Book List 2018

Re-Read: Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs

Title: Cry Wolf

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Alpha and Omegas aka The Mercyverse

Summary:

Anna never knew werewolves existed, until the night she survived a violent attack… and became one herself. After three years at the bottom of the pack, she’d learned to keep her head down and never, ever trust dominant males. Then Charles Cornick, the enforcer—and son—of the leader of the North American werewolves, came into her life.

Charles insists that not only is Anna his mate, but she is also a rare and valued Omega wolf. And it is Anna’s inner strength and calming presence that will prove invaluable as she and Charles go on the hunt in search of a rogue werewolf—a creature bound in magic so dark that it could threaten all of the pack.

It is recommended you read the prequel “Alpha & Omega” before reading Cry Wolf.

Review:

The second book chronologically in the Mercy-verse, which is the order I decided to re-read this series in this follows Moon Called, and the novella Alpha and Omega which you definitely need to check out before reading this one or it might not make much sense.

Anna is a character borne of a vulnerable situation with a whole lot of strength. So much strength that she isn’t even quite aware of it, but those around her definitely are.

This novel also shows us more into the world of the Marrok, and his sons which is something I was so interested to see even from the time I read Moon Called. Bran seems like a gentle soul but he’s got a spine of steel, and an even tougher soul, which is shown in this novel.

Charles has a tough outer shell but a bit of a marshmallow centre when it comes to his mate, which definitely shows as well. He is a character with layers, unlike a lot of male characters in this genre.

The plot of this book is an intriguing one as well, melding the world of werewolves with long histories with the world of magic, witches and rogues.

It is a great book, very easy to imagine what is happening in your head.

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Book List 2018

Re-Read Review: Moon Called by Patricia Briggs

moon calledTitle: Moon Called

Author: Patricia Briggs

Series: Mercy Thompson aka The Mercyverse

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Sci-Fi

Summary: 

Mercedes Thompson, aka Mercy, is a talented Volkswagen mechanic living in the Tri-Cities area of Washington. She also happens to be a walker, a magical being with the power to shift into a coyote at will.

Mercy’s next-door neighbor is a werewolf. Her former boss is a gremlin. And she’s fixing a bus for a vampire.

This is the world of Mercy Thompson, one that looks a lot like ours but is populated by those things that go bump in the night. And Mercy’s connection to those things is about to get her into some serious hot water…

Thoughts:

Have Mercy!

Now that I’ve gotten the John Stamos joke out of the way.

Expect to be spellound, says the little quote on front of this interestingly covered book.

I admit, when I read the quotes on books I kind of just shake my head. But that quote is right, my wonderful little, book obsessed friends.

Mercy Thompson is one kickass character. And she is far from perfect. That being said, she is oh so perfect in my eyes. Like seriously. I want to be her best friend. I want to learn how to fix cars, kick ass and forget the names from her.

She is well written, she is fierce, her story is not an overly familiar one from what I’ve read in the genre and at no point during this book was I gearing up to get to the action, nor was I bored in the moment that there was no action.

The characters in this novel are all different, and none of them are cookie cutter even when they might be on the verge of being so.

The plot is not formulaic, in fact it’s quite enjoyable to learn about this world in which vampires drive mystery machines, werewolves are Vietnam war veterans (or older) and fae are former Volkswagen mechanics.

So if you’re in the mood for something a bit heavier, but not super heavy and wanting to slip into a world that’s not your own you should definitely pick this one up.

Book List 2018

Review: Kasie West novels

A little while ago I was lucky enough to receive a copy of By Your Side by Kasie West and I absolutely adored it, so last month I departed on a path through quite a few of her books. So here are my thoughts and feelings on her works, and my excitement for her upcoming book.

the distance between usTitle: The Distance Between Us

Genre: Romance, YA

Summary:  Seventeen-year-old Caymen Meyers studies the rich like her own personal science experiment, and after years of observation she’s pretty sure they’re only good for one thing—spending money on useless stuff, like the porcelain dolls in her mother’s shop.

So when Xander Spence walks into the store to pick up a doll for his grandmother, it only takes one glance for Caymen to figure out he’s oozing rich. Despite his charming ways and that he’s one of the first people who actually gets her, she’s smart enough to know his interest won’t last. Because if there’s one thing she’s learned from her mother’s warnings, it’s that the rich have a short attention span. But Xander keeps coming around, despite her best efforts to scare him off. And much to her dismay, she’s beginning to enjoy his company.

