Book Review of Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert

Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters #1) by Talia Hibbert

384 pages

Published: 11/5/2019 by Avon

ISBN: 9780062941220

Genre: Romance

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Amazon | B&N

“Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamorous family’s mansion. The next items?

• Enjoy a drunken night out.
• Ride a motorcycle.
• Go camping.
• Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
• Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
• And… do something bad.

But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.

Redford ‘Red’ Morgan is a handyman with tattoos, a motorcycle, and more sex appeal than ten-thousand Hollywood heartthrobs. He’s also an artist who paints at night and hides his work in the light of day, which Chloe knows because she spies on him occasionally. Just the teeniest, tiniest bit.

But when she enlists Red in her mission to rebel, she learns things about him that no spy session could teach her. Like why he clearly resents Chloe’s wealthy background. And why he never shows his art to anyone. And what really lies beneath his rough exterior…”



Triggers: Chronic pain (fibromyalgia) and discussion of abuse (physical and verbal).

Thank you to NetGalley and Avon for the early digital copy in exchange for honest review!

I’m pretty much two years late with this one, but it’s better late than never. *he he* I’m trying to make 2021 a better NetGalley year. Cheers to that. *holds up non existent champagne glass*

Anyway, let’s talk about the book that I didn’t like as much as I’d hoped. Let’s start with the positive, though.

I enjoyed the writing, the steam, and the discussion this book brought to the world’s attention. It doesn’t go into extreme detail about Chloe’s chronic pain, but it’s definitely brought up. She talks about how if the pain is below a 5, then she needs to kiss the feet of the universe. It bums me out that people actually have to live that way. I wish those people better days ahead.

There’s also discussion about Red and his ex, Pippa. He talks to Chloe about how she was actually abusive, but he never paid any attention. He just thought she was a brat. It just proves how much men are kind of looked over when it comes to abuse, and that also makes me sad. I hate that this particular topic is swept under the rug most of the time. We as a society need to be better about that.

What I didn’t like was Red and Chloe’s relationship as a whole. They were so up and down that I didn’t know what to think half the time. I couldn’t even tell if they wanted to be together. One minute they were so in love, then they were at each other’s throats over small mishaps and miscommunications. It was mainly Red that blew up because of the pretentiousness of Chloe. I couldn’t see the chemistry between the two of them, and I think that just about ruined the book for me. There are cute moments though. I will be the first to admit that some lines they share with each other are sweet.

No. No. This was the sort of moment she experienced, lists, worries, razor-sharp shyness and all. Bravery wasn’t an identity so much as a choice.

She chose him.

I would read more Hibbert, and I plan on continuing on with the series. This one in particular just didn’t work for me. That’s not to say that it shouldn’t get all of the buzz it receives, because I totally understand where everyone is coming from. If you think that you want to read this one, then go ahead and give it a whirl. I’m just hoping the next one is better.


Talia Hibbert is a USA Today bestselliing author who lives in a bedroom full of books. Supposedly, there is a world beyond that room, but she has yet to drum up enough interest to investigate.

She writes sexy, diverse romance because she believes that people of marginalised identities need honest and positive representation. Her interests include beauty, junk food, and unnecessary sarcasm. She also rambles intermittently about the romance genre online.

Talia self-publishes via Nixon House and is represented by Courtney Miller-Callihan at Handspun Literary.


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Book Review of The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi – New All-Time Favorite!

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

248 pages

Published: 8/4/2020 by Riverhead Books

ISBN: 9780525541608

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Amazon | B&N

“What does it mean for a family to lose a child they never really knew?

One afternoon, in a town in southeastern Nigeria, a mother opens her front door to discover her son’s body, wrapped in colorful fabric, at her feet. What follows is the tumultuous, heart-wrenching story of one family’s struggle to understand a child whose spirit is both gentle and mysterious. Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the worldly, high-spirited cousin whose teasing confidence masks a guarded private life. As their relationship deepens—and Osita struggles to understand Vivek’s escalating crisis—the mystery gives way to a heart-stopping act of violence in a moment of exhilarating freedom. 

