The Sunday Post #13 & More!

Hello, everyone! Today we are linking up with

Olivia Update 🐾

Like many of us, Olivia has loved the extra treats associated with the holiday season. We may have given her an extra squeezie or two over the past couple of weeks – she is still enjoying her cat food pizzas! And catnip. There has also been extra playtime with her catnip banana toy.

Now, Olivia has a new habit. When my partner and I sit down, she will jump up on the couch beside us and make a little “peep,” which means she would like us to place a pillow upon our laps. Then, she jumps up and lies on the cushions. Extra comfort!

Life Update

I cut my own hair last week! It took a long time, but I’m pretty happy with the result! You can check out the final result here:

Reading/Watching Update


Currently, Olivia and I are reading Our Crooked Hearts by Melissa Albert. We are enjoying it, though it is darker than we thought it might be for a YA Fantasy/Mystery/Horror. There is a page that details harm done to an animal, and we couldn’t read that section. Nonetheless, the story overall has been good, though if there is more of this type of material, we will DNF.
Content Warnings

Night of the Living Rez by Morgan Talty. This book is a collection of short stories which are also dark and reflective. They take place on an indigenous reservation in Maine. It makes for good night-time reading, and I’m so happy I acquired this title from my library. 
Content Warnings

Jackal by Erin E. Adams. Recently, I finished this audiobook – review to come! It’s a story about missing girls and has commentary on racism, poverty, classism, etc. It was also quite scary at times and was a great debut novel.
Content Warnings

I haven’t requested/received new ARCs this week.


The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. We just finished episode 6. I enjoyed the last episode and the focus on Esther, Lydia and Serena’s stories, in particular. I’m curious to see what the next episode will be like, and of course, as the series has one season remaining, we are looking forward to watching The Testaments and how it will compare to the book.
Content Warnings

Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power. I haven’t watched an episode this week, but I’m sure we’ll get back to it next week. I didn’t care for where it ended last. 
Content Warnings

The Watcher. Pretty intriguing so far! This book is about a family that moves into a beautiful house in a new and “safe” community; however, soon after their arrival, they receive a suspicious letter from a stalker who is watching the family. Even more terrifying, it’s based on a true story. I remember watching the relevant Buzzfeed Unsolved episode years ago, so I’m curious to see how it will unfold.
Content Warnings

The Midnight Club. We just finished this one and enjoyed it! Classic Mike Flanagan. This thriller is about a group of terminally ill teens staying at a hospice who regularly meet to tell each other spooky stories. They also make a chilling pact: the first to pass away must provide a sign from the afterlife. It starts off feeling more like horror but has softer stories as well. It was great, and I’m looking forward to Fall of the House of Usher by Mike Flanagan!
Content Warnings

This Week on the Blog

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  • Book Reviews
  • Top Ten Tuesday

QOTD: What have you recently
been watching/reading? Let us know!

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Review | seven years: poems on heartbreak and healing

Happy Publication Day!


Some people say that each cell in your body replaces itself after seven years. At the end of the seven years, you are a physically and mentally new person. “seven years” is Alyssa Harmon’s debut collection of poems on heartbreak and healing. Each chapter represents a new stage in the relationship and healing process, and these poems tell the story of a failed relationship and the healing journey that resulted because of that. If your heart was broken in a way that you’re not sure can be healed, this book is for you.

(The Storygraph)


This poetry book is an excellent collection. It spans over seven years in the healing process after heartbreak. While the themes deal with a failed relationship, I also feel that the poems can apply to loss or the hurdles one faces, though this may not be the intended motivation behind these works. Poetry is so personal and may be interpreted in different ways.

Many poems have intriguing titles inviting you to read them (e.g., kalopsia, calidris, and lacheism.) Others have more straight-forward titles, such as “a halloween nightmare,” and provide interesting stories, some of which I connected with quite a bit.

