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Which Book Should You Read Based on Your Favorite Spooky Movie?

October is here! This means all things spooky and creepy 😈 I don’t celebrate Halloween but I’m a massive fan of the macabre, hence my fascination with spooky books and movies!

This post was so enjoyable to create and envision! Each movie corresponds with a book to match. Best yet you can consider this a dual bargain: you get book recs and movie recs!


The Addams Family

Book Choice: Medusa’s Web by Tim Powers

Seeing that the Addams Family has more of a make belief feel to it, Medusa’s Web is the scary version. It revolves around a family spending the time in their familial ancestral mansion only to discover they are part of a network that uses magic rune-drawings to move back in time between 1920s Hollywood and the present. Fantasy, sci-fi, and lots of horror!

TW: Couldn’t find anything, but mention in the comments any possible triggers for others 🙂

The Conjuring

Book Choice: The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson

I’m sure you’ve heard of this classic but I couldn’t have thought of a better pairing for the movie. Ghosts, supernatural forces, and lots of exorcism.  

TW: Drug addiction, rape, child abuse, suicide.

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Book Choice: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Even though this is a children’s book, Gaiman still manages to instill a spooky ambiance with a story about a boy growing up in a graveyard and cared for by the ghosts and lone vampire that resides there. It has that nostalgic feeling to it with an array of spooky characters similar to the movie.

The Silence of the Lambs

Book Choice: None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney

True this is based on a book, but think: Silence of the Lambs x Netflix’s Manhunt but make it YA? You get None Shall Sleep by Ellie Marney. It’s based on the same idea revolving around two teen serial killers working with the FBI to help solve cold cases, but as we all know psychopaths aren’t to be trusted.

TW: Murder, gore, blood, violence.

The Shining

Book Choice: Horrid by Katrina Leno

I know this is based on Stephen King’s novel but I wanted to recommend another upcoming haunted mansion type of book: Horrid by Katrina Leno. In an essence, it does include a family wishing for a fresh start, taking a break but of course things don’t go as planned.

TW: Nothing specific but it does deal with mental illness and grief.

The Corpse Bride

Book Choice: We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This gives me major Tim Burton vibes, just by the cover itself I can imagine the setting being the same one as The Corpse Bride. It follows a young girl and her family who are very much dead!

TW: Discussion of murder.

The Purge

Book Choice: The Project by Courtney Summers

This screams cult movie. As such I paired it up with a cult book! This book is also one of my anticipated reads, you have a murderous cult adamant that what they’re doing is “pure” and the chosen journalist determined to end it all.

TW: Abuse.

Monster House

Book Choice: A Living Nightmare by Darren Shan

I’m taking an upside down book choice with this one just because I feel I’ve recommended enough haunted houses/mansion books.

In case you don’t remember Monster House’s antagonist was part of a circus freak show (that whole house is a freak show in itself), thus Darren Shan’s A Living Nightmare is a suitable pick! It follows a boy’s visit to a mysterious and eventually horrific freak show despite the ominous presence that surrounds the circus.

TW: Nothing to mention but if there is something do mention it for potential readers 😊

Ready or Not

Book Choice: The Guest List by Lucy Foley

A glitzy wedding, a celebrity couple, and a celebration no one would ever forget. Especially when someone ends up dead, but who would sabotage the couple’s special day? And why does everyone look like they’re hiding something?

TW: Self-harm.


Now tell me, what’s your favorite spooky movie or novel!?

As always follow to not miss the latest!

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Pick Your Dream Summer City and I’ll Tell You What to Read

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Not sure what to read but still bummed out about your summer trip? I got you covered 😉


Paris

Paris

The Little Paris Bookshop by Nina George

Paris, summer, a bookstore owner who possesses a gift to sense people’s troubles and give them the right book for it is driven out on his own adventure across France that includes an unexpected friendship, a long lost love, and healing a broken heart.

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Singapore

Singapore

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Saucy and scandalous, follow Rachael Choi as she decides to vacation at her boyfriend Nicholas Young’s hometown and meet his parents for summer. Fun right? Except that his family are crazy rich and Rachael’s mother in law well…she’s hell.

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NewYork

New York

The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Natasha is not one to fall in love at first sight in fact she isn’t sure if she actually does believe in love at all. Daniel comes from a strict academic asian family, a romantic at heart with a poet’s soul. A chance encounter flings them together and they’re whisked away in this heart wrenching romance in a city that is unpredictable just as it is unmerciful.

