Posted in General Books, Sundays In Bed With..., Weekly Wrap Up

Sundays in Bed With… #MyWeeklyWrapUp

We’re back with another Sundays In Bed With… meme, which dares to ask you what book has been in your bed this morning! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl. Come share what book you’ve been you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed with, or which book you wish you had time to read today!

This Sunday I finally finished reading Final Girls by Riley Sager! I’ve noticed for months now that Sager’s books have been quite hyped on bookstagram and so when I found this book in the store two weeks ago, I scooped it up immediately knowing it would be the perfect thrilling poolside read for my staycation. This was a perfectly fast paced thriller, although it admittedly took me longer than usual to finish this because I was also reading four other books at the same time for group reads and had deadlines… 😬 I’m so glad I took the time to finish it today. I had so many theories, especially about the main protagonist, Quincy. I was so sure she was a ‘baddy’ but I kept questioning myself throughout and Sager kept me guessing up until the very end. I didn’t expect the twists at all and I was actually appalled with the ending because it involved a character that I really liked and I was just totally shook. But in the absolute best way! I can’t wait to read something else by Sager–I think he’s potentially an autobuy author.

Have you read Final Girls? What are you currently reading?

I feel like a lot has been happening over the last week-and-a-half since my bestie came to visit me for my birthday. I can’t believe that May is now already four-days from being over and my birthday has already passed! (BOO 😭) I’ve always used my birthday as a kind of “mid-way” counter for my year, since technically we’re now half-way through the year. I missed quite a few blogging days over the last week, but I think I came back fairly strong with all the posts this week? Writing out all these reviews made me feel hella productive! 😂 Also feeling productive today because I finished sorting out my books to place in the new bright yellow Billy bookcase my parents got me for my birthday. I’m so pleased with how my shelves are looking right now! How are your May reads coming along? May has been a fairly weird and slow reading month for me as so much has been happening with life and work. I don’t think I’ve got through half of what I wanted to read, but life happens, so I’m not too mad about it! Just in case you missed it, here are the posts I’ve made this week:

ARC Review: I Spy the Boy Next Door by Samantha Armstrong
Friday Favorites: Diverse Books
Review: Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
ARC Review: Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea
#WWWWednesday: 22 May
Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Are Off Limits (to others, of course)

How has your reading and blogging week been?
Hope everyone is having a great weekend 🙂

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Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, Contemporary, General Books, Romance, Young Adult

I Spy the Boy Next Door by Samantha Armstrong – #ARC #BookReview

Goodreads: I Spy the Boy Next Door
Publish date: 25 May 2019
Genre: Young Adult, New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Four p.m. spy sessions are the highlight of Mallory Taylor’s day. Observing the boy next door—one with a body and an attitude to match—has her perched beside her window so often it can’t be healthy.

When she finally convinces her mom to let her go to public school, Mallory comes face to face with her neighbor, Troy Parker. And he makes it clear he wants nothing to do with her. His rejection awakens a newfound tenacity and maybe even a touch of recklessness. But when Troy starts to show up when she needs him the most, Mallory can’t help but wonder if there’s more to him than he’s let on.

Taking chances, breaking rules, and following her heart is all new to Mallory. And no one warned her just how fickle hearts can be. When she discovers that Troy isn’t at all the guy she imagined him to be, secrets rise to the surface that will change her life forever.

When I first read the synopsis, I thought that it sounded like the perfect summer read. What’s not to love about a cute, young adult romance with a good girl and seemingly tough bad guy? It’s cheesy, cliched and sometimes, you just need a little ‘mindless’ fun to cleanse your palate after endless thrillers and heavier contemporary fiction reads. I was also intrigued that this was classified as both a mature young adult/new adult read. If I read this when I was in high school then maybe I would have loved it. As it is, I unfortunately didn’t enjoy it as much as I hoped to. The plot felt all over the place and a key twist introduced towards the end surprised me but also left me feeling a little baffled/confused. There was so much going on here and I honestly don’t know where to start my review… The writing style, a mix of chat messages in between text, was easy and fun. This was a very light summer read that I think would be perfect for more mature young adults, probably in high school.

