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Song of Achilles

A thrilling, profoundly moving, and utterly unique retelling of the legend of Achilles and the Trojan War. A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. An action-packed adventure, an epic love story, a marvelously conceived and executed page-turner.

How do I even begin to write this review? I haven’t written a review in awhile (I’m the worst I know), and when I decided to get back to it, I said I wouldn’t review anything I haven’t recently read. But then I remembered this book (how could I ever forget it?), and I couldn’t not write this review. Now I’m sitting here and I’m trying to put into words how I liked the book, how it made me feel, what it meant to read it, and I’m coming up with nothing. No words to describe the absolute masterpiece that was Song of Achilles.

Here’s my best shot. Reading Song of Achilles was a journey. I first opened the book with high expectations and worry that it wouldn’t meet them. I thought it started slow, but quickly realized that was the point. This wasn’t a book about high action scenes, or epic adventures. Of course, both can be found in the book, but above all else this was a book about love. A love many dream of. It’s a book you fall in love with slowly, and when you realized that it happened your too far gone to stop it.

I won’t wax poetic about the book anymore. I’ll leave the review like this; this is the type of book readers think about for the rest of their lives. That they go back to over and over again. This is a god tier book. Five undeniably deserved stars. I wish I could go back and read it for the first time.


Rating System

Am I too quick to five stars? Do I write reviews too quickly after reading books, and unjustly rate? Those are all possibilities I need to take into consideration. I have come to realize I need a rating system, and I will explain below what each star rating will mean below.

In addition to a rating system, I’ve realized I shouldn’t get too excited and write reviews right away. It has occurred to me that in writing a review directly after finishing a book, especially books that I truly enjoyed, I have been rating and reviewing books and then realizing flaws after the book and story has sunk in. I have decided to write my reviews at least 24 hours after finishing a book, to try to fairly rate. I have also begun taking notes about books as I read them so I can look back at how I felt throughout the whole story, and not just at the end.

So, without further ado, the new rating system. It will still be a star-based rating, but each rating will have meaning:

1 star: DNF. This is a book I could not finish, that the writing was poor, or I didn’t like the author’s style. This is a book I would not try again and an author I won’t give a second chance.

2 stars: DNF/almost DNF’d. This is a book that I could not finish, or almost couldn’t not finish, that I could see potential in. The story maybe wasn’t for me, but it was well written and a good plot.

3 stars: This is a book that is enjoyable, but nothing special. I was happy to read but didn’t feel like I couldn’t live without the story.

4 stars: This is a book that is amazing. I loved reading and wished I could keep reading even when I was doing other stuff.

5 stars: God tier. This is a book that changed my life. The kind that I wish I could step into or read again for the first time.

Book Haul (sorry babe)

Much to my boyfriend’s exasperation I have a book haul I would love to share with you guys! I’m hoping this haul will hold the answers to getting out of this reading slump. So without further ado, I present to you, my book haul:

The Shadow in the Glass: A gothic, dark retelling of Cinderella with a Victorian backdrop.

Second Star to the Left: A NA Peter Pan retelling that is a love story between Tink and Hook.

Bravely: A new YA story set after Disney’s Brave with a new adventure for Merida.

Book of Night: Holly Black’s debut adult novel, a dark fantasy perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman and Erin Morgenstern.

Portrait of a Thief: A debut heist story that has Asian and LGTBQ+ characters.

Darling Girl: Another Peter Pan retelling that tells the story of Wendy’s granddaughter.

The Priory of the Orange Tree: A monster of a novel that’s an epic fantasy that focuses on women and their stories.

Kingdom of the Wicked: The first in a new NA trilogy by Kerri Maniscalco that tells the story of sisters, and what lines you would cross for those you love.

The Wilder Women: The newest book by the author of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance about magical sisters looking for their lost mother.

Mistakes Were Made: A sapphic rom-com about embracing the unexpected.

As I said before, normally when I go on vacation, I pack a bag dedicated just to books, but I’m trying to be a little more practical. I think I want to bring 3-4 books, to give myself variety, and my Kindle. Now I know I said that I’m in the mood to read physical books only, but that could change at any time, plus having my Kindle gives me the opportunity to download any sequels if I need to.

So, the question becomes, what books do I bring with me? Do I want to bring some of the books I just got, or do I want to read something older from my TBR? I think the answer may be that I need to bring a mix. My head feels like maybe fantasy is the way to go, but I’ll bring at least one realistic with me in case I’m wrong. I’m starting to get really excited about my vacation now, and thinking about what books to pack is really putting me in the vacation mood. What do you think I should bring?

