Personal post | Tough decision time

It’s that time of the year again. I’m back in school. It’s my final year of grad school, so I’m really buckling down to get through this. Which is a lot, tbh.

That means, I won’t be on here as often. My practicum (the agency I’m interning with) is 24 hours per week each week and we can’t have our phones on us in the unit. Which sucks, but that’s okay. I really don’t need a patient stealing my phone!

My placement is at an in-patient psychiatric facility. I’ll basically be working with senior adults who are there, mainly with dementia-related problems. Since I really enjoyed working with my dementia patients at my first practicum, I think that I’ll enjoy this as well. Even if the problems they have are different if they’re at this kind of facility.

On top of that, I’ll be going to my every other week classes. Which will be interesting and possibly make me cry. One of my classes is the one where we go over the whole DSM in a semester. And the DSM is huge.

And, after thinking about it — and talking with Chantel because I needed her input as my best friend — I’ve decided to step away from blogging completely. Perhaps that comes as a shock, but for the past year, ever since Chantel left, when I think about blogging, the first word that comes to mind is “stressed”. While I love interacting with all of you and hearing your thoughts on my posts, I am at my limit. I know that I’m going to be unable to complete my coursework, go to practicum, read books, write posts, interact with you all, keep up with all your wonderful posts, and work my part-time job.

I’ve discovered out that my passion is with the Instagram account I run now. It’s really where I’m discovering that I thrive (the word Chantel used to describe me and Instagram). I’m no longer happy blogging. Chantel and I never expected that our blog would expand as it did. We never thought that it would and that we would be here with it. Chantel never thought that I would take on the sole responsibility like I did when she came to the conclusion that blogging wasn’t a good fit anymore.

Simply put, this is a close to the blog. It will remain a testament to this, but this is the last post that I will be doing and interacting with. Perhaps this comes at a shock, but, simply put, it is impossible for me to work at this speed. Blogging is no longer where I thrive.

Please, please, please follow or friend me on Goodreads! My profile is here. I have a challenge question but if you’re a blogger, just put your username and I will add you back whether or not you answer that question. I’ll be reviewing on there and you can still keep up with me if you want to. I also would love it if you all gave the Instagram a follow because that’s where I’ll be posting pictures of books that I’m reading or contemplating reading, and you can find that here.

Thank you all for reading our posts and following us. I so, so appreciate all the love and thoughts and good feelings that you’ve given us. However, this is the end of this blog. Thank you all for the good times and I hope to see you on Goodreads or Instagram!

The Song Request Book Tag

Ages ago, Ally tagged me in this! This is a really unique tag, so I’m excited to see how this one goes. Especially since I don’t know the songs that Ally chose!


  • Thank and link back to tagger.
  • Credit to Daniel @ Page to Page
  • Listen to tagger’s song requests! After you’re done listening to the three songs the person who tagged you has chosen, choose a book that you think best goes along with that song and tell us why you chose it!
  • Request 3 songs of your own! Give any three songs (and your corresponding book choices that think go well with said song) you want for your taggers to listen and respond to!
  • Tag 5 people!

Ally’s songs!

1. California by Sons of the East

I don’t know why, but when I hear it, I think of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid! Maybe because of California and that just reminding me of Hollywood. But that’s my choice!

2. Truth Hurts by Lizzo

I don’t know why, but I’m going with The Wicked King by Holly Black. Truth fucking hurt for Cardan, for Jude, for everyone. It fits. I’m going with it. Just go with it and agree with me, okay?

3. Knockin’ Boots by Luke Bryan

Ally, how could you? The one song genre that I don’t like! (Okay, I have one exception, but this is not the song. Still, I listened and I’m going with How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake. It just gives me that summer-y vibes for whatever reason.

My choices!

I’ve been in a big top hits mood this summer, so a couple of my choices will be from that! But, I’m also going to pick that one country song that I like because I guess I have to.

1. Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

For me, this gives me major Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin vibes. I have a feeling that Lou would really appreciate Billie Eilish.