Having been homeschooled all her life, Mallory has led a sheltered life. After a kidnapping incident when she was a child, her parents become overprotective, so Mallory doesn’t have friends and is pretty naive. As a result of this incident, Mallory also frequently suffers from anxiety attacks. The highlight of the last five years has been getting to spy on her hot neighbour, Troy Parker. He rides a Harley, is completely tatted up, and has a body to thirst for, and Mallory basically lives for the moment she gets to watch him. When she’s in her last year of school, she manages to easily convinces her parents to let her go to public school so she can experience a normal student life. At school, she meets brooding Evie and exuberantly gay Jamie, and finally comes face-to-face with Troy, who is extremely hot/cold around her. Mallory also very quickly starts to become a wild child: sneaking out at night to go to illegal boxing matches, and wild house parties and getting completely wasted.

This is where things started to get really frustrating for me because it basically ended up being a book about Mallory’s obsession with Troy. I mean, I get it. I’ve been there too. I was a raging hormonal teenager who had all-consuming crushes that I couldn’t stop thinking about, and made me lose the ability to speak when they walked by; but I felt that this was next level cliche. I’m all for the cheese, but when Mallory describes how “Troy’s gaze pierces her and fills her soul with life”, it just got a bit too much for me. This was definitely steamier than most of the YA novels I’ve read (with the exception of SJM books) but the sexy scenes, and Mallory’s openly sexual thoughts, are the only reason this book could be qualified as NA. Otherwise, the characters were definitely way too YA.

I thought the characters also lacked depth–I wanted to know more about Jamie and Evie, and even about Mallory (beside her obsession). Her parents’ care and support was very sweet, although with how overprotective they were supposed to be, they very easily let her go and do her own thing, no questions asked. I got no hint of their overprotectiveness and paranoia, especially when Mallory was able to sneak out of her house the week of her first day of school? I also thought that the ‘plot twist’ really came from out of the blue. While I was pleasantly surprised by it, I was equally baffled about how this all made sense.

SPOILERS: one minute we’re deep into a love-story-obsession, and the next minute we get the FBI, witness protection, the Colombian drug cartel, a murderous rage born of jealousy, hundreds of thousands in hidden cash, and a shoot out. What?!

It was a little too far-fetched to be realistic, and I felt Armstrong really rushed the ending, trying to resolve everything in a very short amount of time. I personally thought that this book could have been much shorter than it was. There wasn’t much going on in the storyline until the end, and then it was like everything all at once. Overall, I had high hopes for this novel, but in the end it just wasn’t for me. Samantha Armstrong’s writing isn’t bad though, so I would maybe be interested to see what else she comes out with.

Thanks to NetGalley and the author for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Does this sound like something you might be interested in reading? It was published 25 May, so keep an eye out for it in stores/online!

Posted in Friday Favorites, General Books

Friday Favorites: Diverse Books

TGIF, book lovers! Who here is just as glad as I am that it’s the weekend? Having come back from an (almost) week-long break from work last week, it was a hella struggle to get back into the swing of things this week. Definitely going to have to knuckle down next week, but I’m looking forward to relaxing this weekend. My parents bought me two TBR carts/trolleys and a bookshelf from IKEA for my birthday, and I’m so excited to be setting it up this weekend. I’m definitely one of those people who love putting things together! Anyway, it’s time for another Friday Favorites, hosted by Something of the Book. This weekly meme is a chance to share all your book favorites based on the weekly prompts as listed on her page. Today’s prompt is: Diverse Books.

