#5OnMyTBR

#5OnMyTBR | Halloween Freebie

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook
You can learn more about it here or in the post announcing it.


Welcome back my friends! I know I said I would have more posts over the last couple of days, but my body decided to get sick. So I’m currently still sick, trying to rest and recover the best that I can, and hopefully once I feel more up to snuff I’ll be able to start getting back into the swing of things. However, I do have my #5OnMyTBR for you today. Now most of these aren’t centered around Halloween. For a lot of these, I wanted to go with atmosphere reads or ones that I assume would be very atmospheric to read during Halloween. There is one Halloween novella on here and I’m a little disappointed I haven’t had the chance to read it yet, but cie la vie! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed the books I picked out and of course, I hope you’re ready to get your spooky on this week! 🎃


🎃 The Guest List by Lucy Foley 🎃

“The bride ‧ The plus one ‧ The best man ‧ The wedding planner ‧ The bridesmaid ‧ The body

On an island off the coast of Ireland, guests gather to celebrate two people joining their lives together as one. The groom: handsome and charming, a rising television star. The bride: smart and ambitious, a magazine publisher. It’s a wedding for a magazine, or for a celebrity: the designer dress, the remote location, the luxe party favors, the boutique whiskey. The cell phone service may be spotty and the waves may be rough, but every detail has been expertly planned and will be expertly executed. But perfection is for plans, and people are all too human. As the champagne is popped and the festivities begin, resentments and petty jealousies begin to mingle with the reminiscences and well wishes. The groomsmen begin the drinking game from their school days. The bridesmaid not-so-accidentally ruins her dress. The bride’s oldest (male) friend gives an uncomfortably caring toast. And then someone turns up dead. Who didn’t wish the happy couple well? And perhaps more important, why?”


🎃 Pan’s Labyrinth The Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo del Toro 🎃

“Fans of dark fairy-tales like The Hazel Wood and The Cruel Prince will relish this atmospheric and absorbing book based on Guillermo del Toro’s critically acclaimed movie.

Oscar winning writer-director Guillermo del Toro and New York Times bestselling author Cornelia Funke have come together to transform del Toro’s hit movie Pan’s Labyrinth into an epic and dark fantasy novel for readers of all ages, complete with haunting illustrations and enchanting short stories that flesh out the folklore of this fascinating world.

This spellbinding tale takes readers to a sinister, magical, and war-torn world filled with richly drawn characters like trickster fauns, murderous soldiers, child-eating monsters, courageous rebels, and a long-lost princess hoping to be reunited with her family.

A brilliant collaboration between masterful storytellers that’s not to be missed.”


🎃 Mating the Huntress (Monsters and Mates #1) by Talia Hibbert 🎃

“This Halloween, love bites back… hard.

Chastity Adofo knows a monster when she sees one. As soon as Luke Anthony wanders into her family’s coffee shop, she recognises the evil lurking beneath his charming smile and fantastic arse. The handsome werewolf is determined to have her—but she’s determined to cut out his heart.

Little does she know, Luke’s plans for her are far more pleasurable than murder. And when the full moon rises, all bets are off…

Mating the Huntress is 30,000 words of red-hot, Halloween-themed romance. This novella contains one flirtatious, cursed creature of the night, one badass, knife-happy heroine, and forbidden lust at first sight. Please read responsibly!”


🎃 Delicates (Sheets, #2) by Brenna Thummler 🎃

Publication: March 16th 2021 by Lion Forge/Caracal
ARC was provided by NetGalley and Oni Press in exchange for an honest review.

Sheets by Brenna Thummler Review

“Marjorie Glatt’s life hasn’t been the same ever since she discovered a group of ghosts hiding in her family’s laundromat. Wendell, who died young and now must wander Earth as a ghost with nothing more than a sheet for a body, soon became one of Marjorie’s only friends. But when Marjorie finally gets accepted by the popular kids at school, she begins to worry that if anyone learns about her secret ghost friends, she’ll be labeled as a freak who sees dead people. With Marjorie’s insistence on keeping Wendell’s ghost identity a secret from her new friends, Wendell begins to feel even more invisible than he already is.

Eliza Duncan feels invisible too. She’s an avid photographer, and her zealous interest in finding and photographing ghosts gets her labeled as “different” by all the other kids in school. Constantly feeling on the outside, Eliza begins to feel like a ghost herself. Marjorie must soon come to terms with the price she pays to be accepted by the popular kids. Is it worth losing her friend, Wendell? Is she partially to blame for the bullying Eliza endures?

Delicates tells a powerful story about what it means to fit in, and those left on the outside. It shows what it’s like to feel invisible, and the importance of feeling seen. Above all, it is a story of asking for help when all seems dark, and bringing help and light to those who need it most.”


