Waiting on Wednesday: For Better or Cursed

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer 

For Better or Cursed (The Babysitters Coven, #2)

From Goodreads:

Adventures in Babysitting meets Buffy the Vampire Slayer in this funny, action-packed sequel about a coven of witchy babysitters who realize their calling to protect the innocent and save the world from an onslaught of evil.

Esme Pearl’s life used to be all about bumming rides and babysitting. Sure, it wasn’t glamorous, but it was predictable. All that changed when Cassandra Heaven came to town, and they discovered their complicated, and connected, legacy: Esme and Cassandra are Sitters, supernaturally-gifted teens armed with an ever-changing grimoire of Sitter witchcraft to help them protect the innocent and keep evil demons at bay. You know, the typical teenage stuff.
But just as Esme is starting to adjust to–and maybe even like–her new normal, life lobs another glitter bomb her way. The Synod–the Sitterhood’s governing circle–has called a Summit, a once-in-a-generation gathering that promises training, education, and whole lot of ice-breakers.
Esme should be excited–a Summit might mean she can finally get the answers she desperately wants–but she can’t shake a building sense of panic. Especially since Cassandra’s not acting like herself; Esme’s dad is MIA; Pig is out of dog food; Janis is scared to be alone; and there’s a guy who seems too good to be true, again. Worst of all, it soon becomes clear, there’s no one watching the kids. It’s obvious the Summit is a haute mess, but will it be a deadly one, too?

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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Review: Chasing Lucky

Chasing Lucky

I received a gifted copy from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

Jenn Bennett has magic in her veins. I have yet to read a book of hers that I do not like. Her romance stories make me swoon in ways I didn’t know I could. Not only can she write, her lust-worthy characters feel so believable. The banter, the interactions, the story lines, all of it feels real. I could be watching real two people going through an adventure rather than a made up story. Magic, I tell you.

From the very start I knew I would fall for Lucky and he would break my heart. Did that stop me? Not at all. I buckled up and settled in for the ride. (SPOILER: He was everything I hoped he’d be and more.) Now Lucky with Josie? FANTASTIC. The snark between these two had me in stitches! These two being best friends as young children finding each other again as older teens was amazing. It was as if these two never missed a beat. The banter and wit was back and I was here for it. The chemistry sizzled on the page, holy smokes. The story line of Josie and her mother being forced to move back to their hometown was so very good. It sounded like a small town I would love to visit someday, especially during the summer.

As you can tell, I’m struggling to form proper thoughts because I enjoyed this so much. The setting was perfect, the characters were wonderfully flawed and well developed, and the plot was believable. Josie wanted a clean start and to stop moving so much with her Mom. Her Mom seems to be outrunning something from her past and it’s wearing on Josie. After being forced to go back to their hometown, everything changes, secrets are revealed, truths come to the surface, old flames are rekindled, and walls come down. What more can you want from a story?

This Bennett book was exactly what I needed in my life. I devoured it and now want more. (Also, I claim Lucky as my book boyfriend.) Please read this one ASAP if you have not already.

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Bookish Hobbies of Mine

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  Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Every week they have a different theme for bloggers to post their top tens about, and this week I’m listing…          

Non-Bookish Hobbies of Mine

  1. Baking – I’m a self-taught baker and am addicted to GBBO.

2. Cats – We currently have four cats: Mousse, Oreo, Chip, and Duchess. We also have an outside cat named Pickles.

3. Tattoos – I love being able to express myself on my skin. I have 11 tattoos and hope to have more someday.

4. Running/Yoga – I love a good workout and started Yoga in May. I’ve been hooked ever since.

5. Cars – A little known fact is I’m a gearhead. I have a muscle/sports car that I work on as often as I can.

6. Anything from the 90s – I love music and movies from the 90s

7. True crime/murder TV: I’m passionately addicted to Investigation Discovery TV. Anything dealing with true crime/murder TV and I’m watching it.

8. Tshirts – I have too many tshirts but I cannot stop buying them. I have worn all of them multiple times but won’t part with any of them.

