Monthly TBR

July 2022 TBR

Buddy reads, book recommendations, and earcs, oh my!

Salutations friends! It seems like it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a tbr post and honestly, they’re probably going to become more selective just due to straying so far from tbrs and setting a general list of books to read. I really am turning into a big mood reader! But this post is super exciting because I’m doing something I’ve never done before…

Best friend recommendations!!!

Yes, I finally decided I wanted to try a dedicated tbr specifically to my best friend, Destiny‘s recommendations! I sat on this for a long time and over the past couple of months, as usual, Destiny has given me nothing but outstanding recommendations of books I need to read. And let me be frank, Destiny always has great recommendations and knows my taste in books fairly well. So I’m excited to reveal, not only our buddy reads, but the books she personally picked out for me. So without any further delays, here is my tbr for July, based around my friend’s book recommendations!

Disclaimer: Not all of the books are pictured because this is a chonky tbr, but all of the books will be listed!


A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland
August 30th 2022 by Tordotcom
Buddy Read with Destiny

I’m very excited for this arc and buddy read! I think I’m about 40% in and so far I’m very curious on the direction this book is going to go. I can say that the on page anxiety and panic attacks feel very accurate, very realistic, and have me completely stunned by the amount of time and detail the author has put into this.

The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco
October 4th 2022 by Sourcebooks Fire

Rin Chupeco has easily become one of my favorite authors and you can anticipate seeing quite a few reads, and reviews for her books in the coming months. However, focusing on just this arc, I’m very excited to have an earc of this book. The synopsis is ultimately what drew me in with the cover coming at a strong second. Both of these two things combined and I have been caught; hook, line, and sinker!

Darling by K. Ancrum
June 22nd 2021 by Imprint
Buddy Read with Destiny

This shouldn’t come at a surprise to anyone. I forever worship at the alter of K. Ancrum and after putting it off for so long, this read is happening. And I get to buddy read this with my wonderful friend. Plus, if you didn’t already know, this is a Peter Pan retelling. So if you love a good retelling, you should put this on your radar!

Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones
September 1st 2020 by Tor.com

This is another long overdue read and it’s no surprise to me that Destiny recommended this book to me. I have sang praises for The Only Good Indians for who knows how long and I’m honestly surprised I haven’t read this sooner. So it’s happening, it’s really happening. I’m going to be sitting down this month and reading it, and I already know I’m going to fall in love with it.

Gallant by V.E. Schwab
March 1st 2022 by Greenwillow Books

This is another amazing recommendation from Destiny! For starters, the minute mixed media was mentioned, my attention was hooked. Plus, the cover is absolutely stunning. Even if Destiny never would have recommended it to me, this book would have eventually ended up on my radar.

Nine Moon in a River of Stars: Phase One by Xen
January 30th 2022

Destiny spoke to me about this book many moons ago, but I have had this sitting on my kindle shelf ever since she recommended it to me. So I’m super excited to have this on my tbr for July and also fully prepared to get emotionally wrecked! Plus, the cover is really beautiful and it makes me eager to write a review for it!

Cheer Up!: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier & illustrated by Val Wise
August 10th 2021 by Oni Press

Do I know anything about this comic? No, but my guess is lesbian cheerleaders. And no, I haven’t read the synopsis because I like to believe some books are best going into them with no hint at all.

Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson
October 5th 2021 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Look… LOOK! I know what this looks like! Yes, technically it’s another book I placed on a past tbr I didn’t read, but it’s here now! Okay? So sh sh sh! It’s fine and it will be read, and yes, I’m still excited about it!

Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
February 2nd 2021 by Minotaur Books

I know absolutely nothing about this book! However, if I know Destiny, this is probably a mystery, thriller, or horror book. Which is really exciting! I don’t read enough horror or thriller books. So I’m eager to see what this book is about!

Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente
November 9th 2021 by Tordotcom

I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous about this book. Not from the religious aspect, but from the synopsis. It has me nervous on where I’m going to fall on the spectrum with this book. Whether I’ll love it or end up disliking it, I’m not sure.


Phew, that was a lot of books to list and technically, I left three books off of this list just due to the size of this month’s tbr. However, one of the books I left off the list is a manga and it’s of an anime series I’ve recently gotten into. So I’m excited to see how the manga compares to the anime series. Otherwise, the other two will be set for a different tbr when I’m not trying to be an over-achiever. I’m so excited for this month of reading though and I can’t wait to see which books I’ll end up enjoying the most! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this list and until next time, stay hydrated, I love you! ♥

GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Misc.

Life Update | Small Break, Returning May 9th-10th

Salutations Chapterlings! How are you all doing? Have you been hydrating and taking a break when you need it? I hope you’re doing okay! Today is going to be a very brief update. I know I’ve been gone for about three weeks now and believe me, that was never supposed to happen, but life had so many other plans. So, I hope to clear up where I’ve been, what’s happened to make me disappear for a hot minute, and why I’m taking a short break.

DISCLAIMER: CW/TW for loss of loved ones and myself being sick

To start this off, I ended up getting really sick. It started off as the flu and as fate would have it, blossomed into a really terrible ear infection and bronchitis. This was the thing that knocked me out for the first two weeks of everything. Usually I’m sick longer due to having a weak immune system and chronic illnesses, but from the very first sniffle, I was being hyper-active with pushing immune support supplements, taking vitamin c, drinking tea for some of the sore throat stuff that was happening, lysoling everything, etc… Despite all this, I still got knocked on my butt for two weeks.

Now for the more sadder news to happen. During the time of me being sick, we had three family members pass away in a short amount of time, almost back to back to one another. This has been really hard on everyone including my spouse and I. Due to all of this, we’re spending a lot of time traveling for services/funerals and I’ve been kind of radio silent on social media, but with friends as well. Though, I’ve been trying hard to reach out to those closest to me to let them know, “Hey I’m not ignoring you or anything, this is what’s going on.”

This leads me into the final part of this post. My short break and returning May 9th. As the time of this post going up, we’re in prep for traveling for funeral stuff. With that being said, I’m really hoping that by May 9th or May 10th I’ll have some post going up on the blog, hopefully my tbr for this month will be going up, and just in general kind of catching up on Instagram as well. Though, I’ll probably post some photos on my IG stories of what I’m reading or listening to in my travels. So keep your eyes open for that!

I think that covers everything for this small life update. I wish this was a more happier or even a longer post with both good and bad things, but sadly things just didn’t turn out like that. I’m really hoping things will start turning around soon. Until next time friends, hug your loved ones a little tighter and take care of yourselves! I’ll see you soon! 💛

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

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 💜

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! ♥

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

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Misc.

5 Books I Want to Read Before 2022 Ends

Salutations Chapterlings! How are you doing? I hope you’re doing well and staying hydrated! I have a bit of a confession… This was technically a draft I had saved for 2021 that never got published and now I’m repurposing it for the year of 2022. This time, I’m getting it posted with some books that I really, really want to read before this year ends. And in a way, posting it now is a way to hold myself accountable for this mini tbr. Actually, this is a bit of a secret tbr and I hope you enjoy what I’m about to share! ♥


You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao
“Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes.

Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail.

And Sam picks up the phone.

In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever.”


Moon of the Crusted Snow by Waubgeshig Rice
“With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community loses communication. Days later, it goes dark. Cut off from the urban realm of the south, many of its people become passive and confused. They eventually descend into panic as the food supply dwindles, with few hunters left in the First Nation. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives from a city in the south to escape a crumbling society. Soon after, others follow.

The community leadership is faced with the dilemma of allowing the urban refugees to live with them on their territory. Tensions rise, and as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again, while they grapple with a grave decision.

Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.”


The King of Burbon Street (NOLA Nights #1) by Thea De Salle
“Hotel chain mogul Sol DuMont is about to learn that some of life’s biggest surprises come in deceptively small packages—namely a petite heiress named Rain who’s hell-bent on upsetting her family’s expectations—in this first book in the all new series by Thea de Salle, set against the sultry backdrop of New Orleans.

Thirty-seven-year-old Sol DuMont is a divorcee and the owner of a mid-sized hotel chain in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina, his father’s death, and the decision that he and his ex-wife Maddy are far better off friends than lovers, he’s lost interest in almost everything he held dear—parties, people, and pushing limits.

All his limits.

Then Arianna Barrington checks into his hotel.

Twenty-four-year-old Arianna “Rain” Barrington could have been society’s sweetheart. Her family is moneyed, connected press darlings, and make sweeping headlines from coast to coast for reasons both good and bad. But when her mother shoves her at Charles Harwood—the obnoxious, entitled heir of Harwood Corp—to cement a billion-dollar business merger, Rain does the only thing she can think of to escape: she creates a scandal so big Harwood doesn’t want her anymore before fleeing to New Orleans for much-needed rest and relaxation.

All she wants is jazz piano, beignets, and to sail the Mississippi. What she gets is Sol DuMont, a whirlwind affair, and a hands-on education in sex, power play, and pushing limits.”


Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones
We thought we’d play a fun prank on her, and now most of us are dead.

One last laugh for the summer as it winds down. One last prank just to scare a friend. Bringing a mannequin into a theater is just some harmless fun, right? Until it wakes up. Until it starts killing.

Luckily, Sawyer has a plan. He’ll be a hero. He’ll save everyone to the best of his ability. He’ll do whatever he needs to so he can save the day. That’s the thing about heroes—sometimes you have to become a monster first.

Stephen Graham Jones returns with Night of the Mannequins, a contemporary horror story where a teen prank goes very wrong and all hell breaks loose: is there a supernatural cause, a psychopath on the loose, or both?”


Darling by K. Ancrum
“On Wendy Darling’s first night in Chicago, a boy called Peter appears at her window. He’s dizzying, captivating, beautiful—so she agrees to join him for a night on the town.

