May Wrap-Up

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been feeling kind of slumpy lately – May went a little bit better than April, but I still struggled through it. I’m really hoping some good summery contemporaries will pull me out of it in June. But for now, here’s the books I did manage to read in May.


  1. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (ARC): ★.5
  2. Lover at Last by JR Ward (audio): 
  3. Romanov by Nadine Brandes (ARC): 
  4. Meet Cute by Helena Hunting: 
  5. Bright Burning Stars by AK Small (ARC): 
  6. The King by JR Ward (audio): ★.5
  7. Kingsbane by Claire Legrand (ARC): 
  8. Normal People by Sally Rooney
  9. When the Light Went Out by Bridget Morrissey (ARC)

The last two aren’t rated yet, since I’m still currently reading them as I write this, and just desperately hoping I’ll finish them by June 1 whoooooops.

With how slumpy I was feeling, I’m definitely happy to have squeezed 9 books out of this month, even though I didn’t read a few I was hoping to get to. How many books did you get to this month?



May Haul

I actually did a decent job of keeping the haul pretty small this month, and I’m super proud. My TBRs have been getting super bogged down and it’s been putting me in super slumpy mood.



My Fairyloot from this month hasn’t arrived yet, and I believe it’ll be my last one for now, unfortunately. But I DID get a book from Book of the Month, as per usual! I needed them to match…

  1. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang




Like I mentioned before, I’ve been trying to be careful about how many books I’ve been buying, and so far that’s been working out well! Besides preorders, I’ve been pretty much trying to limit myself to one book per week.

  1. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang, signed and personalized
  2. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang, signed and personalized
  3. Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
  4. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
  5. Final Draft by Riley Redgate
  6. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
  7. Finale by Stephanie Garber, UK edition

I’m excited to get to read some of these, and there are so many good choices for Summerathon! Check it out if you haven’t yet!

How many books did you buy this month?



Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books of 2019 So Far

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out her blog for more info!

This week’s topic is supposed to be the top ten books from the past 10 years (1 from each years), but honestly that sounds like a lot of work. Instead, I decided to do my top 10 books from 2019 so far. So here they are: my top 10 books of the year SO FAR, in no particular order. In the interest of room, I’ve not included rereads on this list, even though a few of them did make my top 10.


ONE: Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

This book was on my Backlist Reads of 2019, and man am I glad it was. I absolutely loved it, and can’t wait to read more by Alice Oseman.



TWO: The Weight of the Stars by K. Ancrum

I have completely fallen in love with K. Ancrum and her writing this year – another one of her books comes up later on this list. I will forever and always by every single thing she writes.



THREE: The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie Sue Hitchcock

This was my birthday buddy read this year, and I absolutely adored it. It was so unique and the writing was so descriptive! It also high key made me want to visit Alaska.



FOUR: The Lost Sisters by Holly Black

In preparation for The Wicked King coming out this year, I reread The Cruel Prince and read the novella in-between. As usual, Holly Black was pure perfection.



FIVE: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Another book that was on my Backlist Reads book – I pretty much was super peer pressured into reading this one. I got an audible gasp every time I revealed I hadn’t read it. SO – I finally read it. And everyone was right. I loved it.



SIX: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

I said it earlier in this list, and I will sing praises until my dying day: anything K. Ancrum puts out, I will purchase immediately and read within 24 hours if possible. This writing is gorgeous and cuts you deep and stays with you forever. What else would you want in a book?



SEVEN: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book was one of the books most often recommended to me prior to this year, so I immediately added it to my backlist reads list. It is easily the best book I’ve read all year, and trust me when I say this: this book will destroy you in the best way possible.



EIGHT: The Wicked King by Holly Black

An excellent sequel that left you wanting more. Holly Black does it again. Now where’s the Queen of Nothing?



NINE: The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

I didn’t love this one with the same obsession that I loved The Kiss Quotient,  but it was still excellent and I still adored all of the characters. I can’t wait to see more from this author.



TEN: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

My second shot at these authors was a winner. I decided to give them another chance after reading My Favorite Half Night Stand and not loving it. I’m so glad that I gave them a second chance, because The Unhoneymooners was everything I wanted in a beachy rom com.


