May 2021 Wrap-Up // Got busy, didn’t read that much

Hey Guys!!

Welcome back to another Monthly Wrap Up!! I can’t believe that May is already over and we are in June. Time flies so fast! I hope you all had a wonderful May!

So I only read one book in May. I know right, shocking! Usually, I read way more than that, but May was a busy month for me. This is why I haven’t had as many posts this month and haven’t read that many books! But in June I will do much better because all my upcoming events will start to die down

Now let me stop rambling and Let’s Get Into it!

Books I read in May…

Synopsis from Goodreads

Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.

With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.

Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again.

This was the one book I read in May, and I ended up not liking it at all. There were many issues with this book like the writing, worldbuilding, characters, and pacing. I wanted to love this book but ended up finding it boring and lackluster. I had high hopes for this book, but the book never reached its fullest potential. There were lots of wasted potentials that I feel could have been used to elevate the story.

Check out my review here: The Wild Ones // Arc Review – Inking & Thinking (wordpress.com)

Best Blogger Posts for May…

I thought I would share some of my favorite posts that were created by my fellow bloggers! Go check them out if you haven’t already!

Updates:

If you haven’t seen it already, I have created a review policy section on my blog! If you want me to review a book, go check out the review policy tab and fill out the form! I have not gotten any takers yet, but hopefully, I will soon!

Check the page out here: Review Policy – Inking & Thinking (wordpress.com)

Posts I did in May…

Thank you for checking out this post! I hope you all have a wonderful June!

See you next time!

The Wild Ones // Arc Review

Hey Guys!

I’m back again with another review! Sorry I haven’t posted many reviews! I haven’t finished too many books recently since my schedule has been busy! I may be a little rusty since I haven’t written one for a month.

I’m also going to be doing a new format for reviews, so let me know what you guys think of it in the comments!

Let me get into it!

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
From Goodreads

Meet the Wild Ones: girls who have been hurt, abandoned, and betrayed all their lives. It all began with Paheli, who was once betrayed by her mother and sold to a man in exchange for a favor. When Paheli escapes, she runs headlong into a boy with stars in his eyes. This boy, as battered as she is, tosses Paheli a box of stars before disappearing.

With the stars, Paheli gains access to the Between, a place of pure magic and mystery. Now, Paheli collects girls like herself and these Wild Ones use their magic to travel the world, helping the hopeless and saving others from the fates they suffered.

Then Paheli and the Wild Ones learn that the boy who gave them the stars, Taraana, is in danger. He’s on the run from powerful forces within the world of magic. But if Taraana is no longer safe and free, neither are the Wild Ones. And that…is a fate the Wild Ones refuse to accept. Ever again. 

I wanted to enjoy this book, but it ended up falling flat for me. The premise seems very interesting, but the concept didn’t end up living to its full potential. The cover is stunning, and I loved the idea of a magical girl squad that could represent many readers who felt not represented in the YA genre.

The Wild Ones is on girls and women that centers on their hard struggles in life, the strength they can find from others, and creating a loving family that they can feel supported. Azad expands on how we form relationships and the horrors or beauty that can lay within them.

This novel brings to center stage issues girls and women face around the world in our society. It demonstrates how we can find a community with others to face head-on the struggles that all women endure. We get to see how the survivors cope after these horrible experiences they have faced over their lifetime.

One of the main problems with this book was it was so difficult to follow this book. The book switched between the first person of Paheli, the leader of the Wild Ones, and another point of view of one of the wild ones. But we are never told who the other point of view is. This made it even more confusing because it was just some mysterious Wild One we don’t know much about.

There were also so many characters in this book. There were 11 girls in the Wild Ones then you have various side characters as well as Taraana. I didn’t get the chance to know who they were and what they were like as people. I don’t even remember most of the Wild One’s names except Paheli, Valentina, and Taraana. I would have liked to know about the characters, we do get these little excerpts from each Wild Ones, but for me, that isn’t enough. Either the characters should get more development or have fewer Wild Ones so we can learn more.

The writing was another major problem in this book was the writing. Usually, there is only one writing style used in the book, but various writing styles were confusing to follow. There were moments where the writing style was full of so much life and written beautifully. Other times, we switch to writing, which was similar to middle-grade writing style, and it was choppy, and many things were redundant.

But other times the writer did the one thing writers should avoid. Instead of showing the story through the writing, she just straight up told us what was happening. This took so much away from the story, and creates a disconnect for me. A wide majority of this including telling, rather than showing, so it wasn’t like it happen once, but it happens consistently. The writing style did not match up with the more serious themes presented in the book.

The worldbuilding was very weak. Most of the time, we would receive vague descriptions of places The Wild Ones would travel. In this world, there is a place called “the between,” where you can travel to any place you want through doorways. We are told that there is a Keeper of the Between. I would have liked the concept of the between expanded upon more because I didn’t “really” know what it was. I just thought of it as a place with doorways where you can travel to other locations.

Not only do we have “The Between,” in this book, but we also have humans and Middle Worlders. Middle Worlders are people who can use magic. Many times in the book, they are either described, as human or not human. Honestly doesn’t give us details about them, rather, it just says, “they are Middle Worlders, but they don’t look human.” I would have liked more description and to get more backstory about them. Most of the time I found the worldbuilding to be lacking and sometimes to be very confusing. Honestly, I feel like we got more worldbuilding for the food the characters ate rather than the actual world they live in.

The pacing in this book was also all over the place. The beginning was very slow, so it took me forever to get into the book. I found it to be very confusing while simultaneously being very boring. The book doesn’t begin to pick up until towards the middle, but even then, it’s still painstaking slow and still contains scenes that slow the plot down. It isn’t until about the last 100 pages, the book beginnings to pick up, and starts to go at a zooming pace. I would prefer for it to keep a faster pace throughout rather than having a super slow beginning and fly-by ending.

Overall, this book fell flat for me and ended up being a major disappointment. I had high hopes for this book, and it ended up not reaching most of them.

TW: Misogyny, child endangerment, human trafficking, abuse, rape (mention), bullying, grief, blood, violence, and victim’s guilt

Thank you to NetGallery for providing me an ARC of The Wild Ones in exchange for an honest review!

Trope Themed Thursdays: Secret Superpowers

Hey Guys!

Today for Trope Themed Thursday I’m going to be talking about some great books that feature characters with secret superpowers! I hope you guys enjoy this post!  Synopsis are from Goodreads! SPOILERS AHEAD!

I know I haven’t done one of these in awhile but I’ll be back at it again more frequently. I have been very busy the last few weeks so I haven’t been able to update that much but I’ll be on more now!

Now Let’s get into it!

King of Scars

Face your demons… or feed them.

The dashing young king, Nikolai Lantsov, has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war–and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, Nikolai must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha general, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried–and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

So technically, Nikolai doesn’t have superpowers, but rather, he was cursed because of his encounter with The Darkling in Shadow and Bone. But most of the citizens of Ravaka do not know this, and so in this book, we see him tackle the struggles he faces now with the curse. I loved Nikolai’s character arc in this book, and the addition of the curse makes his character even more compelling than before. You get to see him struggle and see him cope with some of the hardest lows of his life.

Serpent and Dove

Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

As you may already know, Lou is a witch, and of course, only her fellow witches know she is a witch. As a witch, Lou can perform magic but has to keep her powers secret to avoid being killed by the Chasseurs. One of my favorite things about this book is how Lou has to get married to Reid and she has to make sure that he does not find out that she is a witch. I find the dynamic to be very engaging and fun to read.

Skyhunter

In a world broken by war, a team of young warriors is willing to sacrifice everything to save what they love.

The Karensa Federation has conquered a dozen countries, leaving Mara as one of the last free nations in the world. Refugees flee to its borders to escape a fate worse than death—transformation into mutant war beasts known as Ghosts, creatures the Federation then sends to attack Mara.

The legendary Strikers, Mara’s elite fighting force, are trained to stop them. But as the number of Ghosts grows and Karensa closes in, defeat seems inevitable.

Still, one Striker refuses to give up hope.

Robbed of her voice and home, Talin Kanami knows firsthand the brutality of the Federation. Their cruelty forced her and her mother to seek asylum in a country that considers their people repugnant. She finds comfort only with a handful of fellow Strikers who have pledged their lives to one another and who are determined to push Karensa back at all costs.

