April Wrap-Up + Hiatus Announcement

April zipped by too quickly, and I have been pretty absent the last few weeks. I only finished one book, a non-fiction audiobook since my brain hasn’t been focused enough to absorb a fiction novel. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’m in the home stretch of growing my second human. I’ve been busy finishing up at my job, prepping for the new arrival, and sleeping (a lot), which is why I haven’t been posting as much lately. This will likely continue for the next couple months, as a newborn (based on previous experience) doesn’t give you much free time. I still plan on doing some reading, but I do want to focus on my family for a while and take time to rest and recover.

Posts should pick back up again hopefully by the summer, once I can get a new routine established and carve out some time for reading/writing.

Happy May everyone!

Books I read/listened to:

How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease by Michael Greger, M.D. I’m all for the plant-based diet, and despite the silly name, this is a very interesting read. Technically, I listened to the audiobook, narrated by Michael Greger himself. He had a very pleasant and engaging voice, and for a non-fiction it was quite entertaining. I will post a book review eventually, but if you’re interested in a book about nutrition that references a lot of scientific studies, I would definitely give this one a try!

The Blogger Recognition Award

I was nominated by itsKooReviews! I’ve followed their blog for a little while now and you should definitely check it out too, especially if you are a fan of romance or fantasy novels. A very big thank you to them for the nomination, it really made my day!

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger/s who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Write a post to show your award.
  • Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  • Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  • Select up to 15 other bloggers you want to give this award to.
  • Comment (or pingback) on each blog and let them know you have nominated them and provide the link to the post you created.

How My Blog Started

I started this blog back in November of 2020, almost half a year ago now! I realized I had hit a slump, and wanted to give myself some motivation to start reading again. I had never realized how big the book blogging community was, and it was exciting to join in and rediscover my passion once again!

Two Pieces of Advice for New Bloggers

Oh jeez, am I even qualified to give advice yet? I still feel like a new blogger! I guess two things that would be handy for new bloggers to consider when starting a book blog are:

Go into it for the right reasons. These reasons might be different for everyone, but you want to make sure that you are starting something you won’t get bored with weeks or months down the road. Blogging shouldn’t feel like work, it should (for the most part) be a fun and enjoyable experience you look forward to doing.

Find your niche. If you only enjoy reading fiction books, don’t try to review a whole stack of non-fiction. For one thing, it’ll probably feel like work, and who wants more of that? For another thing, if non-fiction isn’t your niche, then are you really the best person to be reviewing it? I’m not saying to avoid anything you aren’t sure to love, but if your blog is full of 2-star reviews or DNFs of books you wouldn’t have read willingly otherwise, are you actually having fun? At the end of the day, you should be enjoying this. So if that means you only review historical fiction, so what? And tastes change over time, maybe you’ll end up trying something new and discovering a new favourite author or genre, which is great!

Nominations!

  1. The Sassy Library Fox
  2. Fi’s Bibliofiles
  3. One Book More
  4. Bookish Brews
  5. Books are 42
  6. Curiouser and Curiouser
  7. Elspells
  8. Becca Kate Blogs
  9. The Book Lovers’ Sanctuary

Cant-Wait Wednesday: Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week’s Can’t-Wait Wednesday book is Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir!


Goodreads Synopsis: Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission–and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish. Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it. All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company. His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, he realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Alone on this tiny ship that’s been cobbled together by every government and space agency on the planet and hurled into the depths of space, it’s up to him to conquer an extinction-level threat to our species. And thanks to an unexpected ally, he just might have a chance. Part scientific mystery, part dazzling interstellar journey, Project Hail Mary is a tale of discovery, speculation, and survival to rival The Martian–while taking us to places it never dreamed of going.

About the author: Andy Weir built a two-decade career as a software engineer until the success of his first published novel, The Martian, allowed him to live out his dream of writing full-time. He is a lifelong space nerd and a devoted hobbyist of such subjects as relativistic physics, orbital mechanics, and the history of manned spaceflight. He also mixes a mean cocktail. He lives in California.

I’m comfortable with science fiction, but outright ‘people in space’ books tend to make me a bit hesitant. Why? Because space scares the hell out of me. Like full blown anxiety, I do not yearn to be stuck in a tiny can and shot into a dark oxygen-less atmosphere, it’s the same reason I’ve never wanted to scuba dive either. But Andy Weir managed to seriously entertain me with The Martian, so I will give Project Hail Mary a chance for that alone. The way the main character was narrated felt so natural and often made me laugh out loud, so I’m hopeful that Project Hail Mary offsets the terror of space with some of that humour again.

