Top Reads of 2017 (Part 2)

Hey all, Dani here.

It is that time of year again…actually the last day of the year. Wow, where did the time go? Okay, so there are a lot of people all over the book community sharing videos or posts where they list their top ten reads of the year. I realized a while ago that it is just not realistic for me to try and limit my favorite list down that far. I read roughly 130-150 books a year.

So I do this post twice a year. In July I write up a post on my top ten reads for the months of January thru June, and then now at the end of the year, I post my top ten reads for July thru December. This works a lot better for me and means I can share even more awesome books with all of you.

If you’d like to check out my first list for 2017, you can find that here.

Oh, and I suppose I should also add the note that I only include books that have already been published (so sorry to books like The Forgotten Book, Zenith, Gunslinger Girl, etc), and I also don’t include rereads (sorry Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban–though the illustrated edition is new, the text is still the same). And, as always, the books are listed in a mostly chronological order, not an order of best to worst or anything like that.

All right, I think it is time to jump into the list.

1. Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz. Yes, this book made my list. Come on, I think most people know of my Hamilton obsession by now, and Melissa de la Cruz was inspired to write this book after seeing the musical. Anyway, there is also apparently a sequel coming out in 2018 so I’m excited to read that one as well. Because I loved the intelligence and snappy banter from the Schulyer sisters. It was wonderful.

2. Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger. I do believe I have mentioned this book a few times before, so it’s probably no surprise that it made the list. I learned about this book randomly but then devoured it so quickly. Magical alcoholic drinks and a rich Chicago setting. I greatly enjoyed this one.

3. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur. Hey look everyone, a poetry book made my list. This book had so many poems that resonated with me, and ones I thought would be helpful to my mom considering my parents’ divorce this year. I gave my copy to my mom, and then she ended up passing it on to a friend of hers who she thought would appreciate it as well. Honestly in this scenario I am perfectly fine with the fact that I have to replace this book.

4. Autoboyography by Christina Lauren. Man, my list is all over the place this year. This was such a good contemporary story. I loved the story writing aspect of the book, and the romance as well as the religious issues were all well done (in my non-expert opinion).

5. The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo. Of course this book had to make the list. I mean, my consistent praise of the Six of Crows duology means that I would gladly read anything in the Grishaverse, and this collection of fairy tales and folklore from that world was just phenomenal. Oh, and the illustrations were lovely as well.

6. All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson. When I picked this book up I didn’t realize that it was a graphic novel. It was such a great read, and I loved the Renaissance Festival/Faire elements of the book. As I went to my first Renn Faire this year, I felt like I understood that part of the story more.

7. The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty. Definitely one of my favorite books of the year, even if I did one list instead of two. The descriptions and the setting were just so rich and reading this made me feel like I was escaping reality for a while. I absolutely adored this one and can’t wait for the sequel.

8. Kat and Meg Conquer the World by Anna Priemaza. Another contemporary story with a nice focus on fandom, specifically two girls who are fans of a YouTuber who does Let’s Play videos for a video game. I adored the female friendship in this book, as well as how the girls support each other with their anxiety and OCD. It was just fantastic.

9. Searching for Billy Shakespeare by Crista McHugh. A cute romance that features a Hollywood star and a woman studying Shakespeare for her PhD. Yeah, the concept alone had me reaching for this story. And it was a fun and quick read, plus there were ties to my favorite series by the author, the Kelly Brothers series.

10. Waterworld Vol 1: Ezra by Rachel E Kelly. This is the last novel I am reading this year (though I still hope to finish another manga or two before the clock strikes midnight). And this book just barely makes it onto this list, because it is supposed to be released today. The cover is great, the story is awesome, and I am now highly anticipating the arrival of Vol. 2.

All right, well I suppose that is all for 2017. I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the year and I will be here to talk a lot more about books and other geekish things in 2018.


Underwhelming Reads of 2017

Hey all, Dani here.

Welcome to a controversial (maybe?) post I like to write up at the end of the year. We all like to share the list of our best or favorite reads of the year, but how many of us talk about those disappointing reads of the year? You know, the reads that don’t quite match our expectations, the ones that aren’t OMG 5 star reads!

That’s what I’m here to talk about today.

Let me add this disclaimer, okay everyone. Just because the books are on this list does not mean that they are bad reads. It just means that either the hype was so great and it just didn’t meet those expectations for me, or that there was just something missing that didn’t make it absolutely outstanding.

All right, let’s just jump into these books. There really aren’t that many.


Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza. This book had sounded so interesting to me, and the cover is really nice to look at. So I was expecting this to be a good sci-fi read. And it was BUT it was also lacking for me. Overall it was actually a short book and I feel like so much more could have been expanded on, particularly when it came to the world-building and the political differences. Also, I feel like the summary was a bit misleading. All in all, this story had a lot of potential and it just fell short for me. I ended up giving it 3.5 stars.


Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. Okay, so this one is probably going to be the one that might upset people most. But please, as I said in the intro for this post, just because the book is on this list doesn’t mean that it is a bad book. In fact, I did give this book 4 stars. But honestly, I think it was all the hype surrounding this book that ended up making it so I expected so much more from it. Plus there were just some parts that felt a bit forced to me, and overall this book just didn’t end up giving me that emotional impact I expected or that I had felt with other books read in 2017.


Perfect Ten by L. Philips. Now this one is definitely an underwhelming read for me. I only gave it 3 stars because honestly though it was easy to read and didn’t take long, I finished it only because I received an early copy from Penguin’s First to Read program and felt it deserved to be fully read before I reviewed it. But the suspension of disbelief needed for this book is ridiculously high. Sam is wishy-washy in his decisions, and he is not really all that loyal to the person he’s dating, as he ends up flirting with others–and at the same time he scolds his friend for staying in a relationship with someone who continues to cheat on her. Overall it was just super disappointing.


The Geek’s Guide to Unrequited Love by Sarvenaz Tash. For the setting and the geekery, this book is actually not that bad. I’ve read a few books in 2017 that take place in or around a convention, so I relate to those books really easily. But the romance aspect of this story just didn’t do anything for me; I couldn’t root for the unrequited love at all, because to me it was so clear that they were nothing more than friends and there were better options out there for our leading man.

Okay, so there’s one more book I kind of want to add to this list, but I feel like it should be separate from the others because this is my only DNF book. It isn’t something I do often, but in this book’s case, I just couldn’t think of forcing myself to continue with it any longer.


King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard. I really liked the first book, Red Queen. Though the overall tale was one I had read before, I nevertheless enjoyed the experience and was excited to see what the series would amount to. Then Glass Sword came out and I felt like I was dragging myself through most of the book to reach the end (and what an ending that was!), so honestly the ending was what saved the book for me and made me willing to give the third book a shot. Unfortunately I ended up giving up about halfway through this. For me personally it just felt like nothing really was happening, and I just couldn’t continue trying to force myself through a book when there were so many others waiting to be read. So, I will not be finishing King’s Cage nor will I be picking up War Storm. If you love the series though, then I’m glad you connected with the book in a way I just didn’t.

All right, well I guess that is all for this post. I’ll be back again in a few hours with my next post…which is actually my final post for 2017.

Guest Post: FADVERSITY – Diversity as a Genre by Hannah Carmack

Hey all, Dani here.


Okay so today I am excited to bring to you a guest post by an author I’ve been speaking with recently. I shall also have a review up for her newest release within the next week based on my currently scheduled posts.

But I’ll start off with giving you some details about Hannah’s book.


In the midst of the cold war, the CIA’s finest and most fatal female agent, Diana Riley, vanishes. Kidnapped by the KGB and taken to the backcountry of North Carolina, she and her team of unsavory partners are forced to undergo illegal experimentation.

But, when the experiments leave them horribly deformed and unable to reenter society without someone crying monster, the previously glamorous and high-maintenance spies must escape KGB captivity and avoid recapture at the hands of Nikola, a ruthless KGB agent with an intense and well-justified grudge against her former flame.

You can snag a copy of this book right now from Amazon, or Barnes & Noble.

And now I’m going to pass this post over to Hannah. Enjoy.

I’m going to open right away by saying these are some deep waters. In no world is a 300-500 word post going to cover the intricate details of the recent viralization of #ownvoice/Diverse Voices manuscripts. I’m coming at this simply as a debut-author publishing through a niche, #ownvoices dedicated press.

To say that navigating what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable in the genrefication of diversity is difficult is an understatement. From MSWL to Twitter Pitch Scandal, there’s no right way to talk about it. The only thing we can know for certain is although diversity shouldn’t be a fad, it is.

In a perfect world, diversity is just a way of life. Our world is diverse, so our fiction is. Currently, there is a push for more diverse book, which I think is good! More marginalized voices are being heard. I would have never found my publisher and gotten SEVEN-SIDED SPY published if not for the active search for LGBTQIA+ voices.

That said, there’s also anxiety in the publishing world that sometime soon diversity is going to go out of style. I was at a literary conference not too long ago. While there I was able to grab lunch with some fairly reputable authors, all of whom were talking about when the “vampire bubble” burst. You know, that sweet spot in literary history where the vampire boom from Twilight was finally over. A lot of authors, and readers rejoiced (As someone who loved Vampire’s Assistant I was –slightly- bummed). But, there’s no denying that for a while it seemed like you couldn’t pick up a YA book without a bloodsucker jumping out of the pages at you, and then just as sudden as it started, it was gone.

The conversation seemed normal, until everyone then transitioned into talking about “the diversity bubble.” In which case, all the wheels in my mind came to a screeching halt. I want to say that there will be no end to #ownvoices. That in this good perfect world our books will always be as diverse as our world. But, I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think they were right.

