Top Ten Tuesday: First Ten Books I Reviewed on My Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “(First Ten) Books I Reviewed.” Eek. I have a personal policy that I don’t read reviews I wrote at the beginning of my book blogging journey. There is so much cringe. That being said, it was interesting to look back at what my first reviews on the blog were and try to remember how I felt about them. These are all books I read about 5 years ago, so the mind forgets…a lot. Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund – This one remains one of my favorite Jane Austen retellings. If you are looking for a Persuasion retelling with a science-fiction flare, you need to check this one out. I still own this one and will likely keep it until the bitter end. Rating: 5/5

2. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter – I have yet to come across an Alice in Wonderland retelling that I like. I remember wanting to like this one because hello, zombies, but I hated this one so much. Rating: 1/5

3. The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater – I’ve always been impressed with Stiefvater’s characters in her Raven Cycle series. I have fond memories of reading this one and one that I know if I ever reread, I’d be lost to a state of nostalgia. Rating: 5/5

4. Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – This was one of the first YA fantasy series I really got into. I still think Graceling is the best, but this is my second favorite despite the fact that it is rather slow. I will also probably get rid of these books at some point though. Rating: 4/5

5. Gravity by Melissa West – I remember loving this first book in the series, but being completely let down by the second. I donate this book and its sequel to my library years ago. Rating 4/5

6. Across a Star-Swept Sea by Diana Peterfreund – This is the companion novel to For Darkness Shows the Stars. It’s a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel and I really enjoyed it. This along with Sharon Cameron’s Rook are my favorite The Scarlet Pimpernel retellings. Rating: 4/5

7. All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrell – This one used to be one of my favorites and I’m so sad it never got a sequel. I still have my copy of this one, but so many years have past, I will probably give it away. Rating 5/5

8. More Than This by Patrick Ness – I still love Ness’s Chaos Walking Trilogy, but I just could not connect with this one. I also vaguely remember this one feeling way too long. Rating: 2/5

9. In the After by Demitria Lunetta – I don’t remember much beyond really enjoying this one and feeling meh about its sequel. Rating: 4/5

10. Inhuman by Kat Falls – I don’t remember a thing about this one, but apparently I hated it. Rating: 1/5

Have you read any of these? Do you give away books even if you enjoyed them? How do you decide when it’s time? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.


The Friday 56: The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.


*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

      “As Calo vanished into the crow, Galdo appeared just as suddenly, dressed in the bright silks and cottons of a prosperous Camorri merchant; his slashed and ruffled coat alone was probably worth as much as the barge the Gentlemen Bastards had poled up the river that morning. There was nothing now about him to remind the Don or his man of the alley cut-throats…”

This week I am featuring Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora, which I am finally reading as a buddy read for the month of April. I’m really enjoying all the scheming and am at a point in the book where the author has punched me in the gut. I hope I can survive the rest of the novel. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “They say that the Thorn of Camorr can beat anyone in a fight. They say he steals from the rich and gives to the poor. They say he’s part man, part myth, and mostly street-corner rumor. And they are wrong on every count.
      Only averagely tall, slender, and god-awful with a sword, Locke Lamora is the fabled Thorn, and the greatest weapons at his disposal are his wit and cunning. He steals from the rich – they’re the only ones worth stealing from – but the poor can go steal for themselves. What Locke cons, wheedles and tricks into his possession is strictly for him and his band of fellow con-artists and thieves: the Gentleman Bastards.
      Together their domain is the city of Camorr. Built of Elderglass by a race no-one remembers, it’s a city of shifting revels, filthy canals, baroque palaces and crowded cemeteries. Home to Dons, merchants, soldiers, beggars, cripples, and feral children. And to Capa Barsavi, the criminal mastermind who runs the city.
      But there are whispers of a challenge to the Capa’s power. A challenge from a man no one has ever seen, a man no blade can touch. The Grey King is coming.
      A man would be well advised not to be caught between Capa Barsavi and The Grey King. Even such a master of the sword as the Thorn of Camorr. As for Locke Lamora…”

Top Ten Tuesday: Contemporary Reads to Get You Through a Rainy Day

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Rainy Day Reads.Where I live, we don’t get a ton of rainy days, so I don’t necessarily associate certain books with rainy days. If I’m stuck in the house and the world outside looks a little gloomy, my first instinct would probably be to reach for a contemporary. But because contemporaries come in all shapes and sizes, I’ve compiled a list of what I hope is a wide-range of books you could reach for next time it rains. Covers are linked to Goodreads.


1. Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – When you want to be immersed in a mystery and not look up until you’ve discovered the answer to all your questions. Warning: You will be thinking about this one long after you finish.

2. The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson – When you are looking for a contemporary with great banter and smart characters. Warning: No other contemporary characters will every be as smart and witty as Lily Anderson’s.

3. The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle – When you want something a little dark and gloomy, pick up this one about a family curse. Warning: Will make you crave all the atmospheric novels.

4. More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera– When you want something to make you cry a little, but also make you feel hopeful. Warning: I lied. You will cry a lot. 

5. I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo – When you want something sunny and light that will make you laugh. Warning: Extreme sunshine ahead, will make you sad it is so gloomy outside.

6. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – When you want something to listen to while you clean the house because there’s nothing better to do than stay indoors, reach for the audio of this debut. Warning: All the feels ahead, you might cry into a sink full of dirty dishes.

7. The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon – When you want to warm your cynical heart, reach for this one and be amazed how Yoon is able to pull off the love-at-first-sight trope flawlessly. Warning: You will never find a more satisfactory love-at-first-sight story ever.

8. Trouble Is a Friend of Mine by Stephanie Tromly – When you want to read about characters getting into all kinds of mischief. Warning: Like Zoe, you will wonder how the heck a trouble-maker like Digby wormed his way into your heart.

9. Pride by Ibi Zoboi – When you are craving a classic, but don’t want to read a classic, read this retelling instead. Warning: You will want all of Austen’s works adapted by Zoboi, you will take every opportunity on your blog to mention it, like I am doing…right now.

10. Listen to our Heart by Kasie West – When you want something short and sweet and not too complicated, reach for Kasie West. Warning: You will enjoy every book and puzzle over how she writes them so fast.

Are you a fan of any of these contemporaries? Which contemporaries would you recommend on a rainy day? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

The Friday 56: The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes

The Friday 56The Friday 56 is a weekly blog meme hosted by Freda’s Voice. Join us every Friday and share an excerpt from a book you’ve been reading.


*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader.
*Find any sentence (or a few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.
*Add your (url) post here in Linky. Add the post url, not your blog url. It’s that simple.

**Be sure to leave a link to your Friday 56 post in the comments!**

      “I pushed the flashlight out of my eyes. ‘Hang on! I don’t care how powerful this soothsayer person was, she was dead wrong. I’d never be stupid enough to let some ugly, hairy, war-hungry monster free!'”

Today I’m sharing an excerpt from The Storm Runner by J.C. Cervantes, one of my current reads and the first book the Latinx Book Club is reading together. There is still time to join us if you’re interested! Cover is linked to Goodreads.

From the Goodreads Synopsis:

      “Zane has always enjoyed exploring the dormant volcano near his home in New Mexico, even though hiking it is challenging. He’d much rather hang out there with his dog, Rosie, than go to middle school, where kids call him Sir Limps a Lot, McGimpster, or Uno — for his one good leg. What Zane doesn’t know is that the volcano is a gateway to another world and he is at the center of a powerful prophecy.
      A new girl at school, Brooks, informs him that he’s destined to release an evil god from the ancient Maya relic he is imprisoned in — unless she can find and remove it first. Together they return to the volcano, where all kinds of crazy happens. Brooks turns into a hawk, a demon attacks them in a cave, and Rosie gives her all while trying to protect Zane. When Zane decides to save his dog no matter the cost, he is thrust into an adventure full of surprising discoveries, dangerous secrets, and an all-out war between the gods, one of whom happens to be his father. To survive, Zane will have to become the Storm Runner. But how can he run when he can’t even walk well without a cane?
      Feisty heroes, tricky gods, murderous demons, and spirited giants are just some of the pleasures that await in this fresh and funny take on Maya mythology, as rich and delicious as a mug of authentic hot chocolate.”

Can’t-Wait Wednesday: Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali

Can’t-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Tressa @ Wishful Endings where bloggers share which upcoming releases they’re most looking forward to. Join us every Wednesday and watch your TBR list multiply.

