Diamond City | Review // I was less than in love with this…

Greetings readers!

Unfortunately, I waited too long to review this from the time I read it. So be prepared for a really vague review of the things I remember. Or at least try to remember.

It’s always super sucky when you have hopes for a book and it falls flat. I was really looking forward to this book because it is Latinx fantasy and we all know how much I am for thisssssss!!! Alas, things don’t always go the way we hope.

Diamond City by Francesca Flores

Diamond City (Diamond City, #1)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Jan 28th, 2020
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Goodreads

Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.

Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.

Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.

DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.

To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.

Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!


*Thank you to Raincoast Books for the ARC*

It was all Meh and less than Meh

Aina was…girl. She was trying to be this I don’t give a shit about you or your mom kind of girl, but she kind of does. And yet she just rubbed me the wrong way several times. And I mean I was kind of lost with her most of the time. I found nothing profound about her, if you get what I mean. She had a really interesting past and I would have loved to get a little more into it, but it was always a surface level kind of feel with her.

Teo, he was worth it. I mean, his purpose? Being a good friend. And he did his job.

Riyu. Hehhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Honestly boring af. He had the personality of a wet towel that could maneuver a gun.

The other girl, I don’t even remember her name, that’s how not important she was.

BUT HOLY the amount of preachy, inspirational dialogues was too much for me. I like a few inspirational moments in my book, but there was this one chapter where everyone was going around saying something profound and revolutionary….I couldn’t take it. I mean…it just felt so shoved down my throat and I hate the expression, but that chapter didn’t contribute anything at all.

Also the chapters. Oh dear. They were so chopped up and chunky. And I don’t mean that they were long. It’s that some were so short that the next chapter would just be the continuation of the same scene. There wasn’t even that much a cliffhanger between them. They just ended and began again on a new page. Stylistically, it bothered, but maybe they changed it in the finished version.

The world was interesting. It was—I believe—a country that had a mix of different nationalities. There was an industrial boom, one that came at the cost of the religious freedom and ended up in religious persecution. I was really interested in that conversation, but again the book only ever really touched the surface of the problems and they were big problems. There was also gangs, which…is it bad that I like gravitate towards gang-ish books? (since I am Latina and hello stereotype much) And yet I can’t help but like the cutthroat workings of a gang. Especially ones that are less found-family and more I-would-kill-you-given-the-chance. I don’t know why, it just fascinates me and we all know I could never make it a group like that. The politics were pretty straightforward so I didn’t have too much of a hard time following that. The giant spiders….I just…Why? WHAT WAS THE REASON? Literally, she just shoved in these (nasty) creatures and I felt like it did not match the world at all. Like I get it spiders can be big, but this addition felt almost too cheesy futuristic movie to me.

The diamond magic. Well. From what I remember we didn’t get much diamond magic. I could be wrong. I know there are some pretty big moments that feature them and I really liked how they work, but I felt like they were still just glanced at this book. Everything is just a skim of the surface with this book. I felt like it never got bone deep.

You wanna know what I did like? The twisted relationship Aina had with her boss! Was it love? Lust? Hate? Fear? Admiration, as she so often claims? I really liked that she almost “addicted” to him in the sense that she knew he was no good for her and yet couldn’t help going back for more. And let me tell you her boss is like Kaz Brekker but like not even remotely redeemable. This was the highlight of the book and the one thing I felt that we got into!


Overall, the book was not it for me. I felt like it was lacking a lot of substance and the characters were not memorable for me. It sucks because I know I wanted to love this so badly, but I struggled with this.

Rating: 2 / 5

Recommend?: I will always recommend Latinx reads, just be aware I didn’t love this.

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What did you think? How do you deal with disappointing reads? What assassin books do you like?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

My New Found Love for Audiobooks | (A Second) Discussion

Greetings readers!

I feel like I’ve already done an audiobook discussion…..whatever, I am going to do one again, I have more to say!

As some of you know, towards the end of 2019 I really went down an audiobook hole. I used to claim to be unable to listen to audiobooks because I have the attention span of a bean, which is very much true. It turns out, however, that I am a better listener than I initially thought!

I wanted to discuss my experience with you today and obviously pose the same question to you all!

librofm listen local audiobook audiobooks GIF
via giphy.com

What Do You Listen To?

