Good morning. This weekend was just plain great. Kiddo was an angel all weekend, and so much fun to hang out with. We went shopping for his Easter basket on Saturday — he accompanied me. He’s not even two, he has no idea what Easter is so he doesn’t care LOL. He’s getting shape sorter eggs, a book, a Water Wow book, new sunglasses, a new Bluey water cup, and a Blues Clues ball. He’ll love all of it, I’m sure. We ended up going out to eat on Saturday, too, and munchkin was SO. GOOD. I am so proud of him. He ate most of his food, and then sat and played nicely next to Dada while we ate. Sunday, we went grocery shopping (thrilling), and then to Home Depot to get some things we needed around the house. I got two new plants! All in all, a great weekend. I hope yours was awesome, too.


By now, you probably know how much I love Greek and Roman myth retellings, so when I saw this one I immediately threw it on my TBR. We’ll see if it’s any good once it comes out! I don’t know much about this particular myth, unfortunately, but any retelling is one I’m interested in!


the book cover for Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara

What happens when a god of love falls in love?

A prophecy claims that Psyche, princess of Mycenae, will conquer a monster feared by the gods. Beloved by her family but at odds with her society’s expectations for women, Psyche trains to become a hero, mastering blade and bow.

When Psyche angers Aphrodite, the love goddess enlists Eros, god of desire, to help deliver a cruel curse. Eros is the last born of the eldest gods, dry-witted and jaded, unsure of his place in the cosmos. The last thing he wants is to become involved in the chaos of the mortal world, but when he pricks himself with the arrow intended for Psyche, Eros is doomed to yearn for a woman who will be torn from him the moment their eyes meet.

A joyous and subversive tale of gods, monsters, and the human heart and soul, Psyche and Eros dazzles the senses while exploring notions of trust, sacrifice, and what it truly means to be a hero. With unforgettably vivid characters, spellbinding prose, and delicious tension, Luna McNamara has crafted a shimmering and propulsive debut novel about a love so strong it defies the will of Olympus.

Have a wonderful week!


the cover for In the Lives of Puppets by TJ Klune
  • STAR RATING:  4.5 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 432 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: April 25, 2023
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Genocide, Dementia, Grief, Death
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY:  The Murderbot Diaries by Martha Wells

Thank you to Netgalley and Tor Books for providing an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.


In a strange little home built into the branches of a grove of trees, live three robots–fatherly inventor android Giovanni Lawson, a pleasantly sadistic nurse machine, and a small vacuum desperate for love and attention. Victor Lawson, a human, lives there too. They’re a family, hidden and safe.

The day Vic salvages and repairs an unfamiliar android labelled “HAP,” he learns of a shared dark past between Hap and Gio-a past spent hunting humans.

When Hap unwittingly alerts robots from Gio’s former life to their whereabouts, the family is no longer hidden and safe. Gio is captured and taken back to his old laboratory in the City of Electric Dreams. So together, the rest of Vic’s assembled family must journey across an unforgiving and otherworldly country to rescue Gio from decommission, or worse, reprogramming.

Along the way to save Gio, amid conflicted feelings of betrayal and affection for Hap, Vic must decide for himself: Can he accept love with strings attached?

Author TJ Klune invites you deep into the heart of a peculiar forest and on the extraordinary journey of a family assembled from spare parts.

I truly was not sure if I should request this book when I saw it pop up on Netgalley. I absolutely adore Klune’s The House in the Cerulean Sea, and his Green Creek series, but the last book I read by him — Under the Whispering Door — just did not click with me. I was worried that I had outgrown Klune’s work, and that I would never like another book by him. But I decided to chance it, and clicked REQUEST TITLE. Tor has always been nice to me, so they accepted my request, and here I am to tell you that (drum roll please) I absolutely loved In the Lives of Puppets. Klune has an absolutely dreamy way of talking about life, death, love, and grief that just really resonates (most of the time). Thankfully, all of the characters in In the Lives of Puppets were easy to like. There were no Wallaces here. (He was my main problem with Under the Whispering Door, but that’s neither here nor there.) Klune’s character work really shines here, and I am so happy to say that I just really loved this book.