🎃 The Boy in the Red Dress by Kristin Lambert 🎃

“New Year’s Eve, 1929.

Millie is running the show at the Cloak & Dagger, a swinging speakeasy in the French Quarter, while her aunt is out of town. The new year is just around the corner, and all of New Orleans is out to celebrate, but even wealthy partiers’ diamond earrings can’t outshine the real star of the night: the boy in the red dress. Marion is the club’s star performer and his fans are legion–if mostly underground.

When a young socialite wielding a photograph of Marion starts asking questions, Millie wonders if she’s just another fan. But then her body is found crumpled in the courtyard, dead from an apparent fall off the club’s balcony, and all signs point to Marion as the murderer. Millie knows he’s innocent, but local detectives aren’t so easily convinced.

As she chases clues that lead to cemeteries and dead ends, Millie’s attention is divided between the wry and beautiful Olive, a waitress at the Cloak & Dagger, and Bennie, the charming bootlegger who’s offered to help her solve the case. The clock is ticking for the fugitive Marion, but the truth of who the killer is might be closer than Millie thinks.”


I’m really happy with my choices. I think I picked some really good or interesting books. I do know that one of these books has been polarizing in the book community, but I would still like to read it to form my own opinions. I hope you enjoy my picks. Did any of these catch your interest? Do you want to see a review for any of these books? Come chat with me in the comments below! Until next time, I hope you’re staying safe, and have a spooky week! I love you! 🧡

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Uncategorized

A Few Things I’m Enjoying in Self-Isolation | Part II

Salutations friends! I hope you’re doing well, staying hydrated, and fully prepared for spooky season! I know I took the majority of last week off and only gave a few small allusions to what’s been happening via social media. To be as open as I can be, there’s a lot of medical emergencies happening within my family. So that’s been consuming a lot of my attention right now. If you’ve been here a while then you know family is everything to me and no matter what it is, I would drop everything to be there for them. Truly, I would move earth and sky to be there for my family.

Anyway, I wanted to return to my blog with something positive and to just talk about some of the things I’ve been enjoying while in self-isolation. I think back in the late spring, early summer I posted my first article with just a few small things. However, I wanted this one to be a little bit different than that article. I wanted to break this article down into bookish things and non-bookish things. There have been quite the few things that have been making isolation a little better and bright. So with any further delay, here are some of the things I’ve been enjoying!


🍂 Bookish 🍂

🍂 Notion
If you haven’t heard about Notion by now then I don’t know where you’ve been hiding. Notion has been taking the book community by storm. I recently talked about how helpful Notion has been in my note taking article, where I mention how helpful it’s been with getting organized. Even more so when it comes to arcs. Notion has really been helping me organize and prioritize my arcs. I also created a template that helps with tracking upcoming releases as well. I’ve really been having fun with it and exploring the different templates, how to customize and personalize it to fit my own needs, and if you haven’t checked it out already, I definitely recommend giving this site a chance!

🍂 Wick and Jane Candles
I feel like I don’t emphasize it enough of how important it is to shop small and support small businesses. Wick and Jane is a small candle business, run by Jane, who is the sweetest and one of the most delightful souls I’ve met in the book community. Ever since I placed me first order from Jane, they’re the only candles I ever buy anymore. These candles have amazing throw (I’m talking I can smell it on the other side of my home kind of throw), named after some of our favorite book characters, and the candles themselves are so beautiful. She also has other products such as lotion, roll on perfume, and I believe body spray now. So check out the shop and if you’re in need of some candles, maybe place an order!

🍂 Cook books
Since being home and isolating, I’ve been doing a lot of home cooking and that means breaking out cook books, family recipes, and all things that contain deliciousness! One of the cook books I’m really enjoying has been the Overwatch The Official Cookbook. I did get to see my family over the weekend and they dropped off very belated birthday gifts for my spouse and I, and one of those presents was this cookbook. I’ve been wanting this cookbook for so long and I haven’t stopped looking over all the recipes in it. I’m currently planning to make two of the recipes and I’m eager to try some of the others like the Deadeye drink!


🍂 Non-Bookish 🍂

🍂 Squishables
If you didn’t know, I very much love plushies. They are one of my greatest comforts and mental health helpers. In my current journey of healing and rediscovery of my love for many things, I realized how many things I was suppressing or trying to fit into such a small enough box due to convincing myself there wasn’t as much room in my life because of reading. So when a very dear, long life friend of mine sent me a package of Squishables, I was in tears. The ones I received reminded me of how much I love this company, loved the community, and reminded me how important they are to me.

