Feb 27

Review of Starfish

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Review of StarfishStarfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
Published by Simon Pulse on September 26th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Modern
Pages: 340
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads five-stars

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

This book paralyzed me, because I didn’t know how to write a review for something that moved me so deeply. I sat on my couch and cried every time I opened it. Cried not because I was sad, but because I saw myself in this book and Akemi Dawn Bowman wrote it EXACTLY HOW IT IS, to live this way, and she articulates it – something I’ve never been able to do clearly, even to people I trust and count my closest friends. I think I am lucky enough to have a few friends who understand me anyway, but to explain why I act the way I do or feel the way I feel…nope. Because of this book, I think I finally have something of an idea – or at least a better idea – of how HUGE of a deal representation is in books. Huge. HUGE. I’ve always SAID I believed it was important, but I didn’t really know how it FELT.

Kiko is half-Japanese, half white. The biracial rep is actually why I picked this book up – not because I myself am biracial, but because I was trying to find another book to read for the January challenge! Kiko also has moderate-severe social anxiety, and lives with a psychologically and emotionally abusive, narcissistic mother.

Ding ding, on both of those.

At first I couldn’t believe what I was reading. I kept telling my husband, “I swear, I think the author met my mother and decided to write her into a book!” And then I started to cry because someone understood not only having a mother like that, but having overwhelming panic at the thought of going places or meeting people.

Normal people don’t need to prepare for social interactions. Normal people don’t panic at the sight of strangers. Normal people don’t want to cry because the plan they’ve processed in their head is suddenly not the plan that’s going to happen.

SO MUCH THIS. So much. Also, Kiko sits outside of a party in her car for about 20 minutes before she can convince herself to go in – and in the end her friend comes outside to go back in with her anyway. Been there, done that. Social functions are HARD. They’re terrifying, and exhausting. I have a very, very distinct memory of arranging to have dinner with a friend (myself and my husband), and showing up at the restaurant to discover he had invited about 5 other people. I nearly blacked out standing next to the table, and I fought tears for several minutes after my husband helped me sit down. I can only imagine what those other people must have thought of me – but Kiko knows exactly what that is like.

Kiko’s mother is psychologically and emotionally abusive. She is white, has bi-racial children (biological even), and yet she is incredibly racist. She constantly makes Kiko feel ugly and worthless. She lies to her about events in the past, she demeans her childrens’ heritage. She must be the center of attention at all times, and she must look perfect to the world outside. And Kiko – as every child does – craves her mother’s approval and support. Even when she knows it would be better to cut her mom out of her life, even when it would be healthier for her not to engage – she does. Because somewhere deep inside, there is still a tiny, tiny hope that one day her mom will be supportive and unconditionally loving.

Ding ding, again.

I was so happy to see Kiko finally get to embrace herself. Her ethnicity, her art, her personality. And to find friends who loved and accepted her for who she is, and who could celebrate ALL of her, with her. Also people who understood how poisonous her mother was.

“All that time growing up, I thought I was the only one who could see. I thought nobody understood the way he was. I thought I was the problem. But some people are just starfish – they need everyone to fill the roles that they assign. They need the world to sit around them, pointing at them and validating their feelings. But you can’t spend your life trying to make a starfish happy, because no matter what you do, it will never be enough.”

Please go read this book. Whether you identify with Kiko somehow, or if you like art (Kiko is an amazing artist and the book has some beautiful descriptions of her paintings and drawings…also check out the fan art competition). Just please read. Even if you don’t see yourself in it, I guarantee you someone in your life or acquaintance DOES.


I hope you enjoyed my review of Starfish! Follow me on social media to keep up with more reviews and bookish posts!

[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.]

If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running, consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!



Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Feb 24

Happy Birthday to Me

Uncategorized 0

I turned 30 today.

I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this. On one hand, I feel like my body turned 30 a couple of years ago (thanks, army). On the other, I still very much feel like I’m 18 as far as my abilities and confidence goes.


Birthday, smirthday.

But I am still here. I am growing. I am becoming who I want to be. And that is worth celebrating.


Jan 16

The Love That Split the World Review

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

The Love That Split the World ReviewThe Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
Published by Razorbill on January 26th 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Modern, magical realism
Pages: 390
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads five-stars

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start…until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” At first, they’re just momentary glimpses—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.


“No matter how hard it feels, you don’t need to be afraid to move on, and you don’t need to be afraid to stay either. There’s always more to see and feel.”

How I felt after finishing the last page of this book.

What this book is: 90% emotions/feelings. Glorious, ooey-gooey lovey-dovey, feelings that make me want to actually try to hope for HEAs and the best in life and love. Adorable. Cute. Romantic.

What this book is not (i.e., please don’t pick it up if you’re into these things): deep, extremely thought provoking, realistic.

First of all, I’m so stinking proud of myself for READING AND FINISHING this book! At long long LOOOOONG last, as it came in my February 2016 OwlCrate. Yikes. I read like one “meh” review of it and lost all my enthusiasm for the story…which I sort of regret, but I also realize that at the time, this sort of ooey-gooey-ness would probably not have sat very well with me…and quite possibly would have resulted in it being thrown across the room, never to be finished.

The Love That Split the World is an adorable summer story of love, loss, and teenagers finding themselves and each other. Sprinkled in between the emotionally intense, physically warming scenes (but never explicit or very graphic, and there is no actual sex in the book) are gems like the quote above, and others I desperately wish my 16-18 year old self (hell, even 19, 20, or 21 year old self) had read or known.

“You shouldn’t be scared of someone you love.”

The book briefly addresses the issue of consent – even for “just” making out, and one scene in particular left me feeling rather nauseous even though “nothing happened.” Alcoholism is also brought up, and addressed in one of the most succinct ways I have ever seen – painful, as it always is, but it was done so, so well. Huge props.

Oh, and the characters!! I’ve discovered yet another book boyfriend – Beau, your beautiful soul has won my heart. I will also confess that in high school, I admired the football players from afar so…yeah…piano AND football playing Beau is just totally swoonworthy. And I always, ALWAYS get hit right in the feels by the broken-but-still-strong hero types, the ones who just remain good people at heart despite having been given the shit end of the stick in life. Natalie’s spirit – her need to KNOW, her intense desire to find herself, to make something of herself – really resonated with me. While I don’t know how it would feel to grow up a minority (not only in your town, but in your FAMILY) in a small southern town, I spent a lot of my growing up years in places not unlike her Kentucky hometown and to some extent, I can imagine. Especially in small town America, people who don’t look (or act) exactly the same are often viewed with suspicion and outright dislike. In Natalie’s case, her biggest struggle seems to be with not sharing her looks or personality with her adoptive parents, and the fact that she was hassled about it by her classmates when she was younger.

I adored the time bending/travel aspect of the story. I was a little (ok, very) confused for awhile, but eventually I realized what was happening…mostly. I still DID NOT see that ending coming and my poor little heart nearly burst with ALL THE FEELS. I didn’t quite CRY, but my throat squeezed very very tight, my eyes burned, and I blinked rapidly for a few moments. Then I had to read the last few pages about 5 times to make sure I hadn’t missed anything!

Diversity: This was my first pick for the January topic, Biracial Awareness (check out the suggested bookshelf!), in the Platypire Diverse Books Reading challenge. Natalie is bi-racial, and adopted. Another main character is Korean. The author does not belong to either of these groups, but she seems to have put a great deal of effort into making her story authentic and respectful especially to the First Nations cultures she draws from in the writing of the book.

I gave this book 5/5 stars. It is an amazingly fun and cute romance with enough time-turning stuff to keep that side of my brain interested too.


I hope you enjoyed my review of The Love That Split the World! Follow me on social media to keep up with more reviews and bookish posts!

[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.]

If you really enjoyed reading and would like to show your support for future content and help keep the blog running, consider using the affiliate links on this page to buy your next book, or donate to the blog using one of the links below!


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Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Jan 09

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter Review

Book Reviews 2 ★★★★★

The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter ReviewThe Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter by Theodora Goss
on June 20th 2017
Genres: Alternate History, Historical, Young Adult
Pages: 416
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads five-stars

Mary Jekyll, alone and penniless following her parents’ death, is curious about the secrets of her father’s mysterious past. One clue in particular hints that Edward Hyde, her father’s former friend and a murderer, may be nearby, and there is a reward for information leading to his capture…a reward that would solve all of her immediate financial woes.

But her hunt leads her to Hyde’s daughter, Diana, a feral child left to be raised by nuns. With the assistance of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary continues her search for the elusive Hyde, and soon befriends more women, all of whom have been created through terrifying experimentation: Beatrice Rappaccini, Catherine Moreau, and Justine Frankenstein.

When their investigations lead them to the discovery of a secret society of immoral and power-crazed scientists, the horrors of their past return. Now it is up to the monsters to finally triumph over the monstrous.


“No wonder men did not want women to wear bloomers. What could women accomplish if they did not have to continually mind their skirts, keep them from dragging in the mud or getting trampled on the steps of an omnibus? If they had pockets! With pockets, women could conquer the world!”

This was a fabulous book to start out 2018! It was just the right parts dry, sarcastic humor, witty remarks, and references to the classics mixed with strong female characters. My inner book nerd did so many happy dances. I absolutely LOVED the characters and ideas pulled from the classics (Frankenstein, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and I think maybe another that I’m missing). However, the reader does not have to have read those classics to enjoy this book. The characters are entirely fleshed out in this book alone. They have their own stories and the style of writing is completely entertaining. It starts out written in 3rd person, but within just a couple of pages it shifts – brilliantly – to a sidebar commentary of the various characters interjecting while the narrator is writing! It sounds complicated but it is amazing and brilliant and I laughed out loud so many times.

Based around the idea of a secret scientific society at the end of the 19th century, the story starts out with the main character, Mary Jekyll, burying her mother and in desperate financial straits. Then through a series of unusual discoveries in her mother’s papers, she stumbles across a strangest of characters – all of which seem linked to herself and her dead father in some way. Then they link up with Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson and between their ever-growing little menagerie of misfits they attempt to solve the mystery of this strange society.

There’s no real romance – there are hints of it, and some of the characters have obviously had past relationships or relations, as they are referred to at one point. I admit that I’m really looking forward to the sequel, not only to see what exactly was going on with the Society but because I am dying to know if Mary actually ends up with Dr. Watson (as in the original Sherlock Holmes stories, Dr. Watson’s eventual wife was named Mary), or not! I feel like it will be a NOT but I just need to know. 😛

Overall, 5/5 stars and a fantastic start to my reading year 2018! Highly recommend to YA readers who are fans of historical fiction in general, but especially classic literature.


I hope you enjoyed my review of The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter! Follow me on social media to keep up with more reviews and bookish posts!



[Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info.]


Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Jan 07

Platypire Diversity Challenge – Diverse Books Challenge 2018

Books/Writing 0

(new graphics are still forthcoming!)

Last reading challenge for 2018! This one will overlap the other two, obviously based on when the book was published. I didn’t quite make my goal in this challenge last year, but the diverse books challenge I participated in really helped bring a lot of books to my attention that I might not otherwise have heard about. Yes, I cut way back on the number challenges I’m participating in this year, but I feel that diverse books are so important I really couldn’t leave them out.

Sadly, Chasing Faerytales and Read.Sleep.Repeat didn’t renew their diverse books challenge this year (life happens, I totally get it, but they did such a fantastic job last year I was really hoping they would be able to continue!), so I had to find another one. So, for 2018 I’m joining the Platypire Diversity Challenge.


I love that their monthly theme lists are on GoodReads! Also that I apparently own a book for the January challenge, which is Biracial Awareness. Speaking of monthly theme lists:

Speaking from the POV of someone who is in the majority, as far as race and sexual orientation, I think it is so so so soooo important for us to read outside of our own comfort zones. There is so much more to the world than just our  personal viewpoint and experiences. Too many people have been silenced for too long. I want to do a full post on this at some point, but this fabulous quote from a post on SwoonReads by Christine Barcellona puts it better than I can right now:

Diverse books empower, vindicate, normalize, and make visible readers who might otherwise feel forgotten, invisible, or like they’re imposters whose stories don’t deserve to be told…[and] because the world contains more than one story.


Jan 05

Book Blog Goals 2018

Books/Writing, Life 4

book blog goals

Book Blog Goals

We all have them. Whether it’s to review a certain number of books per year, to be a well-known bookish name or personality, or to finally get the ARCs you request – we all have them. I sat down this week and started rethinking my goals for this blog. I want to be reasonable, but I needed some real action points! Not just some half-assed “Well, I’d kind of like to…” No. So I came up with what SHOULD be – barring any major catastrophes – an obtainable list of book blog goals for The Bent Bookworm in 2018!

