Book Reviews

The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin

the city we becameHey! It’s Kat and I’m here to review an Adult Fantasy that has been on my radar for almost a year. It’s The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin. This is Urban-Fantasy set in New York City. We follow five people who need to do whatever they can to save the city that never sleeps. I gave this book 4.5/5 stars. CW: Racism, Neo-Nazi Character, Abuse, Attempted Rape, Xenophobia. 

There are five people who represent the five boroughs of New York City. These five people need to come together to protect the city from this dark entity that wants it to be destroyed.

The concept of this book was so interesting! Going to school on Long Island, I frequented the city quite a bit pre-COVID. I spent a lot of time at Penn Station riding the LIRR so its use in the story brought back some fun memories.

Character-wise, I liked reading each perspective. My favorite perspective is a tie between Bronca (The Bronx) and Brooklyn. They are both strong characters with the most backstory. I wanted more chapters that focused on Manny because there were so many open-ended questions with his character. Aislyn was my least favorite character because she just annoyed me to no end, but her character just sort of disappeared after her interaction with the other characters towards the end of the book.

I was a little confused in the beginning but by chapter two everything started to click. N.K. Jemisin wrote a short story that from my understanding is a prequel to this book. It ends where this book picks up. This was also my first dip into Adult Fantasy which was another reason it took me awhile to get into the story.

Listen to the audiobook because it will help you stick with the book if you get confused and the narrator did an amazing job with the narration. Overall, I’m really glad that I decided to finally pick this up. This is a great book to read if you want a unique outlook on New York City.

Those were my thoughts on The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin. Which of her books should I pick up next? When do you think the sequel will be released and what major city do think it will focus on? Talk to me in the comments.

~ Kat

Playlists

Winter 2021 Playlist

Hey, everybody! It’s a new season which means it’s time for me to share yet another playlist I have created. I had a hard time making this playlist because last month, my grandmother passed away unexpectedly. Listening to music and reading really helped with my grief. I hyper-focused on making this playlist to my liking which is why I really hope you give it a listen or at least find some new music.

  • This Time by Arrows in Action
  • Pins & Needles by 888
  • Rad Drugz by MISSIO
  • cotton candy by YUNGBLUD
  • bad blood by godz
  • New Girl by Moscow Apartment
  • circle the drain by soccer mommy
  • Take a Look by Liz Phair
  • Sunny Came Home by Shawn Colvin
  • Goodbye Earl by The Chicks
  • Balloons by Secondhand Sound
  • Autoportrait by Demob Happy
  • I Wanna Be Okay by Blindlove
  • Flawless by Dorothy
  • Son of a Preacher Man by Katey Sagal and The Forest Rangers
  • White Flag by Dido
  • Jessica by girlfriends
  • Change by Pale Waves
  • best of me by VÉRITÉ
  • Flames by MOD SUN (feat. Avril Lavigne)
  • Young & Faded by The Hunna
  • nightmare by nothing,nowhere.

I hope you found some new songs to listen to while you read. Do you like any of these songs or artists? If so, which is your personal favorite? Has music ever helped with your grief? Talk to me in the comments below.

~ Kat

Book Reviews

Majesty by Katharine McGee

majestyFirst review of the new year! It’s Kat and I’m here to review Majesty by Katharine McGee. I read this back in October, but felt this would be a great review to start off 2021. This is the sequel American Royals and it picks up right after the first book’s ending with Beatrice getting ready to become America’s first queen. I gave this book 4/5 stars, which are well-deserved in my opinion! CW: Blackmail, Death of a Parent, Allusions to Racism. 

Is America ready for Beatrice to be crowned their queen? Beatrice is still grappling with everything she has lost with her new title. Her younger sister, Samantha, is trying her best to live up to her “party girl” personality. Sam’s best friend, Nina, is trying her best to avoid her ex-boyfriend Jeff, Sam’s twin brother. Life isn’t exactly very easy for the royals at the moment.

Now onto the actual review. I liked this book way more than the first book. The way this book dealt with sexism and change blew my mind. Beatrice really grew as a character and found herself as she began her new reign as Queen of America. Samantha grew out of the media’s portrayal of her. Plus, the few chapters we got of Nina really showed becoming more of her own person, not just Princess Samantha’s best friend and Prince Jefferson’s ex-girlfriend.

