Audiobooks · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Black Girl Unlimited by Echo Brown (Spoiler free)

 

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Hello guys, long time no see. Hope you’re all staying safe and well!
I haven’t had the motivation to blog recently but I’m feeling a bit more motivated now and I just had to share this book with everyone.

 

*I was sent this ALC from Libro.fm in exchange for an honest review

CW: Trauma, abuse, rape, child sexual abuse/pedophilia, mentions of suicide, racism, death 

Synopsis:
Echo Brown is a wizard from the East Side, where apartments are small and parents suffer addictions to the white rocks. Yet there is magic . . . everywhere. New portals begin to open when Echo transfers to the rich school on the West Side, and an insightful teacher becomes a pivotal mentor. Each day, Echo travels between two worlds, leaving her brothers, her friends, and a piece of herself behind on the East Side. There are dangers to leaving behind the place that made you. Echo soon realizes there is pain flowing through everyone around her, and a black veil of depression threatens to undo everything she’s worked for.

Heavily autobiographical and infused with magical realism, Black Girl Unlimited fearlessly explores the intersections of poverty, sexual violence, depression, racism, and sexism—all through the arc of a transcendent coming-of-age.


My thoughts:

Heartbreaking and painful – definitely not a light read. It deals with very heavy topics, please check the content warning for this one before reading.

I have no idea where to begin this review – it’s definitely not what I expected. I thought it was pure fantasy but it’s based on Echo Brown’s life. How she managed to make trauma magical, I have no idea. I had no idea what to expect going in, I assumed it was a fantasy story, purely fantasy. How wrong I was. The fantasy/ magical realism is heavily metaphorical, ‘wizards’ are not how you would expect.

It gives insight into the treatment of black people, especially women in the USA. It was harrowing to read, I can’t even imagine living through it. Brown doesn’t skimp over any details. The harsh truth is shown and devastating consequences but ultimately the hope that remains.

Everything is incredibly well written and well narrated. The author reads the audiobook herself, which is just amazing. She’s amazing! This is the most unique memoir/autobiography I’ve read. I haven’t heard anyone talk about this book but it is an incredibly important and powerful read.

Sidenote – the cover is insanely beautiful. The artwork is outstanding!

Highly, highly recommend picking this one up!

Rating: 4 Stars

Books · TBR

Predicting 5 Star Reads #3 | Wrap up + New TBR

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Hello there!
I thought today I would do another prediction post, my last post like this was back in May, then reviewed it in July,  I cannot believe it has been so long!

Old Predictions Update:

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor – Man, still haven’t gotten around to this book. I think I’ll reread Strange the Dreamer and then get to this during the summer. I am just too busy to commit to this at the moment.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff – I FINALLY READ IT!
It was good but I didn’t give it 5 Stars, sadly.
Review for it here!

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon – Never picked this one back up. Who knows I may read this during the summer.


New Predictions:

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas
The Burning White by Brent Weeks
Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Only picked three this time and three I know I will definitely be reading!
Hopefully, these will all be as amazing as I expect.

What book(s) on your TBR do you think will be a 5 star read?


 

Books · Tag

Books and Bakes Book Tag

six teal icing cupcakes with sprinkles

 

Created by the booktuber Life is a Page Turner

1. Cupcakes – name a collection of short stories, poems, or anthologies where you couldn’t read just one section and had to go back for another

I’m actually not a fan of short story collections. I much prefer novels/novellas.
But I’ll go with Assassin’s Blade by Sarah J Maas. I powered through that one pretty quickly and enjoyed it for the most part.


2. Lemon Pound Cake – Name a book that has 400 pages or more that you considered a comfort read and a classic

Not a classic but over 400 pages and a comfort read – A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J Maas. I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of rereading it.


3. Red Velvet cake – Name a book that you thought was one thing, but ended up being something completely different

Uprooted by Naomi Novik
I thought this would be an amazing fantasy/romance but it was just a snoozefest.
I was so disappointed in this book.


4. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough – Name a book or a book series that you can read over and over again even though you know that it’s bad for you

I don’t believe any books or series are ‘bad’ for anyone – read what you want, whenever you want!
I’ll go with Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson, I’ve read this twice already and really want to pick it up again (hopefully soon). I love this book with every fibre of my being!


