November Wrap-up and Haul

I was hoping for a lot more time for backlist reading in November and December, but unfortunately it doesn’t look like that’s happened. I had a little bit of a slumpy month, and I’m desperately hoping some good Christmas reads will pull me out of it! (stay tuned for my December TBR…) I did partake in a super fun buddy read with some of my best reading friends, AND made a point to finish Kingdom of Ash, which may end up being my favorite book of the month.

HAUL

Once again, I hauled waaaaay too many books this month – 12 again. After November, I am going on a STRICT book ban, at least until the new year hits. I’ll probably be doing a post about this soon. Here are the books I added to my shelf this month:

  1. Throne of Glass (Collector’s Edition) by Sarah J. Maas
  2. Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman
  3. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
  4. The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory (Book of the Month)
  5. Snow in Love by Melissa de la Cruz, Nic Stone, Aimee Friedman, and Kasie West
  6. His Perfect Wife by Natasha Bell (from Crown Publishing)
  7. Merry and Bright by Debbie Macomber
  8. A Stone Creek Christmas by Linda Lael Miller
  9. Solitaire by Alice Oseman
  10. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
  11. I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman
  12. Skyward by Brandon Sanderson (Fairloot)

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Obviously, I bought several books for Christmas reads next month and I am so excited for lighthearted, easy reads!

WRAP-UP

Luckily, I also read a decent amount of books. Most of them were ARCs, bud I did manage to do a LITTLE bit of mood reading. Hopefully more in the coming months?

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  1. Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas: ★★★★
  2. My Favorite Half Night Stand by Christina Lauren (ARC): ★★★.5
  3. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare: ★★★★
  4. Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill: ★★★
  5. Empire of Storms by Sarah J Maas (audio, reread): ★★★★
  6. Ever the Brave by Erin Summerill: ★★★.5
  7. The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory: ★★★★
  8. Once a King by Erin Summerill (ARC): ★★★.5
  9. A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer (ARC): ★★★★
  10. City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare (audio): ★★
  11. Evermore by Sarah Holland (ARC): ★★★.5

And that’s it guys! At least I got to buddy read a few of these with some of my favorite people. And after looking at this list I’m honestly not sure which to pick for my best book of the month because none of them really blew me away… Hopefully December is better, I know I wasn’t the only one to have a slump this month.

Happy reading, friends!

xoxo

Jen

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Platonic Relationships

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out her blog for more info!

Happy Tuesday, everybody! Today’s topic was platonic relationships. This could include anything from siblings to parents to friends. I’m including ALL of them in my list because I have no chill. Enjoy!

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ONE: Victor, Mitch and Sydney from Vicious & Vengeful

I can already tell you that there are going to be so many found families on this list, and this trio is one of my favorites. The banter between them was some of the only lighthearted moments in these books, and I absolutely lived for them.

TWO: Sadie and Mattie from Sadie

The love and dedication Sadie feels for her sister throughout this book is dripping off of every single page. When Sadie says she’ll do anything for her little sister, she means anything.

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THREE: Blanca and Roja from Blanca y Roja

This is one of my favorite sibling relationships of the year. Everyone has a little sibling rivalry, but what if your future depended on your sibling being cursed instead of you? This book highlights the true meaning of family (both found and blood), sacrifice and love.

FOUR: Alex, Lula, and Rose from the Brooklyn Bruja series.

If you haven’t read these books (Labyrinth Lost and Bruja Born) I strongly urge you to pick them up. This trio of sisters is one of my favorites, and even though they continue to get each other into scrapes, they never fail to help each other out of them.

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FIVE: Will and Jem from The Infernal Devices series

I CANNOT BELIEVE I AM PUTTING THIS ON HERE. Someone mark this day down in history: Cassy Clare just made one of my TTT’s…in a positive way. But these two just warm my heart, when Will wasn’t being a giant pain in everyone’s ass. I don’t care how the book ended, I’m pretty sure that this was poly rep all the way through. I will fight you on this.

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SIX: Harry and Hermione from Harry Potter

Does anybody NOT have HP on this list? You’ll notice I left off Ron. That’s because I find him annoying. My opinion will not change on this.

