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?

Add me on
 | Twitter  | Ko- fi | Goodreads BookstagramBloglovin Pinterest Letterbox

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?

Add me on
Bookstagram | Twitter  | Ko- fi | Goodreads Bloglovin Pinterest Letterbox

Christmas & Winter Romance Recommendations | Blogmas Day 1

Hi everyone! It’s blogmas day 1 and I’m … very excited… a bit stressed…not sure why I decided to do blogmas at the last possible minute. But mainly I’m excited. I’m going to try my hardest to post every single day from December 1st to December 25th, because I did it last year and it was so much fun, but I’m throwing a caveat because I’m not at all confident that it’s doable. So I’ll do my best and, in any case, you will be getting a lot of content from me in the next few weeks.

With that out of the way, if you are a romance reader or if you want to start reading romance, and you are looking for Christmas-themed or winter-themed romance books, here are some recommendations for you:

Headliners by Lucy Parker

Two rival tv presenters have to work together in order to keep their jobs, so this is a hate to love romance set during Christmas time. Sabrina and Nick were adorable together and they both acted like adults, who talk to their significant other, don’t assume the worst, and actually trust each other. Also, this book is absolutely hilarious, I almost cried because of how hard I was laughing while reading this book.

Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert

This is a friends to lovers romances, where the hero has been pinning for the heroine for years and the timing is finally right to do something about it. The hero is a cinamon roll, the heroine is a little clossed off and there’s a great dynamic between them. This novella is short, cute, it’s set during Christmas and it includes a lot of cats… what else could you want?!

American Christmas by Adriana Herrera

This a m/m short novella revolving around an already establish couple who are spending their first Christmas together in their apartment and want to make it special, but a lot of things go wrong. The main characters are precious and they have a beautiful relationship.

The Reindeer Falls Series by Jana Aston

This series of short novellas is set in a town with a Christmasy name where everyone is obssesed with Christmas and it follows three sisters finding love in unexpected places. The first book is hate to love romance between the main character and her boss, the second book is a foodie romance between a chef and the judge of a baking contest, and the third one is a romance with Santa (kind of!). These are all super fun and cute!

The Simple Wild by K.A. Tucker

This book is set in Alaska, so there are a lot of wintery vibes. Alaska as a setting is stunning and captivating, and getting to know more about this state and the challenges the population faces was really interesting. The story revolves around a very entertatining hate to love romance, but the best element of the book for me is the complex father/daughter relationship and the way that relationship evolves throughout the book.

From Lukov with Love by Mariana Zapata

This book revolves around figure skating, which makes this a perfect book to read during this time since it’s a winter sport. This is a hate to love, slow burn romance between two figure skaters who don’t like each other but end up competing as a pair. Honestly, the romance in this book is the most beautiful enemies to friends to lovers relationship of all times. The heroine goes through so much character development, the hero is there for her and they are perfect for each other.

Do you enjoy Christmas romances? What Christmas or Winter Romances are your favorites?

Add me on
Bookstagram | Twitter  | Ko- fi | Goodreads Bloglovin Pinterest Letterbox

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

Header

Hi everyone! I’m so excited to talk about the 20 (!!) books I read this month, especially since I really enjoyed most of them. But before getting into the books I just wanted to share that I JOINED BOOKSTAGRAM!!!! It has been a little less than a month but I’m havig so much fun. If you have a booktagram account, let me know in the comments so I can follow you or follow me there so I can check out your account. My acocunt is Bookish Wanderess.

Now, without further ado, here is my August wrap up:

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

My Least Favorite Books of the Month

My least favorite books this month were a really disappointing romance book and a frustrating one.

48747627. sy475

20. Mangos and Mistletoe by Adriana Herrera: The characters are so hot and cold, towards each other, they switched from liking each other to being angry or mean to each other constantly. They really didn’t spend more than 5 consecutive pages without fighting in the entire book. And still, they ended up falling in love.

The writing as always with Adriana Herrera was really good, the sex scenes were very well written and I liked the way this book the different relationships that both main characters had with their culture. They were both Dominican but, while Kiskeya lived most of her life in the Dominican Republic, Sully lived in the States and that made their experiences and their feelings towards their culture very different. (Amazon)

40491406. sy475

19. Scoring the Player’s Baby by Naima Simone:  The main characters in this book have a lot of chemistry and the sex scenes are steamy. But I was very frustrated with some of the hero’s comments in this book. He talks about losing his Man Card all the time and anytime he does something even remotely linked to femininity he “is acting like a p*ss*”. There were a lot of gender normative comments and I was annoyed. (Amazon)


The”Just Ok” Books

26025580

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. The Grownup by Gillian Flynn: the main character has a strong and clear voice that’s very captivating from the beginning. The start of the story – plot wise- is very meh, but then the twist happens and it’s so messed up but so cool! And then the ending happened and I’m not sure what to feel, it wasn’t disappointing but it was at the same time. (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:

40623339. sy475

17. Most Eligable Bachelor by Annika Martin: This was ok. My issue with this book is that the change from we distrust and dislike each other to we are absolutely infatuated with each other was very abrupt and it made the relationship not feel entirely believable. Also, the dialogue was kind of cheesy and I think I noticed more because I listened to the audiobook and the narrators weren’t great. Nonetheless, the sex scenes were steamy, and overall this was a quick and entertaining book. (Amazon)

51794301. sx318 sy475

16. Beyond the Gender Binary by Alok Vaid-Menon: This was ok. It’s a very short book that covers basic topics about gender and specifically the gender binary. Its particular focus is refuting some of the misconceptions that a lot of people have. This book addresses the subjects it covers in a very superficial way and sometimes the author makes some comments that needed a bit more nuance. (Amazon)

52223994. sx318 sy475

15. Temporary Wife Temptation by Jayce Lee: The characters had chemistry, there were interesting side characters (which made me excited for book 2!) and I really loved the way that Garret’s family welcomed Natalie. My main issue with this book was that there were weird time jumps and I felt like important scenes were skipped and the book felt kind of choppy. Also, the real reason behind the third act conflict was silly and the ending felt rushed. (Amazon)

23587120

14. When a Scot Ties the Knot by Tessa Dare: Very early on the main characters started to like and care for each other and I couldn’t see or understand why and that was my main issue with this book: I had trouble believing in the relationship between the main characters. I liked the second half of this book a lot more than the first, I think the relationship ended up being really sweet. (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:

13. Daugther of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller: This series is entertaining and fun. Even when this book was a bit darker than the first one, it was still a lighthearted read overall. While the romance was a big part of the book, this sequel has a lot more plot than the first book and I enjoyed that about it. It’s very action-packed and fast-paced which makes it a quick read. (Amazon)

36274099. sy475

12. Engagement and Espionage by Penny Reid: I enjoyed this mainly because I love Cletus and Jenn and I loved getting more of them and their relationship. Also, seeing the rest of the Winstons was lovely. Nonetheless, I wasn’t a big fan of the mystery aspect of the book, I mean it was ok but I wasn’t wowed. I feel like the mystery was a bit forced and a lot of convenient things happened. Still, I will obviously continue with the series. (Amazon)

41020406. sx318

11. The Black Flamingo by Dean Etta: This is a story told in verse about identity and belonging. I think this covers a lot of different and important topics in a powerful and beautiful way, but also a bit superficially. There’s so much the book tries to cover and it’s such a short, quick read that there’s no time to explore any subject very deeply. I enjoyed this a lot, I think I just wish there was more of it. (Amazon)

10. Finding Joy by Adriana Herrera: This was cute and low angst. I really liked the romance between the two main characters, Elias was adorable and Desta was just chaotic. (Review + Amazon)