SO. It turns out that I prefer to have romance books read to me than actually read them myself. Yup. It’s uhhh…I uh…I don’t like to think about it too much because that also indirectly means I prefer to listen to the smexy scenes and well I think that is more blush inducing than anything! However, if I take a minute to rationalize, I realize that when I listen to the romancier bits I get through it quicker then when I’m reading it and I pause every couple of words to just take a minute and analyze my life choices. This, again, has nothing to do with pro-romance readers and everything to do with me, an awkward rookie in the romance bookverse,

Apart from romance, I do have some middle grade lined up for me! So let’s see how that goes. I also am considering listening to a fantasy audiobook which I will hopefully love!

Leave your recommendations below, they are always welcome.

When Do You Listen to Audiobooks?

I found that it works out best for me when I’m commuting to and from school! I just pop in my headphones, blast the volume, and listen away. I have no fear of someone reading over my shoulder especially when I get to saucier or bloodier parts in my novels. Of course, I can’t stop myself from making faces sometimes or from holding in my smile/laughter, it’s just a natural habit of mine, and I might look a little to into my “music” to the other passengers.

I also listen to books at night before I go to bed. It’s the perfect way to relax. I don’t have to keep switching hands when one gets tired of flipping the page. I can close my eyes and am no longer reading on this tiny screen in my pitch black room slowly increasing my chances of going blind. The volume is also super soft so I’m not too worried about going deaf soon.

How Do You Listen to Audiobooks?

I’m talking speed. I always get a little intimidated when I see that the audiobook is 9-11 hours long. Like geez, I don’t have that much time on my hands. I also don’t like listening to books at normal speed because I feel like the normal pace is almost too slow for me. I prefer reading somewhere between 1.5x-1.75x faster. That way I still hear the emotion in the characters voices and they don’t sound like total chipmunks. (And also maybe because I can get through the sexy scenes a little faster…especially if I’m blushing on the bus)

AudibleAU books amazon listening google play GIF
via giphy.com

Where Do You Get Your Audiobooks From?

I have only ever gotten my audiobooks from my library’s website, Overdrive/Libby. I am super luck the Toronto Public Library has an extensive collection of digital material, and even though the wait lines can be long, there is always something to borrow in the mean time! I am curious about Audible, but I believe that is kind of like a subscription service and as a less than rich student, I think that if I am gonna spend money on books I would prefer physical copies.

Who Do You Like as Narrators?

I know this is a weird question, but hey everyone has their likes. From the couple of Christina Lauren books I’ve read, I know I prefer one of their female narrators over another and I really like the dude that they usually have, Deacon Lee or something like that. The narrator for this Toronto-set book could have been amazing if she had the right Toronto accent and it was just really cringe-y hearing her pronounce some things wrong. Everything is in the accent y’all!


That’s it for me. If I’m being totally honest sometimes I don’t know why I bother with ebooks anymore, if audiobooks are just so handy or rather not handy because all I need are headphones. I can’t say audiobooks beat having a real physical book in my hands.

Audiobooks are a whole world in the universe of reading and I am still a total noob when it comes to them, so I would love to hear your input! As always leave your recs, I’m always looking to place on hold at my library these days!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Cover Revamps! The NEW Lunar Chronicles paperbacks | I have thoughts so let’s discuss

Greetings readers!

So Cyborg Monday happened a while ago and for those in the Marissa Meyer Universe should know that her Lunar Chronicles books are getting new paperback covers! I am here to discuss them because that is what we do in the bookish world!

Now, I already own the entire series in the original covers so I have no reason to truly buy these, but I’ll be honest these new ones are very tempting!

via Fierce Reads

Cinder

Cover: Pretty amazing if I do say so myself!! I love the pink and the purple colour scheme. I love her pose and her expression, the way she is dressed and her shining prosthetic that’s all patched up with duct tape and all the spare parts and metal bits! I think she looks amazing! Everything about the cover is wonderful! I have zero complaints.

Inside: STUNNING! My jaw totally dropped when I saw it! I pretty much love everything about it! The dress, the gloves, Kai flying down the stairs, Levana looking down at the, both and just the whole movement of the scene. You can feel the urgency of the run and chase! I do think that Cinder’s skin is too light and flat. There is no real depth without any shading to the skin.

Scarlet

Cover: Again, the colour scheme is phenomenal! The orange/green for some reason just feels very French to me! Not to mention the fact that it goes great with Scar’s hair! Her outfit is so cute, I would totally wear it if I could pull off the hobo chic, but I can’t! The wolf! I mean the wolfffffff. Her expression is so Scarlet! She literally looks like she gives absolutely zero fucks and that is amazing! I guess the only complaint I have is that Scar is supposed to be on the chubbier side (right?) and that would have been nice to see on the cover.

Inside: One giant YES! Wolf is looking fly as fuck (pun intended) and again you can really feel the movement in the picture! The colours really make the figures stand out! I don’t have much to say other than I love it! (Okay…maybe her hand is kind of awkward but still it is very cool!)

Cress

Cover: I really love the background. It is so high tech and the white/beige paneling next to the blue space sparkled with stars and the Earth in the background looks stunning. Now Cress….oh god. She looks not great, like I don’t like how she looks at all. I feel like her body is so disproportionate. Her arms…I mean look at them, they are so long, freakishly long. And her hair…not cute, it is just not cute. And the hair does not help the fact that her forehead looks kind of too big. I’m so disappointed in this cover to be very honest and it just makes me even more sad knowing that I love this character and this book! But the cover just does not do it any justice!

Inside: So Cress looks so much better. Her forehead is less…just less. It looks like it is proportionate to her body. I love how she is posed and the lost and wonder-filled expression peaking through her wide eyes. Now Thorne…I mean, I’m happy he’s at least there…but this is a no for me, unfortunately. It’s the chin and the hands. The chin is like all scrunched up and angry looking whereas I was kind of hoping for a trademark smirk. He looks almost a little too serious and not like my charming Captain. His hands are way too big XD I mean I get that they are supposed to appear bigger because they are in the foreground, but they are a bit too big. The rest of the body though…truly great 😉

Winter

And behold - my personal favorite of all four stepbacks! It's just so… so… STEAMY. Thank you @tropical_toxic for your incredible work, and thank you to all of the bloggers who helped reveal the new art for WINTER and the rest of the series! 	#LunarEverAfter https://bit.ly/2RahZoe 

Cover: Oh I love it. The purple and white is incredible! The animals!!!! RYU!!!!!! This is great symbolism people! Winter herself, looks quite fabulous although again her neck looks quite exaggerated, but it might just be the angle it is at. I love her dress, 10/10 I would try it on if I could! I think this cover ties in really well with Cinder considering the colour scheme and it is a perfect way to tie up the series!

Inside: First of all, I love this scene. It is one of my favourite dramatic moments of Winter and I love how it was staged. Winter looks FABULOUS, once again and she looks like she is really enjoying that kiss. Jacin looks INTENSE. The way he is looming over her and the hand on her waist contrasted against the one holding the ladder, soft vs. hard, it is really beautiful. I can’t say I like long hair on a guy, I don’t, but hey it works for Jacin!


Overall, I do really like the new covers and I am 100% tempted to buy them even though I know I shouldn’t. I mean I already own the series in paperback and I would never dare replace them for something else! Perhaps if I find them for cheap one day I might purchase them used, who knows!?

I would love to hear your thoughts on these new covers? Did you like them? Love them? or were they so-so? Or god-awful? Can’t wait to read all your thoughts!

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

tlcread

A Heart So Fierce and Broken | Review // *chants* Grey-by! Grey-by! Grey-by!

Greetings readers!

I know I don’t read it or talk about it a lot, but urban fantasy is a great genre. I’m not saying that every UF book out there is amazing, but there are definitely some special ones! Last year, I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer, which was a pretty stellar urban fantasy which actually ended up being more fantastical than urban! You don’t hear me complaining though!

This year I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of it’s sequel, A Heart So Fierce and Broken! I was very excited for this book because while I enjoyed the characters from book one, this book was going to star my favourite! That’s right my Grey-by! (Which rhymes with “baby” by the way).

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer

A Heart So Fierce and Broken (Cursebreakers, #2)
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Jan 7, 2020
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Goodreads

Find the heir, win the crown.

The curse is finally broken, but Prince Rhen of Emberfall faces darker troubles still. Rumors circulate that he is not the true heir and that forbidden magic has been unleashed in Emberfall. Although Rhen has Harper by his side, his guardsman Grey is missing, leaving more questions than answers.

Win the crown, save the kingdom.

Rumored to be the heir, Grey has been on the run since he destroyed Lilith. He has no desire to challenge Rhen–until Karis Luran once again threatens to take Emberfall by force. Her own daughter Lia Mara sees the flaws in her mother’s violent plan, but can she convince Grey to stand against Rhen, even for the good of Emberfall?

The heart-pounding, compulsively readable saga continues as loyalties are tested and new love blooms in a kingdom on the brink of war.

In the sequel to New York Times bestselling A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Brigid Kemmerer returns to the world of Emberfall in a lush fantasy where friends become foes and love blooms in the darkest of places.

The Likes

GREY-BY! Yes, I still love him. I had my moments before reading where I doubted what I could ever truly like about him, but as soon as I read his first chapter all my doubt flew out the window! Now, I’m not saying my man is perfect, I actually wanted to slap him a couple times in the earlier chapters, but what I admire about him the most is his undying loyalty and his sense of honour. I know, I know–let’s be honest, most of the fictional dudes I like are morally grey (hehehe), but I like to think of myself as a loyal person so I really relate to that I guess. Other than that, he’s broody, secretly charming and does his best to work around the very intense political climate!

Lia Mara, was PHENOMENAL! I loved everything about her! On a personal level, I guess I related to her too. She was very booksy and not at all fiery like her sister (who was tough to swallow for several reasons)! But I think what I loved about her most was her compassion. I feel like people, in fictional worlds and the real one, are constantly trying to portray themselves as cool and tough, with an “I don’t give a shit about anybody” attitude to the world. It’s not exactly the best way to face the world and the book really shows how much compassion is missing in our lives. More importantly it shows how compassionate people see their most glorious trait as a weakness in society. Her journey to finding the strength in her compassion and empathy was truly amazing and I wish to see more of it in other YA books!

Others…Well, the few glimpses we got from Harper were alright. I just think that she was different from the first novel. I missed that sass that she had and instead got this kind of meh character and don’t even get me started on Rhen…I could not with him. And yeah yeah there are *reasons* but ahhh I could not with him. Jake was ugh Jake. I could do without him if I am being 100% honest.

The plot was very politically intense! There were lots of questions that were difficult to answer. Such as choosing the well being of your own nation over the devastation of another. The rift that mistrust causes between a leader and their people. The problem of wanting what’s best for your loved ones but having to go against them in order to achieve it. And most importantly, ignoring the value that you possess when you’ve locked yourself in this box that says you are useful for one thing only. It’s a complex plot, but easy enough to follow. The conflict between nations and people is well drawn out and I liked the suspense that it created between the characters!

The magic was also incredible. I’m still not 100% percent on its origins, but then again my memory is foggy from book one. I still think the exploration of the magic in characters and some special magical creatures was the most fun we had! It was not the most flashy kind of magic, but I really enjoyed it!

It’s a chunky book, but a speedy read. Don’t be intimidated by the size, I flew through this book! The writing is swift and smooth. I’m not saying that its simplicity makes it less fancy, but that is what exactly makes it entertaining. There is a lot of information to get through and Kemmerer doesn’t take up time giving us explanations we don’t need.

The ending was a banger! It hit all the sensitive spots, Kemmerer did not hold back! I totally see why this would be not work that well as a duology. I don’t know who the third book is going to star, but I am excited to find out. I mean, I have a feeling we are going back to Harper and Rhen maybe with some Grey mixed in, but it could also be two totally new characters!

The Questionable

I wouldn’t say there is anything totally terrible that made me knock off the star, but it just wasn’t the full five. I felt like there was something missing. I think it had to do with the magic. There is a lot of history there that is too mysterious. I don’t mind it having an air of mystery, but I am feeling pretty clueless right now.


Overall, I enjoyed this installment immensely, more than the first one. I loved these characters and everything that they stood for! I hope to see them again. If you were hesitant about continuing this series, I highly recommend you do! This book has a lot to offer and we’ve strayed away from the original B&B retelling, so it does offer a new and fresh story line with hints to the old one!

Rating: 4 / 5 Stars

Recommend: YES! It’s fun, fast with fabulous characters!

