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Quote of the Day (from Under the Whispering Door)

quote from "Under the Whispering Door" by TJ Klune

Today’s quote comes from my co-number one favorite read from last year, Under the Whispering Door: “The first time you share tea, you are a stranger. The second time you share tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share tea, you become family.’”

 

Like this quote? You can find more here!

AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!
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[December 2021] Book of the Month: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune

For my final Book of the Month of 2021, I’m spotlighting Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune. Perhaps an odd choice for this time of year, but let me tell you, this book shocked me to the core in the most amazing of ways. It may be a book about death and thereafter but it is so much more than that. Funny, tumultuous, heartbreaking, and loving. I was crying by the end, it was so good! It easily became one of my top favorite reads of 2021. So I’m recommending this amazing book today, tomorrow, and forevermore.

Image via NetGalley

Title: Under the Whispering Door
Author: TJ Klune
Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance, Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher: Tor
Recommended?: Yes

NetGalley Summary: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.


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Quote of the Day (from Wolfsong)

“Though sometimes, the songs are meant to sing a pack member home. It’s easy to get lost, Ox, because the world is a wide and scary place. And every now and then, you just have to be reminded of the way home.”

 

Like this quote? You can find more here!

As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Quote of the Day (from The House In The Cerulean Sea)

“Because even the bravest of us can still be afraid sometimes, so long as we don’t let our fear become all we know.”

 

Like this quote? You can find more here!

As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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ARC Review: Flash Fire by TJ Klune

Thank you to Tor Teen and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Flash Fire goes on sale July 13, 2021.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: LGBTQIA+, Young Adult, Contemporary Fantasy
Series: The Extraordinaries #2
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐☆☆
Recommend to Others?: Maybe

ABOUT: 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.

 

My Review: I didn’t enjoy Flash Fire as much as I thought I would, especially after the explosively good beginning this series had. Sure, book 2 had plenty of laugh out loud moments. My love for Nick and his friends continued to grow. And all the father-son moments between Nick and his Dad were precious gold. Unfortunately the store as a whole was underwhelming.

Many as well as the author have already addressed the issues with the police aspect of this story, so I’ll try to keep this short. I have mixed, uneasy feelings about it, as a Black American, because continued police brutality against black people is a major issue. Police tension in a superhero story is to be expected. I was just surprised by how deep these problematic and deadly issues were going to affect the story and characters, especially after 2020. So I had to stop and read reviews for book 1 and 2 as well as Klune’s August 2020 letter to better understand everything because something felt off about how the police were worked into the story.

Flash Fire raises the stakes to a whole new level of tension and friction between the characters and Nova City (the setting). I worried about Nick, Seth, Gibby, and Jazz because they’re such amazing kids and so much is changing for them. They’re growing up so fast and I wish there were more moments within the story for them to just be kids, especially Seth.

I love the turn Nick and Aaron’s (his dad) relationship takes, as bittersweet as it was. They continue to be one of my favorite father-son duos. I liked getting to know the other parents and other Extraordinaries. There needed to be more Office Rookie and less Rebecca Firestone (who I loath).

The writing was kind of disappointing. Mostly because I’m a huge fan of how Klune writes and this didn’t match up to that or the kind of voice Nick has.

I’m also still on the fence about how I feel about certain plot revelations and plot twists. But I did like their place within the story, what they implied, and how they’ll impact book 3. The climax was awesome but somewhat drawn out.

Flash Fire fell short for me. I felt lost and unsure at times. There were things I liked and funny moments. But it wasn’t enough to really enjoy what was happening. I will still read the next book.


More by TJ Klune

Tales From Verania
The Lightning-Struck Heart (#1)
A Destiny of Dragons (#2)
The Consumption of Magic (#3)
A Wish Upon the Stars (#4)

Green Creek
Wolfsong (#1)
Ravensong (#2)
Heartsong (#3)
Brothersong (#4)

The Extraordinaries
The Extraordinaries (#1)

The House in the Cerulean Sea

Under the Whispering Door


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ARC Review: Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune


Thank you to Tor Books and NetGalley for the eARC to read and review! Under the Whispering Door goes on sale September 21, 2021.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: LGBTQIA+ Romance, Contemporary Fantasy
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: When a reaper comes to collect Wallace from his own funeral, Wallace begins to suspect he might be dead.

And when Hugo, the owner of a peculiar tea shop, promises to help him cross over, Wallace decides he’s definitely dead.

But even in death he’s not ready to abandon the life he barely lived, so when Wallace is given one week to cross over, he sets about living a lifetime in seven days.

Hilarious, haunting, and kind, Under the Whispering Door is an uplifting story about a life spent at the office and a death spent building a home.

 

My Review: Death means something different to everyone. Under the Whispering Door was a lot to take in and then formulate those twirling thoughts into some coherent form of a review. But here goes nothing:

Under the Whispering Door is thought-provoking with loads of questions from several characters dead or alive. Each seeks or has sought to understand (come to terms with) the new reality they find themselves in. But some questions just don’t have an answer. For some of the characters, things are what they are until they make that next choice. As with Wallace, I found myself engaged in retrospection with each new question and perspective proposed to Wallace.