When a mysterious prisoner is brought from the front, Talin senses there’s more to him than meets the eye. Is he a spy from the Federation? Or could he be the weapon that will save them all?

So technically, Red, who is the mysterious prisoner, doesn’t have superpowers, but rather, he has been turned in the weapon by the Federation. But many people don’t know that Red is a weapon, but rather, they think of him as just a regular prisoner. Through this book, we get to see how the Federation tortured Red, and turn him into a weapon that he never wanted to be. We also see the struggles he faces and how he is trying to redeem himself for the things he did in his past.

To Kill a Kingdom

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

This one is similar to Serpent and Dove. So Lira, as you may have already known, is a siren, but she is punished by her mother and forced to become a human. When she becomes a human she meets Elian, and she must keep her secret that she is a siren from Elian because turns out he is a siren hunter. We see that Lira is a powerful Siren, and as the book progresses we see Lira change her point of view of humans once she meets Elian.

Lore

Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.

Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

One of our main characters, Castor has secret superpowers that soon everyone participating in the Agon. He was given his powers by Apollo, and he is given a massive amount of powers. In the book, we see Castor learn how to handle his powers while also trying to survive being killed by the other gods.

What did you think of my choices? What are your thoughts on Secret Superpowers?

If you have any tropes that you like me to do, feel free to leave them in the comments!

How do I rate books? // A Discussion

Hey guys! Today I’m going to be discussing how I rate my books and what factors goes into my rating system. If you are interested in knowing more, keep on reading!

What is my rating scale?

  • 1 Star: Did not like anything at all and overall it was a disappointment
  • 2 Stars: Had potential there but it wasn’t used to the fullest potential
  • 3 Stars: It was okay but I wanted more from it
  • 4 Stars: Enjoyed it but something is missing
  • 5 Stars: Loved it and have no issues with it

Recommendations usually start around 3 stars or higher

What factors influence my rating?

1. Worldbuilding

One of my favorite things to judge when I’m reviewing a book is worldbuilding. When a book’s worldbuilding has something missing that’s okay as long as the other elements are still good.

What makes elements make worldbuilding good and worth reading?

  • Details that add to the world and add extra depth
    • This could include details like
      • History
      • Geography or layout
      • Cultures
      • Languages
  • Shows the things that characters don’t see
    • What they take for granted
    • What they have trained themselves not to notice or overlook
  • Show that the world is not perfect but has the capability to break
  • Show that the world is worth fighting for
  • Show how the characters and how society acts in this world
    • Day to day life
    • What problems this world has

You want to show that the world is three dimensional rather than static with one dimension

Info Dumping

One of the issues that books tend to do when they do worldbuilding is info-dumping. Info dumping is when an author dumps a big piece of information onto your lap all at once. This can be slightly annoying because it can be confusing to follow, and you can quickly forget important information about the world that may be crucial to know later.

One of the ways authors can prevent this is by spreading information about the world throughout the story. This way makes it easier for readers to learn and understand all about the world the story takes place in. This can especially be helpful for fantasy stories since they usually include items; such as magic systems, various lands, magical creatures, etc.

2. Plot & Pacing

Besides characters, plot and pacing can have a major influence on how I rate a book. If the story has missing holes or the pacing is all over the place, it will most likely bring my reading experience of the book down. I put these two topics in the same section because I feel like both of them influence one another and can greatly impact the other if not done right.

Pacing

Consistency. A great book has pacing that is consistent and doesn’t change up all over the place. Many times books can start very slow, which can get very boring quickly but then as you get into it more it starts to speed up and fly by. This bothers me very much because I would rather see a book that keeps one pacing rather than speeding up or slowing down at certain sections.

Many books suffer from a slow beginning and a fast ending. If I start reading a book and it takes forever until the plot starts picking up, it puts a damper on my reading experience. If I’m reading a book that suddenly speeds up the last 100 pages, I feel like I’m rushed and that I can’t enjoy the ending because everything is flying by.

Have the pacing be consistent. Don’t have it too slow or too fast, rather it should be a happy medium of the two.

Plot

To be considered a good plot, it must follow five essential events: The Exposition, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution. Each of these events can create a cohesive plot without any holes or any questions that would pop up. The plot is one of the most essential things in a story, and if not done correctly it will slowly unravel. If there are missing holes, the story will fall apart, and certain things will not line up correctly.

