Book review: Between the Water and the Woods by Simone Snaith, Sara Kipin (Illustrator) (2 stars)

(I received a free eARC from Edelweiss for a voluntary and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own)



Between the Water and the Woods by Simone Snaith, Sara Kipin (Illustrator)

Genre: YA, Romance, Fantasy

Rating: 2/5 stars


(DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions are my own)

When Emeline’s brother breaks all three of the village’s rules, don’t look at the shadows, don’t cross the river and don’t enter the forest, she is forced to use her family’s forbidden powers to save him from the Ithin. She now has to travel to inform the King of what has happened and a handsome Lash Knight and a sour magister accompany them.

I did feel that the pacing of this book was really slow. But the illustrations were really beautiful and I think this book would have been better if it was done as a graphic novel instead.

I didn’t feel that the world building was done well and I couldn’t see where the story was going. The romance was okay, but a little rushed.

Overall, I didn’t emotionally connect to the story or characters and the pacing felt messy to me. I honestly did feel that this book had a lot of potential though.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

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Blog Tour + Book review: Small Town Hearts By Lillie Vale

Small Town Hearts
Lillie Vale
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: March 19th 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

Rule #1 – Never fall for a summer boy.

Fresh out of high school, Babe Vogel should be thrilled to have the whole summer at her fingertips. She loves living in her lighthouse home in the sleepy Maine beach town of Oar’s Rest and being a barista at the Busy Bean, but she’s totally freaking out about how her life will change when her two best friends go to college in the fall. And when a reckless kiss causes all three of them to break up, she may lose them a lot sooner. On top of that, her ex-girlfriend is back in town, bringing with her a slew of memories, both good and bad.

And then there’s Levi Keller, the cute artist who’s spending all his free time at the coffee shop where she works. Levi’s from out of town, and even though Babe knows better than to fall for a tourist who will leave when summer ends, she can’t stop herself from wanting to know him. Can Babe keep her distance, or will she break the one rule she’s always had – to never fall for a summer boy?

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Author Bio:

Lillie Vale, upon discovering she could not be one of Santa’s elves or attend Hogwarts, decided to become a writer to create a little magic of her own. Enjoying the romantic and eerie in equal measure, she’s probably always writing a book where the main characters kiss or kill. Born in Mumbai, she has lived in many U.S. states, and now resides in an Indiana college town where the corn whispers and no one has a clue that she is actually the long-lost caps lock queen. She can be reached on Twitter @LillieLabyrinth and Instagram @labyrinthspine. Small Town Hearts is her debut novel.

Goodreads / Twitter


(I received a free eARC from Xpresso and Netgalley for a voluntary and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own)


Small Town Hearts  By Lillie Vale

Genre: YA, Romance, Contemporary, LGBT

Rating: 3.5/5 stars


(DISCLAIMER: All thoughts and opinions are my own)

Babe Vogel is excited to spend the summer vacation with her two best friends and work as a barista at the Busy Bean. But when a reckless kiss tears the three of them apart, everything falls apart, not to mention that her ex, Elodie, is back in town. Then, there’s Levi, a cute artist who spends most of his time at the coffee shop Babe works at, will she fall head over heels for him and end up breaking her vow of not dating a summer boy?

This is the first time I’m reading a book with a bisexual protagonist and I’m so happy that the LGBT+ community are getting some rep!

Fans of coffee rejoice for this book talks a lot about coffee and feels like you drinking a warm cup of coffee on a cold winter day, sure to melt your heart.

Penny and Chad were horrible friends, I was so upset and literally went WTH so many times throughout the book at Penny’s actions. Penny was constantly blaming Babe while Chad was always taking the sidelines.

Although the romance did feel a little insta-lovey at first, it developed quickly and left me in a melty gooey puddle by the end of the book. There were tons of drama that would keep you on the edge of your seat. I really liked the progression of events, drama and I really felt bad for Babe and wished she went and found better friends.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂


Tour-wide giveaway (US/CAN)
  • Print copy of Small Town Hearts

    Enter here.


Anime Review: Holmes of Kyoto (2.5 stars)

Anime Review: Kyoto Teramachi Sanjou no Holmes/ Holmes of Kyoto(2.5 stars)


Genre: Shoujo, Mystery, (barely a litte) Romance

Number of episodes: 12 (Completed)

Rating: 2.5 stars


Aoi visits an antique shop named Kura and meets Kiyotaka, also known as Holmes, grandson of the owner and she ends up works at the shop.

I like the animation style and light music but it definitely seems that it would be pretty light and on the safe side as compared to it’s name since I was expecting more mystery/horror and maybe a splash of romance.

First 2 cases were too simple, because the evidence was kinda obvious if you paid extreme attention. Well, my initial prediction was kinda right, but there wasn’t any strong cases (in my opinion, more of counterfeit items) for the first half. The cases in the 2nd half made more sense and was a little more difficult to decipher.

I’m starting to think Kiyotaka is more of a psychologist rather than Holmes, but his dark side was definitely interesting and I wished it would be explored more. The main villain throughout the series was Ensho, a counterfeiter motivated by Kiyotaka’s discerning eye.

It was pretty funny, but the protagonist wasn’t interesting and only Kiyotaka interested me (well, not only because he’s hot, but because he has this dark side that isn’t explored).

The most out of a character arc you can get from the protagonist is that at the start she likes Cafe au lait and by the end she is drinking black coffee to become more ‘adult’.  I definitely wished there was stronger romance, but story and character-wise, this anime wasn’t really strong.

Have you watched this anime before? Let me know some of your favourite anime in the comments down below!

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Book review: Wanderlust by Roni Loren (4 stars)


Wanderlust by Roni Loren

Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Rating: 4/5 stars


(DISCLAIMER: This review is based on my opinion only.)

Aubrey is a restaurant critic, but gets thrown the job of interviewing the famous band Wanderlus after her co-worker falls ill. She finds herself pulled into an on-stage stunt by Lex Logan, the lead vocalist of the band and sparks fly instantly. But Lex doesn’t want his band’s secrets to be revealed and a plan ensues to woo Aubrey to make sure she only writes the good stuff, but things never go as planned.

I like that Lex and Aubrey are polar opposites, Aubrey is uptight and wants to get her job done while Lex is a classic rock star womaniser. So their growing relationship is really interesting to see unfold.

This book was scandalous, hot, wild, dramatic and cute all folded into one. I really liked the story progression, plot twist and found that this was a great adult contemporary book.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts and opinions? Leave a comment down below! 🙂

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Celebrating 500 followers!

Hello my lovely followers and thank you, because we have hit 500 followers (combined from the follower list and emails)!

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I couldn’t have gotten this far without you guys and I’m so thankful for your unending support!

Also, by hitting 500, it means that we have hit half of my new year’s resolution, which is to have 600 followers on the blog! Also, I’m hoping to hit 700 followers on Twitter and Instagram! Once we hit all of these numbers, there will definitely be another giveaway!

When I first starting blogging about 1.5 years ago, I never imagined I would get 1 follower, much less 500 now! I can’t express how grateful I am to you guys, but know that you have gotten me through a lot of dark times and also simply being there for me when I needed some comfort!


I have some small updates about my life right here!

  • I will be doing Camp NaNo for April 2019 and rewriting one of my older stories (SIREN SONG)’s second draft! I’m still in research and planning stage LOL and am also hoping to either query or self-publish this year!
  • Got a whole bunch of new books from a local book sale that I can’t wait to take bookstagrams of!
  • Am still thinking of starting a Booktube although I’m extremely camera shy
  • I have a ton of post ideas and tags (I’m sorry I don’t reply to the tagged posts, but know that I have seen all of them and put them on my list! I just am focusing too much on reading rn) that I can’t wait to write and get them up on the blog


Yup, so that’s it! Thank you guys so much for making me feel as though I am heard and I hope to invite new and old followers to continue joining me for the journey!

I love you guys and all of you are worth it!


Michelle (Firstbooklove)