Books I Read in July 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            It’s July, like seriously, how? At this point time is a construct that I no longer subscribe to, I don’t feel like it anymore. 

            I wrote somewhere around 250,000 words last month, I actually think it was more than that so I didn’t get as much read as I would have liked so I am hoping that in July I can read 12 books, I really am, but if I don’t, I am not going to stress out about it. 

            I am opening this for the first time on the 2nd because I finished a book, I started in June but just didn’t have the want to finish. The book was amazing, but I just didn’t want to read. 

            So, without unnecessary pausing, I will get right into it, enjoy.

The Cartogrpahers by Peng Shepherd (4.2/5)

            It was so good; it took me a while to get into and the ending left me with questions and a need for a wrap up. I love realistic fantasy and the idea of hidden Easter eggs in maps being like they are in this book was fascinating. I really liked the murder mystery element of it as well, it almost read like an escape room. I don’t know how else to describe it, I for sure had a few “holy plot twists Batman!” moments in this one as well. There was one that I called about halfway through. I normally don’t like interstitial chapters in books, but here they told a very important story within the story that tied the past and present together and that was so important for the story as a whole. It was beautifully written and I would for sure read a sequel if there was one to happen eventually. 

One Evening in Paris by Nicolas Barreau (3/5)

            It was fine. I liked parts of it for sure but other parts felt thrown in like the editor said “we need more pages”, it has the miscommunication trope which is never something that I really enjoy. It was messy, it was just a little messy and it felt rushed and then too slow and the characters were flat. It is this love story where they meet and then she disappears and he’s searching Paris for it, she’s in it like 30 pages so I didn’t feel the romance of it. There was a good chunk of the book where I thought that she was like a time traveler or from an old film or something, it was a lot. She wasn’t. The ending felt rushed and cramped which was a little weird for the pacing of the rest of the novel. It ended happy so that was good. 

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins (3/5)

            There was so much potential in this one. Like the first chapter and the epilogue, that’s the story I want. That’s what I want to read. The modern twist of it all, but like it was a lot. No shame or hate to the author, I loved the concept but for me there were a lot of things that just weren’t great. Like the mention of SA was not cool, also just the treatment of the concept of sex as well. There were just some things that hit me wrong, like Aisling she changed so much and I understand that trauma changes someone but she did a complete 180 in like fifteen pages. There were so many story lines and so many that just felt rushed in and then unfinished. Anything with the French king made my skin crawl. I had such high hopes for this book, but it wasn’t for me and that’s okay. I know that not every book will be my favorite and when I bought this I might have enjoyed it more, that is the reason for the TBR, to weed my collection. This one will be weeded at the end of the year. 

The Bodyguard by Katherine Center (4.3/5)

            This was my July Book of the Month, so there is a whole post that will be coming out in a few days. I know that I say this every month with my BoTM’s and it’s still true. I am a huge fan of this book though; it was really cute after some disappointing books in the last few weeks. Really cute banter, body guard rom com, and I loved it so much!

Dreams of Distant Shores by Patricia McKillip (4/5)

            I saw this in Barnes and Noble several years ago and the cover was what caught me. I knew nothing about it but I wanted it and I pined over it for months because it looked so good. It did not disappoint, normally I don’t read short stories and novellas, this was a collection of them. My two favorites were The Gorgon in the Cupboard and Something Rich and Strange which was the novella. It was all wonderfully weird and written with such beautiful prose. Some of the stories I expected different things but I was never disappointed. If you like quick reads this one for sure is one because it’s 6 short stories and a novella they are very quick reads and I would read a whole book with the two stories that I mentioned about, whole novels. 

Twisted Hate by Ana Huang (4.4/5)

            Check the content and trigger warnings, I will always say that with romance novels that are not 100% romantic comedies. This one was…so spicy and like 500 pages. I read it in two days because I got sucked in. There are for sure some triggers for people, little degradation which in real life could not be into, it was rough and a little violent. I love Josh and Jules though, also if they would have involved Alex early on everything could have been avoided because having Alex in their lives just would have made it so much easier. I loved all the twists and turns and of course watching the enemies with benefits go to loving each other, it wouldn’t be a romance novel if they didn’t. I love a good romance though so do not get me wrong. We see so much more of Jules and her story in this one, it is her story, but from what we saw in Twisted Love and Twisted Games she is a very deep character and I was happy to read her story. I also had to remember who Christian was because he’s in the next one. A couple of pages in my copy did come out which is super unfortunate (thanks Amazon) but that’s an aesthetic issue, also there were some spelling and grammar errors, but I can overlook those for the rest of the story that had me laughing so many times. 

The Library of the Dead by T.L. Huchu (3.5/5)

            Spoilers, I expected more library less children being drained for their youth. I really did. Like spoilers, I expected something wholly different, more dark academic less horror. It was good, it took me a while to get into it and that is totally fine. I will still probably read the second one. I didn’t anticipate the villain, not at all actually and I was shocked when it was revealed. I wish there would have been more context on what happened in Edinburgh so it got that way. (I might have just missed that part and if I did, oops.) I loved the characters though and I cannot wait to see where they go from here. 

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King (4/5)

            I read the seventh and eighth or the eighth and ninth to be honest several years ago so I know some of the things that happen down the road, I think I need to read them again to really appreciate them. I loved this one, I love the character of Sherlock Holmes because he is so much and such a piece of literary canon that just transcends history. I am not thinking about the age gap in this series because, again, I know what happens. Unless I read the other books incorrectly. I wasn’t sure how I would like this one but I got sucked into it hardcore. It was fun and a lot, but everything with Sherlock Holmes is, honest and truly is.

Solsbury Hill by Susan M. Wyler (2.2/5)

            And that score is generous. I should have known how the book was going to go when she caught her boyfriend cheating on her like 20 pages in. I literally finished it in an afternoon so I could be done with it. I have a lot of feelings and most of them are not positive. This one was not for me, I thought that Emily Bronte’s ghost was cool but some of the word choice and just the writing in general was not for me. I was spending the whole-time live texting my cousin because I needed someone else to experience this trainwreck with me. Her mom cheated on her dad so her dad isn’t her dad, there is a family curse because their Bronte’s, she forgives the guy who cheats on her. Like girl, run! Her career which sounded super interesting was just pushed to this back burner and it was weird. It was not great, I wanted to like it so much because the premise sounded cool, it was awful. It ended with her pregnant, so cliché, so boring. It was predictable and I was just waiting for it to get interesting and it never did, it was like throwing all of the romance clichés into one book and then saying “good”. Some of this book for sure gave me the ick, it just did and that is 100% my opinion, if you liked this book, cool, it just wasn’t for me. I couldn’t connect with the main character, I just couldn’t. I have read at least a half dozen books this year where so many of these same things happen. 

The Devil’s Workshop (Murder Squad #3) by Alex Grecian (3.7/5)

            The first two were better. Like the most interesting character in this one was Jack the Ripper. It felt messy, it really did. I loved the first two that focused on each of these characters and really built something with them. This one felt like a letdown. There are two more in the series which I will read, but at this moment, I don’t really have high hopes for them. I want to, I really do. I love Victorian era fiction, Jack the Ripper is fascinating, and I have read a lot of Victorian fiction with Jack the Ripper as a character in the last few years. I just couldn’t connect with this one. Walter felt very flat, the whole plot and premise felt rushed and then non-existent and I spent time confused. 

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg (3.5/5)

            I am no longer the target audience for this novel, if I would have read it when it came out in 2016, I would have been a lot closer than I am in 2022. I watched a lot of YouTube at the time and so of course I bought YouTuber books. I liked the first Girl Online when I read it in 2016. I really did at the time. My life has changed since then. It was a good story; it was a cute coming of age novel that was predictable and that’s totally okay. The twists and turns weren’t super twisty, but I am also not the target demographic for this anymore and I feel that bares repeating. I am glad that I did own the trilogy and have for years so I was able to finish it and then I can move on since I have been reading it on and off for the last 8 years. 

