Manga First Impressions: Perfect World Vol. I by Rie Aruga

Perfect World.jpgNetgalley Synopsis: Perfect World is Rie Aruga’s touching drama about the romance that develops between an abled interior designer and her first love, whom she reencounters one day only to find he is wheelchair-bound.

26-year-old Tsugumi Kawana reunites with her first crush from high school, Itsuki Ayukawa, at a get-together between an architecture firm and the interior design company she works at. He sends her heart aflutter, until she realizes he’s now disabled, and in a wheelchair. At first she feels she couldn’t date a guy in a wheelchair, but then her feelings begin to change…

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“Don’t just go and decide…that I wouldn’t be happy with you. Stop deciding…everything by yourself. Even though…There’s no one that could replace you…”

**Thank you Netgalley and Publisher for giving me an e-book copy of the book for an honest review. All opinions are my own**

The story introduces Tsugumi Kawana meeting her first love as an adult after being separated for many years. Though the times have passed, Tsugumi feels the same emotions as she did many years ago. Itsuki  is a changed man, he is no longer the same person that Tsugumi has known physically. Itsuki is now paralyzed due to a spinal cord injury during his high school days.

Tsugumi reconnects with Itsuki because the two work together and get closer. Itsuki lets Itsuki know that he is not interested in her neither is he interested in romantic relationships. He understands that he is a burden and does not want that to happen to anyone in a relationship with him. He tries his best to adapt with his disability and pursues the same passions such as basketball and architecture when he was a young boy. Tsugumi believes she knows Itsuki, but with each encounter she learns a little about him everyday.

Itsuki is sickly, he constantly goes to the hospital. He tries to make the situation light about his condition. He reminds Tsugumi that she doesn’t have to stay by his side. Rather than leaving, Tsugumi doesn’t abandon her first love. Her feelings grow stronger each time she sees Itsuki. She learns to become more empathetic being with Itsuki though he is not interested in her romantically. She tries to help Itsuki bring closure in this first volume concerning his first love. The author shows that the stakes are high if Tsugumi continues to pursue Itsuki. She will get her heart broken because of his condition, but that doesn’t stop her.

“It was a night we felt we had connected. But the happiness felt that night…was delicate…as the snow melts, and disappears.”

I thought this first volume was sweet and ended in a cute way. I prefer Itsuki over Tsugumi. He understands his condition. He is fiercely independent, but he has flaws. He doesn’t let people in. He has emotional borders due to the event. He hasn’t completely accepted the fact that he is disabled. He still lives with his disability, but he is not a poster child of it as Tsugumi believes he is. Despite his conditions, he tries his best. The best chapter of this first volume was Itsuki’s interactions with Haruto, a teenage boy that recently became disabled.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

ARC: Bruja Born by Zoraida Cordova

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goodreads-synopsis

Three sisters. One spell. Countless dead.

Lula Mortiz feels like an outsider. Her sister’s newfound Encantrix powers have wounded her in ways that Lula’s bruja healing powers can’t fix, and she longs for the comfort her family once brought her. Thank the Deos for Maks, her sweet, steady boyfriend who sees the beauty within her and brings light to her life.

Then a bus crash turns Lula’s world upside down. Her classmates are all dead, including Maks. But Lula was born to heal, to fix. She can bring Maks back, even if it means seeking help from her sisters and defying Death herself. But magic that defies the laws of the deos is dangerous. Unpredictable. And when the dust settles, Maks isn’t the only one who’s been brought back…commentary

**Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for giving me an e-book copy of the book for an honest review. All opinions are my own**

In Labyrinth Lost, the first book in the Brooklyn Witches series, Alex was the original protagonist. The black sheep of the family due to not having magic like her sisters. After the events of the first book, the point of view shifts to Lula Mortiz, the eldest sister of the family. In Labyrinth Lost, Lula was a confident witch with healing powers, but she undergoes a transformation in which she “loses” herself. Though this book deals with Lula, I love the maturity Alex gained from her experiences with Los Lagos. She seems more mature than the previous book. It is a shame that this book did not include a lot of Alex and Rishi moments.

