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Lobizona (Wolves of No World, #1) by Romina Garber

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ARC was provided by NetGalley & Wednesday Books in exchanged for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (August 4th, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Anxiety, talk of claustrophobia, xenophobia, sexism, discussion of menstruation, bullying, drug trafficking, drugging, talk of postpartum depression, trauma, misogyny, scene of attempted sexual assault, forced marriage, minor homophobia

“I come alive on the full moon.”

Dearest readers, I’m so thankful that I received an arc of this book. Not to mention that I was able to buddy read this book with so many of my fellow friends and partners at the Social Distance Book Fest. This book was captivating, unique, and I literally took a couple of weeks just to put my thoughts in order, to write this review and tell you all about it.

Our story follows Manuela Azul, an undocumented immigrant, who had her whole life turned upside down. Secrets are now coming to light, with her grandmother in the hospital and her mother taken into custody, Manu has no other choice other than to run. Only fate will lead her to a place that allows her to be herself, trace her heritage, and uncover her own story.

I loved Manu as a main character. She’s very strong, independent, and even though it’s not shown enough (in my opinion), she’s very family oriented. She also has this free spirit about her that I absolutely adored. The way Garber shows Manu’s vulnerability with being so uncertain, not wanted people to get in too deep with her situation, and the scene where she tries to push everyone away… I couldn’t stop appreciating that side of her and those vulnerabilities really resonated with me. I’m very much a person who wants to protect the ones she loves and cares about. So seeing Manu’s internal conflict about what she should do and how she do it, it really hit my soft spots.

“Because you can’t be invisible when your irises are yellow suns and your pupils are silver stars.”

The side characters were fantastic. I loved the way there were so many different personalities and how they all meshed so well with one another. What I really loved about these characters was how a small handful of them had Manu’s back despite everything. I loved how Cata and Saysa were willing to help Manu stay in the bruja part of the school, but what I loved the most is how Cata and Saysa both represented the angel on one shoulder with the devil on the other. Not to mention, we’re made aware of it later on in the story, but they’re both in a secret relationship with one another. And I think the thought of their different personalities coming together in a relationship really made me love them even more. Then we have Tiago and this poor boy couldn’t catch a break. Manu kept cutting him off left and right. It about killed me having to watch this boy get crushed so many time especially after a special scene that shows us the feelings growing between Tiago and Manu. Plus, his personality mixes so well with the way Manu’s personality is throughout this story. It was great chemistry and I truly felt that they were a perfect match for one another.

I also loved the way the magic was shown throughout this book. For my reading experience, the magic and the world felt very ancient, something alive and breathing. That feeling became even more solid after Manu is told Lunaris is the home of all magic and how Lunaris ends up having a real conversation with Manu. Ten years were added to my life by all of this. And I truly believe it was a clever idea to give Lunaris the ability to have a persona and the ability to communicate. And can I talk about this world building for a second?! I loved the world building in this book. I’m very picky about fantasy and world building. If a book can’t rope me in within the first five chapters, I will probably struggle with reading the book. However, for my experience, Romina Garber really gave me a vivid experience. It felt like I was walking right beside Manu as she moved from different areas in the book. I adore and crave books that can give me the vivid experience. And I think the author did a marvelous job delivering that expectation for me.

“You seek to discover your true home, yet you no longer have one… You have two.”

This book also addresses many important issues, as well. There’s a huge discussion of immigration and about ICE which overlaps a lot with what’s happening in today’s time. I don’t want to speak too much on that because that’s not my story to tell. However, if this is an own voices read for you and you have a review for this book, talking about your own experiences, please send me a link so I can help boost your voice and story. This book also addresses the topic of gender and gender identity. This is another important topic that sparks many arguments and conversations today. Even though there has been so much progress, there’s many places where gender restrictions is still a thing or an issue. In the the same area, we have the relationship with Cata and Saysa where they have to hide their love and relationship because it’s illegal for them to be open about it. Once again, even though the lgbtqiap+ community has made great strides and helped the world progress so much, there are many places in the world where it’s illegal to be open about same sex relationships. So I really appreciated Romina Garber adding these topics in because they’re still important issues that exist today and it’s not talked about enough.

“Fierro valued every life, wanted the best for everyone no matter if they were lobizones, brujas, or humans.”

I also want to mention that any reader should practice self-care while reading this book. There are a lot of content warnings, but I want to point out that there is a scene of attempted rape and as a rape survivor myself, that scene left me very uneasy and how it went unchallenged. I would have liked to see it challenged more or see some form of punishment happen. While I realize this is to show how society handles sexual assault and rape situations, I feel like it could have been challenged more. As I mentioned, just practice self-care and step back when you need to while reading this book.

