June 2018 Recap

June was a pretty good reading and blogging month for me, as you’ll see below, so I’m going to take a moment to talk about some life updates. My parents’ dissolution was completed this month. It’s been a very stressful several months and there has been a lot of changes in our family and I’m glad we can all finally move on. My mother has been staying with me, in my one bedroom apartment, for over 7 months. (I’m not sure what the qualifications are for sainthood, but I’m pretty sure I meet them haha.) She is finally going to get back to her condo soon and I think we’re both pretty pleased about that. Maybe one day I will do a whole post about the events that led up to all of this. I think it could be kind of cathartic. It’s felt like a poorly written Lifetime movie. Anyways, on to the books!

Books Read: 14

Adult: 12
YA: 2

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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The Promise (DI Imogen Grey #4) by Katerina Diamond

  Books Reviewed: 9

The Book of Me by Peng Shepherd – 3/5 Stars

Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering – 4/5 Stars

The Paris Wedding by Charlotte Nash – 4/5 Stars

Providence by Caroline Kepnes – 2.5/5 Stars

Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley – 2.5/5 Stars

One Small Thing by Erin Watt – 4/5 Stars

The Date by Louise Jensen – 2/5 Stars

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage – 3/5 Stars

Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall – 3.5/5 Stars

Books Read in 2018 Overall: 82

Funny Fridays:

I assumed you owned a bookstore.

June 8th

Blessed are the children of the bookworm for they shall inherit the books.

June 15th

June 22nd

Other Posts:

May 2018 Recap

Top Ten Tuesday: My Summer TBR

Top Ten Tuesday: Series I’ve Given up on / Don’t Plan to Finish

Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2018

Bellarke

bellarke reunion hug | Tumblr

I’ve never been a huge fan of the show The 100, but I’ve watched it – mostly as background noise – since it’s been on. I’ve always shipped Clarke with Bellamy and that has basically been the only reason I’ve stuck with the show for so long. However, I’ve really been enjoying this season so far and decided to go back to the beginning because I don’t remember who a lot of these characters are or how they got there. Between the current season and the first couple of seasons I’ve re-watched now I’ve become, like, a #Bellarke super fan. I spent so much time on Pinterest lately looking at Bellarke pins. It’s a problem, but I can’t help myself. I ship them so hard!

Looking forward to July

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There are 2 author events I’m really excited about in July. As part of my favorite Summer tradition, Linda Castillo will be in the area for her book tour. (Look for my review of her latest book on July 2nd). She is also holding a writing seminar while she’s here that I’ve signed up for. I am also going with book buddy Amanda to see one of my favorite authors, Linwood Barclay!

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Reviewing the Unreviewed: June 2018

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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The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth. Read June 1-3. 3 Stars. 

I think maybe I’ve just read too many books like this lately. The writing was fine and I liked all the POVs we got, but I just didn’t really like the characters or their problems. I did like the twist. I had several guesses and none of them were right, so I’m giving an extra star for that twist.

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After Anna by Lisa Scottoline. Read June 3-6. 3.5 Stars.

I liked the structuring of the novel. Chapters alternated between Noah and Maggie’s POVs and the timeline was played around with, too, very effectively. However, I just felt like for the most part the pace was very slow and once the conclusion to the trial was reached the timeline stayed more linear and it kind of threw me off. I absolutely hated Maggie, too. I just found her so unlikable. The end of the book picked up a little, but I thought the developments were kind of unbelievable. However, it was still an enjoyable book and it did have a nice twist that I was hoping for.

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Love Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington. Read June 9-10. 4 Stars. 

I really enjoyed this book. It was a lot more angsty and heavy at times than I was expecting, but it worked. I liked the alternating POVs and timelines and thought it was used effectively. I loved Cam. I liked Vee in the “Then”, but found her kind of hard to like in the “Now” until towards the end. I thought the romance was super cute (though angsty for awhile). I loved the reality competition show angle and would’ve liked to have seen even more of that. Overall, this was exactly the cute weekend read I wanted and I will be checking out more from Pennington in the future.

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I Think I Love You (Oxford #5) by Lauren Layne. Read June 12-14. 4 Stars. 

To be honest, the synopsis for I Think I Love You almost scared me off. Anything where the plot sounds like it’s centered around a physical relationship is not generally my thing. However, I’ve learned that when it comes to a Lauren Layne book, it’s always best to give her the benefit of the doubt and I’m once again glad I did. While there were a few of the too-graphic scenes I don’t really appreciate, there weren’t more than her other books I’ve read have had. Full Review to come next month.

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The Promise (DS Imogen Grey #4) by Katerina Diamond. Read June 15-16. 4 Stars. 

Last year I read and fell in love with the DS Imogen Grey series and The Promise was one of my most anticipated books of 2018. I’m so happy to report that it completely lived up to my expectations. Full review to come closer to release date.

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The Other Woman by Sandie Jones. Read June 16-18. 2 Stars.

I thought the synopsis for this sounded kind of like a Lifetime movie and I was expecting a really fun, guilty-pleasure type of read. Unfortunately, it fell short of my expectations. Full review to come closer to release date.

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Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris. Read June 20-21. 3.5 Stars. 

After all the mixed reviews I’ve seen on this, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I found it really enjoyable. The short chapters and alternating timelines or POVs gave it a steady pace and helped make it a quick read. I did have a couple of theories going for awhile before I finally settled on one which ended up being right. I was ok with it, but when it came time for the explanation of how it all happened to be revealed I found myself kind of disappointed. It just seemed a little far-fetched and I thought it could have been done in a more fun-crazy way. So even though I enjoyed reading it, I have to dock a little bit of points from my rating for the ending.

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Girls’ Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Read June 22-24. 2 Stars. 

Well, I really did not care for this book. Unlikable characters and an entirely predictable plot made it a struggle to complete and I wish I didn’t waste my time on it. Full review to come next month. 

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Our House by Louise Candlish. Read June 24-26. 4 Stars.

Our House is one of my most anticipated books of the summer and while it wasn’t quite what I expected, I definitely enjoyed it. Full review to come closer to release date.

********Back on the TBR********

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The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. My hold for this finally came in at the library, but I just never got to it before it expired.

May 2018 Recap

Like I’m sure most other bloggers do, I drafted this post awhile ago, to finish editing closer to the posting date. However, as I tried to add pictures I’m having a lot of problems with WordPress. Once a picture is added, it will not let me edit it. I can not select the picture to re-size it and whenever I try to click on it, the whole page shifts up or down. Am I the only one this is happening to? I’m also having issues with Goodreads. I finished a book and marked it as read, but it would not let me enter a Finish date, which means it doesn’t update my reading challenge. Again, is this just me? I’m so frustrated right now. Sorry this post looks like crap.

Books Read: 15

Adult: 10
YA: 5

Books Reviewed: 10

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin – 2/5 Stars

Hangman (Detective William Fawkes #2) by Daniel Cole – 4/5 Stars

The Favorite Sister by Jessica Knoll – 2/5 Stars

Hot Asset (21 Wall Street #1) by Lauren Layne -4/5 Stars

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne – 3.5/5 Stars

The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen – 3.5/5 Stars

Just One of the Royals (The Chicago Falcons #2) by Leah and Kate Rooper – 3/5 Stars

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier – 4/5 Stars

Listen to Your Heart by Kasie West – 4/5 Stars

Nearlyweds by Beth Kendrick – 4/5 Stars

Books Read in 2018 Overall: 68

Funny Fridays:

May 4

May 11

May 18

May 25

Other Posts:

April 2018 Recap

Kindle Unlimited Review

Reviewing the Unreviewed: May 2018

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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The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson. Read May 4-6. 3.5 Stars.

