July 2020 TBR

I had a great reading month in June, so I’m hoping my reading streak continues into July. Here’s what I plan on reading!

  • Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade *
Spoiler Alert

I received Spoiler Alert as an eARC via NetGalley. For this book, the artwork on the cover definitely drew me in. Looking at the synopsis, I was a little uneasy heading into this book. Typically, I do not enjoy books set around fandoms, however, I’m always looking for a book that will change my opinion. I actually started this book in June and I’m liking it so far, so I hope my feelings don’t change as I continue to read it.

Spoiler Alert follows Marcus, who stars on a popular television show based on book series. While Marcus acts indifferent in interviews, he actually is a popular fanfic writer of the series online where he disagrees a lot with the show’s takes. Meanwhile, April Whittier also writes fanfic for the show online, and after a picture of her cosplay goes viral, Marcus asks her on a date… neither knowing they talk regularly online and beta read each other’s stories.

  • The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

I was so excited for this book. Around the release date, I was rewatching clips from The Hunger Games and watching as everyone received their copies in the mail. While I started this book awhile ago, I just didn’t have the motivation to finish it in June. While I love The Hunger Games, I normally only read books outside of contemporary sporadically, and when I received this book I was already in the middle of Aurora Rising, which is a long book outside of the contemporary genre. Since I’ve read quite a few contemporary books again, I think I will be ready to invest in a dystopian.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows a young Snow who acts as a mentor in the Hunger Games.

  • In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren *
In a Holidaze

Although I was holding off to read this book until the end of summer, I thought I would give myself a Christmas in July by picking up this book towards the end of the month.

In a Holidaze follows Maelyn, who is distraught over leaving her family’s cabin for the last time ever, after she gets in an accident and must relive that day over and over again.

What books do you plan to read in July?

Any books marked with * were sent to me by the publisher as an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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June Reading Wrap-Up

I always read more books during the summer time and June has proved to be no exception. This month, I not only tackled some books from my TBR, but also started picking up some more middle grade again which I really enjoyed. Here’s what I read (book reviews will be linked to book titles):

Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes is an earlier Jenn Bennett book, where I tend to have some issues with the characters or plot, but I still overall enjoyed this book. Starry Eyes largely revolves around camping, which made it the perfect book to read in the summertime, especially with Jenn Bennett’s excellent descriptions of the outdoors.

Starry Eyes follows ex-best friends Zorie and Lennon, who are recruited to go on a camping trip with sort-of friends who later ditch them. In order to attend a stargazing party, Zorie must trust Lennon to lead her through the wilderness to their destination.

Aurora Burning (The Aurora Cycle #2)

I loved the first book in this series, Aurora Rising, but I had a lot of issues with this installment that echoed many of the issues other readers had with the first book. My biggest issue with this book was how repetitive much of the plot and dialogue was throughout the book, as well as the pacing, which really dragged in the middle.

Aurora Rising follows Tyler’s squad as they try to save the galaxy. However, their plans are interrupted when Kal’s relatives show up and try to get him back, no matter the cost.

Beach Read

I think I would have enjoyed Beach Read a little more if the marketing accurately reflected the book inside. While I expected Beach Read to be a light-hearted summer romance, it is a lot darker than I expected. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but I think anyone who expects a story similar to what I did will need to take away their expectations to full enjoy this book.

Beach Read follows January Jones, a romance writer, who spends the summer at her recently deceased father’s beach home in order to write her next novel. There, she encounters August, a college rival and literary fiction author, and creates a challenge where they will both write a novel in the other’s preferred genre.

  • Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride is one of my favorite Sarah Dessen books and it’s always fun to revisit this book again in the summer. The characters in this book are so well-developed and I have always related to the main character, Auden, which makes the book even more special for me.

Along for the Ride follows Auden, who spends the summer at her father’s house with his new wife and their baby. There, Auden meets Eli, who helps her experience everything she missed out on in her childhood.

  • Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey
Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3)

Tools of Engagement is another average book that I read in June. I received this book as an eARC from the publisher via NetGalley, so my full review won’t be shared until closer to the release date in September. While there were some things in this book that I really enjoyed, like the main character’s growth, there were other’s that I didn’t enjoy, like some of the love interest’s behavior.

Tools of Engagement follows Bethany who steps aways from her family’s real estate business to flip her own house, much to her brother’s dismay. When their argument attracts a television producer, the siblings are featured on a television show and the only person on Bethany’s side is an ex-member of her brother’s crew.

  • Smile by Raina Telgemeier
Smile

Smile is the first graphic novel that I really remember seeing from my elementary years, although I never read it. I’ve read a few other graphic novel memoirs, and while this isn’t my favorite of the bunch, it was a quick read with a good message.

Smile follows Raina who needs extensive dental work after an accident just as she starts middle school. Raina’s braces greatly affect her self-confidence, but as she gets older, she learns what is really important.

  • Front Desk by Kelly Yang
Front Desk (Front Desk, #1)

I’ve heard a lot about this book, and since I was getting back into middle grade, I thought that I would pick it up. Front Desk is a great middle grade novel that is extremely relevant and doesn’t shy away from tough topics.

Front Desk follows Mia Tang after her family immigrates to the United States from China. Mia’s parents take a job working as hotel managers for a mean boss and Mia works at the front desk in order to help out her parents. Mia’s life grows even more complicated when parents hide immigrants in the unused hotel rooms and her mother discourages her dream of becoming a writer.

  • From the Desk of Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
From the Desk of Zoe Washington

I picked up this book because I after reading Front Desk, I wanted to read more middle grade books. This book appeared as a Kindle Daily Deal recently and the plot sounded interesting, so I couldn’t pass it up. Like Front Desk, this book is extremely relevant and doesn’t shy away from covering tough topics, which I enjoyed.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington follows Zoe, an aspiring baker, who receives a letter from her biological father on her twelfth birthday. Zoe secretly corresponds with her father, who is in prison for murder, and discovers that he may be innocent. As a result, Zoe searches for a way to prove her father’s innocence.

What was the best book that you read in June?

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June TBR

Hello, summer!

As someone who loves the summertime and reading, June begins my favorite time of the year. Not only do I have more time to read, but it’s the perfect time to read my favorite genre: contemporary. Here’s what I plan to read in the first month of summer (books marked with an * were sent to me via NetGalley from the publisher):

  • Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey *
Tools of Engagement (Hot & Hammered, #3)

Tools of Engagement doesn’t release until September, but I looked to read books that I’m approved for on NetGalley pretty quickly. Plus, Tools of Engagement is a fun, romance read which is perfect for the summer time. This is the third book in a companion series and I have not read the first two books. That being said, I have already started this book and not reading the first two books hasn’t negatively impacted my reading experience.

Tools of Engagement follows Bethany Castle who is typically responsible for staging the homes that her family’s real estate business flips. However, Bethany is determined to flip a house on her own, despite her brother’s protests. When a television crew catches wind of the family feud, Bethany’s insecurities of doing her own flip, and her complicated relationship with a former member of her brother’s crew, are put in the spotlight.

  • Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Brocka
Time of Our Lives

This book has been on my TBR since is released in May, I just haven’t gotten around to read it yet. However, June will be the month! I am a big fan of this author duo and I’m excited to read their latest release.

Time of Our Lives follows Juniper and Fitz, who are both touring colleges. While Juniper wants to go to college far away from her large family, Fitz wants to stay close to his mom who has early on-set Alzheimer’s.

  • A Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

As a former Hunger Games super fan, it isn’t surprising that I am so excited to read this book. I actually started it in May, but put it down, so I could finish Aurora Burning last month. As a contemporary girl who loves fun, upbeat stories, I can only take so many life and death stakes at a time. That being said, I ended off May with several contemporary stories, so I’m ready to jump back into this one.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes follows President Snow before he was President Snow as he mentors a girl in the tenth annual Hunger Games.

What books do you plan to read in June?

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May Reading Wrap-Up

This month, my reading took a little detour that I didn’t expect, but it was a good detour. After finally reading The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen in April, I wanted to read some of my favorite books by this author. I started the month by reading two books that I have re-read countless times at this point, followed by the second book in a middle grade series that I found when cleaning out the books in my closet.

Afterward, I started to tackle some of my recently acquired books that were recently released. I started The Betrothed, but haven’t finished it yet because the second book in the Aurora Cycle was grabbing my attention more. Then, the newest Hunger Games book came out and, of course, I had to start that one as well.

Here are some of my thoughts on what I read this month:

  • This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
This Lullaby

This Lullaby is one of my top three books by Sarah Dessen, and at this point, I’ve probably read it at least ten times. It’s always comforting to read a book that you love and you know how it ends. I particularly like this book by Sarah Dessen because the main character has a very unique personality in comparison to the main characters of her other books. Dexter also has a very dynamic personality, which makes him a very likable love interest.

  • The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
The Truth About Forever

Like This Lullaby, The Truth About Forever is in my top three Sarah Dessen books and I’ve read it at least ten times. This book never gets old for me and I connect with the message in this story every time. This is some of Sarah Dessen’s most solid writing with a memorable cast of characters. Overall, this is a solid book that’s perfect to read during the summer.

  • Jessica Darling’s It List #2 by Megan McCafferty
Jessica Darling's It List 2: The (Totally Not) Guaranteed Guide to Friends, Foes & Faux Friends

I didn’t enjoy this book as much as the first book in this series because it lacked a lot of the same laugh-out-loud humor. However, this book did pick up in the second half and it extremely relatable to readers of the same age as the main character and people who have had the same experiences in middle school. Overall, I think this book has a solid message for the target audience.

What was the best book that you read in May?

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May TBR

I am so excited to start my reading month for May because I have two new books to read by authors that I really enjoy. Both of these books are new releases in 2020 and both will count towards my 20 books to read in 2020 list (one book on the original list has a release date change, so I am making a substitution). Here’s what I plan to read:

  • Time of Our Lives by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka
Time of Our Lives
Don’t you just love this cover?

Like with most books by the author duo, nothing about the plot really draws me in, despite my love of contemporaries. That being said, I did read the two books previously published by this author duo earlier this year despite my reservations and really enjoyed them, although I loved one a little bit more than the other. Since I enjoyed Always, Never, Yours and If I’m Being Honest so much, I high expectations for Time of Our Lives.

Time of Our Lives Fitz and Juniper, who are both going on college tours. While Fitz dreads college because his mother has Alzheimer’s, Juniper can’t wait to get some space from her large family. When their paths cross, their decisions have the potential to change their lives forever.

  • The Betrothed by Kiera Cass
The Betrothed (The Betrothed, #1)
This cover is so pretty too!

The Betrothed by Kiera Cass is the first book in a new historical romance series by the author of The Selection. The most popular series by this author is widely regarded as not the best written, but certainly entertaining. As a result, I don’t expect the most historically accurate story, but one filled drama and fluff.

The Betrothed follows Hollis, who always dreamed to marry the prince of her kingdom… until it happens. Now, Hollis finds herself attracted to a commoner. Will Hollis stay with the future that she always wanted or the future that she never thought possible?

What books do you plan to read in May?

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April Reading Wrap-Up

During April, I split my time between writing for Camp NaNoWriMo and reading. As a result, I only read two books during the month of April. That being said, I enjoyed both books that I read in April. Plus, both of these books appear on my 20 books I want to read in 2020, so I have two more books that I can check off from this list. Here’s what I read:

  • Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally *
Four Days of You and Me

I received an ARC for the Four Days of You and Me via NetGalley. I was excited to read this book because I read all of Miranda Kenneally’s books in the Hundred Oaks series and this is her first book outside of that series. The Four Days of You and Me was everything that I expected from Miranda Kenneally: a light-hearted romance that is quick and easy to read.

