Eden by Candice Fox

Eden (Archer & Bennett, #2)



My review of the first book in the series!

When I read this book the first time, I left a gushing review about how much I loved it. Luckily, that didn’t change with the reread! And, taking a quote from my own review: Candice Fox is a master of storylines.

It follows, roughly, the same pattern of the first book. There’s a plot from the past that links to now, this one following Hades’ upbringing in crime. It, of course, links to now. Then there’s the POV of Eden, set in the present as she goes undercover to solve cases. Frank has his own POV. Then there’s another towards the end that leaves the whole book at a cliffhanger.

And Fox juggles all of those POVs perfectly, finding ways to link them in. Hades and his past unfolding, Eden showing yet another facet of herself and how fucking BA she is (I love this woman and I barely know her), Frank recovering and “healing”, and the introduction of something finally getting done about Eden’s past… more than in the last book.

Usually, with something like that, I would feel that the book was way too busy and random and it just wouldn’t work. However, this completely worked. Each storyline I found myself interested and getting drawn in, even when they weren’t connected to the case as a whole.

Then, you have fantastic characters that you get attached to so easily. Frank is one of those everyman characters with a past (and a present). Eden is a secret wrapped in an enigma that becomes more and more interesting. I can’t wait to see where the third book goes. Hades becomes more interesting as we find out more about him, all of those layers peeling away.

I highly recommend this series to mystery fans. It’s enthralling and not at all what you’re expecting when you open up the first book, or even the second book, for the first time. This one was just as interesting as the first, perhaps more so because there weren’t any main characters introduced, just further developed on.

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.

People often shit themselves when they die.

Their muscles slack and their souls flutter free and everything else just… slips out. For all their audience’s love of death, the playwrights seldom mention it. When our hero breathes his last in his heroine’s arms, they call no attention to the stain leaking across his tights, or how the stink makes her eyes water as she leans in for her farewell kiss.

This is a book that’s been on my radar for years but haven’t gotten to it. I think that’s going to be a common theme in my life. I’m interested but haven’t decided to take that plunge. Now that I own it, I’m going to get to it sooner. I’m lying. I won’t.

It is….

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)

1. The cover is gorgeous.
2. That opening bit made me laugh because this is something I think about, too. Why can’t books talk about shitting? We all do it.
3. It kind of reminds me (at least the first little bit) of a YA Mark Lawrence, who is fave so I have to do it. I have to read this. That’s that.

I’m on the toilet at the 9:30 Club, and I’m wondering how mermaids pee.

This isn’t random. There’s a mermaid Barbie attached to the door of the bathroom here. Which is a pretty odd choice for a bathroom mascot. If that’s even a thing. Bathroom mascots.

I guess this week is all about bathroom habits. Shitting for Caidyn and peeing for me. I gotta say this is pretty on brand for me. 

The book I’ve chosen this week is a book I’m ashamed to admit I have not read yet. Why? Because it came out a year ago and I enjoyed the author’s first book very much. So, what book has it taken me so long to read? What book have I still not started and do not know when I will start it? 

Only every book ever.

Seriously though, this week I’ve chosen…

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

upside cover

I’m pretty upset I haven’t gotten to this book yet, but fear not, it’s not the only book I’ve failed to read lately. 

However, here I am texting Caidyn about how disappointing it is to read about fat characters in Harry Potter that are awful. Vernon and Dudley Dursley, Aunt Marge, Umbridge, and Moaning Myrtle come to mind. 

And yet, here is a book with a fat main character. Something I absolutely relate to. I’m not usually sensitive about a lot of things, but when it comes to queer characters and fat rep, I like to see positivity not being another characteristic of an awful character. 

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages edited by Saudra Mitchell

All Out: The No-Longer-Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout the Ages



I have a very specific number for my rating, don’t I? That’s because I totaled up all of my individual ratings to see how it evened out over the whole book. And I think that basically describes my thoughts about it.

It started off with a bang, but I thought it cooled quickly with some good stories in the middle. A lot of the stories actually blended together for me. I thought there were a lot of F/F stories. I expected to have a ton of M/M stories, but there weren’t too many. Now, I love F/F stories, but, by the end of the collection, they all blended together because they were so alike.

I was also surprised that there were two stories that featured transmen (one M/F and one M/M) in some way. My shock is because I’m used to there being more about transwomen than transmen. It would have been nice to have something with transwomen in there.

Also, no bi or pan stories either, unless I didn’t catch hints dropped that a character identified as such. I think that one of the last stories had a bi love interest, but it was never really stated.

There was a lot of diversity within the stories even though I thought there could have been more sexual diversity. Lots of rep for various cultures, which made my heart sing at times.

My favorite stories were: Roja, And They Don’t Kiss at the End, The Dresser & the Chambermaid, Every Shade of Red, The Secret Life of a Teenage Boy, and Three Witches.

