Genre: Picture Book Series: Bad Seed #4 Rating: ⭐⭐⭐1/2 Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: The Couch Potato has everything he needs within reach of his sunken couch cushion. But when the electricity goes out, Couch Potato is forced to peel himself away from the comforts of his living room and venture outside. And when he does, he realizes fresh air and sunshine could be just the things he needs…
REVIEW: The Potato loves nothing more than spending all its free time hanging out on the couch because it’s comfy, cozy, and all it needs is within reach. Oof how relatable, haha! Potato has a pretty sweet setup established, so doesn’t have to move much. Until a power outage forces Potato….OUTSIDE (gasp!).
I liked how MC rediscovers the joys of the outside world and basks in the fresh air. You could say this book is social commentary on being glued to electronics or too much time spent indoors and the importance of getting out more often so you don’t miss out on things. The MC learns that outside can be just as fun and fulfilling as inside.
And I loved when the MC said,
“Yes, there’s a great big world out there and I want to be a part of it. In person.” These words stuck out to me.“
This is an impactful sentiment that will stick with readers for a long time.
I liked this story. Not as much as the previous books but still relatable and fun with entertaining illustrations.
Genre: Paranormal Romance Series: The Royal Heir #1 Rating: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆ Recommend to Others?: Maybe
ABOUT:A wolf princess, hidden for survival, stumbles upon her fated mate. She must make the decision to accept her mate and take back the throne or run away from all she’s ever known.
I had only one motto and it was to stay hidden and survive.
My future was set until a perfectly orchestrated accident killed my parents. Their close guards managed to pull me from the debris and allowed me to escape.
Fast forward twelve years and I’m finally heading to college as a human. When I think back on my past life, my heart broke all over again. Even though the throne was mine, it was the last thing I ever wanted. I was fine on my own until he changed everything.
My Review: Pretty good story, solid set up, and beautiful cover art. Elena is a likable main character and I enjoyed the progression of her character with each new challenge she faced. I didn’t really like Mason. I adored his sister, Ella. loved her personality and sass. To me, Elena had a stronger and more interesting connection with Ella than Mason. I The ending was a little anti-climatic, but this book does a great job setting up what’s to come. I think I just wanted more from the story.
Genre: Paranormal Romance Series: Reclaimed Dragon #1 Rating: ⭐⭐☆☆☆ Recommend to Others?: No
ABOUT:Can a curvy baker help this broken dragon find peace?
Born in a lab and tortured for a lifetime, hybrid dragon Dallin has never had a real home or a purpose beyond revenge. And he doesn’t expect that to change now, even if he’s forced to be some human’s bodyguard. Then he meets Jo, the curvy baker he needs to protect. She’s fiery, sweet, passionate, and far too good for a broken monster like Dallin. But that doesn’t stop his inner dragon from sitting up and growling ‘mine’.
When Johanna gets a ridiculous letter claiming she’s in danger and has been assigned a ‘Dragon Protector’, she thinks it’s a scam. Then Dallin shows up, with his hulking body, haunted teal eyes and a face so gorgeous it could almost be supernatural. After he saves her, Jo realizes everything is true. She’s in danger, and despite his perpetual scowls, Dallin is determined to keep her safe. Too bad Jo is starting to feel the real danger is how quickly she’s losing her heart to a sexy, unexpectedly sweet dragon who needs her as much as she needs him.
Between cupcake flavored kisses and steamy nights overlooking the ocean, Dallin’s getting the distinct impression that maybe he’s found the one–his mate. But he knows there’s still something inside him that he can’t fix. And if he doesn’t learn to let Jo in and trust his heart, an unstoppable force from the darkness may destroy everything they hold dear.
My Review: A so-so, quick read that had a lot of potential but fell short.
It was a good story of reclamation as Dallin works to come to term with his past trauma and the monster within. But for the most part he was unlikable. The story focused more on Dallin than anything else, so Johanna, while kind and caring, was more a flat, secondary character. Despite their steamy moments together, there wasn’t anything distinct about her that made me think she’s perfect for Dallin and vice versa. I wanted to know more about her, her desires, wants and fears than the bare minimum.
Sometimes I felt lost while reading or that I missed out on something crucial to this story. Looks like reading the authors Wings, Wands, and Soul Bonds series before this one would have been best. I didn’t like some of the dialogue, particularly during action scenes, which made me cringe. Also also, I couldn’t get over the fact that Dallin’s part emerald dragon but his eyes are teal and the cover is teal.
On the whole, this book just didn’t work for me and could have been so much more.
Who are some of your favorite secondary/minor characters?