“Trends” in literature come and go. For a while it was vampires, then it was zombies, currently, it feels like we’re in the ending days of dystopia, and soon we’ll be ushering in an era of #ownvoices. It’s no secret that one of these things is not like the other. Diversity shouldn’t be shelved alongside “dystopia” and “paranormal romance,” but it very well could be if we don’t keep speaking up and demanding our voices be heard.

The authors at that conference were right. We’re in a “diversity as a trend” bubble. Which has its pros –easier to find books featuring different races, religions, abilities, genders, ect, ect- and cons- trivialization of serious topics, problematic representation. It seems like the best thing we can do at the moment, is keep writing. Don’t shy away from your all-queer cast or your genderfluid track star or your coming of age about a girl with an ileostomy. Keep writing and keep reading books that speak to cultures that aren’t your own, the unconventional, the often shyed away from. There is a “trendification” of diversity going on. It’s up to readers and writers, to make sure it lasts even if this “bubble” bursts.

All right, Dani again. So tomorrow I’ll have two posts up: one on my underwhelming reads of 2017 and one for my top reads of 2017 (the July-December edition).


Recommendations: Poetry

Hey all, Dani here.

Wow. Here we are at my last recommendation post of 2017. I can’t believe how quickly this year has gone by. I guess here is where I should say that I am changing my recommendations up just a little bit in 2018. I have some ideas for posts about card games, board games, dice games, and more that I would recommend to all of you.

Speaking of, if any of you have ideas for more recommendation post topics, feel free to suggest them in the comments section.

Okay, well today I am recommending a genre I don’t read very often, though I’m trying to work on that a bit. I pretty much was put off it for a while because of school. Poetry in my opinion should be absorbed and felt, not dissected and analyzed. So, I apologize for not having as many recommendations as I normally would. If you have any poetry recommendations for me, please leave them in the comments. Thanks!


Pop Sonnets by Erik Didrikson

Okay, so this one is fun for fans of popular songs and also fans of Shakespeare. This lovely little volume takes songs like Bohemian Rhapsody and alters it so that it fits the rhyme scheme and meter of a Shakespearean sonnet. I absolutely loved reading this. It’s actually really fun to choose some of these at random and read them out loud to your friends to see if they can guess the song before you get to the end of the poem.


Milk and Honey and The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

While I liked Rupi Kaur’s first release a bit better than her second, I think they are both intriguing reads, and I’m glad I listened to recommendations to give this poet a try. Many of the poems are short, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t pack a punch for the reader. In fact, I’d give the statement that the shorter ones have a bit more of an emotional impact, or at least they did for me. Plus, Rupi Kaur also does her own illustrations to accompany the poems. Slight warning though, not all of the illustrations may be appropriate in public, at work, etc.


Inhale the Night, Night Poems, Haiku in the Night, and Sleeping with Earth by Ben Ditmars

These four poetry collections are by a local author friend of mine, and I picked the first three up at a book signing, and then the last one I picked up at our local bookstore. The fun thing about my copy of Inhale the Night is that it was actually the only copy he had left with him and it was actually his proof copy from CreateSpace, so in a way it is very unique. The pages all have the PROOF watermark across the center.

But anyway, Ben Ditmars has many good poems in each of his collections, and I like that Night Poems, Haiku in the Night, and Inhale the Night contain lengthier poems that are broken into parts that span across each of the books. And I enjoy the night themes that permeate the collections. And you all know that I will always try and help support self-published authors and indie authors.


the princess saves herself in this one by Amanda Lovelace

This one is apparently the start of a trilogy of poetry collections, so I look forward to seeing what the next two installments contain. I definitely preferred the lighter in tone poems to the ones about abuse, self-harm, suicide, and more. But I can absolutely see where this is an important read, and where it could be so helpful to so many people out there.

Well, I am sorry that this is a somewhat shorter recommendation post than normal. I guess this shows that I need to try and read more poetry in the future.


Cover Reveal and Review: Waterworld Vol 1 by Rachel E Kelly

Hey all, Dani here.

I am super excited today to get to reveal the cover and give an early review for the next installment in one of my all-time favorite book series. It was at Wizard World Ohio Comic Con in Oct/Nov 2014 that I was first introduced to the Colorworld series. At the time they were only a couple months away from the release of the third book and they were still just getting started with the convention tour.

I was quickly pulled into the story and the adventures of the characters, and from that one of the best friendships in my life began to form. Since then I have worked two conventions with Colorworld Books, and have been lucky enough to read Shadoworld and Dreamworld early (and now Waterworld).

I will be completely honest right now when I say that I am a part of Team Colorworld and am one of the copy editors for the books. But I don’t let that get in the way of my thoughts and opinions of the books. But thank you to Rachel Kelly for allowing me to be a part of the Colorworld story and journey, and for sending me digital copies of the books to read for review.

You can find the rest of my reviews for this series at these links: Colorworld, Teleworld, Lumaworld, Shadoworld, and Dreamworld.