It should surprise no one that both of the stories with transmen and the one story with an ace person are in my favorites. The other three are an M/M and the two F/F stories that really stuck out to me.

Overall, I thought this was a good collection that I could see myself rereading one day. Keep reading for my mini-reviews of the stories!

Roja by Anna-Marie McLemore: 4/5

My little transboy heart was full with this one. Especially as I just had top surgery (literally one week ago – 3/13/18), so I’m really in tune with that facet of myself. I think it was the author’s note and one passage from the story that choked me up, as our MC described how she always saw Leon as a man, no matter what his body said. And that he was hers. God, I’m getting teary just thinking about it.

But, why a star off? I got choked up. I got emotional. That’s not usually how I am (although Chantel will beg to differ). I just thought it could have been developed a little more. I wanted more concrete details. Did our MC really have some witchy power? What happened to Leon? All the details kind of blended together for me and didn’t quite meld. I really enjoyed it in the end, but I thought it could use a little more.

The Sweet Trade by Natalie C. Parker: 3/5

Cute. It was cute. I liked the characters and the story being told, but I just wanted more. I really wanted to have more to the story where I found out more about them and if Clara or Pearl had those feelings before or if it was the first time they noticed them or some combination. It just didn’t feel as developed as I wanted it to me, even though I thought the story was super cute.

And They Don’t Kiss at the End by Nilah Magruder: 4.5/5

MY ACE HEART. It was so sweet. So, so sweet. I loved how it was really a character study with an internal drive rather than something external. It was all about Dee not having the word for her sexuality when she was describing it perfectly. And the guy, Vince, so sweet.

Can you tell I thought this story was sweet and cute and lovely?

It made me feel happy to get some ace rep in here, and to have it in a non-awkward and a chronistic way. It never felt like I was getting a lecture or being taught about asexuality because that term wouldn’t have been used in the 1970s. It felt specific to the time, all while capturing the timeless feeling of asexuality (the non-aromantic side of the spectrum, though).

Burnt Umber by Mackenzi Lee: 4/5

Another super cute story. So far, most of these are fluffy and cute. I like that. But I loved how this was set in the 1600s, far before there was a more modern idea of queerness. It felt very outside the scope, yet, again, it connected deeply to a boy knowing that he’s not interested in women and trying to figure that out. Along with navigating that unattainable crush we’ve all had and realizing the person in front of you is the one you ought to be with.

The Dresser & the Chambermaid by Robin Talley: 4.5/5

I have to admit, I spent a lot of this story researching. I kind of got interested and decided to figure out who Princess Amelia was. Finally, I figured out she was daughter of George II and that was cool. Obviously, this one caught me. I love some good history tossed in and historical figures.

And the characters were so great. Country girl versus city girl. Not in a women pitted against each other way, but just the obvious differences that come from that. I found them both so cute and fun and charming. They were a joy to read about, really.

The mini-tension that came about near the end of the story was well-placed, but not overdone. It could have easily been overdone, too. In the end, I felt like I could have read a whole book about these characters. Especially Barnaby. Because, y’all, he seemed like a joy to have around.

New Year by Malinda Lo: 4/5

This one was unique compared to the others. Instead of following a blossoming relationship, it showed a Chinese American girl in the 1950s discovering she’s not straight through a chance encounter with a male impersonator. It was a lot of fun. While it wasn’t like the others, that made it stand out all the more. Plus the diversity! Chinese Americans in the 1950s with a nod to Maoist Communism and American fears. It just made me smile because I liked how it was purely a teen discovering herself.

Molly’s Lips by Dahlia Adler: 3/5

I can think of someone who would enjoy this story more than me. Maybe because I’m not into music. I don’t learn every fact about the artists I listen to. Sure, I’ll listen to them over and over again, but I don’t have to know every teensy thing about them.

Molly and Annabelle never exactly jumped off the page for me. They were there and I could understand how they felt — we’ve all mourned a celebrity death in our lives — but, other than that, it didn’t work for me. I think that if it was just a little bit longer, I would have enjoyed it more.

The Coven by Kate Scelsa: 3/5

I have about the same critique for this as the last time. I liked the story and the meaning behind it of the MC’s confliction over her brother, but I also wish that it had been longer to let me get a glimpse of their relationship at its fullest. It felt unfinished. A good snapshot, but unfinished as a whole.

Every Shade of Red by Elliot Wake: 5/5


But, Elliot Wake wrote a M/M romance with a deaf character and a transman character. Set back in the 14th century. And was a reimagining of Robin Hood. Like holy fuck. That was a good ass story. And one of the only stories that didn’t have a happy ending. But what should I expect from Wake? I just loved that this was an own voices story and was a really well-crafted story. Maybe it’s more of an impulse to give it5 stars, but it also was just a damn good story.

