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.



  • 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!

Recommendations Series #2: Contemporary

My next post in my recommendations series is going to be on contemporaries! I’m not the biggest fan of contemporary, as it’s just not a genre that I gravitate towards. However, I do read it on occasion and still have a few that I really recommend. These aren’t the most recently released books, but hey, I tried! 😉


We Are Still Tornadoes by Michael Kun & Susan Mullen

This was such a cute read that follows two best friends as they are split up following their high school graduation, with one staying in their hometown and the other going off to college in the early 80’s. It’s written in letter form and makes for a great summer read!





The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

This book broke me in the best ways possible. I cannot recommend it enough. And the only reason that I haven’t picked up Zentner’s newest release is that I’m just not ready to ugly cry yet and my heart is still healing.







Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Now some of you may be all, “But Larkin this is a fantasy!” and I shall respond with, “This reads like a contemporary and it’s my list so I saw it’s a contemporary!” And then we shall all be friends because we agree that this book is awesome and Baz is such a hottie.





Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Now this book isn’t for everyone as it deals with some pretty intense topics like incest. But I’ll be damn if this book isn’t powerful, beautiful and heartbreaking. Be ready for things to get heavy… I just rhymed!







We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

This book was insane and left me speechless at the end. DAT TWIST THOUGH. And did I ugly cry? Ummmm, I might have just a tiny bit.







Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Big thanks to my blogging bestie, Britt @ Geronimo Reads for recommending this one to me. She was right. This coming-of-age story about first love will forever stay with me.







The Love that Split the World by Emily Henry

This gorgeous debut story was one of my favorites last year. Weaving Native American folklore into this contemporary following a young girl as she struggles with two separate realities blurring, this story will definitely leave you with some serious questions about the universe.





The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

I’m sure you’re groaning at such an obvious choice for me to end my recommendations on. However, this book is just too good not to include in my favorite contemporaries. I love it so much! And if you haven’t read it yet, I really do recommend it. Then watch the movie adaptation as well as it’s really good too.



What are some of your favorite contemporaries? Which ones would you recommend? Have you read any of the ones on my list? If so, what did you think of it?


A Hufflepuff Reading List

Hello to all of you amazing Hufflepuffs out there! Today’s post is just for you! We see you for your loyalty, hardwork, and kindness – a few things that this world could use a bit more of, especially right now.

1. The Half Bad Trilogy by Sally Green

I don’t really know if I can think of a more loyal and kind person than Gabriel from this series. His commitment and love for Nathan turned this series into more just a paranormal adventure. I think all Hufflepuffs would agree that that’s what being a Hufflepuff is all about.

2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


Oh, yes… Just thinking about Ari and Dante’s loyalty to one another is enough to bring tears to my eyes.

3. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes


Louisa’s hard work ethic, kindness, and her ability to stay true to herself is about as Hufflepuff as you can get. I mean, who doesn’t want to be best friends with her?!

4. The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner


Hufflepuffs, read this book and know that you’re with friends.

5. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


I think it’s hard to picture Patroclus as anything other than a Hufflepuff. He went to war with Achilles even knowing how it was going to end. His love and loyalty spawned one of the greatest stories in the world.

6. The Infernal Devices Trilogy by Cassandra Clare

Some might disagree with me on this one and think that our young heroes and heroine belong in Gryffindor. But I am here to tell you that these three represent the very best Hufflepuff has to offer!

7. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen


We all love to see the loyalty and strength that families provide. And I find a shining example of that is by the Dashwood sisters of Sense and Sensibility, both Hufflepuffs!

8. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier


Inman’s love and loyalty to Ada, mixed with hard work and determination, was the thing keeping him alive long enough to return from the War and home to his sweetheart. I think his quiet and resolute nature would be at home in Hufflepuff.

9. Matilda by Roald Dahl


I originally had Matilda as a Ravenclaw, due to her precocious love for books and learning. However, I finally decided that her kindness and truth to self shined too brightly to be ignored.

10. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma


Lochan and Maya’s loyalty to their family and all of their hard work in order to keep them together was one of the most beautiful stories that I read last year. There’s no doubt that those qualities as well as their kindness, would have left the Sorting Hat saying, “Hufflepuff!”

Do you agree with the books on my list? What are some other books that you think belong on here? Do you disagree with any? Let me know in the comments!

Book Review: Forbidden

I’m starting to think that Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma, might be a little infamous in the book blogging world… And rightfully so.

She is pretty and talented – sweet sixteen and never been kissed. He is seventeen; gorgeous and on the brink of a bright future. And now they have fallen in love. But… they are brother and sister.

Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As defacto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love. Their clandestine romance quickly blooms into deep, desperate love. They know their relationship is wrong and cannot possibly continue. And yet, they cannot stop what feels so incredibly right. As the novel careens toward an explosive and shocking finale, only one thing is certain: a love this devastating has no happy ending.

The Good

  • Beautiful writing – Suzuma can write emotional angst like nobody’s business.
  • This story doesn’t romanticize incest, but instead is a warning about the dangers of broken and dysfunctional families with absentee parents. Children have to grow up far too fast and are burdened with responsibilities that can affect their emotional, mental, and social growth. I thought that was extremely clever.
  • All of the characters were fleshed out with their own personalities and backgrounds.

The Bad

  • I didn’t appreciate that the result of the climax was due to just one person. I felt that wasn’t really fair to their development as a character.
  • Pacing – some parts were a slow, especially for the first 150 pages of the book.
  • The fact the both of the MCs were just insanely gorgeous people. Come on, it shouldn’t be about their physical looks! I think it would’ve made more sense if they had both been average and fell in love because of their connection, rather than always mentioning how beautiful the other one was.

Yes, this book is a tough read. It deals with a multitude of pretty deep issues that are not always easy to discuss or talk about. I completely understand why a lot of people refuse to pick this up. However, for me personally, I was more disgusted and upset by how the children were treated by their parents and having to live. If you’re willing to dive deep into the problems with our society, then you should read Forbidden.

Final Verdict: 4/5 Stars

Stand Alone August Wrap-Up: The End is Here!

Well it’s finally September which means fall is just around the corner! I’m so happy we are now officially done with summer and can start heading towards my favorites time of year – cold weather! And yes, I enjoy the cold. It makes me feel all happy and think of Christmas which is basically the best time of year! But anyways, moving on…

Stand-Alone August was my way of trying to move a bunch of single novels off of my TBR to make room for the wayyyyyyy too many series that I have started but never finished. I prefer to binge read series but for some reason, this year I have started some but have yet to finish them (or at least catch up to the most recent book). So I decided to punch through as many of my standalones as possible first, and then proceed with Smashing Series September. This probably makes no sense to some of you, but I am my own kind of crazy and so it makes sense to me. 😉

August started a little slow for me, unfortunately. It took me a while to really find my reading groove, but once I did, BAM! My original plan was to read 13 books and while I didn’t quite achieve that goal, I did get pretty darn close. I finished 10 books which I think is quite commendable. And what’s even better was that for the most part – they were all really good! Unfortunately, I am still trying to catch up on reviews for all of them but I hope to get caught up over the weekend. Be on the lookout!


  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster – 3 stars
  • My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton – 5 stars, REVIEW
  • The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin – 4 stars,
  • We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – 4 stars, REVIEW
  • The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller – 4 stars, REVIEW
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik – 5 stars, REVIEW
  • Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma – 4 stars
  • The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black – 5 stars
  • Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott – 4 stars
  • Asleep by Krystal Wade (currently finishing up today!)

Didn’t Read…

Yeahhhhh, looks like these babies will have to continue waiting for me to pick them up. Makes me kind of sad, actually. If you’ve read any of these 3 books, please let me know in the comments which ones I’m missing out on!

So what do you think about my Stand-Alone August? Have you read any really good standalone novels lately? Want to join in Smashing Series September?

WWW Wednesday – August 31st, 2016

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments!