‘Diversity’ has become such a hot word over the last few years, but I’ve really paid it more attention ever since joining the book community last year. I now have more diverse books by diverse authors on my list than ever before. Although I do read a range of diverse books, I know that the majority of my reads are still about caucasian characters, written by caucasian authors. While there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, I’d like to put more effort into consciously reading more diverse books, and not just adding them to my shelves where they remain untouched for years. Here’s a list of some of my favorites so far (although by no means is this all of them)!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. This is hands down one of the most powerful and important novels that I’ve read in the last year. It is so relevant to today’s social discourse and Angie Thomas does an incredible job of creating a story that hits hard. This book was worth all the hype that it got and more and is one of the books that I recommend everyone picks up, even if they’re not “into YA books” because it’s a stunning read in every way.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This book (and movie!) completely wrecked me. Set in Afghanistan, this is a story about an unlikely friendship between two young boys, one from a wealthy family and the other the son of their servant. In a way it’s a family saga about betrayal, love, and redemption that spans over years. I remember reading this and feeling a whole array of emotions: heartbreak, righteous anger, happiness and love. This was the book that made Hosseini one of my favorite auto-buy authors and I haven’t regretted it since!

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros. It has been so long since I’ve read this book, but I remember it sweeping me off my feet when I read it in middle school. It’s told through the eyes of Esperanza Cordero, a young latina girl growing up in a poor neighbourhood, and we follow her coming-of-age as she tells us about her life, family, neighbours and friends. I remember so clearly that this was the book that made me want to start writing, and soon after I made my own short novel written as a set of vignettes in the way this book was written. I don’t know what happened to it, but I was so, so inspired! I will definitely have to read it again.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I think this was the first science fiction (YA or otherwise) I read where the lead characters were of Asian descent. Did I mention that this kickass series are retellings of famous fairytales (Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel and Snow White)? Starting off with cyborg Cinder, and Prince Khai of New Beijing. Meyer depicts an insane and amazing dystopian world with space, technology, and a slew of diverse characters.

The Sun is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon. This was a sweet contemporary YA romance that had the hopeless romantic in me swooning. I loved that Yoon drew inspiration from her own story as a woman hailing from Jamaica married to a Korean-American man. I loved learning about Natasha and Daniel as they spent the day in New York city, trying to buy time and find a way for Natasha and her family to not get deported. Their characters seemed like opposites but they had such great chemistry. I thought it was also really unique how Yoon pulled the story together through seemingly insignificant side characters. It’s not just a fun, fluffy read, there’s definitely more depth here!

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan. This was a beautifully written, sad but touching story about grief, love, friendship and family. When Leigh, a Chinese-American girl, loses her mother to suicide, she’s convinced her mother has turned into a bird. In an attempt to understand what happened to her mother, she travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. It’s a very emotionally heavy story as Leigh tries to process her grief. Taiwan is painted as a vibrant city teeming with all sorts of characters, and an endless array of rich and delicious foods. In between bouts of crying, I found myself constantly hungry and craving Chinese food while reading this one!

Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This middle grade fiction is a very touching and impactful story about August Pullman, Auggie, who was born with a facial deformity that has kept him from going to school, until now. We follow him as he tries to navigate in a new school and make friends, but with a face that scares other children, makes everyone do a double-take and at worse, gasp in horror when they see him, it’s not easy. Auggie is an amazing, inspiring and wonderful character, and his parents and sister are such good people. This book had me crying with frustration and happiness throughout!

The Kiss Quotient and The Bride Test by Helen Hoang. In both these novels, we not only get characters of Asian (Vietnamese) descent, but two of the main characters in both stories fall on the spectrum. The Kiss Quotient was one of my favorite reads last year, and it seems that The Bride Test will be following suit this year! I flat out love that the characters are Asian — you never read about Asians in romances. I love the diversity of the characters and getting to learn more about Vietnamese culture. These are fun, fast and sexy reads that I recommend to all (especially if you don’t mind when things getting a little steamy)!

Saga by Brian K. Vaughan. Undoubtedly my favorite graphic novel series of all time. The artwork is beautiful, the characters are diverse and have rich backstories, and the storyline itself is fast paced and full of endless action. I can’t recommend this graphic novel series enough. Basically, everyone just needs to read it ASAP!

