Feeling good about my reading this week, so let’s get into it!
Currently reading: I started Girl, Woman, Other on Monday. I was already feeling like I wanted to read something for Pride Month, and on top of that, it was also Juneteenth. So, better way to celebrate than by reading black authors and about black queerness. I’m also about to finish Sea of Monsters already. These audiobooks are going quick which is great cause I eventually want to listen to all of Riordan’s other series, spinoffs and otherwise.
Recently finished: The last book I finished was Something Wilder. I still need to write my review for this one, but it was definitely different than I was expecting! I really enjoyed it overall, though.
Reading next: Ok, it’s actually embarrassing how many times Scorpica and Last Night at the Telegraph Club have been in a WWW Wednesday post. I need to read these just so I can stop feeling shame every time I write one of these. Pride Month is ending soon, and I need to get to these, I just need to. And obviously, I will be picking up The Titan’s Curse as soon as I finish Sea of Monsters and it becomes available from the library.
I saw Michaela do this tag, and almost couldn’t believe we’re halfway through the year. That can’t be right, can it? Apparently, it can. I’m looking forward to looking at my reading so far this year, so here we go!
BEST BOOK YOU’VE READ SO FAR IN 2022?
This decision was tough. I read a lot of amazing romances (The Love Hypothesis, The Roughest Draft), but this one was just so epic and all around great. This is one I recommend to many different people when they ask for recent release recommendations.
BEST SEQUEL YOU HAVE READ SO FAR IN 2022?
I was really torn between this one and Our Violent Ends, but I remember feeling so hyped up when I finished this one. OVE was so good, but the cliffhanger in this one was absolutely insane. I’m so, so excited to continue on with this series in 2022.
NEW RELEASE YOU HAVEN’T READ YET BUT WANT TO?
I’ve mentioned this book several times on my blog so far and STILL haven’t gotten to it. It looks incredible, so maybe June will be the month for it.
MOST ANTICIPATED RELEASE OF THE SECOND HALF OF 2022?
No thoughts, just Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood. If you know, you know.
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2022?
It’s really hard for a romance to miss the mark with me, and everything about Anatomy just seemed perfect for my tastes. Romance and grave-digging? Automatic yes. This one wasn’t the worst book I read this year by far, but it was definitely the biggest disappointment for my expectations.
BIGGEST SURPRISE OF 2022?
The plot for this book was so weird, and I really wasn’t into it at first. It turned out to be a really, really sweet story that I still think about quite a bit.
FAVORITE NEW AUTHOR OF 2022 (DEBUT OR NEW TO YOU)?
Women in STEM and romance. Again, if you know you know.
The depiction of addiction in this novel is so heartbreaking. Especially if you’ve personally dealt with addiction in the family like I have, Matty’s struggle is so hard to read. I think I was tearing up within the first 5 pages.
BOOK THAT MADE YOU HAPPY?
This book was so magical, and while the contents weren’t all that happy, the vibes were so beautiful with this one I felt happy finishing it!
FAVORITE BOOK TO MOVIE ADAPTATION YOU’VE SEEN SO FAR THIS YEAR?
I haven’t finished watching yet (I’m trying to stretch it out for as long as possible), but the adaptation is amazing so far. They really nailed the Massachusetts Summer vibe which is very nostalgic for me.
FAVORITE REVIEW YOU’VE WRITTEN THIS YEAR?
It’s easier to write about books you absolutely loved, so it makes sense that my favorite writing was in the review for Book Lovers. This is one I feel that I was really able to capture my feelings well, and it seemed like others agreed when I posted this one.
MOST BEAUTIFUL BOOK YOU BOUGHT OR RECIEVED SO FAR THIS YEAR?
I haven’t read this one yet, but it was absolutely 90% a cover buy. I mean, just look at it. Need I say more?
WHAT BOOKS DO YOU NEED TO READ BY THE END OF THE YEAR?
I have way too many books that I would love to read this year, but I try not to make myself feel guilty about not reading books (unless they’re ARCs). So, I’m just picking this one ARC I’m so excited to read–and still don’t know how I was approved for it.
How are you feeling about your reading so far this year?
Jada Townsend-Matthews is the most reviled woman in America after turning down a proposal on a reality dating show. When she comes home to lick her wounds, Jada finds herself working at San Diego’s newest cupcake bakery, Sugar Blitz, alongside the uptight owner and professional football player Donovan Dell.
When a reporter mistakenly believes Jada and Donovan are an item, they realize they can use the misunderstanding to their advantage to help the struggling bakery and rehabilitate Jada’s image. Faking a relationship should be simple, but sometimes love is the most unexpected ingredient.
I was soooo looking forward to a fun new fake dating story when I was given this eARC. Baking and fake dating are quite literally the perfect combo. So I was very optimistic going into this one and even as the story started. I liked how Jada and Donovan were originally introduced with their own respective stories.
Unfortunately, the book quickly went downhill for me. The story just felt too focused on sticking to the fake dating plot without really delving into the characters’ actual relationship. It almost felt like things were just happening to Jada and Donovan because “this is how the romance arc is supposed to go”.
I felt no connection between the two. Really disappointing because this story could’ve been the perfect amount of cute and spice.
In the end, it just felt really underdeveloped to the point I almost DNF’d at 60%. Even the side characters felt pushed to the side.
I feel like this story had a lot of potential, though, especially at the outset. I wouldn’t completely rule out reading something else by this author, but this one was just a disappointment.
Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the eARC in exchange for an honest review.
Another beautiful Wednesday in June! Halfway through the month and it’s one of my best friends birthdays! So I’ll be celebrating that this week as well as trying to read more.
Currently reading: I just got Something Wilder on my Kindle from the library after a good few weeks wait. I got about 2% in last night before I passed out in bed. Not much to say on this front. For once, I’m only reading one book at a time. That will definitely change later, but as of right now, that’s it!
Recently finished: I finished The Paper Palace, Fake It Till You Bake It (review copy), and The Lightning Thief all within the past couple days. Reviews to come still for the first two! I loved Paper Palace but was pretty disappointed with FITYBI. Percy Jackson will always be amazing.
Reading next: I have no reading plans aside from continuing with the Percy Jackson series! That means Sea of Monsters is up next (as soon as it comes off hold from the library). I have a physical copy, but I want to continue with the audiobooks which I really enjoyed the first of. I’ll probably start a physical book as well soon, but no clue what that will be.
What are you reading today? Comment or link your WWWs below!
Happy June everyone! I hit a low point in the middle of May. After reading several books to start the month, I kinda dropped off until the last week. Several personal things were hindering my mental health which meant very little reading. I also was traveling quite a bit which contributed to the dip.
That being said, I still managed to read 7 books! Way better than I did in April. I’m taking a four hour train ride tomorrow, so I’m hoping to start June off strong as well.
Surprisingly, Young Adult was my most read genre. This is surprising just because I haven’t been super into YA for the past few years. I’ve definitely been getting into some of the popular YA books though recently, and I am definitely not mad about it.
I’m not feeling too discouraged about this month, but I definitely want to try to do better in June. I’m taking a beach vacation, and I’m hoping the change in scenery will push me to read a bit more.
Wow, not having a set work schedule is really getting to me! I had noooo idea it was Wednesday until I saw everyone posting their WWWs lol. I’m leaving for New York tomorrow, so it’s good I’ll get this in before leaving.
Currently reading: I’m about halfway through the audiobook of The Lightning Thief. It’s just as fun as I remember it to be, and it’s going very quickly, so I expect to finish it soon and be on to the next one! I’m also reading an arc of Fake It Till You Bake It. I’m a little wary of this one just because of the reviews. I’m not too far in, but it seems like a standard, run-of-the-mill romance so far to me–nothing to scoff at. We will see.
Recently finished: I read the ending of The Hawthorne Legacy while at a 3-hour hair appointment the other day. It took a little pushing to finish, just because it is a plot-heavy book. Definitely worth it, though.
Reading next: I read one page of The Witch’s Heart which I don’t technically consider started, so I’m hoping to really get into that one this next week. I’m also really feeling like reading Last Night at the Telegraph Club, especially for Pride Month, so that one is definitely coming on vacation with me.
The year is 1926, and Shanghai hums to the tune of debauchery.
A blood feud between two gangs runs the streets red, leaving the city helpless in the grip of chaos. At the heart of it all is eighteen-year-old Juliette Cai, a former flapper who has returned to assume her role as the proud heir of the Scarlet Gang—a network of criminals far above the law. Their only rivals in power are the White Flowers, who have fought the Scarlets for generations. And behind every move is their heir, Roma Montagov, Juliette’s first love…and first betrayal.
But when gangsters on both sides show signs of instability culminating in clawing their own throats out, the people start to whisper. Of a contagion, a madness. Of a monster in the shadows. As the deaths stack up, Juliette and Roma must set their guns—and grudges—aside and work together, for if they can’t stop this mayhem, then there will be no city left for either to rule. [From Goodreads]
This series blew me away. Wow. I was very wary going into the series. I haven’t seen that much about them, and what I have seen has been mixed. I also just am not a fan of gang stories and the gratuitous violence that goes along with them. This series has me rethinking that stance.
I just have never read anything like this series (except for, ya know, Romeo and Juliet). But seriously, what a refreshing take on YA fantasy. I listened to the audio for both books, and they were something I looked forward to pressing play on every day. The story was so unique, and I never knew what was going to happen. Gong also sets up the political conflicts between gangs, nationalists and communists so well–it felt very realistic and really helped to fill in the historical setting.
What really made this duology were the characters. I fell in love with everyone, especially Juliette and Roma’s star-crossed arc. I am usually suspect of multiple perspective stories–sometimes it can be hard for the author to develop all characters equally. That was not the case with this series. Every character got their own satisfying arc and end, and I loved reading each of their perspectives.
The only aspect of this series I can criticize is the ending, which I felt was slightly rushed and had too much packed into it. I was getting a little confused about the different sides everyone was playing on. This was such a small thing compared to how much I loved the rest of the books, though, so I was overall happy with how the ending turned out for everyone.
This series definitely deserves more hype from YA lovers.
If you’ve read this series, what did you think of it?
Woooo, Tuesday! This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by Jana at That Artsy Reader Girl) topic is exciting because I immediately thought of several characters that would fit. Bookish characters! Authors love to write about people who love books because, well, write what you know, right??
This is the book that immediately jumped out to me. It is my favorite book of all time, and Daniel is just so sweet in it, too. The whole plot centers around Daniel’s quest to find more info about a mysterious book. So glad I could finally include this one on my blog!
from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
This one has also been a favorite for so long, and if you’ve read the book, you know Liesel deserves a spot on any bookish character list.
People often forget how big of a bookworm Bella is, probably because the movie really glosses over it. Fact is, Bella is a book freak and it is her hobby, for everyone who says she has no life. I will defend her to my death.
This book had me sobbing. Elliot is so sweet to Macy, and they literally bonded over reading books and giving each other words they learned from reading. I shouldn’t have to say anything else about this one.
Again, Emily Henry is the queen of bookish romance. Nora and Charlie are perfect and I will not take any criticism at this time.
I definitely thought it would be easier to find books I’ve read with bookish characters! I think there are probably more, but I just don’t remember them all because some will only briefly mention a love of books. I tried to pick ones where reading was essential to the story or the character.
Nora Stephens’ life is books – she’s read them all – and she is not that type of heroine. Not the plucky one, not the laidback dream girl, and especially not the sweetheart. In fact, the only people Nora is a heroine for are her clients, for whom she lands enormous deals as a cutthroat literary agent, and her beloved little sister Libby.
Which is why she agrees to go to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina for the month of August when Libby begs her for a sisters’ trip away – with visions of a small-town transformation for Nora, who she’s convinced needs to become the heroine in her own story. But instead of picnics in meadows, or run-ins with a handsome country doctor or bulging-forearmed bartender, Nora keeps bumping into Charlie Lastra, a bookish brooding editor from back in the city. It would be a meet-cute if not for the fact that they’ve met many times and it’s never been cute.
If Nora knows she’s not an ideal heroine, Charlie knows he’s nobody’s hero, but as they are thrown together again and again – in a series of coincidences no editor worth their salt would allow – what they discover might just unravel the carefully crafted stories they’ve written about themselves. [From Goodreads]
I was a little wary going into this one. I absolutely adored both Beach Read and People We Meet on Vacation, but it’s been a while. I was worried that Henry’s writing wouldn’t live up to the hype I created for her in my head. I forgot about the actual magic that exists in her writing.
There was so much to love about this book. Henry said she wrote this one as a response to the common Hallmark romance trope where the main character escapes the work-obsessed partner back home in the city in small-town America. She says, “what’s wrong with being that partner back home who loves her job and the city?” This premise meant a lot to me. Before my grandma passed, we would go to her house and watch Hallmarks all night. I love Hallmark movies, but this trope is a commonly discussed and made-fun-of one in my family. This book honestly felt like home, and I loved seeing the ways Henry plays with these tropes to subvert them.
One thing that I think sets Henry apart from other romance authors is the humor she injects into her books. Characters in romances often have a very quirky sense of humor that is hard to relate to. Henry’s heroines have a little edgier and smarter sense of humor. They seem like real people that I know and am friends with. Actually, the humor kind of reminded me of the humor in Gilmore Girls which I watched over and over with my mom as a kid. The dialogue is just smart and really makes the characters come alive.
I think this is why, in the end, the romance works so well. Nora and Charlie feel like people you could bump into at any moment in the city because you get to know them so well through their dialogue. Like I said, Emily Henry has literal magic in her writing to make you feel for these characters at every turn.
Not to mention, she provides just the right amount of angst balanced with some give to make an insanely satisfying romantic ending. If you haven’t read any of Emily Henry’s romances, they are not hyped up this much for nothing–go read them!
Happy Wednesday, and Happy May!! I’m feeling very optimistic about my reading this month. I’ve already finished one book, close to finishing another, and have lots of free time for reading coming up since finishing classes for the ’21-’22 year.
I was able to get through a lot of These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong last night at work. Technically, I’m not supposed to have headphones in while at the circulation desk, but I think my customer service was top-notch, regardless. I’m 69% done with the audiobook, and I hope to finish this soon because it is so good. Nothing like I imagined it to be. Just a truly wild story.
I also went to Barnes and Noble yesterday to pick up Book Lovers by Emily Henry which I had to start immediately, obviously. Only about 40 pages in, but I can tell I’m going to love it. And because I couldn’t just get one book at B&N, I came home with about 6 or 7 books (post on my haul forthcoming).
I’m reading a third book as well: Of Beast and Burden by Kelsey Kicklighter. I know, wild. I usually like to be reading one book in each format: e-book, audiobook, and physical copy. This one is an e-book, and it’s a review copy, coming out next Tuesday. I’m about halfway through. It’s a quick read, but pretty underwhelming so far.
I finished The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes the other day (review to be published in the next few days). It was my first read of May, and it’s making me feel pretty optimistic about my reading habits this month! It was definitely an interesting read, and I’m looking forward to starting the next book soon.
Like I said, I’ll be starting The Hawthorne Legacy soon. I could wait on this, but I checked it out from the library, so I only have about a week and a half to actually get to it. I also think that if I don’t pick it up now, I won’t ever get to it. It’s not that I didn’t like the first one, I just wasn’t completely sucked in. I do want to see what happens next, so I’m making myself pick this one up.
My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell is part of the haul I brought home yesterday. I didn’t know anything about it until I saw it on the shelf. I’ve obviously seen it everywhere, I just never really looked into it. After reading the back though, I’m absolutely intrigued and super looking forward to starting it.