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Tiger Honor (Thousand Worlds, #2) by Yoon Ha Lee

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Arc was given by Disney Hyperion & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

This review is being published after the release date (January 4th 2022)

🌠 Dragon Pearl ★★★★

Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, severe injuries, talk of death, grief, mentions of abandonment (near end of book), hostage situation, attempted forced exorcism

“By the White Tiger of the West, I swear to serve the clan in all matters.”

Creature Factions:
✨ Dragons – Enormous, uses weather magic, can terraform planets
✨ Goblins – Ability of invisibility, mostly secret agents, can also summon food with their wands
✨ Ghosts – Spirits that have unfinished business, most likely haunting someone/something
✨ Tigers – Large in size, strong, fierce, feared by everyone, Sebin and their family
✨ Shamans – Healers, help ghosts crossover
✨ Humans – Like you and me
✨ Fox Spirits – Bad reputation, considered myths, extinct, Min and her family

Other Factions:
✨ Dragon Council – Galactic government
✨ Space Forces – Military, to protect the people and the different worlds
✨ Mercenaries & Pirates – Factions of all kinds trying to survive by whatever means

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, it feels so good to be back in this world! I have missed this world dearly and I had been wondering where or more specifically who would come next in this series. I’m pleasantly surprised by the faction we got to follow and how everything seem to come full circle. Now, I’m just eagerly waiting to see what Yoon Ha Lee has in store for us next!

Our story follows Juhwang, Sebin, who’s been training to enter the Space Forces, in hopes of one day becoming a captain of their own ship like their uncle. In the midst of training and hoping to here back from the Spaces Forces, on whether or not they’ve been accepted into the program, tragedy strikes. Sebin is not only given the good news of being accepted into the program, but now their loyalty will be tested as their beloved uncle has committed treason, and is on the run.

“The White Tiger had told me, pay the price for breaking your oath, but pay it willingly.”

I love the themes we get to see so heavily engraved in this series. There is a strong, consistent theme of family and what it means to love your family so deeply, and at what lengths you’ll go to find out the truth of what’s happening with your family. Looking back on Dragon Pearl, we saw the main character go to great lengths to find out the truth about her brother. Now, we get to see our new character Sebin, not only seeking the truth, but having that inner struggle of loyalty to your family or doing the right thing to prevent others from getting hurt or potentially innocent lives being lost. And one of the most beautiful parts of this theme has been the character growth for the main characters. These family themes are not only consistent int he book, but they’re also key elements to watching the main character grow and come into their own.

Another favorite part of this book was seeing characters from Dragon Pearl return to this one. I loved seeing our favorite gumiho come back and I adored the way Sebin and Min clashed. One of my favorite things is seeing the “enemies to friends” relationship blossom and grow, and the author delivered. Its not a perfect friendship and there was a lot of miscommunication between the two of them, but it was wonderful to see them slowly come to understand one another and the hardships they both had to endure.

“It must be a hundred times worse to have to conceal something so fundamental about yourself.”

Also, I wanted to add a little side bit. I did this in Dragon Pearl and I really wanted to state it with this book as well. There’s a lot of Star Trek vibes throughout this entire book. Dragon Pearl had a lot of scenes where it felt like it may have been Star Wars inspired or even pulled inspiration from Mulan or Lilo & Stitch, but in this book, if you’re a Star Trek lover, this book feels like there’s a lot of inspiration pulled from it.

I think the most interesting part of this book was watching Sebin’s character development. We didn’t just see them come into a role of their own as a cadet, but we also see the conflicting feelings they have about many things relating to their uncle. Truly, I think one of the most beautiful things this book did was put an emphasis on how you can still love someone despite the bad things they’ve done, despite how imperfect they are, but still recognizing there’s a right and a wrong, and that its okay to have a lot of conflicting feelings about it as a whole.

“Losing him as a hero was more painful than an injury I had received.”

Of course, we see a lot of diversity throughout this book as well. There’s a few side characters who are non-binary, but our main character Sebin is also non-binary and uses they/them pronouns. We also have a side character who uses sign language. And speaking of disabilities, there’s a normalization of required sign language interpreters by the Space Forces, which I find isn’t often shown in books. It was handled in a very respectable way and I really appreciated that included aspect.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I feel like a power read this book so fast. That might be why I gave it four stars was from this book feeling short compared to the first book in the series. Either way, it was a fantastic read. I recommend this to anyone who’s a sci-fi lover for sure. I’m actually in the process of trying to get my significant other to read this series and they’re a die hard sci-fi lover. Anyway, I really enjoyed it and I think many readers will find themselves falling in love with this world all over again with this sequel!

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

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Book Hauls

A Very Late December 2021 Book Haul

The last and only haul of 2021, and it’s SUPER late!

Salutations friends! Its that time again where I’m super late at getting something posted because life decided to throw some curve balls at me. However, one of my favorite mottos is “Better late than never!” So I have a very late 2021 book haul for everyone. I’m really excited to share this haul with everyone and its been a while since I’ve shared a haul. So even those this is a small haul, I hope you all enjoy! A special thank you to my friends and family who got me all of these books! ♥


Willodeen by Katherine Applegate

A Touch of Darkness (Hades & Persephone #1) by Scarlett St. Clair

Playing Cupid by S. C. Alban

Blessed Monsters (Something Dark and Holy #3) by Emily A. Duncan

You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao


Ah, my heart is so full with this haul. Truly, I feel really blessed to have received these books for the holidays and I’m so grateful for everyone who sent me some books. I’m really excited to read them too. Some of these books I’ve been eyeballing for a while, but never had the chance to get them. I’m so excited! What kind of books did you get in 2021? Do you have any favorites you’re really excited about to read? Come chat with me in the comments below! Until next time friends; stay cozy, I love you! 💚

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Tags

12 Challenge | 12 Months to Read 12 Books

This challenge was originally created by shadowbooker on Instagram.


Hi, it’s me! Back with setting myself up for struggles with tbrs… again!

Salutations Chapterlings! As I’m sure you’ve seen floating around on Instagram and possibly book Twitter, there’s a new challenge in town! Yes, it’s true, this lovely challenge was brought to us by the lovely Shadowbooker (who’s link you can click above, directly under the image for this post) who crafted this stunning template. After a lovely friend reached out to me asking to give them a recommendation for this challenge, I was easily persuaded into doing this challenge myself.

Thanks to friends, family, and some amazing peeps in the book community, I was finally able to gather all 12 books onto this list. And then I had a thought, “Let’s make a post dedicating it to this challenge and essentially holding myself to this challenge.” So, let me introduce to you the 12 books recommended to me for this challenge.


P.S. To everyone who reached out and recommend Elatsoe by Darcy Little Badger: Thank you for recommending that book to me. Yes, I have already read it and yes, I need to do a reread to actually take some darn notes and write a full review, but I have read it. You can find a statement from me on GoodReads HERE!


The 12 Books

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen
Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao
This Poison Heart by Kalynn Bayron
I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn
Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon
Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Healer of the Water Monster by Brian Young
Legacy by Whiti Hereaka
Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir
The Adventure Zone: Petals to the Metal by Clint McElroy


And now the nerves kick in!

Honestly, I’m really nervous about this list of books. Some of them I’m really excited for because many friends have been recommending certain titles to me for a hot minute, but I definitely have some worries. If I pick up a book and don’t like it, that’s on me because I should know my reading preference, but when others recommend books and I don’t like it… oh, I’ll feel bad for days if I didn’t enjoy the book. Even more so due to three books on this list being overly hyped to me and anytime someone overhypes something, I get very weary about if I’ll actually feel the same. So I’m definitely nervous, but excited to do this challenge.
Are you participating in the 12 Challenge this year? If so, what books do you have on your list or if you have a similar post, post a link in the comments. Until next time chapterlings, sending you all of my love for this new year of reading! 💚

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Monthly TBR

January 2022 TBR

It’s TBR time again!

Salutations book dragons! It’s that time again where I tell you what has found it’s way into my tbr pile and myself, once again, praying to the gods that nothing (and I do mean nothing) comes to stop me from completing my tbr for this month. Frankly, I tried to keep it small because I’m trying to ease my way back into reading the way I used to, but doing it in a more healthier way, with way less burnout and more satisfaction. A sense of completion, in it’s own way. And who knows, maybe a few extra books will find it’s way onto the this list without me actually listing them. So if you don’t mind short tbrs, stick around and maybe you’ll find something you’re excited for!


Tiger Honor (Thousand Worlds #2) by Yoon Ha Lee
January 4th 2022 by Rick Riordan Presents
Arc was given by Disney Hyperion & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

“Sebin, a young tiger spirit from the Juhwang Clan, wants nothing more than to join the Thousand World Space Forces and, like their Uncle Hwan, captain a battle cruiser someday. But when Sebin’s acceptance letter finally arrives, it’s accompanied by the shocking news that Hwan has been declared a traitor. Apparently the captain abandoned his duty to steal a magical artifact, the Dragon Pearl, and his whereabouts are still unknown. Sebin hopes to help clear their hero’s name and restore honor to the clan. Nothing goes according to plan, however. As soon as Sebin arrives for orientation, they are met by a special investigator named Yi and his assistant, a girl named Min. Yi informs Sebin that they must immediately report to the ship Haetae and await further instructions. Sebin finds this highly unusual, but soon all protocol is forgotten when there’s an explosion on the ship, the crew is knocked out, and the communication system goes down. It’s up to Sebin, three other cadets, and Yi and Min to determine who is sabotaging the battle cruiser. When Sebin is suddenly accused of collaborating with the enemy, the cadet realizes that Min is the most dangerous foe of all…”

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
March 17th 2020 by Tor Books 

“Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge Of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages. When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days. But the children aren’t the only secret the island keeps. Their caretaker is the charming and enigmatic Arthur Parnassus, who will do anything to keep his wards safe. As Arthur and Linus grow closer, long-held secrets are exposed, and Linus must make a choice: destroy a home or watch the world burn. An enchanting story, masterfully told, The House in the Cerulean Sea is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place—and realizing that family is yours.”

Reclaim the Stars: 17 Tales Across Realms & Space by Zoraida Córdova
February 15th 2022 by Wednesday Books
Arc was given by St. Martin’s Press & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

“Reclaim the Stars is a collection of bestselling and acclaimed YA authors that take the Latin American diaspora to places fantastical and out of this world. From princesses warring in space, to the all too-near devastation of climate change, to haunting ghost stories in Argentina, and mermaids off the coast of the Caribbean. This is science fiction and fantasy that breaks borders and realms, and proves that stories are truly universal.”

Authors include Vita Ayala, David Bowles, Daniel José Older, J.C. Cervantes, Sara Faring, Romina Garber, Isabel Ibañez, Anna-Marie McLemore, Yamile Saied Méndez, Nina Moreno, Circe Moskowitz, Maya Motayne, Linda Raquel Nieves Pérez, Claribel A. Ortega, Mark Oshiro, Lilliam Rivera and Zoraida Córdova.


New year means all the new releases!

And with that, this article is finished! Truly, this will be the year where I’m catching up on 2021 releases and trying to include 2022 releases into tbrs. Again, I love my backlist of titles I need to read (there’s so many titles), but I truly want to focus on titles I missed last year and the titles I’m excited for this year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to read everything I want to read and maybe if I’m feeling good, more reviews or wrap up will pop up with more titles than the tbr for that month stated. Do you have any titles you’re hoping to read this month that you want to share? Tell me about them down below or if you have a tbr list you want me to check out, link it in the comments. Until next time friends, sending you all my well wishes, luck, and of course, love! 💚

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Uncategorized

For The Wolf (The Wilderwood, #1) by Hannah Whitten

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Content/Trigger Warning: Talk of human sacrifice, paternal abuse & neglect, death, talk of loss of loved one, grief, depictions of wounds and blood, gore, self-harm, violence, anxiety & panic attacks, emesis, hallucinations (visions)

“This ends in roots and bones. For all of you. It always ends in roots and bones.”

What can I say? I’m a sucker for retellings! However, I went into this only knowing that it was a retelling and bless my friend for recommending this as a buddy read. I spiraled so hard for this book and even when I set it down to do other things, I found myself thinking about it. It’s been a while since a retelling weaseled its way inside my head and had me thinking about it for days after reading it. Truly, if you’re a lover of retellings then I have to recommend this book to you, hands down.

Our story follows the Second Daughter, Redarys, who’s accepted her fate, waiting to be given to a dark forest as a human sacrifice or as the legend/prophecy claims, for the Wolf. While Red has accepted her destiny, her sister, Neve refuses to accepts this and begins plotting a plan to save Red from this path of darkness. Yet when Red is delivered to the Wilderwood and finally meets the Wolf, everything she thought she knew is not what it seems and soon finds an entirely different story altogether.

“Well, damn the myths. She was just as much a part of those stories as he was, and if her destruction was imminent, she’d rather be the architect than a bystander.”

The amount of finger snapping I have done over Red’s character should be enough to have broken my fingers. Truly, I loved Red’s character with a fiery passion. Red not only accepts her fate, but she is stubborn like there’s no tomorrow and bares her teeth to the maker like she was placed in this world like she had no other purpose. I’ll admit, Red almost feels like a morally grey, but I’m incredibly hesitant to say that. If anything, Red’s sister Neve is the most morally grey character throughout this entire book (but will get to that later). Red is a character who has such a fire in her soul, but we get to see all her moments of doubt, of weakness, and she’s just that kind of character you don’t want to lose focus on because you want to see what they’ll do next.

Oh ho, if you thought I forgot about The Wolf then you’re wrong. Out of all of the characters in this book, The Wolf or Eammon is my absolute favorite, mores so than Redarys. And no, it’s not due to Eammon coming off as having lots of inspiration from Adam Driver! As a reader, I very much become found of characters who have similar personalities to my own and while I want to say I love Eammon and Redarys equally, that would be a lie. Eammon is a very self-sacrificing character, one who would rather suffer than watch their loved ones suffer. And that is something the resonates very deeply with me as a person. Not only does Eammon do a lot of sacrificing, but he’s the only character in the book who have visible scarring, which made me a hard stan for The Wolf.

“I want the roots…I understand what it means, and I want them anyway, because I am for the Wolf, and the Wolves are for the Wilderwood.”

Though this is a retelling, there are some hidden gems of themes throughout this book. One of my favorite tropes is found family and there’s very much what Redarys finds when she enters the Wilderwood. She finds love and friends who not only want to protect her, but want to fight alongside of her. The way she connects with these people isn’t linear and it has those moments of holding your breath, but the way all of them come together and realize how much they care for one another really warms my heart.

While we’re talking about family, there’s also a theme of neglectful/abusive family in this book. How those who we’re related to can be cruel or hurtful, and despite that, how we can mourn them. We can mourn the ones who have hurt us because we can mourn the things that could have been if things were different. We see a different side in Neve’s perspective as she mourns the sister she lost, yet knows is still alive. And again, the way grief is shown in this book is good. Grief is never linear, it takes on many faces, and this might be the first book I’ve read that tells you, “Hey, you can mourn the people who hurt you because you’re grieving a life, you’re grieving what could have been.” The way the author laced this theme throughout this book is so beautiful and I thought it was really well done, but it may just be due to reading this book when I needed to have this theme in my hands.

“Sometimes you don’t mourn people so much as you mourn who they could’ve been.”

Though there were many things I loved like how this is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood and Beauty and the Beast, there were some things I didn’t love. The one issue I had with this book was repetitiveness. There’s a lot of times throughout the entire middle of this book where things felt repetitive or it had a de ja vu effect. As a reader, one of the biggest things I can’t overlook is repetitiveness. No matter how it’s written, no matter if you change wording or try burying it among action packed scenes; if anything feels like it’s repeating too much, my brain will zone in on it. The beginning, climax, and ending of this book was fantastic, but throughout that middle there were a lot of repeating themes that just weren’t necessary.

The biggest issue was Neve’s perspective. If I’m being honest, I strongly disliked Neve’s perspective. This is truly a first for me because anytime there’s sibling themes, I usually love them and I always want to take time to talk about that. However, there’s a first time for everything and this was definitely a first. I should state that Neve is a morally grey character. Out of all of the characters in this book, Neve truly is the most morally grey character. I’ll just be honest, I disliked everything about Neve and Neve’s perspective. Personally speaking, I think I dislike her character so much because Neve is the older sibling and I’m also the oldest sibling in my family, and everything Neve does just goes against what you should be doing as an older sibling, in my opinion. She has no fire in her, she doesn’t question anything even though things are very obviously wrong, despite her constantly saying she “cares” about Red or is doing something for Red’s “benefit,” Neve does absolutely nothing to protect her or even support Red. I just really don’t like Neve, every time I think of her character I get a headache, and even though I know why we have her perspective, I wish we didn’t.

