July 2021 Wrap-Up

July went by super fast for me! It almost feels like I blinked and suddenly the month was over and I’m well aware I pretty much said the same thing last month. Somehow times just accelerated and I hope the rest of the year won’t fly by as quickly. Where even is time going? But … before this all gets too deep, let’s take a look at the books I read during the past month.

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind  The Taking of Jake Livingston  God Pharm  Like a Love Song  The Course of Love

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

July was good? There’s really nothing in particular that stood out as either amazing or bad. I DID finally get my vaccination and while I felt a bit tired and sore, it went over pretty decently. Other than that, I’m really struggling to think of anything noteworthy to mention. I may have returned to social media a bit more, but am still not spending nearly as much time on it as I previously did. I just feel calmer not thinking about it too much and mostly focusing on my DMs. So, if you need me, that’s where you can still easily contact me.

However, one thing I did appreciate this past month is that my lengthy commute to and from work gives me the perfect excuse to read more again. Since I’m not glued to my phone to check various timelines, I can just read and/or enjoy the landscape going by. I’ve really managed to get through quite a lot of books compared to the past, where I just got distracted by other devices or things I could do instead.

MY FAVORITE THINGS

As excited as I was about last month’s reading experiment, I was just as pumped to share another one in July. Comparing my reading taste with that of Chris Evans was once again super fun and also surprising in many ways. I’m so very glad this is a whole series now, because it forces me to read outside of my comfort zone, while simultaneously wetting my appetite to go back to books that I want to read. I’m not sure I’ll manage to post one every single month, just because it’s very time and labor extensive, but you can definitely expect another reading experiment post in August! Feel free to guess who the next person will be!!

I have to admit that the Loki finale didn’t blow me away as much as I had hoped it would. While I loved so many of the new characters, I felt a bit torn about quite a few other aspects. The show felt a bit like an emotional downer, not portraying that spirit of mischief at all, but I did like how it really changed the entire MCU to come. However, something I did obsess over was this Loki fic with a reader insert that made you feel like you were part of the show. If you are ever bored and/or interested check it out here!

dang, I’m the one that needed a hug after the finale …

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Once again, I’d like to point you all to some awesome posts on my fellow bloggers’ pages. I hope you’ll give them a visit, because they deserve some love as well!

MY OTHER POSTS

LOKI REVIEWS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS POSTS AND TAGS

TRAILER POSTS


I hope you had a pleasant July as well! Here’s to a great and relaxing August for all of us!

Like a Love Song by Gabriela Martins (ARC Review)

Publisher: Underlined
Page Count
: 303
Release Date: August 3, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

Everything I knew about this book before I started reading it just made me want to dive into it even more. From the fake-dating-trope to the setting among the LA music and film stars – I truly thought Like a Love Song was written for me, because it basically covered everything I love. I’m so very happy to report that it didn’t disappoint!

Natalie, as a narrator, has a fun and easy voice. She effortlessly manages to make herself relatable to the reader, even though she has a couple diva-moments, which the people in her life notice and even shade a little at times. All of that is part of her journey though and what a sweet one that is. Because when you are followed by paparazzi all the time and every moment of your life gets captured for the internet (be it in a professional capacity or by the shoddy phone camera of a fan), it may happen that you lose sight of who you really are. Natalie was vulnerable and anxious, constantly overthinking what the public, but also her friends and family, were thinking of her, and that made her so beautifully human. I really enjoyed watching her find her way back to herself.

Now, enter William. I sometimes wished we had gotten to know his family and his struggles on an even deeper level, but he was so easy to fall in love with regardless. There was a certain dorkiness and cluelessness to him that felt so endearing, but most of all I appreciated his willingness to keep it real despite the circumstances. Even when Natalie sometimes doubted him, I think his sincerity shone through. However, I’d like to add that I will not tolerate any slander of superhero movies, especially not from indie movie snobs.

So much about this story was cute and funny, but it really had a lot of heart as well. I read it in just one day and that’s because it flowed really nicely, but also because it didn’t always go into great depth. Natalie’s feelings were very clear and I loved the glimpses at family and friends, funny text chains and hints at their life off the page, but sometimes I also wanted even more. I’m forever greedy that way.