As much as I loved Labyrinth Lost, I completely fell in love with Bruja Born. This book is about the process of healing for Lula because of her scars, both mentally and emotionally. Lula has found herself in a dark place, and only she can get herself. What I loved about this book is that Lula had an encouraging support system of her sisters and family that loved her even when she didn’t feel like herself. This is a beautiful journey of self discovery especially after losing her dearest boyfriend and the events of Los Lagos. Lula no longer feels joy and her connection to magic has severely changed. She is also learning to adjust to having her father back into her life after disappearing for many years. What I really loved about Lula is that she was raw, emotional, and mostly flawed. The author does not present a special snowflake, but rather someone relatable. It’s refreshing to read about realistic characters rather than Mary Sue type characters. She makes a lot of mistakes, along the way, but it serves to improve herself for the best. I could relate to Lula’s experiences of re-experiencing self love. The author portrayed Lula’s emptiness so realistically despite being a work of fiction.

One of my favorite lines in the book. This shows the sass and the protection Lula has for her sister Alex:

You really think I’m going to betray my sister for you? Boy, bye.

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Though the setting takes place in Brooklyn, magic plays a heavy element to this sequel. New lore is introduced in this urban fantasy such as casi muertos (neither living or completely dead, somewhere in between. Others would say they are similar to zombies), vampires, and witch hunters. Magic is always has a price. Lula learns this the hard way. Resurrecting the dead is not possible, even with Lula’s healing magic. She gains a new ability, but pays the ultimate price. The stakes are really high in this book. I loved the action scenes, and the magical alliance between different magical folks. This book presented a showdown and really delivered! I really hope that the author continues this series. I would love to see the Mortiz sisters once again. And I hope that Rose gets a perspective too!

Rating: 4.5

Bungo Stray Dogs Reading Challenge

 

Bungo Stray Dogs

Hey everyone, I wanted to create a reading challenge based on Bungo Stray Dogs. I finished watching season two today and I am so excited to see how this anime will continue once season 3 arrives. Because I felt inspired, I decided to do a reading challenge. I am not sure if anyone has made this challenge yet from what I’ve seen on the internet. Anyways, the characters of Bungo Stray Dogs are named after Japanese authors, and their powers are based off their literary works. The inner bookworm in me was excited!!  So, this will be my project that I’ll try to continuously update as more characters are introduced!! Anyone is free to join this reading challenge.

*For some of the characters, it was hard finding a particular book that relates to their power. I’ll try to associate books with each character.

**Some books are difficult for me to find online.

The Armed Detective Agency

  • Atsushi Nakajima: The Moon Over the Mountain, and Other Stories
  • Osamu Dazai: No Longer Human
  • Yukichi Fukuzawa: The Autobiography of Yukichi Fukuzawa
  • Doppo Kunikida: River Mist & Other Stories
  • Edogawa Ranpo: The Black Lizard and Beast in the Shadows
  • Kenji Miyazawa: Night on the Galactic Railroad
  • Akiko Yosano: River of Stars: Selected Poems of Yosano Akiko
  • Jun’ichirō Tanizaki: Naomi
  • Kyouka Izumi: The Surgery Room

Port Mafia

  • Ryunosuke Akutagawa: Rashōmon
  • Chūya Nakahara: **
  • Ichiyou Higuchi: Takekurabe
  • Ougai Mori: The Dancing Girl
  • Yumeno Kyusaku: **
  • Kouyou Ozaki: The Golden Demon
  • Hirotsu Ryurō: **
  • Motojiro Kajii: Lemon
  • Michizō Tachihara: **
  • Sakunosuke Oda: Stories of Osaka

The Guild

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald: The Great Gatsby
  • Lousia May Alcott: Little Women
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery: Anne of Green Gables
  • Margaret Mitchell: Gone With The Wind
  • Herman Melville: Moby Dick
  • Edgar Allan Poe: The Black Cat
  • Mark Twain: Huckleberry Finn
  • H.P. Lovecraft: The Call of Cthulhu

Wunderkids: (Part 1: Wildwood Academy) by Jacqueline Silvester

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15-year-old Nikka is invited to attend Wildwood Academy, a prestigious but secret boarding school for talented youth located deep in the Californian mountains. Once there, Nikka quickly falls in love with her bizarre classes, the jaw-dropping scenery and… two very different boys.

