TBR | January 2022 (feat. the New TBR Wheel!)

Hello everyone!

We’re almost in 2022, so today I’m bringing you my TBR list for January! I’m not going to lie, A LOT happened in December, so my reading slowed down a bit. I planned on reading six books in December, but I only read 1 of the planned (plus a few more unplanned). With that said, I want to start fresh! I’m a big fan of TBR games and I follow some of them on Youtube, so I decided to make my own game.

So today I’m not only bringing my TBR, but I’m also introducing my new TBR wheel! I’ll be picking my books based on the prompts from this wheel – I’ll probably add/change some of the prompts with time, but I came up with a few already! So here you have the (very cool) TBR wheel:

Yes, all the prompts are pretty basic, but I wanted to add prompts that made sense to me and my reading habits. I think there’s a good balance between easy and challenging prompts, so I won’t be unmotivated – also, if you have any suggestions for prompts, let me know in the comments! In case you’re wondering, I’m using the “Spin the Wheel” application for Android.

I’m going to pick 5 books based on the prompts, so I’m going to spin the wheel now! Here are the results from the 5 spins:

ROUND #1: Young Adult Book – A book within the genre “Young Adult”;
ROUND #2: Friend Pick – A book picked/recommended by a friend;
ROUND #3: Reread – A book I already read and want to reread;
ROUND #4: Intimidating – A book I’m intimidated by (because of its size, genre, etc.);
ROUND #5: Continue Series – A book from a series I haven’t finished yet.

Overall, I’m happy with this month’s prompts! I admit I’m a little scared about the intimidating book I will have to pick, but since all the other prompts are good, I’m happy to have one challenging prompt this month. Here are the books I came up for all the prompts:

  1. Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen (“Young Adult Book” prompt)
    I was very happy when this prompt came out because I have a lot of YA books to read! I’m a huge Sarah Dessen fan, but I still have some of her books to read. So for this prompt, I picked the book “Lock and Key” for January. I just know I’m going to love it!
  2. Mooncakes by Suzzane Walker and Wendy Xu (“Friend Pick” prompt)
    For the “Friend Pick” prompt, I have the graphic novel “Mooncakes“! This book was recommended to me by a friend on Instagram, so I’m picking it up in January. I’m curious about it because some readers liked it, but a lot of people didn’t… we’ll see how it goes!
  3. Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful Disaster #1) by Jamie McGuire (“Reread” prompt)
    This prompt is the perfect opportunity to reread one of my favorite romances of all time (and also one of the first good romances I read). “Beautiful Disaster” is one of those books that really influenced my reading in a positive way, so I’m very happy to revisit this story. Also, this is a great opportunity to finally read the second book that came out afterwards! I never picked it up because I wanted to reread the original book.
  4. Night Over Water by Ken Follett (“Intimidating” prompt)
    For the “Intimidating” prompt, I came up with the book “Night Over Water” by Ken Follett! A friend lent me this book, but since it’s not exactly the kind of book I usually pick up, I’m a bit apprehensive. I’ll do my best to read this and I’ll let you know my experience!
  5. Liar Liar (Helen Grace #4) by M.J. Arlidge (“Continue Series” prompt)
    Another perfect prompt for my TBR list for January. I have a (small) commitment issue when it comes to long series – I know, I know… it’s something I’m working on! -, so this is the perfect opportunity for me to continue the “Helen Grace” series by M.J. Arlidge! I’ll be reading the 4th book in January 🙂

And there you have it: my TBR list for January. Let me know if you read any of these or if you have any TBR Games you play! Also, if you have more ideas for prompts, let me know 🙂

Thank you for reading, have a great day!

The Books I Got For Christmas

Hello friends!

I hope you are all doing well and I hope you had fun during the Holidays! Today I wanted to share the books I got for Christmas from family and friends. I was very lucky to get these five amazing books!

Aren’t they beautiful?! The first four books are actually translated to Portuguese and the last one, “The Love Hypothesis”, is in English. I read a lot in both languages, but I usually prefer to read in Portuguese when it comes to more complex books such as “Dune“. Either way, I’m very happy with all the books I got! Here are the books in more detail:

  1. Dune (Dune #1) by Frank Helbert
    I can’t believe I forgot to mention this book in my previous post 7 Books I Would Love to Find Under the Christmas Tree! It was probably the book I wanted the most, and I was really excited when my boyfriend gifted it to me. I want to read it ASAP!
  2. Dune Messiah (Dune #2) by Frank Helbert
    Not only was I lucky enough to get “Dune“, but my boyfriend also bought me the second book, “Dune Messiah” – I know, he’s a keeper. I wasn’t expecting to get this one as well, but I was SO happy when I saw it! Now I have the first two books in the series 🙂
  3. The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
    This one was a gift from my series! In the past weeks we have been talking about getting this book! We both read “If Cats Disappeared From the World” (here’s the review) by a japanese author, and we loved it, so now we’re trying other similar books and this one caught our attention. She bought me a copy and I’m sure I’ll be reading it soon!
  4. Night Spinner (Night Spinner #1) by Addie Thorley
    A book that has been on my TBR list for a few months now! This one was also a gift from my sister. This is a young adult fantasy duology inspired by the Hunchback of Notre Dame, and I’m very excited to read it because it sounds amazing and different!
  5. The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood
    My dear friend Vera gifted me this amazing book! I know it’s a very popular book on Tik Tok, Instagram and Youtube, so I’m excited to read it and see what the hype is all about. I have high expectations for this one!

I’m very happy and grateful for everything I got, but I’m especially grateful for all the amazing people around me. I’m incredibly lucky and I know it 🙂

What about you guys? What did you get this Christmas? Also, have you read any of these? Let me know your thoughts!

xoxo,

Review | The Unexpected Duchess (Playful Brides #1) by Valerie Bowman

“The lady had a rapier for a tongue. She jabbed with nouns, riposted with verbs.” 3.5/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: word battles, sharp tongues, schemes, promises, marriage proposals, funny banter, war trauma, letters, injuries, balconies and dances.

Is there any greater surprise than falling deeply, madly in love?

In This Battle of Wits

Lady Lucy Upton’s tongue may be too sharp to attract suitors but her heart is good, and when her painfully shy friend Cassandra needs help she devises a brilliant scheme to help her discourage an unwanted suitor, the Duke of Claringdon. Lucy will hide behind the hedgerow and tell Cass just what to say to discourage the duke…but it turns out that he’s made of sterner stuff than either of them anticipated. And Lucy is shocked to discover that tangling with the tenacious man is the most fun she’s had in ages.

Kisses Are the Best Weapon

Lord Derek Hunt made a promise to his dying friend to marry the demure Cassandra, and for a man who wants nothing more than peace and quiet after the horrors of war, she’ll make the perfect bride. If only the impudent Miss Upton will let him court the girl! Doing battle is the last thing on his mind, but bantering with Lucy behind the bushes is too tempting to resist. And the spoils of this war just may be true love…

I don’t know why but I have never picked up an actual historical romance – which is weird because I love romance books! I wanted to change that and I found out the three first books of this series were translated and published in Portuguese… so I bought them. Needless to say I was very excited to dive into this new genre, but unfortunately I was left a bit underwhelmed with the start of this series. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think this book is terrible – I certainly have read way worse -, but I genuinely think it had the potential to be an amazing romance.

If you’re a fan of the “enemies-to-lovers” trope like I am, the premise of this book may seem captivating and exciting, but the romance was a bit two superficial for my own taste. There was something about the main characters that didn’t work well for me. I can’t pinpoint exactly what it is, but I think it’s related to them being superficial and immature – Lucy lacked depth and maturity and Derek was irrational and shallow. And not only the characters and romance were superficial, but the story was too. The entire thing is mostly empty dialogs, a lot of flirting and the MC keeping Derek away from her best friend… and that’s about it. I understand that Derek’s war story was meant to give depth to the plot, but the execution was not the best so it ended out working the opposite way. As a whole, the combination of dialog choices, scenarios and situations the characters were put in felt unrealistic and it made it difficult for me to take them “seriously”.

