#24in48 Readathon TBR

untitledYes, friends, it’s that time.

24 in 48. What’s that mean?

Taken from their website: Beginning at 12:01am on Saturday morning and running through 11:59pm on Sunday night, readers read for 24 hours out of that 48 hour period. You can split that up however you’d like: 20 hours on Saturday, 4 hours on Sunday; 12 hours each day; six 4 hour sessions with 4 hour breaks in between; whatever you’d like.

As I said when I participated in July, this one just feels much more manageable to me. While I would love to participate in the 24 hour readathons… I’m old and I need to sleep. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I stayed awake for a full 24 hours (ah, to be in my late teens and early 20s again… ew, no thanks) but I just can’t do that now. 24 hours of reading in 48 hours, though? I have a better shot at that.

This round is January 27-28. You can check out their website (linked above) for all the deets, explanations, and sign ups.

As for my TBR…

Let’s be real here. I’m terrible at TBRs. That’s why I don’t do them anymore. I just can’t correctly guess what I’ll be in the mood for weeks in advance.

But here’s what I might get to.

27190613AND I DARKEN by Kiersten White.

I am currently reading this one so I might have it finished before #24in48 starts, but if I don’t, I will definitely be finishing this one.

From Goodreads: No one expects a princess to be brutal. And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.


15944406DOLL BONES by Holly Black.

This is another one I have already started. Once I finish AND I DARKEN, this will be my next read.

From Goodreads: Zach, Poppy and Alice have been friends for ever. They love playing with their action figure toys, imagining a magical world of adventure and heroism. But disaster strikes when, without warning, Zach’s father throws out all his toys, declaring he’s too old for them. Zach is furious, confused and embarrassed, deciding that the only way to cope is to stop playing . . . and stop being friends with Poppy and Alice.

But one night the girls pay Zach a visit, and tell him about a series of mysterious occurrences. Poppy swears that she is now being haunted by a china doll – who claims that it is made from the ground-up bones of a murdered girl. They must return the doll to where the girl lived, and bury it. Otherwise the three children will be cursed for eternity . . .  



THE BORROWERS by Mary Norton.

This is definitely an overdue reread! I found a copy of this last year for $.10 and it catapulted by need to reread my favorite childhood books.

From Goodreads: Beneath the kitchen floor is the world of the Borrowers — Pod and Homily Clock and their daughter, Arrietty. In their tiny home, matchboxes double as roomy dressers and postage stamps hang on the walls like paintings. Whatever the Clocks need they simply “borrow” from the “human beans” who live above them. It’s a comfortable life, but boring if you’re a kid. Only Pod is allowed to venture into the house above, because the danger of being seen by a human is too great. Borrowers who are seen by humans are never seen again. Yet Arrietty won’t listen. There is a human boy up there, and Arrietty is desperate for a friend.


259068SHUG by Jenny Han.

I had no idea Jenny Han had any middle grade books until I found this one at a library sale. This sounds adorable (and awkward) and I’m here for it!

From Goodreads: Annemarie Wilcox, or Shug as her family calls her, is beginning to think there’s nothing worse than being twelve. She’s too tall, too freckled, and way too flat-chested. Shug is sure that there’s not one good or amazing thing about her. And now she has to start junior high, where the friends she counts most dear aren’t acting so dear anymore — especially Mark, the boy she’s known her whole life through. Life is growing up all around her, and all Shug wants is for things to be like they used to be. How is a person supposed to prepare for what happens tomorrow when there’s just no figuring out today?


And that’s my very tentative TBR!

Are you participating? If so what, are you planning to read? And if not, tell me your weekend reading plans!



Author: Ashley Herring Blake
Publisher: HMH
Date Published: May 15, 2018
Format: Paperback
Pages: 304
ARC?: Yes, provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
TW/CW: Rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse of a child by an adult, victim blaming
Rating: 5/5

FROM GOODREADS: Mara and Owen are as close as twins can get, so when Mara’s friend Hannah accuses Owen of rape, Mara doesn’t know what to think. Can her brother really be guilty of such a violent act? Torn between her family and her sense of right and wrong, Mara feels lost, and it doesn’t help that things are strained with her ex-girlfriend, Charlie. As Mara, Hannah, and Charlie come together in the aftermath of this terrible crime, Mara must face a trauma from her own past and decide where Charlie fits into her future. With sensitivity and openness, this timely novel confronts the difficult questions surrounding consent, victim blaming, and sexual assault.

This book was a hard pill to swallow.

Beautiful, yes. Timely and well written, yes. Still, it’s never easy to take such a close, hard look at victim blaming, consent, the withdrawal of consent, and rape.

After a party, Mara’s twin brother Owen is accused of raping his girlfriend. No one can believe that Owen would do this- not his parents (who staunchly defend him), not his friends at school, and especially not Mara. But after her initial protectiveness wears off, Mara starts to see the holes in Owen’s story.

Hannah, Owen’s victim, is subjected to all manner of horrible treatment at school when she returns. In fact, the only people who seem to believe her are her parents and a core group of her friends… Mara included.