But you can’t just have a plot that matches up, but it has to be exciting full of action and helps that characters grow as people. If it’s not exciting or interesting, the reader will lose interest and might DNF the book or give it a low rating. Due to this, a book must balance creating a well thought out plot but also while making it exciting.

3. Characters

Characters are one of the most important aspects of a book. If the reader can not feel for the character or relate to them in some way, then the reader most likely will not like the book. Why would I read a book with characters that I don’t care for at all? That’s why this is so important to make your characters feel like real people and that they go through struggles. Or else they feel fake and that they are perfect all the time.

As well as having characters go through real struggles, they have to have depth to them and not be one-dimensional. Say, for example, I had a character named Gabby who is supposed to be “The Dumb Girl” archetype. This is what I mean by one-dimensional. The character should not have only one defining characteristic but rather many that show us the character is more than that one trait.

But the author can’t just tell traits straight out, but rather, they have to show this. Authors can do this by creating character arcs that challenge them and make them change their perspectives. By introducing character arcs, it allows the characters to grow and become a better version of themselves or a worse version. In real life, we all go through “character arcs” where we learn new things about ourselves and go through life-changing situations.

Characters must feel like real-life people so readers can relate to them. If not, my rating might not be as good. Characters are the heart of the story.

4. Writing: Showing vs. Telling

One of the most important things that a book must do is show rather than tell. If the writer has to use telling in their writing, you have to make sure it’s brief that deals with telling backstory, plot, or setting the tone. Telling must be used briefly because if it is overused, it can get annoying and seem not that complex. It also helps to avoid info-dumping for worldbuilding.

The writing must help to further the story then hinder it. The writing also should not repeat the same phrases over and over again. This gets repetitive and makes the writing seem of a much lower quality compared to everything else in the book. It should depictive by painting a clear picture in my head while reading.

Hope you enjoyed this post! See you next time!

Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Tag

Hey guys!

Today I’m going to be doing Avatar: The Last Airbender Book Tag! I love this show so much and if you haven’t watched it, I totally recommend it!

Credit to A Clockwork Reader for creating this tag! Here is her video if you are interested in watching: Avatar: The Last Airbender BOOK TAG! [Original] – YouTube

Water:

Katara and Sokka: The Best Sibling Relationship

Nora and Lee from The Girls I’ve Been. Nora and Lee have both been through so much since their mother is a con woman. They have been mistreated by their mother and have been through some of the worst experiences. But both of them are there for one another, willing to do anything for one another. Even though technically they are stepsisters, that never affects how they feel about each other because, in the end, they are sisters.

Yue: Favorite Star-Crossed Lovers

Mateo and Rufus from They Both Die at the End. These two were such a cute couple, and I hated how they had to die at the end. It is such a sad story knowing that their relationship is amazing, but eventually, it has to end when you get to the end of the book. These two were destined from the start to be together.

Blood Bending: A Book With A Disturbing/Unsettling Content

Skyhunter specifically, the Ghosts, are creatures created by the Federation to take down the last free nation of Mara. It is a horrifying concept where the Federation forces people to drink down poison, and slowly they growing large amounts of white hair, get much larger, and their skin begins to crack. And if you get scratched by one of these Ghosts, you slowly start to become one yourselves. It gives me shivers every time I think about it.

Earth:

Toph: A Character Whose Strength Surprised You or The Other Characters In The Book

Lazlo from Strange the Dreamer. Lazlo’s strength was surprising because, at the beginning, he is shown as just a librarian, but we see him become stronger and find himself. In the end, we find out that he posses great power and that he is not just an ordinary human.

Kioshi Warriors: Best Warrior Character

Aelin Galathynius from the Throne of Glass series. I mean how, could I not pick Aelin! She was an assassin for many years and was trained to be one of the best fighters. She also has insane powers that she uses flawlessly and is honestly one of the most powerful characters in the Throne of Glass world. So, of course, she deserves this award.

Fire:

Zuko: Best Redemption Arc

Let me tell you this: Nobody can top Zuko’s Redemption Arc. I mean, his arc is one of the best I have ever seen in media. But if any character were to come close it would Helene from An Ember in the Ashes. As we see time pass in this series, we see Helene, who is loyal to the empire and is somewhat the villain to the main characters. But in some ways, she isn’t, but she is portrayed to be because she is on the wrong side. We eventually see her swap sides and start to realize that maybe the empire isn’t so great.

 Iroh: Wisest Character

Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter. I do not in any way support J.K Rowling or her actions, but Dumbledore is the only character that would fill this category in my mind. Dumbledore is a great mentor to Harry and his friends, always around when need and providing them advice when they have a problem. He also is such a powerful wizard, but rather than letting all that power corrupt him; instead, he uses it for good teaching young wizards and witches. 

Azula: Best Downfall

Eli from Vicious. At the beginning of Vicious, we see Eli is friends with Victor, and he is concerned about his studies in university. But after gaining an obsession with EOs, he slowly starts to unravel and soon decides to become one himself. Soon his newfound power begins to corrupt him and turns into a power hunger monster. But that all comes to bite him in the butt and soon leads to his downfall.

Air:

Appa: Favorite Fictional Animal/Pet

Braddock the Bear from Three Dark Crown Series. Honestly, I would love to have a bear as a pet because it can protect me from harm, and it seems like a bear would be a wonderful companion to have around. I loved Braddock the bear, and he always seemed to make scenes more lively especially, with Arsinoe.

 Aang: Purest Cinnamon Roll

Wylan from Six of Crows. Everyone else in Six of Crows is tough and willing to do anything to survive. But then there is Wylan, who isn’t used to the kind of work the Crows do and is thrown in at the last minute. He is so incredibly sweet, and I love his relationship with Jesper so much! You can tell he isn’t the best in social situations, but he is so incredibly smart, and that’s why I love his character so much!

Avatar State: A Stubborn Character/ A Character That Struggles With Letting Go

Stevie Bell from Truly Devious. Throughout the Truly Devious series, we see that many times during the mystery that Stevie is trying to solve she hits some barriers that stop her from getting any further. But that doesn’t deter her from giving up, but she works, even harder, to solve the mystery and never lets it go until she reaches her goal.

I Tag:

Whoever wants to do this tag! Let me know if you do because I would love to check it out!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! See you next time!

To-Be-Read May 2021

Hey Guys!

I’m going to be through what books I will be trying to read through in the month of May! Some of these will be rereads, new books and even some ARCs! I hope you enjoy this list! All Synopsis are provided by Goodreads.

  1. Blood Like Magic

Synopsis:

After years of waiting for her Calling—a trial every witch must pass in order to come into their powers—the one thing Voya Thomas didn’t expect was to fail. When Voya’s ancestor gives her an unprecedented second chance to complete her Calling, she agrees—and then is horrified when her task is to kill her first love. And this time, failure means every Thomas witch will be stripped of their magic.

Voya is determined to save her family’s magic no matter the cost. The problem is, Voya has never been in love, so for her to succeed, she’ll first have to find the perfect guy—and fast. Fortunately, a genetic matchmaking program has just hit the market. Her plan is to join the program, fall in love, and complete her task before the deadline. What she doesn’t count on is being paired with the infuriating Luc—how can she fall in love with a guy who seemingly wants nothing to do with her?

With mounting pressure from her family, Voya is caught between her morality and her duty to her bloodline. If she wants to save their heritage and Luc, she’ll have to find something her ancestor wants more than blood. And in witchcraft, blood is everything

This book sounds so great, and I love the concept behind it! I was provided an arc from NetGallery and have been so excited to read it! I have heard great things about this book, so I’m hoping I love it! The magic system also sounds so interesting, and I can’t wait to learn more about it!

2. Witches Steeped in Gold

Synopsis:

Divided by their order. United by their vengeance.

Iraya has spent her life in a cell, but every day brings her closer to freedom – and vengeance.

Jazmyne is the Queen’s daughter, but unlike her sister before her, she has no intention of dying to strengthen her mother’s power.

Sworn enemies, these two witches enter a precarious alliance to take down a mutual threat. But power is intoxicating, revenge is a bloody pursuit, and nothing is certain – except the lengths they will go to win this game.

I have been waiting to read this, and I finally got a copy in April! This sounds so good, and I love books with magic and witches. It sounds like it’s going to be a great book, and I’m excited to get into it! I’m also excited that it is Jamaican-inspired and how it also ties in a fantasy-rich world. It sounds like an amazing combo, and I hope it’s executed well!

3. Finish Spin the Dawn

Synopsis:

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

I’m about 40% through Spin the Dawn, so I thought I would add it to the list since I’m reading it. I love it so far, and the world-building is so detailed. I love Maia as the main character and how she tries everything in her power to help her family and her dreams. I agree with the Mulan meets Project Runway theme, and I love how the author meshed these two concepts together.

The month of May has been very busy for me so I’m not expecting to get that many books read! I’m hoping I finish at least one!

Hope you enjoyed this post!! Thanks for stopping by!

April 2021 Wrap-up

Hey guys!

I hope all of you had a great April! This month I read four books! I have been super busy this month, so I didn’t get to read as much as I usually do. Three out of the four books I enjoyed, and so I’m going to talk about them today! I will also be talking about some blog posts by some of my fellow bloggers that I loved. Synopsis are from Goodreads!

Best Books I read in April…

  1. You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao

Seventeen-year-old Julie has her future all planned out—move out of her small town with her boyfriend Sam, attend college in the city, spend a summer in Japan. But then Sam dies. And everything changes. Heartbroken, Julie skips his funeral, throws out his things, and tries everything to forget him and the tragic way he died. But a message Sam left behind in her yearbook forces back memories. Desperate to hear his voice one more time, Julie calls Sam’s cellphone just to listen to his voicemail.

And Sam picks up the phone.

In a miraculous turn of events, Julie’s been given a second chance at goodbye. The connection is temporary. But hearing Sam’s voice makes her fall for him all over again, and with each call it becomes harder to let him go. However, keeping her otherworldly calls with Sam a secret isn’t easy, especially when Julie witnesses the suffering Sam’s family is going through. Unable to stand by the sidelines and watch their shared loved ones in pain, Julie is torn between spilling the truth about her calls with Sam and risking their connection and losing him forever. 

I got this ARC provided by NetGallery big thanks to them! This was such a great story that tackles big themes of Grief, Sadness, and Death. It’s a book about moving on and not living in the past. It’s a book about how those who die are still here and there for you. I would recommend this to anyone, who isn’t afraid to get in their emotions.

Check out my review here: You’ve Reached Sam Review – Inking & Thinking (wordpress.com)

2. The Cost of Knowing by Brittney Morris

Sixteen-year-old Alex Rufus is trying his best. He tries to be the best employee he can be at the local ice cream shop; the best boyfriend he can be to his amazing girlfriend, Talia; the best protector he can be over his little brother, Isaiah. But as much as Alex tries, he often comes up short.

It’s hard to for him to be present when every time he touches an object or person, Alex sees into its future. When he touches a scoop, he has a vision of him using it to scoop ice cream. When he touches his car, he sees it years from now, totaled and underwater. When he touches Talia, he sees them at the precipice of breaking up, and that terrifies him. Alex feels these visions are a curse, distracting him, making him anxious and unable to live an ordinary life.

And when Alex touches a photo that gives him a vision of his brother’s imminent death, everything changes. With Alex now in a race against time, death, and circumstances, he and Isaiah must grapple with their past, their future, and what it means to be a young Black man in America in the present.

I enjoyed reading this book so much, and I love how this book focused on how society expects African American Men to be. It was nice to see this book break down typical stereotypes and talk about problems that are affecting our society. The relationship between Alex and Isaiah was such a great relationship, and I loved seeing it develop throughout the book.

Check out my review here: The Cost of Knowing Review – Inking & Thinking (wordpress.com)

3. The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe

Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.

For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:

#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.

#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:

#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.

The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…

This was another great book and maybe one of my favorites I read this month! From the lovable characters, action-packed scenes, the secrets, and tackling issues that happen in our society, it made this book stand out from all the books I usually read! Nora was such an intriguing character to follow, and her backstory is so mysterious but full of sadness. I would recommend this book if you like high tension and action-packed books that tackle real-life issues present in our world.

Check out my review here: The Girls I’ve Been Review – Inking & Thinking (wordpress.com)

Best Blogger Posts for April…

I thought I would share some of my favorite posts that were created by my fellow bloggers! Go check them out if you haven’t already!

Hope you guys enjoyed this post! See you next time!