Friday, June 28, 2019

June Releases: Did I Read It?

So I recently started a monthly post that features upcoming releases I am looking forward to. I thought it would be fun to revisit those posts at the end of the month and see if I ended up reading the books or not and if I did see what I thought about it.

Head on over here to check out my June releases post.

I did not have a chance to read this one, but I am still really looking forward to it and want to make time for it soon. It is a stunning cover and just sounds so good.

I haven't gotten to the new stories included in this bind up, but I did read the others as they released as an ebook... so partial win here haha. My reviews of the novellas can be found here.

Another one I did not get to yet, I want to listen to this one on audio and I am hoping my library will order it soon so I'm waiting on that. But really curious to see where this series goes.

Sadly, I started reading this one and then I just wasn't feeling it so I DNFed it.

I didn't get to this one either... still love the cover though.

I did read this one and I ABSOLUTELY loved it. It was so so good and Zayne and Trinity are just the best. My review can be found here.

I haven't had a chance to read this one yet but I do hope to read it shortly. It sounds like a good one.

Still have to make time for this one as well, but really looking forward to the continuation of this series cause Kagawa always delivers.

I did not do all that great at getting to the June releases I wanted to, but hopefully I can rectify that soon.

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Recent Reads: Cryptids and Werewolves

Recent Reads is feature here on the blog. The point is to feature books I've read recently in quick recap fashion with fun info-graphics. The info-graphics came from the Bookly app, which is a great app for bloggers. You can log quotes and thoughts and track your reading stats (and no I'm not paid for this, I just really like this app). Recently I dove into worlds of cryptids and werewolves.

Monday, June 24, 2019

150 Thoughts I Had While Re-Reading Heir Of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: September 2, 2014
from Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Goodreads | Amazon

"She was the heir of ash and fire, and she would bow to no one.

Celaena Sardothien has survived deadly contests and shattering heartbreak—but at an unspeakable cost. Now she must travel to a new land to confront her darkest truth...a truth about her heritage that could change her life—and her future—forever.

Meanwhile, brutal and monstrous forces are gathering on the horizon, intent on enslaving her world. To defeat them, Celaena must find the strength to not only fight her inner demons but to battle the evil that is about to be unleashed.

The king's assassin takes on an even greater destiny and burns brighter than ever before in this follow-up to the New York Times bestselling Crown of Midnight."

My Thoughts:

