Recent Reads (SUYB May!)

This past month of reading was good, but also weird. For awhile, I had about 5 books on the go and still wanted to pick up another one. Haha. It was a good mix of fluffier enjoyable chick lit books and some more serious DEFINITELY amazing books. There were a few duds and a DNF too. Linking up with the wonderful Steph and Jana to chat books for the show us your books link up today!!!

BOOKS I WOULD DEFINITELY RECOMMEND depending on your tastes

Us Against You (Beartown, #2)Us Against You by Fredrik Backman
My rating: 6 of 5 stars

I actually raved about this book in my post yesterday – long story short – Beartown and this book are absolutely worth anyone’s time in my humble opinion.

Thank you to Atria Books and Netgalley for the advanced review copy of this book. It exceeded my expectations which were already remarkably high and I can’t wait for the third in this trilogy.

An American MarriageAn American Marriage by Tayari Jones
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The audiobook version of this was very well done -I enjoyed it immensely although it did take me a little while to get into it, which is often the case with these types of books. I will admit that this book wasn’t really what I was expecting it to be – but it was definitely thought provoking and I felt torn at times about what I wanted for the characters. The characters absolutely made this story though…as the reader, you get to know the characters so well through their letters while Roy is in prison, and their parents both play important roles in the story as well. This deeply moving book will stay with me throughout the year.

Down a Dark Road (Kate Burkholder, #9)Down a Dark Road by Linda Castillo
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I’ve read book 1 and now book 9 in this series and I need to read all the ones in between. Kate Burkholder is a wonderful character and the Amish setting makes these books extremely interesting. This particular mystery was emotional and intense. Although I do recommend this book, it’s probably better to read the series in order if you can get your hands on them.

Thank you to Minotaur and Netgalley for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It took me awhile to get into this book because it had been almost a year since I’d read the second one, but then I started it on audio after awhile and I was ALL IN. Switched between audio & print and really enjoyed that. This world is so complicated but so fascinating and I love these characters. Great conclusion to a fantasy series. I’m not always this invested in fantasy books – they are hit or miss for me, but this trilogy was so well done.

(Also – some extremely sad moments in this book :()

Graceling (Graceling Realm, #1)Graceling by Kristin Cashore
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another audiobook that was VERY well done. I enjoyed the full-cast performance immensely. The story itself was also very good and I liked it a lot. Katsa and Po were great characters, and the whole Graceling realm is very interesting. I felt like a few things were a bit easier than they should have been for them, but I know it’s supposed to be that way because of Katsa’s grace. I will for sure pick up the others in this series at some point.

This is a very approachable fantasy book too – maybe because I was listening to it? The world didn’t feel quite as complicated as some of the other fantasy I’ve read.

RoomiesRoomies by Christina Lauren
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was super fun to read (in less than a day :D) and made me laugh out loud a bunch of times. Of course, parts of it were absolutely predictable and also pretty far-fetched but it was cute and fun. I love the whole NYC setting, particularly the Broadway part because that is one of my favourite parts of the city. I also have a bit of a thing for Ireland so the Irish character was so great.

Dear AaronDear Aaron by Mariana Zapata
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Oh it was so good to be back with Mariana Zapata’s words on the page. I had purchased this ebook last fall after loving a few of her other books and then when I read From Lukov with Love, a friend pointed out that Ruby in that book already had her own book which is this one. I really liked Ruby in Lukov and she was wonderful in this book too. She was upfront, and a bit innocent but brave, so friendly, and so well-meaning. Aaron was great too. I felt a bit nostalgic reading this book because I used to love those days (high school/university age for me) of getting to know someone via e-mails and instant messaging (my own husband and I met online and it was so fun to read about a couple that got to know each other via 21st century letters :)). The ending came a bit too quickly for me, but fortunately Mariana Zapata excels at epilogues 🙂

PS – it was fun to read about Ruby’s family from her perspective after getting to know them so well in Lukov.

Dating-ish (Knitting in the City, #6)Dating-ish by Penny Reid
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Marie is such a strong character and I was excited to read her story. I was also happy to revisit Matt from down the hall after reading Fiona and Greg’s book. The entire premise of this book was just too much fun – the story Marie was working on and how Matt fit into that story, and the way they got to know each other…it was really fun to read. Of course, it was also fun to see this story converge with the one before it near the end and to read about all of that from a different character’s perspective – I love how Penny Reid does that.

