Books I Read in May 2023

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

            Kindle Unlimited and my Kindle are going to be the death of me and I am not going to have enough room in my bullet journal for things because I am reading a book almost every day… I read 21 books in April and that’s excessive…

            I have never read 21 books in a month before and I can’t believe that I can say in one month I have read over 20 books now. I cannot tell you all how weird that feeling is when I used to be lucky to get through like 6 books in a month. 

I also need to preface this post and all future posts with, the picture of the monthly book stack will not be representative of all books that I have read. Hence my Kindle in the picture because I read like 19 Kindle books this month so I don’t have those covers.

            I am already two days into the month and two books down, that’s right, I started one book and finished it in one day and then read half of another one to finish the next day. I want to get through more of my physical TBR this month and that means that a few chapters on my Kindle aren’t going to kill me each night but I cannot run through a book every other night. Spoiler alert…I am now reading like 300 pages a day between my Kindle and physical books, don’t ask how it’s going, it’s not going great in my brain, not at all. 

Prize of the Warlord by Rebecca F. Kenney (4/5)

            Was it a lot? Yes. Did I read it in one day by accident? Also, yes. Did I enjoy it? Yea, I liked the first two better but I did enjoy this one. This one was a lot overall and the dynamic is not something that I usually read. It was good for what it was and how long it took me to read it. I feel like there is probably more I could say about it, but I am not used to a captor/captive relationship, that feels a little like a trauma bond even if they are fated and what not. I love fated mates and that has never been a secret, but this one just didn’t hit me the same way that others have in the past. 

Stardust by Neil Gaiman (3.7/5)

            I still have no idea what the plot actually was. I actually liked the movie better than the book which is shocking for me because usually I am a books over movie person, but this book felt really condensed and I just wasn’t all that invested in it. Like there was just so little description and I have read Neil Gaiman books before and this one felt a little flat for me. The ending came up too quickly and the Epilogue left me with very little closure or feelings of resolution. Seriously, it just didn’t feel like I was reading a book that is so critically acclaimed and beloved. 

Healer of the Ash King by Rebecca F. Kenney (4/5)

            I liked it, I really did, but there was a lot of it that almost felt like a bully romance and I am not into humiliation. I never have been a fan of that, but man are they not only a perfect match but a mess. I mean I feel like I say that about a lot of the couples in RFK’s books, but it never stops being true. The subversive plot with the Undoing was so much, it was necessary, but it was so much. Also, their powers and the power structure as a whole was so interesting. Really dark, very destructive, but so interesting.  

Gallant by V.E. Schwab (4.3/5)

            I finished two books in one night because I have a problem. This book was, like all of V.E.’s book, so well written and engaging, her prose is always awesome. I enjoyed the book as a whole because it was a little creepy and so sad but also so compelling and interesting. Olivia’s story is this twisting and turning thing that you think will go one way and then it goes completely another. The ending wasn’t happy, nor was it heartbreaking, but it was almost melancholy and I am not overly used to that kind of emotion at the end of a book. It was good though, the mirror house beyond the wall, the journal connecting the past, and the whole of the family drama, it was awesome. 

The Moonfire Bride by Sylvia Mercedes (4.4/5)

            So…I thought I wrote this blurb, I didn’t, whoops my bad. I loved this book. It fae and magic and secrets of course I loved it. The ending! I am screeching! I have already downloaded the next one because I have to read it! I loved the main female character; she is so sacrificing and strong and she loves him so much even if she doesn’t realize it. I felt so bad for both of the throughout because they both need each other and then something dumb happens. I want everything to be okay. The magic system and everything is so interesting, it really kept me fully engaged. 

The Fae King’s Curse by Jamie Schlosser (4.5/5)

            It was a mess in such a good way. I really enjoyed the humor and the story as a whole. It was insane and I loved it. I wanted to read this over a year ago (thanks TikTok), but it’s not a discrete cover so I couldn’t buy it. I finally got around to it and it was amazing! His cousin is so amusing and I am excited that his book is the next one. I have found so many series and that is such an issue because I am reading a billion books a month now. I really did like the story as a whole, I love fated mates and the fae, this should shock no one. Absolutely no one. It was a little spicy, okay, a little more than a little but it was such a fun read. 

Apollo by Rebecca F. Kenney (4/5)

            I still like the world building; his curse was a little strange. To be completely honest, it was really strange and I love fated matches as much as anyone else, but that was weird. I didn’t like her sister’s girlfriend, I hated her ex, and as someone who is in education and has been suffering with depression since I was about 12, it hit me in places. I don’t have visions or anything, I am not a seer. Zeus is still the worst; he always just seems like the worst. I liked the book though, the series I think is currently over, I don’t know if she’s going to write another, but I would love Icelos to get his own story, I would read it because I want grumpy/sunshine. Like I know that’s Hades/Persephone, but I would love to read another one with him as the main male character. 

The Rook by Daniel O’Malley (4.3/5)

            It took me a while to get into it. I really loved it though. When I did get into it, I didn’t want to put it down. It is a compelling story mixed with magic, government and institutional secrets and sass. I need good sass in books with a strong female character. I loved the amnesia angle and how much she changed after it was all said and done. I want more of some of the characters from this book in the second. I need to know more about Alrich, I really do because he seems like an enigma and I need to know more. I will read the second one next year because it’s already on my TBR. Truth be told I have owned the second one for probably 6 or 7 years and I just bought this one last year because I didn’t realize that it wasn’t the first. I do that, I’m an idiot, we know this. I really did enjoy the book as a whole though. 

The Sea Witch by Rebecca F. Kenney (4.4/5)

            I have some questions about my own sanity. I read this because there is a second one coming out later in the month that my cousin sent me on TikTok, it’s Malificent, but genderbent so I figured I had to read the first one in the series and who doesn’t love a retelling of a beloved story that’s twisted? I mean, I for sure do. The prince was the worst, like seriously the worst and you knew who she was going to end up with. This took the Little Mermaid and turned it straight on its head. It was…spicy, in so many places. I was laughing so much though with the humor and some of the comments made because it was right up my street. I really did enjoy the book. It was something that kept me compelled throughout the whole of the novel and I couldn’t put it down, I only did because you know, work and sleep. I need to do both of those things. 

Yours Truly by Abby Jiminez (4/5)

            I liked it, it was my Book of the Month so you all know there will eventually be a more in depth look into it. It was good, but there were parts of it that made me feel a little of the ick, normally contemporary romance doesn’t make me feel the ick. There were just things that didn’t sit right with me as I read it. I loved the story as a whole if I gloss over some things though. I like fake dating, because we all know that it ends in real dating and I love that for them. 

The Sunfire King by Sylvia Mercedes (4.4/5)

            The sequel to The Moonfire Bride, I understand how nervous and upset her sister must have been when she left, but Brielle was a lot throughout the book. The Pale Queen is the worst, no joke the worst and I got so happy when she was ended. I was so happy for a happy ending; I am always happy for a happy ending especially when someone fights so hard for the one that they love. I really enjoyed the book and I will probably read more of her books in the future. (I need to finish the Bride of the Shadow King series for sure.) The magic system and the necklace is so cool, her discovering her power and being able to save everyone, it was so good. 

A Taste of Blood Wine by Freda Warrington (3/5)

            I liked it at the beginning, it was interesting and intriguing and a little weird. Then it got weirder and possessive and a little uncomfortable. I did enjoy it overall though. The ending like 75 pages or so really threw me, seriously, threw me. I want to say more than that, but it could have been wrapped up in one book and not made into a series, I will not be reading the next one. I bought this one in probably 2014 or 2015, it was probably more like 2015 or so, I don’t remember but it’s 1920’s vampire fiction, I kept having to remind myself it was the 1920’s and not the Victorian era because for some reason, that was exactly what I thought it was. Her family is a mess, they have no idea who she is, and that affects her, she has no idea who she is as a person until a man comes in and tells her. It’s all very predictable and I need to be nicer because I did like the book, but there was a lot in it that just was fine. 

Drive Me Crazy by Jere Anthony (3/5)

            Oh, buckle in, 3 out of 5 for me is a generous score. This book just kept redoubling its sin count. I wanted to like it, I wanted to like it so bad because I saw a quote on TikTok for the third one and I wanted to read it, so I figured, I’ll start with the first one and move down the line. I regret just about every moment of it. She has no self-awareness, none at all, her friends are a little both placating and mean to her. She is a pushover (and I thought she was maybe like 24 or 25 by how she acted, nope 28) and while I understand anxiety, as someone who has it, it was so played up. Also, there was so much crying in this book. So much. I want to say so much more but I can’t because then it’s just mean, but it’s Millennium Park not Millennial Park, it was based in Chicago and there was so little of Chicago in it. The turn on a dime that Benjamin does when they are on the road trip after she gets them kicked off an airplane because she freaks out and then all of a sudden, he’s in love and they are together and then there is of course the third act breakup and the miscommunication trope because no one knows how to talk like adults. Then she goes to Nashville and the attempted sexual assault scene was completely unnecessary, I would have liked that trigger warning. Then she goes home and her parents are very traditional and her ex is a misogynist and he thinks they need to get back together and then ta-da the billionaire shows back up and sweeps her off her feet, the end. I don’t even want to go into the fact that the author calls him a widow, men are widowers, not widows. I almost DNFed it, I really did. Their banter was funny at moments, but not enough for me to want to continue the series or not immediately return it to Kindle Unlimited. 

The Horseman of Sleepy Hollow by Rebecca F. Kenney (4/5)

            It was short, it was interesting because it blended several myths, I am glad that he wasn’t headless all the time because while I read a lot of weird stuff. I think that would be a deal breaker for me. It was a fun story to read and I did read it in a day so here we are. It was not my favorite of the Immortal Warriors series; I think that honor goes to either Hades or the Peter Pan and Wendy duology. There was so much trauma and I found myself skimming parts which for me is weird. Is that stopping me from reading another one of her books at this very moment, no, it’s not. 

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin (4/5)

            I was not expecting this one to get sad! I liked the storytelling of literary fiction, of the intertwining of lives and stories. I liked that it was written like a book of short stories even though it was a full narrative. I was seriously not expecting it to get sad! I wanted all the good things to happen. You get to see so many years boiled down into under 300 pages and it’s worth a read. I have had this in my collection for years, it’s even signed because I bought it at Target when it came out as part of their book club thing. I almost cried and the last time I almost cried over a book was the end of A Court of Wings and Ruin that’s it, that was the last book that almost brought me to tears. This one hurts, it hurts so much. 

The Warlord’s Treasure by Rebecca F. Kenney (3.7/5)

            It’s the same plot as The Prize of the Wardlord but from his perspective. I don’t feel like I gained anything from reading this book, I enjoyed it but I don’t feel like I got anything more from the story as a whole with her perspective. I feel like there should have been more information or in depth about the north from him, but it was just a reskin of the same information from her perspective. I enjoyed it, but it was not my favorite. 

Neon Gods by Katee Robert (4.2/5)

            It was good and I have read like three or four Hades and Persephone retellings this year. I am still not cool with public sexual activity, did I still read the whole thing, yea. Was it a lot, yea it really was. If I am honest, I liked A Touch of Darkness better. I wanted to like this one more, I really did. I enjoyed it because I love the characters and the myth around it, pomegranate being her safe word was amazing. All the deals and stuff that happen throughout really does drive the point home that the Greek pantheon is a mess, always a mess. Will I read Electric Idol, I will. 

The Fae King’s Dream by Jamie Schlosser (4/5)

            I enjoyed it, not as much as the first one, but it was still fun. Damon is a lot, he and Whitley are a literal power couple and I do like that they skipped sometime between the end of The Fae King’s Curse and The Fae King’s Dream, it made sense for it to be a few years later even though in the human world that’s only a few days. I am excited to read Zander’s story, it is already on my Kindle. The whole plot with the coven kept me reading and reading, the spice was good, the plot was amazing, and the characters were a lot of fun. I loved the infusion of dreams and dream walking throughout the story itself. 

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien (4/5)

            I continually forget how long and meandering his prose can be. Like I love this series, I have most of my life but it was just so much to read. I have had my copy since 2001, it’s a movie tie in cover from back in the day and I tried to read it, at 9 years old and could not for the life of me actually read it. I love fantasy and I always will, I will read the other two in the series but I need a break between now and then. This would be a great audiobook and it was a fantastic piece of cinema. Just really dense and meandering. 

Court of Blood and Bindings by Lisette Marshall (5/5)

            I really enjoyed it; it was ridiculous and so much overall. I really liked the literal silent male protagonist, using that as a plot and character device was so cool. It was spicy and no one should be surprised that it’s fae, no one. This was a “I saw a quote on tiktok for the third book and well, I have to read the first two first” so I downloaded it while grumbling because my TBR keeps getting longer. I love the labyrinth as a character in itself and I have already downloaded the second one, I will be reading it shortly…you know while I read the other 15 books I have already on my Kindle

The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris (3.3/5)

            I bought this years ago and it sounded so good, I was really looking forward to reading it because who doesn’t love Norse Mythology. It read more like a parody because it was told from Loki’s perspective and it just didn’t hit the way that I wanted it to. There were parts that were fun and well written, but so much of it just made him look like the actual worst and while that’s not surprising, it just wasn’t 100% for me. I might unhaul it, I don’t know at this exact second, but I will probably never open it again. I want to say more about it, but it was just meh enough to not really allow me to hold onto anything in it, no emotional attachment and need to keep thinking about it. I did end up putting it in my unhaul pile, someone will love it more than I did. 

To Kiss a Dragon by Miranda Bridges (4.5/5)

            It’s a shifter romance, I am not branching out much. I liked the story; the language was cool (thank you for the footnotes!). The story was compelling and it was so good. I loved the female main character’s sass and humor. The dragon lord is a mess, he really is. It was spicy and it was such a slow burn, but so worth it. Very touch her and die vibes, the betrayal made sense, which normally it wouldn’t, but it did. I would for sure read a story about her sister discovering their human family with her vampire, I for sure would! Because he also has touch her and die vibes and very I will protect her at all costs vibes so I need it. 

Becoming Hook by Mary Mecham (4/5)

            The more Peter Pan fiction I read as an adult, the more torn I am with the goodness of Peter Pan to be completely honest. I love retellings, I really do and this one was fun. I liked to see the perspective from Hook it was so cool and Tinkerbell being a badass, yea sign me up for that. Also, Smee being the Darling’s grandfather, that was a cool little twist. It almost ripped my heart from my chest at the end, but we cool! This does bring up some questions about the original novel and even the Disney film so I am just going to leave that here because every retelling is different and interprets different things. I will read the next one when it comes out in December, or whenever it does come out for sure. 

The Jewel Box by Anna Davis (2.5/5)

            I was going to give it a three, I really was. I thought the plot idea was interesting but the delivery and the characters were annoying. I don’t like love triangles and the nonsense that happened throughout. The main female character doesn’t learn anything and there is just so much drama that doesn’t add to the plot. I was confused and I didn’t really care to figure it out. The ending felt so lacking, it just didn’t really even have a conclusion and where was the plot line with her sister and the guy from the paper, that came out of nowhere, then ha ha, engaged! I have had this in my collection for years and it was a remainder book from several years ago so I bought it on sale and hoped for the best…like a lot of my books from that time period…Some are amazing, many are not. 

Demon’s Bride by Leigh Miller (5/5)

            I didn’t mean to read half of it last night after finishing the two books that are above this one, but I opened it and could not put it down. Having a Kindle is addicting and dangerous. I loved the story as a whole, like the cinnamon roll that is Eren, yea that was amazing. They are a mess, it was real spicy from like the first moment. Allie spends so much time doubting herself and I loved watching her grow through the story. I want more, I don’t know if I want more of their story specifically or more of that world as a whole. Probably both, I think it’s both because it was…a lot. 

The Kiss Curse by Erin Sterling (4/5)

            I read the first one as my Book of the Month in October of 2021, I did like this one, but I enjoyed the first one more. I liked Wells and Gywn and I am excited for Bowen’s story, which comes out next year because that whole family is a mess. Their dad is the worst, I knew that from the first one, but the literal worst. Like Wells, he’s a lot and this one was fun but it did drag at parts where I was just kind of bored. The cult subterfuge was interesting but the climax and the resolution came up way too fast for me. So, there were just some things that I needed more of and I didn’t get them. I loved Sir Purrcival and the baby witches, “you’re not my real dad!’ had me laughing for several seconds. I needed more resolution at the end though. There are certain books that benefit from an epilogue and this would have been one of them for sure. 

Mated to the Monster by Sarah Spade (4/5)

            It was ridiculous, I love fated mates, I really do. Do I wish that she wouldn’t have been so resistant to the whole thing the whole time, yea I do. Because he seems like a sweetheart. It was so much and again I need to question my life choices every time I open another book on my kindle. I have decided that I am allowed to read whatever I want and if you want to judge me, cool, this one was a lot, there is no denying that. It was a lot all around and through. The idea of summoning is not an uncommon trope in many supernatural genres and I loved the Supernatural reference because to be honest, that would also be how I reacted like a TV show could help me out. There were times I wanted to knock some sense into Shannon though for sure. 

            I need to be done, that’s enough slices. I read 28 books in May. Don’t ask me how I’m doing, it’s not a good time to ask that since I have read like 19 books on my Kindle this month. I figured out to Demon’s Bride (excluding any that I want to purchase in paperback) I have saved almost $400 on books since I got my Kindle so it’s paid for itself at this point. Also, from what I have heard the price of books is going to go up so your girl is sad because I love books and I will be able to purchase some, but not at the rate that I was. You want people to read, stop making it so expensive to do so. Kids hate to read (I have first-hand experience with how they feel about reading) but taking away more avenues to read is just going to make the problem worse. 

