TBR | September 2021

Hello everyone!

Today I’m bringing you my TBR list for September! Surprisingly, the idea of reducing my TBR list to five books this past month worked wonders. It gave me enough space to satisfy my moody self by picking whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, but it also made me commit to some books and challenge myself. So I’m still doing a TBR list of five books in September!

So here are the books I want to read this month!

  1. Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick
    This is one of the series I always wanted to read for years now, and I decided I would pick it up this year. I read the first book Hush, Hush in August and I was very invested in the story! I’m looking forward to reading the next book and seeing what is going to happen next.
  2. All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
    I don’t know a lot about this book and chose to go into it without knowing too much. I just picked it for this month because I want to read all of Colleen’s books this year. So far I have loved all of her books… so fingers crossed!
  3. Happy Ever After by C.C. MacDonald
    This has been sitting on my shelf for the longest time and it’s time to finally read it! I need to give it a chance, so this is my first pick for this month. I haven’t read the sinopsis yet because I prefer to go into this mystery without knowing what happens!
  4. You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria
    This is a book I’m excited about but I still haven’t got it to yet! From what I saw in the last few months on Bookstagram, this has become a very popular book. This is a serious case of “Bookstagram and Booktube made me do it“, and I hope I won’t regret picking it up. I have high expectations from all the good reviews I have seen!
  5. People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry
    I HAVE to pick up this book this month. I can’t believe summer is almost over and I still haven’t read this one. Everything about this book screams summer, so I’m super excited to see what this story is all about!

And that’s it, these are the ones I’ll be reading next month! Tell me about you! What are you planning to read in September? Have you read any of these? Let me know in the comments!

Thank you for reading, have a great day!

xoxo,

Review | Pop Goes the Weasel (Helen Grace #2) by M.J. Arlidge

“The aftermath of rape is like a slow death, a cancer eating away at you from the inside, unwilling to let you go, unwilling to let you live.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: nosy reporters, rekindled romances, difficult bosses, prostitutes, wigs, piercings, revenge, trauma, pain, little kids and open chests.

DI Helen Grace returns in Pop Goes the Weasel, the electrifying new thriller from M. J. Arlidge.

The body of a middle-aged man is discovered in Southampton’s red-light district – horrifically mutilated, with his heart removed.

Hours later – and barely cold – the heart arrives with his wife and children by courier.

A pattern emerges when another male victim is found dead and eviscerated, his heart delivered soon afterwards.

The media call it Jack the Ripper in reverse; revenge against the men who lead sordid double lives visiting prostitutes. For Grace, only one thing is certain: there’s a vicious serial-killer at large who must be halted at all costs…

I’m loving this series! Like I said in the review of the first book, I’m not usually a fan of police investigation mysteries, but this series is surprising me in a very positive way!

The story still follows most of the characters that appeared in the first book Eenie Meenie, and we also have Helen Grace again as the main detective.

The case featured in this book was what really grabbed me to the story! I was so intrigued with the murders and the modus operandi of the killer, that it was difficult to put the book down. The book is very graphic not only sexually but also with violence, so if you’re sensitive to blood and internal organs… you have been warned!

I personally wouldn’t recommend reading this as a standalone because there is a very strong connection to the first book. I’m not talking about the plot itself, but the way the characters are affected by the events of the first book. Even though each book talks about a different case, there is a bigger plot behind it that brings the series together. I tried picturing what it would be like if I read this without reading the first book, and it would be extremely confusing because I wouldn’t understand what they would be talking about most of the time.

I was very satisfied with the end and with the creativity of the plot. It’s not the kind of book where you discover exactly what’s going on and why, so I guarantee you will be surprised with the ending.

I’m definitely continuing the series! I’m loving it so far and I can’t wait to read the next one. Read this book in one sitting!

xoxo,

Review | One to Watch by Kate Stayman-London

“Everyone wanted so many things from her—to believe in herself and see her own true beauty, but not to be conceited, to know her place. Be more than your looks, but never speak out of turn. Don’t be defined by love, but remember, you’re nothing without it. Be a princess. Find your prince. You don’t need a man to complete you. Stand on your own two feet.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: fancy capes, interviews, engagement rings, online bets, family gatherings, blog articles, interviews, Ryan Gosling, stylish bathing suits, mean tweets, elimination rounds, designer clothes, culinary chefs, prom queens, lipstick colors, cruel words and a great fashion sense.

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television?

Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it.

But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale.

This book is phenomenal. For the last few days after finishing it, I kept on thinking about this story and bugging my friends to read it. The funny thing is that I didn’t even plan on reading this book – I just picked it randomly and I ended up falling in love with the story!

Bea was a wonderful main character and I connected to her on a deeper level – maybe because I understood her feelings and attitudes throughout the book. Even though she had a lot going on (especially hate she constantly got for being overweight), she kept her head high. I was rooting for her happiness the entire time!