She knows her mom can’t find out—she wouldn’t approve. She’d much rather Caymen hang out with the local rocker who hasn’t been raised by money. But just when Xander’s attention and loyalty are about to convince Caymen that being rich isn’t a character flaw, she finds out that money is a much bigger part of their relationship than she’d ever realized. And that Xander’s not the only one she should’ve been worried about.

My thoughts: 

I quite enjoyed this novel. It is an interesting take on the old school trope of the rich “saving” the poor, in that it turns it on its ass. I won’t go into details because I don’t believe in spoilers.

I will let you know that Caymen is a character with a lot of strength, that the romance in this book is not overly schmoopy and that I read it so quickly I immediately went back and read it again.

Xander is a character that is more insecure than he seems, but with a certain charm and wit about him.

This is a story about family, and how sometimes even when we know them we can’t always know them as much as we should, or as deeply as we should.

This is good for anyone wanting a quick read, who likes rags to riches stories, but wants something with a little bit of a different ending for that familiar trope.

Continue reading “Review: Kasie West novels”

Book List 2018

Review: A Tiny Piece of Something Greater by Jude Sierra

tiny (1).jpgA Tiny Piece of Something Greater

Publisher: Interlude Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): Out Now!

Length (Print & Ebook): 258 Pages

Subgenre: LGBT, Interracial/Multicultural, New Adult

Editor’s Note: Some readers may find some of the scenes in this book difficult to read. We have compiled a list of content warnings, which you can access at interludepress.com/content-warnings

About this Book: 

Reid Watsford has a lot of secrets and a past he can’t quite escape. While staying at his grandmother’s condo in Key Largo, he signs up for introductory dive classes, where he meets Joaquim Oliveira, a Brazilian dive instructor with wanderlust. Driven by an instant, magnetic pull, what could have been just a hookup quickly deepens. As their relationship evolves, they must learn to navigate the challenges of Reid’s mental illness—on their own and with each other.

jude pic.jpgJude Sierra talks A Tiny Piece of Something Greater: I want readers to walk away with a deeper appreciation and understanding of what it is like to thrive with mental illness—or strive toward it—and what it is like for two people to be and fall in love in these situations. I’d love for readers to come away knowing that love doesn’t cure mental illness, nor should it. Reid and Joaquim love each other as they are.

About Jude Sierra: Jude Sierra is a Latinx poet, author, academic and mother working toward her PhD in Writing and Rhetoric, looking at the intersections of Queer, Feminist and Pop Culture Studies. She also works as an LGBTQAI+ book reviewer for From Top to Bottom Reviews. Her novels include HushWhat it Takes, and Idlewild, a contemporary LGBT romance set in Detroit’s renaissance, which was named a Best Book of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews.

Connect with Jude: Site | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Facebook | Pinterest

Teaser: 

Joaquim’s body is beautifully settled into the rhythms of his deep, sleeping breaths. Reid is no longer angry. Well, he’s a little angry at himself. If I wake Joaquim with kisses, will that be enough? Will he remember the apology from last night and let it stand?

Eyes closed, Reid scoots closer to Joaquim and puts a hand on his hip. He promised to talk to Joaquim. And even without that promise, they should talk. Joaquim is the potential for a healthy relationship, finally.

When Reid’s body heat comes into contact with his, Joaquim stills and then stretches. Joaquim’s body is a luxury: muscles tensing and loosening, all stunning bones and inviting skin. Reid wants. He wants to glut himself on this man, to soak up every moment with him while he can.

Review: 

This book was a good read, but a hard one, so that is definitely something you should go into knowing.

The depth of the writing about mental illness was what drew me into this novel, because at no point does it treat mental illness like something that is not real, or something that is to be disparaged. Instead it is treated with a thoughtfulness, and consideration that is deserved of anyone who has been diagnosed with something that might make them a little bit different.

Reid is a character with a lot of humour despite his circumstance and has a sweet centre as he tries to figure out what his life will be. There is a major character evolution with his character throughout this book that made it captivating to read.

Joaquim however is my darling. I loved him so much. He was so sweet and kind, with good philosophies on life, and life’s journey and where it should take you. His consideration toward Reid was amazing.

This book was upsetting at times, but in the end I was so glad to have read it, because it is such a kindly written novel, with a lot of humanity in it.

Buy Now!

Interlude Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Apple | Kobo | Indiebound

 

Booking Things

A peek inside my bullet journal

It seems as though bullet journaling has taken the world but storm and I’m no different.

That being said I tend to keep it simple because trying to make it pretty has pretty much caused me to stop using it a billion different times.

So new journal in hand last month I planned out my monthly calendar, a simply daily log, a reading list, and a quotes list.

This month same thing but a variation on a theme.

I have a to be read list, a check it out list for books, TV, events, etc separates onto different pages and the ever present quotes list along with pages where I jot down character names and plot points.

Those are my weakness. I read a lot, I read relatively quick but due to God knows what my memory is terrible. It does however make each re-read of a book almost make it seem fresh and new, because I only remember the main bits and forget the small details. Bullet journaling has saved me some time in that regard.

So, do you bullet journal as reader? If so how does it go for you?

Book List 2018

Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

leahTitle: Leah on the Offbeat

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: YA Fiction, Romance, LGBTQIA+

Summary:

Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

Review:

Leah is such a smartass and I love her. She is also bitter sometimes, which causes me want to give my head a shake, reach into the book and tell her to buck up. To trust the people she is friends with to accept her for who she is, her whole identity.

This book is filled with strife, and palpable angst. It is a young adult book through and through but yet is so very identifiable.

We’ve all had feelings for people we maybe shouldn’t have feelings for, we’ve all loved people who maybe we shouldn’t love.

This book is not as light as Simon, which is amazing to say, because Simon is not light. But this is heavy, and emotional, and often at times because of how frustrated I would get with the characters, was very hard to read.

It doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, and that it was not well written because it definitely was. Becky Albertalli is one of my favourite writers, and I’ve pretty much established that I will read anything she wants to write. Literally anything.

This book is good. It’s solid. Read it.

 

Book List 2018

Review: The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

30653853Title: The Upside of Unrequited

Author: Becky Albertalli

Genre: YA, Romance, LGBTQIA+

Summary: 

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Quotes I love:

“I don’t entirely understand how anyone gets a boyfriend. Or a girlfriend. It just seems like the most impossible odds. You have to have a crush on the exact right person at the exact right moment. And they have to like you back. A perfect alignment of feelings and circumstances. It’s almost unfathomable that it happens as often as it does.”

Review: 

It’s so sad in a way that I empathize and understand so much of the quote above now at 30 as I did when I was a teenager. Especially given that I’ve always been a few pounds or more over the average.

The characters in this book are not overly suave, they’re not perfect and sometimes they are awkward and yet they are always endearing.

Molly is so familiar to me, she is like a friend I grew up with, but in reality she is so much like I was that I can’t help but feel so amazingly attached to her. Becky Albertalli excels at writing extremely human characters who you can identify with.

They get angry with each other, they fight and they care so much and it made me, as a reader, care about them as if they were real, living people.

Reid is just adorable, actually they all are.

Read this book if you want to feel something real, and then feel something that makes you feel good.

Also, cannot help but love the appearance of Simon, Blue and Abby. This is a book I will keep on my shelf, and pick up again and again to read and try and make other people read.

Book List 2018

Review: Wheels and Heels by Jaime Samms

wheels and heelsTitle: Wheels and Heels

Author: Jaime Sams

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Romance

Summary:

As a teenager, Ira Bedford fled a troubled home life and people who didn’t understand his penchant for feminine things. In the city, he fell in with Cedric, who found him work as an underage stripper. It took him years to escape Cedric’s influence and try to build a life of his own.

Now, he just wants to be left alone to create his art. But Cedric’s on-going harassment means Ira had to drop out of art school, is squatting in a friend’s apartment, and is still relying on his allure as a sexy, skirt-wearing exotic dancer to pay his bills.