McGee left some doors open in case she decides to write more in this series and I hope she does decide to return! I would really like to know what happens with Jeff because he did not really appear that much throughout the story.

The writing was also a huge improvement from the first book! I was not as confused reading this because it was so much easier to differentiate between the P.O.V.s. Beatrice was my favorite perspective to read from and Daphne was still my least favorite.

That’s my review! Thanks for sticking around. Have you read Majesty yet? If you have, what did you think of it? Talk to me in the comments below.

~Kat

Bookish Lists

2021 Releases I’m Excited For

Hi, everyone! Let’s hope this year will be better than last year. Since it’s already 2021, that means it’s time to share what new releases I hope to pick up this year. I unfortunately did not get to pick up all of the releases I was excited for last year, so I will try my best to prevent a repeat of that. Also, there is no particular order to this list at all!

Beth & Amy by Virginia Kantra (May 11, 2021)

beth and amyThis is the sequel to Meg & Jo by this author and I’m so excited to get my hands on a copy! In the first book we followed the oldest March sisters, now we are following the youngest March sisters.

Amy, the youngest sister, is a lot more like Jo than she realizes because she’s tried her very best to keep her distance from her North Carolina hometown. Jo’s wedding forces Amy to confront her One Big Mistake that happened when she was in Paris. Beth, the third March sister, is on the road using her skills as an amazing singer-songwriter. Except the tour is taking a toll on her mental health. She comes to the realization of some things at Jo’s wedding.

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (January 26, 2021)

the ex talkI used to listen to radio all of the time when I was younger. I don’t listen to it so much anymore, but I always loved listening to the banter between the hosts. So, I was extremely excited to add this to my TBR when I read the synopsis.

Shay has been producing public radio for almost ten years which is why she is so annoyed that her younger co-worker, Dominic, thinks he knows everything there is about public radio. Shay comes up with an idea for a new show, The Ex Talk. Two exes will give relationship advice on-air. In love with the concept, the station wants Shay and Dominic to be the hosts since they already have this strong distain towards each other. They hate that they’re lying to listeners, but sparks start to fly when their show becomes popular.

A Pho Love Story by Loan Le (February 9, 2021)

a pho love storyI love the enemies-to-lovers trope! I’m interested to see how this read will turn out because there is a lot of hype surrounding it. I think I’ll also be craving some Vietnamese food while I’m reading this.

Bao Nguyen is your average Joe. His grades are ok, doesn’t really have a social life, and isn’t really receiving any favoritism from his parents. He works at his family’s pho restaurant and is the fifth favorite employee. Linh Mai is an artist who is trapped under her parents’ expectations- like being a full-time employee at the family’s pho restaurant. Bao and Linh’s families have been at each other’s throats for years and something happens that lets Bao and Linh get to know each other.

The Mixtape by Brittainy C. Cherry (May 11, 2021)

the mixtapeI devoured The Wreckage of Us last month and I’m really anxious to read more of Brittainy C. Cherry’s books. I also want to try read most of her backlist, but I’m not sure where to start.

There isn’t a synopsis listed online but from the title, I’m assuming it has some sort of theme surrounding music. If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you’ll know that music holds a very special place in my heart. I actually used to make CDs for my carpool rides back in high school because it gave me a reason to show my cousins some new music I had discovered. I wonder if it’s set in the same universe as The Wreckage of Us? Can’t wait to devour this as soon as I can!

Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé (June 10, 2021)

ace of spadesI love a good YA thriller! It’s been pitched as Gossip Girl meets Jordan Peele’s iconic movie, Get Out. That’s what got me hooked, but I love it when characters are trying to take down a bully.

Also, look at this gorgeous cover! This might be the UK cover, but it’s stunning. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this book.

Devon Richards and Chiamaka Adebyo are selected as their senior class prefects, which seems all well and good. It’s a position to put on your college applications and may even give you place in the race for valedictorian. Except an anonymous bully named Aces, threatens to reveal some life-altering secrets. Aces threats turn into a sick game that Devon and Chiamaka need to stop before it becomes deadly.

