Misc.

2023 Reading Goals & Reflecting On 2022

It’s that time once again! For… GOALS & REFLECTION!

Salutations Chapterlings! How has the new year been treating you far? Are you remembering to stay hydrated and to take breaks? I hope so, you’re worthy and deserve some self-love! Today friends, we’re talking about a post that I’ve recently started doing on my blog more recently. Yes, I’m talking about those past year reflections and the new year goals! This year I’m going to keep things more related to books because I’ve actually been doing a lot better with my more personal goals and don’t feel the need to have them listed this year. So if you enjoy reflecting and goal setting, pull up a chair with me, get cozy with a cup of hot cider, and lets get into it!


Please note: If you’d like to skip the 2022 Reflections, scroll on down to the 2023 Book/Reading Goals!


2022 Book/Reading Reflections

At the beginning of 2022, I set so many goals, book wise and content creation wise. Out of all five of those goals, I have actually completed at two of them! Those two being tbr related and arc related. Despite the chaos of 2022, throwing me for loops, I was able to still make tbrs. Though I didn’t always post about my tbrs, here on my blog or on Insta, I was still making sticky note tbr lists. These tbr lists were kept short (all of them except my November 2022 tbr which did make it onto the blog & Insta). I love making tbrs and that was something I really focused on because I really love making a tbr, deciding on the books to read, planning buddy reads, etc… And in 2022, I was really trying to surround myself with things that I love, enjoy, and what bring me happiness. So tbrs was a big success!

The other goal I managed to accomplish was choosing arcs more carefully! Honestly, I was surprised I was able to manage this. Out of all the goals I had set in 2022, this was the one I thought I’d never be able to succeed. I always get so excited about books and the opportunity to read new books, the possibility of discovering new authors, etc… However, I somehow managed it! I have only been requesting arcs for books that I’m really excited about like anticipated releases, books I was planning to buddy read with friends, or books that really spoke to my current reading preferences. This is excluding Native/Indigenous literature I was being reached out to for reviewing. I exclude this for two reasons: One, a lot of those books were final copies and final copies don’t fall in the ‘arc’ category & Two, I am automatically accepting anything that is Native/Indigenous literature or by Native/Indigenous authors. So those are the reasons why Native/Indigenous literature is excluded from being factored into accomplishing this goal. That aside, I managed to only requests about ten to fifteen arcs this year, in total. Now realistically, I probably requested closer to twenty books, but some of my requests were rejected. So those books aren’t counted due to not actually landing in my e-arc library. So I’m really proud of myself! Before I usually requested anything the intrigued me and now I’m more selective and picky about what I’m requesting.

Even though I only managed to achieve two out of my five goals, I’m really proud being able to achieve them. 2022 had a lot of stuff going on which I feel like ever since 2020, that’s just my new normal. But in 2022 I really tried to prioritize my book stuff and I really tried to focused on those goals of mine. For 2023, I really really want to focus those goals and hopefully this time in 2024, I’ll be able to say I did even better!


2023 Book/Reading Goals

We made it! Yes, we made it to the most exciting part of this post, goal setting! This section is going to be a slight combination with some content creation stuff sprinkled in with the reading goals. I want to make these goals realistic and achievable for 2023 and I want to be a little gentler with myself, not add so much pressure to the things I want to do. Granted, this is easier said than done, but either way, I’m really excited about these goals!

➸ If It Doesn’t Make You Feel Good, DNF It!

I have a terrible, terrible habit of forcing myself to finish books for the review, even if it throws me into a reading slump, gives me severe burnout, or physically makes me sick or upset. I did this with Ninth House, Mexican Gothic, and most recently, A Taste of Gold and Iron and The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires. While these are great examples for books that fall on the middle line for me (two/three star ratings, loved some things & disliked some things), these are all books I should have dnf’d, moved onto something else, and instead of doing that I did what I typically do when in this situation… forcing myself to push through it. *insert cricket noises here* Yeah, yeah… If you’re making a face or saying ‘I have so many questions’ then yes, this is not good or healthy behavior. Reading is supposed to be fun and enjoyable, not something you force yourself to do or push yourself with. So going into 2023, I want to be better about books that I’m reading. While I don’t mind having books that are three stars or lower (it happens, not every read can be five stars), I want to do better and stop reading the book if I’m not having fun or start feeling exhausted with that book. 2023 is the year of DNFing is in charge, TBRS BEWARE!

➸ Smaller TBRs

If my November 2022 TBR taught me anything, it’s that I still go too hard with my tbrs. If you’re like me who gets excited about books or the books you’re going to read each month, one of two things will happen to you. One, you get so excited about all the books, new releases and books from the previous year, you want to pile all the titles your most excited for on that monthly tbr. And Two, you get so excited by all of the books in your library, on your tbr cart, in your e-arc library that you get overwhelmed, then put a bunch of titles on your tbrs without seeing if they’re titles you really want to get to, and then you don’t read any of them because you’re overwhelmed, and you wanted to read another title instead. I know the feeling all too well. So this year I want to make my tbrs smaller so they’re more manageable, more achievable, and more enjoyable. More enjoyable, less pressure to read EVERYTHING!

➸ TBR Jar/Wheel Time!

With prepping to move, I want to work through as many of the books in my library I haven’t had the chance to get to in 2022. While I was hitting a nice chunk, I want to continue to keep this up going into the new year. This will allow me to work through my library, it’ll help with weeding out books to keep or potentially get rid of to make room for the future. Originally, I did have a tbr mug at one point, but that mug ended up shattering and since then I haven’t replaced it. I haven’t decided if I’ll get a tbr jar or use a new mug, or maybe this time I’ll try to find a wheel/randomizer, but whatever decide, it’ll be dedicated to helping me work through physical books.

➸ Bullet Journaling

This is all new territory for me. While I’ve been someone who has journaled throughout my life, the only time I use a notebook or notepad is when taking reading notes for current reads. However, this year I want to try my hand at bullet journaling for reading. I think this will be a fun, creative way to track tbrs, reading progress, and even be good for aiding with mental health. I am excited that at the time of typing this, I have a journal and new markers (House of Earth and Blood notes wrecked three of my markers) are on their way. I’ve even started looking into washi tape and already been thinking about layouts for January. Either way, this is something I really want to give a chance to and see how it goes!


And those are all my goals for 2023! I know it wasn’t a lot of goals. I think this year’s goals might be slightly shorter than last year’s, but either way I’m excited for them. One of the things I’m trying to do better in 2023 is to not overwhelm myself or make things feel unachievable. So going with goals that cater towards that goal feel really good. Have you set any goals for the new year or tried any of these above? Let’s chat about it in the comments below! Until next time, I’m wishing you all a lovely day! 💚

✨ Yearly Goals: 2020| 2022

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Misc.

