Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2021

This month was pretty productive... not blogging-wise, but thank the gods I had all those pre-scheduled reviews! 😅 So awhile back our water heater broke and totally flooded out kitchen, but we finally got our hot water back (YAY!) and I did some painting around the house when I had about two weeks off of work. Some vacation, huh? Lol. I just started back up at work this week, and let me tell you, the struggle is real in this heat! I live in central Washington and we are ROASTING alive! 🥵 Just like Texas isn't equipped to handle freezing cold temperatures, up in the Pacific Northwest, we are not equipped to handle temperatures in the triple digits for days upon days in a row 😩 Send help, I'm melting! Lol. (It's literally 114°F/46°C as I write this Tuesday evening 🙃)

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Review: City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5) by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Lost Souls

Series: The Mortal Instruments #5

Previous books in this series: City of Bones (#1) | City of Ashes (#2) | City of Glass (#3) | City of Fallen Angels (#4)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publication date: May 2012

Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Source: Purchased hardcover

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Synopsis: The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.

What price is too high to pay, even for love? When Jace and Clary meet again, Clary is horrified to discover that the demon Lilith’s magic has bound her beloved Jace together with her evil brother Sebastian, and that Jace has become a servant of evil. The Clave is out to destroy Sebastian, but there is no way to harm one boy without destroying the other. As Alec, Magnus, Simon, and Isabelle wheedle and bargain with Seelies, demons, and the merciless Iron Sisters to try to save Jace, Clary plays a dangerous game of her own. The price of losing is not just her own life, but Jace’s soul. She’s willing to do anything for Jace, but can she still trust him? Or is he truly lost?

Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge. Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.

My rating: ★★★★★

But there was something about the coldness at the back of this Jace’s eyes that shook her, something far off and unreachable that made it harder than ever to push away the question always at the back of her mind: Is any of the real Jace still in there? Is there anything left to save?

Soo, Jace is gone and is being influenced by Sebastian and I am not okay 😭

Saturday, June 26, 2021

Finish the Series #15: Hits and Misses

This month I managed to finish one series! Yay! Unfortunately, it wasn't the one I set out to finish 😆

Thursday, June 24, 2021

Review: Dead Time (The Murder Notebooks #1) by Anne Cassidy

Title: Dead Time

Series: The Murder Notebooks #1

Author: Anne Cassidy

Publication date: May 2012

Published by: Walker & Company

Source: Purchased paperback

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Synopsis: When Rose was twelve, her mother and stepfather went out for dinner and never came back. Now seventeen, she lives with her grandmother and goes to school in London. She’s always wondered about her stepbrother, Joshua, whom she only lived with briefly and who was also relocated after their parents’ disappearance. When Rose and Joshua meet again, they find they have much in common, including a desire to uncover the mystery surrounding their parents’ disappearance... and a mutual attraction to each other. But when Rose witnesses the murders of not one but two of her classmates, she must uncover who is behind these violent crimes. And when she and Joshua discover that a much larger conspiracy is underway, both of their lives will be in danger.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

I was SO excited to read this one! I love murder mysteries and the synopsis promised me a book that would resonate with fans of The Mortal Instruments, which I AM! And after reading the synopsis, you can figure out why... stepsiblings Joshua and Rose and maybe some sexual tension? Yup 😉 However, this was NOTHING like my beloved TMI, let's just get that out of the way. The sexual tension was one-sided, if not non-existent. Very disappointed 😒 I did like the banter between them, though. It was pretty fun at times... when it wasn’t so dire.. Or when Rose wasn’t being downright bitchy, which I was not a fan of.

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Review: City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare

Title: City of Fallen Angels

Series: The Mortal Instruments #4

Previous books in this series: City of Bones (#1) | City of Ashes (#2) | City of Glass (#3)

Author: Cassandra Clare

Publication date: April 2011

Published by: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Source: Purchased Hardcover

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Synopsis: The Mortal War is over, and sixteen-year-old Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She’s training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most importantly of all—she can finally call Jace her boyfriend.

But nothing comes without a price.

Someone is murdering Shadowhunters, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second, bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her—his mother just found out that he’s a vampire, and now he’s homeless. When Jace begins to pull away from her without explaining why, Clary is forced to delve into the heart of a mystery whose solution reveals her worst nightmare: she herself has set in motion a terrible chain of events that could lead to her losing everything she loves. Even Jace.

