Blog Tour Review: A Real Royal Christmess by Linda West

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A fun, light, and quick read, just in time for the holidays!

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and Linda West for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Linda West is the best selling author of the adorable and enchanting “Christmas Kisses and Cookies.” It is a delightful series of holiday romances based around the town of Kissing Bridge and the magical Landers sisters who are the reigning blue ribbon cookie queens thanks to their mothers’ ‘special’ recipe book. 

Linda was the owner of Mayberry – a celebrity-filled restaurant in Malibu where many of her recipes enchanted the regulars such as Tom Hanks and Anthony Hopkins to name a few. Her recipes are sprinkled throughout her fiction books much to the delight of her fans.

Her newest venture is in the cozy mystery and humor genre. With – Death by Crockpot – the first in her newest series -Linda takes her favorite known characters from Kissing Bridge and throws them into some side-splitting funny adventures.

Review

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Purchase Links: Amazon UK, Amazon US (affiliate link).

Premise

Jess is trying to win back her boyfriend, who dumped her for being boring. Jamie is trying to complete his father’s bucket list before he takes the Crown. Both of them are hiding who they truly are, and when the truth is discovered, it’s a real royal Christmess!

Review (No Spoilers)

A Real Royal Christmess was a lot of fun! It’s not at all realistic, but it’s the perfect read if you’re looking for something light, quick, and funny during this holiday season.

The plot follows a young woman, Jess, as she attempts to win back her ex in increasingly ridiculous ways. While Jess is incredibly naive (and a little bit childish), you can’t help but laugh while cheering her on. The feeling of wanting to be someone else in order to satisfy other people is one that I think everyone can identify with, so it’s not hard to put yourself in her shoes and empathize with her struggles.

On top of that, she has an amazing support system in her best friend, Molly, which is something I always love to see in novels. There’s a “friendship fallout” trope that I see a lot in novels and I’m happy that this book didn’t fall into that. The love interest, Prince Jamie, is both likable and relatable. Unlike many other romance novels about royalty, Jamie is a stand-up guy from the beginning and I very much enjoyed that aspect of his character. Any woman would be happy to have someone as polite, thoughtful, and generous as him.

While the writing got a bit choppy at the end, I think I had an ARC as some of the digital formatting was off in a few chapters. I imagine that this was probably fixed in the final edit. Nevertheless, I would recommend A Real Royal Christmess if you’re looking for a quick feel-good Christmas novel that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

To follow along on with the rest of the blog tour, check out the schedule posted below! If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy, you can find it on Amazon UK or Amazon US (affiliate link).


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

#TheWriteReads #UltimateBlogTour Review: The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A thrilling page-turner full of interesting characters and many interlocking secrets

Thank you so much to The Write Reads and Karen M. McManus for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy!

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review

Book CWs

For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise (from Goodreads)

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You’ll never feel the same about family again.

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they’ve never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at her island resort for the summer, they’re surprised . . . and curious.

Their parents are all clear on one point–not going is not an option. This could be the opportunity to get back into Grandmother’s good graces. But when the cousins arrive on the island, it’s immediately clear that she has different plans for them. And the longer they stay, the more they realize how mysterious–and dark–their family’s past is.

The entire Story family has secrets. Whatever pulled them apart years ago isn’t over–and this summer, the cousins will learn everything. 

Review (No Spoilers)

Karen M. McManus has kept her spot on my list of favorite YA mystery/thriller authors! Though The Cousins wasn’t my favorite book of hers (see my reviews of One of Us is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret) she has this amazing ability to keep me hooked on anything she writes.

Having heard many raving reviews about this book, I couldn’t wait to pick it up for this blog tour. I’ve been having a reading week of not-so-great books so I was very happy that I finally got to one that I thoroughly enjoyed enough to give a solid 4 star rating.

One of the things that I thought was really great about this book was that I found each of the three cousins to not only be likable, but also very relatable. While they are classic teenagers with many individual flaws, I developed a soft spot in my heart for each of them. I don’t feel too hot about any of the side characters (and I still want to punch several of them in the face) but having likable/relatable main characters is maybe the most important thing to me as a reader.

The main thing that I was disappointed with was how predictable I found the book. It is definitely filled with many twists and turns, but I saw almost all of them coming beforehand so I didn’t get that same gut-punch that other reviewers received. I was also constantly getting confused between the Story brothers because all of their names begin with the letter “A”. Even now that I’ve finished the book, I still couldn’t tell you who is who off the top of my head.

Regardless, The Cousins is a book that can be enjoyed by YA and adult readers alike and I’m definitely going to be keeping my eye out for more of Karen M. McManus’ works.


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

WWW Wednesday – November 25, 2020

This is my first time doing a WWW Wednesday so I hope I do it properly!

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Taking on a World of Words, where you answer the following three questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What have you recently finished?
  • What are you reading next?

Currently Reading

I’m technically in the middle of severals books but I’m only going to count the ones that I’m currently active on.

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu

I started this yesterday and I hope to finish it today! I got this book in a Bubbles and Books subscription box and I’m using it for the “Fall Colored Cover” prompt for Readathin.

So far I’m liking it an okay amount. It’s more enjoyable than I thought but the main characters don’t make sense to me and this book suffers from the insta-love trope.

The Scorch Trials by James Dashner

Rob and I have been listening to this on audiobook for a while and we’re finally nearing the 90% benchmark! We should be finished with this either today or tomorrow.

This is a reread for me but I legit do not remember how much I liked it the first time around. So far it’s pretty good but the main character can be EXTREMELY foolish at times which can get annoying.

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)
Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

I wasn’t sure if I should include this because Rob and I started this book as a buddy read months ago and we just never picked it back up. I’m using it for the “TBR Repeater” prompt on Readathin since I’ve been meaning to read it for a long time.

This book focuses on Ronan from The Raven Cycle and he was my FAVE so I’m hoping it goes well.

Recently Finished

In the past week I’ve finished the following books:

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

Rating: 3 out of 5.

I really really wanted to like this book but I didn’t like the way it was written and I didn’t like either of the main characters. They would both randomly say a sentence out loud when they were alone and thinking and the love-interest was clearly written to be unrealistically good for the main character.

I should be writing posting a review for this within the next month.

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)
Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

It’s Raining Men by Rich Amooi

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I was part of a blog tour for this book so you can read my full review here!

This book was grounded in a weirdly sexist premise but it was a light and fun read. It also kind of suffers from insta-love trope but the whole plot is meant to be ridiculous so I didn’t mind.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

Rating: 3 out of 5.

This book was basically the epitome of average for me. I thought it was fine and that’s basically as far as my feelings went. I don’t feel particularly happy having read it but I don’t regret reading it either.

The review for this should go up within the next month as well.

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)
Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

This was another book that I really wanted to like but was disappointed with. I had so many high hopes.

Unfortunately the main character is a total dick and I don’t really know if he or the author realized how terrible he was. In fact most of the side characters were bad as well. It’s extremely hard for me to care about a book when I hate the protagonist.

A review should be up for this next month.

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

I read this book as part of a book club so you can expect my review to be posted as soon as our final discussion wraps up this Sunday!

I absolutely hated this book for over 50% of it and then the latter half was a lot better so I wasn’t sure how to rate it. I would have definitely DNFed it if it weren’t for this group read.

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Reading Next

In order to blackout my Readathin board, I need to finish the following books before the 30th!

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

All Boys Aren’t Blue by George M. Johnson

I’ve been wanting to read this for a while! I borrowed a copy from the library and it’s my next read after Tiger Eye.

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

I’m doing a blog tour with this for The Write Reads so you can expect my review for this on the 27th! I’m SO EXCITED!!!

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)
Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

A Real Royal Christmess by Linda West

This is also a blog tour I’m doing with Rachel’s Random Resources and my review will be posted on the 29th! I love light Christmas reads so I’m looking forward to it!

