On My Radar #1: Books that Other People Loved

Hi everyone! It’s a new year and it’s also time for a new feature here on Bookish Wanderess called On My Radar, where I talk about books that I have heard a lot about and I’m curious about, but they are outside of my comfort zone and I’m not sure if I should give them a chance. My idea is that hopefully, you all can help me decide which books are worth reading because I would like to read a few books outside my comfort zone in 2021.

For this first post, I chose books that I have seen in other people’s lists of favorite books of 2020. At the end of a year, I always end up with so many new books on my tbr because other people loved them and recommended them, and a lot of time they are not books that I would usually pick up. This list is full of those books, beloved by others but not books I would usually pick up, and I want your help deciding if I should give them a chance! 

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas: This was the first book that came to mind when I came up with the theme for this post, because I saw in so many lists of best books of 2020 but I also saw it in so many lists of worst books of 2020.

I’m curious about this book because it sounds like a gothic, dark academia book but weirder. I’m not someone who loves weird books, but I have loved some of them and I have liked the gothic stories I have read so far, so I think I may like this even if it is outside my comfort zone.

Bunny by Mona Awad: Another weird book that I’m on the fence about. I heard someone describe this as Mean Girls but weird and that sounds so interesting and intriguing to me. But I have also heard so many people say this is the weirdest book they have ever read and that makes me hesitant to pick it up. I think it may be a bit too weird for me.

Legendborn by Tracy Deonn: I haven’t been reading that much YA Fantasy because I haven’t loved that many of the ones that I have read recently. But this book has me so curious, the concept of a secret society of descendants of King Arthur’s knights sounds really interesting and all my friends and people I follow who have read it loved it.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid: I don’t read literary fiction often, it’s not a genre that I’m drawn to, but I have seen this book everywhere and everyone seems to love it, so I’m curious. Also, I know it deals with performative activism and that sounds interesting and it’s a subject that I would definitely want to read more about.

My Dark Vanessa by Kate Elizabeth Russell: this sounds like something I would never want to read, it’s literary fiction and it’s dark and sad. But so many people love this book and it deals with a predatory relationships which sounds interesting. I’m curious but I don’t know if that’s enough to make me pick up this book since I think it’s going to be a very disturbing read.

Which of these books do you think I should read? Are there any books on your radar that you are not sure if you want to read or not?

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Ranking all the books I read last month aka My December 2020 Wrap Up

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Hi everyone! This post is a bit late, but my anxiety has been kicking my ass for the last few weeks and I needed some time off. This is my last wrap up of 2020, so it’s the last one where I’ll be ranking all the books I read in the month, I had a lot of fun doing my wrap ups like this in 2020, but I think it’s time to shake things up again.

Before getting into this post, here are my lists of favorite books of 2020 in case you missed them:

Without further ado, here are the books I read in december 2020:

My Least Favorite Book of the Month

My least favorite books this month were a really disappointing romance book:

19. Fans Only by B. Love (2.5 stars): I didn’t like the writing in this at all and that was my main problem, it was SO CHEESY and there were parts that sounded like a bad self-help book. Also, there’s a part where the hero tells the heroine what he likes about her and his answer sounded like someone looked up a badly written birth chart or horoscope and copied it. Also, I didn’t particularly like the characters. This book has an interesting premise, but beyond that, the only thing it has going for it is that it was really steamy.

The “Just Ok” Books

These can be books that 1) I had issues with, but I don’t have a strong negative opinion about them 2) had good elements but bored me or didn’t really impact me in any way, the meh books.

18. Violet Bent Backwards Over the Grass by Lana del Rey (3 stars): This poetry collection was ok. Nothing that moved me or that it’s going to stay with me, but I listened to the audiobook and it was a pleasant enough experience.

17. Holiday Home Run by Priscilla Oliveras (3 stars): This was ok. I think my main issue is that the dialogue felt stilted and that made it really hard to see the chemistry between the main characters.

16. Steele by Sawyer Bennett (3 stars): The characters in this were ok, but nothing special. They had a lot of chemistry, so that was good. My main issue with this, beyond the writing, is the message. This idea that you are supposed to be extremely happy 100% of the time in a marriage, which it’s unrealistic. Recently, I have read a few very good second chance romances where people are trying to save their marriages and they put in the work and it’s hard but worth it, and I think this book doesn’t execute that trope that well.

