5 Star Predictions for 2020

We all have those books we are looking forward to and that we believe will be five stars and some of our favorite books. I have a number of 2020 releases I’m wanting to get my hands on but let’s get into some of the ones I believe will be favorites.

The Silence of Bones – We all know that anything Asian inspired or set in Asia gets my interest, but especially those set in Korea. I’ve interacted with this author on Twitter and she’s amazing to talk to so I cannot wait to get this one in my hands.

Night of the Dragon – Ok, we all know that I LOVED the first two books in this trilogy and I am desperately wanting to know how the trilogy ends. I know it’s probably going to be a difficult read because things are probably going to happen to some characters that I don’t like, but I NEED TO KNOW.

Scavenge the Stars – I haven’t read anything by Tara Sim as of yet, but I’ve heard great things. I just think the blurb for this one sounds amazing and like it will be something I really enjoy.

Where Dreams Descend – Ok, you had me at Phantom of the Opera, it’s one of those stories I enjoy to see redone and I’ve heard some good early opinions so I definitely think this one is going to be up there for me.

Time of Our Lives – I have adored and 5 starred both of the previous books by these authors and that’s coming from someone who doesn’t read a ton of contemporary books. I love how they infuse Shakespeare into their works and how fully faceted their characters are, so they are an autobuy for me.

What books do you think will rank up there for you?

Happy reading!

November 2019 Wrap Up

Contrary to my hopes November ended up being my worst reading month of the year. Some of this could be blamed on how busy I was, or how I was trying and failing to do NaNoWrimo, but really I have just been in a major slump and it has been hitting me hard. I’m eternally hoping that it’s run its course so that I can end the year on a high.

This month I read 11 books total (which still hurts my heart a little) but I did manage to take care of four review books and three books that I had physical copies of. The others were either e-books or audiobooks. I also managed to do blog posts for all but one of them, which will be linked in this post. The last review will be posted in December as part of a blog tour so keep an eye out!

Of all the books, I only had two 3 star books and the rest were all four stars, so overall a good reading month quality wise and really that is what is most important. I don’t want to read a ton of books that I don’t like.

Fingers crossed that December goes well, I do already feel better regarding my headspace for reading, so that’s already an improvement.

The reviews posted of the books I read this month are:
Review: Meant to Be Yours
Review: The Claiming
Review: Summer Frost
Review: Build Yourself a Boat
Review: The Way You Make Me Feel
Review: Ark
Review: Emergency Skin
Review: Aru Shah and the End of Time
Review: You Have Arrived At Your Destination
Review: The Case of the Missing Bubble Gum Card

Happy reading!

November Book Haul

Well, November was an interesting month. I was super busy with a trip (which contributed most of the books for this month) and a ton of stuff at work. So without further ado, let’s get into it.

In early November I went to the Portland Book Festival. Thankfully I had stashed some money so I didn’t have to hugely worry about my budget. I picked up a number of books directly at the festival. It was great meeting authors and publishers but it was also definitely a strain on my anxiety since there were tons of crowds. Still, I had a great time.

In the same trip my boyfriend and I went to the main Powell’s and I had a shopping spree there. Thankfully he’s used to me roaming bookstores for extended periods of time so he let me wander. I managed to do quite a bit of damage there as well, but I had known ahead of time that the Portland trip would definitely be the bulk of my purchases for the month.

Then there were my Book of the Month books, I chose Get a Life, Chloe Brown and then added Song of the Crimson Flower as an add on. I always do either one or two of their selections, you can’t beat the prices.

I had told myself that those were going to be all the books that I got this month but then today found myself in Barnes and Noble. I wanted to pick up Queen of Nothing since I wanted all my editions to match, then let myself pick up a few more.

So that’s all the books I picked up this month. Since today is the last day of the month I know there won’t be any others being added to the list. I had known that this month would be pretty full and budget busting. I’m hoping I can decrease the amount in December. I don’t have any major buying plans, so most of what I get will likely be gifts.

What did you pick up this month? Happy reading!

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!

September Wrap Up and Haul

I know I’m a little late in posting this, but I recently decided I wanted to start putting up wrap ups on my blog, not only so I have a record, but also to keep myself accountable. September was my worst reading month of 2019 so far in terms of how many books I read, but I did read a lot of really good books.

This year I had set a goal for myself to read more books each month than I bring in and each much I’ve managed to do that…except September. I’m giving myself a pass on it since I’ve done so well the rest of the year, but yeah.

In the month of September I read 13 books and added 16 physical books to my TBR (though I did read two of the books I brought in). The breakdown for the books I read are as follows:

  • 6 books that I owned in print (pictured at right)
  • 5 eARCs/Review books
  • 2 ebooks

I have posts up for all of the eARCS/review books that I completed, so if you want to know about them I will picture them below.

The two ebooks I read were Quiet Girl in a Noisy World by Debbie Tung and Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill, which both got 5 stars from me and were amazing.

Now, onto the books I added to my TBR. I got three books from Book of the Month in September. The rest I either picked up because they were discounted, or they were stress purchases. Hey, it happens.

I’m planning on reading a couple of these in the month of October. As I said I read two in the month of September (Kamisama Kiss 16 and Great Goddesses) and have since finished Tunnel of Bones this month.

As I said, though I didn’t read a ton of books, but those I read were really good. The lowest rating I had was a 3 star, and that was only one book. All of the rest were either 4 or 5 stars.

Here’s hoping that October will be a lot better than September was. Happy reading!

Calypso thinks she’s helping.

Review: The Circle

When I was offered this book I was immediately interested, anything with fairies immediately draws my interest, especially when they weave in some of the different aspects of fairies. The Circle introduces us to Calum who is living with guilt over the disappearance of his cousin and who is trying to figure out his place in not only the world of the Sidhe but also in the human world. The story really gets going when he meets Lauren, a human girl.

A lot of the first half is world building and setting the story and characters, but in a first book in a series that is understandable. The second half of the book moves pretty quickly as we discover that the different events in their lives are likely tied together.

I’m eager to see where the rest of the series takes these characters and could definitely see how seemingly minor characters could play a larger part in future books.

The Circle is out now from Vulpine Press. Thanks again to them for offering me a copy of this book. Happy reading!

Event Recap: A Cup of Holiday Fear Release Party

I love hearing about book events that are close enough for me to go to them, but that’s sometimes a challenge as the closest events are usually hours away; however, when I heard that Ellie Alexander was having a release party for the 10th book in her Bakeshop Mystery series in Ashland where the books are set, I had to go. Not only is Ellie on my list of favorite authors, but Ashland is one of my favorite places and is only about an hour from where I live.

Winchester Inn, Ashland, Oregon

The release party was held at the beautiful Winchester Inn which also happens to be the setting for the book that we were celebrating, A Cup of Holiday Fear. It was the perfect cozy and historic location for this gathering and I can only imagine it being an amazing backdrop for the mystery in the book.

Everything was decked out in Christmas decorations and touches and we were treated to delicious treats and custom made drinks. Ellie took some time to discuss the genesis of her writing this book and we also heard from the owner of the inn regarding how the Winchester Inn came to be. We also learned the story of the Dickens Feast, which is an event at the inn every year that plays a part in the book.

It was amazing hearing Ellie talk about her books (as always) she is so personable and passionate about her characters and stories. Many of her characters are based on actual people in real life. For example her father is the inspiration for The Professor in the books and we were treated to meeting him at this event. While all of her books are able to be read as stand alones, I definitely recommend starting at the beginning so you get to know the characters over time.

After the discussion everyone was able to explore a few different areas including buying Torte merchandise, taking a selfie with Santa, getting some of the treats and of course getting books signed by Ellie. It was an amazing time and it was wonderful to see Ellie again! I love being able to support a local author and it’s even better when it’s an author whose books I love.

Be sure to check out Ellie’s books, they are enchanting, hilarious and so enjoyable. Though I’m not completely caught up, I have loved everything I have read from her. Happy reading!

Review: The Babysitters Coven

Title: The Babysitters Coven
Author: Kate Williams
Genre: YA, Paranormal
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release Date: September 17th, 2019

When I first read the concept of this book, I wanted to read it immediately. Babysitter’s Club meets Buffy? Yes, please! While the book did meet that brief, there were some aspects that I didn’t love. I really enjoyed all of the great pop culture references (Labyrinth, Buffy, Harry Potter and more) as well as some of the discussion surrounding difficult issues such as Esme’s mom’s condition and how the town/school treated her because of it, as well as her internal dialogue about her worries and fears. Esme’s voice/point of view is rather harsh at times, which could be considered unlikable or polarizing, but for the age of the character it is understandable.