Willows by Scott Tracey: 2/5

While this was a longer story, it felt as if more went unsaid than actually stated. And I didn’t like that. If it’s going to be more of a fantasy/paranormal theme, then I need more explanation than it sort of being hinted at. I don’t like making assumptions about the author’s world.

So, this one wasn’t my favorite. I didn’t think it was developed as much as I wanted it to be, even though it was a longer story. Maybe it’s because I wasn’t paying as close attention to it, maybe it was because it wasn’t the best story. And what a shame since this is only the third (I think) M/M story in here.

The Girl with the Blue Lantern by Tess Sharpe: 3.5/5

Another fantasy, but more explained. At least slightly. At least, the world the MC was coming in contact with wasn’t important to understand. Just that it was there. I thought it was sweet and interesting, but still not my favorite. I just didn’t connect to it as much as I wanted to, hence the brief review.

The Secret Life of a Teenage Boy by Alex Sanchez: 4/5

Aw, this was a cute one. It pulled at my heartstrings just right. A boy knowing he likes boys, being teased for it, not out to everyone in the late 60s, and falling for a guy. It was such a teenage story that it made me smile. Sudden “love” for this person because hormones tell you you’re in love and you don’t know what it all means just yet. Then, you realize that you can’t be in love and you can’t run off because there are things at home. Even in a place that isn’t accepting of it.

It was just sweet and a story that left you wanting more and hoping he was able to be who he was, but also knowing he has something within him that will keep him safe no matter what.

Walking After Midnight by Kody Keplinger: 4/5

So cute. Two women supporting each other. I’m a softie for that sort of stuff.

But, really, it was a cute story that featured a young woman yearning to leave a small town and a woman who feels far too old and washed out for her age. It’s that kind of story where they just have a night together (maybe more) to lift each other up. And also kiss.

The End of the World as We Know It by Sara Farizan: 4/5

These are all too damn cute. Set during New Year’s Eve of Y2K (god, most of the kids on here will have no clue what I’m talking about, will they?), it features two friends trying to figure out where things went wrong. Having had many friendships that fell through because I was just shut out, I really connected to how the MC felt. That pain sucks. It really sucks when you suddenly don’t have a friendship you valued.

But, anyways, the story is about those friends talking about what went wrong, then features my favorite romance trope. Something I could get behind 100%

Three Witches by Tessa Gratton: 4.5/5

YAS. 1519 in Spain. My era. And lesbians.

I think what makes this even more interesting is that lesbianism is so undocumented throughout history. That makes it so interesting when it’s tackled in fiction. And tackled so well. I was going to give this five stars because I thought it captured the feelings in such a brief, compelling way. Then there was the last part that didn’t thrill me and so I took that .5 off.

The Inferno & the Butterfly by Shaun David Hutchinson: 3.5/5

This is like a gay version of The Prestige. Okay but minus the magic and deception but add in real magic. And gay boys who have some sort of powers. It was a lot of fun, reading this one. I liked the characters, liked the story, liked the way it was developed. Yet, despite this being on the longer side, I wanted more. It felt as if I could have used more backstory for the characters.

Healing Rosa by Tehlor Kay Mejia: 3/5

I like how the stories came around, in a way. The collection started with Mexican culture and ended with it, both involving magic and witches. This one, though, didn’t interest me as much. I enjoyed the PTSD and grief rep in the story, but other than that it didn’t stand out in my mind. A good one and interesting one, but just didn’t stick out.

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1)



I wasn’t expecting to like this book. I’m being straight up honest with y’all. I really wasn’t expecting to like this. It’s a very hyped book and is YA and is about the fae. All three of those things don’t usually work for me.

But, goddammit, I enjoyed the fuck out of this book.

The plot was crafted fantastically. It had twists and turns. I could make guesses about what was going to happen next, but it wasn’t a huge deal because it felt like Black had a plan for the book. And it wasn’t up to me to figure out what her plan was since I could tell she was going to naturally lead me there. It wasn’t about hitting the next plot point for her, it was about allowing the story to unwind as I read. There were times where I gasped and put my hand over my mouth while I read wide-eyed, waiting to see how it would turn out.

It was masterfully done.

There was tension added at the right moments, time allowed for character development, and all of it heading somewhere you weren’t quite sure about.

And, those characters. Goddamn, they were good. Black developed them, peeling away their layers so you could see all of them in a good and bad light. That way they were all morally grey in the end, something that worked spectacularly well for the plot. You start off loving some and then you hate them. You hate some, then you come to see that they’re like most of us.

Another thing I liked was how romance wasn’t a thing in the book. Like, it was there, like you’d expect, but it wasn’t a major plot point. It took a backseat. And I liked that. I really liked that. It made the plot sing because it wasn’t weighed down by some love triangle crap.

