February 2019 Recap

I was kind of an awful book blogger in February. Winter time in Ohio just doesn’t inspire me. I did get a good number of books read, though. Real life in February had some good things, though. I got to meet up with Brandie from Running on Words and Wine for coffee. We exchanged some books and got to catch up and it was a good time. I also went with Amanda to see Lisa Gardner! I haven’t read any of her books yet, but still really enjoyed the event. I liked hearing how she got started as a writer and how her books killed off people with the same name as some of her former bosses. She’s also had 4 books made into tv movies and she was really honest about how much she hated one of them lol. I’m really looking forward to reading her books.

I also was contacted by a couple of publishers in February about ARCs. I received copies of Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren and Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett!

Books Read: 12

Adult: 7
NA: 1
YA: 4

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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Fumbled (Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin

  Books Reviewed: 4

On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls #3) by Julie Cross – 4/5 Stars

Romancing His Rival (Accidentally Yours #3) by Jennifer Shirk – 3.5/5 Stars

Huge Deal (21 Wall St #3) by Lauren Layne – 4/5 Stars

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – 4/5 Stars

Books Read in 2019 Overall: 25

Funny Fridays:

Funny book humor you’ll understand if you're in a book club--or you need to find one to join.

February 8

One of the 17 things you'll relate to if you spend all of your time reading on the BookBub Blog.

February 15

February 22

Other Posts:

January 2019 Recap

Reviewing the Unreviewed: February 2019

Looking Forward to March:

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Harlan Coben is going to be in the area in a few weeks!

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Reviewing the Unreviewed: February 2019

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. Read February 1-2. 3 Stars. 

After reading a lot of mixed reviews, I went into this one cautiously and I think that helped. I mostly enjoyed it, but I did have some issues with it. I felt like Thorne tried just a little too hard to make Darcy the complete opposite of nice, people-pleasing Lucy from The Hating Game. She was a little too much sometimes. I did like the general storyline of the romance between childhood friends and Darcy’s relationship with her twin brother. I just felt like so much of the story was overtaken with Darcy’s pervy thoughts about Tom. I thought it really cheapened the love story. Overall, I liked the beginning and the end, but most of the middle I just kind of got through. I have to say, though, my favorite part of the whole thing was that there was bonus content that included an epilogue for The Hating Game. This may not be one I would want to read again, but I’d still be interested in more from Thorne in the future.

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The Foxe & the Hound by R.S. Grey. Read January 31 – February 4. 3 Stars

This one was just ok for me. I thought it was going to be a fake relationship story, but that plot line only lasts about a chapter, which was disappointing to me. I liked the characters and the dog and there were some funny moments, but overall I don’t think this is one that will leave any kind of lasting impression for me.

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Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West. Read February 5-6. 4 Stars. 

Another enjoyable Kasie West book. I liked the movie set atmosphere and the characters and the romance was cute. The movie scenes left a little to be desired for me, though. If you like West’s other books, you’ll like this one, too.

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Text Me Baby One More Time (Text #4) by Teagan Hunter. Read February 10-11. 3.5 Stars. 

Another enjoyable book in the Text series. Hunter’s writing is really addictive which makes these pretty fast reads. When the main characters of this book appeared in previous books I didn’t really care for either of them at all, so I was happy that I did like them here. I liked their texting past and the whole hate-to-love thing. This series is a little more full-on Romance Novel then I usually read and I feel like as the series goes on they keep getting more explicit, which I don’t love, but it was still a fun read overall.

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King of the Friend Zone (Power of the Matchmaker) by Sheralyn Pratt. Read February 17-20. 3 Stars. 

This was just ok for me. Esme kind of infuriated me about half the time. I liked Hunter a little more, but he was a bit of a hothead, so I didn’t love him as much I had hoped for. The whole magic cookie lady thing was a bit odd. This book has been on my TBR for quite a while, so I’m glad I read it, but it’s not one I would be interested in reading again.

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Dizzy by Nyrae Dawn and Jolene Perry. Read February 20-23. 3 Stars.

Parts of this were cute, but for the most part a whole lot of nothing happened. I also found the whole plot surrounding the couple getting married odd. They’re in college (sophomores or juniors, I can’t remember) and get engaged and then decide to take a semester off to plan the wedding and get married. And all the parents are just fine with it. And there’s no talk about where they’ll live or how they’ll support themselves – although the guy’s family is super rich, so I guess he has a trust fund to take care of them? It just seemed really irresponsible to me. I think it would have made more sense if they had just graduated college. Anyways, this was another book that’s been on my TBR for a long time and I’m glad to get it off the list. 

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A Curse so Dark and Lonely (A Curse so Dark and Lonely #1) by Brigid Kemmerer. Read February 25-27. 3.5 Stars

I enjoyed this one. Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite fairytales, so I’m always up for a good re-telling and I thought this did a decent job of that. There were times it felt really reminiscent of A court of Thorns and Roses, but I ultimately thought this one was better written. I liked Rhen and Grey a lot. I completely despised Harper for about the first half of the book, though. I really have a hard time connecting with characters that are so antagonistic and needlessly reckless. She eventually got a little better for me. I did like the romance, though it wasn’t as prevalent as I would have expected. I also didn’t realize this is a series and am kind of disappointed by that. With just a couple of small changes, this could have very easily been a standalone and I would have been happy with it. I’ll read the next book, but it’s not going to make my “most anticipated” list or anything.

*****Re-Reads*****

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Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills. I could not concentrate on anything, so I decided to re-read something so I could skim through it, but then I got invested and there was no skimming and I basically read this book in one sitting. Loved it just as much as the first time around.

*****DNF*****

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What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon. DNF-ed at 47%. Though I have definitely enjoyed both from time to time, I’m not currently much of a fan of Historical Fiction or Fantasy. I have never really cared for time-traveling plots in particular. However, I’m a big fan of Amy Harmon and that’s why I picked up this book. Unfortunately, it was not enough for me to love it. I had a really hard time getting into the story and I decided to set it down for awhile and I read a couple of other books. I finally tried picking this up again and still couldn’t get into it. It was at 47% that I decided to stop reading and then I just kind of skimmed to the end. I didn’t really find the end very satisfying (mostly due to my time-traveling plotline feelings) so I’m glad I decided to call it when I did. However, everyone else I know has loved it and I wish Harmon nothing but the best. I’ll still definitely be picking up more books from her in the future.

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Starworld by Audrey Coulthurst and Paula Garner. DNF at 23%. I just couldn’t get into this book at all. I think it will have a very specific audience that will love it, but I am not that audience. I found it kind of depressing and quirky and other than the very pretty cover, I don’t really have anything positive to say about it and I really couldn’t make myself read anymore. I found Sam incredibly off-putting. I found the writing in her chapters especially were just not my style.

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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Passion on Park Avenue (Central Park Pact #1) by Lauren Layne – 3 Stars

Fumbled (Playbook #2) by Alexa Martin – 4 Stars

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin – 3 Stars

January 2019 Recap

Anybody else feel like January drug on forever, but also surprised it’s already over? It was a weird month. The weather was unseasonably warm for a while and then record-breaking low. Gotta’ love Ohio. I didn’t make any firm new year resolutions, but there were a few changes I really wanted to start implementing…that didn’t last more than the first week. I think I’m going to consider January a trial-month and start fresh in February. Book-wise, though, things are going pretty well for me. I’m really happy with the number of books I managed this month.

Books Read: 13

Adult: 8
YA: 5

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

I’ve been in a real Contemporary mood lately and I really enjoyed all three of these book and can’t pick between them:

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On Thin Ice by Julie Cross, The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, and The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

  Books Reviewed: 5

I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella – 4/5 Stars

Lovestruck by Kate Watson – 3/5 Stars

Famous in a Small Town by Emma Mills – 4/5 Stars

The Temp by Michelle Frances – 2/5 Stars

The Winter Sister by Megan Collins – 2.5/5 Stars

Books Read in 2019 Overall: 13

Funny Fridays:

January 4

#BookishQouteOfTheDay #Books #Reading

January 11

You could just borrow a library book when you're ready for it... :)

January 18

January 25

Other Posts:

December 2018 Recap

2018 Recap

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Releases for the First Half of 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: New-To-Me Authors I Read in 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: Most Disappointing Books Reads of 2018

Top 5 Wednesday: ARCs on the Top of my TBR

Top 5 Wednesday: Book I’ve Recently Removed from my TBR

Reviewing the Unreviewed: January 2019

Book News:

Grishaverse series coming to Netflix

Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha and Six of Crows books are combining into a Grishaverse tv series on Netflix! It will be amazing seeing these characters and universe come to life, but I am so nervous about the casting for Kaz Brekker!

Reviewing the Unreviewed: January 2019

I read a lot of books that I don’t end up reviewing for whatever reason. Some because I wasn’t impressed. Some because I didn’t have the time. Some I just wasn’t feeling it on whatever particular day I finished. Reviewing the Unreviewed is my monthly post where I share my few thoughts on all the books I didn’t formally review.

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Slow Dance in Purgatory (Purgatory #1) by Amy Harmon. Read December 29 – January 2. 3 Stars.

This was not my favorite Harmon book. I liked the characters and the premise was interesting enough, I just couldn’t really get into it. I’ll read the next book, but I’m not in a bug hurry to do so.

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Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot #10) by Agatha Christie. Read January 3-5. 4 Stars. 

My first Agatha Christie novel and I will definitely need to read more from her. I really enjoyed the writing style. The mystery was good, the characters were fun, and I was not expecting at all how funny it was. It did drag a little bit here and there for me, but I love how all the mundane details ended up being important as everything was revealed at the end.

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Uprooted by Naomi Novik. Read January 6-10. 3 Stars. 

I think I am just not really a fan of these type of books anymore. I really enjoyed reading about the characters in this, but everything else was so “meh” for me. I didn’t really care that much about the magic or the Wood or the fighting or the ENDLESS description. I was going to give this a lower rating, but I’m bumping it up to three stars because I think this is mostly a case of “it’s me, not you.”

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Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus. Read January 10-12. 4 Stars. 

Though I didn’t like this one quite as much as McManus’ previous book, I still really enjoyed it. I liked the characters and the small town setting. While the very first person I suspected did end up being the killer, I did suspect a couple other options throughout the story and there was one unrelated twist that I hadn’t suspected, so I liked that. This was definitely a fun book and I look forward to whatever this author writes next.

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A Killer’s Mind (Zoe Bentley Mystery #1) by Mike Omer. Read January 12-14. 4 Stars. 

I liked this. I thought it was well-plotted, had likable characters, and was sometimes funny. The writing was pretty good, but there were a few parts here and there where the dialogue felt a little off. However, I enjoyed it all enough to give this four stars and would definitely be interested in reading the next book in the series.

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House of Secrets by Lowell Cauffiel. Read January 14-19. 3 Stars.

This was definitely a hard book to read. I’ve heard mention of the Sexton family a lot over the years, as this all happened close to where I live, but I never really knew the details. It is a horrifying story of abuse, incest, murder, and paranoia. I just felt so awful for the poor kids of this family and everything they were subjected to. As for the book itself, it felt a little disjointed and a lot of the details, especially earlier on, didn’t seem necessary. I don’t actually read a lot of true crime, so I’m not sure if the way a lot of this just seemed like conjecture is normal of the genre.

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Hotshot Doc by R.S. Grey. Read January 21-22. 4 Stars.

Despite a few too graphic scenes, I really enjoyed this book. I had kind of decided this author wasn’t for me, but since I currently have Kindle Unlimited I decided to give her another try. I started one book and took a hard pass after the first chapter and decided I would just try out this one before returning them, but then I couldn’t put it down. I really liked both the main characters and how their relationship developed. I also really loved Bailey’s sister, Josie. I thought the end was a little too rushed, but overall it was cute and addictive and really fed my Contemporary craving.

*****Books with Future Reviews Scheduled*****

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On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls #3) by Julie Cross – 4 Stars

Romancing His Rival (Accidentally Yours #3) by Jennifer Shirk – 3.5 Stars

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary – 4 Stars

Review: The Temp by Michelle Frances

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Synopsis from Good Reads:

Wanted: Assistant to provide maternity cover for high-powered TV producer. Must be bright, creative, with killer instincts.

Emma would do anything to work for the woman who has the job she wants. Carrie is at the top of her game, with a dream career, a baby on the way, and a handsome screenwriter husband. For Emma, with parents who don’t understand her ambition and a serious misstep behind her, this temp position might be her last chance.

Carrie has given up more than anyone knows to get to the top of a ruthless business. She won’t give up this baby too. But with Emma filling in for her at the office, her perfect life starts to unravel. Her bank account is inexplicably overdrawn, her husband seems strangely distant and colleagues are all too happy to take Emma’s creative direction. Carrie finds herself dying to get back to work . . . until a letter left at her door changes everything.

Trust and fear trade places in a love triangle that defies readers’ expectations at every turn.

I received a copy of this title via NetGalley. It does not impact my review. 

The Temp will be available January 29, 2019.

I have seen several glowing review for The Temp and was excited to give it a try. Unfortunately, I did not enjoy it near as much as others have seemed to.

First, I want to say that I think the synopsis is a little misleading. Nothing it says is wrong, exactly, it just makes things sound like they happen much more suspensefully or creepily than they actually do. Anyways, I have recently read several light and fluffy Romances in a row and I was really craving something with a little more substance when I picked this book up. I really wanted the suspense and thrills and The Temp just didn’t give it to me. I didn’t think any of the twists were surprising. There is one that is saved until almost the end of the book that I suspected within the first 20% of the story.

Which leads me to my next point. This book was far longer than it needed to be. I felt like there was a lot of repetition and the pace was pretty slow. The chapters became a little quicker towards the end, but I still felt like things were dragged out for too long. I also thought it was structured kind of oddly. The book is broken into four parts, each under a different character’s name, but the story is told in third person and the POV changes almost every chapter, despite which part it’s in. I didn’t understand the purpose of the different parts named after a character if that section didn’t focus entirely on that character’s POV?

Overall, The Temp just wasn’t for me. It had an intriguing premise and the writing wasn’t that bad, it just lacked the suspense and creep factor I was expecting. I wasn’t surprised by any of the twists and I didn’t find the characters very likable or relatable. However, I have seen other people who have really enjoyed this book, so it still might be worth the read.

Overall Rating (out of 5): 2 Stars

 

2018 Recap

Happy New Year bookworms! You may have already read my 2018 End of the Year Survey, but I wanted to compile a few more stats for myself to recap the year.

First, let’s look at a few Real Life things that defined my 2018.

  • January – One of my favorite aunts passed away
  • February – I got promoted to a new position (Administrative Professional)
  • June – My parents’ divorce was finalized
  • July – My mother moved back into her condo after spending 7 months with me (in my one bedroom apartment)
  • October – Started another new job with a new employer (Executive Administrative Assistant).

Ok, now the important stuff – books and blogging!

I read 150 books. 8 of those were Re-reads. I DNF-ed 5 books (not included in the 150).

Adult: 100
New Adult: 8
Young Adult: 42

Ratings – This is the first year I’ve had more 4 Star reads than any other rating. Part of it is me being more generous with my ratings, but I like to think that I just read better books this year.

4.5 Stars: 6
4 Stars: 66
3.5 Stars: 27
3 Stars: 33
2.5 Stars: 7
2 Stars: 10
1 Star: 1

Book Source:

Own: 23
Library: 48
NetGalley: 47
Kindle Unlimited: 22
Other: 10

Reviews

I wrote 69 reviews (though 3 of those won’t post until 2019). This is the first year since my blog’s inception that I did not get more views than the previous year. However, I did have more comments and likes than any previous year.  (So THANK YOU!) I also reached two milestones: I surpassed 1,000 followers and wrote my 1,000th blog post in 2018.

Most Viewed:

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering

The Date by Louise Jensen

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West

The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic


Most Read Author:

Lauren Layne – 6 books


Top 5 Favorite Books of the year (not counting re-reads):

Beartown (Beartown #1) by Fredrik Backman

Us Against You (Beartown #2) by Fredrik Backman

Close to Home by Cara Hunter

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier


Top 3 Most Disappointing Books of the year:

Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tahereh Mafi

My Plain Jane by the Lady Janies

The Date by Lousie Jensen

You can check out my whole year in books HERE.

I had a pretty successful reading year in 2018. Here’s to an even better 2019!