The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books

These are books that I had significant issues with, but they had redeeming qualities that made me mostly enjoy them:

15. Cocaince Blues by Kerry Greenwood (3,5 stars): I started reading this series because I love the tv show based on these books. While so far they are not as good as the adaptation, I still really love the characters in the books, which is why I’ll continue reading the series.

14. Murder in the Ballarat Train by Kerry Greenwood (3,5 stars): This was quick and entertaining. The case was interesting enough, but I have an issue with the writing. I feel like these books need a bit more description, sometimes it’s hard to understand what happened because places and actions are not always described.

13. Flying Too High by Kerry Greenwood (3,5 stars): Like all the books in this series, this was quick and entertaining. I love all the characters and that’s what keeps me reading. The two cases in this book were my favorite in the series so far.

12. A Rogue by Any Other Name by Sarah MacLean (3,5 stars): This book and particularly the main characters are very forgettable. But I didn’t dislike either of them, I even really liked Penny and some of the things she did. Penny and Michael spent way too much time apart and when they are together they had some cute scenes and some steamy scenes that were good, but I feel like I needed a little bit more. I guess I needed a little more from the romance. The concept of The Fallen Angel Club is really cool, I really enjoyed getting to see that world in this book and I did like the side characters a lot.

11. The Twelve Dates of Christmas by Jenny Bayliss (3,5 stars): The premise of this is interesting, the 12 dates aspect was entertaining and a lot of funny things happened. But the author focuses solely on those dates and not on the actual romance, which left me wanting more romance. Also, the love interest is not that great. (full review)

The Ones I Liked

The ones I liked are books that I had really small issues with, but after I finished them I had mainly positive feelings towards them:

10. The Gilded Wolves by Roshana Chokshi (3,7 stars): The characters are precious, I love the relationship between them and the found family element. The romances in this are so subtle and angsty, I LOVED THEM. The writing is beautiful and the way it addresses colonialism, colorism, and slavery, without it taking over the story is amazing. My main issues with this is that the magic system isn’t really explained, not even the abilities of some of the main characters that are used often to get them out of trouble.

9. No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean (3,7 stars): I liked the main characters and the premise was very unique. The tension and chemistry between the characters were to die for. The romance was angsty and steamy. I also really liked the kids in this book and I think they were an interesting addition to the book, especially because Mara was so committed to ensuring their safety. I think it made her more likable. The one problem I had with Mara was how long it took her to talk to Temple and tell him the truth, I don’t think that would have solved everything but I think it would have made things easier and quicker.

8. One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean (3,7 stars): I really liked the main characters in this book, Pippa especially was a very unique, interesting, and lovable main character. Their relationship was great, they had a lot of entertaining and funny conversations and banter because of the way Pippa thinks and the way Cross responds to her. The romance took a while to get going because Cross refused to help Pippa for a long time, but I didn’t feel like the book dragged because Pippa was such an entertaining character

7. If They Come For Us by Fatimah Asghar (4 stars): This is a very powerful poetry collection about . The author manages to say a lot, say it beautifully, and say it clearly.

The Ones I Really Liked

I consider books I really liked the ones that stay with me and that I recommend all the time:

6. An Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer by Fredrik Backman (4 stars): This was an emotional and moving novella. I cried from beginning to end, which it’s very uncommon.

5. Spoiler Alert by Olivia Dade (4 stars): I loved both of the main characters and they were so adorable together. Also, The sex scenes in this book were STEAMY. The complicated relationships that the two main characters had with their families added a lot of depth to the story and it was amazing getting to see them stand up for themselves and set up boundaries. I think this book handles very well the conversation about how we don’t owe anyone a place in our lives, not even our parents, if all they do is hurt us.

4. Written in the Stars by Alexandria Bellefleur (4 stars): This book includes the fake dating and opposite attract tropes and I loved that about it. The main characters are both so different and each of them is great in their own way. They have so much chemistry and they are so sweet together. (full review)

3. Ever After Alwasy by Chloe Liese (4 stars): This is the first 2021 release that I have read and I’m so glad I loved it! This is a wonderful and emotional second chance romance between two amazing characters. The anxiety representation in this book is incredible. (Full review)

My Favorite Books of the Month

In december, my favorite books of the month were a sequel from a series I love and a book that made me sob:

2. European Travel for the Monstruos Gentlewoman by Theodora Goss (4 stars): I really enjoyed this sequel. I still love the main characters, the concept is still fantastic, unique, and entertaining, and the author added so many cool elements to the story (like vampires!) that made it even better. My only little issue with this is that it was a bit longer than it needed to be.

1. Dancing at the Pity Party by Tyler Feder (5 stars): This made me sob. As someone whose mom has been very, very ill a few times in my lifetime, this was so scary and sad. I think Tyler Feder did an amazing job of portraining the different feelings and thoughts that she went through in a very honest, relatable and heartbreaking way.

Have you read any of these books? Do you have any of them on your tbr?

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ARC Review: Ever After Always by Chloe Liese

Happy New Year, everyone! This is my first post of 2021, I took the first week of January off because I needed a bit of rest, but I’m excited to be back talking about a book I loved. Ever After Always is the first and only 2021 release that I have read so far, I read it back in December 2020 when I got the eARC and I loved it, so I’m hoping it’s a sign that I’m going to read some amazing new releases in 2021.

This book comes out today, January 12th 2021, and you should go get your copy!

Title: Ever After Always

Author: Chloe Liese

Publishing date:  January 12th 2021

Genre: Romance

Pages: 368

Aiden: I’ve spent twelve years loving Freya Bergman and twelve lifetimes won’t be enough to give her everything she deserves. She’s my passionate, tender-hearted wife, my best friend, and all I want is to make her happy. But the one thing that will make her happiest is the one thing I’m not sure I can give her: a baby. With the pressure of providing and planning for a family, my anxiety’s at an all-time high, and I find myself pulling away, terrified to tell my wife how I’m struggling. But when Freya kicks me out, I realize that pulling back has turned into pushing too far. Now it’s the fight of a lifetime to save our marriage.

Freya: I love my cautious, hard-working husband. He’s my partner and best friend, the person I know I can count on most. Until one day I realize the man I married is nowhere to be found. Now Aiden is quiet and withdrawn, and as the months wear on, the pain of our growing distance becomes too much. As if weathering marriage counseling wasn’t enough, we’re thrown together for an island getaway to celebrate my parents’ many years of perfect marriage while ours is on the brink of collapse. Despite my meddling siblings and a week in each other’s constant company, this trip somehow gets us working through the trouble in paradise. I just can’t help worrying, when we leave paradise and return to the real world, will trouble find us again?

Goodreads | Amazon

*The author kindly provided an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review*

Chloe Liese did it again! Ever After Always is the third book in the Bergman Brothers Series, which is a series of companion novels following the Berman Siblings. I read the first two books in the series as well as this ARC in 2020 and I fell in love with every single one of the books and this is quickly becoming one of my favorite romance series of all time.

Ever After Always is a wonderful and emotional second chance romance between two amazing characters. This book is about a marriage in crisis and two people that love each other so much but that have hurt each other deeply. It’s not a fluffy romance, it’s a story about rebuilding a relationship, accepting that people change and relationships need to change with them or they won’t last, it’s a story about learning to trust again and about being honest and vulnerable with each other even when it’s really hard.

Chloe Liese does a great job with the second chance romance and accomplishes something very difficult, she makes the reader care about a couple that has been together for 10 years and while there are two or three short flashback scenes, the book doesn’t rely on the flashbacks or the couple’s past to make the reader root for them.

Aiden, the hero, has anxiety and the representation was hard and wonderful to read about, I just saw so much of my own struggle with anxiety in Aiden’s experience. This book does a great of showing how much Aiden’s anxiety affects his everyday life and how hard can it be to talk about it with others. I love that this book normalizes going to therapy and taking meds, we need to see more of that in romance and in books in general.

Freya, the heroine, is strong and confident, she is described as being curvy and there are a couple of scenes where body image and social expectations are talked about, but overall Freya loves herself and she just wants society to let her be and let her have the body she does without feeling like she has to show everyone all the time that she really loves herself.

Getting to see the Bergman family again and getting to know them all better added so much to the story, it definitely made it more entertaining. I love the fact that the Bergman Brothers read romance! I can’t wait for the next book, I have been intrigued by the possibility of a relationship between two of the secondary characters since book 2 and I’m so glad we are finally getting their story next!

Have you started the Bergman Brothers series? What romance series have you enjoyed recently?