5 Star Predictions 2023

Salutations everyone! I hope you’ve been kicking the new year off with some amazing books and if not, that’s okay and valid, too! Today, I’m bringing back the 5 star prediction post. I feel like I do one of these every year, but it usually gets post in the middle of the year. I’ll be honest, this is a bit of solid tbr for the whole year and why I wanted to post this now while the new year is freshly starting. Of course, I’ll be reading other books this year. I mean, there’s so many amazing books that are slotted to come out in 2023 and as usual, I’m trying to play catch up with books from 2022. With all of that being said, all of the books listed here are ones that I’m really excited about and ones that I think I’m going to absolutely fall in love with. Truly, truly, I believe 2023 with be a year of amazing reads that I just end up adoring!

➼ A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
November 23, 2021 by Levine Querido

✨ Elatsoe ★★★★★

This book should come as no surprise to anyone. Darcie Little Badger has become one of my favorite authors and is an author I constantly anticipate books from. So when I stumbled upon this book, I instantly knew my heart was going to feel so full. I have so much excitement surrounding this book and hopefully I’ll be getting to this book soon!

➼ Belladonna by Adalyn Grace
August 30, 2022 by Hodder & Stoughton

With the second book releasing in 2023, I want to make sure I finally read the first book! I have been anticipating this book since 2022, but sadly I never got around to reading it. So I want to make an effort that in 2023, I read this one and instantly hop into the sequel!

➼ Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree
November 8, 2022 by Tor Books

This book looks like the perfect, wholesome, cozy read! I’m so excited to dive into this book! As a lover of DnD and RPG games, I just know that this is going to make my heart so full. Plus, have you seen the cover? It looks so cute and I’m excited to see this romance flourish!

➼ Not So Yours Truly (Warts & Claws Inc., #4) by Clio Evans
December 6, 2022

If you haven’t noticed by now, I’ve been flying through this series, having a fantastic time along the way! So it should come as no surprise by the fact that this ebook is making an appearance onto this list. I’m so excited for this one in particular because it’s going to be following the sibling of one of the characters we’re introduced to early on in the series. And she’s a healer and if you didn’t know, I’m always a healer in any of my RPGs, LARPs, or DnD sessions! So I’m bursting with excitement for this one!

➼ Song of Silver, Flame Like Night (Song of the Last Kingdom #1) by Amélie Wen Zhao
January 3, 2023 by Delacorte Press

By now you should know that this is one of my anticipated books for 2023. Not only did this stunning cover pull me in, but you know I’m absolutely weak for books involving dragons. However, this book is also based of Chinese mythology and I will always charge head first towards anything that’s mythology or a retelling. And if that didn’t sell you on this book, it’s going to be a duology! Look, I’m just really excited about this book and can’t wait to dive head first into it!

➼ White Horse by Erika T. Wurth

I’m so upset that I didn’t get to read this book in 2022. Not only is one of my goals for 2023 to highlight more Native/Indigenous literature, but one of my goals is to read this book. This synopsis completely sucked me in and I have been eager to read this book. Sadly, the end of 2022 didn’t give me the chance to read. Mark my words, I will read this book in 2023. It’s going to happen!

➼ Nanny for the Neighbors by Lily Gold
June 7, 2021

When I first heard about this book, I was excited. However, when I found out this is not only a reverse harem, but we get polyamorous representation, I was bursting at the rims with excitement to read this book. I don’t want to know too much about this book, but I’m excited for it. Also, the author is self-published and if you were looking for more authors who are self-publishing then you should definitely put this author on your radar!

➼ The Vampire and the Witch by Francesca Flores
March 21, 2023 by Wednesday Books

Remember what I said about loving retellings? Well, here’s a retelling to add to you list! While I didn’t mention this on my anticipated books for 2023, this is in fact one of the books I’m anticipating for 2023. This book is not only suppose to have lesbian rep, but this is a Rapunzel retelling with a paranormal twist. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m really intrigued and I think this is going to be a book I’m absolutely going to love!

➼ Mermaids Never Drown: Tales to Dive For by Zoraida Cordova
September 26, 2023 by Feiwel Friends

Look, if you don’t know my love for anthologies by now, let this be the sign that tells you I do! I’m both excited and conflicted. I’m not conflicted about the book itself, I’m conflicted on if this book will be my downfall or not. I say that because I have yet to find an anthology that I’m absolutely head over heels for. While I have high hopes for this book and have a strong desire to love this anthology, I wonder if I’m over-hyping myself. Either way, I’m slapping this book on this list because I really want to believe I’m going to love this book and this will be the anthology, my first anthology, that receives five stars!

➼ The Luminaries (The Luminaries #1) by Susan Dennard
November 1, 2022 by Tor Teen

I’m so excited about this book! I was teeter-totting back and forth on whether or not to take the plunge and read this book. After reading Caro’s Favorite Books of 2022, I was convinced that I needed to pick this book up! I love a good paranormal book and this one sounds right up my alley. This synopsis has me so intrigued and excited to see how the story will unfold.


I feel it in my heart, 2023 is going to be a year of many amazing reads! Looking at this list, I’m excited for not only the books I’m anticipating for 2023, but the books that I have yet the chance to get to. This list is only ten of my five star predictions. There are so many more books that I’m eager for and have high hopes for. However, on a more serious note, I will say that with the strikes happening with HarperCollins, making this list and thinking about my future tbrs has been difficult. And I want to emphasize that while the strikes are happening, all my reviews and reading of HarperCollins titles have come to a halt. I’m checking each book I put on any of my lists or tbr lists very thoroughly, and hoping that the current strikes with HarperCollins come to an end soon, in favor of the workers. With that all said, I hope you enjoyed this small list of ten five stars predictions. If any of these titles are on your predictions for the year or you have some titles not on my list, come chat with me in the comments below! Until the next post, Chapterlings, I hope 2023 is being gentle with you and you’re staying hydrated, resting well, and having some tasty snacks! 💚

✨ 5 Star Predictions: 2019| 2020| 2021| 2022

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Misc.

Most Anticipated Books 2023

I’m finally getting this blog post out! When I tell you I feel majorly accomplished by this post, I mean, I feel really darn good right now! I feel like I haven’t talked about books I’m eager to read, anticipated releases, or anything of the sort for so long. And you know, disappearing for almost (not quite) two years will do that to you. However, I’m hoping that if this first week of 2023 has said indicated anything, I’m trying to do better this year. Shoutout to my amazing friends for helping me catch up with the 2023 books being released for the full year. They’re true blessings and I’m so, so grateful for them. As of today, January 4th of 2023, I’m going to share eight of the my thirty-three (possibly more) anticipated books for 2023. I’m really excited, you might be able to tell, but I hope you’re just as excited to see this list! Enjoy, friends! ♥

➸ Warrior Girl Unearthed by Angeline Boulley
May 2, 2023 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Going forward into 2023, as a Native reader, I want to keep highlighting Native/Indigenous authors and their book. Angeline Boulley has been on my radar for a while now. I already have one book by her that I’m hoping to read this year and I’m hoping to get my hands on a copy of Warrior Girl Unearthed so I can do a dedicated post to both books by this author. Plus, the cover is absolutely stunning and reading the synopsis… my soul isn’t ready!

