April Mid-month Check In: 20 Books Read(!)

Hello Everyone,

As I’ve begun increasing my read tbr by the month I decided I needed to get to do mid month wrap ups. I’m trying hard to keep up my reading pace, but also not forcing myself into a slump by not wanting to read. Thanks to the holiday weekend, I’ve managed to read a bit more than usual and I’m surprisingly keeping the slump back by reading small things here and there. I’ve managed 20 books! And it’s only mid April! I’ve read a lot of really good books this month. A handful I want to buy they were that good! Let’s dive in shall we?

Look at me, reading huge 900+ page books! I’m going to hopefully manage to get another big batch of books before the end of the month. I couldn’t get images for every book I read, unfortunately. But I did get the biggest ones.

My favorite books of the month? You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood, These Silent Woods, and Traitors Blade.

My least favorite books? The Best of All Possible Worlds, Hunting Game, and The Circus Infinite.

Biggest Book Read? Shadowmarch by Tad Williams 900 pages

Smallest Book Read: You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

New Release Review: You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood

Hello Everyone,

Book Title: You’ve Lost a Lot of Blood

Author: Eric Larocca

Series: Standalone

Genre: Adult Fiction, Horror

Publisher: Author

Page Count: 300

Trigger warnings: violence, torture, abandonment, cancer, child death, parent death, other(?)

Please note: The only horror authors I’m familiar with are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, and Paul Tremblay. Horror is a new genre to me and I’m already finding that I like being scared but I don’t like gore for the sake of gore. I’m attempting to list triggers as I can. If I missed something vital please let me know in the comments!

Goodreads Summary:

A disturbing new vision of terror from the author of Things Have Gotten Worse Since We Last Spoke.

“Each precious thing I show you in this book is a holy relic from the night we both perished-the night when I combed you from my hair and watered the moon with your blood.

You’ve lost a lot of blood . . .”

My Thoughts:

I honestly don’t know what to think about what I just read!

My Review:

I first encountered Eric Larocca about a year ago when I read Things Have Gotten Worse Since Last We Spoke and thought that the title and cover art was absolutely hysterical (if morbid) and picked up the slim volume not realizing what I was reading. I read it in a single sitting and I’m still thinking about that brilliant, disturbing book to this day. I never read anything like that before. Even King didn’t make me shiver like that.

What’s this about? Well I don’t want to give anything away. I went into this blind but I will say that this was another book that creeped me out! It’s short but packs a punch straight to the gut! I’m devouring everything by the author that I can get my hands on. Highly recommend!

My Rating:

⭐ ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: The Circus Infinite

Hello Everyone,

Another book I picked because of the cover. I have no shame. 😆

Book Title: The Circus Infinite

Author: Khan Wong

Series: Standalone (?)

Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure

Publisher: Angry Robot

Page Count: 400

Trigger warnings: scenes of violence, drug use, torture

Goodreads Summary:

Hunted by those who want to study his gravity powers, Jes makes his way to the best place for a mixed-species fugitive to blend in: the pleasure moon. Here, everyone just wants to be lost in the party. It doesn’t take long for him to catch the attention of the crime boss who owns the resort-casino where he lands a circus job. When the boss gets wind of the bounty on Jes’ head, he makes an offer: do anything and everything asked of him, or face vivisection.

With no other options, Jes fulfills the requests: espionage, torture, demolition. But when the boss sets the circus up to take the fall for his about-to-get-busted narcotics operation, Jes and his friends decide to bring the mobster down together. And if Jes can also avoid going back to being the prize subject of a scientist who can’t wait to dissect him? Even better.

My Thoughts:

I tried reading this three times. I managed to finish it. I’ve got mixed feelings about this book.

My Review:

Wow. This book is heavy. I had a hard time reading this. It took three tries like I said above. I have no clue how to write this review. On the one hand, awesome ideas. An ace main character that controls gravity and reads people’s minds? So cool!

But there’s also the negatives. This book is dark. And heavy. Please pay attention to triggers when diving into this book!

Let’s start with the world building. This was so cool. Loads of interesting things were in this book. The circus was only a part of it. The planets, the people, and the characters were all fascinating! The whole idea of the book was supremely intriguing and I so wanted to like it.

But there were scenes in this that just felt like it was trying to hard, and seriously stretching believability. I’m aware this is science fiction/fantasy, yet I struggled to connect with a lot of the characters. I didn’t really get the plot, and I just have no clue how to review this book.

Maybe I might need to read the again but I’m giving this a 2.5 stars rounded up to a generous three. It had great elements! It had a lot of promising features! But it just wasn’t to my taste.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: Dance of Twilight and Tears

Hello Everyone,

I’ll admit it. I was sold by this cover and learning that this was a Swan Lake retelling!

Book Title: Dance of Twilight and Tears

Author: Zara Mills

Series: I *think* it’s a Standalone? But I’ve been wrong before lol

Genre: YA

Publisher: FinnStar Publishing

Page Count: n/a

Goodreads Summary:

Algae and toe shoes, feathers and tutus

Behind the gilded doors of the Paris Opéra Ballet, two best friends, Madeleine and Lucie, dance the night away. But at first morning light, their human bodies transform into webbed feet, billed lips, and wings.

When enchanted, the girls are the Bois de Boulogne’s famous black and white swans. For ninety years, they have floated in the lake, unable to find true love and break the evil Dance Master’s curse. But when Madeleine meets American transplant Zig Young, everything changes.

Suddenly, Madeleine wins a coveted solo spot in an upcoming ballet, and her growing relationship with Zig means she’s on the verge of breaking the enchantment. However, doing so means leaving the Bois, the ballet, and Lucie forever—something she’s not sure she can bear.

Desperate to not lose her best friend, Lucie will do anything to keep Madeleine with her—including betrayal. She’ll stop at nothing—even if it means breaking Madeleine’s heart and dooming her to life as a swan forever; even if she ruins her own chance at happiness.

In this retelling of Swan Lake, the lines of good and bad blur as Madeleine and Lucie struggle to choose between the life they want and their friendship.

My Thoughts:

Okay, admittedly I don’t know much about Swan Lake. So I have no idea if this is a good retelling or not lol. You guys will have to tell me if it is or not!

My Review:

This was a fascinating book, in that I love books about dancing and mysterious elements, and yet I feel as though maybe I just wasn’t the right age for this book. It was weird. Good weird but weird. I loved the opening chapters, the dark atmospheric setting and the curse upon the girls that turn into swans. I don’t feel as though that’s spoilers, so apologies if it is. It’s literally right in the opening couple of chapters.

I haven’t read much dancing books. I think that the first book that had dance in it was Twilight lol. Remember Bella with the ballet studio in book one? For those that know, you know exactly what I am talking about. I think that was my first exposure to dance in fiction. I’ve since read a decent amount of books that will have dancing mentioned. I’ve watched both first films of Step Up (I think that was the title!) And I adore ballet but after watching a documentary about the hospital bills and how painful ballet really is? No thanks, definitely not for me!

That said, I am not an expert on dancing. I don’t dance, my balance is crap. So reading books about it is the best way to go. This was a good book. Descriptive but not over the top. Fun, but not a challenging read. But it is YA so maybe I shouldn’t have thought otherwise oopsie.

What’s this story about? It’s about a curse. It’s about romance. About dancing, and healing and figuring out what one wants. It’s a fast paced read; I easily managed to finish this in a few hours. I’m trying to be vague about this as I don’t want to spoil anyone! And as I don’t know much about Swan Lake, all I can say is that this was quite good and definitely worth reading! If you like curses, dancing, and darkly atmospheric books, then do check this one out!

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Netgalley Review: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

Hello Everyone,

Book Title: A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice

Author: Rebecca Connolly

Series: Standalone

Publisher: Shadow Mountain Publishing

Page Count: 320

Date Published: April 5th, 2022

Goodreads Summary:

Based on the remarkable true story of the Carpathia—the one ship and her legendary captain who answered the distress call of the sinking Titanic.