Still, I would say the coolest thing about this book is not only the format, but also the rawness of it all. This is a work of fiction, but everything I read made me feel like this could be a real story. Through its format – that included tweets, blog articles, text messages and conversation transcripts -, the book shows all the negativity and positivity that you would expect from a television production team picking a plus size girl to be the star of a tv show. You have a lot of people supporting it, but also a lot of people being against it… and I really liked how real it felt in that sense. The mean tweets and blog articles were brutal and it makes me really sad that this is a reality for a lot of people, but I’m glad this wasn’t a romanticized story.

Also, just as a side note,  I really liked all the fashion moments featured in this book. The descriptions of the clothes and fabrics gave life to Bea, in my opinion. This was a small detail I really enjoyed!

Being a debut novel, I was super impressed with the final result. The romance is great, but there’s so much more to this book that you get. Regardless of your opinion on plus size women and men, everyone deserves a shot at love. And regardless of shape and size, we all have our own value – you are not less of a person for not fitting the beauty standards of today.

Loved this book. This is a breath of fresh air that I will keep recommending to friends! If you like tv shows like The Bachelor or The Bachelorette, this is a must read.

xoxo,

Review | Honey Girl by Morgan Rogers

“I think lonely creatures ache for each other because who else can understand but someone who feels the same dark, black abyss?” 3/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: Vegas weddings, grove trees, rosebud cheeks, college degrees, tea houses, cool roommates, podcasts, astronomy, lonely creatures, wedding rings, military parents and therapy.

With her newly completed PhD in astronomy in hand, twenty-eight-year-old Grace Porter goes on a girls’ trip to Vegas to celebrate. She’s a straight A, work-through-the-summer certified high achiever. She is not the kind of person who goes to Vegas and gets drunkenly married to a woman whose name she doesn’t know…until she does exactly that.

This one moment of departure from her stern ex-military father’s plans for her life has Grace wondering why she doesn’t feel more fulfilled from completing her degree. Staggering under the weight of her father’s expectations, a struggling job market and feelings of burnout, Grace flees her home in Portland for a summer in New York with the wife she barely knows.

In New York, she’s able to ignore all the annoying questions about her future plans and falls hard for her creative and beautiful wife, Yuki Yamamoto. But when reality comes crashing in, Grace must face what she’s been running from all along—the fears that make us human, the family scars that need to heal and the longing for connection, especially when navigating the messiness of adulthood.

I’m conflicted about this book. Maybe it’s because it reminded me a lot of Radio Silence by Alice Oseman – which I also didn’t love -, or maybe it’s because I feel like the story had very little substance.

There are three main aspects that stood out to me. The first one was Grace’s coming of age story. From a personal experience, I really get the main characters’ feeling of working hard to finish a college degree and then feeling lost after graduating. It’s a really bad feeling when you can’t find a job and you feel helpless. The bad part is that it was the only thing I could relate to her and her story.

Now the second main aspect: the radio show. Like I said, this book reminded me a lot of Radio Silence because there were so many similarities. The “lonely creatures” thing and the deep podcast aspect (in this case, a radio show) didn’t work for me. I just didn’t buy it or care for it.

And now the grand finale: the romance. To be honest, I was expecting this to be more of a romance other than a coming of age story. Still, if that was the case, it would have been fine. The story starts with the main girl figuring out she just got married the day before in Vegas, and throughout the book she gets to meet her wife and falls more in love with her. Well, this was a problem for me. I don’t know about you, but if something like that would happen to me, I would freak the eff out and I would immediately try to get an annulment/divorce because… I don’t know, maybe I JUST GOT MARRIED TO A STRANGER?

I think I feel conflicted because a big part of the story feels realistic, but the other part is extremely unrealistic. Everything just felt really random and the plot was all over the place. I don’t know… this book was a bit weird to me. I get the coming of age part, but I really feel like even with this insta-love romance and her trying to figure out what to do next, the plot felt… empty.

And am I the only one who thought Grace’s friendships were weird? The way they acted around each other felt unnatural. They were all sleeping (yes, only sleeping from what I understood!) with each other constantly to not feel alone. Well, maybe that’s just me and I don’t get it. Maybe it’s a common thing?

Anyways… not the best book I’ve ever read, but also not the worst. It’s important to keep in mind this is a debut novel.

xoxo,

Review | A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas

“To the people who look at the stars and wish, Rhys.”
Rhys clinked his glass against mine.

“To the stars who listen— and the dreams that are answered.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: wings, armours, illusions, marriages, locks, bones, transformations and mates.

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

How is it possible that I loved this book even more than the first one? Of course my favorite aspect of this series is the romance, so of course this had to be my favorite book in the entire series.

