July 2022 Wrap Up: SFF reads, cozy mysteries and good romances

July was such a good reading month and I’m hoping that it’s a sign that my reading slump is finally going away. Not only did I read a lot in terms of the number of books, I also read a few really long ones and I discovered that reading long books – which is the opposite of what I have been doing- may be what I need to get out this reading slump because it makes me feel more invested in the characters and plot. It’s sonething i’ll take into account going forward.

But without further ado, let’s talk about the books:

A Desolation Called Peace by Arkady Martine (4 stars): While I liked the first book more than this one, I think this sequel did a good job and continued the story successfully. This is such a thought-provoking sci-fi series, full of political maneuvering and intrigue, clever and interesting characters, and worldbuilding that is complex without being hard to understand. I really appreciated the addition of new pov characters in the second book, it added so much complexity to the story, it allowed an exploration of the different political factions within both the Teixcalaanli Empire and Lsel Station, and it expanded the world so much in comparison to the first book. This sequel includes some interesting discussions about empires and ethics, cultural assimilation vs cultural isolationism, the value of ancestral knowledge and collective memory, power dynamics in romantic relationships and so much more.

A Master of Djinn by P. Djeli Clark (4 stars): I have been slowly making my way through the novellas and short stories in this series this year and while I have always recognized that the world and characters are fantastic, the short format wasn’t working for me. But this full-length novel was SO GOOD. I got to see more of the two elements that I liked from the novellas: the complex and fascinating world and the flawed but easy to root for characters, while getting a longer mystery plot that I could get invested in with more characters involved and with more moving pieces. Even if the reveal wasn’t that surprising, it was still fun to read.

Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree (3,5 stars): This was good, but I had heard so many amazing things about it that I went into it expecting too much. I loved the characters and the found family, there was interesting world-building, and I appreciated that it was a cozy fantasy book, but I think I needed a bit more plot-wise. Still, I would read more books set in this world and I will check out other books by this author.

Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher (3 stars): I have so many conflicting feelings when it comes to this book. I still think this series is a fun, entertaining and easy-to-read series set in an interesting and complex world. At this point, I’m invested in the characters, so I like seeing how the different characters and relationships evolve. But after the way the last book ended, I thought we would see more of this world and Harry would be more involved with the bigger picture of what’s going on, but it didn’t really happen, there were again only glimpses of that. Because of that, this book feels at points formulaic and repetitive. Honestly, all the plots of the books in this series are starting to feel very similar to me. Lastly, I know these books have a lot of sexism passing for chivalry and hypersexualization of female characters. Nonetheless, this book took it to another level that made me really uncomfortable because there’s hypersexualization of a 17-year-old.

Everything for you by Chloe Liese (4 stars): This is a great grump/ sunshine romance between two professional soccer players who don’t like each other all that much but are forced to be co-captains of their team. I loved the pent-up sexual tension, the amazing chemistry between them and how slowly they started to open up to each other. They shared some very vulnerable moments and they were there for one another, which made their romance believable and realistic. Beyond the main couple, I loved the glimpses we got of the rest of the Bergman family.

I had two minor issues with this: It dragged a tiny little bit in some parts and the love declarations got a bit too cheesy for me at end. but nothing that was a big deal.

To Marry and To Meddle by Martha Waters (4 stars): This book cemented me as a big Martha Waters fan. I have enjoyed all three books in this series so much. This book is a funny, entertaining, and quick read. Both of the main characters were easy to root for, the romance was sweet, without unnecessary conflicts or miscommunication, and there were some good steamy scenes.

How to Fake it in Hollywood by Ava Wilder (3,5 stars): Honestly, for the first 60%, I actually really enjoyed this and thought it was really entertaining. Nonetheless, this ended up being a lot darker and sadder than I thought it was going to be and the ending was so rushed, they resolved a big issue that was the source of conflict throughout the entire book off the page and that didn’t work for me. (full review)

Just Folking Around by Penny Reid (3,5 stars): This was a quick, fun, steamy read that worked perfectly as my palate cleanser after three long SFF books. I really liked both of the main characters and their dynamic and I can’t wait to read the full-length novel about them.

The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman (4,5 stars): This book is not going to be for everyone, but it worked perfectly for me. It was a charming, quirky and quick read. Seeing a group of old people in a retirement home trying to solve a murder was fun, I liked all the characters, and I was interested in the mystery the entire time. Yes, a lot of convenient things happened but I didn’t care, I still enjoyed the story. The only reason it didn’t get 5 stars is that I didn’t love the ending, but I didn’t hate it either. Out of the three big reveals right at the end, I only liked one, the other two were kind of random and felt forced.

The Man Who Died Twice by Richard Osman (4 stars): This was a quick and entertaining book. I continued with the series mostly to see the characters again, they are quirky, funny, sweet and clever and I have so much fun reading about their adventures. I didn’t find the mystery in this book nearly as interesting as the mystery in book 1, because the scope of the mystery was so big (spies, mafia, drug dealers, stolen diamonds) that the story, and especially the ending, felt incredibly unrealistic. But as I mentioned before, I read this for the characters, so I didn’t really mind that much.

An Unexpected Peril by Deanna Raybourn (3,5 stars): This was better than book 5 but still not as good as the first 4 books in the series. The mystery plot was ok, the problem was that in the first 50% not a lot happened, Veronica and Stoker didn’t uncover too much, everything was left for the last half of the book, and particularly to the last 20%. So the pacing felt weird and the first half dragged a little. Also, I didn’t really guess who the villain was but that may have been because I wasn’t completely invested in the mystery plot. I still enjoyed this because I love Veronica and Stoker and there were some good moments between them. 

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie (3,5 stars): The mystery in this was entertaining, and there were so many likely culprits which is always fun. Nonetheless, this is my third Miss Marple book and I was left with the same feeling that I had when I read the other two, I wish Miss Marple showed up more and not only occasionally and at the end when she appears with all the answers to everything, which she pulled out of thin air.

Goddess of Filth by V. Castro (4 stars): This wasn’t scary but it had creepy and gross moments and it was a very different take on possession. I appreciated how it discussed the stereotypes around and the dangers of being a young Latina, as well as the roles that religion, sexuality and female friendships play in the lives of young Latinas. My one issue with this book is that some of the dialogue involving the Goddess was kind of corny and that took me out of the story at times.

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

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Books I wish I could read again for the first time

While I don’t watch booktok content, I still spend a lot of time on tiktok and the other day I saw a video from a bookstore (I didn’t save the video so I don’t know who they are), where booksellers talked about books they wish they could read for the first time, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about what books would I choose. So today I want to share the books I came up with:

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: this book made me feel so many things so strongly when I read it and I don’t think it would be quite the same on re-read. Also, I think the creepy moments and the horror of the reveals hit harder on the first read.

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel: this book has so many different elements (a pandemic, a cult, a theater group, some graphic novels) and different timelines, and the first time I read it it was hard to imagine how they all fit together. I would love to experience again the moment when everything made sense and I saw how every thread was tied together.

The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern: when I read this, I felt like I was lost in a strange and beautiful world and I was so intrigued by the mystery of this library, and I would love to have that feeling again and I think it may no be as strong on a re-read

Jade City by Fonda Lee: Something happens in this book that broke my heart and I think that feeling can really only be experienced fully the first time around.Also, the not knowing what’s going to happen next and feeling like no one is safe is not the same once you know what happened.

Kate Daniels Series by Ilona Andrews: this series brought me so much joy, I read all 10 books in about 2 weeks and I fell in love with the characters and the world. I would love to experience again that moment when I realized that I had found something special.

And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: This book is full of suspense, secrets and lies, and I would love to read it again without knowing who is behind everything, if the accusations about the characters are true, and if anyone is going to survive. I remember trying to figure out the mystery being a really fun part of the reading experience because it felt like all the clues were there, I would love to have that again.

Only When It’s Us by Chloe Liese: beyond the fact that this book is excellent, I wish I could read it for the first time because it made me confront the things I assume about people when I meet them and it wouldn’t happen on a re-read because I’d go in knowing that the assumption is wrong.

Headliners by Lucy Parker: this book was a great romance and part of the reason why it’s the humor, I laughed out loud so many times because there were so many funny moments that came unexpectedly and I think they won’t be as funny a second time around, so I would love to be able to experience it for the first time again.

What books do you wish you could read for the first time?

