20 Books That Are On My Goodreads TBR the Longest

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These are the 20 books that have been on my Goodreads TBR list the longest. I don’t think I need to give a run down on what each book is about since most of them are pretty popular. You might be wondering what the point of this post is then.

Well it is a way to hold myself accountable for the pile of books I physically own and haven’t read, and the habit of just adding things to my Goodreads shelves. Goodreads is a messy place to begin with– terrible design, user interface is fucking awful, and the consistent need I feel to add books to my want to read list is ridiculous.

I mean it is a great to keep track of my reading, but it also feels overwhelming to see the amount of books I haven’t read.

I picked these 20 because while there were others in-between some of these, they were ones I am no longer interested in, which means ONE day I will delete it off my Goodreads list, but today is NOT that day.

What I will be doing starting next month is putting the names of these books on a piece of paper, and throw them into a jar or most likely one of my many coffee mugs, and each month I will pick one out to read, two if I am feeling courageous.

ALL of these books sound interesting to me, and I want to be able to get to them. More and more books are being released, and I get some review copies so I keep pushing these back. Time to pick these up! I have physical copies of a few of them, and what I don’t have physical copies of I will check Scribd or Kobo store.

Anyway…I will keep you all posted on my little reading adventure!

The Spider Dance Book Review + Blog Tour

The War in the Dark and The Spider Dance by Nick Setchfield were sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

 

SPOILER FREE

 

The War in the Dark Book Review

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This genre bending series starts with The War in the Dark. In this series you follow Christopher Winter in 1960’s Europe. Where Russian spies are real and there’s something lurking in the shadows that is just a bit more sinister. When I read the synopsis of this book, I was instantly intrigued. It had a Da Vinci Code feeling to it with a dash of magic.

 

When you start reading you are instantly thrown into the action. It opens with Christopher Winter– or Winter as he is known throughout the book— confronted with a traitor who was handing over state secrets to the enemy. This is where the action kicks off.

 

I enjoyed this book, but I found that for a book that held so much potential with how the plot is described it fell a little flat for me. My main issue was with the characters. Even though every single one is supposed to have these different attributes and big personalities they all just felt like bland cardboard cut outs reading lines from a cue card. I did not really care what happened to Winter and he’s the main character.

 

In the last maybe 20% of the book it gets interesting and pushed me to want to read the next book because the plot twist is pretty intriguing. I do believe the author had this HUGE idea in his head for this book and didn’t spend enough time figuring out where to take it and how to bring it to life.

 

I gave this one 3 out 5 metal horns.

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The Spider Dance Book Review

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I don’t exactly know where to begin with this review because anything that goes too much into detail will be a hardcore spoiler for the first book, and I definitely don’t want to do that to anyone because I hate when it is done to me.

 

What I can say is that The Spider Dance was a lot more enjoyable than The War in the Dark. I feel like the characters were all a little more fleshed out. We start to learn a lot more about Christopher Winter’s past and how he got to where he is at the moment in the story.

 

We also get to witness a lot more of the supernatural/fantasy aspects of this story in The Spider Dance which explains why I found it a lot more enjoyable. While we spent a lot of time in the first book wondering about Winter’s past, in this one we start to see a bit more of who he was, and that in itself is a magical element in the book.

 

I think the thing that was missing in these books was maybe it needed a slight touch of humor somewhere, but you won’t really find that.

 

As a whole I would rate this series 4 out of 5 Metal Horns, I do believe it’s not a series for everyone though.

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The Girl in Red – Book Review

This book was sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Trigger Warning for this novel: Violence. Mentions of Rape & Assault.

The Girl in Red by Christina Henry is a Post-Apocalyptic Little Red Riding Hood retelling that may not have wolves but has a lot of men who act worse than wild animals.

A disease has taken out a large part of the population and the main character who goes by the name Red is trying to get all the way to her grandma’s house which is hundreds of miles away. She has to travel a brand new world where humanity’s ugliness has taken center stage. While a lot of people have gathered at quarantine centers, Red wants to hit the road.

This isn’t anything like the Young Adult fairy tale retellings that I have read in the past year, this book is dark, violent, and hits you right in the part of your brain that will strike fear into your whole body.

I enjoyed this book quite a lot. I didn’t know what to expect going in because I was feeling just a little burnt out on the fairy tale retellings, but this is a complete reimagining. The main character Red has a prosthetic leg from an accident she had at a young age. She is tough, smart, and most of all tries to be as logical as possible in this strange new world.

All she wants is to get to grandma’s house. All she wants is to survive and she will do absolutely anything to make it happen.

The book goes back and forth between her present situation and the past when the outbreak of the disease occurred. I think at first there was something about the writing that was throwing me off a bit but towards the middle and the end I had a hard time putting this book down.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a fresh take on the retelling.

