February/March Wrap-Up

Hello! Happy Easter from your favorite heathen! (I always feel a little guilty around Easter)

School this semester has almost completely wiped out my reading, so I didn’t have enough books to do a February wrap-up. Thus, it’s getting combined with my March wrap-up. I’m not going to talk too much about all of these because a bunch of them were books I read for school, but I will put ratings.

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The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain: ★★★ (read for school)

Love and Friendship by Jane Austen: ★★★★ (read for school – I love Jane Austen)

Daisy Miller by Henry James: ★★★ (read for school)

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The Awakening by Kate Chopin: ★★★ (read for school)

#NotYourPrincess by Lisa Charleyboy: ★★ You can read my full review of this here.

Tess of the Road by Rachel Hartman: ★★ You can read my full review of this here.

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Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: ★★★★★ REREAD in preparation for Love, Simon. I’m never going to stop loving this book, and the movie was incredible.

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner: ★★ (read for school) You will never convince me that I like Faulkner. I don’t.

Meet Cute (anthology): ★★★★

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Vicious by VE Schwab: ★★★★ 

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray: ★★★★

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2018 Challenge Updates

Top 12 to Read in 2018: 0/12 (this challenge is apparently going VERY well for me this year…)

Goodreads Challenge: 32/150

Backlist Books Challenge: 21/60 (Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Love and Friendship, Daisy Miller, The Awakening, As I Lay Dying, Vicious, Before the Devil Breaks You)

2018 Debut Author Challenge: 3/12 (well, I didn’t add any to this list, but I’m still technically on track)

Read it Again Sam Challenge: 1/12 (Simon vs)

Series Ender Challenge: 0/5-8 (This is back to 0 because I realized Beneath the Sugar Sky wasn’t the end of the Wayward Children Series)

Blog Discussion Challenge: 1/11-20

How was your January reading month? Are you keeping up with all of your challenges? How has your year been so far? Tell me in the comments!

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January Wrap-Up!

Hello!

So, school finally started up this week, and it’s about 8 times busier than I thought it would be. I’m taking a bunch of English classes, so it’s basically taken over my entire reading life. I sense a major reading slump in my future…. The good thing about my school starting at the end of January is that I had a ton of time to read in January, and I’m so proud of the amount of reading I did do.

I managed to read 20 books in January, and since there are so many, I’m not going to do reviews for all of them, but I will at least put the rating! Now, on to the books!

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A Semi-Definitive List of Worst Nightmares by Krystal Sutherland: ★★★★★ A new favorite for sure.

Tyler Johnson Was Here by Jay Coles: ★★★★ 

Fun Home by Alison Bechdel: ★★★★ I love the musical and this was so interesting because it provided a lot more of the backstory.

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You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone by Rachel Lynn Solomon: ★★★★★ I can’t stop thinking about this book and how good it was.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi: ★★★★

The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★★ I didn’t think it was possible to capture the attitude and demeanor of a cat.

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Room by Emma Donoghue: ★★★★

Tales of the Peculiar by Ransom Riggs: ★★★

The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane: ★★★ You can read my full review of this book here.

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Been Here All Along by Sandy Hall:  ★★★★

That Inevitable Victorian Thing by EK Johnston: ★★★★

Chaotic Good by Whitney Gardner: ★★★★★

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The Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke: ★★★★

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson: ★★★★

Saints and Misfits by SK Ali: ★★★★

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Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco: ★★★ I was really disappointed by this one, honestly. I didn’t really like any of the characters and the romance was kind of… gross?

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann: ★★★★★ This book is so important on so many levels and it has carved out a little place where it will forever live in my heart.

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid: ★★★★

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Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire: ★★★★ Probably my least favorite of the series, but I still loved it.

The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo: ★★★★★ I am not at all surprised by how much I loved this.

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2018 Challenges Update

Top 12 to Read in 2018: 0/12 (I did read Shatter Me, but it won’t count until I finish the series)

Goodreads Challenge: 20/150

Backlist Books Challenge: 14/60 (Semi Definitive List, Fun Home, Shatter Me, Amazing Maurice, Room, Tales of the Peculiar, Been Here All Along, Inevitable Victorian Thing, Girl with the Red Balloon, Amy and Roger, Saints and Misfits, Stalking Jack the Ripper, North of Happy, Language of Thorns)

2018 Debut Author Challenge: 3/12 (Let’s Talk About Love, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, Tyler Johnson Was Here)

Read it Again Sam Challenge: 0/12

Series Ender Challenge: 1/5-8 (Beneath the Sugar Sky)

Blog Discussion Challenge: 1/11-20 (Reading Classics)

How was your January reading month? Are you keeping up with all of your challenges? How has your year been so far? Tell me in the comments!

