Category: Monthly Rundown

Monthly Rundown: October 2015

Posted November 5, 2015 by Bonnie in Monthly Rundown / 3 Comments

 I read 22 books in September!! Okay, that requires some clarification because that number is definitely deceiving. 3 were incredible short audiobooks, 4 graphic novels, and 1 short story (2 if you count the Goosebumps book which took me less than 2 hours.)

I was busy focusing on allll the scary reads in October. I didn’t accomplish quite as many as I had hoped  but I knocked out a few of those “classic horror” that I’ve been wanting to read for ages. Plus, I’ve completed 3/5 for my National Book Award challenge. I can already tell it’s going to be hard to make my pick for who should be the winner.

Here are my reviews for the month of October:

Best of the Month: The Hollow Boy (Lockwood & Co. #3) by Jonathan Stroud
I just love this series. Stroud always manages to impress me with his writing and I simply have to make time for his Bartimaeus series.

Least Favorite(s): The Amityville Horror by Jay Anson
When you put a blurb on your cover like “This book will scare the hell out of you”, well, I expect it to scare the hell out of me. It didn’t. It wasn’t terrible but definitely wasn’t what I expected.

Biggest Surprise: Welcome to Dead House (Goosebumps #1) by R.L. Stine
Sure, this was a re-read, but it’s been MANY years since I first read it. This one gets Biggest Surprise for the month because I was expecting to laugh at the cheesy ridiculousness of it but it was actually quite a lot of fun.

Biggest Disappointment: Burned (Fever #7) by Karen Marie Moning
While this one was terrible, it was definitely the biggest disappointment. The Fever series is one of my all-time favs and I just haven’t loved the path this series has gone. I’m still eagerly awaiting Feverborn though.

Reading Plans for November

I’m hoping to make my way back around to my ARC pile that I’ve been neglecting. Hoping to knock out quite a few over the next 2 months so I can start the new year off without this massive pile continuing to guilt me. Also need to finish up my last remaining bingo books! We’ll see how that goes though. I was running out of books (ha) so I went to the library and I’m currently staring at a stack of 7. Because I’m insane.



Monthly Rundown: September 2015

Posted October 2, 2015 by Bonnie in Monthly Rundown / 2 Comments

Holy shit, where did September go? I think I say a variation of this each month, but seriously, time flies. I’m eager for the cooler days and being able to need to wear a scarf, because I love the shit out of some scarves. And hot tea. I drink hot tea year-round, but it’s usually accompanied by a hand fan since it’s not the best drink for a hot day, but whatever. Unfortunately, we’re late-bloomers here and are still suffering through high 80s and the occasional low 90s. Hoping that changes soon.

In terms of reading, my reading plans for September were a big fail. I finished 12 books and reviewed 9, which could be worse, I GUESS. I read only 2 of my 8 planned reads. I didn’t knock out my October ARCs so those will be bumped to November because October is alllllll about the scary. Ominous October is my monthly dedication to horror novels and I look forward to this every year. I’m reading some more of the classic horror novels that I’ve never read (Psycho, The Exorcist, etc.) so if you’re in the mood for that, feel free to join me! September got derailed also because I finally got back to and finally finished up my re-read of the Fever series. As soon as I was finished, I wanted to immediately start over, it’s just that damn good.

So here are my list of reviews for the month of September:

Best of the MonthQueen of Shadows (Throne of Glass #4) by Sarah J. Maas
I took off a day from work just to read this the entire day. It was one of the best days off I’ve had.

Least Favorite(s): We’ll Never Be Apart by Emiko Jean and Blood and Salt (Blood and Salt #1) by Kim Liggett
I’ve read quite a few YA mysteries and YA horror novels this year and I’m starting to realize they’re simply not for me. There are some excellent ones out there, but they are few and far between.

Biggest Surprise: The Marvels by Brian Selznick
There really wasn’t much to this book at all but I fell in love with the technique of combining pictures and words to tell a story. And what a lovely story it was.

Biggest Disappointment: Z for Zachariah by Robert C. O’Brien
I’d been dying to get my hands on this book since I first heard about it. I read it. It was a definite disappointment.

Reading Plans for October

 As I said, October is the month of all the scary! Here are just a few of my plans:

I’m a huge fan of horror novels, however, I realized I haven’t read a whole lot of horror classics so that’s my goal for the month. I’m hoping to get around to more than 5 of them but we’ll see how it goes.

Wishing everyone a happy reading month!



Monthly Rundown: August 2015

Posted September 5, 2015 by Bonnie in Monthly Rundown / 1 Comment

I’m a little late with this one since we’re already well on our way into September, however, I was a little absorbed with Queen of Shadows and couldn’t be bothered to do much. ? I definitely had a less productive month than the last but life things got in the way (and a brief illness) but it is what it is. I only finished 10 books (compared to last months 21) and only reviewed 6 (compared to last months 16). ????

Here are the cover shots of all books reviewed and the breakdown of the best and the worst.

Best of the Month: Tie! Two   reads this month.
Replay by Ken Grimwood & The Uninvited: A Novel by Cat Winters
(Replay) Don’t you love it when a book sits forever gathering dust on your shelves and you finally pick it up and it’s wonderful? I was so pleased with this one and so glad I finally made the time for it.
(The Uninvited) This was a solid 4 star read for the majority of the story but the ending was so lovely and so surprising that I had to give it full marks.

Least Favorite: The Sparrow Sisters: A Novel by Ellen Herrick
I had some pretty high hopes for this one since I’ve been itching for a Sarah Addison Allen type book, but I didn’t find the solution to that itch here.

Biggest Surprise: Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans
I’m a sucker for WWII books but this was so unlike any I had ever read before. The dark humor only made this more appealing to me.

Biggest Disappointment: Love Lies Beneath: A Novel by Ellen Hopkins
I cannot even begin to describe the disappointment here. Ellen Hopkins is one of my favorites but this was so far from what I’ve come to expect from her I’m trying to simply forgive and forget.

Reading Plans for September

Well, for starters, new bingo card!! I’ve already posted my current picks (although that’s totally likely to change).

I’m currently in the middle of The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins and A Pocket Full of Murder by R.J. Anderson which are both bingo books. Next up I’m thinking I’ll knock out my last September ARC and start working on the October ones so I can focus on Ominous October. Also have a couple of new releases that’ll be coming in from the library. Here’s what I’m hoping to get to:




Monthly Rundown: July 2015

Posted August 1, 2015 by Bonnie in Monthly Rundown / 4 Comments

Is it really already August? Good grief. This year has flown by. I had an insanely excellent reading month and with as many hours as I worked I’m really not sure how it’s possible. I finished a total of 21 books! Okay, 4 were graphic novels and one was a short story but WHATEVER. I managed to post 16 reviews as well so I call July an absolute success.

Here are the cover shots of all books reviewed and the breakdown of the best and the worst.

Best of the Month: Bull Mountain by Brian Panowich
Hands down. Absolutely loved this one. If you’re a fan of southern gothic/country noir reads, do yourself a favor and pick this one up.

Least Favorite: Love May Fail by Matthew Quick
So this was my first Quick and apparently wasn’t the best one to start with. Not sure if his books are for me though.

Biggest Surprise: Blindsighted (Grant County #1) by Karin Slaughter
This series has been on my TBR for years. My book fairy sent me a copy and I was blown away at how crazy intense this one was. I can’t wait to make time for the rest of the series!

Biggest Disappointment: Armada by Ernest Cline
This wasn’t completely terrible but after my undying love for RPO I had some pretty high hopes for this one. Enjoyed it, but really wish I loved it more.

Reading Plans for August

I’ve been doing pretty excellent at staying on top of my review books and I only have four review books left for August. Two of them are tour stops, The Uninvited: A Novel by Cat Winters and Crooked Heart by Lissa Evans. The Uninvited will have a giveaway so be sure to check back for that! Speaking of giveaways, my Damage Done giveaway is still running for a few days. The entries are super low so chances are high of winning!

I’m knocking it out of the park on my Summer Bingo Card, having only 2 books to finish to cover my remaining squares. Replay by Ken Grimwood and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers are the ones I currently have picked out but who knows what might happen.



Monthly Rundown: June 2015

Posted July 1, 2015 by Bonnie in Monthly Rundown / 4 Comments

This month marked the start of a new (Summer!) Bingo card and I made excellent progress on it if I do say so myself. I contemplated continuing to work on the Spring card but figured my brain would probably explode trying to keep up with two cards at once. I read a total of 13 books and had a record 3 DNFs. I had no tolerance for crap books this month apparently. Here are the following reviews that did get posted for the month of June:

Best of the MonthSwerve by Vicki Pettersson
This one an insane thrill-ride. Be prepared to not be able to stop until read to completion.

Least Favorite: Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori #1) by Heather W. Petty
I had extremely high hopes for this one but boy did this one make me severely unhappy. Far too much angst and unnecessary drama.

Biggest SurpriseAsking for It (Asking for It #1) by Lilah Pace (not reviewed)
Erotica is not a genre I commonly read (and never review) but this one is well worth mentioning.

Biggest DisappointmentLion Heart (Scarlet #3) by A.C. Gaughen
While I haven’t been the biggest fan of this series, I still managed to have pretty high expectations about the ending. Unfortunately, they fell flat.

Reading Plans for June

Here’s how my Bingo card is coming along so far:

Fire in Title or On CoverFire Above, Fire Below by Garth Nix
TearjerkerEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (Review to come)
Out of Your Comfort Zone: The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall
Award WinnerOn Writing by Stephen King
Multi POVFinders Keepers (Bill Hodges Trilogy #2) by Stephen King (Review to come)
2015 DebutI Take You by Eliza Kennedy
TravelSwerve by Vicki Pettersson
Finish a SeriesLion Heart (Scarlet #3) by A.C. Gaughen
Title is More Than Three WordsThe Boy Who Drew Monsters by Keith Donohue (Review to come)
Retelling: The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes (Review to come)
Short StoryThe Turn of the Screw by Henry James

11 squares done! Here are my current plans for the remaining squares that I hope to get a lot knocked out in July:

Published 1+ Year AgoGame (Jasper Dent #2) by Barry Lyga
June/July/August ReleaseShades of Treason (Anomaly #1) by Sandy Williams
POC WriterTrollhunters (Trollhunters #1) by Guillermo del Toro & Daniel Kraus
Blue CoverBull Mountain by Brian Panowic
Face on CoverDamage Done by Amanda Panitch
“Beach Read”The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert
White CoverViolent Ends by Shaun Hutchinson
Purple CoverThe Girl at Midnight (The Girl at Midnight #1) by Melissa Grey
Time TravelReplay by Ken Grimwood
Young AdultThe Devil You Know by Trish Doller
MC w/ Physical Disability: Marrow by Tarryn Fisher
Cover Has Been ChangedCuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge
MagicSerafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty



Monthly Rundown: May 2015

Posted June 1, 2015 by Bonnie in Monthly Rundown / 5 Comments

I read FOURTEEN BOOKS last month! I’m excited since I read only nine in April so, yay for improvement. (Okay, one of them was a short story but whatever). Posting was a little slow (only 7 reviews for the month) because I was working a lot of really long days but I’m still pleased with the progress I made on my Review books stack. And I have like 5 posts scheduled for June so I’m doing better already.

Best of the Month: The Awesome by Eva Darrows
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again… this was seriously awesome. This story was not only hilarious but had a positive and healthy approach to sex and a fantastic mother-daughter relationship that rivaled the Gilmore’s. I loved this one. Definitely a new favorite.

Least Favorite: Scarlet (Scarlet #1) by A.C. Gaughen
Oh golly. I had been saving this series for years. I kept waiting for the hype to die down, wanting to love this, but even after waiting this one did not impress me in the least.

