#WWWWednesday: 05 August

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

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

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to finish a surprising five books!

The Hollow Gods (The Chaos Cycle Duology) by A.J. Vrana ★★★☆☆
As The Ultimate Chicken™ this book was completely out of my comfort zone but I was pleasantly surprised by it. Apparently all the horrifying things happen in small towns, right? The small town secrets and folklore were definitely terrifying in this one! If you like a dark fantasy with paranormal elements this will definitely be up your alley. Read my full review!

Frostheart (Frostheart #1) by Jamie Littler ★★★½
I absolutely loved that the whole story was illustrated because it helped bring this ice covered world to life. My heart really felt for Ash and his longing to find a place where he belonged and the people who would accept him in spite of his dangerous legacy. It was a heartwarming and sweet read full of adventure that I think many young readers will enjoy. Review coming soon!

A Wicked Magic by Sasha Laurens ★★★☆☆
This was very different to what I expected. Laurens does paint a very eerie small town atmosphere but it didn’t end up being as scary as I thought it’d be. It was also a much heavier read that covers intense and difficult topics that can be potentially triggering for many. Read my full review and see the full list of content warnings the author shared on her website!

The Good for Nothings by Danielle Banas ★★★★☆
To steal Emer’s term, this was a fantastic popcorn read. It was a space opera reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy, Aurora Rising and Illuminae Files (imho). I loved the awkward, quirky and dry banter between our found family crew and the story left me feeling extremely comforted. It was such a fun and fast-paced story 💙 Read my full review!

Always Only You (Bergman Brothers #2) by Chloe Liese ★★★★★
I absolutely adored this romance and it had me swooning through the whole read. Give me more empowering couples who aren’t afraid to be vulnerable and open with each other, who don’t suffer from the typical miscommunication issue in many romances and don’t devolve into immaturity. Frankie and Ren were the romance couple I didn’t know I needed. Read my full review!

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Smol Life and Reading Update

*tentatively waving*

Hello!? …Is anybody out there? It’s me! Shocked? Same here. But… this panda still lives!!! 🐼

When July rolled in and I finally made my big move from Bali to the megacity, I certainly didn’t have any plans to pull a mini-hiatus or take a break from blogging but that’s what ended up happening anyway! Honestly, I don’t even really have a “good reason” why I haven’t been blogging, hopping or active on all platforms including Twitter over the last month. I initially thought I’d give myself a weekend or so to settle in and take a break from everything because I felt overwhelmed, but that ended up turning into another week and another week, until it’s almost been one month now and I’m definitely feeling some kind of guilty about it!

So I’m going to push myself to start blogging again from today onward–and it’s not that I no longer want to blog or engage with others because I really do! I’ve missed this community and all of the friends I’ve made on here so much and I’m so sorry that I’ve been MIA and haven’t been visiting or commenting at all. I think I’ve just allowed myself to get completely overwhelmed by everything (work, big life changing decisions, family issues etc.) and then I’ve wallowed in it. But I’m taking a stand against myself and saying: NO MORE! 😂

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Blog Tour Review: The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar

Hey, hey friends! I’m so excited to be back for another @WriteReads blog tour for The Ship of Shadows. This was such a fun and fast-paced read and I’m so glad this was put on my radar because of this tour 😍 Be sure to check out all the other bloggers participating in this tour over here.

Super big thanks to Dave for organising these tours and to NetGalley and Puffin Books for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review! Let’s get to it…

Goodreads: The Ship of Shadows
Publisher: Puffin Books
Published: 16 July 2020
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Panda Rating:

Aleja whiles away her days in her family’s dusty tavern in Seville, dreaming of distant lands and believing in the kind of magic that she’s only ever read about in books. After all, she’s always being told that girls can’t be explorers.

But her life is changed forever when adventure comes for her in the form of a fabled vessel called the Ship of Shadows. Crewed by a band of ruthless women, with cabin walls dripping with secrets, the ship has sailed right out of a legend. And it wants Aleja.