I don’t want to give too much of the story away as this is definitely something everyone needs to read. This book takes a good look at what it’s like to suffer in silence after a sexual assault, the things rape victims go through when trying to seek justice, and how it feels to love someone while knowing they did an awful thing. There are no easy answers in this book. Owen remains Owen and I think that’s an important part of this book- not every offender is going to come off as the creepy guy in the van or the violent, abusive boyfriend.

I sincerely recommend this book to everyone.

You can preorder here.



35721258Title: TIME BOMB
Author: Joelle Charbonneau
Publisher: HMH
Date published: 3/13/18
Format: paperback
Pages: 352
ARC?: Yes, provided by HMH in exchange for a honest review.
Genre: YA Contemporary/ suspense
TW/CW: Death, blood, injury, talks of self-harm and suicide, death of a parent, Islamophobia, internalized fatphobia.
Rep: Pakistani- American, biracial, Queer, poverty.
Rating: 2/5

GOODREADS SYNOPSIS: A congressman’s daughter who has to be perfect. A star quarterback with a secret. A guy who’s tired of being ignored. A clarinet player who’s done trying to fit in. An orphaned rebel who wants to teach someone a lesson. A guy who wants people to see him, not his religion.

They couldn’t be more different, but before the morning’s over, they’ll all be trapped in a school that’s been rocked by a bombing. When they hear that someone inside is the bomber, they’ll also be looking to one another for answers.

TIME BOMB, I wanted to love you.

This wasn’t a book I was really intending to read. While I like thrillers, suspenseful YA, and people trapped in contained situations, I’m not overly fond of books that focus on school shootings and bombings. I think this comes from being a young child during the Columbine shooting and then living through the mass hysteria and prank school shooting/bombing calls that followed. After seeing several reviews that praised this book, I decided that I would probably try it once it came out… because I still wasn’t interested in it enough to request a review copy. Then I got a DM asking if I had read the book or if I would review the book because the reviewer had read it and found certain elements of the book really disturbing. I requested a copy and the reviewer who originally DMed didn’t tell me what they found troubling/problematic so that I would be able to go into this book completely unbiased.

Just to clear the air, this isn’t a bad book. If you’re not familiar with thrillers, this would be a great start. If you are a thriller reader… you’ll figure out who the bomber is pretty quick and it sort of kills the rest of the story. Even then, I would have given the book 3 stars.

But the microaggressions. Holy microaggressions.

I’ve already tweeted about this, so I’m just to put my tweets here:

  • Within the first 30 pages or so, our Muslim character, Rashid, talks about how his beard “others” him from his classmates… which is vaguely absurd. I knew lots of boys in high school who had full beards. It’s not uncommon.
  • There was a line where he worries about his little sister starting high school because she wears a hijab, but he says she likes wearing it because it draws attention to her. I talked to a few hijabi friends who were horrified that a white writer would make that assessment.
  • Of course, when the bombs go off, Rashid is the first person blamed and while the others generally catch the blame once throughout the book, Rashid is accused more than anyone else. (EDIT: I understand that the writer was trying to convey this is how it would be in real life, but it came off very poorly… especially since this was supposed to be speculative and “who done it” but only focused on one character)
  • Rashid also shaves his beard at school, something that he says is against his religion (and he is devout), in order to “fit in”.
  • Tad is our biracial gay character. When describing himself, he says he’s is “not black and not white” and the book talks a lot about how he’s “not quite black, not quite white”. I think this could have worked if written by a biracial person who actually+ (2nd tweet) +understands what it’s like being biracial. The way it’s presented is very dramatic and very “Who am I?” which is a trope assigned to us by non-biracial people. (EDIT: I had someone argue the point that many biracial people feel that they are neither one race or another, and that is true and valid but not the point I was trying to make. My point was that a white author is using someone’s race to other them and in the context of this story, it doesn’t make sense since Tad is popular and well-liked.)
  • Tad also hooks up with his football captain over the summer. It’s alluded to in the text that Tad filmed this and was going to use it to blackmail Frankie when Frankie stops talking to him. (EDIT: This bothered me a lot. Not only did he violate Frankie’s privacy, he was also planning to use the violation to further stalk Frankie and *force* him into a relationship he clearly did not want.)
  • And Frankie has a nice inner monologue where he says he’s “not going down the same path as Tad” because, as we all know, Queerness is a decision. (EDIT: And this is never dealt with in text.)
  • Frankie also plays into the hypersexual, flighty bisexual because he hooks up with lots of people and likes to “push the envelope” (which is how he explains his hook-up with Tad).
  • Cas is our depressed fat character and after she tries to kill herself at school (she’s stopped when the bomb goes off), she gets stuck in a doorway and laments that her smaller classmates squeezed right through.
  • Because, you know, fat people would definitely be thinking about how big their thighs look when trying to escape a bombed building, ok.
  • Moving back to Rashid, I find it interesting that he says he couldn’t find much empathy when he was in Pakistan and visiting places where his family and friends had died… but he does with a bunch of strangers who constantly harassed him. (EDIT: This enforces the whole “I just want to be NORMAL” trope.)
  • This book was filled with tropes. And not good ones. Again, I think some dedicated SRs would have helped this book out a lot.

