Recommended Reads: Vampires

If you cannot tell by the title above, I was a seriously Twi-hard back in the day. So much so that for most of my teen years, I read nothing but vampire novels. So if you are also a fan of fangs, here are a few of my recommendations for you:

Shadow and Fog

  1. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer- An oldie but a goodie.
  2. Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead- High school drama with a vampire princess and her spunky bodyguard. There is romance, action and lots of witty banter.
  3. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz- Vampire A-listers in New York. Think Gossip Girl but with vampires. This series has incredible writing and great world-building.
  4. Vampire Diaries by L.J Smith- Not my favourite vampire series as it seemed to go on forever and ever but I loved the original books (stopping at “Shadow Souls” because after that things just got weird).
  5. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey- A gorgeous vampire lands on Jessica’s door claiming to be her fiance. I do not remember much of this book beyond being in love with the main character.
  6. Boys That Bite by Mari Mancusi- This series follows two sisters and their vampire boyfriends as they battle slayers, fae and even Hell at one point.

Are there any vampire books you think I may have missed? Were you a Twi-hard too? I’d love to know below.

I Gave Up Shopping for A Month

So to most people, giving up shopping for a month is not a big deal. But to someone whose social calendar is defined by visiting certain malls at certain times of the month it was a HUGE deal. I gave up shopping for a month and this is what I’ve learnt.

Penny in Jarrs
  1. I have a SERIOUS spending problem- For the first week and a half, it felt like I was going to go crazy. It was like I had an itch that I could not scratch. I needed to shop and I needed to do it NOW! Eventually I got used to not treating myself but it was sobering how much I felt like I NEEDED to spend money.
  2. I found other ways to “treat” myself- Instead of spending money as a treat, I had home spa days or movie nights. I found a way to enjoy myself without involving my wallet.
  3. SO MANY CLOTHES- One of the reasons why I felt like I was going crazy during that first week was because we had family functions to attend and I had nothing to wear. No pretty dress. No pretty bag and nothing in my closet fit! I don’t even remember what I ended up wearing but I do remember that the night was amazing. Also, when I felt frustrated and went shopping in my own cupboard, I found so many great items that I had never worn before. In fact my co-workers thought that I had gone shopping when I had simply just gone through my cupboard.
  4. I found extra cash- I was very surprised when at the end of the month, I found that I still had R300. Well done, Me

Have you ever gone on a shopping ban? Would you ever consider it? Let me know below.

Life Update

Okay I know I haven’t been putting 100% into the blog but I have a really good reason.

I’ve finally completed my Digital Marketing course. So now I have a degree in English and Criminology as well as a Digital Marketing certificate (and I’m still not being hired by either of those fields but okay).

Anyway I was so excited to finally finish my studying. I always thought I would never be able to study on my own without the support of lecturers but I did! It actually feels like I can do anything!

In other bookish news, I’ve stopped buying books (no really I have).

I joined Scribd which is like an online library of ebooks and audiobooks.

They have every book I’ve been interested in so it’s definitely going to be a while before I purchased new reads (my wallet and my falling shelves are both very grateful).

Anyway all of this is to say that I will be back publishing regular content soon.

Fiction Friday: Book Review: The Starlight Quest by Rachel Morgan

The Starlight Quest

The Starlight Quest by Rachel Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


After wishing for her freedom and Dex’s health, Elle is forced to pay the price. This time the Godmother requires her to go into the Never Woods and complete a quest that will change her life.
I was on edge throughout this book just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The Never Woods reminded me of The Hazel Wood. It had the same creepy but compelling atmosphere about it which I enjoyed immensely.
I especially liked how things seemed to be looking up for Elle for once.
This was a really quick, well-written read and I cannot wait to see how things end in the final installment.




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Fiction Friday: Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone (Jane Doe #1)

Jane Doe (Jane Doe #1)

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


When Steven first meets Plain Jane, he is instantly attracted to her. She is pretty but ordinary. Meek and trusting. A nice girl he can control. Or so he thinks.
What Steven does not realize is that Jane has flown over all the way from Malaysia and reinvented herself just for him. She plans to ruin his life as revenge for him making her best friend’s life miserable.
Jane knows that she is a sociopath. She has accepted it. The only bright light in her life was her best friend, Meg and Steven took that away from her. He needs to pay. Jane will do whatever it takes to bring Steven down. Even if it is murder.
This was a truly satisfying read that I could not finish fast enough. Steven is a despicable character and I have never hated a fictional character as much as I hated him. I was just as eager as Jane to watch his life fall apart.
This is a well-written book that I strongly suggest to anyone who is looking for a good read.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- City of Wishes 4: The Eternal Night by Rachel Morgan

City of Wishes 4: The Eternal Night

City of Wishes 4: The Eternal Night by Rachel Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How do I even review this without spoiling anything? Let’s see.
Elle wakes up kidnapped by Azriel, the vampire who has some sort of knowledge about her past and her dead mother. Meanwhile both the prince and the fairy godmother are looking for Elle.
I tried to mentally prepare myself for this read but 1) it was a useless attempt and 2) I was still left stunned at the end of this book (Damn you, Rachel Morgan and

*********SPOILER ALERT************ Damn you Fairy Godmother
***** *End spoiler***********
This was a well written, quick read that left me wanting more. If you haven’t started City of Wishes yet, pick it up. The episodes are short, easy to read and soo much fun.