Under the Whispering Door is depressing and sad (but not in a bad way, I’m just an emotional reader). Some chapters were harder to read than others. Raw, cutting emotions color those characters who find themselves “dead.” Even Hugo, the ferryman to the newly dead who come his way, can’t help but feel a shared agony for them. He has a big heart that makes him uniquely ideal for this line of work.

Under the Whispering Door is a home filled with the most delightful people you will ever meet. Wallace Price was a ruthless attorney and pragmatic ass when he was alive. As the story progresses, I grew more and more fond of him and was captivated by the ultimate transformation he undergoes. Hugo – sweet, benevolent sweet Hugo – is one of those rare individuals you’d be lucky to know and even luckier to call a friend. I loved Mei (Wallace’s reaper) and her energetic and sometimes brash demeanor. She’s a fascinating person who’ll always have your back. Nelson (Hugo’s grandfather) is hysterical, always bringing a certain lightness and wisdom to break the tension or delivering funny reality checks.

These characters were wonderful to get to know. They’re very well-rounded: flawed and real with such incredible emotional depth. I can’t imagine any other types of characters for this particular story.

Klune impressed me with how he wove this novel together. I really enjoy his writing style, humor, how he develops the plot/characters and makes me care greatly about everything going on. I highlighted a lot of great quotes and passages. There were various moments I didn’t expect or actions certain characters chose to take. I also liked the quiet, unassuming impact tea had on the story.

I was most surprised by Wallace and Hugo’s relationship, who also seemed surprised by what they felt for each other. It was beautiful. I loved seeing them together.

The climax had me on the edge of my seat! My emotions were high and all over the place. I was crying by the end – pleasantly surprised, incredibly moved, and oh-so happy.

Klune has once again crafted an outstanding and memorable novel. 5 stars!


More by TJ Klune

Tales From Verania
The Lightning-Struck Heart (#1)
A Destiny of Dragons (#2)
The Consumption of Magic (#3)
A Wish Upon the Stars (#4)

Green Creek
Wolfsong (#1)
Ravensong (#2)
Heartsong (#3)
Brothersong (#4)

The Extraordinaries
The Extraordinaries (#1)

The House in the Cerulean Sea


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Quote of the Day (from The Lightning-Struck Heart)

” ‘You’re a talking unicorn,’ I said. ‘Sometimes when you poop, it comes out as rainbows and smells like cookies. There is nothing subtle about you.’ “

 

Like this quote? You can find more here!

As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Waiting On Wednesday – 2/24/21

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.


Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

I am beyond exciting for my #1 most anticipated releases of 2021: Fairytales from Verania by TJ Klune (Tales From Verania 4.5).

This new title is a short story collection. The cover art by Reese Dante is so gorgeous! 💚 I’m predicting another 5-star read with all the awesomeness, humor, and heart that comes with any Klune book.

Fairytales from Verania is set to be released April 27, 2021.

Image via Goodreads

ABOUT: New York Times bestselling author TJ Klune invites you back to the land of Verania in a new collection of short stories starring the beloved characters from the Tales of Verania series.

In the opening story—The Unicorn in the Tower—Gary is a princess trapped in a stone tower by the evil Lady Tina DeSilva, who plans on sacrificing him on the first full moon after his eighteenth birthday. With help from his friends—a bird named Tiggy and a mangy weasel called Sam—Gary interviews potential suitors to rescue him and love him above all others, as he so rightly deserves.

The Unicorn in the Tower is followed by Sam and the Beanstalk, wherein a poor farm boy exchanges his family’s bull for magical beans and the promise of treasure in the sky. But when he climbs the beanstalk, Sam finds things are not as he expected them to be.

The Good Boy sees Todd and his immaculate ears taking center stage. When Todd’s father dies, he leaves his son in the care of his evil stepmother and two stepsiblings who live to make Todd’s life a living hell. It’s not until the household receives an invitation to attend a ball for the mysterious Sir that Todd begins to wish for a life beyond what he knows.

David’s Dragon, the final—and only canonical—tale, is set a thousand years before the rise of the Dark wizard Myrin. It begins simply: a lonely boy in a small village befriends a dragon. What follows is a story of love and sacrifice, hope and heartbreak, and what it means to earn your place amongst the stars.

Welcome back to Verania. It’s going to be a hell of a ride.

 

I already adore this book because it takes us back into the wondrous world of one of my all-time favorite series, Tales From Verania. 😊

Interested in learning more? Below are my reviews for the whole series:

The Lightning-Struck Heart (#1)
A Destiny of Dragons (#2)
The Consumption of Magic (#3)
A Wish Upon the Stars (#4)


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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Painting Bookish Things I Love

May our songs always be heard.

Happy Thursday, Bookworms!

Today I wanted to share more art I recently made. After finishing “Brothersong” by TJ Klune last week, I immediately wanted to do a painting inspired by the series Green Creek (of which “Brothersong” concludes).

I kept it simple because I have way too many feelings this series (as you may have seen from my earlier review) that can’t be fully captured in an 8 x 10. The book covers are cohesive with paw prints and a color: Wolfsong (gold-ish/#1), Ravensong (red/#2), Heartsong (green/#3), and Brothersong (purple #4). The words are a quote from the series, one of many I found so meaningful.

I highly recommend reading Klune’s Green Creek series (really any of his books) 💙

 

Materials used: pencil, metallic/regular acrylic paints, 8 x 10 cotton canvas