Home Feed
Home
Search
Search
Add Review, Blurb, Quote
Add
Activity
Activity
Profile
Profile
johnnie_cakes

johnnie_cakes

Joined May 2016

Reader, theatergoer, book slinger (genre bookstore), & live-music lover living in Houston with my husband and cats. | Twitter @johnnie_cakes
review
johnnie_cakes
The Royal Runaway | Lindsay Emory
post image
Pickpick

So fun! A great mix of romance, mystery, and espionage.

review
johnnie_cakes
Watching You | Lisa Jewell
post image
Pickpick

My July reading recap. Not pictured, Watching You by Lisa Jewell (out in January). It was a slow-ish month, but I loved all of these.

zsuzsanna_reads I love the skull stack! 😍 4y
25 likes1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
Dim Sum of All Fears | Vivien Chien
Pickpick

Just as wonderful as the first book in the series!!! Bring on book #3.

ReadingOver50 Love cozy mysteries 4y
12 likes1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
The Love Interest | Cale Dietrich
post image
Pickpick

Dyl and Caden are Love Interests. They're assigned a girl. It's their job to get to fall for them. The winner gets the girl. The loser dies. But what if they don't want the girl? #TheLoveInterest is a super fun, fast-paced thriller. It's a great twist on the YA love triangle trope, and also deals with coming out and discovering your sexuality in a genius way. #lgbtreads #gayya

17 likes1 stack add
review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

Out in October, this is the fun start to a series! Rose longs for adventure, and she gets her chance for some when her boss goes missing. Investigating his disappearance opens her eyes to a world she didn't believe in, the world of the paranormal. Lindsey balances the historical and paranormal elements wonderfully, and introduces a solid supporting cast that I hope we get to know better in upcoming installments.

17 likes2 stack adds
quote
johnnie_cakes
post image

I‘m mostly enjoying the book, but this line...

review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

Y'all, this book killed me. The way Will writes about loss, grief, poetry, and pop music? It's just beautiful. When David Levithan tells you a book is astonishing he's not playing around. It comes out May 29th. Now all I need is a playlist of all the songs in the book. #lgbtreads #gayya

review
johnnie_cakes
Last Seen Leaving | Caleb Roehrig
post image
Pickpick

Roehrig really delves into stories of people who have learned their lives are changed, and they need to solve the mystery in front of them to start putting things back together. Both of Roehrig‘s books are some of the best thrillers I've read in a while. That's not even getting into the added bonus that both of his books are thrillers with queer protagonists. And that feels almost revolutionary to me as a reader. #lgbtreads #gayya

LiteraryinLawrence That sounds great! Which book do you suggest I read first? 4y
johnnie_cakes @LiteraryinLititz I really liked both, but I think White Rabbit is the stronger of the two. 4y
22 likes2 comments
review
johnnie_cakes
Hurricane Child | Kheryn Callender
Pickpick

‪This book is beautiful. The storytelling is so lush, and you‘ll immediately fall in love with Caroline. You‘ll love her spirit, your heart will break for her, and you‘ll want to just hold her close to you as she navigates her first crush and trying to find her lost mother. ‬#lgbtreads #gayya #gaymg

17 likes2 stack adds
blurb
johnnie_cakes
Hurricane Child | Kheryn Callender
post image

How gorgeous is this cover? Loving this so far.

review
johnnie_cakes
Anger Is a Gift | Mark Oshiro
post image
Pickpick

This is my first contender for book of the year. Every time I started reading I felt like I was going to have a panic attack. The way Oshiro can switch between the horrors of police brutality to the sheer joy and excitement of a first crush is incredible. I think the last time a book destroyed me like this was Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan.

Broke_Girl_Reads Ugh I‘m so jealous! I can‘t wait to get my hands on this one!! 4y
16 likes1 stack add1 comment
blurb
johnnie_cakes
post image

March 2018 reading recap.

review
johnnie_cakes
Meet Your Baker | Ellie Alexander
post image
Pickpick

I usually don't do the culinary cozies, but this was the first one that really tempted me to try the recipes. Alexander writes about pastries in a way that makes your mouth water. I really loved that while Jules is trying to help with a murder investigation, she's really bad at it. Really bad at it. I also really loved her friendship with Thomas. Alexander nails that old flames who are now friends but still flirt banter perfectly.