The one final thing I will say is that the characters didn’t really feel like 17-year-olds to me. They could have just as easily been in their early twenties and I don’t see how that would have changed the story, but then again, I really didn’t mind that they sometimes seemed older in my head. Maybe I even preferred that in some scenes …

Lastly, Like a Love Song will officially release on my birthday and I think that is an especially good omen. I hope that date will put it under a lucky star, because I really think that a lot of people could potentially enjoy this fun story!

Fazit: 4/5 stars! If you like tropey (in the best sense of the word) teen romances, you should check this out!


Do you plan on reading Like a Love Song? What’s one of your favorite romance tropes? Let’s chat!

Are Chris Evans and I compatible (readers)?

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Chris Evans. All the information is taken from various tweets and interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Welcome to the second installment of this very special feature! For those of you who missed the first one or don’t really know what’s going on, I’d recommend heading over to Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible readers? I put a lot of work and passion into that post as well as this series as a whole, hoping it will bring you as much joy as it did to take part in it for me. You’ll definitely be able to see an explanation of the reading experiment at the beginning of the last feature, but in short, I read celebrities favorite books and determine if we would be a good match. All of that in good fun, obviously!


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Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2021

I do these tags really irregularly, but I took the time to put something up last year and had a lot of fun with it. So, this is my attempt at bringing the Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag back on a more regular basis. As in yearly. Hopefully.

*By clicking on the covers, you’ll be re-directed to the Goodreads pages of the books!*

BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ YET IN 2021

SoulswiftI’ve only given 5 stars to ONE (fiction) book this year, so I feel like that has to be the one I mention for this prompt? I’m talking about Soulswift, a breathtaking and soul-crushing standalone fantasy novel here. I’m honestly still shocked that not more people have discovered this book yet.

BEST SEQUEL YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2021

King of Scars (King of Scars, #1)The only books that were part of a series that I read this year were the Grishaverse books. I don’t feel super happy giving King of Scars this spot on the post, because I wasn’t actually as happy with it as I would have liked to be, but it’s the only one that makes sense. I should read more series again maybe …

NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO

For the Wolf (Wilderwood, #1)For the Wolf by Hannah F. Whitten is 100% up there! The book just sounds like it would be right up my alley and I’m really excited to dive into it once I can get my hands on a copy!

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE FOR THE SECOND HALF OF THE YEAR

The Taking of Jake LivingstonI don’t know when this happened or why it really even happened, but I found myself drawn to more horror-esque books these past years. It’s such a weird change for me, because I literally hate being terrified, but apparently I don’t hate being just a little freaked out? I don’t know, but I’m super hyped to read The Taking of Jake Livingston.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

My Year AbroadI was so very sad to not have connected with My Year Abroad. I felt like there should have been enough basis from my real life experiences to make this book an outstanding read for me, but somehow, I just wasn’t the right reader for it. I saw a lot of people enjoy the style of writing, while I found it a bit dragging and difficult to get through.

BIGGEST SURPRISE

Any Human HeartHonestly, before I started reading Any Human Heart, I really didn’t believe I was going to like it. I had read (or at least attempted to read) another book by the same author and I was incredibly bored. With this one though, despite me not really liking the main character, I felt it had so much emotion. In the end, I really enjoyed the journey we had together.

FAVOURITE NEW AUTHOR

You all know how much I adore Morgan Matson and how I will devour anything she writes? Well, I found an author with a similar style of writing, who evokes the same feelings in me. Through The Summer of Broken Rules, K.L. Walther managed to capture my heart and I would love to read future books by the author. This one transported me right to a summery vacation destination, so I’m here for more.

NEWEST FICTIONAL CRUSH

The Summer of Broken RulesTo further elaborate the previous answer, I really, really enjoyed The Summer of Broken Rules because it introduced me to Wit. He’s such a lovely love interest and I don’t know how else to put it. I like caring, at times dorky guys with a healthy dose of humor and he provides all that!

NEWEST FAVOURITE CHARACTER

Malibu RisingHmmm … that’s a tough one. I met some great characters throughout the year so far, but I think I might have to give this one to Nina Riva from Malibu Rising. I don’t know how to explain it, but I found a lot of myself in her, which made me feel uncomfortable at times. But I also loved it?