I recently read All the Beautiful Lies and liked it, but everyone else seemed to think it wasn’t as good as Swanson’s previous books and The Kind Worth Killing was mentioned to me several times. I think that gave me really high expectations for this that weren’t quite met.

I liked the multiple POVs. The characters were all awful, but often fascinating. I thought the first twist was really good, but after that my guard was up and I didn’t really find anything else that surprising. Overall I thought this was good, but it didn’t really grip me like I was hoping it would.

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Operation Prom Date (Tactics in Flirting #1) by Cindi Madsen. Read May 12-13. 4 Stars.

I was in the mood for something cute and light and decided to give this one a try when I saw there was no wait for it at the library and I am so glad I did! It was so freaking cute! I loved Kate and Cooper and shipped them pretty hard. I also loved all Kate’s talk about the characters she shipped (“I used to be all about Damon and Elena, but there toward the end, I shipped her and a coffin.” Lolol). I loved how kind of nerdy Kate was and she made me laugh several times. If you’re looking for a sweet YA I definitely recommend this one.

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Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren. Read May 14-15. 4 Stars. 

I did really like this, but I also really had some issues with it. I was rooting for Macy and Elliot, but I felt the further we got into the book the less impressed I was with their relationship. When it starts out we just keep being told how they were each other’s first/best “everything” and they were so close and special and then something awful happened where they didn’t speak for eleven years. Every other chapter is told in flashback to when they first met until the big event that drove them apart. As they grew older in the flashbacks, their conversations primarily seemed to revolve around sexual topics and while they’re young and hormonal and I get that, it felt like it was at the expense of finding out real things about each other. Macy realized on several different occasions that their relationship is very insulated and she knows very little about Elliot’s outside life. While I didn’t doubt that they cared about each other, I just never really bought their relationship being as real and close as we’re told it was.

I also thought it got way too long to get to what happened. I pretty much guessed what happened within the first chapter or two and it was kind of annoying that they waited roughly 400 pages to reveal it. And while I’m sure it was a traumatic time for Macy, it also felt like a big overreaction that didn’t warrant eleven years of the silent treatment.

Ok, so I know it sounds like I didn’t like this, but I did. I liked the Present chapters a lot more than I liked the flashbacks. Even though Macy still frustrated me, I did like adult Macy and Elliot together. I liked adult Elliot a lot more than teenage Elliot. The writing was very addictive and once I started this book I only put it down for sleep and work. I did think the first half was better than the second half, though. However, it’s still a book that I think I would read again.

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The Book of M by Peng Shepherd. Read May 13-19. 3 Stars. 

The Book of M is certainly an ambitious debut. Covering multiple characters, countries, and time in painstaking detail, it explores a new dystopian world where the loss of memories results in dangerous magic. Full Review to come.

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Tell Me Lies by Carola Lovering. Read May 19-20. 4 Stars. 

Tell Me Lies is an addicting tale of a toxic relationship and the dysfunctional people involved in it. Full review to come.

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A Gathering of Secrets (Kate Burkholder #10) by Linda Castillo. Read May 21-22. 4 Stars.

Sometimes when a series has been around for awhile, the characters and the stories seem to get a little stale. That is not the case with the Kate Burkholder series. We are ten books in and I still enjoy it just as much as I did the beginning of the series. Full review to come.

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Find You in the Dark by Nathan Ripley. Read May 23-26. 2.5 Stars. 

Comparisons to Dexter and to Joe made me pretty excited to read Find You in the Dark, but as with such other comparisons, I was left a little disappointed. Full review to come.

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A Court of Frost and Starlight (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.1) by Sarah J. Maas. Read May 26-27. 2.5 Stars.

Well. That was kind of pointless. You know there are groups of characters that you say you would read about them doing ANYTHING? The ACOTAR group has never been that for me, but if they are that for you, you’ll enjoy this. Like all other Maas books it was weighed down with too much pointless detail and very little plot. It was occasionally funny, though, and I will always have a certain level of love for Rhys. I’m not really feeling that inspired to continue the series, but I probably will.

********Back on the TBR********

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Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. I finally got this from the library, but I just was not in the mood for fantasy at the time. I will try it again some day.

********DNF********

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Attempting Elizabeth by Jessica Grey. DNF-ed at 58%. I almost never DNF a book this far into it, but I just really couldn’t make myself care about it. The concept is interesting, but I don’t think it was executed that well. And the main character was really annoying. I put it down for a few days to read something else and was not at all interested in picking it back up again.

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Jane and Austen by Stephanie Fowers. DNF-ed at 9%. I really liked the concept of this and that it has characters based off of all of Jane Austen’s books, but I just couldn’t get into it. 

Kindle Unlimited Review

A couple of months ago I received an e-mail with a deal to try Kindle Unlimited for 2 months for $0.99. I’ve been wanting to try out KU and decided that deal was too good to pass up. I read many books that are not available at my library that I’m sure I would have never picked up otherwise and really loved a few of them. I definitely got my monies worth, but would I subscribe again? And should you? Maybe.

If you are a Romance fan – especially of the New Adult variety – than there are a TON of options. There were many books that had been on my radar from fellow bloggers that I was happy to finally be able to try. There were also many that I knew would not be for me, but if Romance is your genre of choice, then I definitely think it would be worth you to spend a little money for a month of books.

I had a harder time finding books that interested me in other genres. Most of the Mystery/Suspense titles I looked into I ended up not even reading because when I looked them up on Good Reads they had pretty bad reviews. The one book I was looking forward to the most (and the only book I’ve almost bought on multiple occasions, but never pulled the trigger) was Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine and I was so let down by the hype that I never even picked up the sequel during that two month period.

While I was able to read plenty of books, I also had library books come in off the Holds list and some ARCs that I had to get to, as well. If I were to pay for KU again I would try to make it a month where I didn’t have books I was waiting on from the library or any ARCs that are publishing during that time. I would suggest being able to devote all your reading time to it if you’re going to be paying money for it.

So what did I read? I’m glad you asked.

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Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine – 3 Stars

Dear Aaron by Mariana Zapata – 4 Stars

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata – 4 Stars

Under Locke by Mariana Zapata – 1 Star

Moonshot by Alessandra Torre – 3.5 Stars

Co-Wrecker by Meghan Quinn – 3 Stars

Infinity + One by Amy Harmon – 4 Stars

The Dreamer by E.J. Mellow – 3 Stars

The Dreamcatcher by E.J. Mellow – 3 Stars

Ninja Girl by Cookie O’Gorman – 3.5 Stars

Running Barefoot by Amy Harmon – 4 Stars

My Sister’s Intended by Rachael Anderson – 3 Stars

Let’s Get Textual by Teagan Hunter – 4 Stars

I Wanna Text You Up by Teagan Hunter – 3.5 Stars

April 2018 Recap

Books Read: 16

Adult: 8
NA: 6
YA: 2

Favorite Book I Read This Month:

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Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

  Books Reviewed: 8

All the Beautiful Lies by Peter Swanson – 4/5 Stars

The New Neighbors by Simon Lelic – 2.5/5 Stars

Restore Me (Shatter Me #4) by Tahereh Mafi – 2/5 Stars

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell – 4/5 Stars

Sorority by Genevieve Sly Crane – 3/5 Stars

What You Want to See by Kristen Lepionka – 4/5 Stars

Let’s Get Textual by Teagan Hunter – 4/5 Stars

Honeysuckle Dreams (Blue Ridge Romance #2) by Denise Hunter – 3.5/5 Stars

Books Read in 2018 Overall: 53

Funny Fridays:

Actually that's not true the Harry Potter series is one of the best book series out there, but the movies are about as good. ABOUT.

April 6

April 13

April 20

April 27

Other Posts:

Happy Easter

Favorite Mysteries and Thrillers

My Blog Name in Books

Reviewing the Unreviewed: April 2018