Uncategorized

20 Books I Want to Read in 2021

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


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

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


❄️ Lore by Alexandra Bracken ❄️

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


❄️ When Night Breaks (Kingdom of Cards, #2) by Janella Angeles ❄️

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


❄️ Go the Distance: A Twisted Tale (A Twisted Tale #11) by Jen Calonita ❄️

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


❄️ Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers ❄️

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


❄️ Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley ❄️

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


❄️ A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas ❄️

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


❄️ Heartstopper Volume Four (Heartstopper #4) by Alice Oseman ❄️

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


❄️ The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab ❄️

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


❄️ Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas ❄️

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


❄️ The Meet -Cute Project by Rhiannon Richardson ❄️

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


❄️ The Sea in Winter by Christine Day ❄️

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


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

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


❄️ Among the Beasts & Briars by Ashley Poston ❄️

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


❄️ Night of the Dragon (Shadow of the Fox #3) by Julia Kagawa ❄️

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


❄️ Darling by K. Ancrum ❄️

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


❄️ Famine by Laura Thalassa ❄️

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


❄️ Take A Hint Dani Brown (The Brown Sisters #2) by Talia Hibbert ❄️

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


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

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


❄️ Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar ❄️

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


❄️ Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones ❄️

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


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

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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday | Books I Hope Santa Brings

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!


Happy Holiday Season dearest friends! I hope all of you have been staying safe, staying hydrated, and staying cozy (or staying cool for my southern hemisphere friends)! 2020 is finally coming to an end and I think it’s safe to say we’re all ready to start a fresh new year. It truly has been a wild ride of a year and December seems like it came flying by. Also, I want to make a quick statement that things might be a little staggered with posting due to the holidays and this is going to be kept very brief. But enough of all of that! This Friday in the US is Christmas! Again, just like Thanksgiving, we do and don’t celebrate this holiday in my family. However, my family also celebrates Winter Solstice and Yule this time of year too! So the end of November and the majority of this month has been… busy, to say the least. But that’s the typical chaos that usually happens in my family around this time of year.

This time of year has always been my favorite. I love giving gifts to all my friends, making homemade presents, and just making their holiday season a little brighter with spreading the love. Moving along, you all came here to talk books and I’m sure you’re all curious as to what I could be hoping for during the holiday season. I normally don’t share my wishlist except with friends and family, but I figured let me share some of the books I’ve really been wanting for a while now.


❄️ Split Tooth by Tanya Tageq ❄️


❄️ Take A Hint Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert ❄️


❄️ Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore ❄️


❄️ Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones ❄️


❄️ The Girl from the Other Side Volume 9 by NAGABE ❄️


❄️ Shark in the Time of Saviors: A Novel by Kawai Strong Washburn ❄️


❄️ Vivid by Beverly Jenkins ❄️


❄️ Aru Shah and the End of Time by Roshani Chokshi ❄️


❄️ Amina’s Voice by Hena Khan ❄️


❄️ Shine by Jessica Jung ❄️


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Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday | Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR

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!


Salutations friends! This is going to be a super sweet, short to the point kind of post! With the holidays just a week out from now, I’m a bit long-winded and currently trying to catch up on some things before the new year rolls in. So sit back and enjoy these few books you’ll see popping up on my tbr the next month or so!


❄️ Crown of Bones (Crown of Bones #1) by A.K. Wilder ❄️


❄️ Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher ❄️


❄️ Mr Right Across the Street by Kathryn Freeman ❄️


❄️When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them by Jesse Freidin❄️


❄️ I Must Belong Somewhere: Poetry and Prose by Dawn Lanuza ❄️


❄️ The Project by Courtney Summers ❄️


❄️Lore by Alexandra Bracken ❄️


❄️ Moonstruck, Vol. 3: Troubled Waters (Moonstruck, #3) by Grace Ellis ❄️


❄️ The Sea in Winter by Christine Day ❄️


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


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#5OnMyTBR

#5OnMyTBR | Animals

#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.


Salutation friends! I know I’ve been a bit absent and haven’t put out as much content as I’d like, but I do have a new #5OnMyTBR post for all of you. I can’t begin to express how happy this prompt makes me. Animals has always been a HUGE part of my life and if I’m being honest, I feel like that’s a part of myself that I greatly suppress within the book community. There are times where I talk about my corgi or maybe one of my cats, but it’s a part of my life that I keep in a box and keep it tucked in the back of the closet (if you get my drift). And I don’t want to do that anymore… It’s a part of who I am, it’s a huge part of my every day life, and animals are a heavy influence in some of the things I read and watch on media platforms. So I’m really excited to open this side up to all of you and I hope you find a new book within these books that might interest you!


