Down the TBR Hole #45

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! I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to keep my Want to Read shelf at the same number where I ended last time: 689 books. It’s still an unwieldy amount of books that I want to read, so it’s time to try and trim it down a bit more.

Wish me luck!

The Loop by Ben Oliver

I remember when this book came out. I thought the cover was awesome and promptly added it to my TBR without reading the synopsis. As one does. Having now read the synopsis it sounds like it has potential. Still taking it off, though. YA dystopian novels aren’t really my thing and it’s the beginning to a series. I don’t need to get myself into yet another series right now!

Verdict: Remove

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley

I recently read (and thoroughly enjoyed) a different Lucy Foley thriller. Now I’m eager to give her other ones a shot! I own The Guest List, so it automatically gets to stay on the TBR. I’m equally intrigued by this one, though. It has isolation. It has a group of ‘friends’. It has MURDER! Like, say less, I’m in. I’m hoping I enjoy this just as much as I liked The Paris Apartment.

Verdict: Keep

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WWW Wednesday: Oct 19, 2022

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 Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling

After completely devouring The Ex Hex, I couldn’t resist picking up the sequel when I came across it on Scribd! So far, this is just as fun and sexy as the first. I’m loving the rivals-to-lovers vibe and Gwen is a certified badass. This book makes me want to live in Graves Glen even more! Also, I have to say I’m really enjoying the narrator for this book.

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#5OnMyTBR – Forest

#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 time for another 5 On My TBR! Today, we’re talking about one of my favorite settings in books. That’s because the theme is forests. I’m a huge fan of a book that features a creepy woods/forest, so I was pumped to pick out five to feature in this post! Even if I stretched the idea of it a wee bit.

That being said, let’s jump in!

#1. Wildblood by Lauren Blackwood

This is the book where I stretched the whole ‘forest’ theme because this is set in a jungle. It’s still a collection of trees, so I think it counts! This is the newest book from the author of Within These Wicked Walls, which I recently read and loved. It follows a young woman with magic in her blood who leads expeditions through a terrifying jungle. It sounds absolutely incredible and I was lucky enough to get an e-ARC from Netgalley to read! I’m so excited to pick it up.

#2. Midnight in Everwood by Maria Kuzniar

I’m honestly not sure how prominently the snowy forest on the cover of this book is featured, but I wanted to throw this book on the list anyways. Mostly because I’ve been eager to read this for awhile now! It’s a Nutcracker retelling that sounds like it would be a great time. I know I like this author’s writing and I would love to see what she does with this classic tale. Also, the cover is freakin’ gorgeous 😍

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Blog Tour: The Legend of Black Jack by A.R. Witham

Hello, reader!

It’s time, once again, for another fabulous blog tour hosted by The Write Reads! This go around, I’m bringing you a review for a young adult fantasy novel that sweep me off my feet: The Legend of Black Jack by A.R. Witham. This story absolutely captivated my imagination and I can’t wait to tell you more about it!

Before I do, though, I’ve got folks to thank! First, I want to thank Dave @ The Write Reads and all of the crew for giving me a spot on this tour! Next, I want to thank the author for providing me with a free e-book so that I could share my thoughts! It is, as always, much appreciated.

Now, let’s jump into my tour stop!

  • Title: The Legend of Black Jack
  • Author: A.R. Witham
  • Publication date: May 20th, 2022
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Depictions of child neglect, violence, blood, gore, dismemberment, torture, alcoholism


Prepare to be whisked away to another realm in this epic fantasy adventure, perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman’s characters in Stardust or Patrick Rothfuss’s prose in The Name of the Wind.

Jack Swift remembers everything—even the horrible things he’d like to forget. To keep his guilt-ridden memories from haunting him, and to dodge his abusive foster mom, he buries himself in any book he can find, dreaming of his ultimate escape: becoming a doctor.

But fate has another escape in mind.

At 3:33 am on his fourteenth birthday, Jack is kidnapped by a monstrous rhinoceros and whisked away to another sphere of existence: the land of Keymark. Though this world is filled with pixies, monsters, pirates, elves, warriors, and mythical wonders, it is without healing magic—that magic was stolen by an evil, immortal prince hell-bent on domination. With no understanding of medical science to heal their wounds or illnesses, Jack’s kidnappers ask the impossible of him: use his knowledge to save a life…or be trapped in this bizarre world with no chance of rescue.

Jack doesn’t have secret magic, a great destiny, or any medical experience.

Why do they all expect him to become a legend?

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Down the TBR Hole #43

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!

Today seems like a good day for another round of Down the TBR Hole! I’m rather impressed with myself, though. My ‘Want to Read’ shelf has somehow shrank from 696 books down to 692 books. I’m not 100% sure how I managed that, haha. I’m gonna take the win, though!

Now we’re gonna see if I can trim it down even more.

Forest of Souls by Lori M. Lee

Not gonna lie, I definitely added this book to my TBR because of the cover. I will admit, though, having read the synopsis, I’m still intrigued! There’s a young girl who somehow returns her friend to life after she dies. There’s a Spider King. And, most importantly, there’s a creepy forest. That’s my favorite!

Verdict: Keep

The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

I legitimately have no memory of adding this book to my TBR. On the surface, it doesn’t look like a book that would typically draw my attention. Then I see it’s adult contemporary and I’m really confused as to how it got here 😂 Reading the synopsis does nothing for me, either, so I think we’re just gonna chalk this up to a fluke.

Verdict: Remove

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September 2022 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

Now that we’re firmly into October, I figured it was time to wrap up my reading from last month. After a particularly epic amount of books that I read in August, my September reading was noticeably less epic. I feel like my poor brain was recovering! It didn’t help that I contracted a head cold that put me into a fog for a good portion of the month. And that was before I contracted Covid 😅 It was a fun month with ups (I turned 40!) and downs (aforementioned head cold…) and it flew by way too fast.

Now, let’s wrap up what I managed to read in my favorite month of the year!

Books Read

  • Spy x Family Vol 5 by Tatsuya Endo: I started the month continuing my Spy x Family obsession. This volume of the manga was a lot of fun, as always, though Yor’s brother creeps me out 😂 He is way too obsessed with his sister… Still, I loved seeing more of the Forger family and the art, as always, was a delight. This did just remind me that I need to catch up with the anime now that the second season is out! ★★★★
  • Spy x Family Vol 6 by Tatsuya Endo: This was most definitely my favorite volume of the manga so far! We got to go along with Loid on one of his missions, there were so many cute moments between him and Yor, and Anya was, as ever, adorable. There was something about this volume that made me love the series even more. It was also the last one my library had so I’ve been in withdrawal ever since, haha. ★★★★★
  • With Fire In Their Blood by Kat Delacorte: I read this book for a tour hosted by The Write Reads. This YA dark fantasy was a wild ride that was incredibly gripping, I loved the strange town of Castello and all the horrifying religious overtones that flow throughout the book were certainly eerie. The atmosphere and tone were expertly done and were probably my favorite part of the story. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
  • Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine: Y’all. I’ve been a fan of Rachel Caine’s for a long time, ever since I picked up the Great Library series. So, when I picked up the first book in her thriller series, I was expecting to enjoy it. I was not, however, expecting to become so completely ensnared in the story that I wanted to abandon all my other reading goals for the month so I could binge the entire series! This book was so good! It was dark and tense and frightening, with several moments that had me on the edge of my seat. I want to fight the world for Gwen, our main character, and her kids. Rachel Caine has always been good at writing compelling characters and she definitely brought that skill into this book, as well. ★★★★★
  • Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez: Ahhhhhh, this was so stinkin’ CUTE! I had heard Dini @ Dini Panda Reads talk about how much she enjoyed this graphic novel, which is what originally piqued my interest. Then, I spotted it at my local library and figured, why not? I borrowed it, sat down to read, and immediately became smitten. The art style! The characters! The FOOD! This story about a young college graduate just trying to find his true passion in this life (and maybe another kind of passion…) was so beautifully told and beautifully drawn that I was invested in his story from beginning to end. Add to that all the inclusiveness littered throughout this tale and I was hooked! ★★★★
  • It Looks Like Us by Alison Ames: Talk about a perfect read for spooky season! Though a bit predictable, this novel was a thrill ride from beginning to end. If you enjoyed the movie The Thing and aren’t easily grossed out, I would definitely suggest giving this one a go! I read it for a TBR & Beyond Tours book tour and I’m so glad that I did. It was intense and messy and I enjoyed my time sunk within its pages. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
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#5OnMyTBR – Title Starts With B

#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!

I apologize for my absence the last few days. If you follow me on Twitter, you might know that the dreaded Covid finally got me 😣 I have to say that it hasn’t been terrible… mostly coughing and fevers… but the fatigue has hit especially hard these last few days. Today is the first time I’ve been out of bed for an extended period of time and it feels marvelous! I took a shower, ate food that wasn’t soup, actually booted up the desktop… and I feel human again.

Now that I can stay awake for longer than ten minutes, I figured it was time to give my poor, neglected blog some love! And what better way to do that than with a fun 5 On My TBR post! This week’s theme is books with titles that start with ‘B’ and, oof, was it hard to pick just five. Know that the ones that I picked are ones that I’m very eager to read soon!

That said, let’s get to the list.

#1. Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala

I have had this book on my TBR for what feels like ages. I won a copy of it right before it came out and have been wanting to read it ever since! It’s about a young, gay man who enters a cosplay contest and finds himself partnered with the boy who broke his heart. It sounds like it would be a lot of fun, with a lot of sparkle. I’m hoping to pick it up soon because I’d also love to read, La Sala’s most recent release, The Honeys. Not that I have to read them in order… but I want to.

#2. Beast of Prey by Ayana Gray

This is another book that I’ve wanted to read since before it came out. I absolutely love the new cover! The old cover was beautiful, as well, but this one is just 😍 The book follows two Black teenagers tracking down a monster in a magical jungle. Does that not sound like a thrill a minute?! It’s also the beginning to a series, which might be why I’ve taken so long to pick it up. There are just so many series that I’m reading right now. Still, I can’t wait to add this one to the list.

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Top 5 Tuesday: Anticipated Reads for Oct – Dec 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! I’m excited for this week’s topic because I get to shout about upcoming books that I’m dying to read. That’s right, I’m picking my top five most anticipated new releases from October through December! I always feel like there are less books that come out as the year winds down but it was an easy task to pick out five I’m awaiting with bated breath.

So let’s jump on into the list!

#1. Tread of Angels by Rebecca Roanhorse

Anticipated Release: November 15th

Rebecca Roanhorse has swiftly become one of my favorite authors. That means, when I found out she was releasing another fantasy this year, I swiftly added it to my TBR! I didn’t even read the synopsis, haha. Having the read the synopsis now, I want to read it even more. It features siblings fighting for each other against a strange society known as the Order of the Archangel. Count me in!

#2. Reforged by Seth Haddon

Anticipated Release: October 4th

I’m not gonna lie, the cover is what drew me to this book. I saw it on some Goodreads list or another and instantly wanted to more. After reading the synopsis, this book quickly found itself on my TBR. There’s a bodyguard and the royal he’s sworn to protect who he also might loooooove. It sounds so good! I was sorely disappointed that this book wasn’t already out when I first stumbled across it 😂

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Sundays In Bed With… Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Sundays in Bed With… is a meme that dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning and is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

Hello, reader!

My head cold has finally left the roost and I can breathe again! There’s still some lingering snot, but I can finally think again. That means that reading is back on the table! I have quite a few books leftover from my September reads that I would love to finish up because I was really enjoying them. One of those books happens to be the book I’m planning on curling up with this evening.

I’m sure most people have already read this book, but let me tell y’all more about it!

My Sunday Read Is…

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Starting this book made me realize that I need to read more mixed media books because I always love them! It’s just so visually stimulating and fun. I’m also loving the relationship between Kady and Ezra. Both of their personalities really shine through in all these snippets of chats and case files. I find it incredible that the tension and plot can shine through just as well when we’re not even getting full paragraphs. I’m definitely hooked and I can’t wait to read more now that my brain can finally process things again!

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Blog Tour First Impressions: Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen

Hello, reader!

It’s time, once again, for another blog tour post. This time, it’s for one of my most anticipated reads of 2022! Soul of the Deep by Natasha Bowen is the thrilling sequel to Skin of the Sea, a book filled with stunning descriptions and Black mermaids. You can read my full review for that here. I was completely enraptured with the first book in this series, so you can imagine my excitement when I got to be on the tour for the sequel! Unfortunately, a pretty nasty head cold has slowed my reading to a near stop, but I still wanted to be able to shout about this book because what I’ve read so far has been incredible.

Fair warning: If you haven’t read Skin of the Sea, you might want to avoid reading further as there might be spoilers.

Before I get more into my stop, though, there are people I need to thank. First, all the wonderful people at TBR & Beyond Tours for giving me a spot! Second, to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a free e-ARC so that I could participate and (eventually) review the book! All opinions contained within this tour stop and my inevitable review are my own. One last but very important thing, make sure y’all check out the other incredible bloggers and bookstagrammers that will be participating in the Soul of the Deep tour! You can find the full schedule here.

Now, let’s dive in!

  • Title: Soul of the Deep
  • Author: Natasha Bowen
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: September 27th, 2022
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Age group: Young Adult
  • Content/Trigger Warnings: Depictions of violence, enslavement, and death


The highly anticipated sequel to the New York Times bestseller Skin of the Sea, in which the world must pay the price for one mermaid’s choice, and a dark force reverberates across realms. Perfect for fans of Children of Blood and Bone and those eagerly anticipating the live-action film adaptation of The Little Mermaid.

One life.
One choice.
One sacrifice.

To save those closest to her, Simi traded away everything: her freedom, her family, and the boy she loves. Now she is sworn to serve a new god, watching over the Land of the Dead at the bottom of the ocean.

But when signs of demons begin to appear, it’s clear there are deeper consequences of Simi’s trade. These demons spell the world’s ruin . . . and because of Simi, they now have a way into the human realm.

With the fate of the world at stake, Simi must break her promise and team up with a scheming trickster of a god. And if they succeed, perhaps Simi can also unbreak her heart along the way, and find herself again.

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