Once on board its shadowy deck, she begins to realize that the sea holds more secrets than she ever could have imagined. The crew are desperately seeking something, and their path will take them through treacherous waters and force them to confront nightmare creatures and pitch-dark magic. It will take all of Aleja’s strength and courage to gain the trust of her fellow pirates – and discover what they are risking everything to find

Buy a copy: Amazon

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#WWWWednesday: 01 July

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

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

I’ve been incredibly busy packing for my big “cross country” move from Bali to Jakarta, on top of still having to work as I don’t have anymore leave days left this year, so reading has taken a bit of a back seat. Since last Wednesday I’ve only managed to read three books but I’m trying not to feel meh about it.

Summer Strawberries at Swallowtail Bay by Katie Ginger ★★★★☆
This would be the perfect companion for a hot summer day laying by the pool or at the beach soaking in the sun (with no one else around because we’re still mindful of social distancing!!!). I enjoyed this lovely romance a lot more than I expected. The characters really grew on me and I rooted for them to their HEA because they absolutely deserved it! Check out my full review.

Wundersmith: The Calling of Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor #2) by Jessica Townsend ★★★★★
I need book three NOW! I think I loved Wundersmith even more than I did book one and that’s saying something because I adored book one. The Nevermoor series continues to sweep me away to its magical and odd world. The characters grew on me even more in book two and the plot becomes even more intriguing. If you want a book that’ll give you those nostalgic and whimsical childhood feels, this is the one! Review coming very soon.

The End of Magic by Mark Stay
TEOM has a great premise and presented an interesting idea but I felt that the follow through in terms of world building and characters fell short. There wasn’t much world building and I unfortunately found the characters very unlikeable and hard to root for. This was also a lot more violent/gore filled than I expected. I will say that Stay’s writing style was very easy to read and that’s how I ended up finishing the book despite of the difficulties in reading it. Full review to come (soon-ish)!

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#TopTenTuesday: Most Anticipated Releases 2nd Half of 2020!

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s prompt is: most anticipated releases for the second half of 2020.

Well… Considering I have 100+ books marked as 2020 releases, it was definitely… “fun” narrowing it down to just ten for today’s list 🤣 Yes, we should all already be aware of the fact that I have a very problematic relationship with that ‘want-to-read’ button on Goodreads–it’s all too easy to click! Adding books to my already endless TBR only ever became a problem when I joined the book community and I really don’t foresee this problem going away any time soon (unfortunately for my TBR and savings)! Obviously this list of ten is a smol peek at the books I’m looking forward to getting my grabby hand son, but they are the ones that came to mind first. I’m so excited for some of these I can’t even! Also, I tried to mention books that haven’t made an appearance in my more recent posts (even though I’m definitely still very excited for them–especially Cemetery Boys and Cinderella is Dead!)

(book covers are linked to Goodreads pages!)

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First Lines Friday – 26 June

Happy Friday book lovers! We’re back with another First Lines Friday, a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines? Here are the rules:

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

First lines:

“Aleja was a girl so hungry for adventure that sometimes she found herself in strange places.

Do you recognize the book these first lines come from?

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#WWWWednesday: 24 June

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

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

Since last Wednesday I’ve managed to finish four books. The majority of my reads are still for blog tours, which I’m surprised to have completed well ahead of my dates this week, but I also read two romances because my mood told me to!

The Crow Rider (The Storm Crow #2) by Kalyn Josephson ★★★½
This was a really satisfying conclusion to this duology. We get more strong friendships, some character growth, intriguing revelations, an awesome battle, and plenty more crow magic with a cheeky little crow that will steal your heart. Friday is my stop on the blog tour so be on the look out for my review then!