Monstress by Marjorie M. Liu. This is a fairly dark graphic novel set within a dystopian 1900s matriarchal Asian society. Maika Halfwolf, an orphan of war, is magically linked to a powerful monster that makes her a target for both humans and otherworldly beings. It follows her story as she navigates this dangerous steam punk influenced world full of enemies. The artwork is insanely beautiful and the story, although slightly confusing at times, is fascinating.

What are some of your favorite diverse books? If you think I need to read any particular books, leave a comment below! I’m always looking to add more books to my TBR 😃

Posted in Book Reviews, Contemporary, General Books

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – #BookReview

Goodreads: Little Fires Everywhere
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: ★★★★☆

Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down.

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.

When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.

Little Fires Everywhere started off slowly but quickly picked up as we learned more about the members of the Richardson and Warren families. Celeste Ng opens the story by introducing readers to a semi-chaotic fire scene, where the characters seem slightly defeated, and the big drama of the summer has just passed, but the buzz around the incident is still being discussed behind closed doors. This story covers such complex issues that I wished I had read this with a group of people because I would have loved discussing this during and after I finished the book.

“Sometimes you need to scorch everything to the ground and start over. After the burning, the soil is richer, and new things can grow. People are like that, too. They start over. They find a way.” 

This is a slow burn character driven family saga. It’s about motherhood, the struggles of being one and the desperation to become one, and the politics of a perfectly made community. It’s about being a teenager and trying to find where you fit in, whether at home or in school. It shows how you’re not immune to unwanted changes and disastrous events, no matter how perfectly you build a life for you and your family. It doesn’t matter what you think you and/or your loved ones deserve, people will be people and they will sometimes make wrong and selfish choices that you won’t understand. There are little fires everywhere. The build up in the story is well paced and how Ng writes made the tension so palpable, you can feel just how badly everything is going to come crashing down. It’s a bit like a snowball being rolled up and then pushed down a hill—it happens so quickly. 

Perhaps the best thing about this book is how it looks at relationships between friends, lovers, parents, and mothers and their children. All the characters are fully fleshed out, and even the side characters have background stories that allow you to build a connection to them. I’m surprised that I didn’t actually dislike any of the characters in this book. There’s no doubt that Elena Richardson was pretty awful most of the time; she did questionable things and made infuriating choices, but her character was so complex. Her struggle to keep within the boundaries of the rules she grew up with and set for herself was relatable. She would think about doing awful things to keep things the way they were, but in the next moment she would show her softer side and could empathize with those she opposed. Even Mia, who Celeste Ng clearly wrote as the “good mother” vs Elena’s “bad mother”, was imperfect, and I really liked that she painted her characters as not simply “black and white” and “good or bad” in their personalities and actions, but rather everyone is a mix of all of that, much like how it is in real life.

I loved how the teenagers bonded, although I did feel at times their relationships were a little toxic, especially between the Richardson children with Pearl and Mia. There was a dependency that grew, which wasn’t unrealistic but I thought it was a little unhealthy. Though seeing the Richardson children recognize their flaws, and watching them grow and learn through their interactions with the Warrens, was heartwarming; even as I wished that their growth was more profound or concrete at the end. The only characters I was a little disappointed with was Moody and Pearl, especially since the foundation of their friendship seemed so strong, only to have it unravel so horribly towards the end. Moody’s reactions/actions, although understandable as a teenager overcome with intense emotions, was particularly disappointing and I found that I couldn’t really forgive him for reacting the way he did, especially with the fallout.

A lot of people commented how the ending was unsatisfying and I do agree. I felt that it was too rushed and everything was wrapped up too neatly. Everyone went their own way without really facing any consequences for their actions, with the exception of the Warren’s who really felt the full brunt of it. A lot remained unresolved and Ng left it pretty open ended, but I also think it was kind of fitting that it ended that way. I was hesitant to read this one for so long because of the hype surrounding it, but if you can be patient and let the story slowly unfold for you, it’s definitely worth it! I’m so glad that participating in the #AsianReadathon and #APICelebrAsian month of May pushed me to finally pick it up. I’m now looking forward to reading Ng’s debut novel, and whatever she comes out with next!

Have you read Little Fires Everywhere? What did you think of it? Do you think it lived up to the hype? Let me know in the comments and let’s talk books!

Posted in ARC, Book Reviews, Crime-Thriller-Mystery, General Books

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea – #ARC #BookReview

Goodreads: Some Choose Darkness
Publish date: 28 May 2019
Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Suspense
Rating: ★★★★☆

A modern master of suspense, critically acclaimed author Charlie Donlea returns with a taut, gripping novel about the deadly secrets hiding in plain sight . . . 

The truth is easy to miss, even when it’s right in front of us. As a forensic reconstructionist, Rory Moore sheds light on cold-case homicides by piecing together crime scene details others fail to see. Cleaning out her late father’s law office a week after his burial, she receives a call that plunges her into a decades-old case come to life once more.

In the summer of 1979, five Chicago women went missing. The predator, nicknamed The Thief, left no bodies and no clues behind—until police received a package from a mysterious woman named Angela Mitchell, whose unorthodox investigation skills appear to have led to his identity. But before police could question her, Angela disappeared. Forty years later, The Thief is about to be paroled for Angela’s murder—the only crime the DA could pin on him. As a former client of her father’s, Rory becomes reluctantly involved with the killer—though he continues to insist he didn’t murder Angela. Now he wants Rory to do what her father once promised: prove that Angela is, in fact, still alive.

As Rory begins reconstructing Angela’s last days, another killer emerges from the shadows, replicating those long-ago murders. With every startling discovery she makes, Rory becomes more deeply entangled in the enigma of Angela Mitchell—and in The Thief’s tormented mind. Drawing connections between past and present is the only way to stop the nightmare, but even Rory can’t be prepared for the full, terrifying truth that is emerging

This was my first Charlie Donlea book and it had me questioning how on earth I was sleeping on his books before this. How is it that he wasn’t even on my radar?! Shook. But you can believe that I will be remedying this from now on because “Some Choose Darkness” was such a great read! It wasn’t that it was entirely unpredictable, but the suspense was kept high from the start, and the characters and storyline were engaging throughout. The story is told in alternating narratives, shifting from the past with Angela Mitchell and the present with Rory Moore, with some other character perspectives thrown in there at the start. Through Angela’s chapters we learn about how she discovered the identity of a serial killer known as The Thief in Chicago in 1979. With Rory’s chapters, we learn about how that past ties in with the present when her father passes away and his cases, one of which concerns The Thief who her father represented, gets passed on to her.

I really appreciated the fact that both Angela and Rory are characters on the spectrum and that being autistic was what really enabled Angela to discover the truth and what makes Rory so great at her job as a forensic reconstructor of cold cases. I can’t speak to the accuracy of how they’re portrayed, but I thought Donlea did a really good job of representing characters with autism and OCD. Reading Angela’s chapters often left me feeling itchy and restless and had my heart galloping so fast and I became so immersed in the mystery in Rory’s chapters. When it came to the “big reveal” of The Thief, Donlea kept me guessing until Angela’s most pressing discovery, when my jaw dropped in disbelief. I would have frozen cold and probably died if I had been in her shoes. I was so convinced it was someone else and the person it turned out to be wasn’t even on my radar to start with! The rest of the story was slightly predictable; I was able to easily guess about something significant to Rory’s character as I was reading, but that said, it didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story overall.

I did think the ending was rushed and Rory’s actions didn’t make sense to me at all (personally, I thought it was completely out of her character), so that was a bit disappointing. To be honest, it was a little anticlimactic and very ‘easily done’. I also didn’t understand how the cold case Rory was initially involved in was relevant to the story. It did make a nice segue to a big part of Rory’s life and personal character, but mentions of it kept popping up throughout the story, and I never really understood why. Is Donlea going to continue Rory’s storyline as a forensic reconstructor? It would be interesting if he did and I’d definitely read a series with her in it!

Thanks to NetGalley, the author, and Kensington Books for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Does this sound like something you’d be interested in reading? Keep your eyes open for when this book comes out on 28 May 2019. Happy reading, friends!

Posted in General Books, WWW Wednesday

#WWWWednesday: 22 May

Is it really only Wednesday? It feels a little like it should be Friday already, but this is probably the side effect of having my holiday end on Monday, instead of at the weekend. It’s only been a day since I’ve come back to the office and the struggle is really real, y’all. All I wanna do is go back to that poolside bed and get sunbaked with a book in one hand and an iced coffee in the other. It’s times like these I really question why I don’t read for a living? Lol.

But before I drift off into my dream world, it’s time for another WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be talking about:

  1. What did you read last?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What will you read next?

What did you read last?

Since last week, I managed to finish reading Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, The Bride Test by Helen Hoang and Some Choose Darkness (e-ARC) by Charlie Donlea. I haven’t written my reviews for any of these yet, but hope to post one for Little Fires tomorrow (probably). I thoroughly enjoyed these reads though and they all received a 4/4.5 star rating from me! Little Fires Everywhere has been hyped a lot since last year and I was honestly scared to read it, but I’m so glad that my decision to take part in #APICelebrAsian / the #AsianReadathon pushed me to finally open it because I was impressed! I can’t wait to read more of her books and I’m so excited Little Fires is being made into a movie! The Bride Test was a fast, fun and super sexy read that I finished poolside while on holiday. Hoang won me over with The Kiss Quotient and she has done it again with The Bride Test! I loved the characters and the inclusiveness with characters on the spectrum. I loved the family relationships and the exploration of Asian (Vietnamese) culture and society. It wasn’t perfect, but it was a heart-fluttering feel-good read! My first finished ARC of the month, Some Choose Darkness was also my first Charlie Donlea read and it had me wondering how I hadn’t heard of him before because I loved it! While not entirely unpredictable, it still kept me on my toes and was fast-paced enough that I never felt bored. I devoured this and I can’t wait for everyone to read it! My full review for this will also (hopefully) be coming soon!

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading Final Girls by Riley Sager. I have heard so much about his books on bookstagram over the last few months that I couldn’t resist buying this when I came across it at the bookstore last week. I started it by the pool last week, but put it down because of my buddy reads, but now that those are out of the way, I’m back on it! Because of my hectic schedule and staycation, as well as my inability to really plan reads, I’m still also reading The Wedding Planner (Whisper Woods #3) by Eve Devon and How to Find Love in A Bookshop by Veronica Henry. The pub date for The Wedding Planner has already come and gone (03 May), but I just can’t seem to get into the story. It’s honestly too confusing jumping in without knowing the backstory between the characters and pairings. I’m feeling iffy about this, but I’m going to speed read and push through because you know I hate to DNF! As for the bookshop, there’s definitely no rush and I’m going to take my time reading it and perhaps using it as a palate cleanser between the thrillers I’ll be reading!

What will you read next?

So. Many. ARCs. Ohmygoodness, I just crept onto NetGalley on my lunch break today and there are so many ARCs that I need to get to reading. Why is my ass so lazy and disorganized? Seriously. I send myself into a tailspin every single time I go on the site to check what books need to be read. But literally 90% of the books waiting for me are being/have been published in May! Here are some of the ones I have to read because the pub dates have already passed or are coming up quick: The Vanishing Season by Dotch Hutchinson (21 May), The Women by S.E. Lynes (HAPPY PUBDAY! 22 May), and I Spy The Boy Next Door by Samantha Armstrong (25 May). Welp. Why do I do this to myself again?

