September Wrap-Up!

Despite starting school this month and being completely overwhelmed with my new workload, I’m pretty proud of the amount I read this month!

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The Wrath and the Dawn, by Renée Ahdieh

Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads

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The Rose and the Dagger, by Renée Ahdieh

Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads

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Antigone, by Sophocles

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Goodreads

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being, by Milan Kundera

Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads

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Anatomy of a Boyfriend, by Daria Snadowsky

Rating: 1 Star

Goodreads

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Hopeless, by Colleen Hoover

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Goodreads

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Never Never #1-2, by Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher

Ratings: #1: 4 Stars

#2: 3 Stars

Goodreads #1

Goodreads #2

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Saga Volume 6, by Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

Rating: 4 Stars

Goodreads

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To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han

Rating: 3 Stars

Goodreads

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P.S. I Still Love You, by Jenny Han

Rating: 3 Stars

Goodreads

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August Wrap-Up!

August turned out to be a really good reading month for me. I read a total of 8 books. This is a miraculous number for me since I recently suffered a terrible reading slump. I’m super content with this number, as well as the quality of the books that I read. There were only 2 low-rated books from the month of August, which is pretty darn awesome!

Below is a list of the 8 books I read in the month of August (in order of date read), along with a brief synopsis and review of each book.

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Cinder, by Marissa Meyer

Cinder is a fairytale retelling of Cinderella with a sci-fi twist. The story is set in futuristic New Beijing (China) and follows Cinder, a cyborg in a world where that is not socially acceptable. After a chance meeting with a prince, Cinder finds herself caught up in a whole mess of royal/political intrigue.

I really enjoyed this story. I found it to be both fun and captivating. The world Meyer creates is so complex and interesting that it sucks you in so quickly. I love the budding relationship between Cinder and Prince Kai and all of the obstacles they face. Immediately after finishing this I desperately needed to read Scarlet. And I did.

3.5 stars

Goodreads

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Scarlet, by Marissa Meyer

Scarlet is a continuation of The Lunar Chronicles, and it follows Scarlet in futuristic France. Scarlet’s grandmother has been missing for weeks, and Scarlet is determined to find out where she disappeared to and why. Unsure of how to go about doing so, Scarlet meets Wolf, who offers to help her in her quest. However, Wolf may not be who he seems, and as a result Scarlet discovers horrifying truths about the world around her and what happened to her grandmother.

Again, such a fun and exciting read. I love how Meyer interweaves the two stories of Cinder and Scarlet. This book added even more world-building to the initial world of Cinder.  We’re also introduced to more awesome characters. I absolutely love Cinder and Scarlet, along with Kai and Wolf. But my absolute favorite character of this series is Captain Thorne.

3.5 stars

Goodreads

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The Bassoon King, by Rainn Wilson

If you are not yet aware, Rainn Wilson is an actor, most famous for his role as Dwight Schrute in The Office (U.S.). I love Dwight, so that was the main reason I purchased this book. I was not at all prepared for how hilarious, insightful, and resonant this book truly is. In The Bassoon King, Wilson regales the tales of his childhood through to his adult life, discussing the main events of those years that shaped him into the person and the actor that he is today. Unlike most celebrity memoirs, this book is so much more than a window into his life. Wilson offers up the personal truths he came to conclude through his life experiences, and gives advice to those seeking careers in the creative world. He also discusses the importance of discussion when it comes to taboo topics, such as religion and spirituality. Highly recommend this book! (Also, watch The Office).

5 stars

Goodreads

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Cress, by Marissa Meyer

This is third installment in The Lunar Chronicles and follows Cress, a lunar shell and a hostage to the Queen’s right hand. She’s locked away in a satellite in space with the sole job of spying on Earth and Prince Kai by hacking their systems. However, Cress is secretly an Earthen sympathizer who has been secretly helping hide Cinder and her gang. The group attempts to rescue Cress, spurring a domino-effect of chaos.

This book was so crazy action-packed and intense. And again, I absolutely LOVED Captain Carswell Thorne. I NEED Winter.

4 stars

Goodreads

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, by J.K. Rowling

I don’t think this needs a synopsis at all, so I’ll just say that this book was funny, heartbreaking, and amazing. Definitely one of my favorites. I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to actually pick this book up, but I’m so glad I finally did. After finishing this book, I nearly cried hysterically. You know why.

5 stars

Goodreads

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Obsidian & Onyx, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

These are books 1 & 2 in the Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout. The story centers around a girl named Katy who moves to a small town in West Virginia with her single mom. Everything seems normal aside from her neighbors being extremely odd. It turns out this oddity is due to the fact that her neighbors are aliens.

I was very skeptical going into this series. I’ve heard reviews from complete opposite sides of the spectrum; I’ve heard people who absolutely love this book and its characters, and I’ve heard people who absolutely hated this book. Unfortunately, I agree mostly with the latter group of people. I found the story to be addicting, but the quality of the writing could definitely be improved. There were several instances where the humor seemed too forced, so the “jokes” ended up being pretty cringe-worthy. The romance was extremely cringe-worthy. It seemed that Armentrout tried to create too much drama between them, causing the main character to appear unreasonably fickle and sort of pathetic. I will give credit to Armentrout for weaving an interesting plot as far as the aliens and their Earthen enemy. I’m debating whether I will pick up the other books or not.

1 star

Goodreads: Obsidian

Goodreads: Onyx

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An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes  is about a girl named Laia, whose family is murdered by the Martial Empire soldiers. All but one: her brother. In an attempt to rescue her brother, Laia acts as a spy for the rebellion and volunteers to be a slave to the evil Commandant.There she meets Elias, the most promising soldier at Blackcliff Martial Academy, and the least loyal.

In one sentence, this book was AMAZING. I was curious to see if I would like this book as much as other people do, and I was pleased to discover that I freaking loved this book. I was completely hooked to the story, and every chapter ended in a fantastic way that made you want to keep reading. There’s so much in this book that is so good. There are great characters, great world-building, great plot, and an amazing writing style. This story is told from dual perspectives (Laia and Elias), so if you’re not a fan of that, beware. But even if you aren’t a fan of dual perspective, this book is so amazing that it is definitely worth a try.

5 stars

Goodreads


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May Wrap-Up 2016

May was actually a pretty good reading month for me, as well as a diverse one. I read a total of 7 books: 2 adult, one of which is a non-fiction adult collection of essays, 3 middle-grade books, and 2 young adult novels.

ADULT:

Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes 4/5 stars

I read Me Before You by Jojo Moyes in January and absolutely loved it (5/5 stars), so I really wanted to pick up some of her other books as well. You can imagine my excitement when I found her book, Silver Bay, at my local Goodwill bookstore. Silver Bay is about a woman named Liza McCullen, a single mother who is trying to escape her mysterious dark past. She finds refuge in a small Australian ocean-front town called Silver Bay, where she and her daughter live with her aunt in her bed and breakfast. Everything is fine until an Englishman named Mike Dormer whose motives for visiting Silver Bay could jeopardize not only Liza, but the entire bay.

I really enjoyed this book. The characters were so likable. After I finished the book, I found myself wondering where the characters were now; how their lives were getting on after the book ended (as if they were actual living human beings). One thing I’ve noticed about Moyes is that her books have the light, fluffy feel of a summer contemporary novel, but they have such heavy, resonant underlying subject matters that hit the readers so hard. I think that’s what really moved me to read all of her books after I read Me Before You. Totally recommend Silver Bay.

4/5 stars

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling 3.5/5 stars

I’ll be honest, prior to reading this, I wasn’t the biggest Mindy Kaling fan. I guess a part of me just automatically believed that Mindy Kaling was exactly her character in The Office, Kelly Kapoor. Quite obviously, that’s not true at all. In this collection of personal essays, Kaling tells her audience about many of her life experiences spanning from her childhood to her college years, all the way to her life in Hollywood/show business. I found Kaling’s voice really refreshing and hilarious. Plus, this book is a nice quick read.

3.5/5 stars

Middle-Grade

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynn Jones 3/5 stars

Howl’s Moving Castle is one of my favorite anime films, so I’ve wanted to read the book for many years. I finally found it at a secondhand bookshop and read it immediately. I will say this, if you read this book primarily because you loved the film, know that the book is very different from the film. But no less magical. This book is about a young woman named Sophie who encounters the Wicked Witch of the Waste. The Witch puts her under a spell that makes her an old woman. In an attempt to break the spell, Sophie finds herself at the ominous moving castle of the infamous Wizard Howl. During her stay there, Sophie soon learns that there is more to Howl, and to herself, than she previously thought. Although it’s different from the book I still very much loved the story and its characters.

3/5 stars

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 3/5 stars

All I knew about this book before reading it is that it won a bunch of awards. However, the plot is really intriguing. It follows a boy whose family was brutally murdered when he was a baby. Miraculously, the boy escaped his family’s murderer and ended up in the local graveyard. Seeing that he was in danger, the ghosts of the graveyard agree to adopt a protect the boy. Which is good considering his family’s murderer is still looking for him. The plot was really interesting, and it was entertaining trying to figure out all of the mysteries in the stories. It did have some issues, but I still enjoyed it.

3/5 stars

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 3.5/5 stars

I finally jumped the bandwagon and picked up a Percy Jackson book, and I’m so glad I did. This book is about a 12 year old boy named Percy Jackson who has trouble staying in school. He’s constantly getting expelled and struggles with dyslexia and ADHD. Despite these issues his life is pretty normal. That is, until the worst teacher in his school turns into a murderous monster, and his best friend and favorite teacher are not who they seem. Percy finds himself at a strange summer camp and thrust onto an epic quest to find a very important missing object. This book includes a ton of Greek mythology, which I was never interested in until I read this book. Pretty educational as far as the mythology and highly entertaining. I will be continuing the series.

3.5/5 stars

Young Adult

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City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare 4/5 stars

This is the fifth book in The Mortal Instruments series, and I enjoyed just as much as the rest of series. I love the characters (especially Magnus Bane) and the way the story is unfolding. I can’t give too much away about the plot given that it’s the fifth book, but if you like YA fantasy, definitely pick up this series. I still have to Clare’s other books, including The Infernal Devices trilogy, which I hear is even better than TMI!

4/5 stars

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas 4.99/5 stars

I can’t handle this book. It’s just too amazing. I mean, I already want to re-read this book… all 600+ pages of it. I’ll say it now: if you had problems with the characters/relationships and whatnot in the first book, PLEASE pick up this sequel because I promise you the issues are all resolved and made up for twice over. Personally, I loved the first book, A Court of Thorns and Roses, so I was definitely looking forward to this second installment in the series. However, I was not expecting this book to be 10x better than the first one! The characters and their development, the massive world-building, just everything was so amazing. This book made me feel all of the emotions and the ending, gosh the ending. The first book was a Beauty and the Beast retelling, and this one is more of a Persephone retelling. Absolutely stunning. If you like fairytale retellings, fantasy, and overall badass-ness (yes I just made that up), DEFINITELY pick up this series!

4.99/5 stars


So those were all of the books I read in the month of May. I enjoyed them all, and I’m pretty proud, not only of the amount I read within the month, but also of how diverse my reads were.

What was your favorite read during the month of May? Have you read any of these books I listed above? Let me know in the comments below!

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Happy Reading!