Overall, I really loved this book. I took so many notes, pulled so many quotes, and the fact that I’ve been thinking about this book for so long just shows how much I enjoyed it. The world building was incredible, I love when an author builds up a world you can practically envision really existing. There’s so many characters to fall in love with and there’s some important themes that can’t be ignored. Again, if you’re a lover of retellings then I recommend this book with my whole chest.

Buddy read with Destiny from Howling Libraries 💜

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Uncategorized

Some 2022 Book Releases I Want to Read in 2022!

This post is brought to you by goals I’m setting for my tbrs that I have no idea if I’ll actually achieve!

Remember back in my post, you know the one, Reflecting on 2021 & Goals for 2022? Yeah, that one! Remember how I said, “I’m going to ease my way back into tbrs. I’m going to make them shorter so they’re easier to manage and I won’t feel that crushing obligation to read every little thing I put on the list.” Remember when I said that?

Apparently, I lied!

When this post is going up, this the last day of 2021 and I’m typing this the day before New Year’s Eve. It’s been less than 48 hours till the new year and I have already set myself up for not only a reading challenge, but also having looked at my tbr cart with titles I still want to read, and (oh you’ll love this one!) have decided that I want to read at least 22 new releases this year. Which at this point I had descended into madness like a fallen angel, ignoring the warnings from my spouse and friends, and immediately went to NetGalley to see if I could maybe, possibly, request arcs for those said books (which to be fair, I was blessed with 5 of those books and you can read about them HERE!).

What possessed me to think this was a good idea? What have I done?

It’s fine! We all love a little madness, a little chaos, and you know, I can honestly say that I feel it’s manageable! At least, I’m 75% certain it’s achievable… IT’S FINE! Anyway, I just wanted to show a few of the 2022 releases I’m excited for and that I really want to read (and no I’m not showing all 22 books of the 22 releases I decided on) in this new year!


The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories by Kate Ashwin

“Loup Garrou, trickster rabbits, and spirits with names that can’t be spoken — the plains and forests of North America are alive with characters like these, all waiting to meet you in this collection of folklore retold in comics!

This fifth volume of the “Cautionary Fables and Fairytales” anthology series features updated takes on ancient stories from tribes spanning the continent, bursting with bedside tales that are thrilling, chilling, and most of all inspiring. Featuring the work of JORDAAN ARLEDGE, MAIJA AMBROSE PLAMONDON, MILO APPLEJOHN, and more!”

Truly, I’m really excited about this book! I love story collections, anthologies, and anything that’s a bind-up of multiple tales from various authors. I think I started falling more in love with anthologies in 2020 and with this being an Indigenous anthology, my heart might burst from excitement.


Fevered Star (Between Earth and Sky #2) by Rebecca Roanhorse

“There are no tides more treacherous than those of the heart. — Teek saying

The great city of Tova is shattered. The sun is held within the smothering grip of the Crow God’s eclipse, but a comet that marks the death of a ruler and heralds the rise of a new order is imminent.

The Meridian: a land where magic has been codified and the worship of gods suppressed. How do you live when legends come to life, and the faith you had is rewarded?

As sea captain Xiala is swept up in the chaos and currents of change, she finds an unexpected ally in the former Priest of Knives. For the Clan Matriarchs of Tova, tense alliances form as far-flung enemies gather and the war in the heavens is reflected upon the earth.

And for Serapio and Naranpa, both now living avatars, the struggle for free will and personhood in the face of destiny rages. How will Serapio stay human when he is steeped in prophecy and surrounded by those who desire only his power? Is there a future for Naranpa in a transformed Tova without her total destruction?

Welcome back to the fantasy series of the decade in Fevered Star—book two of Between Earth and Sky.”

If you haven’t read my review for Black Sun yet, definitely check it out! I really enjoyed my time reading the first book and I’m eager to return to this world, these characters, and find out what’s going to happen next. Truly, if you’re a lover of high fantasy, you don’t want to sleep on this series!


For The Thorne (Wilderwood, #2) by Hannah Whitten

“The First Daughter is for the Throne
The Second Daughter is for the Wolf…

Red and the Wolf have finally contained the threat of the Old Kings but at a steep cost. Red’s beloved sister Neve, the First Daughter is lost in the Shadowlands, an inverted kingdom where the vicious gods of legend have been trapped for centuries and the Old Kings have slowly been gaining control. But Neve has an ally–though it’s one she’d rather never have to speak to again–the rogue king Solmir.

Solmir wants to bring an end to the Shadowlands and he believes helping Neve may be the key to its destruction. But to do that, they will both have to journey across a dangerous landscape in order to find a mysterious Heart Tree, and finally to claim the gods’ dark, twisted powers for themselves.”

I adored the first book (and I promise my review for that is coming very soon)! I love a good retelling, but this was a whole new twist to taking two fairytales that feel so similar and making them one. Truly, I’m excited and I’ve already pre-ordered an ebook so I can continue reading this series. Not mention, the cliffhanger we’ll be picking up on! I’m ready, I’m so ready to know what’s going to happen next!


And They Lived… by Steven Salvatore

“Chase Arthur is a budding animator and hopeless romantic obsessed with Disney films and finding his true love, but he’s plagued with the belief that he’s not enough for anyone: he’s recovering from an eating disorder and suffers from body dysmorphia fueled by his father, and can’t quite figure out his gender identity. When Chase starts his freshman year of college, he has to navigate being away from home and missing his sister, finding his squad, and contending with his ex-best friend Leila who is gunning for the same exclusive mentorship. If only he can pull together a short for the freshman animation showcase at the end of the semester.

