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

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πŸšͺEvery Heart a Doorway β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸšͺDown Among the Sticks and Bones β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸšͺBeneath the Sugar Sky β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
πŸšͺIn an Absent Dream β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Content/Trigger Warnings: Death, grief, murder, blood depictions, gore, panic attacks, dysphoria, mysophobia, mentions of cancer (in the past), mentions of medical experiments (made with coerced consent), trauma/PTSD

“I am what I am, and there’s much about me that won’t be changed with any amount of wishing or wanting.”

I have finally, FINALLY picked this series back up after what seems like an endless hiatus from this series. And there’s something special about picking this series back up and it revolves around one of my favorite characters from this series as a whole. Plus, if I haven’t said it before, I love the Moors and I was hoping we’d see more of this world. However, I’m pretty surprised I didn’t end up giving this the full five star rating that I thought it was going to be. Still, my time reading this book was one that I couldn’t put down and you know we have to talk about it! P.S. Before we dive into this review, as always, the art in this book by Rovina Cai is always a highlight of these books!

Once again, we return to the world of The Moors and all is not well. In fact, one might say the very balance of this world hangs by mere threads and it all started when Jack and Jill returned home to their world. Now Jack has returned to the school or should I say basement that they once called a temporary home. And all is very, very wrong. Jack has ended up in Jill’s body and the place they once called home, The Moors, hang in the balance as Jill and The Lord Vampire threaten to throw everything into chaos. With the help of friends, Jack will return home to make the most difficult choice to restore the balance.

“But I warn you, this isn’t a tale for the faint of heart. It is a story of murder, and betrayal, and sisterly love turned sour.”

I think what I absolutely love the most about this series is how diverse the characters all are. Each book in this series, from book one, has such a wide variety of souls who are so diverse. And this book is no different. Jack has OCD and mysophobia, we have two gorgeous side characters with fat representation (which needs to happen more often in books), there’s sapphic representation between Jack and Alexis, and so much more within these pages. And as I’ve mentioned before, the author approaches all of this representation with a lot of love care, and detail that can make many readers feel seen. And as someone who constantly looks for ways to connect with characters, I’ve seen myself so many times in various characters in this series that I can’t help feeling grateful and having a deep appreciation for the author doing so, so much.

Speaking of diversity, I want to take a moment to address Alexis and the amazing scene between her and Kade, and the whole conversation that followed that. McGuire has this amazing talent of having these small conversations laced throughout each book and this book was no except. Actually, there were a lot of discussions, but this one hit particularly hard. As someone who has been through a lot and constantly has people assuming I’m broken because I’ve been through terrible things, this conversation between these two characters hit home so hard. And I think anyone who’s disabled/has a disability, been through traumatic events, or has chronic illness/illnesses will see themselves within this conversation that happens between these two characters.

“I understand wanting to know what your allies are capable of, but the fact that I’ve been damaged doesn’t make me broken, and you don’t need to behave as if it does.”

One of the things that really stood out to me in this novella was the talk and mention of The Drowned Gods. Let me tell you about the pterodactyl that escaped my body for this. From the moment The Drowned Gods were mentioned, everything in my soul has many, many questions. And at this point, I’m assuming the author did a little nod to Lovecraftian deities such as Cthulhu. Low-key hoping because my spooky soul almost melted. Not to mention I feel like it would fit so perfectly into the Moors. Outside of that, I’m not going to talk too many details because it many dip into the spoiler zone, but this little piece of the book truly made my spooky little heart the fullest. I quickly want to mention the Frankenstein references were fantastic and truly filled my heart so much. Obviously, all this dark spooky stuff isn’t for everyone, but if spooky is your cup of tea then you’re in for a good time!

β€œThe drowned Gods are amiable monsters,” she said. “They sleep, and dream of worlds where fire is a forgotten impossibility, and occasionally they wake long enough to eat a few dozen villagers before going back to bed.”

Even though I really loved so many things about this book especially all the quotes and notes I was able to pull, there were a few things that I found very disappointing with this book. One of those things being the lack of vampires we see throughout this entire book. Considering we have a character who is desperately trying to become a vampire and has been “causing chaos” or as I call it, throwing a giant tantrum, we don’t see many vampires throughout this book. For the most part, majority of vampire encounters are recounted in past tense. It was kind of disappointing to one get glimpses of vampires until the end of the book. On that note, the lack of Jill’s presence throughout this book was surprising especially since there’s been this huge declaration from Jill since the beginning that it’s “finally time she got what she wanted.” We’re made to believe that Jill has psychologically gone off the deep end and instead it’s what I mentioned previously, a giant tantrum. This is solidified when we finally meet Jill, at the very end of the book and how she chooses to act on top of the things she declares to Jack.

