Set in an alternate matriarchal 1900’s Asia, in a richly imagined world of art deco-inflected steam punk, MONSTRESS tells the story of a teenage girl who is struggling to survive the trauma of war, and who shares a mysterious psychic link with a monster of tremendous power, a connection that will transform them both and make them the target of both human and otherworldly powers. Collects MONSTRESS #1-6.
At first I questioned why so many people recommended this one to me, it felt all over the place. Then, the action started, and little by little we got to see the rich mythology of the world. And it was worth it.
Truth: Part 1 (#4 Small Town Series) – 4 stars
My thoughts on this one, and the series thus far, is here. I won’t put the synopsis and risk spoiling the series, but I will say that this one was my favortie of the lot.
Wicked River – 3.5 stars
Poor decision after poor decision and even worse communication. I had really high hopes for this one, but it missed the mark. Not by too much though. Check my review: here!
Leah on the Offbeat – 5 stars
Just like I knew it would be! This one really resonates with me on a level that no other book has before. It left me feeling seen. Unfortunately, I seem to be in the minority on this one…but I’d still recommend it any day.
Stalking Jack the Ripper – 3 stars
I’m not sure this one was for me. The mystery was mediocre at best, but the writing style saved it and the ending was fine. It’s left me unsure about going on to book two. Have you read it? Is it worth it?
Harry Potter #1 and #2 – 5 stars
Is this any question? I needed to reenter a world that has always been there for me, because it’s been a stressful month. Dobby is still my favorite, Lockhart is still an unfortunate idiot and Snape is just as frustrating as he’s always been.
Wotakoi: Love is Hard for Otaku – DNF (1 star)
Narumi and Hirotaka are, by all appearances, a power couple. They’re young, good-looking professionals. But they have secrets from everyone but each other: They’re serious geeks! Narumi is a fujoshi, and Hirotaka’s a hardcore gamer. Their sweet, awkward love story started life as a webcomic before becoming a full-blown manga series by popular demand, and is about to become a major anime series!work.
Midnight Rising (Midnight Breed #4)
Woof! It’s been a while since I delved in this world and Lara Adrian’s steamy writing style. Rio has always been my broken little favorite and having this book follow his story was just what I’ve always wanted. Plus, learning about his childhood? How can I hug him irl? No summary because *spoilers*.
I surprised myself this time around! How has your mont of reading been?
Also, before I get too far into this…there are going to have to be some more changes over here. I’m going to be starting a new job in two weeks, with more fixed (and longer) hours. I’ll need to figure out how to adjust my posting schedule with this new development. As soon as I have it figured out, you’ll all be the first to know, but for now it’ll remain as two days a week.
Okay, now for the real reason you’re all here. WRAP UP TIME!
In Search of Peter Pan
What I liked: The art and linkages between Peter Pan and our main character’s deceased brother were the best parts of this graphic novel. I also wouldn’t have minded more of Baptistin, a secondary character who was cloaked in mystery and danger.
What I could have lived without: There was some nudity that didn’t really make sense to me. It didn’t feel necessary in the least, and I didn’t particularly care for the romance. I wish that more time was spent focusing on the mystery of the brother rather than the pursuit of the mystery goal. It was like, the moment he saw her, his objective became skewed.
What I liked: You guys, the first time I read this one I wasn’t very impressed (I gave it 3 stars). Something about this second time around made me fall in love with this story. Where before I couldn’t bond with our main character, I understood and could appreciate her strength for what it was. I still haven’t seen the movie. WHAT IS WRONG WITH MEEEEE????! It was fantastical and perfectly suited for the age range (and above)
What I could have lived without: The way the adults on Earth (with the exception of her mother) treated Meg after her father disappeared. More care was needed.
What I liked: In this case, my favorite stories of the anthology were Nicola Yoon’s The Department of Dead Love and Huntley Fitzpatrick’s Say Everything. These were the types of stories that I expected when I picked this book up. Fitzpatrick’s couple was perfect together, from beginning to end and Yoon’s couple gave me heart eyes all the way through.
What I could have lived without: Most of the other stories were just meh for me. I didn’t care for the characters or their love enough to move past a three.
Again!! Vol. 1
This one got me at: From the co-creator of Yuri! On Ice. God, I miss that show. Victuri foreverrrr!
What I liked: It wasn’t as heart-tugging as Yuri, but our main character is reminiscent of the self-doubt and self-deprecation that was synonymous with YOI. So I was sufficiently invested.
What I could have lived without: Another trademark YOI characteristic is brutal cliffhangers. I wish Kubo hadn’t carried that over…but I’ll live. I guess. I also didn’t completely understand why Kinichiro is an outcast in the first place. The reasons for shunning him did not make sense to me.
