TBR | March 2021

Hello everyone!

Another month, another TBR! February was such a weird reading month for me because I got stuck in four or five books I was disliking, so I felt unmotivated to finish them. Fortunately I was able to finish all of them except one: The Starless Sea. I’m so tired of this book but I don’t want to DNF it! I decided I would read it slowly and I decided I wouldn’t put it here because I know it would impact my motivation. So while I’m reading these books, I’ll be trying to finish The Starless Sea in the background.

I’ve bought a LOT of books these last two months, so I really want to focus my attention on them! They’re mostly thrillers/mysteries and fantasy books as you can see below.

And just a quick reminder: I’m a mood reader so I always use TBR lists as a guide, so if I’m not in the mood to read any of these, I’ll read another one that is not in the list. Without further ado, here are the books I’m planning to read in March:

  1. Passenger (Passenger #1) by Alexandra Bracken
  2. A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas
  3. A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas
  4. A Curse So Dark And Lonely (Cursebreakers #1) by Brigid Kemmerer
  5. The Liar’s Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson
  6. Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior
  7. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
  8. The Southern’s Book Club’s to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix
  9. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
  10. Crazy Stupid Bromance (Bromance Book Club #3) by Lyssa Kay Adams
  11. Lore by Alexandra Bracken
  12. The Stolen Kingdom by Jilllian Boehme

The books I’m most excited for are The Liar’s Daughter, Away with the Penguins, The House in the Cerulean Sea and Lore! Passenger is part of a duology and will be buddy reading it with a friend. I really want to read the next two books of A Court of Thorns and Roses series this next month – I only read the first two and I fell in love with the series! I also want to start the A Curse So Dark and Lonely series this month and I’m super excited for it! I know this series has some mixed reviews, but I want to go about it with an open mind! I decided only to include the first book for now and I’ll see how it goes from there.

Have you read any of these books? Let me know if you did and what were your thoughts!

xoxo, Neide

Review | Twelve Nights by Andrew Zurcher

“Everyone, everyone is like a buried treasure. Everyone. Every person who has ever been born is inestimable valuable.” 1.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: removals, aurors, teeth, hot air balloons and mythology.

Sinopsis

Kay felt everything change in the room around her.
Everything.
Kay’s father is working late- as usual. Fed up, her mother bundles Kay and her sister into the car, and drives to his Cambridge college to collect him.
But, the staff say nobody by his name has ever worked there.
When they return home, Kay discovers a card left on her pillow:
Will O. de Wisp, Gent. F.H.S.P. and Phillip R. T. Gibbet, Gent. F.H.S.P. K.Bith. REMOVALS.
That night, Kay is woken by voices at her window: the voices of Will and Phillip, the Removers. But they are not human. And Kay shouldn’t be able to see them. Except she can…

My Review

I’m just confused. Isn’t this supposed to be a book for children? I felt like this story is too complex, scary and slow paced for children to follow. If I was confused and bored, I can’t imagine what kids would feel while reading this.

I spent so much time listening to this book, waiting for it to get better but it never happened. And I really thought it was me, because I re-listened to hours of it just thinking it was my fault and that maybe I wasn’t paying attention. But I was, and I got to the conclusion that I was not the problem.

I think the biggest issue I had with this book was how painfully slow it was. I think it’s supposed to be an adventure book, but the scenes are so slow that it feels like they were never ending.

The characters were incredibly boring, and when I think about the two main characters they’re either sleeping or crying. And why are they leaving in the middle of the night with two men/creatures? What about their mother? I thought that was weird. But that wasn’t the only problem, there are so many plot holes and unexplained situations in this it’s insane. Oh, and did I mention there is mythology in the mix? I was just confused the entire time.
I will say that if you like very descriptive books, this one’s for you. The author describes anything and everything in this and he does it beautifully, so if you prefer descriptions in books over plot maybe you’ll like this? And the narrator is also pretty good, I would love to hear more books narrated by her!

It’s no fun forcing yourself to read a book. And keep in mind I listened to the audiobook version. I didn’t know listening to an audiobook could be so hard. I appreciate my free copy, but it was definitely not for me!

A big thank you to NetGalley and RB Media for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Escape Room by Maren Stoffels

“I can see It from here.
It can’t see me.
It has to pay.
For everything.
All I need is a sign.
Please.
Give me a sign thar I can begin.” – 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: pizza, piercings, blue eyes, PTSD, firefighters, messages, cameras, flyers, keys and cut hair.