🍂 Video Games
I talk about video games all the time whether in reviews or just chit-chatting here on the blog. Recently I’ve been doing some late night gaming and have fallen into two spooky season events. One for Overwatch and the other for Killing Floor 2. I’ve also been really excited to try Phasmophobia, as well. A lot of gaming streamers I typically watch have been streaming this game and ever since I’ve been hooked, eagerly wanting to give it a try. Also, there’s my highly anticipated game, Monster Prom 2 Monster Camp coming out this month and I’m eagerly waiting to get my hands on it so I can start playing. And of course, I’m always lurking in the rabbit hole that is Animal Crossing. I’ve really been falling in love with gaming again and having a blast.

🍂 Davids Tea
As much as I love coffee, I love tea just as much. After we drank so much of the tea we have, I had to place another order for tea. Usually I drink a lot of Harney & Sons, but I wanted to branch out and try other brands this time. A fellow member of the book community recommending trying Davids Tea and I’m pleasantly surprised with how much I’ve been loving the tea. I definitely wish I had branched out sooner, but I’m really glad to be drinking their tea now!


Okay, friends! Those are some of the things I’ve really been loving and enjoying in isolation right now. A lot of this has been a piece of my healing and rediscovering things about myself that I’ve missed, pieces of myself I loved, and being at peace with myself. I hope you all enjoyed this little post. Do you have some favorites you’ve been enjoying in self-isolation? Come chat with me in the comments below. Until next time, remember to be kind to yourself! I love you! 🧡

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday | Super Long Book Titles

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


Hello friends! I hope all of you are doing well, staying hydrated, and enjoying the little things! I have another top ten Tuesday for you. This might be one of the hardest TTTs I have ever done. I wish I was joking, but I’m not. I stayed up till 3 a.m. going through my shelves, searching through my GoodReads, even consulting with my spouse in case they knew of any long titles. It was sooo gosh darn hard, but I some titles that are at least long in my opinion. So I hope you all enjoy the ones I’ve chosen!


🍂 Sia Martinez and the Moonlit Beginning of Everything by Raquel Vasquez Gilliland 🍂


🍂 How to Make Friends with the Dark by Kathleen Glasgow 🍂


🍂 While the Earth Sleeps We Travel by Ahmed M. Badr 🍂


🍂 Get A Life Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert 🍂


🍂 This Is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone 🍂


🍂 Sweet on You: A Filipino Christmas romance by Carla de Guzman 🍂


🍂 Wotakoi Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol. 1 by Fujita 🍂


🍂 Space Battle Luchtime Vol. 1 Lights, Camera, Snacktion by Natalie Riess 🍂


🍂 Down Among the Stick and Bones by Seanan McGuire 🍂


🍂 There Are Things I Can’t Tell You by Edako Mofumofu 🍂


I feel like there are so many other titles out there that are far longer than these titles. I’m not sure about you, but I definitely feel that any title that is more than three words should be considered a long title, but that’s just me. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed my picks! Do you know of some titles that are long or really, really long? Come chat about it in the comments below! Until next time, I hope your October has been super spooky, I love you! 🧡

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Uncategorized

Blue Period, Vol 1 by Tsubasa Yamaguchi

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Kodansha Comics in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (October 13th, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Underage drinking and side remarks directed at a side character who crossdresses

“Here are a few tips to ensure a smooth relationship: Tell people what they want to hear. Don’t focus on yourself, make sure they are having fun in the conversation. At least that the only way I know how to communicate.”

I can’t believe how much I loved this manga and I still can’t believe I didn’t know about this series sooner! This might be a new favorite manga series I need to invest in because this story line, these characters, oh be still my fluttering soul. Going into this book, not realizing how centered around art it was, and then being blown away by so much within these pages was truly an experience. And I just really enjoyed this manga so much, with my whole heart!

Our story follows second year student, Yatora Yaguchi, who’s always gone with the flow and making sure to be practical, to stay on the path his family expects of him. He’s spent most of his time pleasing those around him, never really talking about his passions or interests because to choose those would cause trouble for those around him, or so he believes. When one day he returns to the art room, he comes across a painting that stirs something within his soul and shortly after, his thoughts begin to be consumed by art.

I really loved Yatora as our main character. Yatora’s character is such a breath of fresh air especially in the manga world. Yatora is classified or labeled as a “delinquent”, but despite the bleached hair and the terrible smoking habit, Yatora is actually an honors student and has really high marks on their grade card. And like any coming of age story, we see a light shined upon some of the inner thoughts almost every high schooler has, thoughts such as passion vs. money, hobby vs. career, follow expectations vs. make your own path, peer pressure, parents support and disappointment, etc… We see a lot of that inner monologue with Yatora and I think many readers will be able to connect with a lot of those thoughts. There’s a moment where Yatora receives praise for a class assignment and how it touched him, how good it felt, and I truly believe that scene alone will resonate with so many readers.

