May TBR

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Once again, I failed to make a lot of progress on my TBR. I did not finish A Curse So Dark and Lonely, Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story, or You’d Be Mine while I did make a little bit of progress on two of those books. That being said, I did finish a book that I picked up and put down before I picked up any of those books. While the book, Internet Famous, was a struggle to finish, it still feels good to finally finish that story.

Looking ahead to May, I still want to focus on some of those books that I have been working on. However, I also want to finish reading an eARC that I received in order to review it before its release date. Here are my choices:

  • Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt

The Boy Next Story: A Bookish Boyfriends Novel

I think that I am struggling to finish this book because it is really angsty and repetitive. I’m also not a huge fan of several characters in this book, including the love interest, which makes it difficult to finish reading. That being said, I am not the target age range of this book which skews as younger YA. Since I received this as an eARC, I am committed to finish it and provide an honest review.

  • Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Don't Date Rosa Santos

This book sounds right up my alley! I heard from other reviews that there is a large focus on the main character’s culture, which I always love to read in stories. I also have this book as an eARC, so I am determined to read and review it in order to provide an honest review before the release date.

  • You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

You'd Be Mine

I always struggle to read books involving celebrities or people trying to be famous, but I hope this is an exception. I barely started this book, so I’m not entirely sure about my feelings towards the characters or plot yet. The country music focus will be great to read as summer comes closer.

 

What books do you plan to read in May? 

 

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April Reading Wrap-Up

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Unfortunately for me, April was not my strongest reading month. Since I focused a lot of my time and energy into Camp NaNoWriMo, there wasn’t much left for tackling my TBR. As a result, I am currently three books behind schedule to meet my yearly reading goal of 50 books. That being said, the two books that I did read this month motivated me to write some of my most detailed reviews yet. Look for those reviews within the next couple weeks! Here is what I read in April:

  • Shuffle, Repeat by Jen Klein (★ ★)

Shuffle, Repeat

While the plot intrigued me for this book and reminded me of one of my favorite young adult novels, it took a different direction than I expected which I did not really enjoy. I found the characters bland and stereotypical and the plot as nothing special for the genre.

  • Internet Famous by Danika Stone (★)

Internet Famous

The execution of this book failed on multiple levels for me. While I like reading about teenage characters with a large online presence, most of these characters came across as stereotypical, immature, or annoying. As a result, I was never invested in this story.

 

What were the best books that you read in April?

 

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Sadie by Courtney Summers Review

book review

Sadie by Courtney Summers follows Sadie who embarks on a journey to find the murderer of her dead sister, who she raised due to her mother’s lack of involvement. Fascinated by the story, a radio host follows Sadie’s tracks in hopes to find Sadie who has been missing for a long time.

While I am not a huge thriller/mystery fan, I decided to pick up Sadie due to hearing many positive reviews. I was also interested in the format, which combines Sadie’s story as well as a podcast that chronicles her journey. Although I find Sadie an interesting and enjoyable story, it did not live up to the hype for me.

Overall, Sadie is an interesting and complex character. After surviving some traumatic experiences in her childhood and raising her younger sister, Sadie presents herself as tough and serious. However, readers also get to see a more vulnerable side of Sadie through several of her interactions with other people she meets throughout her journey. However, my favorite aspect of Sadie’s character is how realistic and relatable she is as a person. There are so many Sadies out there in the world that I think would resonate with her story.

As for the format of the book, it was a bit hit-or-miss for me. I really liked the concept of following the story through Sadie’s eyes and a podcast, but for me, it did not always enhance my reading experiences. Since the podcast’s hosts follow Sadie’s footsteps, some information is repeated throughout the story. While readers sometimes see the consequences of Sadie’s actions in the book, I felt like some of the podcast did not add anything to the story after you read it from Sadie’s perspective. Working towards the climax of the story, I sometimes wanted to push through the podcast aspect and get back to Sadie’s perspective. While I understand why the podcast was necessary for some aspects of the story, I think it could have been incorporated more successfully into the story.

I also think some readers may find the story predictable and the ending as flat. While I do not read this genre often, I was still able to figure out the mystery fairly early on in the story. While I continued the book due to my investment in Sadie as a character, other readers who frequently read this genre in favor of a less predictable storyline. Additionally, some readers may find the ending of this book as unfulfilling. I understand the author’s purpose behind the ending in the story, however, some readers may feel disappointed by the somewhat open ending.

Overall, Sadie is an interesting and overall enjoyable read. While I found the story somewhat predictable, this story still stuck with me after reading. I could not help but think of all the people with a similar story to Sadie in the world. I would recommend this book to people looking for more of an impactful mystery than a true mystery or thriller. I give this book three out of five stars.

 

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April TBR

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So about last month… it was not my best reading month. As a result, I finished 0 books on my TBR. I started each of these books, but did not finish any of them. Right now, these stories aren’t grabbing me and I may need to pick them up at a later time to fully enjoy them. Here were my picks for March:

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

  • Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt

The Boy Next Story: A Bookish Boyfriends Novel

  • You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

You'd Be Mine

 

Now… onto my choices for April!

  • Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt

The Boy Next Story: A Bookish Boyfriends NovelI do want to finish this book before May, when it is released. I am very close to finishing this book. Fingers crossed that I finish it this month!

  • You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

You'd Be Mine

I’m not too far into this book, but it was recently released. I want to read this book ASAP!

  • Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Don't Date Rosa Santos

This book will also be released in May, so I want to finish it during April. This book sounds right up my alley, so I hope that I enjoy it!

 

What do you plan to read in April?

 

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March Reading Wrap-Up

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March ended up being a month of ARCs! I was approved on NetGalley for a few releases that I’ve been excited for this year. While I enjoyed all of them, I was slightly disappointed in one book from a contemporary author that I loved last year. Here’s what I read (each book on this list was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review):

  • Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett (★ ★ ★ ★)

Serious Moonlight

I enjoyed Serious Moonlight much more than Alex, Approximately which is another book that I have read by this author.

  • There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon (★ ★ ★ ★)

There's Something About Sweetie

This is definitely my favorite book by Sandhya Menon yet. I found When Dimple Met Rishi slightly average and did not enjoy From Twinkle, With Love, so I’m excited to find a book by this author that I really loved.

  • Call It What You Want by Brigid Kemmerer (★ ★ ★)

Call It What You Want

While I still enjoyed reading this book, the story itself never captured me like the other two contemporary books that I have read by Brigid Kemmerer.

 

 

What was the best book that you read in March?

 

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books on my Spring 2019 TBR

top ten

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is books on my Spring 2019 TBR. Here are my choices:

  • You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

You'd Be Mine

  • Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

Don't Date Rosa Santos

  • If I’m Being Honest by Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegmund-Broka

If I'm Being Honest

  • King of Fools (Ace of Shades #2) by Amanda Foody

King of Fools (The Shadow Game, #2)

  • Again, But Better by Christine Riccio 

Again, but Better

  • Somewhere Only We Knew by Maurene Goo 

Somewhere Only We Know

  • There’s Something About Sweetie by Sandhya Menon

There's Something About Sweetie

  • Serious Moonlight by Jenn Bennett 

Serious Moonlight

  • Night Music by Jenn Marie Thorne

Night Music

  • Just for Clicks by Kara McDowell

Just For Clicks

 

What books are on your spring TBR?

 

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Kiss Me, I’m Irish! Book Tag

Book Tag

Since St. Patrick’s Day is tomorrow, I thought I would celebrate with the Kiss Me, I’m Irish Book tag 🍀! Here are my answers:

  • Green: Book With a Green Cover

Serious Moonlight

I seriously enjoy this cover and it was one of the reasons I wanted to read this book despite not enjoying another book by this author, Alex, Approximately. Fortunately for me, I received this book as an ARC and enjoyed it significantly more than the first book I read by this author. As a contemporary lover, I can definitely see myself picking up more books than Jenn Bennett releases in the future.

  • Blarney: A Book that Deceived You into Liking It or It Was Over-Hyped and You Ended Up Disliking It

The Kiss Quotient (The Kiss Quotient, #1)

I found The Kiss Quotient to be a little over-hyped for me after I read it. The Kiss Quotient is lumped on a lot of lists for people stepping out of YA and into new adult or adult books. I tend to like books on these lists like The Hating Game. However, nothing about the story was particularly memorable for me and I never bought into the relationship which is the sole focus of this story.

  • Brogue (Dialect): A Book Where One of the Characters Has an Accent

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)

When I read this prompt, the first thing that I could think of was how much Anna loved how Etienne pronounced her name!

  • Leprechaun: A Book You Enjoyed When You Were Young

Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1)

The amount of Babysitter’s Club books that I owned was insane! I absolutely loved this series and I remember my grandma always finding new ones for my sister and me at garage sales and thrift stores. It’s an understatement to say that I am so excited for this upcoming Netflix series!