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading…


Asleep by Krystal Wade

Y’all this book has got me hooked and I’m not even 50% through with it. Go support an indie author and check this book out! It’s a creepy retelling of Sleeping Beauty in an insane asylum.

Recently Finished…

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

Da Vinci’s Tiger by L.M. Elliott

Both great and yet COMPLETELY different. I highly recommend them both! The Darkest Part of the Forest is a wonderful standalone fantasy novel from Holly Black about a modern day town that is surrounded by woods filled with faeries. If only that were a real place…

And Forbidden was an emotionally draining story about a dysfunctional family in London, where the two eldest siblings are basically left to taking care of the younger children and end up falling in love. Yep, really.

Da Vinci’s Tiger is a great story about the muse who inspired Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings of beautiful, strong, and inspiring women. I highly recommend this story to anyone who loves historical fiction.

Want to Read Next…

The Wicked Will Rise (Dorothy Must Die, #2) & Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die, #3) by Danielle Paige

The Winner’s Crime (The Winner’s Trilogy, #2) & The Winner’s Kiss (The Winner’s Trilogy, #3) by Marie Rutkoski

My next reads will be the start of my next monthly reading challenge – Smashing Series September. This is where I try to tackle and finish up as many series that I’ve already started. There’s no way that I’ll be able to finish them all but it’s going to be fun to try! I’ll have a post up tomorrow all about it so you will be able to see firsthand just how impossible this challenge is going to be.

What do you think about my WWW Wednesday selections? What’s your WWW Wednesday look like? Leave a link to your post in the comments or just leave a comment answering the questions!

WWW Wednesday – August 24th, 2016

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments!

The Three Ws are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading…


The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

I’m currently reading and obsessing over this story so far. It’s such an engrossing story and I love the characters so far! They’re all very mysterious and I’m not really sure what their motives really are. So, so good!

Recently Finished…


The Storied Life of A.J. Fiery by Gabrielle Zevin

Such a beautiful story! I really thought it was going to be extremely sad and depressing but it ended up being just really hopeful and sweet. It’s definitely a book for all of you booknerds out there. I highly recommend it!

Want to Read Next…

Yeahhhh, these are 3 VERY different kinds of books haha. But it’s good to really switch it up every now and then! I haven’t really heard any reviews about Asleep or Da Vinci’s Tiger so I’m looking forward to seeing what they’re all about.

What do you think about my WWW Wednesday selections? What’s your WWW Wednesday look like? Leave a link to your post in the comments or just leave a comment answering the questions!

Stand Alone August, or My-God-I-Have-A-Lot-Of-Books!

I glanced over at my bookshelf the other night (and the two piles of books beside it), and realized that I have a ton of books that I have yet to read. There are literally two and half shelves dedicated to just my TBR, and if I count up the books individually, the total is 57! 57 books, people!!! And that’s not including the 3 that I just ordered from B&N, which would then bring my total to sixty. Sixty books that I have yet to read but spent money on. Now, that’s my fault, I won’t deny it. I just spent the first half of this summer in a reading slump which has put me behind a bit.

Now, I have another dilemma with my TBR shelves -they’re actually pretty full of series. Not even the entire series, but just one or two books from them. I’ve actually started quite a few series this year but I haven’t been able to get back to them. I’m one of those people who like to binge read series, and unfortunately, I haven’t been able to do that recently because I have just way too many books to get through. So, to combat this problem, I have decided to do Stand-Alone August followed by Smashing Series September. This month I will focus on reading as many stand-alone TBR books as possible, so that next month I can focus on binge-reading the series that I have. By reading my stand alone novels first, I will then be able to turn my focus (and money) to completing some pretty amazing series. This won’t make sense to some of you, but trust me, this will make my TBR so much easier to handle. Well, I hope that it does anyways!

Feel free to join in on the fun if you want to – the more, the merrier! You may use my graphic or create your own. Please leave a link to your post in the comments so others may see your awesome book choices, as well!

Stand-Alone August TBR

Jesus, that’s a very ambitious TBR… What have I done?!