Hello readers! Today I am going over every book I own. I originally was going to do this post every 6 months, but I have decided it will be a quarterly thing.
I have taken a lot of books off my TBR, not only from reading them, but books I don’t think I’ll read because they are my husband’s books. I have also added in quite a few books in 2021, so let’s just jump right in!
There are affiliate links in this post for Better World Books and Amazon.
As always, I will give the synopsis, trigger warnings (if I know of any), and some of my thoughts about the books, but not for all of them.
Synopsis: From Jesse Andrews, author of the New York Times bestselling Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and screenwriter of the Sundance award–winning motion picture of the same name, comes a groundbreaking young adult novel about music, love, friendship, and freedom as three young musicians follow a quest to escape the law long enough to play the amazing show they hope (but also doubt) they have in them. Inspired by the years he spent playing bass in a band himself, The Haters is Jesse Andrews’s road trip adventure about a trio of jazz-camp escapees who, against every realistic expectation, become a band. For Wes and his best friend, Corey, jazz camp turns out to be lame. It’s pretty much all dudes talking in Jazz Voice. But then they jam with Ash, a charismatic girl with an unusual sound, and the three just click. It’s three and a half hours of pure musical magic, and Ash makes a decision: They need to hit the road. Because the road, not summer camp, is where bands get good. Before Wes and Corey know it, they’re in Ash’s SUV heading south, and The Haters Summer of Hate Tour has begun.
My husband recently bought me this duology. I know it will eventually be a trilogy. I have started Six of Crows, and hope to get to both of these before the Shadow and Bone TV show.
Synopsis: Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone. . . . A convict with a thirst for revenge, A sharpshooter who can’t walk, away from a wager, A runaway with a privileged past, A spy known as the Wraith, A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums, A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.
Trigger Warnings: drug addiction, gambling addiction, child trafficking, genocide, sexual abuse, slavery, mentions of underage prostitution, violence
Synopsis: The novel begins in the mid-1880s with the naive blundering career of Djuro Kracha. It tracks his arrival from the old country as he walked from New York to White Haven, his later migration to the steel mills of Braddock, Pennsylvania, and his eventual downfall through foolish financial speculations and an extramarital affair. The second generation is represented by Kracha’s daughter, Mary, who married Mike Dobrejcak, a steel worker. Their decent lives, made desperate by the inhuman working conditions of the mills, were held together by the warm bonds of their family life, and Mike’s political idealism set an example for the children. Dobie Dobrejcak, the third generation, came of age in the 1920s determined not to be sacrificed to the mills. His involvement in the successful unionization of the steel industry climaxed a half-century struggle to establish economic justice for the workers. Out of This Furnace is a document of ethnic heritage and of a violent and cruel period in our history, but it is also a superb story. The writing is strong and forthright, and the novel builds constantly to its triumphantly human conclusion.
I have been looking for more fun middle grade series now that I am coming to the end of the Mr. Lemoncello series by Chris Grabenstein. I wanted to get to this in March, but I had so many books on my TBR that I didn’t get to it. However, I will be picking it up VERY soon.
Synopsis: Twelve-year-old Emily is on the move again. Her family is relocating to San Francisco, home of her literary idol: Garrison Griswold, creator of the online sensation Book Scavenger, a game where books are hidden all over the country and clues to find them are revealed through puzzles. But Emily soon learns that Griswold has been attacked and is in a coma, and no one knows anything about the epic new game he had been poised to launch. Then Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book, which they come to believe is from Griswold and leads to a valuable prize. But there are others on the hunt for this book, and Emily and James must race to solve the puzzles Griswold left behind before Griswold’s attackers make them their next target.
I have yet again tried to read Lost Symbol since last updating this. I know I will read it, I just don’t know when I will be in the mood.
Synopsis (of book 1: Angels and Demons): World-renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is summoned to a Swiss research facility to analyze a cryptic symbol seared into the chest of a murdered physicist. What he discovers is unimaginable: a deadly vendetta against the Catholic Church by a centuries-old underground organization — the Illuminati. In a desperate race to save the Vatican from a powerful time bomb, Langdon joins forces in Rome with the beautiful and mysterious scientist Vittoria Vetra. Together they embark on a frantic hunt through sealed crypts, dangerous catacombs, and deserted cathedrals, and into the depths of the most secretive vault on earth…the long-forgotten Illuminati lair.
