Well, I can safely say that this month sucked for reading. I was in SUCH a slump (and still am, tbh) and I had my worst month YTD by far. I struggled with every book, even the ones I actually enjoyed, and everything took me 5x longer to read than normal. *sigh* No bueno.
HOWEVER! I *DID* meet my 2019 Goodreads Reading Goal and passed the 150 book milestone!!! I’m sort of hoping that now that this is done, I will feel less subconscious pressure and will just blast though a bunch of books before the end of the year. *fingers crossed*
Anyway, for the stats. I read 10 books, no audiobooks. 4 of those were rereads, and another 2 were ARCs. I read a total of 4021 pages, and had an average rating of 4.5/5 stars. Let’s see what I read, shall we?
Before the Broken Star by Emily R King
300 Pages. 4/5 Stars.
This was the June Unicorn Crate book, and one that I’ve obviously been delaying. The concept was very unique and I really enjoyed the characters. However, I deducted a star because it felt rather rushed at times (no surprise since it’s only 300 pages). I’ve read other books by this author and recall the same issue, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that I wanted another 100 pages or so. This is the first book in a trilogy, however, and I will likely continue on with the next book at some point.
Everley Donovan is living on borrowed time. The lone survivor of her family’s unexplained assassination, she was saved by an ingeniously crafted clockwork heart. But the time she was given won’t last forever. Now, every tick-tock reminds her how fragile her existence is and hastens her quest to expose Killian Markham, the navy admiral who shattered her world and left her for dead. But Everley’s hunt for justice will be a long and hard-won voyage.
Her journey takes her to a penal colony on a cursed isle, where she will be married off and charged to build the new world. It is here, and beyond, that hidden realms hide, treasures are unearthed, her family secrets are buried, and young love will test the strength of her makeshift heart. When Everley discovers Markham may not be who he seems, her pursuit for truth is bound to his redemption, her tragic history, and her astonishing destiny.
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
403 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
Rebel Angels by Libba Bray
548 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
The Sweet Far Thing by Libba Bray
819 Pages. 5/5 Stars. Reread.
So this trilogy is one of my very favorites of all time! It was a joy to revisit the world and characters again, and it was a great way to kick off Spooky Season (aka October). This series is so underappreciated, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loved gothic vibes, strong female characters, and magic. So good.
It’s 1895, and after the suicide of her mother, 16-year-old Gemma Doyle is shipped off from the life she knows in India to Spence, a proper boarding school in England. Lonely, guilt-ridden, and prone to visions of the future that have an uncomfortable habit of coming true, Gemma’s reception there is a chilly one. To make things worse, she’s been followed by a mysterious young Indian man, a man sent to watch her. But why? What is her destiny? And what will her entanglement with Spence’s most powerful girls—and their foray into the spiritual world—lead to?
Marilla of Green Gables by Sarah McCoy
320 Pages. 5/5 Stars.
This was such a delightful read! I adore the Anne of Green Gables books, and this was like revisiting those all over again! I actually did a full review of this book earlier in the month, so I won’t wax on too much, but suffice to say it was awesome and I loved it!
Plucky and ambitious, Marilla Cuthbert is thirteen years old when her world is turned upside down. Her beloved mother has dies in childbirth, and Marilla suddenly must bear the responsibilities of a farm wife: cooking, sewing, keeping house, and overseeing the day-to-day life of Green Gables with her brother, Matthew and father, Hugh.
In Avonlea—a small, tight-knit farming town on a remote island—life holds few options for farm girls. Her one connection to the wider world is Aunt Elizabeth “Izzy” Johnson, her mother’s sister, who managed to escape from Avonlea to the bustling city of St. Catharines. An opinionated spinster, Aunt Izzy’s talent as a seamstress has allowed her to build a thriving business and make her own way in the world.
Emboldened by her aunt, Marilla dares to venture beyond the safety of Green Gables and discovers new friends and new opportunities. Joining the Ladies Aid Society, she raises funds for an orphanage run by the Sisters of Charity in nearby Nova Scotia that secretly serves as a way station for runaway slaves from America. Her budding romance with John Blythe, the charming son of a neighbor, offers her a possibility of future happiness—Marilla is in no rush to trade one farm life for another. She soon finds herself caught up in the dangerous work of politics, and abolition—jeopardizing all she cherishes, including her bond with her dearest John Blythe. Now Marilla must face a reckoning between her dreams of making a difference in the wider world and the small-town reality of life at Green Gables.
When the Stars Lead to You by Ronni Davis
400 Pages. 4.5/5 Stars.
The NOVL provided me with an ARC of this book in exchange for a fair review, and I am so glad they did because it was a wonderful read! It dealt with young love, mental illness, race, class divides, and more, and made my cry half a dozen times. I won’t ramble on, but check out my full review here.
When Ashton breaks Devon’s heart at the end of the most romantic and magical summer ever, she thinks her heart will never heal again. But over the course of the following year, Devon finds herself slowly putting the broken pieces back together.
Now it’s senior year, and she’s determined to enjoy every moment of it as she prepares for a future studying the galaxies. That is, until Ashton shows up on the first day of school. Can she forgive him and open her heart again? Or are they doomed to repeat history?
The Diviners by Libba Bray
578 Pages. 4/5 Stars. Reread.
My intention was to read this and then follow it up with the next two books in the series. Well…the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I *did* manage to finish this, and even enjoyed it very much, but it took me ages! I don’t know why, because it’s a great read. The story is unique, the setting (1920’s NYC) is great, and the characters are interesting. It’s also dark and gothic, and maybe I just wasn’t in the mood for that? Either way, book 2 is sitting on my bedside table with a bookmark at the halfway mark, and maybe I’ll finish it soonish?
Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rakish pickpockets. The only catch is that she has to live with her uncle Will and his unhealthy obsession with the occult.
Evie worries he’ll discover her darkest secret: a supernatural power that has only brought her trouble so far. But when the police find a murdered girl branded with a cryptic symbol and Will is called to the scene, Evie realizes her gift could help catch a serial killer.
As Evie jumps headlong into a dance with a murderer, other stories unfold in the city that never sleeps. A young man named Memphis is caught between two worlds. A chorus girl named Theta is running from her past. A student named Jericho hides a shocking secret. And unknown to all, something dark and evil has awakened.
10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston
336 Pages. 4.5/5 Stars.
A super fun YA Contemporary that will be perfect to read around the Christmas holidays! You can see my full review here, if you care to!
Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation.
Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby.
When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available.
The Fork, the Witch, and the Worm by Christopher Paolini
288 Pages. 4.5/5 Stars.
I adore the Inheritance Cycle and obsessively follow Christopher Paolini on all the social medias. When it was announced that we would be getting an Alagaesia novella, I freaked out just a little bit (a lot bit). This novella consisted of three stories (The Fork. The Witch. The Worm.) and each one was wonderful and perfect and sucked me right back into this world. I now need to reread all of the Inheritance Cycle books and relive the magic.
Welcome back to the world of Alagaësia. It’s been a year since Eragon departed Alagaësia in search of the perfect home to train a new generation of Dragon Riders. Now he is struggling with an endless sea of tasks: constructing a vast dragonhold, wrangling with suppliers, guarding dragon eggs, and dealing with belligerent Urgals and haughty elves. Then a vision from the Eldunarí, unexpected visitors, and an exciting Urgal legend offer a much-needed distraction and a new perspective. This volume features three original stories set in Alagaësia, interspersed with scenes from Eragon’s own unfolding adventure. Included is an excerpt from the memoir of the unforgettable witch and fortune-teller Angela the herbalist . . . penned by Angela Paolini, the inspiration for the character, herself! Relish the incomparable imagination of Christopher Paolini in this thrilling new collection of stories based in the world of the Inheritance Cycle.
Escaping Exodus by Nicky Drayden
336 Pages. 3.5/5 Stars.
This was…an interesting read. You can read my full review here, because my thoughts cannot be constrained to a single paragraph for this one.
Escaping Exodus is a story of a young woman named Seske Kaleigh, heir to the command of a biological, city-size starship carved up from the insides of a spacefaring beast. Her clan has just now culled their latest ship and the workers are busy stripping down the bonework for building materials, rerouting the circulatory system for mass transit, and preparing the cavernous creature for the onslaught of the general populous still in stasis. It’s all a part of the cycle her clan had instituted centuries ago—excavate the new beast, expand into its barely-living carcass, extinguish its resources over the course of a decade, then escape in a highly coordinated exodus back into stasis until they cull the next beast from the diminishing herd.
And of course there wouldn’t be much of a story if things didn’t go terribly, terribly wrong.