Hello, everyone! We have some very exciting news. Nicole and I will be hosting our first giveaway on our blog. We’ve had this blog for over three years now, and I think it’s about time we did this. We’ll be giving away a brand new copy of John Green’s newest young adult novel: Turtles All the Way Down.

The rules are simple. Just follow us on our blog, and submit your blog’s name onto Rafflecopter. There are also two other chances to enter, which are following our Twitter account, and commenting your favorite book and why you think everyone should read it. So you have plenty of chances to get this book!

This is a U.S. only giveaway! I’m really sorry about that. Someday in the future we’ll do an international one. This giveaway starts on 11/12 at 12:00 am U.S. Eastern time, and ends 11/19 at 12:00 am U.S. Eastern time. We’ll make a separate post announcing the winner.

So, good luck!

Book Tag

The End of the Year Book Tag


This book tag was created by Ariel over on Youtube. It sounded fun, so we decided to do it!

Are there any books you started this year that you need to finish?

Nicole: All of them? Rot and Ruin by Jonathan Maberry, and Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh is just two of them.
Isis: I need to finish the book I’m currently reading: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee. It’s a good book, but it’s pretty long for my usual taste. I’m hoping I finish it soon. Other than that, I’d just like to finish all the books I’m currently reading on GR. There’s just too many to list.
Do you have an autumnal book to transition into the end of the year?
Nicole: The Diviners by Libba Bray. It has magic and deals with the occult which always makes me think of fall for some reason.
Isis: I’ve been reading Point Pleasant by Jen Archer Wood every fall for the past few years. It’s set in October, and it’s sort of a monster book with an eerie vibe. I even have a soundtrack for it. That’s my go-to fall book. I’m not sure if I’ll read it again this year, but I might.
Is there a new release you’re still waiting for?
Nicole: The Ship of the Dead by Rick Riordan comes out October 3rd. I can’t wait.
Isis: I’m looking forward to Turtles All the Way Down by John Green. It comes out October 10. Although I fear I may be too old to enjoy a John Green novel, the teenager in me is still super excited to get back into his stories. I have high hopes.
What are three books you want to read before the end of the year?
Nicole: Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Follow Her Home by Steph Cha, and The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin.
Isis: The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan, History Is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera, and Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman.
Is there a book you think could still shock you and become your favorite book of the year?
Nicole: I expect to love The Fifth Season and The Ship of the Dead.
Isis: I think The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzie Lee definitely has its potential to become a new favorite. I’m about 150 pages into it and I’m already in love with the writing style. I love the dynamic between the three main characters and I’m looking forward to more. I’m hoping it stays consistently good.
Have you already started making reading plans for 2018?
Nicole: I did but I don’t think it’ll happen. I never stick to anything.
Isis: No. I don’t like to think that far ahead. I don’t even know what I’m going to read after I finish my current reads.
Personal, Uncategorized

Summaries We Love and Avoid

There are some summaries you read, and you know instantly that you have to check the book out. These are ours.


  • Fast, exciting, adventurous, intense. These words always grab my attention and make me want to see more of what a book is about.
  • Magic/magical. Anything with magic I feel like I need to check it out. It’s honestly my favorite thing in stories.
  • Friendships. If a blurb or summary mentions friendships it’s always exciting. Not enough books focus on this aspect enough when promoting.
  • Anything with space/pirates/thieves/a group of misfits. I’m very into all of these types of stories right now. I need more of them.


  • An lgbt+ character is a main character. If there is any indication of this, I will read it. 
  • A story about family. I love seeing family dynamics play about so this always draws my attention. 
  • A coming of age story following a teenager who is still finding himself/herself. I’m such a sucker for coming of age stories. Especially when they’re set in the summer. 
  • A story set in a small town where all things seem normal, until the supernatural appears. I’m usually hoping this doesn’t include vampires. Any other creates make for an interesting story. 

On the other hand, there are some summaries that make us go ehh I don’t know about this. These are ours.


  • Hot, sexy, sizzling. Any words like these tell me that the book focuses more on the romance, no matter what else the actual plot is.
  • Any summary along the lines of “he/she/the town was normal and boring until this new person showed up. Wonder what caused all this trouble/they changed this persons whole life.” It annoys me intensely.
  • Also, any summary that starts off with “Jane Doe had the perfect life until.” I find it so boring and tiring.


