fun, Lila

Spilling The Secrets | April 2017

Hey, y’all! Lila reporting for duty! I’ back at it again with the wrap ups! This timme, I’m calling my wrap up segment “Spilling The Secrets” because within this segment, I’ll be spilling the beans on all of my favorite things from the past month!

This first segment of Spilling The Secrets is kind of a special one, as in the “Life Events” section, I’m going to be sharing with you my life events which have occurred since the beginning of 2017! Other than that, every other section covers only April! So let’s jump right in!

blogging business

I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve been doing a different format of review lately called “Five Reasons To Read…[Book Title]”. Have no fear, hough, the old style of reviewing will still be here! The “Five Reasons To Read” format is actually how I’ve decided to format my “mini reviews.” I say “mini reviews” in quotations because I know mine tend to be longer than most reviewers’, but, what can I say–I never said I wasn’t opinionated and long-winded!

reading wrap up

Sadly, I only finished one book in April and that was…

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

I really liked this book despite the fact that, because of my reading slump, it took me about five months to finish it! The Diabolic is fast paced and action packed and full of romance and political intrigue. The one thing I wish it had done better was the diversity. There were no people of color and only one LGBT+ character, whose sexuality was used as a plot device and who was killed off in the end. Aside from that, it was an entertaining read and I cant wait for the next book. You can check out my “mini review” here.

book haul

BOUGHT/WON

haul

eARCs RECEIVED

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music favorites

My musical favorites this month is an eclectic collection of pop. From slower melodies to fast paced ditties, traditional American tunes to songs inspired by music from around the world, and modern pop to older beats and sounds, this playlist has it all!

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music-tv favorites

I’ve been watching Netflix’s Iron Fist and I must say that I’m really enjoying it! It can be a bit cheesy and cliche–but in my opinion, most superhero stories are! It drags in a few places, but once you get going, the pace starts to pick up. I like thee layers of mysteries, the appearances of other characters from the Defenders universe, and, of course, the action! I’m not too happy about the whitewashing, though, and I can understand why people would choose to pass on Iron Fist because of it. I’m not gonna go saying it’s my all-time favorite show that takes place in the Marvel/Defenders universe, but it’s pretty good nonetheless.

other favorites

wax tarts

I really fell in love with the wax tarts sold by Wick And Fable in April! They smell absolutely delightful! For Easter, my mom bought three sets of them for me: Liesl (inspired by Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones), Der Erlkonig (also inspired by Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones), and To Whatever End (inspired by the Throne of Glass series by Sarah. J. Maas) and I highly recommend those three because they make my room smell incredible!!!

life events

I Participated in An International Women’s Day March And in A Day Without A Woman

unnamed (2)Since I live literally 10 minutes fro Washington, D.C., it’s pretty much impossible not to be involved in liberal, Democratic politics. It’s also pretty impossible to not participate in at least one of the recent anti Trump protests.

Despite my proximity to the capitol, I’ve never actually participated in a protest. Until International Women’s Day, that is! On that day, which also was the day of the A Day Without A Woman strike, I decided to not only wear red in solidarity with the cause, but also to take to the streets to protest the infantile Cheeto currently occupying my home city. I had a great time and there were some really great speakers who spoke on intersectional women’s rights and why they are so important.

I Visited A Korean Spa with My Bestie

Fun fact about me: before this year, I’d never been to a spa. But I corrected that earlier this year! My best friend got two free tickets to a Korean spa and decided to treat me and herself. I only visited the saunas and the cold room (which I fondly dubbed “the freezer”), but it was so nice! It was very relaxing and I can now say that I highly recommend going to a spa!

I Planted A Garden…And Haven’t Killed It Yet!

unnamedPlanting a garden and not killing it is quite the accomplishment for me as I usually am quite the plant killer! My mom wanted a garden for when she returns home, so my best friend, my godmother, and I went out, bought some plants, and got to planting! Ad,, what do ya know?! Three weeks later, plants are springing up everywhere!

I Started Volunteering At Koru Magazine And Stay Bookish eZine

This is an important life event/semi-announcement that’s happened and that is that I’m now a graphic designer and copy editor at Koru Magazine and a writer at Stay Bookish eZine! I’m immensely proud to have scored these positions and I’ve been having so much fun working for both!

I Marched for Science

unnamed (3)The March for Science recently occurred, so I headed into the city and took to the streets once again, this time with my best friend and another once of our friends! It was such a fun day (despite the rainy weather in D.C. on that day) and the march was HUGE! It was so great to see so many people come out in support of science! Before the march, my friends and I went to the National Gallery of Art and then in the evening, we went to a seminar on science and art which took place in a renovated underground trolley station! I had an AMAZING time!

looking ahead

The only major thing that is coming up on the blog, on my end, is that I’m taking part in  blog tour! The book is a diverse, #ownvoices one that seems to be highly anticipated by the community, so I think y’all will enjoy my tour stop! Otherwise, things will be running normally around here on my end!

So that’s all! How was your month? Anything fun or exciting happen? Tell me all in the comments!

fun

Month In Review | April 2016

Well, well, well! Another month has flown by! But that just means we’re a month closer to summer, my favorite season! Anyhow, I  read a ton in this past month and lots of exciting things happened, so let’s jump right into it!

Books Read + Mini Reviews

Saga Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples | 5/5 Stars

Loved it! I sense a new obsession in the making! The art was beautiful and the story was great and engaging. Couldn’t put it down!

Lumberjanes Issue 1 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen | 5/5 Stars

I thought this was such a cute beginning! Can’t wait to see what’s next for our imaginative girl gang!

Lumberjanes Issue 2 by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, and Brooke A. Allen | 3.5/5 Stars

This was cute, but I couldn’t really tell how it advanced any sort of overarching storyline or plot.

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro | 3.5/5 Stars

I had a LOT of technical issues with this book BUT on a purely entertainment level, I loved it. I will be continuing on with the series and hope to see Cavallaro’s writing get stronger. I can’t wait to see what’s next for Watson and Holmes!

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan | 4/5 Stars

Very cute! I loved it! Obviously this isn’t a great literary classic or anything and it’s totally Will and Kate fanfic, but it’s great for what it is!

Seven Black Diamonds by Melissa Marr | 1/5 Stars/DNF

This book had such an interesting premise, but the execution was terrible. I don’t even know what the plot was.

Nowhere But Here by Katie McGarry | 4/5 Stars

I fell in love with this book and Emily and Oz! I was skeptical about YA biker lit but the sequel is one of my most wanted books now! Definitely a must read!

The Favorite by Kiera Cass | 3/5 Stars

It was a cute story, but there didn’t seem to be much point to it…
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer | 4/5 Stars

It was great to be back in this world again, especially in the last novella. I enjoyed most of the short stories, but let’s be honest: we were all there for that ending. Very cute
Until Friday Night by Abbi Glines | 2/5 Stars

I really did not like this book. I found it had implied slut shaming and a really toxic relationship that teens should not look up to. I just–ugh. Blech!

Losing It by Cora Carmack | 2.5/5 Stars

This book was soooooo cute! I was so surprised by how much I really enjoyed Losing It. It wasn’t revolutionary, but it was cute.
Faking It by Cora Carmack | 3.5/5 Stars

The sequel to Losing It was just as cute as the first book! I loved learning more about Cade and getting to know Max! Very cute!
Finding It by Cora Carmack | 3.5/5 Stars

This is the darkest of the Losing It trilogy and I really felt that. It did have its cute moments, but there were just so many heavy moments and things going on. Still, I enjoyed it.
Emmy & Oliver by Robin Benway | 3/5 Stars

This book was pretty “blah” for me. The characters were colorless and there wasn’t much plot. It wasn’t bad per se, it just left me with no real lasting impressions.

Challenge Updates

Goodreads Challenge 

38/86 Books Completed

11 books ahead of schedule
Debut Author Challenge

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallaro

Rock My TBR Challenge

I unfortunately didn’t get to any backlist books this months.

Bookish Bingo

Second Chance

Set In Space–Starflight by Melissa Landers

Non Binary MC

Under 200 Pages–“Bridge of Snow” by Marie Rutkoski

Ugly Cover

Set Over 200 Years Ago–Into the Dim by Janet B. Taylor

March, April, May Release–A Study in Charlotte by Britany Cavallaro

Criminals

Metallic Lettering–Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Based On A Real Event

Book Toward Another Challenge

Green Cover–Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

FREE

Retelling–Stars Above (The Little Android) by Marissa Meyer

Set In More Than One Country–The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig

Characters Aren’t Human–Saga Vol. 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Rec’d By More Than One Friend

Flowers On The Cover

MC Shares Your First Initial–Seven Black Diamond by Melissa Marr

Written Under A Pen Name

More Than One Author–Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

End Of The World

Number In The Title–Zero Day by Jan Gangsei

Nonfiction

Standalone–Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Audiobook Challenge 

33/50 Audiobooks Completed

Book Haul

The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski (Audiobook)

The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye (Audiobook)(preorder)

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi (Audiobook)

Book Bucket

As per usual, I’m winging it (because *sigh*…let’s just face it: that’s just who I am). BUT! I do have a few books that I know I am definitely going to read and they are…

Blogging

Looking Ahead-Blogging

  • The Way Back to You Blog Tour
  • Girl About Town Blog Tour
  • Genius: The Game Blog Tour
  • The Bookkeeper’s Secrets Soon to Be Announced Summer YA Girls in STEM Event (!!!)

Monthly Snapshots

Around The Blogosphere/Vlogosphere

My Favorite Things

  • Hypable’s Book Hype Podcast
  • Adventures In YA Podcast
  • Carla Morrison’s “Un Beso”
  • Ruelle’s “Monsters”
  • CW’s The 100
fun, reviews

February 2016 Wrap Up

Wow. I can’t believe it’s the end of the month. It just flew by. It seems like yesterday I was ringing in the new year and now we’re here.

Anyhoo! I digress.

Welcome to my February 2016 book wrap up! I’ve been reading a ton in the past few month, but this month I just got in such a slump and really slowed down. So I only completed 3 books this month. In all honesty, if you follow me on Goodreads, you may notice that I’ve lowered my rating for all of these books. Just looking back, I think I inflated my ratings for whatever reason (just post book excitement?). So here are my final ratings and my mini reviews.

Starflight by Melissa Landers 3.5 Stars

This was a super funn book! It wasn’t really deep or insightful or anything, but if you’re looking for a quick, fun ride, this is your book. I didn’t have any problems with this book, really (not that are seriously memorable, at least). Solid 3.5/5 stars!

Cruel Crown by Victoria Aveyard 2.5 Stars

This novella bind-up was honestly kind of disappointing. The whole book was kind of “meh” to me. I don’t think it added anything to the story or the overall plot. It wasn’t a necessary read, it’s just for fans looking for some bonus material. But even knowing that, I don’t think either of the two novellas in the bind up were particularly interesting. Overall, it was okay. 2.5/5 stars.

Zero Day by Jan Gangsei 3.5 Stars

This was another super fun read. It was intense and thrilling and kept me on the edge of my seat. Again, this wasn’t a book that was super deep or meaningful but it was a fun read and I enjoyed it for what it was. One aspect I really loved about the book was the diversity and how it was just treated as a “normal” aspect of the book, they didn’t make a big deal about it. Overall, this was a very fun, enjoyable read. 3.5/5 stars.

fun, reviews

January 2016 Wrap Up

It was an incredible month for reading. I finished six books and loved almost all of them! I also reviewed almost every book I read this month! So let’s get to the wrap up!

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff 5/5 Stars

All I can say is WOW! What a ride, what a ride! Kaufman and Kristoff did it. They really blew my mind! This sci fi thrill ride was so engrossing and engaging and had so many twists and turns. Not too mention the format was stunning, yet didn’t get in the way of the story. I’m still reeling from this one. What a ride!

Arrows by Melissa Gorzelanczyk (ARC) 3.5/5 Stars

This was a really cute story! It was a little on the cheesy side, but it gave you what you expected. And I expected (and wanted) cheese. The characters are fun and full and the plot is quick and cute. Definitely a fun little read to pick up!

Their Fractured Light by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner 5/5 Stars

This was everything I wanted in a Starbound finale! It was action packed, faced paced, and explosive! And finally we get to see our favorite characters together! I can’t say much about this one, as it is the finale to a trilogy, but just know it was really good!

November 9 by Colleen Hoover 5/5 Stars

My first Colleen Hoover book and WOW! This book blew me away! It was so good! The tension, the romance, the plot, the character, everything was just so amazing. This book catapulted me into being a Hooverite and with good reason. A new favorite of mine!

Confess by Colleen Hoover 4.5/5 Stars

After November 9 I just had to read more CoHo, so I picked up Confess and I was not disappointed. Everything about this one was so good! Once again, CoHo stunned me with her ability to create tangible tension, incredible, interwoven storylines and plots, and relatable, lovable characters! So good!

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover 2.75/5 Stars

I continued on my Colleen Hoover binge with this one and unfortunately it wasn’t my favorite. The characters fell flat for me and that made the romance kind of bland. Oh well, too bad. Despite this blip on the radar, I still love CoHo and will continue reading her books!

fun, reviews

December 2015 Wrap Up

I know, I know, I’m late again, so let’s just get started…

Well, it’s not only the end of another month, but the end of the year as well! I hope y’all have made it through swimmingly! But you know what that means…It’s time for my monthly wrap up! So let’s get to it!

Ice Like Fire by Sara Raasch | 3.5/5 Cups of Tea

I did enjoy Ice Like Fire at some points, but at many other point it dragged. The book seemed to suffer from “second book syndrome” (where the book is much more of a filler between the first and third book and doesn’t really drive forward the overall plot too much). I didn’t find it too enthralling overall, but I do want to see where the story goes so I will be picking up the third book.

