December TBR | Reading Plans

These are the books I picked out to focus on for the month of December. I have a mixture of all kinds of books. Some in which I already started but needed to finish, and some are new to me authors I checked out from the library or from Kindle unlimited. My plan is to read as much as I can this month. Lately I been feeling that reading mojo of wanting to read everything, and I think that’s good but can be overwhelming at times. I plan to pace myself and not force myself to read at that moment when I don’t want to. Pace myself and have fun this month.

Down below is a listing of where you can read the synopsis of each book I decided to read this month.

HER NIGHT WITH SANTA

LUXE TWO
THE DINNER
INDIGO
JUST FOR THE HOLIDAYS
CHOKE
ICE PLANET BARBARIANS
NO LOYALTY
CRESCENT CITY

Hope you enjoyed this post and got and idea of how my month is looking like reading wise. Share in the comments your readings plans this month.

Xoxo Nikki🤩

The Year of the Witching by Alexis Henderson | Book Review

Synopsis:


In the lands of Bethel, where the Prophet’s word is law, Immanuelle Moore’s very existence is blasphemy. Her mother’s union with an outsider of a different race cast her once-proud family into disgrace, so Immanuelle does her best to worship the Father, follow Holy Protocol, and lead a life of submission, devotion, and absolute conformity, like all the other women in the settlement.

But a mishap lures her into the forbidden Darkwood surrounding Bethel, where the first prophet once chased and killed four powerful witches. Their spirits are still lurking there, and they bestow a gift on Immanuelle: the journal of her dead mother, who Immanuelle is shocked to learn once sought sanctuary in the wood.

Fascinated by the secrets in the diary, Immanuelle finds herself struggling to understand how her mother could have consorted with the witches. But when she begins to learn grim truths about the Church and its history, she realizes the true threat to Bethel is its own darkness. And she starts to understand that if Bethel is to change, it must begin with her.

Review:

So I had to DNF this @ 62% I really didn’t want to but continuing on to finish this was making me fall into a reading slump that’s when I know I have to give up reading this.

So this isn’t a bad story at all it’s just all over the place for me. I picked this up for two reasons because I assumed there will be a story about witches and magic and also because of the bookclub I’m in.

Immanuel is basically shunned because of her mother’s sins. There’s talk about a plauge and Immanuel is trying to uncover more about it. Very little talk about witches, and when you do hear from them it’s much later in the story.

I wanted to like this, but this didn’t work for me at all. I didn’t really care for the style of writing. Maybe …just maybe I might pick this back up in the future but for now it’s a 2.5 star

I know a lot of people love this book but when a story is making me dred reading I know I have to stop what I’m reading. Once again not a bad story, it just didn’t work for me.

Rating: 2.5 ⭐⭐

Watch “Buzzwordathon TBR 2021” on YouTube

I have posted my buzzwordathon tbr for the year long reading challenge. Check out my video to see all that I’ll be reading. The buzzwordathon is hosted by booktuber booksandlala and there are themes for each month. You plan your tbr around those themes and just have fun. 😊

#RecentReads | July Recap 2020

SulweSulwe by Lupita Nyong’o
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a great representation of self love for young black children. Sulwe although didnt love her dark skin once she saw that her dark black skin is just as beautiful as having light black skin, she saw the beauty in herself. 

I remember when I was younger going to school hearing the light black skin vs dark black skin argument as a child you dont understand. But now as an adult with a child of my own that way of thinking, that complex just keeps people back within the black community. Black is beautiful no matter how light or dark the complexion.

I now have a son who realized that he has dark brown skin, darker than his mommy. He came to me and said “Brown…like me, I have dark brown skin!”  And I said “yes you do always remember that” 

This book is great for young kids to understand self love and I love the illustrations and the bright colors too, very inviting for children and for adults when reading to them. I will be buying a hard copy of this book to read out loud to my son at night. Awesome story great message! 

“My Black is Beautiful!!” 

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Synopsis:
Arianne’s birthday goals aren’t the kind you wish for when blowing out your birthday candles. They’re the kind you put in work for. Except that one about getting Kammal in her bed…


#birthdaygoals#birthdaygoals by AshleyNicole
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

#BirthdayGoals was perfect and hilarious. AshleyNicole got a banger with this one. This is Ari and Kammal story. Basically every year for Ari’s birthday she has two goals she wants to accomplish for a year. For her birthday one crazy goal was to get with Kammal. 

Ari is the type to go bed early and don’t live life as much. I think the push she needed from her sisters to get with Kammal was all that she needed.

The sex scene with Kammal and Ari was bomb yet funny too, how you playing Savage by Meg Thee Stallion in your head and jump to another wild as song ….LMAO I was laughing so much reading this.

This was a true birthday gift for a 31 year old single woman. I enjoyed the story and plan on reading the next in the series. 

