Blog Tour Spotlight: Straight Expectations by Calum McSwiggan

Hello, reader!

It’s time for another blog tour hosted by The Write Reads! I’ve got a spotlight for a queer Freaky Friday that sounds like an incredible time! Straight Expectations by Calum McSwiggan promises fun and romance, all contained in quite a gorgeous package.

Before I jump into my spotlight, I want to thank Dave @ The Write Reads and all the lovely people behind the scenes for allowing me to participate in this tour! It is, as always, very much appreciated.

Alright, now let’s get to it!

  • Title: Straight Expectations
  • Author: Calum McSwiggan
  • Publication date: May 4th, 2023
  • Genre: Contemporary/LGBTQIA+
  • Length: 272 pages
  • Age group: Young Adult


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Blog Tour: If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St. Jude

Hello, reader!

Today on the blog, I’m bringing you a blog tour for a YA debut I truly enjoyed! If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come by Jen St. Jude is an incredible speculative story that had me on an emotional rollercoaster. I’m so excited to join The Write Reads in shouting its praises!

But, before I get to my review, I have people to thank. First, thank you to Dave @ The Write Reads and all of the crew for giving me a spot on this tour! Second, thank you to the author, the publisher, and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC of the book so that I could participate in this tour. It is, as always, appreciated!

Now, let’s get the post!

  • Title: If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come
  • Author: Jen St. Jude
  • Publication date: May 9th, 2023
  • Length: 416 pages
  • Genre: LGBTQIA+/Contemporary Romance/Science Fiction
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Suicidal ideation (on page, frequent), grief, violence, sexual harassment, homophobia, blood


We Are Okay meets They Both Die at the End in this YA debut about queer first love and mental health at the end of the world-and the importance of saving yourself, no matter what tomorrow may hold.

Avery Byrne has secrets. She’s queer; she’s in love with her best friend, Cass; and she’s suffering from undiagnosed clinical depression. But on the morning Avery plans to jump into the river near her college campus, the world discovers there are only nine days left to live: an asteroid is headed for Earth, and no one can stop it.

Trying to spare her family and Cass additional pain, Avery does her best to make it through just nine more days. As time runs out and secrets slowly come to light, Avery would do anything to save the ones she loves. But most importantly, she learns to save herself. Speak her truth. Seek the support she needs. Find hope again in the tomorrows she has left.

If Tomorrow Doesn’t Come is a celebration of queer love, a gripping speculative narrative, and an urgent, conversation-starting book about depression, mental health, and shame.

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May 2023 TBR

Hello, reader!

After two months of readathons, I’m back to building my TBR according to my own whims, haha. The books I’m hoping to get to in May are an eclectic mix, but I’m quickly learning that’s what I need to keep my reading mojo high. Too many of one genre in a row (even fantasy) tends to make me start to feel bored. So I’m hoping to keep it fresh this month by bouncing from fantasy to romance to horror and back again!

Now, let me share with you what I’m planning to read in the month of May.

  • 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne
  • Witchlings: The Golden Frog Games by Claribel A. Ortega
  • The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Belladonna by Adalyn Grace (my 12 friends, 12 recommendations read of the month!)
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February 2023 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

Now that the month of March is almost over, perhaps it is time that I finally wrap up my reading from February 😂 March has been A Month and my focus has been shot because of it. I meant to get to this post ages ago but, hey, at least I’m here now, right? Right! February was a decent reading month, though I didn’t read as much as I did in January. Still, I read a lot of books that I thoroughly enjoyed and even had a five star read!

But enough of my rambling. Let me tell you all about the books I read in Feburary!

Books Reads

  • Sacrifice by Vicky Walklate: This was my first read for the currently running blog tours for all of BBNYA’s 2022 finalists! I say this every time I read one of these books, but I can see why this made it to the final round. This was such a quick read that had me immersed in the world the author created. I loved the characters and the worldbuilding. This book certainly made me excited to pick up the next in the series! You can read my full review here. ★★★★
  • Finlay Donovan Is Killing It by Elle Cosimano: Here begins my binging of the Finlay Donovan series, haha. I wanted to join in on the Literally Dead Book Club discussion of the third book in the series, the pick for February, so I had to catch up! This first book was definitely my favorite in the series so far. It was fun, quirky, and charming in a way that had me completely invested in Finlay and her shenanigans. I have to give props to the audiobook narrator, Angela Dawe, because she really made the story come to life! This was a great first installment to a cozy mystery series. ★★★★
  • Finlay Donovan Knocks ‘Em Dead by Elle Cosimano: I immediately jumped into the sequel because, ya know, I was on a timeline, lol. I enjoyed this one as well, but not as much as the first book. It was still fun and charming, but the shenanigans started to really stretch my suspension of disbelief. I think this is a concept that can only continue to get more and more unbelievable and I know it’s eventually gonna lose me because I can’t 😂 Still, this was fast-paced, engaging and I still love Finlay and Vero to pieces. Steven can die in a fire, but those two are great! ★★★★
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#5OnMyTBR – Title Starting With F

#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!