❄️When Dogs Heal Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them by Jesse Freidin❄️

“The best medicine may not always be found at a pharmacy or in a doctor’s office. Sometimes it comes in the form of a four-legged friend.

Three well-known leaders in their fields—award-winning dog photographer Jesse Freidin, adolescent HIV+ specialist Dr. Robert Garofalo, and LGBTQ advocate and journalist Zach Stafford—offer a refreshing, beautiful, and unique portrait of HIV infused with a deep message of hope. Each extraordinary profile shows the power of the incredible bonds between humans and their canine companions, whether that means combating loneliness and stigma, discovering the importance of unconditional love, overcoming addiction, or simply having a best friend in a time of need.

When Dogs Heal shares the stories of a diverse set of people who are thriving and celebrating life thanks to the compassion and unconditional love of their dogs.

A portion of the proceeds from this book benefits Fred Says, an organization dedicated to financially supporting HIV+ teen health care.”


❄️Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton❄️

“S.T., a domesticated crow, is a bird of simple pleasures: hanging out with his owner Big Jim, trading insults with Seattle’s wild crows (those idiots), and enjoying the finest food humankind has to offer: Cheetos ®.

Then Big Jim’s eyeball falls out of his head, and S.T. starts to feel like something isn’t quite right. His most tried-and-true remedies–from beak-delivered beer to the slobbering affection of Big Jim’s loyal but dim-witted dog, Dennis–fail to cure Big Jim’s debilitating malady. S.T. is left with no choice but to abandon his old life and venture out into a wild and frightening new world with his trusty steed Dennis, where he discovers that the neighbors are devouring each other and the local wildlife is abuzz with rumors of dangerous new predators roaming Seattle. Humanity’s extinction has seemingly arrived, and the only one determined to save it is a foul-mouthed crow whose knowledge of the world around him comes from his TV-watching education.”


❄️Wild on My Mind (Where the Wild Hearts Are #1) by Laurel Kerr❄️

“When Katie Underwood discovers a litter of newborn cougar cubs, the last person she expects to come to the rescue is her former crush―and high school nemesis―Bowie Wilson. The worst part? He doesn’t seem to remember the trouble he caused her.

As a single father and owner of a cash-strapped zoo, Bowie struggles to balance budgets while raising his pre-teen daughter and a host of rascally animals. He considers himself lucky when Katie agrees to lend her talents to a publicity campaign in support of the zoo’s animal rehabilitation programs―until he learns just what she’s planning…

This time, Katie is determined to resist Bowie’s charm. But a lovelorn camel, a matchmaking honey badger, and a nursemaid capybara have different plans. Can they and the rest of the zoo’s menagerie help Bowie break through the barriers surrounding Katie’s heart?”


❄️Steve and Me by Terri Irwin❄️

“When Terri Raines was twenty-seven years old, she took a vacation that changed her life. Leaving behind her wildlife rescue work in Oregon, Terri traveled to Australia, and there, at a small wildlife park, she met and fell in love with a tall, blond force of nature named Steve Irwin. They were married in less than a year, and Terri eagerly joined in Steve’s conservation work. The footage filmed on their crocodile-trapping honeymoon became the first episode of T”he Crocodile Hunter, ” and together, Steve and Terri began to change the world. In “Steve & Me, ” Terri recounts the unforgettable adventures they shared — wrangling venomous snakes, saving deadly crocodiles from poachers, swimming among humpback whales. A uniquely gifted naturalist, Steve was first and foremost a wildlife warrior dedicated to rescuing endangered animals — especially his beloved crocs — and educating everyone he could reach about the importance of conservation. In the hit TV shows that continue to be broadcast worldwide, Steve’s enthusiasm lives on, bringing little-known and often-feared species to light as he reveals and revels in the wonders of our planet.

With grace, wit, and candor, Terri Irwin portrays her husband as he really was — a devoted family man, a fervently dedicated environmentalist, a modest bloke who spoke to millions on behalf of those who could not speak for themselves. “Steve & Me” is a nonstop adventure, a real-life love story, and a fitting tribute to a man adored by all those whose lives he touched, written by the woman who knew and loved him best of all.”


❄️The Soul of an Octopus: A Surprising Exploration Into the Wonder of Consciousness by Sy Montgomery❄️

“In pursuit of the wild, solitary, predatory octopus, popular naturalist Sy Montgomery has practiced true immersion journalism. From New England aquarium tanks to the reefs of French Polynesia and the Gulf of Mexico, she has befriended octopuses with strikingly different personalities—gentle Athena, assertive Octavia, curious Kali, and joyful Karma. Each creature shows her cleverness in myriad ways: escaping enclosures like an orangutan; jetting water to bounce balls; and endlessly tricking companions with multiple “sleights of hand” to get food.

