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Halloween Song Book Tag

The Halloween Song Book Tag was created by Nicole at A Beautiful Chaos of Books in October 2019! You can also find her on her blog, A Beautiful Chaos!


Salutations Chapterlings! I’m back to do a wonderful and spooky book tag created by the lovely Nicole at A Beautiful Chaos! I’m so grateful for her tagging me in this spooky tag and I’m super excited for these questions, for all the eerie vibes! There are ten questions with ten matching songs for each question to put you in the mood for the spooky, ghosty, witchy season! It was a really fun time compiling this all together. Anyway, I’m ready, I hope you’re ready! Let’s get into the books!


🎃 Thriller: A book that was an absolute page turner

I think this is my billionth time talking about this manga series, but I’m going to do it…again! If you loved The Ancient Magus Bride series then you’re going to love The Girl from the Other Side! We follow two main characters who are trying to survive in a divided world by the Inside and the Outside. Together the main characters will fend off soldiers, black beasts, and slowly uncover a horrifying prophecy. This manga series is a slow burn of plot development and incredible character development, full of moments that will have you holding your breath.


🎃 Somebody’s Watching Me: A book that gave you the serious creeps

This book threw me for a loop, a really hard and messed up loop. Ultimately, I had to make a decision that was best for my mental health and I ‘dnf’ this book. This book is about a main character who stalks her ex-boyfriend. She stalks him so much that she can easily break into his home and her career even puts them together on the same location. So the reason why I ‘dnf’ this book was due to the fact that a lot of the main character’s actions were from my own experiences from an ex of mine who used to stalk me. So… We don’t know this book, never touching this book again.


🎃 Vampire: A book you hated so much it was soul sucking (i.e. incredibly tedious to get through)

The Book of Speculation was the most mind numbing book I ever tried to read. This will be mentioned later, but historical fiction is one of my worst book genres. I don’t dabble in it that often and this book was a perfect example of why historical books and I just don’t mix well. This book is about a young librarian who receives a book from an antiquarian one day and it turns out the book used to belong to the main character’s grandmother. The main character suddenly find himself immersed in family secrets and must decode his family history before death deals a cold blow. While this book sounds really interesting, it was painfully slow and it took forever for anything to happen. If you’re a fan of historical reads, you’re probably going to love this book, but if you’re someone who can’t get into history no matter how hard you try, this is not the book for you.


🎃 I Put a Spell on You: A book featuring witchcraft or magic

The Bone Witch is an excellent example of a really amazing witch book! I say that because one of the key things about this book is necromancy. And I’m all about books with necromancy! Tea accidentally resurrects her brother from the dead, she quickly learns just how different she is from all the other witches in her family. With the gift of necromancy, Tea learns she’s a bone witch and begins to learn from an older, wiser bone witch how to have control of her powers to become an asha. But dark forces are quickly approaching and soon Tea will have to overcome her obstacles and make a powerful choice.


🎃 This Halloween: Your favorite treat/snack to eat while reading

I have so many snacks that I like to eat while I read, but Annie’s bunny grahams are definitely one of my most recent favorites to munch on!


🎃 Time Warp: “Let’s do the Time Warp again” What book/books do you like to return to at this time of year?

This is such an underrated book! The Halloween Tree is my all time favorite book to read this time of year and I always love watching the movie right after! I can’t recommend this book enough! When Pipkin is swept away into the darkness by Mr. Moundshroud, Pipkin’s friends will stop at nothing to get their friend back. Suddenly, the boys find themselves being dragged through space and time learning the meaning of Halloween from various places all over the world.


🎃 Hungry like the Wolf: A book you loved so much, you devoured

Hahaha…yeah, I really loved this series. I bought all four books and read them all in five days. I love the ACOTAR series and yes, I realize there are problematic issues in this series, but for my own experience, I acknowledge that and I did had an amazing time reading this series. I will stand on this hill for eternity. If you’re not aware of this series, this series is about a girl who ends up killing a fae disguised as a wolf and suddenly she’s whisked away into the land of the fae to break a horrible curse. That’s all you need to know and that’s all I’m going to say except go read it!


🎃 The Adams Family: A book featuring a dysfunctional family

If you thought I wasn’t going to mention the Weasley family then you thought wrong! The Harry Potter series was such an important part of my reading development over the years and so I had to mentioned it!


🎃 Scary Monsters (and super creeps): A book genre that you are scared or intimidated to pick up

Historical fiction. Always. I don’t have the best track record with historical fiction and only a few books have actually surpassed my expectation, but for the majority of the time, it doesn’t work for me. Science Fiction is another genre that I struggle with immensely. As with historical fiction, only a few books of science fiction has surpassed my expectations. I’m hoping in the future to spread my wings a little bit with these two genres, but slowly, oh so slowly.