➸ Not So Yours Truly (Warts & Claws Inc. Series # 4) by Clio Evans
December 6, 2022 by author

This is the only book on this list where the book is already out. However, I really wanted to include this book on my list because I’ve been loving this series. I’ve been having a fun time, enjoying the characters, and of course, monsters! I’ve already read the first two books in the series and at the time of this post going up, I’m working on book three. And I’m hoping, fingers and toes crossed, I finish the whole series this year!

➸ Episode Thirteen by Craig DiLouie
January 24, 2023 by Redhook

I am so FREAKING excited about this book’s release! I’ve barely heard anyone talking about this book and trust me, I think more readers need to put this on their radar. The synopsis alone pulled me in and I’m hoping to be chilled to my core. The gorgeous cover aside, the little bread crumbs we get from the synopsis sounds like everything I want in my horror book and I just have the biggest need for it.

➸ Bring Me Your Midnight by Rachel Griffin
August 1, 2023 by Sourcebooks Fire

I read Wild is the Witch during the summer of 2022 and since then I have been craving more books from this author! I love Rachel’s writing, the way this author builds the worlds and characters, and I can’t begin to express how excited I am to dive into a new book by her. And can we take a moment to address this cover? I adore this cover and I didn’t know I needed a cover like this until I saw it. When I tell you my breath hitched, oh I was choking on air, friends! I was so captivated and after reading the synopsis, I just knew I needed more.

➸ A Hunger of Thorns by Lili Wilkinson
April 18, 2023 by Delacorte Press

I’ll be honest, I don’t know much about this book. Honestly, the cover is the thing that captivated me more than anything else. However, after reading the synopsis, I’m so excited and also realizing that I’m anticipating a lot of witchy, paranormal books in 2023. The cover is absolutely gorgeous, but I’m really excited to read this book. Out of everything I could take away from the little itty-bits I’ve come up with, the magic has me fascinated and I really want to know more. Plus, does the moth on the cover of the book actually tie in to the things in the book, I need to know.

➸ Song of Silver, Flame Like Night by Amélie Wen Zhao
January 3, 2023 by Delacorte Press

By the time this post is going up, this book will have already released. HOWEVER! Will this stop me from talking about it? No. Will I continue to tell everyone about this book? Abso-freaking-lutely! I have been anticipating this book since November 2022. Dragons, freaking dragons, and always dragons. You want to know how to make me fall head over heels for your book? Dragons. That’s all I needed to know and I was sold. Dragons aside, the last part of the synopsis really sunk it’s claws in me and after that I instantly preordered this book. So I’m really hoping to start this book soon because truly, I can’t wait to dive in!

➸ House of Roots and Ruin by Erin A. Craig
July 25, 2023 by Delacorte Press

I absolutely fell in love with House of Salt and Sorrows back in 2019. I gave it five stars and have been waiting for any inkling of news that involved a sequel to the book. Of course, I kind of disappeared from the book community for like a year or so and a lot of my intense researching and deep diving on books went onto a back burner. Flash forward to now and I’m just finding out about this book… NOW. Literally, I just found out about the night or so before drafting this. I have been so ready and my excitement can’t be contained since this knowledge has planted itself in my brain.

➸ Bad Cree by Jessica Johns
January 10, 2023 by Doubleday Books
ARC was given by NetGalley & Doubleday Books in exchange for an honest review.

The arc gods have smiled upon me and blessed my e-arc galley with a copy of this book! I’m very privileged to have received an arc of this book and I’m so excited to read this. Crows, freaking crows! I’m so excited to have a mystery thriller that has crows as symbolism or a potential role in the book. That aside, this is a book by a Native author and the book as a whole is Native/Indigenous. Again, this year I’m trying to unapologetically go really hard for Native/Indigenous literature and so you’re going to see a lot of them pop up on tbrs or see me talking about them. But this particular book, I’m really excited about it. This is a supernatural, mystery thriller book and the synopsis alone had me vibrating with excitement to read. Truly, 2023 is blessing us with some amazing books and I just had to tell you about this one. I think this book is going to be everything and I’m calling it now, five star prediction, favorite of the year, and top books of 2023. There, I did it and I can’t go back!

➸ Where Darkness Blooms by Andrea Hannah
February 21, 2023 by Wednesday Books

I wanted to list an honorable mention here, near the end of the post. I found out about this book in the autumnal season of 2022 and this became one of my first 2023 anticipated releases. As always, I’m a very sentimental soul and the sunflowers on the cover are what lured me in. This book took me by surprised and blew a lot of my predictions out of the water. If you love small town vibes, buried secrets, and characters that contain multitudes then I want to recommend this book to you. I really enjoyed my time reading it and finished my arc copy in two days. So if that tells you anything, I hope you’ll check it out and let me know your thoughts!


Okay, Chapterlings! Those are just a small portion of the books I’m anticipating or excited for in 2023! I have quite a few books on my radar and maybe you’ll see some reviews for those books coming soon. And hopefully this year I’ll be better at reading my 2023 releases because after disappearing for a year or so, playing catch up has been hard, and a struggle. Please let me know in the comments below if any of these books are on your radar for 2023 or let me know some of your anticipated releases. I’m constantly on the hunt for books to fall in love with and get obsessed over! I hope you’re staying hydrated and remembering to take little breaks, and until next time, I love you bunches! 💚

✨ Anticipated Books: 2019| 2020| 2021| 2022

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Misc.

My Favorite Books From 2022

Salutations Chapterlings! I hope 2023 has been treating you with kindness and gentleness! 2023 has only been here for a small handful of days and has already been kicking off with a bang for me. Today, yes today, I wanted to highlight some of my favorite books I read in 2022. I know this isn’t a typical post I do. I think you’re used to my reviews or seeing hauls, maybe the ever anticipated monthly tbr post. However, in 2023, many changes are happening including giving some new posts room to exist. That includes today’s post! I’ve been wanting to make a post like this since 2020 and I thought this is the perfect time to give this a chance. So without any further jibber-jabbing, here’s a recap of some of my absolute favorite reads of 2022! 💚


➼ Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen

✨ Garlic and the Witch ★★★★★

I’m so thankful for Destiny recommending this book to me because I fell madly in love with it. This little graphic novel is so charming, has amazing anxiety representation, and was the perfect read to really kick off 2022! If you’re looking for some graphic novels to read this year, definitely put Garlic and the Vampire on your graphic novels adventure!


➼ Once Upon A K-Prom by Kat Cho

This is my first book I’ve ever read by Kat Cho and I absolutely love it! If you didn’t know, I got really into k-pop back in 2020 after a really bad car accident and since then it’s had a special place in my life. Though I don’t share or talk about it often. So when I saw that this book was coming out, I instantly wanted to read it. Two things that are close to my heart; reading and k-pop combined, I had to read it. This was probably one of my top five favorite reads of 2022 and honestly, I’m excited to pick up more literature by Kat Cho since reading this book.


➼ Her Soul to Take by Harley Laroux

✨ Her Soul for Revenge ★★★

This book really surprised me. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous going into this book because of the hype I had been hearing and seeing around it. Not to mention. sometimes I can go into a book with a bit of a bias because demons, cryptids, etc… are keywords for me and I get overly excited about that. However, I’m pleased to say this is one of the few hyped books I’ve read that I absolutely loved! Do I think this book will be for everyone, no. Do I think anyone who has similar reading taste to me give this book a chance? Yes, yes I do!


➼ Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin

I was on vacation when I received an arc copy of this book and I devoured it in one whole day. I was so captivated by the setting, modern day witches, and just everything about this. The magic was stunning, the freaking owl in this book was my favorite character, and the romance was chef’s kiss. I really enjoyed my time reading this book, I can’t recommend it enough, and the cover is absolutely stunning!


➼ The Woman in the Woods and Other North American Stories edited by Kate Ashwin

I have been trying to highlight Native/Indigenous literature a lot more and read more of. So when I found out about this anthology, I was desperate to get my grabby hands on it. And thank the NetGalley gods because my request was granted! I absolutely loved this anthology! It was so wonderful to pick this book up and see so many stories that I recognized. It was just everything and made me really soft, and squishy!


➼ The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco

Welcome to another book that would be listed in my top five favorite reads of 2022! Rin Chupeco has easily become one of my new favorite authors. There’s something about her writing that I just get sucked into and it makes me devour any of her books in such a short time. I was really excited about this book because it has to do with colonization, gentrification, and how when foreigners come to a place that isn’t their own, they constantly demand and take. That aside, the mythology of this book was so captivating! I absolutely loved that I kept falling down rabbit holes of research. It was just a fantastic time and if you’re a horror/thriller lover then I definitely recommend putting The Sacrifice on your radar!


➼ Gallant by V. E. Schwab

2022 was the year of reading my first V.E. Schwab book! Yes, yes it’s true! Gallant was my first book by Schwab that I ever read and honestly, I might be turning into a Schwab fan. Gallant really touched a part of my soul that I wasn’t expecting to have touched. Honestly, I was kind of nervous going into this book because I was hearing a lot of mixed things about this book. But I fell in love and I sobbed. This book was beautiful and now that I’m reading The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, I’m just hooked and emotional.


➼ The Adventure Zone: Petals to the Metal by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, & Carey Pietsch

✨ The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins â˜…★★★★
✨ The Adventure Zone: Murder on the Rockport Limited! â˜…★★★★

Look, I read a lot of graphic novels during 2022! It couldn’t be helped and plus, you know I’m an absolute gremlin for graphic novels and manga! And it should be no surprise that I’m continuing on with this series. I really love the Adventure Zone series. I know there’s a podcast for this series, but the graphic novels have just been a true blessing! They have been so good for my mental health and the times I’ve gotten slumpy, and this one might just be my favorite of the series as a whole.


Wow wow wow! I’m really proud of this post and looking back at all the amazing reads that I read has been such a lovely thing to do. It was really nice to go back through and read each review individually. I’m all soft and squishy now! Honestly, I would have listed more, but it would have been a whole lot of comics or graphic novels. Plus, I have a super secret post in the works and I couldn’t list two of the books because of that post. I hope you all enjoyed this post, though! Maybe you found a book that you want to read or maybe you’ve read some of these books. Either way, come chat with me in the comments below about some of your favorite books of 2022! Until the next post, I hope you’re staying hydrated and kicking the new year off with some fantastic books! 💚

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Misc.

Favorite Non-Bookish Things 2022

At the end of every year, as a new blog tradition, I always try to write down at least ten things that have helped make a year better or perhaps helped make the year more tolerable. Basically, the things that allowed me to keep my sanity instead of descending into madness. Each year, these things can vary from things that brought me great joy to things that have brought me great comfort during the year. 2022 became a year of discovering that there was a lot of toxic things in my life and I spent the majority of 2022 cutting those things out completely. Also, I spent a lot of that time really making an effort to work through the scars that were left by a lot of those toxic things. Needless to say, by the time December hit, I have been exhausted, burned out, and I had to retreat into my gremlin cave quite a bit. So apologies in advance for just disappearing out of nowhere. I promise, we’ll sit down at a later time and catch up, a life update, but for now, enjoy these ten things that made a difference during 2022.


➸ 1. Squishmallows

I talk about mental health, chronic illness, and stuffed animals A LOT. All the time, actually. In 2022, I discovered Squishmallows and as someone who has sensory issues, severe anxiety, permanent PTSD, and more, these little plushies have been a big changer for me. They’ve helped make traveling by car a little easier, they’ve helped with talking and communicating with others during a flashback or helped with sleep during a night terror, etc… I know many people may not understand or maybe you do because you also like stuffed animals. They’ve really been making things so much better for me and I had to make sure they took the first spot on this list.


➸ 2. Weighted & Electric Heated Blanket

As I mentioned above, I have chronic illnesses, chronic pain and endometriosis to be exact, and I’m always looking for ways to help manage my levels of pain outside of medication. Enter my wedding anniversary present from my spouse. This has been a changer for my pain levels. While this doesn’t fully get rid of the pain, it makes things a little more tolerable when the pain is incredibly high. The weight of this blanket also helps with my sleeping as well. If you like weighted blankets or you use a weighted blanket to help with anxiety, sleeping pattens, or to help aid with night terrors then you might be interested in this blanket. I really love mine and it’s helped a lot. So I had to put it on this list.


➸ 3. Crystals

Crystals! Yes, crystals! In some of my book posts, you may have seen some crystals popping up. I have always been a lover and collector of crystals, but this year I’ve been rebuilding my collection due to having a lot of my pieces stolen from me. So I’ve been rebuilding and honestly, I forgot how much I loved searching for particular pieces, and then finally getting those pieces. While this has been a very emotional, soul quaking thing to do and work through, I’ve been enjoying my time searching, hunting, and finding. I’ve missed stepping foot in crystal shops and connecting with others who enjoy crystals. It’s been emotional, but I’ve been enjoying many parts of this process and it’s been a big part, since the summer of 2022.


➸ 4. Cozy Grove

As you may or may not know, I absolutely love gaming! I play a wide plethora of games from Dead By Daylight to Cyberpunk 2077, all the way to the cozier, more casual games like Cozy Grove! If you’re a lover of Animal Crossing or even Stardew Valley, I have to recommend this cozy, casual game. I have recently been reconnecting with my love of Cozy Grove and helping the bear spirits on this island. After the developers released the dlc, I have been playing as much as possible. It surprised me how much I missed this game, but it’s the perfect game for when my brain has very little brain power and I don’t have the mental capacity to read anything. I do want to emphasize that this game is a day based game. There’s only so much you’ll be able to do, like Animal Crossing. If you end up picking this game up or checking it out, definitely let me know your thoughts and which bear spirit is your favorite!


➸ 5. Coral Island

Another game! Coral Island has been another game that’s really nice to curl up with and decompress after a rough day. Coral Island has easily become one of my favorite games. It might even become one of my top ten favorite games. There is a wide plethora of things to do in this game, but the true highlight of this game is the diverse cast! There are so many diverse characters in this game like single, romanecable characters, body diversity, characters with scarring, a character with stretch marks, a plethora of characters of color, and so much more! This is one of the most diverse games, especially farming sim wise, I’ve seen be put into production. Now, this is an early access game which means the developers are still working on the game, still adding things, etc… So the game isn’t fully released yet, but if you’re a gamer, a farm simulator lover, or a casual game lover then you need to put Coral Island on your radar!


➸ 6. Waterloo Sparkling Water

I don’t know when I started going really hard for seltzer water, but this year was a huge year for seltzer water in my life. The funny thing is before 2022 I was never a seltzer water drinker or lover. Honestly, I drank kombucha more than I ever did seltzer water. Until I had a friend recommend it to me during a game night of Dead By Daylight. So when I found a case and gave it a chance, I was completely surprised how much I enjoyed it. That moment was a huge game changer and now it’s one of my go-to drinks for game nights, nights when I decompress and want something refreshing yet fizzy.

➸ 7. Hiking

Hiking has been taking over my life. In 2021 I picked up a lot of hiking gear and started hiking different trails and different places around my state. One of the places I end up hiking had actual ruins and waterfalls, and it was such a magical experience. Nature has always been a source of restoring my soul, finding balance within myself, and just always breathes new life into me. Truly, I’ve been trying to go on as many nature adventures as possible in 2022 even getting the chance to go to a beach for the first time in a long, long while! I’m hoping to carry this over into 2023 and continue going on nature adventures in the future.


➸ 8. Plants

Honestly, out of everything on this list, this one surprised me the most. Green became the color of 2022 as I began picking up plants any time I had to run to Home Depot. I’m not sure exactly when this started in 2022, but I’ve always had succulents or cacti in my home. 2022 just became a year where flowers and various types of plants started to brighten every table, every window sill, and even in the more low light areas, splash hues of green in them. Though we’re still house hunting and prepping our current home for market, it hasn’t stopped me from checking out all the plants in stores or stopping at local plant shops and greenhouses.


➸ 9. Rain Lofi

Rain lofi has been such a blessing with trying to focus during work, doing things at home, working on projects, and even reading. For all the reading I did this year, rain lofi was right by my side. Though I do feel like every time I make one of these lists, I’m just recommending the newest lofi video I’m listening to or watching while doing stuff. Truly, the lofi help. Just like asmr, the lofi music has been such a lovely way to help me stay productive in 2022. Even on my off days, rainy lofi helps me through it.


➸ 10. Fruit Snacks

Look… LOOK… Don’t question on why these are on this list, okay? 2022 was the year I thrived because of fruit snacks in my home and they have helped with making sure I’m taking care of myself. A lot of times having a pack or two reminds me of needing to make meals or they’re there for me when I need a snack break, to get that brain fuel going again. They also serve as a great snack for traveling, reading, working, and just for so many occasions. They’ve even helped on the hard days, the bad brain days, or the days when the chronic illnesses make things difficult. Now I keep two giant boxes of fruit snacks in my pantry and scatter them all throughout my home, and bags, just in case!


I feel like 2022 was a year that really highlighted the importance of self-care and taking better care of mental health. You know, I think that’s okay though. You’ll always have years that are ups and downs, and that smack you in the face with constant reminders. With 2022 now behind us, I’m truly hoping 2023 will be like a breath of fresh air for us. I want each and every one of us to prioritize self-care, self-love, boundaries & limits, and most importantly, the moments we’ll remember to infinity and beyond. And in case no one has told you, I’m proud of you for surviving another year (whatever that may have looked like)! I’m hoping with all my chest that 2023 is kinder, more gentle, filled with warmth and love, and plenty of rest for all of us. Let me know in the comments below some of the things that brought you joy or comfort in 2022, and I’ll catch you in the next post! 💚

✨ Favorite Non-Bookish Things: 2019|2020|2021

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Monthly TBR

November 2022 TBR | Native Heritage Month

We’re still here! All you have to do is LOOK!

Wow, I really brought the spice and a TBR post after… months? Months? MONTHS! We love to see it, yes we do! Though I am trying to desperately manifest strong reading vibes after a month worth of slumpy reading energy, not going to lie. But I digress. Not only are we in the autumnal season, but I’m on a really strong, positive reading streak right now (okay, not fully positive, there was one little hiccup) and I want to keep the ball rolling as we descend into November. Also known as, Native American Heritage Month! Yes, yes that’s where my fiery spice came from for this post. Look, I’m not going to sit here and rant, educate, etc… for the millionth time. Go check out my November 2020 TBR post for some links of Indigenous content creators, some educational links, etc… if you’re interested.

This month I’m specifically focusing on Native joy (because let’s be honest, it’s not talked about enough or given enough love) and some amazing Indigenous books that I’m super excited about getting to this month. Technically I could have read these at any given time, but as I mentioned, I spent a whole month in a bad slump and I couldn’t find the motivation to really read. The most I did was one book and then I was solely focused on gaming. That’s basically the whole story of what happened in September. ANYWAY, this month is going to be a good one, I just know it… I can feel it! I quickly want to mention (before we get into this ambitious tbr) that not all the books I want to read are on this list. My tbr for this month is massive because I’ve been essentially hoarding Native/Indigenous books just so I can put a heavy spotlight on them. Plus, books aren’t cheap, so it’s been a gradual build up to this point in time. So without my further descent into chaos, here is my stunning TBR for the month of November!


➸ Venco by Cherie Dimaline
February 7th, 2023 by William Morrow
ARC was given by William Morrow & HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review.
🌻 Empire of Wild ★★★★

This is kind of the book that has sparked this whole tbr and is probably what’s going to shape my tbrs up till February 2023. I really enjoyed Empire of Wild and was really captured by Cherie’s writing style. So I’m really excited that I was sent an arc for this book. If I can’t get to this arc this month, one of the upcoming months will have this on it and it’ll be the biggest priority. Plus, the synopsis sounds so good!

➸ The Star That Always Stays by Anna Rose Johnson
July 12th, 2022 by Holiday House
ARC was given by Holiday House in exchange for an honest review.

Okay, I’m a little late on this one, but to be fair, I didn’t receive my arc copy till end of July/early August and well, you all know what happened with September. So, I’m making this arc a high priority for this month. However, I’m a little nervous going in because I have a feeling I’m going to get really emotional about this book especially being an urban Native. So I’m prepping the tissue boxes for this one!

➸ Night of the Living Rez: Stories by Morgan Talty
July 5th, 2022 by Tin House Books
ALC was given by Libro.fm & Tin House Books in exchange for an honest review.

Another book I’m late to the party on, but thankfully this is an audiobook and I have no doubt that I won’t be able to breeze through it. Yeah, I’m back on my audiobook kick and it feels so good! However, I’m really excited to dive into this read and hopefully, maybe, convince my spouse to come along for the ride on this read with me.

➸ Making Love with the Land: Essays by Joshua Whitehead
November 15th, 2022 by Univ Of Minnesota Press
ALC was given by Libro.fm & Univ Of Minnesota Press in exchange for an honest review.

This is a newly acquired aalc for me! Which if you couldn’t tell, this book will be available this month! I’m so blessed, so privileged to have received an early copy of this book through Libro.fm and this is the other book that has kind of spurred a very massive November tbr. Between this book and Venco, the two of them have kind of kicked me into gear to make an insanely massive tbr and I’m really excited to dive into this soon! It’s also an audiobook and it has me even more excited!

➸ Healer of the Water Monster by Brian Young
May 11th, 2021 by Heartdrum

Though this book released last year, I’m really excited to be getting to this book in the here and now! This book centers around Navajo mythology and so this has a little soft spot in my heart. This has been a story I have been seeing come out more and more, and it fills my heart with warmth to see it. For those who may not know, the Navajo and Apache are consider cousins to each other, and so this make me really happy to see Navajo stories being brought into the spotlight for all to read and enjoy.

➸ A Snake Falls to Earth by Darcie Little Badger
November 23rd, 2021 by Levine Querido
🌻 Elatsoe ★★★★★

This book… THIS BOOK is the crown jewel of this whole entire tbr! As a Mescalero Apache reader, if you haven’t heard me sob, pop off in excitement, or even mention Darcie Little Badger then here it is right here. Ever since I found out there is an Apache author writing ya and middle grade books, winning awards for that literature, you have no idea how emotional it makes me and how much I want to throw my money at any work this author releases. If you would have told a young Malli that I would get to grow up to see an Apache author winning awards for their literature and brings forth Apache stories, I probably would have never believed you because I had never seen it before, ever. Until Darcie Little Badger released Elatsoe. And everything kind of changed after that. So the work Darcie does means a whole heck-a lot to me and while I need to re-read Elatsoe (I honestly might just buy another copy that I can highlight and tab the heck out of) to give a more in-depth review, I will be prioritizing this book greatly.

➸ The Lake House by Sarah Beth Durst
April 25th, 2023 by Harperteen
ARC was given by NetGalley & HaperTeen in exchange for an honest review.
Buddy Read with Destiny & Ashley ♥

While this isn’t a Native/Indigenous read, this is also a priority for my reading in November! Yes, it’s true, Destiny and I are back again with a buddy read, but this time we have Ashley with us! I am so excited about this buddy read with these two lovely souls. Ashley and I have been meaning to buddy read something together for a hot minute and as fate would have it, all three of us had an arc of the same book. So it’s on! It’s so freaking on and I’ve been vibrating with excitement since we all decided to buddy read this together. I’ve really been getting into the spookier, more hauntingly atmospheric reads lately and I feel very privileged and blessed to have an arc of this book.


Whew! Okay, that was a whole lot of books, but just be glad I didn’t list… everything. We might have been here all day going through all the books I want to read for this month. I’m really excited for this month though and it feels good to be making blog posts again, sharing stories, thoughts with everyone once more. I’ve felt like I’ve been holding my breath for so long and I’m just now taking a breath of fresh air. It feels really nice and I appreciate the patience everyone has had with me as life keeps throwing surprises my way. I hope each and every one of you has a lovely November, enjoys the season (whatever season you may be in), and I hope, just maybe, that some of these books caught your eye and you’ll fall in love with more Native/Indigenous literature this year. Until next time friends, I love you! 🧡

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Tags

Life’s a Beach Book Tag!

This tag was created by Lefty (The Left-Handed Book Lover) and I was tagged by Destiny @ Howling Libraries!


Salutations Chapterlings! I haven’t done a book tag in ages and when my lovely friend Destiny tagged me in this, oh ho ho! The cackle that escaped my body should have been illegal, but I digress. Since I haven’t done one of these in a while, I might be a little rusty, but I hope you enjoy this little break in all the reviews!


1 – The Sand: A book that stuck with you long after you finished reading it

The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco literally haunts my thoughts. It’s been weeks, almost a month and I’m still thinking about this book, about these characters, and just everything about this book. While this book doesn’t come out till October 2022, it was such an atmospheric read and probably one of my top 5 favorite books of 2022.


2 – The Sun: A book that burned you

I’m kind of wincing as I write this because this is a very fresh, recent read for me and I feel like this book has slapped me in the face so much that I’m still a little shell shocked. Darling by K. Ancrum was one of my most anticipated reads, but this book not only has a very hurtful scene towards Indigenous people, but still has the ghost fingers of trauma gripping around my heart. If you haven’t read my review, I highly recommend checking it out for more details. Needless to say, this book has me hesitant to pick another book by this author.


3 – The Waves: A book that calms you down after a long day

Honestly, I don’t think I have a book that calms me down and I typically don’t reread books that often. Soooooo… NEXT!


4 – The Bathing Suit: A book with a pretty, summer-y cover:

I’m going to hit two-birds with one stone and give you that end of summer, beginning of fall vibes! Cafe Con Lychee by Emery Lee not only has that beautiful cover, but also has a lot of school scenes which is perfect for the month of August. With everyone trying to get in their final summer trips and preparing for school/college, this is a perfect book about family, delicious food, and a brewing romance!


5 – The Birds: A book that’s everywhere

I feel like everywhere I look, this book has been making waves in the book community. On IG, Booktok, blog posts, book twitter, etc… Everywhere I go, everyone is talking about Wild Is The Witch by Rachel Griffin and it’s well deserved. I literally read this book in one day because it was so good and every time I’d sit the book down for a break, I kept thinking about what was going to happen next. If you haven’t checked this book out yet, I highly recommend it!


6 – The Company: A book with wonderful characters

This was a recommended book and let me tell you, if you thought I wasn’t going to put a graphic novel on this tag then you would be wrong! This was such a cute, adorable graphic novel about produce characters. Garlic and the Vampire by Bree Paulsen is such a wholesome read and made me feel all the things. If you’re looking for a cute read with a lovely art style, look no further!


7 – The Ice-Cold Drink: A book you absolutely gulped down

I’m sorry, but I had to throw a paranormal, dark romance on here, with sexy demons! I couldn’t resist the temptation, okay?! But seriously, Her Soul to Take by Harley LaRoux was so freaking good! This was a buddy read and when I say it was so hard not to read ahead, I’m not kidding. If you haven’t checked this series out and you like a book with some demon action, highly recommnend. Just make sure you check out content/trigger warnings in advance. This book is not for the faint of heart.


8 – The Fun Memories: A book you can’t wait to return to

I feel like this ties in with rereads and as I mentioned,. I don’t do rereads that often. Due to my backlist being huge and out the wahzoo, but I digress. I’m going to go with a series that I’m eager to get back to. I’m really excited for the third book in the Souls Trilogy to release. I finished the second book back in May and I’m eagerly anticipating for the third book to drop. I miss these characters, the small down vibes, and the demon smexy goodness. The third book is following two characters I’m eager to learn more about and hopefully, this will be a buddy read with my best friend so we can conclude this trilogy together!


Okay, I think that covers all the parts of this tag. I think! I hope you all enjoyed seeing some of my book recs and just a bit of a recap of some recent reads for me. Honestly, I miss doing tags and maybe a book tag every once in a blue moon wouldn’t be so bad, and a great way to break up the constant flow of reviews. Anyway, I hope you all enjoyed and until next time, stay hydrated! ❤️

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ARC Reviews

The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco

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This post contains affiliate links; if you use these links to make a purchase, I may earn a commission. Thanks for reading!