However, Wildwood Academy has a dark and twisted secret, one that could cost Nikka the one thing she had never imagined she could lose, the one thing that money can’t buy. It is this very thing that Wildwood Academy was created to steal.

Nikka can stay and lose everything, or she can risk death and run.

I was contacted by the author to give an honest review of Wunderkids.

Hey, so it has been a while since I wrote my last book review on my blog. One of my goals for this year is to read more indie books just to mix it up. When I read the synopsis of Wunderkids, I was really intrigued. Based on the synopsis, the book seem to have a creepy atmosphere. So I agreed to review the book and here is what I thought.

The book had an interesting premise don’t get me wrong. I loved the ideas that the author had for the book. I felt the execution was not well done. As I was reading the book, I felt that there was too much emphasis on Nikka’s school life and her boy problems rather than the dark mysterious secret that was promised. When I reached 60% of the book, the action finally kicked in. The climax of the book was the best part in my opinion. When it came to the action, the book moved at a quicker pace. It was exciting knowing that finally something was going to happened! I was thrilled with how the book was handling each character and their actions. Honestly, the last 40% made me give Wunderkids a higher rating. The book ended on a cliffhanger that made me want to have the second book ASAP!

Wunderkids introduced a variety of characters. Nikka is the protagonist. She does have a rebellious attitude at times and it takes her a while to learn how to trust the environment around her. She is mostly used to moving from place to place, never really settling down and making permanent friends. It is only till she accepts her scholarship to Wildwood Academy that she finally makes friends. I loved how Nikka’s best friend was a guy and they had no romantic feelings for each other. Thank God. Sums is the nerdy sidekick that is very supportive of Nikka. He was not popular at school, but once Nikka and Sums became friends their bond was irreplaceable. There is also Stella, who is Nikka’s roommate, that longs to be popular and is bit envious of Nikka’s talent. The book does have a love triangle. Izaya is the brooding rich bad boy of the school while other love rival is Tristan, who is rich Irish boy with a mischievous personality. Though Nikka does not pick who she wants to be with from the two, I have an inkling that she will choose….ha ha . I didn’t want spoil it since you have to read it for yourself in order to find out.

Overall, Wunderkids was a decent book with some good elements, and it was hard to get attached to the characters. The book was mostly description and it did get a bit tedious when it came to certain areas of the book. As I’ve mentioned, I found the last half of the book to be stronger than the first part. It did take me a while to really enjoy the book. That being said, Wunderkids can be a hit or miss with some readers.

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

ARC: Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves

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goodreads-synopsis

The thrilling first book in a YA fantasy trilogy for fans of Red Queen. In a world where social prestige derives from a trifecta of blood, money, and magic, one girl has the ability to break the spell that holds the social order in place.

Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.

Her life might well be over.

In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.

As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.

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I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me an ARC of Blood Rose Rebellion. All opinions are my own.

Let’s talk about Blood Rose Rebellion. What a book. I literally don’t have any words to describe this one. My first warning sign should have been for fans of Red Queen, but I did not want to immediately judge the book. I was in the mood for historical fiction. I saw Blood Rose Rebellion on NetGalley and it had a unique synopsis. Now, I’ve never read a YA fantasy/historical fiction book set during the Hungarian Revolution. It was something new. Something exciting. Something fresh. Blood Rose Rebellion was not. Well, once again I have no words to describe how I about this book.

What I appreciate is that the author took a lot of time educating herself with Hungarian history. Kudos to her. But though her hard work was put into her book, I cannot say this book was terrific. It was very underwhelming.

Anna Arden is manipulated easily. People tell her what to do and she does it! She does not think for herself! Throughout the whole story, she was manipulated by her peers and friends. It was frustrating reading about a character who could not make up her own mind. She was foolish when to came to deciding on who was right or wrong. She did not take time to analyze the situations presented to her. I really had a difficult time warming up to Anna because she was so reckless and destructive to everyone around her.

