2019 was a year that was entirely dedicated to my mental health. I decided to really put all my time into just feeling better and it really worked. I still read some in 2019 not nearly as much as I have in previous years, but I’m still happy that I read.
Here is my 2019 year in books!
As I said above, I didn’t read all that much, but of what I did read I enjoyed most of them. I don’t really have a goal for how many books I will read this year. But, I do know that there are many wonderful books in my life to read and I can’t wait to get to them!
THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! This post is a day late. I got a little sidetracked yesterday, but I hope you all enjoyed it anyway!
This year I’ve had a wonderful Christmas! I got a myriad of presents that I really love and that I’m excited about using. My sister loved all the presents I got her and that was an awesome gift in itself.
I got five wonderful books this year! All books that I know I will one day enjoy reading.
Here they are:
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
The acclaimed book behind the 2018 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winning movie
“LGBTQ cinema is out in force at Sundance Film Festival,” proclaimed USA Today. “The acerbic coming-of-age movie is adapted from Emily M. Danforth’s novel, and stars Chloë Grace Moretz as a lesbian teen who is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after she gets caught having sex with her friend on prom night.”
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a stunning and provocative literary debut that was named to numerous best of the year lists.
When Cameron Post’s parents die suddenly in a car crash, her shocking first thought is relief. Relief they’ll never know that, hours earlier, she had been kissing a girl.
But that relief doesn’t last, and Cam is forced to move in with her conservative aunt Ruth and her well-intentioned but hopelessly old-fashioned grandmother. She knows that from this point on, her life will forever be different. Survival in Miles City, Montana, means blending in and leaving well enough alone, and Cam becomes an expert at both.
Then Coley Talor moves to town. Beautiful, pickup-driving Coley is a perfect cowgirl with the perfect boyfriend to match. She and Cam forge an unexpected and intense friendship, one that seems to leave room for something more to emerge. But just as that starts to seem like a real possibility, Aunt Ruth takes drastic action to “fix” her niece, bringing Cam face-to-face with the cost of denying her true self—even if she’s not quite sure who that is.”
My friend at work Daisy got this book for me. She had read it and enjoyed it and hoped that I’d enjoy it. I knew about this book previously and had wanted to read it so I’m exited to do so and share with her my thoughts.
The rest of the books I got were all from family:
I’m not going to say what this book is about because it’s a second book and I have not read the first and I don’t want to spoil it for myself or anyone. I guess this means I’m buying Passenger sometime in the near future.
The Tiger and The Wolf
“Maniye’s father is the Wolf clan’s chieftain, but she’s an outcast. Her mother was queen of the Tiger and these tribes have been enemies for generations. Maniye also hides a deadly secret. All can shift into their clan’s animal form, but Maniye can take on tiger and wolf shapes. She refuses to disown half her soul, so escapes, rescuing a prisoner of the Wolf clan in the process. The killer Broken Axe is set on their trail, to drag them back for retribution. Maniye’s father plots to rule the north, and controlling his daughter is crucial to his schemes. However, other tribes also prepare for strife. Strangers from the far south appear too, seeking allies in their own conflict. It’s a season for omens as priests foresee danger, and a darkness falling across the land. Some say a great war is coming, overshadowing even Wolf ambitions. A time of testing and broken laws is near, but what spark will set the world ablaze?”
I know nothing about this book. I hadn’t heard of it before, but it does look interesting. It will be a wonderful surprise to read.
“Inspired by her childhood love of books like A Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.
There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.
But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself–and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.”
I’ve been wanting to read some good middle grade and I don’t even think my mom realized that. I think she picked based off the cover which to me was a wise choice. The second I laid eyes on Furthermore I knew I wanted to read it! I’m so happy to have it on my shelves.
The Walls Around Us
“A #1 New York Times Bestseller “With evocative language, a shifting timeline and more than one unreliable narrator, Suma subtly explores the balance of power between the talented and the mediocre, the rich and the poor, the brave and the cowardly . . . To reveal more would be to uncover the bloody heart that beats beneath the floorboards of this urban-legend-tinged tale.” —The New York Times The Walls Around Us is a ghostly story of suspense told in two voices–one still living and one dead. On the outside, there’s Violet, an eighteen-year-old ballerina days away from the life of her dreams when something threatens to expose the shocking truth of her achievement. On the inside, within the walls of a girls’ juvenile detention center, there’s Amber, locked up for so long she can’t imagine freedom. Tying these two worlds together is Orianna, who holds the key to unlocking all the girls’ darkest mysteries: What really happened on the night Orianna stepped between Violet and her tormentors? What really happened on two strange nights at Aurora Hills? Will Amber and Violet and Orianna ever get the justice they deserve–in this life or in another one?”
This books is MAGICAL REALISM!!! One of my absolute favorite genres. With every magical realism ya book I own I get happier. There’s only so many out there and I want to read them all!
THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you all received all you wished for and more this Christmas! Merry Christmas everyone!
Last year, I did not receive any books for Christmas. Typically this boat talks about just that, but last year was a tough Christmas for me, but all that happened then has turned into a blessing for me.
See I was in no position to even really feel enjoyment with books or much of anything in general. The contrast to how I feel now in this moment is incredible. I have changed so much this year and I achieved the ultimate goal that I’ve had for the entirety of my life. Which is to no longer have depression or anxiety way on me. Especially the last three months, I’ve felt free of any sort of Depression or Anxiety.
I’m at a point where I’m happy all the time. I find enjoyment everywhere and life is wonderful all the time for me. After my birthday, I set out to write the best things that happened each day and I was so surprised and delighted to find these past 8 days have been absolutely incredible! I look back on this week and I think that I’d want to fill my life with as many wonderful and unique moments every single day into the future. It’s been incredible.
Mainly, what has changed is my beliefs about life. Which sounds bigger then it really is. I’ve just discovered that I can and should be responsible for my own happiness and that I’m good at it. I’m good at keeping myself happy. I’m good at finding things to think about that bring me joy. I’m good at allowing myself the things that create greater joy in my life. It’s an incredible thing.
THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas Eve! Merry Christmas everyone!
I need to get my hands on some Christmas themed novels. The only book I’ve ever read even remotely related to Christmas is “A Northern Light” by Jennifer Donnelly. It looks like it would be a Christmas Novel, but it isn’t. However, I loved every moment of reading it!
Now on to the books I’d love to read!
In no particular order:
Decked With Holly by Marni Bates
This one is endorsed by Julie Kagawa, one of my favorite authors ever, so it’s a no brained that I would want to read this one!
My True Love Gave To Me by Various Authors
So many great short stories by so many incredible authors! I’d love to read them!
The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand
I didn’t realize this was a Christmas book. I wanted to pick this one up anyway, but now I love the idea of it all the more!
‘Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances’ by John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle
You gotta have John Green in here. You just gotta.
‘Pride and Prejudice and Mistletoe’ by Melissa de la Cruz
This is both a cover love thing and the fact that it’s Pride and Prejudice although I still haven’t read it yet. It looks adorable!
Well that’s all! I hope you enjoyed this list!
THANK YOU ALL FOR READING! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas season and that you all receive all that you hope for.
This weekend has been wonderful. I woke up Saturday morning made some breakfast while listening to Christmas music. Then after breakfast I had some tea and read Schism for about two hours. After that I watched Christmas movies while drinking some coffee with my mom and my sister.
I watched “The Holiday Calendar” and “Holiday in the Wild” and well as “Holiday Rush”. Overall, a Christmas extravaganza. It was the most relaxed and myself I had been in a long time. It reminded me that you can make any day special and do whatever it is that would bring you the most joy at life the spur of the moment.
Christmastime this year has really showed me to enjoy every moment as well as the unfolding is happening. Because nothing is ever done, not really. Life is constant movement and I’m so ready to enjoy and dance in it again. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing recently. So much so that I have noticed that I no longer find a trace of depression or anxiety anywhere at all. I am so free and from that place of freedom I know that the world will be my oyster and I can’t wait to see what else unfolds.
On to the review!
Schism by Britt Holewinski
My Rating: 3/5
Cover Rating: 4/10 it’s not the best in my opinion. It fits the setting and the genre, but I feel like they could have done something so much cooler. It kinda looks like they just kinda photoshopped a few things together that in some basic way fit the story and that doesn’t really do it for me.
“My name is Andrea Christensen. I’m one of the oldest oldest people in the world.”
The first book in a new YA, dystopian trilogy, SCHISM is a story of survival, of good versus evil, and of constructing a future with only memories of childhood.
A virus, created by the smartest minds in the United States government, which is meant to target male adults in times of war, is accidentally released before testing is complete. Within weeks six billion people are eliminated from the world. The only survivors are prepubescent children.
Five years after this catastrophic event, a young girl named Andy Christensen and her two friends are forced to leave their home in Bermuda and return to the North American continent. There, they discover that America is wild and chaotic, and people have instituted a “survival of the fittest” mentality. Andy and her friends soon band together with fellow survivors in search for a new place to call home.”
Opening Sentence: “The two young men moved quickly under the cover of night, the summer air thick with humidity.”
Schism is post-apocalyptic in a very dark way. It really paints a negative picture of human beings being at there worst most of the time and the few that are good that are trying to make the best of it all. People are raping and human trafficking and murdering all over the place.
Not only that but it’s kids doing all these things to other kids because all the adults were killed by a virus. It’s utter chaos. Nowhere is safe. There’s drug trading and just a whole lot of awful things and as smart as the kids are the pieces of hope are few and far between.
What I liked:
The pacing. There was always something happening and the story moves pretty fast. There is always something shocking to wonder at.
The characterization. Everyone was pretty distinct and they all had their own motivations for acting and I really enjoyed that.
Not too unlikely of a scenario. I want to believe that if this really happened that all the kids of the world would behave this terribly, but honestly I don’t really know. I want to hope humanity would do better, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the reality.
The idea itself. I like an interesting concept and this sure was unique. It was an exploration of what could be.
All in all:
An interesting and intense novel. I had my issues with it, but overall it was enjoyable read.
About the Author:
I was born in Boston, but moved when I was less than a year old. I lived all over the country growing up, so I had to adapt and learn to make new friends quickly. I was a gymnast at a highly competitive level until I was 15. Then I focused more on school, especially math and science because I wanted to become an astronaut.
After high school, I went to the University of Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana, where I studied mechanical engineering. I graduated in 2000, and attended graduate school at Pennsylvania State University. After getting my master’s degree, also in mechanical engineering, I went to work for the CIA shortly after 9/11. I travelled all over the world for my job, including 3 years in the Middle East. I decided to leave the Agency after 14 years to focus on writing, which is where I am today!
Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!
Hello everyone and welcome back to my Most Anticipated YA Releases! I haven’t done one of these in way too long and it’s time for me to start this up once more. Since this is a little last minute I’m writing this post in one go so, wish me luck!
To Whatever End by Lindsey Frydman
“Quinn Easterly is cursed. With one touch, she can see the end to someone’s life. Everyday deaths, and ones that haunt her in her daydreams. Ones that have always proven impossible to prevent. She has finally learned to go about life as usual until she meets Griffin.
With one touch, she sees a death she simply cannot ignore. Not this time. Not when, dying in her arms, he whispers three simple words that change everything.
Even if Quinn can’t change the future, can’t save him, she at least has to try. Even if it means taking the bullet meant for him.”
The ability to see someone’s death by touch is a heartbreaking power. I’ve seen several books touch on this type of power before, but it’s always interesting to me. I’d love to pick this one up!
Reverie by Ryan La Sala
“All Kane Montgomery knows for certain is that the police found him half-dead in the river. He can’t remember anything since an accident robbed him of his memories a few weeks ago. And the world feels different―reality itself seems different.
So when three of his classmates claim to be his friends and the only people who can tell him what’s truly going on, he doesn’t know what to believe or who he can trust. But as he and the others are dragged into unimaginable worlds that materialize out of nowhere―the gym warps into a subterranean temple, a historical home nearby blooms into a Victorian romance rife with scandal and sorcery―Kane realizes that nothing in his life is an accident, and only he can stop their world from unraveling.”
I’m very intrigued by the concept of this novel. It sounds so unusual in a beautiful and fantastic way. I’d love to pick it up!
Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
“Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.
Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.
With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.
While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.”
Family matters are almost always complicated. This sounds like a heartbreaking, but beautiful book and I can only hope that there is healing to be found in some way at the end of the story.
The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters
“A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic–and terrifying–consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.
Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face…
In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real–and she could prove it.
That belief got Becca killed.
It’s been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night–that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She’s done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn’t seen since the night Becca died.
The night Heather killed her.
Now, someone else knows what she did…and they’re determined to make Heather pay.”
A really interesting thriller with an awesome premise… I’m in.. that’s it.. that’s all I need.
Dangerous Alliance: An Austentacious Romance by Jennieke Cohen
“The Gentleman’s Guide to Viceand Virtue meets Jane Austen in this witty, winking historical romance with a dash of mystery!
Lady Victoria Aston has everything she could want: an older sister happily wed, the future of her family estate secure, and ample opportunity to while her time away in the fields around her home.
But now Vicky must marry—or find herself and her family destitute. Armed only with the wisdom she has gained from her beloved novels by Jane Austen, she enters society’s treacherous season.
Sadly, Miss Austen has little to say about Vicky’s exactcircumstances: whether the roguish Mr. Carmichael is indeed a scoundrel, if her former best friend, Tom Sherborne, is out for her dowry or for her heart, or even how to fend off the attentions of the foppish Mr. Silby, he of the unfortunate fashion sensibility.
Most unfortunately of all, Vicky’s books are silent on the topic of the mysterious accidents cropping up around her…ones that could prevent her from surviving until her wedding day.”
I have a thing with collecting Jane Austin retellings. I don’t know why. It’s just something that happened. So to hear about another one coming out is exciting for me. Some way some time I know this book will find its way onto my shelves and I’ll be delighted when that day comes.
Scared Little Rabbits by A. V. Geiger
“We stand in a tight cluster, high above the lake. One-by-one, we made our way up the narrow trail from the edge of campus. Now, we wait shoulder to shoulder behind the police tape. Nineteen summer students.
All but one.
When Nora gets accepted into her dream summer program at the prestigious Winthrop Academy, she jumps at the chance to put her coding skills to use. But then a fellow student goes missing—and the tech trail for the crime leads back to Nora. With no one else to trust, Nora must race to uncover the truth and clear her name…or she might be the next to disappear.”
I’m excited about all the thrillers coming out this December! It seems like an interesting month for them.
Meg & Joe by Virginia Katrina
“The March sisters—reliable Meg, independent Jo, stylish Amy, and shy Beth—have grown up to pursue their separate dreams. When Jo followed her ambitions to New York City, she never thought her career in journalism would come crashing down, leaving her struggling to stay afloat in a gig economy as a prep cook and secret food blogger.
Meg appears to have the life she always planned—the handsome husband, the adorable toddlers, the house in a charming subdivision. But sometimes getting everything you’ve ever wanted isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
When their mother’s illness forces the sisters home to North Carolina for the holidays, they’ll rediscover what really matters.
One thing’s for sure—they’ll need the strength of family and the power of sisterhood to remake their lives and reimagine their dreams.”
I’m realizing that this probably isn’t ya, but I’m still interested all the same. I love retellings and I may not have read little women, but I’d love to give this a shot!
Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! There didn’t seem to be that many ya releases this month. Which is a little sad, but I am really excited for the ones that are being released!
The way I approach my TBR now a days is very different from how I used to approach it. Which was pick whatever on my shelves I was in the mood for and go.
I have a decent amount of books on my shelves I have simply never gotten too, because I’m always reading the next awesome book that comes my way. So I decided enough was enough and that I’m not going to reduce the amount of books that come into my life cause I love them and I know I will get to them all eventually, but that I was going to form a system that would ensure that I got to them all unbiasedly.
So what I do now is I have all my Netgalley and books from authors and publishers for review on a list and after I read one of those I read one book from my shelves picked by random.
The random part I set up by putting all the books I haven’t read yet into a google doc separated by comma and then I put that into a random word picker and it’ll pick my book for me.
So now I have a running tbr instead of a monthly one and it looks like this:
TBR reading order: Schism Autonomous An Act of Faith June 4th Seaspell Glow book 1 July 16th Ps I still love you The Grace Year September 17th Horns The Orchid Throne September 24th Witchmark Jack Keri is dead to me April 7th 2020 Luna new moon Orchid Unshaken Diana’s release Pride and Prejudice
Every time I get a book for review I add that book and one book from my haven’t read tbr list and read down the list. Usually I read review books by their release date order so sometimes I fiddle a little with the order, but this is the current list I have ongoing.
Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below! How do you pick your tbr?
Typically I would start off a Book Review with all the links and information and then get on with my thoughts. However, this is a Book Tour and it’s the first one I’ve actually done and committed to posting so I have a mini aside to ramble about here. I want to thank Breakeven Books for reaching out to me. They have put so much effort and love into this tour and Erik deserves all the praise for it.
Now that that is out of the way, on to the review!
My Rating: 3/5
Cover Rating: 8/10 I adore painted covers. This one is really pretty and I love the jungle vibes it has. The only thing is as adventurous as the book itself is, they don’t really go into a jungle that I recall at any point. It does cover the fantasy elements the book has.
Publisher: Mastoperia Books
Publish Date: November 15th, 2019
Number of Pages: 368 pages
Received: e-arc in exchange for a book tour review!
Four teams, multiple power systems and mythical creatures, vast world, and there can only be one winner.
Mastoperia: A hidden continent with four factions divided and suspicious of each other, with a history of unresolved wars, each grounding themselves in their own unique culture, and magical power.
The Forbidden Warriors: The only force powerful enough to keep the factions from destroying one another. The secret to their power is a mystery, but the only way to hold on to it is by passing the power to a new generation every two and a half centuries.
As that time has arrived, each faction must offer a candidate to become the next generation of the Forbidden Warriors, but only one can be the leader. In a race for that leadership position, four candidates and their teams travel across a world mysterious to them, to hunt artifacts they know nothing about.
The mission is not easy, their goals are not aligned, and the truth is far bigger than they could have imagined. A challenge none were ready for.
Will they choose their own interests, their factions’ or defy all that they know for the sake of their world?
Opening Sentence: “Amarin wrapped his fingers around one of the hot, steel bars centering the massive gate.”
The Forbidden Warriors is a high fantasy/sci-fi novel filled with a unique factions system and lots of unique magic. This multi-POV novel will take you on a journey with its many characters as they fight against each other to become the leader of The Forbidden Warriors.
What I enjoyed:
The second half. This book got better as it went along. The second half was pretty juicy with the elements it had going on. Including relationships between characters building and being strained and The Forbidden Warriors having their own alternate agenda for our characters.
The idea of the powers. There were many nuances to the various faction powers and they were all interesting to learn about. However, I felt like they were a little over explained in the beginning and I wanted to see the powers explained for themselves in more practical usage instead of just in telling.
The cultural differences between factions. I kinda wish this was highlighted more. I was interested in the history of the factions and a little bit more of the inner workings of them. I feel like there is a taste of that throughout the novel, but it wasn’t touched on as deeply as it could have been.
Too many pov’s: It took me much longer then I would have liked to get a sense of whose POV I was in, who was related to them, and what faction they were from. I think I was half way before I really got a sense of all the individual stories and that threw me off a lot of the novel.
All in all:
I enjoyed myself while reading this novel and that’s the most important thing. I don’t quite think the book reached the potential it could have, but it is interesting and fun to read as it is.
About the Author:
Born and raised in Egypt, living in France with a degree in ancient Egyptian history and a passion for writing. I developed my love for storytelling early on and was fascinated by the idea of deconstructing worlds and building new ones that fall under the laws of my imagination.
Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!
Sometimes you start a book and it’s not all you hoped it would be. Sometimes you power through and finish it anyway, but sometimes that feels a bit like pulling teeth.
I don’t know what it is, but I always feel bad if I DNF something. It’s like an obligation to the author and all the people that put so much effort into the book that I do my duty as a reader, writer, and reviewer to finish the book. But sometimes, there is a book that’s problematic or boring or just plain bad and it no longer feels worth it to review and promote something that makes you feel like pulling teeth.
After I finished Dream Waters which was something that I didn’t particularly care for, for a lot of reasons, I had a Netgalley review copy to read. I started it. But, right away I didn’t like the vibe. Then I looked into the reviews and I just didn’t have the energy for a book like that one. It was problematic in a lot of ways. The main character wasn’t like able, but that wasn’t the issue. There was weird relationships with older men. A general idealization of men in general. As well as many other negatives that many reviews pointed out.
I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t keep going. I’d read about 4 chapters and I couldn’t read another word. I wanted to read something good and right after the book I read was incredible. Something with great representation and solid history. I loved it. I felt good about reviewing it. I dreaded reading and reviewing the other book.
However, you don’t have to have a particular reason to not finish a book. If you don’t want to read something you don’t have to. You don’t have to explain it or give a discussion like mine. You just stop reading and forget about it. It’s ok to DNF. That’s a reminder to myself as much as to all of you.
Thank you all for reading! Let me know your thoughts down in the comments below!