Wendy thinks they’re heading to a party, but instead they’re soon running in the city’s underground. She makes friends—a punk girl named Tinkerbelle and the lost boys Peter watches over. And she makes enemies—the terrifying Detective Hook, and maybe Peter himself, as his sinister secrets start coming to light. Can Wendy find the courage to survive this night—and make sure everyone else does, too?

Acclaimed author K. Ancrum has re-envisioned Peter Pan with a central twist that will send all your previous memories of J. M. Barrie’s classic permanently off to Neverland.”


Whew! I feel like this is a powerhouse of a list, don’t you think? I hope you enjoyed this list and maybe some of these books caught your eye. I truly, truly am keeping all my fingers and toes crossed that I’ll be able to read all of these before the end of 2022. It’s just time to get them read and clear a little space on my tbr. Until next time friends, I love you! ♥

Are any of these books on your radar? Have a/any books you’re hoping to read before 2022 ends? Come tell me about it the comments below! ♥

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Misc.

My Reading Habits: The Good, The Bad, & The WTF Malli!

Today’s post is brought to you by me apparently wanting to show you all the skeletons in my closet!

Look, I know I just did my Random Bookish Facts About Me post, but then I had this thought… let’s go deeper! Let’s talk about those reading habits, let’s discuss the good and bad, but also let’s throw a few skeletons in there that many people may not know I do. This post will range from buying books, reading, note taking, even bookstgramming! And I’m kind of excited to share these reading habits. I think many of you will be surprised with some of the things I’m about to reveal. Buckle up readers, it’s about to get bookish up in here!


The Good

I read diversely in terms of representation!
This was something I worked really hard to achieve and in no way am I saying that it’s perfect. I know for a fact that there’s always room for improvement, room to grow, to add more into the mix. That’s the beauty of the now and the future, we have the chance to keep doing better. What I am saying, over the years I’m more aware of the books I’m buying, the kind of representation in the book, and really upping my game in researching on who’s stories are being told and how they’re being told. It’s not perfect, but I’m constantly striving to do better.

Reading in any format!
I never thought I’d be here saying this and maybe this comes from a place of privilege, as well. There was a long time in my life where books were earned through hard work (outside of school, you know) and now… I have physical books, but I also have access to audiobooks, kindle books, and I even get to receive arcs/alcs. I never thought I would ever reach this point where I have so much literature at my fingertips. Not only that, but I feel more comfortable and confident with these reading formats. All of this took a long time to be okay with, but I’m really glad I made it to this point in my life and I grateful to have these experiences.

Better at prioritizing!
This is another one of those things that I really had to work at to be better about. What I mean by prioritizing is what books I need to read over others. Which in hindsight might come off as really weird phrasing or like I’m not giving books chances, but that’s not it at all. By prioritizing I simply mean commitments I’ve made. This may include blog tours, arc reviews, buddy reads, and even commitments to goals or posts I actually want to make. Remember when I talked about all the sticky notes I buy in bulk? Yeah, some of those get put on a wall as a way of helping me stay organized and prioritizing books I really want to read or the commitments that I make. This also includes blog posts, social media posts, etc… A way of having structure when I constantly feel like a chaotic gremlin.

Being picky about arcs/alcs!
Again, this comes from a place of privilege because not everyone has access to arc/alcs or may not even be able to obtain those books despite requesting them, etc… This is another thing I worked really hard at being mindful about. I used to request any book that sounds interesting or even accept any email I would get offering an arc/alc. However, last year helped me realize that I have a huge backlist, but also that I don’t have to request every single thing that sounds good or like something I’d read. I’ve been slowing down my process and really taking the time to really debate how badly I want an arc, how excited I am about the release, and whether or not it fits into my current reading. This has eased up some of the pressure I put on myself as well and keeping my tbr a little lighter, in the process.


The Neutral

Impossible not to take notes!
I’m not saying it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but what I am saying is don’t try to talk to me or ask me things when I’m in the process of taking notes. I literally can’t stop or pause taking notes. No matter where I am, no matter who I’m with. If you see me reading and taking notes, just wait till I’m finished because I’d rather answer questions afterwards than lose my train of thought, scraping my current notes, and then retaking them all over again. Yes… I will rip the page out of my notebook and start a whole new page of notes and yes, I will make little gremlin noises in the process.

I can’t read more than two books at a time!
I feel like this is a neutral thing and one where I haven’t seen may people say, let alone discuss. I’m one of those people who doesn’t fit the mold of reading all the books at once or can only read one book at a time. However, I have learned, in the past few years, that I thrive with reading two books at a time. Actually, I thrive on this so much that I get more reading done than I thought I ever would. Being realistic though, there aren’t many pros or cons to all of this. Except the weird spike in reading due to switching to this method. Otherwise, I kind of feel like an oddball with this haha!

I read with all the noise!
I like to have noise, a lot of noise. Now hold on, it’s not as wild as you think. I usually just put on a Chillhop or Lofi video and then I let the rest of the chaos, a.k.a my pets, create the rest of the environmental noise. Surprisingly, I get really focused or even more into a book with this.

I can’t read hyped books!
Look, hyped books are not my cup of tea. What I mean is if a book is overly hyped by a lot of people even people I know, it’ll ruin a book for me. Even to the point of never picking up a book. Currently, I have over 20 titles on my back list that were overly hyped books recommended to me. It’s a bit of a problem and I might unhaul these books later. There’s also the chance that if I do read it, there’s a good chance it won’t make it above a 3 star rating. There’s only one person who has hyped books to me that actually turned out being books I really enjoyed and I think that’s due to having very similar reading tastes.


The Bad

Buying books and never getting the chance to read them!
This is a really bad habit of mine that I’m currently working really hard to break. Surprisingly enough, with the move coming up, I haven’t been buying books. I’ve only been buying books in terms of what I’m actually going to read. However, before we decided to move, I was buying nothing but books and never getting the chance to read them.

I read the most at night!
Out of all my habits, this is probably the worst one. I’m already have a difficult time sleeping due to chronic illnesses and insomnia, but add reading on top of that and you’ve got yourself a potion for disaster. This can lead to my sleep schedule getting really messed up to the point of being awake over 48 hours or more. I’m trying to fix this habit with setting a cut-off time for reading every night in hopes to prevent my sleeping time to descend into chaotic madness.

I read all over the place, in various positions!
I’m labeling this as bad because it’s certainly not good for posture or when you have chronic illnesses that deal in pain. And I wish this was only limited to chairs, but it’s not. Counters? Yes. Laying across a coffee table? Sure, why not?! Draped over the back of the sofa smacking myself in the face with the book I’m reading? You bet your sweet booty I do! The limit does not exist of all the places I find myself reading. It’s a problem, a big problem. One that my body glares at me over every single day.


What are some of your reading habits? Do we have any in common or are your experiences different? Come chat with me in the comments below!

|GoodReads|Instagram|YouTube|Wishlist|Kofi

Misc.

5-Star Reading Predictions 2022

Salutations Chapterlings! I wanted to make a different kind of post and share some of my 5 star reading predictions. I’ve never done one of these posts before. Actually, I make a lot of sticky note prediction lists, but I’ve never sat down and decided to share with you lovely beans some of those predictions. Honestly, I wasn’t sure which books I wanted to put on this list and I’m a little nervous, but I hope you’ll enjoy this list as much as I do making them!

Into the predictions we descend!


Honestly, I was debating on whether or not to put this on my list because I was already in the process of finishing this arc when I decided to make this list. However, if I was going to make this list then this book needed to be a part of this post because this book is part of my top 5 star predictions. So, since I technically already finished this arc, consider this a bonus book. I did end up rating this book 5 stars. If you want to check out my review, you can click HERE! As I said, I gave this 5 stars because this book was just everything. I loved it so much and I think there’s going to be many readers who end up loving this book just as much.


I feel like I’m a little late to the hype train on this book, but I’m glad I discovered this book when I did because I’m so excited to read The Girl Who Fell Beneath the Sea. I currently have this book slated for my May tbr. So you’ll be seeing this pop up real soon. This all besides the point. The point is that the synopsis of this book sounds absolutely fantastic and the cover is absolutely stunning. Plus, there’s been some hints that this has Spirit Away elements or inspiration while having mythology woven throughout. I’m not saying I’m making grabby hands or saying this book has it’s claws in me… but I’m also not saying that. I’m just ready and excited to experience this book with my whole soul.


Unraveling by Brandon Leake has been on my radar since the start of 2022. As a consumer of anything and everything poetry related, this has been high up on my list of arcs I’ve been hoping to obtain. And by the beautiful blessings that is Libro Fm, I was able to obtain an audio book alc. There is not a single doubt in my mind that I’m going to love this. I always say poetry comes to us when we need it and I always find poetry has an even stronger impact when you can hear that poetry being given a voice. I can’t wait to dive into the and have my heart ripped out and cry for hours over this poetry collection.


The Lost Dreamer was another one of those 2022 releases that really caught my attention. The synopsis of this book sounds absolutely incredible and I’m really excited to read this. Again, another alc from Libro Fm and giving me the privilege to listen to the audiobook. Honestly, I don’t know what I’m more excited for. The fact that there’s mythology woven throughout this entire book, the magic elements of this book, or the fact that this is a book being classified as a sci-fi book and I’m excited about it. I never get excited about sci-fi books and I’m freaking ready. I ready for this book to knock me out of the water!


I am ready! I am jumping, excited, pre-order ready to go! For the Throne is the next book in the Wilderwood duology and I’m really excited. The way the first book ended has left me on a reading hangover. I need more of these characters, I need answers, and I’m ready. I’m just ready to let this book rock me like a hurricane and leave me in an absolute reading mess. I don’t know what to expect going into this book and no, reading the synopsis is not an option. I want to be surprised. However, my hopes for this book is pretty high which is why this book found it’s way onto this list.


I heard there were demons! *brow waggles* Yes, okay, FINE! I admit I will instantly put a book on my 5 star prediction list if a book has demons or dragons within the pages of the book! But seriously, the synopsis of this book sounds amazing. When I was contacted to read an arc of this book, I was a little weary at first, but let me just quote the first two lines of this synopsis.

“Three weddings. Three funerals.”

Does that not make you want to pick this book up and find out what is going on?! Those two sentences instantly stole my breath away. And then I found out there were demons in this book and I got even more excited to read it. It just sounds freaking amazing and honestly, I really want to know more. You’ll be seeing this pop up again real soon because I’ll be reading this book in April for my April tbr. I have high hopes friends, extremely high hopes.


Whew, I was so nervous to share these 5 star predictions! I always feel like 5 star predictions can be so hit or miss or even feel private at times, but I am glad I shared this list. This is actually one of seven lists I have and thankfully I only decided to list six out of the seven lists I’ve compiled. I hope you all enjoyed this little list of 5 star predictions. I know it’s not a big list or anything of the sort, but I had a lot of fun making this and sharing a little bit of the things I’m thinking about behind the scenes. Until next time friends, stay safe, I love you! 💕

Do you have a 5 star prediction list? Are any of these books on your radar? Come chat about it in the comments below!

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Uncategorized

Theirs for the Night (Twisted Hearts #1) by Katee Robert

GoodReads|Amazon|Barnes&Noble

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

Content/Trigger Warnings: Sexual content, talk of poverty/financial struggles, child neglect (in the past)

“You can’t fall in love with a person – let alone two people – in a single night.”

Oh what a fun, steamy time this was! Every time I pick up Robert’s books, I always have a fun time and honestly, that’s why I read them, for a fun time. Plus, to be more transparent and honest, I love reading books with polyamorous relationships and that’s a side of me I don’t often share or discuss, and I’d like to. And it was just a good book to unwind with.

Meg Sanders is too busy and has far too many worries on her plate to even think of partying, let alone celebrating her very own birthday. Until her co-worker and friend, Cara convinces here that she needs a night to forget her troubles and just unwind. Little did Meg expect, two sets of eyes watching her from afar, wanting to take her home for a night of pleasure. Theo and Galen are keeping a low profile, that is until they both set their eyes on Meg. Afterall, who could resist a gorgeous woman in a red dress? If they only have one night, the three of them are going to make it one hell of a night to remember!

I loved, LOVED Galen and Theo as love interests, potential partners to Meg. I’ll be honest, I do have a bar that’s set kind of high when it comes to poly-relationships and all three of them hit pretty close. The fact that Galen and Theo already have a preexisting relationship with one another was the icing on the cake for me. You can see flickers of the history between the two. Not just in the sense how tight their friendship is with one another, but also the bond and pull, that attraction that crackles and sizzles underneath the surface. Also, I want to take a moment to point out that Galen has visual scarring and for me, that’s not only something that attracts my attention, but characters who have scars and it just is what it is, that’s a huge thing for me. I always want to appreciate those details when an author does that. Meg, on the other hand, felt like a wild card to me. While Meg does come off as lacking confidence and being unsure of her own desires, she has no problem flipping a switch and just diving head first into savoring both of these men. I really enjoy when characters have a switch they just flip. Seeing Meg do that I was like, “Okay boo, I see you! Go get your men!”

“They always seemed to know where the other was, and both kept a careful distance between them and her, touching only on her hips and nowhere else.”

I want to take a moment to show a little appreciation to Meg’s coworker and friend, Cara. I find that not many authors write supportive, but also encouraging side characters for main characters when it comes to romance. There’s a particular scene that really stuck out to me where Cara pulls Meg away from Theo and Galen, pulls her to the bathroom and is ready to fight people if they hurt Meg. Yet, supports Meg and encourages her to go gets these men after Meg expresses this is what she wants, but it still willing to drive the getaway car if Meg needs it. I absolutely adore side characters like this and I wish they got more appreciation because they deserve it.

It’s steamy, very warm and steamy! Fogging up every glass window from heavy breathing. Is it the greatest sex scenes of all time? Maybe not because everyone has their own preferences for spice and steam, but if you’re looking for a fun time then this can definitely be thrown into the mix. I might be a bit bias and may have been referencing my own experiences with poly-relations, but I had a really wonderful time with this. From the moment these three characters meet, everything is a steady, slow build and almost everything they do has chemistry and sexual desire crackling between them. Whether this is from the way they dance with one another or how they all play with each other behind closed doors. It’s just a fun time and really easy to get caught up in the scenes.

“He really was beautiful in the way of fallen angels. But a fallen angel was just a prettier name for a demon.”

Overall, this was a delightful, fast read for me! I had such a wonderful time diving into the story, savoring how everything was playing out, seeing the little secrets being hinted at, just a fun time. Again, this series isn’t going to be for everyone. I still recommend picking the first book (this book) up if you’re looking for books for Smutathon, reading sprints, or you’re just looking for a steamy good time. I enjoy Katee’s writing and the characters she writes. It’s always a good time for me and I love recommending her books to others.