What books were at the top of your list this year so far? Tell me so I can add them to my TBR!



Down the TBR #31


Down the TBR Hole was created by Lost in a Story. Its purpose is to help narrow down your TBR list on Goodreads by selecting 5 titles each week and deciding if you want to keep it on your TBR or get rid of it! I was inspired by Melanie @ Meltotheany and Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills to start this series. If you haven’t checked out any of these lovely blogs, do it NOW!

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here’s what’s on the chopping block this week:

ONE: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan

This is already sitting on my shelf and actually made my Backlist reads of 2019 list, so I know I’ll be getting to it sometime this year! I’ve heard such great things, and I’m really looking forward to reading it.


TWO: The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty

Ditto everything I said about The Astonishing Color of After! I’ll probably be saving this one for the colder months – that’s usually when I’m more in the mood for fantasy.


THREE: This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

I’ve loved everything I’ve read by Victoria Schwab, so I definitely will be picking this one up. I’m just not sure when.


FOUR: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

This honestly sounds fantastic, but the reviews on it were just so-so. I’ll probably keep it on my list and make up my own mind.


FIVE: Legendary by Stephanie Garber

I swear I’m going to get around to this series sooner or later. Honest.


Yikes. I didn’t get rid of any… I think I need help haha have you guys read any of these?? What’d you think? Any you’d take a pass on?



May Pick: Book of the Month

Happy May, everybody! I hope everyone’s having a great reading month, and getting ready for all of the summery reads that come with the warmer weather! This month I only went with one book from BOTM, and I’m sure my pick will come to no one’s surprise…


The Bride Test by Helen Hoang

Goodreads Synopsis:

Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

Why I Picked It:

I’ll be honest: I’ve already read The Bride Test and have also ordered a signed and personalized copy. But I HAD to have the BOTM version to match my version of The Kiss Quotient that I got last year. As for why I didn’t order anything else, they just didn’t appeal to me much this month. I’m hoping for better choices in June!

What books did you pick from BOTM in March? If you haven’t tried BOTM yet but have been thinking about it, here’s a link that I believe gets you a free book with your first try!



Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Nervous to Lend Out

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out her blog for more info!

This week’s prompt was books I refuse to let anyone touch, but honestly, there’s always someone I’d bend the rules for. So I’m amending it slightly to be, books I’m super nervous to let out of my possession. I’m not sure if I’ll hit 10, because as I’m sitting here thinking about it, there aren’t actually that many.



My Harry Potter Books

This is actually pretty ironic because my 7th book is actually loaned out right this second – to someone I’ve known my entire life. Believe me, if it was anyone else they wouldn’t have it in their possession. Most of these books were obtained at midnight on the day they were released (yes, I was that kid) and have been read so many times they are literally falling apart. But I can’t bear to replace them.



My special edition Throne of Glass book

I absolutely loved this series and it’ll always have a special place in my heart. I splurged big time on the special edition, and I’d be pretty nervous if it left my shelf.



My Illumicrate editions of Strange the Dreamer and Muse of Nightmares

These are my most gorgeous books on my shelves, and I searched long and hard for that UK hardcover of Strange the Dreamer. It’s also no secret that I absolutely adored Strange, and it was on my Top Reads of 2018 list. I honestly don’t know if I’d lend these to anybody if  I didn’t have to…


Any book autographed or personalized by an author

I feel like this is pretty self explanatory, but I get pretty nervous lending these out. Plus the personalization makes it extra special.


Any book I haven’t read yet

This just makes me nervous because…what if they lose or damage it before I can read it??? Then I’ll never know if I’d love it or not!


What books would you never dream of lending out? Let me know!




BLOG TOUR: Bright Burning Stars

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Bright Burning Stars by A.K. Small. Thanks so much to Algonquin Young Readers for asking me to take part.


Title: Bright Burning Stars

Author: A. K. Small

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 304

Release Date: May 21, 2019

My Rating: ★★.2

Goodreads Synopsis:

Best friends Marine Duval and Kate Sanders have trained at the Paris Opera Ballet School since childhood, where they’ve formed an inseparable bond forged by respective family tragedies and a fierce love for dance. When the body of a student is found in the dorms just before the start of their final year, Marine and Kate begin to ask themselves what they would do to win the ultimate prize: to be the one girl selected to join the Opera’s prestigious corps de ballet. Would they die? Cheat? Seduce the most talented boy in the school, dubbed the Demigod, hoping his magic would make them shine, too? Neither girl is sure.