Shortly after midnight on April 15, 1912, the captain of the Carpathia, Arthur Rostron, wakes to a distress signal from the Titanic, which has struck an iceberg on its maiden voyage. Though information is scarce, Rostron leaps into action, determined to answer the call for help. But the Carpathia is more than four hours away, and there are more questions than answers: Will his ship hold together if pushed to never-before-tested speeds? What if he also strikes an iceberg? And with the freezing temperatures, will there be any survivors by the time the Carpathia arrives?

Kate Connolly is a third-class passenger on Titanic, and she is among the last to receive instruction and help after it hits an iceberg. Despite the chaos of abandoning ship, Kate is able to board a lifeboat, though after seeing the Titanic sink into the abyss and hearing the cries from hundreds of people still in the water, she wonders if any rescue is even possible.

Told in alternating chapters from both Captain Rostron and Kate Connolly.

My Thoughts:

This was quite good, but with heavy religious overtones that rather began to annoy. The first half of the book I was hooked, but by the time the characters are rescued and being taken to New York, there’s a lot of prayer and singing.

My Review:

Everyone knows the story of the Titanic, and those who don’t ought to learn one of the most important events in history. The Titanic taught us that all ships can be sinkable. (And to always double our lifeboats just in case.) That we can plan for every structure to be huge and impossible but the slightest item can damage it in the blink of an eye. The story of the Titanic is one of my favorites in history. I can’t put my finger on why, exactly. Maybe it’s because of the heroism of those reaching the poor people that barely survived the sinking of the Titanic. Maybe it’s because I adore ocean stories and survival stories. Maybe because it was such big news back in the day that it still haunts us all even now. Whatever the case, I read every Titanic book I can get my hands on, along with other sunken ships.

This story is historically accurate in terms of events, down to the timing being listed on every chapter. I appreciated the story for it’s accuracy and I did like the characters that I read. I flipped through the book rapidly and had to sit and think about how this review was going to go. Because while the first half was absolutely brilliant, the second half was nothing but paragraph after paragraph of prayer, hymns, and “thank god we’re alive!”. Of which, yes I’m aware that they likely did all that. But I was hoping for more backstory about the ship that rescued the survivors of the Titanic, not half a book of prayer.

The first half of the book was amazing; strong characters, I felt as though I was right there with them, vivid details, lots of rushing about to safety. The author did a fabulous job in recreating history, she’s a great writer. I was seeing a five star book on the horizon.

Then the characters were rescued by the Captain of the Carpathia. They were pulled up to safety, to warmth, to life again. And that’s where the story swapped from harrowing historical events to prayer. Praying almost every page. Hymns being sung. I flipped through the rest, and that was it. Nothing else but grateful for being alive.

Don’t get me wrong. I understand that back then religion was rampant. As it is today. However I was really hoping for more information about the Carpathia. So I’m rating this four stars-reluctantly. After all. I did enjoy it. It just wasn’t what I thought it would be.

My Rating:

⭐⭐⭐⭐

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

April 2022 TBR: Allllllll the boooooooooooooks!!!!

Hello Everyone,

I’m in a reading mood! Finally I’ve been seriously crushing my tbr! So I thought I would have a massive tbr (as always 😆) and share with you just what all I want to read. I’ve embraced that I’m a heavy mood reader so really anything may be chosen for April. Here’s some of what I have to read:

These are all my library books; a couple are not library books but ones that I own!

My TBR Cart:

Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman

The Heartbreak Bakery by AR Capetta

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

Light From Uncommon Stars by Ryka Aoki

The Bone Orchard by Sara A. Mueller

Spectacle by Jodie Lynn Zdrok

When We Were Birds by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo

I Must Betray You by Ruta Septys

The Starless Crown by James Rollins

The Red Palace by Jane Hur

A Thousand Steps Into Night by Traci Chee

The Family Chao by Lan Samantha Chang

History of Wild Places by Shea Ernshaw

The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

As if that’s not enough, though some I can just fly right through, I’ve also got these!:

I adore historical romance, can you tell?

I’m not going to list titles for all the historical romances there, but some authors are my favorites including Kerrigan Bryne, Kinley McGregor, and Sabrina Jeffries. Others I haven’t yet read from but recognize their names. I’m eager to get to at least some of these! (And if you want to recommend me some of your favorites, just let me know in the comments who think I should read next!)

