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. This week’s topic is Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud (Claire @ Book Lovers Pizza).
Hello, lovelies! I know I’ve said this in some of my earlier posts this year, but I am really trying to get my owned TBR down to a small amount of books. It’s currently at 65 physical books, 25 eBooks, and 10 graphic novels. So, 100 books total. I’m happy with the number of graphic novels (though I recently discovered that I actually like reading graphic novels on my Kindle so I think I can get this number to 0 and still continue reading graphic novels I’m excited about). I’d like to get my eBooks down closer to 10 or even less since most of the eBooks I’ve read lately are ARCs. As for my physical books, I want this number to be closer to 20-25 books. Ideally, I’ll have a TBR that fits on one shelf of my bookshelves. So, with all of this in mind, I’m trying really hard not to buy new books that will get added to my TBR. The one exception to this is buying books I’ve read through my library or as an ARC that I want to buy a copy to add to my collection. I also have allowed myself some preorders because there is no way that I’m going to wait to buy some of the 2021 releases until my TBR is smaller. Since I am hoping to not have any book hauls for most of this year, today I have my preorder haul from January-June. These are not all of the books that I’m excited about this year, but these are the ones that I definitely want to own and I’m pretty sure I’m going to love them.
January 26th, 2021 The Mask Falling by Samantha Shannon “Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire. The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war. As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them…”
February 9th, 2021 Game Changer by Neal Shusterman “All it takes is one hit on the football field, and suddenly Ash’s life doesn’t look quite the way he remembers it. Impossible though it seems, he’s been hit into another dimension—and keeps on bouncing through worlds that are almost-but-not-really his own. The changes start small, but they quickly spiral out of control as Ash slides into universes where he has everything he’s ever wanted, universes where society is stuck in the past…universes where he finds himself looking at life through entirely different eyes. And if he isn’t careful, the world he’s learning to see more clearly could blink out of existence…”
February 16th, 2021 A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas “Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it. The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other. Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts. Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.”
March 2nd, 2021 Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare “Cordelia Carstairs seems to have everything she ever wanted. She’s engaged to marry James Herondale, the boy she has loved since childhood. She has a new life in London with her best friend Lucie Herondale and James’s charming companions, the Merry Thieves. She is about to be reunited with her beloved father. And she bears the sword Cortana, a legendary hero’s blade. But the truth is far grimmer. James and Cordelia’s marriage is a lie, arranged to save Cordelia’s reputation. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn whose brother, Jesse, died years ago in a terrible accident. Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand when she touches it, while her father has grown bitter and angry. And a serial murderer is targeting the Shadowhunters of London, killing under cover of darkness, then vanishing without a trace. Together with the Merry Thieves, Cordelia, James, and Lucie must follow the trail of the knife-wielding killer through the city’s most dangerous streets. All the while, each is keeping a shocking secret: Lucie, that she plans to raise Jesse from the dead; Cordelia, that she has sworn a dangerous oath of loyalty to a mysterious power; and James, that he is being drawn further each night into the dark web of his grandfather, the arch-demon Belial. And that he himself may be the killer they seek.”
March 9th, 2021 Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert “Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.”
March 30th, 2021 Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo “The Demon King. As Fjerda’s massive army prepares to invade, Nikolai Lantsov will summon every bit of his ingenuity and charm—and even the monster within—to win this fight. But a dark threat looms that cannot be defeated by a young king’s gift for the impossible. The Stormwitch. Zoya Nazyalensky has lost too much to war. She saw her mentor die and her worst enemy resurrected, and she refuses to bury another friend. Now duty demands she embrace her powers to become the weapon her country needs. No matter the cost. The Queen of Mourning. Deep undercover, Nina Zenik risks discovery and death as she wages war on Fjerda from inside its capital. But her desire for revenge may cost her country its chance at freedom and Nina the chance to heal her grieving heart. King. General. Spy. Together they must find a way to forge a future in the darkness. Or watch a nation fall.”
April 20th, 2021 The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout “She’s been the victim and the survivor… Poppy never dreamed she would find the love she’s found with Prince Casteel. She wants to revel in her happiness but first they must free his brother and find hers. It’s a dangerous mission and one with far-reaching consequences neither dreamed of. Because Poppy is the Chosen, the Blessed. The true ruler of Atlantia. She carries the blood of the King of Gods within her. By right the crown and the kingdom are hers. The enemy and the warrior… Poppy has only ever wanted to control her own life, not the lives of others, but now she must choose to either forsake her birthright or seize the gilded crown and become the Queen of Flesh and Fire. But as the kingdoms’ dark sins and blood-drenched secrets finally unravel, a long-forgotten power rises to pose a genuine threat. And they will stop at nothing to ensure that the crown never sits upon Poppy’s head. A lover and heartmate… But the greatest threat to them and to Atlantia is what awaits in the far west, where the Queen of Blood and Ash has her own plans, ones she has waited hundreds of years to carry out. Poppy and Casteel must consider the impossible—travel to the Lands of the Gods and wake the King himself. And as shocking secrets and the harshest betrayals come to light, and enemies emerge to threaten everything Poppy and Casteel have fought for, they will discover just how far they are willing to go for their people—and each other. And now she will become Queen…”
June 1st, 2021 Grace and Glory by Jennifer L. Armentrout “Trinity Marrow has lost the battle and her beloved Protector. Even with both demons and Wardens on her side, Trin may not win the war against the Harbinger. Bringing Lucifer back to the world to fight the Harbinger is probably a really, really bad idea, but they’re out of options—and the world’s ultimate fallen angel is the only being powerful enough to impact the outcome. As Trin and Zayne form a new and more dangerous bond and Lucifer unleashes Hell on earth, the apocalypse looms and the world teeters on the end of forever. Win or lose, one thing is certain—nothing will ever be the same.”
