what I read

What I Read: February 2018

This is a bit of an abbreviated What I Read, because I’m excluding Romanov, which I’ve already written about.  I read 6 books in total, putting me slightly ahead of my goal of 5 per month.  The 5 books I’m talking about here were all extremely good!


The Tea Dragon Society (Katie O’Neill) ★★★★★

This web comic turned graphic novel is so lovely!  Greta, a blacksmith apprentice, stumbles into the magical world of tea dragons.  They’re adorable, as is the little story told here.  I definitely wanted more from this world.

Crooked Kingdom (Leigh Bardugo) ★★★★

This was a little slow to start, also interrupted by the fact that my library loan ran out midway through and a had to wait to borrow it again.  Six of Crows was fun, but Crooken Kingdom had an emotional depth that blew me away.  While I enjoyed the heist story of Six of Crows, it’s the heart of Crooked Kingdom that was really compelling.

Chemistry (Weike Wang) ★★★

I read about Weike Wang who completed her scientific PhD at the same time as her MFA at two Boston universities.  She decided to become an author, instead of doing a post-doc and pursuing science.  I liked her already.  This, her debut novel, was good, but made me feel suffocated.  With a nameless narrator, you feel like you are the main character.  While she struggles with her PhD program, I felt like I struggled.  I didn’t like the nameless narrator at first, but the effect was successful.  I’d definitely be interested in reading more from Wang.

A Natural History of Dragons (Marie Brennan) ★★★★

This series, The Memoirs of Lady Isabella Trent, starts slowly, introducing you to the curious young Isabella, narrated by a much older, experienced Isabella.  She is infatuated with dragons and wants to study them, which a lady simply does not do.  As Lady Trent recounts her first expedition and drops hints about what happens, I found myself enthralled in the study and the character herself.  She’s a funny narrator.  This may not be an action-packed book, but anyone with an interest in anthropology would find it fascinating.

Daughter of Smoke & Bone (Laini Taylor) ★★★★

My first Laini Taylor book!  Strange The Dreamer has been in my stack for a while, and at this juncture, is still packed away, so I borrowed this from the library.  WOW is this story gorgeous.  I love Karou, and I love Taylor’s writing.  It’s so amazingly inventive.  With sinister angels invading the world, Karou finds herself targeted.  Of course, Karou isn’t exactly ordinary.– raised by strange monsters, collecting teeth for them in exchange for wishes.  I could’ve love that concept more.

What did you read in February?  How are you doing toward your reading goal?  Follow along for more on Goodreads!

What I Read in May

April was a slower reading month for me, so I was a bit worried coming into May that I was losing steam.  I managed to read a solid 9 books in May, though, so I’m happy with that!


When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore

I completely devoured this book.  It was so beautiful, full of magical realism, and a truly important story.  It’s a subtle romance between Miel, a strange girl who spilled out of a water tower and has a rose growing from her wrist, and Sam, who paints moons and hangs them in the trees around town.  I can’t recommend this book enough!

Illumination Night by Alice Hoffman

It’s been a while since I read Alice Hoffman.  (By that, I mean read Practical Magic in junior high.)  This was a quick read– interesting at times, ultimately a story about people.  There are parents worried about their young child’s lack of physical growth, but with their own issues as well, an old lady and her rebellious granddaughter sent as her caretaker.  I felt like it lacked enough resolution for me to really connect with it.

The One by Kiera Cass

The Selection Series really went downhill for me.  This was my least favorite of the original trio.  I know there’s one more in the core series, but I don’t think I’ll be reading it.  People that like these books seem to prefer just the story of America and Maxon.  Knowing he was going to ultimately choose her, the book just felt like filler to get to that point.

The Rose & the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

I have fond memories of reading The Wrath & the Dawn, since I did so while I soaked in the bathtub of my Kyoto hotel room.  I preferred this, its sequel, because of how much more magic played into the story.  While the first in the duology was more of a straight-forward retelling of One Thousand and One Nights, The Rose and the Dagger found its own story.

