Book Blog, Book Talk, Review

November Wrap Up


Well November went by as wonky as every other month this year. Will there ever be a time I don’t feel like I’ve been stuck inside a dishwasher than jammed into a light socket, over and over again? I mean at some point this pull and warp of time is going to go back to background noise, yes??

Through the mess I did manage to find time to read not as much as the last two months but reading any amount these days is a win.


Stain by A.G. Howards

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Stain

I started the month off right! This was fantastic in every way. I haven’t read anything by this author and I didn’t really know what to expect from this story. I was pleasantly surprised! If you love fairytales but want that originality this is for you. It’s been such a long time since I’ve read a great fairytale like story and I just need more. All the characters were distinct and interesting. I honestly can’t recommend this enough!


Over the Moon: novelization by Wendy Wan-Long Shang

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Over the Moon: The Novelization

I must confess I haven’t seen the movie. I just haven’t been in a place to want to watch anything so instead I picked up the novelization. Now, I bet the movie is 100x better and is better format for this story because it really doesn’t work here. It’s just the movie in a novel format as appose to a book being written and flushing out bits of the story which would have honestly made this better. That being said this story is wonderful, bittersweet but wonderful. All the hall markings of a classic.


The Empress of Salt & Fortune by Nghi Vo   

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
The Empress of Salt and Fortune (The Singing Hills Cycle, #1)

This was interesting and refreshing but too short lol. That’s always my problem with short stories is that they’re never long enough. I can’t wait for the sequel I already have it on hold on the library app. Short stories are hard to talk about because I don’t want to accidentally spoil something. Our main character is being told a story that’s been kept secret for years until now. That’s vague as hell but I promise it’s more interesting than that lol. This sets up things for the book to come and it’s going to be soooo good I just know it!


The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by Victoria Schwab 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

All right this is going to get me banned from the community but I didn’t love this story. There were some great lines but overall, Addie was forgettable. My prediction didn’t come true which is heartbreaking. This story is interesting I loved Henry and his story. I connected more to his struggles and his story as its very similar to mine. However Addie never came off the page. Victoria Schwab is really good at creating characters and getting you to root for them and understand them however I didn’t get that with Addie. I understand her motivation but her personality was missing.


A Universe of Wishes edited by Dhonielle Clayton  

Rating: 5 out of 5.
A Universe of Wishes: A We Need Diverse Books Anthology
Isn’t this cover GORGEOUS!

Out December 8. This anthology was FANTASTIC! I’ll break down the individual stories below. All together this is my new favorite anthology. There were so many interesting stories and characters that were executed perfectly in such a short amount of time. I enjoyed most of these stories which is pretty unheard of for me. They all share that ache and urge for more and the risks they are willing to take to make it come true. These were achingly beautiful stories that I think everyone should read.

  • A Universe of Wishes by Tara Sim    5 stars

This story sets the tone for this whole book and it set it off with a bang. The lengths one would go to ask for a wish. The magic of it all isn’t even magic.

  • The Silk Blade by Natalie C. Parker   3 stars

If the bachelor and bachelorette had to fight one another with knives in order to gain the rose, basically. This would be their story. I would actually watch those shows if this was the case.

  • The Scarlet Woman a Gemma Doyle Story by Libba Bray  3 stars

Ah,,, It’s been well over a decade since I read this series and it hurts to be back with these characters. Also this felt very Diviners with the occult in NY. This story can still be read even if you haven’t read the Gemma Doyle series because this is a set up for a continuation. However, there will be things that will go over your head and spoil the ending of The Sweet Far Thing , be aware of that.

  • Cristal y Ceniza by Anna- Marie McLemore  5 stars

My favorite Cinderella retelling by far. This was exceptionally written and I need it to be a full length novel. This turns so many tropes on its head. I need more diverse retellings asap!

  • Liberia by Kwame Mbalia  4 stars

This is the first science fiction story. We are introduced to our character who is trying to preserve a garden while transporting it to their planet. This story builds on itself and the preservation of several generation’s hard work.

