Wednesday, December 30, 2020

My Thoughts: Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

Written in the Stars
by Alexandria Bellefleur

Publication Date: November 10th 2020
Publisher: Avon Books
Pages: 384
ISBN: 9780063000803
Genre: Adult / Romance / LGBT / Contemporary
Source: Own/Library Borrow (audio)

Add to Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

With nods to Bridget Jones and Pride and Prejudice, a charming #ownvoices queer rom-com debut about a free-spirited social media astrologer who agrees to fake a relationship with an uptight actuary until New Year’s Eve—with results not even the stars could predict!

After a disastrous blind date, Darcy Lowell is desperate to stop her well-meaning brother from playing matchmaker ever again. Love—and the inevitable heartbreak—is the last thing she wants. So she fibs and says her latest set up was a success. Darcy doesn’t expect her lie to bite her in the ass.

Elle Jones, one of the astrologers behind the popular Twitter account, Oh My Stars, dreams of finding her soul mate. But she knows it is most assuredly not Darcy... a no-nonsense stick-in-the-mud, who is way too analytical, punctual, and skeptical for someone as free-spirited as Elle. When Darcy’s brother—and Elle's new business partner—expresses how happy he is that they hit it off, Elle is baffled. Was Darcy on the same date? Because... awkward.

When Darcy begs Elle to play along, she agrees to pretend they’re dating to save face. But with a few conditions: Darcy must help Elle navigate her own overbearing family over the holidays and their arrangement expires on New Year’s Eve. The last thing they expect is to develop real feelings during a fake relationship.

But maybe opposites can attract when true love is written in the stars? (Goodreads)

When I heard Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur described as Bridget Jones Diary meets Pride and Prejudice, I knew, just KNEW that I would have to read the book. Pride and Prejudice is one of my most favorite books ever, and I can’t get enough retellings and books inspired by the story. I am thrilled to tell you that this book was fantastic!

I may have mentioned it in a few reviews already this year, (I have), but romance is the genre of the year for me. These books are the ones getting me through this tough year, and I can’t seem to read nearly enough of them. Written in the Stars was such an addicting read, and it definitely helped me escape from reality for just a little while.  

One of the things that I loved most about this book was the characters. Elle and Darcy reminded me so much of Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy from the original story. They were such great characters. There were a lot of interesting secondary characters as well, including Elle’s HUGE family, which reminded me so much of Elizabeth’s family. They were all great!

The storyline for the book is super cute as well. I love the idea of the app that Elle and her roommate were working on, along with Darcy’s brother, Brendon. I am fascinated by astrology, and this book made me want to really get to know more about it. Also, the story takes place from right before Thanksgiving to right after Christmas, so you could totally count this as a Christmas read if you wanted to. (I totally did.) I’m so glad I waited until December to read the book, but you could definitely read it at any time and love it as well.

Also, I originally listened to the audiobook for Written in the Stars, and the narrator, Lauren Sweet, was so great! I very much enjoyed her voices for each of the characters as she read the story to me. (I totally picked up a finished copy after finishing the audiobook as well!)

Overall; Written in the Stars was such a good read. I loved the characters and the storyline, and just everything about the book. I now absolutely can’t wait to read Hang the Moon, which is set to release in May of 2021, and is Brendon, Darcy’s brothers, story! (I love Brendon!) If you love a good romance, check out Written in the Stars, and keep your eye out for Hang the Moon as well!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Iron Raven & A Court of Silver Flames

The Iron Raven
(The Iron Fey: Evenfall #1)
by Julie Kagawa

Expected Publication: February 9th 2021
by Inkyard Press

You may have heard of me...

Robin Goodfellow. Puck. Prankster, joker, raven, fool… King Oberon’s right-hand jester from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The legends are many, but the truth will now be known as never before, as Puck finally tells his own story and faces a threat to the lands of Faery and the human world unlike any before.

With the Iron Queen Meghan Chase and her prince consort, Puck’s longtime rival Ash, and allies old and new by his side, Puck begins a fantastical and dangerous adventure not to be missed or forgotten.

Add to Goodreads

A Court of Silver Flames
(A Court of Thorns and Roses #4)
by Sarah J. Maas

Expected Publication: February 16th 2021
by Bloomsbury Publishing

Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she's struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can't seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it.

