Let’s Talk Bookish: Buying vs Borrowing Books

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme created by Rukky @Eternity Books and hosted by Aria @Book Nook Bits, and it’s where we get to discuss certain topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts! If you want to join in the bookish discussion fun, check out the May 2022 prompts!

Now without further ado… The topic asks us about:

How do you decide what books to borrow or buy?

(SUGGESTED BY JILLIAN @ JILLIAN THE BOOKISH BUTTERFLY)
Prompts: Do you buy a lot of books? Do you borrow books from a library, or from friends? What do you look out for in books you buy? Are there any book genres you typically buy more of? Do the types of books that you buy differ from the types of books you typically borrow? Do you prefer to borrow or to buy books?

DO *i* buy a lot of books?

Well… *side-eyes the small stack of books I just bought earlier today* Sometimes, I guess? Hah, who am I kidding! Yes, I buy pretty much 95% of my books. The other 5% are ARCs or books I borrow from Kindle Unlimited, which is the only platform I use to borrow books from. I don’t have access to a library where I’m from (Indonesia) and so if I want to read anything, whether it’s old or new, I have to buy it myself.

KINDLE UNLIMITED OR NOTHING

The only borrowing of books that I do these days is through my Kindle Unlimited subscription. Most of the books I read on KU are romance and since it’s a genre that I’ve been reading more of over the last two years, it’s been a really great resource for me since I tend to read pretty quickly. If I had to buy all of the books that I read through KU I very likely wouldn’t read half the number of books that I do and I would also be a very very poor panda! 🥲

BUYING VS BORROWING GENRES

I never actually thought about the differences in genres of the books I buy vs the books I borrow. As I mentioned, most of the books I read on KU are romances, so that’s obviously the main genre of the books I borrow. That doesn’t mean I don’t borrow other kinds of books—I’ve found a few indie fantasies and some graphic novels on KU but they’re not as common finds for me. This also doesn’t mean I don’t buy any romances because I still very much do and there have been times when I’ve loved a book I read on KU so much that I went and bought myself a copy! I think for the genre of eBook I buy the most, it’s still gonna be romance because it’s just harder to find physical copies locally and most of the time I don’t have the patience to wait for international shipping (especially not with the panini).

Now that I’ve thought about the genres, I’ve noticed that most of the books that I buy physical copies of are contemporary fiction or fantasy (usually YA). I try to buy at my local store as much as possible and these are the genres that are most commonly found in store. When I buy special editions they also tend to be fantasy (either YA/Adult) but I think that’s mostly because they’re the ones that are offered through the sub boxes that I know of.

MY PERSONAL PREFERENCE

As it is, I don’t really have much of a choice whether I borrow or buy a book! I think if I had access to a library I would definitely prefer borrowing books over buying them because I do spend a significant amount of money on books—and I realise this is very much a privilege because I don’t have any other adulting responsibilities aside from a few monthly bills! Again, it’s a choice to buy books because it’s not like I don’t have any reading material or an empty existing TBR… 🙃 But I think being able to borrow books would also help me be more discerning with the ones that I add to my shelves because then the books I choose to buy would be the ones I know I love, would probably re-read and I want to keep forever.

So, what about you friends? Do you mostly borrow or buy your books? Do you notice a difference in the books you buy vs borrow? Do you prefer to buy or borrow?

Romance Mini-Reviews: Kiss and Don’t Tell, The Last Eligible Billionaire & A Deal with the Devil

I’ve got quite a backlog of reviews that I want to share on my blog but with the number I’ve got going, it’ll take me forever to get many of them up so today I’m sharing mini-reviews for three romances that I’ve read in the last month! If you’re interested in reading any of these, all of them are available on Kindle Unlimited (at least for Amazon UK) if you have a subscription. 😊


Kiss and Don’t Tell by Meghan Quinn

Goodreads: Kiss and Don’t Tell (The Vancouver Agitators #1)
Publication Date: 21 September 2021
Genre:
Contemporary Sports Romance

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

Five hockey players, a cabin in the woods . . . and little old me, Winnie Berlin.

