Favourites · Recommendations

Five of my favourite books with trans representation 💕🏳️‍🌈

Hello lovelies!

I can’t believe today is already the last day of Pride month. I went to my first Pride parade ever and had a great time. I was very overwhelmed by the reality of it and I got emotional at how everyone was allowed to be themselves and proud of who they are. I know it was a privilege to be able to go and that there was even a parade and I don’t take it for granted. It made me grateful for the growing visibility of books written by queer others or featuring queer characters, that are as important as ever. So, without further ado, here are some of my favourite books with transgender representation where the characters also happen to be people of color.

I think Cemetery Boys is one of the first books with a trans character and also a trans author that I have ever read. I instantly fell in love with Yadriel and his chaotic ghost, the themes of belonging, loss and family and the healthy dose of culture and tradition present in the book.This was both a love letter to queer teenagers as well as Latinx culture. The story had so many different layers which made it as enjoyable as it was. It was action-packed, had solid plot and tackled important topics. I will always recommend it. This book wonderfully alternated between fun, sad, and emotional moments and it had a healthy dose of everything. I also would like to say that I get spooked very easily and that based on the synopsis I wouldn’t have gravitated towards this story but the author wrote this book wonderfully and I am so happy I gave it a chance. I cannot recommend this enough.

Continue reading “Five of my favourite books with trans representation 💕🏳️‍🌈”
Book Review · LGBTQ+ Books

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston – Book review, aka marry me Jane Su 💕✨

Hello lovelies!

I had a 24hour readathon on the last sunday of June and I finally picked up One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston which was one of my most ancitipates releases of 2021! I am happy to say that it lived up to my expectations! 🥰

Continue reading “One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston – Book review, aka marry me Jane Su 💕✨”
Monthly Wrap Up/ Favorites

June Wrap-Up! ✨ aka the month I read a lot of 5 stars books ✨

Hello lovelies!! Welcome to my June Wrap Up!

Can you believe that in six months we’re in 2022? Not to alarm you but time is moving FAST!! Can you feel me panicking? I’m so thankful for books providing me the much-needed escapism from the passage of time. (Yes I’m losing it).

June has been my best reading month so far because I read so many books I gave 5 stars to and I discovered a few favourites!

Books read: 12 🥳
Pages read: 4006 pages
Reading goal: 49/70 books (15 books ahead of schedule).

5 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. If you've followed me for a while, you know that I have a rating system inspired by Greek mythology. The highest rating ever is a "Persephone" which is 5 stars. A Touch of Darkness is the Hades and Persephone retelling of my dreams. Steam, angst, drama, love; yes please!

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare. One word: yes. The marriage of convenience trope was done beautifully and I couldn't get the story out of my head. This book was simply perfection. Also it's a Beauty and the Beast retelling?? Even more perfect

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta. I read this beautiful and poetic book in one sitting and it moved me to tears. It's such an important story about finding yourself and trying to belong when you're different.

Xeni by Rebekah Weatherspoon. This is a contestant for one  of my favourite books of the year. This was amazing. Once again, the was the marriage of convenience trope, with amazing bi rep (both the hero and heroine) with great steam and a convincing plot. What more does a girl need? 

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. The most wholesome book ever. This had (as far as I know), great trans rep, an amazing insight into latinx culture, a great magic system and a cute romance. I cannot recommend this book enough!

Hani and Ishu's Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar. Okay, the fake dating trope is one of my favourite tropes ever and in this book it was carried out perfectly. I loved it so much. The book also had muslim rep which I think was very accurate and touching, as well as two South Asian (from Bangladesh!!) main characters and great bi rep too. The book tackled so many subjects in a sensible and simple way and I enjoyed reading this tremendously.

Cool for the Summer by Dahlia Adler. This book was the perfect read for Pride month. It was a very quick read (especially on audiobook)!! The bi representation was PERFECT and I loved so many aspects of the story (my review will be up soon). It was heartwarming, fun and cute with a little bit of angst and drama; Just how I like 'em.


Ace of Spades by Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé. One of my favourite books ever. EVER. EVER. (My full review will be up soon!)

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston. This book was everything I dreamed of and it did not disappoint one bit. I absolutely love McQuiston's writing style and the way they write their characters. I'm forever going to miss the characters from this book! (My review will also be up soon for this one too!)

4 STARS 🌟🌟🌟🌟

An Offer From A Gentleman by Julia Quinn. I am still obsessed with Bridgerton and I am determined to finish every single book in the series. This one was a little disappointing because it was a Cinderella retelling and I didn't expect that but Quinn's writing style was still as cute, funny and witty as ever and I still had a great time reading this one!

Lying with Lions by Annabel Fielding. This book was an ARC kindly provided by the author and it was a very nice surprise! This isn't the type of book I usually go for, but it was a pleasant read and I can only recommend it. Here's my full review.

No rating

I gave in to peer pressure (it works!) and finally read this very strange but entertaining book. I think I’m going to dedicate a post to this book because i have many *thoughts*.

Favourite posts from the month

Aside from my existential crisis in the introduction of this post, June has treated me amazingly! I have finished my first year of my master’s degree and even started working here and there so it was a nice change to sleep without that academic guilt.

I also felt like rebranding and commissioned a book blogger to make the design of my blog but unfortunately the artist had some personal problems and the project was cancelled. I completely understand, of course, but I am still sad the revamp didn’t happen. If any of you know an artist or a book blogger that designs blogs and whose commissions are open, please let me know!

I also want my various bookish platforms to grow (especially my Instagram account) so I decided I was going to start making reels and even joining Tiktok and creating bookish content. I am the most awkward person ever, and I can’t stand to hear my voice or see my face on camera so that should be a fun experience 😂. But I also want to challenge myself and recommend books; make funny videos and connect with more people. Since I have the time, I also want to put more time and effort into my blog, by posting more regularly and post content I’m proud of. let’s see where this new adventure takes me (and wish me luck please!).

How has June treated you? What are some of your goals for July?

Let me know in the comments! xx

To Be Read (TBR)

🌈Happy Pride Month – June TBR 🌈

Hello lovelies and Happy Pride month!! 🌈

I am soo happy that we’re in June and that so many queer books are getting the attention they deserve!

I finished my school year on June 2nd, (which explains my absence) but I am back and I now have a lot of free time on my hands and I want to read as much as I can this month!

I identify as a panromantic demisexual but I’m also fine with the bisexual label. And here are my flags!

I’m trying to diversify my shelves as much as I can and I have found a great bingo on instagram to do so (@onceandfutuebooknerd and @bookstorevibe).

So here are my June Hopefuls:

Trans/ genderfluid/non-binary mc: Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Ace/Aro mc:  Bloody Spade by Brittany M. Willows (ARC)
Queer rep in a non-wetsern setting: Sweethand by N.G Peltier
Queer book by a BIPOC author: Ace of Spades by  Faridah Àbíké-Íyímídé 
Queer x neurodiverse/ disabled mc: Something to Talk about by Meryl Wilsner
Fat x queer mc: Off the record by Camryn Garrett
A book celebrating queer joy: Cool for The Summer by Dahlia Adler and One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston
Non-fiction queer book (I really struggle with non-fiction so I'm skipping this one).
Queer historical fiction: Lying With Lions by Annabel Fielding 

Bonus

And I’m also going to co-host a book club on Instagram (let me know if you want to join) and we’re reading Hani and Ishu’s Guide to Fake Dating by Adiba Jaigirdar!! I can’t wait to receive my copy and read this one . I have also loved Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas so I cannot wait to read Tryst Six Venom which is sapphic and got published on June 3rd!

What are some books on your June TBR? Let me know in the comments!

Karla xx

blogmas · Discussion post

Blogmas Day #4 – Most anticipated releases of 2021 (so far)

Hello lovelies!

A little bit of a later post today, but I’m back with a list of my most anticipated releases of 2021. I’l really excited for these books to come out and I think a lot of these are going to be 5 stars reads.

Standalones

Synopsis: From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that puts a queer spin on Kate & Leopold.
A 23-year-old realises her subway crush is displaced from 1970’s Brooklyn, and she must do everything in her power to help her – and try not to fall in love with the girl lost in time – before it’s too late . . . 

Why I want to read it: Red, White and Royal Blue is one of my all-time favourite books and I’m so excited that this romance is going to be sapphic!

Synopsis: Crazy Rich Asians meets The Princess Diaries in this irresistible story about Izumi, a Japanese-American girl who discovers her senior year of high school that she’s really a princess of Japan. Izumi Tanaka has never really felt like she fit in—it isn’t easy being Japanese American in her small, mostly white, northern California town. Raised by a single mother, it’s always been Izumi—or Izzy, because “It’s easier this way”—and her mom against the world. But then Izzy discovers a clue to her previously unknown father’s identity…and he’s none other than the Crown Prince of Japan. Which means outspoken, irreverent Izzy is literally a princess. In a whirlwind, Izzy travels to Japan to meet the father she never knew and discover the country she always dreamed of. But being a princess isn’t all ball gowns and tiaras. There are conniving cousins, a hungry press, a scowling but handsome bodyguard who just might be her soulmate, and thousands of years of tradition and customs to learn practically overnight. Izzy soon finds herself caught between worlds, and between versions of herself—back home, she was never “American” enough, and in Japan, she must prove she’s “Japanese” enough. Will Izumi crumble under the weight of the crown, or will she live out her fairytale, happily ever after

Why I want to read it: you had me at “The Princess Diaries”!! I love the hidden princess trope and also the Japanese rep!! Very excited about this.

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Tessa Johnson has never felt like the protagonist in her own life. She’s rarely seen herself reflected in the pages of the romance novels she loves. The only place she’s a true leading lady is in her own writing—in the swoony love stories she shares only with Caroline, her best friend and #1 devoted reader.When Tessa is accepted into the creative writing program of a prestigious art school, she’s excited to finally let her stories shine. But when she goes to her first workshop, the words are just…gone. Fortunately, Caroline has a solution: Tessa just needs to find some inspiration in a real-life love story of her own. And she’s ready with a list of romance novel-inspired steps to a happily ever after. Nico, the brooding artist who looks like he walked out of one of Tessa’s stories, is cast as the perfect Prince Charming.But as Tessa checks off each item off Caroline’s list, she gets further and further away from herself. She risks losing everything she cares about—including the surprising bond she develops with sweet Sam, who lives across the street. She’s well on her way to having her own real-life love story, but is it the one she wants, after all?

Why I want to read it: this seems like such a cute romance and I love the fact that the main character is a person of colour! It also reminds me of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and since I really enjoyed the series I can’t wait to read this.

Synopsis: Reena Manji doesn’t love her career, her single status, and most of all, her family inserting themselves into every detail of her life. But when caring for her precious sourdough starters, Reena can drown it all out. At least until her father moves his newest employee across the hall–with hopes that Reena will marry him. But Nadim’s not like the other Muslim bachelors-du-jour that her parents have dug up. If the Captain America body and the British accent weren’t enough, the man appears to love eating her bread creations as much as she loves making them. She sure as hell would never marry a man who works for her father, but friendship with a neighbor is okay, right? And when Reena’s career takes a nosedive, Nadim happily agrees to fake an engagement so they can enter a couples video cooking contest to win the artisan bread course of her dreams. As cooking at home together brings them closer, things turn physical, but Reena isn’t worried. She knows Nadim is keeping secrets, but it’s fine— secrets are always on the menu where her family is concerned. And her heart is protected… she’s not marrying the man. But even secrets kept for self preservation have a way of getting out, especially when meddling parents and gossiping families are involved. 

Why I want to read it: the Fake dating trope when the characters slowly realize they are in fact, not faking it???? Yes, yes yes.

At thirty-three-years old Evangeline Starling’s life in Chicago is missing that special something. And when she’s passed over for promotion at work, Evie realizes she needs to make a change. Some time away to regain perspective might be just the thing. In a burst of impulsivity, she plans a holiday in a quaint English village. The holiday package comes with a temporary position at Much Ado About Books, the bookstore located beneath her rental apartment. There’s no better dream vacation for the bookish Evie, a life-long Shakespeare lover. Not only is Evie swept up in running the delightful store as soon as she arrives, she’s drawn into the lives, loves and drama of the friendly villagers. Including Roane Robson, the charismatic and sexy farmer who tempts Evie every day with his friendly flirtations. Evie is determined to keep him at bay because a holiday romance can only end in heartbreak, right? But Evie can’t deny their connection and longs to trust in her handsome farmer that their whirlwind romance could turn in to the forever kind of love. 

Why I want to read it: any reference to Shakespeare will do, thank you very much.

First book in the a series

Synopsis: Shiori, the only princess of Kiata, has a secret. Forbidden magic runs through her veins. Normally she conceals it well, but on the morning of her betrothal ceremony, Shiori loses control. At first, her mistake seems like a stroke of luck, forestalling the wedding she never wanted, but it also catches the attention of Raikama, her stepmother.
Raikama has dark magic of her own, and she banishes the young princess, turning her brothers into cranes, and warning Shiori that she must speak of it to no one: for with every word that escapes her lips, one of her brothers will die.
Peniless, voiceless, and alone, Shiori searches for her brothers, and, on her journey, uncovers a conspiracy to overtake the throne—a conspiracy more twisted and deceitful, more cunning and complex, than even Raikama’s betrayal. Only Shiori can set the kingdom to rights, but to do so she must place her trust in the very boy she fought so hard not to marry. And she must embrace the magic she’s been taught all her life to contain—no matter what it costs her. 

Why I want to read it: I think this is a retelling of Snow White and there’s nothing I love more than fairtytale retellings. Also this has Asian rep and a beautiful cover! What more could I need?

Sequels

Synopsis: Nesta Archeron has always been prickly-proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it. The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other. Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts. Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms. 

Why I want to read it: WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR THIS BOOK SINCE FOREVER. I’m not really a fan of Nesta but I care about Cassian and I really just want to see all of my babies together again.

Synopsis: A queen foretold to save the world.
A dragon in search of his destiny.
New enemies change the game as the final battle draws near…

Why I want to read it: I have been fortunate enough to receive ARCS for the first and second book in the series and I adored it. It’s initially a retelling of Tristan and Isolde (classic star-crossed lovers) but then it evolves into its own story. I love this series for the phenomenal world building . Can’t wait for book 3! You can see my reviews for the first two books here and here.

Synopsis: Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how… Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right. Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior

Why I want to read it: The Brown sisters series is one of the best romance series I’ve read this year and I’m very existed about Eve Brown’s story. And the autism rep!!! Both of the main character are so chaotic and that’s how I like my characters.

No covers/ Untitled

Untitled (legacy of Orïsha #3) by Tomi Adeyemi

This is a very unpopular opinion but book two was extremely disappointing. I really want to see how book 3 wraps up the story and if it redeems some of my favourite characters. I hope I get the joy I felt when I read the first book.

Gods and Monsters (Serpent and Dove #3) by Shelby Mahurin

Serpent and Dove is one of my favourite book and Blood and Honey was my most anticipated book of the year but I read so many bad reviews that I’m scared to pick it up. I will read it eventually though because I love the characters and I also want to see how it all ends.

Untitled (Crescent City #2) by Sarah J. Maas

I haven’t read House of Earth and Blood yet but I trust Sarah J, Maas with my life so I’m sure both the first and second book in the series are going to be amazing.

Which books are you excited to read in 2021? Let me know in the comments!

Karla xx

All the synopses are from Goodreads.

blogmas · Book Tag

Blogmas Day #2 -The Joy of Christmas Book Tag

Hello lovelies! Welcome to day #2 of Blogmas!

I found this tag from Sam’s Nonsense‘s Youtube Channel and I thought it might be nice to properly kick off this Christmas season with a Christmas- related book tag! Let’s go!

1) Anticipation: The Christmas excitement is real, what book release(s) are you most anticipating? ❆☃

I’m going to dedicate a post to my most anticipated releases soon, but to name a few I’m really excited for A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas, Excuse me While I ugly Cry by Joya Goffney One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston, Act your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert and Gods and Monster by Shelby Mahurin!