  • Focus on Young Adult books. I’ve come to the realization that the me that was reading books 5 years ago (who only read YA every now and then) is not the me that is reading books right now. I read a LOT of YA and they tend to be the books I get most excited about. I’ve decided to focus the blog more – which means there probably won’t be any reviews HERE of adult mysteries, historical fiction, or romance. I do plan to continue with writing reviews of the other-than-YA books I read and posting them to GoodReads, so be sure to follow me over there!
  • Post 3 times a week. Not 3 REVIEWS, which is more than even my non-school-laboring brain can handle. 3 posts. All book related in some way, with at least 1 review. I’ll sort out a couple of memes that I hope to keep up with later on.
  • Read what I want. I’m not going to be using – well, hold on. I don’t THINK I will be using Netgalley this year. Last year I got super stressed out with trying to read books on time, via ebook (I have a Nook, which sometimes is great and other times is just awful). I really despise the necessity of ebooks. Like no, I don’t like to carry 10 books around in my bag, so I own an e-reader, but I don’t LIKE them. And I requested too many NG books and didn’t finish them all and there is all this leftover guilt that literally makes my heart pound. So NO. NO MORE. I did receive a few physical ARCs which I found much easier, so if I have a chance for any more of those I might early review some books, but overall I really just want to read whatever strikes my fancy and so I won’t be requesting very many, if ANY, ARCs for this year. Less stress.
  • Make the blog pay for itself. Not my books. If I don’t have money for books, there is always the library. BUT, a self-hosted site does come with some fees, and I would really like to be able to monetize just enough to pay for those. I won’t be doing big annoying ads, but I do plan to start/restart an affiliate program and possibly a Ko-fi or Patreon type thing. If I did that, I would want to create exclusive content for supporters…so I’m not sure it’s worth the extra stress on myself – on the other hand, I don’t think I get enough views to support only through affiliate programs.

So what’s not on this list and why? Might be a pretty glaring omission for a lot of book bloggers…

  • NO FOLLOWER/STATS GOALS. Say what? Yeah. At least for right now. I found I was getting way too discouraged when I saw how slowly my numbers were growing last year (and of course, not growing at all when I took an abrupt hiatus). I may re-evaluate this in a few months, but for right now I want to blog just because I like it. No stress. That’s going to be a huge focus for me this year – less stress and self care. I will still post in lots of places and leave links for people to follow me – but I won’t be stretching for numbers and not setting a goal for that is going to help free my creative brain.

How about you? If you’re a blogger, what are your book blog goals for 2018? Do you find that you’re pretty good at sticking to goals or do you find yourself revising them through the year? What do you think of my lack of a numbers/stats goal?


Jan 04

2018 New Release Challenge

Books/Writing 0

2018 new release challenge

Along with my Beat the Backlist challenge, the 2018 New Release challenge created by (un)Conventional Book Views will (I hope) make up the rest of my “number goal” in books this year! Since my goal is 52 overall, and I’m trying for 40 backlist books…that would mean 12 new releases! Of which…I already have 4 pre-ordered. Ahem. This year I am not attempting the debut author challenge. As much as I love supporting new authors, that one was a real struggle and real guilt inducer for me last year. I felt guilty for not being supportive and even more guilty if I didn’t like their book (because OMG IT’S THEIR FIRST ONE AND I WANT THEM TO BE SUCCESSFUL AND AND AND). Maybe another year when I have more time on my hands, but I want to enjoy new releases by authors I already love with the OPTION to pick some debuts.

My goal of 12 definitely puts me in the “New Release Newbie” category for this one! That made me laugh, because I feel like I am absolutely obsessed with new releases…I add them to list after list and feel like I read a lot of new releases last year…maybe not. I’m excited to see how many I actually get to this year!

Potential list that I’m leaving lots of blank spots on because there are many SEQUELS coming out this year, that I want to read…the first book of which, from LAST year, I still haven’t read but I have hope.

  1.  Reign of the Fallen, by Sarah Glenn Marsh – out January 23rd – read her debut last year, much <3 so this one is preordered!
  2. Purple Hearts, by Michael Grant – out January 30th – last of this trilogy, which I have absolutely loved, an alternate history of WWII in which women are allowed to be combat soldiers.
  3.  Dread Nation, by Justina Ireland – out April 30th – Civil War history, zombies, and diversity, YES PLEASE.
  4. Competence, by Gail Carriger – out on July 17th – I pretty much love everything Gail writes and this is the 3rd in the Custard Protocol series.
  5.  My Plain Jane, by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, and Brodi Ashton – out on June 26th – OMG GIVE ME MORE the first one was so good!!
  6. Aru Shah and the End of Time, by Roshani Chokshi – out March 27th – loved The Star-Touched Queen but fell off the bandwagon and haven’t read the sequel, so this is a good one to go back to!
  7. Children of Blood and Bone, by Tomi Adeyemi – out March 6th – this just sounds fascinating. Also, DEBUT!
  8. Gunslinger Girl, by Lyndsay Ely, out January 2nd (oh look!) – intriguing. Old west + futuristic? Hmm. Also, another DEBUT!
  9.  From Twinkle, With Love, by Sandhya Menon – out June 19th i.e. NOT FREAKING SOON ENOUGH – I loved Sandhya’s first book and am desperate for this one!
  10.  A Girl Like That, by Tanaz Bhathena – out February 27th – oooohhh mystery YA with diverse rep and another debut!
  11.  Love, Hate, & Other Filters, by Samira Ahmed – out January 16th – this sounds like it’s going to make me reevaluate my perceptions so naturally it MUST be read.
  12.  A Thousand Perfect Notes, by C.G. Drews – out June 7th – this is by one of my absolute favorite bloggers, Cait @ PaperFury, so of COURSE.

As always, list subject to change, especially since none of these books come out any later than July! I actually have QUITE a few more titles on my GR 2018 Releases shelf if you want to check that out. I’m sure the list will continue to grow, too.


Jan 04

Beat the Backlist 2018

Books/Writing 3

beat the backlist

I’m participating in Austine’s awesome Beat the Backlist challenge again this year! Even if I was woefully short of my goal last year…at least according to the reviews I posted. I actually think I was reeeeally close to making it, but I didn’t take time to go back through my GoodReads list and add them all up. So this year I’m trying to be more realistic with my goal…no moves on the horizon this year (knock on wood), but I am starting school again, so there’s that. Also I’m not feeling super motivated at the moment even though I desperately WANT to be motivated…so yeah. I’m just aiming for 40 backlist books this year. I haven’t decided on ALL the titles, but there are quite a few on my physical TBR that have been screaming at me so those are on the top. Sorry, I’m not taking time to link every single book…but  I DO hope to review 90% of the books I read this year, so keep an eye out!

  1. All the Crooked Saints, by Maggie Stiefvater
  2. Wild Beauty, by Anna-Marie McLemore
  3. The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daugher, by Theodora Goss
  4. Monstress, Vol 2, by Marie Lu
  5. The Aeronaut’s Windlass, by Jim Butcher
  6. A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab
  7. Romancing the Inventor, by Gail Carriger
  8. Romancing the Werewolf, by Gail Carriger
  9. The Upside of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli
  10. Truthwitch, by Susan Dennard
  11. How to Hang a Witch, by Adriana Mather
  12. Hounded, by Kevin Hearne
  13. The Fiery Cross, by Diana Gabaldon
  14. Three Dark Crowns, by Kendare Blake
  15. The Serpent King, by Jeff Zentner
  16. .
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Yes, I’m leaving a bunch of those blank. While I have MORE than enough books on my TBR shelf to cover 40, I know from previous experience that I don’t do so well with strict lists and schedules. So I’m leaving this open to wherever the book muse should take me in 2018!

Are you participating in Beat the Backlist 2018? Be sure to check out the full signup details and think about it if you’re not already!

ETA: Oh, so I was assigned to the Story Sorcerers team! I’m really excited to see the different teams this year, I love the names so much. <3


Jan 01

Happy New Year 2018! And a life update

Books/Writing, Life 9

Happy New Year, everyone!

Why yes, I did fall off the face of the planet. Why yes, life has run me over since about September. Why yes, it has been a struggle to just get out of bed and take a shower. Why yes, I did manage to continue to go to work and slap on a smile. Why yes, I turned into a zombie as soon as I got home. Why yes, it kind of sucked.


I am finished with my old job and I moved back to Virginia (husband had already been here for several weeks due to his new job starting before mine ended) right before Christmas. Like, literally RIGHT before. I put up our tree 2 days before Christmas. I start school on January 15. I am super, super excited about that, but I’m still struggling a little – ok, maybe more than a little – with the transition. I’ve worked full time for 8 years. I am suddenly…kind of adrift, feeling very ill at ease. I have really felt unable to deal with anyone or anything for weeks. If it weren’t for people asking me to go places or do things I probably wouldn’t leave the house much. Speaking of…

I love our new place – it’s an actual HOUSE, the first of my adult life, and even though we are only renting I love it to pieces. It’s older, with plenty of room for us, a couple of pets, anyone who wants to come visit for a night or even a week, a fenced yard, and a creek right down the hill. I absolutely love it.

As far as reading…I sadly did not actually finish a SINGLE ONE of my reading challenges this past year. About August I started struggling with a reading slump. The Halloween Read-a-thon of October helped some, but after that I went into even a bigger slump and I think I finished 1 or 2 books in November and December. It sucked. Again, HOWEVER. I have high hopes that things are turning around. I’m setting new goals for this year, but in MODERATION. I knew when I started my eleven-billion challenges last year that I wouldn’t finish them all. I did think I would finish at least the 75 books in 2017 challenge, but I underestimated the effect of 2 moves on my reading mojo and life in general. Moderation is going to be key for me this year, in adjusting to school, lack of a job (at least a full time one), managing my Etsy shop, blogging, and some other things I have dreams of starting. I’m working on my sign-up posts for the THREE challenges I have decided to do for books this year, and also some brand new plans for the blog.

2017 really taught me that I can’t neglect myself. My mental health, my physical health, my heart. It was as a struggle of a year, I’m not going to lie. The last couple of months especially. I truly felt like I could barely function and like I had nothing more to give, to anyone, and wanted nothing more than to be left alone. I know that’s not normal or healthy, and I’m happy to say I am starting to feel better. I do think that a lot of those feelings had to do with neglecting myself, not listening to my heart and body when I needed rest. Hopefully 2018 will be better for that!

Expect a few more posts this week on reading challenges, goals, etc…after this week there won’t be quite so many in a week!

I wish you all the very best in 2018! Happy new year, everyone!


Nov 13

Girl of Nightmares Review

Book Reviews 0 ★★★★★

Girl of Nightmares ReviewGirl of Nightmares (Anna, #2) by Kendare Blake
Published by Tor Teen on August 7th 2012
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Pages: 332
Buy This Book from Book Depository, Free Delivery World WideBuy on Amazon
Goodreads five-stars

It's been months since the ghost of Anna Korlov opened a door to Hell in her basement and disappeared into it, but ghost-hunter Cas Lowood can't move on.

His friends remind him that Anna sacrificed herself so that Cas could live—not walk around half dead. He knows they're right, but in Cas's eyes, no living girl he meets can compare to the dead girl he fell in love with.

Now he's seeing Anna everywhere: sometimes when he's asleep and sometimes in waking nightmares. But something is very wrong...these aren't just daydreams. Anna seems tortured, torn apart in new and ever more gruesome ways every time she appears.

Cas doesn't know what happened to Anna when she disappeared into Hell, but he knows she doesn't deserve whatever is happening to her now. Anna saved Cas more than once, and it's time for him to return the favor.

Girl of Nightmares is the sequel to the ever-so-popular Anna Dressed in Blood, so be warned there may be SPOILERS for the first book! This review is also very short because books like this are hard to review without giving too much away and ruining the fun of the read for everyone.

Super Short and Sweet Review:

  • Cas is back, and he’s just as moody and kind-of-sort-of angry as in the first book. He’s not as hell-bent (no pun intended) on revenge, but now he’s kind of mooning over the fact that Anna is gone…or is she? At first he thinks he’s going crazy as he starts to see her when he’s out ghost-hunting, but then he becomes convinced she is in some kind of trouble (more trouble than a usual trip to the afterlife would entail) as she always appears to be tortured when she appears. Yikes.
  • Cas’s friends are more real in this book. At least, this time I actually remembered them, whereas when I started this one, I only had a vague recollection of there being other people involved somewhere…maybe that’s my fault, my memory is not the greatest. 😛 His mom is sweet and adorable and reading the scenes with the two of them kind of made my heart hurt. Like, what is it like to be able to be friends with your parents?
  • Partway through, the book moves to England and I LOVED IT. It just made it that much more interesting even if they didn’t get to explore nearly as much as they should have because obviously they were trying to save Anna.
  • Anna herself is only in this book in VERY short segments. I was a little bit disappointed by that but there was really no way to bring her into the story that would make sense.
  • The descriptions succeeded in making me pull my covers up and make sure my doors were locked (not that locked doors would help me if there was a ghost after me…buuuuut you know). I love it when a book succeeds in raising the hairs on the back of my neck! Surely I’m not the only one that literally has that happen…not just a figure of speech here!
  • The ending was…well, it was closure…and that’s about all I can say without spoiling it! My hat is off to Kendare Blake for ENDING THIS DUOLOGY right here. I can imagine it might have been tempting to extend it, with the popularity of Anna Dressed in Blood, but it felt really good to finish not only a book but an entire story.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Girl of Nightmares! Follow me on social media to keep up with more reviews and bookish posts!