Biggest Surprise: (A TIE) The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn #1) by Renee Ahdieh and Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #1) by Laini Taylor
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir was a massive disappointment last month and there seemed to be an equal amount of hype surrounding both it and The Wrath that I feared it would amount to the same. Imagine my surprise. I adored this one. Absolutely cannot wait for the sequel. And I had to put DoS&B in here because this was actually a re-read for me… I didn’t much care for the first one. I really enjoyed my re-read and actually plan on continuing reading the series now!

Biggest DisappointmentBook Review – Lady Thief (Scarlet #2) by A.C. Gaughen
I put this second installment on the biggest disappointment list because I had hopes that the first book was a fluke and that this one would turn it all around for me. Is it bad that I still have those hopes for the third and final book? Probably.

Reading Plans for June

I made a lot of progress on Bookish Bingo! According to my recently updated card I have 12 squares remaining. In all actuality I only have 9 remaining (finished 3 but reviews are pending) and I’m already in the middle of reading 2! I’m completely determined to finish this month since I’ve been slacking on the last few cards. I think it’s going to happen this time though. 🙂

The following nine books are the ones I have picked to fill my remaining squares. This is all of course subject to change because I can’t ever stick to a Bingo plan.

2 Currently Reading

Dreams of Gods & Monsters (Daughter of Smoke & Bone #3) by Laini Taylor (Yellow Cover)
You’re Making Me Hate You by Corey Taylor (Nonfiction or Memoir)

7 Left to Read

Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge (Historical)
Every Breath (Every #1) by Ellie Marney (Aussie Author)
Violent Ends by Shaun Hutchinson (Anthology or Collection)
Marrow by Tarryn Fisher (Dark Contemporary)
Lion Heart (Scarlet #3) by A.C. Gaughen (Part of a Trilogy)
Stormdancer (The Lotus War #1) by Jay Kristoff (Rain or Storm in title)
The Devil You Know by Trish Doller (Green Cover)



Monthly Rundown: April 2015

Posted May 1, 2015 by Bonnie in Monthly Rundown / 2 Comments

So April kind of sucked. Life got in the way big time in the way of reading and I somehow managed to only read 9 books the entire month which is pretty obscene. I still managed to post 14 reviews though. Not sure how that works and can’t be bothered to figure it out. lol It is what it is.

Favorite of the Month: The Stars of Summer by Tara Dairman
This book is beyond adorable and is quickly becoming an all-time favorite series. Sure it’s middle grade but Gladys is the absolute cutest and she cooks the most delicious sounding foods!

Least FavoriteThe Sunlit Night by Rebecca Dinerstein
I actually had to read this for a review for a magazine publication so it was pretty crappy I disliked this as much as I did. I feel I’m just not cut out for ‘literary fiction’.

Biggest SurpriseWhen We Were Animals by Joshua Gaylord
Remember the zombie book The Reapers are the AngelsSame author. When I learned that I went crazy to get myself a copy. Most impressive story. Strange. But very impressive.

Biggest DisappointmentAn Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir
I had crazy high hopes for this one and maybe my expectations just got the best of me. Either way, this one was nothing like I anticipated.

Reading Plans for May

May marks the second month of Bookish Bingo and since I accomplished filling only 5 squares, I’ve got some catching up to do. I’ve got some exciting reads lined up though. Yep. I’m binging Scarlet. So. Excited.



Monthly Rundown: October 2014

Posted November 1, 2014 by Bonnie in Monthly Rundown / 3 Comments

Holy crap is it really November already? October was a most productive month in regards to my horror shelf because of Ominous October. I’m definitely looking forward to some fluffier reads though. Here’s a quick rundown on books Dani and I reviewed in October:

October Reviews

I read so many great books I’m at a complete loss as far as picking a favorite! But I’d rather have too many favorites than not enough. October was also the first month of Holiday bingo and I’ve already completed 9/24 squares. I’m really looking forward to the remaining books I have picked out to read.

Well, that’s my October in a nutshell as far as reviews go and my first attempt at a Monthly Rundown. Let me know if there is something else you’d like to see included! I’m open to suggestions. 🙂
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