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Favorite Adult Books of 2020

Hi everyone! This is my last post of 2020 and that’s so wild! Blogging was such a refuge for me in 2020 and I fell even more in love with it, so I’m excited to keep sharing content with all of you in 2021.

In case you missed it, the last couple of days I posted my Favorite YA Books of 2020 and my Favorite Romance Books of 2020. Check them out if you want to see what other books I loved this year. Today, I want to talk about 10 adult books that I loved in 2020. These are all books that I read in 2020 even if they didn’t come out in 2020 and the only rule that I had was that I couldn’t have two books from the same series.

Without further ado, here are my top 10 adult books of 2020:

10. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

The world-building and magic system in this book are unique, captivating and devastating at the same time. The way the society in this book mirrors our society is smart and poignant. There are so many twists, some that I saw coming and some that I didn’t, but they all make sense to the story and make it more interesting. I loved Syenite and Alabaster and I’m heartbroken over everything they went through. What this book has to say and how it says it is so powerful and heartbreaking that it left me feeling hopeless and it took me a long time to recover but I think it was worth it.

9. Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno-García

The writing in this book makes it feel like reading a myth or fairytale, it is so engaging. The Mayan mythology is captivating and lush, and since it’s a mythology that it’s not often used in fantasy books, this book is full of gods and mythical creatures that feel unique. This book is set in 1920’s Mexico and the mix of the mythological elements and the ‘modernity’ of the Jazz Age works well and gives this story an even more unique touch. Finally, the main characters, Casiopea and Hun-Kamé, who is the Mayan god of death, are both very engaging characters and their journeys and character development were fascinating.

8. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

This is a quick, fascinating, and thought-provoking read. It focuses a lot on the scientific and technical side of space travel but the truly interesting thing is that Becky Chambers doesn’t forget about the impact that the discoveries, the advancements, and the search for those things have on people and environments. Also, there are a lot of queer characters in this book, which I love.

7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This book was so powerful. I was captivated the entire time while reading, I was amazed by the way the author takes all of these different elements (a pandemic, a cult, a theater group, some graphic novels) and different timelines and ties them all together in a way it makes sense and it’s interesting and meaningful. I found all the characters and storylines incredibly fascinating. This book made me really sad while reading it, but it also made me feel thankful and, in the end, it gave me hope. 

6. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

This book is brilliant. I’m not the biggest fan of Military fantasy, but this series does it so well that I’m really invested in the story. The way this book talks about war and power is grim but fascinating. I think the main reason I enjoy this series and this book so much is that it has given me some characters that I adore. I still love Kitay as much as I did in book 1, this book made me fall in love with Venka and I love the angsty, complicated relationship between Rin and Nezha. Also, this book discusses colorism, colonialism, and the role of religion within colonialism in such a thought-provoking way.

5. Jade City by Fonda Lee

This book may have one of the coolest premises ever, it’s like the Godfather with martial arts and magic. It’s such a unique book! Fonda Lee does an amazing job of describing the action scenes in this book and the way she incorporates martial arts is incredible. The clan war element of the story is so interesting, this is a very intense book and I was completely invested in everything that was happening. I think I cared so much because I LOVED the main characters, who are siblings that are incredibly loyal to each other and they won my loyalty too. This book broke my heart at one point, I was devastated but it was SO GOOD.

4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

This book is whimsical, nonsensical, and peculiar and the writing is absolutely beautiful. This book doesn’t have a defined plot; it’s full of metaphors and stories within stories, so it can be very confusing and, by the end, I felt like I only understood parts of it; and since it feels like you are reading a story, a myth, a fable, most of the characters feel like characters in that story and not like real people. But I didn’t dislike any of that. While I read this, I felt like I was lost in a strange and beautiful world. I loved and I was invested in all the stories within stories, I was intrigued by the mystery of this underground library, I was captivated by everything.

3. The Strange Case of The Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss

I love the characters in this book, monstrous women are my favorite thing in the world, and I love their relationship with each other and the found family aspect of the book. The premise of this is so unique, the daughters of famous scientists from classic gothic literature work together to solve a mystery that it’s linked to their lives. Also, I love the funny and unique structure in which this book is told, the fact that the characters interrupt the narrative to give their commentary on what’s happening. Basically, I love everything about this.

2. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune

This is a hopeful and heartwarming book that explores the idea that prejudice keeps growing and wins when people stay silent in the face of it and live comfortably in their bubbles. The concept of this book is fascinating, well-executed and it mirrors a lot of real-life situations, this book is set in a world where magical beings exist and there’s a lot of prejudice against them. The main character in this book is so endearing and the children are cute, funny, lovable and so compelling. The sweet, loving relationship between the main character and the kids is my favorite part of the book. Also, there’s a very sweet m/m romance in this!

1. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

This creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing book. The writing is beautiful and captivating while being simple and unpretentious, and the main character is three-dimensional and flawed, while being charming and bewitching. This story is so effective in being scary because even when it’s not clear if there are ghosts, magic, or other supernatural things going on, the real villains of the story are manipulative, abusive, disgusting men that you could find anywhere in the world and anytime in history. This book is creepy from very early on, Moreno-García made my skin crawl with the simplest scenes, sometimes nothing too scary was happening but with one perfectly crafted phrase, I was spooked. Also, this includes important commentary on sexism, colonialism, and eugenics that gives depth to the story.

What are your favorite Adult books that you read in 2020?

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Favorite YA Books of 2020

Hi everyone! this is the start of my favorite books of the year series, I’m doing favorite YA books, favorite adult books and favorite romance books of 2020. The other two posts are coming in the next couple of days.

The last few years I have been reading less and less YA books, they simply don’t appeal to me as much anymore and in 2020 that trend was even more evident than in previous years. So far in 2020, I have read 196 books and out of those only 31 have been YA. Luckly, even when YA represents a small percentage of my reading, I managed to find some amazing YA books to talk about today. When I read YA is usually by Latinx authors and about Latinx characters, so that’s why all of these books were written by Latinx authors.

Withour further ado, here are my top 5 YA books of 2020 from least favorite to my absolute favorite:

5. Incendiary by Zoraida Cordova

When I read this book at the beginning of 2020, it had been a while since the last time a YA fantasy book gripped me the way Incendiary did. This book has an intricate magic system, intriguing characters, complex relationships, twists and turns that kept me at the edge of my seat, and an ending that left me wanting the sequel immediately. This is a tale of revenge, rebellion, betrayal, and secrets that change everything. (Full review)

4. Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This book brought me so much joy and comfort. The main characters are lovable and they have the most adorable and heartwarming romance I read this year. This book manages to be sweet, hopeful, and fun, while still addressing difficult subjects like transphobia, deportation, homelessness, gang violence, and abusive parents. This book does an amazing job of exploring the way transness is viewed and treated in a lot of brown communities, and particularly in the Latinx community; how Trans people are tolerated but not truly accepted. (Full review)

3. Blazewrath Games by Amparo Ortiz

This book is action-packed and entertaining. I love how thorough and interesting the world building in this book is, but what makes this book so captivating and unique is Blazewrath, which is a sport played by teams of dragons and humans, and the Blazewrath games, which are an international sports tournament. The way Amparo Ortiz writes the Blazewrath matches is so incredible, I was at the edge of my seat the entire time while the matches took place, cheering for the Puerto Rican team. (Full review)

2. Lobizona by Romina Garber

This book takes elements that are common in the fantasy genre like an alternate dimension, werewolves, witches, a magical school and a magical sport, and it infuses them with Argentinian folklore and culture, which makes this book unique and captivating. Beyond that, Romina Garber does a great job of addressing important subjects like immigration and the situation that a lot of immigrants face in the United States, as well as sexism and gender essentialism within this magical world and even the Argentinian society. (Full review)

1. Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore & Tehlor Kay Mejia

McLemore and Mejia delivered a beautifully written, magical story about two characters learning to be true to themselves. This book has adorable friends to lovers romances, heartwarming friendships, wonderfully complicated siblings’ relationships, a powerful message, and amazing character development. I particularly loved how this book addressed heavier subjects like messed up beauty standards, xenophobia, and homophobia in a way that feels very organic. It doesn’t feel like a lesson on those subjects, it’s more about characters living their lives, encountering these things, and having to process and deal with them. (Full review)

What are your favorite YA books that you read in 2020?

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Merry Christmas + Blogmas Wrap Up | Blogmas Day 25

Hi everyone! I want to wish a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of those who celebrate and in general, I want to send the best wished and vibes to everyone, I hope you are all having a lovely day.

For the last day of Blogmas, I want to thank everyone that has read, liked and comment on my blogmas posts. I had a lot of fun doing blogmas this year and I’m happy that so many people enjoyed the content I put out and took the time to interact with me and my content.

To wrap up this 25 days of posting, I’ll just share the links to all my blogmas posts in case you missed any of them:

Recommendations

Reviews

Goals

Anticipated Releases of 2021 + Anticipated Adaptations

Books to Read in 2021

End of the Year Lists

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Surprising Books of 2020 | Blogmas Day 24

Hi everyone! Blogmas is almost over and while I have enjoyed writing posts, the truth is that since I decided to do Blogmas very last minute, I didn’t have time to write enough content and be prepared, so the last couple of weeks have been really stressful, so I’m looking forward to have a bit less stress after blogmas is over.

Yesterday I shared my Disappointing Books of 2020 and today I’m happy to talk about the books that surprised me in a good way this year. These are not my top books of the year, those posts are coming next week, I’m going to talk about top YA books, top Adult books and top romance books. But before that, let’s talk about surprising books of 2020:

Miss Meteor by Anna- Marie McLemore and Tehlor Kay Mejia

I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting to love this book because I loved everything I have read by these authors in the past. Maybe it had to do with the fact that it was YA contemporary, which I don’t read and don’t enjoy that much anymore. Nonetheless, this book surprised me because I ended up LOVING it, it’s one of my favorite books of the year. I loved everything about it from the romances to the friendships to the sibling relationships to the message. I would love to read more about these characters.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

This book had two things against it, it was YA which as I said before I’m not really drawn to anymore and it was a love story between a human and ghost and I thought it was going to be a sad book because of that. But despite all that, it surprised it me and it ended up being one of the most comforting books I read in 2020, it gave me so much joy. I particularly loved the main characters, they were adorable, and their relationship.

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

I’m almost done with the YA books, but this is another one that surprised me, and I ended up enjoying a lot more than I thought I would. It made me laugh, it made me cry, it made me feel invested in the characters and their relationship, and it was a book that brought me a lot of comfort during a hard year.

Category Five by Ann Dávila Madrigal

This book surprised me because I had heard very mixed things about the first book in the series, since they are companion books, I ended up skipping book one and jumping straight into this one and it was a great decision. I didn’t think I was going to like this as much as I did, I enjoyed the spooky aspect of the book and I liked the characters, but my favorite thing about it was the way the author integrated what has happened in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria, especially the abandonment of Puerto Rico by the U.S. Government.

This is How You Lose the Time War by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone

I started to read this book with extremely high expectations because everyone was loving it, and I immediately had a problem with the writing, it’s was too purple prose and wordy for my taste. I had to reread passages so many times to be able to understand because the amount of unnecessary and complicated words was A LOT. Nonetheless, this book surprised me because once I got used to the writing and the love story started, I was invested! The romance in this book was so angsty and emotional, the yearning was a beautiful thing to witness and I ended up really enjoying this.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This book was on my tbr for YEARS and there was something about it that made me feel interested in reading it while it also made me thing I wasn’t going to love. So you can imagine my surprise when I started this book and immediately fell in love with it. Emily St. John Mandel managed to weave together storylines that seemed completely unrelated and I loved the complexity of the storytelling.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

I don’t know why I had low expectations for this book, maybe because I felt like everyone described this book in vague terms and I like to go into books knowing very clearly what they are about. Now I totally understand why people are so vague when talking about this book, because it’s a bit nonsensical, it has a very vague plot, there’s a lot of stories within stories, but it’s also whimsical and magical. This book surprised me because I loved everything about it.

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

This was my first Ilona Andrews’ book, and I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that this wasn’t going to be a romance book with a half-baked world and magic system. I loved how complex and interesting the fantasy elements of this book were, and I’m really excited to read more Ilona Andrews’ books in the future.

Headliners by Lucy Parker

This book surprised me because my previous experience with Lucy Parker wasn’t great, I really disliked the writing in that book, so I was very hesitant to read another one of her books, but everyone seemed to love Headliners, so I decided to give it a chance and I’m so glad I did. I was so surprised when I finished this book and realized I LOVED it. This book was hilarious, the main characters were adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both acted like adults, who talk to their significant others and trust each other.  

Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese

I wasn’t expecting to love this book as much as I did, this is my favorite romance of the year, and I was really surprised by it because I read it on a whim when none of my friends had read it or reviewed it, I just saw someone on Goodreads add it and it sounded interesting, so I picked it up and it ended up being a frenemies to lovers, slow burn, angsty and emotional romance that I absolutely loved.

What books surprised you in 2020?

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Disappointing Books of 2020 | Blogmas Day 23

Hi everyone! Today I’m sharing my most disappointing reads of 2020. I didn’t hate any of these books, I gave 3 and 3.5 stars to most of them, there’s only one book I gave 2.5 stars on this list. Honestly, at this point, I know my taste well enough and I’m very selective with what I read, so I only gave two books less than 3 stars this year.

These are all books that I was expecting to like more than I did, they are books that I read in 2020 but they weren’t all released in 2020, there’s a lot of romance on this list simply because it’s my most read genre (by a lot), and for this list, these books are in the order I read them in. Without further ado, let’s talk about the books that disappointed me in 2020:

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

I enjoyed the first 40% of the book until the romance started. There were so many characters that had the potential for being the love interest in the story and I didn’t like the fact that the author chose the sister of the main character’s dead boyfriend. I think that was unnecessary. Moreover, I didn’t like the dynamic between the main character and the love interest, the main character was rude and disrespectful without a real reason, there was a point where the main character punches the wall next to love interest’s face and the love interest thought she was going to hit her, which to me is not ok. Also, I didn’t really see why they would like each other, they have this instant connection that comes out of nowhere and it’s based on nothing.

Domink by Sawyer Bennett

This is book 6 in the Arizona Vengeance series and, while I recognized the writing in these books is not the best, this book was in my most anticipated romances of 2020 list because I always end up enjoying the couples in this series. Nonetheless, I really disliked Dominik as a protagonist, he was arrogant to an extreme degree, controlling and a two-dimensional character. Also, the main characters had no connection beyond physical chemistry, they barely spoke for the first half of the book and there were no romantic moments between them. Lastly, as I mentioned, the writing isn’t the best and the inner monologues of the characters were so repetitive.

Whatever It Takes and Wherever You Are by Krista and Becca Ritchie

I have been waiting for this duology for at least 4 years, since I finished the Calloway Sisters series, and I was left wanting Willow and Garrison’s story. I read the original Wattpad chapters with the beginning of their story and I have waiting for the rest for SO LONG. I still loved Willow and Garrison as well as their relationship, but the structure the authors decided to tell this story in didn’t work for me. I didn’t enjoy the dual timeline, but my main issue with these books is that it feels like a bunch of scenes put together, like vignettes of their story, instead of a cohesive and fluent narrative.

The King of Crows by Libba Bray

I LOVED the first three books in this series and I’m so sad I didn’t love the conclusion to the series. I didn’t dislike this, and I actually think the ending was ok, I just didn’t like the way we got there. The main characters were separated in three groups for most of the book, so we had three different road trip stories where almost nothing happened. That’s the main problem with this book, nothing happened until the very end and then when the final confrontation took place it was so anticlimactic. The stakes felt exceptionally low and the ending wasn’t memorable at all.

Undercover Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams

The main problem I had with this book was that the heroine was the worst, she was judgmental, rash and selfish and she went through some character development, but it happened too suddenly, and it didn’t feel organic. Also, the characters go from friends to lovers and I felt like there was something missing from that transition, it didn’t work that well.

The Boyfriend Project by Farrah Rochon

This book started so strong, I loved the first 10%, it was hilarious. I think that’s why it was such a disappointment, this book fooled me in the beginning into thinking I was going to love it. My main problem with this is that so many moments between the main characters were they were getting to know each other and starting to flirt and like each other happened off page and I was so frustrated about it. When I read a romance book I want to see the characters fall in love, I don’t want to be told that they fell in love in all the moments I didn’t get to read about. Also, the fact that the hero lied to the heroine for 90% of the book didn’t sit well with me.

Meet Cute Club by Jack Harbon

This cover of this book is so beautiful and everyone on twitter seems to love this, so I was excited to read it. Unfortunately, I never managed to fully get into this book, mainly because the writing was flat, I was bored, and the characters were two-dimensional. Also, this book switched viewpoints without warning of any kind of indication that it had happened, sometimes the same scene switched from one pov to another and then back again, which was confusing.

Hate to Want You by Alisha Rai

I have been hearing wonderful things about this book for so long and when I read it, I had just finished an amazing book by this author, so my expectations were way too high. I had a tough time with the beginning of this book because the main characters had only one scene together in the first 30% of the book, so we didn’t see them interacting and getting to know each other again, which is connected to my second problem, which was that the relationship between the main characters relied too much in their past together, but 10 years is a long time and people change, so what was missing for me was seeing the characters fall in love in the present.

Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera

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I think this book was huge disappointment because I have liked every other Adriana Herrera book so much and this was her first f/f relationship, which made me really excited to read it. My main problem with this book is that the characters switched from liking each other to being angry and mean to each other constantly. They didn’t spend more than 5 consecutive pages without fighting in the entire book, right up to the end. There was definitely insta love and there was nothing to back that love.

Tools of Engagement by Tessa Bailey

I have really liked the previous books in this series, and this was one of my most anticipated romances of 2020, so even if think it was ok, it simply didn’t live up to my expectations. My main issue with this book is that the romance was not memorable at all and, while the heroine is great, the hero is really meh, there was nothing special about him. Also, certain elements of the plot felt unrealistic and rushed, especially when it came to the reality show and to the storyline of Wes being the guardian of his nice.

Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones

The premise of this book sounded so cool, I had this idea of what this book was going to be, and it ended up being something completely different that wasn’t half as interesting as what I had imagined. Even if by the end I got more invested in this book, what really annoyed me is that there was a reference to the fact that the person behind the murders stopped taking his meds for his mental illness and that’s a route that I never want a horror book to take. I’m over people with mental illness being the bad guys in horror.

What books disappointed you in 2020?

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Looking Back at My 2020 Bookish Goals | Blogmas Day 22

Hi everyone! Today I’m looking back at my 2020 bookish goals and I’m so happy with how well I did with them. I think I completed so many of my goals because I set attainable goals and they were things that I actually wanted to do, so it was easier to stay on track.

Some of these numbers may chage a bit by December 31st because I still have 9 days left of reading, but since I accomplish most of my numeric goals already, I decided to post this now.

Without further ado, let’s see how I did:

Reading Goals

1.Read 52 books: every year I set 52 books as my goodreads goal, but I know I’ll read more. This year I have read 194 books so far in 2020 and I’ll definitely be trying to get to 200 books in the 9 days I have left of the year.

2.Read at least 20 fantasy books: I’m happy to report that this year I fell back in love with reading fantasy and I managed to complete 43 fantasy books in 2020.

3. Read 35 books by Latinx authors: I set this goal because I wanted to read more books by Latinx authors than in 2019, when I read 29 books, and I’m really happy to say that I completed this goal and read 44 books by Latinx authors in 2020.

4Keep reading diverse books: This goal was centered mainly in keep reading books by authors of color, which I did! As I mentioned, I read 44 books by Latinx authors, 39 books by Black Authors and 21 books by Asian authors. Like I said in my 2021 goals, I need to read more books by Indigenous authors, because in 2020 I only managed to complete 2 books.

Another representation I kept track of was Own Voices Queer rep, I read 20 books with Queer rep (trans rep, lesbian rep, bisexual rep, gay rep) by Queer authors, and I read 2 books with Own Voices Autistic representation. I really want to improve these numbers in 2021. I also read books with mental health rep, disability rep and fat rep, but it’s hard to know what books have own voices representations and which don’t, so that’s why I didn’t include the number of books here.

Blogging Goals

1.Be more consistent: I wanted to post about twice per week in 2020 and I mostly accomplished this, there were I think 2 months where I didn’t post as much as I should have, but I compensated by posting more the next month.

2. Keep hosting Latinx Book Bingo and Latinx Book Club: I hosted the Latinx Book Bingo again this year and I actually hosted it not only on Twitter like the previous two years, but also on instagram and it was so much fun.

I’m also still a host for the Latinx Book Club, even if we did take a break for a while this year due to not having the energy to host the book club with everything that was happening in the world.

3. Keep supporting diverse books through my blog and specifically, books by Latinx authors: I think I did this, I didn’t set any numerical goals but I think if you read my blog regularly you know that I’m always talking, promoting and recommending diverse books.

Did you accomplish your 2020 goals? what goals do you have for 2021?

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