The other thing I want to mention, that made me uncomfortable more than anything, was the whole Jack and Jill switching bodies. I’m not sure what the author’s goal was by doing this. In my opinion, there are better ways to show dysphoria representation and considering Jack’s character as a whole especially after we see them in the beginning, it was a really uncomfortable situation as a whole. And I know there will be people who are like, “But these are just fictional characters, blah blah blah…,” but at the end of the day dysphoria is a real mental health illness that can impact anyone and I think it could have been handled better than the whole “body swapping” or Freaky Friday trope.

I was just kind of let down or slightly disappointed, and a little uncomfortable by the end of this book. I know this is a novella, but I think so much more could have been added to this book to feel less rushed or like certain things were getting brushed off. Sometimes it’s better to include certain details than to exclude them because it’ll add an extra three pages or so.

“I’m Jack Wolcott. I am the mad scientist who lurks in the fens and the fields, and I’ll be damned before I’ll let my sister take this world away from me.”

Overall, I enjoyed the majority of my time reading this book and there were times where I was eager to dive right back into this book. Honestly, I’m kind of sad we didn’t see Christopher get his door or get a lot of scene time with Jill, but it was still a good read. I will say, the way this book left me feeling at the end has me feeling kind of cautious to go into the next book in this series. And please please please, give us a Christopher dedicated book because truly this character deserves all the happiness possible!

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ARC Reviews

Birdsong by Katya Balen

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This post contains affiliate links; if you use these links to make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Thanks for reading!

ARC was given by NetGalley & Barrington Stokes in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (July 7th, 2022)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Car accident, trauma/PTSD, grief, death of an animal, brief mentions of blood

“There is music everywhere – if you know how to listen.”

Wow, what a powerful read. Wow, wow, wow! I always find that middle grade books have some of the strongest themes that kids need to read about and this is definitely one of those books. Filled with conversations of finding one’s passion again after a tragic accident, finding the strength to move on past tragedy, and so much more. Birdsong is one of those reads that can make anyone feel seen.

Annie Ford loves music and has a special talent with the flute. However, after tragedy strikes, Annie loses her ability to play her beloved flute. Now after moving and having her world turned upside down, Annie struggles with finding the motivation to allow herself to heal or even talk about the feels she’s suppressing inside. Until one day she meets a boy named Noah, who tends to a blackbird family in the bushes. Soon, Annie not only made a new friend, but slowly realizes that with the help of these feathery friends, she’s slowly beginning to heal.

I really enjoyed Annie as our main character! Annie is a main character who’s had her entire world turned upside down and I think there’s going to be so many children who will end up relating to Annie, and what’s she’s been through. For myself, Annie reminds me of a lot of some of the things that I experienced and felt as a kid. I feel like I say this all the time with middle grade books, but I truly wish I had had a book like this growing up because seeing characters like Annie can change your perspective especially when you’re a kid. And Annie is far from being a perfect main character. She’s angry and grieving, but healing and scared of if she has a future with her passion. She’s all of those things as she navigates so many changes.

There’s also a theme of healing and how healing is never linear, but also how you can begin your healing journey in the unlikeliest ways/places. And I really loved how the author used the blackbirds as the center of Annie’s healing journey. Of course, Noah and music helps, but the blackbirds really help Annie and her journey back to the the that brings her the most joy. Annie finds her way to healing and forgiving the person she’s the most angry at too. All of it flows so well together and it’s a steady process of ups and downs, but it’s such a good theme we need to see more often in books.

“I fill the space around me with music. I don’t play anything that I’ve learned. I just play. I play for me and I play for the bird who has lost so much.”

My only major issue with this book is that it feels so short. Actually, it feels shorter than most middle grade books. I think if the author would have added more to the story, like a few chapters, then I think it would add to what’s already established in the story. However, I feel like I say this with most books that are on the quicker side of reading.

