I had a solid reading month – almost everything was aa 4 star or higher. I found some new favorites and a few disappointments. I did some mood reading and I knocked off some books that I’ve been meaning and dying to read. I even managed to squeeze in some new releases. So, I’m not mad. I only read 18 books.
I say that, like it’s not a lot – only 18.
I tried to make the conscious effort to not just inhale books, to take more time with them. The month before I read so many, I felt a tad burnt out, and when it was time to review some of them, I couldn’t remember what happened in them. I’m happy with having read 18, I remember what happened in each, and can actually form sentences as to what I liked and didn’t like, without having to scour my brain to remember if it happened in Book 1 or Book 2.
But let’s check out everything I read last month!
Bone Crier’s Dawn (Bone Grace #2) – Katheryn Purdie
“[…] It’s probably also highly unhealthy how much I love Bastien.
Like, he’s up there with Thomas Cresswell. I love him so much and jfc I wish he were real.
Overall, this was a fantastic conclusion to this duology, this world, these characters. I wish there were more books because I don’t want to say goodbye to this world or these characters. I loved them so much. I think this is definitely going to be a reread duology for me and I can’t wait.”
“[…] I knew before I even started this book that I was going to love it. Beside Space SF (being my first love) I love the melding of fantasy and science fiction. I know they can often go hand in hand, but in the instances like this book – I’m absolute trash. I eat it up. I love it so much. It fills both desires – for a high fantasy and a science fiction.
It also took me wholly out of reality, and I got lost in the story. I fell in love with the world and the characters and going on the journey with Nimh and North was so amazing. Everything felt so brilliantly fleshed out and real. It felt effortless and vivid. This book is cinematic AF and I really would kill for a Netflix adaptation. I’m starved for SF content.”
Fallen Academy: Year One (Fallen Academy #1) – Leia Stone
“[…] Overall, it didn’t disappoint. I enjoyed it. I definitely love angel books, and if they want to make a resurgence, I’m all for it. Vampires are back, next it’s angels, and then maybe (hopefully) dystopian. But for now, bring me all the angel content. I also love interesting takes on Heaven and Hell and the lore and hierarchy that comes with those elements. While the book is predictable – not in a bad way, but you read the synopsis and for the most part you know how it’s going to play out – it still had moments that surprised me, and I really liked the twists. Lowkey, I kind of figured it out early on, but I still enjoyed the reveal.”
Fallen Academy: Year Two (Fallen Academy #2) – Leia Stone
“[…] Overall, I enjoyed this book. Brielle is starting to feel less obnoxious and annoying, and more badass. As she learns more about her powers, what she wants and how she wants to live life, she becomes more interesting and a stronger character.
That being said, so much is glossed over in this book. So many huge time jumps – I was honestly confused during some moments. I get that if we were to read about an actual year in the life of Brielle, the book would probably be a thousand pages long. But big-time jumps can be really confusing, and you lose character and world development time. And there’s not enough spice to warrant a lack of development. And yeah, I’m not reading this book for the world building of a high fantasy, but character development? Hell yes.”
The Crown of Gilded Bones (Blood and Ash #3) – Jennifer L. Armentrout
“[…] You’re going to have to bear with me, because I’m sure I can accurately put into words what this book did to me. But to give a quick comparison – this had the court politics of ACOWAR and the soft, vulnerable, character driven moments of ACOMAF. Needless to say, it was good.
From the beginning, it felt like Jen said, “hold my drink and watch this.”
The first 30% of this book almost killed me.
Then there was all the soft moments and political maneuvering.
Then there was that scene, my heart stopped.
Then the ending.
I don’t think I breathed while reading the last couple pages. I went from lying down to sitting up because of the electricity, dread and “omfg this is happening” that was coursing through me.”
Protect the Prince (Crown of Shards #2) – Jennifer Estep
“[…] Overall, this book was really good – I loved Evie in this. Her journey is nothing like she envisioned. Her whole life has changed, and all she can do is make the best of it. And I think she handles everything fairly well, considering all she’s up against.
