12 Buzz Books for Spring/Summer 2019 (NetGalley Buzz Books)

NetGalley puts out this great compilation every season of some of the hot new Young Adult books that will be coming out. Here are my thoughts on the 12 books featured.

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RomanovRomanov by Nadine Brandes (5/7)

The history books say I died.

They don’t know the half of it.

Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them . . . and he’s hunted Romanov before.

Nastya’s only chances of survival are to either release the spell, and deal with the consequences, or enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s never dabbled in magic before, but it doesn’t frighten her as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even like her . . .

That is, until she’s on one side of a firing squad . . . and he’s on the other.

Cover: This cover is beautiful! I love the colors and the castle especially. I am so IN for anything about the Romanovs. 7/10

Premise: Very intriguing. I like the element of magic coming into this story. I’m not exactly sure how I feel about the Bolshevik romance…but who am I kidding? I’ll probably love it. 7/10

Excerpt: This sounds great so far! It sounds like they’re painting Rasputin to be a good guy at this point? I mean, maybe I’m biased from the Anastasia movie, but that guy seriously gives me the creeps, so I hope we find out later he’s a villain. 8/10

TBR?: Yes

Preorder

Once and FutureOnce & Future by Amy Rose Capetta and Cori McCarthy (3/26)

When Ari crash-lands on Old Earth and pulls a magic sword from its ancient resting place, she is revealed to be the newest reincarnation of King Arthur. Then she meets Merlin, who has aged backward over the centuries into a teenager, and together they must break the curse that keeps Arthur coming back. Their quest? Defeat the cruel, oppressive government and bring peace and equality to all humankind.

No pressure.

Cover: I mean…I kind of like the cover, but I feel like it also looks like a ton of other covers I’ve seen. 6/10

Premise: This book is being sold as “inclusive” and as a “bold original retelling”. This is definitely not the first “King Arthur as a girl” book that I’ve seen or read. I don’t really know how King Arthur being a girl is “inclusive”? That stuff aside, though, it does sound interesting. 6/10

Excerpt: I’m not super impressed by the excerpt. The main character seems kind of annoying and the book is supposed to be set in the future, but it doesn’t really feel like the future. 4/10

TBR?: Probably not

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The Missing of ClairdeluneThe Missing of Clairdelune by Christelle Dabos (5/7)

Book 2 of the Mirror Visitor Quartet

When our heroine Ophelia is promoted to Vice-storyteller by Farouk, the ancestral Spirit of Pole, she finds herself unexpectedly thrust into the public spotlight and her special gift is revealed to all. Ophelia knows how to read the secret history of objects and there could be no greater threat to the nefarious denizens of her icy adopted home than this. Beneath the golden rafters of Pole’s capitol, Citaceleste, she discovers that the only person she may be able to trust is Thorn, her enigmatic fiancé. As one after another influential courtier disappears, Ophelia again finds herself unintentionally implicated in an investigation that will lead her to see beyond Pole’s many illusions to the heart of the formidable truth.

Cover: I quite like this cover. It’s deceptively simple by just being one color, but there’s a lot going on. 7/10

Premise: I haven’t read the first book yet so I’m skipping both the premise and excerpt.

Excerpt: Skipped

TBR?: The first book is called A Winter’s Promise and it sounds very intriguing. So the first book is on my TBR, at least. Also, this book was originally written in French, so this would be great for any “books originally written in another language” challenges.

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Much Ado About Mean GirlsMuch Ado About Mean Girls by Ian Doescher (4/23)

Power struggles. Bitter rivalries. Jealousy. Betrayals. Star-crossed lovers. When you consider all these plot points, it’s pretty surprising William Shakespeare didn’t write Mean Girls. But now fans can treat themselves to the epic drama–and heroic hilarity–of the classic teen comedy rendered with the wit, flair, and iambic pentameter of the Bard. Our heroine Cady disguises herself to infiltrate the conniving Plastics, falls for off-limits Aaron, struggles with her allegiance to newfound friends Damian and Janis, and stirs up age-old vendettas among the factions of her high school. Best-selling author Ian Doescher brings his signature Shakespearean wordsmithing to this cult classic beloved by generations of teen girls and other fans. Now, on the 15th anniversary of its release, Mean Girls is a recognized cultural phenomenon, and it’s more than ready for an Elizabethan makeover.

