// Audio Book Review // One Last Stop by: Casey McQuiston #BookReview #LGBTQ #AudioBook

One Last Stop by: Casey McQuiston
Published June 1, 2021 by St. Martin’s Griffin


For cynical twenty-three-year-old August, moving to New York City is supposed to prove her right: that things like magic and cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone. She can’t imagine how waiting tables at a 24-hour pancake diner and moving in with too many weird roommates could possibly change that. And there’s certainly no chance of her subway commute being anything more than a daily trudge through boredom and electrical failures.

But then, there’s this gorgeous girl on the train.

Jane. Dazzling, charming, mysterious, impossible Jane. Jane with her rough edges and swoopy hair and soft smile, showing up in a leather jacket to save August’s day when she needed it most. August’s subway crush becomes the best part of her day, but pretty soon, she discovers there’s one big problem: Jane doesn’t just look like an old school punk rocker. She’s literally displaced in time from the 1970s, and August is going to have to use everything she tried to leave in her own past to help her. Maybe it’s time to start believing in some things, after all.

I posted the full summary of this book from Goodreads because…I honestly got this audiobook without even READING the summary. I just saw another book by Casey and was like, oh gotta have it. Thanks, Bookstagram and BookTok. Now, I’m not saying that if I had read the summary that I wouldn’t have picked it up. I’m saying that if I had, then I would have been more prepared for the story than I was before without reading what it was about. Have you ever bought a book without reading the summary? Wait, no, that’ll be a separate discussion. Wait for that post before answer.

I’m gonna say that I loved how the story was told. It’s not August’s point of view, so there is no unreliable narrator or any details that may have been needed or were omitted by the character. It’s like someone is genuinely telling you the story and letting you know that the narrator is aware of the characters and their genuine feelings and faults. Not that I don’t like stories being told by the characters, but sometimes it gets a bit annoying because you don’t know if the person is leaving something out or if they are perceiving something in their eyes than it actually is.

Perfect example: Joe from YOU (both book and series)

I ADORED the characters in this book. I did like August, but I loved Niko, Myla, Wes, Isaiah, just to name a few. The representation in this book is so fulfilling with Trans and Drag representation and Myla…you’ll fall in love with her just instantly. I can say that while this wasn’t my favorite story, I could never love these characters more. In fact, if we ever get a story of Niko and Myla together I would totally be down for a story with them. Jane was a cool character and I enjoyed finding out bits and stories of her past.

With that being said, the storyline confused the hell out of me. When it comes to time travel, or time anything in a story, it gets complicated. I don’t know if this was something that has been explored or if this is something that is kind of made up from something and worked with the story, but it was just so off and I couldn’t really wrap my mind around it. I’m not saying this to be negative because again, it was my fault for not reading the summary first. The ending also felt very…I don’t know kind of off.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that.

I enjoyed the small side story with August having to help her mother find her long lost uncle from the 70s and finding out more about that was like…what?! I actually really liked that part of the story.

All in all, the story was pretty good if not a bit confusing. It wasn’t really for me, but I still love the author and no matter what – I bet with any author I adore, I’ll do the same thing with their next book simply because…it’s their next book. Enjoy!

// Trigger Warnings: Advised or Not // #BookBlog #BookishDiscussion

Happy Saturday! The week was so complicated at work that I’m just so glad it’s over. I did finish another audiobook and that review will be out soon.

This topic came to me when I watched someone’s Book Tok and someone asked about trigger warnings. She said that if her, herself, is not triggered then she wouldn’t remember to give these warnings for any reviews. This honestly got me thinking about this kind of topic.

Yes, trigger warnings should definitely be given by the author – but if the author isn’t triggered by it, should it still be given to those that could be? And what of us book reviewers? I myself kind of recognize any sensitive material, anything graphic or even mentions I’ll give a minor or major trigger warning. I don’t know everything, but I’ll still give warnings whether I was triggered by them or not.

I’m not saying anything negative to those that don’t give warnings when they are not triggered themselves, but that got me just curious.

Should you remember those triggers for future readers? Not talking about authors, but reviewers. This might be some off question for discussion, but I’m genuinely curious about it. Discuss and please, be civil.