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A Very Late May, June & July 2021 Wrap Up

Hi everyone! I’m back after an unexpected hiatus. I have been in the worst reading slump of my life the last few months and it was the type of slump that extended to include not wanting to blog or be active in the community in any way. This reading slump felt so different from my usual reading slumps. Normally I will feel the desire to read, but not be able to find a book I want to read or a book I can get into, but this time I actually didn’t feel any desire to read, I didn’t miss reading, I didn’t think about book or reading at all and that was really scary because reading has always being such a huge part of who I am and it felt like I was losing that.

I only read one book in may, I forced myself to read 6 books in June but I ended up not loving anything I read which I think it’s because I was forcing myself to read, so I decided to take some time and not make myself read and that turn into not reading anything at all for the entire month of July, I didn’t finish a single book which has never happened in the last 7 years. After that, I started to try to read again and fell asleep every single time I picked up a book, but after consistently trying the last couple of weeks I’m happy to say I’m reading again and enjoying it.

Now, I’m also feeling up to blogging again and that’s why I’m here to talk about the books I read during may and june:

Sweethand by N.G. Peltier (4 star): This book was funny, steamy, and entertaining. The main characters are so well crafted, they feel like real people with real passions and they have so much chemistry. The side characters are great as well, I have never read a book set in Trinidad and Tobago and I really appreciated that aspect, and the plot surrounding the wedding planning was so fun since there were so many shenanigans involving the wedding party. I

Hang the Moon by Alexandria Bellefleur (between 3.5 – 4 stars): I LOVED the first 100 pages of this book, the characters, their chemistry, their conversations, everything. Brandon was really sweet, and Annie was cool but relatable. But I didn’t care for the conflict in the story, I can totally see how Annie’s choice could have been hard, but the way it was presented in the book made it obvious that it wasn’t actually that hard, it felt like the book was dragging. I feel like the author was going for a low-angst romance, but it went too far and it entered boring territory for me. Nonetheless, I still loved the relationship and the characters. I also loved the friend group in this book and the depiction of friendships

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (3,5 stars): both of the main characters were likable, I love friends to lovers stories so enjoyed that aspect of the book, and the back and forth between the past and the present made the build-up of their relationship interesting to read about. My main problem with this book is that the big reveal of why they stopped talking for 2 years took way too long and it was so anti-climatic, the main characters had been best friends for 10 years and stopped talking for something so minimal that it didn’t make sense. Also, I didn’t love the last part of the book, the conflict after the reveal felt almost like an unnecessary complication.

Second First Impressions by Sally Thorne (3,5 stars): This is more of the sweet, low angst, with a loose plot, kind of romance book. It has likable main characters and side characters that steal the show because they are so funny and have huge personalities. The book focuses a lot on characters development and that’s definitely one of the strong elements of the story. The romance is not bad, but it could have been better. In the end, all the conflicts were resolved a little bit too easily and quickly.

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai (3 stars): The first 50% of this book relied too much on the history between the main characters and that didn’t work for me. I didn’t get why Daisy was still so upset about what happened betwene them so many years ago, and at the same time, she lets a lot of time pass without asking Liam for an explanation. And that’s another thing, it took way too long to find out why Liam stood her up for prom and it started to feel like it was being dragged out for too long. I liked the second half of the book a lot more, they started to spend more time together, get to know each other, and when they get together, their romance was fun and cute. I also enjoyed seeing them work through their individual issues and grow as characters in the second half.

Reasons to Stay Alive by Matt Haig (3,5 stars): I thought this book was going to be less a memoir of Matt Haig’s history with depression, and more of an uplifting, hopeful book from someone who lives with depression. But that was not what this book was or what it was trying to be. Nonetheless, even for what it was, which is mostly a memoir, it felt to me like there was a lack of depth that left me wanting more out of this.

The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie (3,5 stars): This was a fun mystery, there were a bit too many coincidences but I actually didn’t mind that. My problem is that Miss Marble wasn’t that present in the book even if she was supposed to be the main character. I know she is an old lady, but I hoped she was going to be a bigger part of the story and not just show up occasionally when people are telling her what they found out about the case and then at the end to solve the whole thing.

The Tunnel by Ernesto Sabato (3 stars): This was a really fast read and it kept me engaged throughout the story, even when the main character is truly unlikeable and the female character is only there as part of his story and we only know what the main character chooses to tell us about her. I understand that this is the kind of book that it’s more about the philosophical ideas that it’s trying to address than about anything else, and while there were some interesting existentialist ideas explored in this, at the end of the day, this is simply not the kind of book I like

What is your favorite and least favorite book of the last few months?

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Upcoming Book to Screen Adaptations that I’m Looking Forward To | Blogmas Day 5

Hi everyone! It’s blogmas day 5 and I wanted to talk about 2021 book to screen adaptations. Unfortunately, with everything that it’s going on, I’m not sure if these adaptations are actually going to be release in 2021. Usually we would have trailers for most of this shows and movies by now, but we only have trailers for three of them, so I feel like everything is very uncertain.

Because of that, I decided to do a more general post where I talk about upcoming adaptations, some that may or may not come out in 2021 and a some that I’m pretty sure are NOT coming out in 2021, but that I wanted to mention because I’m really excited for them.

Without further ado, here are the book to screen adaptations that I’m looking forward to:

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This adaptations is the one I feel more certain is coming out in 2021, since the trailer just dropped this week. This book was one of the first books that got recommended to me when I joined the community like 8 years ago, even before I started blogging, and it sat on my tbr for years until I finally decided to be honest with myself, I’m never going to read this book. But I saw the trailer for the movie and it looks really good and it has a great cast, so I’ll give it a chance.

Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

This movie is already filmed, so I think we are getting it in 2021, but you never know. I only read book one in this series and I have no interest in reading the other two books, nonetheless, I have watched the first two movies – I really liked the first one and I thought the second one was meh- and I obviously want to watch the last one.

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

I started this book last month and I was kind of disappointed, I still need to finish it and I’ll probably do it before the end of the year, but I was expecting a lot more. Nonetheless, I think the story will make a great series and I like the cast, so I’ll give this a chance.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

This show has already filmed all the episodes, so I’m prettu sure we are getting it in 2021 and I CAN’T WAIT!! I read the original Grisha Triology and also the Six of Crows duology, and I really want to see how they adapted those books. I’ll try to read King of Scars before the show comes out.

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty

I really need to read this book! I really liked Big Little Lies when I read it and I enjoyed the tv adaptation so much, so I’m excited for this new adaptation. I want to read Nine Pefect Strangers before the series comes out, I think I’m really going to enjoy it since it sounds like an Agatha Christie novel, and I’m even more excited to watch the adaptation since Nicole Kidman is involve in it.

The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

I know they had to stop production of this show because of the pandemic, but they are already filming again, so I think we are getting this in 2021. I have only read the first book in this series, I’m hoping to read book two before the end of the year, but even having only read book one, I’m still so excited to see this world and characters on my screen. I can’t wait!

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

This filmed is done since it was supposed to come out on October 2020, hopefully we will get it in 2021. While I didn’t love the adaptation of Murder on the Orient Express, I’m a huge Agatha Christie fan, so I’ll give this movie a chance. Here’s the trailer.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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I had mentioend this one in a post beofre, because it was supposed to come out in 2020, but there were some issues with the release and now it seems it’s coming out on Netflix. As I have mentioned before, I have absolutely zero interest in reading this book, but I LOVE Amy Adams, so I’ll definitely watch the film. Here’s the trailer.

What book to screen adaptations are you looking forward to watching in 2021? What are your favorite adptations?

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Ranking all the books I read this month aka My July 2020 Wrap Up

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Hi everyone! I hope you all had a lovely July! Today, I want to update you on some cool things that happened in July and I want to talk about all the books I read this month and as always, I’ll rank them from least favorite to favorite. But before getting into the post, I want to encourage you to support the Black Lives Matter movement in any way you can. If you want to know how to help, click this link.

First, some bookish updates:  1) I’m part of the team behind Colored Pages Book Tours, which is a company that prioritizes international and own voices readers when it comes to blog tours. The Company just launched but we have already started organizing tours, so check out the website or twitter to see if you are interested in participating in any of them. 2) I wanted to share that I was invited to be one of the judges of the 2020 Ripped Bodice Awards for Excellence in Romantic Fiction, which I’m incredibly honored and excited about!

That’s it! Those are my updates and now, without further ado, let’s talk about the books I read in July:

*Click on the title of the book to go to the Goodreads page + the amazon links are affiliate links which means I get a small commission if you decide to use them, it doesn’t affect the price of books* 

My Least Favorite Book of the Month

This month there wasn’t one book that I truly disliked, so for my least favorite of the month I chose a disappointing mystery book:

the hollow

13. The Hollow by Agatha Christie: This book was ok, but I definitely expected and wanted to see more of Poirot. He appeared so little in this and it was almost like the focus of this book was not on the case but on the relationships between the characters. The case was interesting enough, but most of the characters in this were very unlikeable at times, which is not uncommon in Agatha Christie’s book and I usually don’t mind, but for some reason, in this one, I found them a bit annoying. (Amazon)

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:

summer knight

12. Summer Knight by Jim Butcher: This ended up being ok, as always with this series it was a quick and entertaining read but I had issues with it. Some of the plot elements in this book felt forced and unrealistic to me, and while I enjoyed getting to see a new element of the world thanks to the fairies and the role they played, I felt like the fairies acted very out of character a lot in this book, they were introduced as one thing but when Harry needed help they suddenly became entirely different characters. Still, I will continue with the series, because as I said the books are quick and entertaining. (Amazon)

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:

Go Deep (Unexpected Lovers #1) by Rilzy Adams

11. Go Deep by Rilzy Adams: This started strong, I really enjoyed getting to know the characters, their relationship as best friends and then seeing how fast that relationship changed. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the conflict, it relied too much on the two characters not talking to each other but since it’s a short book the conflict was resolved easily so it wasn’t a big issue. (Amazon)

Amazon.com: I'm Afraid of Men (9780735235939): Vivek Shraya: Books

10. I’m Afraid of Men by Vivek Shraya: This is a short but impactful nonfiction book. The author shares vulnerable and honest insights about gender, sexuality, and toxic masculinity based on their own experience. (Amazon)

Artificial Condition

9. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells: I enjoyed reading this. Murderbot is still an amazing main character and I really liked ART, the sarcastic and slightly rude spaceship that was introduced in this book. The relationship between Murderbot and ART was very entertaining. I really like the humor in this series. My only complaint is that the plot in this one was a lot less interesting than the plot in the first book. (Amazon)

Lock Every Door

8. Lock Every Door by Riley Sager: My reading experience with this book was very weird because it took me a bit to get into this, but after a while, I started to really enjoy it and I actually ended up liking most of the book. Unfortunately, I found the ending a bit disappointing. Riley Sager does a great job of creating tension throughout and I was at the edge of my seat for a big portion of the book and that’s the main reason why I enjoyed this book. (Amazon)

If My Body Could Speak - Button Poetry

7. If My Body Could Speak by Blythe BairdThe writing in this collection was so powerful but so unpretentious at the same time and that made it hit harder. The poems are beautiful and raw. I can’t wait to read more of Blythe Baird’s poetry. (Amazon)

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

6. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson: This is a cute, fluffy YA contemporary. I loved Liz as the main character and her journey and character development. The f/f romance is so sweet and heartwarming. (Amazon)

The Ones I Really Liked

I consider books I really liked the ones I really enjoyed, but they are not new all-time favorites:

take-a-hint-dani-brown

Take a Hint, Dani Brown by Talia Hibbert:  This book has amazing main characters and there’s a lot of character development. This book is so funny, I laughed out loud more than once. The characters have so much chemistry and the relationship is so adorable, I loved all their interactions, I just wish there were a bit more angst and yearning. Also, it has great anxiety rep! (Amazon)

Assassin's Apprentice (The Farseer Trilogy, Book 1): Amazon.es ...

Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb: this book does a great job of establishing Fitz as a protagonist and making you feel for him and root for him. I found the world fascinating and the political intrigue aspect of this book was very cleverly done, I’m looking forward to the next books when Fitz is older and maybe he will have a bit more agency and be more involved in what’s going on. (Amazon)

Always Only You (Bergman Brothers, #2) by Chloe Liese

Always Only You by Chloe Liese:  This is a slow-burn, sunshine x grumpy romance where the grumpy one with the heart of gold is the woman and the smiley, sunshiny character is the man. Chloe Liese has a special talent that allows her to create wonderful and complex characters who you can’t help but root for.  The heroine is an Autistic woman (#ownvoices) with a chronic illness (rheumatoid arthritis) and the hero is Ren is an Shakespeare-loving Hockey player. Their relationship is so heartwarming! (Review + Amazon)

My Favorite Book of the Month

My favorite books of the month can have different ratings depending on how good a particular reading month was. This month I read two brilliant books that instantly became new favorites:

The House in the Cerulean Sea

The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune: This book was adorable. The stars of this were definitely the children, they were cute and funny and just lovable. Also, the main character, Linus, was so sweet and his character development in this book was amazing. I love the relationship Linus forms with the kids and how good he is to them. This is such a hopeful book and it made me so happy. Also, there’s a heartwarming m/m romance. (Review + Amazon)

mexican-gothic

Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia: This book is creepy, atmospheric, and disturbing; and the writing is brilliant, beautiful, and captivating. This book has a very three-dimensional and flawed main character and I absolutely rooted for her the entire time,  and the villains are so well crafted. This book includes a very frustrating but interesting depiction of eugenics and a fascinating exploration of sexism and colonialism. (Review + Amazon)

 What were your favorite and least favorite books you read this month? Have you read any of the books on this wrap up? Do you agree with my opinions about them?

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Summer Reading Recommendations

Hi everyone! Before starting this post, I want to encourage you to support the protests going on right now against the murder of Black people by the police, which were sparked by the murder of George Floyd. If you want to know how to help, click this link where you can find where to donate, petitions to sign, where to text or call to demand justice, and other useful information.

Now onto the post! Summer is almost here and I wanted to put together a list of books that I think are great summer reads. When thinking about perfect books to read in the summer, 3 things come to mind for me:

  1. Light and fun romantic comedies
  2. Highly entertaining fantasy books
  3. Smart mysteries

So today, I have 3 recommendations for each of those categories:

LIGHT & FUN ROM-COMS

Island Affair by Priscilla Oliveras

If there is a book more perfect for the summer than this one, I haven’t read it! This is a fun romance novel where the two main characters are fake dating because the heroine needs to look good in front of her family during a vacation to Key West, and before long, things turn all to real between the main characters. If you enjoy romance books that include complicated family dynamics, this one is for you! (Full review)

You Deserve Each Other by Sarah Hogle

A hilarious second chance romance between two main characters who are engaged and want to call off the wedding but whoever does it has to pay for it, so the two of them go head-to-head in a battle of pranks and sabotage to get the other one to it call off. If you like funny, slow-burn, hate to love romances, this one is a great choice for the summer!

The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa

A highly entertaning romance book about a wedding planner who gets left at the altar because the best man convinced the groom not to get married. Worst of all, she ends up having to work with the best man to get her dream job. This book includes Brazilian culture in a great and seamless way and a fantastic hate to love romance. If that sounds interesting to you, give this book a chance!

HIGHLY ENTERTAINING FANTASY BOOKS

Incendiary by Zoraida Córdova

Incendiary is a YA fantasy book inspired by the Spanish Inquisition about a young woman that was kidnapped and used for her magical powers, before being rescued by a rebel group, and who has to go back to her captors in order to defeat them. This book has an intricate magic system, vivid characters, twist and turns that will keep you at the edge of your sit and an ending that will leave you wanting more. (Full review)

Gods of Jade and Shadow by Silvia Moreno- Garcia

A young woman accidentaly rescues the Mayan god of death from imprissionment and ends up having to go in a life changing journey with him to save both of their lives. The Mayan mythology in this book is captivating and lush and the mix of the mythological elements and the ‘modernity’ of the Jazz Age gave this story a unique touch. If you are looking for a fantasy story that’s different to anything you have read before, check out this one!

Storm Front by Jim Butcher

A wizard detective has to work with the Chicago police to fight evil that most people don’t even believe exist. This book has an interesting magic system and magical creatures (vampire, demons and evil wizards make an apperance), and a compelling mystery element. This book is so entertaining and fast paced that it’s perfect for the summer. If you like both fantasy and crime novels, I think you’ll enjoy this one!

SMART MYSTERIES

I See You by Claire Mackintosh

A woman sees her photo in the classifieds section of a London newspaper and she is determined to find out why it’s there. Then the next day the advert shows a photo of a different woman, and another the day after that. Is it a mistake? A coincidence? Or is someone keeping track of every move they make. If you enjoy twisty and gripping mysteries, this book is for you!

Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that someone has been murdered and nothing is what it seems, so Detective Poirot who was aboard the ships has to find out who is the murderer. Soon to be a movie, this Agatha Christie book is perfect for fans of mysteries revolving around love, jelousy and betrayal.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

A child goes missing and turns up death, this is the story of how her parents and siblings deal with the grief and loss and how all the things that they don’t tell each other start to come up. This book explores very important and heavy subjects in a subtle and brilliant way. Some of the topics it explores are parent/children relationships and the weight of expectations as well as the different ways in which women and people of color experience otherness. If you are looking for a mystery that will make you think, this one is perfect for you!

What books do you think are perfect for the summer? What genres do you like to read during the summer?

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Short Books to Read If You’re Behind in Your Goodreads Challenge | Blogmas Day 10

Hi everyone! While I already completed my Goodreads challenge this year, I know what it’s like to be missing just a few books to reach your goal and that’s why I decided to look through my shelfs and find some short books (under 250 pages) that I would recommend and that may help you complete your Goodreads challenge.

I decided not to include romance novellas since I have so many of those to recommend that I’m writing a separate post about it.

to make monsters out of girls by Amanda Lovelace (168 pages): a poetry collections that explores the experience of being in an abusive relationship and the process of healing after that experience. It’s beautifully written, honest and evocative.

For Every One by Jason Reynolds (102 pages): This is a poem for the dreamers of the world that’s powerful and inspiring.

Have You Seen Marie? by Sandra Cisneros (112 pages): This is beautiful and heartbreaking story told in verse about losing someone you love and the grief that comes with that. Sandra Cisneros manages to convey so many feelings in such a short and simple story.

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (182 pages): This eerie, spooky book about a haunted house will make you feel unsettled and doubt what’s real and what isn’t. It has great writing, an unreliable narrator and intriguing characters.

Animal Farm by George Orwell (141 pages): This book has a clever concept, it uses animal to take a fascinating look at fascism. Also, its fantastically written.

Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie (220 pages): Agatha Christie books are always so entertaining that you feel like you finish them in a blink of an eye.

The Wayward Children Series by Seanan McGuire (all the books are under 202 pages): I know this series is very popular, but if you are a fantasy lover and you’re looking for something short, they are the perfect choice. These books have great writing, interesting concepts, complex characters and so much heart.

God Smites and Other Muslim Girls Problems by Ishara Deen (236 pages): An entertaining and diverse YA mystery, perfect for fans of Nancy Drew. This book is about a Muslim teenage girl solving a muder.

We are Okay by Nina LaCour (236 pages): This is a quiet book about grief that’s bittersweet and raw. It’s one of my favorite YA contemporaries of all time, so I highly recommend it.

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight (236 pages): A cute and fluffy YA contemporary about a love born when two teenagers get stuck in an aiport. This is entertaining and a very fast read.

What short books would you recommend? How are you doing with your Goodreads challenge this year?

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November 2019 Wrap Up: I read 20 books! | Blogmas Day 4

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! November was a great reading month for me, I read a total of 20 books, mainly romance novels that distracted me and made me feel better during a month that was emotionlly draining for me. I even found some new favorite romances and I’m excited to talk to you about them!

ROMANCE

Beard with Me by Penny Reid (4,2 stars): This is a prequel to the Winston Brothers Series and I didn’t think it was necessary, so I almost skipped it, especially since it was supposed to be sad,  but oh boy, that would have been a huge mistake since this ended up being my favorite book in the series. This is not romance since it doesn’t have a happily ever after, but it was a beautiful and heartbreaking hate to love story.

Beard Necessities by Penny Reid (3,8 stars): The final book in a series that means a lot to me. Billy and Claire’s story is such a bittersweet one and I loved it.

The Bromance Book Club by Lyssa Kay Adams (4 stars): Unique and quirky premise, a second chance romance that gave me all the feels, a hero with a stutter (which I have never seen in a romance book before) and so many other things I loved. I can’t wait for the companion book in this series.

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert (4 stars):  This book was cute and funny but it also included important discussions about chronic pain and abusive relationships and it was just a fantastic book.

Never Have I Ever by Lauren Blakely (3,7 stars): This one was so cute! A widowed single dad and his frenemy fall in love and it’s an emotional and beautiful story.

Satisfaction Guaranteed by Lauren Blakely (3,6 stars): great couple, but the conflict in this book was kind of dumb.

Instant Gratification by Lauren Blakely (3,6 stars): I loved the couple in this one, there was a lot of tension and chemistry. It has the best friend’s sister trope.

Overnight Service by Lauren Blakely (3,7 stars): Second chance romance, with love to hate to love. This book has an amazing main couple, their chemestry is off the charts!