Cover: The cover doesn’t THRILL me. I’m not making grabby hands at it, but it’s okay. 5/10

Premise: I don’t know how I feel about this book…I feel like there’s definitely a group of people out there who will love this book. I’m just not really sure it’s for me. The original movie is so good, I have a hard time believing that iambic pentameter is really going to make it better. 4/10

Excerpt: The writing just doesn’t flow like Shakespeare. Sure, it might technically be in iambic pentameter, but it still reads kind of jerkily. I’m sure the author worked really hard on it though. 3/10

TBR?: No

Preorder

Please Send HelpPlease Send Help by Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin (7/16)

In this hilarious follow-up novel to the New York Times bestseller I Hate Everyone But You, long distance best friends Ava and Gen have finally made it to the same time zone (although they’re still over a thousand miles apart).

Through their hilarious, sometimes emotional, but always relatable conversations, Ava and Gen are each other’s support systems through internships, relationship troubles, questionable roommates, undercover reporting, and whether or not it’s a good idea to take in a feral cat. Please Send Help perfectly captures the voice of young adults looking to find their place in the world and how no matter how desperate things seem, you always have your best friend to tell it like it is and pick you back up.

Cover: I’m not a huge fan of the cover. The colors and font just aren’t doing it for me. 3/10

Premise: I was NOT a fan of the first book (I DNF’d after 115 pages). This book claims that it’s going to be relatable, but I did not find the characters relatable at all in the first book so…not buying that. 1/10

Excerpt: Nope. 1/10

TBR?: No

Preorder

VoicesVoices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott (3/26)

Told through medieval poetic forms and in the voices of the people and objects in Joan of Arc’s life, (including her family and even the trees, clothes, cows, and candles of her childhood). Along the way it explores issues such as gender, misogyny, and the peril of speaking truth to power. Before Joan of Arc became a saint, she was a girl inspired. It is that girl we come to know in Voices.

Cover: Not a huge fan of that cover. For some reason it looks a little old-fashioned to me. 3/10

Premise: The premise is interesting…I could see it either being really good or really weird.  But I’m betting more on weird. 4/10

Excerpt: The writing is actually quite beautiful. I’ll admit that I don’t know that much about Joan of Arc, so this might be a good read for me. 6/10

TBR?: Yes

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Descendant of the CraneDescendant of the Crane by Joan He (4/2)

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

Cover: This is a great cover. It’s very reminiscent of classic Asian artwork that I’ve seen. It also gives me Alice in Wonderland vibes? 7/10

Premise: Yeah. I’m into it. 8/10

Excerpt: The writing is good and I like the use of alliteration (not sure if it’s intentional, but I like it). 8/10

TBR?: Yes

Preorder

A Place for WolvesA Place for Wolves by Kosoko Jackson (4/2)

James Mills isn’t sure he can forgive his parents for dragging him away from his life, not to mention his best friend and sister, Anna. He’s never felt so alone.

Enter Tomas. Falling for Tomas is unexpected, but sometimes the best things in life are.

Then their world splits apart. A war that has been brewing finally bursts forward, filled with violence, pain, and cruelty. James and Tomas can only rely on each other as they decide how far they are willing to go―and who they are willing to become―in order to make it back to their families.

Cover: I like this cover quite a bit. I like the contrast of the black and white photo in the background and the bright font colors. 8/10

Premise: It’s described as Aristotle and Dante meets Code Name Verity. I’m not necessarily buying that since Code Name Verity is one of the greatest best friendship stories I’ve ever read and this is definitely a romantic relationship… I think they just said Code Name Verity because there’s a war? 3/10

Excerpt: The writing is good, but I still have no sense of what the plot might be. It seems like the book might be told in the “present” and in flashbacks provided by letters that James has written to his sister and I do like that. 4/10

TBR?: No

Preorder

OperaticOperatic by Kyo Maclear illus. by Byron Eggenschwiler (4/2)

It’s almost the end of middle school, and Charlie has to find her perfect song for a music class assignment. The class learns about a different style of music each day, from hip-hop to metal to disco, but it’s hard for Charlie to concentrate when she can’t stop noticing her classmate Emile, or wondering about Luka, who hasn’t been to school in weeks. On top of everything, she has been talked into participating in an end-of-year performance with her best friends.

Then, the class learns about opera, and Charlie discovers the music of Maria Callas. The more she learns about Maria’s life, the more Charlie admires her passion for singing and her ability to express herself fully through her music. Can Charlie follow the example of the ultimate diva, Maria Callas, when it comes to her own life?

Cover: I like the top half of the cover, but not so much the bottom half and I can’t really articulate why. 5/10

Premise: I like the premise quite a bit. I like the idea of our main character discovering and delving into a new passion. I also like that this is a graphic novel. I don’t like the possibility of a love triangle that has been presented. 6/10

Excerpt: Yes. I loved it. I love that the drawings don’t feel super finished–they mostly seem like just pencil drawings and I think it’s a really good feel for the book. I’m invested in Charlie’s story already. 8/10

TBR?: Yes

Preorder

OutcastsOutcasts by Claire McFall (4/23)

Book 3 in the Ferryman series

Tristan and Dylan have escaped death and conquered destiny. Nothing is stopping them from being together.

But every action has a consequence, and their exile to the real world has caused an imbalance in the afterlife. It’s owed two souls – and it wants them back.

When the world of the dead claims Dylan’s parents to restore the balance, Dylan and Tristan are offered a terrible bargain: stay together and condemn innocent souls to death, or return to the wasteland to take their place and be separated. Forever.

Are they willing to make the ultimate sacrifice?

Cover: I like the cover–I like the simplicity and the colors. I don’t like the title font. 7/10

Premise: I haven’t read the first two books so I’m not going to rate the premise or excerpt.

Excerpt: Pass.

TBR?: I feel super torn regarding the premise of the first book. On one hand, it’s a little intriguing. On the other hand, it reads like a bunch of other supernatural romance books I’ve already read. Back on the first hand, it has a semi-high rating on Goodreads (3.87). I just don’t know.

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BloodleafBloodleaf by Crystal Smith (3/12)

Princess Aurelia is a prisoner to her crown and the heir that nobody wants. Surrounded by spirits and banned from using her blood-magic, Aurelia flees her country after a devastating assassination attempt. To escape her fate, Aurelia disguises herself as a commoner in a new land and discovers a happiness her crown has never allowed. As she forges new bonds and perfects her magic, she begins to fall for a man who is forbidden to rule beside her.

But the ghosts that haunt Aurelia refuse to abandon her, and she finds herself succumbing to their call as they expose a nefarious plot that only she can defeat. Will she be forced to choose between the weight of the crown and the freedom of her new life?

Cover: The cover looks dark and mysterious and exciting. For some reason I really like the title font and the background color really speaks to me. 8/10

Premise: We’ve had an ARC of this book sitting in or workroom for the last two months. The premise isn’t super compelling to me and that’s why I haven’t picked it up before now. I just doesn’t feel very original? Heir that has forbidden magic that they must keep hidden…I just feel like I’ve heard it a couple times before. But, like it’s got a 4.02 on Goodreads? 4/10

Excerpt: I feel like the author’s trying too hard. Something about the adjectives used just doesn’t feel very smooth. 4/10

TBR?: No

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To Best the BoysTo Best the Boys by Mary Weber (3/19)

Every year for the past fifty-four years, the residents of Pinsbury Port receive a mysterious letter inviting all eligible-aged boys to compete for an esteemed scholarship to the all-male Stemwick University. Every year, the poorer residents look to see that their names are on the list. The wealthier look to see how likely their sons are to survive. And Rhen Tellur opens it to see if she can derive which substances the ink and parchment are created from, using her father’s microscope.