The Girl in Red gets four out of five Metal horns from me!

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Magic for Liars – Book Review

Any time there’s some element of magic involved in a story, it typically catches my attention.

Magic for Liars by Sarah Gailey popped up on my radar while watching a book tube video. I had not heard a single murmur about it before this, and I instantly wanted to read it. So I did!

Magic for Liars Summary

Ivy Gamble has never wanted to be magic. She is perfectly happy with her life—she has an almost-sustainable career as a private investigator, and an empty apartment, and a slight drinking problem. It’s a great life and she doesn’t wish she was like her estranged sister, the magically gifted professor Tabitha.

But when Ivy is hired to investigate the gruesome murder of a faculty member at Tabitha’s private academy, the stalwart detective starts to lose herself in the case, the life she could have had, and the answer to the mystery that seems just out of her reach.

Magic for Liars Review

I loved this book!

It had a murder mystery, it had magic, and it had the right amount of humor sprinkled in. I really loved the main character of Ivy. She’s pretty flawed, and the way Sarah Gailey wrote her, she felt so real to me. I wanted to be her friend, and her assistant in this case.

Don’t go into this thinking you’re getting some adult Harry Potter with murder. While the magic is there, the murder mystery and the characters are at the forefront of this novel. We don’t get great explanations as to how the magic system works in this world, and we don’t get to know much about the magical events until the end.

While I enjoyed the story, I called the ending right from when Ivy reaches the school.

That didn’t ruin my enjoyment of this novel AT ALL. I have been struggling for weeks to find a book that would really capture my attention and this did the trick.

I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a fun, quick, and slightly magical read.

It did lose a star for the predictability of it, I still loved it very much!

This gets four out of five metal horns from me!

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Daisy Jones and the Six – Book Review

**This book was sent to me by Penguin Random House in Exchange for an honest review** 

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2019. I was nervous going in and came out loving this author more than ever.

I will start this off by saying if you’re expecting another Evelyn Hugo, this isn’t for you. Also, in my opinion, that would be boring. We already have an Evelyn Hugo, we needed a Daisy Jones this time around. This book is gritty, it is unapologetic in the story it is telling, and it deals with some hard-hitting topics.

In Daisy Jones and the Six, you are following a bunch of musicians from a popular 70’s band, but the book is written in interviews. The format may throw some people off, but I loved it. As a teenager, I had this crazy obsession with Jim Morrison and The Doors, and this book just heavily reminded me of that time in my life. I love music, especially rock music, and this whirlwind look into the story of this fictional band was exactly my cup of tea. In fact, it’s my cup of coffee, cuz I prefer that to tea.

Daisy Jones is this overly priveliged rich girl whose parents don’t really care about her comings and goings. This pushes her into the crazy world of the LA rock scene at a very young age. When Daisy Jones finally comes together with The Six everyone is dealing with some serious issues mostly with drug and alcohol addiction (HUGE TRIGGER WARNING FOR THAT)

I loved this story. The dynamic between Billy and Daisy is great. It’s just something you’re expecting to get from two attractive popular musicians at that time. While this is done in interviews some of the secondary characters felt a little one dimensional to me, but Billy, Daisy, Karen, and Camila are THE BEST. I mean they have questionable morals I guess, and do some crazy shit, but I love how they pop off the page. At some points, I completely forgot this was a fictional story.

One of my favorite quotes from Daisy was this:

“I had absolutely no interest in being somebody else’s muse. 
I am not a muse. 
I am the somebody. 
End of fucking story.” 

And that’s Daisy in a nutshell.

Daisy Jones and the Six is out now!!

I Loved this book and it gets 5 out of 5 metalhorns from me.

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The Last Watchman of Old Cairo – Book Review

 

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo by Michael David Lukas

ISBN: 0525511946

Published in Paperback on: July 2, 2018

Length: 288 Pages


Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my opinion. 

In this spellbinding novel, a young man journeys from California to Cairo to unravel centuries-old family secrets.

Joseph, a literature student at Berkeley, is the son of a Jewish mother and a Muslim father. One day, a mysterious package arrives on his doorstep, pulling him into a mesmerizing adventure to uncover the tangled history that binds the two sides of his family. For generations, the men of the al-Raqb family have served as watchmen of the storied Ibn Ezra Synagogue in Old Cairo, built at the site where the infant Moses was taken from the Nile. Joseph learns of his ancestor Ali, a Muslim orphan who nearly a thousand years earlier was entrusted as the first watchman of the synagogue and became enchanted by its legendary–perhaps magical–Ezra Scroll. The story of Joseph’s family is entwined with that of the British twin sisters Agnes and Margaret, who in 1897 depart their hallowed Cambridge halls on a mission to rescue sacred texts that have begun to disappear from the synagogue.

The Last Watchman of Old Cairo is a moving page-turner of a novel from acclaimed storyteller Michael David Lukas. This tightly woven multigenerational tale illuminates the tensions that have torn communities apart and the unlikely forces–potent magic, forbidden love–that boldly attempt to bridge that divide.


My Thoughts: This book was beyond beautiful. I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, but at the end I came out feeling like something was added within my heart. The story is told from three different points of view, and they’re somewhat loosely related to one another, you discover in the end how it all ties together nicely.

Out of the three points of view my least favourite was actually Joseph. It felt like he was holding everything and everyone an arms length away, and because this is how he comes across, it was hard to connect to him. I really loved Ali’s point of view. It was engaging and beautiful. His was the story that really grabbed me and made me fall in love with the story and setting.

This book is beautiful but it also feels a bit rushed. An idea of this nature feels like it should be really fleshed out, and it really could have been. Maybe then I would have liked Joseph and the sisters points of view a little more. The writing was lovely, but again missing just a little spark to really hook the reader.

I would still recommend this book to any historical fiction lovers. It’s now available in paperback internationally.

I gave this four out of five metal horns!

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Dread Nation – Book Review

 

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland

ISBN: 0062570609

Published: April 3,2018

Length: 455 pages


Jane McKeene was born two days before the dead began to walk the battlefields of Gettysburg and Chancellorsville—derailing the War Between the States and changing America forever. In this new nation, safety for all depends on the work of a few, and laws like the Native and Negro Reeducation Act require certain children attend combat schools to learn to put down the dead. But there are also opportunities—and Jane is studying to become an Attendant, trained in both weaponry and etiquette to protect the well-to-do. It’s a chance for a better life for Negro girls like Jane. After all, not even being the daughter of a wealthy white Southern woman could save her from society’s expectations.

But that’s not a life Jane wants. Almost finished with her education at Miss Preston’s School of Combat in Baltimore, Jane is set on returning to her Kentucky home and doesn’t pay much mind to the politics of the eastern cities, with their talk of returning America to the glory of its days before the dead rose. But when families around Baltimore County begin to go missing, Jane is caught in the middle of a conspiracy, one that finds her in a desperate fight for her life against some powerful enemies. And the restless dead, it would seem, are the least of her problems.


My Thoughts: I wasn’t sure what to expect going into this alternate history tale with zombies, but what I got was a punch to the face. First of all, it’s well written, and the characters are fleshed out really well. You could feel what they’re feeling and what more could you ask for in a story? Then you have the political commentary thrown in, and it’s just such a creative way of putting forth facts about American History within a fictional world. 

Jane is in this school to learn how to protect wealthy white people from the undead, but in the process, she learns a lot more than she bargained for. I liked the fact that the MC spoke her mind even in situations that could be dangerous to do so. Something that is still prominent today if we really think about it. The author herself gets a lot of crap for speaking her mind, and I think a bit of that comes through in Jane. 

There are some scenes that are a tough pill to swallow, but that feels like the point as well. 

There was a spark of romance, but it didn’t drown out the rest of the story. The action scenes are extremely well written, and I really enjoyed this alternate history story. I am not sure if this is a duology, trilogy, or a series, but I do know I am looking forward to the next book!

I gave this 4 out of 5 metal horns!

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The Extinction Trials – Book Review

 

The Extinction Trials by S.M. Wilson

ISBN: 1474927343

Published: January 1, 2018, Usborne Publishing LTD

Length: 384 Pages


Betrayal. Sacrifice. Survival.
Welcome to the Extinction Trials.

In Stormchaser and Lincoln’s ruined world, the only way to survive is to risk everything. To face a contest more dangerous than anyone can imagine. And they will do anything to win.

But in a land full of monsters – human and reptilian – they can’t afford to trust anyone. Perhaps not even each other…


My Thoughts: I saw The Extinction Trials at the bookstore and saw the little fake sticker on it that said “The Hunger Games meets Jurrasic Park” and I instantly grabbed it. I didn’t even read the synopsis till I got home. I really had no idea what the book was about other than it had dinosaurs and some kind of trial like the hunger games. I was instantly sold. 

I was not disappointed. This was such a fun ride! I have been telling everyone to read it since. The writing is great and the story is wonderful. Stormchaser and Lincoln’s dynamic is fun to read, and while you know they’re catching some feelings for one another, that doesn’t end up taking over the plot like so many YA stories these days.

The dinosaur aspect is my favorite part because ever since I was younger and watched Jurassic Park, I wish we could one day see these animals up close (although that movie franchise shows just how horrible of an idea that would be). Wilson’s ability to bring these animals to life within this story is amazing. I felt like I was being watched at times.

The story itself was a bit predictable, but that didn’t take away from the entertainment factor of this book. I highly recommend it if you are a fan of The Hunger Games and Jurassic Park. The second book in the series called Exile will be released this Thursday and I am already itching to read it!

