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Hi All!

I just thought I’d switch things up by starting up my own site and share a bit more with you guys than I do on my bookstagram and Tumblr!

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Seher and I’m a reader based in Pakistan! I read just about everything I can get my hands on! That being said I adore fantasy and poetry! I used to post exclusively on Instagram, but now I’ve decided to try and maintain my own blog!

If you prefer Instagram, that’s all good! I’ve linked that below! And if you prefer getting your reviews and giveaways on Tumblr and Twitter, those will be here too!

I’m also using this as a more creative space, so you’ll also get plenty of tarot card posts, restaurant reviews (from Islamabad), and pictures of the sky after it rains! I’ll also be posting my writing update, which is something I’m trying to get back into!

This is The Girl Who Reads in chaos mode!

I maintain two tumblr accounts! Which does sound like a bit much, but both serve for different moods!

My book tumblr lets me post more content than I can on my bookstagram, so you’ll find more posts here (in the future) and more excerpts, etc!

https://bookstagramofmine.tumblr.com/

My poetry tumblr is a mood. Things that I love are posted there!

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/alliwanttodoiscollectpoetry

You can also find me on twitter (where I generally just cry and complain about life)

I listen to music on Deezer! I know its not spotify, but I just love the Flow button!

I have a lot of badges from all the sites I usually review on and now you have to see them because this is the first time I’ve had a place to put them! 🙂

100 Book Reviews
Reviews Published
Professional Reader

And last but not least, my google reviews!

  • To Drown as a Cure for Thirst by Blake Auden

    To Drown as a Cure for Thirst by Blake Auden

    To Drown as a Cure for Thirst by Blake Auden

    “i think the darkest parts
    of anxiety
    are a little like that:

    it isn’t there
    and then it is”

    Thank you NetGalley and Central Avenue Publishing for the chance to read and review To Drown as a Cure for Thirst by Blade Auden! The book comes out on the 22nd of October and I’m looking forward to getting my own copy!

    Long story short; I loved this book, and its going into my top reads of 2022 shelf! I’m also going to have to check out the rest of Blake Audens books! This felt like a well thought out collection, with all the pieces consistently good!

    I’m probably going to read Tell The Birds She’s Gone next, because it’s available for free on Kindle Unlimited, which is awesome!

    Blurb

    The fifth collection from poet Blake Auden, To Drown as a Cure for Thirst, is a delicate exploration of grief and how it affects—and is affected by—time and memory. 

    Written in the wake of a global pandemic, the book touches on themes including loss, healing, personal reflection, mental health, and love, even in the face of the things that haunt us. Auden’s most personal and deeply honest collection to date, these pages examine the idea that we can overcome what winter has taken, and that to hurt is simply an act of remembering.

    To Drown as a Cure for Thirst
    Blake Auden
  • The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna

    The Merciless Ones by Namina Forna
    The Merciless Ones

    Book review for the tour organised by TBR and Beyond Tours

    Where we discover that names are powerful enough to create gods.

    The Merciless Ones ~ Housekeeping

    There’s nothing worse than ordinary men.

    Thank you TBR and Beyond Tours for the chance to read and review The Merciless Ones by Naming Forna!

    The Merciless Ones came out on the 31st of May and is the second book in the epic fantasy trilogy The Gilded Ones. It’s absolutely not a standalone and a reader will be very confused if they don’t read The Gilded Ones, as this second book really picks up from there. It is published by Delacorte Press, which is an imprint of Random House. 

    All 462 pages, this book is roughly the same length as the first book The Gilded Ones, which was 422 pages, and went on sale on amazon kindle the day after I bought it. I’m actually not too salty about that because The Gilded Ones was worth full price.

    I signed up for the book tour without having read The Gilded Ones. This was in part because I’d seen the book everywhere and I wanted to brag about having been on the book tour for this one, with an arc! I really wanted to read The Gilded Ones because of how lovely the cover is, and being on this tour was the perfect excuse to bump it up in my TBR Stack.

    The Merciless Ones Banner
    The Merciless Ones Book Tour

    Book Review:

    While The Gilded Ones ended on a hopeful note, The Merciless Ones starts off with the corpses of four young women mounted on pikes. 