On a positive side, I loved how this book is full of lovely female friendships. We love women supporting women! That I don’t mind having more of, and I’m hoping we’ll have more of it in the next books!

I’m continuing the series because I’m still hoping I will find a gemstone in this series – and also because I already bought some of the next books *nervous laughter*So would I recommend this book? Since I don’t have a lot of experience with historical romances, I can’t recommend you other books. But I will say that you can probably find a better historical romance with a stronger plot – I’ve heard great things about Tessa Dare’s books, and that’s where I’m heading next when it comes to historical romance!

xoxo,

7 Books I would love to find under the Christmas tree

Hello friends, I hope you’re doing well 🙂

Sooo… the holidays are right around the corner, and what reader doesn’t love to get new books under the Christmas tree? So, I wanted to do a fun post on some of the books I would be more than happy to get in the near future. Pay attention Santa, here are the books you should bring this Christmas (I’ve been good this year, I promise!):

  1. A Court of Silver Flames (A Court of Thorns and Roses #4) by Sarah J. Maas
    This year I started the “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series and I fell in love with it! This is the only book I haven’t read from this series yet, but it’s only a matter of time – I’m for sure getting my hands on this one! I know Nesta was a difficult character to love for a lot of the ACOTAR readers, but I actually liked her, so I’m excited to read her story!
  2. The Lucky List by Rachael Lippincott
    Another book I would love to get my hands on is “The Lucky List“. But for some weird reason, every time I try to buy this book the price increases! This is one of those books I found randomly on Instagram and I immediately wanted to buy, I just didn’t have a good chance for it yet. I’m sure it will be mine soon though!
  3. Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé
    Ace of Spades is going to be published here in Portugal in Portuguese, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy! I already made a pre-order on the sprayed edges limited edition and I’m very excited for it! I’ve heard great things about it, so I’m sure I’m going to love it.
  4. The Box in the Woods (Truly Devious #4) by Maureen Johnson
    The “Truly Devious” series by Maureen Johnson quickly became one of my favorite series of all time. The mystery was really good and the entire atmosphere of the book made everything even creepier. I think originally it was supposed to be a trilogy, but a few months ago I discovered the fourth book was being published. What more can I say other than I need this book in my life?
  5. As Good as Dead (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #3) by Holly Jackson
    This has also become one of my favorite series of all time and I’m looking forward to reading Pip’s third adventure! So far all the books are very well written, mysterious and entertaining, and I’m sure this book won’t disappoint as well. Looking forward to getting my hands on this one!
  6. A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins
    To be completely honest, I didn’t love “The Girl on the Train” by Paula Hawkins, but I’m very curious about this particular one because of the crazy hype around it. Also, the synopsis made me very curious! This seems more interesting than Paula Hawkins’ bestseller and I’m hoping I’ll get a copy soon.
  7. The Ex Hex by Erin Sterling
    This book has been on my radar for a couple of months now, so I would say it’s a fairly recent addition to my TBR. Still, I heard great things about this book and now I’m hoping I’ll get it soon!

And that’s it! Of course I have WAY more books I would love to have, but we would be here all day.
Ok Santa, time to start working your magic! I’ll be sure to be waiting with cookies and milk 🙂 And what about you guys? What books do you hope to get this Christmas? Have you read any of these? Let me know!

xoxo,

Review | The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter

“(…) But love changes over time, and in those final moments when I knew he was dying, well, I must confess that through the horror and the blood and the shock, the love I felt for him wasn’t quite as profound as I would have expected.” 3.75/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: drugs, bratty kids, baking sessions, vacation trips, knives, text messages, polaroid pictures, animal masks, jacuzzis, secrets and dinner guests.

Four people walked into the dining room that night. One would never leave.
Matthew: the perfect husband.

Titus: the perfect son.

Charlie: the perfect illusion.

Rachel: the perfect stranger.

Charlie didn’t want her at the book club. Matthew wouldn’t listen.

And that’s how Charlie finds himself slumped beside his husband’s body, their son sitting silently at the dinner table, while Rachel calls 999, the bloody knife still gripped in her hand.

Agatha Christie meets Donna Tartt in this nerve-shredding domestic noir thriller that weaves a sprawling web of secrets around an opulent West London world and the dinner that ends in death.



This book is a bit tricky to rate because even though I really liked the story, there was a lot going on. I understand some mystery books do this in order to surprise the reader, but the plot changes a lot and the story had so much going on to the point that the first half of the book became (almost) pointless.

The characters were okay. I understand some people would not like Charlie’s personality, but I still liked him as a main character. He is a bit of a rich snob, but to me his feelings were valid when it came to Rachel’s appearances. She came out of the blue and all of the sudden she’s everywhere near them. The only person I really disliked was Titus. That kid was extremely bratty, immature and manipulative for his own good – and it wasn’t because there was lack of discipline because his parents were very tolerable and good to him. Other than him, I liked almost every character.

Sometimes the atmosphere made me feel unsettled (which was a good thing) and the story made me curious to see how it would unfold… it was hard to put the book down! I was very happy with all the twists and turns as I was reading them, but for the sake of the book as a whole, most things were unnecessary.

One thing I found interesting about this book was the rich/poor class differences. Charlie’s family comes from money, and Rachel is not used to all the luxury they’re around. There’s a very subtle criticism by the author on how privileged people see the lower classes. Very interesting.

Now about the ending: it gave me massive chills! I’m talking about that last part before the epilogue started. I didn’t see it coming! Very creepy.

So, would I recommend this book? I would if you like bigger, slow burning mysteries with twists and unpredictable paths.

PS: And by the way, if you read this book, did you understand by the end the “animal mask” situation? Message me your thoughts about that, because I’m very curious about what really happened there!

xoxo,

Review | Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards

“Our stuff isn’t going missing – someone is stealing it. And there are exactly four people who could be responsible. I take a sharp breath and look at my fellow travelers with new wariness. Someone in this car is lying.” 2/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: missing items, snow storms, cancelled layovers, college kids, creepy letters, yellow baseball caps and disaster after disaster.

A hitched ride home in a snow storm turns sinister when one of the passengers is plotting for the ride to end in disaster.

When Mira flies home to spend Christmas with her mother in Pittsburgh, a record-breaking blizzard results in a cancelled layover. Desperate to get to her grief-ridden mother in the wake of a family death, Mira hitches a ride with a group of friendly college kids who were on her initial flight.

As the drive progresses and weather conditions become more treacherous, Mira realizes that the four other passengers she’s stuck in the car with don’t actually know one another.

Soon, they’re not just dealing with heavy snowfall and ice-slick roads, but the fact that somebody will stop at nothing to ensure their trip ends in a deadly disaster.

My thoughts on this book are pretty simple: this was just plain boring and uninteresting. I already dislike books with road trips as it is, but even looking over that, there wasn’t much I liked about this book. The mystery was boring and underwhelming, the characters were bland – Mira was an incredibly weak and unmemorable main character -, and the story was very slow paced and it felt like nothing interesting happened.

The truth is that I felt like a lot of things were lacking: a plot, character depth and development, and engagement. Not only that, but there were also a lot of loose ends that I wish were explained in the book, like for example the yellow baseball guy situation, or how the responsible person could even possibly plan what happened – if you read it, you know what I’m talking about… there’s a lot of coincidences that make zero sense.

I will say I liked the atmosphere of the book. I liked the images the author tried to create throughout the book of the blizzard and snow. The book is placed around Christmas, but it’s not a strongly themed holiday book. Still, if you’re interested in the book, I would recommend you to pick up the book in the wintertime! Grab a blanket and a hot beverage and you’ll have the perfect set.

I have to be completely honest: I think you should find yourself a better thriller to spend your time on… but that’s just my opinion. Proceed at your own risk!

xoxo,

Wrap-Up | What I Read in September, October and November 2021

Hello everyone!

