Contemporary-a-thon Round 5 Wrap Up

Since it has been almost a week since the contemporary-a-thon ended I thought I should hurry and post my wrap up before it gets to be too late. Here is my Contemporary-a-thon Round 5 TBR if you want to check out all the things I was planning on reading for each challenge. Also, to be totally transparent, I finished two of the books on this list after the readathon ended but I’m still counting them since I was more than half way through them when time ran out. Which in my book totally counts. Right?

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Challenge completed: Read a diverse contemporary

This is a middle grade book about George who was born a boy but knows she is a girl. She wants to play Charlotte in the school play of Charlotte’s Web because she really connected to her character and it will also give her the chance of presenting herself to the world as a female. Not only does George’s school not allow her to do this she is also being picked on at school for being different and her mom isn’t receptive to what George is going through. I really appreciated that even though this is a middle grade book it didn’t feel too juvenile.  This is a beautiful , well done and important story that I think everyone should read. I gave this book to my ten year old to read because one of the best things about books is how it gives us perspectives that we wouldn’t have otherwise. Also, I think every school should have this book available because I feel like it has the potential to help so many.

Rating: 5/5

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Challenge completed: read a contemporary with an illustrated cover

This was a fun romance read. I love football so I really enjoyed this behind the scenes look at the game from a girlfriend of one of the players. This was the author’s first book and I am really hopeful that each book in this series is just going to get better and better. Some of the drama in this book felt unnecessary because it didn’t do anything to further the plot along. In fact most of the time it was confusing because there were times the main character, Marlee, would say she avoids conflict but then she is constantly fighting everyone. Which would have been fine if it didn’t seem to conflict with how the author was trying to portray Marlee. Overall I really liked Marlee and her friends and I absolutely loved the love interest Gavin. The ending of this book really brought my rating down because I hated how the author completely changed a character just to have this big conflict at the end. The conflict did not need to be so over the top and the pacing of everything was just so off. However, like I said before, I have high hopes for the rest of the series because for the most part this was a really fun and sweet romance.

Rating: 3.5/5

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Challenges completed: read a contemporary with plants on the cover (the roses on the pants pockets)/ read a contemporary with yellow on the cover/ read a hard hitting contemporary

I LOVE this book. I am so mad at myself for waiting so long to read it. This is a beautiful story about twin sisters who have just graduated high school and their lives during their last summer at home on the island they have never left. Georgina and Mary are born into a family with magical powers and I loved how the author wove the magic into this beautiful and powerful coming of age story. The magical elements of this book only made this book more beautiful and heart wrenching. This is one of the best YA books I have ever read.

Rating: 5/5

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Challenge completed: read a contemporary that has been recommend by someone in the book community (literally everyone who has read this)

Omg this book you guys. I was so in love with this book… until the ending. If I could just give Evelyn Hugo’s story a rating it would be five stars. I loved her story and I love her so much. She is a character who will stay with me for a long time. However, all the choices the author made when Evelyn was done telling her story annoyed me. One of my biggest bookish pet peeves is when an author gets to the end of the book and repetitively tells the reader what the story meant. You just told a beautiful story that conveys your message we do not need you to flash it in bright lights at the end to make sure we got it. Also, if you didn’t want to read all 391 pages of this book you could just flip to the last two where the author summarizes the entire freaking book. Wtf? It was so unnecessary and I still don’t understand why she made those choices at the end. Obviously most people love this book (over 110,000 people have rated it and it has an average of 4.32) so take my critiques with a grain of salt. I do plan on re reading this book multiple times in my life. I will just do like I plan on doing with Game of Throne rewatches… avoid the ending.

Rating: 3/5

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Challenge completed: read a 2019 release

I really wanted to like this book so much more than I did. Millie is a great character but I never once believed that she really liked Princess Flora. The only redeeming quality that Millie has for Flora throughout the majority of the story is that she is pretty. Obviously I knew there was going to be a romance between the two but I never once felt it was believable. All the drama between them didn’t do anything to help me feel a connection between them. I did really like Flora’s character so maybe this book would have been better if told from her perspective. Overall, this was a just a bland YA romance.

Rating: 2/5

~Cassie

 

August Wrap Up: 16 books

I’m blown away with how many books I read this month. I credit a lot of that to rediscovering my love of romance books. I used to borrow my mom’s Jackie Collins and other romance books starting when I was in middle school and  through high school. I fell out of reading romance sometime after high school and it has been a lot of fun getting back into this genre. I’ve even recommended a couple of books to my mom and it has been fun talking to her about them. Although now that I have said all that I’m pretty sure the biggest reason I read so many books is because a lot of them are short books. A couple of them are under a hundred pages and a large number were under 300. So let’s see what I am able to accomplish in September.

I’ve been spending some time thinking of what I want my wrap ups to look like and I have decided that I want them to be much more structured. So, I’m going to share them organized by what type of book (audiobook, physical copy and ebook) and at the end of the post will be all my monthly stats. I find reading stats so interesting and I want to incorporate that more into my blog.

Ebook

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Netgalley Review: We Went to the Woods by Caite Dolan-Leach

This is a contemporary centering around a group of friends who are living in a commune and the reader knows from the beginning that things are not going to end well. If you love character driven stories I highly suggest this one to you.

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Netgalley Review: The Perfect Wife by J.P. Delaney

If you love thrillers you will love J.P. Delaney’s books.

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The Pirate Next Door by Jennifer Ashley

My first pirate romance and I loved it! I gave this book three stars because I didn’t really like the other random romance that was suddenly introduced into the book and was sporadically a part of the story. The worst part for me is that we would also read from the two lovers perspectives but I just didn’t care because it was taking away from the main story that I wanted to know about. The secondary romance should have been a novella and it would have worked a lot better. I tried reading a Jennifer Ashley book during the last round of the Smutathon and I ended up DNF’ing it so I’m happy that this book worked for me. One of her the books, The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie has been recommended to me so I will definitely be reading that in the future.

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Birthday Girl by Penelope Douglas

My favorite read of the month. I was so invested in this romance and I shouldn’t have because on paper it sounds awful. A girl falling for her boyfriend’s dad. The longing and angst in this book was so good though!! Such a great forbidden romance and I highly recommend this to anyone who is a fan of romance or just wants to try the genre. I was not disappointed and I don’t think you will either.

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The Tea Dragon Festival by Katie O’Neill

I will be doing a full review of this in a couple weeks when this book comes out. Just know that this is just as amazing as the first one.

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Verity by Colleen Hoover

Another amazing five star read. This had some of the creepiest scenes that I have read in a long time. I was so impressed with how well Hoover writes a thriller. Of course the romance in this book was superb and I absolutely loved the element of not knowing if we could trust the male love interest, Jeremy. I figured out the twist about half way through but I still think it was really well done. And I was going to bring my rating down to a 4.5 but I really like the way the ending leaves you thinking. I think this book would appeal to both fans of romance and thrillers. Definitely the best of both worlds.

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It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

This is such a heartbreaking read. This book made me feel all the things and at one point I was actually crying while reading this. I teared up quite a few times but I was full on crying at one point. My poor husband was sitting next to me watching a movie and he just held me while I cried over this book. This book deals with domestic abuse and it feels so real to read about so please be aware of that going into this. Colleen Hoover based this story on the relationship her parents had while married and after you read this make sure you read her author note at the end of the book.

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Netgalley Review: The Favorite Daughter

This is a decent contemporary suspense book that I didn’t love but I can see why other people do.

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Enjoying the Show by Marie Harte

I was so impressed by how fleshed out this novella is. The book is only 91 pages but it felt like a complete story. The only criticism I have is that the stuff with Gage’s family takes away from Gage and Hailey’s story but I understand that it is there because we need that background for the rest of the series. If you are in the mood for a quick fun romance then I think you will enjoy this one.

Physical

#Classicsathon wrap up

August was #classicathon and these are the books that I read for that readathon.

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Shiver by Junji Ito

This is my first manga and most of these stories creeped me out. This is a short story collection of 13 horror stories. A few of them were on the funny side but for the most part they creeped me out. Some more than others. Greased was the most disgusting one by far. I honestly felt sick to my stomach reading that one. With that said I gave this five stars and I borrowed Ito’s other book Smashed from my brother to read soon. If you are a horror fan than you need to read Junji Ito’s work. He is called the master of horror manga for a reason.

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The Tea Dragon Society by Katie O’Neill

This is the cutest book of all time. My second favorite read of the month (tied with its sequel).

Audiobook

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I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden Sate Killer by Michelle McNamara

Besides having the longest title of all time this was a pretty decent read. It took me months to finish the audiobook though because I am not really an audiobook person but I am trying. I would just prefer to listen to music or a podcast instead. I do think that I liked this book more listening to it than I would have liked reading it. The book really shined when it was dealing with the crime aspects and it felt like a crime podcast that I would normally listen to. I really struggled when it came to all the personal stuff about her family and life that I didn’t feel was necessary to the story.

