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 ~

Shelf Control #9

It’s Wednesday, so you know the drill. It’s Shelf Control time! Shelf Control is a weekly feature hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies.

It’s 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, go ahead and check out BookshelfFantasies.com.

This week, I’m talking about a book I’ve had for a couple years. It’s a science-fantasy called The Other Side of the Sky, and it’s written by Meagan Spooner and Amie Kaufman.


shelf control #9

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Series: The Other Side of the Sky (Book #1)

Length: 480 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, YA, Fiction

Release Date: September 8, 2020

Description:

New York Times bestselling author duo Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner have crafted a gripping tale of magic and logic, fate and choice, and a deadly love. Perfect for fans of Laini Taylor and Brandon Sanderson.

Prince North’s home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate engines, powered by technology. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the Surface, responsible for providing answers, direction–hope.

North’s and Nimh’s lives are entwined–though their hearts can never be. Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose between saving their people or succumbing to the bond that is forbidden between them.


Why It Languishes on My Bookshelf

When I Got It: July 2020

Why I Wanted to Read It: I just saw it at the bookstore and it had a nice cover and the summary looked interesting.

Why I Haven’t Read It Yet: I kept having some issues (not with books or anything), that I will not get into here. It was very distracting at the time, before I started to get them resolved. But yeah, because of this I kind of forgot about it after a few weeks.

Will I Ever Read It?: I don’t know. I kind of still want to, but I’ve got so much on my TBR at the moment that I’m leaning closer to “maybe not” at this time.


Have you read this book? What did you think of it? What books are languishing on your bookshelf?

Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day/night! Join me for my next post for more bookish things, and next week for some more Shelf Control!

~ 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 ~

Majestic Monday #7: Fire, The Gray Wolf Throne, The Wife Upstairs

It’s that time of the week again. (Er, technically it’s past that time of the week again. Whoops.) Yes, that time of the week where I pick out three pretty book covers to admire. Majestic Monday! (Or Tuesday, in today’s case. What can I say? I got really busy yesterday.)

This week, the three book covers I’m highlighting are Fire by Kristin Cashore, The Gray Wolf Throne by Cinda Williams Chima, and The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins.

Fire (Graceling Realms #2) by Kristin Cashore

A breathtaking, marvelous Graceling Realm book from New York Times bestselling author Kristin Cashore.

It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. In King City, the young King Nash is clinging to the throne, while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. War is coming. And the mountains and forest are filled with spies and thieves. This is where Fire lives, a girl whose beauty is impossibly irresistible and who can control the minds of everyone around her.

Exquisitely romantic, this companion to the highly praised Graceling has an entirely new cast of characters, save for one person who plays a pivotal role in both books. You don’t need to have read Graceling to love Fire. But if you haven’t, you’ll be dying to read it next.

Out of all five Graceling books, my favorite cover is Fire’s, though they’re all very beautiful. I really like how Fire’s hair simultaneously looks like hair and fire, and how the golden arrows cross behind the book’s title.

Honestly, I really just like how all the colors look together in general, and how the reds of Fire’s hair contrast with the blue, white, and gold of the town at the bottom.

Cover Rating: 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥 • 5 / 5 flames

The Gray Wolf Throne (Seven Realms #3) by Cinda Williams Chima

An epic tale of fierce loyalty, unbearable sacrifice, and the heartless hand of fate.

Han Alister thought he had already lost everyone he loved. But when he finds his friend Rebecca Morley near death in the Spirit Mountains, Han knows that nothing matters more than saving her. The costs of his efforts are steep, but nothing can prepare him for what he soon discovers: the beautiful, mysterious girl he knew as Rebecca is none other than Raisa ana’Marianna, heir to the Queendom of the Fells. Han is hurt and betrayed. He knows he has no future with a blueblood. And, as far as he’s concerned, the princess’s family as good as killed his own mother and sister. But if Han is to fulfill his end of an old bargain, he must do everything in his power to see Raisa crowned queen.

Meanwhile, some people will stop at nothing to prevent Raisa from ascending. With each attempt on her life, she wonders how long it will be before her enemies succeed. Her heart tells her that the thief-turned-wizard Han Alister can be trusted. She wants to believe it-he’s saved her life more than once. But with danger coming at her from every direction, Raisa can only rely on her wits and her iron-hard will to survive-and even that might not be enough.

Much like the Graceling Realms, I like all of the covers from the Seven Realms series, but this one is my favorite. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know how much I like purple hues on my cover. And that’s the main reason why I like it best out of the four.

But I also really like the design of the Gray Wolf Crown. I like the shade of silver-gray, the triangular spaces within the points of the crown, and the wolf on the bottom. (I like wolves.) But I also like the way the mountains and mist look beneath the crown, as well as how the overcast sky appears. So pretty.

Cover Rating: 🐺🐺🐺🐺🐺 • 4 adult gray wolves and 1 gray wolf cub (aka: a 4.5 / 5 rating)

The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

Finally! A non-SFF novel makes its way onto my semiweekly pretty book covers list! Because contemporary books can have gorgeous covers too, and this one shows that.

This modern retelling of Jane Eyre has a very nice cover, as I’ve mentioned. I love the blue wallpaper with pink flowers, and how starkly the white banister stands out against it. And the black text of the title really stands out. I love how “innocent” it all looks, contrasted with the insidious sounding title. It’s such a good cover, especially if you’ve read the original Jane Eyre.

Cover Rating: 💍💍💍💍 • 4 / 5 engagement rings (uh oh, looks like someone’s hiding something…)


Have any of you guys read any of these books? What did you think of them, if you did? I’ve read the first Graceling Realms book, but not Fire or any of the others, and I’ve read and loved the whole of the Seven Realms series. I DNF-ed The Wife Upstairs a couple years ago, though.

Anyway, as always, thanks to everyone who joined me for a (very late) Majestic Monday! Tune in next time for more bookish things! Oh, and have a fantastic day/night!

~ Mar ~

Weekly Wrap-Up: 1/9 – 1/15

Two weeks in a row! Haha! The beginning of the world’s smallest streak!

In all seriousness, welcome back to another Weekly Wrap-Up. I said that it was coming back, and I’ve kept my promise (so far)! This week, my blogging has been pretty good. It was better than most of December, so honestly, I’ll count that as progress. Now, let’s get into the posting.

Monday 1/9: The Return of Weekly Wrap-Ups

Normally, I wouldn’t acknowledge a Weekly Wrap-Up during a Weekly Wrap-Up. But since I wasn’t doing it for nearly a month, I felt that it was notable enough to be here, just this once.

If you haven’t been around for awhile and want to catch up, or if you’re new here, then you can easily check out the last week’s Weekly Wrap-Up here.

Tuesday 1/10: Birthstone Book Covers

It’s a new month, and with every new month comes a new Birthstone Book Covers. Birthstone Book Covers is an awesome book thing created and hosted by Leslie @ Books Are the New Black. This month, I once again chose five books of the five book minimum that featured the color of this month’s birthstone. You can check out my January 2023 post here.

Thursday 1/12: Shelf Control #8

On Thursday morning, technically a few hours over the deadline, I posted another Shelf Control. Shelf Control is an original series created and hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies. This week, I highlighted a contemporary fiction story for once: Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray. It’s one that I’ve had for a few years, but have never read. You can read my entire post about it here.

Friday 1/13: Unraveller Review (and Friday the 13th)

On Friday, I finally did another book review. It’s been far too long (about three weeks) since the last one I posted – and since the last book I finished, ew – and I finally got over the holidays and back on my game.

The first book that I read and finished this year was Unraveller by Frances Hardinge. It’s a wonderfully gruesome, dark fantasy about a boy who can unravel the very fabric of curses, who is on a quest with a former curse victim that he freed to break his own curse. You can read my full review here, if you’re interested.

Sunday 1/15: Red Winter Retrospective Review

Finally, on Sunday I did a retrospective book review. It’d been basically a month (to the day actually!) since my last Reading Retrospective, so another was more than overdue. (Just like Weekly Wrap-Ups. Haha?)

This time I retrospectively reviewed Red Winter, of the Red Winter Trilogy, by Annette Marie. It’s a Japanese folklore inspired fantasy, set in modern Japan, and follows a young miko and the kitsune that owes her a debt. You can check out my entire review here.


What’s in store for next week? I certainly don’t know, though I’d like to do another Majestic Monday, a couple book reviews, a retrospective review, and something else!

What have you guys done this week? How many books did you read, if any? What did you think of them, if you did?

As usual, thank you all very much for reading and join me next time for more bookish things! Have a wonderful day/night!

~ Mar ~

Shelf Control #8: Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

It’s that time of the week again (or thereabouts *coughs*), so it’s time for some more Shelf Control. Shelf Control is an original feature created and hosted by Lisa @ BookshelfFantasies.com.

It’s 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, go ahead and check out this post at BookshelfFantasies.com.

This week I’m not talking about a fantasy book that’s been languishing on my bookshelf for years for once. This week I’m highlighting Instructions for a Secondhand Heart by Tamsyn Murray. (Yes, I do occasionally read something that isn’t even remotely SFF. Yes, it is very surprising.)

About Instructions for a Secondhand Heart

Length: 321 pages

Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA, Fiction

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Book Description

A moving novel about grief, guilt, and the unpredictability of love, for fans of Everything, Everything and All the Bright Places.

Jonny knows better than anyone that life is full of cruel ironies. He’s spent every day in a hospital hooked up to machines to keep his heart ticking. Then when an organ donor is found for Jonny’s heart, that turns out to be the cruelest irony of all. Because for Jonny’s life to finally start, someone else’s had to end.

That someone turns out to be Neve’s twin brother, Leo. When Leo was alive, all Neve wanted was for him (and all his glorious, overshadowing perfection) to leave. Now that Leo’s actually gone forever, Neve has no idea how to move forward. Then Jonny walks into her life looking for answers, her brother’s heart beating in his chest, and everything starts to change.

Together, Neve and Jonny will have to face the future, no matter how frightening it is, while learning to heal their hearts, no matter how much it hurts.

Features select graphic novel illustrations from Jonny’s sketchbook.

Why It Languishes on My Bookshelf

When I Got It: January 2018

Why I Wanted to Read It: Unfortunately, I can’t really remember why. But upon rereading the summary, I think I can get a bit of an inkling of what drew me to this book. Angst and romance – a bit of a guilty pleasure for me, particularly when the angst doesn’t have to do with the actual romance itself.

Why I Haven’t Read It Yet: At the time I got this book, I was making my way through a series – The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer – so I had put this off and into my TBR. Then, a horrible thing happened in my personal life, and I just wasn’t feeling books for a bit. And then I forgot about it. Whoops.

Will I Ever Read It?: Hmm… I really don’t know. Maybe if I’m in the mood to break away from fantasy for a bit and/or I want a quick and easy read. But yeah, don’t know. It would probably be a spontaneous decision if I did, though.


Have you read this book? Or is it languishing on your bookshelf too?

Have a glorious day/night!

~ Mar ~ 🙂📚

My Anticipated New Books in 2023 | First Quarter ❄️💖☘️

I’ve decided to start posting about books that I’m interested in looking into and/or reading again. It’s just such a hassle to try to find at least three books a month that I might be interested in and that I might read, so I decided to broaden the scope.

To do so, I’ve chosen to start doing quarterly posts about it instead. So the first quarterly post about my anticipated books – which just so happens to be the first month of the year as well! – is gonna be focusing on new books that are releasing in January, February, and March only.

This time, there’s actually a bit more than sci-fi and fantasy on my list (who knew I actually had the ability to branch out like that? lol), but it’s pretty much all YA (okay, nevermind). I should also note, before I get into things, that this list includes books that just look interesting to me, ones that caught my eye a little and am interested in looking into further before I read them – if I read them. And others on the list I just really want to read right now. I have a feeling you’ll be able to tell which ones are which.

So, here comes the list!

(Also, apologies if the emojis that I used to rate my excitement levels for the books don’t match suuuper well. There’s only so many emojis available. I tried.)

Release Date: January 10, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, YA

In a world where anyone can create a life-destroying curse, only one person has the power to unravel them.

Kellen does not fully understand his talent, but helps those transformed maliciously—including Nettle. Recovered from entrapment in bird form, she is now his constant companion and closest ally.

But Kellen has also been cursed, and unless he and Nettle can remove his curse, Kellen is in danger of unravelling everything—and everyone—around him…

Excitement Level: 🧵🧵🧵🧵🧵 • 5 / 5 spools of (unravelling) thread

Release Date: January 10, 2023
Genres: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, YA

Edward Dinnissen, Crown Prince of Canada, loves getting the royal treatment at his exclusive Manhattan private school and living in a fancy mansion on Park Avenue. But despite living a royal life of luxury, Edward is unsure how to tell his parents, his expectant country, and his adoring fans that he’s gay.

Billy Boone couldn’t be happier: he loves small-town life and his family’s Montana ranch, and his boyfriend is the cutest guy at Little Timber High. But this out-and-proud cowboy is finally admitting to himself that he feels destined for more…

When Edward and Billy meet by chance in New York City and discover that they are long-lost twins, their lives are forever changed. The twin princes—“twinces”— be able to take on high school, coming out, and coronations together? Or will this royal reunion quickly become a royal disaster?

Excitement Level: 👑👑👑👑 • 4 / 5 (princely) crowns

Release Date: February 7, 2023
Genres: Science Fiction, Thriller, YA

A boy wakes to find himself locked in a white room. He has no memories, no idea who he is and no idea how he got here.

A computer-generated voice named Alice responds to his questions – through her, he is able to access the internet. He gradually pieces together his story – an abduction, a critical injury, snippets of his past … But how can the boy tell what’s real and what’s not? Who is he really?

Excitement Level: 💾💾💾💾💾 • 5 / 5 floppy discs

Release Date: March 7, 2023
Genres: Science Fiction, Romance, YA

Flint Larson has 41 days, 9 hours, and 42 minutes to live. He’s known that since he was eight years old and half-lifed, a small twinge that tells a person when they’ve lived exactly half their life. And since then, Flint’s done everything he can to make dying seem like a good thing. Cutting off all his friends, refusing to eat his favorite foods or listen to the best bands, reading only the most depressing Russian literature. He plans to spend his final days quietly back in his hometown with just his parents, waiting to die.

However, as September and Flint grow closer, Flint can’t bring himself to tell September he’s going to die. Because he might just be falling in love with her. But as his time runs out, his secret only grows heavier. And the truth could very well be the key to unlocking the pent-up sadness September never dealt with. And discovering more about half-life.

He did not expect to meet September Harrington, an utter explosion of brilliance and fun. September has dedicated her life to curing the half-life, landing a coveted internship at the world-renowned Half-Life Institute in town, after her sister’s death last year. A loss she’s never dealt with, instead choosing to live up each moment in the center of everything or deep in lab.

Will their connection prove extraordinary enough to last beyond those two months, or is their time together destined to end in heartbreak?

All’s fair in love and death… or is it?

Excitement Level: ⏱️⏱️⏱️ • 3 / 5 stopwatches

Release Date: March 7, 2023
Genres: Historical Supernatural, Mystery, LGBTQIA+, YA

London, 1885. Gabriel Utterson, a 17-year-old law clerk, has returned to London for the first time since his life— and that of his dearest friend, Henry Jekyll—was derailed by a scandal that led to his and Henry’s expuslion from the London Medical School. Whispers about the true nature of Gabriel and Henry’s relationship have followed the boys for two years, and now Gabriel has a chance to start again.

But Gabriel doesn’t want to move on, not without Henry. His friend has become distant and cold since the disastrous events of the prior spring, and now his letters have stopped altogether. Desperate to discover what’s become of him, Gabriel takes to watching the Jekyll house.

In doing so, Gabriel meets Hyde, a a strangely familiar young man with white hair and a magnetic charisma. He claims to be friends with Henry, and Gabriel can’t help but begin to grow jealous at their apparent closeness, especially as Henry continues to act like Gabriel means nothing to him.

But the secret behind Henry’s apathy is only the first part of a deeper mystery that has begun to coalesce. Monsters of all kinds prowl within the London fog—and not all of them are out for blood…

Excitement Level: 🎭🎭🎭🎭 • 4 / 5 masks (pairs of faces)

Release Date: March 14, 2023
Genre: Science Fiction

Edward Ashton’s Antimatter Blues is the thrilling follow up to Mickey7 in which an expendable heads out to explore new terrain for human habitation.

Summer has come to Niflheim. The lichens are growing, the six-winged bat-things are chirping, and much to his own surprise, Mickey Barnes is still alive—that last part thanks almost entirely to the fact that Commander Marshall believes that the colony’s creeper neighbors are holding an antimatter bomb, and that Mickey is the only one who’s keeping them from using it. Mickey’s just another colonist now. Instead of cleaning out the reactor core, he spends his time these days cleaning out the rabbit hutches. It’s not a bad life.

It’s not going to last.

It may be sunny now, but winter is coming. The antimatter that fuels the colony is running low, and Marshall wants his bomb back. If Mickey agrees to retrieve it, he’ll be giving up the only thing that’s kept his head off of the chopping block. If he refuses, he might doom the entire colony. Meanwhile, the creepers have their own worries, and they’re not going to surrender the bomb without getting something in return. Once again, Mickey finds the fate of two species resting in his hands. If something goes wrong this time, though, he won’t be coming back.

Excitement Level: 🚀🚀🚀🚀🚀 • 5 / 5 rocket ships

Release Date: March 14, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, YA

Clara’s magic has always been wild. But it’s never been dangerous. Then a simple touch causes poisonous flowers to bloom in her father’s chest.

The only way to heal him is to cast an extremely difficult spell that requires perfect control. And the only person willing to help is her former best friend, Xavier, who’s grown from a sweet, shy child into a mysterious and distant young man.

Xavier names a terrible price in return, knowing Clara will give anything to save her father. As she struggles to reconcile the new Xavier with the boy she once loved, she discovers their bargain is only one of the heavy secrets he’s hiding. And as she hunts for the truth, she instead finds the root of a terrible darkness that’s taken hold in the queendom—a darkness only Clara’s magic is powerful enough to stop.

Excitement Level: 🌼🌼🌼 • 3 / 5 flowers

Release Date: March 28, 2023
Genres: Fantasy, Horror, YA

The villagers of Greymist Fair know that the woods are a dangerous and magical place, and that they should never set foot off the road. But when a young tailor discovers a body, her search for the culprit reveals even more strange and dark happenings around her town.

Two roads lead into a dark forest. They meet at Greymist Fair, the village hidden in the trees, a place kept alive by the families that never leave. The people of Greymist Fair know the woods are a dangerous and magical place, and to set foot off the road is to invite trouble.

When Heike, the village’s young tailor, discovers a body on the road, she goes looking for who is responsible. But her quest only leads to more strange happenings around Greymist Fair.

Inspired by the original, bloody, lesser-known fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm, acclaimed author Francesca Zappia crafts an enthralling murder-mystery that will keep readers turning the pages. Told from multiple points of view, with each narrative building on the crime discovered by Heike, Greymist Fair examines the themes of childhood fears, growing into adult responsibilities, and finding a place to call home amid the trials of life and death.

Excitement Level: 🌙🌙🌙🌙 • 4 / 5 moons over a dark night

Release Date: March 28, 2023
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, YA

Meet Winter Young—rookie backup dancer turned global pop phenomenon. His star power has smashed records, selling out stadiums from LA to London. Now he’s bringing his swoon worthy assets to a whole new arena…

Infamous criminal tycoon Eli Morrison has just one weakness—his daughter, Penelope. And Penelope has just one wish for her nineteenth birthday—a private concert with Winter Young. When covert ops organization The Panacea Group approaches Winter with this once-in-a-lifetime chance to infiltrate Morrison’s inner circle, Winter must use his fame, cunning, and charisma to pull it off—only he won’t be on his own.

Posing as Winter’s bodyguard is the fiery Sydney Cossette, Panacea’s youngest spy. Sydney may be the only person alive impervious to Winter’s charms, but as the mission brings them closer, she’s forced to admit there’s more to this A-lister than slick dance moves and a handsome face. Panacea’s unlikeliest partners just might become its biggest heroes—and maybe even more—if they can survive each other first.

Excitement Level: 👞👞👞👞 • 4 / 5 pairs of shoes

Shelf Control #7: Haunting the Deep

It’s that time of the week again, so it’s time for some more Shelf Control. Shelf Control is an original feature created and hosted by Lisa @ BookshelfFantasies.com.

It’s 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 this post at BookshelfFantasies.com.

This week I’m talking about a sequel that I’ve had sitting on my shelf for a while. It’s Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather.

About Haunting the Deep

Series: How to Hang a Witch Duology (Book #2)

Length: 344 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Historical Fiction, YA

Release Date: October 3, 2017

Book Description

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one.

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic… where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship.

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship… and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

Why It Languishes on My Bookshelf

When I Got It: October 2017

Why I Wanted to Read It: I thought the plot looked super interesting.

Why I Haven’t Read It Yet: I hadn’t even read the first one – How to Hang a Witch – yet, and when I did eventually read that one, I didn’t like it as much as I had hoped to.

Will I Ever Read It?: Probably not. Like I said, I wasn’t super into the first book, and I didn’t really like it enough to read its sequel. But who knows what the future holds? Things can change on a dime, after all.

§ • § • §

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? See you on the flip side for more bookish things!

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!

December 2022 Reading Wrap-Up

It’s January now, which means December is over. And with it, my (frankly pathetic) amount of reading, as well. Seriously, I did not read nearly as many books as I’d wanted to. As I had aspired to.

But, it can’t be helped; I was once again dealing with stuff, and there were also a lot of familial holiday obligations. Let’s not dwell on what could have been any further – time to get into the StoryGraph statistics.

😐 Moods: Even though I only finished one book last month, I did read a lot of pages from other books that I either DNF-ed, or just haven’t finished yet. The moods from December were mysterious and adventurous, the latter being a mood I frequently feel whilst reading, or looking for books to read. Mysterious is also a relatively frequent mood for me. It makes sense; after all, every adventure needs a bit of mystery.

🎭 Genres: The genres are also not a surprise. I read a ton of YA, and fantasy has always been my favorite thing to read about. Romance is a common genre paired with these two as well, even if I don’t care for it as much, so no surprise there either.

👢 Pace: The pace of the novels I read (or tried to read) in December was slow, which explains why I (1) had so much trouble getting through the books I was reading, and (2) why I DNF-ed more books than I was able to finish. I should just steer clear of slow-paced books when I see them then, huh?

🔢 Page Number: Despite only finishing one book – and one that was just under 300 pages at that – I read almost 600 pages last month. So I still read a fair amount, even if I (very unfortunately) didn’t finish every book I tried to read.

📖 Fiction/Nonfiction: 100% fiction this time around, as per usual. I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again: I don’t read nonfiction very often.

📄 Format: All Kindle e-books this month. I don’t care for audiobook format.

Rating: I only finished one book last month (The Will and the Wilds by Charlie N. Holmberg), so I only rated one book last month. And it was 3.5 out of 5 stars. I just thought the book was okay, so that’s why.

📉 Pages Read Daily: The line graph on the right indicates how much I was reading every day, if I was able to read at all. As you can see, it really dips and then goes at a complete straight line at 0 pages near the end of the month, because I was busy for the holidays.


Annnd that about wraps it up for December! Not as much of a productive month where books (or this blog) are concerned, but I have faith I’ll do better this month. I’m already starting off pretty strong, so hopefully I can keep up this momentum. We’ll see what happens.

I’ll be doing a yearly reading wrap-up for the whole of 2022 very soon, so keep an eye out for that if you like my monthly reading wraps. It’ll probably be something pretty similar, but on a slightly bigger post. Otherwise, join me next blog post for more bookish things!