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Monday Motivation- Blogger Celebration!

To kick off a new week I thought I would post some of my favorite blogs from the previous week. There were a few that I found myself thinking and posting- I'm going to steal this/this is a great idea for a post! So I rounded up some (not all, I tried to find as …

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Weekly Review and what is coming up next!

I wasn't able to do a weekly review next week so I wanted to make sure I did one this week. It has been a fun one! Plus next week is JAM PACKED! Can't wait to share with everyone. I hope everyone had a great week. I hope you will share your weekly highs and …

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3.5 Star ARC Review: Little Lovely Things by Maureen Joyce Connolly- Out 4/2

Lovely Little Things by is a debut novel by Maureen Joyce Connolly that follows a couple that goes through a heartbreaking nightmare when their two daughters are abducted at a gas station. Thank you to Edelweiss and Sourcebooks Landmark for an ARC in exchange for a fair review Claire Rowlings is on her way to …

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Five Star Arc Review: Out of Salem by Hal Schrieve

Non-binary (transsexual is the term utilized in the book due to being set in the 1990s) zombies, lesbian witches, lesbian Turkish-American witches and a Jewish African-American teacher make Out of Salem, the debut novel by Non-binary author Hal Schrieve, is not only intersectional in its representation but completely unique in the genre he chose to …

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An Open Letter of Thanks

I have not always been great at showing appreciation. I think it has cost me very important relationships, even the most important one I ever had. Today, I wanted to take a moment to write a unified message that I have been communicating piece meal across different blogs, at different times, in one unified letter. …

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WWW Wednesday- Let’s Talk About our Reading Lives

It is Wednesday and that means WWW World of Words, hosted weekly by Taking on a World of Words.  What is WWW Wednesday? You just answer three simple questions to discuss your current reading life: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next? It has …

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Four Star ARC Review of Killing November by Adriana Mather- Out 3/26

Killing November by Adriana Mather is like Deadly Class if the main character was a part of one of the main families and just didn’t know. The setting is a boarding school unknown to the world that trains children of highly influential political families dating back a millennium. Being a descendent of these elite families …

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Top Ten Tuesday- Spring has Sprung- Get Excited!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where book bloggers are invited to share their top ten lists centered on a certain theme. Spring has sprung; get excited! There are so many great books coming out that this week's Top Ten Tuesday is dedicated to spring releases I am most …

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Bookish Academy Awards 2019 Tag

Tanvi of A Reader to Whatever End tagged me to do this really fun tag based on the Oscars. I also want to credit her for the feature image I used for the post as she created it, as well. Thank you! Needless to say I'm coming to the party fashionably late. Fret not, the …

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4.5 Star ARC Review: To Best the Boys By Mary Weber

Maybe it was just me, but I went To Best the Boys by Mary Weber expecting one thing and getting something completely different. So much in fact that I found myself rewriting this review multiple times (hence it being a day late). I believe it might also be my longest review to date! From the …

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The Liebster Award

I was nominated for this by the lovely Crooks Books (Becky's Book Blog) and you should go and give her blog some love because she has some great content! I am always honored and thrilled to be tagged for awards! Thank you for including me in this award. I have another one coming shortly! Love …

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Four Star ARC Review: The Deepest Blue Released 3/19

The Deepest Blue by Sarah Beth Durst is a standalone novel in the Tales of Renthia series. I have not read the previous book in the Tales of Renthia, and had no problem following The Deepest Blue. Based on the ending, which is not a cliffhanger type ending, I would suspect that further novels, if …

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WWW Wednesday- Let’s Talk About our Reading Lives

It is Wednesday and that means WWW World of Words, hosted weekly by Taking on a World of Words.  What is WWW Wednesday? You just answer three simple questions to discuss your current reading life: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next? It has …

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Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Times Kaz Brekker Jumped the Fence.

Top Ten Tuesday: Artsy Reader Girl Thank you Artsy Reader Girl for always hosting Top Ten Tuesday. However, I am going to do something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. I held back because I know everyone thinks I am Six of Crows/Crooked Kingdom obsessed enough (factual) but I'm sick as …

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2.5 Stars: What You Hide

What You Hide is a great concept that misses the mark. I applaud Natalie D. Richards for bringing subjects such as adoption, addiction, family violence and homelessness into the plot. Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks  for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. However, unnecessary tropes like the romantic relationship between main characters Mallory …

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Weekly Round-Up

So. Yeah. That is basically how I felt this week... well about my blog anyway. I hope everyone felt great about their week!  I loved all the conversation with everyone this week! I hope that continues and grows. 😘 So, whether you kicked ass this week or you felt like it kicked yours, talk to …

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The Bookish Adventure Tag

It’s time for some fun with an adventurous bookish tag – This tag was originally created by Umairah @ Sereadipity but Books Untold saw it on  Throne of Books. This book tag is all about the wondrous locations we venture into from the books we love so much! She loved it so much that she not only absolutely …

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Arc Review of the most important book being released this year: Heroine by Mindy McGinnis

Please note that that their are upfront trigger warnings for those suffering or recovering from addiction or maybe triggered by reading graphic description of addiction. Heed these words. If you think I have spoiled the ending of Heroine by Mindy McGinnis with the following quote, I have not. This is how the book begins. My …

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Four Star Review: Nation of Beasts (Book 1: Lord of the Sabbath) By Mariana Palova

Nation of the Beasts is the first of a new four book series by Mariana Palova (all of which will be translated into English). Per the publisher, The Mage's Lantern/International Book Publishers Association: Originally published in Spanish, La Nación de las Bestias: El Señor del Sabbath enchanted Latin American readers, and now the first book of …

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WWW Wednesday- Let’s Talk About our Reading Lives

It is Wednesday and that means WWW World of Words, hosted weekly by Taking on a World of Words.  What is WWW Wednesday? You just answer three simple questions to discuss your current reading life: What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next? As a …

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Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters from TV and Books I Want to Hang With

This idea is courtesy of Howling Libraries who took a twist from Artsy Reader Girl's Top Ten Tuesday original idea. In this twist, instead of ten characters I would like to trade places with, I am going to list ten characters I would want to hang out with: 5 from books and 5 from TV. Television …

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4.5 Star Review: After the Fire by Will Hill

After the Fire by Will Hill tells the story of “Moonbeam (appointed, not actual name),” a seventeen-year-old survivor of the Lord Legion cult, which is inspired David Koresh, the Branch Davidian Compound and Waco siege in 1993. Moonbeam is a child promised to the Lord Legion leader, Father John after her father’s death and mother’s …

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2.5 Star ARC Review: Angel Thieves by Kathi Appelt Published March 12th

Angel Thieves is Kathi Appelt's first foray into young adult novels. It encompasses three interwoven stories told non-chronologically, a bayou that holds more secrets than a confessional, "Angel Hunters," and the plight of ocelots being poached for their skins in Texas. Appelt wraps it all up in stylistic prose that reads like a great storyteller …

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3.5 Star ARC Review: Everlasting Rose by Dhonielle Clayton Published 3/5/2019

After The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton came out, I was thrilled that I was granted an ARC of Everlasting Rose which is published on March 5th. While there were parts I thoroughly enjoyed, there were more that fell flat. First, I really thought Camille's story arc was amazing. She was no longer the bitter moping …

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Three Star Arc Review: The Last 8 by Laura Pohl Published 3/5/2019

Trigger Warning: Suicide/ Suicidal Thoughts/ Self-Harm/ Depression The Last 8 by Laura Pohl is a science-fiction dystopian story set after an alien invasion. Told from the main character’s point of view, it sets a high-bar for dealing with heady issues straight-on. Without pulling any punches, we watch as Clover works through her Post Traumatic Stress …

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Top Seven Tuesday for March Reading

Today is a mash-up of Top Ten Tuesday and Monthly Anticipated Reads, which is new to me. So here are my top ten books to check out for March 2019! Check out my list and let me know what you like, don't like, would have taken off, would have added! I'd love to hear it …

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4.5 Star ARC Review: We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

We Set the Dark on Fire is the debut novel and first in a duology by Tehlor Kay Mejia. An island's tradition is rooted in a long ago mythology where a sun and god king settled their differences by deciding one man should have two wives; a Primera and a Segunda. The Primera is the …

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Nostalgia Saturday: Updated Arc Review (at the time of original posting: July 2018) of Wicked King by Holly Black

Updates or commentary to make fun of myself are from today, February 23rd. The original was one of my first ever posts from July 2018,
July 2018: I'm going to keep this as spoiler free (details added February 23rd but still pretty spoiler free) as possible because:
  1. I was not given an embargo date for the review and it doesn't come out until January and it is July. Can I just jest at myself that I didn't ask like I do now and general rule of thumb is a month, but probably two weeks? Ok, fine. I just learned that a week ago, but STILL.
  2. How I even ended up with the honor of receiving this ARC through Edelweiss and Little, Brown and Company in return for an honest review is still beyond my understanding-- Thank you! Still true, yet I hyperlinked NOTHING - Rectified now with my apologies.

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4.5 Star ARC Review of Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte

Four Dead Queens, published on February 26th, is the debut novel from Astrid Scholte. A murder mystery set in a fantasy world involving Quadara, which is made up of four regions: Eonia, Toria, Archia and Ludia. After hundreds of years of unrest, a system of rule was determined to maintain the peace. One queen from …

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WWW Wednesday- Let’s Talk About our Reading Lives

It is Wednesday and that means WWW World of Words! It works really simple. I'm tagging back to Howling Libraries because I saw it in my email first, this morning. What is WWW Wednesday? You just make a post and answer three simple questions : What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish …

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Five Star ARC Review: The Past and Other Things That Should Stay Buried by Shaun David Hutchinson

John Lennon wrote a brilliant song called Nobody Told Me (There'd Be Days Like These). In The Past and Other Things that Should Stay Buried, Dino is having one of those days, along with his best... ex-best...dead... ex-dead, let's just say it is complicated, not dead friend July. How complicated? I submit a conversation Dino …

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Four Star Review: Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman

What makes Dry so brilliant is that it doesn't hold back. It hits hard. Without spoiling anything specific, the Shusterman boys don't hide from the harsh realities of humanity lost. We all like to think we know what we would do, how we would act in these kinds of situations. The truth is until we are in that situation, we don't know what we will do or who we will become. Until our lives, our loved ones lives are on the line. Until it is literally life or death. Your life or someone else's life? You don't know what you are going to do. Dry was dedicated "to all those struggling to undo the disastrous effects of climate change". It was meant to send a message. For 360 pages it sent that message loud and clear.

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Five Star Review: A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

I really wanted to write a review of A Blade so Black. Mainly because I'm a huge Slayer fan (Angel before Buffy but that's neither here nor there) but not a huge Alice in Wonderland fan. Needless curiosity got me. 

Verdict? 

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Thursday Thoughts- Versatile Blogger Tag.. But not!

I am a playlist person with *certain people*. I often have a hard time expressing certain emotions to certain people. When that happens I am very thankful for my parents raising me on everything from Motown to the Doors to Dylan and James Taylor. Of course, from there I've picked up on everything from 80s everything to Billy Joel, My Chemical Romance, Nsync, being a 90s Pedophile, Gomez (my cat's namesake), Harry Connick, Jr., Robbie Williams and Mika. I've often turned to their lyrics and book quotes to say what I couldn't find words to express.

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Top Tuesday: Books/Series that Led Me to a Novel Life

I wanted to do a different spin on the Top <fill in the blank> Tuesday and so I came up with an idea. There was NO DOUBT that there was a landslide of Young Adult books that led me to start Novel Lives. I am not going to review or even attempt a mini-review of …

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Weekly Round Up… My Favorite Blog Posts of the Week and What’s To Come…”The Aftermath is Secondary”

When life well, lifes... sometimes it becomes hard to even lean on the things that get you through, like reading, writing and my little corner of the internet. So instead of relying strictly on deadlines and what I planned, once I was passed September 4th, I went to what I wanted to read, which changed things up. That isn't to say I didn't want to read what I planned. Not at all. I just had a couple ARCs calling to me (one I am not planning to review till *ahem* November* and one not coming out till the end of the month) but it was the right choice! They really helped me connect with things I had to deal with and the other helped me laugh, and just get of my own head. If I end up reviewing it sooner than expected? So be it.

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ARC Five Star Review: For a Muse of Fire by Heidi Heilig

Warnings (mentioned by author in book): Mental illness (bipolar), blood use in magic, gun violence, war, colonialism, racism, descriptions of dead bodies, mention of reproductive coercion, mentions of torture, mention of suicide

Heidi Heilig  has created a piece of art that is multi-faceted in characters, writing structures and plot points. Within this she has interwoven an own voice struggle as a bipolar woman through the main character, Jetta, who simply refers to it as her malheur, the french word for misfortune. Heilig discusses writing a bipolar heroine at the end of the book. She balances writing Jetta's manic highs driving her family's successful shadow plays, her ability to defend herself and control spirits through necromancy. However, it also causes rash decisions and leads to actions that harms herself and those she cares the most about. This comes with the depressive lows where she withdraws, panics and sleeps due to the exhaustion of fighting it all because of a driving resilience, intelligence and need to not have her malheur define who she is nor her life.

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Review of A Room Away from the Wolves by Nova Ren Suma: 4.5 Stars

If poetry could be prose then Nova Ren Suma would be the Beatles of it. Her lyrical and often mesmerizing phrasing pulls beauty and atmosphere off the page and fills your senses. Much like an pointillist painter gives you a whole scene from afar but it becomes a blur of tiny points of paint the closest one gets to the portrait.

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Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree by Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani with Afterword by Viviana Mazza

Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani interlaces coming of age rituals, best friends and foreshadowing to set-up the fictional retelling of 2014's terrorist raid of a Nigerian village based on the stories of those women that survived.

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TAG! You’re it! This or That!

Hello you beautiful bookish fiends you! My dear Sleepy Sam Reads tagged me in a brilliant and twisty bookish version of This or That, which she originally saw on Rain’s blog and I'm glad she did because it has been a while since I've been tagged! So, thank you my dear! I will be adding one question at the end (shhh...) I can't stick to the college themed week that everyone else is celebrating but just remember, as we get this party started.....

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Review of Mirage by Somaiya Daud- First Posted July 17- Updated August 28th 3.5 out of Five Stars

When I'm wrong I say I'm wrong. And 1) this was my very first review.  2) I didn't know enough about the blogosphere to have found out that this was not a stand alone book. If I had. If you look at the last paragraph of my blog. You would see that I was begging, pleading for a second book. With that in mind there are still one or two things that are still a bit on the predictable side that I'll leave below but I'm going to tweak my review to better match what I believe will be an solid series that will be better with each book (aka I expect this to be the lowest rated of the trilogy).

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Review of The Sacrifice Box by Martin Stewart: Four out of Five Stars

What are the rules of the Fight Club?

You do not talk about Fight Club.
You DO NOT talk about Fight Club!
If someone yells "stop!", goes limp, or taps out, the fight is over.
Fourth rule: only two guys to a fight.
You might be asking why I'm bringing up Fight Club in a review of Sacrifice Box but lets be honest. Is there ever not a good time to bring up Fight Club? And did it ever go well to break the rules of Fight Club? Right. Plus, like Fight club, this box has a set of rules.

Never come to the box alone.
Never open it after Dark.
Never take back your sacrifice.
All seems straightforward, right? When is anything straight forward for twelve-year-olds I ask you. Taking a lot of the best parts of Stephen King, Stewart starts off Stand by Me and goes straight to It in Final Jeopardy, without the thirty-year time skip (well, not for Mack, Hadley, Lamb, Arkle, and Sept).

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Recognizing Excellence in Art & Literary Magazines (REALM) for NCTE: An Honor to Judge

Today's post isn't one that fits in any one category. It is different an meant to be so. I was asked to volunteer to do something very prestigious and want to take today's blog to both quickly thank the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) for allowing me this opportunity to participate and to recognize the young men and women across the country for the amazing work they have submitted.

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Review of Heartbreaker by Claudia Dey

Heartbreaker is the most character driven book I have read, possibly ever. Here’s the kicker. One of the most essential characters is the setting of the book: The Territory. Turning the setting, remnants of cult in the 1980s, down to one original member,  into an essential character of the book is no easy task but Dey does it without skipping a beat. She does it by using the Territory to fill the spaces between heartbeats with a chilling frost that doesn’t let go and keeps you guessing until the end.

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Fresh Ink

Fresh Ink is an anthology of “twelve label-defying” stories. For those familiar with Point-of-View short story works that have recently come out, Fresh Ink is not centered on a central plot point. For instance, it isn’t the same as Feral Youth by Shaun David Hutchinson (a fantastic read if you get the chance). Edited by the co-founder of We Need Diverse Books, Lamar Giles, the anthology includes topics on coming out, poverty, untimely death, transitioning and romance. I am not going to go through every story, but I am going to talk about my favorites without giving too much away. Dedicated to the late, great Walter Dean Myers, I am going to leave Tags for last.