What are you currently reading? Have you read any of these? If you’ve done a WWW Wednesday post today, leave your link in the comments below and let’s talk books 🙂

Posted in General Books, Top Tuesday

#TopTenTuesday: Books That Are Off Limits

I took a short holiday over the last week and I still kind of feel like I’m stepping out of a fog and back into a world where everything is slightly blurred around the edges. I didn’t realize how much I wanted (or needed!) a break until my recent staycation at a very quiet location surrounded by rice fields. The place itself was so aesthetically pleasing, and being able to laze in bed in the mornings, and by the pool in the afternoons, was the ultimate in relaxation and rejuvenation. That did mean spending less time on social media and falling off completely with blogging, but sometimes we all just need to disconnect, right? Now I’m back and even before the holiday ended I was already feeling pre-post-holiday-blues, and I’ve been hitting struggle town real hard today while at work. But I’m doing my best to get back on track with everything I’ve missed; hopefully it won’t take me ages to get back into my routine! So without further ado…

We’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Books That Are Off Limits. I don’t have a lot of people in my life who love to read (and the ones that do aren’t anywhere near me so it doesn’t really matter)! Most of the books on my shelf right now are newer books that I’ve collected since coming back to Indonesia six years ago because moving every few years meant my parents gave away the majority of my things, books included. Maybe the books on my list aren’t some of the oldest or most well loved, but they are definitely some of the most beautiful books I own!

A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara. I made the mistake of lending out my well-loved copy of A Little Life to a friend last year and although I trusted her to take good care of my book, it did come back in a condition that I wasn’t pleased with. I won’t be lending this book out to anyone again, even though I’m planning to get the hardcover to add to my collection.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab (Collector’s Edition). There’s no way this one is going anywhere but my shelves. This collector’s edition is beautiful and even I’m reluctant to touch and read it because it’s so lovely!

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab (Collector’s Edition). Basically the same as above. These are the first collector’s editions that I’ve purchased and they’ll be staying right where they are 🙂

Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. This hardback is the UK version and I’m in love with the white cover. When I bought it they only had two copies and there were already some imperfections that I noticed on the sleeves, so I chose the less obviously damaged of the two. It was that or not buy it and I knew I couldn’t leave the store without it!

Finale (Caraval #3) by Stephanie Garber (OwlCrate Special Edition). Caraval is one of my favorite series and when OwlCrate announced they’d be doing this special edition box, I set my alarm at 3:30am on a Monday morning to place my order. I’m so excited for this one to finally get in, and when it does, it isn’t going anywhere!

Owlcrate Signed Editions. I’ve been subscribed to OwlCrate for six months now and all the signed special cover editions are absolutely gorgeous. The books from this years’ boxes have been especially incredible and I wouldn’t want anyone borrowing them.

Persuasion by Jane Austen (Canterbury Classics Flexibound). I have a beautiful edition of this Austen and it’s my all time favorite alongside Pride & Prejudice. Even though I think Austen should be read by all, they won’t be reading this copy of mine!

Black Leopard, Red Wolf by Marlon James. Simply for the fact that this hardcover is simply too gorgeous to share. Sorry, not sorry! The jacket itself is beautiful, but the naked cover is one of my favorites that I’ve seen and I’m not risking anyone borrowing it!

The Little Mermaid and Other Fairy Tales by Hans Christian Andersen (Barnes & Noble Edition). I recently got this one from my best friend for my birthday on Sunday and it’s an absolutely gorgeous edition with silver sprayed edges and a dazzling cover. I haven’t even opened it to read myself but with how beautiful this one is, no one else is allowed to touch it unless they do it in front of me at home!

All the Books by Christina Lauren. They’re not special editions or signed books but this is more to do with the steamy romance in the books. My friends and family all have this idea in their head that I don’t dabble in romance, when in fact, I “dabble” a lot. The steaminess in some of these books would definitely (probably) shock them! 😅

Do you have any books that you won’t allow others to borrow? If you’ve done a Top Ten Tuesday post for today’s prompt, leave your link in the comments below and let’s chat books 🙂