2. Sucker by The Jonas Brothers

Okay, I’m going with The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles for this one. The MC was such a sucker for the love interest and ugh. It fits. Trust me. Don’t trust me? Read the book and agree with me.

3. Up On the Ridge by Dierks Bentley

Totally gives me that Old Gods vibe with American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I can just picture them getting high up on that ridge, dancing and singing. It’s a great song for it.

I tag:

Virginia | Karen | Amanda | Sofii | Kaya

No pressure on any of you! I just found this tag super fun and unique!

Book review – Lust Killer by Ann Rule

Caidyn's review (1)

Lust Killer


CW: rape, murder, serial murder, and graphic descriptions of necrophilia and amputation of body parts

I feel like my list of content warnings really set the tone for this, didn’t it? But, really, Ann Rule does it again. This is the third book that I’ve read by her and, somehow, she manages to blow me away with each one.

This book covers a serial killer that I had never really heard of. At least, he wasn’t as high profile as Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer or John Wayne Gacy. His body count is relatively small and what he did isn’t as terrifying as the other men.

I first heard of Jerry Brudos when I watched Mindhunter. He’s the guy who’s in one episode who jerks off to the shoe they bring him. Remember now? That’s Jerry Brudos. In the show, he’s kind of treated like an idiot, like his crimes weren’t that bad when you compare them to Ed Kemper or Richard Speck.

But, Jerry Brudos killed four women. He started off attacking a couple of women as a teenager, taking pictures of them as something to get off on later. Brudos went to an asylum for a few years, then went out to start a family. By all means, he seemed relatively normal.

Yet, he killed four women and tried to abduct another. One of them, he cut off her foot. Another couple, he cut off their breasts and made molds of them. I did warn you in the content warnings that this might be discussed in here.

I really just can’t believe that I’ve never heard of him. He is a serial killer that I know I’m never going to get out of my mind after reading it because he followed the typical trajectory of serial killers. Yet, he operated before “serial killer” was a coined term. He was in jail by the time the interviews were started at the BSU (Behavioral Science Unit; now the BAU) at the FBI.

I think it’s just interesting how history has forgotten him. Despite killing four women and mutilating their bodies post-mortem, he has been eclipsed by later serial killers that operated after they started getting noticed more and we started seeing them everywhere as a society. When I was reading this, he sounds like every other serial killer I’ve heard of, except that he had a foot fetish and that fetish escalated to new heights, then his fantasies about women evolved over the years.

If you’re into this topic, I really do suggest this book. I don’t think that it’s aged too well in some areas — public opinion has changed about biological males wearing women’s clothing, after all; people in drag is pretty damn accepted and celebrated, and it’s not seen as sexual deviancy to the same extent that it was — but the book is damn good. It covers a case that people just don’t hear about anymore.

Talk to me!
Have you read this one?
Which serial killer do you wish was talked about more?

WWW Wednesday | 8/21

Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Copy of Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme originally hosted by A Daily Rhythm and revived by Taking on a World of Words.

All you have to do is answer the following questions.

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you finish recently reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading

American Psycho

Still reading this one! Really enjoying it, as usual. It’s a good one, although not for everyone.

We Speak in Storms

I received this one for a blog tour I’m doing in September. I’m trying to get through as much of it as possible before my school year starts up!

His Hideous Heart

I started this on Monday and I’m already blown away by it. It’s not going to take me long to read because there are only 13 stories and then the rest of the book consists of the actual Poe stories so you can read the retellings and the originals.

These Witches Don't Burn (These Witches Don't Burn, #1)

Finally getting to this one! I’m really excited to dive in and see what it’s all about. It looks like it’s totally going to be up my alley.

A Treason of Thorns

Another one that I’m excited to get to! I love that cover and the book sounds soooo interesting.

Just finished

Like usual, I’m not going to do pictures for this section! Too much work for me, tbh.

Another good one from Rule! This one will be posted in a few hours on here, so stay tuned!

I posted this one on Goodreads only, so the review for it is here. Probably the best book I’ve read about the wives, but it felt like old news to me.

I didn’t like this one as much as I wanted to. Which makes me sad. My review will be posted on here on the 24th!

