Good day dear bookish friends! Welcome back to my little corner. I hope you have some tea, because it would be a bore to read this without some! Add a little cookies too; don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone!
Today, I shall be speaking with you all regarding my love for historical fiction, a wonderful genre full of interesting stories, quaint times, and dazzling characters. I will also be enlightening you, as well as myself, on the problems of the past and why loving this genre may not necessarily be for you.
And of course, to wrap it all up, I shall share some lovely reads from these bygone eras that I think would warm your little hearts.
Hey guys and welcome back! Today is the 7th day of 2020 and life is finally getting back to normal. Yesterday was the first day of school again, and to be honest, I kind of missed having classes and assignments. I know. I can barely believe that I even thought that myself. But of course, when assignments properly start, I’m going to be wishing for another break once again.
Anyways, today I’m going to be wrapping up my 2019 reading year.
To help wrap up my past reading year, I’ve decided to do Jamie’s End of Year Survey with a twist. Instead of answering all her questions (46!!), I’m going to pick a handful to answer, and also do a wrap-up my way. Initially, I was going to do 2 different posts, one with the survey and the other with my wrap-up, but that’s going to be repetitive, so I’ll be combining both.
This is probably going to be rather long, so without further ado, let’s get started!!!
2019 Reading Stats
Number of Books Read: 98
Number of Re-Reads: 3
Genre You Read the Most From: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense
I didn’t make it to 100 books. But that’s okay. Because I got to 98, which is still a pretty good number and I’m really proud of myself for making it that far.
The re-reads were The Fixer and The Long Game, both by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter. The first two were great, and I loved re-reading them. The third one was a little cringey, and I can see why it appealed to a Younger Rukky, but it was not for Current Me.
Lol, no surprise. Mystery/Thriller/Suspense was by far the genre that I read the most from, with Fantasy coming in second, and Contemporary in third.
I made a little pie chart to break down my reading even further, and I’m so relieved that it turned out looking okay.
I also did another chart showing my year in books by rating, so here you go:
I like how most of my books were 4 or 3 stars. The books were either mediocre or pretty good, just not super great, and I’m happy with that. I think it also shows that I’ve figured out what books work for me, and what don’t, and so hopefully next year, this will have much less 2 or 1 star books.
I did have a couple of DNFs (Did-Not-Finish), and most of them, I plan on trying to re-read another time, while some I absolutely did not like.
For Blanca and Roja, Ninth House, and Blindsighted, I don’t think i was in the right mood when I picked them up, so I was really bored and impatient with them. These are the ones I plan on picking up some other time.
Marshall Law just wasn’t for me. I got it for review from Reedsy, but I didn’t like it and never finished it.
Captive Witness was disappointing, because I loved Nancy Drew once upon a time, and when I picked this up, I couldn’t get over how old fashioned it was. I was cringing so much, and decided to stop so that I wouldn’t ruin all my great memories of reading all the various series.
The Perfect Husband was a nightmare. I am so done with that book. Usually, when there is extra stuff going in books, especially in thrillers and mysteries, I just skim past and move on. But this book had stuff in pretty much. Every. Single. Chapter. I can’t believe I got to 74%. SEVENTY-FOUR, guys. And you’d think that they don’t have time for any of this extra drama, and so called “romance” when the MC is being hunted by a pure 100% psychopath. But no, they can’t stop their “love” for five seconds.
So yeah. 3 of them, I might try later, 2 of them were just not for me, and 1 of them was a true nightmare. But I’m still pretty glad that I only had 6 DNFs the entire year.
This was more of a political thriller, but I still loved the mystery of who was behind the attack. I’m also a huge fan of any book with “secret agents” and Mary and Stone were amazing and made me love the story even more.
It was interesting being told what happened to Frank in bits and pieces, and what brought him to that beach. There was so much suspense, as things were slowly revealed and I liked that. The book wasn’t perfect in other aspects, but the suspense was really great.
This is a master thriller. It was honestly the first time that I’d been truly petrified and nervous, and anxious about how things would end in a book. It was a little over the top, and would probably be better as a movie than a book, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it.
I loved this. I loved the characters. I loved Kaz’s cunning ruthless and brutal, I loved Inej, Jes, Wylan, Nina and Matthias, I loved everything about it. Well, it was slow until the heist at the end, but I liked the build-up and relationships between the characters, and how we got to know them so well. This is honestly my top fantasy book of 2019.