  • A journey through space. Chances are I’m already bored. Me and sci-fi don’t really mix. 
  • An assassin as a main character. I’m not throwing shade at Throne of Glass. I’ve heard so many books starring assassins and I don’t find the excitement. I don’t care about assassins. Take them away. 
  • Paranormal romance between a human and some ancient creature. So many books tried to copy Twilight. This is so overdone I just can’t stand it. 
Book Tag, Uncategorized

Bookish Questions Tag

Image result for books gif

1. What book is on your nightstand now?

Isis: I have a ton of books on my nightstand, but the one on top is In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero. It’s the book we’re currently reading for book club.

Nicole: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen because I read a little before bed about a month ago, and left it there. I haven’t picked it up again since.

2. What was the last truly great book you read?

Isis: The last truly great, nearly flawless book I read was At the Edge of the Universe by Shaun David Hutchinson. I adored that book and raved about it a lot. It’s one of my all-time favorites.

Nicole: The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story by Hyeonseo Lee was a really great book, but if I had to pick something fiction it would have to be The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight. It probably isn’t even that great of a book if you criticized it on a basic writing level, but it was the last book I read that truly grabbed me and forced me into the story. Which is sad since I read it last October.

3. If you could meet any writer—dead or alive—who would it be? What would you want to know?

Isis: I’ve already met my favorite author, Benjamin Alire Saenz, twice before. So other than him, I’d love to have met Jane Austen. Her life was fascinating and I admire the way she crafted her stories. She was so ahead of her time. I just love her.

Nicole: I really like Victoria Schwab so meeting her would be cool. Talking about writing with Rick Riordan or J.K. Rowling would be nice too. Realistically, whenever I meet authors I’m usually too nervous to barely say hi to them, so it doesn’t really mean anything to me.

4. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

Isis: I do have a book on my shelf called The Threesome Handbook by Victoria Vantoch. The only reason I bought it is because I went through a Misha Collins-Vicki Vantoch obsession and I felt it was necessary to have. No shame, though, right?

Nicole: It might be surprising that I have a whole shelf of romance books since that’s a genre I don’t gravitate toward ever really. I don’t think I have a particular book that would be surprising though. 

5. How do you organize your personal library?

Isis: No real organization to it. Other than Benjamin Alire Saenz and Stephen King shelves, everything else is just scattered. I guess I group them by size mostly.

Nicole: I tried to set it up by genres, but I don’t have enough shelf space so I have random stacks of books everywhere.

6. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

Isis: Right now I’m pretty disappointed in myself for not yet reading The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Saenz. It just recently came out and I got him to sign it for me before it was even released. But I have it tucked away with no plans to read it yet. I will, though! I’m just reading so many books at the time. I’m not embarrassed over not reading anything, though I wish I could get to Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo ’cause everyone praises that book and I have it, but again, not sure when I’ll get to it.

Nicole: I always mean to finish the Percy Jackson series but I never pick up the next one. I’ve been meaning to pick up The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin too. I usually feel a little embarrassed if a book is really popular and I haven’t read it. Only when it’s being hyped up though.  

8. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

Isis: I’m drawn to contemporary, realistic stories. Lately I’ve been trying to read more angel books for research, but other than that, I just love a good realistic world with realistic characters. With a happy ending, preferably. I do stay clear of high fantasy books. I find it difficult getting into those type of books. Also, probably any sci-fi. I’m picky sometimes.

Nicole: I’m usually drawn to any story with magic. So fantasy I like just not the ones with old kingdoms that are really political and that’s it. I’ve also really been into nonfiction lately. I stay clear of stories that just depressing nothing happy goes on at all. I like contemporary, but I’m also really picky about which ones. Anything too tropey or straight romantic I stay clear of.

9. If you could require the president to read one particular book, what would it be?

Isis: The current president? Jeez, can he even read?

Nicole: Maybe Wonder by R.J. Palacio or something like The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.

10. What do you plan to read next?

Isis: I plan to read Juliet Takes a Breath by Gabby Rivera. I have the ebook and I started it a few weeks ago, but I just stopped reading it. It was great and I can’t wait to focus on it again!

Nicole: I’m in the middle of five books right now so I should probably finish those, but honestly that’s not gonna happen. I feel like reading The Devotion of Suspect X by Keigo Higashino right now, but I might leave that half finished too.

Lists, Uncategorized

Tropes We Hate

Image result for tropes definition literature

There are a lot of tropes that make up fiction. Some we love, and others, not so much. So we decided to make a list of some of the tropes that we hate.