Falls Boys by Penelope Douglas (Summer 2021)

falls boys (not actual cover)This is the first book in the Fall Away spin-off series, Hellbent. If you have been following my reviews the last few months, you’ll see that Penelope Douglas has become a favorite author of mine. I can’t wait to devour every book in this series when they are released!

There isn’t much of a synopsis, but I know we are following Hawke. He is the son of Jax and Juliet from the original series. From what I’ve seen shared about the book, Hawke seems to fall for his foster sister.

Yes, this seems a bit taboo but I have yet to be disappointed with anything Pen has released. From what little scenes Hawke had in Next to Never, he’s a lot like his father.

Chain of Iron by Cassandra Clare (March 2, 2021) Mild Spoilers!- you’ve been warned

chain of ironY’all should have expected this to be on the list. I mean it’s a Cassie Clare book and I never shut up about her series. I really want explore more of the Blackthorn family. Grace just doesn’t seem like a trustworthy character, while Jesse seems trusting and his relationship with Lucie is interesting.

This is the sequel to Chain of Gold. Cordelia Carstairs seems to have her dreams come true. She is with her childhood crush, her father is back, and she’s got her sword, Cortana. Plus, she’s got a whole new group of friends, the Merry Thieves. Cordelia even has a best friend, her parabatai, Lucie Herondale. While everything seems perfect, most of it is a sham. James is in love with the mysterious Grace Blackthorn, Cortana burns Cordelia’s hand whenever she touches it, and her father isn’t the person she remembers.

Counting Down with You by Tashie Bhuiyan (May 4, 2021)

counting down with youI love the fake dating trope! I haven’t read a lot of YA with fake dating, but this book looks so good. A bad boy who promises to buy his fake girlfriend books? I’m sold! I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy. Also, I believe this is Tashie’s debut so that makes picking up this book even more exciting.

Karina Ahmed is a rule-follower doing everything that’s expected of her. She thought her parent’s trip to Bangladesh would bring her some peace and quiet. One lie shatters that dream when her school’s resident bad boy who she is tutoring, says that they’re dating. Karina knew that tutoring Ace Clyde was crossing a huge line, but could she go with this whole fake-dating thing?

Those are some of the 2021 releases I really want to pick up this year. Do you want to read any of these books as well? If you do, let me know in the comments below. Also, are there any 2021 releases I missed? If there are, tell me in the comments. Until we meet again, happy reading.

~Kat

TBRs

Winter Break TBR

Hey, everybody! First and foremost, I want to wish y’all a happy new year because we are in need of a good year. I read way more books than I expected to last year, but I’m going to try to read as much as I can this year. Reading is going to be a little bit of challenge because this semester I’m taking four English classes which means not a lot of time to read for fun. Since my winter break technically started last month, I wanted to share some of the books I plan on reading during the rest of my break. Not sure if I’ll be able to get to all of these books, but hopefully I can get through a good amount of them.

Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen

love and other train wrecksIt’s a 24-hour love story between two strangers. Noah is a hopeless romantic on this train trying to win back his first love. Ammy doesn’t believe in love because she’s never had a good example of it in her life. She’s on this train to escape her parents. After a train-wreck, Noah and Ammy are forced to travel together because they are desperate to reach their destination of Upstate New York.

The synopsis reminds of The Chaos of Standing Still, which I loved last year! These 24-hour romances are one of my favorite types of Romances to read. It seems like this will be a quick read, but we’ll see. I also really liked Leah Konen’s previous release, The Last Time We Were Us. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a YA Romance, but this has been on my TBR for months and it takes place during a snowstorm. It sounds like the perfect read for a snow day!

Long Shot by Kennedy Ryan (Hoops #1)

long shotIris thought dating a basketball player would be this fairy tale that you see on TV, but she was very wrong. She’s never had the happily ever after that girls have dreamt of having. Then she met August West. She can’t be with him, but she wants to be. August also wants to be with Iris. CW: Domestic Violence. 

I have heard nothing but amazing things about Kennedy Ryan’s books. I’m so excited to finally get the chance to read Long Shot! It’s a basketball Romance, which is a subgenre that I’ve been dying to read. Hopefully, I’ll devour this book so I can pick up the rest of the trilogy. At least I think this is a trilogy.