5. Apple Pie a la Mode – Name a book that was really good but could have been better with a little bit of ice cream

The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater


6. Gingerbread Cookies – Do you like your gingerbread cookies crunchy or soft. 1. If you like your cookies soft name a book that was squishy in the middle, but the beginning and the end were really good. 2. If you like your cookies crunchy or more like ginger snaps name a book that you finished, but that you wanted to throw at a wall, or snap

Crunchy!
The Wicked King by Holly Black


7. Brownies – Are you a corner piece or a middle piece? 1. If you’re a corner piece, name a book that starts off strong and then all comes apart. 2. If you’re a middle piece, name a book that kept you in the feels the entire time.

Oooh, I like both. I’ll with corner piece…
The Humans by Matt Haig
The beginning was so good and funny, it just got boring towards the end, sadly!


8. Birthday Cake – Name a book series or an author that you feel like keeps coming out with a book, short story, novella every year

Brandon Sanderson!
I don’t think anyone releases more than him, the man is a machine!! He pumps out multiple books a year. Crazy.


9. Carrot Cake – Name a book that sounded healthy for you, but ended up being unhealthy either with content, or put you in a reading slump.

Kingdom of Souls by Rena Barron
This put me in such a reading slump. I thought this would be a new fave, the premise sounded so good but the execution was poor.


10. Tag some friends you would love to share some baked goods with

Jade (The Elder Books)| Stephen WritesAmy (Bookish Heights)

(Don’t feel pressured to do this if you don’t want to)

Books · Favourites

Best Books I Read in 2019

Best-books-2019

Hey guys!
Today I’m going to share my favourite books I read in 2019 (not necessarily 2019 releases). I didn’t have a great reading year in terms of quality, I read a lot of mediocre/disappointing books (post coming soon). I didn’t have many 5 Star reads, sadly.

In no particular order:

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

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I read the entire series in 2019 (on audiobook) and I LOVED it!!
It was such an amazing ride. I adore the characters, the world, everything!

Reviews: Cinder | Scarlet| Cress | Winter | Stars Above


The Remnant Chronicles by Mary E Pearson

 

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Oh my god, this series.
I cannot stress (!!!) how much I loved these books. I devoured the whole trilogy in a week or less. It was incredible. Now one of my all-time favourite series. This series restored my faith in YA fantasy!

Review| Spoiler Discussion


The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

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This is one of the books that surprised me the most, I am not a huge contemporary/romance reader but I LOVED this! Such an amazing book, so surprised it’s a debut. It’s adorable and deals with heavier topics.

Review here 


Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert

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My last read of 2019 and boy did it end on a high!
Another surprising read – a romance!
It was seriously incredible. The main character has a chronic illness and I have never related so much to a character before. This book was so so so good, if you read anything from this list please pick this!

Review here


Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

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Would this even be my list without a Sanderson novel?
This was my first time reading a YA (and sci-fi) novel by him and of course, it did not disappoint! Unfortunately, I didn’t get to the sequel in 2019 but I cannot wait to pick it up soon. Hopefully, it’ll be on my best books of 2020!

Review here


Saga by Brian K Vaughan and Fiona Staples

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2019 is the year I got into comics/graphic novels.

I picked this up on a whim, I had a free trial of Kindle Unlimited and I wanted a quick read, so I thought why not a graphic novel? Oh my god! It’s incredible. I loved every moment. I cannot believe it’s taken me so long to get into graphic novels!?!

Review here


Crownbreaker by Sebastien De Castell

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Stunning conclusion to what has been an incredible series!
Everything was wrapped up nicely and I couldn’t be happier.

Review here


Let me know what some of the best books you read in 2019 were, I’d love to know!


 

Blogmas · Books · Tag

The Joy Of Christmas Book Tag | Blogmas Day 11

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Happy Christmas Eve!
I cannot believe Christmas is tomorrow. Time really does fly!

Today I’m going to do The Joy of Christmas Book Tag!
This tag was created by Samantha at Novels and Nonsense

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating?

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J Maas!!!
I am SO ready for some SJM! I have missed her addictive writing so much.


2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing its praises?

Anything Brandon Sanderson.
I will never shut up about how amazing his books are.
The world-building, the character, the plot twists. EVERYTHING is amazing.


3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world-building?

I’m not going to repeat my previous answer (Even though Sanderson is the King of world-building)
So I’ll go with Lightbringer by Brent Weeks.
Incredible magic system and world. I cannot wait to read the final book asap and be back in this amazing world! If you like Sanderson, give Lightbringer a go!


