February Book of the Month Review:

Title: Georgie All Along

Author: Kate Clayborn

Rating: 4.4/5

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, I am going to be honest, I thought I wrote this post weeks ago when I actually read the book but February clearly got very away from me in total and that is really unfortunate. 

            I liked the book, there should be no secret that I like books and I love a good rom-com with a grumpy/sunshine relationship dynamic and this for sure was a very grumpy/sunshine dynamic even though the main female is not sunshine all the time.

            The story starts out with Georgie having to return home because her boss decides that she’s going to take some time away and change career paths and that means that Georgie has to find somewhere else to be. Her best friend is having a baby and that seems to be a project that she wants to tackle. 

            They find a “bucket list” friend fic from middle school before they got into high school and it’s all the stuff they wanted to do around town, I kind of loved that idea.

            Well, there is only one problem, the former town bad boy was invited by her parents, who are out of town, to stay at their place and they didn’t mention the other to either of them.

            His dog is my favorite, seriously, I read this a good three or so weeks ago and I have read so many books since then. Though I really liked that holding onto tradition ideal with the necessity and understanding that times change. 

            The whole narrative with Levi’s family was so interesting and his dad was kind of the worst. I can understand why he acted out. 

            This whole book was about understanding that you don’t have to have all the answers all the time and sometimes the answers that you get are not the right ones for you no matter how much you want them to be. 

            Everyone should also know how much I hate the third act break up, that hasn’t changed, that is such a cliché in romance novels, the third act break up. I have a vow in my own personal writing to never actually have a third act break up because I don’t personally like them. 

            Overall, it was a quick, easy read that I really enjoyed and only took a few days to read. I have never read any other books by Kate Clayborn but this one for sure made me want to read other novels by her. It also really left me craving a strawberry milkshake even though I would need to pop a lactaid before or risk getting very sick in the process because your girl can’t process milk.

            Of course there were moments that I didn’t really like, her best friend can be a little over bearing and while I understand that there were still moments where that struck me the wrong way. 

            It had a happen ending and did leave the epilogue open to the future which is one of the better ways to end an epilogue in my opinion.

            I want to have more clarity, I promise that I do, but I read this weeks ago and I don’t remember all of the details, I remember a lot because I enjoyed the book but there are pieces that I don’t remember whatsoever that I feel like I should. It was a touch spicy but so much fun to read.

            I would say that if you are looking for a not too serious rom-com beach read this one for sure is for you. 

            Super short, sorry, I just don’t have a lot of words on this one, though I wish I could go back to middle and high school me and tell her that yea it takes a while and you never really have it together like you hope but that’s life, roll with the punches, you will be okay. 

            If you want to check out what I read in January you totally can because that has been up for a while and I am enough of an idiot that I forgot to write this, seriously, told myself I was going to write it and then…I forgot. 

            Alright, until next time I hope everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 


Books I Read in February 2023

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Here we are in month two of the year, January flew right by, but I started full time teaching again instead of interventions so here we are with me teaching again and that meant that I was a little more stressed than normal, but I read 13 books in January. I am hoping to read like 10 in February.

            I am already halfway through my first book of the month and it is a slog, I already know I am unhauling it and we can have that conversation when I actually write the little blurb down below. I am getting this post started though so when I finish it, I can just roll through it. 

            There are probably going to be spoilers so if you want to read the book, cool, avoid that blurb. Also, these are my opinions, no one else’s, if you loved a book I didn’t. That’s awesome, I am super happy for you I promise. 

Secrets of Nanreath Hall by Alix Rickloff (3/5)

            Of course he was married, like I called so many of the twists because there is such a plot formula for fiction like this. I love historical fiction, I really do, but this one just wasn’t it for me. I liked the World War 2 bits a lot more than her mother’s story and it took me so long to get through it. I was bored, the writing was well done, but the story just didn’t grip me, it was…predictable and boring. I did almost DNF it, but I liked it enough to finish it, will I be keeping it in my collection? No, someone else will get more joy out of this than I ever will and that’s totally okay with me. It would have made so much more of an impact on me if it was told from solely Anna’s perspective with letters or a journal from her mother, not switching back and forth to her mother. It just wasn’t for me and that’s totally fine. The second half did pick up but there was just so many tropes all shoved into one book that it was a little much for me as a whole. 

The Transference Engine by Julia Verne St. John (3/5)

            I wanted to like it, I really did, the premise is so cool! I love steampunk, who doesn’t when it comes to fantasy lovers. This one lost the plot so early; I was confused as to what the plot actually was. It was scattered, so very scattered and while it was a cool concept it was not executed well, that made it hard to read. I expected Ada to have a much bigger role, but she just felt like a side character even though she’s for sure on the back of the book. I expected more and I feel like there was no resolution, it wrapped up so quickly that I wasn’t sure how the author was going to wrap it up and there was like 30 pages left. Drew got done dirty, that’s all I am going to say, dirty and I didn’t root for anyone in this book. It wasn’t for me and that’s totally okay. 

A Touch of Darkness by Scarlett Sinclair (5/5)

            The rating might be because I have unhauled the last two books I have read which is never fun, but it is what it is. I love a Hades and Persephone retelling and the modern ones are so fun. I have a few and that might be a me problem because I like them. I for sure read this in two days, I would have read it in one but I worked today so yesterday I didn’t feel like blowing through almost 400 pages. It was so good, Hades is a lot, Persephone is also a lot but they are perfect for each other, a huge mess, but perfect. The mint plant! I laughed so hard I almost cried. I loved watching Persephone own herself, own who and what she was with Hades help of course. Like it got real spicy real fast and then just all the spice, like a full spice drawer. It was so good though, it did have a trope I am not a fan of, but here we are, a happy for now and I already own the second one, the third one is on the list to buy and the fourth one comes out later this year. I am on the fence about reading the Hades Saga, but I might, I don’t know yet. 

White Girl Problems by Babe Walker (2.8/5)

            Okay, so here’s the deal, I have had the third one for nearly a decade so I figured I would buy and read the first one. I regret all of it. I regret buying this book. I read it, some of it was funny, some of it was confusing and made me question reality and everything else. Seriously, this book has not aged well, it came out when I was in college when this was a much more popular trope in novels, the reality-esque. It reads very much like a famous family who has had several TV shows over the years and I didn’t enjoy it. I really do hope it’s all satire and humor because otherwise this book is not okay. I need it to be satirical fiction. I am unhauling the third one because I have no interest in reading it at all. 

Georgie, All Along by Kate Clayborn (4.4/5)

            It was so cute! I really liked this book overall; it is my Book of the Month so a post will be up eventually with my actual full thoughts. I loved Georgie and Levi’s dynamic and just the treatment of family and growth and how it feels when everyone around you is seeming to have all the good things happen to them and you feel like you are standing still and stuck. I feel that on the daily so it hit me, but it was so good. 

Things in Jars by Jess Kidd (4/5)

            Hold onto your horses Batman. Wow, this one was intense from the first few pages. It was also a lot. I didn’t mind the shifting perspectives much but the quick flip in those and the timeline was a little jarring. I really did enjoy it though, I loved Birdie and Ruby, I mean really, who doesn’t love an outspoken Victorian woman and a dead boxer ghost who is only in his underwear and a top hat? The story was interesting, I will for sure say that, I just wish that it would have wrapped everything up a little nicer at the end. I was super confused by the last page which was jarring to say the least. I want to know what happens with Birdie and Valentine, a character named Valentine Rose, I am not kidding and he’s a cop…It was good though, so many things that I didn’t call, and some that I did. 

These Vicious Masks by Turan Shanker & Kelly Zekas (3.3/5)

            I wanted to like it so much, I really did and it was almost unhauled a few years ago but I figured my tastes have changed I will give it a chance. I shouldn’t have, it was like the Avengers but make it Victorian and annoying, I do mean that. It was annoying, like it was such a fun and interesting concept but the execution was lacking for me. I didn’t really feel any of the relationships that were beginning to develop throughout, the plot felt like there was so much unnecessary nonsense, and the ending made me for sure not want to pick up the next one. Like seriously, all of the searching and everything else and that was how it ended? Yea, not going to get the others in this set and this one is going to say goodbye at the end of the year. 

