Monthly Wrap-Up: November 2018

The end of the year is approaching fast, and if you’re like me, there are still a whole lot of books left on the TBR from this year that haven’t been read yet! November was a bit of slower month for me, reading-wise, due mostly to the fact that I was on vacation for two weeks. I had anticipated catching up on my TBR while I was gone, but I’m not one to sit around do nothing, so vacations usually aren’t as relaxing as they sound, as I’m always finding things to do! I also went to YALLFest a couple of weeks ago, and I had so much fun!! I met so many great people, made some new friends, and got a ton of books and ARCs, including a couple highly-anticipated upcoming releases that I was desperate for!


36739553FURY: I loved this conclusion to the Menagerie series! For the most part, I thought it wrapped things up well. There were a few things, however, that I wish would have been different for the final book. A lot of questions were left unanswered and I think certain plot points needed to be fleshed out a bit more. Although I didn’t mind the bittersweet ending, it was almost a little too bitter, and since I’m a hopeless romantic, I truly wish there has been more of the romance and felt a little cheated. I’m also still unsure how I feel about the epilogue, and it has bothered me ever since. ★★★★½

25883848THE HATING GAME: If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m complete trash for a love-to-hate relationship and witty banter. This was everything I never knew I needed in my life, and I wish I could go back in time and slap myself every time I saw this book on my TBR but skipped over it to read something else. The highlight of the book were the characters themselves; I thoroughly enjoyed reading about both Josh and Lucy and really enjoyed the evolution of their relationship. I now understand all the high praises I’ve seen about this book, because it deserves all it.  [review]  ★★★★★

39863498THE GILDED WOLVES: I figured I would enjoy this because it’s Roshani Chokshi but I didn’t realize just how amazing it would be! The world created here can only be described as opulent and magical. Roshani has written such a unique story full of dark magic, thrilling adventures, and a diverse cast of compelling characters. From the mysteries and secrets, to the heists and plot twists, there is a lot of good stuff going on in this book. One of my favorite aspects was the interactions between the characters. There are a lot of different dynamics to love and each was written so beautifully and believably. The characters are truly the heart of this story and I can’t wait for everyone to meet them!  [review]  ★★★★½

29939390WINDWITCH: My first attempt at reading this when it was released nearly two years ago, I had to stop at about 15% of the way in. The pacing was so tedious and I was disappointed when I learned that some of the beloved characters weren’t going to be reunited during the course of the story. I’m proud of myself that I picked it up again and was able to finish it this time! There was a lot about this book that I didn’t enjoy: the slower pacing, the fact that Safi and Iseult don’t reunite and the absence of their sisterhood, the fact that Safi and Merik don’t reunite or interact, and the lack of action. I also hated that the story kind of hints towards a love triangle, because I am not here for it. The pacing and action does start to pick up towards the end, and the last part of the book begins to resemble everything I had loved about Truthwitch.  ★★★½

9780451477538_RebelOfTheSands_JK.inddREBEL OF THE SANDS: This was my second reading of the book, in anticipation of finally read the entire trilogy. I’m so glad I reread it, because I hardly remembered anything about it and because I enjoyed it so much better the second time around. I loved the world-building done in this book: Miraji is a Middle-Eastern inspired setting with Old-West aspects + magic. There is so much action and fun stuff happening here. We have amazing characters, a slow-burn romance, treks across the desserts, an abundance of princes, and a kick-butt heroine that I adore. This fast-paced book is full of plot twists and plenty of action.  [review]  ★★★★

31574408TRAITOR TO THE THRONE: I’m thankful I was able to read this right after finishing Rebel of the Sands, because otherwise I think my experience would have been a lot different. This book focuses more on Amani and is a lot slower paced than the previous book. Instead of a plot filled with action and adventure, we get introduced to political intrigue and court machinations. Beloved characters from the first book – including Jin and their romance – are sadly missing for a good portion of this book, but there was so much happening that it never bothered me. A few new key characters are introduced and there were two that I absolutely loved getting to know: Rahim and Sam! The action starts to really build towards the last few chapters, and by the end we’re left with a big cliffhanger!  [review]  ★★★★

35406534HERO AT THE FALL: This was such a thrilling and wonderful conclusion to the series! The fast-paced and action-filled plot returned, and now the stakes are raised. I was happy that Jin and Amani were together again in this one, because I love the way their relationship changed and grew over the course of these books. I also loved the relationships Amani had with all of the other characters, but especially her friendships with with Shazad, Amed and Sam. More of the book’s mythology was included, and I really enjoyed reading those bits of stories and their creativity. As much as I loved everything that went on, we also said goodbye to some characters, including one of my favorites. And while I liked the ending/epilogue, I do wish that a couple of the characters were given more a more satisfying conclusion to their stories.  [review]  ★★★★

30518319A DANGEROUS COLLABORATION: This wasn’t my favorite in the series, but I really loved the setting! Veronica and Stoker find themselves in a remote island off the coast of Cornwall, in a possibly haunted castle, as the guests of Lord Malcolm. The entire plot/setting is very reminiscent of a murder mystery dinner and it was so very fun to read. The pace of this book was a bit slower than the others, and it took a while for it to really pick up. However as with all the other, it was full of thrilling adventures, witty conversations, sexual tension, and of course – murder and mayhem. And after years of waiting, we finally get a nudge in the right direction towards romance between Veronica and Stoker – and it was totally worth the wait!  [review]  ★★★★

32796839KINGDOM OF ASH AND BRIARS: I thought I would love this a lot more than what I actually did. I really liked the story, the writing, and the world-building. The fairytale retelling aspects were enjoyable and I thought they were creative and intriguing. However, even thought the story is told through first-person POV, I had trouble connecting with Bristal and felt disconnected from the story. And while I really liked the romance, there was an aspect of it that just felt kind of strange. ★★★½

26061583THE DARK DAYS DECEIT: This was the conclusion to the Lady Helen series – a series that I absolutely love – and yet I was so disappointed while reading this. I’m going to attribute my lack of enthusiasm towards this book to my high expectations and longer than usually wait. The release date was pushed back nearly a year, so I had forgotten a lot of things that had happened in the previous book. The book felt like parts of it were drawn out too long, while other parts were rushed and didn’t make any sense. The three books build up towards a romance between Helen and Lord Carlston, and yet what we’re given at the end was such a letdown. The conclusion of both the plot and the romance were honestly really anti-climatic and I finished this book feeling saddened and unsatisfied. ★★★½

35298956THE OTHER MISS BRIDGERTON: I haven’t enjoyed a Julia Quinn book this much since I first read The Viscount Who Loved Me. I had such a fun time reading this! There was so much that I loved about it, but I’m not ashamed to admit that the hate-to-love romance is what did me in. I have been disappointed that I haven’t really liked any of Quinn’s books other than The Viscount Who Loved Me, so I’m glad to find another favorite! ★★★★

OTHER

WWW Wednesday #16 | Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fanart | Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist Books | #ARCstravaganza: Crown of Feathers | Blog Tour + Giveaway: West |

 

WWW Wednesday #16

WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words in which the three W’s stand for:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

M3SFH_vwWHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY READING?

Realm of Ruins by Hannah West

 

 


35298956WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING?

The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. This is one of my new favorites by this author!

 

 


23510085WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU’LL READ NEXT?

Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst

REVIEW: The Hating Game – Sally Thorne

25883848Title: The Hating Game
Author: Sally Thorne
Rating: ★★★★★

“Here’s a fact. Hating someone is exhausting. Each pulse of blood in my veins takes me closer to death. I waste these ending minutes with someone who genuinely despises me.”

“I have a theory. Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.”

If you haven’t figured it out by now, I’m complete trash for a love-to-hate relationship and witty banter. The Hating Game was everything I never knew I needed in my life, and I wish I could go back in time and slap myself every time I saw this book on my TBR but skipped over it to read something else. 

“But you kissed me. Why would you do that?”
“I needed to test a theory I’ve had for a while. And you really, really kissed me back.”

The Hating Game had all my favorite tropes for both a romantic comedy and a romance novel. It also had a few little twists to those tropes that were absolutely amazing and really added to my enjoyment. The highlight of the book were the characters themselves. I didn’t have a lot in common with Lucy (other than her inability to say no to others at work), and in fact we seemed to be opposites in a lot a ways (right down to our heights), but she was such a fantastic protagonist. She’s quirky, sweet, smart, and hard-working. Then there’s Josh. At first, he comes across as an arrogant – albeit very good looking – pain in Lucy’s ass, but as the story continued, we see the layers to Josh peel back and oh boy. World, I have new book boyfriend and his name is Joshua Templeman. The fact that he had insecurities and was self-conscious about himself and his body was so refreshing for a male lead in a romance book. He wasn’t full of himself and had a more reserved personality, and yet still had an air of confidence that was totally sexy. 

