#WWWWednesday: 01 July

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

I’ve been incredibly busy packing for my big “cross country” move from Bali to Jakarta, on top of still having to work as I don’t have anymore leave days left this year, so reading has taken a bit of a back seat. Since last Wednesday I’ve only managed to read three books but I’m trying not to feel meh about it.

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger ★★★★☆
This would be the perfect companion for a hot summer day laying by the pool or at the beach soaking in the sun (with no one else around because we’re still mindful of social distancing!!!). I enjoyed this lovely romance a lot more than I expected. The characters really grew on me and I rooted for them to their HEA because they absolutely deserved it! Check out my full review.

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend ★★★★★
I need book three NOW! I think I loved Wundersmith even more than I did book one and that’s saying something because I adored book one. The Nevermoor series continues to sweep me away to its magical and odd world. The characters grew on me even more in book two and the plot becomes even more intriguing. If you want a book that’ll give you those nostalgic and whimsical childhood feels, this is the one! Review coming very soon.

The End of Magic by Mark Stay
TEOM has a great premise and presented an interesting idea but I felt that the follow through in terms of world building and characters fell short. There wasn’t much world building and I unfortunately found the characters very unlikeable and hard to root for. This was also a lot more violent/gore filled than I expected. I will say that Stay’s writing style was very easy to read and that’s how I ended up finishing the book despite of the difficulties in reading it. Full review to come (soon-ish)!

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First Lines Friday – 26 June

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“Aleja was a girl so hungry for adventure that sometimes she found herself in strange places.

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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#WWWWednesday: 24 June

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to finish four books. The majority of my reads are still for blog tours, which I’m surprised to have completed well ahead of my dates this week, but I also read two romances because my mood told me to!

The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2) by Kalyn Josephson ★★★½
This was a really satisfying conclusion to this duology. We get more strong friendships, some character growth, intriguing revelations, an awesome battle, and plenty more crow magic with a cheeky little crow that will steal your heart. Friday is my stop on the blog tour so be on the look out for my review then!

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne ★★★½
I picked this up immediately after the lovely Emer suggested it in part one of her rom com recs. This was my second book by Layne and I thoroughly enjoyed it! This was easy to speed through in one sitting and was great for a laugh. I loved the characters and there was just the right amount of angst. Although the ending felt rushed and “too easy” this was still a fun romcom with great banter and quirky characters. Review coming very soon!

I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne ★★★½
I decided to read another book by Layne after finishing Walk of Shame and again, this was easy to quickly devour in one sitting. The level of angst in this one was a bit higher but the chemistry was undeniable and the antagonistic banter was just as good! I loved our hero, Nick 💜 Although this is book four in a series it can definitely be read as a standalone because I didn’t read the other three before this. Review coming very soon!

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick ★★★½
I have to admit to being a bit disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I’d hoped especially with the ‘big reveal’/ending. It’s said to be for fans of Sadie and while I get it with the mixed media format, that was a bit of the extent of it. I was surprised by how eerily atmospheric Frick’s writing was though and this was definitely not the typical sunshine and wealth Hamptons that we’re used to seeing. Although I struggled at the start, once the pace picked up I sped through it. I know I’m in the minority with my opinion though and I think it’ll be a big summer hit. My stop on the blog tour is TOMORROW so be sure to look out for my review then 😉

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First Lines Friday – 19 June

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“I have a fatal flaw.
I like to think we all do. Or at least that makes it easier for me when I’m writing–building my heroines and heroes up around this one self-sabotaging trait, hinging everything that happens to them on a specific characteristic: the thing they learned to do to protect themselves and can’t let go of, even when it stops serving them.”

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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#TopTenTuesday: Summer 2020 Possibility Pile!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books on my Summer 2020 TBR (or winter if you’re in the southern hemisphere).