BOOK THAT MADE YOU CRY

Ugh, I hate repeating answers so much, but Malibu Rising it is again. That book lost me a little bit in parts of the second half, but I felt a really big emotional connection to it and it definitely had me well up a couple times. Something about the setting and the family theme just got to me more than I expected.

BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY

Hana Khan Carries OnWhile Hana Khan Carries On definitely has some more serious elements to it that weren’t always easy to handle, Hana’s passion for her podcast and a career in the world of radio had be so excited and happy to keep reading this book. The fact that she also has a “You’ve Got Mail”-style romance was just the cherry on top.

FAVOURITE BOOK TO SCREEN ADAPTATION

Okay, this just HAS to be Shadow and Bone! Despite some flaws, the casting of this show was impeccable and gave us so much fun and heartwarming new content for the Grishaverse. I mean, that show made me utterly fall in love with Mal and while I liked him in the books (contrary to most of the fandom, I think), I ADORED the boy on the show. Cannot wait for season 2!

You can read more of my thoughts on the show here!

FAVOURITE POST YOU HAVE DONE THIS YEAR

This is also super easy to answer for me, which is rare to be honest. I’m not trying to say that I’m not usually proud of my own content, but I was especially happy to publish my “Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?” post a few weeks back. It is now developing into a full blown series, where I read the favorite books of celebs and see if we would be a match or not. I think it’s such a fun feature that combines my love for reading with my admiration of all things TV and film. I hope you enjoy reading it just a fraction of how much I loved creating this post/future series.

MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU’VE BOUGHT THIS YEAR

Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and LightLast year, I mentioned a poetry collection for this special prompt and I’m going to stick with that again this year. I think Where Hope Comes From is such a gorgeous book inside and out! It was written during the times of Covid, so I understand if not everyone is up for that emotional exploration, but I think it was really beautiful.

WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR

If We Were Villains

Dark Age (Red Rising Saga, #5)

SO. VERY. MANY. But just because I’m a terrible person and haven’t read the books I mentioned in 2020 yet. I’m going to put those exact same ones here again.

If We Were Villains and Dark Age. are still on my shelf and I have no excuse as to why I haven’t picked them up. Literally none. (Other than the fact that the size of Dark Age scares me.)

I TAG THEE

I tag whoever wants to do this as well! If that’s you, then I tag YOU!!!


What did you think of my answers for the prompts of the tag? How is your reading year going so far? Let’s talk!!

Are Tom Hiddleston and I compatible (readers)?

Disclaimer: I do NOT know Tom Hiddleston. All the information is taken from various interviews and could potentially be outdated.


Welcome to the first of hopefully many installments in this brand new feature! I’ve already teased this “little” reading experiment in my May Wrap-Up post and am so excited to finally share it with you. When I was trying to think about something new and fresh that would fit well into the theme of the blog and also be a very me-thing to do, this was the very first thing that came to mind.
It basically boils down to me picking an actor or actress of my choice (Tom Hiddleston in this case), doing a little deep dive on their favorite books and then comparing how I feel about them. I think that a person’s taste in books reveals a lot about them and turning it into a sort of compatibility test felt like a neat idea. So, I hope you will all enjoy reading this as much as I did creating it!


Read More »

May 2021 Wrap-Up

Time’s just flying by and I have lost all track of what’s happening. I did, however, read an astonishing amount of books this past month, which was only possible because some of those were no more than 40 pages and included a lot of poetry collections, but still … I read a bunch! I love that for me. Let’s check out what was on my list:

  • The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin (3 stars)
  • On the Shortness of Life by Seneca (3 stars)
    It is astonishing to me that, after 2,000 years, we still struggle with similar problems. This series of short essays wasn’t always something I agreed with, but it raised some very interesting points.
  • Love Looks Pretty on You by Lang Leav (4 stars)
    This poetry collection was so easy to get into. I found a lot of passages I could identify with, while others were so specific that it almost felt like intruding on someone’s personal life.
  • The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman (5 stars)
    This is “just” a printed version of the inaugural poem Amanda Gorman wrote, with a foreword by Oprah Winfrey. Nothing beats watching her perform it though.
  • Where Hope Comes From by Nikita Gill (5 stars)
    Another poetry collection, this one with a focus on the year 2020. I found it very emotional to read and do not recommend it if you don’t want to be reminded of the pain of the pandemic (which we’re still in).
  • Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid (4 stars)
  • Galatea by Madeline Miller (3 stars)
    Miller’s short story – Galatea – is bound to break your heart, like most of her writing will.

The Nature of Witches  On The Shortness Of Life: De Brevitate Vitae (A New Translation with Image Gallery and Seneca Biography) (Stoics In Their Own Words Book 4)  Love Looks Pretty on You  The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem  Where Hope Comes From: Poems of Resilience, Healing and Light  Malibu Rising  Galatea

As per usual, click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads, where you are always welcome to add me as a reading buddy! My own reviews (where there is one) you’re able to find by clicking on the titles in the list above if there are posts for them.

So, what’s new? I have further reduced my time on social media (although it’s still easy to reach me via DMs if there’s ever something I need to know or you want to talk about) and it has been very freeing. I barely check my timeline, I tweet something every other day and then log off again and just enjoy not giving my opinion on all things? It’s not that I have nothing to say or talk about, but … does the whole world need to know? The answer is likely “no”, so I reduce my interactions mostly to brief reactions about what I’ve watched recently. It honestly works for me.

I haven’t drawn or done much creatively once more and I’m not sure June will be the month for that either. It’s going to hold a lot of changes for me and we shall see how that might also affect my blogging schedule (been going “strong” with at least 2 posts each week minimum). For now, it looks like the Canada thing needs to be buried, which saddens me but is something I’ll just have to deal with. I think a lot of lives have been interrupted/disrupted/changed during the past year and if letting go of that dream is what it means for me, then it could have been much worse I suppose.

During the past months, my blogging friend Stephanie @Adventures of a Bibliophile has really inspired me with her reading experiments. Be it about books she read based on her zodiac sign or letting Buzzfeed decide her next reads, it is always sure to be fun and a unique to her experience. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to copy her, but I have started my very own reading experiment. I wanted it to be something that felt very true to me and that you would all hopefully enjoy as well. I’m not ready to disclose what exactly my post will entail, but having written about it here will give me that accountability to go through with it! I’M SO EXCITED!

MY FAVORITE THINGS

Since I spent less time on social media apps, you might think I spent less time in front of screens, but that’s not entirely true. I still watched a whole lot, for example also the TV adaptation of Panic by Lauren Oliver. Fair warning, I forgot everything there was about the plot, except for random details, but I had a good time. The concept of the game within the story is pretty reckless and stupid, all of it is a very teen angst filled show, but I was entertained.

I’ve also started to delve into fan fiction a bit, just because I think it’s such an amazing outlet for all the creative people out there. I love reading my friends’ takes on Charmed (which are often better than canon) such as katasstropheee‘s or amandapanda425‘s works (to just name a few). But also all things Marvel related, where I’m especially excited to see the Why Me? fic continued once the Loki show will air. Reimagining already existing worlds can be so satisfying and I might try my own hand at it while my motivation for my original novels is lacking.

MY OTHER POSTS

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS

VARIOUS BOOKISH STUFF

TRAILER POSTS


What are some things that shaped your May? What are you looking forward to in June? Let’s chat a little bit and I hope you are all happy and healthy!

First Lines from Books Currently on My TBR

I’ve seen a lot of people share the first lines to books they had just read/were reading/wanted to read and I thought I should finally join in on the fun! I think it’s so interesting to reflect on just that first sentence and whether it pulls you in or not. For today, I want to focus on books that I already have at home and plan to read in the near future aka stories that are already on my TBR!

IF WE WERE VILLAINS by M.L. Rio

I sit with my wrists cuffed to the table and I think, But that I am forbid / To tell the secrets of my prison-house, / I could a tale unfold whose lightest word / Would harrow up my soul.

If We Were Villains

That is what I call an intriguing start! Throw in some poetry, people already being cuffed and my interest is definitely being held. I try not to know too much about books before going in, because I like discovering those twists myself, but I do know that a lot of my friends loved this story, so, I’m excited to get to it. There’s definite promise here.

REBECCA by Daphne Du Maurier

Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.

Rebecca

Okay, Rebecca is my effort of reading at least one classic novel every other year or so. If I hadn’t already seen the movies and enjoyed the Netflix adaptation, I doubt that one sentence would have caught my attention.

THE NATURE OF WITCHES by Rachel Griffin

Everything is burning, so many flames it looks as if we set the sky on fire.

The Nature of Witches

From what I’m understanding this is a novel about witches and climate change, so the first line seems very much on par with it. There was technically a quote preceding it, but I didn’t know if that counted, so I went with this phrase instead. It’s not the most revealing line yet.

THE ATLAS SIX by Olivie Blake

Perhaps it was a tired thing, all the references the world had already made to the Ptolemaic Royal Library of Alexandria.

The Atlas Six (The Atlas Series Book 1)

This is gonna be so packed with references and history. I just know it and that can always go one of two ways, with me 1.) loving the heck out of it or 2.) being completely overwhelmed with factual information that I then tend to ceremoniously skip through.

LEGENDBORN by Tracy Deonn

The police officer’s body goes blurry, then sharpens again.

Legendborn (Legendborn, #1)

Knowing that Legendborn is Fantasy and this is the first line – I am listening! 100%!

THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY by Alix E. Harrow

When I was seven, I found a door.

The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Going by the title, I’m gonna assume we are not in fact talking about a regular door here?

THE FEVER KING by Victoria Lee

Calix,
As I write this, they’re packing up the fighter jets.

The Fever King (Feverwake, #1)

Start a book with a letter and you have my attention. I don’t know if this will be a recurring thing throughout the book or just this once at the beginning, but I adore the incorporation of letters.

QUEEN OF THE CONQUERED by Kacen Callender

My mother kissed my forehead with a smile when I cried, upset that the party would carry on as I was sent away to sleep, and while I lay awake in my bed of lace, huddled beneath my covers and shivering in the cool trade-winds breeze, I heard when the tinkling piano stopped and when the laughter turned to screams.

Queen of the Conquered (Islands of Blood and Storm, #1)

And here I thought I was the queen of run on sentences! Despite this being very long in comparison to all the other examples, I think it definitely peaks my interest. I just want to know what happens next and isn’t that the absolute best outcome you can have with a first sentence?


Have you read any of those books? What do you think of my TBR and their first lines? Let’s talk!

The Wine Book Tag

I was tagged for this such a long time ago, I won’t even comment on the specific year. Let’s just say it has been an embarrassing time period, but Flo @FlowlessBooks asked me to do the Wine Book Tag and I think it is fun and … better late than never?

Box Wine – a book that people will judge you for liking but you like it anyway!

Let me think about all the embarrassing things I could have read and liked. I know that the author of Call Me By Your Name has some questionable views (did he sexualize underage girls or did I imagine that interview?) and that puts the age difference in the book in an even worse light. I know all that and I know the book is far from perfect, but I really loved it when I read it. I can’t just forget some of those beautiful quotes between the mess.

Read my review HERE.

Organic Wine – a book that doesn’t have any added crap in it and is just written perfectly

SoulswiftYou better not get tired of me mentioning Soulswift, but to me that book was perfect. As a standalone fantasy novel, it’s a rare bird anyway and it’s hard to get the pacing and content just right, but this book managed to do it all. I didn’t feel like I was overwhelmed with information or missing anything crucial. I was just heartbroken in the end, but that was to be expected …

Read my review HERE.

Gluehwein – a really spicy, wintry read

Don't Tell a SoulNot sure this really qualifies as spicy, but Don’t Tell a Soul definitely takes place during winter. I still remember the descriptions of mountains of snow and wading through snow storms to get to the manor. This story is not a ghost story, but is sure brings some along on the ride, which might work for the second part of the prompt? I hope so.

Read my review HERE.

Sauvignon Blanc – a really sharp and aggressive read that you couldn’t put down!

My mind immediately went to the Red Rising saga! I don’t usually get angry, but woah, I was shaking because I was so furious in parts of those books. They are also violent and brutal, but so well written and they keep you hooked. I still have Dark Age (the most recent book in the series) staring at me accusingly from my shelf, because I still haven’t picked it up. It’s so intimidating though!

Sevro will forever be one of my all time favourite characters and I cannot wait to see who they cast should they move forward with the TV show. My fingers are forever crossed for it to be Richard Harmon.

Read my review of the first book in the series HERE.

Pinot Noir – a book you didn’t expect much from but ended up getting blown away!

I try to not go into books with too high expectations to begin with. Hype is scary and can quickly drain joy once you read something. I’m, however, always a bit wary when it comes to World War II related content, be it alternate history or authentic, so I did not expect too much from the Wolf by Wolf duology, but it is now one of my favourite duologies out there. I wish more people had read it!

Read my review of the first book in the duology HERE.

Chardonnay – a good summer read that was super-zesty?

The Unexpected EverythingWhat constitutes a super-zesty read? Anyway, I might just ignore that bit, but summer is something I associate with Morgan Matson books. I could probably choose any of her stories and would be able to fulfill that part of the prompt, but I’m going with The Unexpected Everything, just because I thought of it first. As always, it has a cute love interest, dogs and some lovely self-exploration.

Read my review HERE.

Rose – a book that has a little bit of everything in it

Maybe Beartown? When I tried to write my review of the book, it was hard to find an aspect the story did not cover. It’s about community, family, culpability, love, friendship, responsibility and so much more. Really, no clue how to summarize it other than it wrecked my feels. There’s an HBO series coming out for it soon and I cannot wait to feel devastated again.

Read my review of the book HERE.

Shiraz – A full-bodied book that is dark and juicy

Ninth House (Alex Stern, #1)I’ve delved more and more into darker stories, but I kind of thought of Ninth House first. It has so much death and mystery, which qualifies for the dark part, but I also think the relationships could be categorized as juicy. The full-bodied aspect is probably the fact that it has a very complex secret society and includes a lot of information, which bordered on overload for me at times.

Read my review HERE.

Merlot – a smooth easy read with a soft finish

Tweet CuteTweet Cute! Everything about reading that book was easy and fun and soft and warm. It was like a modern day Young Adult version of You’ve Got Mail, just with a foodie aspect instead of bookstores. What’s softer than that?

Read my review HERE.

Champagne – Your Favourite Book

AS IF I HAD JUST ONE!?!?!?

I don’t know how anyone else does it, so I’m going to cheat a little bit. I’m just going to pick a random book that I gave a high rating to recently and haven’t mentioned in the post already.

We ended on The Light Between Worlds! It’s heartbreaking with a touch of Narnia, just more heavily focused on the returning part  and mental health rather than the one about being in a magical kingdom. I mentioned several trigger warnings in my review, because I think that’s really necessary with this read, but I loved it.

The Light Between Worlds

Read my review HERE.


We’ve seen how bad I’m with sticking to tags, so I’ll just do the same I’ve been doing these past months: if you think you’d have fun with this yourself, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED!!


What did you think of my picks for the different topics? Let’s talk!

The Guilty Reader Tag!

I thought I had dealt with my reading guilt a while ago (Do I read enough? Do I read the right books? etc. etc.), but then I got tagged by the Orang-utan Librarian and found myself really intrigued by the Guilty Reader Tag. It was originally created by by Chami @Read Like Wildfire and I cannot wait to dive into this with you! Let’s see if I will be judged guilty or not.

One. Have You Ever Re-Gifted A Book You’ve Been Given?

I have not! At least not that I can remember. I donate and sell my books and let some select friends and family choose out of the books I want to give away in case they want to read anything, but I don’t believe I have re-gifted anything on purpose.

Two. Have You Ever Said You’ve Read A Book When You Haven’t?

What would be the point of doing that?

Okay, so … I might have done that back in school in a way. I often skimmed books that I didn’t like, but I never claimed that have read something I did not read even one sentence of. I maybe, just maybe, have said that I finished something I haven’t. That definitely has happened. But in a social setting, again, what’s the point?

Three. Have You Ever Borrowed A Book And Not Returned It?

There were definitely moments where I had borrowed my cousin’s books (we share a very similar taste when it comes to reading) and I maybe wanted to keep them, but I don’t think I ever did. I would not want to not get my books back, so I wouldn’t not return something either.

Four. Have You Ever Read A Series Out Of Order?

That is actually something I am guilty of! It wasn’t on purpose, but I was standing in line at the bookstore to pay for what I had selected, when there was this table with a new book being promoted. It wasn’t really obvious that it was a sequel and because it mentioned Oregon (which was appealing to me, because that was shortly after my semester abroad in Oregon), I felt compelled to read it.

So, to speak more plainly, I read Where She Went before If I Stay. Did not really feel that weird though to be honest.

Five. Have You Ever Spoiled A Book For Someone?

Yep, a couple times accidentally and other times because I was asked to just tell them and I had checked beforehand if that was okay with them. I don’t mean to spoil anyone, like I don’t go out of my way to make sure I ruin someone’s experience, but sometimes you just gotta talk about stuff.

Six. Have You Ever Dogeared A Book?

Nope, I don’t like to do that. If it’s your book and you want to dogear a page, by all accounts, go for it!! It just feels like a crime when I think about doing it to mine.

Seven. Have You Ever Told Someone You Don’t Own A Book When You Do?

I can’t recall a specific book this happened with, but I might have just to not have to lend it to anyone. I have made bad experiences with people who borrowed my books. Like, they came back drenched and torn and it’s my nightmare.

Eight. Have You Ever Skipped A Chapter Or A Section Of A Book?

Oh, 100%! Sometimes certain passages in a book are just boring and mind-numbing, but you also don’t want to give up on the story entirely? The solution is to just skim-read. It really speeds up the process and I simply do not have the brain capacity for super detailed meaningless descriptions. They are not for me.

Nine. Have You Ever Bad Mouthed A Book You Actually Liked?

This entire post sounds like my memory is getting really bad, but I just can’t remember doing that. Maybe I haven’t? Sometimes I just also think that opinions and tastes change and something you’ve really liked before can turn into something you dislike later on and maybe in that context, I have bad-mouthed a previously beloved book? But I don’t know. I am going to go with no.

THE VERDICT

4.5 out of 9 … so I am neither entirely guilty nor free of guilt. This fits my chaotic persona so well.


Hope you enjoyed this little excursion into my reading habits. If you want to do this as well, CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED! I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Don’t Tell a Soul by Kirsten Miller (eARC Review)

Publisher: Delacorte Press
Page Count
: 384
Release Date: January 26, 2021

*I was provided with an eARC by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!*

CW: parental death, sexual assault/rape, drug/substance abuse, mentions of suicide, mentions of non-descript mental illnesses, gaslighting, parental neglect

I’ve been slowly but surely drifting into a territory of picking up one book after another revolving around what sounded like haunted houses, but with a much more complex stories underneath. I am not quite sure what draws me to these kind of books, but Kirsten Miller managed to create a wonderfully creepy ambiance reminiscent of gothic classics. There’s an unease in the house and especially in the beginning, you have no idea what to expect from it. As often as the people of Louth keep saying that they don’t believe in ghosts, it still seems like something is off about the manor.

People say the house is cursed.
It preys on the weakest, and young women are its favorite victims.
In Louth, they’re called the Dead Girls.

When you first meet Bram, it becomes instantly apparent that something bad has happened to her. Even without knowing the details, you just know. That girl has built up a wall of defense a mile high and while that was completely understandable considering her history and upbringing, it still felt irritating during some earlier points in the story. The way she went from starting to like and warm up to people to completely distrusting them and looking for weapons to defend herself in case of an emergency could give you whiplash, although I again want to stress that it makes sense because of her past. But still, as long as you don’t know her, it makes it hard to warm up to her entirely sometimes. Her reasons for wanting to be in the manor so badly kind of eluded me at first, because I did not completely understand her obsession with what happened, but then this also gets explained and uncovered. I think one of the main objectives with the book is to just stick with it and things will eventually get resolved.

Aside from Bram, there was an assortment of interesting characters, all keeping you on your toes the entire time. I feel like we could have gotten to know a couple of them better, but with Lark’s wall up, you get most of your information through second-hand gossip and later confrontations. Trust is a scare commodity in Louth, especially with so many girls having vanished and/or died in the small community over the years. However, my initial feeling for most people was correct, which either made the novel predictable or my gut instinct is just rocking.

Overall, I enjoyed many of the twists and was far from guessing everything. I felt a certain distance to the characters and the story for a long time, but it did all come together in the end. Some might say it came together a bit too conveniently, but I didn’t mind that too much. Just be prepared for a story full of gaslighting and people blaming mental illness for all sorts of things, without anyone being diagnosed or actually having a mental illness in some cases. It can easily rub you the wrong way, but is a huge part of exposing who the good and bad guys are in this story.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! A whirlwind of a resolution!


Have you heard of Don’t Tell a Soul? Do you plan on picking it up? Let’s chat!