Show Us Your Books: August 2021!

September is here, but cool weather doesn't make it's way to Georgia until Halloween at the earliest, so we're still int he middle of summer if you ask me. If you ask Target, however, it is flannel and sweat shirt season and I keep overdressing for the weather. I actually managed to read a bunch in August! So let's dive in, shall we?

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase, I will receive a small commission. Believe me when I say small, I do believe I've made less than $25 in amazon affiliate commissions in the four or so years I've been an affiliate member.. 

The Lions of Fifth Avenue: This book follows the lives of two women at the New York Public Library. One in 1913, and her granddaughter in 1993. I really enjoyed this, there was history and cool stories and a mystery. There was one story line that, while you could see it developing, kinda felt rushed into, if that makes sense? If you've read it, let me know, I don't want to spoil anything! 

Legendborn: OH. MY. GOD. I really loved this one, Arthurian legends, drama, good ole boy's club, secret societies, magic, PLOT TWIST, this book has it all. Literally, my *only* complaint is that it ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger and I don't think we have an official pub date for book two. I highly recommend this if you're into fantasy! It's technically YA, but the author randomly has a character say "oh I forget that you're only 17" or whatever to remind you that they're kids. It's so good. 

Red Queen: I think I've mentioned before that sometimes I'll read a book and then I'll look at the reviews/see someone else post about it and it will change my mind on it after the fact? This is one of those books. Becca & I read it for our "book club" which is mainly an excuse to get together. Anyways, I saw someone who hated it and DNF'ed compare it to Hunger Games which, I can kind of see. I still really enjoyed the book, and will almost certainly finish the series. It does have some Hunger Games aspects to it, but also some magic, and betrayal! Plot twists! Love triangles! I texted Becca when I got to the plot twist because I couldn't believe I didn't see it coming. 

Dial A for Aunties: I impulse bought this book at the target after a few glasses of wine, and honestly it was worth it. It's a quick read, light and funny. I do think I cried at one point? But that might have been related to the wine. It's very funny and honestly I would watch the movie. I recommend it if you're looking for something light with hijinx! 

Ace of Spades: Starting to think maybe I should watch Get Out since I'm drawn to this type of stuff. Since I haven't seen Get Out, I'd say this has very big Pretty Little Liars meets Gosisp Girl energy. It was so good and I couldn't put it down, had to know who aces was and boy was I surprised! 

A Curse So Dark and Lonely: I think I gave this 4 stars on goodreads, but it's a solid 3.5. It's compelling and I wanted to find out if the curse would be broken, but like stripped down to the bare bones the way this was, Beauty and the Beast is a very creepy story. The MC mentions Stockholm Syndrome in like chapter three. It's creepy, the prince isn't that charming, and also like there's this whole toss away plot line of like.. 300 some odd women who have been kidnapped and they don't really know what happens to them at the end of the "cycle" and like. What. Also the MC has big "NoT LiKe OtHeR gIrLs" energy, which like, fine, but you don't have to tell me every chapter that you're not like other girls. So yeah, I don't think I'll be reading any further into this series.  

That's all for August, folks! I've already finished one book in September and I will honestly probably finish the second book before this post goes live. I'm on a roll and I'd like to keep it up. I'm playing a fall reading challenge bingo thing over on my bookstagram, if you want to play too! As always, linking up with Steph & Jana! Happy reading! 
Life According to Steph

Show Us Your Books: July 2021

BACK TO BACK MONTHS! Who is she? Will it ever happen again? Only the shadow knows. I did more reading in July than I expected to and tried (and failed) to take a fantasy break. I just can't leave it be.. So, without further ado, here's my roundup! As always, this post contains affiliate links meaning if you click through and make a purchase I will make a tiny commission at no extra cost to you. Please don't feel obliged to make purchases on my behalf, it really is a Very Tiny commission.

Half Sick of Shadows: FIRST OF ALL, did I mention you can finally pause billing on Book of The Month? I hated having to quit and rejoin and now I don't have to. Anyways this was a Book of the Month Pick that I read with Becca and you guys. I don't know. I think I gave it 3 stars? 3.5? It's told in a very confusing real time/premonition/past tense way. It jumps around and the ending felt VERY abrupt. I felt very underwhelmed with the ending. I don't know. 

The Other Black Girl: Do you ever share that you've read something and then a bunch of people go "oh I read this but it took forever to get going for me?" and then you're like "wait, was that my experience too? did I just power through?" That happened to me after I posted that I'd finished this one in one day. I think though that the slow build feeling is on purpose. I know it's been compared to Get Out, which I've never seen, but it did remind me of Stepford Wives which I think might be white lady primer for Get Out. Anyways, I loved it, read it in one day. 

