9 Best NetGalley Reads

I’ve been blogging for a while now and have requested MANY books from NetGalley. Over that amount of time, I’ve read quite a few duds unfortunately. That being said, I’ve also read some AMAZING books and have been introduced to some great authors and series as well.

Favorite NetGalley Reads

Here are nine of my favorite reads that I got approved for on NetGalley. I’ll just include a quick TL;DR review for each title with a link for my full review (so you’ll get to see some of my OG reviews haha).

180 Seconds by Jessica Park – Subtly diverse characters created an authentic atmosphere for our main character to develop realistically with her mental health.

Full Review

Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin – Action, action, action with likable characters. You’ll start reading for the motorcycle race and you’ll keep reading for Yael.

Full Review

Invictus by Ryan Graudin – The most realistic time travel I’ve ever seen with super likable characters that just make the book so much deeper and more emotional.

Full Review

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria – This book had such a great atmosphere and the two main characters are seriously #friendshipgoals.

Full Review

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno – This book will make you wish you had an abuela. The Cuban culture is so authentic throughout that it makes my heart hurt.

Full Review

Little White Lies by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – The main character is tough as nails and I like how the book focused on her development as a character and her relationship with the women in her family instead of some rando boy.

Full Review

You Were Here by Cori McCarthy – The variety in the chapters was really fun despite the heavy topics explored in this book.

Full Review

Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine – An amazing start to a great series with a fantastic cast of diverse characters and evil librarians. Highly recommend this whole series.

Full Review

You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn – Flawed main characters have a surprising amount of depth. The author did a great job of creating emotion when I wasn’t expecting it.

Full Review

Advertisements

Top 10 finished series | Binge away!

Who else loves a good series binge??? One of my favorite things to do is to jump immediately from one book to the next in a series. No waiting, no forgetting who characters are or what happened to them. Just reading. So here are some of my favorite series that you can just BINGE.

Binge-able Series

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

The Raven Boys; The Dream Thieves; Blue Lily, Lily Blue; The Raven King

Why I loved it: Great characters, magic, treasure/scavenger hunt, deliciously evil antagonists

Wolf by Wolf duology by Ryan Graudin

Wolf by Wolf; Blood for Blood

Why I loved it: Motorcycle race!, alternate history, STRONG female lead

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Cinder; Scarlet; Cress; Winter

Why I loved it: Strong women in typically “male occupations”, swoony romances, sassy robots, fairytale retellings

Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan

Crazy Rich Asians; China Rich Girlfriend; Rich People Problems

Why I loved it: SO MUCH DRAMA, some really likable characters, the food descriptions, depictions of extremely extravagant lifestyles

Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor

Daughter of Smoke & Bone; Days of Blood & Starlight; Dreams of Gods & Monsters

Why I loved it: Fascinating magic concept, fantastic world building, star-crossed lovers, beautiful writing, EVIL VILLAIN

Inkworld trilogy Cornelia Funke

Inkheart; Inkspell; Inkdeath

Why I loved it: Super readable, great characters, watching Maggie grow up

Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows; Crooked Kingdom

Why I loved it: Heists!, complicated relationships, great friendships, worldbuilding

Finishing School series by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage; Curtsies & Conspiracies; Waistcoats & Weaponry; Manners & Mutiny

Why I loved it: Great group of girlfriends, secret floating spy school, Sooties and Picklemen

The Madman’s Daughter trilogy by Megan Shepherd

The Madman’s Daughter; Her Dark Curiosity; A Cold Legacy

Why I loved it: Science-minded female protag, gothic classic retellings

Monsters of Verity duology by Victoria Schwab

This Savage Song; Our Dark Duet

Why I loved it: Monsters, broody violin player, tough-as-nails female protag, not-so-happy ending

What are some of your favorite finished series? Let me know which ones I should binge in the comments!

Sunday Fun-Day Mini-Reviews

Okay, I’ve had a few books on my list to review for a VERY long time. So I’m just gonna knock out a bunch here if that’s okay with you guys.

Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill [ARC]

Ever the HuntedI honestly can’t even with this book. The characters were SO BORING. Think of the most generic special snowflake female protagonist = the protagonist of this book. Think of the most generic super good-looking male love interest = the love interest of this book. The premise of the book sounded so interesting too! There was going to be conflict because her ex-best friend who she’s had a crush on forever is suspected of having murdered her father and she’s the only one who can find him! In reality, the book was just “I’m on a horse. Oh, I found the guy. Oh, I can tell when people are lying and so I know he didn’t kill my dad. Oh, he’s so handsome and still smells good even though we’ve been riding a horse for 50 days in a row. Oh, I need to save the kingdom now that I know I’m a special snowflake. Oh, but he really is handsome and really does smell good.” That was basically the whole story so now you don’t have to read it. You’re welcome. In the grand scheme of things, the romance/relationship should have taken a backseat to the rest of the plot. Instead, it’s shoved in our faces at every turn. Not a fan. I’m honestly surprised I didn’t DNF it. 2/5

Heartless by Marissa Meyer

HeartlessI really wish I had had the time to review this book right after I’d read it because it really does deserve a full review. I really liked this book. Not as much as the Lunar Chronicles, but I still really loved it. Cath is such a fascinating main character. We never really get to know the Queen of Hearts, you know? But there has to be some kind of backstory and the one that Meyer gives us is just as plausible as anything else. I thought the world-building in this book was AMAZING. I mean, the world already existed, but the way that Meyer describes it is so matter-of-fact and magical all at the same time. It’s hard to describe so I’m just going to plead with you to READ THIS BOOK. Throughout everything, the main source of suspense is just the knowledge of how the story ends. Meyer didn’t write this book to change the ending so we know that things are not going to end up happily ever after for our protagonist. With that being said, you really can’t help but to root for her. It’s terrible and awful and agonizing but wonderful all at the same time. 4/5

Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

Blood for BloodThis is another book that really does deserve a full-length review. I adored the first book. Seriously, there are not words to describe how much I loved Wolf by Wolf. In my opinion, Blood for Blood wasn’t as good, but at the same time I didn’t really expect it to be. A part of the first book that I really fell in love with was the setting of the motorcycle race. Without that subplot driving the main plot as well as the pace of the book, BfB feels almost…relaxed in its pace. It’s definitely slower than the first book, but that does have its own advantages. The Holocaust is always a tricky subject, right? But I thought that the author did a great job being so respectful with it but not sugarcoating it either. Even though this is an alternate history, there are some facts that remain the same. With this book having a more relaxed pace, it allowed for the author to dive into the characters a little more and that made some passages especially powerful. Before reading this book, I had read a review that criticized Graudin for romantically linking a Holocaust survivor with a “Nazi poster boy” so I went into the book a little apprehensive about how the romance was going to go. Honestly, I thought it was really tastefully done and I didn’t feel like it was inauthentic to the characters. Overall, I would definitely recommend this one. 4/5

The Sky Between You and Me by Catherine Alene [ARC]

The Sky Between You and MeFirst of all, I didn’t expect this book to be written in verse, but it was. I never really know what to expect from books written in verse. I almost…don’t get them? I mean, they’re nice and all, but I just don’t always understand why the author chose that format instead of standard prose. Anyway. That’s just a me thing and does not reflect on this book in any way. This book is about a girl with an eating disorder but she really doesn’t acknowledge that to herself until the end. The thing I found really interesting about this book is that we never find out how much she weighs. I mean, we might know at the beginning, but we’re stuck in the main character’s head. So as the story progresses she’s obviously losing weight, but we have no idea how much it’s been or if the people around her should start getting worried. Honestly, this book really made me think about some things internally. I had never really thought that I would at all be susceptible to an eating disorder since I love eating food and I hate throwing up (not that those are the only types of eating disorders, but those are the ones I’m addressing right now). Recently, however, I’ve been trying to lose the ten pounds that I’ve gained since getting married and to do that I’ve started keeping closer tabs on the amount of calories that I consume. I’m not overweight by any means, but after reading this book I can see what a slippery slope any kind of weight loss is. While I’m still not concerned that I might be developing an eating disorder, for the first time I really felt that I could (at least partially) understand why somebody would. 3/5

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

Top Ten Tuesday: Books Set Outside the U.S.

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Ten Books Set Outside The US

So here’s my list. None of these are necessarily going to give you a major case of Wanderlust, but these are some of my favorite books set outside of America.

England/Egypt – Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (The Great Library series)
England/Scotland – Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger (Finishing School series)
England – Blackmoore by Julianne Donaldson
England/Wonderland – The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (The Looking Glass Wars series)
China/France/The Moon – Cinder by Marissa Meyers (The Lunar Chronicles)
England/Tropical Island – The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepherd (The Madman’s Daughter trilogy)
England – Austenland by Shannon Hale
Germany/Japan/Europe – Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin
England – A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
Italy – Instructions for a Broken Heart by Kim Culbertson

BOOK TAG: The Wine Tag

I was tagged by Deanna @A Novel Glimpse! I don’t actually drink wine (or at all) so I don’t really get these references…but who cares! I love a good book tag.

Box Wine – a book people will judge you for liking but you like it anyway!

I’m going to go really broad on this one and just say YA. Obviously this community isn’t judging like that, but there are A LOT of people in this world who judge adults who like to read YA.


 

wolf-by-wolf-ryan-graudin-e1442880525579Organic Wine – a book that doesn’t have any added crap in it and is just written perfectly.

We all knew I was going to bring this book up, right? Yes. Wolf by Wolf is so perfect. There is some romance, but it’s not the focus of the book and it doesn’t seem artificially added. Also, there isn’t any added drama or frustrating miscommunication. This story is all real with beautifully lyrical writing and an intriguing plot that really drives the story forward (even during flashback scenes).


 

Gluehwein – a really spicy, wintery read.7741325

Would I describe Dash and Lily as spicy? Yes and yes. Obviously this book is wintery (it’s set in New York during Christmas break). Dash and Lily are both super fun characters and Lily in particular has some extra sass added in. Now, just a reminder, I listened to this as an audiobook and the woman who read Lily was SO PERFECT.


51NcMaqTCsL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Sauvignon Blanc – a really sharp and aggressive read that you couldn’t put down.

This is only partially true. The story was definitely sharp and aggressive, but I also didn’t have a hard time putting it down. Something about the way it was written or the plot didn’t really compel me to continue reading. But still, very sharp and aggresive.


 

cvr9781416990680_9781416990680_hrPinot Noir – a book you didn’t expect much from but ended up getting blown away.

I was going to use a different book for this one, but then I saw Second Chance Summer on my Goodreads “Favorites” list and thought, “Yes. YES, THAT ONE.” Going into this, I knew that I’d liked Matson’s Since You’ve Been Gone, but it wasn’t anything super spectacular. I thought this book would be kind of similar. IT WAS SO MUCH MORE. If you’d like to feel all the feels, then read this book.


 

344637Chardonnay – a good summer read that was super zesty.

I think the Casserole Queens invented the word “zesty”. I loved so much about this book and it really is the perfect summer read. It has a little bit of everything in it. Hanging out, summer jobs, late night hijinks, and even a roadtrip.


 

downloadRose – a book that has a little bit of everything in it.

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic world. Romance. Love Triangles. Aliens. Mystery. Several different settings. Multi-cultural Characters. This story really does have a little bit of EVERYTHING.


 

20550148Shiraz – a full-bodied book that is dark and juicy.

The characters in this one could have been a little more complex than they were, but I think “dark and juicy” is a pretty good way to describe it. Dark for sure, at least. There are so many times when this book is just a little bit disturbing–but I still had to finish.


 

austenland-bookMerlot – a smooth, easy read with a soft finish.

Oh Austenland…the book is great, the movie is great. This book is such an easy read because we all know what’s going to end up happening. Despite that, we’re still so happy when it finally does! This is a book that I will for sure return to when I just need a light, easy read.


 

Champagne – your favorite book.

Why is this even on here? I can’t choose just one!


 

Tags

As per my usual…I tag anyone who wants to do this!

COVER REVEAL: Blood for Blood by Ryan Graudin

As I’m sure most of you know, I LOVED Wolf by Wolf, the first book in the series. I seriously recommend it to anyone and everyone. So when I saw this article pop up on my Facebook Newsfeed, I was ecstatic. I cannot wait for this book to come out. Goodreads says the beginning of October, but EW reports November. Whenever–it’s not soon enough. Click the link above for the full EW article and an excerpt from the book.

screen20shot202016-02-0320at2011-24-4620am

Top Ten Tuesday: Best books of 2015

top-ten-tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there is a new topic and this week’s topic is: Top Ten Best Books I Read In 2015

I’m going to narrow the field to the top ten books that I read that were published in 2015. Links are to my reviews

1) Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

“These were the names she whispered in the dark.
These were the pieces she brought back into place.
These were the wolves she rode to war.”

2) Things We Know by Heart by Jessi Kirby

“But it’s terrifying to realise how much of your world is wrapped up in loving another person”

3) Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“Life is a gift. Don’t forget to live it.”

4) Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig

“Believe me, I have looked this up, and the roots of fate and faith are not the same. Nonetheless, I picked up my wicker suitcase to follow Herman the German into the Old Faithful Inn.”

5) Whippoorwill by Joseph Monninger

“What we find in a dog is what we bring to a dog.”

6) Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone

“I didn’t go there looking for you. I went looking for me.” My voice is soft, low, and shaky. “But now, here you are, and somehow, in finding you, I think I’ve found myself.”

7) Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

“In any moment, there were so many chances for paths to cross and people to clash, come together, or do any number of things in between. It was amazing we could live at all, knowing all that could occur purely by chance.”

8) A Cold Legacy by Megan Shepherd

“To make the right decision you must understand both paths before you,” he said quietly. “You must know your demons before you know whether to follow them.”

9) A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

“I do fear him,” I said, which was close to the truth. “I fear him as I fear the desert sun and poisonous snakes. They are all part of the life I live. But the sun gives light, and snakes will feed a caravan if they are caught and cooked.”

10) The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E Pearson

“Three more days. That’s what Sven always told me. When you think you’re at the end of your rope, give it three more days. And then another three. Sometimes you’ll find the rope is longer than you thought.”