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Fiction Friday: The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic (Grishaverse, #0.5 & 2.5 & 2.6)

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic by Leigh Bardugo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Like all of Leigh Bardugo’s work, I have heard nothing but great things about “The Language of Thorns”. And like so many other books before this, I refused to give in to the hype and read it. However once I came across the “The Witch of Duva” in an Audible sale, I was hooked. Leigh Bardugo’s tales and fascinating and frightening. They terrify but enthrall. I NEEDED more.
“The Language of Thorns” contains six dark stories that leave you captivated, vaguely unsettled but still wanting more.
Forbidden love, backstabbing and betrayal are family who cannot be trusted are just some of the themes that are explored in this collection.
I especially enjoyed the unique backstory/adaptation provided for Ursula from “The Little Mermaid”.
If you are a fan of fantasy and fairytale, definitely give this a try.
There is no way you can possibly NOT enjoy this.



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7 Books to Read to Get You Out of a Book Slump

There is nothing I detest more than a book slump. It makes most books awful and unappealing. I pick up book after book and nothing is good. Until I find one that is. To help you with your book slump, here are some of the books I recommend to help you get out of a slump.

  1. Harry Potter (or any other book that is an old favourite of yours)- I used to love picking up the Harry Potter books as a cleanser between series when nothing was appealing to me. Unfortunately once I divided my books into read and unread, my Harry Potter books were lost to the wilderness that is my read book collection.
  2. The Creepy Hollow series by Rachel Morgan- I absolutely love Rachel Morgan’s Creepy Hollow series and just like Harry Potter, they are great to get you out of a slump.
  3. The Kiss Thief by L.J Shen- If contemporary is more of your buzz (or you would prefer a contemporary read for your slump), “This Kiss Thief” is a perfect light yet compelling read. I dare you to pick this up and try to stop midway without finishing this book.
  4. Anything by Leigh Bardugo- Leigh Bardugo is amazing and everything she writes is gold. That is all. My all-time favourite series by her is the Six of Crows duology.
  5. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer- I credit this book for getting me out of my current book slump. It is a gorgeous retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” that I devoured in a single sitting.
  6. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas- Another great “Beauty and the Beast” retelling. Readers either love or hate it but it is worth reading if only to get to the major twists in the sequel.
  7. Caraval by Stephanie Garber- Excellent writing, unusually magical world-building and a mysterious hero/villain who no one ever sees but somehow sees and knows everything. Caraval is one of my all-time favorite books and I definitely recommend it if you are in a book slump.

What do you read when you are in a book slump? Are there any books you think I might have missed?

Let me know below.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Curse So Dark and Lonely (A Curse So Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I had so many mixed feelings when this book was announce. My initial reaction was “Do we really need another Beauty and the Beast retelling? (This should tell you how bad my book slump is. We ALWAYS need retellings especially of Beauty and the Beast) followed by “This book is way too hyped to be any good.”
Boy was my initial thoughts wrong.
I found this book on sale on Amazon (thank you Amazon) AND OH MY GOD, I DEVOURED IT!
From the second I purchased this book, I was glued to my Kindle app. I refused to sleep until I got to the end (something that rarely happens anymore).
“A Curse So Dark and Lonely” follows Prince Rhen who is cursed. Rhen has to get someone to fall in love with him or he turns into a beast at the end of the season and terrorizes everyone around him.
Rhen’s only guard, Grey, helps Rhen by kidnapping girls and bringing them to the castle.
During one of these trips, Harper sees Grey trying to kidnap a girl and decides to step in. Instead she ends up being kidnapped and brought to the castle.
Unlike most of Rhen’s victims, Harper is stubborn and strong. And for Rhen, she may be his only hope of helping his people.
This book was everything I loved from “A Court of Thorns and Roses” and “Cruel Beauty” mixed in one.
I LOVED THIS BOOK SO SO SO MUCH. Just read it! If you are a fan of fantasy or retellings you definitely need to read this.



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Fiction Friday: Book Review- The Moonlight Masquerade by Rachel Morgan (City of Wishes #3)

The Moonlight Masquerade

The Moonlight Masquerade by Rachel Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I started reading “The Moonlight Masquerade” as soon as I got home from work. Cinderella was not one of my favourite fairytales but I loved the idea of the ball.
I was looking forward to seeing how it would be depicted here and Rachel Morgan did not disappoint.
Ella makes the decision that she would lie to the Godmother that she will kill the prince. I get that she wants her freedom but it worries me that she would risk tangling with one of the most dangerous magical beings around.
Anyway, so the Godmother helps Ella go to the ball where she needs to pretend to kill the prince, keep away from her step-mother and step-sisters AND try to avoid the vampires looking for her.
I loved that this is a Cinderella adaptation but it is such a loose one that the City of Wishes series can stand on its own merits.
The plot is fast-paced, the writing is excellent and the worldbuilding always leaves me awed.
Definitely give this a try if you’re looking for something fun and not too long.



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