As we start to settle the new year, I figured I would wrap my last month of reading in 2022. Honestly, December was a bit of a blur for me. Mostly because of the holidays but also because I was trying to squeeze in books that I needed to read! This is why I need to stop procrastinating on my BBNYA reads… I love being a panelist but I really need to plan better 😂
Either way, I think that’s why my December reading felt a little all over the place and frazzled. I didn’t read nearly as much I did for most of the year and the ratings fluctuated a bit more, but I still had a good time. And I will say that I closed out the year with an absolute winner!
That being said, let’s jump into the wrap up.
The Reaper’s Quota by Sarah McKnight: This was my first BBNYA read for the final round. I don’t want to talk too much about it because there will be tours coming up for all our finalists, but I found myself really enjoying this book! It was interesting, dark, and humorous in the best way. It didn’t blow me away or anything but it was definitely a solid read. Stay tuned for my more in-depth thoughts once the tours begin! ★★★
Harlem Shuffle by Colson Whitehead: I’m not a big historical fiction reader, but I continue to enjoy pretty much any historical fiction that Colson Whitehead writes. This book is no different! It focuses on a Black furniture salesman in Harlem during the 1960s and his fall into (and rise from) a life of crime. I loved following Carney on his journey and getting to know the varied personalities he runs into throughout this book. And I didn’t realize this was the first in a series, but I’m excited to give the next one a read! ★★★★
Lesser Known Monsters by Rory Michaelson: This was my second BBNYA read for the final round and I loved it! Again, I don’t want to talk too much about it because I want to save it for the tour, but this book totally sucked me in. I have so many angry notes about people being mean to Oscar, so you know I was invested in his story 😂 He is such a compelling character with flaws and nuances that makes him feel so real. I’ll tell y’all more once the tours start, but I highly recommend this one if you enjoy horror and would love to read one with strong LGBTQIA+ representation. ★★★★
Inheriting Her Ghosts by S.H. Cooper: And then I read my final BBNYA read for 2022 and it smashed it out of the park! I adored this gothic book so much! First of all, the main character is a middle aged woman and I’m here. for. IT. Second, she has two huge dogs that are her constant companions and I would die for them 😭 You know I’m going to be gushing about this book when the tours swing around, so stay tuned! ★★★★★
Now that we’re firmly into October, I figured it was time to wrap up my reading from last month. After a particularly epic amount of books that I read in August, my September reading was noticeably less epic. I feel like my poor brain was recovering! It didn’t help that I contracted a head cold that put me into a fog for a good portion of the month. And that was before I contracted Covid 😅 It was a fun month with ups (I turned 40!) and downs (aforementioned head cold…) and it flew by way too fast.
Now, let’s wrap up what I managed to read in my favorite month of the year!
Spy x Family Vol 5 by Tatsuya Endo: I started the month continuing my Spy x Family obsession. This volume of the manga was a lot of fun, as always, though Yor’s brother creeps me out 😂 He is way too obsessed with his sister… Still, I loved seeing more of the Forger family and the art, as always, was a delight. This did just remind me that I need to catch up with the anime now that the second season is out! ★★★★
Spy x Family Vol 6 by Tatsuya Endo: This was most definitely my favorite volume of the manga so far! We got to go along with Loid on one of his missions, there were so many cute moments between him and Yor, and Anya was, as ever, adorable. There was something about this volume that made me love the series even more. It was also the last one my library had so I’ve been in withdrawal ever since, haha. ★★★★★
With Fire In Their Blood by Kat Delacorte: I read this book for a tour hosted by The Write Reads. This YA dark fantasy was a wild ride that was incredibly gripping, I loved the strange town of Castello and all the horrifying religious overtones that flow throughout the book were certainly eerie. The atmosphere and tone were expertly done and were probably my favorite part of the story. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
Stillhouse Lake by Rachel Caine: Y’all. I’ve been a fan of Rachel Caine’s for a long time, ever since I picked up the Great Library series. So, when I picked up the first book in her thriller series, I was expecting to enjoy it. I was not, however, expecting to become so completely ensnared in the story that I wanted to abandon all my other reading goals for the month so I could binge the entire series! This book was so good! It was dark and tense and frightening, with several moments that had me on the edge of my seat. I want to fight the world for Gwen, our main character, and her kids. Rachel Caine has always been good at writing compelling characters and she definitely brought that skill into this book, as well. ★★★★★
Chef’s Kiss by Jarrett Melendez: Ahhhhhh, this was so stinkin’ CUTE! I had heard Dini @ Dini Panda Reads talk about how much she enjoyed this graphic novel, which is what originally piqued my interest. Then, I spotted it at my local library and figured, why not? I borrowed it, sat down to read, and immediately became smitten. The art style! The characters! The FOOD! This story about a young college graduate just trying to find his true passion in this life (and maybe another kind of passion…) was so beautifully told and beautifully drawn that I was invested in his story from beginning to end. Add to that all the inclusiveness littered throughout this tale and I was hooked! ★★★★
It Looks Like Us by Alison Ames: Talk about a perfect read for spooky season! Though a bit predictable, this novel was a thrill ride from beginning to end. If you enjoyed the movie The Thing and aren’t easily grossed out, I would definitely suggest giving this one a go! I read it for a TBR & Beyond Tours book tour and I’m so glad that I did. It was intense and messy and I enjoyed my time sunk within its pages. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
I’ve managed to get to my reading wrap up for the previous month before it is almost the end of this month! We’re making progress 😂 In my defense, I read a lot of books (for me) last month. I somehow managed to get through 20 books! The task of rounding them all up and talking about them has been daunting, to say the least.
I have to blame the two readathons I participated in last month, the Trope-ical Readathon and the Magical Readathon. They were both a ton of fun and had me tearing through books. I managed to complete my character’s classes for the Magical Readathon, though I did… less great with my Trope-ical TBR 😅 I am but one, slow reader and there was no way I was getting through all those books! Still, I had a blast with both readathons and I can’t wait until the next round for each.
Alright, now let’s jump in so I can talk about all the books I managed to read in August!
Within These Wicked Walls by Lauren Blackwood: This was such a thrilling read! It’s an Ethiopian-inspired retelling of Jane Eyre which is one of my favorite classic novels. I was already primed to love this and it did not disappoint! I loved the world, the characters, and their messy, wonderful relationships. It also brought the creepy factor and I loved that! This would be a great read for spooky season. You can read my full review here. ★★★★
My Heart is a Chainsaw by Stephen Graham Jones: Stephen Graham Jones has a way of writing horror that makes it feel like a contemporary. This book was no different and, somehow, it totally works! I enjoyed how this was really a character study of Jade, our main character, who is obsessed with slashers and hates pretty much everything else. It was intriguing following her as she tries to convince people that a slasher has arrived at their small town. Don’t get me wrong, though… there are definitely some pretty horrific things in this book, especially near the end! It all wraps up into a weird, wonderful story that was both spine-tingling and introspective. ★★★★
Spy x Family Vol 1 by Tatsuya Endo: And here we see the beginning of my obsession with the Forger family, lol. I read this manga after hearing about it all over the bookish community. It sounded cute and I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Immediately after finishing this volume, I binged the first season of the anime and put a hold on all the volumes available at my library 😂 It’s just so sweet! It follows a spy who needs a fake family to complete his latest mission. The people he manages to get into his fake family, however, are 1) an assassin (Yor is the BEST) and 2) a telepath (I ADORE Anya). It’s a lot of fun and I need mooooore. ★★★★
These Fleeting Shadows by Kate Alice Marshall: I read this book as part of a book tour hosted by TBR & Beyond Tours. I signed up for the tour because this sounded like a gothic horror that would be right up my alley! I had a great time with this dark, brooding story. The atmosphere was on point and I loved that we got some good rep throughout the story. There’s even a sapphic love story mixed in with all the horror. This book certainly made me interested in reading more of Kate Alice Marshall’s work! You can read my full review here. ★★★★
Here I am, once again bringing you a very late monthly wrap up 😅 Perhaps in August I’ll get my act together, but, let’s be honest, probably not. This summer months have been busy and stressful and, though I’ve been reading quite a bit, I’ve been terrible at keeping track the way I used to that made making my monthly wrap up posts easier. So then I just put it off until I finally make myself sit down and do it, haha.
We’ve arrived at that point, so it’s time to tell you all about the books I read in June!
The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James: This was my first Simone St. James and, though I enjoyed my time with it, I have to say I was a little underwhelmed. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters in this book. I thought they were intriguing and messed up and definitely interesting to follow. But this is a book that bounces back and forth between POVs and timelines and I found the timelines set in the past so intensely dull. Still, I enjoyed the spooky elements and the writing was good. That plus the great characters helped me pull through the duller chapters. ★★★
The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake: I went into this one unsure of how I was going to like it. I’m a fan of dark academia, but there are so many mixed reviews about this book! Thankfully, I fell on the side of loving it. The vibes were incredible, the characters were fascinating, and I loved the (admittedly convoluted sometimes) plot. There were moments were the writing felt a tad overwrought and boring, but those were few and far between. All in all, this was a wild ride and I’m eager to read the sequel. ★★★★
Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan: Here’s another book that has a lot of mixed reviews. And, again, I ended up on the side of loving it! This book was absolutely beautiful, inside and out. The writing was stunning! Like, so beautiful there were passages I listened to over again because I just loved them so much. The plot is fast-paced and intriguing and the worldbuilding is fantastic! The best part of this book, however, is the characters, especially Xingye. She’s such a nuanced and fierce character to watch grow throughout the story. Definitely looking forward to the sequel! ★★★★
Son of Shadow by John Lenahan: I read this book for a blog tour hosted by The Write Reads. It’s a fantasy that is focused around Irish mythology and it was quite a bit of fun! I loved how this book was a fantasy with a very contemporary feel. And the land of Tir na Nog was enchanting to read in this book. I have to admit to feeling a little lost for most of the book because this is the first book in a new trilogy, but there’s an entire trilogy before this. It felt like I was missing a lot of information because I hadn’t read that series. Overall, though, I had a good time with this book. You can read my full review here. ★★★
We made it through another month of 2022! I feel like March went by super fast which was not at all what I wanted, haha. I feel like I got nothing done because the month just slipped through my fingers! At the same time, I’ve been unusually stressed with nothing added to my daily routine that would explain all the stress. It was a weird month, y’all. Here’s hoping April will be a bit more chill.
In the reading department, I read quite a few books but not nearly the amount I was hoping to achieve. I only read a few books from my Magical Readathon and WomenInMyth-Athon TBRs, but I still had a lot of fun participating in both! I suppose I shouldn’t be too hard on myself because I still managed to read nine books. Nine books in one month would have made me from a few years ago die of shock! And the quality of those books what top tier. I had three five star reads last month! I gotta remind myself of these things when I’m being too down on myself for how much I read. After all, it’s quality not quantity that counts.
Anyways, let’s get into all the books I read in the month of March!
Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page
Book: Anne of West Philly by Ivy Noelle Weir/illustrated by Myisha Haynes
Thoughts: This was such a cute, fun graphic novel! It’s a retelling of Anne of Green Gables, which I haven’t read. Still, I know a bit about the character of Anne and I think this duo captured her spirit to a T! The art is beautiful, the story was touching, and I had a blast reading it. You can read my full review here.
Book: The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri
Thoughts: Well, this was quite a thrill to read! From the very beginning, I was invested in Priya and Malini’s stories. They are incredibly well-written and compelling characters that made me want to keep reading. Beyond them, the lush world-building and the intriguing politics had me absolutely captivated. I’m excited for the next book in this series!
Book: The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd
Thoughts: This book took me by surprise! I got it in my Book of the Month box and signed up for a blog tour simply because I liked the cover. Honestly, if it hadn’t been for the tour, it probably would have languished on my shelves for awhile. I’m so glad it didn’t, though, because it absolutely blew me away! You can read my full review here.
Welcome to the first day of the new year! What better way to kick off 2022 by closing out 2021? It’s time to wrap up my reading for December. It was a pretty easy-going reading month because I was mostly focused on getting ready for Christmas. I did manage to get through five books, though, and I’m not mad about it! Quality-wise, it was a great way to close out the year.
Alright, let’s see what I read in the last month of 2021!
Click on the covers to be taken to the book’s Goodreads page
Book: The Girl of Dorcha Wood by Kristin Ward
Thoughts: I read this for a tour run by The Write Reads and I had so much fun with it! It’s certainly a dark tale (so please check triggers!) but it was a wild ride, too. I loved the take on Celtic folklore. I’m looking forward to continuing the series. You can read my full review here!
Book: The Lost Sentinel by Suzanne Rogerson
Thoughts: I read this book as part of being a BBNYA 2021 panelist. Though this wasn’t my favorite of the three I read, it was still a solid fantasy novel. The pacing was a bit off, but the characters and the world-building was great! I’m sure I’ll be writing a full review soon for the finalists blog tour.
Book: Forget Me Not by Anca Antoci
Thoughts: We have another The Write Reads blog tour book here! This was such an interesting read that I absolutely flew through. There were some pacing issues, but it was such an unique fantasy that I ended up loving. You can read my full reviewhere!