All Booked

For Christmas I was lucky enough to have gotten a new Kindle to replace my very ancient one that no longer worked. Was that an invitation to excessively buy more e-books than I can read? No. Did I do that anyway? Hmm….

Since we’ve established the foundation here, let’s just roll into the haul.

Looking back at these – there is quite a random mix of genres, huh? I know several of these are more well-known titles. They were all Kindle deals. I’m a sucker. Oh well.

Who else has been reading a lot of e-books recently? What have you hauled? Have you read any of these you’d recommend over others?

C.K.

Tags. My old friends. We are back together again.

While there are a multitude of tags pasted across the internet these days, I prefer Tuesday tags to be from That Artsy Reader Girl’s page. Let’s discuss this week’s topic:

Books I Enjoyed but Rarely Talk About

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
This is such an emotional journey. Also. This was my introduction to Rev who has my soul forever. I mean. -swoon-.

Otherworld by Jason Segal and Kristin Miller
I don’t know anyone who has read this. It was not my normal genre, and I don’t even know why I initially picked it up. Yet, I ended being fascinated by this tech world. It’s a lighter sci-fi read and not the best book ever. But I still had a lot of fun reading this and the other two books and I’d love for someone else to pick it up and enjoy it in its simplicity.

Beneath a Scarlet Sky by Mark Sullivan
This book got so intense near the end I had to stop listening to it (my first read was via audiobook) for over a week. I couldn’t take what was coming next and my heart ached for days after. I got this book such a long time ago on Amazon on a whim and I was so happy I did. I don’t talk about this nearly enough.

What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum
A very cute look at friendships and caring about people who are different from yourself. I love, love this story so much.

Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
This is so underrated. This book was one of my first OwlCrate books, and I thought I’d hate it. It’s actually really great and I feel like I never get a chance to tell enough people about this book. I wish I could discuss it more.

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi
I love middle grade. I read for pleasure and find it hard to dissect stories as much as other readers do. Middle grade is so simple, fun, and makes me reminisce a lot on my own youth and for that reason I love many middle grade books. This book was so fun and I loved the characters so much.

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann
This book was a requirement for an American Indian course I was taking for school. I loved it so much I got in a physical and e-book format and have read it several times since then. It reads like fiction but it’s fascinating. I want to shout this book from rooftops.

Sammy Keyes (series) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Middle grade – I’m telling you. There are 18 books in this series, and this is quite a ride. I read some of these when I was actually in middle grade. I got the urge to re-read the series since each book is relatively small (compared to a lot of adult or YA books). I LOVE THIS SERIES SO MUCH. Sammy is my character.

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant
I don’t read horror at all. So, my opinion on this book is compared to absolutely nothing. But, this scared the shit out of me. I don’t talk about this with anyone. Mostly because any friends I do have that read don’t read horror so it seems pointless to bring up.

House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Considering this is my favorite book, I do not talk about it nearly enough. I cry like a baby when reading this entire story. There’s something about Picoult’s writing and emotional characters I cannot get over. This book is amazing.


Well. That’s all folks!

What are some of the books on your list this week?? I’d love to see some thoughts on the books you love but rarely discuss!

C.K.

Well, well, well.

hello.

It’s been… it’s been a long time. I often read blogs or watch YouTube videos where creators profusely apologize for going on a hiatus. Let’s skip through the long detailed reasons why I stopped blogging. Family deaths. Overwhelming work life. Mounds of homework. It all equaled a lack of reading and no desire to write posts without anything to write about.

At the start of 2020 I had finished organizing my bookshelves once again. As I stood back and admired one of the things that brings me the most joy, I realized my TBR pile far outweighed the books I’ve read. I know, I know. This is common for many book lovers. However, my TBR is so large I wondered if I would ever have a chance to catch up before I die. OK. That’s a bit drastic, but here we are. My brain thinks in drastic ways.

I vowed I would actually read this year. No slumps. No setbacks. No excuses. I know Goodreads is hit or miss on people’s preference lists, but I’ve been enjoying over-using this bad boy to track my reading more so this year than any other. I’ve read too many books so far this year to make individual reviews for every single book. I thought I’d do a big winter wrap up all the way up until today. There are several series I’ve begun, though, that I’m probably going to make separate posts for eventually.

Here’s to hoping I can come back to blogging in a way that doesn’t burn me out like in the past.


Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling ★★★★★
Educated by Tara Westover ★★★★★
Every Other Weekend by Abigail Johnson ★★★★★
Lucky Caller by Emma Mills ★★★★★

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief (#1) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man (#2) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy (#3) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Runaway Elf (#4) by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy Keyes and the Curse of Moustache Mary (#5) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy (#6) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Search for Snake Eyes (#7) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Art of Deception (#8) by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy Keyes and the Psycho Kitty Queen (#9) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway (#10) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Wild Things (#11) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Cold Hard Cash (#12) by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy Keyes and the Wedding Crasher (#13) by Wendelin Van Draanen
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The Shadows Between Us by Tricia Levenseller
Illuminae by Amiee Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanen McGuire
Down Among the Stick and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire
In An Absent Dream by Seanan McGuire

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1) by Lemony Snicket ★★★★
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling ★★★★★
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo ★★★★★


I’m off to a decent start for the year. While I have plenty more to talk about, I think I will leave those here for now. I’m excited to connect with book lovers again.