This is a fantasy that I loved because of it’s worldbuilding. The way Allomancy was described, the way the Empires and cities felt so real that I could literally picture everything happening clearly, that was amazing. I loved the heist, and was shocked at how things turned out, but what I loved the most about this was how real, and possible, and well-thought out the world and Allomancy was.
I got a recipe for November Cakes. That’s honestly enough to bribe me into loving this book. But really though, I sincerely enjoyed the story. The happiness, calm, and peace that came after I finished reading it. The deadly but utterly beautiful horses. Puck and Sean fighting for what they want, what they love. It was really beautiful, and I’m so glad that Meegs pushed me to read this.
He’s grumpy. He’s strict. He’s mean. But underneath that tough exterior, Ove is hurting. And this book is about what caused it, and what happens when a new bustling family, with a fiery and delightful mother, moves in next door. I loved this because of the characters, and because the found family relationship that all the neighbors built with one another. Ove is also really endearing, and it was heartbreaking reading about everything that went wrong in his life. Even if it was fictional. This book made me so happy, because Ove learned to live and love again.
I may have loved this solely because the ending shattered my heart. But I’m also a big fan of coming-of-age novels, and this is one of them. At first, I didn’t like many of the characters, and I was a little annoyed, and maybe bored. But as the story continued, and the years passed, and the war dragged on, I began to feel for all these characters. I began to understand them, love them. And when that ending came, even though I knew, even though I’d been warned, it still shattered me when that happened. It’s a book that made me laugh, made me smile, made me cry. And I don’t think a book has ever done all three to me.
This was a great book about a woman fighting society’s sexist and racist views through a newspaper column in 19th century Georgia (aka the 1800s). Jo was a great main character, and I loved Old Gin, Noemi, and Nathan so much. She’s brave, she’s fierce, and she was risking so much to write her Miss. Sweetie column and using it to inspire change in her community. This was one my most anticipated books this year, and it did not disappoint.
I’ve already read the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, and even though it was slow in the beginning, I loved the magic and the world, and I can’t wait to read the second book.
Best Sequel of 2019?
Vengeful by V.E. Schwab. This was such an awesome sequel, and I loved the new villains, as well as Victor’s search for a cure. The ending was really great, but I hope that there is still a 3rd book! Mitch, Syd, and Victor were so sweet together, and honestly, this book was just perfect.
Best Series Ender of 2019?
Nope, none. The only Series Ender I read in 2019 was The Queen of Nothing, and that was most definitely one of the worst I’ve ever read. I’m just really disappointed and salty about it.
Favorite new author you discovered in 2019?
My new top three authors that I discovered in 2019 are:
Maggie Stiefvater (The Scorpio Races), V.E. Schwab (Vicious), and Brandon Sanderson (The Final Empire).
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2019?
It’s a tie. I can’t pick one over the other! Both covers are just so beautifully gorgeous.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2019 to finally read?
One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus. I’d seen it in my library a lot, and I can’t believe that I never picked it up until earlier this last year. It was one of the first YA mysteries that I read, and I really loved it.
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2019?
This post is already over 1,500 words long, so I’m going to stop here. I think I’ve covered all the major questions, and if you’d like to see all the books I read last year, check out my 2019 Year in Books on GoodReads. I’ll probably be doing a Blog/Life Wrap-Up next, and I may do a Most Disappointing Books of 2019. Not sure yet, but keep an eye out for another wrap-up!
That’s it for this post! What was your favorite book of 2019? Have you read any of the ones mentioned above? What did you think? How many books did you read in 2019? Chat with me in the comments below!
The end of 2019 is here and it’s about time that I started all these end of year/year wrap-up/top 10 books etc.. posts. As you can already tell by the title, today I’m going to be sharing with you my anticipated releases for this year, and whether they lived up to my expectations or not.
I did 2 posts earlier this year in which I shared my most anticipated books for 2019, and my most anticipated books for the second half of 2019. Out of those 20, I’ve only read 5, and I just got a sixth one, so maybe I’ll finish that by the end of this month. To be honest, the lowest rating I’ve given a book I was excited for this year is 3 stars. So none of them have truly, really disappointed me, but there were still some that I was expecting much more from.
This was really good. Initially, I was kind of bored, and I thought that the Husband was a bit annoying, but it was still pretty good and I loved the suspense and the mystery.
