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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Where the hell have I been??!

Hello there friends!

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You might be wondering why I haven’t been updating my blog, and why in the past year I have been in and out of here on a very in consistent basis.

 

Well simply put: LIFE. Life happened.

 

For a more complicated explanation then please keep reading.

 

Back in September we moved from Germany to Portugal. It was chaotic as hell before the move, and even more so after wards.

 

I am very grateful that we were able to stay with my parents while we searched for our own place. We found the most amazing place for us and then had to move ALL OF OUR JUNK from my parents’ garage to our new place. While this occurred my fiancé (Oh yea, I got engaged!!) was working on the road.

 

Also grateful for my family’s help, without whom none of this shit would have been possible, and I would have definitely lost my mind and set something on fire.

 

Then we had the holidays which were wonderful. A few battles with the cold and flu. Then January came around and my fiancé (then my boyfriend) asked me to marry him right before he headed out on the road for 10 weeks. Typically, he’s not out for that long BUT, that’s what happened at the beginning of the year.

 

That’s where my mental health went to shit. Before you come in here spewing bullshit. NO it had nothing to do with him leaving for work. I had felt my mental health decline over the span of the move because it felt like we hadn’t had a moment to stop and breathe for MONTHS. It was all a blur of packing, cleaning, unpacking, packing, moving, cleaning some more, building furniture, unpacking. Let me tell you, we STILL have some boxes upstairs because FUCK it’s been exhausting.

 

I hit a very low point, that I would rather not detail here for both my mental stability and your own. Just know it was the lowest I have hit.

 

I got some help. I have been feeling better, but also extremely frustrated.

 

Why?

 

Because I no longer knew what the fuck I was doing with my life(professionally).

With my mental health hitting a brick wall, I stopped working. I had some sprinkles of work, but it dried out. I had zero motivation to bother finding more. I am fortunate enough that I have a partner that had kept us financially stable, but IT ANGERS ME. It angers me that I dropped the ball so bad because of how my brain was communicating with me. I have no other excuse other than I felt like shit and didn’t know where to turn.

 

Now things are looking a bit better, but I am still running into some shit where people want to pay me PEANUTS for a ton of work because they think “anyone can do what you do” SURE OKAY, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!

 

I am trying to be more positive about this work situation because I did get offered a really cool opportunity which I hope opens the gates to MORE opportunities. I am working on some other projects as well that I am excited about, but it will take some time before I am willing to post about any of it publicly.

 

What else has happened? We got a puppy!! Her name is Luna and she’s a German Shepherd! A beautiful girl who has been a lot of work and early mornings, but it’s been so good for me. Walks in the woods with her make me feel so much better when I start to get that anxious feeling growing in my chest.

Sadly our cat Arya is not a fan at the moment, so I have to divide up my cuddle time, but we are working on changing that.

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What’s happening with this blog?

 

I really am aiming for a more consistent update schedule! I have some backlog of reviews that I am about to post. In general, I hope you stick with me.

 

I hit a really rough patch there, but I am coming out of it stronger.

 

See you in the next post!!

 

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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Reading Vlog on YouTube!!!

I am starting to update my YouTube channel on a more consistent basis, and I hope you will check it out!

You can find my weekend reading vlog here: https://youtu.be/Qf_rq21U5tQ

And you can also watch me roast my horrible teen poetry here: https://youtu.be/0VbkUk42eEM 

Make sure you like the videos and subscribe! Looking forward to growing my channel!

Top Ten Books of 2018!

It’s difficult to narrow down 122 books into a top ten list, but I have managed it. It took me a couple of days to figure it out, but what you see here are the ten books that captured my heart and soul. There’s a little something of everything in this list, and I hope some of these books land on your 2019 TBR piles!

Starting from number 10…

10. Nevermoor 

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This is a middle grade novel, but one that seems to grab the imagination and make you want to jump into as much middle grade fantasy as possible. Sure it’s aimed for children, but who says adults can’t enjoy them as well?

You follow a young girl named Morrigan Crow. This little girl is cursed, and this curse means she will die at midnight of her 11th birthday. Then she gets rescued by Jupiter North who takes her to a magical place called Nevermoor. There she must compete in 4 trials to join the Wundrous Society.

This book gave me Harry Potter feels, and not because of any blatant copying like many other middle grade novels have tried in the past but because the author has created a magical world where kids (of all ages) can escape to.

9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

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This was soul crushing on so many levels but I wish more people knew of Henrietta’s story. This is a true story about a black woman who died in 1951 of Cancer and how doctors and researchers have used her cells in Cancer research. You also get a glimpse into the poor family’s life situation, and how it profoundly impacted their misunderstandings of what was happening with Henrietta’s cells. The doctors were extremely irresponsible and while the HeLa cells have become important in the science community, the way they came to be is extremely hard to learn about, but also very important.

