Mini Reviews – November Wrap Up

I have (or had since I’m posting this the month after writing) two months left and I want to keep up my reading momentum.  I really need to buckle down and start saving again so the more I read the less I shop.  I’m setting myself a goal for November for 20 books.  I think this is absolutely possible as I’m off the entire week of Thanksgiving, but who knows – Christmas is coming and shopping for gifts will need to start soon. 

What did I read this month? Well, first I only got to 8 or the 20 I was hoping for so I wasn’t off to a great start but to be fair to myself I got sick during Thanksgiving week (which tends to happen when I take time off).

The Lost Ticket by Freya Sampson – I really enjoyed The Last Chance Library so I’d been looking forward to this book for a while now.  Did I like it?  Yes.  Was it as good as Last Chance Library?  No.  Overall a great story, I cried at least once, I feel like we skimmed the surface of the “romance” in the book; it felt a little too insta love.  Still an author I’ll be sure to follow for future books. 3/5

The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan – Continuing on my re-read to finish the series’, book 4.5 in the Percy Jackson series.  This one has three novellas, character interviews, and information/drawings on the Gods.  Something quick, skipping it would have been ok, it was just a few adventures from between books. 3/5

Stranger Things:  Into the Fire by  Jody Houser – A graphic novel set in the world of Stranger Things that follows the kids from the lab that escaped trying to find others that made it out.  Being as this didn’t really have the Stranger Things people it was just ok for me.  3/5

Stranger Things:  The Bully by Greg Pak – A graphic novel set in the world of Stranger Things.  This barely had any of the characters from the story so I’m happy it was so short because I wasn’t drawn in at all.  I finished it though so. . . 3/5

The Very Secret Society of Irregular Witches by Sangu Mandanna – This was a book I was very excited for – when you compare The House in the Cerulean Sea I’m in, plus this was a buddy read with some book friends (Daphne included).  In short?  I LOVED IT.  It was 100% its own story but I can see where it had the same vibes of Cerulean.  I truly love a found family and the sprinkle of magic didn’t hurt. I’m happy I ordered a special edition because this is a book I will want to read again. 5/5

Percy Jackson and the Singer of Apollo by Rick Riordan – A quick novella where Percy and Grover run a quick errand for a God.  Cute as always.  3/5

A Very Krampus Holiday by Katee Robert – A kindle unlimited novella just in time for the holiday season.  A quick read and as always I’m always surprised by how much Katee can fit into such a small novella (that’s what she said).  3/5

The Death God’s Sacrifice by Jenny Nordbak – Book one in the Peculiar Tastes series, a monster romance series by different authors but set in the same world.  I picked these up because Katee Robert’s book in the series is a character in another series she has that I’ve been reading.  I’d say this one was just ok, though this story felt like it wasn’t over.  I didn’t see anything upcoming on the author’s page but there is a lot of potential to keep going.  3/5

As you can see I failed miserably at meeting the goal this month but I did hit 200 books for the year so far! I hope I can do better to close out the year with a bang.

What about you? What are you reading? What are your top 2023 anticipated titles?


Mini Reviews – October Wrap Up

Another month of being behind on posting what was read, it is over halfway through November!  I’m going to attempt to again make monthly reading lists just for the sake of really needing to downsize the books I own.  It is getting out of hand and my shelves are maxed out but something tells me I’m only going to read library books or books I know I want to keep, it is a vicious circle. SIGH.  

Suicide Forest:  The Mystery of Aokigahara by Roger Harrington –  This was something I found on Kindle Unlimited.  I’ve always wanted to know more about this forest, I guess morbid curiosity but the grammar was horrible.  I had to reread some parts several times to understand the meaning behind certain pieces.  3/5

Barbarian Mine by Ruby Dixon – Book four in the Ice Planet Barbarians series.  I got this one from KU because I didn’t want to start a full book yet.  This one was a bit strange.  The lack of understanding the language felt awkward to read  at times.  I like that we are finally seeing some of the babies be born though.  3/5

Ice Planet Honeymoon:  Rukh & Harlow by Rudy Dixon – Book 4.5 in the Ice Planet Barbarians series.  These are just ok, no real story on the honeymoons since they are busy with “other” things. 3/5

A Mirror Mended by Alix E Harrow (audio) – Book two in the Fractured Fables series.  A quick listen, entertaining but some things seemed forced and not like the first story.  The vibe was off.  3/5

A Lady of Rooksgrave Manor by Kathryn Moon – Book one in the Tempting Monsters series.  I started this one a long time ago and gave up but with kindle unlimited I’m trying to go back to the books I started.  I actually like this one, there was a story though not much of one.  I look forward to the next book in the series.  3/5

I Choose Darkness:  A Holiday Essay by Jenny Lawson (audio) – A super quick listen, just an essay about Halloween.  Cute.  Nostalgic.  3/5

Night Country by Meslissa Albert (audio) – Book two in The Hazel Wood series.  I like where this story went but the build up seems a bit much so the ending was more rushed to me.  I want the pay off.  3/5

