First Lines Friday #2

Good [insert your time of day here]!! I started partaking in a new weekly feature last week and I really liked it, so here it is again for week two! First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers that I saw over at One Book More, but it was formerly hosted by Wandering Words.

What if instead of judging a book by the cover, author or most everything else, we judged it by it’s content? It’s first lines?

If you want to join in, all you gotta do is:

  • Take a book off your shelf and open it to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Here’s the first line…

Dear Evangeline,

Eventually you will see him again, and when you do, do not be fooled by him.

Ooh, what book could it be…? Here’s some pictures of lovely books to stare at while you think.

And the book is… The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber!

(Did you get it right?)


first lines friday - the ballad of never after

The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart (Book #2)

Length: 403 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA, Fiction

Release Date: September 13, 2022

Book Description:

Stephanie Garber’s The Ballad of Never After is the fiercely-anticipated sequel to the Once Upon a Broken Heart, starring Evangeline Fox and the Prince of Hearts on a new journey of magic, mystery, and heartbreak

Not every love is meant to be.

After Jacks, the Prince of Hearts, betrays her, Evangeline Fox swears she’ll never trust him again. Now that she’s discovered her own magic, Evangeline believes she can use it to restore the chance at happily ever after that Jacks stole away.

But when a new terrifying curse is revealed, Evangeline finds herself entering into a tenuous partnership with the Prince of Hearts again. Only this time, the rules have changed. Jacks isn’t the only force Evangeline needs to be wary of. In fact, he might be the only one she can trust, despite her desire to despise him.

Instead of a love spell wreaking havoc on Evangeline’s life, a murderous spell has been cast. To break it, Evangeline and Jacks will have to do battle with old friends, new foes, and a magic that plays with heads and hearts. Evangeline has always trusted her heart, but this time she’s not sure she can….


I’ve been looking forward to reading this since I read the first one a year ago. Now, I haven’t ever read the Caraval trilogy, but this new spin-off intrigued me. It really seemed like my type of book, even though I’ve never had any interest in Caraval or its sequels.

And I ended up really, really liking Once Upon a Broken Heart. It just hit a lot of the stuff that I like in romance. It also had a relatively unlikable protagonist, but she grew bit by bit as a character throughout the novel. And I love it when characters are like that, and I don’t see it that often because it’s hard to pull off well.

But yeah, I’m pretty freaking excited to read the sequel, but I kinda pushed it back on my TBR because of other stuff. But I’m definitely still planning to read it and soon – hopefully in time for a Valentine’s Day post or before!

As always, thank you to everyone so much for reading, and I’ll see y’all on the flip side for more bookish things! (As well as another First Lines Friday next week!)

~ Mar ~

First Line Friday #1

I was looking for a fun Friday post to do, and after discovering First Lines Fridays, I knew it was the one. First Line Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers (formerly) hosted by Wandering Words (I don’t know why I posted the link, it’s defunct… 😳😣), but I saw it over at One Book More.

What if instead of judging a book by the cover, author or most everything else, we judged it by it’s content? It’s first lines?

If you want to join in, all you gotta do is:

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

Here’s the first line…

Her satellite made one full orbit around planet Earth every sixteen hours. It was a prison that came with endlessly breathtaking views – vast blue oceans and swirling clouds and sunrises that set half the world on fire.

Can you guess what book it is?

(Here’s some pictures of books to stare at while you think.)

And the book is… Cress by Marissa Meyer!

(Did you get it right?)


Title & Author: Cress by Marissa Meyer

Series: The Lunar Chronicles (Book #3)

Length: 552 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction

Release Date: February 4, 2014

Description:

In this third book in Marissa Meyer’s bestselling Lunar Chronicles series, Cinder and Captain Thorne are fugitives on the run, now with Scarlet and Wolf in tow. Together, they’re plotting to overthrow Queen Levana and prevent her army from invading Earth.

Their best hope lies with Cress, a girl trapped on a satellite since childhood who’s only ever had her netscreens as company. All that screen time has made Cress an excellent hacker. Unfortunately, she’s being forced to work for Queen Levana, and she’s just received orders to track down Cinder and her handsome accomplice.

When a daring rescue of Cress goes awry, the group is splintered. Cress finally has her freedom, but it comes at a higher price than she’d ever expected. Meanwhile, Queen Levana will let nothing prevent her marriage to Emperor Kai, especially the cyborg mechanic. Cress, Scarlet, and Cinder may not have signed up to save the world, but they may be the only hope the world has.


I’ve been trying to finish this book for years. Like, the first time I tried to read it, there was a personal life issue that came up, and the second time (last year) life just kinda got in the way (in a different way than the first time).

This time I’m 66% of the way through it, and I’m determined to finish it. It’s one of the three books I’ve marked as Currently Reading (the other two being A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab and Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik) on Goodreads and The StoryGraph. Let’s hope that I can finally finish it, cuz I really want to finish The Lunar Chronicles and see how the series ends.

What book are you currently reading, or looking to read next? What are your favorite first lines, and from which book? Thanks for reading and have an amazing day/night!

~ Mar ~

Books I Read in 2022 | A Year in Review

You might have noticed, but 2023 is upon us. Which means that 2022 has ended.

And so has my first year on The StoryGraph.

And the year that I started blogging dedicatedly.

It wasn’t the best year, for me and for lots of other people, but it wasn’t the worst year. And I read more books than I had in years, a lot of which I really enjoyed. So, you know the drill – it’s time for the reading stats.

(Note: I actually read twenty-two novels last year, not twenty-one! I forgot to start my Goodreads reading goal thing until after I read Mickey7. And whatever I did, I couldn’t correct it. So, thanks Goodreads… 😒)

😐 Moods: I had a lot of moods on the mood pie graph last year. The biggest ones were adventurous and funny; and considering that I read seven Dresden Files books and the entirety of The Murderbot Diaries (minus one short story – don’t @ me!!) it really isn’t much of a surprise. My third biggest slice was mysterious which also wasn’t a surprise – most plots have at least a little bit of it, after all, since it makes a lot of different plots more compelling.

👢 Pace: As you can see, my favorite books to read are generally fast-paced. Medium-paced is also usually pretty okay some of the time for me as well, but I cannot get into slow-paced novels. I’m sorry Legends & Lattes. I’m so sorry.

🔢 Length (or “Page Number”): I usually like to read books that are between 300 and 500 pages, otherwise books sometimes feel like they’re dragging me down or they’re too short. There are exceptions, of course, but 300 – 500 is generally my comfort zone.

🎭 Genres: Okay, if you’ve been following this blog for a while, it’s pretty obvious that my favorite genre to read is fantasy. And the bar graph on the left displays that very prominently. I also like sci-fi and YA, with some flavorings of mystery, which the graph also shows. After that, it just gets into the more miscellaneous stuff that’s in the books that I tend to read – aka: the stuff that I don’t care about as much when I’m reading, like romance.

📄 Format: Print or digital mostly, but I did read an audiobook this year, which confirmed to me that I don’t much care for them. (Note: This pie graph is inaccurate because I imported almost all of my book data from last year over to StoryGraph from Goodreads, and I think StoryGraph just picked random formats for all the books that I read or something.)

📖 Fiction/Nonfiction: 2022 was a full fiction year for me. I do have a couple of nonfiction books in my TBR, but I haven’t gotten around to reading them yet. I’ve just kept getting distracted by fantasy novels and stuff.

✍️ Most Read Authors: Not surprising at all. As I mentioned in the Moods section, I read a bunch of the Dresden books and all of Murderbot. And I guess that the only other author that I read more than one book by, courtesy of the Prosper Redding duology, I guess that it makes sense for Alexandra Bracken to be on the graph, too.

📚 Number of Books and Pages: This section is pretty self-explanatory, and the line graph can probably explain it much more succinctly than I can with words, but I guess I’ll embellish a little. My peak months were March and November, which isn’t surprising since I read like eight books in the former, and like five during the later.

Star Ratings: I gave ten books that I read 5 perfect stars. Which I say is pretty good, considering that that’s almost half the books that I read in 2022. Yay!! My second highest rectangle is right in the middle of the bar graph with 4 stars. Also a respectable rating for a good book. Which totals it to fifteen books that got really good ratings! Yay again! The rest are kind of middling height, so I’m happy to say that I didn’t really read many novels that I didn’t like in 2022. (Except for really The Conjurer, but we don’t talk about that in this house.)

§ • § • §

Annnd… that’s a wrap! That’s really a wrap, actually. Wow, a whole other year is gone already. Hard to believe.

But that just means that everyone and everything has a fresh start once again. And there’s so many new books coming out in 2023 to enjoy – and old ones, too! So, Happy New Year once again to everyone and I’ll see you on the flip side for more bookish things!

Majestic Monday #4: Defy the Night, The Paper Magician, Once Upon a Broken Heart

It’s that time of week again, so it’s time for another Majestic Monday.

Majestic Mondays are when The Blog that Nobody Knows takes a look at some pretty book covers. That’s it, that’s what we do.This week, the three book covers I’m gonna highlight are Defy the Night, The Paper Magician, and Once Upon a Broken Heart.

Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer

Series: Defy the Night [Book #1]

Length: 467 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Release Date: September 14, 2021

Book Description

A desperate prince.

A daring outlaw.

A dangerous flirtation.

In the Wilds of Kandala, apothecary apprentice Tessa Cade has been watching people suffer for too long. A mysterious sickness is ravaging the land and the cure, Moonflower Elixir, is only available for the wealthy. So every night, she defies the royal edicts and sneaks out, stealing Moonflower petals and leaving the elixir for those in need.

In the palace of Kandala, Prince Corrick serves as the King’s Justice, meting out vicious punishments and striking fear into the hearts of agitators and outlaws. Corrick knows he must play this role convincingly–with a shortage of elixir and threats of rebellion looming ever closer, the King’s grip on power is tenuous at best, and Corrick knows his brother is the kingdom’s best hope for survival.

But when an act of unspeakable cruelty brings the royal and the outlaw face to face, the natural enemies are faced with an impossible choice–and a surprising spark. Will they follow their instincts to destroy each other? Or will they save the kingdom together… and let that spark ignite?

First off, as usual, this cover is gorgeous. It’s purple and gold once again (hmm, is there a pattern here, I wonder?), and I just love how the neon effect on the golden lettering looks on the purple.

The flowers are also lovely, and I love how they frame the title and the castle cast in shadows. Everything in this cover stands out, and I absolutely adore it.

Cover Rating: ★★★★✯ • 4.5 / 5 stars

The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg

Series: The Paper Magician [Book #1]

Length: 234 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Release Date: September 1, 2014

Book Description

Ceony Twill arrives at the cottage of Magician Emery Thane with a broken heart. Having graduated at the top of her class from the Tagis Praff School for the Magically Inclined, Ceony is assigned an apprenticeship in paper magic despite her dreams of bespelling metal. And once she’s bonded to paper, that will be her only magic…forever.

Yet the spells Ceony learns under the strange yet kind Thane turn out to be more marvelous than she could have ever imagined—animating paper creatures, bringing stories to life via ghostly images, even reading fortunes. But as she discovers these wonders, Ceony also learns of the extraordinary dangers of forbidden magic.

An Excisioner—a practitioner of dark, flesh magic—invades the cottage and rips Thane’s heart from his chest. To save her teacher’s life, Ceony must face the evil magician and embark on an unbelievable adventure that will take her into the chambers of Thane’s still-beating heart—and reveal the very soul of the man.

To start off, I just love covers that incorporate a monochrome scale, paired with one, distinct color. It’s similar to what V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic series does, and I find this book cover art beautiful in the same way.

I also love all the red lines here, and how they still appear to be connected in some fashion, despite not doing so in any visible way. I think that the contrast and different pairings with all these colors here are also really pretty.

Cover Rating: ★★★☆☆ • 3 / 5 stars

Once Upon a Broken Heart by Stephanie Garber

Series: Once Upon a Broken Heart [Book #1]

Length: 408 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Romance

Release Date: September 28, 2021

Book Description

Once Upon a Broken Heart marks the launch of a new series from beloved author Stephanie Garber about love, curses, and the lengths that people will go to for happily ever after.

For as long as she can remember, Evangeline Fox has believed in true love and happy endings…until she learns that the love of her life will marry another.

Desperate to stop the wedding and to heal her wounded heart, Evangeline strikes a deal with the charismatic, but wicked, Prince of Hearts. In exchange for his help, he asks for three kisses, to be given at the time and place of his choosing.But after Evangeline’s first promised kiss, she learns that bargaining with an immortal is a dangerous game — and that the Prince of Hearts wants far more from her than she’d pledged. He has plans for Evangeline, plans that will either end in the greatest happily ever after, or the most exquisite tragedy…

Getting into the cover, I’m starting off with one of my favorites. Contrast. I adore the black background and the pale pink dots (that glisten in the hardcover version), that sit atop it.

I also love the pink heart that almost appears to be made from locks of hair, and how it looks to be rotting from the inside out. And the day that the ivory font is used for the title and author, and how it still stands out, despite looking similar to the pink of the art, is just gorgeous.

Cover Rating: ★★★★★ • 5 / 5 stars


And that’s it for this week’s Majestic Monday. Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them (and their covers)?

Join me next Monday for (most likely) the same type of thing, as well as next time for book bookish things! Thank you, as always, for reading.

Weekly Wrap-Up: 11/21 – 11/27

It’s the end of the weekend again, so it’s time for another wrap-up of everything added to the blog this past week.

Just as a nice little post in which we can look back on the past week, as well as a place for those who missed posts during the week, to have the opportunity to find and check them out, in an easy and accessible way.

Monday 11/21: Majestic Monday #3

This Monday was, as usual, a majestic one. For the first time, we looked at three pretty book covers instead of just one.

This week, those books were Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson, Gild by Raven Kennedy, and A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking by T. Kingfisher. All of them were beautiful, but in different ways. This week was also the first one where the covers were all given star ratings on just how pretty they were. Check out the full post here.

Tuesday 11/22: “In Deeper Waters” Review

On Tuesday, I reviewed the book In Deeper Waters by F. T. Lukens. It was a Little Mermaid inspired, high fantasy novel. It centers on Prince Tal and Athlen, a mysterious young man who’s definitely not a merman. But it’s also about rediscovering familial bonds, and just how powerful love in all forms, can be. Check out the full review here.

Wednesday 11/23: Shelf Control #4

And then, the middle of the week rolled around, and it was once again time for Shelf Control. After all, it was Wednesday. This week, I focused on To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo.

It’s a book that’s been on my bookshelf for a couple of years, that I haven’t gotten around to reading. It also happens to be another Little Mermaid inspired novel. But it’s not one I’m sure I’ll ever read. You can see the full post here.

Thursday 11/24: Thanksgiving, Favorite Cookbooks

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Er, late Thanksgiving, that is. But I said it in the original post on Thursday, so it totally counts! For Turkey Day this year, I did a post about my top three cookbooks. Because it’s, ya know, a holiday about food? So I thought it’d be “tasteful.” (…LAUGH!)

Anyway, my favorite cookbooks that I included were, The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook by Rosanna Pansino, Betty Crocker’s Cookbook [12th Edition] by Betty Crocker, and Tasty Dessert: All the Sweet You Can Eat by Tasty. You can check out the entire post here.

Friday 11/25: Books I’m Thankful For

I didn’t think of it until after I finished the Thanksgiving post, but I wanted to do a post about books that I’m thankful for, nonetheless. So on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, I did just that.

The book – or books, in this case – that I focused on this year, was the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne. These stories in particular are precious to me, because this is the series that got me into reading. Check out my soliloquy to these books here.

Saturday 11/26: “The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding” Review

On Saturday, I did another book review. This time it was on the first book in the Prosper Redding duology by Alexandra Bracken: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding. This was a fun little romp that I recommend to people of most ages. It has magic, witches, demons, and character development. What more could you want? Check out the full review here.

Sunday 11/27: Weekly Wrap-Up, Goals for Next Week

I had wanted to do another post today, but with the holiday and all that, I was just far too busy, and I didn’t have the time. So, for today, it’s just the wrap-up and goals for next week. But first I want to go over the goals from last week that I met:

  • Post 2 or 3 book reviews
  • Majestic Monday
  • Shelf Control
  • Something Thanksgiving themed

I was able to meet every goal except posting a reading retrospective. Yay!

And the goals for the week of 11/28 – 12/4 are:

  • Post 2 or 3 book reviews
  • Do 1 or 2 retrospectives
  • Majestic Monday
  • Shelf Control
  • Something new, maybe

Aaand that’s a wrap! Thanks for joining me for this post, and for any of the posts from the past week! Join me next post for more bookish things.

My Top 3 Cookbooks | Thanksgiving Day Special

Sooo… for Thanksgiving, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of a book review or a post about book covers or something, I’m going to be listing my favorite cookbooks. My top three specifically (in no particular order).

See, this is something y’all might not have realized about me (mostly because I’ve never mentioned it before, ever), but I love to cook and bake stuff. And what better way to celebrate today’s post? Ya know, since it’s a holiday about food and all. Anyway, here we go!

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook by Rosanna Pansino

I have to make a confession. I haven’t made as much stuff from this book as I would’ve liked. And that’s on me. I’m a bit of a novice at baking certain stuff, particularly some of the pastry chef level stuff in here, so I’ve shied away from some of the more complex recipes.

But the ones that I have tried are delicious, and they’re some of the most ingeniously nerdy things I’ve ever seen. I love this cookbook.

Cookbook Description

The first cookbook from the creator and host of the internet’s most popular baking show, Nerdy Nummies: a collection of Rosanna Pansino’s all-time favorite geeky recipes as well as sensational new recipes exclusive to this book.

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook is quirky, charming, and fun, featuring the recipes behind Rosanna Pansino’s celebrated, one-of-a-kind creations, as well as beautiful, mouthwatering photographs throughout. It is the perfect companion that you’ll turn to whenever you want to whip up a delicious treat and be entertained all at once. And best of all, these treats are as simple as they are fun to make! No need for costly tools or baking classes to create these marvelous delights yourself.

The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook combines two things Rosanna loves: geek culture and baking. Her fondness for video games, science fiction, math, comics, and lots of other things considered “nerdy” have inspired every recipe in this book. You’ll find the recipes for many beloved fan favorites from the show, such as Apple Pi Pie, the Chocolate Chip Smart Cookie, and Volcano Cake; as well as many new geeky recipes, such as Dinosaur Fossil Cake, Moon Phase Macarons, and the Periodic Table of Cupcakes. The Nerdy Nummies Cookbook showcases Rosanna’s most original and popular creations, and each recipe includes easy-to-follow photo instructions and a stunning shot of the finished treat in all its geeky glory: a delicious confection sure to please the geek in all of us!

Betty Crocker Cookbook [12th Edition] by Betty Crocker

Now this one is a classic. It’s a cookbook that almost everyone uses, and if they don’t own a copy of one of the editions, then they probably use some of the Betty Crocker recipes that are online. And hey, there’s a reason for that: these recipes work. Really well. (For me at least. I’ve never had a problem.)

Everything that I’ve made from these cookbooks has been delicious, and these recipes have been used by my family for generations. But why wouldn’t they? After all, these recipes are dependable and delicious.

Cookbook Description

Now available in a comb-bound format, the 12th edition of a trusted favorite, with everything the home cook needs to cook confidently, fully updated for a newer generation.

This is the book home cooks have come to trust; the 12th edition of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, with updated recipes, new photography, plus expanded and new chapters to meet the needs of today’s home cooks. With 1,500 recipes and variations, and more than 1,000 photos, this colorful new edition packs a punch. How-to step-by-step photos show rather than simply tell how to get great results. The new Technique features explain fully the concepts behind techniques such as braising, deglazing, and hot water–bath canning. A Make-Ahead feature shows how to make a batch of one item and use it various ways. And a Global Flavors ingredient ID introduces new ingredients by region. Now available in a convenient comb-bound edition, this classic is destined to be the most-used book in the kitchen.

Tasty Dessert: All the Sweet You Can Eat by Tasty

This one is one of my newer acquisitions, but it’s just as good as the others. Filled with simple and more complex dessert recipes alike, this is a decent baking book for most cooks out there. The desserts are gorgeous and delicious, and if that’s not a reason to absolutely love this book, then I don’t know what is.

Cookbook Description

75 sweet treats from Tasty to inspire, delight, and satisfy any level of home baker.

Ready to rise from baking newbie to MVP? Tasty Dessert gives you the lowdown on baking basics, from building a fuss-free pantry to mastering easy-as-pie twists on old favorites. You’ll stuff, layer, frost, and meringue your way to the cherry on top of pretty much every meal. If Confetti Birthday Soufflé, No-Bake 16-Layer S’mores Cake, and Sour Cherry Fritters don’t float your boat (are you feeling ok?), here are 75 recipes for any hankering, mood, or occasion, whether you’re jonesing for a sugar adventure with friends or having a late-night dessert emergency. Just don’t forget to save a piece of it for yourself.


So yeah, these are my favorite cookbooks. You’re probably noticing a bit of a theme already with just these three, but I like baking. And I’m a nerd. I haven’t included a star rating for all of these, not because they’re cookbooks, and this is different from what I usually review. No, it’s because they all get five perfect stars from me, and I felt it would be a little redundant.

I definitely recommend these for those who like cooking or baking, or if you’re a geek. They’re must-haves for your kitchen library.

Do you own any of these? Is the one you own the Betty Crocker? What do you think of their recipes? Thanks, as always, for reading with me, and have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you’re in America. Happy Holidays!

Weekly Wrap-Up: 11/14 – 11/20

So, a couple of weeks ago, I posted a book haul/reading update thing. And it taught me that I shouldn’t do book hauls. Not cuz I don’t get books every week or so and read them, but cuz I can’t keep a schedule when it comes to reading books.

Also, sometimes I DNF them and stuff. Yeah…

So, I decided to do it at the end of the week instead. That way I don’t have to commit to specific stuff ahead of time. And, without further ado, let’s get started!

Monday 11/14: Majestic Monday #2

This week on Monday, I did a Majestic Monday, as usual. This week I highlighted Savage Lands by Stacey Marie Brown. It’s another one of those sexy faerie books, a la Sarah J. Maas, and it had good reviews. And a great cover.

As I discuss in the cover review, I really liked the contrast between the gold and the green on the cover. As well as the font of the title and design in general.

Tuesday 11/15: Mickey7 Review

Here, I did a book review. This one was on a book that had been languishing in the back of my mind for a few months, and that I was kinda sitting on the review for a while. It was Mickey7 by Edward Ashton, a sassy, sci-fi adventure, featuring both humor and existentialism.

I know; it’s quite the combination it has there. But Ashton really balances it well. Oh, and it’s apparently gonna be a movie, I guess? With Robert Pattinson. Yeah… Anyway, check out my review.

Wednesday 11/16: Shelf Control #3

For this week’s Shelf Control – on Wednesday, as per usual – I focused on An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. This is a book that I’ve had for years, but has spent that time just sitting on one of my bookshelves.

It’s one of those that I bought on a whim, cuz the summary seemed slightly interesting, and it had good reviews. But, it’s also one I’m not sure I’ll ever get around to reading. Find out why.

Thursday 11/17: Serpent & Dove Retrospective Review

On Thursday, I did another Reading Retrospective. This time, it was on Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. Going through it again cemented my feelings that it’s an okay book, but it’s mostly guilty-pleasure-romance.

It’s not really that bad – though I do have Opinions on certain characters – but it isn’t great either. (Blood & Honey, it’s sequel, was not so okay, on the other hand. More on that later.)

Friday 11/18: The Murderbot Diaries Review

At long last, I’ve finally gotten around to doing my The Murderbot Diaries review. It wasn’t a long time coming or anything, but it has been a few weeks since I’ve finished Fugitive Telemetry, so it definitely took a bit to get done.

All I have to say is, I definitely recommend this series. If this little section doesn’t convince you, then please check out my review.

Saturday 11/19: Error 404 Not Found

Uhhh… Just pretend there’s something here. Yeah…

Sunday 11/20: Weekly Wrap-up & Goals for the Coming Week

So yeah, this is all the stuff I posted this week. Not everything I wanted to do, unfortunately, but that’s life. Gonna try to get more of what I want to do done, but we’ll see what happens with the holiday weekend and all that.

Goals for Next Week: 11/21 – 11/27
  • Post 2 or 3 book reviews
  • Post 1 or 2 retrospectives
  • Majestic Monday
  • Shelf Control
  • …Maybe something Thanksgiving themed?

Annnd, that’s all I’ve got for this week! See you all again, next time!

Shelf Control Week #3: An Ember in the Ashes

It’s Wednesday once again, so it’s time for some more Shelf Control. Shelf Control is an original feature created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out BookshelfFantasies.com.

This week, I’m talking about a popular YA fantasy book from a few years back. Well, it’s probably still pretty popular, I haven’t checked or anything though. It’s An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.

About An Ember in the Ashes

Series: An Ember in the Ashes [Book #1]

Length: 480 pages

Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia

Release Date: April 28, 2015

Book Description

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear.

It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy.

There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.

Why It Languishes on My Bookshelf

When I Acquired It: October 2017

Why I Wanted to Read It: The book had good reviews, and many of the people around me at the time kept singing its praises.

Why I Haven’t Read It Yet: When I got the book, life happened, and I kinda forgot about it for quite a while. By the time I remembered that I had it, I’d lost interest in it.

Will I Ever Read It?: I honestly don’t know. I’ve heard different reviews since then that have turned me off from it a little, and the stuff I’ve heard about the plot and characters just doesn’t seem like my cup of tea. Who knows, though?


Have you read An Ember in the Ashes? What did you think of it? Or is your copy languishing on your shelf, just like mine? As always, thanks for tuning in!

Reading Retrospective: The Thief

So… I’ve decided to start a little series here where I highlight books that I’ve read in the past, before starting The Blog That Nobody Knows.

Books that I’ve read and loved and hated, but have never reviewed at all. Books from my college days and childhood days alike. Books that I want to acknowledge and remember.

I present to everyone, the first Reading Retrospective.

This time, I’m going to be talking about The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner.

About This Book

Title & Author: The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner

Series: The Queen’s Thief

Length: 320 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Publication: Greenwillow Books; Reprint Edition [February 28, 2017]

When I Originally Read It: October 2018

Book Description

New York Times-bestselling author Megan Whalen Turner’s entrancing and award-winning Queen’s Thief novels bring to life the world of the epics. This first book in series introduces one of the most charismatic and incorrigible characters of fiction, Eugenides the thief. The Queen’s Thief novels are rich with political machinations and intrigue, battles lost and won, dangerous journeys, divine intervention, power, passion, revenge, and deception. Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo, Marie Lu, Patrick Rothfuss, and George R. R. Martin.

Eugenides, the queen’s thief, can steal anything—or so he says. When his boasting lands him in prison and the king’s magus invites him on a quest to steal a legendary object, he’s in no position to refuse. The magus thinks he has the right tool for the job, but Gen has plans of his own. The Queen’s Thief novels have been praised by writers, critics, reviewers, and fans, and have been honored with glowing reviews, “best of” citations, and numerous awards, including the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, a Newbery Honor, the Andre Norton Award shortlist, and the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award.

Retrospective Review

★★★✩✩ • 3 / 5 stars

I am a master of foolhardy plans, I thought. I have so much practice I consider them professional risks.

So, listen, I know that this book is well-loved and nostalgic for quite a few people, but the highest rating that I could give this was “okay.” It was just a bit too slow-paced for my liking. And I’m not super big on political stuff in books, especially when it’s as prominent as it is in this one. I’m here for the adventure, not all that other stuff.

I will say that Eugenides was the absolute best part of the book, and the reason that I continued to power through it. I loved his sassy personality and how he constantly pissed everyone off around him. It’s a bit reminiscent of Murderbot/SecUnit from The Murderbot Diaries looking back on it.

I identified them as Useless the Older and Useless the Younger for the time being.

See, isn’t that such a Murderbot thing to say? Anyway, I never really connected with any of the other characters, and that also put a damper on my reading experience. And I found all the political and war stuff boring, so that also really affected what I thought of the book. Honestly, if this book wasn’t as short as it was, I probably would have ended up DNF-ing it.

But yeah, Gen (I don’t care how much he hates that name, I am not typing out the other thing again) was an absolute delight, and totally carried the book for me.

I should also probably mention that I don’t like it when info dumps happen; whether their plot or character-related, is irrelevant. And this book had a huge one near the end and it completely changes the way that you see the entire novel. And yeah, I sometimes think stuff like that is cool. But not when it involves an exposition dump to explain everything to the reader in great detail. (If you were curious, this one was actually both. So it was doubly annoying, in my opinion.)


I, unfortunately, don’t have a lot to say about this book. (I’ve found that this happens sometimes with “okay” books.) Anyway, if the synopsis intrigues you, then definitely check this one out. Like I said above, this one is kind of beloved, and probably for a good reason, even if it wasn’t my favorite.

Have you read this book? Did you enjoy it? Have you read the rest of the series? Thanks, as always, for tuning in and have a fantastic day/night!

Shelf Control Week #2: The Last Unicorn

Shelf Control logo from BookshelfFantasies.com

It’s that time of week again. So it’s time for more Shelf Control.

Shelf Control is an original feature created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out BookshelfFantasies.com.

For this week I chose The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle.

The Last Unicorn • Peter S. Beagle

Length: 320 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Publication: Ace; Reissue Edition [January 1, 1991]

Book Description

The unicorn lived in a lilac wood, and she lived all alone...

...so she ventured out from the safety of the enchanted forest on a quest for others of her kind. Joined along the way by the bumbling magician Schmendrick and the indomitable Molly Grue, the unicorn learns all about the joys and sorrows of life and love before meeting her destiny in the castle of a despondent monarch—and confronting the creature that would drive her kind to extinction....

In The Last Unicorn, renowned and beloved novelist Peter S. Beagle spins a poignant tale of love, loss, and wonder that has resonated with millions of readers around the world.

When I Got It

July 2016

Why I Wanted to Read It

I wanted to read The Last Unicorn because it’s a piece of classic fantasy literature, and I’ve heard such wonderful things about it. I’ve never seen the movie either, though I’ve also heard great things about that, too. It just seems like such a beautiful story, and I wanted to experience it for myself.

Why I Haven’t Read It Yet

I acquired it at the same time as several other books, and it just got lost in the shuffle. And I just kind of forgot that I had it on the back burner and never got around to reading it. I’d still like to though; hopefully soon rather than later.


Have you read The Last Unicorn? Did you find it to be as wonderful as everyone says it is?

As always, thank you to everyone for tuning in, and have a fantastic day/night!