Smash It by Francina Simone

I got this ARC for free from a user on Twitter who was giving it to an OwnVoices reader so I’m super excited to finally start it! I’ll be using it for the “Own Voices” prompt.

Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)
Purchase on Amazon (affiliate link)

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

This will probably be my last read of the month because I’m terrified of this book. I honestly probably wouldn’t have read it but Readathin has a prompt for “Book starting with ‘N'” and this is legit one of the only books I have that starts with that letter.

How did I do? Do you see any books you’ve read or want to read?

I’ll try to post another one of these next Wednesday! See you then!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Book Review: Witchy by Ariel Slamet Ries

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Extremely interesting plot but a slower start than I would have liked.

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise

In the Kingdom of Hyalin, the length of your hair determines the strength of your magic. Those with powerful magic skills have the privilege of serving in the King’s guard, but if at any point your magic is determined to be too powerful, you are eliminated. This event is known as a witch burning.

Nyneve has no interest in serving the kingdom that murdered her father when she was just a child. When her time comes and she’s chosen to serve, she makes a dangerous choice–one that may cost not only her life, but also the lives of everyone she’s ever loved.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

I probably would have never read Witchy if I hadn’t gotten it in an OwlCrate box earlier this year. I hardly ever pick up graphic novels unless I’m rereading manga from middle school, and I am very picky about comic art to the point where I’ll be forced to DNF books that I would have otherwise enjoyed. When I first started reading Witchy, I noticed right away that I wasn’t a huge fan of the art style, so I was very surprised by how much I ended up enjoying the book regardless.

The premise of a possibly corrupt government is literally always up my alley so once I figured out that this plays a key role in Nyneve’s story, I was quite sure I was going to like this book. My biggest issue was that by the end, I felt like nothing substantial actually happened. This is something that I have trouble with in a lot of first installments of series because they have the tough job of setting up backstory. I just wish that the novel had either been longer or focused more on one thing rather than moving around so much. A lot of different characters were introduced in a short amount of time so I don’t quite know much about any of them.

I am still very interested to see where Ariel Slamet Ries takes this story, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next installment. I hope that some of my questions get answered soon!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Blog Tour Review: It’s Raining Men by Rich Amooi and GIVEAWAY!

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Fun, entertaining, and completely ridiculous

Foreword

Thank you so much to Rachel at https://www.rachelsrandomresources.com/ and Rich Amooi for allowing me to be part of this experience and also providing me with a complimentary digital copy and blog tour media kit!

About the Author

Rich Amooi is the Amazon #1 Bestselling author of 15 romantic comedies, including It’s Not PMS, It’s You, Dying to Meet You, There’s Something About a Cowboy, and Madam Love, Actually.

A former radio personality and wedding DJ, Rich now writes romantic comedies full-time in San Diego, California, and is happily married to a kiss monster imported from Spain. Rich believes in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

Giveaway

Giveaway to Win 2 x $25 Amazon Gift Cards (Open Internationally)

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then Rachel’s Random Resources reserves the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time Rachel’s Random Resources will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Review

Book CWs: For a list of warnings, tropes, and representation for this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com.

Premise

On a dare, Faith Daniels tosses a coin into the infamous “Fountain of Love” and wishes for the perfect man, laughing it off as the dumbest thing she’s ever done. Like magic, her quiet life turns upside-down when men begin to appear out of nowhere. There’s a doctor, a lawyer, a firefighter, and a swimwear model, for starters. All of them are kind, generous, successful, and drop-dead gorgeous. All of them are interested in Faith. But who is Mr. Right?

A feel-good romance novel about love, friendship, and living life to the fullest!

Review (No Spoilers)

Based on the title and cover, I knew this book was going to be an absolute hoot! From the completely ridiculous premise of men practically throwing themselves at Faith after she makes a wish in a “fountain of love” to the downright hilarious conversations that she has with her two best friends, It’s Raining Men is sure to keep you laughing chapter after chapter.