In the province of Caldon, where women are trained in wifely duties and men are encouraged into collegiate education, sixteen-year-old Rhen Tellur wants nothing more than to become a scientist. As the poor of her seaside town fall prey to a deadly disease, she and her father work desperately to find a cure. But when her Mum succumbs to it as well? Rhen decides to take the future into her own hands—through the annual all-male scholarship competition.

With her cousin, Seleni, by her side, the girls don disguises and enter Mr. Holm’s labyrinth, to best the boys and claim the scholarship prize. Except not everyone’s ready for a girl who doesn’t know her place. And not everyone survives the maze.

Cover: Yes. THIS is a good cover. 9/10

Premise: I am all in for this premise! A labyrinth sounds so deliciously twisty and full of puzzles (I love books with puzzles). I was actually so close to requesting this on NetGalley already, but I was worried it won’t live up to my expectations. 9/10

Excerpt: The writing is not as compelling as I would have hoped. That dampens my enthusiasm for this book a little. 7/10

TBR?: Yes

Preorder

Let me know in the comments what you’ve heard about these books!
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6 Best Book Deals for 1/17/19: Everything, Everything, (Don’t) Call Me Crazy, Daughter of Smoke & Bone, and more

Some of the deals that I listed previously are still active, so go check out the deals from Jan 4th and Jan 11th as well!

Less than $2

(Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health edited by Kelly Jensen – I’ve heard talk about this book through one of the podcasts I listen to and it sounds like a really great and timely book. Some of the contributors include: Libba Bray, Kristen Bell, Adam Silvera, Victoria Schwab, Emery Lord, and so many more (28 others to be exact).

Less than $3

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor – I love Laini Taylor and I love this trilogy! If you’ve only read the Strange the Dreamer duology, you need to get on this series.

Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington – This sounds like such a fun summer romance!

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon – If you loved the movie, you have to read the book! I really enjoyed this book the first time I read it and I think Yoon has proven that she’s here to stay!

Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton – This book is on my eternal TBR. Someday…

Less than $4

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J Maas – This is book #3 in the series. I, personally, haven’t read this series, but I know it’s super popular. If you’re looking to catch up with the series or complete your ebook collection, this is the deal for you.

4 reading habits I’d like to change

The new year is such a natural time to reevaluate your life and I’ve found myself doing that a little bit with my reading life. I’ve already written a post listing my 2019 reading goals, but I was also thinking last night about some of the bookish habits that I might like to change.

discussion posts

1. Using my reading journal

I currently use a small, hardback spiral notebook that fits in my purse to take my reading notes, but I’m not very consistent at it. At this point, I think my layout is fine, I write the title and author at the top and whether it’s an ARC and/or the date of my blog tour post if applicable. Then I leave a space where I can list main characters and the rest of the page is for me to take notes. If you’ve read some of my reviews, you’ll notice that I have content ratings at the end. For a period of time, that was difficult for me to keep track of while I was reading, but I eventually just designed a rubber stamp that I could use on each page of my journal that looks like this:

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It was super easy to make, I just made the design I wanted in Word and then submitted it to rubberstamps.net. From what I remember it wasn’t super expensive either. Anyway, that’s a long explanation for me to tell you that my layout is no longer the problem. My problem is now just consistency. I don’t consistently take notes while I’m reading and I think it’s just because I don’t always have my notebook out while I’m reading. I’d like to try to get better at that since I think it’ll make my reviews better and easier to write.

There are a TON of reading journals out there, but here are a few I found that sound great.
Reading Log Book – I liked that this one has a table of contents and a really thorough review layout (great for those end of the year graphs) including a place to mark where you’ve posted a review. There’s not much space, though, so it’d be better for someone who just wants to jot down brief thoughts.
The Book Lover’s Journal – This one is a spiral (which I’m a fan of) and I like that it gives you a ton of different categories to rate (pace, plot development, characters, etc). There’s also a place to mark where you read a book which I think is kind of cool.
Read Harder Journal – Okay, this one is cool because it combines a journal with reading challenges. There are 12 challenges spaced throughout (read a book about books, read a book that was originally written in another language) and it also gives you suggestions if you’re having a hard time thinking of one. And then, of course, regular review pages.
Reading Log – I like this one because it’s cheap (only $6!) and also because you can mark in the table of contents what genre each book is.