At Soldier Field in front of sixty-thousand, Gabe Dumas of The Human Movement (THM) delivered a gripping charge against Wendy Whitley of the Guild. To everyone watching, she conceded more than just the stage that day when she waived her speaking slot. No one knew what had happened behind the scenes, that Gabe’s plan to aid California was a result of a private communication between him and Whitley. No one realized that what appeared to be a widening of the gap between Whitley and Dumas was actually both THM and the Guild’s first acts of concession.

This wasn’t the only game-changing event happening behind the scenes in Chicago. That same day, unbeknownst to Wendy or Gabe, Ezra Whitley was enacting his own plan, demonstrating a power that, until then, everyone had thought was impossible. Moments after Gabe Dumas spoke his closing words, “Let us show them and ourselves what can be accomplished when Humans move!” the skies opened and rain drenched everyone inside the stadium… but not a single person outside of it.

This is Ezra’s story.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

First off, let’s talk about the cover. I was wondering what sort of cover we would get after the gorgeousness that was Dreamworld. I was hoping for some more white, because only Colorworld had that distinction and every other book has had slightly varied shades of black. So I was glad to see that this cover has some white and then I love the swirl of color from the bubble.

Second, let’s talk about how this particular book will be different from the others. Dreamworld was a massive book, and I loved every minute of it. But Waterworld probably would have been longer, as it covers 6 different POVs that interconnect a bit and everything will all converge by the end. But trying to get those individual stories positioned properly in one book can be difficult. So a decision was made, and now each one will come out as an individual volume. Then, after all six are out then a collected volume will be released known as The Six, and it will have all of them combined in one book.

So, basically, my Colorworld Books shelf in my library is going to expand greatly in the coming months. The Illustrated version of Dreamworld should be out this year, and I do believe the comic book should start being released sometime soon as well.

Wow, okay, so I’ve been blathering in this review section for a few paragraphs already and I haven’t actually started the review. This was a fun and interesting installment. It basically covers what Ezra was going through during the events of Dreamworld, and then the last several chapters take us past the end of the last book, which was really cool.

I like Ezra as a character; I have since the very beginning. He is such a wonderful geeky fanboy, and the way he supports Wendy’s “superhero” training and efforts is awesome. Also, he is known to have some clever and hilarious lines. But I don’t feel like he was as witty in this particular story…which honestly makes complete sense considering the situation he finds himself in. Though, I was highly amused whenever Ezra wanted advice from Gabe and so he started imagining what Gabe would say. Ezra did a rather good job at imitating Gabe.

This story is also heavily influenced by my absolute favorite character of this whole series. It has been a little while since I last read some of these books and I have missed the wisdom of Uncle Moby.

Oh, and watching Ezra’s math ability at work, as well as watching it grow and develop was pretty darn awesome. Yes, everyone, Ezra’s superpower is math, and I think that is wonderfully fantastic.

So basically, I yet again enjoyed reading the latest installment in this series and I cannot wait to see what other POVs we get. I’m betting one of them will be Kaylen and that is a story I have immensely been looking forward to.

Where to Buy

Right now you can pre-order Waterworld Vol 1 directly from Colorworld Books. This book is expected to be released on December 31, 2018.

On or after release day, you will be able to buy the book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

I will always recommend buying from Colorworld Books, because then you can have lovely signed editions on your shelves.


Review: Gunslinger Girl by Lyndsay Ely

Hey all, Dani here.

Merry Christmas everyone!! Okay, so there’s a lot of excitement going on in real life and I’m sure I’ll talk about it soon enough, probably when I start rolling out 2018 plans here on the blog, but I hope you all are having a wonderful holiday with friends and family, and that you get lots of fantastic books, bookish items, and whatever other gifts you’re hoping for.

Today I’m bringing you a review for a book that I picked up at Book Expo that will be coming out very soon. So thank you to the publisher for being kind enough to hand out so many lovely ARCs of Gunslinger Girl at Book Expo and Book Con so people can read it early.

Let’s get started.



James Patterson presents a bold new heroine–a cross between Katniss Everdeen and Annie Oakley: Serendipity Jones, the fastest sharpshooter in tomorrow’s West. 

Seventeen-year-old Serendipity “Pity” Jones inherited two things from her mother: a pair of six shooters and perfect aim. She’s been offered a life of fame and fortune in Cessation, a glittering city where lawlessness is a way of life. But the price she pays for her freedom may be too great….
In this extraordinary debut from Lyndsay Ely, the West is once again wild after a Second Civil War fractures the U.S. into a broken, dangerous land. Pity’s struggle against the dark and twisted underbelly of a corrupt city will haunt you long after the final bullet is shot.

