check out these books.

The Kiss Quotient – I know everyone went crazy over this book last year, but I was a little late to the party and read it this year. Helen Hoang has easily become one of my autobuy authors with this book and then The Bride Test. I love how fully dimensional so many of her characters are and how thoughtfully she writes a number of subjects. At this point I will read pretty much anything she writes.

Truly Devious – Maureen Johnson has been a little hit and miss for me, but I absolutely loved this story. A cold case murder mystery and an exclusive private school with very quirky characters? Yes please. This is one I would definitely recommend the audiobook for as I was fully immersed in it and felt it was extremely well done. I’m definitely looking forward to continuing on with the story; however, I’m scared to continue before more books are out because I don’t want a cliffhanger to kill me.

Moonlocket – Moonlocket is the sequel to Cogheart which was such a great story in and of itself, but with the second book the characters have so much growth and really gain even more dimension. (Spoiler – I’ve been graciously given an eARC of the third book, so watch my blog for a review of that one as well!) If you enjoy middle grade adventures I definitely recommend picking this series up!

So that’s it – my top five books of 2019! What were some of your favorites?

Happy reading!

Review: Small Hours

Valérie Minelli’s tremendously popular Mrs. Frollein comics have been stirring emotion in people all over the world with heartfelt and earnest strips making fun of the mundane. These perfectly poignant webcomics find inspiration in the everyday, encompassing rainy coffee mornings, playful relationship adventures, and quiet introspective moments. The small, unexpected minutes that quilt life together.

In addition to many of the most recent fan-favorite Mrs. Frollein strips, Small Hours also includes twenty-five all-new, never before released comics as well as a foreword from fellow web-comic luminaries, Jonathan Kunz and Elizabeth Pich of War and Peas.

I had never heard of this comic before, but the description made me think they would be heartwarming comics often dealing with a loving relationship and I was right. The comics had a lighthearted vibe that perfectly showcased their loving subject matter. If you’re looking for something that will make you smile and be totally relateable this is a great example. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through these comics and they put a smile on my face.

Happy reading!

Review: Forgive Yourself These Tiny Acts of Self-Destruction

Singer’s highly anticipated debut book collects and transforms work from his ten years as a mainstay of the NYC poetry scene. With work that ranges from the laugh out loud funny to the silence and rage of loss, Forgive Yourself These Tiny Acts of Self-Destruction is a must read. As the book unfolds Jared guides the reader through fresh takes on the discussion of body image and body positivity side by side with all too familiar discussions of mental health, anxiety and suicide. It explores the complex cloth that is American culture and New York in particular, taking extra time to examine his identity as a Jewish American and how that underpins the authors daily experience. Forgive Yourself is a modern handbook for finding yourself and your place without losing your way.

This collection was another book of very hard hitting poetry, which examines a number of sometimes difficult subjects. Singer discussed a number of personal experiences and triggering subjects for him. With this in mind it made the poems more full of depth and more jarring.

There are a number of triggering subjects so if subjects like suicide, body image issues, loss of loved ones and more so if those subjects are too triggering for you go into this with caution. The poems are very heartfelt and definitely show a journey that hopefully lead towards acceptance and growth.

All in all it was a great collection that is sure to pull at the heartstrings and have great impact.

Happy reading!

2020 Reading Challenges I Want to Participate In

There are so many different reading challenges that it can be hard to decide which ones you want to participate in. Typically I have trouble sticking to them, or I find a ton I want to do and then am too unorganized or too much of a mood reader. This coming year I want to pick a few that I definitely participate in, then fill in where I can or where I feel like it.

Clearing the HoardMy backlist is pretty enormous and it is something I would like to improve. I’m a little hesitant to make an actual list of all the books I have which are unread because, well, there are a lot, but I think it’s a great idea to tackle all those books which may not be at the top of the TBR.

TBR and Beyond – I’m a member of the TBR and Beyond facebook group, which has monthly and a yearly reading challenge, so I definitely plan on tackling those challenges as well.

20 For 2020 Reading Challenge – This one is based on prompts and it looks like a really good list, so I’m definitely going to try and tackle it. We’ll see how we do!

What reading challenges are you going to participate in next year?

Happy reading!

2020 Book Resolutions

We all have those things that we think about when heading into the new year, things or habits that we want to change. I have these for my general life, but also for my reading life. Here are a few of the things I want to improve upon.

My “Currently Reading” pile – I think I may have already brought this up this year, but I have a few books currently sitting on my currently reading pile. I would like to clear this pile and finally finish these books.

My Neverending TBR – Ok, may of us have this problem and it is not unique – but it’s still something I need to work on. I did a great job this year to not bring in more books than I read, but I really need to take care of my backlist and dramatically decrease it.

Stay More On Top of Review Books – I do pretty well with this, but with the epic slump I fell into in the last few months of the year this one kind of slipped. I’m confident I can get it back on track and power through these books.

Continue To Grow This Blog – I’ve done really well in the last few months of posting every day and I would like to keep that up. It’s led to some great growth and really kept me accountable, I’d like to keep that trend going!

So those are the big ones, things that I hope to really ramp up on or continue doing. What are some of your reading resolutions for 2020?

Happy reading!

Happy Holidays!

After a long day with my boyfriend’s family (and in laws) I don’t have a whole lot of time left in the day to write much, so I will keep today’s post brief for the most part.

No matter what religion or holiday you celebrate, my wishes for you are to have a safe and happy end of the year. I know that a lot of people have a hard time at Christmas, sometimes the hard memories are too difficult to overcome, but remember that somewhere around the corner you can always find a little joy.

Don’t let the small things or the lurking memories get you down, we’re about to enter the new year which means time for regaining your center and starting new projects (and books!).

Happy reading and Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it!

Review: Killer Domes and the Chosen One

As the old world burned, the elite departed to colonise space in search of a new home. Most of the human species perished on earth’s surface, but a protected few remained. Many generations passed without question, but now suspicions are starting to rise.

Follow the story of Maz and her best friend Hap, as a chance encounter with a stranger lures them into a mission to decide the future of humankind.

Killer Domes and the Chosen One is not your typical start to a sci-fi adventure. In this world the Elites have left behind some people on earth, but left them within domes to protect them from the world as it burned. We primarily follow Maz, who prides herself on excelling and gaining status in the dome.

The world building itself as well as the descriptions of how things worked within the dome provided for a very strong beginning and a good foundation for the continuing story. While things seem pretty perfect and without conflict at first, this soon changes and we go on a twisting adventure that is full of surprises.

If you want a quick adventure that will make you want to continue on in the series be sure to check it out. Starting today (December 24th) this book is available for free on Kindle, but make sure to grab it as this deal only lasts three days!

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: Husband Material Review and Q&A

Told in Emily Belden’s signature edgy voice, a novel about a young widow’s discovery of her late husband’s secret and her journey toward hope and second-chance love.

Twenty-nine-year-old Charlotte Rosen has a secret: she’s a widow. Ever since the fateful day that leveled her world, Charlotte has worked hard to move forward. Great job at a hot social media analytics company? Check. Roommate with no knowledge of her past? Check. Adorable dog? Check. All the while, she’s faithfully data-crunched her way through life, calculating the probability of risk—so she can avoid it.

Yet Charlotte’s algorithms could never have predicted that her late husband’s ashes would land squarely on her doorstep five years later. Stunned but determined, Charlotte sets out to find meaning in this sudden twist of fate, even if that includes facing her perfectly coiffed, and perfectly difficult, ex-mother-in-law—and her husband’s best friend, who seems to become a fixture at her side whether she likes it or not.

But soon a shocking secret surfaces, forcing Charlotte to answer questions she never knew to ask and to consider the possibility of forgiveness. And when a chance at new love arises, she’ll have to decide once and for all whether to follow the numbers or trust her heart.

Buy Links: Harlequin Amazon Barnes & Noble Indie Bound Kobo
Google Books

If you had to sum up this book in one word it would definitely be cute or adorable. It’s a fun and sassy romantic comedy that tackles grief, interactions with those you may have a new relationship with and finding new love. Charlotte is very data oriented, but it’s somewhat of a shield for her so she can keep herself safe. There’s definitely some avoidance on her part and a lot of ways in which she needs to come to terms with some things and grow.

