A Mis-Matched April TBR + Tome Topple!

Hello Readers!

I can’t believe we are almost halfway through April! The weather should be breaking but it has been surprisingly cold and even a little snowy here in Pittsburgh these last few weeks. In non-book related news, I just got back from a trip to Augusta, GA! I was invited to golf at Augusta Country Club last Thursday and then I attended the Masters golf tournament on Friday and Saturday. It was an incredible trip and I am still in disbelief that I was able to go! While the trip was packed with activities, I did get some serious reading done during my flights! So let’s chat about what books I plan to tackle during the month of April!

I originally had a pretty fun idea for my TBR planned but due to Tome Topple and a couple other events I’m participating in this month, I’m going to postpone this one more month and use this idea in May! Instead of having a fully baked plan, I’m sticking with the theme of this year and going a little chaotic. To start, I’m reading Finlay Donovan Is Killing it by Elle Cosimano. This is a funny, light and slightly dark story about an author, and recent divorcee, who gets mistaken as a hired assassin. I’m almost done with this one and I’m really enjoying it – it doesn’t take itself too seriously and is a nice distraction in this crazy world we’re living in. The next book I’d like to wrap up is This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg. I’ve been picking away at this one since last month and am going to be committing to finishing it soon. I was a little slumpy when I first started this one, so I’ve been dragging it out much longer than I meant to!

Once I wrap up these two books, we’re going to be into the start of Tome Topple Round 16! I always set lofty goals for Tome Topple and never follow through with them but I’m going to try to change that this time around! As you might’ve seen in my announcement post, I’m planning to read King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo. This is the first book in the Nikolai Duology that takes place after the original Grishaverse trilogy and the Six of Crows Duology. I’m planning to try to knock this one out in week 1 of Tome Topple then move into The Book of Accidents by Chuck Wendig. The Book of Accidents is a creepy horror title that sounds RIGHT up my alley. I usually save these types of books for October but I got this one for Christmas from my Secret Santa (if you ever read this – Thanks again, Gigi!!) and I’ve been dying to read it ever since! Each of these books check the box for each of the reading prompts I rolled in my announcement post. I’m also going to revisit Empire of the Vampire by Jay Kristoff. I started this one back in January and while I enjoyed it, it’s slow pacing threw me off. I’m about 90 pages into that one already, so I’m going to pick that up when I can to try to chip away at it during this round of Tome Topple.

So that’s it! What books are you reading this month and are you planning to participate in Tome Topple? Drop me your books in the comments and be sure to keep your eyes peeled for when I’m hosting reading sprints (and be sure to join in)!

Until Next Time,
Mr Geek

My Chaotic March TBR

Hello Readers!

I’m writing this post a little later than I originally intended. As I was wrapping up February, I had this great idea for March. My “Judge A Book By Its Cover” TBR. Well, like always, life threw me for a loop. I ended up getting an ARC a little later than expected and I had a copy of Acts of Violet show up that I have been dying to read, so… PLOT TWIST. I’m changing up my TBR and moving “Just A Book By Its Cover” to April – so keep an eye out for that! For now, I’m just going to let chaos rein and enjoy whatever March throws at me, which will include the follow books!

As you might’ve seen in my February TBR, I was working on a blog tour for This Golden State. I’m currently making my way though that and really enjoying it so far. It’s a sort of YA thriller / mystery and it has been GREAT! I’m going to review this book once I’m done (and I’ll include more spoiler-free details there). Definitely something to keep an eye on!

My new book is Acts of Violet by Margarita Montimore. Montimore’s debut, Oona Out Of Order, was one of my favorite books of 2020 (and one of the best things to come out of that year). Acts of Violet is the story about a magician, Violet Volk, how vanishes in the middle of her magic show and is never seen from again. Similar to Oona, Violet is more of contemporary fiction and I’m LOVING it. This was one of my most anticipated releases of 2022 and, so far, it’s living up to the hype! I’m also going to be doing a dedicated review for this book as well!

The last book that I’m currently reading is The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown. I’m actually helping out Lisa From Troy (on GoodReads & Twitter) with a read-a-long she’s hosting. I am enjoying this WAY more than I thought I would. I saw The Da Vinci Code movie years and years ago when it first was released and wasn’t crazy about it. The book is 10x better and Lisa is doing a GREAT job with the read-a-long. She posts discussion posts daily (then I’m there to support with fun side talk and chatter). More information on the read-a-long can be found HERE. Also, if you’re worried about starting late, don’t be! Lisa did a great job breaking each day into small, bite-sized pieces and you could easily knock out a few days at a time to catch up!

Outside of these books, I’m going to play it by ear and just read whatever I’m in the mood for. Chaos will likely ensue but I’m just going to enjoy it and ride this wave! Should be an interesting end of month wrap up post! If you’re enjoying my content, please consider following my blow here or on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou). Enjoy your month, friends!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

February ’22 Wrap Up!

Hello Readers!

I can’t believe that February is officially over. Somehow this month feels both extremely long and extremely fast at the same time. I feel like I was just writing my TBR post or my Top 5 Books from 2021 (to sync up with Valentine’s Day). While I don’t love how fast time seems to be moving, I am excited about Spring approaching, Day Light Savings Time starting (goodbye darkness at 5:30) and we’re one step closer to “Summer Hours” at work. Overall, I had a pretty solid reading month and managed to finish 4 books (about halfway done with another one). So without further ado, let’s dive in!

The first book I tackled was The Fifth Season by N. K. Jemisin. I really started the month off with a bang! This was a fantastic story that, once you got about 1/3 the way in, really sinks its hooks into you. The synopsis is pretty vague but that woks in the favorite of the story. You follow three different points of view throughout the book which was a little disorienting at first but soon becomes comfortable. There were a fair number of twists and turns along the way that I didn’t see coming (there were also som weird, cringeworthy moments too). Overall, if you’re a fan of fantasy books, that are character driven, you should give this one a try!

Next I jumped into the Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and Dear Justyce by Nic Stone. I more or less read these books simultaneously. The Poet X follows a High School student, Xiomara, as she navigates a strict religious family, High School and growing up. The book is written in verse which I found to be really unique and different. The further I got into the novel, the more I enjoyed it (as I became accustom to the style). I highly recommend this one for anyone looking to branch out of their comfort zone a little and try something new. This was NOT an easy read though. It was quite heavy at times and I’m sure there are plenty of people who have experienced similar situations growing up. In addition, the ending felt a tad too rushed for me. It felt a little too – BOOM, we’re done here. Still, it was an interesting read! Dear Justyce is the sequel to Dear Martin. I really enjoyed Dear Martin but I think I enjoyed Dear Justyce even more. It was fast paced, engaging and read like it could be non-fiction. This novel follows a character we meet in Dear Martin and talks a bit about his life and what happens after. I think this one was done really well and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I did feel it was trying too hard to be progressive at the end but that’s a minor note.

About this time, my library request for The Psalm For The Wild-Built by Becky Chambers was available, so I pivoted and decided to read that instead. I requested this book from the library awhile back because I didn’t want to spend $11 for the Kindle edition (when the book is only a little over 150 pages). This was the book equivalent of a warm hug. It was thought provoking and real. The only thing that threw me off a little was the non-binary main character. I feel like no matter the book (I struggled with this reading Legendborn and Truly Devious), I always get a little confused reading they/them and it referring to a single person. Once I adjust, I’m fine but I have to constantly remind myself that the person is non-binary.

My last book, that’s still a work in progress, is This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg. My ARC for this book arrived a little later than expected, so I’m still in the process of finishing it up. So far though, I am really enjoying it. This is a YA mystery thriller that really holds your attention and reads pretty freaking fast! I’ll be posting a full length review soon, so if this sounds like something you’d be interested in, be sure to stop back!

How was your February? Read any amazing books? Or maybe a few real duds? Let me know in the comments! I’m also planning my March “Judge A Book By Its Cover” TBR, that’s going to be a fun post!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

Spotlight: This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg

Hello Readers!

I’m going at you today with a very special post! Last month, I was asked by Flatiron Books if I wanted to participate in an upcoming Blog Tour supporting one of their new releases (This Golden State by Maris Weisenberg). I had never heard of this author, or the book, so I was a little skeptical Before confirming my spot, I decided to research the title a bit – it’s VERY important to me to provide honest and reliable reviews, so I wanted to make sure this was going to be something I’d enjoy before moving forward. I immediately went to GoodReads and Amazon, after reading the summary of the book, I was intrigued to say the least. I am a HUGE fan of murder mysteries and thrillers, plus I typically enjoy YA books (usually read fantasy). This book checked all those boxes! If you aren’t familiar with This Golden State, here’s a quick synopsis:

The Winslow family lives by five principles:

1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.

Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.

When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.

Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?

