Falling Short by Ernesto Cisneros was my favorite April read largely due to the beautiful friendship between the main characters, Issac and Marco. The story as a whole was enjoyable and easily a five-star read. This is a middle grade story to add to your tbrs!
I hope everyone had a great reading month! May is looking to be bookishly wonderful as well 💜
What were some of your memorable April reads? What book are you most looking forward to reading next month?
I’m pretty satisfied with how my February reading month went. I’m slowly getting into a good reading rhythm. I also wrote down a lot of ideas for blog posts I want to post in March – but hopefully no more spontaneous late night brainstorm sessions!
I posted 5 book reviews in February (more on the way!).
Again, this month it was very clear what my standout read was. The Brazen Bluestocking by Tracy Sumner was an excellent historical romance! I loved this book and will be reading book 2 this spring because feelings.
Here are some of the blog posts you may also find enjoyable to read:
That was my February that was filled with plenty of bookish feels. I feel settled now in 2022 and ready to keep on going strong. I’m looking forward to warmer temperatures soon even though spring’s not my favorite season. Books and new releases make it better though.
I hope you all had a fantastic February and an even better March!
I posted my 100th writing prompt (view more here), finished my UX Design program after seven long months, and added the finishing touches towards re-branding the blog.
One month down. Eleven more to go. I think February will probably move at the same pace for me in terms of reading and blogging. My goal is to finish up arcs and read at least 1 backlisted title from my tbr.
Whew! We did it. We made it to the end of 2021. I am forever grateful to books for getting me through this challenging year. I had a lot of great and profound reading experiences throughout the year. Good times I’ll remember fondly. Plus, the blog has grown and achieved a few new milestones, which I’m very happy about.
Without further delay, here’s my 2021 wrap-up along with my top favorite reads of 2021 and the cover/author/book of the year.
2021: Goodreads Reading Challenge
As of this post I’ve read 132 books (maybe 133 if I can finish this final read – A Dragon for Christmas by Zoe Chant – before the ball drops).
December Reviews Posted
I posted 26 reviews this month of mostly 4-star reads. All in all, a good month for books.
For this category, I chose authors whose works I especially enjoyed and really want to read more from.
B.B. Alston ● TJ Klune ● Whitney D. Grandison
Nalini Singh ● Trish Doller ● Danielle L. Jensen
Courtney Ellis ● Annabeth Albert ● Chad Lucas
Book of the Year
This was probably the toughest choice I had to make this year but I chose two books that really wowed me, left a huge impression on me that still lingers, and brought me to tears. Book of the Year went to Under the Whispering Door by TJ Klune and At Summer’s End by Courtney Ellis!
Final Thoughts – Farewell 2021
While 2021 was a good reading year for me, it’s also put into perspective what I want for myself and this blog going forward. I’ve been slowly making changes in all aspects of my life and 2022 will see the beginning of those wishes implemented. But more on that in an upcoming January Happenings post.
I want to thank you all for reading, commenting, and liking my posts. I am so happy to be in this space, blogging and gushing and reminiscing about all things books. You are the best!
I hope you all have a splendid weekend and a happy New Year!
Another month down; one more to go. November was a whirlwind for sure. This is the first time in three months I had the energy to make a wrap-up post for various reasons, but I wanted to get back to doing posts like this and other content.
Reviews this month were a mixed bag, averaging a rating of 3.9 collectively.
Speaking of reviews! Tomorrow I start 25 Days of Book Reviews. It’s year 3 of posting a review every day from December 1 to December 25. Challenging but worth it. If you’d like to learn how it all began, check out this post from year 1.
Kindle unlimited got me again (in a good, bookish way, of course)! I binged read a lot of short reads over the month, so only got through 4 books from my tbr. And because I only read so few I don’t really have a favorite read from this month. These enjoyable, high-rated reads were:
You’ve Reached Sam by Dustin Thao (heartbreaking!)
Getting His Game Back by Gia de Cadenet (emotional!)
A Swift and Savage Tide by Chloe Neill (thrilling!)
Wife by Wednesday by Catherine Bybee (charming!)
Achievement unlocked! I posted my 400th book review (You’ve Reached Sam) in November. Reviews are the core content I feature on my blog. I like writing them and sharing my thoughts even when I struggle with putting complex feelings into words. I don’t post a review for every book I read, mainly manga because I go through volumes way faster than I can write reviews for. And there are A LOT of volumes in just one story. So I stick with novels for the most part and it’s worked out best.
Birthdays are a great reason to get more books even when you have a gazillion other ones sitting on your shelves.
Act Your Age, Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert The Becoming by Nora Roberts The Fastest Way to Fall by Denise Williams The Love Hypothesis by Ali Hazelwood Maya and the Return of the Godlings by Rena Barron
Some were from a wish-list I keep and others I didn’t plan to get so soon but that’s the reader’s life.
But wait! There’s more! Other reads not pictured:
While We Were Dating by Jasmine Guillory
Blackout edited by Dhonielle Clayton
The Water Dragon’s Bride (vol. 6-8)
If you’ve read any of these books, what did you think of them?
That’s all I have for today. Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read my post. As always, much appreciated!
How was your reading month? Was there a book that surprised you? Any 5-star reads you’d recommend to others?
I’m now all caught up with writing reviews. I was way behind before due to procrastinating and struggling to find the right words to say. So half of this month’s reviews ended up being of books I read in July. But the good news is I’ll be back on track come September.
August reading was so so. There were some good bookish moments but also frustrating ones. So imagine my surprise when All Night Long with a Cowboy by Caitlin Crews stole the show as my favorite read August.
The previous book of hers I read last year was good but really frustrating, so I was somewhat hesitant to read this book yet still drawn to do so because of Crews’ storytelling capabilities. This turned into a great read with a beautiful enchanting romance.
