Tuesday, January 18

2022 TBR Pile Challenge


2022 To Be Read (TBR) Pile Challenge

hosted by Roof Beam Reader
January 1 to December 31, 2022 (details)

GOAL: Read 12 books on your TBR shelf. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2021 or later (any book published in the year 2020 or earlier qualifies, as long as it has been on your TBR pile). Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books ends up in the “did not finish (DNF)” pile.

This is a really hard challenge that I am going to attempt! I have SOOOO many books on list. Like VVB, I'm going to be a hair hesitant since I'm a mood reader too. Here are some tentative ones I want to try and read this year!

Monday, January 17

B's Monday Review: The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Narrated by: Priya Ayyar

Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins

Release date: 05-12-20

Publisher: Listening Library

YA fiction

To review

One of my audiobooksync books, and since I was out of books I gave it go.

Set in Ireland, which was refreshing for once. Not that we got that much Ireland in the end, lol.

Nishat is Bengali. Attends a Catholic school. And she is gay. So first there is always racial tension, since there are not many poc students. And then the whole school finds out she likes girls. She also has problems at home because muslims are not gay. This book tackles so much, like when there is a contest at school and she decides to do henna, but her Brazilian-Irish crush also decides to do henna. So then we got cultural appropriation too.

If I have to judge something, then maybe it is handling too much. It all works, it's just, instead of anyone learning or accepting things just happen. Her parents barely speak to her, and suddenly they are cool with it. She accepts that her school is a bit racist and homophobic and that is it. I know that that happens, but no one learns a thing. Not that is her job though. But maybe a focus on 2 out of 3 would have given more time for subjects.

Because now we have Nishat falling for Flavia, and maybe there is romance too ;)

All in all, it was a good book that tackled a lot of difficult subjects. I can't say if I have read a single book set in Bangledesh or with Bengali characters. It's always their western neighbors that you read about

Good narration. She did well with different characters and got tone and age very well.

When Nishat comes out to her parents, they say she can be anyone she wants—as long as she isn’t herself. Because Muslim girls aren’t lesbians. Nishat doesn’t want to hide who she is, but she also doesn’t want to lose her relationship with her family. And her life only gets harder once a childhood friend walks back into her life.

Flávia is beautiful and charismatic and Nishat falls for her instantly. But when a school competition invites students to create their own businesses, both Flávia and Nishat choose to do henna, even though Flávia is appropriating Nishat’s culture. Amidst sabotage and school stress, their lives get more tangled—but Nishat can’t quite get rid of her crush on Flávia, and realizes there might be more to her than she realized.

Sunday, January 16

Book Review: Changeling by Yasmine Galenorn

Author: Yasmine Galenorn
Title: Changeling
(Otherworld / Sisters of the Moon #2)
Genre: Fantasy, UF, Paranormal Romance
Format: ebook
Pages: 304
Published: June 5th 2007
Where I Got It: My shelf (Friend gave me copy)

We're the D'Artigo Sisters: Half-human, half-Faerie, we're savvy--and sexy--operatives for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency. But our mixed-blood heritage short-circuits our talents at all the wrong times. My sister Camille is a wicked-good witch whose magic is as unpredictable as the weather. My sister Menolly is a vampire trying to get the hang of being undead. And me? I'm Delilah. When I'm under stress, I transform into a tabby cat--and a series of violent murders is really getting me bent out of shape...

My friend gave me book 2 a while back. Kept forgetting/running out of time to get started. Finally dusted this off and give it a read!

Camille was book 1 and now we have the next sister named Delilah. These sisters are half-human and half-Faerie. They work for the Otherworld Intelligence Agency and they are good at their jobs except that because of their mixed blood sometimes their talents get short-circuited. Delilah, when she is under stress, transforms into a tabby cat instead of a big cat. When a series of violent murders start happening, they need to get to the bottom of it. 

I adored Delilah. I liked her WAY more than Camille. Not that Camille was a bad egg or anything....I just really liked Delilah. Camille is okay but I get SO annoyed by her. She is so perfect and so hawt and all the men in the world want her. UGH. Annoying. Delilah is much more relatable. Yes, she is a hawtie...but it's not in your face. 

She does have a mini love triangle pop up, but you know one is just lust and the other guy she actually really wants to be with. The Fae do not play by mortal rules though....they usually are not a one-partner-type. Good for them, but UGH I would get annoyed about hoping the men play nice. 

Anyway....the mystery was good. It took me a while to really get into this. Things seemed to drag on and on though. I found myself wanting to skim a couple of times. But once the ball got going, I couldn't stop reading. 

Overall, I did have fun. It was slow sometimes, but I was curious and I liked Delilah a lot. I am interested in book 3 because I want to learn more about Menolly the other sister. I'll give this 3 stars. 

Friday, January 14

Audiobook Review: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin

Author: N.K. Jemisin
Narrator: Casaundra Freeman
Title: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms
(Inheritance Trilogy #1)
Genre: Fantasy, Sci Fi, YA, Romance
Format: Audiobook
Published: February 25th 2010
Where I got It: Borrowed from library

Yeine Darr is an outcast from the barbarian north. But when her mother dies under mysterious circumstances, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. There, to her shock, Yeine is named an heiress to the king. But the throne of the Hundred Thousand Kingdoms is not easily won, and Yeine is thrust into a vicious power struggle.

Okay...I finally tried it! This has been sitting on my TBR list for an eon. Years indeed. Found the audio free at my library! Yayy for the library!

Soooo...the summary the book has does not do this justice AT all. This is a complex world...complex story. 

We have Yeine who is from the north. The north is full of "barbarians". Her mother was from Sky but married a man from the north. After her mother dies mysteriously, she is summoned to the majestic city of Sky. She is named an heiress to the king...her grandfather. She is not alone though. There are two others who are also named heirs....her cousins. The throne is not easily won and Yeine will learn that there is a lot to this kingdom. 

This felt heavy. Very heavy....but the author really did a good job easing you into this world and the characters. No info-dumping....no crazy confusion. I would adore a prequel with our Gods in this world to better understand them and why they fell into servitude. It would make a heck of a book. 

But yes, you read right, their Gods have been made into slaves through some God politic nonsense. The Gods truly made us in their image that is for sure. They made their own monsters and they paid the price for years, years as slaves to the mortals. I found this extremely sad but an interesting part of the story and world. 

Things do get complex really quick. I am curious how the paper/ebook would be. I had to rewind a couple of times because I felt like I missed something. You really have to pay attention especially in the thick of it. 

Now....we do follow Yeine. She is our hero destined to die. I didn't like her. Sure, she is young, but she felt WAY too naïve for being from the north. Yes, she isn't used to this extreme and dangerous politic game, but there were times I felt she was too naïve at times. 

I do go back and forth on how I feel about her little romance with one of the Gods. He is a dark, brooding, bad boy. Don't get me wrong....I love those bad boys too ;) but...he always away an inch away from killing her. It was for sure a complex relationship to say the least. I will say though I am SUPER happy that the romance is not at ALL a main part of the story. It is there, but there are bigger things for Yeine and everyone else to focus on.

This falls into the YA category and I could sense some YA elements here and there, but this is for the older end of the YA scope. Def some adult themes at some points like the smexy parts. 

That ending.....wow. That is all I can say. 

The narrator was amazing. I didn't recognize the name...but as we were going along I knew I heard her voice. I've seen her in some TV shows. So that was nice hearing her voice! She was perfect especially for our main character. 

In the end, I really did enjoy this. I had some issues with Yeine and that romance, but they are easy to look over in the end. I may check out book 2 someday. I know it is about someone else, but I am curious seeing more in this world. I'll give this 3 stars. 

- #2 for Audiobook challenge