My 5 Star TBR Predictions, 2021 Edition

Hi to all of my friends, old and new! I’ve had a busy few weeks so I haven’t been around to post as much, but I thought it was time to get back to it. Lately, I’ve been getting really excited just looking at all of the unread books on my shelves and so it got me thinking about which ones could become new favorites. Sounds like the perfect time to do a predictions post again, right?! Yeah, I thought so too.

Let’s get started, shall we?


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Dune (Dune, #1)  by Frank Herbert

If you follow me on Insta, then you know that I am currently in a love affair with Denis Villeneuve’s adaptation of this novel. Now I grew up on the original Lynch version so I’m already fairly well acquainted with the story. But I’ve never actually read the book. SHOCKING, I know. But even though it’s a very divisive series, I have a sneaky suspicion that I will love it.

 

 

 

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Jade Legacy (The Green Bone Saga, #3)  by Fonda Lee

Technically, this book isn’t out until December but I do have it on preorder so I feel like it definitely counts on this list. I have loved every single one of the books in the series so far, and can only imagine what Lee has in store for us in this finale. I don’t know if this series has been optioned for a film adaptation, but it needs to be.

 

 

 

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The Mask Falling (The Bone Season, #4)  by Samantha Shannon

I am trash for this series so this one shouldn’t really be a surprise to anyone. I’m still in the middle of doing a reread of The Song Rising via audio so it may be a bit before I dive into this. Especially knowing how long Shannon takes in between releases (super annoying on a selfish level but I also understand).

 

 

 

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The First Man in Rome (Masters of Rome, #1)  by Colleen McCullough

Now, I wasn’t a huge fan of McCullough’s most famous novel, The Thorn Birds. However, I read a few of her historical fiction series novels when I was in college and loved every single one so I think this one will be able to recreate that original enthusiasm that I had for her writing.

 

 

 

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When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry

When it comes to Emily Henry’s YA novels, she can do no wrong (or at least hasn’t yet). I can admit to never having read her adult novels, though I know those are pretty beloved by readers as well. However, I feel like Henry really gets to explore some interesting ideas with her YA books, especially since she likes to dive into magical realism with them. I’m interested in seeing how she tackles some science fiction with this one.

 

 


What are some books on your TBR that you think will get 5 star reviews from you? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them?

Wonderfilled Reads Favorites: Underrated Books

Today I just wanted to take a little time to highlight some of my favorite books that aren’t super popular in the bookish community. I feel like we all tend to focus, myself included, on the really popular books and forget to spread the word about the lesser known titles that we love as well. Am I the only one who feels this way? Possibly. Which is why I decided to share some of own little “underrated” favorites with all of you… Sharing is caring after all! 😉


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Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Yes, this book was picked for Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club but I still never see anyone talking about it! You all know that I’m not much of a contemporary reader, but I listened to the audiobook of this one and immediately fell in love. It was funny, heartwarming, and really engaging. I also loved getting to learn a little more about the Indian community in London. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Nikki lives in cosmopolitan West London, where she tends bar at the local pub. The daughter of Indian immigrants, she’s spent most of her twenty-odd years distancing herself from the traditional Sikh community of her childhood, preferring a more independent (that is, Western) life. When her father’s death leaves the family financially strapped, Nikki, a law school dropout, impulsively takes a job teaching a “creative writing” course at the community center in the beating heart of London’s close-knit Punjabi community.

Because of a miscommunication, the proper Sikh widows who show up are expecting to learn basic English literacy, not the art of short-story writing. When one of the widows finds a book of sexy stories in English and shares it with the class, Nikki realizes that beneath their white dupattas, her students have a wealth of fantasies and memories. Eager to liberate these modest women, she teaches them how to express their untold stories, unleashing creativity of the most unexpected—and exciting—kind.

As more women are drawn to the class, Nikki warns her students to keep their work secret from the Brotherhood, a group of highly conservative young men who have appointed themselves the community’s “moral police.” But when the widows’ gossip offers shocking insights into the death of a young wife—a modern woman like Nikki—and some of the class erotica is shared among friends, it sparks a scandal that threatens them all.

