🌞The Sunday Post: 2/28/2021

Happy Sunday, everyone!
I am really not sure why, but I keep thinking today is Monday. 😂 My brain is rushing the weekend! I suppose it is way better to wake up on a Sunday, thinking it is Monday rather than the other way around. 😬 Anyway, how is your weekend? Mine has been pretty good. Saturday was mostly filled with errands and cleaning. Today, it is very rainy! I don’t think I need to go anywhere today so I am mostly just going to go work on updating my blog pages, drafting posts, do some reading, and I have to do some work related stuff before Monday. It will be nice to work and listen to the pitter patter of the rain! Anyone else like listening to the rain?

Also, February is already (pretty much) over?! I can’t believe today is the last day in February but I also feel like I am ready for March 😂 Time is just flying by… I remember this time last year when I was in my last semester of college. I was taking Microbiology + Lab, Human Anatomy/Cadaver Lab, History: Britain and World War II (I was in the midst of writing a 20 page paper on the medicine in the industrial workplace in WWII), Adaptive Animal Physiology (we were allowed a specific area of study so I was researching the physiology behind hibernation in ground squirrels, which are really cute and furry little animals) and senior research (was writing my senior thesis on Reactive Oxygen Species and their role in heart failure). It was a stressful and very busy time but I loved every minute of it!

-End of nostalgic rant 😂-

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @CaffeinatedReviewer. It is a way to share bloggish news, recap the week and highlight what is to come up on the blog! See here for more details.

This week, the trailer for Shadow and Bone came out! While I have not yet read Shadow and Bone, the trailer looked really good. I may have screamed with excitement when I saw Kaz, Inej, and Jasper😍 😂 For anyone who missed the trailer, I have included it below:

Currently Reading
The Stand by Stephen King
The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black
Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly

Book(s) I Finished this Week
The Wicked King by Holly Black

🎥Movies I watched this week:
Ocean’s 11
Ocean’s 12
Ocean’s 13

Recent Posts
🎵Monday Music Match Up: Vampire Academy series🩸
📚Top Ten Tuesday: Books that Made Me LOL
💭Book Review: Crooked Kingdom
🧐Flashback Friday: Oldie Paranormal Romance Books🔮

Upcoming Posts
🎵Monday Music Match Up: The Folk of Air trilogy
📚Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Whose Job I Wish I Had 
–hosted by Jana @ThatArtsyReaderGirl
WWW❓ Wednesday/Can’t Wait Wednesday
–WWW Wed hosted by Sam @TakingOnaWorldofWords
–CWW hosted by Tressa @WishfulEndings
🧐Flashback Friday: Old Dystopian Novels
-hosted here at HerBookishDesires

In the Works
February Wrap Up
Book Review: A Court of Silver Flames

How was your week? What books did you read this week? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to leave a link to your Sunday post in the comments so I don’t miss it! 🥰

-Maya🌹

🧐Flashback Friday: Oldie Paranormal Romance Books🔮

Happy Friday, everyone!
I am definitely ready for the weekend. 😂 How was your week? Overall, mine was pretty good. There were some hiccups but when I look at the grand scheme of things, everything went pretty well. The weather was much improved. We got up to 60 degrees F, but I was already whipping out my shorts at 50 😂 It felt like summer! I was so grateful for that warmth of the sun. Today, it is back to cloudy and a bit chilly (28 degrees F) but those moments of sunshine and “summer” warmth were amazing so it is worth it.

Flashback Friday is a weekly meme hosted here at HerBookishDesires that highlights oldie (but goodie) novels with the goal of bringing them back into the spotlight. It is my hope that, through this meme, we will discover – and rediscover – oldie but goodie novels together! Each week there is a new topic, which can be found at the information page here. Today’s topic is paranormal romance books. I also included plain paranormal in here because I just loved the series too much to omit it 😂 As always, I encourage you to get creative with the topics!

🔮Oldie Paranormal Romance Books🔮

🔮Paranormal:

The Body Finder (The Body Finder, #1)

Published: 2010

Violet Ambrose is grappling with two major issues: Jay Heaton and her morbid secret ability. While the sixteen-year-old is confused by her new feelings for her best friend since childhood, she is more disturbed by her “power” to sense dead bodies—or at least those that have been murdered. Since she was a little girl, she has felt the echoes that the dead leave behind in the world… and the imprints that attach to their killers.

