Tag: what I’ve been reading lately

The Best Books I Read in August (2019)

I read 24 books in August, bringing my total for the year to 143.

A handful of those were great reads, but three of the truly excellent reads included a book about three older women who changed their lives and found their dreams, a fantasy that started off with a girl who had never set foot on land, and a girl who has never really thought about her ethnicity and is forced to not just confront it but decide how it will shape her life.

women in sunlight

Women in Sunlight, by Frances Mayes (she also wrote Under the Tuscan Sun) is about three older, single American women who become friends and defy expectations to move to Italy. While there, they truly embrace themselves and who they are as they create their best lives yet.

crown of coral and pearl

Crown of Coral and Pearl, by Mara Rutherford. Nor and her twin sister are the most beautiful girls in Varenia, so they know one of them will be chosen to marry the prince of Ilara. Nor longs to see the mainland, but when her sister is chosen, she knows that will never happen. Until her sister is injured and she’s chosen to replace her—finding Ilara a land of treachery, murder, and darkness.

color me in

Color Me In, by Natasha Diaz. Nevaeh has never really thought about her ethnicity, but when her Jewish father and her black mother separate, she and her mother go to live with her family in Harlem. One of Nevaeh’s cousins is angry because Nevaeh can pass as white and is oblivious to struggles of those around her in Harlem. Then Nevaeh’s dad decides she needs to embrace her Jewish roots, leaving Nevaeh struggling between two identities.

Also worth mentioning:

beekeeper

The Beekeeper of Aleppo, by Christy Lefteri.

never have i ever

Never Have I Ever, by Joshilyn Jackson.

enchanted ever after

Enchanted Ever After, by Shanna Swendson.

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What I Read in August (2019)

Books Read in August: 24

Books Read for the Year: 144/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Women in Sunlight, by Frances Mayes (cultural). This is an incredible read about three women and Italy!

The Bronte Plot, by Katherine Reay (TBR). I really do love this author’s work. I felt like the beginning of this was a little rushed, but the rest of the book was very enjoyable. And I got some books to add to my TBR list!

Manfast, by Natasha Scripture (nonfiction). Eh. Can you really call it a man fast if you hook up with random guys and think nonstop about relationships, meeting someone, and dating?

The Legends of King Arthur and his Knights, by James Knowles (classic). I skimmed this more than anything. I’d never heard the part where King Arthur becomes Roman Emperor.

The Best Yes, by Lisa TerKerst (spiritual). This was a book full of food for thought. What if saying “No” is the Best Answer for you?

For Review:

house of salt and sorrow

House of Salt and Sorrows, by Erin A Craig. I loved the culture the best in this tale of a family who have lost a mother and four daughters when one daughter decides to find out if the deaths were accidents—or something more is at work.

blow a love story

Blow:  A Love Story, by Tracy Ewens. Millie is a romance author struggling to write a “serious” book. Drake thinks he’s recovered from his near-death six years before. Both of them have issues they need to work out. I intend to read the other books in this series ASAP.

The Last Hope_Cover

The Last Hope, by Krista Ritchie. I hadn’t read the first book in this duology, so it took me a bit to figure out what was going on, but this was a fascinating world.

the silence between us

The Silence Between Us, by Alison Gervais. Loved this story of Maya, a deaf girl who now has to go to a hearing school, and her struggle to accomplish her goals while getting people around her to accept who she is and who she wants to be.

state of lies

State of Lies, by Siri Mitchell. After a physicist’s husband dies in a car crash, she’s just struggling to learn how to live again. When she receives a message from behind the grave, she starts questioning everything. This was highly readable.

color me in

Color Me In, by Natasha Diaz. Nevaeh is 16, biracial, and reeling from her parents’ separation and moving in with her mother’s family, where she doesn’t fit in. For a girl who’s never questioned her identity, now she is faced with the reality of prejudice and must decide whether to blend in—or make her voice heard. This is an incredible read, and I loved Nevaeh from the first page.

beekeeper

The Beekeeper of Aleppo, by Christy Lefteri. The story of two Syrian refugees seeking asylum in England. Told in three different timelines, which was initially a bit confusing, but this is such an emotional, moving story. Such a good read!

crown of coral and pearl

Crown of Coral and Pearl, by Mara Rutherford. Fantastic read! I loved all of this.

isaiah's daughter

Isaiah’s Daughter, by Mesu Andrews. I’m a huge fan of this author, and this biblical fiction did not disappoint!

the red death

The Red Death, by Birgitte Märgen. This was merely okay for me. I love dystopian and medical thrillers, but the characters and their implausible actions, along with too many “convenient” resolutions just didn’t quite work for me.

dear Haiti

Dear Haiti, Love Alaine, by Maika and Maritza Moulite (review forthcoming). This was an interesting read. Alaine was sometimes whiny and sulky—an annoying teenager—but she grew so much in this novel. I loved the look at Haitian culture, too.

a jewel bright sea

A Jewel Bright Sea, by Claire O’Dell (review forthcoming). I really enjoyed this tale! I’ve never read anything by this author, but the worldbuilding was fantastic, and I loved the characters. Also, pirates!

spin

Spin, by Colleen Nelson (review forthcoming). I learned a lot about DJing in this book, but the solid family core is the real focus here. A quick, entertaining read with some deep issues.

rebel girls

Rebel Girls, by Elizabeth Keenan (review forthcoming). It’s weird reading a book set when I was in high school. Except…I went to a small country school, and this is set in a Catholic school. But still, same issues. I enjoyed this read!

Just Because

Enchanted Ever After, by Shanna Swendson. Because I love the Enchanted, Inc. series and I was so happy to see another book! I stopped reading everything else to binge on this one!

never have i ever

Never Have I Ever, by Joshilyn Jackson. I actually thought this came out at the end of August—not the end of July—so when I realized it was already out, I binge-read it. It’s a big change from Jackson’s usual Southern fiction (which I adore), but this was absolutely un-put-down-able!

Flirting with Forty, by Jane Porter. I’ve read this a handful of times—and I still love it!

Sent Rising, by Erin Lorence. This was supposed to be for review, but…there were some issues with the writing that bothered me enough I decided not to review. I enjoyed the book. Just some technical issues.

Of Blood and Bone, by Nora Roberts. Looking forward to the third one!

 

What I Read in June (2019)

Books Read in June: 20

Books Read for the Year: 102/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Atomic Habits:  An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear (Nonfiction). This was quite an interesting read! I’m looking forward to putting it into practice.

Whisper:  How to Hear the Voice of God, by Mark Batterson (Spiritual). A excellent read!

Go Set a Watchman, by Harper Lee (Classic). Okay, not really a classic, but I’m totally counting it. This was…not a bad read. But, really, how do you follow-up to To Kill a Mockingbird?

at the water's edge

At the Water’s Edge, by Sara Gruen (Cultural). I was engrossed in this read from the very first page! I love reading about the Loch Ness monster, so this was great. And the culture it’s set in at the time was so interesting.

backseat saints

Backseat Saints, by Joshilyn Jackson (TBR). I am a die-hard Joshilyn Jackson fan. gods in Alabama was the first book of hers I read—when I discovered Southern fiction—so this was a natural choice.

For Review:

time after time

Time After Time, by Lisa Grunwald. A girl from the 20’s who keeps disappearing. A man in the 30’s. Two people who want a life together—even if one of them isn’t quite alive. This book was a great read!

montauk

Montauk, by Nicola Harrison. A society wife who wants more than a society life. I knew this wasn’t going to end like I wanted it to—with a happily-ever-after and sunshine and roses—but I enjoyed it anyway.

theredlabyrinth

Red Labyrinth, by Meredith Tate. I rad this straight through in one sitting. Intriguing dystopian world that pits the Skilled against the Unskilled in a desert land that isn’t quite as it seems. Definitely worth reading!

spin the dawn

Spin the Dawn, by Elizabeth Lim (forthcoming). I found this to be an excellent read. The basic idea is Mulan-like (in that a daughter disguises herself as a son in order to save her father), but the world, set-up, and tale were unique and I fell into the story immediately. Gorgeous cover, too!

a long way down

A Long Way Down, by Randall Silvis. A solid mystery read.

Fireborn

Fireborn, by Katie MacAlister. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, and look forward to reading more of this story!

nothingwithin_ebook_medium_seal

The Nothing Within, by Andy Giesler. I almost put this down in the beginning, but something kept be going. I’m glad I did. Dystopian fiction with an Amish bent? Yes, please!

A-Family-of-Strangers-Emilie-Richards-680x1024

A Family of Strangers, by Emilie Richards. I would not personally market this as women’s fiction, as it’s more of a murder mystery/crime investigation story, with heaps of family drama thrown in. An excellent read!

once upon a bad boy

Once Upon a Bad Boy, by Melonie Johnson. I like linked standalone series, so you can find out more about characters you loved in previous books. This was a solid read.

Jackson cover

Blog Tour for Jackson, by Emily March. While I loved the Texas setting, parts of this felt rushed and unnatural, and some things were just glossed over/mentioned in passing that I felt should have actually been portrayed.

beau and bett

Book Review: Beau and Bett, by Kathryn Berla.I enjoyed this re-telling of Beauty and the Beast, with Bett being the beast for a change. A light read that touches on some heavier subjects.

the evil queen

The Evil Queen, by Gena Showalter. I’ve been super excited to read this. I love Showalter’s writing, and the idea was fascinating. The execution…was not. Starting with the characters’ names which I found pretty corny, to their personalities—annoying at best—and some very rapid about-faces with no character growth…I can’t say I’d recommend this.

the stationary shop

The Stationary Shop, by Marjan Kamali (review forthcoming). This books was amazing. The setting comes to life (Tehran, then America), and I was drawn to the characters from the first page. I also knew, from the page, that it was not going to be a happy book, but it was so good, I finished it anyway (and I don’t usually read anything that I know will be sad.).

recursion

Recursion, by Blake Couch (review forthcoming). Alternate timelines, false memories, hard science…I can frankly say this book was WAY over my head in a lot of ways, but I read it in one sitting because I was so engrossed.

lunar court

Lunar Court, by Aileen Erin (review forthcoming). I’d actually forgotten I’d read, I think, the first two books in this series years ago. I should probably go back and re-read them and the rest.

Left Unfinished:

Storm and Fury, by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I like the whole gargoyle/guardian thing, but found the MC to be one that does stupid things knowingly (being rebellious) and the romance angle started with them disliking each other, so it all felt a little too “done” for me. (I know this is a spin-off, and I haven’t read the original. Nor am I likely to.)

The Great Unexpected, by Dan Mooney. My only problem with this—I read 15% of it—was its slow pace. It just wasn’t a good fit for me at this time.

The Burning Chambers, by Kate Mosse. Clearly not the right choice for me, as the 10% I read didn’t catch my attention at all.

The Best Books I Read in May (2019)

I read 17 books in May, bringing my total to 84 books read for the year.

My three favorite books I read in May were a paranormal, a historical fiction, and a YA.

9780425281291_StormCursed_FCO_mech.indd

Storm Cursed, by Patricia Briggs. The newest novel in the Mercy Thompson series, which I love. Mercy is in trouble—again—but this time, there are miniature zombie goats to add to the fun.

the book woman

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson. This was an incredible read! I’d never heard anything about the Blue People in Kentucky or the Pack Horse Librarians…I have no idea how I’d never heard of these things, but there you go. Cussy Mary Carter is the last woman of the Blue People, and she’s a Pack Horse Librarian delivering books and news to the isolated people on her route. But some people are against her because of her coloring and she yearns for a normal life.

This was an incredible read!

two like me and you

Two Like Me and You, by Chad Alan Gibbs

Edwin Green’s ex-girlfriend is famous—really famous—and he’s not over her. He wants to get her back, and he knows if he gets famous, too, it will happen. Then he meets Parker Haddaway when they are assigned a history project together, and she introduces him to Garland Lennox, a WWII veteran who is still in love with a girl he met back then, and is determined to find her. So Parker and Edwin sneak Garland out of the nursing home and to France, and that’s where the fun really begins.

This book had me laughing so many times. Edwin’s voice is fantastic as he wrestles with what’s going on in his life and how it measures up to what he’s always known.

What I Read in May (2019)

Books Read in May: 17

Books Read for the Year: 84/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

The Next Right Thing, by Emily Freeman (non-fiction). Excellent read!

The Spider King’s Daughter, by Chibundu Onuzo (cultural). Eh. I can’t say I recommend this, although it was an interesting glimpse at a different culture.

The Thing with Feathers, by McCall Hoyle (TBR). I really enjoyed this sweet story of a girl who’s been home-schooled her whole life because of her severe epilepsy. She goes to public school and learns to spread her wings.

Kim, by Rudyard Kipling (classic). It was okay.

Real Love in an Angry World, by Rick Bezet (spiritual). I did enjoy this read.

For Review:

the book woman

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek, by Kim Michele Richardson. This was an incredible read about the last of the Blue People in Kentucky, and the Pack Horse Librarians.

how we disappeared

How We Disappeared, by Jing-Jing Lee. Historical fiction and secrets.

this-is-not-a-love-scene-cover

This is Not a Love Scene, by S.C. Megale. Maeve has muscular dystrophy. All she wants to do is direct, but leading man Cole wouldn’t be bad either. I didn’t find Maeve terribly likable—she’s selfish, childish, and completely self-centered—but seeing how someone with MD lives was intriguing, and I loved that the main character in this was someone struggling with a disease like this.

southern side of paradise

The Southern Side of Paradise, by Kristy Woodson Harvey. I’m note even sure why I finished this. I love Southern fiction, but…I did not like these characters. Justifying your horrible behavior does not make you a good person.

bonavere howl

Bonavere Howl, by Caitlin Galway. I love the New Orleans setting, but…this felt a bit off. Like it wasn’t fully finished.

two like me and you

Two Like Me and You, by Alan Chad Gibbs. Loved this book! The crazy shenanigans and tall tales had me laughing.

the voice in my head

The Voice in My Head, by Dana L. Davis. Indigo’s identical twin sister, Violet, is terminally ill and plans to die by medically-assisted suicide…until Indigo hears a voice that claims to be God and tells her the entire family must hike The Wave in the desert.

smitten by the brit

Smitten by the Brit, by Meloni Johnson. Bonnie’s known her fiance her entire life, but when she discovers something unexpected about him and their engagement ends, she’s at a loss. Until she meets handsome and dashing Theo, a British man straight out of an Austen novel.

denali-in-hiding-cover-for-kindle

Denali in Hiding, by Caitlin Sinead. Denali has always tried to keep her psi abilities hidden, but now she’s able to learn to use them…except she’s forbidden from helping regular humans. When she learns about a bomb threat, will she follow the rules or help, risking life in prison.

A Pack of Vows and Tears, by Olivia Wildenstein. The second book in the Boulder Wolves series. This was a solid read, but the developments didn’t surprise mu much.

Just Because:

Storm Cursed, by Patricia Briggs. Because I love this series. And I loved this book! Zombie miniature goats and a zombie dragon? Wow.

Queen of Air and Darkness, by Cassandra Clare. I was a little apprehensive to read this, considering how the last one ended, but my fears were unfounded. There will clearly be more books set in this world, which makes me happy.

Left Unfinished:

Tears of the Trufflepig, by Fernando A. Flores. I read 10% of this and nothing happened, so I gave up.

The Best Books I Read in April (2019)

I read 18 books in April, and DNF two more, but a handful of books I really enjoyed. One is historical fiction/fantasy, the other are mainstream/women’s fiction with a little romance.

rosie's traveling tea shop

Rosie’s Traveling Tea Shop, by Rebecca Raisin. This was probably my favorite read, and I binge-read all of it last Sunday. Straight through. (Yes, that was exactly as wonderful as it sounds.) The idea of traveling all the time—but with a book shop, not a cooking shop (except the tea idea is tempting)—is strangely alluring for me, and I wish I could work out a way to make that happen.  #thevanlife

Romanov

Romanov, by Nadine Brandes. This is a fantasy version of historical fiction. Well, there are spells and spellmasters in it, so I assume it’s fantasy. But, it’s the story of the Romanov family and their time in exile, and what happens to their daughter, Anastasia. (It’s definitely not the Disney version.)

one summer in paris

One Summer in Paris, by Sarah Morgan. Apparently in April I had a thing for books about women reinventing themselves and starting new lives in foreign places…One Summer in Paris is about two women spending the summer in Paris alone—one because her husband of 25 years decides he wants a divorce, so she goes on the trip without him, and one who’s keeping secrets about her mother as she tries to figure out life on her own—who meet and become friends.

All three of these are excellent reads.

The Best Books I read in March (2019)

I read 18 books in March, bringing my total for the year to 50. Only 125 more to go to reach my Goodreads goal of 175! (Honestly…I’m “secretly” hoping to hit 200, but finishing grad school is taking up a lot of time, so it may not happen.)

The best books I read in March include a historical, biblical fiction, and one book I’m really mad I didn’t read when it first caught my eye months ago!

the things we cannot say

The Things We Cannot Say, by Kelly Rimmer.  I’m just going to say it:  this book made me ugly cry. This story is set in 2019—when Alice is overwhelmed with caring for her autistic son while her grandmother is dying—and 1942 Poland, where Alina gets engaged to Tomasz just before the war comes to Poland. This is a powerful, emotional story.

of fire and lions

Of Fire and Lions, by Mesu Andrews.  This is the tale of Daniel—as in Daniel and the lions’ den—and the Israelites’ 70 years in exile from the Promised Land. It’s also the tale of Belili, another of the Jewish captives and her life in Babylon. This book, while fiction, brought so much to life for me from the biblical stories, and I was absolutely captivated! I can’t wait to read more of Mesu Andrews’ books.

where the crawdads sing

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens. This book…I heard about it for months before I finally read it—and I cannot believe I waited! Locals call Kya the “March Girl,” but she’s so much more than that. Abandoned as a child, she’s grown up alone in the North Carolina marsh, surrounded by the wildlife she loves. When town golden boy Chase Andrews is found dead, everyone says the Marsh Girl did it, but is sensitive Kya really capable of such violence—no matter what the town thinks? The ending to this book blew me away.

What I Read in March (2019)

Books Read in March: 18

Books Read for the Year: 50/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Party of One:  Truth, Longing, and the Subtle Art of Singleness, by Joy Beth Smith (spiritual). This book is like talking to your best girlfriends about really deep, personal topics.

A Million Little Ways:  Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live, by Emily P. Freeman (nonfiction). I love this integration of faith and what art is…and how to live an art-fulled life.

The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, by Lisa See (cultural). This is an-depth exploration of minority life in China…and also made me want more tea!

Where the Crawdads Sing, by Delia Owens (TBR). I kept hearing about this book for months, and kept putting off reading it, and now I’m mad, because this was a wonderful book!

Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neal Hurston (classic). Why have I not read this before? Excellent read, and I loved the journey this book took me on.

For Review:

the quiet you carry

The Quiet You Carry, by Nikki Barthelmess. Victoria Parker lost her mother, and since then she’s tried to take care of her dad, like her mom asked. Until the night her dad locks her out of the house and calls the cops. Now she’s in foster care and won’t tell anyone what really happened that night. Until it becomes a choice between keeping her secrets and keeping her stepsister safe. A wonderful, but very difficult and emotional read.

manix pixie

The Manic Pixie Dream Boy Improvement Project, by Lenore Appelhans. An ironic tale of Riley, a Manic Pixie Dream Boy and the rest of his trope, who fight to keep from being eliminated as they seek to sort out who they really are.

of fire and lions

Of Fire and Lions, by Mesu Andrews. A tale of the biblical Hebrew exile to Babylon, Daniel and the lions’ den, and the fiery furnace. A wonderful, engrossing book that I loved so much!

woman 99

Woman 99, by Greer Macallister. Charlotte’s sister was put in an asylum, and Charlotte decides to disguise herself as a patient and get her out. While inside, she learns things are not always what they seem. This was a wonderful historical with a touch of romance, and I really enjoyed it.

