My March 2023 Hopefuls

My March 2023 Hopefuls

Happy March! I love this month and I feel it has a lot to do with spring. I feel it in the air and despite living in a humid climate and experiencing summer all year round, I want to celebrate the occasion with some fantastic fantasy!

This month, I’m exploring some rereads, some new books, and some books I’ve been meaning to read. All of these books sound fantastic and I can only imagine them to be incredible worlds to dive into and discuss!

Here’s what I’ll be reading:

The Unbroken by CL Clark

This is going to be a reread for me and I couldn’t be more excited about it. The themes of The Unbroken extend beyond the typical fantasy where one young person must decide where her loyalties lie; with the military family that adopted her when she was very young or the family and people she truly belongs to, but never knew. It was one of my favorite reads of 2022 and I know I’ll enjoy it again.

The Faithless by CL Clark

The other reason why I’m rereading The Unbroken is because I plan on reading its sequel! The Faithless comes out this month and one of my highly anticipated reads of the year! I will definitely keep you updated with what I loved.

The Crane Husband by Kelly Barnhill

I feel like every month requires you to read one “maybe” book. You know, the book that you’re not 100% sure you’re going to like, but you’re standing in the checkout line with your microwaveable mac and cheese dinner and the inner Kevin McCallister just says “I’ll give it a whirl.” This is what this book is to me. I have no clue if I’ll like it, but hey, it’s a novella and I can always give it a whirl.

The Mimicking of Known Successes by Malka Older

I received this book from Tordotcom Publishing and it was sold to me as a queer Sherlock Holmes with sci-fi themes. I’m a huge fan of the quirky Holmes, so it definitely sounds up my alley. And if it’s anything like Polk’s Even Though I Knew the End, then maybe it’ll be another favorite.

Senlin Ascends by Josiah Bancroft

I’m going to be honest, I bought this book because of the cover. I mean, take a good look at it when you have a chance! Something about it is so inviting with this guy trapped inside on a building. I know that it’s about a man who is on the search for his wife, so that also makes it very intriguing. And to top it off, it sounds like one of those under-appreciated fantasy novels and I’m always looking for stories like that.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

Ever since I read Strange the Dreamer by Laini, I have always wanted to read the rest of her works. She’s one of those authors who creates these incredible character-driven stories and I absolutely fall for them every time. The Daughter of Smoke and Bone has been one of those books that’s been sitting on my shelf and in my TBR for years and this is the year I finally make time for it.

Spice Road by Maiya Ibrahim

Another “omg, this cover” love! I couldn’t resist when I saw this book, but it’s also a book that fits right up my alley. I always love to bring in a couple of YA books into my months, so having this and Daughter of Smoke and Bone will 100% fill that void!

Neon Gods by Katee Robert

I’m actually starting the month with this one since I haven’t read a spicy book for a minute. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of spicy books, but this is supposed to be my “TikTok made me do it” books, and I can’t wait to see what happens. The spicy level is off the charts so far, I will tell you that!

Any of these on your list? What do you plan on reading this month?

10 books I want to read this fall

10 books I want to read this fall

Happy fall, everyone! I’ve always felt like fall was too short. It would encompass October and November and that’s it, but thinking about it, I feel like it deserves just as much love as the other seasons receive. So when I heard that people are counting September towards the fall, I realized that that’s the secret. Instead of treating September as this weird in-between two seasons and really not belonging to summer or fall, I’ve decided that it should be a part of fall. Perhaps the weather hasn’t fully cooled down yet and perhaps I’m drinking hot pumpkin spice lattes in the middle of a heatwave, but I also love this season and I want to celebrate it right.

And what better way to celebrate than to read some great books. This year, I want to read 10 books that really bring the cool vibes. It’s spooky season, so of course many of the books on my list are perfect for that, but I also consider fall to be the season for comforting fantasy books and romances that get you wrapped up in blankets and cups of hot apple cider (my favorite fall drink). So over the next three months of fall, here’s what I’ll be reading:

Dead Flip by Sara Farizan

Fall means spooky season and what better way to celebrate the occasion with some spooky books! This is a new YA thriller that makes you think Stranger Things meets Ready Player One.

Growing up, Cori, Maz, and Sam were inseparable best friends, sharing their love for Halloween, arcade games, and one another. Now it’s 1992, Sam has been missing for five years, and Cori and Maz aren’t speaking anymore. How could they be, when Cori is sure Sam is dead and Maz thinks he may have been kidnapped by a supernatural pinball machine?
These days, all Maz wants to do is party, buy CDs at Sam Goody, and run away from his past. Meanwhile, Cori is a homecoming queen, hiding her abiding love of horror movies and her queer self under the bubblegum veneer of a high school queen bee. But when Sam returns—still twelve years old while his best friends are now seventeen—Maz and Cori are thrown back together to solve the mystery of what really happened to Sam the night he went missing. Beneath the surface of that mystery lurk secrets the friends never told one another, then and now. And Sam’s is the darkest of all . . .
Award-winning author of If You Could Be Mine and Here to Stay Sara Farizan delivers edge-of-your-seat terror as well as her trademark referential humor, witty narration, and insightful characters.

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A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross

This is literally the only book on this list that I’ve already read. I read it back in February in the midst of our move across the country. So while I remember reading it and fondly enjoying it, I would like to give it a little bit more love on the blog. It’s also so cozy with its setting and its magical world. I can’t wait to read this again.

Jack Tamerlaine hasn’t stepped foot on Cadence in ten long years, content to study music at the mainland university. But when young girls start disappearing from the isle, Jack is summoned home to help find them. Enchantments run deep on Cadence: gossip is carried by the wind, plaid shawls can be as strong as armor, and the smallest cut of a knife can instill fathomless fear. The capricious spirits that rule the isle by fire, water, earth, and wind find mirth in the lives of the humans who call the land home. Adaira, heiress of the east and Jack’s childhood enemy, knows the spirits only answer to a bard’s music, and she hopes Jack can draw them forth by song, enticing them to return the missing girls.

