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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Ranking all the books I read this month aka my February 2020 Wrap Up

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! It’s time for my february wrap up and I’m excited with the new format that I’m using where I rank all the books I read from my least favorite to my favorite book of the month. The ranking is not enterily dependent on rating, so there can be books with lower ratings that are higher on the list than other books with higher ratings and that has to do with my enjoyment of the books.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted my February tbr and I’m so happy to say that I read all the books on it – even if I finished We Unleash the Merciless Storm on March 1st which is why it’s not gonna be in this wrap up. So I read 8 books on my February tbr + 6 more books that were not on it. Here’s how I ranked them:

*Click the book titles to go to the Goodreads page*

My Least Favorite Books of the Month

Unfortunately, this month I read two books that I really disliked and that I had a lot of issues with, specially in terms of characters and writing.

14. Frenemies by Emma Hart (2,5 stars): The writing in this wasn’t good and the main character was annoying, she kept going around in circles about her relationship with the love interest and then she suddenly changed her mind at the end. I think this had lots of potential, but it needed to be longer and better written.

13. Dominik by Sawyer Bennet (2,8 stars): the hero of this book was extremely arrogant and controlling, he was a very two dimentional character and even if he did get a bit better by the end, the improvement wasn’t significant. Beyond sexual chemistry, the characters didn’t have any connection and they barely speak to each other for the first half of the book. Also, the writing wasn’t the best, the inner monologues of the main characters were so repetitive.

The One I Had Issues With, But It’s Not Bad

The books I give ratings between 3 and 3,5 stars are the ones that I have a lot of issues with but they have redeeming qualities and I can see that they are not bad books.

12. American Street by Ibi Zoboi (3,4 stars): This was a quick read but I had a hard time getting into it because I didn’t like the main character, I found her naive and judgemental. Nonetheless, all the other characters were interesting. This book didn’t handle the topic of abusive relationships very well and the ending was rushed and it was deus ex machina.

The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books

The “I mostly liked them, but…” books are the ones I give between 3,5 and 3,7 stars to and they are books that have small things I disliked or I had some issues with them.

11. Unbreakable by Melanie Harlow (3,7 stars): I really liked both of the main characters, they had great chemistry and they were kind and understanding with each other. There was a storyline in this that was predictable revolving around pregnancy and infertility and I think it could have been handled better.

10. Wherever You Are by Krista & Becca Ritchie (3,7 stars): This book was told in dual timelines, at the beginning it did a good job of staying in one timeline long enough to not feel jumpy, but halfway through it started to feel like a bunch of scenes haphazardly put together without a strong narrative behind them and it actually skipped some really important scenes, which annoyed me.

9. The King of Crows by Libba Bray (3,7 stars): Nothing happened in this until the very end and then when the big confrontation took place it was so anticlimatic. The ending was nothing memorable and it felt like the stakes were super low. Still I’m not mad at this book because my two favorite characters got the ending I wanted for them and that was all I was asking.

The Ones I Really Liked

I consider books I really liked the ones I give a rating somewhere between a 3,8 and a 4,4 stars.

8. The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor (3,8 stars): It took me a while to get into this, but when the action started, I got really invested in the story. This book tried to cram to much world building into very few pages and it suffered a bit for it and also I didn’t love the ending, but overall I enjoyed the conclusion to Binti’s story.

7. The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa (3,8 stars): This was a highly entertaning read, I really liked the characters and their chemistry was off the charts. Also, I LOVED the way Brazilian culture was incorporated. I know a lot of people were saying that the sex in this book was awkward and I would agree that the first sex scene was, but it got better.

6. Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole (3,8 stars): The plot of this got a bit ridiculous by the end, but I LOVED Portia and Tavish as characters and as a couple, their chemistry was amazing.

5. A Prince on Paper by Alyssa Cole (3,8 stars): I LOVED the main characters! Nya and Johan are precious and I loved seeing them fall in love and get their happily ever after. I think the whole storyline with Nya’s father was resolved in a very weird and rushed way, but beyond that I really enjoyed it

4. Can’t Escape Love by Alyssa Cole (4 stars): This book has the most adorable, nerdy couple I have ever encountered in a romance book. I LOVED both of the main characters. There was a point where this book had me at the verge of tears just because the hero felt confused and sad and that’s a testament of how deeply Alyssa Cole made me fall in love with the characters.

3. American Sweethearts by Adriana Herrera (4 stars): I love both of the main characters. Juan Pablo is such a swoonworthy hero. I really love how sex positive and unapologetically Latinx this book is. (Full review)

2. Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams (4 stars): Queenie’s voice is incredibly captivating even when her life is spinning out of control. The first half of this book is full of Queenie making terrible choices and getting involved with the most horrific men, who treated her like she was a plaything that was there for their pleasure. But seeing the whole process she went through to get better was beautiful.