Today’s prompt is all about the secondary and minor characters that we love and adore. The characters on my list make me laugh, make me smile, have great personalities, and loyal to those they care about.
Ari & Janco – Study series
A pair who fight well together, sources of comic relief, and are good, are loyal friends to the main character, Yelena.
Clara Goodwin – Beka Cooper trilogy
A tough and renowned Dog of the Provost’s Guard who you’d want on your team to have your back.
Constantine – Dark Kings series
The King of Dragon Kings who has cared a secret heavy burden for a long time (which is revealed in (his) last book of the series). He is a leader and protective.
Duke Vedris IV – Tortall universe
Sandry’s great-uncle (and father figure after her parent’s passing) and ruler of Emelan. He is a strong and capable leader, mellow and kind.
Elizabeth Bennett – Green Creek series
A Queen! Majestic and graceful, loving and kind, and greatly protective of her pack. She is a force to be reckoned with.
Gary & Tiggy – Tales From Verania series
Sam of Wilds best friends and part of his found family. These two are quite the pair! Gary is a gay, hornless unicorn who never fails to make me laugh with his brutal honesty and witty lines. Tiggy is a lovable, hug-able, gentle half-giant who is not afraid to smash anyone who threatens those he loves.
Gilan – Ranger’s Apprentice series
A Ranger who was once the apprentice to legendary Ranger, Halt. He has a carefree nature that’s captivating. Unlike other Rangers, his weaponry includes a sword because he is the son of a knight.
Kyprioth – Daughter of the Lioness duology
The trickster god of the Copper Isle whose personality and antics with his siblings makes me smile.
Obi – Snow White with the Red Hair series
A laid-back guy able to lighten a tense situation. He is a loyal friend and skilled fighter.
Stevie Rae – House of Night series
A nice, country girl and Zoey’s best friend. She’s got a big heart and I liked the progression of her storyline throughout the series.
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Series: Stormheart #1 Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐1/2 Recommend to Others?: Yes
ABOUT: In a land ruled and shaped by violent magical storms, power lies with those who control them.
Aurora Pavan comes from one of the oldest Stormling families in existence. Long ago, the ungifted pledged fealty and service to her family in exchange for safe haven, and a kingdom was carved out from the wildlands and sustained by magic capable of repelling the world’s deadliest foes. As the sole heir of Pavan, Aurora’s been groomed to be the perfect queen. She’s intelligent and brave and honorable. But she’s yet to show any trace of the magic she’ll need to protect her people.
To keep her secret and save her crown, Aurora’s mother arranges for her to marry a dark and brooding Stormling prince from another kingdom. At first, the prince seems like the perfect solution to all her problems. He’ll guarantee her spot as the next queen and be the champion her people need to remain safe. But the more secrets Aurora uncovers about him, the more a future with him frightens her. When she dons a disguise and sneaks out of the palace one night to spy on him, she stumbles upon a black market dealing in the very thing she lacks—storm magic. And the people selling it? They’re not Stormlings. They’re storm hunters.
Legend says that her ancestors first gained their magic by facing a storm and stealing part of its essence. And when a handsome young storm hunter reveals he was born without magic, but possesses it now, Aurora realizes there’s a third option for her future besides ruin or marriage.
She might not have magic now, but she can steal it if she’s brave enough.
Challenge a tempest. Survive it. And you become its master.
My Review:Roar was a really good read with surprise turns and tense, action-packed scenes.
What’s cool about the world of Roar is that storms are sentient no matter the type of storm forms. On top of normal behaviors, these storms have a fantastical element to them (stormhearts) that can be extracted by storm magic (if the storm doesn’t kill the user first). It’s a next-level idea of humans vs nature.
Weather and magic is a polarizing and essential part of Roar. The magic given to humans is hereditary to Stormlings like Aurora’s (aka Rora) family. Both influence how people live and die, who has power and who doesn’t. So this creates an interesting predicament for someone like Rora – the new heir to Caelira’s throne who has had to hide for years her lack of magic that runs in her ancestry.
I like Rora’s character a lot. For a long time, she’s never felt good enough. She has worked tirelessly to excel in all other aspects of life to be enough. So I wasn’t too surprised when she ran away given the temptation of possibly acquiring the magic needed to protect the people of her kingdom. But goodness! does this choice have severe (to be fair, indirect) consequences.
Given that it’s not just storms threatening everyone – a mysterious figure known as the Stormlord slowly but destructively seeking revenge – perhaps Roar – bright, stubborn, capable Roar (her alias) – will be able to do what Rora couldn’t. Roar may still be naive of what life is really like for every-day people, but I love that she strongly takes that into consideration and considers what she can do to better people’s lives. I also like that she’s not afraid of hard work and doing what needs to be done despite difficulties and inexperience.
I was slightly worried about a possible awkward love triangle but right now I don’t think that will be the case (could change, though). I’m very invested in Roar and Locke’s growing relationship. It’s as chaotic as storms yet super sweet. I hope they end up together in the end.
This was a great start to a series. There was the right amount of character growth and conflict. I like the motley crew Roar spends most of the story with. I’m curious about where Cassius’s (her betrothed) and Nova (a servant and former friend of Rora’s) story-lines will lead next because those just stopped kind of/usually abruptly. By the end of book 1, I felt fully settled into the world Carmack had created. I’m eager to see what comes next in book 2, Rage.
What are some popular or super hyped books that you’ve never read?
I am definitely one of those people who are always late to the bookish party.
Hyped, popular books make me wary. Sometimes I’m uncertain if I’ll like the book. Sometimes I feel indirectly pressured to read popular books because everyone is reading it. But more often than not I’m not interested. When I am, I at least add it to my tbr but who knows when I’ll get to – if ever – reading these highly praised books. At the end of the day, it all comes down to so many books so little time.
Today, I bring you Part 5 of Popular Books I’ve Never Read!
The Inheritance Cycle series by Christopher Paolini
Eragon | Eldest | Brisingr | Inheritance
Young Adult Fantasy
There are dragons on the covers! One of my favorite magical creatures. How have I not read this series?! I’ve known of this series for a long time, but my reading just never took me in that direction. The premise sounds like it’d be an awesome, grand, fantasy adventure, so I will surely try to find time for this series.
Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer
Artemis Fowl | The Arctic Incident | The Eternity Code | The Opal Deception | The Lost Colony | The Time Paradox | The Atlantis Complex | The Last Guardian
Middle Grade Fantasy
Another long-ago series I’ve passed by but have heard about through the bookish grape-vine. Unfortunately, I’m not interested enough.
Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Queer YA Paranormal Romance
A very hyped book that many book people absolutely loved. Cemetery Boys was nominated last year for Best Debut Novel and Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction on Goodreads. I’m on the fence about this book. Hesitant, if you will. But it’s a queer paranormal romance, has a trans and a ghost as its MCs, and has a lovely cover. What’s not to love? Maybe I’ll read it someday, but I’m in no rush to.
The Aurora Cycle series by Amie Kauffman & Jay Kristoff Aurora Rising | Aurora Burning
Young Adult Science Fiction
I need more science fiction in my life and I’ve heard only good things about The Aurora Cycle. This I did put on my 2021 tbr. I just haven’t found time to read it (I really plan to though!). These books sound promising.
Shades of Magic series by V. E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic | Gathering Shadows | A Conjuring of Light
Young Adult Fantasy
I’m 70%-ish sure I will like A Darker Shade of Magic. I often see these books on bookstagram with rave reviews. It’s another I’m not in a hurry to read, but think it worth the read.
Popular Books I’ve Never Read parts 01 | 02 | 03 | 04
This year I’m continuing several series but today will just focus on the wonderfulness that are sequels (**book 2 only**). I love a good sequel and continuing the stories of such remarkable characters. I love how the plot thickens, tensions rise, and action is explosive.
I am so excited for this list of sequels, especially since most of them are from books that were some of my top favorite reads from 2020. I’ll also include the synopsis and my review of book 1 for each.
🚨 SPOILERS BELOW 🚨
Untitled Legendborn 2 by Tracy Deonn (YA contemporary fantasy)
There’s no synopsis or cover yet but that doesn’t mean I’m not still really excited for this release. Book 1 was incredible and left me wanting more!
Steelstriker by Marie Lu (YA sci-fi/fantasy dystopian)
Dystopians aren’t really my thing, but this one blew. me. away! I didn’t know this was going to be a duology, which I’m both sad and relieved by. Book 1 was terrifyingly amazing for me. My poor book-loving heart probably wouldn’t be able to handle all the feels if this were a longer series. One thing is for sure: this is going to be amazing.
Synopsis: As a Striker, Talin was taught loyalty is life. Loyalty to the Shield who watches your back, to the Strikers who risk their lives on the battlefield, and most of all, to Mara, which was once the last nation free from the Karensa Federation’s tyranny.
But Mara has fallen. And its destruction has unleashed Talin’s worst nightmare.
With her friends scattered by combat and her mother held captive by the Premier, Talin is forced to betray her fellow Strikers and her adopted homeland. She has no choice but to become the Federation’s most deadly war machine as their newest Skyhunter.