Overall, this was a really wonderful and emotional read. I really enjoyed so many themes within in this book and just reading from Annie’s perspective was such a nice treat. Again, this is a short read and would be perfect for reading challenges or something to read if you’re looking for those fast reads (for all your traveling adventures too).

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

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ARC Reviews

Taproot by Keezy Young

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ARC was given by NetGalley & Oni Press in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (July 5th, 2022)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Talk and themes of death

“I’m just a gardener.”

What a cute and wholesome read! I’m always a sucker for a graphic novel that feels light, but also can make me feel a certain kind of emotional and this graphic novel does exactly that for me. And honestly, I’m kind of keeping my fingers crossed that maybe this will turn into a series because I’d love to continue following these characters. It was a very lovely and whimsical experience.

Hamal is just a gardener, who works at a little florist shop. The only thing is he can see and talk to ghosts, and he has no idea how he’s able to. Blue is a ghost, but he’s not just any ghost, he’s Hamal’s best friend and in love with him. With Hamal being able see ghosts, more keep flocking to him and his talents as a gardener continue to grow. Until strange things begin to start happening and a Reaper has suddenly turned up, looking for a necromancer.

I really adored these characters and I’m really glad we got to see a little backstory of how Blue and Hamal came to meet. Both of these characters are such soft, cinnamon roll characters that you can’t help rooting for, that you want to see come together in the best way. And speaking of characters, I absolutely fell head over heels for the Reaper. I adored their snarky, sarcastic tone, but also they way we find out they have a mushy heart and are a secret mushy hearted being. It was fantastic! The Reaper also gave me Suriel vibes and if you know then you know what I mean.

“Think of it as a favor you owe me. I’m a sucker for cheesey romance novels, and you two are terrible.”

The artwork was really stunning and captivating. The shades take on a soft tone, but when you move into those scenes of importance and seriousness, the coloring really emphasizes that to the reader. It feels very easy to get lost in the little details of the artwork, as well. I kept searching for any hidden secrets or little details that may hint to where the story was heading next. It was really enjoyable to get lost in the pages.

I think if I had to say anything negative about this book, it would be two things. The first thing is the romance in this story. It’s very insta-love and if you’re not a big fan of insta-love then this might be a bit of a miss for you. I find that for me, insta-love is very hit or miss and never anything in-between. The other thing, I feel like I say this with every graphic novel, is it felt very short and that some parts felt rushed. I think the author could have gotten away with adding more pages, a little more detail, and I think that really would have added more to the story as a whole.

Overall, this was a really fun read. I had a very delightful time reading this graphic novel and I really want to see it turn into a series. There’s so many characters in this one book that deserve the spotlight (like the Reaper, cough cough). If you’re looking for a fast read with wholesome cinnamon roll characters then I definitely recommend giving this graphic novel a chance!

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

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ARC Reviews

Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend by Alys Arden & Jacquelin De Leon

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ARC was given by NetGalley and DC Entertainment in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (July 26th, 2022)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Near death experiences, death, loss of loved ones, grief

Oh my glob, friends! Receiving an arc of this comic came out of left field and I am shook! I was graciously blessed by the arc gods and oh, thank you because this was a wonderful experience. I don’t really talk about my favorite DC universe heroes too often and Zatanna has always been one of my favorites. She’s also a hero that we don’t know much about. Zatanna doesn’t have a huge backstory and she doesn’t get the spotlight that often in shows or comics, and it feels so good to see Zatanna getting the spotlight compared to a lot of other DC heroes.

Zatanna is the daughter of famous illusionists, Ezra and Lola Starr. In Coney Island, New York, Zatanna only wants to get away from everything and lead a normal life. A life that doesn’t involve being in the constant spotlight or even the center of her father’s stunts. When one night Zatanna it out with her boyfriend and friends, strange things begin to happen and she decides to confront the one person who may have answers. Soon, secrets and mysteries surround Zatanna begins to pop up, friends and foes lurk in the shadows to see what with become of this magician.

Again, Zatanna is one of my favorite DC heroes. I’m pretty much a lover of the kind of heroes that don’t often get the spotlight like Martian Manhunter, Huntress, Hawkgirl, etc… So seeing a comic come out with more of Zatanna’s childhood/teenage years was a big excited time for me. However, I’ve been hesitant due to these comics being written in middle grade style, but also they tend to feel hit or miss to how the characters have already been established from the get-go of DC Comics. And I’m happy to say that this is one where I really fell in love with it.

