The Identity Crisis Book Tag!

Book Tags, General Books

I stumbled across this post on Loretta’s page (which by the way is awesome and you should defo check it out if you haven’t yet!) several months ago and it looked like so much fun that I couldn’t wait to try it myself. But of course with life, reading, and all the awesome tags out there, I’ve only just now got around to doing it! It involves one of the things that I secretly really love to do on the interwebs: take quizzes! Yes, I’m a quiz-taker-lover! Especially when it’s a book related quiz but also pretty much any rando quiz I come across; you can bet that I’d love to do it, if I haven’t already done it 😂 This tag is then pretty perfect for me! Here’s what Loretta has to say about her tag:

“Now here we are! All of these quizzes tell you who you would be if you were in that specific universe. I tried to stick with the same quiz makers as much as possible for the sake of consistency, but was forced to stray on a few of them. Each fandom title links back to the original quiz I took (at this point you’re like, please for the love of god, stop saying the word quiz), so you all can take them too. So go forth and prosper. May the odds be ever in your favor. MWAHAHAHAHA!!”

With that said… Let’s get to it! First up are THE RULES:

  1. Take all the quizzes down below and record your answers somehow. I decided to just copy the text from each quiz and paste it into my post, but screenshots work too! Whatever floats your goat (Yes goat. I SAID WHAT I SAID).
  2. NO CHEATING. You get one shot to take each quiz my friends. I’m watching you. ∗Suspicious squinty eyes∗
  3. Use this post to give credit to the creator Loretta @ The Laughing Listener or tag me on twitter @LaughnListener so I can see everyone’s answers!!
  4. Tag some friends to spread the fun!

November Monthly Wrap Up!

General Books, Monthly Wrap-Up

Wowow, it’s a question I’ve been asking myself repeatedly but seriously, where did November go?! Pretty sure that I blinked twice and the month was already over. Actually, these last few months have all been speeding by and I can’t believe that we’re now almost done with the teens of the 2000s and moving into our 20s! Insanity. So it’s time for another monthly wrap up and I gotta say, November was a weird month. I don’t know if it’s because the days passed so quickly but despite (what felt like) having a book in hand 98% of the time, this was the month that I also read the least. It might also have to do with the fact that my mood for romance has all but disappeared and I used to binge romance the most! I managed to read 12 books in November and for the most part, many of them were just okay…


The Stranger Beside Me (read my review!)


Under Locke (read my review!)
Malamander (review coming)
(eARC) TH1RT3EN (read my review!)


Notes On A Nervous Planet (read my review!)


The Last Mrs. Parrish (review coming)
The Perks of Being A Wallflower (review coming)
Kiss Me Not (read my review!)
Monstress, Vol. 3: Haven (review coming)
Wicked Saints (read my review!)


(eARC) The Death of Baseball (read my review!)
Everything Under the Sun (review coming)

I participated in #NonfictionNovember this month and as you can see from my read list, I didn’t do a very good job of it! I only managed to read two NF books, although I enjoyed both very much and one of them was my favorite read this month (Stranger Beside Me). I have a lot more NF on my list that I’d obviously like to get to and I’m hoping to read at least one or two more before the year ends. That said, I’m quite pleased that I even managed to read two because NF always takes me longer to get through… Also, two is more NF than I usually read in a year so… Yay? 🤷🏻‍♀️

I’m also quite chuffed that I managed to read two more of my eARCs this month and I’m slowly creeping closer to my 100% goal (and when I say slowly I really do mean… s-l-o-w-l-y! But slow progress is better than no progress, amirite?! 😂)! I wrote more reviews for my reads this month than before, but I still have tons to catch up on and I also didn’t end up posting any reviews from previous months either. Oops! Oh well, there’s always time to catch up… 😬

This month I also randomly decided to join in on the #Triwizardathon and it has been lots of fun! I’m on Team Durmstrang and at the start of Task 2, Durmstrang was in the lead! There’s one last task this December, starting next week, so I should probably start thinking about what to read but I’m pretty excited for the final! I think half of the books I’ve read this month were because of my participation in this readathon. I’m usually pretty bad at sticking to set TBRs and yes, I have replaced one or two books that I set out to read with something else, but for the most part I’m quite proud that I’ve managed to stick to the others. Go me!

I mentioned it briefly at the end of last month’s wrap up that I was thinking of doing a revamp on my blog look and I’ve finally done it. I changed my theme and made some new graphics, which are amateurish but I think overall, I’m quite pleased with how my blog looks. I don’t know if I’m enjoying this theme 100% yet, but I do like the new graphics that I made–especially the new blog headers! I think I’ve definitely brought more colour to my blog now! What do you all think of it? Or maybe you didn’t even notice or don’t care? (That’s totally fine too! Lol)

I hope you all had a great November! I’m sure that most of us have tons of books that we’d like to read before the year is out, so HAPPY DECEMBER READING, friends!

Goodreads Monday – 02 December

General Books, Goodreads Monday

We’re back with another Goodreads Monday, a weekly meme started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s book is Hunted by Meagan Spooner. I had absolutely no idea that this was even on my list but I did add it in 2017 so… That’s a long enough time for my very spotty memory to completely forget! 😆This is a YA fantasy retelling of Beauty and the Beast and it’s got 3.92 stars with 21,269 ratings and 4,101 reviews.

Kiss Me Not (Kiss Me #1) by Emma Hart – #BookReview

Book Reviews, Chick Lit, Contemporary, General Books, Romance

Goodreads: Kiss Me Not (Kiss Me #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

What do you do when you’re the reigning kissing booth champion but the only person you want to kiss is your best friend’s brother?

Let me make this clear right here, right now: I, Halley Dawson, do not care that Preston Wright is kissing other women. Not a lick. Not at all. Nuh-uh-freakin’-uh.
I do care that he’s doing it six feet away from me behind a gaudy velvet curtain—making him my competition in this year’s kissing contest.

Why do I care, you ask? Because I’ve had an unfortunate crush on the insufferable idiot since I was sixteen years old, but I also know it’s never going to happen. He’s the Creek Falls bachelor to die for, and I’m the Creek Falls racoon lady who puts peanut butter sandwiches out for them every night. I’m not going to let him break my four-year-long reign—no matter how many times he breaks the rules and slides the curtain across to do the one thing he’s not allowed to: Kiss me.

Kiss Me Not is a short and fluffy romantic comedy that certainly had me giggling at times but overall, I thought was just alright. The enemies-to-lovers story focuses on our MCs Halley and Preston. Halley is the all-around golden girl and notorious Raccoon lady, and Preston is her best friend’s older brother and the most eligible bachelor of Creek Falls. Halley has been the reigning champion of the town’s Kissing Booth for the last four years, but this year Preston is her competition and soon bets are made and truths come out.

Goodreads Monday – 25 November

General Books, Goodreads Monday

We’re back with another Goodreads Monday, a weekly meme started by @Lauren’s Page Turners. This meme invites you to pick a book from your TBR and explain why you want to read it. Easy enough, right? Feel free to join in if you want to! I’ll be using a random number generator to pick my books from my insanely long GR Want-to-read list.

This week’s book is Of Blood and Bone (Chronicles of The One #2) by Nora Roberts. Ooh, this is a good pick and it reminds me that I still have to read it! It has some pretty impressive stats on Goodreads too: 4.30 stars with 18,127 ratings and 1,855 reviews.

Top 5 Saturday: Books with Fake Relationships!

General Books, Top 5 Saturday

It’s time for another Top 5 Saturday, a weekly meme created by Mandy @ Devouring Books and this week’s topic is: books with fake love couples. So… I’m assuming this means the fake relationship trope and I’m here for it! By now you know how much I love romance because who doesn’t love the good feels? Romance can be pretty full of tropes and sometimes those tropes get old quick, especially if what you get is the same story over and over again. That said, if I had to pick some of my favorite tropes, fake relationships/dating would definitely be near the top of that list! I mean, yeah it gets pretty predictable but still. THE GOOD FEELS!!! There are plenty of books with this trope on my TBR and here are five of them that I’m hoping to read soon.

Under Locke by Mariana Zapata – #BookReview

Book Reviews, Contemporary, General Books, Romance

Goodreads: Under Locke
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Panda Rating:

He was my boss, my brother’s friend, a Widower, an ex-felon, and a man I’d seen casually with a handful of women. But he was everything that gripped me, both the good and the bad. Worst case scenario if things turned awkward between us, I could go somewhere else. I’d gotten over epic heartbreak before, one more wouldn’t kill me.

After moving to Austin following six months of unemployment back home, Iris Taylor knows she should be glad to have landed a job so quickly… even if the business is owned by a member of the same motorcycle club her estranged father used to belong to. Except Dex Locke might just be the biggest jerk she’s ever met. He’s rude, impatient and doesn’t know how to tell time.

And the last thing they ever expected was each other.
But it was either the strip club or the tattoo shop.
… she should have chosen the strip club. 

It’s official: I’m a big Mariana Zapata fan and I think she’ll be an auto-read (maybe even auto-buy) author from now on. I’m so glad that Jen recommended this to me because I absolutely loved it! I was waiting for the right time to start reading this because past experience has shown me that once I start a Zapata book I won’t want to put it down.

Under Locke was surprisingly not as much of a slow burn compared to her other books; although compared to most other romances, it was still very much a slow burn. I don’t think there’s anyone who does slow burns as well as Zapata and it’s always so damn satisfying when the MCs finally get together. I can safely say that it’s absolutely always worth the wait and this one was no different. Although Dex did grate on my nerves a little bit with his extremely volatile temper and asshole-ish behavior, I pretty much fell in lovelust with him at the same pace as Iris did. Although his attitude does soften as the story goes on (especially towards her), he’s unapologetically himself and while I can see how that can rub people the wrong way, I appreciated that about his character. Can I also say that tattoos + men + me = (almost) guaranteed win? They’re kind of like my Achilles heel? Especially when they’re tall, brooding and totally inked (mega bonus points to Dex for owning his own parlor)!

Unsurprisingly, Iris is the total opposite of Dex. She’s sweet, shy, very innocent and it doesn’t take much to make her blush. She’s a pretty strong and resilient character, and did I mention that she’s also bookish and smart? Iris has been through some pretty tough shit in life that made her have to grow up faster than usual. While she’s only in her early twenties, she comes off as pretty mature and I really admired her character! Is the dynamic between Iris and Dex sounding a little too cliché and tropey right now? Well, maybe it is…but Zapata really does it so well and I wasn’t mad about it! Their chemistry was FIRE and those steamy scenes… Damn, those steamy scenes! 😏 I was doing a lot of swooning while reading this book (lmao).

What I also really loved about Under Locke were the side characters. The friendships that form between Iris and the rest of the artists at the parlor really gave me ‘found family’ vibes and I was here for it! The banter (oh, the banter) between everyone that worked at the store had me genuinely bent with laughter and the scenes that showed Dex relaxing/laughing with the group were also some of my favorites! Iris’ half-brother was another character that really grew on me and I really hope that we get his story because he’s such marshmallow/cinnamon roll and I want to know more ASAP!

Overall, I clearly loved this book and it definitely is a contender for my top Zapata book next to The Wall of Winnipeg and Me and Wait For It. I took off half a star because of some repetitive things some characters did which I found slightly eye-roll inducing. I’ve definitely noticed this repetitive trait in Zapata’s characters in other books too though; so by now it’s not unexpected, it’s just a little eh. But that won’t stop me from reading her books because LOVE 😍

Have you read Under Locke? Are you a Mariana Zapata fan?
Let’s chat in the comments!

Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas – #BookReview

Book Reviews, Contemporary, General Books, New Adult, Romance

Goodreads: Birthday Girl
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Romance
Panda Rating:

JORDAN
He took me in when I had nowhere else to go.
He doesn’t use me, hurt me, or forget about me. He doesn’t treat me like I’m nothing, take me for granted, or make me feel unsafe.
He remembers me, laughs with me, and looks at me. He listens to me, protects me, and sees me. I can feel his eyes on me over the breakfast table, and my heart pumps so hard when I hear him pull in the driveway after work.
I have to stop this. It can’t happen.
My sister once told me there are no good men, and if you find one, he’s probably unavailable.
Only Pike Lawson isn’t the unavailable one.
I am.

PIKE
I took her in, because I thought I was helping.
She’d cook a few meals and clean up a little. It was an easy arrangement.
As the days go by, though, it’s becoming anything but easy. I have to stop my mind from drifting to her and stop holding my breath every time I bump into her in the house. I can’t touch her, and I shouldn’t want to.
The more I find my path crossing hers, though, the more she’s becoming a part of me.
But we’re not free to give into this. She’s nineteen, and I’m thirty-eight.
And her boyfriend’s father.
Unfortunately, they both just moved into my house.

*BIRTHDAY GIRL is a stand-alone, contemporary romance suitable for ages 18+.

This isn’t the type of romance that I often read and I don’t know what pushed me to pick it up since I had never heard of this author or book beforehand, but pick it up I did and … Yeah, it just wasn’t my jam. I liked that it was a slow-burn romance. I admit that the chemistry between Pike and Jordan was fire and the steamy scenes between them were all pretty hot and explosive. If my rating would be based on those scenes alone, I’d probably give this a 4-star rating.

But unfortunately, most of the story was just a little… meh and unbelievable? The majority of the characters were plot devices and I didn’t want to do anything but slap them for being truly awful people (especially Cole and his mother–I could not have rolled my eyes harder at these two characters. Just plain old disgusting). It was really hard for me to have any sympathy for a lot of these characters. One thing I’m glad of is that there was really no ‘love triangle’ aspect to this story because I honestly would’ve DNF’d it if it did (that’s really how much I hate love triangles because you know this panda does not DNF books lol). But there’s actually none of that in this book because Cole is the ultimate douchebag from page one and his hot/cold I-care-and-then-don’t-care attitude was just shitty and shady throughout. I would never cheat on someone but… Damn, Cole did not deserve half the respect that Jordan, and I’d even go so far as to also say Pike, gave him. I didn’t even care about his “redemption arc” at the end and I don’t feel it added anything at all. 🤷🏻‍♀️

There were moments that I found the relationship between Pike and Jordan a little weird because he’d act all reprimanding like her dad would and then obviously, there were the many other times when he’d have indecent very-not-fatherly thoughts about/towards her. I also found Pike annoyingly immature at times. Like, mate, you should be acting well above this immaturity right now. Some of his monologues also came off as sexist and fairly condescending towards Jordan/Jordan’s sister, and it just wasn’t a good look. For the most part, I did like Jordan’s character. She was strong, pretty mature (for her age and in comparison to the others), hard-working and wasn’t overly annoying or had unrealistic expectations about her life and relationships. Unsurprisingly for someone going through a tumultuous time in her early twenties, there were moments where she did get on my nerves, but I think Pike’s character managed to irritate me more.

I will say though that this was oddly addictive because I couldn’t put it down until I finished it. It was like another “The Stopover” moment for me where I was thinking “what the hell am I doing reading this book?!” and then at the same time being unable to stop reading it. 🤦🏻‍♀️ So I guess there’s that going for it?

Have you read Birthday Girl? How do you feel about love triangles?
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!

October Monthly Wrap Up!

General Books, Monthly Wrap-Up

Friends! Can you believe? Two months until 2019 is over and I honestly still can’t believe it. I have no idea where this year has gone but it’s definitely gone in a blink! October was such a hectic month that I don’t even know where the days went because time moved so quickly. That said, I’m surprised that I managed to read 19 books this month, which brings my Goodreads reading challenge up to 175/90.


The Wall of Winnipeg and Me (review coming)
Serpent & Dove (review coming)


Last Time I Lied (review)
The Dugout (review)
Wait for It (review coming)


The Bookish Life of Nina Hill (review)
House of Salt and Sorrows (review coming)
Rules for Vanishing (review)
Frankly In Love (review coming)


These Witches Don’t Burn (review coming)


(eARC Graphic Novel) Fair Lady Vol. 1 (review coming)
Dear Aaron (review coming)
Faker (review coming)
(eARC) The Sea of Lost Girls (review coming)


(eARC) My Life as Marlee (review)
Birthday Girl (review coming)


Falling for My Brother’s Best Friend (review coming)
Park Avenue Player (review coming)
To Have and Hate (review coming)

Thinking about it again, I’m not surprised I read 19 books this month because I read a ton of romances which I always speed through (at most it takes me 2 days to read one). While I took a little step outside of my comfort zone this month with Rules for Vanishing, I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t read any other spooky read, although being a mood reader I know that forcing myself to read something I’m not feeling just wouldn’t work.

I’m clearly still very much on that romance vibe, although I can also start to feel myself becoming a little jaded with some of these romances (maybe as evidenced by the lower ratings because I just wanted to roll-my-eyes-so-hard). But I think I’ve been hitting the romance so hard because my brain is just… TIRED? Like… I have no mental energy left on most days and that means I love reading romances that not only give me swoony feelings but I also don’t have to think very hard about. Let’s see if the romancing mood will continue in November!

Just like last time, you can find all my weekly memes in my menu bar since I’ve organized that a bit more. You can find the rest of the posts that I’ve made this month below. I actually didn’t write a whole lot of reviews this month, I’ve just been ‘too busy reading’ and that’s okay because I know I’m not obligated to write a review for every book I read (unless it’s an eARC) but I’ve come to realize just how much writing reviews really helps my memory! So… I’m on a mission (maybe tomorrow) to sit down and write some reviews before I forget even more than I already have!