    It’s set 6 months after the goddesses were freed by Deka and focuses on the backlash by the jatu, who now seem to be more powerful than ever after get their hands on some arcane objects. Deka, as the Nuru, the child of the four goddesses fights against these priests while dealing with her own PTSD. She is joined by her bloodsisters, and as they stick together they realise there is something more sinister at play. As they grow in strength they understand that gods can also be created through the power of human belief. 

    In that sense there is a lot to love about the sequel. The idea that gods can be created or at least powered through prayer or belief is a powerful one to say the least. It’s also incredibly relevant in the world that Namina Forna has created in the book, as well as the world we live in today where we know we’ll need to radically change how we live and what we believe in if we want the planet to survive or to ensure that we have rights over the self.

    The book also challenges the sexist belief that just because women are in charge it’s a utopia. It’s absolutely more about the way we wield power than who wields power that matters; not just your gender. It is also an important lesson on how we make ideals of our gods and heroes, and ignore all the wrong that they have done or are continuing to do so.

    It’s also great to see how there were so many jatu and alaki. It really adds a really great dimension to the book, not just in terms of the plot, but a commentary on how so many of us are so different, that it’s actually most of us.

    I liked that Deka grew as a character and constantly tried to be the right sort of hero and role model, but that she was human and needed help. I love her relationship with Keita and I think Namina Forna put in some really positive themes in their relationship, like how he spok to her about how she couldn’t shut him out in situations. That being said, most of her friends blurred into one and didn’t stand out to me. Britta, of course, is always by her side, but I didn’t particularly care for the thing with Li, and Britta as a whole was just a bit annoying to me.

    My favourite characters in this book were easily White Hands, Elfriede and Anok. I think with White Hands that easy for everyone to understand; she’s badass, but the way Namina Forna depicted her in this was amazing. Like massive respect for Forna. I suppose it’s harder to explain why I like Elfriede. I like her as a character, but not as a person. But I also respect that she did what she could to survive. She collaborated with the existing system to become the first in her role, but even as she died, the priests still couldn’t stand her.

    “This is another distraction,” she explains. “Another impossible aspiration to distract women from the misery of their lives. To make them dream, if only for a glittering moment, that they can be more. Clever. Insidious, but clever.”

    I think this quote is emblematic of the greater problem of the book. While it’s a great quote that explains Elfriede’s role in this new society, and is well written, I think it’s moments like these that make the book more suited for slightly younger readers. An older reader may not need something like this spelled out for them. 

    I was also not a fan of how everything turns out perfectly okay for most people at the end. I think one particular character should have stayed dead. There was also this sense that Deka comes into her new powers too quickly. One of the reasons why the first book is interesting is because we see her working towards them; while in this book everything related to her abilities is like second nature to her. I didn’t care for all the happily ever after love stories, they just bored me!

    While I didn’t love this book as much as the first one, I’m 100% going to be reading the third book because the world Namina Forna created is fantastic!

    Beyond The Merciless Ones

    You can check out the full tour right here! Keep scrolling below for more on the author, as well as the blurb!

    Namina Forna

    About Namina Forna

    Namina Forna is a young adult novelist based in Los Angeles, andthe authorof the upcoming epic fantasy YA novelThe Gilded Ones. Originally from Sierra Leone, West Africa, she moved to the US when she was nine and has been traveling back and forth ever since. Namina has an MFA in film and TV production from USC School of Cinematic Arts and a BA from Spelman College. She works as a screenwriter in LA and loves telling stories with fierce female leads.

    Book Blurb for The Merciless Ones

    Fans of The Gilded Ones and Children of Blood and Bone will love the second book in an epic fantasy series about a girl who is the key to saving the empire–or its greatest threat.

    It’s been six months since Deka has freed the goddesses and discovered who she really is. There are now wars waging across the kingdom. Otereans now think jatu are traitors to the nation. Deka is called a monster.

    But the real battle has only just begun and Deka must lead the charge. Deka is tasked with freeing the rest of the goddesses. Only as she begins to free them, she begins to see a strange symbol everywhere in places of worship and worn on armor. There’s something unnatural about that symbol; just looking at it makes Deka lose her senses. Even worse, it seems to repel her powers. She can’t command or communicate with the new deathshrieks. In fact, she can’t even understand them when they speak.

    Deka knows freeing the goddesses is just the beginning. She can tell whatever dark force out is powerful and there is something sinister out there threatening the kingdom connected to that symbol–something merciless–that her army will need to stop before humanity crumbles. But Deka’s powers are only getting stronger…and her strongest weapon could be herself.

    Content Warning: Scenes of violence, including some graphic violence and description of sexual assault

  • I’m on the BBNYA 2022 Panel!

    I’m on the BBNYA 2022 Panel!
    BBNYA 2022

    But I’m getting ahead of myself!

    BBNYA stands for The Book Blogger’s Novel of the Year Award!

    It’s an indie award that’s completely judged by book bloggers, like you and me, from all over the world!

    It’s sponsored by the Folio Society, which makes the most gorgeous collectible editions of the world’s great works of fiction and non-fiction. I drool over their website regularly!

    The goal is to give indie authors a chance, without being overshadowed by bigger authors and publishers as well as show the world that book bloggers do know how to pick out fantastic reads!

    BBNYA 2021

    I wasn’t on the panel for BBNYA last year, but you can check out some of their awesome winners right here!

    I also reviewed 3 BBNYA books last year and I’m linking those guys right here!

    Beneath Cruel Fathoms by Anela Dean:

    While Beneath Cruel Fathoms placed 6th overall, it was definitely my favourite of the three books I read!

    Our Bloody Pearl by D. N. Bryn

    Sins of the Father by Sharon Bairden

  • Unaccustomed to Grace by Lesley Bannatyne

    Unaccustomed to Grace by Lesley Bannatyne
    Book Tour posted for Unaccustomed to Grace by Lesley Bannatyne.

    Unaccustomed to Grace by Lesley Bannatyne: Book review for the book tour organised by Random Things Tours!

    Unaccustomed to Grace by Lesley Bannatyne

    Unaccustomed to Grace is a collection of short stories by Lesley Bannatyne. It published earlier this year in February by Kallisto Gaia Press! At 172 pages, it’s a short read, but with each word carefully chosen you don’t feel like you’re missing anything!

    Before we get into my review, I want to thank Anne from Random Things Tours for the chance to take part in this tour! Random Things Tours is one of my favourite book tour companies, mostly because Anne always puts forward some really great reads!

    Book Review:

    Unaccustomed to Grace is a collection of short stories, each with a different character. When I first started reading the book it was hard for me to see how the title, Unaccustomed to Grace, tied into the stories. After a while, that became clearer.

    The characters in the book read as people who have things done to them, instead of taking action themselves, whether they are parents, a pregnant teen, a nurse trying to make friends, or the teenage boy breaking into a house with his buddy. I thought that a moment of action defined these characters, but stories like Corpse walks into a bar, Gravity, Waiting for Ivy, On Tuesday I will kill him, Summerland, and The boy in the boat all make it clear that while the art of letting go, contrary to whatever Elizabeth Bishop says, is fairly hard to master, but it’s only in its practice that these characters can achieve, not peace, but a moment of grace.

    While Lesley Bannatyne is known as the ‘Queen of Halloween’, that doesn’t play a huge role in the book. However, it’s easy to think we’ll get something more centred on that day when the opening story is Corpse Walks into a Bar. Despite the presence of the darker side of human nature, I feel as though the characters in these stories, as complicated as they are in their own ways, are fundamentally good. And it’s this assumption of goodness, of grace, that Lesley Bannatyne wants you to take home.

    Unaccustomed to Grace by Lesley Bannatyne

    Blurb for Unaccustomed to Grace

    Unaccustomed to Grace is a collection of short stories where the unlikely outcome for irresponsible acts and unfortunate events result in redemption. Bannatyne’s mastery of the written word informs these stories of common conflict with a brilliantine magic rarely found in contemporary literature. From the unlikely romance between a zoo employee and a spiritualist/activist to the redemption of a grandmother’s long-rehearsed vengeance, these heart-warming stories are the contemporary fables we need in these stressful days.

    Lesley Bannatyne

    About Lesley Bannatyne

    Lesley Bannatyne is an American author who writes extensively on Halloween, especially its history, literature, and contemporary celebration.  She also writes short stories, many of which are included in this debut collection Unaccustomed to Grace (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022). Her work has been published in the Boston Globe, Smithsonian, Christian Science Monitor, and Zone 3, Pangyrus, Shooter, Craft, Ocotillo Review, Fish, and Bosque Literary Magazines. She won the 2018 Bosque fiction prize and received the 2019 Tucson Festival of Books Literary Award for fiction, the 2020 Ghoststory.com fiction prize, and was a finalist for many others, including the Tennessee William Literary Festival Writing Award, the Carve Prose & Poetry Contest, and the Hudson Prize. As a freelance journalist, she has covered stories ranging from druids in Massachusetts to relief workers in Bolivia. Lesley is a graduate of Wheaton College (MA) and holds an ALM from Harvard University Extension Studies. She lives and works in Somerville, Massachusetts.

  • A Taste for Killing by Sarah Hawkswood

    A Taste for Killing by Sarah Hawkswood
    A Taste for Killing by Sarah Hawkswood

    A Taste for Killing by Sarah Hawkswood ~ NetGalley Book Review by The Girl Who Reads

    Thank you NetGalley and Allison & Busby for the chance to read and review A Taste for Killing!
    
    A Taste for Killing came out on the 12th of May, 2022, and can be ordered online! This is book 10 in the Bradecote & Catchpoll series! 
    
    It's also review number 233 on NetGalley, which means I now have 99 more to read to hit the ever elusive 80% feedback score!
    
    I also realise as I type this that I've been calling it A Taste of Killing instead of A Taste for Killing and that would explain a lot about why one of my team members probably wants to skin me alive! I now have to go back and edit that in a lot of places. 
    

    Disclaimer:

    Keep in mind that my review will have a lot of spoilers! So if you don't want any spoilers, just click the right here to check the book out on Amazon or just scroll past and read the blurb! 
    
    You also need to keep in mind that the book has mention of sexual harassment so keep that in mind when you're reading it!

    Book review for A Taste for Killing

    January, 1145. Godfrey Bowyer, one of the least likeable people in Worcester, dies a painful death by poisoning. Suspicion falls on a whole host of people; his wife Blanche, who ate the same meal but survived; his (rumoured to be bastard) brother who is in a ton of debt; the cook who hated the wife and may have intended to kill her; the servant who was pregnant with the masters child; the man whose wife Godfrey harassed.
    
    While A Taste for Killing is interesting, it's a slow read mostly because it's written in the same dialect that was used in 1145, which slows a reader down. That being said, it keeps your interest for the most part and you can tell that they aren't going to stop digging and take an easy answer. 
    
    I had no idea that taste for killing was part of a larger series when I requested it, so I'm not sure if the characters are growing or staying the same. I didn't find most of the characters memorable, all three of the men kinda blur into one for me, and as this was a series I've missed things like when Walkelin fell for Eluned, etc. 
    
    While I love Blanche as a character, I wasn't happy that she was the one who had done it. I feel like that was so easy to do as she's an outsider and suddenly that one priest remembers her. She was fairly smart to have gotten away with what look like 2 other deaths, and I don't think she would have risked this all so suddenly; there were too many loose ends for her to do this so suddenly.
    
    
    A Taste for Killing by Sarah Hawkswood

    Book Blurb:

    January, 1145. Godfrey Bowyer, the best but least likeable bow maker in Worcester, dies an agonising death by poisoning. Although similarly struck down after the same meal, his wife Blanche survives. The number of people who could have administered the poison should mean a very short investigation for the Sheriff’s men, Hugh Bradecote and Serjeant Catchpoll, but perhaps someone was pulling the strings, and that widens the net considerably. Could it be the cast-out younger brother or perhaps Orderic the Bailiff, whose wife may have had to endure Godfrey’s attentions? Could it even be the wife herself?

    With Bradecote eager to return to his manor and worried about his wife’s impending confinement, and Underserjeant Walkelin trying to get his mother to accept his choice of bride, there are distractions aplenty, though Serjeant Catchpoll will not let them get in the way of solving this case.

    This is the 10th title in this series, however it can be read alone!

  • Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry

    Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry

    Book review for Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry!

    Brought to you by TBR and Beyond Tours and The Girl Who Reads!

    Housekeeping:

    Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry is a YA thriller that comes out today, the 24th of May (depending on tour time zone)!

    It’s published by Christy Ottaviano Books, and all 289 pages it really goes by in the blink of an eye!

    Book Review:

    This all feels eerily familiar. And then I know why. “This is getting to be like a bad movie or book,” I say. “A group of strangers, trapped at night in a creepy old motel during a blizzard. And then you add a killer, picking them off one by one”

    Two Truths and a Lie by April Henry Book Tour

    That’s a pretty good summary of the book! Only they’re teenagers, and everyone except their teacher and Travis is unhinged. Even the other team are weirdos, mostly because of Knox.

    You’ll get plenty of horror movie tropes in this book! I’m adding them in the next para so I don’t spoil this for you!

    All the horror movie tropes in Two Truths and a Lie

    The bus breaks down, no electricity, no signals, a group of strangers, a love interest, the murder took place here all these years ago with the killer never being caught, Ouija board moving on its own, newspaper clippings, diverse group of teenagers.

    End of all the horror tropes

    I read Two Truths and a Lie at 3 am! It was a very quick read, but it wasn’t a deep read. I didn’t pick up on any hints that the author may have given.

    I thought it was a light fun read, in case you want to read something in the night with the AC on and a light chill in the room! This isn’t a mind blowing, change your life, make you seek out different sort of books kinda read. This is book just to entertain, and that’s perfect! I have listed a lot of tropes, but honestly, the tropes are what make it fun! I also loved the Ouija board, and the thing with shadows! It adds a nice supernatural element to it; even though we’ll never know if we were being warned or not.

    At some point I though we’d end on a cliffhanger because the author couldn’t possibly wrap up so quickly! But there was a nice neat ending which I liked, although I could have used more about Knox!

    Question of the Day:

    What Agatha Christie novel was featured in this book?

    I just want to see if anyone can guess! No prizes, but will say you are an “Amazing Human/Genius and the Grand Champion of the Nine-Nine.”

    You should be able to guess that reference at least!

    April Henry

    About April Henry

    New York Times-bestselling author April Henry knows how to kill you in a two-dozendifferent ways. She makes up for a peaceful childhood in an intact home by killing off fictional characters. There was one detour on April’s path to destruction: when she was 12 she sent a short story about a six-foot tall frog who loved peanut butter to noted children’s author Roald Dahl. He liked it so much he showed it to his editor, who asked if she could publish it in Puffin Post, an international children’s magazine. By the time April was in her 30s, she had started writing about hit men, kidnappers, and drug dealers. She has published 26 mysteries and thrillers for teens and adults, with more to come. She is known for meticulously researching her novels to get the details right.

    Synopsis for Two Truths and a Lie

    A group of teens are trapped in an old motel with a murderer in this chilling YA mystery byNew York Timesbestselling author April Henry.

    Nell has always wanted to be an actor, but doubts her ability. As a member of her school’s theater program, she prefers working backstage. On the way to a contest, an unexpected blizzard strands her acting troupe in a creepy motel. Soon they meet a group of strangers from another high school—including the mysterious and handsome Knox, who insists they play the game Two Truths and a Lie. When it’s Nell’s turn, she draws a slip of paper inked in unfamiliar handwriting:

    I like to watch people die.I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve killed.

    Suddenly a night of harmless fun turns into a matter of life and death. As guests go missing, it becomes clear that a murderer is hiding in their midst ready to strike again. In a room full of liars and performers, the truth is never quite what it seems. Nell is going to have to act like her life depends on it—because it does.

    @bookstagramofmine

    I’m on the #booktour for #TwoTruthsAndALie by April Henry, who has the incredible honour of having had Roald Dahl try to publish one of her stories! She’s also making up for her peaceful childhood by giving us nightmares with books like these! I’m linking my review in the comments! QOTD: what was the last YA thriller you read? #TempoAPP @TempoApp#voiceeffects #booktok #booklove #bookreview

    ♬ The Haunting of Hill House (Main Titles) – The Newton Brothers
  • Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin

    Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin

    Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin; Book Review brought to you by The Girl Who Reads courtesy of Random Things Tours

    “He should have got therapy, Noor…It wasn’t binary. It wasn’t death or deletion. I can see him now, making his decision between honour and disgrace.“

    Housekeeping:

    Tell Me an Ending, a debut novel by Jo Harkin, is a sci-if almost dystopian book that would be perfect for fans of Black Mirror. It came out on the 1st of March and was published by Scribner.

    Tour Scehdule for Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin

    Review for Tell Me an Ending

    We’ve all wondered what it would be like if we could just delete a memory. If we could erase our trauma just like that. But don’t our memories make us who we are? Doesn’t the body also remember? Can it really be that easy?

    Tell Me an Ending follows the stories of different people, whose lives overlap, who have all been impacted by the erasure of memories. Noor works at the clinic, Mei’s mother is important in the company, Oscar was one of its earliest patients, William had an illegal procedure, Finn was afraid that his wife had an affair and so on.

    Jo Harkin does a fantastic job of exploring the consequences that this could have on a person, and people around them. It’s made more intriguing when people find out that memories can’t just be blacked out like that, and can be restored. The changing perspectives kept things going in what could have been a really slow book. This was definitely a great debut novel and I can’t wait to see more of Jo Harkin!

    About Jo Harkin:

    Jo Harkin studied English Literature at university. She daydreamed her way through various jobs in her twenties before giving in and becoming a full-time writer. She published four real-world literary fiction novels under a pseudonym, before deciding to follow her passion and move into speculative fiction. Her focus is ‘what if’ stories with an emphasis on human lives. She lives in Berkshire

    Blurb for Tell Me an Ending

    Across the world, thousands of people are shocked to receive an email telling them that they once chose to have a traumatic memory removed. Now they are being given the chance to get that memory back.

    For Mei, William, Oscar and Finn there is a piece missing, but they’re not sure what. And each of them must decide if the truth is worth the pain, or better left unknown.

    For Noor, who works at the memory clinic Nepenthe, the process of reinstating their patients’ memories begins to shake the moral foundations of her world. As she delves deeper into the programme, she will have to risk everything to uncover the true human cost of this miraculous technology.

    An exploration of secrets, grief, identity and belonging – of the stories we tell ourselves, and come to rely on, Tell Me An Ending is a sharp, dark and devastating novel about the power and danger of memory.

    @bookstagramofmine

    Just finished this book for a booktour! 3 stars! What did you finish today? @tempoapp_official #booktwitter

    ♬ original sound – Marissa
  • Cover Reveal: Headcase by Onley James

    Cover Reveal: Headcase by Onley James

    Headcase by Onley James will be available in audio on May 30th! Check out the series audio today, and be sure to grab your copy on May 30th!

    Thank you Ink Slinger PR, for the chance to showcase this cool upcoming release!

    About Headcase

    Title: Headcase

    Author: Onley James

    Genre: Dark MM Romance

    Release Date: May 30th

    Book Blurb:

    Asa Mulvaney is half of a psychopathic whole. He and his twin brother live together, party together…kill together. In the Mulvaney family, murder is the family business and business is good. So, when an experiment separates Asa and his brother, Asa is forced to navigate the world on his own for the first time in his life.

    Zane Scott is a small-time crime blogger and amateur sleuth, but he dreams of a byline in a major paper someday. When he winds up at a boring fundraiser beside Asa Mulvaney, they share an intensely passionate encounter that leaves Zane with an ache in his chest and a story idea that could make his career dreams a reality.

    At a nearby college, a cluster of suicides isn’t what it seems. When Asa’s father asks him to look into it, he sees the perfect opportunity to see his little crime reporter again. And Asa needs to see him again. Zane’s suspicious of Asa’s motives, but he won’t say no to a chance to peek behind the Mulvaney family curtains.

    As the two unravel a sinister plot, Asa’s obsession with Zane grows and Zane finds being Asa’s sole focus outweighs almost anything, maybe even his career—which is good for Asa because loving a Mulvaney is a full-time job. Can he convince Zane that he’s worth navigating a family of psychopaths and his pathologically jealous twin, or will Zane learn the hard way that the Mulvaney boys always get what they want? Always.

    Headcase is a high heat, intense, lovers-to-frenemies, psychopath romance with an HEA and no cliffhangers. It features an obsessive, calculating psychopath and a wannabe reporter who will stop at nothing to earn himself a major byline. As always, there’s gratuitous violence, very dark humor, enough killers to fill an auditorium, and enough heat to melt your kindle. This is book four in the Necessary Evils series. Each book follows a different couple.

    Headcase by Onley James

    Read Headcase Today:

    Paperback | eBook

    Listen to the Series:

    Unhinged

    Psycho

    Moonstruck

    About the Author:

    Onley James lives in Central Florida with her daughter, her daughter-in-law, son-in-law, and a menagerie of animals, both good and evil. James splits her time between writing m/m romance and mainlining dangerous levels of caffeine and attempting to maintain her ever-slipping sanity.

    When not at her desk you can find her whining about how much writing she has to do and avoiding said writing by binge-watching unhealthy amounts of television. She loves true crime documentaries, anti-heroes, obsessively scrolling social media and writing kinky, snarky books about morally gray men who fall in love with other men.

    Connect with the Author:

    Twitter | Facebook Reader Group | Instagram | Pinterest | TikTok| Newsletter

  • The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero

    The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero
    The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R M Romero!
    The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero

    The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero ~ Book Review

    Maybe
    my father is still running from Prague.
    Maybe
    my mother is still fleeing Havana.
    Maybe
    my entire family is still trying to escape history.
    (But if that’s true, what am I doing here, drowning in it?)

    Thank you NetGalley and Peachtree for the chance to read and review The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R. M. Romero.

    I was a little confused when I started the book. I liked it, but I was like, is the formatting just off? Well, turns out NetGalley put it in the poetry section for a reason.

    Do I like modern poetry? No. 9 times out of 10 I don’t care for it and I have to think of something nice to say because I like the poet. In this case, it weirdly works, and while individual quotes won’t work for you, the overall effect of the book does. It makes it soft and slow and perfectly conveys a haunting, and the darkness behind it.

    Ilana has been banished from Miami for the summer. Her parents have taken her violin and want her to focus on studying for the SATs for the summer in Prague with her aunt.

    “I fight with my parents. I dream about monsters. What else do you do when you’re sixteen?”

    They also hope that the life of a writer will scare Ilana away from becoming a musician and turn to a more sensible career. Ilana instead tends to a cemetery and meets a Jewish ghost named Benjamin, who shows her around Prague and the ways in which it’s haunted by more than just ghosts.

    “I want to clean Benjamin’s grave, lay a stone there for him.
    (Flowers would wither
    and fade. A stone is eternal— like memory,
    like love.)
    But how can I honor a disappearing boy when I don’t even know where he’s buried?”

    Ilana meets the 3 other ghost children, all Jewish; it was a rabbi who had cast the man without a shadow out of his original home. While she wants to join them and be understood for her music in their home, she slowly comes to understand what it means to be a vodnik and why the ghosts are fading.

    “If you must live with a monster, it’s safer to be adored by him above all others.”

    Can’t wait to see more by this author in the future!

    Blurb

    Book Blurb for The Ghosts of Rose Hill

    “A must-read for lost souls everywhere.” Kirkus,STARRED REVIEW

    Magic will burn you up.

    Sent to stay with her aunt in Prague and witness the humble life of an artist, Ilana Lopez—a biracial Jewish girl—finds herself torn between her dream of becoming a violinist and her immigrant parents’ desire for her to pursue a more stable career.

    When she discovers a forgotten Jewish cemetery behind her aunt’s cottage, she meets the ghost of a kindhearted boy named Benjamin, who died over a century ago. As Ilana restores Benjamin’s grave, he introduces her to the enchanted side of Prague, where ghosts walk the streets and their kisses have warmth.

    But Benjamin isn’t the only one interested in Ilana. Rudolph Wassermann, a man with no shadow, has become fascinated with her and the music she plays. He offers to share his magic, so Ilana can be with Benjamin and pursue her passion for violin. But after Ilana discovers the truth about Wassermann and how Benjamin became bound to the city, she resolves to save the boy she loves, even if it means losing him—forever.

    With spellbinding verse prose, R.M. Romero channels the spirit of myth into a brilliantly original tale, inspired by her experiences restoring Jewish cemeteries in Eastern Europe.

  • Giveaway: Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody

    Giveaway: Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody
    Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody

    Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody ~ Hidden Hollow Book Tours and The Girl Who Reads

    Thank you Hidden Hollow Book Tours for the chance to read and review Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody.

    Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody is the first book in the Fae & Crystal Thorn series, which is set in the same universe as The Fae of Bitter Thorn universe. It comes out on the 10th of May, and is a very sweet clean fantasy read!

    Giveaway!

    Grand Prize: (1 winner)

    • Signed Hardcover of Flame & Crystal Thorns + swag (US Only)
    • Unsigned Hardcover of Flame & Crystal Thorns from Book Depository + signed bookplate + swag (International Only)
    • The givaway is on instagram, so to enter you’ll need to click right here!
    Flame & Crystal Thorns by Kay L. Moody

    I also have to thank Hidden Hollow Books for sending me this beautiful bookmark by @artzzofkae and the art print by @artbyartemis! I was genuinely so surprised when I got this in the mail because I genuinely didn’t think that places would ever bother sending an art print and a bookmark to Pakistan.

    Back to Flame & Crystal Thorns!

    Blurb

    As a human girl, Chloe is perfectly happy being back in the mortal realm where she belongs. She’s even become the town apothecary. When a fae from her past shows up begging her to return to Faerie, she utterly refuses.

    But then she finds out an angry group of mortals are using iron to hold an entire castle full of fae hostage. And of course, the hostages include Chloe’s older sister and her sister’s beloved.

    Reluctantly, Chloe packs a bag for what is supposed to be a short trip to Faerie.

    But the mortals are more powerful than she expected. To fuel them, they have weapons, flames, and revenge. They won’t stop until they control every court in Faerie.

    With the help of a new and mysterious magic and a devastatingly handsome fae companion, Chloe has to save Faerie before her sister and the other fae are killed.

    Book review:

    Flame & Crystal Thorns was a very easy read that I finished in one sitting. It’s a regular sized book at 350 pages though, so don’t think that was because it was a small one!

    It’s very fast-paced and builds up an existing world. I haven’t read the first series, so I don’t know if it went over the same details as it did in that, but to me, it didn’t feel like information had been crammed in, which is always good!

    What stood out for me were Chloe’s fears. The very human, very real ones, that a lot of women still face in society. She’s worried about her livelihood and being replaced by a man, no matter how good she is. She’s worried that all she can do is give, and no one does something for her. She’s worried about being too strange to be wanted. She’s been trained to be polite (which gets her into trouble). She’s so afraid of not being marriageable after her injury at the end, and that’s such a real fear for so many women; statistically proven that your husband will leave you if you get really sick, and in brown families how would you get a girl married in the first place?

    Chloe also faces some pretty hard choices at the start of the book (trying not to spoil it), which I feel could have been brought up in the rest of the book more often. With the hospital crisis that happened at the start of covid, I’m sure a lot of readers will ache when they read that.

    That being said, Quintus slowly grew on me, but I couldn’t figure out what had happened between them that caused them to fall apart in the first place. I’m also very glad, that he basically told her that he didn’t need someone to be his mother, but a partner, that giving wasn’t all that she was good for!