Of course I’m not done yet! Did you really think that was it? Lol, not quite!:

Look at all the fantasy!

So many of these I’ve put off for ages! I’m hoping to finally get to these as I’m in a reading mood at last! I really want to read more hefty fantasies this year, and April seems the perfect month for it!

And finally, I learned how to make a collection on my kindle! I made a collection of my tbr of all the books that I haven’t read. And um. Guys. 380 books. 😬:

Clearly I’m not going to show every book in my kindle. That just takes up too much space, but I’ll list a few of my top priorities:

The Dragon Republic by RF Kuang

Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson (possible re-read)

First Riders Call by Kristen Britain

His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novak

I hope to get some serious reading done this month. In between all the things that I’m doing for my family, I’m sure that I’ll be able to squeeze some books in! How’s your April tbr going? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

March 2022 Wrap Up: I Failed to Read 50 Books (But I Read 25!)

Hello Everyone,

March sucked. My mother got a broken arm, and I am basically the only person who isn’t seriously injured and able to do things and that seriously cut down on my reading time towards the last end of the month. Amazing what happens when I’m the only one at home not with a serious injury and I gotta suddenly take care of a lot of responsibilities. I don’t mind doing so, of course. It’s family, but wow did March suck. Glad April is here (and no, none of that was an April Fool’s joke. I’m trying to ignore April Fool’s there’s enough drama going on here lol.)

While I failed my goal of 50 books I decided to push that to April instead, as the last half of March really left me with little reading time. However I still have managed a good chunk of what I wanted to read-my library holds being in transit still. Here’s what I read in March!

I couldn’t find pictures for all the books that I’ve read. I think almost every author was a woman author, at least ten books were translated, and a couple are lgbt. Not bad at all. I’m hoping to get more organized and more reading done next month but I’m not sure that’s going to happen.

How was your reading month? Good, bad? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Procrastination & Social Media Our Number One Enemies: AKA How A Book Blogger “Plans”

Hello Everyone,

  • Netgalley Review “A Brilliant Night of Stars and Ice to be Posted in April
  • Read Where The Drowned Girls Go
  • Review Above
  • Check Goodreads
  • Instagram for Inspiration for next reading choice
  • Twitter
  • YouTube (for watching content, not creating it for me)
  • Google ideas for book blog Content
  • Read another Netgalley arc
  • Repeat process

I’m trying to get more organized, scheduling posts and reviews, but it’s a lot of work and more planning than I thought it would be. I’ve been steadily making progress for my blog to grow and be better and better. Researching blogs and getting ideas are taking up a chunk of time that I could be reading. But then there’s also the reading slump I’m actively struggling to avoid too.

I’m trying to find a system that works but so far it’s note taking, browsing, researching, and watching others creating content that works. It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of fun at the same time. I’ve been discovering new places to read book blogs such as lithub and Crime Reads and a lot of other places that have such cool content ideas and blogs posted. But they have more than one person working with them (usually) and they also usually have way more experience too. I’ve been blogging six years and only a couple years ago I’ve been taking it seriously. It’s a struggle.

For those that blog, tips and tricks in the comments below would be super helpful! How do you get your followers? I still haven’t breached 1k. I’m trying to figure out how to reach that goal, and so far, nada. I’d love advice to finding more ideas and your favorite blogs. I’d like to hear about your process in running a blog.

Thanks for sticking around this long to listen to me chat about blogging struggles. I’m appreciative of all those that come and read what I have to say.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

Well Crap. I think I have Burnout. (A Discussion)

Hello Everyone,

I have a lot of friends that have been burned out on blogging, reading and social media. It’s an ongoing fight. Right now I’m trying hard to get past the burnout phase and back into my reading mojo phase. It’s a challenge in coming up with new content for my blog, Instagram, and I’m terrified to even look at my Netgalley!

