this was exceptionally good

Black Girls Must Die Exhausted – Jayne Allen

Infertility issues, black women. Family, interpersonal relationships, fiction. 

Rating 10/10

Tabitha finds out that she has an infertility issue that she has to address sooner rather than later. Not only that but she finds out her boyfriend, Marc, isn’t ready for any family life nor marriage. He breaks up with her. Tabitha goes to her friends and family to help her. She gets the dream promotion at her work. She comes to terms that she will die exhausted but she will live her life to the fullest. 

I enjoyed the writing of this novel. The flow was so perfectly done. The plot and narrative felt surreal. I’m glad that this book covered a very heavy subject with some lightness and comedy. There was a great balance. Not a lot of books cover infertility issues because it is so stigmatized. We should unstigmatized sexual wellness. There was another topic that was covered here and it is racism. There is a lot of systematic and institutionalized racism in this country that has made people of color scared of the police. When Tabitha got pulled over by the cop and was very afraid for her life, I nearly cried because police are supposed to make everyone feel safe. However, with the rising numbers of police brutality against people of color, police have become even more feared more now than ever. With that said, please contact local representatives and tell them that we need police reform. I’ve done my part by calling daily and I want my followers to do the same. My website is a hate-free zone. This is a peace zone.

another book tiktok made me buy XD

Bone Crier’s Moon – Kathryn Purdie

Young adult, fantasy, romance, fiction. 

Rating 9/10

Ailesse had been preparing for her Rite of Passage to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers. She had collected all the different bones she needed and learned all the different songs. Now she must go to the bridge to play the flute of a song that would attract her soul mate, the man whom she is destined to love and kill. Bastien was orphaned at a young age and promised to take revenge by murdering a bone crier. Sabine doesn’t like what the Bone Criers do nor their work but she must do what is expected of her. Ailesse’s mother assigns Sabine to watch her daughter’s Rite of Passage. Ailesse gets taken by her amour, Bastien, who wants revenge by taking her hostage. Sabine makes it her mission to rescue her best friend. Ailesse makes it her mission after learning about Bastien’s intentions to free him from their bond without death involved. 

I had seen this while on the booktok side of TikTok and couldn’t resist the whole enemies to lovers trope. The premise doesn’t appear to be that way but it’s flushed out throughout the novel. This was one of my favorite fantasy young adult books so far. There was a perfect amount of action and fantasy along with some romance. There was a lot of tension between all the characters from the first page until the near end of the novel. The plot moved at a graceful pace that couldn’t have been more perfect. I was just sad about the cliffhanger and I have to find out if there is a sequel to the novel because this is excellent. The world-building was great and spread out just enough that it wasn’t just a lore dump in the beginning. I hate novels that do a lore dump at the beginning of the first book is the lore dump. I loved the whole enemies-to-lovers trope that is present. I can see Bastien really going for Ailesse hence I do ship it.

had to read a Lisa Jewell book for my bday

The Night She Disappeared – Lisa Jewell 

Mystery, thriller, fiction. 

Rating 9/10

Tallulah is a single mother going through college and trying to take care of her child, Noah, with her mother. Her child’s father Zach wants to be more involved with both her and Tallulah but Tallulah wants something else. She wants to be a social worker and live with her mother without anyone judging her. After a night of Zach and Tallulah spend together, both have gone completely missing with the only person connecting them is Scarlett who provides nothing other than that they were simply friends. One year later, Sophie, an aspiring mystery novelist moves into this town alongside her boyfriend who works at the school. She finds a DIG HERE sign and decides to dig up. She digs up a ring and looks into the missing teens’ case. She turns the evidence over to the police unveiling a break in the case. 

I was so thrilled that Lisa Jewell came out with another novel. I love her thriller mysteries because each one is so unique. I enjoyed the diverse characters and their interactions that felt natural. As all her novels are. Furthermore, the writing of this novel was so well done and well spun. Watching it all unfold with the past and present timeline narratives made this novel work in a very thrilling dynamic novel.

once you arrive its hard to leave…

Ace of Shades – Amanda Foody 

Young adult, science fiction, fantasy, fiction. 

