TBR Challenge 2019: Contemporary

Rating: 3/5

Theme: Contemporary

Why? I’ve been in my cozy mystery mood and I just can’t help myself. I understand I’m supposed to be reading a contemporary, and technically, this is a contemporary mystery.

Review: I’ve already reviewed the first book in this series, so I will be talking more about the third book in the series since this is the one I read for this month.

I’ve read Leslie Budewitz other cozy series, A Food Lover’s Village Mystery, and truth be told I actually enjoyed that work a lot more than this one. There really isn’t anything wrong with this series, I just prefer the characters in that novel, I feel that we learn more about the minor characters compared to this one. Anyways, that being said, let’s get on with Killing Thyme.

Since the first book, we’ve already been introduced with an eclectic group of people. There are always new people in and out of the series and I feel that we never really get to know one particular person besides the main character. That really shouldn’t be a problem in most books, but in cozies that I enjoy, the minor characters play a big part in my enjoying a particular series. Although I find the protagonist, Pepper, interesting, I find that her choice in romance less than intriguing. I feel that the author is forcing this romance issue in the series and I really don’t think it’s working very well. I can’t wait to see what she will do with it in the next few books, which I’m not sure when it will be released.

As for the mystery itself, I enjoyed it. I think the author did a very good job in writing the mystery aspect of her book and although it got confusing a bit in the middle, I feel that everything came together in the end. This novel really focused on both cold case mystery and present mystery, which she was able to intertwine to make it into one solid story that our protagonist was able to unravel in the end.

For sure I’ll keep my eye out for more of Budewitz’s novels since I actually enjoy her writing. I do wish that she would hurry up in writing more in her series and not keep me waiting. I guess is my fault for inhaling all her books at once.

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Readathon Bust TBR

UGH! I should really do a much better job on researching readathons for me to do. I was planning on participating on the YA-a-thon that was hosted by someone on twitter, but I think it’s a bust. I may be looking at the wrong section, but I haven’t seen any update on it since May. Oh well. I’m still very interesting in reading all YA for the period that it was suppose to be set, so I guess I’ll just proceed on my own.

I’ve never participated in this readathon so I have no clue what to expect, but I assume that we should read YA books for this week. Anyways, it’s suppose to run from July 15 to 21, so I’ll just continue on with the plan. I won’t do any of the challenges that they provided last year, but instead just read the YA novels that I was planning on reading.

Here is my TBR for the YA-a-thon:

I really want to read as many sequels as I can this year and try to finish as many series that I can in 2019. I feel that I’ve fallen off that boat since I started getting really addicted to cozy mysteries again. This is the main reason why I wanted to participate in this readathon so that I can try to get into YA novels again.

OBSIDIO by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

I recently finished reading Gemina, the second book in the trilogy, and really enjoyed it. So I want to try to finish this series off before I can get into their new series that was just released this year.

THIS CRUEL DESIGN by Emily Suvada

I really don’t know why I haven’t read this book yet since it was one of my top reads of 2018. I really want to get to this book this year and I fear that if I don’t pick it up now, I won’t do so until next year.

FALLING KINGDOMS by Morgan Rhodes

I’ve had this book on my shelves for awhile now and I think it’s time that I start it. I was late in this band wagon and when I heard about this book it was four books in. So I decided to just wait it out and let all the books be released before I pick it up. Well it’s been awhile now and I still haven’t read it.

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So that’s it. That’s my TBR for a readathon that will not commence. Hopefully, I’ll be able to get to all three books.

Spring 2019 Haul

It’s been a while since a posted a haul and truth be told I haven’t been buying a lot of books lately since I got a membership to Scribds.

Also, I’ve been really picky about books that I would buy since I think they’re expensive since the hardcovers do go for at least $25 here in Canada, if you buy it new from the bookstore. So I usually try to wait until it comes out in at The Book Outlet so I can get it for cheaper.

Well, here are the books that I bought from April to June (all synopsis are from Goodreads):

Courting Darkness

Courting Darkness by Robin LaFevers

Death wasn’t the end, it was only the beginning…

Sybella has always been the darkest of Death’s daughters, trained at the convent of Saint Mortain to serve as his justice. But she has a new mission now. In a desperate bid to keep her two youngest sisters safe from the family that nearly destroyed them all, she agrees to accompany the duchess to France, where they quickly find themselves surrounded by enemies. Their one ray of hope is Sybella’s fellow novitiates, disguised and hidden deep in the French court years ago by the convent—provided Sybella can find them.