Sinopsis

There’s no escape from this room. Full of menace and suspense, it’s an unputdownable thriller–and a paperback original!

Alissa, Sky, Cleo, and Miles just wanted something to do on a Friday night, so they signed up for an Escape Room. They have one hour to find clues, crack codes, and figure out puzzles. The Game Master told them they can always leave the game. But what if that’s not true? What if the Game Master has no intention of letting them out?

My Review

I stumbled across this book on Goodreads and it looked interesting, so I decided to get it and see it for myself!

The plot was cool, but nothing out of this world. The story follows four teenagers who decided to participate in an escape room together and they get stuck there by some mysterious person who is controlling it. As far as the mystery goes, I was expecting a bit more, but I’m not too mad for how it turned out. There were some creepier parts here and there, but nothing too extraordinary as well. Overall I think it’s an okay story and the writing is not bad. I didn’t predict the outcome, which I thought was well put together and the story is wrapped up nicely.

The characters were okay, and Mint was my favorite of the group. She was very interesting and intelligent and I really liked reading about her! I just wish the author explored more of Mint’s ability. I thought this would be explained at some point, but it was only pointed out a few times when it was “necessary” for the story.

The book is relatively small and it has small chapters as well, so you will go through it quickly. We also get the points of view of all the four main characters in this, so we get to know what they’re thinking about the situations they’re in.

In the end, I liked it for what it was: a quick, entertaining read! It’s not a book that will change your life and it’s not a mind blowing thriller/mystery, but I think it’s a fun and different option to read on a Saturday afternoon.

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins

“I hear the car before I see it, but even then, I don’t move, and later, I’d look back at that moment and wonder if I somehow knew what was going to happen. If everything in my life had been leading me to that one spot, to that one house. To him.” 3/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: best friends, blackmail, magnolias, diamond earrings, decor, panic rooms, dog-walkers, boats, expensive lamps, committees, books and pity parties.

Sinopsis

Meet Jane. Newly arrived to Birmingham, Alabama, Jane is a broke dog-walker in Thornfield Estates––a gated community full of McMansions, shiny SUVs, and bored housewives. The kind of place where no one will notice if Jane lifts the discarded tchotchkes and jewelry off the side tables of her well-heeled clients. Where no one will think to ask if Jane is her real name.

But her luck changes when she meets Eddie Rochester. Recently widowed, Eddie is Thornfield Estates’ most mysterious resident. His wife, Bea, drowned in a boating accident with her best friend, their bodies lost to the deep. Jane can’t help but see an opportunity in Eddie––not only is he rich, brooding, and handsome, he could also offer her the kind of protection she’s always yearned for.

Yet as Jane and Eddie fall for each other, Jane is increasingly haunted by the legend of Bea, an ambitious beauty with a rags-to-riches origin story, who launched a wildly successful southern lifestyle brand. How can she, plain Jane, ever measure up? And can she win Eddie’s heart before her past––or his––catches up to her?

With delicious suspense, incisive wit, and a fresh, feminist sensibility, The Wife Upstairs flips the script on a timeless tale of forbidden romance, ill-advised attraction, and a wife who just won’t stay buried. In this vivid reimagining of one of literature’s most twisted love triangles, which Mrs. Rochester will get her happy ending?

My Review

Originally I was going to give this 3 stars, but I thought about it for a few days and I decided it doesn’t deserve them, so I’m lowering my rating. I’m very disappointed with this book. It was one of the books I was most excited to read this year and it turned out to be a flop.

There were so many things I didn’t like about this book, but the worst was definitely the main character, Jane. Oh my God. I can’t even express how much I hated her – and trust me, it takes a lot for me to feel this strongly about a character. She was manipulative, selfish, envious, petty and to top it all off, a thief. And not the kind of thief who steals because they need it. No. She did it because she could, basically. She hated rich people so she stole from them because she was jealous of their lifestyle and that was her way of getting back (like that makes any sense). But the worst part is that at some point she was trying to please them and she admitted she wanted to be one of them – but she still hated them? Girl… you need Dr. Phil. I truly didn’t like her, but I was willing to forget about her if the rest of the book was good. Spoiler alert: it wasn’t.

The story was not interesting and was full of flaws, and the mystery was weak. The plot was a bit predictable (at least part of it) and to be honest, nothing interesting ever happened.

