Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche

Hello readers! I was recently given an eARC of the newest Enola Holmes book. Normally, I might post a review on Goodreads, but I am slowly working on moving to StoryGraph, so I’m in a weird in-between stage of not fully using either platform. So this review will just live here!

Enola Holmes and the Black Barouche is a great follow-up to the Enola Holmes series! The book follows Enola as she nvestigates the disappearance of Lady Felicity Rudcliff, the Countess of Dunhench. The plot summary tells us that Tewkey will show up in this book, so I was worried that the plot would follow in the footsteps of the movie and put Enola and Tewkesbury together romantically. That would have rubbed me the wrong way, as earlier books indicate Tewkesbury is younger than Enola, and Enola herself is only 14. I was delighted that Tewkey’s appearance was only as a friend. I was also thrilled that Enola was able to develop her friendship with another young woman. As much as the Holmes’s late mother always said that Enola would do very well on her own, all I ever really wanted for her was to have a friend or two. I hope that if there are more books, that Lady Cecily comes back at some point.
Sherlock’s recap at the beginning of the story means that this book could very well stand alone from the rest of the series, and anyone looking to catch up with Enola need not start from the beginning. However, I think this installment will be most enjoyed by returning fans of the series. Enola is her usual clever – if somewhat overconfident – self, finding adventures or misadventures as every turn. Overall, it was great to return to this world, and I look forward to seeing what Enola will do next! Happy reading!


Series That Have Helped Me Through This Bananas Year

Hello readers! It’s been a while, and probably no one reads my blog anymore, but I felt like I wanted to go talk about some of the books that have helped me mentally survive the past year and a half. I was a high school teacher during the pandemic (taking some time off now), so you can say that my job got pretty chaotic and stressful during the pandemic. On top of that, a member of my household is immune compromised, so while the vaccine has eased our worries to some degree, we’ve been a lot stricter about social distancing and isolation than most people I know. It’s felt a little lonely at times and also sometimes terrifying, and books have really helped me get through this time in one piece. You’ll notice that most of these are either romance or mystery because there’s nothing like a predictable plot structure and a happy ending to make me feel like everything is under control. So here are 5 series that have given me comfort and entertainment since March of 2020.

The Brothers Sinister

I discovered Courtney Milan and binged this entire series before cancelling my Audible subscription. I had been struggling for a while to find another romance author that I liked as much as Sarah Maclean and Tessa Dare, but Courtney Milan really did it for me. If you like historicals and haven’t tried her yet, I definitely recommend!

The Parasol Protectorate

Gail Carriger’s wit and humor was exactly what I needed last summer. The first book in this series, Soulless, is a lot like a historical romance just with werewolves. I loved it and immediately devoured all of the other books in the series. There is also a prequel series and a sequel series and I adored those as well. There’s romance, there’s adventure, there’s tiny robotic dogs and gay werelions. Overall a great time.


The Nevermoor series by Jessica Townsend isn’t something I discovered during the pandemic, but I did reread all three books as a comfort read during the pandemic. Nevermoor follows Morrigan Crow, a girl who travels to a magical city called Nevermoor to compete in the trials for a very special school. It’s whimsical and wonderful and I am devastated that I will have to wait so long for book 4.

Enola Holmes

After seeing the trailer for the Enola Holmes movie last year, I blew through all of the books in order to prepare. The first book – the one the movie is based on – was my least favorite, but overall, I loved this series. It follows Enola, Sherlock’s younger sister, after she runs away from home in order to avoid the boring life of a young woman in Victorian society. She falls into the middle of a missing person’s case and realizes she has a bit of a knack for detective work. She continues to solve mysteries and evade capture by her brothers throughout the rest of the series. I often found myself laughing out loud while reading these. There are some things that aren’t great, like the use of a particular slur for the Romani/Roma throughout the series, and I hope that’s something that the publisher considers updating now that the books seem to be gaining popularity again. There’s also a lot of talk about tight-lacing corsets, which I’ve been learning was not nearly as common as movies and books would have you believe. But aside from some minor things, these books are great and Enola is a really fun main character. Side note: I just found out that a new book is coming out next month, so you can bet I will be reading that!

Lady Darby Mysteries

If like me, you don’t know what to read while waiting for the next installment of Lady Sherlock or Veronica Speedwell, then the Lady Darby Mysteries might be for you. It’s got everything I wanted – mysteries that aren’t too gory, a satisfying conclusion at the end of each case, the security of knowing the main characters will always come out okay, and a slow burn romance. I wouldn’t say that I liked it more than my current favorite historical mysteries, but Lady Darby definitely gets a solid third place after Veronica Speedwell and Charlotte Holmes. I’ve read all 9 books now, so if you have any recommendations for another historical mystery series like these, please let me know.

