Book Review: Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri ★★★

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When you dance with the Rite of Dreaming, you dance with the gods.

3.5 stars. I enjoyed this book and the first half was great. The second half left a bit to be desired, buuut I liked it overall and will read the companion novel.

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Book Review: The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker ★★★★★

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“”Helped me?” he repeats.
“Yes. Maybe now you have a shot at getting laid. As long as you don’t speak.”
The wicked smile he flashes makes my throat go dry. “Do you think I have problems in that department, Calla?”

Ok, now THIS is how you write a romance novel. I can’t believe I loved this so much! I adored everything about this story. I’d say my rating is more like a 4.75, but for the sake of not getting mega technical, I am rounding it up to 5 stars 😊.

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Book Review: The Pisces by Melissa Broder ★★★

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“Yes, it certainly seemed like the human instinct, to get high on someone else, an external entity who could make life more exciting and relieve you of your own self, your own life, even just for a moment. Maybe once that person became too real, too familiar, they could no longer get you high – no longer be a drug – and that was why you grew tired of them.”

This book was so bizarre. For some reason, I have been drawn to the cover and the concept of it since it came out and when I heard that Whitney from WittyNovels on Youtube liked it, I decided to give it a try.

I actually really enjoyed a lot of what I read here (in a disturbing, introspective kind of way). The writing is fantastic, the story and the characters very unapologetic. And it is truly out there. I wanted to give it 4 stars for most of the book, but somewhere near the ending, I settled on 3.5 stars, overall.

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Book Review: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren ★★★

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“I like the idea of saving to buy a place of my own or having some extra in the bank for an adventure once I figure out what kind of adventure I want to have. I see all these choices unrolling in front of me – career, travel, friends, geography – and despite things being insane and hard and messy, I don’t think I’ve ever liked myself more than I do now. It’s the strangest feeling to be proud simply because I’m taking care of me and mine. Is this what it’s like to grow up?”

This book was a ton of fun. I am generally new to the whole romance genre, because they so often seem cringey and shallow to me, but damn it I was in the mood for a rom-com! (Yay for expanding our reading tastes and getting out of our comfort zones!!) I had been interested in trying out a Christina Lauren book for a while and I am really glad I did! I gave this one 3.5 stars.

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Book Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami ★★★★

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“I would stare at the grains of light suspended in that silent space, struggling to see into my own heart. What did I want? And what did others want from me? But I could never find the answers. Sometimes I would reach out and try to grasp the grains of light, but my fingers touched nothing.”

This book was so simple, yet so powerful at the same time. It was transparent and open, but also layered. This was my first Murakami and I was deeply moved by his way with words, his symbolism, and his knack for making a little love story mean so much more than that. It was also incredibly sad, but so meaningful and poignant. I will 100% be seeking out more of his work. Spoilers below!

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Book Review: Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff ★★★

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“My father used to say the art of telling a good story lies in knowing when to stop. Keep talking long enough, you’ll find there’s no such thing as a happy ending.”

Welp. I tried the second book in hopes that it would be amazing and that this series would become a new favorite of mine. Instead, it was a run of the mill middle book, entertaining enough, but kind of boring. A bit of filler. I found this one even less compelling than the first novel, unfortunately 😭. 3 stars.

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Book Review: The Midnight Lie by Marie Rutkoski ★★★

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I started to turn from the poems, then paused before a page almost entirely white, with only a few bare black words.

Gold-sandaled dawn

Fell like a thief

Upon me

I wondered what kind of night was so precious that when morning came it felt as if you had been robbed, as if what you wanted most had been cut from you like a bloody tithe.

I had never had a night worth stealing.”

My first Goodreads giveaway win!! Heck yeah! I was so super excited for this book when I first heard about it, because the author’s Winner’s Trilogy is one of my all-time favorite YA fantasy series. When I won an ARC of The Midnight Lie, I was ecstatic! I knew I had to read it right away. This one comes out in March.

While I did really enjoy this story, it’s LGBTQ+ romance, and the author’s writing, there were a few things that I felt were just a bit lacking. Overall, a very nice start to a new duology and I gave it 3 stars.

*Some spoilers at the end of the review*

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Book Review: Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin ★★★★

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“I-I’ve never seen anyone savor anything the way you do everything. You make me feel alive. Just being in your presence – it’s addictive. You’re addictive . . . The way you see the world . . . I want to see it that way too.”

I had an inkling I would like this book, but I wasn’t 100% sure, based on all of the mixed reviews I kept seeing. Granted, most of the negative reviews were talking about problematic elements and I, being someone that doesn’t give a hoot if a book is “problematic,” was still very much interested in reading it. And guess what guys?? I freaking loveddddddddd ittttttt. This was the first book in SO LONG that kept me up until almost 3 AM on a work night, just so I could keep reading. It was fabulous and I have already purchased myself a permanent copy 😏. So begone haters!

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Book Review: Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan ★★

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“That’s what I want for my kids. I want them to love their family, but to feel a deeper sense of pride in who they are as individuals, not in how much money they have, what their last name is, or how many generations they go back to whatever dynasty. I’m sorry, but I’ve had enough. I’ve had enough of being around all these crazy rich Asians, all these people whose lives revolve around making money, spending money, flaunting money, comparing money, hiding money, controlling others with money, and ruining their lives over money.”

I really went into this with an open mind. I was excited to read it and I wanted something different from what I normally read, a light, fun, contemporary about a culture I am not overly familiar with. I gave it my best effort, but I just didn’t care for it 🤷‍♀️. Glad I only spent a dollar on it!

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