Underrated Book Recommendations!

I want to shout out some books that I don’t see enough people talk about and think deserve more attention! “Underrated” is such a loose definition, so I chose books with less than 4,000 ratings on Goodreads. Also, if you’re tired of me recommending Laura Wood and Akemi Dawn Bowman, prepare yourself 🙂

I want to shout out some books that I don’t see enough people talk about and think deserve more attention! “Underrated” is such a loose definition, so I chose books with less than 4,000 ratings on Goodreads. Also, if you’re tired of me recommending Laura Wood and Akemi Dawn Bowman, prepare yourself 🙂

A Snowfall of Silver by Laura Wood

YA, historical

256 ratings on Goodreads

A snow-dusted love story.

In the Autumn of 1931, eighteen-year-old Freya Trevelyan runs away from her home in Cornwall to follow her dream of becoming an actress. When she is invited to join a theatrical company about to head out on tour, Freya thinks the path to success is clear, and, amidst all the glamour and bustle of stage life, she finds – for the first time – a place to belong. But can reality ever live up to her expectations? What if her life – and falling in love – turn out to be nothing like she planned? An enchanting coming of age romance about following your dreams – even when they aren’t quite what you expected.

This book was just such a lovely read! Laura Wood has a way of writing such warm and light historical fiction.

How We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates

YA, Sci-fi, dystopian, thriller/horror

532 ratings on Goodreads

A plague, called Wicked, is pulsing through the world; and in its wake, it’s dividing the population into thirds:

The WICKED: Already infected by the droves of Singers, the ultraviolet mosquito-like insects who carry the plague, the Wicked roam the world freely. They don’t want for much—only to maim and dismember you. But don’t worry: They always ask politely first.

The TRUE: The True live in contained, isolated communities. They’re the lucky ones; they found safety from the Singers. And while the threat of the Wicked may not be eliminated, for the True, the threat has certainly been contained…

The VEXED: The Vexed are the truly fortunate ones—they survived the sting of the Singers, leaving them immune. But they’re far from safe. The Vexed hold the key to a cure, and there are those who will do anything to get it.

This book was SUCH a fun time, so I’m surprised it doesn’t have more ratings! I’ve definitely included this in other recommendation posts, but I just love it. Though, if you are going to pick this up, be warned that it might not be the best idea currently with the state of the world.

Harley in the Sky by Akemi Dawn Bowman

YA, contemporary

1,082 ratings on Goodreads

Harley Milano has dreamed of being a trapeze artist for as long as she can remember. With parents who run a famous circus in Las Vegas, she spends almost every night in the big top watching their lead aerialist perform, wishing with all her soul that she could be up there herself one day.

After a huge fight with her parents, who continue to insist she go to school instead, Harley leaves home, betrays her family and joins the rival traveling circus Maison du Mystère. There, she is thrust into a world that is both brutal and beautiful, where she learns the value of hard work, passion and collaboration. But at the same time, Harley must come to terms with the truth of her family and her past—and reckon with the sacrifices she made and the people she hurt in order to follow her dreams. 

All of Akemi’s books have a focus on mental health, and this one is no different. Harley does always do the “right” thing, but seeing her learn from her mistakes and learn about herself made this book so good.

Under a Dancing Star by Laura Wood

YA, historical

1,084 ratings on Goodreads

In grey, 1930s England, Bea has grown up kicking against the conventions of the time, all the while knowing that she will one day have to marry someone her parents choose – someone rich enough to keep the family estate alive. But she longs for so much more – for adventure, excitement, travel, and maybe even romance.

When she gets the chance to spend the summer in Italy with her bohemian uncle and his fiancée, a whole world is opened up to Bea – a world that includes Ben, a cocky young artist who just happens to be infuriatingly handsome too. Sparks fly between the quick-witted pair until one night, under the stars, a challenge is set: can Bea and Ben put aside their teasing and have the perfect summer romance?

With their new friends gleefully setting the rules for their fling, Bea and Ben can agree on one thing at least: they absolutely, positively will not, cannot fall in love…

A long, hot summer of kisses and mischief unfolds – but storm clouds are gathering across Europe, and home is calling. Every summer has to end – but for Bea, this might be just the beginning.

The atmosphere in this book was so good, I can still picture some of the scenes like I was there!

The Ninth Rain (The Winnowing Flame trilogy #1) by Jen Williams

Adult, fantasy

2,218 ratings on Goodreads

The great city of Ebora once glittered with gold. Now its streets are stalked by wolves. Tormalin the Oathless has no taste for sitting around waiting to die while the realm of his storied ancestors falls to pieces – talk about a guilt trip. Better to be amongst the living, where there are taverns full of women and wine.

When eccentric explorer, Lady Vincenza ‘Vintage’ de Grazon, offers him employment, he sees an easy way out. Even when they are joined by a fugitive witch with a tendency to set things on fire, the prospect of facing down monsters and retrieving ancient artefacts is preferable to the abomination he left behind.

But not everyone is willing to let the Eboran empire collapse, and the adventurers are quickly drawn into a tangled conspiracy of magic and war. For the Jure’lia are coming, and the Ninth Rain must fall…

This book was so strange but also SO enjoyable! I just finished it the other day, but I’m so excited to read the rest of the series once I can get my hands on it.

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

YA, contemporary

2,701 ratings on Goodreads

Rumi Seto spends a lot of time worrying she doesn’t have the answers to everything. What to eat, where to go, whom to love. But there is one thing she is absolutely sure of—she wants to spend the rest of her life writing music with her younger sister, Lea.

Then Lea dies in a car accident, and her mother sends her away to live with her aunt in Hawaii while she deals with her own grief. Now thousands of miles from home, Rumi struggles to navigate the loss of her sister, being abandoned by her mother, and the absence of music in her life. With the help of the “boys next door”—a teenage surfer named Kai, who smiles too much and doesn’t take anything seriously, and an eighty-year-old named George Watanabe, who succumbed to his own grief years ago—Rumi attempts to find her way back to her music, to write the song she and Lea never had the chance to finish.

Aching, powerful, and unflinchingly honest, Summer Bird Blue explores big truths about insurmountable grief, unconditional love, and how to forgive even when it feels impossible.

Just thinking about this book makes me emotional, but even though it is truly about dealing with grief, I found it to be quite heartwarming as well.

A Sky Painted Gold by Laura Wood

YA, historical

2,750 ratings on Goodreads

Growing up in her sleepy Cornish village dreaming of being a writer, seventeen-year-old Lou has always wondered about the grand Cardew house which has stood empty for years. And when the owners arrive for the summer – a handsome, dashing brother and sister – Lou is quite swept off her feet and into a world of moonlit cocktail parties and glamour beyond her wildest dreams.

But, as she grows closer to the Cardews, is she abandoning her own ambitions… And is there something darker lurking at the heart of the Cardew family?

A gorgeously dreamy coming-of-age romance set against a stunning Gatsby-esque backdrop, this is perfect for fans of I Capture the Castle and Eva Ibbotson. 

If you’ve gotten to this point and couldn’t tell…I love Laura Wood’s books! This is the one that started my obsession with her writing for me.

Every Falling Star by Sungju Lee

YA, non-fiction, memoir

3,093 ratings on Goodreads

Every Falling Star, the first book to portray contemporary North Korea to a young audience, is the intense memoir of a North Korean boy named Sungju who is forced at age twelve to live on the streets and fend for himself. To survive, Sungju creates a gang and lives by thieving, fighting, begging, and stealing rides on cargo trains. Sungju richly re-creates his scabrous story, depicting what it was like for a boy alone to create a new family with his gang, his “brothers”; to be hungry and to fear arrest, imprisonment, and even execution. This riveting memoir allows young readers to learn about other cultures where freedoms they take for granted do not exist.

This is very different from everything else on this list. I have read multiple memoirs by people who have escaped North Korea, but this is the only one that is directed at younger audiences. It doesn’t shy away from anything though, but it is still an important and powerful read.

I’ll Be The One by Lyla Lee

YA, contemporary, romance

3,473 ratings on Goodreads

Skye Shin has heard it all. Fat girls shouldn’t dance. Wear bright colors. Shouldn’t call attention to themselves. But Skye dreams of joining the glittering world of K-Pop, and to do that, she’s about to break all the rules that society, the media, and even her own mother, have set for girls like her.

She’ll challenge thousands of other performers in an internationally televised competition looking for the next K-pop star, and she’ll do it better than anyone else.

When Skye nails her audition, she’s immediately swept into a whirlwind of countless practices, shocking performances, and the drama that comes with reality TV. What she doesn’t count on are the highly fat-phobic beauty standards of the Korean pop entertainment industry, her sudden media fame and scrutiny, or the sparks that soon fly with her fellow competitor, Henry Cho.

But Skye has her sights on becoming the world’s first plus-sized K-pop star, and that means winning the competition—without losing herself.

This was such a fun and cute book, but also challenges the idea that you need to be a certain way to follow your dreams. Even though it centers around K-pop, I think anyone could easily get into this book!

Fireborne by Rosaria Munda

YA, fantasy

3,676 ratings on Goodreads

Annie and Lee were just children when a brutal revolution changed their world, giving everyone—even the lowborn—a chance to test into the governing class of dragonriders.

Now they are both rising stars in the new regime, despite backgrounds that couldn’t be more different. Annie’s lowborn family was executed by dragonfire, while Lee’s aristocratic family was murdered by revolutionaries. Growing up in the same orphanage forged their friendship, and seven years of training have made them rivals for the top position in the dragonriding fleet.

But everything changes when survivors from the old regime surface, bent on reclaiming the city.

With war on the horizon and his relationship with Annie changing fast, Lee must choose to kill the only family he has left or to betray everything he’s come to believe in. And Annie must decide whether to protect the boy she loves . . . or step up to be the champion her city needs.

From debut author Rosaria Munda comes a gripping adventure that calls into question which matters most: the family you were born into, or the one you’ve chosen.

This was my favorite book out of the 123 books I read in 2020…does that speak for itself? I have to stop myself from rereading this book on a regular basis, I love it so much!


I’m curious, what are your favorite underrated books? I’m always looking for more hidden gems!

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Romance Recommendations!

I love romance novels! They are super fun for me and I can usually read them in just about one sitting because I get so drawn in and invested in the couple.

I love romance novels! They are super fun for me and I can usually read them in just about one sitting because I get so drawn in and invested in the couple. Also, I definitely get sucked into reading anything with a cute illustrated cover…I love the style of them!

FIX HER UP BY TESSA BAILEY

Georgie is never taken seriously because of her profession as a clown and pro baseball player Travis needs to fix his less than savory image, so they decide to fake a relationship in order for others to take them seriously.

Tropes: fake dating, brother’s best friend

I definitely had a few issues with this book, but overall, it was a great time! I’m a sucker for fake dating and the sex scenes in this book were quite…memorable (in a good way).

GIRL MEETS DUKE SERIES BY TESSA DARE

The Duchess Deal: The Duke of Ashbury needs a wife and an heir, so when seamstress Emma bursts into his house in a wedding dress, he decides that she’ll do.

Tropes: marriage of convenience, scarred hero

The Governess Game: After losing her job, Alexandra takes her only option: becoming a governess for the wards of infamous rake Chase Reynaud.

Tropes: rake, secret heart of gold, workplace romance

The Wallflower Wager: Penelope is a spinster with a whole host of animals in her home, and in order for Gabriel, Duke of Ruin, to sell the house next door, he must help her find new homes for the animals.

Tropes: opposites attract, gruff/bad boy

*all of these have couples with class differences*

This series is honestly just a great time. They kind of follow a formula, but that doesn’t make them any less enjoyable. They are historical romance, but they definitely feel more modern in their ideas. I highly recommend the audiobooks as well!

WELL MET BY JEN DELUCA

Emily and Simon can’t seem to get along in real life, but their alter egos at the Renaissance Faire, Emma the bar wench and Captain Blackthorne, can’t seem to stay away from each other.

Tropes: rivals to lovers, fake dating

I absolutely loved the tension of the characters real life issues with each other and the chemistry between their faire roles. This was overall just such a fun book!

MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

After moving back to LA, Hannah is at a bar with her friends when she has a choice to make: stay with her friends or go with Ethan, her high school boyfriend. This book follows both paths Hannah’s life could take.

Tropes: second chance romance

I know that a lot of people didn’t like this book, but I really enjoyed it! The two timelines can be a little confusing at points, but overall, I think the message was really powerful and I really enjoyed the romance in this book.

JOSH & HAZEL’S GUIDE TO NOT DATING BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

College acquaintances Josh and Hazel have recently reconnected and have started setting each other up on dates, though each date is a bigger and bigger disaster.

Tropes: friends to lovers

I normally don’t like friends to lovers, but the set up of this book was just so good! I had some issues with the ending, but I loved the rest of the book so much that I don’t really care. This is definitely one of my all-time favorites!

THE UNHONEYMOONERS BY CHRISTINA LAUREN

After being the only people to leave their siblings’ disastrous, food-poisoning filled wedding unscathed, Olive and Ethan have to pretend to be newlyweds in order to go on the non-refundable, non-transferable honeymoon that the actual newlyweds aren’t able to make.

Tropes: fake relationship, rivals to lovers

This was such a fun book! It’s set mostly in Hawaii and it just had so many things about it that I enjoyed.

RED, WHITE, & ROYAL BLUE BY CASEY MCQUISTON

First Son of the United States Alex gets into a sticky situation with Henry, the Prince of Wales, and the two have to pretend to be friends.

Tropes: rivals to lovers

This book definitely went further beyond the romance than most romance novels I read, because both Henry and Alex’s friends and family, as well as the political situation in the world is still very memorable to me. The romance was great as well, of course!

THE FLATSHARE BY BETH O’LEARY

Leon needs to earn extra money to help his wrongly-accused brother in jail, so he needs a roommate, but his flat only has one bed, so it has to be someone who is only there while he is on his overnight shift. Tiffy is looking for somewhere to stay to get away from her terrible ex-boyfriend, so she takes a chance on Leon’s strange offer.

Tropes: bed sharing (lol)

This book still warms my heart when I think about it. I absolutely love the romance, but I also love how it dealt with the other things going on in the characters lives.

THE HATING GAME BY SALLY THORNE

Lucy and Josh have been rivals the entire time they’ve been working together, and when a big promotion is coming for only one of them, their relationship evolves.

Tropes: rivals to lovers

I reread this book recently and it was still so good! This is one of the first adult romances I read, so it will always have a special place in my heart.


As I was writing this, I realized that this is one of the least diverse list I’ve ever made. In general, I think I do an alright job at reading diversely, but adult romance is really where my biggest problem is. I’m actively trying to do better, but I need to focus a lot more on this genre, especially since it is one of my favorites.

I also realized that a lot of these have a quirky woman and a stoic/closed off man as a couple. I don’t know if that is indicative of what I like or of what becomes popular in mainstream romance, but I would like to read more that is different from that.

What are your favorite romance novels?

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Standalone Fantasy Recommendations!

I want to start doing more recommendation posts, so I thought that this was a good place to start! I am including two sci-fi/dystopian books on this list because it was originally going to be “Standalone Sci-fi & Fantasy Recommendations”, but there are two sci-fi books among ten fantasy books! Sci-fi with be marked with a *!

I want to start doing more recommendation posts, so I thought that this was a good place to start! I am including two sci-fi/dystopian books on this list because it was originally going to be “Standalone Sci-fi & Fantasy Recommendations”, but there are two sci-fi books among ten fantasy books! Sci-fi with be marked with a *!

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

After being carefree her whole life, Siri is suddenly sent to marry the God King in order to fulfill her country’s treaty instead of her sister Vivenna, who has been trained since birth for this purpose. Vivenna follows Siri to God King’s city in order to try and save her from her fate.

As of right now, this book is a standalone (though there is probably going to be a sequel in the future) and it is a self-contained story. I think the magic in this book is so cool and I really enjoyed all of the characters that we get to follow. There isn’t a ton of action in this book, which is actually why I liked it so much!

Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale

Dashti gets locked in a tower with her Lady Saren for seven years because of Saren’s refusal to marry a man she hated. As Dashti journals her way through their imprisonment, the two must face the trials of living in the tower, as well as Saren’s suitors showing up outside of the tower.

I adore this book. It is apparently a retelling of a Grimm fairytale, though I don’t know which one, but it set in fictional Mongolia. The fantasy elements are kind of minimal, but I love the story, the characters, and the themes of this book.

Dry by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman*

After the water runs out in California, Alyssa must try to find water and safety for herself and her brother.

This book is so intense! I think this is technically considered a dystopian, but the scary thing is that it feels like the scenario could happen in the very near future. It follows a group of teens over a few days and I know that type of story isn’t for everyone, but I think it is such an interesting look at the nature of people and how they react in disasters. Keep some water nearby for this one!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

As Ead infiltrates the Berethnet court in order to protect heirless Queen Sabran, a slumbering darkness begins to rise again.

That description is quite simplified because there is a lot going on in this book. It covers a wide expanse of places and follows multiple characters. I definitely was unsure of this book when I started it, but now I hold it very fondly in my heart. There is a great F/F romance in this that doesn’t take over the story at all and there are dragons. What more could I want? (the answer is nothing)

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Twins Hazel and Ben live in a town that borders the fae lands and strange things always happen there. There is a boy with horns who has been asleep in a glass casket in the forest for many years, until suddenly, he wakes up.

I love fae stories and this one is no exception! There are lots of different fae creatures in this book and the creepy forest vibes are also strong in this book. There are two really good romances in this book as well.

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Elisabeth has dreamed of being a warden of a Great Library who takes care of the magical books there, until she is framed for releasing one of the books that became an enormous monster. She must then flee and try to figure out who wants her framed and why.

I was drawn to this book because of the idea of a magical library, but I think it’s actually all the other elements of the book that I enjoyed more! Elisabeth learns a lot about herself and the world over the course of this book and I really enjoyed watching her uncover nefarious plots. I loved the trio of characters we follow in this book.

How We Became Wicked by Alexander Yates*

(NOTE: this book has to do with a plague of sorts, so especially now with COVID-19, skip past this if you do not want to hear about anything plague-related)

After the Singers came, the infected Wicked run rampant all over the world trying to eat other people. Groups of people live in glass communities to stay safe from the Singers and the Wicked, while the rare Vexed is immune to the Singers infection.

This book follows two points of view and it was so much fun to try to figure out how they connect. One follows a girl in a sheltered glass community and the other follows a girl living on an island with her family. This was just a fun book, as weird as that is to say because it definitely contains some heavy topics.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

After painting human sorrow in a Fae princes eye, Isobel must travel with him to the Fae lands in order to answer for her crimes.

This book was honestly just a delight to read. It is fun, pretty, fast, and charming. It has seasonal fae courts, which I really like, and the fae in this story can’t make anything, so they have to rely on humans, which is a cool twist. I thought the romance was cute and sweet as well!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

All Catherine wants is to open up a bake shop, even if she is the most desired girl in the land and is the favorite of the King of Hearts. When she meets Jest, she decides that she wants to do what makes her happy, not what everyone else wants for her.

This is an origin story for the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland. It was so interesting to see Cath at the beginning, but knowing that somewhere along the way, she becomes the Queen of Hearts. It has the same kind of crazy magic that is in Alice in Wonderland. I thought this was super fun, even if it did hurt me.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Annaleigh lives in manor by the sea with her sister, except her sisters keep dying. Now that four have passed, she thinks their deaths may not be accidental. She and her remaining sister find a door that leads to other lands where each night a ball is taking place. They try to let go of their grief by going to these balls every night, even as Annaleigh experiences visions that make her suspicious.

This is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, which I don’t know much about. I picked this book up on a whim (and the cover) and it blew me away! The story was so interesting and suspenseful. It was definitely scarier than the books I normally read, but it added to the intense atmosphere of this book.

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Anastasia is given a secret magical relic to keep and use when the time is right, even when her family is being hunted by the Bolsheviks. In their imprisonment, she befriends Zash, one of her guards and thinks that he can help her, until he is part of the firing squad ordered to kill her and her family.

This is a magical alternate history of Anastasia and the Romanov family. The first half of the book is mostly historical (and the author addresses the things that aren’t accurate at the end of the book), while the second half deals with magic more. The content of this book is really heavy, so it definitely an emotional ride, but I really liked the themes it discussed. There is a lot of emphasis on the struggle between revenge and doing the right thing. The magic in this book felt like it was just there to further the story, but I think the story is worth it.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Lynet finds out that her father had her created out of snow, while her stepmother Mina has a glass heart. Following Lynet in the present and Mina in the past, both girls struggle with what makes them different, as well as their complicated relationship.

This is yet another retelling, this time of Snow White. I absolutely love the exploration of Mina and Lynet’s relationship and how they take control of their lives and the plans men had made for them. The story just felt so original, especially for being a retelling, and the world and magic were so cool!


What are some of your favorite standalone fantasy (or sci-fi) books?

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Quick & Fun Reads for Quarantine

I wanted to list a few books that I’ve enjoyed in the past that would be good to read during this pandemic. I chose these books because they are quick, don’t deal with super heavy topics, and are very immersive. These did all end up being kind of romance-y. I’m personally finding it kind of hard to read right now because my mind is so preoccupied, but I think these books make it a little easier to leave the real world behind for a bit.

