April 2017 Wrap-Up

1) A Study in Scarlet by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

a study in scarlet

Rating: 3/5

An enjoyable introduction to literature’s most famous sleuth with an engaging mystery. It does feel a little quaint by today’s standards but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

2) The Deal (Off-Campus #1) by Elle Kennedy

the deal

Rating: 4.5/5

OMG this book is adorable! It’s got everything I’m looking for in a romance – likable yet realistic characters, incredible romantic tension and steamy sex scenes – plus Elle Kennedy has a great sense of humour and it shows in her writing. There were so many LOL moments!

3) The Mistake (Off-Campus #2) by Elle Kennedy

the mistake

Rating: 3.5/5

I enjoyed the second book in the Off-Campus series but not as much as the first one. While it still had some hot sex scenes and good humour, I thought the two main characters lacked a bit of romantic tension. And I thought the ending was a little too ‘neat.’ Despite these minor complaints, it’s still a great book to pick up if you’re looking for a sweet college romance.

4) The Score (Off-Campus #3) by Elle Kennedy

the score

Rating: 4.5/5

This book is HOT. The two main characters, Allie and Dean, have amazing chemistry and the sex scenes are scorching. Plus, I love the whole player-falls-in-love trope. Possibly the best book in the Off-Campus series definitely on par with the first book.

5) The Goal (Off-Campus #4) by Elle Kennedy

the goal

Rating: 4/5

I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book that much when I first started it. It’s a ‘pregnancy’ romance, not usually my favorite but of course Elle Kennedy made it smart, sexy, and so, so sweet. I loved how the main female character didn’t give up her ambitions just because she got pregnant. And Tucker is definitely the most old-fashioned ‘romantic’ character in the Off-Campus series. I am now addicted to Elle Kennedy’s books and I can’t wait to read more!

6) Cat Stories by Diana Secker Tesdell

cat stories

Rating: 4/5

A wonderful anthology of cat stories from some amazing authors – Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, and Edgar Allan Poe just to name a few. If you’re a cat lover like me, then this collection is for you.

7) A Cold Season by Alison Littlewood

a cold season

Rating: 3/5

A pretty decent religious-themed horror novel. The tension slowly builds throughout the novel and the atmosphere of cold and isolation is palpable. However, I thought the climax fell a little flat – but the final chapter gave me chills. A solid horror read but it didn’t blow me away.

8) The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry

manual of detection

Rating: 3/5

I was in a bit of a slump when I read this book and it took me awhile to get into it. It is incredibly whimsical and dreamlike but there were moments when I felt a little lost.

9) The Sign of Four by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

sign of four

Rating: 3.5/5

One of my favourite Sherlock Holmes stories, The Sign of Four is action-packed and features some classic Holmes moments. However, it does feature problematic racist overtones which might make modern-day readers uncomfortable. Unfortunately, it’s a product of its time.

10) A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas

ACOTAR

Rating: 5/5

I love this book so much. I reread this book in preparation for A Court of Wings and Ruin and I was nervous to read it again because I was afraid it wouldn’t be as amazing as I remembered. Spoiler alert: it is just as gorgeous, sexy, and spectacular the second time around. (Plus, you pick up on so many little details that you miss the first time.) One of my favourite books of all time. Now I just have to reread A Court of Mist and Fury and I’ll be ready for the finale. (JK – I don’t think anything will make me ready to say goodbye to this wonderful series.)

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March 2017 Wrap-Up

1) Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories edited by Doug Murano & D. Alexander Ward

Gutted: Beautiful Horror Stories

Rating: 4/5

Any anthology subtitled ‘Beautiful horror stories’ is bound to get my attention. And while some stories were better than others, I found the majority of the tales to be beautiful, horrific – and so so heartbreaking.

2) Bedtime Stories by Diana Secker Tesdell

Bedtime Stories

Rating: 4/5

I guess I was in a short story mood at the beginning of the month. This anthology was full of magical, dreamy tales from some incredible authors such as Neil Gaiman, Angela Carter, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Ursula K. Le Guin.

3) Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility

Rating: 4/5

It always takes my a few chapters to get into an Austen novel but once I got used to the language again, I was hooked. Austen has such a sharp eye for social absurdities and hypocrisies and exposes them with incredible wit and insight. While Sense and Sensibility is not my favorite Austen novel (I find the two main romances are underdeveloped) for a debut novel it still contains so much of Austen’s unprecedented genius.

4) It by Stephen King

It

Rating: 4/5

The reason I only read 4 books in March was because half my month was taken up by this massive masterpiece of horror. I’ll admit, I probably could have finished it sooner but It is one of my favorite books of all time and I didn’t want it to end. Now I’m suffering from a total book hangover and don’t know what to do with my life. But that’s the mark of a great book. (Btw, did you guys see the trailer for the movie? It’s terrifying!)

February Wrap-Up

I had a pretty great reading month in February. I read a total of 11 books, most of them in the fantasy genre with one horror novel thrown in for variety. That brings my total for 2017 so far up to 27 so that means I am more than a quarter of the way through my Goodreads Reading Challenge!

Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

'Salem's Lot

Rating: 4/5

One of the best horror novels that features vampires. Stephen King creates incredible characters, puts them in a realistic small town setting – and then unleashes hell. Full review here.

Midnight Riot (Peter Grant #1) by Ben Aaronovitch

Midnight Riot (Peter Grant, #1)

Rating: 4/5

The first book in a great urban fantasy series that can best be summed up like this: wizard cops in London. Full review here.

Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant #2) by Ben Aaronovitch

Moon Over Soho (Peter Grant, #2)

Rating: 4/5

The second book in the Peter Grant series is even better than the first one! (And I really like the first one.) Full review here.

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3) by Ben Aaronovitch

Whispers Under Ground (Peter Grant #3)

Rating: 3.5/5

Honestly, not my favourite book in the Peter Grant series but it’s still an enjoyable read. Full review here.

The Home Crown Advantage (Peter Grant #1.5) by Ben Aaronovitch

The Home Crowd Advantage (Peter Grant, #1.5)

Rating: 4/5

This is a short story in the Peter Grant universe that takes place during the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. It’s a fun story and it fits in well with the rest of the series, but it’s not required reading.

Broken Homes (Peter Grant #4) by Ben Aaronovitch

Broken Homes (Peter Grant, #4)

Rating: 4/5

One of my favorite books in the Peter Grant series. This one ends with a major twist! Full review here.

Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant #5) by Ben Aaronovitch

Foxglove Summer (Peter Grant, #5)

Rating: 5/5

Hands down, the best book in the Peter Grant series. Missing children! Carnivorous unicorns! Aliens that are not really aliens! Full review here.

Rivers of London: Body Work by Ben Aaronovitch and Lee Sullivan

Rivers of London - Body Work

Rating: 4/5

The Peter Grant series translates so well to comic book format. A really great adventure that sees Peter dealing with haunted cars!

Rivers of London: Night Witch by Ben Aaronovitch, Andrew Cartmel, and Lee Sullivan

Rivers of London: Night Witch

Rating: 4/5

Another great Peter Grant comic book spinoff – although I will say the plot was a little hard to follow.

The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant #6) by Ben Aaronovitch

The Hanging Tree (Peter Grant, #6)

Rating: 4/5

So, so, so, so, so good! And we get to see a big dramatic reveal in this one! (Hint: It has to do with a certain Faceless villain!) Full review here.

An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds #1) by Foz Meadows

An Accident of Stars (Manifold Worlds, #1)

Rating: 4.5/5

Feminist fantasy with diverse, queer characters and fantastic world-building. My favorite read of the month! Full review here.

What did you read this month? Let me know!

January 2017 Reading Wrap-Up

 I wanted to start 2017 off right – I wanted to read something I knew I would enjoy and that would inspire me. So of course, I reread the entire Harry Potter series! Not only is it my favourite book series of all time, but it also serves as an inspiring and hopeful story that is especially fitting in our current troubled times. Reading Harry Potter always makes me feel a little bit better about the world – I get to spend time with my favourite characters and relive some of my favourite moments. And it reminds me of the important things in life – love, friendship, and fighting for what’s right.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)

Rating: 5/5

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter, #2)

Rating: 5/5

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter, #3)

Rating: 5/5

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter, #4)

Rating: 5/5

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter, #5)

Rating: 5/5

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)

Rating: 5/5

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Rating: 5/5

Quidditch Through the Ages by J.K. Rowling

Quidditch Through the Ages

Rating: 5/5

Fantastic Beasts  and Where to Find Them by J.K. Rowling

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Rating: 5/5

The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Rating: 5/5

Harry Potter: The Prequel by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter: The Prequel (Harry Potter, #0.5)

Rating: 4/5

Note: This is just a little short story that Rowling wrote for charity in 2008. We get a glimpse of James and Sirius!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, and Jack Thorne

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)

Rating: 3/5

Of course, I read Cursed Child when it first came out last year. I wanted to give it a quick reread to see if my feelings towards it had changed. I won’t go into detail here (I’ll do a more in-depth review at some point) but I will say that it in no way diminishes my enjoyment of the original series but I refuse to see it as part of the official Harry Potter canon.

Pottermore Presents: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies by J.K. Rowling

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Heroism, Hardship and Dangerous Hobbies (Pottermore Presents, #1)

Rating: 4/5

Sure, all of the writing in these ebooks first appeared on Pottermore for free but I personally like having them all collected in one place – even if they did cost me a few bucks each.

Pottermore Presents: Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists by J.K. Rowling

Short Stories from Hogwarts of Power, Politics and Pesky Poltergeists (Pottermore Presents, #2)

Rating: 4/5

Pottermore Presents: Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide by J.K. Rowling

Hogwarts: An Incomplete and Unreliable Guide (Pottermore Presents, #3)

Rating: 4/5

Probably the closest thing we’ll get to a real-life version of Hogwarts: A History. (sigh)

Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie

Rating: 5/5

After a short period of PPD (Post-Potter Depression), I picked up Carrie – one of my favourite books by one of my favourite authors. After a seven book series (plus all of the companion books), I definitely needed to read a stand-alone and Carrie is mercifully short. It had been a while since I had read any King and I always forget what an amazing writer he is – and Carrie is his debut novel! If you haven’t read Stephen King yet and don’t know where to start, I highly recommend starting with Carrie. 

So I’d say my reading year is off to a good start! I read a total of 16 books in January, averaging about a book every two days. For my Goodreads Reading Challenge, I’ve pledged to read 100 books so I’ve completed 16% of my challenge! And according to Goodreads, I’m 8 books ahead of schedule! Whoohoo!