Hello, lovelies! No huge surprise really, but I bought more books in September. I’m happy with what I bought and how many of them I’ve already read. Some were belated birthday gifts, some were given from others that don’t hoard books like I do, and the rest were absolutely impulse buys.
Books I’ve Read
For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Half Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Pure by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Deity by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Apollyon by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young
The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi
Books New to my TBR
The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee
You’d Be HomeNow by Kathleen Glasgow
The All-Consuming World by Cassandra Khaw
Defy the Night by Brigid Kemmerer
Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore
I bought a few of these so that I could reread them. And I’m incredibly excited to read the ones new to my TBR. Some of them are on my TBR for October, so hopefully I’ll have them read by the end of the month. Did you buy any new books last month?
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is my top ten bookish pet peeves.
Series that change cover designs mid way through publication.
Series with books of varying heights.
Sequels that continually have their publication date pushed back.
But also, books that don’t have dust jackets.
Books with incredibly small font,
And, books with very large font.
Sequel’s that spend an unnecessary amount of pages explaining what happened in the previous books.
Info dumping that’s disguised as world building.
Stickers on books covers (removable AND non-removable ones).
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic is Bookish Pet Peeves.
Being interrupted while reading
Stickers on book covers
Books in the same series that are different sizes (varying heights, paperback vs hardcover, etc.)
Sequels info-dumping what happened in the previous book (specifically in a long chunk at the beginning)
When instead of a synopsis on the back there’s just blurbs from the book or reviews- I want to know what the book is about
When publication dates are delayed or we have to wait years for a sequel
Book covers made for the movie/tv adaptation
Multiple names for the same character (first name, given name, title, nickname, name only their family uses, etc.)
That was all I could come up with this week. What bookish pet peeves do you have?
Summary: For centuries, witches have maintained the climate, their power from the sun peaking in the season of their birth. But now their control is faltering as the atmosphere becomes more erratic. All hope lies with Clara, an Everwitch whose rare magic is tied to every season. In Autumn, Clara wants nothing to do with her power. It’s wild and volatile, and the price of her magic―losing the ones she loves―is too high, despite the need to control the increasingly dangerous weather. In Winter, the world is on the precipice of disaster. Fires burn, storms rage, and Clara accepts that she’s the only one who can make a difference. In Spring, she falls for Sang, the witch training her. As her magic grows, so do her feelings, until she’s terrified Sang will be the next one she loses. In Summer, Clara must choose between her power and her happiness, her duty and the people she loves… before she loses Sang, her magic, and thrusts the world into chaos. Practical Magic meets Twister in this debut contemporary fantasy standalone about heartbreaking power, the terror of our collapsing atmosphere, and the ways we unknowingly change our fate.
Review: The Nature of Witches is, for sure, going to make my list of 2021 favorite books. I have to admit that I bought this book because it has a stunning cover and it has a beautiful design under the dust jacket. I was also influenced by a friend of mine really loving it. I’m so glad that I gave in to my desires to buy this one because I really loved it. The story follows Clara, and Everwitch (which means that she has the magic of all four seasons). The way the magic works in this world was one of my favorite kinds of magic systems I’ve ever read about. Witches have seasonal magic. So, they have magic all year round, but it’s significantly diminished outside of their season. I really liked this sense of balance that was a part of this world because there’s no one season of witches that’s most powerful, they all excel at different things, and they each get their turn to be ‘the most powerful.’ But Clara as an Everwitch, her magic changes as the seasons change. But being an Everwitch, there’s more responsibility on her, but also, there hasn’t been an Everwitch in so long that there is little to nothing really known about how they’re really supposed to help others. One of the downsides of the magic of an Everwitch is that their magic attacks those that they love. So, Clara killed her parents and her best friend. This was obviously traumatic, but it’s caused Clara to plan to obliterate her magic with the upcoming solar eclipse. Her plans are in place, so obviously something has to come in and shake things up and that’s when the story gets even better. I really liked Clara. It could have been easy for her to be a ‘woe is me’ character that just pities herself, complains, and does nothing about it. But she wants things to change and has a plan to make that happen. I really enjoyed following her growth and development. I loved learning her backstory and what’s made her so fearful and cautious. I especially loved seeing Clara test the limits of her powers. I thought the concept of her personality changing with her magic (as the seasons change) was really interesting. Overall, I loved this book. I loved the setting of a school for witches. I loved that the witches are what keeps natural disasters in check. I even loved the conversations about how humans are killing the Earth. I thought the romance (both past and present) was one I could easily care about. I will absolutely be recommending this book and I cannot wait to read more from this author.