-Sky

 

 

December (and 2017!) Wrap-Up!

Hello!

2017 has come to a close, and it’s time to enter a new (and hopefully better) year. 2017 wasn’t great for me personally or on the global scale, but I will say that this was by far the best reading year of my life – both when measured by quantity and quality. Since this post is going to be longer than a typical wrap-up, I’m not going to talk about every book I read in December, but I’ll have the ratings. After I go through those books, I’ll review all of my reading and blogging goals, so stay tuned!

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December Reading Wrap-Up

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The Smell of Other People’s Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock: ★★★★

Dance With Dragons by George RR Martin: ★★★ So much of this felt unnecessary, and I’m honestly not sure I’m going to continue with the series.

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds: ★★★★

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the princess saves herself in this one by amanda lovelace: ★★★★★

Nimona by Noelle Stevenson: ★★★★★ I loved this way more than I thought I would, and I want more.

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman: ★★★★ I aspire to this level of grumpiness.

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The Luxe by Anna Godbersen: ★★★★

Rumors by Anna Godbersen: ★★★

Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin: ★★★★ I did a review for this one! You can read it here.

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Envy by Anna Godbersen: ★★★ 

A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Barnard: ★★★★ You can read my full review of this here.

Splendor by Anna Godbersen: ★★★

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1984 by George Orwell: ★★★ I probably would have enjoyed this more had it not felt like non-fiction.

American Panda by Gloria Chao: ★★★★ I will have a review of this up soon so keep an eye out!

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C Dao: I’m not going to put a rating on this one, because I haven’t actually finished it yet, but I will definitely finish it today if it kills me.

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2017 Reading and Blogging Wrap-Up

Reading Goals

2017 Goodreads Reading Goal: 159/100-125 books (if I finish Forest) I’m super proud of myself for having to RAISE my goal (from 100 to 125) and then still massively exceeding it

12 Classics to read in 201712/12

12 Books/Series to read in 201712/12

Buddy Reads (monthly) with Clara: HA nope. We basically didn’t even try with this one but our schedules are so different anyway that this would have been almost impossible. We will probably buddy read a few books next year, but I’m definitely not going to make it a concrete goal.

Blogging Goals

Two Posts per Week: I definitely didn’t complete this goal entirely, but I’m really proud of how much more consistent I’ve gotten over the past year. I also think I’ve finally found a system I want to try next year to help me plan out my posts in advance.

Music Posts: I thought at the beginning of this year I wanted to try and incorporate my love of music into this blog by talking about the music I was listening to, but I think I found an even better way –

If You Like That… Try This!: I really love making these posts, because they incorporate my love of music with my love of books. I would love to do more of these in the future, so let me know if you like them, too!

Reviews: I did get super behind on my ARCs around the middle of this year, but I did eventually catch up and I’m pretty proud of some of the reviews I wrote this year.

Discussion Posts: I didn’t set a particular number of posts that I wanted to do this year, but I didn’t do as many as I wanted to. I’d definitely like to do more discussions in the future.

Overall, 2017 was an amazing reading year for me. What books did you read? Did you meet all of your reading and blogging goals? Tell me in the comments!

Happy New Year!!!!

-Sky

 

November (& NaNoWriMo) Wrap-up!

Hello!

November is over, and that means it’s finally the Christmas season! (aka my favorite time of year). I’m so excited to break out the Christmas decorations and music. I’m also 100% ready for this semester to be over. I have one class that’s an absolute nightmare, and I can’t wait to be done with it. I didn’t have quite as good of a reading month in November as I thought I would, but I still read a good amount of books.

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This Darkness Mine by Mindy McGinnis: ★★★ I had really high expectations for this one, as both of the Mindy McGinnis books I’ve read before this one made it onto my all-time-favorites list, so I think that was part of the reason this disappointed me. I really liked what this book was trying to do, but I ended up having a really hard time suspending my disbelief and connecting to the main character.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray:  ★★★★★  I definitely loved this book more than the first, mostly because there was so much character development. I’m a sucker for a rag-tag group of outcasts, what can I say. I can’t wait to read Before the Devil Breaks You, and I just want all these characters to have happy endings. 

Into the Bright Unknown by Rae Carson:  ★★★★★  I had incredibly high expectations for this one, and it did not disappoint. I love that this series really calls attention to narratives in history other than the straight and white, and there were some great lines that called out privilege and overstepping boundaries. On top of that, the plot was amazing and I fell even more in love with the characters. The perfect end to this trilogy.

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Dear Martin Nic Stone: ★★★★★ I don’t actually have words for how much I loved this book. If you haven’t read this yet, I don’t know what you’re doing with your life. I did a Twitter thread of my thoughts if you’d like some more coherent words.

I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo: ★★★★★ Around the middle of this month I really wanted to read a cute, fluffy contemporary, and wow was this the perfect book. It was really reminiscent of the Lara Jean series, and I almost wish this was a series, too, so I could get more of these adorkable characters. (PS Flailure is the name of my new autobiography)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley: ★★★ It has been so long since I’ve read a classic dystopian like this, and now I know why. I think this genre just isn’t for me. I’ve tried a few, and while I absolutely love The Giver (which is YA), I’m really not a fan of this book or books like Animal Farm. This book wasn’t horrible, but I didn’t really enjoy it either.

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Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire: ★★★★ I loved this book, though not quite as much as the first. Like the first, I wanted this to be longer. I feel like we skimmed over a lot of the development that made Jacqueline and Jillian think the way they did in their fantasy world, and I wish we’d seen more of that growth and change.

Iron Cast by Destiny Soria: ★★★★★ If you like The Diviners, you will LOVE this book. I wish this was a series because I finished it and never wanted it to end. I loved all of the characters, and the descriptions of the illusions that Corinne and Ada made were so beautiful and real. It felt really nostalgic of my high school, where we really made music for this exact reason – to make people feel things and to paint beautiful pictures with the music we played.

The Princess Mutiny by LJ Surrage: ★★★★★ I really enjoyed this book, but I sort of wish it could be split up into a series, because I felt that it was trying to pack a bit too much into too few pages. You can read my full review here.

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NaNoWriMo 

Well, I ended up getting super duper busy this month with school stuff, so this kind of flew out the window. I did write a little over 10,000 words this month, which I’m incredibly proud of. The fact that I wrote anything at all is mind-boggling to me. I didn’t ever think I’d have the courage to start writing something, let alone in such a short amount of time. I’d like to do NaNoWriMo again in the future, but I think I’d enjoy it more if I wasn’t on the first draft of my work. I really feel like I need time when I’m writing a first draft to think about where I want it to go. I think I’m just too much of a perfectionist.

What did you read this month? What was your favorite book? What do you want to read in December? Did you do NaNoWriMo? Let me know in the comments!

October Wrap-up and NaNoWriMo???

Hello!

I’ve returned! October was midterms month so blogging kind of fell by the wayside. Oops. I’m back though! (I hope.) I’m going to start off with my wrap-up, and stay tuned for some NaNoWriMo news at the end! Despite midterm hell, I actually had an amazing reading month, so this is going to be a long one. Bear with me.

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There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins: ★★★★ I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I would, because I literally never read horror books. You can read my full review of this here.

Kaleidoscope Song by Fox Benwell: I don’t have much to say about this one at the moment, because I haven’t even decided what I’m going to rate it yet. Stay tuned for a full review of this coming… eventually?

The Bane Chronicles by Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, and Maureen Johnson: ★★★★ Most of these stories were just ok, but I love Magnus and his sass, and I loved listening to this audiobook. The narrator’s brought him to life in such a fun way, and I got a lot of nostalgic feelings after jumping back into the Shadowhunter world.

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Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: ★★★★ I really enjoyed this book. It was refreshing to read a contemporary with a fat main character, but there wasn’t anything about this book that blew me away.

Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Coates: ★★★★★ Listening to the audiobook for this is definitely the right way to read this book. The author reads it, so he’s reading his own letters to his son and it adds so much more emotion and truth to the words he’s put to paper. A beautiful, beautiful book.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley: ★★★★ I was pleasantly surprised by this. I love the show Penny Dreadful, and my favorite character in that show is based on the original monster. I loved finally getting the real story, and this is definitely one that I would love to analyze in a literature class.

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Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng: ★★★★ It took me a while to get into this one, and there wasn’t a whole lot of plot. However, the character studies done throughout this book were fascinating, and I loved how the past interwove with the present, filling in the puzzle pieces one at a time.

The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket: ★★★ I think I would have liked this one more had I reread it before I watched the Netflix series, but it was done so well that I ended up being a little disappointed while reading it. Still a quick, fun read though.

The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★★ This might be my favorite book in the series. I loved all of the new characters, and it was nice to finally get some answers.

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The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★ This one was so much fun to read. I loved getting to see what was “in” and “out”, but parsley soda sounds absolutely DISGUSTING.

The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket: ★★★ I think this one is my least favorite in the series. For some reason, it couldn’t hold my attention, and I ended up switching over to the audiobook so that I could multitask and do something else.

The Hostile Hospital by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★ This is the first book that actually, genuinely scared me. I’m not particularly squeamish or anything, but this is the first time that these books took a very dark turn and things went downhill very quickly.

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The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★ The series continued to get darker with this one, and I absolutely loved it. I finished this one at 1 in the morning because I wasn’t able to put it down. I had to finish it before I went to bed.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman: ★★★★ I’m not going to say too much about this one, because I am going to do a review soon, but this book was beautiful and painful and painfully relatable. It gave me a lot of feelings.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust: ★★★★ I don’t know how many of you know – but I did NOT like Fairest by Marissa Meyer. This book felt like everything I had wanted from that book and at the same time felt like a Maleficent retelling. I really loved both Mina and Lynet. They were such interesting and complex characters, and their stories were achingly beautiful.

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The Slippery Slope by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★★ This book was amazing. I loved all of the character development that we got to see, and I loved learning more about what was actually happening in this series.

The Grim Grotto by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★★ ASOUE just gets better and better. I absolutely flew through this book, and I couldn’t wait to continue on to the final books in this series.

Dear Ijeawele or a Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: ★★★★★ This is the second work by Adichie that I’ve read, and it was everything I wanted from a letter written on how to raise a child to be a feminist. I loved Adichie’s commentary on a mother and father’s role in raising their child, and how being a girl comes with its own challenges that doesn’t necessarily come with being a boy.

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The Penultimate Peril by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★★ Again, this series kept getting better and better. This is another favorite of mine, and it made me way more emotional than I was expecting.

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer: ★ Welcome to the literal most unpopular opinion ever. I DNF’d Mara Dyer. The initial premise sounded really interesting, and I went into it wanting to like it. But OH MY LORD. Do I hate Noah Shaw. How does anyone like him? He was so pretentious and rude and horrible. Wow. Ok. I’m calm it’s fine. But WOW do I hate him.

The End by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★★  I am so happy that I finally finished this series, and this ending did not disappoint. I wish we had gotten a little bit more closure, but I think this end fit the series very well.

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A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess: ★★★★ I went into this a little bit skeptical, after having read some negative reviews, but I ended up enjoying it. I can see where people drew parallels to other series, but the only thing that bothered me was the “scars hurting when danger is near” plot point. I loved all of the characters, and the plot was surprisingly fast-paced.

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If you’ve made it all the way down here, congratulations. You are one dedicated blog reader. So, NaNoWriMo 2017 has officially begun, and I am participating for the first time EVER! I’m writing a contemporary young adult fiction novel that is loosely based on a character from Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not. It’s going to be very emotional and I am ready.

I’m planning on doing weekly writing updates here (hopefully every Tuesday, but let’s be real scheduling is not my forte), where I’ll talk about my word count, the planning and writing process, and probably just general freak outs over how off schedule I’m bound to become. Hopefully it will be entertaining for y’all!

-Sky

September Wrap-Up

Hello!

Another month come and gone in 2017. I can’t believe it’s almost over. I’m only a month into school and I’m already ready for it to be over. Taking six classes was not a very smart idea, but what are you going to do? Considering how busy I’ve been I’ve had a surprisingly good reading month.

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A Tyranny of Petticoats edited by Jessica Spotswood: ★★★★ As with all anthologies I read, these stories were pretty hit or miss for me. There were some that I absolutely loved, but most were just ok. The biggest issue that I saw was a lot of the stories seemed like they should have been full novels, and didn’t fit in such a small amount of pages.

The Shepherd’s Crown by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★ Pratchett was unable to finish this book before he passed away, and it showed. It was still an amazing book, but it definitely needed more polishing to really live up to the expectations I had after reading I Shall Wear Midnight.

American Gods by Neil Gaiman: ★★★ This one was alright, but it says something that it took me almost 2 months to read it. I’ve noticed a trend with Gaiman’s adult books – I don’t connect with the characters and the plot isn’t great, but the writing itself makes it (mostly) worth it.

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Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys: ★★★ While this one was enjoyable, it’s definitely my least favorite Sepetys book. I loved most of the characters, but the plot and the writing didn’t seem to match the depth and quality of the characters. It could be confusing at times, and I also don’t feel like much happened until the last 1/4 of the book.

On the Fence by Kasie West: ★★★★★ I wasn’t expecting this book to make me so emotional. I’ve also discovered I love reading books that have good sibling relationships. I really appreciated that this was a contemporary that focused a lot on family relationships in addition to the romance.

The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord: ★★★★★ I’m just over here dead on the floor devoid of all feeling because this book destroyed me. Don’t mind me. Emery Lord is definitely a new favorite author, and this book is the perfect example of a contemporary that is sweet and adorable but will also leave your heart shattered on the ground.

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The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco: ★★ This was a DNF at 32%. I put off reading this book for MONTHS because I’d seen some negative reviews, and unfortunately it was with good reason. The writing was much too flowery, and I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. You can read my full review here.

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown: ★★★ I definitely want to read more books about witches in the future, but unfortunately that was the most interesting this about this book. The writing was good, but nothing special, and the plot could sometimes be confusing. You can read my full review here.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë: ★★★★ The best way I can describe this is that it is a combination of The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina. The characters are mostly horrible people, and not all that relatable, but you end up fascinated by them anyway. My biggest complaint was I wasn’t a huge fan of the multiple POVs outside the main characters – I wish we’d gotten to read directly from Heathcliff and Cathy’s perspectives.

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Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller: ★★★★ After reading some negative reviews of this book, I was a little nervous going into it. I ended up getting hooked from the very first chapter, and loved it all the way to the end. You can read my full review here.

Mr 60% by Clete Barrett Smith: ★★★★ I picked this one up completely on a whim, and despite it being less than 200 pages, it packed a powerful punch. I was very emotional after finishing this. My full review for this will be up soon – stay tuned!

Satellite by Lee Davidson: ★ DNF at p 60. I am so disappointed in this book. I wanted to love it so much, but within the first few pages I could tell I wouldn’t. Sixty pages in I gave up because every sentence had some form of cliché, YA trope, or harmful stereotype and I was just done. I have better things to do than read books that irk me so much.

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A Feast for Crows by George RR Martin: ★★★★ Definitely my least favorite book thus far, but still enjoyable. I found myself falling in love with both Jaime and Brienne’s chapters, but Cersei and all the secondary characters just couldn’t hold my attention. The fourth star here is honestly added mostly because of the last five or six chapters which really intensified the plot.

Odd and True by Cat Winters: ★★★★ Cat Winters’s books are always a pleasant surprise for me. They’re never quite what I’m expecting, but I love them all the more for that. I went in expecting a creepy horror/monster hunt, and got one of the most dynamic and beautiful family relationships I’ve ever read. My full review for this will be up soon – so stay tuned!

The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★ Finally getting around to re/reading this series, and I’ll be continuing on next month to finish it. I love Violet, Klaus, and Sunny and all their adventure. Lemony Snicket’s writing is amazing, and listening to this on audiobook was a joy.

 

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The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★ The first time I read this, I gave it 3 stars, but this time it got bumped up to four. I forgot how much I loved Uncle Monty, and I wish there were more of him.

The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket: ★★★★ So far I think this is my favorite of the series. The grammar references and play-on-words made my English-major brain very happy. I also loved Aunt Josephine and how ridiculous she is.

What books did you read this month? Have you read ASOUE? If so – which was your favorite? Tell me in the comments!

-Sky

August Wrap-Up

Hello!

This year is flying by and it’s honestly a bit terrifying. I wasn’t sure how good of a reading month August was going to be, since I started school this week and also moved. However, I managed to read 19 books this month! I’m honestly so proud of myself. I also have to give Clara (whom I’m sure you all know at this point) most of the credit for this. We did The Great Exchange of 2017 this month, and we each swapped 15 books, so her books make up about half of my wrap-up this month! So let’s jump right in, shall we?