Propulsively readable, teeming with unforgettable characters, The Death of Vivek Oji is a novel of family and friendship that challenges expectations—a dramatic story of loss and transcendence that will move every reader.” 



Triggers: Cheating, mention of rape, sacrifice of an animal, homophobia, physical abuse, bullying, sexism, rioting, miscarriage, death.

When I started this book I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as everyone else. It took me a minute to really get into the story. However, that ending made tears fall from my eyes, so I knew it was either going to be four or five stars. Upon further thinking, it was definitely a five-star read! If you’re looking for black authors to read for Black History Month, this would be a fantastic place to start.

The amount of heartbreak that happens while reading this novel is extreme. The control and oppression that Vivek is shown makes me so upset. His family / community never give him a break. He could never truly be who he wanted to be. You only get glimpses into Vivek’s brain, understandably, but you’ll want more as the story progresses. It’s hard only seeing through the lens of his family. You mainly get Osita’s point of view, and you’ll understand why if / when you read it.

It’s mind blowing to me that men with longer hair are even seen in a different light. It’s just hair, but different cultures assign it different meanings. This one gives men with long hair a bad connotation, but I’m so proud of Vivek for standing up for himself. I’m also happy that his mother, Kavita, sticks up for him as well. She struggles to understand what’s going on with Vivek, but she tries to see where he’s coming from. She just wants her baby to be okay. Sadly, he’s taken from the Earth far too early.

He was hiding in everyone else’s house as if he didn’t have a home. We didn’t know anything about our own child’s life.

There are parts in here that involve the two cousins, Vivek and Osita, that made me uncomfortable. I just didn’t expect it to happen. It’s a very intimate relationship, but you have to understand that Osita is one of the few people who allow Vivek to be Vivek. Osita obviously wants to protect his cousin, but he knows he’ll end up doing what he wants to in the end. Emezi definitely explores this relationship and turns it up a notch.

Can we talk about Mary and Ekene? I hated them with every fiber of my being. After reading about what happened when Mary took Vivek to church, I could have thrown the book (my iPad) across the room. I wanted to rage through my town. I just wanted to give Vivek a big hug.

I’m so happy I gave this book a chance. It explores so many kinds of relationships (familial and romantic). There’s so much sadness and heartbreak, but there’s a light at the end of the very dark tunnel. Some characters even experience growth—Kavita mostly. I just want everyone to experience this book, but I know it’s probably extremely triggering for so many people. I just think it’s so important to read. I haven’t read anything quite like it. If you think you can handle all of the triggers, then I recommend you read it with an open mind and open heart.

Akwaeke Emezi (b. 1987) is an artist and writer based in liminal spaces. Their art practice is located in the metaphysics of Black spirit and uses video, performance, writing, and sculpture to create rituals processing their embodiment as a nonhuman entity/an ogbanje/a deity’s child. 


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Book Review of Writers & Lovers by Lily King

Writers & Lovers by Lily King

320 pages

Published: 3/3/20 by Grove Press

ISBN: 9780802148537

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Amazon | B&N

Following the breakout success of her critically acclaimed and award-winning novel Euphoria, Lily King returns with an unforgettable portrait of an artist as a young woman.

Blindsided by her mother’s sudden death, and wrecked by a recent love affair, Casey Peabody has arrived in Massachusetts in the summer of 1997 without a plan. Her mail consists of wedding invitations and final notices from debt collectors. A former child golf prodigy, she now waits tables in Harvard Square and rents a tiny, moldy room at the side of a garage where she works on the novel she’s been writing for six years. At thirty-one, Casey is still clutching onto something nearly all her old friends have let go of: the determination to live a creative life. When she falls for two very different men at the same time, her world fractures even more. Casey’s fight to fulfill her creative ambitions and balance the conflicting demands of art and life is challenged in ways that push her to the brink.