9. Photography – I love taking photos and hanging them in my home. The more photos of my family the better.

10. Travel – Even though this year has put a halt to my travel, I was going to so many new places. My favorite place so far has been London. I hope to go back to Europe and explore more.

What are some of your non-bookish hobbies?

Review: More Than Just a Pretty Face

More Than Just a Pretty Face

**I received an ARC from the Publisher in exchange for my honest review**

I have been struggling with my review for this one. I had high hopes but I walked away disappointed. Stories that circle around Muslim characters are either hit or miss for me, mostly miss as the last few I’ve read were bad representations of the culture.

The main reason I did not enjoy this as much as I wanted was because of the main character, Danyal. I did not like how many times he would make fun of Muslim culture/traditions. I’m not Muslim but it made me uncomfortable when he made fun of the religion. He would do this a lot when he was trying too hard to impress others at school or act like he was too cool for school. He had his moments when he was funny and charming, but I’m not a fan of people or characters that are “charming”.

Enter Bisma, Danyal’s love interest. She was such a great character but she came into the story far too late and their relationship developed way too late to save the story. It was not given enough time to properly develop, which was very sad. I would have liked to see more grow there.

I did want more from this story so that’s on me. I did not read any reviews before I started this so I went into blind, which I prefer to do. I am grateful that the publisher trusted me with a copy but this was just not for me for the above reasons.

Review: Dear Universe

Dear Universe

**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion**

This book was a tough one to get through. It felt like there was so much happening and at times it felt like too much. Chamomile (Cham), the MC, wanted nothing more than a typical Senior Year but the Universe had other plans for her. She has been keeping a huge secret that will keep her from having the same normal experiences like her classmates. She probably won’t be able to go off to college because her father has Parkinson’s. Her father’s health consumed her thoughts and causes her to be mad at the Universe for what is happening. She just felt so alone, but that is when Brandon entered her story. He was her opposite in nearly every way and that was why it worked.

Cham was a very well developed character with her flaws but there were also times I wanted to smack her. I get that she was angry because she had every right to be, but some scenes felt extreme. It was mentioned that her character had anger management in the past but at no point was more anger management/treatment/therapy discussed. I felt she would have really benefited from that with everything she was going through, with all of the pressure she was carrying around.

While I did have some issues with parts of the story, it was an absolute engrossing read that I could not put down. Brandon’s character was the perfect Ying to Cham’s Yang and that was refreshing. I cannot say it enough that I wish there would have been some type of therapy or professional mental health help for Cham. I also would have liked the relationship between Cham and Brandon to have been developed a little deeper, but that’s from a purely selfish standpoint.

I do see a lot of readers devouring this and that makes me happy. I believe this is going to be a fabulous read for a lot of bibliophiles and it should be. It tackles a few serious topics and that is necessary in today’s environment.

Waiting on Wednesday: Instant Karma

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

Instant Karma by Marissa Meyer 

The Truth Project

From Goodreads:

In this young adult contemporary romance, a girl is suddenly gifted with the ability to cast instant karma on those around her—both good and bad.

Chronic overachiever Prudence Daniels is always quick to cast judgment on the lazy, rude, and arrogant residents of her coastal town. Her dreams of karmic justice are fulfilled when, after a night out with her friends, she wakes up with the sudden ability to cast instant karma on those around her. Pru giddily makes use of the power, punishing everyone from public vandals to karaoke hecklers, but there is one person on whom her powers consistently backfire: Quint Erickson, her slacker of a lab partner and all-around mortal enemy. Soon, Pru begins to uncover truths about Quint, her peers, and even herself that reveal how thin the line is between virtue and vanity, generosity and greed . . . love and hate.

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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ARC Review: Kingdom of the Wicked

Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1)

**I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for my honest opinion**

Holy Goddess. Be still my wicked heart.