The Wild Dark Flowers by Elizabeth Cooke (2.8/5)

            Have you ever read a book that was about 75 story lines with some overlap but not enough to feel like you were actually understanding and comprehending the whole story? That was this book, I read the first one in 2016 so I remembered very little from the first one and even then, this didn’t feel like I needed the first one to actually understand it. It was busy, it was so busy and the characters were unlikable. I just didn’t enjoy it and that means that like the first one I will be unhauling this one as well. I know that I shouldn’t have skimmed, but I did because the chapters were super long and they switched perspectives so frequently it was difficult to actually keep up and remember all the characters that were being referred to. 

Loathe to Love You by Ali Hazelwood (5/5)

            It’s novellas and I have wanted to read them since last year. I needed a palette cleanser to feel better about reading after having to unhaul so many in a row and just feeling like I wasn’t getting any joy out of what I was reading. I laughed so hard in so many places throughout the novella’s and I liked that they were interconnected, that was so much fun. All of the characters are a lot, though all of the mains in her books seem to be a lot. I would read whole novels with each set of characters because I loved them, I wish that there was more story for each of the pairs, I needed more story with them. I just did. I couldn’t put it down and read it in an afternoon and that should shock no one because I have not taken more than a day to read any books that I have by her. 

As You Wish by Cary Elwes (4/5)

            I love the Princess Bride, it is one of my favorite movies, I have read the book as well. I actually didn’t see it until I was in college because I had a professor who thought that I would be the kind of person to have a signed copy of the script, I am still trying to figure out what the heck he meant by that and it’s been like 11 years since that moment. I love reading books about things that I love and seeing that movie from behind the scenes was so fascinating. I really enjoyed the little snippets and insights from other cast members that were placed throughout the book. It was a quick read and I did skim parts of it because last night and tonight were parent/teacher conferences so I was exhausted after being at school for almost 12 hours yesterday and today. It was really good though and I really did enjoy it. 

The City We Became by. N.K. Jemisin (3.5/5)

            I liked it, the premise was super cool and such an interesting read. There were things that rubbed me the wrong way but I don’t want to get into those things here. I don’t and that is a personal choice. The characters for the most part were super interesting. It was really fast paced though and I didn’t feel like I had any time to actually catch my breath and catch up with the story as it quickly progressed. I did enjoy it but I don’t think I will be picking up the second in the series, maybe, but I don’t know. I love urban fantasy but sometimes it just isn’t for me and this book wasn’t 100% for me and that’s totally okay. 

Book Lovers by Emily Henry (4/5)

            It was super cute. I love a good super cute book. I like that it was also a reverse Hallmark kind of thing. I loved Nora and Charlie though I was not a huge fan of her sister. There was so much in this book that I loved, some things that I didn’t but that’s every book. It was a cute story where the main character thinks she cursed in love and then meets someone who is a work oriented as she is and they don’t have to give their lives up for the other one. I really like that dynamic, because there are so many stories where one person gives everything up to be with the other and I can’t imagine being happy giving everything up for someone else. 

            I actually wanted to get to Book Lovers, that was actually the goal this month which was crazy because I actually made it! I enjoyed some books I read but almost half of them are a goodbye for me this month, five books are being unhauled and one I didn’t own. That is the whole point of a TBR though for me, it is to weed out the books that I don’t want to have in my permanent collection anymore. 

            I read 13 books though and that is on the whole an unsustainable pace especially with the ammount of books that I disliked this month. I wanted to like more, I really did and I tried but some of them just weren’t for me and they will go to a home that will enjoy them more than I ever could.

            If you want to check out what I read in January though, you totally can and I am hoping to read almost as many if not as many in March because I am a glutton for punishment and I am trying to get through my TBR a little faster this year. 

            Until next time I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!


Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 2/12 (Someday, Someday, Maybe, White Girl Problems, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 2/12 (Howl’s Moving Castle, The Transference Engine, )

Historical: 3/12 (The Gown, Secrets of Nanreath Hall, The Wild Dark Flowers, )

Thriller: /2

Free Choice: 4/15 (A Poisoned Season, Dark Horizons, Things in Jars, The City We Became, )

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 2/2 (You Will Get Through This Night, As You Wish)

General Non-Fiction: 1/2 (Mindset, )

Book of The Month: 2/12 (Lunar Love, Georgie, All Along, )

Extras: 6/? (Cocky Roommate, Portrait of a Scotsman, A Touch of Darkness, These Vicious Masks, Loathe to Love You, Book Lovers, )

Battle of the Books (it’s for school!): 4/?  (The Lightening Thief, Sea of MonstersThe Titan’s Curse, Battle of the Labyrinth, )

Top Ten Books of 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ

            Okay, so it should shock literally no one that I read a lot in 2022, like seriously more than I have ever read before. I read like 130 books, plus as few that I didn’t count that I read at school or as a read-aloud to my fifth graders last year. 

            These are really in no particular order, the first two were my top book of the year and the runner up, but beyond that they are not in any order. Also, I did count series as a whole slot in the top ten, so one might have three books and that’s because it’s a series and I didn’t want to count them separate. 

            Am I currently sitting at my desk while eating lunch? Yes, I am, but is that going to stop me from getting at least most of this post done? No, I am going to try and get something done with my time while I have it. Now I must consult the Book Bullet Journal, which is super different from last year. Doing a Book Bullet Journal for the second year in a row has really allowed me to see what worked and what didn’t work when it came to my Book BoJu last year. I have expanded some things, gotten rid of some things and tries some new and different things, so we are going to see how that goes.

            You may not like the books I liked, you may think that all the books I unhauled last year were your favorites and I am an illiterate idiot who doesn’t know good literature. Reading taste is subjective, I like what I like because I like it. If you didn’t like it, cool, but to be honest, it doesn’t affect me, so what I enjoyed or didn’t enjoy shouldn’t affect you either. 

            All of these books were five star books for me, so I am not even going to put their ratings. 

  1. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

This was my top book of the year, I read it in January and I could not stop thinking about it for the remainder of the year. That was how I knew this one needed to be my book of the year for 2022. I was late to the party reading this and some people didn’t like it. That’s totally okay, we can all like different things. I really liked Luc, from the moment that he showed up I was like ‘ooh look, my favorite’ and he was. I loved the premise of the story; I want to get I Remember Youtattooed on me because this book made me feel things. I did really enjoy it because it made me feel, I like books that make me feel and this was for sure one of them. 

2. Between by L.L. Starling

You want a book that is a cross between Monty Python and Labyrinth, this is for you. I loved this book, I read it in four days and I cannot wait for the second one. I love all the characters, the worlds, the story as a whole, and I could not put it down. I didn’t want to put it down as it had me in stitches so many times throughout the 737 pages, that is a daunting number but it is so worth it because there was not a part of this book that didn’t keep me wanting more. From her kindergarten class, to the coven, to Lorn as a person, to everything else that went with this. It was such an amazing read. 

3. Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood and Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J Maas

Okay, so this series was not only amazing but the ending of the second one, it broke me, it broke me so hard core that I wasn’t sure whether or not I had imagined the ending as a whole. It was so well written and I really did love the story and the characters. I have my favorites of course, but using a vacuum cleaner after that, that was amazing. I laughed so hard at so many parts and some left me utterly destroyed. There was so much in both of these books but being 750+ each that is wholeheartedly expected, but Sarah do not hurt my faves, that’s all I ask, do not hurt my faves. 

4. Kingdom of the Feared by Kerri Maniscalco

Well, this for sure was an amazing conclusion to this series, so much was tied up from the second one and even the first one with this book. Someone on TikTok said that this was what happens when you don’t plan the rest of the series before writing it. I didn’t see it that way. Though Wrath is my favorite and I cannot wait to read the book that is coming out about Envy in the fall. (I am so excited for it!) She is one of those authors that is an automatic buy for me and I know that is different for everyone. The story was interesting and everything is a hot mess, a complete hot mess and I loved the whole thing.

5. Love on the Brain by Ali Hazelwood

Another author that is an automatic buy for me, I don’t care if it was the same story just a little different, this one went hard, it went from like a cute, little love story to attempted murder? I loved it though; it was so much but I love her writing style. I read it in one day and I could not put it down. It was insanity and I liked this one just as much or more than The Love Hypothesis. I have always been a fan of ridiculous characters and this for sure was full of ridiculous characters. 

6. A Court of Mist and Fury, A Court of Wings and Ruin, and A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

I read several of her books this year and I don’t regret one single minute of it. I have not read Silver Flames yet and there is a part of me that is so nervous to read it because I am not a Nesta fan, she made me hate Nesta so much that I don’t know if she is going to redeemed in my eyes. (I have seen all sorts of stuff online about it so I will reserve most judgement until after I finish it in a few months.) I loved ACoFaS and I know that a lot of people didn’t like it. It was the Christmas special and I loved it, the snow ball fight had me rolling because those characters…in a snowball fight, that visual had me dying. The world is amazing and I am planning on reading the rest of Throne of Glass this year as well so that will be showing up here eventually. 

7. What Lies Beyond the Veil by Harper L. Woods

This was an early BookTok made me buy it book and it didn’t disappoint. I know that there were people who didn’t like it and I for sure called the twist with the main male. I really liked the whole story though and I want to read the sequel so badly. I will buy it eventually. It was an insane story, but it was so well written and the world was fascinating. I liked the subterfuge, that book was a wild ride from the beginning to the end. It took me like 100 pages to get into it and then I could not put it down. Though, it should shock no one at this point that half of my favorite books from last year involved the fae. 

8. From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout

I was late to the party on this one, this book was one of those that I couldn’t put down either. So many people said that they couldn’t get into it, that it was slow, it was not slow! It was ridiculous and because of the internet I knew the twist, will that stop me from reading the next one? No, not even a little bit. Poppy and Hawke are a mess, that’s all I am going to say, a mess. The duke got what was coming to him, for sure what was coming for him. But some of it for sure broke my heart. Like I knew that the betrayal was coming because of the internet and it still hurt the whole time, it still surprised me. 

9. A Fate of Wrath and Flame by K.A. Tucker

This was the first BookTok made me buy it book, I think, this was the first one where I saw like several lines and decided that I had to have it. I love magic and court politics, this was such an interesting world to get lost in, the whole premise that happens throughout the novel. The cliffhanger! The cliffhanger, it was insane. I want a happy ending and we all know that about me, I don’t like when the story ends sad. I get really upset when something ends sad or there doesn’t feel like there is a resolution for the series. I will eventually buy the second one because I read a lot of firsts in series last year and this was one of them without buying the second. (Because Amazon keeps increasing the price on them.)

10. Go Hex Yourself by Jessica Clare

I swear, it’s like The Love Hypothesis where the main couple looks like the main ship from the newest Star Warstrilogy. Seriously, look at the cover…I loved the story though. I really did, Dru was a mess but she was the best, I loved the rest of the characters and the story as a whole. There is a sequel coming out later this year and again, the cover tells me some things and I am already looking forward to it. I really am, I love series or interconnected stand-alone’s. 

      I for sure had some honorable mentions, but those get to hang out in my own brain because one I bought because it sounded ridiculous and then I loved it so that was my most unexpected book of the year and it was the last book I read in 2022, that one was UNHINGED. 

            Well, there we have it, my Top Ten of 2022 even though it was more like the top 14 or so because I have a few series on here. I read so much last year and I had so many books that I loved. Some that didn’t make it on this list because I had 20 total five-star books and that is so many for me. I also had 30 books that I unhauled last year so that leaves about 80 books that I liked well enough or were just mid for me. I should probably really be cut throat about the books I keep, but I love books so much. They bring me so much joy and so much escape from everything in real life.

            I am hoping to read some amazing books this year and I am already excited to think about discovering my top ten for this upcoming year, most of the books that I had on this list were found along the way or bought during the year, but a few were from my TBR. I am hoping to find some of my new favorites on my TBR this year.

            If you want to check out everything, I read last year you totally and completely can, I will link my Books I Read in December post because all of the other months are linked at the bottom. If you want to check out what I Unhauled in 2022, there are two parts and you can check those out as well. If you want to actually see my book rating system (which I published early last year, you can do that too). I could link more, but at this point I think that would be edging toward excessive. 

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


January 2023 Book of the Month Review:

Title: Lunar Love

Author: Lauren Kung Jessen

Rating: 3.6/5

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Here is to a new year and plenty of new Book of the Month books, I want to branch out a little more this year, but in retrospect I did that last year and got really disappointed by a few books that I got in my boxes throughout the year itself. 

            Well, for January there was like three books that I thought sounded really great, this was one of them. I love a good rom-com we all should know that by now because that tends to be what I gravitate toward because I love stories about love, I always have. Though in the last year or so that has changed slightly to different kinds of love stories. 

            If you want to read the book and don’t want spoilers, cool, I will see you with the next post, because this one for sure will have spoilers. 

            It was very clean, if you are someone who is worried about spice, this was very very tame compared to some of the books that I have read in the past, very sweet, very cute. That’s about it with that. 

            I love the character of Olivia, she is head strong, strong willed, anxious, and an over thinker. Her family is absolutely hilarious and I wish that my grandmother had been like her Po Po, that would have made my life so much easier. I loved how traditions were integrated throughout the novel and that was such a fun thing to experience. I know very little about Chinese cultural festivals, I don’t but they are super interesting. 

            Having a whole matchmaking service around your zodiac animal was a fascinating concept, I know that is something that happens, matchmaking and online dating do go hand in hand, I have chosen to stay away from both. I am the year of the monkey and that seems ridiculous, but I know so many women who ask their dates what their star sign is, so I get it. I am on the cusp so if you ask some, I am an Aries and others I am a Taurus, it’s very interesting. I have done my star chart; do I believe in it completely? No, but do I understand how when you are born might shape your traits? Yes.

            So going between Olivia’s matchmaking service and Bennett’s app using a very pared down version of what Olivia does make for some great tension. I love a good enemies to lovers and their meet cute was super cute. Learning how to be less analytical for Bennett and more open for Olivia, it showed so much growth for both of them throughout the whole book.

            Alright, it was cute, but it was also incredibly predictable, I called the ending pretty much as soon as the app was introduced, as soon as Bennett’s job was revealed. The third act breakup didn’t make much sense to me over all to be completely honest, it really didn’t and felt out of place and a little forced, like they have to be separated to come back together. They didn’t need to be, her grandmother’s death was a huge plot point that made me sad, that could have been the thing, but here we are. 

            The whole sub-plot with the real estate agent didn’t make sense, it really didn’t fit into the storyline and it was so sparse that it just felt like a footnote, another thing to bring them together and that didn’t make sense to me. 

            The podcast bet was interesting and a more and more common trope, the manipulation on both sides made it a little weird, but again, it worked out in the end and that was what I wanted to see. 

            It was of course a happily ever after and if it wasn’t I wouldn’t call it a romance novel, if it doesn’t end happily ever after or at least happily for now it doesn’t make much sense to me. 

            Super quick read, I read through it in two days and enjoyed it, it was just predictable, so very predictable; which in some ways is expected with romance novels, but not in others. 

            Alright, well this is the first book of the year so I don’t have much to link, I’ll link December of last year because that will have the links to all of the months of last year if you want to go and see what I read from Book of the Month last year. 

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


Books I Read in January 2023

Hey hey, it’s MJ.

            I set my Goodreads goal to 75, my physical TBR pile this year is 55 and I feel like after reading 130, that’s right, 130 books last year I can hopefully hit at least 75 this year. 

            I would go through what I am reading and how I am doing my book bullet journal differently this year, but I don’t know if I am actually going to. I am going to give the TBR categories. 12 each of general fiction, science fiction/fantasy, and historical because those are my three largest genres, 4 non-fiction, and 2 thrillers, along with 15 free choice books. That whole list is done. It has been mostly complete since midway through last year. Next year I have no idea what my TBR is going to look like.

            I have already finished my first book of the year so let’s talk about that, like every year there will be a tracker at the bottom because that is what I need in my brain, more lists and things. 

            There might be spoilers, I am putting that up here because I think that giving my honest review unfiltered is how it’s always been. 

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (4.3/5)

            I grew up on the animated version of this, that was the reason that I bought the book and now I need to go and watch the movie again. I really want a movie that follows this book exactly because it is much more adult and grown up than I thought it was. I did enjoy it, there is a lot going on throughout, Wales surprised me. Sophie was sometimes a hard character to like, though Howl was as well, if we aren’t fooling ourselves. I still like the ending; it is much more compelling than the movie ending and I really did enjoy it throughout. I need to not compare the book to the movie because the movie had to curb the story to a younger audience, it was still good though!

The Gown by Jennifer Robson (3.3/5)

            It was good, until it wasn’t. I expected something different from this book, more royal wedding and all of that less sexual assault. It shifted between 1947 and 2016, I thought that was fun. It was and it was so good even though it took me a good hundred pages to get into, but a very out of place sexual assault of one of the main characters really threw me. It came out of nowhere and didn’t fit into the overarching plot at all, I do really mean, at all. It kind of sullied the rest of the book for me even though the rest of it was moving and amazing, but that’s what is going to stick with me about this book. The fact that the main character was raped because she wouldn’t give away information on the wedding dress of then Princess Elizabeth. The 2016 part of it was fun, though a little contrived and that was fine because it was fun. The ending didn’t feel like it was pulled together enough for me though, it just kind of ended, almost suddenly and I was left feeling adrift. 

Lunar Love by Lauren Kung Jessen (3.6/5)

            It was really cute, super-duper predictable but really cute. So very very clean which was totally fine. I liked the story, I liked the characters and the tropes, I will never be a fan of the third act break up because that’s not something I enjoy. This was my January Book of the Month so there will be a more in depth review on this soon. 

Cocky Roommate by Claire Kingsley (4/5)

            Okay, I read the first one last spring which was Book Boyfriend and I liked that one, I really did. This one was a lot, I liked Kendra and Weston even though Weston started out with me wanting to smack him in the head with the book that was about him. I liked so much of it, the trauma, the building back up, but I will never be okay with the third act break up and he was dumb about it. I did enjoy the ending though I feared him proposing at Alex and Mia’s wedding which I would have been really upset about because I don’t believe in someone proposing at someone else’s wedding. I cannot wait to read Caleb’s story and I will get to it eventually since the person I borrowed this one from is getting that one in the mail in the next few days. 

A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander (4/5)

            I read the first in the Lady Emily mysteries last February and loved it. I have number 8 and 9 but not 3-7, so those are on my list of books to buy. A list that is continually growing and that’s a problem. I really enjoyed this book and was not expecting to blow through it in two days. I love Emily and Colin; they are a trip. I liked all of the twists and turns in this one and I didn’t predict the killer until it was revealed. I really didn’t and that is totally cool with me. All of the rumors swirling in this book remind me that while I find Victorian England intriguing, I as a modern woman would not want to be in that time frame (I wouldn’t know any better then, but as a person living in 2023, I think it’s interesting but would not want the pressure of it.) I would love Sebastian to make a reappearance, for no reason or every reason, I don’t know he just seems like a mess. 

You Will Get Through This Night by Daniel Howell (4.3/5)

            This is a practical mental health guide; I will go back and review passages and exercises. I am someone who has struggled since I was a teenager with my mental health (I am finally medicated and that has made me much more even.) I was in therapy for a few years late high school early college but when you have four therapists in three years because they keep moving it gets hard to trust. This was such a good book, it was part memoir, part mental health guide and there was a lot of practical advice. Split into three parts and that was such a good idea. Dan and his best friend, Phil, popped up on my Tumblr back in about 2015 and I started watching their content, they were two creators who got me back into watching videos and made me feel better. I watch their Sims 4 series around Christmas every year because it makes me smile. 

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham (3/5)

            This one was not really for me it seems. When I bought it I was a much bigger Gilmore Girls fan than I am now. (I bought this book in 2014.) It just wasn’t for me; I didn’t really like the writing style. It was based in 1995 and that that was enough of the recent past that it was a little uncanny valley for me. The whole thing with the guy from her acting class that had a thing for her and then her roommate getting broken up with and then might have a thing? Who knows? The premise was interesting but I found the main character annoying on so many occasions. It felt like things just came out of nowhere and I was trying to consolidate them in my brain. The ending left it so open and just didn’t tie everything up enough for me to even say that would have saved it, it didn’t because it left it open and that didn’t feel like a semi-cliffhanger needed to happen. I also got the title wrong for years I thought it was Someday, Maybe Someday. 

Dark Horizons by Jenny T. Colgan (3.2/5)

            It’s a Doctor Who book and I bought a lot of them several years ago, I am slowly witling through them because I don’t really watch it much anymore, it ebbed a while back. It was fine, Matt Smith’s 11th Doctor was my favorite so I like when it’s one of his adventures. Though there were some weird elements in it, Vikings was a cool choice, the Arill were a cool bad guy or antagonist, whatever you want to call them, but I didn’t like the writing style or the pacing. Though I have read several of her books under her non-Doctor Who umbrella and I should have known. I had to look it up to see if it was the same author who wrote this one as well as The Littlest Chocolate Shop in Paris, and Meet Me At The Cupcake Café,which are both books that I have read and unhauled in the last few years. Well, that’s good to know. 

Mindset by Carol S. Dweck (4/5)

            I have a Psychology degree and I teach; I wear a lot of hats with my educational background and I have been meaning to read this book since about 2015, seriously, I watched one of her TED talks and wanted the book. I never bought it. It’s dense, I will for sure say that and I did skim some parts that didn’t apply to me as a person, but a lot of the research was fascinating. I always tell my students that they need to believe in the power of ‘yet’, “I can’t do it.” Okay, you can’t do it…yet. We grow through what we go through and I thank that there is such this stigma on having to be the best at everything and failure is not an option. I have grown into a growth mindset over the years but still am fixed in some things. It is just the way of the world. But it was such a good read and I cannot wait to apply it more to my life personally as well as my life as an educator. 

Portrait of a Scotsman by Evie Dunmore (3.8/5)

            It was good, not my favorite in the series but still good. It was so much, very Beauty and The Beast, I thought that Tristan was a lot from the second one, Lucian is more. I don’t know how that’s possible, he’s so much. I loved the treatment of the social classes in this one, I really did, it was fascinating. Like they both needed to get over themselves so much though throughout the book, and if it wouldn’t have been a happy ending, I would have rioted. Everyone else in this series has gotten their happy ending and if Hattie didn’t, I was going to be upset. He’s so respectful, that was one thing that stood out to me, like he’s an ass, but so respectful to her. The drama near the end with her going to France, it was a little weird and that was what threw me from this being a four star book to being a little less than that. 

            According to this I only read 10 books, I didn’t I read 13 but I am not reviewing the first three Percy Jacksonbooks because I am reading them for Battle of the Books at school. So I read 13 books in January which is insane.

            There were a few books this month that were just kind of meh for me and that’s totally fine, it is the point of a TBR pile, I have to thin out some of the books that I bought almost a decade ago because they no longer might serve me like the books that are on my Amazon list, or on my Want to Read list on Goodreads, I have new tastes than I did when I bought a lot of the books I own, so it’s time to either love it or leave it. 

            I will be back next month with hopefully just about as many books, I am actually closing this post out on the 31st because I am starting a new book today and I am not going to finish it, I work for a living so therefore I don’t have unlimited reading time, even though today is an AMI day at school because weather. 

            It’s always weird to have the first post of the year like this one because I just have nothing to link down here, so with that being said, there is a link up top to December of last year and that has all the links to the rest of the books that I read last year. 

            I will be back in a few days with a new post, I am going about it a little different this year, I am going to post what I want, when I want. I am not going to try and stick to a schedule because this is for me, this blog is for me and if anyone enjoys any part of it, that’s super cool.

            So, until we meet again, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy!


Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 1/12 (Someday, Someday, Maybe, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 1/12 (Howl’s Moving Castle, )

Historical: 1/12 (The Gown, )

Thriller: /2

Free Choice: 2/15 (A Poisoned Season, Dark Horizons, )

Memoirs/Autobiographies: 1/2 (You Will Get Through This Night, )

General Non-Fiction: 1/2 (Mindset, )

Book of The Month: 1/12 (Lunar Love, )

Extras: 2/? (Cocky Roommate, Portrait of a Scotsman, )

Battle of the Books (it’s for school!): 3/?  (The Lightening Thief, Sea of MonstersThe Titan’s Curse, )

Books I am Unhauling in 2022 Part 2

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Part two of the books that I am unhauling in 2022, I am writing this at the beginning of November because I regret waiting until June to write the first half. I am still writing it a little late, I should write this post progressively but, I am still working through all of the nuances of writing posts like this.

            Yea, I wrote the books in during November and then I forgot so here I am at the beginning of 2023 coming back and finishing this post so I can eventually, hopefully, get this posted. 

            I might be unhauling some of your favorite books, I’m sorry, but what you like I might not and what I loved you may have hated. I have seen a lot of my five star books this year being dragged on TikTok, but everyone is allowed to have an opinion. 

            I am unhauling less (so far) for the second half of the year, but there are for sure some that I am still unhauling. I lied though, I for sure unhauled more in the second half of the year than the first…I think so anyway, I have unhauled like 30 books this year so there’s always that. 

January-June that were not in the first post: 

Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins

            This one had promise but it went from 0-60 in about the last 50 pages and the ending was weird and confusing, I liked it, but not enough to keep it in my personal permanent collection because someone else will like it more than me. 

Keikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel

            For the record, I did like this book, but I don’t understand a lot of the nuance because of the cultural barrier. I know very little about Indian mythology, part of that is the fault of my education part of it is the fault that I don’t find myself seeking it out. I sis enjoy it, but again, someone else will enjoy it more than me. 

Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

            I don’t get the obsession and the hype with this one, I liked it, but I also kind of hated it, I wasn’t a huge fan of the family as a whole and their dad seemed like the worst. I wanted to like this because so many people said that it was the most amazing book they ever read, I just don’t get the hype.


One Evening in Paris by Nicolas Barreau

            I thought that the main love interest was a ghost, like a straight up ghost, she wasn’t. She was just unreachable or something, I don’t remember much of it. I liked it but the main guy like stalked her which was weird. I liked the old movie theater angle, it was so fun, but there was a lot in this book that just didn’t do it for me. 

The Last Days of Magic by Mark Tompkins

            This one was disappointing, I don’t mind historical more Arthurian era fantasy, I actually quite enjoy it, but this one, there was so much in this that just hit me in a place that I didn’t enjoy. The main female character did a complete 180, ritual death of infants, there was a lot of icky things for me. 

Solsbury Hill by Susan M. Wyler

            Emily Bronte, meets like Sex and The City? I’m not sure, the main male character’s name was ridiculous. I read it in a day just to be done with it. The story had such promise but she still talked to her cheating ex, you find out that her mother had an affair? I think, at this point I don’t actually remember because that was in July, it’s January. 


The Fifth Heart by Dan Simmons

            I never knew Sherlock Holmes could be boring and inane, I should have DNFed this book. I was confused and concerned and there was so much about it that I hated, but I still slogged through like 500 pages. It wasn’t’ for me and that’s okay. 

Small Angels by Lauren Owen

            This one was slow, it was so slow, yet so fast. I would have preferred one story line instead of like fifteen. I think that’s where I get bogged down with a lot of books because they focus on so many characters and so many arcs that you don’t know what the main plot is supposed to be. Was it about the ghost, the wedding, the love story? I was confused and it just didn’t do anything for me. 

They Drown Our Daughters by Katrina Monroe

            Ghost stories, every mother in a family drowning because of their like ancient ancestor who was still alive? I didn’t enjoy it, I’m sorry. I know that there is a lot that I am saying negatively on this but these are being unhauled. There is a reason that every single one of these is being unhauled. I like a happy ending, nothing about this was happy. 

Meet Me at the Cupcake Café by Jenny Colgan

            Cute, predictable, derivative. It was cute, also incredibly predictable and I see a lot of books as a one-time read, this one was one of them. It could have been wrapped up at the end of this one but there is a Christmas version as well which I have no interest in. 

Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley

            He was cheating on his fiancée with the main character, that was where it hit me. The story was good, it was super good and then you hit me with he has a fiancée, I don’t care if they were going to be breaking up, he still cheated and that is still not okay. 


The Last Housewife by Ashley Winstead

            You lost me at sex cult, seriously, I don’t read a lot of thrillers, this was in a book box that I have since cancelled because the books were really hit or miss for me and this was for sure a miss. The grooming, the abuse, the crazy, all of it just hit me in the icky places. I didn’t enjoy it, it was liked by a friend of mine who read it who reads a lot more thrillers than I do, but this wasn’t for me. 

The Shadow in the Glass by JJA Harwood

            Gothic Cinderella retelling? Yea, fun I love that. Magic woman in a mirror who grants your wishes by killing people, okay, fine. This weird tension with the main female and the guy that she eventually ends up with, okay cool. You had me until magic abortion. Then, then I just couldn’t get through the book fast enough. 

Mr. Dickens and His Carol by Samantha Silva

            It was an alright one-time read. It reminded me of The Man Who Invented Christmas and I think that was why I bought this book in the first place, but it just didn’t resonate with me. The girl helping him was a ghost? I think, I don’t remember, that’s how I feel at the moment. If I can’t remember much, it’s not worth keeping. 


None! Which is shocking, I had some books where they are questionable on whether or not I keep them forever, but everything I am keeping for now. 


The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang

            I wanted to like it, I say that a lot, but I did, I truly wanted to enjoy it because it was a fun story and an interesting premise. There was just a lot that hit me the wrong way and it’s not a keeper for me. 

Death on The Nile by Agatha Christie

            I rooted for none of the characters, so many people died, it felt very unresolved and contrived. It’s from the 1930’s and I read it because I have read a few of her books, some of them I have enjoyed, this was not one of them. 


None! Seriously, this was a very mood read month and I read so many amazing books, they were a lot, but I enjoyed all of them. Are there a few that down the road I may part with? Yea, probably, but not right now. 

            I read 130 books in 2022, which is a number that I can’t even fathom if truth be known. I enjoyed so many of the books that I read last year, so so many, but with that there are going to be books that just don’t make it for me. Likes and dislikes are so subjective, I know that when you write and publish you open yourself up to criticism and people who don’t like your work, but there are also going to be others who love it. I am going to allow these to go and find a library in a home that will enjoy them. 

            Alright, I think I have rambled on enough and repeated myself enough so I will see y’all later with another post. So, until next time I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 


December 2022 Book of the Month Review:

Title: Babel 

Author: R.F. Kuang

Rating: 3.8/5

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            There are probably going to be spoilers, there are going to be some brutally honest opinions on this one, and I am not going to apologize for that. So if you want to not know, cool, I’ll see you soon for another post. This is just something that I need to get out. 

            I finished the book two days ago and this book threatened to put me in a reading slump, which was super disappointing! With how this book was hyped up and the fact that everyone loved it I am trying to figure out why I just couldn’t get into it like everyone else seemed to. 

            I walked into it not knowing much besides the fact that everyone who I had seen online who read it was head over heels for it, it was over 500 pages. I slogged through it, I liked it, I did, but there were so many parts where I felt like I was reading a whole bunch of stories rather than one cohesive one. 

            All the twists and turns, it was a fascinating novel, it was very well written, and it was a good story underneath all of the prose. There was just so much prose and footnotes, I have never read a fiction book that has so many footnotes, it felt like I was reading a nonfiction because sometimes it was half the page that were footnotes. I didn’t read them, if I wanted to read footnotes, I would find something non-fiction.

            The story itself was fascinating and compelling, pretty much until patricide and then everything fell apart and like everyone died. I loved the story of coming up at Oxford, of learning to be as a person. I loved the translation institute, the use of silver and match-pairs to aid in technology with magic. I loved that element; it was so cool. There were so many parts where I thought of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman, which was book that I loved so much earlier in the year. 

            When everything started to fall off the rails, I got sad, I got unhappy with the fact that it felt like everyone became a martyr, that that was the only way out of the situation. I know that not everything can have a happily ever after, but I love a happily ever after and just to have so many of the main characters die, that was difficult to stomach. So many people died, I know that to spark a revolution blood must be spilled, but a lot of it felt almost needless. 

            Like imagine the fall out after the thing happened at the end of the book, that is what I am not going to spoil because it’s a big culminating event that left me questioning my own sanity.

            Letty’s betrayal threw me, her whole character though threw me, I never liked her and then she did what she did and I was pissed, for so many reasons. 

            I wanted to love this book; I really did. I wanted to see the hype and the mastery that everyone else saw because this was such an anticipated book. I loved the concept, but it was so dense and could have been slimmed down a little bit in density and page count. I love long-winded prose; I write a lot of long-winded prose there is no denying that. I know that I do because here I am writing this. It was just a little too much for me, felt too much like a non-fiction for me really to immerse myself in it. 

            Everything in this book felt like a means to an end, like everything was set in motion on the path to destruction really early on, that everyone was done for even before they started and I understand that might be one of the points, that there is no such thing as a happy ending, it’s blood and sacrifice and everyone suffers. 

            There were so many good things about this book, it was vivid and amazing, the story was compelling and the characters felt like real people. There was just a lot of things that chafed me funny. Not every book is for everybody, I have learned that several times this year with so many of the books that I loved that others didn’t and vice versa. 

            That is my last Book of the Month for 2022 though and there were for sure some real hits and misses this year, which is surprising, it really is to be honest. I feel like there were some that I loved so much and some that I just couldn’t wait to finish. 

            If you want to check out what else I have read for Book of the Month this year, you totally can, I have read 12 and this is finally December where never month I don’t have to link a billion posts again at least for a few months. Seriously though, if you want to check out what else I have read you totally can; January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November

            Alright, I think that I need to stop because I might like this book more the longer that I am away from it. So, until my next post I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 


Books I Read in December 2022

Hey, hey it’s MJ,

            Well, here we are in December, I want to go back to January MJ and tell her that we are rounding out into the 120’s in books, I cannot believe that since my goal with my TBR was 50, my actual goal was 75 and here I am going to hopefully hit somewhere in the high 120’s by the end of the year. 

            I read so much this year and loved so much as well, but there were also several that I didn’t really like and I will be making a part two to my unhauled books of the year (you can check out part 1 if you want to). I read so much and a lot of the books kind of have blurred together, I might actually have to do some rereading because I need to, I need to really go back and savor the books. I didn’t this year as much as I usually do and that was difficult for me to realize as we round out November and move into the 12th month of the year. 

            I am hoping to read 13 books this month, but like I said, I have some chunky books to read this month. I am reading Crescent City at the moment and that book is 800 pages! Come on now! I love the series so far and by the time this comes out I will be done with it for quite some time. 

Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath by Sarah J. Maas (5/5)

            SARAH! That ending!? The book was so good, but the ending had me almost throwing it across my office, it almost ended up on the floor. Why? Why can’t we have nice things and everyone staying in their own lane? It was so good, I called none of the twists, none of them but I said some words at the end of this book that I cannot repeat in this blog post, I said them out loud to my empty office though. I really enjoyed the book, I did, I loved the world building and the character building and Bryce and Hunt 5ever, if that is not endgame, I will riot. I will, I promise I will. I have put up with a lot of heartache reading anything that SJM has written, like I love the ACOTAR series and CC is so good, I am only one book into ToG so that’s going. Seriously, I walked into this book knowing that everyone was going WTF at the ending, I get it now and I am in pain. 

Ten Rules for Faking It by Sophie Sullivan (3.8/5)

            It was really cute and sweet and very clean. Like it was super slow burn, there was no kissing or anything until in the 300’s and this book was only 369 pages. (Spoilers and all that.) I want to know what happens with Stacey and Rob because they would be so cute. I love Chris and Everly, they both needed to get over themselves and they finally did. Everyone by now knows that I need an HEA when it comes to a romance novel or a romantic comedy or something of the nature, so it was good. I really did enjoy it, I wanted something more from it though and I’m not sure what that was. I liked the treatment of anxiety in this because as someone with it, less now that I am medicated, knowing exactly what that feels like though. Knowing the rushing thoughts and not wanting to be in crowds or in situations I can’t control, I felt that to my very core. I had friends in college who pressured me to be social, to go out to bars, to drink. Not being in control in a large crowd triggers my anxiety, like I have had a panic attack in a crowd before. So seeing that in this, it was great to see it treated as a real issue, as a problem, not as something that everyone has to fix. 

This Savage Song by V.E. Schwab (5/5)

            I love her writing style whether that’s her adult fantasy series or her YA, this book took me a little while to get into and now I need the second one, I will get it eventually. I love the worlds that she creates and whatever August became near the end, that was super cool. I want to know how Kate and August’s story ends. The story kept me invested from pretty early on and the plot had me guessing and wondering what was going to happen next. The monsters are super interesting and I am so looking forward to the second. 

Babel by R.F. Kuang (3.8/5)

            This was my December Book of the Month book so a more in-depth review will be out soon. I wanted to like it, I actually wanted to love it because of how much the internet and TikTok hyped this up. I liked it, it was a well written book, but it was not the five-star book that so many people made it sound like it would be. There were footnotes, in a fiction text, there were copious footnotes and it read so much more like a non-fiction than a fiction. The concept was super interesting, but it just didn’t wow me like I expected it to and I was so excited to read this one. 

A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhew by Manda Collins (3.8/5)

            I liked it! It was really cute. It for sure reminded me of the Lady Darby mysteries by Anna Lee Huber and the League of Extraordinary Women series by Evie Dunmore. It had a lot of similarities in my head to those. It was really cute though and I enjoyed it, I blew through it in two days and that is always fun. It was sweet, kept me turning pages, and I laughed more than once. The murderer did shock me, well, partly shocked me. I had kind of figured it out early on at least in part and so when it was true it made sense. I could read a whole series with just Kate and Andrew, I really could. I have the second one so I will be reading that eventually. I could have actually used an epilogue in this one, or at least a more buttoned up ending, there was just a very open ending and I know that it’s a series, but I want a good closure for pretty much any romance novel. 

The Ex Talk by Rachel Lynn Solomon (4/5)

            It was so cute! I blew through this book; it was so much fun and as a human who has a degree in Radio and Television Production (and went on to do other things) this book hit really close into my heart. It reminded me a little bit of Ten Rules for Faking It which I read earlier this month. This was a little spicier though and I really liked Shay and Dominic. They were so much fun and who doesn’t love a fun couple in a rom-com. I really hated Kent, he seemed like the worst and I guess that he got his so, it’s okay. I know that this one had some mixed reviews, but I really enjoyed it. I really did and that’s really all that matters. 

A Lust for Blood by K.C. Smith (5/5)

            It was so good! I love a good curse mechanic with true love, who doesn’t love a curse mechanic with true love? The whole concept of bloodlust as a creature and the gods interfering with things, it was so good. I love the book as a whole because I got a special edition and let’s be real Garren and Oriana are end game, if they don’t get a permanent happily ever after, I’m gonna be upset. This is apparently the first in a trilogy (?) I hope so because I want more of their story, more of their adventures. I want more in general, it does get a little spicy, which is fine. It was such a fun book to read though, I don’t give many books five stars, this one was for sure a five star book for me. 

For the Wolf by Hannah Whitten (5/5)

            It was so good! I loved the concept throughout the whole beginning, the relationship that forms between Red and Eammon is so much fun and so tortured. It feels very Beauty and the Beast which I absolutely loved, I read it in two days. I could not put it down and I didn’t want to. I cannot wait to read the second one because I want to see where it goes. I really didn’t 100% like her sister, I hope there is a lot less weakness and sniveling in her in the second book. The whole plot that was subversive to this with Kiri and Arick, it made the story so much more interesting and painful. So painful. There was also just a lot of pain in this book but also so much that I smiled at and laughed at, a lot less laughter, but it was so good and I will be ordering the second one here shortly. 

Between by L.L. Starling (5/5)

            This was a TikTok made me buy it book and then it was gifted to me by my cousin. It’s 737 pages of really fun fantasy and I loved it with my whole being. I laughed so much throughout the whole and having it split almost down the middle between Sasha and Lorn, that made it so much more fun seeing how their interactions truly affected the other person. I swear though, Lorn needs to not do the thing and the High King needs to just stop, whatever they are planning and that nonsense, like don’t ruin this really cute relationship for me. The next one doesn’t come out until late next year and I am going to be chomping at the bit about it until then. I cannot wait to see what happens with the coven, with Lyla, with Ash, with Sasha and Lorn as she does become the Queen of Between. Seriously, the artwork in this was fun, the characters were great, and the world is a mess. Who doesn’t love a truly messy fantasy world that gives very hard Labyrinth meets Monty Phyton vibes? Also its starts out with a drunk unicorn headbutting a car, what’s not to love?

From Blood and Ash by Jennifer L. Armentrout (5/5)

            We shall rise. (I had to!)

I heard some mixed reviews on this one, I knew some of the spoilers because of the internet and you know it’s popularity over on the clock app. I read it in two sittings, seriously, I could not put it down. I cannot wait to read the second one. There were so many points throughout where I wanted to smack all of them, every character in the book and some parts that broke me. Like I knew about the betrayal because of the internet, but that didn’t make it hurt any less or make it any less shocking. I love the ‘touch her and die’ trope, I really do and the ending! Now I have to wait and that’s just not fair. I want to go out and get the second on like right now, I’m not going to but dang do I want to. I love Poppy, she’s a secret badass and she’s amazing, all around amazing and the plot twists, I called a few of them but not many. I loved the world building and the relationships. I definitely fist pumped a couple of times when certain characters got theirs, I wanted them to get theirs. Seriously, it was awesome, I will never look at a certain melon the same way and that doesn’t seem fair, but here we are. 

Dance With the Fae Prince by Elise Kova (4.3/5)

            It was really cute. I read the first in this series in February. They are all stand-alone’s set in the same world which is really fun. I did call like 95% of the twists but I read it in one day, seriously. I was not planning on reading all of it yesterday into last night but I did and I don’t regret it one little bit. It was a really fun read; I liked the characters and the world building. It was very Cinderella which was for sure what it promised, I am excited to read the rest of them when I get a chance hopefully next year. 

A Court of Sugar and Spice by Rebecca F. Kenney (4.5/5)

            I want to preface this with, make sure you are aware of the trigger warnings because this book goes hard, I do mean that in so many senses of the word. It was really good; I loved the story as a whole and there is apparently going to be a sequel which is fun. This one is…spicy…like, MJ from a little over a year ago would have smacked me when I told her about it. I saw a snippet on TikTok and it lived in my brain, I showed the snippet to a coworker and she said “I wanna read that” so I bought it. I love the story of The Nutcracker and this one was, dark, twisted, spicy, and a little weird. It was good though, I was expecting it to be not as good as I found it but man, it was interesting and kept me reading.

            So, that’s it. It’s December 30th and I am not going to have time to read a whole other book before the conclusion of the year, so this is where I leave this post. I am going to do it the same way next year, once a month…if I keep the blog going, that is still a little up in the air to be honest. I haven’t had the joy or the time this year to really focus in on this as much as I need to or have wanted to in the past which is not fun. I like blogging but it doesn’t seem worth it to only put up a few posts a month because I get overwhelmed. 

            I read 130 books this year, that’s right, 130. I wanted to read 75, my TBR was 50 and here I am, in December and I read 130 books. I joked at the beginning of the year that reading 100 books in a year seemed like an impossible task and then I found my love for fantasy and apparently romance (?) because I don’t know where that came from. But I started to read more things this year that I wanted to read along with my TBR and I plowed through so many books.

            I don’t know what next year holds, I really don’t and that’s fine. I want to say that I want to set my goal immediately at 100, but I am shooting for 75 at the moment, I don’t want to set a goal that I am not sure is achievable two years in a row.  

            Now, it is time to close out my Book Bullet Journal for the year, it is time to prep and plan for next year’s reading, the Bullet Journal for next year is already done and very different from this year’s. It’s better. 

If you want to check out what else I read throughout the year, you totally can, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, and November!

            So, until next time, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy. 


Post TBR Reads: 35/35 (Go Hex Yourself, Bringing Down the Duke, Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, Love on the Brain, The Devil in the White City, The Shadow in the Glass, Sky Pirates, The Orphan Witch, Mr. Dickens and His Carol, Throne of Glass, Not Your Average Hot Guy, Kingdom of the Feared, Six of Crows, Well Matched, What Lies Beyond the Veil, The Masked City, Book of Night, Defy the Night, Til Death, A Rogue of One’s Own, Hook, Line, and Sinker, Piranesi, Death on The Nile, The Summer of Broken Rules, Much Ado About You, Bride of the Shadow King, Crescent City: House of Sky and Breath, Ten Rules for Faking It, This Savage Song, A Lady’s Guide to Mischief and Mayhem, The Ex Talk, For the Wolf, Between, From Blood and Ash, Dance With the Fae Prince, A Court of Sugar and Spice)

Unplugged Book Box: 6/6 (The Woman in The library, They Drown Our Daughters, The Last Housewife, Throw Me to the Wolves, The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn, A Lust for Blood)

Book of The Month: 12/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, Darling Girl, The Stardust Thief, The Bodyguard, Small Angels, Other Birds, Sign Here, The Heart Principle, Babel)

November 2022 Book of The Month Review:

Title: The Heart Principle 

Author: Helen Hoang

Rating: 3/5

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            There are going to be spoilers. I can promise you that. So, if you don’t want spoilers, walk away, I’ll see you next post. 

            I want to start this one off by saying that this book was a Book of The Month selection from August or September 2021, I would have to look at the hardcover, but I don’t want to walk over to it. I only got this one because none of the books this month actually interested me. That’s a little sad that all of the book selections this month didn’t actually look like anything that I wanted to read. So it was one of those ‘member favorites’ selections because I wanted to get my add-on which is The Kiss Curse which is the second in The Ex Hex series, which was my book of the month in October of last year. 

            I wanted to like this book, I wanted to like it so badly and the beginning had such promise and then it got to the point where it was making me itch. I like the idea of overcoming trauma in books, it makes so much sense because that’s what people do. 

            This book as a whole felt really disjointed, I have never liked the ‘I want an open relationship before marriage’ trope, you want that…cool, we are breaking up. For good. Her boyfriend was an ass and I know that’s what we are supposed to think so we can like Quan, so we can get invested in their relationship.

            I get anxiety, I have that and depression with a touch of OCD for certain things, I am probably neurodivergent and I know that everyone experiences neurodivergence differently. What I go through someone else with similar issues may not experience. I have a degree in Psychology and I preferred the differential diagnoses, that’s a personal opinion. I grew up with someone who had Asperger’s but he was male and his manifested differently than others. Again, no diagnosis is the same, none of them. Am I glad that there is more exposure to conditions? Yes. Am I glad there is more research? Yes. 

            I needed to say that because I finished the book last night and I had to walk away before writing this post. I had to step away from it before I could write about it. 

            I am not Asian, but I understand the cultural implications of expectation from a lot of those cultures. I get generational trauma, I understand caring for elders and giving up everything for that person.

            Her sister was the worst, seriously, the worst. 

            Her father had a stroke and her sister took over the whole situation and then forced others to get involved, her mother forced her to almost marry a man who had suggested an open relationship, and her family has this insane expectation as to who Anna should be because she masks everything. 

            Saying no is hard, saying no is so hard because I do the same thing. You take things onto your plate because you don’t want anyone to be disappointed in you, you go through the torture and pain of other’s words and expectations because you want them to like you and not think there is anything wrong with you. I felt that. 

            There was a lot about Quan and Anna’s relationship that I really liked, I did, they fit well and I was happy that they got together. 

            The ending though, the ending left me with a lot of threads and the last forty or so pages spanned two years. Two full years and that felt very strange, it left me feeling unfulfilled to be honest and I just had to step away from it like I said because I had to temper my temper before I wrote this post. 

            Was it my favorite book this year? No, it wasn’t and I am on book 113 now, I think. I know that my tastes change throughout the year or even throughout the month but I found myself smiling so much less at the end of this book than I did the beginning. I know that was part of the content, it was heavy. It was so heavy for a contemporary romance. 

            This was the third in a series and I don’t plan on reading the other two even though I have heard of them, even though they were popular for a while. I don’t think that they are up my street and that’s okay. 

            If you want to check out what else I have gotten from Book of The Month this year you totally can, January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October

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


Books I Read in November 2022

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Well, here we are in November. I wanted to read more in October and I didn’t so here I am hoping that I can read more in November. I will have a whole week off later in the month because of Thanksgiving Break so I will hopefully have time to read and then just deal with it.

            The first book of the month only took me a few days to read, but has been on my Want to Read list for almost a year? If not about a year. I don’t remember at the moment. Mood reading is my whole life for the rest of that year and at this moment, I am totally cool with that. 

Defy the Night by Brigit Kemmerer (5/5)

            I blew right through this book. It was so good and it kept me engaged from about page one to page 443. I loved Tessa and Corrik and reading it from both of their perspectives made it so much more fun. The second one is already on my want to read list because I want more. I loved the whole story and it was so much the whole time. Like it kept me guessing as to what was going on and who was behind all the things. I want to see how they all grow as people in the second one and there were parts of this book that broke me apart a little. The reveal! I kind of called it, but I really liked all of the twists and turns that led from the beginning to the end. 

Til Death by Carol J. Perry (3.2/5)

            This was book 12 in the Witch City Mysteries and I love the series as a whole. This one though, it didn’t even hit the mystery part until halfway through the book. It was a lot of messy plot lines and maybe that will set up for later books, but it felt very disjointed and I wasn’t actually a huge fan of it. Like her uncle killing her parents? Like he orphaned a child and got away with it for 30 years? It just didn’t feel like the other Witch City books, there was just something about it that fell short for me. Maybe I am getting out of cozy mysteries, I don’t know. I just didn’t love this like I have loved the others. Like I said there was a lot of disjointed plotting and it felt like it took forever and a day to actually get to something interesting. Even then though, it didn’t feel like it was the quality and the caliber of the rest of the series before this one. Like there was this big build up to the wedding and then the wedding got like a chapter before moving on. Lee getting a Jeep had more coverage than the wedding which is really strange because the first half of the book was the prep and lead up to the wedding. A murder at the wedding would have been more fulfilling than this book was. 

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore (4.3/5)

            I loved it, I loved Bringing Down the Duke as well. Like Tristan and Lucie are so much, in all the best ways. Everyone should know by now I love a good enemies to lovers where the guy for sure falls first! Victorian politics and decorum are a mess. I am glad that I don’t live in that time because no thanks. Her cousins are the worst, seriously, the worst. It was such a fun read and I read more than half in one day because it sucked me into the story and then didn’t let me go until the ending. I cannot wait to read about Hattie and Blackstone in the next one but that is way down on my list so that very well could be an early next year read. 

Hook, Line, and Sinker by Tessa Bailey (4.2/5)

            Wow, this one was a lot angstier than It Happened One Summer also a lot less spicy which I was okay with. I was so worried that Fox and Hannah wouldn’t actually make it and that to be honest would have been so sad about that. Like Fox holds my heart and he needs to be protected, he’s kind of a lot but so is Hannah. I liked the first one a little better, but this one had a very different vibe to it. Fox and Hannah just work and it makes sense to be honest. For him to have this persona that he tries to live up to in the first book, then you find out why and I want to give him a hug. People are the worst to be completely honest. He tries to change for her and I was like, ah yes, he falls first but she’s not far behind. I love their relationship to be completely honest. 

The Heart Principle by Helen Hoang (3/5)

            This was my November Book of the Month because none of the choices sounded good. I should have just kept my credit for next month because I wasn’t a huge fan of it. There is a much more in-depth review that will be coming out soon. 

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke (3.5/5)

            It was weird. Good but weird, I think that it was good anyway. It felt like a weird cross between The Starless Sea and Annihilation, I loved the idea of this place with the halls and the statues. The ending was weird though, I understand the mind fracturing and all of that. I know that this is a favorite of a lot of people and it’s been on my list for a long time. It was good, but it was also very strange, I know that’s kind of the point. I went into it blind so that was for sure a better plan than knowing anything. I liked that it was told in the forms of a journal or multiple journals. The random capitalizations were a little weird though, but I understood it. Like it was a lot, some of it was great and some of it was confusing, but that’s totally fine. 

Death on The Nile by Agatha Christie (3.5/5)

            This was written and published in the 1930’s I wanted to read it because they made a movie. I was not a huge fan and that’s okay. I love mysteries, I really prefer the cozy variety. This was a lot as a whole book, there was so much convolution. It ends in a murder/suicide and the detective figured that would happen, which was really strange. It didn’t actually start to interest me until like halfway through the book. There were just so many things going on, there were so many perspectives and I cannot judge it on the standard of today, but it’s just not 100% for me and that’s okay.  

The Summer of Broken Rules by K.L. Walther (3.8/5)

            I liked it, it was cute. That’s about all I have on it, it was insta love and v Taylor Swift inspired. I liked the premise of the game of Assassin and the story kept me wanting to read it. The whole thing with her ex felt like it was just thrown in there to be a plot point. I was not a huge fan of how her friends/cousins acted with the situation about her sister, like grief is hard and she completely shut down, which was her choice and how she was grieving. I did like the cast of characters though and I love big families like that, I don’t have a big close family, it’s small and everyone is slung across the country. We don’t spend almost any time together and the last time all of my cousins and I were in the same room was a wedding in 2017 and even then, it was just the four of them and their families. It was very small and quiet so there we are. I do wish sometimes that I was part of one of those big families that got together every year, but I’m not. 

Much Ado About You by Samantha Young (4.2/5)

            It was so cute! Like I read it in two days and I smiled so much. I didn’t really like the twist, but it was still a happily ever after because if it wasn’t I would have been upset. I loved the village so much, the bookstore, the whole cast of characters was so much fun. I loved all the Shakespeare references throughout the book. I really liked the main couple because of course I have to. He for sure fell first and head over heels because it was insta love for him which was super cute. I loved Shadow so much; I love when an animal character is featured so heavily. It was a lot of healing old wounds and all of that which was a really good story. A lot of emotional trauma came out through this book and so much of it was solved. 

Bride of the Shadow King by Sylvia Mercedes (4.5/5)

            It took me some time to get into, but man do I ship them. Seriously. Some of the words were a lot because they were not in English and that’s okay, but it did detract from the story a little bit for me, like translations? Please. This for sure was a TikTok made we want it book. It was really good and such a slow burn, I will be getting the second eventually because let’s be honest, I need to see how their story ends but the third one doesn’t come out until next September, so I am going to wait a while before I buy the second one. There is so much in this book and I am wondering, if they would have been up front and honest about all of it, would it have been a very different story? Because let’s be real, boy is pining. I am so scared to see what happens in the second one though because it’s going to be rough, I just know it. 

The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn by Amber A. Logan (4/5)

            This was my November Unplugged Book Box book, it was really good and if you want a more in depth review (yes I promise this every time and then I don’t post anything for two months) it will be up in a few days. It was a good book if you like ghosts and The Secret Garden and Japan, it was for sure worth the read even though it took me some time to actually get into it. 

            Okay, I did want to read more in November, but honestly, life likes to get in the way and I read some chunky books this month. I have no idea how many I am actually going to read in December, my goal is 13, that’s my goal every month but I have three books that are at least 550 pages so that might be a stretch. I have two weeks off for Christmas break, so we are going to try. I promise we are going to try.

            There were a few books this month that I wanted to love, I wanted to really enjoy, but I didn’t and that’s okay. There were a few that left me wanting more of them and not having anything else. I had two books this month that I will be unhauling because I don’t want them in my permanent collection, that’s just the thing at this point. I have books that don’t bring me the joy that I want them to, so I will be saying goodbye to them at the end of the year. I feel like I say that a lot of months and that’s just how it happens because I know that I have more now than I even did last month with the separation of time. 

            If you want to check out what else I have read this year you totally can; January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, and October.

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


Post TBR Reads: 25/? (Go Hex Yourself, Bringing Down the Duke, Crescent City: House of Earth and Blood, Love on the Brain, The Devil in the White City, The Shadow in the Glass, Sky Pirates, The Orphan Witch, Mr. Dickens and His Carol, Throne of Glass, Not Your Average Hot Guy, Kingdom of the Feared, Six of Crows, Well Matched, What Lies Beyond the Veil, The Masked City, Book of Night, Defy the Night, Til Death, A Rogue of One’s Own, Hook, Line, and Sinker, Piranesi, Death on The Nile, The Summer of Broken Rules, Much Ado About You, Bride of the Shadow King, )

Unplugged Book Box: 5/6 (The Woman in The library, They Drown Our Daughters, The Last Housewife, Throw Me to the Wolves, The Secret Garden of Yanagi Inn, )

Book of The Month: 11/12 (Reckless Girls, A River Enchanted, Dating Dr. Dil, Kaikeyi, Darling Girl, The Stardust Thief, The Bodyguard, Small Angels, Other Birds, Sign Here, The Heart Principle, )