But then Kate gets closer to the Demigod, even as Marine has begun to capture his heart. And as selection day draws near, the competition—for the prize, for the Demigod—becomes fiercer, and Marine and Kate realize they have everything to lose, including each other.


ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

“Would you die for The Prize?”

That’s a legitimate question for Marine and Kate, girls who have been training together for years at the Paris Opera Ballet Studio. If the competition doesn’t get them, the pressure might. Since childhood, they’ve been training to win The Prize: the two slots – one boy, one girl – to join the corps de ballet. If they lose, they’ll have wasted years and years of blood, sweat, and tears, not to mention they’ll be asked to leave the school in shame. And so, in their last year before the final competition that will decide their fate, its time for each girl to ask themselves: what would they do for The Prize?

Marine and Kate started off as roommates, became friends, and throughout the years grew to be closer than sisters. Through all their trials and struggles, they had each other’s back. Each has their own struggles: Marine struggles with her weight and has significant body dysmorphia, and Kate is constantly battling depression that threatens to pull her under with every upset. Initially they bonded over their shared history of loss: Kate’s mother, and Marine’s twin brother Oli; their similar pasts held them together when everything else threatened to tear them apart. They even forged a pact when they were little: if the company wouldn’t take them both, it couldn’t have either of them. But as the pressure mounts, the reality that there is only one spot becomes more and more glaring, and loyalties are tested and called into question more than ever. And as each girl is forced to confront her inner demons head-on, it’s unclear if their friendship and love for each other is enough to overcome their desire to win and love of The Prize.

I ended up giving this book 2.5 stars. I haven’t read a book based at a ballet academy before and really enjoyed the setting. I danced ballet a lot when I was younger (although I was never very good) and remember the feeling of flying across the floor, and how free I felt. I loved getting a little bit of that feeling back through this story. I also enjoyed the author’s writing, and look forward to reading more by her.

While I didn’t love either main character separately, I related with each of them for different reasons. I felt at first like they were each the opposite side of the other’s coin, balancing each other out. Marine is more serious and dancing for her brother’s memory; nothing will keep her from honoring him by winning The Prize. Kate is full of life and dances with a fiery passion, but just as her highs are sky-high and bright, her lows come on just as quickly and fall just as far. However, as we read on, it becomes clear that the friendship is definitely toxic and this is never really addressed. I will also mention that Kate’s depression was never labeled, addressed, or acknowledged by Kate herself, her family, friends, or faculty, which I found extremely problematic.

“I loved everything about Marine – her fierce loyalty, sunny outlook, willingness to share all she had, even her family, what was left of it. Marine was my bridge, the person that made France and Nanterre turn into something besides a war zone. Like I’d said to Cyrille, Marine was family.”

I also didn’t love Cyrille, the top male dancer at the school – the girls call him the Demigod, and are sure that sharing his spotlight will help their careers along as well. I didn’t trust him for one single minute. BUT. Luc. Marine’s best guy friend. I loved him and my heart will beat for him forever and ever. No matter what happened, he was always there for her with a kind word and music to brighten her day, and his loyalty never wavered. His friendships were never secondary to his desire for The Prize, and he was honestly the very best character in this story. Branch-off book? PLEASE?

Watching these characters grow and develop throughout the story was truly the best part of this book, and the author did it so well. Even if I didn’t like the character themselves, their arcs were fascinating and so so satisfying. They each discovered things about themselves they hadn’t recognized before. Mistakes were made and hearts were broken, but in the end each character got to realize what was truly important to them, and there was a kind of poetic beauty to that – even if their stories were wrapped up with kind of “magic fixes” and weren’t entirely realistic.

“I realize that I’d forgotten the essential: the why I danced. My heart had been so busy beating only for boys that little by little, even ballet, what I loved most in the world, had gone by the wayside.”