“He’s looking at me with fierce tenderness in his eyes. Eyes like he loves me. Now I know I must be dreaming.”

I now understand all the high praises and great reviews I’ve seen about this book, because it deserves all it. I devoured this. The Hating Game is now one of my favorite contemporary romance novels and I can’t wait to read more from Sally Thorne.

Top Ten Tuesday: Author’s I’d Love to Meet

Happy October! 🎃 Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The theme for this week was authors we’d like to meet, and as soon as I saw it I couldn’t wait to start writing out my post!

1. GEORGE R. R. MARTIN
Although this list is not in any particular order, I have him on top because this man seems to be near impossible to meet. The only appearance he’ll be doing for his upcoming book, Fire and Blood, is a signing in New Jersey. I’m really hoping that once he finishes and publishes The Winds of Winter, there will be more opportunities to see him.

2. LAINI TAYLOR
Laini was at this past BookCon, and while I had intended to go to her signing, I had another event at the same time, so I gave the ticket to my mom to get my books signed. My mom said she was so friendly and took the time to talk with each person, and I think of all the signings I ended up missing, that was the one I regretted the most. Thankfully, Laini has an appearance at a bookstore not too far from me next week, and I’ve already reserved my spot to meet her!

3. LEIGH BARDUGO
I would love for the chance to meet this Queen of Young Adult Fantasy. She’s one of the most popular authors, and so tickets for her signings/meet and greets always sell out super quickly. I really hope she goes to BookCon again next year so I can finally meet her!

4. ROSHANI CHOKSHI
She has quickly become one of my favorite authors and I was so glad to see her name listed under the authors list for YALLFest! Meeting her is already top of my list for things to do while I’m there, and probably one of the events I’m most excited about. 

5. TESSA DARE
I always talk about how much I love her books and how she’s the author I always recommend to Historical Romance newbies. She’s truly one of the reasons I really became to enjoy reading books in that genre, and I would love nothing more than to meet her. 

6. KATE QUINN
Another author whose books are one of my absolute favorites. Her books are always so well written and researched, and after her most recent release, The Alice Network, I’m itching for more by her! I hope one day there is an opportunity for me to see her in person

7. J. K. ROWLING
As the author of the Harry Potter series, there’s no way I wouldn’t include her on this list. She’s another author who’s rarely seen out in the wild (at least for signings) and I would do anything for the chance to meet her.  

8. ADRIENNE YOUNG
Sky in the Deep was one of the best books I’ve read this year, and it quickly became one of my favorites. I was equally excited when I saw that she would also be appearing at YALLFest and that I would have the chance to meet her!

9. JENNIFER ARMENTROUT
She seriously impresses me in the way she can write books of all genres and age groups. I think have everything from her YA contemporaries to her YA paranormals, from her NA contemporaries to her adult romances. I’ve been wanting to meet her for such a long time now and I hope it happens one day soon. 

10. SARAH MACLEAN
Another HR author whose books really got me hooked on regency romance. Her books are some of my favorite in that genre. She’s going to be at KissCon – what appears to be a romance novel convention – next spring right near me, and after looking at the list of authors appearing, I think I may try to attend!


Are any of your favorite authors on my list? If you could meet anyone, who would it be? Let me know in the comments below!

First Line Friday #2

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature hosted by Wandering Words. The meme is based on the idea that instead of judging a book by its cover, author, prestige, we judge it instead by its opening line(s). The book I picked today is one that contains a highly  important message, especially with everything we see in YA books these days being. You can check out my review of the book here!

FLF2

 


ABOUT THE BOOK

29102896Title: Bad Romance
Author: Heather Demetrios
Genre: Contemporary
Rating: ★★★★

Grace wants out. Out of her house, where her stepfather wields fear like a weapon and her mother makes her scrub imaginary dirt off the floors. Out of her California town, too small to contain her big city dreams. Out of her life, and into the role of Parisian artist, New York director—anything but scared and alone.

Enter Gavin: charming, talented, adored. Controlling. Dangerous. When Grace and Gavin fall in love, Grace is sure it’s too good to be true. She has no idea their relationship will become a prison she’s unable to escape.