16 Best Book Deals for 11/14/19: A Thousand Splendid Suns, My Year of Rest and Relaxation, Dorothy Must Die, and more

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

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Less than $2

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

One Week ‘Til Christmas by Belinda Missen

We Sold Our Souls by Grady Hendrix

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

In the Woods by Tana French

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

I See London, I See France by Sarah Mlynowski

Fortune’s Daughter by Alice Hoffman

The Deepest Roots by Miranda Asebedo

Mercy by Jodi Picoult

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

Less than $3

To Pixar and Beyond by Lawrence Levy

A Crown of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi

The Gown by Jennifer Robson

The Hummingbird Dagger by Cindy Anstey


Recommended from this post:

November ARC Mini-Reviews

mini-reviews
Secrets & Suitors by Joanna Baker

I’m always down for a good Regency romance–I love the feel-goodishness of them. There’s something about the propriety of the time that somehow makes the leading men that much more swoon-worthy too. With that being said, it’s still important to have a feisty heroine and I mostly felt like Nora was a wet blanket. I hoped that she would develop and mature as the book went on, but I was to be disappointed. Honestly, I think Susanna would have been a MUCH more interesting protagonist. I just thought Nora was too down on herself! She can’t be charming and desirable while simultaneously being COMPLETELY oblivious to any of her good qualities. Nora also had an unbearable amount of angsty internal dialogue. If I had a dollar for every time she thought something like, “We are only friends” or “I must control my heart” or “He doesn’t feel the same” I would have much money. In the end, I didn’t think this book was SO bad, but it wasn’t great either. Just okay. 3/5

Order: Paperback | eBook

Deadly Little Scandals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

I really liked the first book in this series (Little White Lies) and I was super excited to continue the story. From the beginning, I’ve found Sawyer to be an extremely likable protagonist (if somewhat overly capable). In this book especially, I really liked Sawyer’s relationship with both Lily and John David. I love how protective Sawyer is of Lily and their relationship. Sawyer grew up without any extended family, so that relationship is really precious to her. I also liked the main friend group of Sawyer, Lily, Campbell, and Sadie Grace. They’re all supportive and mostly nice to each other which is refreshing. Unfortunately, the plot in this book was just so complicated. There are two main plot points that get mashed together and I feel like the author should have just picked one of them. It almost feels like this book just got away from her? There are elements of it too that I don’t feel like jive with how characters were portrayed in the first book. I still liked the book (Sawyer really carries it for me) and I’ll read the next one (if there is one) but man, some really weird stuff went down in this book. 4/5

Order: Hardcover | eBook

Sisters of Shadow & Light by Sara B. Larson

I thought this book was maybe going to be a Sleeping Beauty kind of thing (I mean, there’s a giant hedge) but it’s not. So if you thought that too, just know it’s not. Zuhra as a main character was…okay. I really wanted to like her, but I just found her to be a little whiny and overdramatic at times. I also thought she lacked consistency? I hoped this book would be really focused on the sister relationship and while that was semi-present, it felt like both Zuhra and Inara’s romances got in the way of developing that. And (as is often the case in YA unfortunately) there was almost no basis for the TWO romantic threads that we’re given. Literally, almost no context for why the romantic interests are drawn to our leads. *sigh* I guess I’ll just keep waiting for a well-developed YA romance. My main issue with the book, though, was pacing. It took me SO LONG to read this book. Honestly, I felt like the author could have cut out half the words and it still would have been a well-written book. HALF THE WORDS. At around 70%, I just started skimming. In addition to that, hardly anything happens from chapter to chapter and a lot of them alternate perspectives between the sisters which does NOT help–it just makes the story end up feeling really jerky. In the end, I’m a little intrigued by where the story goes next, but I probably won’t continue the series. 2.5/5

The Guinevere Deception by Kiersten White

I’m trying to remember if I’ve ever read a King Arthur retelling…? At the very least, I haven’t read one in a long time. I mostly liked Guinevere as our main character, but she kept coming to these conclusions that just seemed completely wrong to me and barreling full steam ahead. I mean, I recognize that the reader usually has more information than the characters do, but she just really needed to slow her roll. It was also difficult to fully embrace Guinevere because she doesn’t really know who she is (literally). Her memory of her past is super spotty and it made it hard for me to get a good sense of who she is as a character. So while I liked her, I didn’t feel like I could get completely on board with her. The plot was intriguing enough and we’ll see where the next book goes. I have one big issue with this book, but it’s kind of spoiler-y so I won’t talk about it, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending. I’ll just close by saying that book two better have like five times as many Arthur/Guinevere moments. 3.5/5

Order: Hardcover | eBook

Note: I received copies of these books free from NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews.

All the series finales | November TBR

The Toll by Neal Shusterman, The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black…WHAT A MONTH. I’m super pumped for some of these November releases.

Hopefully:

We’ll see how quickly my library holds get fulfilled (fingers crossed).

What are you guys reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

Cooler weather at last! | October Wrap-Up & TBR Update

The heat has finally dialed it back and we’re having some nice cooler weather where I don’t feel like I’m dying every time I step outside. I’ve had a tough blogging month…but we’ll see how next month goes.

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 17, 2 DNF
Books currently reading:
1

I didn’t really realize that I’d read so much this month. A couple of them were graphic novels and then I had to binge the Harry Potter books because the audios all got checked out to me at once basically. So those things helped.

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of October = 342
Books added to TBR = 8
Books read/deleted from TBR = 45
Total on TBR now = 305

How did your reading go this month?

22 Best Book Deals for 10/30/19: Spinning Silver, Vampire Academy, Bowie: The Biography, and more

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

Coming Clean: A Memoir by Kimberly Rae Miller

Mirror, Mirror: A Twisted Tale by Jen Calonita

Less than $2

The Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

Other World by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller

The Final Six by Alexandra Monir

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Coraline (Graphic Novel) by Neil Gaiman

I Never Had it Made: An Autobiography by Jackie Robinson

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft edited by Tess Sharpe and Jessica Spotswood

Devotion by Dani Shapiro

Salt by Hannah Moskowitz

Cruel Beautiful World by Caroline Leavitt

The Collector’s Apprentice by B.A. Shapiro

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

Less than $3

Bowie: The Biography by Wendy Leigh

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Hearts Unbroken by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

With Malice by Eileen Cook

Holly Black Mini-Reviews [Part 2]

Click here for my first set of Holly Black mini-reviews.

mini-reviewsI read all three of the books in the Modern Faerie Tale series when I was…in junior high? That seems about right, but honestly I can’t believe I read these books back then. All three books are pretty heavy in the language department and the second book also has heavy drug use (a fancy faerie drug, but still). Regardless, I read this series again as a refresher for the new Folk of the Air book. I just wanted to make sure I had the full context of Holly Black’s Faerie.

Tithe

This book is so much darker than the Folk of the Air series. As I’ve read her newer stuff, it’s felt more polished while this felt dark and gritty. I found Kaye and Corny to both be pretty likable. There were times I found myself having a hard time with them, but it usually passed quickly. Roiben is everything you could want in a cold faerie knight, but I didn’t always understand his attachment to Kaye. What drew him to her in the first place? Why did she have such an impact on him? In a world like Faerie with extraordinary beings, I find it hard to believe that Kaye really stands out. In the end, though, I do like them as a couple. Overall, I didn’t like this book as much as I remembered liking it, but I do think it’s a great introduction to how Holly Black does faeries. 3.5/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Valiant

I liked this one the least of the three. I didn’t feel like there was any real plot for the first 75% of the book. I would have liked more scenes of Val making deliveries for Ravus or perhaps more investigation into the faerie poisonings. Similar to Tithe, I wasn’t totally sure I bought Ravus’ feelings for Val, though I felt like they perhaps had a little more context. I did like the homelessness representation–I haven’t read many books depicting that. Another thing to note is that this book introduces the concept of lady knights which Black returns to in other books. 3/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Ironside

Out of the three books, I felt like this one had the strongest plot and I liked how this book brought the first two together. Kaye and Roiben make a cameo in Valiant, but this one really ties everything up in a neat little bow (though Ravus did NOT get enough screentime). As far as characters go, Corny was a little harder for me in this one while I found Kaye and Luis to both be much more likable than they had been in the previous books. One sticking point for me plotwise, though, is I didn’t feel like it was ever really explained WHY Roiben didn’t want Kaye to be part of the court? And I feel like that’s a pretty key piece of information–I mean, it’s why he gave her the impossible quest in the first place. But even with that, I found this book to be pretty good and I enjoyed my reread of the series. 4/5

Order: Paperback | eBook

White Cat

To be clear, this book is NOT part of the series above. It’s the first book in a separate series (and all of the covers are AWFUL). I wanted to like this book so much, I really did. Unfortunately, it was just okay. If I didn’t know better, I would have guessed that this series was written before the Modern Faerie Tales. It just felt rough and undeveloped. Especially compared to her most recent series, I just didn’t feel like this book was written that well. I felt confused for most of the book regarding the “magic” system and how things worked. It really felt like I was playing catch-up the whole time and that made it hard to enjoy what was happening. This book was about a family of con artists and SHOULD have been right up my alley, but I was having too hard a time trying to figure out what the story was and what Cassel was trying to accomplish. As a character, I liked Cassel and I found the other characters to be interesting as well. There were definitely things about this book that I found interesting, I just think it suffered from poor structure or something. In the end, I don’t feel compelled to pick up the rest of the series. 3/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook