February Wrap Up

Hi, friends! February is almost over, which means it’s time for a reading wrap up. I read five books, which is what I’m hoping to read every single month this year. I was happily surprised that I managed to read five books because February is so short. Anyway, here all of the books I read in February.

22238158  30312700  25062038  24763621  32333055

vicious

The first book I read was Vicious by V.E. SchwabVicious is about two college roommates whose senior theses lead them to discover that near death experiences are the key to gaining special abilities. Ten years later, one of them is just getting out of prison and wants to get revenge on the other.

The thing about Vicious is that it’s not what you would expect from a superhero/supervillain story. It’s less about action-packed fights in which a clearly good person and a clearly bad person attempt to destroy each other. Instead, you have two characters who are both morally gray in very different ways. It’s an exploration of these two characters and their morality, and how their abilities bring forth the darkness they’ve always had within them. It was incredibly interesting, although I felt like there was something missing — which always happens to me with V.E. Schwab’s books. I gave it four out of five stars.

alex, approximately

The next book I read was Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett. I had no plans to read it this month (I don’t even own it), but I found out through Lia that it was free on Riveted Lit for part of February. I had to drop every other book to read it.

Alex, Approximately is about Bailey, a film fanatic with an online friend, Alex, that she might have feelings for. When she moves to the same town Alex lives in, she makes it her mission to find out Alex’s identity before a film festival. What she doesn’t count on is starting to like her annoying new coworker, Porter.

I’ve been wanting to read Alex, Approximately for months because I thought I would love it. And I did… for about 70% of the book. At first it was fun and extremely hard to put down, which is how I ended up reading most of it in one day (that doesn’t happen too much anymore). However, I lost interest at around 70% for no reason, but then one character did a bunch of things I didn’t agree with for the sake of adding drama to the story. By then I didn’t care that much about how things would end.

Since I enjoyed most of the book, I gave it four out of five stars.

little & lion

The next book I read was Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. This one is about Suzette, a Jewish black girl, and how she reacts to her stepbrother being diagnosed as bipolar.

I had an Audiobooks.com free trial, so I listened to Little & Lion as an audiobook. Good thing too, because the narration was the only thing I liked about this reading experience. (I guess I liked Lionel too, but he wasn’t very physically present in the book. Everything was mostly about how Suzette was affected by Lionel’s disorder.)

I don’t even know what to say about the book. I had a lot of problems with it, but I don’t want to spend more time thinking, much less talking, about it. I didn’t like any of the characters, the romances were underdeveloped and there was some problematic stuff regarding sexuality. I gave it two out of five stars.

wintersong

After Little & Lion, I read Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones. This one is about Elisabeth, who lives in a world where goblins are real. After they take her sister, she plays a game with the Goblin King to try to save her. The synopsis says more than that, but I feel like saying more could be a spoiler for people who prefer not to know too much about the books on their TBR. It was a slow story that focused mostly on the characters instead of a plot. The writing felt poetical, and I really enjoyed it. The main characters grow a lot throughout the story, both as individuals and as a pair, which I find to be the main focus of the story. There’s a lot of possibilities for the second book, so I can’t wait to get my hands on it. I gave Wintersong four out of five stars.

The last book I read in February was Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali. Saints and Misfits is about a Muslim teen, Janna, dealing with the aftermath of being sexually assaulted by someone who is admired in her community. I am conflicted about this book because I liked the message of it and learning a little about Janna’s life and community. However, I didn’t like the writing too much and it affected my reading experience a little. I’ve noticed that this is an issue I mostly have with contemporary stories, so it’s more about the genre than the book. I didn’t give Saints and Misfits a rating, though it’s around 3.75 stars for me.

Those are all of the books I read in February. I had a really good reading month. I managed to hit my goal, though I did add more books to my TBR than I actually read… Still, I’m doing well on my reading challenge, which I’m super happy about. What was the best book you read in February?

P.S. The images with the book titles on it are really ugly. Please bear with me while I figure out a cute way to separate text. 

 

March TBR + Munches in March

Hi, friends! Today I’m going to be talking about my March TBR. Sticking to my TBR is something I’m not good at, but I found out about Munches in March and decided to give it a try.

march tbr

The challenges for Munches in March comes on a bingo sheet. I picked a book for every single challenge on the sheet. Instead of trying to fill a row or the entire sheet, I’m going to be reading as many books as possible during the month without worrying about which row(s) I’m completing.

I’ll be sharing the challenges and which book can fulfill that challenge:

first row

Spaghetti: A possible 5-star rating

Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

French fries: A book in a genre you always enjoy, no matter your mood

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

Hot chocolate: Book that'll likely make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

Ice cream: Book concerning heartbreak

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller (I think I’m cheating by picking this one)

second row

Candy: Something sweet on the cover

Nothing Happened by Molly Booth

Pizza: Next installment of a series you already started

The Raven King by Nora Sakavic

Popcorn: Thriller/suspense novel

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco (this one might be cheating too)

Fish and chips: Mostly blue on the cover

Girl by Karen Rayne

third row

Soup: About someone with an illness

Chameleon Moon by RoAnna Sylver (I think a character has anxiety, but I’m not sure)

Cake: Hyped book

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

Nuts: Situated in nature

Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes (I’m sure they go outside sometimes)

Onion rings: Book that's likely to make you cry

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

fourth row

Coffee/tea: Book you read in 24 hours

Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed

Cupcake: Book on your TBR with the most beautiful cover

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Fresh fruit: Colorful cover

Fresh Ink, edited by Lamar Giles

Candied apple: Fairy tale retelling

The Shadow Queen by C.J. Redwine

 

So that’s my Munches in March TBR! I struggle to read five months a month, so I’m definitely not reading all 16 books. The books I read in March should all be from this list, though. Is anyone else participating in Munches in March? If so, what squares do you plan to fill? If not, what’s one book you want to read in March?

January Wrap Up

Hi and happy February! Does anyone else feel like January lasted a million years? I read five books in January, and it feels like it’s been months since I read all of them. Nonetheless, I am here to tell you what I read in January.

30653853  29772863  23437156  34076952  30312818

I had a mini readathon by myself on January 1st and read two books.

The first book I read was The Upside of Unrequited. It’s about a girl named Molly who’s had 26 six crushes but no boyfriends. She’s fat and always feels like she has to be careful when it comes to relationships. When Molly’s sister Cassie gets a girlfriend, Cassie picks a boy whom she thinks would be a good boyfriend for Molly. But Molly might begin to have a crush on her new coworker, Reid.

I have mixed feelings about this book because, even though Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my favorite books, I don’t really like the way Becky Albertalli writes. I don’t know what it is about her writing style that just doesn’t click with me. I gave it three out of five stars because it was a quick read and I related a lot to Molly when it came to weight/body image (though those scenes were hard to read). It was okay but far from my favorite Becky Albertalli book.

Next, on the same day, I read Wires and Nerve, Vol 1 by Marissa Meyer. It’s a graphic novel set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles, and it takes place after Winter. It follows Iko as she tries to hunt down Lunar Operatives or whatever they’re called. To be honest, it was… bad. There are so many interesting aspects of this world that could have been explored in the graphic novel, but instead it was some boring plot in which Iko hunts the wolf soldiers. The characters were all one-dimensional, and those we know from the previous books were different from who they were in the actual series–and not in a good way. It’s like all of them had one characteristic and that was it. As for the romance… can we even call it that? There’s a guard who hates Iko and mistreats her because she’s an android. I don’t understand why she likes him. I gave Wires and Nerve, Vol 1 two stars.

The next book I read is actually one that I started in December and finished in early January. That book is no other than Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. I bought it in late 2015, so I almost can’t believe I’m including it in a 2018 wrap up. Yikes. I need to read my books sooner. There’s a lot going on in this book, but the most simple way to summarize it is the tagline on the cover: “Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist.” I finished the Shadow and Bone trilogy in November and thought I probably wouldn’t like SoC as much as S&B. But wow, was I wrong. I don’t know how to explain how I feel about this book. It was so, so good. It was everything I wanted White Cat by Holly Black to be, and way, way more. It was my first five star read of 2018.

I was still in a Leigh Bardugo mood after Six of Crows, so I read The Language of Thorns. It contains fairy tales from different countries of the Grishaverse. I read the three Ravkan stories years ago (before I even started reading the Shadow and Bone trilogy), and it was a fun experience to revisit them after reading the books. I loved all of the stories and wish Leigh Bardugo would write more of them. I gave The Language of Thorns four stars. (It might have been five if it had come with The Demon in the Woods; that’s not a fairy tale, so I understand why it wasn’t included.

The last book I read in January was We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson. We Are the Ants follows Henry Denton. His boyfriend died by suicide, his brother is having a baby, his grandmother is sick and he is regularly abducted by aliens. So when the aliens let him know that the world is going to end and he can stop it by pushing a button, he’s not so sure he wants to. This book was so, so good. It was my second-favorite read of the month. All of the characters were interesting: Henry, his family, his friends, his dead boyfriend, the boy he hooks up with, everyone. All of them felt real, like they were more than just people who were in Henry’s life. Instead, I could tell they all had their own lives and problems that had nothing to do with Henry, even if they were never explored. I wish a few things about the plot had been resolved by the end, but ultimately We Are the Ants is a great book. I gave it four stars.

That’s it for my January wrap up! Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them?

Top Ten Books to Read in 2018

Hey, everyone! I am the kind of reader who postpones reading all the books she wants to read because she’s afraid she won’t like them. As a result of that, I have plenty of books that I’ve owned for years but have never attempted to read. One of my goals for 2018 is to finally read most, if not all, of the books that I’m excited about and think I will love.

top ten books to read in 2018

Here’s a list of ten books that I want to read in 2018:

22299763  28449207  12954620  18798983  20560137

  1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo || I just finished reading Six of Crows, and I think it’s my new favorite book. It was everything I’ve been searching for in a book: cons, morally gray characters, angsty ships that don’t take over the plot, and whole bunch of badassery. Crooked Kingdom is definitely at the top of my TBR.
  2. Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor || This is not a book I’ve owned for a long time. In fact, I’ve had it for less than a month. However, it is one that I’ve been interested in since before it came out. I don’t know too much about it, except that it follows a librarian who is obsessed with a lost city called Weep, and I think he goes on an adventure to find it. Everyone says the writing is beautiful, and I can’t wait to read it.
  3. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes || This series is one of the reasons I decided to make this list. I’ve owned most of the series since 2015 but haven’t even read the first book. I am really into the idea of YA fantasy with a big cast of characters and this is one that is highly praised by many people. The last book in the series will come out this year, so I need to start the first book soon.
  4. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh || This is another one that I have owned since 2015 and heard great things about. I’m currently into angsty ships, so I’m hoping to read it in the first half of the year.
  5. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir || Yup, you guessed it, another fantasy book that everyone raves about but I haven’t read yet. All I know about this one is that it’s inspired by the Roman Empire and that one of the characters is a soldier and another, a slave. I have high expectations for this one.
    13638125  16096824  16060716  30312891  8490112
  6. Vicious by V.E. Schwab ||This book is about college roommates who discover that the secret to superpowers is near-death experiences.
  7. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas || This is a book that I’m nervous to read, to be honest. ACOTAR seems to be a book that people either love a lot or hate with a passion. It’s about a girl who kills a Fae and is kidnapped by other Faes as a punishment for her crime.
  8. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray || Lair of Dreams is the sequel to The Diviners, which is about a girl who can see a person’s memories by holding an object that belongs to them. I read The Diviners at the end of 2016 and loved it. People say the world gets expanded a lot in the second and third books, so I can’t wait to finally continue this series.
  9. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare || Lady Midnight was one of my favorite books of 2017. I love the Shadowhunter world, and Lady Midnight introduced me to one of my favorite Shadowhunters ever (Mark Blackthorn), so I want to continue this series in 2018.
  10. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor || The main reason this book is on the list is because I’ve owned the entire series since 2015 and have never made an attempt to read it. One of my reading goals for 2018 is to read or get rid of all of my unread books from 2015. I don’t want to get rid of this series, so I need to start reading it soon.

That’s it for my list of books to read in 2018! What is one book you need to read this year?

Am I Naughty or Nice? || The Bookish Naughty List

Hi, everyone! I know Christmas is over for many people, but we haven’t stopped celebrating in Puerto Rico yet. And what better way to be a little festive than with a book tag? Thanks to Marty from The Cursed Books for tagging me!

 

  1. HAVE YOU RECEIVED AN ARC AND NOT REVIEWED IT?

Unfortunately… yes. When I first started book blogging (on a different blog), I requested any and every ARC that seemed mildly interesting. Then I stopped blogging for several months and all those ARCs were left unread. Now I’m more selective with the ARCs I request for this reason.

  1. DO YOU HAVE LESS THAN 60% FEEDBACK RATING ON NETGALLEY?

Nope! I have a 75% feedback rating.

  1. HAVE YOU RATED A BOOK ON GOODREADS AND PROMISED A FULL REVIEW WAS TO COME ON YOUR BLOG (AND NEVER FOLLOWED THROUGH)

Not on my blog, no. I know I’m not likely to review books that aren’t ARCs, so I don’t tend to promise reviews for specific books.

  1. HAVE YOU FOLDED DOWN THE PAGE OF A BOOK?

No way. I like to keep my books as nice as possible, and folding the pages ruins them for me.

  1. HAVE YOU ACCIDENTALLY SPILLED SOMETHING ON A BOOK?

I’ve spilled water on books but not too much, just a few drops. I also vaguely remember staining a page of book with a Dorito or something like that.

  1. DID YOU DNF A BOOK THIS YEAR?

Yes! I actually DNF’d multiple books. Most of them were ARCs. The most recent one was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I read almost 40 pages before I decided that I wouldn’t like it and didn’t want to continue reading it.

  1. HAVE YOU BOUGHT A BOOK PURELY BECAUSE IT WAS PRETTY WITH NO INTENTION OF READING IT?

Not really. I have been persuaded to buy books mostly because of the pretty covers, but I did have interest in them before buying them.

  1. HAVE YOU READ WHILST YOU WERE MEANT TO BE DOING SOMETHING ELSE (LIKE HOMEWORK)?

ALL. THE. TIME. There’s always something that I need to be doing, so this applies to every single time I read.

  1. HAVE YOU SKIM READ A BOOK?

Yup. I recently skim read the ending of The Winner’s Curse.

  1. WILL YOU COMPLETELY MISS YOUR GOODREADS GOAL?

Nooo! *dances around the room* My Goodreads goal was 50 books. I ended up reading 55 books.

  1. HAVE YOU BORROWED A BOOK AND NOT RETURNED IT?

NEVER. I treat other people’s books the way I would like my own books to be treated, so I’ve never kept a book that wasn’t mine.

  1. HAVE YOU BROKEN A BOOK BUYING BAN?

*looks around guiltily* Ha… ha… ha. Yes. I was supposed to be on a book buying ban for all of 2017 and I broke it like five times. I did buy less books than in 2016, so yay for me?

  1. HAVE YOU STARTED A REVIEW, LEFT IT FOR AGES THEN FORGOT WHAT THE BOOK WAS ABOUT?

Nope. I rarely write reviews, so this isn’t a problem for me.

  1. HAVE YOU WRITTEN IN A BOOK YOU WERE READING?

No. I want to buy a book someday specifically to write in it and pass it along to a friend (or several friends), but that hasn’t happened yet.

  1. HAVE YOU FINISHED A BOOK AND NOT ADDED IT TO YOUR GOODREADS?

I used to do this years ago because I was embarrassed by the books I had read previously, but I think that by now all the books I have read (that aren’t too short. I don’t like to count novellas or short stories for Goodreads) are on my Goodreads “read” shelf.

 

NAUGHTY OR NICE?

I said yes to six out of fifteen, so I think I’m a little nice? Definitely very close to being naughty, though.

I hope you enjoyed this tag! I won’t tag anyone because Christmas is over for most people. Are you a nice or naughty reader?

December Wrap Up

Hi, everyone, and happy new year!

If you saw my December TBR, you know I had grand plans to read more than 10 books before the end of the year. That didn’t happen, and it led me to realize that I’m a mood reader and TBRs don’t really work for me.

For that reason, I ended up reading only one of the books on my TBR and a total of only three books in the entire month.

26003733  21469136  28458598

The first book I read in December was More Than Fashion by Elizabeth Briggs. It’s the third book in the Chasing the Dream series, but each book can be read as a standalone. I don’t generally enjoy romance novels, but I decided to give this one a try in an attempt to get over my reading slump. It follows Julie as she competes in Behind the Seams, a reality show in which aspiring fashion designers compete for a cash prize to start their own business.

The fashion design aspect of the book was the most interesting part and was the reason I read most of the book in one day. The competition elements were at the forefront of the book and didn’t get pushed to the sidelines when the romance was introduced. The romance and the competition were more or less equally important to the story. My main critique of More Than Fashion is that the love interest, Gavin, treated the main character poorly several times every time she offered to help him with something, which was really frustrating. I couldn’t like him after the second time he treated her like garbage. Additionally, the ending was predictable. I knew how it would end from the very beginning. I gave More Than Fashion 3 out of 5 stars.

The next book I read undid all of the progress More Than Fashion made in regards to my reading slump. That book is none other than The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski. This series was really popular in 2015, which is when I bought it and actually wanted to read it, though it seems to be less talked about now. Back when I first bought this book, I thought I would like it because the romance was supposed to be angsty and the main character was supposedly very smart.

I just couldn’t get past the slavery aspect of the story. The main character, Kestrel, is the daughter of a general who played a crucial role in the colonization of a country. All of the Herrani people who survived the war were enslaved. One day Kestrel buys a slave and takes him home, and for some reason they fall in love…? I have no idea how Arin could fall in love with his slaver, who happens to be the daughter of one of the people responsible for the colonization of his country. The story itself was so boring, and I had problems with many things that I won’t mention because they’re spoilers.

I gave The Winner’s Curse 2 out of 5 stars.

The final book I read in December (and consequently 2017!) was When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon. It follows Dimple, an aspiring web developer who goes to a summer camp to develop an app, and Rishi, who is an artist as well as the boy Dimple’s parents want her to marry. The story started out okay for me: it was entertaining, I didn’t dislike any of the main characters, and the plot sounded promising. But that’s how things remained for all of the book: just okay.

You would expect a book that takes place during a competition to focus a fair amount on the competition, right? This one didn’t. Even though things related to developing an app were constantly happening, they all happened off the page. There was no conflict or plot that was actually centered around the competition. The entire book revolved around Dimple and Rishi’s romantic and social lives. It was like that was the reason they were at a summer camp, and developing an app was something they did in their spare time. Near the end of the summer camp, there was a talent show in which the prize was money to help the winners develop their app even further. The talent show got a lot more attention than the actual app.

Ultimately yes, this was a fun read, but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be, and there came a point in which everything was way too cheesy for my liking. I gave When Dimple Met Rishi 3 out of 5 stars.

That it’s for my December wrap up! December was a bad reading month, but January has been so much better already. Spoiler for my January wrap up: I’ve already read three books and one of them got 5 stars. ☺

 

 

Beat the Backlist: Goals and TBR

Hi, friends! The year is almost over, which means it’s that time in which many of us set reading goals for the upcoming year.

In 2018, I want to focus on reading the books I’ve owned for the longest time (which is since sometime in 2015). When I found out about Beat the Backlist, I thought participating would be a great way to stay motivated to read those older books.

I’m expecting 2018 to be a fairly busy year, so my official goal for this challenge is going to be 20 books. But of course, I will try my best to read as many backlist books as possible (especially since another goal of mine for 2018 is to buy as few books as I can manage–hopefully zero).

Here is my Beat the Backlist TBR:

  1. Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo
  2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renée Ahdieh
  3. The Rose and the Dagger by Renée Ahdieh
  4. Vicious by V.E. Schwab
  5. Falling Kingdoms by Morgan Rhodes
  6. Rebel Spring by Morgan Rhodes
  7. Gathering Darkness by Morgan Rhodes
  8. Frozen Tides by Morgan Rhodes
  9. A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes
  10. The Darkest Magic by Morgan Rhodes
  11. An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
  12. A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
  13. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  14. The Winner’s Crime by Marie Rutkoski
  15. Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
  16. Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
  17. Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
  18. Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare
  19. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
  20. Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

If you’d like to check out my Goodreads shelf for Beat the Backlist, you can do so here.

Are you participating in Beat the Backlist? If so, feel free to share your post about it in the comments. ☺