If you’re looking for something a little more high-end, LEUCHTTURM and Moleskine both have journals as well. I like that Moleskine has alphabet tabs so you can somewhat alphabetize your reading list.

2. Diversifying my reading

I don’t mean in terms of like…POC and stuff like that, though that’s good too. In the past I’ve really stuck to YA as my home base and I’ve rarely read outside of that. I feel like in this last year, though, I did venture outside of YA more than I have in the past and I liked it! This year I want to read more adult and genre fiction, I want to read more classics, I want to read more nonfiction, and I want to try to listen to more audiobooks. In order to do this, I will definitely be utilizing the library more (which is easy when you work there and stuff).

3. Being more selective when requesting ARCs

This is an eternal struggle. ARCs are inherently an exciting thing–you get to read a book early before almost everyone else! But part of getting the ARC is committing to write a review about it. With a baby, it has been so hard to find the time to write reviews so usually I’m reviewing books a month or two after I’ve read them. That kind of defeats the purpose of the ARC since the whole reason publishers send them out is to promote the release of the book. So, I need to really be selective about which ARCs I request. Lately I’ve been trying to really think about whether I want to read a book before I make my request. I wrote this post about a year ago listing seven ways to keep yourself from going crazy on Netgalley–I’m still trying to live by my own guidelines haha.

4. Be a better blogger

By better I maybe just mean more consistent. I actually want to write reviews for all the books I read. I’ve still got plenty of books from last year that I haven’t reviewed and I’m hoping to get caught up within the next few months.

I also want to improve the quality of my reviews and other posts. I want to make sure I’m proofing and editing them before they go up. I want to make sure I’m taking the time to produce thoughtful and well-written posts. I hope that by doing this, I can provide a good resource for other readers, but that I can also create a space where a group of people can come together and talk about books!

Lastly, I don’t want to go weeks at a time without posting and then have five posts in one day. I want you guys to be able to expect certain things from this blog and I want to meet those expectations. I want to have a good variety of reviews, discussions, and book news posts.

What do you guys think? What reading/bookish habits do you want to change?

My Bottom 6 Reads of 2018

Last week I did a post about my favorite six reads from 2018, but now I want to introduce you to my least favorite six reads from last year.

least favorite reads 2018

S.T.A.G.S. STAGSS.T.A.G.S by M.A. Bennett
Read: 1/21

This book sounded like it was going to be exciting and suspenseful, but it just wasn’t. It was a huge letdown with dull characters, extreme foreshadowing to the point of ruining any suspense that may have been created, and an unbelievable plot. To be honest, I didn’t really care if anyone made it out alive.

My Review | Goodreads

In the Hope of Memories by Olivia RiversIn the Hope of Memories
Read: 3/28

I like scavenger hunts, but this one was just so weird and seemed super difficult–like how did they figure out ANY of the clues? But honestly, the worst part was that each of the characters was so unlikable. From their POV chapters they were okay, but when they POV switched, they were back to being jerks again. Just not really enjoyable on any level.

My Review | Goodreads

Murdertrending

#Murdertrending by Gretchen McNeil
Read: 7/21

I thought this book sounded so interesting at first. I’m in for any book about a reality show. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel like this book was executed very well. The premise was strong, but fell flat when the characters were introduced and the book finally got going. I think it would’ve been more interesting if the protag had actually been guilty or something. I just saw on Goodreads that there’s going to be a second book…HOW.

Goodreads

The Darkest MindsThe Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
Read: 9/1

I think this one might be a case of reading a book too late. I think if I’d read this book right when it came out, I would have loved it. Unfortunately, I’ve read so many dystopian books about teens with special powers at this point, that this one was just extremely underwhelming. The romance was so bad and our main character is needlessly secretive imo. While I did like the secondary characters Chubs and Zume, they weren’t enough to save this book. I will not be continuing with the series (or watching the movie).