Project Hail Mary will be released on May 4th, 2021! Click here to preorder now!

First Lines Friday- 9 April 2021

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

This week’s First Lines Friday book is a 2018 release on my TBR pile that I am very excited to read, see if you can guess the book!

First Lines


““Take your clothes off.” Rin blinked. “What?” The proctor glanced up from his booklet. “Cheating prevention protocol.” He gestured across the room to a female proctor. “Go with her, if you must.” Rin crossed her arms tightly across her chest and walked toward the second proctor.”


And the book is…….

The Poppy War by R. F. Kuang!

Goodreads Synopsis: A brilliantly imaginative talent makes her exciting debut with this epic historical military fantasy, inspired by the bloody history of China’s twentieth century and filled with treachery and magic, in the tradition of Ken Liu’s Grace of Kings and N.K. Jemisin’s Inheritance Trilogy. When Rin aced the Keju—the Empire-wide test to find the most talented youth to learn at the Academies—it was a shock to everyone: to the test officials, who couldn’t believe a war orphan from Rooster Province could pass without cheating; to Rin’s guardians, who believed they’d finally be able to marry her off and further their criminal enterprise; and to Rin herself, who realized she was finally free of the servitude and despair that had made up her daily existence. That she got into Sinegard—the most elite military school in Nikan—was even more surprising. But surprises aren’t always good. Because being a dark-skinned peasant girl from the south is not an easy thing at Sinegard. Targeted from the outset by rival classmates for her color, poverty, and gender, Rin discovers she possesses a lethal, unearthly power—an aptitude for the nearly-mythical art of shamanism. Exploring the depths of her gift with the help of a seemingly insane teacher and psychoactive substances, Rin learns that gods long thought dead are very much alive—and that mastering control over those powers could mean more than just surviving school. For while the Nikara Empire is at peace, the Federation of Mugen still lurks across a narrow sea. The militarily advanced Federation occupied Nikan for decades after the First Poppy War, and only barely lost the continent in the Second. And while most of the people are complacent to go about their lives, a few are aware that a Third Poppy War is just a spark away . . .Rin’s shamanic powers may be the only way to save her people. But as she finds out more about the god that has chosen her, the vengeful Phoenix, she fears that winning the war may cost her humanity . . . and that it may already be too late.

The Poppy War was published back in 2018, and I have had it on my TBR pile for a while now. I plan to read the whole trilogy, hopefully a little later this year if I get the chance! I like to mix in some ‘older’ books with the newer releases I read, especially ones that I have heard such great things about!

Have you already read ‘The Poppy War’? Let me know in the comments!

Cant-Wait Wednesday: The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week’s Can’t-Wait Wednesday book is The Chosen and the Beautiful by Nghi Vo!


Goodreads Synopsis: Immigrant. Socialite. Magician. Jordan Baker grows up in the most rarefied circles of 1920s American society―she has money, education, a killer golf handicap, and invitations to some of the most exclusive parties of the Jazz Age. She’s also queer, Asian, adopted, and treated as an exotic attraction by her peers, while the most important doors remain closed to her. But the world is full of wonders: infernal pacts and dazzling illusions, lost ghosts and elemental mysteries. In all paper is fire, and Jordan can burn the cut paper heart out of a man. She just has to learn how. Nghi Vo’s debut novel reinvents this classic of the American canon as a coming-of-age story full of magic, mystery, and glittering excess, and introduces a major new literary voice. 

About the author: Nghi Vo is the author of the acclaimed novellas The Empress of Salt and Fortune and When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain. Born in Illinois, she now lives on the shores of Lake Michigan. She believes in the ritual of lipstick, the power of stories, and the right to change your mind. The Chosen and the Beautiful is her debut novel.

The roaring 20s normally bring to mind a Great Gatsby-esque time of partying and flapper dresses, but The Chosen and the Beautiful promises to explore much more. Jordan Baker sounds like an exciting protagonist, and I can’t wait to see what her story holds! Magic, mystery and excess surround this enticing debut novel!

The Chosen and the Beautiful will be released on June 1st! Make sure to preorder your copy today!

First Lines Friday- 2 April 2021

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

This week’s First Lines Friday book is a 2020 release on my TBR pile that I am very excited to read, see if you can guess the book!

First Lines


She’s at Mrs. Ruthie’s house, eating one of Mrs. Ruthie’s peanut butter cookies, staring out Mrs. Ruthie’s living room window and waiting for her parents to come home. From here, Bea can see her house with all its lights off and the front door locked. The wooden swing hanging from the tree in the front yard rocks idly in the summer breeze. The driveway is empty. All of this makes her stomach hurt, but not enough to abandon the cookie, so yummy and so soft.


