The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker / Blog Tour – Excerpt

The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker – Release Date: October 12, 2021

Hello everyone! Today I am happy to share with y’all an excerpt from the newly released, THE KEEPER OF NIGHT by Kylie Lee Baker. Thanks again to Inkyard Press for providing me with the excerpt of Chapter Two of the book, an eARC and letting me join in on the blog tour! Hope y’all enjoy.

Julie Kagawa meets Scythe in this captivating and evocative journey into Death’s domain as one soul collector seeks her place in the underworld of 1890s Japan. Book 1 of a planned duology.

Death is her destiny.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough yearns for the acceptance she has never found among the Reapers who raised her. When the Shinigami powers she can no longer hide force her to flee for her life, Ren and her younger brother—the only being on earth to care for her—travel to Japan and the dark underworld of Yomi, where Ren hopes to claim her place among the Shinigami and finally belong.

But the Goddess of Death is no more welcoming than the Reapers who raised her, and Ren finds herself set on an impossible task—find and kill three yokai demons, and maybe, just maybe, she can earn a place in Death’s service. With only her brother and an untrustworthy new ally by her side, Ren will learn how far she’ll go to win the acceptance she craves, and whether the cost of belonging is worth any sacrifice.

Chapter Two

At the far edge of London, somewhere between nightmares and formless dreams, the Reapers slept by daylight.

The only way to enter our home was through the catacombs of the Highgate Cemetery, through a door that no longer existed. It had been built there long ago, when the Britons first came to our land and Ankou carved a hole in their world so that Death could enter. But humans had sealed it shut with layers of wood, then stone, then brick and mortar, all in the hopes of keeping Death out.

By the nineteenth century, humans had mostly forgotten about the Door and what it meant. Then, when the London churchyards began to overflow with bones, the humans had searched for a place just outside of London to bury their dead. By chance or fate, they’d built their new cemetery right on top of the Door. It turned out that Death drew all of us close, even if we weren’t aware of it.

No streetlights lit the path through Highgate at night, but I didn’t need them to find my way home. Before I’d even passed through the main gate, Death pulled me closer. All Reapers were drawn to him, our bones magnetized to the place of our forefather. As soon as I entered the cemetery, a humming began just under my skin, like a train’s engine beginning to whir. My blood flushed faster through my veins as I brushed aside the branches of winter-barren lime trees and low-hanging elms. My boots crunched shattering steps into the frosted pathways as I ran.

I stumbled through jagged rows of ice-cracked tombstones on uneven ground and through a village of mausoleums, finally reaching the gothic arched doorway of the catacomb entrance. The pull had grown unbearable, dragging me along in a dizzy trance as I descended the stairs into the cool quietness of damp bricks and darkness. The labyrinth would have been unnavigable if not for the fervent pull.

At last, my hands came out to touch the wall where the Door used to be, but now there were only damp bricks and an inscription on the arch overhead that read When Ankou comes, he will not go away empty in rigid script. I dug one hand into my pocket and clutched my clock, pressed my other hand to the bricks, then closed my eyes and turned time all the way back to the beginning.

Time flowed through the silver-and-gold gears, up into my bloodstream and through my fingertips, dispersing into the brick wall. Centuries crumbled away, the mortar growing wet and bricks falling loose. One by one, they leaped out of their positions in the wall and aligned themselves in dry stacks on the ground, waiting once again for construction. Objects were easy to manipulate with time, for I could draw from their own intrinsic energy rather than siphoning off my own. Rather than paying in years of my own life, I could borrow years before the bricks crumbled and quickly repay the debt when I put them back.

I stepped through the doorway and the pull released me all at once. I breathed in a deep gasp of the wet night air, then turned around and sealed the door behind me. The bricks jumped back to their positions in the wall, caked together by layers of mortar that dried instantly, the time debt repaid.

The catacombs beyond the threshold spanned infinitely forward, appropriated as resting places for Reapers rather than corpses. Mounted lanterns cast a faint light onto the dirt floors and gray bricks. It was almost Last Toll, so only the last Reapers returning from the night shift still milled around, their silver capes catching the dim light of the tunnels, but most had retreated to their private quarters for the morning.

I turned right and hurried down the block. The low ceilings gave way to high-arched doorways and finally opened up to a hall of echoing marble floors and rows of dark wood desks. Luckily, there was no line for Collections this close to Last Toll.

I hurried to the first Collector and all but slammed my vials into the tray, jolting him awake in his seat. He was a younger Reaper and seemed perplexed at having been awoken so unceremoniously. When his gaze landed on me, he frowned and sat up straight.

“Ren Scarborough,” I said, pushing the tray closer to him.

“I know who you are,” he said, picking up my first vial and uncapping it with deliberate slowness. Of course, everyone knew who I was.

He took a wholly unnecessary sniff of the vial before holding it up to the light to examine the color, checking its authenticity. The Collectors recorded every night’s soul intake before sending the vials off to Processing, where they finally released the souls into Beyond. He picked up a pen from his glass jar of roughly thirty identical pens, tapped it against the desk a few times, then withdrew a leather-bound ledger from a drawer. He dropped it in front of him, opened the creaky cover, and began flipping through the pages, one by one, until he reached a fresh one.

I resisted the urge to slam my face against the desk in impatience.