8. The Extinction Trials

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The reason this book caught my attention was the little sticker that said “The Hunger Games meets Jurassic Park” I was instantly sold. I can’t sit here and say the book has the best writing, but you have to suspend your belief of the world for a bit and just dive into the story. Both this one and the second one in the series are extremely fun to read. It is exactly what they say in the sticker. You are thrown into a world where dinosaurs exist and teenagers are questioning the reasoning behind adults’ decisions. I enjoy this series and I am looking forward to reading the third book.

7. Only Human

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Only Human is the third and final book (I believe) in the Themis Files series. The series starts with Sleeping Giants. In Sleeping Giants you follow Rose. When she was a little girl riding her bike around her house she falls into a hole, when emergency personnel show up, they realize she’s laying on a giant metal hand. In the story you follow her into adulthood as she becomes one of the main researchers trying to figure out where the hand came from, and what more is there to this mysterious item. This series made me fall in love with science fiction, and I just can’t get enough of it. If you love sci-fi then please check it out.

6. The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

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This was a crazy and wonderful ride of a book. I don’t want to give too much detail because I went into it completely blind and I think it helped make this book one of the best I’ve read all year. Basically you follow the character of Evelyn Hugo who was a well known and loved Hollywood actress as she tells her life story to a journalist that SHE chose. She would ONLY tell her life story to this girl, and what a story it is.

5. Notes on a Nervous Planet

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This is another non-fiction book that I really loved. It delves into how we can stay sane in a world that’s always online and screaming into the void. There are some really beautiful things that Matt Haig says, many of which were eye opening for me. Although I do think he should reflect a bit more because I actually had to stop following him on social media. He spends a lot of time on twitter just yelling about things and at people, and that is counter productive to what he talks about in his very own book.

4. The Last Magician

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The Last Magician was a book I finished recently. I really enjoyed the magic in it, and the elements of time travel. It’s like someone mashed together bits of Harry Potter and Doctor Who and this book came out. The characters were amazing, the plot was fun, and the ending completely took me by surprise. If you are looking for a fun magical YA, then this book should be on your list.

3. The Collapsing Empire

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I was never big on Science Fiction books, but the Themis files changed that, and so I started to pick up more and more Sci-fi. The Collapsing Empire tells a story about a new world called The interdependency. People use what is called the flow to move from place to place and travel faster than the speed of light, but it seems like the flow might be changing, and with it the entire way humans have built their lives. I loved the way John Scalzi didn’t try to make this an overly complicated story, and somehow it still gripped me from start to finish.

2. The Cruel Prince

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This was a surprising read for me. The only book I ever read from Holly Black was the one she wrote with Cassandra Clare (my absolute least favorite writer of all time) and that book was such a blatant rip off of Harry Potter, I honestly wasn’t expecting much from The Cruel Prince. But I ended up really enjoying the book. You follow Jude who’s parents were murdered right before her eyes when she was 7, and the killer took her and her sisters to his fairy world. Maybe you’re like me and you’re thinking, “Please no, not another fairy book” but this book was just fun to read. Some characters are complete dicks, others are complete morons, but I enjoyed following their mistakes and adventures.

1. Traitor’s Blade 

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The Traitor’s Blade is the first book in the Greatcoats series and while I typically take FOREVER to finish a series, I actually read every book in this one. One after the other! This is a fantasy novel just feels like a warm hug on a cold night. Which is strange to say because there is quite a lot of violence. The thing is, the main characters Falcio, Kest, and Brasti might be some of the best fantasy characters ever written. Their humor is amazing, and their friendship makes this series what it is. I kind of want to reread all four books again in 2019, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that one day we will get more books written in this world. If you’re tired of waiting for George R.R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss to release their books then give the Greatcoats series a try!

 

So those are my top ten books of 2018 and I can’t wait to read more in 2019!! What are some of your favorite books of this year?

 

2018 Year in Book Review Tag

One of my favorite Booktubers The Farah Project created a tag where she built it around news pieces from throughout the year. I loved the idea so much that I decided to give it a shot. I tag any book bloggers that would like to answer these.

1. A book series you love: German ex-nurse Niels Högel admits in court to killing over 100 patients, making him one of the world’s worst serial killers.


The Great Coats Series quickly became one of my absolute favorite series of all time. It’s not just a great fantasy but the humor in these books made it some of the best books I’ve read in a long time.

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2. An underrated book you want more people to read: Archaeologists uncover more than 300 gold coins from the late imperial period from a theatre in Como, Italy.


The Last Magician by Lisa Maxwell. It’s been on Book blogs, and Booktube, but I don’t see people really talking about it, and I absolutely loved this book. I jumped right into the second one.

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3. A book that didn’t meet your expectations: Sweden’s official Twitter account confirms Swedish meatballs actually originated in Turkey.


Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl. I loved her adult book Night Film, and I thought she could do no wrong, but I HATED THIS BOOK. I think the way she uses suicide as a plot device is fucking awful.

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4. Most anticipated book buy: Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo joins Italian champions Juventus in a deal worth £99.2m, becoming one of the four most expensive players of all time.


City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. I really just love everything she has written. Also Vengeful but I haven’t gotten a chance to read it yet.