Oh, and Jude was a badass. Like holy fuck. I thought it was going to be one of those books where everyone said she was a badass and I’d read it and find ways to mock it. Nope. Not here. She really was badass, but a badass with flaws and a learning curve.

The only thing I’d like to have seen more of was Jude’s childhood. It was mentioned a few times, but I would have liked to have it in the story rather than mentions of having been taught something. I think that would have strengthened an already very strong book.

So, here we are. I read and liked a hyped YA book. I think no one is as shocked as I am.

1 Year Blogiversary!!

Wow. Who would have thought that we’d get here, right? Yet, suddenly, it’s been a year and here we are. We’re actually here. Chantel wanted to start a blog and Caidyn joined in, so here we are.

Really, we want to thank all of you who follow us. Whether you’ve been here from the start or you’re brand new followers. We can’t thank you enough for following, liking, and commenting on our stuff. All 81 of you. Thank you so much.

We put out a request for questions on all our platforms because we wanted to do a Q&A for our blogiversary. So, again, thanks to everyone who asked us questions. We’re happy to answer them right here.
Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.

  • If the apocalypse came and you had to escape civilization and live in the mountains for the rest of your life, which of your favorite books would you absolutely HAVE to bring with you?

Oh jeez. I have no clue. There are too many good books out there. I’m going to have to be cliched and say Harry Potter since, I mean, those books have it all for me.
What’s the limit here? I mean, can I pack a suitcase or something with all of my favorite books ever? This question only begets more questions.
You’re making this more difficult than it needs to be.
That’s what I do. I’ll just go ahead and say all of Patrick Ness’s books. The ones I’ve read and haven’t read. So the Chaos Walking trilogy, More than This, Release, and A Monster Calls. I know he’s written more books and I’ll bring those along too but Ness has enough variety in his writing that I think I’ll have enough to read for the rest of my life.
Also, this situation sounds fantastic.
Could we get a cabin together? Or adjacent ones?
As long as you promise not to kill and eat me for survival. Or for fun.

Your cabin better be at least one mile away from me.

  • If you could magically erase one horrible, terrible, too-awful-for-words book from existence, which would it be?

Anne Boleyn: A King’s Obsession by Alison Weir. It was a horrible book because it was just shitty take on history. Weir, a historian, fell into all the traps that modern historians are starting to reexamine and find false. Not only that, but the book was so boring since she hates Anne Boleyn. Why write it if you hate the subject?
I think we all know my answer to this. Adam by Ariel Schrag. It’s the most offensive book I’ve ever read and treats being transgender as if it’s a trick to get away with something. Fuck this book.
I’m already pissed off enough this week with the world about trans rights so let’s not even.

  • Which literary meal have you always wanted to eat yourself?

Any of the Hogwarts feasts, tbh. I’d be Ron in them. (Although the wording is odd for this one. Because I could also answer Hannibal. Let’s be honest, Hannibal’s food looks amazing.)

Honestly, nothing but Harry Potter comes to mind when thinking about fictional food. I mean, there’s the wet, stale bread from The Hunger Games, but I’d rather eat good food.

  • Which fictional world would you want to live in the most, and why?

Harry Potter. Dementors and Voldemort and all, I’d love that one the most.
I would say the world in the Wayward Children series which starts with Every Heart a Doorway because I love the idea of going to a portal world and being someplace you finally belong. While I don’t love the idea of getting tossed back into the real world, I still think it would be nice to have a place where you feel you belong.
That’s a good one, too.

  • What is your favorite and least favorite thing about your bestest most awesome blogmate? (Not biased at all.)

This is my question for you.
I think you should answer it too. (Not fishing for compliments at all.)
My favorite thing about Caidyn is how easy it is to talk to him. We have become such good friends because it’s so easy to talk to each other about everything. I also appreciate him because he is very focused and is very good at getting shit done. Unlike me.
My least favorite thing is when he tells me about his creepy dreams. Like, he’s trying to give me nightmares, I swear.
Your compliment is a really nice way of calling me a nag. Which is also true. Very true. And my dreams are fucking weird, trust me. BUT WHO WAS IT WHO HAD THE DREAM ABOUT MAKING SOMEONE INTO JERKY??? NOT THIS BITCH.
My favorite thing about Chantel is about how receptive she is to any ideas that I have. Anything. She literally just accepts it and offers me feedback. I love how supportive she is of me in every way (minus my weird tastes).
My least favorite thing is how you don’t finish TV shows. I get it if you don’t like the show, but she doesn’t finish them even if she likes them.
I was referring more to the way you are while you are in school. You are very focused and do your homework, etc.
Goddamn, I can’t tell you anything without it ending up on this damn blog.
So, your favorite thing about me is how I’ll do anything you say? That sounds about right.
Yeah, I’m not a binge watcher or show finisher. The only show I can remember binging recently was Dear White People, and holy fuck you all should binge that show too.
Nope. You can’t. Ever. It all ends up here.
That makes you sound like a house elf, Dobby.
What about Queer Eye? You made me watch that show.
I was referring more to the fact that you are bossy.
Oh, and Queer Eye. GO WATCH QUEER EYE. I still haven’t finished it though.
I am a bossy bitch. But you MADE ME watch Queer Eye. I’ve finished it unlike you. Your uncompletionist butt strikes again.
I politely requested that you watch one episode since you said it “wasn’t for you” and you chose to watch the rest of it. Nice try, tho.
Insisted on it. Strongly insisted and I could tell something was brewing and I needed to do it.
I’m glad you listened, but I didn’t make you do anything.