1. Stalker Boy With a Heart of Gold – I mean, I think we can all agree that Edward Cullen got this trope started. You know, the brooding guy who obsesses over a girl and stalks her to the point where it’s truly concerning, but the guy is totally sexy so it’s okay. Yeah, I hate this trope. I recently found it again in The 5th Wave and I was cringing so hard. It was overall unpleasant. Let’s get rid of this trope forever. 

2. Pining Over Dead Lover – I’m not sure if this is specific to David Shaun Hutchinson novels, but I’ve seen it in two of his novels. Although, there are probably other stories with this particular trope. This is the one where a character was in love, but that loved one died and now they are forever pining for their loss. This is usually used as a plot device to keep the current couple apart until the one pining realizes it’s time to move on. The reason I don’t like this one is just because I don’t like getting to know a character that died, usually before the story even started. It makes me terribly sad. I’ve lost so many close family members and I don’t like getting attached to the fading memories of a character that won’t ever live within the fictional world I’m reading. 

3. Friendship Ends When Rejected – This one is a little too close to home, but I’m adding it anyway. You know that trope where there are two close friends, one falls for the other, but the other friend rejects that friend, so the one who was rejected decides they must end their friendship once and for all, giving no alternative. I get it. When there are feelings and you put yourself out there, it’s hard to stay friends with someone. But it’s also unfair to give the other person a sort of ultimatum: romantic love or nothing. It just seems cruel. And usually, the end result of this is eventually the couple getting together, so it starts to feel like it’s a forced relationship meant only to keep the rejected friend close.

4. Miscommunication to Keep Couple Apart – A lot of these tropes have to do with relationships, but can you blame me? I really hate this one. There’s always that one couple you love to see together but they don’t know how to talk to each other and it’s their own fault they either won’t get together or won’t make up. And it’s frustrating as hell. I experienced this while reading Ignite Me. It was one thing for Warner to come clean at the beginning of the book, but then the entire book was spent with the main characters not talking to each other about the important things, not even about the actual plot of the story (outside the romance, there was actually a plot). So yeah, hate this one.


5. Sad Endings – I’m not sure if this is a trope, but let’s go with it. Look, I hate sad endings. I really do. I love realistic books with realistic life events. Yes, give me all the sad stories in the world. But come on. Don’t make me read a bleak book with a sad endings. What’s the point in that? I’m supposed to stick around to see a set of characters suffer only to see them end worse than they started? I hate that. I’ve read some real sad books with hopeful endings and it works so well. I’m not asking for happy ever after endings wrapped up with a bow. Not at all. I’m talking stories that end on a hopeful note. Something that shows I wasn’t just wasting my time with all the sadness I had to put up with. I just really really hate sad endings. There should be a warning in books for those.

6. Children Who Mess Everything Up – I think kids get a bad rap in general, but this trope makes me really dislike kids in fiction. There are amazing children in books, like Danny in The Shining and kickass Matilda. But then there are the worst type of kids, like the ones in Fablehaven. These kids do the complete opposite of what they’re told to do, even when they’re clearly warned of the consequences. And I get that sometimes characters need to stumble into the plot, but there’s a line between curiosity and stupidity, and these children surpass the stupidity mark. I’ve encountered children plenty of times in fiction that are just there to make things worse, and I hate that.

7. Love Triangles – From The 5th wave to Shatter Me to Twilight to The Hunger Games series, love triangles are everywhere, and they never fail to drive me crazy. In my opinion all it is is padding to keep the true couple apart, and to create some drama to add to the word count. I know people say that its realistic, and that people usually have crushes on different people at once. Which is true, but it’s too bad that that’s not what happens in these books. The love interests are never equal to each other. Most of the time it is painfully obvious who will end up with who, but as the reader you have to suffer along with their angst and their jealousy until the characters figure it out. A lot of times the world is ending around them, and they completely ignore it in favor of their romance. It’s so annoying. 

8. One True Love – Semi related to the previous one, but it’s the idea that a character is only able to fall in love once. If a character moves onto a different relationship then they have to discover that they thought they were in love before, but now they realize how mistaken they were. Or if the couple breaks up for some contrived reason than the character’s whole world falls apart because they will never be able to move on, and romance is the only thing good in life.

9. Useless Adults – This encompasses a large array of examples. From Harry Potter where every single adult lets him down at some point to The Series of Unfortunate Events where the adults just don’t listen or are actively out to get them.  In Twilight Bella’s dad is simply oblivious as is the parents in Fablehaven. The other adults in Fablehaven are put out of the way for one reason or another so that the kids have to figure out everything for themselves. In The Outliers all the adults either can’t be contacted because it’s dangerous or because they turn out to be out to get them. In any of John Green’s books the parents are mentioned maybe once or twice at the beginning, and then nothing. They don’t care what their kids get up to. If their parents are even alive, because holy orphans Batman there are a lot of those running around fiction, they are negligent or useless. And the other adults around are hardly better. After so many books with such flimsy excuses for not having adults around, it’s simply irritating to read.

10. Girl on girl hate – Girls always have to hate other girls. The main character can maybe have one other friend that’s a girl, but only if she’s not a rival for the love interest. Any other girls? Have to hate them. Love interest’s ex? Evil. The girl who loves to wear makeup and might show a little more skin? Evil. The Cheerleader? Evil. The main girl is never like those other evil girls. She thinks she’s ugly, never puts thought into her outfits, has never had a boyfriend, and loves to read books (but only classics okay those other books like the one you are reading? Evil). Pitting girls against other girls is getting tired, and I wish books didn’t do it so much. If the actual character isn’t making a baseless judgement then the actual book demonizes the pretty girl who loves herself and has ambition because they can never be good people if they are like that. It’s stupid and pointless.


11. The insecure/bland girl gets fixed by the boy –  This can come about in two ways. We’ve already talked about how a female character can’t think she’s beautiful or she’s evil, but no one wants an ugly character either. So to get around that a lot of fiction makes her insecure until the love interest can show her how beautiful she is. So then she can be pretty, good, and have the guy, and everything is okay. The other way is that she’s boring. She has no life, no hobbies, no goals until this boy comes in and shakes up her world. My main example for this is in Twilight. Before Bella moves to Forks, she has no friends or hobbies. Once there she mainly thinks about how she hates the friends she made there and the weather, before she gets tangled up with Edward. After that, he’s her life. Edward is all Bella thinks about.


12. The outsider is the savior –   I’m not sure if technically this is a trope outside of the white savior trope which I also hate, but I’m still going to talk about it. So many times, mainly in fantasy, it’s the outsider who comes in and has to save their world. Harry Potter and Percy Jackson do this. I do get that it’s easier to set up a world this way so that the reader learns about the world alongside the main character. That way the author doesn’t fall into the trap of the main character growing up in the world, but it feels like their home was under a rock with how out of touch they are. A lot of times it forces the people in the world to be oblivious to their problems in order to put the burden of saving them on the main character. I would like to read more about a person growing up with the world’s problems training up to do something about it. Because it’s their world they are living in, so they should have an invested interest in helping it.


A List of Diverse Books We’ve Read in the Past

This list is not perfect. We combined all of the books we’ve read with diverse themes before this year, separately and together. If something was mislabeled, we apologize. Unfortunately, plenty of these books are not Own Voices, especially many M/M Romances, but we’ll definitely work on that. We hope to add a lot more to this list!

Cherry by Lindsey Rosin


In this honest, frank, and funny debut novel, four best friends make a pact during their senior year of high school to lose their virginities—and end up finding friendship, love, and self-discovery along the way.

To be honest, the sex pact wasn’t always part of the plan.

Layla started it. She announced it super casually to the rest of the girls between bites of frozen yogurt, as if it was just simply another addition to her massive, ever-evolving To Do List. She is determined to have sex for the first time before the end of high school. Initially, the rest of the crew is scandalized, but, once they all admit to wanting to lose their v-cards too, they embark on a quest to do the deed together… separately.

Layla’s got it in the bag. Her serious boyfriend, Logan, has been asking for months.

Alex has already done it. Or so she says.

Emma doesn’t know what the fuss is all about, but sure, she’ll give it a shot.

And Zoe, well, Zoe can’t even say the o word without bursting into giggles.

Will everything go according to plan? Probably not. But at least the girls have each other every hilarious, heart-warming, cringe-inducing step of the way.

(F/F romance, Sex positive)

Walk With Me by Cardeno C.

Walk With Me (Home, #7)

When Eli Block steps into his parents’ living room and sees his childhood crush sitting on the couch, he starts a shameless campaign to seduce the young rabbi. Unfortunately, Seth Cohen barely remembers Eli and he resolutely shuts down all his advances. As a tenuous and then binding friendship forms between the two men, Eli must find a way to move past his unrequited love while still keeping his best friend in his life. Not an easy feat when the same person occupies both roles.

Professional, proper Seth is shocked by Eli’s brashness, overt sexuality, and easy defiance of societal norms. But he’s also drawn to the happy, funny, light-filled man. As their friendship deepens over the years, Seth watches Eli mature into a man he admires and respects. When Seth finds himself longing for what Eli had so easily offered, he has to decide whether he’s willing to veer from his safe life-plan to build a future with Eli.

(M/M romance, Jewish MC, Bisexual MC)

In Perfect Light by Benjamin Alire Sáenz


In Perfect Light is the story of two strong-willed people who are forever altered by a single tragedy. After Andés Segovia’s parents are killed in a car accident when he is still a young boy, his older brother decides to steal the family away to Juárez, Mexico. That decision, made with the best intentions, sets into motion the unraveling of an American family.

Years later, his family destroyed, Andés is left to make sense of the chaos — but he is ill-equipped to make sense of his life. He begins a dark journey toward self-destruction, his talent and brilliance brought down by the weight of a burden too frightening and maddening to bear alone. The manifestation of this frustration is a singular rage that finds an outlet in a dark and seedy El Paso bar — leading him improbably to Grace Delgado.

Recently confronted with her own sense of isolation and mortality, Grace is an unlikely angel, a therapist who agrees to treat Andés after he is arrested in the United States. The two are suspicious of each other, yet they slowly arrive at a tentative working relationship that allows each of them to examine his and her own fragile and damaged past. Andés begins to confront what lies behind his own violence, and Grace begins to understand how she has contributed to her own self-exile and isolation. What begins as an intriguing favor to a friend becomes Grace’s lifeline — even as secrets surrounding the death of Andés’ parents threaten to strain the connection irreparably.

(Own voices, M/M romance, POC main characters)

Point Pleasant by Jen Archer 


Ben Wisehart grew up in the idyllic town of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. An early encounter with the supernatural shaped his worldview and served as the catalyst for his career as a bestselling horror writer.

Ben left Point Pleasant at the age of twenty. Thirteen years after abandoning his home, he returns to the town to investigate the apparent reemergence of the terrifying creature responsible for his childhood nightmares.

In Point Pleasant, Ben is confronted not only by the town’s resident monster, the Mothman, but also by Nicholas Nolan, Ben’s former best friend. Together, with Bill Tucker—the old recluse who lives on the edge of town—Ben and Nicholas uncover the mystery of the monster in the woods and discover that the ghosts that haunt us are sometimes made of flesh and blood. And sometimes, they lead us home.

(M/M romance, POC characters)

Gives Light Series by Rose Christo


“Skylar is my name, tragically.”

Sixteen-year-old Skylar is witty, empathetic, sensitive–and mute. Skylar hasn’t uttered a single word since his mother died eleven years ago, a senseless tragedy he’s grateful he doesn’t have to talk about.

When Skylar’s father mysteriously vanishes one summer afternoon, Skylar is placed in the temporary custody of his only remaining relative, an estranged grandmother living on an Indian reservation in the middle of arid Arizona.

Adapting to a brand new culture is the least of Skylar’s qualms. Because Skylar’s mother did not die a peaceful death. Skylar’s mother was murdered eleven years ago on the Nettlebush Reserve. And her murderer left behind a son.

And he is like nothing Skylar has ever known.

(Own voices, POC main characters, M/M romance, Disability)

Continue reading “A List of Diverse Books We’ve Read in the Past”

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Zom-B by Darren Shan


Zom-B by Darren Shan is the first book of a twelve book series revolving around a zombie outbreak. It follows B Smith, a high school student int the U.K. They are all extremely short, under two hundred pages, so the book is  a fast read.

I rated this book two stars. It did not feel like a complete book. The zombies came into the story around the last third of the story. It’s basically just the part of where they realize that the news stories are real, pretty much too late, and that they need to aim for the head to kill the zombies.

Most of the book revolves around B’s life before then. B’s father is abusive and racist, and B struggles with if they are the same. Because B acts racist for their father’s approval, but claims not the agree really. However, continues to act racist when not around their father. It all leads to this dramatic moment at the end that I felt rather meh about.

Zom-B wasn’t what I was expecting when I read it, and I don’t think I will continue the series. I can tell it’s not really a zombie book with a disease or anything like that. It’s more of a conspiracy type of thing. I don’t know if the rest of the series has most of the action packed at the end of the book with cheap little cliff hangers so the reader will want to pick up the next book, but I’m going to guess that they will.