Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2020

Welcome to 2020! 🎆 I hope everyone’s year is off to a good start. My reading is going good so far! It’s also my last semester of nursing school so I’m both nervous and excited about the next few months 😬


41150487._SY475_RED, WHITE & ROYAL BLUE: This was such a warm, amusing story about self-discovery and an enemies-to-friends-to-lovers romance between the son the President of the United States and the Prince of England! Alex and Henry were such soft, tender-hearted men and I felt giddy the entire time as their relationship and feelings unfolded between them. Some parts of the book dragged and some of the political aspects were exaggerated and unrealistic, but otherwise I really enjoyed this book.  [review]  ★★★½

34213299THE KINGDOM OF BACK: I was expecting a fantasy story with musical aspects something along the veins of Wintersong, however, this story more focused on the bond between the siblings Wolfgang and Nannerl Mozart as they discover and cultivate their prodigious musical talents together. Honestly, I was a tad disappointed by the lack of fantasy elements, but enjoyed the history lesson this book provided regarding the Mozarts.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  [review]  ★★★½

43521785BRINGING DOWN THE DUKE: There’s so much to praise about this book. The wonderful characters, the simmering attraction between Annabelle and Sebastian, the witty banter and humorous writing. Everything came together perfectly to create this very compelling story. The author did a fantastic job writing the tension and passion between Annabelle and Sebastian. This was another historical romance written by a debut author that was nothing short of a fun, page-turning story.  [review★★★★½

44890039LOVE HER OR LOSE HER: This was a second-chance romance and falling in love all over again with your spouse. I loved watching Rosie and Dominic “relearn” each other’s love language and figure out how to better communicate and what needed to be changed in order to grow together and fix their marriage. I didn’t end up loving this one as much as I was hoping because I struggled with Dominic’s character.  [review]  ★★★½

44281049LUCKY CALLER:  I’m usually a huge fan of Emma Mills’ books, but this one was just okay. It centers around a group of students forced into a group for their class project and working together to form a radio show for their high school. I did really enjoy the relationship between Nina and Jamie, but I wish the angst and tension between them had been built up a bit more. All in all, not my favorite, but still a heartwarming story.  ★★★

46404266THIS VICIOUS CURE: It pains me to admit how unsatisfied and disappointed I was with the conclusion to this trilogy. I absolutely LOVED the first two books in the series. I really disliked reading half the book through Jun Bei’s POV, and the complete lack of interaction between Catarina and Cole left a lot of unresolved tension and plot so I finished the book feeling immensely sad, not hopeful.  [review]  ★★½

45045129TWEET CUTE:  This was such an adorable story! Two teenages pitted against each other on opposing social media accounts but falling for each other in real life? Yes, please! The story was told through both Pepper and Jack’s POVs and I thought it was an excellent choice. I loved reading the story from both their perspectives. I highly recommend for anyone looking for a fun, quick, heartwarming book!  [review]  ★★★★


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WWW Wednesday #25 | Top Ten Tuesday: Books Covers Featuring My Favorite Animal | The ABC Book Challenge – V | Blog Tour + Giveaway: Beyond the Shadowed Earth | The ABC Book Challenge U

Monthly Wrap-Up: December 2019

Hello! It’s the last monthly wrap-up of the year, can you believe it?! I’ve been off from school and work for the past two weeks and it has been so wonderful to have a break and some time for myself. Since I didn’t have any new releases from this year left to read, I got to catch up on a lot of ARCs that had been piling up.


43979540STARSIGHT: After finishing Skyward at the end of last year, I knew the sequel was going to be one of my most anticipated releases for this year. And while I really enjoyed Starsight and thought it was a fantastic sequel – plenty of action, great new characters, lots of continued world-building – I really missed the characters from the first book that I had loved so much and I spent a lot of the book wishing they would reappear.  ★★★★

41721210DIAMOND CITY: This is a case where the book started out really strong but slowly lost steam as the story went on. One thing I thought was great was the world-building–a world caught between industrialization and religion. The struggles between the two sides felt very believable and added depth to the story. I also really loved the main character, Aina, and the intriguing relationship she had with the Blood King.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  [review]  ★★★½

46378697A MURDEROUS RELATIONS: This series is usually so much fun to read. For what I assumed was the last book in the series it was extremely underwhelming. There was hardly any action or plot and I was very bored the entire time. And the thing that irritated me the most was that after all the angst and sexual tension built up between Veronica and Stoker, the moment when they finally got together was bland and completely unsatisfying.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley. ★★★