In the end, I can’t recommend this book.

Reviews · Uncategorized


29540876.jpgTitle: WINTERHOUSE
Author: Ben Guterson
Publisher: Henry Holt
Date Published: 01/02/2018
Format: Hardback
Pages: 384
ARC?: No
Genre: Middle Grade- Paranormal
TW/CW: Witchcraft, characters coming back from the dead, child neglect
Rep: Orphans, broken families.
Rating: 3/5

Goodreads synopsis: Orphan Elizabeth Somers’s malevolent aunt and uncle ship her off to the ominous Winterhouse Hotel, owned by the peculiar Norbridge Falls. Upon arrival, Elizabeth quickly discovers that Winterhouse has many charms―most notably its massive library. It’s not long before she locates a magical book of puzzles that will unlock a mystery involving Norbridge and his sinister family. But the deeper she delves into the hotel’s secrets, the more Elizabeth starts to realize that she is somehow connected to Winterhouse. As fate would have it, Elizabeth is the only person who can break the hotel’s curse and solve the mystery. But will it be at the cost of losing the people she has come to care for, and even Winterhouse itself?

I went into this with high expectations and honestly, I feel a little let down.

First, the cover is beautiful. Let me just get that out of the way. Yes, this was a TOTAL cover buy. I knew I wanted it before I even read the synopsis. But then I read the synopsis and I thought… yeah, this is going to be excellent.

And it was.


I loved the characters. Elizabeth is a relatable heroine to any book nerd who has felt like they don’t belong. She’s also a sad figure, almost cut from the same cloth as my beloved Anne Shirley, as an orphan who has faced uncertain living conditions with her aunt and uncle who seem to think she’s more of a stray animal that hangs around that a niece who deserves to be taken care of. While the story certainly does hint that there is a reason why Elizabeth’s aunt is so cold towards her, we don’t get that story in this one (this is to be a trilogy, if I’ve understood right). As the story progresses, we meet more characters, all of them living or staying at Winterhouse which is where the bulk of our story takes place. Guterson has a way with characters and even the ones we’re supposed to hate have a sort of charm about them that made me care for their plotlines as well.

It was the pacing that lost me. I felt like there were huge chunks where nothing at all happened except average every day stuff that didn’t progress the story as much as it just made the book thicker. I read this one with my 10 year old goddaughter and a hundred pages in, she was ready to call it quits because nothing had happened. Sadly, nothing really does happen until the end of the book.

The book would have benefitted in having a subplot, honestly. I will be reading the second book, though, to see how the story progresses and how Guterson grows as an author… there’s so much potential there!

If a slower paced book doesn’t bother you, this might be the perfect winter mystery for you!

IMG_20170812_181234aBen Guterson was a high school and middle school teacher in New Mexico and Colorado for a decade before working for several years at Microsoft as a program manager. He and his family live near Seattle in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains.

You can check out his website here.



29918993.jpgTitle: A DASH OF TROUBLE (LOVE SUGAR MAGIC #1)
Author: Anna Meriano
Publisher: Walden Pond Press
Pages: 320
Date published: 01/02/2018
ARC?: No.
Format: eBook
Rep: Latinx, single parent households (side characters).
Rating: 5/5

Goodreads synopsis: Leonora Logroño’s family owns the most beloved bakery in Rose Hill, Texas, spending their days conjuring delicious cookies and cakes for any occasion. And no occasion is more important than the annual Dia de los Muertos festival.

Leo hopes that this might be the year that she gets to help prepare for the big celebration—but, once again, she is told she’s too young. Sneaking out of school and down to the bakery, she discovers that her mother, aunt, and four older sisters have in fact been keeping a big secret: they’re brujas—witches of Mexican ancestry—who pour a little bit of sweet magic into everything that they bake.

Leo knows that she has magical ability as well and is more determined than ever to join the family business—even if she can’t let her mama and hermanas know about it yet.

And when her best friend, Caroline, has a problem that needs solving, Leo has the perfect opportunity to try out her craft. It’s just one little spell, after all…what could possibly go wrong?

I knew my first five star read of 2018 would be a middle grade, and I kind of had a feeling it would be this book.

And I was right.

Our book follows Leo, the youngest of five sisters, as she tries to find her place among her older sisters and prove she’s not just the baby of the family. I really enjoyed the family bonds and how real the family felt. I loved, loved, loved Marisol (the rebel of the family) and her gruffness with Leo but how her love for her little sister still came through.

This book also explores friendships and how their are some things that just don’t need to be meddled with- especially when it comes to other people’s feelings and emotions. I don’t want to get to into the plot (since the best part of the story is the little twists), but this is a great book to teach kids that sometimes you have to stop and ask for help when you make a mistake instead of pressing forward and possibly making things worse (as Leo does several times).

It was also nice to see that Leo was conscious that what she was doing (with the sneaking, stealing, and lying) was wrong and felt bad for actions and was willing to atone for it when she was caught.

And hello Halloween vibes! The majority of our story takes place on Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, and it launched me into some serious Halloween feelings (I made Halloween treats after reading this). This is going to be a great reread in October.