  • Pot of Gold: A Book That Cost You a Lot or is of Great Value to You

Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie: The Oregon Trail Diary of Hattie Campbell (Dear America)

I got this book in second grade through a Scholastic catalog.  I remember feeling so fancy as I read this book on the carpet during silent reading time and marking my place with the ribbon bookmark attached to the binding. Those were the good old days!

  • Four-Leaf Clover or Shamrock: Four Leaves = More Than One Book, Pick Your Current or Old Favorite Series

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles, #1)

I was so into this series when I was in college. I definitely need to re-read this sometime in the near future because I know I would enjoy it just as much as the first time I read it.

  • Magic: A Book that You Found Magical or a Book Where You Enjoyed a Magic Element That Was Found in the Story Line

The Boy Next Story (Bookish Boyfriends, #2)

There’s not a huge magic element to this contemporary series, but it is suspected that the English teacher can make the books truly come to life. I think many readers wish that their favorite characters and stories could be real!

  • Kiss: Your Current Favorite Book Pairing or Your All-Time Favorite Book Pairing

The Proposal

I really enjoyed Nikole and Carlos as a couple in The Proposal. Their relationship was so real and healthy, so it was really refreshing after seeing so many unhealthy relationships in fiction. Nikole and Carlos are definitely #relationshipgoals and I would not mind finding my own Carlos in real life.

  • Luck: A Book on Your Shelf That You Will Luckily Get To… Someday

Little Monsters

I’m not hugely into thrillers, but I have heard nothing but positive reviews for books by Kara Thomas. I picked this book up at a discount store because the story sounded interesting and I enjoy branching out into different genres than my usual contemporary every year. This year seems to be the year of the thrillers for my branch out books, so I’m sure I will pick this one up when I’m in the mood for something other than contemporaries.

  • Jig: A Book That You Don’t Currently Own But If You Could Get a Hold of It, It Would Make You Dance With Joy

I am excited for Sandhya’s Menon’s February 2020 releases of Curses and Kisses. It is described as the first of a contemporary fairytale retelling. This one is a Beauty and the Beast inspired story that features an Indian princess who must make a British aristocrat fall in love with her. I read an ARC of There’s Something About Sweetie and absolutely loved it, so I’m quickly becoming a Sandhya Menon fan. I love fairytale retellings and when authors go in a different direction than the rest of their books. Needless to say, this is one of my most anticipated reads for 2020 so far!

  • Rainbow: That’s You! Lead Others to This “Pot of Gold Tag!”

KayCKay Book Reviews

Late Night Reading

 

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Pride by Ibi Zoboi Review

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It is a truth universally acknowledged that I have read way to many Pride and Prejudice retellings.

Pride by Ibi Zoboi follows Zuri Benitez, a girl proud of her Brooklyn neighborhPrideood and Afro-Latino culture. When the wealthy Darcy family moves in across the street, Zuri decides she wants nothing to do with them. However, Zuri is forced to interact with the two brothers across the street when her sister falls for one of the boys.

I added Pride to my TBR after seeing the cover and synopsis reveal on social media. Pride seemed like such a unique take on the classic Pride and Prejudice storyline. While there are many aspects of this book that I appreciate, there are also several aspects that fell flat for me. Overall, Pride ended up being an average retelling for me.

Let’s start with what I loved. One of my favorite aspects of this book was how Ibi Zoboi developed Zuri’s Afro-Latino culture as well as the culture in her neighborhood. Zuri was proud of who she was and where she came from, which resulted in amazing descriptions of her family, her heritage, and her neighborhood. Jane Austen always commented on the culture of her time through her books and I think Ibi Zoboi modernized the story in a real and relevant way.

That being said, the story itself did not stray far from the original story. Every major event from Pride and Prejudice appeared in this book. While modernized, it did not really offer a unique twist on the events in the original story. If you’re like me, you’ve read countless Pride and Prejudice retellings. While it is a retelling, there needs to be something plotwise that makes it stand out from the original and other retellings of the same work. Additionally, the pacing went rather slow for me. The pacing combined with the formulaic plot made it a slow read where I found myself skimming some sections to push ahead.

As for the relationship itself, it was a standard YA relationship to me and made the book come across as a little younger YA. Zuri and Darius hate each other, but then flip the switch without much explanation. This is a common trope that I see more across younger YA, which generally is not my cup of tea. As a result, I never really connected or believed in their relationship. Since the interactions between the “Elizabeth” and “Darcy” in a Pride and Prejudice retelling is a make-it-or-break-it aspect of the story, this one just did not stand out to me.

