On My Radar #5: Goodreads Awards 2022 Nominees

I’m back with another edition of On My Radar, which is a feature where I talk about books that I have heard a lot about and I’m curious about, but I’m not sure if I should give them a chance, whether it is because they are outside my comfort zone, they got mixed reviews or any other reason. My idea is that hopefully, you all can help me decide which books are worth reading.

Since the Goodreads Awards nominees were just announced, I checked out all of the nominees and here are some that I can’t decide whether I should read or not:

The Family Game by Catherine Steadman: This is not the usual type of book I read since I don’t read that many thrillers, but the concept seems interesting. It sounds similar to the plot of the movie Ready or Not, which I haven’t seen but I have always wanted to, so I’m intrigued but unsure since it’s outside of my comfort zone.

Funny You Should Ask by Elissa Sussman: I discovered last year that I’m not the biggest fan of second-chance romances, I have loved a few of them, but for the most part, they don’t work for me. So I’m not sure if I should give this book a chance even if the premise sounds interesting. Besides, I have seen some really mixed reviews for this and it makes me even more hesitant.

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma: This actually sounds like the kind of book I would enjoy since I usually like hate-to-love romances. but I have seen so many mixed reviews, so I feel very hesitant about picking this up. And it seems like there are as many people who like this book as there are people who dislike it, but I’m still on the fence about it.

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill: I don’t usually read this type of fantasy which seems closer to literary fiction, but the concept of this book sound so interesting, and the reviews I have seen have all been positive. So, to me, this it’s outside my comfort zone but really intriguing.

Just Like Mother by Anne Heltzel: on one hand, I’m interested in this because I have heard it’s really creepy and the concept seems interesting. On the other hand, there’s something about this book that doesn’t sound entirely appealing to me, but I’m not sure what it is.

The Cherry Robbers by Sarai Walker: I saw this cover and read the title and I was sure that I wasn’t going to be interested in reading this, but the synopsis actually makes this book sound intriguing. My one worry is that I’m not the biggest find of books with two timelines, so I’m not sure about reading this.

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield: the cover of this book is so cool and the description actually sounds interesting even if it doesn’t feel like the type of book I usually read because it seems like it’s horror but leaning towards literary fiction.

Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty: I love murder mysteries and this being set in space gives them a unique touch that separates it from the murder mysteries that I usually read. But the reviews for this have been really mixed so I haven’t been able to decide if I want to read it or not.

Which of these books do you think I should read? Are there any books on your radar that you’re unsure about reading?

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2022 book to screen adaptations that I need to watch

I have been feeling a little uninspired lately to blog and I was trying to come up with some ideas so I was going through my old blog posts and I saw that I haven’t talked about book-to-screen adaptations in a while and I thought it was perfect, so here we are!

My Best Friend Exorcism

I have been meaning to watch this since I first heard about the book being turned into a movie because I have read and really liked some of Grady Hendrix’s books, but I have been putting it off because I’m waiting to read the book first. This is the story of two teen best friends, Abby and Gretchen, who grapple with a demon that takes up residence in Gretchen’s body.

She Said

I just found out about this movie and not only is the subject matter interesting, but it also seems like this has a similar style to Spotlight, which is a movie I loved, so I’m definitely watching and I’ll probably read the book afterward. This movie is based on the New York Times investigation that exposed Harvey Weinstein’s history of abuse and sexual misconduct against women.

Happening

I just finished reading this book and it was thought-provoking, relatable, honest and so well-written, so I can’t wait to watch the movie. This is the story of the author’s experience trying to get an abortion in France in the 60s when it was illegal.

Mr. Malcom’s List

I hadn’t heard about the book or the movie until a couple months ago when I saw a review for the movie, and it looks exactly like the type of movie I would enjoy. I may read the book after watching it. This movie is about a man who is searching for a near-perfect wife, who will meet the qualifications on his list. But when he jilts a woman, she convinces her friend to play the role of his ideal match and deceive him.

Bullet Train

I didn’t know this movie was based on a book and honestly, I’m not interested in reading the book, but the movie looks really good and I have heard nothing but good things about it, so I really want to watch it. This is the story of five assassins aboard a bullet train careening across Japan, who find out that their missions have something in common.

The Flatshare

This post was already scheduled when I found out about this series and I had to come and add it. I’m equal parts excited and nervous about this adaptation since I really loved the book. This is the story of two cash-strapped twenty-somethings who share a bed but have never met.

Are you planning to watch any of these movies? What 2022 book-to-screen adaptations would you recommend?

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2022 in Movies #6: Nope, Moonlight, Midsommar, Purple Hearts and more

I haven’t posted one of these posts in a while because I was so behind writing movie reviews on Letterboxd, but now that I’m finally starting to catch up, I’m excited to share my thoughts on some of the movies I have watched recently.

FILM CLUB

I watched three horror movies with my film club, one of them was Hereditary which I discussed in a previous 2022 in movies post, and The VVitch and Midsommar. Then we watched four movies as part of a cycle where we watched movies by Black directors.

The Witch (4.5 stars): This is a historical film with horror elements, there are no jump scares instead the film is unsettling and atmospheric. There are some disturbing scenes that make the film uncomfortable to watch at times. The slow pace of the film serves to build the tension and the mix between religious fervor and folklore works really well to give the story a dark tone. Lastly, the performances of the main cast are fantastic.

Midsommar (5 stars): This was really good. Thematically, the way it shows grief and the fact that you can’t run from it but also the way it takes the idea of shared pain being more manageable and makes it such a fundamental part of this cult’s beliefs, gives this film so much more depth. I think the cult, their customs, and beliefs add interesting elements and while it’s fairly obvious where the movie is going, the journey there and learning more about the cult, as well as the tension and the feeling that the film is building toward something keeps you engage. 

This has a very unconventional color pallet for a horror film but I think it adds to the weirdness of the entire film. More than scary, this is very unsettling and disturbing. The performances, especially Florence Pugh’s performance, were all outstanding.

Moonlight (4 stars): This is my second time watching this movie and I still think that it’s visually stunning, the performances are great and the way it explores black masculinity is nuanced and captivating. The reason this doesn’t get 5 stars from me is that the characterization of Chiron was lacking, we know almost nothing about him, we just see him suffer for most of the movie, and, because of that, I wasn’t as invested as I wish I was.

Do the Right Things (4 stars): This movie has a humorous tone and is full of bright colors, but underneath that, you can feel the tension mounting throughout it. Because of that, I was expecting things to come to a head, but not in the way and with the magnitude they did. The ending was explosive, sadly realistic, and absolutely devastating. It’s unfortunate that this movie is still relevant 30 years later.

Nope (3.5 stars): I found the first half of this movie so slow and boring, I was watching with my film club and we were all confused about how a Jordan Peele movie could be that bad. Nonetheless, the second half picks up, the concept gets revealed more clearly and it is actually really cool, the mystery starts to unravel and the characters get more interesting (especially one of them even feels like a completely different character). Overall, I think so much of the first half should have been cut to make the movie better. 

One of the most interesting parts of the movie, the monkey storyline, was absolutely disconnected from the rest of the plot. Also, I feel like this movie could have been so much better if it focused on Steven Yeun’s character, his backstory, and the whole performance that he was putting together with his family.

I Am Not Your Negro (4 stars): I watched this for the second time and I still believe this has a powerful message, I love James Baldwin’s writing which it’s used to guide this documentary and I also love the use of videos from tv appearances and speeches from Baldwin. Nonetheless, I didn’t love this as much as the first time I watched it. Sometimes it felt like the documentary jumped around too much from one topic to another, and the images that were used to represent the narration didn’t always work.

OTHER MOVIES

I watched Purple Hearts with some friends one afternoon after work when we wanted to watch a movie but we didn’t want to think too hard about anything.

Purple Hearts (3 stars): I wasn’t expecting to like this and I don’t know if the fact that I went into this with really low expectations made me like it more. There are obvious problems with this, I didn’t like the pro-military sentiments, and I definitely think that while they have chemistry, there’s no way the main couple is going to last, their social and political views are opposite, they don’t agree on anything, and they can’t talk about those things without arguing. Still, they do have great chemistry, the way the movie shows how they fall in love feels realistic, there were some funny moments, and the songs were good.

What was the best movie you watched recently? Have you watched any of the movies I mentioned?

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October 2022 Wrap Up: horror, mystery, and finding a new favorite romance author

I can’t believe October is over! But it was such a great month, my birthday was on the 28th and I had so much fun surrounded by so many people I love. Besides, it was also a great reading month, the first two weeks I read for Latinx Heritage Month and you can see what books I read in my Latinx Book Bingo wrap up. In this post, I’ll talk about the books I read in the last two weeks of the month, which includes 2 five star reads!

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes (5 stars): I loved this, it was so atmospheric, having an abandoned ship in the middle of space as the setting was a perfect choice, and there were some tension-filled, disturbing moments. The interesting and unique concept was executed so well. The main character in this book is so flawed but I was rooting for her the entire time, I enjoyed the little bit of romance that there’s in this and I overall was really invested in the story and couldn’t stop reading, so I read it in one day which doesn’t happen often anymore.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix (3 stars): I had such a hard time connecting with the main character of this book, I usually like unlikeable characters but I found her so frustrating and it was hard to read from her perspective. But her character growth was actually satisfying and in the end I was rooting for her. For most of this book, the main character was frantically going from one place to another while the plot went nowhere and so much of the plot was so unrealistic even for a horror book. I did like the final part a little bit more and there were some shocking reveals but overall this was just fine.

The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman (4 stars): It took me a while to get into this, which has not happened with the previous two installments. I think there are too many POVs from the different storylines so it takes a while for the story to get going. I still really enjoyed this, especially the second half where the story picks up and the storylines start to be connected and make sense. The characters are still incredibly loveable and the writing is really good just like in the previous books.

Lovelight farms by B.K. Borison (5 stars): This was an excellent friends-to-lovers romance. I loved how much they cared and were there for each other, and how easily they transitioned to a romantic relationship. Luka was a swoon-worthy hero and Stella and him had such a sweet relationship, and there were also a few steamy moments. My only issue with this is that the conflict at the end felt unnecessary and I felt like Stella was a bit too obtuse, but since it was resolved quickly, I didn’t mind too much

In the Weeds by B.K. Borison (4 stars): This was really good, but I loved it slightly less than the first book. While I really liked the main characters, I felt there was something missing to make the relationship truly compelling. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed seeing them open up to each other and fall in love. Getting to see a little of Beckett’s family and how supportive they are was great, and seeing Evie’s journey to find a life that made her happy was very beautiful. Just like in the previous book, I felt like the conflict at the end was a bit unnecessary.

Mixed Signals by B.K. Borison (4 stars): The couple in this is so sweet and the guy is so swoony. While the reason why the two main characters start to “fake” date didn’t really make sense, I loved their relationship so much that I didn’t care too much about that. The steamy scenes weren’t as good as the scenes from previous books, I didn’t love they were written. Still, I really enjoyed the romance in this and how supportive Caleb was.

In this night, in this world (en esta noche, en este mundo) by Alejandra Pizarnik (3,5 stars): This is a poetry collection in Spanish. As with every poetry collection, there were poems that resonated with me more than others and with this collection in particular there were poems that I simply didn’t get, which it’s definitely on me. But overall I think this is a powerful collection revolving around grief.

What are the best and worst books you have read in October?

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End of the Year TBR: 2022 releases and finishing books I put down throughout the year

2022 is almost over (???) and while I still can’t belive it, I thought it was a good excuse to put together a tbr of the books I really want to read in the next few weeks. These books are divided in two categories: books I put down for one reason or another and never picked them back up again, or 2022 releases that I can’t wait to read.

BOOKS I STARTED BUT DIDN’T FINISH THROUGHOUT THE YEAR

Royal Assassins by Robin Hobb: I was 65% of the way through this and I was really enjoying it, but then Latinx Heritage Month started and I had to pause it. Now I’m ready to jump right back into this story.

The Tower of Swallows by Andrzej Sapkowski: I made it 45% of the way into this and I was enjoying it but maybe not as much as the other books in the series and I’m not sure why, but I still want to finish it and maybe even try to read the final book in the series before the end of the year.

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang: I have put this book in about a million tbrs but I have only read 5% of it, I’m just so scared of reading this because I know it’s going to be devastating.

The Final Girl Support Group by Grady Hendrix: I was reading this but I wasn’t in the mood so I’m

2022 RELEASES

The Bullet that Missed by Richard Osman: I started this series recently and I have been loving it, so I can’t wait to continue reading about elderly people solving mysteries.

Daisy Darker by Alice Feeney: I really enjoy isolated murder mysteries that have elements that are reminiscent of Agatha Christie, so I’m excited to give this book a chance

Dead Silence by S.A. Barnes: The premise of this book sounds so scary to me and I have great things about it, so I’m convinced I’m going to love it.

Two Wrongs Make a Right by Chloe Liese: As a big fan of Liese’s Bergman Brothers series, I’m so excited to give one of her books outside that series a chance, especially since I love fake dating in my romance books.

Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail by Ashley Herring Blake: I loved the first book in this series of companion novels and I liked Astrid and I think it will be fun to watch her break free in this book. Also, I can’t wait to read about the friend group again.

What books are you looking forward to reading before the end of the year?

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Latinx Book Bingo 2022 Wrap Up: what i read during Latinx Heritage Month

Latinx Heritage Month has come to an end, so it’s time to share my thoughts on the 10 books I read for Latinx Book Bingo. I was hoping to read 16 books, one for each prompt from the bingo, but unfortunately, I had a work trip to a remote rural area in Colombia for an entire week right in the middle of Latinx Heritage Month and that slowed down my reading. Still, I’m really happy with the books I managed to read.

Witchlings by Claribel Ortega (4.5 stars): My favorite book out of all the ones I read for the book bingo. This was such a sweet book, I don’t really read Middle Grade anymore so I wasn’t expecting to love this as much as I did. The characters in this were so charming, the friendship that developed between the three main characters, who are the most unlikely allies ever, was so sweet, the writing is excellent, the worldbuilding intricate but easy to understand, and I loved the use of Spanish in the magic. 

The Beautiful Ones by Silvia Moreno-García (4 stars): This book is a character-driven, romance-focused story with light fantasy elements and I overall really enjoyed it. It was told from three points of view and there was a bit of a love square that gets very angsty and complicated throughout the book.

I really didn’t like the main character, Nina, for the first half, I thought she was childish and annoying and that affected my enjoyment of the beginning of this book. Nonetheless, I ended up appreciating her character development and how much she grew by the end of the book. Hector was my favorite point-of-view character from the very beginning, even when his motives were not the best at the start of the book, it was still easy to root for him. Also, despite the fact that I didn’t like Nina at first, I enjoyed seeing their relationship from the very beginning and by the end I really wanted them to have a happy ending together. The last pov character was Valeria and she was the worst in the best possible way. She was spiteful, manipulative and mean but I found her to be such an interesting character.

Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado (4 stars): Really glad that our group book was this good. This book has the main character, Raquel, that feels like an authentic teenage girl who is trying to make the best decisions she can under the circumstances. It has a really cute sapphic romance and while at the end, the relationship did progress a bit too fast for my taste, I liked seeing how both characters were there for each other. I also really liked the friendship between Raquel and her best friend, Aaron, and how supportive and understanding Aaron was.

I appreciated how many different horror elements this included and how well it incorporated them: a creepy game, a scary alternative dimension, zombies, giant insects, and a mysterious bad guy. I also really liked the connection between those horror elements and the history of the Bronx, gentrification, and racism. This book included some thought-provoking social commentary. I’ll admit that while the connection to historic events was hinted at the beginning, the final reveal of that connection was a bit info-dumpy. Nonetheless, I really enjoyed the way all the elements came together

The Houseguest and Other Stories by Amparo Davila (4.5 stars): The stories in this collection are all disturbing and fascinating. They convey feelings of dread and desperation very well. I’m not usually someone that enjoys vague or open-ended stories, but I really liked the way there are no answers to what was happening in this story once you get to the end, often there was no way of knowing if things were real or not, if the narrators were reliable or not, and that added to the strength of the stories.

Amor, Actually (4 stars): I overall liked this, nonetheless, as with all short story collections, there are some stories that are a lot better than others. I appreciated that there was representation of a lot of different types of couples from m/f to f/f and m/m/f, and also that the levels of steam varied from one story to the next. My favorite stories were by Adriana Herrera, Zoey Castile, and Alexis Daria.

On The Hustle by Adriana Herrera (4 stars): At first, I was having a little of trouble understanding why she liked him even when he was kind of shitty for 3 years. But I saw throughout the book how they fell in love and I thought it was realistic, so I could let go of the issue I had with it. Besides, they had great chemistry, they cared and were there for each other, and there were some very good steamy scenes. As always with Adriana Herrera, the writing was good and the premise was entertaining.

Sun of a Beach by Mia Sosa (3 stars): This had so much potential, but the guy spent the whole novella being an ass and I could understand what made the main character go from disliking him to liking him. Also, the switch in their relationship happened too quickly to be believable and in the end, everything was solved too quickly. Nonetheless, since this was so short, the main character was compelling and there were some good steamy scenes, this didn’t end up being that bad. 

Corazón by Yesika Salgado (4 stars): Like every poetry collection, some poems resonated with me and some didn’t, but overall, the vast majority of them did. This collection addresses body positivity and self-love, family, heartbreak, alcoholism and abusive relationships, and so much more. Yesika Salgado’s poems are powerful, evoking, and unapologetic. The use of Spanish adds a captivating layer to the reading experience.

Tesoro by Yesika Salgado (4 stars): while some poems resonated with me more than others, overall I enjoyed this. This collection focused on family, Yesika Salgado’s upbringing, her heritage, being Latinx, and being a fat brown woman. Just like Corazón, it’s powerful and unapologetic.

What books did you read during Latinx Heritage Month? What books by Latinx authors have you loved recently?

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September 2022 mid-month wrap up: two weeks full of mysteries

The Latinx Book Bingo starts today!!! Because of that, this is my wrap-up of the first 2 weeks of September. Weirdly, I only wanted to read and watch mystery/thiller books and shows, so that’s what I did and I had a lot of fun doing it.

The Appeal by Janice Hallett (4 stars): At first, I wasn’t sure if the epistolary format was going to work for me, but I ended up getting used to it and enjoying the book. The beginning – which was just correspondence between people involved in the case- wasn’t that fun, but once the interns of the law firm get more involved and we get their theories and commentary on the case, the book got more interesting to me. While the resolution was a bit predictable, I think that was the point, that the reader could solve it. Also, there were still a few details that I didn’t see coming or wasn’t able to figure out.

The Last to Vanish by Megan Miranda (4 stars): I really liked the writing in this book, the tension that was present throughout the story, how atmospheric it was, and the isolated, cold, dark setting. I felt a lot of dread while reading this and there was a strong sense of anticipation, which I appreciated. The ending wasn’t mind-blowing, but I was satisfied with it.

I’ll be Gone in the Dark by Michelle McNamara (3,5 stars): I appreciate all the research that went into this book, I knew nothing of the Golden State Killer so this was a really interesting read. At the same time, the fact that the events weren’t in chronological order, that the book skipped certain parts, and jump around so much, made following the events that took place, the different victims, and the evidence very difficult. I often felt a bit lost in the first half of the book. The second half which focused on the investigation in the 2010s was a lot easier to read. Still, this was very well-written, the author did a great job of providing an unflinching but compassionate look at the events, and it was a quick read despite the fact that there was so much information to convey.

Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz (3.5 stars): The first half of this was 5 stars and the second was 3 stars. I loved the mystery within the mystery, which it’s told in the first half. It was very reminiscent of Agatha Christie, who I love, it was entertaining, it had compelling characters and an interesting story. Unfortunately, when we switched to the storyline set in modern times, I found it really hard to get invested in that story since I was enjoying the other one so much, I didn’t find the characters as compelling and I guessed the resolution to the “real life” mystery early on. Also, once we finally went back and learned the resolution of the “fictional” mystery, I didn’t feel as invested. Still, overall it was an enjoyable read and I will continue with the series.

As I mentioned, this month my obsession with mysteries and thrillers books, also carried over what I was watching and since this wrap up is shorted than normal I thought it would be fun to share my thoughts on what I watched:

Only Murders in the Building – Season 2 (4 stars): Honestly I watch this show because it’s entertaining, it has its funny moments, the characters are easy to root for, and even with people getting murdered, it’s lighthearted. The performances of the entire cast were felt very earnest and the writing was excellent.

I’ll be Gone in the Dark (4.5 stars): I really enjoyed this docuseries, the mix between the story of the Golden State Killer and the story of the author of the book worked better in the documentary than in the book. Also, the documentary followed the chronological order a lot more closely and it had images and graphic representations of places, routes, and timelines, which made the story easier to follow. Moreover, the fact that there were interviews with the victims and detectives added so much depth. Lastly, the fact that they caught the killer while they were filming this, was incredible because it allowed them to give some sort of resolution to the narrative.

The Spinster and the Rake by Eva Devon (3 stars): This sounded like something I would love and I have heard nothing but good things, so I went in with high expectations. But this ended up being just ok for me, I really liked the interactions between the main characters but I didn’t feel invested, and since not a lot happened plot-wise, I was a bit bored reading this.

What are the best and worst books you have read so far this month?

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Latinx Book Bingo 2022 TBR | Latinx Heritage Month 2022

Putting together a tbr for the Latinx Book Bingo is one of my favorite things to do every year and this time it was not an exception. I was trying to pick short books or romances, which I read really fast for this tbr because I want to read one book for each prompt. But adding the page count of all of these books, it’s 4.606 pages in total, which is a bit ambitious because I have a full-time job and a work trip on top of that during the weeks of the readathon. Still, I will try my best.

Are you participating in the Latinx Book Bingo? Have you picked the books for your tbr?

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August 2022 Wrap Up: reading lots of anticipated releases

I had such a good reading month, I didn’t love everything I read but I didn’t dislike any of the books either. Even the 3 stars I would recommend because I had a good time reading them. So I’m counting it as a win!

Here are my (very extensive) thoughts on the books I read this month:

The Hollow Places by T. Kingfisher (4 stars): I really liked this, it made me feel so much dread, there were so many creepy and disturbing things in this book, and the wait for something bad to happen was anxiety-inducing. I appreciated that the two main characters were not idiots or foolishly brave, they were complex, interesting characters. The only thing I had a small issue is that the “chase” at the end dragged a lit bit. 

What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher (4.5 stars): This was a quick read, it kept me engaged and the ending was really satisfying, which is hard to in short horror books. It wasn’t scary, but there were a few unnerving moments.

The Daughter of Doctor Moreau by Silvia Moreno-Garcia (4 stars): This is a quick read and a very interesting book. As always, Silvia Moreno-García manages to include important topics and conversations in this book, I appreciated that it portrayed misogyny and it addressed the way forced labor was performed by indigenous people in Mexico during the nineteenth century. Also, really liked the setting and how atmospheric this was, and the fact that Moreno- García presents us with flawed and complex characters who make the wrong choices and who are not the type of character that appears in novels often. The concept of this, the way it reimages The Island of Doctor Moreau but sets it in Mexico and the twist of that storyline were all incredible. Overall, I really enjoyed this and it kept me interested even if I wish I was a bit more invested in the story while reading it.

The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (3.5 stars): It took me a long time to get into this, mainly because the main character was so confused in the beginning that it made it hard to connect with him and he changed bodies so often and most of the people that he had to live as were terrible, so I didn’t feel invested in the characters. I even contemplated DNFing this, but after a while, the mystery was so interesting to me that I really wanted to find out what was going on and I ended up feeling invested in the story even if I was not invested in the characters. 

Ruby Fever by Ilona Andrews (4 stars): This book was a good finale for this trilogy, I couldn’t put this down, I found it really entertaining and I loved finding out how everything wrapped up. As always, the world and magic systems in this series are fantastic, it has a super compelling cast of characters, I love the family dynamics and the romance between Catalina and Alessandro was also really good. I wish it was a bit less action-packed, there were mini-action scenes happening all the time because there were like a thousand minor villains and a lot of storylines needed to be wrapped up, but overall I really enjoyed it.

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (4 stars): I had such a hard getting into this book because the beginning is confusing and nonsensical but not in a whimsical way, instead in a very dense and scientific way and I just found that to be a bit boring. Nonetheless, a little before the halfway point when the mystery of this world starts to be revealed, I started to really enjoy the story and feel very fascinated by it. The mystery, the different people involved, the history behind what’s going on, all of it is very intriguing and entertaining to read about. After things are revealed to the reader, it was a bit frustrating to see Piranesi stumbling in the dark but he eventually discovers the truth and the story gets even better from there. The speculative elements of the story mixed with a very scientific and philosophical approach to them make the concept feel very unique and interesting.

Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood (4.5 stars): While it took me a little bit to get into this, I was sold on it once the characters started to interact more about 60 pages in. I loved the characters, seeing them slowly bond and clear up misunderstandings, how much Levi adored Bee, the chemistry and tension between them, and the smutty scenes. The only issue I had with this was the over-the-top ending that seemed like something taken out of an action movie that came out of nowhere.

Don’t Go Baking My Heart by N.G. Peltier (4.5 stars): This is the best representation of the grumpy/sunshine trope I have read. At first, they were a bit frustrating, especially the hero. Still, throughout the book the character development of the two main characters was outstanding and it ended up being really easy to root for them. The chemistry, tension, and slow development of their relationship were all great. Also, the steamy scenes were great.

The Godparent Trap by Rachen Van Dyken (3 stars): I have mixed feelings about this. The hero in this book is such a jerk to the heroine, and while he was grieving, she was also grieving and she wasn’t a jerk, and he started being mean to her since before everything happened and the explanation for it didn’t completely work for me. Nonetheless, once he stopped being a jerk, I actually liked the romance, it was really sweet. I also really enjoyed the relationship between the main characters and the two kids, that part was sweet and the way parenthood was depicted felt very realistic. Unfortunately, the steamy scenes weren’t that steamy.

For Butter or Worse by Erin La Rosa (3 stars): This is truly a hate-to-love story, these two characters really hate each other at the beginning and I appreciated that. Nonetheless, while the main characters had a lot of chemistry and I could understand the physical attraction, I felt like they went very quickly and without reason from hating each other to being comfortable and vulnerable with each other, which didn’t make a lot of sense to me. Also, the very public apologies and grand gestures are not something I like in my romance, and even less so, if it’s done without talking to the other person about the issues first. But beyond all that, I have to admit that I did enjoy the cute and romantic moments and the steamy scenes were good. I also appreciated the anxiety rep, the fake dates and “fake” PDA, and the way this used google searches and tweets, which worked really well to see the reaction of the public to their romance.

An Impossible Impostor by Deanna Raybourn (3.5 stars): It took me a long time to get into this, mainly because there was no mystery for the first half of the book. The mystery mentioned in the synopsis gets solved really quickly and then the real mystery started around the 50% mark. So not a lot happens in the first half. The second half of the book was a lot better, I was interested in the mystery and I liked that the main characters had some personal stakes in it, which I felt was something missing in the previous book in the series. Also, I really liked Veronica and Stoker as always, even if I wanted a bit more Stoker in this book. The final bit with all the angst between them was really good. I’m excited about where their story is going next.

What are the best and worst books you read in August? Was August a good reading month for you?

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80 Book Recommendations for the Latinx Book Bingo | Latinx Heritage Month 2022

My favorite time of the year aka Latinx Heritage Month is almost here, which means the Latinx Book Bingo is coming and it’s time to share some recommendations for all of the people participating and also in general for everyone looking for books by Latinx authors. Just like last year, this year I decided to only include books I have already read in this recommendations post, the only exceptions are the group book and the two recommendations for the prompt “disabled mc” because while I have read a few books with a disabled mc, unfortunately, the representation in them has not been great.

I will link my recommendation posts for previous years, which in most cases included books that I have not read, in case anyone needs more options:

For each one of my recommendations, I’m including the genre, age group (Middle-grade, YA, or adult) and if it fits other prompts besides the one I’m recommending it for. Without further ado, here are my recs:

Set in LATAM

TRANSLATED

CO-AUTHORED


ROMANCE

POETRY OR NOVEL IN VERSE

FOODIE

INDIE

NONFICTION

AFRO-LATINX AUTHOR

GROUP BOOK

Burn Down, Rise Up by Vincent Tirado: YA book. Other prompts: Afro-Latinx author and horror.

HORROR

BANNED

MIDDLE GRADE

JOYFUL

PART OF A SERIES

DISABLED MC

Are you participating in the Latinx Book Bingo? Have you picked the books for your tbr?

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