Mollyanna Great pic! 5y
25 likes1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

Auntie Poldi has moved to Sicily because she wants to drink herself to death, and wants a sea view while she does it. Her other hobbies include taking pictures of hot policemen, and inserting herself into official police investigations. She's never seen without her wig, and I love her! I can't wait for her next adventure.

Mdargusch This cover keeps calling my name! 5y
24 likes1 stack add1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
The Best Man | Richard Peck
post image
Pickpick

I bought this from Avid Bookshop after they were told to remove it from a school book fair, so they pulled out of the event. What a beautiful book. It's funny, touching, and beautiful in the simplicity of its message. That love is important, and worth celebrating. It's great to read a MG book with LGBT representation that's not about coming out. It's about getting to know the people in your life and looking up to them. I was completely charmed.

21 likes2 stack adds
review
johnnie_cakes
P.S. I Miss You | Jen Petro-Roy
post image
Panpan

I picked this up after an EW story about the author not getting invited to schools because of the content. Evie‘s evolving relationship with her faith was interesting. Everything centered around her sexuality felt hollow and inauthentic.

johnnie_cakes It also occurred to me that this is a weird rip-off of The Color Purple. A girl writes letters to her sister who has been sent away, and they‘re about religion and being a lesbian. 5y
17 likes1 comment
blurb
johnnie_cakes
post image

I love this grumpy lobster!

23 likes1 stack add
review
johnnie_cakes
Pickpick

This one is really everything I love about cozies. Great characters, lots of humor, some ace amateur sleuthing, and it's refreshing to read a cozy with a diverse cast. We need more cozies like this! Lana Lee is one of my new favorite characters. I'm thrilled a second book is coming later this year. Instead of a small town, Chien creates a great sense of community in the Plaza of shops, where gossip spreads quickly and everyone has their secrets.

10 likes1 stack add
blurb
johnnie_cakes
post image

I mean, we've all been there, Lana...

blurb
johnnie_cakes

A cozy with an Asian main character? I am ALL in for this.

LeahBergen This sounds good! But it just might be my dim sum (dumpling) post from today that‘s influencing me. 😉 5y
13 likes1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
The Belles | Dhonielle Clayton
This post contains spoilers
show me
Mehso-so

I'm really disappointed. This book is beautifully written, the concept is intriguing, and I was immediately pulled into the world. Unfortunately, it fails when it comes to queer representation. I'm really bummed. This book is luscious, and it has a lot of important things to say about beauty and appearance. But once again, we're "treated" to another round of the "bury your gays" trope. Complete with onscreen torture and murder.

review
johnnie_cakes
Moonshine | Jasmine Gower
post image
Pickpick

I caught Biscuits mid-yawn! Imagine 1920s Chicago, but at the foot of a volcano, and instead of illegal booze, it‘s illegal magic. Daisy is a Modern Girl, and her new job as a typist is about to get more complicated as word of her unusual magic spreads. Gower‘s world is interesting, and queer (in both senses of the word). Daisy is equal parts naive and tough as nails. Moonshine is a gem in the urban fantasy world. Not perfect, but refreshing.

17 likes1 stack add
review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

To be back in this world, to read something new in this world is incredible. This short story was written 1970, and reads like a rough draft of A Wind In The Door. I don't even have words for what an unexpected treat this story was.

review
johnnie_cakes
White Rabbit | Caleb Roehrig
post image
Pickpick

Just wrapped up a little mini #gayya binge this morning. I loved all three books, but WHITE RABBIT (out in April) was probably my favorite because it was a YA novel featuring a gay character where coming out or dealing with bullying wasn‘t the main focus. Solving the mystery was the focus. That was so refreshing. Roehring creates a real sense of danger for his characters as they try to piece together this well-plotted mystery.

24 likes3 stack adds
review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

I had some reservations going into this one, but I loved it. I loved Simon‘s sense of humor, and his angst rang true. I think Albertalli nailed the frustration of wanting to feel known and coming out. I do think things were a little too easy for Simon and the book felt a tad naive in places, but I was willing to forgive it that because it‘s the kind of book I‘d want to read as a teen, and I think would give LGBT teens hope when they read it.

23 likes1 stack add
review
johnnie_cakes
Marco Impossible | Hannah Moskowitz
post image
Pickpick

I really liked this one. A MG heist novel with a gay character? Sign me up. The heist? Sneaking into the high school prom so Marco can tell his crush he likes him. I liked that Stephen, the straight character, was Marco‘s side kick. Some of Marco‘s reactions to homophobia didn‘t quite ring true, and that bugged me but not enough to stop me from reading. It had a bit of a Nick and Norah‘s Infinite Playlist feel to me.

21 likes1 stack add
blurb
johnnie_cakes
The Watchers | Jon Steele
post image

Time for my semi-annual traditional December reread of this gem.

review
johnnie_cakes
Dreaming of Manderley | Leah Marie Brown
Bailedbailed

This started out fun, but it quickly becomes clear that things that work in a gothic novel from 1938 don't work in a contemporary romance. The author REALLY doubles down on the Maxim character being controlling and condescending. The heroine needs to be a little naive for this to work, but she was too naive. Plus, once the author said our heroine had a "maggot of doubt" I was out.

Owlizabeth A maggot of doubt 😂😂😂 5y
LeahBergen A maggot of doubt? No!! 😂😂 5y
johnnie_cakes @Owlizabeth @LeahBergen I even handed the book to my husband and asked if it said what I thought it did. 5y
18 likes3 comments
review
johnnie_cakes
Truly Devious: A Mystery | Maureen Johnson
This post contains spoilers
show me
Panpan

‪I don't care if it's the start of a series or not, you don't write a mystery novel with a past and present mystery and refuse to solve either of them!!! 😡😡😡😡😡😡😡😡‬

ETA: I actually thought maybe the last 10 pages were missing from the ARC.

balletbookworm I know that Avon didn‘t include the last two pages of the epilogue in ARCs for Sarah MacLean‘s No Good Duke Goes Unpunished bc it had a spoiler for Book 4, but it seems either sloppy or poorly written in this instance 5y
johnnie_cakes @balletbookworm I'm super pissed at the editor too. How the hell am I supposed to sell a mystery that isn't solved? 5y
ericarobynreads Yeah... this was quite annoying. Such a slow build for a few pages of rushed nothingness. 5y
4 likes3 comments
blurb
johnnie_cakes
Volatile Bonds | Jaye Wells
post image

A few more of my favorite 2017 reads.

rubyslippersreads 😻😻😻 5y
Soubhiville Your cat is gorgeous! 5y
DebinHawaii Great stack and beautiful kitty! 🐱❤️📚 5y
34 likes3 comments
blurb
johnnie_cakes
post image

My favorite reads of 2017. #bestof2017

review
johnnie_cakes
By a Charm and a Curse | Jaime Questell
post image
Pickpick

A young girl goes to a carnival, and ends not just cursed, but one of their newest additions. I loved the world that the author created. It‘s a little Cirque du Freak in a great way. You‘ll immediately fall in love with Benjamin and Emma. Questell builds real tension here. A great debut novel.

Elisa Wow, this sounds great!! Adding it to my TBR 🙂 5y
26 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

This might be one of my favorite entertainment autobiographies ever. I'll admit I'm a very casual EBTG fan, but I hard good things about it. She discusses her successes and failures in a way that feels like visiting with a friend. She also interjects a lot of humor into her narrative. She really gets into what it means to stay true to yourself while trying to create. I found myself sad as I finished it because our time together was over.

20 likes1 stack add
review
johnnie_cakes
The Fortune Teller: A Novel | Gwendolyn Womack
post image
Pickpick

An appraiser discovers a rare manuscript about a tarot deck saved from the flames that destroyed the Library of Alexandria. As she translates, she learns that the author predicted she would find it. It has a fantastic Katherine Neville feel to it. While nothing will top The Eight, this is a worthy successor in the line of fun treasure hunts. If you're a fan of Neville or Anne Fortier's books, you should definitely check this one out.

LeahBergen I‘m having The Eight nostalgia now! 5y
MinDea Aaawwww... look at that face! So pretty! 😻 5y
DebinHawaii Such a gorgeous face! 🐱❤️ 5y
Soubhiville Wow what a gorgeous kitty! 5y
21 likes4 comments
blurb
johnnie_cakes
Spellwright | Blake Charlton
post image

1. Spellwright by Blake Charlton
2. The Lost Language of Cranes by David Leavitt
3. Savannah Blues by Mary Kay Andrews
4. Life Is A Banquet by Rosalind Russell
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

#playingfavorites

sammisho Our #6 matches! Love that book so much! 5y
20 likes1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
Logical Family: A Memoir | Armistead Maupin
post image
Pickpick

So this was good, but not great like I wanted it to be. I was kind of hoping for more of his life in San Francisco, more about how he created his own logical family. The end become all about name dropping, and while I love a good, "I blew Rock Hudson" story, I was hoping for a little more. The insights into the inspiration for Tales were wonderful.

LeahBergen "I love a good 'I blew Rock Hudson' story"! ???? 5y
johnnie_cakes @LeahBergen That's really why we all read celeb memoirs, right? 5y
LeahBergen Umm... totally. 👍🏻 5y
21 likes3 comments
review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

It's incredible to be in this world again. Before the end of the first chapter you're immediately back in it. The League of St. Alexander was chilling. And the pacing? Pullman has basically written a thriller. I couldn't put it down. Malcom is so fully realized that I miss him already. I was so worried about reading this, but Pullman puts you at ease right off the bat and has written a worthy addition to the series.

balletbookworm I love those Knopf trades of the original trilogy and am so annoyed they aren‘t available anymore. 5y
21 likes1 comment
blurb
johnnie_cakes

The Kitchen God‘s Wife and The Joy Luck Club are 2 of my all-time favorite books. Tan‘s last few novels have been underwhelming, and after reading the first 40 pages of this it makes sense. She‘s really playing heavy on the tortured artist stereotype.

review
johnnie_cakes
Volatile Bonds | Jaye Wells
post image
Pickpick

I'm so glad Jaye Wells is continuing this series. She's a master at blending genres. Her elevator pitch for this series is, "The Wire with wizards." She expertly blends elements of a top-notch police procedural with urban fantasy. If you were a fan of the first few Anita Blake books, you need to give Jaye Wells a shot. If you burnt out on UF (I know I did), this series will rekindle your love of the genre.

14 likes3 stack adds
review
johnnie_cakes
Spring Fever: A Novel | Mary Kay Andrews
post image
Pickpick

I knew this would take me out of my rut. Mary Kay Andrews succeeds in the details. For instance, she writes so passionately about Quixie, a regional brand of cherry soda, that you find yourself nostalgic for something that doesn't exist. And she does it while tugging at your heartstrings and making you laugh. She's a master at what she does. (And here's another gratuitous picture of my adorable cat being adorable)

ferskner I'm always in the mood for MKA 5y
21 likes1 comment
blurb
johnnie_cakes
Spring Fever: A Novel | Mary Kay Andrews
post image

In a reading rut. Between Hurricane Harvey, some personal stuff, and worn stress (also Harvey related) I haven‘t really been loving most of what I‘m reading. So I‘m going back to a sure thing. If anything can break this rut, it‘s a MKA book.

johnnie_cakes That‘s supposed to be WORK stress, but that app is being wonky and I can‘t edit the post. 5y
LauraBrook Seems like there‘s a lot of blahs going around. Hope comfort reading can help pull you out of your slump! 💖 5y
LeahBergen Hugs to you! ❤️ 5y
17 likes3 comments
review
johnnie_cakes
The Last Mrs. Parrish | Liv Constantine
Pickpick

It's inevitable that this book is going to get the Girl book comparisons (Gone Girl, Girl on the Train), and they're wrong. There's no unreliable narrator here. It's The Talented Mr. Ripley meets Big Little Lies. I couldn't put it down. It's bonkers and delicious. It's been a while since I had this much reading a book.