A Winter’s Promise by Christelle Dabos (4/5)

            I normally don’t read YA, we all know this but this one was so hyped on TikTok and honestly, for good reason. It’s so much! There were so many moments where I was left questioning who to trust and what would happen next. I loved the world building and the characters. I will be reading the next one, I have seen stellar reviews on 2 and 3 but not the fourth one and that’s a little concerning. I kind of want her and Thorn together, I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because I like the trope of enemies to lovers. Like it’s an arranged marriage and you find out why. It took me a while to get into but then I did and I couldn’t put it down. The world that was spun in this book was amazing, it was deep and rich and I cannot wait to eventually get my hands on the next one. Soon even though I won’t read it for months. 

            Well, I read a dozen books in July. I was hoping to read a few more, but part of July was lost to me because I got sick, so I didn’t do as much as I was planning on. I am excited to finish off my TBR and I am really really hoping to get that done in August. I only have seven books left on my actual TBR pre-planned list from last year for this year so I am hoping to get that done by the end of the August so I can move on and mood read. I want to be able to mood read because I have bought a lot of books this year so far and I have so many more on the list. 

            If you want to check out all the books that I have read this year, you totally can, just click the month! January, February, March, April, May, and June! If you want to see what I have unhauled so far this year you can for sure do that too! 

Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 9/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission, Delicious, The Royal We, The Long Dark Tea Time of The Soul, One Evening in Paris, Solsbury Hill, Girl Online: Going Solo, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 6/9 (because one has been DNFed) (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny, The Map of Time, Dreams of Distant Shores, )

Historical: 9/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, Black Rabbit Hall, A Study in Death, In Falling Snow, Sea of Lost Love, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, )

Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)

Free Choice: 12/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Study in Ashes, A Clockwork Heart, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Beast’s Heart, A Court of Wings and Ruin, The last Days of Magic, The Devil’s Workshop, )

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (Buffering and Always Look on The Bright Side of Life)

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 7/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, Darling Girl, The Stardust Thief, The Bodyguard, )

Extras: 19/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, Book Boyfriend, The Sound of Stars, Twisted Games, A Not So Meet Cute, Not the Witch You Wed, Hot Vampire Next Door S3, Hooked, The Flatshare, The Cartographers, Twisted Hate, The Library of the Dead, A Winter’s Promise, )

Books I am Unhauling in 2022 Part 1

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I was not sure if I was going to reveal the books that I was unhauling before the end of the year, but at this point it’s something like 20 at the end of July so I will be doing a January-June post and a July-December post. I will probably have less in the second half because most of the books I am unhauling are from my TBR, not the books I am buying and mood reading. I think there has been one this year from that list that I am unhauling. 

            This was kind of the reason to have a TBR pile, to pick 50 books from the ones that I currently own and read them. I want to weed out books from my permanent collection that I don’t want in my permanent collection. I have two full bags in my living room of books from last year and books from previous years that I have decided to part with. If I made TikTok’s I would for sure make a video on this because let’s be real at this point my blog is a lot more book centered than anything else and I can’t say I am upset about it. 

            Another quick note, I might decide to unhaul more books from the beginning of the year as we get closer to the end, I don’t know yet so if that happens, I will add them to the second half of this post set. 

            All of these are my personal opinions, if you love these books, I love that for you, reading preference is subjective and you might hate the books that I love. That’s what’s cool about reading, we all can read and enjoy what we want. So, don’t come on here and tell me that you loved the book and I’m awful. Even my reading preferences have changed since last year, so roll with me.

            So, like I said, I am unhauling a bunch of books and I am just going to mention them and the reason why and then move on, I will link all of them back to their original reviews if you want to have more information. That’s going to be so much of a pain when I get around to posting this, well that’s okay, it’s for me to worry about and you to click if you want to. 

            I’m doing it by month, I changed my mind so I can just link the month because work smarter not harder or whatever. We’re doing it live. 

January: 

The Runaway Princess by Hester Browne

            I don’t remember much of this book; I had to go back and look at the blog post. It was boring and a lot of threads were just not pulled together right. It was super predictable and it did not age well from when it was published. It was cute, but not enough for me to keep. 

Buffering by Hannah Hart

            I know that people aren’t going to be happy about that one. I was not the target audience for it. I liked My Drunk Kitchen for a long time but I was also more into YouTube at the time. I have several YouTuber books that I have gotten rid of over the years and some that I loved. This one just wasn’t for me and that’s totally cool because it will speak to someone else so much louder than it ever could have for me. 

In the Shadow of Paris by Claude Izner

            It was like the second or third in the series and I was confused and bored. I don’t remember the mystery or any of the characters, there was no impact for me. The formatting and character shifts were confusing as well and just something that I couldn’t jive with. 

February:

Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire

            I thought it was going to be something very different, I love The Nutcracker, I didn’t like this one. The pacing was weird and I spent a lot of time confused. So much time confused. 

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford 

            Interesting concept, didn’t expect the espionage and it’s based in true events. I said in my first review of this I expected more radio less espionage and that is still true. It wasn’t for me and that’s totally cool I promise. 

March: 

Yes I am aware that’s not in focus, that’s how little I cared for the book.

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz

            This book had so many things that give me the ick and apparently that was not how the movie went. Like I have read some bad books this year, this one is in the top five and it’s going, it’s going no matter what. I wasn’t engaged and I was so lost and frustrated with all the tropes that were thrown in.

April: 

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase

            I liked this book, but it’s not permanent collection material. It was a good one time read though there was a moment where it almost got thrown across my office, we don’t support incest in this house! 

Delicious by Ruth Reichl

            The ending was disappointing and terrible, the love story was weird, the main character was annoying and I just didn’t like it. It had some fun bits but for the most part it was annoying. I loved so much of it but the last 75 pages or so ruined it and I do mean ruined it for me. 

May: 

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma

            I should have DNFed this one. I hated it, it had so much potential but it was lies and not fantasy and I didn’t like it. It triggered me from the first page and I was so against DNFing at the time I let this throw me into a book slump. I already put the second one in my donation bag not even cracked open. 

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

            When I bought it, I would have enjoyed it, it was annoying. Too much useless and needless drama and it was William and Kate, but she makes out with his brother. There is a second one, I don’t care about it. There were times I was cry laughing but then there were times I was reading ahead. If it was like half the pages with about half the drama, I probably would have been really on board with it. 

In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl

            I enjoyed parts of it, I really did but I was so confused through others. I spent a lot of time wondering exactly when in the present it was and you find out all the family drama that just is insane. Like so many twists and I loved the historical part, the rest of it was just ehh for me. 

June: 

The Sleeping King by Bill Flippin and Cindy Dees (DNF)

            I don’t DNF books we all know this. I got like 4 chapters in and I couldn’t keep going, like the forced breeding that is implied, I couldn’t. I was done. It was like someone’s D&D game threw up. I didn’t like it. I have already put the whole series in my donate bag. 

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary

            It was cute, I wouldn’t read it again and I didn’t love it enough to keep it. It had a lot of really cute moments but I got triggered by Tiffy’s ex and then the miscommunication trope just didn’t do it for me. Leon’s parts read like a TV script and it was odd, the prose just made it weird. 

The Long Dark Tea Time of The Soul by Douglas Adams

            It was interesting, but every time I read Douglas Adams, I don’t like it. I love it as a TV series or movie, but not a novel. The concept was interesting I just struggled through it. Dirk wasn’t actually in it all that much if felt like and the story with Thor and Kate was what kept me reading, nothing else. 

Sea of Lost Love by Santa Montefiore

            This one took months to get into it felt like. I read it quickly because it was a compelling story but there was just a lot of weird in it. The parts in Italy were the most fun, but still a little weird overall.

            I said this in my June post, just because I unhaul a book doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy it, I enjoyed a few of the books on here, but these are books that I don’t want in my permanent collection. I read a lot, I write even more, and I spend a lot of time in fictional worlds with fictional character so if I don’t love it, I don’t keep it. 