Trigger Warnings (book 1): rape, violent murder (in detail), kidnapping, violence, bombs, misogyny, torture
I was reading this for a readalong, but I fell WAY behind. I am going to finish it, hopefull in 2021.
This is the sequel to Aru Shah and the End of Time. I picked both books up from the bookstore recently. They didn’t have the 3rd book, or I would’ve bought that one, too. I really loved reading the first book in the series this month, and I hope to get to all 4 this year. It was previously going to be a quartet, but there has been a fifth book announced, but I will catch up.
Synopsis (of book 1): Twelve-year-old Aru Shah has a tendency to stretch the truth in order to fit in at school. While her classmates are jetting off to family vacations in exotic locales, she’ll be spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, waiting for her mom to return from her latest archeological trip. Is it any wonder that Aru makes up stories about being royalty, traveling to Paris, and having a chauffeur? One day, three schoolmates show up at Aru’s doorstep to catch her in a lie. They don’t believe her claim that the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed, and they dare Aru to prove it. Just a quick light, Aru thinks. Then she can get herself out of this mess and never ever fib again. But lighting the lamp has dire consequences. She unwittingly frees the Sleeper, an ancient demon whose duty it is to awaken the God of Destruction. Her classmates and beloved mother are frozen in time, and it’s up to Aru to save them. The only way to stop the demon is to find the reincarnations of the five legendary Pandava brothers, protagonists of the Hindu epic poem, the Mahabharata, and journey through the Kingdom of Death. But how is one girl in Spider-Man pajamas supposed to do all that?
Synopsis: ‘Are you happy in your life?’ Those are the last words Jason Dessen hears before the masked abductor knocks him unconscious. Before he awakes to find himself strapped to a gurney, surrounded by strangers in hazmat suits. Before the man he’s never met smiles down at him and says, ‘Welcome back.’ In this world he’s woken up to, Jason’s life is not the one he knows. His wife is not his wife. His son was never born. And Jason is not an ordinary college physics professor, but a celebrated genius who has achieved something remarkable. Something impossible. Is it this world or the other that’s the dream? And even if the home he remembers is real, how can Jason possibly make it back to the family he loves? The answers lie in a journey more wondrous and horrifying than anything he could’ve imagined – one that will force him to confront the darkest parts of himself even as he battles a terrifying, seemingly unbeatable foe.
Trigger Warnings: drug abuse, kidnapping, murder
I started this series 5 years ago, and it is about time that I continue. I have made a rule for myself this year that I have to read, at the very least, 1 book in all my ongoing series, or I am quitting those series. I may give myself some leeway for series I started late 2020. If I’m not picking series up, I just need to quit them. So, I am giving my best effort to buy more books in series I have already started, so I can accomplish this goal.
Synopsis: Twenty years ago, all the evil villains were banished from the kingdom of Auradon and made to live in virtual imprisonment on the Isle of the Lost. The island is surrounded by a magical force field that keeps the villains and their descendants safely locked up and away from the mainland. Life on the island is dark and dreary. It is a dirty, decrepit place that’s been left to rot and forgotten by the world.
But hidden in the mysterious Forbidden Fortress is a dragon’s eye: the key to true darkness and the villains’ only hope of escape. Only the cleverest, evilest, nastiest little villain can find it…who will it be?
Maleficent, Mistress of the Dark: As the self-proclaimed ruler of the isle, Maleficent has no tolerance for anything less than pure evil. She has little time for her subjects, who have still not mastered life without magic. Her only concern is getting off the Isle of the Lost.
Mal: At sixteen, Maleficent’s daughter is the most talented student at Dragon Hall, best known for her evil schemes. And when she hears about the dragon’s eye, Mal thinks this could be her chance to prove herself as the cruelest of them all.
