March 30, 2019

Most Anticipated April 2019 Releases

It's been a year since I started this post series, and I'm so happy to keep it going. :)

Waiting For

1. In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton (4/9/19)
I love historical fiction and Jewish stories that aren't about the Holocaust.

2. In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen (4/9/19)
This one has a lovely cover, plus it sounds like such a strong contemporary story.

3. Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway (4/16/19)
Pie. That's all.

4. If I'm Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka (4/23/19)
Another Shakespeare retelling from the dream team!

5. A Kind of Paradise by Amy Rebecca Tan (4/30/19)
I am here for library love.

6. Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali (5/7/19)

Saints and Misfits was SO good, so I'm sure her sophomore novel will be too.

Already Read - You Should, Too!

1. Caterpillar Summer by Gillian McDunn (4/2/19)
I'm slightly biased, since I worked at Bloomsbury when I read this title, but it's so wonderful. It's a family story, and it's everything I love in middle grade.

2. You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn (4/2/19)
Like Open Road Summer but a little sadder.

3. Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (4/16/19)
Read it for the mystery, the chemistry, and the pie.

What April books are you really looking forward to?

March 29, 2019

New York Adventures, Month Ten

March was something else.


1. Spring 2020 launch! I can't wait for y'all to learn about these titles.


1. Jennifer E. Smith and Jenny Han did an event at Books Are Magic in Brooklyn, which is one of the cutest bookstores ever! I had a massive stack for Jennifer to sign, lol, and I got to tell her how much I love her books. I also awkwardly babbled to Jenny Han how I got my friend to love To All the Boys by reading it aloud to her on our long drives to and from college on our breaks.
2. Then on Friday the 8th, there was a diversity panel at Books of Wonder, featuring Laura Silverman, Zoraida Córdova, and Laura Pohl.

3. The last book event I attended this month was last night! I got to go to Jenn Marie Thorne's launch event for her latest, Night Music, at the Astoria Bookshop in Queens.



1. The second weekend in March, I went on my Great Pie Adventure, where I visited four pie shops in New York - two in Brooklyn and two in Manhattan. On Saturday the 9th, I started with Four & Twenty Blackbirds Dean Street location and then walked from there to Daly Pie. I got salted caramel apple at the first one (they have a couple others I wanna try really soon, and if I hadn't been going to three other pie shops this weekend, I probably would've gotten them too lol), and then an apple hand pie and orange chocolate almond at Daly. Pics below.

The pie-venture continued on Sunday, at Petee's Pie Company in the Lower East Side, right by the Tenement Museum (which is some place else I wanna go soon!). I got the blueberry with crumb topping, although if they'd had the lemon poppyseed chess, I was interested in trying that.

It was so good, y'all. I like blueberry pie that uses small blueberries, and they were so dainty and sweet.

Finally, on Monday on my lunch break, I walked across town to The Little Pie Company, which is in Hell's Kitchen. They had four varieties I wanted to try, and I was able to get slices of two: the pear apple crumb and the sour cream apple walnut.

Both were delicious. 

If I had to rank the pies I's very hard, but:

1. Four & Twenty Blackbirds salted caramel apple
2. Little Pie Company sour cream apple walnut
3. Petee's Pie blueberry w/crumb topping
4. Daly Pie hand pie (much better than a McDonald's apple pie)
5. Daly Pie chocolate orange (would've been higher, but I didn't love the crust)
6. Little Pie Company pear apple crumb (not bad at all; I just wanted more pear flavor)

None of them were bad slices at all! This is just my preference for the ones I tried.

2. I also had the opportunity to go back to Doughnut Plant for the first time since this summer. I really wanted to try one of their dough-flowers, but they didn't have those, so I got the Brooklyn Blackout donut (SO good) and the Meyer lemon and poppyseed yeast donut (saved it for breakfast this morning).


1. Sarah and I went to see Kiss Me, Kate this past Saturday. It was fun and really well done!


1. On my Great Pie Adventure, I walked around parts of Brooklyn I hadn't seen before. I found out there's a Doughnut Plant location right by a stop on the 2/3 line (this is a is very dangerous discovery, because I will go there too often), and a Little Cupcake Bakeshop location not far from Daly Pie. I got to see parts of my city that felt a lot more local and less Big City Tourist Central-ish, if that makes sense.
2. Got to see another branch of the NYPL that is more conveniently located along a train line for me to pick up my book holds.
3. Saw a teeny bit of Astoria, Queens while going to the event mentioned above. It felt very different from what I've seen of Brooklyn and Manhattan, although that might be mainly because this was one of the areas where the train line is above ground!

How was your March?

March 27, 2019

So You Like... #79

I've done some recommendation posts similar to this one, but I decided one that's a little more general might be a good idea. So you like...

(as always, covers link to the books' GR pages)










Do you like Disney movies? What are your favorite books that remind you of them?

March 25, 2019

Review: You'd Be Mine

You'd Be Mine by Erin Hahn
Grade: B-
Release date: April 2, 2019
An e-galley was provided by Wednesday Books via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: Annie Mathers is America’s sweetheart and heir to a country music legacy full of all the things her Gran warned her about. Superstar Clay Coolidge is most definitely going to end up one of those things. 

But unfortunately for Clay, if he can’t convince Annie to join his summer tour, his music label is going to drop him. That’s what happens when your bad boy image turns into bad boy reality. Annie has been avoiding the spotlight after her parents’ tragic death, except on her skyrocketing YouTube channel. Clay’s label wants to land Annie, and Clay has to make it happen.