Then Chase meets Jack Reid, a pragmatic poet who worships words and longs to experience life outside of his sheltered world. But Chase throws everything into question for Jack, who is still discovering his sexual identity, having grown up in close-knit conservative family. Jack internalized a lot of homophobia from his parents and childhood best friend, who unexpectedly visit campus, which threatens to destroy their relationship. Chase will have to learn to love–and be enough for–himself, while discovering what it means to truly live.”

I love a book that I know will emotionally hit me like a ton of bricks. This book has me so read to be ripped into pieces and stitched back together. This book is supposed to have mental health rep, self-discovery, poetry, and a character who’s a hopeless romantic! Sign me up! I also want to take a moment to tag the Trigger Warning Database for the content warnings for this book, as well. You can find their content warning list HERE!


The Kindred by Alechia Dow

To save a galactic kingdom from revolution, Kindred mind-pairings were created to ensure each and every person would be seen and heard, no matter how rich or poor…

Joy Abara knows her place. A commoner from the lowly planet Hali, she lives a simple life—apart from the notoriety that being Kindred to the nobility’s most infamous playboy brings.

Duke Felix Hamdi has a plan. He will exasperate his noble family to the point that they agree to let him choose his own future and finally meet his Kindred face-to-face.

Then the royal family is assassinated, putting Felix next in line for the throne…and accused of the murders. Someone will stop at nothing until he’s dead, which means they’ll target Joy, too. Meeting in person for the first time as they steal a spacecraft and flee amid chaos might not be ideal…and neither is crash-landing on the strange backward planet called Earth. But hiding might just be the perfect way to discover the true strength of the Kindred bond and expose a scandal—and a love—that may decide the future of a galaxy.”

I fell in love with Alechia’s writing back in 2020 when I listened to the audiobook of The Sound of Stars. Now, seeing Alechia has a new book coming out, another sci-fi romance book, I’m so ready. Not only am I ready, but the way the author is using what the ‘kindred’ meaning as a theme for this book has my soul flying. I’m a firm believer of kindred spirits and I think I tell the people who I’m most close to how I feel a kindred spirit with them. And I know that once I have my hands on this book, it’s going to be everything. I’m going to love it to infinity and beyond, and I hope there’s so many other readers out here who are just as excited as I am for this to release (which is really soon, actually).


Oh, I’m so excited to fall in love with these releases even more!

Well, I think that about does it for this article! This very chaotic, very loving article. Honestly, I wasn’t sure which 2022 releases I was going to add and I almost decided to do ten, which would have been… a lot, to say the least. But I had so much fun making this article and sharing with everyone some of my anticipated 2022 releases. I know, it’s not everything I could have included, but I hope the amount of books on this list doesn’t stop you from enjoying it. I wanted to ended 2021 on a note of excitement, love, and chaos, apparently.

Do you have any 2022 releases you’re excited about? Come gush about your favorite 2022 releases with me or if you have a similar article you wrote, link it in the comments below! Until the new year, sending you the warmest of wishes on this New Year’s Eve! 💚

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Uncategorized

Favorite Non-Bookish Things 2021

At the end of year, I always try to write down at least ten things that have helped make a year better or perhaps helped make the year more tolerable. These ten things can vary from things that brought me joy to things that have brought peace or tranquility when needed most. As I’ve mentioned a lot, 2021 was a rough year. It was a year that felt like a lot of my harmony and euphoria were stolen from me. However, I did manage to find comfort in a few things this year. 💖


1. Chillhop Music

2021 has been the year for calm, chilling music that I can just vibe to. And Chillhop came in clutch so many times over the past couple of months. It allowed me to refocus in times when I felt like I was getting off track with my schedule or when I just needed moments of tranquility. Chillhop made my down time more enjoyable, more peaceful, and was definitely a savior when I needed it.

2. Dead By Daylight

Look, I know I don’t talk about the gaming side of me that often, but oh, it’s there and it has been a safe harbor for all of 2021. Gaming has always been a place that I can fall back on when I need to find moments of joy, need to brain dump my thoughts out the window, or even, yes I’m going to say it, relax. Even though this game can be stressful at times, I truly enjoy it and this game has allowed me to zone out when I needed to do so the most.

3. Studio Ghibli

This feels like a given, but Studio Ghibli is something that has always brought me comfort and happiness. In times of being sick, battling mental health and chronic illness, Studio Ghibli has always been right there making things slightly better. So I guess, you could say this is a default go-to thing I do, but truly, it has made 2021 a bit better in the times when I needed it.

4. My Cat

Little apple of my eye, he has been a great joy to have. This small bean came to us at the beginning of 2020 and we got to spend two whole years watching him come to life since his rescue. He has made 2021 lighter and has taught me so many important lessons. Each day with him is such a blessing and I’m grateful we get to share out lives with such a unique soul!

5. Planning & Routines

If you couldn’t tell from the image on this article, I had to mention planning and routines. When I don’t have a solid plan or routine in place, things tend to fall into chaos… the bad kind of chaos. However, planning things out and making a routine has been a huge help. Although, the this month things have fallen into some discord, but I’m hoping to fix that with the coming year.

6. Going Outside

No photo description available.

If you haven’t seen my blog post Reflecting on 2021 & Goals for 2022, definitely check that out because if you missed it, you’ll learn that 2021 was a year of hard lessons for me. And in everything that happened in 2021, there were many times, many moments where I needed to escape or to just exist by myself. A lot of times I would throw myself into nature and go on hikes. I would also ask a friend if I could come over and ride her horses. Sometimes I’d just go outside to meditate. Just stepping out into nature breathes life back into you and heals you in ways that I can’t even begin to describe and maybe it takes reaching certain points for it to feel like a spiritual experience, but there were moments; moments in the silence and there’s nothing but the rustling of leaves – that the breath I had been holding for so long could finally be exhaled and I could just be.