“And those who are true to themselves make truly great art. Because art is a language without words.”

I think the progression of the story is the biggest factor that impacted my reading of this manga. The progression of this book is very much geared towards providing information about art and the various art school in Japan. Setting that aside, I couldn’t help becoming swept up in all the hard work, the dedication, and the way Yatora’s skills were developing. Even meeting the side characters and learning about their own skills was really enjoyable. I’ve never been an artist, but this book reminded me of how much I love to draw and sketch. However, I do think some readers will feel bogged down with the amount of information that’s scattered throughout this book.

I do want to say that there were a few minor things that caused me to reread the passages to make sure I was reading them correctly. Yatora’s friends are really disrespectful and there were times where it caught me off guard or it would throw off the entire vibe of a scene. There were also one or two moments where side remarks were made towards the side character Yuka, who cross dresses. For most readers, I think this will get overlooked or no one will talk about it. However, when I caught it and then noticed it was never challenged, it didn’t quite sit right with me. And that might be my own reaction especially due to cross dressing in the past myself, but it was hard to tell what the intentions were with those remarks and hopefully in future issues this will be challenged more.

“Liking something and saying so is scary.”

Overall, I had a pleasant experience and as I said, this might be a new series I’ll end up investing in. I’m eager to see how things will play out, I’m dying to know if Yatora will tell his parents, and most importantly, I want to see more of the side characters in the art club. There’s just a really soothing and enjoyable mood when all the art club students are together. Plus, the teacher is a a true gem and she’s one of those teachers who really cares for her students. If you’re looking for a new manga series to fall in love with, I definitely recommend give this series a chance. I think many readers will enjoy the progression of this manga and be eager to find out what will happen next!

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

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Uncategorized

Sweet on You: A Filipino Christmas romance by Carla de Guzman

Image

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Harlequin – Carina Press in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (October 19th, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Loss of a loved one (in the past), sexism, mentions of divorce (in the past), abandonment, mentions of body shaming (in the past), sex

Oh, I loved this! I loved this so much, with my whole heart and soul. I’m a big softy for books that involve coffee shops, cafes, and bakeries. There’s something that reminds me of home when these elements are thrown in. Throw in the sibling bonds and the importance of family, *chef’s kiss* perfection! Truly, this is sure to make it onto so many reading lists as we approach closer to the holidays. It truly is an adorable read!

Set in the Philippines, Sweet On You follows two shop owners forming a rivalry between each other. When the empty store next to Sari’s cafe sells, Sari doesn’t like the thought of competition or change one bit. Then she meets the owner, Gab, the baker extraordinaire, and in that moment their rivalry is set in stone. Soon, the prank wars begin! But while these two are lost in the tide of pranks, everyone around them begins to question on whether or not this is actually a courtship. And that might be true! Even though they’re knees deep in pranks, they just can’t help themselves from flirting with one another.

🧁 Sari Tomas – The cafe owner of Tomas Coffee Co., who doesn’t like change and tries to avoid it at all cost. But over the next ten days leading up to Christmas, big changes throw her into a whirlwind. It started with Sunday Bakery opening next door, then her younger sister, Sam announced she’s moving out. With all these changes, Sari can’t help feeling everything is moving on with life, everyone except her.

But the Laneaways had wriggled its way into his heart, and the person standing across from him was one of the biggest reasons why.”

🧁 Gabriel Capras – The owner of Sunday Bakery, who’s been trying to prove to his father that he can be professional and financially successful baker. With big dreams and goals keeping him motivated, Sunday Bakery is his first step to making those dreams come true. There’s just one problem, he never expected someone like Sari Tomas to wiggle their way into his heart.

Amidst all the pranks, these two rivals will start to find it impossible to spend their days without thinking of one another. Every thought with flash to some moment of the time these two have spent together, spicing up each others days. Even the hard days will be a little less hard. After all, baked goods and coffee speaks volumes to the soul!

I really loved our two main characters! Their personalities were absolutely fantastic and you could instantly tell the chemistry these two characters had. Both of these characters are like wizards in their own kitchens and the scenes we get of them making coffee or food were fantastic. Also, I really enjoyed the way these two characters talked about their siblings, how much love radiates from them throughout this book, and I loved seeing our main characters reconnecting with their siblings and family. It really warms my heart and I couldn’t help feeling soft, and a bit sappy about it.

“But most of all, I can’t imagine being here without you. You’re home to me now.”

