April: the month that almost killed me [Monthly Wrap-Up & TBR Update]

Okay, so my title is a little dramatic, but this month was seriously ROUGH. I’m not quite done with everything (I’ve got one more wedding this Saturday), but I’m hoping after that I’ll have even just a millisecond to relax. My reading went completely off the rails this month. I discovered a free game on my phone so…there went that free time (it’s called Two Dots if you’re wondering). I just read a bunch of random stuff and almost nothing that I’d planned on. Oh well.

monthly tbr

Also read/reading:

Books finished this month: 7 (3 DNF)
Books currently reading: 3

Overall TBR:

TBR at the beginning of the year = 383
TBR at the beginning of April = 449
Books added to TBR = 22
Books read/deleted from TBR = 5
Total on TBR now = 466

How did your reading go this month?
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April TBR

March was an AMAZING reading month for me and I’m not expecting to have the same thing happen this month. There are, however, a few things that I NEED to read this month, so I’ll be prioritizing those things.

monthly tbr

Honestly, I doubt that I’ll get to all of these, but I’m going to try!

What books are you planning on reading this month? Link your April TBRs in the comments!

18 Best Book Deals for 3/30/19: The Rosie Project, Dune, Odd & True, and more

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

Reap by Casey L Bond

Slave, Warrior, Queen by Morgan Rice

Less than $2

Just an Ordinary Day: Stories by Shirley Jackson

Confessions of an Art Addict by Peggy Guggenheim

Odd & True by Cat Winters

How Dare the Sun Rise: Memoirs of a War Child by Sandra Uwiringiyimana

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie (Hercule Poirot #23)

A Long Way Home: A Memoir by Saroo Brierley (adapted into the movie Lion)

Notorious RBG Young Readers’ Edition: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik

Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise by Ruth Reichl

Dune by Frank Herbert

A Widow’s Story: A Memoir by Joyce Carol Oates

The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Talon by Julie Kagawa

Less than $3

Arrival (Stories of Your Life MTI) by Ted Chiang (adapted into the movie Arrival)

Maybe Not: A Novella by Colleen Hoover

I Remember Nothing by Nora Ephron

Less than $4

The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion


Recommended from this post:

TTT | Springing into Spring reads for 2019

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Books On My Spring 2019 TBR

These are books I hope to read this Spring (April-June). Fingers crossed I can get to them all!

Normal releases:
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo

Nikolai Lantsov has always had a gift for the impossible. No one knows what he endured in his country’s bloody civil war—and he intends to keep it that way. Now, as enemies gather at his weakened borders, the young king must find a way to refill Ravka’s coffers, forge new alliances, and stop a rising threat to the once-great Grisha Army.

Yet with every day a dark magic within him grows stronger, threatening to destroy all he has built. With the help of a young monk and a legendary Grisha Squaller, Nikolai will journey to the places in Ravka where the deepest magic survives to vanquish the terrible legacy inside him. He will risk everything to save his country and himself. But some secrets aren’t meant to stay buried—and some wounds aren’t meant to heal.

eBook | Hardcover

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers by Mary Roach

Stiff is an oddly compelling, often hilarious exploration of the strange lives of our bodies postmortem. For two thousand years, cadavers—some willingly, some unwittingly—have been involved in science’s boldest strides and weirdest undertakings. In this fascinating account, Mary Roach visits the good deeds of cadavers over the centuries and tells the engrossing story of our bodies when we are no longer with them.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Legendary by Stephanie Garber

After being swept up in the magical world of Caraval, Donatella Dragna has finally escaped her father and saved her sister, Scarlett, from a disastrous arranged marriage. The girls should be celebrating, but Tella isn’t yet free. She made a desperate bargain with a mysterious criminal, and what Tella owes him no one has ever been able to deliver: Caraval Master Legend’s true name.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Good Omens by Terry Pratchett & Neil Gaiman

According to The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch (the world’s only completely accurate book of prophecies, written in 1655, before she exploded), the world will end on a Saturday. Next Saturday, in fact. Just before dinner.

So the armies of Good and Evil are amassing, Atlantis is rising, frogs are falling, tempers are flaring. Everything appears to be going according to Divine Plan. Except a somewhat fussy angel and a fast-living demon—both of whom have lived amongst Earth’s mortals since The Beginning and have grown rather fond of the lifestyle—are not actually looking forward to the coming Rapture.

And someone seems to have misplaced the Antichrist . . .

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

ARCs:
Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett

After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

The Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters

Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

King of Fools by Amanda Foody

On the quest to find her missing mother, prim and proper Enne Salta became reluctant allies with Levi Glaisyer, the city’s most famous con man. Saving his life in the Shadow Game forced Enne to assume the identity of Seance, a mysterious underworld figure. Now, with the Chancellor of the Republic dead and bounties on both their heads, she and Levi must play a dangerous game of crime and politics…with the very fate of New Reynes at stake.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Rosa Santos is cursed by the sea-at least, that’s what they say. Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about. As her college decision looms, Rosa collides-literally-with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

Happy Messy Scary Love by Leah Konen

As everyone at her Brooklyn high school announces their summer adventures, Olivia harbors a dirty secret: Her plan is to binge-watch horror movies and chat with her online friend, Elm. Olivia and Elm have never shared personal details, apart from their ages and the fact that Elm’s aunt is a low-budget horror filmmaker. Then Elm pushes Olivia to share her identity and sends her a selfie of his own. Olivia is shocked by how cute he is! In a moment of panic, assuming she and Elm will never meet in real life, she sends a photo of her gorgeous friend Katie. But things are about to get even more complicated when Olivia’s parents send her to the Catskills, and she runs into the one person she never thought she would see.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

What do you think of my list? Link your TTT in the comments!

TTT | I NEED MOOOOOOORE

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

Top Ten Tuesday Blog

Standalone Books That Need a Sequel

Man, going through my Goodreads for this list made me realize that I read very few standalone books! A lot of the standalones are contemporary romance, but I didn’t want my ENTIRE list to be that! So here’s my list. I tried really hard to add some variety.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

This is supposedly getting a sequel, but I won’t believe it until I have it in my grubby little hands.

This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen

I listened to an interview where she explains why she doesn’t do sequels and I get it…but I’d still like one. Honestly, I’d take a sequel for any of her books, but I’m particularly curious about Remy and Dexter.

Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

I feel like this book ended feeling a little unresolved to me. I didn’t really think Sloan was a very good friend, so I’d like to giver her a chance to redeem herself.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Levi and Cath are just so sweet together. A book about their last year of college would be amazing.

Invictus by Ryan Graudin

More time travel heists plzzzzzz.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Yes, more Night Circus would be fantastic. I literally cannot get enough.

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria

The two main characters are best friendship goals! I’d love to see what other situations they get themselves into!

A Million Junes by Emily Henry

I feel that there could be more to explore here. The book resolved, but let’s see what happens after!

Odd & True by Cat Winters

A new book with Odd’s daughter as the lead would be so interesting I think!

The Comeback Season by Jennifer E Smith

More Cubs!

Do you agree with my list? Link your TTT in the comments!

5 Horror(ish) Books to Get Through Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day has never been my favorite holiday. I mean, I like chocolate as much as the next person, but it’s this holiday that comes with a lot of pressure if you’re in a relationship and can make people feel a little self-conscious if they’re not. I’m sure there will be many lovey-dovey posts today, but I wanted to do something a little different by posting a few horror(ish) recs.

Capture

None of the following books are super scary. I’m a bit of a scaredy cat so I don’t usually read books that are too scary.

In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winters

In the Shadow of Blackbirds

Another plug for a great author, Cat Winters. This book is set during World War I, which is scary in and of itself, but it’s also during the Spanish Flu. People are dying left and right and that creates this really creepy atmosphere. Add to that some spirit photography and maybe some ghosts? I love the main character in this book because she’s tough and smart in a time when it girls were consistently underestimated.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

Spill ZoneThis is a two book series of graphic novels by Scott Westerfeld. I don’t know if I’ve read anything else by him besides the Pretties series, but I really enjoyed these graphic novels. They’re so eerie and the artwork only amplifies that feeling. Especially when the main character goes into the spill zone, the colors are absolutely electric. It’s got a post-apocalyptic feel, a mute little girl, and a creepy doll.

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd

The Madman's DaughterI’ve definitely talked about this book on here before. This entire series is amazingly gothic and unsettling. The first book is based off of The Island of Dr. Moreau, the second is based off of The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and the third is based off of Frankenstein. Each of those would also be a good candidate for this list if you’re interested in a classic horror read. (The eBook for The Madman’s Daughter is only $2.99 right now!)

eBook | Hardcover | Paperback

The Diviners by Libba Bray

The DivinersI’ve read this book most recently of the ones on this list. It’s a long book, so be ready for that, but I really loved the setting. It’s set in the 20’s in New York which proves to be the perfect setting for this ghost story. The main characters are fun and Evie is especially full of life. The last warning I have for this book is that it’s obviously setting up for a series. There are some story lines that don’t quite resolve and characters that don’t seem super important by the end of this book. If that’s your jam, though, I highly recommend.

eBook | Paperback 

Blue is for Nightmares by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Blue is for NightmaresI read this series when I was in high school and it was my first real foray into horror. It’s about a girl who is away at a boarding school (I’ve always been a fan of boarding school books) and she’s having these vivid dreams. At the end of each dream, she wakes up having wet the bed. She’s not sure why this is happening, but she’s had these types of dreams before. Last time, she didn’t listen to them and someone ended up dead. I like that these books have a slight supernatural element to it, but it’s not too heavy.

eBook | Paperback

What do you plan on reading this Valentine’s Day?

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10 Most Anticipated 2019 Books on My TBR

I know we’re already a couple of months into 2019, but I decided the other day to take a look at my TBR to see what books were coming out this year that I was especially excited for and there are so many! This list doesn’t include books that are already out like Bloodwitch or King of Scars. Books are in order of their Goodreads release date.

2019 TBR Books

I heard on a podcast the other day that preordering books actually really helps them out, which I didn’t know before. So if you’d like to preorder any of these books, I’m including Amazon affiliate links to their preorder pages.

Rayne & Delilah's Midnite MatineeRayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zetner (2/26)

Every Friday night, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood, hosts of the campy creature feature show Midnite Matinee on the local cable station TV Six.

But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show’s guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder.

Scary movies are the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnite Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he’ll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too.

As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, Josie and Delia start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous…and momentous.

This book seems like it’s going to be a great tale of best friend-ship and I am HERE for it.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

Field Notes on LoveField Notes on Love by Jennifer E Smith (3/5)

Having just been dumped by his girlfriend, British-born Hugo is still determined to take his last-hurrah-before-college train trip across the United States. One snag: the companion ticket is already booked under the name of his ex, Margaret Campbell. Nontransferable, no exceptions.

Enter the new Margaret C. (Mae for short), an aspiring filmmaker with big dreams. After finding Hugo’s spare ticket offer online, she’s convinced it’s the perfect opportunity to expand her horizons.

When the two meet, the attraction is undeniable, and both find more than they bargained for. As Mae pushes Hugo to explore his dreams for his future, he’ll encourage her to channel a new, vulnerable side of her art. But when life off the train threatens the bubble they’ve created for themselves, will they manage to keep their love on track?

I love everything Jennifer E Smith and I’m excited for another of her cute contemporary romances!

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

The Raven's TaleThe Raven’s Tale by Cat Winters (4/16)

Seventeen-year-old Edgar Poe counts down the days until he can escape his foster family—the wealthy Allans of Richmond, Virginia. He hungers for his upcoming life as a student at the prestigious new university, almost as much as he longs to marry his beloved Elmira Royster. However, on the brink of his departure, all his plans go awry when a macabre Muse named Lenore appears to him. Muses are frightful creatures that lead Artists down a path of ruin and disgrace, and no respectable person could possibly understand or accept them. But Lenore steps out of the shadows with one request: “Let them see me!”

Cat Winters is one of the most underrated YA authors imo. Her books are slightly creepy, but not overly scary and her characters are always fierce, independent, and likable. This books seems like it’s going to be just as good as her others! (And I have an ARC, so I’m pretty satisfied).

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

Hot Dog GirlHot Dog Girl by Jennifer Dugan (4/30)

Elouise (Lou) Parker is determined to have the absolute best, most impossibly epic summer of her life. There are just a few things standing in her way:

* She’s landed a job at Magic Castle Playland . . . as a giant dancing hot dog.
* Her crush, the dreamy Diving Pirate Nick, already has a girlfriend, who is literally the Princess of the park. But Lou’s never liked anyone, guy or otherwise, this much before, and now she wants a chance at her own happily ever after.
* Her best friend, Seeley, the carousel operator, who’s always been up for anything, suddenly isn’t when it comes to Lou’s quest to set her up with the perfect girl or Lou’s scheme to get close to Nick.
* And it turns out that this will be their last summer at Magic Castle Playland–ever–unless she can find a way to stop it from closing.

This book sounds funny and unique. It sounds like it’s got a really great cast of characters.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

Don't Date Rosa SantosDon’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Morena (5/14)

Rosa is cursed by the sea–at least that’s what they say.

Dating her is bad news, especially if you’re a boy with a boat.

But Rosa feels more caught than cursed. Caught between cultures and choices. Between her abuela, a beloved healer and pillar of their community, and her mother, an artist who crashes in and out of her life like a hurricane. Between Port Coral, the quirky South Florida town they call home, and Cuba, the island her abuela refuses to talk about.

As her college decision looms, Rosa collides—literally—with Alex Aquino, the mysterious boy with tattoos of the ocean whose family owns the marina. With her heart, her family, and her future on the line, can Rosa break a curse and find her place beyond the horizon?

THIS BOOK SOUNDS SO GOOD TO ME. It seems like it’s going to have this awesome setting and like the main character’s family is going to play a really prominent role.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

43667327The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen (6/4)

Emma Saylor doesn’t remember a lot about her mother, who died when she was ten. But she does remember the stories her mom told her about the big lake that went on forever, with cold, clear water and mossy trees at the edges.

Now it’s just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable…until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother’s family—her grandmother and cousins she hasn’t seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is divided into two people as well. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

Then there’s Roo, the boy who was her very best friend when she was little. Roo holds the key to her family’s history, and slowly, he helps her put the pieces together about her past. It’s hard not to get caught up in the magic of North Lake—and Saylor finds herself falling under Roo’s spell as well.

For Saylor, it’s like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it’s time to go back home, which side of her will win out?

Sarah Dessen. Enough said.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

Truly Madly RoyallyTruly Madly Royally by Debbie Rigaud (7/30)

Fiercely independent and smart, Zora Emerson wants to change the world. She’s excited to be attending a prestigious summer program, even if she feels out of place among her privileged, mostly white classmates. So she’s definitely not expecting to feel a connection to Owen, who’s an actual prince of an island off the coast of England. But Owen is funny, charming…and undeniably cute. Zora can’t ignore the chemistry between them. When Owen invites Zora to be his date at his big brother’s big royal wedding, Zora is suddenly thrust into the spotlight, along with her family and friends. Everyone is talking about her, in real life and online, and while Owen is used to the scrutiny, Zora’s not sure it’s something she can live with. Can she maintain her sense of self while moving between two very different worlds? And can her feelings for Owen survive and thrive in the midst of the crazy? Find out in this charming romantic comedy that’s like The Princess Diaries for a new generation.

I’m always here for a celebrity/royal romance. I do take issue with the whole “The Princess Diaries for a new generation” because like…aren’t we still in the same generation as the Princess Diaries????

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

Five Dark FatesFive Dark Fates by Kendare Blake (9/3)

Blake Teen Fantasy Novel #4 has descriptive copy which is not yet available from the Publisher.

Awesome synopsis. Jokes aside, I’m excited to see where the plot goes. Book 3 ended a little unexpectedly so we’ll see. I don’t believe things are exactly as they appeared to be at the end and I’m also curious to see how the “island mystery” part of it resolves. I’m hoping this book comes with a little more history of the island itself–I definitely enjoyed that aspect of book 3.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

The Seven Sisters by Neil Gaiman (9/15)

The Seven Sisters has descriptive copy which is not yet available from the Publisher.

Another great synopsis (no cover for this one either). I’m not actually convinced that this book is going to get published in 2019, but Goodreads says it is, so here’s hoping! I LOVED Neverwhere and I would read anything else set in that world.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover isn’t available so I don’t know what that means?

The Starless Sea precoverThe Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern (11/5)

Zachary Ezra Rawlins is a graduate student in Vermont when he discovers a strange book hidden in the library stacks. As he turns the pages, entranced by tales of lovelorn prisoners, key collectors, and nameless acolytes, he reads something strange: a story from his own childhood. Bewildered by this inexplicable book and desperate to make sense of how his own life came to be recorded, Zachary uncovers a series of clues — a bee, a key, and a sword — that lead him to a masquerade party in New York, to a secret club, and through a doorway to a subterranean library, hidden far below the surface of the earth.

What Zachary finds in this curious place is more than just a buried home for books and their guardians — it is a place of lost cities and seas, lovers who pass notes under doors and across time, and of stories whispered by the dead. Zachary learns of those who have sacrificed much to protect this realm, relinquishing their sight and their tongues to preserve this archive, and also those who are intent on its destruction. Together with Mirabel, a fierce, pink-haired protector of the place, and Dorian, a handsome barefoot man with shifting alliances, Zachary travels the twisting tunnels, darkened stairwells, crowded ballrooms, and sweetly soaked shores of this magical world, discovering his purpose — in both the mysterious book and in his own life.

If you haven’t read The Night Circus by now, where have you been? Her first book was so fantastic and this synopsis is just about EVERYTHING that I could ever want in a book. I’m hoping this book does for me what Caraval did not.

Preorder: eBook | Hardcover

What 2019 books are you most excited to get your hands on?

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2019 TBR Books