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SEVEN: THE ENTIRE CAST OF CHARACTERS FROM SIX OF CROWS

This honestly should be #1 but since I didn’t do this in any specific order, I’ll let it slide. I was so glad I made it to this series this year, because the world desperately needs more heist books. And it definitely needs more crews like this one. For such a dark storyline, I could not believe how often I was laughing or wiping away tears, and it was all because of these six gems.

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EIGHT: Aelin and Lysandra from the Throne of Glass series

I feel like I could also substitute Aelin and Aedion in that line. And ALSO I must clarify – the later TOG books, not the early ones. After Aelin becomes less annoying. But I loved Lysandra with my whole heart. I loved how wild and free she was, and how she was unapologetic  about anything she had to do to survive. I honestly am just praying for a spin-off series focused on Lysandra.

NINE: The Night Court from the ACOTAR series

Is it cheating/bad to have both SJM series in a row? I’m going to go with no, and here’s why: THIS is what SJM does so well. She writes beautiful friendships that turn into some of the best found families I’ve ever seen. While I may roll my eyes at some of her romantic storylines, Sarah truly has a gift for making me wish I belonged to these little inner circles.

TEN: Atticus, Jem and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird

I realize this is my only parent-child relationship I included on my list and I feel bad about it, I’m glad I saved the best for last. If you follow my blog you know this book is one of my all-time faves, and watching these two kids grow up under Atticus’s guidance and example just warms my heart so so much.

And that’s it guys! Did you also love any of these relationships? Let me know! Happy reading everyone

xoxo

Jen

Review: The Wedding Date

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Title: The Wedding Date

Author: Jasmine Guillory

Pages: 310

Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

A groomsman and his last-minute guest are about to discover if a fake date can go the distance in a fun and flirty debut novel.

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

Review:

You know that dream every girl has, at least once, of being stuck in an elevator with the cutest guy around? Well, Alexa Monroe gets to live that dream. When the power at her sister’s hotel goes out, she ends up stuck on an elevator with Drew Nichols. By the end of the elevator ride, she’s agreed to go with him as his fake date – to his ex’s wedding. At the wedding, these two hit it off and have the time of their lives, each knowing that all the fun will end once Sunday rolls around. Only…what if it doesn’t?

Friends, I absolutely adored this book! The cover is cute, but the story inside is even more so. If I had to pick one book that is the perfect Valentine’s Day read, it would be this one, hands down. I fell completely in love with the characters and was rooting for them from beginning to end. Their chemistry was incredible and I give Jasmine Guillory so much credit for writing this romance so well in her debut novel.

Alexa Monroe: Alexa is the mayor’s chief of staff, black, very career-driven and a hard worker. Spontaneity is not her style, but somehow Drew manages to bring that out in her.

Drew Nichols: The first thing we learn about Drew is that he doesn’t do girlfriends – he always gives them the “let’s be friends” speech at just the right time. He’s a white, charming, handsome pediatric surgeon…and in complete denial about how he feels about Alexa.

It had been less than a week, but her lips on his, his arms wrapped around her, her hands in his hair, it all felt like coming home after months away.

One of my favorite parts about this book is how accurately it highlights an interracial relationship. Drew has to check his privilege again and again, as he realizes how many free passes the color of his skin has brought him. The book also showcases a program (kicked off by Alexa) with the purpose to serve underprivileged youth. This is so so important, and I love that these topics were front and center, even in a light-hearted romance novel.

I know, but Drew, you’re a white guy. Life is different for you. You were born with a benefit of the doubt that black kids never get.

I did have one complaint about this book: all of the sex scenes felt half-finished to me. I’m not sure if the author was uncomfortable writing them, but she would start them.. and then kind of skip to the end? This was a little disorienting and abrupt, which felt awkward since all of the tension and chemistry flowed really well up to that point.