7. ASMR

Look… LOOK! I know, I know… some of you are going to go, “Malli, what the French Toast?! Are you okay??? You need a sleeping pill?” Yes, I’m okay. I’m doing better than I was, but I’d be lying if I didn’t mention asmr to help with sleeping. If you’re like me, who has three chronic illnesses that flare up at random times and when stressed out they spend 4-5 hours trying to becoming sleepy all over again, then sometimes you break out the power moves. It’s asmr… asmr is my power move, my ace in the hole. I’m not going to list all the asmr channels I’ve hopped on or the ones I’ve fell in love with, but this video above (yeah, that one!) is one of my favorites thus far.

8. My Significant Other

I feel like this is the most obvious thing I could state on this post, but truly, truly I am absolutely BLESSED for my significant other. They have been in my corner like an ox (it’s a terrible reference, but I’ll explain!). In the times where I have been suffering, struggling, or feeling very lost, they refused to throw hands up and be like, “Okay, tell me when you want me here” or “If there’s nothing I can do then come get me when there is.” They have been an anchor throughout 2021 and they truly do deserve to be mentioned because they do so, so much. I’m very lucky to have them and truly, they are the moon to my sun.

9. Fruit

Friends, if you’re like me then you’re a snack gremlin. When you go grocery shopping, you already have your snack list planned out and you’re on the hunt. Fruit has been an insane go-to snack this year and it’s been helping me stay on track with some personal goals of mine. But seriously, fruit has been such a blessing this entire year. Nothing can beat some fresh picked apples, sliced, with some peanut butter! YUM!

10. Markiplier

*inhales* Listen… I have watched Markiplier for years now and anytime I need to laugh, I can always watch a Markiplier video to cheer me up. Ironically, Markiplier videos help me focus, insanely well actually, on anything I’m doing in that moment. I’m reading a book, watch me read three-five chapters in one sitting. I’m organizing things, catch my chaos flying everywhere into sorted piles. And I’ve kind of been going back and watching all of the scary game videos, and it’s been a wild ride thus far. It’s made this year a little more fun and entertaining. Just… just don’t ask how I ended up falling down this rabbit hole because I don’t even have a good explanation.

Oh boy, I feel like I just revealed the skeletons in my closet and I can’t stop cackling. 2021 really said, “Let’s kick ya while you’re down!” And maybe the full weight of 2021 hasn’t hit me yet, but I’m ready, so ready for 2022 to start. But I digress. I hope you enjoyed this post and maybe some of it made you giggle or maybe you can relate. Do you have a non-bookish thing that made 2021 a better year? Tell me down in the comments below! In the meantime, I’m sending you all my love and well wishes as we slowly descend into 2022! 💚

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Misc.

Reflecting on 2021 & Goals for 2022

Salutations friends! Can you believe the year has finally come to an end? Where has the year gone? For real though, I think we were all ready for 2021 to be over with already. Although, 2021 did feel like it was moving at light speed. Does anyone else feel that way?

Anyway, this is going to be a little different from the typical things that get posted here. I thought it’d be nice to do a little reflecting on 2021 and then talk about the goals that I’m setting for 2022. I promise, this is still related to book stuff. So if you want to do a little reflecting and goal setting with me, then let’s grab a cup of hot cider and dive in.


Content/Trigger Warnings: Talk of mental health, brief mentions of the pandemic, talk of physical health, mentions of toxic relationships, and talk of near loss of a loved one

If you don’t want to read through this section or need to skip, then scroll on down to the 2022 goals!


2021 Reflecting

When 2021 started, my goals were easy or “simple”, get back into reading more and getting back on a more consistent posting schedule. – If you were here at the end of 2020, then you may have figured out that things would have drastic changes. Little did I know 2021 would be a hard year of life lessons and putting my resilience to the highest of tests.

2021 hit me like a ton of bricks with nearly losing my mother not once, but twice within a short amount of time. It would then escalate to later on in the year where I almost lost her for a third time. That was one of the hardest things I think I’ve ever faced and truly, I don’t think any of us are equipped to face the grim reaper when it concerns our parents. So that was something I was heavily processing throughout the whole year and a lot of my attention was consumed by helping my family.

2021 was also the year where something inside of me said, “Enough is enough.” This turned into a revelation of realizing really toxic friendships and family relationships that were stealing every ounce of joy and peace from me. Have you ever wonder what a descent into madness looks like? Yeah, like that Lovecraftian stuff you’ve heard about before! Well, this is literally how it felt before something inside of me snapped me awake to the reality that was actually happening. As someone who’s the type of person who would defend others, teeth bared, without taking myself into consideration – choosing myself was one of the toughest act I’ve done in a long while and it was so liberating.

Also, I had major surgery this year while all the pandemic protocols have been in place. And let me tell you, not having my spouse by my side through that experience was a horrible feeling I never want to experience ever again. It was such a lonely, hollowing feeling, but when I was finally able to go home, that was the best part.

And overall, 2021 really did my mental health in. There were a lot of things that happened and there were a lot of things to process through. Even now there’s still things that are healing and processing. Sadly, probably my biggest regret, is my reading and bookish content creation suffered a lot due to all of this. I ended up retreating to a place that has always been a safe harbor for me and I can say, with 2021 ending, I feel better about starting my serious reading again.


2022 Goals

This section is going to be a bit divided between personal life, reading, and content creation goals!