It’s already June but also how is it still only June?! Thinking about a summer possibility pile of ten books is tough because there are so many I want to read and how do I even choose?! Since last year when I really got into the book community I’ve tried focusing my June reads on LGBTQ+ books because of pride, but this year is a little different. One because I have really not been reading as much due to Animal Crossing, but mostly because as a mood reader it’s already hard having any ‘fixed’ kind of list, but it’s become even more impossible this year when my moods have been as wildly unpredictable as the year itself. I could just list the blog tour reads that I’ll be doing but I decided to pick a random mix of books that have been on my mind and that my mood has been leaning towards lately, so there’s a somewhat *high possibility* of me reading them this summer 😂

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#TopTenTuesday: Summer Vibes

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Books that Give Off Summer Vibes (submitted by Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte)

Prompts to do with seasons are always a bit tough for me since I live in the tropics and it’s basically summer the year round 😂 But I can get on board with the idea of summer! Thinking of books that give off summer vibes obviously means a lot of cover judging, right? I mean, what catches my eye when I think of summer vibes are bright and vivid splashes of colour leaning towards pinks, yellows and blues. Maybe some flowers, palm trees, beaches (this is sounding cliche, isn’t it? LOL)… In terms of the plot, I think lighter and maybe even shorter reads would do the trick. I mean, there’s nothing wrong with more serious topics being discussed of course but just thinking of that blazing sun slowing down my brain waves definitely has me thinking the lighter the better!

So after a little bit of digging through my TBR and this slightly long-winded post introduction 😂 I’ve come up with this list of 10 books on my TBR that give off summer vibes:

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Summer Bucket List Book Tag!

The very lovely Jen @ Nen & Jen tagged me ages ago for the Summer Bucket List book tag (ages back)! I know for the majority of you summer is already over, some may even be highly anticipating the coming summer (in the southern hemisphere), and since I’m in the tropics, I live in perpetual summer. Trust me, it’s not as great as it sounds when it’s 1000% hot every damn day 🥵 But I digress… Thanks for the tag, Jen! Be sure to check out her answers over on their blog because she is awesome! I only hope my choices will be half as fun as hers! Without further ado… Let’s get back to summer 😊

We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This book is set on an island and the beaches, cliffs and ocean play a big role in the character’s upbringing. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of the writing style (fragmented sentences), I was able to look past that and ended up really enjoying the story. It took me by surprise and I ended up bawling lol

Throne of Glass Series by Sarah J Maas
Caleana is such a fierce and bad ass character and although she had two fiery romances in this series, the one I’m thinking about is definitely between her and Rowan. The build up and the explosion of feelings between them was 🔥!

Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse
This is one of those underrated SFF books in my opinion. The characters do go on somewhat of a journey to solve a mystery that’s plaguing this incredible Native American folklore inspired dystopian world. Maggie, while hard to like at first, really grew on me. She’s such a bad ass! And I loved Kai 💚

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Ugh, this story y’all! I still don’t have the words for how much I loved Evelyn Hugo’s story. I was swept away by the story of this ruthless and brilliant woman in Hollywood from the 50s – 80s; and of course, the story of her seven husbands and how she fought her way to the top. I fell in love with her!

The Grace Year by Kim Liggett
You’ve heard me say it once and I’ll say it again: this book was nothing like I expected in the best way possible. I picked this up on a whim after finishing SJTR and I was so glad I started it on a weekend because the next thing I knew, it was Sunday and my face was blotchy after the unexpected tears I shed reading this incredible story. So damn good, peoples. So damn good!

The Simple Wild (Wild #1) by K A Tucker
Sign me up for a sky cowboy because I’m pretty sure I fell just as much in love with Jonah’s character as Calla did herself. This covered some of my favorite tropes in romance: enemies to sort-of friends to lovers and it did not disappoint! And all of it was set against the Alaskan wild, a place that I’ve developed a very weird fascination with over the years. Theirs was a sweet romance between city girl and ‘country’ boy and I was here for it!