I think the writing overall was okay, but there are times when the author changes to the POV of one of the characters, and in the same chapters she would go back and forth in time and it got a bit confusing to keep up.

And that ending. The ending was just the nail in the coffin for me. I obviously can’t say too much about the ending, but I felt like the conclusion to this story was lacking and unsatisfactory in a lot of ways.

In conclusion: I really don’t understand the hype. I think part of the popularity this book got is because of the new cover, because it truly is beautiful. But to be completely honest, there are too many good thrillers/mysteries out there waiting for you to pick them up… don’t even bother with this one.

xoxo, Neide

Recommendations | My All Time Favorite Romance Books

Romance is by far my most read genre. I’m just a romantic person by nature and I love to read love stories that make my little heart swoon! Since Valentine’s day is tomorrow, I thought this would be the perfect time to share with you some of my favorite romances of all time – and maybe you can find one or two new books to read

So I went to my Goodreads account and I put together a list of my favorite romance books to share with you today! Please note that since this is a list of some of my favorite books, you’ll find a lot of young adult and new adult books with slow burn romances and the enemies-to-lovers trope. Not all the books I mention follow this, but a lot of them do so keep that in mind. Still, I hope you enjoy it… here we go!

My All Time Favorites

I had to start this list with some of my favorite romance books of all time! In this list I want to share with you six books in the new adult and young adult genres that I absolutely love. If you love romance, you need to check these out!

  • Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
    If you like to read new adult romance, there’s a big possibility you already stumbled across this book. It has a similar plot to After (I prefer this one, though): both books are about good girls that go to college and fall in love with bad boys. It’s steamy, fun and intense! What some people don’t know is that there is a second book named Walking Disaster that follows the same story, but it’s told from the boy’s perspective. I haven’t read that one so I don’t know if it’s good, but I would definitely recommend this one if you never read it.
  • Bully by Penelope Douglas
    Bully is part of a series, but I only read the first book so I’m only referring to that one. This story is about a boy and a girl who were best friends once but now they can’t stand each other. He always picks on her and he pranks her constantly… until she decides she had enough. It’s a great option if you like young adult romance with the enemies-to-lovers trope. It’s intense and a slow burn, and I enjoyed every second of it!
  • The Deal by Elle Kennedy
    I love this series with all my heart. Seriously, if you like new adult books and you never read this one… you need to. The Deal is the first book of the Off-Campus series which is a companion series of four books. The books in this series follow four friends who play hockey (one friend per book), and their respective love interests. They all have different personalities and relationships, so I guarantee you there will be at least one book you’ll love. It’s worth it and I can’t recommend it enough!
  • Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines
    This is one of my favorite companion novel series of all time! The Field Party series is about a group of high school football players and their respective  romantic interests. I really like how the romance is mixed with sports in this series, because the result is a very fun young adult series.There’s parties, sports and a lot of romance. One of my favorites!
  • Lucas by Jay McLean
    This series is super good! Lucas is the first book of the book companion novel series The Preston Brothers. There are three books in the series (Lucas, Logan and Leo) and each book follows a different brother and the respective love interest. I love the family dynamics in this because they have a huge family and they spend a lot of time together! And not only the family dynamics are amazing, but the romances are just as good. Each book is swoony, steamy and just beautifully written. If I had to pick a favorite I would pick the book Leo, but I genuinely love the entire series just as much.
  • A Bad Boy Stole My Bra by Lauren Price
    Don’t be fooled by the title, because this is a cutesy young adult romance book. It all starts when a girl is sleeping and wakes up in the middle of the night to see her new next door neighbour escaping her bedroom window with one of her bras in his hand! Fortunately, it was only a bet… but what a way to meet someone new, right? This book is super fun and I loved the characters and their personalities.

Fantasy Romance

Lately I’ve been in a big fantasy mood, so most of the romances I’ve read lately are part of the fantasy genre. I think overall fantasy romance is more intense in comparison to contemporary romance, and it definitely shows in the selection I’m bringing you today. So here are a few of my favorites.

