I Love Spring Book Tag

spring book tag

I do love spring, so this tag seems like it is absolutely perfect for me!


1) How is Spring where you live?

I live in North Carolina, so it is typically pretty warm here! I would say it is basically in the sixties and seventies when spring first starts.


2) Most anticipated book release this Spring?

Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran! I am so excited about this sapphic fantasy! I am most excited about the female/female romance in this book!


3) Show us a book cover that makes you think of Spring:

Image result for wild beauty

I still need to read this book, but I really want to get to it sometime this spring!


4) Where are you going to read this Spring?

My family has a house that has a little patio out back that I love to read on when it is warm enough outside.


5) Find a cover with the sun on it!

Image result for book cover with the sun

I adore this book and have both the US and UK versions of it!


6) What are your favorite Spring reads?

I am definitely a seasonal reader. During spring, I like to read books with really flowery writing and contemporaries.


7) Find a book with many different colors on it?

Image result for i'll give you the sun

This book is perfect for this tag! The US paperback version is super colorful.


Thanks for reading! ❤

 

 

Recently Read: Snowspelled

snowspelled

I read Snowspelled by Stephanie Burgess in January and really enjoyed it!


Brief Thoughts

This book was fun, magical, and romantic! I really enjoyed it, but I just wish I got to get to know the characters a little more.


Info About the Book

Author – Stephanie Burgess

Genre – Adult Fantasy/Romance Novella

Number of pages – 168 pages

Star rating – 4 out of 5 stars


Synopsis from Goodreads

In nineteenth-century Angland, magic is reserved for gentlemen while ladies attend to the more practical business of politics. But Cassandra Harwood has never followed the rules…

Four months ago, Cassandra Harwood was the first woman magician in Angland, and she was betrothed to the brilliant, intense love of her life.

Now Cassandra is trapped in a snowbound house party deep in the elven dales, surrounded by bickering gentleman magicians, manipulative lady politicians, her own interfering family members, and, worst of all, her infuriatingly stubborn ex-fiancé, who refuses to understand that she’s given him up for his own good.

But the greatest danger of all lies outside the manor in the falling snow, where a powerful and malevolent elf-lord lurks…and Cassandra lost all of her own magic four months ago.

To save herself, Cassandra will have to discover exactly what inner powers she still possesses – and risk everything to win a new kind of happiness.


My Review

Writing – The writing in this book was simply fun; it flowed so nicely. I really enjoyed the writing style the entire time I was reading.

Characters – Cassandra was awesome. She was headstrong, stubborn, and fought tooth and nail to help others around her. I loved her family dynamics between her and her brother and sister-in-law. I also adored her ex-fiance. He was an incredible man. There was also a great female/female couple in this novella that is later featured in their own story. I just wish I got to know all of the characters a little bit better.

Plot – This novella had a great plot that it stuck to the entire time. There was a great mystery, and there were also a couple of great side plots that I really enjoyed. Learning about Cassandra and Wrexham’s relationship was so fun. It made their interactions so much more meaningful.

Enjoyability / Would I Recommend – I would 100% recommend this novella. It is the first adult novella I have ever read, and I really enjoyed it. There is magic, political intrigue, great romance, and a diverse cast of characters. I cannot wait to get my hands on the other novellas in this series!


Thanks for reading! ❤

Chain of Gold Tea Box Review

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The only box I bought for Chain of Gold was the Sips By tea box, and I was so impressed by it that I decided I wanted to do a review on it.

I have contemplated doing a review on Chain of Gold, but I think for right now I am way too emotional to gather my thoughts enough. It was one of the best books I have ever read and the number of queer characters represented was the icing on the cake.

 

My Overall Thoughts

I am not an avid tea drinker at all. I enjoy a cup maybe once or twice a month, but that is it. I had never used loose tea before, and as stupid as it might sound, I was confused as to what to do. Sips By has an amazing website that helped me so much. I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the teas, and the character cards are absolutely beautiful.

 

Ranking the Teas

4. My least favorite tea was the Lapsang Souchong Black by Davidson’s Organic Teas. This was the tea that was inspired by James Herondale. This tea was a super smokey tea, and I have never tasted anything like it. While I enjoyed this tea, it was a little offputting to me. I kind of felt like I was drinking a barbecue. It was fun to try something so far outside of my comfort zone, though!

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3. My third favorite was Lavender Té by The Téspa inspired by Lucie Herondale. I enjoyed this tea a lot. I felt like I had to hold my nose while drinking it, though. Lavender is not something I would ever think about consuming, so it was so weird to me to smell it while drinking the tea. It was delicious, though.

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2. My second favorite is the Mystical Chai by Sabroso Chai, which was inspired by Cordelia Carstairs. I adore chai tea, so I absolutely loved this tea. It was incredible. My one complaint was that I steeped it for longer than it said, but it was still a little weak. It tasted great. 20200309_141107

1. My absolute favorite was the Blood Orange tea by Harney & Sons. It was inspired by Matthew Fairchild. This tea was incredibly delicious. It was absolutely my favorite tea out of all of them. I had no complaints about it at all. It was so, so good.

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The Character Cards

My favorite part of this box was the character cards. I assumed the cards were only going to be the four characters that the teas represented. I was wrong, though! There were also cards for Thomas and Anna Lightwood. I love both of these characters so much and was so glad they were included. Thomas was my favorite character in Chain of Gold, so having a character card of him makes me so happy!

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Thanks for reading! ❤

Book Unhaul Challenge

book unhaul challenge

I started unhauling books last year, and it actually feels pretty good to clear the clutter off of my shelves. I am probably due for another unhaul, so I thought this challenge would be perfect!


1. A book you rated low

For this one, I’m going with Beastkeeper by Cat Hellison. I read this book a long time ago and gave it 2 stars, so there is really no reason for me to keep it on my shelves.


2. A book you changed your mind about

This is Not a Werewolf Story by Sandra Evans. I enjoyed this book when I read it a couple years ago, but I do not need it any longer. Since reading it, I have not thought about it once.


3. A series you won’t be completing

The Edge of Everything by Jeff Giles. I read this book a super long time ago, but I really enjoyed it. I now remember next to nothing about it, hate the cover change, and will never read the second book.


4. A book you DNFed

I’m going to go with And I Darken by Kiersten White. I have had this book for years, but I am never going to finish it. I really cannot stand the main character or the main love interest, so there is no chance I am ever picking this book back up.


5. A book you own multiple copies of

I have two copies of Timekeeper by Tara Sim. I don’t need both of them, so I will be getting rid of my paperback copy and keeping my hardcover.


6. A book you’ll never actually get to

I’m going to go with All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater. I read the first chapter of this book when I first bought it out of sheer curiosity and I have never wanted to return to it. I think I am going to just stick with her Raven Cycle series because I have never enjoyed anything else she has written.


7. A book you bought because of the hype

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White. I gave Kiersten White another chance after hearing amazing things about this book, but I really did not enjoy it.


8. A book you bought because of the cover

Sawkill Girls by Claire LeGrand! I bought this book because it was beautiful and because I loved Furyborn by this author. I did not enjoy this book at all, though.


9. A book you don’t know anything about

Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull. I bought this book on sale, but I know nothing about it. I think it is middle grade, though, which is not really my cup of tea.


10. A book you didn’t buy

I got The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton for my birthday a couple of years ago because I loved The Strange and Beautiful Life of Ava Lavender so much. I did not enjoy this book at all, though, so I am going to get rid of it.


Thanks for reading! ❤

 

New Year’s Book Tag

new years book tag

Happy (very late) New Year! I am so excited to do this tag and am hoping for an amazing reading year for everyone in 2020!


1. How many books are you planning to read in 2020?

I actually lowered my Goodreads challenge all the way down to 50 books this year. I posted a little about this on Twitter, but for the past two years, I have been rushing through books and cutting corners (DNFing books as soon as I get a little bored with them) to read 80-some books in a year. I am so done with that. I wanted to have a goal I would still have to work for, but one that let me read at a little bit of a slower pace.


2. Name 5 books that you didn’t get to this past year but want to make a priority in 2020.

  • The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black – I am so excited to finish this trilogy but I will miss it so much when I am done with The Queen of Nothing.
  • Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater – I have mixed feelings on this book since I am not a big fan of authors continuing already finished series, but I loved Ronan so I really need to get to this book!
  • Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – With the Netflix series being made, I really need to buckle down and read this trilogy – I just haven’t heard great things about it.
  • Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell – Carry On is my second favorite book of all time (after City of Bones), and I love it so much, which makes me nervous that I won’t like the sequel nearly as much as the first book.
  • Sherwood by Meagan Spooner – This is a bit of a random one, but I am just so excited to read this Robin Hood retelling and cannot believe I didn’t get to it last year.