If you’re looking for an adorable romance that’s quick and easy to read, but will give you all the warm, melty feels, I urge you to pick this book up! The writing is great, the romance is steamy, and I want the characters to be my best friends. I loved it so so much and cannot wait to read the companion novel, The Proposal (about Drew’s best friend, Carlos).

xoxo

Jen

ARC Review: Once a King

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TitleOnce a King [Clash of Kingdoms #3]

Author: Erin Summerill

Release Date: December 4, 2018

Publisher: HMH

Pages: 464

My Rating: ★★★.5

Clash of Kingdoms #1: Ever the Hunted: ★★★ [see review here]

Clash of Kingdoms #2: Ever the Brave: ★★★.5 [see review here]

Goodreads Synopsis:

Aodren: A lonely, young king, searching for a way to dismantle his father’s dark legacy.

Lirra: A girl with the power to control the wind, torn between duty and following her dreams

For twenty years, Channelers—women with a magical ability—have been persecuted in Malam by those without magic. Now King Aodren wants to end the bloody divide and unite his kingdom. But decades of hatred can’t be overcome by issuing decrees, and rumors of a deadly Channeler-made substance are only fueling people’s fears. Lirra has every reason to distrust Aodren. Yet when he asks for help to discover the truth behind the rumors, she can’t say no. With Lirra by his side, Aodren sees a way forward for his people. But can he rewrite the mistakes of the past before his enemies destroy the world he’s working so hard to rebuild?

Review:

ARC provided by the publisher, HMH, in exchange for an honest review.

If you want to bring about change, all you need to be is a voice. A voice loud enough to start a storm.

This spin-off novel starts shortly after King Aodren has ended the Purge Proclamation. Determined to do things differently than his father, the King is on a mission to unite his Kingdom and end decades of suspicion and hated between Malam and Channelers. To do so, he heads to the Tournament of Champions at the All Kingdom’s Summit. There, he and his champions (Leif!) hope to win glory on the battlefield, support in the meetings with the other kingdom, and hopefully some peace amongst their people.

Unfortunately, shortly after arriving trouble ensues. Rumors of a Channeler-made oil causing violence and death spreads fear and distrust, and in order to unite his kingdom, Aodren will have to stop the rumors and find their source. And who better to help him than…the Archtraitor’s daughter?

While I struggled a little bit with Summerill’s first two installments, I truly enjoyed reading the third one. Part of that is because instead of following Britta and Cohen, we follow Lirra and Aodren.

Lirra: this girl was one of my favorite characters from the second book, and I was so excited to get more of her! Lirra isn’t the most beautiful or powerful girl (refreshing in a YA fantasy novel), but she’s clever and resourceful. Lirra’s grown up helping her father, who trades in secrets. Despite her love and loyalty to her family, Lirra has big dreams and brilliant ideas – now all she needs is the strength to pursue them.

The man I thought of as my opposite, my enemy, is sinking under my skin and wrapping himself around my heart.

Aodren: While I was luke-warm on Aodren in the previous book, he really grew on me throughout this one. Aodren has a great love for his country and his people, and a dream for a better world – one that isn’t so divided and full of bloodshed. I really appreciated his character growth and development, as he goes from a brand new King to one who has earned respect from his people.

The only thing the blade can force is fear. Respect must be earned. And I suppose I have not done enough to earn it yet.

I enjoyed this book so much more than the first few installments. To me, it seems that Summerill’s writing has matured over time. Her characters have so much more depth and development, and were much more enjoyable to read. Her magic system had more explanation and growth, which I loved. We even got a little bit of world building in this one, although I still was hoping for more.

This YA has a slight enemies to lovers vibe, is full of hope for a better world, and blasts messages about acceptance for all. If this sounds like your kind of thing, I urge you to pick it up! In my opinion, this book could be read as a standalone – you might have minor confusion but not about anything that contributes to the major plot.

Once a King releases on December 4, 2018.

xoxo

Jen

**All quotes are taken from an ARC and are subject to change at publication.

November Pick: Book of the Month

Hello, everybody! I hope everyone in the US had a great Thanksgiving, and got to spend time with family, friends, and a good read. I’m finally getting around to posting my November pick for book of the month. I made one selection this month, and while I haven’t read it yet I’m really hoping to get to it soon! Here’s what I chose:

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The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory

Goodreads Synopsis:

When someone asks you to spend your life with him, it shouldn’t come as a surprise–or happen in front of 45,000 people.

When freelance writer Nikole Paterson goes to a Dodgers game with her actor boyfriend, his man bun, and his bros, the last thing she expects is a scoreboard proposal. Saying no isn’t the hard part–they’ve only been dating for five months, and he can’t even spell her name correctly. The hard part is having to face a stadium full of disappointed fans…

At the game with his sister, Carlos Ibarra comes to Nik’s rescue and rushes her away from a camera crew. He’s even there for her when the video goes viral and Nik’s social media blows up–in a bad way. Nik knows that in the wilds of LA, a handsome doctor like Carlos can’t be looking for anything serious, so she embarks on an epic rebound with him, filled with food, fun, and fantastic sex. But when their glorified hookups start breaking the rules, one of them has to be smart enough to put on the brakes…

Why I Picked It:

I’m not sure what BOTM’s deal is with historical fiction and mystery/thrillers, but they seem to have some of these available every single month. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not a huge historical fiction fan, and I am a little thriller-‘d out after October. I ALMOST went with two of the other choices. The two that captured my eye were A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne, and Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty.

John Boyne’s previous book on BOTM (The Heart’s Invisible Furies) won BOTM 2017 Book of the Year, so I was intrigued. HOWEVER, I have not actually bought or read that book – it seemed like cheating to get this one first since I had nothing to compare it to or no inkling if I would even like it. On the other hand, I absolutely loved Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty. However, after reading the synopsis of her latest book, it didn’t sound like something I would love just as much.

That left me with The Proposal, and I’m honestly looking forward to reading it – hopefully very soon! I JUST finished Guillory’s first novel, The Wedding Date (look for my review over the next few days!) and adored it from cover to cover. I’m hoping I’ll love The Proposal just as much.

If you haven’t tried Book of the Month, check it out! You can use my referral link here and I believe you get a free book!

xoxo

Jen

Review: Ever the Brave

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Title: Ever the Brave

Author: Erin Summerill

Pages: 464

Rating: ★★★.5

Series: Ever the Hunted★★★ [see review here]

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ever the Divided. Ever the Feared. Ever the Brave.
After saving King Aodren with her newfound Channeler powers, Britta only wants to live a peaceful life in her childhood home. Unfortunately, saving the King has created a tether between them she cannot sever, no matter how much she’d like to, and now he’s insisting on making her a noble lady. And there are those who want to use Britta’s power for evil designs. If Britta cannot find a way to harness her new magical ability, her life—as well as her country—may be lost.

The stakes are higher than ever in the sequel to Ever the Hunted, as Britta struggles to protect her kingdom and her heart.

Review:

A kingdom ruled by fear is destined to fall.

In the sequel to Ever the Hunted, Britta and Cohen are back again, but this time the stakes are higher: the Channeler who was controlling King Aodren is on the run, and young Channeler girls are mysteriously disappearing. Tensions are high, both among our main characters are in both countries. The young King is trying to bring his country out of the despair it was thrust into, Cohen is searching desperately for Phelia, and Britta is trying to master her power while her family secrets keep piling up and she struggles with a weird (and strong) connection to Aodren.

SO. MUCH. ANGST. There was so much teen angst in this book. I will say this one time: TALK TO EACH OTHER. EXPRESS YO SELF. You will save yourself from so many problems. If you read my review for Ever the Hunted, you know I had some issues with it (lack of communication between characters being one of them). Some of those issues were resolved, and some of them weren’t. I gave this book 3.5 stars. Here’s why:

I loved the magic system in this book, and I loved that we got to see more of it at work in this one. It’s so intriguing to me, and honestly one of the most unique aspects of the series. I was hoping for a little more explanation, but I loved watching Britta grow into her powers. Which brings me to my next point: I can now honestly say that I like Britta. I really struggled with this girl in the first book, but Summerill’s character development and arc really did her justice here. I loved watching her come more independent as she figures out who she was, apart from her father and Cohen. By the end of the book, Britta is independent, level-headed, and strong in all aspects of the word. She has her flaws, but she’s able to recognize them, and watching her struggle through some pretty big emotional and physical trials made her super relatable.

The exhaustion whispers at me to drop my head against Cohen’s back, to wrap my arms around him and find comfort. But I’m not that girl. I don’t need an arm around the shoulders, or a We’ll get through this.

Cohen, on the other hand, had absolutely no character development. He still thinks he can decide and know what’s best for Britta without consulting her, and considers himself noble while he does it. I did not see the chemistry between them, and I’ll be honest: I was shipping Britta with HERSELF.

We get a third point of view in this book: King Aodren, shortly after being freed from Channeler control. I didn’t really feel all that strongly towards him in one way or another. I appreciated that he seemed to be making an effort to be a good leader, but beyond that he was kind of ‘blah’ as a character. I definitely did not ship him with Britta. Which brings me to a major disappointment of this book: Ever the Hunted had so many tropes. The one trope it did not touch was the love triangle. BUT WAIT. HERE IT COMES. Not to be outdone, Ever the Brave comes in swinging with my least favorite trope of all time. This, the predictability, and the lack of world development throughout the series, were my biggest disappointments here.

Despite my complaints, there were points I really liked about this book. Like I mentioned above, the magic system is awesome and Britta’s character arc was impressive. It was super easy to read, fast paced, and I definitely had a hard time putting it down. I absolutely adored Leif and Lirra, and I want so much more of these two characters! Lirra is everything I wanted Britta to be: sassy, independent, strong, smart – but NOT the most powerful Channeler. Leif is such a gentle giant, and I want to put him in my pocket forever and ever. I also think Summerill’s writing and character development improved a lot in the second book, which I appreciate.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced YA fantasy read, this series is for you. I’m looking forward to jumping right into the third installment!

xoxo

Jen

Review: The Wicked Deep

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Title: The Wicked Deep

Author: Shea Ernshaw

Pages: 310

My Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Welcome to the cursed town of Sparrow…

Where, two centuries ago, three sisters were sentenced to death for witchery. Stones were tied to their ankles and they were drowned in the deep waters surrounding the town.

Now, for a brief time each summer, the sisters return, stealing the bodies of three weak-hearted girls so that they may seek their revenge, luring boys into the harbor and pulling them under.

Like many locals, seventeen-year-old Penny Talbot has accepted the fate of the town. But this year, on the eve of the sisters’ return, a boy named Bo Carter arrives; unaware of the danger he has just stumbled into.

Mistrust and lies spread quickly through the salty, rain-soaked streets. The townspeople turn against one another. Penny and Bo suspect each other of hiding secrets. And death comes swiftly to those who cannot resist the call of the sisters.

But only Penny sees what others cannot. And she will be forced to choose: save Bo, or save herself.

Review:

We wait for death. We hold our breath. We know it’s coming, and still we flinch when it claws at our throats and pulls us under.

In the town of Sparrow, from June 1 to June 21, tourists pour into the town. They come not for the beaches or the scenery, but to try and catch a glimpse of the Swan sisters – three girls who were accused of witchcraft two centuries ago, and drowned in the harbor for their crimes. Marguerite, Aurora, and Hazel Swan were sentenced to death, when in reality all they were guilty of is seducing the men of their town.

Now, every summer, the sisters return – this time in the bodies of three local girls. Before the Summer Solstice ends, they each lure boys into the water – and to their deaths. No one is safe: the boys risk drowning, and the girls all risk accusation of witchcraft. Tourists flock to the town to see for themselves if they can determine which girls’ bodies have been stolen by the sisters, but not all of them will survive.

Enter our main character, Penny Talbot. Penny is 17, and lives with her mother just outside of town on a small island. Her Dad disappeared three years ago, and her mother has been ‘absent’ since then, but Penny does the best she can to keep the island running. Penny’s life is a secluded one, and while she goes to school on the mainland, her only real friend is a girl named Rose. It is for Rose that Penny goes to the annual kickoff party, welcoming the Swan sisters to the town. There, Penny meets Bo: a young boy who’s (rather unluckily) stumbled into town looking for work at precisely the wrong time. And while Bo appears to be hiding something, Penny may have some secrets of her own.