The Roommate by Rosie Danan

the roommateClara’s family are an infamously elite family known for their lack of control except for the daughter, Clara. Everyone has a weakness and Clara’s is her childhood crush, Everett. He invites her to move cross-country with him. His offer sounds too good to be true, which is unfortunately true. Clara is sharing an apartment with a complete stranger, Josh. He happens to be a pornstar. Clare isn’t sure that she’ll be able to survive living with Josh, but it will cause a scandalous story. They both believe that women deserve better sex and decide to do something about it.

I am a sucker for the roommate trope. Plus, having the hero working in the porn industry is something I haven’t read in the Romance books I’ve read thus far.  I know the cover makes this look like this cute romcom type book, but I don’t think that is the case. There have been mixed reviews on the book, but I think I’ll enjoy it. Should I wait to read this until Valentine’s Day?

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

little fires everywhereIn a Cleveland suburb, everything is planned. Think of white picket fences and colonial type houses or just think of the Weeds opening theme. Elena Richardson is your stereotypical rule-following suburban housewife. Then Mia Warren who is an artist and a single mom.  Mia and her daughter, Pearl, move into a house they rented from the Richardson family. Mia is hiding a huge secret that could cause an uproar in the neighborhood. Friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby which causes a huge custody battle. Mia and Elena find themselves on opposite sides of it.

I meant to read this last year, but I kept getting sidetracked. My grandmother read this and enjoyed it. She actually gave me her copy so I could read it. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about Celeste Ng’s writing and cannot wait to read this. Is the adaptation worth watching? Should I listen to the audiobook?

Rent a Boyfriend by Gloria Chao

rent a boyfriendChloe Wang is really nervous about her parents meeting her boyfriend. She hasn’t even met him yet because she hired through a boyfriend renting service called, “Rent For Your ‘Rents.” It’s a company for pleasing a person’s traditional Asian family. Drew Chan took the job because he’s an artist trying to keep a roof over his head.

I read an article a couple semesters ago about renting a family member and thought it was so interesting. Reading the synopsis of this book reminded me of the article. I can’t find it which sucks because I really wanted to share it with y’all. I’ve also heard that Gloria Chao is an amazing writer. If I like Rent a Boyfriend, I’ll definitely try to read her backlist.

Those are the rest of the books I plan to read during the rest of my winter break. What books are you planning to read during your winter break? Have you read any of these books? If so, which was your favorite? Talk to me in the comments! Thanks for reading.

~Kat

Book Reviews

No Exit by Taylor Adams

no exitHey, guys! Down in Virginia we just had our first winter storm earlier this month. While we didn’t get a lot of snow in my area of Northern Virginia because only a few inches fell, I decided to sit on my couch and curl up with a good book in front of the fireplace. Today, I’ll be reviewing No Exit by Taylor Adams. This Thriller follows Darby Thorne who is snowed-in at a Colorado rest stop and finds a little girl in a cage in the back of one of the cars in the parking lot. I gave this 4/5 stars. CW: Violence, Torture, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Kidnapping, Cancer, Sex-Trafficking. 

Darby Thorne is a college sophomore who is on her way home to visit her mother, who is dying of cancer. She gets caught in a snowstorm and is forced to stop at rest stop in Colorado. Trying to get a cell signal, she sees something terrifying. Darby sees a girl trapped in a cage in one the cars in the parking lot. With a bunch of questions racing in her mind, Darby determines that she needs to save this girl.

This book was a whirlwind to read! The author did a very good job with the pacing of everything since it took place during a single night. I will certainly see rest stops differently because this book was fucking creepy as hell.

My edition had the chapters listed as timestamps which was very interesting. Plus, there were these photographs to illustrate the certain times of day like dusk, night, and the witching hours. These photographs were beautiful and atmospheric!

The book is written in third person, which I didn’t like. It was one of the reasons why I docked a star. The story could have been stronger if it shifted to first-person P.O.V.s switching from Darby to Ashley to Lars. We got a lot of backstory from what we were given, but those backstories would have left a stronger impact on readers if they were told from a first-person P.O.V.

Have you read No Exit? If you have, tell me what you thought because I would love to start a conversation. Also, please leave your favorite snowy-set Thrillers in the comments below!

