Top 10 Tuesday

My Top 10 Romance Books

Happy “love” month and Top 10 Tuesday! It is February so it only seemed fair to recommend some romantic texts to read while love is in the air! Here we go!

There’s no particular order of importance for his post.

1. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren


Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.

Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.

Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.

This book was so fun and such a joy to read. I had a blast experiencing Olive and Ethan’s hate for each other turn into a steamy romance; the slow burn keeping you fed but never satisfied until the perfect moment. Christina Lauren’s classic humor certainly shines through as always, brightening up my day every time I open the book! I happen to have written a book review for this text with tremendously more detail, so do not hesitate to check it out!

2. One Day in December by Josie Silver


Two people. Ten chances. One unforgettable love story.

Laurie is pretty sure love at first sight doesn’t exist anywhere but the movies. But then, through a misted-up bus window one snowy December day, she sees a man who she knows instantly is the one. Their eyes meet, there’s a moment of pure magic… and then her bus drives away.

Certain they’re fated to find each other again, Laurie spends a year scanning every bus stop and cafe in London for him. But she doesn’t find him, not when it matters anyway. Instead they “reunite” at a Christmas party, when her best friend Sarah giddily introduces her new boyfriend to Laurie. It’s Jack, the man from the bus. It would be.

What follows for Laurie, Sarah and Jack is ten years of friendship, heartbreak, missed opportunities, roads not taken, and destinies reconsidered.

Gosh, was this an emotional roller coaster… One Day in December had me completely engulfed and engaged from start to finish. I read the whole text in one reading sitting, and to this day I do not regret one second of it. It displays the kind of love that defies all odds and makes the reader really believe that something so powerful exists. You get to experience Laurie and Jack’s independent ups and downs throughout 10 excruciating years of their lives as one of the most torturous slow burns I’ve ever experienced.

3. The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang


Stella Lane thinks math is the only thing that unites the universe. She comes up with algorithms to predict customer purchases — a job that has given her more money than she knows what to do with, and way less experience in the dating department than the average thirty-year-old.

It doesn’t help that Stella has Asperger’s and French kissing reminds her of a shark getting its teeth cleaned by pilot fish. Her conclusion: she needs lots of practice — with a professional. Which is why she hires escort Michael Phan. The Vietnamese and Swedish stunner can’t afford to turn down Stella’s offer, and agrees to help her check off all the boxes on her lesson plan — from foreplay to more-than-missionary position…

Before long, Stella not only learns to appreciate his kisses, but to crave all the other things he’s making her feel. Soon, their no-nonsense partnership starts making a strange kind of sense. And the pattern that emerges will convince Stella that love is the best kind of logic…

Now, this book is a lot steamier than the restwhich isn’t an issue for me, but I know it is for a lot of people. It was so good to watch Stella experience love for the first time and learn how to handle and express it. I was incredibly uncomfortable reading some parts from awkwardness alone, but that made it so ridiculously satisfying when the perfect scene showed up. You learn a lot about the importance of consent, sex, and the perspective of those with disabilities which makes this book one of my all time favorites.

4. Meet Cute by Helena Hunting


Talk about an embarrassing introduction. On her first day of law school, Kailyn ran – quite literally – into the actor she crushed on as a teenager, ending with him sprawled on top of her. Mortified to discover the Daxton Hughes was also a student in her class, her embarrassment over their meet-cute quickly turned into a friendship she never expected. Of course, she never saw his betrayal coming either…

Now, eight years later, Dax is in her office asking for legal advice. Despite her anger, Kailyn can’t help feeling sorry for the devastated man who just became sole guardian to his thirteen-year-old sister. But when her boss gets wind of Kailyn’s new celebrity client, there’s even more at stake than Dax’s custody issues: if she gets Dax to work at their firm, she’ll be promoted to partner.

The more time Kailyn spends with Dax and his sister, the more she starts to feel like a family, and the more she realizes the chemistry they had all those years ago is as fresh as ever. But will they be able to forgive the mistakes of the past, or will one betrayal lead to another?

This book is adorable. A perfect, light-hearted read for a sunny day at the park or a cozy stay-in-bed kind of weekend. I can’t fathom becoming such close friends (and more) with a childhood celebrity crush, the story is so unreal and dreamy. Entertaining and swoony, this book is definitely one to recommend!

5. Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren


An ambitious intern. A perfectionist executive. And a whole lot of name calling.

Whip-smart, hardworking, and on her way to an MBA, Chloe Mills has only one problem: her boss, Bennett Ryan. He’s exacting, blunt, inconsiderate—and completely irresistible. A Beautiful Bastard.

Bennett has returned to Chicago from France to take a vital role in his family’s massive media business. He never expected that the assistant who’d been helping him from abroad was the gorgeous, innocently provocative—completely infuriating—creature he now has to see every day. Despite the rumors, he’s never been one for a workplace hookup. But Chloe’s so tempting he’s willing to bend the rules—or outright smash them—if it means he can have her. All over the office.

As their appetites for one another increase to a breaking point, Bennett and Chloe must decide exactly what they’re willing to lose in order to win each other.

“Uh oh” was quite literally what escaped my lips as a warning and a whimper after reading this synopsis for the first time. Why? Because this is my shit. Few people know just how obsessed I am for the ‘boss x assistant/intern’ tropeit’s unbelievably sacrilegious. This is one of those texts that I will put anything down to read, and once you read through the first couple of pages, you’ll know why.

6. The Bride Test (The Kiss Quotient #2) by Helen Hoang


Khai Diep has no feelings. Well, he feels irritation when people move his things or contentment when ledgers balance down to the penny, but not big, important emotions—like grief. And love. He thinks he’s defective. His family knows better—that his autism means he just processes emotions differently. When he steadfastly avoids relationships, his mother takes matters into her own hands and returns to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.

As a mixed-race girl living in the slums of Ho Chi Minh City, Esme Tran has always felt out of place. When the opportunity arises to come to America and meet a potential husband, she can’t turn it down, thinking this could be the break her family needs. Seducing Khai, however, doesn’t go as planned. Esme’s lessons in love seem to be working…but only on herself. She’s hopelessly smitten with a man who’s convinced he can never return her affection.

With Esme’s time in the United States dwindling, Khai is forced to understand he’s been wrong all along. And there’s more than one way to love.

Khai is geeky and obsessive but it is not conveyed in the quirky way everyone expects. Esme is determined and confident but with a little twist of her own as well. Gosh this book was sweet but also so hot. The whole text is trial and error seduction and I am absolutely living for it. I can’t ever get enough of this series and how it never fails to emphasize the importance of consent, family, love, mental illness/disease awareness, and so many other things that I wish were present in every book.

7. Would Like to Meet by Rachel Winters


After seven years as an assistant, 29-year-old Evie Summers is ready to finally get the promotion she deserves. But now the TV and film agency she’s been running behind the scenes is in trouble, and Evie will lose her job unless she can convince the agency’s biggest and most arrogant client, Ezra Chester, to finish writing the script for a Hollywood romantic comedy.

The catch? Ezra is suffering from writer’s block–and he’ll only put pen to paper if singleton Evie can prove to him that you can fall in love like they do in the movies. With the future of the agency in jeopardy, Evie embarks on a mission to meet a man the way Sally met Harry or Hugh Grant met Julia Roberts.

But in the course of testing out the meet-cute scenes from classic romantic comedies IRL, not only will Evie encounter one humiliating situation after another, but she’ll have to confront the romantic past that soured her on love. In a novel as hilarious as it is heartwarming, debut author Rachel Winters proves that sometimes real life is better than the movies–and that the best kind of meet-cutes happen when you least expect them.

