Books On My Summer TBR 2022

I love doing Top Ten posts so here it goes:

“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 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 On My Summer 2022 To-Read List

  1. Every Summer After by Carley Fortune
  2. My Killer Vacation by Tessa Bailey
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  4. Fable by Adrienne Young
  5. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn
  6. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
  7. Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare
  8. Book Lovers by Emily Henry
  9. Timeless by Gail Carriger
  10. A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas

Will I actually get around to reading all of these? Probably not, but I am hoping to get as much as I can.

I have a goal to finish all the books I have boughten before this year. So I could get at least half of these books done.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Clap When You Land: A Book Review

The Book:

Title: Clap When You Land

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Published May 5th 2020 by HarperTeen

Genre: YA, Contemporary, Poetry

Pages: 432

In a novel-in-verse, that brims with grief and love, National Book Award-winning and New York Times bestselling author Elizabeth Acevedo writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives.

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people…

In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash.

Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered.

And then, when it seems like they’ve lost everything of their father, they learn of each other.” -Goodreads

My Review:

This book was good! I thought the two characters were pleasant. I thought their situations and duality were interesting.

Like with my last review, The Black Kids, I said I don’t like character-driven stories. I still don’t, but why do I keep reading them? I have no idea.

But, I did like that one just like I liked this one. Again, more plot would have made the story amazing, but I think there is a big place for character-driven stories (otherwise they wouldn’t do so well in the market).

This book had such a unique premise. I instantly was thrown into the heartbreak of these two girls after they both lost a father in a plane crash.

That was kind of the only real plot point that I can talk about without it being a spoiler. The book was also very predictable, except the ending was interesting and a little unexpected.

The two main characters had a lot of focus (obviously) but the side characters we did not see very much. I did not like that. The side characters made decisions or said things that I did not fully understand because I didn’t get enough focus on them to feel like they were authentic. They just were there.

The writing was amazing. This book was literally poetry. The words wove this world for me so well. I felt like I was literally there with the main characters experiencing their pain. I love poetry and this book blends both, poetry and narrative, together really well.

This book was so well written and I loved it. I don’t like character-driven stories, but this one was pretty good!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.8

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Quotes

“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:  

Book Quote Freebie – choose the theme with which you want the quote to be around

I am choosing self-love/empowerment quotes!

  1. “Carry yourself with the confidence of a mediocre white man.” – The Love Hypothesis
  2. “There is a time for stillness, but who hasn’t also wanted to scream with delight at being outdoors? To simply announce themselves and say, I’m here, I exist?” -World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks and Other Astonishments
  3. “You do not yield” -Kingdom of Ash
  4. “Roses have both petals and thorns, my dark flower. You needn’t believe something weak because it appears delicate. Show the world your bravery.” -Stalking Jack the Ripper
  5. “Come at me, world. You can’t damage the impermeable.” -Heart Bones
  6. “Feelings were not stagnant. Neither were opinions or beliefs and if we stopped believing people were capable of change, then the world might as well be left to burn.” -A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire
  7. “There is always more than one way to see the world. Those who claim otherwise would have you dwell forever in the dark.” -Sorcery of Thorns
  8. “Happiness isn’t some permanent thing we’re all trying to achieve in life, it’s merely a thing that shows up every now and then, sometimes in tiny doses that are just substantial enough to keep us going.” -Reminders of Him
  9. “There was nothing more dangerous than a woman who knew her own worth.” -The Atlas Six
  10. “You aren’t a flower, you’re every blossom in the wood blooming at once. You are a tidal wave. You’re a stampede. You are overwhelming.” -Crooked Kingdom

Dont forget to link your posts down below!

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Etiquette and Espionage: A Review

The Book:

Title: Etiquette & Espionage

Author: Gail Carrier

Series: Finishing School #1

Published February 5th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Steampunk, YA, Fantasy

It’s one thing to learn to curtsy properly. It’s quite another to learn to curtsy and throw a knife at the same time. Welcome to Finishing School.

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is a great trial to her poor mother. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper manners–and the family can only hope that company never sees her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. So she enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But Sophronia soon realizes the school is not quite what her mother might have hoped. At Mademoiselle Geraldine’s, young ladies learn to finish…everything. Certainly, they learn the fine arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but they also learn to deal out death, diversion, and espionage–in the politest possible ways, of course. Sophronia and her friends are in for a rousing first year’s education.” -Goodreads

My Review:

Wow!

This book was fantastic. I could not stop listening to it.

I have become fully entrenched in this world. I finished the series within a week and I loved it. I thought it was so amazing.

My grandmother tried to have me read these book for the past seven years. Everytime I asked for a book recommendation, she would suggest this book. I always turned her down and now I really regret it.

I had picked this up back in high school and I didn’t like it. But I decided to try it out since it was available on my library app. I am in shock at how good it way.

It was so funny and light-hearted. The series takes us through the whole schooling of finishing school, which I love books about school, and then introduces the act of “finishing” meaning murder and espionage. How cool!

This Victorian age novel immediately trapped me in this world. As I said in my review of Stalking Jack the Ripper, I have been getting so into these Victorianesque novels. I would like to blame Bridgerton, since I have been into that Regency era, and this is similar.

I loved Saphronia so much. She was spunky and loved all things espionage. She was a strong female character, but I don’t think she goes through a lot of growth in the book. Sometimes that is okay, like in the case of this book. That just is a thing I like to see. I like the see characters becoming more. Her growth lies in her skills but not in her personality or character in this book.

All of the other girls in the series were awesome and I loved Soap and the other sooties. They are all so unique and I cant wait to see where they go in the series.

I loved all the funky names in this series. They are all so interesting like Frowbritcher the butler.

It also has vampires and werewolves which was just amazing. Carriger makes her own rules for these individuals. The world-building just with the use of these two species alone is amazing.

This book is such a nice fun light reading. I believe the narration probably made this book 100% better. The narrator is literally so fun and makes wonderful voices for all the characters.

I recommend this to anyone literally. I apologize to my grandmother who I said was wrong for liking this book. Grandma, you were right and thank you for introducing me into Carriger’s novels.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.5

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ten Books I Bought a While Ago but Havent Read

“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 Was SO EXCITED to Get, but Still Haven’t Read (bonus points if you tell us how long it’s been since you got them!)

  1. City of Fallen Angels (and the rest of the Mortal Instruments series)-July 2021

2. Troubled Blood-Winter 2020

3. My Policeman-A month ago

4. The Crown of Gilded Bones-Spring 2021

5. Now I Rise-January 2021

6. A Darker Shade of Magic-January 2021

7. An Ember in the Ashes-2016

8. Wayfarer-2017

9. Legendborn-a few month ago

10. Vespertine-a few months ago

As always, thanks you for reading,

A Bookie

Stalking Jack the Ripper Review

My Book:

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper

Author: Kerri Maniscalco

Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1

Published September 20th 2016 by Jimmy Patterson

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery, YA, Romance

Pages: 337

“Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling, #1 New York Times bestselling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.” –Goodreads

My Review:

Why have I been avoiding this book?

I have been putting off reading this book for years. I did not think it was going to be super interesting or unique. But, recently I have had the motivation to read books that I would not normally get around to reading.

And omg I wish I had read this sooner!

This story was amazing. I was beyond speechless listening to it. I got it on audiobook and had it finished within the day.

I am as enraptured by Maniscalco’s writing as the main character is about autopsies.

Reading about gore is usually something I avoid, but this book made it so delightful to read about. I honestly thought it was so beautiful how even when we were not talking about a deceased body, there was a certain way the author related it to death like red was blood red.

The romance in this story is also so sweet. It is a little predictable, but that’s what romance books are in away. I did enjoy how the romance wasn’t outright. She was still her own person in this book and the romance was more of a slow burn.

Wadsworth was a super strong character. I have been getting really into victoria era books, so I loved this. Her obsession with the deceased and crime does not take away from the fact that she is a lady and likes beautiful dresses. She also likes to wear pants and boots. I don’t know why but I just loved that about her.

I do think she has that “not like other girls” vibe going on about her in this book, but it gets better in other books. I don’t like that vibe because I think it’s harmful to women who like “normal” girl things to like.

Thomas Creswell is such a respectful gentleman. He is smart, but he will always let Wadsworth figure out the crime scene first or give her room to talk. He is a perfect gentleman.

I loved this book so much and I am loving the series. Check out this book and also check out my reviews of the series as they come.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Here is Another Book Haul

Hi,

I have bought more books. I know that it is very unsurprising. What is surprising is that I only bought two.

So here they are:

A Magic Stepped in Poison by Judy I. Lin

I used to look at my hands with pride. Now all I can think is, “These are the hands that buried my mother.”

For Ning, the only thing worse than losing her mother is knowing that it’s her own fault. She was the one who unknowingly brewed the poison tea that killed her—the poison tea that now threatens to also take her sister, Shu.

When Ning hears of a competition to find the kingdom’s greatest shennong-shi—masters of the ancient and magical art of tea-making—she travels to the imperial city to compete. The winner will receive a favor from the princess, which may be Ning’s only chance to save her sister’s life.

But between the backstabbing competitors, bloody court politics, and a mysterious (and handsome) boy with a shocking secret, Ning might actually be the one in more danger.” -Goodreads

My Policeman by Bethan Robertson

“It is in 1950’s Brighton that Marion first catches sight of Tom. He teaches her to swim, gently guiding her through the water in the shadow of the city’s famous pier and Marion is smitten–determined her love alone will be enough for them both. A few years later near the Brighton Museum, Patrick meets Tom. Patrick is besotted, and opens Tom’s eyes to a glamorous, sophisticated new world of art, travel, and beauty. Tom is their policeman, and in this age it is safer for him to marry Marion and meet Patrick in secret. The two lovers must share him, until one of them breaks and three lives are destroyed.

In this evocative portrait of midcentury England, Bethan Roberts reimagines the real life relationship the novelist E. M. Forster had with a policeman, Bob Buckingham, and his wife. My Policeman is a deeply heartfelt story of love’s passionate endurance, and the devastation wrought by a repressive society.” -Goodreads

I picked up the first because of a Barnes and Noble email, and the second was because there is going to be a movie about this book.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Song of Achilles: A Review

The Book:

Title: The Song of Achilles

Author: Madeline Miller

Published August 28th 2012

Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy, LGBT,

Pages: 369

“Achilles, “the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful, irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath.

They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in her name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.”

My Review:

I hate to speak negatively about books a lot of people like, for fear of retaliation. But I did not really get why this book is so popular.

It is very well-written. I am not here to slander Miller’s writing because I think that her writing is amazing.

Books that are this heavily researched usually read like a history textbook. This read like an actual story. Miller used period-accurate wording. She also just wrote really well.

But it was not enough to keep me interested.

I got this book because so many people recommended this book off of TikTok. They said this was one of the saddest books ever. It held them captivated. People were able to read it in one day.

I shed no tears. It took me three months to read. And I honestly was not interested.

The major thing that threw me off from this book was a sex scene between minors. I understand that at the time being 14 was probably of age, but they continually referenced in the book how they were just children, and then I had a very pornographic scene of them having sex. I know, me being mad about spice? How could I? But I don’t want to hear about people under the age of 18 having sex in graphic detail. It is just not my cup of tea.

The next thing that bugged me was just that I was bored. The book covers the span of like 27 years in 369 pages. I just got bored. If you are into huge time jumps or whole years of life being summed up, then that’s great. I just hated how the book read so slow but also was jumping so quickly through their lives.

Again, not my cup of tea.

I thought there was a lot of background knowledge that you needed to have to read this book. Thankfully for people not versed in the Greek culture, there was a lot of information on the back. I knew most of what they referenced in the story, but some things were hard to understand.

I don’t want to say this book was bad. I thought that the writing was good. The ending was also okay. The last 60 pages made up for some of the slowness in the beginning but not much.

In no way do I think that is the writer’s fault; I just don’t think I liked the book.

I do want to give it a decent score though, so I am giving it a 3 star because I do think it was written well.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 3.0

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The Sequels are Always Better: Kingdom of Flesh and Fire Review

The Book:

Title: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire

Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout

Series: Blood and Ash #2

Published September 1st 2020 by Blue Box Press

Genre: Fantasy, Romance, New Adult

Pages: 637

A Betrayal…

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.” -Goodreads

My Review:

*Spoilers for the first book most likely*

This book was everything!

I did not like From Blood and Ash. The writing was sloppy and I had way too many questions and it angered me.

But, in this book, it all came together. The writing became more concrete and defined. I understood more about the creatures in this world. We got a map in this novel. The worldbuilding was way more in-depth in this book.

The romance was amazing. It was kind of lovers to enemies to lovers and I loved it. Casteel and Poppy’s romance was unique. They were so frustrating, but the frustration is all a part of the fun.

The world became a four-dimensional world. I felt like it was paper-thin and not super defined in the last book. In this one, I felt like I understood the history and the layout of the world a lot better.

I will say that this critique of it is not very developed in the last book could be because Poppy does not know much about the world around her. We do not get some information because she is not supposed to know that information. I did think the way it was written was confusing though.