~Kat

Bookish Lists

My Favorite Books of 2020

Merry Christmas Eve to those who are celebrating! I can’t believe that the year is almost over. Since it’s the end of the year, that means it’s time to share my favorite books of the year. I really read over 100 books this year, I haven’t had a reading year be this successful since 2018! For this post, I will not be including any rereads as those deserve a post of their own. There is going to be a particular order to this list as I will be counting down from 10 to 1. Enjoy!

Honorable Mention:

Welcome to the Dark Side by Giana Darling (Fallen Men #2)

welcome to the dark sideLou is the perfect example of the preacher’s granddaughter. She volunteered at an autism center, sat in the front pew at church, and was a great role model for her younger sister Beatrice. Then Lou was diagnosed with cancer. Years later, seventeen-year-old Lou is sick of her perfect life so she decides to start taking a walk on the wild side. Lou finally sees Zeus Garro again, the man who took a bullet for her when she was a kid. He became her guardian monster, the title she dubbed him when they wrote to each other while Zeus was in jail. Being the president of the Fallen MC, when you make a deal with him, you make the deal with the devil. CW: Gun Violence, Verbally Abusive Parent, Cancer.

I love Daddy Zeus and Loulou! This book is a bit taboo given the nineteen-year age gap between Zeus and Lou, but holy shit their romance is so fucking good. Their relationship is legal as the age of consent in Canada is sixteen. It is forbidden, it is angsty, and it is action-packed. Plus, it’s filled with a good amount of smutty scenes. If you are going to read any books from the Fallen Men series, please read this one!

10. Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender

felix ever afterThis book follows Felix Love, who ironically has never been in love. Felix is scared that since he is Black, queer, and transgender, that he’ll never get to have a happy ending like other people. When someone starts blackmailing Felix with transphobic messages, he wants to get even. The only thing he didn’t plan on happening were things becoming much more complicated than expected. CW: Deadnaming, Transphobia, Bullying, Absentee Parent.

Please read this book because it is so beautifully written. It is an amazing coming-of-age story! I still think about this book all of the time, so please consider picking it up. Kacen Callender is an amazing writer and I can’t wait to read the rest of their books in the near future!

9. A Fine Team Man by Joe Cox

a fine team manThis book follows the life of famous baseball legend, Jackie Robinson. Each chapter centers on a person who became an integral part in Jackie’s life as a baseball player. There are chapters on Rachel Robinson, Branch Rickey, Happy Chandler, Clyde Sukeforth, Red Barber, Wendell Smith, Burt Shotton, Pee Wee Reese, and Dixie Walker.

This is a biography I read in my Baseball History class I took in the Spring semester. If you know me, you know I’m not a huge non-fiction fan so the fact that this book is even on this list is a surprise. I really enjoyed reading this as I am a huge baseball fan (Go Nats and Red Sox!) and Jackie Robinson is one the greatest baseball players of all time. Please pick this up if you get the chance, it’s an amazing read.

8. Pet Sematary by Stephen King

pet semataryIn this novel, we follow the Creed family who have just moved into a nice house in rural Maine. They seem perfect with Mr. Creed being a doctor, Mrs. Creed being super friendly, an imaginative little girl, an infant son, and a little black cat. Except there is something terrifying behind their house, the pet sematary. CW: Grief. 

This is the second Stephen King book I’ve read, and I plan to read more soon. What I loved about this book was how realistic some of the events were, it’s what makes the book feel so terrifying. I believe King even said that Pet Sematary is his scariest book ever written.

7. A Time to Kill  by John Grisham

a time to killJake Brigance, a young street lawyer, takes on a huge case when he defends Carl Lee Hailey. Carl Lee, a Black man, is being charged with the murder of the two white men who raped his little girl. Now with the case of a lifetime, Jake has to do all he can to free Carl Lee. CW: Racism, KKK, Violence, Rape. 

I wasn’t going to include this, but I ended up reading this book two times this year. I think I mentioned this in my August TBR post, but I reread this for my honors coursework for my Law & Literature class. I picked up on so many more things my second time reading, some good and some bad. There are aspects that have not aged well and some aspects that mirror today’s world. This is a great book to start with if you want to start reading Grisham’s books.

