I wanted to love The Devil All the Time. I tried so hard to love it, and I did in the beginning. However, things fell apart pretty quickly.
Set in 1960, Ohio and West Virginia, The Devil All the Time follows a unique cast of characters. Willard Russell returned from World War II tormented by the carnage. But the hardest thing he will ever face is the death of his wife. He prays and offers sacrificial blood, but nothing calms the cancer. Then there’s Carl and Sandy Henderson who travel the country looking for models to feature in their deadly photographs. You can’t forget to mention the spider handling preacher and his sidekick who are running from the law. Finally, there’s Arvin, Willard and Charlotte’s orphaned son, who grows up in the thick of it all.
The Devil All the Time starts well. It’s atmospheric and gritty. It has the promise of a great story. In the beginning I was hooked.
Unfortunately, the more I read the less interested I became. I could care less about most of the characters. I also thought Arvin would be more involved. He really didn’t become prominent until the end.
Basically, everything happened at the end. The pacing felt off and the payoff comes late. It just kept building and build. And frankly, I got bored. In the last few pages everything finally started to come together, but by that point I’d lost interest. I’m bummed that I didn’t like The Devil All the Time more. I had high hopes for it.
I’ve wanted to read Kingdom of the Wicked for a long time. I finally sat down and made the time for it. Here are my thoughts.
After the murder of her twin, Emilia is out for vengeance. Emilia and her family are witches who live secretly among the humans. She will find her sister’s murderer at any cost, even if she has to use dark magic. This forbidden magic leads her to Wrath, a prince of Hell. Wrath claims he is on Emilia’s side, but the Wicked can’t be trusted.
The beginning of Kingdom of the Wicked is amazing. I love the world building and magic system. It is everything I look for in a story about witches. It’s full of herbal spells, tinctures, and candles. I love the cottage core vibes.
Plus, the food sounds mouth watering. I was hungry during a majority of the book. I also loved the hustle and bustle of the family restaurant. It was quaint and cozy. Unfortunately, that doesn’t last.
The murder of Vittoria completely changes the book’s direction, obviously. Emilia begins to lose interest in the family business. She only wants to find Vittoria’s murdered and make them suffer. She starts using dark magic, which is where Wrath comes in.
I really liked Wrath. I like the chemistry between Emilia and Wrath. However, their relationship didn’t develop as much as I wanted. I know this is a series, so I hope that comes in the later books.
Another thing I didn’t love was the big reveal. I guessed who the murderer was in the first few pages. Sometimes that can be saved if the motive was fulfilling, but I didn’t feel that way about this one. It just seemed lackluster to me.
All in all, I think this was a decent start to a series. On it’s own I didn’t love it, but I like what it set up for the next book.
I love bullet journaling. I’m new to this. I’m obviously not a professional, but I love creating. For Christmas, my husband gifted me a watercolor set so my goal this year is to learn how to use it. I decided my bullet journal would be a great place to start. So this is me documenting my progress on a new skill. This is month one, so here we go! Check out my January 2021 bullet journal.
Cover Page/TBR List
This is where my journey began. I decided to do a zodiac/galaxy theme for January. I’m a Capricorn baby and I wear that badge proudly. I decided to do this fun little galaxy-inspired wash of color. This is also where I learned my first watercolor mistake. When it dries the colors are more muted than when you begin. It was a beautiful gradient, but then it dried down dull. My friend who watercolors said layering is key. Even with the mistakes, I’m happy with the results.
The next page is my tbr list. It is just a much simpler wash of blue. I used rubber stamps and ink to do all the headings, and I like the look of it. My tbr list is slightly over-ambitious. I haven’t even made it halfway through Needful Things, but here’s to hoping. My January 2021 TBR post on the blog is slightly more manageable.
Review Page/Book Bought Page
I continue the wash of color throughout my spread. I decided to alternate from blue to purple. The next page is pretty simple. This is where I keep track of all the books I need to review.
My books bought page is where I keep up with how much money I spend on books. It keeps me accountable. I like to think that I won’t buy any this month, but it’s my birthday month. I’m definitely going to buy a few.
Books Read Page/ Wrap Up Page
My books read page is where I keep up with how many books I’ve read. I also like to keep up with the number of pages I read. This number really means nothing, but I still like keeping track of it.
Lastly, my wrap up page. This page is the most important at the end of the year because I use it to quickly figure up my totals.
So that is my January 2021 bullet journal. I really had fun creating this. I know it’s not perfect, but its a work in progress. I look forward to seeing how much my technique changes over 2021.
Today marks the first day of 2021. It’s time to set our intentions and follow them. I love setting goals. It gives me a bit of adrenaline rush to check things off my list. It must the Capricorn in me. Let’s get to my 2021 reading goals!
This is my Goodreads Challenge spread. I decided to use this tree to keep track of it. When I’ve read ten pages I will color in each limb. The goal is to have a completely colored in tree by the end of 2021.
Uncorked 2021 Reading Challenge
The Uncorked Challenge is the perfect challenge for me. It is broken up into months, so that makes it manageable for this mood reader. The prompts are also specific enough to make me branch out. I look forward to completing this!
So those are my 2021 reading goals. What goals have you planned this year?
I’m new to graphic novels. I just started reading them last year. I’ve read some really good graphic novels, but I’ve also read some really bad ones. Today, we are going to focus on the positive. I’m going to share a few that I have enjoyed. Obviously, it’s not a large selection because I haven’t read many myself.