My Thoughts

Rating: 5 stars

I guess I’ve sort of been in a western story mood lately. I mean, I’ve already read books like Walk on Earth a Stranger and Vengeance Road, so this one sounded pretty appealing as well. What makes it stand out though is that those two are more historical fiction or historical with a dash of magic involved as well. Gunslinger Girl, on the other hand, is set in a future of sorts, taking place after a Second Civil War has happened and the Confederacy of North America now exists.

So the world has a technological factor that isn’t present in historical western settings. Of course there’s still that same lawlessness and gunslinger ways you’d expect with a western, which I greatly enjoyed.

Main protagonist Serendipity “Pity” Jones is a character I so enjoyed following around. She knew her situation wasn’t the greatest and she made plans to get out if it ever came to it. Obviously the story starts with something happening that necessitates a quick escape. Then an attack by some outlaw scavengers leaves Pity in a pretty rough spot, but she ends up getting picked up by a group of people and she ends up deciding to accompany them to Cessation.

Now, based on the descriptions of Cessation and such, it seems pretty much like Las Vegas, honestly, but this is the city where Pity has to start trying to survive. Thankfully her mother taught her to shoot and she has a set of nice pistols. I loved how much skill and confidence Pity had, while at the same time being a little unsure about using her gunslinger skills as a performer.

This book totally had an Annie Oakley feel to it with the character of Pity and her job as a performer. I really thought that was a cool aspect. And the other members of the performer troupe she was in were all pretty interesting too.

I mean, I don’t want to say too much more about the story or the plot, because what I’ve mentioned so far is either in the summary or is in the first few chapters of the book, but I’m just going to say that this was a pretty fun read and I’m looking forward to seeing what Lyndsay Ely comes out with next. This book also makes me more excited to finally read Stalking Jack the Ripper because these are both books published by James Patterson’s imprint, which is pretty cool.

Where to Buy

You can pre-order Gunslinger Girl from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore. This book will be released January 2nd.


The 28th (And Final) TBR Purge Post!

Hey all, Dani here.

First of all, Merry Christmas Eve! Or I suppose Merry Christmas for those of you a few time zones ahead of me. Anyway, I hope you are all having a lovely time with family and/or friends, and I hope you get so many bookish presents this holiday season.

Okay, enough of all that. I am here for another post wherein I look at a number of books on my Goodreads to-read list and then decide if I’m keeping them or purging them from the list. Now, I believe I mentioned this yesterday, but all of these books have been added in the past month or so, and I do believe I’m keeping them all. But still, it’s fun to go through the list and show off some of the books I’m hoping to read soon.

Let’s jump into my last round of books for this lovely TBR purge.

Sightwitch by Susan Dennard. The release date has been pushed back to February 13th, but I am still so excited about this book.

Lumberjanes Vol 7 and Lumberjanes Vol 8 by Shannon Watters. Obviously I very much enjoy this series and look forward to reading the newest installments.

King of Scars and King of Scars #2 by Leigh Bardugo. I want Nikolai’s books now! I’m sure these will be worth the wait though.

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young. OMG, this book sounds so good. I can’t wait to read it.

Love, Hate and Other Filters by Samira Ahmed. This one will be out in just a couple more weeks. I absolutely plan on reading it ASAP.

Everless by Sara Holland. Such an interesting concept and the cover is really cool.

Lost Crow Conspiracy by Rosalyn Eves. Okay so I technically need to read the first one, but I just have a feeling that I’m going to love it and will be ready to dive into this one as well.

Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian. I like the idea for this one but I’ve heard a couple less than stellar reviews. Still, I’m ready to read it and see what opinion I have of this book.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert. I just lucked into an ARC of this via a Goodreads Giveaway so I shall be reading this one soon enough.

Smoke and Iron and The Great Library #5 by Rachel Caine. The Great Library series is amazing! I can’t wait for this fourth installment and then the fifth one.

Hamilton and Peggy! A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliott. I know, I am such a sucker for anything somewhat Hamilton related. But I like that there is a friendship focused book coming out; I feel like we need more of those in the world.

Honor Among Thieves by Rachel Caine and Ann Aguirre. Interesting concept and two great authors. I figure it’s worth a shot.

Shooter by Caroline Pignat. I was recommended this by a friend here in book blogger land while discussing school shooting books. It sounds like it’s worth a read.

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser. I have been wanting to read this book for a year or two now. I love the cover and the concept. Now I just need to finally pick it up and read it.

Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah Dawson. This sounds like a fun fantasy read and again, two great authors.

Furyborn by Claire Legrand. I learned about this book while watching an unboxing video…I believe it was a FairyLoot unboxing. It sounds SO GOOD and I just want to read it right now.

Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire. I enjoyed the first two books of the series so I want to check out this one as well. Plus they are good quick reads.

Access Restricted by Gregory Scott Katsoulis. This is probably one of my most anticipated releases for 2018. I devoured the first book, All Rights Reserved this year and it was AMAZING, so I have high hopes for this one as well.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. I’ve only read one book by Holly Black and I liked it but I never picked up any others. This one sounds good…plus it involves the fae, so I’m interested.

Love, Life, and the List by Kasie West. I admit it; I find her romances to be fun and cute, and this one intrigues me. Plus it is apparently the first in a trilogy of standalones that feature crossover characters, which sounds pretty cool.

Impostor Syndrome by Mishell Baker. I have this one sitting on my Kindle app right now and I hope to start reading it pretty soon.

Love & War by Melissa de la Cruz. This is the sequel to Alex & Eliza and again…it’s a Hamilton book, plus the first one was so cute, and I loved how witty Eliza, Angelica, and Peggy were.

Well that is the end of my Goodreads to-read list, for now anyway. I may have to do another one of these purges in the future. While it is nice to be down around 400 books on the list, I know that realistically that is still a pretty high number. But I know that any future rounds of TBR purge will be more difficult. This time I was able to get rid of books in series that I won’t get to for a while with the idea being that I can add the next one while I’m currently reading the previous one (like I don’t need book 10 in a series when I’m only on book 2). Any future TBR purges will have me taking a closer look at the books I have and making the difficult decision of whether or not I realistically will ever be getting around to a book.

So thank you so much for following me on this journey. If you are in the middle or just starting your own TBR purge, good luck. I know how difficult it can be to weed through all of those wonderful books.


TBR Purge #27

Hey all, Dani here.

What a fun few months it has been going through my Goodreads to-read list and weeding through books to see which ones are just taking up space on the list and reminding myself of some of the books I still want to read. Looking back on the whole experience, I can honestly say that I think it has been very successful and has made me feel more relaxed and more in control of my TBR pile.

With that being said, as we near the end of my over 800 book long list, thank you for going on this book purge with me. And let’s just dive on into the next 30 books I have waiting to be read.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao. We are pretty much in the middle of books I picked up or discovered at Book Expo earlier this year, which means I am more likely to keep them. I think I picked up this one as part of the Game Changers box set I won, and the fact that it is an East Asian inspired retelling of the Evil Queen from Snow White definitely intrigues me.

Nyxia by Scott Reintgen. I have been hearing so many wonderful things about this book. Plus it sounds cool, and I would like to read a bit more sci-fi, so this definitely seems like something I have to keep on my TBR.

Jane, Unlimited by Kristin Cashore. So, I added this to my TBR because I won it at Book Expo as part of the Game Changers box set along with other books like Warcross, and while this one does sound interesting, it isn’t something that is vying for top position. I don’t feel any sort of need to read it anytime soon, so I’m taking it off the TBR.

Fireblood by Elly Blake. Okay, so this one is leaving the list purely because I do need to finish reading the first book first. Hopefully I can manage that soon.

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. From everything I’ve heard of this book, I think it will be an important read.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. Again, this book sounds interesting and I feel the need for more sci-fi in my reading life. Plus I’ve been starting to read a bit more co-authored books, so I’m willing to give this one a try.

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli. I waited in line for like 40 minutes to get a copy of this book, so obviously I’m interested in it. The reason I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet is because of how full my reading life has been these past few months. I realize that could sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. I love how much reading I’ve been doing and how well this blog is doing. I just kind of wish that I didn’t need to spend 40+ hours a week at a job that is so draining and monotonous. Sadly it’s a job that pays my pills pretty well so for now I have to tolerate it.

Caroline: The Little House, Revisited by Sarah Miller. I picked this one up because when I was younger I was pretty much obsessed with the Little House on the Prairie books, and getting to see that story through the mom’s eyes did sound like an interesting idea. I’m sure I’ll still pick this one up at some point, but for now I’m going to pass.

The Last Castle: The Epic Story of Love, Loss, and American Royalty in the Nation’s Largest Home by Denise Kiernan. Okay, this is either non-fiction or slightly fictionalized history, but I just remember that when it was pitched to me at Book Expo it sounded good, though it isn’t my normal kind of read. If/when the mood strikes I may actually still pick this up, but not now.

The Heart Forger by Rin Chupeco. I LOVED the first book and I need this one now. And I think that’s all I need to say about this one. Though, actually, one other thing–did you see the cover for this book? Absolutely stunning.


Reign the Earth by A.C. Gaughen. This is a book I learned about at Book Expo but sadly missed out on getting an ARC. But, I can say that I was recently approved for it on NetGalley, so I look forward to reading this fun elemental magic story in the next couple of weeks and getting a review up for all of you.

The Book of Whispers by Kimberly Starr. I honestly don’t remember adding this one to the list, or why I did. I guess I can take it off the list then.

The Emerald Sea by Richelle Mead. We finally have a title and a cover for this one and I so can’t wait to read Tamsin’s story.

The Empress by S.J. Kincaid. Why haven’t I read this one yet?

Sparks of Light by Janet B. Taylor. The next time I’m in the mood for a time travel read I am picking this book up.