Sounds like the start of a fantasy, right? But it’s not. It’s my reality.
It all started when I got lost in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. A wicked thunderstorm sent my car mud sliding into a ditch and for a girl whose survival skills involve finding the nearest Starbucks, I was in deep trouble.
Forced to abandon my car in search of help, I stumbled upon a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Soaking wet, irritated, and in desperate need of a hot shower, I knocked on the door for help only to be greeted by five boisterous, burly, and insanely attractive men.

Not just men.
Professional hockey players.
I hit the motherload of fantasies, right? Wrong.
Because as it turns out, one of them is my ex-boyfriend’s half-brother. And when I end up crashing in their spare bedroom for the night, things take a very unexpected turn. I’m not sure any amount of survival skills can protect my heart from Vancouver Agitators star goalie, Pacey Lawes. But as long as we kiss and don’t tell, maybe everything will be okay . . .

Continue reading “Romance Mini-Reviews: Kiss and Don’t Tell, The Last Eligible Billionaire & A Deal with the Devil”

#TopTenTuesday: Kindle Unlimited Books I Want to Read!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week is actually a freebie and so I decided to do a topic that I don’t think I’ve done before: Kindle Unlimited Books That I Want to Read (ASAP)!

I know this is a pretty specific topic as not everyone has Kindle Unlimited or likes using Amazon but I love KU. As an international reader, it gives me access to so many books that I wouldn’t have even heard of otherwise and all 20 slots in my library are always full! I primarily read romances on KU and that’s what I thought I’d focus on BUT there are so many other amazing titles I can’t wait to read as well, so today I’m coming at you with a list of 20 Kindle Unlimited books that I can’t wait to read (woo, rebel me)! I have Amazon UK so this list might differ for other Amazon locations but I hope they’re available to all readers too!

Continue reading “#TopTenTuesday: Kindle Unlimited Books I Want to Read!”

ARC Review: From the Top by Jaqueline Snowe

Special thanks to the author for providing an ARC via Grey’s Promotions in exchange for an honest review!

Goodreads: From the Top (Central State #2)
Published: 15 February 2022
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Falling for the captain was never part of the plan…
Cami Simpson is the ‘it girl’—at least until a string of terrible decisions leads to no boyfriend, no captainship of the dance team, and no fancy apartment. Due to a mold outbreak at her place, she’s forced to relocate to a co-ed dorm as a senior. And to top it off, she finds out she’s at risk of not graduating due to an error in her schedule. Talk about the worst senior year ever.

Frederick Brady the IV would never admit the massive crush he once had on the dance darling. Not to anyone. They’d almost had a moment a year ago, but she crushed him, so she’s the last person he wants to live next to. It doesn’t matter though. He’s on his way out to an internship and almost done with school where he can leave his heartbreak and data foes behind.

Neither expected to form a friendship or know what to do about their insane chemistry. With late nights, inside jokes, and the rare comfort they find in each other… lines blur, and the popular girl gets with the nerdy guy. Only, Freddie’s done this before and knows how it ends. His insecurities clash with Cami’s need to be picked first, so when Freddie has to choose where to attend his internship, he can either pick the job or the girl. And for the guy who’s set on protecting his heart, well, he might break hers in the process.

Jaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the “dry heat” really isn’t that bad. She prefers drinking coffee all hours of the day and snacking on anything that has peanut butter or chocolate. She is the mother to two fur-babies who don’t realize they aren’t humans and a new mom to the sweetest baby boy. She is an avid reader and writer of romances and tends to write about athletes. Her husband works for an MLB team (not a player, lol) so she knows more about baseball than any human ever should.

Author Socials
Website | Goodreads | Amazon | Facebook | FB Group
Instagram | Twitter | Bookbub | Newsletter

TL;DR: If you’re looking for a fun/fast read and a steamy frenemies-to-lovers situation between a popular girl and nerdy guy that’s full of sweet vulnerability and explosive chemistry, then I would definitely recommend checking this out!

Continue reading “ARC Review: From the Top by Jaqueline Snowe”

Book Review: The Plight Before Christmas by Kate Stewart

Goodreads: The Plight Before Christmas
Published: 19 December 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Clark Griswold was onto something, at least with his annual holiday meltdown. And since the last three weeks of my life have been riddled with humbug—another breakup, a broken toe, an office promotion I deserved and didn’t get—I’m not at all in the mood to celebrate nor have the happ, happ, happiest Christmas EVER.

When Mom insisted that we all gather at my Grandparent’s ancient cabin for an old school family Christmas, I fully intended to get into the holiday spirit with the help of the three wise men, Johnnie Walker, Jack Daniels, and Jim Beam. But those boys did absolutely nothing to offset the shock or temper the sting of seeing my EX on our doorstep the first day of our holiday soiree.

Apparently, Santa missed the memo, and this elf is pissed.
Stuck for a week with the man who obliterated my heart nearly two decades ago, I did the only thing I could do and put on my game face, thankful for the home advantage.

I knew better than to drink that last cup of eggnog.
I knew better than to get tongue tangled beneath the mistletoe with the only man to ever break my heart.
I knew better than to sleep with Satan’s wingman on the eve of the Lord’s birthday.

I could blame the nog. I could blame the deceitful light blue eyes, thick, angelic hair, and panty evaporating smirk…but mostly, I blame Eli because he always knew exactly which of my buttons to push.

I foolishly thought a family Christmas filled with nostalgia was going to turn my inner Scrooge around, but this year’s festivities went up in flames. Leave it to the ghost of my Christmas past to be the one to light the match.

Fa la la la la, la FML. 

TL;DR: It admittedly took me a little while to get into the story but I ended up really enjoying the Christmas vibes, the Collins family, the sibling relationships, and following along with Eli and Whitney’s second-chance romance after a gut-wrenching heartbreak and 17 years apart. This ended up being a bit more serious than I expected (CW/TW below) but the story was well-balanced with light-hearted moments of cheeky banter, swoony romance and steamy moments.

CW/TW: recounting of terminal illness (cancer), parental death, anxiety

Continue reading “Book Review: The Plight Before Christmas by Kate Stewart”

Book Review: A Not So Meet Cute by Meghan Quinn

Goodreads: A Not So Meet Cute
Published: 02 November 2021
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Panda Rating:

(3.5 pandas)

How did you two meet?
The quintessential question asked to every couple. And the answer is usually some bubbly, lovey dovey tale of being struck in the bum by Cupid’s arrow.

My meet cute (well not so meet cute) is slightly different. I was trolling a wealthy neighborhood in Beverly Hills, searching for someone to take me as their bride, you know, to make my arch nemesis jealous who consequently just fired me. He was stomping around the block like some sort of gorgeous ogre, mumbling about a business deal gone wrong and attempting to finagle his way out of it.

And that’s when we bumped into each other.
There were no sparks.
Not even a hint of blossoming love.

But next thing I knew, I was scarfing down free chips and guac, listening to this man lay out all of his problems which led to his big ask . . . he wanted me to be his Vivian Ward, you know, from Pretty Woman–minus the frisky behavior.
We’re talking about living in a mansion, intimate double dates, and pretending we were head over heels in love . . . and engaged. Can you imagine?
The absolute audacity.
But people do crazy things when they’re desperate. And I reeked of desperation. So, I struck up a deal.
My one big mistake, though . . . big . . . HUGE? I accidentally fell for the incomparable Huxley Cane

TL;DR: I got exactly what I wanted with A Not So Meet Cute—a slightly cheesy, sometimes OTT romantic comedy with lots of cheeky banter, sizzling chemistry between our H/h and all the steamy moments! Overall, this was an entertaining rom-com that maybe started off on the not-so-cute side for me but ended up getting to that entertaining place that Meghan Quinn always brings us to with her romances.

Continue reading “Book Review: A Not So Meet Cute by Meghan Quinn”

#TopTenTuesday: Online Resources for Book Lovers!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: Online Resources for Book Lovers (what websites, podcasts, apps, etc. do you use that make your reading life better?)

Ooh, this one is probably gonna be a “short and sweet” one for me but I’m so looking forward to seeing what all of you use and recommend! I’m pretty sure this is a topic that hasn’t been done before (or at least, not that I can remember in the years I’ve been doing TTT) so this is gonna be fun!

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Book Review: Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous

Goodreads: Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: 01 June 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary, Coming-of-Age

Panda Rating:

(4 pandas)

Sunny Song’s Big Summer Goals:
1) Make Rafael Kim my boyfriend (finally!)
2) Hit 100K followers (almost there…)
3) Have the best last summer of high school ever


Not on Sunny’s list: accidentally filming a PG-13 cooking video that goes viral (#browniegate). Extremely not on her list: being shipped off to a digital detox farm camp in Iowa (IOWA??) for a whole month. She’s traded in her WiFi connection for a butter churn, and if she wants any shot at growing her social media platform this summer, she’ll need to find a way back online.