1. Spoilers for the series!
2. So ready for this game changer of a book.
3. “No soul stained but hers” see this is why she is so reluctant to let others help… she doesn’t want anyone else hurt.
4. I love that we later learn Celaena was sticking her tongue out at Rowan in hawk form.
5. She thinks so very little of herself right now.
6. There he is. My cranky fae Rowan.
7. I knew from the moment he swaggered his way into the alley with those face tattoos that we were gonna get along great.
8. And ugh. Looking back, Maeve was such a shit sending Rowan thinking that the bond would snap into place, but she’s so terrible and Rowan and Aelin are so broken that neither notice.
9. The fact that Chaol dreams Celaena would kill Dorian shows how he doesn’t trust her. He needs to get over himself.
11. Aedion!
12. Also can we imagine the insanity that would have ensued had Aedion showed up with Aelin still around.
13. Post Kingdom of Ash Teresa is still mad at Aedion though.
14. Manon!!!
15. I love the little Aedion and Dorian interaction – especially when he trips Dorian lmao.
16. Awww Sorscha and Dorian!
17. Even Sorscha could see that Celaena was so broken.
18. Maeve *hiss*
19. “Black depthless eyes.”
20. “Shadows and claws and a darkness to devour your soul” – Maeve’s other form… I mean…  SO TELLING NOW.
21. I love how even when Aelin and Rowan are at one another’s throat, they can still do the silent speak thing.
22. Ugh, stupid Grandma Blackbeak.
23. Hahaha Aedion causing problems.
24. “He had chosen the King” see SJM told us, we didn’t listen.
26. I love Luka and Emris.
27. “She could not remember what it was like to be free.”
28. “Manon didn’t have friends” HA that’s funny.
29. Maeve knew exactly what she was doing. Leading Rowan to believe Aelin was a spoiled princess and not someone who has done nothing but suffer.
30. Heir Of Fire really shows how broken Aelin was. It wasn’t just Nehemia’s death. It was that on top of Sam and Endovier and her family and her Kingdom, and she never truly healed until she walked that dark road with Rowan.
31. Aedion really is super smart playing this party boy role so well.
32. Chaol’s father is such a shit.
33. I love Dorian.
34. “From now until the darkness claims us.”
35. Dorian and Sorscha really were so sweet together.
36. “Cousin, that had been his most beloved title.”
37. Ren annoys the shit out of me.
38.  “Do not let that light go out.”
39. Rowan has no idea how similar Aelin is to him right now.
40. “Because she is dead and I am left with my worthless life.” Aelin is so broken right now. It always kills me.
41. This is such a huge moment for Aelin and Rowan… because despite everything, the fighting and hatred, Rowan comes after her when she leaves. Nobody other than Sam ever came after her or fought for her. He doesn’t leave her alone and puts her first in that moment.
42. “You’re not leaving” “Because I said so” *snorts*
43. ABRAXOS!!!
44. Sneaky little Dorian.
45. So aggravating when Ren and Murtagh are like “where has Aelin been?” Like an 8 year old was supposed to save the damn world. Like she didn’t spend years abused by Arobynn, then stuck in Endovier and then bound to the King and then when she’s finally free what does she do, start getting her Kingdom back. All at the tender age of 18. They act like she’s not still a damn teenager. And I recognize they don’t know her story but still makes me cranky.
46. “The weight of a crown and a throne were enough to make her feel like she was in a coffin” STOP IT WITH THIS FORESHADOWING RIGHT THE VERY NOW.
47. Hahahahahah Aedion thinking Aelin isn’t gonna be near the battlefields hahahahahaha.
48. Poor Dorian and Sorscha.
49. I love Abraxos so much.
50. I love watching Aelin slowly come back to herself.
51. Poor little young Aelin. She really had no friends. No wonder she fears her power so much.
52. I love Sorscha and it kills me what happens to her. And I blame Ren *grumbles*
53. Will I ever forgive Ren?
54. Probably not.
55. I love my flower sniffing wyvern.
56. “Finished narrating the story of a clever wolf and a magical firebird” THIS SOUNDS KINDA LIKE LUCIAN AND VASSA MAYBE?
57. It’s amazing that so much of this Maeve history is fabricated.
59. “There is nothing that I can give you, nothing I want to give you.” This gets flipped nicely later.
60. “It would have been nice she supposed. It would have been nice to have one person who knew the absolute truth about her and didn’t hate her for it.”
61. “That flickering light inside of her guttered and went out.”
62. She needed someone SO badly.
63. I love when Emris puts Rowan in his damn place.
64.“You shove her down when she so desperately needs someone to help her back up.”
65. Rowan listened and in this moment in the cave he gives Aelin her out.
66. Rowan is trying SO hard to stay detached because he knows he’s blood sworn to Maeve, but here he gives Aelin what he can to get what she needs because he thinks it’s all he can give.
67. There it is! The moment Rowan finds the sword and ring!
68. “Please tell me you brought food” Luka… I relate.
69. “Rowan merely said ‘good’” HE GETS HER.
70. “You do not apologize for defending the people you care about.”
71. “Born in another world” “slipped into this one” GAHHHHHHH.
74. “Maybe we could find the way back together.”
75. “Somewhere deep inside her an ember began to glow.”
76. Yeah Ren, you have done bad things, which is why it’s UTTER BULLSHIT that you give Aelin such a hard time.
77. I miss Lysandra. I can’t wait to get to her reappearance.
78. Abraxos loves his witchling Manon.
79. This scene with the Stygian spiders is just FULL of nuggets.
80. A merchant came by a few years ago!
81. Deposed by a young woman with wine red hair!
82. A former shape shifter!
83. “That beauty could win you a King” OMG.
84. Iskra is the wooooooorst.
85. Love Petra.
86. I love Aedion and Aelin. She blames herself for what happened to him. He blames himself for what happened to her. Both so much the same.
87. “She was not becoming anything different from what she always was and always had the capacity to be.” “You cannot pick and choose what parts of her to love.” MY BOY DORIAN.
88. “I’ve already made my decision about her.” DORIAN IS THE BEST. I love how he and Aelin form such a good friendship.
89. Jesus Ren. Shut up.
90. Aedion is right… Chaol’s biggest mistake is trying not to choose a side.
93. OKAY
94. OKAY
98. Mother hen Rowan.
99. This is such a huge moment for these two.
100. Rowan is so viscerally angry at what she’s been through.
101. “Tomorrow you’ll get a cot.” HA FUNNY.
102. Rowan is fussing and I love it.
103. “Kitty kat friend” *cackles*
104. “My scars serve as a reminder” SCREW YOU MAEVE FOR TAKING THEM.
105. He. Gets. Her.
106. “At least if you’re going to hell, then we’ll be there together.”
107. SJM told us over and over that Chaol wasn’t endgame and we just all were like lalalalalalala.
108. OH OH OH Rowan bit her and she used the pain to pull out of the valg thrall! Like Aelin does later to pull the cadre out of Maeve’s thrall!
109. “All of this just proves that she doesn’t deserve you” Rowan saves Aelin, but Aelin saves him right back.
110. “Her people” “Her Kingdom” this is a big moment for her.
111. “I will follow you to whatever end.” “I claim you as my friend.”
112. “Hold the line Aelin” she is always the barrier!
113. CADRE!
114. I love how after this we barely see Vaughn again. He just flounces off and is like nah I’m done with all this.
115. And down into her memories we go.
116. These memories are always heartbreaking. She has been through so much.
117. Lady Marion was so so good. Staying with little Aelin. She could have abandoned her and she did not.
118. “Get up.” I love that it’s young princess Aelin, it’s herself, telling her to get up.
119. And there is Sam. A bright light for her to take out when things are darkest.
120. I JUST LOVE THIS MOMENT. It fundamentally changes everything.
121. “She would not let that light go out.” “She was not afraid.”
122. “They had become bonded.” !!!!!!!!!!!
123. Note how the flame doesn’t touch Rowan!
124. Carranam!!!
125. To whatever end! “I claim you too Aelin Galathynius.”
126. Aww man. This is the moment that damns Sorscha.
128. “Once upon a time….in a land long since burned to ash, there lived a young princess who loved her kingdom very much.”
129. I just. I want to take a moment to try and articulate how much I love Aelin (and I’m probably getting ahead of myself with some of these thoughts but whatever). There are few characters in my reading history that I love as much as her… maybe Hermione Granger and Tessa Gray. Aelin lives in the category with those badass ladies. She just contains so many multitudes and has flaws and isn’t always likable but I love her for these multitudes. She’s strong and a badass but also afraid. She’s an assassin and a Queen and dangerous, but she is also wicked smart and so good at maneuvering. She’s an assassin who grew up doing things that most wouldn’t condone of, but she is also the person who risked her life to free slaves and who in the end put her people and her country above everything. But she’s also a woman who loves chocolate cake and reading a good book. She isn’t one thing and can’t be defined with one word and I just truly love that about  her and its why from the moment I began reading I was Team Aelin above all else.
130. Dorian. I love you. “Then they would set about changing the world, together.”
131. Maeve is the WORST!
132. Maeve is so particular with the valg info she gives out.
133. I love how Aelin is like, look Maeve, Rowan is mine and Imma burn this city to the ground if you don’t let him go.
134. “I claim you Aelin to whatever end.”
135. “Together Fireheart.”
136. Poor Keelie… Iskra is pure evil.
137. That’s my Wing Leader.
138. No…. Grandmother Blackbeak is TRULY evil.
139. “He could not accept that part of her” SEEEEEEEEE.
140. But like… Chaol’s hesitation here screws up so many things.
141. No….. no no no no no.
142. Mother effing Amithy.
143. Damn Ren… pushing Sorscha and getting her caught.
144. We go from so happy… AELIN’S BACK… to everything going to hell.
145. I will forever be thankful that Chaol takes the time to save Fleetfoot.
146. No no no… my poor baby Dorian.
147. Hahaha love bossy Rowan.
148. And again. Aelin is telling us she has to end things with Chaol. Why did not of us listen?
149. “And then I am going to rattle the stars.”
150. “She was Aelin Ashryver Galathynius and she would not be afraid.”