Vault of Dreams by Luke Taylor. Honestly, I think this might be the book I struggled with coming to a decision on the most. I remember reading a wonderful review for it on a blog and it sounds like an incredible book…but I had to look this up again while writing up this post because I had forgotten what it was about. So I am likely pulling this off the list for now, but this one would probably be the easiest to talk me back into reading, so who knows? I might end up adding this one back to the list myself.

Arena: Part One by Michael D Withrow. I think I added this one because of a review I saw on it, but if I think about it realistically, this one would be low priority on my reading list, so it would probably be years before I got around to it, if I remembered it by the time I got around to it, so it’s probably better just to take it off the list.

The List by Patricia Forde. I have been putting off reading this one for months and I don’t know why. I do really want to read it, but I say that about a lot of books I own.

At Any Price by Brenna Aubrey. This was a book club pick for the Vaginal Fantasy Book Club and it is a modern geeky romance. I’ve read a few chapters of it and have pretty much enjoyed it so far so I’d like to finish it.

The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee. Look, I don’t need to have read The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue yet to know that I want to read this one too. I can’t wait to see what the cover will look like.

How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry. This sounds kind of cute, and I am a sucker for books about books, or libraries, or bookstores. But honestly, I don’t know that I would actually get around to this one, so I suppose I’m going to pass for now.

The Architect of Song, The Hummingbird Heart, The Glass Butterfly, and The Artisan of Light by A.G. Howard. I’ve only read the first couple pages of book one but it intrigued me, and I’ve heard wonderful things about both of the released books of this series so far. For now I’m just going to keep the whole series on my list.

The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith. This was another Vaginal Fantasy Book Club pick but honestly I don’t see me picking it up any time soon. Bye.

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu. Okay, so I like Lu’s writing and I did enjoy the Wonder Woman novel. So at some point I’m probably going to pick this one up, but right now it isn’t anywhere close to being an anticipated read or a priority read for me. For the moment I’m going to pass on this one.

Geek Parenting: What Joffrey, Jor-El, Maleficent, and the McFlys Teach Us About Raising a Family by Stephen H. Segall and Valya Dudycz Lupescu. I picked this up when I picked up that geeky guide to dating, and while at some point I’m sure I’ll want to read this, right now I think reading it would give people some wrong impressions about my life.

The Towering Sky by Katharine McGee. The third and final book of The Thousandth Floor series, and I can honestly admit that I am utter trash for this amazing and ridiculous teen drama fest. Plus the cover is so lovely.

The Continent by Keira Drake. I wanted to read this last year, then troubling reviews came in, they called off the release to do more edits, and now a year later it is apparently finally going to be released. But I don’t know if I want to read this one anymore. I think I’ll wait for a few reviews to roll in before I solidify my decision, but for now I’m going to pass.

Okay, so I kept 18 out of 30 this time around. Tomorrow is the last of these purge posts, and honestly I think I’m keeping every one of the books on the list. They’re all books added in the past couple months. Thanks for joining me on this purge adventure.


The Christmas Song Book Tag

Hey all, Dani here.

I was tagged for this by Amber at Step Into a Book World, and since it is holiday themed, I had to rearrange my schedule a bit so I could get this up in time. Basically I had to push back one of my book reviews, but that is totally fine because it wasn’t a time sensitive one. Anyway, Amber is awesome so go check out her blog, and this tag sounds fun and festive, so let’s jump into it.


1.) “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”:

Name a villainous character you couldn’t help but love.


Okay, so I realize he’s not a villain (to us anyway), but I definitely think that Kaz Brekker qualifies for this question. He makes some not so nice decisions, and he isn’t afraid to do a bad thing provided it benefits him and his crew.

2) “All I Want for Christmas is You”:

Which book do you most hope to see under your Christmas tree?

Access Restricted

Yes, I am very well aware that this book doesn’t come out until the end of August 2018. But pretty much everyone just gets me Barnes & Noble gift cards for Christmas–either because they don’t want to risk getting me something I already have or they don’t want me to know ahead of time that I’m getting a specific title.

3.) “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer”

Name a character that overcomes major obstacles and learns to believe in themselves.


For this one I have to go with Midoriya aka Deku. Okay, he might still be working on some of the obstacles, but even when he was Quirkless he believed that he could be a hero, so that’s something.

4. “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”

A) Which character do you think would be on the top of the naughty list?

B) Which character do you think would be at the top of the nice list?

For the Naughty list, I’m picking Raishan, an ancient green dragon from Critical Role. Okay, yes, I know this might be stretching it a bit because The Chronicles of Exandria Vol I: Vox Machina is extra information about the characters and events in the web series, but Raishan is definitely one of the most cunning villainous characters I have come across.

For the Nice list, I am going with Eliza Schulyer. In the book she spends a lot of time helping the troops, gathering supplies and such for them, and I just feel like she is trying her best to do as much good as she can.

5.) “Frosty the Snowman”

Which book just melts your heart.


This was such a fun cute geeky read. I had to go with it for this.