            I enjoyed many of the books I read this month, some are being unhauled and there was one that almost got returned to Kindle Unlimited before I finished, I finished that out of spite. I’ll let you guess by the length of the blurb which one that was.

            Now I am on summer break and I am terrified because I am at 93 books, I had to up my Goodreads goal to 150 and MJ of even a year ago is having a panic attack because that is so many books. Being on summer break though means that I have more time to both read and write and as someone who wrote like six books last summer, I am just trying to find my creative spark again. (Seriously. I wrote something like 250,000 words in June or July of last year and that’s terrifying to me.) 

            Okay, if you want to check out all the other books, I have read this year, you totally can, some of them have made me question who I am as a person and that’s where I am going to leave that. Just click on the month, January, February, March, and April

            I will be back eventually with another post, I still an trying to figure out the full direction of this blog again since it’s changed so much since I started it in 2018, until then though, I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 


Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 7/12 (Someday, Someday, Maybe, White Girl Problems, A Vintage Affair, The Heiresses, I’ll See You in Paris, Surrender, New York, The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 7/12 (Howl’s Moving Castle, The Transference Engine, Queen of the Tearling, Prudence, The Historian, Stardust, The Gospel of Loki, )

Historical: 7/12 (The Gown, Secrets of Nanreath Hall, The Wild Dark Flowers, The Harvest Man, The Snow Globe, A Taste of Blood Wine, The Jewel Box, )

Free Choice: 10/15 (A Poisoned Season, Dark Horizons, Things in Jars, The City We Became, Twisted Lies, The Demon Tailor, A Court of Silver Flames, The Rook, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Kiss Curse, )

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

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (Mindset, More Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 5/12 (Lunar Love, Georgie, All Along, The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, Ana-Maria and The Fox, Yours Truly, )

Extras: 42/? (Cocky Roommate, Portrait of a Scotsman, A Touch of Darkness, These Vicious Masks, Loathe to Love You, Book Lovers, A Lady’s Formula for Love, The Little Black Dress, A Soul to Keep, Terms and Conditions, The Umbra King, An Heiresses Guide to Deception and Desire, Bow Before the Elf Queen, The Rebel, Rhapsodic, The Stopover, Bride to the Fiend Prince, Wendy Darling, Captain Pan, King of Battle and Blood, Jack Frost, Hades, Captive of the Pirate King, Wrecked, Prize of the Warlord, Gallant, Healer of the Ash King, The Moonfire Bride, The Fae King’s Curse, Apollo, The Sea Witch, The Sunfire King, Drive Me Crazy, The Horseman of Sleepy Hallow, The Warlord’s Treasure, Neon Gods, The Fae King’s Dream, Court of Blood and Binding, To Kiss a Dragon, Becoming Hook, Demon’s Bride, Mated to the Monster, )

Battle of the Books (it’s for school!): 9/9  (The Lightening Thief, Sea of MonstersThe Titan’s Curse, Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian, Friendship According to Humphrey, Peter and The Starchasers, The False Prince, Peter and The Shadow Thieves)

April 2023 Book of the Month Review: 

Title: Ana-Maria and The Fox

Author: Liana de la Cruz

Rating: 3.7/5

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

         I finished this book almost a week ago and I needed to walk away from it for a little while before I wrote the post because I find myself not wanting to write these longer form blog posts right after I have finished the book. I have some things to say about this one, some are really good some are just…fine. 

         There will be spoilers so if you want to read it, bye, I will see you for the next post. 

         I did like it, I want to start out with that, I did enjoy the book and that should be what matters most. I love a good historical romance; I have read several now and I liked the concept of this one with the Mexican elements of the war with France and fitting into English society. It was so culturally interesting because it took the Victorian era romance and get it a really interesting twist. 

         I liked the characters of the Luna sisters; do I think that will read what I can presume will be the other two for the other two sisters? I don’t know, I really don’t I might read Gabby’s story watching her fight with the duke because he’s been the one presented to probably end up with her. 

         I cannot start every paragraph with ‘I liked’ that’s just boring, but there were many things that I did like. I loved Gideon and Ana-Maria’s relationship building, but it felt very much like instalove and that is not really a trope I like, it’s a personal choice with that one because it makes the love story feel so much less authentic. 

         That was one problem I had with the story, the love story felt flat, it was like cardboard, they were cute and I was happy that they ended up together though there was a lot that surrounded them getting together that was so strange. The love story just fell really flat for me in this one, I wasn’t in love and I didn’t feel their love for one another throughout the book. Not until near the very end, even though they aren’t really in love with each other until the very end. 

         Alright, the whole plot with Lord Tyrell was so strange, I mean really, it was super weird and I was so confused as to the whole motivation, I know that he was working for the French, but there was just so much going on throughout that whole section and then the kidnapping…so much. 

         I remember some things from the novel but not enough to make it wholly memorable. I did enjoy the book for what it was, it was a fun read and an easy one at that. A good beach read, there is no doubt in my mind about that. 

         There were so many characters that I felt were mentioned and then mentioned so much later as if I am going to remember them and where they met them and everything else, that is such a problem with a lot of books that a bunch of characters are introduced near the beginning and then not until much later and then you are left trying to remember who this character was and why they are important. It’s like being told about your far extended family that you haven’t seen since you were a kid and you are expected to remember them. 

         This worked in tandem with the Civil War which gave it really interesting depth about slave trade because that was still happening at the time and it was fascinating and it did deepen the plot and the characters so much in such good ways. Gideon’s personal connection to it was amazing. 

         So, this book was a mixed bag, more good than not so good, but there were just some things that made it fall kind of meh for me. It’s a mid-level book, a good one time read, but not one of my favorites. 

         If you want to check out what I read in January, February, and March, you totally can! I will be back eventually with another post, so until then, stay safe, happy, and healthy!


Books I Read in April 2023

Hey hey, it’s MJ,

         Well, I read 18 books in March, that’s so many books! I have never read that many books in a month and I bought a Kindle because books are expensive, granted am I going to buy all the books I like so I can have them in paperback, yea, probably and that’s not healthy but I don’t care. 

         I also got Kindle Unlimited because again, why not. Now I can read all the things that are on my list and are on Kindle Unlimited and then see if they are worth buying the physical books. 

         There are some books that I have unhauled this year, not because they weren’t good, but because they were a good one time read and I don’t want them in my personal collection. I know that is something that’s hard for some to understand, if I unhaul it, it doesn’t mean that I had anything against the book. Sometimes it might though. 

I’ll See You in Paris by Michelle Gable (3.5/5)

         This is a good example of my above point; it was a good one time read but I don’t want it to take up space in my permanent collection. I read A Paris Apartment years ago and didn’t enjoy it so I walked into this one with that feeling. I did enjoy it, I called several of the twists throughout and that was fine. It was predictable overall and Annie’s fiancé, that whole plot line felt so unnecessary for the plot to continue. There was just a lot about that that was weird. It was a good story overall; I liked the flips between the present and the past and finding out through so many stories about the characters. It was good, just not one that I feel the need to keep permanently. 

An Heiresses Guide to Deception and Desire by Manda Collins (3.8/5)

         It was cute for what it was. I am glad that there wasn’t a miscommunication or a third act break up because those are my least favorite tropes. I did enjoy the book; it was cute in its own way and it kept me guessing throughout as to who the culprit was. I like Caro and Val; second chance romances are sweet. Was it my favorite? No, but did I enjoy it? Yes, I did. It just sticks really close to the historical romance formula which is fine, but it was not my favorite and that is totally okay because it is still staying in my collection. 

Bow Before the Elf Queen by J.M. Kearl (5/5)

         The cliffhanger!? Come on! I read this one on Kindle Unlimited because it’s been on my want to buy list for a while and I wanted to read it and see if it was worth having a paperback copy in my collection. That is so dangerous, it really is. I really loved Laya and Thane, they are both so much and I love fated. Everyone knows that, seriously. Apparently the next one ends in a cliffhanger as well and I am already upset. The betrayal! The insanity of it all. I want a happy ending for them, that’s all I want at the moment and forever because I want happily ever afters. 

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (3/5)

         3 out of 5 is a generous score, it really is. I wanted to like it; I had such high hopes for this one but there was just too much. It was so dense and because it switched between past and present like a series of letters or whatever it made it so strange to read. The conclusion was not super fulfilling to be completely honest and it was really good up until about part 2, I was actually really enjoying it and then by the time it hit part 2 I was pretty much done. I skimmed because I was so bored and I really dislike being bored while I am reading especially when this was a book that has been on my list for a while.

The Rebel by Sophie Lark (3.9/5)

         I read it on my Kindle because I have a problem. It was good, would I want to buy it in paperback, no not really. It was a really good one time read, I thought it was going to be a bully thing and that would have been a DNF for me. I didn’t DNF it and I really did enjoy it. Will I continue the series? Also, probably not but I have Anastasia in my collection as well and I am super excited to read that later in the year. Miles and Zoe are a lot, there were so many moments where I was just sitting there staring off into space shaking my head at them. They are good for each other though, I am glad that there was at least a happy ending…for now as far as I know. 

Ana-Maria and The Fox by Liana de la Cruz (3.7/5)

         I liked it, but I am not a huge fan of instalove, I never really have been. I liked Ana-Maria and Gideon and I loved the historical aspect of all of it. This was my book of the month so I will have a more in-depth review because I want to talk about it more than just me little blurb. I liked it, but the love story or the plot as a whole didn’t grip me because it didn’t feel like it was deep enough to make me feel for the conflict. 

Rhapsodic by Lauren Thalassa (5/5)

         It was on my Kindle because I have wanted to read it for a while (Then I bought a copy because it was half off.). I really enjoyed it! I will be going to buy the second and third in paperback tomorrow. I will read them eventually and the rest of the series might suck but I am going to read it anyway because Des and Callie are amazing. I know who I am as a person and as a reader and this was right up my alley, so very much right up my alley. The banter had me rolling and I for sure was live texting most of it to my cousin who read it last year. It was so good! 

The Stopover by T.L. Swan (4.1/5)

         This was recommended to me by so many people that I know in real life. Seriously, so many people. I did enjoy the book but there was a lot about it that made the relationship unbelievable. There were so many fights and the miscommunication and the third-act breakup went on way too long. It kind of reminded me of Alex and Ava in Twisted Love where he kind of stalks her to get her back because he messed up so badly. There was a lot of spice, so much spice and I did like their relationship, but I am looking forward to Tristan’s story more. 

Bride to the Fiend Prince by Rebecca F. Kenney (4/5)

         I read A Court of Sugar and Spice in December and holy crap, it was…so much and such a shock to me that I enjoyed it. I like her writing style and this one was fun. I love a strong female character; I also love a good love story with enemies to lovers. I have many questions about myself because of the tropes I enjoy when it comes to reading, but here we are. I am reading A Court of Silver Flames as well and I am enjoying it as much as I can, but I am needing other books to read so I don’t get sucked into how much I dislike a character that is heavily featured. That is a story for another day! I really did enjoy the story though and it was a super quick read, they both need help, but they were ultimately good for one another and the Dreadlord was the worst. 

Wendy Darling by Rebecca F. Kenney (4/5)

         I am on a little bit of a kick because I downloaded this on my Kindle by accident. It was so much fun and Peter and Wendy are a mess. Melanie is the worst and I am already going to read the next one as soon as I can. I really like the fact that she has powers of her own and come on, it was so much fun to read. I couldn’t put it down. 

