Becoming

Author: Michelle Obama
Publisher: Crown
Genre: autobiography, memoir
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

I thought this was a great read and a great look in to the life of our first First Family that was African American. It was also really great to see how the times have changed from the sixties and on. The glimpse of political life and life as the First Family. The change in family dynamic and the struggles of a black family in such public light. Their struggles and successes are truly inspiring.

I’d highly recommend this book to read. It takes us through Mrs. Obama’s childhood and in to her teenage years and on to college. How she started her career in a high place and met Barack and how unfulfilled her life felt, which I can totally relate. She goes in to nonprofit organization work that helps kids in Chicago. Only for her to have to put work on the back burner for raising kids and helping her husband campaign in multiple political races. How they were thrust into the presidential campaign and beyond. What an inspiring read!

Do we settle for the world as it is, or do we work for the world as it should be?

Barack Obama, Becoming

I’m not one for nonfiction reads. But it’s a genre I don’t normally read, so I thought if it’s going to be a memoir or autobiography, it might as well be about someone that I admire. I found this book in a local bookstore and knew it was the one I had to read. But it did take me a while to really sit and read this book, like I said, nonfiction is not one of my favorites.

It was really interesting to see her life through her eyes and the stereotypes she had to face. It was inspiring to see that she didn’t want to conform to the norms of Washington D.C. political wives. She’s a strong and independent woman and she rocks!

There was power in voting. If you wanted change, you couldn’t stay home on Election Day.

Michelle Obama, Becoming

I have found myself in several jobs that paid well enough, but after working there for a bit, I felt so unfulfilled. I think I found a job that best fits me, who I am as a person and what I want to accomplish in life. She also kind of makes me want to be more involved in my community. I am truly so inspired by Michelle Obama.


Reading Goal 2022

Book 15 out of 50


Reading Challenge 2022

Celebrity Memoir

Shadow and Bone

Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Imprint
Genre: young adult, fantasy
⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


February 2022 Book of the Month!


I think it was a really great book and a great start to the trilogy. I really like fantasy books with a great world building that you kind of stop every so often and can almost picture where they are and what they are doing in the story. I also love an element of magic and supernatural powers.

I would recommend this book to people who love completely made up worlds in the fantasy genre. I absolutely loved it and the story gave a heck of a turn for me and that’s really where it picked up. So if you like those kinds of twists and turns, I think you’d like this book.

I might consider this book and possibly the series as a re-read possibility but it may not be in the near future. It’s kind of like Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, there might be years in between re-reads.

I did enjoy the writing style of Leigh Bardugo. I’m not entirely sure what about the book is keeping me from rating this book 5 stars, but there is. I think there might have been something about the characters that I didn’t like or how the story went. I’m not entirely sure but I just couldn’t give it 5 stars.

I was very in to the story though. I kept turning the page every time and I had to keep stopping every couple of chapters otherwise I would’ve read the book in 24 hours.

Overall it was a great story and great world building. I have already read the second book in the series and I’m about to start the final book. I might not read the other series in the Grishaverse though. I don’t particularly want to get stuck in a rabbit hole in a multiple series story because I’ve had bad experiences with them in the past. (Looking at you Erin Hunter) But as the book goes on its own, it’s great.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #12 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

Star Wars: Ronin

Author: Emma Mieko Candon
Publisher: Del Rey
Genre: sci fi, fantasy
Rating: ⭐️⭐️/5


This one was exceptionally underwhelming. For a Star Wars book, I was hoping for a clean cut plot and action packed that tugged at my emotions. But I feel like I got none of that. Yes there was action, but it seemed so subdued. Plus I was pretty confused for a fair part of the book.

I would not recommend this book to anyone. Well, I wouldn’t, my husband might. He likes the Japanese influence in the story. I’m not a huge fan of it though it was described beautifully. Along those lines, I would not read it again either.

I felt like nothing was really resolved in this book. As a standalone, I’d like everything to kind of be resolved and everything back in its place. I want there to be a big change from beginning to end. The only thing to change was a planet came back and somehow even that was underwhelming. I have no idea how she did that, make an entire planet coming back so boring!

I just didn’t feel anything reading this. It was almost a DNF for me. What kept me from stopping? I was hoping it would get better. It never did. It gets one star for being different and that glimmer of hope that it would be exciting. The second star was for the beautiful description of the galaxy and everything in it. But that’s it.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #11 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

14 Ways to Die

Author: Vincent Ralph
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: young adult, thriller
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5/5


Trope: Culprit Isn’t One of the Suspects
🛑 Warning: One of the characters attempts to commit suicide 🛑


Comparing this book to my previously reviewed, A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson, I think this one was more of a thriller to me. This one is less mystery and more knife-wielding murderer. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I felt a lot of emotions while reading this book and the fact that the actual suspect was no where on my radar makes it a million times better for me.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves thrillers and young adult mysteries. It’s set in short, impactful chapters that keep the reader engaged and wanting to know what happens next.

I would definitely reread this book. It is going right in to my reread pile. I guess I should make a master list of the books I would definitely reread, although they’re all going to be 4+ star ratings so it’s a no-brainer this will be a reread.

I really did enjoy this style of writing with the short chapters. I almost didn’t put this book down the first day. It took me four days to read ONLY because I wanted to drag it out for as long as I could.

I really liked the concept of Jess trying to use the opportunity of a web show to try and solve her mother’s murder. Bringing light back to the serial killer and bringing all those who were left behind together to get their message out there. I was thoroughly invested in her story and wanting to find the killer.

I can kind of relate to Jess. I never lost a parent to a homicidal maniac, but I did lose my dad, unexpectedly to one of the many health conditions he suffered from. He was getting better, it seemed, and then one day, he was gone. It left a big gaping hole in my life. I was 19 when he died, so I at least got more time with my dad than Jess did with her mom. But I would give anything to know what really killed my dad. His death certificate just says “natural causes.” So many unanswered questions and I want to find the answers too.

I really enjoyed this book and I do look forward to rereading this one day. It has earned a spot on my shelf for good.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #10 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

Promises and Pomegranates

Author: Sav R. Miller
Publisher: Self
Genre: dark romance, novel
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


Spice Level: 🌶🌶🌶🌶/5 (Raunchy sexy time with dirty talking and kinks)


So in my opinion it was an okay book. But I mean I didn’t buy it for the story, you know what I mean? I liked how the book ended sure but let’s say I wasn’t paying attention to the story much. I saw someone talk about it on TikTok and I thought it would be an interesting read because I like the whole Persephone x Hades story, mostly because of Lore Olympus. However, this was like a reference that the characters are like Persephone and Hades. There may have been a few parallels between the two stories but not enough to really hook me in to the story so I settled for the spice. Which was kinky.

I wouldn’t recommend this book to Persephone x Hades enthusiasts nor would I recommend it to someone who’s in to spice unless you’re also in to kinks. Like blood and pain kinks. Which as it turns out, I’m not. So the two sells on this book for me were two total misses for me. But who knows, I’m not here to shame anyone on their kinks, these just weren’t mine.

I wouldn’t go out of my way to reread this. Some of the spice scenes were great but the story in between the spice was not very well laid out. It was a confusing storyline, it should have just been the two of them and them figuring out life together. Everything about her family was really sloppy so no I wouldn’t reread this one.

I enjoyed some of the writing in the spicy scenes but not so much everywhere else. There were a lot of plot holes in the actual story and I wasn’t sure what was going on with the blackmailing and everything. It was just very confusing.

Overall, it wasn’t a very great story but the spice was it’s saving grace (barely).


2022 Reading Goal

Book #9 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder

Author: Holly Jackson
Publisher: Ember
Genre: young adult, mystery, thriller
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


Trigger Warnings: Suicide
Trope: Culprit isn’t one of the suspects


It was such a great mystery book. I never expected the story to go the way it had. It was a roller coaster of mystery and intrigue. It was really crazy. I definitely loved how Pip goes around and starts uncovering the truth about Andie and it was just wild.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes a good mystery with a lot of twists and turns. Begrudgingly, there’s a little bit of romance but at least our main character knows she needs to solve the mystery first before getting into a relationship. But yes it’s a great mystery and even for a young adult it was a great read.

If you are sensitive to suicide, please note there is a murder made to look like suicide involving pills. If that is a trigger for you, maybe it’s best not to read this book. You’ll pretty much be able to question whether it really was a suicide, which obviously not, but just in case. Be warned.

I would definitely reread this book AFTER I read the rest of the series. I like rereading entire series in completion so if the rest isn‘t really a reread, I might not reread this one. But I absolutely loved it and would love to read again.

I enjoyed this mystery writing style very much. I am in love with twists and turns and the totally unexpected. Being close to solving the mystery only for something completely different popping up that throws everything out the window. Love it!

It took four day for me to read it and it’s because I had to force myself to put the book down. I used to love reading books in a single day, but I don’t feel like I’m digesting the whole book if I read it nonstop for a day. So I’ve been trying to stretch the reading out. Maybe a couple reading sessions a day or next chapter put it down and pick it up again tomorrow. I’ve got other things to do these days. But I still loved this book and couldn’t put it down without struggle.

I like to think that I’d be just as driven as Pip in solving this case and I would be just as devastated as the suspects families once the case was solved. I might even become obsessed with solving a case. But Pip’s uncertainty about who she is and yet the certainty that she must solve this murder, that’s pretty relatable.

Great book, great characters, great mystery. I will definitely go on and read the next book in the series and hopefully come back and reread A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #8 out of 50

2022 Reading Challenge

None

Season Three: Episode Seven

FEBRUARY 27, 2022

So far this nothing to report. I have a PCP appointment next week to refill my prescriptions and then an eye appointment later in March to check my visual field.

I have noticed my left eye’s periphery is starting to decrease but I’m still able to see okay. My left eye is definitely my concern as I notice my eyesight getting blurrier as time goes on. I’ve had to depend on my glasses more and more now when they used to be when I drive at night, now I need them during the day too.

My eye pressure has been elevated for the last couple of years and I’m sure that has to do with my diabetes. I have to get my diabetes under better control so the pressure in my eye hopefully can go down without the need of prescription eye drops.

Let’s see what else is there? I have a WordPress blog goal! I want to reach 300 followers with WordPress or email. Hopefully if I reach that goal, I’ll be able to set up a Patreon that way I have the ability to create even more content and reach even more people. I’d love to offer exclusive things to my patrons, including the freedom to choose what you want to read about as well as vote what sticker designs come next and I would love to send you folks stickers every month. Something to think about.

I have a 2022 reading goal of 50 books. Not going to lie, I think I’m going to reach that goal way before the end of the year. I read ten books in January and almost ten in February. I forgot how much I love sitting on my bed and reading a really awesome book. Of course, I also forgot about how it feels to come across BAD books. Like this one I just finished. I’m not even going to bother doing a review on the blog for it, it’s so bad.

My weight loss goal is to make it to 150 pounds by the end of the year. So far the first two months haven’t gone the way I want. I gained some weight, but this week I was able to get down to what I started at at the beginning of the year. So hopefully it keeps going down.

I’m on my last pen of Ozempic from my old insurance. I don’t think my new one covers Ozempic as far as I know. I still hate needles. Not looking forward to insulin that’s for sure.

I’m thinking I want to add something else to my physical activity besides just walking. I’m thinking about skateboarding. I like the idea of cruising down the road. My sisters used to have skateboards in school and they hardly used it so I’d go out and try them out. I didn’t know much and stayed on flat roads for safety reasons especially since I didn’t have a helmet or anything because I didn’t like their heads. But it’s been something I’ve been wanting to do since then.

The days are getting hotter in Hawaii and the nights are also getting warmer. I’m going to have to put away the thick blankets and sweatpants pajamas now. It’s going to be a hot summer.

Otherwise that’s pretty much it. I don’t think there will be much to report next week. Tuesday is Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, or in Hawaii, Malasada Day! My husband and I will be in Kona on Tuesday so I’m looking forward to getting malasadas from somewhere. Thursday is World Book Day and I will celebrate by reading. Check out my Twitter to see what I’m currently reading.

Hope you all had a great February and I hope you all have a BETTER March. Mahalo! 🌺

Lore

Author: Alexandra Bracken
Publisher: Hyperion
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5


January 2022 Book of the Month!


What a fantastic read! I’ve always been interested in Greek mythology. It’s a really interesting topic to study. This story brings the Greek gods in to the modern world. There’s Greek language, fighting scenes, betrayal, and a little bit of love. I was in love with the story from the beginning but don’t get me wrong, there were still some points that were frustrating, like the characters. But as far as the story goes it was so well written and there were twists and turns that felt like a roller coaster. It was great.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who likes reading stories based on Greek mythology and fantasy reads set in modern times. There’s a ton of action and there’s a ton of great interaction between characters. No spice but there’s a bit of love. There is a lot of dying though and gore if you’re okay with that. But I recommend this book whole-heartedly.

This book is definitely in my reread pile. As a matter of fact, it was my Book of the Month for January. My top pick for the month. I’d reread it in a heartbeat if I wasn’t so busy trying to read 50 books this year. Once I hit that goal, I don’t mind rereading my 5 star picks.