Overall, I love the concept of Pride and enjoyed the commentary that the author made about our society. However, the story itself fell flat for me since I never invested in the plot or characters. I give Pride two out of five stars.

 

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March TBR

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This month I actually stuck to my TBR and I am so proud! Out of the three books I planned to read for February, I read 2.5 of them. Here were my February choices below:

  • Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss by Kasie West

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

I pre-ordered this book and read it quickly after an email telling me it was sent to my Kindle. I’m a huge Kasie West fan and to say I was excited for a new book by her was an understatement. Unfortunately for me, this book was only an average Kasie West book for me. While it was fun and easy to read, I was slightly disappointed with this read and gave it three stars.

  • 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne

99 Percent Mine

This is another book that I pre-ordered and was extremely excited to read. Unfortunately again, this book did not live up to my hype for its author. I mentioned in my TBR last month that the synopsis of this book did not grab me like The Hating Game, which proved to be true.

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

This is my “0.5” of my completed TBR. I am about halfway through this book and at a standstill. I love Brigid Kemmerer’s contemporary books but just can’t seem to get into this fantasy book. I’m hoping by putting it aside for a little bit that I can come back and enjoy it.

 

Now, onto my picks for March! Here are my three choices for my March TBR:

  • A Curse So Dark and Lonely by Brigid Kemmerer

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

I would really like to finish A Curse So Dark and Lonely this month. I know if I put this book aside for too long, then I will forget the plot. Then, I may not be motivated to ever finish it. Hopefully, the story picks up and it can end up being a solid March read!

  • Bookish Boyfriends: The Boy Next Story by Tiffany Schmidt

The Boy Next Story: A Bookish Boyfriends Novel

I received this book as an eARC via NetGalley and I’m currently about halfway through it. Since I’m close to finishing this book, I know that it should be easy to quickly finish it as the beginning of the month.

  • You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

You'd Be Mine

I also received this book as an eARC via NetGalley. The release date is at the beginning of April, so I wanted to make sure I read and review this book before its release.

 

What do you plan to read in March?

 

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Cold Day in the Sun Review

book review

This book may be called Cold Day in the Sun, but it will warm up your heart.

Cold Day in the Sun by Sara Biren follows Holland “Dutch” Delviss, a female Cold Day in the Sunhockey player whose team may be chosen for a widely televised hockey event. However, her team’s chance rests on her ability play up her status as the only female on the team. While some people in town show their disdain for Holland’s involvement in the team, she finds support from one of the team’s captain, Wes.

I’m a huge hockey fan, so I was instantly excited when I saw this book on NetGalley. I quickly requested it and was thrilled to read it once approved. From this book, I expected a cute romance as well as some conversations surrounding the discrimination women face when they enter a male-dominated sport. While I enjoyed this quick and fun read, there were some aspects that needed some improvement to make this book a stand-out for me.

I think my favorite aspect of this book was the relationship between Holland and Wes. While I do think their banter was sometimes over the top and their relationship changed to quickly from “hate” to “love”, I generally liked them both as characters and saw the chemistry between them. Their relationship also added to the conversation this book brought up about the discrimination women face in male-dominated sports due to some of the barriers they faced in their relationship, which I appreciated.

I also enjoyed the main character, Holland. She is willing to call out anyone who makes a sexist comment towards her or other people. While she sometimes doubts herself and her abilities, this makes her extremely relatable to other young female readers who face the same discrimination as Holland.

That being said, there were a few other aspects of the novel that fell flat for me, namely the big game constantly emphasized throughout the novel. The actual game comprises very little of the book and the ending left me very unsatisfied. The hockey games often took a large back seat to the romance, journalism, or music aspects of the novel. While I appreciated seeing some of Holland’s other interests, I think it caused some of the other aspects of the story that I was really excited about not be well developed. The game had a lot of build-up, but not a lot of reward.

I also have mixed feelings towards how the feminist aspects played out in this novel. I appreciated how even though Holland played on the boy’s team instead of the girl’s team, she didn’t put down the talent and drive of the girl’s teams. However, I wished more aspects of this part of the story were fleshed out. There were people who made comments on the ice or members of the town that I wished were wrapped up in a more satisfying way. I appreciated that whenever a sexist comment was made, it was immediately shut down. Still, I wanted some big moment at the end to wrap up all the commentary provided in this novel, but I felt like I never got that.

Overall, Cold Day in the Sun is a great sports romance read that is perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally’s Hundred Oak series. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys hockey or young adult books that heavily focus on the romance. I give this book three out of four stars.

 

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