2) Christmas Songs & Carols: What book or author can you not help but sing its praises? ❅☃

Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey Mcquiston! Last Christmas I gifted it to my sister (who loved it) and recently gave it to a friend who wanted to get back into reading; cannot recommend this enough!

3) Gingerbread Houses: What book or series has wonderful world building? ❅☃

The Folk of the Air series and the A Court Of Thorns and Roses series have incredible world building! Have you noticed a pattern? I seem to love the Fae and I wish I lived in a world where they were present.

4) A Christmas Carol: Favorite classic or one that you want to read ❅☃

I have a few favourites that are perfect for this season: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë. Perfect cozy holiday reads.

5) Christmas Sweets: What book would you love to receive for Christmas ❅☃

These Violent Delights, From Blood and Ash, Fable more than anything! (Kerstin my sister if you read this….you know what to get me for Christmas haha) -; These are the books I’m going to buy as soon as I get through my current TBR.

6) Candles in the Window: What book gives you that warm fuzzy feeling ❅☃

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, always.

7) Christmas Trees & Decorations: What are some of your favorite book covers? ❅☃

Some of my favourite covers are these:

I really like intricate designs as well as art on my covers!

8) Christmas Joy: What are some of your favorite things about Christmas And/Or some of your favorite Christmas memories? ❅☃

I know it’s weird since I’m dedicating a whole blogging month to Christmas but I’m not a fan of Christmas in itself, but rather, the feeling, the happiness in the air, the songs, the snow, Christmas lights and Christmas markets..It’s not really about Christmas but more what it represents.

What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Karla xx

Discussion post

Book cover reveals! – Book discussion

Hello lovelies!

I don’t necessarily judge a book by its cover but a good book cover is still very much appreciated. And there’s nothing more satisfying than having shelves full of beautiful covers. This week (I think?) three of my favorite authors have revealed the covers for their upcoming releases and I wanted to share them here.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Synopsis: Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how…
Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.
Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.  (Goodreads)

My thoughts: Well, Talia Hibbert is my new favourite auto-buy author because I will read anything this woman writes. I read both of the Brow Sisters’ romances and loved them so much. You can only imagine my excitement when Talia Hibbert released the cover and full synopsis for Act Your Age, Eve Brown! I LOVEEEE THIS COVER. I think it really compliments the other two and I like the colour contrasts. Can’t wait to get this book in my hands.


One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

Synopsis : From the New York Times bestselling author of Red, White & Royal Blue comes a new romantic comedy that puts a queer spin on Kate & Leopold. A 23-year-old realises her subway crush is displaced from 1970’s Brooklyn, and she must do everything in her power to help her – and try not to fall in love with the girl lost in time – before it’s too late. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts: Red, White and Royal Blue, is one of my favourite books ever. I loved the attention to detail, the love “letters” or should I say, emails?, the political intrigue and the friend group. I know this book will be completely different but I am in love with Casey McQuiston’s writing and I can’t wait to see how she will tell this story. The book cover is beautiful and I think it would catch my eye if I were to see it in a bookstore. I really like the soft, pastel colours of the cover and maybe it’s far-fetched but the colours actually remind me of the lesbian flag; is it just me? Or maybe that was the intend and it’s very obvious? Bottom line: I love this cover.


Rule of Wolves by Leigh Bardugo

King of Scars synopsis: Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army. Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts: I actually haven’t read King of Scars yet but I read the Shadow and Bone trilogy and really enjoyed it so I can’t wait to follow King Nikolai; he was one of my favourite characters of the trilogy. I think the cover of Rule of Wolves compliments the other one very well and that it’s very coherent as the art is similar but the colours and design change. I think both of the books would look great together on a bookshelf. I really like the background since it looks like it’s engraved and that’s pretty cool. The person who designed these covers is very talented and did a fantastic job.

What do you think? Let know in the comments!

Karla xx


BLM resources.

Author’s note: I’m also releasing this post the date of Chadwick Boseman’s passing. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends. May he Rest In Peace. He was a true hero and role model and he will never be forgotten.