A Sweet Story to Start off the New Year

The Book:

Title: Instructions for Dancing

Author: Nicola Yoon

Published June 3rd 2021 by Penguin

Genre: YA, Romance

Pages: 304

“Evie Thomas doesn’t believe in love anymore. Especially after the strangest thing occurs one otherwise ordinary afternoon: She witnesses a couple kiss and is overcome with a vision of how their romance began . . . and how it will end. After all, even the greatest love stories end with a broken heart, eventually.

As Evie tries to understand why this is happening, she finds herself at La Brea Dance Studio, learning to waltz, fox-trot, and tango with a boy named X. X is everything that Evie is not: adventurous, passionate, daring. His philosophy is to say yes to everything–including entering a ballroom dance competition with a girl he’s only just met.

Falling for X is definitely not what Evie had in mind. If her visions of heartbreak have taught her anything, it’s that no one escapes love unscathed. But as she and X dance around and toward each other, Evie is forced to question all she thought she knew about life and love. In the end, is love worth the risk?” -Goodreads

My Review:

Nicola Yoon has been on my list of top authors for years now, and this book doesn’t change that.

I got this book for Christmas and it is signed!

This book is sweet and playful, but it also touches on some dark subjects. It devastated me in the end, but in a way that gives you hope. I loved it.

Evie is a wonderful character. I used to feel like her, desperate for love but thinking it was pointless. Her experience as a character is so unique. It made me want to sign up for dancing lessons with my partner.

X is a romantic dream, but I liked how the story did not only focus on the romance between the characters. Also, he was not an asshole or a man who is so hurt by his past. He is honest about his feelings.

This love story was sweet, but semi-unadventurous because nothing super bad happens to them. That was super refreshing. Clearly, there is something that goes wrong, but to tell you would be to ruin the book.

The story is a quick read, thanks to Yoon’s writing style. I love how sometimes chapters are just lists and sometimes they are only a few lines. I have always enjoyed that about her writing.

I think it is such a sweet book. It is definitely not her best, that is reserved for The Sun is Also a Star. I still loved it and highly recommend it.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Revolting Review: Baby Teeth

The Book:

Title: Baby Teeth

Author: Zoje Stage

Published July 17th 2018 by St Martin’s Press

Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Pages: 304

“Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.”

My Review:

It took me three months to finish this book.

I did not like it. It was almost a DNF, but I told myself I wanted to see what happened no matter how much I did not like it. I needed to finish it, and it did not satisfy me.

The book was weird. (SPOILER WARNING!) One, there is talk of a seven-year-old having sex which really just put me off the book. Two, there is horrible imagery about things that made me so uncomfortable.

I had to put this book down numerous times because of how repulsive it was.

I did not like the plot. Seemingly nothing really happens until the end. Then the ending is like a huge cliffhanger, and there (hopefully) will never be a sequel. It was so boring.

The characters are boring too. The mom was so secretive and annoying. So many issues in the book could have been solved if she had talked to people years before the story began. The daughter was horrifying. I honestly never want kids in case I am the one that gets a daughter who is homicidal at the age of 7. The dad made me angry. That is all I have to say about him.

There was nothing of substance in this book. I did not feel fear as a thriller or horror novel should make me feel. I only wanted to burn the book since it was so boring.

I want to put this book behind me so I refuse to write any more about it. I am done. Do not read this book!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 1

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Book Review: The Atlas Six

Reading this book will make you feel so smart and so dense at the same time.

The Book:

Title: The Atlas Six

Series: The Atlas #1

Author: Olivie Blake

Published January 31st 2020

Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Adult

Pages: 383

“The Alexandrian Society, caretakers of lost knowledge from the greatest civilizations of antiquity, are the foremost secret society of magical academicians in the world. Those who earn a place among the Alexandrians will secure a life of wealth, power, and prestige beyond their wildest dreams, and each decade, only the six most uniquely talented magicians are selected to be considered for initiation.

Enter the latest round of six: Libby Rhodes and Nico de Varona, unwilling halves of an unfathomable whole, who exert uncanny control over every element of physicality. Reina Mori, a naturalist, who can intuit the language of life itself. Parisa Kamali, a telepath who can traverse the depths of the subconscious, navigating worlds inside the human mind. Callum Nova, an empath easily mistaken for a manipulative illusionist, who can influence the intimate workings of a person’s inner self. Finally, there is Tristan Caine, who can see through illusions to a new structure of reality—an ability so rare that neither he nor his peers can fully grasp its implications.

When the candidates are recruited by the mysterious Atlas Blakely, they are told they will have one year to qualify for initiation, during which time they will be permitted preliminary access to the Society’s archives and judged based on their contributions to various subjects of impossibility: time and space, luck and thought, life and death. Five, they are told, will be initiated. One will be eliminated. The six potential initiates will fight to survive the next year of their lives, and if they can prove themselves to be the best among their rivals, most of them will.

Most of them.” –Goodreads

My Review:

Beginning this book, I knew it would be a life-changing book, at least according to numerous people on TikTok.

They were right.

While I may not have had an epiphany about the world or life in general, this book left a lasting impression. Olivie Blake discusses ideas about space, time, and thought that I have never heard of. This book has shifted my way of thinking about time and space.

After finishing the book, I wanted to check out books about all sorts of philosophical topics just to understand half of what these characters were talking about.

While the topics seem intimidating, Blake breaks them down really well for the sake of the story. Her ability to show the ideas while still keeping the complex jargon made me feel so smart. ( I still did not understand half the principles the characters spoke about, hence the feeling dense mentioned earlier.)

The plot was superb. I got the perfect amount of information throughout the story. The switching of POVs and the time-skips made sense and did not take away from my understanding or my enjoyment.

The book does focus mostly on 6 twenty-year-olds reading books and barely anything happens within the story, but the mental processes that take place in each character are astonishing; any added action would have made the book too much or too confusing.

Everything was revealed slowly, but surely. I could not put this book down. There are so many theories that I had in the beginning. Some I did not get right and some I did.

This book focuses heavily on character development, so if you are not into that sort of book, this might not be the book for you.

The characters were amazing to read about. I think that they all had their complex problems and successes. Reina and Libby were probably my favorites. I feel like they were so relatable and they had the best grasp on reality.

The other characters were perfect too! Honestly, there was no underdeveloped character in this book, other than Atlas, but we don’t see growth from him because he is barely around.

Some of the characters were unlikeable which was so nice. Blake makes all of the characters act like themselves. They all follow their own moral compass. They do what is necessary to survive. This story was so unique in the fact that no one tried to be someone they weren’t. I cannot say much more about the characters. I want you to experience them for yourself.

The vibe of this book is delectable. I read it in the wintertime. It was cold and I have been into the dark academia aesthetic recently. This book serves readers this aesthetic on a silver platter.

I loved this book. It has been a while since I have texted my reading buddies about a book and begged them to read it.

This book was honestly amazing. I could not put it down because I was so engulfed in the book.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Broken Heart: A Cute Novel with Surprising Adventure

The Book:

Title: Once Upon a Broken Heart

Author: Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart #1

Published September 28th 2021 by Flatiron Books

Genre: Fantasy, YA

Pages: 408

“For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic but wicked Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.

But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game—and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after or the most exquisite tragedy….” -Goodreads

My Review:

Once again, Stephanie Garber has one my heart. The Caraval series was beautiful and then this book, in the same universe and my favorite character, was magical.

Garber’s writing is significantly improved in this book. Caraval was a little choppy and less descriptive. This book had amazing descriptions and was less choppy.

The main character in this book was stunning. I want to dye my hair rose gold to match Ms. Evageline Fox. I think we are very similar in character. We try to do the right thing and are hopeless romantics. She believes in fairytales and wants to be the hero. I adore her.

Jacks, oh my Jacks, has been a naughty little boy, but how can you blame the Prince of Hearts. I wished the ending was a bit different for him, but we will see how it plays out in the sequel.

Since this takes place in an empire previously described in the Caraval series, we do not need a lot of world-building upfront which was nice to get the right pacing in the book. When we do have a change of scenery, we get the world-building while still being able to keep up with the story.

This book makes this Caraval universe become three-dimensional. Caraval and the others would have half-explained government systems, landmarks, and just general setting ideas. This book exceeded the last book, explaining the Meridian Empire and the Northern Empire so much more.

This book was honestly magical. My last thing to say is to Stephanie Garber. Please, please, and please finish and publish the next one already. I want more of Jacks!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

My Most Anticipated Books of 2022

“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. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:

Anticipated Books in the First Half of 2022

The first half of 2022 has some exciting books coming out and I am excited to share some that I am looking forward to, and some that I have already pre-ordered.

  1. Blade Breaker by Victoria Aveyard (June 28th)

I have been super into Victoria Aveyard this past year. I am hoping the obsession continues. I got the pre-order for this after attending her cover reveal live stream.

2. Galant by V.E Schwab (March 1st)

I pre-ordered this book. I thought it sounded interesting and I cannot wait to read it.

3. Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover (January 18th)

As you know, I love Colleen Hoover. I am so excited to have another book of hers to devour.

4. House of Sky and Breath by Sarah. J Maas (February 15th)

I have not read the first book, but I still cannot wait for another Sarah J. Maas book!

5. Lore Olympus Vol. 2 by Rachel Smythe (February 2nd)

While I have already read the Webtoon, I do like to spend my money. So I am looking forward to snagging a copy of this since I have the first volume.

6. Family of Liars by E. Lockhart (May 3rd)

I read We Were Liars years ago and I am so excited that it has gained so much recognition this past year. I am so excited about this sequel.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

My 2021 Books:

This year I read 64 books. This was a huge accomplishment. I am so excited to be able to publish this list as a post.

I keep a list of the book I read as a page on my blog, but now this list must go to make room for my 2022 list.

I did not want this list to go away, so I have decided to post the list.

Also, I wanted to give a big thank you to everyone who follows my blog and who likes and comments. I appreciate everyone and cant wait to see where this blog goes in the next year.

Book I Read:

  • Empire of Storm by Sarah J. Maas
  • Lucy by Jamacia Kincaid
  • What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera 
  • Dash and Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
  • Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • Fun Home by Alison Bechdel
  • We a BaddDDD People by Sonia Sanchez
  • Love Poems by Sonia Sanchez
  • homegirls and handgrenades by Sonia Sanchez
  • Into the Wild by John Krakauer
  • Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
  • Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas
  • Caraval by Stephanie Garber
  • And I Darken by Kiersten White
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
  • Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  • Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  • Legendary by Stephanie Garber
  • Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  • A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
  • Sensational: The Hidden History of America’s “Girl Stunt Reporters” by Kim Todd
  • Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon
  • The Foxhole Court by Nora Sakavic
  • The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
  • Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  • Fence: Striking Distance by Sarah Rees Brennan
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
  • The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith
  • White Magic by Elissa Washuta
  • The Glamourist by Luanne G. Smith
  • A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas
  • You’re So Dead by Ash Parsons
  • The Conjurer by Luanne G. Smith
  • Blackout by Dhonielle Clayton, etc.
  • Finale by Stephanie Garber
  • Barbarian Alien by Ruby Dixon
  • She Drives Me Crazy by Kelly Quindlen
  • The Diabolic by S.J Kincaid
  • Layla by Colleen Hoover
  • The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson
  • Beach Read by Emily Henry
  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  • The Vanishing Stairs by Maureen Johnson
  • The Hand of the Wall by Maureen Johnson
  • From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Arementrout
  • Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  • American Animals by Eric Borsuk
  • The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms
  • The Bright Side of Going Dark by Kelly Harms
  • A Veil of Truth and Trickery by Analeigh Ford
  • City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
  • City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
  • Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
  • City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
  • Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber
  • Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
  • The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake
  • Without Merit by Colleen Hoover
  • Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover
  • Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe
  • Instructions for Dancing by Nicola Yoon

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

A Veil of Truth and Poor Writing

I would never lie to my readers, so I will not be giving this book a good review. I wish that I could.

The Book:

Title: A Veil of Truth and Trickery

Author: Analeigh Ford

Published July 31st 2021

Genre: Fantasy

Pages: 308

“Delphine has been fae-marked from birth, treated as a curse despite the fact the once treacherous fae haven’t been sighted in decades—in fact, no one in Delph’s village has so much as laid eyes on one of the folk in nearly a century.

Right up until a fae turns up on her doorstep, demanding Delph as down payment.

No sooner has she set foot in the fae realm, however, then she learns she’s no mere collateral in a deal made with the lord that owns her family lands. She was selected for a reason, hunted down for a single purpose.

The fae courts are fading. The folk disappearing.

Only four courts remain. Four princes determined to save their crumbling kingdoms.

And Delph … Delph may just hold the key to save them all.

But even as Delph learns to see past the feared glamour of the fae realm, she quickly learns the impossible position she’s found herself in. The fae may not be the monsters she was led to believe, but in order to save them … she may have to become a monster herself.” -Goodreads

My Review:

*I just read the synopsis and that is even written poorly.

Negative reviews are literally my least favorite to write. But I have to for this book.

First, I feel like I was promised a lot from the author on TikTok. I was excited and so I purchased the book.

There was supposed to be spicy romance that beat out the ACOTAR series.

Let’s just say that it was not true.

This book started and instantly I knew it was not going to be great. In my creative writing classes for college, there is a saying thrown around A LOT and I hate to repeat it here, but I must. A writer should show not tell.

This writer did a lot of telling. Many places where there could have been descriptions and details.

This book regarded the Fae. I love Fae books, but I think Ford just tried to use the basic outline of Fae from a Sarah J. Maas world. I read the book like that because there seemed to be no focus on who they were.