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Sanctuary by V.V. James

I had no idea what to expect when I first picked up this book, but oh man, it was a wild ride! This book little bit of everything – diverse characters, a murder mystery, deals with grief and hysteria. I mean, it REALLY has it all. Just note, that this is an adult book and does get dark in places.

The small Connecticut town of Sanctuary is rocked by the death of its star quarterback.

Daniel’s death looked like an accident, but everyone knows his ex-girlfriend Harper is the daughter of a witch – and she was there when he died.

Then the rumours start. When Harper insists Dan was guilty of a terrible act, the town turns on her. So was his death an accident, revenge – or something even darker?

As accusations fly and secrets are revealed, paranoia grips the town, culminating in a trial that the whole world is watching . . .

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Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre

This series has really blown me away so far. The concept of a person basically connecting to an alien (that is also a living ship) is such an interesting and unique idea. I think the sequel kicked the action up even more than the first book.

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

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A Million Junes by Emily Henry

Honestly, Emily Henry is the only author that writes magical realism that I love. Her stories are always so poignant and full of emotion. And man, this book… it will wreck you in the best ways possible.

For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.

Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.

As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

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Ink and Bone (The Great Library, #1) by Rachel Caine

I just want everyone to read this amazing series set in an alternate history where the Great Library of Alexandria never burned down, but instead now controls the world and all writing. Do you love books? Action? A quirky cast of characters? If you said yes to any of those, then you’ll love this fun series.

Ruthless and supremely powerful, the Great Library is now a presence in every major city, governing the flow of knowledge to the masses. Alchemy allows the Library to deliver the content of the greatest works of history instantly—but the personal ownership of books is expressly forbidden.

Jess Brightwell believes in the value of the Library, but the majority of his knowledge comes from illegal books obtained by his family, who are involved in the thriving black market. Jess has been sent to be his family’s spy, but his loyalties are tested in the final months of his training to enter the Library’s service.

When his friend inadvertently commits heresy by creating a device that could change the world, Jess discovers that those who control the Great Library believe that knowledge is more valuable than any human life—and soon both heretics and books will burn…

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The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman

I could go on and on about meticulously researched the author did on Regency England because she truly transports you into that era. You feel as if you could be reading a fantastical Jane Austen novel at times but with a little added spice. Stubborn heroine, check. Hate-to-love trope, check. Paranormal activity, check.

London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?


What are some of your favorite novels that you think are underrated? Have you read any of the ones on my list? If so, what did you think about it?

Anticipated Releases Tag

I saw this really fun tag done by Lauren @ Fangirl Fury and just knew that I had to participate.. Because hey, who doesn’t love talking about new books?! Only a crazy person, that’s who. #GimmeAllDemBooks

Original tag created by Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx.


Most Anticipated Release(s) of the Year

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Supernova (Renegades, #3) by Marissa Meyer

I’ve been enjoying this series so much. I think Meyer has done a great job of showing how life is more shades of grey, rather than black and white. I appreciate that her writing has matured as well, compared to The Lunar Chronicles. I cannot wait to see what the end of Nova’s story will bring, especially after that shocking ending of the previous book. I NEED TO KNOW.

A Book You’re Not Anticipating

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Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch, #2) by Sarah Henning

I never read the first book in this series and don’t plan to. Am I the only person who doesn’t really care about all of this villain origin stories trend going on? I kind of feel like I might be.

Most Underhyped Anticipated Release

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Suggested Reading by David Connis

I can never say no to a book about books and this one just sounds so amazing. I am a firm believer in no censorship when it comes to books, especially in high school. I can’t wait to see how Connis tackles this controversial topic!

A Book You’ve Been Waiting on Forever

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The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

Ever since finishing Salt to the Sea, I have been dying for another Sepetys novel. And I feel like it has been forever since this book was first announced and I cannot wait any longer for it. I love that Sepetys always chooses to cover historical events that aren’t usually covered in school or in novels.

