ARCs · Book Reviews

ARC Review: Malice by Heather Walter

A princess isn’t supposed to fall for an evil sorceress. But in this darkly magical retelling of “Sleeping Beauty,” true love is more than a simple fairy tale.

Once upon a time, there was a wicked fairy who, in an act of vengeance, cursed a line of princesses to die. A curse that could only be broken by true love’s kiss.

You’ve heard this before, haven’t you? The handsome prince. The happily-ever-after.

Utter nonsense.

Let me tell you, no one in Briar actually cares about what happens to its princesses. Not the way they care about their jewels and elaborate parties and charm-granting elixirs. I thought I didn’t care, either.

Until I met her.

Princess Aurora. The last heir to Briar’s throne. Kind. Gracious. The future queen her realm needs. One who isn’t bothered that I am Alyce, the Dark Grace, abhorred and feared for the mysterious dark magic that runs in my veins. Humiliated and shamed by the same nobles who pay me to bottle hexes and then brand me a monster. Aurora says I should be proud of my gifts. That she . . . cares for me. Even though it was a power like mine that was responsible for her curse.

But with less than a year until that curse will kill her, any future I might see with Aurora is swiftly disintegrating—and she can’t stand to kiss yet another insipid prince. I want to help her. If my power began her curse, perhaps it’s what can lift it. Perhaps, together, we could forge a new world.

Nonsense again.

Because we all know how this story ends, don’t we? Aurora is the beautiful princess. And I—

I am the villain. 

Release Date: April 13th, 2021

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thank you to Random House Publishing Group and Del Ray for the opportunity!*

I loved this book. This retelling of Sleeping Beauty was so clever and it twisted the story the perfect amount, where it was recognizable but still entirely fresh. The world-building was fantastic and I loved the history, the concept of the Graces, the magic systems, and the politics of the Kingdom of Briar. Alyce was a complicated and morally gray heroine, which was unique and an exciting thing to experience as a reader. I had so much empathy for her and it was fascinating to see someone who clearly had a good heart fight with her natural-born magic, which is powered by mal-intent, as well as the horrible way society has treated her for her entire life. Princess Aurora was totally loveable and their relationship broke my heart with its sweetness. The entire book is filled with a cast of complex and morally gray characters, creating some pretty great twists and turns in the plot. The ending left me in shock- it was so not what I expected to happen and I loved every second of it. This is one of my favorite fairy tale re-imaginings that I have read. I highly recommend it and am excited to see what else Heather Walter has up her sleeve.

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #34

We’re slowly making headway on clearing out the good ole Goodreads TBR list, as it also steadily grows on the other end haha. Here is the next installment of the Down the TBR Hole meme that was started by Lia @Lost In a Story!

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?

Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen

The first time Eby Pim saw Lost Lake, it was on a picture postcard. Just an old photo and a few words on a small square of heavy stock, but when she saw it, she knew she was seeing her future.

That was half a life ago. Now Lost Lake is about to slip into Eby’s past. Her husband George is long passed. Most of her demanding extended family are gone. All that’s left is a once-charming collection of lakeside cabins succumbing to the Southern Georgia heat and damp, and an assortment of faithful misfits drawn back to Lost Lake year after year by their own unspoken dreams and desires.

It’s a lot, but not enough to keep Eby from relinquishing Lost Lake to a developer with cash in hand, and calling this her final summer at the lake. Until one last chance at family knocks on her door.

Lost Lake is where Kate Pheris spent her last best summer at the age of twelve, before she learned of loneliness, and heartbreak, and loss. Now she’s all too familiar with those things, but she knows about hope too, thanks to her resilient daughter Devin, and her own willingness to start moving forward. Perhaps at Lost Lake her little girl can cling to her own childhood for just a little longer… and maybe Kate herself can rediscover something that slipped through her fingers so long ago.

One after another, people find their way to Lost Lake, looking for something that they weren’t sure they needed in the first place: love, closure, a second chance, peace, a mystery solved, a heart mended. Can they find what they need before it’s too late?

At once atmospheric and enchanting, Lost Lake shows Sarah Addison Allen at her finest, illuminating the secret longings and the everyday magic that wait to be discovered in the unlikeliest of places.

My Thoughts: This sounds sweet, and if I found it at an air bnb somewhere I might pick it up, but I don’t think this will be one I will actively search out. VERDICT: TOSS

Burn For Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian


In fact, they barely know one another. But a chance encounter in the girls’ room proves they have something big in common. The girls have all been hurt — by a bullt, an ex-friend, an almost boyfriend — and now they want payback. They hatch a scheme to work in secret, to help each other right the wrongs. Forget waiting for karma. They’re taking matters into their own hands.

My Thoughts: I mean…. Jenny Han meets John Tucker Must Die? I’m sold. Idk how I haven’t heard more about this one. VERDICT: KEEP

Crash by Nicole Williams

Southpointe High is the last place Lucy wanted to wind up her senior year of school. Right up until she stumbles into Jude Ryder, a guy whose name has become its own verb, and synonymous with trouble. He’s got a rap sheet that runs longer than a senior thesis, has had his name sighed, shouted, and cursed by more women than Lucy dares to ask, and lives at the local boys home where disturbed seems to be the status quo for the residents. Lucy had a stable at best, quirky at worst, upbringing. She lives for wearing the satin down on her ballet shoes, has her sights set on Juilliard, and has been careful to keep trouble out of her life. Up until now.

Jude’s everything she needs to stay away from if she wants to separate her past from her future. Staying away, she’s about to find out, is the only thing she’s incapable of.

For Lucy Larson and Jude Ryder, love’s about to become the thing that tears them apart.

My Thoughts: This sounds like Step Up to me. While I would probably enjoy this, I just don’t see myself ever getting around to reading it. VERDICT: TOSS

Fireworks Over Toccoa by Jeffrey Stepakoff

Every so often that story comes along that reminds us of what it’s like to experience love for the first time—against the odds, when you least expect it, and with such passion that it completely changes you forever.

Lily Davis Woodward was married for just days before her husband was sent abroad to fight in World War II. Now he and the other soldiers are returning, and Lily and the small town of Toccoa, Georgia, plan a big celebration. Jake Russo, a handsome Italian immigrant, also back from war, is responsible for the elaborate fireworks display the town commissioned. After a chance encounter in a starlit field, he steals Lily’s heart and soul—and fulfills her in ways her socially minded, upper-class family cannot. Now, torn by duty to society and her husband—and the poor, passionate man who might be her only true love—Lily must choose between a love she never knew and a commitment she’d already made.

Debut author Jeffrey Stepakoff takes us to a moment in time that will resonate with readers long after the book’s unforgettable conclusion. Poignant and elegant, Fireworks Over Toccoa is a mosaic of all the emotions that only love can make possible.

My Thoughts: This one has me torn. It has pretty polarizing reviews and is compared to Nicholas Sparks books- which I have a love/hate relationship with. The plot sounds good, and I do love a good romance… hmm I can’t decide. VERDICT: KEEP (for now)

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfeld

All children mythologize their birth…So begins the prologue of reclusive author Vida Winter’s collection of stories, which are as famous for the mystery of the missing thirteenth tale as they are for the delight and enchantment of the twelve that do exist.

The enigmatic Winter has spent six decades creating various outlandish life histories for herself — all of them inventions that have brought her fame and fortune but have kept her violent and tragic past a secret. Now old and ailing, she at last wants to tell the truth about her extraordinary life. She summons biographer Margaret Lea, a young woman for whom the secret of her own birth, hidden by those who loved her most, remains an ever-present pain. Struck by a curious parallel between Miss Winter’s story and her own, Margaret takes on the commission.

As Vida disinters the life she meant to bury for good, Margaret is mesmerized. It is a tale of gothic strangeness featuring the Angelfield family, including the beautiful and willful Isabelle, the feral twins Adeline and Emmeline, a ghost, a governess, a topiary garden and a devastating fire.

Margaret succumbs to the power of Vida’s storytelling but remains suspicious of the author’s sincerity. She demands the truth from Vida, and together they confront the ghosts that have haunted them while becoming, finally, transformed by the truth themselves.

The Thirteenth Tale is a love letter to reading, a book for the feral reader in all of us, a return to that rich vein of storytelling that our parents loved and that we loved as children. Diane Setterfield will keep you guessing, make you wonder, move you to tears and laughter and, in the end, deposit you breathless yet satisfied back upon the shore of your everyday life. 

My Thoughts: I have been drawn to this book for so long, and I actually have a copy somewhere in storage in NYC I think. It definitely gives me a certain vibe that I know one day I’m going to need. VERDICT: KEEP

Which books would you have kept? Which would you toss? Let’s chat in the comments! ❤

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Book Titles That Sound Like They Could Be Crayola Crayons

Happy Top Ten Tuesday everyone! I took 2 weeks off, somewhat unintentionally, and gave myself a little spring break from blogging, but I’m coming back to you with a silly Top Ten Tuesday, hosted over at That Artsy Reader Girl, Book Titles That Sound Like They Could Be Crayola Crayons.

Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

I picture this to be a bright and shiny red.

A Golden Fury by Samantha Cohoe

This one is obviously a super metallic gold.

Eventide by Sarah Goodman

I think this one is a deep teal.

Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Despite my instinct to say red because of the book over, Twilight is probably a dusty purple-blue.

Blackout by Nina Walker

Black. That’s it.

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

This would be one of those glitter crayons, ya know? Probably a black or deep navy with silver glitter.

Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson

A nice peachy-pink. A perfect color to use for blush. (am I the only one who colors make-up on my people when I use a coloring book?)

Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Ummmm… this one is kinda self explanatory.

Violette Grenade by Victoria Scott

A deep deep purple.

White Oleander by Janet Fitch

A pearlescent white.

This one was fun! What colors do these titles make you think of? Let me know in the comments! ❤

Monthly Wrap-Ups

April 2021 Wrap-Up

Is it just me, or did March just FLY by?! I can’t believe it’s April already. I’ve been nannying a bit, watched a lot of basketball (I know, who am I?!), and got some good reading done! I did take a small spring break from blogging the past 2 weeks, but I’m ready to get back in. I’m in the process of making plans to move back to NYC, which is both extremely exciting and slightly scary- a lot of emotions and unknowns still, but I’m getting ready to take a step forward. I’m feeling hopeful and open to whatever the future has in store.

Books Read

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas ★★★★★

The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme ★★★

Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson ★★★★

Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales ★★★★

Namesake by Adrienne Young ★★★★

Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein ★★★★

The Secret of the Irish Castle by Santa Montefiore ★★★★★

Favorite Book of the Month

Currently Reading

Challenge Updates

Goodreads Challenge: 16 of 100 (only 9 books behind schedule…)

Classics Club Challenge: 10 of 50 (I really suck at this one)

March Reviews

• The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme • Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. OlsonPerfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales • Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein

March Posts

• Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #33 • Top 10 Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2021 TBR. • 

ARCs · Book Reviews

Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein ARC Review

After her grandmother dies, a girl travels to different gardens to scatter her ashes, learning about life, love, and how to laugh again along the way. From Love Letters advice columnist and podcast host Meredith Goldstein, this emotionally resonant novel is perfect for fans of Robin Benway and Jenna Evans Welch.

When Lori’s Dorothy Parker–loving grandmother dies, Lori’s world is turned upside down. Grandma Sheryl was everything to Lori—and not just because Sheryl raised Lori when Lori’s mom got a job out of town. Now Lori’s mom is insisting on moving her away from her beloved Boston right before senior year. Desperate to stay for as long as possible, Lori insists on honoring her grandmother’s last request before she moves: to scatter Sheryl’s ashes near things that grow.

Along with her uncle Seth and Chris, best friend and love-of-her-life crush, Lori sets off on a road trip to visit her grandmother’s favorite gardens. Dodging forest bathers, scandalized volunteers, and angry homeowners, they come to terms with the shape of life after Grandma Sheryl. Saying goodbye isn’t easy, but Lori might just find a way to move forward surrounded by the people she loves.

Released March 9th, 2021

*I released a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thanks to HMH Books for Young Readers for the opportunity!*

I really liked this book. So much so that I immediately looked up the author’s other books to see what else she had written so I could add them to my TBR. The writing was so witty and relatable and really grabbed at my heartstrings. The main character Lori was a fantastic narrator, and her voice was very distinct and created a vivid picture in my mind of who she was. I loved that she was a writer and that we got to hear about all of her ideas and stories in detail- I want to read those too because they sounded so interesting. In fact, all of the characters in this book were real and quirky humans who were all the more likable for their complexities and eccentricities. Their relationships went through a lot following the death of their matriarch, and this book does a good job of showing how grief can affect everyone differently and the pressure that can put on a family. While the plot wasn’t super action-packed, it had a perfect mix of heart-wrenching and hilarious scenes to keep me invested in Lori’s journey. This story was so sweet and left me with a big smile on my face and warm fuzzies in my heart. I’m definitely looking forward to reading Meredith Goldstein’s other books.

ARCs · Book Reviews

Perfect On Paper by Sophie Gonzales ARC Review

In Perfect on Paper, Leah on the Offbeat meets To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: a bisexual girl who gives anonymous love advice to her classmates is hired by the hot guy to help him get his ex back

Her advice, spot on. Her love life, way off.

Darcy Phillips:
• Can give you the solution to any of your relationship woes―for a fee.
• Uses her power for good. Most of the time.
• Really cannot stand Alexander Brougham.
• Has maybe not the best judgement when it comes to her best friend, Brooke…who is in love with someone else.
• Does not appreciate being blackmailed.

However, when Brougham catches her in the act of collecting letters from locker 89―out of which she’s been running her questionably legal, anonymous relationship advice service―that’s exactly what happens. In exchange for keeping her secret, Darcy begrudgingly agrees to become his personal dating coach―at a generous hourly rate, at least. The goal? To help him win his ex-girlfriend back.

Darcy has a good reason to keep her identity secret. If word gets out that she’s behind the locker, some things she’s not proud of will come to light, and there’s a good chance Brooke will never speak to her again.

Okay, so all she has to do is help an entitled, bratty, (annoyingly hot) guy win over a girl who’s already fallen for him once? What could go wrong?

Released March 9th, 2021

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thanks to Wednesday Books for the opportunity! *

Perfect On Paper has been one of my most anticipated releases this year because I absolutely adored Only Mostly Devastated. First of all, I just love Sophie Gonzales. I love her witty writing style, I love her characters, and I love the stories she chooses to tell, but what I love most about her books is the way she captures the complexities of human emotion and relationships. Her characters are so dimensional and their emotions are complicated- which makes them relatable and truthful. It is so easy to connect to them, even when they are going through something you personally have never experienced. This book explores all types of relationships from romantic connections to friendships to families, and shows how these characters learn and grow from their mistakes and experiences. It has a ton of different kinds of LGBTQ+ representation, none of which felt contrived, and I so appreciate that all of the characters were multi-faceted individuals who both fully embraced and yet were not entirely defined by their sexual/gender identities. The bi-rep in this book is especially amazing, and really explores the intricacies of what it means to be bi-sexual. All of this is wrapped up in a super cute rom-com that is both hilarious and poignant with a fun plot and a sweet romance. What more could you need?

Top Ten Tuesday

Top 10 Tuesday: Books On My Spring 2021 TBR

I am so happy that Spring is on its way! It brings a fresh hope with its sunshine and warmth along with some exciting new releases! This week’s topic, hosted at That Artsy Reader Girl, is Books On My Spring 2021 TBR.

The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Realm Breaker by Victoria Aveyard

Namesake by Adrienne Young

Malice by Heather Walter

Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein

These Feathered Flames by Alexandra Overy

The Ivies by Alexa Donne

Things That Grow by Meredith Goldstein

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

What books are you looking forward to this spring? Let me know in the comments! ❤

ARCs · Book Reviews

Sing Me Forgotten by Jessica S. Olson ARC Review

Isda does not exist. At least not beyond the opulent walls of the opera house.

Cast into a well at birth for being one of the magical few who can manipulate memories when people sing, she was saved by Cyril, the opera house’s owner. Since that day, he has given her sanctuary from the murderous world outside. All he asks in return is that she use her power to keep ticket sales high—and that she stay out of sight. For if anyone discovers she survived, Isda and Cyril would pay with their lives.

But Isda breaks Cyril’s cardinal rule when she meets Emeric Rodin, a charming boy who throws her quiet, solitary life out of balance. His voice is unlike any she’s ever heard, but the real shock comes when she finds in his memories hints of a way to finally break free of her gilded prison.

Haunted by this possibility, Isda spends more and more time with Emeric, searching for answers in his music and his past. But the price of freedom is steeper than Isda could ever know. For even as she struggles with her growing feelings for Emeric, she learns that in order to take charge of her own destiny, she must become the monster the world tried to drown in the first place.