            Well, I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy out there.

            -MJ

Books I Read in June 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I was not expecting to have to start this document on June 1st, but here we are and I have already finished a book in June. So, I have to start the post. I am hoping to really knock a big chunk of my current physical TBR, I know that I have my TBR books and my extras books. 

            I am really hoping to read about 13 books this month, if not more. I have the time off so I might as well get some reading done and completed and all of that. I have some books I am really looking forward to reading this month. 

The Beast’s Heart by Leife Shallcross (3.7/5)

            This one was cute, I love a good Beauty and the Beast retelling, I read all of it in a day. It was predictable because it is for sure a retelling so it is going to be predictable and the last like 20 pages were a little weird. I really enjoyed it though, it took me a little bit to get into but then I for sure got into it. I really liked the mirror mechanic in this one and all of the little twists and turns that were not in the Disney version. Beauty and the Beast is for sure one of my favorite Disney movies so when this was given to me as a gift, I was excited. I have not read the original fairytale but it is for sure a book I own and would like to read eventually. 

Not the Witch You Wed by April Asher (4.5/5)

            I picked this one up in March when I was on spring break in Indiana, it was the on the BookTok table, but I have never seen this book on BookTok. Who knows? It was super cute, accepting yourself and all of that. I laughed out loud more times than I would like to admit. I loved Violet and Lincoln’s dynamic and there are of course a lot of tropes that were utilized in this one. It’s of course a happy ending because it wouldn’t be a cute little rom com if there wasn’t a happy ending. I loved the characters and her grandmother is my favorite character in the whole book. I cannot wait for the sequel with her sister Rose as the main character (I think?) I looked at the synopsis for a total of three seconds before adding it to my want to read list. I really enjoyed this one and it was a super cute and quick read. 

Hot Vampire Next Door Season 3 by Nikki St. Crowe (5/5)

            I don’t rate many things five, that’s a hard rating for me to give out, but this one, this whole series has me in its clutches and I cannot wait for the next one! It all takes place over like 48 hours before to during Jessie’s pledge. Like all hell breaks loose and it let me on a cliffhanger! Nikki! Come on! Also, if Jessie and Bran don’t get a happy ending, I will riot, I will 100% riot, no one will know any peace. Like it’s spicy (real spicy and a little dark) and we got some from Bran’s perspective in this one. I cannot, it was so good! I got this like the moment it was released in paperback and then it burned a hole in my desk for two days while I read Not the Witch You Wed, it was so worth the wait though and if I really wanted to, I could read it on Kindle, but I like the tension of me checking Amazon several times a day after the ebook has been released for me to get it in paperback. There are also a lot of tie in plot lines with this one and an expanding world so here is my patiently, but not patiently at all waiting for her to give me more! 

Hooked by Emily McIntire (4.5/5)

            This was not supposed to be my next book, but I got three chapters into another book and got bored so I am going to work on that while I read other books or I am going to get bogged. A very dark reimagining of Peter Pan, hold crap was it spicy and like real dark romance. It was really good though, I read it in two sittings because I could not put it down. Like he’s not a hero, but at this point heroes are a little over rated, I love a good morally grey book boyfriend. It’s about revenge and family and loyalty and betrayal, that one thing can cascade events through time and space and it’s a lot. I have read a lot of Peter Pan themed fiction in the last year or so and this I think has been my favorite. Y’all there are a lot of trigger warnings with this one, if you want to look them up go and do it, it’s not for the faint of heart. I can promise that, it’s so good, but it’s dark. 

The Sleeping King by Bill Flippin and Cindy Dees (DNF)

            I don’t DNF and everyone who has been around my blog for a while knows that. I got like 40 pages in and it just…I didn’t like it. I have decided that I am going to DNF it and the rest of the series. Not every book is for everybody, and this one did threaten to throw me into a reading slump. So, I have chosen to let it go and move on. I am not going to count this toward my TBR now, I will pick another fantasy book from my Extras pile to replace this one. I just decided that this one isn’t for me and instead of slogging through 600 pages or skimming, I’m moving on. I should have done that with a number of books in May and I regret it. This might be your favorite book, but I felt like I was reading a weird transcript of someone’s D&D campaign, also with the forced breeding insinuation and aspect at the beginning, nah, I’m good.

The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary (3.5/5)

            It was a cute book; the premise was really fun. There were just some things that rubbed me as a person the wrong way. I loved Leon and Tiffy and the whole concept of getting to know someone through post-it’s that is so cute and I do mean so cute. The unhinged ex-boyfriend, that hit me, that was weird and like emotional manipulation and gaslighting is never okay in a relationship. If you do something wrong, own it. Don’t let someone feel like they aren’t good enough because you want to be right. I have dealt with emotional manipulation in life more than I would like to discuss and reading this it hit me. There were some things that I feel like got left or untethered, was there ever a restraining order? The epilogue was what lost me on it, it really was, it was cute and they finally get together and he proposes with notes but not with words, I understand being an introvert, but that was a lot. The writing style with Leon’s chapters was also more like a transcript than prose and it was odd. It was cute, don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the cute little romcom, but I think that it will suit someone else’s bookshelf better.

The Long Dark Tea Time of The Soul by Douglas Adams (2.8/5)

            Okay, I loved the TV series, I really did it was so good and this series as a written model just doesn’t make any sense to me. I finished this because I had to. Like I liked the parts with Thor and Kate in them more than I liked the parts with Dirk Gently in them, I will be unhauling it because I don’t want them in my permanent collection. I skimmed a lot of it, I don’t and didn’t mean to skip pieces of it but I just couldn’t get into it like I wanted to. But I’m done with it and that’s fine. I know that Douglas Adams is one of those authors that so many people love, I just didn’t and that’s okay. 

The Stardust Thief by Chelsea Abdullah (4.5/5)

            This one was my June Book of The Month, it will have its own post up soon. I will be thinking about this book for the rest of the year! I loved it so much and I cannot wait for the other two! Like it took me a while to get into it and then I could not put it down, I loved the characters, the story, the imagery. The ending of this one, I cannot wait for the next one! 

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas (5/5)

            It should shock no one that this series is a 5 for me. This book was amazing. I laughed so hard at some points and almost cried at others. Like there are so many twists and turns and a few times I for sure said “holy plot twists Batman” thanks to BookTok I know some things, but there was a part that my heart stopped beating in my chest. I was like Sarah! Sarah, don’t you do this to me. I love the bat boys, but I would be blind and stupid not to. A lot of people that I have seen on BookTok did not like this book all that much, I loved it. (I also finished the day I found out that I didn’t get a job I wanted so it hurt for a lot of different reasons.) A Court of Frost and Starlight is actually the last book on my TBR for this year so I am looking forward to reading that one too. 

Sea of Lost Love by Santa Montefiore (3.5/5)

            It took me a long time to get into it. Like it was a who-don-it with several interesting twists, I called most of them. The plot felt a little messy for me and I had some moments where I wasn’t sure whose perspective it was in. I enjoyed it for the feel-good parts of the story, not the espionage parts. The whole plot line with the priest was a little weird. The parts in Italy were the best, it was just a lot to be honest. I liked it, I have had it in my collection for a really long time and it was time to read it. If you like a British high-born family in the late 1950’s falling apart at the seams, this one is for sure for you. 

            I didn’t hit my 13 goal and that’s okay, I read a lot of big books this month and I took some days off. I also wrote over 250,000 words in June and that is so many words, like I finished drafting three books, as of right now and I still have two days left. I might get another in that I started this month. I have been off in my own head a lot and sometimes that means I don’t read as much. 

            I am unhauling four books this month, which is weird for me. I also unhauled a whole series because I got 40 pages in the first one and didn’t want to read anymore, so I am just letting the whole series go. I did still read quite a bit this month, I enjoyed most of the books that I read, I am going to say that. Just because I am unhauling the book does not necessarily mean I didn’t enjoy it. I just never plan on reading it again. 

            I want a library and I know that takes 1,000 books, but I want to make sure of those 1,000 books that I love every single one. I like a lot of books, but if I want them in my permanent collection, I have to love them. If the ones I unhaul are your favorite books, that’s totally okay! We all love what we love and we can get along, I promise, we don’t have to step on each other’s toes to just live. 

            If you want to check out what else I have read this year, you totally can because there are over 60 books now. January, February, March, April, and May

            Alright, I was going to give my normal end of post salutation, but with everything that’s happening in the world right now, stay safe out there. Be nice to each other. A lot of us are going through it. 

            -MJ 

Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 6/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission, Delicious, The Royal We, The Long Dark Tea Time of The Soul, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 5/9 (because one has been DNFed) (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny, The Map of Time, )

Historical: 8 /10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, Black Rabbit Hall, A Study in Death, In Falling Snow, Sea of Lost Love, )

Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)

Free Choice: 10/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Study in Ashes, A Clockwork Heart, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, The Beast’s Heart, A Court of Wings and Ruin, )

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (Buffering and Always Look on The Bright Side of Life)

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 6/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, Darling Girl, The Stardust Thief, )

Extras: 16/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, Book Boyfriend, The Sound of Stars, Twisted Games, A Not So Meet Cute, Not the Witch You Wed, Hot Vampire Next Door S3, Hooked, The Flatshare, )

May 2022 Book of The Month Review:

Title: Darling Girl

Author: Liz Michalski

Rating: 4/5

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, here we are, I have had book of the month for almost a year now which is super cool because I had read a lot of really amazing books. This was for sure one of them, it was a lot. I am going to start out by saying that.

            There are going to be spoilers so if you want to read the book, stop reading this, I will see you in the next post. 

            A Darling, Wendy’s granddaughter, has secrets and they are starting to pile up and spill out. This book had a really slow start and then it really kicked off, you have to get through like the first 30 or so percent of the novel but after that it moves fast. 

            Holly is trying her best, she lost her husband and one of her twin sons and her daughter is in a coma, she’s trying to keep a company together while also trying to grow it and raise a teenage boy who is brooding and she’s trying to protect him. Her daughter’s blood has some sort of healing protein, which, cool. 

            Her daughter goes missing and that’s a lot because she’s been in a coma for ten years. So she goes to London, she suspects that Peter Pan, yes that Peter Pan has her because Peter is the girl’s father. There is mention of sexual assault so that is for sure a trigger warning for those of you who don’t like that. Peter is unhinged, like super unhinged. This is why heroes are overrated, well, what we know of them. 

            There is a lot of mentions of the original book, which I read last year and of course we have all seen the Disney film. 

            The twists and turns of trying to find her daughter take her to a hook handed man, and of course thanks to Once Upon a Time all I could picture was Hook from that show and well, here we are. Private detective with a motorcycle who’s a combat vet, he’s brooding and so much cooler than Peter.

            It’s a lot of deception and lies, there are for sure a lot of those throughout the story, I liked Holly as a character, when you are given two impossible choices you have to pick the lesser of two evils and that’s about what it is for her. 

            Peter Pan has had a lot of retellings over the years, I have a few of them in my collection from the original to The Child Thief by Brom, which needs to be on my list to actually read because that book is beautiful. I started it my senior year of high school (so 2010) and it’s been on shelf ever since, but I wanted that book for such a long time and it was worth the price.

            This book was great, I actually really enjoyed it once I got into it. The ending comes up quick and it leaves it open, I don’t mind the openness of it. I wish that they would have wrapped up what happened with Elliot though because I feel like that could come back and bite someone in the butt later on. 

            Her company was kind of secondary to the rest of the story which I was totally okay with. 

            There is a lot of family expectations in this novel and that’s totally cool as well, that dynamic really did spur the story forward throughout because while Holly is the main character seeing Jane, who is Wendy’s daughter and a typical London socialite grow and change throughout the story was really nice. I love a good dynamic character, but who doesn’t.

            Peter in this one is kind of terrifying, like I wouldn’t want to be young forever and there is a lot of loss of innocence moments throughout, innocence in different ways mind you. 

            Seriously though if you are trigger by drug use or sexual assault, I would tread carefully, it’s not a big theme but they are both still there in the story. 

            Alright if you want to see what else I have read this year, you totally can, January, February, March, and April.

            I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then I hope that everyone has a safe, happy, and healthy week.

            -MJ 

Books I Read in May 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, here we are, in May, how? How is it already May? Aldo how am I currently (at the time of writing this part of my post on May 3rd) at 44 books read. How? Last year I didn’t hit the 40’s until August, it’s May. 

            I blame BookTok and my need to read like 100 pages a night. I would probably be at 45 or 46 if I hadn’t taken some nights off…oops. 

            I am hoping to be done with my TBR pile by the end of the summer and then just read what I want the rest of the year, which will be super dangerous because when I get sad, I buy books. Seriously though, my love language is books, I have determined that. Just books, buying them, reading them, talking about them, writing them; that’s it, that’s me.

            Well, I have my first book though and I want to talk about it!

A Study in Death by Anna Lee Huber (Lady Darby #4) (4/5)

            I love this series, I picked this series up because I was in a bookstore in like 2015 this was the book on the shelf and wanted it, but this was the fourth one in the series so I had to order the first one and then I read it in like 2016, I read the second one in 2020, and the third one last year. I love the series because Kiera is amazing, but I love a strong Victorian woman in a time that women were meant to be seen not heard. This one had me guessing throughout, I didn’t guess until it was pretty much revealed and I love a mystery that keeps me completely guessing until the end. I cannot wait to read the next one, it’s on my TBR for next year already because I have very little self-control when it comes to mysteries. (All books, I’m lying, it’s all books.) If you like a strong heroine and Scotland, I would suggest this one to you. 

A Not so Meet Cute by Meghan Quinn (4.8/5)

            I read it in one day, this book had me in a choke hold from about chapter two. It took me a second to get into it and then, man, did it hook me. Fake dating and all of that is a trope that would not work for me in real life, but in books it always turns into real dating. Huxley. I mean…that’s it, that’s the sentence. I loved the whole book, it was so good, the ending was a little abrupt but I am totally for it. It was spicy, not as spicy as I figured it would be, this was a ‘I saw three sentences on TikTok and bought it.’ This was for sure a BookTok made me buy it book, and it was so good. He flies her to Portland for a concert! Where are these guys in real life? I mean, they exist, I hope? It was really good and the scene in the dining room, wow. 

The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma (2/5)

            This one had such potential. I didn’t like it, I thought the premise was super interesting when I picked it up, time travel in Victorian London, sign me up. It was three stories and I was confused, the prose was great but so dense that I skimmed parts because I was getting bogged down in it. Lots of lies and deceit, I just didn’t like it. I have the second one, I will be unhauling without reading because I cannot suffer through another 600-page novel that I am not enjoying. That’s right, I read the whole thing because I cannot DNF. Like there were like 30 interesting pages in the mid-500’s and that was it. It starts out literally with a guy picking a gun to kill himself. That was trigger for page one and it didn’t get any better than that. 

Darling Girl by Liz Michalski (4/5)

            I wrote a whole post on it, literally a whole post because this was my May Book of the Month, so that will be out soon. I really enjoyed it, there are a few trigger warnings (drug use and mentions and depictions of SA) so go into that mindful to that if you want to read it. It’s fast paced and very twisty, sometimes we don’t like the hero anymore, though all villains are just heroes in their own minds. 

A Clockwork Heart by Liesel Schwarz (3.6/5)

            I read the first one in the series last fall and I ordered the third as I was finishing this one. It’s good, I liked the story, it was for sure a slow start and this one hurts. Like you want people to have a happy ending and I know there will be bumps in the road to a happy ending, but if this one doesn’t end happy you bet your sweet bippy that they will be unhauled. I will unhaul them if I am left feeling unfulfilled because the Goodreads reviews say that there was supposed to be a fourth one, well the third one was published in 2014 and nothing since then. Right, it picks up with Elle and Marsh, who I love together, then he gets taken made into a zombie and she’s trying to free him. The ending hurt! It hurt so much! 