There’s also so much baking in this book and a few recipes at the end! I can’t wait to try them.

I loved this cute, magical book so much! Definitely recommend this to fans of Anna-Marie McLemore. If you like families, baking, and flying pig cookies… this might be the book for you!





23281665.jpgTitle: SURVIVE THE NIGHT
Author: Danielle Vega
Publisher: Razorbill
Date Published: 7/7/15
Format: Paperback
Pages: 263
ARC?: No.
Genre: Young Adult: Thriller/Horror
TW/CW: Drug abuse, underage drinking, death, descriptive gore.
Rep: MC has completed rehab for drug abuse.
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis: We’re all gonna die down here. . . .

Julie lies dead and disemboweled in a dank, black subway tunnel, red-eyed rats nibbling at her fingers. Her friends think she’s just off with some guy—no one could hear her getting torn apart over the sound of pulsing music.

In a tunnel nearby, Casey regrets coming to Survive the Night, the all-night underground rave in the New York City subway. Her best friend Shana talked her into it, even though Casey just got out of rehab. Alone and lost in the dark, creepy tunnels, Casey doesn’t think Survive the Night could get any worse . . .

. . . until she comes across Julie’s body, and the party turns deadly.

Desperate for help, Casey and her friends find themselves running through the putrid subway system, searching for a way out. But every manhole is sealed shut, and every noise echoes eerily in the dark, reminding them they’re not alone.

They’re being hunted.

Trapped underground with someone—or something—out to get them, Casey can’t help but listen to her friend’s terrified refrain: “We’re all gonna die down here. . . .”

What a wild ride this book was.

Generally my ratings don’t stray too far from the average on Goodreads, but while this is sitting at a 3.2 average rating and most of the reviews talk about how bad it was… I really enjoyed this. Maybe it’s because I’m a fan of old, cheesy horror movies and this book reads exactly like an old, cheesy horror movie, but I wasn’t disappointed with it. (A lot of people also didn’t like The Merciless and I thought it was awesome, too).

Our story starts out with our MC, Casey, ditching her nice, safe soccer pals to hang out with her wrong side of the tracks pals, including Shana… the girl who got her landed in rehab. Right away the reader can see the dysfunction between Casey and Shana. Half-way through the night, Shana drags Casey, their two friends, Casey’s ex-boyfriend Sam, and his best friend to an underground rave called Survive the Night. When I say underground, I mean they literally go through a manhole to get to it. What starts out as a fun night turns sour when Casey realizes that Shana has drugged her… and that there’s a killer in the tunnels.

While I think I would have enjoyed this one more if it had stuck to a serial killer theme, I really didn’t mind the paranormal/supernatural aspect of the story… and it’s Danielle Vega, at this point I should know to expect the unexpected.

I liked how a lot of things played out in terms of the friendships and relationships as they are trying to escape this thing that’s picking them off one by one. I think the deal between Sam and Casey felt real and the fact that we don’t get closure with the two of them kind of made me like the book more. Again, this could be because I love cheesy horror movies.

The end was a nice twist and it felt very authentic to Vega’s writing style. Honestly, I’d read a sequel to this one.

I recommend this for anyone who likes B-rate horror movies, underground shenanigans, and some pretty awesome death scenes.


Danielle Vega is the author of THE MERCILESS and SURVIVE THE NIGHT. She’s also the author of BURNING, under the name Danielle Rollins.

You can check out her website or find her on twitter @vegarollins.

Book Haul

December Book Haul!


I bought way, way too many books this month. Since my haul is so large, I’m just going to list the books I got with a link to their Goodread page.

This month, I started buying ebooks! Last year, I bought a Kindle Fire 7… mainly because it was cheap and I wanted a bigger screen than what my phone offered. However, I don’t recommend using the Fires as an ereader. The glare is terrible and since you’re reading from an app (the Fire is a tablet), it sometimes has that weird app glitch. The Fire gave me a headache every time I used and my phone screen did, too. My wonderful girlfriend bought me a Kindle Paperwhite for Christmas and talk about a game changer. I love it! So this haul includes quite a few ebooks!


SUGAR by Deirdre Riordan Hall.


STRANGER CHILD by Rachel Abbot


UPROOTED by Naomi Novik


FOXHEART by Clair LeGrand



BEWARE THE WILD by Natalie C. Parker

TRUTHWITCH by Susan Dennard



THE VINES by Christopher Rice

SUGAR PINE TRAIL by RaeAnne Thayne



Book Outlet had a pretty fantastic Black Friday sale… and I got a lot of great books!

THE INN BETWEEN by Marina Cohen

FIG by Sarah Elizabeth Schantz

PALACE OF MIRRORS by Margaret Peterson Haddix (already unhauled)

JUST ELLA by Margaret Peterson Haddix (already unhauled)


FURTHERMORE by Tahereh Mafi

HIDDEN by Helen Frost



THE SLEEPWALKER TONIC by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

MOSTLY VOID, PARTIALLY STARS by Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor



DOWN WITH THE SHINE by Kate Karyus Quinn


THE DOLDRUMS by Nicholas Gannon


IN A HANDFUL OF DUST by Mindy McGinnis


REVENGE OF THE WITCH by Joseph Delaney

CURSE OF THE BANE by Joseph Delaney


AMONG THE SHADOWS by L.M. Montgomery


AWFUL END by Philip Ardagh


SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin





LOVE AND FIRST SIGHT by Josh Sundquist




36095357.jpgTitle: THE KEY TO EVERY THING
Author: Pat Schmatz
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Date Published: May 8, 2018
Format: Physical ARC
Pages: 208
ARC?: Yes, provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Genre: Middle grade- contemporary
Rep: Non-traditional families, parent in prison, Queer older adults.
Rating: 4/5

Goodreads Synopsis: Tash didn’t want to go to camp, didn’t want to spend the summer with a bunch of strangers, didn’t want to be separated from the only two people she has ever been able to count on: her uncle Kevin, who saved her from foster care, and Cap’n Jackie, who lives next door. Camp turns out to be pretty fun, actually, but when Tash returns home, Cap’n Jackie is gone. And Tash needs her — the made-up stories of dolphin-dragons, the warm cookies that made everything all right after a fight, the key Cap’n Jackie always insisted had magic in it. The Captain always said all Tash had to do was hold it tight and the magic would come. Was it true? Could the key bring Cap’n Jackie back? In a heartfelt and stunningly written story, Pat Schmatz introduces readers to a tenacious, fiercely loyal girl struggling to let go of the fantasies and fears of her childhood . . . and say yes to everything that lies ahead.

I’m not going to lie, this was a pretty bleak middle grade.

When I started this, I thought it was going to be a lower middle grade read just due to the size and how young the narrator seemed. But the subject matter is definitely for upper middle grade readers… and as I said before, it’s pretty bleak.

The story starts off the day after Tash has had a fight with her best friend and elderly neighbor, Cap’n Jackie. While we later learn that Tash has abandonment issues and feels like she’s being abandon when her uncle and Cap’n Jackie encourage Tash to go to summer camp so her uncle (who is raising her while her father is in prison) can take a trip to New Zealand. Tash wants to stay with Cap’n Jackie and when that request is denied by Jackie herself, Tash throws a “rager” and throws the “magic key” Jackie gave her.

Once at camp, Tash makes friends and has a really great time. But she still holds a grudge and does not answer the letters Jackie sends her. When Kevin picks her up from camp and Tash tries to contact Jackie, they learn that Jackie broke her hip and was in rehab.

From that point on, the story just gets bleaker. Jackie is so mad that her deceased partner’s nephew had her taken to the hospital (Jackie is agoraphobic) that she stops talking or responding to anyone. She essentially gives up on life and even when Tash tries to apologize for her behavior, Jackie ignores her.

There’s not a happy ending in this book. However, I do think this would be a great book to give a child who may be going through a similar situation with an elderly grandparent, relative, family friend, or neighbor. Jackie does die in the end of this book, so if you’re child (or you) is sensitive to that sort of content, be cautious. I also think this is a great book to discuss how every action has consequences and maybe a good lesson about watching what you say, holding grudges, and how long you take to apologize.


676993Pat grew up in rural Wisconsin and has lived in Michigan, California, and Minnesota. In addition to writing, she’s interested in language study (ASL, Italian, Japanese and Spanish), drawing/cartooning, travel and anything outdoors. She occasionally teaches writing on-line and in person, and is always happy for a chance to visit a middle school or high school classroom. Her #1 favorite hobby, relaxation and adventure has been the same since she was little – stories. Stories in books, music, art, dance – it’s all about the story.





I think we can all agree that 2017 was a trash fire year. However, 2017 was also a fantastic year for books. Even with the chaos of life, I managed to read (number) books and only (number) were rated below 3 stars. Not too bad, all things considered. Whenever I start this big year end wrap ups, I’m just reminded how blessed I am to be able to read, enjoy, and afford books… and I hope it’s something I’ll never take for granted.

In the past, I’ve just done one list with my top 20 or 25 books of the year. This year, however, I read a little more variety and having a top 20 or 25 without consideration for what was new and what wasn’t didn’t seem that great. I finally decided on splitting this list into three categories: top 2017 releases, top backlist books, and top middle grade books.

Top 2017 Releases on a purple floral background
Book cover: THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED by Becky Albertalli



I don’t think anyone is surprised that this one was the first book I thought of while making this list. Molly is the fat girl of my dreams and I wish I was as crafty as she is!

I could gush all day about this book (and its sweet Hufflepuff author) but you can just read my review here!

If you’re an Albertalli fan, be on the look out for the companion to SIMON– LEAH ON THE OFFBEAT which releases in April! She’s also co-authored a book, WHAT IF IT’S US, with Adam Silvera due out in October and is involved in an anthology, DEAR HEARTBREAK, slated for a December release.



Book cover: THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas

THE HATE U GIVE by Angie Thomas.


Not only was this a timely and needed book due to the increasing police violence against Black and Native people, Angie also gives us a cast of unforgettable characters and takes a look at friendships/relationships between the privileged and unprivileged.

