Recommendations: Winter Reads

It’s that time of year again when the snow starts falling, the fires start crackling, and out come the coats and mittens! I don’t know if it’s because I’m a winter baby or what, but I’ve always loved wintertime. It’s the season of nostalgia and the perfect time for curling up with some hot cocoa and a good book. And to make it just a little easier or deciding what books to grab, I’ve compiled a list of some that I think would be perfect to pick up this season.


Hunted by Meagan Spooner

This is Beauty and the Beast retelling that is just really beautiful. The writing is lyrical with lush descriptions and the story itself really evokes that sense of nostalgia that this time of year is all about. Plus, the romance is the kind of slow burner that we all love!


The Crown’s Game (The Crown’s Game, #1) by Evelyn Skye

This first book in a duology, follows two enchanters who must compete to become the Imperial Enchanter to the tsar of Russia. I haven’t gotten around to reading the sequel yet, but this book was just such a warm and fuzzy read. If you enjoyed the competition aspect of The Night Circus, then you’ll easily be able to dive into this story as well. If you’re a history lover like me, you’ll also appreciate the mix of real life with the fantastical elements.


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

This book is all about nostalgia. It will remind you of the classic children’s novels you read when you were little, and still be completely enjoyable at any age. This is one book that I recommend for the entire family, especially the audiobook version. There’s a special audiobook version that includes an entire cast, music, and sound effects. IT IS AMAZING. This would be a great story to listen to while everyone sits around the fireplace in food coma after Christmas dinner.


Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier

Now, this story is a little bleaker than the rest on this list but I think it still fits perfectly for winter. It’s a love story set during the Civil War, but is more about the journey rather than the destination. I can’t promise you’ll finish this book all rainbows and sunshine, but I can promise that you’ll appreciate the beautiful prose. Afterwards, you can turn on the movie adaptation starring Nicole Kidman and Jude Law. It’s actually a very good adaptation that I highly recommend.


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay by J.K. Rowling

Because Harry Potter. Duh.


A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1) by Deborah Harkness

This is just one of those that you want to savor and stay up all night devouring. It has an actual vampire to fangirl over, no Edward-wannabe here! This series actual combines science with the paranormal/fantasy elements which I found to be incredibly intriguing. You can definitely see Harkness’ scholar background coming through in this series. It has actually been turned into a television show that is currently filming its first season. The wait is killllllllling me!


A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

This is the perfect book if you’re in the mood for something with a wonderful cast of characters and a heartwarming story. I read this one just last month and absolutely fell in love with it. It’s charming, sweet, and is definitely a story that I can see myself revisiting for the rest of my life.


A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

I don’t what it is about this trilogy, but something about it just screams winter to me. I feel like this is one of those series that you should binge it over Christmas vacation. The story, the characters, the romance – all of it will completely engross you from beginning to end. I recommend reading this one while munching on some holiday treats!


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Nothing will give you the holiday spirit quite like spending time with your loved ones, and this book will definitely get you in that kind of mood. The March sisters will make you feel like family as you follow their adventures. One of my all-time favorite books and one that is perfect to pick up this season.

What are some books that you recommend reading during the wintertime? Have you read any of the books on my list? Do you like to reread old favorites during the holidays?

Hype or Like Friday – A Modern Spin

This meme and Goodreads group were created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.

The August BOTMs are Heartless by Marissa Meyer and/or Hunted by Meagan Spooner.


  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK: A Modern Spin… What are some of your favorite retellings?

  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore – Romeo & Juliet, REVIEW
  • Helen of Troy by Margaret George – Trojan War
  • Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige – Wizard of Oz
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Trojan War, REVIEW
  • Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen – Peter Pan, REVIEW
  • Asleep by Krystal Wade – Sleeping Beauty, REVIEW
  • A Million Junes by Emily Henry – Romeo & Juliet, REVIEW
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas – Beauty and the Beast, REVIEW

What are some of your favorite retellings? What do you look for in retellings – darker story, modern setting, etc.? Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments below!

Hype or Like Friday – Just Can’t Get Enough

Just another Hype or Like Friday! This meme and Goodreads group were created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.

The July BOTM is A Million Junes by Emily Henry.


  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK:  Just Can’t Get Enough… What are some of your favorite retellings of classics?

  • A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas – Beauty and the Beast retelling
  • Heartstone by Elle Katharine White – Pride and Prejudice retelling
  • Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen – Peter Pan retelling
  • Helen of Troy by Margaret George – Trojan War retelling
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – Trojan War retelling
  • The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore – Romeo and Juliet retelling
  • Juliet by Anne Fortier – Romeo and Juliet retelling

These are just a few of my favorites that I’ve read the past few years. I’m sure that I’ve forgotten plenty and still have so many sitting on my shelves waiting to be read. Looks like I might need to do a retelling exclusive TBR one month, huh? That might be fun to do this fall!

What are some of your favorite retellings? Have you grown tired of all of the retellings published lately? Have you read any of my favorites?

Hype or Like Friday – February 10th, 2017

Just another Hype or Like Friday! This meme and Goodreads group were created by myself, Jill @ Rant and Rave Books, and Britt @ Geronimo Reads. To join our group and find out more information about what it’s all about, please go to our Goodreads page HERE.

The February BOTM is Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard.


  • Answer the weekly discussion topic.
  • Optional: Discuss your chosen hyped book of the week.
  • Optional: Talk about your progress on the BOTM.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK: Fictional Valentine – Which fictional characters would you like to be your Valentine?

1. Jamie Fraser – Outlander Series


Honestly, I think Jamie is my number one book boyfriend. He’s so manly, kind, and just amazing. And let’s be honest, Sam Heughan is just an absolutely perfect choice to portray Jamie. I mean, he IS Jamie!

2. Rhysand – A Court of Thorn and Roses Series


Oh, Rhysand… You’re such a funny, broken, beautiful thing. Now come to me, lover boy!

3. Nik – Gemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)


Basically me whenever I think about Nik….

4. Erik Northman – True Blood Series


Vampires have always been considered sexy and mysterious in pop culture, but none are as sexy as Eric Northman. That’s a fact!

5. Gilbert Blythe – Anne of Green Gables Series


Doesn’t every girl dream of a guy that supports and encourages them as much as Gilbert does Anne? Be still my heart!

So what did you think of my fictional valentines? Which fictional characters would you want to be your valentine? Leave a link to your own Hype or Like Friday post in the comments below!

The Book Courtship Tag

I was tagged all the way back in April by Hopeless Book Addict (thank you!) and I am finally getting to it! If you’ve tagged me in the past few months, I promise I’ll get to it soon. I will be playing catch up from now until Christmas!

Anyway’s, let’s get to it!

Phase 1: Initial Attraction. A book that you bought because of the cover?


A Passage to Shambhala (The Explorer’s Guild, #1) by Jon Baird and Kevin Costner

This photo doesn’t do justice to the actual cover. It was just so shiny and intriguing when I first saw it at the bookstore that I had to pick it up. If it reminds you of old Victorian classics, then good, it should! This is such a uniquely written story, as it is written in 19th century language and all speaking parts are in graphic novel format! And yes, it is written by THAT Kevin Costner.

Phase 2: First Impressions. A book that you got because of the summary?


A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1) by Sarah J. Maas

This was the first book I’d ever read by Maas and the only reason that I picked it up was because it was a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. But oh damn, did this book completely become something else entirely! Now I’m completely obsessed and have since moved on to Maas’ first series, Throne of Glass. Also, Rhysand is life and let it be known that I thought  so even in the first book!

Phase 3: Sweet Talk. A book with great writing?


Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Mafi tends to get really polarizing views when it comes to her writing. But for me, personally, I think it’s amazing and beautiful. And this trilogy is just all kinds of awesome really. Now that I have Furthermore on my bookshelf, I’m really excited to dive back into Mafi’s whimsical styled writing!

Phase 4: First Date. A first book of a series which made you want to pick up the rest of the series?


Red Rising (Red Rising, #1) by Pierce Brown

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’ll know just how much I am obsessed with this series. It very much might be sharing the number 1 spot in my heart with Harry Potter – yes, yes you did read that right. I cannot say enough great things about this book. And if the first book doesn’t completely hook you (which I don’t know how that’s even possible), then just continue to Golden Son and watch your mind be blown. Simply amazing.

Phase 5: Late Night Phone Calls. A book that kept you up all night?


The Rose Society (The Young Elites, #2) by Marie Lu

This series is just really great all-around, but the second book left me reeling. I couldn’t put it down and I had to know what was going to happen next. This series took a turn in this book that I just wasn’t expecting. Then that ending!!!!! I have barely been able to contain my excitement for The Midnight Star to be released, but I was finally able to snag the last copy of it yesterday at the bookstore. Now it is just staring at me from my bookshelf as I try to hurry up and finish Heir of Fire.

Phase 6: Always on my mind. A book you could not stop thinking about?


The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

You could make the case that almost every WWII book will stick with you, but none has affected me more than this one. Everything about this story is just absolutely beautiful and that ending completely wrecked me. I still tear up when I think about it. All of the feels!

Phase 7: Getting Physical. A book which you love the way it feels?


The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

My copy is one of those floppy paperbacks and I just love those kind of paperbacks. Me and Regan at Peruse Project share a love for them. They’re just comfortable to hold and easy on your hands. Because if you’re like me, then you know all about how holding books open can lead to hand cramps haha!

Phase 8: Meeting the parents. A book which you would recommend to your family and friends?


Outlander (Outlander, #1) by Diana Gabaldon

Now, this one was a little hard to think of. You have to take into account the other person’s age/gender/tastes before you just go around recommending books to them. I’m obviously not going to recommend my brother, who reads pretty much only science fiction, Pride and Prejudice. However, if I was meeting a guy’s mother for the first time and she was asking for a book, I’d almost definitely recommend Outlander. I mean, what woman in her right mind wouldn’t fall in love with James Alexander Malcolm McKenzie Fraser?

Phase 9: Thinking about the future. A book or series you know you will re read many times in the future?


Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Yeah, that’s right, I did go with the cliché answer and I don’t regret it one bit.

Phase 10: Share the love. Who do you tag?

If you’ve already done this tag or just don’t want to, then please don’t feel like you need to! Also, if anyone else wants to do this tag then I tag you as well! 🙂

What do you think of my list? See any books that you agree with? What books would you choose for these questions?

Book Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Rose, #2)

I’m pretty sure that at this point most of you have already read A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2) by Sarah J. Maas, but for those of you who haven’t…

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.

I have to say that the Maas’ writing has really come a long way. I just finished reading Throne of Glass (her first novel) and compared to ACOMAF – wow, just wow. She’s really grown as a writer and themes that you find in this series are much more mature and a darker. Granted, I’ve only read the first book in ToG so I’m sure the growth is evident in the later books, as well. Her descriptions have the ability to completely paint a vivid picture in your head without taking multiple pages to do so..*cough* Tolkien *cough*.. And that cliffhanger?! HOW CAN YOU BE SO CRUEL, SARAH?!

“When you spend so long trapped in darkness, Lucien, you find that the darkness begins to stare back.”

Our characters have all gone through quite a few changes since we left them at the end of ACOTAR. Feyre is suffering pretty badly from PTSD, leaving her practically in pieces and barely alive. While I understand why she acted the way she did, I was a little annoyed at all of the self-pity and sulking she did for the first half of the book. Luckily, it finally grew manageable and then disappeared completely. I was going to smack her (figuratively) if it didn’t. But then again, we have to lay some of that blame on Tamlin. No longer just the boring and secretive love interest, oh no, now Tamlin is the crazed overbearing jailer! Instead of trying to help Feyre cope with her issues, he ignores them and decides the best way to help her is keep locked up in the Court. To him, the best way to prove his love is to never let anything happen to her again, or let anything happen period. Love’s a bitch, right? Instead, Rhysand is now the savior. We finally get to hear all of his tragic backstory and finally get to meet the real him. TOTAL BABE.

Here’s my issue – while I’ve been Team Rhysand since the moment he showed up in ACOTAR and have pretty much been indifferent towards Tamlin the entire time, this extreme personality change was a bit much to me. Why can’t Tamlin have at least some redeeming qualities left to make this love triangle at least a little interesting? Obviously he will never beat Rhysand, but still, I want to see some more struggle! I just didn’t buy this sudden intense personality that Tamlin has in this book, it didn’t make any sense to me. And also, what the hell happened to Lucien? I loved him in the first book, but in this one? He was just so weak and had lost the snarky personality that we all loved. I’m giving you a chance to redeem yourself, Maas, in the next book so don’t let me down!

Luckily, we get a whole host of minor characters that are all just insanely interesting and fun! They each have their own distinctive personalities and personal stories, that at times I found myself more interested in than them rather than in Feyre. I’m sure you’re all in love with Cassian but I’ve got my heart set on the tortured Azriel. Seriously, I need a spin-off series on what our 4 new friends were doing the past 50 years!

Acourt of mist and fury

Basically, this book was amazing from start to finish. Unlike the first story, it was immediately riveting without the long slow buildup. I did think the that middle could’ve used a little something extra to spice things up a bit, and not in the sexual sense because we definitely got that in spades, but just in the plot itself. However, I couldn’t tear myself away from this book. I stronglyyyyy recommend this series if you haven’t read it yet. If you’re new to Maas, I would recommend it first over her Throne of Glass series. Start strong, right? But seriously, read it, love it, obsess. Then join me and Team Rhysand as we crush that awful Team Tamlin! Hahahahah, just kidding… Sort of.

Finally Verdict: 5/5 Stars

What did you think of ACOMAF? Team Rhysand or Team Tamlin? Cassian or Azriel?