I really enjoyed her internal monologue, her insecurities and her growth and figuring out who she is.
I loved that we got more insight into Evie’s past, and how it all starts to tie together. She’s incredibly smart and cunning and she’s just a great character. She’s nowhere near perfect, she’s got her flaws, but she knows how to play the game. Her court thinks they can manipulate her, and control her, but they forget who she is, and how well she knows them.”
Crush the King (Crown of Shards #3) – Jennifer Estep
“[…] This last book – Crush the King – was so fucking epic. The first two books have been good, super enjoyable and I’ve inhaled them, but this last book? Cinematic. Epic. Intense. Evie is a fucking badass, and I thought she’d come into her power before?
Oh Hell No.
She owned the page and every moment on them. Seeing her face off against the other rules, sway them, hold her own against various assassins and other threats, jfc, she’s a bad ass. The way she handles Maximus – it’s flawless. Hell, the way she handles Maven – and the long game…phew.”
Dustborn – Erin Bowman
“[…] I loved this book. I inhaled this book. It threw me a curve ball I did not expect but thoroughly and absolutely loved. In all the things that I *thought* could happen, could explain everything, that wasn’t on my list. I was shocked, and then giddy with excitement.
I loved the Mad Max vibe this book had – pure survival dystopian. And I can’t reiterate enough how much I love this genre. I will say that I was a tad concerned at the beginning, because a certain element is introduced, and to be honest, I’m not a fan of it in YA. But with that being said, I loved how Delta’s feelings changed, and instead of a burden, this element became what she fought for.”
Tarnished Empire (Dark Shores #0.5) – Danielle L. Jensen
“[…] I enjoyed this book – being back with Marcus and kind of seeing what happened before the events of Dark Shores was interesting. I forgot how stiff that boy is prior to his adventure with Teriana. All duty, no fun – but I think it also gave me more of an appreciation for him – to actually see what he goes through before he has the power he wields in Dark Shores. I still think that Marcus needs a hug and maybe a mug of hot coco.
Actually, speaking of how this novella ends and having already read the first two books in this series, I freaked the fuck out.”
What’s Not to Love – Emily Wibberley & Austin Siegemund-Borka
“[…] he rivals to lovers plot was stellar, and that moment when things get a little intense…a little steamy.
When I saw I was invested, I mean it.
I seriously loved this book.
Alison and Ethan are honestly, Top Tier.
I don’t know if I have words, because I’m just sitting here kind of geeking out about how much I enjoyed this book. I just want to talk about all the things that happened in it, but those would be spoilers. The intensity of their rivalry was so good – I thoroughly enjoyed myself. But that moment – phew.
I’ve read a lot of enemies/rivals to lovers books – but that scene in the locker hallway…
Forging Darkness (Fallen Legacies #2) – Julie Hall
“[…] I fully expected to drop Steel for this new potential love interest.
But I’m absolutely trash for Steel and nothing is changing that.
Now I’m sitting here, waiting for book 3 – Unleashing Fire – and I’m dying all over again. I just need to know what happens next.
This book was so good, some truly cinematic moments in the second half – legit there’s one involving Emberly watching Steel from afar and he’s not in the best shape. When I say I saw that whole scene clear as day…I mean it.”
Disenchanted (Disenchanted #1) – Brianna Sugalski
“[…] I was hooked.
I was in love.
I legit love Lilac and Garin.
Lilac is so precious. A little chaotic, a bit of a mess, but so incredibly endearing. She won me over when she decided to pack an abundance of pastries over proper clothing on a long journey. Food over proper necessities.
I get it.
Then there’s Garin, and if I wasn’t supposed to fall in love with him from the first time, he opened his mouth, then I failed.
He’s a vampire, morally grey, not good guy.
But he’s also soft as fuck. It’s a nice mix.”
The Bright & the Pale (The Bright & the Pale Duolgoy #1) – Jessica Rubinkowski
“[…] I kind of dove into this book a bit blindly. I didn’t know what I was in the mood to read, and this wasn’t a super long audiobook, so I went for it. I was also vividly remembering the art on the back of the dustjacket that I got from FairyLoot, and I was curious to put names to character faces.