The world building in this story in general was a bit lacking. I felt like the village the main character starts off in was okay. It was bland and I did not get the relationship with the family.

The fae realm was even more lack luster than the village. When the main character enters the realm, her body is unable to adjust and she describes feeling sick. But the way the realm is described feels like an acid trip…that never stops.

We get little snippets of the world, but I feel like it was not enough for me to stop imagining that first drop into the world.

I might just be being picky though.

Each chapter ended with like a resolution to the issue presented in the beginning. I dislike that kind of narration. I believe the author was trying to make each chapter end in a cliff hanger. It just wasn’t for me.

There were so many plot holes or things that didn’t add up. I kept expecting to find answers, but I was left with more questions.

The characters were static and one dimensional. No one learned anything or changed. I got more intriguing characters in the Ice Planet Barbarians series than this.

The premise of the story was good. I don’t think it was super unique as it clearly copied a lot of ACOTAR, but it had some interesting aspects that *almost* make me want to read the second book when it comes out.

Except I probably won’t.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 2

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Red Queen: My First Aveyard

Hey guys! I am trying out a new format with my blog so bear with me…

THE BOOK:

Title: Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Series: Red Queen #1

Published February 10th, 2015 by HarperTeen

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Sci-Fi

Pages: 383

“This is a world divided by blood—red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance—Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.” -Goodreads

MY REVIEW:

Plotwise this book had everything. Characterwise this book had everything. Romancewise this book had everything. This book was everything I wanted and more!

Before reading this, I was in a total reading slump. I had five books on my book cart begging to be read, but they did not entice me. I thought, “Okay, let’s try one more attempt at recovery.” I grabbed the first book on my shelf, something new, something fresh. I had never read Aveyard’s work before. I had attempted to read this one a long time ago, but it became overdue at the library and I had no care to continue on.

But damn how I have missed out!

From the moment I picked up this book, I devoured it. I began reading it last week and then just finished today. I have not finished a book in a week since Summer. School has been kicking my butt and this was the perfect escape.

The plot was exciting. Aveyard is a temptress. She brings you into the story with vivid details and then smashes your face into the Silver’s diamond walls with twists and turns. I got to see the seedy underbelly of the elite in this society, and I want more.

Whenever I started getting comfortable with the storyline, thinking: “What else could possibly happen?” I was thrown into a whole new hole and sunk deeper and deeper into the story.

The graphics in my mind were so amazing. Aveyard found the sweet spot when it came to describing the setting. It wasn’t overcontrolling but it wasn’t so little I could have thought of anything and it would fit. The imagery wrapped around me like a nicely fitting glove.

Mare Barrow, the main character, excites me, infuriates me, and charms me in every word of the story. She goes from peasant Red in rags to noble Silver in silks. We, as readers, see the internal struggle she feels working with her enemies. We feel all of her emotions as we go through the story.

The kind, sweet-hearted Maven was my favorite character. Emphasis on the was. I was really rooting for him throughout the book. I wanted the second child to get some sort of recognition in this book. He was handsome, smart, and emotionally available for Mare. Again, emphasis on the past tense.

Cal infuriates me. Yeah, I said it. He is annoying and I do not root for him. He stands against everything Mare stands for, which I am always going to be on Mare’s side, and that makes him a little punk in my mind.

The other side characters were amazing. Everyone was well developed, no matter who they were and if they only showed up once or twice. I got to love almost everyone in this book.

I think this book was super entertaining. I have heard that it might be made into a TV show or movie. I would die! I think that it would be so cool to see the story of Mare Barrow brought to the big screen.

Go check out my Twitter and Instagram @abookiesbooks

As always, thanks for reading

A Bookie

MY RATING:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What am I reading this week?

For those that dont know, WWW is a meme and this meme was formerly hosted by MizB at A Daily Rhythm and revived on Taking on a World of WordsAnd it involves answering the 3 Ws!

What am I currently reading?

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

A Veil of Truth and Trickery by Analeigh Ford

*If you want to see the whole list of my current reads, my Goodreads is listed in my sidebar of this blogsite.

What did I recently finish?

Layla by Colleen Hoover

What am I reading next?

Beach Read by Emily Henry

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

“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. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.” -That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s theme:

Books I Wish I Could Read Again for the First Time

  1. The Harry Potter Series J.K Rowling
  2. The Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J. Maas-specifically the first first three books
  3. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
  4. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
  5. Paper Towns by John Green
  6. Heartless by Marissa Meyers
  7. Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  8. Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo
  9. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
  10. the sun and her flowers by rupi kaur

Let me know down below what books you would put on this list or link your own TTT post in the comments.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie