Friday, October 21, 2016

So, I haven't been posting much lately. Like, not at all this week besides today. And when I have, it's been an obligatory promotional post for a book I received for review. But that's not to say I haven't been reading...because I have. A lot. (I've also been re-reading a lot, but I'm going to focus on new-to-me reads for now.) And I'm waaaaaay behind on reviewing those books, so I'm going to try to catch you up on just what I've been reading lately with this post. (Note: Some thoughts may be pulled from my initial Goodreads reviews.) More on why I've gone to this format here. I'm going to separate these into categories because that's just what works best for me. If a title fits more than one category, I'll pick the one that it fits into best based on what I read of it.

F A N T A S Y  |  S C I - F I

The Crown's Game (The Crown's Game, #1)The Edge of EverythingEmpire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)Ruined (Ruined, #1)

The Crown's Game - If I'd read this before I read The Night Circus, I might have liked it better, but it just felt like a much less enchanting version of that book. On the upside, the love triangle wasn't as horrible as I expected. :P And it was narrated in part by Steve West, and well, you can never go wrong with that choice in my book. :D 🌟🌟🌟

The Edge of Everything - I'll be reviewing this book in full closer to release date, but for now, I'll just say that I really enjoyed the humor, the snark, the setting and the voice. It wasn't quite what I expected, but I liked it anyway. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Empire of Storms - Perfection. Utter perfection. But, oh, gods. I wish I had sheets with a thread count to rival this series. I mean...holy fuck. I need a journal and a family tree to keep track of it all! But it's kind of amazing what a weaver of words Maas is. And, yeah, sometimes there are too many words, but the overall effect is sheer brilliance. But I am so SO scared for that final book. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Ruined - This story was entertaining but there was nothing unique about it. I thought her previous series was just as mediocre so I'm less inclined to pick up anything else from this author. 🌟🌟🌟

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)The Shadow Hour (The Girl at Midnight, #2)The Sleeping Prince (The Sin Eater’s Daughter, #2)Dream On (Silver, #2)

Crooked Kingdom - This was a fantastic sequel and conclusion to the Six of Crows duology. Action-packed. Twisty. Heart-breaking. And it still managed to make me cackle like a lunatic at the most inopportune times. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Shadow Hour - This is one of those love triangles that's going to kill me because I honestly like both guys. I still love the magical aspects, the traveling by way of portals and such, but the romance is killing it for me...except where Dorian and Jasper are concerned. ;0) 🌟🌟🌟

The Sleeping Prince - Um, wow. So, first, I should have re-read the first book more recently before starting this one. Second, I maybe should have re-read that synopsis before starting the sequel so I'd understand it was more of a companion novel than sequel. Though, I absolutely must say, the way this book ties into the world and weaves the two narratives together is brilliant. I made a few educated guesses and was happy to see that my theories were correct, but I still wouldn't say that this novel is predictable in any sense of the word. It was because of the chaotic nature and pacing of the story that I felt I needed to grasp at straws. I'm just happy it worked out the way it did. Though that ending was killer and I don't want to wait for the next book to discover what happens next. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Dream On - I find this series adorable and enchanting, just like her time travel series, but there's not enough meat here. I do love the voice of the MC, though. She is hilariously adorkable and self-deprecating and immensely likable. 🌟🌟🌟

WintersongGemina (The Illuminae Files, #2)Traitor to the Throne (Rebel of the Sands #2)Vassa in the Night

Wintersong - I'm not allowed to really say anything about this book until next year, per the publisher's request, but hot damn. This book was achingly gorgeous. It hurt my heart. I can't wait for the next book, even though it's set to be a companion and not a true sequel, but I'll take what I can get. I also can't wait for the author to release the steamy scenes that got cut when they decided to make this YA because this book was already pretty sexy! 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Gemina - My full review of this book will go live next week for the tour, but let me just say that I did not think the authors could surpass the level of awesome they brought with Illuminae, that this would be an obvious "middle" book, but I was wrong. So. Incredibly. Wrong. It's also as fantastic on audio as the first book, PLUS this one has Steve West narrating a character, and as I said above, you absolutely cannot go wrong with that choice. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Traitor to the Throne - Another awesome sequel that kept me guessing till the end and may have even surpassed the first installment. Though, there was one little thing that could've made it better. ;0) I will review this in full early next year. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Vassa in the Night - What a lovely, weird little book. It's so different and unique and definitely something you have to be in the right mood or frame of mind for. But it was definitely MY kind of book. :D I plan to review it in full next week if I can get my thoughts together. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

S E R I E S   I   F I N A L L Y   C H E C K E D   O U T

The Thief (The Queen's Thief, #1)The Queen of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #2)The King of Attolia (The Queen's Thief, #3)A Conspiracy of Kings (The Queen's Thief, #4)

The Queen's Thief - Dude. I seriously do not know what's kept me from this series for so long, besides the fact that I only owned books 1 and 4 - weird, right? - and my library didn't have all the books on audio. Until now. The narrator is not my favorite by any means, but it doesn't detract from the story any. At any rate, this series is just as good as I'd been led to believe, and each subsequent novel is better than its predecessor. Everything you've heard about this series is true. It really is mind-blowingly amazing. It has definitely earned a place on my favorites shelf. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Half-Blood (Covenant, #1)Pure (Covenant, #2)Deity (Covenant, #3)Apollyon (Covenant, #4)Sentinel (Covenant, #5)

Covenant - I tried. I really did. I made it through part of Apollyon before just completely giving up. Yes, the glaring similarities to Vampire Academy are as obvious as everyone said. And still, I kept listening. But I found that I got to the point where I just absolutely did not care what happened to these characters anymore, so I stopped forcing myself to continue. JLA's books are like crack, but for the most part, I've found myself immune to the allure. 🌟🌟

H I S T O R I C A L    R O M A N C E

Romancing the Duke (Castles Ever After, #1)Say Yes to the Marquess (Castles Ever After, #2)When a Scot Ties the Knot (Castles Ever After, #3)

Tessa Dare's Castles Ever After series - These were my most recent introduction to the regency romance subgenre. And they were fun. I actually think I read these out of order, but Romancing the Duke was probably my favorite. Apparently, I like surly dudes, erm, dukes. :D 🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Night to Surrender (Spindle Cove, #1)A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2)A Lady by Midnight (Spindle Cove, #3)Any Duchess Will Do (Spindle Cove, #4)Lord Dashwood Missed Out (Spindle Cove, #4.5)

Tessa Dare's Spindle Cove series - These weren't the next thing I read in this category, but they did come highly recommended. I think the first couple of books in a Tessa Dare series are top notch, but the subsequent novels are a little less so. I liked the first book because it really set the stage for the series, plus a soldier who wants nothing more than to keep on soldiering on who is besotted with the spinster daughter of the man who can make that happen is just such a great premise. Second only to a romance between a spinster and a known rake. The series may have tapered off for me, but it was still entertaining and quite enjoyable. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake (Love By Numbers, #1)Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke's Heart (Love By Numbers, #3)

Sarah MacLean's Love By Numbers series - Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake just might be my favorite of all of these. Again with the romance between a spinster and a rake. I just love those. =) I skipped the second book because my library didn't have it on audio. Let me know if I missed out, lol. I found the third book only okay. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

A Rogue by Any Other Name (The Rules of Scoundrels, #1)One Good Earl Deserves a Lover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #2)No Good Duke Goes Unpunished (The Rules of Scoundrels, #3)Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover (The Rules of Scoundrels, #4)

Sarah MacLean's The Rules of Scoundrels series - This series focuses on the owners of a gaming hell, all with their own sordid pasts, and it was rather fun listening as they tried and failed to avoid love. 🌟🌟🌟1/2

The Rogue Not Taken (Scandal & Scoundrel, #1)A Scot in the Dark (Scandal & Scoundrel #2)

Sarah MacLean's Scandal & Scoundrel series - My biggest gripe with these audiobooks was that they were narrated by Justine Eyre, but I honestly have to say they might have been the best performance I've heard from her. She's in her element with historical romance, at least. The books themselves are par for the course but still delightful. 🌟🌟🌟1/2

The Luckiest Lady in LondonBecause of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1)The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy (Smythe-Smith Quartet, #4)Jane Steele

The Luckiest Lady in London - I read Sherry Thomas YA series and LOVED it, so I thought I'd venture into her historical romance. That was a good choice. This is the only one my library has on audio, though, so if I want to venture further, I'll have to do so in print. *sigh* 🌟🌟🌟🌟

Because of Miss Bridgerton - The premise of this story was all well and good, but the execution kind of fell flat for me. It was equal parts funny and entertaining, though. It at least made me want to meet the other Bridgertons and Rokesbys. 🌟🌟🌟

The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy - I think that maybe I'm just not a fan of Julia Quinn's novels...or her love interests. But this one annoyed me more than most. It would have been one thing, had the situation been explained to the MC beforehand, but that plot was just dirty and underhanded. And gross. 🌟🌟

Jane Steele - The second half was much more entertaining than the first. I expected Jane to be more governess than murderess, despite the mention of her first kill in the synopsis, but I just didn't expect quite so many murders. The mystery itself in the second half was quite intriguing, though. I should think I'd like to read further stories with Jane Steele as the mystery-solving governess... 🌟🌟🌟🌟


The Way to Game the Walk of ShameThe Hating GameShuffle, RepeatThe Problem with ForeverI Woke Up Dead at the Mall

The Way to Game the Walk of Shame - I was trading this ARC and wanted to read it before I gave it away. I don't know if that was a good idea or not. It was cute, in theory, but just never captured my attention the way the summary did. It sounded a lot like something that happened to me in high school, and I thought I'd be able to relate...but not so much. 🌟🌟🌟

The Hating Game - This was unequivocally the cutest book to ever cute in my vicinity. I'm already considering a re-listen because it put SUCH a smile on my face. It was just sooooo stinking adorable and just so funny. I can't recommend this book enough, though I'm trying. :D 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Shuffle, Repeat - Honestly, I WISH my senior year had been as momentous as June's, regardless of how she felt about it. But I'm glad the story I had laid out in my head is not what transpired in Shuffle, Repeat because I probably wouldn't have liked the book as much. :) Never have I been so happy to see my theories proved wrong. The lack of communication between two supposed friends did bug me, as did the fixation on the playlist in the beginning, but on the whole, I really enjoyed this adorable little book. 🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Problem with Forever - I keep trying to like JLA's books. They're addictive and compulsively readable, and yet I feel nothing when I read them. But I think this is probably my least favorite so far. And not even for that annoying triangle-y thing the romance tried to do. I just never felt the connection between the characters, despite their past. I've read variations of this storyline that do it FAR better. And with way less eye-rolling from me... 🌟🌟

I Woke Up Dead at the Mall - I thought this would be a funny, sarcastic look at life after death - and it was - but it was also equal parts poignant and uplifting. And even though that's not what I was expecting or even looking for with this book, I found it endearing. 🌟🌟🌟

If you didn't already know me, you can guess that fantasy is where it's at for me. But in the last couple of months -- and because my library failed to upload any new YA during that time period -- I've also discovered a real love of historical romance novels. I've always been a fan of historical fiction and romance separately, so putting the two together is kind of perfect for me. And I think of all those that I read, I've decided that Tessa Dare is my favorite. So far, anyway. I might need to branch out to some other authors. =D

Have you read any of these? What did you think? Or do you have any recommendations based on what I read? Especially in that historical romance category? ;0)

So, what do you think about this new format of mine? It took a long time to get this post together, but it was a lot less time than trying to review each of those books individually, especially when I pretty much said all I needed to say up above. :P And with the volume of books and audiobooks I consume, reviewing every single one is just about impossible.

Happy reading!


  1. Wow, so many great books Jen! Congratulations on your Goodreads goal. I really like the format you've created, especially with so many books to post on. I was curious on if any of them were ARC's? I'm not sure what I want to include in multi-reviews like this and if I should make a note if my books are from the publisher. I do like that you linked them to Goodreads as well. I've been falling behind in my reading for the simple fact that I'm too tired to write the reviews - even when I've enjoyed/loved them. I would love to do a catch-up series like this. Great job!! :)

  2. Holy cow HOW do you read so much?!? This is amazing!! I feel good if I get more than 8 books read in a month. Some awesome books in your list. I think Wintersong is going to have to go on my TBR. :)

  3. Love the new format, Jen. And given how much you read, it makes total sense!

  4. The only historical novels I read are in the Tudor/War of the Roses period but there is romance and scandal in most of them. I'd recommend Emily Purdy, Margaret Campbell Barnes, Judith Arnopp, Ella March Chase, Elizabeth Fremantle, Diane Haeger, Sarah A Hoyt, Robin Maxwell. Kate Emerson gets a good write up but I haven't read her books yet. More popular ones obviously include Philippa Gregory and Jean Plaidy. There are others on my Goodreads page on my Tudor shelf to investigate!

  5. You read so many books - WOW! *_* I absolutely LOVED Gemina! I didn't think it could top Illuminae but I was SO WRONG


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