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? Did you enjoy A Curse So Dark and Lonely? Who is your favourite character? What urban fantasy books do you enjoy? (Let’s be honest though, this one was definitely more fantasy than urban!)

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things | More Rant than Review // Setting myself up for failure

Greetings readers!

Today’s review post is a rant in disguise. Well not really, since I’m telling you exactly what I’m about to do. I just want to warn everyone one that there will be spoilers in this review. I just can’t talk about this book without giving away some big details, so I will be sure to highlight when I get super spoilery!

In the summer, I participated in Raincoast Books’ YA Winter preview. Basically, I drooled over all the books that I added to my TBR right then and there. One such book was a contemporary book based on Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park, sprinkled with some Narnia references and I was like oooooooooooo. But then the bomb dropped–this book has a love-triangle and I was like nnnnooooooooooo. And yet…I gave it a shot. I thought to myself, I won’t get attached, I’ll enjoy the drama while I can, I won’t get attached, I’ll take in stride the Narnia references, I WON’T GET ATTACHED!!!!!!!

And guess, guess what I did? I got attached and got hurt.

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things by Jacqueline Firkins

Hearts, Strings, and Other Breakable Things
via Goodreads

Pub Date: Dec 17th, 2019
Publisher: HMH Teen
Goodreads

In this charming debut about first love and second chances, a young girl gets caught between the boy next door and a playboy. Perfect for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.

Mansfield, Massachusetts is the last place seventeen-year-old Edie Price wants to spend her final summer before college. It’s the home of wealthy suburbanites and prima donnas like Edie’s cousins, who are determined to distract her from her mother’s death with cute boys and Cinderella-style makeovers. Edie has her own plans, and they don’t include a prince charming.

But as Edie dives into schoolwork and applying for college scholarships, she finds herself drawn to two Mansfield boys who start vying for her attention. First there’s Sebastian, Edie’s childhood friend and first love. He’s sweet and smart and . . . already has a girlfriend. Then there’s Henry, the local bad boy and all-around player. He’s totally off limits, even if his kisses are chemically addictive.

Both boys are trouble. Edie can’t help but get caught between them. Someone’s heart is going to break. Now she just has to make sure it isn’t hers.

The Non-Spoilery (Very Short) Review

This was a fairly entertaining book. The characters were well defined, interesting and flawed. Oh were they flawed, they’re also teenagers so we cut them some slack. The love triangle, was a love triangle in more ways than one, trust me. The friendship aspect was a little lacking, which kind of bothered me. It was funny and charming, even though I had my issues with it. I’m sure people who actually enjoy the drama of love triangles will enjoy this immensely. I know that population is few, but it is mighty.

The Spoilery RANT

*BREATHES*

I knew from the beginning that the childhood crush was going to be the one she ended up choosing. I knew, I knew, I knew. I didn’t actually know for sure, but my heart was set. I knew that from the very first chapter the chemistry between them was still very strong and that were gonna end up together. Lord, did I know. But I am a dumb bitch, and I say that in the most loving way to myself, and I stupidly fell for the other guy. BECAUSE I”M DUMB!

Okay let’s go character by character:

Edie: A vert interesting, unique character…..um. Sure. I really liked that she had her passions, she stuck to them, and she stumbles along the way like every teen girl who is still not 100% sure who she is. I really enjoyed her character, and the struggles she went through. Especially living with estranged family who is not exactly the most loving–not that they treat her bad, just differently. Her approach to life was very literary, literally. She would live by her some of her favourite quotes from classic literature. Not the best way to live life, but she does learn key things and I really enjoyed her growth in the novel. To sum it all up, I liked her well enough. Can’t say I loved her, but I didn’t hate her either.

Sebastian: What a fucking loser. AHHHH the freaking childhood crush, that gets the girl despite the fact that he is very much a loser. And I am being very cruel right now. He is not actually (that much of) a loser. Most of my resentment comes from the fact that he is the reason for the downfall of my ship, but if I am being completely honest, he was the better match for Edie. So why did I dislike him so much…well I found that I related to him way to much. The personal identification is strong with this one.

Narnia-obsession? Yeah, boy.
Having writer dreams? I’m guilty of.
Not meeting those familial expectations? Same here.
Having no real solid plan for what they want in life? Hey there, man.