The artwork is absolutely breath taking and the colors of the cover instantly drew me in. Not only is the art style something that really captures me attention and really shows off the mood in ever panel, but the color pallet is one that speaks to me and feels very much like my own personality at times. Plus, I have to talk about the rabbit, Flop. The way the rabbit was given expressions had me on the floor dying because I loved it so much.

Overall, I had a great time reading this comic. I think my only real issue or downside I had was the lack of information we have around the foe/foes of this book. I think I would have liked to have seen a little more information about that, but still a fantastic read. Like with all comics, I recommend then for readathons and those quick reads for travel. And I can’t recommend this one enough. It’s a true whimsical time!

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Her Soul for Revenge (Souls Trilogy #2) by Harley Laroux

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➸ Her Soul to Take (Souls Trilogy #1) ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Content/Trigger Warnings: Sexual content, kink/fetish content (see author’s summary or cw/tw page for details), talk of drugs & drug dealing, mentions of adultry, occult themes, alcoholism, death, stalking, talk of hospitalization/institutionalization, loss of a loved one, grief, trauma/PTSD, depictions of blood, knife play, needles, gun play, talk of torture, violence, sex, anxiety, predator behavior (drugging drink), scene of emesis, scene of snuff (sexual arousal/climax by killing/murdering someone)

β€œRevenge had been a long time coming.”

Friends, I had been looking forward to this book so, so much. I read the first book and absolutely fell in love with it and was eager to continue this series. Plus, any bread crumbs about the third and final book had my motivation spinning into overdrive. However, this book was definitely not what I had expected and I definitely wasn’t expecting to feel the way I did after reading this. There were a lot of surprises, many tears shed, and maybe a few times where I almost threw my tablet across the room (I didn’t, but oh, there’s just some lines you shouldn’t cross). It was all around a rollercoaster of a time.

The Deep One demands it’s sacrifice… The one who got away… Juniper Kynes has other plans than to have her piece of light blown out all because the majority of the people she thought she knew, all seem to want her dead. Ever since that night, Juniper has been fighting for survival, but her fight isn’t lost on watching eyes. Zane is demon who loves things that are fierce, scarred, and have a history to them. So the story of Juniper has caught his interest not only as demon, but as a soul hunter. And oh, he will have Juniper’s soul and he’s willing to wait for as long as it takes until she’s his. Only problem is, every thing comes with a price and sometimes that means putting your life on the line to take on a god and cult out of control.

I absolutely loved Zane and Juniper together. I love them so much more than Leon and Rae. The way Zane feels about her, how he sees her despite everything she’s been through… it was just wow. It truly was everything. It really brings forth that whole theme of ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ and there’s so much emphasis from Zane (through Juniper’s perspective and Zane’s own perspective) of how beautiful he thinks people who have been through trauma and how they move on from that is. And it just hit like a ton of bricks. I don’t think there’s enough words to convey how that all made me feel. Not to mention, that these two together flip roles constantly of who’s the dom and sub. Like, how often do you get to see that in steamy time books? Not that often or at least in my case not that often. So that was a really fun time and the chemistry is so dang good.

One of the things I really appreciated about this whole book, even in the first book, was the trauma/PTSD representation. As someone who has permanent PTSD, seeing that in Juniper (also in Leon from the first book) and how she handles a lot of things, how she views herself and her body, it hit really close to home. I saw a lot of myself in Juniper especially with trying to bury the scars under layers of clothes or tattoo work, even building that hard exterior of showing no weakness. It hit like a ton of bricks. Every time I read a book with good PTSD or trauma rep, I get so emotional because there’s still so much stigma around PTSD and trauma, and trying to have conversations about is never easy. So seeing the author include that in these books and handling it so well just makes my heart feel really warm and full.

β€œDon’t be ashamed of what you want to say. I’m not going anywhere.” And that was the thing, wasn’t it? That was the spark that lit up my dark, dead, broken soul β€” he’d seen all its sharp edges and hadn’t left. He’d seen me as broken as I was and wanted me, regardless.”