All books are tagged if you’re interested in purchasing! I got a few of these titles through Book of the Month. Book of the Month is a monthly subscription box where the reader gets to pick! Each month pick from 5-7 new titles, and then add from their hundreds of add-ons. Skip anytime, or pick up to 3 books each month. Sign up here for your first month to be only $5.

The Dreaded Reading Slump

We’re halfway through May and I’ve had a realization. I’m in a reading slump. I’ve barely read anything for a few months now, and when I am reading, I’m not being completely captured by the stories or the characters. Am I reading the wrong books or is it me?

Let’s see if we can break it down. I can really remember being absolutely enthralled by a book in February when I was reading House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas. Is it possible that finishing that has put me in a slump? Absolutely, especially given the ending of that book. Since then, I’ve read a few really great books, one book that was enjoyable, and one book I couldn’t finish.

 I’m currently reading The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard. It’s enjoyable and I can see why so many people like it, but once again I’m finding myself fine with putting the book down and not knowing when I’ll be able to pick it back up. I find myself questioning if I’m going to enjoy it enough to need to read the whole series right away, or will I pick up a something completely different after?

I leave for a week long vacation at the end of May. I would love to use that time to try and break out of this slump, but what will do it? Do I need to read a quick cute romance? Do I need an epic fantasy? The answer is I have no idea. Another thing that can put me in a slump is the format of what I’m reading. I go through phases of what I need to read, Kindle of physical. Recently, I’ve been very into reading physical books, but I’ve spent a week at my parents’ house and all I’ve really got is my Kindle. No matter how good the story is I won’t enjoy it if I’m not enjoying the format I’m reading on.

I need a plan before I leave, and I’ve got a week to pack my bags. Usually, I bring a bag just for books to bring on vacation. I’m trying to be more practical. I’m going to be gone a week, we won’t only be sitting by a pool, and I always visit Barritt’s Books and get books while I’m in Virginia Beach. Let’s see if I can figure this out before I go.

So This is Ever After

The dreaded thing has happened. My first DNF of the year. If you don’t know DNF means did not finish, and readers hate finding a DNF read. A couple of years ago I would power through books, even if I didn’t like them. One day my boyfriend said to me, “why are you wasting time reading books if you’re not enjoying it?” and I realized he had a point. I read because I like it, for enjoyment, and if a book isn’t enjoyable to me, I shouldn’t finish. It doesn’t make me a bad reader, and it doesn’t make the book a bad book. Not every book is for every reader.

So This is Ever After has a great premise. What happens after the hero is triumphant? What happens after the evil is defeated? In real life, people don’t just cease to exist after winning a battle, so Lukens wrote the book about after. I was really enjoying their writing; it was a specific thing for me that made me DNF. There is a trope I can’t stand and will almost always ruin a book for me., lack of communication. When it’s clear to the audience that two people are crazy for each other, but somehow neither of them is picking up on any of the very clear clues. Is it possible that it could happen in real life? Absolutely, I’ve seen it happen. But when I’m reading about it, or watching it, it makes me crazy. It’s something that I feel could be done without, so when I realized this entire book was going to be a miscommunication trope, I couldn’t do it.

While DNFing is always disappointing, it doesn’t always mean you won’t try again, or try something different by the author. I will definitely be trying something else by them. I could tell from the writing that I would like something else by them, this book just wasn’t the one for me. I’m very hopeful for my next read.


Love on the Brain

Bee Königswasser lives by a simple code: What would Marie Curie do? If NASA offered her the lead on a neuroengineering project—a literal dream come true after years scraping by on the crumbs of academia—Marie would accept without hesitation. Duh. But the mother of modern physics never had to co-lead with Levi Ward. Levi made his feelings toward Bee very clear in grad school—archenemies work best employed in their own galaxies far, far away. Perhaps it’s her occipital cortex playing tricks on her, but Bee could swear she can see Levi softening into an ally, backing her plays, seconding her ideas…devouring her with those eyes. There’s only one question that matters: What will Bee Königswasser do?

Ali Hazelwood, you have done it again. I have once again devoured a story you have written. Another love story, Gina? Yes. I’m apparently in a mood, and Ali Hazelwood has delivered. I was worried after her debut, “how will she do it again?” “She’s an exceptional writer, but will her story be as good?” The answer is, she’s amazing and I will forever read her stories.

I loved the characters. Nerdy scientists may just be some of my favorite characters to read. They were quirky, but not in an unrealistic, creepy way. They developed nicely. I laughed, and cried, and felt a whole range of emotions. The side characters were charming and fun, and while I wished I got to see more of everyone, I would not have wanted to take anything away from the story.

The two main characters, Bee and Levi, made my heart feel large and my head hurt. Normally the lack of communication trope makes me irrationally angry, but in this book, it was almost charming. Trope-wise it had one of my all-time favorites: when the man falls first. There’s just something so romantic to a story when you see a man fall in love with the woman, and then patiently waits for her to catch up. And let me tell you, Levi was patient.

Overall, I won’t say this book wasn’t without its flaws. I’ve read too many books to say any book is truly perfect. However, this book was exactly what I wanted it to be. Funny, romantic, quirky, emotional. It had it all. I am desperate for another novel by Ali Hazelwood.


My Very Hopeful April Book List

I’m hoping for a better April than I had March. Overall March was not great, and I didn’t get the chance to read as much as I wanted to. With some personal stuff going on, as well as being sick I was only able to read 3 books in March. In April I’m aiming to read 6 books.

Up first I have Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood. Given how much I loved The Love Hypothesis, I’m incredibly excited to read this book coming out August 23, 2022. I like to go into books by authors I know I enjoy blind, so I don’t know much about the synopsis, but I’m hoping for another grumpy/sunshine trope.

For the second book, I’m hoping to read So This Is Ever After. It was pitched to me as Carry On meets Arthurian legend, and honestly that was enough to have me asking for a digital review copy. The way I screamed when I woke up and saw that I was approved was a little bit embarrassing.

Third, we have Hotel Magnifique. The synopsis of this book gives me Carnaval and The Night Circus vibes. When I saw Edelweiss had this title available, I pushed the request button so fast. I just hope it lives up to my expectations.

Fourth, fifth, and sixth are all from one series. I’m going back into the world of the Shadowhunters and finally reading The Infernal Devices. Many years ago, I read all six of the Mortal Instrument books and I loved them. Just last year I decided I wanted to read EVERYTHING in the Shadowhunter world, and I wanted to do them in the order Cassandra Clare recommends. I read The Mortal Instruments part one, so next is The Infernal Devices. My only fear is that I will get obsessed and not want to leave this world until I finish, and that is so many books.

April will hopefully be full of great reads, and while I’m excited to read all these incredible books, I’m hopeful that life will allow me to actually read what I want to read. Everyone wish me luck!

Book Lovers

Nora Stephens’ life is books—she’s read them all—and she is not that type of heroine. Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again—in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow—what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves.

I’m writing this review fresh out of finishing this book, tears in my eyes, smiling so hard my cheeks hurt. My boyfriend is rolling his eyes at my, very typical, show of emotions. This won’t be a long review. I don’t have much to say without sounding like I’ve been paid to gush about this book.

Let me start by saying that Charlie Lastra is everything. You start with this grumpy, gruff man. You love him for his grumpiness, because let’s be real, we all love the grumpy/sunshine trope. Then you get to know him, and this character made my heart swell, and I just could not help the smile whenever you got to see a little bit more of him. Then there was the chemistry, and there was so much chemistry between him and Nora. The chemistry was enough to make a person combust.

Besides the romance you got a beautiful story of sisters and family. Having three sisters myself and being so close to my family it was so lovely to see a story that includes the importance of the family connection. That there are flaws and fights and things on the inside aren’t always what is projected on the outside, but family truly is everything. That family can be your best friends, not despite the bad, but because the good is so good it puts everything else into perspective. I love stories about family and this one was written so exceptionally well.

Overall, this book was so well rounded. Emily Henry writes exceptional love stories, but more than that she writes exceptionally stories all together. That romance is so much more than the love. It’s about all that goes on around the love story. That without all of the other stuff, love isn’t possible.


The Soulmate Equation

Single mom Jess Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Then her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: GeneticAlly’s founder, Dr. River Peña. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond” pairing that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist–and the science behind a soulmate–than she thought.

I’m a newer fan of Christina Lauren, the writing duo that is compiled of Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. I purchased my first of their books I would read in late 2020, after a hellish year and needing an escape. And then I purchased another and another until next thing I knew I had read 6 of their books, so when The Soulmate Equation was announced I was excited. I have a problem with reading hardcover books though, so if I can avoid it I will. Even though it killed me I waited for the paperback to be released, and it was on my doorstep 2 days later. Once I started, I didn’t want to put it down. There’s something so heartwarming about the stories this friendship creates.

The thing with Christina Lauren is that you don’t know the spice level of their books until you start reading them. Some books are downright dirty, while others have fade to black scenes. The sex in this book was mild and didn’t take up too much of the story. It felt like a good middle ground to their other books.

Overall, I would say this was a great book. It didn’t blow me away, and it wasn’t life altering. But that’s not what you’re looking for when you pick up on of these books. You’re looking for an escape. For a story you know will have a happily ever after. Christina Lauren succeeded in giving us that.


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