I did have some definite issues with this book. It slowed down a lot in the middle, and I felt like it really dragged the plot out. I also felt like the synopsis mislead me a little bit – I was expecting more of a murder mystery type plot, but the death mentioned in the synopsis was really only talked about in one or two sentences. But the biggest issue I had was this: this book has major eating disorder triggers, and there were no trigger warnings mentioned anywhere. Marine struggles with severe body dysmorphia, and essentially almost starves herself in pursuit of the prize. She is obsessed with counting her ribs that protrude and pinching the skin at her hips, and not a chapter goes by where it is not mentioned. Now, hear me out. I understand the ballet culture is very focused on body image and weight, and I understand that Marine definitely had some issues that were being portrayed as a foil to Kate’s depression. HOWEVER. It was super heavy handed and overdone, and without any trigger warnings prior, I was not in the right mind space to read this book. So friends, if ED triggers are a problem for you, I caution you to steer clear.

Other trigger warnings include: talks/mentions of suicide, drug abuse, starvation/ED/body dysmorphia, death of a sibling, abortion/teen pregnancy (the decision is never really dealt with by the person and continues to haunt them for the rest of the book), parent abandonment.

Overall, I gave this book 2.5 stars, and like I mentioned, loved the setting and really enjoyed the writing. Obviously it had some major issues with dark topics that were not addressed well, and I hope in any future books these are handled a bit better. I look forward to reading more by A.K. Small in the future, and I hope you guys enjoy her writing as well!

“That’s when I decided to stay, to live, because weren’t patterns, especially fraught ones, meant to be broken?”

Bright Burning Stars is releasing on May 21.

*All quotations are taken from an ARC and are subject to change prior to publication.



Down the TBR Hole #30


Down the TBR Hole was created by Lost in a Story. Its purpose is to help narrow down your TBR list on Goodreads by selecting 5 titles each week and deciding if you want to keep it on your TBR or get rid of it! I was inspired by Melanie @ Meltotheany and Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills to start this series. If you haven’t checked out any of these lovely blogs, do it NOW!

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here’s what’s on the chopping block this week:

ONE: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

If you had asked me this last week I probably would have said I’d ditch it, as I wasn’t a huge fan of my first Christina Lauren book, My Favorite Half-Night Stand. But after reading The Unhoneymooners, I’m obsessed and I’ll read anything from these authors I can get my hands on.


TWO: The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

I actually don’t know much about this book but I keep seeing it EVERYWHERE. Plus the cover is gorgeous. I’ll be honest though, I’m gonna have to wait until I’m in a more fantasy mood.


THREE: Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake

I already own this book, and I’ve heard such wonderful things about it from people I trust. I swear, I’ll get to it eventually!


FOUR: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

I love Leigh Bardugo, but I hate short stories. I’ll be honest, I’ll probably never get to these.


FIVE: Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser

What? A thriller that I got from BOTM that is still sitting on my shelf unread? How strange…


Have you guys read any of these? Did I make the wrong call? Let me know!



Top Ten Tuesday: Page – to – Screen

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out her blog for more info!

This week’s topic was a page-to-screen freebie, so I chose to do books I wish would be made into a movie. These are, in no particular order, the top ten books I wish would make it to the big screen!


ONE: Blanca y Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore

Have I gushed about this book enough? No? Well, let me do it again. I think this book would make a fantastic movie, but the casting would have to be PERFECT.

TWO: Sadie by Courtney Summers

Especially with all of the hype surrounding Serial, I bet this movie would be a huge hit. And as much as I loved how the book was written and how it wrapped up, I’d be all about an alternate ending so audience could get some closure.



THREE: The Wicker King by K. Ancrum

Have you read this book yet? No? Well, first go read it. THEN let’s make a movie. Although it might break my heart for Jack and August even more.



FOUR: The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

Do I even need to explain this one? I’m already holding auditions for Cardan’s role.



FIVE: The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

This would be an AWESOME Halloween release, and I bet it would be even bigger than Hocus Pocus.



SIX: The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

This was one of my favorite releases from last year, and it would be such a great romantic release with awesome rep from the autism spectrum. Valentine’s Day date, anyone?



