Top 5 Sat: Second Chance Reads

Hey all!

I hope you’re all enjoying the start of your weekend. The topic for this week’s Top 5 Sat meme, created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books, is: Book’s I’d Give a Second Chance.

There have been quite a few books that I’ve put down or DNFd this year and I think some of those probably deserve a second chance. Here are the top five I’ve got my eye on trying again:

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – I’ve tried twice to read this story, so perhaps this would be more fitting for a third-time’s-the-charm list, but somehow I still haven’t gotten in to this story. There’s just something about Simon’s narration that bugs me. As well as the fact that the story starts off as if it were in the middle of the book… I just tend to lose interest.

All the Bad Apples by Moira Fowley-Doyle – I picked up this book a LONG while ago, maybe a year or so, when it was recently released and relatively hyped. I read SO MANY good reviews about it and was excited to try it myself… until I got bored. My patience these days for pushing through awkward starts to books has become very short, sadly. It’s a bad habit I’ve picked up!

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker – I ADORE Tucker’s writing usually, especially A Simple Wild, but unfortunately this book just didn’t work for me the first time around. I DNFd at around 30% after the second-chance romance trope got a bit too angsty for me. I was expecting more, too much??, perhaps and this one just didn’t capture my interest for long enough. I don’t think I gave it a proper try though.

Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare – has made this list because I initially started reading this book soon after its release – I had been highly anticipating it – however I soon realised I had forgotten important details of the story and would need to reread the first two books again…. and that’s when I gave up. Those books were long but so, so good. It’s worth the reread to finish off the trilogy. Now I just need to find the right motivation!

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore – If you’ve been reading my blog posts over the past year you’ll know I ADORED Graceling. To the extent that it’s in my all-time faves list. But… I couldn’t seem to finish off the final book in the high fantasy series. Perhaps I’ve changed over time? Or maybe Bitterblue just wasn’t for me? Either way I hadn’t been expecting to DNF this book less than half way through. My eternal love for Graceling demands I give this one a second try though!

Top 5 Sat: One Word Titles

It’s Sat again and that means we get to do one of our all-time fav memes: Top 5 Saturday created by the lovely Mandy over at Devouring Books. The topic for this week is: One Word Titles.

Last weekend I spent a LONG time trying to write a post for the previous topic in this meme, books by the sea, and couldn’t seem to find any books on my TBR. Nevertheless this week it seems like the complete opposite has occurred. I had TOO MANY one word books to choose from. Oh well, you can’t win it all, ha.

Motion by Penny Reid – I adore Penny Reid’s writing and really enjoyed the first series in the Hypothesis Trilogies. She always seems to manage creating the perfect balance of witty characters and endless drama (that somehow doesn’t get annoying?). She’s a genius, in my completely biased opinion. If you’re a science geek you’ll love her books too. They’re accurate! It’s like finding a gem in the rough.

Spellhacker by M.K England – This one made it on to my list as it sounds awesome and is surprisingly one word (??). I love books with heist themes and a merry group of law-breaking friends. What more could you want?

Havenfall by Sara Holland – I’m just going to be honest, this one is on my TBR because the cover is so pretty. Yes, I’m shallow like that. In my defence, I’ve also happened to read positive reviews for it. Well, mostly positive.

Faker by Sarah Smith – Oh, the sweet joy that is an enemies-to-lovers. Seriously I don’t think I’ll ever tire of this trope! Emmie and Tate sound so impossibly different. I’m expecting fireworks, drama and built-up sexual tension. I’ve read some mixed reviews for this one but for now I’m remaining hopelessly optimistic!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber – I’ve literally seen this book everywhere for years and haven’t really read any negative reviews for it. The premise sounds adventurous and full of magic. It’s been a while since I’ve read a fantasy immersed in magic.

Top 5 Sat: Male POV Romances (*sigh*)

Oh boy, oh boy! My excitement for the spin I’m taking on this week’s topic is in proportion to how much I love the suit featured above. In other words: A LOT.

Thank you (from the bottom of my suit-loving heart) Mandy at Devouring Books. Not only is your meme one of my faves but you’ve seriously just MADE MY WEEK with this topic.

