#Down the TBR Hole

Down the TBR Hole #1

Down the TBR Hole is a weekly meme hosted by @Lost in a Story that tries to help control our out of control TBR shelves on Goodreads. Here is how this works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf
  • Order on ascending date added
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 (or even more!) if you’re feeling adventurous) books. Of course, if you do this weekly, you start where you left off the last time.
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: Keep it or Should it Go

You Can Stay FOr Now:

  • The Woman in the Window is a book that I have seen all over the place and have heard great things about. I also enjoy physiological thrillers and really want to watch the movie, so I really need to get on with reading this book
  • One of Us Is Lying is another book that I have seen all over Bookstagram and Facebook groups and it has such an intriguing synopsis.
  • To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is a book/series that I WILL read… some day…. I promise!
  • Eleanor & Park I am a lover of all things Rainbow Rowell, so I find it a bit crazy that I haven’t read this book yet. Also, Thi keeps telling me I need to read it!

So Long, Farewell

  • Matched is a series I put on my TBR shelf a long time ago and even found a paperback set for a really good price. However, I have never really felt the urge to pick this series up and it was just collecting dust.
  • Angelfall is another series I added to my TBR thinking I would try it out one day. However, I have way too many series on my to read list that I just don’t see myself getting to this one anytime soon.
  • Dark Places looks to be an interesting and quick thriller, I just don’t have much of a desire to read it.
  • Bloodleaf is ANOTHER series that was added when I thought I would get to. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking adding this many series to my TBR (facepalm)

Final Thoughts

Welp, for it being my first time doing Down the TBR Hole, I am actually proud that I purged my shelf of 4/8 books. I have a long way to go, as I am adding new books to the shelf DAILY. Have you read any of these books on my list?

Current Goodreads TBR Tally:

864

Christie

#QuaranTBR

Hey peeps! How are you holding up with all the current events? Are you suffering from cabin fever yet? It’s funny because I’m such a homebody, so my life didn’t change drastically with the practice of social distancing and quarantine. Unfortunately, I do not have the option to work from home, so my reading time has not necessarily increased. However, I pre-ordered a bunch of books from the Target sale a while back and they are still continuing to roll in.

I am hoping to use this time to knock out quite a few netgalley arcs, but I am super excited to dig into most of the books I’ve recently received and a few that I have been hoping to get around to.

I’m a little over the halfway mark with My Dark Vanessa, and what a disturbing, uncomfortable, and unstoppable read that is! Have you read it? What are your thoughts? Have you read any others from this stack? If so, leave your thoughts in the comment below, so I can decide what my next read should be! 🙂


Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Eight Perfect Murders by Peter Swanson
Know My Name: A Memoir by Chanel Miller
Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel
The Operator by Gretchen Berg
Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell
House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1) by Sarah J. Maas

Thi


#WWW Wednesday

#WWW WEDNESDAY: MARCH 18, 2020

WWW Wednesday is hosted by Sam on Taking on a World of Words. If you want to join in on the fun, be sure to tag the original post in the link above. Or feel free to answer the questions in the comment section below!

What are the three Ws:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

CURRENTLY READING:

I am hoping to finish Little Fires Everywhere today so that I can start watching the show! The Downstairs Girl has been a step out of my norm, but I have been thoroughly enjoying it and should have it completed by tomorrow. Lastly, Dark Matter is my most recent start and I am about a third of the way through it. It has been recommended to me by numerous people, so I have high hopes for this book!

RECENTLY FINISHED:

My most recent finish was Crown of Midnight and all I can say is if you haven’t started the Throne of Glass series yet, you definitely should! That is a solid 5 star read for me!! Oasis was a very quick read that I completed in 24 hours. It was a different style of writing for me, but I found it enjoyable and certainly peaked my interest. Overall, a 4 stars book! Then, we have The Sun Down Motel and holy moly, the creep factor is REAL! I could not read this book at night and found the paranormal aspects to be done extremely well. I think I am somewhere between 4-4.5 stars on this one!

WHAT’S NEXT:

I have a few buddy reads that I am doing next week, which includes Havenfall and Stalking Jack the Ripper. I have also been wanting to start the Folk of Air series for quite some time, so here is hoping I can knock out The Cruel Prince over the next week!

Thanks for stopping by! As I said before, feel free to join the fun on your own blog, or leave your answers in the comment section!

The Honey-Don’t List | Arc Review

Synopsis:

Carey Douglas has worked for Melissa and Rusty Tripp, famous home remodeling and design team, for about ten years. The couple works together to create designs and has built up an empire of Netflix remodeling shows. They are beloved across the country, with only one problem, they don’t actually like each other. With Carey as Melissa’s assistant she is tasked with making the couple appear more than what they are.

James McCann is an MIT graduate that was hired by the Tripps to be a structural engineer. However, James soon realizes this job is not what he was anticipating.

Carey and James must accompany the Tripps on their book tour to keep the “happy couple” in line. They must work together to keep their bosses’ secrets and to secure their own jobs.

Review:

I have come to realize that I will most likely read anything that this duo puts out! I absolutely fell in love with their book, The Unhooneymooners, and felt overall happy with Twice in a Blue Moon and Roomies. This duo writes some amazing and witty rom-coms that have you up past your bedtime trying to finish. So when I saw that they were coming out with another one, you know your girl had to go hit up Netgalley to try and get an early release copy. Not only was I lucky enough to snag an ebook copy, so was Thi! Since we both received a copy, we decided to have ourselves a buddy read.

When we finished this book, we both found that we generally agreed on our star rating for the book, as well as our overall feelings. So with that being said, consider this review to be a joint endeavor!

From the outset I found Carey to be one of the most relate-able female leads in a story. Someone who has invested so much time and energy into a job and watching it succeed that it starts to consume your daily life. She puts her all into making sure that her boss Melissa is happy, that she hasn’t taken the time to see if she is happy. I enjoyed watching her grow into a strong independent female.

On the flip side, James was not like most male love interests in a rom-com. I am tired of reading about men that think that they always know what is best for the female in the story. That they are somehow entitled to be with that person for the mere fact that they exist. James from the start was passionate about what he wanted for himself out of life and his career, while also being understanding of other people. He was an excellent addition to this cast of characters and I don’t think he could have been written in any better.

The fun, witty banter that Christina Lauren writes is always a pleasure to read and they did not disappoint in this novel either. I loved the different types of relationships and dialogue between all the characters throughout this novel and I also think important topics of discussion were brought up that provided insights into unhealthy relationships and learning to value yourself.

I have been looking for the next good rom-com that I can wholeheartedly recommend to everyone, and this one fits the bill! This book releases on March 24, 2020 and should be read by any and everybody who loves a fun, quick romance.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for giving us the chance to review this book in return for our honest review!

Book Details:

TITLE: THE HONEY-DON’T LIST
AUTHOR: CHRISTINA LAUREN
PUBLICATION DATE: MARCH 24, 2020
PURCHASED/GIFT/LIBRARY/BORROW: e-ARC FROM NETGALLEY
GOODREADS: The Honey-Don’t List

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Christie/Thi

March 2020 TBR

Ya’ll I am currently the driver of the struggle bus this month. I am a little late putting together my monthly TBR, but better late than never!

I might have gone a little too hard in the first two months of the year. By reading 16 books in January and 13 in February, I started to feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of books that I was reading. I decided to take a small break the last week of February. For March, I figured I would put together a fairly smaller TBR pile to get myself started.

Another problem that I felt slowed down my reading was the fact that I was adding too many books that were outside of my favorite genre, YA fantasy. I really enjoy getting out of my comfort zone and reading things that I would not normally pick up, but I started to get too far away from my true passion of reading that it started to become a job just to get through a book.

Book Details:

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys (WWII Historical Fiction)
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (YA Fantasy)
The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (YA Fantasy)
Crown of Midnight by Sarah J Maas (YA Fantasy)
Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (YA Fantasy)
The Girl With the Louding Voice by Abi Dare (Contemporary Fiction, Own Voices)
I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson (YA Mystery/Thriller)
The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee (YA Historical Fiction)
The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren (Contemporary Romance) – e-ARC provided by Netgalley

With almost half of my TBR list being YA Fantasy, I am hoping that will be the pick me up I need to get me out of my slight reading slump! I may add a few books on here and there throughout the month, but these are the set ones I am committing to so far. I am really looking forward to a great month of reading and discussions! Have you read any of these books? If so, give me your thoughts.

Christie

The Two Lives of Lydia Bird | Arc Review

Synopsis:

Lydia and Freddie. Freddie and Lydia. They’d been together for more than a decade, and Lydia thought their love was indestructible. But she was wrong. On her twenty-eighth birthday, Freddie died in a car accident.

So now it’s just Lydia, and all she wants to do is hide indoors and sob until her eyes fall out. But Lydia knows that Freddie would want her to try to live fully, happily, even without him. So, enlisting the help of his best friend, Jonah, and her sister, Elle, she takes her first tentative steps into the world, open to life–and perhaps even love–again.

But then something inexplicable happens that gives her another chance at her old life with Freddie. A life where none of the tragic events of the past few months have happened. Lydia is pulled again and again across the doorway of her past, living two lives, impossibly, at once. But there’s an emotional toll to returning to a world where Freddie, alive, still owns her heart. Because there’s someone in her new life, her real life, who wants her to stay.

Review:

After falling in love with Josie Silver’s debut novel, One Day in December, I knew she would be an author I’d read anything from. When I saw Two Lives of Lydia Bird available to be requested on Netgalley- I didn’t even read the synopsis. I just sent a request and hoped I’d be approved. And man, she knocked this book out the ball park!

I tend to alternate between being a mood reader and a book list reader. Up until the earlier part of this year, I was able to create a monthly stack and keep to a very precise reading schedule. Over the last two months, I have been all over the place with my reading. I’d pick up a book and decide I no longer wanted to continue it. Two Lives of Lydia Bird just clicked with me and gave me ALL THE FREAKING FEELS, Y’ALL!

I was already sobbing within minutes. It is as much an endearing novel as it is raw and touching. It is a story about grief and the ups and downs that coexist with it. We follow Lydia after she loses her fiance (whom she has been with for over a decade) as she learns to navigate her life and tries to make sense of everything. In the midst of it all, Lydia has found a loophole that allows her to live a double life. One where she and Freddie can still be together. We watch as she learns to juggle between the two lives.

It is a beautiful story with many wonderful supporting characters. From her mom to her sister to people at work, she has an entire of village supporting her every step of the way as she learns to find her own strength. The characters and the emotions are heart-achingly beautiful. I tend to gravitate towards more emotionally-drawn novels because they are relate-able and there is always a lesson to take out of them. I found myself crying throughout the novel because it felt so real. We all know there is no one direct process to cope with grief and definitely no time limit. I appreciate Josie Silver for including all the struggles and hardships, as well as, the strength and willpower it takes to make it to the next day.

This is truly a story that will stay with me forever. I loved it so much I have already ordered a physical copy through Book of the Month. I know many have and will ask how it compares with One Day in December and I just wanted to make a quick comment. To me, both novels are completely different. Whereas One Day in December is a romance novel, Two Lives of Lydia is not. There are some mentions of romance, but overall it is a story of grief and of finding and believing in yourself. So don’t go into The Two Lives of Lydia Bird expecting a grand romance. Instead, have tissues ready!

Book Details:

TITLE: THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD
AUTHOR: JOSIE SILVER
PUBLICATION DATE: MARCH 3, 2020
PURCHASED/GIFT/LIBRARY/BORROW: eARC NETGALLEY
GOODREADS: THE TWO LIVES OF LYDIA BIRD

Rating: 5 out of 5.

With many thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine Books for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. The Two Lives of Lydia Bird releases March 3, 2020! If it’s not already in your cart, preordered, or wishlist- DO IT NOW 🙂

Over and out.

Thi

Is Book of the Month Worth It?

What is Book of the Month (BOTM)?

BOTM is a monthly subscription box that costs $9.99 for your first box and then $14.99/month after. Every month BOTM selects five books for members to choose from. Your first pick is included in the $14.99 and then every subsequent add on book is $9.99. Every member is allowed one pick and up to two add ons. If at any point you decide that you are not interested in any of the picks for that month, you would have the option to skip the month without being charged.

Once you hit your twelfth consecutive month in the subscription you will become a BFF! What is that exactly? It means that you receive a BOTM tote bag with a special pocket just for your book, a free add on during your birthday month, and every winter you will get to choose one of the five Book of the Year Finalists for free.

What are the Pros of BOTM?

  • In most cases the picks for BOTM are early releases at a way better price;
  • They are hardcover in excellent quality;
  • They have a wide range of genres to suit just about any reader;
  • If you have to many books to read that month, or none of the picks are quite what you are looking for, you can easily skip the month without being charged;
  • While it is a monthly subscription and you are automatically charged monthly, BOTM makes it very simple for you to cancel at anytime with no long term commitments.

What are the Cons of BOTM?

  • While BOTM is very good at making monthly picks for books, sometimes the more popular books sell out before you get the chance to purchase them.
  • For any YA fans, like me, BOTM had a YA subscription box until recently they decided to cancel it. This means for all the YA lovers there will be a lot less YA selections.

Why I love BOTM:

I joined BOTM back in August of 2019. I was referred by Bookstagram, as well as, many book friends. I was a bit skeptical coming in as I am with any subscription boxes. However, from the first box I was hooked. It became clear that these books were excellent quality at a very affordable price. I also love the fact that I get access to many early release titles before they even hit the stores.

One of the other things I have enjoyed is the actual BOTM community. I have found through Facebook and Bookstagram that many people like to share their experiences and have discussions about the books that are selected each month.

Some of the other groups on Facebook also allow for the swapping and/or selling of BOTMs. So for people like me who were late to the BOTM party, I have the opportunity to have access to older titles that are no longer available on the website.

Lastly, while I will not hit my BFF status until later this year, I look forward to the many perks that come along with it!

So, all of this to say…….. YASSSSS, BOTM is totally worth it!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Christie

Books Make You Lose Control

So, at the beginning of the 2020, I put myself on a book buying ban. I even told friends, family, colleagues, and a variety of Facebook book buying groups to not listen to me if I expressed interest. That ban lasted approximately five days. I started small though- used book stores and only getting books that had been on my wishlist for a very long time. In my head, I was doing great. Especially since I was slowly purging out my own library either through swaps, sell, or donation.

When February 1st rolled around, I said I would do even better! I had accumulated 30+ books from swaps, so I had a game plan worked out in my head for the order I would read all my books and ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NOT BUY MORE BOOKS (I know, what a funny joke)!

Target and Amazon knew what they were doing to my bank account when they decided to roll out their *Buy 2, get 1 free* book deal! Personally, I still am unsure as to what exactly happened. I blacked out for a week and when I woke up- I had one too many boxes at my house, excluding all the books I preordered for the next three months. So without further ado, I present you- (most of) my new and beloved books (a few are from book friends who graciously surprised me with book mails) that sent me into a panic attack to run two totes of books to Half Price to sell.

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Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin
Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn
Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson
Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibanez
The Gravity of Us by Phil Stamper
Ink in the Blood by Kim Smejkal
The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri
Children of Virtue and Vengeance by Tomi Adeyemi
The Topeka School by Ben Lerner
Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo
A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende
Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain
Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie Grazer

Have you read any of these or are any of these also on your TBR? I’d love to hear from ya and what your thoughts are if you have! 🙂

Thi

Throne of Glass | Book Reveiw

Synopsis:

Celaena Sardothien is Ardalan’s Assassin and has been imprisoned in Endovier. The Crown Prince, Dorian has come to make her a competitor to become the King’s champion. When she makes it to the castle and begins in the competition, one by one the champions start dying in horribly gruesome ways. Calaena must fight for her freedom and survival, while trying to root out the source of the killing before it kills herself and those she holds dear.

Along the way she finds ways to overcome her previous betrayals and seek refuge in new friends and allies. From the Crown Prince himself, the Captain of the Guard, and an unlikely friendship with a foreign princess.

Review:

Sometimes, the wicked will tell us things just to confuse us — to haunt our thoughts long after we’ve faced them.”

Let me start this review by saying, if you have not read the Novella The Assassin’s Blade prior to picking up this book, I highly suggest that you do. The novellas give you a nice preface to the start of this series and lay out the ground work for Calaena’s journey.

This book was everything and more for what I was looking for in a Sarah J Maas novel. Her writing style is one to be admired, as she really has a way of dragging you into a universe and fully immersing you into the characters and setting. Not only that, but I am in awe of anyone who can create such dynamic characters and truly make you understand the difference in all of the personalities.

Speaking of such characters, Calaena Sardothien has got to be one of my all time favorite female leads in a YA fantasy novel. I have yet to come across many female leads that do not sound whiny and/or annoying. Calaena is a badass assassin, who also enjoys the finer luxuries of style. She is a breath of fresh air in this genre and I feel like more authors should take note.

I have fallen in love with this series even after just reading the novellas and the first book. I am excited to see where the next book will take us on this journey.

Book Details:

Title: Throne of Glass
Author: Sarah J Maas
Publication Date: May 7th, 2013
Purchased/Gift/Library/Borrow: Christmas Gift
Goodreads: Throne of Glass

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Christie


About Us!!

Hello fellow faeries and book lovers! Welcome to A Court of Books and Brews, our brand new blog, brought to you by the High Ladies of the Night Court! We would like to thank any and all of you for visiting our new blog, and take this opportunity to let everyone know who we are and what we hope to achieve on our blogging journey. We hope that you will enjoy and decide to stay!

About Us

We met by chance during an online buddy read of The Escape Room. From there, our love of books grew into a friendship. Thi was an avid reader of historical fiction, while Christie spent most of her time reading YA fantasy/dytospian series. We have shared our love of different genres and opened up each other’s reading perspectives. On this blog you will find our reviews on some of our favorite genres, as well as the books we decide to venture into outside of our comfort zones. We will also give you a glimpse into our monthly wrap-ups with our top reads and duds. We hope you enjoy our banter and love of reading and coffee and decide to stick around and subscribe for all the fun.

Meet the Bloggers:

Christie is from eastern North Carolina, where she lives with her husband. She graduated from East Carolina University and will always bleed purple and gold! She spends the majority of her downtime reading a book and cuddled up with her favorite fluffball of a cat, Monkey. If she is not at home, or working life away at the hospital, she can be found spending all the money she doesn’t have at any and all bookstores, or sending GIFs and memes to Thi at all hours of the day/night. She enjoys YA fantasy and historical fiction, but is open to any and all genres (minus westerns). Her favorite book is The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah, with a close second being Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston. If you so desire, you can follow Christie on Goodreads and Bookstagram!

Thi resides in Lawrenceville, GA. Her expertise lies in constantly disregarding her book buying ban and online shopping (mostly for books- shocker, I know!). When she is not at work or at a bookstore, you can find her in her pjs drinking coffee or wine (depending on time of day) watching Netflix or reading. She reads a variety of genres, but emotionally-charged books, WWII Historical Fiction, and contemporary romance are her favorite. That being said- The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is one of her all-time favorite. She can’t pick out a second because she is indecisive and has too many favorites. If you would like to know what books are on her radar, you can follow Thi on Goodreads and Bookstagram.

P.S., Monkey is really Thi’s cat. Christie just doesn’t know yet. 😉