August TBR

How is it already August? I swear it still feels like March. 😬

My TBR for the month is going to be pretty chill. I am still feeling a little slumpy so I’m not going to put too much on my plate.

Fable by Adrienne Young

This is one of my most anticipated releases of the year! I have loved this author’s first two books so I’m hoping I will feel the same about Fable! Release date is September 1!

These Vengeful Hearts by Katherine Laurin

This is a YA thriller about a high school secret society. Release date is September 8!

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

I’m super excited to continue with this series! The ending of book 2 was so good and I’m dying to see what happens next. I’m buddy reading this with Lacey!

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

Yes, I will be reading this as soon as it is released! I think I am gong to go with the audiobook so fingers crossed it’s good. I CAN’T WAIT!

And that’s it! What will you be reading this month?

Find My Next Read Scavenger Hunt

My reading has been a mess lately. All the books I keep picking up are ones that I am apparently not in the mood for. I don’t know what is happening!

I figured I would do this tag and hopefully it will help me! Maybe since I’m not technically picking the book, I’ll want to read it??

I first saw this tag from booksandlala, but it was created by Peter Likes Books.

Grab your favorite book. Go to the acknowlegemdents, and the first name you see, find a book by an author with the same name.

My favorite book is Six of Crows! The first name I saw in the acknowledgements was Sarah. A book by an author with the same name is Havenfall.

Pick something on that cover and find another book with that thing in the title.

On Havenfall I see a moon and that automatically made me think of Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie.

Go to page 50, line 5. Pick a word from that line and find a title with that word in it.

Page 50, Line 5 says “Are you still talking?” Jules skips fast down the deer trail. I decided to pick the word *you* and the book I found was I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

Find a 5 star read with the same colors on the cover.

I’ll Give You the Sun has tons of colors so I just went with one. A green 5 star read was Well Met by Jen DeLuca!

Find a book with the same number of pages.

Well Met has 328! I had to go to Goodreads to help me and turns out I don’t own any books with that exact number. So I’m going to cheat a little and go with 329 pages and that book is Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry.

Flip open to any page. The first name you see, find a book by an author with who shares that name.

First name I saw was Lucy which led me to picking The Guest List by Lucy Foley.

Find another title with the same number of letters.

The Guest List has 12 letters and so does Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young.

Find a book with a similar cover.

The girl turning her head and looking makes me think of My Lady Jane

Flip to a random page. Point at a word and find that word in a book title on your TBR shelf

I pointed to the word *it* and found Call It What You Want on my TBR shelf.

Read!

Looks Like I am going to be reading Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer next!

I’m actually really happy with how this turned out! I LOVE Brigid Kemmerer’s writing so fingers crossed this helps me get out of this weird mood!

What is the next book you plan to read??

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ARC Review | Bookish and the Beast

Title: Bookish and the Beast (Once Upon a Con #3)

Author: Ashley Poston

Publisher: Quirk Books

Release date: August 4, 2020

My rating: ★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Rosie Thorne is feeling stuck—on her college application essays, in her small town, and on that mysterious General Sond cosplayer she met at ExcelsiCon. Most of all, she’s stuck in her grief over her mother’s death. Her only solace was her late mother’s library of rare Starfield novels, but even that disappeared when they sold it to pay off hospital bills.

On the other hand, Vance Reigns has been Hollywood royalty for as long as he can remember—with all the privilege and scrutiny that entails. When a tabloid scandal catches up to him, he’s forced to hide out somewhere the paparazzi would never expect to find him: Small Town USA. At least there’s a library in the house. Too bad he doesn’t read.

When Rosie and Vance’s paths collide and a rare book is accidentally destroyed, Rosie finds herself working to repay the debt. And while most Starfield superfans would jump at the chance to work in close proximity to the Vance Reigns, Rosie has discovered something about Vance: he’s a jerk, and she can’t stand him. The feeling is mutual.

But as Vance and Rosie begrudgingly get to know each other, their careful masks come off—and they may just find that there’s more risk in shutting each other out than in opening their hearts.