It’s time for another Wrap Up, and this time I’m condensing the Wrap Ups from September, October and November all in a single post. I didn’t have a lot of time to write these in the past, so I decided to do them all here! So let’s start from the beginning: the month of September.

When it comes to the books I planned to read in September, I failed big time. I planned on reading 5 books and I didn’t read a single one of them – that was a new record for me! I started 3 of them but I wasn’t feeling them, so I ended up reading other books. Here are the books I wanted to read in September:

I’m honestly not that bothered because I always try to not judge myself if I don’t read the books I want. Plus, I ended up reading 7 other books instead! Here they are:

  1. Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond: 2/5⭐
  2. The Doll’s House (Helen Grace #3) by M.J. Arlidge: 3.75/5⭐
  3. The Meaning of Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey: 3.5/5⭐
  4. A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena: 4.5/5⭐
  5. I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll: 3.75/5⭐
  6. Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas: 4.25/5⭐
  7. The Butterfly Bruises by Palmer Smith: 4/5⭐

I’m more than okay with reading 7 books per month, even if they weren’t the ones I originally planned on reading! “Hungry Hearts” was the only book I didn’t love, so it was a good month! But this is where the reading slump started…

In October I didn’t make any reading plans because I was starting to get very busy and I found myself in a massive reading slump. I had no desire to pick any of the books that were on my general TBR, so I decided to pick my all time favorite series to help me get out of the reading slump: The Selection series. So here’s what I read in October:

  1. The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Cass: 5/5⭐
  2. The Elite (The Selection #2) by Kiera Cass: 5/5⭐
  3. The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass: 5/5⭐
  4. The Red Button by Keith Eldred: 4/5⭐
  5. The Unexpected Duchess (Playful Brides #1) by Valerie Bowman: 3/5⭐

“The Selection” series helped me a lot with my reading slump and I loved rereading the original trilogy! Also, I had to read “The Red Button” in October because the author asked me, so that is what I did. And I also started a new historical romance series named “The Playful Brides” series by Valerie Bowman. This was my first ever historical romance, and even though I didn’t love it, I still wanted to continue the series… and that’s what I did in November.

I went through the month of November without a TBR list as well, and things went great! My reading slump hit the road and I read a lot of amazing books. Here’s what I read:

  1. The Dinner Guest by B.P. Walter: 3.75/5⭐
  2. Incarceron (Incarceron #1) by Catherine Fisher: 3.75/5⭐
  3. If Cats Disappeared From the World by Genki Kawamura: 4.5/5⭐
  4. The Accidental Countess (Playful Brides #2) by Valerie Bowman: 3/5⭐
  5. The Unlikely Lady (Playful Brides #3) by Valerie Bowman: 4.5/5⭐
  6. The Irresistible Rogue (Playful Brides #4) by Valerie Bowman: 3.25/5⭐
  7. The Unforgettable Hero (Playful Brides #4.5) by Valerie Bowman: 3.25/5⭐
  8. Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Walton: 4/5⭐
  9. All the Stars and Teeth (All the Stars and Teeth #1) by Adalyn Grace: 3/5⭐
  10. Five Total Strangers by Natalie D. Richards: 2/5⭐
  11. The Last House on Needless Street by Catriona Ward: 5/5⭐

I read A LOT in November! I continued “The Playful Brides” series and since I was in a darker mood, I read some thrillers too. “The Last House on Needless Street” surprised me a lot and if you haven’t read it yet, I highly recommend it! It’s important to say that it’s the kind of book people either love or hate, but you should give it a go. It was a very successful reading month and I’m very happy with all the books I read.

Let me know how your reading month (or trimestre) was! Thank you for reading, I’ll see you guys later 🙂

xoxo,

Review | Maid by Stephanie Land

“What my mind needed to know was that someone was there to make it all better. That summer, through gritted teeth, I’d decided that person was me, not a man or a family, and it would only ever be me. I had to stop hoping for someone to come along and love me. I had to do it myself, ducking my head and barreling through anything life brought.” 2/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: cabbage patch kids, Ariel dolls, car accidents, food stamps, landscapes, cleaning supplies, dirty toilets and a lot of complaining.

At 28, Stephanie Land’s plans of breaking free from the roots of her hometown in the Pacific Northwest to chase her dreams of attending a university and becoming a writer, were cut short when a summer fling turned into an unexpected pregnancy. She turned to housekeeping to make ends meet, and with a tenacious grip on her dream to provide her daughter the very best life possible, Stephanie worked days and took classes online to earn a college degree, and began to write relentlessly.

Maid explores the underbelly of upper-middle class America and the reality of what it’s like to be in service to them. “I’d become a nameless ghost,” Stephanie writes about her relationship with her clients, many of whom do not know her from any other cleaner, but who she learns plenty about. As she begins to discover more about her clients’ lives-their sadness and love, too-she begins to find hope in her own path.

Her writing as a journalist gives voice to the “servant” worker, and those pursuing the American Dream from below the poverty line. Maid is Stephanie’s story, but it’s not her alone…

Wow… I never thought in a million years I would give this book a negative review. I wanted to read this for the longest time because I knew in my heart I would find here an inspiring story from a strong woman who beat the odds. Yeah, well, my heart was wrong.

When I was younger, we had a neighbor that was constantly talking about her own life (even when no one asked), and she was constantly complaining of how miserable her life was compared to others. Stephanie reminded me a lot of her.

I think the biggest turn off for me was her attitude towards life. I just couldn’t feel sorry for her (and trust me, I REALLY tried). I don’t want to come across as insensitive, but the truth is: this was a sob story. There was a lot of “poor me” and “I don’t have nice things”, and I wasn’t having it. She was constantly talking about all the things she didn’t have and all the things her employers had – makeup, clothes, forniture, meals, hobbies, homes… you name it and she would want it. She was extremely unlikeable, but still I tried to give her a chance and I tried to put myself in her shoes… but I couldn’t connect to her. Maybe it’s because I’ve seen my own mother’s struggle while growing up or maybe it’s because I know a lot of single mothers who went through hell to raise their children and never complained. Either way, the book felt very entitled and privileged – which is even weirder, considering that’s exactly the opposite of what she wanted the book to be about.

Not only that, but I was bored the entire time and I considered DNFing this five times. It was a cycle of cleaning scenes, self-pity, more cleaning, jealousy for the employer’s possessions and more cleaning.

I’m sorry for writing such a negative review, but I was disappointed with this book. I find people fascinating and I love to learn from their experiences and perspectives, but this story didn’t feel inspirational at all. There are so many inspirational women out there with great books, and this one is just about a woman complaining non-stop. I would skip it.

xoxo,

Review | Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick

“Keep in mind that people change, but the past doesn’t.” 4.25/5 stars!

Attention! This book contains: biology assignments, pool tables, part-time jobs, baseball games, roller coasters, tacos, ripped wings, nephilims, snow globes and assault.

A SACRED OATH
A FALLEN ANGEL
A FORBIDDEN LOVE

Romance was not part of Nora Grey’s plan. She’s never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora’s not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can’t decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen – and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life.

I love these gems from the late 00s. For me this pub time has been very iconic in terms of young adult books! I know I’m super late for the party, but Hush, Hush has been on my to-be-read list for a very long time and now I finally read the first book! So what did I think? I liked it a lot!

The romance is very intriguing. I don’t know how the author was able to create a romance that felt both tamed and at the same time very in-your-face. It seems very direct because there’s a lot of tension between the main characters when they’re together, but at the same time the romance itself felt almost non-existent. This was not a bad thing for me because there are three books left in the series, and I know the romance is probably going to develop very soon.

I really liked both of the main characters, but I especially loved Patch. Well, he’s not exactly a human being, but I really liked his energy and overall personality. I can tell this series is going to be a wild ride just from the characters!

The plot itself seems a bit confusing, but maybe it’s because I don’t usually read books with angels and nephilims… I think I’ll get the hang of it soon though (I hope).I’m curious to see where the story is headed next. I’ll be reading Crescendo in the near future!

xoxo,