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Malibu

Malibu

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Total opposites but acclaimed writers Augustus Everett, who enjoys killing off his cast in his books, and January Andrews, who enjoys finishing up with a happy ending, find themselves beach house neighbors this summer. Well, it’s a guy, and a girl, and one summer…need I say more?

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Prepare to set yourself a time travel adventure when Claire Randall during her second honeymoon after World War II gets transported back in time in yet another war, in the year of 1743 lost somewhere within the Scottish Highlands. Torn between two men, two timelines, and two identities, Claire struggles as she tries to understand the mysterious forces that are at work.

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Naples

Naples

The Godfather by Mario Pruzo

The iconic global phenom gripples with themes of betrayal, honor, family, and greed, The Godfather is one read that will have you transported to the eerie underworld of the Italian Mafia. Far better than being transported to your sofa couch I must say.

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Mumbai

Mumbai

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

The story of hope and survival, Piscine Molitor “Pi” Patel from Pondicherry India manages to remarkably survive 227 days lost at sea. Of course he is not alone he is accompanied by a Bengal Tiger…named Richard Parker…?

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Dublin

Dublin

Where the Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahren

Rosie and Alex have always been best friends through thick and thin, but after Alex’s move from Dublin to America the two go their separate ways. Their connection brings them back together and Rosie can’t help but think “What if”?

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I choose “…” as my dream summer city, what’s yours? https://jawahirthebookworm.com/2020/07/07/pick-your-dream-summer-city-and-ill-tell-you-what-to-read/

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TTT | Top 10 Recommended Books

I’ve thought long and hard about how to write this one up; I’ve seen you enjoy the twists I place on the TTT lists and since I’ve had tremendous fun coming up with these I thought: Let’s keep at it!

Truthfully, I’m someone who does the recommending rather than being someone who gets recs 😂 Mainly however, I find awesome recs either from bookish articles or book bloggers! So I’ve compiled the recent recs I liked along with the original source. 

You’ve got another dual bargain with this one! Book recs AND links to amazing blogs 😍

 I’ll be honest I haven’t read any of them 🙈 so that’s another rule broken 😬😂

TTT is a fun bookish weekly meme created by theartsyreadergirl where you list your top 10s based on a different theme each week. I’ll link up her TTT if you would like to participate or know more.


Top 10 Recommended Books

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman

Apparently this is considered on the forefront when it comes to dystopian YA, especially in the Millennial era. It looks so intriguing and according to Waterstones; this is one of the best YA books. 

Check out their best YA recs!

The Cult of We: Wework, Adam Neumann, and the Great Startup Delusion by Eliot Brown and Maureen Farrell

Corporate scandals have always been a fascination to me, there is a morbid enjoyment in watching something fall apart; like crumbling sandcastles.

This book was part of The Bibliofile’s top anticipated non fic books of 2021; definitely recommend checking it out!

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

I’ve always loved anything related to culture and folklore of countries and societies foreign to me. I think there is something profound and special when looking at the world with someone else’s cultural perspective. So when this snagged my attention from Bookish Luna’s Middle Mark Post, I knew I had to add it to my TBR right away!

Her other recs include historical fiction, a bit of horror, and some Stephen King!

A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P Djeli Clark

When it comes to book recs, Noura @theperksofnoura never fails to impress me with a rec or two; her book tastes fit right up my alley! A Dead Djinn in Cairo was part of her October TBR, and it seemed like the perfect mix of mystery and sci fi!

Carols and Chaos by Cindy Anstey

I love myself some classic romance but it’s more fun when you mix in a counterfeiting scheme! Added this book after looking at Krysta’s Top 10 YA Books with Clean Romance. These are perfect books if you’re looking for something sweet rather than steamy.

Ghosts by Dolly Alderton

It’s always great to see contemporary books shed a light on being thirty, I tend to find most books focus on the gravitating and exciting times of being a twenty something year old (lol yeah right). It’s even more amazing when it speaks about women and the more pressure they face especially with stereotypes of family, children, “settling down”, etc. 

This book has been part of White Rose Stories Most Anticipated October 2020 releases! So many books and a great selection!

The Emperor’s Blades by Brian Staveley

This high epic fantasy was recommended by V.E. Schwab herself, and it was an answer to the question “which book/s would you recommend to lure someone who hasn’t read fantasy in a while back into the genre?”. 

This was part of a Goodreads interview blog post that features other popular fantasy authors like Naomi Novik and Susanna Clark. They provide countless recs and it was so enlightening looking into each author’s different styles and readings!