I think the biggest issue I had with this book and the reason why I couldn’t give this a full five stars was the translated Spanish. And what I mean by that is Romina Garber’s personality is very un-apologetically Latinx, but when you read this book, it’s anything but. Now, I’ve seen many authors who are un-apologetically whatever heritage they are in books. Julie Kagawa is one of the of the best examples I can think of because she uses a lot of Japanese words and saying in her books, but she doesn’t explain it every time she uses them in her Shadow of the Fox series. She has a glossary in the back of her book for readers to constantly reference. Then you also have the matter of Google which is there for a reason. Now, I could understand if the author was explaining the sentences to add to the world building, however, I thought the world building was beautifully done. So the fact that every time there’s a Spanish sentence spoken and then immediately translated right after it’s said was very surprising for me. I truly would have loved to have seen the author run wild with the Spanish, without translating it, and leaving a glossary or dictionary piece in the back of her book. I would have loved to have seen the editing process for this book because I truly believe the translations didn’t need to be added. In my opinion, the world building speaks for itself and I would rather have the author be un-apologetic about their heritage and culture then see them feel obligated to translate it.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time reading this Lobizona. I loved how there was such emphasis on family and how important it is, I fell madly in love with the world building and characters, and I think many readers are going to be putting this on their top books for 2020. I’m truly hoping more readers will pick this book up, preorder it, and get as excited as I am about this book. However, now that I’ve finished reading the first book, I need the second one immediately. Can I have it already?!

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

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The Animal Crossing Book Tag!

Credit for inspiring this post goes to Destiny from Howling Libraries and her Animal Crossing Tag post. Make sure you check her blog out and give her some love!


Salutations Chapterlings! Yes, it finally happened… I have fallen deep into the hole that is Animal Crossing. In my defense, it’s a really addicting game and I have a very addicting personality. I was doomed from the start, but I’m having a wonderful time and still trying to persuade my spouse to come play as well. But I wanted to do something a little different and what’s more different than bringing in a gaming tag that somehow relates to books! So sit back and enjoy this wild ride!

๐Ÿพ PAST VILLAGER โ€” who is a character you found when you were younger that still has a place in your heart? ๐Ÿพ

I think I talked about this a few times, but when I was in third grade, I was reading thick books like The Tale of Despereaux. I discovered this book not long after I had become severely ill and advised to stay inside to fully recover. And reading that book, it was a wonderful adventure and I still remember the little mouse that changed my time in self-isolation. I still think about that book and Despereaux from time to time. I still love that little mouse with my whole heart.

๐Ÿพ BLATHERโ€™S BLATHERINGS โ€” recommend a historical fiction book that you think everybody should read ๐Ÿพ

Oh jeez, this is one of the worst genres for me. Historical fiction is not my cup of tea. I guess, if I really had to choose, I would say The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. Aside from one other series, this is a book that I really enjoyed and the male lover interest completely stole my heart. It is a romance book. If that’s not your cup of tea, I’m sorry. I don’t have many historical recommendations!

๐Ÿพ CELESTEโ€™S WISH โ€” what is a future book release you wish you could read now? ๐Ÿพ

You know, I have shouted from the roof tops about how much I want to read Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. However, I do have my interview with Stephen Gramham Jones on May 30th and I really, really want to read his book, The Only Good Indians. Aside from the cover, everything I’ve been hearing about this book has me excited and this book can’t be put in my hands fast enough. Also, being half Apache myself, I don’t talk about Indigenous authors or books enough and this is me telling you to go support this author.

๐Ÿพ TIMMY & TOMMY โ€” what is your favorite sibling relationship in a book? ๐Ÿพ

No, not another hard question to answer! I have read so many books with fantastic sibling representation. Of course, I’m a sucker for those books because I love my younger sibling a whole lot and would take on the world for them. I think out of all of the books I’ve read with great sibling relationships, There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool definitely has that sibling relationship that I feel represents my younger sibling and I. Beru and Ephyra are two very different beings, but they’re still sisters. Beru is terminally ill and Ephyra is a force of nature that will stop at nothing to find a cure for her. While my younger sibling isn’t terminally ill, my younger sibling is more passive and quiet like Beru. Whereas Ephyra, who loves like a burning sun and is very protective, is more my personality. And I truly love their moments together.

๐Ÿพ THE EASTER BUNNY โ€” a popular book character youโ€™re not a big fan of ๐Ÿพ

I feel like this is going to cause a huge uproar. However, I really didn’t care for The Darkling. Listen, not only did I strongly dislike The Darkling, but I strongly disliked Alina and Mal. The only one who made that trilogy a little brighter was Nikolai. Sorry, but that’s just me and my opinions.

๐Ÿพ NOOKโ€™S LOANS โ€” an author youโ€™d give all your money to ๐Ÿพ

That’s easy! Kerri Maniscalco! But seriously, I have so many authors I would throw my money at no matter what they write.

๐Ÿพ THE SISTERS ABLE โ€” what is your favorite fictional family (found or otherwise)? ๐Ÿพ

The only true answer is The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum! That’s all I have to say about that.

๐Ÿพ ITโ€™S A C+ โ€” what’s a book trope you donโ€™t like that keeps popping up? ๐Ÿพ

For once, I want the chosen one trope to back fire or be rewritten differently. While we’re on tropes, the whole Beauty & the Beast retelling trope, I’m over it. Give me a Hades and Persephone retelling, give me a chosen one story line where they’re really not the chosen one, give me something new and fresh. No matter how many different ways you write it, it’s still the same trope. Do something new!

๐Ÿพ THE WANDERING CAMEL โ€” what is your favorite book set in a land far away from yours? ๐Ÿพ

The Shadow of the Fox trilogy by Julie Kagawa. I love Japan, the culture, the history, and the mythology. If I had it my way, I would get a ticket as soon as possible and take a trip out there. One of my childhood best friends is Japanese-American and they still hold residency in Japan. They have trying for years to get me to come with them on one of their trips. So every time I recommend that trilogy, I always think of them, I think of Japan, and then I end up craving some homemade sushi.