These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly (ARC) | 4/5 Cups of Tea

This was a really fun historical mystery! I was surprised that I enjoyed it so much because historical fiction usually isn’t my thing, but Donnelly keeps readers on their toes and balances historical detail with a fast paced mystery perfectly!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You by Claudia Gray | 3.5/5 Cups of Tea

This book was surprisingly entertaining! I wasn’t a huge fan of the first book, but I figured I’d give the second book a chance and I’m pretty glad I did. The plot develops a lot more in this story (the plot thickens, muahahaha!…sorry, couldn’t help the joke) and the characters are given a bit more depth. The ending was a shock, what a twist! Overall, I really enjoyed the book!

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin | 5/5 Cups of Tea

I went into this book intrigued and came out of this book obsessed! This book quickly became my new favorite book of 2015. With tension, action, and intrigue all rolled up into one and bound with perfect, lyrical writing, Wolf by Wolf is a stunning book. I’m so blown away by this one and just speechless!

Winter by Marissa Meyer | 4.5/5 Cups of Tea

This was definitely one for the fans. A perfect ending to a spectacular series, there’s not much more I could’ve asked for in this book. I loved all of the characters, old and new and the plot was everything I could’ve asked for! Bravo, Marissa Meyer, bravo!

So that’s it for this December’s wrap up! I’m really happy with all of the books I read and I think I had a pretty great reading month! Sorry again that I’m a little late posting it, but oh well *shrugs.* I hope your reading goes spectacularly and have a happy January and a happy new year!

 

fun, reviews

November Wrap-Up

The Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J. Maas

4.5/5 Stars

This was a novella bind-up, but honestly, it read like a novel. It’s definitely somewhat necessary to read before you read Queen of Shadows, but that’s neither here nor there. I loved this bind-up! As I said it read really fluidly and smoothly and it was fast paced, action packed, and engrossing. There was only one novella (The Assassin and the Healer) that I felt wasn’t entirely necessary to the story, but other than that, it was great! 4.5/5 Stars

Queen of Shadows by Sarah J. Maas

5/5 Stars

Oh. My. God. This book was AMAZING! It had everything I wanted in aThrone of Glass book. I loved the transformation Celaena/Aelin went through in this book, but I also loved how that didn’t take over the book and we were able to focus on the journeys and transformations of other characters like Manon and Dorian. I loved all the new characters who were introduced and how we got to know old characters better. Just, A++ on everything. This book blew me away! 5/5 Stars, obviously.

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning

3.5/5 Stars

After Queen of Shadows, I needed a little piece of fluff to sustain me and this did the trick. Overall, I liked it and found it entertaining, but it wasn’t my all time favorite. I found a few things problematic, including how our main male protagonist treats our main female protagonist. It was problematic, but it wasn’t enough to discourage me from continuing on with the story and the series, as I do want to see what happens next. A good bit of fluff. 3.5/5 Stars

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick

4/5 Stars

So I continued on the fluff train with The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick and I loved it! I’ve never read a Huntley Fitzpatrick book before and have never read My Life Next Door, but I definitely want to pick up more of Fitzpatrick’s works now! This book was just so cute! I especially loved the relationships in the story and how dynamic they were. Fitzpatrick definitely took me for a ride with this one. 4/5 Stars

Perfect Ruin by Lauren DeStefano

3.75/5 Stars

I liked this book but I wasn’t majorly impressed by it. It entertained me and had me questioning at times, but it never managed to fully grip me. At times, I felt like the story was too slow and measured, especially in the beginning. I did enjoy the philosophical questions the book brought up, though, and that was part of why I kept reading. It’s a solid beginning to a series and I’m interested enough to pick up the sequel sometime, though it’s not a priority right now. 3.75/5 Stars

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

3/5 Stars

I really wanted to love this book because it’s Sarah Dessen, but in the end it felt just kind of “meh.” The story felt flat, unremarkable, and kind of forgettable. Sydney, our heroine, and Mac, her love interest felt the dame, as well. I finished the book and forgot what I read because nothing stood out to me other than that the protagonist’s brother was in jail. Just meh. 3/5 Stars

The Rose Society by Marie Lu

4/5 Stars

So…I’m really torn on this one. In all of the technical ways, it’s a great book–great characters, amazing world building, outstanding plot. But I found it just wasn’t the book for me. This book gets a lot more dark with its plot and its characters. Adelina is no longer a young girl who you can kind of forgive. No. In this book, she’s really developing into a villain and embracing her own darkness, rather than struggling with it. It was this that was a little disturbing to me and why I think the book kind of unsettled me. But still, a solid book, and better than most sequels. 4/5 Stars