Reading helps me wind down and relax before bed or lets my mind float away to another world on a rainy afternoon or sat on a sunny beach. A good audiobook makes my 90 minute round trip to work more interesting.

I’m a weird reader. I love reading, but I find it hard to concentrate or I just don’t have the time. Even when I’m reading, I can be horribly distracted, so it takes me forever to get into a book. Or I just dissociate while reading because I’m so engrossed. Ask me what I just read, and I’m like… ??? All I know is how the books made me feel.

Reading is important if you want to write. You get a sense of what makes a good story along with elements you want to focus on. If you love a book, ask yourself why you loved it. Use that element (while not copying the author, of course) to grab your readers’ attention. Do you prefer character or plot driven stories? Do you love plot twists? Would you like to write an MC that’s very often associated with a secondary character and give them the spotlight?

See below for some reading ranting, reviews, and some of my favourite books.

Book Review. Rhapsodic, The Bargainer #1 by Laura Thalassa, 5 Stars

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. You can never tell if you’re going to devour a book or if the book is going to devour you. For me, this book falls into the latter. It just hooked me from page 1 and made me love everything about it all the way through.  What I liked… EVERYTHING! But I’ll be specific. I love the unusual relationship between Callie and Des. It’s a friends to lovers and enemies to lovers combo. They…

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Book Review. A Touch of Ruin by Scarlett St. Clair. 2 Stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. What I liked… Persephone’s inner conflict and how it manifested in her magic. I like how she struggles to control it when she’s angry or upset. I like how she stands up to her mother. She couldn’t before, because she didn’t know what she was missing out on. Being in the real world and making friends with humans and fellow gods clearly made her realise what real freedom is.  I like the writing. It’s…

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Book Review. A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett St. Clair. 3.5 Stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. I love all things mythological, so this was a fun book to read. However, I found that for everything I liked in general, there was a huge exception that put me on the fence with this book. I would have given it 2.5 stars based on that, but it had a certain… “je ne sai quoi,” to it, so it got an extra star for that.  What I liked… I love how the mythological…

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Book Review. A Court of Silver Flames. 5 Stars

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. What I liked… So much, so these are just the top ones… Nesta’s PTSD. The fire, the darkness, the fear, the flashbacks, the alcoholism. All incredibly well done on my opinion. The fact that her first real friend that doesn’t judge her is a house. Cassian 😍😍😍 He’s not as possessive as Rhys, which I found a little much in previous books. But Cassian still has his moments that feel more like realistic bursts…

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Talk‌ ‌Dirty‌ ‌to‌ ‌Me‌ ‌😉!‌ ‌

Disclosure: May contain book spoilers but only in relation to… relations 🤣 Also, this is about sex in literature in case it was unclear. This is also about sex in fantasy novels that play heavily on romance as opposed to romance and erotica. Also, just in case it needs to be disclosed, I do not encourage underage sex, though it exists, so it exists in fiction too. Not so important but an FYI, this was planned for Valentine’s Day, but I kept changing my mind on how I wanted to write this. Finally, here it is. As an adult who loves…

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Book Review. Once and Future Witches. 5 Stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. So many things to love about this book that I’ve probably missed things. What I liked… The writing style was an entertaining combination of eclectic and straightforward. I can’t pinpoint anything in particular, but I just love the tone of the POVs. And OMG, I love the spells as epigraphs and the alternative fairytale interludes. They make for such a unique read in modern literature. I love the casual slip into backstory that feel…

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Book Review. Eversong by Donna Grant. 3.5 Stars

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. What I liked… Multiple POVs. I love 2 to 4 or even 5 POVs in my reading as well as my writing. I enjoyed the various perspectives  and where each character and group of people were coming from. I liked the romance and the lack of unnecessary drama for the sake of building some tension like some romance tropes.  The characters were nicely done with clear wants and needs. I loved the love scenes.…

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Book to Movie Review. Wicked by Jennifer L. Armentrout 4 stars

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. I know I had a lot of negative things to say about Jennifer’s Blood and Ash series, but her Wicked series was a true favourite of mine. I recently read book 3 after a million years since I read book 2. But I decided to refresh my memory with the movie on Passionflix. Book-to-movie adaptations are so rarely what the original author intended, so I always go in with an open mind. This adaptation…

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Book Review. The Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, and Crown of Guilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. 2 stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. Disclosure: I didn’t finish book 3 because I just gave up. Also, this is a pretty negative review. I liked book 1 for the most part, but the series went downhill from there, and I’m truly sorry to Jennifer since I loved her Wicked and Titan series a lot. Also, I purposely put books 2 and 3 from the Blood and Ash series together because I had the same feeling during both books. What…

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Book Review. The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. 4 stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. I’ve been finding it hard to get into books lately, so I’ve been trying all kinds, including YA. I don’t mind YA when the characters are mature enough that I can’t tell most of the time. What I liked… The writing. The prose was lovely and suited to the story, age category and general tone based on what I expected. Holly’s style is eclectic while not overindulging in excessive description.  The obscure relationship between…

