discussions, fun, Lila

Lila’s #BookBlogger Confessions

Got a secret, 

Can you keep it?

I don’t know the rest of the song…

But I’ll tell you a little secret

If you help out and sing along!

TADA!!!! The rhyme queen strikes again–mixing and matching song lyrics with her own original rhymes awwwww yeeeeeeeah! Ahem. Erm, anyhoo, back to today’s topic: secrets and confessions! Fun topic, am I right? Anyhoo, us bloggers all have our secrets we keep in the dark. Some of them are tricks of the trade, some are bad habits we just don’t want made public. But today, ladies and gents, this blogger will be confessing some of her precious secrets! I know, I know, it’s a sacrifice for me, but I do it to feed the masses of starving readers desperate for a big juicy bite of secret! That sounded…awkward. But that’s me in a nutshell for ya: awkward! Anyhoo, let’s get to the good bits you’ve been patiently waiting for! It’s confession time! Lezgo!

I typically write my reviews the minute I finish a book

I like to keep my emotions fresh and my memories sharp. For those two reasons I word vomit write my reviews almost immediately after I finish a book. I used to actually wonder over when the perfect time to write a review was. Should I write it right after I read the book and my emotions are fresh? Or should I write it after letting my feelings marinate for a while? I finally settled on writing reviews right after I finish books as I felt like that would be the most honest and accurate review.

I also put exactly zero planning into my blog posts

Yeah. That’s me: Master of Spontaneity. Or procrastination. You choose. Honestly, while I’d love to give a different reason, the reason why I put no planning into my posts is because I’m a mess. In my defense, I have really, really, cripplingly bad ADD/ADHD and I’ve never been able to get the hang of organization (anyone got tips for a newb on how to start out? they would be welcome!). So that means that when it comes to my blog posts, I’m almost always winging it.

I have experienced ARC envy

Luckily not of the viciously-angry-at-someone-for-getting-an-ARC-I-didn’t-because-I-think-they’re-undeserving variety. But I have been taken over by the green eyed monster once or twice. I wonder how others got something and what I did  wrong when it comes to getting ARCs. This was mostly when I first started out as a blogger and didn’t know the hoops. Now that I’m a pro (ha! *snort*), I don’t tend to get jealous. It helps that I’m a pretty chill person and don’t tend to get jealous very much. I’m also not on social media much (see the next #BloggerConfession for more on that), so that helps.

I’m crap at social media (but I’m learning)

I can’t Twitter. I never check my blog’s Facebook. Like, ever. I totally forget I even have a Pinterest for my blog. And Instagram? Let’s just say that while I can edit photos like a pro, my actual photo taking skills aren’t worth two buckets of warm spit. So I’d say that’s a definite “no” on the Instagram front. The ironic thing is I don’t have any social anxiety and I’m not shy. I’m ridiculously social in real life–I mean, I’m the girl you can’t get to stop making conversation with you (sorry shy folks who just want me to go away)! But on social media? I just have no clue how to do it. The truth is, I’ve always liked talking to people in person much better than talking to them using technology. I rarely talk over the phone or text or Facebook  people other than when it’s absolutely necessary. But I am making an effort for you guys! I’ve been trying to use Twitter and Instagram more often these days and hopefully I’ll get better at it soon!

I blog largely at night

The saying “your best ideas come before bed” holds true for me. Apparently I think best at 2:00 in the morning. Now granted, if I’m really tired, I go to sleep early and thus don’t blog that much. But usually I’m up til the wee hours of the morning, plugging away at it.

I still don’t really know what I’m doing…

Ah, so we’ve come to the real moment of truth here. The moment where I freely admit that I have no clue what I’m doing with this whole blogging thing. But y’all seem to like it, so I must be doing something right, right? Here’s the thing I’ve learned as an adult: no one knows what they’re doing. We’re all faking competence. And to me, that’s okay. Because getting to make it up as you go along is way more fun than having it all planned out!

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fun, Lila

Lila’s Monthly Review | October 2017

Hey, y’all! Lila here, reporting for duty! How are y’all doing? Happy Fall! It’s starting to get cold here in D.C. and I am Not Happy about it! But even still, I will admit that the foliage is beautiful. Anyhow, October was a pretty good month, reading-wise and life-wise. Let’s take a look at what’s been up in my world!