ARC was given by NetGalley & Sourcebooks Fire in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (October 4th, 2022)

✨ Wicked As You Wish

Content/Trigger Warnings: Death, murder, loss of a loved one/parent (in the past), mentions of plane crash, racism, themes of colonization & gentrification, alcoholism, talk of cheating, human sacrifices, cult themes, depictions of blood, graphic violence, gun violence, mentions of domestic violence, gaslighting & manipulation (from Hemslock), mentions of suicide, scene of dog being shot

“It is believed that when people hear the screaming, someone is about to die.”

It’s no secret that Rin Chupeco has easily become one of my favorite authors and when this earc landed in my lap, with a synopsis that lures you in, I had to start this book immediately. And of course, recommend it to all my horror/thriller loving friends! This was probably the easiest 5 stars I’ve given all year and I didn’t even think about it because at the end of this book, I just couldn’t stop saying ‘wow’ and I stand by that statement. Also, before we get into this review, I want to quickly mention that there is a dog in this book. For those wondering, ‘Does the dog die?’ No, the dog doesn’t die and despite my content/trigger warning, I’m not going to say anything else. Just know that this book is full of twists, turns, and surprises! And I also want to mention that this book won’t be for everyone, but this was the right book for me.

The island of Kisapmata is a beautiful place, but despite that beauty the locals fear the island and know of all the lives lost who stepped foot on it. With a body count of fifteen people dead, Hollywood quickly descends upon Kisapmata, determined to find out if the legend of a slumbering god is true and document everything. Alon, the only person who’s unafraid of stepping foot on the island wants nothing more than for everyone one to leave this place. And if he can’t convince them, there’s only one thing sure to happen… death and destruction.

Chupeco has such a beautiful and detailed way of building her worlds and establishing her characters. One of the biggest things that always sucks me into a Rin Chupeco book is the detailing in the environment and the those little details that make a character feel real. That’s what you get with this book. Plus, I’ve mention this to a few people, but it gives very strong Mummy vibes (for those who have seen the movies) and The Dark Picture Anthology vibes for fellow gamers. You get a rich, detailed, atmospheric book with characters who are so well detailed that even the ones you’ll come to dislike, you can’t help enjoying. Trust me when I say, there’s a lot of characters to dislike in this book, but I enjoyed them anyway because of those little details the author added in. I also want to point out that there is no good or bad person in this book, either. Okay, that’s a bit of a lie because there’s one lovely madman/power hungry nutjob thrown into this book that just makes this book feel just right. Otherwise, most of the characters are morally grey despite a few characters having bad pasts and you see the confliction in a lot of the side characters about certain things later on in the story. I also want to put in here that Alon, our main character is non-binary and the love interest, Chase Gries is either bisexual or pansexual. And I kind of really loved them a whole heck-a-ton!

“The living bring their own ghosts to the shore, and only the latter are honest about why.”

There’s also so many themes within this book and I think this is one of the strongest reasons why I fell madly in love with it. The author never holds back on themes she wants to include in her books. When Chupeco decides to include these themes, they’re beautifully woven throughout and honestly, at time, I think it’s hard for many readers to pick them out because they’re so intricately laced in the story. The prime example, there are a few characters we see who are haunted by their past choices and we see how the choices of those pasts can impact the way the characters are in the now. And there’s many other themes like that sprinkled throughout.

Respect was one of the major themes that really spoke to me because I’m a huge believer in respect. Not just respect being earned instead of given, but also showing respect to foreign people and a culture that isn’t your own. There were so many moments in this book that put an emphasis on respect and how even a little bit of it can go a long way. We also see what happens when disrespect occurs and how people respond to that disrespect. Though this theme isn’t a major theme of this book, it’s one I wanted to highlight and put emphasis on.

“Respect is key. But most foreigners don’t have that for us.”

The other major theme of this book ties in with colonization, gentrification, and how when foreigners come to a place that isn’t their own, they constantly demand and take, and if that doesn’t work then they just pay everyone off so they can do what they want. If you think this doesn’t actually happen, then you would be very, very wrong. This is something that still continues in North America with the Native/Indigenous people to this day and this is something that constantly occurs in other places such as the Philippines and South America, and many other places in the world. This was a theme that spoke to me on so many levels, for a plethora of reasons. And I want to point out, that with the entitlement that comes from foreigners to a new place that isn’t their own, there’s a lot of racism that comes along with that too. Prime example, Chase Gries, the love interest, upon arriving on Kisapmata hands all of his bags of to Alon and assumes they are “the help” when Alon is actually the guide and local of Kisapmata for the entire production cast. There’s also conversations in the beginning with a side character who talks with Alon of how Hollywood likes to take advantage of, not only young people, but foreign people, as well. These are just two of the various moments that highlight this key theme of the book. And again, this themes ties back to the themes of respect and how respect is often disregarded by majority of people who aren’t locals.

“No. The opportunities you have in America are not always available everywhere.”

Of course I have to talk about the mythology of this book! You knew this was coming at some point in this review and we’re finally here. I have absolutely fallen in love with Filipino mythology because of Rin Chupeco and this book is no exception. This book, like all of Chupeco’s books, are very unapologetically Filipino. The amount of notes of words I had to go look up, the creatures and legends I spent three hours scrolling to learn more about, it was just everything. It filled my heart with so much joy and honestly, I wanted even more and was so sad when the book came to an end. Though the author does add English translation or the definition afterwards, I still wanted to do my own research. That also lead me down many rabbits holes and a lot of late hours scrolling to learn as much as I could find. I really enjoyed that this book motivated me to look into things more and I also love when you can tell an author is being unapologetically themselves in their book, as well. I think this will be something many readers will either like or dislike. That’s just always been the nature of the beast when it comes to things like this, but I strongly encourage readers to look things up if they still don’t understand. And if you’re a mythology lover like me, the extra research is so worth it!

If I had to say anything negative about this book (which I don’t), aside from the Filipino words/language and mythology, I think many readers may have issues with romantic subplot. Now for me, this wasn’t any sort of issue and I kind of enjoyed it. I really liked that it still happened, but it wasn’t a main focus of the story and it wasn’t too much of a standout that it impacted the main storyline. However, I think if you’re a reader who’s not always a fan of romantic subplots, this could go either way for you.

And I will say, I don’t think the horror in this book will be for everyone. I think there will be readers who thoroughly enjoy this book because of the horror/thrilling aspects of it, but I think there will be many readers who get chills or become unnerved by a lot of the things that unfold in this book. Again, this is another thing that could go fifty-fifty for many readers. Obviously, I loved it and really enjoyed the way things unfolded and played out.

“The Diwata knows. He knows all who come to his shores. He remembers us after we die.”

Overall, I had a wonderful time reading this book! I saw so many similarities between this book and The Mummy, and for the video game lovers, The Dark Picture Anthology series. It was the perfect read for me! And let me say, curling up with this book while it’s storming outside was absolutely delightful and meshed so well with the story inside these pages. If you’re looking for a good atmospheric read for Summerween or for just fall reading in general, then you definitely need to put this book on your radar. It’s the perfect spooky read for lovers of all things spooky!

