Sunday, December 1, 2019

November Re-Cap

What a month November has been.  15 - 20 books total, depending on if you count the Forward Collection separately.  There were a few short (Novella length) ones, though.  None of my books were bad except maybe The Perfect Stranger...I didn't really care for that one.  I also DNF'd one book this month, Bid My Soul Farewell --Book 2 in the Give My Dark My Love series.  I just couldn't get into it, and I really tried, too.  Stand-outs were Star Wars Most Wanted, This is Our Story and The Unfortunates.  I also have really liked The Cruel Prince and Neverworld Wake.

BOOKISH RECAP FOR NOVEMBER 2019⇢


(Audiobook) The Cruel Prince by Holly Black
THE FOLK OF THE AIR #1
FEATURING⇢
Fairies
I Don't Feel That This Is YA
More Like YA-ish
Court Intrigue, Cruel Intentions,
Poisonings, Betrayals,
Decadence & Debauchery
A Few Splashes of Romance

Finish Date: 11/02
MY RATING⇢ 4.3 STARS | GRADE A-






FEATURING⇢
Science Fiction
Thought-Provoking
End Of The World Shit
Blake Crouch
Veronica Roth
Amor Towles
Paul Tremblay
Andy Weir
N.K. Jemisin
Finish Date: 11/05
MY RATING⇢ 3.3  STARS | GRADE B-





(Audiobook) I'm Not Dying With You Tonight by Kimberly Jones & Gilly Segal

FEATURING⇢

Part of the Big Library Read in November
Racial Tension
Rioting & Looting
Bonding
Young Adult

Finish Date: 11/07
MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+






(Audiobook) The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

FEATURING⇢

Mystery
Crime Fiction
New Girl In A Small Town
Past & Present
The MC Has My Name

Finish Date: 11/11
MY RATING⇢ 2.3 STARS | GRADE D+








(Audiobook) Rolling In the Deep by Mira Grant

FEATURING⇢

Killer Mermaids
Cruise Ship Ride From Hell
They All Die In The End
Novella Prequel
For Into The Drowning Deep

Finish Date:  11/12
MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+






(Audiobook) Star Wars Most Wanted by Rae Carson

FEATURING⇢

Han & Qi'ra's Story...Prequel to Solo
A Galaxy Far Far Away
My First Star Wars Read!
Droids, Wookies, Storm Troopers and Of Course, Han
Way Cool Sound Effects In The Narration

Finish Date: 11/13
MY RATING⇢ 5 STARS | GRADE A+







(Audiobook) The Weight of This World by David Joy

FEATURING⇢

Harsh Living
Drug Dependency
Meth-Amphetamines 
PTSD
Gritty Realistic Fiction
Poignant & Brutal
TW: Dog Violence

Finish Date: 11/15
MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+






(Audiobook) Wilder Girls by Rory Power

FEATURING⇢

The Tox
Possibly Apocalyptic
Quarantined Island
Dark Academia - All-Girls School
A Splash of Girl 2 Girl Romance
Horror-if-ic Body Altering

Finish Date: 11/17
MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+





(Kindle eBook) Echoes of Time by Calia Read
SURVIVING TIME #3
FEATURING⇢
Time-Travel
Romance
Mystery
Sex-Plicit
Quit Using Sex As Plot Filler...
Rating for Book #1 - 3 STARS
Rating for Book #2 - 4.3 STARS
Finished Series!!!

Finish Date: 11/18
MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+





(Audiobook) Solo: A Star Wars Story by Mur Lafferty

FEATURING⇢
Star Wars Disney Canon
Movie Adaptation
Han Meets Chewy
L3 - One Of Coolest Droids Ever!
Lando and His Capes
Qi'Ra, I Loved You In Most Wanted...
...But Not So Much In This
How Han Acquired the Millennium Falcon

Finish Date: 11/20
MY RATING⇢ 4.2 STARS | GRADE B+





(Audiobook) Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

FEATURING⤏

⬥Australia Setting
⬥Murder Mystery
⬥Thriller/Suspense
⬥Impostor Daughter
⬥You Got Me w/the Whodunit
⬥Needed A Second Narrator

Finish Date: 11/22
MY RATING⇢ 3.5 STARS | GRADE B-





(Audiobook) This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston

FEATURING⇢

⬥Small Town Louisiana
⬥Murder Mystery
⬥Suspense Thriller
⬥Young Adult (HS Seniors)
⬥Dual POV'S
⬥Twisty
⬥Splash of Romance

Finish Date: 11/26
MY RATING⇢ 4.7 STARS | GRADE A





(Audiobook) The New Hunger by Isaac Marion

FEATURING⇢

⬥Zombie Apocalypse
⬥The End of the World As We Know It
⬥Prequel to Warm Bodies
⬥A Glimpse of the Past and a Path to an Astonishing Future

Finish Date: 11/27
MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+





(Audiobook) Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

FEATURING⇢
⬥A Totally Original Premise
⬥Sort Of Like Groundhogs Day (the Movie)
⬥Reliving the Same Day Over & Over
⬥A Sort of Death Limbo
⬥Murder Mystery
⬥Science Fiction w/a Subtle Overlay of Supernatural

Finish Date: 11/29
MY RATING⇢ 4.3 STARS | GRADE A-






(Kindle eBook) The Unfortunates by Kim Liggett

FEATURING⇢

⬥Chilling Horror Elements
⬥Suspense Thriller
⬥Caving
⬥YA (High School Seniors)
⬥Atonement
⬥A Short Read That Packs A Punch

Finish Date: 11/30
MY RATING⇢ 4.5 STARS | GRADE A-





Plus one Audiobook that I DNF'd



That's 8 Novella length Audiobooks, 10 Audiobooks, and 2 Kindle eBooks.  So, 15 - 20 Total...with a page count (including Audio's) of 4,363.

Best Cover of the Month goes too...


I love this cover!




The Unfortunates by Kim Liggett





FEATURING⇢

⬥Chilling Horror Elements
⬥Suspense Thriller
⬥Caving
⬥YA (High School Seniors)
⬥Atonement
⬥A Short Read That Packs A Punch


LINK TO SYNOPSIS 
(AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 4.5 STARS | GRADE A-



MY THOUGHTS


Once, I got a third of the way through this, I couldn't put it down.  The caving elements are so very compelling.  And Freaky.  Being trapped in a cave with no light in small claustrophobic-like spots...worse-nightmare-ever kind of stuff.

This is my second Kim Liggett book, the first being The Grace Year, which is one of my favs of 2019.  Her writing ensnares you.  She takes these implausible ideas and makes them imaginable, tangible even.  I totally recommend this for a quick, freaky-scary kind of read.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 4.3/5
Characters 5/5
The Feels 4.5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Addictiveness 4.5/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.3/5
Originality 4.5/5
Ending 4.5/5
_____

Book Cover It's bloody fantastic.  Others have said that it doesn't go with the story...but I think it actually does.
Setting Crystal Falls Caves Near Richmond
Source Kindle eBook (Library)
eBook Length 224 Pages

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl



FEATURING

⬥A Totally Original Premise
⬥Sort Of Like Groundhogs Day (the Movie)
⬥Reliving the Same Day Over & Over
⬥A Sort of Death Limbo
⬥Murder Mystery
⬥Science Fiction w/a Subtle Overlay of Supernatural
⬥With Audio Performed Wonderfully by Phoebe Strole


(AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 4.3 STARS | GRADE A-


MY THOUGHTS


You meet up with your group of friends that you've estranged yourself from since the death of your boyfriend, Jim.  He was the one who was loved by everyone.  You arrive home, after a night out, and a near-miss accident.  Then you get a mysterious visit from a kooky old man...and the next day...is the same as the last.  And Repeat...again and again.  The Neverworld Wake is insane!

Like Groundhog's Day but darker, way less funny...and with a mystery to solve.  A twisty, turn-y kind of ride that never lets up until the end.  Ultimately, to end the Wake they have to solve the mystery of Jim's death and the farther they dig, the twistier and fantastical things get.  Only one of them can beat death...who will it be.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 4.3/5
Narration Performance 4.5/5
Characters 3.8/5
The Feels 4/5
Pacing 4/5
Addictiveness 5/5
Theme or Tone 4.3/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4.2/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 4.3/5 Cliffhanger Nope.
_____

Book Cover Trippy...just like the story...
Setting Wincroft on the coast of Rhode Island
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 8 hours, 47 minutes


The New Hunger by Isaac Marion


FEATURING⇢

⬥Zombie Apocalypse
⬥The End of the World As We Know It
⬥Prequel to Warm Bodies
⬥A Glimpse of the Past and a Path to an Astonishing Future
⬥With Audio Performed by Candace Thaxton (one of my least favorite narrators...)