🎃 The Twilight Zone: A book with a completely different and unique premise

Fables is an incredible series! I recommend this series to everyone who wants to get into graphic novels. Also, if you have played The Wolf Among Us, that video game is based off of this graphic novel series so I definitely recommend looking into it. Fables is about all the different fairy tales from Beauty and the Beast to The Jungle Book to The Three Little Pigs all escaping their fantasy worlds from the war and darkness rising. Now all these modern fairy tales are living in the modern world, but a darkness is slowly and taking the lives of the Fables! This series is very dark and there are a lot of content/trigger warnings like graphic violence and death, assault, graphic wounds/injuries, grief, rape, and much more! So if you decide to get into this series then please be in the right head space.


Okay, friends! Those are all my answers to these questions. Now it’s YOUR turn! I tag you dear reader to participate in this chilling tag! Below will be all the questions you need for this tag and I can’t wait to see everyone’s answers! Until next time; may October be full of thrills and chills, I love you! ❤️

The Questions:

🎃 1. Thriller: A book that was an absolute page turner

🎃 2. Somebody’s watching me: A book that gave you the serious creeps

🎃 3. Vampire: A book you hated so much it was soul sucking i.e incredibly tedious to get through

🎃 4.I put a spell on you: A book featuring witchcraft or magic

🎃 5. This Halloween: Your favourite treat/ snack to eat while reading

🎃 6. Time warp: “Let’s do the time warp again” What book/ or books do you like to return to at this time of year?

🎃 7. Hungry like the wolf: A book you loved so much, you devoured

🎃 8. The Adams Family: A book featuring a dysfunctional family

🎃 9. Scary monsters (and super creeps): A book genre that you are scared or intimidated to pick up

🎃 10. the twilight zone: A book with a completely different and unique premise

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The Sunshine Blogger Award

Salutations Chapterlings! My heart is so full of warm fuzzy feelings! The wonderful and lovely Emer has tagged me in yet another award! I’m so grateful. This is my first time ever receiving this award and I’m feeling a little soft and sappy at the moment! I’m so grateful and Emer is such an amazing person. We had some really good talks and she posts really great content. So please make sure you go check Emer out on her blog and give her a follow!

🌻 What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given to those who are creative, positive and inspiring while spreading sunshine to the blogging community.

🌻 How does it work?

🌻 Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog.

🌻 Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.

🌻 Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.

🌻 List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or on your blog.

🌻 Questions set by Emer

🌻 Do you own more than one copy of any book? If yes then what book/s?

Capturing the Devil because I love Kerri Maniscalco’s work!

🌻 Describe your perfect day.

🌻 What attracts you to a book? The cover? Blurb? Recommendation from others?

A lot of things. The synopsis, the author, the cover, the reviews, and recommendations.

🌻 You are having a dinner party and can invite three famous people (either living or dead) to the party. Who do you invite?

Jeff Goldblum, Tim Curry, and Dwayne The Rock Johnson

🌻 Who is your favourite superhero?

Hawkgirl, in my opinion, one of the most underrated female superheroes from D.C. Comics!

🌻 Which would you prefer to win: an Oscar or a Grammy?

Probably the Oscar since I have more interest in films than television shows.

🌻 What is the first book that you ever wrote a review for?

I wouldn’t call it a review, but the very first book I ever “reviewed” was Inkheart by Cornelia Funke was back when I had to give a full detailed review for my fifth grade class.

🌻 Coca Cola or Pepsi?

🌻 Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I love when I’m asked this question!

🌻 What is your all time favourite quote from a book you loved?

“So, I guess we are who we are for a lot of reasons. And maybe we’ll never know most of them. But even if we don’t have the power to choose where we come from, we can still choose where we go from there. We can still do things. And we can try to feel okay about them.”

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

🌻 What’s the last book you bought (eBook, audiobook or physical book)?

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell


That wraps everything up, all of Emer’s questions!

Once again, thank you so much Emer for the tag and the award! Words can’t express how much it truly means to me! ❤️


Next, I’m going to tag some of the remarkable blogs to receive this award:

🌻 Kayla

🌻 Amy

🌻 Donna

🌻 May

🌻 Kat

🌻 Marie

🌻 Julith

🌻 Emer (because you deserve it!)

It’s okay if tags and awards aren’t your thing. No one should feel obligated to do this tag unless they want to.

🌻 My eleven questions for those tagged!

🌻 What is your least favorite book of 2019 so far?

🌻 What are the top three books you’re head over heels for?

🌻 What is your favorite drink to have by your side while you read?

🌻 What was one book you were obsessed with in middle school?

🌻 Do you annotate your books?

🌻 Halloween is coming up, what fictional character are you dressing up as and why?