Happy Presidents Day for those of you in the United States! Or, if you’re lucky enough to have the day off, happy long weekend, haha. I took the week off because I honestly needed a break and I wanted some time to hang out with my kiddos. I’m looking forward to a week of lounging and chilling with the family! Right now, though, it’s time for another 5 On My TBR. This week, I’ll be talking about five books on my TBR that have titles that start with ‘F’. Which was a lot harder to find than I thought it was going to be! The ones I picked, though, are five that I’m eager to read soon.

With that said, let’s get to the list!

#1. Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade

When I first heard about this book, I knew I was going to want to read it. It follows the best friend of the Chosen One, who thinks this whole ‘save-the-world’ stuff is overrated. That sounds like such a fun concept! I’ve heard mixed reviews about the book since it was released, but it’s still high up on my radar. I’m hoping I fall on the side of loving it!

#2. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

I’ve been meaning to read this book since it was released! This book about a trans boy who is being blackmailed while simultaneously falling in love sounds like it would be such an incredible read. I’ve heard nothing but great things about it, as well! It seems like it would be a great read about settling into one’s skin and finding out how to love yourself. Plus the cover is 🔥

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Top 5 Tuesday: Books by Black Authors

Top 5 Tuesday is a fun, weekly meme that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. You should check out their wonderful blog for more details and the list of prompts!

Hello, reader!

For this week’s Top 5 Tuesday, we have a freebie when it comes to the topic! And since we’re at the beginning of Black History Month here in the States, I thought I would highlight five books by Black authors that I absolutely loved. This was actually kind of tough to narrow down because I’ve loved so many books written by Black authors. All the ones I’m featuring are more contemporary, which makes me realize I really need to expand my reading when it comes to Black authors of the past. Growing up, I feel like all I was ever exposed to were books by white authors, so I missed a lot of great literature. It’s time to rectify that.

All that aside, let me share the five books I’ve decided to feature today!

#1. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

If y’all have been around my blog for any length of time, you’ll probably be well aware of my deep love for this book. I reread it three times the year it came out, which is absolutely unheard of for me! I hardly ever reread and especially not in the same year. That’s how much this fantasy book had me wrapped up in it’s magic. The worldbuilding is top notch and Tarisai remains one of my favorite characters to this day!

#2. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

This modern classic got me to realize that I could, in fact, enjoy a young adult contemporary novel. I’m sure this is partly the subject matter, but it was mainly Thomas’ incredible writing. She has a way of weaving a story that makes it very difficult to stop reading! I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve read by her, but this is by far my favorite.

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Top Ten Reads of 2022

Hello, reader!

Happy New Year! I always enjoy looking back on a year of reading and looking forward to a brand new one. Part of looking back, of course, is thinking about all the books I adored this year.

I had 24 five star reads in 2022 which is just wild to me. I think my most common rating was four stars, but I’m excited that I found so many books this year that just blew me away. That being said, there were definitely some stand outs, even among my five stars. That’s why I decided to narrow it down to my top ten books that I read this year! I’m sharing these in no particular order because I think I loved them all equally, if for differing reasons.

Now, let’s jump into the list!

The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies

The Basics: Adult gaslamp fantasy featuring gods and twelve dazzling realms and CHAOS.

What I Loved: I could just say ‘everything’ for all of these books, but I’m gonna try to be more specific 😂 The characters in this book are what captured my heart. Kayl and Quen live in my head rent-free and it’s weird but I love them so much. I do have a full review that you can find here.

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd

The Basics: A woman finds out that a mysterious map that caused her to have a falling out with her dad may also be the reason he died. Hijinks ensue.

What I Loved: This was compulsively readable! I’m not a fast reader and this book is around 400 pages, but I read it in a day. I enjoyed this mixture of mystery and fantasy. You can read my full review here.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

The Basics: A group of morally grey characters plan a heist in 1889 Paris. You like found family? *slaps the cover* The beauty has so much found family!

