Top Ten Platonic Relationships in Books

(I definitely wrote this for a Top Ten Tuesday in 2018… but then never got around to posting it. So here it is for you today!)

I read a lot of romance novels, so this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is going to be a little bit hard. (If you want to see my favorite book boyfriends, you can see that post here.) 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl – I will be linking up there. 

  1. The Merrick brothers in the Elementals series by Brigid Kemmerer
    This was the first platonic relationship I thought of when trying to create this list. Their parents are dead, so the brothers (all in the age range of 15-25ish) all sort of take care of and look after each other. They are still teenage boys though, so there’s still plenty of family drama. I just love how they can band together when they need to. 
  2. Rev and his Parents from More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer
    Brigid Kemmerer is great at writing relationships apparently. I love most of the relationships in Rev’s life actually. His parents are loving and kind and always seem to know just what he needs – which is pretty impressive considering he doesn’t always know himself. His best friend, Declan, is also a great influence in his life. There’s one specific scene that I especially love with the two of them, but I don’t want to give anything away. 
  3. Kel and Neil from Protector of the Small series by Tamora Pierce
    Neil is just an awesome character to begin with, but he and Kel have such a fun (and crazy) friendship in this series. 
  4. Briar, Daja, Tris, and Sandry from the Circle of Magic series by Tamora Pierce
    I know some Tamora Pierce fans only like her stories set in Tortall, but I like Circle of Magic series’ as well. The concept of how their magic works is so unique, and I love seeing these four characters learn and grow together throughout the series. 
  5. Evan and Jessie from The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davis
    This was the perfect little-kid sibling relationship. The characters, 8 and 10, are brother and sister and definitely compete and squabble like siblings. But at the end of the day, they actually complement each other very well with their individual skills, and they seem to stick together well as a family. 
  6. Diedre, Helena, and Muriel from The Warrior Maids of Rivenloch by Glynnis Campbell
    These sisters are willing to make sacrifices for each other and seem to do everything together when they can. However, they’re each very independent and unique as well. They practice swordfighting together, but step in to protect the others when needed. And they never seem to underestimate each other as well. 
  7. Hermux Tantamoq and his ladybug from The Hermux Tantamoq Adventures by Michael Hoeye
    I’m not sure owner/pet counts in this category, but I’m throwing it in anyways. I mean, how cute is the idea of a mouse (who is a watchmaker) with a pet ladybug!? 
  8. Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse from Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Lio Lionni
    It’s so sweet how Alexander wants to help his friend (the wind-up mouse) become real! Also, the illustrations in this book are adorable, so how could you not love any of the characters? 
  9. Alexia and Ivy Hisselpenny from the Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
    These two have such an unlikely friendship. Alexia is cunning and not afraid to speak her mind, while Ivy always seems to be trying to be fashionable and in-vogue. However, scenes with them together are usually quite hilarious and they both grow as characters and as friends throughout the series. (At least the books I’ve read anyway.) (You can read a quote from one of my favorite scenes of theirs in my book review here.) 
  10. Alanna and Myles of Olau from Song of the Lioness by Tamora Pierce
    Alanna has actually quite a few fantastic parent figures in this series. Among them are Myles of Olau, who is a wise mentor, Eleni Cooper, who teachers her about being a woman and mothers her, and Coram Smythesson, who helps her get started on the whole adventure. 

What are you favorite bookish platonic relationships? 

❤ Annette 




Book Review: More Than We Can Tell by Brigid Kemmerer

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Stand-Alone book 2 in the Letters to the Lost series 


This book follows Rev Fletcher, the best friend of Declan from Letters to the Lost. Rev had a traumatic childhood until he was fostered and then adopted by his current parents. He still prefers to stay in the shadows and wears dark hoodies that swallow him up and keep him out of sight and mind. Emma Blue is into video games and computer programming, but is being harassed by a gamer in the community. We get to see them each deal with their individual challenges, but also get to see them grow as friends (or more!). 

What I Liked

  • I love his parents. Like, I want to be them when I grow up. They’re just so loving and kind and non-judgmental. And they always seem to know exactly what each child needs – they adopted Rev, but they still foster regularly and are always trying to help the parents of the fostered child get back on their feet. 
  • This book was quite intense! I read it all in one sitting, because I just had to find out what happened next. 

What I Didn’t Like

  • I wasn’t as emotionally invested in this one as I was in Letters to the Lost. Not that it was a bad book by any means, but it didn’t live up to the first one, in my opinion. 
  • Emma’s character seemed a little flat. She had some depth, but not much that went outside of the cliché “gamer girl”, which would have been nice to see. 