She Wore Red Trainers by Naima B Robert

I’ve never seen a halal romance story being depicted in writing before and I was delighted to see this! This book was part of The Tsundoku Chronicles post: Books with Muslim Representation. As a Muslim myself this list was a dream list.

Fiends on the Other Side by Vera Strange

Princess and the Frog is one of my fav Disney movies! So when I spotted this as part of Sammie @ The Bookwyrm Den’s September Book Haul it seemed like the perfect spooky read for Fall. I mean the cover speaks for itself 😍

Her recent book haul is filled with spooky and creepy reads, so if you’re into that I would definitely recommend checking her post out!

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

For all newbie spooky readers, The Artsy Reader has made a curated list of scary rated book recs for spooky season, if you wanna dive into the genre but don’t want something “too scary” check out her stellar post!

Small spaces include a school trip gone wrong and the ghost that haunts the local farm.


I hope you enjoyed this post! Shoutout to all the wonderful book bloggers who made such amazing effort to put their respective posts together.

Please guys support your book bloggers and happy reading!

If you wrote a TTT, link up your post below. I would love to check them out!

The “Most Sophisticated Books in the World” | Maison Assouline Bookstore Review

What? Maison Assouline

Where? 196A Piccadilly, St. James’s, W1J 9EY, London

Highlights: Ambiance and atmosphere, pop culture books

Right in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly 😍 Courtesy of Assouline website

Imagine looking at an old masonic building set with dark wooden double doors that seem too heavy for anyone to open. No hustle, no shoppers going in and coming out in a frenzy, at first glance, you might even think it’s abandoned.

At least that’s what was going on in my mind the first time I stood in front of art deco and jazzy bookstore Maison Assouline.

Then as soon as you step in, you’re transported into this fusion of 1920s and 1930s with jazz music, antique greek head statues, gramphones, huge Victorian style globes, and art deco style of accessories and jewelry. 

Unlike your cozy next door bookstores that’s a bit messy but homey, Maison Assouline is like stepping into a glitzy mansion. Everything is meticulously shelved, and you have very specific titles that mainly reflect on themes of pop culture, fashion, and lifestyle. If Scott Fitzgerald was alive, I bet he’d spend his evenings and leisure hours here.

The books are very pricey, but each piece looks so pristine looking, and the antiques that were artfully placed throughout the area were for sale as well! I had the pleasure to leaf through a rare 1800s atlas, a more modern retelling of fashion powerhouse Chanel, and the cultural significance of Harlem revealed through visuals mediums of color and photography. 

The browsing in itself was worth it!

Courtesy of Assouline website

Better yet, within the space there is a cafe too. And befitting the vibe of the place, the waiters wore white suits and white gloves, trays were a startling clear silver. I mean sipping on a cappuccino while listening to jazz music soulfully play throughout is heaven to me. Not to mention you can hear absolutely nothing from the outside world; this is a writer’s heaven. 

It’s located between Hatchards bookstore and Waterstones, so you get triple bookshopping this way! 

Available Online? Yes, they do provide international shipping and have several boutiques in different capitals if you fancy a step in. Just check out their website.

COVID-19 Update | Both the bookshop and its cafe are open, but with possible lockdown happening in the UK you never know 🤷🏽‍♀️


As always follow to not miss great content like this!

TTT | Top 10 Books With the Longest (and Bizarre) Titles

This is one quirky TTT! In general I don’t pay much attention to the title’s length except if I find it intriguing or not. 

So I thought it would be fun to pick out the most bizarre titles I could find in addition to them being long.

TTT is a fun bookish weekly meme created by theartsyreadergirl where you list your top 10s based on a different theme each week. I’ll link up her TTT if you would like to participate or know more.


Top 10 Books with the Longest (and Bizarre) Titles

No Matter How Much You Promise to Cook or Pay the Rent You Blew It Cauze Bill Bailey Ain’t Never Coming Home Again

by Edgardo Vega Yunqué

Don’t Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems

by David Rakoff

Play the Piano Drunk Like a Percussion Instrument Until the Fingers Begin to Bleed a Bit

by Charles Bukowski

When All Our Days Are Numbered Marching Bands Will Fill the Streets & We Will Not Hear Them Because We Will Be Upstairs in the Clouds

by Sasha Fletcher

Why Do Men Have Nipples?: Hundreds of Questions You’d Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini

by Mark Leyner, 
 Billy Goldberg

The Sun and the Moon: The Remarkable True Account of Hoaxers, Showmen, Dueling Journalists, and Lunar Man-Bats in Nineteenth-Century New York  

by Matthew Goodman

Your Flying Car Awaits: Robot Butlers, Lunar Vacations, and Other Dead-Wrong Predictions of the Twentieth Century

by Paul Milo

My Mama Says There Aren’t Any Zombies, Ghosts, Vampires, Creatures, Demons, Monsters, Fiends, Goblins, or Things

by Judith Viorst, 
 Kay Chorao 

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements

by Sam Kean

Today the Sky is Blue and White With Bright Blue Spots and a Small Pale Moon and I Will Destroy Our Relationship Today

by Tao Lin

Hope you enjoyed the selection of books!