Released: March 9th, 2021

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thanks to Inkyard Press for the opportunity!*

I never knew I needed a gender-swapped retelling of The Phantom of the Opera, but I am definitely glad I got this one! I devoured this book in one day- it was so easy to fall into the interesting and gripping story of Isda, the Opera Ghost. I love The Phantom of the Opera, so this reimagining captivated me with its clever twist on the story. The world of fendoirs and gravoirs was both fascinating and heartbreaking. With powers to access people’s memories by song, the world shuns and fears them, dooming them to either a solitary existence or death. Isda was saved from her horrible fate by Cyril, and now finds her sanctuary living in the crypt of the opera house and secretly manipulating audiences with her powers. The magic of accessing someone’s memories and life experiences through song was a beautiful and creative concept and Isda was a delightfully complex, and sometimes morally gray, character. As someone who spent her entire existence in the company of one other person, experiencing life through other people’s memories, she had a unique view of the world and watching her finally get to discover it for herself was engrossing. The relationship between Isda and Emeric was full of great banter and moments that I loved, but it almost felt too comfortable too soon and I would have liked to get to see Isda figure out how to have a relationship with another human being after being isolated for so long. Despite that, they had a lovely connection and I loved the change he brought to her world. The plot was fast-paced, romantic, dramatic, and violent, and it never felt rushed. Every moment was fully fleshed out and was important to continuing the story. This book sucked me in quickly and didn’t let go until the last page.

ARCs · Book Reviews

The Stolen Kingdom by Jillian Boehme ARC Review

For a hundred years, the once-prosperous kingdom of Perin Faye has suffered under the rule of the greedy and power-hungry Thungrave kings. Maralyth Graylaern, a vintner’s daughter, has no idea her hidden magical power is proof of a secret bloodline and claim to the throne. Alac Thungrave, the king’s second son, has always been uncomfortable with his position as the spare heir—and the dark, stolen magic that comes with ruling.

When Maralyth becomes embroiled in a plot to murder the royal family and seize the throne, a cat-and-mouse chase ensues in an adventure of dark magic, court intrigue, and forbidden love.

Released: March, 2nd 2021

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review! Thanks to Tor Teen for the opportunity!*

It has been a while since I’ve read a fantasy standalone and The Stolen Kingdom was a super fun, quick, and thoroughly enjoyable read. At just under 350 pages, this book was fast-paced and engaging with lovely characters and world-building. I loved the vibe of this story- it felt like traditional fantasy with a nice new twist. The world’s magic, given to the Dalowyn family by the Gods centuries ago, was stolen by the Thungrave’s who then took over the kingdom and have ruled ever since, as the magic turned dark and the country failed around them. This story is told from two perspectives. First, by Maralyth, a vintner’s daughter, who has a secret, and illegal, magical ability, and by the “spare” Thungrave prince, Alac, who wants nothing to do with his family’s dark magic or politics. The double perspective worked remarkably well in conveying the plot and building tension. The characters were likable and the relationship between Mara and Alac developed nicely. This was definitely not insta-lovey, which I appreciated, but at the same time, I would have liked to have experienced a deeper attraction and connection between them. While this book had a solid plot, characters, and world-building, because it was a fairly short book with a big story, I felt myself wanting more. It could be because I am used to fantasy series where there is more time to delve in, but everything in this book worked so well and was so intriguing that I kept wishing there was time for more detail and room to deeply explore the character’s journeys and relationships. That being said, this was a wonderful standalone that had all of the elements it needed to create an awesome and entertaining story.

Discussion Posts

Cleaning Up My TBR: Down the TBR Hole #33

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 and useful 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?

Abandon by Meg Cabot

Though she tries returning to the life she knew before the accident, Pierce can’t help but feel at once a part of this world, and apart from it. Yet she’s never alone . . . because someone is always watching her. Escape from the realm of the dead is impossible when someone there wants you back.

But now she’s moved to a new town. Maybe at her new school, she can start fresh. Maybe she can stop feeling so afraid.

Only she can’t. Because even here, he finds her. That’s how desperately he wants her back. She knows he’s no guardian angel, and his dark world isn’t exactly heaven, yet she can’t stay away . . . especially since he always appears when she least expects it, but exactly when she needs him most.

But if she lets herself fall any further, she may just find herself back in the one place she most fears: the Underworld.

My Thoughts: This is one of the few Meg Cabot books that I haven’t read, and I do plan to get to it. I love everything she writes and she’s one of my top 5 favorite authors. VERDICT: KEEP

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

Kostova’s masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love. The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, history’s losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

Psychiatrist Andrew Marlowe, devoted to his profession and the painting hobby he loves, has a solitary but ordered life. When renowned painter Robert Oliver attacks a canvas in the National Gallery of Art and becomes his patient, Marlow finds that order destroyed. Desperate to understand the secret that torments the genius, he embarks on a journey that leads him into the lives of the women closest to Oliver and a tragedy at the heart of French Impressionism.

Kostova’s masterful new novel travels from American cities to the coast of Normandy, from the late 19th century to the late 20th, from young love to last love. The Swan Thieves is a story of obsession, history’s losses, and the power of art to preserve human hope.

My Thoughts: This summary sounds really beautiful and intriguing… however; I hated The Historian. I pushed through to finish it but it was one of the slowest books I have ever read, which deters me from trying another one by this author… VERDICT: TOSS

City of Dreams: A Novel of Nieuw Amsterdam and Early Manhattan by Beverly Swerling

A sweeping epic of two families—one Dutch, one English—from the time when New Amsterdam was a raw and rowdy settlement, to the triumph of the Revolution, when New York became a new nation’s city of dreams.

In 1661, Lucas Turner, a barber surgeon, and his sister, Sally, an apothecary, stagger off a small wooden ship after eleven weeks at sea. Bound to each other by blood and necessity, they aim to make a fresh start in the rough and rowdy Dutch settlement of Nieuw Amsterdam; but soon lust, betrayal, and murder will make them mortal enemies. In their struggle to survive in the New World, Lucas and Sally make choices that will burden their descendants with a legacy of secrets and retribution, and create a heritage that sets cousin against cousin, physician against surgeon, and, ultimately, patriot against Tory.

In what will be the greatest city in the New World, the fortunes of these two families are inextricably entwined by blood and fire in an unforgettable American saga of pride and ambition, love and hate, and the becoming of the dream that is New York City.

My Thoughts: I bought this book on a whim on my kindle YEARS ago and still haven’t read it. It sounds like a story that is right up my alley and since I own it, I will probably read it someday. VERDICT: KEEP

Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger, Temptress and Troublemaker by Camille DeAngelis

In this brilliantly imagined tale of adventure and timeless romance, acclaimed novelist Camille DeAngelis blends WWII heroics with witchcraft and wit, conjuring a fabulously rich world where beldames and mortal men dare to fall in love.
Evelyn Harbinger sees nothing wrong with a one-night stand. At one hundred and forty nine years old, Eve may look like she bakes oatmeal cookies in the afternoon and dozes in her rocking chair in the evenings, but once the gray hair and wrinkles are traded for jet-black tresses and porcelain skin, she can still turn heads as the beautiful girl she once was. Can’t fault a girl for having a little fun, can you?
This is all fine and well until Eve meets Justin, who reminds her so much of a former lover, and one night is no longer enough. Eve spends more and more nights—and days—romancing Justin as her younger self, and noticing the many peculiar ways in which he is so like Jonah, her partner behind enemy lines in WWII and the love of her life. Experts in espionage, Jonah and Eve advanced the Allied cause at great personal sacrifice, and Jonah lost his life. Now Eve suspects that her Jonah has returned to her, and despite the disapproval of her coven, and the knowledge that love with a mortal man can only end in sorrow, she can’t give him up. But can she prove it’s really him?

My Thoughts: This book has been on my radar for a while. I own it, it stares at me from my bookshelf and it sounds like a good mix between historical fiction and fantasy- both my faves. VERDICT: KEEP

Someone Else’s Love Story by Joshilyn Jackson

At twenty-one, Shandi Pierce is juggling finishing college, raising her delightful three-year-old genius son Natty, and keeping the peace between her eternally warring, long-divorced Catholic mother and Jewish father. She’s got enough complications without getting caught in the middle of a stick-up in a gas station mini-mart and falling in love with a great wall of a man named William Ashe, who willingly steps between the armed robber and her son.

Shandi doesn’t know that her blond god Thor has his own complications. When he looked down the barrel of that gun he believed it was destiny: It’s been one year to the day since a tragic act of physics shattered his universe. But William doesn’t define destiny the way other people do. A brilliant geneticist who believes in science and numbers, destiny to him is about choice.

Now, he and Shandi are about to meet their so-called destinies head on, in a funny, charming, and poignant novel about science and miracles, secrets and truths, faith and forgiveness,; about a virgin birth, a sacrifice, and a resurrection; about falling in love, and learning that things aren’t always what they seem—or what we hope they will be. It’s a novel about discovering what we want and ultimately finding what we need

My Thoughts: I have absolutely no desire to read this anymore. I’m sure it’s a sweet story, but this type of thing just doesn’t appeal to me like it used to. VERDICT: TOSS

Which books would you have kept? Which would you toss? Let’s chat in the comments ❤