Top Ten Tuesday – April 18th, 2017


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. 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 things that will make you instantly want to read a book. It was a little tough thinking up ten things that turn me on to a book, which is odd considering I will read just about anything I can get my hands on. I guess that goes to show that I will give any book a try, but I somewhat rarely feel that need to instantly pick up a novel. However, there are a few cases where this is true.

Time Travel or Parallel Universes – Anyone who knows me knows that I am absolutely addicted to books about time travel and/or parallel universes. Honestly, this is one of the only cases where there is practically no hesitation on my part. I will literally read anything I find that involves either time travel, parallel worlds, or (preferably) both!


Books About Books – I think many book lovers out there can relate to this one! I love reading books in which reading and literature plays a huge part. This can come in the form of the characters being book nerds like myself, the setting being somewhere like a bookstore or library, or a storyline that is shaped around either a real or fictional book within the book.

Recommendations – I’m not one who typically gives into major hype about books—I have been disappointed many times when I get sucked into that. However, if a friend that I trust and share a similar reading taste with highly recommends something, I will pick it up straight away. People like my best friend Lizzie, and my awesome blogger besties Heather and Anna, are to blame for much of my ever increasing TBR pile!

Retellings – I am a complete sucker for retellings. Whether it’s a retelling of a classic novel, folklore, or fairytale, that’s pretty much all I need to know before I pick it up. This can occasionally amount to me reading a really crappy version of a story I love. But many times I have discovered some absolutely wonderfully crafted retellings with their own unique twist.


Interesting Magic System – I love love love fantasy novels! This is the primary genre that I read, but I do get a bit picky with them, at least in recent years. There are a lot of novels that deal with the same subjects over and over again, and those don’t make for the best reading experience. However, any fantasy novel with a unique-sounding magic system will instantly pique my interest.

Modern Fairytale – As I mentioned, I love fairytales and folklore, and I love present-day novels that give off that fairytale or folklore feeling. I find those types of stories to be absolutely beautiful and captivating. I really hope I can write a story like that one day.


Highly Praised Classic – I am a huge fan of classic literature—I was always that weird kid in English class that loved almost every book they made us read! So if a classic is highly praised, either by people I know or just in general, I will most likely pick it up. I won’t say I always like them, but I’ll at least give them a try!

Little to No Romance – I’ve talked about this many times before, that, despite being a hopeless romantic, I actually really do not like reading about romance in novels. Sometimes a little bit is nice, bit I find that there are so many instances where it completely overshadows the actual plot. So if a novel boasts little to no romance, that’s definitely a plus for me.

Noir or Gothic – I love noir and gothic everything! Books, movies—you name it, I love it! So of course, these are major turn-ons for me when it comes to finding books. If it has a noir or gothic setting, I’m getting my read on! 😛

Sounds Like Sherlock Holmes – And finally, the most embarrassing book turn-on I have to admit. I typically don’t go for books that are compared to other books I love because ninety percent of the time, I end up feeling disappointed in a book that may have been great if I weren’t holding it to the highest possible standard. However, the one thing that gets me every time is when a novel (or a character in a novel) is compared to Sherlock Holmes…or Doctor Who (hence my love of the Jackaby series!).


Honorable Mentions

Gillian Flynn, Neil Gaiman, Patrick Ness, Victoria Schwab – …Enough said… 🙂

What are some things that make you instantly want to read a book? Let me know in the comments, and stay tuned for next Tuesday when I talk about my book turn-offs!



Top 5 Wednesday – December 30th, 2015


Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey at Gingerreadslainey. Every week, book reviewers all over the world are given a bookish topic and respond with their top 5 books (or elements of books) that relate to that topic. Click here for the Goodreads group if you would like to learn more about Top 5 Wednesday and join in!

This week’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is your top 5 favorite books that you read this year. While I didn’t read nearly as many books as I had hoped that I would, this year was pretty fantastic in terms of quality of books read. It was difficult to narrow this list down to just five, but there were definitely a few novels that particularly stuck out this year. These have not only become some of my top favorite novels of all time, but all of these authors were new to me and are now on my favorite authors list as well!

5. Jackaby by William Ritter

jackabyThis was pitched as “Doctor Who meets Sherlock”, so of course I had to read this immediately—and thankfully, it did not disappoint!

Click here to check out my full review!

4. Cinder by Marissa Meyer

cinderThis was my first read of 2015 and an absolutely brilliant way to start off my reading for the year.

Click here to check out my full review!

3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gonegirlThis was my first Gillian Flynn book, and by far one of the most intriguing and captivating novels that I read all year.

Click here to check out my full review!

2. The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

thememoirsofsherlockholmesThis is my first time making my way through this series and I am kicking myself for having put these novels off for so long—they are fantastic!

Click here to check out my full review!

1. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

viciousThis was my most recent read and my last completed book of the year—and it was definitely my favorite of them all!

Review coming soon!


Review: Jackaby by William Ritter

jackabyJackaby by William Ritter

My Rating: 4.5/5 TARDISes

Series: Jackaby #1

Date Published: September 16th, 2014

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 299 pages

Source: Purchased

Links: Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository

Synopsis: “Miss Rook, I am not an occultist,” Jackaby said. “I have a gift that allows me to see truth where others see the illusion–and there are many illusions. All the world’s a stage, as they say, and I seem to have the only seat in the house with a view behind the curtain.”

Newly arrived in New Fiddleham, New England, 1892, and in need of a job, Abigail Rook meets R. F. Jackaby, an investigator of the unexplained with a keen eye for the extraordinary–including the ability to see supernatural beings. Abigail has a gift for noticing ordinary but important details, which makes her perfect for the position of Jackaby’s assistant. On her first day, Abigail finds herself in the midst of a thrilling case: A serial killer is on the loose. The police are convinced it’s an ordinary villain, but Jackaby is certain it’s a nonhuman creature, whose existence the police–with the exception of a handsome young detective named Charlie Cane–deny.

Doctor Who meets Sherlock in William Ritter’s debut novel, which features a detective of the paranormal as seen through the eyes of his adventurous and intelligent assistant in a tale brimming with cheeky humor and a dose of the macabre.


This is a spoiler-free review.

Between the intriguing synopsis and the beautiful cover art, this novel caught my eye right away. I was very eager to dive into it, and it did not disappoint. Jackaby is an incredibly entertaining and hilarious ride that captivated me right from the start and held me until the final page. This book is pitched as being “Doctor Who meets Sherlock” and it quite is reminiscent of both while never feeling copycat. Ritter uses general, well-loved aspects of these two stories to build his own, truly unique and cleverly written tale.

The story focuses on an eccentric detective named Jackaby, and is told from the point of view of his bright, young assistant, Abigail Rook. Abigail has run away from her family and, having just arrived in America, is looking for work. Answering his advertisement, she finds herself working for the highly intelligent and incredibly eccentric Jackaby, and subsequently is plunged into the world of crime. These are not simply ordinary crimes however, but crimes committed by supernatural beings that most people, herself included, cannot see.

Jackaby is an unusual sort of detective, and a very peculiar character. I found him to be very much a mixture of Sherlock Holmes and the Eleventh Doctor. He has the intellect and the unbelievably acute powers of observation that Arthur Conan Doyle’s great detective has, mixed with the quirky nature of the beloved time traveling hero. Jackaby works as a detective, like Holmes, but in the world of the supernatural, like the Doctor. He resembles each person in different ways, which, when put together, adds up to a very singular character.

I thought Abigail was sort of a John Watson, Clara Oswald hybrid. She is a highly intelligent person herself, as well as a strong female lead who holds her own alongside the detective. The fact that Abigail is the narrator of the story, recounting her experiences with Jackaby, gives it the same quality of the original Sherlock Holmes novels. She is also the person who deals with the more human aspects of the cases, something with which Jackaby tends to struggle on his own. Overall, she is a clever, brave, and spunky character, and makes up the second half of a marvelous pairing.

While the two of them had qualities that reminded me of these other characters, they still felt like purely original creations. Ritter constructs them in a way where he uses familiar qualities audiences have come to love as a template to form entirely new people with distinct personas.

For the most part, I found the writing in this novel to be spot on. Ritter does a wonderful job of evoking a dark yet humorous tone and building the 19th century New England town in which the novel is set. The dialogue is sharp, witty, at times sarcastic, and appropriately fast-paced. All of the characters, both human and supernatural, in this novel are very compelling, meticulously created, and skillfully portrayed. Ritter invents two fully developed and vibrant worlds. One is realistic and one is much more mystical and filled with vividly depicted creatures, and they both intertwine fluidly.

The plot itself was a relatively typical murder mystery, made complex with its elements of fantasy and science fiction. I will admit, I did figure out who the culprit was well before the end of the novel, however, this did not detract at all from my enjoyment of it. And there were still a satisfying amount of twists and surprises in other aspects of the story, such as the fantastical elements, that caused enough of a feeling of wonder to create an engrossing narrative.

This novel is by no means perfect, and I definitely believe that it is sort of a hit or miss type of story. But it is such an incredibly fun tale and personally, I couldn’t help but love every minute of reading it. I adored being in this world, particularly Jackaby’s world of bizarre creatures. Ritter draws inspiration from some very widely loved characters and uses this to create new and equally lovable ones. He retains a solid amount of individuality while conjuring up the same feelings that these other timeless tales do for their admirers. For me, this truly was an enchanting read. I am looking forward to seeing how this series progresses in the future books.

I very highly recommend giving this book a try. And remember: “DO NOT STARE AT THE FROG!”

4.5 TARDISes