It’s Monday, what are you reading?

This last week was bleh.

I was sick but not with like a fever. It was mostly body aches, migraine and fatigue. B had been coughing for a few days and he swore he wasn’t sick, despite openly coughing all over the house. Well 2 days ago he then says “I don’t feel all that good, what if it’s Covid.” I must had dropped everything I was doing to stare at him for asking such a stupid question.

Then you get tested and quarantine?!

Then he said maybe I got him sick cause my throat was scratchy earlier last week. Yeah and I spit out a tonsil stone. But Tums hasn’t slowed down or been any extra fussy, so whatever we got she didn’t. Or hasn’t. Or she just doesn’t care, though last time she had the flu she was pretty miserable. So I’d think she’d show some kind of apathy towards running around like a crazy person all day long.

So, that’s why I’ve been away-ish. I just didn’t have the energy or the mind set to really post anything. I feel better now, but still kind of drained and really hungry even though it’s 350am. I’ve been up for like, 2 hours. And my lower back where I usually have pain is like, throbbing. It’s so annoying. I haven’t gotten adjusted in 3 weeks so… yeah.

My reading has also slowed down which sucks. But hey it comes and goes, when it’s here it’s great. So let’s focus on that.

Books I Read;

It’s Monday, what are you reading?

I have a trip to pack and prep for so I thought I’d pop a reading post up today instead. I’m super excited for various reasons but one of the biggest reasons is I finally get to see my BFF! I haven’t seen her since 2008; we both tend to chase too many dreams and despite what state I’m in or what country she’s in, we’ve always tried our best to check in with each other. So when people say “distance” is why “X has happened” I think it’s crap. But maybe it’s just me.

This is also the first time she’s meeting Tums (who’s her goddaughter) and the first time Tums is meeting someone from my life that she might remember (she met my friend Eric when she was like 7mo’s, so). Yes, she’s 2 and hasn’t met anyone from my life. I know, it bothers me too.

Currently Reading;

I just realized I never finished this blog post rfom this morning. Omg.

Yes, I’m still listening to Bridge of Souls but I only have like an hour or so left in the audiobook. Annnd I’m not really sure how I feel about it in comparison to the previous two in the series.

I also started The Archive but it’s super confusing I guess because “Da” is probably her grandfather? I thought it was her dad so I got super confused. The concept of this book has always intrigued me and it’s definitely been on my TBR for way too long. Since I’m nearing the end of the MG series I figured I’d pick this one up.

I read a review of The Stolen Kingdom that really bumped this up on my TBR. I’m not regretting any of it. Plus it’s a NetGalley title and we all know how it is with those lol.

Hoping to Read;

Down Comes The Night: Magic? Darkness? I’m there.

I read a sampler of Lost in The Never Woods before it came out. And while I’m not exactly sure where it was going, it is a Peter Pan retelling… I’m starting to think that just because I LOVEEE PETER PAN doesn’t mean I love Peter Pan retellings? Like, idk. I just haven’t found one that I really vibed with.

Ya’ll House of Salt and Sorrow has been “currently reading” since freakin last Sept. I AM GOING TO FINISH THIS TITLE. It’s not even that I don’t like the book, I do. But goodness it’s so dark and creeps.

I started Go The Distance awhile ago, but I put it down for some reason. I really want to get this read and reviewed before it’s released as it was one of the titles in this series I was MOST excited about!

Book Review | Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schwab

Tunnel of Bones by Victoria Schawb
Cassidy Blake #2
Release Date: September 3rd 2019 by Scholastic
Genre: Middle Grade > Historical Fiction > Ghosts
Source: Scribd
Format: Audiobook
Summary:

Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.

Amazon* | Goodreads

If I thought City of Ghosts was amazing, Tunnel of Bones is even more epic. The story behind this one was much more creepy (anything dealing with a kid ghost is always just a little bit more creepy). Tunnel of Bones takes place in Paris and I’m really curious to know if this place is real, but I’m too scared to look it up. The idea of a huge graveyard of bones under a beautiful city is just a mind blowing idea. The stories of the people who were buried and who were lost under there just adds to the curious factor of it all.

Cassidy’s extreme actions to find answers is what I like about her the most; this time it lands her a new friend and an interesting lesson in history. The way Schawb weaves stories of past and present is done so flawlessly. The banter between Jacob and well, anyone, was the best part of this book. Then again it’s the best part of every book in this series.