๐ŸŒธ Shadow of the Fox

๐ŸŒธ Soul of the Sword

๐Ÿพ WHAT WOULD DODOS DO โ€” a fictional land you wish you could fly away to at any moment ๐Ÿพ

I think the question and answer above answers this question perfectly!

I tag anyone who wants to do this!


Okay, friends! I hope you had as much fun as I did writing this article! And I got to recommend some of my favorite books to all of you! If you plan on doing this tag, please feel free to tag me so I can read your answers and feel free to tell me in the comments below if you’ve read any of the books I talked about above. Until next time, stay hydrated, stay safe, I love you! ๐Ÿ’•

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The Real Neat Blog Award II

๐ŸŒธ The Real Neat Blog Award I

It’s no surprise that Emer from A Little Haze Book Blog has nominated me for this award! This is the second time I’ve been nominated by Emer and if you haven’t seen her blog yet, definitely check it out! She has some great articles and she’s such a caring friend.

๐ŸŒธ The Origins of the Real Neat Blog Award ๐ŸŒธ

Before I answer the questions I did a little googling to try and find the origins of this award and the earliest reference I can find to it goes all the way back to 2014 and to a blog called Dear Kitty, Some Blog.

The award came about as a way to highlight bloggers that need more attention because of their awesome content on their blogs and the first logo ever created for the award is this one that I found on the sameย Dear Kitty, Some Blogย page:

๐ŸŒธ The Rules ๐ŸŒธ

๐ŸŒธ Display the Award Logo.

๐ŸŒธ Thank the blogger who nominated you and post a link to their blog.

๐ŸŒธ Answer the questions of the one who nominated you.

๐ŸŒธ Nominate some bloggers.

๐ŸŒธ Ask them seven questions.

๐ŸŒธ Questions from Emer ๐ŸŒธ

๐ŸŒธ Time for some self love. What is your favourite thing about yourself?

I could say a few things, but I think the biggest thing that I love about myself would be my empathy and sympathy. I don’t often talk about, but if you’ve been following me or this blog for a while then you probably picked up on a few things. My life hasn’t been an easy one and I learn just how cruel life can be at a very young age, younger than I should have been to learn about these things. If a friend were to come to me with a problem or they’re distress, or perhaps something traumatic happened to them, I would have a very deep understanding. Nothing really surprises me anymore because I have so much terrible experience, but those experiences have allowed me to help friends and understand what they’re going through on a much deeper level. It’s those experiences that have crafted me into being loyal to my friends, making them my ride or die, and defending them if they need it. I often don’t acknowledge the level of my sympathy and empathy, but it deserves the credit where it’s due.

๐ŸŒธ Itโ€™s late. Youโ€™ve had a crazy long day and you are super hungry. What is your go to quick meal?

๐ŸŒธ List the best five books that you have read in the last 12 months.

๐Ÿ“– Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

๐Ÿ“– Leo Loves Aries (Signs of Love, #1) by Anyta Sunday

๐Ÿ“– The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited! by Clint McElroy

๐Ÿ“– Down Among the Sticks and Bones (Wayward Children #2) by Seanan McGuire

๐Ÿ“– Where Dreams Descend (Kingdom of Cards #1) by Janella Angeles

๐ŸŒธ Would you rather be an oak tree or a butterfly?

๐ŸŒธ What book have you reread more than any other, or if you do not reread then why is that?

๐Ÿ“– The Next Always (InnBoonsBoro Trilogy #1) by Nora Roberts

๐Ÿ“– The Last Boyfriend (InnBoonsBoro Trilogy #2) by Nora Roberts

๐Ÿ“– The Perfect Hope (InnBoonsBoro Trilogy #3) by Nora Roberts

I reread these three books whenever I miss my family, my hometown, and when I just need to be reminded of a sense of love and community.

๐ŸŒธ If you were a kitchen appliance which one would you be? I am a kettle for sure, always getting boiled up about somethingโ€ฆ

I’m probably the favorite mug that someone always uses. I know that sounds weird or even bad, but hear me out. Coming home to your favorite mug filled with your favorite drink, always there when you need it, comforting you when the stress is too much… I am the favorite mug in your cupboard or sitting on your mug rack.

๐ŸŒธ Would you rather win an Oscar (award for acting) or a Grammy (award for music)?

Oh jeez, this is hard. Music would be the obvious one, but the problem with that is it’s something that would expected of me. I already have a binder full of awards for being a singer. Honestly, I would love to win an award for acting. I’ve only done drama a few times which strangely enough I was always playing a dragon, but I would love to win an award for acting.

And those are all the questions Emer had in store for me! Dang, some of them were hard! Once again, if you haven’t checked pout Emer’s blog, go give her some love. She is a wonderful, caring friend who puts out great content.

