Trope-ical Readathon 2021 TBR

Hello, reader!

If you’ve been around the blog for any amount of time, you know I’m not one for monthly TBRs. I’m a mood reader (when I haven’t overbooked myself on blog tours 😅) and rarely stick to a reading plan throughout the month. The exception to this rule is when I’m participating in a readathon, which is brings us to the reason for this post. Today, I’ll be sharing my TBR for the Trope-ical Readathon! I participated in this last year and had such a great time! This will be occurring throughout the month of March and I’m so excited to participate again 💖

The Trope-ical Readathon was created by the awesome Jenny @ JenJenReviews and her partner, Rob. It’s focused around reading books that fit into certain bookish tropes. This is also a team-based challenge, where you chose a side and earn points to try and bring your team out on top! The five teams you can chose from are:

  • Team Romance
  • Team Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Team Mystery/Horror/Thriller (the best team *coughcough*)
  • Team Contemporary/Literary/Historical Fiction
  • Team Non-Fiction/Poetry

Each team has a team book and team challenges and there are general challenges, as well. For all the relevant information, check out the Trope-ical Readathon info page!


The Challenges:

As mentioned above, there are five teams that you can chose to join when you register. I have stuck with my choice from last time and will be reading for Team Mystery/Horror/Thriller. The team books and challenges for the winning team *wink* are:

Note: All the challenge images were created by Jenny @ JenJenReviews.

Team Challenge 1: Read a book with the “Haunted House” trope
Team Challenge 2: Read a book with the “Whodunit” trope
New Team Book: The Obsession by Jesse Q. Sutanto
Old Team Book: Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones

To add to the individual team challenges, there are also 13 general challenges that you can read for extra points. The common challenges are:

  • Absent/Dead Parent(s) Trope: Read a book where the MC’s parents are either absent throughout the book or have passed away prior to the start of the book. Alternatively, read a book that has more than one “parent” (i.e. multiple authors).
  • War Setting Trope: Read a book centered around the theme of war. This works for real wars (like WWII) or for other types of wars (like ones you find in fantasy). Alternatively, read a book that you can use as a weapon. I.e. a book that is over 500 pages.
  • Small Town Trope: Read a book that takes place in a small town. Alternatively, read a book with a small (i.e. one-word) title.
  • Coming-of-Age Trope: Read a book where the protagonist goes through a process of self-discovery. Alternatively, (re)read a book that shaped who you are as a person/reader.
  • Dystopia Trope: Read a book that takes place in a dystopia. Alternatively, read a book that someone else has chosen for you.
  • Blast from the Past Trope: Read a book where the MC encounters someone from their past. Alternatively, read a book written before the year 2000.
  • Mixed Media Trope: Read a book that includes letters, texts, emails, etc. Alternatively, listen to an audiobook.
  • Artificial Intelligence Trope: Read a book that features an AI. Alternatively, read an ebook.
  • Boarding School Trope: Read a book that takes place in a boarding school. Alternatively, read a buddy-read with your friend(s).
  • Enemies to Lovers/Enemies to Friends Trope: Read a book that involves enemies learning to love/like each other. This includes hate-to-love/like as well. Alternatively, read a book that you previously DNFed.
  • Multiple POVs Trope: Read a book told through multiple points-of-view. Alternatively, read a book with multiple characters of color.
  • The New Kid in Town Trope: Read a book where the MC(s) have just moved to a new place. Alternatively, read a genre you don’t usually read.
  • Retelling Trope: Read a book that is a retelling. Alternatively, read a book that has been adapted to a TV show and/or film.
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OMG! That Song Book Tag

Hello, reader!

We’re doing some more tag catch-up on the blog today and this one I’m super excited to do! I love music, I love singing, and, of course, I love books. So, when the wonderful Leah @ Leah’s Books tagged me in the OMG! That Song Book Tag, you know I had to do it! This is a tag where you have to answer with both a song and a book. How could I not want to do it? It took me ages (😅), but now it’s time to share my answers. Thank you, Leah, for the tag! And shoutout to  Katie @ Katesbookdate, who created this tag!


MY JAM:

A song you have to listen to no matter how many times you’ve heard it before
and
A book you’ll never get sick of

End of the Road by Boyz II Men
When I say this song was an integral part of my formative years! I was a huge Boyz II Men fan and I played this album on repeat. My parents probably hated this song 😂 Excuse for a moment while I croon and reminisce.

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko
You know a book is good when I, someone who rarely re-reads books, picks it up twice in one year. This was my favorite book of 2020 and, though the love is new, I don’t see it going away anytime soon! Now I just need to get my mitts on the sequel, Redemptor *grabby hands*


THROWBACK:

A song that reminds you of the cringiest time in your life
and
A book you read that you wouldn’t like if you were to read it now

Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) by Green Day
This was my high school graduating class’s song. High school, though not terrible, was definitely the cringiest time of my life 😅 And this song definitely reminds me of that! Also, how unoriginal were we, right?

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton
Yeeeaaahhh… paranormal romance, I have discovered, is not my jam and I single-handedly blame the Anita Blake series for that. How I managed to make it all the way to book 12 is beyond me, but I definitely don’t think I’d even be able to get through book 1 now. Just… no thank you.

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Blog Tour: Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques

Hello, reader!

Today, I’m bringing you a special blog tour post. Last year, I was a panelist for a wonderful new award called the Book Blogger Novel of the Year Award (BBNYA)! BBNYA is a yearly competition where book bloggers from all over the world read and score books written by indie authors. I was lucky enough to read a great array of indie books, from fantasy to thrillers and more! One of the books I got to read and absolutely loved was Marrow Charm by Kristin Jacques, which ended up winning 6th place. I’m not at all surprised that this book made it to the finals because it was incredible! Of course, I received this book to read and review as part of the BBNYA 2020 competition organized by the @The_WriteReads tours team. I want to thank them so much for sending me a free copy of the e-book so I could participate in the awards! All opinions are my own, unbiased, and completely honest.

Before we talk about the book, though, here’s a bit more about BBNYA. If you are an author and wish to learn more about the 2021 BBNYA competition, you can visit the official website (https://www.bbnya.com/) or our Twitter account, @BBNYA_Official. If you would like to sign-up and enter your book, you can find the BBNYA 2021 AUTHOR SIGN UP FORM HERE. Please make sure to carefully read our terms and conditions before entering. 

If you are a book blogger or reviewer, you can apply to be part of BBNYA 2021 by filling out this form (also remember to read the terms and conditions before signing up)!  BBNYA is brought to you in association with the Folio Society (If you love beautiful books you NEED to check out their website!) and the book blogger support group TheWriteReads.

Alright, on to the post!


Synopsis


“Azure ‘Azzy’ Brimvine lives in a world decimated by magic, where humans have retreated underground from the overwhelming dangers of the surface. But Below is no safer than Above.

Magic borne plagues continue to eat away at the remaining human cities, a sickness that doesn’t merely kill, but creates aberrations from the stricken: people twisted by magic into something dark, dangerous, and powerful. It is an existence of fear and constant dread. When Azzy’s brother, Armin, is infected and cast out into the Above, she sets out after him, determined to be there for him no matter what he becomes.

The world Above is full of monsters, both wild and cunning, some more human than Azzy was led to believe. Armin is captured and bound for the Auction block of Avergard, a ruthless city of inhuman lords and twisted creatures. To reach him, Azzy must brave the perils of the Above and the chaotic life forms created by the Gate. To reach him, she must find allies and forge new bonds in this broken world.

And Azzy must reach him, before Armin’s new power is used to open the Gate once more.”

Book Details


  • Author: Kristin Jacques
  • Series: The Gate Cycle #1
  • Publisher: The Parliament House
  • Publication date: October 1st, 2019
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Violence, slavery, blood, gore, animal cruelty

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

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First Lines Friday #6

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?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


It’s Friday and I am particularly stoked about finally getting to the end of this week! It’s been a long, slow week at work and I’m ready for some time at home with the family. Not to mention some uninterrupted reading time! But, first, it’s time for another First Lines Friday and, this week, I’m bringing you an oldie, but goodie. Well… according to most fantasy-loving readers. I didn’t get on well with this book the first time I read it, but I’m giving it another go. Let’s see if you can guess what book I’m talking about after reading these first few lines! Spoiler alert: this one is gonna be pretty easy 😂


The Line(s):

“When Mr. Bilbo Baggins of Bag End announced that he would shortly be celebrating his eleventy-first birthday with a party of special magnificence, there was much talk and excitement in Hobbiton.”


The Hints:

This is the first book of one of the most popular fantasy series of all time.

It was originally published in 1954.

There have been many screen adaptations of this book, but the most recent starred Elijah Wood, among others!


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

“The first volume in J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic adventure THE LORD OF THE RINGS

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, the Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.”


Told ya this was an easy one 😉 I’m currently buddy reading this book with a bunch of The Write Reads gang and I have to admit, I’m not hating it! I’m trying the audiobook this time because I’ve tried reading the physical book multiple times and loathed it every single time, lol. The audiobook is agreeing with me so far.

Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

Blog Tour: Wings of Ebony by J. Elle

Hello, reader!

I’ve just been on a roll with great fantasy reads, lately, and today, I’m excited to talk to you about yet another one! Wings of Ebony by J. Elle is a book that first popped on my radar last year when I saw the magnificent color. When I discovered it was a new YA fantasy that features Black Girl Magic, I knew I was going to read it. That’s why I was so excited to be offered a spot on the book tour being run by Caffeine Book Tours! There are, of course, many other wonderful bloggers, bookstagrammers, and Booktubers on this tour. If you’d like to see the schedule and check out their content, click here.

Before we get more into my tour stop post, I want to thank Caffeine Book Tours and the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my participation in this tour. It is, as always, very much appreciated!

Alright, now let’s talk about this fascinating book!


Synopsis


“‘Make a way out of no way’ is just the way of life for Rue. But when her mother is shot dead on her doorstep, life for her and her younger sister changes forever. Rue’s taken from her neighborhood by the father she never knew, forced to leave her little sister behind, and whisked away to Ghizon—a hidden island of magic wielders.

Rue is the only half-god, half-human there, where leaders protect their magical powers at all costs and thrive on human suffering. Miserable and desperate to see her sister on the anniversary of their mother’s death, Rue breaks Ghizon’s sacred Do Not Leave Law and returns to Houston, only to discover that Black kids are being forced into crime and violence. And her sister, Tasha, is in danger of falling sway to the very forces that claimed their mother’s life.

Worse still, evidence mounts that the evil plaguing East Row is the same one that lurks in Ghizon—an evil that will stop at nothing until it has stolen everything from her and everyone she loves. Rue must embrace her true identity and wield the full magnitude of her ancestors’ power to save her neighborhood before the gods burn it to the ground.”

Book Details


  • Author: J. Elle
  • Series: Wings of Ebony #1
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: January 26th, 2021
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Cover artist: Taj Francis
  • Content/Trigger warnings: Representations of gun violence (not graphic), reference to drugs, reference to murder, reference to genocide, on-page racism, violence

Book Links

Bookshop::TBD::B&N::Amazon::Goodreads

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Blog Tour: Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke

Hello, reader!

Today on the blog, I’m bringing you another tour post! This tour is being run by TBR & Beyond Tours and, when I read the synopsis for this book, I knew I wanted in. I’ll be talking about a new YA fantasy with rebels, princes, and magic called Of Silver and Shadow by Jennifer Gruenke. And, not for nothing, but the cover is absolutely gorgeous! Of course, I’m not the only stop on this fabulous tour. There are tons of wonderful book bloggers and bookstgrammers participating! If you’d like to see who and check out their posts, click here to see the full schedule.

Before I continue, I want to thank TBR & Beyond Tours, the publisher, Flux, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC in exchange for my participation with this tour and an honest review. I always appreciate it!

And now, let’s talk about the book!


Synopsis


“Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.”

Book Details


  • Author: Jennifer Gruenke
  • Publisher: Flux
  • Publication date: February 16th, 2021
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger warnings: Torture (on page), gore, violence

Book Links

Indiebound::Indigo::TBD::B&N::Amazon:: Goodreads

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Down the TBR Hole #8

It’s time for a new round of Down the TBR Hole! This is where I go through my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf and do a bit of cleaning up. If you want to see the full description of what this post is all about, check out my first round HERE.


Hello, reader!

It has been a minute since I’ve done a Down the TBR Hole post, hasn’t it? So let’s try not to judge me too harshly when we see the current state of my Goodreads ‘Want to Read’ shelf 😅 Last round, I ended with 615 books on my TBR. Since then, we’ve started an entire new year and the news about shiny, new books has been hitting me left and right! How am I to resist when there are so many fantastic sounding books just waiting to find their way onto my shelf? Well… at least my virtual one… #bookbuyingban.

That being said, there are now 628 books on my TBR and I’m sure that number will only grow over the coming months 😂 So let’s see if we can rein it in just a smidge by going through some of the books that have been hanging out there for what feels like eons. It’s time for round eight!


The Giver by Lois Lowry

I feel like I’m one of the few people that got through school without having to read this book. Not that I was assigned this book and never read it. I saved that for Dickens *glares at Great Expectations* No, I just never had an English class where this was require reading. The premise sounds interesting, though, and it’s only around 200 pages. It hits the sweet spot where I’m just intrigued enough and it’s just short enough, that it gets to stay on the TBR.

Verdict: Keep


Not on Fire, but Burning by Greg Hrbek

I have no idea why I added this book to my TBR. Having read the synopsis… I still have no idea why I added this book. For something that sounds like it could be a groundbreaking, genre-bending tale, the synopsis left me feel very meh. I dunno… it just doesn’t appeal to me and I can’t really put my finger on why. But, as it stands, I think it’s time for it to go.

Verdict: Remove


The Life-changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondō

Look, the only reason this book gets to stay is because

  • I own it
  • I would, at some point, like to get my s*** together

This book seems like it could potentially help me with that later point, lol. Also, it’s super short, so why not?

Verdict: Keep

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First Lines Friday #5

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?  If you want to make your own post, feel free to use or edit the banner above, and follow the rules below:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

If you’re using Twitter, don’t forget to use #FirstLinesFridays!


Hello, reader!

We’ve muscled our way through another week and arrived at yet another Friday! I’ve been fairly quiet on the blog this week, mostly because I got my second Covid vaccine on Tuesday. The side effects had me knocked out for a day, but I’d certainly rather be out for a day than out for weeks. Still, it feels good to get back to chatting with you wonderful, bookish people!

With that in mind, let’s get to this week’s First Lines Friday. Today, I have a book I’m reading for a blog tour run by TBR & Beyond Tours! I’m having a great time reading this book, so I wanted to share a little sneak peek before I post my blog tour next week! I’ll save the hints for after I drop the first line 😉


The Line(s):

The player slapped his cards against the table, leaned back in his chair, and grinned.
“Impressive hand,” Ren said. She would know. She’d crafted it. “But better luck next time.”


The Hints:

This is a new YA fantasy releasing next week!

This story is filled with political intrigue.

It stars a secret magic wielder and a ruthless warrior fighting to get what they want.


The Reveal:

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

“Ren Kolins is a silver wielder—a dangerous thing to be in the kingdom of Erdis, where magic has been outlawed for a century. Ren is just trying to survive, sticking to a life of petty thievery, card games, and pit fighting to get by. But when a wealthy rebel leader discovers her secret, he offers her a fortune to join his revolution. The caveat: she won’t see a single coin until they overthrow the King.

