Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Books I Want to Read Again

It’s December! This year has absolutely flown by and dragged at the same time. I have discovered during this crazy year, that I actually enjoy re-reading books. I never used to do it, with the exception of Harry Potter, but it has brought me a source of comfort and I plan on continuing to do so when I am not super behind on my TBR. This week’s topic, hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Books I Want to Read Again. Here are the books I have on my re-read list.

What books do you want to re-read? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Monthly Wrap-Ups

November 2020 Wrap-Up

Hello everyone! The holiday season is in full swing and I am getting into the spirit! I am super behind on my reading goals for the year, but I’m still chugging along and trying to get as many books in as I can. I’m really looking forward to finishing out this crazy year with some good reads, family time, and lots of hot coa coa 🙂

Books Read:

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett ★★★★

Lair of Dreams by Libby Bray ★★★★★

Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn ★★★★

The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes ★★★★

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare ★★★★

Favorite Book of the Month

Currently Reading

Challenge Updates

Goodreads Challenge: 65 of 100 – Still 25 books behind schedule… oh well.

Classics Club Challenge: 10 of 50 – I have not been actively trying to do this challenge and I know I need to be better.

Beat the Backlist: 32 of 50 – I read one more. I’ve still been focusing on ARCs and new releases for the most part.

November Reviews

• Kingdom of Sea and Stone (Crown of Coral and Pearl #2) by Mara Rutherford • Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett • Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn


November Posts

• Top 10 Tuesday: Non-Bookish Hobbies • Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #29 • Top 10 Tuesday: Book Titles That Would Make Great Song Titles • Top 10 Tuesday: Characters I’d Name a Pet After • 

ARCs · Book Reviews

Our Bloody Pearl by D.N. Bryn Review

The ocean is uncontrollable and dangerous. But to the sirens who swim the warm island waters, it’s a home more than worth protecting from the humans and their steam-propelled ships. Between their hypnotic voices and the strength of their powerful tails, sirens have little to fear.

That is, until the ruthless pirate captain, Kian, creates a device to cancel out their songs.

Perle was the first siren captured, and while all since have either been sold or killed, Kian still keeps them prisoner. Though their song is muted and their tail paralyzed, Perle’s hope for escape rekindles as another pirating vessel seizes Kian’s ship. This new captain seems different, with his brilliant smile and his promises that Kian will never again be Perle’s master. But he’s still a human, and a captor in his own way. The compassion he and his rag-tag human family show can’t be sincere… or can it?

Soon it becomes clear that Kian will hunt Perle relentlessly, taking down any siren in her path. As the tides turn, Perle must decide whether to run from Kian forever, or ride the forming wave into battle, hoping their newfound human companions will fight with them.

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thanks to D.N. Bryn for the opportunity*

This book was unlike anything I have read before. The story was told from the POV of Perle, a ferocious ocean siren, who has been captured by a cruel pirate captain and held in captivity. Their voice and view of the human world was extremely clever, vivid, spirited, and clear. I was immediately able to connect and empathize with them on many levels, and found their storytelling to be super creative and effective. In addition to our narrator, the rest of the cast of characters were diverse too, which made for great dynamics and relationships. Dejean was such an endearing character and the arc of his and Perle’s relationship was heartwarming and very well done. Captain Kian was a complicated and scary villain, and the fear she instilled in Perle was palpable. There was so much representation of all types in this book, which was beautiful and incredibly inclusive. Coming in at just under 230 pages, the plot of Our Bloody Pearl is fast paced, but it never felt rushed or underdeveloped, and was a very action-packed, quick read. The steam-punk world building was really cool and I would love to see more stories within it. This book was highly enjoyable, and I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for an inclusive, unique, seafaring fantasy.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Characters I’d Name a Pet After

Hello lovely readers! We’re back with another Top 10 Tuesday, hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is Characters I’d Name a Pet After.

