Best of the Month: Ashes of Honor (October Daye #6) by Seanan McGuire★★★★★
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.
Biggest Surprise: What You Are Getting Wrong About Appalachia by Elizabeth Catte ★★★★★
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%. Forget Hillybilly Elegy. This is the book you need to read.
Biggest Disappointment: High Voltage (Fever #10) by Karen Marie Moning ★★★½
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.
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.
Best of the Month: The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan ★★★★
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.
Biggest Surprise: Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld ★★★★
I’ve had this one for ages but I 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 into a modern tale.
Whoops. Posting my month in review after the new month is almost halfway over. 😂 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) and 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. 🙂
Best of the Month: Lady Killer 2 by Joëlle Jones ★★★★★
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.
Biggest Surprise: Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds ★★★★
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 Sloan ★★★
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.
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. 😂
Best of the Month: How to Talk to a Widower by Jonathan Tropper ★★★★★
I read and loved 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 Crusie ★★
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 Reid ★★★★½
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 Emerson ★★★
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.
Best of the Month: Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman ★★★★
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 Albert ★★★
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.
Oh, well, could be better, could be worse. I started off the month actually on a bit of a roll, finally getting out of my… oh… 4-month hiatus. But then I got a second job. And a new TV that I can watch netflix on! Who can guess what my free time is now spent on? But 7 isn’t bad especially when you look at my 0 in July. Oops. At least I managed a couple reviews too. 🙂
Best of the Month: The Empty Grave by Jonathan Stroud ★★★★★
I’m incredibly hard to please when it comes to ending a series in a satisfactory manner. It’s not that I never want series’ to end, it just needs to be done right! I have loved this series so much from the very beginning and I was so nervous about reading the finale but I had nothing to worry about: it was perfection.
Least Favorite: The Twilight Pariah by Jeffrey Ford ★★
This was one I was extremely excited to get to in October. It sounded like the perfect kind of creepy but it really wasn’t and the ending was just bizarre.
Biggest Surprise: Give a Girl a Knife: A Memoir by Amy Thielen ★★★★
Still navigating the waters of Foodie Non-Fiction and this one sounded like it could be a different take on the typically told world of a chef tale. It was. It also made me realize the vast limitations of my own cooking skills. 🙂
Biggest Disappointment: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King, Owen King ★★
I’m a huge King fan and even though I keep saying that his newer works just aren’t as good as his oldies, I still keep reading them. I get what the duo was trying to do in terms of gender stereotypes, but they just didn’t quite succeed.
hahaha 18 accomplished once again!!! But just barely. There may have been a string of graphic novels read one weekend but eh, still counts. I didn’t realize how positively horrible I did at review writing though… 2? Ouch. So lots of reading, not a lot of writing. It happens.
Least Favorite: Borderline (The Arcadia Project #1) by Mishell Baker ★★
I had heard some massively great things about this one and I splurged on the audible version and just could not get into the story at all. I really loved the less than typical main character but this one just didn’t do it for me for some reason.
Biggest Disappointment: A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas ★★★½
Uggghhhhh I hate listing this but it’s true. I was disappointed. It wasn’t the worst but it definitely failed to live up to my (admittedly enormous) expectations. It is what it is.
18 again! Three months in a row, woo-hoo. I’ve been listening to a ton of audiobooks (8 out of 18 this month) and went on a bit of a fairytale binge following my re-read of A Court of Thorns and Roses. That series was just as good on audio — and even better the second time around.
Best of the Month: The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater ★★★★★
I had been holding off on reading this one for ages and after recently discovering my undying love for Steve West’s narration, I bought the audible version and oh man… I loved this so much.
So I didn’t make the hoped-for 19 books read (I read 17 in January, 18 in February… was aiming for 19 in March just to be funny.) This month also consisted of a lot of poetry collections and a few graphic novels but damn guys, this was a rough month work-wise. I worked 54 hours the week of the 20th and 68 hours the week of the 27th. Suffice it to say, by this past weekend, I was a straight-up zombie. I slept 13 hours when I got home Friday night. So all in all, I’m surprised I got anything done really.
But enough whining and onto the books! I posted reviews for 8 books and had a DNF post for pretty much 3 of the biggest anticipated releases of the year. Suffice it to say, I was not impressed. I still have yet to get back to my review books (shame) and I just recently started a Kindle Unlimited trial so I’m trying to focus on making that worthwhile… so I’ve definitely got my hands full for April!
I’ve gotten super lazy with my review writing. Having so little free time I’ve only wanted to spend my time actually reading. These books didn’t get reviewed this month and it may or may not get done in the future. lol
Best of the Month:The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher★★★★
I don’t think I ever intended on reading this but I was intrigued by the concept of her reading the last story she’d ever tell on audio. It was beautiful and moving and now I want to read everything else she wrote in her life.
Least Favorite: Dawn of Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum★★
My expectations weren’t crazy high for this one so it’s not a massive disappointment but I thought it would be fun. It was weird, extremely gross, and … how exactly is a zombie capable of writing haiku again? lol
Biggest Disappointment: Wires and Nerve, Volume 1 (Wires and Nerve #1) by Marissa Meyer★★★
There wasn’t anything terribly wrong with this one but I didn’t much care for the artwork and the characterization for everyone was weirdly off. The plot itself was actually very intriguing though (plus, I love Iko) and I’ll pick up the next one for that reason alone.
I felt like I got a bit lazy in February (and I started headed towards a mild slump that I managed to shrug off, thankfully) but I still managed to beat my books read from the prior month (17 in January!) so that was awesome. I super let my review books gather dust but I’m hoping I can do some catch-up in March.
Least Favorite: Erotic Poems by E.E. Cummings★★
hahahaha This one was so bad. I mean honestly, that’s all I can say about this one. Bad poems. Even worse doodles.
Biggest Surprise(s): Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng ★★★★½
I picked this up way back when the Ford Audiobook Club was still a thing (so like 3 years ago) and it sat unread for ages. I was convinced this family drama wasn’t something I would ever enjoy but boy was I wrong.
Biggest Disappointment: Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty ★★½
Liane Moriarty is a name that has been tossed around for years with much love attached to it. I finally decided to pick this one up after enjoying the premise of the first episode of the new show. I definitely enjoy the show more and I’m not super sure I’ll be trying anymore by Moriarty.