SEVEN: Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

If you follow my blog, you know I’m obsessed with this book. I think it’d make a fantastic movie, but the casting would need to be just right.



EIGHT: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

SWOON, MY HEART. As much as I’d sob my eyes out at a movie rendition of this love story for the ages, I’m practically begging for it at this point.



NINE: The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

I bet this would be better than 90% of the Rom-Coms coming out this year, easily.



TEN: Vicious by VE Schwab

Vicious is such a unique storyline, and I haven’t read a book or seen a movie quite like it before. I think this would be such a fun one to see on the big screen, plus I love morally grey characters!

That’s it, guys! What do you think? Would you want to see any of these in movie format? Any cast members in mind? Let me know!



ARC Review: The Unhoneymooners


Title: The Unhoneymooners

Author: Christina Lauren

Release Date: May 14, 2019

Publisher: Gallery Books

Pages: 432

Rating: ★★★★.5

Goodreads Synopsis:

Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Amy, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.


ARC provided by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

When I got approved for this ARC, I was half excited and half nervous. My first Christina Lauren book, My Favorite Half-Night Stand, was cute but I wasn’t in love with it. I had no reason to worry, however – The Unhoneymooners surpassed all of my expectations, and you can bet I’ll be back for more Christina Lauren books in the future.

I’m a sucker for the enemies-to-lovers trope, so this book was absolutely perfect for me. It was adorable in every way, and I hated putting it down. It also made me miss the beach TERRIBLY and instantly start googling cheap vacations.

“Ami is an optimist who looks for the silver lining; I tend to assume the sky is falling.”

Ami is getting married, and her twin sister Olive is the maid of honor. Ami has always been the lucky one, and Olive has always been her perfect opposite. Everything seems to be going perfectly, until the entire wedding reception falls ill – except for Olive and Ethan, the groom’s brother and Olive’s nemesis. Determined not to waste the (free) honeymoon of a lifetime, Ami and Dane force Olive and Ethan to take their place on an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii. Despite their dislike for each other, they put aside their differences and figure it’s a big resort – they should have no problem avoiding each other.

If you’ve watched any rom-com EVER, you already know that this isn’t going to happen. On day one of the trip, they run into Olive’s future boss and Ethan’s ex-fiance…who both now think they are newlyweds on their honeymoon. As they’re forced to play the happy couple, Olive and Ethan learn more and more about each other – and that they may have judged a little too quickly. Will they be able to keep their insults to themselves long enough to fool the entire resort? Or will their lips be the bigger problem?

One of the best parts about this book was the setting. Hawaii?? I wanted to be on the next plane out of here, this book was giving me such beachy vibes. And the chemistry between the main characters didn’t hurt, either. It’s been a long time since I’ve read such a good couple, and I was swooning almost as hard as Olive. The authors did a great job on these two. I loved their snarky, witty dialogue just as much as the steamy scenes – and those were pretty damn great.

“For the first time in days, I am completely, no-hesitation, no-doubting-it happy.”

I also loved the family dynamic in this book. Olive and Ami have a great sibling relationship, and seem to always look out for each other. But even beyond that, their extended family is big and loud and full of love, just like mine is. When someone has a crisis, the rest of them come running to the rescue, bringing food and wine and laughter. No matter what happens, they’re always there for each other, through everything life throws their way.

“Whether it’s luck or generations of effort and attention ensuring it, I have a truly amazing family.”

I did have one minor issue with this book: in the final 1/3, some THINGS happen (I am being deliberately vague) and Ethan reacts like a grade A jerk. These THINGS involve someone not being believed about unwanted romantic advances. It seems super out of character for him throughout the rest of the story, and honestly I HATE when claims like these are brushed aside. This is 2019, people. When a girl says she doesn’t want it, SHE DOESN’T WANT IT.

Despite that, I still gave this book 4.5 stars. I absolutely loved the setting, the entire plot was adorable, and the dialogue had me laughing out loud pretty much the whole way through. This is the perfect beachy summer read, and I couldn’t put it down. I hope you love it just as much as I do.

The Unhoneymooners releases on May 14, 2019.

*Quotations are taken from an ARC and are subject to change prior to publication.

Buddy read with Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills and Heather @ Bookables!