If you wrote a TTT, link up your post below. I would love to check them out!

Review | Rep. Spotlight : Spoiler Alert

I would like to thank Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a free ARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts expressed are my personal opinion.

Description Summary | Upbeat yet extremely thoughtful and truthful in one of the best romance novels I’ve read yet. Unique in writing and character and brilliant representation of plus size MCs. Warning: Mature and explicit content.

Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Summary | (Skip to Review)

April Whittier has had enough. She has had enough working in a place where she has to constantly hide herself in order to be accepted “professionally”. She has had enough of people shaming her body, forever deemed “the fat girl”. And she has had enough of people making fun of her obsession of God of the Gates.

A proud cosplayer and fanfic writer of the series, April one day decides to upload a full body pic of her on Twitter cosplaying her favorite character of the show. Of course this invites malicious and not so nice people trolling her and making fun of her. 

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a pretty decent life. He’s a successful actor on the tv show God of the Gates playing as warrior demi-god Aeneas. He’s got a big house in L.A worth probably millions and an even prettier face worth probably more. Here’s the thing: he’s really tired of being seen as a pretty face and only a pretty face. But being “The Well Groomed Golden Retriever” served him well, lots of good publicity, less drama. 

He has a secret though: Marcus is one of the main fan fic writers on the server. And if word ever got out that he wrote fan fic, everything he’s ever maintained will fall apart in a blink of an eye.

That doesn’t stop him from asking April to go on a date with him after the disgusting onslaught of trolls who claimed that Aeneas aka Marcus would never want someone who looks like her. Little did they know that one date can change everything.

Review

Review

I practically squealed like a girl who found her golden ticket after seeing that I’ve been approved for Spoiler Alert. As soon as I read the synopsis of this book I knew I would love it. And love it I did. This nailed my 5 star prediction and I’m so glad it did not disappoint.

Here’s why I’m so happy with the book:

This isn’t your popular kid falling for the outcast trope, this isn’t your knight in shining armour falling for the “fat girl” making it look like that he’s the savior to the girl’s misery and tragedy. Oh no..no..no.. this book has both of our love interests falling for each other, making mistakes, actively trying to change for the better, gaining self confidence, and understanding each other. This is a truthful relationship with both partners having issues and both partners are trying to work around through those issues as they explore the blossoming feeling of falling for each other.

Speaking of issues, I loved that Dade included not only external stigma relating to body issues but also internal issues in the form of disability and identity issues. Now I’m no expert in psychology so I can’t say the accuracy of ADHD and dyslexia and how they’re represented in the book. But personally as a reader, even though I’m not familiar with both, I felt the way Dade wrote them is extremely raw and made me feel empathetic despite me not having or knowing anyone with ADHD and/or dyslexia. 

Story

Honestly wouldn’t change anything about the story except maybe make it less smutty?… Look I prefer my intimate scenes to be “poetic” but that’s just a preference for me as a reader and at least this wasn’t cringe like other smut filled books (I’m looking at you ACOTAR).

Growing up as a fat girl and teen (I lost weight now due to health concerns posed by my doctor so I had to force myself to lose the pounds though I still relate to that girl so much), this book nailed so much stuff right on the head. Especially the toxic positivity that can come from your closest loved ones; here its JoAnn our MC April’s mother. I literally shed tears when April confronted her mother and wrote that monologue about what it is to be body shamed. 

Characters

These two MCs acknowledged the mistakes they’d made if they did, actually carried out their promises, and made a conscious effort to maintain what they have. Amazing.

April

April was so much fun and witty. I loved how intelligent she is, I loved her vibe and how she’s unapologetically herself. I really loved that emphasis was placed that Marcus fell for her because of her wit, intelligence, and personality foremost. It’s really refreshing. She’s like Lizzo’s soul sister or something.