This book is on the shorter side (less than 300 pages) so I read it in around 2.5 hours. While the story is pretty unrealistic and many of the characters come off as complete exaggerations of stereotypes and villains you might encounter in TV shows and movies, I think the book was specifically made to not be taken too seriously. At it’s core, this book is the ultimate feel-good romance full of cute/funny interactions and tight-knit friendships.

The main reason that I took off a star is because the beginning of the story came off as weirdly sexist and turned me off right away. From the very first chapter, Faith’s two best friends are basically lecturing to her that she can’t be “truly happy” without a man in her life, despite Faith specifically telling them this is not what she wants. The concept of needing a man to be fulfilled is extremely outdated (and harmful) so adding that to the fact that Faith was a grieving widow really upset me. Once I got past these initial remarks and decided to enjoy the book for the rest of the story (which has a very good lesson of not letting past events control your life), I had quite a lot of fun.

To follow along on with the rest of the blog tour, check out the schedule posted below! If you’re interested in purchasing your own copy, you can find it on Amazon UK or Amazon US (affiliate link).


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

Guest Post: Down the “look-into” hole with Bookrob13

Subtitle: Staring down the look-into hole and seeing through to the other side.

This post is kind of the same thing as a “Down the tbr hole”, except that a while back I noticed that there were books that I wanted to keep in mind without necessarily knowing that I definitely wanted to read them. This lead me to create a ‘look-into’ list on Goodreads. In this post, I’ll start going through this list and decide whether to “TBR IT” or “FLUSH IT”. As is customary, I’ll go through the list starting with the book that’s been on the list the longest.

Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett

Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

I remember coming across these first several books at the same time, maybe all from the same article. I guess, technically, I don’t remember this first one. Let’s see! Oh wow, this has quite a wild synopsis! Check it out. I have been known to read some books with pretty out there characters yet still grounded in how we live as humans (e.g. Lord Vishnu’s Love Handles, A Spy Novel (Sort Of) or Apathy and Other Small Victories) and this seems to be of that flavour. I haven’t read one in a while though. A 3.40 rating on GR, but Roxanne Gay’s review calls it “Excellent excellent”.

Verdict: TBR IT!

Naamah by Sarah Blake

A retelling of the biblical flood from the perspective of Noah’s wife, Naamah. This is a pretty compelling premise with a lot of potential for examining some important life questions. I just sampled the first few pages on amazon and I kinda like it.

Verdict: TBR IT!

Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Oval by Elvia Wilk

Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Some speculative fiction where the protagonist’s boyfriend develops a pill that temporarily makes the user more generous. His hope is that this could cure income disparity. The protag, Anja, on the other hand, is horrified. Also, they apparently live in some eco-friendly, corporate-run artificial mountain. Sounds somewhat interesting, but nothing’s really gripping me about it.

Verdict: FLUSH IT!

On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

I’m a sucker for epistolary novels. This is written as a letter from a Vietnamese-American son to his mother who can’t read, so it seems more like him trying to put some thoughts to paper, but I dunno. He discusses his family’s history with roots in Vietnam, as well as revelations about his own life. The synopsis calls it “a brutally honest exploration of race, class, and masculinity”, which makes this even more compelling for me.

Verdict: TBR IT!

Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

The Tenth Muse by Catherine Chung

Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m a mathematician. This is a story about a mathematician, Katherine, facing both a tremendous math problem (the Riemann Hypothesis) and those tremendous problems we all face: who is she? what is love? what is the cost of ambition? I really almost put this on my TBR when I first read about it because it’s quite rare to come across a mathematician character who’s treated as a human.

Verdict: TBR IT!

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

I’ve been wanting to read a novel by Louise Erdrich as I’ve heard a lot of good things. This one is the coming-of-age story of a boy in the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota wrestling with trying to understand a terrible crime that (I think) happens to his family. It’s described as a “mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture”. That sounds good to me! I guess it’s as good a place to start reading Erdrich as any. Or do you have a better suggestion?

Verdict: TBR IT!

Buy on Amazon (affiliate link)

Well, that’s just 6 books out of 53 on my “look-into” list, but I think that’s a pretty good start. Did I make any mistakes? Let me know!


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

The Would You Rather Book Tag

I was tagged by the lovely Miya back in May! This is my second time doing this tag so if you want to see my answers from the first time around, click here!

The Rules

  • Answer the questions given to you by your nominator 
  • Make your own questions and tag others

The Questions

Would you rather only read great books in one language or be able to read in multiple languages but all the books are just ok?

Great books in one language because that’s basically what I do right now. I’ve read a few stories in Japanese back when I was in undergrad but other than that I’ve only read in English.

For one year, would you rather give up rereading or only read digital copies?

Only read digital copies. I much prefer physical books but I have nothing really against eBooks. They just tend to make me sleepy and don’t feel as satisfying to hold.

Would you rather only read audiobooks narrated by one person (and you can’t choose who) or every time you read an audiobook, the voice is way too slow (and you can’t change the speed)?

I’m laughing this is hilarious. I feel like only read audiobooks narrated by one person because maybe I’d get someone really good. If they’re bad then chances are I’ll either get used to them over time or switch to physical/digital reading.

Would you rather be published by a major company, but all your books have a 3-star rating, or only self-publish 5-star books?

Self-published because I have WAY too low of self-esteem to deal with constantly reading 3 star ratings. There’s also always a chance that self-publishing could make me the big money $$$$$$.

For two years, would you rather have complete strangers pick your readings or only be able to read books published in 2012?

What a random year! I was about to say complete strangers but now I’m thinking that there were so many good books published in 2020 so there much have been a lot of good books published in 2012. I could spread that out over two years.

Would you rather become best friends with your favorite author, but hate every book they write from that point on or find out you hate your favorite author as a person and continues to love everything they write?

Best friends with my favorite author for sure. I’m not interested in reading “great” books by terrible people. I would just have to tell them not to have me read/review their books anymore lol.

Would you rather have all your digital books be badly formatted or have all your physical copies stained?

Depends how bad the stain is but probably digital books be badly formatted. I’ve already read a few digital books with messed up formatting and it wasn’t horrible. Plus I read more physical books than ebooks.

Would you rather have your all-time favorite character trapped in the last book you hated or have a character you hate being a part of your favorite book?

My soulless self is like who cares they aren’t real LOL. I’m not sure what the last book I hated was unless you count books I’m currently reading (I’m looking at you Rebecca) but I think I’d choose having my all-time favorite character (probably Ronan Lynch) trapped in the last book I hated. I’m sure Ronan could make any book better just by being in it.

For one year, would you rather only be able to read books while listening to music or only be able to read books for one hour a day?

Only read books while listening to music. I’ve done this before and it’s not terrible. Eventually I just get used to having the background noise. ALSO what if I just lowered the music to like +1 volume?

Would you rather only read 800+ page books of your favorite genre or be able to read any genre but your favorite?

Any genre but my favorite because YA GIRL AIN’T GONNA READ A BUNCH OF 800+ PAGE BOOKS. HOMIE DON’T PLAY LIKE THAT. I like a wide variety of books so I’d be able to manage without one genre.

My Questions

  1. Would you rather have a giant personal library in your house or own a bookstore?
  2. Would you rather drink one beverage for the rest of your life or eat the same meal for the rest of your life?
  3. Would you rather only be able to read during the day or only be able to read at night?
  4. Would you rather have every book you rate 5 stars spontaneously combust after you read it, or never read a 4/5 star book again?
  5. Would you rather meet your favorite author or meet your favorite actor?
  6. Would you rather be an author or be an editor (assuming you can’t be both)?
  7. Would you rather be banned from all your local libraries or be banned from all your local bookstores?
  8. Would you rather read a book where the villain wins or read a book where the hero dies?
  9. Would you rather only be able to read the first half of every book or the second half of every book?
  10. Would you rather read a trilogy or a series of 20+ books (assuming they’re both good)?

I tag:

Book Review: Sky on Fire by Emmy Laybourne

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Just as raw as its predecessor, but even more enjoyable!

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise

After a series of escalating disasters, the outside world has now become a desolate wasteland. Breathe the outside air for too long and you might find yourself in caught in uncontrollable rage, overwhelmed by hallucinations and extreme paranoia, or even on the brink of death.

Following the events of Monument 14, our young group of survivors has split up. Now in two separated groups, brothers Alex and Dean document their journeys of survival as one group struggles to make it to the Denver International Airport to get government help, while the other continues to hide out in the local superstore until they return.

But with no means of communicating to each other, how will one group know if the other makes it through the disaster alive. Will Alex and his group be able to make it 40 miles to the airport with nothing but a barely-operational bus and a few backpacks of provisions? Can Dean and his group hold off the violent outsiders who are attempting to claim their sanctuary as their own?

Purchase this book (affiliate links): Amazon (Sky on Fire), Amazon (Monument 14)

Review (No Spoilers)

I read Monument 14 back in August when I was taking part in the Trope-ical Readathon. Because that was the month that I read 53 other books, I never took the time to review it. To compensate for that, I’ll use the next paragraph to talk about my feelings on that first installment before getting to my review for Sky on Fire.

Monument 14 was probably the most realistic apocalyptic book I’ve ever read, and it doesn’t even seem to take place in the same reality as ours (though admittedly it is very similar). What makes Monument 14 so real is the fact that these characters are just children and the book does a really good job and reminding you of this fact. A lot of YA novels will have protagonists who are 13-17 but this is often easy to forget as you read through the book. Monument 14, on the other hand, makes it clear from the get go that these kids have no idea what to do and they are scared out of their minds. It’s something that I really appreciated because it was a rawness that I think is so rare when it comes to novels like this.

Moving on to Sky on Fire, much like its predecessor, this book is does a great job at being raw and realistic. The two books take place immediately after one another so it makes sense that this would be the case. Still, the book is also really good at showing the character devolpment that each child was forced to go through. While they still are clearly young and foolish, they have also just been through months of living on their own and have matured quite a bit as a result.

I think what I enjoyed most about Sky on Fire was how Emmy Laybourne succeeded in making me care about basically all of the survivors. A lot of post-apocalyptic novels only focus on small groups of around 2-4 people, but this series managed to make me care about over 10 people. It is the ultimate example of the Found Family trope as these survivors have formed such a tight-knit bond with each other that you can’t bare to see them apart.

After I finished this book, Rob (my partner) asked me if I was going to read the next one in the series and to be honest, I thought this was the end. Now that I know there is more to the story, I’ll definitely be giving the next installment a try and I hope that this review can convince you to as well.


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.

The Television Tag

I’m finally working on the HUGE backlog of tags I have! I was tagged by the wonderful Emily back in May.

Let’s get to it!

Favorite shows?

I’ll always say Supernatural for this one (though I’ve fallen several seasons behind). Other shows I really enjoyed are: iZombie, Psych, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Monk.

Favorite genre?

In terms of TV shows, probably anything to do with supernatural/paranormal things, but I’m also a fan of a good comedy or detective show.

Least favorite show?

I’m not sure I have one of these but I remember that I absolutely hated Gilmore Girls after the first season. It was only out of pure stubbornness that I finished the entire thing. I tried to watch the revival but stopped midway because I still can’t stand Rory. I think they actually made her worse.

Most rewatched show/favorite show to binge-watch?

I’ve definitely rewatched Supernatural the most. Actually, the reason why I’m currently behind several seasons is because I convinced Rob (my partner) to watch it and when he started live-messaging me while watching Season 1, I dropped everything to rewatch it from the beginning with him. This will probably be my 6th time starting from the beginning.

Do you prefer watching things week by week or binge-watching?

I definitely prefer binge-watching but my schedule makes it so that I generally will watch shows once or twice per week. I don’t have cable so all of the shows I watch are on streaming sites where I can binge-watch them whenever I have extra time.

Favorite television characters?

Sam Winchester is my baby and I will fight to the death to protect him. I also really like Alec from Shadowhunters (and The Mortal Instruments), Jesse St James from Glee, and Skylar from Heroes.

Favorite television ships?

Elena and Stefan from The Vampire Diaries are my OTP. I loved them SO FREAKING MUCH so I was absolutely pissed when the love triangle first started developing. I’ll never stop being upset tbh.

Show you could never get into?

I tried really hard to get into 30 Rock because my sister loves that show, but I just didn’t find it funny. I’m not even sure why. I watched like half of the first season before I finally gave up.

Show you fell out of love with?

Heroes and Pretty Little Liars are both shows that I loved when they first came out (back when I actually was watching them on cable) but I have never finished them. I stopped watching Heroes in the 4th season because I wasn’t interested in the new direction it was taking, and I stopped watching Pretty Little Liars after the time jump because I was so upset with what they did to all of the characters.

Canceled too soon?

Faking It was a show that I really enjoyed watching on MTV but I think it got cancelled after 3 seasons. I also used to watch Dollhouse with my sister before that got cancelled.

Guilty pleasure show?

I’m not sure what it means to be a guilty pleasure so I’m just going to assume it means I’m supposed to be embarrassed by it? If that’s the case, I’m going to say every Disney Channel show that I grew up watching because sometimes I’ll just start binge-watching them from the beginning. Most recently, I binge-watched the entire series of Hannah Montana.

What are you currently watching?

Too many shows to name. The ones that I watched in the past month or so were: New Girl, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, Lost, Supernatural, The Office, and Spongebob Squarepants.


That’s it! If you have any opinions on shows that I should watch or shouldn’t watch or any thoughts on anything I wrote above, comment below!

I tag:

Book Review: Love, Creekwood by Becky Albertalli

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A light, short, and enjoyable read but I’m not sure it needed to be written

Book CWs: For a list of content/trigger warnings, tropes, and representation found in this book, check out its page on BookTriggerWarnings.com!

Premise (from Goodreads)

It’s been more than a year since Simon and Blue turned their anonymous online flirtation into an IRL relationship, and just a few months since Abby and Leah’s unforgettable night at senior prom.

Now the Creekwood High crew are first years at different colleges, navigating friendship and romance the way their story began—on email.

Purchase this book (affiliate link): Amazon

Review (No Spoilers)

I know with a 3 star rating, you probably expect me to write some bad things about this book but the truth is that Love, Creekwood wasn’t at all bad. In fact, it was pretty darn cute and enjoyable. It’s a novella so I read it in its entirety one night before going to bed, but the entire time I was reading, I kept wondering why the book existed.

To say it plainly, I don’t think this book needed to be written–at all.

The story picks up right when all of our favorite characters are starting their first year of college and it follows each of them as they struggle to navigate with the newfound distance between them. While it was nice to see these characters discover who they are–and who they aren’t–when they’re on their own, I don’t think the time I spent reading this book was ultimately worth it. I would have been just as happy to not have read this book as I am having read it. Becky Albertalli says in the acknowledgements that this was a book that she never wanted to write, and I think it shows.

Now, don’t get me wrong–if you truly aren’t ready to let the Simonverse characters go, then Love, Creekwood would be an excellent book for you. It will give you a chance to say your goodbyes to characters that are cherished around the world. Unfortunately for me, I just didn’t necessarily see the value in having an entire novella–cute as it may be–where not much actually happens.


Disclaimer: Most posts made on this blog will include affiliate links, identified by the phrase (affiliate link). As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This comes at no additional cost to you.