Then he meets Jed. Part-time bartender and the apartment building’s superintendent, Jed is just the right mix of strong, kind, and protective to pull Ira out of hiding. He also welcomes Ira into his chosen family at the Hen and Hog Pub. But Ira yearns for more. Still, he doesn’t dare to hope that Jed will want him and his questionable past, his skirts and high heels, his hang-ups, and the profession he seems unable to escape. But Jed will do anything to prove him wrong.

Review:

The strength in this book lies within the warmth of it’s characters, even the minor ones. Ira is unabashedly, unapologetically himself, which is something I can admire in fiction and real life. It just so happens that being yourself, no matter what, can sometimes result in people being dickheads, as seen within the pages of this book. Luckily, sometimes you can find people who will stand with you no matter what.

Jed is one of those people and he is an absolute delight. Burly, and a biker with an ooey gooey warm center that I just LOVE. He doesn’t judge people based on appearance. Hell, he doesn’t even judge people based on circumstance.

Basically he’s my kind of guy.

These two together just make it, and although the time line was a little confusing, as in how much time does pass in this book? And the fact that its the opposite of a slow burn, I still enjoyed it.

One of the delights of this book for me was also that it takes place in a city I know, love, have lived in and was born in ❤ I will always read about Canada.

The only part I couldn’t get through was the sex scenes but that’s a very it’s not you it’s me situation.

I do look forward to reading more of the Hen and Hog series.

Received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

Book List 2018

Review: Fawkes by Nadine Brandes

fawkes
Gorgeous cover art is always a plus!

Title: Fawkes

Author: Nadine Brandes

Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy

Release Date: 10 July, 2018

Summary: 

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.

But what if death finds him first?

Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.

The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.

The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.

No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back.

Review: 

This book has so much in it that I love, so I’m just going to start with that. I’ve been a fan of YA fantasy since…well since I was the age that YA is usually geared towards. However it was very rare that something as good as this came along, especially something that included real life historical events.

The plot of this book comes together really well, winding the historical facts in with the fiction, and the fantasy weaving it all together in one beautifully written package.

The magic within the book is encompassing and wonderful. It was interesting to read how the masks help the users control, or invigorate their magic.

The writing in this book, and the descriptive nature carried me through the streets of London at a time very different from now. It had me clutching my eReader in fear for Thomas, a character I grew to care about extremely quickly.

This is definitely one of my favourite books I’ve read this year. I wished for more the minute I turned the last page, and then proceeded to order a copy to be delivered to myself on release day. After all I am definitely going to lend it to everyone I know as soon as I can.

And I will be reading more of Nadine Brandes’ books for as long as she keeps writing.

Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Book List 2018

Review: Bygone Badass Broads by Mackenzi Lee

Title: Bygone Badass Broads – 52 Forgotten Women Who Changed the World35888416

Author: Mackenzi Lee

Genre: Badass non-fiction

Summary:

Based on Mackenzi Lee’s popular weekly Twitter series of the same name, Bygone Badass Broads features 52 remarkable and forgotten trailblazing women from all over the world.

With tales of heroism and cunning, in-depth bios and witty storytelling, Bygone Badass Broads gives new life to these historic female pioneers.

Starting in the fifth century BC and continuing to the present, the book takes a closer look at bold and inspiring women who dared to step outside the traditional gender roles of their time.

Coupled with riveting illustrations and Lee’s humorous and conversational storytelling style, this book is an outright celebration of the badass women who paved the way for the rest of us.

Review:

This book is everything.

I needed this book when I was growing up, unsure of myself and what being a girl meant, what becoming a woman would mean.

I need this book now when everything seems so confusing and women are still being degraded, and treated as something less, or disrespected for speaking out, for speaking their minds.

These women are badass. Not were. They are. Their legends should loom large and be researched and passed on from generation to generation, inspiring more women like them. Inspiring future generations to have fight in them, to have rebellion and be able to say what’s what and do what’s right.

Mackenzi Lee writes about these women in a way that makes them seem so relatable. It makes it seem like she’s talking about a friend of a friend instead of someone who has long passed through history.  At this point I am thinking that basically if Mackenzi Lee has written something, I am definitely going to be reading it.

I would recommend this book to everyone. I would also recommend having a notebook in hand because as you’re reading you’re going to want to find out as much about these people as you can, because they were definitely badass. 

They’ll also leave you thinking, “Hey, maybe I can be badass too.”

And you can. You absolutely can.