The Boy Who Didn’t Come Home by Melissa Albert (audio) –  Book 1.5 in The Hazel Wood series. This follows Finch after they separated at the end of book one.  A good read but not mind blowing.  3/5

Ice Planet Holiday by Ruby Dixon – Book 4.75 of the Ice Planet Barbarians. This was a longer novella surrounding the girls as they try to recreate the holidays to cheer everyone up.  I liked this but the small glimpse we got of the new couple makes me sad because I would have loved a full book with them.  There was the potential for a great story.  3/5

Aokigahara:  The Truth Behind Japan’s Suicide Forest by Tara A. Devlin – Another Suicide Forest book on KU.  Another book with a severe grammar issue.  I do find the forest interesting, I would like to read something a bit more put together about it.  3/5

The Company of Fiends by Kathryn Moon – Book two in the Tempting Monsters series from KU.  This one follows a MC that performs at the theatre featured in book one.  I did not care for this one much.  The “why choose” is fine but it didn’t feel like it made sense.  It felt more like I don’t want to lose her so I’ll do this as opposed to actually wanting/being ok with the set up.  3/5 

Fairy Tale by Stephen King (audio) – Hands down the best book I’ve read all year!  This is something completely different that I would never associate with SK’s name and it was really good.  You give me someone who would do anything for the dog and I’m in.  Spoiler alert if you need – the dog lives.  I was very worried and had to spoil the end for myself to make sure. This would have been 5 stars but at the end it felt a bit weird and some of the scenes didn’t mesh into the story IMO.  4/5

Other Birds by Sarah Addison Allen – This is my first book by this author and it will absolutely not be my last.  I’m not sure where I saw someone talking about this one but I was intrigued enough to pick it up from the library.  This is one of the best books I’ve read in a long time, I think I got about 30% in or so and knew I’d read this again and that it would be a five star read unless the story took a dramatic turn.    For anyone struggling with loss, anxiety/rejection, etc this is your book.  It read quickly, had multiple POVs (which I personally love) and found family, something we all could do with a bit more of.  5/5

Lightlark by Alex Aster (audio) – Book one in the Lightlark series.  First, Booktok is toxic AF.  This book wasn’t bad, but very predictable – typical of a YA trope.  I’d definitely pick up the second book but it would more than likely be borrowed from the library.  This did have Hunger Games vibes but mixed with Caraval.  The romance(s) could have used a bit more work and the villain aspect/consequences of their actions would have come off more believable if there was a bit more work put in.  3/5

The Kraken’s Sacrifice by Katee Robert – Book two in the Deal With a Demon series.  This was extremely disappointing.  This was not a monster romance, there was too much going on with the amount of grief and then the aborted pregnancy so if anything more like monster fiction?  While both topics that are 100% ok to include in books and talk about that took up at least 80-90% of the book and while I generally enjoy this author’s books it felt like she was trying to force too many contemporary elements into a book that isn’t long enough.  I’m hoping this will pick back up on the momentum for the next book.  3/5

Stranger Things: Science Camp by Jody Houser – A graphic novel set in the Stranger Things world, this takes place while Dustin is at camp.  Cute, these are really helping tide me over until whenever the next season comes out though I know for a fact I will run out way before that point.  3/5

Stranger Things and Dungeons & Dragons by Jody Houser – A graphic novel set in the Stranger Things world, this shows the introduction to Dungeons & Dragons so fantasy within a fantasy.  Cute, though the more I see him the more annoyed I am with Mike. 3/5

The Ballad of Never After by Stephanie Garber (audio) – Book two in the Once Upon a Broken Heart series.  SIGH.  I think I’m just growing away from YA books because my God I want to punch this girl.  I had to quit, maybe I’ll be in the mood to continue at a later date but this was just too juvenile – much more so that I’d say for a YA and for the second book in a series.  DNF

Let’s see how long it takes me to post November’s wrap up next month, LOL. What are you guys reading? Any recs?

Have a great holiday break!


Mini Reviews – July Wrap up

I really want to start working on clearing out my book shelves at home so I did a small purge (very small, didn’t even make a dent) and set up another bookshelf to get stacks off the ground and be able to see what I have available.  Will I start reading those this month?  Probably not, but it is a start!  

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert – Book one in The Hazel Wood series.  This is a reread to continue on with the series, I couldn’t remember much of my first read.  When rereading I always leave my rating the same as my initial read but I’m not sure why I rated this 5/5?  If I were to rate again I wouldn’t go over a four.  The MC had so much anger and we were left in the dark for so long that I just didn’t see the magic so to speak again.  4/5

Tales from the Hinterland by Melissa Albert – Book 2.5 in The Hazel Wood series.  This is the series of fairy tales that the other books are based on.  These were good, but most seemed like there could have been a bit more to the story.  3/5

The Shadows by J.R. Ward – Book 13 of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  The best part of starting this book means I’m done with the Fallen Angels series and there is no looking back!  I can guarantee if I ever reread this series again that it will be left out.  I’m torn with this series now.  Do I still love the characters?  Absolutely, but the way they talk is a bit ridiculous and I’m not sure if the newer books have grown at all (this book came out in 2005) but I hope they have.  The amount of toxic talk is starting to be upsetting.  Also I miss the books being about one set of characters.  From what I can see storyline wise we had three lone characters, one sibling set,and about four couples.  This count is off the top of my head so it could very well be more and I’m forgetting something.  We jump so much that even though one “couple” is supposed to be the main focus I feel like if they get more page time it is only about 5-10 %.  Also, the outcome on this one left a lot to be desired.  3/5

The Story of Son by J.R. Ward – Book 13.5 (novella) of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series.  After the last book and the mediocre ending I was a little gun shy on continuing thinking I needed a little break.  There are more characters we’ve seen for awhile now that haven’t had their story or a revisit yet but we get a new character in Book 13 and they are the next book?  It’s technically a spin off series but I’m still a little salty.  Am I going to read either way?  Absolutely.  This was a novella, I want to say it was cute but kidnapping and imprisonment aren’t exactly happy events.  It involves two characters we’ve never seen.  Though in Caldwell there is no crossover.  I felt bad for the MCs but I’d have liked for the male MC to have met the brotherhood, or even a vampire that knows them, just to let you know that he will find others like him.  3/5

Stranger Things:  The Other Side by Jody Houser – I decided I’m going to start reading the Stranger Things graphic novels and books set between seasons or as alternate POVs of aired shows. to get more backstory and fuel for my season five theories, LOL.  This was a quick and interesting look at what Will experienced on his side in season one while everyone was looking for him.  If you like the show I think you will like these as well.  3/5

Stranger Things:  Six by Jody Houser – Honestly?  It was a bit boring but it was really small so it read very quickly.  This is about one of the other kids in the program with Eleven, though it doesn’t quite have the same feel. 3/5

Heartstopper Volume 4 by Alice Oseman – I was excited to pick this one up, the guys are fully a couple now and the new school year is getting started.  I really liked this one.  We didn’t just have HEA in this we saw a couple try to support one another through some difficult conversations with family and experiences with mental health issues.  A great look at a working relationship between two people that love each other and how you can support each other without trying to do the work for them, you should want yourself to get better if there are some issues to resolve.  4/5

Price and Premeditation by Tirzah Price (audio) – I really enjoyed this one! This is more the vibe of what I thought The Murder of Mr Wickham would be but didn’t get.  I think focusing on one book probably helped, it was a fun take on how to incorporate the murder mystery.  There were a few classic lines that stood out and I felt were done right, Lizzy though – SIGH – she was a little too much at times.  I look forward to the next Sense and Second-Degree Murder.  3/5

This wasn’t a great reading month, work has picked up which means I’m more tired than normal when I get home.  I did watch most of the Umbrella Academy though!  What are you reading?


Mini Reviews – June Wrap Up

Mythos by Stephen Fry (audio) –  I’ve always had a fascination about Greek myths so this was something I definitely wanted to check out.  While I can guarantee that I will not remember half of the stories (there was some serious crossover between partners) it was still a great book to listen to – Stephen is a great narrator.  The older I get the more I realize how horrible they were and that the people shown as heroes are really villains. 3/5

Immortal by J.R. Ward –  This is the last installment of the Fallen Angels series (though ANOTHER series starts to mix in with BDB moving forward).  I dragged my feet on this one.  I had to renew it FIVE TIMES at the library because I just knew I wasn’t going to like where it went.  As I said for the last book in the series I read – the story line has really gone off the rails and I’m not a fan and I don’t know what else to say it was clear grooming talk.  You cannot call someone a kid or girl for three books and then try to say she is a woman now.  She is the same age and I found this disturbing. The only reason I picked this up was because it was the last book in the series and obviously even then I struggled to get going.  It took almost 200 pages just to vaguely hint at who was the next soul to save, roughly half of the book so it was a slow start at that. Overall though?  This book was better than the last, but not by much.  A decent ending and a part of the ending leads me to believe we will see a couple characters again.  3/5

The Beast by Katee Robert – Book four in the Wicked Villains series. I really don’t know what to say about these books anymore – this one is Beauty and the Beast. . . and Gaston (Gaeton in the book).  They are very entertaining and I will definitely keep reading more of her books.  3/5

The Wedding:  The Beast Bonus Short by Katee Robert – Again I’m amazed at how much Ms Robert fits into her shorts. 3/5

Sparring:  The Beast Bonus Short by Katee Robert – A short for the guys along with some information about another series. . .  3/5

Seven Minutes in Heaven:  The Beast Bonus Short by Katee Robert – A quick visit with an old friend, LOL. 3/5

When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare – Book three in Castles Ever After.  This is the book that I saw on tiktok that motivated me to pick up this series as well as Spindle Cove since the next book is a crossover between the two series.  Hands down my favorite so far.  No real issue outside of their personal ones, no evil villain if you will.  This made me realize how much I miss Highland regency romance books.  I’ll definitely have to pick up more soon.  I think it is safe to say I’ll be reading more books by Ms Dare in the future.  4/5

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett (audio) – I bought a copy of this one forever ago but when I saw an audio version read by David Tennant and Michel Sheen (with a full cast) I knew I had to get it.  It moved quickly, much more upbeat for what I thought considering the plot, LOL.  I wasn’t blown away but it was fun.  I can definitely see this being a great show though so I’m looking forward to starting it soon.  4/5

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book one of the Bridgerton series. I’m doing a reread via audio because I’ve been talking to friends about them and a lot of details are fuzzy for me. I liked listening and picturing the actors this time.  It helps me see the characters more fully in my head.  3/5

The Duke and I:  Second Epilogue  by Julia Quinn (audio) – Reread, I really do love most of these added epilogues.  I really hope we get another generation of Bridgertons soon. 3/5

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn (audio) –  I have to say though I don’t care for some of the voices given to the men (just seems off) I’m really liking my revisit into the family.  There is more Colin interaction in the books and overall I think I like the stories a little more in the book world.  Anthony and Kate banter is a 10/10.  It helped that I got to see Kate and Edwina back as they should, not loving the same man.  3/5

The Viscount Who Loved Me: Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn (audio) – I really do love pall mall.  Long live the mallet of death! 4/5

Miss Butterworth and the Mad Baron by Julia Quinn – Anyone who has read the Bridgerton series knows about these books within the books.  Though a graphic novel I still found it charming, and what a lovely tribute to Tessa’s sister who worked with her on it before her death.  4/5

An Offer from a Gentleman by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book three of the Bridgerton series and one of my least favorite of the series.  I’d split them as the top four (not in order) being Anthony, Daphne, Colin, and Francesca with the bottom four Benedict, Elosie, Hyacinth, and Gregory (these in order). Show Benedict is so much better than book Benedict, there just isn’t a better explanation.  I have hopes they can change enough for me to like when his story comes about.  I’ve had many discussions with book friends about possibly his story being swapped entirely with Eloise, I think though based on Colin and Penelope getting bumped up he might get pushed back to season five and Eloise would be season four?  I’ll guess we will have to see!  3/5

An Offer from a Gentleman: Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book three’s second epilogue.  Now when I tell you Benedict’s book isn’t my favorite but this epilogue?  Probably my favorite of the entire series.  I adore Posey and her (quick) love story.  I truly hope that regardless of what happens with Benedict’s story that Posey still is a part in some way.  Timelines aren’t set in stone so I don’t see why we can’t see Posey and get her HEA.  5/5

To Sir Phillip, with Love by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book five of the Bridgerton series. 3/5

To Sir Phillip, with Love:  Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book five’s second epilogue.   4/5

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – Book one is the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series. With all the talk of the new Disney+ series I wanted to reread these to remind myself where I left off.  I only read part of the next two series so rereading everything also helps me continue and get through all of them, and boy are there a lot.  Though I didn’t remember all of the details it was fun to go back and see how much the movies originally missed.  5/5

The Lightning Thief (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – Since these are basically the same as the original story I’m just going to do ratings for the remainder below but honestly they were just ok.  They did change the story some, mostly not for the better, and I don’t like the fact that someone who may not be able to get through a full traditional book wouldn’t get the same story overall.  3/5

The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan – Book two in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.  Man, I flew through the first two books!  Though I started book one late the night before I read almost the entirety of it and book two in one day.  These books are just fun adventures that show mythology in a way that is easier to understand for kids and adults alike.  5/5

The Sea of Monsters (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – 3/5

The Titan’s Curse by Rick Riordan – Book three is in Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.  It’s fun rereading these, I forgot so much.  There is less interaction between Annabeth and Percy that I can remember though.  5/5

The Titan’s Curse (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – 3/5

The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan – Book four in the Percy Jackson & the Olympians series.  Rereading these, knowing more about mythology it’s hard to justify how “cool” the idea of demigods are because it is a lot of cheating and I’m not a fan.  The story was great, I love Backjack! 5/5

The Battle of the Labyrinth (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – 3/5

The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan – Book five of the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  This finishes my reread of the first series.  I only have a couple more books in this world that I’ve read so it won’t be long till it is all new to me.  I really liked these, like I said with the others – I forgot a lot of the details but I’m excited to move on to other series and check back on these guys later. 5/5

The Last Olympian (graphic novel) by Rick Riordan – 3/5

The Scandalous, Dissolute, No-Good Mr. Wright by Tessa Dare – A quick and absolutely adorable novella about two people who meet several times over the course of a few years.  4/5

Fangirl Volume 2:  The Manga by Rainbow Rowell and Sam Maggs – book two in the manga series of Fangirl.  I really loved it, I mean it’s a story I already know, but where it left off broke my heart.  5/5

The Office BFFs: Tales of The Office from Two Best Friends Who Were There by Jenna Fischer & Angelia Kinsey – While a fun listen the majority of the book was a bit of a repeat from their podcast so if you love to listen to that you will definitely enjoy the book.  They also read it themselves and has several special guests so overall a fun book to listen to and you can’t go wrong if you love The Office 4/5

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book four in the Bridgerton series. Penelope is by far my favorite.  I completely empathize with her on not being the one picked, etc and the old maid title.  What bothers me about Colin book wise is that it doesn’t feel quite natural how he falls in love with her but I have high hopes the show will correct this small problem.  I know so many that don’t like this book but I adore Penelope and she would never be at the bottom of my list.  4/5

Romancing Mister Bridgerton:  The Second Epilogue by Julia Quinn (audio) – Book four’s second epilogue.  Cute, makes me think I might like Eloise’s book more this time around.  We shall see.  4/5

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory – Book two in the Meant to Be series; books that are written by different authors and are modern day retellings of Disney fairytales.  BTB is based on Beauty and the Beast, a true classic, one of the OG (for me) of Disney movies that imprinted on the brain.  This is also my first book by the author.  I was excited for this – a fairytale retelling set in publishing? Check!  Overall I did enjoy the story but the cliche references came off too kitschy to me.  I feel like maybe having alternating POVs might have helped, I’d have liked to had some of Beau’s internal monologue.  3/5 

Adult Assembly Required by Abby Waxman – This is a standalone (though I’d argue more companion) book set in the world of Nina Hill so I was excited to read it as we are still dealing with bookstores within books and getting to revisit characters.Imagine my surprise as I started to read and realized Nina isn’t the first book for this world.  I wish I’d have known that – now I need to go back and check out the backlog of books, who knows if this is it.  I’m definitely not reading them in order of events so that is frustrating.  It was very cute and I loved seeing inside everyone’s head but it shifted between characters quickly. Also, we got such a small window of the relationship that I was left wanting to see more of their story.  Maybe there will be another book with more of these characters?  One can hope.  3/5

The Bookish Holidays of Nina Hill byAbby Waxman – A quick novella (set before the above book) following Nina and her new friends and family during the holidays.  Quick and cute.  3/5

Not a bad reading month! I can tell you July isn’t off to a good start though. What you are reading?

Adult Fiction · Chick Lit · Contemporary · Fantasy · Random Stuff · YA

Mini Reviews August Wrap Up

This is what I read in August. . . let’s see how September goes!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell  – I’m so excited to finally be in this world fully!  It’s hard to not see Harry Potter characters in my head while listening but I enjoyed trying to mash them up to see who is who. I loved it, and I loved what I think were small references to a few other author’s books. Nice to see Levi’s coffee creation lives on. 5/5

Ice Planet Barbarian Honeymoon by Ruby Dixon – Did I do the two month free trial of kindle unlimited to keep reading these? SIGH. MAYBE. It’s interesting enough to continue that’s for sure. This was just a quick inbetween story. 3/5

Rise of the Witch by C. Rochelle – This is a reverse harem surrounding Baba Yaga lore that I heard about through tiktok, the author popped up on my FYP.  When you see RH you think one thing but there was an actual story here and it was really good! The writing wasn’t as great though so I think I’ll stop here in the series. 4/5

It Happened One Summer by Tessa Bailey (audio)- This is my first book by Ms Bailey but it will absolutely not be my last.  The male lead is an example of why you shouldn’t settle.  WOWZA.  It moved fast but the story was great and the characters were likeable; fair warning the audio isn’t something I’d listen to without headphones.  Can’t wait to read Hannah and Fox’s story! 4/5

The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (audio) – I’ve listened to Daring Greatly at least five times so far but have never listened to this one.  I feel like I pick up something new with each listen of her books and this one I think will be the same (I will definitely have to relisten).  While I fully understand and agree with her thoughts I still can’t make myself follow her advice out of fear.  5/5

Neon Gods by Katee Robert (audio) – Another new to me author, though I’m not sure if this was a rec by a friend or something I found on TIktok too.  I know I see the author on my FYP so anything is possible.  This was a “spicy” retelling of Hades and Persephone.  It wasn’t a bad story, but something was missing for me.  I’ll probably continue with the series though.  3/5

The Box in the Woods by Maureen Johnson (audio) – This was my favorite in the series by far!  Loved the mystery in it and most of it was a complete surprise.  BUT. . .while I’m aware of Stevie being a teen I feel like Stevie made absolutely no growth or learned a single thing from the main series.  A lot of selfish things were done and I wasn’t a fan.  I feel like everyone else grew overall though.  I also think it would have been a little better reading versus audio, the narrator’s interpretation of the male voices threw me a bit. 4/5

Amelia Unabridged by Ashley Schumacher (audio) – I’d been wanting to read this one for a long time.  Something about it told me it would be special.  Grief is hard and it is unique to every single person.  It was a wonderful and heartbreaking book though it read more like I was reading a Nicholas Sparks novel.  I wouldn’t ever think of a teen speaking like these characters.  4/5

Tweet Cute by Emma Lord – This one is from my 12/12 (but really 13) recommendations from friends.  I’ll have more on that post but overall it was a quick and cute read.  3/5

Giant Days Volume 10 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – It took forever for my library to order these and I’ve been reading as they come in.  Such a cute series, I love Susan and McGraw. 4/5

Giant Days Volume 11 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – Cute as always.  Fingers crossed for Ed! 3/5

Giant Days Volume 12 by John Allison, Max Sarin, and Julia Madrigal – I know things arecoming to an end and I’m sad.  This is by far one of the cutest graphic novel series I’ve ever picked up.  4/5

Conventionally Yours by Annabeth Albert (audio) – Another 12/12 read from friends.  The narrators was very monotone to me at normal speed so I had to speed it up.  Fun fact – before I started reading this book I’d found book two without realizing this was a series and that I’d found book two, LOL.  A cute but awkward read. 3/5  

If the Shoe Fits by Julie Murphy (audio) – This was a bout of books choice.  This was a hard one to rate.  I loved the story overall and the audio – it gave me Beauty Queens from Libba Bray vibes but on the other hand I HATE the premise of The Bachelor.  The idea of a group of women fighting over one man makes me want to punch a wall.  You only see from Cindy’s POV as well so you just have to hope Henry’s intentions are pure.  I almost went with 3 stars on this one but there was a letter written by someone near the end that had me crying.  4/5

The Comfort Book by Matt Haig – A self-help/inspirational book about when you are feeling low and need a pick me up.  It’s definitely worth a look.  3/5

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin – This was a book I carried around for a long time, never opened, and when I finally sat down to read I was mad at myself for waiting so long.  I think the size was more off putting than anything but it moved quickly.  Glad I already have book two ready to go! 4/5

Rat Queens Volume 8 The God Dilemma by Ryan Ferrier, Moritat, Casy Silver, Priscilla Petraites, & Marco Lesko – To be completely honest I’m completely lost to the storyline of this series.  I have no idea what is going on anymore but I’m going to keep reading.  3/5


Mini Reviews/July Wrap Up

I haven’t read much this month, there has been a lot going on work wise and family wise.  I have decided I need to start writing again on some level so to ease myself into reviews again we are going to try for 1-3 mini review posts each month.  I’m not going to set an exact number in case I move on to full reviews or read one book and don’t post till the end of the month but either way I want to share what I’m reading and what I thought!  

Gideon Falls Volume 5:  Wicked Worlds by Jeff Lemire/Andrea Sorrentino – This story has turned dramatically, I don’t think I saw anything happening coming, and I honestly don’t know where it is going anymore.  3/5

Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon (audio) – Once I got past the quite horrible opening (not the writing, the acts happening) it actually was a fun story and not as steamy as booktok made it out to be.  Maybe that’s in later books?  I’d continue with the series.  3/5

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (audio) – This was a reread via audio to read the Carry On series.  Still adorable, still love it.  5/5

Fangirl Vol 1:  The Manga by Rainbow Rowell, adapted by Sam Maggs/Gabi Nam – Just another version of the above.  Adorable.  5/5

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (audio) – This is the second book I’ve read by Sally and it was pretty cute, there were multiple secondary characters I’d love to know more about, I hope we can revisit this setting again! 3/5

The Dead Mom’s Club by Kate Spencer – The second I knew this book existed I requested it from the library.  Every single person goes through grief differently but being another member of the Dead Mom’s Club in a somewhat similar way to the author helped me in feeling validated in how I grieve.  This made me feel more normal than I have in quite some time.  5/5

Lumberjanes Vol 17:  Smitten in the Stars and Vol 18:  Horticultural Horizons by Shannon Watters – These are like reading a friendly hug.  The adventures the Janes get up to are always entertaining.  3/5

What about you? What did you read in July?

Fantasy · retelling · Sci-Fi · SERIES · YA · YA Series

Winter by Marissa Meyer

WINTER by Marissa Meyer

Princess Winter is admired by the Lunar people for her grace and kindness, and despite the scars that mark her face, her beauty is said to be even more breathtaking than that of her stepmother, Queen Levana.
Winter despises her stepmother, and knows Levana won’t approve of her feelings for her childhood friend–the handsome palace guard, Jacin. But Winter isn’t as weak as Levana believes her to be and she’s been undermining her stepmother’s wishes for years. Together with the cyborg mechanic, Cinder, and her allies, Winter might even have the power to launch a revolution and win a war that’s been raging for far too long. 
Other books in series:  Cinder, Scarlet, Cress
Source:  audio via library 

SPOILER WARNING:  Being as this is the fourth book in a series I want to make it clear there will be spoiler moving forward in some way no matter how small.  If you haven’t read the series STOP HERE!