It just hit me that I never wrote a review for this. I don’t think it matters- I would never be able to do it justice anyway.

Angie has another book, ON THE COME UP, slated for release in May.


Book cover: DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone

DEAR MARTIN by Nic Stone.


I had the privilege of meeting Nic Stone at the Southern Festival of Books and she is just as lovely as her book is.

This, like THUG, was another timely novel that explores police brutality and the aftermath of a friend being murdered. This little book packed a punch.

You can read my review here.



Book cover: WHEN DIMPLE MET RISHI by Sandhya Menon


I really did not expect to love this book so much. But this book was SO GOOD that it threw me into a book slump as soon as finished it because I knew nothing could compare (I was very dramatic). Not only is this book fantastic, but Sandhya might be one of the nicest authors on twitter.

You can read my review here.

Sandhya has a book, FROM TWINKLE, WITH LOVE, due out in June.



Book cover: THE LANGUAGE OF THORNS by Leigh Bardugo



I’m a huge fans of the Grisha universe and fairytales, so when Leigh combined those two things together, I knew I was going to love it.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting her in Nashville this year (I was tongue-tied and hearteyed) and she is just as lovely as her books are.





Book cover: THERE’S SOMEONE IN YOUR HOUSE by Stephanie Perkins



Here’s the honest truth: I never planned on reading anything by Stephanie Perkins. Yes, I loved her story in MY TRUE LOVE GAVE TO ME but I was kind of ‘meh’ until I heard her speak at the Southern Festival of Books. Listen, how many times will I ever get to say an author sold me on their book 5 minutes before a signing? Stephanie did and this ended up being one of my favorite books of the year.

You can read my review here.




Book cover: WILD BEAUTY by Anna-Marie McLemore


WILD BEAUTY by Anna-Marie McLemore.

Oh, this book.

I first discovered Anna-Marie’s writing this year when her book WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS was highly recommended to me several times. I fell in love with Sam and Miel, and I knew I would love the Nomeolvides girls would pull me in just as hard.

I wrote a review, but as I’ve stated in every review I’ve done for Anna-Marie’s books… I can’t do them justice with my words. You need to read these books.



Book cover: THE EPIC CRUSH OF GENIE LO by F.C. Yee



I never planned to read this book.

Listen, it just didn’t seem to be a me sort of book, you know? I wasn’t that interested in the cover, I thought it was about zombies for some reason, and someone recommended it to me… and I don’t trust their book opinions.

But, I received an ARC of this in a prize pack and I decided to read a few pages of it just to see. And then I finished the whole book and loved it.

You can see my full review here.





This is probably becoming a trend but… didn’t plan on reading this one either. Sorry, friends.

I’m not a huge fan of historical fiction, Queer or not, but someone loaned me their copy and I couldn’t just not read it after they sent it… so I did. And I loved it.

Review here.

Mackenzi has a companion novel coming out in October called THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY. It follows Monty’s sister Felicity, our favorite asexual babe.


Book cover: THE END OF OZ by Danielle Paige

THE END OF OZ by Danielle Paige.


I was so, so sad to see this series end.

I was reluctant to start this series when it first came out but I was absolutely addicted to it by the end. And while Danielle left it open for another book (she said she left it that way in case she ever wants to revisit dear ol’ Oz), it still made my heart hurt to know that we don’t have another definite book to look forward to.

A great twist on a classic story, you can read my review here.


Book cover: PRINCE IN DISGUISE by Stephanie Kate Strohm

PRINCE IN DISGUISE by Stephanie Kate Strohm.


Listen, this might be the perfect Christmas YA book. No, seriously. It has everything I love about Hallmark Christmas movies but in YA book form.

Princes, castles, misunderstandings, and a pretty happy ever after. What more could you want?

Read my review here.




Book cover: FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by Caitlin Doughty

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY by Caitlin Doughty.


2017 was clearly the year of the Order of the Good Death.

This beautiful little book was written by the creator of the Ask A Mortician series on YouTube. In this, her second book, Caitlin has traveled across the globe, observing death customs and burials.

Probably not for the squeamish, but definitely for the morbidly curious… and those seeking a more natural burial aka the Good Death.

You can read my review here.


Favorite Backlist Books
Book cover: WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore

WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS by Anna-Marie McLemore.

I’m not even going to try to explain how beautiful this book is.

Just know that it is beautiful.

And you will fall in love.

My full review is here.




Book cover: THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock



This book was a total cover buy. I can’t help it, I am a sucker for cabins, Alaska, and the universe.

Thankfully, the story is just as beautiful as the cover. I’m not usually a fan of books with multiple POVs, but Hitchcock did a great job in making each POV strong and unique.

Great for anyone who likes stories about families, friends, and finding where you belong.



Book cover: #NOTYOURPRINCESS by Charleyboy and Leatherdale

#NOTYOURPRINCESS: VOICES OF NATIVE AMERICAN WOMEN by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale.


I was so excited to see this book on NetGalley and was even more excited to buy it.