It’s a great time to get started with this format. As I shared in my Beat Those Reading Challenges post, graphic novels are a great way to reach those goals. But I know jumping into the world of graphic novels can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many to choose from. Hopefully, you can find a few from this list that you will enjoy.
The Grimm’s Fairytales
For over two hundred years the powerful stories of the Brothers Grimm have enchanted millions around the world, but there has never been an adaptation as intriguing or provocative as this. Grimm Fairy Tales explores a much darker side of the infamous fables you heard as a child as these classic tales are retold and re-imagined with a terrifying twist you’ll simply love as an adult.
This collection is a fun retelling of the classic Grimm’s Fairytales. They use the fairytales to teach modern day characters some horrifying lessons. It is such unique take on the fairytales, plus the artwork is beautiful.
From the award-winning author of Princess Princess Ever After comes THE TEA DRAGON SOCIETY, the beloved and charming all-ages book that follows the story of Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, and the people she meets as she becomes entwined in the enchanting world of tea dragons. After discovering a lost tea dragon in the marketplace, Greta learns about the dying art form of tea dragon care-taking from the kind tea shop owners, Hesekiel and Erik. As she befriends them and their shy ward, Minette, Greta sees how the craft enriches their lives–and eventually her own.
This is the cutest thing that I have ever read. It’s very, very short. I read it in 15 minutes. There is not a huge plot, but it is so cute. The tea dragons are adorable. It will make any bad day better. You need to read this.
When Lana and her father return to their seaside hometown to help clear the debris of a big storm, Lana remembers how much she’s missed the ocean–and the strong, reassuring presence of her aunt. As Lana explores the familiar beach, she discovers something incredible: a colony of Aquicorns, small magical seahorse-like creatures that live in the coral reef. Lana rescues an injured Aquicorn and cares for it with the help of her aunt, who may know more about these strange creatures than she’s willing to admit. But when a second storm threatens to reach the town, choices made many years ago about how to coexist with the sea start to rise to the surface. Lana realizes she will need to find the strength to stand on her own, even when it means standing up to the people who she has always relied on to protect her.
This is by the author that wrote The Tea Dragon Society. It’s just as cute and fun, but it is a little more developed. This one really focuses on the environment of our oceans. It helps spread the word about environmental issues while still being completely adorable.
In thirteen-year-old Aster’s family, all the girls are raised to be witches, while boys grow up to be shapeshifters. Anyone who dares cross those lines is exiled. Unfortunately for Aster, he still hasn’t shifted . . . and he’s still fascinated by witchery, no matter how forbidden it might be.
When a mysterious danger threatens the other boys, Aster knows he can help — as a witch. It will take the encouragement of a new friend, the non-magical and non-conforming Charlie, to convince Aster to try practicing his skills. And it will require even more courage to save his family . . . and be truly himself.
This is another adorable story. It’s actually a middle grade graphic novel, but I think anyone would benefit from reading this.
So those are a few of the graphic novels that I have read and loved lately. They are easy, fun reads that will help you get acclimated to the graphic novel world. Obviously, since I’m new to the format, I could use some graphic novel recommendations myself. Leave some in the comments below!
Wild Horses on the Salt immediately caught my attention. The author reached out to me and me and offered a copy in exchange for my honest review. Set in the wilds of Arizona, I figured it would be for me. Let’s get to the review!
When Rebecca Quinn flees from her abusive husband, her only option is to head to Arizona. There she meets Gaby, her aunt’s best friend. Becca finds refuge at Gaby’s inn located in the Tonto National Forest. There Becca settles in surrounded by new friends. Becca’s new life is suddenly shattered when her husband tracks her down.
My Thoughts on Wild Horses on the Salt
I enjoyed this one. I loved the whole found family aspect. The main character definitely needed love. She came from an abusive childhood and marriage. Throughout the book, Becca copes with post-traumatic stress disorder because of that.
In one part of the book, a character (I can’t remember who) described Becca as hard to get to know. As a reader, I found that to be true. She did feel a little one dimensional. I would have liked to see a little more character growth, but overall I liked her.
I loved the fact that nature played a large role in this. There were chapters woven in that was set from the perspective of one of the wild horses that live in the Sonoran desert. While the life of the horse and Becca didn’t intersect in a big, dramatic way it did show all of the little ways that humans and nature interact. I loved that the author had a lot to say about the environment and wildlife conservation.
I feel the need to mention that this is very much a slow burn read. However, I found it necessary. Becca was healing from trauma and that takes time. The climax didn’t really happen until Becca’s husband returned near the end.
Lastly, let’s talk romance. It’s obvious that a romance is being set up. While I liked the romance, and her potential partner, I didn’t think it was completely necessary. I wish it had focused more on personal growth and healing.
I really liked Wild Horses on the Salt. It’s not an easy subject to read about, but Anne Montgomery wrote it well.
It’s time for my December 2020 TBR. I’m feeling extra festive because it actually snowed last night! I live in Alabama and it hardly ever snows, especially not this early. … Continue reading December 2020 TBR
Let’s face it. 2020 has been hard. This is quite possibly the hardest year that I’ve ever experienced. I know many people that feel the same way. But tomorrow is … Continue reading Things I’m Thankful For