Personal Life

  1. Time Management: I struggle so much with time management. Truly, I do. From doom scrolling to multitasking (like I’m definitely not doing right now), my time management isn’t the best. With that being said, I want to rework the way I spend my time and start using it in more productive ways that aren’t hurtful to my mental health.
  2. Daily Routine: Honestly, I already have a daily routine, but I feel like I could improve it to be more efficient than it already is. I’m very much a creature who needs a well-structed routine and to be honest, it’s fallen into some serious chaos over the last couple of months. So this is my way of just holding myself accountable.
  3. Quality of Life: I don’t talk about it enough, but having three chronic illnesses that all impact each other is a lot to manage. If I’m being honest, I’m not always the best at realizing when I need to stop doing something before things escalate. So, I’m making this a priority to get equipment I need to better manage my illnesses, to feel less guilty about getting what I need to feel better, and to help manage the symptoms a little easier.
  4. Moving: I’ve mentioned this a few times, but we’re in the process of moving. We’re hoping by 2022 to be moved into a new place and honestly, I’m ready for it. I think this will be a huge improvement to so many things in my personal life and I’m ready to start this new chapter.

Reading

  1. TBRs: I love making tbrs even though I don’t always read everything on them. I really enjoy making them and so my hope for the new year is to start making tbrs again. I’m hoping to make them shorter so they’re easier to complete and manage.
  2. Choosing review copies more carefully: While a lot of my books come from NetGalley and though I’m already pretty thorough when I pick arcs. However, I want to make sure I’m being a little more conscious of how many arcs I’m requesting so I don’t get overwhelmed by arcs. I’ve started doing this since November and it’s been going well so far. I’m hoping to keep this ball rolling as we move into the new year.
  3. Read more current releases: With being gone the majority of 2021, I realized that I’ve missed so many new releases. This was put into more perspective once the GR Choice Awards rolled around. While I love reading my backlist or discovering new novellas to read, I miss how on top I used to be with new releases. So I’m hoping to change that this year.

Content Creation

  1. More bookstagram content: Again, 2021 was the year all my bookish content suffered… a lot. Which I feel really sad, really guilty about, but as I mentioned on IG already, I’m hoping to slowly come back. I want to get back into posting as frequently as I can, within reason. I miss making bookish content and showing yall what I’ve been up to book wise.
  2. Consistent blogging schedule: I’d be lying if I didn’t mention that I haven’t missed blogging. I’ve stated before, but I really do love content creating. I love making reviews and bookish content for my blog. So I’m hoping to get back into the swing of blogging as the new year rolls in.

And with that my friends, I think that covers all of my goals for 2022! I know this may seem long or maybe even unachievable, but I promise, I wouldn’t have made this list if I didn’t think I couldn’t accomplish it. Chalk it up to my overachieving personality. I also want 2022 to be a fresh start. A year of reclaiming my happiness and joy in 2022. Truly, I’m ready for 2022 and the start of this new chapter.

Were you able to unlock all of your goals for 2021, or have any exciting goals for 2022? Let’s chat in the comments below or link me to a similar article you wrote! I’m wishing us all the best of luck as the new year approaches and as we all begin tackling our new goals! 💚

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Uncategorized

When Snowflakes Fall (The Graysons #1) by Tara Wyatt

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Content/Trigger Warnings: Sexual scenes, talk of divorce, mentions of mental and emotional abuse, mentions of harassment, talk of online harassment, mentions of doxing, hospital themes

“He felt like he was losing himself in the shining depths of her eyes, like he was being pulled in and that if he looked away, everything around them might come crashing down.”

Yes friends, it’s true, I’m on a holiday read kick and I have to say, if you haven’t added this novella to your winter tbr yet then you need to fix that right away. If you’ve been here a while, then you know how much of a sucker I am for read that have single parent households and on top of that, this is a romance novella. Yes please! I was here for this story from the first few lines of the novella’s description. Truly, I loved this story a heck-a-ton!

Settled in Cheyenne, Wyoming, Luke Grayson is doing what any single father is trying to do, be the best dad he can be to his son, Ethan, to make up for the absence of Ethan’s mother. So when Luke receives a call that his son is in the hospital with a potential concussion, the last thing Luke was anticipating was to find love, that is until he meets Christie. Christie Harmon has had a rough past. Forced to leave her hometown and start life anew, Christie refuses to have history repeat itself. There’s just one problem, one very handsome, charming, problem. Luke Grayson. Two people with rocky pasts will come together to chip away at each other’s walls and find out what true love really is like.

I adored the characters in this book. I think this is one of the things I say the most, but anytime there’s characters who come across as morally grey or imperfect, the more realistic feeling, I absolutely fall in love. Both of these characters have their flaws and we get to see both of these characters work through the doubts, chasing what will make them happy. Even in the dark times, they work through it even if it’s a little messy or the voices inside them are telling them ‘no’.

I think one of the biggest things I loved about this theme is the small town vibes and the sense of importance of family. Yes, this is a holiday read, but I loved that there were so many things centered around family. Speaking of family, if I haven’t mentioned already, Luke is actually a single father. I love every time an author decides to take the ‘single family’ route and even more so when it’s a single father. Single fathers just don’t get the attention they deserve in literature and every time I find a story with that little gem inside, it makes my heart warm and fuzzy. Not like single family household themes don’t already give me the warm fuzzies, but I always want to show my appreciation for those themes.

“Use the peoples who love you as your mirror. Not the people out to cut you down. The reflection they’re showing you is tainted and not worthy of your time.”

There’s also a heavy theme of how heavily our past can weigh on us and impact our present and future. How, despite handling everything the best we can, it can come full circle or still weighs us down even when we’re starting anew. I really appreciated the author taking that theme and really showing us that you can have anchors that pull you, but you can still find happiness, you can still keep healing in the now. And most importantly, I think the author did a wonderful job of expressing how the people who caused you harm aren’t a reflection of you as a person. The author really took the time to express that the people who you love and choose to surround yourself with will always reflect your heart’s intentions.