I have a review here, but I would also like to say a few things about other reviews I’ve seen. Non-Natives will not understand a lot of what is in this book. Yes, there are a lot of painful topics covered in here but those are realities for Native women/femme enbies. Just because there are hard topics in this book doesn’t mean it’s problematic. I think it’s problematic to assume that a book by Native women should be watered down for Non-Native consumption.


Box set covers: THE SHADOW AND BONE TRILOGY by Leigh Bardugo



Is this cheating? Maybe. Either way, this was a series I never planned to read because I had heard so many mixed reviews about it. It’s definitely a “debut” series (you can really tell if you discovered Bardugo through SIX OF CROWS) but this series was just as enjoyable.

And it give us Nikolai and the Darkling. I mean, come on. Who doesn’t love a Bastard Prince and a “Make me your villain” slightly immortal guy?

You can read my reviews here and here and here.



Book cover: TIMEKEEPER by Tara Sim



I’ve stated time and time again that this book was just pitched wrong to me.

While the love interest did raise a few eyebrows, I really enjoyed this story and I love, love, love Danny.

You can read my review here.

The sequel to this book will release on 1/2/18!



Book cover: NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis

NOT A DROP TO DRINK by Mindy McGinnis.


I purchased this book back in February because the author was going to be at a book event I was attending. After getting it signed, I put it on my shelf and honestly kind of forgot about it. Mindy will be back at Se-Ya again and I decided that maybe it was time to crack this book open.

I wasn’t disappointed.

My review can be found here.




Book cover: THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner

THE SERPENT KING by Jeff Zentner.


This book was recommended to me by several people. Unfortunately, I didn’t trust any of their opinions and I put off reading this until Jamie hyped it enough that I just couldn’t not read it.

I’m a huge fan of books that involves kids with a Pentecostal background who struggle with life outside of the church and what they’ve been taught. This one also has excellent poverty rep and while it will hurt your soul, it will also give you hope.

My review can be read here.


Book cover: EDGEWATER by Courtney Sheinmel

EDGEWATER by Courtney Sheinmel.

This was a total cover buy when I saw it on Book Outlet. I finally got around to this one in June after having it on my shelf for a year and honestly, I’m not sure why more people aren’t talking about this book.

Poverty, mental health, PTSD, and a young girl trying to keep her family afloat in their crumbling mansion by the sea? Sign me up.

My review can be read here.



Book cover: THE FORGETTING by Sharon Cameron

THE FORGETTING by Sharon Cameron


This year’s common theme has been “I love books that were pitched to me wrong or I thought were overhyped and avoided”. This one was definitely a book I thought was overhyped, mostly by booktubers, and having been burned on a lot of their suggestions, I decided to skip it. But Sharon Cameron is coming to Se-Ya Fest and I decided… maybe I should give it a try just in case I do like it.

And I loved it.

You can read my review here.



Book cover: THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich

THE ROUND HOUSE by Louise Erdrich


I love Louise Erdrich. I love this book.

Seriously, if you haven’t read anything by her, go do it. Now. Any of her books. All of them are fantastic.







Top Middle Grade
Book cover: CHICKADEE by Louise Erdrich

CHICKADEE by Louise Erdrich


CHICKADEE is the third book in THE BIRCHBARK HOUSE series but it can be read as a standalone.

Not only is this cover beautiful, but the story is, too. Erdrich has a knack for taking hard themes and making them more digestible for her young audience.

You can read my review here.





Book cover: NIGHTMARES! by Jason Segel/ Kirsten Miller

NIGHTMARES! by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller.


I bought this one because both authors were going to be at YallFest. I ended up literally running into Jason on the street but made it nowhere near their signing due to scheduling conflicts.

However, I am so glad I picked this one up! Spooky, witchy, and creepy, this book was the perfect Halloween read!





Book cover: THE VANDERBEEKERS OF 141ST STREET by Karina Yan Glaser



This came as a surprise book delivery from HMH!

I loved everything about this book. Set during Christmas, strong family bonds, a little sibling squabbling, and an ending that would make even the meanest old Scrooge smile a little.

Check out my review here.





Book cover: TENTACLE & WING by Sarah Porter

TENTACLE & WING by Sarah Porter


This was another surprise book from HMH!

I was in love with this cover the minute I saw it, and thankfully, it has a beautiful story to match!

Great for readers of all ages, this book deals with physical differences, internalized prejudices, and how society incorrectly deals with people outside of the “norm”.

You can read my review here.



Book cover: LILY’S MOUNTAIN by Hannah Moderow

LILY’S MOUNTAIN by Hannah Moderow.


This was a really hard read for me.

Our main character, Lily, is the only one who believes her father can’t possible be dead. She sets out to rescue him, bringing her reluctant sister along.

This was a great story about loss, the grief process, and coming to terms with a tragedy.

You can read my review here.




Book cover: PODKIN ONE-EAR by Kieran Larwood

PODKIN ONE-EAR by Kieran Larwood.


I love stories about rabbits. Blame WATERSHIP DOWN for that.

When I saw this on NetGalley, I knew I was going to love it and I was totally right.

You can read my review here!