I do wish that some things had been a little more descriptive. At times the relationships between people didn’t seem to be as close as they were described. Also, a lot of the characters (granted, more minor characters) could have used more description to differentiate them from each other. That being said though, this was mostly with characters that only appeared a few times and I’m sure that if they show up in future books they will be fleshed out more.

The last half of the book was jam packed with action and went much faster than the 1st half, which I really enjoyed. There were definitely a lot of twists and turns that were surprising, but there were also many twists that were pretty predictable. There were times that I had a hard time liking Esme and Cassandra (mostly Cassandra) because of their decisions, but I could see some of those things being addressed in future books. In that respect this book set up future conflicts really well.

All in all I did enjoy this book and as I said the last half was really quick paced and enjoyable. If you’re looking for books that have great pop culture references, lots of mystical and paranormal content and babysitters who have to protect the world, then you’ll probably enjoy it. It was definitely a fun book with a lot of quirks and capers.

The Babysitters Coven is out now from Delacorte Press, so be sure to pick up a copy if it’s something that is up your alley, Happy reading!

Tag Tuesday: Goodreads Book Tag

I’m not sure exactly where this tag originated but I saw it in a few places and thought I would go ahead and do it as I wanted to start doing Tag Tuesday posts! If you know the original creator please let me know and I will gladly credit them.

What is the last book you marked as “Read”?
Your Soul is a River by Nikita Gill, I’ve been pretty addicted to her poetry as of late, so I’ve been reading some of her earlier releases.

What are you currently reading?
A few different things, but I’m mostly working on e-arcs I’ve received. I’m constantly trying to get caught up!

What was the last book you marked as “to read”?
Your Heart is the Sea by Nikita Gill. Obviously there is a pattern here.

What book do you plan on reading next?
Probably Violet Tendencies by Kate Dyer-Seeley as I picked it as part of a challenge I’m trying to complete. I also have Hunted by Meagan Spooner out from the library so that one is going to happen soon as well.

Do you use the star rating system?
I do, though when I write out reviews on Goodreads I tend to explain in the review if it’s a partial number such as 3.5. Anything that is .5 or above I will round up to the next star.

Are you doing the Goodreads Reading Challenge?


Do you have a wishlist?
I do, I would probably forget about all the things I’m anticipating if I didn’t keep a running wishlist going. I also have some sub-lists that I keep secret for my own organizational purposes.

What book do you plan on buying next?
Since I recently had a few orders come in I’m holding off on buying more right now. I will definitely be picking up the last volume of The Wicked and the Divine once it is out in October and have a couple signings I’m going to so there will be book buying at those events.

What is your favorite quote?
‘Hope is the things with feathers that perches in the soul’ – Emily Dickinson

Fun fact, this is going to be part of the next tattoo I get, just not sure of the design yet.

Who are your favorite authors?
Julie Kagawa, Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Bailey, Heather Graham, Helen Hoang – believe me, the list goes on and on.

Are you a part of any Goodreads Groups?
Currently the only one I’m really active in is the Dragons and Tea Book Club.

What could Goodreads do better?
I would absolutely love if the ability to give half stars was introduced. I think a lot of people would love that.

Well, that appears to be all the questions! Not really sure if that all was helpful information, but it was fun. If you’d like to add me on Goodreads or follow me, I can be found here.

Happy reading!

Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back

By Adrienne Young
Rating – 4 stars

While this book is set in the same world as Sky in the Deep, I believe it can be read as a stand alone and as its own story. It follows Tova and Halvard primarily, as well as their respective peoples. I loved the world building and the rich lore/mythology that has been woven in, but did find some plot points pretty predictable (not in a bad way, just I pretty much knew certain things that would happen).

Tova’s struggle to find her place and to know who she really is was well flushed out, as was Halvard’s doubt of himself and other’s faith in him. Watching them grow and come into their own throughout the story was wonderful to see, as were the frequent flashbacks that provided glimpses into their respective childhoods.

I did feel the ending was a little abrupt and would have loved there to be an epilogue. When I reached the end of the book I really though there would be at least a few pages more, something solid about what came to pass. Can you assume what happened after the end? Yes, you absolutely can – but I would have loved something more final.

All in all I did enjoy the book and it made me want to pick up more similarly themed books. It was an action packed adventure that I really had fun reading and would definitely recommend to others.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is out now, so be sure to check it out if it’s something you would like. Happy reading!