However, I was expecting more, and the plot was pretty similar to other books that I’d read. The POV was definitely unique, and it was interesting seeing how the murders happened and why. However, it was just not a amazing as I anticipated it to be. I was just expecting more.
In the end, this was a dark and twisted thriller with an unconventional narrator, and a surprising ending.
I seriously was super excited for this book. I was looking for a heist, with some diversity, and also a fantasy book, since it was out of my comfort zone at the time.
And this was good in some ways. I loved Nasir and Altair (seriously, there’s no way not to love Altair. He’s obnoxiously awesome!!!), I respected Zafira and the other characters, and I loved the descriptions and the culture.
However, it was seriously lacking in the plot department, and until the very end, not much happened. Honestly, the characters were the only thing that kept the story going, at least for me.
In the end, this was an amazing Arabia inspired fantasy with phenomenal characters.
I read this right before One of of Us is Lying, and I’ve gotta say, it was pretty good. Not spectacular like I’d been expecting, but it was still a decent mystery.
The pacing was a little slow, but the family drama, and the several mysteries were pretty interesting to follow. I liked some of the characters, but now that it’s been 10 months, I really don’t remember much, except that it was just good. Which is kind of disappointing.
In the end, this was a suspenseful mystery with great characters and an amazing twist/plot.
When I initially heard about this, I was super excited because I seriously loved The Naturals and The Fixer series by JLB. I was sure that this was going to be another awesome book, and I was pretty disappointed.
Book wise, it was ok. However, I came in with the wrong expectations, and didn’t get a mystery, but more of a search-and-rescue, which is the point of the book. I wasn’t expecting the search and rescue to be the main focus, so that added to my disappointment.
I didn’t connect much to Kira, the main character, either, but I thought she was cool and different from the usual YA heroines. Free and Jude were such a welcome relief and I loved them for that, but honestly, they were all just meh. This book was really just meh. Really disappointing.
In the end, this was a good book with okay characters, and a meh plot.
This was truly one of the best books I’ve read this year and I loved it. The idea of the story, the setting, the time period, the characters, it was all so splendid and I couldn’t have been happier.
This was one of the few Historical Fiction novels I’ve read this year and it was the most perfect. I loved Jo, I loved the atmosphere, and I loved how she was determined to make a change in a society that did not want that kind of change. I loved all the side and semi-MC characters who supported Jo through everything and made this book the beauty that it is.
In the end, this was an amazing historical fiction novel that tackles diverse topics, with an amazing cast of characters.
That’s it! These were the five books that I had on my list that I managed to read, and hopefully I’ll be getting to a sixth one (The Queen of Nothing!!!!) before this month’s end.
Have you read any of these? What did you think? What were your most anticipated releases for 2019? Did they live up to your expectations? Which books surprised you and why? Did you read as many books as you hoped to this year? Chat with me in the comments below?
Good morning!! I hope you had a great weekend. It is already the second week of November, and I’m just posting my wrap-up for October, but I guess it’s better late than never!
October was a pretty good month, especially reading wise. I was lacking in the blogging department, but I managed to read a lot more, and I did write some posts, so I guess it was still somewhat a success.
Let’s take a deeper look!
Covers are from Goodreads
Guys. I read THIRTEEN books. In ONE month. *goes off to squeal proudly and excitedly* I feel like I deserve a medal for this accomplishment. This was the first month that I had a TBR, and I’ve actually read most of the books on it, except for a few. I’m definitely going to have another TBR for November. I’m now only 6 books behind on my GR challenge, and I have 20 books to read to reach my goal of 100 by the end of December, so wish me luck guys!
The titles lead to my unofficial reviews on Goodreads (a few include a good deal of crying and excitement and there is also a rant…)
I hit 200 followers!! I’m planning on doing a Q&A soon, so if you’d like to ask me a question, head over here to ask! I also had over 1,000 views which is another accomplishment that I’m really proud of, especially since my posting was pretty irregular. So thank you guys so much for that!!
IRL, it’s so cold. Like really really ice-on-the-grass-and-roofs kind of cold. Which is something because this is Georgia that we are talking about. I’m semi-loving it, semi-hating it because now it’s not burning hot, but it’s also a little too cold for comfort.