He was so wishy washy throughout the whole novel. I just couldn’t stand him for most of the novel. Bleh. His struggles may have hit home, but my god he was miserable and I didn’t really reading the book when he walked onto the page. He was just so frustrating ugh. So yeah, he’s a loser. Just like me.

Henry: Another fucking idiot, but lord help me I fell hard and fast and I honestly worry about my future self. He was the charming, suave bad boy, who was most definitely a man-hoe. And I can’t believe I fell for him. He is literally the definition of fuck boi, plus he doesn’t have any actual career plans other than spending his parent’s money. Yes, he has a soft more passionate side. And he works for what he wants, but he is still an entitled white, rich boy–and I can’t believe I fell for it. BUT I DID OKAY. And I really enjoyed it whenever he was on the page!

I was so mad when Edie broke up with him! Like ah he was giving her all and she was like you’re fun but I love Sebastian bla bla bla. I just couldn’t.

Now we have to talk about Maria…who…No. Just no. Look, Maria is a terribly flawed character that keeps getting forgiven when she should not. OH MY GOD. I get it she’s a side character she’s not supposed to have that much growth, but her behaviour was not okay and she is absolved for being “family”. Um, excuse me? No. She is constantly talking down on Edie and her humble choice of wardrobe etc. Not having a filter is whatever, but choosing to constantly demean others around you is not cool.  She repeatedly cheats on her boyfriend and blames him for allowing her and when he finally grows the spine to break up with her, she wallows in self-pity with no actual remorse for the hurt she caused. She was sexting Henry while he was dating Edie!!!! If I found out my cousin had been sexting my boyfriend to seduce him and ignored his constant rejections, I would not let that slide on the basis of being family. That is not okay. But you know what Edie forgives Maria cuz they cousins. Her punishment? Selling old clothes for college funds, she doesn’t even ever sincerely apologize. I couldn’t, this was so toxic!

Aside from the romance and Maria, I enjoyed the events of the novel. Was it anything profound and incredibly inspiring? Not really. This was a novel full of rich white people about rich white people problems so I was really here just to poke fun and engage in their drama! I can’t say that it is completely inaccessible and some of the troubles that the kids face do have their moments, especially the struggles in keeping up friendships and relationships. Choosing who you want to be and not letting others or the past dictate who you will become. Those were the heartfelt moments that I really liked reading about. The pacing was good, although I felt like it was dragging towards the middle when things were just kind of hanging on and stalling while we built this lovely relationship just to crush it.


Overall, this book was fine. I can’t say I loved it, but I didn’t dislike it either! It has its ups and downs, it has a love triangle which is a little obvious, but sometimes you still fall for the traps that authors set. The characters are well written even though some are quite flawed and needed some–lots–of growth. I’ve never read Mansfield Park, but I hope it does Jane Austen justice!

Rating: 3 / 5 stars

Recommend?: Uhhh I guess its whether you really like the love triangle or want to give that trope a try, then why not!?

Let me know what you think! Have you read this? What are some of your favourite or not-so-favourite tropes? What are you more into the childhood friend or bad boy/girl?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

get-reaidng

From 2019 to 2020!| My best books, my goal achievements, what I am looking forward to!

Greetings readers!

Happy new year to you all! It has been a hectic past couple of weeks with all the celebrations from posadas, to Christmas to New Years. I have been eating non-stop, got cute presents, spent some lovely family time and haven’t read enough at all! But with the end of a year, comes the beginning of a new one and it’s time to look back on the books I’ve read and the things I’ve accomplished! It’s also time to set myself up for the next 12 months! I’m excited and a little bit nervous, there is so much room for opportunity and I finally want to get to some things!

