December 2020 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

We’ve made it to 2021 and I, for one, couldn’t be happier! I know the changing of the year on the calendar doesn’t instantly mean all the bad things from last year are gone, but I still feel like a weight has been lifted. It’s a fresh new year with fresh possibilities and I’m excited to make the most of it! Before we can move on to 2021, however, it’s time to wrap up my last reading month of 2020.

December was a busy month that had me going a mile a minute. Work was a mile a minute, getting ready for the holidays had me stressed, and we got a new puppy who has been keeping us busy! Thankfully, though, the books I read really ended the year on a high note!


Books Read


Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

  1. The Cousins by Karen M. McManus::★★★★★::My review
  2. Check Please Book 2 by Ngozi Ukazu::★★★★
  3. Amari and the Night Brothers by B.B. Alston::★★★★★::My review
  4. Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia::★★★★★
  5. Winterling by Sarah Prineas::★★★
  6. The Devil and the Dark Water by Stuart Turton::★★★★

Challenges


Popsugar Challenge prompts completed: 1

  • A book with a pun in the title (Check, Please Book 2: Sticks & Scones)

Not a strong end to the year, is it 😅 I’ll be going over my 2020 challenge stats in a later post!

Highs and Lows


This is a tough one because I had three five star reads in December! It’s hard choosing the one that I loved the most. As I think about them, though, there is one that stands out just a bit from the other two. They were all incredible, but this book had one of my new favorite characters of all time! My high this month is…

Tristan is such a phenomenal character that I just have to pick his book to be my favorite of December. I’d been wanting to read Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky for quite some time and I’m glad I finally did because it’s now a new favorite. I adored Tristan and I adored seeing legends that featured Black people being retold in this contemporary middle grade fantasy. It was interesting and beautifully written and I really need to write my review because there’s a lot I want to say! I’m so thankful to Middle Grade Marvels for finally compelling me to read this fantastic book.

Funnily enough, my low for the month was also a Middle Grade Marvels read, heh 😅 It was my only three star read last month and, while I enjoyed it, I think it suffered from being read in a month of truly incredibly books. My low this month is…

Like I said, I did enjoy this book, but it didn’t love it as much as I had imagined I would. I liked the story, I thought the plot was fine, and Fer was a great character. At the same time, I wish we had gotten to see more of the magic and been able to see more of Fer after she figured out who she was. The fae magic was the most interesting thing in the book and I felt like we didn’t get nearly enough. Still, since this is the beginning of a series, I am interested in continuing as I think we’ll get more of that in the subsequent books.

Reflections


2020 was… a year and I feel like December was a concentrated dose of all the insanity we’ve experienced throughout the year. I’m so glad that, overall, my reading was an incredible escape! I read so many fantastic books in the last month of 2020 and I’m thankful I ended my reading year on such a high note.

Now, I didn’t do so hot with the challenges this month and I didn’t read a ton. And I may have headed into January feeling a little burnout and slumpy, but that had nothing to do with the quality of the books. I think that was due to my trying to do ALL THE THINGS at the end of the year. Though I never officially stated I was doing Blogmas, I was trying to post every day before Christmas. I almost got there, too! I pushed myself a little more than I probably should have and, as a result, I entered the last week of 2020 and the first week of 2021 not wanting to write anything. I think I’ve rounded the bend and am feeling the blogging love again, though! Going into the new year, I need to find a posting schedule that will keep my blog lively, but won’t make me want to hide from my laptop 😂

Overall, I think this was a pretty stellar reading year. I read a ton of great books and I became more active in the bookish community. I met some fantastic people and discovered the joy of buddy reads. Although 2020 was a bit of a dumpster fire, I will always be thankful for the books and the bookish community because they made this year pretty great 💖 Now on to 2021!


How was your reading in December? Did you find a new favorite? Make any progress on some challenges? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

October 2020 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

It’s that time again to look back at how my reading went last month. I’m gonna tell you right now… it wasn’t great in October 😅 I hit a pretty bad reading slump last month. Absolutely nothing could hold my interest! Not even The Dragon Republic, which I was dying to read! But we’ll talk about it in a moment.

First, let’s take a look back at what I read in the month of October.


Books Read


Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

  1. The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang::★★★★★
  2. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger::★★★★
  3. The Wolf and the Water by Josie Jaffrey::★★★★::My review
  4. Sentience by Courtney P. Hunter::★★★★::My review
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September 2020 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

We’ve entered into a new month (Hello, October!) which means it’s time to say goodbye to the last one. September is my birth month, my favorite month of the year, but uuuuugh did it feel hectic this year! I think part of that is the fact that the kiddos started back at school which caused a major adjustment in all our routines. There was also the fact that I signed up for what seemed like ALL THE BLOG TOURS! I have no sense of balance, y’all…

Either way, I still had a rather good reading month, so let’s talk about it!


Books Read


Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

  1. Legendborn by Tracy Deonn::★★★★★::My review
  2. Vampires Never Get Old edited by Zoraida Córdova and Natalie C. Parker::★★★★::My review
  3. The Inheritance Games by Jennifer Lynn Barnes::★★★★::My review
  4. Loretta Little Looks Back by Andrea Davis Pickney and Brian Pickney::★★★★★::My review
  5. Frozen Rage by Steve McHugh::★★★★::My review
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July 2020 Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

It’s that time once again to take a look back at what I read over the past month. Now, before I sat down to write up this post, I was under the impression that I really didn’t read a lot in July. It just felt like a slower reading month to me, especially since we were busy with moving to our new home at the very beginning of the month.

Y’all… I read eight books last month. Which, though not a huge number, is a big deal for someone like me! My average is typically five books a month, so I was floored when I counted up my July reads. And I’m not even sure how it happened. I honestly felt like I barely read last month and, yet, it was my most productive reading month of the entire year! It’s a mystery 😂

That being said, let’s take a look at what I read in July.


Books Read

Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

  1. Fire and Vengeance by Robert McCaw::★★★★::My review
  2. Voice of War by Zack Argyle::★★★::My review
  3. The Ship of Shadows by Maria Kuzniar::★★★★★::My review
  4. Knightmare Arcanist by Shami Stovall::★★★★::My review
  5. The Jumbies by Tracey Baptiste::★★★★::My review
  6. The Bone Ships by R.J. Barker::★★★::My review
  7. The Call of the Wild by Jack London::★★★::Review to come
  8. Thomas Wildus and the Book of Shadows by J.M. Bergen::★★★::Review to come
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June 2020 Wrap Up

June Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

It’s time for my June wrap up! Yes, I know that we are halfway through July. The beginning of July has just been incredibly busy for ya girl. Work is picking up now that doctor’s offices are opening up for routine work again. And I became a first-time homeowner! We closed at the end of June but didn’t move until the very beginning of July. So my poor, little blog has been a bit neglected, as of late. But, now that we’re settling, I have the time (and the energy 😅) to talk about my reading in the month of June.

So why don’t we get started?


Books Read

Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

  1. The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant::★★★★::My review
  2. Crossing in Time by D.L. Orton::★★★::My review
  3. Who Did You Tell? by Lesley Kara::★★★★::My review
  4. Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend::★★★★::My review
  5. The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Murder by Grady Hendrix::★★★★::My review
  6. A Threat from the Past by Paul Cude::★★★::Review to come
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May 2020 Wrap Up

May Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

Before I dive into my May wrap up, I’m going to take a moment to once again share the link for the #BlackLivesMatter carrd. I know that things on the internet will eventually go back to “normal”, but this is something that we can’t afford to forget about. At least I know I can’t. We’re fighting the long fight, here, and I hope you all stay in the fight with us. That being said, don’t forget to take care of you and your mental health, as well!

Now, surprisingly, I read more last month than I have in the three previous months and I am shocked! I read seven books and I have no idea how I managed that! Well, actually, I have some idea. Mainly audiobooks, those beautiful, time-saving creations 💕 I listened to quite a few audiobooks in May and it definitely bumped up my numbers! And I read two new favorites!

But, before I get ahead of myself, let’s get into the actual wrap up 😉


Books Read

Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

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April 2020 Wrap Up

April Wrap Up

Hello, reader!

It seems like it was just March and now it’s suddenly May. April went by in a blip! This was a busy month, settling into our new normal and trying to keep up with all the closures. And I definitely think my reading suffered. I’m an essential worker and it felt like I had even less time than usual to relax and read. And, when I could relax, reading just wasn’t keeping my attention. Still, I managed to get through five books this month and complete all the books on my O.W.L.s TBR! So, I’m feeling fairly accomplished!

Let’s take a look back at my reading month.

Books Reads

Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

  1. The Life and (Medieval) Times of Kit Sweetly by Jamie Pacton::★★★★::My review
  2. The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne::★★★::My review
  3. The Vine Witch by Luanne G. Smith::★★★★::My review
  4. The Whisper Man by Alex North::★★★★::My review
  5. Nimona by Noelle Stevenson::★★★★★::My review

Challenges

Popsugar Challenge prompts completed: 3

  1. A book you meant to read in 2019 (The Whisper Man)
  2. A book with a pink cover (The Heart’s Invisible Furies)
  3. A book written by an author in their 20s (Nimona)

Book Riot Read Harder Challenge prompts completed: 2

  1. Read a mystery where the victim(s) is not a woman (The Whisper Man)
  2. Read a book that takes place in a rural setting (The Vine Witch)

#StartOnYourShelfathon books completed: 3

  1. The Heart’s Invisible Furies
  2. The Whisper Man
  3. Nimona

Highs/Lows

I decided to change the title of this section from “Best/Worst” since, just because I may not enjoy a book doesn’t make it the worst. So now I’m going to my top book of the month and my bottom book of the month. This month’s top was actually the last book I read in April, which was…

I had heard of this graphic novel before, but hadn’t picked it up until it fit one of my Magical Readathon prompts. I’m so glad I finally read it because I absolutely adored it! This was such a wonderful way to finish out my reading month. The art was gorgeous, the story made me feel a lot of feelings, and I can’t wait to read more from this author.

Now, my bottom book of the month was one that very nearly knocked me into a reading slump. If you read my O.W.L.s mini-review post, you’ll know the book I’m talking about is…

Now, as I said in my review, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy this book. When I could convince myself to pick it up, I really enjoyed the experience! But it felt like such a chore to read. It was just far too slow for my liking and probably could have benefited from being a tad shorter. Still, I did think it was a well-written book and definitely worth the read. As you can maybe tell, I had an odd relationship with this one 😅

Reflections

As I’m sure it was for many, April continued to be a strange month. I think the family and I are still adjusting to our new normal. I mentioned that my desire to read took a hit and I definitely think it has to do with… *vaguely gestures at everything*

With that being said, I’m still pretty happy with how my reading month turned out! I finished all of my O.W.L.s for the Magical Readathon, which sets me up rather well for the N.E.W.T.s later on this year. I read the same amount of books as I did in March, and, while there may have only been one five star read in April, I still enjoyed everything I picked up. I’ve never been the type of reader who can tear through over ten books in one month, though I definitely envy them! One day…

I think the thing that I’m most excited about, though, is how many challenge prompts I checked off! After a month where I didn’t tic off a single Book Riot challenge, I knocked off two! And I honestly could have made a couple more books fit some of the prompts if I was being generous with interpretation, lol. I’ve consistently been checking off Popsugar prompts, as well, as this month was no different. But the biggest thing is that I’m finally making a dent in my #StartOnMyShelfathon challenge! 3 out of the 5 books I read were books on my physical TBR. I’m hoping to keep that momentum going in May!

So what is the focus for May? Honestly, I have quite a few books/ARCs to read for blog tours/reviews this month. I don’t know how it happened, but here we are 😬 Of course, I’m incredibly excited to read all of them, else I wouldn’t have requested them! I’m also excited to get more involved in blog tours. It’s always something I’ve been interested in as a blogger and I’m happy to help promote new books! Especially with the current state of things in the publishing industry. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for folks who are publishing books during this pandemic, whether they are a debut or an established authors.

And, perhaps, I’ll break out of my five-books-per-month reading trend! Fingers crossed 😂


I hope April treated you well, reader! Did you read a new favorite book? Did you participate in any readathons or challenges? Let me know in the comments!

And, as always, happy reading!

