Do I Have That Book? | Challenge

Oh hi, so, I haven’t done a challenge on my blog in a millennia, and since I haven’t decided if I want to rejoin the Booktube community (because I’m lazy and don’t know if I want to make videos), I decided I’m going to do the challenge and post my results here!

The challenge was originally created by Keeping Tabs on YouTube.

So it’s a 20 questions challenge to see just how well you know your books. Now, I’m not going to race against the clock, but I’m going to do my best to find the books on my shelves! So this post will be a bit image heavy.

Here we go!

1. Do you have a book with deckled edges?

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

2. Do you have a book with three or more people on the cover?

A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir

3. Do you have a book based on another fictional story?

The Splintered series by A.G. Howard

4. Do you have a book with a title 10 letters long?

Persuasion by Jane Austen

5. Do you have a book with a title that starts and ends with the same letter?

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

6. Do you have a mass market paperback book?

The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews

7. Do you have a book written by an author using a pen name?

The Mortal Instruments series & other works by Cassandra Clare (real name Judith Rumelt)

8. Do you have a book with a character’s name in the title?

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

9. Do you have a book with two maps in it?

An Ember in the Ashes series by Sabaa Tahir

10. Do you have a book that was turned into a TV show?

The Vampire Diaries series by L.J. Smith

11. Do you have a book written by someone who is originally famous for something else? (celebrity/athlete/politician/etc)

The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Daniel Howell and Phil Lester (YouTubers before writing this book)

12. Do you have a book with a clock on the cover?

A Silent Voice, vol 1, by Yoshitoki Oima (there’s a clock behind the LE in Silent)

13. Do you have a poetry book?

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

14. Do you have a book with an award stamp on it?

I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson

15. Do you have a book written by an author with the same initials as you?

The Widening Gyre by Robert Parker (RP initials, also thanks to my husband for finding this one on his shelves to help with the challenge lol)

16. Do you have a book of short stories?

The Band Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, & Maureen Johnson

17. Do you have a book that is between 500-510 pages long?

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer is 505 pages long (and this was by far the hardest prompt to find a book for)

18. Do you have a book that was turned into a movie?

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

19. Do you have a graphic novel?

Wires and Nerve series by Marissa Meyer

20. Do you have a book written by two or more authors?

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

And that’s everything! This was a fun challenge, and some of these prompts were actually a lot harder to find things that I thought they were going to be. I tried really hard not to use repeats, so I’m pretty proud of myself!

If you want to do this tag, please feel free to do so! It’s fun to explore your shelves and get acquainted with your books every once in a while, you know?

Let’s Chat!

Do you have any books by an author with the same initials as you? Or how about a book that starts and ends with the same letter?

The Risk | Book Review

Title: The Risk
Series: Briar U #2
Authors: Elle Kennedy
Publisher: Elle Kennedy Inc.
Publish Date: February 18, 2019
Genre: New Adult, Fiction – Contemporary, Romance
Pages: 432
Format: Kindle eBook

A sexy standalone novel from New York Times and international bestselling author Elle Kennedy. THE RISK takes you back to the world of hot hockey players, feisty heroines, bro banter, and steamy scenes… 

Everyone says I’m a bad girl. They’re only partly right—I don’t let fear rule me, and I certainly don’t care what people think. But I draw the line at sleeping with the enemy. As the daughter of Briar’s head hockey coach, I’d be vilified if I hooked up with a player from a rival team.

And that’s who Jake Connelly is. Harvard’s star forward is arrogant, annoying, and too attractive for his own good. But fate is cruel—I require his help to secure a much-coveted internship, and the sexy jerk isn’t making it easy for me.

I need Connelly to be my fake boyfriend.

For every fake date…he wants a real one.

Which means this bad girl is in big trouble. Nothing good can come from sneaking around with Jake Connelly. My father would kill me, my friends will revolt, and my post-college career is on the line. But while it’s getting harder and harder to resist Jake’s oozing sex appeal and cocky grin, I refuse to fall for him.

That’s the one risk I’m not willing to take. 

I’ve gotta say, I definitely enjoyed this book much more than the first stand-alone in the Briar U arc. It was funny, heartfelt, steamy (as always), but also showed more sides to people than just those in the universities, and I think that really played a big role in my overall enjoyment of this book.

Brenna is, probably, my favorite person. She’s tough as nails, she wears red lipstick as her armor, she doesn’t give two shits if someone doesn’t like her, she’s sassy, intelligent. She’s a woman after my own heart. I also very much admire her self-control of her temper in certain parts of the book, because I don’t think I’d be a big enough person to be able to hold my tongue to the kinds of comments she received numerous times from some of the men in the novel.

Jake is… well, he’s a steamy man, I’ll give him that, and he’s alpha, which, if you don’t know what that means, it means he’s the kind of person who’s in charge, who takes the lead, doesn’t take “no” for an answer, is very loyal to his team. Well, Jake will take “no” for an answer, so he’s not the kind of stereotypical jerk alpha that I’ve read in stories before. But he definitely exudes a presence in the book. People just notice him, and not just because he’s handsome as heck.

We also got to see smatterings of Summer from the first book, The Chase, as well as Fitz, Hunter, Mike Hollis, and one new character whom I LOVE and am soooo glad she’s getting her own book: Rupi. I fell in love with her almost instantly. She’s very quirky and determined and very much won’t take “no” for an answer.

The plot centered a lot around the hockey tournaments that Jake’s team, Harvard, and Brenna’s dad’s team, Briar, are preparing for and to face each other to go onto nationals, but it also centers a lot around Brenna striving to get her dream internship. I appreciated seeing that side of the field and how, yes, even today there’s a lot of misogyny in the sports broadcasting field. It was believable the way some of the men talked about women, and like I said earlier: I applaud Brenna for holding her tongue, because I really don’t think I would have been able to.

There was also a smaller second element to the plot that played into it about Brenna’s past, and let me tell you: the story behind her past was a shock that I did not see coming and I literally did a double take reading it. Definitely a good plot twist.

The dynamic between Brenna and her father is also one I understand, even if my own dad isn’t quite like hers. I understand how hard it is to want to be close, but not understanding how to get close, or when that closeness faded away. And the ugly shame that comes with feeling you’re a huge disappointment to your parent. It was very much a real moment, and I almost cried as a result of it.

The sex scenes were quite steamy, as expected of these Briar University books, which I’m not complaining about. The scenarios were different almost each time, the romance aspect felt a little rushed, but also the chemistry between the two had already been established, so it was an overall great element to the story.

I only wish there had been a different ending. Not that the ending was bad, I was just hoping we would have seen slightly farther into the future, or that there had been just one more chapter.

But I definitely recommend the book if you’re reading the Briar U arc, and even if you’re not and want a steamy romance, then definitely pick this one up!

★★★★½☆

20 Facts About Me

Oh hi, you lovely people! It’s been a while since I’ve done a post like this, so I thought, “why not do an updated ‘facts about me’ post?” So that’s what I’m going to do today!

I’m not going to talk about the ones that were in my Top Ten Tuesday post, or my 25 Bookish Facts About Me post, but instead talk about ten new bookish facts and ten non-bookish facts. Why not?

Here we go~!

Bookish

1. Since I started blogging, I’ve been to the following author signings: Jodi Meadows & Erica Bowman, Sarah J. Maas, Maggie Steifvater, and Leigh Bardugo. Each of the events were super fun and I highly recommend going to one if you’re able to!

2. I’ve been super into webcomics the last few years, hence my lack of book reviews and content. They’re easy to dive into and where I’m a visual person, the illustrations help me to escape into those worlds. You can check out my most recent recommendations here!