Sometimes I think this island is a magnet for bad things, the center of it all. Like a black hole pulling us toward a fate we can’t prevent. And sometimes I think this island is the only thing keeping me same, the only familiar thing I have left.

This book is so magical and transportive and atmospheric. The writing is gorgeous, and I felt as if I was right there while all these events took place. Honestly, I will forever and always seek out anything this author writes. It was right up my alley: lyrical and haunting; the kind of writing that stays with you for a long time. Beyond that, I completely fell in love with Penny and Bo, and was trying desperately to solve the mystery right alongside them (I also shipped them so hard, from beginning to end – no matter what happened in-between). I was so intrigued by the Swan sisters, and my heart broke to think of all they lost two centuries ago, simply because they were different. And talk about a twist: I can honestly say this twist blew me away. I did not see this coming in any way, shape, or form and I LIVED for it.

I once read a poem about love being fragile, as thin as glass and easily broken. But that is not the kind of love that survives in a place like this. It must be hardy and enduring. It must have grit.

In some ways, this book is the ultimate revenge story. But it is also about how far someone will go for love. This book was so hauntingly beautiful, and I couldn’t get enough. I absolutely loved every second. If you love atmospheric, lyrical writing and are looking for a phenomenal debut book, I urge you to pick this up. You won’t regret it. I can’t wait to see where this author goes next.

xoxo

Jen

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Why I’m Thankful for the Bookish Community

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out her blog for more info!

This week’s prompt was a thanksgiving/thankful freebie, and I couldn’t resist: the top reasons I’m thankful I joined the bookish community. I started my bookstagram page in February, and my blog in April? May? Not sure on that one. But ever since then I’ve never stopped being grateful for everything and everyone that’s come my way since then. This community is honestly the best, and I can’t wait for what’s to come.

THE INSPIRATION

There is so much artistic talent and great ideas in the bookish community! I’ve never seen such great inspiration in my life. Just scrolling through the pictures makes me want to go try again, take a better shot, come up with a more unique idea. Everyone here is so creative, and I love it!

THE ENCOURAGEMENT AND ACCEPTANCE

I am by no means a great photographer. I do not take great fancy pictures. I take simple pictures and write simple reviews. But you know what? NO ONE CARES. Everyone is so encouraging and supportive, no matter your skill level or your follower count. The acceptance in this community is incredible, no matter who you are or how good your pictures are. Let’s be honest: we all love books, and that’s about 60% of what makes me love a person, so we’re more than halfway there.

THE READING IDEAS

My credit card is decidedly NOT thankful for this, but my shelves, my mind, and my heart are! I’ve become acquainted with so many new books and authors since joining this community, not to mention becoming addicted to new ways to read (graphic novels, audiobooks). I shudder to think of all the wonderful stories I would have missed out on had I not joined this community.

GENEROUS PUBLISHERS

Before starting a bookstagram, I had no idea ARC’s even existed. Now, I have my NetGalley and Edelweiss accounts, but I also have to give a shoutout to generous publishers who send physical copies out. Like I mentioned above, I don’t take great pictures or have an enormous following. And yet some publishers are kind enough to send their ARCs out to smaller accounts like mine, and I will never stop being thankful for this.

THE CANDLES

Do I even need to elaborate on this? Candles are my second love, and there are SO MANY CANDLES on bookstagram.

THE BUDDY READS

This is one of my favorite things about this community. Many of my IRL friends like to read, but I’ve never done a buddy read before this year. I LOVE doing buddy reads now. I overload my reading schedule every single month just so I can do way too many of these. I can always be talked into one. How have I been missing out on these for so long?

THE PEOPLE

Come on, you knew this one was going to be on here. YOU GUYS are what make this community so great, and I feel so blessed for all of the great friends I’ve made in such a short period of time. THANK YOU!!