  • If you could make everyone in the world read one queer book of your choosing, which book would that be? (can be any genre)

Oh jeez. I think All Out is a great book. I’m still reading it, but it has stories of a wide variety of queer people featured in the stories, many of them from own voices perspectives.
That’s a really good choice. I don’t think I can top that because it’s a variety of stories written by queer authors. There is likely something for everyone. However, everyone should read The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It’s queer as fuck and the best book I’ve read in a long time maybe ever.
Yeah! There are a couple stories with ace characters in it and then two stories with transmen. Love it. And not surprised that you put that one down.
I’m a simple person. My favorite book is Evelyn Hugo and my least favorite is Adam.

  • YA fantasy preference: magical world or steampunk? (explain choice)

Magical world. Even though I’ve had steampunk dreams, I just don’t get the world or anything. I’d much rather have a magical world.
Magical world because then you can create your own magic system that’s unique and create your own rules for what happens. Plus, I’ve never read a lot (or any) steampunk.

  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Graduated from my master’s program with a steady job. Wow that’s lame.
I hope that I have at least completed my Associate’s degree and know the path I’d like to take career wise. Also, I want a pug.
Pugs are cute. I’d love an English bulldog.

pug 1

pug 2

pug 3

pug 4

Image result for english bulldogs

so fat

Image result for english bulldogs
so cute

Image result for english bulldogs
so majestic
Is this you in dog form?
The resemblance is striking.
Really, it is. It’s insane.
Can we do a poll please??
Pugs or English Bulldogs?
Tell us in the comments!!

  • What character do you connect with the most?

We actually did a tag about this! So, we can just link it in and you can see our top five characters that we connect with the most.
Let’s do that, but I’m putting down Dobby the House Elf. Just click the link, you won’t regret it.

The “Me in Book Characters Tag”

  • What is your favorite setting to read about?

England. That’s very general and broad, but I love it when the UK is the setting. Especially England.
That’s technically the UK. Not England, but the UK.
I’m talking specifically about Hogwarts, a school that does not exist.
Hogwarts is in Scotland.
Hogwarts isn’t real.
Truth hurts, don’t it?
Brb crying with my wine.
Laughing maniacally with my cider.
My cup is Hannibal themed so be afraid.
Drinking the blood of your victims, hm?
Picturing it as you.


Me going to your cabin.

what is your childhood trauma gif

  • What’s the story behind the blog name?

Should we? I didn’t ask this question.
I don’t know if we should reveal such secrets.
They’ll shock the whole world and terrify everyone.
Then again, nothing stays a secret with you.
My lips have never opened with this one.
You wish.
We lost sight of the question.
No surprise there.
It stands for something magical. Something more majestic than English bulldogs.
This is true. Also, the meaning of the name was never meant to be revealed to anyone.
It will burn your eyes and haunt your soul. It will make you question the meaning of life.
…I think that’s a bit overdramatic.
I was trying to scare them from the answer.
Oh, then please continue.
It will be burned into your eyes. You will never forget it when you wish you could. You would beg us not to tell you. And it would make you die whenever you think about it.
Okay, I’m done.
The truth is, the name of the blog doesn’t have any meaning.
Not really. Just an inside joke no one would get.
You know if they think it means something they are just going to want to know?
Yeah. But there are some people who will always think it means something even if it doesn’t. Look at fandoms. They pull gay love out of nothing.
Yes, yes. Of course it is. It’s all real and Moffat isn’t homophobic af. And tjlc is more than a crackpot theory.

  • Do you have any music-related posters/memorabilia?

No. I don’t. I never have.
Nope, but I love music. If I did, it would be related to The Beatles.
Eh. The Beatles.
Ho, don’t even go there.
Too late. I went.

  • Snape: hero or bad guy?

Someone who bullies kids for fun isn’t a good guy.
Someone who hates a kid because of a grudge against his parents and makes his life a living hell isn’t a good guy.
Someone who obsesses and lusts after a woman who was never into him like that isn’t a good guy.

I hate Severus Snape. I don’t care how he was “humanized”. He was very human the whole time, just not a good one.
I don’t like Snape at all. Well, that’s not true. I like Alan Rickman’s Snape, but I don’t think he was a good person with how he treated Harry and especially Neville.
But I think the Dursleys were so much worse than him.
Alan Rickman was the perfect Snape (even if he could have been greasier). But, no. He wasn’t a good guy at all.
I don’t know about that. Snape did about the same things to generations of kids.
He made Snape likable, for me. Even if I don’t like the things he did.
I would say ten years of physical and emotional abuse to Harry is pretty bad. Snape is awful as a teacher, yes, but I think in terms of their relationship to Harry the Dursleys hated him more and treated him shittier.
But Snape tortured hundreds of kids and made their lives living hells.
Proof please.
Snape started teaching in 1981. He stopped in 1997. There were around 280 students at Hogwarts when Harry was there. Proof.
And you are saying he treated everyone the same as he treated Harry? Bullshit.
I’m meaning Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville, Seamus, Dean, etc.
Does not equal hundreds of students. He did not treat anyone (except probably Neville) as bad as he treated Harry. He had a grudge against Harry and treated him horribly. However, I do not think he was anything more than an asshole to other students.
He insulted Hermione’s appearance, made her wait so her teeth grew longer, and humiliated her for being smart.
I’m not arguing Snape is a good person or a nice person. He’s a prick, but I think the Dursleys are worse.

  • What is a book you would love to read but haven’t seen written yet?

Something, anything with polyamory. I’ve never read a single book with that as a topic and I’d love to see it done.
This is a great question, but unfortunately, I can’t think of anything right now.

  • Which book quote would you get tattooed on you (if you don’t already have one)?

I already have a book quote tattoo! Mine is: “Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times if one only remembers to turn on the light.” I have seasonal depression and nearly daily anxiety thanks to good old gender dysphoria, so that reminds me there’s always something good around, even if I can’t see it yet.
Oh, I’d probably get something from The Book Thief, or Harry Potter, or Evelyn Hugo. But honestly, I’d probably be more likely to get song lyrics.
I’m planning on more Tudor tattoos, not book quotes.

  • What do you consider the best and/or worst movie adaptation of a novel you enjoyed?

Nothing’s coming to mind.
Best: Love, Simon is pretty great, The Harry Potter series is up there for sure, and The Hours is one of my favorite adaptations ever. Oh, and Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Worst: (I bet I can guess one of these.) I’m going to go with Divergent. I actually enjoyed the first book but thought the movie fell short of being good. I can’t really think of any other awful adaptations, but I do know the trailer and poster for Every Day was a huge deterrent for me actually going to see it.
What, no Call Me By Your Name???
OH GOD. I blocked it from my memory. Plus, I didn’t read the book, but WOOF. That movie is terrible.
How did you forget that?? You ranted so long about that. Not as long as with Adam but nearly as long.
I even ranted about it to my mom. It’s such a boring, pretentious movie. Definitely not for me.

  • Who are your favorite literary villains?

Jorg Ancrath and Bellatrix Lestrange. So evil. So great.
I don’t like villains and usually, don’t root for them. I did appreciate Jorg, however.
Jorg is fun. A lot of fun.

  • What would you like to see more of in literature? Whether its dragons in space, characters who are similar or different than you, foreign bestsellers in translation, smaller paperbacks, or anything you can think of, what do you want more of?

I’d like to see more own voices writing. Whether that’s someone writing about their culture, American/other country experience as a family of immigrants, queer experience, POCs, etc. That’s what I want to see in literature.
I would really like to see more books with queer ladies as well as books about queer people from other cultures other than Euro-centric ones.
Also, more movie adaptations of queer books. Kthxbai.
YAS. Queer experiences from around the world. That’d be great. Same with movies about queer books, but not just YA books.

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

Children of Blood and Bone (Legacy of Orïsha, #1)


1.5/5 – DNF at 40%

Now, I didn’t expect to write this review.

Don’t you love it when I say that? It either means that I enjoyed a book I didn’t think I would or I didn’t like a book I thought I would. This time, it’s the latter. After seeing all the great reviews of this book, I didn’t like this one.

Despite that, I do have some positives. And I want to start the review off with those.

The diversity in this was great. An African culture that had black characters leading the path. I love it. I want more of it. I look forward to there being more of it. I also enjoyed the nod to other cultures having influenced this one — I’m rather sure Spain, the UK, and Portugal were mentioned in passing as having magic that destroyed them — which then brings in the color issue where light-skinned black people are more valued.

So, I enjoyed that.

Then, the stuff I didn’t like. Aka, the rest of the book.

