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Heartstopper: Volume Three (Heartstopper, #3) by Alice Oseman

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Content/Trigger Warnings: Bullying, homophobia, guilt, talk of self-harm, eating disorder/disordered eating, scene of underage drinking

💕 Vol. One – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

💕 Vol. Two – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

“There’s this idea that if you’re not straight, you HAVE to tell all your family and friends immediately, like you owe it to them. But you don’t. You don’t have to do anything until you’re ready.”

How to make me smile, cry, rip my heart to pieces and put it back together in one sitting? Hand me a volume of Heartstopper. This series is everything and it hits super close to home. It turns my heart into a puddle every time I read it and it keeps getting better. I’m just sitting here patiently waiting for 2021 to come and deliver Vol. Four into my mailbox already!

As I always say, if you haven’t started this series yet, what are you even doing! Go start it before you decide to read this. Unless you’re someone who wants to spoil, even though I do try to keep this a spoiler free zone. Go check it out, you can read this comic for free HERE!

Volume Three is a bit of a divided comic. Half of this comic takes place near the end of the school year and then the other half is spent on a school trip to Paris. In this first half we see how Charlie and Nick go about handling their relationship while also being at school. But there’s also many things Nick and Charlie tackle separately from each other. Nick ends up dealing with some homophobia inside his home and learning how to live with an un-accepting family member. Also, Nick reconnects with some friends that he closed out of his life and we see him struggling with coming out to them. Then we have Charlie who finally told his parents about his relationship with Nick. However, we also see him suffering from great deals of stress school wise and relationship wise. Charlie starts to show signs of burn out and mental strain which lead into a lot of other things coming to light later on in the book. Charlie also finds out one of his friends may have been the cause of his outing at school and how he’s trying to mentally process this information before leaving on the school trip.

However, the majority of this book takes place during the school trip to Paris! This is where things start to get really heavy. This volume is centered very heavily around mental health. Please make sure you practice self-care while reading into this section. Even for me, I struggled reading through some of this because of my own coming out and mental health struggles. So definitely take care of yourself, fellow readers! During the whole trip Charlie, Nick, and the whole gang have a series of cute moments. From stealing kisses to their playful ways of trying to stay in, everyone gets up to some really adorable shenanigans. However, we see Nick struggle with trying to meet up with his father and we see his growing concern for Charlie. Charlie, on the other hand, is struggling a lot while in Paris and it really starts to show leading to concern from Nick. Charlie also confronts his friend and we see how both of them handle everything in the moment. There’s also a really great moment shared between Charlie and Tara. We learn more about Tara and how she came out, we see how she and Darcy handled any homophobic backlash, and Tara starts to see how stressed Charlie is and offers some really good wisdom. The rest of this book as a whole was an intense wild ride packed with many emotions, feelings, and surprises.

Also, I have to talk about the teachers in this graphic novel because they deserve a spin-off series! We have Mr. Ajayi, the art teacher and Mr. Farouk, the science teacher. They had so many great moments in this book and I wish we hand more! Thankfully, Oseman thought of this and provided a mini comic for my two new favorite beans! I really loved the conversation both of them had at the vending machine and how sometimes you don’t figure out your sexuality until later in life, when you’re out of school, and much older. I think that’s going to hit the mark for anyone who has had that experience and I hope this is the ground work for authors to bring this up in future books. I also liked how the mini comic also goes into further detail and builds off what we learn about Mr. Ajayi and Mr. Farouk in this book. I just need more from these characters and I hope we start seeing them a little more in this series!

Overall, I love this series and I love these characters! Oseman hits the nail on the head every time she releases a new panel or a new volume. I can’t wait for the next volume to come out even if we do have to wait till 2021 for it to release. And hopefully we will get more mini comics because the cuteness overload is too much! And if you haven’t started this series yet, definitely give it a try. These characters will have you falling in love and swooning over the whole series!

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The Fox and the Star by Coralie Bickford-Smith

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Friends, this was absolutely stunning and so beautiful! Though this was a fast read, I loved the way the story was woven and how everything concluded at the end. Even if you normally don’t read books like this, I can promise that there is something in this book you will fall in love with.

