Cozies Recommendation

It’s not really any secret that I’m a fan of mystery novels. I don’t care if its middle grade, YA or even adult, I would read it as long as it holds my attention. One sub-genre of Mystery is Cozy Mystery and this is one of those comfort reads for me. Anytime I’m feeling slumpy in my reading mood, I would always turn to these books to keep me on track.

Cozy books have a very specific type of writing. Obviously its always centered on a mystery, but these books are usually devoid of gore, violence, blood shed and very rarely does it include any violence towards children. Most cozy books are set in a small town or at least it revolves around a small group of people close to the protagonist.

The most common cozy mystery, that almost every book lover has read, are books written by Agatha Christie. I believe that her books are basically the foundation of cozy mysteries. Yes, Christie’s books are a lot more complex and in depth, but the lack of, or even the minimal violence of cozies are very reminiscent of Agatha Christie novels. Please don’t take my words the wrong way, they are not the same at all, but I believe Christie is the root of this sub-genre.

One of the main reason why many readers are drawn to this sub-genre is because it’s an easy read, you tend to get attached to the community that is introduced in the books, and you eventually get to see how each character develop from one book to the next. However, the main downfall of these books, is that the mystery starts to become similar and eventually the ending starts becoming very predictable. Especially, if you have read several books from the same series. I don’t really mind the repetitiveness, but I do need to read these books in between other books, so as not to get bored of the characters and story.

Anyways, I’ve read my fair share of Cozies that I think I can recommend some of them from newbies to this genre. Here are my top five cozy mystery series:

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Library Lover’s Mystery by Jenn McKinlay

I’ve read several of Jenn McKinlay’s books and I love every one of them. She writes her books very well, her characters are all lovable (except of course the killers), and her relationships are all very well written. This book in particular is an amazing read because the protagonist is a librarian, so bonus points.

Murder Past Due

Cat in the Stacks by Miranda James

Most protagonist in cozy books are female, there are those rare occasions that a male protagonist is in the series. The Cat in the Stacks are those rare books, and I really love these books. The protagonist is the lovely old man who has a beautiful main coon that you can’t help but fall in love with.

penforhire

A Jaine Austen Mystery by Laura Levine

This book is actually my guilty pleasure in his genre. At times I find myself eye rolling at certain parts of the books, but at the same time its just one of those books you can’t put down. I have a love hate relationship with the protagonist, Jaine. She tends to whine about certain things that’s is present since book one and at the same time Jaine is such a hilarious main characters. All the different shenanigans she gets into are so far-fetched and out of this world.

murder-is-binding

A Booktown Mystery by Lorna Barrett

This is one of the first cozies that I really got into. I’m not a fan of the protagonist in this series, but I really love the minor characters that Barrett includes in this series. This is one of those rare occasions that I prefer the other characters than the protagonist.

burried in a book

A Novel Idea by Lucy Arlington

This is a recent addition to my favorite cozy series and also the shortest. Since it was recently released there are only five books released so far and I’m patiently awaiting for more to be released. I admit I wasn’t a fan of the first book, but as the series progress, I eventually started enjoying the books. The town that Arlington writes in this series is very vivid and you can’t help but feel like you’re actually part of the community.

So that’s it for my recommendations on my favorite cozies. Hopefully, you found this interesting and PLEASE let me know of any good cozies that you guys enjoy and is not on my list. I’m always in search of a new series to begin!

 

 

 

 

 

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Strong Female Protagonist in Books

Last Wednesday it was Women’s International Day and so I wanted to create this post to celebrate strong female characters in amazing books. These are also books that I would recommend to those who enjoys kick-ass female protagonists.

These books range in genre and age target, but one thing they have in common are strong female lead. Some are not as evident as the other, and some are quite upfront.

I know that there are more books that portray strong female characters, unfortunately, these are the only books that I’ve read and feel that they stood far beyond the others.

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Comment down below on book that you would include in this list.

Favorite Book Couples

Happy Valentine’s Day! I’m a bit early, but I wanted this up before V-Day. I don’t really want to create a post on ‘Romance Recommendations’ since I’m not an expert on that genre. Plus, it would probably include three books max. So I just decided to create my favorite book couples. I never fangirl, but there are certain fictional characters that I enjoy and usually root for certain couples.

Percy Jackson and Annabeth Chase

Blood of Olympus

I decided to choose this book to represent Annabeth and Percy’s relationship because it is the beginning of their life together. All throughout this series they are bombarded by quest after quest and different trials. It’s so beautiful how they overcome everything and at the end of it they become stronger as a couple. I also enjoy that they can exist without each other, but once together they give each other strength. I really enjoyed their progression as a couple, starting from the Lightning Thief to The Blood of Olympus. It’s very endearing how they met, became somewhat friends and eventually a couple.