Rating 8/10

Enne Salta finds herself in Las Reynes to try to find her mother. She has the entire summer to find her before she must return to her finishing school. With only a name, Levi Glaisyer, she hunts him down. He is taken aback by this young woman and decides to help her for a cost. She makes an offer to him that he can’t refuse that would solve his problems. He takes the offer and helps her find her mother. As they are searching for her mother, she learns of her past that affects her future. 

My boyfriend had read this novel and I couldn’t help but be curious as to why he would read this. After reading I slowly understood. The plot is really interesting as it slowly unfolded. The world is immersive and makes the reader get hooked once it picks up the pace. The diverse and rich characters involved were very unique. There were many plot twists and turns that I hadn’t expected at all which I love a good book that does that. However, the concept of a world that is sort of Las Vegas but different isn’t my type. Overall, I did enjoy the novel despite that and how slow the beginning was.

truly magical inheritance..

The Inheritance of Orquidea Divina – Zoraida Cordova

Inheritance, families, magic, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Orquidea is feeling her end coming and she invites her to her funeral as well as an inheritance to her descendants. Her magic. Those who grew up didn’t take the magic seriously and others were annoyed with it. There were a lot of secrets that the Montoyas kept from each other and all came out when the magic was handed down. There is a force that doesn’t want Montoya’s family line to have magic. 

This book recently came out and I was intrigued by the plot. I loved this novel and the cultural lore that was present in this as well as magic. I love novels that have lore and mythical explanations that help understand the novel’s plot more. This also had an interesting family dynamic that is intriguing and satisfying to see the bonds get stronger despite the weak bond at the beginning. The transformation of the Montoyas from the first chapter to the last was certainly so paced that nothing felt rushed. Some flashbacks helped the story along. All in all, this novel was beautifully and magically written.

a very haunting house

Mexican Gothic – Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Mystery, thriller, fiction

Rating 9/10

Neomi heads to the High Place to where her cousin resides with her husband due to a recent letter that her cousin sent. Out of concern, she must investigate the odd behavior that was occurring with her cousin. As she resides she is told of the strict house rules as well as the story of the household. However, the townsfolk have a different story about the High Place. A tale of the ancestor going on a murderous rage that led to a suicide afterward with only one lone survivor. Her cousin talks in hallucinogen imagery that only she sees but no one else sees. After seeking a second opinion she was given the warning to leave before things got worse. As she continues to stay she comes across some more secrets about the violence that occurs. 

This was chilling in the sense that it slowly builds up. This was rather a short read but it was fantastic. I didn’t put it down and whenever I did I felt so bad. I needed to figure out what was going to happen. Then when it happened I was surprised. I was honestly hesitant about picking up this book until my boyfriend told me to just read it. He said it would be something I would like for sure and he wasn’t wrong. I did. The writing is well done and very descriptive. I felt like I stepped into the place and felt everything that the main character had felt. The characters were an interesting cast of characters for sure and the interactions felt so natural. Some mystery novels don’t have that feeling but this one did. The main character Neomi uncovering the secret and the truth was really interesting. It did take a long time because of the suspense build-up but it was rather interesting. Overall, I do love this novel. I did see this on TikTok and couldn’t pass up anymore on reading it.

never ever make a deal with the shadow man!

Disney Chills: Fiends on the Other Side (Book 2) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange 

Disney, children’s literature, villains, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Jamal always felt like a shadow, more like in his brother’s shadow. He felt very invisible. One day he receives stuff from his grandma which was just a skull necklace. A man appears and introduces himself as Dr. Facilier. Dr. Facilier wants the necklace but Jamal doesn’t want to trade that but he was willing to trade another item. Little does Jamal know that he must never make deals with the shadow man. 

This was exceptionally different and very dark for a children’s book. Like the other one there were a lot of dark themes but not too dark. I wasn’t expecting the author to continue with the same level of horror as the other one but with this one. I loved that there was a reference to the movie. The other book also has references to the movie but it was more evident in this one than the other. Altogether I enjoyed this and can’t wait to find more.

a good Halloween mystery book to read…

We Are All The Same in the Dark – Julia Heaberlin 

Mystery, thriller, fiction. 

Rating 9/10

Odette is called to Wyatt’s house because of some suspicious activity. Wyatt shows her the young teenage girl he picked up who was surrounded by dandelions. The young girl has no eye and is mute. Odette thinks that this young girl is connected to the Trumanell Branson disappearance that happened a decade ago. Both cases are going to be tough as Odette’s past comes creeping up and she tries to solve the mysterious disappearance of Tru as well as the appearance of this young woman. 

This novel was thrilling and kept me on my toes throughout the novel. I couldn’t stop reading and wanting to know what happened to Trumanell Branson. I was trying to predict what had happened to the young woman too. The novel was very mysterious until the very end. There was a lot of emotion built up and I loved every moment of the novel. I was disappointed by the ending. Overall the writing causes the reader to be invested by the plot and narrative from the first to the last page. I prefer this as a moderate thrill novel because there are some intense scenes but it’s nothing too drastic. A perfect novel for halloween for sure.

very spooky…

Disney Chills: Part of Your World (Book 1) – Jennifer Brody writing as Vera Strange 

Children’s literature, Disney, villains, fiction.

Rating 9/10

Shelly wants to be popular for once and be a faster swimmer. Unfortunately when her parents split she had to go to a new school and join a new swim team. Just wanting to fit in and not be called ‘fish girl’. Her wish is to swim faster so that she can prove to her peers that she can be popular. Shelly finds a nautilus that takes her to this lair where an entity shows itself. Ursula, the sea witch, proposes a deal with Shelly. Shelly could become the fastest swimmer if she signs the contract and allows Ursula to call in a favor at any time. After twenty-four hours of contemplation, Shelly signs the deal. Unaware of the ramifications of her wish and the favor. It is too late to back out now… 

One of my favorite Disney Villains is Ursula. She is clever and very smart with her deals as well as executing her plans. In this book, she knows what she wants and knows what Shelly wants. The deal that was made was ultimately evil and brilliant. Not only that but to make deals with Ursula one has to be hyper-specific in which Shelly wasn’t. The writing of this novel was so immersive and vivid. This novel is perfect for young readers who want to read a spooky story and are Disney fans. This is also great for all ages really but the demographic for this was geared towards children. I believe this book can be found at local Targets in the children’s section or the Halloween part of the book section. There are more books in the series that have different Disney villains incorporated.

this was eerily chilling read…

Mother May I – Joshilyn Jackson

Mystery, thriller, fiction. 

Rating 7/10

An old battered woman was standing outside of Bree’s window looking in. Bree thought she was seeing stuff but her husband also saw. Next thing she knows is that her son was taken and gets a mysterious phone call. She is given instructions to roofie Spencer at a party or else she won’t see her son. She’s also warned to never involve her husband nor the police. Bree does that precisely and after doing the deed, the Mother gives her another instruction. In order to get her son back she must trade her husband. Bree asks the help of her best friend and former cop to assist her with getting her son back. While throughout this cat and mouse chase, Bree realized that the man whom she married and had three kids with was not who she thought this man was. 

This was a little haunting and chilling. I was expecting more but it was not a lot of thrill. Just a mild thrill and mystery. However, it was nothing that I’ve read before. I hadn’t expected the book to go in a certain route. This novel goes over the crucial topic of college parties and how some women get raped due to them being all drugged up. When a woman is not sober she can’t give consent and that is what happened here in the novel. Consent should be between two sober adults. Bree’s reaction to her husband’s past was perfectly normal that she wanted him to make things right with the woman whom he had taken advantage of and ruined her for life. What was uncalled for was the kidnapping of a newborn child. This novel was a little hard to read towards the end and overall the writing was great.