Also LOVED all the HP references in this book 🙂

Marriage of Inconvenience (Knitting in the City, #7)Marriage of Inconvenience by Penny Reid
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Definitely one of my favourites of the series. Although I love the romance in these novels (all of them were different but awesome), I also really REALLY enjoy the female friendship aspect as well. This final book in the series felt like a LONG TIME COMING for Dan & Kat and the book definitely did their relationship justice!!
Things I loved:
1) Fun idea for a marriage of convenience
2) Dan the Security man (in general) + Dan’s family
3) The epilogue OF COURSE

Bottom line: if you like contemporary romance and you have not read this series, now would be a good time. Start at the beginning though!!!

Arrogant DevilArrogant Devil by R.S. Grey
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I really, really liked Meredith and her hilarious self-talk and I loved the setting and the secondary characters in this book. Jack was great and their dynamic was also quite funny. I think I just had too high of expectations for it, maybe. I expected a bit more drama with Andrew and/or Helen. Overall though, this book made me smile and I really really liked it. Her books are always enjoyable reads in my opinion and this one passed the time nicely.

Thank you to R.S. Grey for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. It is available May 10 but it’s available for pre-order as of yesterday for 0.99! 

BOOKS THAT WERE ENJOYABLE



The Gamble (Colorado Mountain, #1)The Gamble by Kristen Ashley
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is super highly rated on Goodreads and Amazon and Kristen Ashley is hugely popular. I liked this, but I didn’t love it. I found it a little bit too over the top (I don’t really love insta-love) and it was insanely long (or it felt that way). That being said, the characters were still adorable, the setting was so well described and sounded beautiful, and the supporting characters were overall hilarious so I liked all of that. I might continue with the series down the road but I’m not in a huge rush.

 Bad Bachelor (Bad Bachelors, #1)Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a cute book with fun characters but it lacked a little something – I’m not sure what. I liked the idea of the app in the book and the library fundraiser and all of that was great. I think I just needed a bit more. Will try out some of her other books for sure though. This one is on Hoopla if you are wanting to give it a try! 🙂

It's All About the Duke (The Rakes of St. James, #3)It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this historical romance and particularly enjoyed Marlena’s character. Aspects of this certainly reminded me of Lady Whistledown in the Bridgerton series, so that was kind of fun and I chuckle a bit at the ways in which women entertained themselves back in that time period. The banter and fun between the two main characters was fun to read and of course the ending was what I had hoped for 🙂

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin’s Press for the advanced copy of this read in exchange for an honest review.

DON’T BOTHER

Can't Fight the FeelingCan’t Fight the Feeling by Sandy James

Nope – I guess I only like *some* new adult books.

Part 2: CHILDREN’S BOOKS WE HAVE LOVED LATELY
I’ve shared a few children’s books in the past in this link up but it’s been awhile. We are a huge reading household so my girls usually have a chapter book on the go that I’m reading to them, and dozens of picture books around. Here are a few favourites lately:

Red Is BestRed Is Best by Kathy Stinson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of my daughter’s favourite books because she is a preschooler and her favourite colour is red. The writing is very cute and makes us all smile.

Chester's Back! (Chester)Chester’s Back! by Mélanie Watt
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

These Chester books are absolutely hilarious and I love Melanie Watt.

Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary WomenGood Night Stories for Rebel Girls: 100 Tales of Extraordinary Women by Elena Favilli
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

My daughters are extremely fascinated by the stories in this book and we have read them a few at a time each evening and morning for over a week now. I’m learning a lot too! My favourite bio in this book is Jane Austen (of course). We also love the second book, which includes a short bio on J.K. Rowling that brought tears to my eyes. The fact that she was told Harry Potter would never succeed and then it went on to inspire MILLIONS of children to read is unbelievable and incredible.

We have also enjoyed the entire Heidi Hecklebeck series (Molly, 6 1/2, can read these on her own which is great).

ALSO – I wanted to mention that Audiobook Sync started back up again last week – free audiobooks for Overdrive all summer! They are mostly YA but there are some great choices there!! This week there is a Kwame Alexander book there. Once you download it, it’s yours forever on Overdrive! Just a bookish PSA.

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