Friday, July 20, 2018

#ARCAugust 2018 Reading Challenge Sign-Up and TBR
As book bloggers, we have a lot of ARCs to get to so Rose Red and Gretl just signed up for this year's #ARCAugust Reading Challenge! Basically, the whole point of the challenge is to read as many ARCs as you can during the month of August. That's it. Pretty simple, right?

The lovely ladies of Read. Sleep. Repeat., the challenge's hosts, have some fun things planned for this year! There's going to be a Bookish Bingo card and two 48 hour read-a-thons in lieu of the Twitter sprints they've had in years past. This year's challenge sounds like it's going to be a whole lot of fun to participate in! You can find the original sign-up post here.

And now for some of the ARCs we’d like to knock out next month. You can click on each cover to head to each book's Goodreads page for more information!

Rose Red


Are you planning to participate in #ARCAugust? If so, what are you reading?


Thursday, July 19, 2018

Review: Kill the Farm Boy by Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson

Kill the Farm Boy
(Tales of Pell #1)
Kevin Hearne and Delilah S. Dawson
Release: July 17, 2018
Goodreads Amazon
Once upon a time, in a faraway kingdom, a hero, the Chosen One, was born . . . and so begins every fairy tale ever told.

This is not that fairy tale.

There is a Chosen One, but he is unlike any One who has ever been Chosened.

And there is a faraway kingdom, but you have never been to a magical world quite like the land of Pell.

There, a plucky farm boy will find more than he's bargained for on his quest to awaken the sleeping princess in her cursed tower. First there's the Dark Lord who wishes for the boy's untimely death . . . and also very fine cheese. Then there's a bard without a song in her heart but with a very adorable and fuzzy tail, an assassin who fears not the night but is terrified of chickens, and a mighty fighter more frightened of her sword than of her chain-mail bikini. This journey will lead to sinister umlauts, a trash-talking goat, the Dread Necromancer Steve, and a strange and wondrous journey to the most peculiar "happily ever after" that ever once-upon-a-timed.

You know that feeling when you finish a book and you know that if you had read it while in a different mood that you would have liked it more than you did? That was me with Kill the Farm Boy. I think if I had waited a read this when I was in the mood for Monty Python-esque humor I would have liked it a whole lot more. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy it but I found it only okay in my current mood. Although, I really love the cover! The art department seriously deserves a round of applause for how stunning it is.

Let's talk about what I liked. It's fun. It takes a lot of the fantasy tropes and stereotypes for certain characters and turns them on their head. I loved that part of the book! It starts off with a drunken pixie anointing a Chosen One, Worstley, and making his goat talk (Gustave reads very much as a goat version of Donkey from Shrek). The characters were great! I especially loved the Dark Lord Toby, who is really fond of cheese, and Poltro, the assassin who is afraid of chickens. There's a lot to like about a book full of murder, love, and unexpected transformations.

On the flip side, I didn't find it as funny as it was marketed to be. I want to say that the authors were trying too hard to be funny but since humor is subjective we'll just say that this book just wasn't my kind of humor. It was overly filled with puns and tended to rely on crude humor and lots of poop jokes which have only ever been funny to me in considerably smaller amounts. That being said, I can see that lots of people will love it for the very reasons I didn't. It's very much like how I don't find the Deadpool movies funny but loads of people do.

I had a lot of high expectations going in because I love Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles and Delilah S. Dawson's Blud series. And I found traces of what I loved about both of those series in this book. In my opinion, if you're thinking of picking this one up, you should flip through the first few pages to see if this will be your kind of thing or not.

I might pick up the next book just to see what happens but as of right now I'm not too excited about it.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  3 / 5 Stars

Recommended for fans of: Monty Python, Mel Brooks, and The Princess Bride.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

What I've Recently Added to My TBR #1

One of my favorite types of blog posts/booktube videos/Bookstagram posts are book hauls. I love seeing the books my friends and fellow book lovers are buying. And let's be honest, I love finding new books to buy and add to my personal library. I know that I frequently talk about my physical TBR pile and how I want to make it smaller but I really haven't specifically talked about the books I add to it outside of the book haul pics we put in our monthly wrap-up posts. 

I've wanted to figure out how to do a book haul that's not a book haul post and I've finally decided how to do it! What I've Recently Added to My TBR is going to be a new type of list post that I'll be doing periodically on the blog where I'll list the last ten books I've physically bought and added to my TBR pile. Sounds fun, right? I'm really excited to be sharing this list with you all because I adore talking about books and what I've recently bought. So let's talk about the books I've recently added to my collection!

Balefire by Jordan L. Hawk
The Whyborne & Griffin series became an autobuy series for me last before I had even gotten halfway through my binge read of the first nine books. I love the romance between Whyborne and Griffin and the adventures and the magic and CHRISTINE! Okay. I just really love everything about this series so of course I had to buy a physical copy of the next book. I'm so excited to read this soon!

Trail of Lightning by Rebecca Roanhorse
 I received an eARC of this book for review and I enjoyed it enough to buy a copy for my personal collection. Plus, the cover is super badass and shiny! If you want to know more of my thoughts, you can read my review here.

The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan
I can't help but collect all of Rick Riordan's books. I haven't started The Trials of Apollo series yet but I'm pretty sure I'm going to love them since I've adored everything else Uncle Rick has written.

The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
I pre-ordered this book as soon as I heard it was a Lady Astronaut of Mars prequel and I am so here for this alt-history space race book. Plus, that cover is amazing!

A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White
I hadn't even heard of this book until some of my friends started gushing about it on Goodreads. My friend, Crini, sold it to me as:
"Take A Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet, replace the alien crew members by humans (but keep it diverse and queer AF) and add lots and lots of action AND ALSO MAGIC and you've got A Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe.

This found-family/anti-hero squad of space witches takes you on one hell of a ride, FEELS and sexual tension galore included."
 I was immediately sold on it as soon as she said SPACE WITCHES!

Iron and Magic by Ilona Andrews
Me buying this book is not a surprise at all is it? I got to read an eARC of this and I loved it so much! I'm still trying to figure out what black magic Ilona Andrews used to get me to like Hugh d'Ambray but I am completely here for his new series because him and Elara are EVERYTHING! If you want to know more of my thoughts, you can find my review here.

Running with Lions by Julian Winters
My best friend made me buy a copy of this for myself as soon as he finished reading because it's amazing. My bestie and I rarely differ in our opinions of books so I bought it. All I know is that it's a very queer sports romance by a queer author that gave the bestie a "huge Haikyu! crossed with Fence vibe" and I'm here for it based on that alone.

Ocean Light by Nalini Singh
Yet another book purchase that will surprise none of you. I've adored the whole Psy-Changeling series and Ocean Light was not an exception. Bowen Knight's book was everything I wanted it to be and more! If you want to know more of my thoughts, you can read my review here.

Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku, Vol. 2 by Fujita
One of my favorite animes I've watched this year has been Wotakoi and it quickly became one of my new favorite new manga series as soon as a read the first volume. I couldn't wait to get my hands on volume two which is a bind-up of the third and fourth Japanese volumes! I am so read to see what kind of shenanigans my favorite otaku get up to in this volume.

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon
I loved Sandhya Menon's debut, When Dimple Met Rishi, so I just had to pick up her sophomore novel. This books sounds amazing and I'm so excited to read it and find out more about Twinkle!

What books have you bought recently?

Friday, July 13, 2018

Cover Reveal: Darkest Heart by Juliette Cross

Happy Friday the Thirteenth everyone! We've got a treat for you today! 

We're about to reveal the cover for the first book in a new series from Juliette Cross. We loved her Vampire Blood series (If you missed it, check out Rose Red's review of The Black Lily.) so we're pretty excited about this one. The Dominion series features angels and demons and romance. (Oh my!)

Darkest Heart releases August 20.


Anya—a stoic, blue-winged angelic warrior—was bitten by a demon prince in battle, and now she has precious little time to find a cure for his deadly venom. But the only archangel with the power to stop the dark poison from corrupting her body and soul is missing. She’ll have to trust her guide, the outcast high demon Dommiel, who is as handsome as he is dangerous if she has any hope.

An outcast of his own kind, high demon Dommiel stays under cover while the war between angels and demons rages on. When the only person who ever showed him kindness asks for his help, he has no choice but to try to save the angel. Venturing back into the dens he has avoided for so long, Anya makes him want and feel things he never thought possible.

But Dommiel knows there is no way an angel can ever love a demon…

And here's that cover!

Add Darkest Heart to Goodreads

About the Author

JULIETTE is a multi-published author of paranormal and fantasy romance. She is represented by Rachel Brooks at BookEnds Literary Agency. She calls lush, moss-laden Louisiana home where she lives with her husband, four kids, and black lab named Kona. From the moment she read JANE EYRE as a teenager, she fell in love with the Gothic romance--alluring settings, persevering heroines, and dark, sexy heroes. Even then, she not only longed to read more books set in Gothic worlds, she wanted to create her own. 

Friday, July 6, 2018

2018 Reading Challenge Update: Mid-Year Check-In

Can you believe that we're halfway through 2018 already? We can't, but since we're here we thought we'd check-in and update you with where we are with our reading challenges.

Rose Red
My Beat the Backlist goal for this year is to read 24 books (two per month) so I should have 12 books read off my physical TBR pile right now. I'm at 9 read right now. I think that's great considering I'm just getting out of a two month reading slump. I'm a bit behind but I can easily catch up with one really good reading month. These are the books I've read for the challenge so far.

My unofficial goal with this reading challenge is to get my physical TBR pile down to 200. After reading a few and culling others, I have 265 physical unread books on my shelves which is five down from the 270 I started the year with. Considering I've bought 25 books (5 read and 2 DNFed) to add to that since the first of the year, I'm not doing bad at all at getting/keeping my TBR pile down. I did cull/unhaul/DNF 24 books from my TBR over the last six months so that feels good.

My Beat the Backlist goal is to read at least 2 books a month and I'm a little bit ahead of that with 14 books so far. I haven't done a great job of reading the books that were already on my TBR shelves. Only 2 of them are old Kindle freebies and 1 is a reread. Mostly they've come from the library and Kindle Unlimited. I still need to work on my ARC backlog in the second half of the year.
 Here's what I've read so far:

Rose Red
My 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge is to read 52 books and I have currently completed 32 which makes me six books ahead of my challenge. I'm hoping to not only complete my challenge, but actually read 100 books. I really need to step up my reading pace if I'm going to do that. Here's what I've read so far this year!

My Goodreads goal is 120 books, which is a little more than I've read the last few years. I'm currently at 51 books read, or 10 behind schedule. (I had almost caught up, but had to take some time off reading because of pain in my wrists.) Here's what I've read so far:

Built to Last (Black Knights Inc., #12) Hotline to Hell Boundary Born (Boundary Magic, #3) Boundary Crossed (Boundary Magic, #1) Boundary Lines (Boundary Magic, #2) The Mermaid
The Serpent Viking Flame (The Afótama Legacy #3) The Chieftain's Daughter (The Afótama Legacy #2) The Viking Queen's Men (The Afótama Legacy #1) Stray Magic (Strays, #1) Carniepunk: Freak House
All-American Cowboy (Holiday, Texas #1) Heart of Fire (Alice Worth #2) Outbreak (Nightshades, #3) Bitten Under Fire Don't Cheat Me (Nora Jacobs, #2) Blood Money (An Alice Worth Series Novella)
Switchback (Nightshades, #2) The Princess Trap (Dirty British Romance, #1) Wild Hunger (Heirs of Chicagoland, #1) The Hero Within (Burned Lands, #3) Undead Girl Gang Royals
Publish and Perish Dark Queen (Jane Yellowrock, #12) X-Ops Exposed Hurts to Love You (Forbidden Hearts, #3) Hate to Want You (Forbidden Hearts, #1) Wrong to Need You (Forbidden Hearts, #2)
Risen (Blood Eternal, #1) Ocean Light (Psy-Changeling Trinity, #2; Psy-Changeling, #17) How to Save an Undead Life (Beginner's Guide to Necromancy, #1) Prisoner (Criminals & Captives, #1) Barbarian Prince (Dragon Lords, #1) Burn Bright (Alpha & Omega, #5)
The Myth Manifestation (SPI Files, #5) Lake Silence (The Others, #6) The Big Bad Wolf Sightwitch (The Witchlands, #0.5) The Wolf Lord (Ars Numina, #3) That Killer Smile (Bite Nights #3)
Storm of Desire (Legends of the Storm, #2) The Emerald Lily (Vampire Blood, #4) Thanks Fur Last Night Blood Veil (Mission, #2) Bad for the Boss: A BWAM Office Romance (Just For Him, #1) Zero Hour (Wired & Dangerous, #1)
Don't Rush Me (Nora Jacobs, #1) Lions and Tigers and Boys

This is actually more a blogging challenge than a reading challenge. (But no one wants to read two challenge update posts, right?) The Discussion Challenge is hosted by Nicole at  Feed Your Fiction Addiction and Shannon at It Starts at Midnight. It includes a monthly link up post to share your discussions.
We're going for Creative Conversationalist with a goal of posting one discussion every month. We've done 7 Weres Wanna Know posts so far this year so we're on track for the year even though we didn't post one in June.

Here they are in case you missed any:
Is Anyone Else Confused About New Adult?
Do you read more backlist or new releases?
Gateway Books and Reading Histories 
How do you diversify your TBR?
When do you get rid of books?
How Does Your Environment Affect Your Reading Choices?
 How Do You Organize Your TBR?

You can also follow the hashtag #LetsDiscuss2018.

How are you doing on your reading challenges? 


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