This novel was not only adorable but hilarious and uplifting. It is ridiculous and so much fun to read! Evie is a wonderful character and I always find myself rooting for her success, and Rachel Winters always finds a way to make the concluding love interest as obscured as possible. I had such a good laugh reading this, and I know other readers will too!

8. The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams


The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him.

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

This books is one of the cutest texts I’ve ever come across! The story concept is so fucking adorable and fun to read. I have such a blast devouring it page by page as Gavin and his alpha-male-bad-boys learn the art of “wooing.” I always find myself unsuccessful at containing giggles or passionate swooning when reading about how hard these men try to express their love. This book is so sweet and such an amazing experience!

9. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord


Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

I definitely read a lot of rom-com, and this one really stands out to me because of it’s quirky over-dramatized romance and hilariously immersive writing. Not only is there a conflict between the two main characters, but their families as well; which creates a whole web of drama and thrill. I finished this book quite quickly, and it is definitely a unique and fun read!

10. Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center


Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.

The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?

Things You Save in a Fire is a compelling and romantic story about courage, love, sexism, and friendship. Katherine Center does a wonderful job expressing the shitty part of life with so much integrity. I was emotionally devoted from every chuckle to every moment that shattered my heart when reading this. This is the perfect mushy romance for chilling in a warm blanket and indulging in a cup of hot tea.

I have so many other romances I want to list but alas this is a ‘Top 10 Tuesday’ after all! I will most definitely be writing about them in the future is more specific categories! I know this post had them a little spread out on the spectrum.

Valentine’s Day is so soon! I don’t really celebrate it discounting the large abundance of romance I readbut that’s honestly an every-day occurrence.

Happy love month!

Happy reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

My Top 10 Favorite Book Covers

Hello! Long time no read… I’ve been so busy with AP Exams and USABO lately it’s driving me insane! Today I was able to carve out some writing time for a ‘Top Ten Tuesday’! I do have my own TTT; however, this prompt is really fun and I will be doing these ones more often!

In this weeks TTT, I will list 10 book covers that I absolutely love to look at. There are so many amazing illustrators and artists out there contributing to the making of book jackets! I have to say I prefer a mix of matte and shiny finishes for a dust jacket; though if I had to pick one or the other, matte is definitely more appealing for me. When it comes to colors, I love the whole spectrum! As of now a majority of the books I have on my shelves are murky and on the darker side, but I’d love to have brighter colors!

These are not listed in any particular order.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber

The color scheme on this cover is fantastic; and I love the way this book looks on my shelf. In fact, the cover is the amazing mix of matte and glossy I mentioned earlier! All three books in this trilogy look amazing, but I enjoy the colors on the first text the most.

2. Red Queen Collector’s Edition by Victoria Aveyard

Now, the ‘Red Queen’ series is one I’m actually not the fondest of, but nonetheless I had to snatch this collector’s edition! The hardcover and page edges are red, making the whole book a delightful treat for the eyes. The hardcover actually is a mix of matte with glossy drips that I absolutely love. So simple yet it makes the whole thing so incredibly beautiful!

3. Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

This cover is illustrated by the lovely Charlie Bowater, and I love the dull but warm color scheme! It seems like it would be a book on the brighter side, but on a shelve it fits in with the darker books just fine. I usually don’t enjoy covers with “people” on it per-say, but this one is definitely an exception.

4. Circe by Madeline Miller

On the actual dusk-jacket, all of the orange shown in this image is a metallic gold along with hints of matte black. This one looks and feels like a treasure sitting snug in my bookshelf; always catching the light and twinkling. I can never get enough gold on my shelves but this cover has me more than satiated.

5. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

I love this cover so much for the sole reason of how it looks with the book’s sprayed edges. The pages are sprayed red on the edge, with the hardcover being of the same color. It just looks…so freaking good. The dust-jacket is matte except for the title which is glossy, and I love the subtle tinge of red on the cover while the rest of the book is that same color!

6. Vicious by V.E. Schwab

If you couldn’t already tell, red is my favorite color when it comes to book covers. V.E. Schwab’s books always have simple and bold illustrations which makes them so fun to look at. This dusk-jacket has a matte finish and bright spine to really stand out on shelves!

7. Zero Repeat Forever by G.S. Prendergast

Found this official gif and had to slip it in here because how cool is that?

This book’s cover is mostly matte with a metallic touch. I like it so much because of it’s beautiful spine (not shown) and the way it hides the amazing metallic hardcover! This illustration also reminds me of how curious I was when first looking at the book, wondering what the image of a dandelion could possibly mean. An attractive cover for an attractive publication.

8. Muse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor

First of all, the way the letters change colors to blend in with the rest of the cover is amazing. The texture of this dusk-jacket is actually super unique; a scratchy matte on one half with a glossy finish on the other. I love the way the texture and color changes from one side to another! One lighter half while the other darker makes the whole image complex despite how simple it may seem.

9. The Light at the Bottom of the World by London Shah

There is so much to say about this cover. Most importantly, it’s beautiful. In the bookstore, this book cover made me instantly interested in it’s story’s world and conflicts. I really do adore the aesthetic of sea animals “swimming” in the sky, which is a more personal reason to why I adore this illustration so much. The dust-jacket is matte except for a glossy title, and I’m content it’s this way because it lets me just focus solely on the beautiful scene of London thriving deep beneath the ocean’s surface.

10. Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

This is one of the brightest books I have on my shelves, and I am so incredibly thankful for it. This cover has a glossy finish and lovely neon color scheme, bringing my dark shelves to life! Doesn’t it make you so curious? Gosh, I love this cover so much. Despite it being so vibrant, the background is on the darker side of the spectrum. Its a super cool mixed feeling to encounter when looking at the illustration!

It was super fun to do this prompt for this week’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday’! There is a whole entire list of prompts and I’m super excited to visit all of them in the future!

The next blog post will be a book review! So stay tuned!

Happy Reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

One Good Book Published Every Year This Decade

Hello booksworms! Today I will recommend one book published from every year up until 2019 (it will be a TTT but with 9 books not 10)! Today is New Years Eve in America, so I thought this would be a great way to celebrate the past decade! Here we go!

2010: The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan


Jason has a problem.
He doesn’t remember anything before waking up in a bus full of kids on a field trip. Apparently he has a girlfriend named Piper, and a best friend named Leo. They’re all students at a boarding school for “bad kids.” What did Jason do to end up here? And where is here, exactly?

Piper has a secret.
Her father has been missing for three days, ever since she had that terrifying nightmare about his being in trouble. Piper doesn’t understand her dream, or why her boyfriend suddenly doesn’t recognize her. When a freak storm hits during the school trip, unleashing strange creatures and whisking her, Jason, and Leo away to someplace called Camp Half-Blood, she has a feeling she’s going to find out.

Leo has a way with tools.
When he sees his cabin at Camp Half-Blood, filled with power tools and machine parts, he feels right at home. But there’s weird stuff, too—like the curse everyone keeps talking about, and some camper who’s gone missing. Weirdest of all, his bunkmates insist that each of them—including Leo—is related to a god. Does this have anything to do with Jason’s amnesia, or the fact that Leo keeps seeing ghosts?

I remember when this book released it was a huge deal. Everyone adored Percy Jackson and the expansion on his world was amazing. The series is a breeze to read and super fun!

2011: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night.

But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will. Despite themselves, however, Celia and Marco tumble headfirst into love—a deep, magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands.