Some honorable mentions before I go. Rosie Danan and Martha Waters each have a romance series that I have enjoyed immensely so far, but each only has two books to date, so there’s not as much to read as there is with some of these other series. I’ve also continued to enjoy The Nancy Drew Diaries, the current modern take on Nancy Drew. And last but not least, the Psy-Changeling series by Nalini Singh. I’ve only just finished book 3 out of 20, but I am totally hooked. Anyway, let me know if you decide to try any of these series and happy reading!

2020 Goals Wrap-up/Reflection and 2021 Goals

Hello readers! It’s been… a year since my last post. I don’t think I really need to explain why I’ve been gone so long because I’m sure anyone reading this has probably experienced a similar year. Let’s just jump straight in with my wrap-up of my 2020 goals.

  1. Read 50 books for the Goodreads reading challenge.
    I set my goal quite a bit lower than past years thinking that I wouldn’t have as much time to read. HA!
    I read exactly 100 books in 2020, plus a few short stories that didn’t get counted because they were like 2 pages and it felt a little silly counting them as a whole book. I actually adjusted my goal to 80 when I realized that I was going to read way more than 50 books.
  2. Supporting Independent Bookstores
    Every physical book that I purchased in 2020 was through an independent bookstore, or bookshop.org, which helps to support indie bookstores. I also stopped using Audible and started using Libro.fm, but I did still have several Audible credits to use up. I think I bought a couple of ebooks through Amazon, but overall, I think I did a pretty good job with this goal.
  3. Keeping Up with the Blog
    HAHAHAHAHA nope.
  4. Book Club
    This goal was basically keep going to book club. I only missed one meeting of my main book club this year, and it was in March. Everything was starting to get scary, but the meeting was still in person, and I had a rough week at work, hadn’t read the book, and really didn’t want to take public transportation. So I get a score of 11/12 for this one, but I can gain back that lost point because I attended a couple meetings of another book club I go to sometimes.
  5. Diversifying My Reading
    I set some specific goals for myself to change up the kinds of books I am reading and expose myself to new genres, categories, age groups, etc.
    I read 0/3 self published books
    1/7 adult fantasy
    18/5 2020 releases
    1/3 graphic novels
    0/1 books of poetry
    12/10 classics
    0/1 books in French
    I pretty much gave up on these goals in March. I read mostly romance until about August, and then I started throwing in the occasional middle-grade or Agatha Christie.
  6. Controlling My Book Buying
    For not having left my house much for the past 10ish months, I somehow still managed to buy a lot of books. I also bought a bookshelf to sit on my desk, so everything is completely fine and I am definitely not drowning in a sea of books. Next.
  7. Mid-year Check-in
    I started this at one point and seriously considered re-evaluating my goals, but then I just decided that I wanted to read whatever and not worry about goals or challenges, so I never revisited my goals or wrote an update.

Okay, so I didn’t do so great with my bookish goals in 2020. Understandable. Now let’s set some reasonable goals for 2021.

Unlike a lot of people, I am not feeling super optimistic about this year. Yes, we have a vaccine, but I think I will still be spending a significant chunk of this year the way I spent 2020. I have been in the mood to challenge myself a bit more with my reading, and I have finally been able to break out of my nothing but romance/Agatha Christie fixation, but I don’t know how long it will last or how long it will be until I just really need some comfort reads.

So I want to go easy on myself this year. I set my Goodreads challenge to 50 books because that feels completely reasonable. I want to keep going to book club and supporting independent bookstores, but I’m not sure either of those needs to be a goal because they are pretty much a given at this point. I do want to continue to try to read more diversely, both with genres, and with character and author representation, but I don’t feel like setting any specific goals around that. Instead, my main goal for this year – or at least for the next 6 months – is to track my reading. I am going to test out a couple of different reading tracker spreadsheets and see what works for me. I really want to get a better sense of what types of books I need to push myself to read more.

Hopefully, I will be back in a few months with an update on how that is going. Until then, happy reading!

Bookish Goals for 2020

Hello readers! Two posts in one week? Who am I!? Someone who is avoiding folding laundry, that’s who.

Anyway, with the new year it’s time to set some new goals. As always, I want to keep these goals reasonable so that there is a chance I can actually meet them, but I also want to challenge myself.

