I feel like I have talked about September all month long and I don’t want to rehash it other than to say that I am happy that it is over! I also realized that in the stress of this month I never posted my review of One by One?? I was looking for it to share a link and then realized it was sitting in my drafts. Agh, but at least I know what I will be posting on Monday 🙂
It’s not surprising that August was my lowest reading month since the last half of the month I started slumping. I had my first appointment at the neuroscience center that I was referred to and ever since then I have been struggling to concentrate. Next week, I am going back for the third time, which is encouraging because my new team of doctors is taking it so seriously and are committed to figuring out what is going on with me and they will be with me for the rest of my health journey. But it is also discouraging because it is three and a half hours away from me so the trip takes a lot out of me each time. Plus, my worst case diagnosis (MS) is now my best case scenario. At least to me it is. My doctors might think differently (ha!) but the other option(s) would require possible surgery amongst other things and that has been hard to wrap my head around. To be honest though, I used to think the same about MS and now I’ve had about eight months to come to terms with it so I know if it goes a different way that I will be ok. I feel like I might be more comfortable with MS because I know more about it and I didn’t even realize this other option was a thing until I met with one of my MS specialists earlier this month. Anyways, I thought I would mention it here because it has started to affect not only my reading but my blogging and this community has been such a great stress reliever and a comfort to me these past nine months. It is just so amazing to talk (write) about books and listen to (read) other fellow book lovers talk about books.
But enough about that, let’s get into the 12 books that I read last month. I’m going to try something different this month and I will first be going through my August TBR and letting you know what I read and didn’t read from that list. Then I will share all the other bonus books that I read.
This was a DNF for me. I just didn’t mesh with the main character, or any character really, at all.
This book is actually banned on Amazon because its subject matter is very dark. It involves two characters, Rabbit and Dolly, who were childhood best friends and both are victims of the same child rape ring. They grow up, fall in love, and get their revenge. Tillie Cole is my favorite dark romance author and she always does an incredible job of taking such difficult topics and having her characters find redemption. I fell in love with both Rabbit and Dolly who are two incredibly messed up people and I was rooting for them and was so emotionally invested in their story. I won’t recommend this because it is such a difficult topic to read but if it sounds interesting to you then I would give it a go.
My cat, Fern, chose David Copperfield for this one. I didn’t finish it in August but hopefully this month.
I still can’t believe that my son picked this for me but I really think it was the first book he saw when he went to my shelves! Anyways, I went into this thinking it was like a locked room mystery/thriller where these authors are being slowly picked off by a killer at a writing retreat. Wow, I couldn’t have been more wrong! This is a cleverly crafted horror where four authors spend the night at a haunted house for PR reasons by invitation of the owner of a popular horror entertainment website and the aftermath of that decision for all of them. This book was gruesome, terrifying, brutal but also captivating, engrossing and entertaining. I always appreciate the way an author formats their books and I especially love when it plays into the story like Thomas did with Kill Creek. Like every horror there are lots of trigger warnings like, domestic abuse, death, gore, body horror, psychological horror, suicide. I was very impressed with this and I can’t wait to read Thomas’s second novel, Violet in the near future.
I love this whole series so much and I can’t recommend it enough. I was so excited last month when I found out there is going to be a fourth Stevie book coming out next year. I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say that I was a little let down by the conclusion of this trilogy. I had it going a different way in my head so that’s obviously a me thing and not a book thing. I do know that if teenage me had read this series she would have been even more obsessed with them and I’m kind of sad that I didn’t have Stevie when I was a teenager. I don’t know if that makes sense but I feel like I would have identified more with her. These books also have some great anxiety rep!
I ended up DNF’ing this at 12%. I’m so disappointed because I have really enjoyed Ellison’s newer books but this felt like it was written by someone different. I really enjoy police procedurals but this was so boring and I hated our main detective. My most hated trope is the “not like other girls” and there was already so much of that in the small amount that I did read. I would pass on this series but I do recommend her newer releases.
This is a dark academia book with a group of Shakespeare students at a prestigious and small arts college. The school is so prestigious because it is highly competitive and every year students are dropped from the program if they don’t feel like they are achieving enough. This pressure combined with some of the group dynamics leads to a possible murder and the story really takes off from there. I really enjoyed the Shakespeare aspect and I have heard some people say that it wasn’t realistic to them (which is a fair assessment) but to me it all felt incredibly real. I was also captivated by the dynamics and roles each person played in the group and how they all interacted with each other. I am always fascinated by what motivates people to make the choices that they do and I think that is what made me love this book so much.
I decided to listen to this one because I really enjoy listening to books written in verse, especially when they are narrated by the author. This book follows two girls, one in New York and the other in the Dominican Republic, who don’t know about each other but share the same father. When their father dies in a plane crash they have to deal with not only their grief but also the family secrets they weren’t even aware of. The first half of this book was very difficult for me to get through because I can still vividly remember 9/11 and so reading a book about a plane crash was pretty triggering. I also still struggle to read books having to do with grief but that is getting easier as more time passes since I lost my Grandma. So, overall, the first half of this book was an experience but I also think that it really speaks to Acevedo’s talent that she could invoke such strong emotions in me. Also, speaking of 9/11, I was shocked when I got to the end of this book and in her author’s note, Acevedo tells us that this book is based on an actual plane crash that happened shortly after 9/ll because I had no idea. I am ashamed that I completely missed her entire community’s loss and I am grateful that she brought it to my attention. I really enjoyed the back and forth narration between the two sisters and it was so interesting to see their two completely different worlds. Acevedo is one of the best YA writers out there and I will forever buy anything that she writes. Trigger warnings for death, grief, sexual abuse, and toxic parenting.
My son and I were reading this on and off for the last six months. We took a big break over the summer but we finished it the first week school was back and we both really enjoyed it. Cassidy had a near death experience and ever since then she has been able to see beyond the veil to the Other Side. She also found a ghost best friend who is almost always with her and of course tags along when Cassidy’s parents get their own ghost adventure reality show. The first stop is Amsterdam and there she learns more about what she is capable of and becomes entangled with a sinister ghost. This was such a fun story and incredibly well written. It was so fun to read out loud because it was so wonderfully descriptive and because of that it was so vivid in our minds. We will be picking up the second book in this series and continuing on with our read-a-long .
Way back in January I made a list of book related and blogging goals that I wanted to work on this year. Today I’m going to check in and see how I have been doing with them.
Read 120 books. I can’t believe I am writing this but I finished my 120th book last week! I never imagined that I would have read so many books HALF WAY through the year. I have never in my life read more than 141 books in a year which I’m going to obviously blow past this year. As excited as I am, I also know that the biggest reason why is because of my health issues and the fact that I am limited on how active I am. Books are also just a great comfort for the dumpster fire that is 2020.
Read more big books. This has been a big fail. I have only read three and two of them weren’t even ones I started this year. This is for sure something I need to be better out this latter half of the year.
Read a variety of genres. This is also another one that I need to make more of an effort with. My top two genres are romance and mystery/thrillers. The first half of the year romance made up 50.5% of my reading!!! Mysteries/thrillers made up 17.1%. Which means only 32.4% of my reading is anything other than my top genres. I hope when it comes time to wrap up my year I have moved this number closer to the 50% line.
Read more plays and poetry. I have read one play and one book of poetry. I do have a couple more books of poetry that I am planning on reading soon. I was recently watching CarolynMarieReads on Youtube and she read a Shakespeare play while listening to it and that seems like something I would enjoy doing.
Read one classic a month. Finally, another goal I’m actually doing good on! Over the past six months I have read 8 classics.
Stick to my TBR’s. Right below this list I will have a break down of how many books I read from each month’s TBR.
Read at least one Kindle Unlimited book a month. I kind of forgot about this one so I haven’t been doing this the past few months. I think I’ve only read five which is just awful. I’m so annoyed at myself!!
Read more Kindle books. I was obviously not anticipating how much I would come to rely on my Kindle. There are many days where reading physical books is uncomfortable or at times painful, so my Kindle has been a great resource. 67.9% of my reading this year has been on my Kindle.
January: 6 books picked. 5 read.
February: 7 books picked. 6 read.
March: 7 books picked. 5 read.
April: 7 books picked. 1 read. 1 DNF.
May: 10 books picked. 5 read.
June: 12 books picked. 7 read. 1 currently reading
Update my blog consistently. I have been doing a good job of this. I started my blog in 2017 but I didn’t devote consist time to it until 2019. This year I have been updating my blog at least a few days a week and I’m happy that I have kept it a priority.
Review every book that I read. I feel like I do this around 80% of the time. There is room for improvement but I am also happy that the number is so high.
Tweak my website. I was working on this the first few months of the year but it is something that I have stopped completely even thinking about it. I know for sure one thing that I would like to do before the year is over is to add a picture of me so I’m just not a gray circle when I comment on people’s blogs.
June is my favorite month of the year but even I have to admit that those 30 days felt like five years. The Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ+ movements are so incredibly important and just because we have moved into a new month we need to make sure that we are not leaving those causes and people behind. Especially as those communities are still being targeted with hate, bigotry and violence as I am writing this. I hope that we all continue to fight and push back against ignorance and injustice as we encounter it.
Now, let’s talk about some books. June has been my worst reading month in terms of how diverse my genres were. Also, I only read one physical book last month. ONE. PHYSICAL. BOOK. The majority of that is because I, for some goodness knows why reason, signed up for waaaayyy too many blog tours. I have a few this month and a couple in August and I have pretty much stopped signing up for them because while I love reading and helping to promote new releases, I miss reading from my backlist. So, my goal in the second half of this year is to find more of a balance between the two.
My Brother’s Five Friends is obviously a very smutty book but I was surprised by how much this book connects the characters emotionally. I also appreciated that this book kept the consequences of them all being together realistic. I did find that it was too much insta love for me and I would have liked the build up to their relationship to take longer. I did think the epilogue was super cute and I liked how it all worked out.
The Guest List was a very disappointing read for me. I love the concept of it but the entire execution just fell flat. I honestly feel like if the author had cut one of the narrators out completely I would have enjoyed this so much more. Which is shocking for me to admit because I love stories with multiple narrators. However, in this book I think it just made the whole story convoluted with all the different characters and different plot lines. There was no real suspense built up because we were too busy dealing with all the drama of these characters and their pasts. Also, there are trigger warnings for this story so please check Goodreads before you pick it up if you think you might need to pass on it.
I’m happy to report that March was a good month for me in regards to actually reading what is on my shelves. I’m sure a large part of that was the Backlist Readathon that I participated in. I did only manage to read four books that were on my February TBR but I’m giving myself a pass since last month was a huge transition for all of us. I also dropped the ball in reviewing the books that I read which I’m more disappointed about since I have been doing pretty well at keeping up. Oh well, April is a new month and I aim to review every book that I read this month.
This is so fun and cute and I was swooning over the love story. Then we got to a completely out of left field rape scene that was basically brushed over and I am so mad the author did that. I’m still undecided if I will finish with the series or not.
I was so in love with the first part of this book and then it took a turn for the worst. It is advertised as a documentary type book which is a lie since that is only a part of the first maybe 50 pages. Then the story tried to lecture the reader about race, racism and inequality from the perspective of the POC characters and it just came across as gross to me.
I read this book in high school and yet I forgot pretty much everything about this story in the intervening 15 or so years. I absolutely fell in love with this book. The writing was so beautiful, the stories were so compelling and the characters and settings all felt so real to me. I also really love the way this book is formatted and jumps between different characters stories. I already plan on rereading this (probably next year) and reading each person stories in whole before moving onto the next person.
Aren’t the covers of these books so gorgeous?! I love them all so much and they fit the books so well. Unfortunately this is my least favorite of the Hades Hangmen series (not including the novellas) and I don’t think it brought a lot to the overall story. I was still happy to be back in this world and with these characters so I still really enjoyed it.
I had this book on my Most Anticipated 2020 list and I’m so bummed that I found it to be just ok. I had a hard time connecting with the narrator because he was a five year old boy. It made all of the events not as traumatic as they would be if we were reading from the mom’s perspective. I also think the author rushed the events of the book since this entire story takes place in like a month.
Last month I read a crazy amount of books… 22! I don’t think I have ever read that much in one month before but I credit a lot of that to not being able to do much else at the beginning of the year plus I discovered Tillie Cole’s Hades Hangmen series. I can tell you that while I’m still reading a lot it has definitely slowed down. We are almost half way through February and I’ve read 6 books, which is still a lot but I’m for sure not going to reach January’s number. I am happy that I am reading less because it means that I am able to be doing more of my day to day life.
I am happy to report that I read all but one of the books (technically I’m reading one right now) on my January TBR and a couple of books from my Magical Readathon tbr. Those books also worked for two of my January Romanceopoly books.
I will link to any reviews that I did for the books mentioned below. Also be sure to check out all my stats for the month at the end of this post.
I was really excited to read this because it is so highly talked about but I thought the first half of this book was so boring. I did like the second half so I plan on continuing on (slowly) with the series.
Anna Kendrick is one of my favorite actresses so it was no surprise that I loved this book. I also listened to it as an audiobook which I highly recommend because it added so much to the experience. And we all know that I am not an audiobook person so that is saying something coming from me. I started this in December and towards the end of the book she talks about how her Grandma’s death effected her which was hard for me so I put it down for about a month. I ended up loving the end of this book the most and I am convinced that Anna and I would be best friends if given the chance.
I did really enjoy this book but for me it was more a well done survival story than a thriller. I was disappointed while reading it because this book has been so hyped up and I feel like every reveal was obvious. I do highly recommend this book though because it is very much a locked room “mystery” which is my favorite thing to read. Combine that with an intense survival story and you have an exciting read.
I’m sorry this coming to you so late. The last two weeks of my life my kids and I had a terrible bout of the flu. If you are a mom or just a caregiver than you know how hard it can be to take care of people when you aren’t feeling well yourself. I actually lost my voice for three days after Thanksgiving which is interesting when you are a mom. My older kids probably enjoyed it (ha!) but it was definitely a challenge with my two year old. Anyways, now that you know all about my life for the past couple of weeks let’s wrap up November. I read 16 books and some of them are my favorite books of the year. It’s safe to say that November was very good to me and I hope that continues on into this month.
I loved this! I feel like no one talks about how dark this book is. I would say it’s more of a dark twisted tale of Healthcliff’s life and not so much a romance. Is there a romance? Yes, but I don’t feel like it is the point of the story. I do appreciate how absolutely scandalous it must have been in the late 1800’s. In fact it is still pretty scandalous to a lot of people today which is a big reason this book transcends time. Healthcliff and Catherine have a brutal romance and they are both mean, terrible, incredibly cruel characters. I loved the gothic overtones to the story and the whole way the story is laid out was perfection to me.
I have a review of this coming tomorrow as part of the HQN Holiday Romance blog Tour.
I don’t want to say too much about this book because it is better to go into it blind. It is one of the best thrillers I have read this year and I highly recommend everyone read it.
This is a short classic, only 123 pages, but it is amazing. This is one of my favorite classics of all time and I know I will re read this many times in my life and get something new out of it every time. This book reminds me a lot of a humanities philosophy class that I took in college and I found the ideas and themes in this book fascinating.
This was such a fascinating little story. I don’t know what say about it since it’s so short and I don’t want to spoil anything. I will say that it is a travesty that this won the Goodreads best Horror a couple of years ago. There is no horror in this book. It is just a simple story of a man facing the end of his life and trying to right a wrong he felt he made in treating his neighbors poorly.
The author of this book was kind enough to send me a digital copy of this book to review. Unfortunately this book just didn’t work for me. The premise is good but the author got way to caught up in trying to do too many reveals and twists and many of them didn’t feel authentic to the story. I do plan on trying another book by this author because I really did like the idea behind the this story.
