Books & series that need prequels, sequels or companion novels | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently hosted on That Artsy Reader Girl

I’m usually not someone who wants prequel, sequels or companion novels because I feel like a lot of times they ruin the original story and also a lot of times they are done for financial reasons and not because the story truly needed to be continued, so this list was hard to put together. Nonetheless, I found a few books and series that I would actually like to get continuations for.

The Extraordinary Adventures of the Athena Club Series by Theodora Goss

I know the author has said that she is open to writing more books in this series and I need the publish to let her because while the general storyline comes to a close, some of the individual storylines, especially around one of the main characters, is not wrapped up. Also, I just feel like there are so many more stories that can be told with these characters.

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

This is such an interesting concept, a world where cannibalism is the new normal and people are being harvested, and I would love to see another story with different characters exploring a new side of this world.

Rolling in the Deep series by Mira Grant

I’m convinced that this was supposed to have a sequel that never happened because while it closes the story, there’s a final scene that hints at a continuation of the story.While I liked the prequel, I really want a sequel or a companion novel because I want to know what happens next and because the idea of killer mermaids and the way Mira Grant executed are so interested.

Crazy Rich Asians Series by Kevin Kwan

I really enjoyed reading about these ridiculously rich people living in this world of opulence, gossip, appearances, and power, so I would another book set in this world following other characters.

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

I want a sequel because I want to know what happened to all the characters, I feel so invested in their stories and while it’s a slice-of-life novel and the ending fits that type of story, I want to keep reading about their lives and see where they end up.

Catherine House by Elisabeth Thomas

I think a prequel about how Catherine House came to be and how the experiments started would be really cool. I just think this book has such an interesting setting that it would be a waste to not have more stories set there.

Sal and Gabi series by Carlos Hernandez

I don’t read that much middle grade but I love this series and I really want more stores with these precocious and very endearing characters. Also, the whole concept of other universes and opening holes in the fabric of the universe is so cool, and want more of it.

Brooklyn Brujas Series by Zoraida Córdova

I want Nova’s story, we see him and heard so much about him throughout the series, he is such a complex and compelling character, and his backstory is so sad and heartbreaking, that I would love to learn more about him and see how his storyline would end.

The Black God’s Drums by P. Djéli Clark

I want another story set in this world. I love the 1884 New Orleans setting, the alternative history concept, the inclusion of African Folklore, and the steampunk elements, so I want a companion novel. Also, if it follows the spy nuns that would give it extra points.

What books or series do you think need prequels, sequels or companion novels?

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Disappointing Books of 2021

Hi everyone! As I have mentioned, 2021 was not a great reading year for me and part of it had to do with reading disappointing sequels or disappointing books by authors I’ve read and loved before. Today, I’m talking about some of those disappointing books.

But before talking about them, I want to mention that these are not bad books, all of them got 3 or 3.5 stars. Nonetheless, when you are expecting to read a new favorite book or at least a 5 star read, a 3 stars book is pretty disappointing.

With You Forever by Chloe Liese: Including this book on this list makes me so sad, this is truly my most disappointing book of the year because my expectations were so high. The first three books on this series are all-time favorite romance books and this couple sounded like everything I ever wanted, so I can’t believe I didn’t love it.

I had issues with the pacing, it felt like I was dropped in the middle of the story and not at the beginning, and Rooney and Axel not talking about liking each other (and the internal monologue of I’m sure he/she doesn’t like me) and struggling because nothing could happen between them (when there’s wasn’t any reason for that) made parts of this book feel very slow for me. Also, some of their thoughts and dialogue were a bit too cheesy for me.

A Murderous Relation by Deanna Raybourn: In 2021, I read the books in this series that have been released so far and I loved the first 4 entries. Unfortunately, this last book of the series was my least favorite. It was so boring to me. The main issue I had was the plot, I didn’t find the mystery in this one interesting and it dragged so much. Also, the development of the main characters and their relationship was not as present in this book, it was left to the very end and I think the book suffered because of it.

Shipped by Angie Hockman: When I saw this book described as a mix between The Hating Game and the Honeymooners, I was so excited to read it and the fact that the reviews of people with ARCs were so positive made me have even higher expectations. Unfortunately, this was a fast and engaging read but the characters were lacking depth, which as a character-driven reader is a huge problem for me. I liked that the main character was ambitious, but she was so self-centered and a bit annoying, and it didn’t help that this was told just from her pov, so we spend the entire book in her head. And while the banter between the main characters was good and they did have chemistry, most of the time, when they had conversations with any emotional depth, those conversations were stilted and a bit cringy. Also, I wasn’t expecting this to be fade to black and the two kissing scenes we get are so full of metaphors that it ruined the steaminess.

The Sinister Mystery of the Mermerizing Girl by Theodora Goss: This book was actually good but after how much I loved the previous books in the series, I was a bit disappointed. The author tried to tie the plot of this book to the overarching plot of the previous two installments, but it didn’t really work. This felt like a different story that came out of nowhere. The overall resolution of the plot was anticlimatic and the story dragged. I still enjoyed this, because I love the characters and their relationships so much. But even with that, I felt like the resolution of the personal storylines of the characters wasn’t that satisfying either. This book focused too much on a plot that I found a bit boring and not enough in closing the storylines of the characters.

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry: I enjoyed this book, 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. Nonetheless, 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. If you are going to make the reveal so late in the book, you need to make it really impressive or else it’s going to feel like a letdown. This is the main reason why this book is a disappointment. Also, I didn’t love the last part of the book, the conflict after the big reveal felt almost like an unnecessary complication.

What books disappointed you in 2021?

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January 2021 Wrap Up: a new favorite book and tons of fantasy and romance

Hi everyone! It’s time for the first wrap up of 2021. I was in a reading slump for a while during January, but I still managed to read 14 books, I enjoyed all of them and I even found a new favorite book. So overall it was a good reading month.

Before getting into the books, here are the posts I published this month, in case you missed any of them:

Withouth further ado, let’s talk about the books I read this month:

The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss (3,7 stars): after how much I loved the two previous books in the series, I was a bit disappointed. I still enjoyed this, because I love the characters and their relationships so much. But I felt like the resolution of the personal storylines of the characters wasn’t that satisfying. This book focused too much on the plot, which I found a bit boring. The author tried to tie the plot of this book to the overarching plot of the previous two installments, but it didn’t really work, this felt like a different story that came out of nowhere. 

White Hot by Ilona Andrews (4 stars): I loved the world and the magic system in this book, it’s so imaginative, cool, and unique. I liked the relationship between Nevada and Connor a lot more in this book than in the first one. I also liked them as individual characters more. I enjoyed seeing Nevada come into her power more and learn how to use it, and I’m not entirely sure why, but I liked Connor more in this book as well. The Baylor family was amazing as always and I think this book lets us get to know other secondary characters more, which I enjoyed.

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews (4 stars): Again, I loved the world, the magic system, and the characters. I liked the way the romance wrapped up and the way the storyline revolving around the Baylor family developed and how so many of the members of the family came into their own in this book. My only issue with this is that despite the fact that the main characters solved a big part of the mystery in this book, the ending wasn’t as satisfying as I wanted it to be because they didn’t catch the main villain and they don’t even know who it is.

The Empress of Salt and Fortune by Nghi Vo (4 stars): Nghi Vo wrote a beautiful story set in a very interesting and whimsical world and full of captivating characters. This book was bittersweet for me and made me emotional in a few parts.

The Silvered Serpents by Roshani Chokshi (4 stars): This was an angsty story full of complex relationships, longing and grief, but also a fun adventure with twists and turns that will keep you at the edge of your sit. (Full review)

Wayward Witch by Zoraida Córdova (4 stars): While I liked Rose, I didn’t like that her character was reduced to her fear of using her magic and to comparing herself to her sisters. But Adas, the world this is set in, was captivating and intriguing and the gods and the magical creatures were so cool and unique. My favorite part of the book was Rose’s relationship with the people she met in Adas. There was a romance, but it was barely there so I really didn’t care, and I would have liked the romance to be between Rose and another side character.

Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells (3,7 stars): it took me a while to get into this story, because the beginning is slow. What I discovered in this book is that as much as I enjoy Murderbot as a character, I don’t find it as entertaining when it’s alone, I like seeing it interact with humans and be irritated by them. Since Murderbot spent a chuck of this book alone, that’s probably a reason why it took me a while to get into the story.

Exit Strategy by Martha Wells (3,7 stars): This was highly entertaining and I liked seeing Murderbot start to question certain things and grow and change as it experiences new things. I liked seeing characters from book one, especially Mensah, and I liked the hopeful tone this ended in because I want Murderbot to be happy. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.

The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying a Vampire by Grady Hendrix (4,5 stars): I LOVED THIS and it’s a new favorite book. This book got me out of a reading slump, it was so captivating, I was completely invested and it made me feel so many different emotions. I think this book did a good job of including important conversations about feminism, race and privilege. Also, it’s a grusome and disgusting type of horror, which I hadn’t read before, but it was very well done. (Full review)

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn: The first half of this book was fun and entertatining, it had great banter and family dynamics. Julia Quinn’s writing is compulsively readable. But then the second half is  really angsty mainly because the characters don’t communicate with each other and then there is the non-consensual scene, which ruins the book. (If you want to know more of my thoughts, here’s my full goodreds review)

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn (4 stars): I LOVED Kate! and I loved the banter and the whole relationship between Kate and Antony, this was a very entertaining hate to love romance. My main issue is that I didn’t love Antony. He wasn’t terrible, but definitely not the type of hero that makes me swoon. Also, the bee scene was very silly and not in a way that worked for me. I was cringing.

Bringing Down the Duke by Evie Dunmore (4 stars): I really liked Anabelle as a protagonist and the relationship between Sebastian and Anabelle was so delightful. I enjoyed seeing them slowly go from dislike to love, the tension and chemistry between them were so captivating. I think this addressed how perilous Anabelle’s situation as a woman was before getting involved with Sebastian but also because of her involvement with him, and I really appreciated that. I also really liked the way this book included the women’s suffrage movement in the story.

To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters (4 stars): I think this book worked so well for me because the pranks weren’t mean, they were fun and entertaining. This book actually made me laugh out loud a couple of times. Also, I really liked the main characters, their chemistry, and banter. I do think they were a little bit immature but also they grew throughout the book, so I was ok with that. The side characters were amazing and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Shipped by Angie Hockman (3,5 stars): This was a fast, engaging read. But the characters lacked depth. I wish we could have read from his perspective and not only hers, because she was so self-centered and a bit annoying. The banter between the main characters was good and they did have chemistry, but most of the time, when they had conversations with any emotional depth, those conversations were stilted and a bit cringy.

What is your favorite book that you have read in 2021? Was january a good reading month for you?

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

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

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

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

My Least Favorite Book of the Month

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

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

The “Just Ok” Books

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

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

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

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

The “I Mostly Liked Them, But…” Books

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Ones I Liked

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

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

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

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

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

The Ones I Really Liked

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

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

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

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

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

My Favorite Books of the Month

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

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

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

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

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Favorite Adult Books of 2020

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

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

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

10. The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin

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

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

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

8. To Be Taught, If Fortunate by Becky Chambers

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

7. Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

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

6. The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang

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

5. Jade City by Fonda Lee

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

4. The Starless Sea by Erin Morgenstern

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

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

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

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

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

1. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-García

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

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

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Books That Brought Me Comfort in 2020 | Blogmas Day 18

Hi everyone! Writing today’s post brought me so much joy, because I just remember how much I love all of these books and how heartwarming they are.

This was supposed to be a post about funny books or books that made me laugh in contrast to yesterday post of Books that Wrecked Me in 2020, but I didn’t read as many funny books and, I think with everything that happened this year, I really appreciated comforting books a lot, so I decided to share some books that brought me comfort in 2020:

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

Plot: This book is about a caseworker who is assigned to investigate an island orphanage for magical children deemed especially dangerous, and has to make a recommendation about the continuatuon or closing of it.

