February 2021 Wrap Up: a new favorite Black romance author and so much more

Hi everyone! I was in a bit of a reading slump during February, which is why I mostly read short books and especially romance books. This month a discovered a new favorite Black romance author, which was super exciting and that’s why I read 5 of her books in a row. Overall, february was a month of reading some amazing books by Blakc authors and I’m excited to share my thoughts aobut them with you.

Without further ado, here are the books I read in February:

How to Catch a Queen by Alyssa Cole (4 stars): I couldn’t stop reading this, it was SO GOOD! It was a very engaging read. I really liked the main characters, they were both very flawed but they put in the work and I really enjoyed the way they grew throughout the book. Their relationship starts really slow but I enjoyed the way it developed.

I Think I Might Love You by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): This was a quick, entertaining novella. I particularly liked the main characters, they both had captivating and unique voices and great chemistry between them. I also liked the discussion about how someone’s past doesn’t have to define their entire lives. Lastly, there are some great side characters in this book and even a side romance which was a good addition.

I Think I Might Need You by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): I really liked the main characters and the plot was very engaging. In the beginning, I was sure the chemistry was there between the two main characters, but they won me over and by the end, I was a huge fan of their relationship. The only issue I had was that the secret of who the baby’s dad was dragged a bit too long for such a short novella.

I Think I Might Want You by Christina C. Jones (3 stars): This was my least favorite book of the series. I liked Jemma, but I didn’t like Levi that much. The way he spoke didn’t feel natural at all and it was kind of pretentious. Also, it felt like Jemma spent the entire time going in circles, which wasn’t very entertaining to read about.

Getting Schooled by Christina C. Jones (4 stars): This was such a fun book! A great hate to love romance, the main characters had so much chemistry and the banter between them was great. Also, I really enjoyed Jay’s relationship with his family as well as Reese’s relationship with her mom and Devin; including those relationships added a lot to the stories.

Pulling Doubles by Christina C. Jones (3.5 stars): This sounded like a book I would love, but sadly, it was only ok for me. I think mainly it had to do with the fact that I don’t like the “He acted like he hated her to hide that he liked her” trope, so in the beginning, I wasn’t that invested in the relationship. But also, there were some conflicts that were thrown in there but not really resolved, and something happens at the end that was unnecessary, didn’t work well, and made the ending feel abrupt.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore (3.5 stars): This was definitely not as good as the first book in the series. Mainly because the main characters were really unlikeable at times and because the connection and chemistry between them weren’t really there at the beginning. Nonetheless, the second half of the book is a lot stronger in terms of the romance. I enjoyed the subplot revolving around Lucie’s activism and the suffragette movement, and the discussions about how romantic love and feminist activism are not mutually exclusive.

Remote Control by Nnedi Okorafor (4 stars): This was a quick read, but it was very captivating and it accomplished a lot in terms of world-building and character development for such a short amount of pages. The concept is very interesting and the execution delivers on the promise of that concept.

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig (4 stars): This book has a great message about letting go of regrets and Matt Haig communicates that message through incredible writing. I’ll say that it never feels like the main character and her particular journey are the actual focus of the book, it feels like they a vehicle to deliver the message that Haig is trying to convey. But this doesn’t mean that the character and her journey are not an engaging part of the book, it’s simply that they are not the most important part.

In the beginning, Haig does a better job of making sure that reading about the different lives of the main character isn’t boring, but once the main character starts to stay longer in these lives, the book does drag a little. Especially, because the message of the book is so obvious that you know what the main character is going to discover and in which life she is going to end up

So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo (5 stars): Ijeoma Oluo covers so many topics in a concise, clear and very smart way. I learned a lot, especially when it came to ways to reframe conversations and actions that can help in uncomfortable and hard situations when discussing race.

Stamped by Jason Reynolds (4,5 stars): This book was thoughtful, clear, and concise. It’s told in a tone and style that it’s easy to read and understand, the amount of skill that Jason Reynolds shows with the way he wrote this book is outstanding.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin (4 stars): This is a powerful book that’s part essays and part memoir. It talks about the race issue in America in a way that it’s sobering and it does it through excellent writing. The way James Baldwin talks about different religions in this book and the link between religion, power, race and racism was very interesting.

Homie by Danez Smith (4 stars): This was a really good poetry collection about friendship, blackness, grief, politics, queerness, and community. As with every poetry collection, there are some poems that I liekd more than others but all of the poems in this collection are worth the read.

What is your favorite and least favorite book you read in February? Was February a good reading month for you?

Add me on
Bookstagram | Twitter  | Ko- fi | Goodreads Bloglovin Pinterest Letterbox

Fantasy & Sci-fi Novellas to Help You Complete Your Goodreads Challenge | Blogmas Day 6

Hi everyone! it’s the last month of the year and a lot of us are trying to complete our Goodreads challenge so we are looking for shorter books to read, that’s why I decided to put together a list of short SFF novellas that you can probably read in one sitting if you want.

Before starting the post, I do want to have a little reminder that the Goodread challenge is a thing we do for fun, and the amount of books we read in a year has nothing to do with our value as people or our value as reviewers. It is completely ok not to complete the challenge.

Without futher ado, here are the SFF Novellas I would recommend:

The Deep by Rivers Solomon

The concept of the story, mer-people who are the descendants of slaves, is unique, weird and intriguing. This is a heavily thematic book, it talks about identity, community, history and memory and it explores individualism vs collectivism in a way that feels organic to the story.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djeli Clark

This novella mixes alternative historical 1884 New Orleans with African Folklore, and the combination makes the story feel unique and interesting. This book has African Orishas, smuggler airships, a mysterious weapon and spy nuns, who are hilarious and badass at the same time. Clark manages to write a story that feels complete and satisfying in a short amount of pages.

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

This is a quick and entertaining story about a self-aware security droid that hacked its government module to access the feed of entertainment channels because it gets bored while protecting humans. Murderbot is the most likable and engaging main character in Sci-fi, its an introvert that just wants to be left alone, but that will do anything to protect the people it is responsible for and not because it has to do it. This book has great humor, an interesting plot and it includes great discussion about what it means to be human.

To be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

This is such a quick, fascinating and thought-provoking read about a group of  explorers who leave earth to research different planets that sustain life and they have to transform themselves to do it (change their skins, their organs, their weight). There’s a lot about biology, chemistry and engineering in this book, because it focuses a lot on the scientific and technical side of space travel but the truly interesting thing is that Becky Chambers doesn’t forget about the impact that the discoveries, the advancements and the search for those things have on human beings. Also, there are so many queer people in this book!

The Test by Sylvain Neuvel

This was a quick, interesting and twisted novella about an Iranian immigrant who’s taking the British citizenship test so he and his family can stay in the UK, but it turns out nothing is what it seems. This novella discusses the choices we make and the choices we have to live with. It’s a pretty pessimistic but powerful story and the ending is messed up.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar & Max Gladstone

This book is a sapphic love story between two rival spies on different sides of a war fought through time and parallel worlds. The angsty romance, the yearning and love between the main characters, the lengths they are willing to go for each other make this novella captivating and brilliant. The writing in this is very flowery, lyrical and elaborate, which takes some getting used to, but by the end, the love letters are some of the most painfully beautiful things that you will ever read.

Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

This is such a short book but it packs a big punch. It’s the story of Binti, the first of her people ever to be offered a place at Oomza University, and her journey to get there which is full of dangers and threats. This is a very introspective book and focuses a lot on character development, but it also includes an outstanding amount of worldbuilding for such a short book, and the overall message of acceptance of other cultures and being willing to communicate with others than are different from us is so powerful.

What SFF Novellas would you recommend?

Add me on
Bookstagram | Twitter  | Ko- fi | Goodreads Bloglovin Pinterest Letterbox

Ranking all the books I read this month aka my February 2020 Wrap Up

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! It’s time for my february wrap up and I’m excited with the new format that I’m using where I rank all the books I read from my least favorite to my favorite book of the month. The ranking is not enterily dependent on rating, so there can be books with lower ratings that are higher on the list than other books with higher ratings and that has to do with my enjoyment of the books.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my February tbr and I’m so happy to say that I read all the books on it – even if I finished We Unleash the Merciless Storm on March 1st which is why it’s not gonna be in this wrap up. So I read 8 books on my February tbr + 6 more books that were not on it. Here’s how I ranked them:

*Click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page*

My Least Favorite Books of the Month

Unfortunately, this month I read two books that I really disliked and that I had a lot of issues with, specially in terms of characters and writing.

14. Frenemies by Emma Hart (2,5 stars): The writing in this wasn’t good and the main character was annoying, she kept going around in circles about her relationship with the love interest and then she suddenly changed her mind at the end. I think this had lots of potential, but it needed to be longer and better written.

13. Dominik by Sawyer Bennet (2,8 stars): the hero of this book was extremely arrogant and controlling, he was a very two dimentional character and even if he did get a bit better by the end, the improvement wasn’t significant. Beyond sexual chemistry, the characters didn’t have any connection and they barely speak to each other for the first half of the book. Also, the writing wasn’t the best, the inner monologues of the main characters were so repetitive.

The One I Had Issues With, But It’s Not Bad

The books I give ratings between 3 and 3,5 stars are the ones that I have a lot of issues with but they have redeeming qualities and I can see that they are not bad books.

12. American Street by Ibi Zoboi (3,4 stars): This was a quick read but I had a hard time getting into it because I didn’t like the main character, I found her naive and judgemental. Nonetheless, all the other characters were interesting. This book didn’t handle the topic of abusive relationships very well and the ending was rushed and it was deus ex machina.

The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books

The “I mostly liked them, but…” books are the ones I give between 3,5 and 3,7 stars to and they are books that have small things I disliked or I had some issues with them.

11. Unbreakable by Melanie Harlow (3,7 stars): I really liked both of the main characters, they had great chemistry and they were kind and understanding with each other. There was a storyline in this that was predictable revolving around pregnancy and infertility and I think it could have been handled better.

10. Wherever You Are by Krista & Becca Ritchie (3,7 stars): This book was told in dual timelines, at the beginning it did a good job of staying in one timeline long enough to not feel jumpy, but halfway through it started to feel like a bunch of scenes haphazardly put together without a strong narrative behind them and it actually skipped some really important scenes, which annoyed me.

9. The King of Crows by Libba Bray (3,7 stars): Nothing happened in this until the very end and then when the big confrontation took place it was so anticlimatic. The ending was nothing memorable and it felt like the stakes were super low. Still I’m not mad at this book because my two favorite characters got the ending I wanted for them and that was all I was asking.

The Ones I Really Liked

I consider books I really liked the ones I give a rating somewhere between a 3,8 and a 4,4 stars.

8. The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor (3,8 stars): It took me a while to get into this, but when the action started, I got really invested in the story. This book tried to cram to much world building into very few pages and it suffered a bit for it and also I didn’t love the ending, but overall I enjoyed the conclusion to Binti’s story.

7. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (3,8 stars): This was a highly entertaning read, I really liked the characters and their chemistry was off the charts. Also, I LOVED the way Brazilian culture was incorporated. I know a lot of people were saying that the sex in this book was awkward and I would agree that the first sex scene was, but it got better.

6. Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (3,8 stars): The plot of this got a bit ridiculous by the end, but I LOVED Portia and Tavish as characters and as a couple, their chemistry was amazing.

5. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole (3,8 stars): I LOVED the main characters! Nya and Johan are precious and I loved seeing them fall in love and get their happily ever after. I think the whole storyline with Nya’s father was resolved in a very weird and rushed way, but beyond that I really enjoyed it

4. Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole (4 stars): This book has the most adorable, nerdy couple I have ever encountered in a romance book. I LOVED both of the main characters. There was a point where this book had me at the verge of tears just because the hero felt confused and sad and that’s a testament of how deeply Alyssa Cole made me fall in love with the characters.

3. American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera (4 stars): I love both of the main characters. Juan Pablo is such a swoonworthy hero. I really love how sex positive and unapologetically Latinx this book is. (Full review)

2. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (4 stars): Queenie’s voice is incredibly captivating even when her life is spinning out of control. The first half of this book is full of Queenie making terrible choices and getting involved with the most horrific men, who treated her like she was a plaything that was there for their pleasure. But seeing the whole process she went through to get better was beautiful.

My Favorite Book of the Month

My favorite books of the month can have different ratings depending on how good a particular reading month was, but the books I consider new favorites usually are the ones that get a rating of 4,5 stars or more. This month unfortunately I didn’t rate anything higher than 4 stars, but I still read a brilliant book:

1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (4 stars): The world building and magic system in this book were unique, intriging and devastating. The way it mirrors our society was smart and poignant. There were so many twist, some that I saw coming and some that I didn’t, but they all made sense to the story. I loved Syenite and Alabaster and I’m heartbroken over everything they went through. This is brilliant but the last 80 pages made me feel hopeless and angry and devastated and I’m not sure that I will continue on with the series because this book was one bad thing after another and I feel like I can’t handle that.

What were your favorite and least favorite books you read this month? Have you read any of the books on this wrap up? Do you agree with my opinions about them?

Add me on

Goodreads Bloglovin Twitter  | Pinterest 

February TBR: Black History Month + Latinx Book Club + Anticipated Releases

Hi everyone! It’s time for my February tbr and I’m very excited to read the books I picked. Most of the books I’ll be reading in February are books by Black authors because February is Black History Month; I also included on my tbr the book pick of the Month for the Latinx Book Club, which is a book by an Afro-Latinx author; and lastly, I included 3 of my most anticipated releases of the year.

As I did in my January tbr, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020 and I chose an emoji that represents each one. Next to each of the books on my tbr, I’ll put the emoji of the goal or challenge that that book is going to help me fullfil.

  • Read 20 fantasy books in 2020 (🔮)
  • Read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 (🔥)
  • Keep reading diverse books: by Asian authors (☁️), by black authors (🌞), other #ownvoices rep (🌈)
  • Read 50 books by the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (⭐)
  • Read the 20 books on my tbr for the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (💫)
  • Read a book from a genre that’s not fantasy or romance (🦄)

Without further ado, here is my Febraury tbr:

🔮⭐💫🌞 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: This book has been on my tbr for so long, I have heard nothing but great things and I’m excited!

🌞⭐🦄 Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor: I read the first two books in this series almost two years ago and I need to finally read the conclusion to the story.

🔥🌞⭐🦄 American Street by Ibi Zoboi: I’m reading this for the Latinx Book Club, which I co-host on Twitter and Goodreads

🌞 ⭐A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole: I have read and liked two books in this series, so I’m excited to read this one, especially aince it seems to be the favorite of a lot of my friends

🔥🌞The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa: one fo my most anticipated releases of the year since I love Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series. Release date: Fabruary 4th

🌞 ⭐🦄Queenie by Candice Carty Williams: This has been on my tbr for a year but the synopsis is resonating a lot with where I am in my life right now, so I can’t wait to read it.

🔮The King of Crows by Libba Bray: The Diviners Series is one of my all time favorite series and I can’t wait to read the final book. Release date: February 4th

🔮🔥 We Unleash The Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia: The first book in this series was one of my favorite books of 2019, so I can’t wait to see what happens next. Release date: February 25th

Dominik by Sawyer Bennett: This is the sixth book in this series and I have really enjoyed the previous books, so I’m really excited for this one. Release date: February 18th

What are your reading plans for February? If you want to buddy read any of the books on my tbr, let me know in the comments!

Add me on
Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter  | Pinterest 

9 Sci-Fi Book Recommendations

Sci-Fi Book Recommendations.png

Hi everyone! Today, I’m sharing a post that I had so much fun writing. Down below, there are 9 Sci-Fi book recommendations divided in categories according to prominent elements of the story. The list goes from the stories that have the most in common with our reality to the ones that have the least in common. 

Without further ado, here are 9 Sci-Fi books that I loved that I would totally recommend!

SUPERHEROES

Secondhand Origin Stories coverSecondhand Origin Stories by Lee Blauersouth

I feel like superheroe books are the perfect way to start reading sci-fi because people are usually familiarized with superheroes thanks to the blockbuster movies. A superhero book I love is Secondhand Origin Stories, a character driven book full of secrets and mysteries and complicated family dynamics, a corrupt goverment agency, discussions about technology and ethics, as well as discussions about systematic racism, racial profiling and incarceration of black people. If you love superheroes and you want a very diverse (in terms of race, sexual orientation and disability), thought-provoking Sci-Fi book, you’ll probably enjoy this!

not-your-sidekickNot Your Sidekick by C.B. Lee 

Another book about Superheroes, but this one is fun and it shows the silly parts of being a superhero, things that go from hilarious problems with the superhero suits to the spectacule that is the whole superhero life and how fake it can be. This book is set in an interesting post-apocalyptic world and it includes amazing conversations about gender and sexual orientation. If you want a Sci-Fi book with villains that are not so evil and heroes that are not so good, this is for you!

TIME TRAVEL 

InvictusInvictus by Ryan Graudin 

If you haven’t read many time travel books, I think this a great place to start. This book is entertaining and while it explains the technical side of time travel, it does it in a way that’s  understandable and interesting and it doesn’t go into too much details and it doens’t get too complicated. This book has amazing and diverse characters and fascinating dynamics between them and an ending that’s both surprising and bittersweet. If you want to give time travel books a chance, I would recommend this one!

SET ON EARTH

Sleeping GiantsSleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel 

Sleeping Giants is a book that takes place entirely on earth and for the most part only involves humans, even if there’s a giant robot and most of the book is about finding out more about it. This is one of those books where you slowly discover along side the characters something that changes everything. The best part about this book is that it addresses important discussions related to science, politics and power and how they are all connected. If you are looking for a Sci-Fi book that it’s thought-provoking, full of unlikeable yet compelling characters and told in a interesting format, this is for you.

The Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily SkrutskieThe Abyss Surrounds Us by Emily Skrutskie 

Another book that takes place entirely on Earth, but a futuristic, full of changes version of Earth. Well, really it takes place on the sea but, you know, it’s planet Earth.  This book has sea monsters and pirates and from the beginning it throws you right in the middle of a very complex and intricate situation and it’s entirely up to you to catch up as soon as you can with the state of the world. In that sense, it can be a little harder to get into especially if you are someone that doens’t read that much Sci-fi or Fantasy. I’ll give this book extra points for having an amazing f/f relationship between a pirate and a trainer of sea monsters.

SET IN SPACE + ALIENS

bintiBinti by Nnedi Okorafor 

This is such a short book but it packs a big punch. The amount of worldbuilding that Okorafor managed to include in this book is outstanding and the overall message of acceptence of other cultures and being willing to communicate with other than are different from us is so powerful. This is a very introspective book and fouses a lot on character development. If you want a Sci-Fi book that has fantastic worldbuilding and an amazing main character that reflects and changes a lot thoughout the story, this is perfect for you!

The long way to a small angry planetA Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

This is a captivating and thought-provoking story. One of the strenghts of this book is that diversity is at the forefront of the story and it’s included in an interesting and thoughtful way; there’s different species, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, body types, cultures, religions and so much more that are represented. If you like quiet books that are character driven, beautifully written and tackle important themes, this is a great choice for you.

MADE UP UNIVERSE

Mirage-Cover

Mirage by Somaiya Daud 

If you are a Fantasy reader that wants to get into Sci- Fi, this is a great book to do that since it has a fantasy feel to it thanks to the fact that it takes place in a made up universe. Mirage is perfect for fans of slow character driven stories set in a rich and unique worlds inspired by a non-western culture (in this case,Moroccan inspired). This book is also great for fans of captivating and complex female characters with complicated relationships with each other. If you want more in depth thoughts, check out my full review.

A Spark of White Fire

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

Another great book for Fantasy readers to get into Sci-Fi, this also takes place in a made up universe, where there’s royalty and gods and goddesses from Indian lore. A Spark of With Fire has political intrigue, sentient spaceships, floating cities, broken and complicated relationships, tension and heartbreak. If any of that sounds like something you’d like, give this book a chance!

What are some Sci Fi books you would recommend it? Have you read any of the book on this list and did you like them?
Add me on
Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter Pinterest 

Short-a-thon TBR

short a thon

The Short-a-thon is a readathon that will take place from December 21st to December 31st and it’s hosted by Destiny @Howling Libraries and Kathy @Books and Munches. The goal is simple: to focus on reading the shortest books in our TBR! My one requierment to count a book for this is that it has to be less than 250 pages.

I’m not entirely sure how well I’ll do in this readathon since I will be traveling to Paris and Rome the days in which this takes place, but I want to get to 150 books read in 2018 and so I need to read A LOT during December. Obviuosly nothing happens if I don’t reach that goal, but I really want to.

I chose 10 books, and below I mention the number of pages f each book and why I want to read it. Here are the 10 books I’m planning to read:

Beginner’s Guide: Love & Other Chemical Reactions by Six de los Reyes

  • Pages: 181
  • I love #romanceclass books and I have heard great things about the author

Peter Darling by Austin Chant

  • Pages: 104
  • trans main character written by a trans author? Sign me in! Also, I read and liked another Chant’s book, so I think I’ll like this one.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman 

  • Pages: 181
  • I have been meaning to read a Neil Gaiman book for a while and it’s finally time!

A House at the Bottom of the Lake by Josh Malerman

  • Pages: 118
  • I discovered my love for creepy/scary books this year and I’m intrigued by this one.

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

  • Pages: 226
  • Patrick Ness is another one of those authors that I have been meaning to read for a while and this seems like the perfect opportunity.

Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okarafor

  • Pages: 208
  • I want to finish this trilogy before the end of the year. I want to know how it ends!

Soft on Soft by Em Ali

  • Pages: 142
  • I follow the author on twitter and she’s great, so I want to support her book.

Kindred Spirits by Rainbow Rowell

  • Pages: 96
  • A short and fluffy story is just what I need for the end of the year

Dear Martin by Nic Stone 

  •  Pages: 210
  • This was on the tbr I wrote at the beginning of the year, I want to read at least one more book on that list.

Adulthood is a Myth by Sarah Andersen 

  • Pages: 109
  • I have been curious about this for ages since I have seen some of the images around. It’s finally time to check it out!
What are some short books you love? Are you participating in short-a-thon? Have you completed your Goodreads goal? 

Add me on

Goodreads | Bloglovin | Twitter  | Pinterest | Tumblr