I’m back baby! | July Wrap-Up & TBR Update

The reading! It’s happening! I’m finding glorious pockets throughout my day to read and it’s making my life so full right now!

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 11
Books currently reading: 4

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of July = 472
Books added to TBR = 8
Books read/deleted from TBR = 11
Total on TBR now = 469

How did your reading go this month?
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Welcome to the auto-read club| Emma Mills Mini-Reviews

I’ve been meaning to read some of Emma Mills’ books for a while now and I’ve finally taken the leap. I’m happy to report that I love them! Her characters are always so likable and her books so easy to read. Here’s my quick take on her first three books.

First & Then

First and Then

This book actually was a surprise to me. I wasn’t loving it or Devon (the main character) at first, but both grew on me. I thought Devon’s progression as a character was great and not too extreme and I like how in the end, she had resolved to do better in a specific area. I ended up really loving Devon’s relationship with Foster. It felt real to me and like it progressed at a genuine pace. As Devon started to care more and more about Foster, so did I. Another thing I was surprised by was the depth that I felt the characters had. I just didn’t really expect that for some reason and I thought the secondary characters were all lovely as well. I thought the dialogue between characters was great and felt authentic–sass levels were v high. Lastly, I liked that this book was a sports book, without REALLY being a sports book. 4.5/5

Purchase: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

This Adventure Ends

This Adventure Ends

First, I’m just going to say that I’m not going to pretend that the characters were realistic because they’re just…not. They were all just a little too shiny, but I still thought they were fantastic with great chemistry and sharp dialogue. I thought Sloane was immediately likable and funny. It made me literally LOL a few times in the first 100 pages. I thought her dynamic with her dad was especially fun. Something I especially liked about Sloan was that I didn’t feel like she was timid. I thought she could hold her own with her new friends. I’ve gotten a tad tired of the “extreme introvert being absorbed into a magnetic friend group” trope (sorry Sarah Dessen). Another character I loved was Laney! She was an absolute gem and reminded me a lot of Kitty from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before in some ways. The one thing I will say is that we got hardly any scenes of Sloane at work with Gabe and it just seems like that should have played into things a bit more? But overall, a great read. 4/5

Purchase: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Foolish Hearts

Foolish Hearts

This book was so compulsively readable! Seriously, before I knew it I had blown through 200 pages and it felt like nothing. I thought all of the characters were all likable and I liked that Claudia was a gamer, but was also normal. I think a lot of times authors rely on stereotypes for their characters because it’s easier, but I appreciate when an author can “break the mold”. I liked all of Claudia’s interactions with Iris, but I found it a tad unbelievable that Claudia wouldn’t have ANY friends at school until senior year? But perhaps it’s because everyone else at her school is so rich… I don’t know, it just didn’t really ring true to me. While I enjoyed this book and Claudia’s story, I found myself wondering more and more about her older sister, Julia. I almost would like a story about her starting with the beginning of her pregnancy. She just seemed like a really interesting character and I wanted to know more about her–I found myself hardcore relating to her. Perhaps that’s just showing my age… Another great book from Mills and I’m excited to read more from her! 4/5

Purchase: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook (currently on sale for $3!)

5 Series I’ve Given Up On

I’ve come to accept that there’s a time in your reading life when you just have to say, “Enough is enough!” and give up on that series that you’ve been “meaning” to read. This has happened to me several times over the years and I wanted to share a few of those with you today.
Series I've Given Up On

I just want to clarify real quick, I’m definitely in the middle of some series that have…ahem…stalled…but that I’m still planning on getting back to (Caraval, Jackaby, or Miss Peregrine’s for example). In contrast, this is a list of series that I have legitimately no intention of going back to.

I Am Number Four series

I really liked this series and meeting the whole cast of characters, but it just has droned on and on. I think there are like…10 books at this point? I’m just done with the series and it would probably read too young for me anyway.

Cassandra Clare

I never ended up reading book 6 of The Mortal Instruments series let alone The Dark Artifices series. This is another case where I really liked the series when I was in high school, but I think that the writing probably wouldn’t live up to my current standards.

Legend trilogy by Marie Lu

I’m pretty sure I read the first two books in this series? But then by the time the third book came out, I’d lost interest. I had a copy of Champion on my shelf for a while, but I eventually unhauled it.

Firebird trilogy by Claudia Gray

Similar to Legend, I read the first two books and I actually still have the third sitting on my Kindle, but I feel no draw to get back to it.

Rick Riordan

This is another series that has kind of exploded with the number of books that are in it. There’s like three different series that are all intertwined or something? I’ve just completely lost track of which books I’ve read in which series. I’ll always love Greek and Roman mythology and they were great for the time of my life that I was in when I was reading them, but I need to move on.

What are some series that you’ve given up on? Let me know in the comments! And stay tuned for another blog post coming soon featuring series that I’ve finished and remember nothing about!

17 Best Book Deals for 7/25/19: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns), Ink and Bone, Heretics Anonymous, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $1

The Casquette Girls by Alys Arden

The Gold-Son by Carrie Anne Noble

Less than $2

The Invasion of the Tearling (book 2) by Erika Johansen

Septimus Heap, Book 1: Magyk by Angie Sage

The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli

A Uterus is a Feature, Not a Bug by Sarah Lacy

Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes by Martha Stewart

Heretics Anonymous by Katie Henry

Ink and  Bone by Rachel Caine

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Joy: And 52 Other Very Short Stories by Erin McGraw

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Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

The Traitor’s Kiss by Erin Beaty

Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

The Unexpected Inheritance of Inspector Chopra by Vaseem Khan


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Morally grey characters dressed in black | Vicious by V.E. Schwab

ViciousVictor has been thinking about the moment he would confront his former best friend Eli for a long time. For 10 long years while in prison to be exact. He wants to punish Eli but unfortunately for Victor, Eli is a little…unkillable. With Victor’s former cellmate Mitch and a runaway named Sydney by his side, Victor will put his plan into motion and finally find the justice he’s been seeking.

TL;DR – Schwab’s storytelling devices keep the plot moving quickly and the suspense high. While there are no good guys in this book, there are plenty of likable characters.

Purchase: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

I loved this book so much–possibly more than her Shades of Magic series (which I also LOVED). I first encountered this author’s YA books (under the name Victoria Schwab) and was immediately hooked on her world-building. I had no idea what was to come when I made the leap to her adult works. Her skill in creating likeable “bad guys” is out of this world. Victor is not a good guy. He’s done bad and questionable things, but I still REALLY LIKE him. It’s the darnedest thing. All the characters, in fact, are incredibly well fleshed-out. They all have depth and I felt like the reader gets to know them on a deeper level than we do most characters in books. And don’t even get me started on the antagonists… (so evil, but also evil isn’t quite the right word?).

The world that Schwab has created for this story isn’t that different from the one we’re currently in except for the existence of EOs (ExtraOrdinaries). The entire concept of EOs isn’t necessarily revolutionary (think X-Men) but the way that they get created in her world seems entirely too plausible. What Eli and Victor do with that information also seems extremely realistic (without being too spoilery).

This story could have been told in a really linear, straightforward way, but that’s not how Schwab has decided to tell it. Chapters all start with a reference to an event: “6 hours before”, “10 years ago”, “The day before”. That kind of thing. This lets the reader know that we’re building up to some big event, but we don’t know exactly what it’s going to be until it’s almost upon us. This creates an almost unbelievable amount of tension as we’re left trying to figure out what we’re building up to. The way the different timelines and the story is woven together is just plain genius.

You guys. This book is GOOD. Highly, highly recommend if you’re looking for something a little sci-fi-y but not like, too sci-fi-y. I would also recommend if you’re just plain looking for a good book to read.

Overall Rating: 5
Language: Moderate
Violence: Heavy
Smoking/Drinking: Moderate
Sexual Content: Mild

Summer Releases | NetGalley Mini-Reviews

Call It What You WantCall It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer

I really enjoyed Kemmerer’s other book Letters to the Lost (only $2 for the eBook right now!) so I was really excited when I got approved for this one. It did not disappoint. I found the two main characters to both be likable (Rob a little more so for me than Maegan). I thought the book dealt with some tough topics like teen pregnancy, abortion, and race and crime in a really mature, sensitive, and realistic way. The plot wasn’t as cut and dry as it first seemed and I enjoyed the depth there as well. I didn’t feel like the characters’ choices always made a ton of sense, but in the end, the author really made me try to examine how I would react if I were in Rob’s shoes. 4/5

Hardcover | eBook

Wilder GirlsWilder Girls by Rory Power

This book was being marketed as a Lord of the Flies type story which so happens to be one of the only required reading books from High School that I actually enjoyed reading. So I was all in. Unfortuntely, I was to be disappointed. This book had so much hype around it and I found the premise to be really intriguing and I liked the eerie and unsettled tone that wove throughout the book, but I felt like there was too much that was just weird. The Tox itself doesn’t really make much sense. Why does it effect everyone differently? What causes the flare ups? And then in the end, the explanation for it is unsatisfying, comes out of nowhere, and doesn’t really fit the tone of the rest of the book. It actually would have been a more satisfying ending if there HADN’T been an explanation. Another issue for me was Byatt. I just 100% did not understand her as a character. Lastly, I had a hard time with Hetty and Reese’s “relationship”. I felt like so much of their currently existing relationship is backstory that we never get to see and we’re more told how they “feel” about each other rather than shown. They kind of just get slapped into this relationship and then just as quickly slapped out of it. 3/5

19 Best Book Deals for 7/18/19: The Joy Luck Club, BRAVE, Next Year in Havana, and more

As of this posting, all of these deals are active, but I don’t know for how long!
Less than $1

Serpentine by Cindy Pon

Sacrifice by Cindy Pon

The 100 by Kass Morgan

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We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

This is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Modern Lovers by Emma Straub

The Elizas by Sara Shepard

Hello, Sunshine by Laura Dave

Unsinkable: A Memoir by Debbie Reynolds

Taking the Lead by Derek Hough

BRAVE by Rose McGowan

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

Family Trust by Kathy Wang

Less than $3

Tell the Wind and Fire by Sarah Rees Brennan

The Luxe by Anna Godbersen


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