March 2020 Wrap Up

March Wrap Up

Man. What a weird, long month. March is the month that COVID-19 turned the world upside down. Even though I still go to work (essential personnel, yo) so it wasn’t as big of adjustment for me, everything still feels a little surreal! Thankfully, March treated me rather well when it came to the quality of the books I read! I read two five star books. In a row! So, even if the world felt like it was falling apart, at least I had my favorite hobby to lift my spirits.

With that said, let’s get into the wrap up!

Books Read

Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

  1. The Deep by Rivers Solomon::★★★★::My review
  2. The Chalk Man by C.J. Tudor::★★★★::My review
  3. The Last Human by Zack Jordan::★★★★::My review
  4. Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko::★★★★★::My review
  5. Bonds of Brass by Emily Skrutskie::★★★★★::Review to come!

Challenges

Popsugar Challenge prompts completed: 4

  1. A book by a trans or nonbinary author (The Deep)
  2. A bildungsroman (The Last Human)
  3. The first book you touch on a shelf with your eyes closed (The Chalk Man)
  4. A book with a three-word title (Bonds of Brass)

#StartOnYouShelfathon books completed: 1

  1. The Chalk Man

Best/Worst Books

So this month produced not one, but two five star reads! Which leaves me in a bit of a lurch when trying to decide which one is the best book of March

Which is why I choose both!

Both Raybearer and Bonds of Brass were transportative stories that made me forget the madness that is our world right now. They both had stories that completely wrapped me up in their worlds and characters. Raybearer is so beautifully evocative and richly written that I wanted to settle myself into Aritsar and never leave! Bonds of Brass is a high-octane ride from start to finish that had me on the edge of my seat! They both thrilled me in different ways, so they both get to hold the top spot this month.

And now for the worst book of March… and, just like last month, I really have nothing! All my other reads of the month were four stars. I thoroughly enjoyed everything I read in March. I’m on kind of a streak here, y’all!

Annnnnd, I probably just jinxed myself 😂🤣

Reflections

*claps her hands together*

Listen. I am clearly terrible at year-long challenges 😅 I only checked off four from the PopSugar Challenge, one from the #StartOnYourShelfathon, and ZERO from the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge! Which is why that I’m planning on focusing on my challenges more in April and May. For April, the month of the Magical Readathon, I chose all of the books to fulfill my prompts from my TBR shelf. That will be four more books checked off for the #StartOnYourShelfathon! And I’m going to use May to try and tackle more prompts from the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge. I’m determined to get better at this!

Something I’m pretty proud of, though, is my continued success on keeping up with my ARCs. I’ve read all of my April ARCs and will be posting my review for the last one tomorrow (yay, Bonds of Brass!), which means I am currently caught up on my 2020 ARCs! I mean, it’s not like I have a ton, but I’m still pretty pleased. I think part of that is keeping myself from mindlessly scrolling through Netgalley and requesting anything that looks mildly interesting, lol.

I also just noticed that I read five books in both February and March. Perhaps that will be my average? I’m not a fast reader, so I’m pretty stoked with that. I think I could probably pick it up, as well. What I really need are new headphones because mine are broken and I can’t listen to audiobooks without my headphones! Audiobooks always tend to bump up my reading numbers. Of course, if I only read five books each month for the rest of the year, I’ll still be a happy camper 😊


I hope everyone read some great books in March. Perhaps it helped you take a breather from the real world, if only for a moment. Here’s to an excellent reading month in April!

And, as always, happy reading!

February 2020 Wrap Up

The shortest month of the year has come and gone! Though it felt like February flew by, I’m happy to be one month closer to Spring! And though I didn’t read as many books as I did in January, this was a great month for wonderful reads. I didn’t rate anything read below a four star and I read my second five star book of the year. Kicking 2020 off right!

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s jump into the wrap up 😊

Books Read

Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page

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Book Blogger Hop: Jan 10 – 16

The Book Blogger Hop was originally created by Crazy-For-Books and is currently being hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer. Every Friday, a new question is posted for book bloggers to answer in the coming week. The purpose of the hop is connection and community. You can discover new blogs to follow, new books to read, and you may end up with some new followers, as well!

This Week’s Question

Image by Coffee Addicted Writer
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