Y’all, another sequel I didn’t like as much as I wanted to. I gave it 2/5 and my review is only on Goodreads, but here’s the link!

If y’all are going to read any true crime novel that’s by someone who solves crime, this is one to go to. It was amazing. My review will be up on the 23rd!

This was good, but not great. I wasn’t blown away. I gave it 3/5 and my review is here.

A reread for me! I really enjoyed it still and my review will be up on the 26th!

A good thriller. I think this is a great airport/travel book. I enjoyed it, but I wasn’t in love with it. My review is on Goodreads, so click here!

I didn’t like it and I’m very sad about that. Review will be posted on the 26th as well!

I liked this true crime book. It was very interesting and I loved how it focused on the detectives who solved this rather than Rader. My review is on Goodreads, so you can click here!

I reread this one and… I didn’t like it as much as I did. 2/5 and my review is here on Goodreads!

Next up

Admittedly, most of these are ARCs that I need to finish up in the next few weeks. Whoops.

The Grace Year

I’ve heard awesome things about this one, so I’m hopeful that I love it.


This is something that I’ve been thinking about doing. And when I saw this on Netgalley, I totally knew that I needed to get it.

The Tenth Girl

I’ve heard such good things about this. Looks like a great spooky one and ugh. Going to get to this one soon!

Following in the Footsteps of Henry Tudor: A Historical Journey from Pembroke to Bosworth

Hopefully this is one that I like!

Our Own Private Universe

I really like Robin Talley, so I’m hoping that this one’s a win for me!

Talk to me!
What books are you reading?
What are you excited to get into next?

Top Ten Tuesday – Favorite Tropes

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018!

Ah, tropes. We love them. We hate them. But, let’s face it, we all have ones that we can’t go without in our books, right? So, here are a few of my favorites.

  • Fake dating/marriage

Okay, but this needs to happen more?? Preferably, not in a contemporary setting. I far prefer it in fantasy — which was why I loved Serpent & Dove so damn much — but I still love it. It’s probably my favorite trope. I don’t know why, but I need more of it.

  • Enemies-to-lovers

This one is a trope that I love when it’s done well. I’ve read some books where they weren’t convincing enemies. Or, I’ve read some with the lovers not really convincing me either. But, when it’s done well, it’s so amazing. Like in The Wicked King. That blew me away and damn is it good.

  • Friends-to-lovers

Another one that I enjoy when done well! It doesn’t necessarily have the same issues that enemies-to-lovers has, but I really have to be convinced that they’re friends first.

  • Sassy sidekick

Gotta love the sassy sidekick. Granted, I love anyone who’s sassy, but if you don’t have a sassy sidekick, what are you doing with your life? I mean that seriously, too. Try to think of a fantasy book that doesn’t have one. I’ll wait.

  • Antiheroes

Antiheroes are, like, the best. I love those morally grey characters. Whenever I think of this trope, I always bring Jorg to mind. If you haven’t met him, he’s the MC in Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence. Boy is he shitty.

  • Likable villain

I feel like this goes with antiheroes, but I mean this as a villain that you don’t want to like, but you do like. Maybe they’re funny. Maybe they’re quirky. Either way, they are solidly the villain in the story but you still kinda like them.

  • “Villain” who goes through a big change and switches over

I call Wicked Saints to mind with this one. The person that the “good” MC hates and sees as the villain has a change of heart and realizes that what they believe is wrong and joins them. Gotta love that trope. Even if it is wordy.

  • All-knowing narrator

I always think of The Book Thief for this one. I love a narrator who has their own mind and who does their own thing, but knows everything and is telling you about it all. It’s a great trope, although, like some of the others, it can get really annoying when it’s not done well.

  • Magic school

I can’t not have this on my list. Harry Potter would be left out. But, also, I read Magic for Liars and that had it in there as well, with a unique twist that more reminded me of The Magicians with how dark it was.

  • Character with a *~dark~* past

Last but not least. That one character who has a super dark past that they don’t want to talk about. Bonus points if they keep reminding the reader they have a dark past by dropping hints. This one, I love and I hate. Like, it’s annoying when I hate the characters because I want to throttle them and scream at them to spit it out. But when I like the characters, I want to coddle them.