As you can see, most are the next in a series, except one that is by one of my long time favorite authors. I have plans for another haul post, but the next one will be my library holds, I think. My library often shows books that are ‘coming soon’ so I can place a hold on new releases before they come out. So, I think that will be a fun way to share what other new books I am excited to read once they’re released (or books I’m waiting to read that have already been released). Are any of these books on your TBR? What books have you preordered for 2021?
Summary: Half-angel Trinity and her bonded gargoyle protector, Zayne, have been working with demons to stop the apocalypse while avoiding falling in love. The Harbinger is coming…but who or what is it? All of humankind may fall if Trinity and Zayne can’t win the race against time as dark forces gather. As tensions rise, they must stay close together and patrol the DC streets at night, seeking signs of the Harbinger, an entity that is killing Wardens and demons with no seeming rhyme or reason. Forbidden to be with each other, Zayne and Trinity fight their feelings and turn to unusual sources for help—the demon Roth and his cohorts. But as deaths pile up and they uncover a sinister plot involving the local high school and endangering someone dear to Zayne, Trin realizes she is being led…herded…played for some unknown end. As anger builds and feelings spiral out of control, it becomes clear that rage may be the ruin of them all.
Review: Rage and Ruin is the second book in the Harbinger series. You can find my review for the first book here. If you haven’t read that book and don’t want spoilers, since this is a sequel, please stop reading now and come back once you’ve read the first book. So, this book picks up right where the first one left off. Trinity is in D.C. staying with Zayne, trying to figure out what the hell is going on with the Harbinger. I think the mystery behind the Harbinger was pretty well done. I think it was a bit drawn out, but that was more due to Zayne and Trinity constantly managing to get distracted by other issues. I liked the world building that we got. Seeing the witches from the Dark Elements trilogy again was really enjoyable. There were so many things about to book that were new, but there were also some things that we got to see that we already knew from the Dark Elements trilogy. I really enjoyed learning new things about this world filled with gargoyles, angels, and demons. I think the idea of the Trueborns was so interesting, but I wanted to know more about them. I hope we get to learn more about their history in the next book, especially considering some of the plot reveals we got in this book. Now, Layla and Zayne. It was pretty obvious where their relationship was going in the first book. It was a bit insta-lovey, but I wasn’t mad about it. I didn’t really predict the twists that made their love forbidden, but once that was revealed, it was completely obvious that it was always headed that way. I liked their relationship. I’m a sucker for a forbidden romance. But I didn’t love all of Trinity’s insecurities. There were quite a few moments that I just wanted to shake her and tell her to freaking talk to Zayne. I think these complications in their relationship were done well though. It was hard not to sympathize with Trinity. I can understand why she was feeling insecure and the ways that she reacted. But I also very much think that she was over dramatic. I still liked Trinity a lot. She’s got a degenerative eye disease that causes her to slowly go blind. I thought there were some really great moments of bonding and support surrounding her vision. I liked watching Trinity learn to lean on Zayne and let him help her. Overall, I really enjoyed this book. The twists and turns of the story were surprising, sometimes shocking, and always enjoyable. The emotions were high and I think Armentrout did an incredible job getting the reader to feel what the characters were feeling and care about them. I cannot wait for the final installment of this series.
Hey, lovelies! We’re a month into 2021 and I keep getting approved for eARC’s for 2021 releases that I’m beyond excited for. So, this list will be to share those titles (almost like another version of my 2021 anticipated releases, hah!) in part to hold myself accountable. But also, because I think it’s a fun way to share some of the books that I plan to read in the near future. I currently have a 72% for my feedback ratio with 122 books approved and 88 books with feedback already sent. I share this with you all so that I am being transparent. My feedback ratio is usually at or above 80%, which is part of the reason I’ve been approved for many of these titles. I have 22 books that are on my ‘give feedback’ shelf. So, this list will be all of those books.
We Are Meridians by S. Ghali Publication date: August 27, 2019 I don’t know why I was approved for this book over a year after it’s publication, but it sounds super good. So, I’m planning to read it soon. It’s about a group of humans that left Earth and traveled into space hundreds of years ago. But now they need to return for something. The people of Earth think that it’s an alien invasion and so obviously it doesn’t go well.
Spellbreaker by Charlie N. Holmberg Publication date: November 1, 2020 I was a part of the blog tour for this book. Find my spotlight post here. I shared a bit of a blurb and other information about the book. Since this has already been released I’ll probably just read it on Kindle Unlimited and share that I read the finished copy in my review. Check out my spotlight post for the full synopsis.
