Spring Reading 2023

Happy Spring everyone! 🌱🌈🌞🏵️ March 20th was the spring equinox this year, so I wanted to get this post out before the end of the day. So, Spring Reading 2023, here we come!

With this post I’m gonna start a new thing here. It’s a thing that I made up, but is inspired by this post, where I talk about the books I feel like reading depending on the season. And what better one to start with than spring, the season of new life?

So without further ado, let’s jump right in!

The Kinds of Books I Like to Read During Spring

In general, I’ll just read all kinds of different stuff throughout the year. I read different genres and stuff sometimes depending on the season, but I’m not a seasonal reader in the way that you’re probably thinking.

I’ll read fantasy books of all sorts throughout the year, regardless of the way different times of the year “feel” to me. But in spring, I start getting in the mood for some weird sci-fi, post apocalyptic, and dystopian fiction for whatever reason. Actually, no scratch that, it’s probably because of that thing that happened in March 2020. So yeah, that’s what I love reading in spring.

A Few Random Things From My TBR That I’d Like to Read This Spring (From Soonest to Not Soonest of When I’ll Read It)

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

I’ve decided to finally finish the ACOTAR series, after starting it years ago. I got my mom into it, and we’re currently buddy reading A Court of Wings and Ruin, which I’ll most likely finish by tomorrow night.

It’s a long series full of long books though, so depending on how I feel after I finish A Court of Frost and Starlight, I might put off A Court of Silver Flames a couple of weeks and read other stuff. My mom will need time to catch up anyway. (She’s a slow reader and she spends a lot of her free time during the day doing other stuff she likes.)

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

This was a book series that I absolutely devoured about fifteen years ago. But I was young, and I lost interest in the political machinations going on, so I lost interest after Brisingr. Thus, I never read Inheritance when it came out in… 2011?

But yeah, I absolutely loved Eragon when I first read it – so much so that I read it a second time just a few months later in the same year that I first read it! I rather liked Eldest too, and I love the setting that Paolini created. (Parts of it make me feel the same way I do when I play Legend of Zelda games, and I love it.) So I’m gonna finish it this time – the whole dang series!

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

The Locked Tomb series is still on my TBR!! I just… keep getting distracted by other books that I want to read, unfortunately. But I’m definitely still interested in it! I already have the first two books, waiting on my shelf, ready to be read. Plus lesbian necromancers in space!! How can I not try reading that?!

Also, it’s a weird science-fantasy, possibly post apocalyptic, and definitely dystopian series of books. So yeah, absolutely gotta read it now!

In the Lives of Puppets by T.J. Klune

This is one of the books coming out this year that I’m ridiculously excited for. (Other books I’m excited for include: everything that Martha Wells is publishing this year and Murtagh by Christopher Paolini.) In the Lives of Puppets is another book that falls into that weird sci-fi category that I love. And it has found family to boot! (I love the found family trope.)

The End

So yeah, these are some of the things I’m planning on definitely reading in the immediate future. I’m looking forward to all of them. (To a degree. I’m looking at you, ACOTAR series.)

It’s not as weird science-y and post apocalyptic as you might think, but as I said: I’m not really a seasonal reader. Half of the list here is though, so I say it’s enough to be a thing.

As always, thanks so much for reading and have an amazing day/night!

See ya ~Mar

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 ~

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!

Book Haul: Week of 11/6 – 11/12

Book hauls. Mm-hmm. Sooo… This is a book haul. Sort of. Everyone in the reading community has at least an inkling of what they are, and if you don’t, this picture above probably gives you a bit of an idea. But they’re usually kind of big – or at least bigger than this – but this is the best I can do. I just can’t commit to more than a couple books at a time, okay?

Now, I’ve gotta be honest here. I haven’t done too many book hauls, and the ones that I have done have always been a little too much. I know the reason, though. It’s cuz I read one or two, and then I feel obligated to read the rest of the books, but I’d also just gotten distracted and enticed by a new book I’ve come across, and I really want to read that one right now immediately.

So instead of doing five or six books, I’m doing three. That way there won’t be any anxieties about deciding on my next read.

So, here we go!

The Conjurer • Nick Oliveri

Length: 194 pages

Genre: Ancient Historical Fiction

Publication: Write My Wrongs LLC [December 8, 2021]

Book Description

In the thriving kingdom of Idaza, Mikalla is the adored Conjurer, the nation’s chief storyteller, using the shadows cast by the city’s glorious ceremonial flame.

But death awaits around every corner. Addiction rattles the king. Trauma haunts the nobility and their conflicting motives. Murder happens, but to find out who succumbs to it is a journey the reader must take alone through the halls and palaces of the glorious Inner Gardens.

With a beautiful family and his position as one of King Oro’s favorite courtiers, Mikalla’s life is perfect. That is, until the king commands him to deliver a deadly message—one that will inevitably end in bloodshed and a war-torn Idaza.

Why I Decided to Read This: book kind of popped up under my radar a couple of weeks ago from out of nowhere, and I just thought that it sounded interesting to me. I also like to dive outside of my comfortable science-fantasy box occasionally, and check out other books that jump out at me. So I thought that I’d give it a whirl since it’s pretty short.

This’ll most likely be the one that I read first (since it’s short), so keep an eye out for the review over the next couple of days.

Children of Ragnarok [Runestone Saga #1] • Cinda Williams Chima

Length: 560 pages

Genres: Fantasy, YA, Adventure

Publication: Balzer + Bray [November 8, 2022]

Book Description

Since Ragnarok—the great war between the gods and the forces of chaos—the human realm of the Midlands has become a desperate and dangerous place, bereft of magic.

Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones—his family has remained prosperous. But he stands to lose everything when he’s wrongly convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is Eiric’s half-systir, Liv, who’s under suspicion for her interest in seidr, or magic. Then a powerful jarl steps in: He will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove—the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.

Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reginn Eiklund has spent her life performing at alehouses for the benefit of her master, Asger, a fire demon she is desperate to escape. After one performance that amazes even herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make Reginn an irresistible offer: return with them to the Temple to be trained in seidr, forever free of Asger.

Eiric’s, Liv’s, and Reginn’s journeys converge in New Jotunheim, a paradise fueled by magic and the site of the Temple. They soon realize that a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface and that old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.

Why I Decided to Read This: This was actually one of the books on my Most Anticipated Books Releasing November 2022 post. I explain why there, but basically I want to read this because Vikings.

Cursed [Gilded #2] • Marissa Meyer

Length: 496 pages

Genres: Fantasy, Fairy Tales & Folklore

Publication: Feiwel & Friends [November 8, 2022]

Book Description

Be still now, and I will tell you a tale.

Adalheid Castle is in chaos.

Following a shocking turn of events, Serilda finds herself ensnared in a deadly game of make-believe with the Erlking, who is determined to propel her deeper into the castle’s lies. Meanwhile, Serilda is determined to work with Gild to help him solve the mystery of his forgotten name and past.

But soon it becomes clear that the Erlking doesn’t only want to use Serilda to bring back his one true love. He also seeks vengeance against the seven gods who have long trapped the Dark Ones behind the veil. If the Erlking succeeds, it could change the mortal realm forever.

Can Serilda find a way to use her storytelling gifts for good―once and for all? And can Serilda and Gild break the spells that tether their spirits to the castle before the Endless Moon finds them truly cursed?

Romance and adventure collide in this stunning finale to the Rumpelstilskin-inspired fairy tale.

Why I Decided to Read This: This was also on my Most Anticipated Books Releasing November 2022 post. Like Children of Ragnarok, I explain my reasons there, but the gist of it is that I loved the first book, so I wanted to read the sequel.


Annnd, that’s it for the books I’ve collected for reading this week. I don’t know if this’ll become a thing or not, especially since it’s unlikely that I’ll finish all three within the coming week, but who knows! And at least it was fun the one time.

Have you had your eye on any of these three books yourself? What books are at the top of your TBR? As always, thanks for tuning in, and have a fantastic day/night!

(My) Most Anticipated Books Coming Out November 2022

You read the title right. I’m gonna give you guys a little list of the books that are coming out next month that I wanna read. And that’s a hard “I,” by the way. These may not be the most anticipated ones from all of those popular lists, these are the books that look interesting to me personally. So get ready for some fantastical and weird ones, cuz that’s the stuff I like to read.

Also, quick note. November is a good month this year. November 8th? A very good day. A very, very good one. I swear to God, I did not just look just look at which books came out on this day and call it a post. I’m just that lucky, I guess.

#3: Scattered Showers • Rainbow Rowell

Release Date: November 8, 2022

Length: 288 pages

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Excitement Level: 🌈🌈🌈🌈 • 4 / 5 rainbows

Confession time: I haven’t actually finished any of Rowell’s books. The only one that I’ve read any of is Carry On, and I think I got maybe a third of the way through it before I had decided that it was moving too slowly for my liking. (I loved everything else about it! Why, oh why, was it so glacial, though??) But this book is essentially a collection of short stories, and they all look so interesting! I’ll just pretend I’ve read the Simon Snow trilogy when I get to the Simon Snow one.

Book Description:

Rainbow Rowell has won fans all over the world by writing about love and life in a way that feels true.

In her first collection, she gives us nine beautifully crafted love stories. Girl meets boy camping outside a movie theater. Best friends debate the merit of high school dances. A prince romances a troll. A girl romances an imaginary boy. And Simon Snow himself returns for a holiday adventure.

It’s a feast of my irresistible characters, hilarious dialogue, and masterful storytelling – in short, everything you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell book.

#2: Children of Ragnarok • Cinda Williams Chima

Release Date: November 8, 2022

Length: 560 pages

Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Excitement Level: 🪖🪖🪖🪖🪖 • 5 / 5 (Viking) helmets

I had absolutely no idea Chima was starting another series, so it was a pleasant surprise to discover when I was looking into what books were coming out soon. And it’s a Viking fantasy to boot!

It’s been a bit since I’ve read anything by Chima, but I absolutely adored the Seven Realms series and the (original three) Heir Chronicles books. (Didn’t enjoy Flamecaster though, so never read the Shattered Realms.) So I’m really looking forward to something new by her.

Book Description:

Ever since Ragnarok – the great war between the gods and the forces of chaos – the human realm of the Midlands has become a dangerous place, bereft of magic, where most lead lives of desperation.

Sixteen-year-old Eiric Halvorsen is among the luckier ones. Between fishing, going vikingr, and working his modir’s farm, the family has remained prosperous. But Eiric stands to lose everything after being convicted by a rigged jury of murdering his modir and stepfadir. Also at risk is his half-sistyr, Liv, whose interest in sedir, or magic, had made her a figure of suspicion. Then a powerful jarl steps in: he will pay the blood price if Eiric will lead a mission to the fabled Temple at the Grove – the rich stronghold of the wyrdspinners, the last practitioners of sorcery.

Spellsinger, musician, and runecaster Reggin Eiklund had spent her life traveling from town to town, performing at alehouses all for the benefit of her master, Asger, the fire demon she is desperate to escape. Then after one performance that amazes even Reggin herself, two wyrdspinners in the audience make her an irresistible offer: return with them to the temple to learn sedir, forever free of Asger.

Eiric, Liv, and Reggin’s journeys all converge in New Jotunheim, the site of the Temple at the Grove, a paradise fueled by magic. They soon realize a great evil lurks beneath the dazzling surface, and they old betrayals and long-held grudges may fuel another cataclysmic war. It will require every gift and weapon at their command to prevent it.

Sweeping adventure, breathtaking twists of fate, and immersive worlds based on Norse mythology are woven into this first volume of the Runestone Saga.

#1: Cursed • Marissa Meyer

Release Date: November 8, 2022

Length: 478 pages

Publisher: Feiwel & Friends

Excitement Level: 🧵🧵🧵🧵🧵• 5 / 5 spools (of golden straw)

I love, love, love fairytale retellings. And Marissa Meyer is the Queen of fairytale retellings. I loved the Lunar Chronicles, and I loved Gilded even more. This is probably my most anticipated book all of the year.

And yes, this is a sequel – the sequel to Gilded, actually – so if you haven’t read that one, please check it out before reading this one when it comes out.

Book Description:

Be still now, and I will tell you a tale…

Adalheid Castle is in chaos.

Following a shocking turn of events, Serilda finds herself ensnared in a deadly game of make-believe with the Erlking, who is determined to propel her deeper into the castle’s lies. Meanwhile, Serilda is determined to work with Gild to help him solve the mystery of his forgotten name and past.

But soon it becomes clear that the Erlking doesn’t only want to use Serilda to bring back his one true love. He also seeks vengeance against the seven gods who have long trapped the Dark Ones behind the veil. If the Erlking succeeds, it could change the mortal realm forever.

Can Serilda find a way to use her storytelling gifts for good – once and for all? And can Serilda and Gild break the spells that tether their spirits to the castle before the Endless Moon finds them truly cursed?


These are the books releasing this November (and next week, I guess, lol) that I’m most excited for. (I’ve limited myself to three, because I still want to have time to read spontaneously.) Do any of them look up your alley? What books coming out next month are you looking forward to?