Bookish Things

Goodbye, for now.

Hello, my dear followers, 

That’s it. I am taking a break. 

I need to step away from this blog. I need time to take care of something personal, and I can’t do it while blogging. Blogging takes pretty much a big chunk of my day, every day. And I need to focus my mental energy and time on something else. I started noticing signs of burnout in April and now, I can’t ignore them anymore. 

Reading became less enjoyable, and as much as it pains me to admit it, this blog is the cause of it. It started as a hobby but it became a competition. Reading felt more like a task, a chore and I miss reading as escapism. Reading became an unpaid and unrewarded job. 

I often felt compelled to buy books I didn’t really need or read a book I was never interested in.

During this past year, I had to reduce the amount of news I watched/read because I wasn’t coping well. Now, the UK is slowly getting back to normal life, but I am personally still struggling to call this reality “normal”, while the rest of the world is so messed up. I thought the bookish community was going to be a small oasis, where I could take a break and stop thinking about the horrible things happening, where we could support each other. From what I saw during the last months, the book community (mostly on Twitter) is becoming toxic to an extent that I can’t understand, and it is such an unhealthy environment. There is so much hate, even among us readers, and I can’t take it anymore. I keep limiting my exposure to the news, and it’s time I limit my exposure to the bookish community. 

My mental health is struggling, I need to make some changes in my life and so, I need to step away from this blog. 

I want to sincerely thank you once again for all your visits, likes, comments, follow and support. It meant a lot to me. 

I have two book tours coming up, which I will still post next month. 

I thought about many ways to continue this blog, but I can’t. I need to take care of myself now. It feels like a goodbye, but I hope I will be back one day, stronger, more creative, and happier, and I hope to see you again soon.

I wish you all the best, take care of yourself and wherever you are, stay safe. 

And be kind, always. 

2021 · May 2021 · New YA Releases

YA Sequels Coming Out This May

Hello Fellow Readers,

Every third Sunday of the month, the Monogamist Reader will provide you with a dedicated post for all the sequels coming out during the month. This post is a recurring section of this blog, it was originally a list to help me to catch up with my TBR and all the series I am reading. 

This list will include sequels only or exceptionally book number X of a long series and special novella. If there is a big number of sequels, I may occasionally create a separate post exclusively for duologies at the end of the month (as a Series We Need To Say Goodbye To post).

I really have fun working on it and love sharing it with you (and adding more books to your TBR!). I hope you find it as useful as it is for me, and if you enjoy this section, don’t forget to share it with your bookish friends. 

Heartsopper: Volume Four – Alice Oseman

Charlie didn’t think Nick could ever like him back, but now they’re officially boyfriends. Charlie’s beginning to feel ready to say those three little words: I love you.

Nick’s been feeling the same, but he’s got a lot on his mind – not least coming out to his dad, and the fact that Charlie might have an eating disorder.

As summer turns to autumn and a new school year begins, Charlie and Nick are about to learn a lot about what love means.

Heartstopper is about love, friendship, loyalty and mental illness. It encompasses all the small stories of Nick and Charlie’s lives that together make up something larger, which speaks to all of us.

The fourth volume of the bestselling LGBTQ+ graphic novel is finally out and I really need to grab the first volume ASAP. After hearing the news that there will be a TV adaptation, I am officially having a case of FOMO. Heartstopper Volume Four is out on 13 May.

Illusionary (Hollow Crown #2) – Zoraida Córdova

Reeling from betrayal at the hands of the Whispers, Renata Convida is a girl on the run. With few options and fewer allies, she’s reluctantly joined forces with none other than Prince Castian, her most infuriating and intriguing enemy. They’re united by lofty goals: find the fabled Knife of Memory, kill the ruthless King Fernando, and bring peace to the nation. Together, Ren and Castian have a chance to save everything, if only they can set aside their complex and intense feelings for each other.

With the king’s forces on their heels at every turn, their quest across Puerto Leones and beyond leaves little room for mistakes. But the greatest danger is within Ren. The Gray, her fortress of stolen memories, has begun to crumble, threatening her grip on reality. She’ll have to control her magics–and her mind–to unlock her power and protect the Moria people once and for all.

For years, she was wielded as weapon. Now it’s her time to fight back.

For all the fans of this story and Renata, who have been left with that cliff-hanger at the end of book one, you can finally breath. The sequel of Incendiary is finally coming out on 11 May.

Mister Impossible (Dreamer Trilogy #2) – Maggie Stiefvater

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Raven Boys, a mesmerizing story of dreams and desires, death and destiny.