What I Loved: I discovered in 2022 that I really love the found family trope and this book absolutely delivers in that realm. The characters wormed their ways into my heart. I also really loved the writing in this book.

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Top 5 Tuesday: New (to me) Authors of 2022

Top 5 Tuesday is a fun, weekly meme that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. You should check out their wonderful blog for more details and the list of prompts!

Hello, reader!

It’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday and this one takes a look back at my reading year. I’m picking my top five new to me authors that I’ve read in 2022! I’ve read a lot of incredible books this year and a lot of those books have been from authors I’ve never read from before. It was a great year for discovering new authors that I love and I can’t wait to read more from all of my choices!

Now, let me share them with you.

#1. N.K Jemisin

I can’t believe it took me until 2022 to finally pick up a book by N.K. Jemisin. I’ve owned both The Fifth Season and The City We Became for what seems like years, yet hadn’t bothered to pick either of them up. I think it was a case of me overhyping both of them in my head with how much people loved them. I finally caved and read The Fifth Season and it was, perhaps, the easiest five star I’ve ever given 😂 I’m so excited to continue with the Broken Earth series and more of Jemisin’s work!

#2. Angeline Boulley

Firekeeper’s Daughter was everywhere for quite awhile after it came out. It kept popping up on my radar and I found the premise was interesting, so I bought it. Then it languished on my bookshelf for far too long. Finally, at the beginning of the year, I decided to pick this up. I’m so glad I did because this book was absolutely incredible! The writing sucked me in and I felt immersed in the tale. I’m so excited for this author’s new release in 2023, Warrior Girl Unearthed.

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Down the TBR Hole #46

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!

Welcome to another round of TBR cleansing with a new Down the TBR Hole post! So my TBR has managed to grow by one book since my last round. I’m sitting at 686 books on my Want to Read shelf when I ended last round with 685 books! I mean, adding one more book to my TBR, in the grand scheme of things, is so incredibly minor. Especially when I already have such a ridiculous amount of books I want to read 😂 Still, let’s see if I can trim it down a bit more.

Wish me luck!

Devolution by Max Brooks

I added this book solely because of how much I enjoyed another book by this author, World War Z. From what I can tell, this is written in the same style, telling the story through journals. It also revolves around the mystery of Bigfoot and some huge disaster that overtook a small town. Not gonna lie, it sounds incredible! So, of course, it gets to stick around.

Verdict: Keep

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep by H.G. Parry

This book features one of my favorite tropes/genres ever. It’s a book about books! The main character has the ability to bring literary characters to life in the real world. Sounds like a great time, right? Well, not for Charley, who manages to let a few bad eggs loose in the city. I imagine this book is going to be such a fun time and I can’t wait to read it!

Verdict: Keep

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Top 5 Tuesday: Most Quotable Books

Top 5 Tuesday is a fun, weekly meme that asks you to pick 5 books that fit that week’s theme. It was created by Bionic Bookworm and is currently being hosted by Meeghan Reads. You should check out their wonderful blog for more details and the list of prompts!

Hello, reader!

It’s time for another Top 5 Tuesday post! I’ve kind of been slacking on these this month because October was all about quotes. I can appreciate a beautiful line in a book, but I also have the memory of a hummingbird and, thus, don’t often remember them 😂 Today’s topic, however, is one I could get behind because it doesn’t ask for specific quotes… it just ask what are your top five most quotable books. I have quite a few books that would be mostly tabs if I was an annotator. Now I’ve picked five that I think would be annotated the most.

That being said, let’s jump in!

#1. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

Look. This book was my 2020. I was obsessed with this when it came out! I’ve also re-read it more than any other book I own, save one. So not only are there so many quotes that I loved, but this is one of the few where I can actually remember a couple, haha. I have so many copies of this book that I have considered choosing one to annotate. It’s just that good, y’all, and there are definitely a lot of wonderful quotes that I want to revisit again and again.

#2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Erin Morgenstern has exquisite writing. Every book I’ve read by her is an absolute treasure when it comes to prose. Of the two, however, I think The Night Circus is definitely the more quotable. It has one of the few first lines that I can remember off the top of my head! And, as I said, the writing is just so beautiful and lilting that I find myself drawn to so many lines throughout the story. Just thinking about it kind of makes me want to re-read it, haha.

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