The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 14th, 2019
Genre: Adult Fiction/Contemporary
Rating: 4 Stars



Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

This book was purchase by me. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.


People had been telling me to read this book FOR-EVER! I mean, every time I was looking for a rec for adult contemporary they’d tell me to read this. I am so glad I did.

This book is HILARIOUS. I have not laughed so hard during a book in so long. The writing style is perfect and sounds like real conversations people would have. The hate-to-love trope is one of my favorites (except for bully romance). The main characters are totally likable and I cannot stop thinking about it.

I first read the e-book and then I listened to the audio. The audio made this book come to life and made all of the jokes 10x funnier! Olive and Ethan get into some prime shenanigans and the *villain* is someone you wouldn’t expect. I was all over the place with this book.

I really wish there was more steam though. This book is perfect if you’re looking for steam but not the smut! I also didn’t super love the conflict part – I was so angry and I felt like it actually just could have done without that and it still be an enjoyable book!

This book is available for now at most book retailers, in store or online!

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Soulwalkers by Cassidy Thomas

Soulwalkers by Cassidy Thomas
Publisher: Little Big Books
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2019
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
Rating: 4 Stars


Kia LaStrauss can see into your soul with the touch of her hand. She can see your fears, desires, wants. She can see your past. Your present. Your future. She is a Soulwalker. 

New Orleans is the city Kia calls home: a city of revelry, jazz, wonder, and magic. She grew up listening to stories of magic and mysticism, but they were just stories… or so she thought. After experiencing two visions of the future, Kia learns of the existence of Soulwalkers, and that she is one of them. With the help of her mentor Ian, she begins to learn what she is capable of, and the consequences of her newfound power. But even Ian cannot prepare her for what she will discover. 

Kia is thrown into a world once unimaginable, where the touch of a hand could kill her and every new discovery can change the course of her life forever. 

Thank you Cassidy Thomas for this free finished copy to read and review. This is no way shapes my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.


I really enjoyed this YA urban fantasy! I love stories that center in New Orleans because the world-building is always so rich. Within this world, we have Soulwalkers, people who can see your soul with a touch… however, there is a balance to this magic system. This adds a level of stress to this ability, throwing me for a loop when you learn about Kia’s first walk. This book explores more magic than soul walking but I don’t want to say too much and spoil the surprises! This book has many twists and turns, some totally unexpected! This is a super quick, exciting read and I would recommend this to anyone who likes books you can devour in a sitting!

I liked the multiple points of view as I’m always wondering what everyone is thinking other than the MC. It just gives a book more depth to me.

***could be considered spoilery***

I enjoyed the romance aspect as I’m a total romance sucker. The only thing I think can be worked upon is the term of endearment. Ian would call Kia kid when they had a “mentor/student,” relationship but once it was more it seemed a bit demeaning. Calling the person you’re interested in as “kid,” isn’t for me, but honestly I think it could just be my own opinion! Other than that, I was totally rooting for the characters!

This book is available for preorder on Amazon and will be available 12/3!


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Topic Tuesday – Problematic Themes in Literature

Hellllllo everyone! I hope everyone is having an amazing Tuesday! I had to wait until nap time before I could jump on! Below is a triggering topic, so if you are triggered and upset easily, please do not continue reading. I want my blog to be a safe space for everyone! It’s going to be a doozy!

After reading The Wicked Deep, I wanted to talk about problematic themes in literature. Now, I’m not one to get offended easily. I have gone through a fair amount of trauma in my past, which I am very open out; thankfully for me not a lot triggers me into panic. However, there are some topics that make people upset. There are many problematic themes like violence against women, rape, abusive partners that make it into our books.

I for one do not like reading Bully Romance, which is a huge reason as to why I did not like the After series. The reason why I don’t like it is not because of the topic itself, but it’s because sometimes those themes do not serve as a vehicle for the plot. Sometimes these characters are just shitty to be shitty and I can’t stand behind that. With books like The Cruel Prince, Jude and Cardan are SO MEAN to each other and there really isn’t much reason for it other than to be a dick (in my opinion, don’t @ me LOL). In After, Harden and what’s her face (I forgot already), were abusive to each other and then they would make up and then everyone would just gloss over it. They would have intense sex and then all is forgiven until they are screaming at each other in public and emotionally manipulating each other. That is NOT okay for me.

What I mean for a problematic theme to be a vehicle for the plot, is that it has to be addressed in some way and have a meaningful impact on those characters. There are many books out there that talk about race and prejudice and we see those characters go through some tough stuff, but it gets resolved. Someone learns something from it. The aggressor realizes that it’s NOT okay to behave this way. Most of the time, especially in YA literature, we don’t see it addressed – everyone just sweeps it under the rug.

Now to The Wicked Deep. If you haven’t read it, don’t read this paragraph as I will be discussing spoilers. The Wicked Deep is about the spirit of 3 dead sister witches who inhabit the body of girls and lure boys to their death out of revenge from their drowning. Penny, the main character, has what I believe is sex with the main love interest, Bo. Later on it is revealed that it is a sister witch, Hazel, inhabiting her body and she used Penny’s body to get close to Bo. The author literally swept this under the rug. No one even talked about how fucked up that was, not even Bo! Hazel says, please don’t tell Penny what happened, I will leave the good memories for her. Like ? Then we are not told if Bo reveals the truth, which I’m sure he doesn’t since the ending he’s still obsessed with Hazel even though he’s with the real Penny.

That is rape you guys. Penny did not consent to this. It doesn’t matter that she was unaware and that a witch possessed her. It doesn’t matter that Hazel left the “good memories.” Penny could not consent. I am not pointing all of the blame on Bo as he did not know at the time, but I do think it was his responsibility to tell her the truth once he knew and she was Penny again. I had a long conversation with Kibby ( IG: @somethingofthebook) about how wrong this, in fact she’s the one who initially brought it up and I was like wait no, wtf, I didn’t even think of this!

If the author were to have made Bo reveal what happened and discussed how wrong that was even for a freaking paragraph, I would be singing a different tune. This is how we perpetuate rape culture. It is NOT cute that Bo and Penny are now together and Hazel is a ghost in the wind still whispering she loves him. NO! It’s like Bo got to have his cake and eat it too (thank you Kat IG: @kathardistywrites for this phrasing because it’s PERFECT).

Don’t get me wrong, I still think this is an enjoyable book, but those things need to be fixed. We cannot keep sweeping these problematic themes under the rug. They have to be there for a reason, it has to drive the plot forward. I heard people are boycotting Ninth House because of a problematic theme but then from others I hear it’s addressed in the story. It’s okay to have traumatic events in book! What’s not okay is acting like it’s normal and not discussing the issue for those characters and for the readers.

Well,  thank you all for reading my rant if you’ve made it this far! How do you view problematic themes in literature?



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Mood Monday – New Week/New TBR!

How can it be the second week of October already? This week will be a whirlwind for me as I’ll be headed off to LA with my mom on Saturday morning for a quick trip to KoreaTown! Words cannot express how excited I am! It’s also the last week of the #housecupreadathon19 for October over on Instagram! I’m excited to see who is in the lead!

I am starting off this week with a brand new TBR! I am going to be reading The Wicked Deep and Blackbirds! Kelli (@starlightfaerytale) is going to the Morristown Book Festival soon so we are trying to read books from authors going to that event (Chuck Wendig). I’m also trying to fit in a few short books (Soulwalkers) and write some reviews! Lord only knows where I’ll find the time!

This weekend I read Carmilla by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu (gothic novella) which was Narrated by David Tennant, Rose Leslie, and Phoebe Fox! This audio drama was SO STINKING GOOD y’all! I mean it was legit like listening to a movie. The voice acting was just phenomenal! It’s a super short audible original, the book is about 100ish pages. This was written in 1872, 26 years before Dracula! The female vampire is in love with another woman! Yay LGBT in the 1800s!! I totally recommend this novella via audio!

I hope everyone has an amazing week!

TGIF – Who Else is Busy AF?

WOW! This week just flew by! I totally forgot to post my Thirsty Thursday new and upcoming release post! I might post that this weekend. Chuck and I have spent a lot of time redoing our nook’s flooring! The old owners put laminate over the hardwood so we tore out the old and installed stuff that looks like wood!

Don’t mind my crazy mess 😂 we are going to paint the walls and of course clean up my shelves when everything is done! We still have some to go along the edges but hopefully that’ll be complete by Sunday!

I finished reading A Thousand Pieces of You last night and needless to say I’m not that impressed. I’m going to go ahead and finish the series and I will write a review for the series as a whole. Today I’m going to finish up To Kill a Kingdom, which I am reading for research purposes with my friend to help her with her book! Then I will get to The Wicked Deep!

I’ve heard some mixed reviews about this book, especially about the last page so I’m curious if I will feel the same way. I’m typically an easy raider because I rate critically rather than personally which I think is important. I can’t stand when people write books that are for younger audiences or forgenres they know they don’t like and rate the books poorly!

I hope everyone has an amazing weekend!



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Alone for the Holidays by Vivien Mayfair

Alone for the Holidays by Vivien Mayfair
Publisher: Bramble House Publishing
Publication Date: July 16th, 2019
Genre: Adult Contemporary
Rating: 3 Stars


Giving up on Christmas after too many of them alone, Clara Neverov is a popular Romance author, recently divorced and bitter. She adores the solitary life free from Scrooges and messy entanglements. When a mysterious editor from a Goodreads book group she cares about shares a sad story about being alone for the holidays after his wife passes away, she accidentally invites him to spend them with her.

The only problem is that her snowy country cottage is nowhere close to the magical Santa’s wonderland that she described. In fact, it closely resembles the undergrown Grinch’s lair on a bad day. 

The situation goes from bad to worse when Finn Jacobs drops an email that he’s on his way to spend Christmas with her. He doesn’t mention an arrival date and he believes her to be a trim blond bookshop clerk she’s been posing as so she can enjoy her online life, free of her own identity. With some festive holiday intervention, icy roads slam her truck right into his car, where she quickly finds herself desperately scrambling for another false identity, terrified he’ll learn the truth.

Thank you Book Sirens, Vivien Mayfair, and Bramble House Books for this free copy to read and review. This is no way shapes my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.


I really enjoyed this novella! I don’t know why I was in the Christmas mood but when Book Sirens gave me the copy to review and I saw how short it was, I definitely wanted to give it a go. This book kept my attention all of the way through but it did have some issues.

I really liked that our main character was not the typical polished perfect princess as we see in most romance novels. I love that she has self-confidence issues that are real and not in the, oh I’m just a mousy girl but I’m actually a mega babe when I do my hair if you know what I mean. I liked the idea of the false identity and all of the holiday activities that they did together to grow close. I thought the INSTALOVE was a little over the top but what can you expect from a romance novella. It was quick and to the point!

What I didn’t like was the fact that she only based her self-worth on what the love interest, Finn, thought of her. I don’t really feel like that she grew as a character because in the end she still felt down on herself. I also felt like the way Finn behaved was out of character during one scene. It was to the point that I did not like him through the rest of the book even when he was supposed to be redeemed.

Overall, I liked this novella and I’m curious about her other books as this was my first experience with her writing!

This book is available NOW on Amazon Kindle for $.99 or free with KindleUnlimited!


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House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig
Young Adult Fantasy/Retelling
Delacorte Press
Publishing Date: August 6, 2019
4.5 Stars

House of Salt and Sorrows

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

This book was purchased by me; all thoughts and opinions expressed are strictly my own.


I had been interested in reading this book and threw it on my TBR to read next month once I saw the cover. I usually am not persuaded by covers, but come on guys, look at it! So I went about the month of August cruising through my TBR… and then I saw my friend Grace (@fictionaladventures) on Instagram stare blankly into the camera with her humongous eyes saying, “I am in shock. I don’t think I will ever stop thinking about this book.” I immediately got it and started reading that night, finishing a day later.

This novel is a 12 Dancing Princesses retelling; I have never read the original, hell, I hadn’t even read the synopsis for this book! I went into it totally blind and 100% off of the recommendation of Grace and her Instagram review!

The first thing that shocked me was how creepy it was. I got the feeling that it would be a bit dark because of the title and the cover but once the visions started appearing (again, I hadn’t read the synopsis) I was super nervous. I remember thinking, okay this is NOT what I thought this book was going to be. I laid in bed with the covers pulled up wanting to know and not wanting to know what was going to happen next. The twists and turns in this book are totally unexpected. I was continuously changing my ideas on what was happening as things were revealed. The end was unexpected! I really enjoyed this book, the writing style was totally intoxicating. I truly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys retellings, creepy books, strong women, and plot twists!

Overall, I rated this a 4.5 there’s one aspect of the book that was necessary for the entirety of the book itself and the direction it went, but I somewhat wish it were different. I felt like that one of the *twists* lessened the thrill of the story just a bit, which took the creepy factor away from that point forward. Maybe if it were revealed more towards the end I would have felt differently!

You can purchase this book from most book sellers, Amazon, or other online retailers!


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Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frankly in Love by David Yoon
 Young Adult Contemporary Publisher: Putnam/Penguin Teen
Publication Date: 
September 10, 2019
Rating: 4.5 Stars ⭐️


Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong? 

Frank Li has two names. There’s Frank Li, his American name. Then there’s Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California. Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl–which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white. 

As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he’s forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don’t leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he’s found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he’s left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love—or himself—at all. 

Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank David Yoon and Penguin Teen for providing me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.

Frankly in Love was everything that I needed. I am a first generation (half) Korean American, and although my expectations on love were much different as my mom married my white dad and left Korea for him, there were so many times where I felt connected to Frank and his experience within the colliding cultures.

I loved this book. I found myself laughing, aching with pain, drooling from the food (Frank ordered my fave dish at a restaurant, Mul Nengmyeon!!!), and connecting to the story most of all. The feeling of not knowing where I belong – not being Korean enough for the Super Koreans, not being white enough to not be targeted racially by others… it was a hard time growing up. I really appreciated the realness of this story, how I could put myself in Frank/Joy’s shoes and truly FEEL my life in that moment. Finding representation that’s true to me and not built on stereotypes was refreshing and honestly… heartbreaking.

The reason I gave it a 4.5⭐️ and not 5 – Could be considered spoilery:

This book was phenomenal, While I loved and adored this book, as an adult reader, instalove isn’t my favorite trope. It’s hard for me to remember that side of me from high school, even though I know that’s exactly what teenagers are like. I also didn’t think that the twist with Frank’s bff Q was handled in the best way possible. I felt as if Q was such an important character and that his relationship with Frank was strong enough for him to handle the truth.

Overall, this is a perfect YA contemporary for me. I felt emotionally invested in the characters, I miss them now that I’m done reading. If you like instalove, POC MCs, and realistic issues, then definitely check this out!

You can pre-order this book at AMAZON, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available September 10, 2019!

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The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young
 Young Adult Fantasy

Publisher: Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: 
September 3, 2019
Rating: 3 Stars ⭐️


For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again―a home.

Disclaimer: First and foremost I would like to thank Adrienne Young, Wednesday Books/St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review. This in no way sways my opinions, all thoughts expressed are my own.