As Jack and Adaira reluctantly work together, they find they make better allies than rivals as their partnership turns into something more. But with each passing song, it becomes apparent the trouble with the spirits is far more sinister than they first expected, and an older, darker secret about Cadence lurks beneath the surface, threatening to undo them all.

With unforgettable characters, a fast-paced plot, and compelling world building, A River Enchanted is a stirring story of duty, love, and the power of true partnership, and marks Rebecca Ross’s brilliant entry on the adult fantasy stage.

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The Witches of Moonshyne Manor by Bianca Marais

It really surprised me when Bianca Marais, author of Hum if you Don’t Know the Words, wrote a magical story about octogenarian witches trying to save their homes. It’s fun, heartwarming, and a little bit magical!

Five octogenarian witches gather as an angry mob threatens to demolish Moonshyne Manor. All eyes turn to the witch in charge, Queenie, who confesses they’ve fallen far behind on their mortgage payments. Still, there’s hope, since the imminent return of Ruby–one of the sisterhood who’s been gone for thirty-three years–will surely be their salvation.

But the mob is only the start of their troubles. One man is hellbent on avenging his family for the theft of a legacy he claims was rightfully his. In an act of desperation, Queenie makes a bargain with an evil far more powerful than anything they’ve ever faced. Then things take a turn for the worse when Ruby’s homecoming reveals a seemingly insurmountable obstacle instead of the solution to all their problems.

The witches are determined to save their home and themselves, but their aging powers are no match for increasingly malicious threats. Thankfully, they get a bit of help from Persephone, a feisty TikToker eager to smash the patriarchy. As the deadline to save the manor approaches, fractures among the sisterhood are revealed, and long-held secrets are exposed, culminating in a fiery confrontation with their enemies.

Funny, tender and uplifting, the novel explores the formidable power that can be discovered in aging, found family and unlikely friendships. Marais’ clever prose offers as much laughter as insight, delving deeply into feminism, identity and power dynamics while stirring up intrigue and drama through secrets, lies and sex. Heartbreaking and heart-mending, it will make you grateful for the amazing women in your life.

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Small Town, Big Magic by Hazel Beck

I picked this one up because it had bookstores and magic and a connection to the Salem Witch Trials and a little romance. I’m hoping for some serious Practical Magic vibes.

No one has civic pride quite like Emerson Wilde. As a local indie bookstore owner and youngest-ever Chamber of Commerce president, she’d do anything for her hometown of St. Cyprian, Missouri. After all, Midwest is best! She may be descended from a witch who was hanged in 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials, but there’s no sorcery in doing your best for the town you love.
Or is there?

As she preps Main Street for an annual festival, Emerson notices strange things happening around St. Cyprian. Strange things that culminate in a showdown with her lifelong arch-rival, Mayor Skip Simon. He seems to have sent impossible, paranormal creatures after her. Creatures that Emerson dispatches with ease, though she has no idea how she’s done it. Is Skip Simon…a witch? Is Emerson?

It turns out witches are real, and Emerson is one of them. She failed a coming-of-age test at age eighteen—the only test she’s ever failed!—and now, as an adult, her powers have come roaring back.

But she has little time to explore those powers, or her blossoming relationship with her childhood friend, cranky-yet-gorgeous local farmer Jacob North: an ancient evil has awakened in St. Cyprian, and it’s up to Emerson and her friends—maybe even Emerson herself—to save everything she loves.

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The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

After finishing The Lord of the Rings last year, I wanted to make sure that I round out my LOTR reading with the one that started it all!

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon.

Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.

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Redwall by Brian Jacques

I’ll be buddy reading this book with a friend, but I’ve actually never read this! I’ve heard a ton about this book over the years, so it’s finally time I did something about it!

As the inhabitants of Redwall Abbey bask in the glorious Summer of the Late Rose, all is quiet and peaceful. But things are not as they seem. Cluny the Scourge, the evil one-eyed rat warlord, is hell-bent on destroying the tranquility as he prepares to fight a bloody battle for the ownership of Redwall. This dazzling story in the Redwall series is packed with all the wit, wisdom, humor, and blood-curdling adventure of the other books in the collection, but has the added bonus of taking the reader right back to the heart and soul of Redwall Abbey and the characters who live there.

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The Only Good Indians by Stephen Graham Jones

The falltime is the horror season, so I wanted to make sure I had a few horror books in my stack as well. What better way to celebrate the season with one of the masters of horror?

From New York Times best-selling author Stephen Graham Jones comes a novel that is equal parts psychological horror and cutting social commentary on identity politics and the American-Indian experience. Fans of Jordan Peele and Tommy Orange will love this story as it follows the lives of four American-Indian men and their families, all haunted by a disturbing, deadly event that took place in their youth. Years later, they find themselves tracked by an entity bent on revenge, totally helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

Seamlessly blending classic horror and a dramatic narrative with sharp social commentary, The Only Good Indians follows four American Indian men after a disturbing event from their youth puts them in a desperate struggle for their lives. Tracked by an entity bent on revenge, these childhood friends are helpless as the culture and traditions they left behind catch up to them in a violent, vengeful way.

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A Far Wilder Magic by Allison Saft

This is a book that I started, but never finished. However, something about it draws me back and I think it has something to do with the beauty of this magical world and the romance between the two main characters.

When Margaret Welty spots the legendary hala, the last living mythical creature, she knows the Halfmoon Hunt will soon follow. Whoever is able to kill the hala will earn fame and riches, and unlock an ancient magical secret. If Margaret wins the hunt, it may finally bring her mother home. While Margaret is the best sharpshooter in town, only teams of two can register, and she needs an alchemist.

Weston Winters isn’t an alchemist–yet. Fired from every apprenticeship he’s landed, his last chance hinges on Master Welty taking him in. But when Wes arrives at Welty Manor, he finds only Margaret and her bloodhound Trouble. Margaret begrudgingly allows him to stay, but on one condition: he must join the hunt with her.