Blog Posts to Check Out
Here are some great posts from fellow book bloggers you may be interested in reading. These are fun, thoughtful, and informative content that stood out to me and particularly enjoyed.
I finally around to rearranging furniture to make space for another bookshelf. I really like the finishing of this one; it’s so smooth and sturdy. My books look great on it. Nearly all my books now have a home. It’s wonderful.
I’ve been trying to get back into painting because it’s really fun and relaxing.
This month I painted a fictional character I like named Rimuru in his slime form from the manga/anime That Time I Got Reincarnated as a Slime (a great reincarnated in another world fantasy).
I also made a Hamilton painting accompanied with a jam sessions to the soundtrack. Both are going on my wall. It turned out better than I thought it would and now I want to try doing more silhouette paintings.
More Book Hauls
I did not one but two book hauls all within a month or so, which is not the norm for me. One was all physical books (my preferred way to read) and the other all ebooks. All of which I have not read any of as I’m saving them for the upcoming fall season. While I’m constantly finding new intriguing books that I really want to read, I mostly was able to stick to books from my tbr than new book finds.
How was your month? What books did you read and which were your favorites?
Snow White with the Red Hair (Volume 12) | ⭐⭐⭐ Snow White with the Red Hair (Volume 13) | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
My Favorite Read
I actually read a fair amount of books in June. Hands-down my favorite was Spy x Family. It was funny, endearing, and made my heart oh-so happy. I can’t wait to read more!
A very close second was Under the Whispering Door. This novel was good in a profound way. By the end I was crying and my heart was overflowing with all the feels. Definitely a worthwhile read though I do think one’s view of life and death will dictate your experience and opinion of the book.
Achievement Unlocked!: NetGalley Milestone
I turned in my 100th review to NetGalley! I have been on NetGalley since 2017. Way back in my early blogging days. I’m so thankful for all the books I’ve been able to read or do blog tours for. Here’s to 100 more!
Musical Theater Obsessions
Most of June was spent listening to musicals. When I wasn’t stressing I was playing on repeat musical soundtracks, such as Hamilton, The Color Purple, Rent, Dreamgirls, The Greatest Showman, In The Heights, and Legally Blonde. I also wanted to share in this wrap-up a few songs that I was really obsessed with listening to:
I struggled with reading. Either I was too mentally tired from work, too busy, or just didn’t feel like reading. I thought I’d be able to complete my tbr for May because it was so short – only 6 books and all highly anticipated reads. But some books took longer than others to finish and life was what it was. So whatever I didn’t finish last month will be my tbr for June or I may just start on my summer reading early (which I already have planned out).
May wasn’t all weariness and woes! There was some good sprinkled throughout. Here’s my May wrap-up in a nutshell:
Hello! I hope everyone had a good reading month. Mine was pretty good. I did get distracted a lot by reading books not on my April TBR, which means I didn’t really accomplish any of my bookish/blog goals. Sadness but I can only try my best again for May.
Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye | ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Prince of Darkness by Donna Grant | ⭐⭐⭐ The Specialist by Anna Hackett | ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was an interesting mix of reads but the majority were really enjoyable.
My Favorite Reads
I had several favorite reads I really loved: The Right Side of Reckless by Whitney D. Grandison (deep and realistic), Gilded Serpent (devastation and so many feels), Unplugged(an awesome camp mystery), Drawn Together (a beautiful story between a boy and his grandfather), and Home to Me (sweet and heartbreaking).
I’m currently reading two books at once: Roar by Cora Carmack and Wolf Kissed by Heather Renee.
So far, Roarhas my full attention as Rora (MC) tries to find her place in the world as the new heir while still maintaining her secret.
Wolf Kissed was recommended in an author’s newsletter. It’s been going good. I’m as intrigued as other characters in the book by the mysterious mark on Cait (MC) and what it could mean for both her, Roman (alpha), and all of wolf kind.
One good thing that happened this month was the library reopening fully. Here are the books I checked out:
In the left picture, I read everything but When You Trap A Tiger, which I decided to read another time. The pictures book on the right I plan to read this weekend.
Book Mail & Spontaneous Book Hauls
I welcomed several new books to my Kindle and physical shelves:
Igniteby Sara B. Larson An Incurable Case of Love (vol. 7) by Maki Enjoji Call It Magic by Janet Chapman
One Jar of Magic by Corey Ann Haydu Cathedral of Bones by A. J. Steiger
Out of all of these, I’m most looking forward to reading Ignite, One Jar of Magic, and An Incurable Case of Love (vol. 7).
Igniteis the second book of the Defy trilogy. The story so far has been fantastical, leaving me wanting more. I wonder how book 2 will test Alex, a woman disguised as a man and member of the prince’s elite guard, especially as her body becomes harder to conceal. Not only that but she is in a love triangle that I am highly invested in.
One Jar of Magic has been on my radar for a while. It sounds like a sweet, unique middle grade fantasy story.
I’m excited but sad to read the final volume of An Incurable Case of Love. It’s been an up and down series but on the whole enjoyable. My hope is that Sakura and Tendo end up together, happy and secure in their relationship.
One Year Later
The end of April marks a little over a year Lancehas been gone. I miss his adorkable self and wish he was still here. I think him and Kobe would have been the best of friends and brothers.
My time with Lance was a blessing. I hope he’s happy wherever he is over that rainbow bridge, running, playing, barking, and eating to his heart’s content.
Marvelous Musical Moments
I’d like to end this post with a musical moment I didn’t know I needed in my life. You may have seen this already. I recently found this gem on Instagram.
Below is an a CapellaHamilton cover sung in a sea shanty style and I am in love with it! Enjoy!
The Show Shanties | Hamilton Medley | Sea Shanty Style | Musical Theatre | West End | A Capella |