These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong Publication date: November 17, 2020 The only reason I haven’t picked this one up is because I’m scared. It’s a Romeo & Juliet retelling, so there is definitely going to be character deaths and I’m scared. I also have seen so many good things about this book, so I think all of the hype has intimidated me a bit. But I’m planning to read this one this month.
Blood Sworn by Scott Reintgen Publication date: February 16, 2021 I’m currently read this one, so will probably have read it already when this posts. But this is the sequel to Ashlords (read my review for that here), which follows three characters during The Races, which is an annual event with phoenix horses. There are all sorts of fascinating politics and character dynamics. The world building and mythology is incredible. We learn more about the world in the second book and I’m already loving it so much.
Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers Publication date: February 23, 2021 This is one of my anticipate releases that I am so excited for. It’s about a woman that gets married while drunk and in Las Vegas, something that is completely out of the norm for her. Feeling pressure because of outside expectations she flees to New York where her new wife lives. This sounds like it’s going to be fun and really enjoyable. I’m very excited to pick this one up. It’s definitely on my TBR for this month.
Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft Publication date: March 2, 2021 A romantic fantasy about magic and a creepy mansion. Sign me the heck up. My town is supposed to get some snow this weekend, so I think I’m actually going to try to read this one while it’s snowing. I think it would be the perfect atmosphere for this story.
Namesake by Adrienne Young Publication date: March 16, 2021 I absolutely adored Fable (review here). So this is a sequel that I am very excited to read. This is a sequel, so the first book follows Fable as she tries to earn enough money to escape the island her father abandoned her on years ago. She wants to find him again and claim her place at his side. But things don’t go as she expects and her plans have to change quickly. I loved the found family in this story. I loved the world building. I’m very excited for this sequel.
Lost in the Never Woods by Aiden Thomas Publication date: March 23, 2021 I absolutely screamed a little when I got the approval email for this one. This sounds like it’s going to be a mysterious story about a small town and the children that go missing in its woods. I don’t know anything else about it and I’ve been keeping myself away from reading or watching any reviews. I want to go into this one knowing as little as possible.
The Accidental Apprentice by Amanda Foody Publication date: March 30, 2021 Amanda Foody is one of my favorite authors, so I’m very excited for her middle grade debut that follows a boy who breaks the one rule in his town. Breaking this rule leads him on an adventure to undo his mistake, but on this adventure he must decide whether he actually wants to undo his mistake or if he wants to continue his adventure.
The Infinity Courts by Akemi Dawn Bowman Publication date: April 6, 2021 I’m just going to share the tagline for this book because it perfectly explains why I am so excited for this story. “Westworld meets Warcross in this high-stakes, dizzyingly smart sci-fi about a teen girl navigating an afterlife in which she must defeat an AI entity intent on destroying humanity, from award-winning author Akemi Dawn Bowman.”
To Love and to Loathe by Martha Waters Publication date: April 6, 2021 I love historical romance. So, this historical romance is one I’m excited to read in probably one sitting. I enjoyed the first book in this series, so I’m sure I’ll enjoy this one too.
Victories Greater than Death by Charlie Jane Anders Publication date: April 13, 2021 This is a story about a human clone of an alien set during an intergalactic war. Anders’ books have been hit or miss for me, but I’m still excited for this one.
The Galaxy, and the Ground Within by Becky Chambers Publication date: April 20, 2021 This is the final book in the Wayfarer’s series. In this installment, the story focuses on a planet that is essentially a truck stop in space. But when all traffic on and off planet is halted, three characters are thrown together to wait until travel is restored. I love this series so I am eager to get into this one.
Slingshot by Mercedes Helnwein Publication date: April 27, 2021 I am excited for this one because I’m a sucker for books with boarding school settings. I think this one is going to be enjoyable. It’s a young adult contemporary with a bit of romance. The synopsis says its “a story about two people finding each other and then screwing it all up” and I am absolutely here for that.
Gilded Serpent by Danielle L. Jensen Publication date: April 27, 2021 I literally don’t even know how to explain this book. This is the third in a series, so I’m honestly not even going to try to explain. See my review for the first book, here. Please read this series. It’s so good.
Counting Down with You by Tashi Bhuiyan Publication date: May 4, 2021 This is in the synopsis, “A reserved Bangladeshi teenager has twenty-eight days to make the biggest decision of her life after agreeing to fake date her school’s resident bad boy.” I’ve now heard some mixed reviews about this one and some of the representation inside of it. So, I’m still going to read this, but I am going into it hesitantly.
Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler Publication date: May 11, 2021 The cover is what sold me. But also this book is about a bisexual girl figuring out why she can’t stop thinking about a girl she spent the night with. She’s confused because she’s finally gotten the interest of the boy she’s had a crush on forever. I’m excited for this one because it seems like it’s going to be a great story of self discovery and I love books like that.
Trouble Girls by Julie Lynn Rubin Publication date: June 1, 2021 A queer YA reimagining of Thelma & Louise is all I need to know about this one.