Summary: Six months after Paola Santiago confronted the legendary La Llorona, life is nothing like she’d expected it to be. She is barely speaking to her best friends, Dante and Emma, and what’s worse, her mom has a totally annoying boyfriend. Even with her chupacabra puppy, Bruto, around, Pao can’t escape the feeling that she’s all alone in the world. Pao has no one to tell that she’s having nightmares again, this time set in a terrifying forest. Even more troubling? At their center is her estranged father, an enigma of a man she barely remembers. And when Dante’s abuela falls mysteriously ill, it seems that the dad Pao never knew just might be the key to healing the eccentric old woman. Pao’s search for her father will send her far from home, where she will encounter new monsters and ghosts, a devastating betrayal, and finally, the forest of her nightmares. Will the truths her father has been hiding save the people Pao loves, or destroy them? Once again Tehlor Kay Mejia draws on her Mexican heritage to tell a wild and wondrous story that combines creatures from folklore with modern-day challenges.
Review: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for an early copy to read and review. I read this what feels like 100 years ago and forgot to write my review. So, this is going to be short and to the point. I really enjoyed this book. There’s really no surprise there. I loved all of Mejia’s other books and I’ve really enjoyed all of the Rick Riordan Presents books. Paola is really struggling in this second book, so when she thinks that she needs to find her father, she gets the gang back together again. I think the only thing I didn’t like about this book was that there was so much conflict between the three friends. Dante was just plain mean to Paola at times for reasons that we never got to see. All of the conflict happened off the page after the end of the first book and before this book started. I would have liked to have gotten to see that conflict rather than been told about it because it takes such a large amount of this book for Paola to work through these issues with her friends. So, this book was really missing the wonderful friendship aspect that we got from the first book. Aside from that, I really liked this. Paola must stand up and face danger and adventure on her own this time. We get to see some familiar faces from the first book, which is always fun. I love the mythology and the world building that we get to see. I don’t know much about Mexican folklore, so all of the monsters and creatures were unique to me and so interesting to read about. I will absolutely be continuing this series and recommending it to others.
Hello, lovelies! Once again, it’s a new month. It’s actually one of my favorite months, October! For me, spooky season starts in September, so I’ve been reading all the books I’ve saved for spooky season for the last month, but I’m excited to share what I’ve planned for this month. I’m going to keep this first Blogtober post as my TBR jar picks because I’ve really been enjoying picking books off my TBR shelf this way. I’m also doing a readathon which I’ll mention later in the post. I have lots of Blogtober content that I’m very excited to share with you all.
Fantasy Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool
Backlist Book The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Thriller The Hawthorne Legacy by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Most Recent Purchase The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi
Young Adult The Last Legacy by Adrienne Young
I’m a bit behind on my eARC’s from NetGalley, so I have a few I want to read this month, as usual. These are just the ones that I couldn’t fit into TBR prompts for this month.
Under the Whispering Door by T.J. Klune
All of Us Villains by Amanda Foody & Christine Lynn Herman
I’m also participating in the Gothtober Readathon (find all their information here on Twitter) again this year. This year it’s Angels vs. Demons (or vs. Death if you don’t want to be on a team). I’m going for Team Demon, which should surprise zero people. The prompts are listed in the graphic below, but I’m also sharing each prompt with my book selection.