Swayed by Clay’s undeniable charm and good looks, Annie and her band agree to join the tour. From the start fans want them to be more than just tour mates, and Annie and Clay can’t help but wonder if the fans are right. But if there’s one part of fame Annie wants nothing to do with, it’s a high-profile relationship. She had a front row seat to her parents’ volatile marriage and isn’t interested in repeating history. If only she could convince her heart that Clay, with his painful past and head over heels inducing tenor, isn’t worth the risk.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: Thanks to Taylor Swift and Emery Lord's Open Road Summer, I'm super interested in books about young country music stars. You'd Be Mine seemed super promising. However, it's not as optimistic and earnest as either the cover implies or early T-Swift, which I think means it won't be great for a lot of readers.
Clay is not a main character I could relate to in the slightest, and his chapters were only interesting when they included Annie.
I wanted more of Annie's music. We just get a lot of descriptions of her band being on-stage and her resisting following in her parents' footsteps. There's also a lot of repetition of her resisting a particular record label that's courting her.
I liked that some of Annie's and some of Clay's songs were included, and I could picture everything as actual music.
Lastly, that ending felt a little too wish fulfillment, like something that would be in a fanfic.

Content warnings: underage drinking, drug use, references to family members' suicides, a character describing finding her deceased parents, foul language

The Verdict: If you've been looking for something like Open Road Summer, Erin Hahn has you covered.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Maybe.

March 24, 2019

Rewind & Review #131

~It's been a couple weeks of ups-and-downs. 

Books I Received for Review
Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey (from Penguin First to Read)

Books I Won/Traded for/was Gifted
This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills (via trade)

Books I Read
The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf (3.5 stars)
From Twinkle, with Love by Sandhya Menon (reread)
The Art of Losing by Lizzy Mason (3.5 stars)
The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z. by Kate Messner (3 stars)
Four Dead Queens by Astrid Scholte (4 stars)
That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston (reread)
Voracious by Cara Nicoletti (4.5 stars)
With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
Anne's House of Dreams by L.M. Montgomery (4 stars)

Blog Posts You Might've Missed in the Last Few Weeks
   (from 3/11-3/16)
   (from 3/17-3/23)

March 22, 2019

Random Friday: Spring 2019 Reads

Want to participate in Random Fridays? Just do the following:
  • Include the above image in your post and link back to my blog.
  • Blog about this week's topic (or a variant of it).
  • Add the link to your Random Friday post at the bottom of this one.

Earlier this week, I shared some of the spring 2019 releases I'm most looking forward to, and I have five more to list, plus books I'm determined to read in the next few months.

1. The Clockwork Ghost by Laura Ruby

2. Love from A to Z by S.K. Ali

3. We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal

4. I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

5. If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann

6. Rainbow Valley by L.M. Montgomery
The next Anne book, since I finally read Anne's House of Dreams this month.

A few Rory Gilmore Challenge picks:

7. The Secret History by Donna Tartt

8. The Optimist's Daughter by Eudora Welty

9. The Brontes by Juliet Barker

What spring releases are you looking forward to? What do you hope to read this spring?

Inlinkz Link Party

March 20, 2019

Mini Reviews: If You're Out There and The Weight of Our Sky

If You're Out There by Katy Loutzenhiser
Grade: C
Summary: Zan's best friend, Priya, moves to California and suddenly ghosts her. In addition, her social media sounds nothing like her. Everyone thinks Zan is overreacting until a new kid enrolls at Zan's school. 

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: This one came highly recommended by a publishing friend, so I was eager to give it a try. I liked the setting a lot; Chicago came across well in the book, and I loved that Zan had a job at a restaurant - so normal! - made fun by the fact that restaurant is vegan. However, I found the romance to be bland. The plot twists related to What Has Happened to Priya didn't sit well with me, and I found it all to be overly dramatic and not my type of book.

Content warnings: kidnapping, violence, some foul language.

The Verdict: Not what I expected.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: I don't think so...

The Weight of Our Sky by Hanna Alkaf
Grade: B-
Summary: Teenaged Melati gets separated from her mother during the 1969 race riots in Kuala Lumpur, while also navigating her struggles with OCD.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: At times The Weight of Our Sky read like a YA historical fiction novel from ten years ago, but with a protagonist who is actually relatable, empathetic, and human. Plus, there are compelling side characters, such as Auntie Bee, Vincent, and Frankie (although I wanted just a little more of Melati's friend, Safiyah, before they get separated). I also think I wanted a little more context within the story about the race riots. The catalyst is super early in the book, which is good for pacing but not so great for readers who know nothing about the riots. (And yes, we can Google things, but I usually don't until after I finish a book so it doesn't take me out of the story or spoil anything that'll happen later that I don't already know about.) 

Content warnings (taken from the author's note at the start of the book): graphic violence, death, racism, OCD, and anxiety triggers

The Verdict: Pretty good! It feels like a debut, so I look forward to what Hanna writes next.

Will I be adding this book to my library?: Thinking about it.

March 19, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2019 TBR List

Are y'all ready for warmer weather and great books?


2. In the Key of Nira Ghani by Natasha Deen

3. Summer of a Thousand Pies by Margaret Dilloway

4. The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

5. Somewhere Only We Know by Maurene Goo

6. There's Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

7. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

8. The Kingdom by Jess Rothenberg

9. Midsummer's Mayhem by Rajani LaRocca

10. I Wanna Be Where You Are by Kristina Forest

What spring releases are you eager to read? What's on your spring TBR?