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, but the books I consider new favorites usually are the ones that get a rating of 4,5 stars or more. This month unfortunately I didn’t rate anything higher than 4 stars, but I still read a brilliant book:

1. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (4 stars): The world building and magic system in this book were unique, intriging and devastating. The way it mirrors our society was smart and poignant. There were so many twist, some that I saw coming and some that I didn’t, but they all made sense to the story. I loved Syenite and Alabaster and I’m heartbroken over everything they went through. This is brilliant but the last 80 pages made me feel hopeless and angry and devastated and I’m not sure that I will continue on with the series because this book was one bad thing after another and I feel like I can’t handle that.

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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February TBR: Black History Month + Latinx Book Club + Anticipated Releases

Hi everyone! It’s time for my February tbr and I’m very excited to read the books I picked. Most of the books I’ll be reading in February are books by Black authors because February is Black History Month; I also included on my tbr the book pick of the Month for the Latinx Book Club, which is a book by an Afro-Latinx author; and lastly, I included 3 of my most anticipated releases of the year.

As I did in my January tbr, I have a list below with the goals and challenges that I want to keep track of in 2020 and I chose an emoji that represents each one. Next to each of the books on my tbr, I’ll put the emoji of the goal or challenge that that book is going to help me fullfil.

  • Read 20 fantasy books in 2020 (🔮)
  • Read 35 books by Latinx authors in 2020 (🔥)
  • Keep reading diverse books: by Asian authors (☁️), by black authors (🌞), other #ownvoices rep (🌈)
  • Read 50 books by the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (⭐)
  • Read the 20 books on my tbr for the #StartOnYourShelfathon challenge (💫)
  • Read a book from a genre that’s not fantasy or romance (🦄)

Without further ado, here is my Febraury tbr:

🔮⭐💫🌞 The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin: This book has been on my tbr for so long, I have heard nothing but great things and I’m excited!

🌞⭐🦄 Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor: I read the first two books in this series almost two years ago and I need to finally read the conclusion to the story.

🔥🌞⭐🦄 American Street by Ibi Zoboi: I’m reading this for the Latinx Book Club, which I co-host on Twitter and Goodreads

🌞 ⭐A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole: I have read and liked two books in this series, so I’m excited to read this one, especially aince it seems to be the favorite of a lot of my friends

🔥🌞The Worst Best Man by Mia Sosa: one fo my most anticipated releases of the year since I love Mia Sosa’s Love on Cue series. Release date: Fabruary 4th

🌞 ⭐🦄Queenie by Candice Carty Williams: This has been on my tbr for a year but the synopsis is resonating a lot with where I am in my life right now, so I can’t wait to read it.

🔮The King of Crows by Libba Bray: The Diviners Series is one of my all time favorite series and I can’t wait to read the final book. Release date: February 4th

🔮🔥 We Unleash The Merciless Storm by Tehlor Kay Mejia: The first book in this series was one of my favorite books of 2019, so I can’t wait to see what happens next. Release date: February 25th

Dominik by Sawyer Bennett: This is the sixth book in this series and I have really enjoyed the previous books, so I’m really excited for this one. Release date: February 18th

What are your reading plans for February? If you want to buddy read any of the books on my tbr, let me know in the comments!

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Top 10 Books of 2019

Hi everyone! It’s New Year’s Eve! I’m wishing all of you a wonderful 2020 full of happiness, love and so many great books! In my last post of 2019, I want to share with you my favorite books that I read in 2019 that are not romance books since I already posted my favorite romance books of 2019.

I had a lot of trouble deciding what books to include in this list and I finally narrowed down to ten. This list is in no particular other except for the first book, which is my favorite of the year. Without futher ado, here are my favorite books of 2019:

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

This is my favorite book of the year because it’s the book that has struck with me the most, I think about it constantly and everytime I do, I get so emotional. It’s not often that a book breaks my heart and makes me sob while also being hopeful, but this book managed to do just that. The writing is beautiful, the characters are flawed but lovable, the small town and the community that’s like a huge family are wonderful elements of the story, but my favorite aspects of this book are the complicated and bittersweet family dynamics and the brilliant way it explores the feelings of a granddaughter of immgrants: the feelings of confusion and guilt for belonging to two places at once, speaking biligual words, not knowing exactly where she comes from and not knowing what happened to the family that stayed behind.