I really didn’t have time to waste, but Collections was a necessary step. I didn’t consider myself benevolent in times of crisis, but even I was above leaving souls to expire in glass tubes instead of releasing them to their final resting place, wherever that was. And besides, a blank space next to my name in the Collections ledger meant a Collector would pay a visit to my private quarters to reprimand me. The last thing I needed was someone realizing that I’d left before Ivy could even report me.

But when the Collector uncorked my fourth vial and held it up to the lamp, swirling it in the light for ten excruciating seconds, I began to wonder if I’d made the right decision.

The bells of Last Toll reverberated through the bricks all around us, humming through the marble floors. In this hazy hour between night and day, the church grims came out in search of Reaper bones to gnaw on. Night collections had to be turned in by then, while day collections had to be processed by the First Toll at dusk.

The Collector sighed as he picked up my fifth vial. “I’m afraid I’ll have to mark your collections as late.”

My jaw clenched. “Why.”

“It’s past Last Toll, of course,” he said.

My fingers twitched. The lamp on the Collector’s desk flickered with my impatience, but I took a steadying breath.

“I was here before Last Toll,” I said, trying to keep my voice even.

“According to my ledger, your collections still have not been processed,” he said, spinning my fifth vial in his left hand.

I sighed and closed my eyes. Of course, I knew what he was doing. Chastising a “latecomer” would earn praise from higher management. It was the easiest way for him to climb the ranks—to exert his power over the half-breed. He would be praised for his steadfastness and gain a reputation as a strict and immovable Collector, while I could do nothing to complain. I could explode his lamp and send glass shards into his eyes, but that wouldn’t make him process my vials any faster. The fastest way to get out of there was subservience.

“Forgive me, Reaper,” I said, bowing my head and dropping my shoulders. I let my voice sound timid and afraid. “I apologize for being late.”

The Collector blinked at me for a moment, as if surprised that I’d given in so quickly. But he looked young and power-hungry and not particularly perceptive, so I wasn’t too afraid that he’d see through my tactic. As expected, he sneered as if I truly had offended him, finally beginning to process the fifth vial.

“It’s a great inconvenience to both Collections and Processing,” he said, “though I wouldn’t expect a half-breed to understand the workings of the educated Reapers.”

The only believable response to his goading was humiliated silence, so I hung my head even further and tried to make myself as small and pathetic as possible. It wasn’t hard, because the memory of the night’s events was still wringing my heart out like a wet rag and my skin prickled with nerves so fiercely that I wanted to claw it all off and escape before Ivy could find me, yet here I was, brought to my knees before a glorified teller. I imagined being a High Reaper, being able to reach over and smash his face into his blotter and shatter his owlish glasses into his eyes for delaying and insulting me.

His lamp flickered more violently and he paused to smack it before finally finishing with my last vial. He placed all seven in a tray and pressed a button that started the conveyor belt, sending the souls down to Processing. The moment he put a black check next to my name in the ledger, I stood up straight and turned to leave.

His hand twisted into my sleeve, yanking me back.

I shot him a look that could have melted glass, but he only pulled me closer.

“There’s the matter of your sanction,” he said.

“My sanction,” I said, glancing around the office to see how many people would notice if I simply twisted the Collector’s neck. Too many.

“For your tardiness, of course,” he said, smirking sourly. From his position stretched across the desk, the lamplight caught in his glasses and turned them into two beaming white moons.

The standard punishment for failing to make curfew was a night on the pillory, hands and feet nailed to the wood and head locked in a hole that was just slightly too tight, letting you breathe but not speak. The other Reapers could pull your hair or pour mead over your head or call you a thousand names when you couldn’t talk back. But the worst part wasn’t the nails or the insults. It was the Reapers who did nothing but look at you and sneer like you were nothing but an ugly piece of wall art, like they were so perfect that they couldn’t fathom being in your place. And far worse than that was my own father and stepmother walking past me and pretending not to see.

“Come back at First Toll,” the Collector said. “We’ll find a nice place to hang you up by the Door.”

It took every ounce of restraint I had left to keep my expression calm. This was the part where I was supposed to say, Yes, Reaper, and bow, but he was lucky that I hadn’t smashed his glasses into his face with my fist.

As if he could smell my defiance, he pulled me closer. His glasses fell out of the lamplight, revealing a deep frown.

“Scrub that look from your face,” he said. “Remember that I’ll handle your collections in the future.”

The future, I thought.

Luckily, I didn’t have a future.

The light bulb flashed with a sudden surge of power, then burst. Glass shards rained down over the desk, forcing the man to release me as hot glass scored his hands. Some of his paperwork caught fire, and he frantically patted out the flames with hands full of shards.

“Yes, Reaper,” I said, bowing deeply so he wouldn’t see my smirk as he sputtered about “bloody light bulbs, I knew we should have kept the gas lamps.”

Then I turned and rushed off to the West Catacombs.

Excerpted from The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker, Copyright © 2021 by Kylie Lee Baker. Published by Inkyard Press. 


Kylie Lee Baker grew up in Boston and has since lived in Atlanta, Salamanca, and Seoul. Her writing is informed by her heritage (Japanese, Chinese, and Irish), as well as her experiences living abroad as both a student and teacher. She has a B.A. in Creative Writing and Spanish from Emory University and is currently pursuing a Master of Library and Information Science degree at Simmons University. In her free time, she watches horror movies, plays the cello, and bakes too many cookies. The Keeper of Night is her debut novel.