Folks: EVERY DECISION ANNA MADE RESULTED IN HORRIBLE EVENTS TAKING PLACE!

A lot of tragedy could have been avoided if the girl had used her reason. Besides having a puppet mentality, she was driven to do certain things because of boys. Not saying that being boy crazy is a bad thing, but she put any guy she liked on a pedestal over her family. In the beginning she is head over heels for a man named Freddy. Though Freddy is a jerk and an irrelevant love interest, Anna would do anything for Freddy. She even sabotaged her sister’s magical debut. I found myself not liking the relationship Anna had with her sister. No sisterly love whatsoever. Instead, both sisters competed for a guy who did not chose either of them. As I mentioned Freddy is irrelevant compared to the other love interests.

Talk about boring love interests. By the way, one of Anna’s love interests is her second cousin. So yeah, there’s incest in this book. I was not a fan of both love interests. The love interests were not fleshed out. It seemed like all the boys were attracted to Anna, and I was shaking my head. No, no, no, no. Another case of a special snowflake that everyone loves, but I just hated. The romance was pointless because the guy characters were as bland as toast. Neither guy was great for Anna. And she was not great for them.

Many characters are introduced throughout the book. Luckily there was a glossary at the end of the book that served as a reference guide when I felt lost. The only likable characters from Blood Rose Rebellion were her cousin Noemi and her grandmother who were the voices of reason. Those two characters wanted to keep Anna in check from committing dumb decisions. Yeah, they tried in keeping her safe, but did not succeed. Unfortunately.

By the way, this book starts off really slowly. Nothing was happening and then everything became extremely dark near the end. The book had great concepts such as introducing demonic monsters and incorporating true historical events into the story. The mythology was cool as well just because it was new to me. But even though all those story elements were great, it did not work with Blood Rose Rebellion. Too much information and explanations that dragged on and on. Oh my goodness, I had to put this book down several times. I felt that I was mostly skimming through some of the chapters.

The most entertaining sections were the overly dark chapters that were added too late into the game. After reading Blood Rose Rebellion, I am not picking up the other books in the series. I can see potential of more books, but after reading this book with no plot and flat characters, and a pointless romance, I would just stop and move on with my life. I did not like it, but maybe anyone else will.

Final Rating:⭐️⭐️

12 Dares Of Christmas by Leigh W. Stuart

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goodreads-synopsis

Lauren Hall has one wish for Christmas this year—raise money to build a new, no-kill animal shelter for the town of Sycamore Cove. And she is prepared to do anything to make it happen. Even dare a man she just met to perform a strip tease for the local knitting society.

Gabe Nicholson has one wish too—obtain the job of a lifetime to launch his career. Only his wishes get snowballed when his best friend’s little sister hands him a pair of stripper pants and a bottle of eggnog-flavored body oil.

It’s all sugar plums and mistletoe until a scandal caused by Lauren’s fundraiser threatens to ruin it all. With Gabe’s work opportunities disappearing before his eyes and Lauren’s fundraising efforts tanking, their game of dares stands to burn them both. Unless it ignites a spark of Christmas magic.

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I received 12 Dares of Christmas on NetGalley.

Hey guys, are you looking for a cute romance book just for the holidays? Let me tell you that 12 Dares of Christmas is not the book for you! It wasn’t the synopsis that got me to read the book, but the cover. I thought to myself, “this book looks cute.” Oh, was I wrong.

Normally, I don’t read romance books, but I decided to give it a chance. I was in the mood to read a Christmas book. I didn’t imagine an erotic filled book. That was not what I was expecting. Oh Lord.

I’ll keep it short: Avoid it.

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You see, the main characters don’t have a chance to slowly fall in love. I assumed this was going to be a slow burn romance. Nope, that’s not the case. Instead you are presented with a lot of sexual dares and most of the time I was skipping ahead to see how this travesty was going to end. Did I get attached to the characters? Not really.

All I know about the two protagonists is that both want new job opportunities. Lauren works hard for her causes such as raising money for a new animal shelter. She doesn’t have much of a love life because of her over-protective brother. Some of the things she does are a bit questionable…such as hiring a male stripper to entertain older women, but she has a good heart. Gabe is the “sexy” best friend of Lauren’s brother. Gabe knows that Lauren is off limits because of her over-protective brother. Gabe doesn’t really know Lauren, yet fate brings them together. When Lauren finds herself without a stripper, guess who becomes one by default. Yes, Gabe does. Their lives are intertwined because of that event.

The two characters fall for each other instantly. It is a book about lust and sex. There were some stereotypical situations…and I hated the dares…there I said it!

Final Rating: 💔  (0.5)

miriam-michelle

Seconds by Bryan Lee O’Malley

Seconds.jpgAuthor: Bryan Lee O’Malley

Genre: Graphic Novel

Links: Amazon | Goodreads

goodreads-synopsis

Katie’s got it pretty good. She’s a talented young chef, she runs a successful restaurant, and she has big plans to open an even better one. Then, all at once, progress on the new location bogs down, her charming ex-boyfriend pops up, her fling with another chef goes sour, and her best waitress gets badly hurt. And just like that, Katie’s life goes from pretty good to not so much. What she needs is a second chance. Everybody deserves one, after all—but they don’t come easy. Luckily for Katie, a mysterious girl appears in the middle of the night with simple instructions for a do-it-yourself do-over:
1. Write your mistake
2. Ingest one mushroom
3. Go to sleep
4. Wake anew

And just like that, all the bad stuff never happened, and Katie is given another chance to get things right. She’s also got a dresser drawer full of magical mushrooms—and an irresistible urge to make her life not just good, but perfect. Too bad it’s against the rules. But Katie doesn’t care about the rules—and she’s about to discover the unintended consequences of the best intentions.

From the mind and pen behind the acclaimed Scott Pilgrim series comes a madcap new tale of existential angst, everyday obstacles, young love, and ancient spirits that’s sharp-witted and tenderhearted, whimsical and wise.

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The first series I’ve read from Bryan Lee O’Malley was Scot Pilgrim Vs The World, and I’ve been meaning to read Seconds since it came out. I got the opportunity to read it at a Barnes and Noble and finished it all in one sitting. Anyways, if you like the Scot Pilgrim series, I’d recommend reading Seconds.

Katie is a chef with a dream of opening her own restaurant. Her life isn’t going as she had planned. There are some mistakes that she wants to take back. One day she is given an opportunity to redo her day over again.

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I found Katie to be very relatable! She is flawed, but she has a good heart. She doesn’t follow the rules which turns her life upside down. She gets her dream life, but it does not satisfy her. She runs away from her mistakes by continuously .

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Katie tries to fix her mistakes several times throughout the book. At some point she becomes a bit mad with power. Katie becomes dependent on the mushroom to solve her problems. I really enjoyed her character arc. She was funny and irritating at some points, but has the heart of gold. I really enjoyed her growth from the beginning to end.

Besides Katie, the secondary characters were just as great. Hazel, the waitress, was one of my favorites. She reminded me so much of myself. And I liked how she had her own role in the story.

The art style is cute, but this story is dark and hilarious. Though I did feel the ending was a bit rushed.

Lastly, Katie’s interactions with the narrator were extremely funny!

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“Adult life is terrible, Hazel. Never grow up. Everything’s complicated, and there are too many rules …”

“There are things we can’t change, and we just have to accept that. And maybe that’s some kind of grace”

Final Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

miriam-michelle

WWW Wednesday Sept 28 2016

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words. I’m out of my book slump and I’m back. Ha ha. Summer makes me lazy and it’s when I read the least amount of books. Now that I’m taking a couple classes, I’m feeling more productive. I’m taking my sweet time when it comes to reading. I’m doing good with my Goodreads book challenge.

The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

I’m Not Your Manic Pixie Dream Girl: I already know how it will end. Haven’t read any spoilers for it and I’m halfway done with the book. It’s so stereotypical!! It’s so cheesy, but it’s a guilty pleasure. Aha. Review will be posted either Friday or Saturday if I finish my research paper. Ha.

Falling Kingdoms: It takes me a while to read Fantasy. I really like Magnus, but not sure how I feel about it yet.

What did you recently finish reading?

Maybe Someday: Started off great…and I didn’t love it. Problematic characters, but interesting story. Hopefully the next CoHo book I pick up is better than this one.

Labyrinth Lost: Overall fun and loved the diverse cast of characters!! Loved it, and looking forward to the other books in the series.

What do you think you’ll read next?

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Yasssssssssss!! I have my copy of Crooked Kingdom on my shelf and it’s begging me to read it!!! I got the target edition of the book and it comes with a poster! Avoid tumblr like the plague.

T5W: Gateway Books For Historical Fiction

Top 5 Wednesday was created by GingerReadsLainey and has passed down the torch to Sam from Thought On Tomes, our current host for T5W.  Go join the group on Goodreads. °˖✧◝(⁰▿⁰)◜✧˖°

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This week’s topic is Gateway Books. I mostly review Young Adult on my blog, but one of my favorite book genres is historical fiction. I’m a history major, and I’m a sucker for historical fiction. Trust me. When someone asks for a book recommendation, I will recommend these five books. You’ll need tissues for all these books. Here are my picks:

  1. Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See –  This book has a special place in my heart since it was the first book I’ve purchased from Barnes and Noble when it came out. I read it in one sitting. I cried. The friendship is strong in this book.
  2. Honolulu by Alan Brennert- Honolulu was such a such a lovely read. The main character was strong and she endured so much! It has a happy ending, but I did shed a couple  of tears when I read it.
  3. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini  My english teacher from high school let me borrow her copy of A Thousand Splendid Sun. This is the book that destroyed me. I read it in a day and I was bawling my eyes out. Just thinking about it, makes me feel a bit sad.
  4. In The Time Of The Butterflies by Julia Alvarez -This is a powerful tale about sisters who rebelled against the Trujillo dictatorship. I loved reading each pov and it was beautifully written.
  5. Atonement by Ian Mcewan – The movie and the book had me crying. It takes place in one of my favorite eras which is during WWII. I kept picturing the cast of the movie when I read the book.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Fall TBR

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. If you want to join, please check out the blog!!

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Hello, and good morning! It’s been such a long time since I last did a Top Ten Tuesday. Ha ha. Anyways, this week’s topic is Books On My Fall TBR! I have many books that I want to read and hopefully, if I don’t procrastinate, will try to read these books on my list.

  1. Crooked Kingdom.jpgGoodreads Synopsis: Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets―a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.
  2. Vassa In The NIghtGoodreads SynopsisIn the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

    In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

    But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

    Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.

  3. i'm not your manic pixie dream girlGoodreads Synopsis: Beatrice Maria Estrella Giovannini has life all figured out. She’s starting senior year at the top of her class, she’s a shoo-in for a scholarship to M.I.T., and she’s got a new boyfriend she’s crazy about. The only problem: All through high school Bea and her best friends Spencer and Gabe have been the targets of horrific bullying.

    So Bea uses her math skills to come up with The Formula, a 100% mathematically-guaranteed path to social happiness in high school. Now Gabe is on his way to becoming Student Body President, and Spencer is finally getting his art noticed. But when her boyfriend dumps her for Toile, the quirky new girl at school, Bea realizes it’s time to use The Formula for herself. She’ll be reinvented as the eccentric and lovable Trixie—a quintessential manic pixie dream girl—in order to win her boyfriend back and beat new-girl Toile at her own game.

    Unfortunately, being a manic pixie dream girl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and “Trixie” is causing unexpected consequences for her friends. As The Formula begins to break down, can Bea find a way to reclaim her true identity, and fix everything she’s messed up? Or will the casualties of her manic pixie experiment go far deeper than she could possibly imagine?

  4. The Night Itself.jpgGoodreads Synopsis: A breathtaking new urban fantasy trilogy from the critically acclaimed, award winning author of The Swan Kingdom and Shadows on the Moon.

    When fifteen year old Mio Yamato furtively sneaks the katana – an ancestral Japanese sword – out of its hiding place in her parent’s attic to help liven up her Christmas party costume, she has no idea of the darkness she is about to unleash on modern day London, or the family secrets that she is going to uncover.