True love or not, the game must play out, and the fates of everyone involved, from the cast of extraordinary circus performers to the patrons, hang in the balance, suspended as precariously as the daring acrobats overhead.

This book is stunning. The visuals are beautiful and I crave to enter this world every time I read of it. An amazing story, perfect for a blooming imagination.

2012: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes


They had nothing in common until love gave them everything to lose . . .

Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident. Will has always lived a huge life—big deals, extreme sports, worldwide travel—and now he’s pretty sure he cannot live the way he is.

Will is acerbic, moody, bossy—but Lou refuses to treat him with kid gloves, and soon his happiness means more to her than she expected. When she learns that Will has shocking plans of his own, she sets out to show him that life is still worth living.

This book is so saccharine and adorable I love it so much. If ever in need for a cozy and fuzzy romance, give this one a go!

2013: Vicious by V.E. Schwab


Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?

V.E. Schwab is one of my favorite authors and this book was so incredibly entertaining! It’s cover is beautiful too isn’t it? Dramatic and full of modern fantasy, a highly recommended read.

2014: Red Rising by Pierce Brown


Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.

Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.

But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.

Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity’s overlords struggle for power. He will be forced to compete for his life and the very future of civilization against the best and most brutal of Society’s ruling class. There, he will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies… even if it means he has to become one of them to do so. 

This book was actually recommended to me by a teacher of mine and I had a fantastic time reading it. Darrow is such a passionate and driven character, the story so entertaining and compelling. Not your typical dystopian.

2015: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas


Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill–the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price…

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

It is already known that I love this series very, very much. Romance and fantasy galore, it’s an amazing and unique take on faeries!

2016: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo


Welcome to the world of the Grisha.

Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world. 

Now, I was going to put ‘A Court of Mist and Fury’ by Sarah J. Maas in this spot but that seemed a bit dull so here’s another fantastic read! If you haven’t read the first book in this series: ‘Six of Crows’ I highly recommend itbecause who doesn’t love a good heist?

2017: Pachinko by Min Jin Lee


In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant–and that her lover is married–she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.

Richly told and profoundly moving, Pachinko is a story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty. From bustling street markets to the halls of Japan’s finest universities to the pachinko parlors of the criminal underworld, Lee’s complex and passionate characters–strong, stubborn women, devoted sisters and sons, fathers shaken by moral crisis–survive and thrive against the indifferent arc of history.

This story is powerful and ever so compelling. A break from fantasy and sci-fi but not at all lacking in action and entertainment.

2018: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi


They killed my mother.
They took our magic.
They tried to bury us.

Now we rise.

Zélie Adebola remembers when the soil of Orïsha hummed with magic. Burners ignited flames, Tiders beckoned waves, and Zélie’s Reaper mother summoned forth souls.

But everything changed the night magic disappeared. Under the orders of a ruthless king, maji were killed, leaving Zélie without a mother and her people without hope.

Now Zélie has one chance to bring back magic and strike against the monarchy. With the help of a rogue princess, Zélie must outwit and outrun the crown prince, who is hell-bent on eradicating magic for good.

Danger lurks in Orïsha, where snow leoponaires prowl and vengeful spirits wait in the waters. Yet the greatest danger may be Zélie herself as she struggles to control her powers and her growing feelings for an enemy.

A powerful fantasy with a world so unique and magical. It is so fresh and new from what I’m used to reading. I love it.

2019: King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo


Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

Will I ever get enough of the ‘Grishaverse’? No. Is that good? Hell yes. This book is a wonderful read and I fell quickly in love with all the new characters introduced! Highly recommended for those that loved ‘Six of Crows’!

I hope you all enjoyed all the books released this decade. I can’t wait for more, there are already so many reads I’m aching for that will be published in 2020!

I was able to pump out around 160 books read this year. My goal for 2020 is 200! What is your reading goal?

Happy New Years!

Happy reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

10 Anticipated Books Releasing in 2020

A new decade is just around the corner, along with the release of many books! Here are 10 books releasing next year that I can’t wait for! This is a regular list, no rankings:

1. (Untitled) A Court of Thorns and Roses #4 by Sarah J. Maas

Title nor cover have been released for this one, but Sarah J. Maas has hinted plenty of what it may be about! The trilogy came to a close, but I still adore the characters and would love to see more of them!

2. All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace


She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

Did I ever mention how much I love the concept of pirates? No matter, the point is: this book sounds amazing. I’m very excited for it; it’s indeed fantasybut it’s different. I need a break from fae even if I do love them dearly, but never a break from fantasy. Never fantasy.

3. Woven in Moonlight by Isabel Ibañez


Ximena is the decoy Condesa, a stand-in for the last remaining Illustrian royal. Her people lost everything when the usurper, Atoc, used an ancient relic to summon ghosts and drive the Illustrians from La Ciudad. Now Ximena’s motivated by her insatiable thirst for revenge, and her rare ability to spin thread from moonlight.

When Atoc demands the real Condesa’s hand in marriage, it’s Ximena’s duty to go in her stead. She relishes the chance, as Illustrian spies have reported that Atoc’s no longer carrying his deadly relic. If Ximena can find it, she can return the true aristócrata to their rightful place.

She hunts for the relic, using her weaving ability to hide messages in tapestries for the resistance. But when a masked vigilante, a warm-hearted princesa, and a thoughtful healer challenge Ximena, her mission becomes more complicated. There could be a way to overthrow the usurper without starting another war, but only if Ximena turns her back on revenge—and her Condesa.

The concept of spinning thread from moonlight is absolutely beautiful. I’m also excited to read about the wonderful culture this book seems to give off. It looks fresh, I am very much looking forward to it!

4. Blood & Honey by Shelby Mahurin

No cover has been released for this book yet, but the previous book’s cover in the series Serpent & Dove was beautiful, it’s been sitting nice and pretty on my shelf. I loved Serpent & Dove and all it’s unique characters, I can’t wait to see more of them!

5. The Stars We Steal by Alexa Donne


Engagement season is in the air. Eighteen-year-old Princess Leonie “Leo” Kolburg, heir to a faded European spaceship, has only one thing on her mind: which lucky bachelor can save her family from financial ruin?

But when Leo’s childhood friend and first love, Elliot, returns as the captain of a successful whiskey ship, everything changes. Elliot was the one who got away, the boy Leo’s family deemed to be unsuitable for marriage. Now he’s the biggest catch of the season and he seems determined to make Leo’s life miserable. But old habits die hard, and as Leo navigates the glittering balls of the Valg Season, she finds herself falling for her first love in a game of love, lies, and past regrets.

Intergalactic bachelorette? I must have it. Not only am I a sci-fi fiend but I am a horrible romance one as well. Very hyped for this one!

6. The Damned by Renée Adieh


Following the events of The Beautiful, Sébastien Saint Germain is now cursed and forever changed. The treaty between the Fallen and the Brotherhood has been broken, and war between the immortals seems imminent. The price of loving Celine was costly.

But Celine has also paid a high price for loving Bastien. Still recovering from injuries sustained during a night she can’t quite remember, her dreams are troubled. And she doesn’t know she has inadvertently set into motion a chain of events that could lead to her demise and unveil a truth about herself she’s not quite ready to learn.

Forces hiding in the shadows have been patiently waiting for this moment for centuries. And just as Bastien and Celine begin to uncover the danger around them, they learn their love could tear them apart.

Forbidden romance—I’m all for it. The previous book in the series The Beautiful was pretty good and I’m interested to see how the plot continues to unfold in this book.

7. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow


Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. With humans deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, emotional expression can be grounds for execution. Music, art and books are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for the love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while creating a story and a song of their own that just might save them both.

Now, this book will either be super great—or super crappy. It’s an interesting plot and I want to see it unfold. Moreover, this cover is amazing! It would look so pretty on my shelves…I’m all for human-alien romance, it’s just one of those things that needs to be pulled off right. If it is, hallelujah!

8. Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar


The daughter of a star and a mortal, Sheetal is used to keeping secrets. But when a flare of starfire injures her human father, Sheetal needs a full star’s help to heal him. A star like her mother, who returned to the sky long ago.

Sheetal’s quest will take her to a celestial court of shining wonders and dark shadows, where she must act as her family’s champion in a competition to decide the next ruling house of the heavens—or risk never returning to Earth at all.

First of all, this cover looks amazing. Secondly, the incorporation of Hindu mythology and celestial fantasy sounds like such a joy to read. Im curious to find out how the concept of stars as “people figures” works. Do they have powers? How the hell a star can mate with a human I have no idea but I’m excited to find out!

9. Bone Crier’s Moon by Kathryn Purdie


Bone Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

Truth be told, I will read any book where Charlie Bowater has drawn the cover no matter how good or bad the synopsis may be; so of course this book is on this list. Nonetheless, I actually think the plot is pretty interesting! I’ve been looking forward to this book for awhile and so have many others, can’t wait to read it!

10. Unravel the Stars by Elizabeth Lim


Maia Tamarin’s journey to sew the dresses of the sun, the moon and the stars has taken a grievous toll. She returns to a kingdom on the brink of war. The boy she loves is gone, and she is forced to don the dress of the sun and assume the place of the emperor’s bride-to-be to keep the peace.

But the war raging around Maia is nothing compared to the battle within. Ever since she was touched by the demon Bandur, she has been changing . . . glancing in the mirror to see her own eyes glowing red, losing control of her magic, her body, her mind. It’s only a matter of time before Maia loses herself completely, but she will stop at nothing to find Edan, protect her family, and bring lasting peace to her country.

Mystery, romance, magic—what more could I ask for? Spin the Dawn was an amazing book, I loved the asian culture and hints at mythology it gave. I can’t wait to read more about Maia and how she handles these new changes and conflicts!

So that’s it! So many amazing books are coming out next year—and next decade—that I’m so excited to read!

Also, happy Christmas Eve! The holidays came so quickly it seems unreal for some reason. I’ve also been terribly sick this season which sucks but I’m getting better!

Enjoy the holidays!

Happy reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

10 Standalone Books for Staying Warm and Getting Cozy

Today is Tuesday and this week is all about cozy standalone books. The cold is creeping up on us and it’s time we settle in for warm blankets, fluffy pillows, and a good book. Here are ten wonderful texts I recommend for the occasion! No particular ranking just a normal list:

1. Emergancy Contact by Mary H.K. Choi


For Penny Lee high school was a total nonevent. Her friends were okay, her grades were fine, and while she somehow managed to land a boyfriend, he doesn’t actually know anything about her. When Penny heads to college in Austin, Texas, to learn how to become a writer, it’s seventy-nine miles and a zillion light years away from everything she can’t wait to leave behind.

Sam’s stuck. Literally, figuratively, emotionally, financially. He works at a café and sleeps there too, on a mattress on the floor of an empty storage room upstairs. He knows that this is the god-awful chapter of his life that will serve as inspiration for when he’s a famous movie director but right this second the seventeen bucks in his checking account and his dying laptop are really testing him.

When Sam and Penny cross paths it’s less meet-cute and more a collision of unbearable awkwardness. Still, they swap numbers and stay in touch—via text—and soon become digitally inseparable, sharing their deepest anxieties and secret dreams without the humiliating weirdness of having to see each other.

I found this book incredibly heart-warming. Slightly reminds me of My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren, both showing that change in confidence and relief of conversing over the internet. I really enjoyed this one, a good read for some wholesome love!

2. Twice In A Blue Moon by Christina Lauren


Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

On the note of Christina Lauren, her book Twice In A Blue Moon is the wonderful story of “the one that got away”; one that really had me sitting on the edge of my seat screaming “JUST MAKE OUT ALREADY. Please, I. NEED. THIS.” If outside is unbearably cold and there’s a lot of time to kill, grab some tea, a couple blankets, and snuggle up for this saccharine read.

3. The Darkest Part of the Forest by 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…

As the world turns upside down, Hazel tries to remember her years pretending to be a knight. But swept up in new love, shifting loyalties, and the fresh sting of betrayal, will it be enough?

Cozy does not necessarily mean heart-melting modern romance. Some peoplelike meneed a constant fantasy fix; and this book does the trick wonderfully. I can’t seem to ever get enough of faerie, and this bookfortunately or unfortunatelyhas me begging for more. I loved this one, as a standalone it was so satiating, I will miss the characters dearly…

4. When The Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore


To everyone who knows them, best friends Miel and Sam are as strange as they are inseparable. Roses grow out of Miel’s wrist, and rumors say that she spilled out of a water tower when she was five. Sam is known for the moons he paints and hangs in the trees, and for how little anyone knows about his life before he and his mother moved to town. But as odd as everyone considers Miel and Sam, even they stay away from the Bonner girls, four beautiful sisters rumored to be witches. Now they want the roses that grow from Miel’s skin, convinced that their scent can make anyone fall in love. And they’re willing to use every secret Miel has fought to protect to make sure she gives them up.

Wholesome and compelling, Miel and Sam’s tightly knit friendship is put to the test. What a roller-coaster, I was all over the placerolling on the ground squeezing my hands together in hope they never loose hope in each other, never give up. I learned a lot by reading this book, and I hope other readers do as well.

5. Our Chemical Hearts by Krystal Sutherland


Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him-at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change.

Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl-she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. 

An incredibly sweet story about how love can be found in the most unexpected of places. Both Henry and Grace were so pleasant and I found it to be a quick and fuzzy read perfect for the season.

6. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

I am always down to read fantasy, I hope plenty others feel the same. This book was unique and action packed, something I could definitely sit on the couch and finish in one sitting. I also greatly appreciate the cover art by the lovely Charlie Bowater. I digress, but her drawing of Rhysand is spot on and it is dangerous to see him look so real. Dangerous.

7. An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson


Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes—a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love—and that love violates the fair folks’ ruthless laws. Now both of their lives are forfeit, unless Isobel can use her skill as an artist to fight the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel.

Another fantasy standalone by Margaret Rogerson, An Enchantment of Ravens is a story of survival, and coming to power. I found the folk’s unfeeling nature particularly interesting, and I hope other readers do too.

8. The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw


Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

A witch haunt, something I haven’t seen in much too long. I loves the plot of this story and found it to be such a satisfying and exhilarating standalone. This book is good if the reader doesn’t want to bide awake all night finishing “one more chapter”. I found it easy to put the text down and doze off, but difficult to find boredom as well.

9. Starry Eyes by Jenn Bennett


Ever since last year’s homecoming dance, best friends-turned-best enemies Zorie and Lennon have made an art of avoiding each other. It doesn’t hurt that their families are the modern-day Californian version of the Montagues and Capulets.

But when a group camping trip goes south, Zorie and Lennon find themselves stranded in the wilderness. Alone. Together.

What could go wrong?

With no one but each other for company, Zorie and Lennon have no choice but to hash out their issues via witty jabs and insults as they try to make their way to safety. But fighting each other while also fighting off the forces of nature makes getting out of the woods in one piece less and less likely.