6.) “Feliz Navidad”

Choose a book that takes place in a country other than your own.


This takes place in numerous countries that are not my own so yay!

7.) “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”

Which holiday themed book do you use to spread the Christmas joy?

Ummm….How the Grinch Stole Christmas, I guess?

8.) “Sleigh Ride”

Which fictional character would you choose to spend the holidays with (doesn’t have to be a love interest!)


We can have a reading party. It’ll be great.

9.) “Baby it’s Cold Outside”

Which book that you didn’t like would you sacrifice to a fire to warm yourself up in the cold?

I guess I’ll have to go with pretty much the book I dislike the most, which is The Awakening by Kate Chopin. Though this wouldn’t keep a person warm for long; it is a relatively small book.

10. ) “Do you hear what I hear”

Which book do you think everyone should read?


I could go with my standard answer of any of the books in the Colorworld series by Rachel E Kelly, but I’ll change it up a little bit and go with this lovely and amazingly diverse sci-fi tale.

And since we are getting so close to Christmas, I don’t want to just choose a bunch of people who may not have the time for it. So, if you want to do this tag, then you have been TAGGED! I’d love to see your answers.


Recommendations: Urban Fantasy

Hey all, Dani here.

You guys, I can’t believe the year is almost over. Where has the time gone? Also, I find myself thinking back on all of the book recommendations I have given this year. I started these posts back in September, and I thought I would just have around five or six and that would be it. As it turns out, I had more post ideas than that, and also you all really seem to enjoy these posts, which is awesome.

Anyway, today I am bringing you some Urban Fantasy recommendations. Now the difference in these books from fantasy or paranormal stories is that the setting is an important factor. Either it is described in a very real way or its location means something to the story or the city itself somewhat feels like another character. There’s a reason this particular sub-genre earned the name Urban Fantasy.

Let’s just jump into the list, shall we?


First up, I have Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger. This is set in Chicago, and features some pretty cool magical alcoholic beverages. (Oh, and there are drink recipes throughout the book too). Honestly I enjoyed this book so much that I would love to see some sort of sequel or a companion novel or something.


Okay, so this image doesn’t even have the whole series on it, but I can’t have an Urban Fantasy recommendations post and not talk about the Iron Druid Chronicles. This series follows 2000 year old Druid Atticus who lives in Arizona because who would think to look for a Druid there? He lives with his Irish Wolfhound named Oberon and I love Oberon so much, because yes, he talks. Anyway, this series is just a fun adventure and there is so much mythology and sort of religion and history all woven in.


Next up, I have to mention the Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. Yes, I have technically only read the first one so far, but I absolutely loved it. Harry Dresden’s narrative voice is really cool, a little dry and sometimes sarcastic, but it makes the whole experience entertaining. Plus, come on, he’s the only Wizard listed in the Yellow Pages in Chicago, which is just a cool premise.


This next recommendation–the Elemental Assassin series–showcases how you can effectively have an Urban Fantasy read set in a fictional city. Jennifer Estep has created a city that has so much detail that you honestly might just think it is a real place. Now, I will say that I tried to binge-read several of these books in a row, and I do not recommend it. Narrator/protagonist Gin Blanco has a habit of repeating details and specific phrases over and over, so binge-reading only makes that more prevalent. I’d still recommend this series. It has action, elemental magic, and even some romance.


Another fictional city Urban Fantasy, the Prospero’s War series takes place in a city somewhere along the Lake Erie shores in Ohio, so I related to the setting quite a bit. But the magic system is really interesting, and okay, I’ve only read the first book in this series too, but I want to reread it and then continue on. There are four books out so far and I think the rest of the series will be just as outstanding.


Next I have to include Jane Yellowrock, the badass vampire hunting skinwalker. The Jane Yellowrock novels have a strong focus on New Orleans, and based on all the details in the books, it is clear that Faith Hunter knows what she’s talking about, and not just with the setting. This is one of those times where what you see on the cover is what you get, and yes, Jane does ride a motorcycle. As a motorcycle rider myself, I approve.


Finally, I was not trying to make this list even between male writers and female writers, but it somehow turned out that way. Three men, three women, and last but not least a husband and wife writing duo. I picked up the first Kate Daniels book a few years ago and very much enjoyed the concept. I like that there are times where Atlanta is more overrun with magic and normal devices don’t work so well and other times when magic is weaker and normal technology reigns. Those surges make for an interesting setting and I also loved all the different shifters.

Okay, well that does it for today. Next week marks my final recommendation post of 2017 and I’ll be recommending some of my favorite poetry reads.

Oh, also, because of being off work until the beginning of the year, I plan to have my posts most of the way scheduled so I’ll still have content up every day, but I might not be as active with reading and commenting on posts or responding to comments on mine. I will try to pop on here a few times just so I’m not completely swamped at the start of 2018.

Merry Christmas everyone, and Have a Happy New Year!