6. The Mistake by Elle Kennedy (Off-Campus #2)

the mistakeJohn Logan is a junior at Briar University, so he’s used to getting any girl he encounters. While his life seems perfect, Logan is hiding a family secret which will force him to live a life he doesn’t want. Then he meets Grace Ivers who is a freshman and the perfect distraction. Logan does something stupid and sets off to spend his senior year trying to get Grace to give him a second chance. CW: Alcoholism, Divorce, Attempted Rape. 

I knew this was going to be my favorite in the series when Logan and Grace watched Die Hard. Out of all of the books in the Off Campus series, I think this is the most realistic. Having a meet-cute isn’t always going to initiate the start of a relationship. I would love to read more of Logan and Grace if they make an appearance Elle Kennedy’s Briar U series.

5. Meg & Jo by Virginia Kantra

meg and joThe March sisters- Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy- are all grown up, living their own lives and dreams. Jo is living in New York, struggling as a prep cook and is a secret food blogger. She never expected that her journalism career would fall by the wayside, except it did. Then there is Meg. She seems to have it all- loving husband, an adorable set of twins, the nice house in the suburbs- but life isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. To add to the sisters’ stress, their mother ends up in the hospital during the holidays. Soon, the March sisters will rediscover that the bond of family is what really matters. CW: Cheating, Sick Parent, Divorce. 

I love Little Women and I love reading stories about families. I was a little skeptical going into this because of the mixed-reviews I heard, but I’m really glad I enjoyed this book. I can’t wait for Virginia Kantra to release Beth & Amy! If you want to hear more in-depth thoughts, check out my review.

4. Broken Knight by L.J. Shen (All Saints High #2)

broken knightLuna Rexroth is everyone’s favorite wallflower in Todos Santos, California. She’s extremely sweet, hard-working, and quiet. Underneath her shell, Luna knows exactly what she wants. She wants her best friend, Knight Cole. He was the boy who taught her how to cuss in sign language, stood up for her when others brought her down, made her smile, and even got her to laugh. Knight Cole is the football star, the most popular guy at All Saints High School, and the troublemaker. While every girl wants him, he only has eyes for Luna. She isn’t the same girl she used to be. CW: Death of a Parent, Alcoholism, Mention of Rape, Drug Use, Parental Abandonment, Slut Shaming, Grief. 

This book broke me and I loved every single second of it. Knight is my favorite tothole, with Luna being a close second. Trent chasing Knight with that baseball bat was one of the best scenes I’ve ever read. For those of you unfamiliar with L.J. Shen’s All Saints High series, it’s the spinoff to her Sinners of Saint series which follows the four hotholes of Todos Santos, California.

3. The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

Yoon_9780553496680_jkt_all_r1.inddThis book follows three narrators: Natasha, Daniel, and the Universe. Natasha is a believer in facts, which leaves no room for destiny. When her family is about to be deported, Natasha is thrown in a loop when she meets Daniel. Daniel, a poet who is pressured by his parents’ high expectation for college and his future career, forgets all of his pressures when he meets Natasha. The Universe connects the missing dots between Natasha, Daniel, and the people they encounter. CW: Mention of Suicide, Alcoholism, Racism. 

This book was so cute, but so heart-wrenching at the same time. When I picked up this book, I thought it was this light-hearted book – I was mistaken. Instead, I read a story which focused on a bunch of hard topics people encounter because life isn’t easy – it can be really fucking hard. Listen to the audiobook because the narrators did an amazing job with their narration.

2. Chain of Gold by Cassandra Clare (Last Hours #1)

chain of goldCordelia Carstairs’ life is about to be turned upside down. Her father gets accused of a terrible crime which forces her mother to move Cordelia and her brother to London. This finally gives Cordelia the chance to reconnect with her childhood friends James and Lucie Herondale. There have been demons attacks all over London and it’s up to the Shadowhunters to stop them.

A Cassie Clare book isn’t first? Are you shocked? As soon as I finished reading, I thought Chain of Gold was going to be my number 1 book of the year, but feelings change. I can’t wait for the rest of the series to come out so I can fly through all of the books. I loved every scene with Cordelia because she reminds me of Emma Carstairs, I mean they are related. Plus, getting to see more of Will and Tessa was a treat!