Talk to me!
Do we share any favorite tropes?
What are yours?

NEWTs Update!

Hello all!

Despite joining in on this, I totally forgot that I’ll have to do updates to show everyone that I’m following through. Whoops.

Image result for oops gif

But, never fear! I am here to do just that today.

So, where am I in all of this?

History of Magic

Right now, I have an O in it. However, I had no idea how to read them so, technically, I haven’t read my A book, which is Gideon the Ninth. Going to do it soon! But, I have read Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson (E) and The Great Gatsby (O). Both were wins for me!

Defense Against the Dark Arts

This is another case where I didn’t know how to do it, so I have an E, although I DNFed Kingdom of Souls. I have less than 100 pages in Doctor Sleep (A) so I’m really making great progress.


I got my needed A in it by reading I Was Born for This! Pretty easy challenge since I only had to read one book.


Same story as Transfiguration! I read How to Make a Wish to get my A score. I really enjoyed it so I’ll be reading another book by the same author sometime soon!

Basically, that’s it. I don’t have much to say about them. I’ve really enjoyed this one and I’ll be doing the OWL challenge whenever that is next year. I need to do more readathons because they’re so up my alley.

Talk to me!
Are you joining in on this one?
How’s your reading going?

Book review – American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century by Maureen Callahan

Caidyn's review (1)

American Predator: The Hunt for the Most Meticulous Serial Killer of the 21st Century


CW: murder/serial murder, psychopathy, kidnapping, rape, suicide, and dismemberment

I read this book in less than 12 hours. Started it while I was waiting on a friend to show up for brunch, kept reading it once I got home, and then just didn’t stop. It’s one of those insane stories that you forget about and then, when you’re reminded with all the details, you can’t help but wonder how you forgot it.

I’ve definitely been exposed to this case through true crime podcasts before this book came out. When I read the description, I only had to read that it was about a kidnapping of a girl from a coffee kiosk in Alaska and that was it. I knew exactly what story this was and what the content would be.

But I entirely forgot the case.

It was like reading it all over again because the story starts at the beginning. Israel Keyes kidnaps Samantha Koenig. Everyone thinks that she’s being held captive for a ransom since that’s how he made it look. Finally, he’s caught and apprehended. Except, it turns out that there are more victims. He operated entirely underground and no one knew that there was even a serial killer. He had kill kits. He studied books written by FBI agents who worked on apprehending serial killers.

The first two parts of this book is about Samantha’s kidnapping. They find out that Israel Keyes is more than what he says he is, along with finding Samantha’s body. (Which was horrific and sad to read.) The second half of the book, or the last two parts, is the detectives and agents working on this case seeing that there was more to the story. We learn about Keyes’ upbringing — completely off the grid and very religious, along with him showing what are considered hallmarks of psychopathy — and his other crimes.

The crazy thing about this case is that literally no one knew that it was going on. People went missing and there was nothing about it. Keyes stated that he operated for around fourteen years. In that time, we have no clue how many he killed. He said he never killed kids, but was that always how it was or did that just start after having a kid? The crazy thing is that he was so meticulous and studied the craft so much that we really don’t know how many victims he had.

And we’ll never know because he took his life.

This book was honestly amazing. I’m still sitting here in shock about this case while I’m writing this up. And we’ll never know more. I would be really surprised if agents were ever able to figure out how many he killed. There are three confirmed kills that he spoke about before his suicide, but there could be so many more across America.

If you like true crime, I highly recommend this book. It’s absolutely chilling to read and it made me realize just how little I actually knew about this case.

Talk to me!
What true crime do you love?
Are you familiar with this case?

Book review – Sea Witch Rising by Sarah Henning

Caidyn's review (1)

Sea Witch Rising (Sea Witch, #2)


CW: loss, grief, loss of a loved one, and war

  1. Sea Witch – 4/5

As this is a sequel and directly picks up where the first book ends, there will be spoilers for the first book in this review! I don’t really want to dance around what happened and try not to give big spoilers away for this. Got it? Good. Sorry y’all who haven’t read this fantastic series, but maybe it’ll give you a jump on reading it?

So, as I said, this picks up immediately after the last book. Hell, the prologue in this is the very last chapter of the first book. Here’s a quick summary of the ending for those who need it. Evie saves Nik’s life with magic at the sacrifice of her own. She’s dying in the sea, but, with some magical help, she takes the life of an octopus, becoming the Sea Witch as we know her. Decades have passed. The mermaids are frightened of her. But, one mermaid comes looking to be turned into a human so she can win the love of a boy, Nik’s grandson (also named Nik; these damn royals, right?). And, Evie does that for her, stealing her voice and giving her days to win his love without it.

That’s where the story ends.

The mermaid’s name is Alia and she’s one of the king’s daughters. Except, she has a twin, Runa, who knows that she can’t do this and doesn’t want her sister to die. She makes her own deal with Evie to go up to the top and to help her sister in any way necessary.

The heart of this story, like the last, is sisterly love and the bond between siblings. It was beautiful to read that. I’m really loving all of these books that are coming out with that as its big focus and a huge theme that it deals with. The relationship Runa and Alia have in the book was so believable. They love each other to pieces and would do anything for the other, but they also hate each other at times.

Also, this book is about Evie. Runa is one perspective — and the one that dominates the book — but Evie also gets a say. Sarah said that this book (because I was lucky enough to see her speak on the night this released) is about those who are left behind. Runa was left behind by Alia. Evie was left behind by everyone because everyone she loves has now died. And it’s about the two of them, in their own way, coming into themselves.

It’s also about finding people. In the human world, Runa finds people that are like her. And they band together to try to make things right after the plan goes horribly wrong. It doesn’t help that it’s the dawn of World War One and everything’s about to get fucked anyways.

And WWI is a big part of this story. It’s something motivating the merpeople and, definitely, Runa’s father. It took me a while to realize that her father was the same one. That means that Runa has the same father that Anna did after her adoption by the merpeople. The timeline really messed with me in this story. It took me a while to actually get down the relationships and that people were basically the same from the first book. Kind of confused me for a while until I got it down.

Another thing that didn’t work for me is the characterization of Runa’s father. It just didn’t sit right with me for some reason. It felt unbelievable. And I never quite got the reason why he had become like this. It never felt adequately explained to me. As the book went on, it became more central to the plot. And I still never got it. It confuses me still. I’m pretty sure I’d catch it whenever I reread it, but that was one major part of the story that didn’t work for me.

I’m also glad to report that, unlike the first book, romance isn’t very central to the story. It’s there, of course, but this book has a lot more action than the first one. I liked that it had more action. The story went faster and my eyes didn’t glaze over like they do with romance.

The ending was a really good one. During Sarah’s talk, she kept saying that there’s no other book in the works, but that this one is being called a Sea Witch novel so that means there’s always a chance that more will come out. Personally, that makes me excited. The ending closed off the plot for this book, but left it open enough for more to come in the future. It’d be interesting to see something set in more contemporary times.

Overall, another great book by Sarah Henning! I highly recommend you check her out because she has amazing books and equally amazing projects that are in the works.

Talk to me!
What mermaid books do you love?
Do you have plans to read this one?

Book review – Jade War by Fonda Lee

Caidyn's review (1)

Jade War (The Green Bone Saga, #2)


CW: violence, desecrating a body, clan wars (still), mention of rape, abortion, and death

  1. Jade City – 4.5/5

I’m going be straight up with y’all. I don’t know what the fuck I want to say about this book. All I know is that it was amazing and I just cannot wait for the third book. Which, when I went to get the cover for this book, I saw that the book already has a title and cover and description and I started screaming and crying.

That’s how much I love this series.

But, I need to get back on track because I have a warning for y’all. This will contain spoilers for the first book. I can’t hold myself back because so much has happened and ugh. It needs to be told and I can’t censor myself. Stay away if you want to be unspoiled!