Four Days of You and Me follows the relationship of Lulu and Alex throughout their four years of high school, particularly focusing on the annual class field trips which contain many events that define and change their relationship

  • The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen
The Rest of the Story

I’ve had The Rest of the Story since it was released, but never got around to reading it. Throughout high school and college, Sarah Dessen’s books largely made up what I read. However, her recent releases haven’t been my favorite. That being said, The Rest of the Story is a solid novel with Dessen’s classic writing style, although not my favorite out of her works.

The Rest of the Story follows Emma Saylor who visits her mother’s side of the family years after her mother has passed after her father remarries and goes on his honeymoon.

What did you read in April?

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Any book marked with * was an ARC sent to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

April 2020 TBR

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During March I had a solid reading month. Here’s what I plan to read in April:

  • Four Days of You and Me by Miranda Kenneally *
Four Days of You and Me

I am so excited to read this new release of Miranda Kenneally! I have read all the books in her Hundred Oaks series. While some were hit and miss, I am excited to see what she has come up with outside of that series. I’ve actually already started this book and I can tell it has the same quick and easy writing style that I have come to expect from Miranda Kenneally. Hopefully, this one finishes strong!

  • Again, but Better by Christine Riccio
Again, but Better

I am always interested in reading books written by people on Booktube and I have wanted to read this particular book since it was released. I found this book discounted at the book store a couple months ago, so I am excited to finally sit down and read this one.

  • Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon
Of Curses and Kisses (St. Rosetta's Academy, #1)

This is another book on this list that I barely started last month and hope to finish this month. Sandhya Menon’s books are hit and miss for me. I read 10 Things About Pinky last month and it was only okay for me, so I hope to enjoy this book a little more. This book promises some elements we haven’t seen before by Sandhya Menon, so I’m interested in how she tackles them in this book.

  • Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert
Get a Life, Chloe Brown (The Brown Sisters, #1)

Wow! This I another book that I started, but still haven’t finished. Out of all the books in this list, this will be the toughest for me. This book has been super hyped recently, but I’m really not feeling it. Hopefully, if I keep reading, my opinion will change (even just a little bit for the better!).

What books do you plan to read in April? What are you most excited to read?

Any books marked with a * was sent to me as an eARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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March Reading Wrap-Up

monthly wrap up.png

For me, March was a little bit all over the place in regards to my rating. While I considered half of the books that I read as average, I had one above average read and one slightly disappointing read. I am on a contemporary kick this year, so once again, all of the books that I read this month fell in this genre, either in the young adult or new adult age range. Here’s what I read:

  • 10 Things I Hate About Pinky by Sandhya Menon* (3 stars)
10 Things I Hate About Pinky (Dimple and Rishi, #3)

10 Things I Hate About Pinky reminded me a lot of From, Twinkle with Love by Sandhya Menon because the main characters are very similar in personality. From Twinkle, With Love is my least favorite book by Sandhya Menon, but I would say that I enjoyed this one a little more. This book does rely on a lot of drama and angst, so I definitely think individuals who are in the target audience of this book may relate to this book more than I did, and as a result, enjoy it more than I did.

  • The Honey Don’t List by Christina Lauren* (3 stars)
The Honey-Don't List

When it comes to Christina Lauren books, I am always drawn in by the premise, but disappointed with the execution. Unfortunately for me, The Honey Don’t List fell into many of the gripes that I typically have about books by Christina Lauren. That being said, I did find the plot in this book more cohesive than some other books by this author. I was also extremely intrigued by the side characters, the renovation couple that the main character follows on their book tour, which made the book more enjoyable for me than other books written by this author duo. See my full review here.

  • Moment of Truth by Kasie West (2.5 stars)
Moment of Truth

What a disappointment! Kasie West is an auto-buy contemporary author for me, but unfortunately, Moment of Truth fell extremely flat for me. The plot was all over the place and with the multitude of flat and inconsistent characters, there was little that I enjoyed about this book. While I did like the interesting dynamics in the main character’s family, which boosted my rating slightly, that aspect of the plot was repetitive and not fleshed out like the majority of the book.

  • Chasing Lucky by Jenn Bennett* (5 stars)
Chasing Lucky

What a delight! Jenn Bennett’s books get better and better with each release. I read Alex, Approximately several years ago, but didn’t get the hype. After reading Serious Moonlight and this book, I now consider Jenn Bennett an auto-buy author for me. While somewhat predictable, the writing in this book is extremely captivating as well as the characters. I highly recommend this release later in the spring!

What books did you read in March? Which one do you recommend?

Any book marked with an * was an eARC sent to me via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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February TBR

Blogentines

 

I read four books in January, which was a decent reading month for me, so I look forward to all the new books that February will bring. I am a huge contemporary fan, February is the perfect time to pick up some romances. Here are some books that I hope to read in this month:

  • American Panda by Gloria Chao

American Panda

I started American Panda a LONG time ago and never finished it. I’m trying to wrap up some books that I picked up and put down in my reading slump last year, so I think this could be a book that I quickly finish at the beginning of the month.

  • Out of Left Field by Kris Hui Lee

Out of Left Field

Out of Left Field is another book that I started last year, but did not finish. I am currently reading this book, so I also expect that this will be another book that I quickly finish at the beginning of the month.

  • This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills

This Adventure Ends

So far I have read two books by Emma Mills and they both have been average reads for me. I feel like Emma Mills does a lot of set-up in the beginning of her books for a larger emotional reward at the end. As a result, the beginning of her books usually move a little slow for me. However, I got this as a Kindle deal awhile back and I’ve been wanting to check out some more books by this author before I read her latest book which was released last month.

  • Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Siren Queen (Daughter of the Pirate King, #2)

I read Daughter of the Pirate King a couple of years ago. While it wasn’t what I expected, I really enjoyed it. It does focus a large part on the romance, so I would expect this book to do the same. Since this book just appeared as a Kindle deal this month, I thought it would be the perfect read for the month where Valentine’s Day falls.

  • Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Don't Date Rosa Santos

I’ve had this book on my TBR for awhile, it was also on my 20 books that I want to read in 2020 list. I really want to try to read as many of those books on my list as possible and I think this month I will finally finish this one.

 

What books do you plan to read in February?

 

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January Wrap-Up

Blogentines

After a rough reading year last year, I was worried my reading slump would carry over into the New Year. Thankfully, I was able to find a few books that I was really excited for to kick off the New Year. While I do not expect all these books to appear on my end of year favorites list, I enjoyed almost every book on this list. Here’s what I read:

  • Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (★ ★ ★ ★ ★)

Aurora Rising (The Aurora Cycle, #1)

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. Even though from the description it contained some elements that I thought I would enjoy, like a ragtag team of characters, I was initially put off by how I never finished Illuminae and the mixed reviews from people who loved Illuminae. Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this book and look forward in continuing the series.

  • The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory (★ ★)

The Wedding Party (The Wedding Date, #3)

The Proposal by Jasmine Guillory was one of my favorite contemporaries two years ago, so I put The Wedding Party on my TBR shortly after. Since The Wedding Party was nominated for a Goodreads choice award, it appeared as a Kindle Daily deal early this year. Unfortunately for me, The Wedding Party suffered from a lot of missed opportunities. While this book had a lot of potential, it missed the mark in several ways for me.

  • Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (★ ★ ★ ★)

Tweet Cute

Everyone is gushing about Tweet Cute, so as a fan of contemporaries, I immediately picked it up. I’m not someone who rushes out and buys a book, especially for authors that aren’t my auto-buys, but this sounded right up my alley. While I overall enjoyed Tweet Cute, some of the pacing (especially in the ending) was a little off for me.

  • First and Then by Emma Mills (★ ★ ★ )

First & Then

I have read one other book by Emma Mills, Famous in a Small Town, and my feelings towards that book are similar to how I feel about this book. For me, Emma Mills is an author with A LOT of set-up in the beginning of the book. While there’s always some emotional punch in the end, for me, it often feels like a lot of work to get to for the reward. While I think Emma Mills is a talented author, I think this style just isn’t my favorite.

 

What were your favorite January reads?

 

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