Scientists have only recently accepted the intelligence of dogs, birds, and chimpanzees but now are watching octopuses solve problems and are trying to decipher the meaning of the animal’s color-changing techniques. With her “joyful passion for these intelligent and fascinating creatures” (Library Journal Editors’ Spring Pick), Montgomery chronicles the growing appreciation of this mollusk as she tells a unique love story. By turns funny, entertaining, touching, and profound, The Soul of an Octopus reveals what octopuses can teach us about the meeting of two very different minds.”


Whew! It feels like I’ve been holding my breath for such a long time and finally came up for air! I’m hoping in the future that you’ll see this side of me often and maybe I’ll do a animal book recommendation post in the future. Truly, I hope you enjoyed this and some of these books caught your interest. I’m excited about these books and I’m so happy I could share them with you. Do you have any books with animals that you love? Please let me know! I love reading books with animals or educational books about animals. Until next time, I hope you’re staying safe and cozy! I love you! 💙

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Uncategorized

Web Comics I Wish More Readers Talked About or Knew About

Greetings readers! I hope you all have been doing well, staying healthy, and enjoying the little things! I’m so excited because I’m finally typing up an article I have been dying to create and share with all of you. While in the book community many readers know me for fantasy reading and books that don’t often get the attention they deserve, things are a bit different outside of the book community. In my personal life especially among my friends, I’m known for the manga, graphic novels/comics, and zoology books I tend to pick up.

Often, I don’t share the personal side of myself too much. Manga, I’ve been more open about that since coming into the book community, but the others… well I tend to keep that under lock and key. So, I wanted to be more unapologetically myself around all of you and in this community. So I thought to myself, what better way to do that than share all the web comics I’ve been falling in love with?! And today is the day! So I hope you all enjoy and check these web comics out, support the creators, and maybe fall in love with them too!


❄️ Suitor Armor by Purppah ❄️


❄️ The Witch and the Bull by Moonsia ❄️


❄️ The Doctors are Out by Blau ❄️


❄️ Crumbs by Whitherling ❄️


❄️ KillMax by Kennycomics (Paul Jun) & SilentMaru ❄️


❄️ PETS by Gyxks ❄️


❄️ House of Stars by saltacuentos / Lion Illustration ❄️


❄️ 180 Angel by Queen Katbird ❄️


❄️ True Beauty by Yaongyi ❄️


❄️ Not Even Bones by R. Schaeffer & Alai Cinereo ❄️


❄️ To Love Your Enemy by Jungyoon & Taegeon ❄️


I think that covers all the web comics I’ve been reading a lot recently! I know I didn’t list the synopsis for all of them, but I want that to encourage you to go check out these web comics for yourself and decide if you want to read them or not. I hope you enjoyed this article, as well! I had a lot of fun putting this together and I’m so happy to finally be sharing it with all of you. Do you have a favorite web comic? Please, oh please let me know! I love discovering new web comics! Until next time, I hope your month is filled with love and good reading! I love you! 💙

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Monthly TBR

December 2020 TBR

Greetings lovelies! Can you believe that we’re already in December? 2020 went by so fast and I think we can all say that we’re ready for this year to be over. But this month I really want to strive to keep my reading light and have plenty of room to breathe. Usually this time of year I’m travelling or with family and I won’t lie, I very deeply miss them. So, my reading has been a bit… more mood reading than sticking to a tbr as of lately. And truthfully, I wasn’t sure if I was going to even make a tbr for December, but I’m kind of glad I did. I really enjoy making tbr piles and posts. But here are the five books I plan on reading this month because I miss my family so, so much and I’m healing from a lot of painful things this year, and I really wanted my reading to reflect that part of me.

P.S. There’s also two readathons happening this time of year as well. There’s the Tistheseasonathon & Smutathon happening! I haven’t decided if I want to try and participate, but I wanted to make sure you all knew these were taking place this month. And I can’t wait to see all the tbrs for these readathons!


☃️ Currently Reading ☃️

A Universe of Wishes by Dhonielle Clayton
Pub. Date: December 8th, 2020 by Crown Books for Young Readers
ARC was provided by NetGalley and Random House Children’s in exchange for an honest review.

I have been really enjoying this anthology so far. I wish I could have finished this in November, but these last two months are a bit of a stretch for my reading. However, I think many readers are going to fall in love with this book because there’s so many wonderful stories being told, by some very well-loved authors!


