Monthly TBR

September 2021 TBR

Who am I to think I can have an actual tbr?! And why did I decide September of all months to attempt my tbr’s return?!

Salutations book lovers! I have been gone for a very long time. I think the last time I made a tbr was… back in December 2020. Time has flown. Literally. Almost half a year has flown by and I’ve barely uttered a word about my reading (outside of webcomics that is). Well, when I felt that first crisp breeze in the air, I knew it was time. The time to kind of… sort of… make an attempt at reading tbr piles again. However…

Currently I’m in a bit of a pickle because the majority of my books have been packed up due to planning to move. So right now I only have ebooks and audiobooks (which I don’t have many of either) are currently more available at my finger tips. It also means I’m prioritizing certain books over others as well. So for dipping my toes back into the tbr pool, I wanted to keep things… small.

Anyway, per usual, chaos is always coming from my finger tips or trailing in my wake. So I hope you don’t mind this small tbr. I’m actually really proud of myself and slowly crawling out of the reading burnout. I mean it, reading burnout is the worst and you should take care of yourselves if you think you’re starting to get it!


โžธ Horrid by Katrina Leno
Pub. Date: September 15th, 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Buddy Read with Destiny ๐Ÿ’œ

โžธ Darling by K. Ancrum
Pub. Date: June 22nd 2021 by Imprint

โžธ The Simple Wild (The Simple Wild #1) by K. A. Tucker
Pub. Date: August 7th 2018 by Atria Books


I know this was a really short list, but I really am trying to slowly ease my way back into reading. Trying to recover from reading burnout and life has been a real challenge. Though, I can honestly say I missed reading and I’ve missed reading like I used to. So it feels really nice to slowly be easing my way back intro things. And I have a few great titles selected for October, as well. I truly am hoping I can get these three titles read in this month though, but you know, if it overlaps into October… I’d be okay with it. ๐Ÿงก

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Misc.

Life Update | Where’s Malli?!

I feel like some explanation is long overdue. Where to begin, what to talk about first, what do I even say…

Greetings everyone! It has been a long, long, LONG minute since I’ve said anything about where I’ve been, what I’ve been doing, what’s happening, etc… First and foremost, I know I don’t owe an explanation on what’s been happening. In fact, I’m planning on keeping this post short and sweet, to the point. With that being said; yeah, I’ve been a bit of a ghost and kind of disappeared for a hot minute.

Life is messy and mine has spiraled a lot since 2020. Even now, my life has still been spiraling. From family things to medical things, all the way to planning to move in the near future. Life has been taking me on a wild ride that I haven’t had the time to hop off of to just… be, to just exist for a moment. In this time that I’ve been absent, I’ve been healing, rediscovering things that I love and did love (at one point in my life), and I’ve been been doing a lot of things that are better for me in the long run.

So you’re probably wondering what this means. Well, I’ve been asking that of myself since the last time we had one of these chats. I made a statement a couple months back that I’ve taken a step back from the book community. Which is true to some extent. Reading burnout is something that hit me really hard in the fall of last year. And if I’m being honest, I never fully recovered from that. To make a long story short, I read a book that really messed me up and it kind of shot my motivation to read to smithereens. Yeah, it was that bad. And in case you didn’t know, I’m a critical reader. I’m that person who goes into every book willing to read all the content/trigger warnings and make sure things are actually talked about and mentioned instead of them being covered up, letting people go into a book blind folded. Yeah, doing that is really mentally exhausting and taxing especially if a book overdoes it on the nitty gritty details. That stuff can mess you up real quick even if you take the necessary precautions to protect your mental health. So it’s been a struggle. I’d start a book then ‘dnf’ thirty pages in. It’s been a real struggle since the burnout happen.

Basically, I’ve been prioritizing books that are either buddy reads or I have some obligation to. Otherwise, most of my reading has been webcomics. Which, don’t knock the webcomics until you actually tried webcomics. Webtoons is a beautiful, glorious place of self-published authors. If you haven’t seen my post on ‘webcomics I’m loving right now’ then you should definitely check it out to get some recommendations. Technically, if I really wanted to, I could write a part two and part three to that article because I’ve been reading so many webcomics. So if that interests you, definitely let me know!

Anyway, this has gone a lot longer than I wanted it to be. But I did want to come say, I’m going to be attempting a September TBR and will be posting more details about that sometime in the next few days. This doesn’t mean I’m fully returning to the book community or anything like that. This just means I miss reading and I finally found some motivation to actually read some books, and potentially get some reviews posted for all of you. So I hope you’re excited because I’m a little excited to share what I have on my “TBR attempt” plate. It’s not much because a lot of my stuff has been packed up for house renovations and moving purposes, but I’m still excited!

