Top Ten Tuesday: Predicted 5-Star Reads From My TBR

TTT pretty design(26)

This week’s TTT topic is “Books On My TBR I Predict Will Be 5-Star Reads”. I honestly love this idea! I’m super picky and rarely give out 5-star ratings, but I’m always on the look out for new favorites (hence why I’m always asking “Are you my book?” ha). So basically these are all the books I’m super hype for and have super high expectations for.

Wow, after composing this list, I didn’t realize I was excited for so many New Adult romances and adult fantasies books?!? Fingers crossed I didn’t jinx myself with these predictions!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


1. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

44778083

I’ve adored all of SJM’s books (with the exception of that certain ACOTAR novella, but we’re not gonna talk about that) and I have full faith that her adult debut will be a fantastical, fun, and smutty read! I need to go make sure I remember to pre-order this book…

2. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

40024139

Ever since I first heard of this book, I’ve been dying to get my hands on it! Witches, a hate-to-love romance, and YA that’s really NA? I’m gonna grab my wallet and run out to the bookstore now…

3. Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

43263680

Leigh Bardugo is another favorite author that I have full faith in. I’ve heard some mixed things on this novel, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

4. The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden

25489134. sx318

Yes, this book is still on my TBR. I seriously don’t understand why I keep waiting: I’ve heard nothing but incredible things about this book!

5. The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson

23444482

After reading Melanie @ Meltotheany‘s rave review about this book, I knew I had to read this amazing book…and I still need to read it (obviously). But I know it’ll be an astounding read!

6. Beach Read by Emily Henry

43597287. sy475

This is one of my most anticipated releases for 2020 (why do I have to wait till May???) and just know it’ll be an easy 5-stars. A hate-to-love romance featuring writers? And a book writing competition? I could def commit a crime to get a hold of an ARC of this book.

7. Permanent Record by Mary H.K. Choi

43562239. sy475

Pop singers! College! New Adult! Romance! I’ve heard such good things about this book and I can’t wait to pick it up.

8. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

34347493

Another bandwagon I still need to hop on! But with the fan base behind this book, I have no doubt it’ll be an easy 5 stars.

9. Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

18490585

And another series and author I still need to read! My writing buddy has really been trying to get me to read this book/series, and I know it’ll be incredible…but there are just so many books, ya know? Some day soon, I promise.

10. Renegades by Marissa Meyer

28421168

I am TRASH for superhero movies and stories, so there is no doubt it my mind that I’ll love this book. Honestly, I don’t know how so long has passed and I still haven’t read it? I feel like I turned around and suddenly the whole trilogy was out!


Have you read any of these books? Do you think these books will live up to my predictions? Which one should I pick up first?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!

December Wrap-Up: Too Much Homework-Related Writing, Fun Family Visits, and (once again) Lots of Graphic Novels!

monthly wrap up

Oh oh oh, here we are, starting 2020 off right with another late monthly wrap-up! There’s a grace period for 2020 goals, right? Because I’m already failing big time.

But yeah, sorry for the absence! I returned to college at the beginning of the month (for my last semester holy crap) and I’ve spent the last 2 weeks trying to get myself to remember how to do homework and balance commitments instead of reverting to my natural state as a couch potato.

But no more about my laziness–I’ll no doubt talk about that in my (late) January wrap-up. Despite having finals week in the middle of the month, I was on winter break for the last two weeks of December and I had an really good reading month! I read a total of 12 books, and similar to my November Wrap-up, it was due to cramming in a bunch of graphic novels for my Kid Lit final project.


BOOKS READ:

IMG_8403

1. Super Fun Sexy Times by Meredith McClaren

Rating: 4 stars

Tehehe. Honestly, not a book I ever thought I picked up, but I was searching for smutty content for a friend for Christmas. Honestly, this book was a great time with a glass of wine. I only wish it had been longer so I could know more about the characters!

2. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

Rating: 4.5 stars

THIS WAS SO INCREDIBLE! It challenges the idea of heroes, villains, and monsters in a new, fresh way. Everyone was morally gray and I adored it. And that ending totally got me in the feels. Why isn’t there moreeee?

3. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Rating: 4.5 stars

This is the final book that I read for my memoir class and wow, just wow. Kalanithi’s writing can only be described as purely unique and brilliant. This one seems like it needs to be read multiple times over to be truly appreciated.

4. Normal People by Sally Rooney

Rating: 3.5 stars

Oooh, this is a hard one to rate. Rooney’s voice is original and blunt, not afraid to delve into the deep and raw. But the characters were also extremely FRUSTRATING. And then there was that ending that I both loved and hated…

IMG_8406

5. Drama by Raina Telgemeier

Rating: 4 stars

The graphic novel follows Callie as she juggles crushes, friendships, and trying to make sure her school’s musical is a success.
It was so CUTE! How can I get more? Will definitely read more from this creator.

6. Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

Rating: 4 stars

A graphic memoir that delves into the trials of childhood friendship! And it was by one of my favorite authors–Shannon Hale! I can’t wait to pick up the sequel. 😀

7. Paper Girls, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matthew Wilson

Rating: 2.75 stars

This was…truly bizarre. Don’t think I understood half of went on. There wasn’t really much of a plot to it–just the repeated setups of freaky situations. A part of me is curious to see how it will continue, but I kinda doubt I’ll actually pick up the next volume…

8. Anya’s Ghost by Vera Brosgol

Rating: 3 stars

Another weird graphic novel. Though it was definitely easier to follow, it also wasn’t very satisfying. The ending seemed rushed and I felt that there needed to be greater exploration in the topics it touched upon (e.g. body image, smoking, loneliness).

a black cat standing by a pile of four books in front of a christmas tree
My cat Lucky came to say hello as I was attempting to take pictures of my last 4 reads of 2019! (Lol, I had to brighten up this photo a lot so he could be seen)

9. The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Rating: 3.5 stars

I really only read the last 40 pages of this book in December, but I’m still gonna count it. (Yeah, I don’t know why I didn’t just finish it back in September).
I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t a new favorite like I was hoping it would be. You can read my full review here!

10. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Rating: 4.5 stars

OMG, THE TRILOGY HAS COME TO AN END! It was definitely a bit cheesy and rushed, but I also love these characters so much and enjoyed how Holly Black played with fairytale tropes in the trilogy. I literally devoured this book in a single night. Can’t wait to see what she writes next!

11. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Rating: 4 stars

If you don’t know who David Sedaris, he’s one of the most famous humor writers out there. This was my first time reading his work and I really enjoyed it! Sedaris is both hilarious and thought-provoking in this memoir.

12. The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley

Rating: 3.75 stars

This was…definitely unique and something else. It’s a contemporary retelling of Beowulf focused on Grendel’s mother with dash of fantasy and it was just…bizarre. There were some really cool and unique perspectives, but I feel like I need to reread it multiple times over to understand what happened.


JANUARY TBR:

  • The Will and the Wilds— I’ve actually already read this one! It was my first read (and so far, only read 😅) of 2020!
  • A Queen in Hiding— Wanted to read this before its release date on the 21st, but *sigh* that’s not gonna happen now.
  • Children of Blood and Bone— A bookclub at my school is reading this and I’m unrealistically hoping I’ll be able to read it before the meeting. 😬
  • The Bear and the Nightingale— Some day, some winter day, I will read this book!
  • What I Want You to See— I’m on the blog tour for this one in early February, so I need to get to reading!

Random Life Updates:

  • I finished my first semester of my senior year of college!
    • I had so much reading and writing to complete during the last week of classes and during finals. Afterwards I was like “What’s a sentence? What are words?” I was definitely burnt out.
    • My friends and I did manage to sneak out during finals for beer, bowling and exchanging Christmas gifts, and it was honestly so much fun.
  • I was sent my first physical book from a publisher/publicity agency! It was The Will and the Wilds and it was a really fun read. Stay tuned for a review coming soon!
    • I actually got sent an extra ARC copy of this book, so if anyone wants it, please let me know! I will happily send it to ya!
  • I spent 3 weeks at home for winter break! It was great to do nothing and see my dog and cats.
a girl hugging a chocolate labrador in front of a christmas tree
My dog did not appreciate taking pics with me
  • I was fortunate enough to see lots of family for the holidays–my mom’s side, my maternal grandpa, and my dad’s side. Even my cousins from Tennessee!
  • Saw a handful of old high school friends for coffee dates and at a New Years Eve party. It’s crazy now because with graduation approaching, I don’t know when I’ll see most of them again.
  • My family went out and saw the new Star Wars movie! An end of an era (saga?)! Personally, I thought it was a decent movie–I didn’t love it, but I also didn’t hate it.

    How was your December? Are you glad it’s 2020 now? What have you been up to lately? Have you read any of the books I mentioned above? Any recommendations for graphic novels I should pick up next?

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020

TTT pretty design(25)

This week’s TTT topic is “Most Anticipated Book Releases for the First Half of 2020”. Whoops, I’m writing this post Tuesday morning instead of Monday night like I usually do.

Creating this list was a little harder than I thought it would be. I feel like I haven’t been paying much attention to upcoming releases (probably because I’ve been trying to focus on my already owned books per my 2020 Goals). But what isn’t surprising is that this list is literally 90% fantasy.

Also, sorry I haven’t responded to comments in the last week! I just returned to college for my last semester and things have been crazy! I promise I’ll get to replying in the next couple of days.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


1. The Night Country by Melissa Albert

43565384

Release Date: January 7th AKA Today!

I adored the dark fantastical world of the Hinterland in The Hazel Wood and I can’t wait to get more of it in the sequel! Not to mention, I’m so excited because Melissa Albert is touring near my college this week and I’m really hoping to go see her on tour!

2. The Unspoken Name by A.K. Larkwood

45046552

Release Date: February 11th

I particularly excited for this book because I already have an eARC! But look at the subtitle/preview line thing (I’m blanking on the exact term)! It says “Priestess. Assassin. Traitor.” It involves a woman choosing a new fate for herself and deciding not to become a sacrifice and I’m so here for it.

3. The Seventh Sun by Lani Forbes

48088682

Release Date: February 18th

A romantic fantasy “based on the legends and history of the Aztec and Maya people“?? I’m so intrigued by this book!

4. House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas

44778083

Release Date: March 3rd

I’ve said it a thousand times and I’ll say it a thousand more: I am SJM trash and I will read everything she writes. ALSO this cover is hella beautiful and I will 100% be pre-ordering it!

5. The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski

34460349

Release Date: March 3rd

After the amazing thing that is The Winner’s Trilogy, all I needed to add this book to my list was “Marie Rutkoski”. BUT THEN I heard it was a sapphic romantic fantasy and set in the same world and my elation shot through the roof.

6. The Winter Duke by Claire Eliza Bartlett

46734428

Release Date: March 3rd

In the space of a single night, Ekata inherits the title of duke, her brother’s warrior bride, and ever-encroaching challengers from without—and within—her own ministry.

Wow, so many amazing books are releasing on March 3rd! I really hope I don’t have a busy week then. But seriously, do you really need to know anything more than the quote above to add it to your list?

7. Wicked As You Wish by Rin Chupeco

45184250

Release Date: March 3rd

Omg, a 4th book on March 3rd? Apparently the publishing world really wants me to get senioritis during the last half of my last semester.
But this contemporary fantasy sounds so quirky, amazing, and fun! I’ve never read any books by Rin Chupeco but I know I really need to change that!

8. Queen of Coin and Whispers by Helen Corcoran

42442934. sy475

Release Date: April 6th

ANOTHER political intrigue fantasy with a f/f romance??? I think I’ve accidentally created a little theme here.

9. The Empire of Dreams by Rae Carson

41951615

Release Date: April 7th

I still cannot believe that Rae Carson is blessing us with a new companion novel to the Fire and Thorns Trilogy! I really need to go read that trilogy now…

10. Beach Read by Emily Henry

43597287. sy475

Release Date: May 19th

A romcom between two writers?? Givemegivemegiveme *grabby hands*


What are some of your anticipated releases for the first half of 2020? Do we have any that overlap? Am I missing any that you think deserve to be on my list?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books I Read in 2019

TTT pretty design(24)

This week’s TTT topic is “Favorite Books I Read In 2019”. As of 9pm on December 30th when I’m drafting this post, I’ve read 73 books (tho I still have my current read to finish and I might even try to squeeze in a quick graphic novel before the new year).