Wrap Up:
I just adore this book and I love how it changes the series. This is the book that sets the course to that final ending. I mean, every book is important, but this sets so much of the bigger stuff in motion. Also… Rowan.

Friday, June 21, 2019

On My Shelf: Between The Lines by: Jodi Picoult & Samantha Van Leer

On My Shelf is a feature I started here on the blog and I'm sure there are a ton of similar ones out there, but basically I just wanted to start spotlighting some of the MANY backlist titles I have accumulated on my shelf and kindle. The idea is to spotlight an older book I have on my massive TBR. I also thought it would be a fun way to discuss these books with my fellow bloggers, get some of your thoughts and figure out which ones I need to read ASAP and which ones can wait a bit more. And if you want to join in too, I would love to see what is on your shelf! Just leave me a link in the comments.

I believe this was a Book Outlet grab. I always enjoy Jodi Picoult and I just adore the who concept of this book. I mean a fairy tale come to life?!?! So fun and cute. I really just need more hours in the day.

So tell me. Have you read it? Did you love it? Hate it? Was it meh?

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Monday, June 17, 2019

Guest Review: Red, White, & Royal Blue by: Casey McQuiston

Today my sister Samantha has dropped by to review Red, White, & Royal Blue by: Casey McQuiston.

Release Date: May 14, 2019
from St. Martin's Griffin
Goodreads | Amazon

"A big-hearted romantic comedy in which First Son Alex falls in love with Prince Henry of Wales after an incident of international proportions forces them to pretend to be best friends...

First Son Alex Claremont-Diaz is the closest thing to a prince this side of the Atlantic. With his intrepid sister and the Veep’s genius granddaughter, they’re the White House Trio, a beautiful millennial marketing strategy for his mother, President Ellen Claremont. International socialite duties do have downsides—namely, when photos of a confrontation with his longtime nemesis Prince Henry at a royal wedding leak to the tabloids and threaten American/British relations.

The plan for damage control: staging a fake friendship between the First Son and the Prince. Alex is busy enough handling his mother’s bloodthirsty opponents and his own political ambitions without an uptight royal slowing him down. But beneath Henry’s Prince Charming veneer, there’s a soft-hearted eccentric with a dry sense of humor and more than one ghost haunting him.

As President Claremont kicks off her reelection bid, Alex finds himself hurtling into a secret relationship with Henry that could derail the campaign and upend two nations. And Henry throws everything into question for Alex, an impulsive, charming guy who thought he knew everything: What is worth the sacrifice? How do you do all the good you can do? And, most importantly, how will history remember you?"

Sam's Review:

Hello again to everyone on Teresa’s blog, I am back to review another fabulous book for everyone to enjoy! Today I am reviewing Red White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston. That’s right, everyone! Today I tackle my first adult book review. Red White & Royal Blue is the story of Alex and Henry, respectively they are the first son of the U.S. and the Prince of England. Alex has a strong disliking for Henry, and they get into a bit of a tussle at the royal wedding. To patch things up, they are forced to pretend to be best friends and shenanigans ensue. What drew me to this book is the premise. I’m not too proud to admit I have read my fair share of fan fiction and my favorite has always been the enemies to lovers trope. This is a PUBLISHED VERSION of my favorite trope. I couldn’t be happier I picked this book up, I read the whole thing in a whirlwind 24 hours of squealing and crying.

When I realized the book was an adult novel, I did feel a bit of trepidation about diving into it. The only other adult romance novel I tried to read I felt a bit uncomfortable, like I was peering into part of someone’s life I wasn’t supposed to see. With this book though, I didn’t feel that. Maybe it’s because it isn’t overly descriptive about the acts and instead focuses on the emotions the characters are feeling, or maybe its because the truest forms of intimacy in the book are when they are both just with each other, no sex involved. The two poured their hearts out to each other and it all felt like I was looking into the most private parts of someone without their permission. Which is CRAZY, because I’ve read so many soft squishy YA romance novels, ones I’ve loved even more than this one (*cough* gentleman’s guide *cough*) and never felt that with their moments of intimacy. Maybe it’s the contrast between those moments and the sexual passion. Or maybe it’s just because I’m crazy and it’s been too long since I read a sappy book. Maybe both. Who knows.

Speaking of moments of intimacy, there are some lines that hit me like a truck and I felt an immense need to share them with all of you. So enjoy this review briefly becoming a listicle of my top three favorite quotes from the book for reasons of tenderness or making me laugh for minutes on end:

3) “But Nora makes friends, and Alex ends up with acquaintances who think they know him because they’ve read his profile in New York magazine, and perfectly fine people with perfectly fine bodies who want to take him home from the bar. None of it really satisfying-it never has been, not really, but it never mattered as much as it does now that there’s this sharp counterpoint of Henry, who knows him. Henry who’s seen him in glasses and tolerates him at his most annoying and still kissed him like he wanted him, singularly, not the idea of him.”

2) “He called Henry the North Star once. That wasn’t bright enough”

1) “I don’t know WHO you think you’re kidding, you hufflepuff-ass bitch, Alex texts back, before Henry clarifies his dog, not him, is a Slytherin.”

Back to the review, I will now be talking about my favorite character. While Alex has a certain Monty-ish charm about him that I love, Henry has to take the cake as my favorite character in this book. He wants to do good things, but feels so limited by his role which I sympathize with. Not only this, he’s extremely witty and he has a lot of insight on the world and wants to help those he cares about. He loves his dog, history, Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, baking shows, and he has such a kind heart that he doesn’t let anybody ruin. Also, he’s a hufflepuff and we gotta stick together.

In case I wasn’t being obvious enough, I would DEFINITELY recommend this book to you guys! With loveable characters, and a smooshy love plot, and just lessons about going after what you want instead of what’s expected, there’s nothing NOT to love. I give it a solid 10/10.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Excerpt: Waiting For Tom Hanks by: Kerry Winfrey

Release Date: June 11, 2019
from Berkley
Goodreads | Amazon

"Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years."


I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.
In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.
“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his forehead.
“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”
“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”
“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.
“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.
Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches. “Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”
“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.
“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an interesting backstory!”
I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”
“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for destroying his probably very expensive coat.”
“Meet what?”
Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.
“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy 101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy meet.”
Everyone stares at her blankly.
“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.
“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.
Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure, Gary.”
“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.
I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”
“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.
Nick rolls his eyes.
“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”
“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still hot?”
“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.
“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.
“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”
“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your wedding to Drew.”
I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”
Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”
As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Recent Reads: Queens and Tributes and Wardens

Recent Reads is feature here on the blog. The point is to feature books I've read recently in quick recap fashion with fun info-graphics. The info-graphics came from the Bookly app, which is a great app for bloggers. You can log quotes and thoughts and track your reading stats (and no I'm not paid for this, I just really like this app). Recently I dove into worlds of queens, tributes, and wardens.

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