ALSO I’ve been toying with the idea of giving my blog a bit of revamped look but I don’t know if I should do it right now (it’s not even been a year but playing with blog layouts has always been a fun time for me! LOL 😅). Might give it a go this weekend but will play it by ear! What do you think? Do you like changing up your (blog) look or is that just confusing?

Reviews

eARC Graphic Novel Review: The Black Mage by Daniel Barnes & DJ Kirkland
eARC Review: On The Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness (The Wingfeather Saga #1) by Andrew Petersen
Cover Reveal: His Royal Highness by R.S. Grey
eARC Graphic Novel Review: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker, Wendy Wu

I hope you all had a great reading month in October and I hope that November continues to be awesome! What was your favorite read this month? Come let me know in the comments & let’s chat!

The Dugout (Brentwood Baseball #2) by Meghan Quinn – #BookReview

Book Reviews, Contemporary, General Books, New Adult, Romance

Goodreads: The Dugout (Brentwood Baseball #2)
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance, New Adult
Panda Rating:

Let me ask you a question:
If someone is vying for your spot on a team and just so happens to injure you during practice, would you believe it was on purpose?
Word around campus is . . . it was no accident.

That injury has cost me everything; my starting position, my junior year—and the draft. Now, I’m a senior fresh off recovery, struggling to find my groove, until the day I run into a nervous, fidgety, girl with freckles, in the dining hall.

They call Milly Potter The Baseball Whisperer, The Diamond Wizard, and The Epitome of All Knowledge. She believes in baseball. She breathes it. She’s the queen of an infamous dynasty, but no one actually knows who she really is, and she plans to keep it that way.

One mishap in the panini line, one miscommunication in the weight room, and many failed attempts at an apology equal up to one solid truth — Milly Potter never wants to speak to me again — no matter how good my forearms look. Little do we both know, she’s about to become more than just my fairy ballmother.

I’m not that big of a sports fan IRL (except for when it comes to tennis and footy) and I know maybe next to nothing about baseball but that didn’t stop me from really enjoying The Dugout! I found myself swooning and laughing my way through this story.

At first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it because Carson comes off as an entitled asswipe from page one and I didn’t like how he was so unnecessarily rude and abrasive. I get that he had a chip on his shoulder but it’s just not a good look, mate! That said, he really grew on me as the story went on and I’m positive a lot of that had to do with the introduction of Milly into his life. Milly is AWESOME. She’s a little bit nerdy, down-to-earth, and insanely smart and talented at coaching baseball! Want to know a random/fun fact about baseball? Milly can supply. Having trouble getting your shit together on the field and need coaching? Milly is your girl. I was worried that there would be one of those “She’s All That” moments where the nerdy girl suddenly transforms into this stunner by shedding the baggy clothing and stepping out in “sexy clothes”, but she sticks true to herself and I was here for it! I really enjoyed seeing Milly and Carson’s relationship grow from friendship to love and their banter was spot on. I like that she continued to be straight up with him, but that his softer and more mature side was brought out more because of her. They had great chemistry and I’m glad Quinn built that up well. I’d probably give the heat factor a four in this book. I think there were more steamy scenes in this one (and it was definitely hotter) than the other Quinn books I’ve read. Ain’t mad about it either 🤷🏻‍♀️ lol

While I liked both MCs, I think that my favorite thing about this story were the friendships. Milly’s best-friendship with Shane and Jeremy was hilarious and pure. They brought an extra little spark of fun and quirkiness that I really enjoyed. What I really loved though was the camaraderie between the whole baseball team. When Milly went over that night to get introduced to the boys, I don’t think I stopped laughing and swooning once! Seriously, from the minute the door opened I was bent over cracking up. I wanted to give them all hugs forever–they were SO CUTE I wanted to know more about all of them and I really hope that they all get stories. Seriously, I really hope so *hint hint Meghan Quinn!*

The reason I took off half a star is because I thought how some characters reacted in certain situations (especially during their monologues) was a little OTT. There were also moments where the narration would switch from first person to second person and back and it was a little annoying. Overall though, I had such a fun time reading this book and I can’t wait to go back to book 1 of this series because I’m definitely curious to know more about Carson’s BFF, Knox (you don’t need to read it to understand this book though).

Have you read The Dugout? Are you a fan of sports romances?
Let me know in the comments and let’s chat!