Genevieve has been undercover for so many years, she struggles to remember who she is or what she’s supposed to be fighting for. Her only solace is a hidden prisoner who appears all but forgotten by his guards. When tragedy strikes, she has no choice but to take matters into her own hands—even if it means ignoring the long awaited orders from the convent.

As Sybella and Gen’s paths draw ever closer, the fate of everything they hold sacred rests on a knife’s edge. Will they find each other in time, or will their worlds collide, destroying everything they care about?

Aurora Rising

Aurora Rising by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The year is 2380, and the graduating cadets of Aurora Academy are being assigned their first missions. Star pupil Tyler Jones is ready to recruit the squad of his dreams, but his own boneheaded heroism sees him stuck with the dregs nobody else in the Academy would touch…

A cocky diplomat with a black belt in sarcasm
A sociopath scientist with a fondness for shooting her bunkmates
A smart-ass techwiz with the galaxy’s biggest chip on his shoulder
An alien warrior with anger management issues
A tomboy pilot who’s totally not into him, in case you were wondering

And Ty’s squad isn’t even his biggest problem—that’d be Aurora Jie-Lin O’Malley, the girl he’s just rescued from interdimensional space. Trapped in cryo-sleep for two centuries, Auri is a girl out of time and out of her depth. But she could be the catalyst that starts a war millions of years in the making, and Tyler’s squad of losers, discipline-cases and misfits might just be the last hope for the entire galaxy.

Sanctuary

Sanctuary by Caryn Lix

Kenzie holds one truth above all: the company is everything.

As a citizen of Omnistellar Concepts, the most powerful corporation in the solar system, Kenzie has trained her entire life for one goal: to become an elite guard on Sanctuary, Omnistellar’s space prison for superpowered teens too dangerous for Earth. As a junior guard, she’s excited to prove herself to her company—and that means sacrificing anything that won’t propel her forward.

But then a routine drill goes sideways and Kenzie is taken hostage by rioting prisoners.

At first, she’s confident her commanding officer—who also happens to be her mother—will stop at nothing to secure her freedom. Yet it soon becomes clear that her mother is more concerned with sticking to Omnistellar protocol than she is with getting Kenzie out safely.

As Kenzie forms her own plan to escape, she doesn’t realize there’s a more sinister threat looming, something ancient and evil that has clawed its way into Sanctuary from the vacuum of space. And Kenzie might have to team up with her captors to survive—all while beginning to suspect there’s a darker side to the Omnistellar she knows.

Sorcery of Thorns

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

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So that’s are the only books I’ve bought within the three months of Spring. It’s sad, but I’m happy with my purchase.

 

 

Summer 2019 TBR

summer

My Sprint TBR was a bust since I did create it so much later than expected. Anyways, for this season I’m planning on reading a lot more cozy mysteries. I’ve been obsessed with them lately, as seen from my wrap-ups and TBR.

Usually, during the summer months, my reading decreases significantly so I usually stick to the genre that is easy for me. However, I really want to read some other genre before the season is done.

Anyways, here are the books I want to read before the end of Summer (September 21):

One of my goal this year is finish as many series as I can of those that I’ve started already. I’m doing ok on that goal, except for the fact that I’ve been reading cozies non-stop and I’ve put the rest of my books on hold. Anyways, I want to remedy that by trying to read at least these four books for the summer. I finished reading GEMINA a few months ago and OBSIDIO will finish me off with that trilogy. THIS CRUEL DESIGN is the second book in a trilogy, which will end beginning of 2020. So I think it’s just fitting that I try to read this for 2019.

As for the other two books, they’re the first in their series. FALLING KINGDOMS, I’ve had for so long now and I really want to try to get to this series this year. I’ve been pushing it back year after year, and I think it’s time that I make it my mission to start the series. As for THE DIVINERS, I’ve actually read this first book a few years back, but I want to continue on with the series. Unfortunately, I have no recollection of what happened, so I think it’s better that I pick it up again to keep me up to date on characters introduced.

Anyways, that’s it for my Summer TBR. I really do want to try to stick to this as much as possible, because I feel that I always fail in these seasonal TBRs.

Mini Review Monday

Last month I didn’t really get to read a lot of books. I was on ‘holiday’ (?). Not literally, but I feel that I’ve been reading a lot lately and I wanted to just give myself a month to mellow down. Even for the month of July, I’m going to take it slow. Next month is another story since the N.E.W.T.s readathon will be happening in August.

Anyways, I read mostly cozy novels last month and I usually write a review for those separately. I’m only adding Assault and Pepper because it’s the first in the series.

Assault and Pepper by Leslie Budewitz

This is a new cozy that I started last month and it was a good read. I’ve read another series of Leslie Budewitz that I really enjoyed, and since I’ve finished that series I decided to pick this one up. I remember that the first book from her other series I wasn’t that keen with,  but eventually I grew to enjoy them. I have a feeling this is the same, I wasn’t really attached to any of the characters, but I think by the second book I’d start enjoying them. The mystery itself is really good, it’s your usual type of cozy read and I enjoyed it a lot more than the first book from her other series. The second book is in my TBR for this month.

Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

I really wanted to enjoy this book. The concept was very interesting to me, but I just could get into the story. I wasn’t a fan of the characters and as the storyline progressed, that too became a blur for me. I eventually just tried to sit down and try to finish the book, just for the sake of finishing it. It’s safe to say that I’m not going to continue on with the story. I don’t really know what exactly about the book that just didn’t click with me, but I’m sorry this is just not for me. To be honest, though, the characters and the story is very interesting which should have just been up my alley, but oh well.

 

June Wrap-up and July TBR

OMG! I can’t believe that June is done and July is upon us. I feel that 2019 is going by way to fast for my liking. On a good note, the weather here in Canada is getting much better. I didn’t get much reading done for the month of June, but I kinda predicted that. Summertime is usually very busy for my family and myself so I know that my reading takes the toll. Also, my posting here.

Anyways, for this month I was able to read four books. Since I didn’t make a TBR for June, none of these are obviously on any list. Also, I kinda stuck to my comfort read since I’m really in the mood for cozy mystery. I did try to read at least one different book, but that didn’t really pan out.

Here are the books I read for June:

Like I’ve said I read mostly cozy mystery novels because I know these books will keep my interest. Mind you the one novel that wasn’t a cozy didn’t fair well with my expectation. I enjoyed the concept of Heart of Iron and the characters that were introduced within it, but I just didn’t get attached to anyone or even get involved with the story. Assault and Pepper is the new cozy that I’m trying out, I’ve read another series by Leslie Budewitz and enjoyed it. So I’m giving this one a chance as well. It’s ok, I enjoyed the mystery enough that I’m going to continue on with the next book.

JULY TBR

This month I’m going to be participating in readathon that has to do with YA books. I’m not really sure if there are challenges to it or even prompts since this is the first time I heard about it. I’ll post a separate TBR for that.

For this month I’m pretty sure I’ll be reading more cozy novels because it’s really an easy read for me. Plus, I really enjoy reading them. I’ll be continuing my read of The Gaslight Murder series and also will check a new series out. I might also continue on with the Cupcake Mystery Series, but I’m not sure yet.

Anyways, here is my tentative TBR:

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So that’s it for me this month. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I’ll get to these books for this month.

TBR Challenge2019: Historical

A Gaslight Mystery by Victoria Thompson

Rating: 3/5

Theme: Historical

Why? I started reading this cozy mystery series this year and I’m hooked. I love everything about it. The characters, the mystery, the nitty gritty parts and even the time period. Since this is set at the turn of the century, this series is just up the Historical alley.

Review: I know that I’m posting this super late, but the deadline totally slipped my mind and I read the book way before, so I’m still counting it as a pass. Anyways, I didn’t read all four books this month, but I did read Murder on Washington Square for this challenge. Since it’s not first in the series, I decided to include the other three. Mind you, you don’t really need to read the first three to understand the fourth book. There are some parts of the main characters life that you won’t understand if you start from the fourth book.

Anyways, I’ve been really enjoying this series. I’ve read at least the first five in the series and I see myself reading all 22 books of it. It may not be this year, but eventually. We are brought back to the beginning of the 1900’s in this novel and we meet Sarah Brant, our protagonist, who in her own way stand against the norm of what women are suppose to be during that century. She’s a mid-wife, who lives on her own and fends for herself. Although she faces a lot of prejudices, contempt from others, and wary glances, she still stand by her actions and deals with her own life. On the other hand, we have Scottish police, Frank Malloy, who deals with her independence, first with contempt and eventual acceptance as the novel progress. I enjoy the pairing of this two because they’re complete opposite and yet they compliment each other.

As for the mystery part of these novels. They’re actually well written. I enjoy that it veers a little bit away from the usual cozy mystery set-up and is not afraid to actually talk about the crime itself. In the fourth installment of the series, Murder on Washington Square, Sarah was contacted by an acquaintance in order to receive an advice for a predicament that he has entangle himself in. When the woman in question was found dead, Sarah takes it upon herself to help uncover the mysteries that the woman has.

This was a pretty good read. I highly enjoyed reading every minute of it and also love the progress that the characters are making. I can’t wait to pick up the rest of the books.