Mythology Pahua and the Soul Stealer by Lori M. Lee
Omens The Death of Jane Lawrence by Caitlin Starling
Found Family The Bronzed Beasts by Roshani Chokshi
Dark Romance A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout
LGBTQ+ Representation Into the Dying Light by Katy Rose Pool
Murder I Am Margaret Moore by Hannah Capin
Classics Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood
BIPOC Representation Velvet Was the Night by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Disability Representation The Bone Houses by Emily Lloyd-Jones
Summary: With ten years passing for every three minutes on a remote stretch of Texas coast, planes fall out of the sky, evolved species are on the hunt, and people die inside one of the most vicious ecosystems ever grown—all a result of the government’s efforts to slow down time. A lot can happen in ten years. That’s the point. Governments are always racing for supremacy, for scientific breakthroughs, for technological advantages—and these things take time. Until something goes wrong. With the grounded yet massive world building of READY PLAYER ONE, thrilling scientific questions of JURASSIC PARK, and the time-bending teen drama of BEFORE I FALL, Wachter’s THE TWIN PARADOX is a brilliantly plotted tale that is both intimate and massive, relentless yet deliberate, and explores the themes of self-acceptance, self- confidence, and natural selection in a richly hued and unforgettable world. Ultimately the eternal question of Nature versus Nurture is boiled down into this fast-paced thriller told over the course of five days and culminates in one single question: Do we get to choose who we are?
Review: Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for this eARC in exchange for an honest review. I wasn’t sure what to expect when going into this story, but I finished this book with the only thought in my head being, ‘what the fuck did I just read?” The Twin Paradox follows a group of teenagers that are graduated from their honors program in high school early. The day of their graduation, they find out that they are clones of famous intellectuals like Albert Einstein, Catherine the Great, Martin Luther King Jr., and Leonardo Da Vinci to name a few. They’re invited to do an internship with Gene-E Corp (the company that created them). But this internship comes with few details. When they arrive and start to tour the facility, the teens realize that there’s more too Gene-E Corp than they could have imagined. This brings me to my biggest issue with this book: the science. There is so much science, math, and physics in this story and most, if not all, of it went right over my head. I had to just skim read and pretend like I knew what any of it meant. I think the science could have been simplified even just a little bit and that would have made my reading experience a little better. Other than that, I actually liked this book. It surprised me. There was darkness to the story that I wasn’t expecting from the synopsis. But there was also some excellent suspense and mystery that kept the pace of the story moving forward. I also liked all of the characters. And the ones I didn’t like, seemed to be intentionally unlikable. I think the teens were really interesting to follow and acted like teenagers despite being clones of some of the greatest minds in history. Overall, I liked this book…I think? It really surprised me in a lot of ways. I will definitely be reading the sequel when it comes out next year.
Amanda- I’m currently still (very slowly) rereading The Crown of Gilded Bones by Jennifer L. Armentrout. I’m also reading Cazadora by Romina Garber. I’m listening to The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He.
Antonia- I’m in between books right now.
What did you read most recently?
Amanda- I most recently finished Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng.
Antonia- I most recently read Legacy by Nora Roberts.
What will you read next?
Amanda- I’m planning to pick up Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas for my next physical read. I have no clue what I’ll read next for eBooks or audio.
Antonia- I’m torn between starting either Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore and The Space Between Worlds by Micaiah Johnson.
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each week we talk about our top ten with a different topic provided by Jana. This week’s topic is a freebie, so, I’m going to share the ten most recent additions to my GoodReads “Want to Read” shelf.
For the Throne by Hannah Whitten
The Kindred by Alechia Dow
The Counselors by Jessica Goodman
Bad Girls Never Day Die by Jennifer Mathieu
Luminous by Mara Rutherford
Daughter of the Deep by Rick Riordan
The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad
All These Bodies by Kendare Blake
No Beauties or Monsters by Tara Geodjen
The Messengers by Margaret Peterson Haddix
That’s the ten books I’ve most recently added to my goodreads TBR. What did you pick for this week’s freebie topic?
Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic is Freebie (Come up with your own topic or do a past TTT topic that you missed or would like to do again.). This week I’m going to do books by my favorite authors that I still need to read.
From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout
King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo
First Comes Scandal by Julia Quinn
Aru Shah and the City of Gold by Roshani Chokshi
Winterkeep by Kristin Cashore
To Sleep in A Sea of Stars by Christopher Paolini
The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
The Glittering Court by Richelle Mead
The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan
Storm and Fury by Jennifer L. Armentrout
What books do you still need to read from authors you love?
Hi, lovelies! I really cannot believe that September is over. But I’m very excited for October to get here because I have lots of fun Blogtober content planned. I also just love the spooky season.
What I Read
Physical Books A Lesson in Vengeance by Victoria Lee – 3 stars The Nature of Witches by Rachel Griffin – 5 stars Dial A for Aunties by Jesse Q. Sutanto – 4 stars
eBooks Holdout by Jeffery Kluger – 3.5 stars The Twin Paradox by Charles Wachter – 3.5 stars Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – 4 stars How We Fall Apart by Katie Zhao – 3 stars The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn Barnes – 4 stars
Audiobooks Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – 4 stars For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten – 5 stars They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman – 4 stars The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – 4 stars When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole – 2 stars Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – 3.5 stars One by Oneby Ruth Ware – 2 stars The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James – 4 stars Recursion by Blake Crouch – 3 stars The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe – 4 stars The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl – 4 stars The Broken Girls by Simone St. James – 3.75 stars Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – 2 stars
Audiobooks Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas – 4 stars For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten – 5 stars They’ll Never Catch Us by Jessica Goodman – 4 stars The Night Swim by Megan Goldin – 4 stars When No One is Watching by Alyssa Cole – 2 stars Home Before Dark by Riley Sager – 3.5 stars One by Oneby Ruth Ware – 2 stars The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James – 4 stars Recursion by Blake Crouch – 3 stars The Girls I’ve Been by Tess Sharpe – 4 stars The Lost Girls by Sonia Hartl – 4 stars The Broken Girls by Simone St. James – 3.75 stars Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng – 2 stars The Ones We’re Meant to Find by Joan He – 2.5 stars The Maidens by Alex Michaelides – 2.5 stars
Summary: Felicity Morrow is back at Dalloway School. Perched in the Catskill mountains, the centuries-old, ivy-covered campus was home until the tragic death of her girlfriend. Now, after a year away, she’s returned to graduate. She even has her old room in Godwin House, the exclusive dormitory rumored to be haunted by the spirits of five Dalloway students—girls some say were witches. The Dalloway Five all died mysteriously, one after another, right on Godwin grounds. Witchcraft is woven into Dalloway’s history. The school doesn’t talk about it, but the students do. In secret rooms and shadowy corners, girls convene. And before her girlfriend died, Felicity was drawn to the dark. She’s determined to leave that behind her now; all Felicity wants is to focus on her senior thesis and graduate. But it’s hard when Dalloway’s occult history is everywhere. And when the new girl won’t let her forget. It’s Ellis Haley’s first year at Dalloway, and she’s already amassed a loyal following. A prodigy novelist at seventeen, Ellis is a so-called “method writer.” She’s eccentric and brilliant, and Felicity can’t shake the pull she feels to her. So when Ellis asks Felicity for help researching the Dalloway Five for her second book, Felicity can’t say no. Given her history with the arcane, Felicity is the perfect resource. And when history begins to repeat itself, Felicity will have to face the darkness in Dalloway–and in herself.