This book gets four out of five metal horns from me!!

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American Panda – Book Review

 

American Panda by Gloria Chao

ISBN: 1481499106 

Published: February 6, 2018

Length: 311 Pages


An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents’ master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can’t bring herself to tell them the truth–that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?


My Thoughts: I Loved this book SO much! 

I always feel that I connect so much more to books where the characters are either immigrants themselves or their parents are immigrants. It’s a different life when you have to balance cultures. This book really shows those struggles.

Mei is doing what she feels she should do because of guilt. When you have parents that have been through so much and moved to the United States to give you a better chance at life, you do become overwhelmed with the feeling that you cannot fail. I connected with that.

For me the story was wonderful. Heartbreaking in some parts, and just made the characters seem real. I see many reviews from white Americans that say this is a stereotype, but it’s not. It happens with many immigrant families because typically immigrants have to work twice as hard sometimes three times as hard to get the same respect and privileges of white Americans.

People’s experiences aren’t tropes.

I think Gloria Chao wrote a real book, and finally, a YA novel that isn’t about a high school student. Mei is in University and struggling with what she should be doing with her life. I think Mei also had a great sense of humor and I just really enjoyed this contemporary read.

It reminds me of my own WIP, and it’s inspired me to finish proper edits and get my story out there as well.

I gave this book Five out Five Metal Horns!

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Also, If you really want to check this out but are currently on a budget, the Audiobook is available on Scribd. With the Link below you get Two free Months and can cancel at any time, and with your two free months, I get a free month as well! 

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Batman: ​Nightwalker – Book Review

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Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

ISBN: 9780399549786

Published: January 2, 2018, from Penguin Random House 

Length: 252 Pages 

Thank you to Penguin Random House International for sending me this copy in exchange for an honest review. This in no way impacts my opinion. 


Before he was Batman, he was Bruce Wayne. A reckless boy willing to break the rules for a girl who may be his worst enemy.

The Nightwalkers are terrorizing Gotham City, and Bruce Wayne is next on their list.

One by one, the city’s elites are being executed as their mansions’ security systems turn against them, trapping them like prey. Meanwhile, Bruce is turning eighteen and about to inherit his family’s fortune, not to mention the keys to Wayne Enterprises and all the tech gadgetry his heart could ever desire. But after a run-in with the police, he’s forced to do community service at Arkham Asylum, the infamous prison that holds the city’s most brutal criminals.

Madeleine Wallace is a brilliant killer . . . and Bruce’s only hope.

In Arkham, Bruce meets Madeleine, a brilliant girl with ties to the Nightwalkers. What is she hiding? And why will she speak only to Bruce? Madeleine is the mystery Bruce must unravel. But is he getting her to divulge her secrets, or is he feeding her the information she needs to bring Gotham City to its knees? Bruce will walk the dark line between trust and betrayal as the Nightwalkers circle closer.


My thoughts:  This was one of my most anticipated reads for 2018, and I jumped for joy when I was asked to join the Nightwalker Blog Tour. This book follows Bruce Wayne as a teenager, we get to see the beginnings of Batman. Bruce Wayne is just like any other teenager in the world, except for the fact that he’s filthy rich and gets away with pretty much anything if he wants to. That is until one night. One night is the catalyst for this entire story. 

Without going into too many details, Bruce gets community service, and he has to go to Arkham Asylum to complete his hours. This is where we meet Madeleine Wallace. She’s in a cell at Arkham, but why is she there? And why is it that she only seems to talk to Bruce? The plot is well thought out. This is merely my second Marie Lu book, and I do believe I am officially a fan. She gets the characters right. We get to know Dianne and Harvey his two best friends ( YES, it’s Harvey Dent). I found their friendship to be genuine and refreshing to see in a young adult novel.

Going in knowing that you’re reading a story about a beloved character like Batman can be nerve-wracking. I mean I honestly have no idea how Marie Lu didn’t dig a hole and hide in there when asked to write this novel, but I am glad she didn’t. She took this story to new heights. You get a glimpse into what could have been Batman’s teen years. Yes, I realize how many stories and shows are out there that touch this subject, but Marie Lu does it justice. You see just how vulnerable Bruce is, and just how much he can be like any other teen.

This was well written and entertaining. There is wonderfully written action, and so much raw emotion that pours from these pages. The pacing is terrific as well. I was expecting this book to be much bigger but at 252 pages, this is definitely on the smaller side, and still, the plot and characterization pack a punch. I love Batman, and I was nervous going into this, but I read it quickly and fell in love with it. Almost wish there would be another one.

This book is part of the DC Icons series. The next book will follow Catwoman. Looking forward to it!

I gave this five out of five Metalhorns! I highly recommend it!

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