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ARC Reviews

Playing Cupid by S.C. Alban

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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 The Parliament House in exchange for an honest review.

Content/Trigger Warnings: Loss of a parent, grief, depression, talk of hospitalization, terminal illness (cancer), car accident, child neglect, forced institutionalization, brief mentions of attempted suicide

I had to sit with myself and collect my thoughts and feelings on this book. I’ll be honest, it took me a hot minute to get through this book and even really feel out how I felt about the book. There’s some really lovely elements and discussions happening, but ultimately, I think there were a lot of things I wasn’t expecting. Though, I am a sucker for a mythological story.

We follow seventeen-year old Megan, who’s closed off her heart from every finding love again. After her mother dies of cancer and her father descends into a six year mourning and depression, Megan decides to fast track her life. She’s fended for herself this long, why should she rely on anyone else when you’ll just get hurt? With the end of the school year rapidly approaching and her ticket to leave this small town just in sight, things are going well. Until she gets stuck with Jay Michaels for a final grade project and he keeps giving every excuse in the book. And if things couldn’t get any worse, on the night driving home, she hits Cupid just as he’s about to close out his quota for the year. Now Megan’s world is turned upside down and now she’s not too sure if she’ll ever be able to escape this town or the painful memories attached to it.

Whew, these characters were something else, let me tell you! I think this was the hardest part to decide my feelings on because everything else I knew what I liked and disliked, but these characters left me feeling conflicted. I will say Megan and her father felt very realistic for me. I think many readers will have a hard time connecting with them or caring about them, but I found it was really easy to feel invested in them. This might be due to my own history of having iron walls built around my heart and dealing with neglectful adults in my life. However, Megan was really judgmental at times or lacked understanding in certain parts. Jay on the other hand felt very under-developed to me. In fact, the way the books paints him for the reader is in a light of where we shouldn’t like him from the beginning. The only thing that had me invested in Jay’s character was the fact that it was very obvious he had a secret he wasn’t telling anyone. We only see more to Jay at the 75% mark in the book and even then it feels too late to really get a feeling for who he is as a character because up until this point Jay’s just painted in a bit of a negative light. As for Amadeo, our mischievous Cupid, I still have mixed feeling about him. There were times where I thought his personality was very fitting, but other times that felt like his attitude had no place being in a certain scene. Though out of all the characters, Amadeo has the strongest character development.

The thing I loved the most about this book was the world building. Not just the way Mountain Valley is built up with a lot of small town vibes, but also what we learn of the Cupid societal structure. The amount of details we learn about this world, the different levels and how each of these levels mirror places on Earth, and the way you can see how Amadeo fits among this society was really interesting. I was heavily invested in learning more details about the world and honestly, I think this alone could of been turned into it’s own book because it was such an interesting concept.

“Maybe the point is to remind us there are two sides to everything. It makes us more appreciative of the loving part, you know, knowing at any moment, it could all end.”

Most of all, I think the elements that really sealed my connection to this book were the hard topics of this book. We see a lot of themes of grief and how no person in the same with grief. More specifically with Megan’s father, how you can love someone so much that it breaks you, how nothing including you will ever be the same, and how difficult it is to emerge from that grief, that depression and right the wrongs that have taken place during that time of being a shell of who you once were. On the opposite spectrum, we see how Megan fortifies herself because she’s never been given the opportunity to grieve, to feel the full weight of the loss of her mother and instead had to grow up far too quickly than she should have because no one was looking out for her. I think the author did a really fantastic job at writing the grief in a realistic way that allows others to feel a connection to the characters.

I want to take a moment to address the other hard topic in this book. Though this is for the last 75% of the book and I think this will make a lot of readers turn away from this book, I still wanted to talk about it. There’s a whole discussion happening about mental health and the stigma that surrounds mental health, and not just mental health, but we see a small piece where it’s addressed of how there’s still a strong societal stigma surrounding those who end up institutionalized for mental health. And I wish, oh how I wish, this was addressed more openly, in literature and otherwise. How as a society we have the preconceived notion that we can never speak openly about this, that it’s something to be ashamed of, and how if someone does speak up about their experience they’re instantly labeled as someone to avoid, that they’re “unstable” or “crazy”, or they’re dangerous instead of treating them like human beings who are ill, who are facing challenges and hardships with their mental health, and how they chose to be brave to speak up of needing help and their experience.

The only issue I really had with this book was the insta-love between Megan and Jay. A lot of this book is focused on Megan healing from the loss of her mother and her assisting Amadeo hitting his final three targets for his quota. There was never any time fully dedicated to Megan and Jay establishing chemistry between one another, there wasn’t dedicated time to truly see Jay’s character until the last 75% of the book, and Megan and Jay had barely any interactions with one another, as well. We get small little pockets, but for the most part they barely have anything to do with one another and the fact that this relationship was an inst-love with all of that preestablished just didn’t work for me. Honestly, I think I would have loved seeing Megan fall in love with a Cupid over the relationship between her and Jay.