3. I’ve been listening to Brandon Sanderson’s audiobook for The Way of Kings for months now… it’s 45+ hours long… It’s fine… But my fact is that, because of this audiobook and The Kiss of Deception, I’ve definitely warmed up to audiobooks as a medium for myself much more and have since bought more books to read in this form!

4. So before we moved, my workplace was throwing away this hutch that was in an office, and I said I’d take it home and turn it into a bookshelf. Lo and behold, when I got home, my husband surprised me with another bookshelf that same day… so… I told my dad he can sell the hutch or keep it if he wants to because I didn’t have a use for it anymore lol

5. My reading tastes are changing, bit by bit. I’ve been noticing this for a while now, that I’m gravitating toward more adult reads than YA reads. There’s nothing wrong with this, of course! I believe I’m looking for more relatable content, but I’m not going to stop reading YA – or MG now that I’m into the Percy Jackson series! – anytime soon.

6. I’ve started a reading/bookish bullet journal! August will be my second month using it, and I’m really enjoying it so far. I’ve tried – and failed – two or three times to use an actual bullet journal, but my life is not that exciting so as to really need one, you know? So I started this bookish bullet journal and I love it! I’m playing around with the format and what I want to include in it and such, but there’s still plenty of flexibility with it. I’ll do a post about it soon.

7. I’m trying to get back into reading novels. Like I said earlier, I’ve been into reading webcomics like nobody’s business the last few years, and that’s due to life circumstances and depression that caused me to stop reading novels. But I’m trying to reintroduce myself to them bit by bit. I think the readathons I’m participating in are helping a bit.

8. Speaking of readathons, I love how many are popping up, but I realized that I need to focus on one readathon at a time. I’m amazed at how I see people participating in three or more at the same time, and I’m just like, “Are ya a wizard or something!?” I get overwhelmed easily, so for August I’ll only be participating in one readathon – the Disney-a-thon!

9. I’ve unhauled and donated soooo many books over the last two years. I didn’t realize just how many books I bought purely for the hype or because I was super interested at the time, but then grew out of it as time went on. And yet I still have no room on my shelves…

10. I’ve been buying a lot more ebooks lately so I can 1) put my kindle to good use and get my money’s worth lol, and 2) they’re cheaper and more convenient.

Non-Bookish

1. My husband and I moved! We moved to North Carolina at the beginning of July, and my dudes, it’s hot af here. Like. Why is it so humid all the time? Whyyyyyyy I miss my cooler Massachusetts weather. *cry* We moved because he got a job with a company that’s widespread so he’ll be an electrician’s apprentice.

2. I got two more tattoos! They’re both on my left forearm and done on the same day. The one at the top is the four elements (from the top going clockwise): air, water, fire, earth, and the center is spirit, and the lines that connect everything together. And then my constellation of Leo!

3. My husband and I have been together for 11 years this year, and married for five of them this year, too. CRAZY.

4. I’ve been getting more into spirituality lately again, and so I’ve been picking up tarot and oracle cards and learning to read them. I’ve gotten a lot of conversations from them for myself and a lot of guidance, so that’s been nice.

5. I went to Anime Boston earlier this year and cosplayed as casual Uraraka Ochako! (She’s a character from the hit manga/anime My Hero Academia.) It was super fun and I wish I could go again next year, but I don’t see that happening. I went by myself, too, which wasn’t as fun because it’s great going to conventions with others for the experience and fun times with one another, but I still had a good time. We also got to see MIYAVI live again (we had seen him in early 2018) and he was SO GREAT! He played a bunch of new songs off of his album that hadn’t been released yet and it was just so good!

6. Speaking of concerts, my husband and I also went to the Love Yourself tour for BTS last year in September in CANADA! We met up with some friends up there and it was such a blast! The boys were great and we had a great time. We also got to go to the Jingle Ball concert and see artists like Camilla Cabello, Sean Mendes, and Monsta X! Both concerts were great.

