Posts Categorized: Monthly Rundown

Monthly Rundown: October 2018

November 15, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 7 Comments

Yes, I’m well aware that the month ended over two weeks ago.Β πŸ˜‚ November has been an odd one for me and I’m having a difficult time sitting down to read or blog even though I have buckets of time on my hands now that I’ve found myself jobless. I’m used to rigid scheduling and working my ass off, so having hours upon hours to just do whatever is causing me to develop a bit of an eye twitch. lol Relaxing? What’s that? October was a productive month of reading but November isn’t shaping up to be real great. It is what it is.

Books Read = 24

That looks like more than it really was, I swear. Four of them were shortish stories and another four were graphic novels.

Posted Reviews

Apparently, I didn’t post a single review! lol Sounds about right.

Unreviewed Reads

There are a couple review books I read in October that aren’t listed since I’ll be reviewing them… eventually.



 

Best of the Month: The Ballad of Black Tom by Victor LaValleΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½
This was my first LaValle and it’s not going to be my last. I have no idea why I waited so long to pick up anything of his up but this one was a perfect introduction. This was like dark Urban Fantasy + Lovecraftian horror and it was near perfect.

Least Favorite: The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut #1) by Mary Robinette KowalΒ β˜…β˜…
I bought both books in this series at the same time because I anticipated that I would adore this. I am so disappointed. I really loved the beginning of this but the love definitely died. Kowal really goes all out trying to cover all the things (women’s rights, race issues, religious issues) and while I love a good book on empowerment and focusing on issues that need discussing, it began to feel like the primary focus of the novel rather than the whole saving the world bit it was supposed to be about. Also, the sex scenes were super fucking awkward.

Biggest Surprise: Roomies by Christina LaurenΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½
This has been the year of Christina Lauren for me (this is my fourth of theirs) and while not my absolute favorite due to a little sputtering at the end of this one, it still surprises me how much I love their books. I don’t read a whole lot of fluff but this is some real good fluff. Exactly what I’ve come to expect for this dynamic duo.

Biggest Disappointment: Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuireΒ β˜…β˜…
I’ve loved pretty much everything of McGuire’s and (much like The Calculating Stars) everyone I know raves about this series but it super didn’t work for me. Everyone talks about how whimsical this series is and I really thought that I’d love it but I didn’t like the characters, the world-building, or the unnecessary gruesome aspects. This is, unfortunately, going in the series graveyard.

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Monthly Rundown: September 2018

October 4, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 5 Comments

Books Read = 17

I managed to read and review this month, yay me. haha I read a total of 17 books this month (3 of them were short stories but I’m counting them) and 5 of them managed to be review books. I ended up DNFing 5 additional review books as well because sometimes, despite your best efforts, sometimes books just don’t work out. After reading 5 and DNFing 5 others, my review pile is in a much more manageable state. I actually cleaned up all of my October review books (which is great since I’m all about the horror at the moment!) How did you guys do this month?

Posted Reviews


Unreviewed Reads


Re-Reads

Rapid Reviews Ҁ“ Foundryside, Diamond Fire, Night and Silence, Magic TriumphsBest of the Month: Foundryside by Robert Jackson BennettΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I don’t know why I went into this one with the lowest of expectations, but sometimes it can be hard to fall in love with the first installment of a fantasy series, especially when there’s so much worldbuilding involved. Bennett did an amazing job of bringing the world, characters, and a thrilling story to life. Sure this is a chunk of a book but such a great read you’ll be dying for the next installment!

Least Favorite: Dirty Angels (Dirty Angels #1) by Karina HalleΒ β˜…β˜…18281528
I read and loved Halle’s Artist’s trilogy, where Javier is first introduced, but the introduction to his own spinoff trilogy was very clearly not for me. Halle posts all sorts of trigger warnings about her books and openly admits that her books are dark and violent and not for everyone… but I read dark stories. Dark stories can still be fascinating… but this? Ehh. Just seemed gratuitous and the romance was an eye roll.
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Biggest Surprise: Get Well Soon: History’s Worst Plagues and the Heroes Who Fought Them by Jennifer WrightΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I picked this one up as an Audible daily deal and while I’m an odd ball and am fascinated by plagues and diseases, I didn’t expect to like this one quite as much as I did. Jennifer Wright’s sense of humor was a fantastic pairing with the more gruesome aspects. Super informative and never dry, Gabra Zackman’s narration was a joy to listen to.

Biggest Disappointment: Wildcard (Warcross #2) by Marie LuΒ β˜…β˜…39508596
Warcross was all sorts of fun and IΒ had been looking forward to this release all year. I was worried that because I hadn’t taken the time to do a re-read that I’d be missing out on remembering certain things but Wildcard went a completely different route than I anticipated and I was honestly quite bored the entire time. Which is strange because that’s how I felt about the last Marie Lu series finale… suspicious.

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Monthly Rundown: August 2018

September 6, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 2 Comments

Books Read = 19

I broke myΒ record for most books read in a month! I had an incredibly productive reading month despite life shit… reviewing? Not so much. lol I posted one single review. The words just weren’t coming for me and I was much more in the mindset to simply fall into another story rather than sit and analyze, which is better than no reviewing and no reading. Hoping to get more into it a little so that I can maybe not feel quite so rusty when I do actually sit down to write. I tried getting into sitting down and at least jotting down some of my thoughts immediately after finishing but that doesn’t always work best for me. Oh well, I’ll figure it out. πŸ™‚

Posted Reviews

Release Day Feature Ҁ“ Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

Unreviewed Reads



20945704Best of the Month: The Winter Long (October Daye #8) by Seanan McGuireΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I gave another installment of Toby Daye 5 stars but I really super loved this one (and I read 4 of them this month — finally caught up though!) This is one of my all-time favorite Urban Fantasy series. I’m going to be so sad having to actually wait for releases now.

Least Favorite: Sabrina by Nick DrnasoΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…37533587
I was super intrigued by a graphic novel being longlisted for the Booker so, despite my general indifference to anything nominated for a Booker, I put this on hold at the library. My general indifference for Booker nominees continues.
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Biggest Surprise: The House with a Clock in Its Walls (Lewis Barnavelt #1) by John BellairsΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
After seeing the movie trailer and finding out it was based on this book from 1973 I had to check it out. I don’t put too much hope in Middle Grade horror but this was a super pleasant surprise and is something I absolutely would have loved when I was a kid. Reminded me a lot of one of my favorites,Β The Thief of Always by Clive Barker.

Biggest Disappointment:Β The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins ReidΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…33289074
Everybody and their damn mother loved this (except my mother — we buddy read this and she was also underwhelmed lol). I’ve loved a lot of Reid’s books but this one just didn’t manage to hit the mark for me. 3 stars is actually pretty generous the more I think about it. Baa Baa black sheep.

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Monthly Rundown: July 2018

August 2, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 12 Comments

Books Read = 15

I had my second most productive reading month in July! Which is even crazier when I actually look at my book spreadsheet because apparently, I didn’t even finish my first book of the month until the 11th. Which is great because, not sure if anyone noticed, but I didn’t do a June Rundown because… I read 4 books. lol It was a massively busy month at work trying to get everything done before my two-week vacation to Ireland so my priorities were elsewhere. But I’m back at it! I read some pretty great books too (and actually wrote some reviews) so fingers crossed I can keep up that momentum into August. πŸ™‚

Posted Reviews


Unreviewed Reads


 

36220657Best of the Month: We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories by C. Robert CargillΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½
I’ve read several of Cargill’s novels and have thoroughly enjoyed them but I was pretty blown away at his short fiction. It takes a real talent to tell a story effectively in a short amount of words and boy did he ever accomplish that task. There were a few stories that I didn’t care for as much as the others, butΒ Nightmares is a solid short story collection for horror fans.

Least Favorite: Invitation to a Bonfire by Adrienne CeltΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…Rapid Reviews Ҁ“ Invitation to a Bonfire, The City Where We Once Lived, The Broken Girls, We Are Where the Nightmares Go and Other Stories
I read a stupid amount of 3 star reads this month, so picking a least favorite is basically my most mediocre read. I’ve been actively trying to accept review books only when I’m very much looking forward to these. Invitation to a Bonfire was one of those. The inspiration behind the story was intriguing but calling it a psychological thriller was way far off base. It should’ve been a DNF, honestly.
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Biggest Surprise:Β Queenpin by Megan AbbottΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I’ve read Abbott’s Dare Me andΒ The Fever and loved them both. In the early days of Abbott’s career, she primarily wroteΒ female-centric noirs. I picked up Queenpin for $0.99 years back but kept putting it off. This past weekend, I decided to spontaneously participate inΒ Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon and I picked up a few shorter stories that I could knock out and this was one of them. I don’t know why I waited so long. I also need the rest of her noir books, stat.

Biggest Disappointment: I’ll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman’s Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer by Michelle McNamaraΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½Rapid Reviews Ҁ“ The Line That Held Us, IҀ™ll Be Gone in the Dark, Awakened
Yes, I listed this under biggest disappointment but that might be a bit of an exaggeration in this case. Unfortunately, it fit the bill best. I had high hopes for this one following all the hype with this book being released and shortly after the police using DNA to identify the Golden State Killer. I’m a big ol’ True Crime fan so I had my sights on this one for quite some time, but the need to read it became extreme. It was very obviously incomplete at the time of her death and was pieced together by her husband in the best way he could, but it was obvious it was working with an incomplete puzzle. I am still glad I read it, I am still glad that he published this posthumously, but I do so wish she had the opportunity to truly see the story to its end.

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Monthly Rundown: May 2018

June 9, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 2 Comments

Books Read = 14

I had a most productive reading month. I finally feel like I’m getting back into the swing of things and no longer headed towards that rut that I kept feeling close at hand. I started a new reading challenge of sorts, where I’m trying to give more attention to the books that I’ve purchased (physical, ebook, and audio) and I made more progress than I expected. Of the 14 total books I read this month, 3 were review books, 3 were from the library/Kindle Unlimited/freebies, and a grand total of 8 were books that I purchased. Not bad if I do say so myself.

Posted Reviews

Alright, so I did say I had a productive reading month… but I didn’t post a single review. ha I have a few that I definitely plan on reviewing in June.

Unreviewed Reads

Best of the Month: Lock In (Lock-In #1) by John ScalziΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Lock InΒ was one of those books that I bought and its been languishing on my unread shelf. I decided to pick up the prequel story first and while I’m not usually one that geeks out on uber science-y stories but I really did with that one. It was a fantastic introduction to Lock In and I really enjoyed this strange robot/detective mystery (and the follow-up Head On was equally great.)

Least Favorite:Β A Girl Like Her (Ravenswood #1) by Talia HibbertΒ β˜…β˜…
I figure I should say that for starters that this is a genre I read irregularly and super isn’t my thing so I may not be the best judge of character. I had heard a ton of great things about it and was one I could read to take advantage of my Kindle Unlimited membership but… something about this one rubbed me the wrong way. I technically DNF’d this and called it quits around 70%.

Biggest Surprise: Only Human (Themis Files #3) by Sylvain NeuvelΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I’ve loved this entire trilogy (and I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again, the audiobooks are the freaking best ever) but this finale still comes as a surprise because I always hate series enders for one reason or another. This wrapped up the story nicely and I’m really pleased with the story arc Neuvel crafted.