When this book first started I was immediately hooked but the longer the story went on the more disjointed everything felt. The pacing for the whole book was off and I have no idea how much time went by from the beginning of the book to the end. The chemistry between the two characters was spicy but they never resolved any of the issues surrounding why it took them so long to get together. People rave about The Hating Game by this author so I will definitely be reading that in 2020.
It took me forever to read this book. I started it in October and I finished it on the last day of November. I had a hard time getting into the story but I do understand why so many people rave about this book. This is definitely a it’s me not you kind of situation. If you enjoy historical fiction then I think you would really enjoy this mystery. I feel like part of the reason I couldn’t get into the story was that I found the stories of the girls at the boarding school so incredibly sad and I was so upset that girls were ever treated this way. It would take a lot out of me to read from their perspectives, especially the more we got into the story. I will for sure be reading more from this author in the future.
October has come to an end and while I was able to read 14 books (and DNF’d one) I kind of feel let down. I didn’t finish a single book on my VICTOBER TBR which I’m very disappointed by. I will finish Wuthering Heights today but that will of course be in my November wrap up. I also didn’t complete as many books as I wanted on my October TBR as I thought I would be. Part of the reason is that I decided about mid way through October that I really want to knock down all the books I currently have on my Netgalley shelf this year. Most of them haven’t come out yet but there are some that came out during the summer that I still haven’t read or reviewed. I really want to go into the new year with a good system for reading and reviewing ARC’s and I want to be able to start with a blank slate. With all that being said I still read 14 books and most of them were really good.
This was a let down. It was an ok YA romance but I just wanted more. I never felt the connection between Millie and Flora beyond just friends and Millie thinking Flora was pretty.
This was so good! A terrific crime fiction with dual narrators and also dual timelines. I didn’t like the detective this series is based around too much but I really connected with the kidnapping victim Flora and her story. She is a survivor of a past kidnapping (yes she gets kidnapped AGAIN) and she is dealing with all the horrific things she went through during the year plus that she was taken. This book doesn’t shy away from the darkness that Flora endures so keep that in mind if this sounds intriguing to you.
This had much more of the fun trashiness that was missing from the second book. I love how the book ended and I really feel like it went full circle. Logan has annoyed me from the first book but, while he was still irritating, I felt like he was finally more of a fleshed out character There are two more books in this series and I am a little apprehensive of continuing on. I read the synopsis of the fourth book and I was shocked. So if you haven’t read the previous three I highly suggest you don’t sneak a peek at that book!
This is a typical Shari Lapena with multiple narrators and a twisty turny ride of a book. Unfortunately this is my least favorite of her books. I didn’t like any of the characters and by the end of the book I didn’t care who killed who or why. Which doesn’t bode well for a thriller.
I tried for a couple of weeks to read this and I only got to 18%. This book came out in 2006 so it is obviously not written by Agatha Christie and it is a poor imitation of her writing. The publishers should have chosen to modernize Poirot instead of trying to copy the brilliance that is Agatha Christie.
I have a full review coming up this week for this book but just know that this is one of the best thrillers I have read this year. I had no idea how this book was going to end and I couldn’t wait to find out. Also, if you have Kindle Unlimited this book is on there so you should check it out!
Oh my gosh y’all. I never thought I would actually complete this post. I have had the most annoying technical difficulties putting this together. For some reason WordPress kept deleting my pictures??? I’ve never had that happen before. Anyways, I figured it all out and here we are…. only two months late… 🙂
I thought it would be fun to track my reading quarterly to see if it changes at all with the different seasons. It’s funny to say but it never even crossed my mind to track my reading statistically until booktube. Then I was knee deep in babies and life and I just never took the time to figure it all out. I decided since my youngest (and last baby!) turned 2 in January that now was a good time to start. Before I share my stats I’m going to list all the books I read each month and link to any reviews that I did.
There you have it. All my book stats for the first three months of the year. I am the most pleased with how many 500+ pages books I have read so far. Especially since I didn’t read any last year! I am the most disappointed in how little I am reading my physically owned books. I have a five shelf bookcase that holds all my unread books and one of the shelves is double stacked. In three months I only managed to take five books off that bookcase which is pretty terrible. Let’s see if I can do better with that in the next three months.