3. What genre do you want to read more of?

Historical fiction. I rarely ever read historical fiction but have multiple books in the genre on my shelves. I am super picky about what historical fiction I like, so I sometimes have a hard time finding books I really enjoy in the genre, but I want to give the books on my shelves a try.


4. Name 3 not-related-to-book goals for 2020.

  • I want to rewatch every Disney princess movie (sequels and all).
  • I want to finish Parks and Rec, as I have been watching it forever and really need to buckle down and actually finish the series.
  • I want to finish watching all of the Friday the 13th movies. (I have seen 5 so far.)

5. What’s a book you have had forever and are determined to read?

I bought Heartless by Marissa Meyer the weekend after it was released. That was in 2016. I will read it this year. I am determined!


6. One word that you’re hoping 2020 will be.

Relaxed. I want all of my goals to be achievable with minimal amounts of stress. I think I can do it!


Thanks for reading! ❤

 

The 12 Best Books of 2019

best books

I read so many great books this year, and I cannot wait to share this list! I read 88 books in 2019, and it was so hard to narrow down my 12 favorites! I decided to do this list after my least favorites list to end the year on a positive note! I hope you enjoy!!


12. Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy

I had to include this book, as it meant the world to me. I loved Ramona so much – from her dedication to her family to her love for her friends. I also loved the fact that this book is about her questioning her sexuality, but the author did it in a way in which she is never valued less by other characters because of it. I really adored Ramona, her family, her friends, and her romance!


11. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

This is the dark historical fantasy I have always needed! I adored literally everything about this book. The magic was super dark, there was just a subtle hint at a romance, and the girls in this book are fierce and strong. Gemma, the main character, is super complex emotionally and super resilient. I love her!


10. The Wicked King by Holly Black

I didn’t get to The Queen of Nothing this year, so this is my only Holly Black book on this list! Unfortunately, I loved it but not as much as The Cruel Prince, which was (I’m pretty sure) my third favorite book of 2018. This one was definitely not even close to as amazing as the first one, but it was still amazing. All I will say is that the plot twists in this book literally gave me chills.


9. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

I know it was a good reading year when a book as good as this one is this high up on my list. I loved everything about it. Reid and Lou had one of the best enemies to lovers romance I have ever read, the world-building was incredibly interestingly done, and there was not one boring moment in this book. This witchy book did not let me down.


8. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

This book was amazing. A Court of Thorns and Roses is like my third favorite series ever, and Throne of Glass could never hold a place in my heart like ACOTAR does, but I still loved it. Celeana has been a character I have been dying to read about for years, and she did not disappoint me. This book was just as cheesy and love-triangle-y as I hoped it would be!


7. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Speaking of cheesy, this book is next level. I loved every single second of reading this book. The weird romance between Rose and Dmitri, the high school drama, the I’m-not-like-other-girls thrown in there! I love older, cheesy YA books, and this one is the epitome of those! I genuinely love this book with all of my heart.


6. Again, but Better by Christine Riccio

I never would have imagined that this book would be on this list. I bought it purely to support Christine, who I have watched for many years. It didn’t really seem down my alley, as I am not usually a fan of pure contemporary romance. This book shocked me in the best possible way. I will always cherish my signed copy of this book because I adored this story. The romance was great, the main character was hilarious, and the time travel-y bit thrown into the story was so much fun!


5. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

I have talked about this book since I read it in May. What a fantasy! There is political intrigue, forbidden romance, incredibly well-placed plot twists, an intricate world, and so much pining! The characters all have so much dimension that they really feel like real people. It is so good.


4. The How & the Why by Cynthia Hand

This is a book about a girl who is searching for her birth mother who gave her up for adoption after getting pregnant as a high school student. I cried during this entire book. It is told both as a normal story and in letters. The letters are what set this book apart. They are so emotional that I would have tears streaming down my face trying to read them. I loved both the girl who gave the main character up for adoption and the main character. They were just teenage girls trying to live their lives in the best way that the could, and I was rooting for them the entire book.


3. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

This book is always going to have a special place in my heart as the first adult book I have ever read for pleasure. It was very, very narrowly beat on this list by the two Cassandra Clare books that came out this year (shocking, I know), but it will always be one of my favorite books I have ever read. The main character, Alex, is a total badass morally gray character, and I adored her. My favorite ship of the year comes from the book. There is a small part of this book basically told in flashbacks that tells the story of a broken romance and it is by far the best romance I have read this year. This is the spooky book of my dreams.