As I enjoy this narration style it’s safe to say I’ve pretty much read it all and am going to share with you: The Five Male POV Romances I Want to Re-Read.


Tangled – Drew is an arrogant asshole until he meets Katherine. She’s competitive and just the right amount of sarcastic to challenge Drew. As all of these stories go… they fall in love. What truly makes this book special to read though is the fact that it starts out with Drew having the ‘flu’ AKA = heartbreak. It’s a unique spin on how romances normally go down and this is a book I’ll just keep rereading.

Sustained – Pay attention, I’m about to share something dear to my heart: Jake Becker. He is hands-down in my top 5 male characters OF ALL TIME. Yes, you read that correctly. He’s just such an honest, hard-working and considerate guy (despite also being kinda a callous dick). When he steps up to help Chelsea McQuaid, aunt to six orphaned children, my heart starts to melt. Yes this is practically a trashy read. I don’t care though. I’d sell my soul for Jake Becker!

The Sea of Tranquility – This is one of the few angsty YA contemporary romances that I enjoyed enough to want to read again. I spent majority of this book trying to figure out the main characters. They’re clear as day and yet… the author hints and teases with deeper secrets and backstory that only get revealed toward the end. I didn’t predict any of it (though I can be quite naive so bear that in mind, I suppose)! It was a fun read and Josh was such a sweetheart.

Leaving Paradise – Elkeles is hands-down my go-to slow burn love story (well, after Mariana Zapata). We’ll consider them different though as Elkeles writes mainly YA. If you’re a fan of Zapata I implore you to give something by Elkeles a try. What I adored about Caleb was his ready acceptance of others, especially ‘the freak’ Maggie. It’s told with a realistic twist where characters have physical flaws and young adults are capable of an unlikely inner strength. This story touched my heart.

Rule – Synonymous with BAD BOY, Rule is that classic arrogant ass that just needs to unleash his vulnerable side *sigh* (are you sensing a trend here?). What I adored about this book, even more than the pairing between Rule and Shaw (who is an awesome, no-nonsense female lead), are the side characters. The other characters who make up the ‘Marked Men’ tattoo studio (which sounds sexist as some of them are women!) are truly great. It’s a great mix of family-by-blood and family-by-choice with just the right amount of drama and action to keep the series interesting. If you’re looking for a trashy, but oh-so-fun summer read then this is it!

Top Ten Tuesday – Reasons Why I Love Middle Grade Books

It’s TOP TEN TUESDAY TIME. As ever, I’m so thankful to Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl for this delightful meme and topic this week.

Middle grade has been my go-to reading over the past month (with a dash of romantic fiction added in there). In a time when anxiety is high (mine is from currently moving house which is a CHORE) middle grade books allow me the perfect, calming escape (REASON #1).

REASON #2

The lack of romance. Yes, I know. I actually said (or is it technically typed?) that. I’ll be the first to admit I’m a die hard rom-com fan but occasionally it’s nice to have a genre that isn’t focused on squeezing in romantic plots in the background (or as the WHOLE plot, as is the case in romance). That’s not to say there aren’t MG books with romance but it’s less common I find.

REASON #3

The friendships! It’s so sweet to read about a band of misfit BFFs taking on the Wicked Witch of the West [or insert alternative villain here]. The wholesome innocence of it is beautiful, especially in contrast to my current living situation which means FRIENDS ARE SO FAR AWAY. It makes me melancholy and eager to see them again!

REASON #4

The fantasy kicks ass. Not quite literally (although I’m sure there’s at least one example of this somewhere…) but in the sense that there ARE NO RULES. Their creativity and imagination is sometimes far more vivid than YA or adult fantasy: genres that tend to lean toward ‘the realm of possibility’ with their fantastical ideas. Whereas some MG fantasy books just GO BANANAS in terms of realism and flying pigs go by in the next chapter. Who doesn’t want a healthy does of whimsy like this in their life?

REASON #5

They’re shorter. There are times when I want to sit down to a beastly tomb and spend 15 hours of my life compelled by the pages (Kingdom of Ash)… and then there are times when I want to sit on the couch, be lazy, pick up a book and finish it before I feel the urge to get back up again. MG novels tend to be at least 100 pages shorter than your average adult novel and this can come in handy when you’re in the mood for a quick escape.

REASON #6

PICTURES. Okay, so MG books don’t actually have pictures in them but the COVERS are SO CUTE majority of the time. If you don’t believe me check out these MG books below. Who could resist picking these up off the shelf???!! Yes, they’re all mermaid related. Because mermaids are cool like that.

REASON #7

ARCs. My luck with MG ARCs is generally far better than with YA or adult novels. Maybe it’s just me? I could be overly critical of YA and adult books and lenient on MG? Regardless of the reason, my track record with higher star ratings and enjoyment is definitely higher in MG than in any other genre. They’re just so FEEL GOOD. I can’t help but be happy and give a happiness-induced high rating!

REASON #8

The series DON’T LET YOU DOWN. At least in Rick Riordan’s case. And isn’t he kinda the King of Greek myth fantasy for MG? I feel like he is (in my completely biased opinion due to a love of Percy J). I’ve had some bad luck lately with bad sequels and endings to series (looking at you Neal Shusterman…) and having a genre where the sequel is generally as good as the first is a win-win in my book!

REASON #9

They cover some deep topics. With a host of books in MG being dedicated to the fantastic there isn’t often a highlight on the OTHER books for this age group. One of my favourite topics, quite often covered, is that of immigrating as a child and adjusting to a new culture. This is something I experienced as a child and being able to relate to characters going through the same thing gets me all teared up! It’s such a hard thing to handle when you’re young (especially if you’re the kid with the weird accent) and these books tackle the subject so well. I wish I’d had them as a child so that I could have read and related to this back then. It would have certainly helped with the discomfort of being ‘The New Girl’ in a very strange new school.

REASON #10

THEY’RE ADDICTIVELY FUN AND FUNNY. I’ll admit that I can be quite the staid reader. You’d probably think I looked dead bored if you chanced a peek at me reading (when in reality I’m so engrossed that my awareness of the surroundings just disappears). Like resting b*tch face, my resting reading face leaves a lot to be desired. That’s why MG is so fun to read. I genuinely find myself laughing out loud and talking to my invisible neighbour (I’m calling him George for the time being) about how amazing/brilliant/funny/ [insert adjective here] the characters are.

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Club Essentials

Hello Lovelies,

It’s Tuesday! Time for one of our favourite memes of the week. Top Ten Tuesday was created by the lovely Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl and this week’s topic is: Things I’d Have at my Bookish Party. We decided to forgo ‘party’ for ‘small club’ (we’re introverted that way…) and list the essential items we have at our monthly book club meetings.

Number One

THE BOOKS. What’s a book club without the real reason we’re all there? Our book club subscribes to a local library that provides sets of physical books to use so we’re lucky that no one is left floundering each month to try and get their hands on the novel. This month’s book is: Where the Crawdads Sing. Here’s hoping it lives up to the hype!

Number Two

Teas. We’re a bit nutty about tea at our book club and we’re lucky that the book club host is a tea-fanatic. There’s always an endless list of delightful teas to choose from! My favourite is Gorgeous Geisha by T2 Tea (green tea with strawberry).

Number Three

Comfy couches. There’s nothing better than sitting back, relaxing and having a good ol’ book argument. Well, not argument but discussion. We mostly agree at book club but there have been a few notable exceptions that keep things interesting! Namely, the quality of A Dog’s Purpose. It was one book that was (almost) unanimously DNFd and disliked.

Number Four

George the Cat. He’s a regular fixture at the meetings and Tequila Mockingbird Book Club (that’s us) wouldn’t be the same without its (semi-) famous honorary member! He’s a glorious feline specimen that loves demanding attention and cuddles. How could we ever say no to that???

Number Five

Snacks! We’re all foodie people in the club (the ‘cool kids’ stick together) and book club wouldn’t be the same without something to nibble on while chatting. Our common faves include Tim Tams (an Aussie staple), Berries, Crackers and Cheese. We have all the essentials covered!

And that’s it! We’re a pretty average group with a pretty above-average love for books and all things bookish. What do you have at your book club meetings??