December 2019 TBR

december2019tbr

Hi Everyone!

I hope you’ve all been doing well and are having a fantastic start to the holiday season! We’re finally into the colder months (my favorites!) and I am so ready to snuggle up and read lots of amazing books. I’ve been on a mission to start catching up on some popular books/series that I’ve been meaning to get to for ages and haven’t yet. So far I’ve been doing pretty well and I’m hoping to keep up the momentum this month. I’ve also done a fantastic job staying on top of new releases so I’ll be trying to continue that as well.

I apologize for my posts being a bit sparse these last couple of months. I’ve been dealing with a lot health-wise and my energy level has taken a massive and unexpected hit. I’ve have been struggling a lot with getting my writing done and I’m incredibly sorry. I am toying with the idea of taking a short hiatus later this month just to heal and recover so I can start strong in the new year with blogging!

On a more positive note, I’ve been reading quite a lot and have some wonderful books I’ve been dying to review for you guys, so I will definitely have plenty coming as I begin to ease back into the swing of things. Thank you all so much for being so supportive and patient with me, it means the world. ❤

Now, onto the books I am hoping to get to this month!

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 4.05.48 AM

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw

Scythe by Neal Schusterman

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 4.07.37 AM

Air Awakens by Elise Kova

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 4.09.55 AM

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Hearts We Sold by Emily Lloyd-Jones

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Screen Shot 2019-12-07 at 4.11.33 AM

Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

What are you guys planning on reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

signaturetardis1

logo2

Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Review: House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

houseofsaltandsorrowHouse of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

My Rating: 5/5 TARDISes

Series: Standalone

Date Published: August 6th, 2019

Publisher: Delacorte

Pages: 416 pages

Source: Netgalley

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

____________________________________________________________

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

This is a spoiler-free review.

I completely and utterly fell head-over-heels in love with this book. This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and it did not disappoint. It was absolutely everything I was hoping for and so much more. This might not be a completely perfect novel for everyone—or just in general, as literature is such an objective thing—but it was perfect for me. A dark retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, this novel had everything I love; suspense, intrigue, suspicious deaths, ghosts, curses, dark magic, all told in a beautifully eerie and captivating way. I was hooked from page one.

In this novel, we are transported to a manor by the sea called Highmoor where we follow a girl named Annaleigh. She was once one of twelve sisters, but death befalls sister after sister, placing the Thaumus family into a constant state of mourning. This unbelievable string of bad luck has caused the residents of their town to begin whispering about the family being cursed by the gods and they keep away from the sisters in fear.

When Annaleigh starts to experience vivid, ghostly visions of her sisters, she comes to realize that the deaths that have been written off as tragic accidents may not be accidents at all. On top of this, her sisters have been running off to go dancing at lavish balls each night, returning at dawn with their shoes completely worn through. But where are her sisters going? And who are they dancing with? Annaleigh must work to discover what is plaguing her family before more harm can come to them.

This is a hauntingly beautiful tale of a family under attack by an unknown force and the lengths Annaleigh will go to in order to protect the ones she loves. It is fast-paced and absorbing and I could not put this book down—it captivated me more than any book has in a while and it was wonderful. I am a massive lover of dark retellings that are both unique as well as faithful to the original story, and Craig completely nails this.

There is so much mystery and creepiness on every page of this story—moments that will make your heart pound and keep you riveted to each word. It is a complex and carefully woven tale filled with intriguing mystery, dark and frightening ghostly visions, and unexpected twists that constantly had me on the edge of my seat. I became so wrapped up in this story and these characters and I never wanted it to end.

All of the characters in this novel are created extremely well. Annaleigh is a very strong lead character. She’s intelligent, tough, and will do absolutely anything to protect her family no matter how confusing or out of control things appear to be. She maintains her convictions about what is truly going on at Highmoor despite facing disbelief from others. I feel like I connected with her right away—she is portrayed very clearly and is multi-dimensional.

Annaleigh’s sisters are also beautifully portrayed. I love that they feel so thoroughly fleshed out and that they are so realistic and three-dimensional. Verity is my personal favorite! And the relationships between all of them are done to perfection. They are realistic and believable, making it easy to come to care for them and to be eager to see their troubles end. Each sister’s personality is so vividly depicted and I was so glad to see that they played such a big role in the plot. Annaleigh’s love for them is so strong and the driving force of the story and the love they all share for each other is unshakable.

I actually ended up really loving the romance in this novel. This is something that I say very rarely, but Craig created such a sweet and lovely relationship that melted my heart. I was a little wary early on as a love triangle is hinted at briefly. However, it never actually happens, which I was very thankful for. There is quite a bit of insta-love here, but that is something I don’t usually mind, especially when the romance is well-constructed. Craig does one of my favorite things when it comes to romances in fantasy novels which is truly keeping it a side plot. Never once does it overpower the main plot and Annaleigh maintains her focus on her family and taking care of them.

Though I would have liked to hear more about his storyline and background, I really like Cassius a lot. Cassius is very caring and he and Annaleigh go together really well—you can definitely feel a strong connection between them. I wish he had been in even more of the story. The moments between Annaleigh and Cassius are so sweet and pure that they are a fantastic contrast to the rest of the novel. The progression of their relationship creates small breaks of light happiness among the darkness and sadness in the main storyline and that worked out beautifully. And frankly, it was just plain romantic, adorable, and enjoyable!

Now we come to my favorite part of this novel—the writing. Craig’s writing is completely and utterly beautiful. Her style is so lyrical and enchanting, bringing out a strong fairytale feeling in the narrative. At the same time, her words are haunting and emotional, flawlessly bringing out the darkness of the tale. Loss, longing, love, and hope all run throughout each page. It is a style of writing that is incredibly enjoyable to get lost in for hours.

The world-building is absolutely fantastic. Craig carefully constructs a detailed and intricate setting. Seamlessly blending the tone of the narration into the environment, she creates a vivid and entrancing experience for her readers. The setting is described so thoroughly it is very easy to place yourself there and feel it come to life around you. The atmosphere is dark and eerie—to the point where it is almost tangible—and fits perfectly with the narrative itself. It is extremely clear that Craig put a huge amount of time and effort into absolutely every aspect of this narrative. Her descriptions are so clear and detailed throughout and the way she constructs the Thaumus family’s life, traditions, and backstory is magnificent.

The only minor issue I had was with parts of the ending. Things happen very quickly and I found myself slightly confused at times. Mainly, I wish there had been a little more explanation of the religious/mythological elements—they appear to come somewhat out of the blue. I wish that those aspects of the plot had been developed a bit more and had a bigger part in the story, mainly because I was so intrigued by them. However, the ending, particularly the moments involving the main villain, was properly freaky and intense and it fit the tone of the story perfectly. And that small bit of confusion did not detract at all from my enjoyment of it.

As I’m sure you can probably tell by now, this is one of the newest additions to my list of all-time favorite novels. I connected with this story completely—it was right up my alley. The suspense, the intrigue, the characters, the world, everything was perfect. Erin A. Craig’s writing is so enchanting and beautiful and I loved getting wrapped up in it. I absolutely cannot wait to read more from her in the future! I very highly recommend checking this novel out if you haven’t already.

5.0 TARDISes

logo2

Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

O.W.L.s Magical Readathon 2019 TBR

owlstbr

Hey everyone!

So, I know I’m extremely late getting to this AND I’ve already taken (and passed!) my N.E.W.T.s, but I feel my Hogwarts studies are incomplete. Since I didn’t find out about the O.W.L.s until it was too late, I figured I would spend the next month taking them so I can officially call myself a Mind Medic! So from November 1st to November 30th, I will be participating in my own little O.W.L.s readathon! And here is my planned TBR for the month.

Profession:

Mind Medic

Exams Required:

Ancient Runes
Arithmancy
Charms
Defense Against the Dark Arts
Herbology
Muggle Studies
Potions
Transfiguration

Ancient Runes – Retelling

snowglassapples

Snow, Glass, Apples by Neil Gaiman

Arithmancy – Work written by more than one author

gemina

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Charms – Age-line: Read an adult work

thescorchedearth

The Scorched Earth by Rachael Blok

Defense Against the Dark Arts – Reducto: Title that Stars with “R”

recursion

Recursion by Blake Crouch

Herbology – Plant on the cover

thesleeperandthespindle

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Muggle Studies – Contemporary

keepinglongisland

Keeping Long Island by Courtney Peppernell

Potions – Next ingredient: Sequel

tunnelofbones

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Transfiguration – Sprayed edges or red cover

thissavagesong

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

Not Needed—Extra Credit!

Astronomy – “Star” in the title

thestarlesssea

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

Care of Magical Creatures – Land animal on the cover

shadowandbone

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Divination – Set in the future

cress

Cress by Marissa Meyer

History of Magic – Published at least 10 years ago

howlsmovingcastle

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones

The N.E.W.T.s readathon back in August went so well and I got through more books than I have in a month for a while, so I’m hoping that will be true this month as well! If you guys participated in the O.W.L.s this year, make sure to let me know in the comments how you did and what you read!

signaturetardis1

logo2

Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Top 10 Tuesday – October 29th, 2019

toptentuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish, and it is now hosted by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a Halloween freebie, so I’ve decided to do the top ten books I would recommend reading around Halloween. I have done at least one Halloween reading list at some point in my time blogging, but I know that I usually focused on spooky/horror books. This time around, I do have some new favorites but these are not all horror novels—they are a mix of different genres that all have those autumn vibes. They are perfect to read on a chilly, cozy day (with a nice cup of tea, of course!). I’ll also leave links to any (always spoiler-free!) reviews I’ve done.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (My review)

amonstercalls

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

sorceryofthorns

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

houseofsaltandsorrow

The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney (My review)

theperfectwife

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (My review)

theadventuresofsherlockholmes

His Hideous Heart edited by Dahlia Adler (My review)

hishideousheart

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

thebonehouses

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

cityofghosts

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb (My review)

theassassinsapprentice

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (My review)

adarkershadeofmagic

What books do you guys enjoy reading around this time of year? What are some of your most recent reads that have had those autumn vibes? Let me know in the comments!

signaturetardis1

logo2

Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Popping in for a Quick Update!

updatelogo

Hey Everyone!