2. The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare

As some know, Alec Lightwood has been my favorite character in fiction since I read City of Bones over five years ago, so it is shocking that this was not my favorite book of the year. I obviously adored it, though. There were so many queer characters in this book, which made me so happy! The plot was so fun and easy to follow, which was another aspect I loved. All in all, this book was fun, romantic, and only grew my love of Alec and of Magnus.


1. Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare

In the five years since I read The Infernal Devices, I have never understood why people love Tessa, Jem, and Will so much. I liked them but loved the side characters (Gideon, Sophie, Cecily, Gabriel, Henry, Charlotte, etc.) so much more. I still love the side characters more, but I understand the love of Jem. I still don’t love Will that much, but that is beside the point. This book made me cry in public. A book really has to move me to do that. Jem is one of the sweetest, kindest male characters I have ever read about. One thing I commend Cassie so much for is her male relationships. She writes male characters who are not afraid to express their platonic love for each other. Jem was such an interesting character to follow, seeing as how his life has been so complex. The story about Anna Lightwood made me cry at school, the story about Alec meeting Rafe made me cry at school, and the last story (about Kit) made me practically bawl at school. Every time I think about Jem telling Kit that Kit has no need to feel grateful for living with him and Tessa because he loves Kit, and he would not have it any other way, I get tears in my eyes. This book made me love Jem Carstairs more than I ever thought possible.


Thanks for reading! ❤

The 7 Worst Books of 2019

worst books

Since it is the end of the year, and I know for a fact I will not be completing any more books this year, I decided to go ahead and make my best and worst books of the year lists. I have 7 worst books to talk about today and 12 best books to talk about in a few days. I hope you enjoy!


7. The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

This is my only 2 star read on this list, but it made it on here because of how disappointed I was when reading it. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black is one of my favorite books ever, so I had super high expectations. I did not enjoy this book at all. It was slow, I hated the romance, and I just did not care about any of the characters.


6. The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth

I was so excited to read this book, as I have heard about almost like a modern classic. I really, really did not enjoy it, though. For one thing, the book is just too long. It is a 400-something page realistic fiction, and because of that, it is incredibly slow. I just could not get into this book and could barely force myself to continue reading it.


5. Vengeance Road by Erin Bowman

I was so disappointed with this book. It looked so promising, but it just did not live up to the story I wanted it to be. This book was, for me, entirely too rushed. I felt like I was forced to try to get to know characters I was just introduced to – and care about them. The romance aspect felt a little off, the pacing needed to be slowed down, and the cowboy setting was just not incredibly well done.


4. It’s Not Like It’s a Secret by Misa Sugiura

All I can say about his book is that it had one of the worst – if not the worst – romance I have ever read. The two girls who were supposed to be falling in love had no chemistry. At all. That’s not to mention that the plot was so poorly executed that I didn’t even care about what was going to happen with the main character’s family.


3. That’s Not What I Heard by Stephanie Kate Strohm

This book was just bad. It is all about a girl and boy who break up and the rumors that follow their breakup. It follows so many characters that I could not have enough time with any of them to actually get to know or care about them, there is no build-up to the breakup so I couldn’t have cared less that the two characters broke up, and the writing style was just too surface level. I really was not a fan.


2. Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future by AS King

I bought this book at the Dollar Tree and I still think I overpaid. I knew going into this book that it was going to be strange. I was excited for that. What I did not know is that I was going to hate the main character. This is one of those books where you are rushed into the plot with no time to get introduced to the main character, so there was already no way I was going to care about the main character. I hated the main character, though. She had the worst case of I’m-not-like-other-girls I have ever seen. She even said terrible things about her best friend because she wasn’t as ‘morally upstanding’ as Glory. I was so sick of Glory within the first 30 pages of the book.


1. You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

I hated everything about this book. The writing was atrocious, the pacing was terrible, and I could not stand the romance. You’d Be Mine is honestly one of the worst books I have ever read. For starters, the writing was just messy. This book seemed like an early draft, not a finished copy. The pacing was the worst side effect of that. This book was both way too fast but way too slow. The days were flying by in it so fast that I could barely keep up with when things were happening, but nothing was actually happening. There was just a bunch of concerts with terrible songs thrown into the book. One song, Coattails I believe it was called, was so terribly written I actually started laughing out loud at the airport where I was reading. I showed my mom the lyrics and she couldn’t help but laugh, either. I hated both the boy and the girl falling in love, so I did not care about the romance at all. I do not usually say this, but I don’t think I would ever even consider giving this author’s books another try in the future.


Thanks for reading! ❤