#5OnMyTBR – Animals

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

It’s once again Monday and, can I just say, I’m super excited about this week’s 5 On My TBR theme! Why is that? Because this week, we’re focusing on one of my favorite topics: animals! There are a lot of ways you can take this theme. Are we looking for animals on the cover? Animal companions? Animals as main characters? I’m going with any and all of these apply! My list of five is a mix of a few interpretations, but they are all books I can’t wait to read.


#1. A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan

This is one of those books that I put on my TBR forever ago and kind of forgot about. But it’s also one that sounds incredibly interesting! It’s about a woman who wants to be a dragon naturalist which, come on, how can you not want to read that? Women scientists and dragons all in one book! Also, I absolutely love the cover 😍 One day I will pick this one up, perhaps sooner than later now that I’ve been reminded how much I want to read it, lol.

Oh and it clearly fits the theme since it’s centered around dragons!

#2. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

While this book doesn’t feature an animal, per se, it certainly has one in the title! The main character also has wolf tattoos according to the synopsis, so I think that counts 😂 She’s also a skinshifter who is entering a race so she can try and kill Hitler which sounds incredible! I’ve been interested in this book for awhile. I’ve also been hearing a lot about it, lately, which makes me even more excited to pick it up! Perhaps it’ll be one of my first reads in 2021?

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Down the TBR Hole #6

Hello, reader!

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.

Last round saw my TBR sitting at 618 books after I went on a little bit of an adding spree 😅 Did I manage to keep the TBR additions to a minimum this week? Welp, the current number of books on my ‘Want to Read’ shelf are… 621 books. So… not terrible? I should probably just accept that this is just who I am as a person, lol. Still, it’s not as bad as last week and I’m still getting books I’m no longer interested in off my TBR. I count that as a win!

With that said, let’s jump into round six!


Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Kicking things off with another classic! I have to admit, growing up on Disney films, Peter Pan was one of my least favorite of all of them. And yet I’m still intrigued by the story. Perhaps the source material will prove to be more interesting to me? Who knows, but I’m willing to find out!

Verdict: Keep

America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide to Democracy Inaction by Jon Stewart

Here’s a little fact about me: I absolutely loved The Daily Show when Jon Stewart was the host. I used to watch it religiously! So I’ve been wanting to read this book for awhile. I find Jon Stewart’s brand of humor matches mine quite well and it makes topics I typically find kind of boring become interesting. Which means this one gets to stay until I eventually get it read.

Verdict: Keep

The Story of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting

This is another one of those books that I added to my TBR because I loved the movie so much. I’m talking about the older Dolittle movie, way before Eddie Murphy and the more recent one. A story about a man that can talk to animals seems like it would be right up my alley! I can’t tell you how many times little Kerri wished she could talk to all her pets, lol. I’m honestly not sure what to expect from this book as it was originally published in the 1920s, but I’m interested enough to find out.

Verdict: Keep

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Blog Tour: Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston

Hello, reader!

It’s time once again for another fabulous blog tour put on by Dave @ The Write Reads! I’m so excited for my stop on the tour for a new middle grade novel that will be coming out in 2021 called Amari and the Night Brothers. This book has magic, danger, and an intrepid young Black girl at the very center. How could I not want to participate? The fact that the cover just blew me away absolutely sealed the deal!

As always, I want to thank Dave @ The Write Reads, the publisher, Egmont Books, and Netgalley for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for my participation in this tour. It’s always appreciated, but especially so when I end up enjoying the book so much!

But I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I? Check out the rest of this post to see why I adored this book so much 💕


Synopsis


“An epic middle grade supernatural adventure series, soon to be a major movie starring Marsai Martin. Perfect for readers aged 8+ and fans of Percy Jackson, Nevermoor and Men in Black!

Amari Peters knows three things.

Her big brother Quinton has gone missing.
No one will talk about it.
His mysterious job holds the secret . . .

So when Amari gets an invitation to the Bureau of Supernatural Affairs, she’s certain this is her chance to find Quinton. But first she has to get her head around the new world of the Bureau, where mermaids, aliens and magicians are real, and her roommate is a weredragon.