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a finished copy!

I absolutely loved Geekerella and The Princess and the Fangirl! They are two of my favorite books. Needless to say, I thought Bookish and the Beast was going to be another love of mine, but unfortunelty, it was just an okay read for me. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t quite live up to the hopes that I had for it. 

First off, Bookish and the Beast is the third book in the Once Upon a Con series! These books are companions so no, you do not have to read Geekerella or The Princess and the Fangirl to read this book. It can stand on its own just fine. However, I personally feel like you will have a better experience with this story if you read the other books first. There are several references to prior events and characters so you may get a little confused if you don’t. Also, this series is a lot of fun so I highly recommend Geekerella & Princess any way! 

As you can probably tell, this is a Beauty and the Beast retelling! Ashley Poston did a wonderful job taking the classic tale that we all know & love and she put a bookish and geeky spin to it! 

Rosie is our Belle! When Rosie chases after a dog, she ends up in an abandoned house….so she thinks. There she finds a huge library full of the Starfield books. After being caught in the house and damaging an expensive book, she must organize the library to pay off her debt. I really loved Rosie. She is a total book nerd. She loves the look of books, the smell of them and getting lost in th pages. My favorite type of character! Rosie recently lost her mother, the person who helped her to fall in love with books and Starfield. She is trying to navigate life without one of her parents while also trying not to be the “girl with a dead mom.” 

Vance is our Beast. He is Hollywood royalty and oh, he plays the villain, General Sond in the Starfield movies. After many slip ups with paparazzi, Vance’s parents send him away so he can try to see the error of his ways. Vance can be pretty annoying and almost unlikeable at times. He is has that *I can do anything I want because I’m rich* thing going on and it drove me crazy. Of course, I still wanted the best for him though. He struggles with trust. He thinks that everyone is out to get him. He also feels like he isn’t good enough. It was interesting to see his character changes & learns. By the end of the book, he isn’t the same person we see in the beginning.

What I loved most about Geekerella & The Princess and the Fangirl is that they were very fandom centric. Being the nerd that I am, I really enjoyed the convention settings, cosplays and all the other geeky things that those books had. I was hoping for something very similar with the third book, but sadly that wasn’t the case. Bookish and the Beast went in a different direction and I’m still not sure how I feel about it. We still get to see the wonderful word of Starfield, but it’s through books. Obviously being a bookworm, I loved that, but I always found myself missing the fun of the ExcelciCon! Compared to the first two books, there wasn’t enough fandom related things for me to nerd out to.

As far as the romance goes, it wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t hate it by any means, but I didn’t find myself rooting for it either. The chemistry between the two seemed to fluctuate. At times I could definitely see the sparks between the characters and then others times I was almost cringing at the awkwardness.

My favorite part of Bookish and the Beast was the adults that surround Rosie and Vance! They were incredible. Vance’s guardian, Elias is a total gem. He was always there to support Vance, especially when his parents weren’t. Yes, Vance has his troubles, but Elias saw the best in him. He believed in him when Vance needed it the most! Rosies dad was the coolest! I’m not even kidding, I loved him. He is a 90’s rock band loving, ear gauge wearing, queer librarian. Total perfection! His relationship with his daughter as very special. It’s just him & Rosie. They take care of each other no matter what. He is so supportive and gives amazing advice! Space dad is the best!

This may not have been my favorite book in the series, but it was still a fun & quick read. The Once Upon a Con series will forever have my fandom loving heart! 

★★★

thelibrarylane

Mid Year Book Freakout Tag | 2020

Hi friends! Today I’m going to be summing up my reading for the first half of the year! Some of these questions have multiple answers because I couldn’t just pick one!

This tag was created by Ely and Chami

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020?

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
I cannot even begin to explain my feelings for this book. It was incredible and beautiful. It has been a while since I’ve been so deeply invested in a book. Addie LaRue deserves every star in the galaxy. EVERY. SINGLE. STAR.

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2020?