Book cover: ZINNIA AND THE BEES by Danielle Davis

ZINNIA AND THE BEES by Danielle Davis


This was one of those books that I was so, so glad I got to share with my godkids.

Zinnia is going through a lot in this story. Her brother has left, her mom is more interested in saving the world than paying attention to her daughter, and a swarm of bees have mistaken Zinnia’s hair for a beehive.

This book was both charming and heartwarming.

Read my full review here.



Book cover: THE JUMBIES by Tracey Baptiste

THE JUMBIES by Tracey Baptiste.


I love folklore and gutsy heroines, so when I saw this book, I knew it would be the one for me.

Corrine is likeable (and a little frustrating, but Baptiste does a great job at making the reader care about the side characters, too, something that’s not usually easily done in books.

You can read my review here.




Book cover: THE DOLDRUMS by Nicholas Gannon

THE DOLDRUMS by Nicholas Gannon.


I have never screamed about a middle grade book the way I have screamed about THE DOLDRUMS.

Three young friends who want to set out on an adventure to find a set of missing grandparents? Yes, please!

You can read my review here.





Book cover: THE DOLDRUMS AND THE HELMSLEY CURSE by Nicholas Gannon



This shouldn’t come as any surprise.

I absolutely loved the first book of this series and, while I hope this isn’t the conclusion… it was a lovely addition to the Doldrums.

If you aren’t sure if middle grade is for you (or maybe you don’t like middle grade), I HIGHLY recommend this smart, adventurous story full of friendship and mystery.



And those were my favorite books in 2017! I had so much fun reading them and I hope that 2018 bring me just as many wonderful books!

See any that you loved/hated? Let me know in the comments!


Weezie’s 2018 Bookolutions!


Happy New Year, my bookish loves!

If you’re reading this, you survived the entirety of 2017 which has arguable been the worst year of my entire existence. But we survived, we’re here, and hopefully 2018 will be a year of thriving not just surviving.

As I stated last year, I’m pretty awful at sticking to resolutions. So before I launch into 2018s bookolutions, I want to take a peek at last years and see how I did.

My 2017 bookolutions were:

  1. Avoid book challenges and readathons. I did great with this one until the end of the year. I’m not against book challenges or readathons but in 2016, I felt like I let those things dictate a lot of my reading habits and I wanted to break that cycle and mindset. And I did! The first readathon I did this year was #MiniMoji and when I felt very ‘meh’ about it halfway through, I just allowed myself to stop. No big deal.
  2. Reduce my TBR by either reading or unhauling. I unhauled 150 books in 2017 and still have 427 unread books in my home. I tried?
  3. Limit myself to three brand new books a month. I think I did ok with this one. There were a few months where I bought more than 3 brand new books and a few months where I bought none at all! I think it balanced itself out in the end.
  4. Read more freely. My biggest goal with this was to break the mindset I had that I needed to read the latest and greatest releases in YA. I wanted to read more middle grade. I wanted to read older releases. I wanted to read books that weren’t so hyped. This one was pretty easy!
  5. Support more Native authors. I can always, always do better at this and I am looking forward to reading the great releases coming out this year!

This year I have similar goals except for #1.

I want to actually participate in readathons this year. Since I’m determined to get my physical TBR into a more manageable order, I feel like readathons will help me knock out the smaller books on my shelves since I seem to be forever overlooking them (I like big books and I cannot lie…).

My goals this year are pretty simple:

  1. Read 100 books from my TBR. At this point, that’s not even putting a good dent in the amount of books I have accumulated in the last few years. I’m working on doing some unhauls, too, especially those that I pick for my monthly TBR and end up not reading.
  2. Post 15 times a month on the blogs with at least half being reviews. This one doesn’t seem hard but I’ve fallen off a normal blogging schedule the last few months. I could blame my busy schedule (I mean, it is busy) but I really just fell out of love with blogging due to some of the things going on in the YA community. Thankfully I’m putting all of that to the side, putting my blinders on, and staying in my “adult who reads YA” lane.
  3. Get my Netgalley to zero. I love Netgalley, I love ARCs. I do not love ebooks. I’ve struggled a lot with migraines brought on by staring at an ereader this year and while I thought about buying a Kindle Paperwhite, I can’t justify the expense since I don’t read that many ebooks right now.
  4. Participate in more readathons. I talked about this one above.
  5. Be more active on bookstagram, litsy, and do more instagram live shows. Something I learned towards the last half of November is that I really, really love doing Insta stories for mini reviews and updates! It started out as a therapy exercise to help with my dissociation turned into something fun. Win/win. I also want to post more pictures for bookstagram and litsy because it’s such a good way to keep up with what I’ve read.

And those are my bookish goals for 2018! If you’re interested in following my progress in real time, you can check out my instagram, follow me on Litsy (handle is: weeziesbooks), and/or add my TBR Beatdown GoodReads account!

I’m also going to be taking a 3 month hiatus from Twitter to write my book! I’ll check in from time to time, but I’m severely limiting my social media presence while I focus on getting Jamie and Bailey’s story written. I will still be posting here and on instagram, but I am easily sucked into Twitter and I need that hiatus to keep me focused.

What are your bookolutions for 2018?