Biggest Disappointment: A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J. MaasΒ β˜…
Admittedly, I wasn’t a fan of A Court of Wings and Ruin either, but I was hoping that this spin-off series Maas is planning would draw me back into this fantasy world. I had been debating whether or not to actually pre-order it but I eventually did and I’m actually angry with myself for not following my gut instinct. lol I had even had this rated 2 star initially but nope, there really wasn’t anything that I liked about it. 1 star.

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Monthly Rundown: April 2018

May 4, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 5 Comments

Books Read = 12

Huzzah! Better than the 9 from last month. And I even had three 5-star reads! I rarely give 5-star reads because I’m a super stingy mofo. πŸ™‚

Posted Reviews

Unreviewed Reads

Best of the Month:Β Ashes of Honor (October Daye #6) by Seanan McGuireΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I’m slowly but surely getting caught up on this series (goal is to be caught up before the 12th installment releases in September!) and this was the first 5 star installment. I adore this series and can’t wait to see where McGuire goes with this.

Least Favorite: The Kremlin’s Candidate by Jason MatthewsΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½
I tore through this trilogy and it was admittedly tons of fun… but the final installment was a bit of a letdown in terms of series enders.

Biggest Surprise:Β What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth CatteΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I had Hillbilly Elegy on my TBR for AGES and I kept mentally beating myself up about not having read it yet. I finally started it. It pissed me off so bad I DNF’d at 3%.Β  Forget Hillybilly Elegy. This is the book you need to read.

Biggest Disappointment:Β High Voltage (Fever #10) by Karen Marie MoningΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½
Honestly, I had such a great reading month that this one is the closest that would qualify under “disappointment” but it really wasn’t. It was good ol’ Fever fun, featuring Dani O’Malley, and there was, of course, a cliffhanger and of course more books to anticipate. It’s fine. I still love the series… not nearly as much as I used to but I still love it.

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Monthly Rundown: March 2018

April 5, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 4 Comments

Books Read = 9

Sure did. NINE?! The hell did I even do last month? Well, I worked my ass off and was so tired that I was going home and relaxing, not having the brain power to do anything but. I did manage to post a single review this month so I guess the month wasn’t a complete loss.

Posted Reviews

Audiobook Review Ҁ“ Red Sparrow (Red Sparrow Trilogy #1) by Jason Matthews

Unreviewed Reads

Best of the Month: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick RiordanΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I took a very long break from reading any Riordan for no particular reason but The Hidden Oracle was so very enjoyable. I immediately read the second installment and I’m already dying for the third. Ties into the original Percy series nicely.

Least Favorite: You & Me & Why We Are in Love by Aurelia AlcaΓ―sΒ β˜…
This bizarre poetry collection was so, so bad.Β “Pamela has found a very young lover. He could be her son. She doesn’t love him – she adores him.” I mean… seriously?

Biggest Surprise: Eligible by Curtis SittenfeldΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I’ve had this one for ages but IΒ had to read the original P&P first… I finally got around to that last year. And this one was all sorts of fun and loved seeing how the classic was translated intoΒ a modern tale.

Biggest Disappointment: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky AlbertalliΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…
Now hear me out: I enjoyed this, I did, but it didn’t resonate with me as it did with most other readers. (My bestie loved it.) This isn’t super my genre though so I was taking a chance on it as it was. I loved the movie though for what it’s worth.

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Monthly Rundown: January 2018

February 10, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 14 Comments

Books Read = 18

Whoops. Posting my month in review after the new month is almost halfway over.Β πŸ˜‚Β Anyways! The first month of the new year was a success in some ways. I didn’t get much reviewing done but I decided to focus solely on reading instead. I knocked out three review books (six in total really, if we’re counting DNFs — those mini-reviews are still to come) andΒ finally got back into the Toby Daye series reading 3-5. I’m on a bit of an urban fantasy roll but February has shown a bit of a focus on mysteries. We’ll see if that continues. πŸ™‚

Posted Reviews

Unreviewed Reads

Unreviewed DNFs

36119984Best of the Month:Β Lady Killer 2 by JoΓ«lle JonesΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I remember stumbling upon the first installment of this at the library and not expecting a whole lot but it was such enormous fun. The second installment only gets better.

Least Favorite: Through This House (October Daye #4.5) by Seanan McGuireΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…34110508
This was only a short story but it was definitely my least “installment” of the Toby series to date. I’m just glad there wasn’t an entire novel centered around this storyline.

35506547Biggest Surprise: Long Way Down by Jason ReynoldsΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I’d been hearing all the raves about this book and I’m always intrigued by anything verse so I gave it a whirl. Wow. What an incredible story.

Biggest Disappointment: Sourdough by Robin SloanΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…33916024
This still ended up being a decent read but the start of this was so incredibly interesting and fun but the second half of this story was a completely different sort and I was ultimately pretty disappointed.

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Monthly Rundown: December 2017

January 4, 2018 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 4 Comments

Books Read = 11

I consider this a raging success considering I worked 65 hour weeks the entire month. I posted a TON of reviews because I had a bit of a backlog going and I was determined not to enter the year with those still hanging over me. I usually do book cover collages for these posts but fuck that, there’s too many.Β πŸ˜‚

Posted Reviews

Other Reads

Unreviewed:

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Best of the Month: How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan TropperΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
I read and lovedΒ This is Where I Leave You but I had yet to pick up anything else by this author. I ended up reading two this month. I constantly love the dark humor and sarcastic nature of his characters and can’t wait to pick up the rest of his stuff.

Least Favorite: Getting Rid Of Bradley by Jennifer CrusieΒ β˜…β˜…33734
I signed up for the Audible Romance Package and was running out of ideas so decided to try some old Crusie stories. I absolutely adored Agnes and the Hitman but I have honestly yet to find anything else of hers that I love… I’ve read three others and they’ve all been meh. Bet Me is next and I’ve been told it’s a good one.

Biggest Surprise: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins ReidΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…Β½
I read an ARC of Forever, Interrupted way back in 2013 and it managed to rub me the wrong way so badly that I wasn’t even super willing to give the author another shot. Thanks to the Audible Romance Package, I decided to chance it. I listened to three of hers this month and while one was meh, the other two were enough to have me forgetting our rough start.

Biggest Disappointment: Opposite House: Poems by Claudia EmersonΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…
I’m not huge on poetry, but I’m always willing to give it a shot. Late Wife totally changed poetry for me and I wanted anything and everything of Emerson’s, although her works are a bit hard to find. I purchased a copy of this one and it was nothing like Late Wife. Still beautiful, but not nearly what I was hoping for.

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Monthly Rundown: November 2017

December 7, 2017 Bonnie Monthly Rundown 7 Comments

Books Read = 8

Woo-hoo! One more than last month! Eight isn’t a ton but it’s progress, at least.

Posted Reviews

Other Reads

Unreviewed:

Review Pending:

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35397049Best of the Month: Neverwhere by Neil GaimanΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
This is one Gaiman that I’ve always wanted to read but had just never got around to it. I loved it. I also loved realizing just how many fantasy novels clearly got the inspiration from this.

Least Favorite: The Hazel Wood by Melissa AlbertΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…35121240
I really loved the beginning of this one but it kind of lost me near the end. I’m still not sure how to put my dislike into words. YA just hasn’t been my thing as of late so I’m sure others will adoe it.

34466968Biggest Surprise: The Rules of Magic (Practical Magic #2) by Alice HoffmanΒ β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
This was a surprise mainly because of the surprise of its release. Sometimes you never know you need a book until you’ve got it in your hands. πŸ™‚

Biggest Disappointment: The Boy on the Bridge (The Hungry Plague #2) by M.R. Carey β˜…β˜…β˜…32785092
The Girl with All the Gifts was one of my favorites when I read it way back in 2014. This was also a surprise sequel release but one that I definitely could have done without.

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