Backlist Books You Shouldn’t Forget About

With so many new and shiny books constantly being released and paraded all over bookstagram, I think the fall is a nice time to dive back into some of those backlisted books that have been sitting on our shelves for a while. I am really bad about buying stacks of books at a time and immediately grabbing the newest ones off of the pile and then forgetting about the others. However, I hope to focus mostly on some of those forgotten stories over the upcoming months. That plan gave me an idea to spotlight some really awesome backlist books for others to pick up soon!


Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard – Series Not Yet Finished

In a continent on the edge of war, two witches hold its fate in their hands.

Young witches Safiya and Iseult have a habit of finding trouble. After clashing with a powerful Guildmaster and his ruthless Bloodwitch bodyguard, the friends are forced to flee their home.

Safi must avoid capture at all costs as she’s a rare Truthwitch, able to discern truth from lies. Many would kill for her magic, so Safi must keep it hidden – lest she be used in the struggle between empires. And Iseult’s true powers are hidden even from herself.

In a chance encounter at Court, Safi meets Prince Merik and makes him a reluctant ally. However, his help may not slow down the Bloodwitch now hot on the girls’ heels. All Safi and Iseult want is their freedom, but danger lies ahead. With war coming, treaties breaking and a magical contagion sweeping the land, the friends will have to fight emperors and mercenaries alike. For some will stop at nothing to get their hands on a Truthwitch.

This book got a lot of hype when it was first released a few years ago, but has since been drowned out by more recently released hyped books. I actually put off reading it for a long time until I was reminded of it when the sequel was released. WHY DID I WAIT SO LONG?! This book became an instant favorite and I could not put it down. I loved the focus on the friendship between the two girls and found the plot to be super engaging.


Zodiac (Zodiac, #1) by Romina Russell – Completed Series

Rhoma Grace is a 16-year-old student from House Cancer with an unusual way of reading the stars. While her classmates use measurements to make accurate astrological predictions, Rho can’t solve for ‘x’ to save her life—so instead, she looks up at the night sky and makes up stories.

When a violent blast strikes the moons of Cancer, sending its ocean planet off-kilter and killing thousands of citizens—including its beloved Guardian—Rho is more surprised than anyone when she is named the House’s new leader. But, a true Cancerian who loves her home fiercely and will protect her people no matter what, Rho accepts.

Then, when more Houses fall victim to freak weather catastrophes, Rho starts seeing a pattern in the stars. She suspects Ophiuchus—the exiled 13th Guardian of Zodiac legend—has returned to exact his revenge across the Galaxy. Now Rho—along with Hysan Dax, a young envoy from House Libra, and Mathias, her guide and a member of her Royal Guard—must travel through the Zodiac to warn the other Guardians.

But who will believe anything this young novice says? Whom can Rho trust in a universe defined by differences? And how can she convince twelve worlds to unite as one Zodiac?

I never see anyone talking about this book series and that is really such a shame because I absolutely loved it. It was so unique and I like that the setting revolves around the astrological zodiac. All of the characters are fun and interesting and the story isn’t afraid to get dark at times. If you are looking for a science fiction series that has been completed, this might be one you should look into picking up.


Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys – Standalone

It’s 1950, and as the French Quarter of New Orleans simmers with secrets, seventeen-year-old Josie Moraine is silently stirring a pot of her own. Known among locals as the daughter of a brothel prostitute, Josie wants more out of life than the Big Easy has to offer. She devises a plan get out, but a mysterious death in the Quarter leaves Josie tangled in an investigation that will challenge her allegiance to her mother, her conscience, and Willie Woodley, the brusque madam on Conti Street.

Josie is caught between the dream of an elite college and a clandestine underworld. New Orleans lures her in her quest for truth, dangling temptation at every turn, and escalating to the ultimate test.

With characters as captivating as those in her internationally bestselling novel Between Shades of Gray, Ruta Sepetys skillfully creates a rich story of secrets, lies, and the haunting reminder that decisions can shape our destiny.

I feel like Ruta Sepetys’ WWII novels tend to get more universal praise and recognition than this hidden gem of a story. The 50’s New Orleans setting was a nice change of pace from the usual historical fiction time periods and I think the author did a great job bringing it to life.