This book is really heartwarming. It has endearing characters, a fascinating concept, a story that will make you feel happy and hopeful while asking tough questions about privilege, prejudice, and complacency. The most comforting aspect of the book for me are the lovable characters, the relationships between them and the found family aspect.

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas

Plot: When his traditional Latinx family has problems accepting his true gender, Yadriel becomes determined to prove himself a real brujo and ends up summoning the ghost of  the school’s resident bad boy.

This book manages to be sweet, hopeful, and fun, while still including difficult subjects like transphobia, homelessness, gang violence, and abusive parents. The main characters are adorable and the romance between Yadriel and Julian warmed my heart and made me so happy.

Miss Meteor by Anna-Marie McLemore

Plot: Lita Perez enters the Miss Meteor beauty pageant and asks her ex- best friend, Chicky Quintanilla, for help. To pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

This book is fantastic, the friends to lovers romances are adorable, the friendships healed my soul, the siblings’ relationships are wonderfully complicated, the message is so powerful and the character development is great. I can’t think of a book that made me happier this year.

You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Thompson

Plot: this is a story about  about Liz, a Black teenage girl living in a very white small town, who has to run for prom queen in order to get a scholarship so that she can attend her dream school.

This is a cute, fluffy, heartwarming YA contemporary with an incredible main character, an adorable romance and a hopeful message. It strikes a balance between the more comforting elements of the story and important discussions about homophobia, poverty and racisms.

The Dream Weaver by Reina Luz Alegre

Plot: This story is about Zoey, a twelve year old, who is trying to save her grandfather’s bowling alley while participating in bowling tournament with a group of friends.

A very sweet middle grade that deals with hard subjects like grief and complicated family dynamics. Despite all that, this book tells a hopeful and happy story about giving yourself time to figure out your dreams, fighting for them but also allowing them to change with time. It includes a bowling team, sleepovers, friendships, a strong sibling relationship, and a lovable grandfather. 

The Strange Case of the Alchemist Daughter by Theodora Goss

Plot: Mary Jekyll is looking for her father’s old partner, the murderous Edward Hyde. Instead she finds Hyde’s daughter, Diana, as well as the daughters of other famous scientists. With the help of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, Mary and the others are going to solve the mysteries of their origins

This is a fun, captivating adventure story told in a unique and often hilarious structure where the characters from the book interrupt the story to add their own commentary. What made it so comforting for me is the found family at the heart of the story, a group of lovable monstrous girls supporting and protecting each others.

The Switch by Beth O’Leary

Plot: Leena is ordered to take a sabbatical from work, so she escapes to her grandmother house to rest. Eileen is newly single, about to turn eighty and she’d like a second chance at love but her tiny village doesn’t offer many options. Leena proposes a two-month swap, Eileen will live in London and Leena will stay in rural Yorkshire.

This is a very cute story and the reason it was so comforting for me is that Eileen as a characters was endering, caring, and comforting. I LOVED her storyline, the friendships she built, how much she helped others, her character development and even her love story.

What books brought you comfort in 2020? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?

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Ranking all the books I read this month aka My November Wrap Up | Blogmas Day 3

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Hi everyone! For blogmas day 3, I’m sharing my November wrap up. I read a lot of books in November, so I’ll keep this introduction short. As usual, in my wrap ups, I rank all the books I read in a month from least favorite to favorite. Without further ado, here are all the books I read:

MY LEAST FAVORITE BOOK

Night of the Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones (3 stars): I don’t know how to feel about this story. It was not what I was expecting at all and I think I would have liked the story I was expecting more than the story this book actually tells. It did some things I hated and it did some things I liked.

THE OK ONE

American Christmas by Adriana Herrera (3,5 stars): This was short, sweet, and heart-warming. I think the plot was interesting but the ending was SO unrealistic and I wish we got to see the characters actually being ok and dealing with things going badly. I do understand that they deserved a happy ending, but at the same time, I can’t say I loved the ending.

THE ONES I LIKED

Wrapped Up in You by Talia Hibbert (3,7 stars): This was short and sweet. Talia Hibbert did an amazing job handling mutual pinning in a short novella. I liked the main characters and their friends to lovers romance.

