February Romance Wrap-Up 2019

Hello readers and welcome to my second ever Romance Wrap-Up. If you’re new here, I’m trying to not feel shame and embarrassment from reading romance and thus perpetuating the idea that women should feel ashamed for liking romance. I still feel super uncomfortable admitting that I read romance novels as much as I do, so to fix that, I am making myself talk about it more!

As far as I can tell, I only read two historical romance novels this month. I could have sworn there was a third one in there, and if I remember it, I will edit this later, but for now, here are the two HRs I read this month.

First up was a new series, and actually a new author, for me. I have heard some good things about Mary Balogh, so I picked up the first book in the Bedwyn Saga series. Each book follows a different sibling in the Bedwyn family. The first book, Slightly Married, follows Lord Aidan Bedwyn, the second son of a Duke who has always done the honorable thing and holds duty above all else. He meets Eve, who can’t resist helping anyone in need, and as such has amassed a heap of people who depend on her. Eve has hit hard times, but is determined to take care of all her dependents, and Aidan made a promise to her sister that he would look after her. This story was sappy and cheesy in all the best ways. I can’t wait to read more of this series.

The second romance I read this month was a long anticipated new release. The Ravenels series by Lisa Kleypas is one of the first series I picked up when I first started reading historical romance. Lisa Kleypas unfortunately sometimes has some scenes that are a bit cringey, particularly in her earlier works, so I am reluctant to call her my favorite romance author. However, I am always so deeply invested in the characters she creates, so she has rightfully earned her place as second favorite. Her newest book, Devil’s Daughter, follows West Ravenel and Phoebe (Daughter of Sebastien and Evie from the Wallflowers series). They were super cute together and I have been so invested in West’s transformation since the beginning of this series, so I adored this book.

Overall, it was a pretty good month for romance reads, even though I only read a couple. Let me know if you have any historical romance recommendations, or if there are other sub-genres of romance I should check out. Happy reading!

Advertisements

Re-Readathon 2019 TB

Hello readers! I announced last month that I would be helping to host the Re-Readathon, a readathon dedicated entirely to re-reading, from March 10th through March 16th. There are seven different challenges for this readathon. If you want to participate, you can make use of the challenges, but you don’t have to. Re-read at your own pace and to your own liking. I will be trying to complete all 7 challenges, and I have designed my TBR so that there is one book for each challenge. We’ll see how my reading goes throughout the week, but I might have to double or even triple up on a few challenges.

Without further ado, here are the challenges and the books I am hoping to read:

A Game Changer

East by Edith Pattou

161887

I’ve talked about this book quite a lot on my instagram, and even a couple times here. Before I read East, I wasn’t really into fantasy and I was overwhelmed by any book that was much longer than 200 pages. Then I read East based on a friend’s recommendation, and it opened up entire new worlds for me. The sequel to this came out last fall, and I have been dying to read it, but wanted to reread the first one first.

Give a Book a Second Chance

6321845

Like EastIce is also a retelling of East of the Sun and West of the Moon. I love this fairytale, and I have loved several retellings of it, but I HATED this book. I can’t entirely remember all the reasons I hated it, so I’m going to give it another chance.

Old Favorite

852470

I remember reading this book right before starting high school. Ally Carter has always been one of my favorite authors for fun and funny, action-packed reads. I’m excited to go back to where it all began.

Unpopular Book

2420340

This challenge can be taken a few different ways. You can choose a book that isn’t well loved, is under-rated, or maybe just not that many people have heard of it. I first read Aurelia almost exactly 10 years ago. I remember loving it, but I have never met or talked to anyone else who has read it. It seems to be decently popular on Goodreads, but I think it’s still obscure enough to count as my unpopular book.

Popular Book

24337

This is the fairytale retelling that everyone and their mom has read. I didn’t get around to reading Ella Enchanted until a couple years ago, but I liked it, so I want to do a quick re-read.

Childhood Favorite

475339

I have too many childhood favorites to count, but I like to go back to my Madeline stories every once in a while because I find it super comforting. I also wanted to throw in a super easy read.

New Favorite

30724132

If you’ve sensed a bit of a trend with the books I’m picking, that’s because I’m working on something that hopefully you’ll get to see soon. Since I’m re-reading for the readathon anyway, I thought I would use the opportunity to tackle some re-reads that I need to use for this project. Anyway, Geekerella is a great retelling of Cinderella. It’s super cute and nerdy and gives me so many squishy feelings. I read it for the first time last summer, and I’m pumped to read it again.

 

That’s it for my Re-Readathon TBR. Make sure to check back here on March 10th for the first day of the readathon, and check out my post about the readathon for more information on other hosts and giveaways. See you on March 10th, and until then, happy reading!

February Wrap-Up 2019

Hello readers! Another month has come and gone, so it’s time for another wrap-up. I read 13 books this month. As I did last month, I will be doing a separate romance wrap-up to talk about the historical romance novels I read in February, so stay on the lookout for that.

As for the other books, I started the month off by reading the sequel to Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. This book is called The Vanishing Stair and was one of my most highly anticipated releases of the year. I have been a huge Maureen Johnson fan for close to 10 years and her new series does not disappoint. I absolutely loved Truly Devious when I read it last year, and the sequel is possibly even better. I am eagerly anticipating book #3.

I’m trying to try genres that I haven’t tried much in the past, so next I picked up a graphic novel, Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisdom by Kelly Thompson. I was excited to experience a modern version of Nancy Drew as she is one of my favorite characters, but sadly, the portrayal of the classic detective in this graphic novel was very disappointing. Nancy acted nothing like the original Nancy Drew. She treated her friends poorly, kept information to herself when it could have helped keep people she cared about safe, and was overall a little too careless. I probably would have liked this story much more if it had been marketed as anything other than Nancy Drew.

Then I read what was another highly anticipated release for this year, 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. I was (and still am) kind of obsessed with The Hating Game, so I was really excited to read something new from this author. Again, unfortunately, I was disappointed. I liked the book in general, but when we got to the part of the story that happens in basically every romance where it was clear to literally everyone that our two main characters like each other, but there is an obstacle keeping them from being together, well, I was super unclear on what that obstacle was. I feel like a good 100 or so pages of angst could have been removed because the characters were being stubborn for no reason.

I’m only now seeing that there’s no wonder I fell into a bit of a reading slump mid-month, because my next read was also disappointing. I read Caraval by Stephanie Garber last year, and I thought it was okay. The characters kind of annoyed me, and the world-building was unclear at times, but the ending set up the sequel in a way that had me really excited to read it. So this month, I read Legendary expecting a much better story. Much like with the first book, I found this book only okay. I didn’t have a good enough understanding of the world and the magic system to really understand the stakes. I think I would have liked this book a lot better if we could have gotten some of Dante’s point of view. That said, I really like the ending and feel a bit like I’ve been tricked into reading the third and final book in this trilogy. *Sigh*

Finally, after picking up and putting down a whole slew of different books, I checked out Cress by Marissa Meyer from the library. I have been loving this series. These books are quickly becoming some of my favorite fairytale retellings ever. Each main character is so unique but also so completely loveable. It should come as no surprise that immediately after finishing Cress, I picked up the final book of the series, Winter. Both were amazing, and I am working on collecting my own copies of this series so I can re-read it in part or in whole whenever I what.

Then, I finally got off the waitlist for The Hollow of Fear by Sherry Thomas, which is the third book in her Lady Sherlock series. I talk about this series all the time, and I will probably keep talking about it, because this was probably my favorite book so far. This series re-imagines Sherlock Holmes as a fallen woman named Charlotte Holmes, who has a knack for solving puzzles and mysteries, and will do anything she can to take care of her beloved sisters and her handful of close friends. She also has a huge sweet-tooth, so be prepared for enticing descriptions of french pastry.

After finishing all that currently exists of the Lady Sherlock series, I found I was still in the mood for mysteries. I still am, in fact, as you might have gathered from my post on some of my favorite mystery stories. Based on a recommendation from SarawithoutanH, I picked up the first book in the Veronica Speedwell series by Deanna Raybourne. I was annoyed with this book at first. It took the two main characters, Veronica and Stoker, until halfway through the book to even try to start solving the mystery. However, by the end of the book, I had grown to enjoy the banter between Veronica and Stoker, and the ending set up the rest of the series really nicely. I know first books in a mystery series can sometimes be rough, much like the first season of a TV show is often shaky, so I was willing to give it another chance. By the end of the second book, I was sold. Veronica is spunky, hilarious, and also such a good friend. Stoker is my favorite kind of grump – the kind that even though the world has chewed him up and spit him out and he can’t help but be cynical about everything, he still loves his friends and his dogs, and is really just a fluff-ball on the inside. Together, they make the perfect team. It also helps that they are both biologists, so they frequently say things that have me going “OMG SO TRUE!” I have now finished the third book and I just want more. Luckily the fourth book comes out in March.

The last book I read this month was The Wizards of Once by Cressida Cowell. This was a super cute middle-grade novel about a wizard boy named Xar who is selfish and arrogant and honestly reminds me a lot of Peter Pan, and a warrior girl named Wish who is clumsy and weird and has a pet spoon. Wizards and warriors are sworn enemies, and our two main characters are each the children of the leaders of each side. They meet, hijinks ensue, David Tennant narrates the audiobook, so it would be hard not to enjoy. Xar annoyed the heck out of me, and I sympathized with his raven guardian a lot. I loved Wish, she is my favorite.

That’s it for my February reading wrap-up. March is likely to be a fun reading month, so stay tuned, and happy reading!

Monthly Goals Check-in

Read at least one classic: I kind of forgot I was doing this. Oops.

Read at least one adult novel: The Hollow of Fear, 99 Percent Mine, and all three Veronica Speedwell books

Read at least two already owned books: I started like three different ones and haven’t finished any of them.

Favorite Mystery Novels by Sub-genre

 

Hello readers! I am a bit obsessed with mysteries. I have always really liked them, and even went through a phase when I was around 9 or 10 when I would barely read anything but mysteries. As such, I like to think that I am sufficiently qualified to give you some mystery recommendations. Since I have been reading them for so long, I might as well break it down by different genres. But first:

How to write a good mystery (according to Emma)

Like I said, I have read a lot of mysteries, which means I have read a lot of BAD mysteries. I’ve come to realize that most of my favorites have certain commonalities. So if you are just getting into reading mysteries and want to know more about what to look for, or you want to know what types of books I like so you can make some recommendations, here are my favorite parts of a well-written mystery story.

Clues

Mysteries aren’t any fun if I don’t feel like I’m trying to solve it too. I want to be given information. Something I see a lot in mysteries is a detective character who is a genius and refuses to reveal almost anything of what they know even to the reader. Then we spend the whole book being frustrated that we don’t know anything until the very end. I hate that. I want to feel like I could have put it all together on my own if only I had been smart enough.

Scoobies

This term, taken from Buffy which in turn was taken from Scooby Doo, refers to the central team of characters. I know there are lots of lone detective books out there, but I love a good friendship, so when our main character has a cast of friends with weird but useful talents, I am here for it. Oftentimes, when I say that I like mysteries, people recommend thrillers to me. Thrillers are okay, but I don’t like the feeling of not knowing who you can trust. It puts me on edge in a way that I don’t find fun. I understand why people like it, but I would much rather have a reliable scooby gang to depend on.

Little Reveals

This one goes along with the clues. A mystery isn’t about just answering one question, so we shouldn’t just be waiting until the very end for the one big answer to the one big question (usually whodunit). We don’t just want to know who, but when, how, why, who else was involved, how long did it take to plan, etc. I always feel so much more engaged with the story when some of the questions are answered along the way, especially if they give rise to new questions!

Big Reveal

My favorite big reveals are the ones that I don’t really see coming until they’re right in front of me, and then I feel like an idiot for not figuring it out. I am in love with the feeling of solving a mystery seconds before the main character, and that’s basically what I am always looking for whenever I read a mystery.

Slow Burn Romance

This is by no means necessary to include in a mystery, but I’ve noticed that pretty much all my favorites include a romantic plotline that burns so slowly and is so rewarding when it finally pays off. This is also true in my favorite crime-solving TV shows.

Okay, onto the recommendations.

Children’s- Nancy Drew by Carolyn Keene

233637

Listen, I would have thought that I would find Nancy’s aptitude at literally everything she does to be infuriating, but I actually find it completely charming. Nancy is a good friend, a loving daughter, and a super-sleuth who has a wealth of knowledge on a variety of subjects. Not every single book is perfect, but even the less good ones are still fun. Writing this is making me want to go pick up some Nancy Drew.

Classic – Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

10943536

To be fair, I haven’t actually read that many classic mysteries, but A Study in Scarlet was something I thoroughly enjoyed before I even started liking classics. The plot is really well constructed, and it’s the first Sherlock Holmes book, so all the characters are introduced really well.

Middle Grade – Sammy Keyes by Wendelin Van Draanen

1421769

I pretty much grew up on Sammy Keyes. As soon as I would open one of these books, you pretty much couldn’t tear me away until I was done. I would have to bring several of them with me on short vacations because I would tear through them (and I was a much slower reader back then). These books are fun, funny, and suspenseful. I initially only read as far as book 13 (or maybe 14?), because I thought I had “outgrown” them. Then I realized that was stupid and went back to finish the series a few years ago. They hold up and were really fun even as an adult.

Young Adult – Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

35465779

I’ve been a huge Maureen Johnson fan for close to 10 years. She’s written in a variety of different genres, but she is so good at mystery that I can’t wait for more from her! Truly Devious is a series that follows Stevie Bell, future detective (hopefully), who starts the year at a new school, Ellingham Academy, with the intent to solve the decades-old murder that occurred the first year the school was open. Maureen Johnson knows how to use just the right amount of tension, humor, romance, teenage angst, and flashbacks. These books are honestly some of the best things I’ve read in years.

Adult, Historical – Lady Sherlock by Sherry Thomas

28588390

If you’ve ever wondered what it would have been like if Sherlock Holmes were a woman, look no further! This is one of my favorite retellings/reimaginings of the Sherlock Holmes stories that has ever existed. I think people are reluctant to pick these up because the author has written a lot of romance novels, but that doesn’t mean that she can’t write a good mystery. I will say that the first one starts off kind of bizarrely, but once you get a good sense of the characters and we settle a bit more firmly into Charlotte Holmes’ perspective, the story really picks up. This is one of those books that I feel like I need to re-read so that I can pay more attention to all the significant details woven in throughout the story. These books have everything I loved about the original Sherlock Holmes, and so much more. Plus, if you like a slow-burn romance, boy does this series have one.

Adult, Contemporary – Veronica Mars

18209454

If you thought Veronica Mars was only a TV Show and movie, then you are seriously missing out. The two books in this series take place after the events of the movie, and feel just like watching an episode of Veronica Mars.

Honorable Mentions:

American Girl History Mysteries

I would devour these as a kid and I only decided not to put them in my top list because they are out of print. But if you like reading children’s literature, you should check out the children’s mystery section of your local library, because they probably have a few of these still.

Death Comes to Pemberly by P. D. James

This turns into a bit more of a courtroom drama than a mystery, but it’s still a really good time.

Midnight in Austenland by Shannon Hale

I have some nitpicks about the ending of this one, but otherwise, I absolutely adored it. Shannon Hale is one of my favorites ever. This book also has some really funny moments.

Gallagher Girls by Ally Carter

Not strictly a mystery series, but there are some mysteries throughout. These books are a great example of how friendships in books make my heart melt.

 

What are some of your favorite mysteries? I will also gladly take TV show recommendations that fit with what I like. See you next time, and until then, happy reading!

Rereadathon Announcement

Hello readers! I am here today to announce a readathon that I will be a part of: the Rereadathon! This readathon will be taking place from Sunday, March 10th through Saturday, March 16th. There are seven reading challenges, seven blog hosts, seven instagram hosts, and seven booktube hosts. I will be your blog host for Day 1, on March 10th.

Here are the different reading challenges:

20190114065439

1. Giving a book a second chance

2. A recent favorite

3. An old favorite

4. A game changing book

5. An unpopular book

6. A childhood favorite

7. A popular book

On each of the days, the hosts will be posting about one of the challenges, which will be the theme for that day. Each host will also be running a giveaway, so make sure to check all three hosts on each of the seven days to see how you can enter the giveaways.

This readathon is meant to be low-key, so feel free to double or triple up on challenges. If you want to try for all seven with seven different books, great! But if you don’t have that kind of time or energy, then you can just treat this as a time to dedicate to rereading instead of picking up new releases.

For more information on each of the challenge days and all of the hosts, check out this Google Doc.

Also, make sure to follow the Rereadathon Twitter (@ReReadAThon2019) for updates, announcements, and reading sprints.

See you again on March 10th to talk about some game changing books, and until then, happy reading!

January 2019 Romance Wrap-up

Hello readers! Welcome to my very first romance wrap-up where I try to not feel shame for enjoying romance novels. Fake it til you make it, right? *Nervous laugh*

My goal here is to talk more openly about something I truly enjoy and not feel like I have to defend myself or qualify my interests in any way that minimizes them. If you ever catch me saying something like “I know this is trashy, but…” then please call me out on it. Romance is a perfectly valid genre to enjoy, people put a lot of work into writing these stories, and really, it’s not like any aspect of it is that different than a typical mature themed video game. And there I go, feeling like I have to defend myself. I’d better just get into the wrap-up.

I read eight historical romances this month. First up was The Other Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn. This is the third book in the Bridgertons prequel series the Rokesbys. I have read a lot of Julia Quinn at this point, and she has definitely improved as a writer over time. Her most recent books are some of my all-time favorite romances, and this one did not disappoint. There is a slightly over-the-top plot element later on, but you can really only have so many of your characters almost die of an infection or a duel before your readers start to see it coming, so the plots about spies and pirates don’t actually bother me.

Next I read The Governess Game by Tessa Dare. Tessa Dare is my favorite romance author. Her books are funny and cute and just the right amount of steamy (for me, at least). This book delivered. Alexandra is strong willed and fearless, but you have to be when you are left to make your own way in Regency-era London. Alex has some great friends and a job she enjoys, until one day she meets a duke who mistakes her for a governess and she somehow ends up taking care of two of the most peculiar children she has ever met. This is not my new favorite Tessa Dare book, that honor still belongs to A Week to be Wicked, but I thoroughly enjoyed my time reading this.

Next up I read And the Miss Ran Away With the Rake by Elizabeth Boyle. This is the second book in a series. I read the first book back when I was first getting into historical romance, and I really liked it. I wanted to continue the series, but none of the other books were available through my library. I had a few extra Audible credits at the beginning of the month, so I finally got around to continuing. I enjoyed this book. It includes the family feud trope, which is not one of my favorites, but the characters are amusing and I was definitely rooting for everyone to end up happy.

I next read the third book in this same series,  If Wishes Were Earls. I have to say, this is the best title in the series so far. The story itself was, well, it was fine. There were some plot elements that were convoluted, in my opinion, but I’m always willing to suspend my disbelief to some degree for a romance novel. The romance itself was pretty good. The miscommunications between the characters got to be a bit annoying which made the ending fall a little flat for me. But the middle was pretty good, and I liked the flashback scenes.

The next book I read was for the Biannual Bibliothon challenge of reading a book with a cover you don’t like. It was How the Duke Was Won by Lenora Bell. People who like Tessa Dare have told me that Lenora Bell is very similar, so I was excited to try her out. Overall, this story was fun, but it could have been better. There were some moments when the uneven power dynamic and the lack of communication were making me uneasy, which tends to hamper my enjoyment. There was a side character that I thought was hilarious, and she is the protagonist in another book, so I will be reading that one for sure. I listened to this book on Scribd, which I tried for the first time this month. Scribd is a service that allows you to access ebooks and audiobooks for a much cheaper price than Audible. They do change which books you have access to depending on what you’ve been reading lately, but they never limit the actual number of books you consume in a month, which is nice. If you want to try out Scribd, you can get 2 free months by using this link and then I get a free month too.

Next up, I read the first three books in the Scandalous Highlanders series by Suzanne Enoch. These were all just okay to me. I will definitely read the fourth book, but these aren’t my new favorites. These all make use of the highlander trope, which I tend not to like so much. The men are described as being as big as a mountain, or other similar things, and I’m sure it’s supposed to be sexy, but I can’t help thinking Hagrid. Knowing this, maybe I shouldn’t have picked up these books, but I have liked a couple of books with that trope in the past, so I thought I would try these. Also, I’ve like Suzanne Enoch books before, but I just wasn’t feeling the romantic tension to the level I wanted in any of these books.

That’s it for my first romance wrap-up. Let me know if there’s anything else you would like to see in these, or if there are any romances you would like me to read. Happy reading!

January Wrap-Up 2019

Hello readers! Welcome to the first monthly wrap-up of 2019! I’ve read 22 books this month, 8 of which were historical romance, so I will talk about those more in depth in my romance wrap-up.

I started off the month reading The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson. This is a young adult fantasy about a princess who is meant to marry the prince of another kingdom in order to secure an alliance. Unlike many of the princesses we see in books, Lia isn’t snobby or spoiled, and all she wants is to live her own life and make her own choices. Just before her wedding, she runs away with her best friend and maid and they journey to a distant town within the kingdom. I love that Lia stands up for her friends, has no qualms about doing the same work as servants, and when she is confronted with the consequences of her actions, she takes responsibility and decides to set things right. This was a great read, and I totally did not see the plot twist coming, so I had to stop reading for a few minutes to sort through all of the clues that I could see in hindsight.

Next up, I read Renegades by Marissa Meyer. This was the second book by Marissa Meyer that I’ve ever read and it was so good that I immediately put all her other titles on hold at the library. Renegades takes place in a version of our world in which there are people with superpowers. For a long time, people with powers, called prodigies, were oppressed and made to hide their powers from fear of being experimented on or executed. Then the Anarchists, a villain gang, rose up and dismantled (aka murdered) the government. Though prodigies were no longer forced to hide their powers, chaos reigned, crime rocketed, and people lived in terror. Until the Renegades banded together to defeat the villains. But in a time of relative peace and prosperity, not everyone is satisfied that the Renegades remain in charge with no checks to their power. The story follows Nova, one of the few remaining Anarchists, who decides to go under cover in the Renegades organization to learn their weaknesses and figure out how to best dismantle them. We also follow Adrian, the son of two of the original Renegades, who likes Nova almost the instant they meet. I had a really fun time reading this book and I can tell that it’s the kind of thing I will want to re-read again and again.

After that, I tried my first Christina Lauren book, because pretty much everyone who likes contemporary romance likes Christina Lauren. I read Roomies which follows a pretty predictable green-card-marriage-trope plot line. But hey, I’m not looking for a romance to surprise me, I’m looking for a swoon-worthy pairing, some good character arcs, and maybe a few laugh-out-loud moments. This book did a pretty good job of that. I enjoyed the relationship between the main character and her uncles, and I especially appreciated the absence of any toxic masculinity, but the green card marriage is one of my least favorite romance tropes, so I gave it four stars instead of five.

Then the Biannual Bibliothon happened and I already did a wrap-up for that. I read a total of five books. My favorite was definitely An Unkindness of Magicians by Kat Howard. It was so unlike most of the books I’ve read. It was just the right amount of dark and creepy, but also hopeful. I absolutely loved the female friendships in this book. I recognize that this book has some flaws, mostly in pacing towards the end, but I enjoyed it so much that I can’t help but give it five stars.

After the bibliothon, I felt like I needed something a little easier, so I read The 101  Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. This was a cute children’s classic. It’s basically the same as the movie, from what I can remember, but the descriptions in the book add so much to it. I love the twilight barking, and was recently telling one of my friends that I think of this story every time I hear dogs barking at dusk.

Then, I read another Marissa Meyer book. I really wanted to read the sequel to Renegades right away, but I had to wait for it to be available from the library, so when Cinder  became available, I jumped at the chance. Cinder, as you either already know, or can probably guess, is a retelling of Cinderella. Cinder is a cyborg in a future version of our world. She is a skilled mechanic, but as with all Cinderella stories, she is mistreated by her step-mother and step-sister. In this version, she is actually friends with her second step-sister, but that doesn’t really make her life any easier. I was very skeptical of a sci-fi version of Cinderella when I first heard about this book several years ago, but I am so disappointed that I put off reading this for so long. This is such a great retelling with so many twists and turns and a real edge-of-your-seat cliffhanger. I wanted to pick up the sequel as soon as I finished, but alas, I had to wait for someone to return a copy.

So in the meantime, I listened to The Spies That Bind by Ally Carter, which is currently available for free for all Audible members. This is a prequel to the Gallagher Girls  series, which I was obsessed with 11 years ago. I have kind of wanted to re-read the series, but have been scared that I wouldn’t like it anymore, but this prequel set me straight. Cammie, the narrator, has such a distinct voice and Ally Carter has a way of writing things so that they are both serious and hilarious. I was having lots of emotions in front of strangers on public transportation. I enjoyed this story just as much as I enjoyed the first GG books when I was 14, so I think a series re-read is in order.

After posting about all of my unread ebooks, I was feeling ashamed of myself, so I picked up one of the books on that list: Hunted by Meagan Spooner. Now, we all know I love a retelling, and I also love Meagan Spooner, so I don’t know why I kept putting this one off. It was so good. It reminded me a lot of East by Edith Pattou and The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden, but it also was its own distinct story. It was magical and wonderful and just might be my new favorite Beauty and the Beast retelling.

After HuntedScarlet, the sequel to Cinder was available, so I read that. I don’t want to talk about this book too much because I would risk spoiling Cinder, but I will say that this book was also amazing and I am waiting impatiently for the third book.

Then Archenemies, the sequel to Renegades was finally available, so obviously that was my next read. Like all of the other Marissa Meyer books I read this month, this book was a really great time and I can’t believe I have to wait so long for the next book to come out. I just need Nova and Adrian to be okay.

And last but not least, I read Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. I was excited to read this story, because I know so many people who say that this is one of their favorite books even as an adult. I’m sorry to say that for me this book was just… okay. I enjoyed some parts of it, but I flinched every time a certain racial slur was used, and the fact that there were no real consequences to anything anyone did just bugged me. Like, “yep, I, a small child, just killed a grown man and it had taken no emotional toll on me, can we have an imaginary tea party now?” I can see why people love it, but this one just wasn’t for me.

As I mentioned earlier, I also read 8 romances this month, so check back later if you want to see my wrap-up for those. Until then, happy reading!

Monthly Goals Check-in

In order to keep track of how I’m doing with some of my reading goals, I am going to start including a little check-in at the bottom of my wrap-ups. I’m also adding a goal to read at least two books I already own each month.

Read at least one classic: The 101 Dalmatians and Peter Pan

Read at least one adult novel: An Unkindness of Magicians and Roomies

Read at least two already owned books: HuntedRenegadesCinderRoomies