A Chorus Rises by Bethany C. Morrow Publication date: June 1, 2021 A Song Below Water was one of my favorite books that I read in 2020. So, I’m very excited for this sequel that follows Naema, who we met in the first book.
Better Together by Christine Riccio Publication date: June 1, 2021 This is a story about sisters that don’t know about one another, think of Parent Trap. I love sibling relationships. So, I’m hopeful that I’ll enjoy this one even though I didn’t love Riccio’s debut.
The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould Publication date: August 3, 2021 A debut novel about ghosts in a small town, things you don’t want to meet in a dark corner, and finding a home. I’m excited for this debut novel. I think it’s going to somehow be both spooky and heartwarming.
Okay, there are all of the books that I need to read in the foreseeable future. All of these eARCs are books that I am very excited to get into. I’m thinking that I will do a check in for this list later on in the year to see what my progress looks like and how my ratios have changed. Are any of these books on your anticipated releases list? Let me know!
Hey, lovelies! I did a list of 21 books being released in 2021 that I am excited for. You can find that list here. It’s a post I’m quite proud of. So, I thought I would do another similar post so that I can highlight some debut novels that I am enthusiastic about. I want to give them some attention so that others might find some more books for their TBRs. Yes, I am here today to make your never ending TBR even longer. You’re welcome.
January 5th, 2021 Happily Ever Afters by Elise Bryant “Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader. When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming. But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?”
January 12th, 2021 Clues to the Universe by Christina Li “The only thing Rosalind Ling Geraghty loves more than watching NASA launches with her dad is building rockets with him. When he dies unexpectedly, all Ro has left of him is an unfinished model rocket they had been working on together. Benjamin Burns doesn’t like science, but he can’t get enough of Spacebound, a popular comic book series. When he finds a sketch that suggests that his dad created the comics, he’s thrilled. Too bad his dad walked out years ago, and Benji has no way to contact him. Though Ro and Benji were only supposed to be science class partners, the pair become unlikely friends: Benji helps Ro finish her rocket, and Ro figures out a way to reunite Benji and his dad. But Benji hesitates, which infuriates Ro. Doesn’t he realize how much Ro wishes she could be in his place? As the two face bullying, grief, and their own differences, Benji and Ro must try to piece together clues to some of the biggest questions in the universe.”
February 2nd, 2021 Yesterday is History by Kosoko Jackson “Weeks ago, Andre Cobb received a much-needed liver transplant. He’s ready for his life to finally begin, until one night, when he passes out and wakes up somewhere totally unexpected…in 1969, where he connects with a magnetic boy named Michael. And then, just as suddenly as he arrived, he slips back to present-day Boston, where the family of his donor is waiting to explain that his new liver came with a side effect—the ability to time travel. And they’ve tasked their youngest son, Blake, with teaching Andre how to use his unexpected new gift. Andre splits his time bouncing between the past and future. Between Michael and Blake. Michael is everything Andre wishes he could be, and Blake, still reeling from the death of his brother, Andre’s donor, keeps him at arm’s length despite their obvious attraction to each other. Torn between two boys, one in the past and one in the present, Andre has to figure out where he belongs—and more importantly who he wants to be—before the consequences of jumping in time catch up to him and change his future for good.”
February 9th, 2021 The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna “Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs. But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death. Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat. Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest battle of her life, she will discover that the great walled city holds many surprises. Nothing and no one are quite what they seem to be–not even Deka herself.”
February 23rd, 2021 Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers “With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that. This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows. In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.”
February 23rd, 2021 Like Home by Lousia Onomé “Chinelo, or Nelo as her best friend Kate calls her, is all about her neighborhood Ginger East. She loves its chill vibe, ride-or-die sense of community, and her memories of growing up there. Ginger East isn’t what it used to be, though. After a deadly incident at the local arcade, all her closest friends moved away, except for Kate. But as long as they have each other, Nelo’s good. Only, Kate’s parents’ corner store is vandalized, leaving Nelo shaken to her core. The police and the media are quick to point fingers, and soon more of the outside world descends on Ginger East with promises to “fix” it. Suddenly, Nelo finds herself in the middle of a drama unfolding on a national scale. Worse yet, Kate is acting strange. She’s pushing Nelo away at the exact moment they need each other most. Nelo’s entire world is morphing into something she hates, and she must figure out how to get things back on track or risk losing everything—and everyone—she loves.”
March 2nd, 2021 Down Comes the Night by Allison Saft “Wren Southerland’s reckless use of magic has cost her everything: she’s been dismissed from the Queen’s Guard and separated from her best friend—the girl she loves. So when a letter arrives from a reclusive lord, asking Wren to come to his estate, Colwick Hall, to cure his servant from a mysterious illness, she seizes her chance to redeem herself. The mansion is crumbling, icy winds haunt the caved-in halls, and her eccentric host forbids her from leaving her room after dark. Worse, Wren’s patient isn’t a servant at all but Hal Cavendish, the infamous Reaper of Vesria and her kingdom’s sworn enemy. Hal also came to Colwick Hall for redemption, but the secrets in the estate may lead to both of their deaths. With sinister forces at work, Wren and Hal realize they’ll have to join together if they have any hope of saving their kingdoms. But as Wren circles closer to the nefarious truth behind Hal’s illness, they realize they have no escape from the monsters within the mansion. All they have is each other, and a startling desire that could be their downfall.”