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

This book is magic, it reminded me why I love fantasy and it reminded me how awestruck I can be by a new magical, whimsical world. The writing is stunning and it sets a tone of wonder and curiosity and posibility, that goes perfectly with the mystery within the story. The main character Lazlo is precious and there are so many other fascinating and complicated characters, that it’s imposible not to root for them. I was so captivated by the discovery of what happened in weep and I was amazed by how the consequences of it are shown: the quiet and subtle sorrow and anger. The combination of all these things sucked me into this story of gods and monsters and made me feel invested until it hit me with the shocking and heartbreaking ending.

The Wicked King & The Queen of Nothing by Holly Black

The Wicked King and The Queen of Nothing are highly entertaining, full of twist and turns, and brimming with complex and compelling characters and relationships. These two books are filled with angst, betrayal, deceive, lust, murder, mind games, viciousness and wit, all of it is so enthralling and intoxicating that you can help but be completly captivated by the story. My favorite character by far is Jude, a human in a fairy court, who manages to surprise the fairies by being smart and coniving. And my absolutely favorite thing about this series is Cardan and Jude’s relationship, which is angsty and complicated, but so intense and passionate. (review)

We Set the Dark on Fire by Tehlor Kay Mejia

We Set the Dark on Fire captured my heart with two beautifully complex main characters, a forbidden love story,  fascinating mythology, an infuriating world and a flawed and complicated rebelious group. This book holds a really special place in my heart because it’s the respectful and wonderful Latinx representation that we have been waiting for in fantasy. Beyond all those amazing things, the strengh of this book lays in the way it addresses immigration, privilege, poverty and opression, because it manages to evoke so many emotions and be incredibly thought-provoking, it’s brilliantly done.

Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria

This book has five diverse main characters – queer, poc, struggling with mental health and trauma- that have distintive voices and personalies and one of my favorite things about this book is the way it seamlessly integrates the different aspects of the characters identities to the story. Moreover, I loved the way the relationships between the main characters is explored; there’s so many things that make the relationships between them complicated and STILL they love and trust each other and it’s so beautiful. Other great elements of the story are the twists and turns that are very well done and the pace that keeps the book entertaining and engaging the whole time. (review)

Before the Devil Break You by Libba Bray

This book has the same eery, creepy vibe that the other two books in this series and it’s one of my favorite things about it, there are some scenes in this book that made me so uneasy – specially the ones that take place at the asylum. I think one of the things this series does so well is that the plot keeps getting more and more complex and because of that, it manages to keep me interested in the whole mystery behind what’s happening and it makes me want to get to the bottom of all the secrets and lies. Also, I’m so invested in what’s gonna happened to the characters, specially Evie and Sam, I’m rooting so hard for them.

A Spark of White Fire by Sangu Mandanna

This book takes place in a universe full of gods and goddesses from Indian lore, which gives a unique and intereting setting to the story. I loved that this book is full of political intrigue, sentient spaceships, floating cities, broken and complicated relationships. One of my favorite things about this book was one of the friendships that falls into the trope of the lazy prince that doesn’t care about anything except for the main character, which is a trope I love and that made me very emotional while reading this book. But the main reason this book is on this list is because of the ending, which shocked me and broke my heart and I hated it but at the same time it made sense and it was a good ending for the book.

Empire of Sand by Tasha Suri

This book has a fascinating magic system that revolves around dacing; incredible mythological creatures; a villain that’s cruel, mannipulative and conniving; two strong and resilient main characters; a slow-burn love story that’s so touching and beautiful that I get emotional everytime I think about it; and amazing writing that keep me gripped the entire time. This book does a great job at showing the fate of a conquered nation, how law and faith work together to maintain certain groups oppresed and the things people are capable of doing to others when those others are seen as less than human because of their differences.

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

This book is full of twists and turns and the unexpected. While it’s a very action pacted book- there’s a missil attack, a contagious disease that creates zombie like creatures, a defective AI that kills people – one of the strengths of the book lays in how much it makes you care about characters that you only see for a few pages, so that it’s very distressing and worrisome when bad things start happening to them. Another great thing about this book, is that it maneged to make me root for Kady and Ezra the entire time, I just wanted them to be together. Nonetheless, my favorite thing about this book were Kady and Aidan (the defective AI) and how complex and fascinating they were as characters and how devastating and engrossing their relationship was.

What were your favorite books of the year? Have you read any of the books on this list? Did you enjoy them?

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Latinx Book Bingo & Latinxathon + October 2019 Wrap Up | Blogmas Day 3

Reading Wrap Up

Hi everyone! I’m trying to catch up on wrap ups after my hiatus, so today I bring you what I read for the Latinx Book Bingo and the Latinxathon that took place from September 15 to October 15 and also what I read the last two weeks of October. I was planning on including my November wrap up in this post as well but I read 19 books in November and I think the post would end up being way too long.

