November Wrap-Up/December TBR

Happy December 1st Geeks & Gals! ‘Tis the season for bookish goodness…but isn’t that all year round, really? Today I thought I would quickly go through my November Wrap-Up and let you know my December reading plans and TBR.

For November I successfully completed 11 books, which although still great, is down from an epic 16 books completed in October. I believe I reviewed all of the books I completed in November previously so I will just go through a quick run-down with star ratings:

  1. Abandoned (Max Revere series)                              4 stars
  2. The Lying Woods (ARC)                                              5 stars
  3. A Study in Charlotte (audio)                                     3 stars
  4. Winterhouse (middle grade ARC)                           4.5 stars
  5. My Sister, the Serial Killer (ARC)                             3.5 stars
  6. Wolves of the Calla (Dark Tower series)                5 stars
  7. This is Our Story                                                          5 stars
  8. Strange Grace                                                               4 stars
  9. The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle (ARC)      5 stars
  10. Love a’la Mode (ARC)                                                  5 stars
  11. The Lying Game (audio)                                             4 stars

As you can tell by the star ratings listed above, I had a pretty stellar reading month. There were no books that I did not enjoy. The lowest star rating of 3, A Study in Charlotte, was still a fun book it just didn’t WOW me like some of the others. The book I would say that had the largest impact on me for the month of November was probably, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. It was just such a unique Adult Mystery/Thriller. I had never read anything like it before. It was so confusing, pretty much the whole way through, but so insanely addicting, I had to keep reading!

Moving on to December – I have big plans this month. Firstly, I am participating in two readalongs this month with book friends from Instagram. The first is the #manxcarpooltochristmasland where I will be rereading Joe Hill’s fantastic Holiday Horror novel, NOS4A2. I read NOS4A2 for the first time last December and loved it soooooo much that I even bought a copy of it for my sister for Christmas. Initially I read it on my kindle but have since bought a hard copy for myself and the plan is to annotate it this time round. Really looking forward to jumping back into that twisted tale!

Second, I am participating in the #ChristmasinZephyr readalong where we will be reading Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon. This is a coming-of-age story that follows young, Cory Mackenson, and his friends and family living in the small town of Zephyr, Alabama. I have heard so many wonderful things about this book, in fact it is a few of my book friends all-time favorite novels, so I am really excited to check it out. I have also heard it compared to Stephen King’s short story, The Body, which I love so I have a strong feeling this will be a 5-star book for me. *Side Note: The Body was adapted into a fabulous movie called, Stand By Me, which if you haven’t watched it yet, you should.

In addition to the two readalongs, I am not overloading myself with too many other commitments. I would like to get at least halfway through, Song of Susannah, which is the sixth book in King’s Dark Tower series. I want to stretch it out a bit because I only have one book left after this one. The last thing I want to focus on is a techy scifi book called, Killing Adam, that was sent to me by the author, Earik Beann. He was so gracious to send me a copy in exchange for an honest review. The premise sounds very interesting and I can’t wait to get started with it. It is fairly short so I don’t think I should have a problem getting through it by the New Year release date.

Currently, I have read 128 books for the year. I would be VERY happy if I could get to 135. That would feel like a HUGE victory for me, considering my initial goal was 62 which I then bumped to 72 and again bumped to 92. I have definitely exceeded my expectations.

I do have a lot of great plans for 2019, which include hopefully finally starting by BookTube channel! I just need to do some more research, studying, learning how to edit, etc., before I get going with that. I will do a 2019 Goals post closer to the end of the year so stay tuned for that. What books are you hoping to finish before the end of the year? Have you already set your reading goals for 2019? I want to hear about it! Leave a comment below or contact me through any of my social media links.

Cheers & Happy Reading!

 

Retellathon Wrap-Up

It’s wrap-up time! So, if you follow me on social media or this blog, you may recall that last week I participated in my FIRST ever readathon. I had so much fun and ended up completing 3 books for it and meeting 4 out of the 5 challenges! I’m proud of that – between working full time and being Dog Mom of the year with three times a day long walks – I think that is a pretty solid week. In completion order the books I read and challenges met are as follows:

1. The Beast Within by Serena Valentino (Villains #2): Rating 2.5-stars.  This one was really rough for me. I hated the Beast/Prince. He was a complete ass and I don’t feel his character changed at all during the course of the story. I did not want Belle with him and don’t know why she would choose to be. I understand when a guy gives you a library that can be tempting but he must have some other sort of likeable qualities as well. The story itself was all over the place and felt very rushed. Overall, may be a better fit for readers aged 10 to 13. I read this book to satisfy Challenge #1, which was to read a retelling of your favorite fairy tale. Beauty and the Beast has always been my favorite and I have actually owned this book for a while, so, even though it wasn’t the best book for me, I am happy to cross it off my backlist!  For my full review on Goodreads >>> Meg’s Full Review

2. Queen of Hearts by Colleen Oakes (Queen of Hearts Saga #1): Rating 4.5-stars. This is essentially an origin story for the Queen of Hearts. I love retellings from the villains perspective, that’s honestly one of my favorite subgenres of YA. This one felt very true to the atmosphere of the original story but brought a lot of new concepts and unique twists. I loved the deep, dark overall feel of the tale. There were parts that were very gritty and creepy which works perfectly with the story. Alice in Wonderland is not a feel-good tale; it is dark and scary with twisty-turny, upside-downy things that just make you feel on edge. I read this book to satisfy two challenges actually. Firstly for, Challenge #3, which was to read a fairytale retelling from your heritage. I chose to go with my Irish heritage for this one and since Ireland was a part of UK&Ireland at the time the original story was written, I think that counts. I made that executive decision, yes. The second challenge it met was Challenge #5, which was to read a retelling with a dark twist, and as the hosts of the readathon pointed out, this would include stories from the villains perspective. So, check and check! For my full review on Goodreads>>>Meg’s Full Review

3. Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust – Rating 4.5-stars rounded up to 5 on Goodreads. This is a fabulous feminist retelling of Snow White and the Evil Queen. (Side Note: I always want to call her the Wicked Queen – I am from New England, everything is wicked to us.) Honestly, I haven’t even written a review for this yet because I am still grappling with how much I loved it. It was a long one too – almost 400-pages.  If I had one critique, that would be it.  I think probably 40 to 50 pages could have been edited out of it. Other than that, it was fantastic – and a debute – gurl, what!? I think this is probably the best retelling I have ever read. I am so happy that I finally got around to it as it has been on my shelves since it first released in September of last year. The Challenge this met was Challenge #2, to read a queer or gender flipped retelling. This story features a f/f relationship. I promise to write a full review of this book soon!

There was one challenge that I did not complete and that was Challenge #4, to read the group book, The Surface Breaks by Louise O’Neill. After hearing other Retellathon participants thoughts on it, I am actually glad I did not start with that one.  Let’s just say the overall opinion is not high and I wouldn’t be surprised if a copy or two got tossed in the actual garbage.  Luckily, the cover is insanely gorgeous so even if I never read it, at least I can look at it once in a while and soak up its prettiness.

What is your favorite retelling? Have you read any of these? I want to know – leave a comment below or contact me through any of the social media links to the right!