Until next time.

C.K.

I tried to do this thing where I read a book subscription book sooner rather than a year down the road from reading it and it worked out pretty well. Though I got this book in February from OwlCrate, I did not post that unboxing as I had little interest in doing so at the time. Still, here’s the review!

Crown of Feathers
Nicki Pau Preto
Pages: 486
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Veronyka and her sister, Val, are the only two left of their family of phoenix riders. Riders and their animals have been banished from their country after two ruling sisters battled it out quite a few year prior. Despite this, Veronyka and Val manage to find phoenix eggs wherein only one hatches and becomes bonded to Veronyka who is thrilled at this rare chance to bond with something she is meant to bond with.

After a few events take place, Veronyka leaves her seemingly cold-hearted and cruel sister to find a community of phoenix riders rumored to still exist on a mountainside. She finds them, disguises herself as a boy, and hopes she can win their trust and still become a phoenix rider.

This story is told from several varying perspectives including a phoenix rider named Tristan, and a soldier named Sev, and Veronyka. I enjoyed their different sides and the reason they all were important in the end. The bonds between the phoenixes was a great piece of this story as well as the underlying story of the two ruling sisters who turned against each other and why that leads us to the story we have today. I also liked the ending with Val and why I think her story will become such a huge deal in the next book in this series.

Without giving spoilers, one piece I did not like are when Tristan, Veronyka, and the other riders spend their time training. Cut out some of the training pieces which become a little repetitive and give me more of the last third of the book which was fun to read.

Overall, a great and quick read that I enjoyed the entire way through. I’m glad I finally picked up a book box book so soon. Oh, and the cover for this book is insanely gorgeous!

Look. I’m going to be straightforward here. I have not been in the mood to type anything for this blog in months. I started 2019 strong by writing up a bunch of review posts but have dwindled on my enjoyment of them. Despite this, my reading hasn’t changed and I’ve got quite a few books I still want to review so here we go.

Warrior of the Wild
Tricia Levenseller
Pages: 352
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

This is a simple review. This was a relatively simple book. It was a fun read, but a simple one. Rasmira is hoping to follow in her warrior father’s footsteps and rule over her town one day. That is the path she chose as a child and now her trial is upon her to prove she is deserving of that title and to make her father proud. However, she is sabotaged during her trial and subsequently banished from her village with an expectation to return from an impossible task: killing a God.

This wasn’t overly complicated as I’ve already mentioned. You don’t have to know much about mythology or Gods or even warriors. This story felt like it had just enough character growth to be believable and I do have to admit I didn’t see the ending coming. There is a “romance” though it is not the main focus of the story and allowed me to focus on how in the world Rasmira was going to KILL A GOD.

I enjoyed the pacing of the story and definitely felt disappointment whenever I had to set this book down to sleep or eat (petty human tasks, tsk tsk). Minor complaints were around the surprise at the end which felt like an unnecessary jolt, and the way in which Rasmira interacted with her family which I felt completely disconnected to during the entire story.

Overall – great, easy, simple, fun read. Would recommend if you’re looking for something fun but not overly complicated!

Waking Forest Leo Comps6APPROVED.indd

The Waking Forest
Alyssa Wees
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: 2/5

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This book. THIS BOOK.

Into the Drowning Deep
Mira Grant
Pages: 448
Genre: Horror / Fantasy
Rating: 4/5

Ya’ll. This book. I cannot. I read it a few months ago but never did a review. I remember telling my best friend while reading it how freaked out I was about this story. It’s creepy as hell.

Seven years before the present story, there was a ship, the Atargatis, that set out to visit the Mariana Trench. The only thing that comes back from that trip is video of what appears to be “mermaids” boarding the ship and killing everyone onboard.

Now, Victoria Stewart, who has dedicated her life to studying sounds in the ocean, is given a chance to make the same trip to prove (or disprove) the existence of the creatures who some believe killed the entirety of the Atargatis – including her sister who was on that ship seven years ago. This trip is fueled with some of the top scientific people in the world. While many are excited for this once-in-a-lifetime chance to study their life’s work, some are hesitant of the potential dangers.

I cannot really say much beyond this as, if I do, it gives away half the story. But, let me tell you my feelings around this story: They were INTENSE. I do not recall ever having to set a book down because my heart was racing so fast before. I’ve read suspenseful books, but this was so intense I wondered if I could finish this. One night I even had a nightmare about this story – that’s how scared I was. HAHA. Now, I’m also slightly a wimp so I wouldn’t bank your views of this book on my weak heart.

Despite the horror of this book, that’s also what I enjoyed about it the most – it didn’t chicken out at any point and you genuinely didn’t know what was going to happen because of that which I appreciate.

I would highly recommend this book and it is certainly a book that is going to stick with me for a long time.

Prepare yourself for a little bad-mouthy, snarky review. Not all bad, but…hey. This book deserved it. Haha.

Furyborn
Claire Legrand
Pages: 501
Genre: YA Fantasty
Rating: 3/5

This is a story told between two different girl’s (women’s?) perspectives. First, we have Rielle, who has more powers than anyone else of her time that center around all the elements. She has spent her life hiding her talents out of fear, but after they are unwillingly shown to those around her, she is put to the test to see if she is one of the prophesized queens. Second, we have Eliana, who is living a thousand years later where magic and powers no longer exist, yet she finds her body magically heals itself after any injury. She spends her life as a bounty hunter for the Empire and it allows her to take care of her brother and mother – who suddenly goes vanishing a long with hundreds of other women. Is Rielle one of the prophesized queens; the Queen of Light or the Queen of Blood? Where is Eliana’s mother and the many missing girls? Will she be able to use her skills to protect her?

As always, honesty is key. I struggled the first part of this book. To the point that I was forcing myself to read one chapter a day because I found I didn’t like either Rielle or Eliana at the beginning. I didn’t understand where the story was going, I didn’t understand why both were important to their own stories let alone to each other’s stories. Lastly, I didn’t like how selfish they both were. The beginning of their stories is a very slow build – I would say it was mostly around character build (which is probably why I struggled so bad). The people in both of their lives are initially dull, flat, and serve little purpose to the girls’ lives.

FINALLY, half way through this book I started actually giving a damn about these two characters and where their lives were suddenly heading. Eliana, in one swift move, is forced between the Empire and her enemies and ends up taking the journey of a lifetime (not in a necessarily all-inclusive resort type of way, that’s for sure). She drags along her brother in search of their mother. A lot of truths come out, a lot of thing are learned about Eliana and those around her. I enjoyed her story in the second half a little more than Rielle’s.

Rielle, on the other hand, is faced into these sort of extreme obstacle courses that everyone comes to see – mostly to see if she will die in the process of trying to get out of each of them. However, her secret is one that resides inside her head and it opens up a CAN. OF. WORMS., folks. That girl is T.R.O.U.B.L.E. I didn’t like her relationship to some of the other characters including the love interest which felt so…uncomfortably rushed at points. But, here we are.

Lastly, let’s briefly discuss that ending. Because. OK, ma’ams and sirs. Mostly I’m referring to the graphic and disturbing pieces around Eliana’s journey. Let’s just say “zombie” is a good reference for how it came across to me. I don’t like zombies. Creeped me out, but in a good way I think?

Overall, if you’re looking for a slow character build that leads to a very strange cliff-ending storyline, this is a great book to pick up. I did get an e-arc of Kingsbane but I wasn’t ready to start it until I could summarize my thoughts on this book, first. Just in the off chance I got things mixed up between the two!

Howdy. This is one of the few books I’ve picked up in the past few months. I’m glad I was able to read this book!

Hope and Other Punch Lines
Julie Buxbaum
Pages: 304
Genre: YA Contemporary
Rating: 3.75/5

I enjoyed this. I enjoy every Buxbaum novel I’ve read and this was another I enjoyed. I didn’t enjoy it AS much as others, but I still found myself binging it all in one day.

This follows Abbi Hope, aka “Baby Hope”, is the main focus of a picture taken on September 11th when she was just a baby. This picture has sparked “hope” for many people and she grows up as somewhat of a symbol for those who have a story to tell about where they were that day. However, she struggles with this image being plastered to her as she is now a teen and finds herself uneasy being noticed as such an iconic symbol for so many people.

Abbi is starting an 8 week job at a kid’s summer camp and hopes to remain under the radar and enjoy her summer despite some recent issues that have arisen in her life. There, she runs into a fellow classmate, Noah, who thinks it’s fate running into “Baby Hope”. Noah believes Abbi can help him answer his own questions around the image of her as a child on that fateful day. He enlists Abbi’s help in digging for answers and they discover a lot about the world around them, each other, and mostly themselves.

I enjoyed both of their stories and how they combined. I should have seen how the book was going to end because I’ve read enough of Buxbaum’s stories by now to know, but I didn’t. Perhaps I enjoy living in the moment of the story so much I refuse to consider how things will end so I can still find a surprise here and there. This is a lovely, quick, witty, and fun story. I would definitely recommend for a quick summer read!

Hi. Long time no book-talk. I haven’t been feeling like writing posts recently. I’ve also skipped quite a few unboxing postings recently, but oh well. Let’s look at Owlcrate’s April Box!

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Hi all!

I began reading many (MANNYY) moons ago. I have some of the most amazing bookish feelings and thoughts about a lot of books I read while growing up. This is one of those books. I couldn’t 100% remember the premise of this book, but I have owned this book for a while now, and I thought it was about time to give it an overdue re-read.

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Hi. Again.

I recently did a physical book haul of what I’ve acquired over the past few months. My e-book hauling has increased greatly in exchange for the lack of physical books I’ve purchased. Let’s look at the list!

Did I go crazy recently? Slightly. Does that bother me? Mmm…nope!

Are any of these books you’ve recently picked up?? I’m currently reading Spectacle and The Bear and the Nightingale off of this list – thoughts??