I'm doing all three of these as ONE review because I can't remember where the story stops on each one but I DO need to warn you that the ebook is over at like 45% "read"on kindle. There's like 85 pages of like. book club notes and shit. But I liked this so much that when I finished the first one from the library and discovered the wait time for the next one that I ordered the "box set" for pickup at B&N that very same day. I think this is technically YA? I didn't really know how old the characters were supposed to be, but I really enjoyed it and am now trying to decide if I want to read the Six of Crows duology before watching the TV show, does any one know if I need to do that first? 

A Darker Shade of Magic: I did an excellent job taking a fantasy breather right? I mean two whole books this time around weren't fantasy. Obviously, this isn't one of those. This one was somehow fast paced and slow? I think having read Addie LaRue and Vengeful first helped me understand the way V.E. Schwab builds her worlds and does character development. I'm interested to see how the rest of this series goes though. 

Taken at the Flood (Hercule Poirot): OKAY I figured out a murderer in this one but NOT the twist at the end. So Agatha does it again! I feel like this one did have some jarring language in there, so evergreen reminder that Agatha's books were published "in a different time" some of them have been edited but not all, and sometimes it's a surprising like, positive sounding prejudice? Anyways, that's a warning that these books don't often come with and sometimes it catches me very off guard and I'm like "oh, right, people thought that was an okay thing to say in the 50s"

That's all folks! I mean I've already finished one book in August and I am absolutely tearing through Legendborn right now but I gotta save those to have content next month! As always, linking up for fun! 
Life According to Steph

Show Us Your Books - The One Where I Start a Bookstagram and Get A Puppy

Hellooooooooo things have been VERY HECTIC around here since we last checked in and boy do I have some news for y'all. First, I decided to join bookstagram because I clearly didn't have enough projects going on (please don't ask me how the closet/office renovation is going because we're like stuck at *nearly* complete and have been for months) We also ADDED A NEW MEMBER TO OUR LITTLE FAMILY. We've been talking about getting a puppy for over a year, then Thursday the 24th I saw a craigslist post, we e-mailed them that night (after cocktails) they e-mailed back on Friday morning, Albus and I went to "just meet the puppy" and of course she came home with us. No one expected that to go any other way. We were wildly unprepared, didn't even have a crate for her. So I snagged one off of marketplace and now Albus has a baby sister, named Betty Lou. 

ANYWAYS now that we've got all that out of the way, here's what I read in June! This post contains affiliate links which means if you click trough and make a purchase I may receive a tiny commission. 

In a shock to absolutely no one: I finished the Throne of Glass Series:
Tower of Dawn: This is book 6 and it's Chaol's story! We get a handful of new characters and get to see a different part of the world they live in! I enjoyed this one, and then learned from instagram that people sometimes skip it? I wouldn't recommend that, I feel like you learn a lot of things in this one that you need for the next one? 

Kingdom of Ash: I accidentally bought this physical book twice. By accidentally, I mean I went on thriftbooks to see what their shipping time would be and it was too long, so I backed out of the order and they still decided to charge me and send the book, even though I reached out to customer service immediately, they couldn't cancel the order because it has "already entered the shipping process" then didn't ship for five business days. ANYWAYS. I wanted to pace myself through this but instead I read the entire thing, even though it's the longest of all of them, in less than a week. I devoured it. I loved it, I'll admit, I'm firmly in the Sarah J Maas fandom. Give me all  the territorial fae male bullshit. I also really enjoyed that this book had an ending? Like, yes technically there's an opening to continue this series, but it also feels finished. Would I read more books in this universe about other characters? Obviously. Also, there's a fun ACOTAR Easter egg in this one! 

The Assassin's Blade: This is a prequel of smaller stories to the Throne of Glass. It's five? novellas put into one book. I think you can also get them all separately if you really wanted to do that? I would *not* recommend reading these first. I'd say after the 4th book, because there are some mild spoilers. Things you might figure out before the characters do in the normal span of the books but things they end up telling you. Anyways, this was fun, I read the whole thing in one day.

For the Wolf: I picked this up on a whim at the register of the first Barnes & Nobel I've been inside since the Before Times. I also tore through this one. It tells the story of two sisters and fate and magic and myths and misunderstandings and oh man I tore through this one too. I highly recommend. 

Ariadne: I wanted to like this more than I ended up liking it. I loved Circe but the characters in this one just felt flat to me? I don't really know how to explain it. The overall theme is "men ain't shit" but like, it just didn't land for me. I really wanted to like it, I hated the fucking ending. 

Half Sick of Shadows: I wanted this to be so much more than it was. Back to back with the BOTM disappointment. Becca & I decided to make this a little mini book club read between the two of us and when I finished it I texted her and said "I hate that ending" I don't know if it's possible to spoil a book that keeps jumping from the present to future visions that aren't set in stone. I just finished it feeling very underwhelmed. Idk, but good news, I was able to pause my BOTM membership because I didn't really want any of the July books. 

The Other Black Girl: HOLY COW. Bookstagram made me buy this and WOW. I read it in one day. Just absolutely devoured it. I've never seen Get Out because I thought it was scary scary? Like horror movie scary? I like a thriller and boy HOWDY do we have one here. If you haven't seen Get Out, like me, it also has Stepford Wives vibes. I highly highly recommend this one. Don't let thriller scare you like it usually does to me haha

Shadow and Bone: Hello now I am elbows deep in the Grisahverse. I accidentally? read this faster than I thought I was reading it because the kindle told me I was 54% of the way done when really it was 100% because the rest was just like. previews of the next book or something? I don't know I didn't even flip through to see. I instead, immediately ordered just the entire box set for curbside pickup at B&N. I'm currently on the second book, Siege and Storm and am enjoying this universe. Obviously will make myself read them all before I start the netflix show. (also, sadly, the netflix stickers are printed on all three books. ugh.)

That's it for June! OH Question for y'all. I saw A Tiktok that told me I needed to stop using Goodreads because of Bezos (important note: there is no ethical consumption under capitalism.) and switch to Storygraph? Have y'all used that? I do love visual representations of data and it did let me import my Goodreads history. Lately I've been using both. I think they both have different values, I'm just so used to Goodreads, I'm worried? it'll be like every time we've mass joined different social media because we're over Facebook or Instagram's new updates. What do y'all think?

Anyways! Happy Show Us Your Books Day! Linking up with Steph & Jana
Life According to Steph

Show Us Your Books: I Started This Post In March So It Would Be Ready for May

AND GUESS WHAT IT IS JUNE. Whatever y'all, I'm just doing my best out here. I have to stop setting myself up for failure. Spoiler alert: I fell into another series rabbit hole. I recently learned Becca PLANS her whole reading journey, is this something y'all do too? I'm an agent of absolute chaos. I just read whatever comes off of holds or if I come across something that bookstagram or this link up is raving about. I recently, accidentally, rejoined Book of the Month (referral link if somehow you've never tried BoTM.) Every time I do it, I read that you can skip a month and like, immediately forget that the reason I quit the time before was that you can skip a month but you can't skip being billed for that month. I'm not dying to read any of the books this month so I haven't decided what I'll do about it. 

This post contains affiliate links, which means if you click through and make a purchase then I will receive a tiny commission.

CRESCENT CITY: Y'ALLL. I loved this. The next one comes out my birthday week next year and I CANNOT WAIT like it's 7 months out but I've already preordered it. Holy Cow. It's ACOTAR meets modern day. Fae are still around causin' problems but now there are ARCHANGELS and shifters and OTTERS WHO DELIVER MESSAGES. Y'all. Just read it. It's steamier than ACOTAR, if you can believe it! I also will honestly be re-reading it before the second one comes out, I loved it that much. 

The Memory Collectors: I won this in a bookstagram giveaway from Elle and it literally arrived in the mail the day I finished Crescent City how perfect is that? This book has it all, magic, mystery, murder, Bad Guys, sister drama, I devoured this one too. 

Throne of Glass: After A Court of Silver Flames AND Crescent City I was honestly craving more Sarah J Maas. I'll admit it. So I dove into this series, which I've learned was her first ever and she started writing it when she was like SIXTEEN? Excuse me? I've been *talking* about writing my own book since before then but the closest I've come is being a half ass blogger here. (sorry y'all) Anyways, there are two things you need to know about this one: it takes forever to really get going, I swear the last 15% of the book is more interesting than all of the beginning parts put together, but knowing what I know, I stuck it out. You don't have to. Two: it ends on a damn cliffhanger so of course, being who I am, I proceeded to drop nearly everything and pick up a seven book series where each book is 700 pages. Will I get my goodreads goal this year? Only the shadow knows. 

TL;DR: I gave this one three stars I think? (rounded up, honestly, from 2.5 because the first half was so. slow.) Then proceeded to place holds on the rest of the series. I have a problem.

Vicious: Another series I'm hooked on. The next book wasn't free at the library yet, and it wasn't as demanding as ACOTAR (we all know that's A Court of Thorns and Roses right? I'm not using jargon that's completely foreign?) Again, magic and murder. I'm deep in a fantasy trench? I don't want to say rut because I'm enjoying it. This is the same author who wrote Invisible Life of Addie LaRue and this is a COMPLETELY different adventure. I genuinely enjoyed it, I have the next book on holds, but I keep pushing it off because of Throne of Glass.

The Labors of Hercules: Poirot has never been one for the classics but decides to complete the Labors of Hercules before he retires. Did I have the muses from the Disney classic, Hercules, singing in the back of my brain every time? Obviously. Did I enjoy little Poirot's adventures? Always. I think I read this one in like. Two days. Maybe one. It was fun and not quite a collection of short stories, but kind of? I'm working my way through all of the Poirot novels and I'm honestly trying to pace myself now, since you know Agatha isn't writing any more of them.... 

Crown of Midnight (Throne of Glass #2): And Here. We. Go. This one was better than the first, but still kind of slow in the beginning. I'm not sure if that's on purpose or not. I figured out the Big Secret before any of the characters did, but cannot for the life of me decide how we're supposed to be pronouncing "Chaol" I don't want to look it up, I've been pronouncing it like someone who doesn't know how to pronounce chaos. (Cha-Ol) but it makes me think of when they had Hermoine pronounce her name in the early HP books because none of us dumb Americans knew that name. haha. Anyways, this one has a bigger? cliffhanger than the first so you won't be at all surprised that my next book is

Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3): This one was ALL GAS, no brakes and the speed that I wanted. It finally got all the way up to 5 stars because things are getting interesting and there are just more twists than I can predict. Also new characters! New kingdoms! New drama! Yay! When I finished this one I was left with a choice: be a patient and reasonable adult and wait for book number four to come off of holds, or be impatient and by the e-book. Can you guess what happened next?

If you guessed that I was impatient and went ahead and bought the e-book Queen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) you know me well. I want to be a person who plans my reading journey but I'm just not built like that. I can predict that if I like the first book I will read all of them and I will DEMAND adaptations on tv or something, but that's jut who I am. The weather was lovely on Saturday and I spent the entire day laying on the couch, reading this book. I finished it, and immediately downloaded the next one, which I did at least walk up to the Square with Albus to read at the bar for a little bit. 

So, as of this Monday morning, I'm still reading Tower of Dawn (Throne of Glass, 6) and slightly worried that I think there's only one book left in the series.  As always, linking up with Steph & Jana! Maybe this time I'll remember to add my link to the linkup, time will tell..... Tell me what you're reading and if I should add it to my ever growing but never shrinking TBR list. 
Life According to Steph

Show Us Your Books: Did I Finish My 2020 Reading Goal?

I have started and abandoned this post three different times now. So, if you're actually seeing it in April, it means I finally finished it. I started it in JANUARY. I'm outstanding at time management. Here is my original intro paragraph for February's Show Us Your Books Linkup haha.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know the answer, but if NOT then drumroll please! I did it! By the absolute skin of my teeth too. Like December 30th. And now it's already February before I'm recapping so this will be a looooong one. Not making any "will totally be blogging more" in 2021 resolutions because *gestures broadly* but I am aiming to read 60 books this year. I was ahead of schedule after a productive January, but right now I'm reading Devil in The White City and good GOD is it slow. Anyways, linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph & Jana and this post contains affiliate links, so you know, if you click through and buy a book I may make half a penny! 

December 2020:

I need y'all to know I tore through the ACOTAR books, ended up buying some because I didn't want to wait for library holds, and preordered the one that would come out in February. WHICH DID Y'ALL SEE THE NEWS? IT'S BEING ADAPTED FOR TV! I am so pumped. I recommend these to anyone who likes fantasy, it's such a cool world, don't let the maps and character charts intimidate you haha

The Year of The Witching : This was good, it's described as "The Handmaid's Tale for a new generation" (not that we really need that, when we're basically living in the early days of that world...) This was very entertaining and a little heartbreaking, but very captivating. 

Evil Under The Sun: Another Hercule Poirot, which I felt was almost cheating? To hit my goal? Then I remembered it was an arbitrary goal I had set and I loved the book anyways. This one I had a hunch who the murderer was, but only because I'd watched a different Christie novel  in movie form and it hinted the same level of Bad Guy. As always, totally recommend Hercule Poirot every time. 

January 2021:
A Splendid Ruin: This one kept me guessing, y'all. There are three very separate sections of the book. Features some outstanding gaslighting and story telling, lots of adventure and revenge at play.  I didn't see the middle twist coming at all. 

The Last of the Moon Girls: Hesitant Witches! Y'all know I'm a sucker for a witch who's hesitant to use her powers. This one falls into that vein, she doesn't want to take over the family farm, then her grandmother dies, she has to go back to settle the estate, and gets drawn back into her life before the big city. It's a little, cliche? Fits very well into the category it belongs to, but it's well written and a good story. 

Circe: I couldn't put this one down either. Circe loves her some mortals. I didn't know a lot of her backstory, only some of her part in the Odyssey, so it was cool to read about Circe herself. 

Atomic Love: I rage finished this one. I was predictable and terrible and the story didn't have the legs. I don't recommend it. It was my last BOTM. You can skip this one. 

Our Time Is Now: This book was timely as I read it during the Georgia Senate Runoff and it's relevant again now as the state legislature is passing sweeping voter suppression laws! 

The Duke & I - Okay, I read these because everyone was raving about Brigerton the TV show and I felt left out and like, there is a very specific plot point in this one that could have been completely left out or at the very least dealt with better. Not sure if they handle it better in the show, I haven't made it that far. I don't seem to have the attention span for TV (EXCEPT WANDAVISION, I had the time for that one) lately. BUT ALSO I low key hate how they did Daphne AND her older brother who's name starts with an A but escapes me now, because they were definitely better characters in the books than in the first two or three episodes. So.

The Viscount Who Loved Me: I liked this one better than the first one, but it was the last one for me. These are fine, and I thought they'd be more my vibe than they ended up being. Just not for me, but I did try to read the third one and... 

DNF: An Offer From A Gentleman: this felt like it was torn directly from Cinderella, I don't need another Cinderella in my life when Ever After and Cinderella Story and the one with Brandy all exist. Thanks. 

February 2021:
The Devil in the White City - I admit that I put this one on hold because I saw some suburban mom so mad about it being included on some high school reading list. (She was mad because she assumed it was about racism, not America's first serial killer and his MURDER CASTLE.) And good LORD does Erik Larson take forever to get to a point. I was honestly disappointed in this, it was a LOT OF information about the World's Fair, lightly seasoned with murder. I guess that's a dark take since it's non-fiction but like, come on. I was there for H.H. Holmes, not the budget committee's meetings with congress.

The Once and Future Witches: This one was CAPTIVATING, I couldn't put it down. It's set in Salem in a time where there used to be witches, and men are the worst. There's an overlap between the suffragette movement and how they didn't really want votes for all women, there's unfair labor practices, men who deserve to be turned into frogs. It's great y'all. 

A Court of Silver Flames: THIS IS MY FAVORITE ONE SO FAR. You need to read the other ones to understand it, but it just came out and I literally returned books I had borrowed without reading them so I could read it. It's definitely steamier. It follows Nessa & Cassian and tackles some mental health issues and survivors guilt and just like. The character development is incredible. I was so sad when it was over. I can't wait for the next one AND THE TV ADAPTATION. So pumped. 

March 2021:
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue: Everyone loves this book, so I was scared I wouldn't. It is important to note that it takes forever to get going. It's very slow at the start, but I think that's on purpose so you're feeling some of what Addie feels. I don't know if I can describe anything else without it being a potential spoiler but y'all it's good, worth the hype.  

The Hollow (Hercule Poirot #26): This Poirot novel, I figured out the killer, but then all of the clues convinced me I was wrong, so I felt vindicated at the end haha. I hope that's not a spoiler. 

The Girl With The Louding Voice: I have a hard time with stories written in any kind of dialect, my brain works to hard to try to make it sound like I speak rather than letting me hear the accent, if that makes sense? So that made this one a little harder for me to get through, also the anticipation. You know something is coming but you can't figure out what and then BAM. The ending really made up for the long way it takes to get going.  

The Book of Lost Names: WWII here, this one had me SOBBING. Just sobbing. I haven't read a WWII novel in a minute because they're exhausting and lately I've been looking for more escapist stuff but whew. It's good, but I would skip it if you try to avoid books about WWII/The Holocaust. 

Currently Reading: House of Earth and Blood

FINALLY linking up for Show Us Your Books with Steph & Jana. I've missed y'all! 
Life According to Steph