Spectacle Vol. 1
What I liked: All of the pretty, pretty art! It was soothing and yet mystical at the same time. The idea of the whole thing was also intriguing. Imagine going about your life conning people, only to realize you’ve somehow gained the very gift that you were pretending you had all along. Imagine! And to have to use it to solve your twin sister’s murder? Child!
What I could have lived without: Ugh. Bloody cliffhangers!
But also, more time needed to be spent on mystery solving. That sub-plot was a major distraction. Interesting yes, but still, distracting.
I’ll miss this series, but the duo are writing another series together sooooo…
What I liked: Everything was tied up. Nothing was left unresolved and I could appreciate that. No, I wonder whatever happened with xyz. Nope. I KNOW ALLLLLL!
What I could have lived without: That ONE death. It gutted me, and I know it worked in the favor of our heroes but, jeeze.
P.S who do I petition to get a companion story of just AIDAN?
What did you read in March? Anything good? Any of these sound good to you?
aka The time there were more days in a week than books read
This is abysmal, I know. Well, by my usual standards anyway, and a very bad sign for how the year will go.
The books that I managed to read this year, have already been talked about on here. But, I’ll go into better detail this time.
What I liked: I loved all the bits of lore that was mixed into this one. It felt fantastical but historical which excited my inner history nerd.
I liked the ending, which was the only reason this story got four stars from me. The redemption arc was real with this one.
It’s a fairytale retelling, that in itself deserves at least a full star. The parallels between the original Beauty and the Beast story and Nyx’s journey was clear. But it was different enough that I could still enjoy the novel.
What I could have livedwithout: The actual characters. I didn’t fall in love with their love or their trauma. It was borderline entertaining. It did intrigue me enough to decide that this is going on my series-in-progress shelf.
Chasing the Omega
What I liked: Fast paced, so it kept my attention.
Paranormal romance, which I used to be so obsessed with once upon a time. This reminded me why. So many bump in the night creatures walking amongst the common man, blending in as best they could. All the pack politics.
The whodunit factor. There’s a murderer going around, and a rogue Alpha going around biting people all willy-nilly. The people need to know!
What I could have lived without: The weird flip-flopping that Alice would make. One minute she hates Ryder and everything he stands for, the next she loves how protective he is.
Alice’s naivete was a little annoying as well. I mean, how could she be so trusting after what happened to her, and with how sketchy *name redacted* is.
I think with a good editor and beta reader, this book could have earned a four-star quite easily.
Chasing the Beta
What I liked: There was resolution. It was satisfactory too, so I wasn’t left feeling like the characters didn’t get the justice they deserved.
Alice got to have some semblance of happy towards the end which was nice.
The fact that Max proved us wrong, even if I still think he’s annoying and pushy.
What I could live without: The fact that I was able to predict who the blackmailer was and that we go in knowing who the murderer was, most of the mystery was sucked out of the story. However, the way that we get our vengeance was unexpected, but oh so perfect.
aka That time that I struggled to make a decision…
This was the hardest decision I’ve had to make all year. I’m sure of it. But, I somehow managed to get it done.
In no particular order, because THAT would have been IMPOSSIBLE to choose, here are my absolute favorite books this year.
If I Die Before I Wake
I’ve been gushing about this book ever since I read it (see all my gushing here), and honestly, if this didn’t make my list something would be wrong.
This was one of those moments where the book and the movie are perfectly in sync, and I truly appreciated that. The spook factor was high. It brought up all the nostalgic feelings of my first time watching the movie and being hooked on Stephen King adaptations.
History Is All You Left Me
Is this a surprise to anyone who follows my blog? Anyone at all? I don’t think so, because I am the biggest Adam Silvera stan that there ever was, and anything he writes is pure gold as far as I’m concerned. There were tears, but the story in and of itself was simply beautiful. And worth the tears.
They Both Die at the End
I’m still not over this. It hurts so good. Rufus and Mateo are my new faves tbh. I gushed more here.
This one is Becky Albertalli level sweet. Cavities are a guarantee and Baz and Simon are the perfect couple. Also Simon is the best anti-hero ever written. I can see myself rereading this time and again, falling even more in love with their love.
There were so many more amazing books that I read this year, but I couldn’t possibly list them all. What books stayed with you over these 365? Any on my list?
AKA the time I couldn’t even wrap up one month so I try for two instead (help me!!!)
So before I even begin talking about ratings, maybe I should just talk about which books I tried to finish in the past two months. Yeah? Sound like a plan? Good. Cause I won’t be able to change it at this point anyway. It’s already out in the universe…
ATTEMPTED, BUT NOT COMPLETED
It by Stephen King (November)
I had high hopes for this one, but I was such a distracted mess when I picked this one up that I didn’t even make it to halfway through. I’m hoping to have it finished soon though…if I don’t get distracted along the way. #Prayformyattentionspan2017
Wicked River by Jenny Milchman (October and November)
Another one that I had hoped to be done with by now but…those damn distractobots got me again *cries in self-pity*, also, Christmas cleaning has officially started in my house so…yeah.
The House on Foster Hill by Jamie Jo Wright (October)
I started this one pretty early on in the month…then I got Wicked River and well…you know the drill. Moving on…
I said MOVING ON!!
There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins (October)
The trend continues…I have no excuse. Sometimes I am nothing more than a big old trash pile. Don’t sue me.
I attempted 24 books, of those I completed 19, DNF‘d 2, put one on hold and am currently working my way through 2. I also took part in quite a few month-long readathons (too many to mention) but I thought I’d show you the Harry Potter one.
(If I hadn’t started and stopped so many books, I definitely could have gotten through more of these blocks for sure.)
Pardon me while I gush…
Simon vs the Homo-Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
The queen of cute has struck again. I must read all things Albertalli. Write more of them…now! My goodreads review says everything that I felt while reading this book. Read it if you want…
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera
I gave my thoughts on this book, and this man, here and here.
Our Dark Duet: Monsters of Verity # 2 by Victoria Schwab
Beautiful ending, but of course, I can never have enough of this world and crave more! I don’t want to say much more than, August hurt me in this one but he still needs to be protected at all costs. Do not expect warm and fuzzies from this one. The Monsters of Verity are a real mirror of life, there isn’t always happily ever afters in store and not everything goes according to plan.
The Raven Boys: The Raven Cycle # 1 by Maggie Stiefvater
Gaaah! I drank the Kool-Aid guys. And I’m okay with that. I’ve been a hardcore fan of Maggie’s after reading Shiver but I held off on reading this one because of all the hype. I’m really glad that I caved and read it after all. Gansey…oh Gansey. Marry me? It isn’t a book that you immediately fall in love with, but the love creeps up on you and then BAM! Gansey and the Raven Boys are in your heart forever.
Drink the Kool-Aid with me. Sip, sip.
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
A much more satisfying ending than Eleanor and Park, by far. I really didn’t want this one to end, I enjoyed it a lot and I want to read Wren and Cath’s fanfiction (Carry On) now. Simon and Baz are my new OTP.
Insomnia by Stephen King
Weird, but good and bittersweet. If you don’t mind being confused throughout an entire novel, feeling as though you are sleep walking even as you read, then pick this up.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
My first Neil experience which did not disappoint. It was bittersweet to let this one go. Who do I send a petition to to get a spin-off of The Man Jack and The Jack of All Trades? Who????
Anne of Green Gables: A Graphic Novel by Mariah Marsden (ARC)
True to the spirit of the original in a way that makes you want more of Anne, in what ever form you can have her. Our little redhaired wild child.
The Wee Free Men: Tiffany Aching # 1 by Terry Pratchet (ARC)
The Wrinkle in Time I was looking for. Tiffany is a strong willed little girl, and no one can touch her, a true carbon copy of her grandmother. I want to see how her adventure turns out for sure. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a strong female lead and an age appropriate adventure (meaning safe for younger readers).
1984 by George Orwell
Freakishly possible. Like, we ALL know that Big Brother is watching, but the level of control over people’s lives in this book is scary. If that were ever to become a reality, I don’t know how many of us would survive the initial stages. I think this is a must read for everyone.
These Broken Stars & This Shattered World: Starbound # 1 & 2 by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner
A slightly less action packed Illuminae, but captivating in its own right. There’s romance, angsty and hate-to-love romance, but it counts. It’s a fun read if you don’t take it too seriously, and I need to see justice served to our resident bad guy. So, onto book three, I say!
The Little Red Wolf (Graphic Novel) by Amélie Fléchais (ARC)
Little Red Riding Hood but with our famous Red being a wolf and our antagonist being human. If this wasn’t a perfect example of human’s interaction with nature, then I don’t know what is. Perfect for readers of any age with very captivating art..
Shadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy # 1 by Leigh Bardugo
She is queen! I am as hooked by this one as I was with Six of Crows. Read this EVERYONE! It is the return (introduction) to the Grisha world, so if you’re missing it then this is the best place to bury your pain. The Darkling is my new bae. Love, love, love!
The Journal of Curious Letters: The 13th Reality # 1 by James Dashner (ARC)
This is a good one for fans of the Daniel X series by James Patterson. A quick paced story about an extremely young boy fighting baddies, the future of the world hanging in the balance. Heartbreakingly, there was some math in this one and idk if I’ll ever be the same again. This chick does NOT voluntarily read things with math in them! 😥😥😥
Night of Cake and Puppets: Daughter of Smoke & Bone # 2.5 by Laini Taylor
Reading this reminded me of my love for all things Zuzana. She is a badass, fiercely loyal friend, but she is also secretly a softie on the inside. Can there be a spin-off of just Zuze, please? Laini? Please?
The Magicians: The Magicians # 1 by Lev Grossman
So, when I first heard of this book, it was because of the TV show on SyFy (which I enjoy), and then I heard the words ‘adult Harry Potter’and I WAS SOLD! Except, this was a bit slower than I bargained for. Please let me know if this series is worth continuing, because there was a whole lot of nothing happening for a chunk of this one and it kinda bored me at points.
The Secrets on Chicory Lane by Raymond Benson (ARC)
This one surprised me at the halfway point. Before that I was convinced that I would either DNF or give it, at best, 2 stars. But, somehow it hooked me. I was curious about what actually happened all those years ago, and there was a satisfying amount of closure for both the reader and Shelby. Be warned that there may be some triggering elements in here. (I listed them on my Goodreads review.)
All hail, cuz I done goooood. Well, as long as you don’t count the flop that was my attempt at the Fairy-a-Thon. If I’m being honest, I completely forgot about the challenges for this one. I read so many books, and gave out so many 5 stars! Are you jealous?
Username: Evie by Joe Sugg [Graphic Novel] – 2 stars. The premise was so good, and the hype was real. Unfortunately, the execution doesn’t match. On the brightside the artwork was gorgeous.
The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski – 2 stars. Ugh. Nope. I’m not sure if this is a series that I will be continuing. I dislike these characters. I really do.
Life and Death: Twilight Reimagined by Stephenie Meyer – 3 stars. This didn’t hit me in the feels like Twilight did, but the ending redeemed it for me. As much as I would miss Nessie, I appreciate that Edythe gave Beau the choice that Edward never would have given Bella in book 1. Jessamine and Archie are my new Twilight OTP, hands down.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan – 3 stars. I wanted to love this one because JOHN GREEN, but it was average and I wasn’t in love with any of the characters. The story was fine, but mere curiousity kept me going and now I want to try David Levithan as a solo author.
The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer – Somewhere between 3.5 and 4 stars. This one is very Stephenie. An almost insta-love relationship, heavy on vivid descriptions and a false sense of security. I grew to love the romance and the action but it was a bit slow, hence the uncertain rating.
Superfail by Max Brunner [Graphic Novel] – 4 stars. Oh how cute can one book be??? I loved it. LOVED IT! We tag along as a group of defective superheroes attempt to save the world from The Man with No Name, and what ensues is a series of mishaps that are just to adorable to ignore. Release date: October 17, 2017. Get this one!
Caraval by Stephenie Garber – 4 stars. The ending saved this one for me, otherwise this would have been a 2.5 star read. I didn’t much care for the characters or their story, but I did like the idea of the game itself. However, the little teaser that the end left me with has me intrigued to read the next book. Hopefully it stops at book 2, otherwise this one would be equally drawn out and possibly bordering on painful.
With Malice by Eileen Cook – 5 stars. Now I need more Eileen Cook in my life. I loved the writing and the mystery of the whole thing and I felt so sorry for our main character. To have such extensive memory loss must be terrifying, made only worse by the fact that you’re being accused of killing your best friend. Horrifying.
If I Die Before I Wake by Emily Koch – 5 stars. OMG! I can’t wait for you all to read this one. I’ll do a full review closer to the release date (Jan. 11, 2018). Stay tuned
Stars Above by Marissa Meyer – 5 stars. How I missed the Lunar Chronicles and that wonderful universe. My only qualm with this book was the lack of Iko. My three favorite of the short stories were: After Sunshine Passes By (poor Cress), The Mechanic and Something Old, Something New. The little glimpses into my favorite character’s past and that one beautiful look at their future, was everything that I expected to get from this collection.
A Thousand Splendid Suns Khaled Hosseini– 5 stars. Be prepared to have your heart hurt and your blood pressure raise because this one touches some nerves. A beautiful story of two women who deserve happiness and peace, but instead get saddled with abuse while living in war torn Afghanistan. This one hurts guys, but it’s so worth it.
In progress: Juniper Lemon’s Happiness Index (10% complete), Mask of Shadows (9% complete).
BOOKS READ: 11
PAGES READ: 4150 plus 35 pages of Mask of Shadows and about 13 pages of Juniper Lemon = 4198
What have you read for the month? Tell me, tell me!