What’s so cool for me is the way the author used the first book as a prequel to what was going to happen here. I thought the story was complex in the first book, but I never thought things would change direction so drastically. This entire book was just a major plot twist! The amount of discoveries the readers make in this book is mind blowing.

There’s a lot going on with this book, and you fly through it without even noticing it! Like I said, by far my favorite book from the series. I’m speechless, shocked, impressed and happy with the crazy turn this took. I really had a lot of fun reading this!

xoxo,

Review | My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

“The most loving parents and relatives commit murder with smiles on their faces. They force us to destroy the person we really are: a subtle kind of murder.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: cleaning supplies, dreadlocks, nigerian food, knives, flowers, hospital rooms, scrubs and blood stains.

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back: but to save one would mean sacrificing the other…

My Sister, the Serial Killer is a blackly comic novel about how blood is thicker – and more difficult to get out of the carpet – than water…

I was somewhat disappointed with this book. Since it was so hyped up and it was nominated for several awards… I was expecting more.

I have mixed feelings not only about the story but also about the characters –  and by characters I mean the two sisters. The story felt slow and still, and there wasn’t visible development in every single aspect of this book. I was at least expecting some character development by the end of the story, but that didn’t happen.

With that said, I do have positive things to say about this book. My favorite thing was definitely the cultural aspect. I really like the references to the Nigerian cuisine, traditions and expressions! I learned a lot with this book, which I wasn’t expecting.

Another great aspect was the writing!  Pace aside, I really liked how short the chapters were and how easy it was to follow the story. It made reading so much easier!

I think it’s important to know that if you’re going into this book for the mystery/thriller aspect, you will probably be disappointed. But I still think you can take something from this book like I did. For me personally, it was a great way to learn more about the Nigerian culture. It’s a fairly quick read, so why not give it a shot and see it for yourself?

xoxo,

Review | Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson

“Books are time travel. True readers all know this. But books don’t just take you back to the time in which they were written; they can take you back to different versions of yourself.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: blog posts, thriller books, secrets, ginger cats, questions and the dark web.

A chilling tale of psychological suspense and an homage to the thriller genre tailor-made for fans: the story of a bookseller who finds himself at the center of an FBI investigation because a very clever killer has started using his list of fiction’s most ingenious murders.

Years ago, bookseller and mystery aficionado Malcolm Kershaw compiled a list of the genre’s most unsolvable murders, those that are almost impossible to crack—which he titled “Eight Perfect Murders”—chosen from among the best of the best including Agatha Christie’s A. B. C. Murders, Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers on a Train, Ira Levin’s Death Trap, A. A. Milne’s Red House Mystery, Anthony Berkeley Cox’s Malice Aforethought, James M. Cain’s Double Indemnity, John D. Macdonald’s The Drowner, and Donna Tartt’s A Secret History.

But no one is more surprised than Mal, now the owner of the Old Devils Bookstore in Boston, when an FBI agent comes knocking on his door one snowy day in February. She’s looking for information about a series of unsolved murders that look eerily similar to the killings on Mal’s old list. And the FBI agent isn’t the only one interested in this bookseller who spends almost every night at home reading. The killer is out there, watching his every move—a diabolical threat who knows way too much about Mal’s personal history, especially the secrets he’s never told anyone, even his recently deceased wife.

To protect himself, Mal begins looking into possible suspects . . . and sees a killer in everyone around him. But Mal doesn’t count on the investigation leaving a trail of death in its wake. Suddenly, a series of shocking twists leaves more victims dead—and the noose around Mal’s neck grows so tight he might never escape.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for the longest time, and now that I did… I’m underwhelmed. 

In my eyes, this story had great potential. The concept behind the book is incredibly creative: a bookstore owner wrote a blog post about eight perfect murders based on great thriller books, and someone decided to recreate those murders. He then gets to work with an investigator to discover who is responsible for those murders.

The book was okay. It’s the kind of story where you keep uncovering secrets and you don’t know if you can trust the main character. With that said, it’s not the most memorable book, probably because the real plot is overshadowed by the other thriller books it’s based on. I also wasn’t a fan of the ending and the “big” plot twist.

One thing that REALLY bothered me about this book was how some books I wanted to read were spoiled. To be fair, the thrillers mentioned are pretty old, but I still wanted to read some books from Agatha Christie that were mentioned. Unfortunately, this story describes exactly what happens in each mentioned thriller book… including the plot twists and killers! So… thank you for that.

If you like books about books, you should probably give this one a go. Like I said, there’s a bookstore and there are endless references to thriller books, and if that’s something you might enjoy, you should give it a go.

xoxo,

Review | Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Love isn’t always pretty. Sometimes you spend all your time hoping it’ll eventually be something different. Something better. Then, before you know it, you’re back to square one, and you lost your heart somewhere along the way. 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: orange juice, trauma, flights, elevators, nurses, long shifts and sweet 80 year olds.