This was sooooo hard. My top 10 outta 73 books?? It took me so long to come up with which book was my top read of the year. It was also so difficult to equally consider books I read at the beginning of the year with books I’ve read more recently. I feel like I could look at this list 2 hours later and the order would completely change. Oh well. 😆

Before I get to my list, I wanted to quick note that I arranged them in ascending order (or would it be descending order? eh, I don’t care). So I’ve started with my 10th favorite and ended with my overall top read of 2019!

Let’s get to it!
(omg, this is my last post of 2019 and my last post of the decade. Crazy!)

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.


10. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

2294528

After adoring the movie in high school, I finally read the book! Even though the ending was rushed and bizarre, this book was so fun, hilarious, and whimsical! I loved how Sophie was powerful in her own right and how Jones’ played with fairytale tropes across the book. Definitely plan to continue on to the companion books.

9. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

22299763. sy475

Yes, it took me until 2019 to finish the Six of Crows Duology.  But ahhhhhh, how is it that Leigh Bardugo is such a masterful writer?? This book was incredible and now I still can’t believe that I haven’t read King of Scars.

8. Mothers of Sparta by Dawn Davies

34275229

Including a memoir on this list?? Who am I? But seriously, between my internship and the Memoir class, 2019 has really taught me to appreciate memoirs.
My favorite part about this memoir was Davies’ writing: she’s witty and snarky yet hard-hitting when she needs to be. Her voice was so distinct and I can’t wait to see what else she writes.

7. Final Draft by Riley Redgate

35960813

I did not expect to love this book as much as I did! I seriously wish I had had this book when I was a teen and in high school. Even though it’s a short book, it sheds light on so many important subjects. You can actually read my full gushing review here.

6. In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez

45013993. sy475

Omg, this book was such a beautiful, fictional character study of the Mirabal sisters. The novel follows them from their childhood until the murder of three of the sisters (Las Mariposas). All of the girls felt so real, and Alvarez’s writing was beautiful. Even though you go in knowing the ending, this book still brought tears to my eyes.

5. The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

42731691

I discovered Riley Sager’s books this year and now I will read everything he writes–and he’s inspired to seek out other thrillers! But seriously, from the first page to the last, I was completed addicted to this book; I could not put it down! I still think about the ending even months later.

4. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

26032912. sy475

I binge-read this entire book all in one night and HOLY CRAP I CANNOT BELIEVE THE TRILOGY IS OVER!! Even though the ending got a little soft and cheesy, I adored this final volume in this magical world with Jude and Cardan. Please Holly Black, never stop writing faerie books.

3. Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

41150487. sy475

I never said I wasn’t a #basic book blogger. Usually I don’t completely fall head over heels in love with romance books, but as y’all already know: THIS WAS SO GOOD! Upon returning to school, I threw the book at my housemates and they both also adored it. I will now consume everything Casey McQuiston writes and will forever pray for a sequel or a companion book.

2. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

33590260

I am SJM trash till the very end, so I couldn’t not put one of her book’s in my top three reads. But holy crap, this book tried to kill me with all the feels. The Throne of Glass series is one of my all-time-favorite series and I can’t believe it’s over! Needless to say, I have extremely high hopes for SJM’s next series: Crescent City.

1. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

34076952

MY TOP READ OF THE YEAR. Can you believe I read this back in February? If you saw my top reads from the first half of 2019, you’ll notice that this book was also my top read there.

But yeah, I’m also complete trash for anything that’s whimsical and fairytale-esque, and this collection completely ASTOUNDED ME. (And its Leigh Bardugo, so it really shouldn’t have been a surprise). And the artwork was equally incredible! Ahhhhh, why couldn’t this collection have been longer??


Honorable Mentions / Runner-Ups:

Because this was such a hard list to compose, I wanted to highlight some other great reads from this year!


What are some of your favorite reads from 2019? Do we have any that overlap?

If you participated in TTT this week, feel free to link up your post in the comments below–I would love to check them out!