The one where I read all the fantastic books

Hi there!! Happy November and happy week after the election to all of my American friends. WOW – what a week it has been. Unsurprisingly, all of this has been big news in Canada too and I got completely sucked into following the news more than usual last week. I did also do a bit of escapist reading and I have no regrets at all 🙂

Happily linking up with Steph & Jana today for Show us Your books November 2020! I’ve had some issues with my blog format and replying to comments in the last little bit and I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and figure it all out, but I will tomorrow on the Remembrance Day holiday. I will also comment on all the posts this time – I often start strong and forget to come back and follow up.

My reading life has been great from an audiobook perspective lately, but I’ve read a few physical books and e-books too. Audiobooks just work to keep my brain incredibly engaged this year and I have zero complaints. At night, I still usually curl up with a book in print and I’ve been getting back into reading now that I’m taking public transit again but that was a slow go avoiding getting carsick for a bit there.

Here are the books I’m happy to share short reviews for today:

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRueThe Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE is a book that will stay in my thoughts for a long time to come. I finished it yesterday after a whirlwind deep dive and obsession with it and I cannot stop thinking about it and all that it meant. If you’ve spent any time on Bookstagram this month, you’ve definitely seen this book appear and I fully believe the hype around it is for real.

I have enjoyed one of Schwab’s other series immensely (A Darker Shade of Magic), but it took me a bit longer to familiarize myself with the world-building in that series. Addie LaRue was immediately entrancing, captivating, and oh-so-hard to put down. I alternated between reading and listening this beautiful book and I adored the narration as well (thank you, Julia Whelan).

This book isn’t high fantasy – I’d call it more like magical realism with some fantasy elements. I loved Addie’s character, I empathized with her plight, I admired her tenacity, I envied her bravery, and I was continually drawn into her interesting and unique story. I can’t imagine living the life she did, but at the same time, I can’t believe how much time she had to see the many changes of the world. This book is set all over the world, but primarily in France and New York City as pictured here 🙂

I don’t want to say too much about the plot of this book because it is really best experienced firsthand but I implore you to pick this up and experience this lyrical and breathtaking story for yourself.

Murder on Cold Street (Lady Sherlock, #5)Murder on Cold Street by Sherry Thomas
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I adore this series, particularly on audio narrated by Kate Reading who is phenomenal. The romance lover in me especially loves Charlotte and Lord Ingram, of course, but all of the side characters are fun to read and the mystery in each book is always captivating and complex and stumps me. This book was no exception and I had to re-read several sections to piece together what exactly was happening with some of the new characters. Unsurprisingly, since the mysteries in these books have a very Sherlockian theme to them, this one took quite an unexpected twist (for me) near the end, and now I’m left dying for the next book in the series already. 🙂

I highly recommend this series and it is best read in order starting with A Study in Scarlet Women. The books feature a strong and fiercely independent woman with a wonderful circle of supporters and friends, a smidge of romance, and some excellent mysteries.

(Loved doing this as a buddy read with Kristen)

Goodbye Phone, Hello World: 65 Ways to Disconnect from Tech and Reconnect to JoyGoodbye Phone, Hello World: 65 Ways to Disconnect from Tech and Reconnect to Joy by Paul Greenberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This short book with excellent quotes and illustrations highlighted a few good phone habits I already have (for instance, no one in my family eats meals together in front of a screen AT ALL), but it also gave me so much food for thought about how much I need to maybe put down my phone for my own sanity and not just because of ignoring other people (which I try consciously not to do too, obviously).

This was easily devoured in an afternoon and I’m still thinking about it a few weeks later so if this is a nudge you need, I recommend this book.

Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Forever with You (Sapphire Springs #1)Forever with You by Barb Curtis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I found it really easy to get into this book and I fell in love with the characters and their setting pretty quickly. The small-town feel and grandfathers-who-were-best-friends aspect was so fun and endearing. For a bit, I found it a bit difficult to believe how easily the second chance aspect of the romance came about but the story turned a bit into an ending that was easy to appreciate and root for entirely. 🙂

Looking forward to reading more from this lovely Canadian debut author in the future!! It seems that this will be a series and I CAN’T WAIT!! 🙂

Thank you to Forever and Netgalley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Wild at Heart (Wild, #2)Wild at Heart by K.A. Tucker
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really, really liked The Simple Wild and 100% regret not reading it sooner, but I really really LOVED Wild at Heart. To be reunited with these characters was SO MUCH FUN. The new setting in Alaska was swoonworthy. I want to move there tomorrow and have my own pet goat and a husband who flies planes and a curmudgeonly neighbour and a bossy town-council woman and … well, actually I’m more of a city girl but the picture that was painted in this story was adventurous!!! There were a fair number of difficulties for Jonah and Calla to overcome here and I appreciated their road to better communication throughout the plot of this story. The character development felt more mature and real to me than in the first book and I can’t wait to flip open the novella on December 1 and be back with these characters I’d like to call friends 🙂

4.5/5 stars

Instant KarmaInstant Karma by Marissa Meyer
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I HAVE loved some of Marissa Meyer’s other YA work (particularly Cinder and that whole series) but this fell a little bit flat for me overall. I did like the entire family of children who were named after Beatles songs, and I have a very soft spot in my heart for boy-and-girl twins for some reason, so that worked well for me too. The audiobook was well narrated. The book just felt a little bit too long and it didn’t feel like enough was happening to hold my interest for a 13-hour audiobook. Sometimes this happens to me with YA these days and it can be a lot more about me than the book itself.

Thank you to Netgalley, Edelweiss, Macmillan Audio, and Feiwel & Friends for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Troubles in Paradise (Paradise, #3)Troubles in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was an unputdownable conclusion to this trilogy. The funny thing about me with Elin Hilderbrand books is that I like them because I can’t put them down, but I don’t ABSOLUTELY love them. There is always an aspect of the character or the plots that I just can’t get behind. This book tied up a lot of loose ends, especially with the mystery aspect that started off at the beginning of the first book. A lot of the relationships also worked themselves out a bit and I appreciated that too haha. Overall, this series was a good brain break and fun to read but not a beloved favourite or anything like that. Anyone else share this opinion?

Sister DearSister Dear by Hannah Mary McKinnon
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is a thriller, but it doesn’t completely feel like it until near the end. However, I still really enjoyed the story and felt for Eleanor and her situation. I didn’t love all of the chargers but I did find the plot interesting and the charcuterie intriguing. After the halfway point I became quite invested in how it would all work out, so that was good. The ending took quite a wild turn that I did NOT see coming and was quite saddened by, but after chatting with the author with my Canadian book club on Zoom, she shared what would have happened years into the future and that was AWESOME.

Enjoyed this one immensely on audio.

A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy, #1)A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

There were parts of this book that I really, really enjoyed, and parts that felt long and needed editing and were just a bit over my head or caused me to lose interest. Overall, I will continue with the series and I did appreciate some of the history and understood why it was necessary to the story. Loved the love story, for the most part. VERY interested in the actual history of Diana’s family and parents. Looking forward to watching it on TV sometime, too! Not sure I will continue the series immediately, but someday.

I also re-read Things You Save in a Fire to finish off Erin’s challenge (LOVED it even more this time), read the 4th book in the Steampunk series by Nancy Campbell Allen, the last two books in the Oxford series by Lauren Layne, and a delightful Abigail Reynolds book. Currently reading a few too many to share, as usual, but MOSTLY reading Mistletoe & Mr. Right, Hollowpox, and A Lady’s Guide to Mischief & Mayhem.

What have you been reading lately?! Anything good that I need to squeeze in before 2020 is over???

26 responses to “The one where I read all the fantastic books”

  1. I really miss reading on public transportation. Those were my best reading hours. Mistletoe and Mr Right sounds fun. I can’t wait to hear about it next month.


    1. So easy to read on public transportation!! I have mixed feelings about being back on it, to be honest, but it’s the only option that makes sense at the moment here.


  2. Wild at heart sounds like a great read and the setting sounds amazing.
    Goodbye phone, hello world sounds good as well.


    1. such an amazing setting! Read the Simple Wild first though!


  3. Sister Dear sounds interesting.
    I have Hollowpox to read this month. I’m excited but also nervous because I’ve been anticipating it so much!

    We usually eat in front of the TV but that will change if we ever manage to have a living child.


    1. We should definitely chat about Hollowpox when we both finish it!! I have been anticipating it forever, it feels like. We used to eat in front of the TV too but now it’s on a different floor anyway 😉


  4. Adding Forever With You to my TBR. I read the first two in that Elin series and I need to get my hands on the last! I totally get what you are saying about it and completely agree.


    1. You definitely need to read the last one and see how it all wraps up!! Forever with You was super cute


  5. Ok Im not big on fantasy but I have read more than usual this year and the invisible life sounds amazing. Definitely going to pick that one up.


    1. it’s not too heavy on the fantasy! I think you would definitely really like it.


  6. I have Troubles in Paradise on my kindle from Netgalley that I need to get to.

    I should also get after Wild at Heart. I liked The Simple Wild much more than I thought I would given the type of book it is.


    1. Curious about your thoughts on Troubles in Paradise when you get to it! 🙂


  7. Audiobooks do the opposite for me–my brain shuts off. I’m much better with a physical book.


    1. My IRL best friend is the same – I totally get it! At least you like audiobook costumes ;);)


  8. I’ve had those K.A. Tucker books on my TBR forever – sounds like I need to actually make time to get to them! Elin Hilderbrand always is good for an escape. Sounds like I need to read Invisible Life ASAP!



    1. Yep I think the Wild books would be RIGHT up your alley, friend! And YES tell me when you read Addie LaRue so we can discuss!!!


  9. I do love Elin’s books because they engross me while I am reading them but very few of them stand out later once I’m done reading them (in other words they rarely make it onto my “must read” lists but I do count her as a favorite author because they are a fun break from those heavy books that do make it onto my must read lists).


    1. Yes, this is exactly how I feel about her books!!


  10. I haven’t listened to an audiobook in ages, since I listen to podcasts on my commute. I haven’t read any K.A. Tucker books but a bunch are on my to read list!


  11. I keep hearing about The Invisible Life… but I’m not sure it’s for me. After reading your review I’m thinking I need to give it a try! I did some escape reading this week too, I needed it!


  12. I enjoyed Sister Dear. It’s been a long time since I read Discovery of Witches – I remember really liking that one though. Thanks for sharing and enjoy your month!


  13. I think I’ll try The Simple Wild because I am needing a book just like that sounds!

    And yes, I read Elin Hilderbrand books and I don’t love them but I keep going back. I think I just want to be on Nantucket but not have to deal with the locals.


  14. Cannot wait to get my hands on the last Elin – I love her books!


  15. Addie LaRue is on my shelf. It seems like it’s not too much fantasy (as world-building is not my favorite genre…the last time I got into a book like that, it was probably The Hunger Games lol).


  16. shootingstarsmag Avatar

    I have the first Lady Sherlock book and I really need to read it. I also have Addie LaRue, but I’m HOPING to read that this month. We’ll see. hah I love the author though.



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