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Synopsis:
Shana Harris keeps it sexy at home, cooking in stilettos and being a freak in bed. Still, her man, Rome doesn’t seem satisfied, and Shana suspects he’s cheating. The evidence against Rome is overwhelming: late nights with the boys, sexually explicit texts and pics, and he frequently comes home smelling like perfume. So, what’s a girl to do? Shana’s best friend suggests she should get even by having a one night stand. And Shana agrees. But she’s in for the shock of her life when a one-time encounter turns into much more than she ever bargained for. Rome or the sexy stranger…which one will claim her heart? 



One Night StandOne Night Stand by Allison Hobbs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was crazy and I felt bad for Shana. But at the same time she shouldn’t had listened to her best friend telling her to cheat on her man to get back at him. As I was reading this I truly thought Rome was hiding something like he had a side chick or something and I was waiting for that to happen but it never did.

Relationships are hard enough but to have revenge sex on your partner is not the way to do it. Amir is sick asshole who needed to be locked away for good. If he’ll do it to Shana he’ll do it to any other woman. And it’s people are really like this in reality, crazy and sick minded.

I like that this was fast paced kept me guessing the whole time and it was written by my favorite author Allison Hobbs. This was quick and has a message at the end which is dont listen to your friends and dont go sleeping around because you can lose everything. Overall great story. 

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Synopsis:
There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé uses political and pop-cultural references as a framework to explore 21st century black American womanhood and its complexities: performance, depression, isolation, exoticism, racism, femininity, and politics. The poems weave between personal narrative and pop-cultural criticism, examining and confronting modern media, consumption, feminism, and Blackness. This collection explores femininity and race in the contemporary American political climate, folding in references from jazz standards, visual art, personal family history, and Hip Hop. The voice of this book is a multifarious one: writing and rewriting bodies, stories, and histories of the past, as well as uttering and bearing witness to the truth of the present, and actively probing toward a new self, an actualized self. This is a book at the intersections of mythology and sorrow, of vulnerability and posturing, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence. 



There Are More Beautiful Things Than BeyoncéThere Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé by Morgan Parker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful writing and relatable! This collection of poems was what I needed at this moment. The author touched on a lot of things and used Beyonce as a metaphor. Like stop looking for something from another pretty female when you should having that same energy for yourself. The women we see on IG or TV are not the equivalent of what real beauty is. It’s all marketing and fake. Morgan Parker talks about mental illness, and accepting her the way she is and not being ashamed of her sexuality (or being overly sexual)

I enjoyed everything about this collection I want to re read it because it was just that strong and powerful. Morgan also talked about women rights and not being at fault for being a woman and doing what women do on the daily. 

This is something I want my son to read when he is old enough to understand it. I really enjoyed reading this and I got a lot from it. Great poetry collection with a strong message at the end. 

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Synopsis:
Zuri’s hair has a mind of its own. It kinks, coils, and curls every which way. Zuri knows it’s beautiful. When mommy does Zuri’s hair, she feels like a superhero. But when mommy is away, it’s up to daddy to step in! And even though daddy has a lot to learn, he LOVES his Zuri. And he’ll do anything to make her—and her hair—happy.

Tender and empowering, Hair Love is an ode to loving your natural hair—and a celebration of daddies and daughters everywhere.



Hair LoveHair Love by Matthew A. Cherry
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a very cute children’s book, something I can definitely see myself reading to my son.
This story is about Zuri and she has thick kinky curly hair and she feels special with her hair because it can do so much on its own.

Zuri wanted a cute hairstyle for her mom but needed help so her dad decided to help. This was a good story that showcased motivation and self-esteem in children. Zuri learned at a young age to love her hair because she knows that her hair is not just hers but from her mom and dad. I loved this story very cute and I loved the illustrations too. 5 star read!

June – What I plan to Read for the Month #PrideMonth + #GeorgeFloydMurder Discussion in video (Inside Post)

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Synopsis:
Bingo Love is a story of a same-sex romance that spans over 60 years. A chance meeting at church bingo in 1963 brings Hazel Johnson and Mari McCray together. Through their formative years, these two women develop feelings for each other and finally profess their love for one another.

Forced apart by their families and society, Hazel and Mari both married young men and had families. Decades later, now in their mid 60’s, Hazel and Mari are reunited again at a bingo hall. Realizing their love for each other is still alive, what these grandmothers do next takes absolute strength and courage.
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Synopsis:

The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she’s trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.

Life in real-world Atlanta isn’t always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the Nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice’s handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she’ll need to use everything she’s learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.


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Synopsis:

Ryann Bird dreams of traveling across the stars. But a career in space isn’t an option for a girl who lives in a trailer park on the wrong side of town. So Ryann becomes her circumstances and settles for acting out and skipping school to hang out with her delinquent friends.

One day she meets Alexandria: a furious loner who spurns Ryann’s offer of friendship. After a horrific accident leaves Alexandria with a broken arm, the two misfits are brought together despite themselves—and Ryann learns her secret: Alexandria’s mother is an astronaut who volunteered for a one-way trip to the edge of the solar system.

Every night without fail, Alexandria waits to catch radio signals from her mother. And its up to Ryann to lift her onto the roof day after day until the silence between them grows into friendship, and eventually something more . . .

In K. Ancrum’s signature poetic style, this slow-burn romance will have you savoring every page.


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Synopsis:


Told in two distinct and irresistible voices, Junauda Petrus’s bold and lyrical debut is the story of two black girls from very different backgrounds finding love and happiness in a world that seems determined to deny them both.

Trinidad. Sixteen-year-old Audre is despondent, having just found out she’s going to be sent to live in America with her father because her strictly religious mother caught her with her secret girlfriend, the pastor’s daughter. Audre’s grandmother Queenie (a former dancer who drives a white convertible Cadillac and who has a few secrets of her own) tries to reassure her granddaughter that she won’t lose her roots, not even in some place called Minneapolis. “America have dey spirits too, believe me,” she tells Audre.

Minneapolis. Sixteen-year-old Mabel is lying on her bed, staring at the ceiling and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels–about her ex Terrell, about her girl Jada and that moment they had in the woods, and about the vague feeling of illness that’s plagued her all summer. Mabel’s reverie is cut short when her father announces that his best friend and his just-arrived-from-Trinidad daughter are coming for dinner.

Mabel quickly falls hard for Audre and is determined to take care of her as she tries to navigate an American high school. But their romance takes a turn when test results reveal exactly why Mabel has been feeling low-key sick all summer and suddenly it’s Audre who is caring for Mabel as she faces a deeply uncertain future.

Junauda Petrus’s debut brilliantly captures the distinctly lush and lyrical voices of Mabel and Audre as they conjure a love that is stronger than hatred, prison, and death and as vast as the blackness between the stars.


OTHER BOOKS I WANT TO  READ DURING MONTH:


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Synopsis:

Tight: Lately, Bryan’s been feeling it in all kinds of ways . . .

Bryan knows what’s tight for him–reading comics, drawing superheroes, and hanging out with no drama. But drama is every day where he’s from, and that gets him tight, wound up.

And now Bryan’s friend Mike pressures him with ideas of fun that are crazy risky. At first, it’s a rush following Mike, hopping turnstiles, subway surfing, and getting into all kinds of trouble. But Bryan never really feels right acting so wrong, and drama really isn’t him. So which way will he go, especially when his dad tells him it’s better to be hard and feared than liked?

But if there’s one thing Bryan’s gotten from his comic heroes, it’s that he has power–to stand up for what he feels . . .

Torrey Maldonado delivers a fast-paced, insightful, dynamic story capturing urban community life. Readers will connect with Bryan’s journey as he navigates a tough world with a heartfelt desire for a different life.

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Synopsis:


When best friends Tai and Mila are reunited after a summer apart, their friendship threatens to combust from the pressure of secrets, middle school, and the looming dance auditions for a new talented-and-gifted program.

Fans of Renée Watson’s Piecing Me Together will love this memorable story about a complex friendship between two very different African American girls—and the importance of speaking up.

Jamila Phillips and Tai Johnson have been inseparable since they were toddlers, having grown up across the street from each other in Pirates Cove, a low-income housing project. As summer comes to an end, Tai can’t wait for Mila to return from spending a month with her aunt in the suburbs. But both girls are grappling with secrets, and when Mila returns she’s more focused on her upcoming dance auditions than hanging out with Tai.

Paula Chase explores complex issues that affect many young teens, and So Done offers a powerful message about speaking up. Full of ballet, basketball, family, and daily life in Pirates Cove, this memorable novel is for fans of Ali Benjamin’s The Thing About Jellyfish and Jason Reynolds’s Ghost.


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Synopsis:

The only thing more beautiful than Beyoncé is God, and God is a black woman sipping rosé and drawing a lavender bath, texting her mom, belly-laughing in the therapist’s office, feeling unloved, being on display, daring to survive. Morgan Parker stands at the intersections of vulnerability and performance, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence. Unrelentingly feminist, tender, ruthless, and sequined, these poems are an altar to the complexities of black American womanhood in an age of non-indictments and deja vu, and a time of wars over bodies and power. These poems celebrate and mourn. They are a chorus chanting: You’re gonna give us the love we need.


With The Fire on High By Elizabeth Acevedo | Book Review

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Synopsis:
With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.


Book Review:


With the Fire on HighWith the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a good novel! It actually had a mix of what most teen mom’s today that are in school and working and taking care of their kid(s) go through. Emoni’s only dream is to cook in a nice restaurant. She love to cook and she like to add her own touch to her food. 

With her grades almost slipping and taking care of her daughter and working part-time she feels an elective like culinary art’s won’t help her..

This story shows that no matter your situation you can get what you want from life with determination and hard work. Emoni worked hard and never gave up even when they where people telling her to drop out because she was pregnant.

I loved this story loved it even more that I listened to it on audiobook. Elizabeth Acevedo is Queen and I’ll read anything she publishes. Great story!! 5 🌟

May 2020 TBR — What I Want To Read For the Month

 I will be participating in a readathon hosted by booktuber Mande Garrett [Link to Mande’s video] it’s called the Fire readathon and there are 3 prompts. This readathon runs the whole month of May.

1. The book that has orange, red, or yellow or all of the colors on the cover. — City Born Great by NK Jemisin [already read and rated]
2.Have the word ‘FIRE’ in the title or spelled out somewhere on the book or has a fire on the cover– With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo
3. Read a book that has anything related to fire example Kingdom of Ash— A Phoenix Must Burn by Patrice Caldwell

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Synopsis: With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

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Synopsis: Sixteen tales by bestselling and award-winning authors that explore the Black experience through fantasy, science fiction, and magic.

Evoking Beyoncé’s Lemonade for a teen audience, these authors who are truly Octavia Butler’s heirs, have woven worlds to create a stunning narrative that centers Black women and gender nonconforming individuals. A Phoenix First Must Burn will take you on a journey from folktales retold to futuristic societies and everything in between. Filled with stories of love and betrayal, strength and resistance, this collection contains an array of complex and true-to-life characters in which you cannot help but see yourself reflected. Witches and scientists, sisters and lovers, priestesses and rebels: the heroines of A Phoenix First Must Burn shine brightly. You will never forget them.

Authors include Elizabeth Acevedo, Amerie, Dhonielle Clayton, Jalissa Corrie, Somaiya Daud, Charlotte Davis, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Justina Ireland, Danny Lore, L.L. McKinney, Danielle Paige, Rebecca Roanhorse, Karen Strong, Ashley Woodfolk, and Ibi Zoboi.



These next books I want to read if have more time in the month (but won’t make any promises if I’ll get to all of them)–

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Synopsis:
With a bootylicious body like Beyonc� and a face that would put any top model to shame, Toi McKnight has all the cuties coming her way. Who could blame them? She was always rocking the latest fashion trends and hanging at every bangin’ party in the city. But all that came at a price, and now Toi McKnight is the seventeen-year-old mother of a baby boy.



Between bills to pay and adult responsibilities to meet, she’s got zero time for sizzling gossip, chilling with her friends or doing the things she used to. So when unexpected sparks start flying between her and six-foot-two, deliciously fine Harlem, Toi knows she’s got to dead any chance of a relationship fast since he doesn’t date teenage mothers–and she’s vowed to never love again. But every time Toi tries to cut Harlem loose, she falls harder for him. And all the other drama in her life doesn’t help the situation any, especially when her son’s father comes back around. Toi tries to do the right thing, but doing the right thing just may put her on heartbreak express for good.

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Synopsis: 
Will their romance fade with the music?

Bailey’s settled for working in her mother’s salon instead of pursuing her dream. Music. She has the soul of a singer. Melodies speak to her heart. She could face her fear, but that would take courage and ignoring the disapproval of those close to her. When an incredible opportunity comes her way, she must decide whether to take the risk or live in regret.

Jackson’s a musician determined to make it into the business with his band. After years of hard work, his dreams may come true. He can make amends for the past. He can let go of his guilt.

When Jackson and Bailey meet online, their love for music forms an extraordinary bond. Once they both pursue their passions, including the one between them, there’s no going back. But there’s a secret. A secret that will make Bailey question everything. 


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Synopsis:
Fall in love, break the curse.

Cursed by a powerful enchantress to repeat the autumn of his eighteenth year, Prince Rhen, the heir of Emberfall, thought he could be saved easily if a girl fell for him. But that was before he turned into a vicious beast hell-bent on destruction. Before he destroyed his castle, his family, and every last shred of hope.

Nothing has ever been easy for Harper. With her father long gone, her mother dying, and her brother constantly underestimating her because of her cerebral palsy, Harper learned to be tough enough to survive. When she tries to save a stranger on the streets of Washington, DC, she’s pulled into a magical world.

Break the curse, save the kingdom.

Harper doesn’t know where she is or what to believe. A prince? A curse? A monster? As she spends time with Rhen in this enchanted land, she begins to understand what’s at stake. And as Rhen realizes Harper is not just another girl to charm, his hope comes flooding back. But powerful forces are standing against Emberfall . . . and it will take more than a broken curse to save Harper, Rhen, and his people from utter ruin.

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Synopsis:

Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime?

A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies.