Blog Tour|Not The Girls You’re Looking For by Aminah Mae Safi

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Lulu Saad doesn’t need your advice, thank you very much. She’s got her three best friends and nothing can stop her from conquering the known world. Sure, for half a minute she thought she’d nearly drowned a cute guy at a party, but he was totally faking it. And fine, yes, she caused a scene during Ramadan. It’s all under control. Ish.

Except maybe this time she’s done a little more damage than she realizes. And if Lulu can’t find her way out of this mess soon, she’ll have to do more than repair friendships, family alliances, and wet clothing. She’ll have to go looking for herself.

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Aminah Mae Safi Headshot

Aminah Mae Safi is a Muslim-American writer who explores art, fiction, feminism, and film. She loves Sofia Coppola movies, Bollywood endings, and the Fast and Furious franchise. She’s the winner of the We Need Diverse Books short story contest. Originally raised in Texas, she now lives in Los Angeles, California, with her partner, a cat bent on world domination, and another cat who’s just here for the snacks

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GUEST POST BY AMINAH MAE SAFI

The Footsteps I Follow: Authors I Admire
I love the works of Jane Austen. I think I might love her books in a way that is beyond words— which for a writer is saying something. There’s something about an author that can write a book that is so entertaining and so literary at the same time. Books that hold up as well to a close reading as they do to a re-read simply for the joy of it. Stories that do well as audiobooks and film adaptations— multiple film adaptations.
I know I’m not alone in this love of mine. Aunt Jane’s fan are legion and many are even more rabid that myself. I can make no claim as to whether I succeeded in writing a book as literary as thoughtful as her. But I can claim this— I aimed to write a story that dealt with the issues of the day by making them deeply personal. I wanted to take big discussions and make them small. And take people who are normally seen as smaller, more insignificant characters in the grand scheme of things, and make their stories feel big and important.
Those were the footsteps I tried to follow in.
Lulu is a girl with a good deal of class privilege. She’s also not necessarily set to become the next UN Human Rights Attorney or aiming to become the first human on Mars. She could be those things, if she decided to. But in many ways, her concerns are ordinary— family, friendship, falling in love.
But they are hers and she has to deal with falling in love on her own terms, rather than someone else’s. She has to learn how to seek forgiveness as she would, rather than as anyone else could tell her how. She has to learn how to be the kind of friend she actually wants to be.

That is something I learned from Jane Austen. How to tell a small story in an epic way. How to make the people the world finds the most insignificant— teenage girls— and make their lives feel central and important. Jane Austen was among the first to give us the interiority of young women as they were growing up. I’d like to think, if anything, I can at least live up to that legacy.


EXCERPT

James stood and started feeling through his pockets. “We went out for barbeque earlier.”

Lulu didn’t understand the gibberish he was rambling. She wanted him to go away, and leave her alone, like she’d never been found to begin with. He didn’t even go here. How had he possibly gotten a ticket to the party, Lulu wondered. She fought back more tears, these of pride.

He wasn’t looking at her, though. Finally, he seemed to have found the object of his search. “And they always give us these.” He closed the space between them in two perfunctory steps, handing her a small square packet.

Lulu saw what he offered– a moist towelette. She stared.

“I thought. You wanted to clean up. I think. I don’t care. I thought you might want it.” He must have noticed her wiping up her face.

Lulu didn’t know what to say, so she took it. He sat beside her without further comment. She mopped under her eyes, clearing what must be a mass of mascara and eyeliner pooling there. She slapped her cheeks lightly. She took a deep inhale and turned her face to him– her sparkling, charming smile plastered across her face again.

“How’s it look?”

“Better. I think. I mean, your nose is red. But the rest of your makeup looks good.”

Lulu ought to have been affronted by the honesty, but she wasn’t. She appreciated it. “It couldn’t. Not after.”

James tilted his head, then, motioning towards her. “May I?”

“What are you going to do?” Lulu leaned back, mistrusting both him and herself in such a moment.

He curled his fingers back, unsure. “You. You have a… thingy. Just there.” He touched a lock of her wig resting by the outer corner of her eye. He pulled back again. “I’m sure you can get it.”

There was a vulnerability in him in that moment that Lulu couldn’t resist. She tilted her face towards him. “This help?”

“Sure,” he said, his voice maddeningly steady.

James clamped his lips as he made a hesitant move towards her. Lulu closed her eyes. She felt a light tickle at her temples. Curiosity got the better of Lulu. Her eyes flashed open and they made direct contact with his. Lulu shut her eyes again quickly.

He stayed his movements. “Hold still, please.”

“I’m not sure what this is. I think. I think it’s fuzz.” His fingers grazing the edge of her wig. They pulled delicately through her false hair. “Got it.”

Lulu’s eyes fluttered open. She cleared her throat. “Is it better?”

He placed one set of her false eyelashes into her hand. “Wasn’t all that bad to begin with.”

Lulu couldn’t look him in the eye anymore. The moment was too strange, too intimate.


This Blog Tour is hosted by Aimee, Always. Check her out and check out the rest of the blog tour!
Until next time,
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Sky In The Deep by Adrienne Young

36597702OND ELDR. BREATHE FIRE.

Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating


Review
Q&A

Physical or Ebook?
EBook

Have you ever read a book by this author before?
No

Genre?
YA Fantasy

Star Rating?
5 Stars

Rereadable?
Yes!

If it’s a series, would you continue reading it?
I hope it’s a series! I don’t think so, but I would love to read more! Apparently there’s going to be a companion book? Sign me up!

Who would you recommend this for?
Anyone who loves YA, loves Fantasy, loves Vikings!

Conclusion:

I was not expecting to love this as much as I did.

Seriously, the story telling in this was absolutely amazing. I immediately connected with Eeline. She was so tough and so determined at the beginning of the novel and then when everything turned out to be different than she originally thought, she adapted quickly.

I loved the little romance between her and Fiske. Who doesn’t love Enemies to Lovers. Best romance trope ever.

But that was the only relationship that I adored in this. I seriously loved everyone’s relationship. Eeline with her father, her brother and Myra. Especially Myra. That’s a bad-ass friendship that I can get behind. The loyalty and respect that everyone showed each other was amazing to see and I’m so glad that the author didn’t focus solely on the romance.

I find in a lot of books the fight scenes end up being messy and confusing. But the ones in this book were clear, concise and so well written that I loved those as much as I loved everything else.

Ugh, I’m probably missing about a million things I wanted to say about this novel. But seriously, just go read it! ❤

If you’re interested:
Goodreads
Amazon CA
Amazon

Until next time,

Bree

Fostering Cats: Update #6 Noah and Meet George & Ruby

Hey all!

So this last week or so of fostering has been interesting.

Noah is doing fantastic, as per normal. He’s learning to become more affectionate and actually ended up sleeping in bed with me the other night. I’ll allow this as long as him and Precious aren’t getting into it before I go to bed. If they’re fighting, or if I hear any fighting before I fall asleep, Noah spends the night in the foster room.

It’s alright though, he gets a big pile of treats and some pets as a goodnight and gets to spend the night with his baby blankets in the hideaway, which he absolutely adores.

He still hasn’t had any visitors or (as far as I know) any inquiries. But I only end up finding out a couple days in advanced. I hope he gets adopted soon, he is so affectionate and so lovey. He really needs a forever home.


So George and Ruby are a bonded pair that actually came in with three kittens. The kittens ended up being exposed to Panleuk, so they had to be separated from their parents pretty fast. In a sense though, it’s okay. The kittens are doing find without them and it keeps them from being at risk of contracting Panleuk.

These two are what I liked to refer to as Love Birds. They are like a kitty married couple. Ruby won’t go anywheres without George. If she’s not on top of him, she’s touching him at least. It’s seriously the sweetest thing to see.

I was supposed to be introducing them last week, but something very scary happened. If you don’t follow me on Twitter or IG, I do recommend it if you like to follow the progress of the kitties, then you probably don’t know that the other day I woke up with one of my foster room floors nearly covered in blood. It was the scariest, shocking thing I think I have ever woken up to.. well, recently.

Anyways, George or Ruby (we didn’t know which one yet) was vomiting blood. We couldn’t really figure out what happened and neither could the vet. The best guess was that George ended up consuming something that irritated his stomach.

After a few days on some medication and some IV fluids because he was dehydrated, George ended up back with Ruby. And now they’re doing so well together. They’re back with me, kenneled for now, and we’re making slow progress in getting them to love me.

George will eat treats out of my hands and Ruby started nipping at my fingernails tonight, so I guess that’s a good sign haha.

Take a look at my lovebirds here :
I can’t handle all the sweetness ❤

As usual, any questions, ask away 🙂

Bree

Hidden Bodies by Caroline Kepnes

23492288Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets buried. He doesn’t want to hurt his new girlfriend—he wants to be with her forever. But if she ever finds out what he’s done, he may not have a choice…


Review
Q&A

Physical or Ebook?
Ebook/Audio

Have you ever read a book by this author before?
I read You earlier this month.

Genre?
Adult Thriller

Star Rating?
4 Stars

Rereadable?
No

If it’s a series, would you continue reading it?
I would definitely read more if the author comes out with another book.

Who would you recommend this for?
People who like crime shows. Dexter in particular.

Conclusion:

Alright, so I liked this one sliiightly less than You.

The only reason why is because the author had to move away from writing ‘to’ Beck or the reader and just talking. By taking away that element, it really damaged how creepy and effective this novel was.

Granted, the story itself was still pretty awesome.

And whoever the hell made the decision to hire that guy to read the audiobook deserves a fucking raise. That guy deserves a fucking raise. Literally could not listen to it unless it was on a higher speed and slightly chipmunky ’cause that guy’s voice is so freaking creepy.

Anyways, definitely a good sequel. Reminded me a lot of the last few seasons of Dexter in the sense that the entire book was Joe trying to clean up after himself.

If you’re interested:
Goodreads
Amazon CA
Amazon

*Novel and Audiobook available on Scribd

Until next time,

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Bloom by Nikki Rae

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Given to The Grimm Order as an infant, Fawn was raised in a world shaped by the rich and powerful. When she was sold at the age of nine to a Suitor, Fawn believed he would protect her from the “Mainworld”, where those who know nothing about the Order live. Living with the cruel man who bought her freedom, she finds just what the Order is about: money, control, and status for the Owner and humiliation and abuse for those they own.
Unwilling to accept the expectations of being Owned, Fawn goes from golden girl to maid, content to live in the shadows of the Order as long as she isn’t Owned again.
It’s been ten years since she disgraced her former Owner’s name, and now the brooding Frenchman Elliot Lyon wants her. Master Lyon is kind, smart, and unlike any man she’s met. She doesn’t want to admit it to herself, but Fawn is drawn to him despite constantly planning her next escape.
Even the prettiest flowers have thorns, and Master Lyon is hiding secrets that will uproot everything she thinks she knows about him.


Review
Q&A

Physical or Ebook?
Ebook

Have you ever read a book by this author before?
No

Genre?
Dark Romance (is that a genre?)

Star Rating?
5 Stars

Rereadable?
Yes.

If it’s a series, would you continue reading it?
100% Yes

Who would you recommend this for?
Anyone who doesn’t shy away from dark romance. ‘Cause this is dark.

Conclusion:

I don’t know if I really can get my thoughts into words for this one. The closest thing I would get is : Holy Actual Shit.

I am floored by this novel. After reading You, I was in the mood for a dark romance. Not creepy stalker one-sided and preferably not Stockholm syndrome ( although most dark romances have some element of that) romance but something dark and maybe a bit taboo. Don’t ask me why, it’s summer and my brain acts in strange ways when it’s exposed to too much sunlight.

This is exactly what I wanted/needed. Okay, so it’s fucked up. I am not going to sugarcoat this. Fawn is abused, beaten, debased and you know.. sold.

It’s fucked. The world that Nikki Rae created is as fascinating as it is infuriating. The characters are amazing, well rounded and legit feel like real people. (Okay, so I probably wanted to beat the shit out of Elliot about fifty thousand times during my read through. And Jager)

But I loved Fawn. With all the shit she went through, she is seriously the most bad-ass character I have ever read. Even though she is literally made to feel like she’s nothing, she still has the spark of a fight in her.

If you want something dark and you don’t cringe away from detailed accounts of verbal, emotional, physical abuse and talk of rape and (ugh) “purity”. Read this.

If you’re interested:
Goodreads
Amazon CA
Amazon

Until Next Time,

Bree

(Legit don’t have the energy to find a gif that will suit this review)

You by Caroline Kepnes

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When a beautiful, aspiring writer strides into the East Village bookstore where Joe Goldberg works, he does what anyone would do: he Googles the name on her credit card.

There is only one Guinevere Beck in New York City. She has a public Facebook account and Tweets incessantly, telling Joe everything he needs to know: she is simply Beck to her friends, she went to Brown University, she lives on Bank Street, and she’ll be at a bar in Brooklyn tonight—the perfect place for a “chance” meeting.

As Joe invisibly and obsessively takes control of Beck’s life, he orchestrates a series of events to ensure Beck finds herself in his waiting arms. Moving from stalker to boyfriend, Joe transforms himself into Beck’s perfect man, all while quietly removing the obstacles that stand in their way—even if it means murder


Review
Q&A

Physical or Ebook?
Ebook and Audio

Have you ever read a book by this author before?
No

Genre?
Adult Thriller

Star Rating?
5 Stars

Rereadable?
Nooooo. Neverrrr.

If it’s a series, would you continue reading it?
Yes.

Who would you recommend this for?
Anyone who likes creepy thrillers or crime shows.

Conclusion:

You know, usually the books I read tend to be fluffy romances. The T.V. shows I watch tend to be true crime or crime documentaries. For some reason, I never thought about reading books about crime. But this book… it fucked with my head.

I seriously felt like I was on the other side of a Criminal Minds episode. Joe was creepy as hell. The narrator of the audio book played the part so freaking well I had to listen to it on 1.8x so it didn’t creep me out. Even then, I only listened to 10 chapters on audio before I had to switch back to reading.

I think what made this book so effective was how it was written. The fact that Joe was basically talking to Beck the entire time he developed a sick obsession with her made this novel so much better.

The whole story was intense, creepy and I 100% want to read the sequel. This isn’t normally my thing, but I’m here for it.

It’s summer.. the days are too bright, time to add some creepiness and get those fall vibes back.

If you’re interested:
Goodreads
Amazon CA
Amazon

*Ebook and Audio are also available on Scribd!

Until next time,

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Fostering Cats: Update #5 Noah and Pixel!

I’m so happy to bring another update to you guys!

First and foremost, Pixel got adopted!

I knew she wouldn’t be with me long. She was a tiny little kitten that loved all human interaction and had the sweetest, tiniest face I have ever seen in my life.

Her new forever humans spent all of ten minutes with her and immediately brought her home!

So, happy life, Sweet Girl! No more outside for you and no kittens! 🙂

#FosterWIN ❤


As for Noah, my sweet boy has still not had any visitors, but there is a coworker of mine that may be interested in adopting him. I’ll be keeping my fingers crossed for sure!

He’s slowly making his way through the rest of the house. Precious is still antagonizing him at any chance she gets because she’s a little butt head. But other than that, they’re all doing so well.

Noah had a grooming day this weekend and it went as well as expected. He still absolutely loved getting brushed down and pet and talked to but hates getting his nails clipped. I can’t really blame him though. I didn’t want to hurt him so I enlisted my cousin to hold him like a baby while I cut his nails. He growled, hissed and spit all through it. Ah well, it’s done for another couple weeks.

Seriously considering buying him some nail caps, though. He took a swipe at Precious and managed to scratch the top of her head.

My poor sook was not happy, that’s for sure.

*I threw in a couple pictures of Precious as well, just because I love her lol


I got word that I may be getting another foster (actually two) within the next couple weeks. I’ll let you all know all about that when I know more ❤

As usual, any questions, feel free to ask below ❤

Until next time,

Bree

To-Be-Read| June 2018

Hey Book Worms!

Here is my TBR for June. Will I stick with it? Who knows haha.

Honestly, this is more of a guide for me than anything else. I have a ton of books that I want to read, such is the life of a book lover, and these are just a few I’m hoping to get to!

 


 

TBR for June. Let me know if you’ve read any of these and what you though 🙂

I’ll have a fostering update for you all tomorrow!

Until next time,

Bree

The Soldier Prince by Aarti V. Raman

39886209The Soldier Prince…

Alexander ‘Iceman’ Heinrickson was born a prince.

The spare heir to a European principality whose future was set in stone.

Until circumstances forced him to abandon his wealthy lifestyle and royal heritage. He chose to become a soldier.

After years of seeing needless combat, he works construction in New York city. And craves a normal life.

Going back home is not an option for him.

But neither is leaving a brave damsel in danger.

…And The Commoner

Sasha Ray is an aspiring teacher and a soft touch waitress.

Her life is normal. Boring even.

She also has a massive crush on the newest Tall, Blond, and Handsome who frequents the New York deli where she works.

What she doesn’t know about the stranger called Iceman might get her killed. Or worse.

For one, he turns out to be a lethally capable soldier.

For another, he is the secret Prince of Stellangård, who is not used to the word no.

So, when Alexander sweeps her off on a private jet to his castle nestled in the Swiss Alps for her own protection, she has no choice but to go with him.

Falling for a tortured hero like Prince Alexander might be the biggest mistake of her life.

But Sasha knows some mistakes are worth risking your heart for.

With an unknown enemy closing in, Sasha and Alexander need to decide if happily ever after is just a fairy tale. Or can a Prince and a commoner find true love in the middle of danger?

Meet the Royals of Stellangård – Alexander, Helena, and Michael – burdened by their heritage, freed by love, in three standalone novels of romantic suspense and action.


*I was provided a copy from the author in exchange for an honest review
Review
Q&A

Physical or Ebook?
Ebook

Have you ever read a book by this author before?
No.

Genre?
Adult Romance

Star Rating?
3 Stars

Rereadable?
No

If it’s a series, would you continue reading it?
Possibly.

Who would you recommend this for?
Someone who loves royalty/castle politics novels

Conclusion:

So there’s a few things about this novel that I loved and a few things that I didn’t enjoy as much.

First, I loved that the female main character was Indian-American. You don’t see that in too many romance novels. So seeing it was pretty awesome. I also loved the cinderella-esque romance. A waitress helps and then falls in love with the Prince. I mean, come on, you can’t get anymore classic fairytale than that. The other thing I absolutely loved was the library. Okay, can you blame me? The descriptions of that castle library sounded like absolute heaven. Sign me up.

The things I didn’t like: The prologue didn’t work very well. When I first read it I was worried I was going to end up dnf’ing this. Which I really didn’t want to do. Thankfully the writing is fantastic after the prologue. Certain aspects of the storyline definitely didn’t interest me. I don’t know if I was just in the mood for fluff and romance, but the whole castle politics, “Hey the Prince needs to do all the stuff” just bored me, to be honest.

That all being said.. this novel was extremely enjoyable to read. May not have been my cup of tea completely, but I know there’s plenty of people out there that would be interested in it!

If you are interested:
Goodreads
Amazon CA
Amazon

Until next time,

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Reading Wrap-Up|May 2018

Happy end of the month, Book Worms!

So you’ll notice something a little different with this wrap up (and the pages on my blog). I have decided to drop most of the book challenges I picked up this year.

Why? Because I set such unrealistic expectations for myself. I was trying to do 6+ challenges, plus buddy read, plus read all the books that I wanted to read that didn’t fit into the challenges. Oh and also ARCS. I have been absolutely lucky enough to receive ARCs and review copies from publishers, authors and distributors, and I want to be able to support them as much as possible.

So bye bye challenges and hello reading whatever the fuck I want 🙂


5 Stars
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4 Stars
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3 Stars

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Goodreads Challenge:

May 30

I read 19 novels
A total of 5769 pages
186 pages read per day
An average star rating of 4.5


Let me know your favorite read this month!

Happy reading!

Until next time,

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