Review: A Lesson in Vengeance follows Felicity Morrow as she’s returns to the Dalloway School for her senior year. She’s been gone for a year after the death of her girlfriend, Alex. She’s been to the appropriate mental health professionals and is on a new medication to help her. When she starts back at Dalloway, she’s in the same dorm house as she was before, but everything is different. Most notably is her new roommate, Ellis. Ellis is an author and befriends Felicity because of Felicity’s knowledge of the Dalloway Five. The Dalloway School has a supernatural history. There are rumors that five previous Dalloway girls haunt the Godwin House (where Felicity and Ellis dorm). Witchcraft and the supernatural are a part of the school’s history, but it’s not one the school really liked to acknowledge despite their large collection of books and documentation they keep in their library. I liked the setting of the school. I think a fancy boarding school in the middle of the woods is one of my favorite settings. I didn’t really love how pretentious all the girls were. There were two that weren’t horrible, and it’s because while they were rich, they were also the only two characters of color. Felicity, while I felt bad for the things she’s been through, purposefully flushed her medication down the toilet and acted proud of it. She also suggested that another one of her dormmates do the same with her medication. None of that sat right with me. Then there’s Ellis, who was basically just nuts. She really could have benefited from some therapy. Overall, I really wanted to like this book. But I spent most of it confused, and then when the confusion cleared, I was mad. I didn’t like the big twist or how the ending was. I had high hopes for this book, but I didn’t like it. It had so many things that usually work for me, but they didn’t work together in this particular story.
Suummary: In Gold Coast, Long Island, everything from the expensive downtown shops to the manicured beaches, to the pressed uniforms of Jill Newman and her friends, looks perfect. But as Jill found out three years ago, nothing is as it seems. Freshman year Jill’s best friend, the brilliant, dazzling Shaila Arnold, was killed by her boyfriend. After that dark night on the beach, Graham confessed, the case was closed, and Jill tried to move on. Now, it’s Jill’s senior year and she’s determined to make it her best yet. After all, she’s a senior and a Player–a member of Gold Coast Prep’s exclusive, not-so-secret secret society. Senior Players have the best parties, highest grades and the admiration of the entire school. This is going to be Jill’s year. She’s sure of it. But when Jill starts getting texts proclaiming Graham’s innocence, her dreams of the perfect senior year start to crumble. If Graham didn’t kill Shaila, who did? Jill vows to find out, but digging deeper could mean putting her friendships, and her future, in jeopardy
Review: I’ve been really liking the ‘what I liked/what I didn’t like’ format that I’ve been using for some of my recent reviews. So, I’m going to continue that with today’s review.
What I Liked:
I liked Jill. She was a main character that I felt I could be invested in. She’s a senior at Gold Coast Prep. She’s a Player (Gold Coast’s ‘secret’ society). But when questions arise about who actually killed her best friend, Shaila, Jill’s point of view changes. I liked that she didn’t just accept the status quo. She thought for herself, even if that meant upsetting her friends.
The mystery of who killed Shaila was a good one, in my opinion. I didn’t guess the twist until just a few pages before it was revealed.
I liked the setting of Gold Coast and all the parts of the story that surrounded the Players.
The story goes back and forth between the past and the present as a way for us to get to know Jill and her friends and the things they’ve been through since Freshman year. I liked this, mostly.
I listened to the audiobook for this one and I’m very glad that I did. I liked the narrator. I think she did a great job telling this story and keeping me engaged.
What I Didn’t Like:
I didn’t like pretty much any of the characters aside from Jill. Other than maybe Graham’s sister (I can’t remember her name). I liked her. But all Jill’s friends at Gold Coast we’re pretty terrible, honestly.
I liked some things about the story going back and forth between the present and the past, but I think because I was listening to the audiobook it wasn’t always clear when these jumps were happened. There were often clues I could pick up on, but I would have preferred a clearer distinction.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. I’m looking forward to Goodman’s new release that I’m waiting for from the library. I liked the prep school setting. I think the ‘secret’ society was fun. But really, Jill made this story what it was, I think.