☃️ December TBR ☃️

Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love by Elsie Chapman
June 18th, 2019 by Simon Pulse
Dragons & Tea December Pick 🐉

I have a confession… I started this anthology and never finished it! Which is really sad because I was loving this book so darn much! However, I’m finally making time to finish this book. Even if this wasn’t a pick for the Dragons & Tea Book Club, I would still try to finish this book before 2020 ended. Plus, I was really loving this book and with missing my family so badly right now, I think this is a good book to fill my heart with some warmth.

Crown of Bones (Crown of Bones #1) by A. K. Wilder
Pub. Date: January 5th, 2021 by Entangled: Teen
ARC was provided by NetGalley and Entangled Publishing in exchange for an honest review!

The publishing date for this book is coming up fast and with a synopsis that has me intrigued, I really want to read this for December. Plus, the whole book gives off wintery vibes and I’m here for it!

I Must Belong Somewhere: Poetry and Prose by Dawn Lanuza
Pub. Date: January 5th, 2021 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
ARC was provided by NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

I really wanted to read this in November, but it just wasn’t in the cards for me to read it that month. However, with the publication date rapidly approaching, I really want to get this book read and have a review posted before the end of 2020. Plus, I think this is a book I really need to read right now.

When Dogs Heal: Powerful Stories of People Living with HIV and the Dogs That Saved Them by Jesse Freidin
Pub. Date: March 2nd, 2021 by Zest Books
ARC was provided by NetGalley and Zest Books in exchange for an honest review.

I feel like I don’t talk about this part of my life a lot and I feel like I should because it’s such a huge part of my life, a huge part of me, but I’ve spent and do spend a lot of time working with animals. I spent a long time working with dogs and their behavior, and my own corgi is a certified esa (a.k.a emotional support animal). So, I’m really excited to read this arc and I’m even more excited to open up a little about such a huge part of my life to all of you. And hopefully in the future, you might just see a bunch of books revolving around or involving animals! On that note, I’m really excited to read this book! I’m a firm believer animals are healers, some special kind of magic we don’t deserve, and I’m always looking to read other’s experiences with animals.


Okay, book dragons! I think those cover all the books I really want to make sure I read this month. Honestly, I have a few other books I’d love to read. From arcs all the way to some arcs that don’t come out till Spring 2021. However, I’m really happy with how this tbr turned out and I’m so excited to read these books. Truly, I’m keeping my fingers crossed these all turn out to be five stars! I hope you all have an amazing month of reading, a wonderful holiday season, and that you continue to stay safe, and stay healthy! I love you! 💙

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Wrap Ups

November 2020 Wrap Up

Salutations friends! I have a cup of hot coffee and I’m hoping it’ll fuel me to share all my thoughts about November, and tell you a little bit about how it hasn’t gone exactly as planned. That aside, I hope you all are doing well, staying healthy, and if you’re struggling right now, I see you and I love you!

Now let’s talk about November. Oh boy, where do I start. I think I’ve mentioned a few times that I’ve been feeling very long-winded and I think I’ve narrowed it down to one thing that’s been looming over my head for about a month now. Yes, it’s a review and I have it started, but the thought of writing this review bring large amount of dread within me especially since I’m in the minority opinion. Even more dread from the fact that I’m bringing statics and various resources to this review, but I don’t know how many people are going to listen, let alone who may try to argue with my statements in that review. So it’s been a very big weight that’s been impacting my reading (if you couldn’t tell from the anthologies, manga, and graphic novels). Needless to say, November has felt like a very hard month to read.

On top of that, I’ve had a few classes I’ve taken and I’ve been working on a big project that I’ve been wanting to do, for almost three-four years now, but it’s been a process of gathering everything up. So hopefully I’ll be announcing this project in December or possibly by the end of December. I have to wait and see where things fall, but I’m excited to share with all of you. So as you can see, November has been a roller coaster and a challenge to get reading accomplished, but I still managed to read six things and I’m really proud of that.


🍂 Winter Counts by David Heska Wanbii Weiden ⭐⭐⭐⭐ | Read for the Dragons & Tea Book Club 🐉
I’ll be honest, I was really nervous about picking this book up. October wasn’t the best month for reading thrillers and suspenseful books, and I was nervous this was going to fall in the category of ‘books I shouldn’t have picked up right now’ pile. But, I’m pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it and there were some quotes I pulled from this book that really hit a certain spot within my soul. The writing of this book was absolutely lovely and very well written. I don’t know if this author has other pieces out yet, but I’m excited for the next story this author creates. Also, I really appreciated the insight of the hardships and issues Natives face, but most importantly, I loved how this book is carving out a space in a genre that doesn’t have enough Indigenous voice represented. And let me add this side note; when I saw Winter Counts (and a few other books by Native authors) had made it onto the GoodReads choice awards, it’s an impactful moment when you see those who are like you paving a path and making a space to say, “I’m Native, I’m here, and look at everything I have accomplished.” Words can’t express how important it is to see and hopefully, we’ll see this happen more often in the future.

