Monthly Wrap-Up: May 2019

Hello everyone! Right now I’m in New York for BookCon and I’m so excited!! Who else will be at BookExpo/BookCon? What are you most looking forward to doing or seeing? Let me know in the comments!


41147279AGAIN, BUT BETTER: This was not the book for me. The writing was disjointed and the story felt so autobiographical that it was really uncomfortable reading. My biggest issue, however, was the fact that the plot basically revolves around the main character falling for someone who is already in a relationship and that love interest engaging in some cheating. I can’t root for characters that I don’t like.  [reviewARC provided by the publisher.  DNF @ 63%

35424766NYXIA UPRISING: Such a great wrap-up to a really underrated sci-fi series! I’ve been a fan of these books since I was approved for an early review copy of the first one and I’ve enjoyed each book in the series tremendously! Scott Reintgen does an excellent job not only with his pacing and writing, but also by keeping the reader engaged throughout the story. These books are awesome and if you haven’t checked them out yet I highly recommend them! ★★★½

12813630THE COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN: My goal for this year was to read a couple of Holly Black’s previous books, and I was not disappointed! I thought this was a super unique take on vampires and I almost wish it was a series instead of a standalone. I also was digging the fact that the book takes place in Springfield, Massachusetts – which is where my mom and her entire family is from!  ★★★½

40381392FINALE: These books are so damn good. I’m thankful Stephanie Garber decided to do a dual POV for this conclusion; I think it helped a lot with wrapping up the series. I love both Tella and Scarlett so it was nice seeing the climax and ending from both of their perspectives.  ★★★★★

 

34236194MORE THAN WE CAN TELL: After reading and loving Brigid Kemmerer’s newest fantasy book, I wanted to check out some of her contemporary works. I think I had expectations that were too high as I was a bit let down by this book. I didn’t feel connected to either Rev or Emma, and therefore I didn’t connect to the story. I liked the plotline and the characters’ journeys, but didn’t feel as moved as everyone seems to have been by the story.  ★★★

23688792THESE VICIOUS MASKS: This is a book that I had been wanting to reread for awhile now. The first time I read this, I enjoyed it, but felt like I would have liked it more had I not just finished Lady Helen. I put off reading the sequel until the whole series was finally punished and I’m so glad I did! As I had anticipated, I liked this much better the second time and appreciated it so much more. This is such a fun YA historical/paranormal book! ★★★½

30199421THESE RUTHLESS DEEDS: Reading all the books in series back to back is so underappreciated. I started this immediately after finishing the first and it made all the difference; there was no time spent trying to figure out what was going out and what had happened in the previous book. I didn’t like this quite as much as These Vicious Masks, but I still really liked the story and the characters. This was a great sequel to a fun series!  ★★★

34612713THESE VENGEFUL SOULS: There was a lot more going on in this book and I flew through the pages. This was a great conclusion to the series. I thought these books were unique and the concept intriguing: who doesn’t love an X-Men meets Victorian-era England plot? I definintely recommend this series to anyone who enjoys historical fiction or paranormal books with a good blend of mystery, action, and romance!  ★★★

40291564STORM AND FURY: I never really got into The Dark Elements series – I was firmly Team Zayne and totally over the bad boy trope at that point – and so I was really excited when I learned Zayne would be getting his own story! I haven’t read a JLA book in awhile and I got nervous at first because I was having trouble getting into it in the beginning. Eventually, the story began to pick up and improve and I remembered why I love her paranormal stories so much!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★½

39821312THE CANDLE AND THE FLAME: This was an excellent, beautifully written debut. The writing was absolutely gorgeous. I loved how diversely rich in culture and history the book was; the author’s descriptions paint a vivid picture for the reader. And of course any story featuring djinn is a story for me! I really loved all the different characters, relationships, romances, and the political intrigue featured in the story. I wish the book had been a bit longer because I would love to have seen what happens next!  [review]  ★★★★

OTHER

The ABC Book Challenge – I | A Game of Booksathon Reading Challenge | Top 5 Wednesday: Emerald Covers | The Ultimate Game of Thrones Book Tag | The ABC Book Challenge – H | The ABC Book Challenge – G | WWW Wednesday #20

 

Monthly Wrap-Up: April 2019

Hello everyone! I’m currently on break from school and work for a week and a half and it is amazing. It feels great to be able to take some time to myself without having anything to do or stress over. I also got to catch up with some reading these last few days which I’m happy about! Next month is May which is super exciting because of both my birthday and BookCon at the end of the month (okay, technically June but it’s a birthday trip so it counts). Is anyone else planning to go to BookExpo/BookCon? It’s my second time going and I cannot wait!