Thank you all for continuing to support me, to love my content despite not being around as much, and I can’t wait to read some of the really awesome books I have planned! โ™ฅ

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Chronicles of a Spell Caster: Book One – Orientation by J.J. Singleton

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ARC was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release dateย (September 17th 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Bullying, isolation, injuries, & violence

Friends, it no secret that I’m a devourer of fantasy. So when I was approached to receive a copy of Chronicles of a Spell Caster I, how could I possibly refuse? What I will say, it’s been a hot minute since I touched a fantasy book; So it was nice to finally jump back in the saddle with a fantasy read by a self-published author. It felt really good to get consumed by curiosity and a good fantasy storyline once again. I did have some issues with a few things, but overall I really enjoyed my time reading this book.

Jet has just started freshman year at Welwerth University and things are anything but easy. If you thought freshman year OF college was stressful, try being a student who wields magical power. Jet and his fellow students are put to the test with intense entrance exams, some landing students in the infirmary, which will place them in classes and with scholarships that will secure their future. However, that’s not the only issue Jet faces. With uncontrollable power and family history laced with mystery, Jet is facing a tough freshman year. Did I mention that trying to make friends is a challenge? In revealing some of his abilities, Jet has made his freshman year ten times more difficult by making enemies and causing everyone to either fear him or want something from him. Needless to say, it should be a very interesting year ahead.

Let me start by saying I fell madly in love with the world building. Any fantasy reader who enjoys detailed world building, you’re going to really enjoy the world in this book. It’s unique in it’s own way. Gives a lot of vibes similar to the world building in HP series, the Percy Jackson series, and I would even say even some vibes of The Mortal Instruments series. However, it remains uniquely it’s own world with it’s own rules and magic system. The author put a lot of thought and effort into the way the world was built and doesn’t shy away from the details. Even when writing the main character, we get to see, experience, and learn about the world and the way the magic system works through Jet’s eyes. I also enjoyed the history of this world. It was very easy to get drawn in with that.

Shifting to the topic of the types of powers and abilities, I thought the author did a fantastic job being able to make them incredibly interesting and making the reader want to know more. When Jet starts talking about the Casters, those who are descendants of the ancients, I was hooked. I wanted to know more and it really motivated me to keep reading on. With that being said, every battle scene was packed with action. I always felt like I was hanging on by my seat during these scenes, wondering how the battle would conclude.

“If they are afraid of what magic can do, wait till next year. I will give them something to be afraid of.”

With all of these good things that a thoroughly enjoyed, there were a lot of things that made it hard to read this book at times. One of these things were the large amount of side characters to keep track of and who was who. There were a lot of times where certain characters didn’t stick out enough that I didn’t even remember meeting them. When compared to other characters like Kyle, Kyle will stand out more due to his bully nature and his attitude towards anything that threatens his position in university. There were times where the amount of characters we meet in such a short amount of time felt overwhelming and we got small pockets of information dumps about those characters.

My biggest issue would have to be the repetition of things. There were a lot of times where the repetitions of things bogged the pace of the story down. There were times it felt like there were pockets of information dumping. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes you need the details to understand certain things, but other times the extra details aren’t necessary. If there was more chopping and polishing, I think the pace wouldn’t have been impacted so much.

Overall, I truly enjoyed reading this book. The ending was probably one of my favorite parts of this book and I’m eager to see how things will unfold in the second book. I think this series has a lot of potential and I’m really excited to see it bloom. I would recommend this to any of my fellow fantasy lovers. And let me just say, reading this book on a stormy, rainy day is absolute perfection!

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

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5 Web Comics I’ve Been Loving Recently

Salutations friends! I know I haven’t been posting many reviews or reading a lot of major new releases lately. However, I wanted to share some of the amazing webcomics I’ve been obsessed with lately! These are just a few of the webcomics I’ve been falling in love with and no where near the actual number of webcomics I’ve fallen head-over-heels for. I hope you enjoy this quick little article and give these webcomics a chance!


โ„๏ธ Love Me Knot by Sophia โ„๏ธ


โ„๏ธ Your Smile is a Trap by AENGO โ„๏ธ


โ„๏ธ SEIS by Puik. โ„๏ธ


โ„๏ธ Waffle by WafflebyRei โ„๏ธ


โ„๏ธ Tea For Two by Tanya Tinks โ„๏ธ


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Red, White, and Whole by Rajani LaRocca

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FC was given by HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (February 2nd, 2021)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Racism, themes of displacement, terminally ill loved one (cancer), loss of a loved one, grief

Friends, this book put me in all the feels. As someone who walks the line of two worlds, the themes of this book had me quaking. And the fact that it’s told in verse was the cherry on top! Truly, this book is so beautifully written and there’s not a single doubt within me, this book will touch so many people. I feel truly honored that I could be given a final copy to read and share with all of you my love for this story!

