“Get a Life, Chloe Brown” by Talia Hibbert

I kept hearing about this book last year. It was as if everyone had read a Talia Hibbert novel and loved it, and the one most talked about was this one — Get a Life, Chloe Brown. I hardly read romance novels, but the romance reading bug bit me toward the end of 2020 and its effects carried over into 2021, so I picked up this book in January. Although I didn’t love it as much as everyone else, it made me want to try more of Hibbert’s work.

Genre

Contemporary; Romance

Series

Brown Sistsers, book 1

 

Pubbed

2019

Quick summary

Set in the U.K., this is an enemies-to-lovers story featuring an interracial couple.

After almost getting hit by a car, Chloe plans to reinvigorate her life by making a list to help her “Get a Life,” which includes moving out of her family’s mansion. Chloe is a Black woman who is chronically ill with fibromyalgia. She successfully moves into an apartment with the help of her younger sisters, Dani and Eve, who often tease her about the building’s sexy handyman, Redford “Red” Morgan.

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Reread Tag

I’m in the mood to do a book tag so since I love to reread, I decided to do this one that I found over on Kristin Kraves Books.

The Reread Tag was created by Brianna at Brianna’s Books and Randomness, and it’s a perfect one for me. I love to reread and often do so. I think it is the reason why I haven’t read as many books as I wish I did because I keep on revisiting ones I’ve read before. I like re-experiencing stories I love or revisiting books that intrigued me when I first read them to see if I pick up on new details. I even revisit books I dislike and end up loving them on reread, or still hating them. Rereading is just another great way to experience books.

A childhood favourite that you could read 100 times and still love

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I put this down as my answer while wondering if that’s really true because it has been some time since I last reread it. However, I strongly believe that if I should reread it now, I’ll still fall under its spell and love it. It’s one of the first fantasy novels I remember reading, and it holds a special place in my bookish heart.

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“The Conductors” by Nicole Glover

I was eager to read this when I first heard of it, so I requested a copy through NetGalley. Much thanks to the publisher (John Joseph Adams/Mariner Books) for granting me access to the e-ARC.

Although I received a copy of this book from NetGalley, it does not influence the thoughts and opinions I share about my reading experience below.

Genre

Historical Fiction; Fantasy; Mystery

Series

Murder and Magic, book 1

Pub

March 2, 2021

Quick Summary

I was eager to read this because whenever I heard of it, I thought of it as historical fantasy about the Underground Railroad. But although it touches on slavery and the experiences characters endured to escape slavery and help others do so, the majority of the story takes place post-Civil War, shortly after slavery was abolished in the U.S.

The story centers on Hetty and Benjy, a married couple living in Philadelphia who people in their community turn to when situations are dire, mostly when someone goes missing or turns up dead. The city’s police is only concerned with White folks’ problems, so Hetty and Benjy serve as detectives for the Black people in their community.

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“The Secret Lives of Church Ladies” by Deesha Philyaw

I like the cover of this book, but because of the title, I avoided picking it up because I assumed it would be a nonfiction book about churchgoing women. Although I am spiritual, I’m not a fan of church communities, so I avoided this book until I couldn’t.

A local book club selected it for its January read, and that’s when I learned that it’s a book of short stories. At first I borrowed the audiobook, narrated by Janina Edwards, from the library. Edwards’s voice was so mellow and soothing and just a treat for my ears. But I quickly realized that this book is one I’d need to physically read so I can pay close attention the prose as well. I was already impressed.

I decided that when I’m ready to reread this book, I’ll certainly pick up the audio version to hear Edwards’s voice again. But to get on with reading the book for the book club, I borrowed a copy from a friend and quickly got swept up in the stories about Black women and their experiences.

Genre

Contemporary; Literary

Series

n/a

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Weekend Reads #112: Cliches & Tropes

Weekend Reads is a weekly post in which I discuss a variety of topics and mention the books I’m currently reading.

For this week, I’ve decided to participate in the Let’s Talk Bookish meme hosted by Eternity Books and Literary Lion. A discussion topic is given each week for us to post about. This week’s topic is

Cliches and Tropes

Can cliches and tropes be done well? When is something a trope and when is it a cliche? When do you enjoy cliches or tropes, and when do you not? How much do cliches/tropes affect your overall opinion of a book?

In my opinion, a cliché is an overused phrase or expression, and a trope is an overused theme or literary device. Off the top of my head (← cliché), here are a few examples:

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“Renegade’s Magic” by Robin Hobb

Oy vey. I read this with my buddy-reader in all things Hobb — Emily at Embuhleeliest — and thank god for these buddy-reads because I otherwise would not have made it through this story. I’m glad I had someone to talk to about it. Although we both gave this one a similar rating, Emily enjoyed it much more than I did. The entire series centers on the rift between the personalities, Nevare and Soldier Boy, and Nevare’s reluctance and stubbornness to do anything that might help the story to end quickly, so I was annoyed with his character 90% of the time I read this.

Genre

Fantasy

Series

Soldier Son, book 3

Pubbed

2007

Quick summary (spoilers)

This picks up right after the events in Forest Mage. Nevare has FINALLY decided to give his life over to the magic, or so he says. He thinks he knows what the magic wants him to do and expels all the magic Soldier Boy has meticulously stored in his body to create a barricade of sorts to stop the king’s road from advancing toward the ancestor trees. This effort isn’t very effective and, even worse, is costly to Nev because by expelling that much magic, he greatly weakened his body.

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Let’s Rewind: January 2021

Can you believe it? We’re already a month into 2021 and already the year is shaping up to be one for MAJOR changes.

Let’s Rewind is a monthly wrap up but instead of talking about only books, I include all types of other stuff, like articles… bookish news… commercials… random-ass links… movies… art… podcasts… cartoons… and whatever else happened to me in the month. You know, the usual stuff that people talk about in monthly wrap ups. So read on to see what I did and read this month. You might stumble upon something that interests you.


Typically, by the end of the month, one would say that it has flown by. And that’s usually the case for me too. Time always seems to be speeding off somewhere. But that wasn’t the case with January 2021 for me. It plodded along at a snail’s pace.

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2020 Book Tag

I just spent over an hour of my life trying to figure out the Block editor 😩. There are some cool design ideas in there, so I wanted to try out one I had in mind with this post. Obviously, it didn’t work for me. I know I did the things right, but the previews had it looking kind of wonky. I give up. I’ll just continue with the Classic editor. Anyway…

Whenever I want to post something but can’t come up with a post idea or am too lazy to do a review or a discussion post, I turn to the trusty book tag! That’s what I’m doing today.

I found this tag over on Never Not Reading. It was created by Phoenix at Books with Wings. The tag focuses on trends in 2020 that relate to corona. Although this is a 2020-themed tag, not all the books I mention were read in 2020.


Part one: Beginning of the year

A book that you were really excited for

Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

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“What Cats Do” Book Tag

Time for a book tag because I want to put up a post today but I don’t feel like working on any of the book reviews that I have piled up. So, yes, something fun today, and it’s the What Cats Do Book Tag, which was created by Kate at MeltingPotsandOtherCalamities.

There is a very handsome black cat residing in my house that I call Shadow Cat (because he follows us around like a shadow or an assassin — which I think he’s training to be) and the Jinster (because I think he has a wicked sense of humor), and I sometimes feature him on IG when I get bored while working from home. I’m pretty sure he’s tired of having me in the house by now.

I never thought the day would come when I’d have a pet in my house or find myself liking a cat, but 2020 was a year of shocking surprises, and the Jinster was one of them. Anyway, to the tag!

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Bookshelf Tour, Pt. 27 | The Stats

While bored in the midst of the corona pandemic last year, I decided to publish a series of bookshelf tour posts. I combed through the two large bookcases and the one small one in my room to feature all the physical books I own and mention which ones I’ve read.

I had a lot of fun doing this; plus, it helped me to organize and catalog my books. I hope you all liked the posts too — it certainly seems as if you all did. But it was quite a feat. I began the tour in early May and published a post once each week until early November, which was surprising to me because I didn’t expect to complete the tour in 2020. I really thought it would extend to 2021. I was getting so overwhelmed by all my books!

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