Violet has never considered her strange talent to be a gift; it mostly just led her to find the dead birds her cat left for her. But now that a serial killer is terrorizing her small town, and the echoes of the local girls he’s claimed haunt her daily, she realizes she might be the only person who can stop him.

Despite his fierce protectiveness over her, Jay reluctantly agrees to help Violet on her quest to find the murderer—and Violet is unnerved by her hope that Jay’s intentions are much more than friendly. But even as she’s falling intensely in love, Violet is getting closer and closer to discovering a killer… and becoming his prey herself.

-I loved this series! If you like mystery with some paranormal/romance/fantasy action mixed in, you will love this series!! I highly recommend it.

❤️🔮Paranormal romance:

Evermore (The Immortals, #1)

Published : 2009

After a horrible accident claims the lives of her family, sixteen-year-old Ever Bloom can see people’s auras, hear their thoughts, and know someone’s entire life story by touching them. Going out of her way to avoid human contact to suppress her abilities, she has been branded a freak at her new high school—but everything changes when she meets Damen Auguste.

Damen is gorgeous, exotic and wealthy. He’s the only one who can silence the noise and random energy in her head—wielding a magic so intense, it’s as though he can peer straight into her soul. As Ever is drawn deeper into his enticing world of secrets and mystery, she’s left with more questions than answers. And she has no idea just who he really is—or what he is. The only thing she knows to be true is that she’s falling deeply and helplessly in love with him

-I read Evermore soooo many years ago. I would love to give the books a re-read one of these days. I also love the cover of Evermore! Tulips are my favorite flowers (as well as roses) so I always love seeing them on book covers.

Forbidden (Forbidden #1)

Published: 2012

When Claire Brennan begins to get psychic visions and mysterious warnings that she’s in danger at the start of her junior year, she isn’t sure what to think. But the truth is stranger than anything she could have imagined.

Alec MacKenzie has fled his duties as a Watcher angel and come to L.A. in search of normalcy. He never dreamed he would find a half-angel at his school, or that he would fall in love with her.

-I really enjoyed this book when I read it! I have been waiting for the sequel for literal years. They finally came out with the second book in 2018 (6 years later!!!) but I am not sure if I really want to read it because who knows how long it will take for the next book 😂 I don’t want to deal with the cliffhanger hangover for that long again!

What are some of your favorite paranormal/paranormal romance books? Let me know in the comments below!

-Maya🌹

📚Book Review: Crooked Kingdom

Hiya everyone!
I hope you are all doing well and having a lovely week so far. I have been having quite the week! I had a few shifts added on last minute. I was also not supposed to work Wednesday, but was called in last minute! (which is fine because I like working) So what I am trying to say is that is why I was not able to post yesterday. Which is totally fine because I am still reading The Stand and The Wicked King. 😂 I am making progress though!!

So today I have a book review for you! I buddy read Crooked Kingdom with Hayden @FollowingGoodBooks. The two of us had a lot to say about CK! 😂 Hayden recently posted a book review of Crooked Kingdom. Hayden’s review was wonderful and I highly recommend giving it a read. You can find Hayden’s blog/review @FollowingGoodBooks.

Note: For the most part this review is spoiler free, however, there is a spoiler section so just be sure to skip that section if you haven’t read the book/don’t want to have anything spoiled. Also, this review contains quotes from the book. They are not spoilery but just wanted to let you know in case you would prefer to skip over them.

Book: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Published: 2016

When reading the duology, I listened to Dark Harbor by Two Steps from Hell. I have included the music below for you to enjoy while you read the book review if you feel so inclined. 🙂

Synopsis (from Goodreads)
Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.

Crooked Kingdom, Leigh Bardugo

My Thoughts – Non spoilery
Overall, I really enjoyed the book! I was a little hesitant to read Crooked Kingdom after loving Six of Crows so much and I was worried that maybe the tricks and cunning plans would not be as good. However, I thought that Leigh Bardugo did an amazing job with the plot and she really took the scheming and games to a whole new level. There were brilliant twists and turns to the story and I loved every one of those! The plot was not bland… the story had me on the edge of my seat… a lot 😂

“Sometimes,” said Kaz, “a proper thief doesn’t just take. He leaves something behind.”