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne ★★★½
I picked this up immediately after the lovely Emer suggested it in part one of her rom com recs. This was my second book by Layne and I thoroughly enjoyed it! This was easy to speed through in one sitting and was great for a laugh. I loved the characters and there was just the right amount of angst. Although the ending felt rushed and “too easy” this was still a fun romcom with great banter and quirky characters. Review coming very soon!

I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne ★★★½
I decided to read another book by Layne after finishing Walk of Shame and again, this was easy to quickly devour in one sitting. The level of angst in this one was a bit higher but the chemistry was undeniable and the antagonistic banter was just as good! I loved our hero, Nick 💜 Although this is book four in a series it can definitely be read as a standalone because I didn’t read the other three before this. Review coming very soon!

I Killed Zoe Spanos by Kit Frick ★★★½
I have to admit to being a bit disappointed that I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I’d hoped especially with the ‘big reveal’/ending. It’s said to be for fans of Sadie and while I get it with the mixed media format, that was a bit of the extent of it. I was surprised by how eerily atmospheric Frick’s writing was though and this was definitely not the typical sunshine and wealth Hamptons that we’re used to seeing. Although I struggled at the start, once the pace picked up I sped through it. I know I’m in the minority with my opinion though and I think it’ll be a big summer hit. My stop on the blog tour is TOMORROW so be sure to look out for my review then 😉

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Top 5 Saturday: Books Set Near/On the Sea

We’re back with another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is: books set near/on the sea.

This is a great topic that I don’t think I’ve ever answered in a meme before. Now that I’m thinking about it, I realise that I have a lot of books set near/on/in the sea, so it’s clear I love the idea of a story set by the sea or on the sea. I say I love the idea because these are all on my TBR (*cough*) LOL

It’s funny when I think about it because when I think of books set on the sea I always think of fantasy (mostly YA) and when I think of books set near/by the sea, a lot of the time I think about women’s fiction books that are set in the summer and revolve around quaint sea-side towns and have cute fluffy romances! That said, when thinking about books for this list none were the latter but one was the former 😂 I’m looking forward to reading all of these though and I’m really hoping I’ll be able to get to them them at some point this year!

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#WWWWednesday: 03 June

This is starting to feel a little bit like de ja vu but how is it already Wednesday now? What have I done this week? I feel like I’ve accomplished nothing and… that actually shows in my reading! *womp womp womp*

Hello, hello and welcome back to another episode of WWW Wednesday, a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words, which means I’ll be answering these questions:

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

Since last Wednesday I’ve only finished one book. Technically, I read two but for the first time in pretty much ever I purposefully set aside a book and decided to DNF it. Yep, it’s a mood. But anyway, I’m going to focus on the one book I did finish this past week: The Fallen Angel by Kenneth B. Andersen. This is book five in The Great Devil War series and while I enjoyed it, it wasn’t my favourite in the series (that title still belongs to book four)! My review will be posted later tonight so be on the look out for that 😊

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Top 5 Saturday: Books from Male only POVs

We’re back with another Top 5 Saturday! Just in case you don’t know Top 5 Saturday is a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and it’s where we list the top five books (they can be books on your TBR, favourite books, books you loved/hated) based on the week’s topic. You can see the upcoming schedule at the end of my post 🙂 This week’s topic is: male POVsI’m taking this to mean male only POVs

Okay wow, I didn’t think I’d struggle as much as I did to think of a list for today’s prompt! Turns out, a lot of the books I own on my TBR aren’t written from male (only) POVs 🙃 I also don’t think I ever properly paid attention to this before (oops! 🙈) but that’s pretty interesting to note! Also interesting was that when I took to Google and Goodreads (as I usually do to jog my memory for these prompts), it turns out a lot of male POV lists are either romance or YA related (or both), with little to no mention of contemporary fiction, mysteries/thrillers, adult fantasy or the sub-genres. So that wasn’t really useful… but after deep-diving into my failing memory (and my Kindle shelf!) I’ve managed to make a list of five books from mixed genres including adult fantasy, middle-grade fantasy and contemporary fiction!

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