We do get to know a little more about Jacob in this one; not enough to really have a full story but we get a look into a few things. I think it helped to make his friendship with Cass even stronger. I don’t ship them but I do enjoy their pure friendship!

I’m currently listening to the 3rd book and I’m really hoping this isn’t the end!

Middle Grade March TBR

It’s that time of the year again when I do Middle Grade March.

I thought I got that idea from an Owlcrate thing they did a few years ago but I could be wrong? I just searched there videos and I didn’t find anything for it this year. But this is a month I gather up all most of the middle grade books I didn’t get into last year… or DNF’d like 4 years ago. You know what, there are no rules to this, ok? lol a few are from my Owlcrate JR boxes and a few are books I’ve had sitting on my Kindle TBR and one series I fell in love with this year. So, I’m pretty excited.

My anxiety has been unreal the last few days and it’s not only draining but it’s also making me angry, which hasn’t happened in a long long while. I mean I’m more likely to speak my mind, if that’s the case but also, anger drains me. So I’m looking forward to picking up a few of these that are whimsical and full of adventure and fantasy.

Physical Books TBR;

All but one title is from Owlcrate Jr. And most have paranormal or fantasy themes to them. I love middle grade titles, I wish young adult could have an entire series with absolutely no love interest!

I’m super excited to get into The Midnight Hour as well as Cinders & Sparrows the most!

Continue reading “Middle Grade March TBR”

Hello March

Anyone else feel like Feb was just the longest Feb this year? I feel like it took forever for this month to end. But so much happened, I guess that’s why it feels that way.

There’s a lot of things that are suppose to be going on this month, so I’m hoping they actually happen. Tums birthday is this month, Easter is at the beginning of April, then my birthday. Thank goodness it’s NOT on Easter this year at least! There are a few book releases I’m excited about as well!

I discovered cozy gaming and looked more into ways to self improve in Feb, so I’m really excited about the things I’m planning in March — or at least as excited as a person who has to do shadow work can get (ain’t nothing exciting about shadow work).

March Goals;

〉 Work on getting my mic to work so I can stream Animal Crossing

〉 Fully plan Tums bday early

〉 Work on eating better and

〉Work on… well work

〉Fix iPad

〉Re-evaluate finances

〉Prep for Easter early

Middle GRADE March

〉Rebrand hazearella & gamearella

〉Gain 200 more blog followers

I’m trying not to overwhelm myself, esp since the next two months are generally really busy for me to begin with. But there are a few key things I do want to try and get done.

March Book Releases I’m Excited About;

There are so many new releases coming out in March! I know I forgot a few… I definitely forgot to include the one by Christina Lauren! But these are the YA reads I’m super excited about!

I’ll be doing Middle Grade March again this year. I’ll somehow find a way to squeeze some of these books in this month if not next. I know adding these to my already huge middle grade TBR is ambitious.

Here’s to hoping March will be productive!

What are some things you want to accomplish this month?

January Bookish Wrap Up

Number of Books Read: 8

I always seem to do really well with my reading challenge in January. It’s like, yes. A brand new start. So excited. So inspired! So I’m not even going to say how happy/excited I am because who knows what’ll happen next month lol.

| City of Ghosts by Victoria Schawb

Okay, this book took me by surprise. I LOVE Middle Grade books because I always feel like they pack such a hard punch when they have some sort of meaning or lesson attached. And when you’re really not in the mood for a romantic element in a book, MG is the way to go.

I had put this down when it was first released because I was being a wimp and getting scared. Yo, there’s nothing SCARY about this book. Every element that is suppose to be creepy, I mean is, but I found it all to be so much more fascinating. I wanted to know more about Cassy and why she can do what she does. And how does it all work. And I’m still trying to figure out if her parents actually see/believe in ghosts…. or? I had thought to binge this series but the last book doesn’t come out until I think March. And yes, I pre-ordered the OwlCrate exclusive! Even though I don’t own the other 2 in physical form but that is OKAY.

There’s just so much I could gush about when it comes to this book but I linked my review instead!

| The Prince and the Troll by Rainbow Rowell

Unpopular opinion but… for some reason it bothers me when there’s real life things in books or tv shows. By “real life things” I mean brand name things. I don’t know if I’ll formally review t’his book or series because it just keeps getting worse with each book. I was a bit disappointed with this one because Rainbow Rowell, hello! And because for literally the entire book up until the last 2 pages, NOTHING MAKES SENSE. The ending itself didn’t make sense either. NOTHING. MADE. SENSE. OMG.

