September Wrap up

I read a total of 5 books during September which is just shy of halfway to my goal. I did a lot of traveling this month to see family (and they don’t always let me read when I would like to LOL). This month’s “theme” was books my best friend, Mina, has recommended to me and I bought and then never read. So I tried to pick up as many as I could remember her recommending. The only one she didn’t recommend was Shades of Earth by Beth Revis, which I talked about last month with the first two in the trilogy. I just wanted to finish the trilogy before moving on to her recommendations.

Breath taking blend of Greek Mythology and WWI.

While Lovely War by Julie Berry wasn’t exactly recommended to me by Mina she discovered it at Barnes & Noble while we were hanging out one day and told me it looked really good and interestingly enough we ended up reading it concurrently during September unbeknownst to the other till I asked if she had read it before while I was halfway through. Lovely War is a breathtakingly beautiful story about two couples who manage to find love during WWI and it is mostly told from the point of view of the Greek goddess Aphrodite, but Hades, Ares, and Apollo also tell parts of the stories that pertain to them. I loved this book so much! The writing an and storytelling is absolutely top notch and the characters feel so real. The amount of research that Berry did to tell this story is exquisite. She delivers an accurate account of what it would have been like for Aubrey, Colette, James and Hazel. I especially loved the twist of the story being told from the point of view of Aphrodite, it adds a layer to the story that just makes the story even more immersive. This was most defiantly a five star read for me and I highly recommend it if you are into historical romance or just a beautiful story.

Midas wasn’t the only one cursed that fateful day.

This was the first real recommendation I read for the month. She recommended this when I was going the my pirate/sea phase back in July. I like A Touch of Gold by Annie Sullivan and I gave it four stars, but I did find it to be pretty predictable in where the plot was going to go. Which was a bit eh for me personally. I wanted more from it. I kinda wish it had started in a different direction. I wanted Kora to be a bit stronger of a heroine (although she did eventually get there…kinda). I wanted there to be a stronger bond between Hettie and Kora, cause I love me some strong female friendships especially when they are your only friend and they are also family. I also wanted more form the romance parts of it. To me it was just lacking in places and was just a bit eh for me. In reality it was probably more of a 3.5 star book but I do what to tread the second one that comes out in 2020, even though I think that with a bit of fleshing out and a few tweaks to the ending this could have been a stand alone and probably should have been, but we will see when the sequel comes out.

Can you learn to love the man behind the monster?

THIS BOOK! I literally CANNOT with how much I loved this book. Ahdieh is a fantastic storytelling goddess and I don’t think anybody could convince me otherwise. This is the first book of hers that have read but I am now highly anticipating her new release The Beautiful which comes out in October. I also cant wait to get my hands on The Dagger and the Rose which is The Wrath and the Dawns‘s sequel. Shahrzad is literally everything I want in a heroine. She is intelligent, driven, sassy, loving, flawed, and strong. She holds her own against her new husband Khalid, the Caliph, who kills his brides at sunrise. Let me tell you Khalid is not a easy man to hold your own against, but my Shazi stands up to him like a boss. I do love Khalid I think he makes a great partner for Shazi. They pair really well together. Where he is all hard lines and stone she is soft and fluid. Where she conflicted and unsteady he is sure and stable. I adore them as a couple and I adore them as characters! This quickly became an All Time Favorite!

Southern Gothic meets the 21st century.

The last recommendation for September was Compulsion: Heirs of Watson Island by Martina Boone. This has been on my TBR for actual years. This one, much like A Touch of Gold, was a bit eh for me. I didn’t find it to be at predictable and unlike A Touch of Gold, Compulsion was an actual 4 star read. I wish there was a bit more back story about the founding families. Like I wish there had been a prologue about them just so as a reader we know whats happening between the families cause that isn’t exactly explained a whole lot. Much like Barrie, the reader is thrust in the middle of this small South Carolina town’s founding families controversies without really understanding its roots and how and why it began. It definitely has some Southern Gothic vibes to it which I am here for and it is a bit of a slow build up, but it also part of a trilogy so that probably the cause for the pacing. I do want to pick up Persuasion If anything to just find out what happens next with Barrie and Eight. I love Eight cause A) he has the ability to know exactly what people want which personally I think is a fantastic quality in a boyfriend and B) hes is protective enough for it to be cute but not enough to be creepy. He also tends to be the voice of reason which I love. I liked Barrie i just wish she had a bit more gumption to her. Shes got the sass part down, but she is often unsure of her self and what she truly wants and when she does she often ignores it in favor of pleasing others. I wish she followed her instincts a bit more.

August Wrap-Up

Authors Note: I do talk about 6 books in the wrap up. I started Shades of Earth by Beth Revis on August 29 and finished in early September, but I wanted to talk about the series as a whole so I tacked it on to this wrap up.

Welcome to the middle of September! Yes I am just now posting a August Wrap Up. I was traveling at the beginning of the month and then I just didn’t do it so here we are. I read 5 books this month, which is 3 books below my goal of 8, but that’s okay because my goal for September is 12. (Hi my name is Jacqueline and I like to make insane reading goals and then act surprised when I don’t meet them.) I was feeling some heavy Space vibes this month, and tbh I still am, but Septembers theme is books that my best friend recommended to me and I bought and then never read. I also started a rewatch of Star Trek: Next Generation in August. Data is my absolute favorite and I hate that they come for him like every other episode, but that is irrelevant to this post i just need all to that.

People are not always what they seem to be.

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw was up first for the month. This was left over from my July TBR where I was feeling some type of way about boats and the ocean. I really liked the vibes of this book. It gave me small ocean town mystery cozy vibes. Like this is the kind of book you want to read with a cup of tea on a stormy cold day curled up by the fire in a old house by the ocean. Like those are its vibes and I stan them. This book doesn’t necessarily have a happy ending, but its also not a crappy one. I was okay with the way it ended and where the characters ended up, but I do wish there a little more. I also wish it had been a tad more creepy; just a little darker. The story for sure leans into being a darker story but it could have leaned into it a bit more for my liking. Over all it was a 4 star read for me; would recommend, but wouldn’t make my friends read it.

Just cause it sounds cool doesn’t mean that it is.

Another July TBR left over is Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson. I have read this one probably about a 100 times (hence the 5 star rating) and still absolutely love it. Its a quick easy rom-com book. Although this book is more about the relationship between father and daughter then it is about romance but trust there is romance. I love Clio and how feisty she is. She just marches to the beat of her own drum and does what she needs to do and she not afraid to get her hands a little dirty. She has lived a bit of a crazy life when her and her dad invented a best selling board game, but her dads shenanigans drove a wedge between them especially after her parents got divorced. So when she has to spend the summer with him in Italy on a yacht most people don’t understand why this is Clio’s nightmare. Johnson has a way of making complete wacky situations seem really normal and I’m here for it.

If the Breakfast Club and Guardians of the Galaxy had a baby it would be this book.

I HAVE A LOT OF FEELINGS ABOUT THIS BOOK!! Aurora Rising is the first book I have read by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Although I do own the complete Illumonae Files trilogy.) and I am absolutely in love! so in love in fact that I have already bought other works by both authors. Aurora Rising is probably my favorite book of the year and has been quickly added to my favorite books of all time. I love me some sarcastic ass characters and lemme tell you this story is full of them. It is told from 7 different points of view which for some books is a disaster, but not for my baby. Each character has a distinct voice which makes it really easy to tell who is speaking. Our fearless Alpha is Goldenboy Tyler (Ty) Jones who is hot enough to melt a Popsicle in Alaska in winter. Scarlett (Scar) Jones is Ty’s twin and the sharp as a tack Face with a tongue like a knife. Cat Brannok is the sassy Ace and long time friend of Scar and Ty. Finian de Karran de Seelis is the Betraskan Gearhead that only speaks in sarcasm. Zila Madran is the Scientist on board with a tendency to shoot her crew mates. Kaliis (Kal) Idraban Gilwraeth is the teams Tank, hes also basically space Legolas who hates being touched. Then there is Aurora (Auri) Jie-Lin O’Malley who is not only a stowaway on Ty’s ship but the only survivor on a 220 year old ship thought to be lost in space. I love all of the characters so much, but my favorite chapters were always Auri, Kal and Finian. The only character who I was a bit eh about was probably Cat although I still did like her chapters. I am literally making everybody in my life read this book like ASAP. I need the second one!

The world building in the Across the Universe trilogy by Beth Revis is excellent, but the characters are a bit meh. I didn’t find myself rooting for either Amy or Elder (the two main protagonists). The story is told from both Amy and Elder’s prospective. To me the voice of each character was really similar, the only way I told them apart without looking at the chapter header was the situation they were in and where and who they with. I was especially luke warm about the romance in these books. It was kinda eh. I literally shipped her more with the bad guy in book three then I did Elder. I gave all three books 4 stars but they were probably more like 3.5. I found Amy to be a bit self righteous and and a little selfish. She just wanted things done her way because that’s what she thought was right. I mean it was a shock to her and the entire ship when she was woken up fifty years early, but she acted like a child for all three books really. That being said the Eldest was a bit unnecessarily cruel to her. Elder was a bit on the dim side in my opinion and idk it that was because he was raised on a ship that had limited information and the information it did have was changed to match what the corrupt rules needed the message to say or if its just because he was way to young to be a leader. In the end I though the way the characters acted was a bit out of place and I don’t think it would be a natural way for them to react. Like there was this automatic sense of Us or them (especially in Shades of Earth) that made sense for the “shipborn” people cause that’s the culture of the ship and part of the brainwashing done by the leaders of the ship, but it doesn’t make sense for the “earthborn” people because obviously on earth we encounter different cultures and people on the daily and they were briefed that it was generational ship so there would be other people there when they all woke up. So that kinds made me a bit angry cause its like I don’t understand why that would happen especially when you need each other to survive a new planet. I found it a bit cliched and boring. It was an okay trilogy.

July 2019 Wrap Up

Welcome to my July wrap up! I got a little bored of just writing a straight review of the book and then posting, so I thought I would change it up a little bit and do a end of the month wrap up and see how I like it. I read a total of 6 books this month which breaks my previous four book record by two books (hopefully I can read 8 in August). 6 books and 1993 pages. I was feeling a very strong Ocean/Siren/Pirate them this month so basically all of the books I read had either pirates or sirens/mermaids or both in them.

There is more then one way to steal a heart.

The first on the chopping block was To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo. I loved this book! I ultimately gave it 4 stars mostly cause I felt it tried a bit to hard to edgy and dark in some places, but over all it was beautifully written and I loved the banter between Lira and Prince Elian. This is a twist on the classic Little Mermaid story written by Hans Christian Andersen and popularized by Disney. The relationship between Elian and Lira was perfection and the character development in both was beautifully crafted. I literally cannot say enough good things about this book! My favorite quote is “How strange that instead of taking his heart, I’m hoping he takes me.”

To catch a pirate one must think like a pirate.

This is one of my all time favorite books. My copy is legitimately being held together by tape and will power. To this day I find nothing wrong with any of the characters. To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker is a quick, cute, and easy read and I will love it and stan it forever. I think Annslisa and James are adorable together. I love their banter. I love how he brings out the pirate in her and she brings out the law abiding citizen in him. I love that it takes place in the 1700s (sorry not fantastical elements here). Its just straight YA historical romance. I gave it 5 stars! My favorite quote is ” I’ll always be there, Anna, in every ship you see sailing past. I’ll be the wind in it’s sail.”

There is fine line between love and revenge.

