August Wrap-up and September TBR

I can’t believe I haven’t posted in over two weeks. I really thought I just posted my August TBR and here I am now posting my wrap-up. I’ve been so busy in August I didn’t even realize that August has come and gone just like that.

Last month I was such a hot mess that I didn’t even get to include these three books in my wrap-up. I started a new series by T.E. Kinsey, Lady Hardcastle Mystery. The books are a quick read and fun to boot because of all the shenanigans of the characters involved. I’ll probably write a mini review for the first three books in the series.

As for my actual August wrap-up, I was able to read nine books. It’s not as much as my previous months, but it was still pretty good considering I was very busy in August.

So these are the books I read for the month of August. I started a new series called High Society Lady Detective by Sara Rosett and since the setting is set in an era that I enjoy reading about, I can’t help but enjoy it a lot more. I know I read more cozies that I wanted to, but I want to be able to just sit back and relax with a good book after a day of a stressful life.

I’m definitely going to keep reading books in this series for the next few months until 2021 rolls around. I’m really hoping and praying that everything will go back to normal in a few months.

SEPTEMBER TBR

Like for the month of August, I’m going to play it by ear. I really want to be able to participate in a readathon this month and I have my eye set for one in particular that started September 1. I’ll probably post a TBR for that readathon.

All in all, 2020 has been a good year for me in terms of the books I’ve been reading. I’m praying that 2021 will give us a better living experience. Hope everyone still stays safe and be mindful of others!

Happy Reading ^_^

TBR Challenge #8: Family Ties

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the archivedThe Archived by Victoria Schwab

Rating: 3.5/5

Why? I didn’t realize that the August prompt is what I did for July, so to even things out, I decided to read a book with the July prompt in mind. I wasn’t really 100% sure if this book is about ‘family ties’ but it did have something to do with the protagonist’s brother. I’m glad that when I read it, it actually had something to do with family ties.

Goodreads Synopsis: Each body has a story to tell, a life seen in pictures only Librarians can read. The dead are called Histories, and the vast realm in which they rest is the Archive.

Da first brought Mackenzie Bishop here four years ago, when she was twelve years old, frightened but determined to prove herself. Now Da is dead, and Mac has grown into what he once was: a ruthless Keeper, tasked with stopping often violent Histories from waking up and getting out. Because of her job, she lies to the people she loves, and she knows fear for what it is: a useful tool for staying alive.

Being a Keeper isn’t just dangerous—it’s a constant reminder of those Mac has lost, Da’s death was hard enough, but now that her little brother is gone too, Mac starts to wonder about the boundary between living and dying, sleeping and waking. In the Archive, the dead must never be disturbed. And yet, someone is deliberately altering Histories, erasing essential chapters. Unless Mac can piece together what remains, the Archive itself may crumble and fall.

In this haunting, richly imagined novel, Victoria Schwab reveals the thin lines between past and present, love and pain, trust and deceit, unbearable loss and hard-won redemption.

Review: I’ve been trying to read for a few years now, but never really got around to picking it up. Since it’s one of the few books that I had lying around in out empty place, I basically had no choice but read it. I’m pleasantly surprised that I actually enjoyed it. To be honest, I really didn’t have high hopes for it. I’ve read a few other books of Schwab, her adult fantasy and her middle-grade paranormal, both were good reads, but was always hoping for more. However, with this novel, I actually enjoyed my reading experience. The pacing in the beginning was slow for my liking, but closer to the end it does pick up. I wish that the ending was a bit different, but I’ll probably check out the second book to see what happens to our protagonist.

I actually enjoyed the heroine, Mackenzie. She’s by far perfect, but I still enjoyed how Schwab wrote her. I love her closeness to her brother, and I can feel the pain that she’s going through as she tries to get over his death. I don’t have a sibling of my own and I can only imagine the pain she must be in. The family ties really does come into play here and we see how each of the family try to heal from this wound. All three are definitely trying to heal in their own spectrum. This novel definitely touch base on some difficult situation of death and moving on. I will definitely try to pick up the second novel in this series.

July Wrap-up and August TBR

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It’s been a hot minute since I’ve been online. I feel that August is such a trying time for me, especially with all the renovations, my new job and possibly moving to another place is giving me all the anxieties. Anyways, I did say I’m going to be away until probably the end of August/beginning of September, but I got some free time on my hands and so I thought I decided to post my wrap-up and tbr.  It’s long overdue and so it’s only fitting to post it now than in September. We’re also crashing in at my in-laws so internet and computer are not a problem here.

Anyways, last month I was able to read 14 books. Mind you, 90% of it are cozy mysteries and they’re ones from series I’ve been reading since the beginning of the year. I was able to read 3 of the 4 books on my TBR. I accidentally put my Akata Witch copy in storage and so that book is pretty much on hold for me.

Here are the books I read in July:

So those are the books that I’ve read in July. I kinda binged my Mrs. Jeffries series because they’re so easy to read. I really enjoy reading this series and the Gaslight Mystery series and I’m a bit sad that I’m close to the end of both series, I believe I will caught up with both series soon. The three middle-grade novels that I was able to read were all really good reads. I especially enjoyed Ghost Squad and wish that it was a series. I think the author would have made this world pop out even more if it wasn’t a single novel. I also enjoyed Nevermoor and can see why a lot of people compare it to the Harry Potter series. I’m going to continue on with the series because I want to see the progression of the characters as I get further into the series. I’ve also continued on with The Magic Misfit series and was able to pick up the second book in the series. It’s a very quick read and a very interesting series. Although, its a middle-grade novel, I feel that  the books touch on very important points. It’s definitely a series that should be read to all kids out there.

That being said, I think July was a very productive month for me. I was able to read all the books I wanted, minus Akata Witch, and was also able to pick up some cozies to boot.

AUGUST TBR

As I’ve said before August will be a hectic month for me because of all the things that’s on my plate. I’m not going to have a TBR for this month because I don’t want some added anxieties to me. However, I would probably pick up mostly cozies because they’re very easy and fun to read.

 

A Real Quicky

Renovations. That’s my reason for being away for a few weeks. I have no internet and no laptop. Soooo…I’m writing this on my phone. So sorry but life gets in the way of things. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll be back to normal by the end of this month, but no promises.

Stay safe and keep reading!

Summer TBR

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Since I wasn’t able to wrap-up my Spring TBR until a few days ago, my Summer TBR has been pushed back to today. Unfortunately, summer has always been my slow reading months since I tend to go out a lot more with my husband and family. However, I still want to be able to get to some books before the Fall season. Usually, during Fall, I’m more into murder mystery and thrillers.

I usually have five books in my seasonal TBR, but this summer I feel will be very hectic for me, so I’m going to decrease it to four books.

Yes, I know, mostly fantasy novels again. I feel like this is the genre I’ve been neglecting a lot and I used to read a ton of these when I was younger. I really want to get to A Court of Mist and Fury because I just want to be over with this trilogy, that goes for A Gathering of Shadows as well. Plus the other two are series that I want to start before the cold season rolls around.

So that’s it for my TBR. Wish me luck!

2020 Spring Wrap-up

I know! It’s almost August and I’m just doing my Spring Wrap-up. It’s so sad, the time has just flown by so fast, and to be honest, I totally forgot I made a Spring TBR.

Anyways, for those who don’t know what a Spring TBR is, it’s just books that I want to read for the Spring. Self-explanatory. I usually try to post these TBRs per season, so since my Spring is late, so is my Summer TBR.

So these were the books that I posted on my TBR. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to read all the five books on this line-up, but at least, three out of five is still pretty good.

The Wrath and the Dawn by Rene Adieh 3.5/5

I really enjoyed this novel. I haven’t gotten the change to write a review for it, but I think it’s time that I did. This is an interesting read because I went into it not really knowing much about it. So the reading experience was pretty good. I don’t really want to get too much into it since I do want to write a review for it.

Truthwitch by Susan Denard 4/5

Unlike the first book, I actually wrote a review for this one, that can be found here. That being said, I really enjoyed reading this novel as well. Before picking this up, I thought the novel will be too similar to Avatar the Last Air Bender, but after reading it, I was totally wrong. It’s too bad that I waited so long to pick up the books, which is fine since now that I did, I can continue on with the series.

The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson 4/5

This was another great read for me. I highly enjoyed the first book in this trilogy, and even though I didn’t like the second book as much as the first, it was still a great book. I really enjoyed the world-building and caste system in this novel. I’m not a fan of political fantasy novel, but it was still a good read, especially closer to the end. I’m not 100% sure if I want to continue on with this series, I’ll have to see.

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I like doing these seasonal TBRs because it allows me to include books that I forget to keep track of. Even though I don’t get to finish all the books in my TBR, I still think it’s a great idea for me and by the looks of it the books that I picked up for last season were all pretty good.

 

Mini-Review Monday

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It’s been a while since I was able to post a mini-review Monday. I haven’t really been reading a lot of books other than the cozies, and I usually put them all together when reviewing it. However, I have accumulated some books that I wasn’t able to review last month and the month before.

Soulless by Gail Carriger

This book has been on my TBR for a couple of years now, but just never had the drive to pick it up and read it. Finally, a couple of months ago, I participated in a readathon which was perfect for this book. I’m not much of a vampire/werewolf type of reader, but I actually enjoyed this. I really thought this was going to be a love triangle, and that’s really what drew me away from the novel, however, to my surprise there wasn’t any sort of triangle at all. I’m glad that I gave it another shot, and now I have a new series to add to my growing TBR.

I will definitely be reading the next few books to this series. I’m very fond of the time period that the story is set in and the characters are very entertaining. Instantly I enjoyed our protagonist, Alexia. She’s the type of heroine that I’m drawn into with her wit, sarcasm, and strong personality, it definitely gives readers an amazing reading experience.

Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson

I actually read this closer to the end of last year, but never got around to reviewing it. It’s still a very enjoyable read, especially if you’re a fan of any Disney Amusement Park. This is basically a re-read for me because I picked this series up years ago, when I was a lot younger, but never got around to finishing it. I really want to remedy that and I decided to restart the whole series again. It’s funny how my ‘taste’ in books has changed. I still enjoyed the book a lot, but I didn’t find it as amazing as when I read it as a kid. However, I would still highly recommend it to kids or parents who read to their kids.

I love the characters. I admit, there isn’t a diverse group of kids in the novel, but I still think it was a great start to the series. I also love that the story brings you around the different parts of Disney World, which makes you want to visit the park even more. I’m definitely going to keep reading the series because I do want to know what happens to the whole storyline. I believe there’s also a spin-off to the series, which I might also pick-up depending on how this series ends.

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

The author of this novel might be familiar to some here. That’s because she’s the same author that wrote the popular series, The Sookie Stackhouse Series. However, I actually prefer this book compared to the first book in the latter series. I’ve only read the first books in both series, so I can’t really judge for the whole series overall. I believe the reason why I enjoyed this novel a lot more is because of the murder mystery. Since this is a cozy series, the focus of the novel is more on the mystery of the novel and truth be told, it was a very interesting read. I’m definitely going to continue on with the series, I just totally forgot about it. I’ve been so engrossed with Mrs. Jeffries that I’ve neglected my other cozies. Anyways, like I said, this pilot novel is a great first book and I can’t wait to pick up the rest.

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So that’s it for my Mini-Review Monday. Not that many books that I reviewed, but I do want to try to review as many books as I can for this year. I think Mini-Review Monday will help me try and catch up with some novels that I’ve been neglecting.

TBR Challenge #7: Backlist

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Ghost SquadGhost Squad by Claribel A. Ortega

Rating: 3.5/5

Why? This month’s theme is Backlist. Instead of picking a particular book, I decided for a genre that I’ve been neglecting. So from my recollection and understanding, ‘backlist’ books are books from a later publication rather than recent releases. If I choose this way of representing ‘backlist’, then I’m going to be writing another review for my cozies. So instead I decided to choose a genre that I’ve been putting off and pushing to the back burner and that’s the middle-grade genre.

Goodreads Synopsis: Coco meets Stranger Things with a hint of Ghostbusters in this action-packed supernatural fantasy. For Lucely Luna, ghosts are more than just the family business. Shortly before Halloween, Lucely and her best friend, Syd, cast a spell that accidentally awakens malicious spirits, wreaking havoc throughout St. Augustine. Together, they must join forces with Syd’s witch grandmother, Babette, and her tubby tabby, Chunk, to fight the haunting head-on and reverse the curse to save the town and Lucely’s firefly spirits before it’s too late. With the family dynamics of Coco and action-packed adventure of Ghostbusters, Claribel A. Ortega delivers both a thrillingly spooky and delightfully sweet debut novel.

Review: I first saw this book as I was perusing my e-library. I didn’t really have anything to read and I wanted something easy and quick. I was also in the middle-grade section because I needed to get a move on with my middle-grade reading challenge for this year. Then, I happened upon this book. To be honest, the cover is what drew me in, then the title and finally the Goodreads synopsis. If those three don’t draw you in then I don’t know what will. Just look at the cover, I think it was a fantastic choice in terms of the graphics and the colors that were used. I also really like that the cover actually ties in with the story.

Like I said, this is a very nice and light novel to read and an amazing book for younger children. I’m not 100% sure if some of the things that occur in this novel are things that a certain culture represents, but if it does, I think it’s a great way to showcase someone’s beliefs. I love everything about it from the protagonist, Lucely, to her best friend, Syd, and even the cat of Syd’s grandma. I had a fun time reading it and I would have wished that this book was part of a series, I think it would be so amazing to see more character development from the young girls. For those who enjoyed City of Ghost written by Victoria Schwab or even the Disney movie Coco, then definitely pick this up for yourself or your child.

The main part that made me enjoy this novel the most is the relationship of the protagonist, Lucely, to everyone around her. I love that the author showcases such an amazing family representation, even though she only had her dad around, but at the same time, the sisterly bond between her and Syd is also amazing to read. I’ve been reading a lot of books with great friendships in it and it’s such a great change from the lonely protagonist trope that was a trend a couple of years ago. However, I also applaud the author for including the part with her mother. It just shows that a family can’t be perfect all the time, but it doesn’t mean that they can’t be happy.

This was a great read overall. I enjoy that the characters in the book aren’t perfect, I love that the author didn’t make them perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect family or a perfect home, and it nice that the author included this in her novel and shows that even with the imperfections in the family, one can still be happy. Children who will read this can learn something from the story of Lucely and it’s a great representation of a loving family.

I would have preferred a lot more world-building in the novel. I think it was a missed opportunity on the author’s part to broaden the world that she has created. I would have wanted more background on how Lucely started seeing ghosts and how witchcraft played a part in the community. I feel that she took small parts of ideas in her head to create this story. but didn’t really take the time to develop it. Writing-wise, it’s good and interactive, but I would have wanted more of Lucely’s world.

June Wrap-up and July TBR

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I was MIA last week and really just took a small hiatus. I wasn’t feeling well and I just needed the time to recuperate. I’m feeling a lot better now so let’s get on with my wrap-up. For the month of June, I read 11 books in total and three of those were from my TBR for the month. Also, I wanted to read some black author novels, so from that TBR, I was able to read 2/3 books that posted. Anyways, here are the books I read for the month of June.

I had a great reading month for June, even though I didn’t read as many books as the previous months, I was able to read different genre’s which is something good. I’ve been binging cozies for a few months now, so different genre is good for me. The highlight for me in June would have to be A Blade so Black by L.L. McKinney. I really enjoyed my reading experience and didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. It was a different take on a retelling of Alice in Wonderland and highly recommend it. I’m going to writing a separate review for it. I also really enjoyed the final installment to The Diviner’s Series by Libba Bray, The King of Crows, it’s a bittersweet moment since It’s a long time coming, but I will miss all the characters that I’ve grown to love over the years. Finally, I also read and wrote a review for The Forgotten Girl by India Hill Brown. I enjoyed reading this book a lot. It’s a unique ghostly YA novel, that I haven’t really heard much about. It’s definitely one of those diamond in the rough type of novels.

So overall, it was a good reading month. I have no complaints about the rest of the books that I read. As usual, I’m still enjoying the Mrs. Jeffries series and will continue reading it for the remainder of the year until I’ve caught up with the series.

JULY TBR 

Besides Akata Witch I want to focus on reading middle-grade books. When I did my Mid-year Check-in post a few weeks ago, I realized that I haven’t been giving much attention to my Middle-Grade reading challenge. So to remedy the situation, I decided to focus on reading middle-grade books for the month of July. Plus, I think these light fun reads are just what I need for the summer.

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So that’s it for now. I’m keeping my TBR light and I’m mostly not going to read as many books as previous months. The weather is so nice here in Canada now, and I really want to enjoy it as much as I can. You never know when things can change for the worse again.

Happy reading everyone and stay safe!

 

Mini-Review Monday: Mrs. Jeffries by Emily Brightwell Part 2

I’ve been prolonging review this series and since I’ve done the first part, found here, I’ve never got around to finishing the rest of the ones I’ve read. Anyways, here is part two of Mrs. Jeffries series book reviews.

Introduction to the series: The series takes place during Victorian England, a time period that I absolutely enjoy reading. We are introduced to Mrs. Hepzibah Jeffries the housekeeper of Inspector Witherspoon of Scotland Yard. So you may wonder what this woman knows about crimes, well she used to be married to a cop as well and has always helped her husband while he was still alive. Along with Mrs. Jeffries, an assortment of people in the house also help Mrs. Jeffries gather information for her to solve the case. There’s the coachman Smythe, Betsy the maid, footman Wiggins and the cook Mrs. Goodge. Along with these other characters, they are also being assisted by their friends Mrs. Luty Bell Crookshank and her valet Hatchet. All this eclectic group of individuals makes these books an amazing read. All these characters are usually present in all the books I’ve read so far, but there is one or two when someone is missing.

Book 6: Mrs. Jeffries on the Trail 

This was an interesting read because it was a bit confusing. Not the writing of the author, but rather the relationships between the characters. However, at the end of it all, it was a good read. This book takes us to the foggy streets of London, where a flower seller is found dead. Of course, Mrs. Jeffries and her assortment of amateur sleuths are at it again to help the inspector with this murder.

Book 7: Mrs. Jeffries Plays the Cook 

To be honest, I really found this book in the series one of the funniest. Only because Mrs. Jeffries literally had to play as the cook, since Mrs. Goodge was off helping one of her sick relatives, everyone was left fending for themselves. It’s always hilarious when Inspector Witherspoon has his moods, where he dislikes something, but is too nice to say anything. I find that such an endearing quality in him. As for the mystery itself, I quite enjoyed it. I like it when the group help solves a case of their own and it becomes tied in with the mystery of the Inspector. The group helps a woman named, Minerva Kenny, with her thieving ways, but when they got there, the group finds a body instead.

Book 8: Mrs. Jeffries and the Missing Alibi

Hmmm…I don’t want to say it, but I found the Inspector to be an idiot in this novel. I get that his intentions were good, but he could have been hanged for this one. So many eye-rolling happening while I was reading this novel. However, the mystery in this one has got to be my favorite from the whole series by far and if I have a say in it, I think the people deserved what they got.

Book 9: Mrs. Jeffries Stands Corrected

This is where Inspector Witherspoon shows us that he can solve his own crimes. He totally makes it up from the previous novel, because in this one, he is able to crack the case on his own time AND Mrs. Jeffries was at a loss here. I’m not saying that I dislike Mrs. Jeffries, far from it, but it’s also nice to know that the Inspector is not as bumbling as he is portrayed. The mystery itself wasn’t really that amazing, but then again the readers are not brought into the middle of the case since the group was unable to get information from the Inspector. Either way, it was an ok read.

Book 10: Mrs. Jeffries Takes the Stage

This was an ok read for me as well. It really wasn’t much of a mystery but it was still well written. As usual, I enjoy the different characters that the author has included and when you add in actors to boot, it’s even more dramatic. So of course it was entertaining, but I’ve read better books in the series in terms of the mystery. I would have enjoyed it more if Mrs. Jeffries wasn’t second-guessing herself the whole time.

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So that’s Book 6-10 of Mrs. Jeffries series. I’m still really liking the series as a whole and the characters are even more getting developed farther into the series.