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

The Shadow and Bone trilogy really surprised me.  Once I got into the first ook, I truly enjoyed every moment of the quest for the magical beasts that would amplify Alina, the Sun Summoner’s, powers.  I loved the Darking, twisted and complicated.  We get the history of Morozova in this book and finally some resolution to the Alina and Mal story.  Ruin and Rising was extremely satisfying!

Library of Souls by Ransom Riggs

This was my least favorite of the Miss Peregrine’s series, I think.  It felt like a lot of filler, as did the second book, really.  It was a satisfying ending if you really enjoy this series, but I think I just didn’t?  I was intrigued by the first book, but after that the story really felt dragged out for me.

The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

After When the Moon Was Ours, I was DYING to read more by this author.  I can’t say that this one captivated me quite as much, in fact, I found it a little hard to get into.  The alternating perspective between two main characters is not as distracting as the fact that one of them speaks French and the other Spanish.  It’s about rival traveling performance troupes– both of which seem so cool!  Once I got into it, I loved it.  There is a heavy dose of magical realism at the end instead of throughout, which is a slightly jarring if you’re not expecting it!

An Ember in the Ashes by Saaba Tahir

Wow, this one really surprised me!  Again, I found it a bit difficult to get into.   Once we get into the world of the Masks, things get really interesting.  The story feels familiar, but unique.  It’s about Laia, whose brother is captured by the empire.  She joins the resistance to get him back, but is sent as a slave spy to a deadly military academy where she meets Elias, who struggles morally with his place in the empire.  It’s a great adventure, and I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel!

Follow along on goodreads to see what I’m reading now!

What I Read: January 2017

I was feeling a little intimidated by my Goodreads goal of 60 books this year, but now I’m feeling like I undershot… it’s all my Kindle’s fault!  It just makes it so easy to read books!  So, guys, I read 15 books last month…


I’m going to group these & point to some reviews I’ve already done to make this a little more manageable!


What I Read: October 2016

Okay, it’s pretty late in November to put this post up.  I’ve been busy with Pokémon Sun and Moon, duh.

The good news is, after a slow summer with books, October saw me picking up the pace again.  My trip to Tennessee with its immense flight delays helped me get two books under my belt and feel up on my reading game again.  Here’s what I read last month!


A Game of Thrones | I can’t even tell you how long ago I started this book.  I picked it up again and finished in in a combination mass market paperback/audiobook format.  I’ve been struggling with whether audiobooks count toward my goal of 50 this year, but if Goodreads says they do, I guess they do.  Anyway, the book is dense but it’s always better to read the original than watch a TV adaption, just saying.

Mistborn | I also started this before my summer slump and got like, 100 pages into it.  I picked it up again and started loving it.  Once I got into it, it was really a quick read.  This is my first foray in Sanderson and I must say, I’m excited to read more!  I picked up a copy of the next in the Mistborn series already.

Firewalker | I read this in the airport and on the tarmac.  I was iffy about the first one in this series, Trial By Fire, but I found myself thinking about the story and wanting to read this one… this is why I usually take breaks in between series!  I’m iffy about this one too.  We’re much more oriented in the world this time around, but being a middle novel in a series, this feels a bit transitional to me.

Soulless | A friend recommended the Parasol Protectorate to me last year.  I found all 5 in a used genre bookstore in San Francisco’s Mission district and picked ’em up for $4 a piece.  I read this on the plane ride home from Nashville, and it went pretty quickly.  It’s probably not something I would’ve chosen for myself, but the main character is engaging enough and I’ll definitely finish out the series.  I’m glad I got them used, though.

Never Fade | The second book in the Darkest Minds series was definitely not as good as the first.  I do like Alexandra Bracken, though– her worlds are so full and her writing is great.  I got a little emotional at times reading this one, believe it or not.  The ending was unsatisfying, but only in a way that means you need to keep reading.

Magonia | Confession: I read this title as Magnolia and thought it was that until the world came up in the book.  The first maybe 30 pages of this one are slow.  We dive right into the main character, Aza’s, pattern of thinking/speaking.  I grew to absolutely love the way Aza was written, but it’s not maybe the most engaging part of the story.  Once you do get to Magonia itself, you can’t put this book down.  I cried a bunch of times.  I freaking loved this book and read the sequel soon after… more on that in What I Read inNovember’s post!

So, 6 down in October and with November almost over, I can’t wait to share what I got through this month.

For a preview, follow along on Goodreads!

What I Read: June 2016


I crushed it in June, you guys.  I read 9 books this month, and I’m pretty sure the only reason I didn’t read more is because I had to order the final three books in the series I was plowing through.

See, I got sucked into the Percy Jackson series.  I bought the 5 book series in a box set at Target, thinking it would save me money as opposed to buying each book individually.  I was, admittedly, a little worried that I wouldn’t like them.  These are middle grade, not even YA, and I sometimes have issues with YA feeling a bit too young.  These books were not immature, though; sure, they were aimed at a younger audience, but they have literary merit.  The mythology is well done, unlike a certain book I read last month, and the books mature as the main character does.  They’re a bit silly, but they’re definitely funny and compelling!  I loved this series and as soon as I was done, I picked up the Heroes of Olympus series also by Rick Riordan.

I could only find the first two in my bookstore travels, so after reading those, I was forced to read something else as I waited for my three books to arrive.

I read Coraline by Neil Gaiman in a couple of hours– it’s a short one, but not as scary as I expected.  This is my third Gaiman book, and I’ve marked a couple more as to read.

I’ve also been using Audible this month, and although I’m not a huge fan of “reading” this way, it is a more constructive use of the quiet times while I work.  I listened to The Paper Magician by Charlie Holmberg.  The narrator took me a while to get used to, but I ended up loving the book!  I wished I’d read it instead of listened to it, though.

I’m already working my way through the rest of The Heroes of Olympus in July… check out my Goodreads for more!


What I Read in May

Now that it’s June, I wanted to update you on my progress toward my 2016 reading goal.  I’m now over the halfway mark and still a handful of books ahead of schedule.  Here’s what I read last month:

Dream House by Marzia Bisognin

I’m not sure what prompted me to pick this one up, as I’m not a CutiePieMarzia fan at all– not that I dislike her; I simply don’t watch her.  I think it conceptually sounded like something I would enjoy.  It was a super quick read– a disorienting haunted house story that comes together neatly with a bow on top at the end.  Nothing prolific here.

The Thinking Women’s Guide to Real Magic by Emily Croy Baker

This book takes a turn very quickly– you’re immersed in a fairy world and as disoriented as the main character.  At first, I wasn’t sure if I liked it or not.  It was actually a bit frightening at times.  The world created here was beyond interesting!  Once you’re kind of out of the fairy stuff, I actually think it slows down a little.  It definitely ended up being a great read, though.

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers

I liked this one a lot!  It felt very Italian to me… like ancient Venice, maybe?  The culture described was so cool.  A strict adherence to very real gods creating very real results on Earth.  The god served by the titular assassin calls for death; death is holy.  This is a revenge tale like Kill Bill– we cheer for Lea to kill the family that killed hers.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

I find myself disenchanted with YA series that I know I would’ve enjoyed had I been ten years younger.  I kind of rushed through this one, but still found myself liking the main character, Blue, so much.  In Blue’s life, ghosts and spirits are the norm and she knows she is destined to kill the one she loves with a kiss.  This teen mystery struck me more than anticipated, and I intend to continue with The Raven Cycle.

The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton

Holy canoli, this was absolutely one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read.  It’s a tale through time of the strange Roux family up until Ava Lavender herself, who is born with the wings of a bird.  It’s written gorgeously, and I absolutely couldn’t put it down.  Magic bleeds into real life where horrors are alive and well.  This is not a love story, but it is utterly beautiful.

The Alchemyst by Michael Scott

I wanted to like this series.  I can see a lot of things about it to like about it, with a plethora of myth references.  A lot of the time, what I read skews young for me.  Usually this doesn’t bother me; I know I’m reading YA.  Sometimes it just skews too young, and that’s where I think I land with this one.  I was expecting more of a Harry Potter tie, and it’s just not there.

Follow me on Goodreads to see what I’m reading now!  Please leave me some recommendations in the comments!