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan (2.5/5)

            I wanted to like it, I really did, like I bought this and I was so excited because who doesn’t love a royal love story (this was seriously a pretty carbon copy to a certain royal love story we saw in the early 2010’s). It was so long! It had some really funny parts but the rest of it I slogged through, there was just so much needless and senseless drama involved. Like this book was just not for me I guess and that’s fine. Like they didn’t need to have his brother in love with her too, that was so unnecessary. I will not be reading the second one because I don’t care, I honestly and truly do not care about the resolution of Bex and Nick’s story, this will be unhauled. I almost DNFed this book a half dozen times but I would have stressed about not finishing it. It had so much potential and I found myself just trying to get through it, I don’t read ahead, I read ahead because I really did want to see if it was worth finishing. It had a happy ending? I have no idea because I gave up my interest in it. Seriously, so much potential and it just didn’t do it for me. Not every book is for everybody and this one was clearly not for me. (This was book fifty of the year though.)  

The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow (4/5)

            I liked it, it took a while for me to get into it and I really left the door open (pun accidental but intended) for a sequel because there are a lot of threads left unbound. The splicing in of the Ten Thousand Doors really detracted from the story for me. I understand having to put context on things but they were so long and wordy, like those are what took me the longest and after they ended it was so much better and a much more fun story to read. I loved the characters and all that and do I hope that there is a second one of January going through all of these worlds and opening the doors back up, yes, I really do because I would read that. I would read that hardcore. I know that it’s a story within a story within a book and I understand that, but I need to have a more resolved ending than how this epilogue ended. 

In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl (2.5/5)

            I didn’t really enjoy it. There were too many randoms shifts in the timeline, if it would have all been WW1, I think it would have been better. There was too much drama and a lot of stuff that just felt unnecessary to the plot of the story. It left me feeling unfulfilled and that’s okay. The World War One stuff was compelling, the present? 80’s? I am not really sure when it took place in the “present”, but I was confused and it was just odd. I wasn’t even sure if it was taking place in Australia in the present or not, I think it was? I really don’t know, I think so. The chapters were either like three pages or 60 pages and that’s too much. Too much! I was just confused for 450 pages, it had potential, it didn’t deliver. 

            So that’s it for May, I had a really unfulfilling reading month and that is disappointing. Like I read nine books, I will be unhauling three and I wasn’t super wowed! by any of them. That’s so hard, why was A Not So Meet Cute the most exciting book I read this month. I liked most of them, I did, but some just left me feeling like I could easily stop reading all together, and I know that I am on book 54 of the year and we aren’t even halfway through the year. I know that some of them will not be winners, I am completely aware of that because when I bought a lot of them, I was a different reader. 

            I have some books that I will be reading in June that I am super excited about and I am so looking forward too, I want to get through the TBR so I can read whatever I want. I changed my Goodreads goal from 75 books to 100 books and I cannot believe that I did that. (I also didn’t think that I would have already finished writing three entire books this year already, but here we are.) 

            If you want to see what else I have read this year, you completely and totally can, some months are better than this one, I promise: January, February, March, and April

            Well, I will be back later in the week with another post so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!

            -MJ 

Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 5/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission, Delicious, The Royal We, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 5/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny, The Map of Time, )

Historical: 7/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, Black Rabbit Hall, A Study in Death, In Falling Snow, )

Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)

Free Choice: 8/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, A Study in Ashes, A Clockwork Heart, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, )

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (Buffering and Always Look on The Bright Side of Life)

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 5/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, Darling Girl, )

Extras: 12/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, Book Boyfriend, The Sound of Stars, Twisted Games, A Not So Meet Cute, )

MJ’s 2022 Book Bullet Journal Update#2: March and April

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, I am all the way on book 43, it’s insane. I hadn’t even read 43 by August last year. I also bought like a billion books in April because I hit the big sad for a few weeks. Let’s just say that having feelings are dumb and no one should have to deal with them. 

            In March I read like nine books and in April I read ten, two were Accelerated Reader books for school so I didn’t count them in my Bullet Journal, well at least not in all the places I count the other books I am reading that I own and have on my TBR.

            It’s really soggy outside today as I am writing this and it’s also state testing week and that means that we are all busy all the time. 

            So, this pretty much like January and February, just with new months, I know that’s such a revolutionary idea, but that’s about where I am today. Believe me, as I am sitting here my brain is trying to conceptualize a writing journal, which seems like too many journals. Way too many journals, because I have for sure already started my 2023 Book Bullet Journal, I had the time and wanted to avoid other things so here we are. 

            March, I for sure had some days where I didn’t read because we were on vacation for Spring Break and trying to read 100 pages a day in that situation is difficult, I want to read 100 pages minimum every day; some days are much more successful than others. There are also some days where I read a whole book, so here we are. 

            I considered making BookTok content, but that’s still something that scares me, that’s 100% not what this post is about though! 

March: 

Cover: I love lavender, and the quote is from The Love Hypothesis so it’s a super cute cover that I really enjoyed. Several of my covers this year are more nature themed and I probably will continue that into next year. Again, I went for simple, and it will remain that way.

Books Read: Shorter list than February because I took some time off this month reading, I was on vacation, it was a lot of driving, we went through seven states to and back in something like nine days. It was insane and did effect how many books I read.

Thoughts and Insights: This is very similar to how I write my book blog posts to be honest, it’s quick takes though, small little bullet points that say whether or not I actually enjoyed the books I was reading or not. Some of them were weird this month. Just my comments, because I don’t censor in my Book BuJo, A Court of Mist and Fury was amazing but it broke me. 

Stats: I love a good condensed statistics page and man do I love tracking stuff! It really does put into perspective though how much I read per month. 

Recap: I chose new colors and I like these ones better, so I will be sticking with them the rest of the year, provided that my markers hold out. I read more paper back than hard cover, I rated lots of books in the 4-star range, and I read like a lot of fantasy. 

Monthly Book Stack: Still going for the larger books, I accidently put the wrong name, I got a little ahead of myself when it came to the second book in the ACOTAR series because I’m dumb. 

The page between March and April is a book playlist, I have one song and that’s it. I need more but I wrote that one in here last December when I was reading Kingdom of The Wicked and Kingdom of the Cursed (I have preordered the third one because I have a problem!) 

April: 

Cover: Birthday month and I went with bubbles; I think that this one could have been executed better but the A Court of Mist and Fury quote was amazing and I needed it in here. 

Books Read: 10 this month including one for Battle of the Books at school. It takes ten books to fill up one column, at least this month. That is my one problem with this journal and why I switched to an Artist’s Loft for next year, the dots on this one change from month to month so spacing is weird. 

Thoughts: I had a lot of thoughts about the books I read this month, including two where I thought that they were going to get thrown across my office, I had a fear of a trope that is for sure a giant ick in my life. I was glad that I was wrong both times. 

Monthly Stats: I bought a lot of books, don’t judge me. I also didn’t read a 5-star book this month and that’s the first time that’s happened this year. I like having five-star books, but here we are with just an okay reading month. 

Recap: Likes of 4-star reads, a few 3-star reads (you can see my rating system if you want to, I did a whole post about it because of TikTok earlier in the year.) I read more hardcover than paperback, which for me is a little odd, but here we are. 

Book Stack: I want to see these stacks hit the top of the page, this one got closer than last month. I really should color them in, but maybe that’s something that I do next year. I don’t know, I don’t want to have it be too complicated.

The page between April and May is my Best Book of the Year Bracket, next year it’s two pages because I needed that in my life, the formatting on this one for me is a little weird, I am enjoying filling it in though. 

            Well, there you have it, my March and April Book Bullet Journal update. I like writing about my Bullet Journals, it’s fun for me even if it doesn’t matter to anyone else. 

            I will be back later in the week with another post, but until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ

Books I Read in April 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Last month was not a great showing on the number of books that I was planning on reading but I kept up such a pace in February that a mini-slump was inevitable. I knew it was coming and clearly March was that month, oops. I had such plans on where I wanted to be on my TBR this month. If I want to actually hit the goal that I thought that I would get to I would need to read a little over a dozen books and I just don’t see that happening, it might, but who knows. I am going to try, but I am not going to burn myself out to get there. 

            I have read 33 books so far and as I am writing this; I only have another hundred or so pages in the book I am reading, hence why I started this post today because I know I’m going to finish it and I need to have this part started before I do. I want to get a good chuck of my TBR read earlier in the year so I can read whatever I want later, I’m beginning to think that is a mistake because being a mood reader means that I want to buy all the books that I see that I think I might like so here we are. I do not have the room for more books but I could be doing things that are a lot worse. 

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase (4/5)

            It was a slow start but when I got into it, I could not put it down. I know that I say that about a lot of books, this one was no different though. It was good, there was a moment in it where I almost hurled it across the room because incest is not allowed in this house. (It was a lie so we are good.) I guessed the plot twist pretty early on, but it was a fun read and felt very cinematic overall. The Epilogue was weird and it felt completely unnecessary to be completely honest. It had a really happy ending before that though and I was smiling a lot throughout it. I am not 100% when the “modern” timeline took place actually, I just couldn’t pin point it. I was happy with the read overall though and that is my fifth historical fiction (yes, I’m counting it as historical) of the year so I am half done with that category which is a lot of fun. 

Book Boyfriend by Claire Kingsley (4.2/5)

            Well, it was short, sweet, and hella spicy. Like I read it in two days because I finished the one above and started this one on the same day. It was so spicy, like there is spicy and then there is SPICY this one was that. It was cute, it really was and it was one of those books that kept me turning page after page. I loved the characters and the plot was interesting, I mean it was a lot, but it was such a fun, quick read. I will probably read the other two in the series that focus on Alex’s siblings. If you want a cute little romp with something I wish would happen in real life, someone buying you books in a bookstore like they would buy you a drink, this one might be right up your street.

Always Look on The Bright Side of Life by Eric Idle (4/5)

            I love Monty Python, I watched The Holy Grail in high school, I was probably just a touch young to watch it and then one of my first Netflix binges after I moved to Arkansas was finally watching all of Flying Circus, twice. I love the humor and I for sure will make random references every once in a while, I for sure have said “and now for something completely different” to my students before and they just look at me. I have also said Ni over and over again like a crazy person. I loved reading about one of my favorite Pythons, I think that the humor has both lasted for decades and also become so quotable and timeless. I have for sure also said ‘nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition’ in casual conversation to see who understands it. Reading stories about these storied figures in pop culture history was fascinating to be completely honest, man times were wild and there were chapters dedicated to people who changed the world because of who they were. I laughed, a lot, while reading this book and now I want to go back and watching Flying Circus again. My copy is also signed because Barnes and Noble did that in like 2018 and I had to have it. 

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel (3.5/5)

            It was my April Book of the Month book, if you want a full review of it, you can totally can when it comes out in a few days. I liked the book; it was not super for me and that is totally cool. Not every book is for everybody and that is what is really cool about having varying reading tastes. You don’t have to 100% love everything, not every book can be your favorite book. Some books are just there to teach you things. 

The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow (4/5)

            This came out right before the pandemic and reading it now almost hurts. It’s YA dystopian alien fiction. It was good, maybe I’m not the target demographic but it was good. The ending was weird and I have no idea if there is a second one because I was confused by the ending, it felt like it came up too quickly and I don’t feel like it was resolved, but it leaves it open so who knows. It was a super cute little love story between a human and an alien trying to save the world from more aliens, it kept me engaged throughout the novel so that’s always a good thing. This is one of those books that I could for sure being made into a film, it was written like a movie and I enjoyed it overall.

Pleading the Fish by Bree Baker (4/5)

            This is the last in the series and I am upset about it! I love the series and I hate when series ends, I mean really, it’s short for a cozy series to be completely honest, only seven books. I loved Charm and all the characters. Like reading it was very Once Upon a Time for me for some reason, I think it was the names, I don’t know. I loved it though, but I am sad that it’s over. The epilogues were weird, I got really confused for a minute and had to re-read them because you know it skipped like thirty years between one epilogue and the next, there were three. The story was good, it was a little bland for me though to be honest, I loved the love story in this more than the mystery in this one, which for me is really odd when it comes to cozies. I am just a little crushed that this was the last one. Now I have to find a new series to read, dang it. 

Twisted Games by Ana Huang (4.3/5)

            I couldn’t put it down; I literally told my cousin that it’s like The Princess Diaries but they do it. It was so good and it ripped me apart the same way that Twisted Love did, this one is a lot spicier though, like so spicy. I love Ana’s writing, she’s great and I cannot wait to read the other two in the Twisted series. I love Bridget and Rhys and how it followed for a little while at the beginning alongside the timeline of Twisted Love, the twists and turns had me turning page after page. I loved the found family aspect, though I for sure called the plot twist like 200 pages in, I was even right about the character that the twist pertained to. I don’t know if that is a good or a bad thing, she laid some amazing groundwork for it. This one had a lot of very traumatic moments, so if you are averse to that, I would avoid it. Though it seems the whole series is like that and Ana, don’t rip my heart out again, please! Like I love a happily ever after and I am no above throwing books across my office! (Then carefully picking them up and apologizing to them.) 

A Study in Ashes by Emma Jean Holloway (4.2/5)

            This is the third and final in this series, I read the first one in 2016 and the second one last year. I loved this series, it was so fun sherlock Holmes, sky pirates, steampunk, a London ruled by the steam barons. This book was dense and the ending did leave me with questions, but that is totally cool. I have had this book on my shelf for a long time and it was so worth the wait. I wasn’t really sure how I would feel about the series when I purchased them, but it was amazing. I wanted so much different for the main character in the first book, but the person she became was dimensional and I loved watching her grow through the series and the trauma that she went through. 

Delicious by Ruth Reichl (3/5)

            Three is a generous score. I liked most of the book though, that’s the only reason that it is getting a three. It had so much potential, it was so good and then like 75 pages from the end it shifted. I hated the ending; it was so quick and left me absolutely unsatisfied. The wrap up was an email and it just felt so rushed. Like if you like this book, cool, I loved parts of this book but the ending and a lot of that felt inconsistent with the rest of the novel. I was so hopeful that I would like this book because I was enjoying the read so much, the ending ruined it for me. 

            Well, I only read nine books in April which I wanted to read more, I had a goal of 13, but April came through and kicked me in the teeth so here we are. I read some good books this month and some that I will be unhauling at the end of the year. Though I am on book 42 of the year so that means there are books that I probably won’t like. I also bought a bunch of books in April because I have a problem. 

            If you want to see all the other books that I have read this year, you totally can with January, February, and March

            I will be back later in the week with another post, so until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy.

            -MJ 

Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 4/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission, Delicious, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 4/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny,)

Historical: 5/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, Black Rabbit Hall, )

Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)

Free Choice: 6/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, A study in Ashes,)

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (Buffering and Always Look on The Bright Side of Life)

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 4/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, )

Extras: 11/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, Book Boyfriend, The Sound of Stars, Twisted Games,)

BookTok Made Me Buy It

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I never and I truly mean never thought I would be writing a post like this. BookTok is a thing that has taken over my life. I have over a dozen books in my Amazon cart because of it and it’s because there was one line on the internet that hooked me in. It’s a problem, I didn’t used to buy books at the rate I am currently buying books and that is really a problem for me! 

I did put them in the order that they are pretty much on my TBR. I have only read to Book Boyfriend. Which is about in the middle.

            I have bought a lot of books this year and most of them were because of TikTok, the others were because of Book of the Month, but BookTok has a hold on me. There are books that I claimed for a long time that I wouldn’t read, like ACOTAR (which I love!) but then the internet got ahold of me and I have discovered something that is highly addictive. 

            So, this is just going to be a list, more or less, there will be some blurbs with books that I have already read but I am only going to talk about the ones that are currently in my collection, not in my Amazon cart Save for Later section because it would be a much longer list then. 

            Everyone knows how much I loved The Love Hypothesis, that was one of the first BookTok books that I actually bought and that was in December, that’s right, December. The other one that I bought because of BookTok was A Fate of Wrath and Flame, that book was amazing and I am really excited for the second one that comes out in June I think, I have no idea where it’s going to go, but I always hope for a happy ending. 

I could say that BookTok also convinced me to buy Kingdom of The Wicked and Kingdom of The Cursed because I saw it there for a while, but I would have bought them either way because I read the Stalking Jack the Ripper series last year as well and I love her writing. She’s one of those authors that I will pick up her books knowing nothing about them. 

            Next was A Court of Thorns and Roses, I devoured that book and I just finished A Court of Mist and Fury. That book broke me and I have something like 20 books until I read the next one, I am so excited for the next one. I am waiting until A Court of Silver Flames comes out in paperback before I grab that one, which is in September. September is going to be a big month for all the books that I am waiting for. 

            Then I fell down a hole, and I do mean a hole, I found my wait onto another section of BookTok and well, none of those books I can take to work, let’s just put it that way. Is it a weird side of TikTok? Yes, but man do I have a lot of books in my Amazon cart because of it. 

            So, what have a bought this year alone that really belong on the BookTok made me do it list? I have to consult the Book Bullet Journal for that because there are several and most of them were read in February where I read 15 books, which for me is a record. 

            Also, a lot of these authors are on TikTok and that’s usually where I find their books so it’s been fun to see what people are out there writing. Hot Vampire Next Door is a lot, it’s good, but so much and the first two are out in paperback, the third will come out eventually and I know that. I could read it on Kindle Unlimited, but that would not be a good idea and I really like physical books. 

            The Twisted series by Ana Huang is amazing and I have only read the first one, I have the other two that are out and I am waiting for the fourth one because I love the idea of intertwining standalones because that’s so fun. 

            Deal with the Elf King was one I saw there as well and I don’t remember what made me add it to my Amazon cart but I did and it was sweet, it was a lot but really cute. The second in the series is also sitting in my Amazon cart as well because why not, just need a little hit of serotonin that books have been giving me lately. 

            The Fine Print was the last one that I read because of BookTok, it was…a lot and the sequel to that is also in my Amazon cart because I have a problem, I straight up have a problem and here we are, not regretting any little bit of it. 

            I hope y’all can sense a theme here, hence why I cannot read them in public, or ar work, or with other people around, they are all a lot. 

            Those are the ones I have read so far so I am going to do a quick fire of the other ones that I have in my TBR as extras because I needed to have some actual choice books in my list that I didn’t mick from my shelves. Book Boyfriend I will start here today and hopefully by the time that this post comes out I will be done with it, long done with it. Also, there is Twisted Games which is the second in the Twisted series which I am looking forward to. Twisted Hate is later in the TBR pile, but it’s up there and I am looking forward to it, it’s a thick book. A Not So Meet Cute which I have heard good things about. Hooked which I have heard is dark, I don’t know how I am going to feel about that one, but here we are. It Happened One Summer because the internet told me to and I loved Schitt’s Creek which was an inspiration for this one. Not the Witch You Wed which is a paranormal, again, here we are. A Winter’s Promise which I know a little bit about because of the internet but I don’t know a lot about it and that’s always fun, I think that one is YA so I don’t expect it to be risqué at all and that’s the hope here. 

            Like I said I have about a dozen in my Amazon cart and that means that this list will grow, I joke that I could be doing drugs or other things, instead I buy books. I am looking forward to a lot of the books on my BookTok list and I know that there will be other books that join this list even if I never make another post like this, I probably will when I actually buy and read more. I don’t need to buy more books though so I am going to try and keep myself from buying any more books at least this month. 

            Well, there you have it, if you are interested in seeing what I have actually read this year, you totally can with January, February, and March. If you want to see how I track my books, that’s cool too with my Book Bullet Journal for January and February. I will be back later in the week with another post so until then I hope that everyone has a great time until then, I also hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ 

Books I Read in March 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I don’t know how we got here. I really don’t, it’s March, somehow. I read 15 books in February, only 14 made it to the last blog post because I finished the other one after the post came out, so I read it in February but it’s on this post. There is just too much some days. 

            I have literally a dozen books in my Amazon save for later cart because I am on a book buying ban until the end of April (I made it to the tail end of March, my bad), I’ve bought 14 books this year and it’s March. That’s a lot of books, I love books though and I am such a mood reader and BookTok doesn’t help. It doesn’t help one little bit. 

            I am starting this month off with a book that is not on my TBR, it was an extra add-on I got with Book of the Month. I am learning that I need to mix in extra books that I want to read in with my TBR books so I don’t hit the dreaded reading slump because no one needs that. 

Well Met by Jen DeLuca (4.3/5)

            I couldn’t put it down. I love a good rom-com and enemies to lovers; it’s a really good trope and I loved this book. It was super cute and super real. I read like 230 pages in one night because I couldn’t put it down and the rest of the series so far is in my Amazon cart because I want to read the rest of it! I loved the family angle and the Ren Faire angle so much, the handfasting bit was so fun and I love Emily and Simon, this book for sure gave me New Girl vibes and I was here for it! It was super cute and had me laughing out loud several times alone in my apartment. It’s a rom-com so it’s a little spicy, but tame compared to some of the books I read last month. 

The Crystal Cave by Mary Stewart (4/5)

            This book came out in the 1970’s. I want to preface it with that, who doesn’t love an Arthurian legend though? I love Arthurian legend and this is a telling of Merlin growing up and it was really good. It was a lot to read but totally worth it. The next one is already on my TBR for next year, do I think I will complete the whole series? I am going to try. I pictured only the characters from BBC’s Merlin the whole time I was reading it because why not. There is so much in the legend and the canon of Arthur and his round table. I have The Once and Future King in my collection as well, I should have read that in high school, I didn’t, it was a mistake to not read it then but I didn’t want to. I’ll loop back around to it eventually. It was interesting seeing the origins of Merlin who is such an intragyral character in fantasy, the idea of him spans much further than the legends themselves. 

Teacher Misery by Jane Morris (4.3/5)

            I am a teacher, this book was hilarious, it hurt so much at some points though because it is so true that it’s pathetic and it came out before the pandemic! Like I cannot imagine what could be added if the pandemic was included. There were so many things that had me laughing but also nodding and shaking my head because apparently it is not uncommon for things that I have seen or heard that happen in schools happen in more than one place and that seems a little ridiculous. TeacherTok is a real place that I have found myself in and we are all going through it y’all. This book was hilarious, real, and I wish I could say shocking, but it wasn’t. It was a reflection of the current state of our education system and while I love teaching, I love my kids, and my school family, but some days you just want to sit at your desk and cry because it’s overwhelming at all times anymore. Please check in on your teacher friends, we are not okay. 

Dating Dr. Dil by Nisha Sharma (4.4/5)

            This was my March Book of the Month so this one has its whole own dedicated post. I am going to brief overview it here, but if you want to know my more in-depth feelings on it you can check that post out when it does, I will link it here so you can read it if you want. It was cute and I enjoyed it a lot, it had a lot of interesting topics and fun moments. A little spicer than I am used to when it comes to more of the romantic comedy genre. It was a really fun book though and if you are looking for a cute enemies to lovers and fake dating rom-com, this one is for sure something that you might want to look into. 