Next up I am going to tag some blogs to receive this award:

๐ŸŒธ Kayla from Books and Blends

๐ŸŒธ Ren from A Bookish Balance

๐ŸŒธ Lauren from Lala’s Book Reviews

๐ŸŒธ Robin from Paperbacks and Planners

๐ŸŒธ Destiny from Howling Libraries

๐ŸŒธ Marie from Drizzle & Hurricane Books

๐ŸŒธ Sue from BeautyBookCorner

Itโ€™s okay if tags and awards arenโ€™t your thing. No one should feel obligated to do this tag unless they want to.

๐ŸŒธ My Seven Questions ๐ŸŒธ

๐ŸŒธ What’s one book that you can relate to the most and why?

๐ŸŒธ Aside from reading, what’s you’re favorite activity to do in self-isolation?

๐ŸŒธ You just inherited a house, you have one room left to remodel into the dream library. Describe what your dream library looks like and what the crown jewel of this library is.

๐ŸŒธ Besides being a collector of books, what are some of the other things you collect?

๐ŸŒธ Real talk, what’s one topic that you’ve been wanting to discuss on your blog, but haven’t and why?

๐ŸŒธ What are the top five books you’re planning to buy from your local bookstore this year?

๐ŸŒธ Feel good time! What are five songs that have been keeping your spirits high?

Okay, friends! I think that covers everything thing! I hope you enjoyed learning a little more about me. I hope the ones who’ve been tagged end up participating, but if not, check out their blogs anyway. They all offer some amazing content and it never hurts to follow more diverse bloggers. Until next time, may your tbr be large, you continue to stay safe and healthy, I love you! ๐Ÿ’•

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Soul of the Sword (Shadow of the Fox #2) by Julie Kagawa

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๐ŸŒธ Shadow of the Fox – โญโญโญโญโญ

Content/Trigger Warnings: Death, murder, graphic violence & injuries, grief, loss of a loved one, death of a animal, war themes, threats of torture, and much more!

โ€œAll souls have a destiny. Some are simply brighter than others.โ€

It’s no secret that I fell in love with Julie Kagawa and her captivating writing in 2019 when I first read Shadow of the Fox. I loved it so much that I knew from the moment I read the first page that I would be continuing the series. And I’m so glad that I did! Book Two had so many surprises, a lot of tension, and many question on how the end game will conclude. Needless to say, book two was everything I wanted and more!

Just when she thought it couldn’t get any worse, Hakaimono has returned and Tatsumi is gone. After saving Master Jiro, everything seems to have taken a turn for the worst. Our band of heroes now knows Yumeko’s biggest secret, Hakaimono has been unleash into the world, and they seem further away from completely their goal then they ever could have imagined. Despite the challenges they face, they will continue to travel and fight side by side. But in the shadows, a dark presence is rising and will stop at nothing to have all pieces of the Dragon Scroll.

๐Ÿ‘น Yumeko โ€“ Raised by monks in the Temple of the Silent Winds, half kitsune, who is a lot better at illusions than she gives herself credit to. Soon she finds her life thrown into chaos as her only home is ripped away from her by the destruction of an army of demons. Now she will embark on a quest to a hidden temple to bring half of the ancient scroll to safety.

๐Ÿ‘น Tatsumiย โ€“ย Samurai/Shanobi of the Shadow Clan, one of the most feared and deadliest warriors and demon slayers ever, even though he is very young. Wielding the blade of Hakaimono, a sword sealed with one of the most deadliest demon generals of his time, Kamigoroshi, Tatsumi is constantly tested with how strong his will is. Sent on a mission by his clan to retrieve a piece of the ancient scroll by any means, instead he finds Yumeko and makes a promise to deliver her to the hidden temple in exchange for the scroll. Only now, Tatsumi has been completely taken over by Hakaimono because love can make even the most disciplined person crumble.

๐Ÿ‘น Suki โ€“ Bits and pieces of her were sprinkled throughout the first book, but now we see her playing a roll in this book as well. Daughter of a celebrated flute maker, Suki is shipped off to work as the new maid for the favored concubine of the emperor to live a better life than running his shop. Suki was turned into a sacrifice, now a spirit that continues to cling to the mortal world, only she’ll play a much larger role than she ever imagined.

๐Ÿ‘น Seigetsuย โ€“ย We meet Seigetsu in the first book when he first encounters Yumeko and saves her from a terrible situation. Now, we see him playing a bigger role in book two. He’s still a mysterious person, but we now come to know that he’s a master of shogi and is able to know about events in the future with his companion, Taka.

๐Ÿ‘น Hakaimono – The sealed within his own sword, Kamigoroshi, Hakaimono was one of the deadliest demon generals of his time. And now he’s finally on the rise after he’s possessed Tatsumi’s body.

๐Ÿ‘น Reika – The priestess from the Sun Clan’s territory. Agreed to come along with Yumeko and the others to find Mast Jiro, and save him from whatever trouble he would be in. Now, she travels to ensure the piece of the Dragon Scroll is delivered to the Steel Feather Temple.

๐Ÿ‘น Master Jiro – Head priest of the temple in Sun Clan territory. Ended up being taken captive in the first book. Now he travels with Yumeko, Reika, and the others to lead the way to the Steel Feather Temple.

๐Ÿ‘น Okame – Often referred to as Ronin, but is actually the sweetest and a damn good shot in archery. Originally a bandit, but changed his tune after Yumeko showed him kindness, compassion, and understanding. Having nothing better to do, he decides to join the team. He’s snarky, witty, and secretly a cinnamon role.