We follow a main character named fox who is friends with a star. It highlights their friendship until one day star disappears. Now fox must decide if he’ll hide until star returns or take matters into his own paws and track down his friend.

“He knew somewhere out there was a star that was once his.”

Aside from the story being absolutely heart warming, the artwork is absolutely stunning. If you couldn’t tell from the photos included in this review, there’s many pages that are truly beautiful and captivating. This is probably one of my favorite books with artwork in it. The color tones really help set the mood of each page and it just pulls you in.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book. The artwork is marvelous, the story holds so many lessons, and I think many readers will want to pick this up for future readathons. Plus, if you need something lighthearted to read or help pull you out of reading slump then this book would be perfect!

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A Curse So Dark and Lonely (Cursebreakers, #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

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Content/Trigger Warnings: Abduction, captivity, talk of cancer, terminal illness, loss of a loved one, murder, death, grief, torture, trauma/PTSD, abuse, a pedophile comment, attempted sexual assault (by Lilith), thoughts and attempts of suicide, a lot of ablest speech (always in a negative light from the villain)

“I am always surprised to discover that when the world seems darkest, there exists the greatest opportunity for light.”

Friends, I truly wanted to love this books with my whole heart. I mean, it’s a retelling and a Beauty and the Beast retelling at that. And we all know I love a good retelling, but despite many good elements this book offers, I couldn’t give this book five stars. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that book two will be better.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely is a Beauty and the Beast retelling that has the crown prince sealed into a Groundhog’s Day effect, where he’s forced to repeat the same season to find a love that will break the curse. But at the end of each season, should the prince fail to find love and break free of the curse, blood will be spilled and terror will descend upon the people of the kingdom. However, after three-hundred seasons, this will finally be the last season.

⚔️ The Characters ⚔️

⚔️ Harper – The Belle. Eighteen years old and living with high functioning cerebral palsy, Harper isn’t living the easiest life before she’s captured. Living with a mother who has cancer and can’t afford medical treatment, a father who vanished after stacking a high debt to crime lords, and a queer brother (Jake) who takes on the burden of providing and protecting the family. *Side Note: There are many forms of cerebral palsy, I can’t confirm if this is accurate representation. However, if you are an own voice reviewer please send me a link for your review so I can boost your voice and feelings about the representation!*

⚔️ Rhen – The Beast. The prince of the kingdom. I mentioned above that his goal is to bring a girl back to his kingdom and make her fall in love with him. Should he fail, he turns into a different beast each season and destroys anything and everything in his path. Then a new season will begin and the curse repeats itself.

⚔️ Grey – Rhen’s guard commander, the only living person left in the castle. He takes his job very seriously, loyal to the bone, and the only one with the ability to portal between worlds. With all that being said, Rhen bestowed the task of capturing the girls and bringing them back to the castle.

⚔️ Lilith – The enchantress. The one who cast the curse over Rhen and his kingdom.

⚔️ Freya – An underrated character of this book! A single mother of her own child and taking care of three of her sister’s children. A character that hit so close to home in every single way. I would love if she received her own novella or series because she is a true gem in this whole book and deserves her own happy ending.

All these characters will come together to set the scene for the rest of this tale and to deliver a different story of Beauty and the Beast. You will see Harper become a warrior princess and decide if she’ll save this kingdom from impending doom, Rhen decide if he truly wants to spend his last season withering away in a castle or if he’ll step up to save his people, and watch how things come into place.

Throughout this entire book, there’s a heavy element that opens up the discussion of responsibility. More specifically about taking responsibility for things you don’t have control over. Whether that be deteriorating health of loved ones or people doing bad things to you and the people you care about. There were so many scenes sprinkled throughout the book that open this discussion and I truly believe it’s important to shine light on that. Some things are out of our control and I think it’s very easy to just take responsibility. If you don’t who will, right? But sometimes it’s not our responsibility, when do we say enough is enough, and I like how it opens up so many discussions around this topic because so many fall to this default.