My Best Books

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli | Review

THE LAST NAMSARA by @kristenciccarelli Q: What is a book you wish you had read sooner? The answer to this question is loaded for me. I hardly read books as soon as they're published. Even if I own them, I keep pushing and pushing them. Until the moment comes when I finally do read them and I completely fall in love. That special moment happened with The Last Namsara a couple of months ago. I did a buddy read with @shaniasquires (who completely devoured the book in one day) and it's safe to say we both LOVED THIS BOOK. Not to mention we can't wait to read it's companion novels. Hopefully sooner rather than later 😉 #thelastnamsara #bookstagram #yabooks #books #reader #bookishcanadians #fantasy #youngadultbooks #canlit #epicreads #kristenciccarelli by @readingwithrendz - Imgtagram

The Beauty of the Moment by Tanaz Bhathena | Review

This media created by Rendz 🇨🇦, owner of @readingwithrendz account - Imgtagram

The Sisters of the Winter Wood by Rena Rossner | Review

Speak Easy, Speak Love by McKelle George | Review

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young | Review

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia | Review

Strange the Dreamer & Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor | Review

A Dash of Trouble by Anna Meriano | Review

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang | Review

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)
via Goodreads

A Review in the Goals from 2019

6. Connections. Connections. Connections.

I think I did a-ok with this goal. I’ve been able to reach out to one or two more publishers, I have strengthened the relationships I already have with some. Overall, I am really happy with the connections I have made this year.

5. Make a trademark blog feature and keep up with it

Mmmmmmm….I didn’t get to this exactly. I mean, I have been better with The Bookish Feels posts but not enough for them to be “trademark”. Perhaps, I was too ambiguous with this goal and I had no real plans for it. I think I will try this one again in 2020, but take the rest of this year to truly plan out what exactly I want to do.

4. Get Involved

Uhhh I didn’t do the best with this goal. My blog hopping has suffered, but my Instagram adventures have been very successful! I’ve made lots of new friends on there and have really built my page. So I’d say this was half a success!

3. Read My Shelves (But better)

By the end of 2019, I should have read the following series on my shelves:

A Crown of Wishes and The Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi
Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab
The DC Icons series
Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor
The Conqueror’s Saga by Kiersten White

I’ve read one of the five series I set out to read. Look this goal was flunked on again! I’ll be honest! Whenever I set time aside for them, I ended up reading something else. I am actually super disappointed I didn’t get to Chokshi’s books or the DC books, but I hope to get to them in early 2020(?) not gonna bank on it though.

2. Read my ARCs on time

Chris Evans Laughing GIF by mtv
via giphy.com

I…I have no excuse. I just suck at reading books on time and it is such a terrible habit. I am doing a disservice to the publisher, the author and to myself. I know I shouldn’t be that upset over this, but I have to to better. I was on a roll at one point in the year which made me a little happy, but I know I can do better if I put my mind to it!

1. Relax on the Requesting Game

the office lol GIF
via giphy.com

I am my own worst enemy. I request que me da la gana, as my mother would say. Whatever I’m in the mood for in the moment, I request. It is a terrible habit because this is the reason I never read my ARCs on time! I seriously need to stop over-requesting. One of my biggest goals is to be less greedy this year. It’s not just about being less greedy, it’s about de-cluttering my life. Becoming more sustainable, reading only what I truly want, when I truly want.


Looking On into 2020

I honestly don’t know. I…hmm…I feel like I want to change in some way. Not total reinvention, but to change in some way meaningful. To bring something new to this blog. I don’t have all my plans set now, but I do know that a re-vamp of the website’s look is in the books. I also know that relaxing on the requesting game will also be very important for this reinvention of myself. Audiobooks, are definitely something I want to get more into this year too. I already started finding my mojo and I am very excited to see where these adventures take me

So these three things are what I do know

  1. New Look
  2. Relax on the Requests
  3. Explore Audiobooks and other reading formats!

Let me know what you think! How did you do with your 2019 goals if you had any? What are you looking forward to achieving in the coming new year?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

November Wrap-Up & What’s Left of December TBR | OMG THIS BLOG IS STILL A THING!

Greetings readers!

disney GIF
giphy.com

Welcome one, welcome all! I am back!!! I just finished an intense exam season that had me neglecting this website for at least three weeks and it feels so amazingly wonderful to be back! I missed you all so much, I know I have so much catching up to do and SO much to read, but I am so so ready for it all!

I feel like I wrote maybe one or two posts between my last wrap-up and this one. *checks to see*

The actual number is 3.

OH WELL! Here’s another wrap-up posts that is being posted half-way through the month! These are always my more popular ones and the ones I have the most fun writing so here we go!

wrap-up-3

What Rendz Read!

I got a few books in in November before I started to get crushed by school and had to take a step back and reassess my entire life, so this will not be a long list.