LINK TO SYNOPSIS 
(AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+


MY THOUGHTS


If you felt you were cheated by Warm Bodies because of the lack of zombie murdery type scenes...then this prequel should help fulfill that need.  While still taking a deeper, more literary look into the zombie apocalypse scenario, it shows Julie at the age of 12 and first made her way to Seattle with her parents. It has a second POV from R when he first becomes a zombie and lastly a third POV, which is pivotal to R's story.  The world, overall, that the author has created is a thought-provoking take on zombies.

At around 190 pages this is all story and no filler with previews of other books.  Also, did you know that there are two more books after Warm Bodies?  I knew about The Burning World, but there is also a third full novel-sized book...titled The Living, but so far it's only available on Kindle, I'm hoping they make an Audio Version as well since it's over 400 pages.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 4/5
Narration Performance 3/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 4.2/5
Pacing 4.3/5
Addictiveness 4/5
Theme or Tone 4/5
Flow (Writing Style) 3.5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 4/5
Ending 4/5 Cliffhanger Not really...but sort of.
_____

Book Cover Very cool...I quite like it.
Setting Seattle mostly
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 3 hours, 24 minutes

This Is Our Story by Ashley Elston



FEATURING⇢

⬥Small Town Louisiana
⬥Murder Mystery
⬥Suspense Thriller
⬥Young Adult (HS Seniors)
⬥Dual POV'S
⬥Twisty
⬥Splash of Romance
⬥With Near Perfect Audio Performed by Amy Melissa Bentley & Eric Michael Summerer



LINK TO SYNOPSIS 
(AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 4.7 STARS | GRADE A


MY THOUGHTS


The perfect November read...5 boys go out hunting in the morning, a little later...there is only 4 boys left. 

Told for the most part by a girl who lives in the same town and had been texting with the boy who was killed and finds herself in a position to be able to investigate the tragedy via her after school internship-type job with an attorney on the case.  In addition, there is also one of the boys narrating...it's obvious that it's one of the four boys that was not shot and killed...only you have no idea which one.  This other narrator, despite his parts being sporadic and succinct, really ratchets up the mystery.

There is twists throughout the story that really serve to keep you invested in the story, including an unseemly little sub-plot.  Overall, this is an exceptional mystery/thriller in the YA-ish genre that was excellent in Audio format.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 4.5/5
Narration Performance 4.5/5
Characters 4.3/5
The Feels 4.3/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Addictiveness 5/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 5/5
Backdrop (World Building) 5/5
Originality 5/5
Ending 5/5 Cliffhanger Nope.
_____

Book Cover Who doesn't love deer heads hanging on the wall...oh yeah, me!  But seriously, it's perfect for the story.
Setting Belle Terre, Louisiana
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 8 hours, 47 minutes

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra


FEATURING⤏


⬥Australia Setting
⬥Murder Mystery
⬥Thriller/Suspense
⬥Impostor Daughter
⬥You Got Me w/the Whodunit
⬥Needed A Second Narrator
⬥ With Narration Performed by Saskia Maarleveld

LINK TO SYNOPSIS
(AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 3.5 STARS | GRADE B-



MY THOUGHTS


While I always enjoy Saskia Maarleveld's narration...this could have benefitted from a second narrator for each of the Bec's.  The constant POV changes were hard to keep up with, especially with only one narrator for each POV.

I did not see that twist coming...so well done on that.  But...yeah there's a but, I felt like the ending, overall had some believability issues.  I'm just not so sure that things could have played out the way they did. It was like, whoa, here's this unforeseen twist and this should ratchet up the suspense, but it was written in a way that downplayed everything that was going on.  Basically, it was weird...but also, compelling.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 3.8/5
Narration Performance 3.5/5
Characters 4/5
The Feels 4.3/5
Pacing 4/5
Addictiveness 4.5/5
Theme or Tone 3.7/5
Flow (Writing Style) 3/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4/5
Originality 4.5/5
Ending 3/5 Cliffhanger Nah...
_____

Book Cover Kind of blah...
Setting Australia
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 7 hours, 22 minutes.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Solo: A Star Wars Story

FEATURING


Star Wars Disney Canon
Movie Adaptation
Han Meets Chewy
L3 - One Of Coolest Droids Ever!
Lando and His Capes
Qi'Ra, I Loved You In Most Wanted...
...But Not So Much In This
How Han Acquired the Millennium Falcon


With Audio Performed by Marc Thompson

LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 4.2 STARS | GRADE B+



MY THOUGHTS


Full Disclosure:  This is my second ever Star Wars read...and it won't be my last.  I've seen all the movies, including Solo...which I just watched after finishing this.  And while I really like the Star Wars movies, I'm not a die-hard fan, like some others out there are...you know those people, they know who every character is, and what planet they came from, and all their stats, basically.  I don't follow the stories that well...in fact, when I saw Rogue One in the theatre, I didn't even know that they were all going to die in the end...I was like, what, they just died?  My husband rolled his eyes at me.  Furthermore, I don't even care that Disney took it all over.  It totally works for me.  One other thing, I find I have a better idea of what is going on after having read these two books...at least in regards to the Movie Solo.

I didn't love this like I did Star Wars Most Wanted...I think Rae Carson captured the true personality of Han Solo much better than Mur Lafferty did.  Although the narration performed by Marc Thompson did make Han...well, more Han.  I have to say though, that L3 gave him some competition for best character, I really love how all the droids in the Star Wars Universe have such personalities, even R2D2, who only communicates with beeps has character.  It's quite refreshing when we're constantly bombarded with the robots that want to kill us all, like the Terminator Universe.

Overall, I really liked what these two books (Solo and Most Wanted) together gave me...a background on Han Solo, my favorite character in Star Wars Universe.  Well, other than the droids of course.  



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 4.5/5
Narration Performance 5/5
Characters 4.5/5
The Feels 3.5/5
Pacing 4.3/5
Addictiveness 4.3/5
Theme or Tone 5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.3/5
Ending 4/5 Cliffhanger ...you could say that.
_____

Book Cover Movie Cover...
Setting Star Wars Universe
Source Libby Audiobook (Library)
Length 9 hours, 32 minutes

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Echoes of Time by Calia Read

SURVIVING TIME #3

FEATURING


Time-Travel
Romance
Mystery
Sex-Plicit
Quit Using Sex As Plot Filler...
Rating for Book #1 - 3 STARS
Rating for Book #2 - 4.3 STARS
Finished Series!!!


LINK TO SYNOPSIS (AUTHOR'S WEBSITE)


MY RATING⇢ 4 STARS | GRADE B+



MY THOUGHTS


Time Travel books can be tricky and this series requires a definite suspension of belief, but other than that, and one other issue that I will get too, this series was pretty enjoyable.  I adore the characters, Etienne, Serene, Nathalie and of course, Livingston.  Riley was a newcomer in this third book and I really liked her too.  I really loved seeing Etienne in modern times.  It was amusing to see him navigate the technology, guys night out, and the bad manners of our century.

While there was some actual story here, my only complaint is all the explicit sex...seriously, it's okay to leave some of those to our imaginations.  I despise when authors use a gratuitous amount of sex scenes just to make a book longer.  I can only trust a handful of romance writers to not do this...and apparently, this author is not one of them.  But let me just say...I know quite a few readers who are completely okay with this...

Overall, I recommend to anyone who can suspend belief enough to go with whatever explanation is given for the believability of time-travel, with a heavy emphasis on romance and of course, likes plenty of steamy sex scenes.



THE BREAKDOWN⇢  


Plot 3.8/5
Characters 4.5/5
The Feels 3.7/5
Pacing 3.8/5
Addictiveness 3.5/5
Theme or Tone 4.5/5
Flow (Writing Style) 4/5
Backdrop (World Building) 4.5/5
Originality 3.5/5
Ending 3.8/5 Cliffhanger Nope, it's the final book.
_____

Book Cover Love it.
Setting Present-day Champaign, Illinois & 1914 Charleston, South Carolina
Source Kindle eBook (KU)
Kindle eBook Length 321 Pages

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November Re-Cap