🌻 If you had to pick one book to be your top favorite book for 2019, what book would it be and why?

🌻 If you could go on a vacation right now, where would you go and why?

🌻 What are some of your favorite ways of giving yourself self-care?

🌻 If you could be a tea dragon, what kind of tea dragon would you be and why?

🌻 Who are your top five fictional crushes?


Okay, friends! That covers all of the questions and I can’t thank Emer enough for the love and support she gives! She is a wonderful blogger and I highly recommend checking her blog out! And in case I missed tagging anyone, I tag you dear reader! You deserve The Sunshine Blogger award too! So until next time Chapterlings, keep on reading, I love you! ❤️

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War by Laura Thalassa

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🌻 Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1) – ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Content/Trigger Warnings: Trauma/PTSD, war themes, graphic violence, death, loss of a loved one, grief, decapitation, talk of rape/attempted rape, sexual assault, assault, animal cruelty/death of animals, loss/death of a child, and much more!

“Miriam Elmahdy’s Guide to Staying the Fuck Alive: (1) Bend the rules—but don’t break them. (2) Stick to the truth. (3) Avoid notice. (4) Listen to your instincts. (5) Be brave.”

They came to earth—Pestilence, War, Famine, Death—four horsemen riding their screaming steeds, racing to the corners of the world. Four horsemen with the power to destroy all of humanity. They came to earth, and they came to end us all.

Miriam Elmahdy has suffered enough tragedy, enough trauma in her life. Each day is a game of survival and scavenging for anything that is bound to help keep her safe. It also helps to have five rules to make sure you stay safe and make it through the day. Until War descend upon her village and suddenly she becomes his main target. Now she’s thrown into a strange whirlwind of life at War’s camp and he’s suddenly claiming she’s his wife. Now thrown into a new game of survival, how will Miriam pull through all of this blood shed? And more importantly, can War find peace and will love prevail from all the bones and ruin?

Dearest reader, I truly thought I was going to fall in love with this book. It’s with a heavy heart that I have to say I have never been more disappointed, more horrified, more furious than I have with any other romance book. Between my dearest friend (who buddy read this book with me) and myself, I definitely appreciate and liked this book more than her. However, my heart is so heavy because I truly wanted to love this book more than Pestilence.

“Oh man, step one is some asshole claiming you’re his wife, and step two, shit suddenly gets real.”

Year 13 of the Horsemen. After Pestilence fell at the hands of love, War has descended upon the Earth and is here to deliver judgment. His course is set of Jerusalem, New Palestine and that’s where he encounters Miriam. Miriam has lost everyone and everything she cares most about. Now on the day she decides to go out to scavenge for materials and parts, she will face a bigger challenge than she’s ever has to before. Facing off with War, Miriam quickly realizes she’s in over her head and now she’s been taken prisoner. Before long, War is claiming she is his wife and is desperately trying to court her. Only Miriam is having none of that. Miriam does anything she can to say the lives of innocence, but she’s just one person trying to stop the chaos War delivers to mankind.

Once again, it was incredibly easy to fall in love with War. I stated this in Pestilence, but I will stated it again here. If you go into this book knowing who War is, what his purpose is, and know that he has only ever experienced the worst desires of humankind’s hearts then you’ll have no trouble at all falling in love with War. He’s a tall, rippling muscular, olive skinned man with dark hair and wears dark eyeliner. What more could you want?! Oh yeah, he also has the power to raise the dead and I’m living for the necromancy! What I loved most about War was he had never truly experienced the kindness and love of humankind before. He had never witnessed someone who would defy all odds to save others over themselves nor has he ever experienced the softness a human heart can hold. He has only ever found hate and evil intentions in the hearts of the majority of humankind. However, in this book we see War learn about the softness of a human heart, experience love, grow a conscience, and learn what it means to lose something you hold dear to your heart. I really loved his character development and I thought he was a well developed part of this book.

I briefly mentioned necromancy and I have to take a pause to elaborate on why I loved this element so much! One, necromancy is such an underrated power, in my opinion. It’s not often shown in books and I have a little appreciation of necromancy because it’s one of my spouse’s favorite powers. And secondly, I went into this book expecting everything that comes with war. I knew there was going to be graphic content, there would be death and loss, and I knew there was going to be a lot happening. What I wasn’t expecting was necromancy and how the power of necromancy comes into play in this book! I loved that twist and is was one of the most pleasant surprises I encountered in this book.

Also, as a little side tangent, this is a little appreciation that we get some information on Pestilence in this book as well as another cameo of my favorite boy, Thanatos (otherwise known as the horseman, Death). All the blessings and if you can’t picture Thanatos being a sassy, no nonsense kind of guy then I don’t know what you’re doing!