Character Development
I am mainly talking about Kaz because he was the character that I felt had the most character development throughout the books.
Kaz: As the reader, you get a lot more insight into the deep, dark mind of Kaz Brekker’s and learn more about him not as the notorious Dirtyhands but as Kaz (the human)- if that makes sense. It really gave his character more dimension and made him more relatable. You get more of the side that he tends to hide. However, I found his character frustrating at times because of the way he shut the others out even though you know that he cares or when he would do something halfway decent and deny that it was because there is good in him. Besides that, I loved how the reader did not get all the insight into Kaz’s scheming at times. There were quite a few surprises that had me like😱 Side note: I wish we had gotten to Kaz’ POV sooner in the book. It was quite a few chapters in the book before we got to him. Yeah, that is small and picky but I really love reading from his POV.

My Thoughts – Spoilery – Please skip this section if you do not wish to read spoilers
I felt that the ending was underwhelming, specifically between Kaz and Inej. After I read Six of Crows, I was really hoping that we would get more of the two of them together. Throughout Crooked Kingdom, there are small moments between Kaz and Inej – I would say that they are more significant than some moments in Six of Crows – but the ending… just missed that “oomph” for me. I get why the ending was just them holding hands (because of Kaz’s trauma and all) but I also felt that Bardugo could have written it in a way that gave the reader more closure and made the feelings between Kaz and Inej more significant, more real. Also Matthias’ death felt extremely unnecessary. It honestly felt like “oh because things are going so well for the crew, something bad needs to happen, someone needs to die” – that sort of thing.

Themes/Takeaways

But if you couldn’t open a door, you just had to make a new one.

Perseverance/Making a new way. I loved the way the author conveyed the idea that when one way doesn’t work, you make a new way. It was an inspiring message!

When you can’t beat the odds, change the game.

Final Thoughts
Overall, Crooked Kingdom was a fast paced, brilliant read with twists and turns at every corner. While the ending felt a bit underwhelming, I still enjoyed the book overall! Underwhelming ending or no, Leigh Bardugo wrote a riveting story and I am really looking forward to the Netflix series Shadow and Bone, which combines the storylines of the Shadow and Bone series with Six of Crows.

Rating
3.75 stars (but still a book to be desired!)

I hope you all enjoyed this review! I apologize that it took me forever to write it. 😂. Catch up with you all tomorrow for Flashback Friday. 😊

-Maya🌹

📚Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud😂

Happy Top Ten Tuesday, my friends!😊
I apologize for posting so late in the day. Today has been a really crazy day as I ended up picking up a second shift for work!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ThatArtsyReaderGirl. Each week there is a new topic for which we post 10 items. See here for more details about TTT! Today’s topic is: Books that made me laugh out loud.

Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud


I know I did not quite get to 10… I kept blanking honestly 😂 What are some books that made you laugh out loud? Let me know in the comments below. Be sure to link your TTT below so I don’t miss it!

-Maya🌹

🎵+📖Monday’s Music Match Up: Vampire Academy Series🩸

Good morning, everyone!
It is Monday, yet again… which means back to work, but it also means that it is … Monday’s Music Match up!! 😊 Monday Music Match Up is a weekly feature here at HerBookishDesires that highlights music that I have listened to, or “matched,” to specific book or set of books.

Today, I will be showing you the music I used for the Vampire Academy series. Although I have only finished the first two books in the series, I figured it would still be fun to share the music I listen to when I read the book. I am hoping to pick up Shadow Kiss here soon! Have you read the Vampire Academy series?

For VA series, I used the song “Black Thunder” by Elephant Music. Please, feel free to give it a listen; I have provided the song below!

Here is some art that I found for the series. Note, I do not take any credit for the art below and have provided you with the links where I found the art in the case that I do not know the artist’s name.

I chose “Black Thunder” because it gives off “on the run” vibes (which is how the first book begins) provides a darkish atmosphere (drama at the Academy, evil Strigoi hunting the Moroi and Dhampirs), and is fast paced (which is perfect for the action scenes in the book). What did you think about the music? What was your favorite piece of fan art? Let me know in the comments below.

-Maya🌹

🌞The Sunday Post: 2/21/2021

Hello everyone!🥰
How was your week? My work week ended up being a pretty short one in terms of work due to the snow! Because of that, I had a lot of time to read. Can’t get any better than that for a bookworm!📖

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @CaffeinatedReviewer. It is a post “to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.” – CaffeinatedReviewer. For the rules and more information, see the meme info page here.

📚Book(s) Finished this Week
A Court of Frost and Starlight by SJM
A Court of Silver Flames by SJM
** Guys. I loved, loved, loved ACOSF. I finished it in 2 days. 😂 I really hope SJM writes more of these books! I would love for the others to have their own book. Especially Az and Mor. I think I am going to do a book review on it. However, when I really love books, it is so hard for me to properly articulate my thoughts about the book. But might as well try!

📖Currently Reading
The Stand by Stephen King
**I did not make my last goal of reaching chapter 15. 😂 But you probably already knew that since I put the book off to read ACOSF (which was totally worth it). I also think that because the book is a pandemic, I just don’t want to get anxiety about a fictional pandemic seeing as we are currently experiencing one. 😂 I know it is weird but 🤷🏽‍♀️ Anyway, this week is the week that I will make a significant dent in the book.
The Wicked King by Holly Black
Rediscover Jesus by Matthew Kelly
**I try and read this every Lent. It helps me set time aside for reflection and prayer, otherwise I tend to push it off. (And then I pray in my bed and fall asleep in the middle of my prayers 😂)

📋Recent Posts
Monday’s Music Match Up: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Top Ten Tuesday: Mardi Gras
WWW Wednesday
Re-Read Book Tag
Flashback Friday: Novels I Wish I Could Read for the First Time

📋Upcoming Posts
Monday’s Music Match Up
(weekly feature here at HerBookishDesires that showcases songs I have “matched” or listened to while reading a specific book)
Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud
(weekly meme hosted by Jana @ThatArtsyReaderGirl)
Book Review: Crooked Kingdom
**I know… it has taken me forever to write this. I may have procrastinated a bit. Then I forgot I had to write it… 😂 BUT it is going to be posted this week, on Thursday. Promise.
Flashback Friday: Oldie but Goodie Paranormal Romance Novels
(weekly meme here at HerBookishDesires that highlights old novels. See info page here for topics and more details!)

🎥Movies/TV Shows Watched this Week
Beauty and the Beast – animated version
Beauty and the Beast – live action version
(I really love Beauty and the Beast and I was really feeling those movies this week, ok)
The Originals

⌨️Writing Updates
I started brainstorming ideas for a novel earlier in the year and I finally picked it back up and got a little more serious about it this week. I am trying to be more organized and just going about writing this differently than the last one. I actually might incorporate ideas from the last book I wrote into this one but we will see! It is just fun to play around, imagine and write.

I hope you all have lovely Sunday filled with peace, relaxation, and books!🥰

-Maya🌹

🧐Flashback Friday: Novels I Wish I Could Read for the First Time

Happy Friday bookworms!!
I apologize for posting this a pit later than usual. It has been a pretty busy day and I didn’t get around to posting it this morning. I really should have just set the timer so it would automatically post. Hindsight is 20/20 I suppose 😂

Flashback Friday is a weekly meme hosted here at HerBookishDesires that showcases oldie but goodie novels with the goal of bringing them back into the spotlight. It is my hope that, through this meme, we will discover – and rediscover – oldie but goodie novels together! Each week, there is a new topic. You can find the meme info and the schedule here. Anyone can participate! It truly makes me so happy to read your Flashback Friday posts.

This week’s topic is Novels I Wish I Could Read for the First Time. I chose this topic because I have re-read a lot of my favorite books and every time I read them, I think to myself “if only I could read this book for the first time.” There really is nothing like reading a novel for the first time. However, re-reading a novel is also a wonderful experience in its own right as it is like returning to your friends, to home.

Novels I Wish I Could Read for the First Time

Published: 2013

I absolutely adored this series. I thought it was so cool that it involved the Macrae clan, the Macrae castle (also known as the Eilean Donan) because my step dad is a Macrae!! This series got me really interested in Scottish culture and history. Man, it has been a while since I read it… I read it about 5-6 years ago! Just thinking of how good this series was has me wanting to re-read it right now 😂 Since it has been so long since I initially read the books, it might be close to reading it for the first time 😂 Have you read Doon?

Published 2008

If you like paranormal romance (pixies) with some romance, this series is for you! I have re-read this series a few times now.

The Hourglass Door (Hourglass Door, #1)

Published: 2009

This is one of my favorite books that I read as a youngin’ (as my mom would say) 😂 I think I have re-read this series quite a few times and so it is definitely one that I wish I could just read for the first time. The story has a little historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, and romance.

What are some books that you wish you could read for the first time? Let me know in the comments below!