And as the two travel deeper into Northern California’s rugged backcountry, secrets and hidden feelings surface. But can Zorie and Lennon’s rekindled connection survive out in the real world? Or was it just a result of the fresh forest air and the magic of the twinkling stars

Starry Eyes is a popular romance, and I definitely see whyit’s addicting. This book is good for a long car trip of flight, something that is hard to take the eyes off of. Zorie and Lennon’s relationship is adorable, and I always take pleasure in the “enemies to lovers” trope.

10. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed


Three misfits come together to avenge the rape of a fellow classmate and in the process trigger a change in the misogynist culture at their high school transforming the lives of everyone around them in this searing and timely story.

Who are the Nowhere Girls?

They’re everygirl. But they start with just three:

Grace Salter is the new girl in town, whose family was run out of their former community after her southern Baptist preacher mom turned into a radical liberal after falling off a horse and bumping her head.

Rosina Suarez is the queer punk girl in a conservative Mexican immigrant family, who dreams of a life playing music instead of babysitting her gaggle of cousins and waitressing at her uncle’s restaurant.

Erin Delillo is obsessed with two things: marine biology and Star Trek: The Next Generation, but they aren’t enough to distract her from her suspicion that she may in fact be an android.

When Grace learns that Lucy Moynihan, the former occupant of her new home, was run out of town for having accused the popular guys at school of gang rape, she’s incensed that Lucy never had justice. For their own personal reasons, Rosina and Erin feel equally deeply about Lucy’s tragedy, so they form an anonymous group of girls at Prescott High to resist the sexist culture at their school, which includes boycotting sex of any kind with the male students.

Yeah, romance is sickening sometimes, all the steam can sometimes be such a bore, and these girls definitely agree. I loved this book so much because all these girls have such a tight bond, while all being such different people (I connect with Erin Spiritually). This book is powerful and uplifting, I found it hard to wipe a grin off my face while readingsome people might’ve honestly thought I was reading steam…

I hope these books are found interesting and perfect for the warm indoors. Please indulge in them with Pj’s on, a hot drink, lots of layers, snacks, and a crackling fire.

I also want to announce again that I have a Bookstagram now! Find me on Instagram @Byunziereads for pictures of my books, snippets of my life, and blog polls/updates!

That’s all for now,

Happy reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

10 Books Released in 2019 That Are Still on My TBR

It is currently December! 2020 is just around the corner, with plenty of books everyone is waiting and aching to be published. However, I have a large abundance in my TBR of books released in 2019 I still haven’t had the chance to read. I thought I’d share a few of them in today’s ‘Top 10 Tuesday’! Not in any particular order of importance; just a classic list.

1. The Beautiful by Renée Ahdieh


In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as La Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sébastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of La Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sébastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

I admit—I am not a huge fan of vampire romance. I was hesitant when a friend approached me, recommending me this book. Nevertheless, I read through the synopsis and I decided I will give it a go! New Orleans is such an extravagant, charismatic place; I read very few books with such a lovely setting and I’d love to see how Ahdieh builds it. Not only is it a sultry romance, but a late 1800s murder mystery! What more could I ask for?

2.The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

Synopsis (The Wicked King):

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world.

Synopsis (Queen of Nothing):

He will be destruction of the crown and the ruination of the throne.

Power is much easier to acquire than it is to hold onto. Jude learned this lesson when she released her control over the wicked king, Cardan, in exchange for immeasurable power.

Now as the exiled mortal Queen of Faerie, Jude is powerless and left reeling from Cardan’s betrayal. She bides her time determined to reclaim everything he took from her. Opportunity arrives in the form of her deceptive twin sister, Taryn, whose mortal life is in peril.

Jude must risk venturing back into the treacherous Faerie Court, and confront her lingering feelings for Cardan, if she wishes to save her sister. But Elfhame is not as she left it. War is brewing. As Jude slips deep within enemy lines she becomes ensnared in the conflict’s bloody politics.

And, when a dormant yet powerful curse is unleashed, panic spreads throughout the land, forcing her to choose between her ambition and her humanity…

Faeries. Why can’t I ever seem to get enough? I began The Folk of the Air series with the first book ages ago, and the two final books of the trilogy released this year with The Queen of Nothing published very recently on November 19th. I adore fantasyI also very much enjoy romanceand the the dynamic and plot here is so enticing, clawing out at me from within the pages. I can’t wait to get my hands on these books and hopefully satisfy my tongue with an end to Jude’s amazing story of a woman gaining powerand fighting to keep it.

3. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin


Bound as one to love, honor, or burn.

Two years ago, Louise le Blanc fled her coven and took shelter in the city of Cesarine, forsaking all magic and living off whatever she could steal. There, witches like Lou are hunted. They are feared. And they are burned.

Sworn to the Church as a Chasseur, Reid Diggory has lived his life by one principle: thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. His path was never meant to cross with Lou’s, but a wicked stunt forces them into an impossible union—holy matrimony.

The war between witches and Church is an ancient one, and Lou’s most dangerous enemies bring a fate worse than fire. Unable to ignore her growing feelings, yet powerless to change what she is, a choice must be made.

And love makes fools of us all.

“And love makes fools of us all”, isn’t that just a wonderful line? Resonates with how love in booksmakes me absolute trash. Yes, another book that has clipped me in for it’s romance. I’ll never tire of it. Texts with witches as a trope I recognize to be highly hit or miss, though I find it extremely interesting. This book seems promising, I can’t wait to give this text a read!

4. Wilder Girls by Rory Power


It’s been eighteen months since the Raxter School for Girls was put under quarantine. Since the Tox hit and pulled Hetty’s life out from under her.

It started slow. First the teachers died one by one. Then it began to infect the students, turning their bodies strange and foreign. Now, cut off from the rest of the world and left to fend for themselves on their island home, the girls don’t dare wander outside the school’s fence, where the Tox has made the woods wild and dangerous. They wait for the cure they were promised as the Tox seeps into everything.

But when Byatt goes missing, Hetty will do anything to find her, even if it means breaking quarantine and braving the horrors that lie beyond the fence. And when she does, Hetty learns that there’s more to their story, to their life at Raxter, than she could have ever thought true.

Not to be odd but there’s not a single male mentioned in this synopsisand that’s kind of awesome. Girls with strength bursting and untamed, waiting to be held at the reins and used for good. Fantastical all female power is something I see so little of, and it seems I’m quite behind as I see so many other blogs have already reviewed the text! This book already feels powerful, and I hope my experience is just that.

5. Wild Savage Stars by Kristina Pérez


Branwen has a secret powerful enough to destroy two kingdoms.

Her ancient magic led to a terrible betrayal by both her best friend, the princess Essy, and her first love, Tristan. Now this same magic is changing Branwen. Adrift in a rival court, Branwen must hide the truth from the enemy king by protecting the lovers who broke her heart―and finds herself considering a darker path.

Not everyone wants the alliance with Branwen’s kingdom to succeed―peace is balanced on a knife’s edge, and her only chance may be to embrace the darkness within…

The previous book Sweet Black Waves left me in utter shock and despair. I’ve been restless to see how Branwen further handles her cousin and lover’s betrayal. She has a new power crackling beneath the surface, and I wish not only to see it used, but availed from in this second text. Romance is tough, but a story of coming to power is tougher.

6. The Quiet at the End of the World by Lauren James


How far would you go to save those you love?

Lowrie and Shen are the youngest people on the planet after a virus caused global infertility. Closeted in a pocket of London and doted upon by a small, ageing community, the pair spend their days mudlarking for artefacts from history and looking for treasure in their once-opulent mansion.

Their idyllic life is torn apart when a secret is uncovered that threatens not only their family but humanity’s entire existence. Lowrie and Shen face an impossible choice: in the quiet at the end of the world, they must decide who to save and who to sacrifice . . .

How would one feel knowing that the people currently living on earth are the last of their kind? A seemingly conscious and nonviolent extinction, frightening and unknown. I love reading about the end of the world just as much as the beginning, a soft-apocalypse is a perfect read; fuzzy, but still action packed to the core. The synopsis makes me ask so many questions, which makes it so incredible because I absolutely love asking questions. Just as much as I love asking, answering is all the more satisfying; and I am highly anticipating this read. I’ve already purchased the book, and the itch to begin it is ever so distracting. It really is.

7. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides


Alicia Berenson’s life is seemingly perfect. A famous painter married to an in-demand fashion photographer, she lives in a grand house with big windows overlooking a park in one of London’s most desirable areas. One evening her husband Gabriel returns home late from a fashion shoot, and Alicia shoots him five times in the face, and then never speaks another word.

Alicia’s refusal to talk, or give any kind of explanation, turns a domestic tragedy into something far grander, a mystery that captures the public imagination and casts Alicia into notoriety. The price of her art skyrockets, and she, the silent patient, is hidden away from the tabloids and spotlight at the Grove, a secure forensic unit in North London.

Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who has waited a long time for the opportunity to work with Alicia. His determination to get her to talk and unravel the mystery of why she shot her husband takes him down a twisting path into his own motivations—a search for the truth that threatens to consume him…

A murder mystery that not only makes a reader question the killer, but the victim, the psychotherapist, and oneself. I love the mind, yes its potential for greatness but also it’s ability to corrupt. What causes this? How? Why? This book is definitely not the greatest read if I want to get any sleep, or have a lack of distractions. I’m saving this book for a long flight or car trip, because I know I’ll have two many questions that I will not wait to be answered.

8. We Cast A Shadow by Maurice Carlos Ruffin


How far would you go to protect your child?

Our narrator faces an impossible decision. Like any father, he just wants the best for his son Nigel, a biracial boy whose black birthmark is growing larger by the day. In this near-future society plagued by resurgent racism, segregation, and expanding private prisons, our narrator knows Nigel might not survive. Having watched the world take away his own father, he is determined to stop history from repeating itself.

There is one potential solution: a new experimental medical procedure that promises to save lives by turning people white. But in order to afford Nigel’s whiteness operation, our narrator must make partner as one of the few Black associates at his law firm, jumping through a series of increasingly surreal hoops–from diversity committees to plantation tours to equality activist groups–in an urgent quest to protect his son.

Changing race on the cellular level is indeed very far fetched, but the power and potential I see in this book is fascinating. I wish for a brilliant satire that turns the world on it’s head. How far would one go for the people they love? As far as to change their racial identity? Is it corrupt, or is it just? Desperation is the fuel of the novel; and how far desperation can take a person? I will have to see for myself.

9. The Weight of The Stars by K. Ancrum


Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .

In The Bay Area where stars, the cosmos, and celestial beings are so hard to see with all the city lights; I resonate with Ryann’s curiosity and yearning to see more, to know more. Mysteries in the family that defy the seemingly impossible is divulged, setting her on an adventure with someone so much farther away, yet closer than ever before. I already know Ryann will sit close with me, which makes me so excited to finally get a a hold of the text.

10. The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson


Bill Bryson achieved the seemingly impossible by making the science of our world both understandable and entertaining to millions of people around the globe.

Now he turns his attention inwards to explore the human body, how it functions and its remarkable ability to heal itself. Full of extraordinary facts and astonishing stories, The Body: A Guide for Occupants is a brilliant, often very funny attempt to understand the miracle of our physical and neurological make up.

I love science, it is my greatest passion. This book promises surprises, and the extraordinary, almost magical process of the human body. I am already overwhelmed by how fascinated I am with biology, and I can’t help but add to it. How did we come to be? Why? That’s a question so many people around the world have asked, and still have yet to fully answer. I wish to participate in that powerful and inspiring process in the futurebut for nowI shall indulge in astonishing and terrifying biological trivia.

I hope some readers find these interesting and take up these books if they have not read them as well! I still have much too many books on my TBR, but I was most excited about this particular set of ten.

Welcome in December everyone!

Happy reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

10 Changes in How I Read

Hello! For today’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday’ I will divulge the top ten changes I’ve made to my life as a reader. How one reads is ever-changing, especially because there are so many different kinds of texts that can be explored. Frankly, it may not even be a book genre that changes; it can be a chosen reading spot/environment, or additional activity one might do while they indulge in a text as well.

I’ve made quite a few changes from when I first started my reading hobby years ago. Here are the ten that I feel impact me the most, these will be numbered but they are all equal:

1. Reading in Bed

I used to read everywhere. Not that it was a bad thing, but I never had a designated spot for reading. Now I have a designated spot and time for when I read: in bed at 9pm. I never realized how amazing it is to read in a cozy bed, with the heater on, and perhaps a cup of something delicate and steamy. Reading is a great way to settle down before sleeping; giving myself an hour or two with no screen time, but still something enjoyable and entertaining.

2. No Music

In the past I would read while listening to music. Not even a relaxing classical composition or quiet jazz, it was loud and distracting pop music. I still don’t quite understand how I was able to wallow in a good book with sparky upbeat sounds flowing through my head. These days I have been reading in silence or listening to ASMR. Whether that be white noise, the gentle tap of rain, or quiet, repetitive sounds of mundane tasks such as typing or tracing with a pencil. I don’t know how I came to be so easily distracted by music as unobtrusive as café jazz or Bach but now I can’t focus at all on what I’m reading if I hear a thrum of any tune. Silence is perfect, especially if I want to really transport myself to the world I am reading.

3. Libraries and Kindle

Back in elementary school there would always be a small handful of kids that possessed the latest, most popular reads. These chosen few would immediately be placed on a pedestal with all the other children begging at their feet. All to borrow their delicious, newly bought text filled with pages that encompass the future of all their favorite characters; which the author left so cruelly at a cliffhanger in the previous book that everyone had already read five times over. I was never the kid that owned the book, I was the one who borrowed. After that “era” had passed, perhaps I was sick of borrowing because from then on, I always purchased my texts. Barnes & Noble was my sanctum in which I purchased all my publications from; always on the second floor for I never had any interest in the non-fiction and media that awaited me on the first (which I learned to love in the future). Following my method of buying physical copies, I threw that aside altogether and opted for online copies; which I found later on to be extremely straining on the eyes, especially because I enjoy reading for long periods at a time. Now I currently go to the library and own a kindle, which is wonderful and cost efficient! The libraries near me are extremely close by and have a pretty amazing selection of books. I never seem to find a full book series at the library however, which is where I resort to my kindle: a device that holds a large abundance of texts smaller than an iPad, for easy on-the-go reading!

4. More Romance!

These days I’ve been reading quite a bit of romance; much more often than before. It’s become pretty addicting, I find it troublesome tearing my eyes away from the pages of a satisfying romance. In fiction, I used to read a lot more adventure and fantasy pieces which was exhilarating; but I’ve come to appreciate a good love story so much more than before (especially when incorporated into either of those genres). Maybe it was because all the romance I had been reading previously was “cheesy” and predictable, which ultimately made me scowl at any kind of romantic story. Be that as it may, I continued to read texts that contained romance and came to thoroughly enjoy it when a fresh relationship or dynamic appeared! I was also one of those people that thought I was much to cool to enjoy reading romance (who did I think I was?), but now I embrace my love for love, and that makes the experience that much better. These days I’m picky when it comes to indulging books from the genre; which yes, is a slower process than reading whatever I see, but I’ve found tons of amazing publications so far—and I can’t wait to find more!

5. I Started Blogging

I’m a new blogger, and so far it has been such an amazing experience! I love sharing my opinions and thoughts on books I read; even if no one actually reads my blog, just writing it down is relaxing and pleasurable. I had been reading blogs for awhile before I started my website, and it’s astonishing how many bookworms I can relate to that share the same interests (and things I’m absolutely trash for). Unfortunately it’s quite difficult to find others who enjoy reading as much as I do, especially as a teen. With a blog I have a window to so many other teenagers that share the same love! Lest I forget all those wonderful adult bloggers as well, who are always so endearing and inspiring.

6. Re-reading

Read the book, and put it on the shelf never to be seen again—that was how it used to be. I don’t know why I never bothered to re-read in the past, even books I truly adored. I’ve been re-reading the same handful of books for months now, and I enjoy every second of it. There are little and discrete details that readers tend to look over on their first read through; and I’ve found that knowing these details can change the book entirely. I’m glad I’ve been re-reading, and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon.

7. Book Binges

Oh gosh—book binges. I’ve come to realize that once I start a series I will drop everything to finish it, which is a dangerous habit. Especially if I’m buying the texts, the amount of money I drop in such a short period of time to finish a series is insane. In the past I could pace myself, I have no idea how I lost that patience.

8. TBR

TBR or ‘To Be Read’ was never something I had in the past. I would read, and wait for a book to interest me; there was always time to wait, very much unlike now, where I can easily pick up my next read from a list. My TBR is alarmingly huge, and it never seems to stop growing. I will be publishing my TBR soon, which will become a scheduled post every month or so!

9. Standalone Books

I read plenty of standalone texts now! I was always the series lover, connecting myself to characters aching for more on their lives; now I’ve learned to appreciate the standalone books. They are great for road trips, vacations, or anytime where a quick and satisfying read is appropriate. I breeze through standalone books which is perilous for my wallet, so I very much appreciate the adorable contemporary pieces at my nearby library! They are absolutely perfect.

10. Classics

I really—really—enjoy the classics! I never had an issue with classic texts in the first place, but I was never too invested in them. Like most teens and children, I found them hard to read if I ever wanted to retain consciousness. Currently, I absolutely love them; I can’t get enough. The best part is because they are considered classics, they are almost guaranteed to be a phenomenal read!

So those are the changes I’ve made to my reading life! I can barely imagine myself in my old reading lifestyle, I did not have the best habits. This post is published a little later than usual, for I’ve been having the worst headache these past couple of days.

Right now I am writing my book review for A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas which I am super excited for! After all, it’s my favorite book in the ACOTAR series and I’ve read it about a thousand times. I’m also preparing a Thanksgiving post! They will both be published this week, so stay tuned!

Happy reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

My Top 10 Favorite Character Traits

It’s ‘Top Ten Tuesday’! Today I will be writing about my favorite character traits; both negative and positive. Yes, negative traits deserve just as much love as positive ones. A great character is undoubtedly created with both detrimental and enjoyable features. The particular traits I’m listing are ones I find great interest in when found in a character; and most likely a person too. I’ll list from least to most loved (remember these are all my favorite traits, I love them all! Just some more than others if I were to rank them)!

10. Curious

A can always appreciate a curious character. When I read, I ask a lot of questions (maybe it’s because I’m a science fiend and asking questions and finding answers is my favorite thing to do); the satisfaction of having a character ask the same questions I have is indescribable. However, no matter how seemingly good this trait can be, curiosity often puts a character in unfavorable situations. I feel there is a fine line between writing a character as curious—and stupid. It’s hard, I admit, characters who make dull-witted decisions usually derive them from curiosity like most people; and its difficult to write a good character that asks questions and seeks for answers in both an intelligent and cautious way (a great example is the character Sherlock Holmes!). However, when an author pulls this off—god—is it amazing. When they don’t? Not so much.

9. Centered

A character that is centered is one that stays calm, and thinks clearly. If its a crisis, riddle, or any challenge or obstacle, a centered character will be a breath of fresh air within the claustrophobic panic of others. I always find it enjoyable to read about a centered character, and I most definitely love centered people in real life as well. This trait is a rare gem in books and life, if found, keep it always.

8. Romantic

I probably enjoy this trait so much because I have it myself. I’m quite the romantic (no matter how single I may be) and I always try to find potential lovers for friends and family. This trait is seen in characters that are both longing for a lover, and characters that crave romance for their friends and others. Characters with this trait are always entertaining and hilarious to read about. The ‘best friend’ that always tries to hook up the protagonist with every person they talk to is always a bubbly and heartwarming favorite.

7. Protective

This trait not only belongs to characters that are protective of others; but also those that protect their own beliefs, and what/who they love and respect. I absolutely adore characters that will do anything to protect both the tangible and intangible because of how deep the love is for them within their heart.

6. Lustful

This refers to one of the seven deadly sins: lust (mainly nonsexual, yes I know how disappointing). This is indeed a negative trait, and I love it so much because it gives a character a certain drive, maybe even dusted with passion. When a character wants something so badly they will do all these unfathomable and frankly unreasonable actions to even scrape it with the tip of their nail, it sparks so much interest and exhilaration within me. Even better when the author gives the character a deeper meaning behind that lust, such as revenge, a dream, or a wanting for affection and love.

5. Humorous

The novelty, the breath of fresh air, the character that seemingly always relates to the reader. The character of comedy is a favorite to everyone. For me, I enjoy a character who gives me giggles utilizing dark humor and excessive cursing. It’s such a great feeling when a character can cut through thick, viscous drama—like a knife through butter—with a single line of text. Nevertheless, there are always comical characters that I don’t find particularly amusing; characters that seem more like a dead weight or jester. Jesters, or characters that are amusing by being ignorant and mindless frustrate me. Once again, that fine line along stupidity.

4. Prideful

Pride is closely related to confidence, and the corner of my mouth always perks up whenever I see a character showing either of these traits. Pride is also a trait I appreciate seeing in real life, its nice to have someone be so ‘sure’ and supportive of a belief or certain participation. It is most delightful when expressed moderately, however, excessive and overwhelming pride is just as interesting.

3. Cunning/Crafty

A character who is able to complete tasks in a deceiving, clever, and unexpected way always keeps me on my toes. In fact, it’s even better when I’m relaxed thinking I know what will happen; but this character surprises me with a solution or plan I could have never perceived. This trait conveys a certain intelligence I love, but don’t see enough of. A good example of a character with this trait is Kaz from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. Always one step ahead, quick witted, and irresistibly greedy. This trait sits proudly at spot three on this list, since I always find myself loving a book more if it contains a character displaying this.

2. Witty

It is easy to realize that I very much enjoy intelligence in all it’s forms. This goes for real people too (as most of these traits do)! A character that is intellectually jocular and ingeniously clever is one I could fall for. I love this trait; quick spits of facts or corrections may seem annoying to some, but I adore it. Intelligence expressed with humor is wonderful! I will never under-appreciate it and I wish I saw this trait more often in female characters (though I love it in males too)!

1. Sarcastic/Snarky

Odd, isn’t it? People find this trait to be unexpected as my most favorite, but I can’t get enough of it. I weirdly very much enjoy it in real life too, probably because I am quite sarcastic myself. When I find someone who appreciates witty, (and probably slightly offensive) commentary as much as I do, we will most likely become very good friends. In characters, I relate to their humor; and how they use snark to enjoy themselves. It can also be portrayed as quite attractive too (or maybe that’s just me), when a character spites another with wit and acuity. Intellect is my drug; positive or negative, and it will be something I always take enormous pleasure in.

Those are my top ten favorite character traits! I hope some can relate to me and how I feel on some of these; though I feel I may have a certain bias. Maybe that bias is something people can relate to as well?

Happy reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads

Top 10 Tuesday

My Top 10 Least Favorite Romance Tropes

Hiya fellow bookworms! Yes, the time has come. Today I will be discussing my ten least favorite romance tropes which I find fairly easy to spot since I read plenty of romance. Romance is one of my favorite genres, extremely addicting, pulling me through all sorts of different emotions. Though as all readers know, finding that special book which induces one with such effects is trial and error; and all of those who love romance and plow through amazing books, have also gone though some pretty shitty reads as well.

When it comes to romance, a reader clings to the pages for dynamic, emotion, and drama. A good romance will use various devices, motifs, and clichés to ensure all of these fall into place. All readers have tropes they can’t stand, no matter how small they may seem. Today, I will share the top 10 tropes that make me close the covers…

10. Condescending Nicknames/ Pet Names

In some romances I have read, authors like to have the male love interest use nicknames for the female protagonist (men as the example because I usually see this trope in straight romances). The male supposedly uses nicknames to taunt and annoy the protagonist, an attempt to convey the man as sexy, confident, and charismatic; maybe even as a “bad boy” type character. It doesn’t work. I feel that instead of attractive it’s frustrating, reminding me of others who use nicknames in a similar fashion: cat callers.

9. The Abusive Relationship

In this trope, (usually) the male love interest physically/mentally harms the female protagonist for whatever reasons there may be; and as the book develops, he grows into a kind and relatively good being. I dislike this trope especially because of how it may influence impressionable readers. The story ending with the two characters in love and stable could make it seem like the author is trying to convey, “don’t worry if your partner is abusive, give it time and everything will be okay”! It’s not okay! The type of relationship displayed in this trope is unhealthy and harmful. I become very uncomfortable reading books with this trope, a most definite turn-off.

8. Plain Jane and Mr.Perfect

A trope many have probably seen: the extremely stale, insipid, girl with the intelligent, hot, charismatic, (usually rich) man. How does this happen? Exactly, it doesn’t. I find it exceptionally frustrating when the author uses “he loves her for who she is” or “there’s just something about her” as an excuse for the chemistry to be judicious. If the girl is is an un-interesting person, it only makes sense that no one would be interested in her romantically. For a man that holds all these wonderful traits any girl would fall for, he just had to choose Plain Jane.

7. Surprise Pregnancy

I find this device to not have much purpose other to fill in extra pages when an author writes a book. The story could be just fine; in fact, I could love and really enjoy the plot and characters—until the female protagonist is suddenly pregnant. The reason is always “I had the cold and my antibiotics interfered with my birth control” or the extremely slim 0.01% chance the birth control couldn’t stop the fertilization. Since the protagonist is now pregnant, that is the only subject the reader will see for a good portion of the book. Unwanted drama, yet another huge turn-off.

6. No-Life Romance

When I read romance novels, it confuses me when—ironically—all I see is romance. For example, the story could be set in a college, with all the characters as students. Why do I never hear about them studying? Going to class? If they have a job, why are they never working? It seems that the character only has one purpose and want: to fall in love. For me this is very easy to recognize, making it very hard for me to take the book seriously since the characters lives aren’t believable.

5. Unknown Love Interest

Isn’t it confusing when the female protagonist converses a lot with one guy, kisses another, and has sex with someone else? This is the ‘Unknown Love Interest’ trope, if a girl has romantic chemistry with everybody—then really—she has chemistry with nobody. The reader won’t know who to “ship” or which relationship he/she should be supporting in the book, and that makes the story tasteless and disorienting.

4. No First Kiss

I’ve read numerous of books where the protagonist and love interest completely skip over tension development and go straight to banging each other. It’s frustrating! When a romantic relationship finally blossoms in a book, I want it to be with a sweet, maybe shy, and amorous kiss. When this doesn’t happen, and the characters’ first intimate scene is sex or kissing like they’ve done it a thousand times, how could I believe it? I could honestly read through multiple books for that first kiss, it’s one of my favorite parts in any romantic story. I understand lust and what a character might desire, but it is tremendously more satisfying if the author gives a chance for the relationship to grow.

3. Insta-Love

Everyone’s seen it. Everyone hates it. Insta-Love is self explanatory, two characters immediately fall in love strikingly early in the book. Much to early for any kind of real chemistry to develop, which would generally lead up to a romantic relationship. Because this trope occurs so early, it makes the remainder of the story unsatisfying and unreasonable. I am a firm supporter of the ‘slow burn’ in romance. Make the reader work and plead for physical contact and intimacy! Similar to the ‘No First Kiss’ trope, give a relationship time to develop. It will be all the more satisfying in the end.

2. The Naive Dumbass

Two of the dumbest main characters in literary history:

Frankenstein‘s Victor Frankenstein
Twilight‘s Bella Swan

This doesn’t just push my buttons in romance, I’d hate to see this in any book (or any person). The main character is all around stupid. The author may say “no~, he/she isn’t dumb, they’re just naive”—but no— it is clear that the character isn’t just ‘naive’, they also are extraordinarily dull-witted. One can easily recognize this anywhere. For example: the female protagonist is warned multiple times that ______ is dangerous and it would safer to avoid ______, however she goes ahead and does ______ anyways, and almost gets herself killed, in which her love interest would come and save her. This really stings me, especially since common sense and intelligence are traits I value tremendously in characters as well as people. Furthermore, it makes me question the love interest as well, who would be attracted to one such as her? I have no idea.

1. Assumptions/ Lack of Communication

Here we are, the big kahuna, my least favorite romance trope of all time: Assumptions and Lack of Communication. I’m sure many have seen this before in books or screenplay. In romance particularly, the trope present’s itself as two characters who have good chemistry, but the only reason they aren’t in a romantic relationship, could be solved and clarified with one simple conversation. An example: The female protagonist walks into a bar and coincidentally sees her love interest conversing with another girl. She assumes her love interest is in liaison with the girl, and leaves the bar without saying a word. Hint hint, they’re just friends, and if the female protagonist just asked for clarification from her love interest or the girl, the unnecessary drama and avoidance that would occur for the next manifold of chapters—wouldn’t happen. I understand how different circumstances would occur in a character’s life to interfere with a romantic relationship. Perhaps a life or friendship is on the line, and the character must stay away in fear of harming others or themselves. When these circumstances don’t show up, and the two characters are bright enough to solve the conflict themselves, make them talk to each other! It’s that simple.

So that’s it! My top 10 least favorite romance tropes. I tried to make sure these tropes were fairly common, so readers could relate to me and my opinions. There are many other tropes that one may find extremely exasperating in plenty of other genres, and I’m hoping to write about them in the future along with my favorite romance tropes as well! But for now, I am working to push out more fall book reviews for the cozy season, and hop on board the seasonal tag train! Keep an eye out for future posts! An easy way to do so is subscribing to my blog (on my home page), emails will be send out every time I post new content!

That’s all for now,

Happy reading!

xoxo Byunzie

Instagram | Goodreads