Friday Reads | First Weekend Off In Forever Edition!

downthebookhole


In true Ashley fashion I am currently reading so many books all at once. I have recently gotten hooked into The Royal Series by Erin Watt and have flown through the first 2 books. I am currently reading the last book in the trilogy of Ella and Reed, Twisted Palace by Erin Watt. These books are filled with drama, but are so addictive. I am also trying to catch up on reading books that have recently been made to movies, so I finished The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey and I am continuing on with listening to the audiobook of The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey. I also started Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs and The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks but have put them both slightly on hold. I hope to get a ton of reading done this weekend as well as catching up on my shows, and the second season of 13 Reasons Why. I want to try and catch up on some bloggy things this weekend, make a trip to the bookstore to unhaul some books and get this months #otspsecretsister box put together. There is a lot to do to keep me busy this weekend!

What are you reading this weekend?

 

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2018 Beat The Backlist Challenge | April Update

 

I have some really big goals for myself with this new year, both personally and with regards to books. This will be the first year that I will be in one place (hopefully) not juggling school or the constant traveling I have experience that past few years. I am really trying to focus on myself and trying to limit distractions and drama. One of my biggest book goals next year is to read the books I own and definitely catch up on series I am so far behind on or that I need to read. (Shoutout to Alex @ Booksy Daisy for posting her tbr and convincing me to do this!) Beat the Backlist hosted by Novel knight is the perfect challenge. (I do better when I am able to mark off a list so challenges work so well for me) Now I cannot make promises that the books I list are going to be the ones I actually read, but it is the goal to get these ones specifically. I am setting myself the goal of 50 books! I haven’t decided what I want my year goal to be, but with the hopes of tackling the books on my shelf I definitely want to focus more on the backlist and older books!


THE CHALLENGE

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.
  • Books must be released prior to 2018 to count for this challenge.

My (Tentative) TBR List 

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
The Looking Glass Wars
Seeing Redd
ArchEnemy

Shattered Sea Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
Half A King
Half the World
Half a War

♣ Lunar Chronicle Series by Marissa Meyer
Cress
Fairest
Winter

♣ Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Immortal Series by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic
Wolf-Speaker
Emperor Mage
The Realm of the Gods

♣ Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black
Valiant
Ironside

♣ Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
Sweet Evil
Sweet Peril
Sweet Reckoning

♣ Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Legend
Prodigy
Champion

♣ Misborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

♣ Avalon Duology by Mindee Arnett
Avalon
Polaris

♣ Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson
The Crown of Embers
The Bitter Kingdom

♣ Wait For You Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Wait For You
Trust In Me
Be With Me
Stay With Me
Fall With Me
Forever With You

♣ Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan 
The Lightening Thief
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan’s Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian

♣ Rome by Jay Crownover 

♣ Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 

♣ A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 

♣ Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer

♣ Notorious RBG: The Life and Time of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

♣ Americanah by Chimanada Ngozi Adichie

♣ Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 

♣ Lock in by John Scalzi 

♣ Kings of Broken Things by Theodore Wheeler 

Original List [3/50]

♠ The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

♠ The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

♠ Final Girls by Riley Sager

♠ Dear Martin by Nic Stone

♠ The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

♠ Wicked by Jennifer L Armentrout

♣ Torn by Jennifer L Armentrout

♠ The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

♠ The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

♠ Brave by Jennifer L Armentrout

♠ Mr. Penumbra’s 24-hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

♠ Halfway to The Grave by Jeaniene Frost

♠ The Girl in 6E by A.R Torre

♠ Paper Princess by Erin Watt

Total {17/50}

 

Let me know if you are participating and what team you are on! Happy Reading and Tackle that TBR! 

2018 Bookish Bucket List | April Update

Here goes year 4 doing this! And I think this is going to be the year I actually complete my bookish bucket list! I really want to throw myself back into the book community and blogging world, the past few years have been a little tough to get the reading done and last year I set high goals, but came up short. 

♠ Read at least 75 books.
[I have been so crazy busy with work I haven’t done as much reading as I hoped to and I am only at 18 books read.]

