WWW Wednesday – 1/25/23

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words!

WWW Wednesday invites you to ask just three simple questions:

  1. What are you reading?
  2. What did you just finish reading?
  3. What will you be reading next?

What are you reading?

I am currently 50 pages into The Fraud Squad! I am really enjoying it so far, and I’m excited to see all the hijinks these characters get into! They have great banter so far!

What did you just finish reading?

I just finished reading Flip the Script by Lyla Lee! I thought it was a really cute YA romance! I am very behind on reviews, but I will try and get my reviews back on track soon! So be on the look out for that soon!

What are you going to be reading next?

I still have my copy of The Sunbearer Trials out from the library so I should probably get to this one next… But we shall see. I’ve been on a light, romance vibe lately.

What are you currently reading? Let me know down in the comments below!


WWW Wednesday – 1/11/23

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words!

WWW Wednesday invites you to ask just three simple questions:

  1. What are you reading?
  2. What did you just finish reading?
  3. What will you be reading next?

What are you reading?

I am just under 70 pages into this one and I am really enjoying it! This is my first Talia Hibbert novel, and I have a feeling it won’t be my last!

What did you just finish reading?

I just finished an e-arc of this earlier today! This was my second Tess Sharpe novel and truly an enjoyable read! I will have a review of this up closer to the release date on January 24th!

(Also can we just take a moment to appreciate this cover?! Stunning!!)

What will you be reading next?

So far, I have been on a kick of trying to catch up on ARCs that I have gotten, either physical or digitally. However, my hold of The Sunbearer Trials just came in from the library so I have to try and get to this one next!

What are you currently reading?

Top Ten Tuesday: Anticipated Releases for 2023

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish which has now found a lovely new home at That Artsy Reader Girl.

This Tuesday’s post is all about celebrating anticipated releases for 2023!

This post might be a little lack luster from me, as I’ve been sick all week and I’m creating this a little late!

But here are ten books I am super excited for in 2023!

These are just ten of the books that I am excited for in 2023! Do we share any similar titles? What are you excited to read in 2023?

Anticipated Releases for January 2023

We are just about a full week into January this new year! Truly, it does not feel like January, let alone 2023. However, with a new year and a new month, comes new book releases! Here are the books that I am excited to read coming out this month!

January 3rd

January 10th

I was lucky enough to get an e-arc through Edelweiss for Lunar Love, which I read back in November. This book is absolutely fantastic, one of my favorites of last year. If you are a romance reader, definitely put this one on your list!

January 17th

January 24th

January 31st

What are you most excited to read that is releasing this month?!

Review: The Wedding Ringer

Author: Kerry Rea

Start Date: 1-1-23

End Date: 1-4-23

Page Count: 328 pages

Publication Date: November 9th, 2021

Publisher: Berkley

Format: e-book, purchased on kindle

Rating: 3 stars ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis (taken from GoodReads):

Once upon a time, Willa Callister was a successful blogger with a good credit score, actual hobbies, and legs that she shaved more than once a month. But after finding her fiancé in bed with her best friend, she now spends her days performing at children’s birthday parties in a ball gown that makes her look like a walking bottle of Pepto Bismol. Willa dreams of starting fresh, where no one knows who she used to be, but first she needs to save up enough money to make it happen.

Maisie Mitchell needs something too: another bridesmaid for her wedding. After a chance encounter at a coffee shop, Maisie offers to pay Willa to be in her bridal party. Willa wants nothing to do with weddings—or Maisie—but the money will give her the freedom to start the new life she so badly desires.

Willa’s bridesmaid duties thrust her into Maisie’s high-energy world and into the path of hotshot doctor Liam Rafferty. But as Willa and Maisie form a real friendship, and Liam’s annoyingly irresistible smile makes her reconsider her mantra that all men are trash, Willa’s exit strategy becomes way more complicated. And when a secret from Maisie’s past threatens to derail the wedding, Willa must consider whether friendship—and romance—are worth sticking around for.

Whatever you have to do to find your way back to yourself, do it.” – Page 317

Lucy on the Wild Side by Kerry Rea was one of my favorite books last year! I was really excited to delve into her debut novel, however, while still enjoyable, this one fell a little flat for me.