Latinx Book Bingo & Latinxathon

lbb 2019

Take the Lead by Alexis Daria (3,6 stars): I loved the unique premise of this book (a dance competition tv show), the main characters (a pro dancer and a reality tv star hero who lives in Alaska) and the relationship between them (so steamy!).

Dance With Me by Alexis Daria (3,7 stars): A puerto rican pro dancer and an Ukranian coreographer are friends with benefits who end up living together. I loved how each character had their own fears and insecurities and how they supported each other to get pass them.

News of a Kidnapping by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (4,3 stars):  this is about the kidnapping of 9 journalist organized by Pablo Escobar in the 90s in Colombia and it’s incredibly well-written and a really fascinating book.

Ripped Pages by M. Hollis (3 stars): This is a short rapunzel retelling with a f/f relationship between princesses. The writing wasn’t great, the characters weren’t as three dimentional as I wanted and it was a novella so everything happened a bit too fast.

Latinxathon

America Vol. 2 by Gabby Rivera (4 stars): This is a comic about a Latinx lesbian superhero, what else could I ask for?! I loved getting to know a bit more about America’s past and where she comes from.

American Dreamer by Adriana Herrera (4 stars): The cuteness of the relationship in this book has no limits and I loved it! This has a m/m relationship between a food truck owner and a sexy librarian.

American Fairytale by Adriana Herrera (3,8 stars): An m/m romance between a Cuban-Jamaican social worker and a Dominican-American businessman with a cute daughter. This book was heartwarming and adorable.

American Love Story by Adriana Herrera (3,6 stars): This is a m/m romance that I enjoyed, but it’s my least favorite of the series because while it dealt with really important subjets, it became repetitive and it dragged a bit.

OCTOBER

Parental Guidance by Avery Flynn (3,6 stars): This has an interesting concept (a dating app that let’s parent choose the dates) and a great relationship between the main characters.

Tomboy by Avery Flynn (3,7 stars): I love a grumpy hero and this had a great one and I also love when the grumpy hero falls in love with a great woman, which this also has!

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray (4 stars): I loved this book as much as I loved the first two in the series. It has the same creepy vibe that the other two and the plot just keeps getting more complex and interesting. Also, I’m rooting for Evie and Sam so hard!

Cosas que piensas cuando te muerdes las uñas by Amalia Andrade (4 stars): a mixed media book about fears and anxiety by a Colombian author and artist. If you speak spanish, I would totally recommend this!

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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10 Long Books That Are Totally Worth Reading

10 long books totally worth readingHi everyone! Today’s post was born one day when I was staring at a very long book and wondering if it was worth putting so much time into reading it when I could read 2 or even 3 books in that same amount of time. I’m sure I’m not the only one that has had thoughts like this and that’s why I wanted to make a list of some long books that are totally worth the time investment.

For the purpose of this post:

  • Long book = over 500 pages.
  • I only considered the first book in a series, no sequels.

Now let’s get into the books!

16bcb-martin-george-r-r-a-game-of-thronesA Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin  (837 pages) 

I know this book is particulary intimidating for a lot of people because it’s not just one long book, it’s a long series of really long books. BUT the amount of world building, the complexity of the characters and the relationships between them, as well as the intricacy of the political scheming make this book and this series fascinating and so worth the time investment required to read it.

Children of Blood and BoneChildren of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi (544 pages) 

Another leghthy fantasy book that it’s worth commiting to read! This is a captivating book with an incredibly well crafted world and magic system and, unlike GOT, it’s an action packed story that goes by quickly. My favorite thing about it though are the characters, Amari is a new all time favorite, and if you are a fan of character development, you’ll like her story arc in this book. This is an angsty, dramatic and emotional fantasy book that’s definitely worth the read.

Strange the DreamerStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor  (536 pages)

This is the best book I have read so far in 2019, so off course it needed to be included on this list. After months of being in a fantasy reading slump, this book reminded me what I love about fantasy and how awestruck I can be by a new magical, whimsical world. The writing is stunning and it sets a tone of wonder and  posibility that goes perfectly with the mystery within the novel. This fascinating story of gods and monsters will make you feel invested until it hits you with a shocking ending and that’s why it’s totally worth the read!

The DivinersThe Diviners by Libba Bray (578 pages) 

This book is not for everyone because it gets quite scary at some points, but I loved it and I’m grateful because it helped me discover my love for spooky books.  This is a really atmospheric read that has a creepy vibe, mystery elements that make the story intriguing and characters that are captivating and complex. So, if you want a YA book with unique elements and you don’t mind the spooky stuff, you’ll love this and yout won’t care that it’s a longer read!

The long way to a small angry planetThe Long Way to a Small Angry Planet by Becky Chambers (518 pages)

This is probably my favorite Sci-fi book of all time and I think it’s a fantastic choice if you like quiet books that are character driven and tackle important themes. One of the strenghts of this book is that diversity is at the forefront of the story and it’s included in an interesting and thoughtful way; there’s different species, races, sexual orientations, gender identities, body types, cultures, religions and so much more that are represented. This is long read but it’s so captivating and thought provoking that you won’t want to put it down.

The Wall of Winnipeg and MeThe Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata (673 pages) 

If you haven’t read any Mariana Zapata books know that she is the queen of slow burn romances, so you’ll have to wait a while but the payoff in her books is SO WORTH IT. This book has a heartwarming romance, amazing character development of the male protagonist, an incredible and relatable female protagonist and low angst and drama. If you like sports and workplace romances, slow burn and the marriage of convenience trope, you’ll  love this book and you won’t mind the almost 700 pages. 

crazy rich asiansCrazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (527 pages) 

This is a fun, very extravagant read that’s full of descriptions of oppulence and excesses. It has hints of  plot that keeps everything together, but it’s mainly a book about the lives of very rich and superficial people in Singapore, a setting that gives this book an interesting and unique background and it’s what makes this book special. If you’re looking for a light and entertaining read that has a unique setting, this book is definitely worth reading even when it’s a bit long.

a7b60-secret-historyThe Secret History by Donna Tart (559 pages) 

If you like unlikeable and morally grey characters, then you’ll find that this book is worth the time investment! The characters in this story are enigmatic and fascinating and even when they did things or had thoughts that were disturbing, I never found myself quite disliking them. Add to that, how atmospheric this book is, how beautiful and compelling the writing style is and how fascinating the underlying commentary about power, elitism, morality, depravity and freedom is, and you’ll have a masterpiece and one of my favorite books of all time.

fc04c-the2bgirl2bof2bthe2bdragon2btattoo2bby2bstieg2blarssonThe Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larson (658 pages)

If you like mystery books with great plots but even more amazing characters, then you won’t mind that it’s 600 pages long. All the characters in this are complex and captivating. Lisbeth Salander is one of the most interesting characters I have ever encountered. Add the fact that this book tackles discrimination, violence and harrasment against women that is perpetrated by men who disregarded them as nothing, while at the same time having some amazing female characters, and you’ll understand why this book is so special and totally worth reading!

7ec4e-jk-rowling-the-cuckoos-callingThe Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (561 pages)

This book is not only long, it’s also a slow read, so I totally understand why some people don’t want to read it. BUT if you like character driven stories, full of fascinating characters with mysterious and interesting backstories that have complicated relationship with each other, I really think you should give this one a chance. Plus, the writing is really good and the mystery is highly entertaining.

 

What long books do you think are totally worth reading? Have you read any of the books on this list? What did you think about them? 
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Best Books of 2018

best books of 2018

Hi everyone! This is such an exciting post, I’m sharing my favorite books of 2018! 🎉 I didn’t make this list based on ratings, I just thought about the books that have stayed with me the most, the ones I still think about weeks or months after I read them. Here are my favorite books of this year:

the seven husbands of evelyn hugoThe Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

What is this book about?: An old Hollywood movie star is giving an interview for the first time ever about her life story, including her relationships with her seven husbands.

Why I love it?: It is an amazing story about a morally gray character that unapologetically does terrible things in order to achieve what she wants in life, but she’s also fiercely loyal to those she loves. The main things I love about this is that it’s about a complex woman that’s neither good nor bad, and while reading the books it’s imposible not to fall in love with her. All the other characters are also complex and compelling and, because of that, there’s some very powerful relationships in this book. Also, I really liked that there’s discussions about gender and sexuality that are very well handled, Evelyn is a Cuban-American bisexual woman and there’s lesbian and gay rep in this book as well.

Children of Blood and Bone

Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

What is this book about?: A West African inspired fantasy, about a girl that’s trying to bring magic back and fight against the king, with the help of some unexpected allies.

Why I love it? This is a captivating read, the world and magic system are so well crafted and it’s action packed. But my favorite thing about it are definitely the characters, Amari is a new all time favorite, her character development in this book is incredible. And Zélie and Iman are complex and intriguing. This book is angsty, dramatic and emotional and it basically gave me all the feels. (Review)

Mirage-Cover

Mirage by Somaiya Daud

What is this book about?: A girl is taken in secret to the royal palace to be the body double for the cruel Princess, who is so hated by her conquered people that she requires someone to appear in public as her, ready to die in her place.

Why I love it? From this entire list, this is the book I keep thinking about even months after I read it. Mirage is a wonderfully written Moroccan inspired sci-fi story, with amazing characters and a rich setting, that provides a message about the importance of culture and traditions, especially for communities that have had a lot taken from them. I was absolutely captivated by the characters, especially Maram and Amani, they are so different but I loved the development of their relationship. Mariam is one of my new favorite characters. (Review)

Kingdom of Ash

Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J. Maas

What is this book about?: Aelin Galathynius’s journey from slave to king’s assassin to the queen of a once-great kingdom reaches its heart-rending finale as war erupts across her world.

Why I love it? This is such a great ending to the series, I cried so much while reading it, it broke my heart but it also made me happy. This is a lot more action packed than the other books in this series, but there is still so much character development. Also, both of the ships I had in this series have so many amazing moments together and that made me enjoy this book so much. Honestly, this is one of my favorite series of all times, even if I know it has its problems.

The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince by Holly Black

What is this book about?: Jude and her two sisters were stolen away to live in Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, but many of the fey despise humans. As betrayal threatens the Courts of Faerie, Jude will need to risk her life to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

Why I love it? I was in a fantasy slump for a long time and this was one of the only books that managed to make me feel consumed by a world and characters during that time. It managed to enthrall me and it made me feel inmersed in a world full of political intrigued, deceitful characters, unexpected turns and so much cruelty. I was so inmmersed in it that it kept me on the edge of my sit, I was so worried for all the characters throughout the book. Also, it gave me a new couple to root for, which always makes me enjoy a fantasy book more.

Into the Drowning Deep

Into the Drowning Deep by Mira Grant

What is this book about?: Seven years ago, a crew set off to film a “mockumentary” about mermaids and it was lost at sea. Now, a new crew has been assembled and for the scientist Victoria Stewart this is a voyage to uncover the fate of the sister she lost.

Why I love it? This is a very complex and scientific look at mermaids and it’s as fascinating as it is scary. I’m not kidding, this is horror sci-fi, which I had never read, and I was so worried while making my way through it that I had an anxiety attack at one point. BUT it was still such an amazing book with a really unique concept and great execution. It kept me entertained, but also made me think a lot because it was very scientific but also because it dealt with a lot of ethic concerns. Also, I really enjoyed the fact that this had a very diverse and compelling cast of characters.

The Poet XThe Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

What is this book about?: Xiomara, a girl from a traditional latinx catholic family, loves writing poetry. When she is invited to join her school’s slam poetry club, she doesn’t know how she could ever attend without her family finding out.

Why I love it? This is a story told in verse, which allowed me to feel more connected to the main character’s thoughts and emotions. It’s a touching and powerful story, and it explores a Dominican-american girl’s struggle with inhabiting her body, a body that attracs attention and because of it, it’s unwillingly subjected to the male gaze; it also deals with growing up in a conservative latinx family that it’s extremely religious and that imposes faith and leaves no room for questions. It’s a book about trying to figure who you are in an enviroment that doesn’t leave much room to do so and it’s fantastic. I LOVED the way it explored all those topics.(full review)

we are okay

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

What is this book about?: Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. Now, months later, Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid.

Why I love it? This is a quiet book about grief and it’s so powerful. I loved the alternating timelines, in both of the timelines the main character goes through loneliness, hurt and grief in different ways. In the past, there’s this big reveal about what happened that it’s both unexpected and heartbreaking, and in the present, the book explores the hardships and awkwardness of second chances, of rebuilding relationships and trust. I cried reading this, which doesn’t happen often, it was just such a beautiful book.

the diviners series

The Diviners & Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray

What is this book about?: The Diviners series is set in the 1920s and follows a group of people with different abilities that have to solve mysteries and face ghosts, curses and evil spirits.

Why I love it? This series helped me discovered my love for spooky books and it has become one of my favorite paranormal series of all time. This is an atmospheric series with a creepy vibe and some really scary scenes, which is something I loved. Also, both books have these mystery elements that make the stories really intriguing. The characters are captivating and so different from each other and I loved the way their stories intertwined.

What were your favorite books of the year? Have you read any of the books on this list? Did you enjoy them?

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10 Books I Want to Read in 2019

10 books I want to read in 2019

Hi everyone! Today I want to talk about 10 books I want to read in 2019 that are NOT 2018 releases. That post is coming soon! I did a post like this at the beginning of 2018  and it helped me remember some books that I really wanted to read, so I didn’t lose sight of them in the sea of new releases, and I’m hoping it will do the same this year!

A Study in Charlotte

 

A Study in Charlotte by Brittany CavallaroIn this book, Sherlock and Watson were real people and their descendants find themeselve thrown together and solving crimes. That premise sound so COOL! I have been curious about this book since it came out like 2 years ago and so many people I trust love it, so I really need to get to it!

 

Mr. Mercedes

 

Mr Mercedes by Stephen KingA retired cop haunted by an unsolved crime gets a letter from the culprit where he threatens a more diabolical attack and the cop has to prevent it.  I love stories where there’s a cop/ P.I./ Journalist trying to solve a mystery, so this is right up my alley.  Also, I really want to read a full novel written by King, I ahve only read short stories and his book about writing.

 

Sleeping Giants

 

Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel: A little girl finds a giant metal hand. Seventeen years later, she’s still looking for answers, now as a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team. I have heard so many amazing things about this book and now that all the books in the series are out, I feel like it’s the perfect time because I can marathon it.

 

Bird Box

 

Bird Box by Josh MalermanSomething is out there and it must not be seen. One glimpse of it, and a person is driven to deadly violence. A family has to go in a terrifying journey to escape. I have gotten into scary/ spooky books in 2018 and someone recommended this, so I want to give it a chance. Also, the movie is coming out soon!

 

And I Darken

 

And I Darken by Kiersten White: This a gender-swapped version of Vlad the Impaler and I’m so here for it! The concept sounds intriguing and I have heard great things about the characters, I think I’m really going to like the main character, Lada. I just have a feeling I’ll love this.

 

Strange the Dreamer

 

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor: Lazlo Strange is obsessed with the lost city of Weep, and then one day, someone starts to recruit people to help save this city and Lalzo does everything he can to be apart of that team. Most people I I know have given 5 stars to this book, so I put it in my 5 star predictions post and I’m hoping to love it as well!  

 

Before the Devil Breaks You

 

Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray: This is the third book in The Diviners series, which it’s set in the 1920s and follows a group of people with different abilities that have to solve mysteries and face ghosts, curses and evil spirits. I have said this before, but the only reason I haven’t read this book is that we don’t  have a release date for the fourth book yet 😭 But I can’t wait anymore!

 

A Torch Against the Night

 

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir: The Sequel to An Ember in Ashes a roman inspired fantasy about Laia, who is a slave, and Elias, who is a soldier. Neither is free and their destinies are intertwined. Another one I have been meaning to read for a long time (do you see the theme of this post?!)

 

c65e2-jane2bayre2bcharlotte2bbronte

 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte: Jane has been hired by the brooding, proud Rochester to care for his ward Adèle. Jane finds herself drawn to his troubled yet kind spirit and she falls in love. But what is he hiding? Everyone seems to love this and I have been meaning to read it, but I have tried twice and I haven’t made it past page 30, so this is the last chance I’m giving this book.

 

The Divine Comedy

 

The Divine Comedy by Dante AlighieriThis books describes Dante’s descent into Hell with Virgil as a guide; his ascent of Mount Purgatory and encounter with his dead love, Beatrice; and finally, his arrival in Heaven. I have been meaning to read this for the longest time but I felt intimidated. I’m participating in a book club at the beginning of 2019 and we are gonna read this one, so I’m finally getting to it!

 

What books do you want to read in 2019? Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Are you planning on reading any of them? 

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Looking Back at My 2018 TBR

Looking back at my 2018 tbr

Hi everyone! At the beginning of the year I wrote two posts about some books I wanted to read in 2018: 8 Books I Want to Read in 2018 and 2017 Releases I Want to Read in 2018. Since December is here, I thought it would be a good idea to check how many of those books I actually read.

Let’s start with the 8 books I wanted to read in 2018:

8 books to read in 2018

I read 6 out of the 8 books and I really liked all of them, out of the 2 books I didn’t read, I still want to read one of them and I’m taking the other out of my tbr.

Now, for the 2017 releases that I wanted to read in 2018: 

2017 releases to read in 2018.png

Unfortunately, I didn’t do a good job with these books. I only read 3 of the book out of 6 and I will try to read another before the year is over.

Did you read the books on your 2018 tbr? Have you read any of the books on this list? What books are you expecting to read before the end of the year? 

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Top 10 New to Me Authors of 2018

Top 10 new to me authors of 2018

Hi everyone! It’s that time of the year when we make lists of the top bookish things of the year and I really wanted to write about authors I discovered in 2018, wheter they are debuts authors or just authors I had never read before. I chose 10 authors to put on this list and it turns out they were all women, which isn’t that weird because I read mostly female authors.