A Court of Silver Flames by Sarah J. Maas (4.5/5)

         I still don’t like Nesta, I am glad that she got her redemption and I liked the story over all, but there was a lot of it that I just didn’t enjoy. She becomes so overpowered throughout the book and that just rubbed me the wrong way. Also, the whole treatment of Feyre in this one was weird, Rhys too. Like I don’t understand the shift in dynamics on this one, I really don’t. The Valkyrie’s are really cool over all, but there was just almost too much going on throughout for me to actually want to love it as much as I loved the rest of the series, this took me six days to read…six days. 

Captain Pan by Rebecca F. Kenney (4/5)

         You are going to be seeing a lot of her this month because I found a series, so this was number four and I did loop back and read number one the next day. It will be below. I have been sick all weekend so between coughing and feeling like I am going to pass out, I have been reading because no other position is comfortable, which is annoying. I might have to sleep sitting up tonight. That’s not what the book is about though, Hook is a lot, but I think most iterations are. Peter and Wendy will always be a couple I enjoy as long as they are both adults. 

King of Battle and Blood by Scarlett St. Clair (4.3/5)

         It was a great read, so spicy, but it hooked me from really early in, though I didn’t call some of the twists. The big one I did call, the moment the flashbacks started, I called it. I mean, I do love eternal soulmate bonds, I really do. I have the second one so I will read it eventually. Her father though? Like where the heck did that come from. I was shocked. So shocked, everyone in her homeland all were rooting for her to kill him and that just felt so…unnecessary because Adrian seems like a nice guy. I mean, rough around the edges and you know a conqueror, but not a bad guy. 

Jack Frost by Rebecca F. Kenney (4/5)

         I read it in a day, seriously. I finished the one above and started this one, I didn’t stop. I probably should have because I need to stay hydrated and all of that, but this book was so much fun. Jack is such a cinnamon roll, Emery is a little bit of a hard ass, but the past that we are presented with in the book, it makes sense. The stalking was a little much, but he wanted to be near her and she gave the ultimate sacrifice to be with him, though I don’t know if she would see it as a sacrifice. Also, their meet-cute was super cute. 

The Snow Globe by Judith Kinghorn (3.3/5)

         Okay, I liked it well enough. It’s historical British fiction and has been in my collection for a long time, it was time to read it and either love it or unhaul it. I will be unhauling it. I liked Daisy, she was a character learning how to be an adult when everything around you seems to be falling apart. But the moment, the moment it was even thought that her love interest might be her brother, I had to read the end of the book. I had to read ahead to make sure he wasn’t otherwise this would have been a DNF. It was a pretty good read, but not one that I want to keep forever. 

Hades by Rebecca F. Kenney (4.2/5)

         Again, another Rebecca F. Kenney book because that’s all I have been reading on my Kindle this month. I loved Hades and Persephone, they are always in most iterations a mess, a whole mess. The Goddess of Creation was such a good character in this novel and Hades because a little bit submissive to her was really cute. There was so much in this book that I loved and Demeter is still the worst. I loved that everyone was brought back in (still no mention of book 2 which seems to be so out of place with the rest of the series) in the final moments. 

Captive of the Pirate King by Rebecca F. Kenney (4.7/5)

         It was amazing! Like Locke and Veronica were so much throughout the whole book, so much. It was spicy and they were like enemies to lovers to enemies back to lovers. It was a roller coaster of a book. I called the twist of who Locke was, I called it real early when I found out he was the love interest. Because let’s be real I was a little concerned with the appearance because I have read so many of RFK’s books. The plot was really good, I loved the magic system throughout and the building of relationships through trauma and shared experiences. 

Wrecked by C.C. Piper (4.2/5)

         Well, guess who didn’t think they were going to be opening this document twice in one day, it was me. Guess who did open this document twice in one day because they have no control? Also me. It was a really good book, I have never read one with a club aspect, like a bought and paid for sort of relationship. Though I loved the dynamic and the story as a whole. Richard is such a nice guy, like he wants everything for her and it was so cute! The relationship between Chrissy and her sister was so touching and the whole unraveling of the trauma, it really kept me reading and wanting to read more of it. I don’t know if I will continue the series, I might, I don’t know yet. Have a Kindle and Kindle Unlimited is dangerous for me…so dangerous.

Surrender, New York by Caleb Carr (3/5)

         It was fine, it was just so dense. Like it was so much prose, so much description and just a slow story. It was interesting, creepy, but it was slow. The most interesting character was the cheetah. There was a lot of unnecessary stuff that I just felt got piled in to make the book longer and it was just so long. Not every line of dialogue needs a paragraph worth of qualifiers or explanation. There was just too much for me to really immerse myself in the story and the whole grooming aspect really made me cringe throughout. I have had this book in my collection for years and it’s time for it to go and let someone else enjoy it in theirs. 

         So…I read 21 books in April, that’s right 21 books. Half of them were on my Kindle which is something I never thought I would be able to say because I was whole heartedly against e-readers until a few months ago and then I wanted to read and not have anyone question what I was reading, so I got a Kindle. 

         21 books though is insanity and I don’t know how we got here. I enjoyed most of the books that I read this month, four have been unhauled and I only have five others that were physical copies this month. I don’t know how to reconcile that with my post and with the number of books that I don’t have in the stack behind me on my other table in my office where I pile my monthly book piles. 

         I think that I can call this post good though and I will be back next month with more books, probably half on my Kindle half not, I want to get through my physical TBR before the summer so that’s going to be an adventure. If you want to check out all of the other books that I have read this year (since I am at 65 at the moment) you totally can with January, February, and March.

         I will be back with another post eventually, because I have just been all over the place the last couple of months and that means that this has taken a back burner. So until then I hope that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy! 


Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 6/12 (Someday, Someday, Maybe, White Girl Problems, A Vintage Affair, The Heiresses, I’ll See You in Paris, Surrender, New York, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 5/12 (Howl’s Moving Castle, The Transference Engine, Queen of the Tearling, Prudence, The Historian, )

Historical: 5/12 (The Gown, Secrets of Nanreath Hall, The Wild Dark Flowers, The Harvest Man, )

Free Choice: 7/15 (A Poisoned Season, Dark Horizons, Things in Jars, The City We Became, Twisted Lies, The Demon Tailor, A Court of Silver Flames, )

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

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (Mindset, More Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 4/12 (Lunar Love, Georgie, All Along, The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, Ana-Maria and The Fox, )

Extras: 24/? (Cocky Roommate, Portrait of a Scotsman, A Touch of Darkness, These Vicious Masks, Loathe to Love You, Book Lovers, A Lady’s Formula for Love, The Little Black Dress, A Soul to Keep, Terms and Conditions, The Umbra King, An Heiresses Guide to Deception and Desire, Bow Before the Elf Queen, The Rebel, Rhapsodic, The Stopover, Bride to the Fiend Prince, Wendy Darling, Captain Pan, King of Battle and Blood, Jack Frost, Hades, Captive of the Pirate King, Wrecked, )

Battle of the Books (it’s for school!): 8/?  (The Lightening Thief, Sea of MonstersThe Titan’s Curse, Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian, Friendship According to Humphrey, Peter and The Starchasers, The False Prince, )

Books I Read in March 2023

Hey hey, it’s MJ

            I am starting this a little later than usual because my first book this month was a book for school so it doesn’t get a blurb, but I have now read the entire Percy Jackson series which is interesting. 

            I unhauled so many books last month and I kind of feel like this mouth will be similar. The first book on this list I really enjoyed, but it is not something that I want to keep in my permanent collection and that is kind of how I feel about unhauling some books. I don’t want to 100% let go, but I also know that I don’t want it on my shelf and that is totally okay. 

A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolff (3.8/5)

            It was cute, I did enjoy it overall. The whole plot with Roxy did hit me in a place where I didn’t like it all that much and how much Miles bowed to her. I get wanting to do the best for your kid after losing a parent, but it was excessive. That relationship could have been so good, but it fell so flat. I loved her and Dan though and I really wanted that relationship to be more strongly featured overall. I loved Mrs. Bell and her story as well as the whole plot about Emma, though I also didn’t like Guy and that whole nonsense near the end of the book. I loved the dress shop in total, the vintage feel of everything and just how much has changed since 2009 when this book is based and that was so interesting. Like she snapped her phone shut and that was such a callback to me, because you cannot do that anymore. 

A Lady’s Formula for Love by Elizabeth Everett (3.3/5)

            This one was disappointing, it truly was. I wanted to love it because I have read so many good historical romances over the last year or so and this had promise in my opinion but the characters were unlikable and the story felt so overplayed and overdone. I have no interest in reading the second because I didn’t like the characters enough to actually invest in them. I loved the idea of a retreat for lady scientists, it was a fascinating concept, but it fell so flat for me. The almost instalove between Violet and Arthur just never won me over and normally that is not a trope that I mind. There was just a lot about it that felt clunky and awkward and the villain I figured out really early on. I really did and that made every time that character was in the scene unbelievable in a way. 

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen (4/5)

            Were the comments about the main character’s body a little unnecessary, yes, they were. But was it a great opening to a fantasy trilogy that I now want to read? Also, yes. I really did enjoy the book as a whole, I have so many questions about who her father actually is, how the heck the Fetch does what he does and who he is, and how the Red Queen is going to act out in the next one. I loved so many of the characters though the main character felt almost over powered, I want to know about the magic system and why she is the only one who can wield the sapphires. I really like the fact that it’s like a postmodern society that has gone back to an almost medieval way of life and I am going to read the second one eventually. 

Twisted Lies by Ana Huang (5/5)

            Ana! Way to close out a series, this was the best one. I loved Twisted Games and this was a series that I started to read because of BookTok, this book was amazing and completely worth the 550 pages that it was. I have a new order for series favorites which is so exciting because Christian, that’s it, just Christian. Also Stella, just in general, the whole book was phenomenal, I had no complaints. I will probably read her other books and love them as well because at this point, I am invested. The wrap up with everyone at the end, that brought so many emotions out because I started this series about a year ago and a lot has changed in that time. Mr. Unicorn gets to be my favorite character though, I love that so much.

The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi by Shannon Chakraborty (3.5/5)

            It was my March Book of the Month and hopefully unlike February I actually wrote the post the day after finishing it like I promised myself I would. I did like it, I need to say that, but it took me 200 something pages to get into it and for a 470-page book that seems excessive. I liked the themes and the characters and the insanity of it all, I don’t think I will continue to read the series though. It was good, but it took too long for me to get hooked. 

The Harvest Man by Alex Grecian (3.7/5)

            I read it quickly, it pulled me in from almost the first page and it was so good. I hate that it ended on a cliff hanger, but here we are with me trying to figure out how the last book is going to go. There was just so much shoved into this book, unlike the last one because this is book four in the series. I may have rated The Devil’s Workshop the same but my rating would likely be lower if I read it today. Like I said when I read that one, why was Jack the Ripper the most interesting character? This one brought that back in the most terrifying of ways, I want to know what’s going to happen and I have owned the final novel for several years, so that will get read here eventually. 

The Heiresses by Sara Shepard (3/5)

            Well, this one is getting unhauled, it was very Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars which makes sense because Sara Shepard wrote PLL too, that makes sense. It read a little juvenile for an adult book. Everyone was sleeping with everyone, there was so much drama and I didn’t really feel like anything was actually solved. There was just so much going on at all times that it felt jarring whenever the perspective shifted, the only character I was rooting for was Corinne. Like all of the main women grow throughout the book, but man was there just a lot in this that was weird. 

Prudence by Gail Carriger (4/5)

            I didn’t know that this was a continuation to the Soulless series, though I only read the first one in that series because it was not my jam at the time. I really enjoyed this book though and I love the characters, they are all a lot in their own special way. Rue is such a strong female character and I cannot wait to read the next one, I have a feeling it’s going to be just as crazy. Prim bothered me throughout because she sits there with her judgement and there was just something about that that hit me the wrong way. I will be reading the second one though because I want to see more with this cast of characters. 