Evie: Having been castle-schooled for years, Evil Queen’s daughter, Evie, doesn’t know the ins and outs of Dragon Hall. But she’s a quick study, especially after she falls for one too many of Mal’s little tricks.
Jay: As the son of Jafar, Jay is a boy of many talents: stealing and lying to name a few. Jay and Mal have been frenemies forever and he’s not about to miss out on the hunt for the dragon’s eye.
Carlos: Cruella de Vil’s son may not be bravest, but he’s certainly clever. Carlos’s inventions may be the missing piece in locating the dragon’s eye and ending the banishment for good.
Mal soon learns from her mother that the dragon’s eye is cursed and whoever retrieves it will be knocked into a deep sleep for a thousand years. But Mal has a plan to capture it. She’ll just need a little help from her “friends.” In their quest for the dragon’s eye, these kids begin to realize that just because you come from an evil family tree, being good ain’t so bad.
So, I honestly DO NOT think I will ever read this book. If I don’t pick it up in 2021, it is going into the unhaul pile. I can always get an audiobook or ebook if I want to read it down the road.
Trigger Warnings: drug addiction, homophobia, kidnapping, murder, poisoning, racism, stalking, forced marriage, ableism
This is a memoir written in verse. It was on my 21 books to read in 2021, and I happened to find an ARC of it in a Little Free Library. It seems this book was fated to be in my hands! I found a love for books written in verse in 2020, and have yet to read a nonfiction one.
Synopsis: Eric Gansworth tells the story of his life, of an Onondaga family living among Tuscaroras, and of Native people in America, including the damaging legacy of government boarding schools—and in doing so grapples with the slur common in Native communities, for someone “red on the outside, white on the inside,” and reclaims it.
Trigger Warnings: racism, death of loved ones, cultural erasure, underage drinking, absent parent, mentions of domestic abuse
Synopsis: A Christmas Eve snowstorm transforms one small town into a romantic haven, the kind you see only in movies. Well, kinda. After all, a cold and wet hike from a stranded train through the middle of nowhere would not normally end with a delicious kiss from a charming stranger. And no one would think that a trip to the Waffle House through four feet of snow would lead to love with an old friend. Or that the way back to true love begins with a painfully early morning shift at Starbucks. Thanks to three of today’s bestselling teen authors—John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle—the magic of the holidays shines on these hilarious and charming interconnected tales of love, romance, and breathtaking kisses.
Trigger Warnings: bullying, underage drinking
Synopsis: In this book is a world. A world created by two awkward guys who share their lives on the internet! We are Dan and Phil and we invite you on a journey inside our minds! From the stories of our actual births, to exploring Phil’s teenage diary and all the reasons why Dan’s a fail. Learn how to draw the perfect cat whiskers, get advice on what to do in an awkward situation and discover which of our dining chairs represents you emotionally. With everything from what we text each other, to the time we met One Direction and what really happened in Vegas…
Synopsis: Henry Denton has spent years being periodically abducted by aliens. Then the aliens give him an ultimatum: The world will end in 144 days, and all Henry has to do to stop it is push a big red button. Only he isn’t sure he wants to. After all, life hasn’t been great for Henry. His mom is a struggling waitress held together by a thin layer of cigarette smoke. His brother is a jobless dropout who just knocked someone up. His grandmother is slowly losing herself to Alzheimer’s. And Henry is still dealing with the grief of his boyfriend’s suicide last year. Wiping the slate clean sounds like a pretty good choice to him. But Henry is a scientist first, and facing the question thoroughly and logically, he begins to look for pros and cons: in the bully who is his perpetual one-night stand, in the best friend who betrayed him, in the brilliant and mysterious boy who walked into the wrong class. Weighing the pain and the joy that surrounds him, Henry is left with the ultimate choice: push the button and save the planet and everyone on it…or let the world—and his pain—be destroyed forever.
Trigger Warnings: suicide of a partner, depression as a main focus, suicidal ideation
I’ve been wanting to read books about all the American presidents, and this is one of those books. I don’t know when or how long this will take, but I will do it eventually.
Synopsis: Early one morning, twenty-six-year-old Yu-jin wakes up to a strange metallic smell, and a phone call from his brother asking if everything’s all right at home – he missed a call from their mother in the middle of the night. Yu-jin soon discovers her murdered body, lying in a pool of blood at the bottom of the stairs of their stylish Seoul duplex. He can’t remember much about the night before; having suffered from seizures for most of his life, Yu-jin often has trouble with his memory. All he has is a faint impression of his mother calling his name. But was she calling for help? Or begging for her life? Thus begins Yu-jin’s frantic three-day search to uncover what happened that night, and to finally learn the truth about himself and his family. A shocking and addictive psychological thriller, The Good Son explores the mysteries of mind and memory, and the twisted relationship between a mother and son, with incredible urgency.
Trigger Warnings: Memory loss, blackouts, death of a parent, murder, violence, stalking, sexual assault, seizures
Lisa Jewell is probably my favorite mystery/thriller author. I am just picking her books up at random at this point. When it comes to Lisa Jewell, I will warn that her books have a grocery list, so be wary going into any of her books.
Synopsis: Melville Heights is one of the nicest neighbourhoods in Bristol, England; home to doctors and lawyers and old-money academics. It’s not the sort of place where people are brutally murdered in their own kitchens. But it is the sort of place where everyone has a secret. And everyone is watching you.
As the headmaster credited with turning around the local school, Tom Fitzwilliam is beloved by one and all—including Joey Mullen, his new neighbor, who quickly develops an intense infatuation with this thoroughly charming yet unavailable man. Joey thinks her crush is a secret, but Tom’s teenaged son Freddie—a prodigy with aspirations of becoming a spy for MI5—excels in observing people and has witnessed Joey behaving strangely around his father.
One of Tom’s students, Jenna Tripp, also lives on the same street, and she’s not convinced her teacher is as squeaky clean as he seems. For one thing, he has taken a particular liking to her best friend and fellow classmate, and Jenna’s mother—whose mental health has admittedly been deteriorating in recent years—is convinced that Mr. Fitzwilliam is stalking her.
Meanwhile, twenty years earlier, a schoolgirl writes in her diary, charting her doomed obsession with a handsome young English teacher named Mr. Fitzwilliam…
Trigger Warnings: repeasted references to pedophelia, grooming, infidelity, violence, murder, domestic violence, physical and emotional abuse, suicide ideation, mental illness and learning disability//z-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/onejs?MarketPlace=US&adInstanceId=5def8af4-02fd-457b-8777-be14692852a6
I started this book in 2020, and I decided to put it down for now. I will be giving it one more try before I DNF it for good, but I am currently reading a lot of fantasy right now, so it is on the backburner.
Synopsis: The Wheel of Time turns and Ages come and go, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth returns again. In the Third Age, an Age of Prophecy, the World and Time themselves hang in the balance. What was, what will be, and what is, may yet fall under the Shadow. When The Two Rivers is attacked by Trollocs-a savage tribe of half-men, half-beasts- five villagers flee that night into a world they barely imagined, with new dangers waiting in the shadows and in the light.
Trigger Warnings: misogyny, torture, violence
I found out about this book 2 days before release, and immediately pre-ordered it. This is the third book in the Rowley Jefferson series, which is a spin-off of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. I know this one is just a bunch of spooky short stories that are ‘written’ by Rowley’s character. I might just save this for Halloween time.
Synopsis (of book 1): Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London’s trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season’s must-haves. The only trouble is, she can’t actually afford it—not any of it. Her job writing at Successful Saving magazine not only bores her to tears, it doesn’t pay much at all. And lately Becky’s been chased by dismal letters from the bank—letters with large red sums she can’t bear to read. She tries cutting back. But none of her efforts succeeds. Her only consolation is to buy herself something . . . just a little something. Finally, a story arises that Becky actually cares about, and her front-page article catalyzes a chain of events that will transform her life—and the lives of those around her—forever.
Trigger Warnings: So, this series is about shopping addiction, and that doesn’t seem serious, but it is an addiction still. The MC does have a lot of thoughts about falling back onto her addiction and she gives in over and over through the series. This may be triggering for anyone with ANY addiction.
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
I do love Kinsella’s books, but this is my least favorite of hers. I did start this book, twice, and I am determined to finish it one day. I know I made it past the half way point. It is very different from any of her other books, as it has a paranormal element to it. I like paranormal books, but not this one.
Synopsis: Lara Lington has always had an overactive imagination, but suddenly that imagination seems to be in overdrive. Normal professional twenty-something young women don’t get visited by ghosts. Or do they? When the spirit of Lara’s great-aunt Sadie–a feisty, demanding girl with firm ideas about fashion, love, and the right way to dance–mysteriously appears, she has one request: Lara must find a missing necklace that had been in Sadie’s possession for more than seventy-five years, because Sadie cannot rest without it. Lara and Sadie make a hilarious sparring duo, and at first it seems as though they have nothing in common. But as the mission to find Sadie’s necklace leads to intrigue and a new romance for Lara, these very different “twenties” girls learn some surprising truths from and about each other. Written with all the irrepressible charm and humor that have made Sophie Kinsella’s books beloved by millions, Twenties Girl is also a deeply moving testament to the transcendent bonds of friendship and family.
Remember Me? By Sophie Kinsella
Synopsis: When twenty-eight-year-old Lexi Smart wakes up in a London hospital, she’s in for a big surprise. Her teeth are perfect. Her body is toned. Her handbag is Vuitton. Having survived a car accident—in a Mercedes no less—Lexi has lost a big chunk of her memory, three years to be exact, and she’s about to find out just how much things have changed. Somehow Lexi went from a twenty-five-year-old working girl to a corporate big shot with a sleek new loft, a personal assistant, a carb-free diet, and a set of glamorous new friends. And who is this gorgeous husband—who also happens to be a multimillionaire? With her mind still stuck three years in reverse, Lexi greets this brave new world determined to be the person she…well, seems to be. That is, until an adorably disheveled architect drops the biggest bombshell of all. Suddenly Lexi is scrambling to catch her balance. Her new life, it turns out, comes complete with secrets, schemes, and intrigue. How on earth did all this happen? Will she ever remember? And what will happen when she does?
Trigger Warnings: car accident, memory loss
Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella
Synopsis: After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor reveals they could live another 68 years together… and panic sets in. They never expected ‘until death do us part’ to mean seven decades. In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprise Me, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakeable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that questions some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all…
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
Synopsis: Rafe is a normal teenager from Boulder, Colorado. He plays soccer. He’s won skiing prizes. He likes to write. And, oh yeah, he’s gay. He’s been out since 8th grade, and he isn’t teased, and he goes to other high schools and talks about tolerance and stuff. And while that’s important, all Rafe really wants is to just be a regular guy. Not that GAY guy. To have it be a part of who he is, but not the headline, every single time. So, when he transfers to an all-boys’ boarding school in New England, he decides to keep his sexuality a secret — not so much going back in the closet as starting over with a clean slate. But then he sees a classmate break down. He meets a teacher who challenges him to write his story. And most of all, he falls in love with Ben . . . who doesn’t even know that love is possible. This witty, smart, coming-out-again story will appeal to gay and straight kids alike as they watch Rafe navigate feeling different, fitting in, and what it means to be himself.
Trigger Warnings: homophobia
These books are the second and third in a series. I found these at my local bookstore on sale, after never knowing they existed before, and read the first book during Bookoplathon. This is a series about living dolls, very similar to Toy Story. We are following Annabelle Doll (the one with the green hair), who wants to venture outside of the dollhouse that she has always lived in, and never left before. Her Auntie Doll went missing long before the book starts, and then another family of dolls moves in as well. I am currently reading book 2, and hope to finish before April, but we will see.