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Honor Girl by Maggie Thrash: ★★★★ I knew after the end of Booktube-a-thon that if I picked up something big or complicated (like ACOWAR, which was my original plan) I would fall into a reading slump. This was the perfect quick pick-me-up that I was able to read in one sitting, with a sweet and cute story. My only complaint was the art was a little simple and I couldn’t always distinguish characters.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray: ★★★ The satire and parody aspects of this book were absolutely fabulous. It just got extremely weird at points, and about halfway through the book the humor just got a little bit too repetitive for me. I really appreciate what this book was trying to do, it just wasn’t for me.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han: ★★★★★ I have no idea why it took me so long to pick up this book. Literally no idea. Because I loved it so much. It was so cute, and the romance was perfect. I especially loved seeing a girl who is so close with her sisters, since I’m an only child and I’ve never really had that.

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PS I Still Love You by Jenny Han: ★★★★★ I didn’t like this one quite as much as the first, but it was still absolutely perfect. I loved the character development, as well as the development of the romance. I’m so bummed I didn’t pick these books up sooner. They’re so cute and sweet.

The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer: ★ I haven’t rated a book 1 star in ages, so that’s really a testament to how much I hated it. The writing was incredibly confusing, and the last-minute addition of magical realism just felt like a cop-out, rather than tackling some of the deeper topics that could have been explored. You can read my full review here.

Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson: ★★★ This book is one of the classics that I wanted to read this year, so now I can check it off the list. It surprised me – I was expecting to fall in love with the adventure in this story, but I ended up loving the characters a whole lot more. The plot sort of fell to the wayside, but the characters were interesting.

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Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín: ★★★ I actually think I liked the movie of this a little bit better than the book. The writing was a little dry and bland for me, and it made the book seem to drag on a little bit.

Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman: ★★★★ I knew I was going to enjoy this book going into it, and it did not disappoint. I also appreciated that it wasn’t just a simple romance that we usually see in contemporaries. Every character was very well developed.

Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire: ★★★★★ I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages. I loved it so much, not least because our main character is asexual. ON PAGE NAMED as asexual. And it made me so happy. We really need more books like this because it had such a good discussion of different sexualities and genders, and it wasn’t even a contemporary.

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Always and Forever Lara Jean by Jenny Han: ★★★★★ I don’t think this series could have ended any more perfectly. It was everything I didn’t know I wanted in a contemporary series, and more. These books are probably going end up on my all-time favorites shelf.

*from here on out are all the books that I borrowed from Clara*

The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★ Clara’s been trying to get me to read Terry Pratchett for over a year. And I finally did it! (I hope you’re happy, Clara). This book was so good. I loved the writing, especially the little foot notes. I definitely would have loved this more if I’d read it when I was younger (I think it’s technically middle grade) but it was still a fantastic, magical read.

The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: ★★★★★ Again, another author that Clara has been pushing me to read for over a year. This one did not disappoint. Like Lara Jean, I really loved how this book blended familial relationships with romance, and I thought the discussion of class-relations was also interesting.

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A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★ I liked this book even better than the first. Pratchett expanded the world beautifully, and I loved all of the new characters. Plus, the Nac Mac Feels are just pure awesomeness no matter what.

Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★ This one is probably my least favorite of the four that I read, but I still really enjoyed it. My biggest complaint about this one is I felt like Pratchett was trying to make his transition into YA with this one, and the way he did that (through the romance) still felt a little bit juvenile.

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki: ★★★★ Wow. What an emotional roller-coaster this was. I loved the writing, and reading from both Ruth’s and Nao’s perspectives was so interesting. I loved how Ozeki blended the past with the present. I have really mixed feelings about the ending, though, which is why I knocked off a star.

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I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett: ★★★★★ This one is absolutely an all-time-favorite. I can’t really even explain why I loved it so much. It was just that perfect. Tiffany has grown up so much, and I’m so proud of her. Just. Perfect.

The Chance You Won’t Return by Annie Cardi: ★★★★ This one was fascinating. I’ve never read a book quite like this, but it gave me some very strong Next to Normal vibes, since they both center around a girl whose mother suffers from mental illness. The ending felt a little bit rushed to me, but I still really enjoyed it.

The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: ★★★★ I knew I was going to enjoy this one, and I absolutely did. It lived up to my expectations completely, but I wish it had exceeded them. I also got some pretty strong Passenger vibes from this, but it was definitely still its own entity and story.

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The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord: ★★★★★ (note for Clara: I hope you’re happy, and YES I will read The Names They Gave Us when I finish your books. I promise) Another author that Clara has been trying to get me to read for wayyyy too long. I really don’t have much of an excuse, other than lack of these books in Barnes and Noble. But, I finally read it. I loved it so much. It destroyed my soul, but I loved every minute of it.

What books did you read this month? Do you swap books with friends? Tell me in the comments!

-Sky