Tarver Merendsen and Lilah LaRoux

these broken stars

Truth be told I really enjoyed the three couples in this trilogy, but I have a special place in my heart for Tarver and Lilah. I fell in love with this Trilogy because of these two people.  I love how their relationship started and really enjoyed the progression of their feelings for each other. Some might say its too sudden, but by the end of the Trilogy, you can see how much they grew together as a couple. I know the trilogy is now done, but I do wish that Megan Spooner and Amie Kaufman would give us a little bit more from these three couples.

Scarlet Benoit and Wolfe Ze’ev

Scarlet

These two are my power couple. I love them from when they were introduced right down to the last story in Stars Above. Scarlet is such a strong female character and Wolfe an even stronger alpha male, but they are even stronger together. I know that the way Wolfe pined and yearned for Scarlet would have gotten a lot of hate if he was female, but I believe that Meyer is playing off his wolf personality. They may not be the main couple in this series, but really they’re my favorite and enjoy their story a lot more.

Connie and Jasper Dent

I Hunt

When you first pick up this book, the two are already a couple therefore you never really see the progression or start of their relationship. What I do enjoy about them is their stubbornness and willingness to fight for each other. I love that Connie, no matter what her parents tell her, she sticks to her gut and fight for her love for Jasper. Knowing his past and his history, she doesn’t care what others tell her or talk about her. She knows what she wants and she sticks to what she believes. I also love how Jasper fought for Connie. He has all the experience to manipulate Connie, but he would rather have her be free to decide her own life than to control her. I do wish that we get a more concrete ending to their relationship by the end of this Trilogy, but I’m content with what we get.

Peeta Mellark and Katniss Everdeen

Hunger Games

I was always a Team Peta. I never really saw a love triangle in the first book and I found it really unnecessary for Collins to even include a love triangle. Whatever, it doesn’t really matter what I think now, either way I really enjoy the relationship of Peta and Katniss. In fairness though, I don’t think this pairing would have happened if it wasn’t for the Hunger Games. I enjoy what Peta represent in Katniss’ life and she explains it very well at the end of the Trilogy. However, my favorite part of their relationship is how it started. It was really cute and adorable. Not the killing and hunting part, but rather how Peta tried to protect Katniss all throughout the game.

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So that’s it for my favorite fictional couples. Hope you guys enjoyed it and comment down below who your favorite couples are.

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Youtubers

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I’ve been a YouTuber creeper for awhile now and there are a few Booktubers that I watch religiously and tend to pick up books that they recommend. I might not like all of their choices, but for the most part, they’re pretty spot on with their recommendations. I follow different YouTubers for different genres because these people tend to prefer specific genres and I find their channels informative

Here are my top YouTubers:

Mainstream: I tend to like books that are ‘mainstream’ or well hyped, so these following BookTubers are my go-to for ‘IN’ books.  I mostly watch their new release posts or anticipated releases because these are the books that will most likely be all over the bookstores.

Jessethereader

Hailey In Bookland

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Horror: I love this genre. I’m a big scaredy cat, but I love getting my hands on the next creepy book. I only have BookTuber that I follow for this genre and I tend to watch her hauls and book reviews. Mind you I sometimes don’t get to finish her videos because I tend to get scared during her descriptions of certain books. I do love her recommendations though. Unfortunately, she doesn’t post as many videos as the regular booktubers, but I still enjoy her!

DuvetDaysDevours

Fantasy/Sci-fi: Another genre that I love, but don’t read as much as I want to. These YouTubers put me to shame because when they recommend they suggest such good books and my TBR just gets longer and longer when I watch them. I usually watch their recommendations and hauls.

Thoughts on Tomes  – I especially watch her Top 5 Wednesday!

booksandpieces

For Fun: I’m not saying the above YouTubers are not fun. All of them are hilarious, but these YouTubers I love watching because they just go on and on about  books and I love watching their videos just because its so entertaining and hypnotizing. I think its their voice that draws me in. Anyways, I watch specific videos that they post and it differs for each of them.

Bookables – Unboxing, Hauls, Year-end overview, TBR/Wrap-ups, Tags

Pages and Pens – Top 5 Wednesday, Hauls, Reviews

Between Chapters – Hauls/unhaul, Wrap-up, Series Reviews

A Booktube Book – Hauls, Top 5 Wednesday, TBR, Wrap-up

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I know I included specifics on what videos I tend to watch for each BookTuber, but usually when I have a particular book I want to know more about, I tend to watch reviews from these YouTubers, if they have read it. I know they all don’t  have the same taste as me, but I’ve come to distinguish which Youtuber would gravitate more to the story as suppose to another.

