Thursday, February 13, 2020

Pitiful January 2020 Wrap Up

9:23:00 AM



      So January happened.... I had such high hopes for 2020, but this year is already kicking my ass. My personal life has pretty much fallen to shit in every single aspect possible, so reading was like the last thing on my mind. I have so my stress and anxiety right now, and for some reason Youtube has become my safety net more than reading has been in the past. It sucks because I have goals for this blog and reading-wise that I really want to accomplish, but I don't know if that's going to be possible with the way my life is going right now. But I'm going to try because that's all I can do right now.

      Due to the shitty state of my life, I read a measly two books this month, and both of them are books I technically started last year and finally finished up in the beginning of the month. But hey, it's better than nothing.

39679076       My favorite book of the month was hands down "House of Salt and Sorrows" by Erin Craig. This was a great book to start the year off with. I really enjoyed the writing, the plot, the main character, and the romance. This was the perfect YA fantasy/paranormal romance book to get me into the mood of reading. I wrote a full review which you can read here. I highly recommend picking this book up if you haven't already given it a chance.

40680738. sy475       The second and last book I read in January was "In the Darkness" by Mike Omer. This is the second book in the Zoe Bentley series, in which the first book is "A Killer's Mind". I read "A Killer's Mind" in 2018 I believe, and super enjoyed it. Mysteries used to be my bread and butter in middle school and high school before I joined the online bookish community, so reading "A Killer's Mind" was a nice dive back into that world. That said, I don't know if the timing just wasn't right or what, but I wasn't the biggest fan of "In the Darkness". I had a lot of issues with the characters, the plot, and there were a lot of microagressions and stereotypes present that I did not vibe with. I wish I had enjoyed the book more, but at the end of the tea it wasn't my cup of tea. It wasn't a terrible book, but it also wasn't great. It was just your average run-of-the-mill murder myster.

      Well those were the two books I read in January. To be honest I don't feel like February will be any better. A lot of things are kinda coming to head at the end of February beginning of March, so my life is going to be crazy and the last thing I'm thinking about is reading and blogging. But hey, you never know- maybe I'll get into a crazy reading and blogging frenzy.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

House of Salt and Sorrows REVIEW by Erin Craig

10:42:00 AM


Book: House of Salt and Sorrows

Author: Erin Craig

My Rating: ★★★★1/2

Synopsis: In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

      Where do I even begin with this book? I put it off for quite some time after receiving it in one of my OwlCrate boxes because I honest to goodness didn't know what it was about and wasn't sure if this was something that would be up my alley. Uhm, y'all. I WAS WRONG!!! Why did I push this off??? I mean, I guess it turned out to beneficial in that I was able to start 2020 off with a bang.

      This book really blew me away. Whatever expectations you have coming into the book, throw them out the window. You might think you know where the book will head, but you don't. There are elements of mysticism/fantasy that get incorporated into this story so well that it just subverts whatever expectations you have going into the book. 

      I don't even know where to begin when it comes to what I enjoyed with this book. The characters, the plot, the romance, the fantasy/myth- it was all great. Our main character Annaleigh makes for such an interesting read because once you get into the last half of the book you start to question everything she's experiencing. And the romance between her in Cassius. Swoon. At first I was hella sus of him and didn't really buy into him, but damn it if he didn't win me over. I don't 100% buy the way their relationship started and it felt instalovey to me, but it grew on me. They were hella cute together.

      I can't say too much about the plot without giving a shit ton away, so I'm not going. Just know that this book does a really good job of not making itself too predictable but while also still being realistic and entertaining. I wish more books were able to surprise me like this book did. 

      Overall I had a really time reading this book. The world and characters were super enthralling and made me want to learn more about the particular mythology that was the focus of this world. Erin Craig did a great job with this debut novel and I can't wait to read more from her.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

2020 Bookish Resolutions/Goals

9:50:00 AM


      Well it's that time of year where everyone and their mother comes out with their resolutions/goals for the year. I almost didn't do it this year because I wasn't sure it was worth it. At the end of the day however, I figured it couldn't hurt to come up with some. So, without further ado, here we go.

*Read 60 books*

For my Goodreads goal of the year, I'd like to read 60 books. Last year I read 53 books and that's the lowest amount of books I've read in like 6 years. Ideally I'd like to read 100 books like I've done pretty much every year, but I don't want to put that much pressure on myself. 2020 is going to be an incredibly unpredictable year personally, so I don't know how reading is going to fit into it. I'm go to try my best to get back into the hang of reading more often.

*Do a monthly wrap up each month*

This past year, more often than not, I ended up doing multi-month wrap ups instead of monthly wrap ups, simply because I didn't consistently read or blog each month. This year I'd like to go back to doing a monthly wrap up. Even if I don't read many books in a month, I'd rather take the time to do a quick little post than have nothing.

*Post at least once a week*

This is really my main goal of the year and the one I plan on putting the most energy into. It might not seem like a lot to write a post once a week, but to me it's important. I feel like blogging at least once a week will ensure I remain active and that I use the blog effectively. 

*Have a review at least biweekly*

This one might be a bit of a stretch and more difficult for me to obtain, but I really want to make sure I put out a review at least twice a month. While I'm making changes to the blog and the content I post about, I do want to stick to some of my roots. This blog started off as a dedicated place to review books and I still want to review books.

*Be more active on bookish Twitter*

This might seem like an odd one, but it's one that I feel like I need. I see the bookish community and I want to interact with it more, and the best place to do that seems to be Twitter. I'm one of those people that follows others but doesn't really interact with them. I'm trying to change so that in addition to interacting with other tweets, I tweet more as well.

*Make more bookish friends*

I say this every year and it's true every year. I definitely had more interactions with the bookish community in 2019, but I truly want to make more connections. So if you're in the market for a bookish friend, hit me up!

*Revamp the website*

Little but time-consuming thing, I really want to revamp the look of my website. It's looked the same for the past few years and I feel like I need to spice it up more. It's pretty plain right now and I'd love for it to look more like my personality.

*Read more new releases*

Last but not least, I'd like to read more new releases. The majority of books I read are ones that came out in the past. I read maybe 5 books a year that were released that year. In 2019 I slowly started reading more new releases, and that was partially due to me getting OwlCrate. Without OwlCrate, I wouldn't have discovered some of my favorite books of the year. Now I don't want to exclusively read new releases, but I want to incorporate more of them into my TBR.

      Well those are my bookish resolutions/goals for 2020. The majority of them won't be too hard to accomplish, but there are some I know I'm going to struggle with. I really want to put more work into this blog and bookish stuff in general this year. If I put effort into it, I know I can do it.

      What do you guys think of my list? Do you have any in common with me? What are your lists? I'd love to hear everything down in the comments.

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Top 10 Books of 2019

10:00:00 AM

TOP 10 BOOKS OF 2019

      Well, it's finally here. The end of 2019. Without further ado, I'm not going to waste time and just jump straight into the best books I read this year. 

10. Black Bird of the Gallows by Meg Klassel

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I saw this book at my library and decided to check it out without really knowing anything about it. I hadn't read a book in less than a day in forever, so it felt really good powering through this bad boy so fast. The beginning act was rough, but it grew on me a lot. The romance was so unrealistic but gave me fuzzy feelings nevertheless. The supernatural aspect was really interesting and I would love to know more about the lore behind it.

9. Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout


This really banged. I can always count on Jennifer L. Armentrout's books being absolutely everything I need them to be. Paranormal romance will forever be my favorite genre and I can't wait to see what happens next. It doesn't even matter that I remembered next to nothing from the main series this spin off series is based on because the characters and plot make it great on its own.

8. Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

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This book was a curve ball. I didn't expect to enjoy it as much as I did just because contemporaries aren't really my thing. There was also so much hype surrounding this book that I was afraid the hype would let me down, but it didn't. This was a cute LGBTQIA+ read, which unfortunately, is a genre I haven't had a lot of exposure to, which as the a (for asexual), is a bit sad. You can read my full review here, but basically this book was an excellent enemies to lovers book (which if you know anything about me, I love that trope- read my list of fav romances from this year here and you'll see).

7. Matchmaking for Beginners by Maddiw Dawson


This book was a complete curveball. This was a free book I decided to pick up on Prime Reading and it ended up being perhaps my favorite book I read this summer. Like this was a 4.5 Star book. I don't typically like women's fiction or chick-lit, but this book was just an amazing read. I love the two POVs we get to read from and the events that unfold in their lives. It was written so well and I just devoured it for the 5 hours I was at the airport coming home from my Bahamas cruise. If women's lit isn't typically your thing, I recommend giving this a go.

6. The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

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While I was slightly let down by the end of this trilogy with this book, I still enjoyed it. You can read my full thoughts here, but overall this book gave me the YA fantasy romance vibes I needed.

5. Winterwood by Shea Earnshaw


I liked this book more than I anticipated, as seems to be the trend with the majority of the books on this list. I knew little going into it other than the author wrote "The Wicked Deep" which I enjoyed last year for my school's book club. You can read the full review here, but basically I enjoyed the way the story was written and the little plot twists that really gave the book a new layer.

4. Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson


This was a YA fantasy book that featured one of my favorite couples of this year. Nathaniel, the main love interest was just a hoot to read. While I had issues with the plot itself, I enjoyed the characters and their interactions, even then non-love interest characters like Silas. You can read my review for the book here

3. The Wicked King by Holly Black

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So even though this book came out last year, I didn't read it until this year. Sue me. This book was hands down the best one in the entire trilogy. We got to see more into Carden and Jude as individuals and as a couple. Their power dynamics were off the charts in all of the right ways. It was in this book that I felt the plot was really going somewhere. It's dissapointing that the last book didn't do justice to the plot of this book, but that's neither here nor there.

2. Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin


This was a really tough decision. This book almost made the top of my list, but there were other factors at play that bumped this down to second place. That being said, I loved this book. I buddy read it with Olivia from Oliva's Catastrophe (twitter link here) and we both enjoyed this far more than we anticipated. What to say about this book. I loved the romance, I loved the setting, I loved the plot. You name it, I probably loved it. I'm so excited to read the sequel when it comes out next year. I'm planning on rereading this book before the sequel comes out, so if anyone wants to buddy read this, I'm game!

1. The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

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How this ended up being my favorite book is a mystery to even me. This isn't in my typical genre of favorites, as evidenced by the plethora of YA fantasy/paranormal romance on this last. But alas, this book snuck its way into my heart. I've read this book three times this year. Three! The first time I read this book, I only rated it about 3.5 stars, but now it's between 4 and 4.5 stars. I have no idea what it is about the romance in this book that gets to me, but it does. I didn't realize how much I love the enemies to lovers trope until this book. I also didn't realize how much I love the whole "healing another person" trope. That shit really got to me. I'm thinking of rereading this book again when the new year kicks off. Why? I apparently have an addiction to this book and the couple in it.

Honorable Mention: The Guinevere Deception by Kierstin White


I'd already ranked everything on this list and written half of it when I read this book and didn't feel like rearranging things on my list. That being said, this would have probably made it into the top 5. This was an Arthurian retelling that I enjoyed more than I probably should have considering the predictable nature of it. I just really enjoyed the characters and their nausances.

      Well those are the best books that I read this year. As you can see, it was a pretty YA fantasy heavy year with some contemporaries sprinkled in. I didn't read as many books this year as previous years, and that's ok because I still took away some great books. Some of these books have more books to come, and I'm excited to see where those stories leave. To the ones that are over, I'm sure I'll revist them in the future.

     What did you think of my list? Did you like some of the books on my list too? Or did you dislike some? What made the top lists for you this year? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments down below. I can't wait to see what 2020 holds for all of us!

My Rating System

★★★★★ This book is a gift from the literary gods
★★★★ This book was pretty damn good
★★★ This book had potential but missed the bar
★★ I probably didn't finish this book or it was god awful
★ Why does this book exist?



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