🍂 Ancestor Approved: Intertribal Stories for Kids by Cynthia Leitich Smith ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pub. Date: February 9th, 2021
I absolutely loved this book so, so much! There were a lot of parts in this book that I found healing and many parts that I connected to. Also, there’s a plethora of diversity throughout this book. From the different family dynamics, to alternating perspectives, all the way to seeing how each story is connected to one another and happening along this same timeline. It was just a fantastic read and it made me miss going to Powwow with my aunts so dang much. Hopefully in this future, I’ll be able to return with them and have my spouse experience their first Powwow with us. And I promise, I’m working on the review for this book. I just haven’t decided how soon I want to publish the review since this book doesn’t come out till February of 2021. So, it’s coming, I promise. I just don’t know when yet.

🍂 Delicates (Sheets, #2) by Brenna Thummler ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pub. Date: March 16th, 2021
I loved this graphic novel so much! I enjoyed the first graphic novel, Sheets and thought it was cute, endearing, and a bit whimsical. However, this one was a whole other level of enjoyable. However, this graphic novel touches on a lot of hard topics like peer pressure, bullying, thoughts of suicide, etc… I do have all the content warnings listed on my GR review, but I definitely recommend caution for the depictions of suicidal thoughts and feelings. Otherwise, this is a really good book and I think many readers are going to really enjoy it the way I did.

🍂 Together, Apart by Erin A. Craig ⭐⭐⭐
I really wish I would have loved this more, but I think I went in with my expectations too high. I really thought I was going to have more emotional pull than I did, but there were some that didn’t pull any emotions from me. However, there were quite a few gems within this anthology that I absolutely adored and wished were a bit longer than they were. I think a lot of readers are going to see themselves or their situations within this book and I think many readers will find emotional validation to how they’re feeling since quarantine happened. Also, there’s a wide diversity throughout this book. From characters of color, to LGBTQIAP+, all the way to the family dynamics. I think readers are going to enjoy this anthology.

🍂 In Love & Pajamas by Catana Comics ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Pub. Date: February 2nd, 2021
Absolutely adorable! If you’re looking for a graphic novel that’s going to make you laugh, smile, and charm it’s way into your heart then you need to read this book. I saw so much of my spouse and I within these pages. I couldn’t help falling in love with this book because it’s too precious. I highly recommend!

🍂 Whisper Me A Love Song (Whisper Me A Love Song #1) by Eku Takeshima ⭐⭐⭐⭐
I was pleasantly surprised by this manga. Let me start by saying that if you’re looking for a manga to lift your spirits with love at first sight and two characters who have personalities that work really well together then you definitely need to give this manga a chance. The chemistry is really good and neither love interest overshadows the other. However, I definitely had the issue of the two main tropes, love at first sight trope and two people not being on the same page, feeling like a bit much. Regardless, I’m excited to see how the rest of the series will play out!


I’d say that was a successful month of reading. I hope you all enjoyed this little wrap up of mine. I know it wasn’t super long, but hopefully I’ll get caught up in December. What was your favorite read of November? Please let me know! I’m always looking for new book recommendations recommendations. Until next time, stay cozy and safe! I love you! 💛

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#5OnMyTBR

#5OnMyTBR | Nonfiction

#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.


Let me be honest, I’m not the best at reading nonfiction, actually I’m terrible at reading nonfiction. However, I don’t read a lot of nonfiction, autobiographies, etc… because it feels like I’m reading someone’s life diary and for myself, personally, I try not to pry into other’s lives and nonfiction sometimes has a way of making me feel like I’m doing just that. So, I don’t usually read nonfiction. However, there are a few nonfictional pieces that I would like to read at some point (most likely in 2021 because 2020 has made me super long-winded) and fall in love with them.


🍂 Apple Skin to the Core by Eric Gansworth 🍂

“Apple: Skin to the Core, is a YA memoir-in-verse. Eric Gansworth tells the story of his life, of an Onondaga family living among Tuscaroras, and of Native people in America, including the damaging legacy of government boarding schools—and in doing so grapples with the slur common in Native communities, for someone “red on the outside, white on the inside,” and reclaims it.”


🍂 Karamo My Story of Embracing Purpose, Healing, & Hope by Karamo Brown 🍂

“When Karamo Brown first auditioned for the casting directors of Netflix’s Queer Eye, he knew he wouldn’t win the role of culture expert by discussing art and theater. Instead he decided to redefine what ‘culture’ could — and should — mean for the show. He took a risk and declared, ‘I am culture.’