american princess

American Princess, by Stephanie Thornton. I knew next to nothing about the Roosevelts, but this novel was all about Teddy’s daughter, Alice, and her long life in politics. I enjoyed the read–and the history lesson.

beautiful bad

Beautiful Bad, by Annie Ward.  I didn’t really care for this tale of a marriage gone wrong. The main character is an unreliable narrator at best, and I lost sympathy for her only a few chapters in, so I’m not even sure why I finished reading this.

glory road

Glory Road, by Lauren K. Denton.  I loved this Southern fiction tale of Jessie, living back in her hometown, and the two men who enter her life one summer filled with change. And the cover is beautiful!

the things we cannot say

The Things We Cannot Say, by Kelly Rimmer.  This book was an incredible read! Part of it is set in the Holocaust, part of it in the present, and all of it is compelling.

in another life

In Another Life, by C.C. Hunter.  What would you do if you found out your whole life was a lie? Chloe was adopted at age 3, but had a happy childhood, until her parents divorced. Now she’s living in a small Texas town when she meets Cash, who is convinced she’s the abducted daughter of his foster parents.

the library of lost and found

The Library of Lost and Found, by Phaedra Patrick.  This quirky tale had me drawn in from the beginning. Small-town happening and family drama, along with a mystery, fill the pages.

between the lies

Between the Lies, by Michelle Adams. Chloe wakes up in the hospital with no memory of who she is, or the people who claim to be her family. From there, the mysteries only deepen. This one was just kind of “meh” for me. I didn’t really care for any of the characters, and Chloe’s father was horrible.

 

the cliff house

The Cliff House, by RaeAnne Thayne.  The story of two sisters, raised by their aunt, who are all afraid to admit the truth about themselves and their desires. I enjoyed this sweet read.

lovestruck

Lovestruck, by Kate Watson (review forthcoming). Kali is a cupid-in-training who is convinced everything is controlled by the Fates—so what’s the point of even trying? When she ends up sticking herself with one of her enchanted arrows, she finds herself falling for her target…and she’s in big trouble. This was a fun read!

 

 

The Best Books I Read in January (2019)

While I’ll continue to post my monthly reading re-caps—my goal is an ambitious 175 books this year—I thought it would be nice to also focus a bit on the three books I enjoyed the most in the previous month.

 

For January, that was:

white stag

White Stag, by Kara Barbieri.

This book had a very dark aesthetic, but I loved so much about it! Janneke was a character I connected with from the first page:  she’s scarred and ugly (in her eyes), she’s weak (compared to the goblins around her), she has no magic, and she longs to go back home (she thinks).  But she’s the strongest character in the book! I love her smart mouth, her sarcasm, and her kick-butt-and-take-names attitude.

Find out more about this author here.

Unmarriageable, by Soniah Kamal.

unmarriageable

Can I say again how much I loved this? I love reading about different cultures, and I love Pride and Prejudice, so this was a win-win read for me. I was fascinated by both the differences and the similarities between this and the original, and I love when a talented author re-does something I love…and does it justice!

Check out the author’s site here.

winter of the witch

And Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden.

This book. This book. I’ve loved this entire trilogy so much. It’s dark. It’s cold. And the legends and magic are riveting. The layers of history and culture entwine with fantasy to create this fascinating mixture that is almost impossible to put down.

Find out more about the author here—she’s led an interesting life.

What I Read in January (2019)

Books Read in January: 18

Books Read for the Year: 18/175

Topical Books/Monthly Goal Books:

Perlambria, by C.S. Lewist (classic). Loved this. Can’t believe I didn’t know Lewis wrote a space trilogy.

My Plain Jane, Cynthia Hand (TBR). I loved the premise of this, but…the writers make a habit of inserting themselves into the story and speaking directly to the reader in a somewhat juvenile tone, and that detracted from the story a lot for me.

De-Cluttering at the Speed of Life, by Dana K. White (non-fiction). A few interesting tips here, but not totally life-changing. I like the container concept.

Where the Wind Leads, by Vinh Chung (cultural). An excellent read about a refugee family from Vietnam. A little odd to read about Fort Smith, a place I used to live close to.

Follow Me,  by Mary Jo Pierce (spiritual).

For Review:

an anonymous girl

An Anonymous Girl, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Jess lies to get into a psychology study—she needs the money—and thinks it will just be answering a few questions and collecting her money. But she finds herself drawn in, and soon she realizes Dr. Shields is using Jessica to test her estranged husband’s fidelity, and Jessica is caught in one of the doctor’s tangled, dark experiments. Yeah, I finished this book—but I didn’t care for any of the characters.

white stag

White Stag, by Kara Barbieri. Fantastic read! Loved the goblin society, and the concept of this story was riveting. This felt a little dark, but Janneke was a character I loved from the first page. Soran was compelling, the world was fantastic, and I can’t wait to keep reading this series!

the perfect liar

The Perfect Liar, by Thomas Christopher Green. Another book—in the same week, no less—where I didn’t like any of the characters, but continued reading. Susannah and Max have been married for a while, and he’s everything she thought she wanted and fits into her artsy world perfectly. Susannah ignores all the warning signs, until a note is left on their door,  I know what you did. Susannah’s anxiety/issues made me feel sorry for her, but, seriously? You can’t see hints something is wrong with this guy? And Max is a sociopath. Not a book I’d recommend.

unmarriageable

Unmarriageable, by Soniah Kamal. Pride and Prejudice in Pakistan. You had me at that. Alys Binat is a schoolteacher, and the second of five unmarried daughters. She wants to encourage girls to think for themselves, not follow cultural traditions like sheep. When she meets Valentine Darsee, she’s convinced he’s snobby, judgmental, and prideful, not to mention his dislike of her family. YOU SHOULD ALL READ THIS.

famous in a small town

Famous in a Small Town, by Emma Mills. Sophie is a small-town band geek who just wants the marching parade to go to the Rose Bowl parade. When August moves to town, he joins their group, as Sophie convinces them all to help her convince a local-turned-star help the band in their mission. A lovely read! The friendship in this book is fantastic!

breath of dust & dawn

Breath of Dust & Dawn, by L. Penelope. This is a novella that follows Song of Blood & Stone, and tells the story of one of Jack’s adventures in the past. I enjoyed it a lot. It gave a nice twist to the waiting for book two.

the inbetween days

The In-Between Days, by Eva Woods. Rosie Cook was hit by a bus. Or did she walk in front of it. No one knows, not the doctors, her sister, or even Rosie herself, who’s in a coma in an in-between state. She visits memories from her past, gaining more of her memory back as she struggles to awaken from her coma. This book. Wow. It was both sad and inspiring, and Rosie’s mental wakening while still in a coma to the type of person she was was powerful.

the falconer

The Falconer, by Dana Czapnik. This is a hard book to describe. Set in 1993 NYC. Lucy is a basketball star ignored by the boys and in love with her best friend. She’s surrounded by feminists and is struggling to sort out her identity. I loved Lucy’s growth in this novel, but her best friend is a total jerk.

 

*Updated because I forgot to include:  Roam, by C.H. Armstrong. A great read!

Castle on the Rise, by Kristy Cambron (review forthcoming). I enjoyed this story of the fight for Ireland’s freedom (in two of the timelines), and the current timeline that is based on the histories of the first two.

A Danger to herself and Others, by Alyssa B. Sheinmel (review forthcoming). This wasn’t what I expected at all, but it was a good read.

Just Because

Winter of the Witch, by Katherine Arden. The last of the Winternight trilogy, which makes me sad. These books. Phenomenal. Set in ancient Russia, and centering on Vasya, who is much too independent to be a good Russian woman. Magic in the winter. This book series is magic.

Puddin’, by Julie Murphy. Excellent follow-up to Dumplin’.

Stopped Reading

Restoration Heights, by Wil Medearis. I read half of this because the setting fascinated me, but I just couldn’t suspend my belief that an artist/art handler would be asked by an uber-wealthy stranger to investigate the disappearance of a neighbor’s fiance.