Anyways, school is kind of stressful, but it’s not as bad as testing season, so I’m pretty happy about that. I’m feeling really good about the number of books that I read, and I really hope to do just as good this month, and also get back to properly blogging and maybe get rid of my backlogged reviews.
That’s A Wrap!
That’s it! In the end, I read 13 books, did 4 reviews, 3 “tags”, and 4 discussion posts. 5 of the 13 books were either 4 or 5 stars, which I’m pretty happy about, especially since most of the others were 3 stars, and only 2 of them were below that.
I met most of my goals for October, so hopefully for November, I’ll read at least 10 books, do 4 reviews, 3 or 4 tags, and 3 more discussions.
And that’s it for this wrap-up! How was October for you? Did you get as much reading as you wanted done? Have you read any of the books that I did? Did you take part in BE Autumn? Is it freezing where you are? What’s you #1 most anticipated release for this month? Let’s chat in the comments below!
Good morning! I hope you are having a great day. I am so so behind on reviews (I read this book in August!!) but I’m trying very hard to catch up. Today’s review is of one of my most anticipated releases for 2019, The Downstairs Girl by Stacey Lee. This was a spectacular historical fiction novel that touches on a lot of important topics from the 1800’s of the Southern US.
Summary: By day, seventeen-year-old Jo Kuan works as a lady’s maid for the cruel daughter of one of the wealthiest men in Atlanta. But by night, Jo moonlights as the pseudonymous author of a newspaper advice column for the genteel Southern lady, “Dear Miss Sweetie.” When her column becomes wildly popular, she uses the power of the pen to address some of society’s ills, but she’s not prepared for the backlash that follows when her column challenges fixed ideas about race and gender. While her opponents clamor to uncover the secret identity of Miss Sweetie, a mysterious letter sets Jo off on a search for her own past and the parents who abandoned her as a baby. But when her efforts put her in the crosshairs of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, Jo must decide whether she, a girl used to living in the shadows, is ready to step into the light. With prose that is witty, insightful, and at times heartbreaking, Stacey Lee masterfully crafts an extraordinary social drama set in the New South.
*Jo Kuan. I loved Jo for her wit, for her outspoken attitude, and because of her love for her friends and family. By day, she is a maid for a cruel and rich society belle, and by night she writes an unconventional column that tackles issues of race and gender equality. Her form of feminism, her way of challenging society’s ideals, was amazing, and I loved how she spoke for all women, and all races, rather than just a certain group of women, like the suffragist group in this story did. Also, she and Nathan were funny and cute.
*Reconstruction Era Georgia. I love love love love love historical fiction and I love historical fiction that is set in the Victorian Era, or the 1800s the most. This is one of the rare times that I’ve read a book set in this time period in the good old American South. And I loved it. The rising tensions, the segregation/racial issues, and the general change that was happening in the South during that time period is really interesting, and reading about a strong female character trying to change society’s mindset and trying to survive the growing tensions is something that I am absolutely here for. I think all the issues were handled beautifully in this book.
*Friends and family. The support of Jo’s friends and family made the story so whole. Noemi was so much fun, and I loved how she was just as outspoken and strong as Jo. She was an amazing friend, and always managed to make me smile. Old Gin was an interesting character, and I loved his small bits of advice, and the special bond that he had with Jo. I also loved how he always put Jo first, and Jo also did the same. Nathan was adorable (I don’t know why, I just thought he was super cute??) and the slow tentative relationship that he and Jo formed was so so sweet. Even Caroline, who was beyond rude and cruel, had her moments, and I really hoped that she and Jo could eventually become friends. Honestly, all the side characters in the book were so interesting and amazing.
*Horses. I also liked the small horses aspect in the story, and that ending with the race was the best.
*Nothing. I loved this book from beginning to end.
In the end, I really loved this, I would recommend it, and I hope you enjoy it if you read it! The main character was strong and independent, the side characters were diverse and amazing, and the plot tackled many important issues that were relevant in Jo’s time, and some that are still relevant today. I also loved the family and friendship dynamic between the characters, and it made the story more whole and sweet.
One sentence summary: An interesting historical fiction novel with amazing characters and diverse topics.
Overall, 5 stars!!
Rating: 5 out of 5.
That’s it for this review! Have you read The Downstairs Girl? What did you think? Did you find Nathan weirdly adorable as well? Have you read any amazing historical fiction novels this year? What was one of your most anticipated books for 2019? Chat with me in the comments!