“We are all dealt a hand at birth. A good hand can ultimately lose – just as a poor hand can win – but we must all play the cards the fate deals. The choices we face may not be the choices we want, but they are choices nonetheless.”

I also want to talk about the mental health representation in this book. Let’s be honest, there’s a lot of mental health representation and struggles throughout this book, and I encourage any reader to practice self-care while reading this book. There were a lot of scenes in this book that were extremely hard to read through. More so from Rhen’s perspective of the book. Rhen undergoes a great deal of trauma and I believe with my whole heart that it is important to say that the trauma and PTSD Rhen suffers is very accurate, valid representation. Not all trauma comes from wars and sometimes it comes from someone mentally breaking you repeatedly, watching the people you love and care for have harm dealt to them. It touched very close to home and I really wanted to shine light on that because in society we don’t often talk about trauma or PTSD and the best way to break the stigma is by talking about it more. I also liked seeing the representation for mental strain, guilt, and the waves of grief we see Harper go through in the first couple of chapters of being separated from her mother and brother. One thing that isn’t often talked about is the guilt and mental strain someone can feel when they’re miles away from a loved one who is terminally ill. Seeing that representation with Harper in the first couple chapters of this book, it hit close to home and I know for many readers this will also hit home. There will be a lot of hard moments to read through in this book, but the representation of mental health is so accurate and I hope more readers will shine light on it.

“Not all scars can be seen, my lady.”

Unfortunately, I couldn’t give this book five stars. What really hindered my thought process and impacted my reading was the odd pacing and length of this book. There were chapters in this book that felt like it was just dumping information or details while there were other chapters that felt like they went by too quickly. I don’t often say this, but for the length of this book, I think the author could have introduced either Grey’s or Lilith’s perspective, have that three point of view situation, and I would have enjoyed it far more. Normally, I don’t like more than two point of views, but I truly believe the author could have really made this interesting with adding that third perspective instead of just giving us Harper and Rhen.

Overall, this was definitely a unique spin on Beauty and the Beast. I think if you’re a lover of Beauty and the Beast or retellings then you will probably want to add this to you list. And this is a trilogy! So there’s two more books right after this one and you bet your apple pie I’m rooting for Grey and Harper to end up together, someway, somehow. However, I don’t know if I’ll continue on with the series. I haven’t heard enough about the second book to consider picking it up. Maybe in the near future I will though, you never know. I am a sucker for a retelling!

Buddy read with Donna from Moms Book Collection ❤️

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Misc.

Malli's Valentine's Day Gift Guide | Ten Last Minute Gifts for Book Lovers

Salutations Chapterlings! Today is Valentine’s Day in the US and I thought I would just drop in with a few gift ideas for those who are looking for gifts for their friend or partner, but possibly a gift to show themselves some love. Now I know some of you eye rolled, but you can also use this day to be kind to yourself and treat yourself. We all need a break sometimes and we all deserve to show some love. Whether we do that by spreading it to those closest to us or taking the time to truly be kind and loving to ourselves. Now, without any further delays, enjoy these bookish gift ideas!


🌹 Pick up one or two they’ve been wanting! 🌹

All book lovers have books, but what’s better than the books they already have? New books especially books that were picked out by someone they care deeply about! This is the perfect opportunity to ask your partner/best friend the top books they’ve been wanting to buy, but haven’t gotten the chance to. This also gives you future gift ideas for their birthday, anniversaries, and other holidays.


🌹 Get their favorite drink and surprise them at work! 🌹

Now I realize not everyone can do this because of transportation, but if you are able to safely commute to your partner/friend then this is a great way to show your endearment to them. This is also a really great way to impact the rest of their day especially if they’ve sent you messages saying how rough the day has been. Many things fade over time, but the way you make a person feel is something they’ll remember forever. Plus, they have a tasty treat to drink while on their lunch break reading!


🌹 Mugs and Wine glasses! 🌹

You can never go wrong with mugs or wine glasses for a book lover! I can’t begin to tell you how many mugs I keep by my side when I’m reading. Plus, if they have a new favorite cup then they’re sure to put their favorite drinks in it and curl up with their favorite book!


