Wrap-Up, June 2018

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My goal was to read ten books this month, but I only ended up reading six. Close enough, right? I have a few trips planning for July, but I may be able to squeeze in some quality beach reading while I’m away! We’ll see.

Anyway, here’s my wrap-up for the month of June:


Books I’ve Read and Reviewed

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Reviews:

The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang
Legendary by Stephanie Garber
The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware


Other Books I’ve Read:

37903770Something about Neil Gaiman’s writing just makes his books so compelling. His style is unique, and some might even say jarring, but it works. I didn’t want to put this book down… in fact, I didn’t. I read this entire book in just a few hours.

Norse Mythology reads like an anthology. Each chapter is a different short story, but they are all connected and build off each other until we reach Ragnarok. You don’t need to be familiar with nordic myths to understand this book. The extent of my own background was what I’ve seen of Thor and Loki in the Marvel movies… which, it turns out, is pretty accurate personality-wise. You have Thor, the arrogant, cocky, somewhat dim-witted powerhouse. There’s Loki, the conniving, mischievous troublemaker. There’s Odin, the wise all-father. These, I was familiar with. But in Norse Mythology, I was also introduced to several new worlds and gods that I had never before heard of.

If you are in the mood for an interesting, captivating, and informative read on mythology, look no further than this book.


Currently Reading:

32620332Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.


What I (Might) Read Next:

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There’s more than one way to stoke the flames of revenge…

Charlotte Rowe spent the first seven years of her life in the hands of the only parents she knew—a pair of serial killers who murdered her mother and tried to shape Charlotte in their own twisted image. If only the nightmare had ended when she was rescued. Instead, her real father exploited her tabloid-ready story for fame and profit—until Charlotte finally broke free from her ghoulish past and fled. Just when she thinks she has buried her personal hell forever, Charlotte is swept into a frightening new ordeal. Secretly dosed with an experimental drug, she’s endowed with a shocking new power—but pursued by a treacherous corporation desperate to control her.

Except from now on, if anybody is going to control Charlotte, it’s going to be Charlotte herself. She’s determined to use the extraordinary ability she now possesses to fight the kind of evil that shattered her life—by drawing a serial killer out from the shadows to face the righteous fury of a victim turned avenger.

Library Haul (aka Drowning in a Pile of Books)

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📚Recently, I looked through the Boston Public Library catalog and found many books that have been on my TBR list for awhile, so I did what any sane person would do and checked out all of them. I’m not sure if I’ll get to reading every book before the deadlines, but I guess challenge accepted?

Anyway, here’s a list of my library finds!

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I’m so excited to read this book! The reviews have been amazing, and it sounds like the perfect summer read.

 

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Bone Music by Christopher Rice

The synopsis for this book makes it sound like just the kind of book I’ve been wanting to read.

 

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Bird Box by Josh Malerman

This book has been on my to-read list for a very long time, so I was really excited to find it available!

 

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The Big Ship at the Edge of the Universe by Alex White

This book just came out and was available as an eBook! My favorite author loved this book, so I feel like I will too despite my sci-fi aversion.

 

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Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James

What’s not to love about a law firm romance? This was recommended for people who love The Hating Game, so count me in.

 

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Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

I’ve never met a K.A. Tucker book that I didn’t like. I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this for awhile!

 

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A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

Now that the third books is out, it’s about time that I return to this series.

 

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Pucked by Helena Hunting

A funny sports romance is the kind of book I need in my life right now.

 

Other Library Finds:

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Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh
The Wolf Road by Beth Lewis
Half a King by Joe Abercrombie
The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
All Our Wrong Todays by Elan Mastri
The Dry by Jane Harper
Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman
The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

On the Waiting List:

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All the Ever Afters by Danielle Teller
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
The Book of M by Peng Shepherd
Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna
My Oxford Year by Julia Whelan
A Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir
Bear Town by Fredrik Backman
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Some of these books I’m waiting for won’t be available for awhile (I’m #62 in line for Little Fires Everywhere) but judging by the list of books I already have, that’s probably a good thing!

Most Anticipated Releases of Summer, 2018

img_1821This summer is chock-full of books I can’t wait to get my hands on! I’m leaving out the books that won’t be released until 2019, or books that I have already received an advanced reader copy of.

These are just a few of my most anticipated upcoming releases this year:

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Vengeful
by V.E. Schwab

Release Date: September 25, 2018

Sydney once had Serena—beloved sister, betrayed enemy, powerful ally. But now she is alone, except for her thrice-dead dog, Dol, and then there’s Victor, who thinks Sydney doesn’t know about his most recent act of vengeance.

Victor himself is under the radar these days—being buried and re-animated can strike concern even if one has superhuman powers. But despite his own worries, his anger remains. And Eli Ever still has yet to pay for the evil he has done.

 

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The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker
Release Date: August 7th, 2018

Calla Fletcher wasn’t even two when her mother took her and fled the Alaskan wild, unable to handle the isolation of the extreme, rural lifestyle, leaving behind Calla’s father, Wren Fletcher, in the process. Calla never looked back, and at twenty-six, a busy life in Toronto is all she knows. But when Calla learns that Wren’s days may be numbered, she knows that it’s time to make the long trip back to the remote frontier town where she was born.

She braves the roaming wildlife, the odd daylight hours, the exorbitant prices, and even the occasional—dear God—outhouse, all for the chance to connect with her father: a man who, despite his many faults, she can’t help but care for. While she struggles to adjust to this rugged environment, Jonah—the unkempt, obnoxious, and proud Alaskan pilot who helps keep her father’s charter plane company operational—can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. And he’s clearly waiting with one hand on the throttle to fly this city girl back to where she belongs, convinced that she’s too pampered to handle the wild.

Jonah is probably right, but Calla is determined to prove him wrong. Soon, she finds herself forming an unexpected bond with the burly pilot. As his undercurrent of disapproval dwindles, it’s replaced by friendship—or perhaps something deeper? But Calla is not in Alaska to stay and Jonah will never leave. It would be foolish of her to kindle a romance, to take the same path her parents tried—and failed at—years ago. It’s a simple truth that turns out to be not so simple after all.

 

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The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White
Release Date: September 25th, 2018

Elizabeth Lavenza hasn’t had a proper meal in weeks. Her thin arms are covered with bruises from her “caregiver,” and she is on the verge of being thrown into the streets . . . until she is brought to the home of Victor Frankenstein, an unsmiling, solitary boy who has everything–except a friend.

Victor is her escape from misery. Elizabeth does everything she can to make herself indispensable–and it works. She is taken in by the Frankenstein family and rewarded with a warm bed, delicious food, and dresses of the finest silk. Soon she and Victor are inseparable.

But her new life comes at a price. As the years pass, Elizabeth’s survival depends on managing Victor’s dangerous temper and entertaining his every whim, no matter how depraved. Behind her blue eyes and sweet smile lies the calculating heart of a girl determined to stay alive no matter the cost . . . as the world she knows is consumed by darkness.

 

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Dance of Thieves
by Mary E. Pearson

Release Date: August 7th, 2018

When the patriarch of the Ballenger empire dies, his son, Jase, becomes its new leader. Even nearby kingdoms bow to the strength of this outlaw family, who have always governed by their own rules. But a new era looms on the horizon, set in motion by a young queen, which makes her the target of the dynasty’s resentment and anger.

At the same time, Kazi, a legendary former street thief, is sent by the queen to investigate transgressions against the new settlements. When Kazi arrives in the forbidding land of the Ballengers, she learns that there is more to Jase than she thought. As unexpected events spiral out of their control, bringing them intimately together, they continue to play a cat and mouse game of false moves and motives in order to fulfill their own secret missions.

 

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Wildcard by Marie Lu
Release Date: September 18th, 2018

Emika Chen barely made it out of the Warcross Championships alive. Now that she knows the truth behind Hideo’s new NeuroLink algorithm, she can no longer trust the one person she’s always looked up to, who she once thought was on her side.

Determined to put a stop to Hideo’s grim plans, Emika and the Phoenix Riders band together, only to find a new threat lurking on the neon-lit streets of Tokyo. Someone’s put a bounty on Emika’s head, and her sole chance for survival lies with Zero and the Blackcoats, his ruthless crew. But Emika soon learns that Zero isn’t all that he seems–and his protection comes at a price.

Caught in a web of betrayal, with the future of free will at risk, just how far will Emika go to take down the man she loves?

WWW Wednesday: June 13th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, which asks you to answer the following questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

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The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

*ARC received from Netgalley via the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A summer camp thriller/mystery novel is just what I needed in my life right now. I’m so happy I got approved for this!

 

 

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Lifel1k3 by Jay Kristoff

I never thought I would read another book about robots, but here I am. I’m really excited about this one! All the reviews have been amazing.

This will be the first book I’ve read by Jay Kristoff.

 

 


Recently Read

Circe by Madeline Miller
The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang


What I (May) Read Next

31179006[1]Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved.

 

40182855In the idyllic Atlanta enclave of Sugar Mills, four women are struggling to keep their marriages alive in the hectic whirl of middle-class suburbia.

Adventurous Jess adores her sportswriter husband, but he’s more likely to fall asleep than respond to her creative attempts at seduction. Delia agreed to an open marriage when she had nothing to lose; but now that the reality of her choice has settled in, she feels a void no direct sales commission can fill. Infertility has left ex-tennis star Carras feeling powerless and frustrated. PTA president Maizy is desperate for acceptance in the Sugar Mills community, and with her health-conscious husband.

Enter Parker, a gorgeous young tennis pro moonlighting as a male escort. Could a little well-orchestrated jealousy cure the marital blues? Will a risky scheme put the spark back in their suburban marriages, or burn everything they’ve worked for to the ground?

WWW Wednesday: June 6th, 2018

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WWW Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, which asks you to answer the following questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading

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The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

This is a unique romance with a autistic female protagonist and mixed-race male escort love interest. I’m having a hard time putting this one down, so I’ll probably have it finished by the end of the day.

Review to come!

 


Recently Read


Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
Legendary by Stephanie Garber


What I (May) Read Next

31179006[1]Two proud kingdoms stand on opposite shores, with only a bloody history between them.

As best friend and lady-in-waiting to the princess, Branwen is guided by two principles: devotion to her homeland and hatred for the raiders who killed her parents. When she unknowingly saves the life of her enemy, he awakens her ancient healing magic and opens her heart. Branwen begins to dream of peace, but the princess she serves is not so easily convinced. Fighting for what’s right, even as her powers grow beyond her control, will set Branwen against both her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved.

 

36626748[1]Two Truths and a Lie. The girls played it all the time in their tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale. Vivian, Natalie, Allison, and first-time camper Emma Davis, the youngest of the group. The games ended when Emma sleepily watched the others sneak out of the cabin in the dead of night. The last she–or anyone–saw of them was Vivian closing the cabin door behind her, hushing Emma with a finger pressed to her lips.

Now a rising star in the New York art scene, Emma turns her past into paintings–massive canvases filled with dark leaves and gnarled branches that cover ghostly shapes in white dresses. The paintings catch the attention of Francesca Harris-White, the socialite and wealthy owner of Camp Nightingale. When Francesca implores her to return to the newly reopened camp as a painting instructor, Emma sees an opportunity to try to find out what really happened to her friends.

Yet it’s immediately clear that all is not right at Camp Nightingale. Already haunted by memories from fifteen years ago, Emma discovers a security camera pointed directly at her cabin, mounting mistrust from Francesca and, most disturbing of all, cryptic clues Vivian left behind about the camp’s twisted origins. As she digs deeper, Emma finds herself sorting through lies from the past while facing threats from both man and nature in the present.

And the closer she gets to the truth about Camp Nightingale, the more she realizes it may come at a deadly price.

 

29456569[1]On a floating junkyard beneath a radiation sky, a deadly secret lies buried in the scrap.

Eve isn’t looking for secrets—she’s too busy looking over her shoulder. The robot gladiator she’s just spent six months building has been reduced to a smoking wreck, and the only thing keeping her Grandpa from the grave was the fistful of credits she just lost to the bookies. To top it off, she’s discovered she can destroy electronics with the power of her mind, and the puritanical Brotherhood are building a coffin her size. If she’s ever had a worse day, Eve can’t remember it.

But when Eve discovers the ruins of an android boy named Ezekiel in the scrap pile she calls home, her entire world comes crashing down. With her best friend Lemon Fresh and her robotic conscience, Cricket, in tow, she and Ezekiel will trek across deserts of irradiated glass, infiltrate towering megacities and scour the graveyard of humanity’s greatest folly to save the ones Eve loves, and learn the dark secrets of her past.

Even if those secrets were better off staying buried.

Finding Time to Read (When Life Gets in the Way)

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Finding time to read can be tricky, especially if you have a busy and unpredictable life. If you have a lot going on, sometimes reading is just one additional task that you just don’t have time for. The trick is to stop thinking of it as an obligation and start thinking of it as something that you enjoy doing. We should all find time for the things that make us happy, especially something as important and enriching as reading books. Reading sparks your creativity, improves your memory and focus, and allows you to experience the world in different ways through different perspectives.

So how do we make time?

1. Start reading in the morning when you’re drinking your coffee, or at night before you go to bed. These are the parts of the day when you have the least going on, so you won’t feel guilty about setting aside time in your busy schedule.

2. Bring a book with you to work or school, so that you have something to do in your downtime. I like to read on my lunch break or during my morning commute.

3. Use a Kindle or download the Kindle app on your phone to read eBooks. It seems like it would be hard to read books on a phone, and maybe it takes some getting used to, but this is how I read a majority of my books. Your phone is something you always have on you, so it’s really easy to open the app and start reading when you’re waiting in line or walking to the bus stop! Just don’t be like me and trip on the sidewalk when you’re not paying attention.

4. Find books that interest you enough to want to read them. If you force yourself to read something that doesn’t really capture your interest, that’s only going to make you come up with excuses to avoid reading.

5. Forgo your seventh binge of The Office to read a new book instead. I love Netflix as much as anyone, but sometimes you need to put the laptop away and take out a book instead.

6. Reread books that made you love reading in the first place (though I’ll probably skip on rereading Twilight).

7. Go to the library. Books can be expensive to buy, and having a return deadline can keep it from lingering on your shelf for too long.

8. Use GoodReads to track books you’ve read and want to read. This site is also a great resource to find books you might have never heard of. You can also set a yearly reading goal, and GoodReads will keep track of your progress.

9. Find books that fit in with your current hobbies or habits. I spend a majority of my free time in the summer laying on beaches, so I usually always have a go-to beach read handy!

10. Take up reviewing. Not only is this a great way to read more (free) books, but it’s also fun way to learn what kind of books you do and don’t like!

Status Update (+ A Court of Frost and Starlight Mini-Review)

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It’s been a busy couple of months for me, so I figured it’s time for a May update! I’m way behind on my reading goal and have a lot of ARCs to catch up on, but I’ve managed to at least make a dent in my TBR.


Mini-Review:

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A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Rating:★★

It’s not that I didn’t like this addition to the ACOTAR books, it’s just that I didn’t think it was really…necessary?

I love Rhysand and Feyre, but I think we can officially say that their story has come to a close. I don’t feel as excited reading about them anymore, though I’m glad they’re getting their happy ending. This novella succeeded in getting me excited to read the next few books, which I predict will be about Cassian/Nesta (confirmed), Azriel/Elain (I need this), and the Lucien/Jurian/Vassa friendship trio.

I really feel the need to express my opinion about the confirmed next book in the series, which may be an unpopular one: I hate Nesta. She doesn’t come across as a strong and interesting character to me. She’s just horrible. I’ve never wanted to reach inside a book and strangle a character more. She’s selfish, mean, and self-pitying, for literally no reason. How could she do a complete 180 with Cassian and treat him the way she does? It doesn’t make sense. She also blames Rhys, Feyre, and the inner circle for becoming Fae, but like…bitch please. Enough.

Now that I have that off my chest, I’ll mention another thing that bothered me about this book: it was kind of boring. There was a lot of exposition (especially at the beginning) which was just tedious to slog through. I kept waiting for there to be at least some form of plot, but there never really ended up being one. The novella is entirely character-driven, which is totally fine, except I don’t feel like it added anything to this series. Nesta is still a bitch, Rhysand is still sexy, Cassian is still funny, Azriel is still my precious muffin, Elain is still kind of pointless, and Lucien is still kind of absent.

I’m glad that Feyre and Rhys’s story was wrapped up nicely, but now I’m ready to read about other characters in this world.


Currently Reading:

3595974034726469Circe by Madeline Miller
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

I started Circe, then went on vacation, then came home and got distracted by shiny new books, but as soon as I finish Sky in the Deep I’ll be going back to it!

 


ARCs to Read and Review:

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On Hold (For Now):

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Waiting on a Wednesday: Anticipated Sequels

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*Waiting on a Wednesday is a weekly feature in which I spotlight upcoming releases that I can’t wait to read!

This week, I’m focusing on to-be-released sequels that I would give up a limb for.

  1. The Wicked King by Holly Black

  2. The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden

  3. Legendary by Stephanie Garber

 

Can we just take a moment to admire these covers?! They’re absolutely amazing.

The Cruel Prince killed me, it was so good! I can’t wait to read The Wicked King and find out what’s in store for Jude and Cardan. I wouldn’t even hesitate to sell my soul for an ARC of this.

The Bear and the Nightingale and The Girl in the Tower became two of my favorite books. I didn’t think there was any way the second could be better than the first, but somehow it was. Katherine Arden is a phenomenal writer, and I can’t wait to read the third and final book in this magical series. It almost (almost) has me wishing for winter.

Caraval was one of my favorite reads of 2017! This book was so fun and twisty. I was riveted until the very last page, and I’m counting down the days until Legendary hits shelves!

 

Mystery & Thriller Week

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It’s Mystery & Thriller Week on Goodreads, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to talk about some books that I have read and plan on reading!

Recently Reviewed:

Reviews:

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney

Currently Reading:

I received an ARC of Our House by Louise Candlish from NetGalley.

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When Fiona Lawson comes home to find strangers moving into her house, she’s sure there’s been a mistake. She and her estranged husband, Bram, have a modern co-parenting arrangement: bird’s nest custody, where each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons at the prized family home to maintain stability for their children. But the system built to protect their family ends up putting them in terrible jeopardy. In a domino effect of crimes and misdemeanors, the nest comes tumbling down.

Now Bram has disappeared and so have Fiona’s children. As events spiral well beyond her control, Fiona will discover just how many lies her husband was weaving and how little they truly knew each other. But Bram’s not the only one with things to hide, and some secrets are best kept to oneself, safe as houses.

To Be Read:

  1. Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

    This is (one of) my Book of the Month picks for the month of April, along with Circe by Madeline Miller. The synopsis sounds so creepy and weird… I can’t wait to read it!

  2. Keep Her Safe by K.A. Tucker

    My first K.A. Tucker book was Ten Tiny Breaths, which is one of my favorite books. I’ve read several other spin-off books in this series, but I haven’t touched one of her books in awhile. I’m especially excited to read a thriller book from her, since many of her books are romance.

  3. Bird Box by Josh Malerman

    I’ve had Bird Box on my TBR for over two years. I don’t know why I haven’t read it yet, but something about this book has kept it near the top of my list. It sounds right up my alley. Also, apparently it’s getting made into a movie?! Starring Sandra Bullock?! So now I have no choice but to read it as soon as possible.

Wrap-Up, March 2018

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I’ve been pretty busy, so it’s been a pretty slow month for reading overall. Still, I’ve managed to review a couple books and read some others that have been on my TBR. I just came back from a trip to Miami and I have another trip coming up in April, but my goal is to read at least ten books in the coming month (don’t hold me to it).


Books I’ve Reviewed:

To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo
The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw
Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan


Other Books I’ve Read:

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
This book was so fun! I didn’t know how much I wanted to read a romantic comedy until I had it in my hands. I fully intended on saving this for the beach on my trip, but I couldn’t help but finish it in one day. It was funny, sexy, and very enjoyable. Why can’t I have a Joshua Templeman in my office? Life isn’t fair.

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
I’ve wanted to read another Neil Gaiman novel after reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I’m so glad I finally did. This book was dark and fantastical and mysterious. Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar were probably the cruelest/funniest/most endearing villains I’ve ever encountered, and I grew to adore all the characters. The last 100 pages or so had me on the edge of my seat, and I love how everything unfolded.


Currently Reading:

I told myself I was only gonna read one book at a time, but here I am, starting two new books. To be fair, I picked up Sometimes I Lie from the airport and started it mid-flight. I’ll probably finish that one, then move on to finishing the The Snow Child.


Next to be Read (For Now):