When Tate Collins meets airline pilot Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her.

Never ask about the past.
Don’t expect a future.

They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it at all.

Hearts get infiltrated.
Promises get broken.
Rules get shattered.
Love gets ugly.

Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors of all time. I’m so used to her amazing writing and how she never disappoints with her work, so I was very excited to finally read Ugly Love. With that said, unfortunately this is probably my least favorite book from her. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still an okay book, but I was expecting more. I personally didn’t love the characters, the story or the “big twist”… but let’s talk about it individually!

The characters and the romance were somewhat disappointing. Tate’s one personality trait was to be obsessed with this guy she just met. Miles was okay, but there was nothing too special about him. My favorite character was Cap, and I wish he had more scenes in the book. He was too precious!

The plot was okay, but it lacked creativity. I kept expecting a big plot twist to happen, but it never did and the plot ended up being very predictable. The story is fast paced, but not in the best way – the romance developed too fast!

One a positive note, the writing is immaculate, as you would expect. I really like the format of the book, switching between the past and the present. I also love how the author changes the format of the text in Miles’ part – being aligned at the center when he is happy. That was such a nice touch!

I have high expectations when it comes to Coleen’s books, and that’s why I was disappointed. Sure, the book is entertaining, but if you never read anything by her, I would recommend picking one of her other books instead.

xoxo,

Review | The Betrayed (The Betrothed #2) by Kiera Cass

“I’d already fallen. And I was in so deep there was no coming back.” 4/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: golden feathers, beautiful gowns, duels, flower crowns, forged swords, sentimental rings, miscarriages and letters.

Can you follow your heart when it’s already broken?

After fleeing Coroa and leaving the memory of her beloved Silas behind, Hollis is unsteadily adjusting to life in Isolte. The Eastoffe family’s affection is a balm on her weary spirit, though Etan, a surly cousin with a deep distaste for Coroans, threatens to upset the uneasy peace she’s found.

While tensions at home ratchet up, disquiet in the kingdom of Isolte is reaching a fever pitch. The Eastoffes may have the power to unseat a tyrannical king—but only with Hollis’s help.

Can a girl who’s lost it all put the fate of her adopted homeland over the secret longings of her heart?

I liked the sequel way better than the first book! When I first read The Betrothed I wasn’t too fond of the story and that plot twist at the end almost ruined the story for me and made me give up on this series. I’m glad I still bought the sequel because fortunately, we get some much needed redemption in this one!

In comparison to the first book, the story here is more linear and predictable, and even though there were some twists and turns along the way, it was nothing as shocking as the first book.

I really like how Kiera Cass writes monarchy, and this book was no exception to the rule! We still have the beautiful gowns, the romance and the female heroine! These elements always make me happy, and that’s why I can’t let go of Kiera Cass.

Even though the ending was okay, it was too short in my opinion. I was waiting for a prologue that would wrap up the story in a nice way, but it ended up feeling incomplete.

I can’t help but think that I wish the books were bigger or this was the trilogy instead of a duology. I say this because I feel like this story had potential to be really good, but it wasn’t explored and developed to its maximum. I wish the author invested more time and energy in the story, because something amazing would come out of it.I keep reading Kiera Cass books hoping I’ll find another gem like The Selection series. In my humble opinion, this duology doesn’t have the same quality, but I still think it’s better than The Siren.

xoxo,

Wrap-Up | What I Read in July 2021

Hi guys, I hope you’re doing well!

Today I’m bringing you all the books I read in July. I missed three books from my planned TBR for July, but I honestly wasn’t feeling them the time I started them. So I put them on the side and I ended up reading five unplanned books! In total I ended up reading eleven books, which was pretty good! So let’s get into the books and their ratings.

Here is my original TBR list for July (with eight books) and the books I read:

  1. Verity by Colleen Hoover: 5/5⭐
  2. The Push by Ashley Audrain: 4/5⭐
  3. Float Plan by Trish Doller: 4.5/5⭐

4. His & Hers by Alice Feeney: 4.5/5⭐
5. Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch: 4/5⭐

Overall the ratings were pretty good! All the books I read from my planned TBR list have rating above 4/5. Now regarding the books I read that weren’t planned, I read seven books:

  1. A Wish For Us by Tillie Cole 3.75/5
  2. Too Late by Colleen Hoover 4.25/5
  3. My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite 3.5/5
  4. Bias: A K-Pop Romance by Lucy Gold 3.5/5
  5. The Betrothed (The Betrothed #1) by Kiera Cass 3.5/5
  6. The Betrayed (The Betrothed #2) by Kiera Cass 3.75/5
  7. Losing the Field (The Field Party #4) by Abbi Glines 3.25/5

And that’s it, that was my reading month. Well guys, thank you so much for reading my post! Let me know how your reading month was and if you read any of these. I’ll see you guys later 🙂

xoxo,