A Book You’re Anticipating That’s Outside of Your Comfort Zone

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The Athena Protocol by Shamim Sarif

I’m typically not a big reader of thrillers, but something about the synopsis of this novel sounds too good to pass up. I expect a lot of nonstop action mixed with some twists and turns. Also, I’ve always had small desire to work in intelligence. Those guys are badass.

Your Top Three Can’t Wait Books of the Year

  • Five Dark Fates (Three Dark Crowns, #4) by Kendare Blake
  • The Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1) by Kiersten White
  • The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1) by Renee Ahdieh

All three of these books have been on my radar ever since they were first announced, especially Five Dark Fates. This fall is definitely killing it in the new releases department.

Top Five Most Anticipated Backlist Books on Your TBR

  • The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  • The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
  • When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry
  • Defy the Fates (Constellation, #3) by Claudia Gray
  • The Last Magician (The Last Magician, #1) by Lisa Maxwell

What are some of your most anticipated releases? Do you usually keep up to date with new releases? What are some backlisted books on your TBR for the rest of the year? Are you excited about any of the books on my list?

2019 Mid-Year Freak Out Book Tag

Another half year has gone by super fast. I think it really is true what they say, “The years go fast, but the days go slow.” I think that’s especially true as you get older. I mean I will turn 30 in 18 months and that doesn’t even compute with me sometimes. However, that also means that we’ve had 6 months of reading time so far in 2019 and that is awesome. It also means that I’m THIS much closer to my favorite time of year – fall. Cold weather is calling me and I cannot wait!


Best Book You’ve Read So Far In 2019

I couldn’t pick just one book because all four of these books just rocked my freaking world this year for different reasons. I cannot recommend them enough to people.

Best Sequel You’ve Read So Far In 2019

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I’m honestly just trash for this series. The first one was so unique but maybe suffered from a bit of slow pacing, but holy moly this sequel was insanely amazing. There was an outlaw style space port, cage-style fighting, etc. I don’t even know how Caine and Aguirre are going to be able to top this sequel, but I have really high hopes!

New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

Basically I’m kicking my ass over having not read these books because I am obsessed with Jeff Zentner and Emily Henry’s novels. But I will say that I own Kingsbane but I’ve been putting it aside until I do a reread of Furyborn. It’s happening soon though, for sure.

Most Anticipated Release For The Second Half Of The Year

Okay, just give me all of the books at this point. I promise I won’t complain.

Biggest Disappointment

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I wish I understood what the hype was with this book but it did not work at all for me. The main character was so whiny and naïve, making it really hard for me to care about any of her thoughts. I get that maybe that’s a reason because she’s been so isolated but still, it just didn’t work for me.

Biggest Surprise

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I know there was a lot of hype going around this book when it first came out, especially considering it was Reese Witherspoon’s book club pick. But even with that, I wasn’t sure it was going to work for me as I’m super picky when it comes to contemporary novels. However, I freaking loved it so much! I listened to the audiobook and it was amazing. I’ll definitely be picking up whatever else this author writes.

Favorite New Author (Debut/New To You)

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I am so impressed by the world-building Fonda Lee created in Jade City. It was so impressive and interesting. This was my first read by her but I know I’m already obsessed. I can’t wait to continue with this series and also explore some of her other novels.

Newest Fictional Crush

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Nathaniel Thorn is one sassy sexy sorcerer. I was living for his witty one-liners and the back and forth banter between him and Elizabeth.

Newest Favorite Character

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Spensa is so feisty and strong-willed. I love that she doesn’t take no for an answer but continues to fight for what she wants and what she believes in. She’s just a little firecracker. I am slowly dying inside waiting for the sequel to come out because I cannot wait to see what she’s going to do next.

Book That Made You Cry

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Yeah, I’ll admit that I shed a few tears at work while listening to this audiobook. They were happy tears though!

Book That Made You Happy

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This book was just such a joy. It was engaging and fun, with a really great family story as well. It wasn’t what I was expecting at first but turned out to be just as great.