♠ Read and Complete 10 Series.
[ I have completed 1 series so far! ]

♠ Read at least 6 BIG books. This is a repeat from last year.I feel like I am always so intrigued and interested in the huge books, but never get around to reading them because they are intimidating. (I am counting this as over 500 pages.)
[This has not happened yet, but it will]

♠ Read 50 books from my TBR (#beatthebacklist)
[ So this is like a double because not all the books I read for #beatthebacklist are from my TBR. ]

TBR: 9   #Beatthebacklist: 16

♠ Read at least 5 Non-Fiction Books.
[This has also not happened yet, but I have so many I want to get to this year and hoping that next month will be that start of incorporating in nonfiction]

♠ Post 3 Reviews a Month.
[ I have fallen really behind on this. I have been trying to focus more time on reading with the free time I have and just write reviews for books I have a lot of thoughts on or I am reviewing.] 

♠ Create or Join A Book Club.
[ I am joining Crone Blogger Book Club online, but have not been able to read a book with them yet!]

♠ Create my Own Read-A-Thon.  I want to create something that will become a yearly thing and go along with my blogiversary!
[ That happened in Feb! Check out the announcement post for my Down The Read-A-Thon Hole Challenge| Alice in Wonderland themed Read-A-Thon]

 

What are some of your 2018 goals/resolutions? How are you doing on them?

The Queen Underneath by Stacey Filak | ARC Review


THE QUEEN UNDERNEATH
BY STACEY FILAK

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: May 8th 2018

Synopsis:
The Above and the Under have a tenuous truce that is shattered after the death of both their respective rulers. Gemma, the new queen of Under, must throw history aside and team up with Tollan, the heir to the Above throne, in order to take down a power that seeks to rule them all.

Their group of rebels is comprised of an assassin, a sex worker, and a palace servant from Above, and we follow their unique perspectives as they are forced to question previously held beliefs. But even with war looming, romance still grows. Challenging gender roles and the expectation that every prince must have a princess, Tollan discovers love with Elam—a young man, a sex worker, and one of Gemma’s closest friends.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Page Street for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

I am not sure where to start with this review because I wanted to like the book so much. I was super excited when I got sent this book for review and its said to be a spin on Sleeping Beauty. I have to say I was caught off guard while reading because it is marketed as a YA, but I would say it is a little mature to be considered YA. I believe the world building fell short, I was so intrigued by the world concept and loved that the underneath was filled with assassins, thieves and prostitutes and that the above was complete opposite. I needed more. There was so much that could have been done and Filak set the stage for a world that had so much potential. The book was just too short and didn’t achieve what I felt like it could have. I felt like there could have been a ton more character development as well. I really think Filak could have made a whole series off of this concept. That being said I thought their were some great characters and really enjoyed Gemma. There were some references to Sleeping Beauty, but I am not sure I would have marketed it as a spin off. The biggest thing I had an issue with was how often the word “prick/prickling” was used. I have a huge problem with repetition of words, but I also just thought it was excessive.

I know this seems like a bash, but I did enjoy the book and was immediately pulled in within the first chapter and wanted to know what was going to happen the whole time. There were some steamy parts and times I was on the edge of my seat with the twists and turns. I really appreciated that the chapters were headed with the area in the world in which that chapter was taking place, it helped to place myself and develop the world in my head. The Queen Underneath, had some kickass characters and a strong lead female which is always nice to see! I loved the rough edges she had, but also a soft side that was super caring.

Overall I enjoy the story but the main take away is I needed more and wanted more from Filak.

 

April 2018 Reads | First Lines

I decided that it would be fun to start a new feature to add the the wrap up of books I read every month. For me most of the time I pick up and look at books in the store it is the first lines that capture my attention and draw me in. It has always been intriguing to me the amount of thought that must go into those first words the author decides to but as the introduction to their work. The first lines are your first impression of the book.

 

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan 
“Lost in the shadows of the shelves, I almost fall off the ladder.”

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
“I shouldn’t have come to this party.”

The Queen Underneath by Stacey Filak
“Gemma hurried through the tunnels of Under, avoiding piles that might be rubbish and could be worse.”