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    Who am I kidding, this series needs no introduction. A Court of Thorns and Roses is one of my most recent reads, and I fell in love with the story and the romance. If you don’t know the story, it’s about a human girl who kills a faerie and as a consequence she is taken away from her family to live in the faerie world with her captor. At first she hates him, but the inevitable happens and they fall in love. The romance for me is one of the best parts of this story, but the plot is also really good and interesting. And the crazy thing is that I’m currently reading the second book and I’m loving it even more than the first one! I didn’t even think that was possible…
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
    I didn’t hesitate for a single second when I gave this five stars. Heartless is a retelling about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. It’s a take on her backstory and how she became so cruel. I don’t even have words to describe how much I loved this book. It’s an amazing, creative, dark book with a beautiful romance. If you’re into retellings, this needs to be added to your TBR!
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
    Another popular series that needs no introduction. The Cruel Prince is an amazing fantasy trilogy about the romance between a human girl and a faerie prince. Of course the story is so much more than that, but the romance was the best part for me. Again, it has an enemies-to-lovers trope and a slow burn romance. If you’re a fan of those, you should really read this.

Unique Romances by Colleen Hoover

I’ve said this a million times before and I’ll say it again: NOBODY writes romance like Colleen Hoover. I still haven’t read all of her books, but I’ve read a good amount of them to say with confidence that she is a great writer. All of her books are very unique and she always adds an element of mystery to her books and a lot of surprises and twists. Needless to say it’s very difficult to be bored while reading her books! She is very talented and if I’m going to write a romance recommendation list, of course she’s going to be there.

  • Confess by Colleen Hoover
    This was my first ever Colleen Hoover book, and to this day I still think of how amazing this story is! They say you never forget your first, and this book is no exception. The concept for the book is very original and the plot is different from anything I’ve read before. The romance is great, the dramatic twists are crazy and the confessions aspect brings the story to the next level. If you never read it before, I’m telling you right now: you are missing out!
  • Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
    This book is also very unique because you get not one, but two romance stories! In this book you follow a mother and a daughter and not only you get to see their points of view of their own romantic relationships, but you also get a wholesome story about a mother and daughter relationship. So you get both an adult romance and a young adult romance in the same book. Unique, don’t you think? It’s a very wholesome book with great plot and great romances!
  • Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover
    I feel like most of Colleen’s books are considered romance but they’re a little bit more focused on the dramatic plot, and to me Heart Bones felt more like a true romance story. Of course there is some mystery and twists like you usually get with Colleen’s books, but the focus here is definitely on the romance. The book is young adult and it has a summer feeling to it, but it also has some sadness to it because the main character goes through a lot. But it’s one of my favorites from her and it’s definitely worth checking out, in my opinion.

The Fluffiest Fluff by Kasie West

Kasie West is one of my favorite romance authors of all time, so I had to mention her here. If you don’t know her, she writes the most amazing, cute and fluffy contemporary YA romances. I’ve read all of her books and I honestly can’t find another author that writes like her. All of her books are lighthearted, romantic and fun, and they always make me smile. I only picked three books to feature on my post, but I honestly would recommend any of her books! So here are three of my favorites.

  • On the Fence by Kasie West
    This is my favorite book from her! It’s about this tomboy girl who falls in love with her next door neighbour – who is also her brothers’ best friend. She hangs out with them a lot, so she’s used to being treated like a boy and she is not used to girly things. What I love so much about this story is the main character’s personality, the romance itself and the sibling dynamics. It’s super cute and completely worth checking out! Oh, and did I mention all of them play soccer? Yes, including the girl.
  • P.S. I Love You by Kasie West
    I love this book! This is a story about a girl and a boy who accidentally start to exchange messages on her school desk. She started writing lyrics from a song and the next day she saw someone wrote back… and that’s how it started! As the time goes by, they start to share secrets and personal things about each other, until the inevitable happens… they fall in love. But the thing is: she doesn’t know who he is! There’s this little mystery to unfold, so you’ll have fun guessing who he is – and the romance aspect is *chef’s kiss*!
  • By Your Side by Kasie West
    Another favorite of mine! This one is about a girl and a boy who get stuck in a library for the weekend. Their lives are completely different and at first it seems like they don’t have a lot in common, but over that weekend they get to know each other better and they fall in love slowly. It’s swoony and sweet, and a great option if you like cutesy young adult romance!

Adult Contemporary

So, I have a confession to make: I’m not a huge chick-lit/adult romance fan. I know it’s a very popular genre but when it comes to romance, I’m more inclined to young adult and new adult – as you can probably tell by this post and my reviews. But with that said, I still stumble across a few good adult romances from time to time and I want to share with you three of them I’ve enjoyed in the past.

