Monthly Wrap-Up: June 2019

Hey everyone! I’m on a two week summer break from classes and I could not be happier. I can’t wait to spend this time getting ahead on homework and getting a lot of reading in! This month was fantastic for reading for me: I read two books that are currently my favorite of the year! What are you all planning to read in July? While making a TBR I realized I have a lot of ARCs that need to be read for August so I think I’ll be spending most of my July reading doing that!


35561260NOCTURNA: There was nothing wrong this book, but upon finishing it I felt pretty apathetic towards it. I did enjoy the magic and the world-building and the characters, but besides that, nothing about the plot captured my full attention or pulled me into the story. By the end of the book, I was reading just to finish it. All in all, the book was pretty unmemorable to me, which is a shame because it sounded so good and I was really interested in the premise.  ★★½

38330596THE STORM CROW: The action starts out right from the start, which was a great way to get me invested in this book. I absolutely loved the elemental crows aspect and I really liked the protagonist, Anthia. She struggles with her depression and grief and the author did a fantastic job representing this throughout the book. My only issue was the romance: the synopsis of the book makes it seem like we should be expecting one thing, but when given another option, it fell pretty flat.  ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★★

42785825THE FRIEND ZONE: When I started this, I honestly just expected a light-hearted, fluffy contemporary romance perfect for summer. And while the book delivered with the romance, angst, and humor, it also brought out emotions that were unexpected in the best way. Besides a few issues I had – such as the light, gray-area cheating that occurs early on and the constant putting down of other women – I did really enjoy this book and would totally recommend it as a fun summer romance!  ARC provided by the publisher.  [review]  ★★★★

42201395SORCERY OF THORNS: This was one of my most anticipated releases of the year and I had a lot of fun reading it! This book contains sentient books; a fierce, sword-wielding librarian; and a handsome, broody sorcerer with a tragic past. What more could any bibliophile ask for in a book? Margaret Rogerson did an amazing job with the world-building and the magical aspects of this story and I cannot wait for whatever she writes next!  ★★★★

36578543FIREBORNE: THIS BOOK WAS FLIPPING AMAZING. It’s going to take everything I can not to go rambling on and on, but please do yourself a favor and add this to your TBR. It’s been a few weeks and I’m still amazed over how awesome this book was. I’ve seen the premised being described as Pluto’s Republic + Aegon Targaryen + Hermione Granger and I’m here to tell you that yes, it’s exactly that in the best way possible.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★★

36558159THE BEHOLDER: Okay, so there were parts of this that I definitely did enjoy. Huge kudos to Anna Bright for writing a love triangle in which I rooted for both characters equally. But the rest of the story fell pretty flat for me. My biggest issue was the world-building. It felt really disorganized and confusing. There was a lot of anachronistic elements to the settings and it pulled me out of the story multiple times.  [review]  ★★½

40523458KINGSBANE:  I was not expecting this to be as action-packed as it was! There was definitely no Second Book Syndrome here. It was very easy to fall back into this story and become just as invested in the characters as I was in the first book. I really loved Rielle in Furborn, but it was hard to watch her make the choices she made in this book, especially when it was hurting other people I really care about. And that ending….I did not see that twist coming! I cannot wait for the finale and expect it to be as awesome as the first two.  ★★★★

39854434FIX HER UP:  Tessa Bailey has earned herself a new fan. Holy shit, this book was HOT. I was expecting a fun, contemporary romance but I was not expecting those steamy scenes! And listen, I am not complaining one bit. From the romance to the fake-dating trope (a favorite), there was so much to love about this story. This was my first Tessa Bailey, but you can bet it won’t be my last. Excellent all around.  [review]  ★★★★★

40653162CALL IT WHAT YOU WANT: Although the premise was not anything new, this book handled it in such a fantastic way. Maegan and Rob are each dealing with their own family issues, and I loved how they eventually find solace and comfort in each other. There were a lot of heavy topics involved in this story, and I thought Brigid Kemmerer wrote about them in a very compelling and realistic way.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★

42815556SPIN THE DAWN: The book is being pitched at Mulan meets Project Runaway, and that’s the perfect description for this marvelous book. Maia was an amazing heroine: she was devoted to her family, resourceful, intelligent, and caring. With a protagonist to cheer for, a love interest that will steal your heart, and writing that draws you in from the first chapter, I’m positive readers will love this book as much as I did!  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★★★

40177770DEV1AT3: Another action-packed book from Jay Kristoff, full of fun characters and set in such a cool world. This book focuses a lot more on Lemon Fresh and her story and I wasn’t sure how I was going to feel about this, but once I started it was a total non-issue. She makes some important discoveries for herself and finally starts to develop of sense of self-identity. ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]   ★★★★

41118857THE DRAGON REPUBLIC: I AM NOT OKAY. I really need this book to be released because I need someone to talk to about that ending. I absolutely devoured this. The Poppy War was one of my favorite books from last year, so I was a little nervous going into this, but I ended up enjoying this even more so. All I will say is: you are not prepared for this book. Absolutely stunning.  ARC provided by the publisher through Edelweiss.  [review]  ★★★★★

39679076HOUSE OF SALT AND SORROWS: The premise of this sounded amazing, and so I was pretty bummed up that it didn’t live up to my expectations. I really liked the atmospheric setting and the spooky/eerie vibe the story gave off. The romance kind of ruined it for me: I wasn’t a fan of the love triangle or how insta-lovey it was, and I thought the way it wrapped up was a bit too convenient.  ARC provided by the publisher through NetGalley.  [review]  ★★

OTHER

The ABC Book Challenge – K | #ARCstravaganza: The Toll | #ARCstravaganza: Wicked As You Wish | The ABC Book Challenge – J | Five Netflix Shows to Binge This Summer

 

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

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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

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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