Halfway To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost
“I stiffened at the red and blue lights flashing behind me, because there was no way I could explain what was in the back of my truck.”

The Girl in 6E by A.R. Torre
“Undressing is an everday occurrence.”

Friday Reads | Finding My Way Back

downthebookhole

I am currently in the middle of 5 different books. Ever since I went on vacation I have been in a bit of a reading slump, but also just super busy with other things, especially work. A few of them I am more than halfway through so I just need to sit down and complete them.I just got some ARCs in the mail and really want to be able to start and review those books. I have been binging so much tv that I havent read much either. Staring at my bookcases just make me want to read all of the books. The books I am reading are:

  • The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
  • Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
  • The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
  • Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan
  • Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost

What are you reading this weekend?

 

Phoenix Fire by SD Grimm | ARC Review

PHOENIX FIRE BY SD GRIMM

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Publication Date: March 5th 2018

Synopsis: 
After spending her life in foster care, Ava has finally found home. But all it takes is a chance encounter with hot nerd Wyatt Wilcox for it to unravel.

Now, things are starting to change. First, the flashes of memories slowly creeping in. Memories of other lives, lives that Wyatt is somehow in. Then, the healing. Any cut? Gone.

But when Cade and Nick show up, claiming to be her brothers, things get even weirder. They tell her she’s a Phoenix, sent to protect the world from monsters—monsters she never knew existed. It’s a little hard to accept. Especially when they tell her she has to end the life of a Phoenix turned rogue, or Cade will die.

With Wyatt’s increasingly suspicious behavior, Ava’s determined to figure out what he’s hiding. Unless she can discover Wyatt’s secret in time and complete her Phoenix training, she’ll lose the life, love, and family she never thought she could have.

Goodreads | Amazon

 *I would like to thank Entangled Teen for the chance to read and review this book in return for my honest opinion!*

I am not even sure where to start with this review. Let me start by saying PHOENIX !!!! This is the first book I have ever read that focused on the phoenix and I thought S.D Grimm did a good job developing a story off of the phoenix and creating this whole world and backstory for the Phoenix and their purpose in our world. Now let me also say that the phoenix was not the only mythical creature that made an appearance.

I don’t want to say much about the phoenix incorporation or backstory because you learn more throughout the whole story alongside the characters, but the whole idea of rebirth and past lives has always intrigued me. Grimm was able to slowly reveal the story and have the characters put in together piece by piece with such great detail and thought. The story was complex and had a lot of moving pieces for awhile that I was pulled even deeper in trying to figure out what had happened, what was happening and what was going to be the result.

I am not usually a huge fan of multiple POV but thought it worked so well for how this story was being told and in putting together all the pieces. Each of the characters had their strengths and weaknesses. There were quite a few times I found myself screaming at Ava and the choices she made. All the different interactions and relationships really added to the story.

Overall I enjoyed this story and the way it was written. It had me on the edge of my seat at times and had me yelling at characters at other times. I loved the fact that it revolved around the idea of this Phoenix community and would love to see more books incorporate the idea of phoenix. The world building and background development were well though out and I didn’t feel like I had a lot of questions that went unanswered which is always a plus. Grimm balanced the characters and multiple POVs so well and really drove the story forward at a nice pace. I would highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys paranormal reads or wants to experience an interesting novel containing phoenix!

Dio Candle Co. Adorable Monthly | February Box

So in search of all things bookish for different people and gift boxes and stumbled upon this adorable candle shop on Etsy. In my gushing over their page I discovered their website! I love subscription boxes and saw that they did a monthly box that included 4 different candles that fit a theme. The price is really reasonable so I thought I would give it a try. I am now hooked and I am sure to become their biggest supporter.Check out their instagram @diocandleco ! 

February’s Theme: The Greatest Michaels of All Time 

*  My Michael

* #23

* World’s Best Boss

* King of Pop

They also do this really fun instagram challenge that is associated with each candle! If you complete all the challenges you could get a gift! I will update this as I take the pictures!