This book had a better structure. I hated how the last book had no time jumps unless someone fell asleep. In this book, we speed through unnecessary events a lot faster.

I also was in shock over the ending. I have the next book, but I have not started reading it because I want my genuine reaction to the book.

I love the turn this book has taken. I have gotten more invested and am ready to see where this goes.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie

Star Rating: 4

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Once Upon a Con: A Triple Book Review

Choosing to download this book on Audible was a shot in the dark. My new reading trend is to find literally any romance book that is free on Audible and listen. This led me to this series.

The Book:

Title: Geekerella

Author: Ashley Poston

Series: Once Upon a Con #1

Published April 4th 2017 by Quirk Books

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary

Pages: 320

Cinderella goes to the con in this fandom-fueled twist on the classic fairy tale.

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but the Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise.” -Goodreads

The Review:

I checked out Geekerella first and I fell in love!

Now, the book starts off slow. I was utterly bored at first. But, eventually, the story progresses and I became invested in the characters.

This is supposed to be a fairytale retelling of Cinderella. I think it does a pretty accurate job of copying the Disney story. It was almost too exact in my opinion. The other two had subtle similarities, and this one was too on the nose.

The characters are super lovable. It is nice to see how the romance of the two main characters and the side romance play out. The side character romance was really unexpected. It was also LGBTQIA+ and I really appreciated that.

The book is boring, but it does get better. The next two books are better, so do not let this book get you down.

Star Rating: 3.8

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Book:

Title: The Princess and the Fangirl

Series: Once Upon a Con #2

Published April 2nd, 2019 by Quirk Books

Pages: 320

“The Prince and the Pauper gets a modern makeover in this adorable, witty, and a heartwarming young adult novel set in the Geekerella universe by national bestselling author Ashley Poston.

Imogen Lovelace is an ordinary fangirl on an impossible mission: save her favorite character, Princess Amara, from being killed off from her favorite franchise, Starfield. The problem is, Jessica Stone—the actress who plays Princess Amara—wants nothing more than to leave the intense scrutiny of the fandom behind. If this year’s ExcelsiCon isn’t her last, she’ll consider her career derailed.

When a case of mistaken identity throws look-a-likes Imogen and Jess together, they quickly become enemies. But when the script for the Starfield sequel leaks, and all signs point to Jess, she and Imogen must trade places to find the person responsible. That’s easier said than done when the girls step into each other’s shoes and discover new romantic possibilities, as well as the other side of intense fandom. As these “princesses” race to find the script-leaker, they must rescue themselves from their own expectations, and redefine what it means to live happily ever after.” –Goodreads

The Review:

The Princess and the Fangirl was the best book out of this trilogy. It was so funny. Romance was not at the forefront of this book. There was a bigger message of accepting yourself and falling in love with fantasy. It focused more on character development than romance.

The retelling was based on Princess and the Pauper. I do not know much of the story surrounding this, so to me, this was a lot more subtle than the last retelling.

The two main characters were both super interesting and unique. I will say that they had very similar voices, in terms of writing, so when listening, and probably the same for reading, it was sometimes hard to tell who was speaking without looking at the title of the chapter.

The romance in this book was cute although it was not the most present. One was a slow burn which made me swoon so hard. One of the main romances of this book was LGBTQIA+ so that was a huge benefit.

Star Rating: 4.1

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Book:

Title: Bookish and the Beast

Series: Once Upon a Con #3

Published August 4th, 2020 by Quirk Book

Pages: 288

In the third book in Ashley Poston’s Once Upon a Con series, Beauty and the Beast is retold in the beloved Starfield universe.

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.” -Goodreads

My Review:

This was a super cute read. It played off of Beauty and the Beast. I love Beauty and the Beast retellings. I think this one was the most subtle. If you did not know this was a fairytale retelling you may not even notice if you weren’t aware.

It is a hetero romance but there is a side of LGBTQIA+ relationships, but it is not super focused on.

This one had the least amount of development and it went super fast. It was not the best out of the series, but it was still fun. I was still invested in the story.

My favorite part of this whole series is that the characters of each story are all interconnected. They all are referenced in the other books. Each new character meets an old one, and there are little snippets of the past relationships that we get to follow.

The series is so uplifting and cute. I read it all in three days because I binge-read it. These are perfect smaller romance reads to enjoy.

Star Rating: 3.0

Rating: 3 out of 5.

As always, thanks for reading,

A Bookie