April 2020 TBR

Who knows how much longer this quarantine is going to continue? My local library has been AMAZING throughout it all, though. They’re doing curbside hold pick-up days twice a week despite fines being suspended for the duration of their closure. Honestly, these guys are amazing. So I’ve got a few library books to finish this month and then…I guess it’s probably a good time to read some of the books that have been sitting on my shelves for ages.

Let’s see how this month goes! If you have a favorite Kristin Hannah book, let me know.

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

March 2020 Wrap-Up & TBR Update

As a stay-at-home mom to a toddler, my day-to-day life hasn’t changed much with the quarantine/social distancing. And yet. Everything has changed, right? Somehow I still managed to read a ton this month. I’m not totally sure how, but here we are. Perhaps you can spot a pattern in my reading below…

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 15, 3 DNF
Books currently reading:
2

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 296
TBR at the beginning of March = 305
Books added to TBR = 8
Books read/deleted from TBR = 6
Total on TBR now = 307

How did your reading go this month?

21 Best Book Deals for 3/30/20: Shatter Me, With the Fire on High, Ayesha at Last, and more

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

The Fever King by Victoria Lee

The Library at the End of the World by Felicity Hayes-McCoy

Less than $2

Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler by Kelly Harms

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Pretty Girls by Karin Slaughter

Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin

Horrorstör by Grady Hendrix

Smart Baseball by Keith Law

Cooking with Mary Berry by Mary Berry

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

Less than $3

With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo

Because I Was a Girl: True Stories for Girls of All Ages edited by Melissa de la Cruz

Just My Luck by Jennifer Honeybourn

The Girl in the Blue Coat by Monica Hesse

Talon by Julie Kagawa

You Owe Me a Murder by Eileen Cook

Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin


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Pre-Quarantine Mini-Reviews

I had a bunch of books that I read before all of this crazy stuff started happening, but I just never got around to posting my reviews. Well, here they are now! Better late than never, right?

mini-reviews

Lucky Caller by Emma Mills

I was so excited to get my hands on this book! Over the summer I became a full Emma Mills convert and this book didn’t disappoint! Her characters are always so fun (if a little too witty and clever to be realistic). I liked the sister element of this book a lot and even wished there had been a bit more. I was also jazzed to see some IUPUI representation (that’s where I got my online MLS degree–go Jags!). There were some plot elements that I could have predicted from a mile away and others that I thought were a bit of a stretch, but overall I really liked this book. I thought it had a good message about the transitional times in your life and the people you might meet there. 4/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback (preorder) | Kindle

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

I’ve been meaning to read some Ruth Ware for a while and the premise of this book really drew me in. The atmosphere in this book was pretty well done. Reading this book, I just felt cold because Hal is cold like the whole time. Overall, I thought this book was alright, but I had some issues with Hal and some inconsistencies that I felt ran throughout the whole book. First, Hal. She mentally berates herself over and over again for not acting appropriately. For example, she’s so mad at herself for acting surprised to learn that Ezra and Maud were twins, but she made it clear that she didn’t even know that she had uncles so…obviously she wouldn’t know that Ezra and Maud were twins–relax Hal, you’re fine. Then the inconsistencies. Hal makes a big deal about telling Ezra to call her Hal, but earlier in the book Mitzi had already called her that? Just one example. In the end, I can appreciate some of the smaller things that were scattered throughout the book, but I feel like a lot of the time Hal is just being dumb. I think she could have figured out more than she did before she did. At this point, I might try another Ruth Ware book, but if that one doesn’t impress me either, I might be giving up on her. 3.5/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle

Sword & Pen by Rachel Caine

This series! I absolutely love it and this was such a great conclusion. The stakes are HIGH in this book for every single character and I’m amazed that Caine is able to pull that off without things feeling exaggerated. She also does a great job of recapping important plot points from the previous books without feeling info-dumpy which is so common in series books. The characters continue to be the characters that we all know and love. I especially enjoyed Dario in this book–his relationship with Khalila adds another layer to his character which I think is needed. Their relationship feels so sweet and genuine to me. Something I love about this series as a whole, is that I think each character feels realistically developed. It would be really interesting to go back to the beginning and compare who they were in book one to this last book. Overall, I love this series and everyone should read it. 4.5/5

Order: Hardcover | Kindle

We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian [ARC 3/31]

This book was such a disappointment. I was hoping to get an awesome girl power/friendship story but instead we get a story about an adult man playing questionable mind games with teenage girls. No thanks. The whole book just kind of made me feel mad the entire time. And I also couldn’t get over the math for Coach’s age. The girls think he’s about 26, but this is his 7th year coaching (not to mention he played field hockey in and after college for at least a little bit). How did he have time for all of that? Also, that would mean he was hired to be the Varsity Field Hockey coach when he was like…19 or 20? Just a couple years older than the girls he’s coaching? I have a hard time believing a high school would EVER make a hiring decision like that. But anyway, I’m getting off-track…it’s just something I was dwelling on pretty much the whole book. I just didn’t think this book was very good. What was the point? What am I supposed to take away? So, so disappointing. 2/5

Meet Me At Midnight by Jessica Pennington [ARC 4/7]

This book surprised me! It’s a pretty fun summer time romance book–perfect for a beach day. I thought the main characters Sidney and Asher had great chemistry even if their interactions felt a little cringe at times (though maybe I just felt that way because I’m not a teenager anymore). There were a few times that the author refused to go along with widely accepted tropes for this type of book, and I really appreciated that. I don’t want to give any spoilers or anything, so I won’t go into specifics. But sometimes authors almost…fabricate drama? I never really felt like that happened in this book. I was super into the first two thirds, but then the last third was a bit less enjoyable (which kept it from being a four star read for me). Throughout, I really liked our two main characters, but towards the end they both made decisions and acted in ways that made me like them a little less. Overall, I would definitely recommend this as a summer read! 3.5/5

Preorder: Hardcover | Kindle

Note: ARCs were received free from NetGalley in exchange for honest reviews.

March 2020 TBR

Last month was pretty good and I hope that carries through into this month as well. And, of course, here’s hoping I can stay caught up on here as well.

I know, I know. I’m reading a lot of books at once–I do that sometimes. I get into this mode where I’m reading one book in each format (physical, Kindle, phone, audio).

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

19 Best Book Deals for 2/27/20: Maybe Someday, Nimona, The Eyre Affair, and more

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

Angelfall by Susan Ee

World After by Susan Ee

End of Days by Susan Ee

Less than $2

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan

I Love You So Mochi by Sarah Kuhn

The Radical Element: 12 Stories of Daredevils, Debutantes & Other Dauntless Girls edited by Jessica Spotswood

Maybe This Time by Kasie West

The Traitor’s Game by Jennifer A. Nielsen

Sky Without Stars by Jessica Brody & Joanne Rendell

The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

Maybe Someday by Colleen Hoover

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

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A Hot Glue Gun Mess: Funny Stories and Pretty Projects by Mr. Kate

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Wicked Saints by Emily A. Duncan


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MINI-REVIEWS: New Notebook Edition

I take notes while I read because it helps me when I’m trying to write reviews (because I don’t usually get to them right away…oops). It’s a helpful way for me to organize my thoughts and I also can note my content ratings right after finishing instead of trying to remember after the fact. I found the PERFECT book journal a couple years ago at B&N–the hardcover, spiral, lined Canson size 8×5. And the best part? It was under $10. Fast forward to present me and I can’t find this notebook (or an equivalent) ANYWHERE. If only I had known the company was going to discontinue this notebook when I first bought it! Ah well. After a couple months of hunting, I did finally settle on something from Amazon, but I’m curious–what do you guys use to take notes? I tried my phone for a little bit in the interim, but didn’t LOVE it. Anyway, that’s just a long way for me to say, here are the rest of the reviews from my old notebook that I haven’t gotten around to posting until now.

mini-reviews

Five Dark Fates by Kendare Blake

Honestly, this series has gone downhill in a hurry for me. I started the series either shortly before or after the third book came out. I devoured the first one and was left on such a cliffhanger that my husband ran out and bought the second one for me so I could keep going (I know, he’s a good guy). I was SUPER invested in the first two, moderately invested in the third one, but this one? Just meh for me. I’m just kind of tired of the story at this point. I don’t really understand the politics or motivations anymore. I’ve gotten to the point where I wouldn’t read the next book if there was one. The beginning was just confusing to me–there are SO many characters. And in the end, I didn’t really care for the Jules/Emilia relationship. It just seemed kind of random and thrown in there? Overall, I wasn’t super impressed. 3/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

I reread Caraval for a book club and then went ahead and finished the series (but it doesn’t look like I took any notes on Finale, so oh well). I found the whole plot of this book to be confusing (and the next book too, tbh). Tella as a character was confusing. The fates were confusing. I really loved Caraval the first time I read it, but I don’t feel like it held up to a reread (especially compared to The Night Circus which TOTALLY DID). I found Scarlett’s plot-line to be distracting and Tella just annoyed the crap out of me. She kept doing things that were CLEARLY a bad idea just to tick someone off. The writing was also just…not good for me. I could tell the author was trying to be lyrical with these lush descriptions, but if I have to read about how Dante smells like ink and darkness one more time, I swear… WHAT DOES DARKNESS EVEN SMELL LIKE. 3/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

I don’t feel like this book was quite as dynamic a conclusion to this trilogy as I was hoping for, but it was still good. I liked that this book was filled to the brim with strategy and political scheming. I also felt like Jude was more palatable in this book than in the previous two. With that being said, there were a few plot points that I was a little confused by. Pretty early on in the book, Taryn asks Jude to take her place in Faerie for a little bit, but I’m not really sure how she planned to get Jude back out? And then everything that happened with Carden…while I didn’t see it coming, once it happened I felt like the solution was really obvious. Like, REALLY obvious. I thought the overall ending was pretty good, but it seemed like it all happened really fast. I also wish that Grima Mog had gotten more screen time, she was awesome. We’ll see where Black decides to take Faerie next, but I’m hoping we get a book set in the Court of Teeth (fingers crossed). 4/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

I was so disappointed by this book. I’ve only heard great things about it (and the series in general) but I just couldn’t get on board with the characters. I thought all of the characters had these exaggerated flaws that they kept dwelling on and thinking about, but then they didn’t really do anything to overcome those flaws. I mean, I guess Amari did in the end, but Zelie and Inan did not. Zelie was particularly hard for me. She has NO impulse control. Absolutely none. Her temper is too quick to flare and she never thinks about long run consequences which drove me absolutely CRAZY. I thought the magic system was pretty interesting, but I also feel a little confused by it. Zelie mentions that maji exist in other countries, but the gods that the magic comes from seem pretty Orisha-centric. Do the other countries believe in the same gods? Did Saran take magic away from the whole world or just Orisha? Overall, I’m just pretty confused by how this world is set up. I probably won’t be continuing with the series. 3/5

Order: Hardcover | Paperback | eBook