I want to thank HerDigitalCoffee for tagging me in this fall inspired book tag! What a wonderful way to embrace the autumn season & discuss my favorite hobby. Be sure to check out her Fall Bucket List Book Tag if you haven’t already.
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Before The Coffee Gets Cold is a short fable about a chair in a coffee shop that allows you to travel back in time. I have this on my fall TBR & can’t wait to read it. Whenever I think about fall, I picture coffee shops, warm beverages & chilly weather.
I’ve seen Love in The Time of Serial Killers all over booktok & Instagram because the cover is just iconic for spooky season. I haven’t yet read this one but have this on my October TBR, so I’ll let you all know my verdict in my October Reading Wrap Up.
I decided to choose the Halloween classic – It by Stephen King because although this is a story about a killer clown – it always showcases the friendship of a group of kids in the 80’s. [ very Stranger Things esque ]. A warning to the wise is that this book is long! [ 1,000 pages ]
This is a Kindle Unlimited find that sounds perfect for Halloween / fall season. It’s a suspenseful mystery with hints of culinary wonder – a cute town [ in winter ] with shops of spice & pumpkins galore.
A talented “chef” of magic spells [ because I couldn’t think of a book with an actual chef. LOL I’ve heard great things about this mystical trilogy & actually watched the tv show in August. It tells the story about a professor with witchy powers & tries to find the meaning of The Book of Life.
I’m choosing Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney because it’s a 5 star thriller read in my opinion. I rarely give thrillers 5 stars, so I jumped for joy because I didn’t see the twists & turns at all. To the point where I wanted to re-read the book once I understood the truth.
I started the month in a bit of a reading slump & was jumping from book to book – which I rarely do. I don’t know what it was exactly. I think I can be such a mood reader at times, where I just have to get a taste of a few books before really getting into one. Luckily, there were still a few that really stood out & I was able to read more than I was projecting.
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
I finally started the TOG series this month & I’m so glad to be reading something else by SJM. This series is rather intimedating to start because the discussion of the reading order can be very confusing. After much deliberation, I decided to start with Throne of Glass instead of starting with the prequel / novella – Assassin’s Blade [ which we will get into later ]. Overall, I think it was a good start into this nine book series. I can already tell I’m going to love the main character, Caleana. The only thing I didn’t care for was how the main character was portrayed. In this story, you are told about how she overcomes being a slave for a few years. She is depicted as rather weak & pitiful [ especially in the beginning ]. But I feel like as the character development progress & the story thickens, I will be so sucked into this story.
Exodus by Kate Stewart
Last month, I read the first book of the Ravenhood series – Flock & found it to be confusing & cryptic. It gives off Fifty Shades of Grey but with more guys & fast cars. The saving grace was the amount of romance & spice which was still evident in the second installment. It took me some time to really get into this book for whatever reason. I think I’ve been so engrossed with fantasy, that I just found this smutty romance to fall flat. It honestly took me until 200 pages in – to be interested. And although, I can finally say I understand the infamous quote, “we love rainy days, don’t we baby?” – it just left me sad. I doubt I will read the final book of this series because overall, I found the plot to be downright ridiculous. I feel like the only reason why people rave about this series is for the smut. This was a big example of, “ booktok made me read it.”
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
If you’ve been catching up with my reading wrap ups for a few months now, you know the Red Rising series has put me in a choke hold. I absolutely love this series & decided to jump into the next installment after the trilogy. Iron Gold takes place 10 years later as Darrow continues to lead the Solar Republic. Without giving too much away, I’d say I really enjoyed the multiple POV’s throughout this book. The first three books took the point of view of just Darrow & having multiple characters and storylines come together really kept me on my toes. I feel like I’m watching a movie when reading these books & highly recommend them to everyone if you are wanting a page turner with tons of twists and turns.
Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney
I was craving another thriller as we are getting closer to spooky season & I highly recommend with one as I give it a solid 5 stars! It takes a lot for me to give a thriller five stars because I tend to pick up on the twists early. But the way Feeney ends each chapter in a cliff hanger, I was hooked the entire time. Whenever I thought I was figuring out the twist, I kept getting stumped. I definitely want to check out more books by Alice Feeney including her newest release, Daisy Darker.
Assassins Blade by Sarah J. Maas
I don’t usually include books I don’t finish – but I got half way through this novella & decided to pick up on it later. If you are unfamiliar with the Throne of Glass series, Assassins Blade is a prequel of short stories about the main character Caleana. Although this information is good to know at some point, I felt like after reading Throne of Glass – I’d much rather continue with the main story [ or at least Crown of Midnight ]. I even read from some people on Reddit, that they didn’t even read this novella at all. So, since it was putting me in a reading slump, I decided to put it to the side & return to it later. It’s always a good reminder that DNFing a book is normal & sometimes we have to listen to our mood. Reading is supposed to be enjoyable, so if you aren’t feeling a book, you are more than welcome to put it down.
Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
I decided to close the month out by listening to Hopeless on audiobook. So, far I’ve read six CoHo books & am striving to get through most of them. This one is about a teenager named Sky who lives a rather secluded lifestyle away from technology & has been homeschooled her entire life. She also has a best friend named Six who teaches her the perks of lust vs. love. It’s her senior year, & she really wants to experience public school. She meets a guy named Dean Holder who has a rather mysterious past. This book went from a cringy insta love trope to very dark & sad. My one pet peeve with CoHo books is how over the top the plots can be. And overall, this is another depressing read from her. This is the first book of the Hopeless series. ( Hopeless, Finding Hope, Finding Cinderella, All Your Perfects & Finding Perfect).
In October, I plan to read quite a few thrillers & possibly more of the Throne of Glass series as well as the latest book from the Red Rising series. Let me know in the comments what you are looking forward to read this season. I’m always looking for more to add to my endless TBR.
July was another amazing reading month with a nice array of genres. From a psychological thriller to an over 750 page fantasy read, I successfully knocked a few reads off my forever growing TBR list. Summer is one of my favorite times of year to read because I can get outdoors & still soak up some sun while I escape to these fictional stories. And I hope August will be just as productive.
Here’s what I managed to read in the month of July…
Layla by Colleen Hoover
I was craving a psychological thriller ( my comfort genre) although it’s the height of summer. This is characterized as a haunted romance & I was really excited to read this as I loved CH’s other thriller, Verity. Layla isn’t quite on the level of Verity, but I enjoyed it none the less. I especially was hooked for the first third of the book with the present & past POV’s. The writing style kept me on my toes wondering what would unfold next. I did find the character development to be a bit lack luster. But Colleen Hoover’s imagination is incredible. Such a creative author! Overall, I give this one 3.5 stars.
Synopsis: “When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her – until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed and breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences. Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow – another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.”
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
Now, this is how you write a friends to lovers trope! 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 we must protect Alex at all costs. Poppy & Alex’s friendship is top tier. This Emily Henry read has a special place in my heart for the main character being a blogger / columnist travel writer. I can live vicariously through Poppy & envy all their bucket list travels. I loved the past vs. present POV’s through multiple summers of their friendship. This is one of the first friendships I felt was very realistic. Not only this, but overall it was such a cute, light summer read. I’m so glad I enjoyed this one because unfortunately her other book, Beach Read just missed the mark for me. I give this book 3.5 or almost 4 stars.
Synopsis: Poppy & Alex. Alex & Poppy. They have nothing in common. She’s a wild child; he wears khakis. She has insatiable wanderlust; he prefers to stay home with a book. And somehow, ever since a fateful car share home from college many years ago, they are the very best friends. For most of the year they live far apart – she’s in New York City and he’s in their small hometown – but every summer for a decade, they have taken one glorious week of vacation together. Until two years ago, when they ruined everything. They haven’t spoken since. Poppy has everything she should want, but she’s stuck in a rut. When someone asks when she as last truly happy, she knows without a doubt that it was on that ill-fated final trip with Alex. And so she decides to convince her best friend to take one more vacation together – lay everything on the table, make it all right. Miraculously, he agrees. Now she has a week to fix everything. If only she can get around the one big truth that has always stood quietly in the middle of their seemingly perfect relationship. What could possibly go wrong?
Heartbones by Colleen Hoover
I feel like this is an underrated Colleen Hoover read & I absolutely loved it! I give this a solid 4 stars. At first, I thought this was a lighthearted summer fling story, but like so many CH books, it’s so much more than that. I loved Beyah’s character development & redemption of growing through proverty & a rough home life. I enjoyed the opposites attract story of Beyah [ poverty stricken / alcoholic parent ] & Samson [ very wealthy / troubled past ]. But they connect through sadness. Quite honestly, I found the story to be kind of slow in the beginning but once it hit past chapter 12 or so, it really got interesting. The twist was a little bit predictable which is why I didn’t give it 5 stars. Come to think of it, Heartbones feels like a darker version of The Summer I Turned Pretty series [ especially the volleyball scene]. What I loved most about this book & a reason I wish I owned the paperback, are the quotes. This is a perfect read for annotations. “Damaged people recognize other damaged people. It’s like a club you don’t want a membership to.”