My rating: ★★★★★

City of Glass had such a great ending, it wrapped things up really well, so for the longest time I was super nervous to read this one. And oh my god, it turns out I had every reason to be nervous because

Saturday, June 19, 2021

The Summer Bucket List Book Tag

Summer is just around the corner (No, literally. It’s like in a couple days. Lol), so I thought it would fun to do a summer-themed book tag! I saw this one over at a GREAT read and it was originally created by Tiffany at Read by Tiffany.

Thursday, June 17, 2021

Review: The Cheater (Fear Street #18) by R.L. Stine

Title: The Cheater

Series: Fear Street #18

Author: R.L. Stine

Publication date: April 1993

Published by: Archway Paperback

Source: Purchased paperback

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Synopsis: Carter Phillips is under a lot of pressure to ace her math achievement exam - so much pressure that she gets Adam Messner to take the test for her... in exchange for one date. But Adam wants more than a date - much more. Carter has no choice. She has to do whatever he asks. If not, he'll tell hers secret and ruin life.

Adam's control over her gets more and more unbearable. Carter is desperate to get rid of him - but how? Is murder the only way?

My rating: ★★☆☆☆

So our main character, Carter, took a placement test, got a good test results back, but not good enough for her dad, apparently 🙄 So now she’s gonna take it again to get a better grade... Except she’s not. A guy from school takes the test for her because IDs apparently aren’t a thing at this test taking site??? WTF. Anyway, all she has to do is go on one date with him... and then another... and then he wants more. Honestly, I don't know how she didn’t see this coming. She’s an idiot. She also has a boyfriend, so she’s a cheater in two different senses of the word. Lol.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Review: Capture the Crown (Gargoyle Queen #1) by Jennifer Estep

Title: Capture the Crown

Series: Gargoyle Queen #1

Previous series: Crown of Shards

Author: Jennifer Estep

Publication date: July 6th 2021

Published by: Harper Voyager

Source: ARC from author for review

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Synopsis: Bestselling author Jennifer Estep returns to her Crown of Shards world with an all-new trilogy and a bold new heroine who protects her kingdom from magic, murder, and mayhem by moonlighting as a spy.

Gemma Ripley has a reputation for being a pampered princess who is more interested in pretty gowns, sparkling jewelry, and other frivolous things than learning how to rule the kingdom of Andvari. But her carefully crafted persona is just an act to hide the fact that Gemma is a powerful mind magier—and a spy.

Gemma is undercover, trying to figure out who is stealing large amounts of tearstone from one of the Ripley royal mines when she encounters Prince Leonidas Morricone of Morta—her mortal enemy. Gemma tries to steer clear of the handsome prince, but when she finds herself behind enemy lines, she reluctantly joins forces with Leo. Also coming to Gemma’s aid is Grimley, her beloved gargoyle.

Despite the fact that Andvari and Morta are old, bitter enemies, a dangerous attraction sparks between Gemma and Leo. Further complicating matters is Leo’s murderous family, especially Queen Maeven Morricone, the mastermind behind the infamous Seven Spire massacre.

The closer Gemma gets to the stolen tearstone, the more deadly plots she uncovers. Everyone is trying to capture the crown, but only one queen can sit on the throne…

My rating: ★★★★★

This book was insanely good. I read this back in February, so it’s been a couple months, but even back then I knew with absolute certainty that this would definitely be one of my most favorite books of 2021! It was THAT good! I loved every second of it!

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Review: Open Minds (Mindjack #1) by Susan Kaye Quinn

Title: Open Minds

Series: Mindjack #1

Author: Susan Kaye Quinn

Publication date: November 2011

Published by: Susan Kaye Quinn

Source: Amazon freebie

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Synopsis: When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.

Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her.

My rating: ★★★★☆

I loved the premise of this book—it was such an intriguing concept that I was enthralled right from the start. In this world, there is literally ZERO talking. All the talking happens in the mind. Once you hit puberty or so, that’s when you start developing these mind reading powers. Like, they can connect to devices via their minds! That’s how advanced the tech in this future is! It’s so insane! Anyway, a Zero is someone who can’t read minds and whose mind cannot be read in return, which is what our main character Kira is... or thought she was 😉

Saturday, June 12, 2021

My Top Most Re-Read Books

I started off 2021 with a bunch of re-reads. Then this Spring, I re-read a couple more books. (They were all Jennifer Estep books, btw. I love Jennifer Estep 🥰). That had me wondering what my most re-read books were, cause I do re-read quite a bit. But then looking at said books, the list wasn't as interesting as I thought it would be... or very long 🤦‍♀️😂 But I'm gonna share anyway cause we're already here. Lol.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Review: When Life Gives You Demons by Jennifer Honeybourn

Title: When Life Gives You Demons

Author: Jennifer Honeybourn

Publication date: July 2018

Published by: Swoon Reads

Source: Purchased hardcover

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Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Shelby Black has spent the past year training to be an exorcist. Her great-uncle Roy—a Catholic priest and Shelby’s guardian—believes she has a gift for expelling demons, and he’s put her through exorcist boot camp hell, but he still doesn’t trust her to do an exorcism on her own.

High school is hard enough without having to explain that you fight demons for a living, so Shelby keeps her extracurricular activity quiet, especially from Spencer, her cute math tutor. Secrets run in Shelby’s family, though: her mother has been missing ever since an exorcism went horribly wrong, and Uncle Roy is tight-lipped about it. But Shelby’s hell-bent on finding her mom, no matter what—even if what it ends up costing her her soul AND a date with Spencer.

My rating: ★★★★☆

I may be able to face down a demon, but the idea of making a move on Spencer is way scarier.

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Review: Ink (Paper Gods #1) by Amanda Sun

Title: Ink

Series: Paper Gods #1

Previous novella in this series: Shadow (#0.5)

Author: Amanda Sun

Publication date: June 2013

Published by: Harlequin Teen

Source: Borrowed paperback from library

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Synopsis: On the heels of a family tragedy, the last thing Katie Greene wants to do is move halfway across the world. Stuck with her aunt in Shizuoka, Japan, Katie feels lost. Alone. She doesn’t know the language, she can barely hold a pair of chopsticks, and she can’t seem to get the hang of taking her shoes off whenever she enters a building.

Then there’s gorgeous but aloof Tomohiro, star of the school’s kendo team. How did he really get the scar on his arm? Katie isn’t prepared for the answer. But when she sees the things he draws start moving, there’s no denying the truth: Tomo has a connection to the ancient gods of Japan, and being near Katie is causing his abilities to spiral out of control. If the wrong people notice, they'll both be targets.

Katie never wanted to move to Japan—now she may not make it out of the country alive.

My rating: ★★★★☆

I was very excited to read this because I love mythology, and yet I know nothing about Japanese mythology. Lol.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

How Good Am I At Finishing Series?

Let's get something straight right off the bat: I am notoriously bad at finishing series, just in general. Just over a year ago, I answered WHY I was so bad at it (tl;dr: my finicky mood lol), but I wanted to take a look at how good I am at completeing series I've picked out ahead of time to finish.

Friday, June 4, 2021

Review: A Karma Girl Christmas (Bigtime #3.5) by Jennifer Estep

Title: A Karma Girl Christmas

Series: Bigtime #3.5

Previous books in this series: Karma Girl (#1) | Hot Mama (#2) | Jinx (#3)

Author: Jennifer Estep

Publication date: September 2011

Published by: Jennifer Estep

Source: Purchased ebook

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Synopsis: It's Christmas time in Bigtime, New York, but society reporter Carmen Cole isn't in the mood to celebrate since her husband, Sam, has to go on a business trip and might not make it home for the holiday. But Carmen has plenty to keep her busy, since she moonlights as Karma Girl, a member of the Fearless Five superhero team.

On Christmas Eve, Carmen, as Karma Girl, is assigned to guard toys, clothes, food, and more that are intended for needy children and their families. But an ubervillain also has his eye on the toys and plans to steal and then sell them to the highest bidder. Carmen will have to use all her empathic powers just to stay alive, not to mention make sure Christmas is a happy one for all the kids who are counting on her. It's all in a night's work for a superhero...