Marcus

Marcus my darling Marcus. Props for Dade for showcasing that even good looks is not enough to have a fulfilling and happy life. They’re definitely not a factor for having a relationship either. Marcus was shy, inquisitive, and so caring. I loved how he wasn’t afraid to show his love to the woman he adores in front of the whole wide world.

It’s really sad when stars utilize their physical beauty or adjust their looks to base their “brand” upon it. Marcus was not different but it was beautiful seeing him shed his layers and cast off his masks, slowly settling in the most truthful version of movie star Marcus: himself and only himself. 

Do I recommend? I think I have gushed enough, so absolutely yes!


Review | Hist. Retellings : My Lady Jane

Good but meh? 3 star ratings can be confusing at times 🤷🏽‍♀️

Description Summary | Imagine 16th century England but written by Regina George from Mean Girls and Erin from Derry Girls

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Book Summary | (Skip to Review)

Meet Lady Jane Grey, a 16 year old uptight bookworm who wants nothing more but her own library and some peace and quiet is forced into an arranged marriage with an apparent “man-horse”. Fun.

Meet Gifford, our lovely “man-horse” who is also forced into the arranged marriage. Gifford is cursed with turning into a horse every morning and then turning back into a human every night. Also he’s a secret poet. 

Finally meet Edward aka the King of England but really he’s just an awkward teenager who dreams of having his first kiss. Oh and he kinda “loves” Jane, but he’s also the one who arranged her marriage? Awkward…..

In 16th century England as the tensions between the E∂ians; those with the ability to switch from a human form to an animal form, and the Verities; those who vehemently opposed the existence of the E∂ians and deemed them an abomination of humanity. 

Through it all we see Jane as she navigates a new marriage and her abrupt rise to the throne. As a sympathetic who wants equality among the two factions, she was opposed strongly by every political corner you can imagine. Plus, external forces like the rebel E∂ian group called “The Pack” isn’t making things particularly easy by attacking and taking advantage of harmless citizens.

Gifford isn’t making matters easier, he’s handsome, kind, and is seemingly okay with Jane being an annoying know-it-all at times. Could it be that something is there that wasn’t before?

Review

Review

You know when you read a book and know it’s good but you can’t help but think: “if I were 15 or 16 years old I would have absolutely loved this book”. This was the case for me with My Lady Jane, to me it was on a very thin tightrope of being a 3 star rating or a 4 star rating. So I decided to settle in the middle as it wasn’t memorable enough for me to put a 4 star on it.

Story

The book was a fun read (I’ll give it that) and as a teenage book I feel it ticks off all of those boxes of having a good balance of swoony romance and thrilling adventure teamed up with youthful banter. So in a way it served its purpose as a book but I just felt there is something missing that doesn’t make it a must read or a very impactful one at that.

Plot-wise I felt the story was smooth and there is a clear build up, climax, and ending; well structured. None of the plot twists really surprise me, and at times I felt some chapters were choppy. Like I said: not a “wow” book but an enjoyable one nonetheless. 

The multiple POVs were written well; it didn’t feel like jumping suddenly from one person to the next without context. I loved seeing the thoughts that were in Jane and Gifford’s heads. I think without them this book would have been too one dimensional and monotone. 

I wasn’t also really invested in the romance if I’m being honest, and the love declarations between our two main interests were a cliche. Just dramatic, over the top, and too “Disney”. 

Writing

The tone of the book was probably one of the things that I least liked about the book. I know this sounds unfair but the writing style had a juvenile and immature tone to it. Since I never read a historical retelling with this kind style I couldn’t say if I would like it or not outright. And now I know the answer: give me dark, edgy, angst historical fiction from now on.

Though since this book is written technically to teenagers I can’t fault the writers for using that kind of tone and writing style, and this is just a case of personal taste as a reader. 
Furthermore, I dislike when the writers ( in this case our “narrators”) pop up in the book and “speak” to the reader directly, ex: “(Unfortunately, reader, the much more portable pencil…etc)”. When you’re addressing me directly and adding commentary in the book, it really puts me off the story because (especially books with fantasy elements) I have to be totally immersed in the story and not get distracted like that for me to be completely invested in the book. Again this isn’t a “fault” of the book, it’s just a personal preference in reading that resulted in a lower rating.

Characters

The characters are well written, you totally felt like they were teenagers and I liked the “vibe” they gave off (if that makes sense). But again, nothing memorable to me. Nothing that would make me adore them and cherish them immensely. 

However I do appreciate that the authors decided to showcase two male MCs who are softies! It’s still not often you get soft boys who are not “warrior material”. Gifford is a hopeless romantic who wouldn’t hurt a fly if he can help it. Edward is a cutie who’s all awkward and flustered; basically not a brooding asshole. I really love this kind of representation of boys who are not afraid to showcase their affection, and are not your traditional “masculine” men. 

Yes let’s normalize this please.

We also had three sets of very different women throughout the story that all played integral parts of the plot. What I liked: Each one of them had a different strength and personality, and the authors chose to highlight each one in a way that defined them rather than pitted them against each other or outshine one but not the other. Jane was your planner and strategist, Gracie was your hot head rebel and fighter, and Bess was your diplomatic politician. 

To conclude I would say the style and narration of the book is not for me. I wasn’t particularly invested in the story hence I have no intention of reading the next and most likely I’ll give my copy of this book to someone else who might enjoy it.

Do I recommend? Depends; do you like humor and sappy romance in your historical retellings? Then this might be for you otherwise skip!


September Readathon Wrap Up! | Can’t Wait for Next Time

UPDATE | So reading the below text I now understand what’s going on. So I haven’t posted in a week, and that’s because I had a few health related setbacks. Turns out what I needed is rest! 

It wasn’t fun making myself do nothing for days but it was what I needed tbh. You’ll see me posting from time to time during the following month mainly, just till I get back to my best wellbeing. Seeing your comments and likes, how much you love the blog and love my content warms my heart. I’m forever grateful for discovering the most loving community ever.

Big hugs and kisses to you all my lovelies, stay safe! ❤️

Final Thoughts

To me this readathon was so much fun, Becca was so sweet in engaging with me through twitter and took the time to comment and retweet others content and thoughts. She was just really into it and very present. I really liked how she was transparent with both the days she slacked off on and the days where she powered through. As a reader it increased the sense of ease and “casualness” (is that even a word?) of the whole readathon.

Here’s her Recap Vid!

Just to recap here’s the prompts I got:

▪️Light Cover

▪️Middle Grade

▪️Community Shelf Draw: My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

▪️Standalone

The readathon was so well thought out and was really informative, I’ve gushed all about it in my previous post. But now let’s talk books!

I had an incredible ARC, read the first book of one of a series that I now have a fan for life (thanks Sabba Tahir; you’re a goddess), and got into some classic historical fic.

The One That Took My Breath Away

O.M.G. This book. THIS BOOK.

When I tell you it ripped my heart and stole my breath, I wasn’t kidding. Piece of advice: Never start this book as your first in a readathon, you won’t have the emotional capacity to pick up another and will probably throw this whole readathon in the trash.

Luckily and Unluckily for me, I only had the first book so I couldn’t get to the second one (yet). It includes mythology and ruthless turn of events, inspired by Roman culture you won’t be able to blink an eye with this one.

The Wish Come True! (Nailed Prediction)

Of course being a fickle reader I ditched my original stand alone choices and picked yet a completely different book 😂

This was the book that I fell in love with just from the synopsis. I’ve never read a romance novel with a plus size protagonist and this book did not disappoint. I’m so happy that it nailed that 5 star prediction and this will not be the last time I’ll be reading Olivia Dade’s books. Special thanks for the publisher for sending me an ARC!

The Surprise Read

Frankly, I thought this would be an average read, 3 or 3.5 stars. But from the first chapter you’re whisked away to a faraway medieval kingdom on the brink of war and the only person who can save it is a hard headed, sharp tongued, clever thief and orphan. Fun doesn’t even describe half of it.


Separating my personal ailments from my readings, bookwise I think it was a success! Five star books all around (let’s hope this spell lasts). That being said, with October I’m definitely taking it slow especially since I’m a mood reader; I don’t set up TBRs anyway.

Have you participated in Becca’s Bookapoltahon? Have you read or are planning to read any of the books mentioned?

As always sign up to not miss the latest!

PSL Book Tag

Autumn is here! I mainly love autumn because it sits right in the middle between scorching summers and ice cold winters. And since I’m not a fan of either scorching suns or frost bitten fingers, Autumn always was a lovely welcome. Not to mention all of the cozy fuzzy sweaters! 😍

With PSL you either love it or hate it. I can confidently say that yes I’m that person who LOVES PSL and tries to get it whenever possible. I love the subtle spiciness, the sweet nutty flavors, and the warmth that reaches my toes after sipping on this seasonal goodness.

So of course when I stumbled on Care @bookchesirecat PSL inspired book tag I knew I HAD to do it. The book tag’s original creator is The Book Pusher and she even has a Youtube vid about it. So check these two lovelies out!

