May Wrap-Up: Reviews, Reading Challenges, etc.

Yes another month has come and gone extremely fast. I had a bit of a busy time during May, while also going through a bit of a blogging slump. I just have been reading a lot slower lately, as well as lacking in great blog post ideas (not to mention my constant lack of motivation to write any reviews). However, I really hope June will be a good month to try and revive that creative flow and motivation. I plan to watch a lot of booktube and do some blog hopping, as well as some personal weekend read-a-thons. Let’s get to reading this summer, y’all!


Books Read

  • Lifel1k3 (Lifelike, #1) by Jay Kristoff – physical book, 4/5 stars
  • The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye – audiobook, 5/5 stars
  • Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers – audiobook, 3/5 stars
  • Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee – physical book, 5/5 stars
  • Finale (Caraval, #3) by Stephanie Garber – physical book, 4/5 stars

Total Books Read: 5

Overall in 2019: 39

Reading Challenge Updates

POPSUGAR

  • A book about a family – Jade City

Goodreads Challenge

Total: 39/75

Previous Total: 34/75

Blog Posts

Book Reviews

WWW Wednesday

Discussions/Misc.


Did you get a lot of reading done in May? Were you able to read all of the books on your TBR? Did you read any new favorites? What book did you like the least? What do you plan on reading in June?

 

WWW Wednesday – May 29th, 2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham – audiobook
  • Freeks by Amanda Hocking – physical book

I’m about halfway through Freeks and it’s been alright. I was hoping for something a little scarier, but so far it’s been much tamer than what I was expecting. Maybe it’ll get scarier as the story goes on… hopefully.

I haven’t really started Dreamland Burning, but I hope to later today when I get some free time. It sounds like such an amazing story and I’m excited to really jump into it. Gimme that historical fiction!

What did you recently finish reading?

  • Finale (Caraval, #3) by Stephanie Garber – physical book
  • Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers – audiobook

Of course, I enjoyed Finale! I thought it was a really good ending to the trilogy, even if the ending was a little rushed. And as much as I love me some Legend, I really think Jacks stole my heart in this one. Y’all, I am a sucker for the bad boy. That’s right, walking cliche right here!

Grave Mercy was a decent historical fiction. It wasn’t quite as “exciting” as I thought it was going to be but I still plan to finish the series.. At least I think I am. We will see.

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot – physical book
  • Winterspell by Claire Legrand – physical book
  • Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno – physical book

What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday – May 15th, 2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • Finale (Caraval, #3) by Stephanie Garber – physical book
  • Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers – audiobook
  • Freeks by Amanda Hocking – physical book

I’m over halfway through listening to Grave Mercy. This turned out to be a much longer listen than I was expecting but I’m actually enjoying it. I like the large focus on politics and that it’s set in historical France which isn’t a setting used very often. I’m almost done with Finale and I’m super scared to see how this story is going to end. It’s taken a few different turns that I wasn’t expecting and that makes me nervous. I still can’t decide if I like Legend or Jacks more…. I go back and forth on those two. And I’ve made zero progress with Freeks, as I’ve put it aside for Finale.

What did you recently finish reading?

Nothing…. Oops.

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot – physical book
  • Winterspell by Claire Legrand – physical book
  • Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno – physical book

I still have the same TBR planned. I hope to start on Middlemarch as soon as I finish Finale!


What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

WWW Wednesday – May 8th, 2019

Welcome to WWW Wednesday which is currently being hosted by Sam @ Taking On A World of Words. It’s really just a place to do little update on what all you’ve been reading lately. Anyone is welcome to join, just leave a link to your post in the comments and be sure to give the appropriate credit to Sam!

The Three W’s are:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish reading?
  • What do you think you’ll read next?

What are you currently reading?

  • Finale (Caraval, #3) by Stephanie Garber – physical book
  • Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin, #1) by Robin LaFevers – audiobook
  • Freeks by Amanda Hocking – physical book

I’m not very far into any of these books actually, as I only started Grave Mercy and Finale yesterday. But I am soooo excited to really get into these stories. I’ve been dying for Finale ever since the end of Legendary and I almost can’t believe I finally have it! I’ve also heard amazing things about the His Dark Assassin series. It seems like I’m really late to the party but hey, at least I finally showed up!

What did you recently finish reading?