In fact, the characters were really what brought this book to life. Our main character is Vic, a young man — a human in a world taken over by robots/machines. He is seemingly the only human left on earth, and his humanity really wears off on the machines around him. Said machines were all hilarious, heart-warming, and ah. I just adored them. Especially Nurse Ratched — she was laugh out loud funny a lot of the time. Same with Rambo, who I pictured as a roomba. What a little cinnamon roll. Victor’s father, Gio, was a human-shaped machine, and he had a heart of gold, despite his past. And lastly, but not leastly, there’s Hap. I won’t spoil what he is, but oh. He ends up breaking your heart, and putting it back together. Klune once again wins at the found-family game with this cast. Like, he just knocks it out of the park.

The plot was interesting enough to keep my attention, and I loved all the side characters, but I had one glaring issue with this book. Exactly how old was Victor supposed to be? He comes across as being very young, but I think that comes from being raised by literal machines, and being very naive. Throughout the whole book, I was thinking he was somewhere from like….16-19ish. Which would have been fine, if there hadn’t been a tiny little romance plot sprinkled in. As a whole, the romance didn’t bother me, but honestly? The book really didn’t need it. It would have been a fantastic example of a book strictly about familial love without it. But saying that, it didn’t hurt the book, either.

Either way, I really, really liked In the Lives of Puppets, and I am so so glad that I can go back to saying I like Klune’s work again! Four and a half glowing stars.

IN THE LIVES OF PUPPETS comes out APRIL 25, 2023.

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the book cover for A Sleight of Shadows by Kat Howard
  • STAR RATING:  3.5 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 320 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: April 25, 2023
  • PUBLISHER: Saga Press
  • WHAT SERIES? The Unseen World
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH?  An Unkindness of Magicians
  • HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? Two, seems like.
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Death, Body Horror, Attempted kidnapping (off-page)
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY:  Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo, or The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Thank you to Netgalley and Saga Press for providing an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.


Return to Kat Howard’s Alex Award–winning world begun in An Unkindness of Magicians, a secret society of power-hungry magicians in New York City.

After taking down the source of the corruption of the Unseen World, Sydney is left with almost no magical ability. Feeling estranged from herself, she is determined to find a way back to her status as one of the world’s most dangerous magicians. Unfortunately, she needs to do this quickly: the House of Shadows, the hell on earth that shaped her into who she was, the place she sacrificed everything to destroy, is rebuilding itself.

“The House of shadows sits on bones. All of the sacrifices, all of the magicians who died in Shadows, they’re buried beneath the foundations. Bones hold magic.”

The magic of the Unseen World is acting strangely, faltering, bleeding out from the edges. Determined to keep the House of Shadows from returning to power and to defeat the magicians who want nothing more than to have it back, Sydney turns to extremes in a desperate attempt to regain her sacrificed magic. She is forced to decide what she will give up and what she will lose and whether what must be destroyed is not only the House of Shadows, but the Unseen World itself.

World Fantasy Award finalist Kat Howard has written a sequel that asks how you have a happily ever in a world that doesn’t want it, where the cost of that happiness may be too much to bear.


I’m not sure where to start with this one, because while I really loved the general gist of the story, there were some glaring missing pieces of it for me. I love the first book in this duology — An Unkindness of Magicians. I love love love that one. It felt new, original, and fresh when I read it for the first time. When it comes to A Sleight of Shadows, however, it feels like it’s missing something. It’s almost but not quite a whole story, unfortunately.

So what’s it missing? Emotion. There is very little emotional connection in this book. Hardly any of the characters show any other emotion other than rage or fear. Several characters die — I won’t say who — and no one…seems to care? We don’t see anyone really mourning them, we don’t see the loss truly felt on page. It’s just something that happens and suddenly everyone is okay with it and moves on. Now, this might be because The Unseen World is built on death and everyone is used to people just dying, but c’mon. That feels ridiculous. A cop-out answer if there ever was one. Now, how on earth do you write a book where the main character has major, extreme, PTSD about something in her past and never include emotion? How does that even happen?