And the book is…….

The Project by Courtney Summers!

Goodreads Synopsis: Lo Denham is used to being on her own. After her parents died in a tragic car accident, her sister Bea joined the elusive community called The Unity Project, leaving Lo to fend for herself. Desperate not to lose the only family she has left, Lo has spent the last six years trying to reconnect with Bea, only to be met with radio silence. When Lo’s given the perfect opportunity to gain access to Bea’s reclusive life, she thinks they’re finally going to be reunited. But it’s difficult to find someone who doesn’t want to be found, and as Lo delves deeper into The Project and its charismatic leader, she begins to realize that there’s more at risk than just her relationship with Bea: her very life might be in danger. As she uncovers more questions than answers at each turn, everything Lo thought she knew about herself, her sister, and the world is upended. One thing doesn’t change, though, and that’s what keeps her going: Bea needs her, and Lo will do anything to save her.

A mysterious cult and a missing sister? Yes please! I’ve heard very good things about this February 2021 release so far, and I’m excited to read it! I think I will keep it on my TBR pile for a little while longer, since I have a feeling it could get a bit scary, and I can’t handle that right now. But I have high hopes of reading it before the end of the summer!

Have you already read ‘The Project’? Let me know in the comments!

March 2021 Wrap-Up

I managed to read almost 50 books this month! Ha, April Fools! Yes I know, it’s not a clever…can that even be called a prank? I don’t have the time or the energy to plan anything spectacular for April Fools, and I’m not a fan of pop-up videos or scare pranks so you won’t find anything like that here. Any links in this post are just boring links to other posts, I promise. Somehow March felt even shorter than February, if that’s even possible. There is more sunshine now at least, but I still feel like there are not enough hours in the day.

I read four books in March. Two were new releases from my TBR pile, and two were part of my reread of the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I am more than okay with having completed only four books, I am trying to take it easy as I approach my due date. Hopefully I can match this amount in April, and then May will probably be a write off month when I take a small blog hiatus.

Here are the books I read this month:


The Witches Heart by Genevieve Gornichec (2021):

This was a new release from early February that I had been dying to read. And boy did it deliver! This book was packed full of heartache, monsters, and norse gods, and Genevieve Gornichec is a phenomenal writer. My review for it will likely go up in early April, so keep an eye out!

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo (2012):

Did I decide to reread this series just so I would be refreshed for when the tv series is released? Maybe. I like to reread series from time to time, especially when I can’t recall half of what happens in the plot. It’s been so long since I last read Shadow and Bone that some of the twists did catch me by surprise! Check out my review of the first book, Shadow and Bone, here!

What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo (2021):

This was another February release I just had to read, and yes I did sneak it right into the middle of my Shadow and Bone trilogy reread. Normally when I start a series I read it all the way through without a break, but this book deserved an exception. If you’re looking for a book about a bizarre family filled with mystery and horror, look no further! Check out my review of What Big Teeth here.

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (2013):

Can I just start by saying that ‘Siege’ is a frustrating word and I somehow never spell it right on the first try? Siege and Storm is the second book in the Shadow and Bone trilogy, and I must say I did enjoy it more than the first book. I’m still not sure if I’m ‘team’ anyone yet, although Nikolai is probably my favourite character so far! I should have a review for Siege and Storm up in early April.


I have no lofty reading goals for April, except hopefully finish a couple of books in between all my naps (when does it cross the line into hibernating? I’ll need to look that up).

Did you read any of these books in March? What books are on your April TBR pile? Let me know in the comments!

Cant-Wait Wednesday: House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we’re excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they’re books that have yet to be released. It’s based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This week’s Can’t-Wait Wednesday book is House of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland!


Goodreads Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Iris Hollow has always been strange. Something happened to her and her two older sisters when they were children, something they can’t quite remember but that left each of them with an identical half-moon scar at the base of their throats. Iris has spent most of her teenage years trying to avoid the weirdness that sticks to her like tar. But when her eldest sister, Grey, goes missing under suspicious circumstances, Iris learns just how weird her life can get: horned men start shadowing her, a corpse falls out of her sister’s ceiling, and ugly, impossible memories start to twist their way to the forefront of her mind. As Iris retraces Grey’s last known footsteps and follows the increasingly bizarre trail of breadcrumbs she left behind, it becomes apparent that the only way to save her sister is to decipher the mystery of what happened to them as children. The closer Iris gets to the truth, the closer she comes to understanding that the answer is dark and dangerous – and that Grey has been keeping a terrible secret from her for years.

About the author: Krystal Sutherland is an internationally published author. Her first novel, Chemical Hearts, was published in over 20 countries and was named by the American Booksellers Association as one of the best debuts of 2016. The film adaptation, produced by Amazon Studios, stars Lili Reinhart (Riverdale) and Austin Abrams (Euphoria); Sutherland served as an executive producer on the project. Her second novel, A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares, was published to critical acclaim in 2017 and has been optioned for adaptation by Yellow Bird US. In 2018, she appeared on the annual Forbes “30 Under 30” list. Originally from Australia, she has lived on four continents and currently calls London home. Her next novel for young adults, House of Hollow, is set for publication by Penguin in spring 2021.

When I added this book to my TBR Pile, I honestly had no idea that it was by the same author of Chemical Hearts! I haven’t read that one, but clearly it was a big deal, since it already has a movie adaptation. House of Hollow promises mystery, memory-loss and spooky fantastical elements, all of which have me intrigued! I look forward to getting my hands on this exciting new novel by Krystal Sutherland!

House of Hollow will be released on April 6th, 2021! Click here to preorder now!

Review: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Goodreads Synopsis: Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee. Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling. Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Romance,

Date of Publication: June 5th, 2012

Publisher: Henry Holt & Company

Length: 358 pages

My rating: 3/5

****Warning: This review contains some more spoiler-y aspects, since this book is older****

Wow, my memory is either absolutely fried, or I’ve just read too many books. This is my second series reread this year, and once again, I barely remembered the story from my original read-through! That being said, sometimes forgetting the story can actually be a blessing, since it allowed me to experience the plot with fresh eyes.

I think that Leigh Bardugo does a good job with her world-building; Ravka is decently complex without hitting Lord of the Rings levels of confusing, which I appreciate. The concept of magical beings who are used by the ‘normal’ citizens, disliked while also ‘respected’ because of their abilities, isn’t anything new, but it’s handled well enough that I wasn’t bored out of reading it. The characters are also decent enough that it kept my interest, but I can see why this story wasn’t burned into my brain forever.

The plot follows a pretty standard fantasy outline: The main character finds out they are magical, in fact they are extremely powerful, thus ostracizing them from both their old normal friends and the new magical group they are a part of. Have at least 4 chapters of the main character learning to control their powers, which involves some level of personal development and mentoring from wise old people. There is obviously a lot of pressure on them because the fate of the world depends on them using this new power, and also they get bullied, because why not. There is a love triangle, one is a ‘normal’ person from their old life, one is new and dark and edgy (in this case literally ‘dark’). There is a twist! (Cue *Gasp*) and then we set up for the next book in the series. Now insert the name Alina, and swap ‘Grisha’ for magical group, and you have Shadow and Bone.

I’m not saying it’s a bad story, it’s just…pretty basic. I think Shadow and Bone manages to hold interest with what is otherwise a pretty standard storyline. It’s not overly deep, so if you’re looking for an average fantasy read, it’s worth a shot. It’s likely that this is the reason why it got a TV series adaptation, it definitely has appeal for a larger group of people. And from what I’ve seen so far, they have a somewhat diverse cast, so it’s probably worth a shot too. I didn’t absolutely adore Shadow and Bone, but I didn’t hate it either. I just thought it was fine. I’m going to try and finish the series since I’m already 1/3 of the way through, so maybe it will get better (I honestly can’t remember).

Have you had a chance to read Shadow and Bone? Are you planning on watching the series? Let me know in the comments!

WWW Wednesday- March 24th, 2021

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words! All you have to do is answers the following three questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


I’m changing it up this week with my first ever WWW Wednesday!

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy #2). This is a continuation of my Shadow and Bone Trilogy reread, which I took a brief hiatus from after finishing the first book. As it turns out, I remember next to nothing of this series, so it feels like I’m reading it for the first time, only with bits of deja vu. I’m only a couple of chapters in at this point, and it’s still holding my interest, so that’s a good sign at least!

What did you recently finish reading?

I got my hands on the newly released What Big Teeth by Rose Szabo, so I had to throw this one into the mix. Plus I felt like I needed a bit of a breather after Shadow and Bone, I wasn’t ready to dive right into the next book just yet. What Big Teeth was a very different read, and definitely a change of pace from Shadow and Bone. You can can check out my review of it here!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’ll probably try to finish my Shadow and Bone Trilogy reread by diving right into Ruin and Rising. I honestly can’t remember what happens in Siege and Storm, so if I really can’t get into it I might explore another book on my TBR pile instead, we shall see!

What are you currently reading? Are any of these books on your TBR pile? Let me know in the comments!