Posted in blog, Books

August Book Wrap-Up

Starfish by Akemi Dawn

Rating: 4/5

I got lucky with most of the books I read this month and I was happy that I picked this one to start out August with. We follow Kiko, an artist who is hoping to escape her emotionally and mentally abusive mother by going away to an art college. Kiko has a hard time with her anxiety and self-confidence because her mom is constantly telling Kiko she isn’t as beautiful as her because of her Japanese heritage on Kiko’s dad side, while her mom is white. At a high school party, Kiko runs into her childhood best friend, they reconnect, and after some trauma from Kiko’s past comes back to haunt her, she goes with her friend to his home in California. I absolutely loved how the author depicted anxiety, trauma, and struggling with one’s identity. I completely related to Kiko about her anxiety and struggling with identity.

Credence by Penelope Douglas

Rating: 4/5

This is probably the most “scandalous” Penelope Douglas book I have read so far. The main character, Tiernan, lost both of her parents suddenly and ended up going to live with her father’s stepbrother Jake and 2 step cousins, Noah and Kaleb, in the middle of nowhere, Colorado. I just want to say this now, but this book is probably not for everyone. There was taboo content and some abuse. But even though there were some tougher subjects in this book, I still enjoyed it and I liked how Douglas handle these topics and troubled main character. 

Devolution by Max Brooks

Rating: 3/5

I feel like this book got a lot of hype, so I had decent expectations for Devolution. The subject matter that great and interesting but I felt like there was so much exposition. I thought most of the characters were cheesy and I just didn’t believe the relationships at all. I just didn’t care much about this book at all honestly.

Corrupt by Penelope Douglas

Rating: 4/5

So, I am a part of a Penelope Douglas fan page on Facebook since I started reading her books a few months ago. Everyone on that page is absolutely in love with the Devil’s Night series, Corrupt being the first book in that series. This book is a multiple timeline book following Erika or Rika, who is in love with Michael Crist, her boyfriend’s older brother who seems to have no interest in her at all. We also follow Michael’s point of view. Michael and his closest friends are stars of their high school basketball team and they are infamous in their town for causing trouble. They want revenge against Rika for past events that landed Michael’s friends in prison. This is a dark romance. It could be read as a standalone book since there is no cliffhanger but there are 3 other books that follow Michael and his friends, known as the four horsemen.  

Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova

Rating: 4/5

Another brilliant book by Zoraida Cordova! Absolutely loved it! Renata is the main character who was kidnapped as a child by royal officials who want to use her powers of stealing memories to benefit the king. As an adult she is now part of the resistance group trying to protect those in the kingdom with powers. In order to save someone, she cares about, she must play double agent. The magic system is unique, and the world building is beautiful. Highly recommend 

The Glass Hotel by Emily St John Mandel

Rating: 3/5

This was probably my biggest disappointment of the month. I had read from several people that Mandel’s storytelling and this book specifically would be perfect for me, but it just fell short. There are some ghosts, white-collar crimes, and a bunch of characters that make decisions that just don’t make sense to me at all. I still want to try another book by Mandel because I have heard good things about her books. This one just wasn’t for me. 

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J Maas

Rating: 5/5

Sarah J Maas has done it again! I am very impressed and satisfied with every book I have read by her so far. This book is a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and I am just a sucker for these kinds of books everyone! If you love faes, romance, magic, danger, and strong passionate characters, check this book out!

Obsidio by Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff

Rating: 3/5

Third book in the Illuminae Files and guys sadly, I ended still not liking this series. I had such high hopes for this series because it seems like everyone loves it but it just wasn’t for me. All the main characters from the first two books are back and trying to survive. It was just okay. 

Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon

Rating: 3/5

I was a part of a book club in the month of August where they ended up picking this book to read. Even though I enjoy YA books, in general, YA romance is sometimes too predictable and that was the main problem with this book. It was cute and sweet like most YA romance books are, but I guessed exactly what was going to happen from the cover and the first page. It was a quick and easy read. If you like YA romance and are okay with predictable story lines, you would enjoy this book. It was just okay for me.  

Rebel Mages (Wand Fasted/Light Mage) by Laurie Forest

Rating: 4/5

This book contains two novellas from the Black Witch Chronicle series, Light Mage and Wandfasted. If you are going to read this series, I would recommend reading this book after the third book, The Shadow Wand. Rebel Mages will not spoil anything if you did read it before the main books, but it just adds more to this incredible world and explains a bit more the history that led to the events in the trilogy.

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Rating: 3/5

I feel like everyone probably knows the story of Dr Jekyll and My Hyde so I am not going to go into a description of it but I will just say, I enjoyed it. Not my favorite classic but definitely not the worst I’ve read. 

Beautiful Thing That Awaits Us All by Laird Barron

Rating: 4/5

This collection of short stories was filed with supernatural and cosmic horror and each story was unique. There were several stories that were disturbing but in a good way?! I am usually not a fan of short stories, but these were definitely a great read.

Bookish and the Beast by Ashley Poston

Rating: 5/5

This is the third book in the Once Upon A Con series and man, I really like this whole series. Filled with nerds and book talk, great friendships, supportive parents, and a super cute romance; this book just had everything I wanted.

Serpent and Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Rating: 5/5

Now that I have read this book, I can safely say that I am mad at myself for how long it took me to finally read it! It was so great! Probably one of the best hate to love stories I had read in a while. We follow Lou, a witch, and Reid, a witch hunter, who end up married and of course, Reid has no idea Lou is a witch. There is an ongoing war between the Church and the witches, Lou being in the center of it. I can’t wait to read the sequel that just came out on the 1st of September. 

My Best Friend’s Exorcism by Grady Hendrix

Rating: 4/5

Another great book by Hendrix. After reading The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Killing Vampires by him, I was excited to continue reading his books. Abby and Gretchen became best friends when they were in fifth grade but now that they are in high school Gretchen has become very strange. This leads Abby to believe her best friend is possessed. It was a fun supernatural horror story. 

Romanov by Nadine Brandes

Rating: 4/5

I really liked this book that follows a fantastical story loosely based on Anastasia Romanov and the entire Romanov family. Anastasia “Nastya” is learning to dabble with magic in order to help her younger brother and hopefully protect her family. A young handsome soldier and Nastya slowly become friends but can she fully trust anyone outside of her family. I have always been interested in Romanov history and legends. Romanov was a new and fun approach to this story. 

The Shadows by Alex North 

Rating: 5/5

I loved this book! It was a perfect horror thriller that definitely got me into the fall mood. We follow Paul who is coming back to his childhood town because his mother is dying. Paul hadn’t been back to that town in 25 years because it holds too many bad memories. The book follows two timelines, the present and the Paul’s past leading up to a gruesome murder by a couple of his friends. Strange events are starting up again, more murders, and an urban legend that haunted Paul and those close to him. Highly recommend 

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

Rating: 5/5

When everyone kept telling me how Stormlight Archive is Sanderson’s true epic high fantasy series, even more than Mistborn, I wasn’t sure I believe them just because I didn’t think it would have a different writing style than what I am used to from Sanderson. Boy was I wrong. This is definitely a different style and formula than any other Brandon Sanderson book I have read before. It reminded me a lot of Jordan’s writing style in The Wheel of Time. I can’t wait to find out more about this world, these characters, and especially the magic system. Kaladin was incredible, almost reaching Vin from Mistborn level. 

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Rating: 5/5

This was probably one of the best books I read in the month of August. I haven’t read a Gothic horror this great in a long time. A “haunted” house in the middle of the woods in Mexico, creepy hallucinations, strong and determined main character; I just loved it all. 

Ninth House by Leigh Barbugo

Rating: 4/5

Ninth House was the first book by Leigh Barbugo that I have ever read, and I was not disappointed. I will say it wasn’t my favorite book of the month, but it was still good. I enjoyed Barbugo’s writing style a lot. In this book, we follow Alex who is a student at Yale and is a member of a secret society that is in charge on mentoring the activity of the other secret societies at Yale. There is magic, demons, and murder mysteries. The main character has a lot of pain and issues to deal with and I really liked how Barbugo wrote this character. I am excited to continue reading more from Barbugo and continue this series when more books come out.

Posted in blog, Books, Fantasy, geek

May Book Wrap-Up!

Hey everyone! Once again I am sorry that my wrap-up is a little late again but I just moved to another state so that took up a lot of my time. My boyfriend and I moved from Arizona to Washington State and I could not be more happy! It is absolutely beautiful up here and our dog, Wallaby, is loving the huge backyard. I am excited for this new chapter in my life and I have registered to classes at a college here in Washington so I am ready!

undefined Rating: 5/5

The book is the sequel to A Curse So Dark and Lonely which I absolutely loved so I was so excited to read this book! My favorite characters from the first book were back and the author showed us more of the world which just made me love this series even more. I was worried about the new characters that were introduced just because I loved the original characters so much but quickly, the main characters won me over. I highly recommend this series especially if you love retellings of Beauty and the Beast.

undefined Rating: 5/5

 We follow different timelines throughout this book, one during WWII times in England and then in present day. One timeline follows the grandmother of Gillian and the other one is Gillian’s present day. This story was heart wrenching and moving, filled with mystery, family drama and suspense. I was sucked into this world from the very beginning.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

In this book, we follow Ana who is Jesus’ wife. As someone who grew up Catholic and just love learning about religions in general, I was interested in this book even if it was historical fiction. Ana was a great character all around, who knew herself very well and knew that she didn’t want to follow the norm for women back then. When she meets Jesus, her life changes and soon, she needs to find out who she is again because she realizes she is not just Jesus’ wife. This was a very interesting read and I am excited to read more by this author in the future. 

undefined Rating: 4/5

During WWI, there were many spy networks and one of them was the Alice Network, run by women. We follow two different timelines, one by a spy from the Alice network during the war and another one set years after WWII, following a young woman looking for her cousin. These women end up crossing paths and working together to find out the truths and justice they have been seeking. 