Karamo believes that culture is so much more than art museums and the ballet — it’s how people feel about themselves and others, how they relate to the world around them, and how their shared labels, burdens, and experiences affect their daily lives in ways both subtle and profound. Seen through this lens, Karamo is culture: His family is Jamaican and Cuban; he was raised in the South in predominantly white neighborhoods and attended a HBCU (Historically Black College/University); he was trained as a social worker and psychotherapist; he overcame personal issues of colorism, physical and emotional abuse, alcohol and drug addiction, and public infamy; he is a proud and dedicated gay single father of two boys, one biological and one adopted. It is by discussing deep subjects like these, he feels, that the makeovers on the show can attain their full, lasting meaning. Styling your hair is important, but so is figuring out why you haven’t done so in 20 years!

In this eye-opening and moving memoir, Karamo reflects on his lifelong education. It comprises every adversity he has overcome, as well as the lessons he has learned along the way. It is only by exploring our difficulties and having the hard conversations—with ourselves and one another—that we are able to adjust our mind-sets, heal emotionally, and move forward to live our best lives.

Karamo shows us the way.”


🍂 The Sea-Ringed World: Sacred Stories of the Americas by María García Esperón 🍂

“Fifteen thousand years before Europeans stepped foot in the Americas, people had already spread from tip to tip and coast to coast. Like all humans, these Native Americans sought to understand their place in the universe, the nature of their relationship with the divine, and the origin of the world into which their ancestors had emerged.

The answers lay in their sacred stories.

Author María García Esperón, illustrator Amanda Mijangos, and translator David Bowles have gifted us a treasure. Their talents have woven this collection of stories from nations and cultures across our two continents—the Sea-Ringed World, as the Aztecs called it—from the edge of Argentina all the way up to Alaska.

The Em Querido list seeks to introduce the finest books in translation from around the world to an American audience. We feel lucky to be bringing you this book on our inaugural list, which we hope will be a true window and mirror.”


🍂 #Notyourprincess: Voices of Native American Women by Lisa Charleyboy 🍂

“Whether looking back to a troubled past or welcoming a hopeful future, the powerful voices of Indigenous women across North America resound in this book. In the same style as the best-selling Dreaming in Indian, #NotYourPrincess presents an eclectic collection of poems, essays, interviews, and art that combine to express the experience of being a Native woman. Stories of abuse, humiliation, and stereotyping are countered by the voices of passionate women making themselves heard and demanding change. Sometimes angry, often reflective, but always strong, the women in this book will give teen readers insight into the lives of women who, for so long, have been virtually invisible.”


🍂 Know My Name by Chanel Miller 🍂

“She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

Now she reclaims her identity to tell her story of trauma, transcendence, and the power of words. It was the perfect case, in many ways–there were eyewitnesses, Turner ran away, physical evidence was immediately secured. But her struggles with isolation and shame during the aftermath and the trial reveal the oppression victims face in even the best-case scenarios. Her story illuminates a culture biased to protect perpetrators, indicts a criminal justice system designed to fail the most vulnerable, and, ultimately, shines with the courage required to move through suffering and live a full and beautiful life.

Know My Name will forever transform the way we think about sexual assault, challenging our beliefs about what is acceptable and speaking truth to the tumultuous reality of healing. It also introduces readers to an extraordinary writer, one whose words have already changed our world. Entwining pain, resilience, and humor, this memoir will stand as a modern classic.”


Do you have any favorite nonfiction books? What was a nonfiction book you really want to read? Please feel free to share in the comments! And be fore I wrap up, I wanted to share the most recent nonfiction piece that I read in 2020 and it’s While the Earth Sleeps, We Travel by Ahmed M. Badr. I think this is a beautiful piece that everyone needs to read at least once in their life and truly, I wept for the majority of this book from how heart-breakingly beautiful this book is. So please give it a chance! It would fill my heart with so much warmth and it would me so, so much! Until next time, I hope you continue to stay safe and healthy. I love you! 💛

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#5OnMyTBR

#5OnMyTBR | Black Covers

#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.


Salutations and welcome! I hope you all are doing well, that your reading has been filled with many books you love. With the end of the year slowly approaching, I can’t help feeling a bit long-winded right now. November and December are always very hectic months for me. So I feel that this post many be a bit rushed or doesn’t hold up to my own personal standards. Also, I thought I had more black covered books, but I was very wrong. I only found ten black covered books and I thought for sure I had more that were unread. Anyway, these are just five of those books that I would like to read, whether it’s this year or in 2021, but I have high hopes for them and I hope you enjoy this list!