Sea Witch by Sarah Henning is by far my favorite read of this month and maybe this year. I was absolutely blown away by the writing and the imagery and the dialog and the love story and just literally everything. I have been begging my best friend to read it ever since I finished it. The atmosphere is everything! I LOVE IT SO MUCH I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHERE TO BEGIN! Just run, like actually run, and get this book and read and fall in love with it! This was obviously a 5 star read for me and it will make an appearance on my favorites of 2019 list. My favorite quote is “There is yet to be love in this story. Only coincidence and horticulture.” The second one in this duology dropped yesterday and i cannot wait to get paid so I can get it in mu hot little hands!

Sometimes you have to sacrifice everything for family.

This was a 4 star read for me, mostly cause I felt that Caledonia got weaker as the story progressed and is on a self imposed redemption arc. Also cause my favorite character dies and I wasn’t okay with that and for the impending love triangle I feel coming. The second book in the trilogy drops in September and I can’t wait cause I really know what happens to Cala and her crew. I feel as if I’m supposed to ship Cala with Oran but like I really love the dynamic between her and Lir and for them to get together would require some intense character development ans like I’m here for that, but I’m also not holding my breath for that. Seafire by Natalie C. Parker is a beautiful homage to Pirates and dystonia. The world she creates in this trilogy is intense and I want to explore it way more. My favorite quote from the story is a toss up between “Never underestimate the girls of this world.” and ” When I want a kiss, I will be the one to take it.” Also this has absolutely nothing to do with the story, but I am very upset that they changed the covers for the second one (they released a edition of the first one to match) because I find it really ugly and the cover on the first one was absolutely GORGEOUS! I mean LOOK AT IT! For a book nerd it’s swoon worthy!

The last two books for the month were Daughter of the Pirate King and Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller. Both were 3 star and 4 star reads respectively. I was a bit look warm with the first one mostly because I found Alosa to be a tad full of herself and not quite as smart as she thought she is, but as the story continued on she got a lot better especially in the second one. I loved the banter between Alosa and Riden and I liked watching their relationship form and grow over the duology. I also liked how the roles were a bit reversed in the fact that Riden was the one who wanted to talk about feelings and that Alosa was the stand offish one. I didn’t like how easily she turned on her father in the second one I wanted there to be a tad more inner turmoil on that front. I am loving the mostly/all female crew theme that is happening in YA Pirate themed books right not though! My favorite quotes are ” I am me because I choose to be me. I am what I want. Some say you have to find yourself. Not I. I believe We create ourselves to be what we want.” and “I may not have been born in the sea, but I was born to rule it. I am the daughter of the Siren Queen.”

July 15th 24 Hour Readathon

UPDATE (July 16th): I got zero reading done yesterday! I was a bit over ambitious and after working on my bullet journal and doing laundry yesterday morning I had worn myself out and decided to take a nap which turned into me waking up shortly before meeting my friend for some shopping and then spending they day with her. When I got home I basically crawled into bed and just scrolled on the phone and was asleep by 10. All these books are still on my July TBR though and I do plan on finishing most of them before the month is out.

Good Evening! Morning? Either way I have to reset my sleep schedule because on of my oh so lovely coworker decided to no call no show this week so I got to work six shifts in five days this week and working 16 hours straight throw my very delicate sleep schedule into a tizzy. So in order to accomplish this I have decided, in all my infinite wisdom, have decided that a 24 hour readathon was the perfect way to accomplish this. It also service the dual purpose in allowing me to get ahead in my reading list. I bet another one of my co-workers $50 that I couldn’t read 60 books in a year and I am a bit behind. But I am determined to win that money.

So I have a bit of an ambitious TBR (5 Books) but I figure its better to be ambitious then under estimate yourself. Right? I am 56 pages into Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller so I plan on finishing that today and then moving on to the squeal Daughter of the Siren Queen. Also in my TBR pile is Girl at Sea by Maureen Johnson, Sugar Skulls by Lisa Mantchev & Glenn Dallas, and The Beholder by Anna Bright. I also have some things I have to take care of today , Like laundry and some serious quality BFF time with my bestie. So I’ll be happy if I get through half of my TBR. So I guess wish me luck and I will keep y’all updated!