I recommend looking into the poetry collection, especially if the synopsis calls out to you. You may find it best to read this with a cup of tea and tissues by your side. I also recommend tabbing your kindle e-book or physical copy as you go along for future reference.

Thank you to BookSirens and Alyssa Harmon for a review copy. All opinions are my own.

Content Warnings


  • Heartbreak
  • Self Empowerment
  • Relationships

Favourite Part

My favourite poems were:

  • fortune teller
  • monophobia
  • mirrors
  • lacheism
  • the doctor’s office
  • you can’t relight a used match.


  • Emotional
  • Hopeful
  • Reflective

My Ratings:

Writing Style: 3.75
Originality: 3.5
Engagingness: 4
Insightfulness: 4
Comprehensiveness: 4
Impactfulness: 3.75

Overall Rating

Numerical Rating: 4 stars

QOTD: Do you enjoy
poetry books? Let us know!

Review | a cat cafe christmas

Description (from Goodreads)

Veterinarian and animal lover Kara Ingalls needs a Christmas miracle. Opening the Meow and Furrever Cat Café to find loving homes for adorable, adoptable cats was a dream come true—but with more cats than customers, it’s quickly turning into a nightmare. If Kara can’t figure out some way to get the café out of the red, it won’t last past the holidays.

Marketing guru Ben Reese may be annoyingly smart and frustratingly bossy, but when he hatches a plan to put the café in the “green” by Christmas, Kara realizes that she’d be a fool to turn down his help. And so what if he turns out to be an excellent problem solver and nerdy-hot—he can’t even handle fostering one little kitten. She needs to keep their relationship professional and focus on saving the cafe.

But if Ben and Kara can set aside their differences—and find homes for all the cats by Christmas—they might discover that, by risking their hearts, they’ll have their own purr-fect holiday . . . together.


My cat Olivia and I were looking forward to this book as it was a romance during Christmas featuring cats!

However, unfortunately I felt the romance fell pretty flat as did the plot. I think this would have benefitted from more editing and care into formulating characters/names/descriptions/etc. The resolution of the book, as well, left me feeling underwhelmed.

We really enjoyed the cafe, the cats, and the fundraising ideas. Chaos was such a cool cat to learn about!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for an advanced review copy- all opinions are my own.

Content Warnings

This Book in Three Words





  • New horizons
  • Christmas
  • Romance
  • Friends
  • Family

Favourite Part

The best part about this book was definitely the cats – I loved learning about every single one of them.


  • Romantic
  • Cute
  • Lighthearted

My Ratings:

Writing Style: 3
Characters: 3
Plot Development: 3
Originality: 3
Engagingness: 2.5
Inisightfulness: 2.5
Comprehensiveness: 2.5
Impactfulness: 3

Overall Rating

Numerical Rating: 3 stars

QOTD: Do you enjoy book set
during Christmas time?

The Sunday Post #12 & More!

Hello, everyone! Today we are linking up with

We are behind on comments – catching up this week!

Olivia Update 🐾

October is Olivia’s favourite time of year. She has a few orange/black/white collars for her, but we reserve her Bat collar for the 1st and 31st of October!

Olivia’s Bat Collar, positioned to demonstrate the bat!

Olivia may need a bit of a bib trim since the collar, when positioned properly, is simply covered by fluff. But! For the majority of the month, she will be wearing her candy corn/pumpkin collar since that one is her purrsonal favourite. Super cozy and fashionable.

Life Update

Physiotherapy has been going well! My back pain is nearly gone and the exercises I’ve been doing have now incorporated some resistance training. It’s been easy for me adhere to doing my exercises daily, I just need to be more consistent with walking so I’ll look for some good audiobooks and podcasts. If you have any recs, let me know!

Shows We’ve Been Watching:

Rings of Power. Last episode was not my fav, but overall enjoying this series.

The Handmaid’s Tale Season 5. What an intense last episode! Also, I’m pretty sure I’m due for a reread of the original HMT and The Testaments.

Sandman. I feel pretty meh about this one.

Reading Update

We now have a Kindle and a Kobo!

This week we completed 2 books!

Witches of Brooklyn by Sophie Escabasse. So cute! This graphic novel was a lot of fun. I enjoyed the concept and am looking forward to reading book two!

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson. Wow, was this ever an amazing book. Definitely check out my book review and see if it’s a book you’d like to add to your TBR!

This Week on the Blog

Next Week on the Blog

  • Book Reviews
  • September Wrap-Up
  • October TBR Game

QOTD: Do you enjoy
spooky season? Or are you more of
a cozy autumn reader? Or both?

Where to find us: Blog | Bookstagram | Twitter | Booktube | BookTok | Storygraph | Pinterest

Rave Review | Black Cake

I’ve provided the synopsis below for those who would benefit from a synopsis, but I actually recommend going into this knowing as little as possible! Except for perhaps the content warnings, if needed.

Synopsis (from Goodreads)

We can’t choose what we inherit. But can we choose who we become?
In present-day California, Eleanor Bennett’s death leaves behind a puzzling inheritance for her two children, Byron and Benny: a black cake, made from a family recipe with a long history, and a voice recording. In her message, Eleanor shares a tumultuous story about a headstrong young swimmer who escapes her island home under suspicion of murder. The heartbreaking tale Eleanor unfolds, the secrets she still holds back, and the mystery of a long-lost child challenge everything the siblings thought they knew about their lineage and themselves.

Can Byron and Benny reclaim their once-close relationship, piece together Eleanor’s true history, and fulfill her final request to “share the black cake when the time is right”? Will their mother’s revelations bring them back together or leave them feeling more lost than ever?

Charmaine Wilkerson’s debut novel is a story of how the inheritance of betrayals, secrets, memories, and even names can shape relationships and history. Deeply evocative and beautifully written, Black Cake is an extraordinary journey through the life of a family changed forever by the choices of its matriarch.

Content Warnings


Wow! this was a highly impactful and near-perfect read for me.
Exactly the type of book I reserve my five-star ratings for.

Black Cake is told in a complex manner with numerous timelines and perspectives, divulging secrets the entire way through. Pair that with the central role of the black cake, layers of secrets are blended together and revealed in a satisfying way. I couldn’t stop reading the book.

I highly recommend it! This book will take you from the seashore of the Caribbean across continents, decades, and even centuries. Excellent.

(Apologies, this review is brief to prevent myself from divulging spoilers!)

This Book in Three Words




Photo by Haley Black on


  • Family
  • Food
  • Protecting the ones you love
  • Courage
  • Traditions

Favourite Part

Learning about indigenous food, food culture, and history.


  • Mysterious
  • Reflective
  • Emotional

New Words Learned

My Ratings:

Writing Style: 4.5
Characters: 5
Plot Development:5
Originality: 5
Engagingness: 5
Inisightfulness: 5
Comprehensiveness: 5
Impactfulness: 5

Overall Rating

Numerical Rating: 5 stars

QOTD: Do you enjoy book set
by the ocean?

August Wrap up

Hi everyone! Olivia and I are excited to share our August reading wrap-up with you. We’ve read 12 books and enjoyed most of what we read.

This month, we participated in the #ARCathon and did our best to manage our NetGalley reviews. Currently, we are sitting at an 85% feedback ratio and are happy with our progress.

So, let’s dive into this wrap-up!

Reading Wrap-Up and Stats


What was your favourite read of August? See any books on our list you’d like to check out? Let us know! Note all @NetGalley books were provided for an honest review. Thank you to the publishers and to NetGalley. #ReadingWrapUp #ReadingStats #AugustBooks #BookTok

♬ Oke work that imaged the Ghibli-like forest – CRAFT SOUND STUDIO

Reading Statistics

In terms of overall mood, we mostly read mysterious and emotional books with dashes of adventure, reflection, and lightheartedness. Our books were all medium pace, which is quite a shock. Usually, there is a range, so it’s curious how this happened.

Correction – 11/12 books were fiction. And most of my books were in the > 300-page range. Again, not typical, but I have been trying to read more of a mixture between children’s and YA/adult fiction on NetGalley, which may have resulted in this trend.

Another active month! With the TBR game, Readathon, and our Top Shelf Society buddy read, August was quite a productive time! Also, my back injury has made it challenging to be active, so reading has been welcome this month. Olivia has very much enjoyed cuddling and reading together.

Reading Wrap-Up and Mini Reviews

Book Cover images link to Goodreads. Highlighted Book Titles link to book reviews. Content Warnings link to The Storygraph, if available. Books with an “NG” were from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review – all opinions are my own.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia.
Published: July 19th, 2022.
(5 stars) This book was my favourite book of the month! Silvia Moreno-Garcia has an impressive ability to provide atmospheric, entertaining reads that hook me in from the first chapter. She creates captivating stories while weaving social and political commentaries into her novels. Spectacular. Historical fiction, Sci-fi, Fantasy, Horror.
Content Warnings.

Baker and Taylor and the Mystery of the Library Cats by Candy Rodo.
Release Date: September 5th, 2022.
(5 stars) This picture book features two cats, Baker and Taylor, as they try to discover the mystery of the famous library cats. Magnificent read and so much fun! Children’s, Picture Books, Animals. (NG)

Anne of Green Gables by Manga Classics.
Published: November 10th, 2020.
(4.75 stars)This manga is the most entertaining, fun, and creative adaptation I’ve read of AOGG. It stayed true to the original book highlighting pertinent events. It was excellent to read. Manga, Classics, Graphic Novel, Historical Fiction. (NG).

A Treacherous Tale by Elizabeth Penney.
Published: August 23rd, 2022.
(4.25 stars). This sequel is a terrific, cozy mystery and is book #2 of The Cambridge Bookshop Series. Honestly, I enjoyed book two even more than book one. There are fairy tale vibes and a page-turning mystery present. Oh, and there are cats! Cozy Mystery, Fiction. (NG).
(Suggested CWs: death, murder, missing/?captured persons.)

The Ghosts of Rose Hill by R.M. Romero.
Published: May 10th, 2022.
(4 stars). This book is a haunting and enchanting story about a biracial Jewish girl sent away to stay with her aunt in Prague. I read/listened to this book and enjoyed it. I highly recommend this book, especially if you love poetic writing. Fantasy, YA, Magical Realism, Historical Fiction, Poetry. (NG)
Content Warnings.

The Kindest Lie by Nancy Johnson.
Published: February 2nd, 2022.
(3.75 stars). This is a contemporary fiction novel about Ruth, an Ivy-League Black engineer who is eager to start a family with her husband; however, she had to give up her baby years ago. And now, to move forward, she needs to make peace with her past. Overall, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I think that Nancy Johnson did such an impressive job of setting the timeline and in crafting Ruth’s story. There are two points of view and Ruth’s POV was my favourite. Recommended if you’ve enjoyed books such as Little Fires Everywhere. Fiction, Contemporary, Mystery.
Content Warnings.

Underneath the Earth’s Crust. Trip to the Core of our Planet by Mack Van Gageldonk.
Release Date: November 29th, 2022.
(4 stars). Informative nonfiction children’s book that covers material about the earth’s crust. There is a lot of information packed in here! The earth’s layers, underground animals and plants, gemstones, thermal springs, etc.! And there are lots of drawings and images to keep kids involved. I enjoyed reading and learning from this one! Children’s, Nonfiction, Science. (NG)

Lucky Cat by Melody Cheng; Helen Wu; Janet Wang.
Release Date: September 20th, 2022.
(3.25 stars) This picture book features a good story about the struggle of immigrant families trying to run a business in a new country. The illustrations are so beautiful in this one and my favourite aspect. I wanted a bit more from this story, and some themes could have been explored differently; however, it was a good read overall. Children’s, Animals. (NG)

The Gravity of Existence by Christina Sng.
Release Date: December 5th, 2022.
(3 stars). This poetry book has many poems about sirens, ghosts, fairy tales, myths, and other topics. Not every poem was a hit for me, and many were short. My favourites were poems about myths and fairy tales. Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Poetry. (NG)
Content Warnings.