I wanted to list a few books that I’ve enjoyed in the past that would be good to read during this pandemic. I chose these books because they are quick, don’t deal with super heavy topics, and are very immersive. These did all end up being kind of romance-y. I’m personally finding it kind of hard to read right now because my mind is so preoccupied, but I think these books make it a little easier to leave the real world behind for a bit.

AN ENCHANTMENT OF RAVENS BY MARGARET ROGERSON

This book was super short, especially for fantasy, but I feel like even in that time, it creates a super nice atmosphere. Overall, this story is just cute and fun! It follows a human girl who is a talented painter who has to go to the Fae Courts after incorrectly painting the Autumn Prince.

SUMMERS AT CASTLE AUBURN BY SHARON SHINN

While I was kind of disappointed by the ending of this book, the rest of it was so fun! It was kind of meandering and the plot isn’t super present, but I really had a great time reading it. This book follows a girl as grows up and spends her summers in a castle with her half-sister.

THE GOOSE GIRL BY SHANNON HALE

This book is like a safety blanket for me – returning to it always feels so comforting. It is a retelling of the Grimm fairytale “The Goose Girl” and it has really interesting magic. It follows a princess who must travel to a far away country to be married, but something disrupts her journey.

GIRL MEETS DUKE SERIES BY TESSA DARE

I actually just started listening to this historical romance series within the last month and it has been the perfect escape for me! Each book follows another woman from a group of friends in London. The characters are so fun and likable. The books definitely follow a formula, but all three are such a fun time!


What books are helping you get through the current times?

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Good Books to Read Near Halloween!

There are definitely a few books that I associate with the Halloween season, or autumn in general, even if they don’t necessarily take place around that time. Here are my recommendations for books that have that spooky vibes, including witches, fae, and ghosts.

There are definitely a few books that I associate with the Halloween season, or autumn in general, even if they don’t necessarily take place around that time. Here are my recommendations for books that have that spooky vibes, including witches, fae, and ghosts.

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

I recently read this book and loved it! It features witches, so it definitely has one solid Halloween element. I’m pretty sure it does take place during autumn, but it definitely feels like it does. Some of the scenery that I pictured, especially toward the end, felt super eerie and spooky.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

Another recent read, this one definitely takes place during the winter, but it has the perfect creepy feel. I feel like I haven’t shut up about this book since I read it, but it was super creepy (to me) and had ghosts and other spooky elements in it. It also kind of plays with your mind because the main character doesn’t know what is real and fake, so neither does the reader, and that scares me.

Bring Me Their Hearts by Sara Wolf

This is another book that features witches. In this story, a witch can own the heart of a person and control them, which is the situation that the main character is in. I had never read a witch book like this before! I thought I read this in autumn because I got that vibe from it, but it turns out that I actually read it in June! It was such a fun book that still had those Halloween-y vibes.

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Fae feel like a very autumn thing to me, and also they can be super dark, so that feels very Halloween to me. A lot of this book takes place in the autumn court and has a lot of tricksy fae that give it a distinctly autumn feeling. The cover even looks super autumn-y!

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Another fae book! Something about the forest feels so distinctly autumn to me, maybe because the only reason I ever have to go into the forest is to see the leaves changing color! As a lot of this book takes place in the forest, I associate it with fall. When I think about this book in my head, I can just picture a super dark and creepy forest, with falling leaves and a gentle, chilly breeze.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

The entire vibe of this book feels very autumn-y to me. Ketterdam feels like a place that is dark, but also kind of cozy, just like fall. I don’t know why it is so hard for me to describe why this book gives me such intense autumn vibes, but it really does.

What books do you think are perfect for Halloween of autumn?

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Books with Satisfying Endings!

This might seem like a late post about how bad the Game of Thrones ending was, but nope (I jumped ship on that one years ago), I’ve just been pretty disappointed with book endings lately. There have been so many books that I’ve loved, then the ending just falls so flat, so it got me thinking about books that actually have satisfying endings!

This might seem like a late post about how bad the Game of Thrones ending was, but nope (I jumped ship on that one years ago), I’ve just been pretty disappointed with book endings lately. There have been so many books that I’ve loved, then the ending just falls so flat, so it got me thinking about books that actually have satisfying endings!

While writing this post, I realized that I have a specific type of ending I love: wrapped up, but still somewhat open-ended, so you can imagine what the characters are up to in the future. I don’t like it when endings are super neat and easy.

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

I just reviewed this book, but I loved it so much that I need to talk about it again! The ending to this book was really, really good. It has been one of the only satisfying romance endings that I have read recently. It doesn’t feel rushed and pretty much everything is wrapped up, but it is left open enough that you’re not absolutely sure what happens in the future. The ending to this book also left me feeling super hopeful!

The Mistborn Series by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon Sanderson knows how to write a damn good ending, both for each book in a series, as well as for the series as a whole. His endings leave me absolutely breathless. Usually, the climax is so action-packed, but at the same time, everything makes sense within the world that he’s made. The Hero of Ages, the last book in the original Mistborn series, had a spectacular ending! I’m pretty sure I walked around in a daze for the rest of the day after I finished this book because I just couldn’t stop thinking about it.

The Strange the Dreamer duology by Laini Taylor

It has been a little while since I read these books, but I remember feeling so satisfied with the ending! It wraps up the conflict of the story, but it is open enough that, once again, you can imagine what happens to the characters next. The ending of this duology was great, but honestly, these entire books were SO good!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This is the only book on the list that doesn’t end in an open-ended, anything could happen next kind of way. It has a pretty definitive ending, but it just felt really powerful and I left the book feeling very satisfied. This book gets recommended everywhere, but it is so worth it.

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The ending of this book definitely gave me a classic “lay in bed and stare at the ceiling while thinking about the amazing book you just finished” moment. This is a big book, so there is a lot to wrap up, but it was done so well. Things that needed answers got answers that made sense considering the world.

LGBT+ Book Recommendations!

Happy Pride Month! This is a perfect time to share some of my favorite books that include characters in the LGBT+ community!

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust

Synopsis: In this Snow White retelling, the relationship between Lynet and her stepmother Mina seems to be doomed from the start, unless both of them can change.
Why I Liked It: Aside from featuring a F/F romance, this book is a super unique retelling and the mother/daughter relationship is so interesting!

Check, Please! by Ngozi Ukazu

Synopsis: Vlogger and baker extraordinaire Bitty joins his college hockey team, and just might be in love with his team captain, Jack.
Why I Liked It: Bitty is absolutely adorable, as is the romance, and the friendships between the hockey team members are so good and supportive!

Simon Vs. the Homosapien Agenda by Bekcy Albertalli

Synopsis: Simon has not come out as gay yet, so he emails another boy at his school, both under fake names.
Why I Liked It: The romance was really cute and I love the email trope!

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Synopsis: With tensions on both sides of the world brewing, Ead must secretly protect the Queen of Inys.
Why I Liked It: High epic fantasy with an amazing F/F relationship, other diverse characters, and a super interesting plot and world? Sign me up!!

The Seven Husbands of Eveyln Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Synopsis: Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo is finally opening up her years in the spotlight, as well as her seven husbands.
Why I Liked It: Eveyln Hugo seriously feels like a real person and I could not put this book down! I don’t want to say too much because I feel like it’s better to not know too much about this book going in, but it does feature multiple characters in the LGBT+ community.

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

Synopsis: Twins Hazel and Ben live on the edge of a forest inhabited by the fair folk, including a faerie boy asleep in a glass coffin.
Why I Liked It: This is such a good faerie book and it also features a M/M relationship!

Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Synopsis: After the death of her sister, Rumi moves to Hawaii to live with her aunt.
Why I Liked It: This book deals so many things, including grief, so it can be pretty heavy, but the main character is also asexual!

Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan

Synopsis: Each year, eight girls are chosen to be the concubines of the king, but this year, Lei is chosen as the ninth.
Why I Liked It: I really enjoyed the F/F relationship in this, as well as the fantasy setting!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Synopsis: First Son Alex and HRH Henry of Wales must pretend to be friends in order to stop an international issue, but along the way, they fall in love.
Why I Liked It: This book features multiple gay and bisexual characters, the romance was cute, and I really enjoyed the rest of the plot!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Synopsis: While living in a very Morman town in Utah, bisexual Tanner falls for the boy who is helping out in his writing class.
Why I Liked It: This had an interesting setting and discussion of religion, and it was overall pretty cute.

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Synopsis: After the events of Six of Crows, the characters are left to once again fight for their lives.
Why I Liked It: This book features a cute M/M romance and also the friendships between all of the characters are great!

What are some of your favorite books featuring LGBT+ characters? I am always looking for recommendations!