Despite the many good things in the book like the quotes for days, I had two major issues with this book. The biggest issue of this book is that it reads like the first book of the series and it should have been the first book in the series. Having read the first book in this series and comparing it to this one, it would have been so much better for this book to be first. Even more so timeline wise with events and who’s the last to see whom within the book. And in my opinion, the first book sets things up better for the third and final book in this series. That’s the real kick that kind of gets me and has me feeling a little salty. It was a bit disappointing for me especially as someone who like the timeline of things and can really get sucked into the storyline very easy.

My final issue with a particular scene that’s an intimate scene. Typically, I love a lot of stuff that goes down in sexy time books, but not this, this crosses an uncomfortable line for me. The first scene that bothered me I’ve kind of let slide because looking back and reflecting, it’s not too big of a deal. However, this scene I’m about to talk about is and honestly, I think the author should have outright stated that there was a scene like this instead of not mentioning it at all in their own content warnings. At the 70-75% mark there’s a scene of snuff. Now some of you may be going, “What the hell is ‘snuff’?” Snuff is an extreme sexual act of getting a sexual arousal/climax from murdering someone. Now, I originally thought this was bordering into nercophilia territory and had to do some research because this whole scene didn’t feel right and kind of shocked my system. I also had someone else fact check me before I even made notes about it. Even more so, no one has talked or mentioned this scene, at all. So I’m talking and addressing it so others don’t have to. This is not a good scene, at all. It’s a really messed up scene and the author should have done better to actually make it known that this was in the book. And I really wish I could wipe this scene from my mind, but I can’t and now it lives in my memory with the other things I wish I could forget.

β€œSurvival is messy. Survival has no morals or kindness. Survival isn’t black and white, good versus evil. Survival is shades of red; it’s blood taken and blood lost.”

Overall, what a freaking roller coaster of a book. I cried a lot, I cringed a lot, and I’m still trying to figure out what the hell I just read. There really was a lot of stuff I loved about this book and I think those who like dark romance erotica will also love it. But also, there’s a lot of things that just live in my brain rent free now. Some of them good, others regrets… yeah, lots of regrets. It was still a good read and as I mentioned with the first book, this series would be the perfect read for the fall/spooky season if you’re in need of books to chill your soul.

Buddy Read with Destiny β™₯

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ARC Reviews

Eternally Damned (Shallow Cove Dimensions #1) by January Rayne

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

πŸ₯€ Eternally Hers: The Prequel β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Content/Trigger Warnings: Grief, mentions loss of loved ones, brief mentions of witch trials, sexual content

“A vampire can live for an eternity, but eternity comes at a price.”

Wow, wow, wow! I loved everything about this book, possibly more than the prequel. If you haven’t read the prequel yet, do yourself a favor and check that out. I had a really wonderful time reading it. As I’ve already mentioned, books with vampires have been dying for me, but I’ve really been enjoying my time with this series so far. However, this one was so, so good. I adore when books have the storyline and the connection between the two people as a bigger focus than the spicy content. Ugh, it was so good friends! Plus, I feel like this is one of very few books/series that actually pull off the time skips with two point of views really well.

Set is modern day Salem, Massachusetts, we follow Maven Wildes, who sorta new at this whole “living in the present/modern world” thing. Maven is young with one dream set… Buy the Monreaux Estate, fix it up, and finally live in her dream home. The one place where she feels like she truly can call home. To which, Fate is as Fate does, and blessed Maven with the biggest dream she ever wanted. Enter Alexander, who’s been in a coma for what seems like an eternity to him. Yet upon him stirring, things aren’t quite as they seem. Who is this girl on the Monreaux Estate, what business does she have here, and why can’t she see or hear him? One thing is for certain, Alex can’t deny the strong pull he has towards her. Now that the two are so close, both Maven and Alex can’t help the events that begin to unfold between them.

I absolutely adored all of the characters! Not only are our two main characters layered and fully captivating, but some of the side characters are just chef’s kiss! Now, I don’t want to spoil too much for you, but the connection Maven and Alex have is so good and more focused on their connection rather than the spice. We also see Maven developing her powers and learning about them which I adored. I have to say the way the male characters in this series are so devoted to their mates/beloved in this series has been so refreshing truly and of course, Alex is no exception. And we have to talk about Maven’s Papa! There’s a scene at the beginning of this book that was so freaking good. Top favorite moments of this book for sure! Truly, Maven’s Papa just touch a soft spot in my heart that I don’t think I’ll ever get over. And Dottie is such a firecracker! Oh my gosh she’s fantastic best friend to Maven and has so much fire in her personality. I really adored her.