I’m currently making my way through my ARC (it arrived a little later than expected) and have been LOVING IT so far! Fans of the Truly Devious series by Maureen Johnson, One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus or Sadie by Courtney Summers will love This Golden State. The character development and family dynamics complement the plot in such refreshing and unexpected ways! Poppy is engaging and relatable; While she doesn’t always make the best choices, her impulsive actions and teenage angst are absolutely perfect.

This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg is out next Tuesday, March 1st and is available everywhere books are sold – like Amazon or Barnes & Noble! Stay tuned to my blog, I’ll also be posting my review next Monday to help celebrate the release!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr Geek

February ’22 TBR

Hello Readers!

It’s hard to believe that we are officially into February already! Last year, I decided to do a Black History Month TBR that focused on POC authors. Not only did I read a lot of interesting, thought-provoking and engaging reads, this gave me a chance to purposefully flex my reading into genres that I don’t typically dabble in. Since I had so much success last year, I challenged myself to do it again! In addition to my BHM TBR, I was also asked to be part of a Blog Tour for an upcoming release from Flatiron Books (This Golden State by Marit Weisenberg), but I’ll get to that later in this post! For now, let’s talk my main TBR and what that lineup looks like.

To start things off, I’m reading The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin. Last year, I read Jemisin’s The City We Became and it was one of my favorite books of the year. It was so unique and different, it pulled me in and didn’t let go. I’ve heard great things about her Broken Earth trilogy so I thought this would be the perfect time to give it a try! I’m not going to give.a synopsis here because everything I’ve read so far has been vague and I think that’s part of the fun – piecing the story together as you go. I only have about 100 pages left so I’ll be wrapping this one up soon and I’m curious to see how Jemisin ties this all together.

Next up will be The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo and Dear Justyce by Nic Stone. I actually read books from both of these authors last year and really enjoyed them so I thought they’d be perfect to include again in 2022. The Poet X is written in verse and I’ve heard great thing about the physical book and the audiobook (supposedly this one reads fast, so I might read it on each medium). The plot revolves around a Brooklyn high school student who begins using poetry as a means of self expression. Dear Justyce is the follow up novel to Dear Martin. I really liked Dear Martin (I wish it was longer) and I’m curious to see how this next novel plays out. I don’t want to go into plot details since it’s a sequel but I’m hoping to get a little more resolution and closure that I thought was missing from Dear Martin.

Finally, I’m round out this list with On The Come Up by Angie Thomas. This is the story of Bri a seventeen year old student who dreams to follow in her father’s footsteps and become the greatest rapper of all time. When life start to catch up to her, she’ll need to figure out if this dream can support her or if she’ll need to drop the mic in favor for a more steady option. I also read The Hate U Give last year and that was a masterpiece. I’ve heard great things about both of Thomas’ other books that I haven’t read so I have high expectations for this one!

As I previously mentioned, I was asked to participate in a Blog Tour support This Golden State, so I’ll also be reading that book in February, with a review and more content coming last this month! If you haven’t heard of This Golden State, here’s a quick summary:

The Winslow family lives by five principles:

1. No one can know your real name.
2. Don’t stay in one place too long.
3. If you sense anything is wrong, go immediately to the meeting spot.
4. Keeping our family together is everything.
5. We wish we could tell you who we are, but we can’t. Please—do not ask.

Poppy doesn’t know why her family has been running her whole life, but she does know that there are dire consequences if they’re ever caught. Still, her curiosity grows each year, as does her desire for real friends and the chance to build on something, instead of leaving behind school projects, teams, and crushes at a moment’s notice.

When a move to California exposes a crack in her parents’ airtight planning, Poppy realizes how fragile her world is. Determined to find out the truth, she mails in a home DNA test. Just as she starts to settle into her new life and even begins opening up to a boy in her math class, the forgotten test results bring her crashing back to reality.

Unraveling the shocking truth of her parents’ real identities, Poppy realizes that the DNA test has undone decades of careful work to keep her family anonymous—and the past is dangerously close to catching up to them. Determined to protect her family but desperate for more, Poppy must ask: How much of herself does she owe her family? And is it a betrayal to find her own place in the world?

I’m a big fan of YA and thrillers, so this seems to be right up my alley! Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@ItsMrGeekToYou) for live thoughts while I’m reading! What kind of books do you have planned for this month? Any recommendations for my BHM TBR? Be sure to leave a comment!

Until We Meet Again,
Mr.Geek