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Book Review. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin. 5 stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. Serpent & Dove is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time. I liked it from the opening page. What I liked…. The brunette MC with blue-green eyes, because I’m a brunette with blue-green eyes, so that’s completely a personal reason and not useful to anyone.  It’s YA, which I don’t mind when the characters are mature for their age, like in this book. I found myself forgetting that Lou is…

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Book Review. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout. 3.5 stars

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. I’ve read a few of Jennifer’s books before. I liked the Titan and Wicked series, though I’ve yet to read Brave. From Blood and Ash is very different to her previous books. What I liked… I really liked the beginning of this book. Poppy’s curiosity beyond her current situation was nicely established early on. Hawke was also a fun interaction in the opening chapters.  The main issues of the world evolved nicely and kept…

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Book Review. A House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas. 2.5 Stars.

Warning: Some reviews contain minor spoilers, but I keep the best parts vague. Check out my Reading Ranting page for more reviews and thoughts on reading. Let me start off by saying that I am a huge SJM fan. Loved her ToG and ACoTaR series. But this sisn’t quite live up to those books for me. Let me explain why. Let’s start off with what I did like…  The characters’ relationships were fun to read. Their assumptions of what the other was doing were funny when they worked it out, and their gradually growing feelings felt realistic. I like multiple…

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Writing Has Ruined My Reading!

Warning: This gets ranty. But since this blog is about ranting… Also, shout out to my writing buddy T-Rex who prompted this post. How he puts up with my rants, I’ll never know.  As I mentioned in First Chapters Are the Worst, I’ve found more and more books go against what I’ve learned as a writer. Two of the books mentioned in that post were self-published (the two with the shorter lists) while two were traditionally published. All highly successful. With the help of my CPs, I’ve honed my skills, taken the time to become what I thought was a…

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Screw Book Purists!

With the release of Shadow and Bone on Netflix, I got to thinking how huffy some readers get when a great book makes it to the screen. Book to TV or film adaptations are getting a bad rep with book purists. Well… great stories should NOT be limited to one medium. I’m all for books. I love books. On my bookshelf. On my Kindle or Google Books. In audiobooks. I love all book formats. Reading or listening to books forces my imagination. I focus on visual words to lose myself or I listen to someone reading a story like meditation. …

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First Chapters Are the Worst!

Quick announcement: I’ve been on blogging hiatus for a couple of weeks due to losing a close family friend. It’s left us all deeply shocked and upset. I’m not sure if I’ll be back to regular posting just yet, but this particular post if more for a writing buddy of mine. I started it a few weeks ago actually, but after critiquing his new chapter one, I questioned my thinking. It doesn’t take an experienced writer to know that the first pages or first chapter of a novel needs to make an impact. But they can be hard and frustrating…

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Read Terrible Books!

Yes, I recommend reading terrible books. Why, you ask? Because it helps you learn what not to do as a writer. And that’s even better than learning what to do. It’s highly subjective what to do a how to write. I doubt any two writers will agree on everything even if they agree in general.  But there are many no-nos that just about every writer would agree with. If not, then I worry for them. And I worry for the author of the series that prompted this post. I don’t even want to say who it is because the writing…

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You can’t beat a classic sometimes. This is one of my all-time favourite books. It’s timeless with its complex characters, deep desires, and hints of magic. Dorian just captures the true essence of our darkest selves.

I took a while to get into this, but once I did, I couldn’t put it down and got desperate for the rest of the series.

WINGS!!! I love winged characters. I have a few of them, so reading about angels or demons or other winged people is so much fun.

This was such a weird story in the relationships. I was so curious to find out how they evolved that I couldn’t stop reading.

This is on audiobook in my car and I’m a few chapters in. So far, so good.

Terry’s style is quirky and ironic and so bizarre. I find myself laughing at what the MC states is obvious when us normal folk tilt our heads.

I read this and book 2 a few years ago. Because of life stuff, I never got around top book 3. But it’s on my list. I’ve also read her Titan series. I can’t wait for the Wicked movies.

I’m half way through this right now, and loving it. My only quibble is the voice is a little blunt for my liking, but that’s on me.

I’d been following Jenna for a while and had high expectations when she released this. She didn’t disappoint.

I just love this book for so many fun reasons. The MC goes from a quiet and sheltered life to discovering dark secrets that seduce her into breaking some rules.

This is very relatable story from a writer who lives next to my old town. I had to get her book. I’m glad I did.

I was highly disappointed when they stopped the films after just one. I was looking forward to seeing the series on the big screen. Then they made the TV series. I loved how they adapted the story so it wasn’t the same as the books. It added to the surprises.

There are very few people who aren’t Stephen King fans, so it’s no surprise this is on my favourites list.

My childhood would not be the same without this book, or the movie. I can’t remember what order I experienced them in, but they both left a mark on me.