Blood Rites by Jim Butcher (3,7 stars): I mainly enjoyed this book because Murphy has a big role in it, I really like her friendship with Harry. I like that we got to know more about Thomas, and I also appreciate that we learned more about the different types of vampires. The case in this book isn’t the most interesting, but it is ok.

Death Masks by Jim Butcher (3,7 stars): The beginning is slow and it drags a bit. The books in this series are starting to feel a little formulaic to me. Nonetheless, I ended up really enjoying the second half of the book, the villain this time around is interesting and I always enjoy seeing the recurring side characters.

Burn for me by Ilona Andrews (3,7 stars): I really enjoyed this, but I was expecting more. I like the main characters and their dynamic. But I’m hoping that the plot, world-building and the main character’s powers get more complex and interesting as the series progresses.

Crazy Stupid Bromance by Lyssa Kay Adams (3,7 stars):  I really liked the friends to lovers romance in this book and the main characters. But I had issues with the romance not feeling- at some points- like the main focus of the book.

THE ONES I REALLY LIKED

Never Look Back by Lilliam Rivera (4 stars): The writing in this book is very captivating, I liked the main characters, I think this does a great job of discussing depression and PTSD, but my favorite part of this book is that it’s a love letter to Puerto Rico and that aspect of it made me so emotional.

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez (4 stars): I really liked the main character, Camila, the fact that this includes female Fútbol and it’s set in Argentina, the discussions about feminism and femicide, the evolution of Camila’s relationship with her mom, I even liked the romance.

The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare (4 stars): I really like the way Tessa Dare writes historical romances. I like the characters in this book, especially Emma, I like the whole grumpy/sunshine dynamic between the main characters, and I especially like how steamy this is.

Recipe for Persuasion by Sonali Dev (4 stars): I really like Sonali Dev’s writing, I like the main characters and the romance in this book. But my favorite part is the complicated family dynamics, the presence of all relatives in this book adds a lot to the story.

The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline (4 stars): This book has an interesting but devastating concept and characters that you root for. The last half of this book kept me at the edge of my seat and there was a point while reading when I couldn’t help but think “WHAT ELSE ARE YOU GOING TO DO TO THEM?!” There were a couple of things that happened towards the end that weren’t that realistic, but I didn’t mind too much.

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews (4 stars): The world-building and magic system are amazing, I LOVE the family dynamics and all the side characters, I really like Catalina and I liked Alessandro more than in the first book. I also really liked their relationship, the romance in this book can be a bit cheesy and over the top, but it wasn’t that bad and it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the story.

Sword of Destiny by Andrzej Sapkowski (4 stars): I like the characters in this series so much and I love seeing more of them and getting to know them better through these stories. The complicated relationships between them are so entertaining.

4.The Dragon Republic by R.F. Kuang (4 stars): This book is brilliant. I’m not the biggest fan of Military fantasy, but this series does it so well that I’m still really engaged with the story. I LOVE the main group of characters so much and I appreciate the way this book discusses colorism, colonialism, and the role of religion within colonialism.

3. Brazen and the Beast by Sarah MacLean (4 stars): I really loved both of the main characters, but especially Hattie. Her fight to be in control of her own life was wonderful. She was witty, she was charming, she was smart. I LOVED Hattie. And her bantering and flirting with Whit was fantastic. I loved Whit too and the two of them together were perfection.

MY FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE MONTH

2. The Stange Case of the Alchemist Daughter by Theodora Goss (4,5 stars): I love the characters, monstrous girls are my favorite thing in the world, I love their relationship with each other and the found family aspect of the book, I found the premise and the mystery really interesting, I love the funny and unique structure in which this book is told, I love that it includes characters out of classical stories, basically I love everything about this.

1.Cementery Boys by Aiden Thomas (4,5 stars): This book is SO GOOD! My favorite thing about this book is the main characters. I love Yadriel and Julian so much. Julian is like a puppy and I LOVE HIM. And the romance between Yadriel and Julian warms my heart and makes me so happy.

Was november a good reading month for you? What were your favorite and least favorite books of the month?

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