1. Manon from Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

2. Baz from Carry on by Rainbow Rowell

3. Luna from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

4. Tully from Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

5. Jasper from Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

6. Miri from Bras and Broomsticks by Sarah Mylnowski

7. Denna from Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

8. Magnus from The Shadow Hunter Chronicles by Cassandra Clare

9. Jett from The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

10. Sookie from The Sookie Stackhouse novels by Charlaine Harris

Also, an honorable mention to my two puppies who are already named after book characters, Eddie (after Edward Cullen…. I know) and Lily (after Lily Potter).

ARCs · Book Reviews

Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett Review

Budding photographer Josie Saint-Martin has spent half her life with her single mother, moving from city to city. When they return to her historical New England hometown years later to run the family bookstore, Josie knows it’s not forever. Her dreams are on the opposite coast, and she has a plan to get there.

What she doesn’t plan for is a run-in with the town bad boy, Lucky Karras. Outsider, rebel…and her former childhood best friend. Lucky makes it clear he wants nothing to do with the newly returned Josie. But everything changes after a disastrous pool party, and a poorly executed act of revenge lands Josie in some big-time trouble—with Lucky unexpectedly taking the blame.

Determined to understand why Lucky was so quick to cover for her, Josie discovers that both of them have changed, and that the good boy she once knew now has a dark sense of humor and a smile that makes her heart race. And maybe, just maybe, he’s not quite the brooding bad boy everyone thinks he is…

Released November 10th, 2020

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review. Thank you to Simon Pulse for the opportunity!*

Chasing Lucky was an incredibly cute rom-com. I’m a relatively new fan of Jenn Bennett, but I love her writing style. All of the characters were unique, quirky, and humanly flawed which made it so easy to connect with them. Josie’s voice as the narrator was very distinct, funny, and relatable and brought her character, and the others, brilliantly to life. While the plot was pretty light and fun, the relationships took the forefront of the story. Josie and Lucky had a ton of chemistry, and their banter was butterfly inducing. I loved the sweetness in their relationship as well as the fire. In addition to the romance, the family dynamics and relationships were just as, if not more, important to the story and Josie’s journey. All of this takes place in an idyllic, small-town, coastal setting to which I was transported with how vividly it was painted. This book definitely gave me beach-read vibes with the setting and its light-hearted nature, yet it still had a great amount of depth, which can often be lacking in YA rom-coms. To anyone looking for their next sweet, romantic read, Chasing Lucky is the full package.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Book Titles That Would Make Great Song Titles

Hello my lovelies! I hope everyone had a great weekend! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl, celebrates two of my favorite things, books and music, with the topic Book Titles That Would Make Great Song Titles.

1. Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett

2. Eventide by Sarah Goodman

3. Always Never Yours by Emily Wibberley

4. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

5. Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

6. Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra

7. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

8. Paper Towns by John Green

9. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

10. My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares

ARCs · Book Reviews

Kingdom of Sea and Stone (Crown of Coral and Pearl #2) by Mara Rutherford Review

Ever since Nor was forced to go to a nearby kingdom in her sister’s place, she’s wanted nothing more than to return to the place and people she loves. But when her wish comes true, she soon finds herself cast out from both worlds, with a war on the horizon.

As an old enemy resurfaces more powerful than ever, Nor will have to keep the kingdom from falling apart with the help of Prince Talin and Nor’s twin sister, Zadie. There are forces within the world more mysterious than any of them ever guessed—and they’ll need to stay alive long enough to conquer them…

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review!*

See mt review of Crown of Coral and Pearl here!

I’ve been really excited about this sequel, especially since I had many questions at the end of Crown of Coral and Pearl. This book took me a second to get into and to re-immerse myself in this world and these characters, but once I did it was a gripping adventure. The storyline was dramatic and the stakes were high with war on the horizon. It had really nice pacing with a great build throughout the story. I loved getting to see more of the world and the different cultures spread across the kingdom of Ilara. We got a few new characters, who ended up being my favorites, and they added another level to Nor’s journey. My feelings toward Nor and Talin’s romance were lukewarm after book one, and I still feel the same way after finishing this book as well. They just didn’t seem to fit together, and I found myself rooting for her to move on to someone new. I did really enjoy the complicated relationship and bond between Nor and King Ceren, who is a great villain, and the whole plot surrounding them was creative and well crafted. I flew through the second half of the book and was mostly satisfied with the way it ended. This sequel did a good job of expanding on the brilliance of the first book’s concept, and I think fans of Crown of Coral and Pearl will be pleased.

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #29

I joined Goodreads a while ago, way before I started blogging, so my profile is kind of a mess.  I really want to clean it up so I can make better use of it.  I thought what a better way to do that than to join the Down the TBR Hole meme started by Lia @Lost In a Story! I am going to do it once a month instead of weekly, and hopefully make my Goodreads a pleasant place to be again.

Here is how it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books

Decide: keep it or should it go?

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks comes a tender story of hope and joy; of sacrifice and forgiveness — a moving reminder that love is possible at any age, at any time, and often comes when we least expect it. At forty-five, Adrienne Willis must rethink her entire life when her husband abandons her for a younger woman. Reeling with heartache and in search of a respite, she flees to the small coastal town of Rodanthe, North Carolina to tend to a friend’s inn for the weekend. But when a major storm starts moving in, it appears that Adrienne’s perfect getaway will be ruined — until a guest named Paul Flanner arrives. At fifty-four, Paul has just sold his medical practice and come to Rodanthe to escape his own shattered past. Now, with the storm closing in, two wounded people will turn to each other for comfort — and in one weekend set in motion feelings that will resonate throughout the rest of their lives.

My Thoughts: I went through a Nicholas Sparks phase, and added all of his books to my TBR. I have actually found that I tend to prefer the films (I know, that’s sacrilegious) and don’t really feel the need to read this one anymore… VERDICT: TOSS

The First Wives Club by Olivia Goldsmith

Don’t get mad. Get everything.

When their best friend commits suicide over her divorce, Elise, Brenda and Annie decide enough is enough. Each was crucial to her husband’s career. But now that the men are successful, they’ve traded in their wives for newer, blonder models.

Over lunch one day they form the First Wives Club. But this is no support group. This is the SAS in Chanel. Painstakingly, inexorably, they plan the downfall of the men who’ve wrecked their lives – and know that revenge has never tasted sweeter…

My Thoughts: I absolutely adore this movie, and because of that I don’t think I need to read the book. VERDICT: TOSS

The Pact by Jodi Picoult

For eighteen years the Hartes and the Golds have lived next door to each other, sharing everything from Chinese food to chicken pox to carpool duty—they’ve grown so close it seems they have always been a part of each other’s lives. Parents and children alike have been best friends, so it’s no surprise that in high school Chris and Emily’s friendship blossoms into something more. They’ve been soul mates since they were born.

So when midnight calls from the hospital come in, no one is ready for the appalling truth: Emily is dead at seventeen from a gunshot wound to the head. There’s a single unspent bullet in the gun that Chris took from his father’s cabinet—a bullet that Chris tells police he intended for himself. But a local detective has doubts about the suicide pact that Chris has described. 

My Thoughts: I went into this thinking I was going to get rid of this one, but it actually sounds really good. I’ve liked the books by Jodi Picoult that I have read in the past and this one has high ratings. VERDICT: KEEP

The Juliet Club by Suzanne Harper

Italy . . . Shakespeare . . . but no romance?

Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved.

So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She’ll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. (Plus, she’ll be getting college credit for it—another goal accomplished!) But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars—in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming ways—try hard to break her protective shell?

“In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . . “

My Thoughts: This sounds really cute and like a great summer beach read. I definitely have other books that will come before it, but it does sound like something I would still enjoy. VERDICT: KEEP

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Before. Miles “Pudge” Halter is done with his safe life at home. His whole life has been one big non-event, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave “the Great Perhaps” even more (Francois Rabelais, poet). He heads off to the sometimes crazy and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young. She is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart. Then. . . .
After. Nothing is ever the same.

My Thoughts: I honestly just have no desire to read this anymore. I really enjoyed The Fault in Our Stars, but did not like Paper Towns at all. I just feel like while this would probably be a quick read, there are other books for me to spend my time on. VERDICT: TOSS

What do you think about my decisions? Let me know in the comments 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Non-Bookish Hobbies

Hello everyone! We’re switching it up a bit with this week’s Top 10 Tuesday, hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl, with 10 Non-Bookish Hobbies. This post is really going to highlight my inner nerd.

  1. The Sims. I am a huge simmer. I have been playing since I was a kid with The Sims 1, and still avidly play The Sims 4. I also love watching SimsTube videos and live streams.
  2. Dance. Idk if this really counts as a hobby since it is technically a part of my profession, but since theatre is currently non-existent- thanks a lot Covid- I’m going to include it. I took a Zoom dance class the other day and it was the first time I’ve felt like my true self in a while.
  3. Yoga and Meditation. I’ve really gotten into yoga recently. I love the combination of the physical, mental, and spiritual elements. It has helped keep me sane this year.
  4. Cycling. It is one of the only forms of cardio I actively enjoy, and I look forward to riding.
  5. Dungeons and Dragons. This is where my inner nerd truly shines. D&D is so freaking fun and I love creating characters and going on adventures.
  6. Settlers of Catan. My family got SUPER into Catan over quarantine and it is now my favorite board game.
  7. Knitting. I learned to knit a while ago, but have recently gotten back into it and am learning how to make some more complicated things. I’m working on a Gryffindor scarf right now.
  8. Tarot. I’ve been learning to read Tarot cards for a bit now and it has given me so much insight and help- especially in this crazy uncertain time.
  9. Bullet Journaling. I have never thought of myself as artsy, but I’ve been flexing my artistic muscles with my bullet journals and it is so satisfying.
  10. Shopping. Usually at Target or Marshalls, but honestly just love some retail therapy. I’m generally pretty frugal, so when I do get to spend on something I love, it makes me giddy.

What are your non-bookish hobbies? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Monthly Wrap-Ups

October 2020 Wrap-Up

Happy Halloween witches! ❤ I hope you are all having a wonderful day. I’ve been back in NYC for the past few weeks and it feels so good to be home for a bit. My heart has been filled by reconnecting with friends and I’ve even enjoyed getting to read on the subway again. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed trying to keep up with my TBR lately, but at the same time am trying to fully embrace and live in my current reads. It can be a fine line to not get burned out and get into a reading slump and I want to avoid that at all costs. I am so excited for the start of the holiday season and am looking forward to all the new adventures- both inside the pages and out.

Books Read

The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett ★★★★★

A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe ★★★

Hush by Dylan Farrow ★★

Magic Lessons by Alice Hoffman ★★★★★ (BOOK HANGOVER)

Kingdom of Sea and Stone by Mara Rutherford ★★★★

Favorite Book of the Month

Currently Reading

Challenge Updates

Goodreads Challenge: 60 of 100- Oooof. Only 23 books behind schedule…

Classics Club Challenge: 10 of 50- I really suck at this challenge haha

Beat the Backlist: 31 of 50- I’ve been trying to catch up on new releases and ARCs lately

October Reviews

 • Hush by Dylan Farrow ReviewA Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe ReviewThe Code for Love and Heartbreak by Jillian Cantor


October Posts

Top 10 Tuesday: Favorite Literary WitchesExcerpt from The Wrong Kind of Woman by Sarah McCraw CrowTop 10 Tuesday: Books I Read Because Someone Recommended Them to MeHow I Read Book TagCleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #28