Book Hauls, Monthly TBR, Monthly Wrap Up, Reviews

January 2020 Wrap Up and February TBR

Hello! A little late in posting my monthly wrap up and TBR so I decided to do both in one blog post. My reading in January started out great, I read 6 books but I got burned out with reading so many fantasy books that I needed to take a break. My intention was to read a different genre to finish out strong in January but the last two weeks of the month I decided to watch Netflix series. Sometime you need to take a break from reading so much so that you won’t get into a reading slump.

Here are the books that I read in January and short reviews for each one.

Lie To Me by Kaitlin Ward – The book was good and it was nice to see the main character figuring out her sexuality. Representation of mental illness and depression was addressed in the book. The only thing I wish there was more on mystery/thriller portion of the story play out better and less concentration on the romance between Amelia and Liam. Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Winterwood by Shea Ernshaw – I enjoy the book, it had magic, adventure and some spooky moments in it but the only thing I did not enjoy is the pace and the predictable behind the twist in the book which I figure out in the middle of the story. Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes – I love any stories about Alice in Wonderland so I was really excited that a friend suggested for me to pick Queen of Hearts up. I found the series on Book Outlet which I couldn’t resist in getting. I found the retelling to be good and I thought it focus on the political aspect of Wonderland more than other retelling I have read. The book does focus on the darkness and brutality of Wonderland. The only thing that I didn’t enjoy about the book was that it was really slow and it took awhile to get interesting but other than that I really liked it and planning to read the rest of the series. Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare – I decided for 2020 to complete reading the Shadowhunter series this year. I am working on the Infernal Devices series and I really like this series so far. I enjoy the The Mortal Instrument series, I didn’t know about the order of reading the Shadowhunter series per Cassandra Clare but hasn’t made a big difference for me. When Jem and Tessa was introduce in TMI series, I was hoping we would get separate series about them. I really like this first book of the series, getting to read about how Jem, Tessa, and Will met and how Tessa find out who truly is and her struggle on accepting it. It was refreshing to see the development of the relationship and friendship were in the book. Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Blood Heir by Amelie Wen Zhao – This was good start to fantasy series and debut novel for Amelie. I enjoy learning about the different affinities and how they use them. The world building was done well and the writing style was good. The two different POV between the two characters were nice to read and getting their background on how they came to be in the present time. It took me awhile to get the book finished because I was burning out on fantasy at the time and I need a break before I gave up on the book. I am glad that I did take a break from reading it because I came back with refresh brain and was able to enjoy the book more. I looking forward to next book in the series. Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy by Cassandra Clare and more authors – I used the audiobook for the book and I like that the book had different narrators which was nice to have. I was excited to read about Simon to see him go through the academy to become shadowhunter and slowly regaining his memories of his friends. My favorite characters from the Mortal Instruments series are Simon and Magnus so I was happy to have book concrerating on Simon. Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

For the challenges I was participating in January, I was able to get four books read for the TBR and Beyond Menagerie Boardgame.

My January book haul…

My January reading month was pretty good and hoping I have a better February month.

My February TBR…I am hoping to read 7 books this month because I know I won’t be able to get them all read.

How was everyone reading in January? What did you buy in January? What is on your February TBR?

JoAnne

Can't-Wait Wednesday, New Releases

Can’t Wait Wednesday: Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan

Can’t Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Wishful Endings based on the meme Waiting on Wednesday by Breaking the Spine. In this weekly post people share a book that they’re excited about being released.

This is my first time participating in Can’t Wait Wednesday and I looking forward to showing which books that I am looking forward to be release.


Darkness never works alone…

Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.

As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meetβ€”those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

Goodreads


The reason why I am excited about Ruthless Gods because I really loved the first book in the series and the ending of the book I need to know what happens with Nadya, Serefin, and Malachiasz. Being Emily A. Duncan debut novel, I have to say I was a little surprise that I was going to love it so much. It kept me reading and screaming at the book at certain parts, I even cried. It is understatement that I am excited for April to get here so I can finally read the second book.

Did you read Wicked Saints? What did you think of it? Are you looking forward to the second book in the series?

Blog Tour, Reviews, The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Blog Tour – E-Arc Review & Favorite Quotes for Below by Alexandria Warwick

Welcome to my stop on Below (North #1) Blog tour hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club. Would like to thank FFBC and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to review and give my favorite quotes from the book.

Below (North #1)

By Alexandria Warwick

Publisher: Wolf Publishing

Release Date: 4 February 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Synopsis:

From the author of The Demon Race comes a YA dark fantasy series inspired by Inuit mythology.

In the heart of the frigid North, there lives a demon known as the Face Stealer. Eyes, nose, mouth – nothing and no one is safe. Once he returns to his lair, or wherever it is he dwells, no one ever sees those faces again.

When tragedy strikes, Apaay embarks on a perilous journey to find her sister’s face – yet becomes trapped in a labyrinth ruled by a sinister girl named Yuki. The girl offers Apaay a deal; find her sister’s face hidden within the labyrinth, and she will be set free. But the labyrinth, and those who inhabit it, is not as it seems. Especially Numiak: darkly beautiful, powerful, whose motives are not yet clear.

With time slipping. Appay is determined to escape the deadly labyrinth with her sister’s face in hand. But in Yuki’s harsh world, Apaay will need all her strength to survive.

Yuki only plays the games she wins.

Find It Here: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Kobo

Excerpt of Chapter 1


Author

Alexandria Warwick is the #1 fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender. She is the author of The Demon Race and the upcoming North series.

Find Alexandria Here: Goodreads | Website | Instagram


Review

Rating: ❄❄❄❄❄

I received an e-ARC in exhange for an honest review by The Fantastic Flying Book Club and the publisher.

I like that the book was inspired by the Innuit mythology and it was made me want to read it because you don’t see a lot of books that have the mythology in it.

The setting of the book was perfect for the telling of Apaay’s struggles and trials to get her sister’s Eska face back. Apaay found her identity and self-worth in this story with the measage that she is enough and finding herself throughout the story.

Below reminded me of a story about girl who would anything for her family and friends to protect them. Apaay is a relateable character to anyone who is trying to find their place in the world and struggling on finding out their true identity is.

I enjoy this story and I am looking forward to next character in it.


Favorite Quotes

“Apaay held herself absolutely still. She was night, and snow, and hard, glinting ice.”

“Apaay did not see the land as something to divide and distribute. She saw it as something whole.”

“Fear could weaken, or it could make one feel powerful and alive.”

She was Apaay. She was enough.”


Check out the rest of the blog tour by clicking the below link.

Tour Schedule


Click the below link to enter into the giveaway.

Prize #1: Win (1) signed paperback copy of BELOW by Alexandria Warwick (US Only)

Prize #2: Win (1) e-copy of BELOW by Alexandria Warwick (INT)

Starts: 29th January 2020

Ends: 12th February 2020

Giveaway

Have you had a chance to read Below? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour, Reviews, The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Blog Tour ( Giveaway, Review & Favorite Quotes) – Lie to Me by Kaitlin Ward

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Lie to Me by Kaitlin Ward. The tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

I am excited to share my review and favorite quotes. Thank you to FFBC for giving me an opportunity to be part of the tour.

Lie To Me

By Kaitlin Ward

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Release Date: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery, Thriller

Synopsis:

Ever since Amelia woke up in the hospital, recovering from a near-death fall she has no memory of, she’s been suspicious. Her friends, family, and doctors insist it was an accident, but Amelia is sure she remembers being pushed. Then another girl is found nearby – one who fell, but didn’t survive. Amelia’s fears suddenly feel very real, and with the help of her new boyfriend, Liam, she tries to investigate her own horrific ordeal. But what is she looking for, exactly? And how can she tell who’s trustworthy, and who might be – must be – lying to her?

The closer Amelia gets to the truth, the more terrifying her once orderly, safe world becomes. She’s determined to know what happened, but if she doesn’t act fast, her next accident might be her last.

Find It: Goodreads, Amazon, Bookdepository, B&N, Kobo, iBooks, IndieBound


Review

Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

Lie To Me is perfect teens/pre-teens readers because it has mystery/thriller, romance, representation of mental illness and discovering sexuality.

Here are pros and cons of the novel that I enjoyed and didn’t.

Pros:

Relationship between Amelia and her brother Hunter. Also, her relationship with her parents were strong and you can tell that they were supportive.

Representation of depression and mental illness was addressed in the book really well.

Representation of bisexuality and detailed description of Amelia trying to figure out how she was figuring was done great. It was refreshing to see it done well.

Overall, the book was good, fun and easy read. I got it done in two days.

Cons

I would have like more on mystery/thriller portion of the story play out better.

Less concentration on the romance between Amelia and Liam.

Favorite Quotes

β€œYeah, it’s just this one problem about how big an area will be hit by the nuclear meltdown when you inevitably start dating him and your brother finds out.”

β€œOh, come on.” She squeezes my arm. β€œYou know I’m just teasing. But he is hot, and you’ve run into him twice in one day. It almost feels like fate.” β€œTwice in one day at the school we both go to”, I say dryly. β€œIt’s like a rom-com.”

β€œPersonally, I like to take satisfaction from all levels of victory. It’s really just an opportunity to brag about how great you are; you don’t need to mention the part about unworthy your opponent was.”

β€œAnd, I realize, I might want to be his person who cares. I don’t feel bad about that, though. Not at all.”

β€œAs soon as I say it, I want to pull the words back down my throat because calling someone perfect on a first date is so incredibly dorky.”


About the Author

Kaitlin Ward grew up on a dairy farm in a tiny New Hampshire town, the same town where she lives now with her husband and son. She studied animal science at Cornell University and cofounded the well-known blog YA Highway. She is also the author of Where She Fell, Girl in a Bad Place, and Bleeding Earth. Find her on Twitter at @Kaitlin_Ward.

Find Kaitlin here: Goodreads, Website, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook

Check out all of the rest of the blog tour for this awesome book!

Tour Schedule

Please enter the giveaway (below link) to get chance to win 1 finished copy of Lie To Me. (US only)

GIVEAWAY

Start: January 13, 2020

Ends: January 17, 2020

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers tour post s and enter to win!

Monthly TBR

January 2020 TBR and Monthly Challenges

Happy New Year!! Hope your New Year was a good one and start out great. I spent New Year Eve and New Year Day catching up on watching Star Trek: Discovery, The Manadolarin, and The Witcher with hubby. I did start reading my first book of the New Year.

For January, my goal is to read five or more books this month. I am participating in TBR and Beyond Book Club.

Reading Challenges

TBR and Beyond Book Club

TBR and Beyond Book Club reading challenge is a two month challenge called Menagerie Boardgame. It is setup as a boardgame with rolling a dice to pick your prompts for books. It is a lot of fun and able to get your backlist down too.

My first roll and my books for each prompts. My second round I haven’t decided the books for the prompts yet.

I added some other books to my January TBR with the challenge books. Trying to get some of book series completed this year.

What are your January TBR? Are you participating in any monthly challenges this month?

Blog Tour, Reviews, The Fantastic Flying Book Club

Blog Tour (Review & Favorite Quotes) – Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen

Hello! Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen. The tour is being hosted by Fantastic Flying Book Club.

I am excited to share my review and favorite quotes. This was the first time I read anything from Abigail and I heard some amazing things about the book so I was happy that Fantastic Flying Book Club gave me the opportunity to be part of the blog tour.

Loveboat, Taipei (Loveboat, Taipei #1)

By Abigail Hing Wen

Publisher: HarperCollins

Release Date: January 7th, 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fiction, Romance, Contemporary, Travel, Asian Literature

Synopsis:

For fans of Crazy Rich Asians or Jane Austen Comedy of Manners, with a hint of La La Land

When eighteen-year-old Ever Wong’s parents send her from Ohio to Taiwan to study Mandarin for the summer, she finds herself thrust among the very over-achieving kids her parents have always wanted her to be, including Rick Woo, the Yale-bound prodigy profiled in the Chinese newspapers since they were nine – and her parents’ yardstick for her never-measuring-up life.

Unbeknownst to her parents, however, the program is actually an infamous teen meet-market nicknamed Loveboat, where the kids are more into clubbing than calligraphy and drinking snake-blood sake than touring scared shrines.

Free for the first time, Ever sets out to break all her parents’ uber-strict rules – but how far can she go before she breaks her own heart?

Find It: Goodreads, Amazon, Bookdepository, B&N, Kobo, iTunes, Google Books


Review

Rating: πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ

I don’t usually read contemporary novels because I have never found ones that kept my interest to continue to read them before but this year I have found several books that I really enjoy and Loveboat, Taipei is one of those books.

Loveboat, Taipei is about self-discovery from all of the characters but mostly Ever Wong. She was forced to go a summer camp in Taiwan, her parents sent her there so that she could learn Mandarin to be better prepare for college to become a doctor. Even though Ever doesn’t want to become a doctor, she wants to go to school for dancing but to honor her parents tradition she is foregoing her dreams. Ever isn’t the only one who struggling with going after what they are truly want in life or do what their parents’ and tradition want them to do.

I thought that the characters were well-developed, Wen wrote them so that we can feel their angst, tension, see the sacrifices their families, and their struggles coming to term on what they want to do and what tradition dictates for them throughout the book. Loveboat, Taipei is an relate-able to all readers that struggle with what expectations their families want for them and finding out who they are truly want. All of the characters show a lot of growth from when they first came to camp and when they left especially Ever.

Loveboat, Taipei being Wen’s debut novel, it was a really good debut. I am looking forward to see what else Wen comes out with.

Favorite Quotes

“He’s tall and leanly buff – I’ve never seen a real-life guy with so much prime real estate in arm muscles.”

“It’s that six-degrees of separation thing. Only for Chinese Americans, it’s like, two degrees, know what I mean?”

“In the mall back home, heads sometimes turned when I walked by with my family, but now, my Asian-Americanness is invisible, erased like a shaken Etch A Sketch. It’s an unexpected relief.

“Nerd camp with Wong-family level regulations. Everything about the Dragon – including her Hokkien accent and short, permed hair – reminds me of Mom.”

“As I lunge and whirl my bo staff, dancing to the ancient drum beats, I feel all the parts of myself coming together: glad that a part of me is Chinese, a part of me is American, and all of me is simply me.”

“We are powerful. We can be anymore we want to be – daughters, sons, mothers, fathers, citizens, human beings. We showed Taipei that tonight. And in the days to come, we will show the world.”


About the Author

Abigail was born in West Virginia to a family of immigrants: Her mother is from the Philippines and her father from Indonesia, and her grandparents emigrated to those countries from Fujian and Shandong provinces in China.

Abigail grew up in Ohio and graduated from Harvard University and Columbia Law School. She worked in Washington DC for the Senate, as a law clerk for a federal judge, and now in Silicon Valley in venture capital and artificial intelligence. She also earned her Master of Fine Arts in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

In her spare time, she enjoys long walks with her husband and two boys, and hanging out with friends and over 100 family members in the Bay Area. She loves music and dances to it when no one is watching.

Find Abigail here: Goodreads, Website, Twitter, Instagram

Check out all of the rest of the blog tour for this awesome book!

Tour Schedule

Please enter the giveaway (below link) to get chance to win 1 of 2 copies of LOVEBOAT, TAIPEI by Abigail Hing Wen (US only).

GIVEAWAY

Start: January 1, 2020

Ends: January 15, 2020

Thanks for stopping by and don’t forget to check out the other bloggers tour post s and enter to win!

Goals

2020 Goals

Looking back on my 2019 reading challenge in Goodreads, I am happy that I accomplished reading more than what I did in 2018. I didn’t make my reading goal of 60 but I did read 58 books which a big thing for me since I had several months of reading slumps.

My title of this post is 2020 Goals because I decided for 2020 that I am going to not only focus on reading goals but also focusing other goals. Here are my goals for 2020.

Reading Goals

In 2019, I did more reading challenges than what I stated but for right now I am going to do these three and if challenge comes up that I would be interested in doing than I have the flexibility to do them.

Reading Challenges:

  • TBR and Beyond – Yearly Reading Challenge: I am moderator for TBR and Beyond Facebook group. I didn’t do a good job in tracking the books I read for this challenge last year so this year, I decided to setup a spreadsheet so that I can track the books better and hopefully I will be able to complete it.
  • Reading Rivalry Monthly Reading Challenge: Reading Rivalry is a Facebook group that holds monthly reading challenges that are theme and highlight three authors. I did do several of these challenges last year and it was a lot fun which help me read a lot more in the month.
  • Goodreads 2020 Reading Challenge: I have set my reading challenge on Goodreads to 50 books for 2020, I think this a realistic goal for myself and if I feel the need to increase throughout the year then I will be able too.

Reading Goals:

  • Book Series:Β I didn’t complete all of the book series I wanted to last year but I did complete other series. I completed Song of the Dead series by Sarah Glenn Marsh and The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black. I am going to focus on completing 3 book series this year this was it will be less pressure to get more than that done.
    • The Diviners series by Libba Bray
    • The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare
    • Jackaby series by William Ritter
  • Audiobooks:Β In 2019, I did read more audiobooks while I was at work and I am going to continue to do so.
  • Contemporary and Middle Grade books: I read some contemporary and middle grade books last year but I would like to incorporate a little more into my reading.
  • Backlist:Β Going to try to read my older books that I have been on my shelf for a long time. Let’s see if I can accomplish that with all of the great new books coming out in 2020.

Blog Goals

Last year, I didn’t do as well as I wanted to with my blog and I would like to make changes at being better at posting and be more creative with it. These are some ideas that I am thinking and planning to do so far in 2020.

  • Weekly posting: Plan to post weekly on book news and updating where I am at in reading that month.
  • Monthly postings: Top 10 Most Anticipated New Releases, Cover reveals, TBR and book hauls
  • Reviews: I really didn’t do a good job at posting my reviews after I read the books and I think what will be best for me is doing post all of the books I have read during the month at the end of the month as monthly book review post. I think it would be easier for me to do them monthly instead of trying to do them weekly.
  • Top 5: Post on monthly basis my top 5 starred books.

Personal Goals

This year I want to work on some personal goals that I had stop focusing on last year.

  • Health: I need to focus on my physical and mental so I can be better, stronger me for myself and my family.
  • Creativity: I stop working crafting projects for about 2 years now, I really want to get back into creating new projects.
  • Travel: I am going to start traveling more with my family and friends, I want to be enjoy life instead of letting it go by without taking the chances of doing it.

These are all of my 2020 goals that I would like to accomplished. I know the reading and blog ones will be doable. I know my personal ones I will need to work hard to accomplished and be an ongoing goals.

What are your goals for 2020?