🌹 Candles! 🌹

Some readers like to set a relaxing mood before they dive into their book. And what better gift for your partner/friend than getting them a few new candles to light while they read! There’s so many amazing and unique scents out there now and almost every store carries candles. I know one of my favorite scents is sandalwood!


🌹 Give them a gift card! 🌹

What is better than watching the person you care about have their eyes light up then run into a book store trying to decide what books to buy with their new gift card? Nothing because it’s priceless! Every book dragon wants the opportunity to go into a book store with a gift card in their hand and the other a basket full of book goodies. Of course, you can make this a gift card for any place you can get books like BookOutlet, Waterstones, Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and many more!


🌹 New books ends! 🌹

Whether it’s for a new TBR or just books on display, you can never go wrong with getting some new books ends. Not only will they add a little something to your shelf, but they’ll compliment your books in more ways than one!


🌹 Snuggly and cozy blanket! 🌹

Who doesn’t like to be comfy, cozy, and super snuggly? Nothing is better for this than a fuzzy, soft blanket! They can burrito and read books! Ah, that’s the dream isn’t it?!


🌹 Bookmarks! 🌹

Bookmarks! Bookmark galore! These can be paired with gift idea one or gift idea three! They’re simple, but they’re one of the most useful things all book dragons need!


🌹 Headphones or Earbuds? That is the question! 🌹

There are many readers out there who listen to a lot of audiobooks or even listen to music, asmr, while they read. That can be a challenge if you don’t have a good set of headphones or earbuds. They might just need a new pair in general. Either way, this is a great way to show that you’re paying attention and you want your partner/friend to have a good reading experience.


🌹 Stay organized with a journal! 🌹

Journals are a great gifts for the book lover who likes to stay organized! Whether they’re tacking the books they read in a month or perhaps they’re planning a month full of readathons, journals are a great way to stay organized and plan out your schedule for the month.


Okay, friends! Those are my top ten last minute gift ideas! I know this is coming in a bit late itself, but I hope you enjoyed nonetheless. Let me know down in the comments below if you celebrate Valentine’s Day, Galentine’s Day, or how you show love this time of year! Until next time, I hope you all stay safe and maybe read a book or two, I love you! 💕

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Love but Need to Talk About More

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!


Salutations Chapterlings! I’m here to drop a quick Top Ten Tuesday before Valentine’s Day! I’m currently stuck being sick…again! We love that for me, might as well be my new brand. Anyway, I just wanted to share some books (okay, manga and graphic novels, mostly) that I love with my whole heart and soul, but never talk a whole lot about. I hope you find some new graphic novels or books to look into. Now onto the books!


❤️ The Devil Is A Handsome Man by Angle ❤️

I have been reading this webcomic for about a year and some change. I still can’t believe I haven’t talked about it on my blog. This was the first webcomic on WebToons I started reading and absolutely fell in love with it. From the art style all the way to the story-line, I was hooked and I encourage all of you to check it out as well!


❤️ Fables, Vol 1: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham ❤️

I think I’ve mentioned this series maybe once on my blog, but I absolutely love this series. I love the spinning of all out favorite fairy tales trying to survive from a war and make a living in the modern day, coexisting by the mundane. I currently have the deluxe editions volume five and six lined up to be read and my anticipation is at an all time high. Also, you know I’m a gamer and there’s actually a game called The Wolf Among Us that’s based from these comics. So if you game to, then I definitely recommend checking this series out!


❤️ Princess Jellyfish, Tome 1 by Akiko Higashimaru ❤️

From the anime, to the live action movie, to the very manga series, I adore Princess Jellyfish! One of my oldest friends had introduced me to this manga series and if she had never done that then I probably never would have even heard of Princess Jellyfish or even love it the way I do today. If you’re looking for a manga that shows the colliding of the rich and stylish meeting the quirky, nerdy girl style then you need to check out this series. Plus, the main character loves jellyfish with her whole heart and soul!


❤️ Ahsoka by E.K. Johnston ❤️

Where did my love for Ahsoka Tano come from? Well, it was full enforced when my spouse gave me this book as a birthday present one year. Clone Wars was great and all, but this book was everything I had wanted and so much more. This fills in the gaps of what happened to Ahsoka after the Clone Wars, but before Rebels. If you’re a Star Wars geek like me then this is going to be one book you want to read. I hear the audiobook is also really good!


❤️ Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden ❤️

A truly beautiful piece of work that I have wept over, felt drawn to, and still can’t get over. And I will say this, out of all the book to movie adaptations, this is one of the few adaptations that are actually done really well and right by the book. This is probably one of my most favorite adaptations so I can openly say that if you don’t feel like reading the book, then the movie will give the exact same details as the book.


❤️ More Starlight to Your Heart: Volume 1 by Hiro Matsuba ❤️

A manga series that was cut far too short! This manga was made into a duology and the way the second book ends…it’s a terrible cliffhanger and I still need answers! This series had so much potential and I truly wish that it didn’t end with only two volumes. Despite the two volumes, it’s very easy to fall in love with the main character and get swept away with the story-line. Hopefully one day this series will get picked up again!


❤️ The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky ❤️

What to say about a book that has a key to my heart? I’ve talked about this twice on my blog, but I never went into too much detail with it. This book came into my life in a very dark period of my life. And there’s contents of this book that touched my soul in ways that not many books do. In it’s own way, it helped me sort through a lot of feelings and come to terms with a lot of terrible things that happened in my life. This is a book in my own library that’s very quiet, but so very loud and I have read this book only twice. Once for the time when it entered my life to help sort through the chaos of my experiences and the second time when I was ready to be at peace, to come to terms with everything. I will never read this book more than those two times, but my love for this book is so great that it will never leave my library.


❤️ Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate ❤️

If I could put this book in every child’s hands, every parents’ hands, every teachers’ hands, I would. There are very few middle grade books that are realistic fiction that I talk about so fiercely and Crenshaw is one that I wish I could shout about all day, every day. There are some topics that I never addressed or voiced about especially from a child’s point of view. If I had this book when I was a child, I can’t even begin to explain how much that would have impacted me and how much it could have changed some things in my life. This book is the book to start an important conversation and a gateway to start making waves in the right way of making a difference in lives. I’m a firm believer that love and compassion are some of the strongest forces in the world and I truly believe this book has the power to spark that in people all over the world.


❤️ Dream Daddy comics ❤️

I’m breaking out the comics and showing my nerdy side….AGAIN! I don’t talk about this series enough as I want to. In case you didn’t know, these comics are based off the game Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator! I’m a little obsessed with them, just a little. I promise! But seriously, I really love the graphic novels because we see a whole new side to a lot of the characters in the game that we don’t get to see and I really loved that about this series. There’s five comics in total and each one is unique in it’s own way. In case you wanted to know, Dream Daddy comic #5 is my favorite out of all of them, but that shows more of my nerdy side.


❤️ The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil A Run by NAGABE ❤️

For those who have been here a hot minute, you know last year I fell in love with this manga series. It took me by storm and as I type this I’m counting down the clock till the next volume releases. To my knowledge, there’s not many people who are talking about this manga or even being vocally loud about it. Hi, my name is Autumn and I’m here to talk your ear off about how much I love this manga and how much you need to go read this series right now! This series is so good and each volume often ends on a cliffhanger that with have you death gripping your book. I love the characters and how they develop because they way they grow and develop alternate between the two of them. Plus, the way the story begins to unfold, it just gets darker and darker as you read along. I have recommended this series to all my friends and now I’m recommending it to you. If there’s one thing that you take away from this, this series is like a a painting and the more the paint is added the bigger the picture becomes. There’s no manga author out here doing it the way NAGABE is doing it. This is truly going to be a master piece when everything is said and done.


Okay, freinds! Those are all the books I have for you! I know, I know, graphic novels and manga, but they’re all pretty great and I hope you check some of them out! I truly wish I would talk more about these books, but there always seems to be new books to talk about! Anyway, let me know in the comments below if any of these captured your attention or if you would like to see some overall series reviews on any of these! Until next time, may your Valentine’s Day be a day full of self-love and treating yourself, I love you! 💕

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The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

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Content/Trigger Warnings: Loss of a loved one, death, grief, scene of depression, anxiety, scene of body shaming, verbal abuse, scene of assault, alcoholism/alcohol abuse, trauma/PTSD, scene/talk of terminal illness

“She was a girl held together by knitted yarn and magic.”

Dee Moreno hasn’t had the easiest life and things just got worse when she gets the news that the boarding school has to give up her scholarship. Without the proper funds and a family who refuse to help, Dee has run out of options. So naturally the logical thing to do is make a pact with a demon. But everything comes with a price, Dee just doesn’t know it…yet.

Friends, I adore Emily Lloyd-Jones’ writing and the tales she weaves. I’m not going to lie, I was really nervous that I wasn’t going to love this as much as I was hoping I would. However, I’m pleased to say that Emily has a fantastic way of tugging on my heart strings and capturing my attention when I least expect it! I loved the characters, I loved the way my emotions were heightened at the end of this book, and there were so many moments that truly caught me off guard. If this tells you anything, I will be keeping my eyes peeled for future works by Emily because I truly love the way she creates a story and I love the she can pull me in to her stories.

The Hearts We Sold is about a girl named Dee who has run out of all options. Her parents aren’t the best support system, she about to lose her scholarship at the boarding school she goes to, and her college funds her grandmother left her are locked away until she turns of age. With no other options, Dee seeks out the demon from the hospital she volunteers at. She makes a pact with the demon; in exchange for funding to stay after her boarding school, she will leasing her heart to the demon for two years and joins his heartless troops in sealing portals/rifts.

Heartless Troops

❤️ DeeMain character, worked hard all her life to attend her boarding school, comes from a toxic home life

❤️ JamesArtist, childlike and quiet one of the group, this is his second troop

❤️ CalProdigy and genius, bomb expert of the group, has really fascinating theories, gave up his heart for a noble cause

❤️ CoraTroop leader, very secretive, never talks about her pact with the demon, gets her heart back in two months

Important Side Characters

❤️ DaemonContacts the troop with information on the rifts/portals, secretive, cares about humanity and his troops

❤️ GemmaDee’s roommate and best friend, lesbian, and a total badass

❤️ RileyReplacement for Cal, bomb expert, transgender, Gemma’s girlfriend

“I chose this.”

I loved a lot of the themes in this book. There is a heavy focus on parental abuse throughout this entire book. I think this is one of the first fantasy books that I’ve read that address how parents can be verbally, emotionally, and mentally abusive. It really shines a light on how abuse comes in many forms and the toll it takes on the people involved. There are bits and pieces of physical abuse throughout this book as well, however, it doesn’t out shine the other forms of abuse. This book also shows how abuse and alcoholism can go hand-in-hand with one another. As someone who has lived a similar home life that our main character Dee has, I can say that this accurately depicts the reality many children in the world face. How parents will choose the addiction of the bottle over the well-being of their family. It’s very rare that I see this is fantasy or even in YA in general. Knowing there’s a book like The Hearts We Sold is out there shining a light on that sparks some hope in my soul.

This book also hits home with shining a light on how your parents’ problems aren’t your responsibility and that sometimes you have to make the choice of choosing yourself over family. It really stresses the importance of getting away from that kind of environment and situation. It also shows how not everyone can get away (Dee wasn’t even able to leave her family right away either), but you can’t allow yourself to be stuck taking care of your abusers. However, this is the reality for many out in the world. I truly wasn’t expecting this book to hit the reality I underwent as a child and teenager. There were so many of these moments that were highlighted and weren’t easy to get through. I sobbed so much because it was like looking through a window to my past and for many who read this, your own reality.

And of course, we have to talk about the amazing representation in this book! I stated above about Gemma and Riley, but they truly great characters. Not just for their lgbtq+ representation, but also their background as well. Gemma comes from a very supportive family and she even had a great coming out. While Riley’s life highlights the struggles many transgender teens face with parents not being understanding or accepting of their choice. We also have great anxiety representation. Throughout this book, Dee is in a constant state of anxiety and really shows how the the little things can be triggering for someone with anxiety. I really loved the representation and being able to see the anxiety take on many forms throughout this book.

“She reached down, found his hand with hers. Their fingers tangled, wrists pressed together. No pulse between them.”

The ending of this book was probably my favorite thing throughout this whole story. The way everything unfolded was so beautiful and so heart wrenching that I was in tears when I finished this. Not to mention, I truly believe that just from the way this book ended, a sequel could be written. I truly was a beautiful surprise and I think many readers will fall in love with how it ended.

I also have to say how happy I am that this book subtly shows the found families element into this book. It’s very subtle, but it’s there and this books shows how important it is to have that. I loved that The Hearts We Sold put a spotlight on how important it is to have people in your life who truly love you unconditionally. Watching Dee realize that, it was one of the best things to watch unfold in this book.

However, there’s two things this book had that really prevented me from giving this book a five star. I will keep this as spoiler free as I possibly can because I do feel that these two pieces are spoilers. One of the heartless troops undergoes a great deal of trauma and stress. This whole situation ends up leading to a chain of events that turn out really shitty. This character’s actions are never addressed and the other heartless troops just have to conclude that even though this character did a terrible thing, literally having a psychological breakdown and going off the deep end without trying to think things through, they have to support that character and just accept that they’re all in it together. These events bring a whole new level of the heavy mood this book already delivers. If all of this had played out in another way, I think I would be okay, but all of these chain events just really left me with mixed feelings and I couldn’t see past all the horrible actions that were taken by the one character.

“This was how normal people survived their own fairy tales. They became their own kind of monster.”

Overall, I truly did enjoy this book. I really loved how Emily included the bits of Lovecraftian world-building into this book, I loved the detail that was spent on Dee’s relationship, and I really loved the bit where Gemma pulled out an axe! There was just some really great things about this book that I truly loved and it left me feeling very soft. I definitely think many readers will like this book for the fall season, but also struggle with some on the contents within this book. Either way, I hope more readers give this book a chance!

Buddy read with Kayla from Books and Blends ❤️

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Book Hauls

January 2020 Book Haul

Salutation readers! Will there ever be a time where I post a book haul before that month ends? Probably not. Am I still going to keep posting hauls, though? Absolutely! Who doesn’t love a good book haul? I know book hauls are one of my favorite things to read about and watch. It helps get a better idea of what everyone is interested in or even books I’ve never heard about. However, I do apologize that this is coming so late. Actually, I was planning on posting this at the end of January. The only problem with my plans was never anticipating an upper respiratory infection. So the end of January was a bit of a wild time. There was a lot of coughing and a lot of sleeping. So much sleeping. But I’m here now! And before I jump into my January haul, I want to acknowledge that I am very privileged to be able to get Book of the Month because as of right now they only ship in the states. So I apologize to anyone who is international and has an interest in BOTM. Hopefully they will start shipping internationally soon or get an office set up internationally so they can ship to anyone who is international. With all that being said, onward to the haul of books!


❄️ Book Subscriptions ❄️

❄️ When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald

❄️Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez

❄️ Ashlords by Scott Reintgen

❄️ Scavenge the Stars (Scavenge the Stars #1) by Tara Sim


❄️ Physical Books from Publishers ❄️

❄️ Chain of Gold (The Last Hours, #1) by Cassandra Clare

❄️ Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith | Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐


❄️ E-ARCS from Publishers ❄️

❄️ Wicked As You Wish (A Hundred Names for Magic #1) by Rin Chupeco


❄️ Purchased Myself ❄️

❄️ Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5) by Seanan McGuire

❄️ Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1) by Abigail Hing Wen

❄️ Steel Crow Saga by Paul Krueger

❄️ Gemini Keeps Capricorn (Signs of Love #3) by Anyta Sunday

❄️ The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum | Review ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Okay, Chapterlings! Those are all the books I acquired in January, at least the ones I remember. There’s a chance that I missed a few just due to the fact that I’m not fully recovered from the upper respiratory infection. But I hope you enjoyed this haul and found some books that caught your eye. Let me know in the comments some of the books you hauled for the month of January. Until next time, may your TBR cart be full, I love you! 💙

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