The ending was equivalent to when you’re in bed with someone and you’re really close to an orgasm and they’re like “yeah no, let’s switch” and you’re left feeling super confused, a little angry and totally unsatisfied. I literally can’t think of another example to explain how this book made me feel.

| Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan

I DID IT. AFTER LIKE 8 YEARS I FINALLY FINISHED THE SERIES. Because my stubborn ass just couldn’t cope with the fact I’d have to say goodbye to Kami, Ash and JARED. So I figured if I held off on this book, they could (somehow) live forever… floating around somewhere in my mind. I have no idea ok. But I just wasn’t ready.

And it turns out, you shouldn’t wait that look to finish a series you loved. Because 1) your tastes in genres/book may have changed 2) you’ll probably forget what the heck even happened in the prior books and 3) SOMETHING SO TRAGIC COULD HAPPEN THAT YOU DONT KNOW HOW TO FEEL ANYMORE. I took like a week off after reading a particular part that just… HOW COULD YOU SARAH, SERIOUSLY?!?!?!

I also found myself rooting for Ash. Which… was weird. Also, I have questions. How did people not like over throw Rob? Just for like fun? I haven’t written a review for this yet but I think it might be time to.

| The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins

Ya’ll I don’t know what was happening here but can you say ~ sexual tension ~? I really need to read the rest of this mini series thing they’re doing. Also, a part of this book creeped me out more than any part in City of Ghosts did.

| Hazel and Gray by Nic Stone

Guys, I literally don’t even want to talk about how disappointing this book was.

| The Princess Games by Soman Chainani

At this point I’m ready to just DNF the rest of the series. Idc if I just wanted to get to the last book. The thing is, these don’t even have an order. They all read like solo book because NONE OF THE DAMN THEMES MAKE ANY DAMN SENSE.

THIS. BOOK. WAS. WTF. LEGIT IDK WHAT ELSE TO SAY EXCEPT WHAT IN THE ACTUAL FUCK?!

My review of this book: JUST NO.

| Kawaii Kitties

This is the second art book I’ve requested from NetGalley and they’ve both been super cute, super helpful and super easy to understand. I did pre-order this because I need it in my collection that is just now starting. With this book.

| Love, Almost by Hayley Doyle

I have mixed feelings about this book; on one hand I remember when I was 5 months in with my ex husband. He proposed somewhere in there at Disneyland and I remember feeling like this is my forever and I mean he was, until we were 30. I remember that the thought of him dying legit killed me inside. It was a fear we both had of each other. Last I talked to him years ago he said he still checks my social media to make sure I’m still alive. Not sure if he still does but I gotta admit hearing that put me off and kinda irritated me.

Learning to live without someone that you feel like your life JUST began with can be just as heartbreaking as living a whole lifetime with them. While my ex husband didn’t die, the him I knew and loved did. And sometimes it’s still hard for me to remember I don’t know who he is now, and he doesn’t know who I am. It’s hard to remember that I have memories he wasn’t there for. It’s such a incomplete feeling almost. This book definitely triggered those memories for me.

BEST READ: City of Ghosts

LEAST FAV READ: Hazel and Gray // The Princess Games

What was your favorite read of January or what are you looking forward to reading in next month?

Book Review | City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab

*This post contains affiliate links

City of Ghosts by Victoria Schawb
Cassidy Blake #1
Release Date: August 28th 2018 by Scholastic
Genre: Middle Grade > Historical Fiction > Ghosts
Source: Bought
Format: Ebook
Summary:

Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspecters, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspecters head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I’ve had Victoria’s titles on my TBR for wayyyyy too long and I JUST now read her work. And I get what the hype is. This book sucked me in big time. I ended up doing the audio book and I don’t regret it at all. I may just do the rest of the series in audio!

The concept of this book was so interesting. I had stopped reading it when I first picked it up cause I’m a wimp and it sounded like it was getting scary. But it’s really not. It’s so freakin interesting. Cass can see ghosts, something about almost dying and being saved BY a ghost saved her life. And because of that save her best friend who never leaves her side is well, a ghost. Named Jacob. How that works is beyond me.

Cass’s parents do things that have to do with the paranormal world. I couldn’t figure out if they really COULD see ghosts or if they really did believe in them? Either way their jobs take them to Scotland and I had no idea Scotland was so… haunted. A lot of weird stuff happens there, but a lot of interesting things as well.

It was a peak into historical fiction, going from what was now to what was then and it was so cool to see the author bind the two together. The concept of what Cass is was also fascinating, the theory is ghosts have a ton of reasons of why they stay behind, and the idea of sending them to the other world is also pretty sad.

I absolutely loved the idea that each ghost who was left behind lived in a constant loop of their last moments or why they’re kept here. As a kid I had a ton of questions about ghosts and the afterlife that I would ask my grandfather. I always wondered if they lived in an eternal loop of their lives or a certain part of their lives. To see that on paper in a book was… I don’t know, refreshing? As a kid people tell you your idea’s or theories are silly or don’t make sense. But honestly some of them have stayed with me my whole life.

I wish we got to know a bit more about Jacob as well. Where is he from? How did he get there? How old is he? I’m really hoping we get to know him more in the next book.

I love a book that makes me question my mortality!

Book Review | The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons

*This post contains affiliate links

The Haunting of Beatrix Greene by Rachel Hawkins, Ash Parsons & Vicky Alvear Schecter
Release Date: January 14th 2021 by Serial Box
Genre: Young Adult > Historical Fiction > Ghosts
Source: NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Serial Box!)
Format: Ebook
Summary:

In Victorian England, a savvy spiritual medium must outsmart the most important client of her career: a scientist determined to expose frauds like her.

But their game of wits has fatal consequences when a vengeful spirit answers their summons. If they cannot put aside their prejudices—and growing passion—and find a way to banish the ghost together, one of them could be its next victim.

Amazon* | Goodreads

I had no idea what this was but if you put “haunting” paired with “Rachel Hawkins” I won’t ask questions, I’ll just read it lol.

I’ve been on a bit of a historical fiction kick so, even better.

The summary pretty much tells you all you need to know about the book and at the 23 page sampler I got there isn’t much to really say beyond that. The murder that happens in the beginning did confuse me a bit; I’d like to know what drove that to happen since it seemed a bit random. Or at least it was a random part to place the opening of a book.

This is part 1 of a 9 part series. I suppose sort of like the Amazon exclusive “Faraway Collection” of fairy tale retellings they did.

Beatrix is a “spiritual medium” and I’m curious to know how something like that came to be so popular in those days. They weren’t a person to be feared or questioned but they were actually searched for. James really need a hobby. “Debunking” other peoples way of living is not his business lol. James, who hurt you?

The sneak peak ends right when things get good; Beatrix starts hearing and seeing things. Even finds proof a ghost might had been warning her. As she pulls up to the manor in question, she suddenly feels a very dark force.

I can’t wait to see what happens while Beatrix is there, sorry B. But that is the driving point of this whole series. And like I said I hope we get more of an insight of what happened in the beginning!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

I don’t know how I feel about this graphic lol. I feel like it’s too… empty?

First Monday of 2021 and I’m not doing a Manifestation post; probably because I have a million “Hello 2021” posts to post lol. If that isn’t throwing things into the universe then I don’t know what is! Besides it’s only the 4th day of 2021 and I’ve already read 3 books (at the time of writing this post), I’d say that’s a pretty awesome start right?!

Books I Read;

I’m so sad I ever put down City of Ghosts, it’s such an interesting read/concept! And it probably just kick started my historical fiction needs. I didn’t find this book creepy at all, just super interesting the whole way through! Jacob was the best part of this book. Wish I knew what the cat was about on the cover.

Maybe it’s my fault I waited seven years to finally finish The Lynburn series and read Unmade. I just wasn’t ready to say goodbye to these characters. However, I am glad I finished it and I can honestly say this was my least fav book of the entire series. The whole time I was wondering wtf was even happening and can Rob just like, idk. Disappear? The whole thing was just WEIRD to me. Like how can a whole city just let this happen? It sort of gave me Bella-in-Breaking-Dawn vibes. If you know what I mean.

I don’t even want to talk about The Prince and the Troll. This series has such captivating covers but this book was just… bad. I was literally confused the whole time waiting for some big huge reveal only to get… even more confused?? I don’t even know honestly.

Books I Plan on Reading;

These are books I’ve already started.

The Archive has been on my TBR FOREVER. I keep passing it up because I love the idea so much and I’m scared I’ll hate it. But after reading City of Ghosts I now see why everyone loves this author’s work. Her writing is hypnotic. No joke.

I’m doing the audio for Among The Beasts & Briars and while it sounds super interesting the narrator isn’t doing it for me. I may just stick with it cause currently it’s convenient but I do eventually want to start reading it myself. Too bad there isn’t a book copy on Scribd.

And one NetGalley book for review. I mean I have 2 so I might read them both but I haven’t started the other one yet. I’ve been staying away from NetGalley until I can get my ratio back up. And since I really have a lot of books to read as it is… I don’t need to go and request a bunch of others I probably won’t get to in time. I’m trying to be more realistic this time around.

What books have you finished or are planning to read next?

Book Review | The Poppy & the Rose by Ashlee Cowles

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The Poppy & the Rose by Ashlee Cowles
Release Date: October 6th, 2020
Genre: Young Adult > Historical Fiction
Source: NetGalley (thank you NetGalley and Owl Hollow!)
Format: Ebook
Summary:

1912: Ava Knight, a teen heiress, boards the Titanic to escape the shadow of her unstable mother and to fulfill her dream of becoming a photographer in New York. During the journey she meets three people who will change her life: a handsome sailor, a soldier in the secret Black Hand society that will trigger World War I, and a woman with clairvoyant abilities. When disaster strikes the ship, family betrayals come to light.

2010: When Taylor Romano arrives in Oxford for a summer journalism program, something feels off. Not only is she greeted by a young, Rolls Royce-driving chauffeur, but he invites her to tea with Lady Mae Knight of Meadowbrook Manor, an old house with a cursed history going back to the days of Henry VIII. Lady Knight seems to know a strange amount about Taylor and her family problems, but before Taylor can learn more, the elderly woman dies, leaving as the only clue an old diary. With the help of the diary, a brooding chauffeur, and some historical sleuthing, Taylor must uncover the link between Ava’s past and her own….

Amazon* | Goodreads

I love the idea of historical fiction however, I don’t pick it up enough and I’m not really sure why. The Poppy & the Rose not only brought me back to the Titanic (something I’m always fascinated with) but also gave me one of my novel weaknesses: duel timelines.

I’m not going to recap what this book is about, that’s what the summary is for. Though it is hard to remember not to for like word count reasons.

Whatever, anyway, we’re placed in London by Taylor who somehow ended up there just to figure out who some lady in a photo with her father was. Her father passed away btw, and while I get it… I mean I have a ton of questions for my own father who recently passed away; she could had easily I don’t know? Asked a family member? A friend of her dad’s? Like you really went and hopped the pond for that? I’m adventurous but I don’t think I would had went to THAT much of an extreme.

Our second timeline we’re boarding the Titanic with Ava and her father who seems to also be hiding shit from his daughter. See a theme here? Daughters with daddy’s who keep secrets. Daddy’s, DO NOT KEEP SECRETS FROM YOUR DAUGHTER. You think their mama is bad? She ain’t got shit on a curious daughter let me tell you. Parents who don’t provide full transparency get on my nerves; ya’ll always the ones messing up some shit!

Of the two timeline’s I gotta admit, Ava’s was the one I was most invested in. I felt like Taylor’s entire trip just didn’t make sense. She meets up randomly with an older woman named Lady Knight who ends up passing away the day that Taylor is set to have afternoon tea with her. Some of her servants blame Ava… somehow… even though she just met the lady WHO ASKED HER TO COME OVER IN THE FIRST PLACE and she didn’t even know where this manor even was before that day.

So you spend the book wondering who killed Lady Knight? Who IS Lady Knight? And does Lady Knight know Taylor’s dang daddy or not? And how the hell does this have anything to do with Ava? Well it does. But when all of this is revealed, you should had seen how flat my face fell. Like that’s it? That’s the big secret? It wasn’t the big reveal I was hoping for, or that I had assumed it was going in the direction of, but it definitely reminded me that even though I think MY family has problems (both sides are obsessed with money and so on and so on), there are some families who are just manipulative for fun.

Back to Ava; there were so many different characters and stories and potential endings… I wanted to know where Ava ended up later. I mean it’s lightly covered but I wanted to know KNOW what her life after the Titanic looked like. There was a huge twist I didn’t see coming when it came to Ava and it had something to do with the bigger part of what drove her. My heart broke when her dad decided to slap her with reality. Loss is hard for everyone but I think her dad was 100% selfish.

If Ava ever gets a spin off novel or if we get a peak inside the life of Lady Knight after Titanic, I’m so here for it all.