DROPKICKromance– Book Review


Why I read it: I’ve followed the author on social media for a long time, and added this to my TBR the second it was announced. Then I found it on Net Galley and whatddya know, my finger slipped and I clicked to get an ARC 😛

Who I’d recommend it to: Poetry lovers, poetry newbies, the broken-hearted and people looking for hope…actually I think I’ll be recommending this to just about everyone for a while.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Goodreads | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Amazon

What it’s about (from Goodreads):

A collection of autobiographical poetry about healing and learning to love again from professional-wrestler-turned-poet, Cyrus Parker.

The first half of DROPKICKromance focuses on a toxic, long-distance relationship the author was involved in for several years, while the second half focuses on his current relationship with poet Amanda Lovelace. Ultimately, the collection tells about a profound journey of healing.


Let me just start this off with this super accurate representation of me while I was reading this book

 (I totally tweeted this first but whatever.)

What you need before you start reading (aka: what I should have armed myself with before I read it):

  • tissues
  • ice cream, chocolate, or some other comfort-food-thing
  • tissues
  • bourbon (or your alcohol of choice…if you drink, that is…if not, grab some cocoa or soothing tea, or a great cup of coffee)
  • did I mention tissues yet?
  • a pen and paper to catch the inspiration to write you’ll be feeling thanks to this book
  • a backup box of tissues

Seriously folks, this book hit me hard in the feels, and it kept hitting me at unexpected times throughout the entire thing. I would think I was past the things that were going to strike a chord, and then another one would come along. While I’ve followed Cyrus Parker on social media for at least a couple of years, and have seen some of his poetry in that time, I was not at all prepared for this book or for how much I would relate to some of the poems. My tablet died halfway through reading this, and I was happy about it because it forced me to take a break and pull myself together before diving back in. (Side note: What the heck is up with the technical difficulties I’ve been having with Net Galley books lately?! Ugh.)

you’ve sacrificed
so many pieces
of me,
it’s only fair
that you sacrifice
for me.

— i’m not asking for much.

I went through a lot of emotions while reading this, and it wasn’t a bad thing. It was kind of cathartic, actually. I felt some anger, sympathy, empathy, hope, happiness, nostalgia, and sadness, and honestly sometimes I think I felt all of those at once. Weirdly, I only got teary-eyed during the first half of the book, but during the second half I was ugly crying all over my tablet. I think those were mostly happy-tears, though. 

knowing that you’re
willing to share
the rest of your life
with me

is knowing that
there must be
some good
inside of me.

— somewhere.

This collection is so brutally honest and heartbreaking (at least in the beginning), but beautifully written, and I can’t remember the last time I went through a poetry book so quickly. (I usually end up reading one over the course of 2-5 days in small chunks.) If my tablet hadn’t died when it did, I would have read this in one sitting for sure.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for this book for about a year, and it was so worth the wait. (I could have read it sooner if my reading devices had cooperate *glares at them*) I was looking forward to it, but also nervous and worried I wouldn’t like it, or wouldn’t love it. Those fears turned out to be completely unfounded, because I. Freaking. LOVED this book. It’s definitely made my list of all-time-favorite poetry collections (and probably books, in general), and I’m dying to get a physical copy. I’m crossing my fingers and hoping that might happen this weekend, but I’m not sure it’s in stock at the nearest bookstores yet 😥 If not, I might have to break down and just order it because I need it on my shelf yesterday.

Do I recommend it? Hell yes I do! Cyrus Parker is a talented poet and I’m looking forward to reading more from him in the future.


T5W: Books I’ll Never Read

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


March 7: Freebie
–Since these are posted a bit later than usual, you get a freebie! Was there a previous T5W topic you are bummed you missed? Now would be a good time to do that topic


Freebie time, yay! I decided to go with books I’ll never read for this week’s T5W. This was an official topic back in August 2016, when I was just an observer and not yet a participant.

“Never say never,” and all that, but these are books that I seriously doubt I will ever pick up, for various reasons. (This took forever to post because there were like 20 topics I never did but wanted to do, and I had to narrow it down :/ )

Fifty Shades Darker by E.L. James– I mean, even trying to type the name of one of these godawful books makes me cringe. I did read 50SoG way back when so people would stop using the “but you haven’t read it, so how do you know it has bad BDSM rep, abuse, etc.?!” argument against me. Never again, and I’ll go so far as to say I’ll probably never read anything else by E.L. James.



Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand– Eh, I could probably use anything by her for this one, because I’m just not interested. I had a brief, minor curiosity about her back in middle school and high school, but that fizzled out and now I know more about her/her books, so I’ll just pass on this one/these.



Carve the Mark
by Veronica Roth– If you’re in the bookish world, you probably remember the kerfuffle when this one came out. I was excited about a new Veronica Roth book until I read the description (“meh,” at best imo), and then the shit hit the fan around release day and I read excerpts. And I’ll pass on this one.


The Old Man and the Sea
by Ernest Hemingway– Ok, this is cheating because I have no intention of ever reading anything by this guy. I had never read more than maybe a two-sentence quote by him until last year or the year before when I discovered the “hemingdouche” tag on one of the tumblr blogs I follow. After that, and seeing this post, I checked out The Old Man & the Sea and then this happened. So, I’ve totally crossed Hemingway off my list of authors to read.


The Black Witch
by Laurie Forest– Even before the advance reviews with criticism started pouring in, I decided to pass on this one. I found it on Net Galley, thought the cover was kinda cute (and it had the word “witch” in the title, which caught my attention), but then I read the description and thought it sounded too boring to bother with. So, even if there hadn’t been a lot of controversy, I seriously doubt I ever would have read this one. All that stuff just made me feel like I’d made the right choice in skipping it.

Are there any books you never plan to read?

The Witch Doesn’t Burn In This One– Book Review

Genres: poetry; feminism

Why I read it: I snagged the e-ARC from Net Galley because I couldn’t wait until release day ❤

Who I’d recommend it to: Probably first to fans of The Princess Saves Herself In This One, fans of poetry, feminists, witchy women, and anyone who wants to burn down the patriarchy.

My rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ (4.5/5 stars)


Goodreads | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

What it’s about (from goodreads):

2016 Goodreads Choice Award-winning poet Amanda Lovelace returns in the witch doesn’t burn in this one — the bold second book in her “women are some kind of magic” series.

The witch: supernaturally powerful, inscrutably independent, and now—indestructible. These moving, relatable poems encourage resilience and embolden women to take control of their own stories. Enemies try to judge, oppress, and marginalize her, but the witch doesn’t burn in this one.


I feel like I waited years for this book, and that feeling wasn’t helped by my technical difficulties while trying to read it >_< Long story short: this eARC from Net Galley is one of those that can’t be read on a Kindle, my iPad freaked out and I had to restore it, and the app I used to read the book was a pain in the butt to get downloaded and to then get the books on (partially because, for some reason, I couldn’t even get the Net Galley site to open for-freaking-ever, ugh). And I also think I might be missing a few pages in my copy for some reason, because I’ve seen other people quote things that I don’t remember reading, and they were things I definitely would have remembered :/

Anyway… Back to the book itself, and what I thought of it.

First up: It’s release day!! The wait is truly over, and if broom-travel were possible, my witchy butt would be flying to the nearest Target that has this in stock because I was too broke to pre-order it 😦

If Amanda’s first poetry collection (The Princess Saves Herself In This One) was a book of facing and slaying your own demons, this second collection is a call to arms for other women, and a warning to lurking monsters that we (women) have had enough and are fighting back. I think I made it to “-she.”–which is quoted below–before I started having to bite my tongue to keep from actually screaming/cheering out loud while reading this one.

i don’t need you
to write my story.

i write it
e v e r y  d a y

& you couldn’t
even translate

the fucking


Like in Princess, a lot of sensitive topics are touched on in this collection, and there’s a trigger warning list at the beginning of the book. This collection is angry, raw, and no sugar has been added to sweeten the ugly truths addressed. Also like when I read Princess, I felt a lot of things while reading this. Unlike Princess, I didn’t feel punches to the gut when I read things that hit close to home. Instead, I felt pissed off and ready to link hands with other women and crush the patriarchy under my stompy, pointy, witchy boots.

“bitch,” he spits

“witch,” he sneers.

& i say
“actually, i’m both.”

– reclaim everything.

The one thing I vacillated between loving  and not loving (I didn’t hate it, though) was the repetitiveness. Sometimes, I really enjoyed it because either I liked the imagery or it helped tie the whole collection together, and sometimes it felt like I’d read a certain word or phrase one too many times. Don’t get me wrong: it isn’t every poem or anything like that. It just happened enough for me to notice.

Basically, I adored this book and I can not wait to get my hands on a physical copy. Speaking of, have you guys seen the Target exclusive?! It’s red! *cue heart eyes* 

Did I love it as much as her first collection? Maybe not, but it’s pretty close, and still probably making my list of favorite poetry books. Do I recommend it? Yessss! But obviously not if you hated Princess, or hate this style of poetry.


Bookish Bingo: Spring 2018 (Possible) TBR

I completely and totally failed at the Winter one (I think…I actually haven’t even looked at the card since January, but I haven’t really read anything since then), but I still wanted to sign up for the spring round. Why? Because it’s a fun, low-pressure challenge, and sometimes it helps me narrow down what I want to read next.

Check out the card for Spring

(^^card links to Pretty Deadly Reviews’s post)

So pretty! I have a few ideas for this card, already, and I’m really excited.

Here’s what I’m thinking (these aren’t absolutes, just what came to mind right away as I looked over this card):

  • Mythology: Probably one of the Heroes of Olympus books, because I think I only read the first two back when they first came out, but now I own all of them and have been wanting to re-read, and then finish, the series.
  • Pink cover: This one is going to be a challenge, but I do have a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover that has a pink cover. I only own like 3 books with pink covers, though, and I think I’ve read all the others.
  • Made into a Movie: My current read! I’m reading Lord of the Rings, so I’m using it for this one.
  • Historical Fiction: I’m thinking Burial Rites for this one, since it’s been on my TBR for a long time.
  • White Cover: This is another hard one because I don’t own many books with white covers that I haven’t read. Maybe The Luminaries, though.
  • Spring Release: Probably the witch doesn’t burn in this one by Amanda Lovelace, because I have an ARC that I’m planning to read this weekend.
  • New-to-You Author: I have tons of choices for this one, too, but I’m thinking Becky Chambers (The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet) or Naomi Novak (Uprooted).
  • Retelling: Time Lord Fairytales! I got the boxed set last year and I’ve only read one so far. (I might pick something else, but that’s definitely the easiest option.)
  • Animal on Cover: I think I have a few choices for this one, but I’ll probably read Life After Life because my copy has a fox on the cover.
  • Aussie Author: Oh I’m definitely reading Gemina for this one (finally)!
  • 2018 Debut: Probably DROPKICKromance by Cyrus Parker.
  • Family:  Maybe Fun Home.
  • Witches: I have a few for this one, but I might go non-fiction and read The Witches: Salem, 1692.
  • Flowers on Cover: Either Moloka’i or The Sun and Her Flowers.
  • Set in Another Country: Another one with tons of choices, but right now I’m thinking of going back to Great Expectations, or reading Spellbook of the Lost and Found.
  • LGBTQ+: I might finally read Everything Leads to You for this one, but I think I have a couple other options on my Kindle and library holds.

The rest of the topics I’ll have to check out my shelves more thoroughly, and maybe get something from the library for one or two of them.

Hopefully this will help motivate me to read more, because I’ve been in a bit of a slump since January :/

Are you participating in Bookish Bingo?

Let me know if you have any recs for any of these squares!


T5W: Urban Fantasy Faves

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


February 28th: Favorite Urban Fantasy Books *Book Babble Crossover Topic*
— Urban Fantasy tends to feature a heavy romance element, so I figured it fit in this month.


>_< It’s been a bad month and I’ve been wrapped up in a lot of personal issues that sucked the life out of me basically. When things get really tough, apparently my blogging is the first thing I drop to ease the weight of stuff I have to deal with, and I feel horrible about that. But, it looks like some of the disasters and such are mostly behind us, finally, so hopefully March will be a better blogging (and reading, ugh) month.

Anyway, on to this week’s topic!love Urban Fantasy, usually, but for some reason I struggled a lot with this topic. Maybe it’s because I love it, but a lot of UF books don’t necessarily make my “OMG this is one of my favorite things EVER!” list or something. But, here are 5 UF books I really enjoy…and probably recommend/talk about too much.

(Book covers link to goodreads.)


The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher–
Ok, this one actually is probably on my list of all-time-faves. I love these books and I’m so glad husband got me to read the first one a few years ago.


The Southern Vampire Mysteries by Charlaine Harris– These are probably the closest thing I have to a “guilty pleasure” read. I know they’re no great feats of literature, but they’re fun and I really like them, despite their (many) flaws.


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead–finally read this series last year or the year before, and I’m so glad! They really are much better than I first expected and some of my favorite YA vamp books.



The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black– This, though…This is probably my actual favorite YA vampire book. I loved it so much after buying the e-book on sale that I immediately ordered the hardcover and would have re-read it right away if I hadn’t gotten caught up in some new releases and ARCs.


The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater– Do I need to say anything about these? I’m pretty sure most people in the bookish world are at least aware of them, even if they haven’t actually read them. I hesitated until the last book was out to finally read them, because I didn’t believe the hype. This was one case where I think it was justified, though.


What are some of your favorite UF books?


Unintended Hiatus(y thing)

January. A time for new beginnings, a fresh start, making changes…and, apparently, getting obsessed with something and driving yourself into the weirdest book-slump-thing ever.

Last month, I only ended up reading 4 books (3 Sookie Stackhouse, and I buddy-read Hidden Figures with a friend). I started to do a review of Hidden Figures, but decided against it. Basically, I didn’t love it as much as I wanted to, but ultimately I think it’s an important book and I’m glad it exists.

On the downside…it absolutely destroyed my desire to read non-fiction, which is really bad because I’d also been reading Buzz: A Stimulating History of the Sex Toy…which was an eARC from Net Galley…that I should have read and reviewd around the end of 2017 -_-

To combat my slumpiness (because I couldn’t find the motivation to read anything), I decided to finally watch The Hobbit trilogy, and Oh. My. Gods. I fell in love. Like, I have a problem. I watched the entire trilogy 3 times (you read that right: three timesand watched all 6 bonus discs in the space of about two weeks :/ Oh, and I re-watched LOTR one time (after my first Hobbit watch, I think). I know some people hate the movies, but they might have knocked out all my other favorite movies and won the top spot as my all-time-fave. 

Basically, I watched The Hobbit to get my creative energy up, or whatever, and it kind of worked but also backfired. Because now, my brain refuses to allow me to read and enjoy anything that isn’t Tolkien. I’ve tried, believe me. But it’s not happening. The only issue with that is that I’d intended to not read any other fantasy or series until I finished the last two Southern Vampire Mysteries books.

Oh well. Guess I’m pushing those back again, because apparently it’s time I (finally) read LOTR. I know, I know! I should have read it ages ago, and that’s probably the only book I’m ashamed to have not read yet.

I did read The Hobbit, finally, back in like 2014. But I haven’t read LOTR yet and I feel terrible about that. I think the intricacy and scope of Middle Earth was just too intimidating. But now, something about having watched all these movies and learned so much (because of my own googling of things, as well as things from the actual movies and behind the scenes things), I feel confident and ready. It’s happening. I’m finally going to read these books, yay!

Now I’m just trying to decide if I should count them as 1 book (which I think was always Tolkien’s intention?), or 3 books… I think 1. It just feels right. Plus, while I have some mass markets, I’ll be reading the omnibus on my Kindle, so it just makes life easier.

All of this basically combined to also suck out my will to blog about anything. I wasn’t reading anything, so no reviews were happening. I barely managed to keep up with most of the T5W posts, I didn’t do any TTT, etc. I was completely unmotivated to do anything, really. But, thankfully, that seems to be changing. Something about Januarys just seem to drain me in a weird way. This month, I’m going to try (*fingers crossed*) to do better.

How was your January?

Did you discover anything new-to-you that you fell in love with?

What did you think of the Hobbit movies?


T5W: Hidden Fantasy Gems

T5W is a weekly meme created by Lainey from gingerreadslainey, now hosted by Sam from ThoughtsOnTomes. You can check out the goodreads group to learn more.


January 31st: Hidden Gems in Your Favorite Genre 
— What are some of your favorite books in your favorite genre that don’t get a lot of hype?

I had such a hard time with this one, oh my gosh. I was torn between doing all indie/self-published books, doing all traditionally published books, doing a mix… It was a struggle. I ended up with…well, whatever this is. I know at least 3 are traditionally published, though. 

Anyway, I limited my selections to books I really enjoyed that had fewer than 10,000 ratings on goodreads (I was aiming for under 5k, but that didn’t work out). And I totally cheated with the last two, shhh! (But really, I couldn’t pick between them because I loved both and push them on people all the time.)

As usual, in no particular order…

Soldier of the Mist
by Gene Wolfe–
I honestly was surprised to find that this one only has just over 2,600 ratings on goodreads, because (if I’m not mistaken) Gene Wolfe is kind of a big-ish name in fantasy. Right? Anyway, the Latro series is all I’ve read by him, and I haven’t even finished it yet. I did really enjoy the first 2-3 books though, and definitely recommend them if you like stuff set in like ancient Greece with some mythological things happening. 


The Poison Diaries
by Maryrose Wood–
This one made this list this week, with just about 3,400 reviews on goodreads. I’ll be honest: I’m not sure I would still like this book. But, back when I read it in 2012, I gave it 4/5 stars. It’s a weird book, but I do still like what I remember from it, and I plan to re-read it soon.


The Witching Pen by Dianna Hardy– I freaking loved this series ❤ It’s…I think published by a company Dianna started? I’m not sure, sorry. Anyway, this one has just over 500 ratings on goodreads, and I’m probably going to re-read soon because it’s been a while, and I’m wondering if I’ll still love it. (Note: I’m not sure about this one, but this is definitely an adult series and gets kind of erotica-y…I think.)


Neverland by Shari Arnold– I read this one a little over 2 years ago, and I think it was one of my first Net Galley books. I remember it took forever to get into (it wasn’t the book, it was me), but I loved it once I did get into it. It’s a kind of Peter Pan…not exactly re-telling, but similar. I gave it 4/5 stars then, and this little gem has less than 200 ratings on goodreads. (I’m 90% sure it’s self-published.)



Cheating time! These two tied for the 5th spot:



The Woodcutter by Kate Danley– Maaaybe I wouldn’t still love this, but I really did back in 2012 and I’ve been relentlessly recommending it ever since. It’s this awesome mash-up of fairytales/retellings and no one I know has read it! *sob* It has an impressive 6,900 ratings (I think it’s published now by Amazon’s 47 North, but was originally self-published?), AND! It’s on sale for Kindle (US, at least) today for $1.99!



The Accident Season
by Moïra Fowley-Doyle–
This is my biggest cheat, because it has about 8,500 goodreads ratings. But almost no one I’ve encountered has read this one! And it was, I think, my favorite book of 2015. I loved it and recommend it constantly ❤


Have you read any of these?

What are some hidden gems you’ve found?