Blogging Business

First off: OUR URL AND BLOG NAME HAS CHANGED!!! The Bookkeepers’ Secrets (thebookkeeperssecrets.wordpress.com) has officially become Hardcover Haven (hardcoverhaven121.wordpress.com)! It’s a change that I’ve wanted to make for a loooooooooong time but I was nervous about doing so. But I finally did it so yay!

Second off: Claire’s returned! *cue cheering* She’s been really busy with life but things have finally settled down and she can do a bit more on the blog. As for Maggie, she’s been busy with all sorts of exciting things too, but she’ll be back on the blog soon enough! We’ve all missed blogging here a ton and we’re super happy to return!

Finally: With the new name/url, our blog design has changed! It’s a comparatively small change, but I really like it and I hope y’all do too!

POST Flashback

Reading Wrap Up + Mini Reviews

The Last Namsara by Kristen Ciccarelli

The Last Namsara was the first book I read in October that just totally hit it out of the ballpark! Talk about a great start to the month! This book was quietly beautiful and elegant and IT HAS DRAGONS IN IT Y’ALL!!! This book  was so much fun and Cicarelli’s writing is gorgeous! It is a little slower paced and  more focused on intrigue, but even still, it was amazing and managed to captive me. Y’all absolutely need to pick this one up if you have the chance!

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

Another home run of the month, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns was a wickedly delicious and delightful read! This book is an East Asian retelling of the origin story of the Evil Queen from Snow White. And, boy, folks, did I love every second of it! I usually don’t go for villain stories, but something about this one captivated me. Perhaps it was Dao’s lovely writing or her intricate, complex characters or maybe her lush, rich world. Whatever it was, it has me hooked and I’m eagerly anticipating the sequel to this one.

Fire by Kristin Cashore

This book marks the only minor downturn in my satisfaction with books in October. I did enjoy Fire, but it also felt a good deal slower and less remarkable than Graceling. I think the thing is that Fire featured significantly less action, choosing instead to focus on Fire’s internal conflicts and relationships. The action at the end felt rushed and insincere, as if it was added because Cashore suddenly remembered that the story needed a climax, rather than being a natural, flowing buildup and release. Still, despite this issue, I really did like the book. The characters were certainly lovable and I had a good time watching them grow and change.

Stalking Jack The Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Last but certainly not least, rounding out this month of incredible reads is Stalking Jack The Ripper, which I absolutely ADORED! I loved this book sooooooooooo much! First off, I want to thank Maniscalco for writing a YA book centering around a young woman of color studying STEM! We need more book like this–and it was fun too! And can I just say that Thomas Cresswell has become my ultimate book boyfriend?! Everything about this book was amazing and I can’t wait to listen to the sequel and find out what adventures await Audrey Rose and Thomas!

Book Haul

RECEIVED FOR REVIEW

BOUGHT/WON

TBR

Music FavoritesLila Listens To

Lila Listens To | October  //  LISTEN

Cryin’ In The Club by Camila Cabello
The Last Stand by Koda
Not Nice by PARTYNEXTDOOR
Don’t Play by Halsey
Rake It Up by Yo Gotti ft. Nikki Minaj [EXPLICIT]
Mi Gente by J Balvin ft Willy William and Beyonce
I’m Stuck by Noah Cyrus
Devil Devil by MILCK
Hopeless by Halsey ft Cashmere Cat
Hold by Vera Blue
Plastic by Moses Sumney
Mended by Vera Blue
Idea Of Her by Whitney Woerz
Regular Touch by Vera Blue
Heavy In Your Arms by Florence + The Machine
The Raid by Wafia
Give In by Vera Blue
Lie by Halsey ft Quavo
For Free by DJ Khaled ft Drake
The House Of The Rising Sun by Lauren O’Connell
Dead Of Night By Ruelle
Consideration by Rihanna ft SZA
Suit And Jacket by Judah And The Lion
Number One by Tove Styrke
You Don’t Own Me by Grace ft G-Eazy

Movies/TV Favorites

Sadly, I didn’t watch any movies  or TV shows in October. BUT! With the coming of November, cold weather has moved in to the DC area and I’m in the mood to get some binge watching done, so here’s hoping.

Other Favorites

BeFunky Collage

Wet N Wild MegaSlicks in Wined And Dined (Shade E550)

Because I’m mixed race, I often have a difficult time finding good daytime lip stick/stain/gloss/etc. shade for my skintone. But I’m happy to say my days of searching are officially over! I’ve apparently come into some good luck of late and found a multitude of great shades for my skintone! One of my faves in terms of color is Wined And Dined (E550) from Wet N Wild’s MegaSlicks line! It’s a really unique shade because it’s almost this really pretty mixture of dusty rose and deep berry.

American Eagle Soft & Sexy Strappy Tank in Mauve

This shirt is one of my new favorite things! It lives up to its brand name, because not only is it really pretty, but it’s also super soft! I just love matching this top with my black pants, black riding boots, and my fitted denim jacket. The other nice thing about this top is that the color makes it a great summer to fall transition piece. It’s just an all-around great top!

AEO Tall Riding Boots in Black

Boots are one of my top five fashion pieces and I happen to believe that they’re an absolute necessity for fall and winter looks! Unfortunately at the end of last winter, type zipper on my favorite pair of  boots broke and I haven’t had a chance to go to the cobbler. Luckily, I found a reasonably priced pair of tall, black riding boots at American Eagle! They’re comfy, super cute, and they go with just about everything! The only thing to be aware of with these boots is that the foot size runs slightly small so it’s best to order up a single size.

News

  • Leigh Bardugo announced that she has been contracted to write another series in the Grishaverse world, this one starring fan favorite Nikolai!

Life Events

October was a super fun month full of adventures! The weather cooled off a bit, but life sure did not!

The first exciting adventure I had was going to a Halsey concert with my best friend! My best friend surprised me with tickets to see Halsey and we had so much fun! Charli XCX and PARTYNEXTDOOR opened and they were both awesome, but nothing compared to Halsey herself! My bestie and I danced and sang our hearts out and just had an all-around great evening!

The next and last big, fun adventure I had was visiting the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History And Culture with my best friend. It was a great experience, but for me, as an African American, it was also very solemn. I think what I got most out of the experience was the strength and love and determination of my people. We still have so far to go, but it was amazing to see how far we’ve come.

How was your October? Did you do  anything fun? Are you looking forward to anything in November? Tell me all about it!

reviews, Lila

Dividing My Heart | Lila Reviews Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Title: Diving Eden

Author: Joelle Charbonneau

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: Lauren Fortgang

Running Time: 9 hours, 48 minutes

TRIGGER WARINGS: Substance abuse

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary: From the author of the New York Times bestselling Testing trilogy comes a sweeping new fantasy series, perfect for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sarah J. Maas.

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom.

As sister and brother, Carys and Andreus have always kept each other safe—from their secrets, from the court, and from the monsters lurking in the mountains beyond the kingdom’s wall. But the Trial of Succession will test the bonds of trust and family.

With their country and their hearts divided, Carys and Andreus will discover exactly what each will do to win the crown. How long before suspicion takes hold and the thirst for power leads to the ultimate betrayal?

Dividing Eden was a quick, fun, but ultimately somewhat forgettable read. I sped through the book, but just days after finishing it, I find myself struggling to remember exactly what happened in Dividing Eden. It felt a bit like it went by too fast.

The plot of Dividing Eden was entertaining, yes, but it also felt kind of standard for YA fantasy. Which is probably why the book was ultimately kinda forgettable for me. It was almost a mash up of fantasy and dystopian tropes, very much like Victoria Aveyard’s Red Queen. You had the “deadly trials,” the “plotting politicians,” the “possibly fraudulent seer,” the “mysterious foreigner”–and those are just a few of the tropes employed! It just felt a little rinse-wash-repeat, if ya know what I mean. Like, it was fun and kept me reading, but the trope-y-ness of it all didn’t do much in the way of distinguishing Dividing Eden from other books.

The characters were kinda “meh” too, but not horrible.

I appreciated that Carys wasn’t the typical strong, spunky, plucky YA heroine. She’s kinda hard to like as she’s not very warm. But underneath her cold veneer, Carys loves deeply and cares so much and is so incredibly loyal to those she loves. And she has weaknesses too–and major ones, not just the typical “Oh, I’m so clumsy, haha, isn’t it cute?” thing. But at the same time, while I really appreciated these things about Carys, they also made her difficult to love as a character. It is because Carys is so cold and aloof that readers may find it difficult to really feel like they know her. Carys is the type of character you respect, but don’t necessarily feel as though she could be your friend.

Andreus…Andreus was…for lack of better, politer words, a total dick who was guided completely by his dick. Ugh. When Andreus first came on the page, he reminded me of the medieval fantasy version of a bro. He’s endearing, yes, and had his redeeming qualities, but he’s a total womanizer. But. I must say that as much as I came to loathe Andreus, I do think he had a great character arc from sympathetic womanizer to…well, how he ends up in the end (and I’m not going to say anything more that that for fear of spoilers).

As for our villains, they were kind of obvious. The book tries to set up this mystery like “Who killed the king and his heir???” but the villains are kind of mustache twirling, ya know what I mean? Like, they did everything stereotypical villains are supposed to do except cackle “MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” at the end of their sentences. So it was a little difficult to take them seriously at times.

All in all, my final verdict is that Dividing Eden was entertaining but trope-filled and ultimately forgettable. I’ unsure as to whether or not I’ll pick up the sequel, so I guess we’ll see when it’s released. I gave Dividing Eden three out of five stars.

discussions, fun

Books/Series That Lila Feels Deserve More Appreciation

Sometimes we get into a loop of talking about the same ol’ popular books over and over again. At least, I know do! There are some books/series that I absolutely adore and yet somehow manage not to discuss often. A lot of them just seem to slip through the cracks of my memory, despite my love for them. Anyhoo, I wanted to make a post focusing on books/series I should probably talk about more because they’re honestly pretty darn amazing!

The Ruined Trilogy by Amy Tintera

I recently finished Avenged, the second book in this trilogy, and I feel the intense urge to share how great this series is with the world! This series has almost everything that is required for my love–action, adventure, political intrigue, romance, and much more! This series is pretty plot driven, but the characters have enough heart for you to instantly fall in love with them. Admittedly, the writing itself isn’t the best, but the story just sucks you in and holds you! This is definitely a series worth checking out!

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston

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This is a recent release (recent meaning it came out in early spring of this year) that hasn’t been getting too much attention. I’ve only seen a few bloggers and booktubers talking about it. Which is a gosh darned shame, in my opinion, cause The Valiant is A++! In addition to being full of action, adventure, and romance, The Valiant earns bonus points from me for portraying really strong female friendships and for not doing the “Well, the book is set in ancient Rome, ergo it just has to have a 100% white cast” thing. The Valiant was an all around great read worth taking a look at!

The Wolf by Wolf Duology by Ryan Graudin

This duology is an alternate history in which the Axis won World War II and each year they hold a motorcycle race to celebrate. Yael is a “skin shifter” (a person who can shapeshift into other people) who disguises herself as Adele Wolf, the only female to win the motorcycle race. Yael’s mission is to win the race and kill Hitler, but she finds it might be more difficult and dangerous than expected.

This is an incredible duology that y’all are seriously sleeping on! It’s full of action and just a hint of romance and to top it off, Graudin’s lyrical writing is absolutely magical! I honestly don’t know why this series doesn’t get more buzz.

The Thunder Road Trilogy by Katie McGarry

This series is one of my favorite series and that’s saying a lot because I’m a fantasy gal and this is a contemporary trilogy. The Thunder Road trilogy is a lot more gritty and dark than most contemporaries, but it’s still a romance-centric series. It’s a companion trilogy which centers around a small-town motorcycle club. There are so many swoon-worthy romantic moments and there’s also a lot of action. One of my favorite things about this series is how sexually empowered the main female characters are and how respectful the main male characters are. I actually got a chance to ask McGarry about that aspect and she said that it was indeed intentional, which I think is awesome! Even if you’re not a major contemporary fan, I’d say definitely check this series out if you’re looking for a fun time!

The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

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The Diabolic was released last November and it got a little bit of buzz that soon died down. But, in my humble opinion, it deserved lasting hype because wow!

The Diabolic is the story of Nemesis, who is what is called a Diabolic–a genetically engineered human who is trained since birth to be loyal to one person only and to protect that person with their life in every way. I’m not explaining it great, but trust me, it’s a really interesting concept. Anyhoo, Nemesis is a Diabolic who is sworn to protect the daughter of a galactic senator. When the murderous, scheming emperor orders the galactic senator’s daughter to the palace, the galactic senator sends Nemesis in his daughter’s place. In a court built on politics, lies, and plotting, Nemesis, who has been trained to be emotionless, is wildly out of her depth.

