Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Review: In a Dark, Dark Wood

Title: In a dark, dark wood
Author: Ruth Ware
Publisher: Harvill Secker
Release Date: July 30th, 2015

What should be a cozy and fun-filled weekend deep in the English countryside takes a sinister turn in Ruth Ware’s suspenseful, compulsive, and darkly twisted psychological thriller.

Sometimes the only thing to fear…is yourself.

When reclusive writer Leonora is invited to the English countryside for a weekend away, she reluctantly agrees to make the trip. But as the first night falls, revelations unfold among friends old and new, an unnerving memory shatters Leonora’s reserve, and a haunting realization creeps in: the party is not alone in the woods.

This was one of those airport finds, I had to choose between this book, poetry, and Snowman....This won for obvious reasons. I haven't read a thriller in quite sometime, so this was refreshing. I totally loved the simplicity of the cover, that's one of the reasons I choose this book. 

In a dark, dark wood, we meet Nora or Lee depends who is speaking at the moment. She is very much a loner, and when I say loner, I mean if there is no reason to have contact with the outside world Nora does not. So I probably should say hermit instead. Nora's life is simple wake up, make coffee, checks/answer email's,go for a morning run to clear her mind, shower, write a few chapters in her book, dinner, repeat cycle. This changes when Nora gets an email from someone she doesn't know, telling her that she is invited to a bachelorette party. Whose bachelorette party, someone she hasn't seen in ten years, and then she asks why? I don't want to give away too much of the book, but it was good.  Probably one of the best thrillers, I have read in some time. I found myself annoyed with the main character, most of the time. Lee could, and would not defend herself in most situations, unless she was talking to Nina. There were times when I had to put the book down because I was over Nora letting people, say/talk to her any way they wanted with no repercussions. I wish we could have learned more about Nina, but there wasn't time, she was a true friend to Nora the entire book. I thought this book was predictable but then WHAM plot twist, honestly didn't see it coming. This is like single white female, if they were childhood friends, now reunited, and getting married....Let that sink in 4/5

If you can go buy this book out, or check-it out from your local library, it's going to be a movie but i suggest reading the book first. Also the cover just screams I'm lost, I love simplicity.
Available for purchase at Amazon~Barnes and Noble

Waiting on Wednesday(82): The Hazel Wood & The Queen's Rising

This lovely picture is borrowed from Thoughts on Tomes, you should check out her page!!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week I'm particularly excited for..

Melissa's Pick:

The Hazel WoodTitle: The Hazel Wood
Author:  Melissa Albert
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Release Date: Jan 30, 2018

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother's stories are set. Alice's only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.”

Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland superfan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother's tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.
Jessica's Pick:

Title: The Queen's Rising (Untitled Trilogy #1) 

Author: Rebecca Ross
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 6th, 2018

When her seventeenth summer solstice arrives, Brienna desires only two things: to master her passion and to be chosen by a patron.

Growing up in the southern Kingdom of Valenia at the renowned Magnalia House should have prepared her for such a life. While some are born with an innate talent for one of the five passions—art, music, dramatics, wit, and knowledge—Brienna struggled to find hers until she belatedly chose to study knowledge. However, despite all her preparations, Brienna’s greatest fear comes true—the solstice does not go according to plan and she is left without a patron.

Months later, her life takes an unexpected turn when a disgraced lord offers her patronage. Suspicious of his intent, and with no other choices, she accepts. But there is much more to his story, and Brienna soon discovers that he has sought her out for his own vengeful gain. For there is a dangerous plot being planned to overthrow the king of Maevana—the archrival kingdom of Valenia—and restore the rightful queen, and her magic, to the northern throne. And others are involved—some closer to Brienna than she realizes.

With war brewing between the two lands, Brienna must choose whose side she will remain loyal to—passion or blood. Because a queen is destined to rise and lead the battle to reclaim the crown. The ultimate decision Brienna must determine is: Who will be that queen?

Don't you just love the cover?? Brienna will hopefully make the wrong choice, I'm hoping someone gets their heart broken lol! 

These are the books we're excited for, drop a comment below and let us know what you're waiting for!! 

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday(38):Top Ten Favorite Books of 2017

This week the topic for Top Ten Tuesday, is " Ten Favorite Books of 2017," 
let us discuss the wonderful books of 2017, that were so amazing we can wait to share with y'all!!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Jessica's Picks:
  1.   Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth, loved it!! Ugh I can't wait for half of the crappy characters to die, painful deaths...This was the first Veronica Roth book, I ever read, the settings, character developments, writing style, it was nothing short of amazing. 
  2. The Wish Granter by C.J. Redwine, this is a retelling I had no idea, there were no hints at all talk about a plot twist. I was unprepared but I loved this book, the cover caught my eye, and this is a book that needs to read. 
  3.  Piecing me Together by  Renée Watson, I bought this book because I loved the cover. I thought this book was amazing, Jade reminds me of myself when I was her age. I could relate on a spiritual level with her, being confused at what I thought beauty was, having no confidence in my body or knowing if it was okay being me. Although I am not an artist, i understand having a craft, and loving it.    
  4.  Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds, the first book I read by Jason, it was amazing. I loved that it was written in prose, another first for me. The book reminded me of a scene in one of my favorite movies "Tales from the Hood", this book is a must read. Jason is able to tell you stories in a way that makes you feel as if you're in the book. 
  5. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, you have heard about this book one way or another. I haven't even finished reading this, I got it in August...It's so real for me that I had to put it down. I found myself connecting to this story, more than I thought. How so?, pretty sure I cried when reading about Star going to visit her friend's family after the shooting...that real. When you can feel the pain from the pages, if you can please please read this book. For Angie this is a fantastic way to start a career with THE best selling book of 2017.
Melissa's Picks:
  1. History Is All You Left Me By Adam Silvera  I read this book because I've heard good things about Adam and I'm glad I did this book was heartbreaking and sweet.
  2. Legion Julie Kawaga This is the second to last book in this series and it was a wild read from start to finish I cant wait for the final book in this series.
  3. Wonder Women: Warbringer By  Leigh Bardugo I have just started reading this book and so far I'm hooked!!
  4. By Your Side Kasie West I really like contemporary ya and Kasie West is an awesome author I am only half way in this book but so far I dig it. 
  5. A Court of Wings and Ruin Sarah J. Maas This book was uh-mazing. While reading it I was convinced half of the main characters and I was kinda right but still I loved A Court of Wings and Ruin.I can't wait for the next book in this series. 
Let us know some of your favorite books for 2017

Author Interview & Spotlight Post: Mayra Calvani

About the Author: 
Mayra Calvani writes fiction and nonfiction for children and adults and has authored over a dozen books, some of which have won awards. Her children's picture book, Frederico the Mouse Violinist was a finalist in the 2011 International Book Awards; her anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses was a First Place winner at the 2016 International Latino Book Awards; her nonfiction book, The Slippery Art of Book Reviewing, was a Foreword Best Book of the Year winner. Her stories, reviews, interviews and articles have appeared on numerous publications like The Writer, Writer's Journal, Multicultural Review, Bloomsbury Review, and others.

She lives in Belgium with her husband of 30+ years, two wonderful kids, and her three beloved pets. When she's not writing, editing, reading or reviewing, she enjoys walking with her dog, traveling, and spending time with her family.

You can learn more about Mayra, and her fantastic books here: 

About the illustrator:
 Sheila Fein Born in Queens, New York and living in Los Angeles since 1987, Sheila Fein has always been inspired by the changing world around her. Earning her BA  in Design from Buffalo State College of New York, her concentration was on drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Sheila's education as an artist has taken her everywhere from Fleisher Art Memorial in Philadelphia to Bath University in England. Today, Sheila Fein runs two figurative workshops, Imaginings Sketch in LA and People Sketchers in Thousand Oaks. She has been featured in numerous collections, magazines, books, solo and group exhibitions. Her paintings and drawings reside in public and private collections. Sheila loves to make the imagination of others a reality and has done so through her commissioned Fein Fantasy Portraits and Interactive Paintings. In addition to being a fine artist Sheila works as an illustrator. She just completed the book  "Mama Graciela's Secret" for Maclaren-Cochrane Publishing.
Author Interview:
1. Where did you get the inspiration for this book?
Thank you for having me on your blog, Jessica! The inspiration came from my
grandmother, who at one time had about 30 rescued dogs in her home. She was a
selfless, caring and compassionate person. She also had a restaurant called La Bahia
but she sold pollo frito (fried chicken) instead of codfish fritters.