Blood Red Road (Dust Lands, #1) by Moira Young – Completed Trilogy

Saba has spent her whole life in Silverlake, a dried-up wasteland ravaged by constant sandstorms. The Wrecker civilization has long been destroyed, leaving only landfills for Saba and her family to scavenge from. That’s fine by her, as long as her beloved twin brother Lugh is around. But when four cloaked horsemen capture Lugh, Saba’s world is shattered, and she embarks on a quest to get him back.
Suddenly thrown into the lawless, ugly reality of the outside world, Saba discovers she is a fierce fighter, an unbeatable survivor, and a cunning opponent. Teamed up with a handsome daredevil named Jack and a gang of girl revolutionaries called the Free Hawks, Saba’s unrelenting search for Lugh stages a showdown that will change the course of her own civilization.

I actually have every book in this trilogy and I read them all a long time ago, but I plan to do a full reread soon. However, I do remember devouring this book. It was released during the dystopian craze a while back, but I would compare it more to Mad Max and other such post-apocalyptic stories. It’s fast-paced and follows a kickass heroine that everyone loves to read about. And if you can’t take my word for it, then just know that this book has been nominated and won a bunch of awards.


The Cutting Season by Attica Locke – Standalone

The American South in the twenty-first century. A plantation owned for generations by a rich family. So much history. And a dead body.

Just after dawn, Caren walks the grounds of Belle Vie, the historic plantation house in Louisiana that she has managed for four years. Today she sees nothing unusual, apart from some ground that has been dug up by the fence bordering the sugar cane fields. Assuming an animal has been out after dark, she asks the gardener to tidy it up. Not long afterwards, he calls her to say it’s something else. Something terrible. A dead body. At a distance, she missed her. The girl, the dirt and the blood. Now she has police on site, an investigation in progress, and a member of staff no one can track down. And Caren keeps uncovering things she will wish she didn’t know. As she’s drawn into the dead girl’s story, she makes shattering discoveries about the future of Belle Vie, the secrets of its past, and sees, more clearly than ever, that Belle Vie, its beauty, is not to be trusted.

A magnificent, sweeping story of the south, The Cutting Season brings history face-to-face with modern America, where Obama is president, but some things will never change. Attica Locke once again provides an unblinking commentary on politics, race, the law, family and love, all within a thriller every bit as gripping and tragic as her first novel, Black Water Rising.

A murder-mystery and old family secrets set on a plantation in Louisiana… How could this book not be perfect to pick up during October?! Simple: it couldn’t. The atmosphere is creepy and soulful, while also shedding light on today’s culture and racial politics. While this is the only book by Locke that I’ve read (so far), I know that I will enjoy anything she writes.


City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson – Standalone

In the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist. After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I first picked up this book. However, it immediately captured my attention and never let go. I haven’t read many books set in modern day Africa, so it was nice to know that the author actually spent most of her career working with NGOs and the UN in Africa.


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

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?

This trilogy has become one of my all-time favorite. It’s a super fun genre-bending novel mixing historical fiction and paranormal. It is one of the most well-researched novels that I’ve read and Goodman did a crazy good job of bringing Regency England to life. Also, two thumbs up for the broody hate-to-love romance, which I’m always a sucker for.

Do you tend to read more recent releases or backlist titles more? What are some of your favorite backlist novels? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them?


Book Review: The Summer Before the War

Whenever I read a good historical fiction novel, I feel a strong sense of nostalgia for some reason. Maybe it’s because I read mostly historical fiction when I was a child, or maybe it’s just my strong love of history that draws me completely in. But for whatever reason, I definitely got that feeling while reading Helen Simonson’s, The Summer Before the War.

The bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand returns with a breathtaking novel of love and war that reaches far beyond the small English town in which it is set.

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master.

When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing.

But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war.

I loved Simonson’s writing style. I think it flowed really well and truly helped bring the village of Rye and its inhabitants to life. It was surprising how her writing style fit in with the time period perfectly. It almost reads like a classic novel actually written during the time period of which it is set in. However, do not let that fool you. It is still a very easy to read book and it does not tend to meander into lengthy irrelevant passages, as classically written novels tend to do. I never found myself struggling to understand the message of the story.

The plot of the story was also very engaging. I loved following the lives of multiple characters and how they were all connected through Rye. This story has a little bit of everything, including romance and family drama. I never found myself bored, but instead I was constantly wanting to pick up the book to see what was going to happen next. I appreciated all of the mix of characters that each brought something unique to the story. Coming from someone who has grown up in a small town, I definitely felt a connection with the all of the drama that ensued in the story.

