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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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.

Top Ten Tuesday: Things That Make Me Want to Pick Up a Book

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 “Things That Make Me Want to Pick Up a Book.This was a really hard list to put together. I think I know what I like, but when I sat down to write this list, it was incredibly difficult to be really specific. I’m sure on a different day, I’d have a completely different list for you.

1. I’ve Enjoyed the Author in the Past – Is this cheating? I feel like this might be cheating, but there are certain number of authors who have never let me down and I intend to pick up every book from them.

2. Magical Realism – Why is this genre so underrated? I love the way magical realism makes me feel. The atmosphere, the writing, all those magical possibilities.

3. Enemies to Lovers – Perhaps my favorite romantic trope. The perfect romance to me is one that contains this trope coupled with the slow burn. I fall for it every time.

4. PoC Front in Center in a Contemporary Novel – I want to read all the contemporary novels with PoC MCs. The vast majority of the contemporaries I pick up these days feature PoC leads.

5. Stellar Casts – I love when books are able to showcase more than one character. Some of my favorite books feature amazing ensembles.

6. Latinx-Based Fantasy – I see a lot of urban-based fantasy series with Latinx influences, but I perk up immediately if it’s Latinx-inspired high-fantasy.

7. Assassins – I haven’t read a new book about assassins lately, but I still love them. I know a lot of people think assassins are overplayed, but I actually haven’t had a ton of luck with these books. I’m always on the lookout for more assassin books.

8. Witches – I don’t think I will ever tire of witches. I love them in all settings, in all time-periods, and in any form. Good. Bad. Somewhere in between. I love it.

9. Banter – Next to enemies to lovers, I also love romance with great banter. Witty remarks flying all over the place is such fun.

10. Antiheroes – I suspect a lot of us enjoy antiheroes. I love exploring grey characters and appreciate authors pushing certain types of characters to their limits, seeing them compromise on their morals, and seeing what becomes of them as a result.

Do these also make you want to pick up a book? Do you have any recommendations for me based on these? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

Top Ten Tuesday: Audiobooks I’d Like to Check Out

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 “Audio Freebie.” I fail when it comes to audiobooks. I’ve only ever listen to one. It is a medium I’d like to explore more, but my library doesn’t have the biggest selection of digital audiobooks and though they have them on disc, other than my blu-ray player, I don’t have any other way to listen to them. Maybe I need to buy myself a cd player. Do they even sell personal cd players anymore? Despite this, here are a few audiobooks I’d like an opportunity to check out. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo – I loved this novel so much, but I’ve heard great things about the audio, which is narrated by Elizabeth Acevedo herself. I hope to reread this one with the audio version someday.

2. Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds – I haven’t read this one, but it’s also another novel-in-verse that I hear is amazing as an audiobook. When I do pick this one up, I’m going with the audiobook.

3. Sadie by Courtney Summers – I really enjoyed this, but I’m so very curious about the audiobook and particularly the podcast portions. I’ve heard that the production is really good.

4. Bird Box by Josh Malerman – I don’t even know if there is an audiobook version of this one, but how amazing would it be to listen to this book while blindfolded?

5. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling – I’ve always been curious about the audiobooks for this series. I’ve heard the narration is awesome and I’d really like to check it out someday. Maybe do a reread of the series but with audiobooks.

Have you listened to any of these audiobooks? Which would you recommend? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Spring 2019 Releases

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 “Books On My Spring 2019 TBR.I try not to make too many TBRs throughout the year, but I usually fail and when I succeed I spend most of my time stressing about said goal. For this week’s list, I am featuring ten highly anticipated spring releases that I will most likely not all get to. This was a hard list to decide on because when I opened Goodreads to check what was coming up, I ended up opening like thirty different tabs. Most of these come out around my birthday, so I am counting on gift cards (crossing fingers). I’m also planning a birthday giveaway on Twitter for most anticipated May releases, so look for that in April. Covers are linked to Goodreads.

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1. Storm of Locusts by Rebecca Roanhouse – Publication Date: April 23rd – Before this sequel comes out, I’m going to make time to reread Trail of Lightning. I can’t even express how excited I am about this book. I’ve never fallen for an author so hard and so quickly before.

2. Nocturna by Maya Motayne – Publication Date: May 7th (my birthday) – This is the Latinx inspired fantasy I’ve been waiting for. Magic. Shapeshifters. Heists. I am ready.

3. Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo – Publication Date: May 7th – I am ready to be completely charmed by another Goo novel. She is quickly becoming one of my go-to contemporary authors.

4. Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali – Publication Date: April 30th (just recently changed) – This much-anticipated sophomore novel by S.K. Ali is almost here. This sounds absolutely adorable and this cover is already making me swoon.

5. With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo – Publication Date: May 7th – This would be high on my list of books I would give my first born for. Acevedo blew me away with The Poet X and I am all kinds of excited for this one. Where are you Rumpelstiltskin when I need you?

6. There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon – Publication Date: May 14th – Why are so many good books coming out in May? Publishing must know it’s my birthday month, because another Sandhya Menon book is just what I need.

7. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal – Publication Date: May 14th – This along with We Set the Dark on Fire is one my most anticipating 2019 debuts. How highly am I anticipating it? I preordered it way back in January.

8. Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno – Publication Date: May 14th – I need this book and I need it now. Would not be surprised if I dreamt of holding an ARC in my hands between now and its release.

9. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – Publication Date: June 4th – I loved An Enchantment of Ravens so much and am ready to be swept away with Rogerson’s sophomore novel.

10. All of Us With Wings by Michelle Ruiz Keil – Publication Date: June 18th – I love how different this one sounds and the cover for this one is so lovely.

Are you looking forward to any of these releases? Any on my list you are adding to your TBR? Which spring 2019 release is your most anticipated? Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave me a link to your own TTT post, so I can visit.