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5. Favorite character pairing: American actress Meghan Markle marries Prince Harry at a ceremony in Windsor Castle, making her a member of the British royal family.


Gotta be honest, I don’t care about pairings in books. It’s never been a component of a story that I am overly invested in. So much so that I can’t think of a single one that matters to me. LOL

6. A book that surprised you: Banksy work “Girl With Balloon” automatically shreds moments after being sold for 1 million pounds in London, re-named “Love is in the Bin”.


The Cruel Prince. I went in thinking it would be a typical YA where I would end up rolling my eyes every other page and DNFing it, and I came out really loving it.

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7. A book with a beautiful cover: Twelve camels disqualified from the King Abdulaziz Camel beauty contest in Saudi Arabia after their owners used botox on their lips.


Children of Blood and Bone! Hands Down!!

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8. A book you flew through: Kenyan marathon runner Eliud Kipchoge named UN Person of the Year for setting a new marathon world record.


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo!! So absolutely incredible!!

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9. A book that took you the longest time to read: World’s new longest flight flies from Singapore to Newark Airport, New Jersey takes 17 hours 52 mins.


War and Peace. Not only isn’t a massive book, it’s also a book that did not age well, it’s gossip girl with men in Russia in the 1800’s, and it was just BORING.

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10. Book of the year: Liverpool and Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah is named African Football Player of the Year.


The Collapsing Empire by John Scalzi!! An amazing Sci-Fi that I read in a day!! I have to read the second book!!

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I’m Good. I’m Okay. I’m Fine.

 

TRIGGER WARNING: Depression, Anxiety, Suicide Ideation. 

“How are you?” should be the easiest question to answer. It’s the entry into the world of small talk. I hate small talk. It doesn’t feed my soul.

“I’m Good.”

“I’m Okay.”

“I’m Fine.”

My go to responses–sometimes I mean it, sometimes I don’t, but the alternative responses don’t seem fitting in every day encounters.

I can’t just sit there and say: Well Insomnia kept me up for almost 72 hours straight last week, which caused me to have multiple panic attacks in a row, I felt like death was knocking on my door, and depression made me take multiple naps then for days. Small noises make me clench my jaw shut so hard I give myself headaches. How are you?

I think that would take most people by surprise, and I don’t expect many people to understand what it’s like to live with a constant sense of fear and loathing within the very core of your soul. Or to feel like a beehive is in your head 24/7. Because feeling nervous isn’t anxiety. Feeling sad isn’t depression. Falling asleep at 1:00am isn’t insomnia.  Having to explain myself is exhausting.

I am about to drop full truth bombs in here, the likes of which may make some people feel a sense of concern for me, but I would like to put forth the knowledge that I am okay. I struggle yes, but not like before. Everyday is a new day and as such I fight forward and hope for the best.

This year has been a little overwhelming in many ways. I can now see this beacon of hope that’s just a little over a month away, but I have had some tough days. Crying because I am so frustrated with myself because I can’t fall asleep, or then if I do fall asleep I will wake up at 4am but will have zero motivation to get out of bed till 11am. I don’t even close my eyes half the time. I am just there thinking of a bunch of worst case scenarios about absolutely everything and everyone.

I’ve had this though since I was very young. I would pace around if one of my parents seemed to be running late coming home. I recently read Matt Haig’s Reasons to Stay Alive and it made me realize just how far back my anxiety started.

So how do you deal with something that has possibly been ingrained into you since you were really young? And where did it start?

I am on meds, but I feel at the moment that they are not as effective as they once were. My doctor though has been an grade A asshole, and hasn’t really helped me. At the moment, I am waiting for our move to Portugal to speak to a doctor and get better medication for myself and find someone, a professional someone to talk to.

In the past possibly since I was about 16 I’ve had suicidal thoughts. They came in and out of my mind like a tv with bad reception. I haven’t felt that way in a long time, but I can still remember the despair I felt, and how I couldn’t tell anyone. I cut myself and blamed my cats. I would DIG MY NAILS into my face and scratch myself. I don’t do those things anymore, but those memories are a part of me.

My anxiety lately has made me feel isolated. I walked to the grocery store yesterday and it felt like a journey to Mordor.

I know my mental health fluctuates a lot at the moment. Sometimes I am at 90% okay and some days it drops to 10%, but each time someone asks how I am doing. I respond with the same three replies and I just alternate between them all.

“I’m Good.”

“I’m Okay.”

“I’m Fine.”

There’s so much more I could write. SO much more I could say, but for now just know one thing. When you’re feeling these things, the best thing for you to do is to speak to someone. Anyone. If a close friend isn’t it, then a hotline. I have done it before.

If you need to vent, write it out because no one can stop you from expressing your deepest and darkest parts of you.

I struggle all the time.

I want to be a published writer and sometimes I am well aware how I am holding myself back, but things will change. I wake up some days with no hope at all, but so many people around me fill me with joy, and that joy has helped me cope.

When I cope…I begin to hope.

You will find that feeling too.