Writers & Lovers follows Casey–a smart and achingly vulnerable protagonist–in the last days of a long youth, a time when every element of her life comes to a crisis. Written with King’s trademark humor, heart, and intelligence, Writers & Lovers is a transfixing novel that explores the terrifying and exhilarating leap between the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another.


Triggers: The death of a loved one, grieving, harassment.

“I have a pact with myself not to think about money in the morning.”

Wow, this book definitely took me by surprise. I almost put it down, but I opted for the audiobook instead. I don’t know if it made the writing come alive, but I couldn’t stop listening to it. I ended up loving Casey as a main character. She’s such a strong woman who is chewed up and spit out by life. She loses her mother, her best friend. Grieving the loss of a parent has to be the hardest thing to do in life. I can’t imagine.

I thought the side characters were also pretty interesting. Oscar one of the guys she talks to has two kids, and I loved how much Casey cared for them. She wanted what was best for them, and Oscar honestly made me question how well he took care of them. He also tried to push Casey into thinking golf was the route she should take. I remember him mentioning that if you have the talent, then you should put it to use. Stupid. I hated him, long story short.

Silas. Oh, Silas. He had been through loss before, and I think that helped him connect with Casey. He understood more of what Casey was feeling. I wanted more of Silas, but we definitely got more of Oscar, unfortunately. Although, I’m happy with the ending. It may have wrapped up too nicely, but I thought it was refreshing to see Casey get some relief, some closure.

A book in the library said that some Canada geese may travel as far as Jalisco, Mexico. My mother will like that, the long exhilarating trip, the foreign landing. But others, the book said, will stay where they are for the winter. Those geese are already home.

Overall, I would recommend the book if you can handle a character study. It’s very raw and emotional. I didn’t really care for the beginning, but I would definitely go back into in with a different perspective now that I completed it. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, certainly with the writing style if not anything else. It’s an acquired taste. I had to get used to it. There are a lot of nice quotes from this one. I just thought it was a well-rounded novel.

Lily King grew up in Massachusetts and received her B.A. in English Literature from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and her M.A. in Creative Writing from Syracuse University. She has taught English and Creative Writing at several universities and high schools in this country and abroad. Lily’s new novel, Euphoria, was released in June 2014. It has drawn significant acclaim so far, being named an Amazon Book of the Month, on the Indie Next List, and hitting numerous summer reading lists from The Boston Globe to O Magazine and USA Today. Reviewed on the cover of The New York Times Book Review, Emily Eakin called Euphoria, “a taut, witty, fiercely intelligent tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace.”


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Book Review of The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang

The Dragon Republic (The Poppy War #2) by R.F. Kuang

654 pages

Published: 8/6/19 by Harper Voyager

ISBN: 9780062662637

Genre: Adult fantasy

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Amazon | B&N

*Click on photos to view original source

“In the aftermath of the Third Poppy War, shaman and warrior Rin is on the run: haunted by the atrocity she committed to end the war, addicted to opium, and hiding from the murderous commands of her vengeful god, the fiery Phoenix. Her only reason for living is to get revenge on the traitorous Empress who sold out Nikan to their enemies.

With no other options, Rin joins forces with the powerful Dragon Warlord, who has a plan to conquer Nikan, unseat the Empress, and create a new Republic. Rin throws herself into his war. After all, making war is all she knows how to do.

But the Empress is a more powerful foe than she appears, and the Dragon Warlord’s motivations are not as democratic as they seem. The more Rin learns, the more she fears her love for Nikan will drive her away from every ally and lead her to rely more and more on the Phoenix’s deadly power. Because there is nothing she won’t sacrifice for her country and her vengeance.”