I Tag :

Anyone who bought or will buy a PSL in the next week ☕️🍂👀

If you’d like to, ping back to me. I would love to see your own PSL inspired tags 😍


The Questions

PSL : A book that everyone likes to hate on but is actually delicious

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Granted this book did have its heyday, but I can’t help but stan it ya’ll 🙈. Though I wouldn’t call it “delicious”, it did have a really profound effect on my reading choices and tastes. It was one of the first “angsty” books I read as a preteen and Augustus gave me my first heartbreak…thanks John 🌚

“Fall is my favorite season” : A cliche you can’t get enough of

Enemies to lovers and polar opposites romance trope (don’t know if that exists but you know what I mean). Mix it in with the star-crossed lovers trope. I love torturing myself like this and I don’t know why but the angst people, THE ANGST.

Sweater Weather to T-Shirt Weather : A book you thought was one thing but was completely different by the end.

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

This was attributed as “Harry Potter for adults” and as a major HP fan I thought this would be the perfect book for me. It was more mature and darker, centred on magic and dark academia. 

Unfortunately this book was a disaster

The MC was a selfish pessimistic brat who literally made the book unbearable. The “friendships” in the book were toxic; basically a bunch of people who screw each other over for a selfish reason or none at all. The pacing and speed of the book killed me, and just remembering me reading it gives me a sour taste in my mouth. If you want to see the full rant review, check out my Goodreads.

Spoops : Do you have a spooky book on your TBR?

Clown on a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

Killer clowns are making a comeback! As if I wasn’t mortified by them the first time around…

For more spooky recs, check out my top books for fall season TTT 🍂

Tarot Reading : A 5 Star Prediction

These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong

A romeo and juliet retelling set in 1920s Shanghai that incorporates SFF elements AND it ticks off my fav cliches: star-crossed lovers, enemies to lovers, and forbidden love.

I am so ecstatic for this, you don’t even know.

Sephora Sage + Crystal Set : A book that meant well but missed the mark by a landslide

Pride by Ibi Zoboi

This book wasn’t particularly bad but it was alright and that was that. Which to me is a problem. I need to have some sort of emotion towards the character and story. 

So the concept was cool but the book lacked depth.


Hope you liked the book tag! Are you a PSL stan or nah?

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TTT | Top 10 Books for Fall

Not really a fan of having seasonal TBRs since I’m a very moody and fickle reader. Hence I tweaked this week’s TTT to include top books that would totally suit autumn season!

Although I should just switch it to top dark spooky reads because that’s basically the list lol. 

TTT is a fun bookish weekly meme created by theartsyreadergirl where you list your top 10s based on a different theme each week. I’ll link up her TTT if you would like to participate or know more.


Top 10 Books for Fall

Clown in a Cornfield by Adam Cesare

The spooky vibes and eerie atmosphere that you usually associate with small towns and cornfields is literally what this book is all about. Not to mention it’s a perfect Halloween read.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

This is your classic murder mystery book. And you best believe that this will be the future me after I retire.

The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones.

This is your gritty, grotesque horror. I’m not going to lie, cut throat horror is not really my thing but I’ve been really intrigued by the story especially since it takes notions from real life events and history.

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

A notable superstar of 2020, you’ve got shady characters, a possible haunted mansion, and seriously gothic vibes. I could just envision Morticia Adams reading this.

Midnight at Malabar House by Vaseem Khan

A murder mystery reminiscent of Agatha Christie set in 1950s Bombay following India’s first female police officer Persis as she attempts to solve of the murder of a prominent English diplomat.

The Conductors by Nicole Glover

Magic, mystery, and post civil war Philadelphia, I love the blend of fantasy and realism and the inclusion of underground trains! Underground trains and hidden tunnels have always fascinated me; the idea that so much can exist right beneath us and yet so oblivious to it.

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

A rundown motel in NYC brimming with secrets and a wide cast of visitors, but just what is the Sun Down Motel hiding exactly? Don’t know about you but I could definitely sit back with a cuppa and read this.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix

A women’s book club obsessed with true crime are looking to figure out their latest mystery: the artistic handsome stranger that may be a Ted Bundy or something more “supernatural”…

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen McManus

This is one of the less morbid books, think of it as Twin Peaks (minus the supernatural) x Pretty Little Liars where you follow the resurrected killings of Echo Ridge High’s homecoming queens. Also, serious autumn vibes.

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

Some reviewers claimed this to be “too dark” but as October is reeling in there’s no better suited book. It involves secret societies, the occult, and sinister rituals.