  • The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary
    This book was a pleasant surprise! This story is about a woman and a man who start to share a flat (and a bed), but they never see each other. The guy is a doctor so he works during the night and the girl works during the day, so they never cross paths… until they do. It’s a very fun book with great humour!
  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
    This book is perfect to read in the summertime! This story is about a woman and a man who were at a wedding and everyone except them – including the bride and groom – got food poisoning. The problem is that the honeymoon trip was already paid and since they were the only ones that didn’t get sick, they took the bride and groom’s place! Oh, and did I tell you they hate each other’s guts? Well, we all know how that ends! Another option if you like the enemies-to-lovers trope!
  • The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams
    This book is part of The Bromance Book Club companion novel series and I only read the first two books, but I really enjoyed what I’ve read so far. What’s so cool about this series is that it’s about a man trying his best to get back to his wife. His wife wants the divorce so his last resource is to join this book club where men read romance books together to understand their wifes and girlfriends better. This book is incredibly funny and wholesome, and I truly believe you’ll have a great time reading it like I did!

Other Honorable Mentions

Here are three more romances I thought I should mention!

  • My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick
    This is one of the first young adult romances I have ever read, and I fell in love with it. This story is about a girl who is fascinated by her next door neighbours. They are a big, loud family that always seems happy and having a good time. On the other side, her mother is very strict and she has a lot of rules, one of them being: don’t talk to the next door neighbours. But when she finally meets the boy next door and his family, her life gets filled with color again! If you like the boy-next-door trope, this is one to check out!
  • You’d be Mine by Erin Hahn
    I thought I should mention this book because I loved it’s theme. It’s about two very different country singers that have to go on tour together and work as a team. They don’t like each other at first and there is a lot of bickering, but they eventually get to know the other one better and they fall in love! I loved the country music themed romance, so if you like it as well then you should consider picking this one!
  • 10 Blind Dates by Ashley Poston
    Another cutesy book to add to your TBR! This one is about a girl whose boyfriend  just broke up with her, and her family decided to set her up with ten blind dates (each one set by a different family member) to cheer her up. This book is super fun and since she’s going on different dates you’ll be wondering which boy she’ll pick! It’s set on Christmas/New Year’s Eve time, but it’s not strongly themed so I feel like you can read this at any time.

And that’s it for today folks! I hope you enjoyed this post and I hope you got a few new book recommendations from this list. When I was writing this post I kept thinking about how much I loved these books and how I would love to revisit them, so now I’m feeling very inclined to reread some of them again. Like I said, romance is my most read genre so if you have any romance recommendations, please share them in the comments! I’m always looking for new books to read, so I appreciate it! If you read any of the books I mentioned, let me know your thoughts as well. 🙂

Stay healthy and have a happy Valentine’s day!

xoxo, Neide

Review | A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: morning inspections, rope, Saabs, radiators, stray cats, tools, lost wallets, white shirts, trailers, snow, parking tickets, train trips, grief, baby cribs, wheelchairs, kid drawings, mailboxes and nosy neighbours.

Sinopsis

A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents’ association to their very foundations.

My Review

Everyone under the sun was recommending this book to me, so I finally bought it and I read it. And let me tell you, what an emotional rollercoaster it was! I was crying, then laughing… then crying again. I understand 100% why this book is so popular, and it deserves all credit.

A Man Called Ove is about a grumpy old man named Ove. He is a very strict, short tempered, serious man that has nothing friendly about him. He doesn’t get along with any of his neighbours and he has no plans of changing that. But what no one knows is that underneath his hard shell is a man who suffered a lot in life and still carries a lot of sadness and grief within. Until one day, when a new family moves in next door to him and Ove’s life changes forever.

I read Anxious People, and I thought this would be just as crazy/funny, but I was surprised by the amount of sad chapters this had. To be fair, there are a lot of funny scenes here, but this book talks about some serious, sad topics that I wasn’t expecting.

Ove is the kind of character that you think you would dislike, but I really liked him from the beginning. Maybe it’s because I myself have a Ove in my life, but I completely understood his pain and I cared a lot about him and his story – and I was rooting for him the entire time! So naturally, I cried a lot. Not only when I finished the book but also during most of it.

This is my third Fredrik Backman book, and I completely understand why his books are so popular. His writing style is very unique, and he has a talent to mess with your emotions. I also just watched the trailer the other day for the movie, and it looked interesting so maybe I’ll see the movie soon as well. I’m just hoping they did justice to the story!