And the way these characters fall in love with one another is hilarious yet so wholesome. They try so hard not to fall for each other and seeing them come together was so sweet. There’s something about a slow fall and then fast that really lures me in. The way the author wrote it, gave me everything I wanted from their romance. They had some hilarious moments, but they had some really endearing moments. The really steamy moments were perfect and there were some moments in those steamy scenes that got me a little choke up. I will say, if you’re not a fan of sexy times in books then this might not be the book for you. There are at least two major sexy moments in this book and if that impacts your reading, just know that those are in this book.

Of course, there’s the food featured in this book. A book has never made me look up so many foods that quickly. If someone were to open my browser right now, they’d just find countless pages of all the Filipino food. The way food is talked about in this book is so heavenly, so deliciously, that I recommend you read this on a full stomach. Otherwise, you’re going to be sitting there wanting to take a bit out of your book. I also loved the way Gab named some of his baked goods after his siblings. I thought that was the sweetest thing and I’m not going to lie, a little swoon worthy.

Overall, I had such a great time reading this snuggly, cozy, holiday romance! I loved so much about this book and I think many readers are going to enjoy curling up with this book. I think this book will really make the reader want to travel and I know this makes me eager to pick more books up by this author. I really loved the culture throughout this book and I’m excited to see what her other books have in store especially if its romance! I definitely recommend picking this book up during this holiday season especially if you’re looking for a book to brighten you day up!

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

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Uncategorized

Ghost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

Content/Trigger Warnings: Mentions of bullying, talk of death, mentions of loss of a parent (in the past)

“Four basic rules for ghost hunting according to Babette…
1. Be prepared.
2. Don’t go alone.
3. Respect the dead.
4. Always have a cat.”

This is such a cute read that filled my heart with so much warmth. Truly, I’ve been in the mood for cozy yet spooky family reads and this middle grade was perfect. This was book truly is a treat and it’s so wholesome. I think many readers are going to adore curling up with a cup of tea and reading this book!

Lucely is happily living with her father and the ghosts of her family. However, when Lucely over hears a conversation her father has, Lucely realizes that money is tight and they might have to move. Given only one chance with one of their ghost tours, Lucely father hopes to gather the funds necessary to save their home. But things go wrong and things continue to go wrong as her family’s ghosts start to act strange, losing their light. Teaming up with her best friend Syd, they’ll work together to come up with a solution to not only save Lucely’s ghost, but prevent her from moving, but they’ll soon learn there are darker forces at work and they might be in over their heads.

You know, one of my favorite things is family, family bonds, found family, etc… So naturally I loved everything in this book that involved family. First, can we take a moment to appreciate the dynamic of Lucely and her father! I have such a soft spot for single parent homes and I loved how close Lucely is with her father. Single father homes don’t get the spotlight they deserve in literature, often. So seeing this family dynamic really warmed my heart and those close bonds just make it extra special. We also have the found family element with Lucely and Syd’s family. When Lucely talks about how she feels close to Syd, it melted my heart. That kind of love and bond is something fierce, something special, and I just melted into a puddle when that conversation popped up.

“Maybe family is more than who you’re related to. It’s also the people you find and love along the way.”

I also want to talk about the ghosts. The family ghosts were so individual, you could easily tell who was who, and I was pleasantly surprised. Normally when you add so many side characters like that, characters can sometimes get muddled together or easily forgotten, but the author made sure to make each one unique. Not to mention the support system Lucely has with them. It was so heartwarming, but it’s also sad when we learn Lucely’s father can no longer see them. It’s an all around unique dynamic and I really loved it.

This book has such an incredible atmosphere, as well. I’m not kidding when I say this is cozy yet spooky. There were a lot of times where I had chills running up my spine or my hairs were standing on end. The author did a fantastic job on creating a story line that pulls the reader in, but also created a spooky energy that’s the kind of subtle that sneaks up on you. I really enjoyed it and I wish it would’ve been raining when I was reading this.

Overall, I think this is a perfect spooky season read. If the family dynamics and bonds don’t lure you in, I hope the spooky atmosphere does. It was so hard to put this book down and I’ve heard really good things about the audiobook. If you’re looking for something that’s cozy, spooky but not too spooky then I definitely recommend picking this book up. It’s super cute and sure to make your autumnal reading even better!

Buddy Read with Kayla 💜

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Misc.

How I Take Reading Notes

Salutations fellow readers! As many of you know, I try to do very detailed book reviews. Even with my manga, graphic novels, poetry, etc… I try to be as detailed and thorough as I possibly can. During the beginning of 2020, I was asked by two friends about my reviewing process, items I use, and how I manage everything.

I’ll be honest, this process (and this article) has been a work in process for two years and I’m very excited to finally talk about my process. I didn’t start tweaking and critically reviewing/reading till the end of 2018. So this is an article that feels very personal and feels like one of the goals/achievements I’ve been striving towards. And even then this process has been adapting and changing as I adapt and change. This isn’t a perfect system, I don’t have this fully flushed out, and this is something that’s growing as I grow.

After all this time, I’m finally in a place where I feel confident to share this with all of you. And maybe what works for me, it may also help your own reading and reviewing process. So I hope you enjoy!


🍁 Why I take Reading Notes 🍁

Let me be frank, note taking isn’t for everyone. And if you’ve already tried note taking, but it didn’t work out, that’s completely fine. You’re not alone in feeling like that and you don’t have to push yourself. In fact, when I started being more active in the book community, I didn’t take notes while reading or reviewing either. I think the reason may be from my time spent in elementary school and being taught at such a young age to take notes in our textbooks, reading books, etc… For me, reading has always been an escape and over time it felt like pieces of my love for reading was being chipped away.

So taking the notes that I do now, it’s due to finding a love and enjoyment within note taking, and seeing all that work bloom into something I’m proud of. I got a little off topic, but the point is it took me a long time to get where I’m at now with reading and note taking. As I said, this process has taken me a long time to build and as I built this, there’s been healing, growth, and rediscovery. I’ve grown this into something positive to enhance my reading and fortify my own love for reading.

➳ It helps me keep track of important details such as content/trigger warnings, representation, character names and povs, settings, etc… This is incredibly important especially when you have genres like high fantasy.

➳ Sometimes I get pent up thoughts and energy about scenes, moments, and I need a space that allows me to word vomit, freak out, gush, etc… This spares my friends and family from me babbling like a brook and it’s a more private space for my thoughts, and feelings.

➳ It keeps a physical record of my thoughts and reading process. This becomes very useful for rereads and series. It allows me to see the growth, decline, and development of my feelings which play a large role in the way I write my reviews.

➳ These notes allow me to structure a coherent review. This comes in really handy especially during times when I’m really sick or don’t have a lot of energy (which is usually often), have burnout, my schedule is full, or if I’m traveling.

These are just a few of the reasons why note taking has been so beneficial to my reading especially when it comes to the reviews that I usually write. However, this is just how it makes things more helpful for me and it’s a different experience for everyone.


🍁 Items I Frequently Use for Note Taking 🍁

Colored page markers

Colorful sticky notes

Pastel highlighters

100 Sheet sketch book (or anything that’s styled like this)

Precision micro-line pens

Zebra Ballpoint pens

Transparent sticky notes

These are just a few of the items I use. Of course I have bookmarks, but these are the main items I use for all my note taking. The notebook itself can be spiral notebook. I use two different ones for note taking, but I always make sure one flips up and behind.


🍁 How I take Reading Notes 🍁

Kindle Notes & Highlights

I feel like this should explain itself. I think everyone I know either has a Kindle Unlimited or are avid ebook readers. I’ll be honest, this is all a new process for myself because I prefer physical books over digital, but many people in my life have convinced to be more open to it.

For most user, I believe your highlighted quotes and details get uploaded to your GoodReads. However, I have my account separate. I usually use the highlighter to highlight specific passages, quotes, content/trigger warning areas in my ebooks so I don’t lose my place while writing the information down.

Physical Notebook

This is where all the magic happens! I usually write everything down. I have two notebooks that I use while I read. These first notebook is my main notebook where all my notes for physical books are placed. I used this while I read, jot things down as I go along, etc… I usually break it down by the title at the top (with details of buddy read, arc & publishing date, etc…), content/trigger warnings at the next line, followed by setting, then characters and povs, and then comes all the details. The only time the detail section is different is when the book is a bind up or broken down into parts/sections. My second notebook is used for noting when I finished books and when I aim to post a review. Which usually goes hand-in-hand with how a lot of reviews get posted on here and in what order. I tend to add a little comment, as well. Most of the time the comment states whether or not the review needs to be posted sooner rather than later due to a blog tour, release date, or any other reason.

These help with keeping things organized and separate from one another. In the photo at the beginning of this article, you can actually see the second notebook I use for scheduling and organizing posts before they make it onto my blog. It may seem a bit chaotic and at times it can be, but it works for me and how I need to categorize things.

Google Keep

I think this is the most underrated note taking system I have seen so far. I rarely hear anyone talk about the benefits of G. Keep and how useful it is when it comes to audiobooks.