🍁 Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco 🍁

“Emilia and her twin sister Victoria are streghe – witches who live secretly among humans, avoiding notice and persecution. One night, Victoria misses dinner service at the family’s renowned Sicilian restaurant. Emilia soon finds the body of her beloved twin…desecrated beyond belief. Devastated, Emilia sets out to discover who did this, and to seek vengeance at any cost—even if it means using dark magic that’s been long forbidden.

Then Emilia meets Wrath, the outlier among the seven demon brethren, always choosing duty over pleasure. He’s been tasked by his master with investigating a series of women’s murders on the island. When Emilia and Wrath’s fates collide, it’s clear this disturbing mystery will take a bewitching turn…”


🍁 A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology by Dhonielle Clayton 🍁

“In the fourth collaboration with We Need Diverse Books, fifteen award-winning and celebrated diverse authors deliver stories about a princess without need of a prince, a monster long misunderstood, memories that vanish with a spell, and voices that refuse to stay silent in the face of injustice. This powerful and inclusive collection contains a universe of wishes for a braver and more beautiful world.

AUTHORS INCLUDE: Samira Ahmed, Libba Bray, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova, Tessa Gratton, Kwame Mbalia, Anna-Marie McLemore, Tochi Onyebuchi, Mark Oshiro, Natalie C. Parker, Rebecca Roanhorse, Victoria Schwab, Tara Sim, Nic Stone, and a to-be-announced debut author/short-story contest winner.”


🍁 Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar 🍁

“If the night sky holds many secrets, it holds Sheetal Mistry’s secret the closest. A secret that explains why her hair is the silver of starlight, or why some nights the stars call Sheetal by name.

Stars like her mother, who returned to her place in the constellation Pushya years ago. Since that day, Sheetal has been forced to hide.

But as her seventeenth birthday draws near, the pull from the sky is growing stronger. So strong that Sheetal loses control, and a flare of starfire burns her human father—an injury only a full star’s blood can heal.

Sheetal has no choice but to answer the starsong and ascend to the sky. But her celestial family has summoned her for a reason: to act as their human champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of heavens.

Desperate to save her father, Sheetal agrees. But nothing could have prepared Sheetal to face the stars’ dark history—or the forces that are working to shut the gate between the realms for good.”


🍁 The Project by Courtney Summers 🍁

“Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died, Lo’s sister, Bea, joined The Unity Project, leaving Lo in the care of their great aunt. Thanks to its extensive charitable work and community outreach, The Unity Project has won the hearts and minds of most in the Upstate New York region, but Lo knows there’s more to the group than meets the eye. She’s spent the last six years of her life trying–and failing–to prove it.

“The Unity Project murdered my son.”

When a man shows up at the magazine Lo works for claiming The Unity Project killed his son, Lo sees the perfect opportunity to expose the group and reunite with Bea once and for all. When her investigation puts her in the direct path of its charismatic and mysterious leader, Lev Warren, he proposes a deal: if she can prove the worst of her suspicions about The Unity Project, she may expose them. If she can’t, she must finally leave them alone.

But as Lo delves deeper into The Project, the lives of its members, and spends more time with Lev, it upends everything she thought she knew about her sister, herself, cults, and the world around her–to the point she can no longer tell what’s real or true. Lo never thought she could afford to believe in Lev Warren . . . but now she doesn’t know if she can afford not to.

Welcome to The Unity Project.”


🍁 Desperate Measures (Wicked Villains, #1) by Katee Robert 🍁

“My Savior… Or My Ruin?

One night, and my entire life went up in flames. All because of him. Jafar. As my world burned down around me, he offered me a choice. Walk away with nothing but my freedom… Or rise to his challenge and win my fortune back.

I bargained.

I lost.

Now Jafar owns me, and even as my mind rails against his rules, my body loves the punishments he deals out when I break them.

But a gilded cage is still a prison, I’ll do anything to obtain my freedom.

Even betray the man I’m falling for.”