I think my only issue with this book was how short it was. I’m not going to lie, I wanted a little bit more from this novella. Give me 40-50 more pages and I probably would have been content. However, I recognize that this is a novella, but still, I was craving more details with this read.

Overall, this was a really cozy, holiday read to snuggle up with. I enjoyed grabbing a cup of hot chocolate and snuggling down to get in the holiday spirit with this book. Plus, it’s such a fast read and perfect for getting in end of the year reads. And again, single parent theme! It’s an absolute must read for your holiday tbrs!

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Uncategorized

2 Manga Mini Reviews | With You and the Rain Vol. 1 & Anyway, I’m Falling In Love With You Vol. 1

Salutations friends! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, that everyone stayed safe! I wanted to do another bundle of reviews since so many liked the first one. This time we’re looking at two manga arcs given to be by Kodansha & NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviews of each manga. I’m excited to finally get these reviews up and I hope that one of these manga will spark your interest! 💙


With You and the Rain, Vol. 1 by Ko Nikaido

Arc was given by Kodansha & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

For the fans and lovers of ‘slice of life’ styled manga, this is right up your alley! As a manga reader, I feel that I’m always in the romance genre of manga. You know, really romance heavy manga. It’s rare when I’m reading slice of life books or manga, but ironically, I watch a lot of ‘slice of life’ anime. So reading this manga was a nice breath of fresh air for me. Plus, there’s a tanuki! I love tanukis especially when they’re the center of attention for storylines.

With You and the Rain is a manga series that follows a young woman, who’s attention is stolen on their way home from work one day. It’s raining really hard and she stumbles upon a little cardboard box with a creature that looks closely to a dog, but is actually a tanuki. After some persuading from the tanuki, the young woman and the tanuki start their new adventure together.

I really enjoyed reading this manga. I thought it was really cute seeing the two of them go about their life together. Seeing them build their friendship and how their friendship impacts those around them. It’s a very calming read for when you don’t want anything too heavy. Perfect for light reading! As a little side note: if you’re familiar with the manga Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku then you might enjoy this kind of manga due to them having similar atmospheres.

My only issue with this manga is the lack of details. Most ‘slice of life’ manga at least give us some bread crumbs concerning details like character names, setting, etc… You know, the details that make us invested, but this manga was definitely lacking in that department. The only thing we really get is a nickname for the tanuki from the young woman’s father who calls the tanuki, Angel-chan. I wish we had more names to put with faces or even names for settings, but we’re not really given much.

Overall, I did enjoy this manga quite a bit. For myself, personally, this was the type of book I needed to read to feel a little lighter. I needed that slice of life even if there wasn’t a lot of details to keep me fully invested. I think readers who are familiar with this type of style will enjoy it, but I think many readers will feel a mixture of feelings because of the lack of details. However, I still encourage everyone to read this. I’m actually eager for the next volume to come out and I can’t wait to see what our two main characters get up to next!


Anyway, I’m Falling in Love with You., Vol. 1 by Haruka Mitsui

Arc was given by Kodansha & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Mentions of a pandemic, astraphobia (fear of thunderstorms), trauma, loss of a parent (in the past), grief

Remember when I said I spend a lot of time in romance manga? Yeah, this is one of those times and I’m so excited for the next volume to come out! Look, look… I love a book who loves to kick the door in with a controversy! And this manga, this freaking manga, delivered with the goods, my friends. Truly, this manga gave me the burst of serotonin that I have been craving lately.

The year is 2030, Mizuha is celebrating another bad birthday when she suddenly remembers another bad birthday ten year prior to this one. Though being surrounded by all of her childhood friends at the time, this was probably one of her toughest birthday thus far. Not only has her crush turned her down and said some mean things to her, but no one of her childhood friends is trying to change their friend group by confessing his love to Mizuha. All of this causes a mixture of feelings with her along with trying to deal with celebrating yet another birthday without her mother.

Truly, the blessing that is this manga because it gives us all the fluff we could want. If you want fluffy goodness then you’re going to love this manga. The author really said give them all the sweetness. One of my favorite themes and tropes within books always has to do with childhood friends. I think my favorite part is how supportive they all are to one another. Always looking out for each other and doing little acts of kindness to help. Not only do we get childhood friendships, but the childhood friendships are built around a reverse harem theme. There’s also the childhood friend to lover trope slowly coming into play, as well. Though everything is such a slow burn and I think that’s the best part. The slow burn hooks you only to pull you into a love triangle. It gave me butterflies on how everything was going to play out.

Of course I have to talk about this single parent household theme. I think one of the most commonly, overlooked themes in books in the single parent household theme. Maybe I’m just a sucker for single parent households because I, myself, am from a single parent household. However, single father households, in my opinion, are so uncommon and deserve to be recognized. I believe with my whole chest that single father households deserve the spotlight because often times we see the single mother household, but rarely ever see the father side of things. The author really captured what it’s like to have that single parent household and even though they’re only glimpses, it warms my heart to see this theme in another manga I enjoyed.

I think my only issue with this manga was how short it was. Now look, I know some of us can read a manga like it’s no one’s business, but this just felt shorter to me. It felt like there could have been more details packed in or even an extra 40-50 pages into this manga. Normally, I spend about an hour reading a manga book, but I flew through this book in thirty minutes. It made being invested in the characters really hard especially when it came to the childhood friend group. It would have been nice to see more of that or get a feel for how everyone views Mizuha, not just her crush or the guy from her childhood friends.

Overall, I think this is a really light-hearted read despite the content warnings. As I already mentioned, I flew through this manga and I wish there were more pages because I have no doubt I would have been more in love with this book, enjoyed it even more. If you’re a manga reader or you’re looking for something that’s fluffy and sweet then I definitely recommend picking this manga book up!


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