This book was delicious from start to finish. There was so much I fell for in this one. Ok, let’s be real. I fell for everything in this story. The chemistry between a witch (Emilia) and a demon (Wrath) was sizzling and I found myself needing to take breaks to fan myself. Holy Hell. Emilia and Wrath were … for the lack of a better word … PERFECT. Emilia, with her strong connection and dedication to her twin, her family, her beliefs, her talents, her magic, her commitments, her determination, her self confidence was intense, powerful, and dazzling. Match that against one of the Seven Princes of Hell, Wrath, and you’ve got a spark waiting to ignite in the best way possible. These two characters were flawed, don’t think they were without faults, but that made them more believable. I was addicted to them and wanted more.

The history Maniscalco peppered into this story was exceptional. The way she wove magical tales that were supposed to be just ghost stories but turned out to be more, were nothing short of genius. That lead to the world building being remarkable. It was so lush, so engrossing, so realistic that I felt I was right there with Emilia on her quest. Several times I thought I could smell the moss on the walls or the vendor carts in their stalls. Maniscalco has a gift and I will fight anyone who says otherwise.

This was a fast paced magical thriller that I devoured. I was thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it and that’s rare. I wanted to take my time with this as I didn’t want it to be over too quickly, but once I started reading I couldn’t stop. Everything around my disappeared and I neglected everything I was supposed to do ( I have no regrets).

This book comes out soon and I know you’ve already preordered it or request from your library, but if you haven’t make sure to find a way to get your hands on it. You will not be sorry.

Review: Grown

Grown

This was powerful, raw, necessary, and tough to get through. I’m not sure I’m going to be able to properly express myself when it comes to this one. It hit me in such a way that I still stumble with all of the emotions I have for it. Jackson won me over many years ago with her powerhouse Allegedly and she’s only gotten better with every book she writes.

I’m sure you’ve heard there are Trigger Warnings for this and I’m here to testify that is true. I mentioned this was tough to get through and I mean it. It deals with several forms of abuse, sexual assault, violence (both verbal and physical), neglect, underage drinking, drug use, and much more. While those are very serious topics, they are all handled with the care and grace they deserve. Jackson did not throw them into the story just for the sake of it. They served a purpose and they were also discussed/addressed as they should have been. It was brilliantly done and my hats off to Jackson.

I have said this on numerous occasions but I connected with this story on a deep level as I am a survivor of domestic violence. Now I can only speak to my personal experiences but the abuse/neglect/violent scenes in this story felt believable. I had many, many similar situations/events in my life so I believed what Enchanted was going through.

There were other times when I felt like I was Enchanted. This tugged at all of the right emotions, feelings, thoughts, wants, hopes, and dreams. What little girl hasn’t had dreams of being in the spotlight or being more than her upbringing? I know I had big dreams of getting out of my small town, sadly I had to take some seriously rocky detours to get there but I made it.

The world building, the characters, the story lines are all magnificent. The characters are brilliantly flawed, the worlds are lush, and the story lines are captivating. I will always recommend Jackson books to readers. She writes the stories that need to be published. She writes real, relatable, believable, and relevant stories. She writes with magic in her veins because her stories are so fluid.

If you read this one, let me know your thoughts.

Waiting on Wednesday: The Truth Project

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine in which we share a book that we are eagerly anticipating!

This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

The Truth Project by Dante Medema 

The Truth Project

From Goodreads:

Seventeen-year-old Cordelia Koenig was sure of many things going into her last year of high school. For one, she wasn’t going to stress over the senior project all her peers were dreading—she’d just use the same find-your-roots genealogy idea that her older sister used for hers. Secondly, she’d put all that time spent not worrying about the project toward getting reacquainted with former best friend and longtime crush Kodiak Jones who, conveniently, gets assigned as Cordelia’s partner.

All she has to do is mail in her DNA sample, write about her ancestry results and breeze through the rest of senior year. Done, done and done.

But when Cordelia’s GeneQuest results reveal that her father is not the man she thought he was but a stranger who lives thousands of miles away, Cordelia realizes she isn’t sure of anything anymore—not the mother who lied, the life she was born into or the girl staring back at her in the mirror.

If your life began with a lie, how can you ever be sure of what’s true?

Is this on your TBR? Let me know!

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