The meat of the story, the action-y bits were just as good as the first book in this series. The magic used isn’t as spectacular or mind-blowing, but it’s there and it is at the very least interesting. But just like in An Unkindness of Magicians, I’m missing the connection. You want Sydney to succeed in what she’s set out to do, you want her to win, but my god couldn’t we see her feel something? The only loss we see her mourn over is the loss of her magic. How on earth could that be it? There’s a lot of telling going on, and not a lot of showing, unfortunately.

The other characters — especially the villain — are great. The rage and entitlement felt there was nausea inducing. The ending, once again, comes too quick and without much build up. I only knew I was getting close to the book ending by the percentage complete climbing higher towards 100% on my Kindle. Without that, I would have thought I had a lot more book coming. I’m slightly disappointed by this one. It could have been great, it could have been something really unique, but instead we have a half-complete story. Three-and-a-half stars.


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the book cover for An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard
  • STAR RATING:  5 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 384 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: September 26, 2017
  • PUBLISHER: Saga Press
  • WHAT SERIES? The Unseen World
  • WHAT BOOK DO I START WITH? An Unkindness of Magicians
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Violence, Murder, Child abuse, Gore, Torture
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo or The Magicians by Lev Grossman


There is a dark secret that is hiding at the heart of New York City and diminishing the city’s magicians’ power in this fantasy thriller by acclaimed author Kat Howard.

In New York City, magic controls everything. But the power of magic is fading. No one knows what is happening, except for Sydney—a new, rare magician with incredible power that has been unmatched in decades, and she may be the only person who is able to stop the darkness that is weakening the magic. But Sydney doesn’t want to help the system, she wants to destroy it.

Sydney comes from the House of Shadows, which controls the magic with the help of sacrifices from magicians.

I read this book for the first time during the height of quarantine, and I absolutely loved it then, and even after a reread I love it now. I was lucky enough to be granted access to an e-ARC of the next book in the duology, so a reread was definitely in order. I am so glad that this book stands up even after reading it a second time. (Though, to be fair, I had forgotten a great deal of it. Oops.) ANYWAY — if you like urban fantasies with heavy magic use, you’ll probably like this one. There’s a slight mystery involved, too, but it’s very obvious, in my opinion, what the solution to the mystery is.

The world at the heart of this book is a harsh, cruel one. Magicians have magic, but they aren’t nice or helpful with magic. In order to pick the next leader of the magical world, there’s a ruthless competition of duels. At first, they’re non-mortal, but past a certain point it’s expected that one person in the duel won’t walk away. The magic that Kat Howard weaves in these duels is so unique and interesting. Nothing was what I expected it to be, and I really loved watching our main character fight in these duels. Speaking of our main character, Sydney has magic. A lot of magic. She’s overpowered compared to everyone else in the book, but there is an in-world reason for it, thankfully. The characters she chooses to align herself with are all interesting — Ian, who has chosen to step away from his House, Laurent, who Sydney is fighting for, and Madison, her barely magical lawyer-best-friend. There are some nasties, too, but I don’t want to spoil any of those reveals for you!

My one beef with this book is that the end comes up way too suddenly. You think you’ve got another couple hundred pages before things start to resolve, but nope. It just hits you over the head with it. Things are resolved, but it’s a sudden shift. There’s no emotional breaking point. Sydney makes a decision off page and just goes with it. I wish we had seen more of her emotional trauma, honestly. I wish we had seen her hit that tipping point. But ultimately, even that doesn’t hurt my enjoyment of this book. I think An Unkindness of Magicians was really overlooked for a long time. I hope that changes with the release of A Sleight of Shadows. Please check this series out!

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I could basically copy and paste last Wednesday’s post and just change the books at this point. Kiddo once again, did not sleep, and once again, I needed to snuggle him back to sleep. Only, I’m at like…sensory overload so it was like nails on a chalkboard the whole time. I love my child with all my heart, don’t get me wrong. I just need a full night of sleep without anyone touching me. Even you, cat. Anyway, I hope you have a great day, friends. Thanks for reading me whining.

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam over on Taking on a World of Words. The idea is simple, every week you dedicate a post to the three W’s: What are you currently reading? What have you just finished reading? What are you going to read next?

I just dipped my toes into Slippery Creatures last night, and while I’m not very far, I already know I love KJ Charles’s work. I anticipate loving this. I finished up In The Lives of Puppets yesterday and absolutely loved it. Review up soon, I can’t remember when I scheduled the post for. Next, I’ll probably just fly through the Slippery Creatures series and see where that gets me.

Happy reading on this exhausted Wednesday!

a banner that reads Top Ten Tuesday


Morning, my friends! Today’s topic for Top Ten Tuesday is actually a freebie of sorts — you can do any past TTT topic today, so I picked The LAST 10 BOOKS I ADDED TO MY TBR. And, tbh, these literally aren’t the last ten on my list, but they are the last ten with any sort of cover…I get points for that. Some of these are books that I have ARCs for, some are on the list for my Scavenger Hunt, and some are just because I like the way they sound!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl.

Have you read any of these? Are you excited for any of these? Let me know!


Morning. My child did not want to sleep the past two nights. Again. So we’re tired, and we’re grumpy, and god dangit, kiddo why can’t you sleep through the night again? We miss that!! (Though, to be fair, I think last night was one of the cats yowling that woke him up.) STILL. Go back to the full 11 hours of sleep for you, please. You need it, we need it, it’s good for everyone. Anyway. I hope your weekend was good, friends.


This doesn’t come out until next year (WHY SO FAR AWAY), but I am already HYPED for it. It’s supposed to be sexy, queer, and full of Greek mythology, so SIGN ME UP, please. I can’t wait to see the official cover.


Ariadne Tholos, (former) Crown Princess of the Cretan Empire, has never had a say in her own life.

Her (tyrant) father, Minos, and his totalitarian regime of militarized death cultists dictate her every “choice,” from who she’ll marry to when she’ll inherit her family’s bloody legacy. Unwilling to order the deaths of innocents, she betrays her father, saving the lives of his enemies. But when her new allies turn against her, Ariadne finds herself on the run, injured, alone, and in desperate need of a miracle.

Enter the (exiled) God of Wine, Madness, and Debauchery, who offers her protection—for a price.

A snarky, sexy, queer reimagining of the myth of Ariadne and Dionysus, CROWN OF STARLIGHT combines the darkly sensual, court intrigue of KUSHIEL’S DART, with the irreverent wit and space fantasy sensibilities of GIDEON THE NINTH, and the fresh twist on Greek Mythology of LORE OLYMPUS.

Have a wonderful week!


the book cover for Love at First by Kate Clayborn
  • STAR RATING:  3.5 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 309 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: February 23, 2021
  • PUBLISHER: Kensington
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Grief, Death of parent, Medical content, Abandonment
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY:  Beach Read by Emily Henry


Sixteen years ago, a teenaged Will Sterling saw—or rather, heard—the girl of his dreams. Standing beneath an apartment building balcony, he shared a perfect moment with a lovely, warm-voiced stranger. It’s a memory that’s never faded, though he’s put so much of his past behind him. Now an unexpected inheritance has brought Will back to that same address, where he plans to offload his new property and get back to his regular life as an overworked doctor. Instead, he encounters a woman, two balconies above, who’s uncannily familiar…

No matter how surprised Nora Clarke is by her reaction to handsome, curious Will, or the whispered pre-dawn conversations they share, she won’t let his plans ruin her quirky, close-knit building. Bound by her loyalty to her adored grandmother, she sets out to foil his efforts with a little light sabotage. But beneath the surface of their feud is an undeniable connection. A balcony, a star-crossed couple, a fateful meeting—maybe it’s the kind of story that can’t work out in the end. Or maybe, it’s the perfect second chance…

A sparkling and tender novel from the acclaimed author of Love Lettering, full of bickering neighbors, surprise reunions, and the mysterious power of love that fans of Christina Lauren, Sarah Hogle, and Emily Henry will adore.

It’s no secret that I fell completely head-over-heels in love with Clayborn’s Georgie, All Along. So it really should be no surprise that I’ve committed to trying to read her entire backlist. Georgie was so good, that surely it wasn’t a one off, right? Some of her other books have to reach the same level of absolute perfection. At least, I hope so. I started off my journey through Clayborn’s backlist with Love at First, and while I did like it, it definitely was no Georgie, All Along.

I think the biggest issue I had was that the main characters weren’t enough. Nora and Will were interesting, but they were very ordinary. Nothing really pushed them forward into that romance character sphere, if anyone understands what I mean. They just seemed like people, which I’m sure some people out there will appreciate. A romance book about normal people! Normal, but with a dash of mental health issues, and parental abandonment. (Which woof did I want to grab both of their sets of parents and just shake them. How dare you??) Anyway, I really did like Will — he was trying his hardest not to repeat his parent’s issues, to the point of almost pushing everyone else away. I understood his trauma, and I’m pleased with how Clayborn helps him overcome it. Nora didn’t seem to realize she had a problem until it pretty much smacked her in the face, and then she sort of forced herself to get over it.

Nora and Will fit together, but it took a while for them both to be on board with each other. I loved their scheme of coming up with excuses to be around one another — that made me laugh. The steamy scenes were average, nothing particularly stood out as extremely hot or anything. They were cute together, but again, the relationship was just…there?

When it comes to the other characters, they were all interesting, and mostly stood out. (Will’s boss/best friend stood out the most to me? He reminded me a lot of a doctor I used to go to!) I did love the idea of an entire apartment building being a found family, which is sort of the basis of the entire story. It was semi-unbelievable, but we’re in a romance novel, and Clayborn made it work!

I was a little disappointed by Love at First, but I’m not giving up on Clayborn! Not at all. I think I’ll read Love Lettering next, and see where that gets me. Three and a half stars for this one, as much as it hurts to say!

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The book cover for For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
  • STAR RATING:  3 stars
  • PAGE LENGTH: 437 pages
  • DATE PUBLISHED: June 1, 2021
  • PUBLISHER: Orbit Books
  • WHAT SERIES? Wilderwood
  • CONTENT WARNINGS: Self harm, Emotional abuse (parental), Death of parent, Gore, Religious bigotry
  • IF YOU LIKED THIS, TRY: Honestly, not sure. Perhaps Curse of the Wolf King by Tessonja Odette?


The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

Reader, I am sad. You all know how much I flat out adored The Foxglove King. I went into Hannah Whitten’s debut novel with high hopes after reading her third book. It did not live up to the hype or my hopes. Ultimately, your opinions my differ from mine, but I thought For the Wolf was kind of a mess. Upon first glance at the book, you might think that it’s a Little Red Riding Hood retelling, but you’d be completely wrong. There is absolutely nothing of that story here, which makes the cover choice almost baffling. Instead, For the Wolf is almost a Beauty and the Beast retelling, but not really. Sure, the main romantic lead has a sort-of curse on him, but that’s about where that comparison ends. There are no roses, no enchanted castles, nothing else familiar from that tale. For the Wolf wants to be a fairy tale quite badly, but there was just too much going on for that feel to really sink in.

I will give you this, though, I really enjoyed the parts of the novel where we were focused on Red and Eammon. They were so much fun to watch together. Red was stubborn, protective, and wanted to be helpful so badly. Eammon was more stubborn, and determined to do everything by himself. Of course, they clash because of this, but ultimately end up falling in love. I mean, what’s not to love about that story? It’s great. When it came to literally everything else I lost focus, and interest. There was too much happening. The forest was weakening, magic was becoming harder to use, Red and Eammon were falling in love, the priestesses were maybe evil maybe not, the queen was dying, the gods might be real, and Neve wanted her sister back. Too much. I think if some of this had been pared down, if we had had the bare basics of this plot, perhaps things would have been able to breathe more. As it is, things feel rushed and confusing. (My biggest questions that I’m not sure we got answers for — where did the wildwood come from? Why is it there? Where does magic come from?)

I am so disappointed that For the Wolf did not work for me. I don’t think I’ll be picking up For the Throne, because I don’t see the point if it’s going to continue to be like this book. Despite everything about For the Wolf, I still really love Whitten’s writing. I’ll still be eagerly awaiting The Foxglove King‘s sequel. Overall, I’d give this one barely three stars.

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