Bookworm Blogging, Monthly Wrap-Ups

January 2023 Wrap-Up

2023 has been… hectic so far. I’m hoping it’s starting low so we can go up from here!

Books Read:

  • Such Pretty Flowers by KL Cerra. 3 stars, review.
  • The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake. 3 stars, review.
  • A Little Bit of Feng Shui by Ai Matsui Johnson. 5 stars, review.
  • Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. 4.5 stars, RTC.
  • The Cabin at the End of the World by Paul Tremblay. 5 stars, reread, RTC.
  • Our Share of Night by Mariana Enríquez. DNF.
  • Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo. 4 stars, reread.
  • Polysecure by Jessica Fern. 3.5 stars, review.
  • Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse. DNF.

Books read: 7 books plus 2 DNFs (the exact same stats I had in December!)
Average rating: 4 stars (yay!!!)

Other Media:

Short Reads & Watches

My Month in Photos:

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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

Such Pretty Flowers [review]

Such Pretty Flowers by KL Cerra
To be published by Bantam on February 7, 2023
my rating: 3 stars
Goodreads avg:
3.58 (as of 2023-01-02)
Spoiler-free review
Goodreads

disclaimer: I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for review consideration. Quotes have been taken from the advanced copy and may differ from the final publication.

Releasing next week, Such Pretty Flowers was a solid thriller (with some horror elements) that moves along steadily as we follow Holly in the search for the truth about her brother’s death. Holly becomes obsessed with the enigmatic Maura, who her brother Dane was newly engaged to. This was a quick read — I devoured it in just two days. My only qualms were that I found myself bored at parts and that some of Holly’s actions seemed a little absurd to me. I know characters often make ridiculous decisions in thrillers but I was often internally screaming at Holly as she continued to fall in deeper and deeper. I definitely recommend this to thriller fans, especially those with an interest in botany.


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Bookworm Blogging, TBRs

February 2023 TBR

I’ve decided to [gasp] start doing monthly TBRs? On average, I read ~2740 pages per month (easier, I think, than worrying about books per month since their lengths can vary so much). I decided to give myself a goal of 2055 pages for my TBR; this is about 75% of my monthly average so it gives me some leeway for mood reading and for slower reading months. I am currently reading Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler (~165 pages of 336) and Black Sun by Rebecca Roanhorse (115 pages of 454). I’ll group these into my leeway category (depending on the results of next month, I may include current reads in my TBR pages).

  • Hell Bent by Leigh Bardugo (496 pages): I just re-read Ninth House in preparation to pick this up and I’m very excited!
  • The Anatomy of Jane by Amelia Lefay (261 pages): This has been on my polyamory TBR and I’m hoping I enjoy it.
  • Answering Tough Interview Questions for Dummies (320 pages): A re-read! I graduate in May and need to prepare myself for some job interviews.
  • A Shadow in the Ember by Jennifer L. Armentrout (647 pages): This is on my owned TBR and I’m excited to pick it up after getting caught up on the Blood & Ash series.
  • The Edge of the Abyss by Emily Skrutskie (320 pages): I read the first in the series years ago and need to finish this sapphic pirate duology!

Do y’all have monthly TBRs and if so, what are you planning on reading? If not, what do you think you’ll be in the mood to read this month?

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Book Tags, Bookworm Blogging

Burn, Rewrite, Reread #4

I haven’t done this meme since 2019 but I thought it would be fun to try it out again!

What you have to do is: randomise your read shelf on goodreads, choose first 3 books & then decide which one and why you want to burn, to rewrite & to reread.


Burn: Braised Pork, I feel so bad but I just didn’t ‘get’ it.
Rewrite: Ancillary Justice, this was a little bit of a struggle for me and I think I could love it with some adjustments.
Reread: Everless. Hear me out! I gave this 4 stars when I first read it and… think I’d probably like it less now? But couldn’t tell unless I reread it.


Burn: Dangerous Girls, I tagged this as queerbaiting on Goodreads and it’s one of those thrillers where the end is completely out of left field — because the author didn’t give any indication it could go that way.
Rewrite: I did not write reviews for either of these books, but I’m going to go with The Lost World?
Reread: Because Through the Woods was just so unique that I don’t want to rewrite it.


Burn: The Horse Whisperer, I’m sure if I read this now I would not have a great time with it.
Rewrite: The Empress of Salt and Fortune, I wanted to love this so much but it just didn’t do much for me.
Reread: Lolll sorry, The Crown of Gilded Bones. I ate up this series in 2022.


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Book Reviews, Bookworm Blogging

The Atlas Paradox [review]

The Atlas Paradox by Olivie Blake
Published by Tor Books on October 25, 2022
my rating: 3 stars
Goodreads avg:
3.74 (as of Jan 8, 2023)
Spoiler-free review
Goodreads

I’ve seen people say that it feels like this was meant to be a duology that Blake had to expand into a trilogy and I agree with that sentiment. Thinking back, I remember almost nothing that happened in this book. It was a lot of talking, repetitive conversations, and exposition, I guess? This suffers immensely from second book syndrome and the only thing that kept me going was the characters and their relationships. Thankfully I still found myself deeply invested on that front. I expect the next book to be more cohesive and plot-filled. And as always, I ship the polycule. ❤

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Bookworm Blogging, Monthly Wrap-Ups

December 2022 Wrap-Up

Onward to 2023.

Books Read:

  • After the Eclipse by Sarah Perry. 5 stars.
  • What Moves the Dead by T Kingfisher. 3 stars.
  • Sand by Hugh Howey. 3 stars.
  • Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake. 3.5 stars.
  • How to Keep House While Drowning by KC Davis. 5 stars.
  • The Woman in the Library by Sulari Gentill. 2 stars.
  • Across the Sand by Hugh Howey. DNF.
  • Preludes & Nocturnes by Neil Gaiman. DNF.
  • The Daughters of Izdihar by Hadeer Elsbai. 5 stars.

Books read: 7 books plus 2 DNFs.
Average rating: 3.79 stars

Other Media:

My Month in Photos:

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Bookworm Blogging

Favorite Backlist Reads of 2022

I already wrote a Favorite 2022 Releases list, so here are my favorite books of 2022 written in previous years.

  • Know My Name, 5 stars. Absolutely devastating, but beautifully written.
  • The Fifth Season, 5 stars. I need to finish this trilogy, also a devastating read.
  • Why Fish Don’t Exist, 5 stars. I listened to the audiobook version of this and had to sit in my driveway after a long ride to finish it because I just couldn’t stop.
  • Detransition, Baby, 5 stars. A really amazing and insightful read.
  • Near the Bone, 5 stars. I read this essentially in one sitting. An emotional read, but also very spooky.
  • From Blood and Ash, 5 stars. I inhaled this series.
  • A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire, 5 stars. See above.
  • How to Keep House While Drowning, 5 stars. A really gentle self-help book for those who struggle with house cleaning.
  • The Paper Palace, 4.5 stars. Thinking about this still makes me so emotional.
  • Milk Fed, 4.5 stars. I love Melissa Broder so much, but her books are not for everyone.

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Bookworm Blogging

Favorite 2022 Releases

  • Book Lovers, 5 stars. I loved the dynamic between these two characters and the play on Hallmark movies.
  • Sweet Berries, 5 stars. Another excellent paranormal romance from CM Nascosta.
  • Delilah Green Doesn’t Care, 5 stars. I loved this soo much. I’m looking forward to book 3.
  • Just Like Home, 4.5 stars. I know the ending of this was really divisive, but I really appreciated it.
  • Dead Silence, 4 stars. This lost me in some ways, but the Ghost Ship in space vibes were immaculate.
  • The Odyssey, 4 stars. I think most people won’t end up enjoying this, but it really was a good read for me.

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Bookworm Blogging

2022 Wrap-Up

Statistics

I read 86 books in 2022! 81 of these were first-time reads, 5 were re-reads, and 15 were DNFs.

My most read genre was Fantasy (26 books, 9812 pages), followed by Literary Fiction (18 books, 5469 pages) and Horror (14 books, 4387 pages).

I read primarily ebooks this year!