But between some unexpected friendships and an alarmingly cute farm boy, Sunny might be surprised by the connections she makes when she’s forced to disconnect.

I won a copy of this book in a Giveaway hosted by the author. I buddy it with my fellow winner Julie @ One Book More and it was so much fun. 😍 I can’t wait to read more by this author in the future!


TL;DR: Sunny Song Will Never Be Famous is a comedic and realistic coming-of-age story about growing up in the age fo a social media as a mid-level influencer and I thought it was an entertaining and entirely too relatable read! I have a feeling anyone who’s been on social media, no matter what age, will relate to Sunny and the kids at this camp in one way or another! Sunny was an interesting character who experiences such great growth and I loved the hopeful end-of-summer vibes the story concluded with. #TeamSunny for the win!

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First Impressions Spotlight: Dim Stars by Brian P. Rubin

I’m back with the The Storytellers on Tour today with a Book Blitz for Dim Stars by Brian P. Rubin and I’ll be sharing my first impressions of the book so far. Thanks to the author for providing a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review!

Don’t forget to scroll to the end of the post to enter the GIVEAWAY (International) for the chance to win a signed paperback copy of the book!

The Gremlin

Goodreads: Dim Stars
Publisher: Critical Eye Publishing
Publication Date: 20 October 2020
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi

Kenzie Washington, fourteen-year-old girl genius, signs up for a two-week tour as a cadet on the spaceship of her idol, Captain Dash Drake. Too bad Dash, who once saved the galaxy from the evil Forgers, is a broke loser and much less than meets the eye. But when an intergalactic evil appears and launches an attack, Dash, Kenzie, and the ship’s crew escape, making them the next target. On the run and low on gas, Dash and Kenzie encounter cannibal space-pirates, catastrophic equipment failure, and a cyborg who’s kind of a jerk. Kenzie is determined to discover the bad guys’ secret plan. But for her to succeed, Dash needs to keep his brilliant, annoying cadet from getting killed …which is a lot harder than it sounds.

BUY A COPY:

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Book Review: The Rake of Hearts by Emily Windsor

Goodreads: The Rake of Hearts (A Lady to Suit #2)
Publisher: Senara Press Ltd
Published: 02 April 2020
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Fiction

Panda Rating:

(4.5 pandas)

When the heart is afire…
By his own admission, Lord Ernest Brook is a rake. With sapphire gaze, sinfully handsome looks and a duke for a brother, the pleasures of London have come with ease…apart from one.
Ever since the gauntlet of her first wintry dismissal was thrown, the widowed Hebe Lock has stirred his deepest desires, but just what would it take to woo such a woman?

Sparks will fly.
Hebe Locke has vowed to never again fall for a scoundrel after her brief marriage to one left her broken and haunted.
Now she finds comfort with paintbrush and canvas, but as a female artist in a male world, commissions are as rare as a ballroom without rakes.

A castle of enchantment.
As the heat of late summer warms the land, an ancient, moated castle plays host to a widow and a rake, both concealing passions contrary to their reputations.
But as Lord Ernest awakens Hebe’s desire and thaws her frozen emotions, can she hold true to her vow?
Or can this rake win the one heart he yearns for?

Sensual Regency romance with warmth and wit, this tale also includes a disreputable aunt with a secondary love story, Cotswold country fairs, sinful masquerades and…a goat.

TL;DR: After meeting Ernest in his brother’s story, The Duke of Diamonds, and getting a glimpse of the potential romance between him and Mrs. Locke, I had a feeling that I’d love their story and I wasn’t wrong! Who knew that a rake could be so devastatingly sweet? Honestly, if Ernest had pointedly looked at me over the top of his glasses across the table, I’d probably have swooned into my pudding too! 😂 I found the writaing just as full of wit and warmth in this book and there were some great laugh-out-loud moments as well, especially as Hebe and Ernest playfully antagonise each other at the beginning!

Continue reading “Book Review: The Rake of Hearts by Emily Windsor”