Monthly Stats

Author                                        Genre                                         Book Source                Page #

Male: 6                                       Crime: 1                                      Library: 8                     1-300: 7                 

Female: 10                                 Romance: 4                                Own: 4                          301-500: 9

Thriller/Suspense: 3                  Netgalley: 4

Classics: 2

Graphic Novel: 4

Contemporary: 1

 

 

Release Date                           Star Rating                                   Total Pages Read:        Pages/Day

New: 4                                     2*: 1                                               3,790                               122.3

Older: 12                                 3*: 2

4*: 5

5* : 8

 

~Cassie

 

#Classicsathon wrap up

This was a successful month of reading for me. I was able to read a lot of books and five of them were classics. If you remember the only goal of #Classicsathon was to read one classic during the month of August. All of the classics are on the shorter side but I’m still happy to have been able to read more than a few of them.

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The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

This is the sweetest children’s book.  The adventure part of the story is perfect for kids and all the deeper meanings that can be read into the Little Prince are perfect for adults. I wasn’t expecting the end of this book to deal with grief and it brought me to tears.

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The Pearl by John Steinbeck

This book follows the story of Kino, his wife Juana and their baby boy. One day Kino finds a massive pearl and the book is all about the things that happen to them afterward. I liked the insight into how the poor people like Kino lived versus how the rich people in the village lived. The Pearl also perfectly captures the dark side of wealth, privilege, and greed. I was not prepared for how dark this book was and wow that ending was something that I never saw coming.

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Oz: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Eric Shanower

Unfortunately, I didn’t like this graphic novel adaptation of The Wizard of Oz. This is adapted from the book series and not the movie so I did find it interesting the differences between the two. I was previously only familiar with the movie and I have to say that I like that version the best. Although I do want to give the actual book a try in the future and see if my opinion changes. The writing in this graphic novel was pretty juvenile and I would have to take breaks while reading because I could feel myself getting annoyed. Also, the art in this was not the best. When the action scenes were happening it was hard to see what was happening because of how dark it was. (Very reminiscent of the Battle of Winterfell.) The art was also gothic and dark compared to how young the writing was. I definitely would have appreciated the art more if there wasn’t such a disconnect with the writing.

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Animal Farm by George Orwell

While reading this book I was reminded of how dangerous it is to have a leader with unchecked power.  In Animal Farm there is a saying, “Four legs bad. Two legs good.” To translate that to today it would be “Republicans bad. Democrats good.” This book also reminds us that while someone might start off with a better way of doing things, if they are in the position where no one is making sure that they are doing right by their people it will never end well. Absolute power corrupts absolutely and history has consistently proven that true time and time again.

~Cassie

 

Update and July Wrap Up

This has been such an odd month for me. I have been slumping hard on reading and blogging. I actually had planned this whole month of blog posts out but when it came time to sit down and write them I just wasn’t feeling it. I still have not been reading much but I have been feeling the itch to blog. So I am optimistically here with hopes that August will be a much more productive month for me.

I actually started a few blog posts but never finished writing them. I will probably just scrap my June wrap up since that ship has long since sailed. The other one is my 2nd quarter stats and I definitely want to finish that and post it. I compared my first and second quarter numbers and I find reading stats so interesting and I think a lot of other people do to. The other post is a book review so I will put that finishing touches on that as well.

As far as reading goes I only have read two books. I am currently in the middle of two other books but I don’t think I’m going to finish them before the month is over. There are so many good books coming out in August that I can’t wait to read so I’m hoping that will help pull me out of my slump. I also went to the library and got a bunch of graphic novels that I also hope will help me.

Now we are on to the two books that I finished this month. I did attempt to read a third but I dnf’d pretty early on because I just found myself getting so annoyed while reading it. Those books are as follows:

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The Creeping by Alexandra Sirowy

I really liked this book. It was a really good YA thriller that kept me guessing the whole way through. There was of course a romance thrown in but I didn’t mind it too much and actually think it added a nice element to the story. It was way too instalove for me especially given the history of the two characters but it also had its really cute moments. I also loved the ending and didn’t see it coming. It was dark and twisted which is exactly what I want in a thriller.

Rating: 4/5

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Friend Request by Laura Marshall

This is the book I dnf’d. I made it 20% through and nothing had really happened. Also the main character seemed so obsessed with old high school friends finally accepting her and it was just annoying me. The plot sounds so intriguing but it was way too slow with a character who I didn’t really care what happened to her.

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

This was also a really good YA thriller. I absolutely loved the setting of the book. It takes place near a horror themed amusement park and I wish more of the book had taken place there because it sounds so fun. I would love to visit a place like that. I love the way the mystery unfolded in this one and again I didn’t see the end coming. Unlike The Creeping though I didn’t really like the romance in this book. I enjoyed both of the characters but I didn’t really like them as a couple.

Rating: 4/5

I hope that you had a much better July than me and here is hoping that we have an awesome August!

~Cassie