Books I Don’t Recommend Enough!

I read a pretty large amount of books every year- between 50-100+ books. Obviously, I do not give all of them the same amount of love. Some books I rave about for months and months, and others I only briefly mention in a wrap up and move on from.

So, I thought I would highlight a few books that I really enjoyed, but I don’t talk too much about on here. These are not necessarily under-hyped books, though, (I’m sure you’ll recognize quite a few of them) they are just under-hyped by me!

Young Adult

By Your Side by Kasie West: I read this book a couple of years ago now, but I do remember enjoying it quite a lot! It was a really cute story, and I definitely want to read more from Kasie West in the future. Her books are ones that I’ve been meaning to pick up for quite a while now, as I’ve only read this one, but I’ve heard great things about her other ones.

Adult

My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan: This book completely took me by surprise. I was expecting a fun romance that takes place in London (what better thing to read about?) and while it definitely was that, it was so much more. It was such a complex and heartbreaking story, and I loved it so so much. I would highly recommend giving this a try if you want to read a romance with a lot of depth.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert: Speaking of romances, I absolutely ADORED this book by Talia Hibbert. It was just so well written, and I can not wait to continue on with the series (hopefully I will get to it ASAP).

Poetry

Aphrodite Made Me Do It by Trista Mateer: I haven’t been sharing a lot of poetry with you all recently because I just truthfully haven’t been reading as much of it. So, I definitely wanted to make sure I included some on this list, starting with an amazing collection that I read last year. It was really beautifully written, and it left me feeling so inspired. I need to read all of Trista’s other work because this collection was incredible. Also, their Instagram feed is SO amazing, so go check that out as well!

What We Buried by Caitlyn Siehl: This is one of the best collections I’ve ever read because it was exactly how I’ve always wanted to write. Caitlyn wrote such beautiful lines, had such amazing imagery, and packed in a lot into a short book. It is such a fast read, so I definitely think it’s worth giving a try, especially if you want to get more into poetry.

I hope you all enjoyed this post! What are some books you’ve read and loved but don’t talk about often? I’d love to get some recs!

Spooky Book Recommendations (Pt. 2)

Hello! Last year around this time, I shared a list of thriller recommendations with you all. Over the last year, I feel like I’ve read quite a few new ones, so I want to share them with you (and the ones I didn’t mention in the last post).

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This is my most recent gothic/horror read, and it was phenomenal! This book was so atmospheric—it takes place in Mexico in a small, rural town in a mansion called High Place. It had such stunning prose, and the plot was unpredictable (exactly what I’m looking for in a book like this). I highly recommend checking it out!

When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole

I read this book recently as well, and it completely took me by surprise. I had seen a lot of people talking about this novel, so I was really interested in reading it. I was able to get the audiobook from Libro.fm, and I listened to it in a matter of days. The beginning was a bit slower paced, as we learned about characters and the backstory. But the last 50-75 pages were a RIDE, and it went in directions I never would have guessed. It’s definitely not your typical mystery, but it is good!

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware

This is a retelling of The Turn of the Screw (see next rec), but in a modern setting: a smart home. It was super creepy, and it actually gave me goosebumps at times. I think it is such a phenomenal read, and I’m looking forward to reading more by Ruth Ware because I know I’ll enjoy her books!

The Turn of the Screw by Henry James

So yes, I put a retelling of this story on this list as well as the original and that’s because I think they are both such good reads!! I read this book as part of a collection of other short stories by Henry James, but this one was one of the only ones I really enjoyed. It was so eerie and interesting. AND The Haunting of Bly Manor comes out on Netflix TOMORROW. If you don’t know, it is the second season of The Haunting of Hill House, but it’s basically a completely new story (sort of how each season of American Horror Story works). I am so so excited to watch!

The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter

This was my first Karin Slaughter and it did not disappoint! I listened to the audiobook, and it was really well done. It was an intricate story that focused a lot on the characters, which I appreciated. I definitely want to read more of Karin Slaughter’s books—if you have any favorites, let me know!

What are some of your favorite spooky reads? I have so many on my TBR that I’m dying to get to—I’d love to read your favorite!

Books by Black Authors I Want to Read

Hello everyone. As you may have noticed, I did not share a post last Thursday. A lot was going on in the world, and I wanted to pause my previously scheduled content so that I could instead focus my efforts on spreading awareness of the Black Lives Matter movement, educate myself on the history of racism as well as modern racism, and boost the voices of Black creators.

Today, I wanted to share a list of some books that have both been on my TBR already and some that I just recently added due to all of the lists that have been shared online. I recognize that my reading has not been as diverse as it should have been, and I am going to make an active effort to correct that, not only this month, but for the rest of my life—and I highly encourage you do the same!

I also want to note that while social media may look like it is going “back to normal,” the fight is not yet done. We must continue to actively fight against racial injustice. Continue to educate yourself so you can become a better ally, have difficult conversations with your family members, donate, sign petitions, and support Black owned business on the regularly. Diversify your life, your online feeds, your media, etc.

Here is a link to a comprehensive document with many helpful resources:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-0KC83vYfVQ-2freQveH43PWxuab2uWDEGolzrNoIks/mobilebasic

Without further ado, here are the books I hope to read in the near future written by Black authors!

(Somehow, all of these are contemporaries, but that’s just because it’s what I prefer reading, so I’m sorry that I do not have any other genres on this list)

YA Fiction

  • Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera: I recently came across this novel after seeing it mentioned on Twitter. I have seen amazing reviews for it, and I am excited to read it. In this story, the main character interns for her favorite author (who is a feminist icon) after coming out to her family and not knowing whether she’ll ever talk to them again.
  • The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta: I have been looking for more novels written in verse recently, as these books are always some of my favorites and yet I do not read them often enough. When asking for recommendations, someone had recommended this one! It has incredible ratings on Goodreads, so I am sure it will live up to all of my expectations!
  • Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson: I have now read two books by Jacqueline Woodson, and she is easily becoming a favorite author of mine! I checked out the audiobook of this novel next, so I am hoping to get to it later this week! I have no doubt that it will be incredible.
  • Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender: I own one book by Kacen Callender, though it is a fantasy (and I have not yet read it). This is a contemporary novel about a transgender teenager who is being bullied anonymously. I have heard that it is a really powerful novel, so I would love to read it soon!
  • You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson: If you’ve been in the bookish online world recently, I’m sure you’ve heard of this book. It just came out last week and had sold out on Amazon!

Adult Fiction

  • Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert: I read the first book in this series, and I was head-over-heels in love with both the characters and the story. On top of that, the writing was so swoon-worthy, so I know that I will adore this next book, too. Plus, my good friend Olivia read this one just this past week, and she gave it 5-stars! I trust her opinion on her favorite reads, so I am looking forward to picking this one up once it is released!
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett: I actually just purchased this book last week, and I cannot wait to have it in my hands! This is another that has been raved about so much recently, and I am very excited to read it for myself.
  • The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon: This is another romance novel which actually comes out the same day this post is going up (so definitely check it out if you’re interested!). This book sounds like everything I love- live Tweeting, girl pact to swear off men, and a girl who develops apps (women in STEM? phenomenal.).
  • Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: This novel has been talked about for months now, and it has been on my TBR for quite a while. Every time I see the cover, it catches my attention. The book is about a Black woman working as a babysitter for a white family who gets accused of kidnapping the child. I’m sure that this book will be incredibly eye-opening.
  • The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison: Last year, I picked up Toni Morrison’s “Beloved” for my literature class, and I absolutely loved it. The writing style was so unique and beautiful, and I can’t believe I haven’t yet picked up more books by Morrison. The Bluest Eye is one of her most popular titles, so it is one I am probably going to pick up next- though I want to read all of her books eventually.

Nonfiction

  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates: This book explains the history of racism in America through a letter written to the author’s son. It is part-memoir/part-historical nonfiction! It has been one that was talked about on tons of different lists of Anti-racist reads recently, and I am definitely interested in it.
  • The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle’s the Master’s House by Audre Lorde: Audre Lorde is a popular name in terms of poetry about race, feminism, and sexuality. I am very interested in reading her work now that I have learned more about her. I think starting with a collection of essays will be most beneficial to me before diving into her poetry because it will give me a sense of how she thinks!
  • Eloquent Rage by Brittney Cooper: I believe this book is another collection of essays, which is a genre of nonfiction I have not explored much of, but I am definitely interested in. This book focuses on feminism, specifically from a Black woman’s perspective!
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi: As I am trying to become more educated on the history of racism, I am also trying to learn how to be a better ally, and how I can actively fight racial injustices. This book focuses on exactly that. It is not enough to be “not racist,” but rather be antiracist!
  • How We Fight for Our Lives by Saeed Jones: The finally book on this list is another memoir! I heard that it is beautifully written, and the author is also a poet, so I definitely want to check out his other works as well.

If you have any other recommendations for books by Black authors, please leave them down below! Also, let me know if you have read any of these and what you thought of them!

Again, please remember to continue this momentum- sign petitions, donate, read diverse books all year round, support Black creators, etc.

Let’s Talk Underrated Books

I’ve read a lot of books throughout my twenty years. While many of those books are considered “popular,” there are about just as many underrated ones that I haven’t seen many people talk about.

I am someone who will definitely succumb to the hype, but I want to get better at picking books up just because they interest me, not because everyone is talking about them.

Today, I thought I would talk to you all about my favorite underrated books, so maybe you can add some to your TBR!

Tweet Cute_Cover

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

This is the only book on the list that has over 3,000 ratings on Goodreads (but not by much), and it did receive a bit of hype, but not to the extent that it deserves. This was such an adorable read. It was quirky, it was cute, it was fun. It was one of the best YA romances I’ve read in a while.

On top of its fluffy-ness, it also tackles many serious topics as well. I think that more people should pick this one up; it is definitely worth it!

100 days of sunlight

100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons

This a self-published book that came out last year that I had the chance to read and review an ARC of. Most people are hesitant when it comes to picking up indie books, but there are so many great ones out there that you can be missing out on!

Abbie Emmons is also a Youtuber, and I have been watching her videos for a couple of years now. She has such a great, bubbly personality, and she really does understand the craft of writing. Plus, the cover of this book is stunning.

you asked for perfect

You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman

This book spoke to me in so many ways. It deals with the stress of senior year, of keeping up your grades, of applying to colleges, etc. It was so relatable, and I truly did connect with it.

I have not seen many people talking about this one, though. I do wish that more people would read it because I think it’s such an important read, especially for those who are in their senior year of high school or are about to be.

the lady rogue

The Lady Rogue by Jenn Bennett

Hi, my name is Jess and I am part of the Jenn Bennett fan club. I know I talk about Jenn Bennet in like 98% of my posts, but it’s because her books are just. that. good. Look, I would not be recommending them so often if I didn’t wholeheartedly believe that everyone should read them.

The Lady Rogue is her latest release, and it is actually a historical fiction book (with a bit of a paranormal twist). I am not usually a fan of this genre, but Jenn Bennett did it so well. Her characters were so fun and well-developed, the romance was adorable, and the story did not drag on in any way. No one on my timeline has talked about this book, so I am bringing it to you!

let's chat

What are some books you think deserve more love and attention? I want to add them to my TBR, so please leave a comment :)

Jessica

If You Like This TV Show, You’ll Like This Book / Blogtober Day 24

Hello! I’ve had this blog post idea for a long time because it was a popular Booktube trend. I think it’s so fun to watch, so I’m putting it in blog form!

A lot of these pairings were chosen not because the plot lines are similar, or the entire story is the same. I chose them because they either have a similar vibe or both involve the same kind of trope/element, so keep that in mind!

Truly Devious

Gilmore Girls – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

Ok, hear me out on this one. The atmosphere of both the book and the tv show just seem like a perfect fit for me. When I think of Gilmore Girls, I think of cozy, fall, and school. Rory reminds me a lot of Truly Devious’ main character, Stevie. Ellingham Academy is a school for only the brightest students, much like Chilton is a school for the elite in Gilmore Girls. Obviously, there is no murder mystery involved in Gilmore Girls, but I do think Truly Devious is a cozy book to read in the fall time, and in between chapters, you can watch some reruns of Gilmore Girls!

gilmore girls

Bonus- If you love Gilmore Girls, I HIGHLY recommend reading Lauren Graham’s (who plays Lorelai) memoir Talking As Fast As I Can. The audiobook is narrated by her, and it made me feel like I was back in Stars Hollow. She tells a lot of stories about the show, too. Very enjoyable.

the unexpected everything

Scandal – The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

I always try to stay informed on the latest news and political drama. I absolutely LOVE the show Scandal. It can be a bit too dramatic at times, but it was entertaining and interesting. The Unexpected Everything is about a girl whose dad is a governor (or mayor? something like that), so we’re not exactly at the same playing field here (Scandal is about the President of the US). But, both still involve a SCANDAL–haha, get it?–so I think they’re comparable. There is also romance in both, and plenty of drama.

I feel like The Unexpected Everything is the PG-13 version of scandal.

With the Fire on High

Switched at Birth- With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

I feel like Daphne from Switched at Birth has a similar personality (and interests) to Emoni in With the Fire on High. Both are super fierce, intelligent, and love to cook! Daphne was raised by a Puerto Rican mother, but her biological parents are white. Emoni is afro-latinx, so they also have that in common. I just loved both of these characters so much, and I can totally see them being friends because of how close they are in personality.

sanctuary bay

House of Anubis- Sanctuary Bay by Laura J. Burns

I love stories about creepy boarding schools. That’s what you get in both of these. I know, I’m really bringing it back with House of Anubis, but I feel like there aren’t that many shows about creepy boarding schools. Luckily, there are plenty of books to fill that void in my life! If you like that creepy school-vibe, both of these will give that to you!