Overall, I really did enjoy reading this book, but I definitely want to caution that this isn’t the book it’s advertised or the way a lot of readers label it as a rom-com or a fluffy romance. Honestly, I removed the romance tag for this book because I see this more as a contemporary story with romantic elements, but it’s a strong contemporary read with hard hitting topics laced throughout the entirety of this book. If you’re someone who’s not turned off by books with heavy topics or enjoy books with mythological elements then I think you’ll enjoy reading this book.

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

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Monthly TBR

March 2022 TBR

Dawn of the arcs! Tackling of the TBR cart! Praying for enough caffeine!

Hi, hello, it’s me again. Your lovely chaotic book blogger, Malli here to tell you about the reading plans for March. But before we jump right in to the tbr… Have you hydrated today? Eaten a snack? Grabbed that second cup of coffee you left in the microwave? You need to take care of yourself, my friend, whatever you may need, make sure you take care of yourself.

Okay, it’s that time again where we talk books. YES BOOKS! Let me start by saying, I have no idea how this month is going to go reading wise. I’m going to be honest, I’ve recently fallen down a sexy, steamy novella rabbit hole and I don’t know if I’ll ever get out. So I’m hoping if I throw enough books at myself, my overachieving drive is going to be like, “We have obligations! Let’s focus, grab those coconut chips, and read!” Or something along those lines. I really want to tackle some of the books off of my tbr cart due to no more space and needing to get some of those books packed up. Also, I have a few arcs I’d really like to read just because they’re on my list of 5-star predictions right now and thankfully, I did start one. With all that being said, I thought I would try attempting the ACMC readathon happening in March. Though, I’m not stressing over whether or not I can actually find books for this readathon because I’m kind of doing a subtle, early prep for another readathon that’s happening in May. Plus, I’m trying to keep some space free for the monthly prompt of my friend’s book club. As you can see, March is a very busy, chaotic month for me and this tbr. But, I still compiled some of the books I’m hoping to read this month. Check out the list below! ⬇️


🌷 Currently Reading 🌷

Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho
May 17th 2022 by Disney
Arc was given by Disney Publishing Worldwide & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I feel really blessed to have received an arc of this book. Coming back to the book community after a year hiatus, this was one of the first 2022 releases that I not only really wanted, but it’s on my 5-star prediction list, favorite book of 2022 prediction list, and on my list of top ten highly anticipated releases of 2022. I might be setting the bar high, but I have faith that this book is going to make me melt into a puddle in so many ways.


🌷 The TBR 🌷

Iron Widow (Iron Widow, #1) by Xiran Jay Zhao
September 21st 2021 by Penguin Teen

Continuing with the 12 Challenge, Iron Widow is next on the list of books to read this year! When I returned to the book community, this was one of the top five books I was seeing everywhere. Everyone I knew was raving about this book, talking about this book, and posting about it. So this has subtly been on my radar of books I’m interested and I’m glad that it was recommended to me for the 12 Challenge because now I can sit down and read it.

Into the Drowning Deep (Rolling in the Deep #1) by Mira Grant
November 14th 2017 by Hachette Audio

I have been hearing the faintest whispers about this book for a while now. And I’m not going to lie, I’ve been kicking my butt for not picking this up sooner. However, recently I’ve been hearing a lot of readers talking about how atmospheric the audiobook is and with Audible credits to spend… I’m slapping this on my March tbr.

Unlock Your Storybook Heart (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale #3) by Amanda Lovelace
March 15th 2022 by Andrews McMeel Publishing
ARC was given by NetGalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Break Your Glass Slippers (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale #1) by Amanda Lovelace ★★★★★
Shine Your Icy Crown (You Are Your Own Fairy Tale, #2) by Amanda Lovelace ★★★

Truly, the blessings for this month for arcs! I’ve already read the first two books of this trilogy and now I’ve been blessed with a chance to read the final book of this series. If you’re not familiar with Lovelace’s poetry, she normally does duologies or trilogies for her poetry collections. And if I’m remembering correctly, she only has a few standalone poetry/short story books such as Dragonhearts. I’ve loved Lovelace’s collections for a while now and this arc has me more excited to complete another series by her.

Willodeen by Katherine Applegate
September 7th 2021 by Feiwel Friends

This was a wonderful present from my spouse! I love Applegate’s writing. I think her writing is so powerful, so beautiful. If you’ve been here for a while (or maybe you’re new) then you may have seen my review for Crenshaw. That book was so powerful and left me in a puddle. So anytime I pick up a book written by Applegate I have tissue boxes at the ready. I’m ready to fall in love, but sob my heart out.

The Mythic Dream edited by Dominik Parisien
September 3rd 2019 by Saga Press

Diversity! Diversity for days! Anthologies truly are blessings in so many ways. Authors from all over coming together to share stories of myths across civilizations and cultures. Every story unique and different from the last. My soul and heart are so full that this anthology exists. And I’m a little bias because this is one of the first anthologies I discovered that has Indigenous representation.