-Maya🌹

📚The ReRead Book Tag📚

Happy Thursday, all! 😊
We are only one more sleep until Friday… yay! While this week was not terrible, I am always happy for it to be the weekend 😂 Today’s post is the Re-Read Book Tag. The Re-Read Book Tag was created by Brianna @Briann’sBooksandRandomness and I was tagged by the wonderful V @TheSassyLibrary Fox. Thank you, V, for nominating me to participate; I am so excited to do this tag!


Rules:

The ending gets me every time😭

I tried to read this twice and both times I was just not really in the mood for this type of book… I would really like to give it another chance, though!

I can’t think of one! 😬😬😬

I loved it when I read it in high school and that feels like ages ago and I would love to read it again

Jennifer Armentrout or Sarah J Maas!

I am going to change this to “series you want to read for an adaptation” because I really want to read Shadow and Bone since it is going to be a Netflix TV show (I think it premiers in April!). Since I just finished Six of Crows, I don’t think I would need to re-read it for the adaptation (the TV show has combined the plots of Shadow and Bone and Six of Crows).

I am sort of cheating with this because I once listened to the audiobook as a friend of mine was listening to it in the car as we were on a roadtrip. I am not a huge fan of audiobooks. It wasn’t a bad experience but I just prefer reading and holding the physical copy!

Thank you so much for the tag, V! I had a lot of fun! 😊

I nominate:

Hayden @FollowingGoodsBooks
Evelyn @EvelynReads
Leslie @BooksAreTheNewBlack
@AnyoneElseWhoWantsToDoTheTag!

As always, you do not have to participate in the tag, but I would definitely love to read your answers!😊

-Maya🌹

WWW❓Wednesday: 2/17/2021

Good morning, my friends!😊
Happy Wednesday. We are halfway through the week! How is your week going so far? Hopefully, it is going pretty well!🥰

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @TakingOnAWorldOfWords where we answer three questions all of which being with the letter W:
What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading:
A Court of Silver Flames by SJM (Progress: 217 pages in)

I had quite the time acquiring my copy of ACOSF yesterday! Snowy roads, getting to B&N at 9:30 and the store not opening up until 12pm due to the weather… driving to the nearest Target to get the book… and one of the employees there had to search through their shipment boxes for me because they had not yet unloaded them! I am so so grateful that she took the time to look through those boxes and find the book for me. I thanked her a lot and I think she was baffled at how much I was thanking her over a book 😂 but she easily could have turned me away and said “come back later when the boxes are unpacked” but, instead she searched through God only knows how many boxes and, in the very last box she checked, she found it! So she deserved many thanks. 🥰

Recently finished reading:
A Court of Wings and Ruin by SJM


A Court of Frost and Starlight by SJM

Reading next:
The Stand (I have paused reading it for right now but I might pick it up every now and then as I read ACOSF, we will see!)

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

-Maya🌹

📚Top Ten Tuesday: Mardi Gras

Happy Tuesday, everyone!
It is looking pretty snowy here today! Despite the snow, I still managed to get to the store and secure my copy of A Court of Silver Flames, which was released today! It was a bit of an adventure not only because the roads were quite snowy (the roads were not terrible but they certainly weren’t the best) but also because Barnes and Noble wasn’t supposed to open until 12pm due to the inclement weather. I got there at 9:30am (I know, it was a bit early but I was excited okay 😂) as they usually open at 10am. Luckily I checked the store hours posted on their door or else I would have been sitting there (in the car) for nothing (because I have work). I promptly made my way over to Target and secured my copy there, thankfully! And thankfully today is another late start day for work. Anyway, I am soooo excited to read ACOSF! 🥰😍😁 If you are reading it, were you able to get your copy?!

Today’s post is Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ThatArtsyReaderGirl. “It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together” -Jana. Each week, there is a new topic and this week’s topic is in the spirit of Mardi Gras: Purple, Yellow, and/or Green Book Covers!

The Hand on The Wall by Maureen Johnson CR: HarperCollins Children’s Publishing
The Unhoneymooners
Meet Cute
Tales From the Hinterland (The Hazel Wood, #2.5)
The Bone Witch (The Bone Witch, #1)
Awaken (Abandon, #3)

Do you celebrate Mardi Gras? I have never celebrated before but I think it would be fun to partake in the festivities one year. What are your favorite books with purple, yellow or green covers? Have you read any of the ones I’ve listed above? Let me know in the comments below!

-Maya🌹