Most Beautiful Book You’ve Bought So Far This Year

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What Books Do You Need To Read By The End Of The Year

Favorite Book To Movie Adaptation You’ve Seen This Year

I don’t know if it really counts since I haven’t read the books but I really enjoyed Dumplin’ and Mortal Engines.

Favorite Review You’ve Written This Year


What is your favorite book read of 2019 so far? Biggest disappointment? Have you discovered a new favorite author? What book are you most looking forward to reading in the second half of the year?

My Top Five Auto-Buy Authors

We all have our favorite authors. Those authors who it doesn’t really matter what they’re writing about because we’re going to buy it either way. Before today, I had never really sat down and thought about which authors I naturally gravitate towards. But I think it’s interesting to talk about the authors that we love and why we love their work, which is why I wanted to share a few of my favorites with y’all!


Samantha Shannon

I don’t what it is about Shannon’s writing, but she always has me hooked into the world and plot in the very first paragraph. Her world-building is just phenomenal and she creates characters that are so complex and aren’t necessarily always good or bad. I really appreciate authors who can create characters that feel very real to me, which usually means they are very flawed and aren’t necessarily always doing the right thing. And you best believe that I am anxiously awaiting for my preorder of The Priory of the Orange Tree to arrive next week!

Emily Henry

I will be the first to admit that I typically hate magical realism, like I will go out of my way to not read magical realism. But dammit, if Emily Henry doesn’t make me pick up her books every single time a new one comes out! I’m not sure why it is but her writing style of magical realism is so much more accessible than the others that I have read. I never feel confused as to what is happening plot-wise. Also, Henry’s stories will make you feel ALL the feels, especially A Million Junes. I’m actually really interested in her upcoming release When the Sky Fell on Splendor, as it’s science fiction instead of her usual magical realism and I am so here for it.

Claudia Gray

Gray is my go-to for some amazing science fiction with strong female characters. I also like how I’m never bored with her stories. They’re really fast-paced and very engaging. I also love her writes relationships, whether it’s romantic or strictly platonic. She’s also a hardcore Star Wars fan (like your’s truly!) and has written a few new canon novels which I highly recommend. I have a few of the most recent ones that I still need to get to…

Leila Meacham

I love a great sweeping historical fiction novel and Leila Meacham writes those to perfection. She has this ability to immediately draw you into her novel and transport you back in time. I also really appreciate a well-written romance, which features prominently in her stories. I had no idea that she had a new release coming out that is set during WWII, called Dragonfly. I am pre-ordering that one immediately!

Pierce Brown

I will never not stop recommending Brown’s books to every single person I know. His writing is so expansive with some AMAZING political intrigue and epic battles sprinkled throughout. He does write adult science fiction so the situations can be very grim and violent. But my gosh, does he pull you into the world while falling in love with such flawed and complex characters.


What are some of your favorite/auto-buy authors? What is it about their writing that makes you want to read everything they create? Have you read any of the authors on my list? If so, what did you think of them?

Valentine’s Day Reading Recommendations

It’s that time of the year when love is in the air (supposedly) and the greeting card companies, florists, and candy corporations are all excited about the money they’re making off of us. And if you were looking for some books to add to all of the love stuff floating around right now, I decided to help you out with some recommendations. Don’t worry, I’m gonna help you out with a bunch of different genres so you don’t have to worry about getting stuck with only contemporary (which we all know isn’t my favorite…). Enjoy!


Contemporary

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Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Lina is spending the summer in Tuscany, but she isn’t in the mood for Italy’s famous sunshine and fairy-tale landscape. She’s only there because it was her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. But what kind of father isn’t around for sixteen years? All Lina wants to do is get back home.

But then she is given a journal that her mom had kept when she lived in Italy. Suddenly Lina’s uncovering a magical world of secret romances, art, and hidden bakeries. A world that inspires Lina, along with the ever-so-charming Ren, to follow in her mother’s footsteps and unearth a secret that has been kept for far too long. It’s a secret that will change everything she knew about her mother, her father—and even herself.

People come to Italy for love and gelato, someone tells her, but sometimes they discover much more.

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Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

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A Million Junes by Emily Henry

For as long as Jack “June” O’Donnell has been alive, her parents have had only one rule: stay away from the Angert family. But when June collides—quite literally—with Saul Angert, sparks fly, and everything June has known is thrown into chaos.

Who exactly is this gruff, sarcastic, but seemingly harmless boy who has returned to their hometown of Five Fingers, Michigan, after three mysterious years away? And why has June—an O’Donnell to her core—never questioned her late father’s deep hatred of the Angert family? After all, the O’Donnells and the Angerts may have mythic legacies, but for all the tall tales they weave, both founding families are tight-lipped about what caused the century-old rift between them.

As Saul and June’s connection grows deeper, they find that the magic, ghosts, and coywolves of Five Fingers seem to be conspiring to reveal the truth about the harrowing curse that has plagued their bloodlines for generations. Now June must question everything she knows about her family and the father she adored, and she must decide whether it’s finally time for her—and all the O’Donnells before her—to let go.

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Me Before You (Me Before You, #1) by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark is an ordinary young woman living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has never been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex-Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair-bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

A love story for this generation, Me Before You brings to life two people who couldn’t have less in common—a heartbreakingly romantic novel that asks, What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart?

Science Fiction

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Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray

She’s a soldier – Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine – Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel’s advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

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Across the Universe (Across the Universe, #1) by Beth Revis

A love out of time. A spaceship built of secrets and murder.

Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone—one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship —tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn’t do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now Amy must race to unlock Godspeed’s hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there’s only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

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Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1) by Marissa Meyer

A forbidden romance.

A deadly plague.

Earth’s fate hinges on one girl . . .

CINDER, a gifted mechanic in New Beijing, is also a cyborg. She’s reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s sudden illness. But when her life becomes entwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she finds herself at the centre of a violent struggle between the desires of an evil queen – and a dangerous temptation.

Cinder is caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal. Now she must uncover secrets about her mysterious past in order to protect Earth’s future.

This is not the fairytale you remember. But it’s one you won’t forget.

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Illuminae (The Illuminae Files, #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.

Fantasy

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The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) by Samantha Shannon

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.

The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.

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Caraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

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Falling Kingdoms (Falling Kingdoms, #1) by Morgan Rhodes

In the three kingdoms of Mytica, magic has long been forgotten. And while hard-won peace has reigned for centuries, a deadly unrest now simmers below the surface.

As the rulers of each kingdom grapple for power, the lives of their subjects are brutally transformed… and four key players, royals and rebels alike, find their fates forever intertwined. Cleo, Jonas, Lucia, and Magnus are caught in a dizzying world of treacherous betrayals, shocking murders, secret alliances, and even unforeseen love.

The only outcome that’s certain is that kingdoms will fall. Who will emerge triumphant when all they know has collapsed?

It’s the eve of war…. Choose your side.

Princess: Raised in pampered luxury, Cleo must now embark on a rough and treacherous journey into enemy territory in search of magic long thought extinct.

Rebel: Jonas, enraged at injustice, lashes out against the forces of oppression that have kept his country cruelly impoverished. To his shock, he finds himself the leader of a people’s revolution centuries in the making.

Sorceress: Lucia, adopted at birth into the royal family, discovers the truth about her past—and the supernatural legacy she is destined to wield.

Heir: Bred for aggression and trained to conquer, firstborn son Magnus begins to realize that the heart can be more lethal than the sword….

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The Kiss of Deception (The Remnant Chronicles, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.

Historical Fiction

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These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

Jo Montfort is beautiful and rich, and soon—like all the girls in her class—she’ll graduate from finishing school and be married off to a wealthy bachelor. Which is the last thing she wants. Jo secretly dreams of becoming a writer—a newspaper reporter like the trailblazing Nellie Bly.

Wild aspirations aside, Jo’s life seems perfect until tragedy strikes: her father is found dead. Charles Montfort accidentally shot himself while cleaning his revolver. One of New York City’s wealthiest men, he owned a newspaper and was partner in a massive shipping firm, and Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun.

The more Jo uncovers about her father’s death, the more her suspicions grow. There are too many secrets. And they all seem to be buried in plain sight. Then she meets Eddie—a young, brash, infuriatingly handsome reporter at her father’s newspaper—and it becomes all too clear how much she stands to lose if she keeps searching for the truth. Only now it might be too late to stop.

The past never stays buried forever. Life is dirtier than Jo Montfort could ever have imagined, and the truth is the dirtiest part of all.

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Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

For the first time in decades, Lorraine Kindred has returned to the ballroom where she was swept away by the big bands during the 1940s – and by a star-crossed romance. As she takes in the magnificent energy and brassy sounds of her youth, the past comes to life, along with the fateful decision all those years ago that forced her to choose between personal conviction and social expectations, between the two men who had captured her heart. It had been a time of great music and love, but also of war and sacrifice, and now, trying to make peace with her memories, Lorraine must find the courage to face buried secrets. In the process, she will rediscover herself, her passion, and her capacity for resilience.

Set during the 1940s and the present and inspired by a real-life ballroom, Stars Over Clear Lake is a moving story of forbidden love, lost love, everlasting love – and self love.

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The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen, #1) by Alison Goodman

London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

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Roses by Leila Meacham

Spanning the 20th century, the story of Roses takes place in a small East Texas town against the backdrop of the powerful timber and cotton industries, industries controlled by the scions of the town’s founding families. Cotton tycoon Mary Toliver and timber magnate Percy Warwick should have married but unwisely did not, and now must deal with the deceit, secrets, and tragedies of their choice and the loss of what might have been–not just for themselves but for their children, and children’s children. With expert, unabashed, big-canvas storytelling, Roses covers a hundred years, three generations of Texans and the explosive combination of passion for work and longing for love.


Do you like to books with romance around Valentine’s Day? Have you read any of the books on my list? What books would you recommend for Valentine’s Day?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hype or Like Friday – Coming to a Close and Shining Stars

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 November BOTM is Zodiac (Zodiac, #1) by Romina Russell.

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RULES:

  • 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: I’m combining last week’s topic and this week’s because I missed it.. Oops!

Coming to a Close… What book(s) do you hope to read before the end of the year?

Shining Stars… What have been your favorite reads of 2017?


Coming to a Close

  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang
  • The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh
  • The City of Brass (The Daevabad Trilogy, #1) by S.A. Chakraborty

These are all books that I’ve received from Book of the Month Club this past year. I’ve heard some amazing things about each one of them and am super excited to hopefully get to them before then end of the year. I’ve been trying to actually read some of the books I’ve received from that subscription service more, as I had really just been putting them off. I think 4 in a month seems like a good step in that direction, haha!

Shining Stars

  • Caraval (Caraval, #1) by Stephanie Garber
  • Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray
  • Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
  • An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson
  • This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) by Victoria Schwab
  • A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
  • Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • Scarlet (The Lunar Chronicles, #2) by Marissa Meyer
  • A Million Junes by Emily Henry
  • The Song Rising (The Bone Season, #3) by Samantha Shannon
  • The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
  • The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen, #2) by Alison Goodman

Basically you all should just go read these books/series because they’re amazing. Seriously. Stop reading this post and go pick one up. RIGHT NOW.


What are some books that you hope to finish by the end of the year? What have been some of your favorite reads of 2017 so far? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments below!

My Favorite Standalone Novels

As a massive fan of fantasy and science fiction, I naturally read more series than standalones. However, I promise that I do read standalone books from time to time! So to prove that I do enjoy them, I’ve compiled a list of just a few of my favorites. Now I’m sure I’ll be constantly adding to this list as I read more books, but as of right now, these are my faves!


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Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

This is one of my most recent reads and I absolutely loved it. It was sweet, cute and gave me all of the wanderlust. I’m dying to go to Florence now and eat some gelato, like tomorrow. Really.

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Heartless by Marissa Meyer

This was such a wonderful retelling of the origin of the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. I don’t know what it is about Meyer’s writing but she just has this ability to immediately draw you in and leave you begging for more.

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A Million Junes by Emily Henry

I’m sure at this point, y’all are tire of hearing talk about how much I loved this book. But I’m sorry that I’ll never stop talking about how good it is! Actually, I’m not really sorry because this book is amazing, and so was her debut novel, The Love That Split the World. Henry is my new auto-buy author and I recommend everyone picking up her novels!

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Revenge and the Wild by Michelle Modesto

This book is just so much fun! It’s basically a genre mash-up of paranormal, fantasy, western, and historical fiction. Seriously, what more could you want in a book? I definitely recommend this one for anyone looking for a quick and entertaining read that doesn’t take itself too seriously.. Plus that cover, y’all!

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The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

If you’re okay with a book breaking your heart, pick this one up. Zentner absolutely killed it with this debut. I haven’t gotten around to picking up his latest novel, but I know it’ll be just as good. The friendship portrayed is this book is one of the best ones I’ve ever read, for sure.

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Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Now this is one of those books that either people absolutely love (like me!) or they hate it. But I think if you recognize it as a satire of Harry Potter and the “Chosen One” trope before picking it up, it makes it much more enjoyable. I really enjoyed this book. I thought it was funny and clever and I will forever ship Simon and Baz. Those two are the ultimate OTP and I will fight you on that!

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A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

I just read this one earlier this month and absolutely loved it. For a literary fiction, Towles’ writing style makes this such a fast-paced read and extremely engaging. He also created such amazing characters and I only wish they were real people. Count Rostov has become one of my most favorite characters that I’ve ever read.

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The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

I think at this point we can officially say that Hardinge has one of the most creative and unique story minds. Her books are all so original, especially The Lie Tree. I read this last year and can definitely see why it won awards. This one is all about take-charge females and definitely challenges the social norms of the 19th century.

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Lost Stars (Journey to Star Wars: The Force Awakens) by Claudia Gray

Even if you aren’t really a Star Wars fan, I still think this is one science fiction novel that you’ll enjoy. It follows brand new characters who live through the original trilogy and experience it from opposite sides of the Rebellion. Claudia Gray is phenomenal when it comes to writing engaging science fiction and definitely proves it yet again with this book.

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The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Barker

Now this is apparently being continued as a series, but as I’ve not heard any updates for a couple of years, I’m just going to count it as a standalone for now. I really enjoyed this one back when I read it when it first came out. It’s got dashes of A Discovery of Witches and a hint of The Magicians all rolled into one.

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An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

I absolutely adored this story. I thought it was whimsical and such a great tale about fae, that actually embraces the dark side of these magical creatures. I am so sad that this is only a standalone because there’s so much more to explore in this world!


What are some of your favorite standalone novels? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Do you prefer standalones or series more? What are some other standalone books that you recommend?

 

Hype or Like Friday – #OwnVoices

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 November BOTM is City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson.

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RULES:

  • 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: #OwnVoices… What #ownvoices novels do you recommend?


As I was looking through my books, I realized how low my number is of #ownvoices novels that I’ve read. Luckily, I’m making a conscience effort to change that in the future and have a bunch sitting on my TBR shelf to read. We can only become a better person when we make the effort and so that’s one of the things that I plan to work on! With that being said, I’m going to combine #ownvoices novels with some of my favorite books written by diverse authors!

I obviously recommend every single one of these books/series. GO READ THEM NOW! 🙂


What #ownvoices books do you recommend for me to add to my TBR? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments below!

Hype or Like Friday – We’re All Beautiful

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 November BOTM is City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson.

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RULES:

  • 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: We’re All Beautiful… What are some of your favorite diverse reads?


These are just a few my favorite diverse reads covering everything from sexual orientation to racial identity and even physical/mental disabilities. I noticed that I haven’t read as many diverse books lately as I would like, but luckily my TBR bookshelf is definitely full of them and I can’t wait to dig into all of them soon!


What are some of your favorite diverse reads? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your Hype or Like Friday post in the comments below!