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Our three main POV characters were all compelling with their own interwoven story lines. Agatha is the more forward-thinking of the group of upper class women in Rye. After convincing the school board to hire Beatrice as the Latin teacher, she takes her under her wing and becomes a motherly figure for the young woman. I really enjoyed Agatha’s character. She toed the line between being a conservative upstanding citizen in the community and the progressive and stubborn woman that she is at home. Beatrice is definitely a progressive woman for the times, as she has grown up living a bohemian and intellectual style with her professor father. She speaks her mind and is willing to put up a fight for the things that she cares for. And then there is Hugh, the solid and reliable aspiring doctor with a big heart. I loved Hugh. He was always so caring and understanding with everyone he comes into contact with. I also really enjoyed his bond with his cousin, Daniel, and how he looks out for him like a big brother would.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It was engaging and entertaining, especially when it comes to examining all of the different characters within Rye and their interactions with one another. I think this would be the perfect cozy book to pick up during the upcoming holiday season. If you’re a fan of shows like Downton Abbey or just historical fiction in general, I think you’ll really enjoy this book as well.

Final Verdict: 5/5 Stars

Have you read The Summer Before the War? If so, what did you think of it? Which character was your favorite? Do you enjoy reading historical fiction?

If You Liked That…Read This: Historical Fiction Edition

I am a sucker for a good historical fiction. I’m a bit of a history buff and so when I can get my hands on a book that can transport me fully into a different time and place, I’m a happy little clam. I know it’s not a genre for everyone, but hopefully you’ll give at least one of my recommendations a shot!

If You Liked The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah… Read Stars Over Clear Lake by Loretta Ellsworth

Both stories featured star-crossed lovers set amidst the backdrop of WWII, with The Nightingale being located in France and Stars Over Clear Lake is set in Iowa. I would put Hannah’s novel more in the literary historical fiction category, as it has won many awards. But what I really enjoyed about Stars was how it incorporated the local ballroom and big bands into the overall plot. I really feel like this is an underrated gem of a story.

If You Liked Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys… Read The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye

These two books focus on stories and eras that are fairly unique to the genre. I loved that they dive into fairly important issues, though completely different from one another. Both follow women that are sit fairly outside of the normal realms of society, one being involved in the 20’s New York mafia and the other growing up within a 50’s New Orleans brothel. I feel like The Paragon Hotel really takes some of the darker themes of Out of the Easy and dives deeper into them. It’s not a happy story, but so important in today’s world. Please be aware – The Paragon Hotel includes adult content.

If You Liked Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell… Read Roses by Leila Meacham

If you’re a regular to my blog, then you might be a little tired of me constantly mentioning Roses. But it is so worth it! It has such a sweeping romance story with a focus on family history and relationships, just like Gone with the Wind. I will say that it does go back and forth between early 1900’s Texas to the Present, spanning three generations. It’s such a great story and there is even a prequel, Summerset, that you can dive into afterwards as well.

What are some historical fiction novels that you would recommend? Have you read any of my recommendations? If so, what did you think about them?

My April TBR

I didn’t get to all of the books I wanted to read in March, so there will be a bit of an overflow into this month’s TBR. But I think that’s alright, because I really want to get to these books soon rather than continue to push them aside until later. So yes, my TBR this month is once again a bit ambitious but I’m alright with it. Let’s kick some reading ass in April!


  • Rabbit & Robot by Andrew Smith – physical ARC
  • Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee – physical book
  • Kingdom of the Blazing Phoenix (Rise of the Empress, #2) by Julie C. Dao – audiobook, currently listening
  • The Mirk and Midnight Hour by Jane Nickerson – physical book
  • The Game of Love and Death by Martha Brockenbrough – physical book
  • Navigating the Stars (Sentinels of the Galaxy, #1) by Maria V. Snyder – audiobook
  • And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga, #1) by Kiersten White – physical book, currently buddy reading
  • Tithe (Modern Faerie Tales, #1) by Holly Black – physical book
  • Lifel1k3 (Lifelike, #1) by Jay Kristoff
  • The English Wife by Lauren Willig – physical book, currently reading
  • Scythe (Arc of a Scythe, #1) by Neal Shusterman – physical book, buddy read
  • The Lying Woods by Ashley Elston – audiobook

This may look like a really extensive TBR, but with 3 of these being audiobooks which I can speed through pretty quickly, I’m not too worried about it. I think I have a really good mix of genres as well this month which will help me from getting too bored as well. I think I was actually starting to get burned out on fantasy last month, so this mix should help fix that problem somewhat.

What do you plan to read during April? Do you have a set TBR or are you a mood reader? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think about them?

Top 5 Audiobook Recommendations

I know some people aren’t big fans of audiobooks or have ever given them a chance, as I used to be one of them. However, I’m lucky enough to work at a job where I can keep a headphone in one ear and listen to music or whatever. So one day about two years ago, I finally decided that I needed to give listening to audiobooks a try… and I am SO glad I did. I get to listen to so many audiobooks now, between work and listening while at the gym. So if you’re like the old me and are just starting out with audiobooks, or are maybe a pro at it and just want some new ones to add to your Audible account, then I hope my recommendations help! 🙂

Sadie by Courtney Summers

This book is written in two different ways – one as a regular narrative following Sadie, and the other is a podcast format. Now I haven’t read this book in hard copy, but I can say that listening to the audiobook version truly brings you into the story. It makes the podcast narration come to life, just like if you were actually listening to a true crime podcast. I cannot recommend it enough.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

We all love Neil Gaiman. I mean, how could you not? But I wonder how many of you have tried his middle grade novel, The Graveyard Book? Well if you haven’t, I cannot recommend the audiobook version enough. It’s a full cast experience complete with music and sound effects. You can really feel the atmospheric setting of the graveyard come to alive. Seriously, you won’t regret it.

This is Our Story by Ashley Elston

A YA murder-mystery is the perfect story to translate into an audiobook. I loved how the mystery seemed even more realistic like you’re experiencing it in a movie, rather than just following along the page. The narration had me hooked from the beginning and I think it will do the same to you too!

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’ll admit that I’m actually currently in the middle of this one, but I can already tell that it’ll be one of my favorites. It’s another full cast audio featuring actors Benjamin Bratt, Jennifer Beals, Pablo Schreiber, and Judy Greer. It sounds just like listening to an episode of Behind the Music. I love that documentary feel to it.

The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo

Audiobooks read by the author can be very hit or miss. However, Choo does an amazing job bringing her own characters to life. She has a very peaceful voice that really lends an extra ethereal quality to the magical realism and Chinese mythology in the story. It’s also just a beautiful story set in 1930’s Malaysia, which isn’t a typical setting for a YA novel.

Do you like to listen to audiobooks? If so, what are some of your favorites? Have you listened to any of the books on my list?

My Favorite Books Featuring Strong Female Characters

I’m sure like most of you do, I always enjoy reading a story that features strong and independent female characters. I never fail to feel an intense connection with those types of characters, as I like to think of myself as a fairly strong female as well. Everyone needs to be able to find a sense of strength and inspiration from their books and I think there’s nothing better than getting that from a special character. Long after you may forget what the plot from that book was about, you’ll still be able to remember that character and what they mean to you.

And don’t worry boys, you’ll get your turn soon!


Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Spensa is a total badass pilot. She never lets anything stop her from doing what she knows she was born to do. Also, her snarky comebacks never fail to make me laugh aloud.

Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.


Golden Son (Red Rising, #2) by Pierce Brown

Victra is life and anyone who disagrees can fight me over it.

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.


Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever come across. She will do anything to avenge her sister’s death and I can totally respect that.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.


Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

I want to be a monster hunter just like Maggie when I grow up. Can I say something like that even though I’m already 28? Eh, I don’t care. She’s fierce and I love it.

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the disappearances, she will have to confront her past—if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.


The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

Jude is a human living amongst the Fair Folk and she’s able to play their games even better than they are. I only wish I could be as cunning as she is.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.


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

Noemi Vidal is just so cool. She’s a fighter and isn’t afraid to break the rules in order to do the right thing.

he’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.


Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Technically Nova is the bad guy, but she’s still so loyal to the only family that she has even if that puts her at odds with the rest of the world. I can admire her standing by them, while also standing up to them when she knows what they’re doing is wrong.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.


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

I love how tough Zara is and how she’s willing to to do what’s right, even when putting her own life at risk. Also, I’m just really jealous she gets to fly a sentient ship.

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.


Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery

Anne is the real O.G. of inspirational females. No list would be worth even reading if she wasn’t on it.

As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she’ll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables.


The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1) by Erika Johansen

Kelsea is ruthless when it comes to fighting for her crown and protecting her kingdom. She is so strong willed and independent when it comes the choices she makes.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.

Who are some of your favorite female characters? Do you agree with my choices?

My 2019 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge TBR

For the past couple of years I have participated in the annual POPSUGAR reading challenge… and with abysmal results. However, it’s a new year (unfortunately, same me) and I’m really going to try and actually complete it this year. It’s always a long shot for me as some of the prompts don’t really excite me for one reason or another (like I really don’t appreciate poetry.. oops?). But I’m going to do my best to finish this really intense reading challenge this year. It’s going to be a uphill battle, but I’m willing to make the trek! And for me, the best way to do so is to plan ahead with a TBR. I’ve actually come up with a couple of options for some of the prompts to help with my indecisive reading habits.

