Books I read in October, November & December

Doctor Who: Crawling Terror by Mike Tucker

I got this book in 2015 from one of my roommates at the time who loved doctor who also. It’s not the first Doctor who novelization that I’ve read but they’re always a bit hard to get through. It’s very different when you’re used to the fast pace of a tv show. It just feels so slow. I’m also not a big fan of this doctor so that didn’t help much either in the keeping my interest, but in the end, I quite enjoyed it.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Long awaited! It’s been quite a while since John Green had written something (which I was never surprised about given how busy he is). All this talk of spirals, turtles and mental illness had me intrigued and a bit confused. Turtles are hardly mentioned, but that’s not the most important thing. This book carries the John Green feel, so if you’ve read anything he has written before you will be able to notice a sort of pattern. I loved Aza. I was concerned for Aza. I hurt for Aza. In summary, this book will give you feels.

Adultolescence by Gabbie Hanna

I  picked this book off the shelf purely because of the title. I was also looking for some poetry to “mix it up” and I was sold. It’s a very odd book. It doesn’t really relay a particular message other than the fact that the author was on a deadline and when at a lack of inspiration she wrote about that just to fill pages. The structure is all over the place also but the illustrations are fun.  I got through this one fairly quickly.

The Jane Austen Project by Kathleen A. Flynn

I bought this book at the same time I purchased the previous one. At this point, I didn’t have many books in my TBR pile since I made sure to read most of them during the hurricane aftermath. My husband actually picked it and I was intrigued by the summary. I wasn’t disappointed. I love time travel and this new approach to it was very interesting for me. I did feel it did go a bit slow, then again that’s just how I generally feel about anything historical-ish.

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

I want my husband to read also so we can discuss. When he expressed interest in this since the movie is coming out I decided to go for it. The intention was he read it first, but I had no more books. I loved this book. It is precious. I would have loved to read this when I was younger yet I enjoyed it just the same. Hopefully, my husband feels the same whenever he reads it.

The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

This book is everywhere, it’s kind of hard not to notice it. I never thought about reading it until a coworker and I decided we wanted to start a book club together and read this. I was a little skeptical, yet I found myself glued to the page on several occasions. There is a little bit of everything. It’s relatable even if you will never inherit an insane amount of money.

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

I watch a lot of TV, and one of my favorite TV shows is  ‘The Librarians’ (which originated from three made for TV movies, that are also amazing). The original movies are about this huge library that exists in a different dimension just because of how big it is, a collection of magical things and books. This book has that same basis only that the library is a “place” that takes you to alternate worlds where there are agents who retrieve important literary works for the library. So you have the literary aspect, fantasy and some action mixed in.  I loved this and am looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Books I read in August & September

*special note here! a lot of the books I read in September I read during the aftermath of hurricane Maria where we had no power for several weeks and this was the best form of entertainment.I will mention it a few times, but if your interested in knowing how Puerto Rico is currently doing I recommend you check it out*

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

I received this book in May for the Comic Explosion Owl Crate. I was intrigued by the theme and also that the cover would be a little different than the version sold in stores. I read this on a flight where normally I get distracted by different things, like sleeping, watching a movie, playing a game, coloring etc. , and I was so hooked I finished it during the flight and wasn’t distracted as much.

This is How it Happened by Paula Stokes

This was another of the books I read for the YA book club. At first, I was kinda skeptical but some of the other members had read books from this author before and were looking forward to it. I really liked the message it sent out about drowsy driving. I had always felt like that was something that caused a lot of accidents but was never really mentioned so I loved how It was presented here.

Everland by Wendy Spinale

This is another Owl Crate book that I received in May of 2016, and the theme of said box was Steampunk which is something that didn’t really attract my interest at the time. That is probably the main reason it sat on my TBR for so long, and at this point, I was trying not to buy a lot of new books until I was done with the ones I had which gave no choice but to dive into this. I will be honest I  didn’t understand what was happening and then I realized that it was kind of like the Peter Pan story and everything fell into place.

Waking in Time by Angie Stanton

This book was from subscription box I had gotten as a gift for my birthday, sadly I don’t remember the name of the box but I know it came from the UK. The theme was time, which is why my husband thought it was a good gift since I love time travel. I fell in love with this book. This is feeling is the reason I love subscription boxes and knowing as little as possible about a book before reading it.

Lovecraft Country by Matt Ruff

This was the adult book club choice for September. Unfortunately, that meeting never happened because hurricane Irma & Maria had hit and the mall where the bookstore where the meetings take place was without power for almost a month not only that but internet wasn’t stable enough to maintain a skype call.  This book was an eye-opener for me since it touched the subject of racism right after the abolition of slavery, and from a different perspective within a black family.

Wicked like Wildfire by Lana Popović

Another book club selection that I read during the aftermath of hurricane Maria. The meeting was also canceled, and the meeting was taking place at another location the bookstore had, and the mall it’s in was pretty much destroyed inside.  On a sort of lighter note, I did not like this book. It was so slow and took forever to make a point, nothing really made sense to me and I was extremely frustrated when I finished it. It is beautifully written though, the descriptions of food, characters and how the magic works are beautiful, but too much of that didn’t make it a good enough story.

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

I got this book at an antique event at the mall, so this was a used copy in pretty good condition. I had seen the movie when it originally came out and enjoyed the book even more. They’re pretty similar (movie/book) and the book just gives the story more depth. I don’t remember if I cried in the movie ( I probably did) but I cried on several occasions reading this.

Fireworks by Katie Cotugno

Won in on of the book club meeting raffle. For a book that was based in the 90s, it didn’t really feel like it was. It was a good book, very cliche. I did feel like I got an insight on how the show business works especially when it came to forming boy/girl bands. With that in mind, drama ensued. Friendships took a toll, a girl met a boy, boy liked the girl, etc.

Books I read in May, June & July

Alex & Eliza by Melissa de la Cruz

I decided to read this for two reasons, my husband’s name is Alex (mine is not even close to Eliza but still) and I loved Hamilton the musical. I haven’t read much historical fiction but this was pretty good. I’m sure a few creative liberties were taken.

North of Happy by Adi Alsaid

This was the book club choice for the June meeting. It was really interesting. Every chapter would begin with a recipe that would reflect the main characters feelings. I was super impressed when I was researching the author and found out he was about my age and has published several books.  During our Skype session with this young author, he was actually across the world. I also found out he is a really cool guy to follow on Twitter.

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

I had been wanting to read this for a while, especially since the movie had been released. Unfortunately as the release neared information about animal abuse was discovered and was canceled at a lot of theaters. I like reading books before watching the movies. I cried so much while reading this, I feel closer to my dog even.

Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

This is book two of the Monsters of Verity duology. I first discovered this series and V. E./Victoria Schwab when I received the first book of this series in on of my first Owl Crates. This second book did not disappoint. Ms. Schwab does it again by keeping anything romantic on a second plane so that the true action is always front and center, always making you think.

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

This is the second book in a series that I recently found and fell in love with.  As I mentioned with Moriarty I am attracted to anything Sherlock Holmes related. This retelling is special because the main characters are descendants of Holmes, Watson, and Moriarty even.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

The book club I attended most of 2017 was YA, so the bookstore where its held decided to open up new clubs that would read different genres. This was part of the adult fiction book club, the only meeting I was able to attend. I bought it on a whim because one of the girls in the YA book club was reading it and said it was good, even though she didn’t really say what it was about I decided to go ahead and read it. Oh, My God!!! This is probably one of my favorite books I read this year. I love anything to do with time travel and since this is based on scientific theories, it blows your mind.

The Upside of Unrequited by Beck Albertalli

This was the book we read in July for the YA meeting. When I read this I realized that you are never too old for YA. I may not have been going through what the main character was going through presently, but I remember being a teenager and having those feelings. I related so much and it made me happy.

The Princess Saves Herself in this One by Amanda Lovelace

I had been wanting to read this for a while since I follow the author on Tumblr. I had tried buying it at a big chain bookstore and it wasn’t available when I saw this at my local bookstore I was so excited. I absolutely loved this collection of poems. I felt empowered.

Meatspace by Nikesh Shukla

My local bookstore had a blind date with a book event, which is where they wrap books and write some keywords, the genre, quotes, etc., and from there you decide to buy it or not. I took a chance with this. It was very hard to get through. The main character is very depressing. I think the most interesting part of this book was learning about the publishing process. At that moment I had an idea I was researching that required looking into this whole process and this book inspired me to do so but other than that it was kinda boring.

Books I read in March & April

Another day by David Levithan

So this book is like a different angle to Every day by David Levithan, which is my favorite book of all time. I put off reading this for a long time, worried that what made me love Every Day would be ruined in a way since it was a different perspective. I was wrong, and I’m glad I was. It only added a new dimension to my all time favorite. I love a good movie adaptation as much as the next person, but ever since I saw this was being made a movie I have been very disappointed. I have always felt that these books, in particular, were best as books. I may even talk about this adaptation stuff later on.

The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher

I had never read a biographical book and I also wasn’t a huge follower of Carrie Fisher. With all the new Star Wars fever and also her death  I  felt intrigued.  I had heard wonderful things about this book in particular and was happy to have taken a chance with it.  After reading this I want to read some more of her work. It was very funny and in a way empowering. Carrie was such an inspiration and still is for all women.

 

Uprooted by Naomi Novik

This is an example of me buying a book by its cover. It just kept popping up in my Tumblr feed and all the covers I saw were so pretty. I didn’t even read the description when I bought it or researched it. From the moment I started reading it, I couldn’t stop thinking that it would make a wonderful Netflix series. I love how magic is presented and how it manifests in the main character, how it helps her grow.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

I got this book in the March Owl Crate that I like to get for my birthday, and the theme was Sailor, Ships & Seas. I didn’t think much about what it was about and just started reading it. I felt it was an ‘Ok’ book, I felt like throughout the book not a lot of progress was made until almost the end and then it ended in a cliffhanger, which frustrated me more than anything. It wasn’t bad, and it had some very enjoyable moments; lots of action and a strong female character.

The Wish Granter by C. J. Redwine

This is what we read in April for the book club I was attending. I like retellings, and this one wasn’t bad.  It’s an interesting twist on the story of  Rumplestiltskin. I read this book without realizing there was another in the series, but it’s written in a way that it works well as a stand-alone. I had an opportunity to Skype with the author and were told more about the plans for future books in this series, which are tied together by some character who make appearances and the fact that they all exist in the same world, but it’s not really necessary to read previous books.

Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz

This was a gift from my husband. For some reason, I am attracted to all things related to Sherlock Holmes, yet I have never read the original series completely. I believe my love for Sherlock originated from the movies and series. I have found a few retellings which I’ve loved. Now, this book was better than what I ever expected. At first, I found it a little hard to keep reading until I reached a certain point and was hooked. Not to spoil it but the ending really surprised me. I was reading at work and I was audibly flabbergasted when I read the end that I scared my co-worker.

Books I read in January & February

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

This was very different to what I would normally read and it what attracted me to it. Before this, I had a hard time getting through science fiction, because the format of Illuminae is so different it kept me hooked. Loved the main character, Kady Grant. She is so bad ass and inspiring.  I loved the use of AI and how big of a role it plays. We may not be traveling in space yet but AI is very relevant right now.

 

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows

This was part of the 2016 June Owlcrate. This was one of those books where I read the summary and wasn’t really that interested in it, which happened to me a few times with several of the Owlcrate selections. I kept passing it over until my TBR was decreasing and I didn’t have much of a choice. I was pleasantly surprised when I was reading it, and enjoyed it very much. It is very long, which makes sense since it’s a collaboration of three authors, but I read it quickly because that’s how good it was.

 

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

This was the first book I read for book club. To promote this particular book club they had a copy of the book at the register opened to the first chapter which starts with, “This is how I kill someone”. Quite the selling point. This story does go deeper than that. It’s quite dark but it carries a very powerful message. I also loved talking with the author during the meeting and is super cool on social media, Twitter in particular.

 

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

This is one of those books that I bought because of the cover and ended up loving. This is the second book in the Shades of Magic Trilogy. I had never been attracted to fantasy until this. I was very happy to be reading and falling in love with greats series again. V.E. Schwab does that wonderfully. This world is full of magic, action and just enough romance that doesn’t distract from the real issues.


Before I Fall 
by Lauren Oliver

This was another book club selection. I was hesitant to read this because I was not fond of Lauren Oliver’s previous works. I read it because not all books can be hits. This was also around the time the movie was coming out and at the book club, we got tickets for the premiere at our local theater, which was a really awesome experience. The movie was just as ok as the book.

 

 

Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Another series I’ve fallen in love with. Maintains the format for Illuminae but we have a whole new set of characters. It follows the storyline, but from a different part of the universe with some big science at the center of the story. This second book just made me fall in love with the series so much more. There is an allusion to a Romeo and Juliet type relationship with this modern twist. I haven’t read much science fiction and this definitely is a good way to start.


A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

Last book of the Shades of Magic series.(I think?)  Action packed, magical with just enough romance. This book focuses more on the family relationships,  being mother-son, mother-father, parents-to-adopted-child, and the sibling relationship, which is something that I haven’t come across before. I’m kinda sad this series is done and  I don’t know if I was dreaming, but I think I saw a tweet where a new Shades of Magic series was gonna happen.

A year in review

I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda relieved that 2017 is almost over. During this time of the year, I tend to look back at everything that happened. As any person would, I look back at my new year’s resolution to see if I actually went through with any of them. One of them was to write more and unfortunately, I did not. It really has been a crazy year.

Every year I set a reading goal through the Goodreads Reading Challenge. Last year I came close to completing it, unfortunately, this year I didn’t come as close. I’m satisfied with how far I have come, especially since last year I came so close I was disappointed. (See, Growth!) My goal this year was 50 books and I’ve read 36. In the following weeks, I hope to reminisce about each one. So keep an eye out for those.

Before I start talking about all the books I read this year I just want to talk a little about my selection process. I feel that knowing as little as possible about a book makes it more appealing, which leads me to the following. A lot of books that I’ve read this year have been recommended by the book club I had been attending, others I selected because the cover/title was appealing, or from a subscription box. Even though I’ve wanted to steer away from YA a little, it keeps pulling me back. This method I’ve been using for finding new books has provided me with a variety of the genre, which in turn has reignited my love for YA.