Hello Bookstagram family, I’m excited to announce that I am affiliating with The Willoughby Book Club this month. Hooray!

Have you ever ran out of gift ideas for a bookish friend or family? Check out The Willoughby Book Club! It is a personalized bookish gift box that carefully handpicks books according to your friend or family’s personal reading taste. Hey, You may also gift yourself one if you’re in a “treat yo shelf” mood! 💯💯

Based on the information provided by you, they will deliver a new, hand selected book once a month to a gift recipient of your choice. Beautifully wrapped with a personal message and tailored to their reading tastes by Willoughby Book club’s team of literary experts, their book subscription box makes the perfect gift for any book worm – young or old! Aaah! Can’t wait to see what they’ve picked for me. Will surely keep you guys posted!

You can use my coupon for a 10% discount by clicking on the link below.

Get a 10% discount by clicking this link!

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A REVIEW: Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Mathew Sullivan

Lydia is a librarian/bookseller at the Bright Ideas Bookstore. Like her father, she enjoys reading books and finds bliss in them. One night upon closing up the bookstore, she finds one of her staff named Joey hung himself up on the second floor. She tries to salvage his body by lifting him up but it was too late, before help has arrived she notice a photo sticking out of his pockets, she recognizes the familiar face of a girl in the photo because it is her. People from her past starts re-connecting with her as she slowly finds out what the relation of her photo is in Joey’s death.

I finished this read in a day and fortunately solved the mystery. Yay! It was an easy one, the kind you could predict. The book is written from a third person perspective. It begins with the death of Joey and later on moves back and forth in time to explain the relation of his death to Lydia’s childhood. For me, it was a slow paced one but the kind of slow paced read that won’t lead you to a book slump. A 3.5 for me as I wasn’t that surprised with the ending and thought it was okay. ⭐️

A REVIEW: Uprooted by Naomi Novik

“We’re meant to go. We’re not meant to stay forever.” 
 Naomi Novik, Uprooted

In the town of Dvernik, comes a young valley girl named Agnieszka. She’s simple, doesn’t really care about her looks, and has grown up to be a family oriented one. The Dragon who is a known powerful wizard that protects the citizens of Dvernik from the evil Wood, chooses one young woman to serve him for 10 years. Ever since she was young, it has always been expected that her good friend Kasia would be who the Dragon would choose. Even Kasia’s family has prepared their daughter for the day of choosing. But the King instructed to choose not just any woman but a woman with talent and since Agnieszka knew magic, she gets to be the chosen one.

The beginning seemed like a familiar plot to read where a young woman unexpectedly gets picked and unwillingly kept inside the tower where she deals with the attitude of the Dragon while nursing her own loneliness and longing for her family. The Dragon was mean to her at the beginning but as they slowly spend more time with each other practicing spells, Nieszka gets to know him better, and they develop feelings for each other slowly. Until one day, they both receive a news that Agnieszka’s friend Kasia gets corrupted by the Wood. They both work together and try their best to save her. Everyone knows that bringing a corrupted human to the city is forbidden. Soon as the King’s son Prince Marek knew what was going on, he asks for the Dragon and Agnieszka’s help to rescue his mother the Queen who was corrupted by the Wood for a very long time now. And so, the battle with the haunted forest begins.

Adventure packed, magical, and heavenly dark with bits of slow burning romance. Ahh, I loved it. I especially loved Naomi Novik’s writing. I thought the magic spells were funny, it was a struggle trying to say it out. The book is told in first person so you get to read the perception of Novik’s hero, Agnieszka. She’s awesome! She can be a pain in the ass at some point but she’s always put others first before her. The Dragon was cruel to her but not because he intends to do so but because he was cruel to everyone as well but Nieszka discovers that he secretly cares all along. Strong exterior with a soft core kinda dude. Lol. The ending was something I thought I could predict but didn’t. For me it was beautiful and okay. It wasn’t too much of a big ending but the message of it is beautiful. This is my first of hers and it felt like this one has crawled inside of me and has hugged my heart. Definitely added to my favorite fantasy reads list. If you’re into stories about bewitching, sorcery, kings and queens, love story, strong female lead, and bravery you might like this one.

A REVIEW: Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

“People like to say love is unconditional, but it’s not, and even if it was unconditional, it’s still never free. There’s always an expectation attached. They always want something in return. Like they want you to be happy or whatever and that makes you automatically responsible for their happiness because they won’t be happy unless you are … I just don’t want that responsibility.”
― Katja Millay, The Sea of Tranquility

Seventeen year old, Natsya moves in with her Aunt Margot in the hopes of forgetting her past and starting a new chapter in life. Meanwhile, Josh Bennett has been living alone after losing his family. They both have their own tragedies in the past that they’ve been trying to survive from up to the present. They both meet, fall in love, and have a hard time accepting love because of what they went through.

The Sea of Tranquility is a book filled with emotions, family, and high school drama. The plot is something different from the other books I’ve read and it sucks that the main characters had to go through what they went through. I feel bad for both of them. Nastya was once was a ray of sunshine and has now turned into a huge black hole. While Josh has lost everyone in his family.

I give it a 3.5/5 stars because honestly I got annoyed with Nastya towards the end. In her POV, she seems like this strong, independent woman who’s ready to move on. But in Josh’s POV, she seems so helpless, sad, and weak which got me confusing. Also, I wasn’t a fan of her decision making skills. She pitied herself a lot when in reality, everyone never stopped being there for her to support her. She chose to isolate herself from her family which sorta felt like she took them for granted despite knowing Josh doesn’t even have any family to lean on. It was a very emotional read. I must say, I did enjoy it at some point especially the teenage love drama. Oh I’m so in for that! Lol. If you’re up for stories like these then you might enjoy it.

A REVIEW: A Century Divided by Silvia Hildebrandt

“Is this what you call love at first sight, Dr. Wladislaw? Does it exist, such a love that sets you on fire and burns you down until nothing more is left from you than a dead and empty shell?” – Silvia Hildebrandt

Caleb Milton gave up everything he owns in the hopes of being successful in New York where his sister Frances is based. Upon arriving, he encounters different personalities including Tristan Somersmoore who instantly captures his attention. Soon as they both get introduced, they fall for each other and a series of hurdles tests out their relationship. How much are they willing to fight for each other? I rarely read LGBTQ genres but I enjoyed reading this one. This made me feel lots of emotions especially since it’s about going through lengths for someone you truly love. It’s one of the most interesting stories I’ve read this year. There were times I hated Tristan for Caleb and felt like Caleb was too good for him. I gotta admit, I was asked to do an honest review for this and I rarely accept offers but since the prologue immediately captured my attention and made me crave more, I decided to go for it! I give it a 3.8/5 stars cause there were a few draggy parts in the middle, although if you’re up for historical lgbtq romance fiction then you might enjoy this one!

This is Silvia’s debut novel and it’s cool cause she’s associating it with Misha Collins’ charity organization called “Random Acts of Kindness”. Some of the profit of the sales of this book will be heading to homeless families in the US and help build homes in Haiti.

 

A REVIEW: After Dark by Haruki Murakami

After Dark is the kinda book you’d wanna take your time reading and digest every word slowly. The novel revolves around sisters Eri and Mari. Set in the city of Japan, Tokyo ..while Eri is peacefully asleep, Mari has troubles sleeping so she went to Denny’s and spend the time reading during the wee hours of the night. She encounters a woman who’s a manager of a “love hotel” across the street, she asks her help for Chinese translation. Together they help rescue a young lady who has allegedly been beaten up by a mystery man. Set in Tokyo, Mari encounters different strangers who are awake at night and she discovers their dreams, secrets and perspectives about life along the way.

It’s always a surreal reading experience whenever I read a Murakami book. He has this certain writing style that makes the reader fully get into the narrative. I definitely enjoyed Mari’s late night adventures and different stranger encounters but I wasn’t into the open-ended ending. Eri’s sleeping remained a mystery to me all through out like it wasn’t explained why, she just chose to head to sleep one day and she’s been asleep for 2 months. I like to think that most of Murakami’s works are deep, unusual and confusing which kind of gives that distinct description about his books but still leaves you wanting more so that’s why. Nevertheless, a good read for me!

A REVIEW: What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum

“We are all strangers to each other in the end.”
– Julie Buxbaum, What to Say Next

Highschool student David Drucker has Asperger’s syndrome. He’s bullied a lot for being too smart and struggles with social interactions so he keeps a notebook with details about the people in his highschool to guide him through bullies, who to trust, and who to avoid. Katherine also known as “Kit” recently lost her father through a vehicular accident. She’s having trouble coping up with highschool life that she starts to avoid her bestfriends Annie and Violet. One day, she decides to sit on David’s table at lunch. Friendship begins to form between them as they help deal with each other’s differences.

This was a feel good read for me. I love how strong David’s support system is. Her sister Lauren and parents has always stood up for him despite having ASD. It shows how family love can strongly affect a teenager’s performance at school and that to me sends a strong message. He is actually doing good for a kid with ASD and that’s cause of how supportive his family is. There’s also Kit’s acceptance of who Dave is inside and out which also shows how we shouldn’t discriminate anyone and actually get to know a person before judging them which rarely happens nowadays. It’s a cute read plus I always enjoy reading books that gives off important messages to the readers. So it’s a 4⭐️ for me. If you’re wondering why not 5, it’s because I felt like the ending was a bit rushed. So yeah. ✨