4) A Christmas Carol: Favourite classic or one that you want to read

Jane Eyre & Pride and Prejudice


5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas

The Secret Commonwealth by Philip Pullman
(The only book I specifically asked for, so I know I’m getting it hehe)


6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling

Recently, Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
FEELS! This was adorable. The romance gave me so many fuzzy feels, I highly recommend this book!


7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favourite book covers?

Here are a few of my favourites from 2019 releases!


8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favourite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favourite Christmas memories?

FOOD!!!

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Have a great Christmas / Happy Holidays!
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Blogmas · Books

Books I Wish I Read in 2019 | Blogmas Day 10

blogmas-2019

Welcome to Day 10 of Blogmas!
Today I’m going to talk about the books I wish (should’ve) I read in 2019. Hopefully, this will inspire me to actually pick up these books. I’ve had some on my tbr for ages or some were anticipated releases I just haven’t read yet.

 

Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

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I literally preordered this book and it came out in 2018 and I still haven’t read it. I reallllllllly need to get to this in 2020. I enjoyed the first book and yet still haven’t picked this one up. *Facepalm*


The Burning White by Brent Weeks
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I planned to read this in December but life got way too busy and I didn’t want the enjoyment to be affected by my stress. I will definitely be reading this in January when I’m done with my finals!


Call Down the Hawk by Maggie Stiefvater

Another book that I just don’t have time to enjoy. I want to love this book so reading it while I’m stressing over finals would probably kill that enjoyment. Hopefully, I’ll get around to it ASAP!


The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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I really wanted to finish this trilogy but alas I don’t even own the book. I’ve read the first two, had an arc of The Cruel Prince, really enjoyed it. I got The Wicked King when it came out… didn’t like it. Very unpopular opinion but it was boring as hell. I’m not sure why I’m continuing but I feel like I might as well finish the series now.


What book do you really need to get to in 2020?

Audiobooks · Blogmas · Books · Review

Audiobook Review: Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert | Blogmas Day 7

 

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Hey Guys!
Welcome to Blogmas Day 7!

Synopsis:

Chloe Brown is a chronically ill computer geek with a goal, a plan, and a list. After almost—but not quite—dying, she’s come up with seven directives to help her “Get a Life”, and she’s already completed the first: finally moving out of her glamourous family’s mansion. The next items?

Enjoy a drunken night out.
Ride a motorcycle.
Go camping.
Have meaningless but thoroughly enjoyable sex.
Travel the world with nothing but hand luggage.
And… do something bad.
But it’s not easy being bad, even when you’ve written step-by-step guidelines on how to do it correctly. What Chloe needs is a teacher, and she knows just the man for the job.


My Thoughts:

This book was AMAZING.

Firstly, the rep: Black, plus-size, chronically ill

I loved every moment, all the characters, everything. It was so funny and cute, I cannot get over it. I’m not huge on romance books in general but this one had me interested and boy, am I glad I picked it up!

I listened to this on audiobook, I listen to maybe an hour and I put it down because life got busy. I was bored one day and put it on, ended up listening to it all day and reading 90%.  It is so addicting and engrossing. Once I got going I was hooked. It was so easy for me to become invested in these characters, the romance and the story.

I absolutely love the humour, I love it when a book can make me laugh out loud and this did. I was giggly, smiley and just so happy reading this book. It’s seriously wonderful.

This book is described as steamy and it is. There’s no escaping it, there are some steamy sex scenes – I am not a huge fan of this myself but I managed to get through it with minimal embarrassment. If you’re not a fan of detailed sex scenes, you may want to skip this. The book isn’t filled with them, however.


Characters:

Chloe: She’s is such a great protagonist! I have never connected and felt more like another character. Chloe suffers from a chronic illness, which I can personally relate to. Her experiences and the way she lives and feels because of her illness is something I can relate to 100%. I have never felt so seen and understood.
I have no idea if the chronic illness rep is own voices – I couldn’t find anything about it but it is very well written and accurate.

Red: 
One word: SWOON.


Narrator:
Adjoa Andoh is a great narrator. The voices and accents she did were so enjoyable, she fitted this book perfectly. I am so glad I got to listen to the audiobook, the listening experience was incredible.

 

Rating: 4.5 Stars

* Thank you to Libro.fm for providing the audiobook for review. All opinions are my own.