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!  ★★★★ 


OTHER

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REVIEW: The Fountains of Silence – Ruta Sepetys

43220998._SY475_Title: The Fountains of Silence
Author: Ruta Sepetys
Rating: ★★★★

The Fountains of Silence 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. The Fountains of Silence blew me away with it’s gorgeous writing, compelling characters, and thought-provoking story.

The Fountains of Silence is set in Spain 1957 following the end of the Spanish Civil War. This was not a portion of history that I had been familiar with and so it was very eye-opening. Ruta Sepetys did a fantastic job weaving elements of a fictional story with real aspects of history. I was very easily captivated by all of the different plot lines and history lessons.

One of the things about this book I liked the most was the varying points of views. It was especially poignant comparing Daniel’s views as an American tourist to those that were experiencing the effects of Franco’s fascism, such as Ana and Rafa. I think this difference really made point of how things really were in Spain during that time period and how easily the hardships were concealed to the rest of the world.

The Fountains of Silence is a story perfect for fans of historical fiction of any age. The writing was beautiful, the characters were easy to fall in love with, and the story was very moving. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for a lovely book to fall into.

REVIEW: The Huntress – Kate Quinn

38376046Title: The Huntress
Author: Kate Quinn
Rating: ★★★★

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. And even though this wasn’t a five star read for me, it was still an amazing book.

As always, Quinn did such a tremendous job weaving historical facts with fiction to create a totally unique and captivating story. The chapters alternate between the three main characters: Ian, Nina, and Jordan. And if you’ve read The Alice Network, yes that is the same Ian Graham that briefly appeared in that book! In addition to Ian, a few other characters from The Alice Network make cameos in The Huntress, it was so great to see them mentioned! I highly enjoyed Ian and Nina’s POVs, but I wasn’t big on Jordan’s character. Her storyline was very interesting and I always looked forward to her chapters because of the connection to the overall plot, but as I really didn’t connect with her all that much. 

Once the story really gets going, The Huntress is a hard book to put down. The readers are told at the beginning what happened, but more and more of the truth and events leading up to it are revealed as the story evolves. The theme of Nazi criminals and the aftermath of World War II and the Nuremberg Trials was absolutely fascinating to me. The author notes at the end of the story were very eye opening and I definitely will be doing some more of my own research on this subject in the future. Another excellent novel by Kate Quinn; I don’t see her being dethroned as my favorite author any time soon.

REVIEW: Enchantée – Gita Trelease

39863494Title: Enchantée
Author: Gita Trelease
Rating: ★★★★

I probably sound like a broken record by now, but I definitely enjoyed this way more than I had anticipated. Since I had just finished An Affair of Poisons fairly recently, it worried me that because I read two books with similar settings so close together, one would end up overshadowing the other. Luckily, other than the historical Paris settings, these are two completely different books. Enchantée lived up to its name: this YA debut seriously enchanted me!

I found Enchantée to have the perfect mix of historical fiction and magic. The protagonist, Camille, was an absolutely wonderful heroine. After struggling in poverty to provide for herself and her sister, she begins to take matters into her own hands. And although I found her to be strong and caring, she did possess some character faults, which only endeared her to me more. There are a few side characters that are also really likeable, and added to my enjoyment of the book. 

What really won me over in this book was the setting. Gita Trelease is obviously a talented writer, as it was so easy for me to picture myself in the story, whether it was inside the glamorous French court of Versailles, walking amongst the crowded streets of Paris, or soaring above the ground in a hot air balloon. I was completely transported into the story and I easily found myself lost within the pages. 

There are so many elements that make this such a fascinating book. The story is full of high stakes and action, subtle romance, magic, and intrigue. The author did a fantastic job weaving all those elements together to tell a really compelling story. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this and I look forward to more from Gita Trelease in the future!