Now just because I watch these YouTubers for specific reasons it doesn’t mean that you have to as well. Most of them read a variety of enjoyable books and they all welcome any type of books that interest them. For me, I just find that most BookTuber gravitate towards certain genres, obviously whichever interest them, but this doesn’t mean they don’t try to include books outside their comfort zone. So I would recommend all these YouTubers for any book loves. I find them all to be very entertaining and amazing!

As you can see I don’t follow anyone for my favourite genre, MYSTERY! Unfortunately I haven’t really found a BookTuber that focus, or largely focus, on that genre. Please, please, if anyone follows a great Youtuber who recommends, reviews, etc. mystery books, let me know.

Eight Books Every Parent Should Introduce to their Children

toptentuesday

I love reading YA books, but I also enjoy reading middle grade books. When I’m in the bookstore I see a lot of parents who wants recommendations for their children and I always want to run up to them and grab handfuls of books to show their kids, but yea, that would just make me look weird!

Anyways, here are some books I think are really good for young readers to start with. These are not introduction to chapter books, but rather books that your young reader would like to look into as soon as they’re ready to move up the next level.

Please remember: These books are mainly action, adventure and mystery novels, so there will be mild violence in them. My age suggestion for many of these books is from 9+, but you know your child more, if you think they can handle the books, then you can pick these up for them

I’ll try not to include books that are very mainstream. So Harry Potter and Percy Jackson is out of the question. I’m not saying that they’re not good, but everyone is aware of their existence!

1. Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins
First Book: Gregor the Overlander
Yes, she’s also the same author as the Hunger Games Trilogy. To be honest tho, I love these books a lot better. They are for younger readers, but it’s very action packed!

2. Sisters Grimm by Michael Buckley
First Book: The Fairy-Tale Detectives
If you’re child loves Frozen, Cinderella and Snow White, these books might not be for them. This is a different take on the Brothers Grimm fairytales, but not as grim and similar to Disney fairytales, but with less ‘Happily Ever After’.

3. Secret Series by Pseudonymous Bosch
First Book: The Name of this Book is Secret
I love anything mystery just as long as it catches my attention. These books are unique and interesting to say the least.

4. The Neil Flambe Capers by Kevin Sylvester
First Book: Neil Flambe and the Marco Polo Murders
Your child enjoyed Ratatouille? Then, try these books by Kevin Sylvester. Its filled with mysteries and even a bit of history. Really addicting and the hero reminds me of Alfredo Linguine.

5. Chasing Vermeet by Blue Balliett
First Book: Chasing Vermeer
My guilty pleasure has always been Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon series. I know a lot of people dislike it, but to me its, well not gold, but good. These books by Balliet reminds me of the Robert Langdon series. If you enjoyed those books, maybe your child will be in love with these too.

6. Inkworld by Cornelia Funke
First Book: Inkheart
These books are a little bit more well known than other books I’ve listed, since it was made a book a couple of years ago starring Brendan Fraser. As much as I love that actor, they didn’t really do justice to the book. This trilogy is amazing!

7. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
First Book: A Bad Beginning
This too is a popular series, but I feel that it doesn’t get as recognized as other middle grade books out there. I love everything about this series and read it long, long time ago!

8. Treasure Island by Robert Stevenson
This is not a ‘new’ book or anything, but I read this when I was a bit older, hoping that I would have read it when I was younger. Its an amazing story that all ages should read!

My YA Book Recommendation

New to YA fiction or just thinking of the next book you’re going to read? Here are my top Ya books that should definitely be in your radar!

These are in no particular order. I will try to stay clear of books that are already hyped up…meaning books like The Hunger Games, Divergent, The Maze Runner, etc… since they are getting a lot of limelight already.

graceling
1. This is the first book in the Graceling Realm and its a definite must read. I love everything about this book, the story, the characters and the especially the romance. Katsa, the protagonist, is the ultimate kick-ass heroine that I think everyone will love. She definitely made an impression on me. For those who prefer audiobooks, this is one that you definitely must listen to. It is the book that made me start enjoying audiobooks.

I Hunt
2. Enjoy a good serial killer book? Then say no more. This is one of the best mystery/thriller book I’ve read in the YA genre. I’m glad that the author wasn’t hesitant to write in great details about the gore of the crime, which is much appreciated by me. I find that many authors try to gloss over the stories fearing that it isn’t appropriate for the audience. I’ve tried to look for other books with a similar feel, but they never live up to the expectation. This definitely should be on your TBR pile!

monstrumologist3. I love, love the first and second book of this series, but the third book doesn’t live up to expectation. I do have to still recommend it because this is just way too beautiful to be passed up! A must read for those who love books about monsters. Yes, you heard me right, monsters! Just not the type you see in Monsters Inc. Still a book that needs to be in the spotlight. I love the protagonists and you see his growth as the series progresses. I just wished that Yancey put a lot more thought on the ending of this series.