Whew! I definitely feel long-winded, but I’m really glad I could share these books with you. The last one I was a bit hesitant on, but I’m proud for sharing. I’m trying to be more unapologetically myself when it comes to books I’m interested in. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this list as much as I did putting it together. Do you have some black covered books you’re eager to read? Let’s talk about it! Until next time, I hope you have nothing but five stars reads! I love you! 💛

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Uncategorized

2 Mini Reviews | Mexican Gothic & Strange Grace


🍁 Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno – Garcia

Reviews to check out: Sofia, Sarahi, Sofia, Riza

Content/Trigger Warnings: Incest, attempted rape, gore/body horror, child sacrifice, human sacrifice, murder, death, racism, fetishisation, eugenics, mentions of loss of parent (in the past), mentions of stroke (in the past), talk of colonization, mentions of epidemics (in the past), mentions of homocide (in the past), sexism, physical assault, scene of seizures, mentions of miscarriages (in the past), mentions of divorce (in the past), child abuse (in the past, beatings with a cane), attempted murder, cannibalism, trauma, sexual assault, gaslighting

Yes, it’s true, this is the first book I’m not giving a rating to. I know, it’s a big shocker because I usually rate every book, no matter how good or bad they are. Yet, this is the first book that’s caused a stir within me that I should state that I’m not the target audience for this book. I’m typically not a horror or thriller reader and so I feel that if I give this book a rating, it’s unfair to the author and the book itself. In truth, this isn’t a bad book, it’s definitely a book that’s not for everyone, but this book does an excellent job in the genre it was published for.

This story is about Noemí Taboada, a twenty-something young woman from a wealthy family from Mexico City, who upon receiving a frantic and disturbing letter from her cousin, departs for High Place, where she’s to investigate what’s really happening and determine if her cousin needs to be brought home. Upon arrival, Noemí will find countless rules thrust upon her by her cousin’s husband’s family. But the longer Noemí stays at High Place, the stranger things become and soon, Noemí might find it impossible to leave.

“The future, she thought, could not be predicted, and the shape of things could not be divined. To think otherwise was absurd. But they were young that morning, and they could cling to hope. Hope that the world could be remade, kinder and sweeter.”

The writing of this book is unique and the story-line is a slow burn kind of horror. It’s been a month since I read this book and I still can’t forget the contents of this book. This isn’t just a slow build, this book doesn’t hold back from building up an atmosphere and as you read, things become more disturbing. However, it gets very graphic, very gory, and if you’re not someone who typically reads horror (like myself) then this book may be a shock to the system.

However, if you’re someone who’s looking for a ownvoices read, that’s set in the 1950’s, reads similarly to dark academy books, and is sure to send chills down your spine, then I can’t recommend picking this book up during fall and spooky season. With the beautifully unique and atmospheric writing of the author, I have no doubt that this book will be making it on to many top books for 2020.


🍁 Strange Grace by Tessa Gratton

Content/Trigger Warnings: Death, death of animal, murder, torture, human sacrifice, loss of a loved one, grief, trauma/PTSD, abandonment, allusions to child abuse and child neglect, forced gender roles, transphobia, mentions of alcoholism, verbal abuse, manipulation, body horror

I had a lot of feelings about this book, shed some tears, and held my breath for so much. Truly, I think I love this book with every fiber of my heart and can still feel the life this book breathed into me. This is probably one of the best fall/spooky seasons reads I have ever encountered. From the world itself to our three main characters, I don’t know how I went so long without reading this book.

Set in Three Graces, a town that never encounters plagues or misfortune, a deal with the devil is what keeps this town bound from every having to face those hardships. But everything comes with a price especially when it concerns the devil. Every seven years, with the dawn of the blood moon, a saint is sent into the woods without any hope of survival. The woods itself? No one knows what dark, twisted things lurk within it’s depths nor do they know the things that take place within. For those who do manage to survive, haunted by the events that took place, leave Three Graces when given the chance. Our story follows an unlikely trio, united by an unwavering love for one another, who will all play a role when the blood moon comes too soon and the devil demands a heart.

“The sun rises and she approaches the edge. A forest devil, a witch, a young woman, with eyes like a starry night and teeth like cats, and thorny, flowering brambles tangled in her hair, littering white petals behind her. They’re waiting for her. Two of the hearts: one burning, one perfectly in tune. She smiles, lips parted over sharp but not too-sharp teeth. Instead of slowing, she leaps forward. She dives at them, throwing arms around both together. One hisses as some sharp piece of her body slices at his skin, and the other grunts because he catches most of her weight. Neither of them lets go.”

This book was everything I wanted for my fall reading. An atmospheric read that has you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next. The setting is rich with details that chills your skin, the writing is absolutely beautiful, and main characters who aren’t perfect, but shine so brightly you can’t help falling in love with them. And side characters you can’t help secretly loving (I’m looking at you Haf and Devil). There’s also some amazing underlying themes of this book that touched my heart in ways I wasn’t expecting. Ultimately, just everything I wanted and more. However, I think some readers will want a little more and will hope Gratton takes things an extra mile that would shock or stun the reader. Personally, this wasn’t an issue for me, but I think it might be something other readers might not like.

Buddy Read with Robin 💜


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