Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2019

Let me say that I’ve seen the love in the book community. And I cannot be more prouder than I am of it and my dear friends (you know who you are). When I’ve been struggling with my Mom’s diagnosis, I had all the support I could ever wish for. And since Mom is done with her chemo (yesss!!!), I want to thank you all. I love you.

As some of you may have seen, I haven’t had much time with my blog. On numerous weeks, I have lacked any thrill in writing anything or was too tired. But I am slowly getting back into my routine, so please be a bit more patient with me, okay?

While July was a rollercoaster for me, I wanted to share some of the highlights of the month:

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Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2019

Where has the time gone? The months are flying by too fast, I feel. Even though my long weekend plans shriveled up, I knew I wanted to set aside some free time for my posts and my books.

I’m excited and proud to say that Mom has just two more rounds of chemo left! She started back in March, and we never thought we’d reach this far. She’s gone through so much. Even though our lives are still hell, I cannot be prouder of what she’s done.

So let’s start off a new month with a wrap-up post! Have fun.

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Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2019

 

Ah, another month has passed. I’m glad but somewhat sad to see it go. May is always a fantastic month for readers. So I’m happy to see my TBR list grow.

I’ve kept quiet on my personal life, but I have to say that even though I’m struggling, I know the book community is keeping me sane. So I want to thank everyone for all the support.

So while May is gone, I am eager to see what June will bring.

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Review | The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Published by: HarperCollins

Publication Date: September 4, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 288

Rating: 3/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


In April 1942, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew, is forcibly transported to the concentration camps at Auschwitz-Birkenau. When his captors discover that he speaks several languages, he is put to work as a Tätowierer (the German word for tattooist), tasked with permanently marking his fellow prisoners.

Imprisoned for over two and a half years, Lale witnesses horrific atrocities and barbarism—but also incredible acts of bravery and compassion. Risking his own life, he uses his privileged position to exchange jewels and money from murdered Jews for food to keep his fellow prisoners alive.

One day in July 1942, Lale, prisoner 32407, comforts a trembling young woman waiting in line to have the number 34902 tattooed onto her arm. Her name is Gita, and in that first encounter, Lale vows to somehow survive the camp and marry her.

A vivid, harrowing, and ultimately hopeful re-creation of Lale Sokolov’s experiences as the man who tattooed the arms of thousands of prisoners with what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is also a testament to the endurance of love and humanity under the darkest possible conditions.


“To save one is to save the world.”

When the Tattooist of Auschwitz first hit the blogosphere, I knew I had no chance of passing up this historical fiction. I set the bar high for it. And while I loved the imagery of hope, resilience, and survival, my expectations fizzled out by the end. I wish I loved it. But I can’t.

It is a horrifying tale of hope. With that said, I’m not entirely convinced that many facts in this novel are accurate. In fact, the Auschwitz Memorial has put doubt of the events that took place. I am not criticizing a novel about Auschwitz or the Holocaust. I am critiquing the storytelling, the authenticity of what has been told, and claims the author put into her work.

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Monthly Wrap-Up | April 2019

Morning, everyone!

Who else struggled with April? I honestly wanted to read more books and to buy them too. But I didn’t care if I did either. And since I had to dodge Avengers spoilers, I took some time away from my blog and my social media accounts. You don’t know how good it felt for not dealing with a self-imposed deadline.

Let me tell you that I cried, and I still feel hollowed out after watching that movie. But I’ve never been so proud to be a part of this franchise and family. #ILoveYou3000

Not let’s get back to blogging. This post is short (somewhat) and sweet (I hope). I hope you love it!

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Review | Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Watcher in the Woods by Kelley Armstrong

Published by: Doubleday Canada

Publication Date: February 12, 2019

Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Suspense

Page Count: 416

Rating: 3.75/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


The secret town of Rockton has seen some rocky times lately; understandable considering its mix of criminals and victims fleeing society for refuge within its Yukon borders. Casey Duncan, the town’s only detective on a police force of three, has already faced murder, arson and falling in love in less than the year that she’s lived there. Yet even she didn’t think it would be possible for an outsider to find and cause trouble in the town she’s come to call home.

When a US Marshal shows up in town demanding the release of one of the residents, Casey and her boyfriend, Sheriff Dalton, are skeptical. But then, only hours later, the marshal is shot dead and the only visible suspects are the townspeople and her estranged sister, in town for just the weekend. It’s up to Casey to figure out who murdered the marshal, and why they would kill to keep him quiet.


“The Yukon isn’t an easy place to live—with long, dark winters that never seem to end—but it is a place that people choose. A place that seduces. I don’t need my sister to be seduced, but I want her to see the magic.”

As a series expands, sometimes you aren’t sure if you’ll stick with it, or you’ll fall out of love with it. The Rockton series is one that will always deserve its spot on my bookshelf. I’ve stayed with it from almost the beginning. Each new sequel reminds me of the spark I found when I first discovered Rockton. And Kelley’s writing only improves with every novel. So for the author’s dedicated following, Watcher in the Woods will be a treat for them.

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Review | Honor among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

Published by: Katherine Tegan Books

Publication Date: February 13, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 467

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead, Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.


“It’s what I hated about the whole world, back on Earth. All the rules you had to follow without knowing why, and if you asked, you got branded difficult and damaged. Well, I am difficult. I am damaged.”

I have gained a new respect for YA science fiction. And these two authors are why. Honor Among Thieves is the novel I needed at this moment in my life. And I honestly wish I read it sooner. At first glance, I assumed this space novel would be more plot driven. Oh, I was entirely wrong. And I’m glad I was.

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Review | Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

Published by: Flatiron Books

Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Genre: Science Fiction

Page Count: 320

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Indigo | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


In a world dominated by the brutal Vathek empire, eighteen-year-old Amani is a dreamer. She dreams of what life was like before the occupation; she dreams of writing poetry like the old-world poems she adores; she dreams of receiving a sign from Dihya that one day, she, too, will have adventure, and travel beyond her isolated home.

But when adventure comes for Amani, it is not what she expects: she is kidnapped by the regime and taken in secret to the royal palace, where she discovers that she is nearly identical to the cruel half-Vathek Princess Maram. The princess is so hated by her conquered people that she requires a body double, someone to appear in public as Maram, ready to die in her place.

As Amani is forced into her new role, she can’t help but enjoy the palace’s beauty-and her time with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. But the glitter of the royal court belies a world of violence and fear. If Amani ever wishes to see her family again, she must play the princess to perfection…because one wrong move could lead to her death.


“You do not kneel or bend, I told myself. To anyone. You continue.”

I never anticipated I needed a book in my life until I started reading Mirage. This slow-burning Moroccan-inspired fantasy is the breath I’ve been waiting for. And I can’t imagine why I waited so long to experience this marvel. How can I possibly explain my love for Somaiya’s debut? I don’t know if I can convey my love for it. I want to pass it to children who haven’t found a book they can relate to, can’t see themselves in, but want to be proud of reading.

You know I’m traversing the science fiction genre. For years, I haven’t given it credit. But Somaiya is why I’m thrilled to explore the genre further. She takes YA court intrigue, feminism, and a tantalizing love story and transforms these elements into a uniquely written space opera.

She also reveals these multi-dimensional characters who fight for life, survival, and acceptance and somehow makes you sympathize over others you never thought you’d understand. Amani, an eighteen-year-old Andalaan aspiring poet, soon discovers she’s a mere image of Maram, the Vathek princess, whose father colonized Amani’s peaceful moon. Whisked away from her family, she must now learn how to survive in a world where one mistake will get her killed.

As the story progresses, you get a sense of who Amani truly is. She’s more than just a dreamer. Even throughout her naivety, she thrives and transforms into her own character. You don’t know how much I loved reading her development. She soon uses her influence and tries to bond with Maram, who has another side that readers may not expect. And throughout this growth, she somehow finds love with the princess’ fiancé, Idris. At times, I was saddened by their unexpected love story, their past, and their heartache.

I’ll be honest with you. I’ve never been this surprised by a debut novel. Somaiya transports you to a bleak, colonized backdrop rich with Moroccan culture. She taught me about a civilization I admired from afar, but I’m proud to know a piece of it now. This character-driven treasure is abundant in culture, beautiful storytelling, and opulent worldbuilding. I hoped for a bit more action, but that issue doesn’t take away from the storyline.

I didn’t want to stop reading this novel. It dominated my every thought when I cracked open the book. If this review hasn’t convinced you to take a risk on Mirage, I don’t know what else will. But don’t wait any longer than I did. It deserves to be heard. It deserves its own voice. And you deserve this treat.

“You are not defined by the men in your life, no matter how powerful. You lived before them and you shall live after them.”

Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2019

Hey book fam,

Phew! Another month has passed, and I can let out a well-deserved sigh of relief. February was rather slow and hard for me personally. We finally got the results of my Mom’s cancer. And she’s in the early stages, which I can’t believe.

I wanted to take some time away from my blog. But you all were the reason why I stayed. You kept me smiling and laughing. You kept the shadows away. And I cannot thank you enough for all of your support.

Even though blogging is stressful, it has given me purpose and drive to strive forward, even when I feel I can’t get off the ground. So although February was arduous, I found an escape through this community and some great books. Now, let’s get to the wrap-up, yes?

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Review | The Dragon’s Wing by Tate James

The Dragon’s Wing by Tate James

Published by: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: November 1, 2017

Genre: Reverse Harem, Fantasy, Paranormal Romance

Page Count: 382

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Purchase

Goodreads | Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Book Depository


I should have known my quest for vengeance would eventually be my downfall. I should have been more careful, more paranoid–but I’m glad I wasn’t. Who knew that getting caught for my crimes would lead to so much happiness?

But joy can be fleeting…

It turns out, this battle is only just beginning. With ultimate power on the line, my faceless enemies will stop at nothing to capture me, dead or alive. I need to master my abilities, fast, or this could be the end for someone I care far too deeply about.

I’m Kit Davenport and this is going to be a bumpy flight.


“Because she may be our Kit, but she was my Vixen. And no one fucks with what’s mine.”

This reverse harem series knows how to hook you in, trap you, then entice you beyond words. And I am one of its victims. So let the book world know this one fact: I am trash for Kit Davenport novels. And I do not see my addiction getting any better. So please send help.

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