The Diabolic is full of action, romance, intrigue, and backstabbing. It’s a whirlwind of a ride that you won’t want to miss!

The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black

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I read The Darkest Part of the Forest a few years ago, so I don’t remember it 100%, but what I do remember is really loving it and needing more! Unfortunately for me, The Darkest Part of the Forest is a standalone–but I believe Holly Black’s upcoming series is a companion to this book! So yay! Anyhoo, this book was awesome as far as I remember! It had partying teens, small towns, fairy mythology, cruel fairies, and a fairy prince locked in a glass case in the middle of a forest! How can you resist such a tale?! Hint: the answer is “YOU CAN’T!”

So that’s all for today’s post! What are some books you think are underrated and deserve more appreciation? Tell me in the comments! Ta ta for now!

Uncategorized

Back With A Vengeance | Lila Reviews Avenged by Amy Tintera

Title: Avenged

Author: Amy Tintera

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: Emily Rankin

Running Time: 11 hours, 7 minutes

TRIGGER WARINGS: PTSD

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary: A war that will fuel her. A bond that will destroy her.

Emelina Flores has come home to Ruina. After rescuing her sister, Olivia, from imprisonment in rival kingdom Lera, Em and Olivia together vow to rebuild Ruina to its former glory.

But just because Em and Olivia are out of Lera doesn’t mean they are safe. Their actions over the past year have had consequences, and they are now targets of retaliation. Olivia will destroy everyone who acts against Ruina. Em isn’t as sure.

Ever since Em posed as Prince Casimir’s betrothed in Lera, she’s started to see another side to this war. Lera may have destroyed the Ruined for decades, but Em knows that Cas is different. And now that he’s taken the throne, Em believes a truce is within reach. But Olivia suspects that Em’s romantic feelings for Cas are just coloring her judgement.

Em is determined to bring peace to her home. But when winning the war could mean betraying her family, she faces an impossible choice between loyalty and love. Em must stay one step ahead of her enemies—and her blood—before she’s the next victim in this battle for sovereignty.

Last year Ruined was a book I enjoyed greatly, but I must say, Avenged was the push I needed to cement this as one of my favorite series! Avenged didn’t falter or slow, widely avoiding the Second Book Slump. There’s so much to love about this sequel, from the romance to the action to the politicking! Here’s why I loved Avenged by Amy Tintera…

Swoons Abound

I’m not gonna lie: I’m a sucker for romance! I love a good ol’ swoon or two–and luckily for me, Avenged had plenty to give!

Cas and Em solidified themselves as one of my new favorite OTPs in this! There were plenty of sexy moments (but not over-the-top or smutty), but there were also tender moments in which they showed not just how much they loved each other, but also how much they respected each other. I love Em and Cas’s dynamic–they complement each other perfectly. I love how Cas softens Em and how Em pushes Cas to be a strong leader. I just…*melts into a puddle of lovey-dovey mush*

But Cas and Em weren’t the only couple who won my heart–I gotta give a shout out to Aren and Iria’s sloooooow burn. I loved all of their moments together so much! I especially loved how Iria set a great example of how a friend and/or partner can deal with a person’s PTSD. She never pushed Aren to do more than he could handle and she grounded him and came up with practical solutions to his issues and never asked for anything in return. I just loved everything about their partnership!

Murderous Mayhem

All hail Olivia, Queen of Muder!…erm, I mean…Queen of The Ruined! Honestly, the way Olivia kills with such glee, it’s an easy mistake to make.

We ended Ruined with Em and co. saving Olivia and then Olivia promptly rips the queen of Lera’s heart out. That’s…not a metaphor. She literally rip’s Cas’s mother’s heart out. If you thought that maybe Olivia might, ya know, cool her jets a bit with time and distance from Lera, you would be wrong.

^ basically Olivia, tbh

Sooooo…yeah, Olivia’s basically a psychopath. Filled with rage and vengeance and a misguided desire to “do right by the Ruined,” Olivia feels the most joy when she kills humans. And, in her mind, no human is innocent. Hence, she pretty much wants to kill every human. And she’ll do so cheerfully.

As you can imagine, this complicates things for Em on many fronts.

The thing that made Olivia so interesting to me is that I could never quite figure out where she stood until the very end. She clearly loves her sister and her people, but at the same time she’s dead set on killing every human. Would she listen to Em’s requests or would she give in to her bloodlust? I never knew and that meant that for the vast majority of Avenged, I was unable to categorize Olivia as an ally or an enemy. This created an underlying air of unease for me, ratcheting up the tension in the book.

Allies…Or Enemies???

Personally, I think I deserve a gold medal for keeping track of the constantly shifting alliances in Avenged because it was a lot, y’all!

A large portion of Avenged was spent politicking, but I stayed impressed because Tintera managed to make it interesting. How so? Oh, ya know, she just made sure that we never knew where anyone’s true allegiances lay…if they lay with anyone at all, that is. And on top of it, everyone had ulterior motives, our main characters of Em, Cas, Olivia, and Aren  included! I was always on the lookout for any of the characters to try and make a sneaky move.

A Sensationally Swoon-Worthy, Gloriously Gory Fantasy Romp!

All in all, I loved Avenged! I can’t wait for book three in the series to be released, especially with the killer of a ending that Avenged had! Five out of five stars to this awesome book.

fun, Lila

Lila Does This Or That: Bookworm Edition

Ah, what a beautiful day to do a questionnaire post! Today I decided is the perfect day to do a bookish version of This Or That. I saw this post over at Feed your Fiction Addiction but it was invented by Wendy at Falconers Library so thank you to both of them for inviting us to join in the fun! So let’s not dilly-dally any longer! Straight to the fun we go!

Buy new or buy used?
Both! I’m not gonna lie, I have a slight preference for new books, but I honestly don’t mind used books if they’re in good condition. Then again, I’ve always lived near major US cities and have had the privilege to be in areas that have superb used book stores which keep their books in good condition and which have large YA sections!

Eat while you read or read while you eat?

Errrrr…Isn’t that the same thing???

Re-read old favorites or pre-order upcoming possibilities?
Pre-order upcoming possibilities! I love the prospect of a new adventure! The only downside is that sometimes the wild imaginings of what may be turn out to be better than what is, lol!

Read every single word or skim at times?
So, here’s the thing: I rarely read physical books, unless it’s a textbook that for some odd reason has no audio component (which is rare due to disability accommodation laws). Mostly I listen to audiobooks. This means that I never skim. The only exception is in textbooks, which you technically have to skim, in order to pull out key info in an effective and efficient manner.


Happy endings or tragic?
I’m genuinely curious: does anyone actually like tragic endings??? I certainly don’t!


Audiobooks or ebooks?
I guess I kinda already answered this but audiobooks. With the severity of my ADD/ADHD and the fact that I get migraines easily, it’s really difficult for me to read ebooks. Audiobooks are nice–they fit in my pocket and I can focus my restless energy on doing something simple while listening and I don’t have to stare at a screen for hours on end.


Multiple books at once, or one at a time?
I totally used to be able to take on a ton of books at once when I was a little kid. But as I got older, I got in the habit of listening to one thing at a time and it’s kinda stuck. I think part of it is that my memory is more clogged with more responsibilities now that I’m older, meaning I have to ration my energy when choosing what to focus on, ya know?


Mostly one genre, or a little bit of everything?
Hmmmm…Tough one! I definitely have more than a bit of a preference for sci fi and fantasy, but I don’t mind reading other genres too. And sometimes I need a breather from heaver SFF tomes! So I guess a bit of both, if that’s possible?


Lifelong obsession or later (re)discovery?
Absolutely a lifelong obsession! Even my love of audiobooks you can trace back to a young age! My mom always read to me and told me stories as a child and then transitioned me onto audiobooks. From there I learned to read and listened to audiobooks and read physical books a fairly equal amount! There was a brief time in high school when I read/listened less because I was so focused on my studies, but I rediscovered my love of audiobooks in college and haven’t stopped listening since!


Classics–yay or nay?
I don’t read many classics at the moment, but I’m not against them or anything. I mean, there are many classics that I have read and I do enjoy. It’s just that, at this point in my life, they’re not what I reach for in my spare time.


Read aloud to others or be read to?
As an avid audiobook listener, clearly I love being read to! The funny thing is this: I have a very clear voice and I have no trouble with public speaking, but when I read aloud, I often stutter and trip over words. My theory on why this happens is that I think my mind reads and processes the words faster than I speak them and the lag in processing causes me to stutter a bit. Who knows!


Absolute silence or background noise/music?
I need either silence or soft background noise, but not music. I’m a musician, so music really distracts me from anything I’m doing. But also, sometimes silence…I don’t know how to say it…it irritates my mind??? I don’t know, but I always need something like ambient nature sounds in the background when reading a physical book.


Cover on or naked?
For sure naked when I’m reading! But when it’s on the shelf and displayed, cover on!

Dog-ear or bookmark?
Ooooooh! Confession time!…I…dogear my book’s pages to mark my spot? (Please don’t kill me!)

Movie covers or originals?
Always originals! I absolutely loathe movie covers because 99.99% of the time, it’s the movie poster and movie posters tend to be really tacky, in my opinion.

So that’s it! I’d love it if you joined in on the fun and answered some of the questions in the comments or even did this post yourself! Ta ta for now, m’dears!

Lila, reviews

An Epic Pirate Adventure | Lila Reviews Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Title: Daughter of  the Pirate King

Author: Tricia Levenseller

Format: Audiobook

Narrator: Marisa Calin

Running Time: 7 hours, 25 minutes

TRIGGER WARINGS: Passing insinuated rape threats, brief attempted rape

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Goodreads Summary: There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

I must say it’s been a loooong time since I sped through a good book thiss fast, but I absolutely devoured Tricia Levenseller’s debut novel, Daughter of the Pirate King. Filled with swashbuckling, adventures, and romance, Daughter of the Pirate King is the story of the Alosa, the fierce daughter of The Pirate King. Alosa is instructed to be purposefully taken captive by an enemy crew wwith the goal of finding an important artifact for her father. But the rival crew’s alluring and charming firsst mate, Riden, keeps gettiing in her way.

I loved most everything about Daughter of the Pirate King. It’s rare to find YA pirate stories–and when you do find books that at least claim to be pirate stories, they generally, in my experience, aren’t the best. But Levenseller pulls of the perfect pirate escapade with ease! With snappy dialogue, endearing characters, and a fast paced plot filled to bursting with action, Daughter of the Pirate King is a wildly fun read!

Pirates And Peril

What makes this book so fun is the the non-stop adventure that takes place. I never got why YA pirate books are so rare because the chaotic nature of pirates means it would be difficult to drag–and Levenseller proved this theory right! Between general swashbuckling and Alosa searching for the map and all of the mischief in between, the story never stops! There really never was a dull moment. If you enjoy action and adventure, then this is definitely the book for you!

Fierce, Feisty Female Fighters

I think my favorite aspects of Daughter of the Pirate King was the fierce and feisty Alosa and the feminist themes her character conveyed.

Alosa is a badass all in her own right. Her father may be The Pirate King, but that doesn’t stop Alosa from being a fearsome pirate with her own 97% female crew! Alosa is snappy, intelligent, strong, and a great fighter–and she won’t let herself or anyone else forget it! She may have been posing as a captive, but never did Alosa question her own capability. Whether Alosa is fighting physically or having a battle of the minds, she dominates!

I love that Alosa’s crew is all female save for two male pirates, who are assigned a minimal role. But Alosa’s crew isn’t just special in that it’s made up of mostly women–Alosa has curated a crew of skilledintelligent women. It’s a lovely show of sisterhood and girl power!

There’s also something about Alosa that I won’t reveal that allows her to use a more feminine skill set to her advantage–without it being demeaning!

There are far too many feminist elements of Daughter of the Pirate King to list here (it would be a long list, trust me), but if you’re a woman who’s looking for an empowering read, this is most certainly a book to pick up!

Swashbuckling And Swoons

The feminist nature of Daughter of the Pirate King doesn’t prevent there from being plenty of swoon-worthy moments! And, boy, were they really swoon-worthy!

I loved Alosa’s slow burn romance with Riden, the first mate who’s assigned to interrogate her! Alosa never compromises herself, her dreams, or her abilities for him and he accepts that and doesn’t push her to. Their flirtatious bickering was adorable (*squee!*)! Alosa never let Riden forget how intelligent she was, not once! As for Riden himself, I love that he wasn’t the typical dark, brooding, brave love interest. Riden has his own complexities and flaws. Alosa and Riden complement each other in the best way possible!

Perfectly Pirate-y

All in all, I think I can confidently say that Daughter of the Pirate King is the pirate book I’ve been looking for! I loved it and had so much fun reading it and I’d absolutely recommend it! I give Daughter of the Pirate King 4.5 out of 5 stars.