Relatedly, almost 70% of my reads were from the library. Almost 12% were ARCs, which were almost all digital.

I rated most books 4 stars (104 books), followed by 3 stars (42 books) and 3.5 stars (42 books). My average rating was 3.52 stars.

I averaged 7.2 books per month and 2740 pages per month.

I used Brock Roberts’ reading spreadsheet to generate these statistics! I intend to read more intentionally in 2023, so I’m hoping my average rating ends up a little higher. 🙂 Please share if you’ve put together any of your statistics!


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Bookworm Blogging

Series Progress

I took a look at my series in progress recently (I keep track of them in my general reading spreadsheet) and was inspired to post about them by Destiny’s recent blog post. I currently have eight series I decided to DNF this year, seven series I’m caught up on, one series I completed this year, and eleven series that I can and should be continuing.


DNFs

  • The Dreamer Trilogy. I really liked Call Down the Hawk but Mister Impossible was a slog for me to try to get through. I looked up a plot summary and decided to officially DNF the series.
  • Outlander. Outlander had its issues, but I did enjoy it! At almost 1000 pages, Dragonfly in Amber was dragging for me, even listening to the audiobook at almost 2x speed. This is a long series of long books and I think I’m just out.
  • Throne of Glass. I don’t even have any complaints about this series, I just feel completely unmotivated to finish. Perhaps I’ll come back to it another time.
  • Winston Brothers. I read the first in this series back in 2020 and liked it, but I’ve realized I just am not going to end up prioritizing this series and should just DNF it.
  • Dune. The Dune audiobook was good! Unfortunately I found Paul unbelievably boring. After checking and seeing that Dune Messiah continues to follow him, I decided to DNF.
  • Dublin Murder Squad. Oh my god, I thought In the Woods was SO boring. I know the next book doesn’t follow Rob, but I just can’t bring myself to continue.
  • The Radiant Emperor. Book two hasn’t even been released yet, but I found She Who Became the Sun too focused on political intrigue for my tastes. The book was good! Just not for me.
  • The Sandman. This is barely worth counting, because I DNFed Preludes & Nocturnes after 50 pages, but I like to track all series I start. Anyway, just not for me.
  • The Sand Chronicles. I also DNFed Across the Sand, so I won’t be continuing this if Howey decides to write more.

Caught Up

  • The Numair Chronicles. The first book came out back in 2018 and I have simply been waiting. I know Tammy is still working on this (I’m in her fb fan group and she’s relatively active), I’m unsure as to when we can expect it.
  • The Adventure Zone. I adore this podcast, and the graphic novel follows the first season of it. The next installment is out in February and I have already preordered it!
  • The Sixth World. I am patiently awaiting the next book in this series. We don’t have a title, cover, or release date so… I continue to wait.
  • Alex Stern. It’s divisive, but I really liked Ninth House. Hell Bent comes out in just over two weeks and I’ve also preordered it!
  • A Court of Thorns and Roses. My beloved guilty pleasure. I’m not sure when the next book is going to be released, but I’m in no rush.
  • Blood and Ash. Okay, I am conflicted. I really loved the first two books, but the third was eh, and the fourth was… not great. The only reason I finished it was for [redacted]. This does just seem like the first book from a different POV though, so hopefully I’ll enjoy it.
  • Bright Falls. I absolutely adored Delilah Green Doesn’t Care and could have gotten along better with Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail, so I am cautiously optimistic for Iris Kelly Doesn’t Date. I didn’t looove Iris as a character, but I think getting her direct POV will help.

Ongoing

  • Cafe. I decided to skip the second book because it’s not a dynamic I’m a fan of, so I’m headed straight into this standalone novella next.
  • Loose Ends. I loved Xeni‘s character in Rafe and am excited to see her in a (I believe) fake marriage scenario.
  • The Girl With All the Gifts. I have no idea how they’ll follow up the first, but I am excited to find out.
  • Cambric Creek. No judgement, please. It’s a good series!

Completed

  • The Scholomance. I found this sort of anticlimactic, but was frustrated by a lot of the reviews I’ve seen. I am sending this to my friend Hadeer so we can discuss.