40590407ROMANOV: This started out really good – the author did a great job setting the book up and building the tension of what was to come. Unfortunately, the story started going downhill towards the end. The last quarter of the book was extremely rushed; there was too much going on at once and it was hard to follow. More than once I found myself having to reread chunks of text because I was confused.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★

28220826WHEN THE MOON WAS OURS: I absolutely love Anna-Marie McLemore and this has been on my TBR for a long time, so I was really happy when I saw that it was the book of the month for the Dragons & Tea Book Club! Like all of her other books, this was extremely creative and I loved all the magical realism. It wasn’t my favorite of hers though; the writing (which I usually adore) was a little too dense for my liking.  ★★★½

39841372DEFY THE FATES: This was such a stunning conlcusion to an amazing series! I really loved these books so much and I highly, highly recommend them to anyone who loves sci-fi! They’re action-packed, fast-paced, full of romance and plot twists and space travel fun!  ★★★★½

 

36430989DESCENDANT OF THE CRANE: This book might be low on the action, but it’s high on the suspense and political intrigue. I actually really enjoyed the slower paced story and how the focus was instead on the intricacies of the murder mystery and the inner court machinations. Hesina was a character that I greatly enjoyed following as she attempted to navigate her struggles between her personal wants/beliefs and what she needed to portray in order to gain the support and find justice for her father’s murder. My biggest disappointment was finding out that there will be no sequel, but rather a companion novel because I felt that Hesina’s story was left totally unfinished.  [review]  ★★★★

IIBH_Reveal.inddIF I’M BEING HONEST: The premise of the story draws inspiration from The Taming of the Shrew, in which our protagonist Cameron attempts to “tame” herself in order to win back the affections of her crush. I absolutely loved Cameron’s character growth and self-discovery throughout the novel. It was not a smooth ride and she had a few moments of regression, but the way it was written was so honest and real. The book highlights the fact that no one is perfect, and that we should surround ourselves with people who love us despite our flaws, and more importantly learn to love ourselves because of them.  [review]  ★★★★★

41438037DARK SHORES: I was expecting an action-packed high-seas adventure, but instead I struggled to get through this. Nothing happens for almost 80% of the book. I also did not feel a connection with either of the protagonists, so it made it really difficult to care about their journeys or struggles. I really, really wanted to like this because I love Danielle L. Jensen’s Malediction trilogy, but it honestly just fell flat.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★½

30075662 (1)AURORA RISING: I’m loving all the great sci-fi/space books coming out recently in the YA genre, and this was no exception. From the beginning, this book was full of nonstop action and it was very easy to get lost in the pages. Amie and Jay did such a great job with the writing (no surprise) and they’ve created a really fun, interesting cast of characters to follow along with.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★½

OTHER

The ABC Book Challenge – F | #ARCstravaganza: Aurora Rising | WWW Wednesday #19 | Blog Tour + Giveaway: King of Fools | #ARCstravaganza: The Dragon Republic

Monthly Wrap-Up: March 2019 + Mini Hiatus

Hello everyone! I usually post my wrap-ups on the last day of the month, so I’m a bit late with this, but I figured better late than never. Again, I didn’t read that many due to school, but I’m really proud of the amount of reviews I wrote this month! I go through reading phases where it’s hard for me to put my thoughts into words, but this past month they just seemed to flow out of me!

The semester is wrapping up for me, with only two and a half more weeks to go, and I’m really feeling the strain of all the studying and exams I have coming up. I still plan to read a little but I will most likely be taking a mini hiatus for the new few weeks from blogging. I’m hoping to be a good little blogger and have some posts scheduled but in case you don’t hear back from me in weeks, it’s probably because I’ve got my nose stuck in a textbook. 