2. Favorite fictional cat?
Can I choose two? Puss in Boots and Tom (from Tom & Jerry).

3. The best piece of advice you have received thus far?
“Before of advice—even this.” –Carl Sandburg 😊

4. We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist(s)? Was there a
real-life inspiration behind him or her? 
In this particular book, Mama Graciela’s Secret, the hero is Mama Graciela because she
will do whatever it takes, even sacrificing herself, her restaurant and her secret recipe,
to save the cats she loves.

5. Do you remember the first story you ever read, and the impact it had
on you?
Hmm…I don’t remember the first story I ever read, but I started reading Agatha Christie
when I was about 11 or 12 and this completely change my life. I became a voracious
reader. She was a big influence in my wanting to become a writer.

6. We have to ask, What's next for you? Are you currently working on a
new book?
Thanks for asking! I’m always working on various projects at a time. Currently, I’m working on another picture book that I have to send to my agent soon. I’m also working on a YA Egyptian mythological novel under my pen name Zoe Kalo (

Mamá Graciela’s TENDER, CRUNCHY, SPICY bacalaítos fritos are the best in town...
Local customers (including stray cats!) come from all over the island to enjoy her secret recipe. But when the Inspector discovers that Mamá secretly caters to so many cats and he threatens to close her tiny restaurant, Mamá must come up with a plan to save it—and all of the animals she loves.

Be sure to check out Mayra Calvani astounding books, and Shelia Fein's stunning art illustrations!!! Also don't forget to get a copy of Mamá Graciela’s Secret available for purchase on

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday(81) American Panda & The Cruel Prince

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine and specifically spotlights upcoming novels we can't wait to read. As always, there are some amazing upcoming books, but this week we're particularly excited for.. 

American Panda
Title: AmericanPanda
Author: Gloria Chao
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Release Date: February 6th, 2018

 An incisive, laugh-out-loud contemporary debut about a Taiwanese-American teen whose parents want her to be a doctor and marry a Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer despite her squeamishness with germs and crush on a Japanese classmate.

At seventeen, Mei should be in high school, but skipping fourth grade was part of her parents' master plan. Now a freshman at MIT, she is on track to fulfill the rest of this predetermined future: become a doctor, marry a preapproved Taiwanese Ivy Leaguer, produce a litter of babies.

With everything her parents have sacrificed to make her cushy life a reality, Mei can't bring herself to tell them the truth--that she (1) hates germs, (2) falls asleep in biology lectures, and (3) has a crush on her classmate Darren Takahashi, who is decidedly not Taiwanese.

But when Mei reconnects with her brother, Xing, who is estranged from the family for dating the wrong woman, Mei starts to wonder if all the secrets are truly worth it. Can she find a way to be herself, whoever that is, before her web of lies unravels?

I am beyond excited for American Panda to come out!! Mainly 
 because I'm a sucker for cute contemporary romance novels.

Title: The Cruel Prince (The Folk of Air #1)
Author: Holly Black
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: January 2nd, 2018

Of course I want to be like them. They’re beautiful as blades forged in some divine fire. They will live forever.

And Cardan is even more beautiful than the rest. I hate him more than all the others. I hate him so much that sometimes when I look at him, I can hardly breathe.

Jude was seven years old when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

In doing so, she becomes embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, discovering her own capacity for bloodshed. But as civil war threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Why this book?? I love the cover, I am a huge fan of all things FAE, plus the main character seems like a bad***. Honestly, truly I cannot pass this book up!

So that's what we're waiting on this Wednesday.
 So how about you? Leave a link and let us know. :)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (37 )Top Ten Favorite Book Settings

This week for Top Ten Tuesday, our topic is "Ten Bookish Settings I'd Love to Visit"

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We'd love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

Jessica's Ten Bookish Settings she would love to visit;

1. Dystopian- Because why not? Umm, fight for my life, government uprising, people/things trying to kill me!! I love it, it seems so fantastically frightening. 

2. Vampire Academy- Ugh, what I would do to find myself in a vampire world, while attending an vampire boarding school! I would for obvious reasons want to be a vampire..I mean how could you not but I would be a chill vampire...haha 

3. Outer space- There are so many books I have read about life in the beyond but YA additions. I would live on a space ship, eat unknown foods, have powers!! There is a chance I could meet other species, so many possibilities.

4. Afterlife- I love ya books about Grim Reapers, and collecting souls possibly sparing someone. In my view of ya afterlife, Starbucks is included, and I could totally be a Collector of Souls, like "Jessica, Collector of Souls at your service,".

5. Hogwarts- Always been a dream to visit, and take my place with the other Slytherins. Who are just misunderstood, we need love too! Also butter beer, Hagrid, visiting Diagon Alley, and annoying Hermoine because I could. I bet buying a wand would be life changing, and let's not forget the lovely ghosts at Hogwarts!!

Melissa's Ten Bookish Settings she would love to visit;

1.Hogwarts-As a huge Harry Potter nerd that I am, it's no shock that I would want to visit that magical boarding school.

2. Neverland- Peter Pan retellings are my jam. I love almost any book set in a Neverland-esqe type place.

3.England- Any book set in England always draws me in, there's so much History there.

4.Australia- Not a lot of books are set here but hot dam the ones that are make Australia seem like a cool place to visit.

5.The ocean- I've read so many books set at the beach or out at sea. It sounds great to just chill and be by the water.

Tell us which bookish settings would you like to visit.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Theme of the Day: Holly Black

So it hasn't been quite that long since my last theme of the day, however it has been a while.With that being said I thought I would do a theme day about Holly Black since I've just read to books by her fairly recently. If you have read any thing by her I suggests you do. Holly Black is the type other author that put on you automatic book buy list.

The Darkest Part of the ForestTitle:The Darkest Part of the Forest
Author: Holly Black

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.

At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

Until one day, he does…

The Cover: Not going to lie that cover is one part eerie as hell,one part totally gorgeous and completely eye catching.

My Thoughts: The Darkest Part of The Forest was a wild ride from start to finish,I could not put the books down.At the end of the book I put it down and instantly wanted to reread it. There was a fairytale-like atmosphere throughout the whole thing that I really digged. The main character, Hazel, is a brave girl who tries to fight the evil fae with her brother and it's not really smooth sailing at all.I would definitetly recommend this book to everyone. 5/5 

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown
Title:The Coldest Girl In Coldtown

Author: Holly Black

Tana lives in a world where walled cities called Coldtowns exist. In them, quarantined monsters and humans mingle in a decadently bloody mix of predator and prey. The only problem is, once you pass through Coldtown's gates, you can never leave.

One morning, after a perfectly ordinary party, Tana wakes up surrounded by corpses. The only other survivors of this massacre are her exasperatingly endearing ex-boyfriend, infected and on the edge, and a mysterious boy burdened with a terrible secret. Shaken and determined, Tana enters a race against the clock to save the three of them the only way she knows how: by going straight to the wicked, opulent heart of Coldtown itself.

The Cover: It's pretty simple,pretty creepy,and real eye catching. It truly fits with the story.
My Thoughts:It's starts off with a bang and keeps on going.The Coldest Girl In ColdTown will keep you guessing as the characters deal with having to make some questionable choices.Despite starting off with a bang, the book is a bit slow at parts and kinda drags but like it definitely picks up speed after a while. Overall it wasn't a bad book, I definitely enjoyed reading it, but it wasn't one of my favorites.2.5/5

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