Author website:

Twitter: @KylieYamashiro

Instagram: @kylieleebaker



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Thanks for reading and until next time, happy reading!

i took to a quiz to find out what type of reader i am

While scrolling through Instagram, a sponsored ad popped up for this website/app called Bookfinity. I admittedly kind of put it off in my head as something that’s pointless because there are plenty of websites that are like this, that do personalized recommendations and such. Also I laughed at the name. But I was a little curious to try to see what their “Reader Type” quiz would be like and I was bored and it was a Saturday afternoon, so I decided what the hell, let’s go.

The quiz was typical. It asks three times throughout the course of the quiz, what book do you like out of the ones they select. Which none of them I was interested in lol. Also asking some personality type quiz questions like what shows I like to binge watch, how I like to spend my Friday evenings, etc. Through all of that nonsense I got my results. Results plural because you get three types of reader you are.

Reader Type #1 – Subject Matter Expert

This might just be me but this one feels super vague, as in vague enough for anyone to be this type of reader. But the more I thought about it, the more it did make sense because there are certain subjects and topics that I find interesting and I gravitate towards reading more books like them, such as books about cults and ghost stories.

As for my other two reader types…

Reader Type #2 – Serial Reader

See this one actually makes sense to me because I will read back and forth for every detail of a book. Which is why some books take longer for me to read than some people.

Reader Type #3 – Heroine Addict

This one also makes sense because I do tend to read books with female leads the most. Not to say thought that I wouldn’t read books with a non-female lead.

So to make sure I wasn’t being put into super vague categories or anything I had to look up to see what the other types of readers there were. So according to this website, “the nearly 20 reader types include: the subject matter expert, beach reader, trendsetter, woke up like this, young at heart, cool mom/dad, spiritual seeker, lifelong learner, world traveler, game day hero, mountain climber, dissenter and time traveler.

I cannot believe I did not fall into the cool mom/dad category.

That’s that. Let me know if you decide to take this quiz and let know what you get! It does require you to sign up for Bookfinity to get your results of course, which is something I reluctantly did because its not a paid thing and it seems legit, but obviously you don’t have to do it if you want yet another bookish account to sign up for.

fall 2021 tbr & blog goals

📚🎃 TBR 🎃📚

I posted a TBR post for Top Ten Tuesday but obviously I don’t plan to read just those because me being me I ordered/preordered some books and graphic novels. Just in time for spooky seasonal reads. 🎃

Basketful of Heads by Joe Hill & Leomacs & Riccardo La Bella & Dave Stewart & Deron Bennett

The Low, Low Woods by Carmen Maria Machado & Dani & Tamra Bonvillan

The Autumnal by Daniel Kraus & Chris Shehan & Jason Wordie & Jim Campbell

Squad by Maggie Tokuda-Hall & Lisa Sterle

A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee

The Dead and the Dark by Courtney Gould

The Devil Makes Three by Tori Bovalino

The River Has Teeth by Erica Waters

📖 Reading & Blogging Goals 💻

  1. Read TBR – This is an obvious one but reading my entire TBR would be nice
  2. Update Goodreads – I still haven’t bothered to update my Goodreads to reflect my current reading status. Probably should do this to at least help my Goodreads Reading Challenge status.
  3. Blog Hop – I’ve gotten some new followers and I also have some people I’ve been following for a long while now, so I would like to show support.
  4. Get NetGalley Ratio to 80% – I’ve been slowly approaching this goal but I still have a ways to go.
  5. Post reviews for ARCs & Blog Tours – Self explanatory but there are ARCs that I need to read/review for not only NetGalley but also upcoming blog tours to help promote these books.

Bonus Goal: Post on my Bookish Instagram account – I didn’t include this in the photo/my main goals because I’ve decided to only post on my Instagram if I feel like I’m inspired or if its about something at least relevant to my blog or helping to promote books I loved. I had made this a priority in my summer goals post.

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall 2021 TBR (Freebie)

This is a Top Ten Tuesday post, which is hosted by That Artsy Reader GirlClick here form more on this weekly meme and for future topics

Thankfully this week’s topic is a freebie, so I can go back to last week’s topic being of course: Books on My Fall 2021 TBR List. Over the course of this year I’ve bought quite a few books and recently I have got a lot of books from my library. Out of all these books I have amassed I probably will read 10 at the most which is perfect for this list.

My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones

I also have The Only Good Indians on my TBR as well. But I just recently placed this on hold at the library and somehow I got it earlier than expected. I hope I enjoy this one and will want to read more of his novels. Also just in general I hope that I will be reading a lot of horror in the fall, especially in October.

For Your Own Good by Samantha Downing

This is a book that has fall vibes to me. I guess its the combination that its about academia and murder-mystery. I’ve heard great things about the author’s other books so I hope this one will get me into her other stories as well.

House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski

Yes I will be attempting to read this beast of a book. There is a cult following behind this one and its a book that people either find infuriatingly frustrating or fall in love with its horror. This will be the ultimate challenge for me this fall.

The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline

So I feel sort of obligated to read this, since I picked it up at my library because one of the patrons recommended it. But it does sound interesting. It’s a historical fiction about Australia and about women who are trying to survive in Australia. It has great ratings on Goodreads and I’m sure its good. I sometimes don’t gravitate towards historical fiction in the way I used to.

The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath

I got a copy of this for my birthday. I’ve always wanted to read this and I didn’t realize how thick this is in person. But it is thick, so it could take me all of fall to read this one.

Conversations with Friends / Normal People / Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

I am diving headfirst into the cult of Sally Rooney. I am ready to see what the fuss is all about.

Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

This will actually be a re-read because I read this many moons ago. I remember liking it. It was in 2016 which is a while ago but doesn’t seem it. Its a horror graphic novel so its perfect for October aka spooky season. Hopefully it will hold up.

Various Manga Series

Monster by Naoki Urasawa
The Girl from the Other Side by Nagabe
Dorohedoro by Q Hayashida
Dai Dark by Q Hayashida
20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa

This are horror/thriller manga adjacent. Naoki Urasawa is considered one of the greats, and these are two of his best known series, 20th Century Boys and Monster. I also have started collecting Dorohedoro and Dai Dark from Q Hayashida. I loved the anime series adaptation for Dorohedoro which convinced me to read more of Dorohedoro. Then there’s The Girl from the Other Side by Nagabe which I have read its just been a while and I would like to continue reading it!

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you’ll reading in the fall/spring (for y’all in the southern hemisphere!)

Personal Library Book Tag

Hello all! I am here with yet another tag! I was tagged a while ago (apologies for taking so long!) by 24HrYABookBlog who created this cool new tag! Please check out her blog and go follow her on Twitter. She’s super nice and always supportive. Just an all around friendly person within the book community :).

  • RULES:
  • Link back to the original creator’s post 24hryabookblogPersonal Library Book Tag
  • Answer the questions / prompts
  • Tagging is not required, but you can if you want to 
  • Feel free to use their graphic for your own post (with credit) if you’d like or create your own

1: How do you organize the books on your shelves?

I don’t. My shelves are a HOT MESS. I have two bookcases. One is this small white one with 6 shelves, that I have various books, my vinyl records, and old magazines and random papers in The other is an unpainted wooden one and is a longer but shorter style. Over the years, I have amassed a great collection and I have never bothered to organize them. I also have books on my floor. So I have been saving up money to buy some bookcases to be more organized.

2: Any particular aesthetic or niche genre of books you’d like to see more of on your shelves?

I would like to have one bookshelf that is specifically for all my manga & graphic novels, since right now I have them combined with my regular books. I would like to separate my shelves into neat genres or themes like dark academia, horror, fairytales, fantasy, literary fiction, poetry, etc.

3: Pick a book on your shelf and share the personal story behind it!

I have this first edition copy of The Diviners by Libba Bray. I got it on sale from a Books a Million that sadly closed down at the start of this year. Around the time I got it I joined Goodreads and thus began my journey into the bookish community and found a love for reading books that weren’t just assigned school reading. P.S. It came with this fake newspaper thing but I lost it 😦

4: Name a book (or books) in your personal collection that people would be surprised to see that you own.

I’m not sure I would surprise anyone with any books in my collection. I do have some poetry like Blue Horses by Mary Oliver and Great Goddesses and Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill. I just went to look and see what books surprised me and apparently I have The Stranger by Albert Camus, Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger, Dune by Frank Herbert, The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin.

5: What’s a book that you own that’s still on your TBR?

Too many to name but one that I’m pretty sure I’ve owned the longest but I’ve yet to actually read is a copy of Vicious by V.E. Schwab. I haven’t read any of her books yet and this is the only one I own!

 6. Name a book (or books) you desperately want to add to your personal library:

Ariel by Sylvia Plath, The Collected Poems by Sylvia Plath, Studio Ghibli art books, and the Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind box set.

7: Any particular goals you have for your collection?

Here are some goals I have.

  1. Buy bookcases to fit all my books and get them off the floor.
  2. Unhaul books that I will probably never get around to (donating or selling books)
  3. Organize my books neatly once I get bookcases & more shelves
  4. Read more books from my own collection before buying/adding
  5. buy more books…
  6. Make it look nice!
  7. Get one of those book carts because they’re cute.

One day I would like to able to show off my shelves on IG and have my books look nice and have everything organized. Right now everything feels cluttered.

I enjoyed doing this tag! It made me process things in terms of my collection and what I need to do and not do with the books I have.

I’m going to tag Ally, Meaghan, and Chelsea. If anyone wants to do this feel free to consider yourself tagged by me! 🙂

The Recommendations Book Tag

Thank you so much to Ally for tagging me! I’m sorry that it’s taken me this long to post this! I have had this post on my mind for months now because for a while I didn’t think I had anything to actually recommend but I actually did??? But overall this is a mix of books I have read and books I want to read.


  • Tag Ally @ Ally Writes Things (Hey Ally hope you’re having a good day/night!)
  • Give at least one recommendation for each of the prompts below
  • If you don’t have a recommendation, talk about a book you want to read
  • Tag your friends


Piecing Me Together by Renée Watson

This is a book I used to talk about a lot on here and I still will. I think one of the biggest themes of this book is friendship since its involves Jade, the protagonist who is a Black girl who lives in poverty and Sam, a white girl who also lives in poverty. Their friendship is tested when a few things in the story happens that shows how Sam still benefits from white privilege despite being poor. Jade also develops a friendship/mentorship with an young Black woman named Maxine who doesn’t seem as interested in being a mentor to Jade at first and there is a stark class difference between the two. I highly recommend this for those who want to read more YA contemporary novels that revolve around Black girls and women.


Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica; translated by Sarah Moses

I don’t really want to go into detail too much with this one, its just essentially a dystopian world where cannibalism is in and one dude is having a hard time with that. That’s my vaguest description of it but wow. This book is so horrifying. Which makes it a perfect read for anytime of the year and for any horror fan. It’s also a pretty quick read so it’s not too much to digest.


Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert // Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola

I don’t read that much romance so I can’t exactly give the best recommendation for this. And the one romance I have read recently was super white.

I have a sort of recommendation that technically does fit but I feel it’s is more of a YA contemporary with Nina LaCour vibes, Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. Suzette is a queer Black Jewish girl who is questioning her sexuality. She has a Latina love interest as well as a biracial Black & Vietnamese love interest. While there definitely is romance, it is moreso a coming of age story where the romance is sort of a secondary plot point.

I would love to read Love in Colour by Bolu Babalola, a romance anthology featuring myths and folklore retold in romantic stories. It sounds like a good starting point for me or anyone else who wants to get into more romance.


Again I’m going to recommend Tender is the Flesh again for this one. I read it within a day. Also its probably because I am a slow reader and reading a shorter book (it was about a 200 page book) within a day counts as fast paced for me.


World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatahil // Cultish by Amanda Montell

Okay this is cheating because World of Wonders by Aimee Nezhukumatahil is kind of a memoir (sorry lol). But its also a non-fiction about weird ass animals and plants that are on our planet. It’s a hybrid of a book that I think works…wonders.

I guess I’ll talk also about a non-fiction that I would like to read that isn’t a memoir. Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell. I like reading about cults in both fictional and non-fictional works. I just find them fascinating but also horrifying of course. From the Goodr*ads description this talks about the classic cults like Jonestown, Scientology, and also talks about the more recent cultish groups like Q Anon.


Face It by Debbie Harry // Horror Stories by Liz Phair

I don’t read memoirs much either despite owning a few and wanting to read them. I just have never really gotten around to many. So here’s two that I think would fit underrated in a way. It’s probably a stretch to say that Debbie Harry, lead singer of Blondie, is underrated but this book was released last year and only has about 5,589 ratings on Good/reads. Same goes for Liz Phair. I feel like both are pretty well known. But I love their music so I just think reading memoirs from these iconic female musicians would be great especially Liz Phair’s, since its compared to Patti Smith’s Just Kids.


Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee

I decided to go with sort of a throwback title, Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. This is a book I talked about really early on my blog back in 2018 which feels so long ago yet actually isn’t. It’s a historical fiction which Stacey Lee is well known for, set in the American “Wild West” with a Chinese girl and Black girl as protagonists disguised as boys trying to head for the California Gold Rush. This is still somehow at 9,932 ratings which is close to 10,000 but in my opinion, this should have way more ratings. It’s just overall a solid historical fiction/western.


How to Make a Wish by Ashley Herring Blake

It’s been such a long time since I’ve talked about this one as well! Yet another throwback title. This is one my earliest reviews on my blog if you would like to read it here. But this is a YA contemporary romance featuring a bi protagonist! I think its honestly one of the first books I’ve read with a bi protagonist in it so it made quite an impression on me.


Pet by Akwaeke Emezi // Bitter by Awaeke Emezi

I am dying to read more books from Akwaeke Emezi such as Freshwater and The Death of Vivek Oji. Pet is their first YA novel with magical realism and dystopian elements but it’s such an impactful story about racism, prejudice, and injustice. There’s also a prequel coming out next year about the main character Jam’s mother called Bitter which I am looking forward to.


Plain Bad Heroines by Emily M. Danforth

This book is HELLA THICC. Maybe not The Priory of the Orange Tree thicc but its 640 pages according to G*odreads, which is still super intimidating to me. I have a physical copy and its the I’m hoping to read this soon. But seeing as I find 300 pages challenging, I doubt it lol.


And I Do Not Forgive You: Stories and Other Revenges by Amber Sparks

This is a new recent favorite of mine! I highly recommend it if you’re wanting to get more into short stories and also if you’re a fan of Carmen Maria Machado (who gave a blurb for this book btw). Amber Sparks writes dark, humorous feminist short stories. Some of my favorites are “Everyone’s a Winner in Meadow Park” (which honestly could have been a great novel on its own right), “A Short and Slightly Speculative History of Lavoisier’s Wife”, “Is the Future a Nice Place for Girls”, and “We Destroy the Moon” which is where the title is mentioned. There’s Greek mythology gags, futuristic cults, fucked up fairytales, and ghosts. It’s weird and great!


Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt

This was a book I had seen recommended several times by plenty of YA authors over the years. I read this in February of this year and WOW. I cannot believe how good it is. It has that classic lyrical, fairytale-like storytelling to it about a girl who makes a deal with death to find her true love before she dies in only a few days time. I listened to this as an audiobook and I cannot recommend reading it that way enough, especially because it helped me get to sleep (in a good way not in a boring sleep way).

Also this will sound maybe off-putting but I am not recommending this for everyone because its a YA fantasy novel that is short and very different from a lot of YA fantasy novels today. Its not super epic or action-packed but its one that left a huge impression on me with how a story doesn’t have have a grand number of pages to still be impactful and memorable. It’s very short (around 220 pages?) I would recommend it for those who just want a quick, comfort read with a story that is romantic and folkloric.

Anyways I hope you liked some of those recs! I’m going to tag: Dezzy / 24HrYABookBlog / Meaghan / Ali

If you’d like be to tagged just let me know in the comments! I will tag anyone who wants to participate. Also no pressure to anyone who was tagged.

Thanks again to Ally for creating this tag and tagging me!!! 🌟

Blog Tour: This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore – Excerpt

Thanks to Inkyard Press for providing me with a digital copy of the book and the opportunity to share this excerpt and participate in this blog tour.

Riverdale meets One of Us Is Lying in This Is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore, a standalone thriller following two teens who discover a body off the coast of their seaside town. As they search for the killer, they will learn the students of both the local prep school and the nearby reform school will do anything to protect their secrets.

Everyone in Gardiners Bay has a secret.

When Jenna Dallas and Adam Cole find Colleen O’Dell’s body floating off the shore of their coastal town, the community of Gardiners Bay is shaken. But even more shocking is the fact that her drowning was no accident.

Once Jenna’s best friend becomes a key suspect, Jenna starts to look for answers on her own. As she uncovers scandals inside Preston Prep School leading back to Rookwood reform school, she knows she needs Adam on her side.

As a student at Rookwood, Adam is used to getting judgmental looks, but now his friends are being investigated by the police. Adam will do whatever he can to keep them safe, even if that means trusting Jenna.

As lies unravel, the truth starts to blur. Only one thing is certain: somebody must take the fall.


Gardiners Bay at dawn is my secret. There’s a moment, right before the day starts, when the ocean is bathed in amber light. That first golden breath of morning. Everything is still, apart from the pelicans gathering near the water, their plump bodies shuffling along the shoreline. Sometimes I sit on the promenade for hours with my legs suspended over the pebble beach below, just watching the night turn to day. Watching the darkness turn to light.

It’s often like this, just me and the birds. The only other people I tend to cross paths with at this hour are fishermen wearing heavy-duty gear and hugging their thermoses. They sit on the benches and swig their hot drinks while skimming the daily newspaper. Then they leave. A little while later, their boats drift out onto the water.

Today, though, I’m the only one here.

I raise my camera and adjust the focus, capturing the new light as it spills over the ocean. In the muted daylight, the silver tide is a murky, dull gray and frothing as it slaps against the shore.

“Help! I need help!”

My eyes dart across the shoreline. There’s a boy on the stretch of beach at the foot of Rookwood Cliff. He’s kneedeep in the water, fully dressed.

He shouts again.

I spring to my feet and run along the promenade. Ducking beneath the boardwalk railings, I jump down to the pebbled cove.

The soles of my feet sting at the impact of the stones beneath my Converse. I scramble toward him, my footing slipping on the damp pebbles.

It’s then that I recognize him.


His jeans are soaked to the thigh. He’s wading through the shallows, his legs tangled in fishing net and seaweed. And a body lies limp in his arms. A girl. She’s swollen, her skin has turned purple, and one arm is swinging downward with the momentum of Adam’s labored movements.

I press my hand to my mouth.

“Call an ambulance,” he shouts.

But all I can do is stand there, paralyzed by the sight. He lowers the girl onto the sand and begins CPR, breathing into her mouth.

It’s too late, I want to tell him.

She’s already dead.

Excerpted from This is Why We Lie by Gabriella Lepore, Copyright © 2021 by Gabriella Lepore. Published by Inkyard Press.

about the author

Gabriella Lepore is a YA author from South Wales in the United Kingdom. She lives in the countryside with her husband James and daughter Sophia. When she isn’t reading or writing, she can usually be found exploring the coastline. She enjoys cups of tea, bookstore coffee shops, stormy beaches, and autumn days.

buy links 

Barnes & Noble: 




Google Play:

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social links

Twitter: @GabriellaBooks 




Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for another blog tour post coming in October! 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Titles That Made Want to Read the Book

This is a Top Ten Tuesday post, which is hosted by That Artsy Reader GirlClick here form more on this weekly meme and for future topics

Wow so apparently the last Top Ten Tuesday I participated in was back in October of last year! I for sure thought I at least did one this year but I was mistaken. But I am now going to try to hop back on doing these because they’re fun and such a great way to actually create posts for my blog without having to do the thinking for myself.

Also yes I am aware that today, the day that this is going up on, is a Wednesday. I scheduled my post for the wrong day and I got lazy. So there you go.

I’m going to have to go with titles for this one since I’m pretty sure I can talk about cover buys any day of the year, but titles are equally as important in selling me on a book. But also I think a lot of these covers are just as good as the titles but a good title is hard to find, sometimes.

Babel, or The Necessity of Violence: An Arcane History of the Oxford Translators’ Revolution by R.F. Kuang

No cover yet for this one yet but I have to love this title. Give us more obnoxiously long book titles!!! I don’t care if it’s annoying to some people. This comes out next year so it’ll be a while before I get a chance to read this unless maybe I can somehow get an arc, which I feel like because of the early hype for this, will be difficult.

I Love You But I’ve Chosen Darkness by Claire Vaye Watkins

Okay the cover is NICE. I am a sucker for cacti related art and it looks like something I would hang up on my wall that I got from Urban Outfitters or whatever. But I am so drawn in by the title. It’s a very villainous, dark edgy title.

Detransition, Baby by Torrey Peters

Just a fun title! This is one of the book titles that where I heard of it first before seeing the cover and added it to my TBR.

In My Dreams I Hold a Knife by Ashley Winstead

The vivid imagery that this title brings is enough for me to want to read. The book itself sounds a lot like The Secret History, which sounds like a good time.

Good Rich People by Eliza Jane Brazier

I love the author’s comment/review for the book where she said “Unofficial tagline: “There aren’t any.” My exact thoughts.

Twenty Fragments of a Ravenous Youth by Xialou Guo

Gotta love these kind of generic coming of age story titles. Where is the A24 movie?

Cultish: The Language of Fanaticism by Amanda Montell

I love cults. Well I mean love the idea and stories behind cults. Not necessarily the existence of cults.

The Ex-Girlfriend of My Ex-Girlfriend Is My Girlfriend by Maddy Court & Kelsey Wroten

This is a title that said “I’m about to make things so complicated”. I saw this on my Twitter timeline. I think someone retweeted it.

A Ghost in My Throat by Doireann Ni Ghriofa

This title makes me cough a little bit. Another very vivid title that just grabbed my full attention when I was scrolling through Book Depository.

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn

This last one is super interesting! I saw this at my workplace (the library) one day. It was returning to its home library and I chuckled a bit at the title because it sounds like LMNOP. Also I looked into this after adding it to my TBR, and this book is lipogramatic, meaning, according to Wikipedia, “a kind of constrained writing or word game consisting of writing paragraphs or longer works in which a particular letter or group of letters is avoided” Which just sounds absolutely unhinged. Why would a writer do this to themselves???

summer 2021 tbr & goals

It’s SUMMERTIME. At least here in the States and its definitely hot and sticky and raining almost every afternoon. Which is kind of the perfect reading time for me whenever I get time. I was going to do these “tbr and goals” posts monthly but decided that I am dedicated enough to do monthly goals so I settled for seasonal.

I’ve tried to shorten my TBR but in reality I have SOOOO many books I have on my TBR. But if I at least read these within July and/or August I will consider this a successful read. I read most of the books on my June TBR, but I still feel like that was a flop reading month.

Yes I am aware that it is the middle of July and I’m finally making this post! I don’t what to tell you other than my life has been kinda crazy right now.


In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado

I’ve had Her Body and Other Parties on my TBR for a LONG TIME and I have read some of the first chapters and I liked what I was reading but I just put it down and I haven’t picked it back up since. But obviously I want to really read it, as well as the author’s other book, In the Dream House which has been described as a memoir but one that doesn’t read like a typical memoir.

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

This is an interesting translated Argentine novel about a dystopian where cannibalism is made legal. Yep. It just sounds super fascinating to me and I would like to read more translated works anyways.

The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

This one I actually discovered through Book of the Month, as it was one of their July selections. This is described as a coming of age story set on a road trip in 1994. I have admit that the cover gives me that summertime vibe and that’s what drew me into it but this book actually sounds like a good read.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton

I restarted my Book of the Month membership in May and The Final Revival of Opal & Nev was one of the books I chose. I love stories about musicians & bands whether it be fictional like Almost Famous or true (or true-ish) like Rocketman. BOTM’s quick take on it: “For fans of Daisy Jones & The Six: a rollicking tale with equal parts rock ‘n’ roll and Black feminist punk spirit”.

The Lost Coast by Amy Rose Capetta

An author I follow on my Twitter recommended this one and I have had it since it came out because its about witches! I don’t know about y’all but I love witchy books. I think a lot of people do but this sounded like a summery witch book in California.

And I Do Not Forgive You by Amber Sparks

This is a short story collection with a title that I really love. It’s described as feminist and I don’t really know what else to say about it because I haven’t look deeply into it so I can let myself be surprised by what I read.

The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Yes, yet another short story collection which means I can dub this summer as “short story summer”. But this is THE SHORT STORY book. The Bloody Chamber is a novel that gets brought up by authors and readers when talking about feminist fairytale retellings and feminism in general. It’s been the inspiration for many other fairytale/folkloric retellings. I have been dying to get a copy of this book for years and at the beginning of July when I was on vacation with my family in Alabama we stumbled upon a bookstore that happened to have The Bloody Chamber for $3!!! WHAT A FREAKING STEAL. I bought a bunch of other books from there as well but I was so fucking thrilled to get it.


My goals are pretty self-explanatory. I also just recycled them from the goals I made in June because I honestly did not achieve them in June.