Synopsis: Annabelle Doll is 8 years old–and has been for over 100 years. Nothing much has changed in the dollhouse during that time, except for the fact that 45 years ago, Annabelle’s Auntie Sarah disappeared from the dollhouse without a trace. After all this time, restless Annabelle is becoming more and more curious about her aunt’s fate. And when she discovers Auntie Sarah’s old diary, she becomes positively driven. Her cautious family tries to discourage her, but Annabelle won’t be stopped, even though she risks Permanent Doll State, in which she could turn into a regular, nonliving doll. And when the “Real Pink Plastic” Funcraft family moves in next door, the Doll family’s world is turned upside down–in more ways than one! Fans of The Borrowers and Stuart Little will love this exciting story of adventure and mystery. The relationship between the two doll families, one antique, one modern, is hilariously, wonderfully drawn. The Funcrafts are reckless and raucous, with fearlessness born of their unbreakable plastic parts. The Doll family is reserved and somewhat prim, even though they occasionally break into ’60s tunes like “Respect” in their sing-alongs. Annabelle is a heroine with integrity and gumption.
Trigger Warnings: abandonment, depression
This is the 2nd and 4th book in the Song of Ice and Fire series. I have had book 4 for a long time, I just didn’t add it to this list until now. Around 7 years ago now, Books A Million was having this sale on their website. The 1st and 4th book were on the sale, but none of the others were. I have just recently bought book 2, but this series is not a huge priority for me. It is only because I don’t know if and when a new book will be out, or when the series might end. I love the show, besides that terrible final season, and I will read these one day. This series has so many trigger warnings, I know I am missing some, but I did name quite a few below.
Trigger Warnings (within the series): abuse, incest, rape, violence, forced marriage, death of loves ones, death of a parent, death of a child, miscarriage, stillborn, childbirth, animal death, murder, ableism, fat shaming, misogyny, homophobia, infidelity, poisoning, kidnapping, suicide, war, slavery, castration
I am now caught up on ACOTAR by Maas, except ACOSF. I am going to wait until ACOSF is in paperback to read that one. Now, I am venturing into the Throne of Glass series. I didn’t realize Queen of Shadows is book 4, not 3, but I have 3 books in the series so far. SJM was an author I was terrified to try, but I really love the ACOTAR series, and I hope to love these, too!
Synopsis: After serving out a year of hard labor in the salt mines of Endovier for her crimes, 18-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien is dragged before the Crown Prince. Prince Dorian offers her her freedom on one condition: she must act as his champion in a competition to find a new royal assassin.
Her opponents are men-thieves and assassins and warriors from across the empire, each sponsored by a member of the king’s council. If she beats her opponents in a series of eliminations, she’ll serve the kingdom for four years and then be granted her freedom. Celaena finds her training sessions with the captain of the guard, Westfall, challenging and exhilarating. But she’s bored stiff by court life. Things get a little more interesting when the prince starts to show interest in her … but it’s the gruff Captain Westfall who seems to understand her best.
Then one of the other contestants turns up dead … quickly followed by another. Can Celaena figure out who the killer is before she becomes a victim? As the young assassin investigates, her search leads her to discover a greater destiny than she could possibly have imagined.
Trigger Warnings: slavery, mentions of rape, violence, sexual harrasment, slut-shaming, mentions of a suicide attempt, suicide ideation, death of a significant other, death of a parent, attempte murder, murder, kinapping, confinement, torture, poisoning, animal death
This was the second book for the Presidential Readalong. I will be reading it one of these days.
Synopsis: I wasn’t free of my past, not yet. Sydney’s blood is special. That’s because she’s an alchemist – one of a group of humans who dabble in magic and serve to bridge the worlds of humans and vampires. They protect vampire secrets – and human lives. But the last encounter Sydney had with vampires got her in deep trouble with the other alchemists. And now with her allegiances in question, her future is on the line. When Sydney is torn from her bed in the middle of the night, at first she thinks she’s still being punished for her complicated alliance with dhampir Rose Hathaway. But what unfolds is far worse. Jill Dragomir – the sister of Moroi Queen Lissa Dragomir – is in mortal danger, and the Moroi must send her into hiding. To avoid a civil war, Sydney is called upon to act as Jill’s guardian and protector, posing as her roommate in the unlikeliest of places: a human boarding school in Palm Springs, California. The last thing Sydney wants is to be accused of sympathizing with vampires. And now she has to live with one. The Moroi court believe Jill and Sydney will be safe at Amberwood Prep, but threats, distractions, and forbidden romance lurk both outside – and within – the school grounds. Now that they’re in hiding, the drama is only just beginning.