Our story follows Reha, an Indian American, who loves K-Pop, dreams of becoming a doctor (despite being woozy at the sight of blood), and yearns to find a balance as she navigates the between her two worlds. One world where she’s the only Indian American student and the other, a world filled with her family and community’s culture. As Reha tries to navigate her teenage years, at terrible kind of news will cause Reha to face new challenges. Challenges she never expected to experience.

I can’t say it enough, I love the themes within this book and I think they’re tremendously important. One of the biggest themes about this book is the feeling of displacement and trying to find the place where you fit in. For me, this theme hit so close to home. As someone who grew up with their culture and having to learn my dialect from the beginning, but also growing up going to a regular public school and being the only half Native student, being white-passing, there was never a time where I didn’t feel like I was walking a line between those two worlds. So reading this book and how the main character struggles to find their place between both of those worlds, it really struck a cord with me. And I think that theme alone is going to make so many biracial readers feel seen. I find in literature it’s hard to find books that accurately represent what it means to be biracial and how big of a role displacement can play. Truly, the author did a wonderful job at bringing those feelings and thoughts to life with this book, and I really appreciated seeing everything come together they way they did.

“You belong to both, and they both belong to you. You will find your way in making those two streams one. You will write your own story, and it will be beautiful, because it is yours.”

The other major theme of this book is navigating life with a terminally ill loved one and more specifically, when the loved one is a parent. Not only does the author have a beautiful way with words, but the way the author brings Reha’s feelings and thoughts to life as she experiences this tragedy is so well written. The author doesn’t shy away from showing a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and actions. I think anyone who has had a terminally ill loved one or has had to face losing someone they care about will feel an instant connection with Reha. I couldn’t stop crying (for a plethora of reasons), but this really hit home. I think the author did a fantastic job at writing about this theme in a very respectful way and you can tell that the author was writing from a personal experience.

There’s so much that I fell in love with throughout this book and if you were it ask if there was anything I didn’t like, I’d say you’re being ludicrous. I loved the K-Pop references and how some of the titles were references to popular songs of the 80’s. Reha, our main character, was such a wonderful character to follow throughout this book. Her perspective was filled with layers of constant changing feelings and thoughts especially as she was navigating this time in her life. What I truly loved most was the author’s not at the end. I loved reading about the author’s experiences and how they were able to take those experiences, and bring them to life with this novel. Truly, I loved this book with my whole chest.

Overall, this was such a delightful book to read and I’m so glad I was sent a final copy! Thinking about this book even now, I still feel a deep stir of emotions this book left with me. I laugh and I cried, I cried so much, but I think this book will touch the hearts of many readers. And I think this book is going to leave a huge impact with an biracial reader. It left a huge imprint on my own heart and I have no doubt it won’t do the same for someone else. I’m happy to say that this is my first favorite book of 2021 and I think that Red, White, and Whole is going to make it onto a lot of ‘favorites’ this year.

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The Cat Proposed by Dento Hayane

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ARC was given by NetGalley and LOVE x LOVE in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (February 23rd, 2021)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Suicidal ideation and mentions of attempted suicide

“That day… I took a story by the hand.”

It’s very easy for me to fall in love with a manga and The Cat Proposed is no exception! I fell head over heels in love with the manga. Despite the dark themes of this book, I really enjoyed my time reading it. I really wish we would see more of this book or see it turned into a series. I’ve always loved the lore and mythology of the bakeneko of Japanese culture and knowing this manga exists, ugh, it filled my heart with so much warmth and excitement.

“We may be completely different, but I still want you.”

Our story follows Souta Matoi, a company worker, who’s contemplating suicide because nothing has changed, his life seems to be stuck in a terrible loop. Living the same routine day in and day out, overworked by his company, a deep exhaustion has set into his bones and he desperately wants to make a change. Then one fateful night Souta decides to change the routine by going to a kลdan storytelling. And that’s when his whole world begins to change. Starting with meeting Kihachi, the kลdan storyteller.

I really loved the way the author portrayed Souta and Kihachi. Though they seem like absolute polar opposites of one another, the chemistry between them is perfection. Souta is very timid and bashful, has a hard time expressing how they feel, declaring what they want. Whereas Kihachi is the opposite. Not only is Kahachi a bakeneko, but he’s very upfront about what he wants and direct with how things will work between one another. Also, they’re both sensitive beings who care very deeply for others. They’re both the type of people who puts everyone before their needs. And they just balance each other out so well. There’s some really hilarious side characters we get to meet as well. Yamabuki is absolutely hilarious and I enjoyed the little pokes of fun he has with Kihachi. Also, he’s a lover of stories like Kihachi is and somehow, between all their banter, you can tell they’re long-time friends!

“The light in the darkness is twinkling beautifully.”

If you haven’t guessed already, this manga involves Japanese mythology and folklore. Bakeneko appear a lot throughout Japanese history and culture. From works of literature and landmarks all the way to famous legends, bakeneko have played a role in Japan’s mythology and folklore. Most commonly found within the Endo period, but don’t quote me on that since there’s a chance they appeared during the Kamakura period with the nekomata, since they’re so similar. But I really loved how the author took that mythology and knowledge to weave their own tale. I think the author did a fantastic job of bringing to life the world of bakeneko and finding a way to encourage the reader to learn more about this mythology.

While I know it’s a dark turn of things, I want to take a moment to pause and appreciate the way the author wrote about suicide in this book. I think the author did really well at talking about what it means to be suicidal, to have suicidal thoughts, and to feel such a bone deep exhaustion that’s almost suffocating. And on top of that, I love how the author made sure to show how one person can save us from and how important little acts of kindness, endearment can truly make a difference. I thought it was beautifully and respectfully written.

Overall, I just really loved this manga. I truly wish the author would consider turning this into a series because I have no doubt that I would purchase the whole series for my manga collection. I loved it so, so much! I adored the characters, I really wanted to see more of the bakeneko community and their world. There’s so much untapped potential with this one book and honestly, I want more. I’m excited to see what this author will do next and I’m so glad I got to read an arc of this manga early.

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

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Misc.

Life Update | What Really Happened in 2020, Blog Changes Happening, & Have I Really Turned Into a Ghost?

It feels like almost yesterday when I made a life update, talking about things happening that are impacting my blog. And now I’ve kind of crawled out of the woodwork to bring another life update. So hello, salutations, I’m here to tell you, once again, the things happening and why it seems like my content has… staggered? become long-winded? kind of…stopped? Well, we have some things to talk about. So I hope you can bear with me as I try to talk about these sensitive topics happening in my life.

Just a content/trigger warning in advance, I’ll be talking about the pandemic, injured/ill loved ones, and loss of a loved one to suicide in this post.

So let’s start with the most obvious thing. I disappeared for a very long time. Almost two months? Three? I’ve lost count. Of course I’ve still posted reviews, but to me and I’m sure to all of you, my content seemed to be staggering. I always want to be clear about my intentions when I talk about things and I always want to be as honest, and as transparent as I can be with all of you. So this is me opening up the wounds and showing the things I’ve tried to keep behind closed doors, behind barb fencing, and tucked away so no one could see. I’ve mentioned a few times, but I never went into great details of what was happening. So let’s address what was really happening to me in 2020.

2020 impacted all of us in various ways. Some of those things were good, but for many, they were bad.

For myself, it came swift and torturous of those twelve months. I’ve lost friendships, seen friends being attacked for good intentions, I’ve felt isolated in a community I originally felt safe and loved in, I had someone breach past all my boundaries, I’ve been harassed and attacked by strangers for giving my honest opinion about the things I’ve read, and even had someone go as far as sending me threats on my social media platforms. And these are just the things that have happened to me within the book community.

All of those things combined, I took a break and even went to the extent of putting my social media on lockdown, deleting my Twitter, and plethora of other things to ensure my safety and security.

When everything started in 2020, I had family members, who have jobs in the medical field, get deployed to the front lines of everything happening. So, while I tried pouring my time and energy into all the content I was pouring out on my blog and other social media, in the back of my mind I had a lot of worry and dread seeping in. In the end, I was stretching myself so thin so I wouldn’t feel the claws of anxiety and fear. Which really took a toll on my physical health.

Then the fall of 2020 came and with that, it was like a bottle of whiskey being smash open over a glowing fire. The worst possible news ended up reaching me. A few of my elderly family members had ended up in the hospital due to severe medical hardships. It came down to crossing all my fingers and toes hoping they would pull through and make it through the holidays.

Then in November I received a call from my childhood best friend and if I’m being honest, it felt like a piece of me shattered when I got that phone call. He called to tell me that his older brother was in a coma and had been hospitalized. My friend and his family are like a second home to me. They have always been such wonderful, loving people and have done so much for me that I can’t even begin to explain because the list is so long. Since receiving that phone call, he hasn’t woken up and the news I get has been dwindling. And being honest, I’m terrified for the next piece of news I hear.

Flashing forward to 2021, it feels like I’ve been facing off with the devil and the grim reaper for months now. Honestly, I was really hopeful that 2021 was going to start off on a positive note. Boy, did my system ever get a shock. It’s literally a sequel and I’m still fighting the devil and grim reaper.

When the first week of January hit, despite everything, thing were pretty peaceful until the following week. The following week I received a call that one of my old friends had committed suicide. They were one of those people who always seemed happy or always tried to make the whole room light up, but their pain was that ‘quiet thunder’ kind. Getting that phone call hit like a ton of bricks and I haven’t really talked about it with anyone. In a way, this has become my ‘quiet thunder’. So I’ve been processing through the weight and grief of that loss.

And of more recently, I found out that one of my family members who works in the medical field had a breach of their suit and now has covid, and they’re not doing so good. Actually, it’s been really hard and it’s been a lot of waves of emotions, a lot to process. Actually, it’s been a really hard time processing everything. I’m really hoping they can pull through because they mean a lot to me and I can’t imagine my life without them in it.

So you’re probably asking a lot of questions right now, like… what does this mean for my blog? what about the content I put out? am I leaving the book community? am I turning into a ghost? First, I’m not going anywhere and neither is the book content I’m putting out.

Taking everything that has happened into consideration, I’m just taking a step back from the amount of content I was creating and how often I’m posting. Saying I’m long-winded at this point would be a giant understatement. Right now, I need to rest and do things that make me happy. And yes, reading does make me happy, but I’m also a critical reader and I do really extensive reviews on the books I read. Over time, that can wear a person’s mental state down and right now, I’m rolling critical fails on my sanity checks.

So have I really become a ghost? The short answer, yes. I’ve very much so a ghost right now. In fact, if you listen closely… You hear that little whisping in the air? That’s the sound of my soul escaping my body right now.

It pains me to say this (I mean, it really pains me to say this), but expect maybe one or two posts a week. I’m giving myself the slack that I need right now. And I don’t regret because I need to put myself first right now. I’m hoping one day I can get back to doing 4-5 posts a week, but right now, that’s just not in the cards.

I know this was a super long post and I know it was a lot of heavy topics, but for those who stuck through it till the end… Thank you so, so much. Truly, thank you so much for sticking by me, for loving me, for loving the content I create. It means the world to me and I’m so grateful to have you here. Thank you! ๐Ÿ’™

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Curvy Attraction: Aiden & Cecelia (Untouchable Curves #1) by Christa Wick

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Content/Trigger Warnings: Body shaming, fat phobia, mentions of adultry

Oh boy, friends, this just wasn’t the book for me. To be fair, this isn’t the worst romance book with plus-size representation I’ve read, but this definitely wasn’t the best either. I wanted so much more from this book. Hell, I expected a lot more from this book! Maybe that’s why I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. As a plus-size reader, there were moments where I was cringing, annoyed, or even getting second-hand embarrassment. After so many friends recommended this to me, saying how much fun they had reading it, I went into this books expecting a fun time, but that’s not what I got.

Our story follow Cece (Cecelia Harper), who’s on her way to her parent’s lake house, but when she starts having car troubles, Cece finds herself at the mercy of Aiden’s help. Aiden Perry is Cecelia’s father’s best friend and business partner. When Cecelia calls him up about his car troubles, how is he to deny helping out his best friend’s daughter. However, when these two come together, sparks seem to fly and secrets that have been kept hidden for years seem to surface. Will these two ever communicate their feelings or will they remain just friends?

Let’s chat about the things I really loved about this book. One of the biggest things I loved about this book was the sexual experience between the two main characters. Cece is still a virgin while Aiden has more experience with dating and bedroom experience. I really appreciate seeing those partner dynamics in books especially since we don’t often see that type of partner ship often. My second favorite thing about this book was the plus-size representation. As a plus-size reader, I find it harder to find books that have plus-size characters in them, let alone heroines who are plus-size. So that piece of information alone was enough for me to pick this book up.

However, despite these good things, this really wasn’t a fun time. I wanted a steamy, sexy, fun time and it felt like all the steamy times got overshadowed by everything else happening within this novella. For starters, despite that this is plus-size representation, the main heroine isn’t confident in her body, her curves, and even uses her fatness or “fattitude” as a reason to give attitude and make people do what she wants. I’m fine if a character has body issues or low self-esteem in the way they look (no matter what size, everyone feels like this at some point in their life). However, when it’s one of the main focuses of the main character and the whole character is centered around the size of their body, and that’s the reason why they do or don’t do certain things, despite being told they are loved and appreciated for who they are… I can’t. As a plus-size reader, that boils my blood. Give me a morally grey character who can be confident, but still have doubts in her body size. Give me a character who owns the curves of their body, but still questions if they’ll face rejection by the character they love. Give me anything else than what this novella did. Now that’s my two cents on the matter. I can’t speak for other plus-size readers because their opinions will be different. For me, this wasn’t the kind of plus-size representation I didn’t expect to see.

My second major issue with this book is how Aiden’s character handles every little thing. Aiden finds out Cece is a virgin, it comes as a huge shock and then later on he basically rejects her only tell her to go date around, build more experience, and only come back to him if she figures out what she wants (despite Cece telling him exactly what she wants). It’s very clear from the very beginning just how deep into his mind Aiden goes because there are key moments in this novella where he ignores what Cece says and tells her what was wrong about the whole situation or will do something that miscommunicates his intentions to Cecelia.

Speaking of miscommunication, that’s another huge issue throughout this book. Both, Cece and Aiden, are adults and despite them being adults, they handle things like they’re childish games. They don’t have good communication between one another and the author throws in unnecessary drama that forces them to finally communicate with one another near the end of the novella. I wasn’t a fan of this and there were a lot of moments because of miscommunication that I got second-hand embarrassment or cringed by the result.

Overall, this just wasn’t a fun time for me. I can understand why other readers may have enjoy this novella, but for me, this wasn’t it. It hurts even more to say that because this is a revised copy of this book and I can only imagine what this book was like before the revisions. Truly, I wish many things would have been handled better or done differently. However, this does make for a quick read and could be good for any readathons or achieving any reading goals one may have.

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20 Books I Want to Read in 2021

This post is inspired by my dear friend Robin’s ’20 Books I Want to Read in 2021′ post!


Salutations friends! I know it’s been a hot minute since we sat down like this and chatted. I know I’ve been a bit of a ghost and if I’m being honest, I wanted to get this posted so much sooner. However, life has been hectic and a lot has been impacting the content I’ve been putting out, but that’s for another time. We’re here to talk about books!

2021 has some really exciting titles coming out and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can read all the books I want to rad this year! Let me be honest, making this list was so hard because of all the titles coming out. However, these are just a few of the ones I want to read. I hope you enjoy! ๐Ÿ’•


โ„๏ธ Lore by Alexandra Bracken โ„๏ธ

I was incredibly lucky to acquire a sampler of this book and oh my gosh, my soul is screaming! It hasn’t been confirmed on if this is a Medusa retelling yet, but the few chapters that were provided, in addition to the cover, has me full of hope that this is a Medusa retelling. And I’m here for it! I love retellings, I love Greek mythology, and the release for this book is right around the corner. Seriously, I can’t wait to find out what will happen next!


โ„๏ธ When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards, #2) by Janella Angeles โ„๏ธ

I absolutely fell in love with Where Dreams Descend this year and even made it one of my favorite books of 2020 because I loved it so much. When Janella announced the cover for the second book, it stole my breath. I mean, look at that cover! It’s stunning! Most importantly, I need to know what’s going to happen next. The first book left off on a cliffhanger and honestly, I really want to see the main character get the happy ending that she deserves. I’m so excited for release, but the wait is killing me!


โ„๏ธ Go the Distance: A Twisted Tale (A Twisted Tale #11) by Jen Calonita โ„๏ธ

For those who don’t know or haven’t been here that long, I have a very strong love affair for Hades. I love Greek mythology in general, but Hades is definitely my all time favorite Greek god, next to Hera and Persephone. So naturally when I heard this book was coming out, a giant happy screech escaped my body. The synopsis of this sounds fantastic and let me just call it, this is going to be five stars and one of my favorite books of 2021!


โ„๏ธ Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers โ„๏ธ

Let me start by saying how excited I am to read this book! Not only did I smash buttons incredibly fast to add this to my anticipated 2021 release, but I preordered this so quickly, it would make heads spin. I love books that are queer and have found family elements in it. Those were probably the biggest selling points for me when it came to this book. Plus, this is a local author for me and that encouraged me even more to preorder this book! So I’m keeping my fingers crossed that in the future they’ll have a couple a indie bookstore signings I can attend.


โ„๏ธ Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley โ„๏ธ

There are a plethora of reasons why I can’t wait for this book to be released, so I can read it sooner rather than later. The biggest selling point for me was that fact that the main character is biracial and that hits me in the most sacred, most softest part of my core because I, myself, am biracial. I’m half Native and I’m half Caucasian. Growing up, there has never been a lot of books that featured main characters who were half Native. And so for me, the fact that this character is biracial was enough for me to preorder this book, follow the author, the very few reviews I’ve seen of this book all fuel my anticipation for this book’s release. So I’m really excited and haven’t shut up about this book to a lot of my family because I have no doubt that this book is going to mean so, so much to me.


โ„๏ธ A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas โ„๏ธ

The shortest answer I can give to this: I’m trash for Maas and will probably auto-buy anything she releases. I love this series and I love Nesta even more. I know, I know! I can hear it now, “How can you like Nesta?! She’s horrible!” Well, the simple answer to that: I connect and resonate with Nesta more than any other character (except the Suriel) on multiple levels. I can through her hissing and venom or how heavy the trauma weighs on her, how hard it is for her to find normalcy after all the trauma, and if I’m being honest, Nesta is a breath of fresh air compared to Feyre’s personality and how everyone sees Feyre, and I really appreciate that. So yeah, very excited for this to come out. I’m guessing this is a two-three day read!


โ„๏ธ Heartstopper Volume Four (Heartstopper #4) by Alice Oseman โ„๏ธ

I feel like I’ve been waiting a lifetime for this graphic novel to release. Truly, I can’t wait for this to come out so I can read it in one sitting. Rereading the past volumes hasn’t been enough because I’m ready for the next installment. I think these characters are absolutely precious, that the author addresses some really important topics throughout this series, and the diversity is really wonderful to see. Very excited and I hope fans of this series have their calendars marked!


โ„๏ธ The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab โ„๏ธ

I really, really wanted to read this book in 2020. So many of my friends were gushing about it, the trusted reviewers I follow were raving about it, and I caved tremendously. However, the odds weren’t in my favor and no matter how fast I was reading or trying to make room, I couldn’t find a way to fit this in. With 2021 right around the corner, I really want to try to read this book sometime in the new year. I’m going to make time for it, even if that means taking a whole week or month to read just this book.


โ„๏ธ Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas โ„๏ธ

This is another auto-buy author for me. I read Cemetery Boys this year and fell head over heels for. Truly, I love Aiden’s writing and the characters Aiden brings to life. When Aiden announced they were doing a Neverland/Peter Pan retelling, I was absolutely thrilled. I feel that Peter Pan is one of those retellings not many authors try, but I’m so excited that after all this time, we’re finally getting one. So of course, I will throw all my money at this book and will get this read, hopefully in 2021!


โ„๏ธ The Meet -Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson โ„๏ธ

I’m not going to lie, I absolutely fell in love with the synopsis of this book! It sounds like such a cute, fun read, and I’m here for it. Though I’ve been hearing mixed reviews, I’m still excited to pick it up and find out what’s hiding within these pages. Hoping I can read this around Valentine’s Day for the ultimate romance vibes!


โ„๏ธ The Sea in Winter by Christine Day โ„๏ธ

Okay, when I say this synopsis spoke to me, what I really mean is this synopsis took my soul and ran with it. This is a middle grade novel that I’m highly anticipating in 2021. It sounds like it’ll be an emotional read and you know I’m here for books that pull all the emotions from me. This book is also by an Indigenous author I’ve never read anything from. So I’m really excited to dive into this author’s writing and connect with a new middle grade read.


โ„๏ธ Shine Your Icy Crown (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale #2) by Amanda Lovelace โ„๏ธ

If you have been here a hot minute, then you know Amanda Lovelace is one of my favorite poetry writers. I absolutely love this author’s writing and it’s been incredibly easy to fall in love with her books. Earlier this year I read the first book, Break Your Glass Slippers, and now I’ve been given the chance to read the second book. I’m really excited to read this. I know I’m absolutely going to love this book as much as I did the first one.


โ„๏ธ Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston โ„๏ธ

This was one of my anticipated releases of 2020 and sadly, I didn’t get the chance to read it. However, I want to make sure I set time aside so I can read this book. Of course, when the word of this book hit my ears and friends told me this is possibly a Sleeping Beauty retelling, naturally I wanted to read it immediately. And if the retelling wasn’t going to sell me, the cover alone was an auto-buy and must read for me.


โ„๏ธ Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julia Kagawa โ„๏ธ

This is one of those books that I’ve been putting off for far too long! I wanted to get the read back in May for the Asian Readathon, but things didn’t pan out. Life was taking all kinds of twists and turns for me, and unfortunately my read took a huge hit during end of spring-early summer. However, I really want to try to get this read in 2021 so I can finally finish this trilogy and then gush about it to all of you.


โ„๏ธ Darling by K. Ancrum โ„๏ธ

K. Ancrum has become one of my all time favorite authors. Truly, Ancrum is a blessing and I don’t know what we did to deserve her, but I’m so thankful. I have officially read all of her books and when I heard she had a new one coming out in 2021, I was ecstatic! So I’m super excited for this to come out. I want to read it as soon as possible and I’m counting down the days time I can have this book in my hand!


โ„๏ธ Famine by Laura Thalassa โ„๏ธ

Breaks out the bottle of wine. Listen, I keep asking myself why I keep putting myself through this and I have two answers… One, I’m trying to be better about finishing series and two, the power the final book has over has been driving me to keep pushing through this series. Look, I really want to meet Death and see how their story will unfold in this series, and to do that I need to read the fourth book. So this is happening and it’s happening once I buy a bottle of wine to go with it.


โ„๏ธ Take A Hint Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2) by Talia Hibbert โ„๏ธ

Talia Hibbert knocked me out of the park with Get A Life Chloe Brown! I love that book so, so much! Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to sit down and read the second book in this trilogy. I’ve been hearing all the good things about this book and I’m really excited to continue on with the series. Dare I say, I’m hyped? Yeah, I’m really hyped for this book and I can’t wait to finally pick this book up!


โ„๏ธ Come Tumbling Down (Wayward Children, #5) by Seanan McGuire โ„๏ธ

This is such a wonderful series and I’m really excited to keep reading on. I know there’s a new book in the series coming out in January 2021. So I really want to read the next book in the series before I pick up the new release. Now, I’ve heard some mixed things about this book and if I’m being honest, that’s kind of why I haven’t picked it up yet. However, I really want to get it read in 2021 and hopefully it’ll be sooner rather than later.


โ„๏ธ Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar โ„๏ธ

Not only is this cover stunning, but the synopsis full captured my attention when it released. On top of that, everyone I know and trust has nothing but the highest praises for this book. And since I’m such a bigger lover of mythology, I’m ready to dive into this book. So I’m really hoping in 2021 I can pick this book up and find out what everyone has been buzzing about. Plus, I have a feeling I’m really going to love this book with my whole heart.


โ„๏ธ Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones โ„๏ธ

Stephen Graham Jones has become another favorite and auto-buy author for me. After I interviewed him, he’s truly a wonderful soul that has a fantastic way of storytelling. And after reading The Only Good Indians, I really enjoy the writing style that Stephen brings to his literature. I have been wanting to pick this book up, but horror hasn’t been the kindest genre lately. So I haven’t been picking up a lot of horror at all. However, I really want to try to pick this up in the fall of 2021 especially more towards spooky season. I have a feeling this book is going to be a fantastic read and I’m excited!


Whew, that was a really long list, but I’m so happy I made it. I wanted to do something like this for a while and I wasn’t sure if I was going to do it. However, I had a lot of fun and I hope you enjoyed it as well. If you have a book you really want to read in 2021, please tell me about it! I love putting new books on my radar to look into! Until next time, I hope you’re staying safe and healthy. I love you! ๐Ÿ’™

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Shine Your Icy Crown (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale, #2) by Amanda Lovelace

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ARC was given by NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (January 26th, 2021)

โœจ Break Your Glass Slippers

Content/Trigger Warnings: Child abuse, sexual assault, toxic relationships, eating disorders, mental illness, anxiety, depression, self-harm, suicide, trauma, bullying, sexism

“If I’m with you, it’s because I think you let in more stardust than storm clouds.”

Friends, I love Lovelace’s work and you all know how much I loved the Things That Haunt duology. However, I’m starting to notice a pattern with a lot of these duologies, these trilogies. I always end up loving the first and/or second book, but then the final book seems… lack luster, to say the least. Maybe this wasn’t the right time for this to come into my reading life or maybe it was from the lack of emotions this book didn’t stir. Whatever the reason, I just didn’t love this book the way I thought I would.

Starting with the positives, I’ve always loved the way the author writes. Out of all the modern poetry I read, Lovelace is the one I can connect with the most. I know a lot of readers struggle with this writing style especially since everything is lower case, but I find that it’s smooth read for my own experience. The other thing I really loved about this book was the artwork. The art in these books is always so beautiful and if I’m remembering correctly, Lovelace does all the art. There are these gorgeous forest and crystal panels in this book and they were probably a big highlight for me. And lastly, I couldn’t stop pulling quotes. I’m a lover for a good quote and I was able to pull some many from this book. So that made me really happy.

“Embody the heroine you needed when you were a child, but don’t forget to embody the heroine you need now, too.”

Despite the things I loved, there were a few things that just prevented me from loving this book. My first issue with this book was the lack of the theme. From the beginning this book states that this is going to be centered around sisters or sister relationships, and I just didn’t get that feeling from this book. It started off strong, but then that theme kind of disappeared for me. Tying in with that, there was this vibe of negatively charged vibes while reading this book. When I finished reading this book, I didn’t feel good at all. Most of the time when I read the books by this author, there’s a big shift from the negative to the positive, and that just wasn’t here in this book. The negativity seemed to dragged throughout the majority of the book for me. The other issue I had with this book was the repetitiveness. I haven’t seen many people talk about it, but for me there were sections that felt repetitive to the author’s past work. I was really hoping for something fresh, I was excited for the sibling theme (as I’m very partial to mine) and this just wasn’t it.

Overall, there were some things I loved and then other things I really didn’t like. I think the execution could have been done better and I wish the author would have focused on the actual theme just a little bit more. There’s also a big imbalance between the poetry and prose. There was a lot more prose than I was expecting. I’m hoping for future works we see the balance return. And I still recommend giving this book a chance. Even though this book didn’t work out well for me, it doesn’t mean that will be your experience.

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

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