 

* My Michael Challenge*

*#23 Challenge*

* World’s Best Boss Challenge*

* King of Pop Challenge*

 

March’s Theme: Mall Madness

Use the code: DownTheBookHole for 10% off your purchase! 

diocandlecompany.com

#OTSPSecretSister| February Package

In case you aren’t aware of what #otspsecretsister is:
The Secret Sister project is essentially a cheer club. Think Secret Santa but all year round (in 6 month intervals) with less emphasis on big presents, and more thoughtful notes, cards, small somethings sent just to let your secret sister know that you are thinking about her!

This is my third round participating in the #otspsecretsister project. The first time I did the pen pal tier and really enjoyed it! There is nothing better than receiving mail! This round I am participating in the top tier. New round, new sister!

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

♣ Cheshire Cat Funko Pop!

♣ Barnes & Noble Gift Card

♣ Teal Nail Polish

♣ Mini Reese’s

♣ Magnetic Bookmarks

♣ Pecan Pie Coffee

♣ Heart Snoopy Notepad

Is anyone else participating in the new round of #otspsecretsister ! 

2018 Beat The Backlist Challenge | February Update

 

I have some really big goals for myself with this new year, both personally and with regards to books. This will be the first year that I will be in one place (hopefully) not juggling school or the constant traveling I have experience that past few years. I am really trying to focus on myself and trying to limit distractions and drama. One of my biggest book goals next year is to read the books I own and definitely catch up on series I am so far behind on or that I need to read. (Shoutout to Alex @ Booksy Daisy for posting her tbr and convincing me to do this!) Beat the Backlist hosted by Novel knight is the perfect challenge. (I do better when I am able to mark off a list so challenges work so well for me) Now I cannot make promises that the books I list are going to be the ones I actually read, but it is the goal to get these ones specifically. I am setting myself the goal of 50 books! I haven’t decided what I want my year goal to be, but with the hopes of tackling the books on my shelf I definitely want to focus more on the backlist and older books!


THE CHALLENGE

  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2018 to December 31, 2018.
  • Books must be released prior to 2018 to count for this challenge.

My (Tentative) TBR List 

The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
The Looking Glass Wars
Seeing Redd
ArchEnemy

Shattered Sea Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie
Half A King
Half the World
Half a War

♣ Lunar Chronicle Series by Marissa Meyer
Cress
Fairest
Winter

♣ Harry Potter Series by J.K Rowling
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

The Immortal Series by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic
Wolf-Speaker
Emperor Mage
The Realm of the Gods

♣ Modern Faerie Tales by Holly Black
Valiant
Ironside

♣ Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
Sweet Evil
Sweet Peril
Sweet Reckoning

♣ Legend Trilogy by Marie Lu
Legend
Prodigy
Champion

♣ Misborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson
The Well of Ascension
The Hero of Ages

♣ Avalon Duology by Mindee Arnett
Avalon
Polaris

♣ Fire and Thorns Trilogy by Rae Carson
The Crown of Embers
The Bitter Kingdom

♣ Wait For You Series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Wait For You
Trust In Me
Be With Me
Stay With Me
Fall With Me
Forever With You

♣ Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan 
The Lightening Thief
The Sea of Monsters
The Titan’s Curse
The Battle of the Labyrinth
The Last Olympian

♣ Rome by Jay Crownover 

♣ Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell 

♣ A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini 

♣ Overthrow: America’s Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq by Stephen Kinzer

♣ Notorious RBG: The Life and Time of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon

♣ Americanah by Chimanada Ngozi Adichie

♣ Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel 

♣ Lock in by John Scalzi 

♣ Kings of Broken Things by Theodore Wheeler 

Original List [3/50]

♠ The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

♠ The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee

♠ Final Girls by Riley Sager

♠ Dear Martin by Nic Stone

♠ The Dazzling Heights by Katharine McGee

♠ Wicked by Jennifer L Armentrout

♣ Torn by Jennifer L Armentrout

♠ The Matchmaker’s Playbook by Rachel Van Dyken

Total {11/50}

 

Let me know if you are participating and what team you are on! Happy Reading and Tackle that TBR!