42248816SCAVENGE THE STARS:  This story is a gender-bent retelling of The Count of Monte Cristo, which is not something I had every read before. A quick google search of the synopsis helped me appreciate the cleverness of this book much better. I really enjoyed reading this book and I’m really looking forward to the sequel and seeing what happens next for Amaya and Cayo.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  ★★★½

42595554FOUL IS FAIR: The book is a loose retelling of Macbeth that revolves around a group of teenage girls enacting revenge on a group of prep boys after one of the girls was assaulted at a party. The first major issue I had with the book was the writing. To put it plainly: I couldn’t stand it. The scenes were very abrupt and the way the dialogue was written felt so stilted and unnatural. My other problem with the book was that a lot of the things that happened felt very far-fetched and unbelievable.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★

book coverBEYOND THE SHADOWED EARTH: This is a companion novel to Beneath the Haunting Sea rather than a sequel. The story is about Eda, who makes a small appearance in the first book as the antagonist. Honestly, the thing I enjoyed the most about this book was Eda. She’s not written to be a very likeable character–she manipulated, lied, and murdered her way to be Empress. This is a redemption story for her and I really enjoyed reading about her growth as a character.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★

48341787._SY475_TO HAVE AND TO HOAX:  I’m so thankful the publisher reached out to be about reviewing this book. This was the best of two genres: rom-com meets historical romance. After an argument led to a falling out between them and cold detachment between the couple for the past four years, James and Violet begin a series of hoaxes and manipulation in the attempt to up-stage one another while insisting there are no feelings left between them.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★★

25614492SALT TO THE SEA: This is actually my third time picking this up. I had DNF’d this two times previously before getting even a quarter of the way through. Ruta Sepetys did an excellent job of grabbing my attention throughout the novel and telling some very compelling stories with the characters. I found myself loving Florian, Joana, and Emilia and was intrigued (although very disturbed) by Albert. The author once again has told a marvelous story about a period of history that is often unremarked upon.  [review]  ★★★★½

42867745._SY475_HUSBAND MATERIAL: Unfortunately, I had to call it quits shortly after the halfway mark. I skimmed quite a few parts from the remainder of the book, so I fairly good idea of what happens and I’m sorry to say that had I finished it, my final opinion would have been just as bad. The first issue I had was the overly descriptive writing. My second issue is that the “love interest” – if you could even call him that – was terrible.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [reviewDNF @ 58%

43822778TWICE IN A BLUE MOON: I usually love Christina Lauren books, but this one was not my favorite.  Half the book is told in the past, and half is told present day which didn’t really work here. Because of that, the present day part of the felt very rushed. I think that had the story been told totally in present day with flashback chapters between, it would have worked much better. That being said, the writing was as wonderful as always and the love story was very touching.  ★★★½

42281865ASHLORDS: The premise is unlike any other I’ve read. The story is about three characters from three very different backgrounds as they enter an annual competitive race featuring phoenix horses. The concept of phoenix horses and using alchemy to rebirth different breeds of the horses was so well-developed and extremely interesting. Once I got into the meat of the novel, it was hard to pull my attention from its pages.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★½


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WWW Wednesday #24 | Top Ten Tuesday: Books with a Wintry Setting | The ABC Book Challenge – T | Young Adult Fantasy Standalones of 2019

Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2019

Hello everyone! So I as I was writing this post, I realized I totally forgot to write my monthly wrap-up for October. Whoops! I haven’t been as active with writing posts or reviews the past few months because of school which is kind of a bummer. It’s hard watching your blog really grow and make huge strides for the first half of the year and then watching those numbers dwindle away simply because you don’t have enough time for reading and blogging 😔. I’m hoping to catch up on a lot of reading over winter break. I’ll have two weeks off from school and work and I plan to spend most of it relaxing!


42292077._SX318_THESE DIVIDED SHORES: I was one of the few people who enjoyed These Rebel Waves, so I was really looking forward to the sequel. Unfortunately, it didn’t seem to thrill me as much as I had been hoping. The plot and characters continued to be well written, but there was just some compelling aspect missing that was present when I was reading These Rebel Waves. But overall it was still a great sequel and conclusion to the series.  ★★★

44046860THE BROMANCE BOOK CLUB: I loved this book so much! When I first read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book as soon as it was released. The entire concept of the plot was amazing: in order to fix his marriage, the protagonist enlists the help of his buddies and historical romance novels. Um, YES. From the steamy romance to the adorable twin girls, this was such a cute, heartwarming story and I can’t wait for more from this author.  ★★★★