“Dreams are meant to drive the human soul. If we don’t have dreams, we don’t have anything.”

As with the prequel, be prepared to meet new characters and see old faces from the prequel in this book. The author is really lining this series up with so many possibilities, having you wonder who’s going to get paired with who, and where is the author going to takes us next. The possibilities are literally endless and I’m so excited. Plus, the author always ends these books on a note that leaves you craving, wanting more! That’s how I feel right now. Just in a craze to get my hands on the next book in this series.

Overall, I truly don’t want to say too much or spoil too much for anyone. I definitely recommend reading the prequel before reading this book. The prequel did a really good job at setting the stage for all the other books in the series to follow. So go read that first! Otherwise, what a great read. I think these characters just live in my brain now, rent free. They’re just here permanently now. What else can I really say except that I’m having a fangtastic time reading this series and January Rayne feels like an author everyone needs to watch.

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

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ARC Reviews

Unraveling by Brandon Leake

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ALC provided by Libro.fm and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review

Content/Trigger Warnings: Themes/Mentions of racism, alcoholism, gun violence, violence, death, anxiety, Acrophobia (fear of heights)

Wow, what a powerful poetry collection. I have sat with this poetry collection for a few days now, sitting with my feelings on this book and my feelings. Let me tell you, how does one even begin to rate a poetry collection. All I know is that with this collection, Leake reveals some of the rawest parts of himself and some of them will stay days after reading this book.

Brandon Leake’s Unraveling is a poetry collection that explores what it means to be a Black man living in America, his faith as a Christian and his relationship with God, and even takes a look at his fears and concerns surrounding fame (a topic which isn’t usually discussed often). Within these pages, Brandon shows the rawest pieces of himself, expressing his love and passions, but also showing us his fears and worries. Bringing some very important topics up and addressing them.

The only thing I will say impacted my reading was the constant religious themes and passages. I’ve said it a few times in other reviews, but I’m not a very religious person. I, personally, have a lot of conflicting feelings and experiences with religion, and so I don’t typically read anything that has a lot of religious themes. This is something to be aware of especially if you’re someone like me who also has very conflicting feelings/experiences.

Overall, this was a really powerful read and I think if you’re looking powerful poetry collections or really good audiobooks narrated by the author (hint, hint, wink, wink) then you should definitely consider picking this book up. It’s been about two-three days since I finished this and I’m still thinking about a lot of the themes within this book and some of my favorite pieces like Trails, Sandcastles, Safe Haven, and a few others. I definitely recommend giving this book a chance!

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Monthly TBR

April 2022 TBR

March was a flop, let’s try this again… But with April!

Yup, you read that right, March was a flop. I struggled with getting anything read for the month of March. I think I read… three or four things which is still good, but I definitely couldn’t get everything I wanted read. So for this month, we’re keeping things light and if I read more then I read more and if not, it’s okay because we’re refusing to put any amount of pressure on ourselves for this month. However, I am really excited about to talk about the books I have picked out for this month. So friends, let’s get our caffeine and dive in!


🌷 Currently Reading 🌷

➸ Eternally Damned (Shallow Cove Dimensions #1) by January Raybe
April 5th 2022 by Raining Romance LLC
Arc provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

If you haven’t seen my review for Eternally Hers: The Prequel, definitely go check that out because I had a blast reading it. I have been so, so lucky to be blessed with an arc copy for the next book in this series and I’m so excited. I’m only a few chapters in, but oh, I’m very excited and that’s all I’ll say.


🌷 The TBR 🌷

➸ The Poison Heart by Kalynne Bayron
June 29th 2021 by Bloomsbury YA

Part of my 12 Challenge, this is on the tbr for April. The only thing I know about this book is that it’s a Medusa retelling and that’s it. That’s also the main reason so many friends recommended this book to me. I love retellings especially mythological retellings. I’m so here for this!

➸ Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
November 14th 2017 by Hachette Audio

It’s freaking happening okay! I failed at reading this for my March tbr, but it’s happening immediately. I’m really excited about this especially because my spouse is waiting to hear my thoughts on it before they pick it up. So I really want to listen to this as soon as possible.

➸ Her Soul for Revenge (Souls Trilogy #2) by Harley Laroux
October 30th 2021
Buddy Read with Destiny πŸ’œ

I absolutely fell in love with Her Soul to Take! What a freaking fantastic read for my spooky little soul. Granted, this isn’t a series for everyone, but personally, I’m head over heels for it. Even more so after the author announced the third and final book in the series. I’m freaking hyped! Anyway, I have another buddy read with my lovely friend and I’m really excited. She always has the best recommendations and just gets my taste for books.

➸ Twisted Love (Twisted #1) by Ana Huang
April 29th 2021

A few friends have recommended this series to me and with the first three book loaded into my kindle library, I think I started on this series. Look, I don’t know much about it only that a few of my friends really adore this series. So I’m hoping I can read this first book and find out how I feel about it.


I feel really content looking at the list. I feels like a very achievable reading tbr and I’m excited to dive in. And who knows, maybe I’ll end up reading way more than I plan. These next few months are going to be a bit tricky reading wise due to so many things happening, but I’m excited. Maybe you’ll see more audiobooks on my tbrs in the future just due to everything. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this list and until next time, stay hydrated, I love you! β™₯

Have an April tbr you want you share? Read any of these books? Tell me all about it in the comments below! β™₯

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Uncategorized

Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love, #4) by Anyta Sunday

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This post contains affiliate links; if you use the Amazon link to make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Thanks for reading!

✨ Leo Loves Aries (Signs of Love #1) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
✨  Leo Tops Aries (Signs of Love #1.5) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
✨ Scorpio Hates Virgo (Signs of Love #2) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
✨ Gemini Keeps Capricorn (Signs of Love, #3) β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…

Content/Trigger Warnings: Brief scene of aracnophobia (fear of spiders), mentions of bullying (in the past), mentioned horseback riding accident (in the past), brief discussions of death, talk of divorce, talk of adultry (cheating), sexual content

“You hooked me at Toy Story.”

We’re finally back with the fourth book in this series! This was an absolutely adorable slow burn romance! There were so many details that had me smiling and geeking out over what was about to happen next. We get to see cameos of previous characters from the past books which is always such a joy to see. It was just a really great to return to this series and meet some new characters while seeing the ones we’ve met along the way.

β€œPeople can be complicated. We can also be ridiculously simple.”

We follow Zane Penn, who’s a little in over his head. Not only is he in a bind of trying to find a new place to move into, but at the end of the month his green card is about to run out and he’ll have to return to New Zealand. Unless he can get married, that is. Enter Beckett who graciously opens his home and offers Zane a place to take harbor. Beckett is a professor at the local collage and is still healing from a divorce, but Zane is determined to help Beckett heal and believe in love again. Even if it means he loses his heart and falls head over heels for Beckett in the process.

I really enjoyed Zane and Beckett as our main characters. They might just be my favorite out of this whole series. They have amazing banter and the chemistry between them is so thick you could cut it with a knife. There were so many memorable moments between that really stuck out with me. I think my favorite would have to be the cinnamon standoff. That was such a fantastic scene that I don’t think I’ll ever get over. I truly believe these two characters were meant for each other. And can I just say how rare it is that we get romance stories where one of the characters is a divorcee. It’s so rare to have story like that and I’m really glad the author decided to take that and make it a part of this story.

Some of the themes in this book were fantastic like Zane discovering his self-worth and leaving an employer who constantly put Zane down about his work. Zane did a lot of work to figure out his own worth and chase after what he really wanted. Even by the end of the book he was still working on himself. I think my favorite theme has to be the one centered around Beckett. There’s a whole theme of of healing after you’ve been devastatingly hurt by someone you once loved. Beckett’s theme constantly sucked the air out of my lungs because watching everything unfold, watching Beckett rediscover love, and watching him a safe harbor with Zane was absolutely everything. And seeing Zane be patient, never giving up on Beckett was literally everything. The soft, healing moments Zane and Beckett have with one another was so wholesome, and everything.

“I was supposed to be charming your pants off. Yet you’re literally charming off mine.”

I did have some issues with this book though. I think the biggest thing was this book really being a slow burn and it was even emphasized throughout the book that it was a slow burn. Most of the steamy, spicy scenes didn’t happen probably till the 75% mark within this book. That’s how much of a slow burn this is. I think that was my most frustrating thing about this book because it just gave a feel of running circles around the actual romance and chemistry. The other thing I struggled with, that I actually had to research and ask a few people about, was the constant reference of ‘Kiwi’ throughout this book. I was so confused and I’m glad I actually researched and talked to a few people because I probably would have been very clueless if I hadn’t. For those who don’t know, like myself, Kiwi is in reference to those who are from New Zealand. I had no idea about this and now I do, but oh, I was so lost and confused for a hot minute with that being constantly repeated throughout the book.

Overall, I really enjoyed my time reading this book. As always, I have a wonderful time reading about this characters, reading their independent stories and seeing the cameos, and of course, I’m eager to finish this series. I think we have one last book in the series to read (excluding the novellas in between each book). If you haven’t checked out this series, I strongly recommend doing so. There’s so much lgbtqiap+ representation throughout this series and I just love this series with my whole chest.

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ARC Reviews

Sakura’s Dedication, Vol. 1 by Fuyu Yukimiya

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This post contains affiliate links; if you use the Amazon link to make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Thanks for reading!

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

This review is being published after the release date (February 22nd, 2022)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Mentions of cheating, scenes of brief verbal abuse

Calling all lovers of the manga Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku and just any slice of life manga! Put this manga series on your radar because this was really cute and I couldn’t help thinking about some of my favorite manga that’s more slice of life. Yet, this manga also gave me very brief vibes of Ouran High School Host Club. Look, if you know, you know. I really enjoyed my time reading this and it was a nice pick me up when I needed something light yet sweet, borderline wholesome.

We follow Sawa Hanasaki, a high school girl, who recently broke up with her boyfriend after finding out he was cheating on her. While she’s still trying to work out her feelings, Sakura Yuma has decided to confront Sawa to ask her to be his girlfriend. Despite rejecting him, Sakura is even more determined he can be the boyfriend that she needs.

“I feel like you’ll get lost and I don’t want to let go of you.”

I feel like my opinion is going to be on the minority side of things, but I actually enjoyed Sawa and Sakura together. In the aspect of them acting like high schoolers, still navigating feelings, and even learning what it means to find true, genuine people who care about you is hard. I think the mangaka did a fantastic job of translating all of this into the manga itself. I think readers, like myself, who’ve been out of school for a while sometimes forget how much a whirlwind high school really was and some of the things that we endured during that time. And I truly believe with my whole chest that the mangaka really brought that to life in this book. Even more so when it comes to navigating the waters of love.

There’s also this whole minor theme of appreciating the little things. You all know, I love a good sprinkling of appreciating the little things in anything I read. And oh, it was delivered so beautifully for us in this manga. Not to the point that it’d be really obvious or overwhelming, but just the right amount that when you do notice, it’s such a burst of warmth. I think we need more literature that has this theme casually sprinkled throughout it.

“But I find myself wanting to touch him like this longer.”

The main theme, though, is what really caught my attention. As I mentioned earlier, there’s a whole theme of discovering what it truly means to be loved, to be valued as you are, and what that can look like when you finally find those genuine caring people. I think Sawa and her relationship with Sakura is such a good example of what it means to truly navigate leaving behind someone who was clearly very toxic, potentially abusive, or even an absolute jerk of a person and find people who value you as you are. It’s not an easy thing to do. I think this manga was a great example of showing a very realistic relationship of love and self value, but the relationship shows us a bit of Sakura and how new it is for him to be with a person he cares so much for. I really loved this theme a lot and this is the main reason why I can’t wait for the next volume.

I will say, I did have one issue with this manga and to be fair, it’s still the first volume. There could still be more on the horizon that we as the readers are unaware of. I really wanted to see more of the scenes with the ex-boyfriend. The few scenes we get of him show that he’s a bit of a verbal abuser, but I also feel there’s a whole lot more to things with him. Even more so with the very first scene we have with him and Sawa. I’m not going to lie, I was on the edge of my seat, but I wanted more. I really wanted to see how those scenes would play out just to get a better feel for his character as a whole. I’m really hoping in future volumes we’ll see little more details.

Overall, I had a really fun time reading this manga. I feel like I say this a lot, but I’m not the biggest slice of life manga reader, but when I do pick them up, I typically enjoy them. Again, I’m really excited for the next volumes and really eager to see what the mangaka has for us. So far, I haven’t seen any announcements on the next book or anything, but you bet I’m keeping my eyes peeled for any bread crumb of news!

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

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