February TBR

Hello Everyone!

Here are some of the books I plan on reading in February:

Love in a Broken Vessel by Mesu Andrews 


In the Shadow of Jezebel by Mesu Andrews


Once Upon Eliza by Erynn Mangum 


Happily Ever Ashten by Erynn Mangum 


Sierra Jensen Volume 2 by Robin Jones Gunn


Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: The Hazel Wood

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert.


About the Book: 

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

My Thoughts: 

Confession…so I’ve realized that I am really bad at reading the synopsis of a book because I don’t think I read the synopsis for The Hazel Wood really well because it ended up being very different from what I was expecting and it was really good!

I felt like I was kept guessing as to what happened next. It was also pretty weird, but in a good way…if that makes sense. There were a lot of things that happened where I had no idea what had just happened (again, in a good way!).

I liked Alice and getting to know more about her past and her being on the run with her mom. Ellery Finch was also an interesting character and I loved watching his interaction with Alice throughout this whole book.

The one complaint that I do have is that I felt like what happened to Ella, Alice’s mom, was too basic – I kind of wish something more complex had happened. I loved how this was both magical realism and fantasy, and just how unique it was.

This was a great debut novel and it was the first novel I have read in a novel that kept me intrigued in a while. I am looking forward to reading more of Melissa Albert’s works and it looks like her next is going to be The Tales from the Hinterland, which I am really excited for. I gave this book 4/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Guards! Guards! (Guest Post)

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is a special book review because it was written by my younger brother, Micaiah, and I hope it is just one of many guest posts that he will write for the blog. Enjoy!


The late Terry Pratchett was a hilarious and astute author who is most well known and loved for breathing life into his Discworld Novels- a magical world that is carried on the backs of four elephants, who in turn are carried on the back of the  Great World Turtle A’Tuin.

I recently read Guards! Guards! The first of the Discworld novels to focus on the happenings and adventures of the Ankh-Morpork night watch, with Captain Vimes leading the, sometimes reluctant, charge. Something is not quite right in the cut-throat metropolis of Ankh-Morpork. People have been burnt to ashes and even melted into walls. What could have done such a thing? What are those large tracks that have been found near the scene of the crime? Is it a dragon or simply a wading bird? What is going on in the meetings of the Unique and Supreme Lodge of the Brethren of the Ebon Night? Find out as the night watch is on the case!

Guards! Guards! was a terrifically fun read. The characters are interesting and blend together well, the humour is top notch and the plot is engaging. This may have been my favourite Discworld novel that I have read so far (I’ve mainly read the novels concerned with DEATH– a lot of fun in their own rights). I did think that some plot elements could have been wrapped up in different ways- one major component of the plot concluded in a way that made sense and did actually have some prior buildup, but it felt like it resolved a tad too quickly to me. It was similar to a deus ex machina situation although not quite.

Despite this, Guards! Guards! was a thoroughly entertaining read full of heart, wit, and magic that Terry Pratchett manages to inject into all of his works. If you’ve never read a Discworld novel you could read some of the earlier ones to get a feel for the world, but Guards! Guards! is a good a place as any to jump right in and enjoy the magic!

About the Guest Contributor: 

Hi! I am Janelle’s younger (and only) brother, Micaiah. I enjoy music, reading, hiking,video games (I admit I have quite an affinity for Nintendo and Monster Hunter) and talking nonsense at almost any opportunity. In my reading, I enjoy a fair mix of fantasy, satire, philosophy, and science.



Book Review: Empress of a Thousand Skies

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza.


About the Book: 

Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an wants vengeance.

The only surviving heir to an ancient Kalusian dynasty, Rhee has spent her life training to destroy the people who killed her family. Now, on the eve of her coronation, the time has finally come for Rhee to claim her throne – and her revenge.

Alyosha is a Wraetan who has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. Despite his popularity, Aly struggles with anti-Wraetan prejudices and the pressure of being perfect in the public eye.

Their paths collide with one brutal act of violence: Rhee is attacked, barely escaping with her life. Aly is blamed for her presumed murder.

The princess and her accused killer are forced to go into hiding – even as a war between planets is waged in Rhee’s name. But soon, Rhee and Aly discover that the assassination attempt is just one part of a sinister plot. Bound together by an evil that only they can stop, the two fugitives must join forces to save the galaxy. 

My Thoughts: 

Even though Empress of a Thousand Skies was an interesting read, it was also kind of a let down. I’ve been trying to find something to fill The Illuminae Files void until Obsidio comes out in March, and I was kind of hoping that this would be the book to help make the wait easier. However, it ended up being pretty slow, I still liked it, but it was slow and confusing.

There were so many things that are not explained in the world-building of the setting of the novel which are mentioned later on the book. I don’t mind if world-building is continuously happening throughout the novel, but there were times things were mentioned and I had no idea what they were.

When it comes to the plot, even though it sounds like it would be interesting, it just isn’t executed in the way I was expecting. I liked the plot, but it was slow and never really gripped me. And the “major” plot points/twists that happen didn’t really capture my interest.