I know I procrastinate on final books in series but I dropped the ball on this one big time.  I first had to go back and reread via audio books 1-3 to refresh my memory of past books.

I think one of my favorite things about this series is that Ms Meyer finds a great balance of characters.  While one book is supposed to be about certain character there were so many other throwbacks to past books and their events that I never felt like anyone was forgotten along the way.  They were all main characters and though Winter wasn’t centered on Cress or Cinder (examples only – not playing favorites I swear!) they were still very much a huge part of Winter’s story and I loved that.  I definitely want to remain as spoiler free as possible for everyone but I can admit it did not end the way I thought which shocks me because I’ve gotten pretty good at guessing the outcomes, but I still have Stars Above to read so I’m curious if what I was imagining could still happen. . .

I did read this via audio (the hardback is massive!) so there was a small drawback for me on that because I wasn’t a huge fan of the narrator but more so for the voice she gave Winter.  It was hard to imagine her being a teen when it felt like the voice was of a 5-6 year old.

Story wise though?  I would love a whole spin off series centering on Thorne and Cress though  They are an absolute delight and I think there would be so many adventures they could get up to, so many new experiences for Cress, and I’d just love to check in with everyone

Such a wonderful and heart wrenching conclusion to a unique series.  There was loss, but also hope given and with hope anything is possible.



for everyone · Holiday Stuff · Let's Celebrate!

Inaugural Boo Box Barter

Photo by Scott Webb on Unsplash


Hello and Happy Fall!!

As you may or may not have seen over on twitter I was wishing for someone to host what I’ve been calling a “spooky season” or fall exchange.  After thinking about it for a bit I decided to give it a go myself!  This is truly my favorite time of year and I know so many others enjoy it too so I wanted to see if y’all might want to participate . . . and the majority said yes!  (Cue I’m so excited!! a la Jessie Spano.) So let’s get started on the first (annual?). . .


I’m a sucker for alliteration what can I say?

So do you love Spooky season?  Is Halloween your favorite holiday?  Dress mainly in black (the color of your heart)?  Love skulls, witches, or follow Doth the Doth and wonder how he is so hot?  WELCOME, you are among friends!!

Or maybe that isn’t your scene and you are more into scarves, knee high boots, seasonal Starbucks drinks (Salted caramel FTW!), love football, tailgating, baking, etc?  Love a world where there are Octobers?  WELCOME.  Any and everyone who loves fall and anything that it encompasses are welcome to participate!

Now, for a few rules.  (I know, but there is always at least one bad egg.)


Since this is the inaugural exchange I’m going to keep it US only.  I’m sorry international friends but being as I’m getting this started later than I’d like and I’m not sure how participation will turn out I think that will help us get a base.  If the exchange goes well I will 100% guarantee to offer an international option next pass.  I do have another exchange I was hoping to start in July next year but again the first will be US only to get started if it gets off the ground.  Look at it this way – we can work out all the kinks before you join and make it that much easier for you!

*  Exchange will be US only

* Sign ups will run from NOW (YAY!!!) till Tuesday October 22 at 5:00pm/c.  I’m hoping to have everyone sorted within a day or two after so that way if anyone is more into the spooky side of things everyone has a little time before Halloween items are gone from the shelves.  If the swap goes well I plan on moving up the timeframe next year to give more time for my fellow spooky friends.

*  You must be willing to commit to mailing a package in the group you sign up for.  Failure to do so will result in a ban in any exchange moving forward.  There will be two groups to choose from so please think before signing up.

*  You must be active in the book community on some level.  Whether it twitter, Instagram, or your actual blog you must be active somewhere that we can verify.  Now you do not have to have a blog to participate – just be active among friends!  We will be checking to make sure so please make sure we can see your profiles.  I do not have a facebook so that is not an option for verification.

*  Try and provide a contact.  Obviously this is a loose rule. . .we’d like for you to give someone and I will specify here that the buddy should be someone active on one of these social media options as well so that your giver should feel they can trust to understand if help if needed but if you don’t have someone we won’t deny your participation.  Just know your survey is all they will have to work with and you might be short changing how awesome you are!

*  Failure to answer all questions will result in you being removed from the exchange so please fill out the survey in full!  Please email your completed survey to us at gonepecanla@gmail.com with your group number and “Boo Box Barter” as the subject.  I will do my best to respond that it was received and you have been verified.

*  Tracking will be REQUIRED and you will need to email that number to us once mailed.  I will be keeping all tracking information for reference.  Direct shipments from amazon, etc will not be allowed.  This is supposed to be a box you made specifically with someone else in mind, someone out there is making the same effort for you!

* Follow the deadline to mail.  All packages should be mailed no later than Wednesday November 13th.  I don’t want this exchange to interfere with any Christmas exchange.  This is a fall exchange which for me covers Halloween and Thanksgiving times, not Christmas.  Please do your best to commit to this time frame but I understand things may come up.  Please contact me immediately if you might be a little late and why so that I can let your person know they haven’t been forgotten.

*  Thank your giver.  We are asking that if you want to chat on twitter to use the hashtag #booboxbarter.  As of right now we are not planning a chat since it is a quick turnaround but please use the tag to help each other out, ask more questions, share hints if you want, and to thank your giver!  If doing a post on your blog or a post on Instagram please use the same tag in your post!  It is always nice to share and I’d love to get the word out so we can do this swap again next year.

Ok!  I THINK that is it for the rules so without further ado here is the survey for the BOO BOX BARTER!

Photo by Andrés Gómez on Unsplash


1. Please provide your complete shipping address.  Remember US only this go!

2.  Which do you prefer, Spooky Season or Fall in general?  Maybe a healthy mix of both?  (I will do my best to pair with someone who loves the same things you do to help but no promises!)

3.  Age.  Are you over or under 18?  Both are welcome as long as you can meet all other requirements for cost and time frames.  If you want to provide your exact age I will do my best to match you to someone close that might share more with you but I’d never require they provide their exact age. 🙂

4.  Links to your social media, blog, etc.  What platform do you use the most?

5.  Contact – who is your person?  You can provide a social media link or direct email, whatever they are ok with but again please make sure it is someone in the community on some level and that they are aware you are making them a contact.  If you do not have contact you must clearly state you do not and again understand your person is relying strictly on what was written and what you show online.

6.  Which group would you like to participate in?  We have two to choose from:

  • Group 1 – Price is $15 – $20.  This cost does NOT include shipping and you should have at least one book plus a minimum of one goodie, etc.
  • Group 2 – Price is $25 and up.  This cost does NOT include shipping and should have at least two books plus a minimum of 2-3 goodies, etc.

7.  Wish lists – Please provide a either a link to (must be public!) a wish list dedicated to this swap or a list of titles below.  If you use a shared wish list or a list you purchase from you could end up with doubles and that wouldn’t be fair to your partner.   I’m asking that if you sign up for group one please provide a minimum of five books and if you sign up for group two please provide at least ten titles.  These titles should be books that have already been released.  You can include ARC titles as well but they do not count towards these requirements.  Not everyone has access to ARCs and they should not be expected.  If you certain book preferences please include that here as well (hardback, verses paperback).  Used books are allowed but must be in good condition.

8.  A few of your favorite things.  What are the things you love most about fall/spooky season?  Favorite scents?  Collections?  Favorite authors?  Maybe you have a genre of books you love to read at this time of year?  There are no wrong answers!  The more info you give your person the more chances of you getting the best box possible.

9.  Lagniappe.  Down south we have a word for a little bit extra.  You guessed it – it’s lagniappe. (Lan-yap) So did I forget something that you want to include?  Add it here!


US Only at this time

Sign ups are from the start of this post till Tuesday October 22 at 5:00pm/c

Must provide tracking to the gals at GP by deadline for mailing, end of day Wednesday November 13. EMAIL:  gonepecanla@gmail.com

So if you have further questions feel free to email directly or reach out to me (Kristina) on twitter – my DMs are open there.  I will do my best to respond as quickly as possible!

Contemporary · Guest Post/Interview · YA

The Way You Make Me Feel – Blog Tour: Guest Post – Favorite Food Trucks

Welcome to the first stop on the blog tour for. . .

The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo 

Clara Shin lives for pranks and disruption. When she takes one joke too far, her dad sentences her to a summer working on his food truck, the KoBra, alongside her uptight classmate Rose Carver. Not the carefree summer Clara had imagined. But maybe Rose isn’t so bad. Maybe the boy named Hamlet (yes, Hamlet) crushing on her is pretty cute. Maybe Clara actually feels invested in her dad’s business. What if taking this summer seriously means that Clara has to leave her old self behind? 

Continue reading “The Way You Make Me Feel – Blog Tour: Guest Post – Favorite Food Trucks”

Addresses Issues/Diverse · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance Challenge 2016 · Diverse Characters · YA

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

Talking to other people isn’t Kate Bailey’s favorite activity. She’d much rather be out on the lake, soaking up the solitude and sunshine. So when her best friend, Alana, convinces Kate to join their high school’s podcast, Kate is not expecting to be chosen as the host. Now she’ll have to answer calls and give advice on the air? Impossible.

But to Kate’s surprise, she turns out to be pretty good at the hosting gig. Then the podcast gets in a call from an anonymous guy, asking for advice about his unnamed crush. Kate is pretty sure that the caller is gorgeous Diego Martinez, and even surer that the girl in question is Alana. Kate is excited for her friend … until Kate herself starts to develop feelings for Diego. Suddenly, Kate finds that while doling out wisdom to others may be easy, asking for help is tougher than it looks, and following your own advice is even harder.

SOURCE:  ARC via fellow blogger (Thanks!)


Continue reading “Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West”