Trigger warnings: Rape, self-harm, vivid descriptions of the dead (adults and children), drug use, vivid murder scenes, war scenes, PTSD, abortion, human experimentation, sad animal death, loss of a loved one. Just proceed with caution if you pick up this series. It’s pretty dark and brutal.

Wow, this book was one heck of a feat.

If I thought the first book was a lot to handle, this one really turns it up a few notches. It’s very action-packed and fast-paced, yet it’s not at the same time. It felt like it took me eons to finish, and that’s one of the reasons I gave it a lower rating than the first book. I’ll get into my other reasons later. Let’s get into my review.

I guess I’ll start with why I enjoyed this one, and why I’ll be finishing the series. I don’t know how I couldn’t finish this series considering how invested I am after reading 1,000+ pages of it already.

The writing is pretty much the same as the last book. The writing is well done and pretty easy to understand, as I said in my review for the first book in the series. There’s a lot of character development and world building to be had with this one. You may want to take notes if that’ll help you.

My favorite characters ended up being Kitay, Suni and Baji. I will tell you to not fall in love with any characters because Kuang doesn’t care about your feelings, apparently. She really ripped my heart out a few times throughout the novel. Now I see what everyone was talking about. I’ve read this one before and all of it went over my head. I’m happy I paid attention this time around.

It’s not about who you are, it’s about how they see you. And once you’re mud in this country, you’re always mud.

Rin really gave us the run-around with her development. I would be so proud of her one moment and so frustrated with her the next. I can’t believe how much she didn’t see what was happening within the Dragon Republic. Like, did she meet Vaisra? I could tell the moment she spoke to him that he would drag her through mud! Oh, it made me want to throw the book. I can’t tell if I’m going to like Rin by the end of the series. Only time and 640 pages will tell.

Okay, moving on to what really got under my skin with this one.

First off, “Tiger’s tits.”

THAT PHRASE GIVES ME SECONDHAND EMBARRASSMENT. STOP USING IT. I swear it was on every page. Every page. It’s not funny, and it never was. Can we all agree?

There are so many characters introduced in the book that my head was spinning. They were all connected / related / whatever else you can be with another person. I almost gave up. I couldn’t tell who was against who because it would change so quickly. It’s just many pages of back-and-forth between armies, warlords, Gods, etc. I just couldn’t get with it.

What had seemed like an easy victory was about to turn into a bloodbath.

And, for the grand finale that we all saw coming……..it was too long. Maybe I’m not used to long fantasy novels since I don’t read them. I’m also in for a rude awakening when I read The Stormlight Archive series by Brandon Sanderson. Like I said, it felt like a lot happened yet nothing at all. I was wishing for it to be over with. I loved the beginning and the end of the book. Let’s just condense the middle and I’ll be a happy camper.

Overall, I think this had middle book syndrome. I think it’s preparing for one heck of a finale. Well, that’s all I can hope for. It may take a bit of a break before jumping into that one, though. I read the first two back-to-back. I will say that I could probably read this series a third time and learn something new each time. That’s another positive that comes from this series. If you can handle the brutality of it, then I say go pick up the first one!

Side note: When Rin is learning how to use the fire inside her, and she hurts Kitay, it reminds me of when Aang hurts Katara in Avatar: The Last Airbender when he’s trying to fire bend.

Rebecca F. Kuang is a Marshall Scholar, translator, and the Nebula, Locus, and World Fantasy Award nominated author of the Poppy War trilogy. She has an MPhil in Chinese Studies from Cambridge and an MSc in Contemporary Chinese Studies from Oxford; she is now pursuing a PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures at Yale. Website: rfkuang.com


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Reading the Forward Collection Series from Amazon

Hello, friends! I hope you’re having a good week.

This week, while watching BookTube, I watched BookswithEmilyFox reading this collection of short stories from authors I recognized. I don’t typically read science fiction, but I’m trying to branch out. Anyway, I had such high hopes for this collection. It didn’t really come through for me but that’s okay. I honestly didn’t know what to expect, and I went in blind to every story. I’m not going to give you much information about each book because I found it fun to go in blind to each one, and I think it would benefit you as well.