I’m not much of an audiobook listener, but when I do listen to audiobooks, I find it incredibly hard to take notes especially if I’m working with a busy schedule on that day. This is where G. Keep comes in. G. Keep can be used from any mobile device and it’s great for jotting down quick notes. I find this has become a game changer for my audiobook reviews. If I hadn’t started using G. Keep more often, I probably wouldn’t have all the notes I usually do like my physical book reviews or ebooks. Plus, it’s been really helpful with brainstorming and jotting down any quotes that may pop up, that I may want to include in my reviews.

Templates

Another thing I don’t often talk about is the set template I have for GoodReads. We all know GoodReads, WordPress, etc… uses coding or html formatting for making our reviews unique. Quite frankly, it can be a bit overwhelming. So in Microsoft Word, I’ve crafted a designated template for how I structure my reviews to make sure everything I want to include gets included in the post. Things such as my content and trigger warnings, and my rating details.

This is a process that can take a bit of time. I find WordPress is easier to draft reviews compared to GoodReads. However, if you don’t mind taking 30 minutes to an hour to creating you own template, I swear it’s worth it. Plus, having that template stored in a place like Microsoft Word or Google Docs will allow you to just copy and paste that template onto a new file to type out that review for whatever specific book you need a review for.

As a side note, if you’re looking to just take notes and you don’t want all the extra bits. A new document, a new page in Microsoft Word, Good Docs, or whatever office system you may use will work just fine. This another great way to take notes especially if you don’t want to invest in notebooks.

Notion

As I’ve mentioned, this has been a process that’s been growing at the same pace I grow. So it’s only natural that I mention the recent addition to my note taking, organizing, etc…

Notion has been taking the book community by storm and I’ve jumped on the bandwagon as well. I haven’t heard about this anywhere outside of the book community so far. So far, Notion seems to be an all encompassing site that has elements of Google Docs, Google Keep, elements similar to WordPress, and so much more! As I’ve been exploring, I’ve been having a fun time tinkering with the different templates and I’m finding this is taking my organization to a new level. I now have a bookish calendar to keep track of scheduled posts, I’ve crafted a bookish schedule, and this has even been allowing me to prep for arcs. This has been such a fantastic source for note taking too!

If you haven’t checked out Notion yet, definitely give it a chance! I feel like I’ve leveled up in some way and I’ve really been having a great time with it. Truly, there’s so much you can do on this site and I think so many people in the book community are going to benefit from using it.


I hope you all enjoyed this deeper look into how I take my reading notes! This isn’t a perfect system, it keeps growing and building every day, but this has been working for me so far. I think my biggest recommendation out of all of this is to just experiment and see what works for you. Not everyone is going to like note taking and some may need a more creative way to take their notes. It truly is a process of experimentation and the best way to do that it to play around with a plethora of things. You have to choose what’s comfortable for you. I truly hope I was able to help some of you, you give you an idea of my own process. And please, don’t hesitate to share your own note taking tips or some of the ways that help you when you write your own reviews. Until next time, happy reading and reviewing! I love you! 🧡

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Uncategorized

Weathering with You, Vol. 1 by Makoto Shinkai & Wataru Kubota

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble|BookDepository|IndieBound

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Vertical Comics in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published after the release date (September 22nd, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Homelessness, physical assault, gun violence, mentions loss of loved ones

Did I request this manga because I loved Your Name? Yes. Did I completely fall down a rabbit hole reading this manga and therefore need to know what’s going to happen next? Also, yes! I really loved Your Name. It was a very emotional, whimsical series and movie. So naturally my interest was at an all high when I saw this was available for request. And this book didn’t disappoint! It fully captured my heart and I think many manga readers are going to fall in love with this series, if they haven’t already!

We follow a boy named Hodaka, who’s run away from the island he grew up on, fleeing to the Kabukichō neighborhood of Tokyo to start a new beginning. However, Hodaka finds himself struggling to adjust to the new city and all the gloomy weather. Until he comes across a girl named Hina, who has a the special ability to bring out the sun, also known as a sunshine girl. Together they’ll turn Hina’s ability into a means of helping Hina gather funds to support herself and younger sibling, but Hodaka is keeping secrets and Hina is keeping her own.

“All this time, I think… I was chasing the light that you bring, Miss Hina.”

I loved these characters so much. They’re not your typical main characters who are fierce warriors or magical beings. They’re just two kids who come from rough backgrounds, trying to survive in the big world. I love when characters are just like everyone else, but we get to see their hardships, they’re struggles. It makes those characters feel more realistic and easier to connect to. And of course, the story line that pulls these two characters together is so beautifully woven. I loved seeing the small pieces of Japanese myths and legends tie in to the events happening and the characters.

Just like Your Name, Weathering with You has underlying themes to it. Looking at Hina’s character in this book, he character is designed to show the weight that women often carry. Women are often expected to provide warmth, comfort, and happiness, more time than most being the caregiver of the household. Now, I don’t want to spoil too much (especially for the anime), but the author does a brilliant job of showing this and how if affects women, how much energy the deplete from themselves, and the toll it begins to take on their bodies. I thought it was so beautifully done and I think this book shows the beginning of that process really well.

And of course, I have to talk about how stunning the art style is because it is gorgeous! The beginning of this arc we have one to two pages of colored art and it is everything. That alone had me gasping for breath. It so beautiful and I wish more manga had more little glimpses into colored panels. Even the black and white panels just really had an extra emphasis on the events happening throughout the book. The illustrator of this book is truly talented and I can’t wait to see what they’ll do next!

Overall, I really enjoyed this manga with my whole heart. I think the story line does a fantastic job hooking the attention of the reader, pricking the curiosity of those who want to know more. It truly is a beautiful story and I can’t recommend this graphic novel enough. I hope my fellow manga readers will be picking this series up and if you haven’t checked out this series yet, please do. It truly is wonderful!

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

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Uncategorized

Lost Girls Go Everywhere: Poetry & Prose by Azzurra Nox

GoodReads|Amazon

ARC was provided by NetGalley and Victory Editing NetGalley Co-op in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published after the release date (October 6th, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Mentions and allusions to rape and assault, mentions of death and loss of a loved one, grief, depression, mentions of suicidal thoughts, mentions of physical violence, toxic relationships, mentions of blood, body shaming, mentions of slut shaming, alcoholism

I always find rating poetry really difficult. I don’t say it often enough, but I’m a firm believer poetry and works of literature come into our life when we need them the most. So maybe I went into this collection with high expectations or maybe I was wanting something more from within these pages. Either way; I wanted to love this book, I wanted to enjoy this book, but I’m sad to say that wasn’t the case with this book. I’ll be honest, I’m disappointed and maybe, this book wasn’t meant for me.

This book is broken into two parts, part one is poetry and part two is prose. There were a few pieces of part one that I enjoyed or felt a small pull to, but for the most part I felt nothing. I felt detachment and I found myself wanting more emotional pull, more connection. A lot of this portion paints all men in a terrible light, how they’re entitled, take what they want, or how they’re always causing more harm than good. There was nothing positive to be said, not even once. Honestly, it felt like I was reading passages by someone who hates all men and that’s not my cup of tea. I’ll also make the statement that this can happen the other way around and it does happen. There’s also a lot of references as to wanting to harm them back, to the point of potentially killing them. There’s actually a passage in one of the poems that references twisting a knife repeatedly into a man’s chest because he enjoys it and the blood. Needless to say, I was completely turned off. Not to make this about me, but I like to think I’m a very open person about you should always defend yourself and only do harm if it’s necessary to your survival. I have said this a few times in past reviews, if it’s not in self-defense or in a situation of life and death, physical violence should always be a last resort otherwise it’s not necessary. This entire poem alone, turned me off from the rest of the book.

“I got so much misfortune that I’m bathing in my bad omens.”

The second portion of this book was probably my least favorite. The entire second half felt like I was sitting down with someone I had just met and they thought the best way for us to get to know one another was to break out a rollodex of all the bad, toxic, or loveless relationships they had been in. I felt completely detached from this entire portion of the book. I think I read about five of these short stories before I started skimming. As I mentioned, I wanted more pulling, something that would jab at my emotions, but I didn’t feel anything, no spark. This portion of the book really dragged on for me especially since these short stories were two to three pages long. There needed to be something to capture the reader’s attention.

Overall, I wish I had a more positive experience with this book. I felt really underwhelmed and felt this book was a big rant of some sort. And there were so many other issues with this book. I definitely felt like this book needed to be balanced with some poems or short stories of hope, signs of life improving, or something to lighten things up. As an avid poetry reader, I wanted so much more from this book and unfortunately it fell flat for me.

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

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday | Book Covers with Fall Colors/Vibes

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


Hello friends! I hope your spooky reading has been wonderful so far! I wanted to pop in and drop my Top Ten Tuesday for the week. This current week is packed to the brim with things happening in my personal life, so I won’t be going into extra details like I usually do. Fear not, I will return the following week with all my usual thoughts and excitement! Until then, I hope you still enjoy this post, I love you! 🧡


🎃 Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco 🎃


🎃 Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz 🎃


🎃 Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston 🎃


🎃 Blood & Honey (Serpent & Dove, #2) by Shelby Mahurin 🎃


🎃 Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power 🎃


🎃 We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya #2) by Hafsah Faizal 🎃


🎃 Horrid by Katrina Leno 🎃


🎃 Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao 🎃


🎃 Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters 🎃


🎃 A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens 🎃


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