May 4th, 2021 Meet Cute Diary by Emery Lee “Noah Ramirez thinks he’s an expert on romance. He has to be for his popular blog, the Meet Cute Diary, a collection of trans happily ever afters. There’s just one problem—all the stories are fake. What started as the fantasies of a trans boy afraid to step out of the closet has grown into a beacon of hope for trans readers across the globe. When a troll exposes the blog as fiction, Noah’s world unravels. The only way to save the Diary is to convince everyone that the stories are true, but he doesn’t have any proof. Then Drew walks into Noah’s life, and the pieces fall into place: Drew is willing to fake-date Noah to save the Diary. But when Noah’s feelings grow beyond their staged romance, he realizes that dating in real life isn’t quite the same as finding love on the page. In this charming novel by Emery Lee, Noah will have to choose between following his own rules for love or discovering that the most romantic endings are the ones that go off script.”
June 1st, 2021 The [Un]popular Vote by Jasper Sanchez “Vaseline on the teeth makes a smile shine. It’s a cheap stunt, but Mark Adams knows it’s optics that can win or ruin an election. Everything Mark learned about politics, he learned from his father, the congressman who still pretends he has a daughter and not a son. To protect his father’s image, Mark promises to keep his past hidden and pretend to be the cis guy everyone assumes he is. But when he sees a manipulatively charming candidate for student body president inflame dangerous rhetoric, Mark decides to risk the low profile he assured his father and insert himself as a political challenger. One big problem? No one really knows Mark. He didn’t grow up in this town, and he has few friends; plus, the ones he does have aren’t exactly with the in-crowd. Still, thanks to countless seasons of Scandal and The West Wing, these nerds know where to start: from campaign stops to voter polling to a fashion makeover. Soon Mark feels emboldened to get in front of and engage with voters—and even start a new romance. But with an investigative journalist digging into his past, a father trying to silence him, and a bully front-runner who stands in his way, Mark will have to decide which matters most: perception or truth, when both are just as dangerous.”
June 8th, 2021 Fifteen Hundred Miles from the Sun by Johnny Garza Villa “Julián Luna has a plan for his life: Graduate. Get into UCLA. And have the chance to move away from Corpus Christi, Texas, and the suffocating expectations of others that have forced Jules into an inauthentic life. Then in one reckless moment, with one impulsive tweet, his plans for a low-key nine months are thrown—literally—out the closet. The downside: the whole world knows, and Jules has to prepare for rejection. The upside: Jules now has the opportunity to be his real self. Then Mat, a cute, empathetic Twitter crush from Los Angeles, slides into Jules’s DMs. Jules can tell him anything. Mat makes the world seem conquerable. But when Jules’s fears about coming out come true, the person he needs most is fifteen hundred miles away. Jules has to face them alone. Jules accidentally propelled himself into the life he’s always dreamed of. And now that he’s in control of it, what he does next is up to him.”
August 3rd, 2021 The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould “Something is wrong in Snakebite, Oregon. Teenagers are disappearing, some turning up dead, the weather isn’t normal, and all fingers seem to point to TV’s most popular ghost hunters who have just returned to town. Logan Ortiz-Woodley, daughter of TV’s ParaSpectors, has never been to Snakebite before, but the moment she and her dads arrive, she starts to get the feeling that there’s more secrets buried here than they originally let on. Ashley Barton’s boyfriend was the first teen to go missing, and she’s felt his presence ever since. But now that the Ortiz-Woodleys are in town, his ghost is following her and the only person Ashley can trust is the mysterious Logan. When Ashley and Logan team up to figure out who—or what—is haunting Snakebite, their investigation reveals truths about the town, their families, and themselves that neither of them are ready for. As the danger intensifies, they realize that their growing feelings for each other could be a light in the darkness.”
August 24th, 2021 Vampires, Hearts, & Other Dead Things by Margie Fuston “Victoria and her dad have shared a love of the undead since the first vampire revealed his existence on live TV. Public fear soon drove the vampires back into hiding, yet Victoria and her father still dream about finding a vampire together. But when her dad is diagnosed with terminal cancer, it’s clear that’s not going to happen. Instead, Victoria vows to find a vampire herself—so that she can become one and then save her father. Armed with research, speculations, and desperation—and helped by her estranged best friend, Henry—Victoria travels to New Orleans in search of a miracle. There she meets Nicholas, a mysterious young man who might give her what she desires. But first, he needs Victoria to prove she loves life enough to live forever. She agrees to complete a series of challenges, from scarfing sugar-drenched beignets to singing with a jazz band, all to show she has what it takes to be immortal. But truly living while her father is dying feels like a betrayal. Victoria must figure out how to experience joy and grief at once, trusting all the while that Nicholas will hold up his end of the bargain…because the alternative is too impossible to imagine.”