Sanctuary Bay is also super underrated, and I think more people should pick it up! I got it off of BookOutlet on a whim one time, but I was so surprised by it. I need to do a re-read.

and then there were none

How To Get Away With Murder – And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie

This one might seem like a bit of a stretch, but both involve murder (and getting away with it). If you are into murder mysteries, you will love And Then There Were None. I honestly wasn’t able to guess the murderer, so it was definitely a great plot twist for me! How to Get Away With Murder is exactly as the title suggests- it’s about a group of law students who try to get away with murder!

let's chat

If you’ve seen any of these tv shows and read the books, let me know what you thought of my pairings! I know they are not super straightforward, but I personally can see the connections between them! They make sense in my mind at least.

Thanks for reading. Bye!

Jessica

Perfect Fall Reads / Blogtober Day 6

As promised, today I want to share with you some creepy, spooky, books that are perfect to read in the Autumn season!

Recommendation

The Night Circus
This is now one of my all-time favorite books so of course I had to include it on the list. The atmosphere of this book is like this slightly-haunted-but-also-kind-of-homey vibe. It’s all about a circus and it just perfectly sets you up for the fall.

To Drink Coffee With a Ghost
This is the only poetry collection on the list, but I think it is so fitting. The title says it all- coffee, ghosts. What else is Autumn for? But seriously, this collection is beautiful, and I highly recommend checking it out if you haven’t. Even if you’re not a fan of poetry, I think Amanda’s work makes it really easy to get into because it tells a story. It’s so well done.

The New Neighbors
I’ve talked about this book before, but it is seriously one of my favorite adult thrillers. It was actually one of the first adult thrillers I’ve read, and it still haunts me. It was so good

Wilder Girls
This is a newer novel that everyone has been talking about. It is AMAZING. I know it has some mixed reviews and it’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re into horror but don’t want like Stephen King level scary, I think this is such a good option. The ending broke me, but it was definitely a worthwhile read.

Sanctuary Bay
This is a really underrated read, but I think everyone needs to read it. It’s a boarding school mystery that was super atmospheric and full of twists. It’s YA, so it’s not too scary and has just the perfect amount of thrill.

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children
Whenever I think of this book I automatically think of Halloween. It’s a creepy book filled with even creepier photographs in between the chapters. There’s a girl who floats and has to wear lead shoes!?

The Lady Rogue
I just talked all about this book in a review, so you can check that one out if you want. This is a historical fantasy/paranormal novel which, again, is perfect for fall!

The Book Thief
This book is narrated by death. How spooky is that? It’s actually also a book I’ve read like three times (all for school) and didn’t enjoy the first time. But it’s definitely grown on me.

Books I Haven’t Read:

I thought I’d also include some books that I think would be perfect for the fall, but that I myself haven’t read yet in case you want some more ideas!

Emma in the Night
This book follows a girl who went missing with her sister three years ago. Now she has returned. What happened that night they disappeared?

Toil and Trouble: 15 Tales of Women and Witchcraft
This is a short story collection where all of the stories are about witches, both good and bad. Lots of cool authors wrote a story, and I’ve been meaning to read it for ages.

Sawkill Girls
Three girls are on an island where girls have been disappearing from for decades. They need to come together and save the island because they’re the only ones who have the power to.

If We Were Villains
All I know about this one is that it’s about a group of students who studied Shakespeare and one of them is arrested for murder. It’s literary fiction, which is a genre I’ve been really into recently.

City of Ghosts
This is a middle grade by V.E. Schwab that I think would be perfect if you’re not really a big horror fan. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it, too.

The Turn of the Key
Okay, if I’m being honest, I have no idea what this one’s about. BUT, I know that Ruth Ware writes thrillers that a ton of people love. This one has been getting a ton of hype, so I am definitely intrigued.

There Will Come a Darkness
I want to own this book more than anything. The cover is stunning. It’s a recent release that I’ve seen a lot of people talking about, but I actually haven’t seen any full reviews of yet. I did hear that if you like Game of Thrones, you’ll like this one!

His Hideous Heart
I’ve got one last book for you, and it’s another anthology. It’s actually a collection of stories inspired by Edgar Allan Poe (and it includes his original stories, too). Poe is the peak of fall reading. I am very interested in this one, and I almost broke my book buying ban for it.

let's chat

I hope you found a new book for your Autumn TBR in this post! If you’ve read any of these, or have any more to add to the list, feel free to let me know in the comments!

See you tomorrow :)

Jessica