Anticipated Reads – July 2020

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New month, new book releases!

27883214The Shadows by Alex North


You knew a teenager like Charlie Crabtree. A dark imagination, a sinister smile–always on the outside of the group. Some part of you suspected he might be capable of doing something awful. Twenty-five years ago, Crabtree did just that, committing a murder so shocking that it’s attracted that strange kind of infamy that only exists on the darkest corners of the internet–and inspired more than one copycat.

PUBLICATION DATE: July 7.

Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim


Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace. But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . .

PUBLICATION DATE: July 7.

27883214Ghost Wood Song by Erica Waters


Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness. But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets. In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing.

PUBLICATION DATE: July 14.


WHAT RELEASES ARE YOU MOST ANTICIPATING THIS MONTH? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!


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Wrap-Up: June 2020

warpupmaybe


BOOKS I READ


Books marked with a 📚 are the ones that were on my June TBR pile.

Let me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson – 4‘s
The Lost City (The Omte Origins #1) by Amanda Hocking (ARC) – 2‘s • 📚
Never Look Back by Mary Burton – 2‘s (ARC) • 📚
Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan – 4.5‘s
The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander – 5‘s
↠ Alpha Night City (Psy-Changeling Trinity #4) by Erik Larson – 2‘s
A Farsa de Guinevere (Camelot #1) by Kiersten White – 3‘s
Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender – 5‘s
The Kingdom of Copper (The Daevabad Trilogy #2) by S.A. Chakraborty – 5‘s
The Empire of Gold (The Daevabad Trilogy #3) by S.A. Chakraborty – 5‘s
The Tower of the Swallow (The Witcher #6) by Andrzej Sapkowski – 4.5‘s
Like a Love Story  by Abdi Nazemian- 3‘s
Holiday in Death (In Death #7) by J.D. Robb – 1
Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Beter #3) by Jenny Han – 4‘s
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin (A Song of Wraiths and Ruin #1) by Roseanne A. Brown – 3.5‘s
↠ Binti by Nnedi Okorafor – 4‘s
↠ Heartstopper (Heartstopper #1-2) by Alice Oseman – 5‘s

Total: 19 books


ON THE BLOG


REVIEWS

Ruin by Mary E. Pearson • Cloudy with a Chance of Witchcraft by Mandy M. Roth • Wrath by John Gwynne • If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio • The Lost City by Amanda Hocking • Dream Maker by Kristen Ashley • Of Blood and Bone by Nora Roberts • Never Look Back by Mary Burton • The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord • How to Vex a Vampire by Alice Winters • Let me Hear a Rhyme by Tiffany D. Jackson

 TOP TEN TUESDAY

Books I’ve Added to my TBR and Forgotten Why

 WWW WEDNESDAY

WWW 142 • WWW 143 • WWW 144WWW 145

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Review: LET ME HEAR A RHYME by Tiffany D. Jackson


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LET ME HEAR A RHYME
Tiffany D. Jackson

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Katherine Tegen
Pages: 384
Release date: May 21st 2019

Biggie Smalls was right. Things done changed. But that doesn’t mean that Quadir and Jarrell are okay letting their best friend Steph’s tracks lie forgotten in his bedroom after he’s killed—not when his beats could turn any Bed-Stuy corner into a celebration, not after years of having each other’s backs.

Enlisting the help of Steph’s younger sister, Jasmine, Quadir and Jarrell come up with a plan to promote Steph’s music under a new rap name: The Architect. Soon, everyone in Brooklyn is dancing to Steph’s voice. But then his mixtape catches the attention of a hotheaded music rep and—with just hours on the clock—the trio must race to prove Steph’s talent from beyond the grave.

Now, as the pressure—and danger—of keeping their secret grows, Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine are forced to confront the truth about what happened to Steph. Only each has something to hide. And with everything riding on Steph’s fame, together they need to decide what they stand for before they lose everything they’ve worked so hard to hold on to—including each other.


Headline: Three Kids From Brooklyn Pull Off the Biggest Heist in Hip-Hop History


Let Me Hear a Rhyme was a delight! It had mystery, romance, friendship, and music. The multiple perspective narrative was so so well done that I couldn’t help but b swept in by Quadir, Jarrell, and Jasmine’s POVs–and Steph, who we got to know mostly from his music and the lyrics presented throughout the novel. They were all so real and complex and well developed and I loved every single one of them tbh.

The plot was so! tightly woven! Not a thread was left behind and I loved the way Jackson put the puzzle pieces together. The way she used language and described Brooklyn in the 90s, with all its hip-hop history and slangs was also so cool and such a rich part of the novel. It was a reality totally different from my upbringing and I really appreciated getting to know it a little bit, even more so with the helpful Glossary at the end of the novel.

Continue reading

Review: HOW TO VEX A VAMPIRE by Alice Winters


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HOW TO VEX A VAMPIRE
Alice Winters

SeriesVRC: Vampire Related Crimes #1
Genre: LGBTQ+, Paranormal, Mystery
Publisher: –
Pages: 360
Release date: February 18th 2020

Finn
Getting into the vampire-only detective unit was the easy part; what’s going to be more difficult is dealing with my new partner, an ancient vampire who keeps threatening to eat me. The unit has never had a human in it, and Marcus—or as I like to call him, Fangy McFangface—would really prefer to keep it that way. He’s grumpy, short-tempered, and broody, but I have a way with words and I know he’s starting to like me, even if he swears he’s not. But what he doesn’t know is that I didn’t join the unit because I was tired of being a homicide detective, I joined because there is someone after me. They’ve already taken enough from me and I’m afraid they’re going to take all of me if I don’t find someone to help. That’s all Marcus was supposed to be, but now, he’s so much more and I can’t imagine my life without him.

Marcus
The moment the pesky human walked through that door, I knew I had to get rid of him. He’s charming and almost everyone else instantly loves him, but he doesn’t understand how risky it is being part of this unit as a human. But as I get to know the stubborn man, I learn that perhaps he’s not as naive as I once thought. And maybe he’s what I needed to realize there is more to life than just work and my dog. A group arises who is threatening to disrupt the alliance between the humans and the vampires, but Finn is the one who shows me how strong that alliance can be and reminds me why it’s worth protecting. When threats hit closer to home, I realize I would do anything for Finn because he’s brought so much joy to my life—and because he’s mine.


“I’ll keep you by my side at any cost.”


How to Vex a Vampire was a quick and super fun read! There was just so much banter and bickering and snark throughout the story that, even during its most serious moments, I couldn’t help but have fun. Winters did a great job at balancing out the humor with the murder investigation and the darker parts of Finn’s past and made this a pretty well rounded book.

The mystery plot was a tiny bit all over the place. The romance and Finn’s stalker were a bit more interesting to follow, so a few times during the book the main investigation wasn’t as developed as it should have been. That was particularly evident at the ending where things just sort of fell into place and were solved in chapter. Continue reading

Review: TWEET CUTE by Emma Lord


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TWEET CUTE
Emma Lord

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Pages: 368
Release date: January 21st 2020

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.


So, this was an experience.

Audiobooks are a bit of a new thing for me and I haven’t tried a lot of those out, but I do think the production of this one was pretty well done. My usual problem with audiobooks is that I find them too slow, and that was true when I started listening to Tweet Cute, but I adjusted the speed and we seemed to be off to a good start. Continue reading

WWW Wednesday: Read, Reading, Will Read (145)

wwwwed

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a meme currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s a place for you to do a little update on what your reading plans are.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

 

1. Like a Love Story by Abdi Nazemian

YA! Reading this for a Winter Readathon challenge. I’m over halfway through and, while the beginning was really really good, the story is starting to get a bit boring? The characters could be a little more developed as well.

2. Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb

Mystery! I was missing an easy mystery read and I still have 49539535 of In Death books on my list, so this seemed like a good bet. Eve is still frustrating at time, but the good flow of the story is entertaining.


What did you recently finish reading?

    1. The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty: Fantasy! Perfect! I loved it!
    2. The Empire of Gold by by S.A. Chakraborty: Fantasy! Perfect! I also loved it! And I cried a lot!
    3. The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski: Fantasy! Best book in the series so far. Ciri chapters were my favorite!

What do you think you’ll read next?

22840421Illegal Contact by Santino Hassell


Another Readathon pick! And I need me some YA Fantasy.

For Malik, the Solstasia festival is a chance to escape his war-stricken home and start a new life with his sisters in the prosperous desert city of Ziran. But when a vengeful spirit abducts Malik’s younger sister, Nadia, as payment into the city, Malik strikes a fatal deal—kill Karina, Crown Princess of Ziran, for Nadia’s freedom. But Karina has deadly aspirations of her own. Her mother, the Sultana, has been assassinated; her court threatens mutiny; and Solstasia looms like a knife over her neck.


What books did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next?
Tell me in the comments!


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Review: THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE by Patrick Ness


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THE REST OF US JUST LIVE HERE
Patrick Ness

Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Walker Books
Pages: 317
Release date: August 27th 2015

What if you aren’t the Chosen One?

The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death?

What if you’re like Mikey? Who just wants to graduate and go to prom and maybe finally work up the courage to ask Henna out before someone goes and blows up the high school. Again.

Because sometimes there are problems bigger than this week’s end of the world, and sometimes you just have to find the extraordinary in your ordinary life.

Even if your best friend is worshipped by mountain lions…


The Rest of Us Just Live Here had a really really intriguing premise and succeeded in executing it. The fast pace and great writing made it so easy to get lost in this world and Mike’s POV. It was so interesting to see things from the perspective of someone who just wants extraordinary things to stop happening so he can graduate high school, lol. The world-building as a whole was wonderful and I loved the subtle fantasy elements.

The characters were all pretty great and well developed, but some of the teen angst was a bit hard to get through at times. I really liked Mike and the portrayal of anxiety and OCD, though, though his spirals and loops were sometimes a bit too difficult for me to read through at times. There was a lot of self-hatred I, personally, couldn’t really deal with. Continue reading

ARC Review: NEVER LOOK BACK by Mary Burton


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28114396
NEVER LOOK BACK
Mary Burton

SeriesCriminal Profiler #3
Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Montlake
Pages: 320
Release date: July 1st 2020

After multiple women go missing, Agent Melina Shepard of the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation makes the impulsive decision to go undercover as a prostitute. While working the street, she narrowly avoids becoming a serial killer’s latest victim; as much as it pains her to admit, she needs backup.

Enter lone wolf FBI agent Jerrod Ramsey. Stonewalled by a lack of leads, he and Melina investigate a scene where a little girl has been found abandoned in a crashed vehicle. They open the trunk to reveal a horror show and quickly realize they’re dealing with two serial killers with very different MOs. The whole situation brings back memories for Melina—why does this particular case feel so connected to her painful past?

Before time runs out, Melina must catch not one but two serial killers, both ready to claim another victim—and both with their sights set on her.


Never Look Back was… convenient? There were too many coincidences throughout the novel for me to really connect and engaged with the story. It didn’t help that was a little lost in the beginning with the way the main plot was set up and presented and it took until about 30% for me to really get a good grasp on what was going on.

The characters were not that well developed? Melina did have a strong voice and distinct personality, and we did learn quite a bit about her as the story progressed, but Jerrod felt very one-dimensional. It was like his character development was sidelined in favor of creating extremely convenient plot points that connected to Melinda’s past.

I’d say from the middle until around the 85% mark, the story was great and really interesting. The pace held steady and there was a lot of tension as the characters slowly started to put the puzzle pieces together. Then the romance kind of… appeared out of nowhere and put a damper on that. I wasn’t a fan of how fast that developed and how it happened.

The ending was also a bit underwhelming? And again, it was rather convenient how everything was set up. There wasn’t a lot of impact on me as a reader, personally, when it was supposed to be the climax of the novel. The final chapter was super sweet, though, and worked as a nice closure.


⭐⭐


ARC PROVIDED VIA NETGALLEY IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW.


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Review: OF BLOOD AND BONE by Nora Roberts


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OF BLOOD AND BONE
Nora Roberts

Series: Chronicles of the One #2
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Pages: 453
Release date: December 4th 2018

They look like an everyday family living an ordinary life. But beyond the edges of this peaceful farm, unimaginable forces of light and dark have been unleashed.

Fallon Swift, approaching her thirteenth birthday, barely knows the world that existed before—the city where her parents lived, now in ruins and reclaimed by nature since the Doom sickened and killed billions. Traveling anywhere is a danger, as vicious gangs of Raiders and fanatics called Purity Warriors search for their next victim. Those like Fallon, in possession of gifts, are hunted—and the time is coming when her true nature, her identity as The One, can no longer be hidden.

In a mysterious shelter in the forest, her training is about to begin under the guidance of Mallick, whose skills have been honed over centuries. She will learn the old ways of healing; study and spar; encounter faeries and elves and shifters; and find powers within herself she never imagined. And when the time is right, she will take up the sword, and fight. For until she grows into the woman she was born to be, the world outside will never be whole again.


Of Blood and Bone was so slow. I was curious about Fallon’s growing up and coming into her role as the Chosen One, but not to the point where great part of the book was dedicated to entirely to that with training scenes, small missions, more training scenes, and a few heartfelt conversations with people. The pace dragged quite a bit and I have to say I was bored the majority of the time. Continue reading

WWW Wednesday: Read, Reading, Will Read (144)

wwwwed

Welcome to WWW Wednesday, a meme currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s a place for you to do a little update on what your reading plans are.

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

1. The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Fantasy! Yes, I am finally reading this! I’m a bit slow at it, since I have so much work to do, but I’m really really liking it so far. Chakraborty’s writing is so so so so good and I love all the characters and this world. I will admit I’m super nervous about what’s going to happen, though.


What did you recently finish reading?

    1. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander: Nonfiction! Eye-opening and so well researched.
    2. The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White: YA Fantasy! Kind of boring, but I liked the Guinevere and Lancelot twist.
    3. Queen Move by Kennedy Ryan: Romance! Lovely characters and complex romance and beautiful writing.
    4. Alpha Night by Nalini Singh: Paranormal Romance! The series picks up with a great romance and intriguing twists.
    5. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender: YA! I loved every single thing about this, okay.

What do you think you’ll read next?

22840421The Tower of the Swallow by Andrzej Sapkowski


Tentatively putting this up as my next read, but I’m not so sure on it just yet.

The world has fallen into war. Ciri, the child of prophecy, has vanished. Hunted by friends and foes alike, she has taken on the guise of a petty bandit and lives free for the first time in her life. But the net around her is closing. Geralt, the Witcher, has assembled a group of allies determined to rescue her. Both sides of the war have sent brutal mercenaries to hunt her down. Her crimes have made her famous.


What books did you recently finish reading? What do you plan on reading next?
Tell me in the comments!


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