First, I thought the characters were flat. While I saw a whole lot of promise, they just didn’t jump off the page for me. They felt like any other character I’d read in any other YA fantasy. The firecracker lead girl who’s tough and can’t keep her mouth shut. The protective, older brother character. The sheltered girl who still knows too much about the world. The conflicted boy who is trying to be the man he isn’t and is finding his weakness.

They didn’t feel real. They felt like those archetypes.

Second, the world. I was super excited since I’m familiar with Yoruba culture and, more specifically, the Yoruba religion. Super excited. And then I realized it was loosely based off of that. There was no context to the world. I felt like it was half-formed and there were concepts being thrown in and I’m sitting there like “Where the hell did that come from??”

I love a book that challenges me, but I don’t like a book that sets it up for me to fail while I struggle.

Third, the plot. It just felt like any other plot I’ve read. Kind of as I said about the characters, I felt like I was going down the same well-trodden path without anything new. Sure, the world was different and unique, but it still felt the same. And then I could tell what was happening and where it was going.

Fourth, I hated that it was all in first person with three different POVs. It’s all “I, I,I” and I have to try and keep track of who’s talking, which pulled me out of the story. A story I was already struggling to get into because I couldn’t connect with the characters and the world was just all over the place and the plot didn’t interest me.

Perhaps it would have gotten better if I continued, but it just felt like a half-finished book to me. A very long half-finished book. So, I set it down. I loved the diversity in it, but didn’t like the finished product.

March Recommendations

Another month, another set of recommendations prompted by the Goodreads group Monthly Recommendations. March’s recommendations are duologies!

It’s just me doing it this month, so let’s go!

Admittedly, I don’t read duologies. They’ve been a recent thing. The ones I’ve tried, I DNFed. Then, I also haven’t read Six of Crows (which is what we’re reading in April, actually). I have one recommendation and that is…

The Shining/Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

The ShiningDoctor Sleep (The Shining, #2)

Admittedly, I don’t even consider these a duology since they’re completely separate entities. Anyways, I love both of these books. I love Stephen King and this is a great duology that follows the evolution of Danny Torrence, from when he was a young boy to becoming an adult that’s eerily like his father.

First Lines Friday

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.

The two would-be jade thieves sweated in the kitchen of the Twice Lucky restaurant. The windows were open in the dining room, and the onset of evening brought a breeze off the waterfront to cool the diners, but in the kitchen, there were only the two ceiling fans that had been spinning all day to little effect. Summer had barely begun and already the city of Janloon was like a spent lover — sticky and fragrant.

Another week, another book. My choice is kind of unconventional for me. It sounded like something I’d like, but it’s not one that I’d have actively sought out or even heard of until I read a great review of it. It’s magic mixed with gansters mixed with fantasy. In other words, a pretty interesting mash-up.

It is….

Jade City by Fonda Lee

Jade City

I got this book rec thanks to Alienor’s review over on her blog. It’s a great review, so check it out here! It sounded right up my alley and like a book I’d like to give a try, so I got a hold on it through my library and now it’s in my hands. (Which aren’t tiny like Trump’s or Chantel’s, for the record.) I’m pretty excited to give it a go!

Once upon a time there was a pair of pants. They were an essential kind of pants — jeans, naturally, blue but not that stiff new blue you see so often on the first day of school. They were a soft, changeable blue with a little extra fading at the knees and the seat and white wavelets at the cuffs.

Again, another short entry but I don’t think anything more than this needs to be said about this book. 

This was a recent purchase of mine but it is certainly not a book that’s new to me. I bought it because it was cheap on Amazon but I was suddenly feeling nostalgic for the series and wondered if I would still enjoy it now despite years of distance. 

This week I’ve chosen: 

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Like I said before, this series is not new to me. I’ve read the first three books and by the time the fourth and fifth book came out, I was no longer interested in the series. I remember this series being great. The chapters of the book contain famous quotes and/or proverbs and I used to record them in a journal because I was that much of a dork.

Honestly, the first movie was very well done. Not so much the second, but whatever. I used to watch the movie long after I had stopped reading the books and it was one of my pick-me-up movies.

I also remember the series being very raw and realistic when it came to sex, divorced parents, illness and death, isolation, and feeling like you are stuck in one place. Those are just a few things I remember but I know there are a lot more. 

At some point, I’ll pick this book up again and if I enjoy it then I will continue on. 

The Stranger Thing Tag

The Book Prophet did this tag a very, very long time ago. However, we really liked it and decided that we ought to do it since we both love Stranger Things. It’s a show we watched together, although we haven’t written about it on the blog.

This tag was originally created by A Running Commentary, which I don’t have a link to, but you’ve been given credit. The graphics I’ll be using were designed and put together by Flavia @ Flavia the Bibliophile.
Caidyn will be in blue.
Chantel will be in purple.