Nevernight (Nevernight Chronicle #1) by Jay Kristoff
What’s more refreshing than a story set against a Hogwarts for assassins? 😂 Okay no, but honestly, I know this is probably a weird pick for this category, but this book is usually filled with things that I don’t enjoy (an incredible amount of blood, guts and gore) but wow, did it blow me away! It’s safe to say that this series has become one of my new favorites and I was completely wowed by it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
It’s not just one character in priory that overcomes obstacles, it’s basically all of them. I don’t think I’ve read a book where shit so consistently hits the fan for such a long duration 😂I mean, if you think of something that could possibly go wrong, chances are it will for these characters. I really felt for them but in the end, they grew in very satisfying ways to conquer (all) the obstacles in their way.

Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell and Faith Erin Hicks
This book made me SO HUNGRY. Although their main mission was to get Josie talking to his long-time crush, Deja’s personal mission was to eat her way through the Disney of pumpkin patches and it’s safe to say I was constantly drooling while they ate all the delicious festive fall foods. DELICIOUS!

Sorry I’m Late I Didn’t Want to Come… by Jessica Pan
Jessica Pan is a (sh)introvert (a shy introvert) who is in the throes of something that looks like a quarter-life crisis, when she decides to take the leap into saying “YES” to all the things she’d normally be terrified to do. I identified so much with Pan and seeing her face these challenges before her despite being utterly terrified was so inspiring! I read this book at a time when I faced a big career challenge and I had just finished a chapter where she basically head the same experience as me but on a much larger scale, and I charged ahead with her in mind. This was a hilarious and inspiring book that is definitely going on my forever shelf!

And there you have it, folks! I’m feeling completely lazy right now (it’s been a long night with sangria!) so I’m going to TAG EVERYONE! If this sounds like something you want to do, don’t forget to link back to me so I can check out your answers!

Top 5 Saturday: Summer Reads on my TBR!

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: summer reads. For most of the western hemisphere, summer has come and has either gone or is slowly being eclipsed by cooler breezes and brisker climes as autumn/fall comes in. Lucky for me, I live in the tropics so summer is pretty much a year-round deal (I admit to being a little jealous of the cooler climes because I LOVE fall weather)! Last month, I did a Friday Favorites: Summer Reads post where I focused on the genres I liked to read poolside: Romance, Thrillers, and YA SFF. For this post, I thought I’d specifically look at the top five summer romance reads that are sitting high on my TBR!

Say You Still Love Me by K. A. Tucker
I’ve heard so many good things about Say You Still Love Me and its second-chance romance. I’ve heard it’s done really well, so I’m excited to check it out! I read my first Tucker book, The Simple Wild, last month and I absolutely adored it. I fell in love with the beautiful setting and while some characters took some time to grow on me, all of them eventually stole my heart!

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
don’t think any summer would be complete without a book by Christina Lauren. They do romances so well and have written so many stories and characters I love! The Unhoneymooners has been all over everyone’s blogs and booksta feeds full of praise and love for the characters. I don’t know why I’ve been sitting on this one, but being set in Hawaii, it seems like the perfect summer read!

The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman
What could be better than reading about a character who’s just as much of a bookworm as you are? This has been another very hyped read over the summer and many have loved it! I can’t wait to see if I’m one of them, and I’m keen to find out just how much of myself I’ll see in Nina’s character.

The Mother Road by Meghan Quinn
Maybe it’s a little cliche but so many summer adventures start with people setting off on a road trip, so why not read a romance with a quirky family and a crazy but hilarious sounding road trip? I’ve only read two books by Meghan Quinn but have loved them both, and this one sounds really cute and fun!

Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
This is another book that I’ve seen on everyone’s bookstagram feeds over the summer and it sounds like the perfect ‘starting-over’ summer read about second chances (in life and love) and I can’t wait to read it (maybe by next summer? Lol)!

What are your top five summer reads? Any of these
Please leave me some recommendations in the comments below!

Wrapping Up: Goodreads Summer Reading and ARC August

Since I posted my last update about the Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge at the end of July and then announced joining ARC August at the start of this month, I hit a pretty big reading slump that derailed basically all of my plans to keep my amazing July reading streak going. Thankfully, I’m past it now, but since August and therefore summer too is over, I thought I’d put these challenges to bed and see what the rest of the year has to bring!

Goodreads summer reading challenge

The GRSRC had 11 ‘For Beginners’ prompts and I completed 8 of those! While I was sure that I’d be able to finish this challenge, I’m not mad at what I did finish. I mean, yeah, there were only eleven prompts, but I feel like August didn’t even count 😂 So here are the ones that I managed to tick off the list:

Short & sweet: Read a book with less than 100 pages (or a book you can finish in one sitting) – The Woods, Vol. 1: The Arrow by James Tynion IV | (my review)

On the bandwagon: Read one of the most read books right now on Goodreads & New voices: Read a debut novel – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens | (my review)

Actually want to read: Read a book that’s been on your Want to Read shelf for more than a year.
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel | If I’m being honest, this was the book that set off my slump this month. I didn’t review this book yet because it took me ages to get through, but I really did love the characters and Claude/Poppy’s story. I think it was the meandering writing and very floaty? dreamy? writing style that I didn’t gel with. So in this case, I think it was definitely a ‘it’s not you, it’s me’ moment.

In the friend zone: Read a book that a friend has recommended – The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary | (my review)

It takes two: Read a co-authored book – Autoboyography by Christina Lauren | (my review)

Wheel of format: Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read in (­a graphic novel, poetry, a play, an audiobook, etc.). – Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid | Full disclosure, I’m cheating a bit with this one because while I did listen to Daisy Jones on audio, it wasn’t the audio I set out to finish when I made my list! I’m still counting it though because flexibility and all that, right?! This is another review that I haven’t gotten around to blogging yet, but I did gush about it on Goodreads, so you can check it out there.

Past love: Reread a book you loved when you were younger – Party Weekend (Sweet Valley High #143) by Francine Pascal | (my review)

Armchair traveler: Read a book set in a destination you want to visit – The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah | (my review)

The three prompts that I didn’t manage to complete were: Good as gold: Read a book that won a Goodreads Choice Award | The book is better: Read a book being adapted for TV or film this year | Not from around here: Read a book set in a different culture from your own. I’m surprised that I haven’t even picked Vengeful up yet, but I’m not surprised by my reluctance to get into the other two. The Goldfinch has sat unfinished on my shelf since February and I finally picked it up again to take with me to a doctor’s appointment to read while waiting, but I didn’t even touch it 😭 I’m still determined to finish it before the movie comes out coz I really do wanna know what happens!

arc august

I’m actually really bummed that I only managed to read 5 ARCs for ARC August. FIVE ARCs IN ONE MONTH. I’m quaking with disappointment 😫 It’s not like I planned to only read ARCs in August, but I still hoped to make a bigger dent in my pile! While I might not have ‘fast-tracked’ my progress, I hope to get a 100% rating before the end of the year! Is it ambitious? Yah. Though I’m not taking or making new requests at the moment, let’s see how long I can resist the urge 😅 I’m hoping I can cut down at least five *cough* more ARCs before I cave! LOL

So what other challenges are there for the rest of the year? I think I heard about one called Series September, which involves wrapping up a series or reading the next book in the series, to get caught up. I could be completely making this challenge up based on something I heard in passing and my fragmented memory just pieced it together as this challenge, but it kinda sounds like a good idea! There’s also Non-Fiction November, which I think will be fun because I’m always looking to read more NF and a challenge will give me some good incentive to do it! There’s also the PopSugar Reading Challenge, which I’ve been doing since the start of the year, although I’ve been (unsurprisingly) horrible at actually keeping track of my progress! I did take a peek at the prompts the other day and realized that I’ve made a pretty good dent in the basic challenges, so I’m quite happy with that! I’ll probably make a post for that challenge soon too.

And that’s wrap folks! Sorry for blabbering so much 🙃

Did you participate in the summer reading challenge or ARC August? Will you be participating in any other challenges this year? I’d love to know your progress! Leave me a comment and let’s chat about it!