The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre's Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta's orbit. But her temper isn't the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other.

Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts.

Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other's arms.

Add to Goodreads

•     •     •

Yay! I'm so excited for The Iron Raven! Puck is one of my most favorite characters, and I'm so thrilled that he's getting his own series. yay!

And I'm super curious for Nesta's story in A Court of Silver Flames as well!
**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2020

December 29: Favorite Books of 2020

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

It's officially time to share our favorite reads of 2020! I didn't read as much as I had hoped this year, but I really enjoyed most of the books that I read. I couldn't pick just 10, so today I'm sharing my favorite 12... (And there are still more that I could have put on this list.)

Here are a few of my favorites, listed in the order I read them this year!

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert
A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson
The Tower of Nero by Rick Riordan

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E.Schwab

Kingdom of the Wicked by Kerri Maniscalco
Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur

•     •     •

Can I also give honorable shout-outs to my favorite book & book series re-reads this year??

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

The Remnant Chronicles & Dance of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
Percy Jackson and the Olympians & The Trials of Apollo by Rick Riordan
The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

•     •     •

So as I mentioned above, I didn't get to read as many books as I had hoped this year, but I LOVED so many of the books I did read. It was a tough year, and they really helped me through some difficult times.

I can't wait to discover my favorite reads of 2021 now!

What books did you love in 2020??

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday: Winterkeep & Lore

(Graceling Realm #4)
by Kristen Cashore

Expected publication: January 19th 2021
by Dial Books For Young Readers

The highly anticipated next book in the New York Times bestselling, award-winning Graceling Realm series, which has sold 1.3 million copies.

Four years after Bitterblue left off, a new land has been discovered to the east: Torla; and the closest nation to Monsea is Winterkeep. Winterkeep is a land of miracles, a democratic republic run by people who like each other, where people speak to telepathic sea creatures, adopt telepathic foxes as pets, and fly across the sky in ships attached to balloons.

But when Bitterblue’s envoys to Winterkeep drown under suspicious circumstances, she and Giddon and her half sister, Hava, set off to discover the truth–putting both Bitterblue’s life and Giddon’s heart to the test when Bitterbue is kidnapped. Giddon believes she has drowned, leaving him and Hava to solve the mystery of what’s wrong in Winterkeep.

Lovisa Cavenda is the teenage daughter of a powerful Scholar and Industrialist (the opposing governing parties) with a fire inside her that is always hungry, always just nearly about to make something happen. She is the key to everything, but only if she can figure out what’s going on before anyone else, and only if she’s willing to transcend the person she’s been all her life.

Add to Goodreads

by Alexandra Bracken

Expected publication: January 5th 2021
by Disney-Hyperion

From the #1 New York Times best-selling author of The Darkest Minds comes a sweepingly ambitious, high-octane tale of power, destiny, love and redemption.

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family's sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt's promises of eternal glory. For years she's pushed away any thought of revenge against the man--now a god--responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore's decision to bind her fate to Athena's and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost--and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Add to Goodreads

•     •     •

Whoot! Even more awesome books coming out in early 2021!
I am SO behind on the Graceling series, but I loved the first book,
and I can't wait to catch up on the rest of the series.

And I am a HUGE fan of Alexandra Bracken,
and I can't wait to read this new book by her!

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Last Reads of 2020

Hello, Bookworms!

How are we already halfway through December? I can't believe there are only 15 days left in 2020. I still have so much reading to do! And while I'm definitely not going to reach my goal of 150 books this year, and I am still hoping to hit the 100 mark....

*fingers crossed*

So with only 2 weeks left in the year, here are the last few books I am hoping to read before 2020 ends!

Vow of Thieves by Mary E. Pearson
The Twelves Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss
Mind the Gap, Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
Snapped by Alexa Martin
How to Fail at Flirting by Denise Williams
The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon
Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

** not pictured **

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods & Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan
Written in the Stars by Alexandria
The Duke and I by Julia Quinn

•   •   •

I know what you're thinking, that's a pretty ambitious list to read in 2 weeks, but I'm actually right in the middle of half of these, so they just need to be finished. :)  Now that school is out for the holidays, and it's the hubby's last week of work for the year, I am hoping to have a bit more reading time. We shall see!

Do you have any last reads that you're hoping to finish before 2020 ends??

Waiting on Wednesday: You Have a Match & The Wife Upstairs

You Have a Match
by Emma Lord

Release Date: January 12th 2021
by Wednesday Books

From the beloved author of Tweet Cute comes Emma Lord's You Have a Match, a YA novel of family, friendship, romance and sisterhood…

When Abby signs up for a DNA service, it’s mainly to give her friend and secret love interest, Leo, a nudge. After all, she knows who she is already: Avid photographer. Injury-prone tree climber. Best friend to Leo and Connie…although ever since the B.E.I. (Big Embarrassing Incident) with Leo, things have been awkward on that front.

But she didn’t know she’s a younger sister.

When the DNA service reveals Abby has a secret sister, shimmery-haired Instagram star Savannah Tully, it’s hard to believe they’re from the same planet, never mind the same parents—especially considering Savannah, queen of green smoothies, is only a year and a half older than Abby herself.

The logical course of action? Meet up at summer camp (obviously) and figure out why Abby’s parents gave Savvy up for adoption. But there are complications: Savvy is a rigid rule-follower and total narc. Leo is the camp’s co-chef, putting Abby's growing feelings for him on blast. And her parents have a secret that threatens to unravel everything.

But part of life is showing up, leaning in, and learning to fit all your awkward pieces together. Because sometimes, the hardest things can also be the best ones.

Add to Goodreads

The Wife Upstairs
by Rachel Hawkins

Release Date: January 5th 2021
by St. Martin's Press

A delicious twist on a Gothic classic, Rachel Hawkins's The Wife Upstairs pairs Southern charm with atmospheric domestic suspense, perfect for fans of B.A. Paris and Megan Miranda.

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?

Add to Goodreads

•     •     •

Both of my WOW picks for this week sound fantastic!
I am really excited to read both of them.

**"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine,
that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.**

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR

December 15: Books On My Winter 2020-2021 TBR

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare
(This is probably my most anticipated read for 2021!)

The Iron Raven by Julie Kagawa
(I am so thrilled that Puck is getting a series!))

A Vow So Bold and Deadly by Brigid Kemmerer
(Super curious to see how this series is going to wrap up!)

We Free the Stars by Hafsah Faizal
(I had a rough start with the first book in this series, but ended up LOVING it.
I am sooooo excited for book 2!)

Concrete Rose by Angie Thomas
(Yet another most anticipated read! I've got my eye on the audiobook for this one because the narrator is fantastic!)

You Have a Match by Emma Lord
(Tweet Cute was so ... CUTE! I hope this new book is as well!)

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert
(This is one of my most favorite series of 2020, and while I am SO excited to read Eve's story,
I also don't want the series to end!)

Make Up Break Up by Lily Menon
(I really enjoy this authors YA books, and I'm excited to read this adult novel now!)

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
(Nesta is getting a story! I can't wait to read it.)

Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore
(I am sooooo behind on the Graceling series,
but with this new book releasing it feels like the perfect time to catch up! I can't wait!)

•     •     •

What books are on your Winter TBR??

Monday, December 14, 2020

Quick Thoughts: In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

In a Holidaze
by Christina Lauren

Publication Date: October 6th 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 336
ISBN: 9781982123949
Genre: Adult Fiction, Romance, Holiday
Source: Own

Add to Goodreads

Available for Purchase:
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository

7 hours, 40 minutes

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays. (Goodreads)

I am always excited to read something new by Christina Lauren, and I was even MORE excited to finally have a holiday book by them! (I really need more authors to put out holiday books because they are just so much fun.)

In a Holidaze was the first book I read to kick off my Holiday Reading List, and the story had everything that I want in a holiday novel. The story was super cute, (and also reminded me of Groundhog Day, a movie that I LOVE), and made me long for Christmas pasts filled with big family get-togethers and so much fun. I loved the setting as well, I really need more snowy filled settings in my life right now.

The book is also filled with lots of loveable characters as well. They may not have been related by blood, but they are the best family none-the-less, and I loved them all. (Though I do believe Benny was my most favorite character in the whole book.) Also, the romance in the book between the main character and her long-time crush was super sweet!

Overall; I definitely loved In A Holidaze! It’s a great holiday read, so if you’re looking for a cute one, do check it out!