    The paralysing paranoia that descends on her before she gets to her friend’s party is her first clue. The vivid and terrifying visions that nearly get her killed are a pretty good warning too.

    The giant nine-tailed cat demon that comes after the sword and tries to rip her throat out? Overkill.

    Seconds away from becoming kitty-food, Mio is saved by Shinobu, a mysterious warrior boy. But it’s already too late. Mio has ruptured the veil between the mortal realm and the Underworld, and now the gods and monsters of ancient Japan stalk the streets of London, searching for her and the sword.

    With the help of her best friend Jack, a fox spirit named Hikaru – and the devoted protection of the betwitchingly familiar Shinobu – Mio attempts to discover the true nature of the sword and its connection to the Yamato family. Because if she doesn’t learn how to control the katana’s incredible powers, she’s in danger of being overwhelmed by them. And if she can’t keep the sword safe from the terrible creatures who want it for their own, she’ll lose not only her own life… but the love of a lifetime.

  5. The GracesGoodreads Synopsis: Everyone said the Graces were witches.

    They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.

    They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.

    All I had to do was show them that person was me.

    Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

    This beautifully-written thriller will grip you from its very first page.

  6. roald-dahls-book-of-ghost-storiesGoodreads Synopis:Who better to investigate the literary spirit world than that supreme connoisseur of the unexpected, Roald Dahl? Of the many permutations of the macabre, Dahl was always especially fascinated by the classic ghost story. For this superbly disquieting collection, he selected fourteen of his favorite tales by such authors as E.F. Benson, Rosemary Timperley, and Edith Wharton

    Includes:
    “W.S.” L.P. Hartley
    “Harry” Rosemary Timperley
    “The Corner Shop” Cynthia Asquith
    “In the Tube” E.F. Benson
    “Christmas Meeting” Rosemary Timperley
    “Elias and the Draug” Jonas Lie
    “Playmates” A.M. Burrage
    “Ringing the Changes” Robert Aickman
    “The Telephone” Mary Treadgold
    “The Ghost of a Hand” J. Sheridan Le Fanu
    “The Sweeper” A.M. Burrage
    “Afterward” Edith Wharton
    “On the Brighton Road” Richard Middleton
    “The Upper Berth” F. Marion CrawfordMilk and Honey.jpg

  7. Goodreads Synopsis: milk and honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. It is about the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity. It is split into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose, deals with a different pain, heals a different heartache. milk and honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.
  8. The Lightning Thief.jpgGoodreads Synopsis: Percy Jackson is a good kid, but he can’t seem to focus on his schoolwork or control his temper. And lately, being away at boarding school is only getting worse—Percy could have sworn his pre-algebra teacher turned into a monster and tried to kill him. When Percy’s mom finds out, she knows it’s time that he knew the truth about where he came from, and that he go to the one place he’ll be safe. She sends Percy to Camp Half Blood, a summer camp for demigods (on Long Island), where he learns that the father he never knew is Poseidon, God of the Sea. Soon a mystery unfolds and together with his friends—one a satyr and the other the demigod daughter of Athena—Percy sets out on a quest across the United States to reach the gates of the Underworld (located in a recording studio in Hollywood) and prevent a catastrophic war between the gods.
  9. vengeance road.jpgGoodreads Synopsis: Revenge is worth its weight in gold.

    When her father is murdered for a journal revealing the location of a hidden gold mine, eighteen-year-old Kate Thompson disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers—and justice. What she finds are untrustworthy strangers, endless dust and heat, and a surprising band of allies, among them a young Apache girl and a pair of stubborn brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow. But as Kate gets closer to the secrets about her family, a startling truth becomes clear: some men will stop at nothing to get their hands on gold, and Kate’s quest for revenge may prove fatal.

  10. anne-of-green-gablesGoodreads Synopsis: Everyone’s favorite redhead, the spunky Anne Shirley, begins her adventures at Green Gables, a farm outside Avonlea, Prince Edward Island. When the freckled girl realizes that the elderly Cuthberts wanted to adopt a boy instead, she begins to try to win them and, consequently, the reader, over.