I love you all, and I’m so grateful for you. I hope you all have a happy Thanksgiving!

xoxo

Jen

Down the TBR #13

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Down the TBR Hole was created by Lost in a Story. Its purpose is to help narrow down your TBR list on Goodreads by selecting 5 titles each week and deciding if you want to keep it on your TBR or get rid of it! I was inspired by Melanie @ Meltotheany and Amy @ A Court of Crowns and Quills to start this series. If you haven’t checked out any of these lovely blogs, do it NOW!

How it works:

  • Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
  • Order on ascending date added.
  • Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books
  • Read the synopses of the books
  • Decide: keep it or should it go?

Here’s the books on the chopping block this week:

ONE: Girl Through Glass by Sari Wilson

While the synopsis still really grips me, the reviews were not as good as I expected, so I’m a little hesitant to pick this one up. I think I’ll put it on hold for now.

VERDICT: DELETE

TWO: The Way I Used To Be by Amber Smith

This honestly sounds like a Speak remake, but it also got super high ratings and great reviews, so I’ll hold on to it.

VERDICT: KEEP

THREE: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Just reading the synopsis, this sounds like it could be a 5 star read for me. I’m almost tempted to order it right now.

VERDICT: KEEP

FOUR: Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige (Entire Series)

I have all three of these books listed in a row, so I’m just going to include them all in one go. I love the Wizard of Oz, and I love Wicked, so chances that I read this series (someday) are high. My guess is it will not be soon, but I’ll keep them on here, just in case.

VERDICT: KEEP

FIVE: Handle With Care by Jodi Picoult

I am not a huge Jodi Picoult fan, but as a health professional, I’m intrigued by a book from the POV of someone diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta. I’ve had my eye on this book for a while, and I’ll probably still get to it.

VERDICT: KEEP

Well would you look at that, I only tossed out one book. Whoops. Have you guys read any of these??

xoxo

Jen

Top Ten Tuesday: Backlist reads for 2019

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. Check out her blog for more info!

This week’s topic is supposed to be bookish items or merch I’d like to own, but I missed last week, and I liked that topic better: backlist books I want to read in 2019. I’ve already started posting about this a little bit on my bookstagram account, but it’s something I’ve been giving a lot of thought over the past few weeks. I’m trying to be a little less hectic next year: do a lot more mood reading, a lot less requesting, and making sure I spend time reading books I know I’ll love. So here they are, folks: my top 10 backlist reads for 2019.

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ONE: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Ok, this is a given and easily makes the topic of the list. So many people that I adore and trust just sing the most high praise about this book. I got it in my book of the month book last month as an add-on, and I am dying to get to it. I have such high hopes for this one.

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TWO: The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X. R. Pan

Ditto literally everything I said above.

THREE: Circe by Madeline Miller

Ditto again. These three are easily my most anticipated reads that are on my backlist.

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FOUR: Caraval and Legendary by Stephanie Garber

I have both of these sitting on my shelf, and have been dying to get to them, but for some reason just haven’t yet. At this point, should I just wait for the third one to come out?

FIVE: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

I wanted to read this before the movie was released, and didn’t get around to it. I still am waiting to see the movie til after I read this, so hopefully I get to it early in 2019.

SIX: Girl Made of Stars by Ashley Herring Blake

Some of my friends read this during ContemporaryAThon this year and couldn’t say enough good things about it. I’ve been warned that it’s a heavy and dark read, and so I’ve been waiting until I’m in the right mindset for this one.

SEVEN: Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

WHY HAVEN’T I READ THIS SERIES YET? That is all.

EIGHT: The Darker Shade of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

After reading – and falling in love with – Vicious and Vengeful this year, I immediately went out and bought this entire series. Here’s hoping I like it.

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NINE: You by Caroline Kepnes

I meant to get to this book in October, but didn’t quite make it there. I’m waiting to watch the Lifetime series until after I read this. I may even get to it before the end of the year, but we’ll see.

TEN: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

I read Simon this year and kicked myself for waiting so long to read it. I’m hoping to avoid that with the second installment.

 

And that’s it y’all! Anything missing from this list that you think I absolutely NEED to pick up?? Obviously none of these are 2019 releases – I’ll be doing a post about those later in the year.

Have a good week everybody!

xoxo

Jen