We’re getting to the point where I need to start planning my December (and yearly!) wrap ups, so I figured this was the perfect time to wrap up what I read in November! One of these days, I will write these wrap up posts in a semi-timely manner 😂 I’m going to blame the fact that I’ve been wrapped up in BBNYA business for pretty much all of December, which was a blast! Now, it’s time to get back on track and actually tell you all about what I read last month.
And try not to have a crisis over the fact that 2022 is almost over!
- Spy x Family Vol 7 by Tatsuya Endo: I continue to love this manga series, though this one was probably my least favorite of the ones I’ve read so far. If I remember correctly, Yor’s brother featured prominently in this volume? That would explain why I didn’t like it as much because he truly creeps me out 😂 Even with him, though, I love watching Loid, Yor, and Anya grow closer and closer. Even if Loid pretends like they aren’t. This reminds me that I need to catch up with the anime… ★★★
- The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow: My goodness, this book was a freakin’ gem. Harrow’s writing is always magical and it lent well to this story about witches and suffragettes. I adored the three sisters featured in this story and how this book is not only about women’s rights, but the fractious relationship between the Eastwoods. I’m a sucker for a book with great characters, so when I’m presented with three of them, you know I’m gonna love it. I also thought the magic in this was fascinating! This has certainly cemented Alix E. Harrow as one of my favorite authors. ★★★★
- The Stars Between Us by Cristin Terrill: Last month, a bunch of the TWR gang got together and decided to do Netgalley November. The ARCs are getting out of hand, y’all! A good problem to have, but I joined in to try and start knocking some books off of my shelf. This was my first e-ARC of the month and I enjoyed it! It was an interesting story about a young woman who finds herself whisked into another life after a mysterious benefactor includes her in his will. The concept was intriguing, though the main character made me want to shake her. And the love interest was pretty… meh. Overall, though, I had a fun time reading this! ★★★
- Nubia: The Awakening by Omar Epps and Clarence A. Haynes: This was my second Netgalley read of the month and I loved it! It’s a young adult fantasy that features young, Black kids gaining superpowers. It is an adventure that you are happy to jump into because the writing absolutely pulls you in. I loved how cinematic the writing could be and I found myself enthralled with the story. I also loved that this book tackles some social issues within the story and I think the authors did a great job incorporating it. I’m eager to read the sequel! ★★★★
- The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston: Oof, this book. THIS BOOK! This book took my emotions out to the shed and smacked them around just for fun. I’ve never fluctuated through so many different emotions just reading one book. And a romance, at that! No shade to romance, but I typically don’t go into them thinking I’m going to end up sobbing. Ashely Poston did that, though, while, at the same time, having me feel all the warm fuzzies as I watched Florence and Benji fall in love. This was an incredible book that has a lot of heart and will probably rip your heart out, as well. Definitely recommend! Do be careful if you’re not in a place to read about grief or the loss of a loved one, though. ★★★★
- Silver Under Nightfall by Rin Chupeco: This book was such a surprise! I mean, I requested it on Netgalley, so I clearly thought I would enjoy it. But I’m also pretty ‘meh’ about vampire novels usually, so this book could have gone either way. Thankfully, I ended up loving this! Was it the fun, adventurous plot with a nice helping of dark and frightening moments? Was it the commentary on sexual abuse, especially when the victim is male? Or was it the power throuple that is Remy, Xiaodan, and Zidan? Mostly that last one because I loved the characters in this book, but really it was a combination of all three! This was a thrilling book that made me want to check out more of Rin Chupeco’s work. ★★★★
- Upgrade by Blake Crouch: And here we have yet another Netgalley read! I really was grinding away at the e-ARC TBR in November. This was also my first Blake Crouch read, though I own three of his books. I’ve been intrigued by his more recent books that are a blend of science fiction and thriller, so I’m glad I finally gave him a chance. I ended up really like this intense and twisting tale! I found the science behind the fiction intriguing and I truly enjoyed following our main character, Logan. He was complicated and flawed and it was fascinating following him through the shocks of this story. The ending was a little… ‘meh’, but I still had a great time with this one. ★★★★
- Christmas in Rose Bend by Naima Simone: I picked this book up for a challenge and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I’m not really a Christmas romance girlie, but this absolutely captured my heart. I loved our heroine and hero in this and watching them fall in love was such a treat. This is a romance that does tackle heavier topics, so don’t go into this expecting a light, fluffy rom-com. I think the author does a fantastic job of talking about some tough feelings, though, and it definitely touched my heart. The steamy scenes had some… unfortunate lingo (😂), but, overall, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. ★★★★
- A Kiss to Remember by Naima Simone: This was a short novella that was included with the audiobook of Christmas in Rose Bend that was just as enjoyable. This follows a different couple in the same town of Rose Bend, which I honestly wish was a real place because it sounds so adorable. This being a novella, I wasn’t as invested in the romance as I was with Christmas in Rose Bend, but I still thought they were a great couple. And one of them was a librarian AND plus-sized so… bonus! ★★★★
- Galatea by Madeline Miller: Then I read this tiny Greek mythology retelling by an author who is swiftly becoming a favorite, Madeline Miller. This one revolves around the myth of Galatea (obviously) and Pygmalion, who is just the WORST. I rather enjoyed this short story and how it dives into the psyche of Galatea instead on focusing on the typical main character of this myth. Even though you only spend a little bit of time with these characters, I really connected with Galatea and was rooting for her from page one til the end. This was a nice little treat for Miller fans between full length novels. ★★★★
- Hollow by Shannon Watters and Branden Boyer-White; illustrated by Berenice Nelle: Ahhh, this was such a cute graphic novel! It centers around The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and I love the modern spin this novel puts on the tale! I also truly enjoyed the sapphic romance at the center of this book. There is a lot of diversity throughout this story which is just casually dropped in, which is my favorite. And can we talk about the art? Because it is stunning! It was bright and vibrant and had me lingering on pages just so I could see every detail. I’m don’t know if there will be more graphic novels in this world, but I certainly hope so! ★★★★
- Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston: That’s right, y’all. I finally read one of the most popular romances from 2019! And, thank goodness, I thought this was an incredible read. Mostly because I absolutely love Alex and Henry. I would fight people for Alex and Henry, no lie. Just throw all the hands. They are such wonderfully realized and complex characters that made me completely invested in their love story. I also enjoyed the political commentary that was littered in the background throughout the book. I’m glad that I finally picked this up. ★★★★
Book of the Month
So I didn’t have any five star reads in November, but I read a number of books that came close. This has been the year of the four stars and I’m not mad about it! That being said, there is one book that sticks out to me as my favorite of the bunch. It’s the book that hit the hardest and has me thinking about it still. The Book of the Month for November is…
The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston
Siiiiigh… I feel like it’s obvious by now that I won’t be finishing my year-long TBRs. I had the best of intentions but they most certainly got away from me, haha. Still, it’s not like I don’t still own most of the books that were on those TBRs so they will be read… eventually. And hopefully I can be a bit more diligent about my year-long TBRs in 2023.
I also didn’t check off anymore prompts for the other reading challenges I was participating in this year 😅 Let’s hope I can check off a few more before the end of 2022!
How was your reading in November? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!
And, as always, happy reading!