1.  Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas

punk 57Misha and Ryen have been penpals since the fifth grade because each of their teachers misgendered the kids because of their names. It didn’t take long for them to figure out their teachers’ mistakes. So over the next seven years, Misha and Ryen embarked on a great friendship. They only had three rules: no social media, no phone numbers, and no pictures.

Things were great until Misha ruined it. He came across this girl online after seeing her at a party. He overhears that her name was Ryen. He has to meet her, but he just doesn’t expect to hate the Ryen he meets. Then, there is Ryen. She is really taken aback when she hasn’t heard from Misha in over three months. Without him, Ryen is losing her mind.  Now, Ryen is worried that Misha, her lifeline, is gone. CW: Bullying, Parental Abandonment. 

Are we surprised? I’ve mentioned numerous times that Penelope Douglas has become one of my favorite authors. The best part of Punk 57 is the character development because Misha and Ryen really grow up. Misha has been one of my favorite love interests I’ve ever read in the New Adult genre because I really like reading about the broody musician. I wrote a long review so you can go check that out if you want a more in-depth review.

Those are my favorite books of 2020! Did we read any of the same books? If so, which was your favorite? What were some of the books on your favorites list this year? Tell me in the comments below! Happy holidays and please stay safe.

~Kat

Bookish Lists

Most Disappointing Books of 2020

Hey y’all! I’m sure you were just dying to read this because of the click-bait title. My next post will be My Favorite Books of 2020, but I wanted to share some of the books that disappointed me this year. These authors or books are not bad in any shape or form, they just didn’t fit my expectations. I’m sure there are readers who really enjoy these books and authors!

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

twice in a blue moonTate went to London with her grandmother the summer after senior year. On that trip, she meets Sam. The two hit it off and embark on a two-week relationship. Then shit hits the fan when Tate tells Sam that she’s the daughter of a famous actor. Sam then comes back into Tate’s life more than a decade later. He’s working on the movie she’s starring in with her father.

I usually love every single Christina Lauren book I read as they are one of my favorite writing duos. This book was not it. It’s a second-chance romance that followed two people who clearly should not be together. Since reading this, I’m hesitant to pick up newer Christina Lauren books. I still want to read their backlist though, especially Beautiful Bastard. If you want some good Christina Lauren books to read, pick up Roomies or The Unhoneymooners. 

Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella

shoeless joe #2A mysterious announcer tells Ray Kinsella, “If you build it, he will come.” This inspires Ray to build a baseball field in honor of his hero, Shoeless Joe Jackson. He even enlists the help of famous writer, J.D. Salinger who has become quite the recluse over the years.

This is the book that Field of Dreams is based on. I was so upset that this book didn’t work for me because Field of Dreams is one my favorite baseball movies and I had loved every book we read in my Baseball History class. Definitely would not recommend picking this up if you do not like long chapters because the five chapters this book had chapters were extremely long. I liked the inclusion of J.D. Salinger as a character though!

The French Girl by Lexie Elliot

the french girlA group of six friends from Oxford University spend a week together in the French countryside. Things were going great until they were introduced to Severine who lived next-door to the farmhouse the group was staying at. Something happened during the group’s last night and Severine was never heard from again. Ten years later, Severine’s case gets reopened when her body is found. That whole week gets revisited when the group gets questioned and things come to light.

One of my best friends recommended this to me after she read and I was like bet.  I bought myself a copy and really tried to finish it. I just couldn’t because it was way too slow for my taste. I didn’t like the flashbacks and it was hard to keep track of all the characters. I may give this another chance, but I’m not sure.

Losing It by Cora Carmack (Losing It #1)

losing itBliss Edwards hates that she still hasn’t lost her virginity even though she’s a senior in college. She decided a one-night stand would be the best way to lose her virginity because it would be quick and easy. Everything was going well until she freaked out and left this extremely attractive naked guy in her bed. Walking into her theatre class the next morning, Bliss recognizes her professor- Garrick who was in her bed last night.

This book sounded so good which is why I bought myself a copy when I couldn’t find it at my library. I read this in one sitting and was not impressed. First, it was way too short. Second, all of her friends were extremely unlikeable. Third, there was only one sex scene which is not how to book was advertised. From what I got from the pitch, this was a steamy New Adult Romance. What I got was a New Adult Romance with very little steaminess.

Out of all the books I read this year, this were the only ones that really disappointed me that I can remember. Losing It by Cora Carmack is the one that disappointed me the most. Which book disappointed you the most in 2020? Do you agree with any of my choices? Talk to me in the comments below!

Uncategorized

Why Have I Been Reading More New Adult?

Hi, everybody! Today’s post is a discussion/reflection post about why I haven’t been reading a lot of YA books this year. If you would rather skip over this post, I get it but please stay if you want to hear my thoughts.

First off, I still love the Young Adult genre/category! My whole major is dedicated to children’s and YA literature. This year, I just haven’t found a lot of Young Adult books that have caught my attention. Out of all of the books I’ve read this year, only 64 were Young Adult. That’s still a big number, but a lot were rereads for me. I like reading something new to me and New Adult was that new thing.

Second, I’m in college and I like reading about characters who are around my age. Young Adult books are not usually set in college, they’re usually set in high school. I enjoy New Adult Romances set in high school, but the characters act much more mature for their age. These characters act more like they are in college, which I love because of the angst factor.

Third, I like that New Adult books feel a little more realistic to me. I’m not saying that YA is not realistic, because a lot of books are extremely realistic. I’m trying to say that where I am in life, I relate more to New Adult books than I do with YA books. This ties into my second point.

I’m still going to read YA books and review them. I just need to find a book that really catches my attention. You’ll be seeing a lot more New Adult content and recommendations in the future. I hope you stick around as my reading tastes change! Please, if you have any YA or New Adult recommendations leave them in the comments.

Book Reviews

The Next Flame by Penelope Douglas

the next flameHello everybody! It’s almost 2021, which means we’re almost done with this no good, very terrible bad year. This year has not been easy whatsoever, but at least it’s almost over. Today’s review will on The Next Flame by Penelope Douglas which is novella bind-up of Aflame and Next to Never. No surprise here because I gave this novella bind-up 5/5 stars. CW: Domestic Abuse, Alcoholism, Cheating. 

Aflame is a continuation of Jared and Tate’s story. Our OG couple from The Fall Away series have gone their separate ways. Two years after their break-up, Jared is back in Shelburne Falls. His mom wants all of her unborn daughter’s brothers to be here for when she gives birth. This means that Jared would have to face Tate, a fact that he’s kind of dreading. Jared wants Tate back and may go back to his old ways to get her back.

I really liked Aflame because couples breaking up with your first love is something that happens very often. Pen included dual P.O.V.s which I really love when she incorporates it into her writing, it paints a fuller picture. She left the door open for more stories following these characters, which leads into Next to Never. 

Next to Never follows Quinn Caruthers who is the younger sister of Jared, Jax, and Madoc. Her father and brothers are very protective of her which has made it difficult for Quinn to truly find herself. She’s had her heart set on family friend, Lucas Morrow, since she was a little girl. The thing is he’s older than her and left Shelburne Falls years ago. She knows that she shouldn’t wait for him. A mysterious package shows up for her with no return address. In it is a book that has some threatening family secrets. Quinn starts to see her parents from a new perspective.

I absolutely loved reading Next to Never! Seeing Madoc, Jared, Tate, Fallon, Jax, and Juliet all grown-up made had me reminiscing about the earlier books. Being introduced to the next generation was interesting. I can’t wait for who is going to be paired off with who in the Hellbent series. Pen said that the first two books are going to focusing on Hawke (Jax and Juliet’s son) and Dylan (Jared and Tate’s daughter). I hope we get more of Quinn’s story soon because so many doors we left open for her and Lucas’ possible relationship.

The only aspect of Next to Never that was a little confusing was Kat and Jase’s story being intertwined throughout the novella. I always wondered how they got together and my questions were answered.

The Next Flame is extremely difficult to find in paperback as it is out-of-print, but some Barnes and Noble stores may have a copy in their bargain section. That’s where I found my copy. The e-book is easy to find on the kindle store.

Are you excited for the next generation? What was your favorite part? Talk to me in the comments!