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
This is the second book in the Nervermoor middle grade series. I am so happy I decided to read these books. They are perfection. I love Morrigan and all of her friends she makes along the way. I’m not so patiently waiting for the third book’s release later this year!

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVENT READ YET, BUT WANT TO.

-Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie
-Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli & Aisha Saeed
-Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE HEAR.

-Fable by Adrienne Young
-Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
-Well Played by Jen DeLuca

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Bent Heavens by Daniel Kraus
Y’all I hated this book. I rarely say that, but wow this was bad. I went in thinking it was going to be this cool sci fi about aliens, but ummmm that wasn’t the case. Read my full review here if you want! 😬

BIGGEST SURPRISE

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James
This book marked my first time reading an adult thriller so I wasn’t really expecting much out of it. I was definitely not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. I stayed up late reading and it truly scared the hell out of me! Definitely one of my favorite reads of the year!

FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR (debut or new to you)

Rory Power author of Wilder Girls & Burn Our Bodies Down
I have read both of her books recently and wow! She comes up with the most bizarre ideas and somehow makes them work. I will read everything she publishes.

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

Alex from It Sounded Better in My Head
He is the bad boy with a huge heart. I absolutely adored him!

NEWEST FAVORITE CHARACTER

Rev from More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
This is kind of cheating because Rev isn’t really a new character to me. I met him last year while reading Letters to the Lost, but this year I read his book! Rev is a freaking gem. He has such a big heart and he will always be there for anyone who needs help. I love him!!

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

The Lucky Ones by Liz Lawson
I didn’t cry necessarily, but it did break my heart. This was about a girl who was the sole survivor of a school shooting.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace
This story takes you on a wild adventure and I loved every second of it. This was actually my first read of 2020 so it made me super happy that I started off the year with a book that I adored.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOIGHT SO FAR THIS YEAR

-Felix Ever After by Kacen Calendar!
-Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust (Fairyloot edition)

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

-Summer of Salt by Katrina Leno
-House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas
-Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron


FAVORITE BOOK COMMUNITY MEMBER(S)

-Lacey: YouTube | Instagram
-Alexx: Blog | Instagram

I’d love to see your answers! If you’ve done this tag, leave your link below!!

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June Book Haul

Starsight by Brandon Sanderson
This is the sequel to Skyward!

Belle Revolté by Linsey Miller
I read this gorgeous book last year and it was so fantastic. The magic within this story was interesting and unlike anything I have ever read before. I’m very happy to hand my hands on a finished copy.

Black Enough edited by Ibi Zoboi
This is a wonderful anthology about what it is like being young and Black in today’s society. I absolutely loved this book. It was so educational. It discussed the diversity within diversity! Highly recommend picking it up!

Felix Ever After by Kacen Calender
This beauty is an own voices story about a Black trans teenage boy who is trying to navigate his sexuality while also maybe falling in love. This book was EVERYTHING I wanted plus more. Please please please read this!

It Sounded Better in My Head by Nine Kenwood
Another book I had an ARC of that I’m excited to have on my shelf!

Fire & Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore
These are the second and third books in the Graceling Realm series. Apparently these books are hard to come by in hardcover so when I found them I went ahead and purchased them! I haven’t even read the first book yet so fingers crossed I like it!

Home After Dark by Riley Sager
My June BOTM pick!

Kingdom of Souls by Reba Barron
I have seen fantastic reviews for this book lately! I CANNOT WAIT to read it very soon.

Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend
The first book in a fun and magical middle grade series!

Opium & Absinthe by Lydia Kang
Thank you so much to Kay Publicity for sending me a finished copy!

Legendary by Stephanie Garber
A few months ago Stephanie Garber hosted a giveaway type thing where if you bought a book from an indie store then she would send you a foreign edition of one of her books! I thought this was such a cool idea so of course I participated. I was sent a signed Indonesian edition of Legendary! How cool is that?!

Dear Martin by Nic Stone
I am so happy that I finally picked this book up. I have heard amazing things about it. I have only read a short story by Nic Sone but I really loved her writing. I have high hopes that I will love Dear Martin as well.

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Sooooo this is actually my second time buying this book. I unhaled my first copy because well, to be honest I didn’t actually love this book as much as I hoped to. Why am I adding it back to my collection now?? Well because I’m a weirdo who wants to have the Creekwood books together on her shelf.

Girl, Serpent, Thorn by Melissa Bashardoust
This was the book pick for Fairyloot’s May box! I am in LOVE with this cover!!

Where Dreams Descend by Janella Angeles
This was the book pick for Owlcrate’s June box! I love that there isn’t a dust jacket.

What books did you acquire last month?? Have you read any of these??

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3rd Quarter Anticipated Releases | 2020

Hi friends! These are eight July-September release that I am SO excited for!

As always, if you want to know more about any of these, their Goodreads pages will be linked.

Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy
Release date: July 7
A book about a plus size superhero?? Written by one of my favorite authors?? SIGN ME UP!!

Burn Our Bodies Down by Rory Power
Release date: July 7
This is a YA thriller from the author of Wilder Girls. I was lucky enough to read an ARC and I LOVED it. I can’t wait to have a finished copy on my shelves. Read my full review here.

Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters
Release date: July 14
I just recently came across this book by watching Lacey’s anticipated reads video. It follows a girl who can call ghosts from the grave by playing a fiddle. It sounds SUPER eerie.

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer
Release date: August 4
I am BEYOND ready to get my hands on this book. I haven’t decided if I am going to physically read it or listen to the audio, but either way…I am so excited for a new Twilight book!!!

Fable by Adrienne Young
Release date: September 1
Can we just talk about how stunning this cover is?? I really enjoy Adrienne Young’s writing so I have high hopes for her first book in a new duology!

Who I Was With Her by Nita Tyndall
Release date: September 15
I’ve have my eye on this book for a while! It sounds super emotional which is my favorite type of YA contemporary! It follows Corinne who is in love with Maggie, but she isn’t ready for everyone to know that she is bisexual. When Maggie suddenly dies, Corinne is heartbroken and alone. The only person who she can turn to and who will understand her grief is Maggie’s ex…

Vampires Never Get Old
Release date: September 22
I’m here for ALL the vampires…thank you!

Well Played by Jen DeLuca
Release date September 22
The companion/sequel to Well Met which I absolutely adored.


What new releases are you excited for??

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July TBR

Hi friends! I’m super excited for what I’m reading this month. There’s a couple rereads, ARCs, and TBR jar picks!

Goodreads pages will be linked.

REREADS

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I have been meaning to catch up with this series for two years now and it is finally happening!

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

Finishing out my reread of this nostalgic series. What a time it has been!

ARCs

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

Y’all, I am still in shock that I was approved for this title. I have never been more excited and grateful. I am actually 70% into this right now and OMG!!!! It’s FANTASTIC!!! Release date is October 6th.

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

This is the third book in the Once Upon a Con series. I had this on my TBR last month, but I failed to get around to it. This title releases on August 4th!

TBR JAR

I have a TON of books on my shelves that I need to read and I thought doing a TBR jar would be a fun way to get to them. I am going to draw out two books each month and I have to read one (or both if I am super interested).

This month I drew…

The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
I don’t really know much about this book besides the fact that it’s an adult romance with a plus size main character. I mean, I’m sold just on that alone!

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
This pick is actually perfect! I was really hoping to read Graceling this summer anyway so yay!!

And there’s so much more I WANT to read this month but nothing is set in stone!

What do you plan to read in July??

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ARC Review | One to Watch

Title: One to Watch

Author: Kate Stayman London

Publisher: Dial Press

Release date: July 7, 2020

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing my with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!

I absolutely loved this! It was everything I wanted and more. As a plus size woman, I connected with tis story on such a deep level. I often get nervous about reading books with plus size main characters. I don’t always feel like they are portrayed in the best light, but thankfully that was not an issue with One to Watch. 

Bea Schumacher is a very successful plus size blogger. She has it all…a loving family, tons of loyal followers, and amazing friends. But when her heart is broken by her best friend she has been in love with for years, her world falls apart. Fast forward to when she is asked to be the next Main Squeeze (the equivalent to The Bachelorette). Bea accepts, but she has no idea what she is signing up for. Will she find love on a reality dating show?  

Bea is such an incredible character. She goes on a powerful inner journey and it made my heart explode. She learns that she deserves love just as much as anyone else. Stayman-London did a beautiful job showing the reality of being a plus size woman in today’s society. Just like Bea, people all over the country deal with fatphobic comments. Whether it’s being told that crop tops aren’t for people with big stomachs or that plus size people will never find anyone to love them..fat shaming happens way too often.

The dating show/romance side of One to Watch was super unique. Instead of having one love interest, there were 25! Of course the list dwindled down and we were left with a few constituents that we got to know. I loved al of the dramatic twists along the way. They sure did keep the story interesting. I honestly had no idea who or even if Bea was going to end up with someone. I did have a fun time trying to guess though. There were two men in particular (no spillers!) that were the sweetest and I would love a spin off book(s) about them!

One to Watch was written in a multimedia format. Told through emails, podcasts, blog posts, texts, interviews and TV episodes, it was definitely a clever and fun way to tell Bea’s story. 

Overall, this book was fabulous. One to Watch was fun and heartwarming. I highly recommend adding this to your TBR shelves! I will definitely be on the look out for Kate Stayman-London’s work in the future!

ARC Review | Burn Our Bodies Down

Title: Burn Our Bodies Down

Author: Rory Power

Publisher: Delecorte Press

Release date: July 7, 2020

My rating: ★★★★★

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Ever since Margot was born, it’s been just her and her mother. No answers to Margot’s questions about what came before. No history to hold on to. No relative to speak of. Just the two of them, stuck in their run-down apartment, struggling to get along.

But that’s not enough for Margot. She wants family. She wants a past. And she just found the key she needs to get it: A photograph, pointing her to a town called Phalene. Pointing her home. Only, when Margot gets there, it’s not what she bargained for.

Margot’s mother left for a reason. But was it to hide her past? Or was it to protect Margot from what’s still there?

The only thing Margot knows for sure is there’s poison in their family tree, and their roots are dug so deeply into Phalene that now that she’s there, she might never escape. 

Review:

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Burn Our Bodies Down follows a teen named Margot. For her entire life it’s only been her and her mother…no one else. Anytime Margot has questions about her relatives, she never gets any answers. All she wants is to know her family and their history. So when she finds a photograph from her mother’s past she decides to take advantage of it. She ends up going to the town where her mom was raised, but she has no idea what secrets she is about to uncover.

This may be weird to say, but I love Rory Power’s brain! She comes up with the most bizarre ideas and somehow just makes then work. I honestly have no idea how she does it, but I can say with certainty that I will read anything and everything she writes. 

Burn Our Bodies Down was so dark and very twisted. It definitely has an eerie vibe to it. The story went in a direction I was not expecting whatsoever. I tried to guess what was going to happen but oh my, I failed miserably. The author throws in these little clues along the way and you think you may know what they mean, but nope you would be wrong! 

With fascinating twists and turns, I devoured this book. It had me on the edge of my seat. I felt like I was right there with Margot as she discovered the shocking secrets of her family. I honestly couldn’t get enough of this story.

I loved our main character Margot. She hasn’t had the easiest life. Her and her mother Jo do not have the healthiest relationship. Jo is actually pretty toxic and she literally had no business raising a kid. Through the book, it’s easy to tell just how much Margot’s upbringing negatively impacted her. I was rooting for her so much though. I wanted her to find the answers that she needed. Margot goes through A LOT in this story and I love how determined and strong she is.

Overall, I loved everything about Burn Our Bodies Down. It was strange but in the best way possible. I highly encourage you to add this to your TBR shelves. You won’t regret it!