Trigger Warnings: eating disorders, a relationship which was previously a student-teacher relationship(in Vampire Academy)
Synopsis: Kafka on the Shore, a tour de force of metaphysical reality, is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom. Their odyssey, as mysterious to them as it is to us, is enriched throughout by vivid accomplices and mesmerizing events. Cats and people carry on conversations, a ghostlike pimp employs a Hegel-quoting prostitute, a forest harbors soldiers apparently unaged since World War II, and rainstorms of fish (and worse) fall from the sky. There is a brutal murder, with the identity of both victim and perpetrator a riddle—yet this, along with everything else, is eventually answered, just as the entwined destinies of Kafka and Nakata are gradually revealed, with one escaping his fate entirely and the other given a fresh start on his own.
Trigger Warnings: depictions of sexual assault
Synopsis: A boy drowns, desperate and alone in his final moments. He dies. Then he wakes, naked and bruised and thirsty, but alive. How can this be? And what is this strange deserted place? As he struggles to understand what is happening, the boy dares to hope. Might this not be the end? Might there be more to this life, or perhaps this afterlife?
Trigger Warnings: suicide, domestic abuse, kidnapping
I should have read The Final Empire by now, as I am going a readalong for all the cosmere books, however I haven’t yet, but I will be starting it soon. I’m enjoying making my way through the cosmere!
Synopsis: For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the “Sliver of Infinity,” reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler’s most hellish prison. Kelsier “snapped” and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.
Kelsier recruited the underworld’s elite, the smartest and most trustworthy allomancers, each of whom shares one of his many powers, and all of whom relish a high-stakes challenge. Only then does he reveal his ultimate dream, not just the greatest heist in history, but the downfall of the divine despot.
But even with the best criminal crew ever assembled, Kel’s plan looks more like the ultimate long shot, until luck brings a ragged girl named Vin into his life. Like him, she’s a half-Skaa orphan, but she’s lived a much harsher life. Vin has learned to expect betrayal from everyone she meets, and gotten it. She will have to learn to trust, if Kel is to help her master powers of which she never dreamed.
Trigger Warnings: Abuse, death, murder, prostitution, slavery, violence, and mentions of rape
Synopsis: Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status “darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl. The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives. Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined. Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.
Trigger Warnings: depression, gore, suicidal ideation, violence, a lot of death and murder
I recently read An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir and decided to buy some of the books in the series. I will most likely get to this series in 2021 when I have all the books. I have managed to lose my copies of both of these books, but they have to be in my house somewhere.
Synopsis (of book 1): Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free. Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do. But when Laia’s brother is arrested for treason, Laia is forced to make a decision. In exchange for help from rebels who promise to rescue her brother, she will risk her life to spy for them from within the Empire’s greatest military academy. There, Laia meets Elias, the school’s finest soldier—and secretly, its most unwilling. Elias wants only to be free of the tyranny he’s being trained to enforce. He and Laia will soon realize that their destinies are intertwined—and that their choices will change the fate of the Empire itself.
Trigger Warnings: attempted rape, rape and threatened rape, slavery, child abuse and death, slavery, torture, violence
I am currently reading the first book in this series. I have never seen any covers like these before. They are so unique and stunning. The series is currently on Amazon for less than 30 dollars, and I couldn’t pass that up!
Synopsis: Around the world, black hand prints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky. In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war. Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages – not all of them human – and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out. When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?
Trigger Warnings: child abandonment, violence
Synopsis: Yadriel has summoned a ghost, and now he can’t get rid of him. When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo. With the help of his cousin and best friend Maritza, he performs the ritual himself, and then sets out to find the ghost of his murdered cousin and set it free. However, the ghost he summons is actually Julian Diaz, the school’s resident bad boy, and Julian is not about to go quietly into death. He’s determined to find out what happened and tie off some loose ends before he leaves. Left with no choice, Yadriel agrees to help Julian, so that they can both get what they want. But the longer Yadriel spends with Julian, the less he wants to let him leave.
Trigger Warnings: references to abuse, deadnaming a trans character, homophobia, transphobia, misgendering
Synopsis (of book 1): One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkeness bind them. In ancient times the Rings of Power were crafted by the Elven-smiths, and Sauron, The Dark Lord, forged the One Ring, filling it with his own power so that he could rule all others. But the One Ring was taken from him, and though he sought it throughout Middle-earth, it remained lost to him. After many ages it fell into the hands of Bilbo Baggins, as told in The Hobbit. In a sleepy village in the Shire, young Frodo Baggins finds himself faced with an immense task, as his elderly cousin Bilbo entrusts the Ring to his care. Frodo must leave his home and make a perilous journey across Middle-earth to the Cracks of Doom, there to destroy the Ring and foil the Dark Lord in his evil purpose.
Synopsis: On a day that begins like any other, Hal receives a mysterious letter bequeathing her a substantial inheritance. She realizes very quickly that the letter was sent to the wrong person—but also that the cold-reading skills she’s honed as a tarot card reader might help her claim the money. Soon, Hal finds herself at the funeral of the deceased…where it dawns on her that there is something very, very wrong about this strange situation and the inheritance at the centre of it.
Trigger Warnings: anxiety, death of a loved one, physical abuse, parental abuse, kidnapping, abandonment, murder, harrassment
I have started this book, but I haven’t made it too far in. It is hard to read because of the transliteration. I feel like I have to pause reading so many times to look up words. I will add quite a few trigger warnings for what I know is in the book based on the movie, which I have seen. The MC in this book is VERY unlikeable and offensive, just as a warning.
Synopsis: With the Christmas season upon him, Detective Sergeant Bruce Robertson of Edinburgh’s finest is gearing up socially—kicking things off with a week of sex and drugs in Amsterdam. There are some sizable flies in the ointment, though: a missing wife and child, a nagging cocaine habit, some painful below-the-belt eczema, and a string of demanding extramarital affairs. The last thing Robertson needs is a messy, racially fraught murder, even if it means overtime—and the opportunity to clinch the promotion he craves. Then there’s that nutritionally demanding (and psychologically acute) intestinal parasite in his gut. Yes, things are going badly for this utterly corrupt tribune of the law, but in an Irvine Welsh novel nothing is ever so bad that it can’t get a whole lot worse. . .
Trigger Warnings: The main character is homophobic, racist and sexist. Use of racial slurs, alcoholism and drug abuse, mental illness (I believe bipolar disorder), suicide, violence, murder, infidelity, physical illness including a tapeworm and eczema, kidnapping, paranoia, manipulation
I did a post at the end of 2020 called Authors I Want to Give A Second Try. I read previously read Pride by Zoboi, and I didn’t like it one bit. However, I then read Punching the Air, and decided she might potentially be one of my favroite authors. I am really excited to pick this one up, because it is a middle grade, and you guys know I love middle grade!
Synopsis: In the summer of 1984, 12-year-old Ebony-Grace Norfleet makes the trip from Huntsville, Alabama, to Harlem, where she’ll spend a few weeks with her father while her mother deals with some trouble that’s arisen for Ebony-Grace’s beloved grandfather, Jeremiah. Jeremiah Norfleet is a bit of a celebrity in Huntsville, where he was one of the first black engineers to integrate NASA two decades earlier. And ever since his granddaughter came to live with him when she was little, he’s nurtured her love of all things outer space and science fiction–especially Star Wars and Star Trek, both of which she’s watched dozens of time on Grandaddady’s Betamax machine. So even as Ebony-Grace struggled to make friends among her peers, she could always rely on her grandfather and the imaginary worlds they created together. In Harlem, however, she faces a whole new challenge. Harlem in 1984 is an exciting and terrifying place for a sheltered girl from Hunstville, and her first instinct is to retreat into her imagination. But soon 126th Street begins to reveal that it has more in common with her beloved sci-fi adventures than she ever thought possible, and by summer’s end, Ebony-Grace discovers that gritty and graffitied Harlem has a place for a girl whose eyes are always on the stars.
Trigger Warnings: death, infidelity, racism, body shaming, bullying, addiction, drug use, gun violence, sexism, police brutality, hate crime
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