out of the easy
4. I enjoy stand alone books from time to time because they make me happy, knowing the ending has an actual one, and not a cliffhanger. Out of the Easy is a beautiful story set in the 1950’s in New Orleans. Need I say more? This may not have your typical YA romance, but what it lacks makes up for the actual story. We follow our lovely protagonist, Josie, as she tries to find her way out of the Big Easy. This is one book that must be read by those who loves historical fiction!

graffiti moon

5. I’m not much into YA contemporary and for this to be on my list, then there is a definite reason why. I love the story behind these characters and not just our protagonists, but their friends as well. This was my only 5 star of 2015 (so far)! Not only was this a one day read, but its so beautifully written that you won’t even realize that you’ve already finished reading it. Everyone should definitely put this on their radar!

the knife
6. I know I haven’t finished this trilogy, but these books must be read by every book lover! I admit the first 100 pages are a bore, but once you get passed it, you won’t ever regret it. I love everything about these books from our protagonists, to the world building. There is really not much to complain about, since I need to still finish the last book, but these have come to be one of my favorite trilogy and favorite author.

Poison Study
7. Now I’m really not sure if you would consider this YA, but I certainly do, although it’s not really found in the YA section of your bookstore. Anyways, this is about Yelena and her adventure as a food taster for the king. Sounds boring, trust me its not. Although I haven’t read the whole entire series, and not really sure if I want to, I still think that this book is a must on your TBR! If you enjoyed Throne of Glass, I guarantee that you will enjoy this book as well. It’s full of action, adventure and mystery!

far far away

8. Now I feel that this next book doesn’t get enough attention and it’s pretty sad because it is beautifully written in a weird, creepy way. Now if you love the Brother’s Grimm’s original fairy tales, then you will highly enjoy this tale. In fact, one of the brothers is in the story. I have to admit though, I wanted to give up on this book on the first few chapters because it was tedious, but I pushed through and totally loved it! I don’t want to give that much away, but at least give it a try. On another note, the audiobook is also fantastic!

the naturals

9. If you haven’t heard of this book, then I suggest you go to your nearest bookstore and grab this book. Let’s just say, if you enjoy criminal minds, then you would definitely enjoy this. The heroine, Cassie, is no ordinary teenager. She has the ability to read people’s actions and notice the smallest details that will allow her to analyze who you are. Kinda like Sherlock Holmes on crack. Since her ability is beneficial for profiling, she is enlisted by the FBI to help solve cold case files. Now if that doesn’t get you to want to read this book, then I am shocked!

rotandruin

10. I’m not much of a zombie fan. I love watching them, but when it comes down to reading about them, I tend to chicken out. But this series, hands down, is one of the best and beautifully written YA novels about zombies. Let me rephrase that, its actually about Bennie Imura and his friends trying to survive a zombie apocalypse. What’s nice about this story is that it’s not just the fighting and the brain eating, but its about the teens growing up and learning to live in this new environment that they are thrust upon. Really, zombie fan or not, you have to check this book out.

I would love to recommend more books, but I think 10 is enough for this post. Stay tuned for Part Two!

Top Ten Books that will Leave you Wide Awake

So for this week Top Ten Tuesdays we were given freebie, but it must be Halloween themed. I feel like I’ve already done this, since I did post this in the beginning of October.

Creepy Scary YA Books for October

But since I’ve been doing such a great job on keeping up with the TTT. I really want to do this, but without using any of the books on my previous thread. I’ll keep my fingers crossed since I don’t know if I have enough books for this.

1. The Asylum Trilogy by Madeleine Roux
To be honest, I haven’t actually finished this series. Mind you the first book was ok for me, the second was great and the third I haven’t even gotten around to reading. But there are elements of the spook here and at time I did get scared with the story. I listened to this on audio and it was great. So if you like audiobook you might want to get your hand on this one.
asylumSanctumcatacomb

2. Slasher Girls and Monster Boys Short Stories by April Tucholke, et. al.
I recently read this book and it made me a bit sleepless in the night. Many enjoyed one particular part of it that had to do with Alice, but I actually prefer another story. Each one is just as good as the other, but some are better depending on the author.
slasher girls

3. Lockwood & Co. Series by Jonathan Stroud
I actually just read the first book on this series, but the book that I read made a good impression. Yes, it’s not as creepy as other books I’ve read, but gory enough for some of your more mature middle grade readers. At least check out the first book before judging the cover!
Screaming Staircase
Click here for my review!

Unfortunately, that’s all I have to add to my list of creepy stories. There are a lot more out there so please let me know in the comments below if you have any recommendations for books that will leave you wide awake. Also, check out the link above for other books that are worth the read on Halloween or any other month you feel like being scared.