“No,” I say, my eyes meeting his in the near-darkness. “Not love itself.” Everything I’ve ever loved I’ve lost. There’s no beauty in that. “It’s the power of love that I find beautiful.” It can change so many things—For better, or worse.”

Even with a lot of the good and world development this book, I still had issues with this book. In fact, I had a lot more issues with this book than I did with Pestilence. And please, even though I stated the content and trigger warnings at the beginning of this review, please use caution with this book. There is a lot of graphic content and a lot of scenes that had affected my mental health while reading this book. So please make sure you practice self-care before, during, and after reading this and be in the right head space.

The first thing I feel like I have to address is the animal cruelty/death of animals. While I won’t go into too much detail, there is a lot of talk and descriptions of aviaries being set on fire, birds being harmed, and other depictions. As someone who loves birds, is very sentimental about birds, does bird watching, and really appreciates birds and what they stand for, this was content that I didn’t want to read about. I got really emotional, I cried a few times, I had immense anxiety reading about these parts, and it was soul shattering. I never want to read this kind of content ever again.

Now that we’ve cleared that out of the way, Miriam became my first true issue with this book. Before you break out pitch forks and torches, let me explain why she became a problem character. For the first half of this book, I never really had an issue with her actions or how she was treating certain situations. Until the three-quarter mark of this book, The minute she stole Deimos, I knew the way I was going to view Miriam was going to change. Then shortly after that moment, Miriam decided to take War’s own sword and try to kill him, with his own weapon, while he was sleeping, unarmed. That was the moment I started reevaluating my view of Miriam and everything thing she had done up to this point. I say this all the time, but I will say it again; I will never, ever support characters who try to do harm to another character who is unarmed or they’re not in a situation that is life threatening. This scene was completely unacceptable and honestly, I wish Miriam’s “punishment” had been more extreme. And I say that due to the fact that War has literally done everything for Miriam. From coming to her rescue, to sparing her life multiple times, to giving her the aviaries, all the way to preventing her from dying; Miriam took all of it for granted. She used sex as a weapon to have pull and sway over War, she used love itself as a weapon to make War go against his purpose/very nature and took it away from him as a form of punishment if he didn’t do as she asked, she undermined War and his men every chance she got, she disobeyed War when he was trying to protect her from getting hurt, and there were plenty more moments than that throughout this entire book. The entire three-quarters of this book is literally Miriam doing all of this or complaining how she shouldn’t care about a horseman of the apocalypse. It was a lot to push through.

My second biggest issue of this book was the length of the book itself. As I mentioned, three-quarters was mostly the same thing happening over and over again. Miriam doing anything and everything to undermine War. However, that’s not the only issue. It takes half of the book before we even see any intimate, sexual action between War and the main heroine. There wasn’t even any sexual tension built that would encourage the reader to continue reading. You could tell there was sexual tension between the main characters, but for the first half of this book it was block after block of nothing happening. Also, the first three-quarters of this mostly camp life or War and his men rushing off to destroy another city. It become really repetitive and aside from isolated incidents that happen in certain locations, it’s the same pattern of camp life, destroy a city, camp life, travel to the next city. It’s very repetitive. We don’t actually see a distinct change in everything until a little bit past the three-quarter mark which introduces a whole new issue.

My last and final issue I had with this book is a spoiler so I will keep this as spoiler free as possible. This issue basically consists of a trope that immensely bothers me especially when it’s thrown into the end of a book. More specifically, it felt like this trope was thrown near the end of the book to help push the story forward and help the wrap up of this book. I honestly felt like this could have been thrown in sooner which could have helped with the length of this book, but it wasn’t and it was really hard to try and push through it. Even more so due to the scene that is very triggering and I will state this now for anyone who it might trigger or effect, that triggering scene consists the death/loss of a child. So beware of that! I’m very thankful I was warned about that scene because even though I knew about it going in, it made me sick to my stomach and it was incredibly hard to finish the end of this book because of that scene. I never want to read that kind of situation again. Ever.

“Loss is a wound that never heals. Never never never. It scabs over, and for a time you can almost forget it’s there, but then something—a smell, a sound, a memory—will split that wound right open, and you’ll be reminded again that you’re not whole. That you’ll never fully be whole again.”

Overall, I did enjoy this book to a certain extent and this was the hardest three stars I ever gave. I truly wanted to love this book more than the first book in this series. However, there was a lot of content that became very problematic for me and sadly, this didn’t even uphold the four stars that I wanted to give. And in all honesty, I’m not sure if I want to finish this series because of the sour taste this book left in my mouth. I really want to read the next two books especially because Death is so far my favorite out of all the horsemen, but I’m really unsure at the moment. If you do find yourself getting into this series, definitely be aware of all the content and trigger warnings, and please, be in the right head space while reading these books.

Buddy read with Kayla from Books and Blends | Her Review ❤️

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Wrap Ups

September 2019 Wrap Up

Salutations Chapterlings! Holy cow, it has been a crazy and wild ride! September has left me breathless and scrambling to catch up with everything! The fatigue has been hitting hard and things in my personal life have been keeping me on my toes. However, I’m finally back and finally posting my September 2019 Wrap Up! I know this wrap up is coming in super late, but I promise, September was a really good reading month.

So I mentioned that September was a wild ride and I’m basically picking up everything where I left off. I always want to be open and honest as I can with all of you, so here’s a bit of a breakdown of the month of September. For starters, I had a few buddy reads in the month of September. Both of them were wonderful and amazing! Both of those buddy reads were shared with two amazing people, Kayla at Books and Blends and Donna from Moms Book Collection. I’m so grateful that both of these ladies wanted to do buddy reads with me and it truly meant the whole world. Then things got crazy and I ended up participating in The Contemporary-a-Thon| Round Five for the very first time, ever! That whole week was intense binge reading, full of anxiety and panic, and honestly, some of the weirdest reading mood swings I ever experienced! After everything was said and done, I was over the moon with feeling accomplished and completely grateful for finishing so many books. I truly had a fantastic time! Then on the very last day of September, I completely crashed and severe fatigue hit in full force. My mental health was in a really bad place, I was barely eating, and I wasn’t doing too good (to put things mildly).

Now we’re in second week of October and I have officially recovered or should I say that I’m about 95% better than what I was. There’s still a lot of lingering fatigue, but I have enough energy to finally get caught up on everything and start getting things posted. So welcome to my crazy, wild ride of a September wrap up! I was able to read so many wonderful books during the month of September and I hope some of the books I have listed will find their way onto your TBR! But enough talk, enjoy this wrap up and I hope you enjoy the reviews I’ve written for these books!


🌻 First Half of September 🌻

🌻 The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil, A Run Vol. 7 by NAGABE | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Pestilence (The Four Horsemen, #1) by Laura Thalassa | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Every Heart A Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 To Drink Coffee with a Ghost (Things that Haunt, #2) by Amanda Lovelace | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Sadie by Courtney Summers | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 The Okay Witch by Emma Steinkellner | ⭐⭐⭐⭐


🌻 Contemporary-A-Thon Reads 🌻

🌻 The Tea Dragon Festival (Tea Dragon #2) by Katie O’Neill | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Song for a Whale by Lynne Kelly | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 The Hating Game by Sally Thorne | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
🌻 Fence Vol. 3 (Fence #3) by CS. Pacat & Johanna the Mad | ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐


Okay, friends! Those are all the incredible books I read for the month of September! Honestly, I’m surprised I read so many four star and five star reads. It was completely unexpected, but I’m truly happy that I had an excellent month of reading. But please feel free to tell me in the comments what some of your favorite reads of September were and if you participated in the fifth round of Contemporary-a-thon! That about wraps things up! Until next time Chapterlings, may October bring you spooky vibes and cozy weather, I love you! ❤️

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The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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“I love him so much it’s like a thread piercing me. Punching holes. Dragging through. Stitching love into me. I’ll never be able to untangle myself from this feeling. The color of love is surely this robin’s-egg blue.”

Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome.
2) A person’s undoing
3) Joshua Templeman

Lucy is favored by everyone at Bexley & Gamin. She’s sweet, charming, and accommodating to everyone. Well…almost everyone. Joshua Templeman is feared and hated by everyone at Bexley & Gamin especially by Lucy Hutton. Lucy and Josh go at each other like cats and dogs until things begin to change between them. When there’s a big promotion put up for grabs between Lucy and Josh, the tension reaches a climax. Suddenly, hate seems to slowly be burning into like and Lucy isn’t too sure what to make of it.

Yes friends, I finally read The Hating Game! It seems like everyone and their mother has already read this book and I’m now catching up. But I’m so thankful that I finally did pick this book up because I’m head over heels in love with this story! Holy cow, I wish someone would have convinced me to pick this book up sooner rather than later. This is going to be a romance I’m thinking about months down the road. This book it truly that fantastic!

“Books were, and always would be, something a little magic and something to respect.”

Did I mention this book takes place in the heart of a publishing company? Well, it does! What book dragon doesn’t love a good setting where books are made and published? Actually, Bexley & Gamin is a merger between two major publishing companies that came together to prevent themselves from going out of business during hard times.

🌻 Lucy Hutton – Executive assistant to Helene Pascal, the original CEO of Gamin.
🌻 Josh Templeman – Executive assistant to Mr. Bexley, the original CEO of Bexley.

Our two main characters, Lucy and Josh, both work for the two CEOs or should I say co-CEOs of the two companies. They also happen to share a cubical right outside of the offices of their CEOs. Not only are their bosses constantly competing with one another, but there’s a high tension of competition that resides between Josh and Lucy. Constantly trying to be the fastest or trying to assert their dominance in any way they can. But the best part is throughout their day, they play these little games that challenge each other. They go back and forth insulting each other, trying to one-up the other. While they may constantly say how much they hate each other, everyone else seems to have a different idea.

However, everything begins to change when their bosses announce a big promotion and one of them has a pretty good chance at achieving it. During this time, a lot of things slowly come to light. Games ensure, highly intimate moments, and out of all of it; the two of them start to really think about all the years they’ve been together, all the work they’ve done and how much is truly enough, and their true emotions beginning to come to light. That maybe, just maybe, there was never really any hate between the two of them in the first place.

But their dynamic is absolutely fantastic! Half the time I was reading about their banter, I was choking on a drink. They way they go at each other reminds me a lot of the way my spouse and I bicker and banter with one another. It’s so funny and there’s a light energy to the book as a whole. Josh is so witty and snarky and Lucy is so sassy and she has no problem with speaking her mind. Honestly, I loved it and Lucy reminds me so much of myself.

““Truth or Dare,” he says. He always knows the exact right thing to say.
“Dare.”
“Coward. Okay, I dare you to eat the entire jar of hot mustard I have in my fridge.”
“I was hoping for a sexy dare.”
“I’ll get you a spoon.”
“Truth.””

I really loved Lucy. While I like Josh and he has his own perks, I felt completely connected to Lucy. She’s short, works extremely hard at her job, comes from a family who never had a lot of money, and she’s very caring about those around her. When Lucy threw herself in front of a certain teammate during the paintball scene, the entire time I was thinking “Oh my god, this is me. I would do this and then I would regret it the next day.” There’s also the part where she stands up for Josh and I was instantly reminded of myself because I stand up constantly for my family and friends. It was like I was reading a book about my mirror twin. There were so many moments spot on and I just truly loved Lucy. I could write a list, but I think you can see, I truly adored her character.

Josh on the other hand was a fantastic romantic lead for Lucy. His personality really balanced out Lucy and I really loved that. What stood out to me the most was the confidence Josh radiated in this book, but later on we learned that he has a lot of insecurities and body issues. I loved that we got a flipped script and we finally received a male character who shows those vulnerable sides to the person they care most about. It was absolutely heart warming. And he also said and did a lot of amazing things. I mean, that elevator scene. I’m still swooning and fanning myself!

While I really loved a lot of moments and parts of this book, I can understand why some readers may not like it as much. There’s a wedding date scene and that whole entire scene becomes very obvious and predictable. A lot through that part I felt a lot of high levels of anxiety because as the reader we can see the direction it’s heading, even though Lucy was unaware and everyone else was acting completely ignorant about the whole thing. I wish the matter had been addressed sooner because I think it’ll cause a lot of readers unnecessary anxiety.

The other thing I think a lot of readers will have issues with is Lucy constantly having issues with taller people and the book having a lot of emphasis on Lucy’s height. Now, I think the height emphasis was a little unnecessary, I can understand why Lucy would have issues with taller partners. I’m 4’11 and my spouse is 6’6 so we have a big height difference going on so I can understand the weariness. And to be honest, I’ve had my fair share of concerns with taller partners in the past and most of those issues have to do with a lot of “man-handling”. While I don’t want to get into details about that, I do understand Lucy and a bit of her panic when it comes to the idea of a taller partner. I definitely think this will be an issue for some readers just because of all the emphasis that gets placed on height and size. So that will definitely be something to be aware of.

“All I want to do is kiss you until I fall asleep. I want to slide in between your sheets, and find out what goes on inside your head, and underneath your clothes. I want to make a fool of myself over you.”

Overall, I definitely enjoyed this book. I think it might actually be one of my favorite reads of the year so far. The only true complaint I have is the cover feels underwhelming and I definitely would have liked a little more spice. But every ounce of hype you’ve heard about this book is true. I didn’t know if I was going to love this book going into it and I’m so happy that I fell in love with it! It was heartwarming, hilarious, and just something I desperately needed to read. What a captivating story, I’m completely hooked for Sally Thorne now!

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Uncategorized

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

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Content/Trigger Warnings: Talk of homelessness, starvation, grief

“And right then I knew, the way you know that it’s going to rain long before the first drop splatters on your nose, that something was about to change.”

Things couldn’t be more dark and difficult. Jackson and his family has fallen into some hard times. And each inching second seems like their family is one step away from living in the family car. Again. Then Crenshaw starts reappearing, again. He’s large, outspoken, and he’s Jackson’s imaginary friend. He’s back and this time he’s here to help save Jackson and his family from losing everything.

Friends, I have one again fallen into an emotional hole of books that hit close to home. In read this book back in October 2018 and I decided to pick this book back up again this fall as well. There couldn’t have been a more perfect time to read this book! I’m going to be honest, I’m about to get sappy, emotional, and I’m going to get personal. Crenshaw is the book I needed as a child, but is the book I longed for as an adult.

Jackson is a no-nonsense kind of kid. He believes in science and he prefers the facts over stories. He’s determined to grow up to be the best animal scientist he can be. Oh yeah, and he has an imaginary friend who just so happens to be a giant cat. Crenshaw is outspoken, appears at the most random moments, and adores Jackson. Only Jackson doesn’t want Crenshaw around. He wants Crenshaw to disappear so he can deal with much bigger issues. However, Crenshaw is here to help and he’s going to help Jackson whether he wants it or not.

“Imaginary friends are like books. We’re created, we’re enjoyed, we’re dog-eared and creased, and then we’re tucked away until we’re needed again.”

I love this book with my whole heart and soul. Applegate does a beautiful job of weaving together a story that address really important topics that hit close to home. One of those topics is how parents handle life changing, hard situations when their kids are involved. In Crenshaw, Jackson’s family falls on incredibly hard times. The money is all gone, the rent bills are piling up, there’s no food in the apartment, they’re selling off a lot of their things, the parents are fighting a lot, and Jackson’s parents keep putting up a happy front to make things seem fine. You can really see how the happy front really affects Jackson and his sister in this book. While Jackson’s sister it’s fully aware due to her age, Jackson is old enough to put all the clues together and knows that things are changing, history repeating itself. I loved that. I love that we get to see things from a child’s perspective and truly see children are very much aware of the things going on in their surroundings. To truly see that they really just want the truth from their parents. What had me breaking at the seams was the fact that this middle-grade book addresses homelessness and hunger. It’s not often talked about in books, let alone middle-grade books, but every second broke my heart. Looking at the way Jackson handles a lot of the situations that pop up in this book, I couldn’t find a more better character who mirrors my own. And I think Crenshaw does a marvelous job of accurately showing what so many children go through out there when it comes to families struggling financially or going through homelessness.

For me, personally, Jackson is so easy for me to relate to. Growing up, while my family never ended up homeless, we had a lot of financial struggles. There were times where we would go a week or two without food or we would go a whole month just eating ramen before we could actually have groceries in our house. I was also in a same position like Jackson when he was constantly seeing his parents fight from a distance. It’s not often talked about, but at such young ages children are very perceptive and can figure things out without too much details. It’s not hard to see things from a distance and notice just how bad things are becoming. Schooling wise, Jackson wasn’t really able to participate in things he had a deep interest in like soccer camp for example. Even though he said it was fine he was deeply conflicted and upset about the whole thing. From my own experiences, when you’re growing up in a situation where there’s financial struggles, there’s hardly any food on the table, you constantly sacrifice things you want to do at school or even sell off your own items so you can help your family, you convince yourself that things are fine or they’ll get better, but there’s a lot of internal damage that comes with all of that. However, convincing and believing are two different things when you’re a child. As you read in this book, you see at what lengths Jackson reaches because he’s spent most of his childhood convincing himself he’s fine with everything . He reaches a point where he is splitting himself in two with what he’s trying to convince himself and what he truly believes and feels. It’s absolutely heartbreaking and really hits in the gut. His story is so strong that you can’t help, but getting emotional just like he does.

Then we have Crenshaw himself. We find out that Jackson doesn’t really have a lot of friends. In fact his social circle just consists of one girl named Marisol. Other than that his other friend is one black, giant cat named Crenshaw. Crenshaw is basically Jackson’s helper of coming to terms with his true feelings about his situation and convinces Jackson to just speak his mind. “Tell the truth; it will set you free.” As you read you come to terms that Crenshaw isn’t any imaginary friend, but he’s like a guide for Jackson. The best term I can think of, Crenshaw is like a lighthouse in the eye of a bad storm and Jackson is a boat who needs to get to shore. Crenshaw may be an imaginary friend, but for Jackson he is very real. We get moments of Jackson trying to understand how he can be his imaginary friend and touch him, but no one else can really experience him or see him. He’s like this embodiment of the childhood Jackson should of have, but due to all the struggles his family is going through Jackson has somehow convinced himself that he’s too old for an imaginary friend, there’s a scientific reason for him seeing his imaginary friend, and just overall Jackson wants to reject that part of himself without realizing just how badly he needs Crenshaw in his life in this moment. Crenshaw is such an important key to this story. Without Crenshaw, Jackson would never come to terms with his feelings or even confine in Marisol about his imaginary friend and some of the things happening with his family.

“What bothered me most, though, was that I couldn’t fix anything. I couldn’t control anything. It was like driving a bumper car without a steering wheel. I kept getting slammed, and I just had to sit there and hold on tight.”

The greatest thing this book offers is this book opens the floor up for so many discussions. From ‘How do parents deal with a curve ball unexpected life situation- totally unplanned that affect their children?‘ to ‘How does a father help support his family when disabled? How can a wife/ mother be most supportive in the most challenging situations?‘ It’s an incredibly powerful book that young kids will be able to relate to and it allows them to go to their parents and have open discussion. This is also a really touching book that many adults can read to because it allows them to become more open with their children and have a larger family discuss. It’s incredible to think have much this one little book can change and impact. I have never been the same since reading this book and I always think about it around this time of year.

Overall, this was a beautiful book to read. A piece of me has been taken by this book and I couldn’t be happier with it. I definitely wish more readers were reading Crenshaw and having discussions about this book. This is a book that truly shows how messy life can be and how even though things may become really hard, you will always have the ones who love you. If you find you have a chance to pick a copy of this book up, please do. It’s a remarkable book and I just can’t stop recommending it with my whole heart and soul!

“Life is messy. It’s complicated. It would be nice if life were always like this.” He drew an imaginary line that kept going up and up. “But life is actually a lot more like this.” He made a jiggly line that went up and down like a mountain range. “You just have to keep trying.”

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Monthly TBR

October 2019 TBR

Salutations Chapterlings! I can’t believe we’re finally in my favorite month of the year, October! I’m ready for spooky things, binge watching all the Halloween movies, and dressing up in all the costumes! But aside from that, I’m excited to finally curl up with a cup of hot coco and read some good books! I’ll admit, September has left me in a whirl wind of playing catch up and to be honest, I’ve gone a little overboard on the books for the month of October. I mean, I really went overboard this time. But that’s okay! I’m going to do my best to read all of these books and get as many off my tbr cart, ASAP!

This month is a little different though! The end of September still has me catching up on reviews, hauls, and basically everything. And since I’m playing catch up, that also includes catching up on taking photos. That means my tbr photo hasn’t even been taken yet. It also hasn’t been taken yet because I have an overly ambitious tbr for this month and I have no idea how I would even fit that into one photo. But it’s fine, it’s fine! We’re getting this tbr up and that’s all that matters! I promise, I will get that tbr photo up as soon as possible, but in the meantime, I hope you still enjoy my tbr for the month of October!


🎃 Currently Reading 🎃

🎃 War (The Four Hoursemen, #2) by Laura Thalassa
July 10th 2019 by Lavabrook Publishing, LLC
Buddy read with Kayla

🎃 The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
September 24th 2019 by Little, Brown Books
Buddy read with Donna


🎃 Full October TBR 🎃

🎃 Fables Deluxe Edition Book 5 by Bill Willingham & Matthew Sturges
June 5th 2012 by Vertigo

🎃 His Hideous Heart by Dahlia Adler
September 10th 2019 by Flatiron Books

🎃 Capturing the Devil by Kerri Maniscalco
September 10th 2019 by JIMMY Patterson

🎃 Spell on Wheels by Kate Leth & Megan Levens
June 20th 2017 by Dark Horse Comics

🎃 Pan’s Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro
July 2nd 2019 by Katherine Tegen Books

🎃 The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, & Carey Parietsch
July 17th 2018 by First Second

🎃 Stormrise by Jillian Boehme
September 24th 2019 by Tor

🎃 Down Among the Stick and Bones by Seanan McGuire
June 13th 2017 by Tor

🎃 Well Met by Jen DeLuca
September 3rd 2019 by Berkley

🎃 Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte
February 26th 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books


🎃 Buddy Reads 🎃

🎃 House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
August 6th 2019 by Delacorte
Buddy read with Alejandra

🎃 Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman
February 28th 2018 by Random House Books
Buddy read with Cassie


🎃 Side TBR 🎃

🎃 This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab
July 5th 2016 by Greenwillow Books

🎃 Jackaby (Jackaby #1) by William Ritter
September 16th 2014 by Algonquin Young Readers

🎃 Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
January 16th 2018 by HarperCollins

🎃 Red’s Untold Story (Once Upon A Time #4) by Wendy Toliver
September 22nd 2015 by Kingswell Teen


Okay, readers! Those are all the books I want to read for the month of October! You can really tell that I got a little carried away. Okay, so maybe I got carried away by a lot. It’s fine, we’re fine, everything is fine! It’s going to be an amazing month of reading, adventures, and giant sweaters!. Anyway, please let me know down in the comments below some of the books you have of your tbr for the month of October! Any spooky reads? Let me know! Until next time; may your month be spooky, filled with lots of five star reads, I love you! ❤️

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