Pisces Hooks Taurus (Signs of Love #4) by Anyta Sunday
October 16th 2018 by Anyta Sunday

I swear, I will finish this series this year. It’s been far too long and reading this book is long overdue. This book has been on a backlist of titles that I’ve needed to read and we’re doing it. I’m making it happen one way or another. The flames of determination are high and even if I have to throw sleep out the window, I’m reading this book. Oh yeah, it’s gonna happen.

Vespertine (Vespertine, #1) by Margaret Rogerson
October 5th 2021 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Bless my beautiful and delightful friends because I didn’t know I needed this book in my life until the incredible Destiny and I fell into one of our deep bookish conversations. Basically it was her giving me all the book recommendations and me making a giant freaking list of all the books I need in my life. This stunning book being one of them. Look, I’m going to be honest, you had me at ghosts and necromancer/witchy type of class/guild/group. So yeah, color me intrigued and needing it like NOW.


Do you ever look at your tbr list after you’ve pumped yourself up for it and then go, “By the stars… what have I done?” Yeah, yeah… yeah, me neither. This is fine, it’s fine, we’re going to do great! I hope you enjoyed this little tbr post. I’ve really been enjoying making tbr posts recently and have been excited to share my monthly reading plans. Until next time chapterlings, stay cozy, I love you! ♥

What are you reading for the month of March?

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ARC Reviews

Falling Drowning, Vol. 1 by Yuko Inari

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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 Kodansha & NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published after the release date (February 2nd, 2022)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Depictions and talk of a car accident, talk of loss/death of a parent

I love a good manga that gets me eagerly invested, craving for the next volume to descend into my grabby, little hands. This was such a great manga and it had everything. It has a love triangle, protective friends, a dark horse love interest, a main character with a tragic backstory, just everything you want and need in a manga to keep you invested in the series. I think I can say, with my whole chest, there are going to be many manga readers who don’t want to miss this series.

We follow Honatsu Tenma, a high school student who’s starting a new year at school with her childhood best friends, Toma and Akine. Only Tenma has missed a good chunk of school due to being sick and upon starting her new year, her friends become even more protective of her especially Toma. Toma is so protective that the other students start to notice and soon start a rumor of the two of them dating. With the past of a tragic accident from six years ago claiming her memories, Honatsu tries her best to do things her own way, at her own pace, despite her two friends constantly interfering. While Tenma is trying to get her bearings among all of this, she learns about a new transfer student, Shun Tachibana, who’s Toma’s friend from childhood, but also has rumors going around about him too. This is the start of Honatsu’s journey of discovery her divided feelings between Toma and Shun, and the secrets that are being kept away from her and her tragic past.

“Rather than a single moment it’s more like your feelings of “liking someone” gradually accumulate.”

Let me start by saying there’s something about a childhood friend to lovers trope that hits differently in literature especially in manga. Sprinkle in a love triangle and you’ve got a spicy story just waiting to unfold. There’s also a whole mystery that surrounds to two love interests of our main character that just adds a nice little touch to this story as a whole. What I’m trying to say, I’m invested. I’m in deep and I don’t want anyone to take me out of this rabbit hole.

Starting off with the characters, we have a lot of groundwork being established in a steady pace in this first volume. We see bits and pieces of their history, pieces of childhood, and little details that have you wondering, eager to know more about those characters. While the brief details of Honatsu’s memory loss is sprinkled throughout this volume, the approach to build up the characters first was nicely executed and the best method to approach this first volume in the series. It leaves the readers invested in the characters, but leaving us with a fiery desire to seek out the truth by reading volumes as they release. Which I’m going to be honest, I really want to know more about Shun due to there being so much mystery surrounding his character.

“I think people who can take care of themselves are far more precious.”

Speaking of characters, Honatsu’s character is probably one of my favorite main characters in a while. The way the mangaka established her character was really refreshing to read about. Despite having lost her memories, she has a strong desire to learn things on her own and discover what she likes and dislikes. Her approach to love felt very realistic as well. Falling in love, crushes are both feelings that can cause such internal stress for anyone, at any age. So seeing her character have all these thoughts and feelings about falling in love while she’s under going her own journey of self-growth was really refreshing, and felt realistic for someone of her age.

Of course, I say this with every manga, but the art style was superb. It gives me similar vibes to Ouran High School Host Club and it’s just an art style that’s like catnip to me. There were little details in the illustrations that were really eye pleasing. The way some of the scenes are illustrated fit perfectly to the emotions being set or expressed during that scene. It’s beautifully done, absolutely beautiful.

Overall, I really adore this manga and I really wish we had details for volume two! For a first volume in a series, the story has me fully captured and I’m obsessed with what the next volume is going to give us. Not to mention, I have so much intrigue and questions about so many things, and I just really need the rest of this series. Of course, if you’re a lover of contemporary, romance, and slice of life kind of books/manga then I highly recommend picking this manga up. Plus, I think the way story itself will capture you, making this a fast read.

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

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