Amari must compete against kids who’ve known about the supernatural world their whole lives, and when each trainee is awarded a special supernatural talent, Amari is given an illegal talent – one that the Bureau views as dangerous.

With an evil magician threatening the whole supernatural world, and her own classmates thinking she is the enemy, Amari has never felt more alone. But if she doesn’t pass the three tryouts, she may never find out what happened to Quinton . . .”

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First Lines Friday #1

Hello, reader!

Today, I’m trying out a post that I’ve been wanting to do for some time now: First Lines Friday! I’ve seen this on various blogs and I wanted in, lol. Before we get into the post, though, let’s take a look at the rules from the host, Wandering Words.

“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!”


The Line(s):

Arent Hayes howled in pain as a rock slammed into his massive back.
Another whistled by his ear, a third striking his knee, causing him to stumble, bringing jeers from the pitiless mob, who were already searching the ground for missiles to throw.


Any guesses?


The Reveal:

And the book is…

Click the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page

Goodreads Synopsis

“A murder on the high seas. A detective duo. A demon who may or may not exist.

It’s 1634 and Samuel Pipps, the world’s greatest detective, is being transported to Amsterdam to be executed for a crime he may, or may not, have committed. Travelling with him is his loyal bodyguard, Arent Hayes, who is determined to prove his friend innocent.

But no sooner are they out to sea than devilry begins to blight the voyage. A twice-dead leper stalks the decks. Strange symbols appear on the sails. Livestock is slaughtered.

And then three passengers are marked for death, including Samuel.

Could a demon be responsible for their misfortunes?

With Pipps imprisoned, only Arent can solve a mystery that connects every passenger onboard. A mystery that stretches back into their past and now threatens to sink the ship, killing everybody on board.

The breathtaking new novel from Stuart Turton, author of the The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle, winner of the Costa Best First Novel Award.”


I’m reading this book with some of The Write Reads gang and I’m really enjoying it so far! It is so strange and intriguing and it’s definitely keeping me on my toes! I’m also quite in love with the cover. It’s especially pretty in person 😍

Have you read this book? Did those first few lines capture your attention? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

The Would You Rather Book Tag

Hello, reader!

Today, I’m catching up on tags once again! Slowly but surely, y’all. I was tagged to do the Would You Rather Book Tag by the wonderful Jenny @ Jen Jen Reviews. Her blog, much like herself, is a lot of fun and all of you should go and visit! She and her partner, Rob, have also created an amazing website called BookTriggerWarnings.com where you can find trigger and content warnings (among other things!) for a wide variety of books. You can even create an account and add books that you’ve read and think needs trigger warnings! It’s an awesome site and you should definitely check it out, as well. I’m not 100% sure who originally created this tag, so if any of you know, please let me know!

Now I took a quick peek at the questions Jenny thought up and… this is going to be interesting 😂 So let’s jump right in!


Rules:

  • Answer the questions given to you by your nominator 
  • Make your own questions and tag others

Questions:

#1. Would you rather have a giant personal library in your house or own a bookstore?

Part of me wants to say ‘own a bookstore’ because that is honestly a dream of mine. The more practical side of me, however, would have to say a giant personal library at home. Mostly because I don’t have a lick of business sense and my poor little bookshop would probably close within a month 😅 Also, I can stock only books that I like in my personal library! Well… I guess I’ll let the family have a shelf or two, as well.

#2. Would you rather drink one beverage for the rest of your life or eat the same meal for the rest of your life?

I like food too much to be limited to one meal for the rest of my life, lol. Looks like I’ll be stuck drinking one drink for eternity! Although… that means my one drink would have to be water or else I would die… Uuuuuugh. Still sticking with my answer 😂

#3. Would you rather only be able to read during the day or only be able to read at night?

At night, definitely. I’m usually busy during the day, anyways. If I could only read during the day, I would never get any reading done! I tend to do most of my reading right before bed, as well. I’ll invest in a bunch of nice reading lights, lol.

#4. Would you rather have every book you rate 5 stars spontaneously combust after you read it, or never read a 4/5 star book again?

Uuuuuugh, I don’t like this! Um… though the thought of a book bursting into flames hurts my soul, I don’t think I could live my life reading only mediocre books! I would probably stop reading so much and then what would I do with my giant personal library?! I would have to invest in a fire-proof room where I can finish books I feel are going to be five stars, lol. And I guess it would be easy to tell if I truly loved a book 🔥🔥

#5. Would you rather meet your favorite author or meet your favorite actor?

Favorite author! I’m an awkward turtle at the best of times and authors just feel more approachable? Though I would still probably make a complete fool of myself. Also, I can’t really think of who my favorite actor would be but I have an entire list of authors who I would consider favorites! And I would have more to talk about because my life basically revolves around books. We could talk about favorite reads and other nerdy hobbies and it would be awesome.

#6. Would you rather be an author or be an editor (assuming you can’t be both)?

I want to say author because I wish I could create my own world and it be at least moderately entertaining to others. I feel like my strength would lie in being an editor, though. I would rather be an excellent editor than a mediocre author, ya know? Because I’m a Virgo and I need to excel, damnit!

#7. Would you rather be banned from all your local libraries or be banned from all your local bookstores?

😱😱😱😱

Both of these scenarios are the worst, why would you do thiiiiiiisss! Hmm… I guess I would go with bookstores. As much as I love browsing through my local indies, I can always just order from them online. If I get banned from the library, there’s no accessing all those books! Well… unless I’m just banned from going *in* to the library. Then I could just use Libby. But if it’s banned from using their services at all… yeah, no. I’m gonna go with banned from the bookstore. Even though it hurts me 😩

#8. Would you rather read a book where the villain wins or read a book where the hero dies?

This is a tough one, too. I would have to go with a book where the hero dies. No offense to the villains, but, though I tend to enjoy their evilness, I typically want things to ultimately work out in the end. Which can still happen even if the hero gets killed off. I blame my optimism and being soft. I do love a book with a good villain, tho.

#9. Would you rather only be able to read the first half of every book or the second half of every book?

I… wha… why?!

Alright… alright. If I must choose, I’m going to go with the second half of every book. That tends to be where the bulk of the action lies, after all. I’ll probably be able to pick up on any important details from the first half as I read and there’s absolutely no way I’m not reading the end of a book! It’s just… not an option. My completionist heart will hurt, but I think it can survive better as long as I know how the book ends.

#10. Would you rather read a trilogy or a series of 20+ books (assuming they’re both good)?

Look, ya girl has a short attention span and a terrible memory, so give me a trilogy any day, lol. Honestly, it’s shocking how many series I’ve found myself reading recently because I cannot remember what I had for lunch yesterday, let alone the details of a book I read months or years ago. I’m also not tryna wait for all these 20+ books to be published! Unless they’re already all published? …. Nah, still going with the trilogy 😂


My Questions:

  1. Would you rather be able to only read physical books or be able to only read non-physical books?
  2. Would you rather be able to only read your favorite genre or be able to read every genre except your favorite?
  3. Would you rather be a bestselling author of mediocre books or an author with a small following but incredible books?
  4. Would you rather not be able to read the end of a book you’re loving or be able to finish every book you read, but they’re all 3 stars at best?
  5. Would you rather listen to an audiobook with an obnoxious narrator or read an e-book with bad formatting (assuming those were your only two options)?
  6. Would you rather not be able to read the last book in a series you love or not be able to read more than one book by your favorite author?
  7. Would you rather fight one dragon-sized horse or 10 horse-sized dragons?
  8. Would you rather be able to only eat sweet snacks or savory snacks?
  9. Would you rather have your favorite book made into a terrible movie that is mass produced or an excellent movie that only a few people have access to?
  10. Would you rather hang out with your favorite villain but they end up killing you or hang out with your favorite protagonist but the end up being a jerk?

Tagging:

WWW Wednesday: December 9, 2020

It’s time for another WWW Wednesday! This is a bookish meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words where bloggers answer the 3 Ws:

  1. What are you currently reading?
  2. What did you recently finish reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

If you’d like to learn more about any of these books, click on the cover to be taken to the Goodreads page.


Current Reads

  • The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton: I’m reading this with a bunch of The Write Reads gang and, so far it’s a lot of fun! I mean, the book is dark and twisty and strange, but the discussions are hilarious 😂 I’m really loving the book so far. It instantly captures your interest and pulls you into the intrigue! And I do love a thriller with short chapters. I’m looking forward to continuing with this one.
  • Winterling by Sarah Prineas: This is one of the December picks for the Middle Grade Marvels group. I hadn’t heard of this book before it was selected, so I went into this one kind of blind. I find myself really enjoying it! It has fae that love strict rules, which is my favorite. And the descriptions in this book really transport you to the setting, which I love! And, of course, it’s tons of fun discussing theories with everyone in the group 💕
  • Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia: This is the other December pick for Middle Grade Marvels and, if I’m being honest, the one I’m liking the most! I get the feeling this is going to be a five star read. I love Tristan and Gum Baby and the whole world of MidPass! It’s a wonderful story, so far, and I can’t wait to continue.
  • Super Secret BBNYA Book #3: I haven’t been terribly vocal about being one of the panelists for the Book Bloggers’ Novel of the Year Award, but it has been so much fun reading all the excerpts and helping choose the finalists! Right now, I can’t talk about any of the three books I was given to read and rate for the final round and it’s haaaaaaard 😩 Mostly because they’re all so good! I’m currently reading the last book I was sent and, so far, it looks like it’s going to be just as enjoyable as the other two.
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Book Review: The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Title: The Poppy War

Author: R.F. Kuang

Genre: Historical Fantasy

Source: Bought

Content/Trigger Warnings: For a full list of the content and trigger warnings for this book, check out BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Rating: ★★★★★

Book Links:
Bookshop::Indiebound::TBD::B&N::Amazon:: Goodreads

One Sentence Synopsis

Rin, a war orphan who is trying to escape an arranged marriage, finds herself enrolled in the most prestigious military academy in the country after she aced the entrance exams.

Favorite Quote

“When had she last been this scared? Had she felt this paralysis, this numbing dread before she stepped into the ring with Nezha two years ago? No, she had been angry then, and proud. She had thought she was invincible. She had been looking forward to the fight, anticipating the bloodlust. That felt stupid now. So, so stupid. War was not a game, where one fought for honor and admiration, where masters would keep her from sustaining any real harm. War was a nightmare.


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#5OnMyTBR – Small Towns

#5OnMyTBR is a bookish meme hosted by E. @ Local Bee Hunter’s Nook where you chose five books from your to-be-read pile that fit that week’s theme. If you’d like more info, head over to the announcement post!


Hello, reader!

It’s the first Monday of December and time for another 5 on My TBR! This week’s topic is an interesting one. We’re focusing on books centered around or featuring small towns. I’m not gonna lie, I do enjoy books set in small towns because I love the feel and idea of them! It’s especially interesting in thrillers because it can add the perfect, creepy aspect to the story. That being said, I don’t have a ton of books on my TBR that feature small towns. I still managed to find five books that I can’t wait to read!


#1. Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power

I’ve been interested in this book since I finished reading the author’s debut, Wilder Girls. That book was strange as hell, but I really enjoyed it! I’m curious about this story of a girl who goes to a small town to try and find answers about her mysterious mother. I haven’t heard a lot of people talking about this one, so I have no clue what I’m in for. I’m still excited to give it a try!

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The Liebster Award #2

Hello, reader!

I’m back today with another round of The Liebster Award! If you’d like to see my first Liebster Award post, just click HERE. I was tagged by the lovely Riddhi @ Whispering Stories this time 💖 I love checking out her blog and I think you all should, too! One of the best things about these award tags is discovering new blogs and getting to know people in the blogging community better. So I always appreciate when I’m tagged, even if I’m terrible at keeping on top of it 😅 Better late than never, right?

Speaking of, let’s get on with the tag!


Rules:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and give a link to their blog (Thank you, Riddhi!)
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked of you
  3. Nominate 11 bloggers
  4. Ask your nominees 11 questions
  5. Notify your nominees once you have uploaded your post

Questions:

#1. What is the one thing you like about my blog? What is the one thing you don’t? (Sorry, I just really want feedback from my readers)

Don’t apologize! Feedback is always nice since it can help you make your blog everything you want it to be. Let’s see… I really love the variety of posts that Riddhi puts on her blog! There are reviews, tags, discussion posts. Pretty much something for everyone! One thing I don’t like? That’s harder… um… Oh! I can’t figure out how to like your posts? That’s probably more of a “I’m bad at blogging” thing than anything wrong with your site, though, lol. Honestly, I really enjoy both the look and the content of your blog, Riddhi!

#2. Where do you see yourself five years from now?

Exactly where I am right now, if I’m being honest. We just bought our house this year and I plan on living here until they bury me in the ground 😂 I really love my job and don’t see myself wanting to leave anytime in the next five years, either. Perhaps I’ll have moved up the rungs… maybe Microbiology Supervisor? I’d be super okay with that! As for my blog, hopefully it’ll look prettier and I’ll be more consistent with my posting. I would like to think I’ll have my blogging shit together by five years, lol.

#3. What do you think will be your next 5-star read?

I just started reading Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia and I can already tell I’m going to absolutely love it. It has that feel of a five star read, ya know? It’s gonna be hard to stick to the Middle Grade Marvels reading schedule for this one because I just want to devour it! The fact that there’s already a sequel out in the world makes me pretty excited, as well. If I love this one as much as I think I’m going to, I’m going to want to read the next one as soon as I’m done!

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Mini Reviews: Middle Grade Edition

Hello, reader!

I’ve been reading quite a bit of middle grade recently, all thanks to joining in with Middle Grade Marvels! I had forgotten how much fun middle grade books can be! I do love a whimsical book and I’ve been getting a heavy dose of that lately joining in on the monthly reading for Middle Grade Marvels. But, though I’ve been reading a lot of middle grade, I’ve fallen behind on my reviews. I mean, I’m behind on all of my reviews, but let’s not talk about that 😂 Today’s post is me catching up! I’ll be reviewing three middle grade novels I’ve read and enjoyed recently.


Title: Keeper of the Lost Cities

Author: Shannon Messenger

Genre: Fantasy

Source: Borrowed (Scribd)

CW/TW: Depictions of grief, violence

Rating: ★★★★

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

When this book was picked as the September Middle Grade Marvels read, I have to admit I was stoked. I had heard a lot about this series from people all over the bookish community. And the concept instantly captured my attention! We’re following a young girl who has the ability to read minds. Not that she wants to… ever since Sophie fell and hit her head at the age of five, she has been assaulted by other people’s thoughts. It’s something she’s come to live with as she also keeps it hidden… until she meets a strange boy who seems to know all about her telepathy. Soon, she is whisked into a magical world where she learns that nothing she knew previously was at it seemed.

I have to say, this book was definitely a wild ride! It also did not go where I thought it was going to at first. The pacing will have you tearing through this book at breakneck speeds. I really enjoyed all the fantastical elements of this story and I think the author does a great job of capturing your interest throughout the book. I will say, if you’re not a fan of the Chosen One trope, you might want to give this one a skip because Sophie is about as Chosen as One can get! It even started rubbing me the wrong way and I don’t mind that trope at all. It just felt a little over the top at times. Still, I really enjoyed Sophie as a character and I thought the supporting cast were interesting, as well.

Overall, this book was a lot of fun and it had a lot of heart. Though it is thoroughly entrenched in the Chosen One trope, it was still an enjoyable read, with it’s fast-paced story and lovable characters. I’m definitely interested in continuing the series!

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