October 12th, 2021 Lakesedge by Lyndall Clipstone “There are monsters in the world. When Violeta Graceling arrives at haunted Lakesedge estate, she expects to find a monster. She knows the terrifying rumors about Rowan Sylvanan, who drowned his entire family when he was a boy. But neither the estate nor the monster are what they seem. There are monsters in the woods. As Leta falls for Rowan, she discovers he is bound to the Lord Under, the sinister death god lurking in the black waters of the lake. A creature to whom Leta is inexplicably drawn… There’s a monster in the shadows, and now it knows my name. Now, to save Rowan—and herself—Leta must confront the darkness in her past, including unraveling the mystery of her connection to the Lord Under.”
November 9th, 2021 Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood “Andromeda is a debtera—an exorcist hired to cleanse households of the Evil Eye. When a handsome young heir named Magnus Rochester reaches out to hire her, Andromeda quickly realizes this is a job like no other, with horrifying manifestations at every turn, and that Magnus is hiding far more than she has been trained for. Death is the most likely outcome if she stays, but leaving Magnus to live out his curse alone isn’t an option. Evil may roam the castle’s halls, but so does a burning desire.”
So, there you have it. Fifteen debut novels that I am very eager to read. You can find my full list of 2021 anticipated releases here. There are some absolutely stunning covers here and some stories that sound like they’re going to be so good. I’m hoping that there will be some new favorites from this list. Are any of these debut novels on your list of anticipated releases for 2021?
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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is a Valentine’s Day or Love freebie. So, I’ve chosen a list of ten books that really make me love love.
Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Well Met by Jen DeLuca
Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe
Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon
We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker
These are some books that just make me love love. What did you choose for this weeks freebie?
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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is books that were written before I was born. A suggestion was books I want to read or have read, I’m going to do books I’ve read.
1945 The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
1949 1984 by George Orwell
1965 Dune by Frank Herbert
1974 Carrie by Stephen King
1981 Full House by Janet Evanovich
1987 Wideacre by Philippa Gergory
1988 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
1990 The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
1991 Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
1992 She’s Come Undone by Wally Lamb
These are book I’ve read that were published before I was born. This list was actually a lot harder to make than I thought it was going to me. What’s on your list?
Hi, lovelies! It’s the first day of February, which also means that it’s the first day of Black History Month. So, I thought I would stop by with some book recommendations of books written by black authors. Now, I’m going to preface by saying that I would recommend these books any time of year, so they are not specifically for Black History Month, but many people specifically read books by black authors in February. With that in mind, I wanted to share books and authors that I think are underrated so that they might get some of the attention that they rightly deserve. These are all books I don’t see recommended very often or at all.
Opposite of Always by Justin A. Reynolds Early Departures by Justin A. Reynolds Reynolds is an author that I don’t see talked about or recommended very often, which is such a shame. His books are contemporary with a science fiction twist. I gave both of these books five stars and I hope you will too when you read them.
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe Charming as a Verb by Ben Philippe Philippe is another author that I very rarely see recommended, but his books are so good. They talk about important things in a way that goes straight to the heart. I also had the pleasure of meeting him and talking to him at the NoVaTeen Book Festival a few years ago.
The Wicker King by K. Ancrum The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum So, I do see some people talking about Ancrum’s books, especially since her 2021 release is a Peter Pan thriller/retelling. But there are still so many people that haven’t read The Wicker King, which is just a damn shame. Ancrum writes characters that you can’t help but root for, even if you disagree with the choices they make.
Do You Dream of Terra-Two? by Temi Oh I listened to the audiobook for this book toward the end of 2020 and the only reason I found this recommendation was because of #SciFiMonth. I have only ever seen one person talk about it and I think that should change. This is an incredible science fiction story filled with diversity of all kinds. I highly recommend this one.
The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson Johnson’s 2020 debut is a book that I have seen people say theywant to read it, but they haven’t yet. I’m here to say that you should add this book to the top of your TBR list. This was one of my favorite books of 2020. I really hope that the people that have bought this one actually read it soon.
That’s all I have for you today. Eight books that I think more people should be talking about. I know that Blackathon is going on this month, but I’m not super familiar with all of the prompts, so hopefully these might fit for some (or any) of them because all of these books deserve more love. I do have quite a few books by black authors on my TBR shelf that I plan to read and will hopefully be able to add to this list after I read them. What are some underrated books by black authors would you recommend? Let me know in the comments!
Hi, lovelies! It 2021, and I’m determined to regularly read my graphic novels that I own and even (like I did in January) borrow some from the library. As you’ll see me mention in my mini-reviews, I bought the first book in a series and enjoyed it enough that I checked to see if my library had any of the sequels. They did! So, I finished the rest of the series (except the last one because it’s not published until later this year) via my library. It made me add another 2021 goal to my list, which is to read more graphic novels via the library too. So, here are the graphic novels I read in January 2021 and may thoughts on them!
The Sand Warrior by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Matt Rockefeller, Xianthe Bouma & Boya Sun
I picked this graphic novel up on a whim because i found it locally for like $5. I thought the cover looked cute and I wasn’t going to pass up that deal. Im really glad I did because I enjoyed this one. there are three main characters, Ooma, Jax, and An Tzu, and i loved all three of them. Ooma has no faith in herself or her mastery with sand magic but she is the chosen one. I liked that she listened (mostly) to those around her and took their advice. I loved Jax. He was a famous star ball player, but he has a big secret. His character has a fascinating story line coming. Then there’s An Tzu, who has a mysterious illness. He has a lot of growing up to do, but it’s clear that he has a good heart. I’m very interested to continue the series and have borrowed the rest from my library so you may see them reviewed here too.
The Cobalt Prince by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Matt Rockefeller, Xianthe Bouma & Boya Sun
This is the second installment in the 5 Worlds series and i’m really enjoying it. I like how much Ooma is growing and gaining confidence in herself. I really liked the bits of her reconnecting with her sister (and that we got a chapter from Jessa’s point of view). An Tzu is an interesting character. he’s young, so he’s still learning to get over his judgment of people different from him. He struggles with grouping all of the Tovi people together, treating them all badly because some of them did a bad thing. Then there’s Jax, I really missed him in this one and I’m excited to see where his story goes in the future books. I think the world building and the history of the world is so interesting. I want more of it. I wish there was more time to spend on each world and explore all the different peoples and their culture. I’m still not totally sure about the magic system. It seems that the sand magic is based on dance, but I don’t think I know all the rules yet. I have questions, but I’m hopeful that if I continue the series they will be answered.
Paper Girls, Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, & Jared K. Fletcher
This is a confusing as heck story and I loved every page. Four girls that deliver newspapers get swept up in some alien/time traveling nonsense and they basically just fly by the seat of their pants. I really enjoyed this one. The story is really fast paced and action packed. I loved the art style, it was a good reflection of the mood of the story, dark and tense. I said this was confusing and by that I mean that i really had no idea what was going on. We are in the dark just as much as the four main characters are. I liked that, which is unusual for me, but it worked really well for the story. I want to mention that there’s some homophobia, but it was mostly challenged by another character. I will definitely be continuing the series.
Paper Girls, Vol. 2 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, & Jared K. Fletcher
Okay, this was just as confusing as the first volume except we are given answers that don’t actually answer anything. The four main characters have time traveled to 2016 (during the Trump v. Hillary election) and they are blown away by all the new technology and other changes. But one of their friends wasn’t there when they arrived. So, this one is all about finding their missing friends. Like the first volume, this story was really fast paced and I enjoyed that. But we still didn’t really get any answers, only more questions. I will definitely be continuing because now I’m invested in the date of these four newspaper delivery girls.
Paper Girls, Vol. 3 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, & Jared K. Fletcher
Volume three was wild. The girls have time traveled again but somewhere incredibly interesting. I really enjoyed this one. We’re also starting to get actual pieces to the puzzle. We meet the person that invented time travel. Like the first two volumes, this one was action packed and super fast paced. The artwork was still stunning. I think it was even more interesting in this one because of the setting. I’m sort of really over the homophobia and other offensive shit though. One of the main characters is just not a nice person and I would have liked to see her grow a bit by now. I do appreciate the addition of one of the girls getting her period for the first time. I’m excited to hopefully get more answers in the next volume considering they time traveled again in the final pages of this one.
Paper Girls, Vol. 4 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, & Jared K. Fletcher
While we did get more answers in this volume, my enjoyment of it was seriously dampened by all the homophobia. One of the girls thinks she might be a lesbian and she says so. But another girl can’t get her head out of her ass and literally asks if she’s an imposter, because it’s so far fetched that she might be gay. I probably would have given this volume five stars if not for all of that. It needs to go because homophobia is not a fun plot point. I feel like we’re at a point where we can write stories that take place in the past without there always being someone that’s incredibly offensive. Anyway, the girls have time traveled to another year, and in this year we get answers. The twist of Grand Father’s identity was excellent. But I’d like to know more about how he got to be where he is. So, once again the answers came with more questions. I don’t own the final two volumes but I just bought them. I’ll definitely read them soon because i really want to know how the rest of the story plays out. But I don’t know if I’ll read them in January.
The Red Maze by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Matt Rockefeller, Xianthe Bouma & Boya Sun
In the third book of the 5 Worlds series, our characters find themselves in yet another world. This time they’re on the home world of all the corporations. This planet has a democratic government but we get to see first hand some of the flaws in that system. I thought it was an interesting parallel to our own world and voting issues (though I don’t know that this was intentional). Once again, Jax is away from the crew for most of the book. I understand why, but I still didn’t like it. I want the three main characters to adventure together. Ooma learns valuable magic from Zelle (a rebellion leader) and the characters that ban together work toward thwarting the Mimic again. I liked this one and I am going to pick up the fourth volume right now.
The Amber Anthem by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Matt Rockefeller, Xianthe Bouma & Boya Sun
Ooma, An Tzu, and Jax are working on trying to light the fourth beacon. We learn quite a bit about An Tzu’s story in this one. He is learning more about himself and this mysterious illness. I think this was one of the most intriguing parts of the story, especially with how this graphic novel ended. The fifth and final volume comes out this year and I’m very excited to finish this series. I am still not totally clear about the rules for the sand magic, which only bothers me a little. I want to know more about it, but not knowing didn’t hinder my enjoyment of the story. I also still feel like I would have liked to spend more time on each world. I want to mention how much Ooma has grown and I really admire her. She speaks up when she sees others being treated unfairly. She believes in herself and her friends. I’m definitely enjoying this series and would recommend it.
Paper Girls, Vol. 5 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, & Jared K. Fletcher
So, in the last volume we left off with the girls arriving in the future. That’s where this one picks up. The girls just want to figure out how to get home. They manage to find some clues about the people in power, and shockingly, the girls know them. I think we finally got some solid answers in this book. Less about the actual time travel itself and more about the people in power. We learned who Grand Father was in a previous volume, but in this one we learn how he is in the time he is. I liked this volume. There’s still some homophobia which I didn’t like, especially since Mac calls KJ disgusting, but then kisses her toward the end of the volume. So, she’s homophobic but still kisses her friend. I just didn’t like the abrupt change of heart because I don’t think it was actually a change of heart. Overall, I liked this one. We finally got some solid answers, but the mystery is still there. There are still some things that haven’t been explained. I honestly sort of think they never will be seeing as there is only one volume left in the series, but it’s been a wild ride and I’m definitely interested to see how things end for these newspaper girls.
Paper Girls, Vol. 6 by Brian K. Vaughn, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson, & Jared K. Fletcher
The finale of this series might be my favorite. We only sort of get answers to all of the questions that have built up over the series, but it was enough to satisfy me. We learn a bit more about the rules of time traveling and the things that others have tried to do to avoid the inevitable future. I thought the final showdown was really interesting and I have also finally learned all of the papergirls names. Erin is the new girl, her story was the weirdest in the most interesting way. Mac actually sort of grows out of her homophobia in this one, but it isn’t something we get to see the reasoning behind. We just see her making an actual effort to stop using homophobic slurs, which I appreciated. KJ is the character that I feel like I like the best. She really goes through the most with learning more about herself. She’s a lesbian and following her on that discovery was hard, but wonderful. Finally, Tiffany. I think she’s the hardest working member of this team. She fights for the paper girls to keep their memories because if they don’t it’s likely they’ll never remain friends, and she wants them to stay friends. So, overall, I’m happy with this ending. Though it was a little confusing at the end seeing things a year later because there wasn’t really a solid label saying they’d jumped forward in time, so I originally thought they were back at the beginning of the night they met. But, despite that minor thing, I loved that Tiffany made the effort to continue their friendship. I think this series was a wild ride. It was incredibly fast-paced and full of non-stop action. There were twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. Even though everything wasn’t completely explained, I think enough was for me to be satisfied. I also have to say that the art for the whole series was stunning. The colors used for each of the different places in time were perfect. They matched the setting and changed as the girls time traveled which I thought was really interesting. This definitely won’t be a series that everyone loves. But my fellow science fiction nerds might enjoy this one.
These are all the graphic novels I read in January and my thoughts on them. Are there any here that you’ve read or want to read? Also, do you like how I review them in the order that I read them or would you prefer that I review them in series order? So, would it have been better if I’d kept all the 5 Worlds series reviewed together and then the Paper Girls together instead of how they are listed here in the order that I read them? Let me know in the comments so I can adjust for my future mini-review wrap ups!
Hello, lovelies! I’m here with my final age rage favorites list. Today will be my favorite adult books that I read in 2020 (not just 2020 releases). I would recommend these books to anyone. They are a variety of genres, but they’re all excellent books. I will have a few that were on my first list of my 10 favorite reads of 2020, so don’t be surprised if you think you’ve seen these on a list before. Let’s go!
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. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is authors that I read for the first time in 2020. (We did this for blogmas here.)
Katy Rose Pool
Tehlor Kay Mejia
Bethany C. Morrow
These are all authors that I read for the first time in 2020. What authors were new to you last year?
Hi, lovelies! I read 85 audiobooks in 2020. Some of them were absolutely incredible and I knew I needed to make a separate list of favorite audiobooks so that I could share and recommend them to you all. Some of them may be on a list I’ve already posted or on one that’s coming later this month, but being on more than one of my lists is how you know it was just that good. Now, I am pretty pick about what kinds of audiobooks I like. I prefer narrators that do different voices for different characters. My favorite thing is full cast audiobooks. But I do sometimes find audiobooks that just have one narrator that does an incredible job telling the story. This list is a combination of those.
There we have it, friends. These are all of my favorite audiobooks that I listened to in 2020. Now, I did reread a few series via audio but I didn’t include those on here. What audiobooks did you listen to in 2020 that really blew you away?
Hey, lovelies! If you’re new here, welcome! We’re talking about my favorite books that I read in 2020 by age range. Today it’s young adult books that I read and really loved. There’s a whole mix of genres on this list that stuck with me for a variety of reasons. Now, in my last list I included some of the books that made my overall favorites list, but this one won’t. I have too many I want to add to this list so, check out my 10 favorites of 2020 to see the young adult titles not included on this list.