In Conclusion

Brigid Kemmerer is an amazing author and you should read pretty much everything she writes, including this book. 

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

New to Me Authors Read in 2018

2018 was focused very much on finishing series I had already started, so a lot of the authors I read were returning favorites. However, I did mix it up a little, so here are the top ten new to me authors I read in 2018. (Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, so I will be linking this post to her blog.) 

  1. Laura Lee Gulledge
    She wrote Will and Whit and Page by Paige. After reading the first graphic novel of hers, I went to Goodreads and added all of her books (only a few at the moment) to my TBR, since I absolutely love her reading and writing style. 
  2. G. Willow Wilson
    I really tried to get into graphic novels and comics in 2018. After Laura Lee Gulledge, G. Willow Wilson was probably my second favorite author of the year. Ms. Marvel is an awesome series that I definitely need to catch up on. 
  3. Jennifer Smith
    I read her book Windfall at the beginning of this year and quite enjoyed it. At the time I didn’t even realize how many of her books I already had on my TBR. The next one of hers I want to pick up is probably going to be The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight. 
  4. Marie Lu
    Believe it or not, Warcross was the first book I ever read by Marie Lu. The book was intriguing enough that I want to pick up the next one in the series. Plus, I’ve heard such great things about Marie Lu’s other series’ that I should probably pick those up too! 
  5. Brandy Colbert
    She wrote Life In Motion with Misty Copeland. I absolutely loved this non-fiction book. I’ll have to check out some other books that she’s written! 
  6. Marie Kondo
    I’m going to be honest, I’m not sure if I like Ms. Kondo’s writing style so much as I like the ideas presented in her book. Regardless, she is a new to me author that I read last year. (I should also note that the book I read was translated by Cathy Hirano, so I’m sure some of the writing skill/voice also came from her!) 
  7. Patty Hall
    She writes historical romances – the one I read was set during World War II. I’ll have to read her a little more to tell you if I’m in love with her writing style, but I liked the book I read enough that I want to pick up the next one in the series. 
  8. Leddy Harper
    She wrote well enough to get me quite invested in the story! Which is the goal of any author, really.  
  9. Carol Benjamin
    This author writes dog-themed books, both fiction and non-fiction. The book I read of hers, Second-Hand Dog, was a quick, easy read, but was also full of very useful information. I think I might pick up one of her fiction books next. 
  10. Bryan Lee O’Malley
    I didn’t know it when I read the graphic novel Seconds, but Bryan Lee O’Malley is also the author of Scott Pilgrim. Before reading Seconds, I didn’t think I’d enjoy this author’s works, but Seconds definitely convinced me! 

What are the best new to you authors you read last year? Have you read any of mine? 

❤ Annette 

2018 authors

Bookish Items I Would Love to Own

Here are ten book-related items that I would love to own. Hopefully it helps you find something you like too! Or get ideas for gifts for Christmas next year. 🙂

(I got the prompt for this post from That Artsy Reader Girl’s Top Ten Tuesday.)

  1. Frederick T-shirt
    There are so many fantastic things for book lovers from Out of Print. This t-shirt is one of my favorite. Leo Leonni’s mice are freaking adorable. I like Alexander and the Wind Up Mouse more than Frederick, but I’m not opposed to the adorableness in any form.

    l-1232_frederick-leo-lionni_womens-book-cover-tee_01_1800x1800 (1)
    From Out of Print
  2. Eiffel Tower Earrings Inspired by Anna and the French Kiss
    These are adorable and could be used/worn with a lot of different things. Also, I’m quite a fan of the Anna and the French Kiss series. (Although Lola is my favorite.)

    By BaublesBeadsandStuff from Etsy
  3. Hungry Caterpillar Pouch
    Look how fat and cute the caterpillar is! I don’t use pencil pouches really, but this one is so adorable, and reminds me of a beloved children’s book. Plus it’s more practical than the similar tote bag they have, because I feel like the white will get dirty too quickly on a tote bag.

    From Out of Print
  4. Origami Rose Earrings made out of book pages
    These are so. darn. cute. I think they would be a subtle way to hint at my love for literacy. Plus they’re quite versatile so I could wear them in my everyday life.

    By STCHandmade on Etsy
  5. Pusheen Tote Bag
    If you haven’t sensed a pattern yet, a lot of things on my wish list were chosen because of their cuteness. I love Pusheen but rarely find Pusheen items that can easily be used as an adult. But this would make a perfect book bag for trips to the library! And there’s Pusheen! So yay!

  6. Read Past Your Bedtime PrintThis is so pretty! My walls are quite bare, and I think this would spruce them up quite nicely.
    By BookwormMamaCo on Etsy

    7. Newt Scamander Pop Funko
    I’ve never really wanted a Pop Funko before, even though I know they’re quite popular. But as soon as I saw this one I changed my mind. Newt Scamander is probably my favorite character in the Harry Potter universe.

    From Barnes and Noble


What would you add to your bookish wish list?

❤ Annette

1 year ago: Finishing the Series Challenge


Series I Finished in 2018

I don’t think I was as successful at finishing series this year as I was last year, but I still have some to show. Here are the series I finished in 2018, as well as the average book rating I gave for books in the series. I’ve hyperlinked any reviews of mine.

It Had to Be by Tamra Baumann

It Had to Be Him
It Had to Be Love
It Had to Be Fate
It Had to Be Them

Average Rating: 4.25

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

Letters to the Lost
More Than We Can Tell

Average Rating: 4.5

Sterling Canyon by Jamie Beck

Accidentally Hers
Secretly Hers
Unexpectedly Hers
Joyfully His

Average Rating 4.5

It makes sense that the series I actually finished had pretty high ratings! What series did you finish in 2018? Do I need to add any series to my TBR?

❤ Annette

1 Year Ago: Series I Finished in 2017

copy of series 2018

Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

To be honest, I’m not eagerly anticipating anything quite as much as I was last year. That’s okay though, because I prefer to “binge-read” series instead of waiting for them to come out one-by-one. Because of this, though, I only have five books for this list, plus one coming out at an unspecified time this year. So it’s only half of a Top Ten Tuesday really. 😛 Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl.

The Girl King by Mimi Yu (Expected January 8, 2019)
This sounds like a fantastic fantasy novel, sort of along the lines of The False Prince, but for Young Adults. 

Pretty in Punxsutawney by Laurie Crompton (Expected January 22, 2019)
This can either be really good or really boring, but since it’s a YA romance, I’m definitely down to find out. If you couldn’t guess by the title, this is a play on Groundhog Day, where the main character has to relive the same day over and over again. I haven’t seen the movie, but I’ve seen other movies use this concept well (like in Naked by Netflix) or poorly (like The Twelve Dates of Chrismtas). I’m interested to see how the author handles it. 

A Danger to Herself and Others by Alyssa Sheinmel (Expected February 5, 2019)
This is a young adult novel focused on mental illness. It sounds super intriguing and like we get to follow the character as she discovers or realizes things about herself. I found out about this book from We Live and Breathe Books. 

Four Dead Queens by Astrid Shulte (Expected February 26, 2019)
Young adult fantasy/murder mystery/romance. Do I really need to say more? 

I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn (Expected May 28, 2019)
I’m a sucker for super cute romances, if you haven’t picked that up by now. This sounds like another one to add to my list. Plus, it’s published by Scholastic, and I don’t think I’ve ever read a book of theirs I didn’t like. 

The Exile’s Gift by Tamora Pierce (Expected sometime 2019)
Now I’m super sad that I haven’t read the first book in this series, Tempests and Slaughter. Tamora Pierce is definitely like my favorite author ever, so this series is definitely high on my radar. 

What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

❤ Annette

1 year ago: Top Ten Books I Wanted to Read in 2017 But Didn’t

2019 new

Series I Started in 2018

It’s time for all of my end-of-the-year  posts for 2018! I love this particular one because it’s a fun way to look back and reevaluate series I’ve started.

Below each series name are the books of the series that I have read. I have linked to any I have reviewed. I’ve also included if I continue reading the series or not.

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson
Ms. Marvel Vol. 1: No Normal
Ms. Marvel Vol. 2: Generation Why
Ms. Marvel Vol. 3: Crushed

Continue? Yes

Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger

Continue? Yes

Not Quite by Catherine Bybee
Not Quite Dating
Not Quite Mine

Continue? Yes

Warcross by Marie Lu

Continue? Yes

Meet Clara Andrews by Lacey London
Meet Clara Andrews

Continue? No

Desert Rogues by Susan Mallery
The Sheik and the Christmas Bride

Continue? Maybe

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Continue? No

What series did you start this year? Are there any you would recommend I pick up this year?

❤ Annette

1 year ago: Series I Started in 2017

series 2018

Puzzles for Book Lovers

It turns out there are a lot of fantastic book-themed puzzles out there! So here are some of the ones I found.

All the pictures are from, and clicking on the picture will take you there.

Book Collages

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Libraries and Bookstores

4005556817269_p0_v1_s550x406 0724819259090_p0_v2_s550x406 4005556817498_p0_v1_s550x406 4005556197224_p0_v1_s550x406

Harry Potter

0849421004484_p0_v6_s550x406  0849421004590_p0_v1_s550x406 0819844012731_p0_v2_s550x406 0819844012465_p0_v1_s550x406


0079346170777_p0_v1_s550x406  4005556197521_p0_v1_s550x406 9780735348806_p0_v2_s550x406 4005556823499_p0_v1_s550x406

Sorry that today’s post is more pictures than words! Sometimes I’m just in the mood to look at pretty things.

Which puzzle is your favorite? I think the cat one under “Miscellaneous” is mine.

❤ Annette


Book Review: The Sheik and the Christmas Bride by Susan Mallery

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


Kayleen is a school teacher who was raised by nuns and is trying to make the world a better place by caring for orphans. As’ad is a business focused sheik/prince whose aunt is secretly trying to set him up. He ends up in a situation where there is only one possible solution – adopt three girls and hire Kayleen to take care of them.

What I Liked

  • Sometimes you just need a good, cliche romance novel to cheer you up. This one certainly did the trick.
  • I loved the commoner/prince dynamic presented by this book. It was sort of like Netflix’s The Christmas Prince, but with character development and natural dialogue.
  • I was sort of a fan of As’ad’s pompous personality. He didn’t act that way because he was a jerk – he was just raised that way and knew no better. (If you’ve ever read the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce, As’ad is very similar in personality to Jonathan.)

What I Didn’t Like

  • I was looking forward to reading about a business focused male love interest – and instead got the stereotypical playboy love interest. It would have been nice to see something new.
  • There were some inconsistencies in the book. For example, they very explicitly state that none of the princes are playboys, and yet each of the ones we meet… definitely are. Kayleen’s character was a little inconsistent as well.

In Conclusion

If you are looking for the book version of A Christmas Prince, this is for you. (There is adult content in this book, be warned.)

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

(affiliate link)


Winter 2018 TBR

If you haven’t noticed, I’ve stopped doing TBRs on my site for a while. This is mostly because I typically read based on what I feel like reading, which changes by the day. But since this is the Top Ten Tuesday topic for the week, I figured I’d give it a try. Not to have a rigid “these are what I must read this winter” list, but to remind myself of all the awesome books out there that I want to read! So here are ten books on my winter TBR. 

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, so I will be linking there. 

  1. White Christmas by Jody Rosen
    This one keeps showing up, I know! But I really do need to read it before our performances start before Christmas. Because I am so tired of hearing the same stories about Irving Berlin four times a night! (Don’t get me wrong, Irving Berlin is a great guy with some great music and great stories. I just want more information so I can mix it up.) 
  2. The City of Brass by S. A. Chakraborty
    I won this one off of Goodreads, so I feel like I need to read and review it pretty soon. Plus, it’s gorgeous and seems like a long read – perfect for curling up with in the winter time! 
  3. Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
    I bought this one on Black Friday years and years ago. It looks like a quick, fun, read, and since I own it it should be easy to pick up. I just haven’t gotten around to it. *ashamed* 
  4. The Problem with Forever by Jennifer Armentrout
    I’m going to be honest, I don’t even know what this book is about. But it’s so pretty that I really want to pick it up and read it. 
  5. When to Rob a Bank by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner
    I’ve loved the other books by these authors, so this one should be great as well. This is another one I own that I just need to read already! 
  6. Scooby Doo Y El Barco Hundido por James Gelsey
    This one is next in the Scooby Doo series for me. I’m hoping to brush up on my Spanish, and to feel the success of a quick/easy read. Plus, I always find Scooby Doo stories quite amusing. 
  7. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
    A fourth grader I taught (I volunteer at my church to teach once a week) recommended this book to me – but I promptly forgot the title. Then, my friend mentioned it as a great middle grade read. As soon as I saw the character names I got super excited! It’s definitely next on my TBR. (Not totally related, but my friend was reading this because she’s getting into writing middle grade novels. Which also means that I get to beta-read her novel, which is pretty cool! Finally my out-of-age-group reading habits have paid off. 😛) 
  8. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
    It’s going to happen by the end of the year, I promise. (I hope.) It helps that I finally found which box it was packed in. (I mean, of course everything was unpacked in January when I moved.. What am I talking about finding things in boxes still? 😛) 
  9. Mind Over Magic by William Rabkin
    I started reading this while I was in the emergency room over a month ago. I made it halfway through but then stopped. So I better pick it up and finish it! 
  10. Unspecified Christmas Book
    I have soooo many Christmas books I want to read! (There are 173 on my Goodreads Christmas TBR as of the writing of this post!) I already own quite a few, so I definitely want to pick up and read at least one of them this season! I’ll probably read a lot more than that though! 

What’s on your winter TBR? Any books I need to add to mine? 

❤ Annette 

winter tbr