undefined Rating: 3/5

My best friend Lauren has been recommending me this series for a long time and I am so happy I finally picked it up. We follow Sophie and Agatha who are taken from their normal life into a world full of magic and fairy tale characters. They end up going to the School for Good and Evil in a magical forest, but things are not as they expected. Even though this series is considered a middle grade, I think anyone who reads it will enjoy it.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

I have always been skeptical about the Shadowhunter books by Cassandra Clare for no real reason honestly. I had only read the first book in the Mortal Instruments series so when Chain of Gold came out, I figured I wouldn’t read it. In the end, booktube won and I just could not resist! I am happy to say that I love this world now and I can’t wait to read more Shadowhunter books soon. I love that Cassandra Clare writes several LGBT characters in this story and the characters, besides one, were all fun to read. Excited for the next book in this series to come out. 

undefined Rating: 3/5

This is the second book in the School for Good and Evil series, and it was okay. Book 2 and 4 are probably my least character in this series only because a few of the characters act immature for quite a while. In the first book, the main conflict is between good and evil characters but in this one, it is between boy and girls. It was not as captivating as the first book, but it was a fun, easy read in the end. 

undefined Rating: 4/5

This story was a sweet and simple YA romance that added some political plot lines throughout it. It felt real and what I appreciated was how the romance was not the main point of the book, the friendship and political aspects were. Plus, there was a decent amount of diversity so that was a nice change. 

undefined Rating: 4/5

Book 3 of the School of Good and Evil and this one was probably my second favorite in the series so far! For a middle grade book, there are some dark subject matter throughout these books and the author is not afraid of killing or harming main characters. One of the best things about this book and the whole series is how often I am surprised by a plot twist. In this book, we meet some new characters that just add so much to the world like Merlin! Yes, the Merlin from the Arthur legends. He is just as whimsical as ever. If I wasn’t sold on this series before, I was after reading this one.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

I loved this book so much which I was not sure about because I am always iffy about romance books. In this story, we get a Cinderella retelling but set in the modern and geeky world. I loved that both main characters were such nerds about a science fiction TV show, just imagine Star Trek. I was rooting for these characters from the very beginning. 

undefined Rating: 3/5

I was excited for this book because I am currently studying towards my forensic science degree, but I was a little disappointed. I liked learning about his cases and how he used blood spatter analysis for the first time. His personal life was kind of boring though and I felt like the book lagged.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

This is the sequel to Geekerella where we follow a few different characters that we met originally in Geekerella. Still set in a fan convention, we follow a movie star that feels trapped in this sci-fi role and a girl who feels invisible that wants to make a difference in the world. The writing in these stories is simple but engaging and again, like with the first book, you will find yourself rooting for all the main characters. 

undefined Rating: 3/5

If you guys couldn’t tell, I love historical fiction books especially those based on WWII era. We follow a woman named Hedy whose intelligent and very beautiful, who ends up married to a powerful man assisted with the Nazis. After hearing the Nazis’ plans in 1937, she flees to America to continue acting. The story follows her life as she works to help the US fight against the Nazis. It was a decent book, not my favorite but I was glad to have read it.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

So, The Bride Test is typically a sequel to The Kiss Quotient, but I did not know that when I picked it up. Luckily, you don’t have to read the first one in order to understand what is happening with the second book. We follow Khai, Vietnamese and autistic, whose mother decides the only way that he can find a woman to marry is to arrange a marriage with someone from Vietnam. Esme goes to America in hopes of finding a better life for herself, her daughter, and her mother. Slowly we see Khai and Esme grow close but Khai needs to find out whether, he can accept love.  

undefined Rating: 5/5

It is safe to say that The Black Witch was the best book I read in the month of May. I didn’t know anything about it, but the synopsis caught my attention, so I decided to pick it up. We follow a naive, sheltered young woman named Elloren, who’s grandmother was the most powerful witch that “saved” her people from the evil ones. At university, Elloren finds out slowly that everything she thought was true was a lie and she joins the resistance to try and protect everyone she loves. I have already read the second book in this series during the first couple of days in June and it just got better. I can’t wait for June 9th when the third book in the series comes out!  

undefined Rating: 4/5

In this book, we follow Stella, a brilliant mathematician with Asperger’s, looking to learn how to have sex and be in a relationship. To teach her these skills, she hires a male escort named Michael. Extremely sexy, lovable romance, and great characters. The author, Helen Hoang knows how to write romance books that I want to read.  

undefined Rating: 3/5

On to the fourth book in the School for Good and Evil series and unfortunately, it was my least favorite of these books. I loved the new villain that was introduced but the other original characters were frustrating me honestly. I felt that it was too long for the plot that we got but the last 100 pages almost made up for the rest of the book.  

undefined Rating: 4/5

Trigger warning for this book, there is a lot of psychological and physical abuse of children by a parent. They were several parts of this story that were hard to read because of the gaslighting and manipulation but it was a great read in the end. One of the best lines in this book was, “I loved my mother because I didn’t know I had a choice. I had to love her.” It was just so powerful and moving. Highly recommend!