It’s an amazing, emotional book that I will never forget. Highly recommend it!

xoxo, Neide

Review | The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

“They will be judged, by the police and by everybody else. Serves them right, leaving their baby alone. She would think that, too, if it had happened to someone else. She knows how judgmental mothers are, how good it feels to sit in judgment of someone else.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: pink babygrows, video cameras, ransoms, dinners, debt, plans, tire marks, neighbours, police inspectors and missing babies.

Sinopsis

It all started at a dinner party. . .

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors–a twisty, rollercoaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives. . .

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all–a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family–a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.

My Review

What an incredible book! I was hooked from the beginning and when I wasn’t reading it, I was thinking about it.

The plot was very interesting and unpredictable. The story is about a couple who has a six-month daughter, and when they come home from their neighbours’ house – because they just had dinner there – they notice their daughter is not in the crib. So now the baby is gone and you don’t know who did it. The police is called to the parents’ house and the inspector is determined to uncover the truth of what happened to the baby.

The story is told in third/first person, but not in a defined way. What I mean by this is that we don’t get chapters with different POVs. There is a third person narrator but we sometimes get to see what’s inside of every single person’s head. We get to see the perspectives of the parents, the grandparents, the neighbours and the police inspector.

We also get to know some things the characters don’t, but in the sense that some characters are hiding stuff and you know what they’re hiding, but the other characters don’t. But with that said, it’s important to say that you won’t know all their secrets in the beginning, so the surprise element is there and it’s constant!

What I liked so much about this book is that it’s the kind of mystery where you find out new information as the story goes… and you can’t trust anyone. The author did an amazing job creating a full mysterious experience for the reader, because there are so many twists and the story keeps changing so you never know what is going on and you can’t predict anything. 

It’s a really cool and very well made book, and I think anyone who likes thrillers/mysteries would really like it! I can’t wait to read more from this author.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Of Wicked Blood (The Quatrefoil Chronicles #1) by Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Hayoz

“If I relied on kisses for luck, I would never make it out of the streets alive. (…) Word of advice: make your own luck. It will last you longer.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: artifacts, clovers, witch costumes, gloves, madeleines, big rings, black curls, The Little Mermaid, cactuses with names, bruises, wells, wheelchairs, blood, rivers and ghosts.

Sinopsis

No rest for the wicked… or the cursed.

SLATE
I didn’t mean to steal the Bloodstone from the De Morel’s crypt.
Scratch that, I did mean to steal it.
Until I realized it was a curse-magnet that only comes off if I, along with a jolly trio, successfully defeat four curses.
If any of us fail, I’m dead.
I’ve never been a glass half-empty sort of person, but my glass looks in dire need of a refill right about now.
The only highlight of this wicked treasure hunt: feisty, entitled Cadence de Morel.

CADENCE
I was raised on tales of magic, in a small town reputed to be the birthplace of French witchcraft.
Did I believe all the stories I heard? Absolutely not. I mean, if magic existed, Maman wouldn’t have died, and Papa wouldn’t be stuck in a wheelchair, right?
Wrong.
The night Slate Ardoin waltzes into my life, wearing a ring he stole from my mother’s grave, I call him a monster.
But then I meet real ones, and Slate, well . . . he becomes something else to me.
Something frustrating to live with but impossible to live without.
Something I will fight for, no matter the cost.

My Review

What a nice surprise! This book won my heart for how amazing it was. This was also my first ever experience listening to a NetGalley audiobook, and fortunately it was a positive one.

The story is super good and it exceeded all my expectations. The search for magical artifacts with limited time added a lot of motion to the story, so of course I was hooked from the beginning. I think the fantasy world was very interesting and the setting in Europe was definitely a good decision for this book. 

The characters were interesting, and I feel I did care about all of them. I liked everyone, even the characters you are supposed to dislike. Everyone had their own story and uniqueness, and they made a great team with great dynamics. A cool thing I saw in this book was that not every relationship in this book is linear. Most of the characters had complex relationships with each other. There are so many examples in the book for this, but I’ll just give Slate and Adrian’s relationship as an example. They both have strong feelings for the same girl, and there are moments where they dislike each other, but there are also moments where you see how close and amicable they have become with each other. A few more relationships I found very interesting were the relationships between Slate/De Morel, Adrian/Cadence and Cadence/her dad.

The romance was a huge aspect of why I liked this book so much. It’s the kind of romance that starts with them both hating each other and it transforms into a very intense and loving relationship. I think the authors did a great job with this relationship, but I have to admit it felt a bit like insta-love. It didn’t bother me too much because the good thing is that even the characters address it in the book. I don’t know why, but I feel like when they acknowledge it, it doesn’t feel that bad! But yeah, I wish they didn’t feel like they actually loved each other so soon.

There were so many things that made this book amazing – the plot, the romance, the characters and relationships -, and I couldn’t be happier with the result. I flew through this book!

I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series! Since the book is named “Quatrefoil”, I’m assuming there will be four books in total? Fingers crossed!

A big thank you to NetGalley and Twig Publishing for the free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

xoxo, Neide

Review | Across the Green Grass Fields (Wayward Children #6) by Seanan McGuire

“She knew better now. The world was bigger now. She was bigger now, and that made all the difference.” 5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: unicorns, cauliflower, garter snakes, doorways, toxic friendships, centaurs, hooves, horns, kelpies, thumbs, husbands, baked apples and destiny.

Another incredible addition to the Wayward Children series from Seanan McGuire! 

I originally was going to give this 4.5/5 stars, but I really think this book deserves more. And the reason for this is because it is truly an amazing book! It’s full of magic, it has a solid story and characters with depth, and the atmosphere is amazing. 

This book is about a girl named Regan. She goes through a doorway and enters the Hooflands. This is a land full of magical creatures such as centaurs, kelpies and unicorns – the perfect place for her because she loves horses. Of course there’s more to the story, though!

I think my favorite thing about this book was the plot originality. It was so interesting and magical, I couldn’t put the book down! I just love this concept of kids going through doors to their perfect world and leaving their lives behind.

If my memory is correct, I don’t think Regan appeared in the series before (but I could be wrong, though). I say this because it is common in this series to find characters from other books, so I can’t be 100% sure but I think she’s new to the series. Nonetheless, I really liked her as a main character and I particularly liked to see how she grew and developed better relationships. I wouldn’t be mad to read another book about this girl. Maybe she’ll cross with the characters from the first books? That would be really cool!

I’m also glad the author talked about subjects such as intersex, gender and bullying. I learned some new things while reading this book, and that to me is always a positive aspect to me.

It’s funny because I feel like this series has so many highs and lows, and to me this was definitely a high! It’s my second favorite story in the entire series, the first one being Jack and Jill’s story. A plea to the author: please keep writing and I promise I’ll keep reading!

xoxo, Neide

TBR | February 2021

Hello readers, I hope you’re doing well!

Today I’m bringing you my reading plans for the month of February. I know February is the perfect month for romance books because of Valentine’s day, but I’m not a big seasonal reader. I think the only love story you’ll find in this list are the books from the series A Court of Thorns and Roses. I usually just read what I feel like reading at the moment and this month is no exception.

And I swear on my life I didn’t do it on purpose, but the color scheme of my February TBR is looking good! Isn’t it nice when everything just works out? Anyways, here are the books I’m planning to read in February:

  1. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  3. A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  4. Split Second (The Pivot Point #2) by Kasie West
  5. A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) by Sarah J. Maas
  6. A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas
  7. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern
  8. Pine by Francine Toon
  9. Away with the Penguins by Hazel Prior
  10. Cut Off by Adrianne Finlay
  11. The Wife Upstairs by Rachel Hawkins
  12. Of Wicked Blood by Olivia Wildenstein and Katie Havoz

So as you can see, this month I have a mix of very different books. I’ve wanted to read some of them for a while but also added – surprise, surprise – a new release! I’ve got The Wife Upstairs to read and two other books I keep seeing everywhere: Pine and Away with the Penguins!

Another cool thing that happened in January is that I got my first ever NetGalley audiobook: the book Of Wicked Blood! I never had the chance to read an audiobook from NetGalley, so I’m very excited to experience this for the first time.

The rest of the books are books I’ve wanted to read for a while. Two of the books were in my previous TBR list – Split Second and The Starless Sea -, and I’m putting them here again because I can’t seem to motivate myself to finish them, but I hope I’ll do it this month 🙂

Have you read any of these books? Let me know if you did and what were your thoughts! Thank you for reading ❤

xoxo, Neide