My life this past month has been INSANE. I celebrated my 28th birthday with friends and family and signed lease for a cabin. Yes, you read that right! I’m getting my very own place for the first time ever. I’ve been wanting to move out on my own for awhile but in case ya’ll haven’t noticed rent is ridiculous around here. $1200 for a dinky one bedroom apartment where I can hear my neighbors every thought?

Luckily an opportunity opened up to rent a little cabin in the woods. It’s a quaint little one-bedroom with a nice sized kitchen and a screened in front porch. There’s nothing fancy about it, but it suits my needs perfectly. (The background image of my title is my cabin!) I even get to bring my cat, Pixie, with me! So the cat lady stereotype will keep going strong.

Madame Adelaide Bonfamille is goals. And yes I had to look up her name. I haven’t watched Aristocats in a while.

Don’t judge me. 

I’ve actually been working on moving in this week/weekend. By Sunday evening I’ll be all moved in and will spend my first night in my new place! It is equal parts exciting and terrifying.Somehow between all of the chaos of school, prepping to move, and life in general I was able to read ten books this month. I’m not sure how I even managed to do that but on to the reviews!

The Darkest Part of the Forest was what I like to call a hangover read. Meaning I was till torn up about how The Wicked King ended that I decided to read another book my Holly Black to further torture myself. Okay, maybe that sounded a little harsh. This one didn’t totally break my heart because it was a stand-alone, and Holly Black wasn’t cruel enough to leave it on a cliffhanger. This was a nice book to read after The Wicked King because the two books have a lot of the same faerie lore and magic. Personally, I think Holly would be able to expand upon the story and make it into a series if she really wanted to.

Back in 2016 I read The City of Brass and fell in love with the world that S.A. Chakraborty created. It was one of the few adult books that thoroughly enjoyed. This year she released the sequel, Kingdom of Copper, and I couldn’t wait to read it! I started reading Kingdom of Copper thinking that I could remember enough about the first book that I wouldn’t get lost in the story. Ha. The joke was on me. There were so many things that happened in City of Brass that I knew I had to re-read it so I could fully enjoy the second book without getting confused. I’m so happy I did.

S.A. Chakraborty is an amazing author that has created such an intricate beautiful world. The story is based on a retelling of Arabian nights and I’ve never read such well-researched book before! Chakraborty does a great job at incorporating authentic history and explaining it in a way that everyone will understand. Personally, I listened to the audiobooks and the reader does an amazing job of keeping you wrapped up in the story. I highly recommend this if you are a fan of Arabian folklore/myths/etc.

I finally was able to finish The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi. This book has been sitting on my nightstand for such a long time, waiting to be read. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t get into the story initially. I love Roshani and her style of writing. Her other book, The Star Touched Queen, is one of my all time favorites. Part of the reason I don’t think I could really get into the story was due to all of the intricate details. This is a heist book set in the late 1800’s Paris and follows a group of 5 as they attempt pull of their biggest heist yet. The characters themselves were amazingly detailed and fully-fleshed out. In this world there is something called The Order of Babel and this magicky thing called Forging. The concept it super interesting and not like anything I’ve ever seen before. I think it’s a good book and I enjoyed reading it when I found the chance to. I probably should have put this book down and picked it up again at a different time. More than likely I’ll end up re-reading it before the second book comes out and I’m hoping that it will be a different experience for me.

I’m not a big reader of graphic novels. I think I’ve discussed this before but I usually have a hard time looking at the pictures, reading the little text boxes, and keeping track of the direction of the story. It’s just a lot, okay! However with all of that being said I recently picked up a graphic novel series called, A Girl Named Echo. The story follows a Metis girl named Echo who is struggling to figure out who she is. The first book called the Pemmican Wars follows Echo as she adjusts to living in a group home, and she discovers that she can travel back in time. She just so happens to travel back in time to important parts of Metis history. Red River Resistance continues to follow Echo as she continues to learn about her history and discover more about herself. I highly recommend these graphic novels, especially to those who are not familiar with the First Nations of Canada.

Angie Thomas is a queen! Her first book, The Hate U Give, was brilliant and shook things up. On the Come Up was just as amazing. I felt like I was sitting down and having a conversation with Bri about her life. I could picture myself right there in the middle of the story, which is not an easy feat for a writer. I also really like the fact that Angie wrote about the underground rap culture. It’s not something that I am familiar with and it was interesting to read about. The incorporation of music and how important it was to Bri really helped the story along. I can’t wait to see what else Thomas writes in the future, any of her novels will be at the top of my to-read list.

I remember reading about this book and thinking, “Oh yeah I’m def gonna read this one.” I used to be a big fan of the show Vikings, and I was excited to see a book that was about strong female warriors. This book is heavily based upon Norse mythology/culture. The characters were strong women that had a unique job of providing mercy kills to those that were on death’s doorstep. I’ve never read anything like it and thought it added a unique layer to the story. They go on several different adventures in the book, mostly to find a way to stop being Boneless Mercies. (I mean who would want to go around killing people all the time?) However, I felt that with all of the different adventures the book really could have been split into two different novels and the story could have been expanded upon. Overall though I enjoyed the story and the audio book version was fun to listen to.

I was really excited to read this book! I met the author, Emily B. Martin, at ReadUp! Greenville last fall and she was super nice! She is also what I consider to be a local author because she lives in South Carolina. Woodwalker was a great fantasy novel that didn’t incorporate magic – which is not an easy feat! I love how Martin incorporates nature into her story and makes it one of the main focal points. I can’t wait to read the other book in the story to see what happens. Martin is also release a new book series set in the same world, but with a new generation! Her artwork for her stories are equally as amazing as her novels. There is something about being able to see what the characters look like in the eyes of the author that add another level to the story itself.

My teens will be reading this book in August and I can’t wait to see what their reaction to it will be. I am also in the works of planning an author visit of sorts – my teens will submit questions to the author and she will send us a response video! Martin is the first author I’ve reached out to as a librarian and I have to say I was super nervous, but she was really nice and made the whole experience a breeze! 

I actually ordered this book for my teen collection at work because it looked interesting. Also I’ve been determined to build up a collection that celebrates strong figures in history – especially female figures. I’m gonna admit that I didn’t realize it was a book of poetry until I flipped through the pages. So that was a pleasant surprise! Joan of Arc’s story has always intrigued me and it was nice to see her story presented in a different way. Each of the poems were done in a different way to differentiate between the different voices. This will be a great book to put out for my National Poetry Month (April) display. 

After this reading sprint I’m all caught up on my Goodreads challenge. I’m even one book ahead!

Who knows maybe I’ll make it to 100 books this year.

Until next time,