Goodreads challenge:

I’m working full time as a high school teacher now, so I don’t have nearly as much time to read as I used to. When I get home from work, I am exhausted and can barely keep my eyes open. I sometimes listen to audiobooks in the car during my commute and I have some time on the weekends. I’ve been steadily increasing my goodreads goal over the past few years, but this year I am going to step it down a bit and set it at 50 books. After all, I do still have the summer off from work, so there is tons of reading time then.

Supporting Independent Bookstores:

It wasn’t a goal that I set for myself, but in 2019 I only purchased physical books from independent bookstores and used bookstores. I definitely want to keep this up. I love my local independent bookstores. They helped me out a lot with Christmas and birthday presents over the past year. I also worked on my social anxiety a lot in 2019 and bookstores provided a nice safe-feeling place to start to push myself out of my comfort zone a little bit. I joined a couple of book clubs, went to several all day events, and met a lot of authors. I want to keep supporting these bookstores in the new year. I still get a fair number of ebooks from Amazon, and I still subscribe to Audible, so I’d like to try to ease up even further on my Amazon use this year. At some point I want to switch over to Libro.fm, but I’m not sure that I’m quite ready yet (I’m still using that Audible romance package and enjoying it).

Keeping Up with the Blog:

In past years, I have set goals for myself to post once a week or twice a month or maybe even twice a week? Let’s be real, there’s no way that’s going to happen. Sometimes I just don’t have the energy or the ideas, or everything I write for a period of time is stuff I don’t feel like sharing. That’s fine. This is a hobby, so I am only going to do what I feel good about. I just want to keep posting every so often and not forget about this blog completely.

Book Club:

I joined a really fun book club in 2019 and I want to keep going to meetings this year. Honestly, book club is the highlight of my month, so even though I am always tired after work, I am going to make sure I go to as many meetings as possible.

Diversifying My Reading:

Some of these are genres and categories that I have already been trying to read more of, and some of these are going to be brand new to me this year. I don’t want to make any monthly goals this year because I am reading a lot fewer books each month than I used to. These numbers are rough goals for myself for the whole year, so I want to make sure to revisit them about midway through the year and see if they need adjusting.

3 self-published books

5 non-fiction books

7 adult fantasy

5 2020 releases

3 graphic novels

1 book of poetry

10 classics

1 book written in French

Controlling My Book-Buying:

I don’t feel guilty about buying books when I am supporting local independent businesses that I love, but my book-buying has gotten a little bit out of control. I have absolutely no room for books, and even though chances are high that I will move out of my parent’s house somewhat soon and into my own place with more bookshelves, I also want to make sure I’m not just hoarding books, but actually reading them. My goal/limitation this year will be that I can only buy one book if I read two books I already own. Rereads don’t count, but e-books and audiobooks do. Wish me luck! I think this will be my hardest goal out of all of them.


That’s it for my 2020 bookish goals. I go back to work tomorrow, so who knows when you’ll hear from me next. Until then, happy reading!



2019 Goal Reflections

Hello readers! Long time, no write. I got a new job in August and I’m still working on the whole work/life balance thing. I do want to make one last post before the new year so that I can do a bit of reflecting on my reading-related goals for 2019.

I set several goals for myself in January and then re-evaluated in June. Here they are:

Mid-Year Check-in:

I wanted to make sure to give myself some room to change any goals that weren’t working for me anymore. I’m happy to say that I did this, and some of my goals did change a bit.

100 Books Goodreads Challenge:

I met and surpassed this goal with a current total of 116 books and the possibility of finishing one last one before the end of the year.

One Classic Per Month:

I set this goal to challenge myself to read outside of my comfort zone. I didn’t read a classic every single month. I actually only managed 6 classics this year, but Jane Eyre was one of them and I have always found that book a little intimidating, so I am proud of myself even though I didn’t meet this goal.

One Adult Fiction Per Month:

This goal’s purpose was the same as the previous one. I didn’t read much adult fiction until this year, but now it’s something I am much more comfortable with. I read 26 adult fiction novels this year that I bothered to track in goodreads, plus a handful of romance that I read this past fall and forgot to put into my goodreads tracker.

Read 5 Non-Fiction:

I changed this goal in my mid-year check-in to 3 non-fiction by the end of the year. I read How to be a Good Creature and The Soul of an Octopus both by Sy Montgomery. I’m halfway through my third. You know what, 2.5 is better than nothing.

Read Some Adult High Fantasy:

Check! I started the Mistborn series this year and also read some V. E. Schwab. Also, it might not technically be high fantasy, but my current read is The City of Brass and boy am I loving it.

Romance Wrap-Ups:

I did this for a while, but then I took a brief romance hiatus. Then I started my new job and haven’t posted anything since then, so this goal kind of fell apart. I’m at a point where I think I need to suck it up and start tracking my romance reads in goodreads so I don’t forget what I’ve read. I also am at a point where I read maybe 2.5 books a month, so wrap-ups are something that might be over for a while.

Participate More in the Online Book Community:

I guest-hosted a couple of readathons and participated in several others, but that was kind of the extent of my involvement in the online book community. I enjoyed hosting the readathons and I did have a few ideas for one that I could start, but I never got around to fully fleshing out my ideas. If you want an idea for a readathon or reading challenge, hit me up, because I’ve got several!

Read at Least 2 Books I Already Own Each Month:

Boy did this not happen. I think I read at least one book that I already own each month, but I can’t be sure. I also acquired a lot of books. It’s kind of ridiculous.


Okay, so I didn’t meet every single goal, but I do think they helped me out a lot. I will be setting some new goals for myself soon, so stay tuned! Until then, happy reading!

July 2019 Wrap-Up

Hello readers! July was a great month for reading because I participated in both the final Biannual Bibliothon and the Reading Rush. I read a lot of books in the month of July, so let’s get started.

First up, I read Before the Devil Breaks You, the third book in the Diviners series by Libba Bray. It was great. I adore this series and can’t wait for the next book! The imagery was amazing, as always. The plot was a little less cohesive than in the first two books, but it still worked. I love these characters so freaking much.

Next, I read the new Buffy graphic novel by Jordie Bellaire. This series brings the same old Buffy we all know and love from her high school days into the modern era. It’s different in a lot of ways, but it also feels like the same old Buffy in a lot of ways. I enjoyed it and I will probably pick up the next one.

I then FINALLY read my first Mackenzie Lee with The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue. I heard a lot of incorrect things about this book before I read it, most notably that it takes place during the Victorian Era, and that it follows the general plot structure of a historical romance. False and false. This book takes place several decades to possibly a century before the Victorian Era even starts. The clothes are different, the slang is different, the politics are very different. So right off the bat, I was thrown, but it didn’t take long to resituate myself in the correct time frame. I only bring this up because if, like me, you really enjoy reading books that take place in Victorian England, then you should know that this isn’t one of those books. There also is some romance, but the plot doesn’t hit the typical beats of a romance novel. It’s much more of an adventure with some light fantasy, and some strong romantic themes. Now that we’ve cleared that up, I did enjoy this book. It was fun, funny, and touchingly sweet. I didn’t love Monty as the narrator. I found him crass and sometimes annoying, but I still wanted him to have a happy ending. I loved Felicity, and I am so excited that the sequel follows her because she is the coolest.

Next, I did something very unlike me and read some poetry. I read Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill. I am very unfamiliar with poetry, so I don’t really know what to say about it other than I thought it was really neat.

I then read Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Overall, I enjoyed it, but there were a few very specific plot points and character arcs that I could have lived without. I couldn’t help comparing parts of it to These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner, and Skyward by Brandon Sanderson, both of which I think are better YA Sci-Fi books.

I read another couple of Agatha Raisin books this past month. They were both pretty good. Agatha is still up to her old tricks and I still want to give her a big hug.

I also read The Princess and the Fangirl by Ashley Poston. I loved Geekerella, which was the first book in this series. It was adorable, and wonderful, and just basically everything I could ever want in a modern-day, fandom inspired, Cinderella retelling. This second book was somewhat disappointing. The Prince and the Pauper has never been one of my favorite fairytales for retellings, and this version suffers from the same problem most of them have, namely, the lack of character development. In the end, each character learns to appreciate their own life a little bit more and be a little less grumpy, and that’s about it. We only spend a few days with these characters, so we can’t really expect much more from them, but part of what I loved about Geekerella, was the slow build of the romance and both narrators learning throughout the novel how to be the best versions of themselves. Princess was still a well written and generally well-executed version of the fairytale, but it didn’t shoot to the top of my favorites the way Geekerella did. The next book in the series is going to be based on Beauty and the Beast, so I am very excited for that.

After that, I read another graphic novel, Ladycastle, by Delilah S. Dawson. If you like fantasy and fairytale tropes thrown on their head, jokes poking fun at Disney movies, heart-warming friendships and sister relationships, and also a well-witch, (because, why not?), then this is the book for you.

I am going to go out of order for a second to talk about the other graphic novels I read this month, because there are a few more. Papergirls, which I really liked, but also found kind of confusing; Nimona, which is probably now my favorite graphic novel of all time; and Umbrella Academy Vol. 1, which I kind of liked, but mostly had a really hard time following. I have come to the conclusion that I have a strong preference to funny, character driven graphic novels over the more serious and plot driven ones. If you have any recommendation for more things like Nimona, I would love to know!

Okay, next up, I finally finished my re-read of East by Edith Pattou. I have now read this book three times and I still adore it. I then read the sequel, West, which was kind of a disappointment. In my opinion, it would have been way better as a totally separate novel with different characters. The magic system felt completely different, the ending of the first book was retconned to make the sequel possible, the whole experience was just totally bizarre. I wanted to love this book, but sadly, I didn’t. Edith Pattou has said she’s thought about doing a South or North, but would probably do it from the perspective of the next generation. I kind of hope she does keep writing so that West can just be a slightly weird middle book. We’ve already introduced an entirely new kind of magic, so why the heck not? Exploring the world further might make it better. Anyway, none of this takes away from my enjoyment of East. It remains one of my favorite books ever.

August will probably be another crazy reading month for me because I am participating in the month-long NEWTs Magical Readathon. We’re only one week in, and I’m already on my sixth book. Until next time, happy reading!

Every Unread Book on My Bookshelf – Midyear Update

Hello readers! Earlier this year, I wrote a list of every unread physical book I owned. I have since read many of these books, and acquired a lot of new ones, so I’ve wanted to do an update post for a while. I haven’t purchased that many ebooks or audiobooks since then, and the ones I did buy, I have already read, so I don’t think I will be making an update post for either of those yet, but maybe at the end of the year?

First up, the books that I have read from my shelf since the last post:


I really thought I had done a much better job of chipping away at the books I already owned, but I guess most of them were books I bought after making the original post, like the rest of The Diviners series, Sherwood by Meagan Spooner,


Next up, the old stuff that I still haven’t read:


I will probably be reading one or both of these books by Levine for the NEWTs Magical Readathon.


I really want to re-read Aurelia before I start the sequel, but I just keep not doing it. I started during the Re-Readathon earlier this year, but didn’t get very far.


A short story anthology about LGBTQ+ teens. I haven’t really been feeling short stories lately, but I probably will someday.


Still not any further on reading Jane Austen, but I’m also way behind on my classics for the year, so there is hope for these books.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Guess what! I have only read one non-fiction book so far this year, and it was a brand new one instead of any of the ones I own.


I’ve been holding off on buying Obsidio until I read these two, but knowing me, I’ll probably get it anyway just to have the full set.


I got this book signed by the author, who is super sweet, so now I really have to read it.


Still trying to read Fun Home first, but still haven’t.


I read the first one at least!


Kind of scared to pick this up because I don’t have a lot of positive experience with magical realism, but I still really want to read it.


I’m starting to come to terms with the possibility that I might never finish this book.


I mostly only keep this because it’s signed and personalized. I love E. Lockhart, but I just don’t think this book is for me.



Okay, now onto the new stuff that I have purchased or received since the original post, but haven’t read. Many of these are from the American Library Association Annual Conference. There were lots of giveaways from various publishers, and I don’t remember what most of these are even about. Someone pitched it, and I was like “cool, I’ll try that” and then forgot everything they just told me. Many of the others are from author signings that I attended, so I wanted to buy the book while I had a chance to get it signed. I’m actually kind of scared to know how long this list is going to be.

No Place Like Here by Christina June
It Started with Goodbye by Christina June
Everywhere You Want to Be by Christina June

Christina June’s books are all fairytale inspired, so I obviously had to get them. Plus, she’s a local author, so these are all signed.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E. K. Johnston

I checked this one out from the library with several other books and didn’t get around to reading it before I had to return it. So when E. K. Johnston was in the area, I just bought this and got it signed.

The Tesla Legacy by K. K. Perez

Met the author at a book event and this sounded really cool.

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

A friend’s childhood favorite, and a retelling of Cinderella. Also, I’m not actually sure that I haven’t read this. It sounds super familiar, and I might have checked it out from the library as a kid.

The Affair of the Falcons by Melissa Rivero

An ARC I received on Independent Bookstore Day

Red Tails in Love by Marie Winn

Adding to my collection of non-fiction that I may or may not ever read. But it’s about birds, so this one has a better chance than most.

Outrun the Wind by Elizabeth Tammi


A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

There is no way I’m not going to love this, so I just bought it.

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

ARC from ALAAC, and see above re: no way I won’t love it.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

ARC from ALAAC, and I adored The Night Circus, so I have very high hopes for this one.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow


King of Fools by Amanda Foody

Kind of surprised I haven’t read this yet because the first book was so good!

Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton

ARC from ALAAC. It’s about a crow, so, duh.

Our Wild Calling by Richard Louv


Courting Mr. Lincoln by Louis Bayard

ARC given for Independent Bookstore Day

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren


Cogheart by Peter Bunzl

From ALAAC. The cover is gorgeous and it sounds like the kind of middle-grade that I love.

The Beholder by Anna Bright

I received the e-ARC of this one for review, but I’ve been getting headaches from screens, so I didn’t finish reading it. And now I can just read the final version anyway.

The Star Shepherd by Dan Haring and MarcyKate Connolly


Sisters of Shadows and Light by Sara B. Larson


Crown of Coral and Pearl by Mara Rutherford


House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin E. Craig


Beyond the Shadowed Earth by Joanna Ruth Meyer


The Lady and the Highwayman by Sarah M. Eden


The Wickerlight by Mary Watson


The Princess Who Flew With Dragons by Stephanie Burgis


The Bookwanders by Anna James


The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones


Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez


The Starspun Web by Sinead O’Hart


Cursed by Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller


The Library of Lost Things by Laura Taylor Namey


Bright Burning Stars by A. K. Small


A Crash of Fate by Zoraida Cordova


The Quiet You Carry by Nikki Barthelmess

ARC from ALAAC. Nikki was super sweet and we now follow each other on social media. She has a really cute dog. I basically never read the hard-hitting contemporaries, but I will have to make an exception for this one.

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Bought this for a giveaway and ended up with an extra copy that is now just mine.

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

Too many good recommendations not to buy this.

Wicked Fox by Kat Cho


Let Me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

My book club’s book pick for August.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

The book club’s pick for July, but I couldn’t go to the meeting, so I never finished the book.

Virtually Yours by Sarvenaz Tash


Midnight Beauties by Megan Shepherd


Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody

Ace of Shades was so good that I just wanted everything she’s ever written.

We Hunt the Flame by Hafsa Faizal

Fierce Reads Tour

The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

Fierce Reads Tour

City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty

Everyone keeps saying how good this is, and I am trying to read more adult fantasy.

Beast – A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen

It’s a fairytale retelling with a gorgeous cover, so, well, you get the idea.

Nocturna by Maya Montayne

Recommended by the women who run my book club.

Ghosts of the Shadow Market by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, Kelly Link, and Robin Wasserman

To be fair, I am a good way into this one, but I’m spacing out the stories so that I can enjoy it more.

Stepsister by Jennifer Donnelly

Another retelling, and also I have like Jennifer Donnelly before, so when I was in a bookstore and saw it, I bought it.

Queen of Ruin by Tracy Banghart

I just finished the first book a couple days ago and DAMN was it good.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Everyone loves this book. I will probably also love this book. Might as well just own it, right?

Slayer by Kiersten White

Just bought this last night. I’ve been in a very Buffy mood lately ever since I read the new comic, so this was a must.


Okay, I promise I actually read the things I buy! Now I want to list the new books I’ve bought that I have read, just to make myself feel better:

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray
Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray
Archenemies by Marissa Meyer
Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Okay, so maybe I read it before I bought it, but I re-read it, so it still counts!

Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
Sherwood by Meagan Spooner
Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

Also from the Fierce Reads Tour, but it was a bookclub book, so it got bumped to the top of the TBR.

Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

See above re: Geekerella, and also this book is so good.

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart


The Red Scrolls of Magic by Cassandra Clare and Wesley Chu

I do a pretty good job of keeping up on the Shadowhunters stuff, if nothing else

Agatha Raisin and the Quiche of Death by M. C. Beaton

I think I technically read this before I bought it, but by like a day.

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill

Finally read some poetry!


So I’m definitely bringing in more books than I’m reading, but hey, someone has to support local independent bookstores. Until next time, happy reading!

Final Biannual Bibliothon TBR

Hello readers! Like many, I was sad to hear that the upcoming round of the Biannual Bibliothon will be the last, but I am determined to make it great! This round of the readathon will span 9 days starting on July 11th. As usual, my TBR is not set in stone and is very likely to change. I’m doing my best to pick mainly books that I already own because my list of owned and unread books is getting so long that I’m starting to feel itchy. The rules are that you can double up on challenges, but tripling up is discouraged.

The first challenge is to read the group book, which is Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. I don’t own this book, and I’m hoping to get the audiobook from Overdrive, but we’ll see.

The next challenge is to read an adult book. I’ve been reading a lot more adult books lately, so I don’t think I’ll have too much trouble with this. I plan on picking up Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern, or Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren. Both of these books are ARCs that I picked up at the American Library Association Annual Conference, and I am very excited about both of them.

The third challenge is to read a graphic novel. I have quite a few, including some I picked up at ALA, so I will probably read one of those. I currently own a new Buffy comic book, Umbrella Academy, which I have been meaning to get to for years, Nimona, which I tell myself I’m going to read for almost every readathon, and Paper Girls, which is supposed to be really good. I also might end up re-reading Hyperbole and a Half because that’s always a fun time.

The next reading challenge is to read a book based on the cover. I have a few books that I know very little about and have picked up over the years just because I liked the cover. A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly and The Musician’s Daughter by Susanne Dunlap have been on my shelf the longest. I also have Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill, which I recently bought partly based on a bookseller’s recommendation, but mostly because the cover is gorgeous. Then there are a few other books I picked up from ALA because the covers were pretty, but I don’t feel like sorting through that stack, so I’ll go into more depth if I end up picking any of them.

For a book that you were excited for but never got to, I’m really hoping to pick up West by Edith Pattou, but in order to do that, I really need to finish my re-read of East before the start of the bibliothon. East was one of my favorite childhood books, so I was thrilled when the sequel was announced. I actually won a signed copy of West, but I still haven’t gotten around to it because I really wanted to re-read the first book. I’ve really been struggling with reading physical books lately, and have only been reading about one a month, so hopefully I can push through on East in time for the bibliothon.

Next up is a host’s 5-star read. For this challenge, I am either going to read Scythe by Neal Shusterman, A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee, or The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken. I own all three of these in audiobook format and I could go for any of them, but I’m leaning towards Mackenzie Lee.

Next up is an author you’ve never read from before. For this challenge, I am going to double up and either use Aurora Rising, because I have never read anything by Jay Kristoff, or use whichever of the three books I pick for the host’s 5-star, because I’ve never read any of those authors.

Next to last is a predicted 5-star read. This is another good one to double up on, so I’m planning on using whichever of the two books I pick for the adult genre challenge.

And finally, the last challenge is a free choice. This is kind of a weird “challenge” because you can choose anything, and with the doubling up rule, it basically ends up not existing as a challenge. So I’ll double this challenge up with either the cover challenge or the graphic novel challenge.

There you have it – my very loose reading plans for the biannual bibliothon. Let me know if you plan to participate and what’s on your TBR. Happy reading!

June Wrap-up 2019

Hello readers! I’m back for my June wrap-up and this month I’m on time!

I started out the month really well with Skyward by Brandon Sanderson. I had such a good time with this book. It’s only my third Sanderson, but it was really great. It has a lot of the same world-building strength that Mistborn has, but it’s Sci-fi and young adult, so it also brings something new to the table. I loved learning about this world, and having Sanderson shoot down every single theory I had. The characters were so well developed, and had very distinct personalities. There’s also one character that I would talk about forever because they are the most wonderful, funny, and loyal character ever and I love them so much, but I don’t want to spoil anything, and even the character’s name is kind of a spoiler.

Next, I re-read Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody. I got the chance to meet Amanda Foody and get finished copies of both Ace of Shades and King of Fools, and I got them signed. I read the ARC for Ace of Shades back when it first came out, and I really liked it, but I did think that there were some places where the feelings came across as telly instead of showy. Upon re-read, it definitely seems like a lot of these places were fixed in the final version, so I’m glad I gave it another go. I really love this world and this magic system, and I am so excited to dive back in with King of Fools when I get the chance.

The next book I read was for my in person book club at one of my local indie bookstores. I read Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo. Now normally I wouldn’t pick up a YA contemporary romance centered around Kpop, but I’m glad I did. This book is actually inspired by Roman Holiday, one of my favorite movies ever. It’s a great modern take on a classic story and I really liked what the author did with it. If you like YA contemporary romance, Hong Kong, Kpop, or Roman Holiday, then you will probably like this book.

Next I picked up Agatha Raisin and the Walkers of Dembley. As always, Agatha Raisin books are a solid 4-star read for me. Great cozy mystery.

After that, I FINALLY picked up Inkmistress by Audrey Coulthurst. I am obsessed with Audrey Coulthurst’s debut Of Fire and Stars, a YA fantasy featuring a female-female romance, elemental magic, and an assassination plot. Inkmistress is a prequel set in a neighboring kingdom. I’ve heard a lot of mixed things about this book, but it seems to boil down to, it’s a fun read, but it doesn’t feel like it takes place in the same world. I went into this book with that in mind, and spent the whole time trying to figure out how a magic system could have changed so much over the years. Listen, I get that it feels like a different world, but it’s all explained at the end, so just don’t worry about it too much. The characters are completely wonderful, the magic and religion is super neat, and I am always here for a fantasy with LGBTQ+ relationships. Also, Hal is the perfect man.

The next book I read in June was Undying by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. This is the sequel to Unearthed, which I read back in January of 2018. The first book ended on a major cliffhanger, so I was highly anticipating this sequel. It did not disappoint. I spent the better part of a year perfecting my theory as to who the Undying were and how they came to be, and let’s just say, I was mostly right. This book has a great fast-paced plot, but is definitely not as character focused. I also would have liked the ending to be a bit longer so that I could have a bit more time to take in how all the loose ends were tied up, but overall, this was a really fun duology.

Okay, so I totally failed at my goal to read a classic this month, but I did read a non-fiction book, which should count for something. I read How to Be a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery and I cried on public transportation. Each chapter is an incredibly touching story about what animals can teach us. There are some sad parts, but man is it worth it. I’ve already got The Soul of an Octopus because I love the way Sy Montgomery writes about animals and I can’t wait to read more.

I then read the next two novellas in the Ghosts of the Shadowmarket series. I am loving these characters and can’t wait to see more of them in The Last Hours. Anna Lightwood is especially fun. I also really like Sister Amelia and I hope she comes back at some point.

The last book I read in the month of June was A Script for Danger, the next book in The Nancy Drew Diaries. I always enjoy these books and this one was no exception.

I also read a handful of romance novels this month, but like I explained in my last wrap-up, I can’t quite remember which ones I read in May and which ones I read in June, so I will be combining my romance wrap-up. Check back soon if you’re interested in that!

Until then, happy reading!


Mid-Year Goals Check-in

Hello readers! At the start of 2019, I set a bunch of reading goals for myself, so let’s see how I’m doing.

My first goal was to do a check-in mid-year to see how I was doing with my goals and re-evaluate the effectiveness of some of them if needed. Great, I’m doing that now!

Goal the second was my Goodreads reading challenge to read 100 books by the end of the year. I’ve read 59 so far, so I’m also doing fairly well there.

I wanted to try to read at least one classic and one adult fiction novel per month. I haven’t met this goal every month, but I read multiple classics and multiple adult fiction novels in some months, so it does kind of average out. I want to keep this goal, because I have been enjoying the challenge!

I also said I wanted to read more non-fiction and set myself a goal of reading 5 non-fic books by the end of the year. I’m part-way through my first one. I’m going to step this goal back to 3 and see if I can manage that a little better. I’d like to have at least finished the first one by the end of the summer.

In addition to classics, adult, and non-fiction, I wanted to try to read more adult high fantasy. I’ve read two books so far, and have enjoyed them, and I have a lot more on my TBR, so this might actually become one of my most read genres eventually.

My next goal was to start doing romance wrap-ups, which I have been doing. I missed the one for May, but I’m planning on doing a combined May/June post. I definitely want to keep doing these posts because it really helps me to think about romance as a genre, what makes a good romance novel, what tropes are fun, and which tropes are problematic, etc.

My (almost) last goal was to participate more in the online book community. I’ve done this some by guest-hosting 2 readathons. What I’ve done a lot more of is participating in my local real-life book community. I’ve been attending a lot more author events, I went to independent bookstore day, I volunteered at a book festival, I now have a weekly volunteer gig at a used bookstore that raises money for the library, and I even joined a book club. Getting out of the house to go hang out with bookish people has done wonders for my anxiety, and I’ve also gotten a lot of new books to read!

I made one final goal for myself at the end of January to read at least two books I already own each month. Some months have been better than others. I definitely want to keep this goal because I really don’t want to turn into one of those people who buys every book and then never reads any of them. I also might need to update my posts on the unread books I own. So look out for that post, and until then, happy reading!