Interestingly enough, for some mind-boggling reason that I still cannot quite comprehend I was in the mood to read Adult contemporary romance these past two months! What? EXACTLY. I, Rendz, reading a pure romance novel is so so rare and the fact that I was actually wanting to read these kinds of books is nothing short of a miracle! I have to say though I have been having some really good, some meh and some terrible encounters with my romance adventures, but all that will be coming in another post so stay tuned!

November:

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
The Collected Works of Gretchen Oyster by Cary Fagan
Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

December:

One and Only by Jenny Holiday
The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting
The Matchmaker’s List by Sonya Lalli
Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

So I didn’t have bad reading months…I just didn’t read any of the books I was supposed to LOL!


The OVER-Haul

Ummmmm. So I found out that when I get stressed and anxious and overwhelmed in general…I tend to maybe buy/request all the books. These past months have been tough on me, my mental state has been so worried about school (this semester really came to slap me) so I may have sent one too many emails out and my publishers have been more than generous with me.

Raincoast Books

A Heart So Fierce and Broken by Brigid Kemmerer
Diamond City Francesca Flores
Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal
The Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter

Hachette

Goldie Vance and the Hotel Whodunit by Lilliam Rivera
The Wolf of Oren-Yaro by K. S. Villoso
Realm of Ash by Tasha Suri

Thomas Allen & Son. 

The Dark Lord Clementine by Sarah Jean Horwitz
The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith

Penguin Teen Ca/ Tundra Books

The Kingdom of Back by Marie Lu
Unravel the Dusk by Elizabeth Lim
Me and Banksy Tanya Loyd Kyi

Netgalley

Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Giveaway Win!

The Resolutions by Mia Garcia
Even if the Sky Falls by Mia Garcia

Purchases

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno
Signal to Noise by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

I really don’t deserve any of this.

What makes this worse is that I just feel more worried and anxious about having to read all of these books before their due dates. I AM MY OWN WORST ENEMY!!!!!!!!

And yet…I’ll take this challenge.


Other Going-Ons

Mexican Gothic Cover Reveal –  MIND MUTHER F*KIN BLOWN

Mexican Gothic
via Goodreads

Excuse my French. But my mind was thoroughly blown away by this cover! The colours, the dress, the lip colour…I just everything about this cover is too gorgeous for words! I cannot wait to finally get my hands on it! You all must know how much I love Moreno-Garcia’s work, I am so ready for more!

My Eldest Sister Read An Ember in the Ashes!

Alert GIF by memecandy
giphy.com

She was bored and had none of her own books to read so she finally TOOK MY ADVICE AND READ IT AND LIKED IT!!!!! I mean she is not as obsessed as I am, but I feel that’s more her being stubborn and sticking it to me. It might take many more months of convincing for her to pick up the next book, but I have lots of hope she’ll continue to love the books!

Last Month I did An Unhaul!!!

I finally stopped being a hoarder and did some de-cluttering of old ARCs! I gave some to my old middle-school teacher and others went off to charity! It felt good letting them go although by now I’ve requested enough to refill the shelf space I had originally made XD I’m going to be doing another unhaul soon so hopefully I can make more room!

The Mulan Trailer

I’ll be honest, I wasn’t overly excited at the fact at how much they were going to change it…but after seeing that trailer, after hearing Reflection as the background music…I am very much looking forward to seeing the full thing now!

I am an Audiobook Fanatic Now?!?!?

Me. Rendz. Is. Becoming. An. Audiobook. Reader/listener? Believe it friends, I’ve been having a lot of fun! I’ve been using them to get through these romance books faster and I have to say listening to sexy scenes being read to you is a totally different experience from reading them yourself. And if you’re like me, who blushes at everything, you can imagine how red I get when I listen to these XD!


Posts of the Month

Popular Disliked Characters that I Like | An Unpopular Opinion Post I guess??? // Don’t @ Me please

Popular Disliked Characters that I Like

TBR

Oh god. Um EVERYTHING THAT I HAVE SITTING ON MY NIGHTSTAND AND DRESSER RIGHT NOW!

I won’t even bother making a list, friends. It’s gonna be a marathon of books for me this holiday season and while I am a bit overwhelmed thinking about it, I am also really excited about it!

How was your November? What were your favourite reads? What do you have planned for the rest of December?

Happy reading!

~ Rendz

read