September 2018 Review

Feversong by Karen Marie Moning
“Things never stop going wrong. Life isn’t about waiting for peace to arrive, it’s about learning to thrive in the midst of war. There’s always another one on the way.”
This is book 9 in the Fever series, and my review can be found here.

High Voltage by Karen Marie Moning
This book picks up about four and a half months after the events of Feversong. That book ended on October 30, and this starts in mid-March. Mac and Barrons have left for a revolt in Faery, so they won’t be in this book. (And side note, but time works in Faery the opposite of what it does in the Silvers: while one week may pass in Faery, a whole year may pass on Earth.) Chesters is open again and Ryodan has been around, but Dani hasn’t really seen much of him. Now at the start of the book he tells her he’s leaving to go do something and that she can’t come with him because her place isn’t with him anymore. Not only is he leaving, but all of the Nine are, and he says he’s going to be gone for YEARS. What?

This is book 10 in the Fever series, and my complete review can be found here.

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu
This was just okay. There wasn’t really any big twist or anything that really kept me turning the pages.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

1. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before ★★★★
2. P.S. I Still Love You ★

This story picks up about a year after the last book left off, with Lara Jean graduating high school. It was an okay ending to the series. For some reason, I just feel like the Gen storyline wasn’t wrapped up/fully addressed in the last book, so I thought she would show back up in this book, which she thankfully didn’t. However, did Peter ever fully apologize for that? Because I don’t think he did. And that really annoys me.

Full review here.

The Simple Wild by K. A. Tucker
This book was really slow and didn’t have as much romance as I expected (maybe the last 1/3 did). It had beautiful descriptions of Alaska, but it went on forever and eventually I got tired of it.

The Score by Elle Kennedy
Off-Campus Series
1. The Deal ★★★
2. The Mistake ★★★
3. The Score ★★★

This was just what I needed after reading The Simple Wild. It was light-hearted fluff (for the most part, although sadly, there was a character death in this one too).

But other reviewers are right in that all of her main characters kind of blend together, and there’s really not much to differentiate Dean from Garrett and Logan. It’s best to take a long break between her books because they ARE all kind of the same (although I believe her latest, The Chase, is her best written yet!).

Briar U
1. The Chase ★★★★

Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins

“Now summer was round and full, fruit ready to burst, a sun emerging fat, yellow, and happy from the sea.”
– Leigh Bardugo

This is a collection of twelve short stories that all take place in the summer, and they are definitely a perfect summer read (well, the ones I enjoyed anyway), but I think they can be enjoyed at any time of the year. This book was worth it for the stories by Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, Lev Grossman, and Veronica Roth. Others were a hit and miss, but I’ve written my thoughts on each of them so you can get an idea what they’re about.

My full review to come soon on this blog!

Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas
Book 6 in the Throne of Glass series. Nesryn and Chaol have come to the continent of Antica to ask the Khagan Urus if he will ally with them in this war, and so Chaol can meet with the healers at Torre Cesne about his legs/spine. Upon arrival, they learn that Nesryn’s hometown of Rifthold has been ransacked by Perrington and his demons, which must mean that her siblings, nieces, parents, are all dead.  Full review coming soon!

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare
“Everybody in this academy, Shadowhunters and mundanes, people with the Sight and without it, every one of them is looking to be a hero. We are all hoping for it, and trying for it, and soon we will be bleeding for it.”

Lie to Me by J. T. Ellison
I got this book from Audible after a random blogger recommended it, and that was a big mistake. I started listening to it when I first got it, but kept turning it off and listening to something else because I just couldn’t bring myself to care for the story or any of the characters. You know it’s a bad sign when you literally DREAD picking up a book/listening to it.

Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

My name is Amber Reynolds. There are three things you should know about me:
1. I’m in a coma.
2. My husband doesn’t love me anymore.
3. Sometimes I lie.

I was wary of picking up another thriller after reading Lie to Me, but then this one had me hooked from the beginning! We start off the book knowing that the narrator is in a coma but aware of her surroundings, and the book alternates between three time periods.

Dirty Headlines by LJ Shen
An enemies to lovers romance, and this was probably my favorite book of the month besides High Voltage! I read it on Kindle Unlimited, but I loved it so much, I immediately went and bought a physical copy.

Yet again, I read 12 books!

Short stories I read:
The Wicked Ones by Cassandra Clare
“She would have rhapsodized about gothic spires spearing the clouds, cobblestone streets shimmering with rain, sunlight dancing on the Seine, and, bien sûr, the infinite varieties of cheese. She would have pointed out that Paris had been home to Baudelaire and Rimbaud, Monet and Gauguin, Descartes and Voltaire, that this was the city that had birthed a new way of speaking, seeing, thinking, being—drawing even the most mundane of mundanes a little closer to the angels.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
This was a nice, short thriller to listen to as an audiobook.

Evidence of the Affair by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The entire story is epistolary and takes place over the course of a year, with letters written between Carrie, who has just discovered her husband is cheating on her, and David, who is married to Janet, who is also “the other woman.” And it takes place in 1977 because it wouldn’t be realistic for people to be writing letters like this today when they could just e-mail, facebook, etc. Which makes me wonder why the story was written in 1977? Only to make it more believable why characters would be writing letters in order to draw the story out? Outside of that, I don’t see any real indicator of the year the story is taking place in, and it just makes me question her writing all the more. If you place your story in a different time, I just feel like there should be a why.

Three Faces of Me by R. L. Stine

“Ever think it might be nice to have two of you? You know, somehow magically split yourself into two people?” 

This was a nice little scary story for kids. I think it’s suitable for kids even as young as five and a good introduction to the horror genre without being too scary.

Previous recaps:
January 2018: 12 books read
February 2018: 8 books read
March 2018: 7 books read
July 2018: 12 books read
August 2018: 12 books read

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August 2018 Review

I’m really late with my recap for August, but better late than never!

Harry Potter – Diagon Alley: A Scrapbook
I read this while waiting in an extremly long line at Books-a-Million for their penny a page sale. You can find my review here.

Harry Potter – The Dark Arts: A Movie Scrapbook
This is a pretty short book that shows various pictures of Diagon Alley with details about the shops and plenty of pictures from the movies. There are several ephemera placed throughout the book, which would be the only reason I even consider buying the book, but it honestly doesn’t add anything new (besides telling you how much detail went into, say, building the Weasley twins’ shop, and then it was only shown on screen for 2 minutes). I’m not sure why they keep trying to milk Harry Potter so badly – I guess because they can. It is nice to pick up right before taking a trip to Potter World though! It brought back so many memories for me and showed me how detailed and true to life the theme park is!

The Deal by Elle Kennedy
It was an enjoyable enough read, but very plain and nothing substantial. There was never really any wow moment, which is why I can’t rate it any higher.

The Mistake by Elle Kennedy
An enjoyable enough read, but just like the first one, there was really no wow moment for me to rate this any higher. It’s still a nice romance, just not my favorite because I’m just not into jocks and it’s hard for me to reconcile what all the ones I know in real life are like with these characters in the book.

Other than that, my only criticism would be this: The difference between an okay writer and a great one is that the great (even good) ones show you, not just tell you. But here, the author tells you Grace went to Paris without describing it; tells you Grace demanded Logan complete a list without even describing the items that were on it, much less showing you how he completed them; tells you Logan wrote a poem without showing you what he wrote; and so on.

The Chase by Elle Kennedy
Enjoyed this, and I feel like her writing has improved since her previous series. The characters are more fleshed out, there’s more detail, and I especially liked the parts where she describes Summer’s ADD. I was nervous about whether that would be well done or not, but it was well done, and I could really relate to Summer (only in that regard, though).

Iced by Karen Marie Moning
This was the 6th book in the Fever series, and probably my least favorite just because I wasn’t interested in Dani’s storyline at the time and wanted more Mac/Barrons. But I have come to like her and have a feeling that if I re-read it, I’d like it a lot more. My review here.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson
This book was so hilarious and such a treat to read. I loved it every bit as much as her other book, Furiously Happy and can’t recommend it highly enough. Don’t take my word for it though. Even Patrick Rothfuss loved it so much that he bought multiple copies of it for Christmas presents. Read his review here.

She also has a blog, which I love: The Bloggess, so check her out there to get an idea of her writing. She is so honest and can cover serious topics such as miscarriage and mental illness but still have you laughing by the end of the chapter.

Burned by Karen Marie Moning
This was SO much better than Iced and restored my faith in this series. Due to some negative reviews I read plus my experience with Iced, I dreaded picking up this book so much and put it off for a long time, but that was a big mistake. This is what I expect from the Fever series. We’re back to Mac’s POV, and we finally get to see Barrons again, and I LOVED it. I actually started liking Ryodan in this one. We also get Christian’s point of view, Kat’s, a little bit of Lor’s, and even the Unseelie King’s. And it started to feel like all of the Nine were pairing up: Ryodan will eventually get with Jada, Lor has a thing for Jo, and maybe Kasteo/Kat?! (Read my full review here.)

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

“If love is like a possession, maybe my letters are like my exorcisms. My letters set me free. Or at least they’re supposed to.

I loved this book just as much as I loved the movie. And it tells you how enjoyable it was that I read this immediately after watching the movie but didn’t find it redundant at all or boring. I mean, Shutter Island is one of my favorite movies, but I couldn’t read the book afterwards because I already knew the plost/twist. This one, I could. So glad people hyped this movie on Twitter. I’m so excited to read the next two books! This review might be incoherent, but that’s because I am going to pick up the next book as soon as I finish this so there you go.

PS: I Still Love You by Jenny Han
In which Lara Jean and Peter date, but then break up because he keeps running back to his other girlfriend every time she comes crying to him. Even when he finds out she slut shamed his actual girlfriend, filmed them in a hot tub, had it posted on the internet, and ensured they both were humiliated, he still keeps Gen around. Peter is just a complete douchebag in this one.

Feverborn by Karen Marie Moning
Book 8 in the Fever series, and my review is here.

Vicious by LJ Shen
This was such a fun read and I just couldn’t put it down! I’m so glad I found out about it through the goodreads deal, and it’s actually available for free with Kindle Unlimited! And then I got the audiobook for only $2 more, which was awesome. I love whispersync and being able to go back between the two. It was completely worth the money.

That makes for a total of 12 books! That makes another great reading month. Let me know in the comments if you’ve read any of these books, and what you ended up reading in August!

Previous recaps:
January 2018: 12 books read
February 2018: 8 books read
March 2018: 7 books read
July 2018: 12 books read

July 2018 Review

Had a great reading month! The books I love are bolded, and the ones that I have lengthy reviews for are linked.

Superbetter by Jane McGonigal
This book is hands down the best and most useful book I read all year and can be completely life-changing. I still need to type up my review for this, but if you only read one book this year, let it be this!

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments #6) by Cassandra Clare
Overall, this was a good conclusion to the series, but I feel like a lot could have been cut out and it wouldn’t have changed the story. For the first third of it at least, it seems like it’s a series of Sebastian attacking and retreating and repeat, which is why it’s taken me months to try and finish this book. It’s also why I often have a hard time reading the last book in a series (ACOWAR, Clockwork Princess, and especially Mockingjay, even HP7). All of a sudden the books are a lot more action-driven, maybe even war-oriented, than they previously were. I like character-driven books.

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover
I’d give the ending 5 stars, but other parts only 1 star.

Providence by Caroline Kepnes
Wow, this was super depressing, a colossal waste of time, and completely pointless because the main character ended the story in the exact same situation he was in 15 pages into the book! You get no answers, explanation, the antagonist conveniently dies right as the main character is confronting him so you really don’t get any answers. Ugh. This is why I normally don’t read thrillers.

Broken Beautiful Hearts by Kami Garcia
I wanted to like this book so badly, but the writing just isn’t that great, and you can skim whole sections and not miss a thing. The first five chapters have been the same few words repeated over and over. At least, that’s what it feels like anyway. The main character keeps repeating over and over how she loves playing soccer and is excited about going to UNC, how she loves her boyfriend but he’s been acting strange, and her “best friend” loves her brother and would defend him at all costs because he pays the bills by fighting/wrestling since their mother can’t. She discovers that her boyfriend has been injecting himself with steroids to improve his fighting and keeps telling him, “Choose me or the drugs.” He asks her for more time, but when she tells him she wants to break up if he continues with the drugs, he pushes her down the stairs: she now can’t play soccer and is going to be forced to move to somewhere else where she meets another hot guy who is also a fighter.

Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning
Oh my word. This series stole my heart. I did nothing but read and breathe this series for this whole week. Mac/Barrons forever.

Bloodfever by Karen Marie Moning
Faefever by Karen Marie Moning
Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning
Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning
Fever Moon by Karen Marie Moning
See what I mean? I literally read one of these a day. I just couldn’t put it down. Also, Fever Moon stands out as the first complete graphic novel I read!

Roomies by Christina Lauren
I enjoyed the romance in this, but didn’t care for the 30% of the book that focused on the politics of the fake Broadway show. Still, it was an enjoyable read and wason sale for only $1.99 as an ebook!

Total of 12 books, and now I am at 60 books read for the year, which is more than I have ever read in a single year since 2007 (when I first started keeping track of books)! And the year is just half over!

And two short stories I read:
Every Exquisite Thing by Cassandra Clare (July 8) ebook, 45 pages
Learn about Loss by Cassandra Clare (July 10) ebook, 45 pages

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