Although they make an unlikely team, Wes is in awe of the girl who has endured alone on the outskirts of a town that doesn’t want her, in this creaking house of ghosts and sorrow. And even though Wes disrupts every aspect of her life, Margaret is drawn to him. He, too, knows what it’s like to be an outsider. As the hunt looms closer and tensions rise, Margaret and Wes uncover dark magic that could be the key to winning the hunt – if they survive that long.

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House of Salt and Sorrow by Erin A. Craig

After reading Small Favors from Erin A. Craig last year, I’ve been meaning to check out the rest of her books. I heard this is just as spooky as her last, so I’m excited to check out this one.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

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Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I’m a huge fan of Neil Gaiman and I always associate his books with this time of year. Maybe it’s because of his expert way of blending darkness with fantasy and magic. But this year, I decided to try a Neil Gaiman I haven’t tried before. I hope to get all the cozy fantasy vibes out of it.

Young Tristran Thorn will do anything to win the cold heart of beautiful Victoria—even fetch her the star they watch fall from the night sky. But to do so, he must enter the unexplored lands on the other side of the ancient wall that gives their tiny village its name. Beyond that old stone wall, Tristran learns, lies Faerie—where nothing not even a fallen star, is what he imagined.

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June 2022 TBR

June 2022 TBR

Last month, I felt like I did a huge disservice to myself by trying to read as much as possible, challenge myself to read in every single moment I had available in the day, read multiple books if I have to. And I ended the month early with the worst burnout I’ve ever had before. I was so tired of reading that I barely finished the rest of the books on my very ambitious TBR.

I took some time to think about things and I came to the conclusion that I can’t read like I did when I was unemployed. I have a full time job now that requires me to read emails and work on writing all day long. And as much as I love doing my job, I am exhausted by the end of the day. My husband reminds me daily that reading is supposed to be a hobby and I should be enjoying it. I shouldn’t feel like another job on top of everything else that I’m doing. And I don’t get paid to do this!

So I’m taking a step back. I’m taking a step back from trying to fit reading into every single moment of my day. I’m taking a step back from trying to read more than ten books a month! I need to be mindful of my mental health, my other hobbies, and try not to be jealous of the other readers out there who can hold down a full time job, take care of their kids, and also read 15 books a month. It’s a reality that I need to face and recognize for myself.

I think this will be good for me. I’d like to take the next few months to really organize myself for the rest of the year. I want to focus on the books I’m very excited to read rather than the ones I thought might be fun to check out. So without further delay, here’s what I’ll be reading in June:

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.

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Hunt the Stars by Jessie Mihalik

The critically acclaimed author of Polaris Rising takes readers on an exciting journey with the start of her brand-new series about a female bounty hunter and the man who is her sworn enemy.

Octavia Zarola would do anything to keep her tiny, close-knit bounty hunting crew together—even if it means accepting a job from Torran Fletcher, a ruthless former general and her sworn enemy. When Torran offers her enough credits to not only keep her crew afloat but also hire someone to fix her ship, Tavi knows that she can’t refuse—no matter how much she’d like to.

With so much money on the line, Torran and his crew insist on joining the hunt. Tavi reluctantly agrees because while the handsome, stoic leader pushes all of her buttons—for both anger and desire—she’s endured worse, and the massive bonus payment he’s promised for a completed job is reason enough to shut up and deal.

But when they uncover a deeper plot that threatens the delicate peace between humans and Valoffs, Tavi suspects that Torran has been using her as the impetus for a new war. With the fate of her crew balanced on a knife’s edge, Tavi must decide where her loyalties lie—with the quiet Valoff who’s been lying to her, or with the human leaders who left her squad to die on the battlefield. And this time, she’s put her heart on the line.

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Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Brooklynite Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer, who is feeling pressed from all sides. Shane Hall is a reclusive, enigmatic, award-winning literary author who, to everyone’s surprise, shows up in New York.

When Shane and Eva meet unexpectedly at a literary event, sparks fly, raising not only their past buried traumas, but the eyebrows of New York’s Black literati. What no one knows is that twenty years earlier, teenage Eva and Shane spent one crazy, torrid week madly in love. They may be pretending that everything is fine now, but they can’t deny their chemistry – or the fact that they’ve been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since.

Over the next seven days in the middle of a steamy Brooklyn summer, Eva and Shane reconnect, but Eva’s not sure how she can trust the man who broke her heart, and she needs to get him out of New York so that her life can return to normal. But before Shane disappears again, there are a few questions she needs answered…

With its keen observations of Black life and the condition of modern motherhood, as well as the consequences of motherless-ness, Seven Days in June is by turns humorous, warm and deeply sensual.

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The Ballad of Perilous Graves by Alex Jennings

In a fantastical version of New Orleans where music is magic, a battle for the city’s soul brews between two young mages, a vengeful wraith, and one powerful song in this vibrant and imaginative debut.

Nola is a city full of wonders. A place of sky trolleys and dead cabs, where haints dance the night away and Wise Women keep the order, and where songs walk, talk and keep the spirit of the city alive. To those from Far Away, Nola might seem strange. To failed magician, Perilous Graves, it’s simply home. Then the rhythm stutters.

Nine songs of power have escaped from the magical piano that maintains the city’s beat and without them, Nola will fail. Unexpectedly, Perry and his sister, Brendy, are tasked with saving the city. But a storm is brewing and the Haint of All Haints is awake. Even if they capture the songs, Nola’s time might be coming to an end

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On Rotation by Shirlene Obuobi

A spectacular novel of family, friendship, and finding your way in life…and in love.

Angie Appiah is the epitome of the Perfect Immigrant Daughter. She’s got it all: medical school credentials, a handsome lawyer boyfriend, and ride or die friends. But what happens when everything falls apart? Her boyfriend dumps her, she bombs the most important exam of her medical career, and her closest confidante and roommate pulls away, telling Angie she’s more wrapped up in herself than in her friends.

Angie is crushed. She’s always faced her problems by working “twice as hard to get half as far and until now, that’s done well for her. When did life get so complicated? Suddenly, she begins to question everything: her career choice, her friendships, even why she’s attracted to men who don’t love her as much as she loves them. And just when things couldn’t get more confusing, enter Ricky, brilliant, thoughtful, sexy, but who has wasteman practically tattooed across his forehead. For someone who’s always been in control, Angie realizes that there’s one thing she can’t plan on: matters of her heart.

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Half a Soul by Olivia Atwater

It’s difficult to find a husband in Regency England when you’re a young lady with only half a soul.

Ever since she was cursed by a faerie, Theodora Ettings has had no sense of fear or embarrassment – a condition which makes her prone to accidental scandal. Dora hopes to be a quiet, sensible wallflower during the London Season – but when the strange, handsome and utterly uncouth Lord Sorcier discovers her condition, she is instead drawn into dangerous and peculiar faerie affairs.

If Dora’s reputation can survive both her curse and her sudden connection with the least-liked man in all of high society, then she may yet reclaim her normal place in the world. . . but the longer Dora spends with Elias Wilder, the more she begins to suspect that one may indeed fall in love, even with only half a soul.

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This Vicious Grace by Emily Thiede

Three weddings. Three funerals. Alessa’s gift from the gods is supposed to magnify a partner’s magic, not kill every suitor she touches.

Now, with only weeks left until a hungry swarm of demons devours everything on her island home, Alessa is running out of time to find a partner and stop the invasion. When a powerful priest convinces the faithful that killing Alessa is the island’s only hope, her own soldiers try to assassinate her.

Desperate to survive, Alessa hires Dante, a cynical outcast marked as a killer, to become her personal bodyguard. But as rebellion explodes outside the gates, Dante’s dark secrets may be the biggest betrayal. He holds the key to her survival and her heart, but is he the one person who can help her master her gift or destroy her once and for all?

Emily Thiede’s exciting fantasy debut, This Vicious Grace, will keep readers turning the pages until the devastating conclusion and leave them primed for more!

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A Mirror Mended by Alix E. Harrow

A Mirror Mended is the next installment in USA Today bestselling author Alix E. Harrow’s Fractured Fables series.

Zinnia Gray, professional fairy-tale fixer and lapsed Sleeping Beauty, is over rescuing snoring princesses. Once you’ve rescued a dozen damsels and burned fifty spindles, once you’ve gotten drunk with twenty good fairies and made out with one too many members of the royal family, you start to wish some of these girls would just get a grip and try solving their own narrative issues.

Just when Zinnia’s beginning to think she can’t handle one more princess, she glances into a mirror and sees another face looking back at her: the shockingly gorgeous face of evil, asking for her help. Because there’s more than one person trapped in a story they didn’t choose. Snow White’s Evil Queen has found out how her story ends, and she’s desperate for a better ending. She wants Zinnia to help her before it’s too late for everyone. Will Zinnia accept the Queen’s poisonous request and save them both from the hot-iron shoes that wait for them, or will she try another path?

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September 2021 TBR

September 2021 TBR

I have a lot of hope for my September TBR! Not only have I painstakingly put in the time to pick these books, I made sure to follow my own advice and give myself space to breathe. I’m also organizing my reads and trying some new methods to maximize my reading time everyday. It’s a big experiment with lots of hope and I can’t wait to share it all with you throughout the month.

This month, I’m finally getting into The Wheel of Time ahead of the TV series premiering in November, I’m reading some very new releases, some excited sequels, a little bit of romance, and even a middle grade book! I can’t wait to dive into all of these. Here’s what I’ll be reading.

The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

This is the second book in the Wheel of Time series and I’m so excited to finally read it. I’ve actually carved out a good chunk of this month dedicating it to this story because I just want to get lost in a good fantasy story.

The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow.

For centuries, gleemen have told the tales of The Great Hunt of the Horn. So many tales about each of th Hunters, and so many Hunters to tell of…Now the Horn itself is found: the Horn of Valere long thought only legend, the Horn which will raise the dead heroes of the ages. And it is stolen.

Light from Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

Good Omens meets The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet in this defiantly joyful adventure set in California’s San Gabriel Valley, with cursed violins, Faustian bargains, and queer alien courtship over fresh-made donuts.

Shizuka Satomi made a deal with the devil: to escape damnation, she must entice seven other violin prodigies to trade their souls for success. She has already delivered six.

When Katrina Nguyen, a young transgender runaway, catches Shizuka’s ear with her wild talent, Shizuka can almost feel the curse lifting. She’s found her final candidate.

But in a donut shop off a bustling highway in the San Gabriel Valley, Shizuka meets Lan Tran, retired starship captain, interstellar refugee, and mother of four. Shizuka doesn’t have time for crushes or coffee dates, what with her very soul on the line, but Lan’s kind smile and eyes like stars might just redefine a soul’s worth. And maybe something as small as a warm donut is powerful enough to break a curse as vast as the California coastline.

As the lives of these three women become entangled by chance and fate, a story of magic, identity, curses, and hope begins, and a family worth crossing the universe for is found.

The Inheritance of Orquídea Divina by Zoraida Cordova

This is the first adult fantasy novel from Zoraida Cordova. I loved her Incendiary series and her Brooklyn Brujas, so I know I’ll enjoy this immensely.

The Montoyas are used to a life without explanations. They know better than to ask why the pantry never seems to run low or empty, or why their matriarch won’t ever leave their home in Four Rivers—even for graduations, weddings, or baptisms. But when Orquídea Divina invites them to her funeral and to collect their inheritance, they hope to learn the secrets that she has held onto so tightly their whole lives. Instead, Orquídea is transformed, leaving them with more questions than answers.

Seven years later, her gifts have manifested in different ways for Marimar, Rey, and Tatinelly’s daughter, Rhiannon, granting them unexpected blessings. But soon, a hidden figure begins to tear through their family tree, picking them off one by one as it seeks to destroy Orquídea’s line. Determined to save what’s left of their family and uncover the truth behind their inheritance, the four descendants travel to Ecuador—to the place where Orquídea buried her secrets and broken promises and never looked back.

Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M Lee

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Lori M. Lee’s middle grade debut about a lonely Hmong girl who discovers she’s a powerful shaman warrior in this fantasy inspired by Southeast Asian mythology.

“I love the adventures Pahua has in this book. I also love the sense of humor, the clever plotting, and the fantastic cast of characters. But most of all I love Pahua: her courage, her kindness, and her love for family.”–NYT best-selling author Rick Riordan

Pahua Moua has a bit of a reputation for being a weirdo. A lonely eleven-year-old Hmong girl with the unique ability to see spirits, she spends her summer days babysitting her little brother and playing with her best friend, a cat spirit no one else can see.

One day Pahua accidentally untethers an angry spirit from the haunted bridge in her neighborhood–whoops. When her brother suddenly falls sick and can’t be awoken, Pahua fears that the bridge spirit has stolen his soul. She returns to the scene of the crime with her aunt’s old shaman tools, hoping to confront the spirit and demand her brother’s return. Instead, she summons a demon.

Thankfully, a warrior shaman with a bit of an attitude problem shows up at the last minute and saves her butt. With the help of this guide, Pahua will have to find her way through the spirit worlds and rescue her brother’s soul before it’s too late. Little does she know she’ll have her own discoveries to make along the way. . . .

With its unforgettable characters, unique nature-based magic system, breathtaking twists and reveals, and climactic boss battle, this story based on Hmong oral tradition offers everything a fantasy lover could want.

Jade War by Fonda Lee

In Jade War, the sequel to the World Fantasy Award-winning novel Jade City, the Kaul siblings battle rival clans for honor and control over an Asia-inspired fantasy metropolis.

On the island of Kekon, the Kaul family is locked in a violent feud for control of the capital city and the supply of magical jade that endows trained Green Bone warriors with supernatural powers they alone have possessed for hundreds of years.

Beyond Kekon’s borders, war is brewing. Powerful foreign governments and mercenary criminal kingpins alike turn their eyes on the island nation. Jade, Kekon’s most prized resource, could make them rich – or give them the edge they’d need to topple their rivals.

Faced with threats on all sides, the Kaul family is forced to form new and dangerous alliances, confront enemies in the darkest streets and the tallest office towers, and put honor aside in order to do whatever it takes to ensure their own survival – and that of all the Green Bones of Kekon.

Jade War is the second book of the Green Bone Saga, an epic trilogy about family, honor, and those who live and die by the ancient laws of blood and jade.

The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun

Dev Deshpande has always believed in fairy tales. So it’s no wonder then that he’s spent his career crafting them on the long-running reality dating show Ever After. As the most successful producer in the franchise’s history, Dev always scripts the perfect love story for his contestants, even as his own love life crashes and burns. But then the show casts disgraced tech wunderkind Charlie Winshaw as its star.

Charlie is far from the romantic Prince Charming Ever After expects. He doesn’t believe in true love, and only agreed to the show as a last-ditch effort to rehabilitate his image. In front of the cameras, he’s a stiff, anxious mess with no idea how to date twenty women on national television. Behind the scenes, he’s cold, awkward, and emotionally closed-off.

As Dev fights to get Charlie to connect with the contestants on a whirlwind, worldwide tour, they begin to open up to each other, and Charlie realizes he has better chemistry with Dev than with any of his female co-stars. But even reality TV has a script, and in order to find to happily ever after, they’ll have to reconsider whose love story gets told.

In this witty and heartwarming romantic comedy—reminiscent of Red, White & Royal Blue and One to Watch—an awkward tech wunderkind on a reality dating show goes off-script when sparks fly with his producer.

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

From the internationally bestselling authors of THE ILLUMINAE FILES comes an epic new science fiction adventure.

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

They’re not the heroes we deserve. They’re just the ones we could find. Nobody panic.

Ashes of the Sun by Django Wexler

Long ago, a magical war destroyed an empire, and a new one was built in its ashes. But still the old grudges simmer, and two siblings will fight on opposite sides to save their world, in the start of Django Wexler’s new epic fantasy trilogy

Gyre hasn’t seen his beloved sister since their parents sold her to the mysterious Twilight Order. Now, twelve years after her disappearance, Gyre’s sole focus is revenge, and he’s willing to risk anything and anyone to claim enough power to destroy the Order.

Chasing rumors of a fabled city protecting a powerful artifact, Gyre comes face-to-face with his lost sister. But she isn’t who she once was. Trained to be a warrior, Maya wields magic for the Twilight Order’s cause. Standing on opposite sides of a looming civil war, the two siblings will learn that not even the ties of blood will keep them from splitting the world in two.

My August 2021 TBR

My August 2021 TBR

This post contains books gifted by Tor Teen, Orbit Books, Get Underlined, and Read Forever.

A couple of days late, but it’s finally here and ready for your perusal. I used to do TBR posts more frequently, but then I dropped off because I’m very lazy. But recently, I’ve been thinking about accountability, especially when it comes to the books I read and share. To give you some context, I can read about eight books a month. More books if the month is really good, but mostly I read less because doing this and working full time is a pretty big list of things to do. But I love to read, of course. Otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this.

I wanted to share this with you so that you know what I’m reading and what you can expect throughout the month. Reviews will be up a few days after I finish reading each book and unless I DNF or swap out books from the list, I’m pretty beholden to what is here. I hope that gives you some context into what I do every month and give you some ideas on what you should read next!

Shards of Earth by Adrian Tchaikovsky

I feel like every summer, I take on one big science fiction tome. I might have doubled up last summer, but this summer I wanted to read a space opera. When I heard about Adrian Tchaikovsky and his body of work, I decided why not. It sounds like a cool book and I do love a team of aliens coming together to fight for the greater good.

The war is over. Its heroes forgotten. Until one chance discovery . . .

Idris has neither aged nor slept since they remade him in the war. And one of humanity’s heroes now scrapes by on a freelance salvage vessel, to avoid the attention of greater powers.

After earth was destroyed, mankind created a fighting elite to save their species, enhanced humans such as Idris. In the silence of space they could communicate, mind-to-mind, with the enemy. Then their alien aggressors, the Architects, simply disappeared—and Idris and his kind became obsolete.

Now, fifty years later, Idris and his crew have discovered something strange abandoned in space. It’s clearly the work of the Architects—but are they returning? And if so, why? Hunted by gangsters, cults and governments, Idris and his crew race across the galaxy hunting for answers. For they now possess something of incalculable value, that many would kill to obtain.

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

You had me at dark academia. I’ve always been such a fan of this sub-genre and when I heard about this book and how it’s set in some secluded mountains with the girls living in a boarding school and practicing witchcraft, well, it definitely got my attention. It also sounds like there will be intrigue and a bit of a mystery as two young students discover hidden beneath the dark halls.

Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School.

Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds.

Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget.

It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource.

And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.

The Dating Playbook by Farrah Rochon

I’m a huge fan of Farrah Rochon’s The Boyfriend Project books. Of course, there’s only one out so far, but this is the second and said to be a super fun one as well because it’s got fake dating! I always know fake dating is such a bad idea, but it’s one of my favorite tropes if you do it right. It also features football, which is randomly one of my favorite sports to watch.

When a personal trainer agrees to fake date her client, all rules are out the window in this delightful romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of The Boyfriend Project!

When it comes to personal training, Taylor Powell kicks serious butt. Unfortunately, her bills are piling up, rent is due, and the money situation is dire. Taylor needs more than the support of her new best friends, Samiah and London. She needs a miracle.

And Jamar Dixon might just be it. The oh-so-fine former footballer wants back into the NFL, and he wants Taylor to train him. There’s just one catch — no one can know what they’re doing. But when they’re accidentally outed as a couple, Taylor’s game plan is turned completely upside down. Is Jamar just playing to win . . . or is he playing for keeps?

Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko

One of the first picks from my “Suggest My Reads” question I asked back in July. Last month, I opened up a suggestion box for people who follow me to recommend me a read. I chose two books from that list and credited those people for helping pick out a book for me to read. This is the first one and it’s kind of serendipitous that she picked it because the second book in this series comes out this month. Is it divine intervention? I’ve already heard so many good things about this book and been putting off reading it for a while. No time like the present especially for a book with young people choosing the path that’s right for themselves and defying the wishes of people above them.

Tarisai has always longed for the warmth of a family. She was raised in isolation by a mysterious, often absent mother known only as The Lady. The Lady sends her to the capital of the global empire of Aritsar to compete with other children to be chosen as one of the Crown Prince’s Council of 11. If she’s picked, she’ll be joined with the other Council members through the Ray, a bond deeper than blood. That closeness is irresistible to Tarisai, who has always wanted to belong somewhere. But The Lady has other ideas, including a magical wish that Tarisai is compelled to obey: Kill the Crown Prince once she gains his trust. Tarisai won’t stand by and become someone’s pawn—but is she strong enough to choose a different path for herself?

Mask of Mirrors by MA Carrick

A little while back, a friend of mine suggested this book to me. She mentioned that not a lot of people gave this book enough love, but also that it was so good that it deserved to be read and reviewed and adored. I love stories about con artists and magical balls. I think I will definitely love this one.

Fortune favors the bold. Magic favors the liars.

Ren is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadežra with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house, securing her fortune and her sister’s future.

But as she’s drawn into the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the City of Dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled…with Ren at their heart.

The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a dazzling and darkly magical fantasy adventure by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing together as M. A. Carrick

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire

This was the second book I picked from my “Recommend a Read” survey. I think I actually like that name and maybe I’ll keep it for every month. I’ve already read a few books from the Wayward Children series, but I never read the first book. Funny enough, I liked the books I read from the series but I wasn’t completely enamored by it. Then I heard that the books I should be reading are the first few of them, and I suddenly realized the mistake that I had made. I cannot wait to dive into this novella and find out the secrets behind this magical door.

Eleanor West’s Home for Wayward Children
No Solicitations
No Visitors
No Quests

Children have always disappeared under the right conditions; slipping through the shadows under a bed or at the back of a wardrobe, tumbling down rabbit holes and into old wells, and emerging somewhere… else.

But magical lands have little need for used-up miracle children.

Nancy tumbled once, but now she’s back. The things she’s experienced… they change a person. The children under Miss West’s care understand all too well. And each of them is seeking a way back to their own fantasy world.

But Nancy’s arrival marks a change at the Home. There’s a darkness just around each corner, and when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Nancy and her new-found schoolmates to get to the heart of the matter.

No matter the cost.

A Blade So Black by LL McKinney

The Fantasy Book Club pick of August! I’m so excited to read this one, especially when I read that it’s supposed to be an Alice in Wonderland retelling. I love Alice in Wonderland in all its whimsy and madness, so I can only imagine this one being just the same. Perhaps with a more likeable protagonist and it doesn’t hurt that the premise also sounds like she’s already been to Wonderland and now journeying through the world to find a cure for her mentor.

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.

Forestborn by Elayne Audrey Becker

This book, well. I don’t have a reason for reading it. It sounded beautiful with magic and mystical woods. I love a YA fantasy like this, so I added it to my list in hopes of reading it before the end of the month.


Rora is a shifter, as magical as all those born in the wilderness–and as feared. She uses her abilities to spy for the king, traveling under different guises and listening for signs of trouble.

When a magical illness surfaces across the kingdom, Rora uncovers a devastating truth: Finley, the young prince and her best friend, has caught it, too. His only hope is stardust, the rarest of magical elements, found deep in the wilderness where Rora grew up–and to which she swore never to return.

But for her only friend, Rora will face her past and brave the dark, magical wood, journeying with her brother and the obstinate, older prince who insists on coming. Together, they must survive sentient forests and creatures unknown, battling an ever-changing landscape while escaping human pursuers who want them dead. With illness gripping the kingdom and war on the horizon, Finley’s is not the only life that hangs in the balance.

What are you reading this month?

April 2021 TBR

April 2021 TBR

April is always that month that makes me excited for spring. Of course, it’s the rainy month before the real spring begins, but I love the rain. It’s also my anniversary month, so I’m in a little bit of a lovey dovey mood.

Aside from Easter and our anniversary, this month will be another one of sitting at home and reading books. Here’s a few of my plans:

  • Now that more donation-based store are allowing for people to bring in their donations, I can finally get rid of mine. You may know this infamous wall of books I have in my reading nook. Well, that’s actually all the books I’m trying to get rid of. Yep, those are the books I don’t want in my collection. I’ve just been keeping them in that space and using them as a prop for photos, but I’ll be getting rid of them soon. I’m going to a few neighborhood Little Free Libraries and stocking those up. The rest will be donated to the Goodwill and to the local used bookstores. It’s finally time to liberate those books.
  • Since it’s also my anniversary month and more fruits come into season, I’ll probably doing some baking. It’s crumble time! I love making crisps and crumbles from the fresh berries and fruit at the local supermarket. I love making these because they’re easy, my husband loves them, and you can make them with pretty much any fruit you can find. Oh, I absolutely love some delicious fruit pies.
  • I also have a variety of book promotions, launches, and Indie Bookstore Day at the end of April. It’ll be a great month of books and I’m excited to start a new month with a fresh perspective.

Here’s what I plan to read:

I also have a bunch of books I’m calling my “second string” for when I finish this first group of books. I’ll share more once I’m ready to share those. Hope to have a great spring! I’ll chat with you more soon.

My October 2020 Hopefuls

My October 2020 Hopefuls

October arrives with a lot going on. And I mean A LOT! I wanted to hold off a bit on sharing my TBR for the month because I had so many other announcements and content to share! But now that the dust has settled, let’s get into the books I’ll be reading all through October.

There’s a few different things I kept in mind while putting together my TBR this month. I think the first and foremost is that it’s October which means Halloween is at the end of the month. I’m not a huge celebrator of the holiday, but I do like to do a few things here and there just to set myself in the mood for the season.

Next, I also wanted to read some books by Latinx authors for Latinx Heritage Month. There were a couple of sci-fi and fantasy books that I recently picked up that I thought would be a great way to celebrate some great books and add more of my favorite genres to the mix.

I also launched my book club via Patreon! We’ve already picked our first book and I’ll need to read that one for the discussion at the end of the month. If you want to check out the book club, you can check them out here.

Finally, my #FallForFantasy challenge. I’m reading five of the books from my 15-book list this month, so there’s also making room for that in here. As I mentioned before, most of these are backlist titles that I’ve been wanting to read for years. It’s finally time to de-stash my unread books and get up to speed with what other folks really loved.

Ok, before I share my hopefuls, I need to emphasize that this is a mega list. There’s probably more books than I can manage in a month and this doesn’t include the audiobooks I borrowed from the library and I’m patiently waiting for. However, audiobooks have really been helping me with my reading life lately, so I added a bunch of audiobooks. I also tend to read more on an audiobook. It’s not necessarily faster, but being able to keep the book going while I do stuff around the house or knit has really changed my reading life.

Here’s What I’ll Be Reading

The 15 Fantasy Books I’ll Read This Fall

The 15 Fantasy Books I’ll Read This Fall

While I was putting this list together, I was thinking about the books I’ve been wanting to read but never made time for them. Don’t you just hate having books you said you’ll read and then they languish on the shelf for years? Well, this #FallForFantasy I plan on busting my fantasy TBR with some backlisted fantasy and some new fantasy reads as well.

But I didn’t want to get caught with cramming my entire month with fantasy books. I love fantasy and I do dedicate a lot of time to reading fantasy books, but I need some other genres in my monthly TBRs just to keep things interesting. So instead of a formal TBR for October, November, and December, I decided to pick the top 15 fantasy books I want to read these upcoming months.

I thought a lot about this because not only did I want to read these fantasy books, but I also wanted to keep in the spirit of everything else going on around us. So I have some spooky fantasy reads, some Latinx authors for Latinx Heritage Month (it ends October 15th, so you still have time).

I’ll also be exploring Rebecca Roanhorse’s Black Sun as well as catching up on Brandon Sanderson’s Stormlight Archive. I also wanted to finally read the first book in the Wheel of Time series as well as Robin Hobb’s famous Assassins series.

I also want to mention that these won’t be the only books I’ll read the next three months. I’ll be reading more, but dedicating five books from this list per month to give fantasy books the upper hand on my very delicate and balanced TBR. You’ve probably read some of these. You’ve probably been putting them off for years just like me! But if you take anything away from this blog post, it’s this: if you make the time to read the books, then you’ll read them.

Here’s What I’m Reading for #FallForFantasy

My September 2020 Hopefuls

My September 2020 Hopefuls

Happy September! First, let’s get it out of the way: I can’t believe it’s already September. I feel like we all went into quarantine a month ago and not six months ago. I would be lying if I said it didn’t affect my mental health or my reading life. Each month has been different with its very own ups and downs. Last month, it definitely affected me. This month, I’ve decided to change the way I put these TBRs together.

While I can only read eight books a month, I continue to challenge my reading habits and try and read more. August was tough especially with my mental health waxing and waning with the moon. But a new month is a new opportunity for me to do better, so September, I wanted to continue having some big TBRs.

So this month, I’m going a little bit more aggressive with my TBR including two 800+ page novels. However, I want to change the name from TBR to “Hopefuls.” Because let’s be honest, all my books are to be read. I feel like I read eight books a month only to receive 20 more books next month. Maybe if I give up sleep then I’ll be able to read them all.

Usually I’m scrambling a day or two before the beginning of the new month to figure out what I want to read. I haven’t figured out the process yet, but I feel like I’m getting it down. Maybe I’ll share those insights and share them with you all.

For September, my main focus is to read what I have on Netgalley. I’m quite behind on my reviews (I mean, who isn’t), but there’s going to be concerted effort to really get these books read and reviewed. I also want to read some new books I’ve received as well as start some books that have been out forever and have sequels coming up in the next few months.

My July 2020 TBR

My July 2020 TBR

TBRs and me have a troubled past. Sometimes, it’s a blessing. Most times, it’s a curse. But I’m a reader and a blogger and when it comes to accountability and ensuring that the books I present are read, I need it. I’ve been dictated by my mood way too often and whenever I do, my reading always suffers. And someone with way too many unread books filling her shelves than ones I’ve actually read, I need to do something about it.

This month, I’m committing to reading 17 books. I feel like this is a very high goal for me especially since I read so many big books and I read slowly, but I’m also committing to spending less time on my phone and more time in my books. Like I mentioned in my wrap up, I spent on average 7 hours a day looking at my phone. That’s outrageous! So I’ll be trading my time spent on my phone to read. Let’s get into what I’ll be reading. This list won’t include my current buddy read of Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X Kendi being held on Instagram. Here’s a compiled list of all the books I want to read in July:

If you’re interested in reading more about why I picked these books, I’ve organized these reads by category. Please enjoy this exhaustive explanation I put together for every book I chose to read this month. I put a lot of work into curating my TBR so that it’s inclusive, it checks off my unread shelf, and they’re enjoyable!

Books I’ll Be Promoting

I wanted there to be some more transparency about 1) how I get my books 2) why I receive certain books over others. For the most part, I don’t really request books from the publisher. I get a lot of books for promotion that I concentrate my time on what I’ll be promoting than what I want to read for review. I’m making it an effort to read the books I’ll be promoting so that my voice feels genuine on Instagram and on the blog. For July, I signed up for three book tours and a promotional reread of another. These books are:

  • Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  • Courting Darkness by Robin LaFever
  • Hawk by James Patterson

Cinderella is Dead, Courting Darkness, and Hawk will be read for promotional book tours I’ve signed up for on Instagram. I’m very excited to read these books (and Cinderella is Dead will be my first read of the month), but these might be the last tours I sign up for. While I love promoting new books for people to check out and possibly purchase, I also want there to be some more authenticity in my reading on my Instagram page. It’s just a personal choice I’m making so that I don’t feel like just a salesperson.

An Ember in the Ashes will be a fun readalong happening throughout the month of July. I’ll be sharing thoughts and photos every weekend in hopes to pump everyone up for Sabaa Tahir’s fourth book in the series. This will actually be my first time reading this series, so I can’t wait to get started!

Netgalley Books

I talk about this all the time, but my Netgalley score is 7%. It’s atrocious! But if I were to request any books for review, it would be through Netgalley. While I know I can email publishers and use the traditional method of requesting books, I prefer Netgalley. I think it’s because there’s more e-galleys publishers are able to give away and while the process is still elusive to me, I feel like it’s a little bit more fair? That’s just my opinion though. With the pandemic and many promotional books being sent via Netgalley, my score just kept getting worse and worse. So I’ll be focusing some of my monthly reads to lower this score. I want my reviews to be timely to when the book is about to publish or around its publishing date. The books I’ve chosen to read this month are:

  • The Damned by Renee Ahdieh
  • Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell
  • Running by Natalia Sylvester
  • Sex and Vanity by Kevin Kwan
  • Blue Ticket by Sophie Mackintosh
  • Mexican Gothic by Syvia Moreno-Garcia
  • Pizza Girl by Jean Kyoung Frazier

Mind you, I’m excited to read all of these books. I don’t want you to think that me reading Netgalley books is some chore I have to do. I want to read these books and it’ll be great to also raise my Netgalley score while I do it.

I’m extremely excited about Mexican Gothic, Pizza Girl, and Running. I’ve already seen so many positive reviews about Mexican Gothic and Pizza Girl. However, I’ve also read negative reviews for both and whenever that happens, I need to read the book and make up my own mind.

Sex and Vanity was also picked for Good Morning America’s book club. I’m so excited to be reading this and joining in on their discussions. I can’t wait to see what other people said about this book too because I remember reading reviews of Crazy Rich Asians and being super dissatisfied with the way people described this book.

Book Club Books

Not only do I read constantly, but I’m also in two different book clubs. One focuses reads written by women and the other focuses on romances. Both of the books chosen this month for those book clubs are big anticipated reads for me too. I can’t wait to see what these books are about and discuss them with my book club friends. They are:

  • A Cowboy to Remember by Rebekah Weatherspoon
  • Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

First off, I’ve never read a cowboy romance ever. I don’t know what to expect from it, but judging by the fact the dude on the cover has a 12-pack (which I didn’t even know was physically possible), I have a feeling this is going to be good.

Catherine House has been on my TBR since May. And yet, every month it gets put off because my mood changes and I don’t want to read a gothic story. Well, that’s about to change especially now that I HAVE to read as well as want to read it. I can’t wait.

The Rest

While I have a huge list of books to read, I always want to sneak in some books I want to read for myself. The rest of the books here are just that. These are the books that caught my eye recently and want to get into. I’m worried with all the other books that these books will be cast off, but if I go at the rate I’m going, I think I can squeeze these books in.

  • A Song of Wraiths and Ruins by Roseanne A Brown
  • Binti by Nnedi Okorafor
  • How to Save a Life by Lisa and Liz
  • The Extraordinaries by TJ Klune

And that is my TBR. I know this blog post is a doozy, but if you made it this far, then yay! Thanks for coming to my TBR talk.