Mid-Year Freak Out Tag – 2019 Edition

I’ve done this tag the last two years, and since I don’t do monthly wrap-ups and the like, I think that I really enjoy this way of giving myself a year-so-far summary. I’ve had plans to do this post for a week or so, but after being tagged by The Orangutan Librarian I’ve decided to bump it up to now. 🙂

Best Book You’ve Read So Far in 2019

I haven’t ranted and raved about Bel Cano the way I’ve wanted to, mostly because I haven’t been around all that much so far this year. But y’all. THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING. I am so in love. So many feels.

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Calendar Girls June: Favorite Book with LGBTQ+ Representation

Happy Pride everyone! However you celebrate/commemorate/acknowledge Pride Month, I hope it is a great June for you!

On a personal note, I am now *officially* on Summer Vacation, but my summer semester for Grad School also starts today. I signed up for three classes, so hopefully THAT isn’t a complete and utter disaster. If you stop seeing blog posts from me, you know why.

Was anyone surprised that Pride was the theme for June? No, I think not! I can’t wait to hear what you all are going to pick!

Before I move on to my pick, I want to give a brief Honorable Mention to The Priory of the Orange Tree. There are several LBTQ love stories at the front and center of Priory, but I think what impressed me even more was how Shannon built a culture that had no expectation for straight relationships. They didn’t even have the word “husband” or “wife”, you simply married a partner. There was some expectation for royalty to produce heirs, which obviously implies a hetero-relationship, but there was no stigma surrounding homosexuality. Shannon also wrote a monarchy that was not in any way patriarchal, which considering the founder was a literal patriarch is pretty cool! The book is a massive 840-pager, so if you haven’t gotten to it yet, no judgement. But if you like fantasy (especially queer fantasy) you really should make time for it. It’s SO GOOD.

On to my pick. At first I was debating, but shortly realized that was ridiculous because there was absolutely no question as to my favorite LGBTQ+ book. Forget favorite LGBTQ+ book, it’s hands down one of my favorite books PERIOD. So without any further ado, my pick for June is…

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Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Genre: Fantasy
Maturity Level: 4+
View on Goodreads
Rating: ⋆⋆⋆⋆

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.


Okay. So. It has been a loooooong time since an epic fantasy has lived up to my expectations. But The Priory of the Orange Tree managed to deliver on a stand-alone story that was intriguing, surprising, romantic, and exciting all at once. By the end of the novel I was turning pages so quickly that my brain could barely keep up with my eyeballs.

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Book Blogger Memory Challenge

I saw this challenge a couple of months ago on Kristin Kraves Books, and I was so intrigued! She always has the most interesting challenges and tags! Anyway, I bookmarked it for a rainy day because I’m always up for a good memory challenge. And it is, in fact, raining right now. So there you go!

Incidentally, was anyone else obsessed with Don’t Forget the Lyrics for the one season it was on? No, just me? Okay.

Rules: You must answer these questions without looking anything up on the internet and without looking at your bookshelves.


1. Name a book written by an author called Michael.

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton.

Have not read it. In fact, had to look up how to spell Crichton! If I’m being honest, the only reason I even know Michael Crichton’s name was from working at a bookstore. These days Jurassic Park has a very distinctive white cover with red text, so it was always catching my eye whenever I walked past.

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Anticipated Books: February 2019

Happy February y’all!

So far I’m doing pretty well with my 2019 reading goals, but I’m sad to say of all of my anticipated January releases, I only got to two. Meh, what can you expect when you have work, school, and kids?

February is looking to be even more exciting for books. How is that even possible? Check out some of the books I’m the most excited about coming out this month:

Enchantee by Grita Trelease

February 5 (Available Now!)
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Paris in 1789 is a labyrinth of twisted streets, filled with beggars, thieves, revolutionaries—and magicians…

When smallpox kills her parents, Camille Durbonne must find a way to provide for her frail, naive sister while managing her volatile brother. Relying on petty magic—la magie ordinaire—Camille painstakingly transforms scraps of metal into money to buy the food and medicine they need. But when the coins won’t hold their shape and her brother disappears with the family’s savings, Camille must pursue a richer, more dangerous mark: the glittering court of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

With dark magic forbidden by her mother, Camille transforms herself into the ‘Baroness de la Fontaine’ and is swept up into life at the Palace of Versailles, where aristocrats both fear and hunger for la magie. There, she gambles at cards, desperate to have enough to keep herself and her sister safe. Yet the longer she stays at court, the more difficult it becomes to reconcile her resentment of the nobles with the enchantments of Versailles. And when she returns to Paris, Camille meets a handsome young balloonist—who dares her to hope that love and liberty may both be possible.

But la magie has its costs. And when Camille loses control of her secrets, the game she’s playing turns deadly. Then revolution erupts, and she must choose—love or loyalty, democracy or aristocracy, freedom or magic—before Paris burns…

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