My Review | Goodreads

Love a la ModeLove à la Mode by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Read: 12/6

So. Much. Fabricated. Drama. Let’s suspend my disbelief that Henry and Rosie’s families would ACTUALLY send them to Paris for culinary high school, there was just so much going on here that didn’t make sense. The book feels like it was written by a fan of Food Network–not someone who actually knows food. Also, I don’t appreciate a white author including a tiger mom type character to create more drama. Read my original review for more thoughts on that.

My Review | Goodreads

Sawkill GirlsSawkill Girls by Claire Legrand
Read: 12/30

I’m still mulling this one over. The beginning was delightfully mysterious and creepy with just a hint of magical realism and I was here. for. it. But then what was happening got more fully explained and it turned weird and sci-fi-y for a bit. In the end, I just feel like the book lost its way. If it had stuck with the magical realism, I think that could’ve really worked, but it didn’t, so here we are.

Goodreads

Not Six of Crows level, but okay | The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi [ARC]

The Gilded WolvesWhen the Tower of Babel was destroyed, pieces of it were scattered throughout the world. These Babel fragments have given certain humans the power to “forge”. In Paris, four houses were given the responsibility of protecting their Babel fragment, but one of the houses fell and was lost while another house, House Vanth, died without an heir. This left House Kore and House Nox as the only two surviving houses to protect the fragment. Now the houses may be under attack and the only ones who can help them are Séverin (an orphan) and his group of misfit con-men.

Hardcover | ebook | Audio

TL;DR – An interesting cast, but overall, just not as good as Six of Crows.

I was so in for this book. I love heists. I LOVE heists. But this one just didn’t really do it for me. First, the book starts and it’s confusing. The world seems very complex and not much is explained at first. So the reader is trying to play catch-up, meanwhile, the characters are blazing on full steam ahead. It just made me feel like I was trying to catch up pretty much the whole book.

The overall plot was okay, though not the most original. Group has a history of pulling off elaborate heists, but oh no! this time it doesn’t quite go off as smoothly, now they must pull a heist for their original mark. That part was okay. What I had a REALLY hard time with, though, was the writing. At least four times throughout the book, something was happening and the author was describing it, but for the life of me I could not visualize what the heck was going on. I even reread passages. Several times! Whatever the author had in her head just did not translate to the page. At least, it didn’t for me. Another small thing was a bit of consistency. Sometimes characters acted surprised by information that I thought they already knew. Lastly, the title makes no sense. It literally mentions gilded wolves once in the last 5% of the book.

The thing I think most people will be excited by is the diverse cast. Yes, the cast is diverse ethnically and it seems like a couple characters are probably bi. Also, it seems like one of the characters has autism, though it’s not explicitly stated. With that being said, I didn’t feel like any of the characters were super genuine or dynamic. I can only compare it to Kaz Brekker’s crew in Six of Crows. I believe Kaz and the rest of his group. I don’t really believe Séverin and his group. Perhaps they didn’t seem quite as believably flawed? Or they were just a little too…much? I’m not really sure what it is, but I just had a hard time connecting to any of them.

Overall, I wanted to like this book so bad, but in the end I just felt kind of confused. There was SO MUCH talk about Goliath the spider and the dead birds, but then nothing really came of either of those things? I’ll probably read the next book, but if you’re looking for a really good fantasy heist book, I’d direct you to Six of Crows instead.

Overall Rating: 3 (really 3.5)
Language: Mild
Violence: Moderate
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Moderate

My Top 6 Reads from 2018

I was looking back through my Goodreads for this post and I was so surprised to see the books that I’d read at the beginning of 2018–it’s just felt like so long since I read those books. Does that happen to anyone else? By December, I’ve completely forgotten what I’d read in January. But anyway, here are my six favorite reads from 2018.