What Worked For Me:

Concept: The story and plot as a whole was really intriguing to me. I liked the banter between Willa and Maisie and I enjoyed the concept of Willa being a bridesmaid for hire! The fact that I was so interested in the story as a whole kept me reading.

Characters: While there was a whole cast of characters, I really enjoyed all of them. They were all fleshed out and had their own personality. At no point was I forgetting who was who, each character had their own distinct voice, which I really appreciated.

Writing Style: If there is one thing I love about Kerry Rea’s books, it’s the way that she writes them. I really enjoy her writing style. It’s very conversational and easy to read, which makes you fly through the book.

What Didn’t Work For Me:

Romance: I was honestly a lot more invested in the storyline between Willa and Maisie than the romance between her and Liam. The romance plot line felt as though it was being thrown in as an after thought halfway through the book. It was too insta-lovey for my tastes, and it just did not feel authentic to me.

Repetition: I understand that Willa went through hardships, it is stated in the synopsis, but every chapter, hearing about how she is no longer a writer for her blog, it began to drag on. If I read Willa refer to Maisie as her “boss” one more time, I might have lost it.

Ending: To me, the ending felt way too rushed. There were two third act conflicts on going at the same time, that both occurred wrapped up in the last 20 pages. It was just a little bit too much for me to handle.

Overall, while I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as Lucy on the Wild Side, I was still entertained and motivated to continue due to the intriguing storyline. Debuts can tend to be a hit or a miss, and this one was somewhere in the middle. I am excited to see what Kerry Rea puts out next!

WWW Wednesday – 1/4/2023

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam from Taking on a World of Words!

WWW Wednesday invites you to ask just three simple questions:

  1. What are you reading?
  2. What did you just finish reading?
  3. What will you be reading next?

What are you reading?

I am just over 50% into The Wedding Ringer by Kerry Rea. I am enjoying it so far, but not as much as her recent release, Lucy on the Wild Side. There haven’t been enough interactions with the love interest to really make me feel invested in their relationship.

What did you just finish reading?

The last book I read for 2022, Crazy Stupid Bromance. This book followed Alexis and Noah, and while I enjoyed their friendship, their romance didn’t feel as authentic to me. It was still an enjoyable read nonetheless, and I will definitely be picking up the next book! I’m excited to see Vlad’s relationship, especially since Crazy Stupid Bromance kept hinting at it.

What will you be reading next?

I received an ARC from work of Talia Hibbert’s YA debut, Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute. This book was already on my radar, but since it came out this week I want to try and get to it soon!

That’s it for the first WWW Wednesday of the new year! What are you currently reading?

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Books of 2022

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish which has now found a lovely new home at That Artsy Reader Girl.

It is the first Tuesday of the new year, so it is only fitting that the first Top Ten Tuesday goes to celebrating favorite books of the year!

Coming up with a top 10 list should be easy, but it was actually a lot harder than I expected! Here were my top 10 books of 2022!

All Downhill With You was one of, if not my favorite book of the year! It is such a FUN romance, especially since it takes place in an amusement park! I read the second novel in the series this year, and while enjoyable, it was not up to par as the first one for me. That being said, I am still extremely excited for the third book in the series coming out next month!

Lunar Love was another fantastic romance I read in 2022. It does not release until 2023, next week!!, but I received an e-ARC through Edelweiss last year. It is such a great romance with a strong cast of characters, if you are a romance reader, make sure this romance is on your list of books to read this coming year!

Message Not Found was Dante Medema’s second novel. While I was a little nervous reading this one, since this one was written in prose while her first was written in verse, this still did not disappoint. This was such an important story and an emotional one, while also dealing with a mystery at its core. This book was exceptional. I would read a grocery list written by Dante Medema, that’s how taken I am with her words.

Lucy on the Wild Side was another fun romance! Set in the Colombus Zoo this book follows a zoo keeper and a reality TV host. Their banter is incredible, the story line is incredible, if you’re looking for a light hearted romance read, I highly recommend checking out this one.

Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating was my first Adiba Jaigirdar and it certainly won’t be my last. I absolutely loved Hani and Ishu’s story, especially since it was dual perspective. I ended up reading all of Jaigirdar’s contemporary YA’s this year (received her upcoming one as an e-arc through Edelweiss), and I have to say, Adiba Jaigirdar is definitely an auto buy author for me now.

If you are looking for a book with a strong cast of characters, Wahala is the book for you. When a friendship gets turned upside down due to the introduction of a new member into the friend group, things start to get a little dicey. While it seems a little like a thriller, it doesn’t overtly rely on those themes which makes it perfect for me and my limited fear senses! I highly recommend this one!

I was nervous going into Kiss Her Once for Me because I wasn’t a fan of The Charm Offensive, but I am so glad that I picked this one up! This was another great romance novel and I enjoyed the fact that it was told in alternating timelines. I really grew to love the characters, and I will definitely be picking up another Alison Cochrun novel in the future.

Lease on Love was another fun romance read of 2022 for me! (Are you sensing a pattern?!) I really loved the growth in the main character and the romance between her and the love interest! I was grateful enough to also receive an e-arc of Falon Ballard’s upcoming release for this year and enjoyed that a lot as well. I highly recommend her books!

The Girls I’ve Been was a pivot to what I normally read, as I don’t tend to pick up thrillers, but I think since it was geared to a YA audience, it worked out well for me. I really enjoyed the setting and the atmosphere of the novel. Tess Sharpe’s writing really helped solidify the tense situation the characters were under. Overall, it was a very solid read.

Finally, Undercover Bromance is the second in the Bromance Book Club series and my favorite of the three I’ve read so far. I enjoyed it so much, that it made it onto this list after all! I really enjoyed following the relationship of Mack and Liv. Their storyline was just really enjoyable. While the first and third weren’t standouts for me, they were still enjoyable for me and I will definitely be continuing on with the series.

There you have the first Top Ten Tuesday of the year! This was a really fun post to create, I hope it was just as fun for you to read it! What was your favorite book of last year?

Review: The Tea Dragon Society

Title: The Tea Dragon Society


Author: Katie O’Neill

Illustrator: Katie O’Neill

Date Read: 7/9/2020

Pages: 72

Publication Date: October 31st, 2017

Publisher: Oni Press

Format: e-book, borrowed from Hoopla

Rating: 2 stars – ⭐️⭐️

Synopsis (taken from GoodReads): From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever Aftercomes The Tea Dragon Society, a charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons.

After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives—and eventually her own.

What I Liked About this Book: 

Art Style: The art style and use of color was just absolutely gorgeous. I was floored by the cute, adorable style that O’Neill uses in her drawings.

Concept: I absolutely loved the idea of this graphic novel being both made for younger and older audiences. The idea that a graphic novel can be suited for all ages and not just adults or not just children really intrigued me.

What I Disliked About this Book:

Plot: Or should I say, lack there of. I had read several rave reviews of this graphic novel and it has been on my radar for awhile. While I understand that it is a graphic novel and the art is a main part of it, it should not be the main focus of a graphic novel the entire time. I felt as though there was not much plot within this graphic novel, nor was there a lot of explanation as to some of the events that occurred. For example, there was a flash back sequence that was thrown in the middle. The main focus of it seemed to be the origin story of a romance that was a part of the graphic novel, however the flashback itself didn’t really hold much weight in explaining the romance at all. To me, this story truly held no weight.

Overall, I truly went into this story with high expectations. It had been on my TBR for a while and I knew that many people enjoyed it, so I picked it up as soon I found it on hoopla. However, it just didn’t mesh well with me unfortunately.

Review: The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi

Once in a while, you come across a book that really makes you stop and think about just why you’re a reader in the first place. These are the moments that make you grateful to be able to step out of our world and experience life, briefly, through the eyes of someone else. 

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi is a book full of masterfully crafted language. It is a novel that will make you think, yet also, in the end, cause you to shatter into a million small pieces. There is no denying that The Death of Vivek Oji is full of harsh, grating scenes, yet still has moments of joy sprinkled throughout the pages. The Death of Vivek Oji follows the life of the title character, Vivek Oji, detailing moments of his existence through the eyes of characters that were touched by his presence. It also details events that occur for these characters, such as his cousin, his father, his mother, etc. after his passing.

Akwaeke Emezi is a Nigerian, award winning author who published their first novel in 2018. The Death of Vivek Oji is now Emezi’s third novel, however this is their sophomore adult fiction novel. In between The Death of Vivek Oji and their first novel, Freshwater Emezi also wrote a young adult novel, Pet that was released in 2019. The Death of Vivek Oji also ended up winning Akwaeke Emezi the Audie Award for Literary Fiction and Classics. Emezi writes characters and stories for those that they wish to see. Emezi wishes for others to see themselves in their characters, for they were never able to see themselves in any characters in their life as a trans person. Emezi just wants others to feel seen, to feel as if they are heard, to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and joy can be found. There is not nearly as much representation for trans people out there, and Emezi writing about trans characters as a trans author is so important for today’s media. 

There is this inherent belief that one needs to categorize a book in order for it to be readable, but even discussing what genre Vivek Oji falls under is tricky. There is definitely a love story element to the text, as Vivek ends up finding love in the most unlikely of places. There is also a mystery element to the novel right from the beginning, since we never find out what happened to Vivek and how he died until the very end. There is also an element of history to the novel, due to the fact that it details events in Vivek’s past and also there are elements of Nigerian history sprinkled into the text as well. In the end, it is shelved under literary fiction, but is this really fair when there are so many more elements to the story?

It’s not a spoiler to say that Vivek Oji was doomed from the start. The first sentence of the book is the entire first chapter of the novel, “They burned down the market on the day Vivek Oji died (1).” If it wasn’t evident enough that Vivek passes away, just from the title, the first chapter makes that very clear. The entirety of Vivek’s life is rooted in strife and hardship, making the novel a difficult read at times. In the opening few chapters, Emezi writes about Vivek’s early years through his relationship with his cousin, and also about the few episodes that Vivek begins to have. “There were moments when he would become very, very still, just stop moving while the world continued around him (19).” These would occur several times throughout the novel, considered episodes where Vivek would no longer remember where he is or what to do in any situation. 

While the story is told through the perspectives of characters within Vivek’s life, the reader also gets little vignettes of Vivek’s thoughts from beyond the grave. “I didn’t have the mouth to put into words, to say what was wrong, to change the things I felt I needed to change (38).” These thoughts are relatively vague, never longer than a page, but offer a little bit of insight into Vivek’s mind. This ends up being very helpful towards the end of the novel, when the reader is able to put all the pieces together about what it is that Vivek was going through and what ended up happening to him.

It is moments within these sections of Vivek’s thoughts beyond the grave that truly makes the reader stop and think for a moment. “And every day it was difficult walking around and knowing that people saw me one way, knowing that they were wrong, so completely wrong, that the real me was invisible to them (38).” It calls into question why it is that Vivek says this about himself, why he feels as though he is invisible to everyone, especially considering the story mostly takes place through the eyes of other characters. A large majority of the chapters are told through the eyes of Vivek’s parents and their struggle to cope with the death of their son. Their views are skewed, since they are blinded by their immense grief. It makes the reader stop to think about just how reliable these narrators and characters are. How are they telling Vivek’s story when they don’t even know Vivek for who he truly is?

While the life of Vivek was not necessarily beautiful, the masterfully crafted prose and language that Emezi uses within the story is exquisite. “Perhaps he was right and it was a birth of sorts, but Chika had forgotten that births come with blood, and in the case of his son, they came with loss as well, birthdays and deathdays all tangled up in each other (92).” While this is a very dark line, there is a sense of gracefulness, due to the beauty within the prose. Emezi has a way of cutting away parts of the aggression and hardship through the use of their beautiful word choice.

The Death of Vivek Oji by Akwaeke Emezi is the kind of book you should read if you are looking to think and have your heart broken. Now this doesn’t seem like the kind of response anyone is looking for, but the way this book will break you is in a way that will live with you forever. There is no forgetting Vivek Oji and the short life that he was able to live. There are so many interconnecting details that don’t seem necessary right away, but in the last thirty pages of the novel, they all come together in a way that is mind blowing. The twists and turns that Emezi throws in the ending of the novel make for the perfect storm to call a finale. This novel tackles several topics within it without ever feeling too heavy or that it can’t handle it all within the page limit. Needless to say, Vivek Oji is a character that will be staying with me for a while. “I was born and I died. I will come back. Somewhere in the river of time, I am already alive (245).”

October Anticipated Releases

Another month, another huge month for releases! While this month has been super hectic for me school wise and work wise, that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been books on my radar! Below are the books I am most looking forward to coming out this month!

October 6th

October 13th

October 20th

October 27th

These are the books that I am excited for this October! Are any of them on your list? Let me know down in the comments below!

As always, happy reading! 🙂