Behind the castle walls, a brutal group of warriors known as the King’s Children is engaged in a competition: the first to find the rebel leader will be made King’s Fang, the right hand of the King of Erdis. And Adley Farre is hunting down the rebels one by one, torturing her way to Ren and the rebel leader, and the coveted King’s Fang title.

But time is running out for all of them, including the youngest Prince of Erdis, who finds himself pulled into the rebellion. Political tensions have reached a boiling point, and Ren and the rebels must take the throne before war breaks out.”


Did those first few lines capture your attention? Did they make you want to read the rest of the story? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

January 2021 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

We’re into the second week in February, so I figured it was about time I wrapped up my reading in January. I’m planning on doing things a little bit differently this year. I’m not going to be including my year-long reading challenges in my wrap ups anymore because all it did was cause me stress 😅 It felt like I was barely doing anything because I would only have one or two books a month in that section! I’ll be keeping track of that separately and talk about it in a dedicated post, I think. I’m also only going to focus on my best book of the month as opposed to doing highs and lows. This is because what may be a low for me might be someone else’s favorite book and I always felt bad drawing attention to the fact that I just didn’t jive with it. We’re focusing on the positive in this blog! Of course, that’s not to say that I’ll never talk about books I didn’t like (it’s part of being a reviewer… you can’t enjoy every book!) but I’m not going to make it such a feature, ya know?

Alright, enough blabber. Let’s get to my first wrap up of the new year!


Books Read


Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

Book: The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

Rating: ★★★★★

Thoughts: This book was as good, if not better, than the first one in the series! The Poppy War hurts and this book was no different, but, for some reason, I welcome the pain. Rin’s story is just so compelling and it’s interesting to watch her rise and descent.


Book: Fly Free by Allison Rose

Rating: ★★★

Thoughts: This was a quick, enjoyable read that throws you into the land and intrigue of the land of fae. I really enjoyed the plot and the world-building, though the love interests (and the romance, in general) fell a little flat for me. You can read my full review here.


Book: Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert

Rating: ★★★★

Thoughts: Ahhhh, this was so CUTE! I absolutely loved the romance between Dani and Zafir 😍 This was the perfect mix of adorable and steamy. I can’t wait to get my hands on the last Brown Sisters book!

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Behind the Blogger Book Tag

Hello, reader!

It’s time for another catch-up book tag. I was tagged by the wonderful Jenny @ JenJenReviews to do the Behind the Blogger Book Tag way back in *coughDECEMBERcough* and have finally gotten around to doing it. Thank you, Jenny, for the tag! I’m sorry it took me forever to get to it 😅 Jenny is one of my fave bloggers who not only runs a readathon with her partner (Trope-ical Readathon coming in March! Sign up here!), but created an amazing website called BookTriggerWarnings.com where you can look up content and trigger warnings (among other things) for numerous books! You should definitely give her blog a look 💕

Alright, now let’s get to the tag so y’all can learn a little about me!


Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you (Thank you, Jenny!)
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn from allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

Questions:

Why did you start blogging? & Why have you kept blogging?

I started blogging on a whim, really. I was getting more and more into the bookish community and really wanted a place where I could contribute. Besides that, most of my friends and family aren’t into reading quite to the level that I am, so I wanted a place to just talk books 24/7 and, hopefully, not bore people, lol.

I’ve kept blogging because I was lucky enough to find a great group of bloggers that keep me encouraged and make me feel like a part of the community! I’m, of course, talking about The Write Reads gang! This group has been such a wonderful help during my first year of really blogging and I honestly don’t know if I would have stuck with it if it weren’t for them. They are supportive and fun and just the best 💕


What is your favorite type of blog post to write?

I’m a sucker for a good wrap up and those are also my favorite posts to write! I like taking a look back on my reading month and kind of reflecting on what I read. I think my second favorite post to write are reviews, even though I’m hopelessly behind, heh. Again, I like looking back at what I read and reflecting about what I liked and what I didn’t like. Some books are easier than others, but I always enjoy the journey.


What are your top three favorite blog posts you wrote?

Spoiler alert: these are all reviews 😂

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