This book picks up months after the end of Jade City. Hilo is the Pillar of No Peak after Lan was killed. Anden recovered from his fight and, after deciding not to become a Green Bone, ends up in Espenia to see how he could be of use there getting an education and being around the Kekonese in Espenia. Shae is still the Weather Man. Wen, Hilo’s wife, is expecting their first child together. Hilo’s grandfather, the former Pillar, has passed away as well. Oh, and there’s also a foreign war on top of the clan war No Peak is still having with the Mountain clan.

Basically, shit has gone down and it’s going down fast.

As with the first book, I was built up and destroyed so rapidly. The plot is a bit slower because of the expansion. After all, it’s not just things going on in Kekon now. It’s also Kekon, No Peak working with the Espenian government, Anden being in Espenia and the people he meets there, the political maneuvering of all characters, and even more. The book has expanded so much and it’s all-encompassing.

At times, I thought that Lee might have bitten off more than she could chew. Mainly with the foreign war that was now going on. I hope that expands more in the third book but I felt like it was very much a background thing in this. I wanted to know more about it and the relationship that Kekon had with them.

But, the characters. Nothing is sacred in Lee’s book. Nothing. I remember that distinctly from reading the first book. No one is safe in this damn thing and I had to brace myself. Wen is, definitely, my favorite character. Shae is a close second. Lee writes amazing female characters. They’re so complex and live in this very male-dominated world. Wen finds ways to manipulate Hilo into doing things that he might not have agreed to before. When that doesn’t work, she and Shae work together behind his back to get shit done that Hilo might not approve of. They are wonderful and ugh. I love it.

I also enjoyed seeing how Hilo is coping with all that’s going on. He was never supposed to be the Pillar. That was Lan and his descendants. But now he’s thrust into this position he was never trained for. I’m enjoying seeing how he retains his old personality and works with the new one that he has to develop to do his job as Pillar. Although, he’s still hella impulsive and I distinctly remember one scene where I was staring, open-mouthed, at the book because I did not expect his actions. I’m still waiting to see the consequences of those actions.

Anden also got a lot of development in this. He’s away from the people he grew up around and in a country he’s never been to. He has to learn this new world, along with reconcile his old identity with his new one. Oh, and he finally really gets to live his life how he wants. Kekon isn’t well-known for being accepting of gay people — it’s still very cishet and male-dominated — so he gets to be in Espenia where it’s not a huge deal. He gets to finally be gay in a more open way. That was lovely to see.

This book is so intense and it spans years. I’m not joking when I say that. The first book felt more contained and in a shorter time span, but this one really is longer. I kind of judged it by Wen having kids. She’s pregnant with her first, then they have a second. The second is starting to walk when the book ends. I mean, that’s years. And it didn’t really feel like it. It just shows how long this game is going to go. Who knows how long the Saga will be at this rate!

What I do know is that I’m going to read the next one as soon as it comes out. And, I’m going to be impatiently waiting for it because I need this stat. Like immediately.

Talk to me!
Have you read this? What did you think?
What series is killing you with the wait?

First Lines Friday | 8/16

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!

June 18, 1937
Budapest, Kingdom of Hungary

Jean-Bernard and I left Munich early this morning to sunshine and outstanding views of the mountains. Was so full of fine drink and finer oysters at lunch that I slept through Vienna stop. Orient Express never fails to impress.

I will say, that that isn’t the most thrilling start to a book. That kind of minute detail and talk about things that don’t quite matter.

But it did catch my attention.

Personally, I love historical fiction (which this is what it is) and it has such a feel of it being historical fiction. Like, when I read that I immediately started thinking about Dracula (hint hint for this one that involves that story). And it brought me back to reading that.

This is also a YA book that’s going to be released in September and was compared to one of my autobuy authors who writes stuff that sounds like this one.

It is…


The Lady Rogue

Yes! This story involves vampires and Dracula and is historical fiction. And it’s being said that it’s like Mackenzi Lee’s Montague Siblings series. Like, yes! I’m so glad I requested it from Netgalley and I can’t wait to dive into this soon.

Talk to me!
Would you read this based on the first lines?