Note: This is a 14,000-word story that takes place after the events of Jinx, the third book in the Bigtime series. It can also be read as a stand-alone holiday story.

My rating: ★★★☆☆

So it’s Christmastime and Carmen, aka Karma Girl, is assigned the task of guarding a toy store, because not even the children can have nice things in this world. Not without villains messing things up 😒 The villains in question are Caveman Stan, who is a disgusting misogynist, and The Mintilator. He’s a germaphobe and he makes people wash their hands and floss... WHAT?!

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Review: Stolen Life (Scary Mary #7) by S.A. Hunter

Title: Stolen Life

Series: Scary Mary #7

Previous books in this series: Scary Mary (#1) | Stalking Shadows (#2) | Broken Spirit (#3) | Strange Girl (#4) | Scamming Death (#5) | Mr. Conjure (#6)

Author: S.A. Hunter

Publication date: July 2019

Published by: S.A. Hunter

Source: Purchased ebook

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Synopsis: A few months ago, Mary didn't know she had any living relatives until Jake contacted her. He may live a few states away, but distance means nothing to him. He can go wherever he wants with his mind's eye, except one place. It's a place of death and shadows, and their relative Tracy Rathbone has been trapped there for nineteen years. Jake needs Mary's help to bring her home.

Mary wants to help, but she's cautious. Tracy is in the land of Shadowmen, the terrifying creatures that slip through cracks and take a person's life force. Mary has only ever gone up against one Shadowman at a time and each time she has only barely won. Going up against an army of them would be impossible.

She doesn't need to worry about the Shadowmen though. Tracy has a plan. She just needs Jake to bring Mary to her. She'll take care of the rest. Mary really should've asked more questions about the plan. Because it isn't so much an escape plan as a trade, and Mary's the one being traded.

Abandoned, alone, and scared, Mary must figure out how to get home and take back her stolen life.

My rating: ★★★★☆

This book was really interesting and gave me SO much anxiety! But it was good! So Jake asks Mary for help in rescuing a relative from the Shadowlands, but everything that could go wrong does. Super yikes 😬 And, surprisingly, Vicky is kinda dragged into all this too!

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Review: The Rich Girl (Fear Street #44) by R.L. Stine

Title: The Rich Girl

Series: Fear Street #44

Author: R.L. Stine

Publication date: April 1997

Published by: Archway Paperback

Source: Purchased paperback

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Synopsis: Emma and her best friend Sydney always share their secrets. And now they have a big one: They found a duffel bag filled with cash and swore never to tell anyone. But Sydney broke her promise—she told her boyfriend, Jason.

Now Emma is terrified. She doesn't trust Jason. She knows he would do anything to get the money for himself.

Even if it means killing someone who gets in his way...

My rating: ★★★★☆

Sydney and her friend Emma find a bag filled to the brim with cash inside a dumpster. Our main character, Sydney, is pretty well off, money-wise. However, her parents don't want her to be a spoiled little brat (looking at you, Reva. Lol), so they had her get a job. And you know what? Sydney doesn't even mind working, which I like. This is how she finds the bag. She was at work taking out the trash when suddenly she saw this bag of money. Being the good person that she is, Sydney wants to turn the money into the police.

Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Review: Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #4.5) by Marissa Meyer

Title: Stars Above

Series: The Lunar Chronicles #4.5

Previous books in this series: Cinder (#1) | Scarlet (#2) | Cress (#3) | Fairest (#3.5) | Winter (#4)

Author: Marissa Meyer

Publication date: February 2016

Published by: Feiwel & Friends

Source: Purchased paperback

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Synopsis: The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies? With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.


The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.

Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch...

The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.

After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.

The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a young Winter and Jacin playing a game called the Princess and the Guard...

The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.

The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.

Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

My rating: ★★★★★

After finishing Winter, I was not quite ready to say goodbye to this world just yet, so I was very happy to find out that this exists. I loved it! It’s basically a collection of short stories set in the TLC world. We get a couple of different POVs, and most of them are prequels and go into the character’s past. There is one that doesn’t have a familiar main character, but it does take place in this same world. And then the very last story takes place AFTER Winter, so that was a nice insight into what they’ve been up to. And yeah, I obviously loved them all 😉