  • I would like to read my TBR from up above.
  • Post at least four times/days a week, I thought June would be my month but it wasn’t. Maybe July/August could be better.
  • Post more on my bookish Instagram. I have posted exactly ONE post ever since I decided I was going to try to revive it.
  • I also STILL have ARCs to read and review. Not only is the number somehow adding up but so is the guilt of not having yet read and/or reviewed them. It turns out that not only am I bad blogger but also a bad reviewer.
  • Another goal from last month which I somehow still haven’t done is updating my Goodreads, Story Graph, and Readerly accounts to match up to where I’m currently at with my reading for the year. I rarely use Story Graph or Readerly just because I haven’t made myself use them frequently and with Goodreads I typically add more books to my TBR than updating my reading status. :/
  • Blog hopping!!! I should do this way more!! Because I read y’alls posts whenever I get the chance and I love what I am seeing.
  • Going along with the ARC reading/reviewing, my NetGalley ratio needs to go up so I can actually read/review future releases I am interested in. Also I have never been at 80% on NetGalley so it would be cool if I actually achieved this, this summer.
  • Catching up on tags & challenges I’ve been tagged in. I was supposed to do this in June but as I said, life got in the way as usual and I never really posted anything aside from three posts.

There you have it. As a bad blogger & reader, I am hoping this summer will be a redemptive one for me to get myself back into reading more, blogging more and just in general enjoying all of this more. I have to admit my struggles with blogging/reading come from personal struggles & insecurity over whether all of this is worth doing or if anyone actually cares and I know that some of y’all do! Which is awesome! But I still struggle to make myself invest in doing this and find myself feeling down and the more I procrastinate and put off writing posts or typing up reviews, the more guilt I feel. I still consider this a fun thing I’ve started but one that I feel I am not good enough at or take seriously enough.

Sorry to be a downer there but I wanted to put those feelings out there in case anyone else is in the same boat. If you’re struggling to be a book blogger let me know in the comments and we can talk it out lol.

june 2021 tbr & goals

Happy June and Happy Pride Month! I’m finally starting to get back into the swing of things when it comes to blogging. I decided to go for the typical TBR post and also talking about some goals of mine for the month. I’m a little talkative here so apologies in advance for going on tangents. Next time I’ll try to be briefer with these kinds of posts.


I am a big mood reader and I also rarely, if ever, follow closely to my TBR. Sometimes I don’t even complete my TBR at all. I am trying to be better at setting goals and keeping them by being realistic. I think if I read at least 6 books I will consider this month a success. I do have ARCs to read (some of which I am unfortunately super behind on reading & reviewing) so I will most likely prioritize those reads. These are ARCs that are coming soon and should really read ASAP. Then I of course have books I had pre-ordered and have been arriving over the past months and they still keep coming! Also there’s the books I already had on my TBR for a long time before those new books arrived. It is Pride Month so I obviously will want to read some queer books. Then there’s also the several library books I have borrowed and for some reason I think I can read them all. I have way too many.


The Sea is Salt and So Am I by Cassandra Hartt (Release Date – June 8)

Darling by K. Ancrum (Release Date – June 22)

Gearbreakers by Zoe Hana Mikuta (Release Date – June 29)

The Tragedy of Dane Riley by Kat Spears (Release Date – June 22)


The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

One Last Stop by Casey McQuiston

The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten

It Goes Like This by Miel Moreland

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Jackson

Pet by Akwaeke Emezi

Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro

The Magic Fish by Trung Le Nguyen


Since I’m trying to get back into blogging there’s a few thing I feel like I need to catch up on. One would be updating my reading goals & challenges on Goodreads, The Story Graph & Readerly. I haven’t used GR especially in the way I should lol. I really just use it solely for adding books to my TBR instead of reading & reviewing and keeping track of what I have read. So it currently has that I have read 0 out of 45 books this year when its more likely around 12 ??? I guess ??? I am not doing a good job of keeping track of what I have been reading since last year TBH. It’s a whole mess. I at least want to complete my GR challenge this year so I should fix that. But I’m too lazy to go through all that.

Also to write reviews for ARCs I have read on NetGalley, GR & on my blog. I’m guilty of not doing the best job of reviewing ARCs (except when it has come to participating in blog tours in which I prioritize the hell out those posts). Which also has led to my NetGalley ratio falling into the low numbers. 80% is considered the golden ratio for NetGalley users and I have yet to have reached that ratio. AND YET. I somehow am receiving ARCs??? I am not complaining but I am a little overwhelmed to say the least. But reaching 80% is going to be THE GOAL OF THE SUMMER for me.

For some blog goals, I would like to have at least 4 days a week. I think that’s manageable for me, considering I have plenty of blog material such as reviews, lists, discussion posts, tags & challenges that I have been tagged in but haven’t done yet and I feel so bad because I have wanted to do them!!! So catching up on tags/challenges is one priority for me in terms of producing content. I also should blog hop more because I want to support my fellow bloggers who have always supported me, even when I haven’t consistently blogged for a year or more.

And one last thing: I am attempting to revive my bookish instagram account. You’re probably thinking “this bitch has a bookstagram? SINCE WHEN??” Yes I do. In fact since February 2019. When was my last IG post on that account? March 2019. I’m not going to lie, I felt sort of embarrassed/intimated by the world of bookstagram. I don’t have the best camera on my phone because its quite scratched up and also the lightning everywhere in my house SUCKS. So I sort of have this inferiority complex concerning my photos and instagram content. But at the same time I do like the creativity that comes with bookstagram and I also would like be someone who is just like “fuck it” and posts whatever I want, even if it doesn’t get the likes or attention. So I’m going to give it go yet again to see if this is something I can stick with.