Ark (Forward Collection #1) by Veronica Roth

39 pages

“On the eve of Earth’s destruction, a young scientist discovers something too precious to lose, in a story of cataclysm and hope by the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent trilogy.”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

A very average short story that tried to be more thought provoking than it probably needed to be. I understood where the author was coming from, but I didn’t think it worked with this specific short story. There was no background on the characters except for the little bit the author offers us. Samantha, the main character who helps with the Ark Project in Svalbard, is very melancholy in nature while not at the same time. I received mixed signals from her. It seemed like a very dark story with the end of the world looming over the few people left on Earth, meanwhile it was a story filled with hope. It’s a good contrast, but I think I needed a long story if that’s the case. Overall, it was an okay start to this collection. It’s a rocky journey from here, though.


Summer Frost (Forward Collection #2) by Blake Crouch

75 pages

“A video game developer becomes obsessed with a willful character in her new project, in a mind-bending exploration of what it means to be human by the New York Times bestselling author of Recursion.”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This one, by far, is the creepiest short story in this collection. I hate the thought of AI becoming smarter than humans. The dry, scientific writing works for the story, otherwise I wouldn’t have given it four stars. I thought there was a lot of good discussion about gender and how we as humans assume gender so easily. No, there’s not a lot of character development, but the uneasiness this book provides really makes up for that. The downfall of this short story is the ending. I found it to wrap up at the last second and it seemed a little cheap. I know this wouldn’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but I’d say go ahead and read it if you want to feel uncomfy for an hour.


Emergency Skin (Forward Collection #3) by N.K. Jemisin

33 pages

“What will become of our self-destructed planet? The answer shatters all expectations in this subversive speculation from the Hugo Award–winning author of the Broken Earth trilogy.”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Ugh, I thought for sure this would be my favorite one out of all six stories. Honestly, it’s at the bottom above The Last Conversation by Tremblay. I will give it points for how eye-opening this one is. There’s a good discussion about how terrible humans are to the Earth. I thought the point of view worked, but I was extremely aggravated by the “voice inside your head.” I understood why that was there, but there had to be a different way to do it. Maybe I’m being too harsh, but I can’t raise my rating. There’s a lot to unpack in this story, so if you’re interested, then I’d recommend you give it a shot.


You Have Arrived at Your Destination (Forward Collection #4 by Amor Towles

46 pages

“Nature or nurture? Neither. Discover a bold new way to raise a child in this unsettling story of the near future by the New York Times bestselling author of A Gentleman in Moscow.”

Rating: 4 out of 5.

This is my favorite one from this collection, and I’m just as shocked as you are. I thought this one had the best character development, plot, and unsettling dialogue. The only thing that made me drop a star was the ending. I don’t think I understood what it all meant. It’s one of my pet peeves with books. I hate being intrigued just to catch “eh” feelings at the end. It makes me want to scream. Anyway, it was my favorite……that’s all.


The Last Conversation (Forward Collection #5) by Paul Tremblay

56 pages

“What’s more frightening: Not knowing who you are? Or finding out? A Bram Stoker Award–winning author explores the answer in a chilling story about identity and human consciousness.”

Rating: 1 out of 5.

This book didn’t slap, and that’s putting it kindly. I don’t even know what I read and why, but I’m not here for it. There was nothing intriguing about this! I don’t want to drag this anymore, so I’ll just end it with: don’t read this.


Randomize (Forward Collection #6) by Andy Weir

28 pages

“In the near future, if Vegas games are ingeniously scam-proof, then the heists have to be too, in this imaginative and whip-smart story by the New York Times bestselling author of The Martian.”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

The amount of conniving characters in this one was a nice change of pace since it is the last story. There’s quantum physics, casinos, and random number generators. If that doesn’t make you want to read it, then I don’t know what will. I thought the writing was fine. I think this one has the lowest rating out of all of them, but I’m not really sure why. I still recommend it.


If I had to rank them from most favorite to least favorite:

You Have Arrived at Your Destination, Summer Frost, Randomize, Ark, Emergency Skin, and The Last Conversation.

If you’ve read any of these, you should let me know your thoughts in the comments.


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The Anti-TBR Tag

A popular book everyone loves but you have no interest in reading?

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

A classic book / author you don’t have an interest in reading?

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway / Ernest Hemingway, himself. I’ve never had an interest, and I didn’t even do the required reading in high school.

An author whose books you have no interest in reading?

I’m going to name a few: James Patterson, Jodi Picoult, Cassandra Clare, and Mark Z. Danielewski.

A problematic author whose books you have no interest in reading?

I read Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher in high school, and I’ve never had interest in anything else by him anyway.

I had one of Sherman Alexie’s books on my TBR this year (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian), but I don’t feel compelled to read it after reading about how he’s been racist and how he acts terribly toward women. Check out this blog post if you want to know more.

An author you have read a couple books from and decided their books are not for you?

Sorry to anyone who is a die-hard fan, but Stephen King is just not for me. I read It, Sleeping Beauties, The Institute and didn’t enjoy any of them. I tried reading Rose Madder and The Long Walk, but I couldn’t get into them. He’s just not for me and that’s okay.

A genre you have no interest in OR genre you tried and couldn’t get into?

Erotica or magical realism. I’ve tried to read from both genres, and I just don’t think they’re ones I’ll ever fall in love with.

A book you bought but will never read OR a library book you borrowed but returned unread?

The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling. I think I have better odds of reading War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

A series you have no interest in reading OR a series you started but have dnf’d?

I have no interest in reading the Nevernight series. I’ve tossed around the idea of it, but it’s probably not going to happen.

If I don’t enjoy Across the Green Grass Fields by Seanan McGuire, then I’m giving up on that series. It just isn’t for me, and really wasn’t for me the entire time. The only ones I enjoyed were the first and third one.

A new release you have no interest in reading?

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. I didn’t care for Red, White & Royal Blue, and I don’t even have interest in her new one. McQuiston was one of those hyped authors that I thought I had to read from. I initially gave her first book four stars, but later realized it was more like a 3 or lower.


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How I Defeat a Reading Slump

I hit reading slumps quite often throughout any given year, and I’m not sure why or how. I know that everyone is different as to how they get out of a slump, but this post is just some tips and tricks I use to defeat one.

Step Away.

I never try to force myself to read. If I start multiple books and don’t make it past the first chapter, I put everything down and focus on something else. I’ll work on a puzzle, watch movies, watch YouTube, bake, etc. Sometimes, that’ll happen for weeks, months, but I don’t let it get to me. Reading, for me, is usually for entertainment and relaxation.

Switch Up Format.

Sometimes a reading slump is that big of a feat. If I start to get tired of physical books, I’ll switch to an eBook. I’ve actually been drawn to eBooks lately. I think a lot of it has to do with portability and the fact that eBooks are cheaper (usually). My wallet appreciates that the most. Audiobooks are usually paired with either format. I love me a good audiobook, but I struggle to just listen to an audiobook.

Switch Up the Genre.

I think this pretty much explains itself. Either I put the book down that I’m struggling with or DNF it, and I’ll pick up something from a new genre. I will typically crawl to historical fiction—it’s my happy place (most of the time).

Watch BookTube.

I think watching someone talk about books makes me want to read. If I’m going to step away and watch YouTube, then I can stand to watch some of my favorite BookTubers. This doesn’t always work, typically my last-ditch effort, but it doesn’t hurt the slump.


Do you have any tips and tricks to defeat a reading slump? Jot them down in the comments if you want to share.


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Five-Star Predictions for Books Released in 2021

I’ve made two other five-star prediction posts that I’m aware of, and out of all of the books on those lists, I’ve only read one. Can you guess the rating?……..FIVE STARS! It was He Started It by Samantha Downing. She really came through for me with that one. Should I read what’s on those lists before I make ANOTHER list? Probably. Am I going to? Ha ha, no. I think I might focus this on upcoming releases in 2021. I’m sure you’ll know from the title what I end up doing. Anyway, let’s get into it.


The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin

Publication: 4/27/21

“A heartwarming debut novel for readers of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, following three lonely strangers in a rural Oregon town, each working through grief and life’s curveballs, who are brought together by happenstance on a local honeybee farm where they find surprising friendship, healing–and maybe even a second chance–just when they least expect it.”

This one sounds right up my alley. I’m hoping I’ll find another favorite group of friends, and maybe learn about a honeybee farm and how it’s run. Who knows? The world is Eileen Garvin’s, and we’re just living in it. Also, that cover is just cute as a button.

I have this one on NetGalley, so thank you to Dutton Books and NetGalley for the early digital copy.


What Could Be Saved by Liese O’Halloran Schwarz

Publication: 1/12/21

“An enthralling, redemptive novel set in Bangkok in 1972 and Washington, DC, in 2019 about an expatriate child who goes missing, whose family is contacted decades later by a man claiming to be the vanished boy.”

I’ve never read a story like this, especially one set in Bangkok! Again, sounds right up my alley. I love a good hard-hitting adult fiction novel. They’re always bound to be AT LEAST four stars. I have high hopes for this one!

I won this in a Goodreads giveaway, so thank you to them and Atria books for the early physical copy!


Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Publication: 6/1/21

“Malibu Rising is a story about one unforgettable night in the life of a family: the night they each have to choose what they will keep from the people who made them . . . and what they will leave behind.”

I’m a little nervous to include this one. I loved The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, but I truly didn’t care about Daisy Jones & The Six. I think she’s going to be a hit or miss author for me, but I’m really hoping this one will be a hit. It sounds like something I’d pick up regardless of who the author was. Fingers crossed!

I was able to receive an early digital copy from NetGalley and , but I also pre-ordered it on Amazon.


When the Stars Go Dark by Paula McLain

Publication: 4/13/21

“A detective hiding away from the world. A series of disappearances that reach into her past. Can solving them help her heal?”

I loved Love and Ruin by this author, and I believe I own two other books by her that I want to read. This one isn’t historical fiction, so I’m hesitant, but I have high hopes. I’ve read some reviews that said it wasn’t like her other novels.

I have an early digital copy from NetGalley.


The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah

Publication: 2/2/21

“From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone comes an epic novel of love and heroism and hope, set against the backdrop of one of America’s most defining eras—the Great Depression.”

I’ve never read anything by Hannah, but this one really called out to me—even more than The Nightingale. It’s almost 500 pages so that makes me weary, but I’m excited to get to it, regardless.

I have an early digital copy from NetGalley!


I’m excited to get to all of these even if they don’t end up being five stars. There are so many good books coming out in 2021 that I couldn’t figure out which ones I wanted to focus on. Are any of these on your five-star predictions list?


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Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Tag

I love Avatar: The Last Airbender so much that this tag really spoke to me. It was created by Hannah @ A Clockwork Reader

This was a tough one to complete, but I was able to finish it many hours later. I hope you enjoy!


Water

Katara and Sokka—The best sibling relationship

The first book that comes to mind is The Most Fun We Ever Had by Claire Lombardo. I highly recommend that book. It was one of my top favorite books of 2019!

Yue—Favorite star-crossed lovers

The only star-crossed lovers I can think of, that I actually enjoyed reading about, are Evelyn Hugo and Celia in The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. It’s heartbreaking to think that in the 50s someone had to hide their sexuality. It makes me horribly sad that judgement of sexuality is still a thing in 2021. I think this is a good book to read if you’re wanting to read about that topic. I’m not sure how accurate the representation is, but I’ve never heard anything negative about it. Regardless, I’d give this a read if I were you.

Blood bending—A book with a disturbing concept

Bunny by Mona Awad. I’m still not sure what I read, but I know it was disturbing and weird as shit. I don’t even know if I recommend it.

Earth

Toph—A character whose strength surprised you / or surprised the other characters in the book

Tante Truus in The Last Train to London by Meg Waite Clayton. She’s an incredible character with an incredible strength to withstand the struggles she faces in the book. She rescues Jewish children from Nazi Germany by train. One of the best characters I’ve read in a book.

The Tales of Ba Sing Se—The best short story / poetry collection

I don’t have a favorite poetry or short story collection, unfortunately. I don’t think I’ve ever read a short story collection now that I think about it. If you just want a short story/novella, I would recommend checking out, And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman.

Kioshi Warriors—Best warrior character

Would you consider Spensa from Skyward a warrior? I will for this prompt. I love Spensa and you cannot/will not change my mind.

Fire

Zuko—The best redemption arc / a redemption arc that should have happened

I think that if Murderbot was a villain in the beginning of the Murderbot Diaries series, then it would have made for a great redemption arc. We met it when it already went rogue and started helping people. I still love Murderbot, though.

Iroh—The wisest character

Is Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings too cheesy of an answer?

Azula—The best downfall

Elena Richardson from Little Fires Everywhere.

Air

Appa—Favorite fictional animal

I’m not making this up, but it’s either Appa or Momo from Avatar: The Last Airbender. I did read the first two graphic novels, so I’d say that counts for a book tag. I definitely love the tv series more, though. Can we all agree?

Aang—Purest cinnamon roll

Daisy from Giant Days was a pretty pure cinnamon roll working on breaking out of her shell.

Avatar state—A stubborn character / a character that struggles with letting go

Olive Kitteridge is one of the most stubborn characters I’ve ever read about. I just really didn’t like her.


Have you watched Avatar: The Last Airbender? If you have, what did you think?


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4 Reasons I Personally Love Audiobooks

Hello, friends! I’m enjoying writing blog posts, and I’m trying to think of different things I can discuss. I don’t want this to just be a review blog, as much as I love writing and reading reviews. Today, this post is dedicated to audiobooks and just how much I love them.


They help me focus and understand more.

I know this sounds crazy since I’m 24-years old, but I have always flopped with reading comprehension. I take notes while reading because I fear I won’t remember or understand what’s happening. I’ve always been into creating art (thanks mom). Audiobooks have changed my reading game! It helps me block out sounds around me and focus on the words on the page. If you struggle with something similar, try audiobooks.

I read more.

I’m the slowest reader I know. That’s not a negative problem to have, but it would take me weeks to read one book, and I struggle to stay interested after reading something for so long. I think that audiobooks have helped me speed up my reading, but I just love having someone read to me, regardless. It also occupies the time you can’t use to sit and read a book.

I can imagine more.

When I hear (most) narrators use different voices for different characters, I feel like I can imagine them better. It helps me make a connection with the characters that I may not form when I only physically read the book. I can picture the scenery and experience the type of atmosphere the story creates. Is that just me? I hope not.

Helps me get through my dreaded commute.

No, I don’t have a super long commute to work, but I also don’t live five minutes away. I’m in the vehicle for about an hour a day, give or take. That’s a whole hour I can listen to something other than my own thoughts. I’m not huge into music, so audiobooks and podcasts will typically trump a jam session.


Don’t let anyone tell you that listening to an audiobook is not considered reading. It 100% counts toward your reading goals. They just make reading fun, and may help if you’re struggling with assigned reading. Give it a shot!

Let me know what you think of audiobooks in the comments!


If you enjoyed this, then give it a like and follow my blog and other social media. Be respectful and happy reading!

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