I really enjoyed the author’s writing style. There was suspense and I was hanging on to every word as I was going. I took 7 days to read because I was reading it for a reading challenge and needed to read at least one hour every day. If I had my way I think it would have taken me two or three days tops. It is definitely a page turner for me. I had to physically stop myself from continuing on to the next chapter most times to drag out the story.

As far as characters go, Lore was a great main character. Her tragic past and the story building up the past seven years of her life. Castor was surprising and also a bit annoying to me. I’ll leave it at that. Miles may be my favorite character, I was really worried about him throughout the story. Athena was so frustrating and I have really strong feelings about her. She’s so wise and yet so dumb.

All in all, I think it’s a great read and I don’t like to give away too much about some stories. I think you just kind of have to read the synopsis and read the story for yourself.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #4 out of 50

One Of Us Is Lying

Author: Karen M. McManus
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Genres: Mystery, Young Adult
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Think the Breakfast Club + Murder. A nerd, a jock, a bad boy, a popular girl, and the school’s gossip all find themselves in detention one afternoon. All seems normal until a loud crash and a dead body. The school’s gossip is dead. And there were only four students and one teacher in the room with him. Who killed him and why?

The four students aren’t supposed to be interacting with each other, but this one event changes their lives forever. Now they’re connected through tragedy. All of them are about to get their deepest secrets exposed. High school sleuths, they find key evidence that help solve the murder, even though they know they should stay out of this and keep their mouths shut.

There was ONE plot twist, which I didn’t see coming until about halfway through. It was an interesting read for sure. I couldn’t relate with the high school students because it was nothing like my high school as far as I experienced, not until late senior year really.

I don’t normally read mystery books because sometimes they’re trash or sometimes they’re so easy to solve it’s no fun, but this one was surprisingly a great mystery. It was a great mystery and I wasn’t expecting the outcome that’s for sure.

I recommend this book IF you like young adult mysteries. I was really just here for the mystery to be solved. All the plot surrounding it, I wasn’t too interested in much. But to each their own.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #3 out of 50

Blood Like Magic

This book was a BookTok recommendation. The author is @lisellesambury on TikTok if you want to check her out. The sequel to this book is coming out later this year.


Author: Liselle Sambury
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️/5

Voya Thomas has finally Come of Age. She is ready to receive her Task, Pass, and become a full witch with a Gift of her own, just like her grandma, parents, and cousins before her. She has difficulty making decisions and has little confidence in herself to actually pass her task, but nevertheless, she doesn’t want to let her family down. However, she is given an impossible task. She must destroy her first love in order to save her family’s magic. If she chooses to decline her task, every Thomas after her will never receive magic. If she accepts and fails her task, every Thomas alive today will be stripped of their magic. How can she be the one to hold the fate of her family’s magic all on her own? She can’t fail her family.

This book is set in the not-so-distant future of about 2030, but in this future, it’s all about genes and genetic modification. It’s also about the struggles of the marginalized black community; how it’s difficult to make money and get an education, not unlike today. The importance of heritage and culture is also spotlighted in this story. Family is literally one of the pillars of this book.

The ancestors of these witches may grant those who pass their task a gift that could be anything from reading minds to fire manipulation. Each witch also has access to magic through blood and intent. They’re split into those who are pure and those who are impure. Impure witches get the majority of their power through spilling someone else’s blood. Each family has a Matriarch. She is able to speak with the ancestors and lead her family.

I love the mechanics behind the magic and how every family in their witch community is connected. The characters and their stories are great. The backstory of how their community became the way it is because of the influence of genetic modification and those who have money to get modifications and those who don’t.

I wish the other characters had more depth. Voya and her cousin, Keis, are in the story much more than everyone else and they have a bit more depth to them than everyone else. It feels a little rushed when we’re introduced to characters and then it’s very shallow and not very flushed out. For example, Luc is our arrogant love interest who has some sort of hobbies and back story that we get little snippets of and then we’re moving on. I wish we could have learned more about Alex, another Thomas cousin, and Luc.

The hardest part for me with this book was I couldn’t connect with it. That’s really just me though because I am not black myself and I don’t know anything about Canada and Trinidad. I don’t know some of the words she used or the cultural references. It was really great to read about another culture, but I found it very hard for me to connect with the story which is why I relied more on the characters and their stories. It took me a lot longer to get through this story than I would have thought but I still loved it and I can’t wait for the next book to come out.

I highly recommend this book if you like fantasy stories about magic and love. If you like stories rooted in family values and morals, this is the one for you. If you want to read a story about a black girl, written by a black girl, this one is definitely for you.


2022 Reading Goal

Book #1 out of 50