38496253HONOR BOUND: Honor Among Thieves was one of my favorite reads last year and I was really looking forward to this release. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t love it as much as I was anticipating. I was also under the impression that this was a duology so the plot was extremely slow and dragged in some places. Unfortunately, but the end I was just bored and it made me rethink about finishing the series.  ★★★

39863494ENCHANTÉE: I was not expecting to enjoy this as much as I did, especially since I had just finished An Affair of Poisons, and the two books have very similar settings. Luckily, this was a completely different story and full of magical elements and wonderful characters that I loved. This book totally charmed me and I’m so glad I gave it a chance!  [review]  ★★★★


36535913THE DEVOURING GRAY:
This was totally atmospheric: the vivid descriptions really brought forth the creepy elements and made it easy to become immersed in the story. It really has the whole Riverdale meets Stranger Things vibe going and the author totally kills it. I wasn’t that invested in the characters to begin with, but I changed opinion by the end and came to really like them all. Usually if I don’t connect with the characters, I tend not to like the book, but the plot and writing were so good it was easy to overlook.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  [review]  ★★★★½

40510629THE QUEEN’S RESISTANCE:  Everything I loved about the first book was also present in this stunning sequel: the visual writing, the lovely characters, and the compelling storytelling create such a unique YA fantasy. I loved the inclusion of Cartier’s chapters. Not only was the addition of his POV expertly executed, but it really added to the narrative and helped move the plot along. This a seriously underrated series that I cannot recommend enough!  [review]  ★★★★

38376046THE HUNTRESS: It’s hard to explain just how ecstatic I was to learn that Kate Quinn wrote another WWII-inspired historical fiction. If you haven’t learned by now, she is the ultimate queen of historical fiction novels and I devour everything she writes. As always, Quinn did such a tremendous job weaving historical facts with fiction to create a totally unique and captivating story. Once the story really gets going, this is a hard book to put down. The theme of Nazi criminals and the aftermath of World War II and the Nuremberg Trials was absolutely fascinating to me. Another amazing story by one of favorite authors.  [review]  ★★★★

42201431THE UNHONEYMOONERS: As I’ve said in previous reviews, no one writes contemporary romances quite like the amazing duo of Christina Lauren. I read the synopsis once and immediately requested the book and I’m so extremely thankful I was approved. This was honestly like reading my own romantic fantasies come to life: hate-to-love romance, fake dating trope, and a dream vacation to Hawaii. My one and only complaint was there was not nearly enough angst for a book focuses on two characters who hate each other, pretending to be in love.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★½

37545571 (1)KING OF FOOLS: It took me a bit longer than I had anticipated to get back into the world of this book, and to remember everything that had happened previously. But once I did, I I found myself once again really enjoying the characters and the story! Amanda Foody has repeatedly called this book her Girl Gang book and I can totally see why. I’m really looking forward to the conclusion of this series!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★★

39280480 (1)FAMOUS IN A SMALL TOWN: Okay, I’ll admit that I put off reading this book because I had misconceptions about what it was actually about. This was a totally different story than what I was under the impression of it being, and I’m thankful I took the time to reevaluate the synopsis because otherwise I would have never read it. As with all of her books, Emma Mills excels at writing contemporary books that are fun, light, and easy to pass the time with.  ★★★

40556417 (1)TO BEST THE BOYS: I’m extremely glad this was in the March FairyLoot box, otherwise I would have totally missed out on this! Once again, I had a different perception about what this story entailed. This book is an super fun, female-empowering story that reminded me of Stalking Jack the Ripper meets The Maze Runner. If you enjoy science-minded females kicking butt, I highly recommend this!  ★★★★

OTHER

Game of Thrones: Favorite Moments | Blog Tour: In Another Life | Game of Thrones: Favorite Characters | The ABC Book Challenge – E | #ARCstravaganza: Dark Shores | Blog Tour: Beware the Night | The ABC Book Challenge – D | Blog Tour: An Affair of Poisons

Monthly Wrap-Up: February 2019

Is it just me or did February fly by? It’s probably just me because I’ve been so busy. In case you are wondering how nursing school is going, this month alone I had twelve exams 😅 Yes, TWELVE. Because of classes and work, you can see that I read way less this month than I usually do. I’ve also been feeling really unmotivated to read anything the last couple of weeks which I think is due to my lack of energy. Fingers crossed that I have a better reading month in March!