Special Delivery by Lauren Blakely (2,8 stars): Honestly don’t remember much about this book and that probably says a lot about why I gave it such a low rating.

Someone Like You by Lauren Layne (3,8 stars): I love the relationship between the main characters, it was sweet but steamy, and I liked that this book includes conversations about important topics like domestic violence, death of a love one and grief.

I Knew You Were Trouble by Lauren Layne (3,6 stars): I really enjoyed the relationship in this book, there was tension and chemistry, but the ending was so rushed that it afected my overall enjoyment of the book.

I Think I Love You by Lauren Layne (3.8 stars): best friends to lovers is my favorite trop and this one was so well done! The whole premise of a guy teaching his female best friend the art of seduction was very entertaining even if it was not very unique.

Ready to Run by Lauren Layne (3,5 stars): This book took place in a short amount of time and I felt like there weren’t enough scenes of the couple to justify the strong feelings between them. There were pretty good scenes between them tho, even if there were few of them.

Crush, Interrupted by Zaida Polanco (3 stars?): This is more like 2,8 stars. I wanted to love this book because it’s written by a Latinx author, but the first 70% was really bad,  the writing wasn’t the best and the romance made no sense.  Even if it got a bit better at the end, it wasn’t that much better.

Plan B by Jana Aston (3,7 stars): I really liked the main couple and their relationship, even if the conflict in the story made no sense to me.

Headstrong Like Us by Krista and Becca Ritchie (3,5 stars): nothing really happens in this book, but I liked getting to see all the characters in the series together, even if it was just for short scenes.

Tacker by Sawyer Bennett (3,6 stars): I had such a high expectations for this book that I was bound to be disappointed. I enjoyed this book, it’s just that those books with the really, really, really tragic pasts for both of the main characters never works for me. Also, I like the couple but I didn’t love it.

Sal and Gabi Break the Universe by Carlos Hernandez (4,3 stars): This is a hilarious but at the same time heartbreaking middle grade novel full of latinx characters and I LOVED it!

One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie (3,5 stars): This was entertaining, as it’s always the case with Christie’s books, but there was a hole in the resolution of the mystery that could have been so easily fixed, but it wasn’t and that annoyed me

The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black (4,5 stars): This is officially one of my favorite YA series of all times, I loved the complex and captivating characters, the politics and scheming, and the ship that owns my heart: Cardan and Jude.

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?
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July 2019 Wrap Up | My Worst Reading Month in Years

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! So July was a bittersweet month for me, full of goodbyes and hellos, ending and beginnings. After living in Spain for almost a year, I’m came back to Colombia (which was always the plan!) and I struggled with leaving my life in Spain a lot more than I thought I would. Because of this huge change in my life, I was pretty busy in July and I was also feeling a bit overwhelmed and so both of those things made me fall into a reading slump that I didn’t get out of until the last week of the month and that’s why I only read 5 books in July and they all were pretty short.

Without further ado, here they are:

The Wedding Party by Jasmine Guillory (3,7 stars): This was one of my most anticipated books of the year, so even when I was in the beginning of a reading slump nothing could have prevented me from reading this when it came out.  I loved both of the main characters and their relationship, the whole frenemies to lovers and secret dating storyline was amazing and overall I had a lot of fun with this book.

Appointment With Death by Agatha Christie (3,6 stars): Agatha Christie coming to my rescue when I’m in a reading slump is nothing new. I’m not sure what is it about her books that restore my desire to read every single time but I’m so grateful. This mystery was interesting and it had fascinating characters, but half of this book passes without Poirot making an appearence and I didn’t like that as much.

Dead Man’s Folly by Agatha Christie (3,7 stars): The mystery in this one was SO GOOD and the whole concept of a game of mock murder gone wrong was a lot of fun. I think I enjoyed it so much because I actually figure out some part of it, which doens’t happen often with Agatha Christie’s book.

The Body is Not An Apology by Sonya Renee Taylor  (3,8 stars): This book has a strange tone, because it tries to be a mix between an academic book and a self-help book, which made it hard for me to connect to what it was trying to say. Nonetheless, it’s incredibly thought-provoking.

Your Heart is the Sea by Nikita Hill (3,8 stars): this is a really good poetry collection that has some very relatable, beautiful, heartfelt poems. (Full review coming this week!)

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Did you enjoy them? Do you want to read any of them?
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