First off, I want to thank all of my newest followers for joining our little family! We just passed 850 book nerds and I couldn’t be happier! And thank you to all my long-time readers for always coming back. Your support and your lovely comments never fail to make my day. I feel so lucky to not only be able to write this blog but also to have such a wonderful and supportive community. I love and appreciate every single one of you more than I could ever express and your support is so incredibly meaningful to me. So thank you all so much for sticking with me! ❤

Now, on to a few quick updates about what’s to come the rest of this month as well as in November!

I have been in a bit of a writing slump, mainly due to health/sleep issues. I have also been very focused on starting off my current weight loss journey and this new diet I’m on is working…and completely kicking my butt! 😛 However, as I am improving my body and health, I am also aiming to improve my blogging (particularly my reviewing!) and reading as well. It’s been a bit since my last review, but I have many in the works that will be coming very soon for you guys!

Here’s just some of what you can expect to see during the coming weeks:

The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

The Monster of Elendhaven by Jennifer Giesbrecht

The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Also, since I did not find out about the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon until it had passed, I was only able to do the N.E.W.T.s Magical Readathon. So I am planning to have my own little O.W.L.s Readathon during November so I can officially complete my studies at Hogwarts for the year! I’ll have my TBR for it posted at the beginning of the month. And if any of you feel up for a readathon, feel free to join me! 😀

Thank you all again for being so amazing ❤

signaturetardis1

logo2

Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Top 10 Tuesday – October 15th, 2019

toptentuesday

Happy Tuesday, everyone! It’s time for another Top 10 Tuesday list. This is an original weekly blog meme created over at The Broke and the Bookish, and it is now hosted by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl. Each week, there is a new bookish topic for bloggers to create a list about. If you want to know more about Top 10 Tuesday, click here!

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is the top ten books that you think have extraordinary titles. I have interpreted this prompt as I am meant to choose titles that truly stand out among the vast sea of novels. The titles I have picked out are ones that I find beautiful, unique, and very enticing. These ten are books that have some sort of impact on me just from reading the titles, which make me want to know more about them.

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 1.46.48 AM

A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra

Thirteen Doors, Wolves Behind Them All by Laura Ruby

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All That Is Solid Melts into Air by Darragh McKeon

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 1.48.40 AM

The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock

2 A.M. at The Cat’s Pajamas by Marie-Helene Bertino

Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance by Ruth Emmie Lang

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 1.49.29 AM

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

The Motion of Puppets by Keith Donohue

What book titles do you think are extraordinary? What do you think of these ones I’ve picked out? Let me know in the comments!

signaturetardis1

logo2

Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

Book of the Month YA – October 2019

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 1.06.10 AM

Back in August, I officially became a Book of the Month YA affiliate! I’ve been subscribed to the adult BOTM box for around a year and have absolutely loved it, so I’m incredibly happy that I get this chance to help spread the word about the YA boxes!

Every month you get to pick one book from a selection of five newly released YA novels to receive in your box for the month (spoiler alert: their book choices are always fantastic!). You can also add on up to two extra choices from the selections for the current month and any of the previous months. In my time using Book of the Month, I’ve always found it to be a really fun, budget-friendly subscription box. And the deals we get on the add-on books are music to my wallet! ❤

Here’s what you get with your membership:

  • A book of your choice for $14.99 / month
  • Add up to two extra books to your shipment for $9.99 each
  • Skip any month you want, and you won’t be charged
  • Free shipping, always
  • This month, get your first book for just $9.99 by using the code PSL5.

If you’re interested in signing up (and supporting my blog in the process), check them out by using my affiliate link. I do get a small commission from every new sign-up using this link that will always be put toward further building my blog.

Now, let’s get into a bit more of the specifics!

How It Works:

botmyastep1botmyastep2botmyastep3

Book of the Month YA gives you one book of your choice (from a selection of five) for $14.99 per month and always with free shipping! You can add up to two extra books to your shipment for only $9.99 each. These extra books can be selected from the current and any of the previous months selections. If there’s a month where none of the selections appeal to you, you can skip any month you want, and you won’t be charged. I wholeheartedly love this subscription box and I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Here’s a quick look at all the selections for this month!

Screen Shot 2019-10-10 at 1.04.47 AM

The Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Full Disclosure by Camryn Garrett

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

To give you even more of an idea of what the options typically look like each month, here are the September 2019 selections!

September 2019 Book Selections:

botmyaseptember19books

If you do sign up or are already a Book of the Month YA member, make sure to let me know what your book choice for October is in the comments!

signaturetardis1

logo2

Follow me: Twitter | Facebook | Instagram