May 2018 Wrap-up

I can’t believe May is already over! Though I didn’t read as many books as I would have liked to, I did gain momentum in my reading, and met some of my reading goals!

Here are the books I read in the month of May!

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When Dimple Met Rishi, by Sandhya Menon

I actually really liked this book! This is a YA novel about Dimple, a girl who doesn’t conform to her mother’s traditional Indian expectations; she would rather focus on technology and app development rather than finding a boy that she can marry. In preparation for college, Dimple asks her parents to enroll her in a summer program for app development. They consent to Dimple’s surprise. Little does she know that her mother actually found a boy for Dimple to marry, and he’s going to be at this summer program as well! That’s When Dimple Met Rishi.

This story was so cute. Being a little above the typical YA age range, I did find some parts a little cheesy and angsty, but overall I really enjoyed it.

3/5 stars

Goodreads link here.  

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Northanger Abbey, by Jane Austen

I have made it my mission to read more Jane Austen novels, or rather all Jane Austen novels. Northanger Abbey was the beginning of this journey and the second Austen novel I’ve read aside from Pride and Prejudice. As I expected, I really loved this story. I thought the way it was constructed almost as metafiction was really interesting and well-done. I love that Catherine Morland is an avid reader, especially of horror/mystery novels. Because she reads so much, and she’s young and naive, she easily gets caught up in the stories she reads, and forgets to appreciate her own life.

It was really whimsical and there were several moments when I laughed out loud while reading. I think people often forget how hilarious Austen really is.

4/5 stars.

Goodreads link here.

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The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

I posted a full book review on this book in a previous blog. If you missed it, you can see it here.

This book is about Liesel Meminger, who goes to stay in the foster care of the Hubermans. It’s about her upbringing there in a poor German town during WWII Nazi Germany.

Pretty much, this book is freaking amazing. I was way behind on this train, but if perhaps you haven’t read this book yet, do it! You won’t regret it. This book is beautifully and masterfully written.

5/5 stars.

Goodreads link here.

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Wonder, by R.J. Palacio

Again, I was really late to this train. However, since I’m still taking that online YA Lit course, I chose this book for one of my lessons. And it did not disappoint. This book was so funny and sad and so so touching. It tells the story of August (Auggie) Pullman, who is starting the fifth grade after a life of homeschooling and who also has a facial deformity. It’s a sweet and unique coming-of-age story that really forces the reader to gain some perspective. I love love loved this book so much.

5/5 stars.

Goodreads link here.


Those are all of the books I read during the month of May. While it wasn’t as many books as I would have liked to read, I had such a good reading month as far as the quality of the books. If you’ve read any of these books, I would love to discuss them with you in the comments below!

Stay tuned for my June TBR coming out sometime in the next week!

And don’t forget, you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5603168-samantha-gilmore

Happy Reading!

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Top 5 Fantasy Books I Want to Read

With school readings in university, I don’t get around to reading much fantasy. Now that I’ve graduated, I’m really excited to get around to these 5 fantasy books that have been sitting on my TBR shelf for way too long!

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The Queen of the Tearling, by Erika Johansen

This book has been talked about time and time again on BookTube with raving reviews. The story centers on Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, who was raised in exile. She embarks on a perilous journey back to her kingdom of birth to take her rightful throne. Of course, there are trials along the way, including enemies and an evil sorceress possessed of dark magic.

I’ve owned this book for over a year now, and I think it’s about time that I finally read it!

Goodreads link here.

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Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton

I bought this book on Book Outlet a while ago without knowing much about it. It was more of a purchase influenced by reviews on BookTube. This is a YA fantasy book about Amani Al’Hiza, a poor, orphaned, gifted gunslinger from the backcountry town of Dustwalk. She dreams of leaving Dustwalk, but never found an opportunity until she meets Jin, a foreigner, in a shooting contest.

This fantasy includes magic and mythical creatures, and it seems like something I’m really going to enjoy!

Goodreads link here. 

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Tower of Dawn, by Sarah J. Maas

I couldn’t believe my luck when I found this book at a Goodwill bookstore for $3 the other week! I held off getting this book when it was released last year; Chaol was never my favorite character in the Throne of Glass series, so I didn’t feel like spending $20+ for a book that only centers on his story and not Aelin and Rowan. But when I found it at Goodwill, it was the perfect opportunity to continue the series and save quite a few bucks!

This is the 6th book in the Throne of Glass series, so I can’t really say much about it without spoiling the other previous books. This series is phenomenal and one of my favorite fantasy series by far!

Goodreads link for the first Throne of Glass book here. 

Goodreads link for Tower of Dawn here.

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The Song Rising, by Samantha Shannon

If you haven’t read The Bone Season, you should get on that! This fantasy series is so captivating, and I’ve loved both The Bone Season and The Mime Order. I have own the third installment for some time now, but I haven’t been able to read it either from being busy or just not having the courage to dive back into this story. Again, because this is the third book of a series, I’m not going to go into the synopsis. The series on a whole focuses on Paige Mahoney, a clairvoyant whose powers are outlawed in her futuristic London.

Goodreads link to The Bone Season here.

Goodreads link to The Song Rising here.

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The Star-Touched Queen, by Roshani Chokshi

This is another fantasy book that I don’t know very much about. It’s been hyped up all over BookTube, so I bought it a while ago. The story is about Maya, who is cursed with a horoscope that promises death and destruction. Maya is more focused on scholarly pursuits, but all of that is changed when her father, the Raja, arranges her marriage with Amar from Akaran to quell political rebellions. Maya is faced with unraveling an ancient mystery in order to save those she loves the most.

Goodreads link here.

These are the top 5 fantasy books I want to read in the very near future. Have you read any of these books? If you have, let me know what you thought in the comments below! What fantasy books are you reading or looking forward to reading?

Don’t forget, you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/5603168-samantha-gilmore

Happy Reading!

January TBR!

I’m back! I’m so inconsistent with this blog, but I’m making it one of my New Year’s resolutions to keep with it and stay consistent with my posts.

For my first post of the New Year, I thought it would be fitting to catch you guys up on what I’m hoping to read in the month of January. So, here is my January TBR! As usual, I will leave a Goodreads link for each book in case you’re interested in reading the synopsis!

In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park

Goodreads link here

The Circle by Dave Eggers

Goodreads link here

Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto

Goodreads link here

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Goodreads link here

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton

Goodreads link here

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi

Goodreads link here


I hope you enjoyed my January TBR. If you’ve read any of these books, let me know your thoughts on them!!

What books are you guys reading this month?

Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG

 

Oregon Book Haul!!

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Around this time last year, I got married. My new husband and I flew to Oregon for a small, fun honeymoon in Portland. Of course, I went to Powell’s City of Books. For our one-year anniversary, we decided to road trip with my mom and sister back to Portland.

Of course, I went to Powell’s City of Books.

It’s safe to say I purchased A LOT of books in the past five days. Most of these were purchased from Powell’s at two different branches: the Burnside Branch and the Beaverton Branch. A few were purchased at another favorite independent bookstore of mine: The Book Bin (located in Corvallis, OR).

My goal for this trip was to look for more contemporary books. I absolutely love fantasy, so my entire bookshelf mostly consists of fantasy. However, (most likely because it’s summer) I’ve been in the mood for contemporary lately, but I barely have any. So, my goal for this trip was to stock up on some good contemporary reads, both light and fluff as well as some on the heavier side.

Here are the books I purchased while in Oregon!!

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The Problem with Forever, by Jennifer L. Armentrout

The main thing that caught my attention with this book was its gorgeous cover. I loved the splash of cover, and it definitely trumps her heinous covers for her Lux series! I’ve already read this book, and I enjoyed it. It wasn’t amazing, but it keeps you entertained and makes it difficult to put down.

Here’s the Goodreads link for the synopsis.

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All the Bright Places, by Jennifer Niven

Definitely on the heavier side.

Goodreads link

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Love Letters to the Dead, by Ava Dellaira

Goodreads link

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The Sky is Everywhere, by Jandy Nelson

Everyone is obsessed with this author, so I picked up her books.

Goodreads link

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I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson

Goodreads link

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The Distance Between Us, by Kasie West

I want to pick up more books by this author because I’ve heard she writes really cute and fluffy contemporary novels…. just what the doctor ordered!

Goodreads link

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We All Looked Up, by Tommy Wallach

This book was really hyped when it came out, and I loved the cover, so I bought it. However, I’m now finding there are really mixed reviews on it. We’ll see how this goes!

Goodreads link

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The Unexpected Everything, by Morgan Matson

Morgan Matson is the queen of summer YA contemporaries. Obviously I picked this up!

Goodreads link

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When We Collided, by Emery Lord

Definitely a cover buy!

Goodreads link

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The Song Rising, by Samantha Shannon

A fantasy book and the third book in Shannon’s The Bone Season series, which I’m obsessed with. I’ve been wanting this book for forever, and I was super stoked to find it on sale!

Goodreads link

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Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

Another fantasy book. I listened to this on audible, or at least I tried. I didn’t retain anything from the story, so I wanted to re-read it with a physical copy.

Goodreads link

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

Acclaimed novel with not only hype, but literary awards. I wanted it bad.

Goodreads link

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Lizard, by Banana Yoshimoto

I love Banana Yoshimoto.

Goodreads link

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Asleep, by Banana Yoshimoto

I love Banana Yoshimoto.

Goodreads link

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Goodbye, Tsugumi, by Banana Yoshimoto

I love Banana Yoshimoto.

Goodreads link

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It Ends with Us, by Colleen Hoover

Ever since I read Hopeless, I’ve wanted to read everything by Hoover.

I just finished this book. Beautiful.

Goodreads link

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Slammed, by Colleen Hoover

Goodreads link


I hope you enjoyed this not-so-little book haul. If you’ve read any of these books, let me know your thoughts on them!!

What books have you guys bought recently?

Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG

ALSO: If you’re interested in a blog about feelings, relationships, family, love, life, and the human experience, feel free to check out my other blog:

https://sgilmore625.wordpress.com/

Newfound Love: Caitlin Moran

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Due to a book hangover, I found myself standing in front of my bookshelves, completely clueless on what to read next. I experienced the most intense Sarah J. Maas bender, reading a whopping 5 of her books in a matter of two or three weeks (if that). However, after that bender, I found myself wanting to read more adult novels since it’s been quite a while since I’d read one. So, I narrowed my intense focus to the shelves specifically dedicated to the adult novels I own. A green spine with script reminiscent of The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath jumped out at me.

My decision was made.

That was three days ago, and since then I have been blasting through How to Build a Girl, by Caitlin Moran with quiet enthusiasm, whilst binge-watching every interview of the author. Her writing is hilarious and witty and so completely entertaining, I haven’t been able to put her book down. I’m already planning on ordering her other non-fiction books: How to Be a Woman and Moranthology within the next couple of days.

If you haven’t read anything from her, I suggest going and picking up one of her books, especially How to Build a Girl. I guarantee you’ll be laughing and falling in love with the quirky teenage heroine, Johanna Morrigan.

Happy Reading!


Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG

ALSO: If you’re interested in a blog about feelings, relationships, family, love, life, and the human experience, feel free to check out my other blog:

https://sgilmore625.wordpress.com/

Reading Update: Farewell, Reading Slump.

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One of the most popular YA fantasy series is Throne of Glass, by Sarah J. Maas. Unfortunately, I haven’t even begun this series yet.

Until now.

I recently went to a Goodwill Bookstore, and found the first three books of the series ! I only bought the 2nd and 3rd installments because I already owned the first one. But finding the sequels really motivated me to finally pick up Throne of Glass. So I have, and so far I’m really liking it. It’s cool because I also started re-watching Reign on Netflix because I love that show, and Throne of Glass has that “royal court” vibe to it that really coincided to what I was watching. So it’s awesome and ideal that it’s totally fitting the reading/consuming mood that I am in.

Unfortunately, I haven’t been reading anything from my October TBR that I posted earlier this month. I hit a mini slump. I started 11/22/63, by Stephen King, but it wasn’t that captivating for me

I hope all of you are surviving the week and enjoying whatever books you are reading at the moment.

Happy Reading!


Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG

ALSO: If you’re interested in a blog about feelings, relationships, family, love, life, and the human experience, feel free to check out my other blog:

https://sgilmore625.wordpress.com/

Hello October! My October TBR!

How in the world is it already October?! September flew by so fast! I posted my September Wrap-up a few days ago, so it’s time for my October TBR. Of course, as it is every month, this is a very flexible, open-ended TBR list, but it includes some books that I’m really hoping to get to this month.

Reality Boy, by A.S. King (Currently Reading)

I’m currently reading this book, and it’s nothing like I expected it to be. I don’t know what I was expecting exactly; I guess I was thinking it was just about a boy whose family was part of some reality TV show at one point, and he’s just dealing with people associating him with the television show. While it does include that as part of the plot (somewhat), this book is so much more than that, and it’s a lot heavier than I thought it was going to be. In result, it’s been taking me a lot longer to get through this book, but that’s not to say I’m not enjoying it. I’m really interested to see where it’s going to go.

Goodreads link

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, by Ransom Riggs

With Halloween in our midst and the fact that the film adaptation just premiered in theaters, I think it’s only fitting that this book be added to my October TBR. I really can’t believe I haven’t read this book yet. All I know is that this book revolves around a boy who encounters a group of children with certain peculiarities.

Goodreads link

Passenger, by Alexandra Bracken

All I really know about this book is that it involves time travel and pirates (sailors?). I’m sold. I’m craving some romance, so I’m hoping this will somewhat satisfy that craving. Plus, I hear Passenger is AMAZING (according to the BookTube to community).

Goodreads link

A Torch Against the Night, by Sabaa Tahir

The only reason I haven’t read this yet is because I went on a sudden contemporary binge. The first book, An Ember in the Ashes, was amazing (5/5 stars, check it out in my August Wrap-Up). I absolutely loved the world that Tahir created, and I can’t wait to find out what happens next.

Goodreads link

Unnatural Creatures, compiled by Neil Gaiman

This book is a collection of short stories about the “fantastical things that exist only in our minds” that was put together by renowned author, Neil Gaiman. Again, I figured this would be a perfect fit for the month of Halloween, and maybe it will help get me back in the mood for fantasy again.

Goodreads link

11/22/63, by Stephen King

This is probably a reach, but it’s kind of appalling that I haven’t read anything by Stephen King… ever. So when better to start than October?! It’s a reach because it’s out of my comfort zone, but I’m setting goals here, people!

Goodreads link


Don’t forget you can find me in other cyber spaces:

Instagram: @bookrecs625

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/SamiG

ALSO: If you’re interested in a blog about feelings, relationships, family, love, life, and the human experience, feel free to check out my other blog:

https://sgilmore625.wordpress.com/