Synopsis: Life and a dismal last name are the only two things Beyah Grim’s parents ever gave her. After carving her path all on her own, Beyah is well on her way to bigger and better things, thanks to no one but herself.With only two short months separating her from the future she’s built and the past she desperately wants to leave behind, an unexpected death leaves Beyah with no place to go during the interim. Forced to reach out to her last resort, Beyah has to spend the remainder of her summer on a peninsula in Texas with a father she barely knows. Beyah’s plan is to keep her head down and let the summer slip by seamlessly, but her new neighbor Samson throws a wrench in that plan.Samson and Beyah have nothing in common on the surface.She comes from a life of poverty and neglect; he comes from a family of wealth and privilege. But one thing they do have in common is that they’re both drawn to sad things.
A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas
751 pages of pure magic. I absolutely loved this book of the series. It is filled with growth, friendship, battles & romance. In general, the thing I love most of this entire series are the characters and their banter. I personally, love Nesta’s character & the way we came to understand the reasons for her personality. I also really loved the bond between women & the strength of overcoming their pasts. The first 4 books mostly focuses on Nesta’s sister, Feyre, so to read about another character’s POV was really interesting. But SJM still managed to tie in subplots from Feyre & the rest of the Inner Circle. The thing that really ties me to loving this series is how developed each character is & their own personal stories. This book had me in tears, especially the last 100 pages. I annotated the shit out of so many quotes. If you have yet read this series, please add it to your TBR.
Synopsis:Nesta Archeron has always been prickly – proud, swift to anger, and slow to forgive. And ever since being forced into the Cauldron and becoming High Fae against her will, she’s struggled to find a place for herself within the strange, deadly world she inhabits. Worse, she can’t seem to move past the horrors of the war with Hybern and all she lost in it. The one person who ignites her temper more than any other is Cassian, the battle-scarred warrior whose position in Rhysand and Feyre’s Night Court keeps him constantly in Nesta’s orbit. But her temper isn’t the only thing Cassian ignites. The fire between them is undeniable, and only burns hotter as they are forced into close quarters with each other. Meanwhile, the treacherous human queens who returned to the Continent during the last war have forged a dangerous new alliance, threatening the fragile peace that has settled over the realms. And the key to halting them might very well rely on Cassian and Nesta facing their haunting pasts. Against the sweeping backdrop of a world seared by war and plagued with uncertainty, Nesta and Cassian battle monsters from within and without as they search for acceptance-and healing-in each other’s arms.
The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
If this book wasn’t so hyped up all over the internet, I’m not sure if I would have ever picked this up on my own. On some level I feared this book would give off the “forced to read in high school” type of vibe. And the Greek mythology theme was definitely outside my comfort zone. But if you push aside the dryness of the story & war, it was a beautiful story of a lifelong friendship between Patroclus & Achilles. It is a story about growth & how success can drive us either into a selfish direction or the latter. I kind of pose the question, “who was the true hero?” Also, a few characters I just couldn’t stand for their rudeness [ if you know, you know]. I found the writing to be extremely beautiful & highlighted so many quotes as I went along. It was such a heartbreaking tale & a bit of a twist at the end. The last few chapters did make my eyes blurry with tears. Overall, I give this a solid 4 stars for now. I feel like I need to read a few reviews to better understand some of the story. I’m glad I finally decided to read this though & it has encouraged me to read more books out of my comfort zone.
Synopsis:Achilles, the best of all the Greeks,” son of the cruel sea goddess Thetis and the legendary king Peleus, is strong, swift, and beautiful – irresistible to all who meet him. Patroclus is an awkward young prince, exiled from his homeland after an act of shocking violence. Brought together by chance, they forge an inseparable bond, despite risking the gods’ wrath. They are trained by the centaur Chiron in the arts of war and medicine, but when word comes that Helen of Sparta has been kidnapped, all the heroes of Greece are called upon to lay siege to Troy in their name. Seduced by the promise of a glorious destiny, Achilles joins their cause, and torn between love and fear for his friend, Patroclus follows. Little do they know that the cruel Fates will test them both as never before and demand a terrible sacrifice.
Red Rising by Pierce Brown
The hubs recommended I start this series & I knew how much he raved about it so I finally decided to give it a go. It’s definitely out of my comfort zone – a dystopian sci-fi style read that gave off a mix of Hunger Games, GOT & Lord of the Flies. I was so surprised. I couldn’t put it down! I finished this within a day. And I can’t wait to read the rest of the series next month.
Synopsis: “His wife taken. His people enslaved. Driven by a longing for justice and the memory of lost love, Darrow will stop at nothing to bring down his enemies…even if he has to become one of them to do so.
Overall, i feel like I crushed my monthly goal & read quite a few books. Let’s see if I can read even more in August! A few reads I’m looking forward to read next month include Reminders of Him by Colleen Hoover, the rest of the Red Rising series, Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid, Book Lovers by Emily Henry & The Golden Couple by Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pakksten.