7. I’ve written a bunch of fanfiction of one of my all time favorite couples (non-canon): Bakugou Katsuki and Uraraka Ochako from My Hero Academia. I fell hard into this fandom and this ship, and I just had to write (and draw) my own stories about them. If you want to check out my works, here’s my AO3 for you to peruse. I’m pretty proud of them as I’ve gone on, to be honest. I’ve even been part of a zine and wrote a story for it, and so I have some of my work out there in the world! It’s cool!

8. I have a RedBubble shop now. I’ve got a few different anime prints available of fan art I’ve done, so check it out! I hope to do more in the future. It was a big leap for me, and I’ve had a few sales, which is nice! But yeah, you can see some of my favorite ships and characters. I’ll definitely draw some more as time goes on! Not strictly related to anime, but other things, too.

9. I fell in love with the online show Critical Role. It’s a DnD show where “a bunch of nerdy ass voice actors sit around and play Dungeons and Dragons” (to quote Matthew Mercer). I had never had much interest in DnD before. I had joined a campaign with some close friends, but we quickly stopped because it just wasn’t fun at the time (the campaign got revamped a year later but then, you know, life happened so we stopped again). And my husband had tried to show me this show before, but I was determined at the time to not like it. Don’t ask me why lol

And then, one day, I was sitting around last summer and was like, “Oh, they started a second campaign? They’re not too far into it… Okay, I’ll give this a chance.” And so I started watching campaign two, episode one, and I was hooked. I’ve caught up with the current campaign and have been watching the liveshows for months now (hello 10PM start time and 1:30AM end time lol), every week on Thursdays (unless cancelled or moved).

I fell in love with not only the characters that are being played, but also the voice actors themselves, and also with the game that is Dungeons & Dragons. It’s crazy! I haven’t had much opportunity to play, but I’ve got dice, I’ve got some characters, and I’m ready to go!

(I also got these beautiful posters – with one of them signed by the cast – and I love them so much! *cries forever*)

Sorry for the crappy lighting. The other light was reflecting off of the glass a lot more. But the one of the Might Nein on the right is signed by the cast!

You can check out Critical Role on either YouTube (click here to catch up with campaign one, which is what I’m doing, or click here to catch up with campaign two) or on Twitch (which is where they do their livestreams each week). Mind you, each episode is usually over 3 hours long, so keep that in mind when watching them!

10. I started to get into wearing wigs! Let me tell you, they’re so fun to wear! As of this post, I have a total of seven wigs. Here’s some pics to show them off because I love them. I just find them fun, and they don’t damage your hair like regular dye and bleach does, so if you want to wear one one day, and then have different color the next, you can!


Aaaaaannndddd… that’s it! I had a hard time trying to figure out what to say about myself, let me tell you lol But I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about me!

Let’s Chat!

Tell me one bookish fact about yourself and one non-bookish fact that you’re comfortable sharing! I want to learn more about you guys, so tell me about yourselves! ^^

The Book Junkie Trials & Medievalathon Wrap-Ups

Well, July was a stressful month, let me tell you. Not only did my husband and I move to a new state, but I just plain old overwhelmed myself with the amount of books I was hoping to read. So let’s talk about the books I actually did read for these readathons, my progress, and what role or location I ended with at the end of July!

The Book Junkie Trials

Looking at my TBR for this super fun and LARGE trial, I’m actually kind of sad I didn’t get all the way to the Grail. That’s right folks, I got stuck on Glimmer, distracted by all of the shiny, lovely things that the island held. I was on my way to the Dragon’s Cove, but I decided to make my home here.

Map was created by our lovely host, Rachael Marie. I just doodled over it.

What I Read

  • Orc Grove: “A Monster Calls” by Patrick Ness | Review
  • Ol’ Pirate Road: “The Sea of Monsters” by Rick Riordan | Review
  • Glimmer: “Crystal Crowned” by Elise Kova | Okay, I’m 51% of the way through the book as of this post, so…

What I Had Left

  • Draconic Isle: “A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent” by Marie Brennan
  • The Bookie Grail: “Stardust” by Neil Gaiman

Medievalathon

I failed hard at this readathon, but it’s fine. Next time I won’t be such huge books for each read lol

Images made by the lovely host, Holly.

What I Read

  • Breastplate: “Strange the Dreamer” by Laini Taylor | Review to come because I got about 50% through before I ran out of time for the month.

What I Had Left

  • Crown: “The Queens of Innis Lear” by Tessa Gratton
  • Helmet: “A Natural History of Dragons: A Memoir by Lady Trent by Marie Brennan
  • Shin guards: “Stupid Love Comedy” by Syusyusyu Sakurai
  • Boots & weapon: “Graceling” by Kristin Cashore
  • Cloak: “Crown of Feathers” by Nicki Pau Preto

My Thoughts

Both readathons were very fun in concept, it was just the execution on my part that was lacking. I took on way too many books that were all fairly large (90% of them were over 500 pages), and considering I’m the type of reader to read every single word on a page, making me slow, it just wasn’t feasible for me.

I definitely want to participate in these readathons again if they take place again! I love the ideas of the teams for the Trials, and I love the concept of building your own armor for Medievalathon. I thought both creations were unique and very community oriented, allowing others to come together and rally one another.

I haven’t seen readathons like that in a very long time, I think.

For the Trials, I also really enjoyed the micro-challenges on Twitter. They were simple, fun little bits that allowed people to not only get more points for their teams, but get a conversation going. There was also the more competitive piece that I didn’t take part in that I’m sure those who did had a blast with.

For Medievalathon, I enjoyed how Holly introduced things such as “kingdom statuses” on Twitter, letting people know if their kingdom was thriving, or if there was a plague, and then incorporating page amounts to reach in order to mend and heal, or just relax.

Overall, I think both readathons were a success for others, but a flop for me. I mean, I still read some of the books I set out to read, but I wish I hadn’t hit a huge existential and depressive wall early on in the month (plus moving and unpacking and running around like chickens with our heads cut off). It’s okay, though, I still had fun and I’m still looking forward to more fun readathons from these two individuals!

Let’s Chat!

Did you take part in either of these readathons? What did you read in July? Which was your favorite? Let me know in the comments!

Red, White, & Royal Blue | Book Review

Title: Red, White, & Royal Blue
Author: Casey McQuiston
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Publish Date: May 14, 2019
Genre: New Adult – Romance, Fiction
Pages: 425
Format: Kindle Books

A big-hearted romantic comedy in which the First Son falls in love with the Prince of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends…

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?

I’m going to say it: if you haven’t heard about this book by now, have you been living under a rock? Even if you have no interest in reading it, I feel like the name has at least made its rounds through the book community and as such, many people have read this book and highly enjoyed it.

I am also one of those people. Also, this is a long review, my apologies.

Going into it, I didn’t realize that this was, in fact, a new adult LGBT+ romance novel. I knew there was a boys’ love theme, of course, but I didn’t realize just how steamy it was going to be (which I’m fine with steamy). I expected this to be a more YA book, but nope! And I’m actually quite happy with this surprise because I feel like it made it that much more entertaining and relatable to myself as a person in their late twenties.

Alex and his older sister, June, whom he affectionately calls Bug, like a junebug, and I think that’s the sweetest thing ever, are the First Siblings of the United States, and their personalities are so different, but also very similar. They both have party sides, they both are trying to protect their family no matter what, but where Alex is much more high risk and willing to take big chances (a big theme throughout the book), June is much more reserved, but still willing to take chances and prove that she’s enough on her own to do what her heart is set out to do.

I personally enjoyed seeing the sibling dynamic in the book because I don’t often see siblings interacting with each other in books, and this relationship felt organic. They fought sometimes, they got along great, they’d call each other names, they’d do anything for their family, etc. Even though this wasn’t the main plot of the book, I was still very glad to see such a presence of it.

As for Henry, I think I related to him the most. He’d been through a traumatic time with his own family, and part of him had been almost hollowed out because of the experience. His family dynamic, though very different from Alex’s, was also fairly organic, with a distant sibling, one who believes in legacy and doing what needs to be done for the crown; and then another sibling who goes off the rails, but is always there for her family when she’s needed. Henry, himself, is very reserved. Reflecting on it, he’s kind of the opposite of Alex in many ways, which is probably why they work together so much.

Henry cares for his family deeply, cares for many people deeply, but he also knows that he has a huge responsibility on his shoulders, a duty to the crown that can seem overbearing much of the time, and that can wither him and bring him down a lot. He has dark shadows of his past, an absentee mother (even if she’s physically there, she’s not there mentally or emotionally), and he seems to try to deal with a lot on his own. He has a lot of walls that need to be broken down, and I enjoyed seeing those walls slowly come down throughout the novel.

Now, let’s talk about their relationship because, excuse me but it was the cutest thing I’ve read in a while and I needed more, thanks.

I’m also glad this wasn’t a case of insta-love, but rather a build up of feelings over years of time – at least on one of their parts. Even though Alex hates Henry because he doesn’t really know him in the beginning, when he does get to know him, he learns so much about him and begins to realize many things about himself and his past. He’s in denial for a lot of it, which is also reasonable and believable, and I was glad to see that.

As someone in the LGBT+ spectrum, seeing that internal struggle was good because I could relate to it a lot.

I did, however, feel like him coming to terms with it was kind of abrupt? I don’t know, maybe there was a timeline happening that I didn’t pick up on, but I thought he figured himself out kind of quickly and didn’t struggle as much as I was expecting. Is that weird to say?

Anyway, once their relationship got started, it was full of those hot, passionate, romantic sparks that fly when many people enter a new relationship, especially one that’s been building for a long, long time like theirs was. Can you say “sexual tension?” Because goddamn, there was a lot.

It was hot and steamy, and the way their relationship blossomed and grew felt as organic as it could get, given that they’re two very wealthy boys in very high positions and could more or less easily reach one another at the drop of a dime across the world. There was a lot of emotions and feelings and buildup throughout the whole book that I could feel growing to a climax (ha), and when the thing happened that I kind of saw coming once it was getting closer to it, I was like, “You’ll be fine, go chase after him!”

And Alex did. He didn’t give up, and the two of them are stubborn enough to chase after each other even though they’re afraid. I thought it was very poetic and romantic, and my hopeless romantic heart was bleeding happiness.

Also, there were A LOT of great quotes in this book, and though I didn’t highlight all of them, I wanted to share three of my favorites from some of the emails they shared with each other:

page 245
page 300
page 321

So, all in all in the relationship aspect, I highly enjoyed it. They kept it a secret as long as they could, and honestly, I was waiting for everything to go to shit at some point, and it did. But again: names in high places. I AM, however, glad to see a lot of rallying support in their ever growing and ever accepting world, even a fictional parallel universe version of ours.

Let’s briefly talk about the politics aspect, because this is where the half mark comes in my rating.

I… zoned out through a lot of the politics stuff, especially early on in the book. Like… I have no clue what the hell I read regarding the politics, kind of zoning out. It’s just not my thing. I’m not interested in them in real life, so reading about them in a book just wasn’t that exciting to me. Some bits were interesting, but a lot of it was just something I could easily zone out and skip over and come back to things I found more interesting for myself.

I did, however, cheer and smile at the end. If you’ve read it, you know why.

Overall, I highly enjoyed this book. It was sweet, romantic, funny, organic, raw, political, and wholly a good book. I highly recommend it.

★★★★½☆