Alfoster Ooooh, sounds so good!!😍😀😀 5y
12 likes3 stack adds1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
The Surgeon | Tess Gerritsen
post image
Pickpick

Hmmmm... I'm not sure. It was a compulsive read. Gerritsen's characters aren't cardboard at all. There's real depth here, but it's so "women in peril." It never feels quite gratuitous, but it gets close. It's kinda nice to see the crusty, unlikeable cop be a woman. And Jane Rizzoli is not a pleasant woman. It's also interesting that it's the first in the Rizzoli and Isles series, but there's no Isles yet.

review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

Tess talked about this one at her event at my store a few weeks ago, and it sounded intriguing. I loved it. It made me curious about the characters and their backstory so I went out and bought the first three in the series today. It was better written and less of a procedural than I expected, and I loved that all of the characters have messy lives. Great pacing too. I got 60 pages in and didn't want to put it down.

MarticaMustRead Love the Rizzoli and Isles books!😍 5y
28 likes2 stack adds1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
Michelangelo's Ghost | Gigi Pandian
post image
Pickpick

I love this series. (So much so that I've got the original self pub version of the first one). They're just really fun treasure hunts, and I appreciate that they've got a diverse cast which is something that's sorely missing in the cozy mystery genre.

LauraBrook I love this series too! I'm only 2 books in, but it's so good! ❤️ 5y
18 likes1 comment
blurb
johnnie_cakes
An Enchantment of Ravens | Margaret Rogerson

I can't decide if I want to stick with this or not. I'm halfway through, and I just don't care about the romance. I like everything else about the book, but it's a little too teen angsty for me.

LauraBrook Maybe just skim the rest and cross it off your list? That's what I'd do. 5y
17 likes1 comment
review
johnnie_cakes
Ten Beach Road | Wendy Wax
post image
Mehso-so

I admit the so-so rating has a bit to do with my expectations. I expected this to be a little more Mary Kay Andrews, and it ended up being more Karen White. It's an enjoyable read, but there wasn't much joy or humor to it. I think it just took itself too seriously. I'll give the second book a chance at some point, but there wasn't much here to separate it from other books like it.

Annl What a beautiful cat! 5y
johnnie_cakes @Annl Thanks! So totally photobombed me every time I tried to take this picture. 5y
Ssmith I agree with you! 5y
johnnie_cakes @Ssmith Thank you! I kept wanting to love it, or for it to lighten up just a little and neither happened. 5y
23 likes4 comments
review
johnnie_cakes
Ruby and Olivia | Rachel Hawkins
post image
Pickpick

A fun story about making new friends, creepy dolls, and a spooky old house. Hawkins finds the right balance of scary and funny.

review
johnnie_cakes
A Tale Dark and Grimm | Adam Gidwitz
post image
Pickpick

When an 8 year old comes into the bookstore and tells you a book is bloody and funny in the best way, you listen! She was right. What a fun (and bloody) little adventure.

raeintheworld I have a six year old who loves dark, creepy, and scary so I'm always on the lookout for kids books that fit the bill. I'll have to pick this up! 5y
balletbookworm Ah ha! I spy a dragon on the cover! I will keep this in mind for my niece who is obsessed with dragons and somewhat nursery books. 5y
29 likes1 stack add2 comments
review
johnnie_cakes
post image
Pickpick

What an adorable little read! These are out in the UK and will be released in the US later this fall. Rose and Violet team up to recover a stolen pearl when no one believes their eye-witness account of the theft. Cute characters, darling illustrations.