Red is no stranger to the cruelty of the Federation or the torture within its Skyhunter labs, but he knows this isn’t the end for Mara – or Talin. The link between them may be weak, but it could be Talin and Red’s only hope to salvage their past and safeguard their future.
While the fate of a broken world hangs in the balance, Talin and Red must reunite the Strikers and find their way back to each other in this smoldering sequel to Marie Lu’s Skyhunter.
Maya and the Return of the Godlings by Rena Barron (middle grade fantasy)
Maya is such a great main character whose spirit and tenacity I loved. Book 1 left room for character development and more epic battles to come. The world Barron’s created is really fantastical so I can’t wait to delve deeper into this series.
Synopsis: In this highly anticipated sequel, Maya and the godlings must return to the sinister world of The Dark to retrieve the one thing keeping the veil between the worlds from crumbling: her father’s soul. Perfect for fans of Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky and Willa of the Wood.
The threat from The Dark is far from over. Twelve-year-old Maya knows this. After crossing the veil between the two worlds, saving her father, and narrowly escaping the sinister clutches of the Lord of Shadows, tensions between the human world and The Dark are higher than ever. And even worse, Maya’s orisha powers as a godling are out of control.
Now a guardian in training, Maya spends her days patching up veils with her father and cleaning up near-disasters like baby wormholes that her erratic powers create. But when Maya and her friends discover that something went terribly wrong during their journey to bring her father back to the human world, they are forced to return to The Dark and restore what they left behind, the one thing keeping the veil from falling: her father’s soul.
The Lord of Shadows is mobilizing his forces for an all-out war against the human world. And this time, Maya and her friends will need all the help they can get. Even if that means teaming up with their greatest enemies, the darkbringers.
Flash Fire by TJ Klune (queer YA contemporary fantasy)
Klune is such a talented storyteller and an auto-read author for me. I need more Nick Bell in my life – he is my heart and soul! He is nerdy and precious and must be protected. I have no idea what to expect in this sequel but it’s a Klune book so you know it is going to be beyond epic.
Synopsis: Flash Fire is the explosive sequel to The Extraordinaries by USA Today bestselling author TJ Klune!
Nick landed himself the superhero boyfriend of his dreams, but with new heroes arriving in Nova City it’s up to Nick and his friends to determine who is virtuous and who is villainous. Which is a lot to handle for a guy who just wants to finish his self-insert bakery AU fanfic.
Book 1 left me breathless! It was my first Nora Roberts book and easily became a favorite read. I needed book 2 as soon as I finished reading. I’m expecting more swoon-worthy moments and ALL the feels.
Synopsis: The world of magick and the world of man have long been estranged from one another. But some can walk between the two—including Breen Siobhan Kelly. She has just returned to Talamh, with her friend, Marco, who’s dazzled and disoriented by this realm—a place filled with dragons and faeries and mermaids (but no WiFi, to his chagrin). In Talamh, Breen is not the ordinary young schoolteacher he knew her as. Here she is learning to embrace the powers of her true identity. Marco is welcomed kindly by her people—and by Keegan, leader of the Fey. Keegan has trained Breen as a warrior, and his yearning for her has grown along with his admiration of her strength and skills.
But one member of Breen’s bloodline is not there to embrace her. Her grandfather, the outcast god Odran, plots to destroy Talamh—and now all must unite to defeat his dark forces. There will be losses and sorrows, betrayal and bloodshed. But through it, Breen Siobhan Kelly will take the next step on the journey to becoming all that she was born to be.
Rise Up from the Embers by Sara Raasch & Kristin Simmons (YA fantasy)
This title also concludes a duology. I’ve not read another story like the one Raasch and Simmons have woven together. A clash between humans and gods? Yes, please! Also, I’m looking forward to Ash and Madoc’s budding romance. They are so cute!
Synopsis: Two gods are dead. The Mother Goddess has returned. War is rising.
Fleeing the ruins of Deimos, Ash and Madoc sail across the ocean toward their only possible allies: the water and plant gods. But when Anathrasa attacks on the way, Ash leaps to the defense—by using a power she didn’t know she had.
When Madoc made the fire and earth gods mortal, he inadvertently transferred their magic to Ash. Now, if Ash can get energeias from the other four gods, she will be powerful enough to end Anathrasa once and for all.
But not all the gods want the Mother Goddess defeated. To stop her, Madoc will have to become the obedient son his mother always wanted, and Ash will have to take a merciless place among the gods.
To defeat an immortal, Ash and Madoc must fight like gods—even if it means sacrificing their humanity.
What books/series would you love to see adapted to film, tv, etc.?
Today, I wanted to post about books I personally would want to be adapted to film.
I haven’t watched many books-to-movies even though there are plenty out there to watch. More often than not the movie is based on a book I haven’t read so, since I prefer to read before watching, I’m not that interested.
Excluding school books, I really enjoyed the Twilight books and movies (sorry not sorry), The Hunger Games movies I liked (still haven’t read the books), and I think I’ve seen all of the Divergent movies (never read those books either).
All of my picks I highly recommend and review links are included as well. I also genuinely think a wide audience would enjoy these books as movies and find them visually appealing.
A LGBTQIA+ young adult contemporary fantasy superhero movie that I think would work best as animated. I picture this having the same feel, humor, heart, and artistry as a cross between The Incredibles and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Another epic YA contemporary fantasy and Arthurian retelling that just blew me away with it’s awesome Black girl magic and compelling plot. There’s a lot to like about this book and even relevant commentary on race and society. I can easily picture really cool CGI for the more fantastical parts.
I see this more as a kids movie but I think all ages would enjoy the story as it is very much family oriented and explores the power of one’s roots/culture. The main character is young, headstrong, and heroic. There’s a lot of magic and wondrous things that happen throughout the book.
This is a spectacular sci-fi/fantasy series set in space that I think will stand out amongst all other movies of the same setting. The series is a rollercoaster of emotions as you’re taken on this wild journey to stop the threat of the 13th sign. The sci-fi elements are balanced well with the fantasy. Besides stunning visual effects there’s the appeal of seeing your zodiac sign portrayed on the big screen. The plot is also interesting, adding to the conversations on race, diversity and unity.
Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston
I recently read this book and am still not over how good it was. From the beginning I was picturing the strange and marvelous world the author created and really wished for a movie version. It’s a fresh visualization and depiction of the supernatural with a great cast of characters and a really good complex plot. (*review to be posted 2/25/21*)
For today’s Top Ten Tuesday (but really it’s a top 11 😂), I’m listing my Favorite Series I’ve Loved Since Starting My Blog. ❤❤❤
I actually did a similar post waaaaaayyy back in 2016 when I first started blogging (view post). I’ve discovered so many amazing books and traveled to many worlds since, further fueling my book obsession.
Half of the series below, I’ve finished completely; the rest are in-progress series that I look forward to continuing.
In no particular order:
TALES FROM VERANIA– J Klune
GREEN CREEK– TJ Klune
SNOW LIKE ASHES– Sara Raasch
THE QUEEN’S RISING– Rebecca Ross
EMMIE & FRIENDS– Terri Libenson
ANGELS OF ELYSIUM– Olivia Wildenstein
ZODIAC– Romina Russell
THE SCARRED EARTH SAGA– G. A. Aiken
REAPER– Donna Grant
DARK KINGS– Donna Grant
DARK SHORES– Danielle L. Jensen
How long have you been blogging and what series have you fallen in love with since you started?
This year I read books by many different authors – some for the first time – which made picking just one for today’s post particularly hard. So I chose multiple that I equally loved.
For Author of the Year, I’ve chosen new-to-me authors whose masterful storytelling wowed me beyond belief. I’m really excited to read more books by these wonderful authors in 2021! 😀✏
BOOK SERIES of the Year
This was the easiest choice out of all the categories. I highly recommend this YA Fantasy duology. It’s epic and amazing and feelings and magic! 😊📚
A ton of books I read this year had beautiful covers, but these three stuck out to me the most. Cover love times a million 💙😍💙
Image via NetGalley
The pinnacle of my awesome reading year can be summed up within the books below. These are 100% must reads you’ll want to add to your TBRs 📚🙂❤ My Top 10 Favorite Reads of 2020 are (in no particular order):
Image via Goodreads
Image via NetGalley
Image via Goodreads
Image via Goodreads
Image via NetGalley
Image via Goodreads
Image via Goodreads
Honorbale Mentions:Heartsong by TJ Klune, The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross, Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory, One To Watch by Kate Stayman-London
BONUS!(Also In) Top 26:The House In the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune, Be Dazzled by Ryan La Sala, The Beautifulby Renée Ahdieh, Defy by Sara B. Larson, Ten Rules For Faking It by Sophie Sullivan, Dark Skies by Danielle L. Jensen, Thirteen Rising by Romina Russell, Breath Like Water by Anna Jarzab, Raised By Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, Ashlords by Scott Reintgen, Maya and the Rising Dark by Rena Barron