For me, it’s:

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

I liked it and I was super intrigued, however, I was confused about why it wrapped up so easily and why there was a series.
I’m cheating on this one because I was left intrigued but not confused. I’m going with Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire because I loved the concept of the book and I wanted to inhale read everything I could about these characters and the world.

My choice is:

Prince of Thorns (The Broken Empire, #1)

Nope nope nope nope.
I’m going to say the world from Proxy by Alex London because if you are poor you are punished for the crimes of the rich and I’m not about that life.
I’d be screwed.

I actually don’t own the book anymore, sadly. I finally decided to replace it a long time ago. But it was my well-loved, first edition American copy of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. That was my favorite HP book for a while, but it was so worn that the cover and first few pages of it fell off. I also still own my first edition copies of the first, second, sixth, and seventh books and they’re pretty loved on.
I try really hard not to damage my books anymore, but the first five Harry Potter paperbacks I have are in pretty rough shape. This was back when I didn’t care how ruined a book was.

Can I ignore the trilogy part? Because I honestly can’t think of a trilogy that I reread for comfort. Usually, it’s a stand-alone or a long, childhood series for me. I’ll list a few, that kind of fit this. Harry Potter and Lockwood and Co. are my pick-me-up books.
I’m going to say the first three Harry Potter books because those are the ones I’ve read most and they always remind me of how magical the series is.

But they’re so cute!!!!

Image result for demogorgon baby gif

I wouldn’t want to face Pennywise from IT. Or the guy from Needful Things. Do you see the Stephen King pattern there? He scary. And I wouldn’t want to mess with those things in his books.
Maybe if I read more books with terrifying beasts, this would be easier. I’m just going to go with Aragog, the giant fucking spider, from Harry Potter because nope.
Yeah no. No.

….my instinct says Dumbledore.
I’m a terrible person.
I don’t know why you didn’t just say Snape… I didn’t feel like attacking him since I’m going to spend a lot of time doing that in our joint reviews of Harry Potter. Fair enough.
I’m going to say, Thetis from The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. She is consistent in her dedication to keep Patroclus away from Achilles and by the end of the book, we understand why she did so.

Given that I didn’t like Nancy Wheeler, this is awkward. She was annoying and just got on my last nerves with how she acted. Especially season two. Ugh.

Image result for steve stranger things gif
Just sayin’

So I’m going to answer it as the asker said and a book I expected to love and didn’t. For the first, I didn’t expect to love Reign of the Fallen. I really enjoyed it in the end, despite the issues that I had with it. For the second, it’s Let’s Talk About Love. I thought that I’d absolutely adore it, but, alas.
Yeah, I didn’t like Nancy either. It’s funny how Steve became one of the more likable characters in season two. Steve is fantastic and is the mom of the group. He is their mother. Anyway, a book I didn’t expect to love as much as I did was The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I know I’ve talked about this book so much, but honestly, I didn’t expect it to be one of my favorite books of all time. I was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype and I WAS WRONG.

I’m gonna say the setting of Mark Lawrence’s’ The Broken Empire series and The Red Queen’s War. It’s an odd world and is absolutely fascinating.
More Than This by Patrick Ness has a very unusual setting. I can’t say too much about it because I don’t want to give too much away, but it’s definitely bizarre.


We’re actually going to tag people. Like holy crap, right?

We tag:

If we didn’t tag you and you love this, feel free to tag yourself and say we tagged you.

dustin i love you

Hades by Candice Fox

Hades (Archer & Bennett, #1)



A while ago, I read this book as an ARC before it became available in the US. And I remember really liking it. There’s a review of it on Goodreads, but I know I’m going to be replacing it. But, I gave it a nice review and rated it at four stars. Luckily, that didn’t change for this reread!

The book has two stories that eventually meet up. The first is about the past, going over how Eden and Eric grew up. Victims of a senseless crime, orphaned, and raised by a man good at crime, they aren’t exactly set up for good. But they end up detectives in Australia.

The other story is in the present, mainly told by Frank, Eden’s new partner. Day one and he’s thrown into an insane case that involves tons of missing bodies being recovered. And then he starts getting suspicious about Eden and Eric.

Really, I thought that Frank was a character anyone could like. He was personable and kind, then he had a wicked sense of humor and a history that isn’t great. Eden was also an interesting character. I thought she was the one that as most relatable to, even though you don’t get a great sense of who she is. But you know enough that you can understand her despite how different she is.

Fox is a great writer. The book is easy to read and follow. She also wove a great story. However, I had an issue with how the two stories came together in the end. It didn’t work for me. It felt too contrived. Then, the romance that was injected into the story didn’t work either. Another part that I thought was unneeded in the end.

Other than those two areas, the book was great. I enjoyed it quite a lot and I’m very excited to continue the series.