38714357A CURSE SO DARK AND LONELY: When I first saw that this was a modern-day Beauty and the Beast retelling, I was super excited but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a little unsure about it at first, but as I read on I ended up really enjoying it! The retelling was really unique and different and I look forward to the companion novel.  ★★★★


Waking Forest Leo Comps6APPROVED.inddTHE WAKING FOREST:
This had such an interesting premise, and the book itself was so atmospheric and eerie. The writing is something that readers are either going to love or hate. For myself, I found the beautiful prose and lush descriptions the perfect compliment to the two enchanting stories already being told. The way the author weaves two different stories together seamlessly made for a very unique story. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★½

3630062599 PERCENT MINE: I was so excited for this book, but ultimately I was left disappointed. I like the idea of the story but not the way in which it was executed. I think my biggest problem was Darcy, our protagonist. I really did not like her at all, and I had issues with the way she acted a few times. I also had trouble feeling the tension between Darcy and Tom. I was expecting a smart, steamy book full of angst and ended with a lukewarm story.  ★★★

GJFuiczsAN AFFAIR OF POISONS: I absolutely adored this book so much more than I thought I would. The first word that comes to mind when in describing this is fun. The writing is completely compelling and the fast-paced, interesting plot easily keeps the reader entertained. The plot is full of magic, murder scandals, and mayhem; all set in a historical French setting and based on real historical events (see: L’affaire des poisons). The story Addie Thorley has created is so imaginative and well-crafted. A lot of time, effort, and research went into creating this book and it easily shows.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  ★★★★

30339493ISLE OF BLOOD AND STONE: This is definitely one of the most underhyped YA fantasies, and now I can say with the utmost certainty that it deserves way more recognition than it gets. It contained the perfect blend of adventure, mystery, hints of romance, and steady pacing to captivate me as a reader. The backstory and character histories were written in a way that it felt completely natural: I knew exactly what was going on without having piles of information dumped on me.  [review]  ★★★★

36230905LAST OF HER NAME: Okay, I was honestly not expecting to love this as much as I did (that seems to be the running theme). This was such a really fun and cool sci-fi story based on the story of Anastasia and the last Romanovs. There were a few plot twists that were totally unexpected and completely surprising which made the book even more entertaining!  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★★


35707080BLOODLEAF:
Have you ever read a book and felt like you’ve read it before? That’s exactly how reading this book went for me. Unfortunately, it was nothing new. It followed many of the same tropes and cliches as half of the other YA fantasies out there. This is supposed to be a loose retelling of Goose Girl, but there aren’t many of those elements present, and I think it could have been written in a way that was much more compelling and interesting.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★

LDPtoZvVBEWARE THE NIGHT:  I just felt so unmotivated to read this and completely uninvested in the plot, story, or characters.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  DNF @ 42%

 

 

OTHER

WWW Wednesday #18 | The ABC Book Challenge – C | Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Underrated Books | Favorite Romance Tropes | Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Couples in Books | #ARCstravaganza: We Hunt the Flame | The ABC Book Challenge – B | Blog Tour + Giveaway: Dark of the West

Monthly Wrap-Up: January 2019

It’s a new year, and the same (mostly) me! I have to admit, I really did not expect to have read as many books as I did this month. I starting nursing school this month, and I knew going into this semester that it was going to be hard and that I was going to be b u s y. And while it is tough and I do have a lot of work, I’m really proud of the way I’ve been managing my time, leaving myself a few hours a week to read. I might not be able to blog as often, but I’m hoping I’ll be able to continue the trend the rest of the semester!


35425827ARCHENEMIES: Honestly, not much happened as far as the plot in this book. I really wish this series had remained a duology, because this just felt like a filler between the first and third books. I did enjoy the twists and turns towards the end, especially that cliffhanger! However, the story didn’t really feel like it was moving towards anything. ★★★★


36575823TOUCH OF GOLD:
 This book fell really flat for me. There was hardly any worldbuilding and I couldn’t bring myself to care about any of the characters. Not to mention, there was not just one, but two instances of insta-love. The book was pretty romance-heavy, and since I didn’t particular enjoy either of the love interests, it couldn’t make up for the lacking plot. I almost DNF’d this a few times but forced myself to finish it. I kept thinking about how badly I just wanted this to be over the entire time I was reading.  ★★