Hope you enjoyed the selection of books!

If you wrote a TTT, link up your post below. I would love to check them out!

Review | Woven in Moonlight

This was a lovely read! I read the book for the DTS readathon, and yet at first I was skeptical to continue on with book 2 but I’ve just checked the reviews and it was higher than the first so maybeeee book 2 would surprise me in a good way 👀

Description Summary | A beautiful story encompassed with Bolivian culture and politics that falls flat with story progression but is elevated with the author’s pleasant writing style and character dynamics.

Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Book Summary | (Skip to Review)

Ximena has been a decoy for 10 years. 10 years since the Llacsans invaded La Ciudad and their leader Atoc has crowned himself king. 10 years since the Illustrian royals were killed off and the last remaining condesa fled for her life. 10 years since both Ximena and the true condensa Catalina lost both of their parents.

Now King Atoc offers an arrangement, a marriage proposal to the exiled condesa in return for the freedom of Illustrian prisoners being kept in the dungeons. Anyhow, the condensa wouldn’t have much choice. The king would wipe out her fortress easily, especially since he has the silver bracelet with the powerful and magical gem: The Estrella

Ximena is placed in a deadly game of espionage and secrecy when she goes into the palace as the true condesa. There she meets Rumi, a healer and cousin to the king. Rumi is a devout loyal to the king who can’t stand the condesa. Ximena’s feelings are all but mutual. 

Soon however, the more time Ximena spends time in the castle and near the people whom she always considered her “enemies” the more that she rethinks the entire history of the Inkasisa. Revelations come up which forces her to look at her own system in a new light. But that would mean the ultimate betrayal: turning her back on her closest companion and friend as well as the heir to the Illustrian throne: Catalina.

With the notorious rebel El Lobo on the loose wrecking havoc and mayhem where he goes, Ximena is weary of his intentions: he claims he wants the best for all sides. But can Ximena trust him? 

The silver lining between foe and friend blurs, as the right and wrong. Hope rests on Ximena to stop yet another bloody war that would be the death of many people.

Review

Review

This was tricky. On one side I loved how the story ended and the original concept behind it; I’ve never read a fantasy where the MC wove moonlight thread. It was truly a unique experience for me. On the other hand, there was some hang ups and “slowness” I guess in how the plot progresses in the external realm (so internally the MC was changing and growing however that did not extend to her actions and the external plot).

Story and Writing

(I tried splitting them but they were too intertwined and leaving them together made the review less confusing).

Honestly if it weren’t for Ibanez’s beautiful and flowy writing I think I would have been bored at some point of the book. Ximena, our MC, is allegedly trained for her whole life to be a decoy spy however I did not see that. Quite frankly she is a sloppy spy if that’s the case. The whole time it felt like she was gripping at lines blindly trying to pick the right “answer” or course of action. Most of the time, the answers and revelations were given to her.

I could tell that there are brilliant concepts and ideas lurking in Ibanez’s mind, some of the magic that happens in the book is so whimsical and fairytale like it was fantastic. However it just seemed that the story prolonged itself and went in circles before the reader gets sucked into a whirlpool than bam that’s it. I wasn’t properly introduced to the earlier characters in Ximena’s life to actually care about them thus when she was grieving in the first chapters of the book I couldn’t connect with her because I couldn’t feel the importance of the characters. 

Characters

I absolutely loved the interactions between characters, especially Ximena’s and Rumi’s banter. These dialogues are mainly the ones that kept me invested in the book, seeing how both of them learnt the importance of listening and hearing each other out and how that reflected in their everchanging and blossoming feelings towards one another is so beautiful and dare I say it: romantic.

Ximena

I did not think I would like Ximena as much as I did by the end of the book. She truly was a surprise. At the beginning she was too impulsive for me, someone who didn’t care about the consequences and kept on pursuing a path or thought even though she internally knew there would be dire end results. Again not the thought process of an espionage spy in “years” of training.

Rumi

Loved him. You can tell that there was more to him than what’s on the surface. He was someone who was intelligent, methodical, and one of the more logical characters of the book. A perfect love interest in my opinion to the more emotive Ximena.

Little Con

I know this is a minor thing but I felt the glossary was lacking. It mainly contained food terms, but I would love to have seen detailed descriptions of the clothing and Spanish slang in the glossary as well.

In my Goodreads review, I’ve said that I wasn’t going to read the second book but since then I’ve changed my mind and decided to give Written in Starlight a go!

Do I recommend? If you love descriptive YA fantasy this one’s for you, though it’s not a must read.