Admission by Jean Hanff Korelitz (2.5/5)

            I didn’t like it, actually there were no redeeming qualities for me when I read this book. I bought it when the movie came out because I wanted to read it before I saw the movie. I never saw the movie and this book has been in my collection since like 2013. Maybe I would have liked it more then, but now, it gave me all the icky feelings. Like it was boring, the drama was predictable and annoying, and the ending was terrible. Like I didn’t like the main character at all, I feel like I should, I feel like I should have felt bad for her and everything she went through, I don’t. I am angry about this book, like this is the closest I have gotten to DNFing a book since like 2016. I put off starting this book for almost a week and read another book instead. It wasn’t good. I normally say that not every book is for everybody and I do still think that. A lot of people liked this book, I was not one of them. Normally I can find qualities in a book that I like, this one had none for me. The relationships and friendships felt forced and unnatural, the plot lines were a lot and not in a good way, and I found myself skimming sections because I didn’t care to read them. Most of the time I at least kind of recommend the books that I read; I don’t recommend this one. This is one that will be leaving my collection at the end of the year and I won’t be sad to see it go. 

It Devours! By Joseph Fink and Jeffrey Cranor (4/5)

            I have been an avid listener of the podcast Welcome To night Vale for a long time, I actually need to catch up on it because I loved the series and then I stopped listening to podcasts. I forget them, sorry, my bad. This is the second novel from that universe and this one was a little weird; in Night Vale though that is 100% par for the course. This focused-on Carlos and his band of scientists trying to figure out why pieces of the town are being devoured. The Joyful Congregation of the Smiling God makes a large appearance, that was fun. I was not a huge fan of the ending to be completely honest, I liked the rest of it, it was a lot of fun. Violent, but a lot of fun. Just the end made it a little less cohesive, also I like happy endings and it really wasn’t 100% that. It was fun though and I will eventually read the third novel, I just have to get to it. 

Sword of Destiny by Andjez Sapkowski (4/5)

            I mean, I like The Witcher Netflix series, it’s fun. I started reading it because my best friend was obsessed with the game, at the time she had played something like 1,300 hours and that to me is insane, more power to her. I have played something like 500+ on Animal Crossing so I understand that better now. It was good collection of stories, some that were in the series already and a few that I would like to see in the series in the future. The one with the mermaids was fascinating, I will say this, they are different than the series for sure. Some are closer to what you see on screen and some are vastly different. I am excited to read the actual series and I will probably read it later in the year when I am done with my TBR. 

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero (4/5)

            This took me days to read. It was good, Scooby Doo meets Supernatural. It was weird, I am going to put it that way, it was just weird, but it was fun. I enjoyed reading it, I am on vacation so I didn’t read it like I should have. There were a lot of comments on Kerri’s hair, which was really weird. The whole book was really weird, it was a good weird though. Like I wanted to go back and re-read things but I didn’t, it was interesting though and I did enjoy it. It was written a little strangely which was okay, again, the book is strange. I feel like I want to say more about it and I really don’t know what to say about it though, I enjoyed the book, that’s the bottom line, it was just a little odd and I can’t think of any more synonyms for it. 

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas (5/5)

            I couldn’t put it down and it’s like 600 something pages. I get why the internet gives one of the characters a not so nice nickname, I completely understand I swore at him a lot throughout reading it. I want to go to the Night Court; I want to be there and I loved all of those characters that I have been seeing on the internet. The imagery is stunning and I cannot wait to read the next one. The end, it broke me a little, actually it broke me a lot, there was swearing, almost tears, and just heart break; absolute heartbreak even though we all know there are more books in the series. If I was reading these when they came out, I think that the waiting for the third one would have killed me. I love Rhys, that should shock no one I always go for that type in books, he’s a lot, but in the best way.

            Well there you have it, I only read nine books in March, there is one that isn’t on here because it was for One School One Book and we read Frindle

            I for sure wanted to read more in March and I expected to because I was off for a week with Spring Break but we traveled and it was like 2000 something miles in the car and I can’t read in the car. So, I didn’t read as many books as I wanted to.

            My goal in April is 10 books, I think, I had a much more ambitious goal but I don’t see that happening because I didn’t read all the ones I wanted to read in the month of March. That’s okay though, reading 15 in February was an unsustainable. 

            If you are curious what else I have read this year, you totally can and see what I read in January and February. This list will grow and grow as the year goes on and I am looking forward to it. 

            I hope everyone has a great day and I will be back soon with another post! So, until then stay safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ

Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 3/10 (The Runaway Princess, Since You’ve Been Gone, Admission,)

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 4/10 (The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, Hiddensee, The Crystal Cave, Sword of Destiny)

Historical: 4/10 (The Velvet Hours, In the Shadow of Paris, And Only to Deceive, Radio Girls, )

Thriller: 2/2 (The Alienist and Meddling Kids)

Free Choice: 5/14 (Love and Gravity, A Fate of Wrath and Flame, City of Lost Dreams, It Devours!, A Court of Mist and Fury, )

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 1/2 (Buffering and )

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (The Happiness Advantage and Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 3/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, )

Extras: 8/? (Midnight Spells Murder, Hot Vampire Next Door S1, Twisted Love, Malibu Rising, A Deal with the Elf King, Hot Vampire Next Door S2, The Fine Print, Well Met, )

March Book of the Month Review:

Title: Dating Dr. Dil

Author: Nisha Sharma

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            I saw this book on TikTok a while back, before it was a choice for book of the month and I immediately thought of a YouTube Sims 4 series that I used to watch. It brought a smile to my face. Which is completely unrelated to this review, but just a bit of general knowledge about me as a person. 

            By now everyone knows that I have a weird relationship with romance novels, it should be no shock that I chose it though because I love a good enemies to lovers rom-com romp and this for sure was that. 

            This book was great, I really enjoyed it even though I am not a part of the culture, so some of the things were lost on me. I laughed a lot though and I hope there are going to be more because I can see some future couples from reading this book. Also, according Goodreads it’s #1 in the ‘If Shakespeare was an Auntie’ series and that title amused me greatly. 

            Let’s set it up, Kareena Mann is a career driven 30-year-old (as someone who will be 30 in a couple of weeks, that is scary) who is single, and in the culture being single at 30 is frowned upon. I mean that seems to be a cultural norm for a lot of people and that’s not fair. 

            There is a lot of strife in the family and Kareena is treated poorly by the other members of her family, they are a lot, I can for sure tell you that. Some of the running jokes with the family are hilarious though. She throws a drink on a hot-shot doctor and then they fake date, which leads to real dating, which leads to things, and then fights, doubting, and then well it’s happily ever after. Also, I love Kareena’s friends; they are real and a lot and remind me of some of my friends. 

            Of course, the love interest is a lot also, a doctor who has a very guarded heart of gold who isn’t in touch with his feelings and at the beginning is kind of painted as an ass. You learn to like him, I promise. I can’t ever see the word Charlie the same though now because of this book. That’s just a thing, I am trying not to spoil it, but there are several scenes that qualify as spicy, I didn’t expect so much spice, but I should have expected it to be honest. 

            I was a fun little book though and I breezed through it, it was a little predictable because it’s romance and they have that formula, this one was fun though and I enjoyed it even though I was lost some times with the cultural stuff, that is no one’s fault but my own. I am not part of it, so I can look at it from the outside but not understand it from an inside perspective. 

            Like Well Met, this one almost gave me New Girl vibes but more Cici and Schmidt, I really enjoyed New Girl, it was a really good show. 

            Will I read the rest in the series if this is a series? I will, it was fun and I like the characters. The epilogue in this book was really well done, as an online advice column, sort and sweet, and left it completely open. That’s the epilogue I like, let me draw my own conclusions. 

            I loved that Kareena was hard working and expected a lot of people, also this book just proved to me that online dating is for sure not for me. I do wish that a little more credence would have been given to her job because being a lawyer for a startup to help found women owned businesses sounds super cool and I felt like it was a little glazed over. 

            I didn’t get around to posting my rating up top though, so we are going to get to that here, I gave it a solid 4.4. It was good and I cannot wait for the rest if there are more, it was fun and I love interconnected standalones so much. 

            Well, there it is, my March BotM, I go an add-on this month as well and that was The Cartographers, I will get around to reading it eventually, but not quite yet. 

If you want to check out the other Books of the Month that I have gotten this year, you totally can with January and February.

            I will be back later in the week with another post so until then, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 

            -MJ