Burnout happens. I’m not sure why, but maybe it’s the stress. The boredom. The repetition of doing the same sh*t different day. All in the hopes of making money, gaining popularity, and making a name for yourself. I’m still not at a thousand followers. I’m barely, barely past 600. Instagram I have 135. Twitter? Just past 300. I’m a small fish struggling to keep up with the school of popularity around me.

So what to do?

Ignoring what it says on Google (exercise being top of the list as usual because obviously that’s what’s wrong with us and let’s not forget eating healthy and being social-ha! In this day and age? Please. No thank. I’m trying to avoid Covid.) The first things I’m going to suggest are very different from that of Google.

1. Take a step back and breathe. Calm down. It’s not a competition. Yes, I know it feels like you have to be the best but you also need to be yourself and yourself needs to take a deep breath and relax.

2. Rethink. Recall why your doing what you’re doing. Give yourself a week to get a clear head, then dive back into your passion/hobby. Focus. Relax. Calm. You got this.

3. Block Twitter. It’s dragging you down. Making your mental health stress you the f out. Seriously. Put down Twitter and step away from YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. You don’t need all that negativity-or positivity!- in your life. Seeing how amazingly well people are doing or the awful news in the world, is not good for you.

3a) I understand that there are blog tours and the like so use Twitter sparingly for your bookish related items.

4. Make a list of ideas for your blog. It doesn’t have to be anything flawless, but just a start of a vague sense of accomplishment may help you feel better about all this.

5. Don’t force it. If you need a break because of burnout, you’re allowed a break. A week, a month, whatever. Go do other things for a while and you can come back to this later. It’s not the end of the world if you skip posting something on a frequent basis.

6. Do fun things. Play games. De-stress, and focus on finding something to do that’s not gonna cause more stress. Watch your favorite films. Do something away from social media for a while.

That’s all I have for now on burnouts. If you have more tips and ideas, I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

A Guide To #OwnVoices: What Is It, What Books Go With It, and Why It’s Important

Hello Everyone,

Recently, I have noticed that no one ever did a blog post explaining what exactly #OwnVoices was. (If I’m wrong, please correct me in the comments and I will fix this!) came across the term about a year or two ago and researched it myself. I got a vague understanding of it. Yet though it’s increased in popularity there seems to be an alarming amount of publishers, bookstore owners, and random people that have no idea what #OwnVoices is, exactly. Let me explain.

#OwnVoices IS NOT BIOGRAPHIES!!!

)As stated on Google) #OwnVoices is a term that was coined by YA author, Corinne Duyvis. The term refers to books about characters from underrepresented/marginalized groups in which the author shares the same identity. The writing is inspired by the author’s own experiences and written from their own perspective.

The author Corrine Duyvis wrote one of my all time favorite YA sci-fi novels On the Edge of Gone back in 2016.

One of my top favorite covers. Just look how beautiful it is!

Her book was an #OwnVoices story, wherein both the Main Character and the Author is autistic. That is #OwnVoices, in the character being described by someone who HAS THE SAME THING!

Say I’m Bi. (Of which, I am, hello fellow bi people! 👋) I write a book and it has a bi main character. That is therefore, #OwnVoices. Simple, easy, and good.

But why is #OwnVoices important you ask? Because we need diversity! We need to have stories with positive representation! We need good stories that accurately show how lgbt lives are, or certain issues are in being important! It should be a more frequent content seen in books, but in a positive way.

What are some other books that have #OwnVoices?

I’m glad you asked! I have a handful of books here that each one have #OwnVoices in some form or another!

Why Are #OwnVoices books becoming more popular?

Well, because we like seeing positive representation of ourselves. It’s nice seeing another character that’s bi and not straight. Nothing wrong with straight people but we like seeing more and more acceptance for lgbt. Along with a lot of other amazing things that are being showcased more and more frequently too.

Has Corrine Duyvis written other books?

Yes she has. She has at least two other novels out (that I know of) and a few short stories. I love most all of her writing and I support her each chance I get. There hasn’t been anything super new that I’m aware of but again I hope I’m wrong on that.

If you have further questions or want to chat, feel free to comment below and I’m also on Twitter as Lovesteaandbook.

Until next time,

-Pass Me That Book

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