If you would like to learn more about this reading challenge, please visit the official Goodreads reading group. They have tons of participants and also discussions on books that would work for each prompt. It’s quite possibly the best group on Goodreads that I’ve ever come across. NO LIE.

A Book Becoming A Movie In 2019

A Book That Makes You Nostalgic

A Book Written By A Musician (Fiction Or Nonfiction)

A Book You Think Should Be Turned Into A Movie

A Book With At Least One Million Ratings On Goodreads

A Book With A Plant In The Title Or On The Cover

A Reread Of A Favorite Book

A Book About A Hobby

A Book You Meant To Read In 2018

A Book With “Pop”, “Sugar”, “Challenge” In The Title

A Book With An Item Of Clothing Or Accessory On The Cover

A Book Inspired By Myth/Legend/Folklore

A Book Published Posthumously

A Book You See Someone Reading On TV Or In A Movie

A Retelling Of A Classic

A Book With A Question In The Title

A Book Set On A College Or University Campus

A Book About Someone With A Superpower

A Book Told From Multiple POVs

A Book Set In Space

A Book By Two Female Authors

A Book With “Salty”, “Sweet”, “Bitter”, or “Spicy” In The Title

A Book Set In Scandinavia

A Book That Takes Place In A Single Day

A Debut Novel

A Book Featuring An Extinct Or Imaginary Creature

A Book Recommended By A Celebrity You Admire

A Book With “Love” In The Title

A Book Featuring An Amateur Detective

A Book About A Family

A Book Written By An Author From Asia, Africa, or South America

A Book With A Zodiac Sign or Astrology Term In The Title

A Book That Includes A Wedding

A Book By An Author Whose First And Last Names Start With The Same Letter

A Ghost Story

A Book With A Two Word Title

A Novel Based On A True Story

A Book Around A Puzzle Or Game

Your Favorite Prompt From A Past POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

Are you participating in the POPSUGAR reading challenge this year? If so, have you figured out your TBR already? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think about them?

Common Thoughts and Emotions of a Reader

As readers, we tend to go through lots of different emotional/mental stages. It’s pretty much expected that our books will take us down many winding paths. (It comes with the territory.) With that being said, here are a few thoughts and moments that almost every booknerd will have at least once, or if you’re like me, constantly.

1. The I’m-So-Excited-To-Start-This-Book Feeling


You know you’ve probably done this dance at least once when starting a book that you’ve been really excited about.

2. The Why-Would-The-Author-Do-This-To-Me Cry


Yeah, I think this was me while reading Crooked Kingdom… Like, really, Bardugo? Why you gotta do me like that?!

3. The It’s-Now-4AM-And-I-Have-To-Be-Awake-In-Two-Hours Binge Read Realization


The nights are fun but the next day is most certainly not.

4. The I-Have-Six-Different-Subscription-Boxes-Coming-This-Month Guilt Trip


But does it matter as long as I really, really, really, really “needed” all of them?!

5. The I-Was-Sooooo-Excited-For-This-Book-But-Oh-My-God-I-Really-Don’t-Like-It Frustration Rant


Well, wasn’t that just a waste of my time. WHYYYYYYYYYY??!!!

6. The I-Really-Should-Buy-More-Books-Even-Though-I-Have-So-Many-Unread-On-My-Shelves-Already Moment


I’m pretty sure this is why I’m always broke.

7. The Well-I-Now-Have-A-Crush-On-A-Fictional-Character-So-There’s-That Moment of Acceptance


“Yes, Grandma! I actually am involved with someone right now and no, you don’t know his family.”

8. The Favorite-Author-Is-Going-To-Make-An-Announcement-Today Anxious Waiting


If you’re not announcing the release date for the next book in the series then I don’t even want to hear it. IT’S BEEN 2 YEARS, DAMMIT!

 9. The I-Can’t-Believe-I-Have-To-Wait-Another-Year-To-Find-Out-What-Happens-Next Annoyance


Oh, goody. Another cliffhanger that won’t be answered any time soon… Thanks for that, jerk!

10. The Books-Are-Just-Really-The-Greatest-Thing-Ever Moment of Happiness


More like a constant state of bliss, amirite?

Have you experienced all of the thoughts or emotions as a reader? What other moments have you had?