// Audio Book Review // Malice by: Heather Walter // #BookReview #Malice #LGBTQ

Malice by: Heather Walter
Published April 13, 2021 by Del Rey

Summary: A twist to a classic fairy tale, Sleeping Beauty, the story is told by Alyce, a Villa/Dark Grace who is despised by all, but is often used for her dark potions for anything petty such as causing someone to be outwardly ugly. Briar’s last remaining heir, Princess Aurora, is cursed and must find her true love in order to break the curse before her 21st birthday. Princess Aurora wants to break the curse, but on her terms with or without a prince to break the curse. A friendship blossoms plus something much more…much more powerful or dangerous?

I normally post the summary from Goodreads, but one it is VERY long and two, I’m not sure how I feel about summaries that are almost from the book itself. I saw this book all over Tik Tok and Bookstagram that I just couldn’t resist. The story as whole is very unique and so different. I love the LGBTQ story with the villain/Alyce with Princess Aurora. This the first installment in a series so there will be another book out, but not till next year. I loved the the original story, but the story also disheartened me that it took me a while to finish this audiobook.

The cruelty Alyce endured with other people just broke my heart to where I had to step away from it. It’s always so funny that people can treat someone as a monster or something so negative that they eventually BECOME what people call them – then they point the fingers and say ‘told you so!’ Idiots!

The story goes into detail about history of Fae and the Graces that I would give away a lot of the story if I tried to explain it. But in a nutshell, there are women born with certain abilities called Graces. They have a ceremony and are bound by the king to perform certain duties, depending on your ability. Beauty Graces help with outward appearances like hair and makeup by using a drop of their blood in certain elixirs/potions. To me, sounds inhumane, but whatever. Alyce is what is called a Dark Grace, but her power is stronger than most Graces.

I’m getting ahead of myself. I love Maleficent in the cartoon, not so much in the remake, but that’s a whole other story.

Other than it took me some time to finish the story because of the hurtful things Alyce went through, I also found a phrase so repetitive that I got annoyed anytime I heard it.

‘Dragon’s Teeth!’ It’s a phrase used to basically sum up any kind of frustration or surprise. It used so often that it came in several sentences at once. I got a little chuckle when the word fuck was used in it, but that is more of an annoyance than something to add to a dislike list.

Bottom line, if you love fairy tale retellings and are looking for LGBTQ representation – and of course the princess falling in love with Maleficent, this would be a good story for you. Bare in mind, you have to wait till next year for the second book. Now you must suffer with me!

Other than some talks of some of the cruelty Alyce endured (words, nothing really physical) there are some talks of what kind of torture she went through as a child, so just keep that in mind when listening or reading.

Fairy Tale Retellings // Not Enough or Overdone? #FairyTaleRetellings

I started this topic on my Instagram and I was surprised by the responses when I asked what Fairy Tale was over done. Would you believe a vast majority of them said Beauty and the Beast. I said Cinderella. I thought more on this and I wanted to get more insight on this topic here.

No, we are not talking Disney. Don’t get me wrong!! I’m a Disnerd through and through, HOWEVER, I LOVE the original fairy tales. To me, they are more grounded and in touch with what we have to deal with when it comes to reality. Little Riding Hood – Don’t stray from the path (nor talk to strangers). They teach morales.

Although, Little Mermaid was MY movie growing up:

I mean, how can it NOT BE! I loved mermaids before liking mermaids was considered cool! I’m just saying. But did you know the story is much more sad than Disney made it? I wrote something about that so long ago. I still love the Disney version and Hans Christian Anderson. I’ve read TWO retellings for this story and while they were good, I wouldn’t say they were the best. At least, not as far as I have found as of yet.

There are QUITE a number of fairy tale retellings. Just to name a few…

Okay, I said a few, but I found more than I thought I did. And…yeah I can see why my Instagram post got Beauty and the Beast as the most answers. My answer was Cinderella. Quite frankly, how many times can you tell the story of Cindrella (male or female) being mistreated by step family and getting to go to a ball/party and prince or whoever finding the person they danced with? I don’t know. It might be because I’ve mostly found those first and just got so SICK of the story being retold. I’m not dissing the authors for writing the most told fairy tale retellings – not at all. I’m saying that if you want to tackle a retelling, I would try to find another way to tell the story. What other way is there? I have no idea.

I do think some fairy tales don’t get a lot of love like they should. I have read a few Peter Pan ones.

I’ll always love my copy of Grimm’s fairy tales.

So now begs the question here: What do you think is the most overdone fairy tale retelling? Discuss!

Asking for Books // Is it rude?

Happy Monday my reading horses!

No, I’m not asking for books. This is another topic of discussion. So, I have a book tok and I have had one book toker send me a book on my wish list.

I was so excited that someone was my book fairy. It’s a nice feeling, but I never ask for it. I did send books to two people before, but I have seen some book tokers have new followers and then ask them to send a book.

In my opinion, following a book toker then to turn around ask them to buy you a book is incredibly rude. And not only that, that is unnecessary pressure on the person who is being asked. I have not been asked to be someone’s book fairy but if I was asked by a new follower, I would be put off by it.

If I can afford to do so, I will happily buy a book on someone’s wish list. But expecting it is kind of setting a high standard. As if that is the only reason to follow and the only reason to be on a platform with other books lovers.

What do you think? Let’s discuss.

What’s in a Rating? // Does it make a Difference?

I’ve kind of wondered about this and I would really love to know your insight. I remember a while back about how someone stopped rating their books. For the life of me I can’t remember their reasonings but it was about then that I always thought why a Rating was important.

I’ve never been one to rate things on a scale to be honest. Not even movies or TV shows. Why does a star rating matter so much? I know there is probably a genuine reason, but do you look to ratings or the review itself?

Now I HAVE rated books before in the past, but more so because in my mind I thought I had to. I haven’t done so unless specifically asked.

Let’s discuss. Do you rate books? Why or why not? And do you think it’s just as important as the review itself or not at all? I want to know and please keep it civil. Just a fun post. No right or wrong answers here.

MIA // Getting Back to My Bookish Life

Hello my Reading Horses!

I have a Tik Tok and that is how I greet everybody now. HA! I like reading horses better than bookworm. Anyway, that’s not the point of this post.

First and foremost, I apologize for being MIA for several months. Life happens. I work full time, I help take care of my parent’s house while they are traveling, and my partner and I just bought a house of our own. We are doing renovations so I am essentially taking care of two houses and I’m so exhausted. I haven’t read a lot of books this year. I am a bit more active on my Instagram, but not as much as I want to be and I’m still learning Tik Tok (or rather Book Tok). I’ve also had some mental health challenges because of the stress, and I just didn’t want to take time to write a post.

I did sign up for a few ARCs and I have finished one recently. I posted a review on my Instagram so I’m hoping to get it on here as well to give this author more recognition. I’m doing a bit better now and want to get my blog up and going again. Thank you all for keeping up with me and for sticking around when I couldn’t be around.

Again thank you so much for your understanding and patience! I am going to try to at least post three times a week to get back into the habit. So stay tuned for today. I will make another post today or by the end of today. Just to get everything up and going.

Thank you all, my reading horses!

// Audio Book Review // The Chaos of Standing Still by: Jessica Brody #BookReview #AudioBook #JessicaBrody

The Chaos of Standing Still by: Jessica Brody
Published November 28, 2017 by Simon Pulse
Young Adult/Mental Health

Ryn Gilbert’s life changed irrevocably a year ago when her best friend, Lottie, was behind the wheel of a T-boned car. Ryn has held onto many things ever since, including one text message that allows her to keep Lottie near— it has gotten to the point that she questions her own sanity, and even keeps her therapist from knowing that she still sees and speaks to her friend.

Now Ryn is stuck in the Denver Airport on the night before the anniversary of Lottie’s death due to a blizzard with Xander, a boy she meets when they accidentally swap phones. The airport setting allows Ryn to open up to Xander, who is connected to her by circumstance and weighed down by his own issues.

It also allows them to interact with other unique characters, including a child prodigy and the slightly older airport workers Siri and Harvey, who throw an illicit New Year’s Eve party, while helping Ryn work out problems that she has been unable to face in her own life.

I’m still behind on reviewing and updating this blog. I feel like a terrible book blogger. Anyway, this audiobook came recommended by a book tocker because I picked the color blue. I had never heard of this book or the author so it was fun to know something new. The story follows Catheryn ‘Ryn’ who is coming home from her dad’s house and going back to her mother’s house during a pretty bad snow storm. Ryn needs to be home before 10:05 on New Years day. That gets halted when the airport is shut down due to the snow storm getting worse and the planes cannot take off in the weather. Ryn is not happy with being stuck in an airport and tries to hold onto some glimmer of hope that they will clear the snow and let her leave to get home. She has to get home. During her stay, she meets a couple of interesting people in the airport, including the son of renowned child psychiatrists, Xander – and it’s difficult to not be considered ‘crazy’ when your best friend who died a year ago is still talking to you as if she never died.

The whole story is told in Ryn’s POV and her mind just races! I couldn’t help but relate to her and be a little annoyed. But that makes me question do people think this of me when I tend to go off in my own little world like that? Ryn cannot seem to shake her best friend, Lottie, away but she doesn’t want her to go away. If she did go away that would mean admitting that she was truly gone. Ryn’s anchor is her phone with one text message from Lottie that remains unread. She sent that message right before she dies and Ryn can’t bring herself to read it. The story deals with grief in the aspect that this particular character just refuses to deal with her grief.

Another tic that Ryn also does is that she asks Google questions. She types fiercely away at her phone asking different types of questions. Snowstorms. Airports. Automatic doors. Whatever question she comes up with she has her phone to ask it. She doesn’t use her phone to stay glued to the screen, it supportive poses as her mental anchor. It gives her comfort just to have it in her hand.

She meets this girl, Siri, whom takes her phone away in order for her to ‘have fun’ and I gotta say that while I kind of see Siri’s point, she had no clue what Ryn’s situation was so taking her phone was kind of out of line in my opinion. I really like Xander and while Ryn has these assumptions about him because her mother reads his parents books about ‘children coming first’ she grows to like him for an airport companion – no matter how resistant she is at first with him. Lottie sure does have a lot to say.

Being locked in an airport is probably the worst thing and best thing for Ryn. I like that the story doesn’t really end with everything tied together – but a start, a growth for both Xander and Ryn. I rather enjoy stories that take place within a 24 hour time frame because you don’t realize so much can happen within an hour or even ten minutes – imagine all that happens in all of 24 hours.

I felt for Ryn. I felt awful for her, I felt angry for her and with her, I felt sad for her, I’ve felt happy for her when some harsh things had to happen but she is able to go through it. When you feel like you can’t get through it, it’s like a warm blanket wrapped around you to keep you from going through what could cause you emotional stress. I use a blanket metaphor and yet I have several blankets of my own.

It’s hard losing someone so close to you, platonic or romantic. And grief isn’t something that you can just get over; you have to get through it and learn to live without that person who is not coming back, no matter how much you try to avoid it.

The story doesn’t have highly strong triggers other than the loss of a friend, mentions of cheating (parents) and seeing that people do indeed grieve in different ways. It’s not always sitting in a corner and balling your eyes out. Sometimes…it’s something entirely different.

I would definitely recommend this book. It doesn’t have a high star rating on goodreads, but since I don’t rate books anymore, I am going to say it’s a good read or even a good listen.

// Audio Book Review // All Eyes on Us by: Kit Frick // #BookReview #AudioBook #KitFrick

All Eyes on Us by: Kit Frick
Published June 4, 2019 by Margaret K. McElderry Books
Young Adult/Mystery/Thriller

PRIVATE NUMBER: Wouldn’t you look better without a cheater on your arm?
AMANDA: Who is this?

The daughter of small-town social climbers, Amanda Kelly is deeply invested in her boyfriend, real estate heir Carter Shaw. He’s kind, ambitious, the town golden boy—but he’s far from perfect. Because behind Amanda’s back, Carter is also dating Rosalie.

PRIVATE NUMBER: I’m watching you, Sweetheart.
ROSALIE: Who IS this?

Rosalie Bell is fighting to remain true to herself and her girlfriend—while concealing her identity from her Christian fundamentalist parents. After years spent in and out of conversion “therapy,” her own safety is her top priority. But maintaining a fake, straight relationship is killing her from the inside.

This wasn’t on my TBR list, but I couldn’t resist when I saw it on Audible. This is my second book by Kit Frick. I read I Killed Zoe Spanos and I really enjoyed it. While this book had some pretty teenagey things are that are kind of annoying and eye rolling, but it’s YA, I still REALLY enjoyed the book. Kit knows how to write a mystery/thriller story surrounding the younger audience, and the younger audience at heart.

The story is told in two POVs. Amanda and Rosalie. The story begins with Amanda’s POV where she received a text message from a Private number asking why she would want a cheater on her arms. Amanda lives a life where it is planned that she will marry her boyfriend, Carter, and be well off to help out her family whom are living beyond their means. Amanda believes that her future depends on her solving her family’s financial problems – poor kid. Private, though, is focused on her relationship with Carter and ending it.

The second story centers around Rosalie. Unfortunately, she is seeing Carter (Amanda’s Carter). However, Carter is a cover because Rosalie is gay and is in love with her secret girlfriend. Rosalie is out to her parents, deeply religious parents, but after a traumatic event with a conversion camp, Rosalie now pretends it worked until she is 18 and can move out of the house and in with her girlfriend. Carter is serves as a cover and eventually, Private finds her, knowing her secrets.

Both girls battle their baggage with their families and this unknown person texting them to the point of threatening them if they don’t do as he says and how he says it.

I was highly annoyed with Amanda because she turns a blind eye to Carter’s cheating, more than once, and she isn’t always very bright in trying to figure out who Private number is. To be fair, however, her mother is definitely not the best at giving Amanda advice – which includes turning a blind eye and letting him get it out of his system. Nice advice, mom!

I felt horrible for Rosalie. In one scene, she forgot to check in with her dad and that made her late coming home from her work shift. Her father forced her to kneel down and ‘pray’. Instead of praying, he’s reciting a verse from the bible and she has to recite it with him. It was so ridiculous. This makes me so sad that people lived with this and had to hide their true selves. I’m so sorry for those that felt they had to do that. I can’t imagine what that is like.

Amanda and Rosalie become temporary allies when Amanda realized that they were both receiving these texts. More secrets are revealed and assumptions are just that…assumptions.

I found myself talking out loud when listening to this book. I was heavily invested and while I found the reasoning behind Private’s motives to be…well kind of lame, that didn’t really take away from me enjoying the story. I really enjoyed how Kit writes a story. While Amanda was kind of irritating at times, Rosalie too sometimes, you are kind of brought into their worlds and can feel the pressures they feel and the choices they feel they have to make.

It’s heartbreaking and heartwrenching read that honestly…I’m seeing Goodreads didn’t have a lot of reviews for this book, what is up with that? I don’t think it got the attention it deserved.

// January Wrap Up // February TBR #TBR #JanuaryWrapUp

I am late in the game in posting this, but better late than never, right? I don’t have a full list I want to read in February, but I have a few books that I definitely want to start this month. I have not been keeping up with reviews. I did one review this month which is very sad, but I’m trying to get it all caught up. In the meantime, the list below are books I’ve finished in the month of January and some snippet of my thoughts on these books.

Rayne and Deliah’s Midnite Matinee by: Jeff Zentner

This was supposed to be part of the my December challenge. I didn’t finish till January, but glad I finally did finish it. The story was cute and the two girls in the story are quirky and funny. The idea of graduating and going separate ways is scary for two people who have been friends for so long and it sucks to think that. The main story is that these two host a terrible horror movie show and they have this chance to go to ShiverCon to talk to someone in the industry. The outcome is odd, but kind of funny. Cute read.

And I Darken by: Kiersten White

I finally got myself to read/listen to this book…and quite frankly, I wasn’t all that impressed. This is a sort of different version of Dracula and while I liked some of the story, the whole story wasn’t enough for me to say ‘oh damn, I gotta know what happens next’. I actually didn’t like Mahmed and couldn’t understand Radu’s infatuation to be near him even though he won’t love him – I didn’t like him and Vlada was no better. I know a lot of readers enjoyed this series, great for me, not so much for me. It happens, though.

That’s Not What Happened by: Kody Keplinge

I wanted to like this story. I really did. It’s highly sensitive and takes place 3 years after a shooting at a school. The story is written in letter formats from the main character and some of the characters who were there for the shooting. The main character is not at all likeable in my opinion. She’s writing this long letter stating an event that turned into some inspirational story didn’t happen – and she waits three years to say something. The one thing that pisses me off is that adults posing as christians are bullying teenagers. I didn’t care for the story and as sad as I am to say that, I don’t think letter writing was the right for mat for this story and the big secret wasn’t really that big.

Doing Harm by: Kelly Parsons

I had HIGH hopes for this book. While it was definitely not what I expected, which was not a bad thing, but the MC narrating this story…unbelievably stupid. He’s highly arrogant which was WHAT GOT HIM IN TROUBLE IN THE FIRST PLACE and then he gets wrapped up in a sociopath’s ‘plan’ to better the medical system. I liked the story – I would have liked it better if it wasn’t told from the MC’s point of view. I was really satisfied how the story ended, but I almost put a DNF on this book because I just couldn’t stand how dumb the MC was, especially when it came to making a mistake in his marriage.

I’m hoping my read count this month will be a bit better, lol. Anyway, here are the books I plan on reading, or currently reading, this month. I’ll try my best to update more soon! 🙂