  • The Paragon Hotel by Lyndsay Faye – audiobook
  • Lifel1k3 (Lifelike, #1) by Jay Kristoff – physical book
  • Jade City (The Green Bone Saga, #1) by Fonda Lee – physical book

Honestly, I really enjoyed all three of these books. The Paragon Hotel was totally different than what I was expecting, much more adult themed and not at all YA like I originally thought it was. It was still very good and well-written, just know that before picking it up! I also loved Jade City. It was very detailed and took me a long time before I was able to fully grasp the world-building. And we all know how awesome Jay Kristoff is at writing, so I don’t think I really need to explain how much I enjoyed Lifel1k3.

What do you think you’ll read next?

  • Middlemarch by George Eliot – physical book
  • Winterspell by Claire Legrand – physical book
  • Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel by James Luceno – physical book

What are you currently reading? What books did you finish this week? What are you planning on reading next? Have you read any of the books on my list? If so, what did you think of them? Leave a link to your WWW Wednesday post in the comments below!

My Summer Must-Read TBR

I’m pretty sure that I do a post like this one at least once a year and NEVER stick to it. I know that the one I posted for this previous winter was just abysmal… But y’all, I’m gonna stick to it this time around! I have been doing really well so far in 2019 of sticking to books that I’ve posted on my TBRs. This summer TBR is going to be the time where I actually read all of the books on this list. It’s time I kick my own ass into gear and get it done. I have a good mix of backlisted books and newer releases planned and I’m really excited to get started. Fingers crossed, everyone!


40381319

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

I pre-ordered this gorgeous behemoth of a novel, and yet I still haven’t picked it up. However, I feel like this will be a really good book to pick up over the summer. I can see myself reading this one over a lazy weekend when it’s storming outside…

 

 

25776122

The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson

I always enjoy a good historical fiction story and this one sounds like a sweet read, perfect for the summer. I also plan to use it for one of my POPSUGAR reading prompts, so I’ve got a double reason for needing to pick it up this summer. I haven’t really heard much about this one which makes it even more exciting to pick up!

 

15850919

Middlemarch by George Eliot

I already know that I’m finally going to read this book, as I have it up next on my TBR for May. This book has been sitting on my shelf for the last 4 years and I’ve let it get pushed aside in favor of less intimidating books. But no more! This classic is finally getting picked up… Bring. It. On.

 

 

Dance of Thieves_FINAL 9.18

Dance of Thieves (Dance of Thieves, #1) by Mary E. Pearson

I absolutely loved the previous trilogy set in the same world and so as soon as this one was announced, I knew I had to read it. I’ve heard some good things about this book and so I’m ready to experience it for myself. I really hope the hype is real for this one!

 

 

7602256

The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough

Another classic that I plan to finally read this summer. Who doesn’t enjoy epic family stories complete with romance in a historical setting? Raise your hand if that speaks to you as much as it speaks to me! It really helps that everyone seems to love the miniseries based on this book, so I’m sure I’ll be watching that too at some point after I finish this. If you’ve read this one, please verify!

 

39841372

Defy the Fates (Constellation, #3) by Claudia Gray

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure I’m quite ready for this series to end.. But I know that the queen of sci-fi will do this finale justice and I can’t wait to see what kind of epic stuff she has in store for us.

 

 

 

42201395

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

I absolutely adored her debut novel, An Enchantment of Ravens, so I have been anxiously awaiting her follow up novel. And it’s almost here! I don’t think I’ll be able to wait to pick this one up. It’ll arrive and immediately go into my grabby little hands!

 

 

35230913

The Oracle Year by Charles Soule

I originally got this book from Book of the Month Club back when it first came out. I waited until after my dad read it first to get his opinion on it, as Soule was a comic book writer and I was unsure how he would translate to a full novel. However, dad enjoyed it and so now it’s time for me to give it a shot.

 

 

40381392

Finale (Caraval, #3) by Stephanie Garber

Now y’all know that one of my more anticipated releases isn’t going to get pushed aside for anything! As is the case with Sorcery of Thorns, this final book in such an engrossing trilogy is going to be read as soon as it shows up on my doorstep!

 

 

35297394

The Wicked Deep by Shea Ernshaw

My blogging bestie, Britt @ Geronimo Reads, as been raving about this book ever since she first read it. When I saw it on BookOutlet, I knew I had to get it and see what all the fuss is about for myself. I have high hopes for this one because I’ve been needing a creepy story in my life.

 

 


Are there any specific books that you plan to read over the summer? Have you read any of the books on my TBR? If so, what did you think of them?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2019 Release Covers That I Love

I will always admit that I’m a sucker for a gorgeous book cove. I have definitely bought many a book based mostly on its cover… and I am not ashamed. I love pretty covers and I think it’s been pretty rare where I ended up not enjoying that book, too. So you can probably guess that all of the amazing covers being unveiled lately for 2019 releases has got me really excited. I can’t wait to add these beauties to my bookshelves!


36683928

Spin the Dawn (The Blood of Stars, #1) by Elizabeth Lim

Maia Tamarin dreams of becoming the greatest tailor in the land, but as a girl, the best she can hope for is to marry well. When a royal messenger summons her ailing father, once a tailor of renown, to court, Maia poses as a boy and takes his place. She knows her life is forfeit if her secret is discovered, but she’ll take that risk to achieve her dream and save her family from ruin. There’s just one catch: Maia is one of twelve tailors vying for the job.

Backstabbing and lies run rampant as the tailors compete in challenges to prove their artistry and skill. Maia’s task is further complicated when she draws the attention of the court magician, Edan, whose piercing eyes seem to see straight through her disguise.

And nothing could have prepared her for the final challenge: to sew three magic gowns for the emperor’s reluctant bride-to-be, from the laughter of the sun, the tears of the moon, and the blood of stars. With this impossible task before her, she embarks on a journey to the far reaches of the kingdom, seeking the sun, the moon, and the stars, and finding more than she ever could have imagined.

40381392

Finale (Caraval, #3) by Stephanie Garber

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…all games must come to an end.

It’s been two months since the last Caraval concluded, two months since the Fates have been freed from an enchanted deck of cards, two months since Tella has seen Legend, and two months since Legend claimed the empire’s throne as his own. Now, Legend is preparing for his official coronation and Tella is determined to stop it. She believes her own mother, who still remains in an enchanted sleep, is the rightful heir to the throne.

Meanwhile, Scarlett has started a game of her own. She’s challenged Julian and her former fiancé, Count Nicolas d’Arcy, to a competition where the winner will receive her hand in marriage. Finaly, Scarlett feels as if she is in complete control over her life and future. She is unaware that her mother’s past has put her in the greatest danger of all.

Caraval is over, but perhaps the greatest game of all has begun―with lives, empires, and hearts all at stake. There are no spectators this time: only those who will win…and those who will lose everything. . .

40594453

Lovely War by Julie Berry

It’s 1917, and World War I is at its zenith when Hazel and James first catch sight of each other at a London party. She’s a shy and talented pianist; he’s a newly minted soldier with dreams of becoming an architect. When they fall in love, it’s immediate and deep—and cut short when James is shipped off to the killing fields.

Aubrey Edwards is also headed toward the trenches. A gifted musician who’s played Carnegie Hall, he’s a member of the 15th New York Infantry, an all-African-American regiment being sent to Europe to help end the Great War. Love is the last thing on his mind. But that’s before he meets Colette Fournier, a Belgian chanteuse who’s already survived unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the Germans.

Thirty years after these four lovers’ fates collide, the Greek goddess Aphrodite tells their stories to her husband, Hephaestus, and her lover, Ares, in a luxe Manhattan hotel room at the height of World War II. She seeks to answer the age-old question: Why are Love and War eternally drawn to one another? But her quest for a conclusion that will satisfy her jealous husband uncovers a multi-threaded tale of prejudice, trauma, and music and reveals that War is no match for the power of Love.

42265183

The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1) by Renee Ahdieh

In 1872, New Orleans is a city ruled by the dead. But to seventeen-year-old Celine Rousseau, New Orleans provides her a refuge after she’s forced to flee her life as a dressmaker in Paris. Taken in by the sisters of the Ursuline convent along with six other girls, Celine quickly becomes enamored with the vibrant city from the music to the food to the soirées and—especially—to the danger. She soon becomes embroiled in the city’s glitzy underworld, known as Le Cour des Lions, after catching the eye of the group’s leader, the enigmatic Sèbastien Saint Germain. When the body of one of the girls from the convent is found in the lair of Le Cour des Lions, Celine battles her attraction to him and suspicions about Sèbastien’s guilt along with the shame of her own horrible secret.

When more bodies are discovered, each crime more gruesome than the last, Celine and New Orleans become gripped by the terror of a serial killer on the loose—one Celine is sure has set her in his sights . . . and who may even be the young man who has stolen her heart. As the murders continue to go unsolved, Celine takes matters into her own hands and soon uncovers something even more shocking: an age-old feud from the darkest creatures of the underworld reveals a truth about Celine she always suspected simmered just beneath the surface.

At once a sultry romance and a thrilling murder mystery, master storyteller Renée Ahdieh embarks on her most potent fantasy series yet: The Beautiful.

36483378

The Merciful Crow (The Merciful Crow, #1) by Margaret Owen

A future chieftain

Fie abides by one rule: look after your own. Her Crow caste of undertakers and mercy-killers takes more abuse than coin, but when they’re called to collect royal dead, she’s hoping they’ll find the payout of a lifetime.

A fugitive prince

When Crown Prince Jasimir turns out to have faked his death, Fie’s ready to cut her losses—and perhaps his throat. But he offers a wager that she can’t refuse: protect him from a ruthless queen, and he’ll protect the Crows when he reigns.

A too-cunning bodyguard

Hawk warrior Tavin has always put Jas’s life before his, magically assuming the prince’s appearance and shadowing his every step. But what happens when Tavin begins to want something to call his own?

41065997

The Devouring Gray (The Devouring Gray, #1) by Christine Lynn Herman

Branches and stones, daggers and bones,
They locked the Beast away.

After the death of her sister, seventeen-year-old Violet Saunders finds herself dragged to Four Paths, New York. Violet may be a newcomer, but she soon learns her mother isn’t: They belong to one of the revered founding families of the town, where stone bells hang above every doorway and danger lurks in the depths of the woods.

Justin Hawthorne’s bloodline has protected Four Paths for generations from the Gray—a lifeless dimension that imprisons a brutal monster. After Justin fails to inherit his family’s powers, his mother is determined to keep this humiliation a secret. But Justin can’t let go of the future he was promised and the town he swore to protect.

Ever since Harper Carlisle lost her hand to an accident that left her stranded in the Gray for days, she has vowed revenge on the person who abandoned her: Justin Hawthorne. There are ripples of dissent in Four Paths, and Harper seizes an opportunity to take down the Hawthornes and change her destiny-to what extent, even she doesn’t yet know.

The Gray is growing stronger every day, and its victims are piling up. When Violet accidentally unleashes the monster, all three must band together with the other Founders to unearth the dark truths behind their families’ abilities—before the Gray devours them all.

40381319

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction–but assassins are getting closer to her door.

Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.

Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.

Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep.

40645629

Rayne & Delilah’s Midnite Matinee by Jeff Zentner

Every Friday night, best friends Delia and Josie become Rayne Ravenscroft and Delilah Darkwood, hosts of the campy creature feature show Midnite Matinee on the local cable station TV Six.

But with the end of senior year quickly approaching, the girls face tough decisions about their futures. Josie has been dreading graduation, as she tries to decide whether to leave for a big university and chase her dream career in mainstream TV. And Lawson, one of the show’s guest performers, a talented MMA fighter with weaknesses for pancakes, fantasy novels, and Josie, is making her tough decision even harder.

Scary movies are the last connection Delia has to her dad, who abandoned the family years ago. If Midnite Matinee becomes a hit, maybe he’ll see it and want to be a part of her life again. And maybe Josie will stay with the show instead of leaving her behind, too.

As the tug-of-war between growing up and growing apart tests the bonds of their friendship, Josie and Delia start to realize that an uncertain future can be both monstrous…and momentous.

36118682

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy, #1) by Emily A. Duncan

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy.

36430989

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

Princess Hesina of Yan has always been eager to shirk the responsibilities of the crown, but when her beloved father is murdered, she’s thrust into power, suddenly the queen of an unstable kingdom. Determined to find her father’s killer, Hesina does something desperate: she engages the aid of a soothsayer—a treasonous act, punishable by death… because in Yan, magic was outlawed centuries ago.

Using the information illicitly provided by the sooth, and uncertain if she can trust even her family, Hesina turns to Akira—a brilliant and alluring investigator who’s also a convicted criminal with secrets of his own. With the future of her kingdom at stake, can Hesina find justice for her father? Or will the cost be too high?

In this shimmering Chinese-inspired fantasy, debut author Joan He introduces a determined and vulnerable young heroine struggling to do right in a world brimming with deception.


What are some of your favorite covers for 2019 releases? Are you excited about any of the books that I shared?