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

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Monthly TBR

July 2022 TBR

Buddy reads, book recommendations, and earcs, oh my!

Salutations friends! It seems like it’s been a hot minute since I’ve done a tbr post and honestly, they’re probably going to become more selective just due to straying so far from tbrs and setting a general list of books to read. I really am turning into a big mood reader! But this post is super exciting because I’m doing something I’ve never done before…

Best friend recommendations!!!

Yes, I finally decided I wanted to try a dedicated tbr specifically to my best friend, Destiny‘s recommendations! I sat on this for a long time and over the past couple of months, as usual, Destiny has given me nothing but outstanding recommendations of books I need to read. And let me be frank, Destiny always has great recommendations and knows my taste in books fairly well. So I’m excited to reveal, not only our buddy reads, but the books she personally picked out for me. So without any further delays, here is my tbr for July, based around my friend’s book recommendations!

Disclaimer: Not all of the books are pictured because this is a chonky tbr, but all of the books will be listed!


➸ A Taste of Gold and Iron by Alexandra Rowland
August 30th 2022 by Tordotcom
Buddy Read with Destiny ♥

I’m very excited for this arc and buddy read! I think I’m about 40% in and so far I’m very curious on the direction this book is going to go. I can say that the on page anxiety and panic attacks feel very accurate, very realistic, and have me completely stunned by the amount of time and detail the author has put into this.

➸ The Sacrifice by Rin Chupeco
October 4th 2022 by Sourcebooks Fire

Rin Chupeco has easily become one of my favorite authors and you can anticipate seeing quite a few reads, and reviews for her books in the coming months. However, focusing on just this arc, I’m very excited to have an earc of this book. The synopsis is ultimately what drew me in with the cover coming at a strong second. Both of these two things combined and I have been caught; hook, line, and sinker!

➸ Darling by K. Ancrum
June 22nd 2021 by Imprint
Buddy Read with Destiny ♥

This shouldn’t come at a surprise to anyone. I forever worship at the alter of K. Ancrum and after putting it off for so long, this read is happening. And I get to buddy read this with my wonderful friend. Plus, if you didn’t already know, this is a Peter Pan retelling. So if you love a good retelling, you should put this on your radar!

➸ Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones
September 1st 2020 by Tor.com

This is another long overdue read and it’s no surprise to me that Destiny recommended this book to me. I have sang praises for The Only Good Indians for who knows how long and I’m honestly surprised I haven’t read this sooner. So it’s happening, it’s really happening. I’m going to be sitting down this month and reading it, and I already know I’m going to fall in love with it.

➸ Gallant by V.E. Schwab
March 1st 2022 by Greenwillow Books

This is another amazing recommendation from Destiny! For starters, the minute mixed media was mentioned, my attention was hooked. Plus, the cover is absolutely stunning. Even if Destiny never would have recommended it to me, this book would have eventually ended up on my radar.

➸ Nine Moon in a River of Stars: Phase One by Xen
January 30th 2022

Destiny spoke to me about this book many moons ago, but I have had this sitting on my kindle shelf ever since she recommended it to me. So I’m super excited to have this on my tbr for July and also fully prepared to get emotionally wrecked! Plus, the cover is really beautiful and it makes me eager to write a review for it!

➸ Cheer Up!: Love and Pompoms by Crystal Frasier & illustrated by Val Wise
August 10th 2021 by Oni Press

Do I know anything about this comic? No, but my guess is lesbian cheerleaders. And no, I haven’t read the synopsis because I like to believe some books are best going into them with no hint at all.

➸ Vespertine by Margaret Rogerson
October 5th 2021 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

Look… LOOK! I know what this looks like! Yes, technically it’s another book I placed on a past tbr I didn’t read, but it’s here now! Okay? So sh sh sh! It’s fine and it will be read, and yes, I’m still excited about it!

➸ Finlay Donovan is Killing It by Elle Cosimano
February 2nd 2021 by Minotaur Books

I know absolutely nothing about this book! However, if I know Destiny, this is probably a mystery, thriller, or horror book. Which is really exciting! I don’t read enough horror or thriller books. So I’m eager to see what this book is about!

➸ Comfort Me With Apples by Catherynne M. Valente
November 9th 2021 by Tordotcom

I would be lying if I didn’t say I was nervous about this book. Not from the religious aspect, but from the synopsis. It has me nervous on where I’m going to fall on the spectrum with this book. Whether I’ll love it or end up disliking it, I’m not sure.


Phew, that was a lot of books to list and technically, I left three books off of this list just due to the size of this month’s tbr. However, one of the books I left off the list is a manga and it’s of an anime series I’ve recently gotten into. So I’m excited to see how the manga compares to the anime series. Otherwise, the other two will be set for a different tbr when I’m not trying to be an over-achiever. I’m so excited for this month of reading though and I can’t wait to see which books I’ll end up enjoying the most! Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this list and until next time, stay hydrated, I love you! ♥

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Misc.

Life Update | Small Break, Returning May 9th-10th

Salutations Chapterlings! How are you all doing? Have you been hydrating and taking a break when you need it? I hope you’re doing okay! Today is going to be a very brief update. I know I’ve been gone for about three weeks now and believe me, that was never supposed to happen, but life had so many other plans. So, I hope to clear up where I’ve been, what’s happened to make me disappear for a hot minute, and why I’m taking a short break.

DISCLAIMER: CW/TW for loss of loved ones and myself being sick

To start this off, I ended up getting really sick. It started off as the flu and as fate would have it, blossomed into a really terrible ear infection and bronchitis. This was the thing that knocked me out for the first two weeks of everything. Usually I’m sick longer due to having a weak immune system and chronic illnesses, but from the very first sniffle, I was being hyper-active with pushing immune support supplements, taking vitamin c, drinking tea for some of the sore throat stuff that was happening, lysoling everything, etc… Despite all this, I still got knocked on my butt for two weeks.

Now for the more sadder news to happen. During the time of me being sick, we had three family members pass away in a short amount of time, almost back to back to one another. This has been really hard on everyone including my spouse and I. Due to all of this, we’re spending a lot of time traveling for services/funerals and I’ve been kind of radio silent on social media, but with friends as well. Though, I’ve been trying hard to reach out to those closest to me to let them know, “Hey I’m not ignoring you or anything, this is what’s going on.”

This leads me into the final part of this post. My short break and returning May 9th. As the time of this post going up, we’re in prep for traveling for funeral stuff. With that being said, I’m really hoping that by May 9th or May 10th I’ll have some post going up on the blog, hopefully my tbr for this month will be going up, and just in general kind of catching up on Instagram as well. Though, I’ll probably post some photos on my IG stories of what I’m reading or listening to in my travels. So keep your eyes open for that!

I think that covers everything for this small life update. I wish this was a more happier or even a longer post with both good and bad things, but sadly things just didn’t turn out like that. I’m really hoping things will start turning around soon. Until next time friends, hug your loved ones a little tighter and take care of yourselves! I’ll see you soon! 💛

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