๐Ÿ‘น Daisuke – A noble who was once as a great samurai who fought fighters for passage on a bridge, but after meeting Tatsumi, he was unable to fulfill the greatest battle of all. Now, he travels with this unlikely group of friends. Even after finding out Yumeko is a kisune, he still swears his sword to her and promises to protect her as she travels to the Steel Feather Temple. He’s also a complete romantic and is sweet on one of the traveling companions.

I love these characters with every fiber in my being. Even Hakaimono has a piece of my heart and I know he’s one of the deadliest demon generals, but… I just love him and despite it all, I bet he’s a secret cinnamon roll (probably not, but one can hope). Every part with these characters is just fantastic, including when we flash from the three povs. Each pov was executed so well and no matter who’s perspective we were in, as the reader, we get to see the full picture with all the side characters.

Speaking of the characters, Daisuke and Okame threw me for a loop! They couldn’t be more different from each other, but they both shine in their own ways. However, I never realized how well their conversations between one another melt together so well. And their scenes together are so good. There’s warmth, there’s tension, they challenge each other, and they’re just an all around good time!

We also branch away from the Tatsumi perspective and instead get Hakaimono. Now that was a wild ride. I’ll admit, I was secretly hoping Kagawa would take this series it there and have Hakaimono take full control of Tatsumi’s body, but the way she made Hakaimono’s point of view so enthralling, we love to see it. We also see what Tatsumi is like since Hakaimono has taken over his body. When Yumeko goes to find Tatsumi’s soul in the dream world, we see how much Tatsumi has suffered. That was the moment, the moment I realized I want Tatsumi to be happy and to watch him flourish into everything he could be outside of his clan.

โ€œBut then, he let out a breath, and it seemed to release all the fear, uncertainty, horror and doubt of the past nightmare. He crushed me to his chest, clinging to me like a lifeline, like I was his sanity and he was afraid I would abandon him.โ€

I also loved how we see Yumeko really come into her kitsune side. Yumeko clings to her humanity in this series, but in Soul of the Sword, her character development is fantastic. In the first book, Yumeko was very timid and didn’t use her powers that often. In this book, that isn’t the case. Yumeko does whatever she can to keep her friends safe, she learns how powerful and deadly her powers can be, and she uses them to save Tatsumi. I have no doubt that in the final book we’ll see her be taken to a whole new height as she’s forced to use ever ounce of kitsune magic to protect her loved ones and the entire country.

Also, how dare Kagawa give us an ending like that! I think I choked on my drink several times reading the last handful chapters. I knew things were going to get really intense, but I never thought it would go the way that it did. This is probably one of my favorite endings in any series I’ve read so far. True blessings for such high stakes and surprises. And I’ll admit that there were a few parts I should have seen coming, but I was so wrapped up in all the chaos and Tatsumi/Hakaimono that I was hardly registering anything else.

I truly loved everything about this book and I don’t want to reveal too much especially if you haven’t read the first book yet. However, if you were expecting this book to follow the romance between Tatsumi and Yumeko, then you’re going to be disappointed. The romance has never been the main focus of this series, but it’s a key factor in the story-line. I went in knowing that it wasn’t focused on the romance and I still loved it so much. I still have questions I want answers to! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good romance, but the story-line, plot, and world building is so good that it doesn’t matter to me if there’s a romance or not. If you think you need the romance to keep you motivated to read this book, the romance is still there, but it’s not so heavily focused or even as obvious as it was in book one.

โ€œMy master used to say, sometimes a whisper is all that is required to calm a storm, but when words fail, sometimes you need the thunder.โ€

Overall, I have heard the good and bad about this book, but I still fell in love with it just like the first book. I loved the world building, I see every ounce of Japanese mythology that went into this, and I just really, really love this series. If you haven’t picked this series up then let me tell you that you should. Even if you’re not much of a fantasy reader, I believe any kind of reader can find something that they’ll really love and appreciate in this series.

Read for the Asian Readathon ๐Ÿฎ

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Leo Loves Aries (Signs of Love, #1) by Anyta Sunday

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Content/Trigger Warnings: Cheating, toxic relationships, sex

Chandler Ainsley made me do it! Her amazing book recommendations kicked my butt into gear to finally start this series! Wow, just wow. I haven’t flown through a book this fast in a hot minute. I loved everything about this book and it’s a roommates to lovers trope. So yes, I am here for this book!

We follow Theo who’s still hung up on his exgirlfriend and seems to be lacking in the friend department. With his mom spamming horoscope predictions on the daily, Theo feels the ache even more. After Leone challenges him to find her the perfect date for a spring wedding, Theo is dead set on making his ex-economics tutor, Jamie Cooper, his sister’s date. Only things don’t go the way he thought they would. Everyone else can see what’s written in the stars, but will Theo?

โ€œI’ve one hell of a to-do list. Just need someone to do it.โ€

I loved this book so much! I think the way Theo and Jamie’s personalities collided with one another was fantastic. They couldn’t be more opposite of each other. Jamie is organized and likes to keep a balanced yet passionate life. While Theo is a procrastinator and hasn’t done a load of laundry in ages. And the banter between the two is so good! Out of all of it though, the amount of electricity that flies between this unlikely pair had me living my best reading experience. Plus, I’m a sucker for a good roommates trope.

I also loved the way sexuality was handled and how realistic it felt. Even though we can tell right off the bat Jamie is gay and flirting with Theo from day one, Theo is absolutely oblivious to any of this. It’s so accurate! When I was first discovering my bisexuality, I never realized I would flirt with women until one day someone had to point it out for me. I think that’s why I relate to Theo so much because the way he discovers his feelings for Jamie, it was like staring at a mirror. Even when Jamie confronts Theo about his sexuality and his interest in Theo, Theo reacts in shock and he spends so much time trying to figure out his feelings, his sexuality, and his own obliviousness. And I know there are many people out there who frown upon the whole friends with benefits kind of relationship, but I loved how this book shows that sometimes you need that kind of relationship as a stepping stone when it comes to figuring out your sexuality. I saw a lot of readers who were upset with the way Theo’s sexuality was handled and why many readers have labeled it as bisexual erasure… being bisexual myself and having gone through a similar period in my life, I can understand why. However, there are many people in the lgbtqiap+ community who don’t like to use labels. So, if Theo doesn’t label himself as a bisexual, pansexual, or demisexual then that’s fine and a character/character development shouldn’t be punished for that.

“I thought you didn’t believe in love. With you, I believe in anything.”

We also have visually impaired representation. Leone, Theo’s sister, is blind and doesn’t let it phase her. She’s smart, witty, and is just like, “I’m blind, I know it and accept it, so suck it up and deal with it.” She has such a charismatic personality, she tries to find the positive in everything, and I love her a whole heck a ton. And the bond that Theo and Leone have with one another, how they take care of each other, and it warms my heart so much. Theo really shows his brotherly side when it comes Leone. He doesn’t look down at her, he tries to do what he can to make things a little easier for her, and despite how protective he is, he let’s her be her own person and live her own life.

Overall, if you haven’t heard of this book or this series yet, you need to add this to your tbr. I’m super excited to read the next book in this series and I truly believe these characters are so easy to fall in love with. Besides, I power read this in two days. If that doesn’t tell you something, I don’t know what will!

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Uncategorized

The Perfect Hope (Inn Boonsboro Trilogy, #3) by Nora Roberts

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๐Ÿ’ The Next Always (InnBoonsBoro Trilogy, #1) | โญโญโญโญ

๐Ÿ’ The Last Boyfriend (InnBoonsBoro Trilogy, #2)| โญโญโญโญ

Content/Trigger Warnings: Death, loss of a loved one, talk of cheating & adultry, toxic relationship, talk of parental abuse, scene of assault, scene of graphic war themes (Ryder’s dream)

We have finally reached the end of this trilogy. I just don’t want this series to end, ever. I love these characters, this town, and just every bit that went into making this trilogy. I say this all the time, but this really is a great series to read if you’re new to Nora Robert’s work. I truly love this series and it will always have a piece of my heart.

If you haven’t guessed by now, we’re following Hope Beaumont and Ryder Montgomery in this book. Hope was recruited by Avery MacTavish and Clare Brewster to move to BoonsBoro to be the inn keeper at Inn BoonsBoro. Even though her friends are happy to have her and Justine is thrilled to have such a confident inn keeper, Ryder Montgomery is anything but happy about it all. Of all the Montgomery boys, Ryder is the hardest nut to crack. He’s anti-social and can’t see Hope as anything other than a city girl. But after a New Year’s kiss, things have somehow shifted between the unlikely pair and soon they’ll realize what their hearts’ desires are.

โ€œTime with a friend was as refreshing as a nap.โ€

๐Ÿ’ Hope Beaumont โ€“ The inn keeper for the newly redesigned Inn BoonsBoro by the Montgomery. Recently moved to BoonsBoro for a fresh start and the former manager of a D.C. hotel. She’s confident, independent, and right where she wants to be in life…except for in the love department. And constantly sparring with Ryder Montgomery.

๐Ÿ’ Ryder Montgomery โ€“ The hardest, most stubborn, alpha male of the Montgomery family. He’s anti-social and hard to figure out, but he’s honest and fair. But there’s only one person who gets under his skin and her name is Hope Beaumont.

๐Ÿ’ Elizabeth/Eliza โ€“ The spirit who lives at the historical inn the Montgomery family is fixing up. Waiting at the inn for her Billy to return to her.

๐Ÿ’ Justine Montgomery โ€“ Sassy mother of the Montgomery brothers and the head boss over every project the Montgomery boys take on.

๐Ÿ’ Beckett & Own Montgomery โ€“ Brothers to Owen Montgomery, Beckett the architect and husband to Clare Brewster/Montgomery, father of three boys and Owen the organizer of the Montgomery family and engaged to Avery MacTavish.

๐Ÿ’ Clare Brewster/Montgomery & Avery MacTavish โ€“ Best friends to Hope. Clare is the wife of Beckett Montgomery, mother of three boys with an exciting bundle of love on the way and Avery is the fiance of Owen Montgomery, owner of MacT’s Restaurant and Tap Room.

I say this all the time as well. I love these characters. They’re fantastic and I swear, Justine is such a delightful, sassy, take no b.s. character that I absolutely love. They’re wonderful in their own ways and they’re always there for one another. Even more so in this book. We really see how everyone rallies to Hope and how Ryder stands by her in very specific moments.

โ€œItโ€™s never simple.โ€ Avery slid an arm around Hopeโ€™s waist. โ€œIt shouldnโ€™t be. Because being with someone should matter enough to be at least a little bit complicated.โ€

I’m not going to lie, I loved the way Hope and Ryder somehow balance each other out and are exactly what one another need. Hope can handle herself and throw it right back at Ryder when he’s being alpha. She challenges him, gets under his skin, but despite all that, she’s drawn to him because he’s stable and honest. Ryder drives Hope up a wall, always assumes she’s just a city girl, but he’s drawn to her for her strong will and independence. Not to mention, their intimacy and chemistry is 10/10.

Of course, I have to talk about the sense of family and community in this book. Being that this is in a small town setting, it’s very much small town vibes. I really wanted to point this out because even though Hope has Avery and Clare, she’s essentially still on her own in a new environment. So when a certain incident arises in this book, we really see how the Montgomery family flocks to her defense and surrounds her in that family love. I love books that that sense of family and community, the way they rally to someone who has carved out a space of importance.

โ€œBut you stand up for me. You tell me the truth. You make me laugh, and you make me want. You let me be and feel who I am. And you fell in love with me even when you didnโ€™t want to.โ€

We finally get a conclusion for Eliza and Billy in this book. We learn all about them, their story, and we receive a final closing moment with Eliza and all the main characters. While I’m still not a fan of the paranormal element, I liked how their story was wrapped up.

However, I do want to take a moment to address Ryder’s dream though. First, please make sure you practice self-care when you read that section. Most importantly, this is probably the most conflicting thing that could have been added into this book. Despite the paranormal element and how I dislike it, I liked that so much more than this one scene. Now, it might be reading too much into it, but this was an indirect way of trying to represent trauma and possible PTSD. Basically, Ryder is “dreaming” yet he’s really reliving someone’s trauma and death during the war. For those who don’t know, those who suffer with PTSD or trauma can have flashbacks while they sleep. After this dream concludes, Ryder exhibits all the reactions of someone who just had a flashback. He’s woke up drenched in sweat, his heart was pounding, even when he talks with his family later on he says it felt so vivid, like he was living through it. I completely understand why we learned about this person’s death through Ryder’s “dream.” However, a character shouldn’t be having traumatic or PTSD flashbacks if they have never experienced trauma or have PTSD. There has never, ever been any indication that Ryder experienced something traumatic and there has never, in the whole trilogy, been a statement that Ryder has PTSD. So, I was not a fan of this particular scene and truly wish that whole scene had be executed in a completely different way.

Overall, I still enjoyed this book despite the paranormal element and despite the conflict with the trauma/PTSD representation in this book. The epilogue in this book is also lovely. It’s about Avery and Owen’s wedding. However, I’m still holding on to a glimmer of hope that one day we’ll get a novella about Hope and Ryder’s wedding. Fingers crossed. But I can’t recommend this trilogy enough. I love it with my whole heart and I’m constantly recommending it to fellow readers.

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Playlists

10 Books Paired with 10 Matching Songs

Before I get into this article, I want to thank Marie from Drizzle & Hurricane Books for her own article, Pairing 10 books I recommend with 10 songs I love, for inspiring this article! Make sure you check her blog out and the amazing articles she writes!


Salutations Chapterlings! I wanted to do something a tad bit different compared to what I usually do. You’ve seen me make dedicated playlists for various books, but you haven’t seen me recommend a single song for specific books. So below, I have chosen ten books and ten pairing songs. You may dance, you might laugh, you might feel a little nostalgic, and some you may end up crying. No matter what, I hope you will enjoy these books and these matching songs.


๐ŸŽถ Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa ๐ŸŽถ

I love this series with my whole heart and soul. From the characters to the mythology, I love every piece of this series and I can’t recommend it enough. So would you be surprised if I told you that the only way to read this series is to listen to the Memoirs of a Geisha soundtrack? I couldn’t choose only one song and since it feels like I’m recommending the whole trilogy, well… you just need to go listen to the soundtrack as you read!


๐ŸŽถ Check Please! by Ngozi Ukazu ๐ŸŽถ

This duology is just my whole heart and soul. I love the way Bitty and Jack come together, the way they love each other, the way they handle the challenges that face them, and it just turns my heart into a giant puddle. And only one song came to mind when I decided to feature this graphic novel duology, You Are the Reason (Duet Version) by Calum Scott feat. Leona Lewis. Every time I hear this song, I instantly think of Check Please and everything these two graphic novels talk about, the romance, the way they’re friends and teammates support one another, and just…everything. This duology is everything!


๐ŸŽถ Heartstopper by Alice Oseman ๐ŸŽถ

Who doesn’t know about Heartstopper by now? Just like the duology before, this is a series that I love with my whole heart especially because of the way bisexual representation is shown in this graphic novel series. But I also love the way this series tackles so many important topics like homophobia and learning about one’s sexuality. And even though I love all of these things equally, I really love the way Charlie and Nick come together. It’s so wholesome, so realistic, and my heart just melts when I think about it. So I had to, I absolutely have to recommend Can’t Help Falling In Love by Haley Reinhart. I love how perfectly this song matches to Charlie and Nick falling in love, becoming a couple, and just them being together. What can I say? I’m a die hard romantic.