42771754SUPERNOVA: There was no better finish to this amazing trilogy. A lot happened throughout the pages and the action never stopped! There were definitely a few clever twists placed and the book went in a few directions that I had not been expecting. Also, THAT EPILOGUE. Like, how is no one else talking about that HUGE reveal?! I really hope it means a spin-off or a novella is in the works! This was such a fun, exciting series and I loved reading every minute of it.  ★★★★

43220998._SY475_THE FOUNTAINS OF SILENCE: This is a beautiful story about a period of history that I was wholly unfamiliar with prior to reading this. This is my first book by Ruta Sepetys and I can see where all of her high praise comes from. Set in Spain 1957 following the end of the Spanish Civil War, this was not something I had learned about before and so it was very eye-opening. It blew me away with it’s gorgeous writing, compelling characters, and thought-provoking story.  [review]  ★★★★

26032912._SY475_QUEEN OF NOTHING: The wait for this book was agonizing, but it was totally worth it! It was so great to be back in Faerie with Jude and Cardan and all of the other characters I’ve enjoyed reading about. However, there were a couple of things that left me a tad disappointed. First of all, this book felt really short? Not just page-wise (which was much shorter in length) but also plot-wise it felt kind of rushed. I also missed the angst and tension between Jude and Cardan. Obviously, we needed to get to the love part of a hate-to-love relationship, but it just felt really quick and I would have appreciated a bit more build with the feelings.  ★★★★

40148425._SY475_WINTERWOOD: Shea Ernshaw really excels at writing deliciously atmospheric stories. She does a great job of tying in mystery with magic, and writing it with such beautiful words and descriptions. Because of how The Wicked Deep ended, I spent a majority of the book trying to solve the mystery surrounding Oliver, and I was pleased that I was correct! However, the little plot twist involving Nora and her nightshade took me totally by surprise and I thought it was very well done. The ending to this book was much more satisfying than The Wicked Deep, and therefore I enjoyed the story better!  ★★★

43263331THE BEAST OF BESWICK:  This was a fun story by a new-to-me author! I actually won this book from Bookish First and after I read the excerpt and became totally intrigued by the story! The plot is basically Tessa Dare’s The Duchess Deal meets The Taming of the Shrew. I found Astrid to be a remarkable heroine whose POV I enjoyed reading and I really loved the interactions between her and Thane! I was not disappointed in the slightest by the romance and I will be reading more from this author in the future!  ★★★★ 


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The ABC Book Challenge – S | WWW Wednesday #23 | Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fanart, Part II | #ARCstravaganza: Diamond City | The ABC Book Challenge – R | WWW Wednesday #22 | #ARCstravangza: The Nameless Queen | The ABC Book Challenge – Q

Monthly Wrap-Up: September 2019

Hello fellow book lovers! September was a hard reading/blogging month for me. I have been feeling very overwhelmed with the amount of work I have to do for my classes and so unfortunately I just didn’t feel up to reading or writing blog posts 😦 And then I felt guilty and anxious because I felt like I should be. Hopefully October will be a better month and I will get out of this reading rut!


INTO_THE_CROOKED_PLACE6INTO THE CROOKED PLACE: I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves Six of Crows or Ace of Shades! This book has a lot of similar elements that made it enjoyable, and yet it also had a plot that was entirely unique. The story is told through the POV of four characters and while I loved all of the characters, I think it could have lost a POV or two without losing the essence of the story.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★½

44291755GRAVEMAIDENS: This was really not what I had been expecting. It was necessarily bad, it just didn’t impress me all to much, especially since I think I had really high expectations going into this from all the praise I had seen/heard over it. I tried really hard to like the protagonist, but she treated some of the other characters in the book really poorly and it made it hard to enjoy reading things from her perspective.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  ★★★

40972652THE WALLFLOWER WAGER: You know I’m in a reading rut when I rate a Tessa Dare book anything less than four stars. I was really looking forward to Penelope’s story, but there was just ~something~ missing from this one that usually makes me fall head over heels over Dare’s books. I think there was just not as much of a build-up of tension that I usually look forward to in these books.  ★★★½


36199084._SY475_THE KISS QUOTIENT:
I really wish I had read this so much sooner. This is a book that I had been constantly hearing about, yet it kept getting putting off reading. Let me just say that this book was worth every bit of hype it has gotten. I loved that this is an #ownvoices novel featuring a high-functioning autistic woman and diverse characters. Stella was a fantastic protagonist and I resonated so much with her! It was very easy to root for her and her happy ending.  [review]  ★★★★★

37539001CAPTURING THE DEVIL: Audrey Rose and Thomas have such a special place in my heart and this was a fantastic end to a wonderful series! First of all, this book had so much damn angst and romantic tension throughout the pages it’s like Kerri Maniscalco wrote it specifically for me. I absolutely adore this series and I can’t wait for whatever the author has next up her sleeve!  ★★★★


36321739THE NEVER-TILTING WORLD:
Don’t feel fooled by this rating. I almost DNF’d this literally like five times. It took me almost T E N days to finish this. I was planning to only rate this 2 stars, but I have to give the book credit: things really picked up during the last quarter of the story. I wish the whole book could have been as exciting as that last bit. I went from not wanting to finish this book to looking forward to what will happen in the sequel.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  ★★★

43189874._SY475_WELL MET: This book so so much fun to read. I absolutely cruised through it. This is a contemporary romance that was perfect way to end the summer. From the hate-to-love romance to the RenFaire shenanigans, there was really nothing to dislike about this story. I wasn’t aware that this was the author’s debut novel because it’s so well written and constructed.  ★★★★


42613944._SY475_THE MEMORY THIEF:
This is another book that was taking me forever to get through, except I was so bored that I had to stop. When I dread the thought of reading a book, that’s usually a pretty good sign that I should just quit while I’m ahead. The story itself is okay, although there are so many memory flashbacks that it was becoming extremely annoying and I started to skip over them to get on with the story.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  DNF @ 51%

44131124._SY475_THE PRENUP: This was a cute story! This was a new to me author and I had only happened upon this title from another blogger’s post about new contemporary romances this summer, but I’m glad I did because I enjoyed this! Fake marriage is one of my favorite tropes and I loved how it was handled in this book. My only complaint? Not enough (or any) steamy scenes  🔥 #sorrynotsorry. There was soo much build up in the tension between them and no resolution for us a reader!  ★★★½

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Contemporary Romances That Had Me Swooning This Summer | The ABC Book Challenge – O

Monthly Wrap-Up: July 2019

#ARCJuly was a success! I made a decision at the end of June that I would dedicate the month of July to catching up on the massive pile of ARCs I had that needed to be read, and I’m really proud of the number of books I managed to get through! There are some really fantastic releases coming out soon in the fall and I can’t wait for more people to read them!


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THE TOLL: When I found out I had won this giveaway, I was in disbelief. After reacclimating myself to the plot and setting, it was easy to get lost in the pages. The timeline in this book is a little tricky, but eventually it begins to unfold and it becomes easier to understand. Although there is less of Citra and Rowan’s POVs, I really enjoyed all the other storylines and think they really contributed to the overall story. This is a fantastic final installment to the series with an ending that is both bittersweet and hopeful! ARC provided by the publisher through a giveaway.   ★★★★

36483378._SX318_THE MERCIFUL CROW: This is quite the impressive debut. With a killer first line, Margaret Owen hooks the read into a fast-face, action-filled story with immersive worldbuilding and a fierce, capable heroine. From the complicated political system and magic castes, to the unique writing and verbiage, it’s impossible not to fall into this book and imagine yourself in the world created. Instead of the dreaded love triangle, we are blessed with a perfectly paced slow-burn romance that was one of my favorite things about the book. ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★★½

42587433ON THE CORNER OF HATE AND LOVE: I enjoy the finer things in life and literature: slow-burn romance, hate-to-love romance, a healthy dose of angst. Thankfully, this book delivered everything I wanted in this fun, witty, charmingly romantic story. Unfortunately, I think this is going to fly under the radar of so many readers simply because the cover–which is not bad!–is not bright or fun enough to attract the eye like other similar adult contemporary romances. But if you’re reading this and enjoy a fun hate-to-love summer romance, please check this one out! ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★½

42118210BEASTS OF THE FROZEN SUN: I saw this being hailed as Sky in the Deep set in Ireland, so I was instantly hooked. At the time that I was reading this, I really enjoyed it and was totally engaged in the plot. The writing was great, the characters were interesting, and I thought the plot was compelling. I wish it would have made a bit more of an impact on me, but overall it was a fun read! ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★½

40864907THE KINGDOM: If you’re expecting this to be a fluffier, young adult version of Westworld + Disney World, think again. Jess Rothenberg combines science fiction with murder mystery in this sinister, thrilling story about what it means to be human. I really loved the themes present in the novel, especially the question of what it means to be “real” and human. The book is written in an alternating past and present format: the present is told through Ana’s POV and the past is told through transcripts from Ana’s trial and other bits of “media”. I thought it was really well done and made it easy to fly through the pages.  [review]  ★★★½

40024139SERPENT & DOVE: This book set in 17th century French inspired world, in which there is an ongoing enmity between cults of witches and the Church. The descriptive writing and the careful details woven into the worldbuilding really shine. Shelby Mahurin does an excellent job crafting and describing the society and the magic systems in a way that is believable and compelling. And also, this book contains the holy trinity of my favorite tropes: a forced/fake marriage, enemies-to-lovers, and slow-burn romance. ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★★★

20958632THE DARKEST PART OF THE FOREST: Honestly, this rating is really generous because if I could describe my reading experience for this book it would be: meh. No one is more saddened than I am that I didn’t enjoy this more. The Folk in the Air series is one of my favorites so I thought I would be blown away by this one as well. I was hoping this would hold me over until Queen of Nothing comes out, but for the most part I was just kind of bored.  ★★★

37777083CROWN OF CORAL AND PEARL: What I liked about this book was the strong sibling relationships and the protagonist, Nor. It was easy to sympathize with her and her plight, and I rooted for her the entire time! She was selfless, kind, and intelligent. My only issue with the book was that the pacing felt off. Plotwise, I felt like I was only halfway through the story, and yet when I checked my kindle I was already 77% through the book. Originally, when I read the book I was under the impression that this was a standalone, so the pacing bothered me a lot, but I’ve since checked again and apparently there is a sequel so I’m looking forward to reading the conclusion to the story! ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★

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THE LADY ROGUE: This reminded me a lot of Hunting Prince Dracula, in a good way! I really loved all the adventuring and the second chance romance trope. The story was fast paced and the plot moved along nicely. The book almost reads like a historical fiction with a bit of paranormal thrown in? I don’t know, it’s hard to explain but it was very enjoyable! ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★½

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THE TEN THOUSAND DOORS OF JANUARY: This is the kind of story that reminds the reader of the magic of reading. Underneath this gorgeous cover lies a book about self-discovery, fun adventures, story-telling, and the bonds that form between people. Besides the main plotline, there’s also a smaller storyline told between chapters that left me breathless. . The way the author constructed these two separate stories and wove them together was absolutely beautiful. ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★★

43263520._SY475_THE GRACE YEAR: I’m glad I stuck with this, because after accidentally reading spoilers about the ending, it was almost a DNF. I’ll admit that the first portion of the book was really hard to get into and dragged a lot. I think the biggest reason is because the book is split into four parts, but there’s no chapters. So it became really hard to find a good stopping spot since it seemed like the book would just go on and on and on. The middle got much better, and I started to enjoy the story by the last third of the book.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★½

BOOK COVERSONG OF THE ABYSS: I love these books and I really wish they were not so underrated! Seriously, this is such a well-written YA fantasy series and they need more exposure to the book community. I will 100% admit that I picked up this ARC because the main character’s name was Reyna. But I’m glad I did, because it forced me to read the first book–which I loved!–and I thought this was a great story as well! I definitely recommend these books to anyone looking for a fun fantasy with amazing characters and great writing.  ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★★

42265183THE BEAUTIFUL: A dark and decadent fantasy that captures the reader’s attention from the first page. The mysterious, atmospheric setting really provides the perfect backdrop for a paranormal vampire book. And yes, the vampires themselves may not be as present throughout the book as one would expect, but the thrilling, horror vibe really makes up for it. Besides, it’s very obvious that vampires will have a starring role in the sequel! ARC provided by the publisher through a giveaway.  [review]  ★★★★

36524503THE BONE HOUSES: The story follows a gravedigger and a mapmaker on an epic adventure full of family, magic, and the undead. The book heavily features elements of Welsh mythology, meanwhile other parts were reminiscent of The Black Cauldron. The eerie, atmospheric settings gives a haunting feel to this mesmerizing story that reads as if it’s a dark fairytale.  ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★★½

41716322._SY475_TREASON OF THORNS: This was an entertaining story and I liked it, but for some reason it didn’t captivate my attention as much as The Light Between Worlds. The premise is really cool: this is a story about magical, sentient houses. I think I wish the actual magic part had been a bit more developed, especially regarding how the houses work with their Caretakers. Overall, it was a fantastic idea that I think just didn’t deliver all the way.  ARC provided by the publisher. ★★★

OTHER

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Made Me Cry #ARCstravaganza: Gravemaidens | #ARCstrvaganza: The Girl the Sea Gave Back| The ABC Book Challenge – L | 2019 Mid-Year Book Freakout | #AGameofBooksathon Progress Update #1 | #ARCstravaganza: American Royals