The Nine Origins by Kes Trester.
Release Date: October 11th, 2022.
(2.25 stars). A YA fantasy book. Set in modern times, within this novel are nine gifts that a select few individuals possess. Our main character is about to embark on a journey to discover what her gift means for her. It sounded like a good synopsis; however, the characters were quite stereotypical, the story did not feel fleshed out, and I think that it could have benefitted from having different perspectives provide feedback on this book. Some language was off-putting as well. I did like several components of the overall story and learning about the nine gifts. Fantasy, YA.

The Unbalanced Equation by H.L. MacFarlane.
Release Date: September 15th, 2022.
(2 stars). Initially, I was looking forward to this book and thought it would be fun and cute. There are some tropes here I think readers may enjoy, like dual perspectives, forced proximity, and others. Unfortunately, this book wasn’t for me due to the presence of some very off-putting behaviours, language, and scenarios that occurred. Romance, Contemporary.
Content Warnings.

A Nico Colored Canvas by Nao Shikita.
Published: June 21st, 2022.
(2 stars). This manga is about a “free-spirited” art university student as she is learning how to perfect her craft. I was looking forward to it, but it wasn’t for me. The story felt rushed. Additionally, I encountered some very off-putting scenarios and rude language, so it just missed the mark for me. I think the overall art style was at an appropriate level as it reminded me a bit of Lovely Complex. Manga, University. (NG)

So, that is my Wrap-Up! Overall, we enjoyed many of our books, and while not every book was a hit, I hope this wrap-up provides some beneficial information for you and encourages you to check out some excellent books!

QOTD: What was your favourite read this August?
Let us know!


Synopsis (from Goodreads):
Every seven years, the Agon begins. As punishment for a past rebellion, nine Greek gods are forced to walk the earth as mortals, hunted by the descendants of ancient bloodlines, all eager to kill a god and seize their divine power and immortality.
Long ago, Lore Perseous fled that brutal world in the wake of her family’s sadistic murder by a rival line, turning her back on the hunt’s promises of eternal glory. For years she’s pushed away any thought of revenge against the man–now a god–responsible for their deaths.

Yet as the next hunt dawns over New York City, two participants seek out her help: Castor, a childhood friend of Lore believed long dead, and a gravely wounded Athena, among the last of the original gods.

The goddess offers an alliance against their mutual enemy and, at last, a way for Lore to leave the Agon behind forever. But Lore’s decision to bind her fate to Athena’s and rejoin the hunt will come at a deadly cost–and still may not be enough to stop the rise of a new god with the power to bring humanity to its knees.

Reading Vlog / Review

Reading Vlog/Review link


Lore has been on my radar for quite a long time. The cover is so simple, elegant and stunning that it was impossible to avoid purchasing it. That said, the synopsis was a bit hazy. For some reason, I couldn’t wrap my brain around the whole concept. I would pick it up and set it back down again. Finally, I put it as a July TBR candidate, the TBR wheel chose it for me, and I suppose you could say that reading the novel came down to fate.

At the start of Lore, I found it challenging to understand what was happening. I felt immediately thrown into the book, the action began, and I tried to stay afloat while processing it. Essentially, Lore is the main character and reluctantly takes part in the “Agon,” a hunt in which ancient Greek gods and goddesses must roam the earth as mortals as punishment for a previous rebellion. Lore was raised as a hunter, belonging to Perseus’ bloodline (Perseus, the slayer of Medusa). Athena, the goddess of war, is the one pulling her into the hunt. She has some crucial intel and makes an offer to Lore.

The setting takes place in modern times and makes for a curious read. It was a point that I was highly skeptical of enjoying, but for some reason, it didn’t bother me as much as I thought it would. In reflection, I wonder if I might have enjoyed it more if set in centuries earlier, but I’ll never know.

There were elements I enjoyed. Greek mythology is such a fascinating field. I’m always eager to learn more about this topic. A net positive is that I learned more about the myths and tales of Medusa, Perseus, and Athena. For example, I didn’t know why Medusa became a gorgon.

In Lore, there just wasn’t enough of what I wanted and too much of what I didn’t. In other words, I wanted so much more Greek mythology and world-building and fewer action-packed scenes. I craved background information on the various bloodlines and a greater understanding of the hunt, its origin, and what happened during earlier rounds. Therefore, this resulted in a very rushed feeling with an overall lack of depth. I did enjoy the story, but it felt like it was published a decade or more ago – I was surprised to learn that it was published in 2021. The characters needed more depth to them and fell flat. But overall, I enjoyed the story and conclusion but had several issues with it along the way.

I recommend this to those interested in a fast-paced, action-packed YA Fantasy with Greek mythology elements intertwined.

Content Warnings


  • Fast-paced
  • Adventurous


  • War
  • Power
  • Corruption
  • Family
  • Friendship
  • Mythology



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The Sunday Post #9 & More!

Hello, everyone! Today we are linking up with

Very brief post today! Resting and recovering from a busy weekend. Thank you for stopping by!

Olivia Update 🐾

Olivia had another wonderful week! She enjoyed spending lots of time with my partner and myself, as we were on staycation. We still have another couple of days off, and Olivia is excited for even more cuddle time.

Life Update

Today is the first day I’ve felt relatively okay since my back injury. It’s been rough, but I’m happy to have spent time resting and recovering. That said, energy is a bit low today, but I’m sure it will return this upcoming week!

Reading Update

For a video recap of our week, and our progress on the ARCathon readathon please check out our youtube video! ARCathon is hosted by Marti and Britt!

Details are in our Friday Reads post below. We also added The Family Remains by Lisa Jewell to our virtual library shelf. Expect a library haul next week!

This Week on the Blog

Next Week on the Blog

  • TTT
  • Book reviews
  • Friday Reads
  • Reading Sprint Invite
  • Sunday Post

QOTD: Are you a mood reader or
a TBR list maker? Let us know!

Friday Reads

Hi everyone! We had a good reading week – we have now finished 9 NetGalley books for ARCathon! Our NetGalley feedback ratio is currently 87% (note: we started this readathon with a 75% feedback ratio). Finally, we are almost all caught up with our TBR game reads and only have two books left to complete.

So, we are certainly happy with our progress.

Check out our Friday Reads Recap Video for details on our reads!

Our Friday Reads recap video! Enjoy!

Recently Read

The Nine: Origins by Kes Trester. YA, Fantasy. (NG)

The Gravity of Existence by Christina Sng. Adult, Poetry, Horror. (NG)

Currently Reading

Lore by Alexandra Bracken. YA, Fantasy.

Ghostcloud by Michael Mann. Middle grade, fantasy. (NG)

Next Reads

Dark Room Etiquette by Robin Roe. YA, Thriller, Horror, Contemporary. (NG)

Lost Witch by Paige Crutcher. Fantasy, Romance, Fiction. (NG)

And one day, I hope to read Anna Karenina for the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge, which looks like it will be a lifelong challenge for me!

NetGalley copies are designated as NG. These are provided in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publishers and to NetGalley, all opinions are my own.
ARCathon is hosted by Marti and Britt

QOTD: What are you reading?
Let us know!

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