๐ŸŽถ There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool ๐ŸŽถ

Of course I had to put this book on this list! This made my top books for 2019, this book has it’s own playlist, and I am dying to get my hands on an arc of the next book in this series! I love these characters, I love the world building, and I loved how it was so easy for me to fall deep into the story line. Bonus, this has multiple povs and I never, ever rave about a book that has more than two povs. And to pair this book with a song that’s outside of the playlist I have already created, well… Born For This by The Score is the perfect choice! This is a song that’s sure to get your blood pumping as you read about these five main character with an intertwined destiny and a prophecy to fulfill.


๐ŸŽถ Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco ๐ŸŽถ

Oh ho, it’s time to talk about one of my all time favorite series! A series is which I still need to finish, but that’s besides the point! I love this series, I love Audrey Rose, Thomas Cresswell is bae, and each book’s world building sucks me in immediately. It’s no surprise that Kerri Maniscalco is an auto-buy author for me and it’s all thank you my spouse when they gifted me Stalking Jack the Ripper one morning. And if I had to choose one song to pair with this series, I would have to choose Revelation by Abel Korzeniowski. With the setting of each book, this is a perfect song to help enrich the chills you’ll experience as you read each book. I really love it and it’s from one of my favorite television series.


๐ŸŽถ The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum ๐ŸŽถ

Okay, I promise I won’t get too emotional and sappy. Oh god, I love this book so much for so many reasons. This is one of my favorite reads for 2020 and I’m still not over it. Every time I think of this book, my heart ignites with so many feelings. Plus, there’s so many themes involving space! Now, it might be a little cliche, but the song that reminds me of this book the most is Vanilla Twilight by Owl City. I know, it’s a total throwback song, but it makes me think about so many things this book deals with. From space, relationships, and friendships, this book fits perfectly with the constant theme of family and love.


๐ŸŽถ How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow ๐ŸŽถ

Yup, I’m going to make you feel all the emotions with this this book and song recommendation. This was the first book I ever wrote a review for on this blog and it was the first book that I cried the whole way through in a long, long time. I’m not going to lie, this book wrecked me in so many ways, but I have to talk about this book. I feel that this book isn’t talked about enough in the book community and it’s a greatly underrated book. In case you didn’t get the hint, this is me telling you to go read this book… and we should have a conversation about the whole thing! But while you’re reading this book, I can’t recommend the pairing song, Heart by Sleeping At Last. It’s no secret that Sleeping At Last is one of my favorite bands to listen to, but this particular song of their’s fits so well with the atmosphere, the constant change in emotions, and learning to find your place with a family member you don’t know much about.


๐ŸŽถ Leo Loves Aries by Anyta Sunday ๐ŸŽถ

I recently finished the audiobook and I can already tell I’m going to love this whole series. I’m still finalizing my review, but oh, this book is so good. I love how this book shows what it means to explore your sexuality, learning what it means to truly try before dismissing something or someone, and the slow burn is so, so good. This book also explores what it means to try to overcome bad relationships and really shows the reality that things are easier said than done. Aside from the romance, there’s also a character in this book who is visually impaired and I think the representation was well done. This is just an all around great book that I really enjoyed. Still kicking myself in the butt for not picking this up sooner. But you need a song recommendation and I can’t think of better song than Deep Blue by The Midnight. This song describes our main character, Theo, absolutely perfectly and how he learns about his sexuality, his desires, and eventually, him coming to the realization that he loves the main love interest.


๐ŸŽถ Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles ๐ŸŽถ

I absolutely had to include this book! First anticipated release of 2020 to be five stars and it has so many themes similar to Phantom of the Opera and Moulin Rouge. I absolutely loved this book. I’m still thinking about it, still spamming my friends whenever I get the chance about this book, and counting down the days until the next book is released. I loved the characters, the world building, and mystery of it all. So naturally when I was thinking about a perfect song to pair with this book, I instantly thought of Just Like Fire by Pink. What better song to give you a glimpse at how headstrong, ambitious, and spectacular our main character truly is!


๐ŸŽถ Sadie by Courtney Summers ๐ŸŽถ

I have debated for hours if I wanted to add this book onto this list. Yes, yes I do. I read this book in 2019 and wrote a pretty emotional, heavy review for it. We’re now in 2020, this book is always on my mind, I carry a piece of this book with me and this book a piece of myself. I would champion this book so hard, if only you knew. If you haven’t heard of this book before, I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I will say that this book is a letter from all the victims of molestation and rape who never had their story told, never received justice for their suffering. So, I will leave the only song I can recommend to pair with this book. How To Save a Life cover by Boyce Avenue


Okay, friends! I may have gone a little soft, a little sappy, and shared a piece of my heart with all of you. I really, really cherish that book though. Who am I kidding, I cherish all of these books! They wouldn’t be on this list if I didn’t love them in some way. If you haven’t checked out any of these books yet then you definitely need to change that. Each one is so amazing in their own way. Please, feel free to tell me in the comments below about the books and song pairings that you have. Until next time, please continue to stay safe, stay healthy, I love you! ๐Ÿ’•

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