I would definitely go into this book with the idea that it will be a fun read and for the most part light but full of heart. I could have used a little more dimension to some of the characters, but overall I did enjoy the adventure that was this book and would definitely recommend it.

EMILY BELDEN is a journalist, social media marketer, and storyteller. She is the author of the novel Hot Mess and Eightysixed: A Memoir about Unforgettable Men, Mistakes, and Meals. She lives in Chicago. Visit her website at or follow her on Twitter and Instagram, @emilybelden.

Social Links: Author website:
Twitter: @emilybelden
Instagram: @emilybelden
Facebook: @emilybeldenauthor

Q&A With Emily Belden

Q: When you begin writing a love story, do you know how you want it to end? Or do you decide as you develop the plot?
A: I generally have an idea of how I want things to wrap up, but what I always struggle with is that final sentence. How do you know you’re REALLY there? I often ready my theoretical last sentence out loud, followed by saying “The End”, and if it feels like it has a certain “ring” to it, then I can shut the laptop. If not, then I know it’s not my stopping point. Wrapping up that final thought with a bow on it is super important. It’s what I want when I read a book, at least.

Q: How was it to write about grief, pain and love for the same character?
A: It was new. That’s really the best word to explain it. HOT MESS has so many autobiographical elements to it (i.e., restaurant industry know-how, dating an addict, etc.) but HUSBAND MATERIAL was all unchartered territory for me. I realized right away that in order to write about the grief of losing a spouse/partner, I had to curate a focus group of real-life women like Charlotte and really learn from them to bring the level of authenticity and nuance needed to successfully write the book.

Q: What type of love stories do you like? Or were there ones you looked to as you began writing Husband Material?
A: I like really unexpected love stories. In today’s literary landscape, there’s certainly a formula that is pretty common. So it’s the books that break or stray from that formula that really do it for me. I like stories where it’s not innately clear who the protagonist is going to end up with. Even with HOT MESS there’s a moment where (I hope) the reader is like “OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING” insofar as Allie’s love story goes. Same with Charlotte in HUSBAND MATERIAL.

Q: Do you prefer to write by planning ahead (ie outlining, etc) or just go with the flow as inspiration hits?
A: I prefer to go with the flow. My general writing pattern is banging out 1-2 chapters at a time and then ending my work with a bulleted list of what I think needs to happen next. That way, when I open up my laptop and start to write the next 1-2 chapters, I’m not totally lost or forgetful of where I left off. It helps me figure out what would make sense in the flow of the pages.

Q: When did you know you wanted to become an author? What are you currently reading and what’s on your TBR list?
A: It’s been my only god-given talent since I was a little kid. It started with really creative letters to Santa or the Tooth Fairy. I won a contest to be a kid reporter for the Chicago Tribune when I was 12 years old and after that, my fate was sealed. I knew I wanted to write at the highest level I could! I am currently reading a book called Lulu’s Cafe by an author who is also repped by my agents, Browne & Miller. I really love it and can picture it as an adorable Hallmark Movie.

What that’s it for this post, thanks again to Harlequin for inviting me to this blog tour and allowing me to participate. Happy reading!

Review: Swallowtail

A deep dive into the dissection of popular culture, and how the brightness and horrors of it can be mirrors into the daily lived experiences of women in America.

First and foremost, this poetry collection is not for the faint of heart. It tackles a number of difficult subjects that may be hard for some people to stomach, but that’s part of the reason I really enjoy it. Poetry is such a great medium when it comes to expressing pain and trauma, it allows the words and emotions to come through in a raw way.

I really felt that Brenna Twohy attacked these subjects well and the collection in a way is a type of catharsis. While it will probably be difficult for many to read, I feel it will resonate with many people. Keep in mind we have trigger warnings for abuse, rape, grief, anxiety, death of a sibling, mental illness and more.

Happy reading!