As far as YA Fantasy goes, this was very much right up my alley in terms of what I like to read. I enjoyed the characters and their journey – it makes for an engaging read. The world comes to life and I felt like I was there along with the characters.”
Slingshot – Mercedes Helnwein
“[…] I tried though. I did try to give it a fair chance, but I just found the MC to be so unlikeable, I couldn’t bear it.
There’s also a bunch of weird language choices – all in the effort to make the 15-year-old MC seem older, jaded and again, above it all. Woe is her. I wasn’t a fan of the writing style either, and it just wasn’t worth forcing myself to read through it. The analogies were everywhere, and there were strange descriptive choices as well.
I’m bummed that this was a miss for me.”
Gilded Serpent (Dark Shores #3) – Danielle L. Jensen
“[…] Killian and Lydia are perfect – their journey in this book is Top Tier. It’s basically pining, with them going from friends, to rivals, to friends to, pretend married + one bed, to omfg, and back to rivals. There was an interaction between the two of them towards the end of the book that had me absolutely terrified for how this book was going to end. It was so sweet, adorable, touching and lovely and it honestly made me fear for the worst.
Marcus and Teriana are like so intense – he’s so broody and she’s a flame. Their journey was – I have no words. They don’t have it easy at all. I felt for them – and not going to lie, I chuckled at the one moment that Marcus was little more than a doll…and that scene – I was so tense. If you’ve read the book, you know. But I’m like Marcus, not a fan of heights, so I felt his fear quite keenly. I don’t even think I could have talked myself into half the stuff he does on their journey. It’s impressive.”
The Damned (The Beautiful #2) – Renée Ahdieh
Audiobook Finished: April 28, 2021 / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review TK / GR
“[…] I read The Beautiful and fell in love with the world, the characters, the atmosphere. Granted it’s been over a year since I read it, and I’m sure some things were forgotten. Overall, though, I remembered most of what happened and really had no trouble getting back into the world. And while the ending kind of saved this book for me, I was incredibly underwhelmed. You know that season of True Blood where they introduce Fairies and we’re just supposed to accept that Sookie is a descendant or whatever, but it just felt out of left field?
This book went from a moody atmospheric, dark New Orleans with things that go bump in the night, to a typical YA fantasy novel. I was bummed, to say the least. I’m definitely going to finish the series, but this was almost a miss for me.”
Skin Curse (The Gate Cycle #2) – Kristin Jacques
Audiobook Finished: April 29, 2021 / ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ / Review TK / GR
“[…] I loved Marrow Charm – it was a surprise read. So, when I saw that the second one was available on audio, I knew I needed to listen to it. It was really easy to fall back into the world and the characters. I was reminded as to why I fell in love with the first book.
I spent most of this book just waiting for things to happen. It kind of felt like it was suffering from Middle Book Syndrome.
But with that being said, you know how some books just kind of putter along, until you reach the end, and everything – and I mean everything – clicks into place and you finally see the bigger picture the author was going for. And then suddenly the book you thought was mildly slow and boring, is actually kind of ingenious and the author did that.
Well, yeah. This book. I need book 3.”
Fallen Academy: Year Three (Fallen Academy #3) – Leia Stone
Audiobook Finished: April 30, 2021 / ⭐️⭐️.5 / Review TK / GR
“[…] I can’t even express how disappointed I am in this book. Emotional weights where? The first two were fairly good, enjoyable, this one was a mess. It was incredibly short, and so much is just glossed over. Criminally so.
Like, I didn’t even care that Brielle was trapped in the underworld. She’s so whiny and wishy-washy in this book. One minute it’s total despair, and then the next she’s got a renewed sense of purpose. Idk, since this isn’t a Lucifer romance, I expected some actual villainy – but at no point, did I actually fear for Brielle. She’s a blinding “Chosen One” stereotype. I’m just seriously let down by this book. Of all the emotional turmoil she could have gone through, it was really mild and unbelievable.”
Let me know if you’ve read any of these, or if I’ve convinced you to check them out!