Regardless of my review, I believe that we should gives books that interest us a chance! Reviews are important but not every book is for every person and we need to keep that in mind when we decide what books we want to read!

I went into this book with the understanding that this book is not Sky in the Deep, however because it is in the same world, I had a hard time separating that expectation from my thoughts. I cannot fault this book for not being Sky. To me, this book has way less Viking action and hardly any romance but that’s okay because it is a story of its own!

There were many parts of this YA fantasy that I enjoyed. I really loved the idea of how relying on fate can rule the way a group of people live. I love the expansion of the different clans, their ways of life, and how they view the world. I liked the idea of multiple points of view to get the story from a different angle. The fighting scenes were intense, had me on the edge of my seat, reading as fast as I could!

With that being said, I had a hard time connecting to the characters and the story, I would have an even harder time connecting if I hadn’t read Sky. Adrienne Young sets up a very unique world in the first but I felt like it wasn’t expanded much in this novel. The voices felt flat, even the POVs read the same in tone and structure. I felt lost, not knowing where I was in the story/world, and kept having to reread passages to figure out who was talking and where I was. Sometimes I would be reading a chapter and forget who’s point of view it was.

I felt that there wasn’t much of a buildup to the climax. There was a lot of telling and not showing, which packed less of an emotional punch. I felt somewhat lost on the characters motivates, and confused as to why they were doing what they were doing. I didn’t understand why they were at war, which is actually part of the issue I had with Sky. The plots seemed similar and had the same issues with pacing.

Overall, I feel like this book is very bingeable; while it had it’s issues, I still get myself compelled to keep reading it and to find out the fate of the people in this story. I think that there’s a lot that can be expanded on and more to explore! I would recommend this book to anyone who loves Viking lore, action, and for people who read and enjoyed Sky in the Deep but keep in mind that they are different stories!

You can pre-order this book at Amazon, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available September 3, 2019!

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Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
 Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Publication Date: 
April 24, 2018
Rating: 4 Stars



Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield―her brother, fighting with the enemy―the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Disclaimer: This book was purchased by me, all thoughts are my own.

Note to self: Read the synopsis before reading the book 😂

I started reading this book last week because I was approved for The Girl the Sea Gave Back. I actually had zero idea what Sky in the Deep was, besides being about Vikings and potentially flying around because of the title? Needless to say, I wasn’t enjoying the first 30% of the book. I kept thinking that this was not at all what I thought it was going to be, and then I read the synopsis and felt like an idiot.

After I read the synopsis, I started enjoying the story more. I really loved Eelyn’s growth as a person and her relationship she has with her family, her dedication to her friends, and to her home. There were lots of characters that I loved and felt connected to! The plot developed in a quick and intriguing way. I stayed up until 2am binge reading the last 40%!

Oh and it has zero flying Viking ships 😂

Things that worked for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • Eelyn and her characterization. She is a strong and fierce Viking Warrior!
  • Eelyn and Fiske’s developing relationship, I loved both of their vulnerabilities with each other – although did anyone else ship Iri and Fiske, AT ALL? 😂
  • The descriptions of battles and their common goal of defeating the Helja even though the peace between Aska and Riki was forced.
  • I loved the Fiske POV bonus chapter!! Ahh!!

Things that didn’t work for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):

  • Her dad was a total pushover. I appreciate women having a voice in this world but damn… her dad would say “no,” Eelyn would say, “please,” and her dad would say “okay fine.” Like ? There’s no tension there considering he’s the toughest chieftain guy in their clan.
  • Eelyn cried non-stop. The descriptions of her tears drove me insane.
  • I wanted more information as to what happened with Iri when he was found by Fiske!

Overall, I really enjoyed this book! I think it serves as a wonderful standalone. I was satisfied with the ending and am looking forward to the companion novel, which apparently is another standalone set in the same world!

You can order this book at AMAZON, or search any retailer online or book store closest to you! Available now!

IG: @rqdavis_