40046030ECHO NORTH: The was such a breathtaking, brilliant retelling of one of my favorite fairytales, East of the Sun, West of the Moon. The book completely blew my expectations out of the water. Joanna Ruth Meyer did such an excellent job in taking the original elements of the fairytales in which the book was inspired by, and adding little twists to create a whimsical story that was both true to its roots, and yet totally unique. The vivid descriptions and writing had me completely enamored by the book. The ending was a little bittersweet, but it was entirely satisfying and wrapped the book up perfectly.  ARC received through #booksfortrade on Twitter.  [review]  ★★★★★

32949202DARK OF THE WEST: This book has an extremely fascinating premise. The best way to describe it would be YA fantasy meets World War II. The story is full of political intrigue, nonstop action, romance, family drama, and interesting characters. The prologue does an excellent job of pulling the reader into the book and promising a story in which not everything is what it seems. However, while I really enjoy books that have plots that are complex and multidimensional, I was confused about what was going on for a good portion of the book. There are so many different conflicts and it took me a very long time to figure out who was fighting who and why.  ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★

38237340THE WICKED KING: I waited an entire year for this book and I was not disappointed in the least. There was so much political machinations going on and I loved every second of this book. And the development between Jude and Cardan had me screaming. By the way, that ending that slayed us all? I have a feeling things are not what they seem. There will be no ARCs of The Queen of Nothing, so we will all have to suffer together.  ★★★★★

26839798UNDYING: This was a really good sequel and conclusion to the story. The thing that I missed the most while reading this was that the setting was no longer on an alien planet in space. I really missed the Indiana Jones vibes from the first book. However, there was a lot of adventuring and action in this book, we were introduced to a some fun new characters, and I loved all the interactions between Mia and Jules.  ★★★½

35715518CROWN OF FEATHERS: This is probably my biggest disappointment of the year thus far. I had been looking forward to this book for so long. The premise of the book and the phoenix riding aspects is really cool and interesting, but for some reason I just wasn’t that into it. The beginning was slower to pick up, but once it gets to the middle the action really starts to get going. Girl Pretending to be Boy is one of my favorite tropes, and that was one part of the book that I actually did really enjoy and though was well-done.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★

34842208STAIN: This book blew me away. It was a hauntingly beautiful fairytale unlike any other. The dark, gothic elements and vivid descriptions made this such an atmospheric read. There were so many clever intricacies to the plot and the small details were woven together so carefully and in a way that made this a really well-constructed book. I also loved the theme of a rose gaining thorns in regards to Lyra’s character growth throughout the story.  [review]  ★★★★½

43446574WARRIOR OF THE WILD: This book was so much fun to read. It was action-packed, fast-paced adventure with a loveable, fierce warrior girl as the star of the novel. The action starts from the first page, and doesn’t let up until the last. Rasmira was such a wonderful heroine and I enjoyed reading through her point of view so very much. In addition to our protagonist, we also are introduced to two side characters, Iric and Soren, and I loved the interactions between those two boys and Rasmira. The book has an important and inspiring message of overcoming adversity and growing into the person you want to be, regardless of what others believe of you.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★★★

39855052THE KINGDOM OF COPPER: One of the fears of reading a sequel to a book that quickly became such a favorite, is that the second one won’t live up to the enjoyment of the first. I am here to tell you that there is nothing to worry about: this was an impressive second installment full of all the same wonderful things that made The City of Brass one of my favorite books. The story has everything I love in a book: political intrigue, complex characters, and mesmerizing writing. The characters I loved so much in the first book are back, and I continue to adore all three of them, despite any mistakes they might be making (looking at you, Dara). A truly unforgettable story, and impossible to put down.  ARC provided by the publisher.  ★★★★½

34466910ROOMIES: I always fear there is going to come a time when a Christina Lauren book won’t live up to my expectations. Thankfully, that time is not now. This had the whole package when it comes to what I look for in a contemporary romance: relatable heroine, witty writing, great dialogue between characters, steamy scenes, and a love interest I wish I could pull forth from the pages. Fake dating/marriage is a trope that I absolutely love to read and it was executed perfectly! ★★★★★

OTHER

#ARCstravaganza: The Storm Crow | The ABC Book Challenge – A | #ARCstravaganza: House of Salt and Sorrows | Blog Tour: Lady Smoke | Top 5 Wednesday: Hyped 2019 Release I Won’t Be Reading | #ARCstravaganza: The Waking Forest