41088576

9. Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews: This was my first Iliona Andrews book and I really enjoyed it. I loved the main character, the world and magic system are fascinating and complex and the mystery was really engaging. My issue with this was the romance, it felt like Alessandro was pretending or acting the entire time and even Catalina mentions it at some point. We only got to see very small glimpses of the real him and it wasn’t enough for me, I need more to really get on board with him as a character but also with the romance in the book. (Amazon)

The Ones I Really Liked

I consider books I really liked the ones that stay with me and that I recommend all the time, but they are not new all-time favorites:

41945957. sx318

8. The Land of the Cranes by Aida Salazar: This book tells a powerful and heartbreaking story and I had a lump in my throat the entire time I was reading it. The poetry in the book is so evocative and the fact that it’s a little girl, who doesn’t entirely understand what’s happening, the one that tells the story of deportation and family separation makes it even more effective in transmitting how devastating the whole situation is. (Amazon)

7. Category Five by Ann Davila Cardinal: the characters were very complex and layered, which I really enjoyed, and the different relationships between them were compelling. The mystery was intriguing and I really liked the way the author integrated what has happened in Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. (Review + Amazon)

6. Party of Two by Jasmine Guillory: I really liked this one! the characters were great, flawed but likable, and I could see why they liked each other. I really enjoyed that we actually got to see them get to know each other and fall in love. My issue with this book is that it did drag a little for me once they went public with their relationship, but overall it was still really enjoyable (Review + Amazon)

5. The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite: This was cute and interesting and the romance was just SO SOFT! The plot revolves around sexism in STEM back in 1816 and I was so invested!!! (Review + Amazon)

45134200

4. The Switch by Beth O’Leary: I enjoyed this books a lot. I loved the journeys each main character goes on and the changes they both experience. I think the way this book addresses grief was very realistic. The secondary characters were captivating and adorable. I really liked the romances even if they were a bit rushed. (Review + Amazon)

52069082. sx318 sy475

3. Headliners by Lucy Parker: Sabrina and Nick were adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both acted like adults, who TALK to their significant other. There is no miscommunication in this book, and even more, the opposite of that trope is in this book. Also, Lucy Parker does something so refreshing with the ending! (Review + Amazon)

2. Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall: the two main characters go through so much character development in this book and I loved it. Luc and Oliver’s romance has just the right amount of angst and seeing them be there for each other and slowly fall in love is so heartwarming. They are adorable together. (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 an amazing roamnce book that quickly became one of my favorite romance books of the year:

1. You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria: I LOVED THIS! It’s so rare for me to like both main characters in a book equally, but Jasmine and Ashton were both amazing and they had so much chemistry! I liked that they also had a strong emotional connection. (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?
Add me on
Bookstagram | Twitter  | Ko- fi | Goodreads Bloglovin Pinterest Letterbox

Reviewing Romance Books: Party of Two, The Switch, Headliners and The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics

Hi everyone! I’m really excited to have 4 mini review for you today of books that I really, really enjoyed. I gave all of these books 4 stars and I would totally recommend them!

The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite

Goodreads | Amazon

Lucy has helped her father with his astronomy work for years, so when she finds she finds a letter from the Countess of Moth after his death, looking for someone to translate an astronomy text, she knows where to go. Catherine expected to hand off the translation and wash her hands of the project—instead, she is intrigued by the woman who turns up at her door and she agrees to let Lucy stay. They start to fall in love, but sabotage and old wounds threaten to sever the threads that bind them.

Historical romance is not usually a subgenre that I read, so I wasn’t sure what to expect from a historical romance with queer characters. I thought it may be angsty and sad, but I am so glad it isn’t. This is a cute and interesting story and the romance is just SO SOFT! Lucy and Katherine are strong, smart and passionate and they care for each other so much and want what’s best for each other. The plot revolves around sexism in STEM back in 1816 and I was invested!!! I was frustrated over the situations Lucy had to face and I was rooting for them in their fight against the patriarchy.

My only little complaint is that the “fight” the characters have in the third act didn’t make any sense to me, I literally read the conversation 3 times and I didn’t understand what happened and why they got to the conclusion that they did at the end of that conversation. But is is a very small issue and I ended up really loving this book.

Party of Two by Jamine Guillory

Goodreads | Amazon

Party of Two is about  Olivia Monroe, who just moved to LA to start her own law firm and who meets a gorgeous man at a hotel bar and discovers too late that he is none other than senator Max Powell. Olivia has zero interest in dating a politician, but a sweet gesture convinces her to give him a chance. They date in secret for a while but when they decide to go public with their relationship, the media attention may prove to be too much.

I really enjoyed Party of Two! The characters were great, flawed but likable, and I could see why they liked each other. They were both successful, ambitious, smart and kind and they both cared about helping their communities. I really enjoyed that the book actually shows them go out in dates, get to know each other and slowly fall in love. The progression of the relationship felt realistic. I also appreciated that, as always with the books in this series, it didn’t shy away from addressing white privilege, racism and even incarceration of black and brown youth.

My issue with this book is that it did drag a little for me once they went public with their relationship, but overall it was still really enjoyable.

Headliners by Lucy Parker

Goodreads | Amazon

Headliners (London Celebrities, #5) by Lucy Parker

Hedliners is about two tv presenters, who have a very public rivalry, are forced to work together resurrect a sinking morning show and save their careers —and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed. When mishaps start to happen on set, Sabrina and Nick find themselves working together to hunt down the saboteur and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant cohosts are secretly lusting after one another. The public might not be wrong.

I loved this book! The main characters are tv presenters that don’t like each other but have to work together and it’s awkward and hilarious. I laughed out loud so many times while reading this. This book does an amazing job showing how the relationship between the main characters slowly evolves and changes. That is really important because Sabrina has a very real and valid reason to hate Nick, so the slow pace really worked with the story.

Sabrina and Nick are adorable together and the best part about this book is that they both act like adults, who TALK to their significant other, don’t assume the worst, and actually trust each other. There is no miscommunication in this book, and beyond that, the opposite of that trope is present in this book. Both characters are so good at communicating, and that’s not the only refreshing thing about this book, Lucy Parker steps away from the “romance formula” in the third act of the book, which I truly appreciated. My only issue with this is that it dragged a little bit in a few places, but overall it was great!

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Goodreads | Amazon

The Switch: The funny and utterly charming novel from the bestselling  author of The Flatshare (English Edition) eBook: O'Leary, Beth: Amazon.es:  Tienda Kindle

The Switch is about Leena Cotton, who is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical from work, so she escapes to her grandmother Eileen’s house for some overdue rest. Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She’d like a second chance at love, but her tiny village doesn’t offer many eligible gentlemen. Leena proposes a solution: a two-month swap. Just like that, Leena stays in the samll village and Eileen goes to Londo and both of them have adventures that change their lives.

I enjoyed The Switch a lot. I loved the journey each main character goes on and the changes they both experience. Grief is a esencial part of those journeys, especially for Leena, and I appreciated that this book addresses grief in a very realistic way and it does a good job of showing how the characters relationship with grief changes with time. While Leena’s journey is mostly about overcoming grief, Eileen steals the show with her journey of self discovery and of helping the people around her.

The secondary characters in this book are captivating and adorable. It is very interesting to see Leena and Eileen have to interact and build relationships of their own with people in the other woman’s life. The romances in this book are not the focus of the story, but they are present and I really liked them. Since this book was focused on so many other things related to the character’s personal growth, the romance feel a bit rushed. But overall, the love stories in this are really adorable.

Beth O’Leary is very ambitious, each main character in this book has a completely separate plot and romantic subplot and, because of that, the stories aren’t as flesh out as they could have been, still both plots were engaging and cute.

Have you read any of these books? What romance books have you enjoyed lately?
Add me on
Bookstagram | Twitter  | Ko- fi | Goodreads Bloglovin Pinterest Letterbox