Favorite Reads 2018

I Am the MessengerI Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Reread: 1/20

I love this book. It delivers such a powerful message in a really understated way. It makes me think about all the choices we make every day and the people that we pass on the street. We never know someone else’s story or how a small kindness from us may impact their lives. In the end, this book just makes me want to be a better person.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

Alex, ApproximatelyAlex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett
Read: 2/5

This was such a cute contemporary romance! Was the plot predictable? Extremely. And yet…that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of it. I loved the summery, beachiness vibe that was coming off it. Even though it wasn’t summer when I read it, I almost felt like I was at the beach on a nice summer day. If her other books are as good as this one, she’ll definitely be a new auto-buy author for me.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

Bone GapBone Gap by Laura Ruby
Read: 3/3

I haven’t read a TON of magical realism, but this book makes me want to read more. The magic in it was so subtle and it was so beautifully written. The characters are sympathetic and the “twist” towards the end really took me by surprise. It’s an interesting story with interesting characters. I would definitely recommend this book.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

Now, I know what you might be thinking, “What? No good reads between March and October? That’s seven whole months!” Well, what happened was…I had a baby. I had a baby at the beginning of April and then I wasn’t really reading very much (I was bingeing Parks and Rec and playing Zelda instead). But then I did start reading again and this is where the rest of this post picks up.

Muse of NightmaresMuse of Nightmares by Laini Taylor
Read:  10/18

Muse of Nightmares was almost everything that I hoped it would be. Still wildly imaginative with amazing writing. It also brought in another element that created another dimension to the story. Without giving away any spoilers, this was a good follow-up to Strange the Dreamer, even if there were some choices that I didn’t quite agree with. I also liked how Taylor subtly tied this book in with her other series. (And the hardcover is only $10 right now which is cheaper than both the paperback AND the ebook! Click link below.)

Hardcover | ebook

NeverwhereNeverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Read: 11/20

So, apparently, I’ve been sleeping on Neil Gaiman this whole time. Like, I’d read a couple of his books, but after reading this now I need to read EVERYTHING. My friend picked this for book club and I wasn’t really expecting much, but WOW. Easily my favorite read of 2018. Gaiman is funny and insightful and obviously a very, very talented writer. Please. Just read this book.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

The Feather ThiefThe Feather Thief by Kirk Wallace Johnson
Read: 12/19

I legitimately never thought that I would like a non-fiction book like I like this one. It’s FASCINATING. I obviously love all things heist and the fact that this is an actual heist makes it that much more exciting. Johnson does such a good job of making every aspect of this book interesting–not just the crime part. The history of Wallace as well as all the information on Victorian salmon fly-tying is so easy to read and digest. Do yourself a favor and pick this up.

My Review | Hardcover | ebook

10 Best Book Deals for 1/11/19: The Haunting of Hill House, The Testing trilogy, Allegedly, and more

Less than $2

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson – I feel like this was the first book that kind of put Tiffany D. Jackson on the map. It sounds so intriguing!

Beauty by Robin McKinley – This is probably one of the best Beauty and the Beast retellings I’ve ever read–not exaggerating. This book is a classic for a reason!

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett – For anyone who hasn’t read a Terry Pratchett book yet, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN??? But also, this is a great place to start. Highly, highly recommend. So fun, such a great world.

Magic Bitter, Magic Sweet by Charlie N. Holmberg – I’ve been meaning to read her Paper Magician series forever and this book sounds like an interesting amalgam of fairy tale retellings.

Steelheart, Firefight, and Calamity by Brandon Sanderson – I feel like no one talks about The Reckoners series, but it’s so good! I especially think Steelheart is fantastic, so if you’re on the fence about the series, at least try the first book!

Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour – This is billed as being like The Night Circus and is a retelling of a Scottish ballad. Color me intrigued for sure…

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson – Okay, so this isn’t one that I would personally read, but I know everyone’s been loving the show–so here’s the book!

Less than $3

The Book Jumper by Mechthild Gläser – I’d never heard of this book before, but it sounds really interesting! Almost like an older version of Inkheart (which I LOVE). It also looks like it might have originally been published in another language? So that’s a bonus for anyone doing book challenges.

The Testing Trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau – I read these books in the middle of the dystopian trilogy hey-day, but I remember loving it. And this is such a steal! Three books for $3 which is cheaper than you can buy the ebooks individually.

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills – THAT COVER