The stakes have never been higher as it seems like either the end of the world or the end of dreamers approaches.

Do the dreamers need the ley lines to save the world . . . or will their actions end up dooming the world? As Ronan, Hennessy, and Bryde try to make dreamers more powerful, the Moderators are closing in, sure that this power will bring about disaster. In the remarkable second book of The Dreamer Trilogy, Maggie Stiefvater pushes her characters to their limits – and shows what happens to them and others when they start to break.

I am so scared to pick up this book. I got my Owlcrate copy a couple of days ago and I am so scared to read it after everything that happened in Call Down The Hawk. Please, don’t hurt Ronan or Adam. Sigh. Mister Impossible is out on 18 May.

The Block (The Loop Trilogy #2) – Ben Oliver

In the second book of The Loop trilogy, Luka is trapped in a fate worse than death. But now that he knows the truth about what him and his fellow inmates are being used for, it’s more important than ever that he not only escapes, but that he builds an army.

Luka in a prisoner once again. But this time it’s a fate worse than death. In the Block, he must toggle between enduring an Energy Harvest for twelve hours of the day and surviving complete immobilization. The only semblance of relief is the Sane Zone, created to keep prisoners from going completely mad. In this virtual reality, the prisoners live out their fantasies of life outside. But for Luka, it’s different.

Happy is determined to find out the location of his friends, who disappeared after the Battle of Midway Park. But can Luka battle the descent into madness long enought to stop Happy’s manipulation tactics and keep his friends’ location safe?

Another prison break is the only chance to protect the Missing. And as reality becomes increasingly scrambled on the outside, it’ll take an army to stop Galen from carrying out his plans.

I heard so many great things about the first book of this trilogy – The Loop. It’s a story about a futuristic death row for under 18s, which is actually a long purgatory. The second book comes out on 4 May.

Which sequel are you looking forward to reading? Let’s discuss in the comments!

Bookish Things · Reviews

ARC Review: For The Wolf – Hannah Whitten

Synopsis:

The first daughter is for the Throne.
The second daughter is for the Wolf.

For fans of Uprooted and The Bear and the Nightingale comes a dark fantasy novel about a young woman who must be sacrificed to the legendary Wolf of the Wood to save her kingdom. But not all legends are true, and the Wolf isn’t the only danger lurking in the Wilderwood.

As the only Second Daughter born in centuries, Red has one purpose-to be sacrificed to the Wolf in the Wood in the hope he’ll return the world’s captured gods.

Red is almost relieved to go. Plagued by a dangerous power she can’t control, at least she knows that in the Wilderwood, she can’t hurt those she loves. Again.

But the legends lie. The Wolf is a man, not a monster. Her magic is a calling, not a curse. And if she doesn’t learn how to use it, the monsters the gods have become will swallow the Wilderwood-and her world-whole.

Review:

Thank you NetGalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for an e-copy of this book.

This book is quite complex to review. 

First of all, if you are expecting a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, this is not it. The main character’s name is Red, she wears a red hood and she is promised to the Wolf – who is not a wolf. And that’s the extent the retelling will go. I was surprised to recognise elements from The Beauty and The Beast, which, for some reason, keeps being the favourite fairy tale of all the writers and an infinite source of inspiration (screams into the wild: that’s enough!). 

Well, bummer. This was a first point deduction to this story. 

Another point deduction was the rather confusing introduction and info dump in the beginning, mixed with a super detailed description of the Wilderwood. Further down in the story, I am sorry to say, it didn’t get easier to grasp. 

Red was a very weird character, who I couldn’t relate to. In the beginning of the story she has given up and accepted her destiny as a sacrifice for the Wolf. There are a series of quite dark chapters, including the creepy ceremony where she is prepared to be sent as an offer, and I was quite intrigued by the premises. I was able to turn a blind eye on the confusing settings, and I was ready for the ride but it didn’t get better. Once she finally enters the Wilderwoods and meets the Wolf she makes it quite clear she is there to stay and she doesn’t want to go. You are supposed to understand Red’s motivation to stay based on a short account of a very traumatic experience she and her sister Neve went through. One night they get drunk and enter the Wilderwood, you are given hints that something terrible happened, other than Red getting a spiritual and magical connection with the enchanted woods. The reader is given few details of that terrible event, chapter after chapter, after chapter… and then it’s the middle of the book and you still don’t know what the heck happened and why Red is so reluctant to go back. 

I mean, you get to understand the full picture only when you are too far into the story, so it is difficult to fully get Red’s actions or stubborn behaviour. Instead, she just comes across as an immature and petulant child. And on top of that, you have a repetitive plot – so much blood spilt – and a magic system more and more puzzling. 

Another thing that made me cringe was the swearing. I have no problems with swearing in general, but an s-word here and there further prevented me from taking the dramatic tones of the story seriously – or whatever these characters were saying. 

The romance was bemusing. How the writer managed to do insta-love and slow-burn at the same time is a mystery. Anyway, it wasn’t even justifiable, because falling in love with someone just because he is broody (or because he constantly smells of coffee) is not enough for me (also he is not a wolf as promised). 

I don’t think this book should be categorised as YA but it’s not even adult, probably something in the middle. I have to admit, it was a bit of a struggle to finish it, I almost DNF’ed at 40%. The pace of the story was too repetitive, the characters not fully developed and it just didn’t work for me. It saddens to say this – sigh. This was another highly awaited release of the summer, which didn’t live up to the hype.

Bookish Talks · Bookish Things

WWW Wednesday – 19 May 2021

Hello Fellow Readers,

I decided to trial this meme on a weekly basis, as many of you do. I thought it would be a great way for me to provide more contents on my blog and also, I wanted to join the fun. I love reading your WWW posts and I wanted to give it a try as well.

How it works:

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and the purpose is to share what I have been reading recently.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading:

In the Ravenous Dark – A.M. Strickland

A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead.

In Thanopolis, those gifted with magic are assigned undead spirits to guard them—and control them. Ever since Rovan’s father died trying to keep her from this fate, she’s hidden her magic. But when she accidentally reveals her powers, she’s bound to a spirit and thrust into a world of palace intrigue and deception.

Desperate to escape, Rovan finds herself falling for two people she can’t fully trust: Lydea, a beguiling, rebellious princess; and Ivrilos, the handsome spirit with the ability to control Rovan, body and soul.

Together, they uncover a secret that will destroy Thanopolis. To save them all, Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both the mortal world and the underworld, and find a way to trust the princess and spirit battling for her heart—if she doesn’t betray them first. 

Recently finished:

Dark Stars – Danielle Rollins

Dorothy finds herself completely alone.

Roman is dead. The Chronology Protection Agency wants nothing to do with her. The Black Cirkus no longer trusts her. And Ash… Ash is gone.

Dorothy has seen the evidence with her own eyes—she knows that she was the one who killed Ash. But she still has no idea how, when, or—most important—why. But the discovery of several missing pages from the Professor’s journal drives a narrow sliver of hope into her heart.

Without a ship, it should be impossible for Dorothy to travel through time. But for Ash, Dorothy will do anything to not only create the present that will protect Ash—but also to save what’s left of their ruined world.

The satisfying conclusion to Danielle Rollins’s Dark Stars series brings new meaning to the idea that “love is timeless.”

Next Read:

The Jasmine Throne – Tasha Suri

Author of Empire of Sand and Realm of Ash Tasha Suri’s The Jasmine Throne, beginning a new trilogy set in a world inspired by the history and epics of India, in which a captive princess and a maidservant in possession of forbidden magic become unlikely allies on a dark journey to save their empire from the princess’s traitor brother.

Imprisoned by her dictator brother, Malini spends her days in isolation in the Hirana: an ancient temple that was once the source of the powerful, magical deathless waters — but is now little more than a decaying ruin.

Priya is a maidservant, one among several who make the treacherous journey to the top of the Hirana every night to clean Malini’s chambers. She is happy to be an anonymous drudge, so long as it keeps anyone from guessing the dangerous secret she hides.

But when Malini accidentally bears witness to Priya’s true nature, their destinies become irrevocably tangled. One is a vengeful princess seeking to depose her brother from his throne. The other is a priestess seeking to find her family. Together, they will change the fate of an empire.

Last Saturday I read in one day the epic conclusion of the Dark Stars trilogy. I am still heartbroken and I can’t believe it’s over. Also, I will never get tired of saying, this trilogy is so underrated! I am currently reading In the Ravenous Dark, which I didn’t expect to love so much. It’s such a weird story about bloodmages and death magic, and the main character, Rovan, is just one of the craziest and coolest female character ever. Hopefully, I get to finish it today. My next read will be The Jasmine Throne, which has been in my TBR for ages!

What are you reading this week? I can’t wait to read your WWW Wednesday posts!

May 2021 · New YA Releases

This Week New YA Releases – 18 May 2021

Hello Fellow Readers,

Every Monday the Monogamist Reader blog will publish a list of all the new YA releases that will come out the following Tuesday. This post is a fixed appointment and a recurring section of this blog from its very beginning. I initially started posting it as a way to personally discover new reads and, thanks to the positive comments received so far, it became a recurring section and characteristic of this blog.

Please note, a separate post is dedicated to sequels, trilogies or book series, usually towards the end of the month. 

I really have fun working on it and love sharing it with you (and adding more books to your TBR!). I hope you find it as useful as it is for me, and if you enjoy this section, don’t forget to share it with your bookish friends. 

Fantasy/LGBT:

In The Ravenous Dark – A.M. Strickland

A pansexual bloodmage reluctantly teams up with an undead spirit to start a rebellion among the living and the dead.

In Thanopolis, those gifted with magic are assigned undead spirits to guard them—and control them. Ever since Rovan’s father died trying to keep her from this fate, she’s hidden her magic. But when she accidentally reveals her powers, she’s bound to a spirit and thrust into a world of palace intrigue and deception.

Desperate to escape, Rovan finds herself falling for two people she can’t fully trust: Lydea, a beguiling, rebellious princess; and Ivrilos, the handsome spirit with the ability to control Rovan, body and soul.

Together, they uncover a secret that will destroy Thanopolis. To save them all, Rovan will have to start a rebellion in both the mortal world and the underworld, and find a way to trust the princess and spirit battling for her heart—if she doesn’t betray them first.

I just got my copy a couple of days ago via Illumicrate. I can’t wait to start reading this story of a pansexual bloodmage who must team up with an undead spirit and start a rebellion. It sounds so awesome!! In The Ravenous Dark is out on 18 May.

Contemporary Romance/LGBT:

May The Best Man Win – Z.R. Ellor

Jeremy Harkiss, cheer captain and student body president, won’t let coming out as a transgender boy ruin his senior year. Instead of bowing to the bigots and outdate school administration, Jeremy decides to make some noise—and how better than by challenging his all-star ex-boyfriend, Lukas for the title of Homecoming King?

Lukas Rivers, football star and head of the Homecoming Committee, is just trying to find order in his life after his older brother’s funeral and the loss long-term girlfriend—who turned out to be a boy. But when Jeremy threatens to break his heart and steal his crown, Lukas kick starts a plot to sabotage Jeremy’s campaign.

When both boys take their rivalry too far, the dance is on the verge of being canceled. To save Homecoming, they’ll have to face the hurt they’re both hiding—and the lingering butterflies they can’t deny.

May The Best Man Win is a story of a trans body who decides to challenge his ex boyfriend to the title of Homecoming King. This debut contemporary romance is out on 18 May and if you want to find out more about it, I recommend this review by The Elven Warrior.

Some Girls Do – Jennifer Dugan

Morgan, an elite track athlete, is forced to transfer high schools late in her senior year after it turns out being queer is against her private Catholic school’s code of conduct. There, she meets Ruby, who has two hobbies: tinkering with her baby blue 1970 Ford Torino and competing in local beauty pageants, the latter to live out the dreams of her overbearing mother. The two are drawn to each other and can’t deny their growing feelings.

But while Morgan–out and proud, and determined to have a fresh start–doesn’t want to have to keep their budding relationship a secret, Ruby isn’t ready to come out yet. With each girl on a different path toward living her truth, can they go the distance together?

Some Girls Do sounds like a very sweet rom-com, it’s a story of an openly gay athlete who falls in love with a closeted bisexual and beauty queen with a passion of fixing up old cars. Some Girls Do is from the author of Hot Dog Girl and it’s out on 18 May.

Contemporary Romance:

Tokyo Ever After – Emiko Jean

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? 

Tokyo Ever After is a new novel from the author of Empress of all Seasons and We’ll Never Be Apart. It is an hilarious and heartfelt novel recommended for fans of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Princess Diaries. This is out on 18 May.

Made in Korea – Sarah Suk

There’s nothing Valerie Kwon loves more than making a good sale. Together with her cousin Charlie, they run V&C K-BEAUTY, their school’s most successful student-run enterprise. With each sale, Valerie gets closer to taking her beloved and adventurous halmeoni to her dream city, Paris.

Enter the new kid in class, Wes Jung, who is determined to pursue music after graduation despite his parents’ major disapproval. When his classmates clamor to buy the K-pop branded beauty products his mom gave him to “make new friends,” he sees an opportunity—one that may be the key to help him pay for the music school tuition he knows his parents won’t cover…

What he doesn’t realize, though, is that he is now V&C K-BEAUTY’s biggest competitor.

Stakes are high as Valerie and Wes try to outsell each other, make the most money, and take the throne for the best business in school—all while trying to resist the undeniable spark that’s crackling between them. From hiring spies to all-or-nothing bets, the competition is much more than either of them bargained for.

But one thing is clear: only one Korean business can come out on top. 

Made in Korea is described as Frankly in Love (highly recommended) and Shark Tank. It’s a rom-com about two young Korean Americans who will compete for the best Korean beauty business in their high school. If you want to find out more, you can read this great review by The Quiet Pond. This is out on 18 May.

Last Chance Books – Kelsey Rodkey

Don’t you just love the smell of old books in the morning?

Madeline Moore does. Books & Moore, the musty bookstore her family has owned for generations, is where she feels most herself. Nothing is going to stop her from coming back after college to take over the store from her beloved aunt.

Nothing, that is—until a chain bookstore called Prologue opens across the street and threatens to shut them down.

Madeline sets out to demolish the competition, but Jasper, the guy who works over at Prologue, seems intent on ruining her life. Not only is he taking her customers, he has the unbelievable audacity to be… extremely cute.

But that doesn’t matter. Jasper is the enemy and he will be destroyed. After all—all’s fair in love and (book) wars. 

Last Chance Books is a rom-com for all bookworms out there. It’s a mix of You’Ve Got Mail and Morgan Matson. It’s a smart, banter-filled romance with a bookish vibe. This is out on 18 May.

Contemporary fiction:

Off the Record – Camryn Garrett

Ever since seventeen-year-old Josie Wright can remember, writing has been her identity, the thing that grounds her when everything else is a garbage fire. So when she wins a contest to write a celebrity profile for Deep Focus magazine, she’s equal parts excited and scared, but also ready. She’s got this.

Soon Josie is jetting off on a multi-city tour, rubbing elbows with sparkly celebrities, frenetic handlers, stone-faced producers, and eccentric stylists. She even finds herself catching feelings for the subject of her profile, dazzling young newcomer Marius Canet. Josie’s world is expanding so rapidly, she doesn’t know whether she’s flying or falling. But when a young actress lets her in on a terrible secret, the answer is clear: she’s in over her head.

One woman’s account leads to another and another. Josie wants to expose the man responsible, but she’s reluctant to speak up, unsure if this is her story to tell. What if she lets down the women who have entrusted her with their stories? What if this ends her writing career before it even begins? There are so many reasons not to go ahead, but if Josie doesn’t step up, who will?

From the author of Full Disclosure, Off The Record is a story of a teen journalist who tries to uncover a big scandal. This is considered a testament of the #MeToo movement and all the ways women stand up for each other. This is out on 18 May.

Which of these books are you planning to read or add to your TBR?

Have you read any of these books? Share your review here in the comments for fellow readers!

Bookish Things · Reviews

Review: Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite – Zoraida Córdova & Natalie C. Parker

Synopsis:

Eleven fresh vampire stories from young adult fiction’s leading voices!

In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.

Welcome to the evolution of the vampire―and a revolution on the page.

Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.

Review:

Thank you Titan Books & NetGalley for an e-arc copy of this book.

The main reason I wanted to read this book was the fantastic array of writers who collaborated and were involved in this anthology. 

I don’t usually read a collection of stories. I knew though what I was getting into and this book was just that, short stories about vampires from different perspectives and flavours. But even if I knew these were going to be short stories, I still felt like almost every single one of them lacked sturdy conclusions or resolutions. The majority of these stories really left me dry, underwhelmed and often seeking a second chapter. 

Each story tries to focus on a specific thematic around vampires, such as how you become a vampire, the first kill, the blood lust and so on. Despite talking about one of the most fascinating creatures of the night, I can’t say those stories gave me the chills. Not that I was expecting a horror book, but they were all bland. 

My favourite story was definitely Samira Ahmed’s one – A Guidebook For The Newly Sired Desi Vampire. It was hilarious, it really made me laugh out loud. I loved how she managed to connect being a vampire with colonialism, integrating various elements of the Hindu culture. 

Another story that stands out is In Kind by Kayla Whaley, probably because it was the only story that gave me some creeps and maintained a good consistency within its nature of being a short story. 

I still appreciated the original idea behind this project, of exploring vampire stories from an OwnVoices rep’s perspective. However, if I have to provide a review of all the stories together, they generally felt inconclusive. I liked that between chapters you get an interesting discussion about a specific theme of the story and offers an open dialogue. In general, it is a fast read but some stories didn’t keep my attention.

Bookish Things · Reviews

ARC Review: These Hollow Vows – Lexi Ryan

Synopsis:

From New York Times best-selling author Lexi Ryan, Cruel Prince meets A Court of Thorns and Roses in this sexy, action-packed fantasy about a girl who is caught between two treacherous faerie courts and their dangerously seductive princes.

Brie hates the Fae and refuses to have anything to do with them, even if that means starving on the street. But when her sister is sold to the sadistic king of the Unseelie court to pay a debt, she’ll do whatever it takes to get her back—including making a deal with the king himself to steal three magical relics from the Seelie court.

Gaining unfettered access to the Seelie court is easier said than done. Brie’s only choice is to pose as a potential bride for Prince Ronan, and she soon finds herself falling for him. Unwilling to let her heart distract her, she accepts help from a band of Unseelie misfits with their own secret agenda. As Brie spends time with their mysterious leader, Finn, she struggles to resist his seductive charm.

Caught between two dangerous courts, Brie must decide who to trust with her loyalty. And with her heart.

Review:

Thank you Hodder & Stoughton and NetGalley for an e-arc of this book.

This book was a massive surprise, I really didn’t expect to love it so much.

These Hollow Vows tell you the story of Brie. Brie has no means to survive, other than stealing here and there for her and for her sister, to try to make their way out of debts. But when her sister is sold to the evil Fae of the Unseelie court, she will do everything to save her. Even if she has to pretend she wants to get married to the prince of the Seelie Fae, even if she is forced to make a deal with the evil King of the Unseelie court. Brie finds herself caught up with the politics between these two courts and working side by side with a group of rebels.  

For the first time, I found myself agreeing with the synopsis, this story is perfect for ACOTAR and The Cruel Prince fans. Dare I say, it has the potential to become ACOTAR readers’ next obsession. The only difference is that it has a few Cinderella influences and then there is a love triangle, which is exquisitely executed. The plot per se is already fast-paced and intriguing, but I have to admit, the love triangle made this book really difficult to put down because you keep wondering who Brie should trust, who is lying and who is just another Tamlin-tool. The writing is brilliant and the plot doesn’t give you a moment of break. 

Overall the story has similarities with ACOTAR, and some parts were easy to predict and I knew that person was a jerk and he couldn’t be trusted. Still, the plot never failed to surprise me. There are a lot of things happening towards the end I couldn’t see it coming at all. In a few chapters, the writer manages to put all the pieces together, make your jaw drop with all the secrets and revelations, and stab you in the back and leave you dry…  I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.

The world building and the magic system are flawless. Everything is explored and explained well enough to give the reader a clear idea of how diverse the Fae courts are compared to the human world, together with their history and relationships. On top of that, the writer created a great range of characters, fully developed, with all their backstories and complex personalities. The main character as well, Brie, is strong and determined, you root for her every step and turn. It has been a while since I last had the pleasure of following a character growth that actually makes sense, according to the events of the plot.

While it is marked as YA, I wouldn’t be too shocked if it moves into the NA genre for certain thematic of slavery and human sacrifices, the politics of the Unseelie court are dark and brutal, but also because of a specific scene in the story, which was quite “steamy”, and for what will happen to Brie in the second book. Anyway, this was absolutely perfect, haha, which is why this review is short. I am a massive fan of Sarah J. Maas and this book is worth the comparison and the hype. The last time I had such a that-was-a-great-book vibe was for ACOMAF. 

Gosh, it’s so difficult to write a review without spoilers, and I can’t wait for this book to be officially out so I can fangirl about it with the book community. 

Bookish Talks · Bookish Things

WWW Wednesday – 12 May 2021

Hello Fellow Readers,

I decided to trial this meme on a weekly basis, as many of you do. I thought it would be a great way for me to provide more contents on my blog and also, I wanted to join the fun. I love reading your WWW posts and I wanted to give it a try as well.

How it works:

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and the purpose is to share what I have been reading recently.

Just answer the three questions below and leave a link to your post in the comments for others to look at. No blog? No problem! Just leave a comment with your responses. Please, take some time to visit the other participants and see what others are reading. So, let’s get to it!

The Three Ws are:

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

Currently reading:

Nothing!

Recently finished:

Dark Skies (Dark Shores #2) – Danielle L. Jensen

A RUNAWAY WITH A HIDDEN PAST

Lydia is a scholar, but books are her downfall when she meddles in the plots of the most powerful man in the Celendor Empire. Her life in danger, she flees west to the far side of the Endless Seas and finds herself entangled in a foreign war where her burgeoning powers are sought by both sides.

A COMMANDER IN DISGRACE

Killian is Marked by the God of War, but his gifts fail him when the realm under the dominion of the Corrupter invades Mudamora. Disgraced, he swears his sword to the kingdom’s only hope: the crown princess. But the choice sees him caught up in a web of political intrigue that will put his oath–and his heart–to the test.

A KINGDOM UNDER SIEGE

With Mudamora falling beneath the armies of the Corrupter, Lydia and Killian strike a bargain to save those they love most–but it is a bargain with unintended and disastrous consequences. Truths are revealed, birthrights claimed, and loyalties questioned–all while a menace deadlier and more far-reaching than they realize sweeps across the world.


Readers may read either Dark Shores or Dark Skies first!

Unwanted betrothals, assassination attempts, and a battle for the crown converge in Danielle L. Jensen’s Dark Skies, a new series starter set in the universe of the YA fantasy Sarah J. Maas called everything I look for in a fantasy novel. 

Vampires Never Get Old: Tales with Fresh Bite – Various Authors

Eleven fresh vampire stories from young adult fiction’s leading voices!

In this delicious new collection, you’ll find stories about lurking vampires of social media, rebellious vampires hungry for more than just blood, eager vampires coming out―and going out for their first kill―and other bold, breathtaking, dangerous, dreamy, eerie, iconic, powerful creatures of the night.

Welcome to the evolution of the vampire―and a revolution on the page.

Vampires Never Get Old includes stories by authors both bestselling and acclaimed, including Samira Ahmed, Dhonielle Clayton, Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker, Tessa Gratton, Heidi Heilig, Julie Murphy, Mark Oshiro, Rebecca Roanhorse, Laura Ruby, Victoria “V. E.” Schwab, and Kayla Whaley.

Next Read:

I don’t know yet… any suggestions?

I recently finished two books – Dark Skies, which I loved, and Vampires Never Get Old, which I didn’t love so much. It was a quick read and I thought it was going to take me longer to finish it, but I finished it yesterday night, and here I am stuck in limbo. I haven’t pick my next read yet and I will probably do it later after work. For now, please enjoy my short WWWWednesday.

What are you reading this week? I can’t wait to read your WWW Wednesday posts!

2020 · May 2021 · New YA Releases

This Week New YA Releases – 11 May 2021

Hello Fellow Readers,

Every Monday the Monogamist Reader blog will publish a list of all the new YA releases that will come out the following Tuesday. This post is a fixed appointment and a recurring section of this blog from its very beginning. I initially started posting it as a way to personally discover new reads and, thanks to the positive comments received so far, it became a recurring section and characteristic of this blog.

Please note, a separate post is dedicated to sequels, trilogies or book series, usually towards the end of the month. 

I really have fun working on it and love sharing it with you (and adding more books to your TBR!). I hope you find it as useful as it is for me, and if you enjoy this section, don’t forget to share it with your bookish friends.

Contemporary Romance:

Cool for the Summer – Dahlia Adler

Lara’s had eyes for exactly one person throughout her three years of high school: Chase Harding. He’s tall, strong, sweet, a football star, and frankly, stupid hot. Oh, and he’s talking to her now. On purpose and everything. Maybe…flirting, even? No, wait, he’s definitely flirting, which is pretty much the sum of everything Lara’s wanted out of life.

Except she’s haunted by a memory. A memory of a confusing, romantic, strangely perfect summer spent with a girl named Jasmine. A memory that becomes a confusing, disorienting present when Jasmine herself walks through the front doors of the school to see Lara and Chase chatting it up in front of the lockers.

Lara has everything she ever wanted: a tight-knit group of friends, a job that borders on cool, and Chase, the boy of her literal dreams. But if she’s finally got the guy, why can’t she stop thinking about the girl?

Cool for the Summer is a Grease inspired rom-com with a bisexual love triangle. It’s a story about love and self-discovery. If you are curious to hear more about this story, check out this review by Baltimore Bibliophile. This is out on 11 May.

Contemporary/Sports:

The Other Side of Perfect – Mariko Turk

Alina Keeler was destined to dance, but one terrifying fall shatters her leg–and her dreams of a professional ballet career along with it. 

After a summer healing (translation: eating vast amounts of Cool Ranch Doritos and binging ballet videos on YouTube), she is forced to trade her pre-professional dance classes for normal high school, where she reluctantly joins the school musical. However, rehearsals offer more than she expected–namely Jude, her annoyingly attractive cast mate she just might be falling for. 

But to move forward, Alina must make peace with her past and face the racism she had grown to accept in the dance industry. She wonders what it means to yearn for ballet–something so beautiful, yet so broken. And as broken as she feels, can she ever open her heart to someone else? 


Touching, romantic, and peppered with humor, this debut novel explores the tenuousness of perfectionism, the possibilities of change, and the importance of raising your voice.  

Alina’s story is an aspiring dance who, after suffering a massive injury, she has to start dealing with a life without ballet. It’s recommended for fans of Sarah Dessen and Mary H.K. Choi. The Other Side of Perfect is out on 11 May.

Fantasy/Magic Realism:

Switch – A.S. King

Tru Beck is a teenage girl from Pennsylvania who lives in a world that has become trapped in a fold in time and space, where “real” time has stopped but humanity continues to mark artificial time based on a website called N3WCLOCK.com. Tru lives in a house that has a switch at its center. No one knows what the switch controls, but her father continually builds larger and larger boxes around the switch (Tru lives in Box #7).

Tru leaves the box through a Tru-shaped hole to go to school, where she pays no attention to the new “Solution Time” curriculum. In fact, the only interesting thing that’s ever happened to Tru at school is when she discovers (on her first try) that she can throw a javelin farther than any human has ever thrown anything before in human history.

Switch is a surreal and contemporary novel which explores the topic of isolation and human connection. This is written by A.S. King, award winning author of Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future and highly praised Crawl Through It. It’s out on 11 May.

It seems it’s the contemporary novel season.

If you love rom-com you should look forward to the following weeks’ releases!

Bookish Things · My Monthly Recap

My April Wrap-Up

Hello Fellow Readers,

How are you? How is your life going? I hope you are doing well and you are surrounded by lots of good books.

Personal Updates:

April was tough. Haha. I think I entered the pandemic fatigue mode. Restrictions have been eased in the UK. I went out to shops, I met my friends, I took time off work but… I don’t feel like much changed. I feel exhausted all the time. Work kept me busier last month, but it still doesn’t feel right. I am pretty much a workaholic, but I am struggling to find motivation. To be honest, I am very close to abandoning my diet plans. It’s too much for me, thinking about meal prep, when both me and my hubby are busy with work and other life stuff, is not feasible for me. It’s more stress added.

So yeah… this too shall pass, right?

On a positive note…

I am fully vaccinated – YAY!

I am still fully operating on my blog – YAY!

I put myself on a book ban, as I said in my latest Book Haul & TBR Check In post. It sucks, because nothing gives me more joy than buying me a new book at the end of tough week. But I need to get through my pile of books. I also thought I need to make more “responsible” purchases and research more a book and read the reviews before just buying for the pretty cover.

And finally…

Last month I was interviewed by Bex @Bookaholic Bex, and if you haven’t already, follow her blog, it’s amazing!! I had so much fun doing the interview.

I also took part in the Kate In Waiting tour in collaboration with #TheWriteReads, and Kriti @Armed With A Book compiled this lovely spotlight of the best reviews for Becky Albertalli’s book and she included mine.

What I read last month:

It was a good reading month, I managed to read 8 books – and for me it’s a good amount. My favourite read of April was definitely Mortal Heart, the last book of His Fair Assassin series and I can’t wait to read the following duology. I managed to read A Sky Beyond the Storm – also well done to me for avoiding spoilers! It was *sigh* disappointing, not as much as Rule of Wolves but very close. I realised I didn’t write many reviews last month, I needed to read just for the sake of reading. I will try to write more this month.

What I watched:

Of course I watched it!! Of course I watched Shadow and Bone! and I loooooooved it! I need to find time to re-watch it. It wasn’t super perfect, but I still loved it. In the beginning, it was hard to digest how they merged the Shadow and Bone & Six of Crows stories, but the quality of every single episode was so high that I soon forgot about it. We all dream of seeing our beloved book series on screen, and this was a great adaptation so I feel we should be grateful at least we got a good one. A part of me died when they said “No mourners. No Funerals.” I think the only complaint I have is, I wanted more Nina and Matthias. As I told my husband “They are the ultimate ship” and I felt in general the media and the overall promotion process didn’t give enough credit to the actress. Nina is my favourite and I hope she will get more scenes in the next season.

What I listened to:

I am not listening to much K-pop – lately there are not many groups/songs that I am like “WOW”, and also because I feel like lately the general quality of K-pop fell. Sorry, I know you probably don’t care about my K-pop taste…. but anyway, last month’s Monogamist Reader’s OST was this old song by SHINee:

That’s it from me.

How was your last reading month?