Characters…while I liked them, they also didn’t really develop much over the course of the novel. A lot of what happens to Rhee and Alyosha seemed kind of predictable and the ending didn’t leave me wishing that the sequel was out already. The dual story lines threw me off because I was expecting them to intercept eventually but they never did.

I did like the map and with the way it ended I am interested in checking out the sequel when it comes out later this year, but I am not going to rush out and get it…I’ll read it when I read it.

Due to lack of character development and a slow plot I am giving Empress of a Thousand Skies 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Forget Me Not

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on Forget Me Not by Ellie Terry which was one of my favorite books of 2017.


AR Level: 4.1

AR Points: 3.0

About the Book: 

A girl with Tourette syndrome starts a new school and tries to hide her quirks in this debut middle-grade novel in verse.

Calliope June has Tourette syndrome. Sometimes she can’t control the noises that come out of her mouth, or even her body language. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But soon the kids in her class realize she’s different. Only her neighbor, who is also the class president, sees her as she truly is—a quirky kid, and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public?

As Callie navigates school, she must also face her mother’s new relationship and the fact that she might be moving again—just as she’s starting to make friends and finally accept her differences. This story of being true to yourself will speak to a wide audience.

My Thoughts: 

Forget Me Not was a beautiful and poignant story. It brought back a lot of memories from when I was made fun of as a kid, even though I don’t have Tourette Syndrome. Calliope was still a relatable character and so was Jinsong. I cried during several sections of this book, which also happens to be told in free verse. I am looking forward to reading more of Ellie Terry’s works and it was a great debut novel! I am giving it 5/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: I See London, I See France

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski.


About the Book: 

I see London, I see France, I see Sydney’s underpants.

Nineteen-year-old Sydney has the perfect summer mapped out. She’s spending the next four and half weeks traveling through Europe with her childhood best friend, Leela. Their plans include Eiffel-Tower selfies, eating cocco gelato, and making out with très hot strangers. Her plans do not include Leela’s cheating ex-boyfriend showing up on the flight to London, falling for the cheating ex-boyfriend’s très hot friend, monitoring her mother’s spiraling mental health via texts, or feeling like the rope in a friendship tug-of-war.

As Sydney zigzags through Amsterdam, Switzerland, Italy, and France, she must learn when to hold on, when to keep moving, and when to jump into the Riviera…wearing only her polka-dot underpants.

My Thoughts: 

This was an interesting read because even though I liked I See London, I See France, there were also some aspects of the novel that I didn’t really like. One of the things I did not like was how it seemed to glorify drug use and casual sex, especially since that isn’t my scene. Honestly, I would be giving the book a higher rating if it wasn’t for those things.

I did really enjoy the road trip aspect of it and the whole idea of backpacking through Europe – which I would love to do some day.

Now to discuss the characters…personally, there were times I wanted to throttle Sydney,but I think part of it was due to the fact that I also struggle with wanting to make other happy. I also found Leela to be annoying, especially when it came to her ex-boyfriend Matt. However, Jackson was awesome and I enjoyed getting to know him through the book.

Despite the negative aspects of this book, there were things that I did like (besides the abovementioned) such as Sydney dealing with her mom’s mental illness and the possibility that she might have inherited from her. However, I can’t really recommend this to a lot of people in my friendship circles because for the most part the characters have very little morals. Again, I personally feel like the book would’ve been better without the drugs in one part and the talk about casual sex throughout most of the book. Therefore I am giving it 3.25/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Talking As Fast As I Can

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham.


I loved it! I started listening to this on my way home from work and ended up spending the rest of the night listening to it! Lauren Graham is a great narrator and writer. I loved her random interjections and singing. I felt like I was listening to Lorelai Gilmore, which is great because it shows that she is just as snarly and sassy as her character on Gilmore Girls.m

Even though she is a celebrity, her memoir was also relatable and I loved her chapters about getting started, diet and fitness in Hollywood and all about her writing process. I also enjoyed reading her thoughts on Gilmore Girls and the revival series, as well as Parenthood (which is also a really good show). I even liked reading about her previous relationship woes.

I really loved this book, I highly recommend giving it a listen/ read, but most definitely listen to it! I am giving it 5/5 Stars because it was so good!

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: Dragonfly in Amber (Outlander #2)

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon. SPOILER ALERT: If you haven’t read the books or watched the show this will spoil a few things from the first book, and this ended up being a comparison of the book to the show, so proceed with caution unless you are okay with spoilers.

Dragonfly in Amber cover

About the Book: 

For nearly twenty years Claire Randall has kept her secrets. But now she is returning with her grown daughter to Scotland’s majestic mist-shrouded hills. Here Claire plans to reveal a truth as stunning as the events that gave it birth: about the mystery of an ancient circle of standing stones… about a love that transcends the boundaries of time… and about Jamie Fraser, a Scottish warrior whose gallantry once drew a young Claire from the security of her century to the dangers of his.

Now a legacy of blood and desire will test her beautiful copper-haired daughter, Brianna, as Claire’s spellbinding journey of self-discovery continues in the intrigue-ridden Paris court of Charles Stuart… in a race to thwart a doomed Highlands uprising… and in a desperate fight to save both the child and the man she loves.

My Thoughts: 

If i had not already watched Season 2 of Outlander, I would have found the beginning of Dragonfly in Amber shocking and confusing…but it still hurts (even though I have already finished watching Season 3). It’s so different from the show and I think the scenes that were moved around for the show actually improved the story line compared to the book. I liked the book but the show was definitely better when it came to the flow of the plot. I also liked how the show dealt with Jamie’s trauma after the events near the end of season 1/ the first book, I felt like it was more realistic than what happens in the book.

The first few hundred pages of Dragonfly in Amber were kind of slow, especially since there were some key scenes that were in different places that I was not expecting. However, I continued to enjoy the characters in this book, especially the new ones that are introduced to the readers.

Claire is still a great character, but I also wish we got more description of her personality because for the most part we are just viewing what is going on through her eyes, but it often read like an omniscient narrator. And her and Jamie continue to be relationship goals! And I love Roger, and how he doesn’t think Claire is crazy after she tells him and Brianna that she traveled back to the mid-1700s. I also liked Brianna and I hope Voyager flashes back on Claire’s life after she returns to the 1940s and Brianna’s upbringing (I already know the answer to that…I think…I still need to read Voyager).

Some other characters I liked were Louise and Mother Hildegaard, but I do wish the villain of the story had been more villainous (if you’ve seen the show/ read the first book you know who I am talking about). There was one character that I wish had been portrayed in the book just like he was in the TV show and that was Bonnie Prince Charlie. In the show he is really aggravating, but in the book he isn’t as annoying. However I do understand that this is all from Claire’s perspective and that there is a lot more that goes on beyond what she sees and is told, which was explored in the show.

I didn’t enjoy Dragonfly in Amber as much as I enjoyed Outlander, and I think part of that is that I had already watched Season 2 of the show so some of the twists that were supposed to shock me didn’t have that shock factor. But I also liked comparing it to the show and seeing the differences between the two and seeing what I liked better in either one. However, if I was being honest, I think the show did a better job of conveying the story, especially when it came to the flow of the plot. But I am still planning on picking up Voyager soon, and I will be very interested to see how that differs from Season 3 of show. I am giving Dragonfly in Amber 3.5/5 Stars because while I did like it, there were several things that I wish had been different and I felt like the show did a better job of meeting those expectations(?).

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.

Book Review: A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. Since it is the third book in the A Court of Thorns of Roses series, this review might contain a few spoilers from the first two books, so SPOILER ALERT!!!



About the Book: 

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all. 

My Thoughts: 

I honestly felt kind of indifferent towards most of this book. It was a slow start and I honestly expected there to be more action than there was for most of the book. I expected there to be more war scenes, but most of them were told in second-hand accounts from the other characters which was annoying!

I also  felt like everything was tied up too neatly and I think there needed to be the death of a more significant character than there actually was (sorry if this is a spoiler) because again the ending was too clean-cut and didn’t really fit the series at all.

Now, let’s get to the characters which were actually good despite the slow plot. I loved getting too know Feyre’s sisters, especially Nesta who kicks butt! I also felt sorry for Elain because even though she loved her fiance he was a complete jerk to her as a result of what happened to her at the end of ACOMAF, which was beyond her control. However, I loved her character development throughout the rest of the book. Even though I liked most of the characters there is then Tamlin…he is so annoying and whiny and possessive and I can’t stand him especially with how he treats Feyre. But then there is Rhysand, who I like even more and more because there is so much more to his character than what was portrayed in the first book. Feyre is also cool, and I loved watching her come into her own even more during this latest installment.

A Court of Wings and Ruin was kind of a disappointment after A Court of Mist and Fury, however I am also interested in reading it again in a few years to see if I feel differently about it. I am also interested in checking out the novella that is coming out in May – just to see what happens to some of the characters that I grew to love throughout this series. I am giving it 3/5 Stars.

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.



Book Review: Warcross

Hello Everyone!

Today’s review is on Warcross by Marie Lu.


About the Book: 

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire. 

My Thoughts: 

I loved the whole aspect of a virtual reality game that almost everyone is apart of – it was interesting to see how everything worked in this virtual reality. The plot moved pretty smoothly and I liked the twists and turns that happened through the book.

Emika was an awesome character – I loved how she was able to take care of herself, but yet she still had some vulnerability. I enjoyed watching her become immersed in the world of Warcross. Her character development through the novel was really good. I liked all the side characters and I can’t wait to get to know them more in the sequel. I even liked Hideo despite everything that happens.

I still can’t believe the major twists that happen at the end and I really need the second book, like now. This was also the first Marie Lu book that I’ve read and I think I’ve discovered a new favorite author and I am looking to reading Batman: Nightwalker and The Young Elites very soon!

Happy Reading,

Janelle L. C.