Without further ado, here’s my top 10:

Somaiya Daud

Somaiya Daud 1.png

  • Book I read: Mirage (Full review)
  • Why she made it to the list: I LOVED the way in which Daud wrote the relationship between Maram and Amani, the princess and her body double. Amani is relatable and likable; she is just a girl that is put in a difficult situation and manages to survive. Maram is cruel and arrogant, but as the story unfolds, we see that she is actually a very complex character that is conflicted and feels trapped between what it’s expected of her and who she wants to be. Their relationship is complicated and beautiful and painful and I just LOVE them both so much.

Elizabeth Acevedo

elizabeth acevedo.jpg

  • Book I read: The Poet X (Full review)
  • Why she made it to the list: The Poet X was the first book written in verse that I have read and Elizabeth Acevedo’s writing made me feel like I had a direct line to the emotions the main character was experiencing and trying to express. Also, I loved that Acevedo explores so many imporatant subjects like body image, the harm of the male gaze, religion and complicated families in powerful and touching ways.

Libba Bray 

Libba Bray

  • Books I Read: The Diviners & Lair of Dreams
  • Why she made it to the list: The Diviners has become my favorite paranormal series of all times. I think Libba Bray is amazing at writing creepy and atmospheric  books, which has help me discover my love for scary/horror books this year. Also, 1920s New York City is brought to life by her incredible writing and she has created some brilliant characters.

Helen Hoang 

Helen Hoang.jpg

  • Book I Read: The Kiss Quotient
  • Why she made it to the list: The autistic rep in Helen Hoang’s book was so insightful and well done.  Stella is succeseful and caring, she fixates on routines and obsessions and sometimes misses some social cues and she is wonderful and I loved getting to read from her perspective. Also, Helen Hoang wrote a soft male love interest, which is rare in romance, and it was amazing. And she knows how to write some really steamy scenes, so that’s good too!

Holly Black

holly black

  • Book I Read: The Cruel Prince
  • Why she made it to the list: I had been in a fantasy slump for a while and then Holly Black’s book made me feel consumed by a world and characters in a way that hadn’t happened in some time, so I’m really grateful for it. I loved the world she created in The Cruel Prince full of political intrigued, deceitful characters, unexpected turns and so much cruelty from the very beginning. Also, she gave me a new couple to ship, which gave her extra points!

Balli Kaur Jaswal

Billi Kaur Jasmal.jpg

  • Book I Read: Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows
  • Why she made it to the list: I loved the way Balli Kaur Jasmal wrote an amazing friendship between completely different women. The main character, Nikki, was raised in a less traditional way than the group of punjabi widows, she has a completely different way of seeing things. But at the end, these women become friends and they grow and change thanks to their friendship, they learn about themselves and step out of their comfort zone. Also, I think Balli Kaur Jasmal did an amazing job exploring the relationship between gender and religion.

Taylor Jenkins Reid

Taylor Jenkins Reid

  • Book I Read: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
  • Why she made it to the list: Taylor Jenkins Reid created on of the most complex characters I have ever encounter. Evelyn Hugo is a morally gray character that unapologetically does terrible things in order to achive what she wants in life, she sacrifices parts of herself to succeed, but at the same time she loves deeply and she is undeniably loyal to those she loves. I was fascinated by her. Then there the fact that Jenkins Reid wrote a love story, that is so beautiful, sad and complicated, and you can’t help but want the two character to end up together.

Maurene Goo

Maurene Goo

  • Book I Read: The Way You Make Me Feel ( Full review)
  • Why she made it to the list: I feel like The Way You Make Me Feel was Maurene Goo’s love letter to L.A. and to food, and she managed to make me want to go to L.A. even more than I already wanted to and also made me very hungry. Her way of writing character development and the development of the father/daughter relationship was fantastic, and the female friendship  was the most wonderful thing ever, Clara and Rose’s friendship shows that real friends help you grow, challenge you to be better, support you and help you see how amazing you are.

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie

  • Books I Read: And Then There Were None, Murder on the Orient Express, Death on the Nile, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, and so many more. (Some reviews here  and here)
  • Why she made it to this list: Agatha Christie’s books are fast and entertaining reads, perfect to get me out of a reading slump. I love the fact that I almost never guess who did it or why, but I can always go back and find the clues to solve the mystery in the book. Most of the books I read by Agatha Christie are Hercules Poirot books, because his whole process to solve a mystery is really interesting to me.

Claire Kann

Claire Kann

  • Book I Read: Let’s Talk about Love (Full review)
  • Why she made it to the list: I loved Alice’s, the main character in Let’s Talk about Love, honest and captivating voice, . It was one of the main reasons I loved the book so much. Also, Claire Kann did a great job of addressing acephobia and racial microaggressions, as well as putting therapy in a positive light.
Who are some new to you authors that you loved in 2018? Have you read any of the authors in this list? Did you like their books? 

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