I am so looking forward to S.K. Ali’s sophomore novel Love From A to Z. It sounds absolutely heartfelt and charming. I know so little about Adam and Zayneb, but I already feel like I am going to love them and I can’t wait to meet them. Cover is linked to Goodreads.

 width=Title: Love From A to Z
Author: S.K. Ali
Series: N/A
Pages: 352
Publisher: Salaam Reads
Release Date: April 30, 2019

      “A marvel: something you find amazing. Even ordinary-amazing. Like potatoes—because they make French fries happen. Like the perfect fries Adam and his mom used to make together.
      An oddity: whatever gives you pause. Like the fact that there are hateful people in the world. Like Zayneb’s teacher, who won’t stop reminding the class how ‘bad’ Muslims are.
      But Zayneb, the only Muslim in class, isn’t bad. She’s angry.
      When she gets suspended for confronting her teacher, and he begins investigating her activist friends, Zayneb heads to her aunt’s house in Doha, Qatar, for an early start to spring break.
      Fueled by the guilt of getting her friends in trouble, she resolves to try out a newer, ‘nicer’ version of herself in a place where no one knows her.
      Then her path crosses with Adam’s.
      Since he got diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in November, Adam’s stopped going to classes, intent, instead, on perfecting the making of things. Intent on keeping the memory of his mom alive for his little sister.
      Adam’s also intent on keeping his diagnosis a secret from his grieving father.
      Alone, Adam and Zayneb are playing roles for others, keeping their real thoughts locked away in their journals.
      Until a marvel and an oddity occurs…
      Marvel: Adam and Zayneb meeting.
      Oddity: Adam and Zayneb meeting.”

Are you participating in Can’t-Wait Wednesday or Waiting on Wednesday? Is this book on your TBR? Be sure to leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll visit!

Top Ten Tuesday: Things Book Bloggers Love That Non-Readers Don’t Understand

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is “Outrageous Things I’ve Done for the Love of Books.” Aside from maybe staying up a little late to read (11pm is late, right?), I don’t think I’ve done anything too extreme in the name of books. So instead I am listing things that have earned me some questioning looks from non-readers. I’m sure you can all relate.

1. ARCs – No one outside of the book community knows what an ARC is. Advanced Readers Copy means nothing to them either. I’ve tried to explain it many times to outsiders. They just don’t get what the big deal is. 

2. Having unread books on your shelf – Never reveal how many books on your shelf you haven’t read to a non-reader. You will be judged. 

3. Rereading – I love to reread and I don’t often get a chance to, but I really enjoy revisiting old favorites. But try explaining why you want to read a book again for the fourth time to someone who isn’t a huge fan of reading. Puzzled looks guaranteed to follow.

4. Owning multiple editions – I keep it on the down low how many editions of HP I own and how many I still want to buy. I also have so many editions of Jane Austen books as well, which I would only admit to you, my friends.

5. The need to buy more books – Non-readers seem to be under the impression that after reading/buying/borrowing a certain number of books, you no longer want more? 

6. Buying accessories for Instagram – I don’t even try to explain why I am buying more fake flowers when I have tons at home. Explaining book pictures is also quite a conversation. We love to read books, but also love pretty pictures of books! Also, I made an Instagram a few weeks ago if you want to follow me (@akernelofnonsense). Flowers abound.

7. How much time spent book blogging – Yes, I know I spend lots of time on my phone/computer working on my blog. It’s hard but I enjoy it. It’s like any other hobby in that it’s how I choose to spend my free time. 

8. Always carrying a book with me – Why is my handbag so heavy? Aside from the secret snacks I keep in there, I usually keep a book inside. Even when I know I probably won’t have time to read, I take one because what if I do have some time? 

9. The book blogging community – I don’t think many non-readers understand how many people love books. Like, we have a whole book community. We have websites, book twitter, bookstagram, booktube, booklr. We regularly interact with other readers, publishers, and authors. It’s small in the grand scheme of things, but there are so many people who love books out there.

10. Fawning over a book – Whether it be a cover, endpapers, spines, naked hardbacks, how do you explain the beauty that a book is to an outsider who has probably never even given a spare thought to any of these things?

What are some bookish things you love or do that puzzle non-readers in your life? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.