The Demon Tailor by Susan McCauley (4/5)

            Super short novella, but it was do dark and really good. The end came up really quickly and left some things undone. I normally don’t read horror, that is not a genre that I normally find myself reaching for, this was an Amazon one that I bought in 2021 and didn’t get around to reading until now. It was good, seriously. I love serial killers, well, let me rephrase that. I like long dead serial killers, otherwise not a huge fan. It was only 122 pages so it was a really quick read. Bloody, gory, and hecking terrifying, but good.

The Little Black Dress by Piper James (5/5)

            This was for sure a “BookTok made me buy it book” and I don’t regret it. I read it the same day as I read The Demon Tailor I was only going to read half and then it sucked me in. I love grumpy/sunshine, office romance is fun, and it was in Vegas! There was so much good in this book, it was a little much at points but it was so good and I read it all in a day…oops. I have no more physical books to read before I go home tomorrow night so I will be working on a Kindle book tomorrow…Well. It was good though, the miscommunication trope and third act break up will always be tropes the bug me (I don’t write them for that reason), but the groveling, it was amazing and this book went from 0 to 60 in about three pages. It was so good though!

A Soul to Keep by Opal Reyne (5/5)

            Well… I feel like that’s all I want to say about this book. I saw it on Prime Reads and now I own a Kindle. This is the book that made me want to own a Kindle and I will still probably buy it in paperback when I get a chance. It was really good, very Beauty & The Beast, I have moral questions for myself at the moment…I really do and I know that two years ago me would be concerned for my well-being, even current me is worried for my well-being. Not normal a romance sub-genre I read, fae is usually my thing, but here I am.

More Teacher Misery by Jane Morris (4/5)

            I read Teacher Misery in March of last year and found it hilarious and heartbreaking that so many teachers go through so much and it’s just something that we all have to deal with. I cannot imagine what a book from her would look like post pandemic, post virtual teaching, and the state of education today. I live in a state where there is now this huge education reform and it’s going to be a mess; it’s going to suck public education dry and we already live in a country where there is a drastic and ever-growing shortage of teachers. Yes, I am a teacher for the kids, but dealing with parents, people who have never been in education making laws about it, the state testing, exhaustion, apathy, lack of respect and pay, and everything else. It does not shock me when a fellow teacher tells me that they are leaving, that they are done and it’s a country taking everything out on a population of individuals who just want to impart knowledge on the next generation. But clearly, even with a master’s degree in education and countless hours of training and PD, we are still not allowed to be experts in our own fields. 

Terms and Conditions by Lauren Asher (5/5)

            Thought I wrote this blurb days ago, I was wrong! It was so good; they were both so much as a couple. Marriage of convenience and all of that and I loved it. The miscommunication in it will always rub me the wrong way because that’s so annoying. I hate the miscommunication trope and the third act break-up. Like Declan is an ass and he’s an ass to everyone but Iris. It went from 0 to 60 super quick and I really did enjoy it because it was well written and had me laughing and shaking my head so many times. I will read the last in the series eventually and I know that, it’ll just be a while because I have about five dozen books that I need to and want to read. 

The Umbra King by Jamie Applegate Hunter (5/5)

            I finished this last night and I only had to finish two full books in the last two days of the month because I am an idiot and started this one and one for school at the same time and I wanted to finish them both before the end of the month. This took me some time to get into, it really did but man when I got into it, I could not put it down. I called the final twist and I am so mad at Caius at the moment. I will be reading the second one on Kindle Unlimited probably next week, I thought about this book all night after I finished it. I am so mad at the ending and I have to have some self-control and read a few of my TBR books or I am going to lose the plot and not finish my TBR this year. 

            Well, I read 17 books and finished another one in the month of March so I read 18 books this month. I cannot believe that because that is so many books, Spring Break was for sure a factor in reading so many and that is totally fine. I read a lot of good books this month and finally broke down and bought a Kindle and got Kindle Unlimited. Sheerly to read through a lot on my wish list and if I like them enough, I will still buy the paperback because I have a problem…

            I am not hoping to read this many books in April and I am not going to push myself to do so. My goal most months is 10, I say 6 is my realistic and I would like to read 13, but I don’t know if I will be able to. 

            So many books, I swear I didn’t mean to read this many this month, but here we are. I told my mother last night that it is better than a drug habit, somedays I question if that is true, it is, I promise, I would much rather read. I joke about that all the time, but I don’t do drugs and I don’t want to, I don’t even drink. 

            That took a weird turn! So we are moving away from that, if you want to check out all of the other books that I have read this year you totally can in January and February’s posts! 

            I will be back eventually with another post, I promise, it’s just been creatively difficult to continue working on blog posts. I started this blog as a different person than I am today and I need to adapt it to who I am today…I’ll get there.

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


Let’s Keep Track Shall We?: 

General Fiction: 4/12 (Someday, Someday, Maybe, White Girl Problems, A Vintage Affair, The Heiresses, )

Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 4/12 (Howl’s Moving Castle, The Transference Engine, Queen of the Tearling, Prudence, )

Historical: 4/12 (The Gown, Secrets of Nanreath Hall, The Wild Dark Flowers, The Harvest Man, )

Free Choice: 6/15 (A Poisoned Season, Dark Horizons, Things in Jars, The City We Became, Twisted Lies, The Demon Tailor, )

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

General Non-Fiction: 2/2 (Mindset, More Teacher Misery)

Book of The Month: 3/12 (Lunar Love, Georgie, All Along, The Adventures of Amina Al-Sirafi, )

Extras: 11/? (Cocky Roommate, Portrait of a Scotsman, A Touch of Darkness, These Vicious Masks, Loathe to Love You, Book Lovers, A Lady’s Formula for Love, The Little Black Dress, A Soul to Keep, Terms and Conditions, The Umbra King, )

Battle of the Books (it’s for school!): 7/?  (The Lightening Thief, Sea of MonstersThe Titan’s Curse, Battle of the Labyrinth, The Last Olympian, Friendship According to Humphrey, Peter and The Starchasers, )

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.