  • A Royal Affair by V.E. Schwab 

I’m going to be real honest, I skipped over this. I don’t like this series anymore. In fact I forgot I read it. I just don’t care for these characters or the world.

  • The Take back Tango by Rebecca Roanhorse  5 stars

National Treasure meets Ocean’s 11 but make it watchable. LOL But seriously if you’ve ever wanted to see all those artifacts put back in their country with sarcastic characters and spies. This is the story for you. This is another I need a Full length novel, asap. Thnx.

  • Dream & Dare by Nic Stone  5 stars

This was a beautiful story about finding yourself, love, and daring to do that despite others & society. It’s also a very poignant story considering how short the stories are to convey how important it is that only you can define who you are.

  • Wish by Jenni Balch 2 stars

Umm, this was my least favorite of the bunch. I remember nothing but a teen science girl finding a way to open up a jinn bottle.

  • The Weight by Dhonielle Clayton  5 stars

LOVED this story! This is such an interesting story concept. I loved how we get dual POV’s which is critical to this story. I don’t want to spoil but dang did this speak to my insecurities lol

  • Unmoor by Mark Oshiro  3 stars

We’ve all been here. You want to erase all existence of your cheating ex from your memories. But remember that old adage “be careful what you wish for”. This is one of the sadder stories.

  • The Coldest Spot in the Universe by Samira Ahmed 5 stars

This one is my favorite. Many come close but this one punched me in the face. I loved the use of juxtaposition with our two characters. It’s bittersweet but hopeful given our current Climate Change efforts or lack thereof. Another sad story but with a gleam in the darkness.

  • The Beginning of Monsters by Tessa Gratton  2 stars

This one just confused me which was frustrating. I liked the concept just not the execution. This has major Tim Burton aesthetic.

  • Longer than Threads of Time by Zoraida Córdova  5 stars

Fantastic! I need to read more of her books! I love her take on Rapunzel and I believe this is set in the same world as her Bruja series.

  • Habibi by Tochi Onyebuchi  5 stars

We end this book on a painful resounding sound that will forever reverberate in my soul. This was so damn hard to read yet I couldn’t look away. Hope is always the last to leave.

Many Thanks to Random House and Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review.


Blood Heir by Amélia Wen Zhao 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
Blood Heir (Blood Heir Trilogy, #1)

This was a reread and upon a second look I didn’t love it as much. I think it has to do with when I read it for the first time and how much it reminded me of some of my other favorites like Shadow & Bone and the love interest reminded me of Hook from Once A Upon A Time television show. I do still plan on reading the sequel because I’m curious to see where this story goes.


Coming up this December

I plan to catch up with all my ARC’s. Most come out in January with the exception of 2. I’m usually good at reading them quickly after getting them but my stress levels are at an all time high and I can’t focus for anything.

I also want to read some Christmas themed books. I don’t think I ever have so I’m really excited about that. The first is The Nutcracker and the Mouse- King by E.T.A Hoffman. I used to watch the animated movie when I was a kid. Murder for Christmas by Francis Duncan, nothing like a cozy murder mystery to get into the Christmas season lol

And if I have time or energy I would like to read all the books I’ve not gotten to. Such as, The Sword of Kaigen by M.L. Wang, A Spy in the House by Y.S. Lee, The Tea Master and the Detective by Aliette de Bodard, Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells.

Or maybe I’ll finally read the rest of the books I have left of Jane Austen.

Either way I hope we all have wonderful holiday season even if its unlike any we’ve had before.

Additional news: I have a fun reader project planned for next year that will be revealed in a couple of weeks!! I’m having blast creating it and I hope its well received! 🙂

What books are you reading for December?

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5 thoughts on “November Wrap Up”

  1. I have a TBR of eight books for December and I hope I’ll manage to read all of them, including my traditional Christmas re-reads of A Christmas Carol and A Visit from St Nicholas,

    I can see where you are coming from with The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue as that particular complaint is something I’ve heard in regards to other VE Schwab novels too, but I personally loved it.

    Liked by 1 person

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